It is currently Sun May 31, 2020 10:38 am

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 
 Conflict of opinions 
Author Message

Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:42 pm
Posts: 3
New post Conflict of opinions
I am hopeful someone here can help me. This doctrine is bewildering. There is an apparent conflict between authors I will quote here.

The first author is Monsignor JC Fenton, in his article The Local Church of Rome, The American Ecclesiastical Review (June 1950) - Pages 454-464.
Although some theologians, like Suarez and, in our own time Mazzella and Manzoni, hold it as probable that the material city of Rome will be protected by God's providence and will never be completely destroyed,[27] most of the others hold that this destruction is a possibility. They maintain, however, that the destruction of the buildings and even the complete uninhabitability of the city itself would in no way necessitate the destruction of the Roman local Church. Older writers like St. Robert Bellarmine were convinced that at one time the actual city of Rome was entirely without inhabitants, while the local Church, with its clergy and its bishop, continued to live.[28]

From time to time heretics have pointed to the seventeenth and the eighteenth chapters of the Apocalypse as indication that ultimately there would be no followers of Christ within the city of Rome. St. Robert admitted such a possibility at the end of the world, but pointed out the traditional interpretation of this section of the Apocalypse, particularly that popularized by St. Augustine, had nothing to do with the Roman Church during the period immediately preceding the general judgment.[De controversiis (Cologne, 1620), I, col. 814.] Francis Sylvius demonstrated that any application of this section of the Apocalypse to the Roman Church was merely fanciful.[30] Modern theologians, Franzelin and Crosta in particular, have followed this procedure.[Franzelin, Theses de ecclesia Christi (Rome, 1887), pp. 213f.]

The second and third authors are Cardinal Manning and Fr. Sylvester Berry (quoted here - http://www.cardinalsiriandtheplotagains ... holars.htm) :
Henry Cardinal Manning

Henry Edward Manning, D.D., once an influential cleric of the Church of England, converted to the Catholic faith in 1851. He entered the seminary and thereafter advanced rapidly through the ranks of the priesthood, having been consecrated as Archbishop of Westminster in 1865, and appointed as cardinal, just ten years later. Midway between those two promotions, Henry Manning achieved renown throughout the Catholic world by his assistance to Pope Pius IX in the drafting of the dogmatic decree on Papal Infallibility, which was promulgated at the First Vatican Council, in 1870.

Four years before his reception of episcopal orders, Manning delivered a series of lectures, which were published together in London under the title, The Present Crisis of the Holy See. The year was 1861, and the last remnants of the Pope’s temporal realm were being stripped from his hands by the Masonic, revolutionist movement that had swept across Italy. Manning recognized in those dire events the foretaste of far greater perils to come, for the papacy, the Church and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Drawing from ecclesiastical sources ancient and modern, Manning was able to predict with chilling accuracy the then future tribulations that would threaten to exterminate the Mystical Body of Christ in the “latter days.” Here below is but a sample of Manning’s analysis of the upheavals in his day and what they would portend for our own time:

“ . . . those who claim toleration for every form of opinion, and who teach that the office of the civil governor is never to enter into controversies of religion, but that all men should be left free in their belief, and the conscience of all men be at liberty before God — even they make one exception, and, in the strangest contradiction to all their principles or, at least, their professions, maintain that as the Catholic Church is not only a form of doctrine, but also a power or government, it must be excepted from the general toleration. And this is precisely the point of future collision. It is the very reason why the Archbishops of Cologne, Turin, Cagliari, and the like, went . . . into exile; why nineteen Sees are . . . vacant in Sardinia. Why, in Italy, Bishops are, at this day [1861], cast out from their Episcopal thrones; it is for this reason that in this land [England] the Protestant religion is established instead of Catholic truth, and that thrones once filled by the Bishops of the universal Church are now occupied by those whom the royalties of England, and not the royalties of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, have chosen and set up. It is the same old contest, old as Christianity itself, which has been from the beginning, first with pagan, and then with heretic, and then with schismatic, and then with infidel, and will continue to the end. The day is not far off when the nations of the world, now so calm and peaceful in the stillness of their universal indifference, may easily be roused, and penal laws [against Catholics] once more may be found in their statute-books.

“ . . . This leads on plainly to the marks, which the prophet [Malachias] gives of the persecution of the last days. Now, there are three things which he has recorded. In the foresight of prophecy he saw and noted these three signs. The first, that the continual sacrifice shall be taken away; the next, that the sanctuary shall be occupied by the abomination which maketh [it] desolate; the third, that ‘the strength’ and ‘the altars,’ as he described it, shall be cast down: and these are the only three I will notice.

