It has become more and more apparent to me that the Catholic
Church is at a very serious crossroads.
I have witnessed changes in the Church taking place for years now—almost
my entire lifetime. However, some of the
things I am currently witnessing are absolutely unprecedented.
Let me begin with something as simple as orientation of the
priest at Mass. For centuries, the
position of the priest was ad orientem
(towards “liturgical” East). The priest
faced the direction of the rising sun to lead prayer and remind us all of the
rising of the Son of God. While some
claimed that he had his back to the
people, rather, it was the intention of this position in the Mass to face God. After all, we are worshipping Him, not the
people. The focus, slowly and subtly, became more oriented to the community rather than to God. While people became accustomed to
this new liturgical position with time, simultaneously the emphasis at Mass tended
more toward meal rather than sacrifice. The community meal seemed to take
precedent over the eternal sacrifice
of Jesus to His Father. Then Holy
Communion went from reception on the tongue while kneeling to reception in the
hand while standing. Extraordinary
Ministers of Holy Communion are now regularly scheduled (not so extraordinary, if you ask me) and are
commonly referred to as Eucharistic “Ministers.” I could go on and on. These were just some of the many, many liturgical
changes that occurred over time.
What the situation in the Church has now morphed into is an
attempt to change Church teaching and the very Church itself. The blessing of gay unions, “sinless”
homosexual acts, reception of Holy Communion by divorced-remarried, women
priests, a plurality of acceptable, salvific religions and many other
questionable/heretical ideas are seemingly on the table. Popes in the past have warned against the
heresy of modernism where truth becomes fluid and relativistic. Now it appears that modernism is rearing its ugly head right out in the open with
seeming consent by various members of the Church hierarchy.
We see various high-ranking Vatican officials and Church
leaders (cardinals, archbishops, bishops, a former papal nuncio, a former prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, etc.) openly criticizing what is now happening
within the Catholic Church. Wow!
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen warned of an upcoming, counterfeit Church—an ape of the Church. Sr. Lucia, one of the three Fatima seers, spoke of a “diabolic disorientation”
within the Church and that the final battle between God and Satan would be over
marriage and the family. Pope St. Paul VI spoke of the “smoke of Satan” within the Church. Our Lady of Good Success, a
lesser-known but still approved Marian apparition from Quito, Ecuador,
predicted and warned humanity about the sins of modern society and a future struggle
within the Church itself. Pope St. John Paul II admonished us
concerning the “culture of death” permeating our society. There are many others who have given us vital
warnings for our time.
I trust God will act in some way to protect the Holy Catholic
Church. I also know that our Blessed
Mother will have some vital role in this process as she made it known at Fatima
that in the end her Immaculate Heart will triumph. The exact details are certainly
unknown to me and up to God Himself.
In the meantime, we all should be continually on our knees praying fervently.
May God have mercy on us.
Fr. Ed Namiotka