|Cardinal Marx with his equivalent of Luther's rebellion.|
I just started reading Hillaire Belloc's book, How the Reformation Happened. With the latest revolt coming out of Germany, that unfortunate country, I hope the book may cast some light on the synodal path to hell being led by the German bishops. (Hmmm...what a good hash tag! #TheSynodalPathToHell.)
Belloc begins by dispelling the notion of there ever being a peaceful time in the Church. He goes through the first 300 years of blistering persecution and countless divisions, ending with Constantine's edict of 321 establishing religious toleration for Christians.
Well...no! The Arian heresy promptly poisoned the well and for the next 300 years or more, the heresy that said Jesus was not truly God, but created by God, resulted in persecutions and sharp divisions that went on for centuries. And we still hear Arianism spouted today among the "Jesus was a good man, but not God" crowd.
Arianism was followed by the rise of Islam, that most violent and cruel religion of subjugation by the sword. As today, Christians were persecuted and even slain in the most barbaric and cruel ways if they would not convert to Islam. And if they defended their nations against invasion they could expect bloodthirsty reprisals as happened at the siege of Famagusta in 1571. The fort, on the island of Cyprus, held out far longer against the Muslim than expected, and the defenders killed 50,000 of the invading Islamic army. When they were finally out of ammunition and starving, the commander, Marcantonio Bragadino, sued for terms for surrendering the city. The Muslim leader, Lala Mustafa, promised safe passage to the remaining garrison, but when the delegation met with him, all were killed or imprisoned. The Muslims cut off Bragadino's nose and ears, paraded him around the island, then flayed him alive and stuffed his skin. The survivors were either murdered or taken as sex slaves or to be chained to the oars in the sultan's galleys.( The video below gives a fairly good portrayal of the siege except for the woman saying Bragadino didn't keep his word. It was the Muslim chief who betrayed the agreement, an action completely consistent with the Koran which allows lying to non-Muslims!
Those who talk about Islam as the "religion of peace" are completely ignorant of history. And it wasn't just many centuries ago. The 20th century saw one genocidal attack by Muslims after another against all other faiths, but especially Christianity. My mom used to tell us to eat our dinner, be grateful, and "remember the starving Armenians." When I finally learned about the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Turks, I was appalled. And the violence continues against Christians especially in Islamic countries like Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc.
As Belloc writes:
The conception, then, of the Christian centuries between the Peace of the Church under Constantine and the crash of the sixteenth century, as a period of fixed, easy, united Catholicism is most erroneous. It was all peril, all conflict, and all recurring imminence of disaster, the final catastrophe just barely staved off time after time, and that only in a part of what had once been our general European culture.Indeed, the faith is always at war with those allies of the evil one seeking to destroy it.
The #SynodalPathtoHell is just the latest assault against the faith being led by men in roman collars who remind me of Arius, Nestorius, Luther, and so many other heretics in Roman collars. But, as Belloc points out, the men initiating these catastrophe's didn't necessarily fully see the consequences of their actions when they began.
Is that the case with the German bishops? Do they realize where their dissent is likely to lead Holy Mother Church? Let's pray that many of their brethren like the Ukrainian Bishops' Conference call them out with fraternal correction. Their souls may depend on it! Do you think the USCCB will do that at their next meeting? (Don't hold your breath!)
One last thing...as I was reading about the synod and the liberalism of the delegates I had a deja vu moment that called for reflection. And then it hit me -- the 1976 USCCB A Call to Action conference in Detroit that was loaded with Catholic radicals intent on re-making the Church. As Fr. Vincent Micelli (RIP) who attended the conference wrote later:
the delegates by far did not represent the vast majority of American Catholics — neither bishops, priests nor laity. They did represent a miniscule core of intellectual insurgents, disaffected clergy, religious, ex-seminarians — all enthusiasts for the creation of an American democratic Catholic Church.And, of course, this conference was the spur for the dissent group Call to Action which continues to actively work for all the same depraved values the German bishops want. History repeats itself!
Ironically, however, it was fighting Call to Action that created Les Femmes! But that's a post for another day. I expect the German synodal path will bring about an uprising of the faithful to shock the sensibilities of the elitists in the Church who believe they can have things their own way. They underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to raise up warriors under the banner of Christ the King!