“Now, first of all, what is this ‘taking away of the continual sacrifice’?

“It was taken away in type at the destruction of Jerusalem. The sacrifice of the Temple, that is of the lamb, morning and evening, in the Temple of God, was entirely abolished with the destruction of the Temple itself. Now, the Prophet Malachias says: ‘From the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles; and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a clean oblation.’ [Malachias, 1:11] This passage of the prophet has been interpreted by the Fathers of the Church, beginning with St. Irenæus, St. Justin Martyr, and I know not how many besides, to be the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist, the true Paschal Lamb which came in the place of the type — namely, the sacrifice of Jesus Himself on Calvary renewed perpetually and continued forever in the sacrifice on the altar . . .

“The Holy Fathers who have written upon the subject of Antichrist, and of these prophecies of Daniel, without a single exception, as far as I know, — and they are the Fathers both of the East and of the West, the Greek and the Latin Church — all of them unanimously, — say that in the latter end of the world, during the reign of Antichrist, the holy sacrifice of the altar will cease. [Malvenda, Liber VIII, chapter 4.] In the work on the end of the world, ascribed to St. Hippolytus, after a long description of the afflictions of the last days, we read as follows: ‘The Churches shall lament with a great lamentation, for there shall be offered no more oblation nor incense, nor worship acceptable to God. The sacred buildings of the churches shall be as hovels; and the precious body and blood of Christ shall not be manifest in those days; the Liturgy shall be extinct; the chanting of psalms shall cease; the reading of Holy Scripture shall be heard no more. But there shall be upon men darkness, and mourning upon mourning, and woe upon woe.’ [Hippolytus, Liber de Consum. Mundi, § 34.] Then, the Church shall be scattered, driven into the wilderness, and shall be for a time, as it was in the beginning, invisible, hidden in catacombs, in dens, in mountains, in lurking-places; for a time it shall be swept, as it were, from the face of the earth. Such is the universal testimony of the Fathers of the early centuries . . .

The writers of the Church tell us that in the latter days the city of Rome will probably become apostate from the Church and Vicar of Jesus Christ; and that Rome will again be punished, for he will depart from it; and the judgment of God will fall on the place from which he once reigned over the nations of the world. For what is it that makes Rome sacred, but the presence of the Vicar of Jesus Christ? What has it that should be dear in the sight of God, save only the presence of the Vicar of His Son? Let the Church of Christ depart from Rome, and Rome will be no more in the eyes of God than Jerusalem of old. Jerusalem, the Holy City, chosen by God, was cast down and consumed by fire, because it crucified the Lord of Glory; and the city of Rome, which has been the seat of the Vicar of Jesus Christ for eighteen hundred years, if it become apostate, like Jerusalem of old, will suffer a like condemnation. And, therefore, the writers of the Church tell us that the city of Rome has no prerogative except only that the Vicar of Christ is there; and if it become unfaithful, the same judgments which fell on Jerusalem, hallowed though it was by the presence of the Son of God, of the Master, and not the disciple only, shall fall likewise upon Rome.”

Cardinal Manning continues . . .

“The apostasy of the city of Rome from the Vicar of Christ, and its destruction by Antichrist may be thoughts so new to many Catholics, that I think it well to recite the text of theologians, of greatest repute. First, Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject, states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Viegas, Suarez, Bellarmine, and Bosius, that Rome shall apostatize from the faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ, and return to its ancient paganism. Malvenda’s words are: ‘But Rome itself in the last times of the world will return to its ancient idolatry, power, and imperial greatness. It will cast out its Pontiff, altogether apostatize from the Christian faith, terribly persecute the Church, shed the blood of martyrs more cruelly than ever, and will recover its former state of abundant wealth, or even greater than it had under its first rulers.’ [Melvenda, de Antichristo, Liber IV, chapter 5.]

“Lessius says: ‘In the time of Antichrist, Rome shall be destroyed, as we see openly from the thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse;’ and again: ‘The woman whom thou sawest is the great city, which hath kingdom over the kings of the earth, in which is signified Rome in its impiety, such as it was in the time of St. John, and shall be again at the end of the world.’ [Lessius, de Antichristo, demonstratio XII] And Bellarmine [says]: ‘In the time of Antichrist, Rome shall be desolated and burnt, as we learn from the sixteenth verse of the seventeenth chapter of the Apocalypse.’ [Bellarmine, de Summo Pontifice, Liber IV, chapter 4.] On which words the Jesuit Erbermann comments as follows: ‘We all confess with Bellarmine that the Roman people, a little before the end of the world, will return to paganism, and drive out the Roman Pontiff.’

