Fr. Campbell, "Called to be Saints and Martyrs"
The parable of the bad seed growing alongside the good does not surprise us, because we know very well that there are bad people in the world along with the good. However, Jesus is not talking about the world, but about the Church. Within the field of the Church herself, the devil has planted his bad seed, of which Judas is the prototype: “And during the supper, the devil… already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him…” (Jn.13:2).
Of course, Our Lord was not just talking about apostolic times, but about the Church in every age, until the harvest, which is perhaps very near. But if the “weeds” have not yet been gathered into bundles to burn, that means they are still among us, plotting their evil schemes to ensnare the innocent, and provoking revolution.
“How then does it have weeds?” There is a revolution within the Church. A revolution is the complete overthrow of the former order and the establishment of a new one. Such was the French Revolution of 1789, which overthrew the monarchy and the Church in France, executing the rightful and innocent king and queen, thousands of bishops, priests, and religious, and hundreds of thousands of innocent French citizens. The revolutionaries have taken control of the major offices and functions within the Church from the top down, and their aim is to ultimately destroy the Holy Catholic Church. But are we going to be intimidated and slink away like cowards, letting them take over the Church completely? I think not!
What has happened was to be expected, according to the prophetic words of Jesus Christ. Cardinal Manning, writing of the teachings of the great theologians and Church Fathers, said that “Rome shall apostatize from the faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ and return to its ancient paganism… 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 Church.” (Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, The Present Crisis of the Holy See, 1861, London: Burns and Lambert, pp. 88-90).
Falsehood rules the day, and few think rightly in the world around us. Christians, particularly Catholics, are oppressed and persecuted. The holy eighteenth century Jesuit, Fr. Nectou, wrote with prophetic insight about these times:
“When those things come to pass which will bring on the triumph of the Church, then will such confusion reign on earth that people will think God has permitted them to have their own contrary will and that the providence of God is not concerned about the world. The confusion will be so general that mankind will not be able to think aright, as if God had entirely withheld His providence from mankind…”
Confusion? Is the Novus Ordo Church confused, or are its errors deliberate? One of the “weeds” named Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, later Benedict XVI, said not to worry. Even though the influence of the Church is declining, we don’t have to worry about the salvation of “the others”. After two thousand years we now have “a positive new point-of-view”:
“In this state of things”, said he, “one should no longer be concerned with the salvation of ‘the others,’ who for some time now have become ‘our brothers.’ Above all, the central question is to have an intuition of the Church's position and mission in History under a positive new point-of-view. This new point-of-view should allow one to believe in the universal offer of the grace of salvation as well as the essential part that the Church plays in this. Therefore, in this sense the problem changed… The point that does concern us is principally this: Why, despite the wider possibility of salvation, is the Church still necessary? Why should faith and life still continue to come through her? In other words, the present day Christians no longer question if their non-believer brothers can reach salvation. Overall, they desire to know what is the meaning of their union with the universal embrace of Christ and their union with the Church” (Joseph Ratzinger, “Necessita della missione della Chiesa nel mondo,” in La Fine della Chiesa come Societa Perfetta, Verona: Mondatori, 1968, pp 69-70, translation by traditioninaction.org).
This kind of thinking has devastated the Church’s missions, leaving the field wide open to the Evangelicals and the Pentecostals, who still believe in taking Christ at His word. A “positive new point-of-view” cannot replace the word of Jesus Christ, which still stands: “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mk.16:15,16).
In the meantime, the open persecution of Catholics goes on. History is constantly re-written in order to place the Catholic Church in the worst possible light. Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints are horribly blasphemed. The Catholic Church is singled out as the greatest promoter of abuse against women and children. She is accused of being anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and anti-feminist. Abuse by Catholic priests or bishops is prime time news, while similar abuse in other churches or institutions receives slight attention. In some European countries children who are home schooled are being taken away from their parents. In other countries Catholic churches are bombed and Catholics are murdered.
What they want us to do is just to slip quietly out the back door of the Church and leave without even looking back. They want us to be ashamed of what we are – Catholics – holding on to ancient traditions which they consider dangerous and superstitious. And where do they want us to go? Well, witchcraft is big now! Or outright satanic possession!
Many are following the devil down into eternal hellfire. But we follow Christ the King, holding on courageously to the true faith like the martyrs and the saints of all time. Those who have denied Christ will be separated from Him forever in hell’s eternal fires, but those who have believed and persevered to the end will hear these words from Christ their King: