Thursday, September 6, 2018

Joseph Ratzinger: The Church Will Become Poor, Meek, More Spiritualized and Simplified

Father Joseph Ratzinger 
From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge—a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.
. . .

The Church will be a more spiritualized Church, not presuming upon a political mantle, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek. The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. … But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church.
And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.
Joseph Ratzinger, Faith and the Future (Ignatius Press, San Francisco: 2009).
Joseph Ratzinger made the above statement in 1969, almost 50 years ago, in a German radio interview. He said this at a time when the Church was strong and powerful and the majority of Catholics in Western cultures still practiced their faith (at least outwardly).  It is true that the Church was experiencing the crisis caused by the release of Humane Vitae, but as Father Ratzinger said at the time, "The real crisis has scarcely begun.  We will have to count on terrific upheavals."

And we have seen those "terrific upheavals" indeed.  The debate over Humanae Vitae was only the beginning of the Church crisis in western culture.  We saw the size and influence of the Church and Christianity in general becomes less and less as the culture became more secular and humanistic. We saw priests and religious leave the Church in great numbers.  Less and less men and women entered the seminaries and convents.  Mass attendance dropped precipitously.

Then in the late 1990's, early 2000's, the sex abuse scandal hit the Church, quite literally bringing the Church to her knees.  This was a self-inflicted body blow of historic proportions.  It left a gaping wound in the Church that has still not healed, and in fact, has been ripped open anew more than once.

During the 2000's, we also saw another gigantic upheavel in the Church.  That was the Internet.  With the Internet, anyone could now start voicing his or her opinions to a worldwide audience and pronounce judgment on anyone they wished.

These judgmental, opinionated Catholics were able to gain followings and start whole movements against Church hierarchy thanks to the instantaneous communication afforded by the Internet.

One big movement on the Internet has been the conservatives/traditionalists, who basically denounce everything in the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council, saying that the only true Catholics are those who believe as they do.  They do not hesitate to condemn priests and bishops with whom they disagree.

Their condemnation now extends all the way to the Chair of Peter. We have never seen so much hatred and condemnation at any time as we have seen heaped upon Pope Francis. Some have literally called him the devil. They pronounce him the worst pope in history. Some refuse to accept the validity of his papacy, saying that Pope Benedict XVI was forced out, and therefore Benedict is the real pope and Francis is the anti-pope.

Respect, decorum and civility have been thrown out the window on the Catholic Internet. Everyone has basically declared themselves to be the Magesterium of the Church.

And now we have seen something almost unheard of. A high ranking bishop of the Church has accused Pope Francis of basically trying to undermine and destroy Church teaching and has called for the Pope's resignation.

Joseph Ratzinger warned of "terrific upheavals." This is like a 10.0 earthquake.

Thanks to the Internet, we have seen people quickly taking sides, either for or against Pope Francis. The rhetoric and invective used against the Pope is disgusting., is one of the worst of the conservative anti-Francis websites. They were one of those who colluded with Archbishop Vigano in calling for the resignation of Pope Francis, This website actually has a score card with live updates to show which bishops have come out in favor of Vigano.

Look at the bias in their reporting:
LifeSiteNews is pleased [!!!!!] to provide a running list of bishops and cardinals who have expressed public support for investigating the claims of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Many on the list have also expressed support for Viganò himself, praising his "integrity" and calling him honest and loyal.
They make no pretense as to whose "side" they are on.

As Father Ratzinger predicted, the Catholic Church is fast losing her power in the social structure, with Ireland being the prime example of this loss of power.  As a result of the sexual abuse crisis, the Church has lost her credibility.  We have covered our heads in shame and like Job, sit on a pile of ashes scraping our wounds while the world turns away in disgust.

In spite of all of this, we must always remember that Jesus Christ told us that the Church is built on Peter, and the gates of hell will never prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18-19:
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
This passage says that we cannot have a Church without Peter.  If the enemies of Pope Francis succeed, they will have destroyed the papacy for all time.  The Chair of Peter will no longer be the supreme authority in the Church and as a result, we will no longer have a Church.  But as I have already noted, Our Lord promised us, "the gates of Hell will not overcome it."

Those who are engaging in this battle against the Papacy are revealing themselves for who they truly are, and it is they who will find themselves on the outside.  They are purging themselves from the Church.

Father Raztinger, in his prediction of half a century ago, seemed to be talking of our time right now.   As Father Ratzinger said, the Church will become very small and powerless in the politics of this world.   There will be no prestige in being a part of the Catholic Church.  No one will be asking for our opinion on anything because we will have been totally discredited in the eyes of the world.

But the good news is that the Catholic Church will be a church purged of hate and division.  The Church built upon Peter will instead be a Church of total unity and filled with the Love of God.  We may look small to the world at that time, but in reality, we will be more powerful than ever because, as Father Ratzinger so eloquently foretold:
The Church will be a more spiritualized Church, not presuming upon a political mantle, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek. The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed.


  1. Catholic in Brooklyn, check out the following URL:

    Considering Michael Voris's own homosexual past, should he be running an apostolate?

    1. Good one, Christopher! Voris certainly does seem to have discredited himself from being any kind of "leader" in the Church. Just from what he says, he should never be trust around any young men!

      Did you know Voris actually did go to seminary when he was young? Oh boy.

    2. According to E. Michael Jones's e-book "The Man Behind the Curtain: Michael Voris and the Homosexual Vortex," Voris attended Dunwoodie for a couple of years in the '80s, but he was ultimately kicked out for "sexual immaturity."

  2. Catholic apologist Trent Horn has publicly said the following:

    "The Church is not a business with a mission of opening new 'locations.' Its mission is to save souls. If the removal of dissenting, unashamedly sinful clergy leaves only a few good parishes that are now hours away instead of minutes, then so much the better for the Body of Christ." (I added the period at the end. The final period did not appear in Mr. Horn's original Facebook post.)

    1. Unfortunately it is not just “dissenting, unashamedly sinful clergy” that is the problem. It includes a lot of the laity as well. This guy seems to be one of those who doesn’t have much use for Pope Francis and supports Viganò. What is it with converts? Converts almost never seem to like Francis. I wonder how many of them really left Protestantism.

    2. I have to agree. Why would a person convert and then complain all the time.

  3. *sigh*


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