“Viegas, on the eighteenth chapter of the Apocalypse says: ‘Rome, in the last age of the world, after it has apostatized from the faith, will attain great power and splendor of wealth, and its sway will be widely spread throughout the world, and flourish greatly. Living in luxury and the abundance of all things, it will worship idols, and be steeped in all kinds of superstition, and will pay honor to false gods. And because of the vast effusion of the blood of martyrs which was shed under the emperors, God will most severely and justly avenge them, and it shall be utterly destroyed, and burned by a most terrible and afflicting conflagration.’

“Finally, Cornelius à Lapide sums up what may be said to be the common interpretation of theologians. Commenting on the same eighteenth chapter of the Apocalypse, he says: ‘These things are to be understood of the city of Rome, not that which is, nor that which was, but that which shall be at the end of the world. For then the city of Rome will return to its former glory, and likewise its idolatry and other sins, and shall be such as it was in the time of St. John, under Nero, Domitian, Decius, etc. For from Christian it shall again become heathen. It shall cast out the Christian Pontiff, and the faithful who adhere to him. It shall persecute and slay them. It shall rival the persecutions of the heathen emperors against the Christians. For so we see Jerusalem was first heathen under the Canaanites; secondly, faithful under the Jews; thirdly, Christian under the Apostles; fourthly heathen again under the Romans; fifthly, Saracen under the Turks.’

“Such they believe will be the history of Rome: pagan under the emperors, Christian under the Apostles, faithful under the Pontiffs, apostate under the Revolution, and pagan under Antichrist. Only Jerusalem could sin so formally and fall so low; for only Jerusalem has been so chosen, illumined, and consecrated. And as no people were ever so intense in their persecutions of Jesus as the Jews, so I fear will none ever be more relentless against the faith than the Romans.”7

Father Sylvester Berry

It was the learned opinion of the eminent, 20th Century scripture scholar, Father E. Sylvester Berry that the 12th and 13th chapters of the Apocalypse of St. John foretell a usurpation of the papal see by the false prophet of Antichrist resulting in great tribulations befalling the Catholic Church. Fr. Berry points out that it is the papacy, which is the principal target of those who seek to establish the reign of Antichrist. Heresy, schism and the introduction of false worship upon the altars of Catholic churches are, thus, to be the direct results of the removal of the true Pope from the See of Rome, and subsequent occupation of the Chair of Peter by the forces of Antichrist.

Here in Sylvester Berry’s writings, published 37 years before the pivotal 1958 Conclave, is a scenario amazingly close to what has actually happened to the Church and the papacy in our time:

“In the forgoing chapter [12] St. John outlines the history of the Church from the coming of Antichrist until the end of the world . . . In this chapter he shows us the true nature of the conflict. It shall be a war unto death between the Church and the powers of darkness in a final effort to destroy the Church and thus prevent the universal reign of Christ on earth.
“Satan will first attempt to destroy the power of the Papacy and bring about the downfall of the Church through heresies, schisms and persecutions that must surely follow . . . he will raise up Antichrist and his prophet to lead the faithful into error and destroy those who remain steadfast . . . . . . The Church, the faithful spouse of Jesus Christ, is represented as a woman clothed in the glory of divine grace . . .

" . . . In this passage there is an evident allusion to some particular son of the Church whose power and influence shall be such that Satan will seek his destruction at any cost. This person can be none other than the Pope to be elected in those days. The Papacy will be attacked by all the powers of hell. In consequence the Church will suffer great trials and afflictions in securing a successor upon the throne of Peter.

“The words of St. Paul to the Thessalonians may be a reference to the Papacy as the obstacle to the coming of Antichrist: ‘You know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed.’

“ . . . St. John . . . sees in heaven a red dragon with seven heads and ten horns . . . The dragon is Satan red with the blood of martyrs, which he will cause to flow. The meaning of the seven heads and ten horns must be sought in the description of the beast that represents Antichrist where they symbolize kings or worldly powers. (II Thessalonians 2:6-7) . . . Satan’s attacks against the Church will be organized and carried out by the governments and ruling powers of those days.

“With the beast of Antichrist only the horns have diadems as symbols of royalty or governing power. The heads are branded with names of blasphemy. (Apocalypse, 13:1) Hence they symbolize the sins and errors that will afflict the Church . . . in this final struggle to prevent the universal reign of Christ all forms of sin and error will be marshaled against the Church . . . all errors which have afflicted the Church may be summed up in these seven: Judaism, paganism, Arianism, Mohammedanism, Protestantism, rationalism, and atheism.

“The dragon is seen in heaven which is here a symbol of the Church, the kingdom of heaven on earth. This indicates that the first troubles of those days will be inaugurated within the Church by apostate bishops, priests, and peoples, — the stars dragged down by the tail of the dragon.

“ . . . The dragon stands before the woman, ready to devour the child that is brought forth. In other words, the powers of hell seek by all means to destroy the Pope elected in those days.

“. . . It is now the hour for the powers of darkness. The new-born Son of the Church is taken ‘to God and to his throne.’ Scarcely has the newly elected Pope been enthroned when he is snatched away by martyrdom. The ‘mystery of iniquity’ gradually developing through the centuries, cannot be fully consummated while the power of the Papacy endures, but now he that ‘withholdeth is taken out of the way.’ During the interregnum ‘that wicked one shall be revealed’ in his fury against the Church.” [In his interpretation of the Apocalypse, Fr. Berry suggests that it will the martyrdom of the Pope, immediately after his election, that will precipitate an extended interregnum, causing manifold tribulations to be visited upon the faithful. However, the suppression of a true Pope, and the intense agony suffered by the rightful Pontiff, who watches helplessly as the Church is ravaged by demonic powers usurping his see for a generation, could certainly be compared to a type of prolonged martyrdom.]

“It is a matter of history that the most disastrous periods for the Church were times when the Papal throne was vacant, or when anti-popes contended with the legitimate head of the Church. Thus also shall it be in those evil days to come.
“The Church deprived of her chief pastor must seek sanctuary in solitude there to be guided by God Himself during those trying days . . . In those days the Church shall . . . find refuge and consolation in faithful souls, especially in the seclusion of the religious life.

“ . . . Our Divine Savior has a representative on earth in the person of the Pope upon whom He has conferred full powers to teach and govern. Likewise, Antichrist will have his representative in the false prophet who will be endowed with the plenitude of satanic powers to deceive the nations.

“ . . . As indicated by the resemblance to a lamb, the prophet will probably set himself up in Rome as a sort of antipope during the vacancy of the papal throne . . .

“ . . . The ‘abomination of desolation’ has been wrought in many Catholic churches by heretics and apostates who have broken altars, scattered relics of martyrs and desecrated the Blessed Sacrament. At the time of the French Revolution a lewd woman was seated upon the altar of the cathedral in Paris and worshipped as the goddess of reason. Such things but faintly foreshadow the abominations that will desecrate churches in those sorrowful days when Antichrist will seat himself at the altar to be adored as God.

“. . .Antichrist and his prophet will introduce ceremonies to imitate the Sacraments of the Church. In fact there will be a complete organization - a church of Satan set up in opposition to the Church of Christ. Satan will assume the part of God the Father; Antichrist will be honored as Savior, and his prophet will usurp the role of Pope. Their ceremonies will counterfeit the Sacraments . . .”8

Do you see the problem? JC Fenton teaches that ch. 18 of the Apocalypse does not refer to Rome. Cornelius a Lapide teaches that it does refer to Rome.

Justice Love Charity

Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:28 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4335
New post 
Dear Robert,

I can't assist with the exegetical problem, but I will say that there doesn't appear to be a conflcit of views regarding whether the physical city of Rome itself may be depopulated or apostate, just so long as some Romans keep the Faith - no matter where they live temporarily. For as long as some Romans keep the Faith then they constitute the Church of Rome.

It is a good question where the local of Church of Rome is at present, but the priests of the SSPX offer Mass in Rome for some faithful, and so do the priests of the Institute of Our Mother of Good Counsel - Fr. Ricossa and Co. - one or two Sundays per month last I heard. So there must be some Roman Catholics remaining. But where are the Roman clergy? It's an extraodinary situation, that's for sure.

In Christ our King.

Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:16 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 8:21 am
Posts: 176
New post 
I have to say that I was more struck by the great pertinence of these texts to our days than by accidental disagreements. They are all agreed that there is nothing surprising in a massive and highly deceptive apostasy continuing to pose as the Catholic Church. That is what we are seeing. Whether we are in fact living in the lead-up to Antichrist (as I incline to think) or not, no one can reject out of court as impossible a situation which one day is not only a possibility but a certainty.

Very sincere thanks, Mr Rawhide. Don't hold back if you find any more tasty morsels in your reading!

John Daly

Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:46 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 30 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forums/DivisionCore.