Slouching Towards Lund To Be Conceived
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
W. B. Yeats, "The Second Coming" (1919)
Some might consider it inappropriate in an article such as this to quote Yeats, who was a Gnostic (Theosophy and Rosicrucianism). Sometimes, however, a pagan may indeed be prophetic and, if he is an artist, truly poignant. Yeats believed that at the end of the “gyre” (an historical period of about 2,000 years) following the life of Christ, the spiritual anarchy described in the above passage would descend upon us. We are now there. As an extension of the extraordinarily powerful imagery in the above poem, I would ask the reader to consider the possibility that the already conceived, but not yet born, spirit of Antichrist will pass through Lund, Sweden, this very month, and here will receive that form which is to be nourished until the Son of Perdition (2Thess 2:3) makes his appearance upon the world stage.
Ever since the rise of intense ecumenical activity after Vatican Council II, a special emphasis has been placed on Catholic-Lutheran relations. It was of course Luther who began the revolt by which half of Europe was lost to the Catholic faith. Catholic civilisation has been in catastrophic decline ever since. Within Lutheran philosophy and theology lie all the principles of this plunge into what is now being predicted by many as “the death of Christianity”.
In my recent article titled The Dream of Nabuchodonosor, I examined the errors and deceptions regarding the doctrine of Justification to be found in the 2013 document titled From Conflict to Communion (the culmination of 50 years of ecumenical dialogue between the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation). It was, of course, Luther’s perverse concept of Justification which always has been the primary source of contention between Catholic and Lutheran theology; and there could never be any hope for any “reunion” (except genuine conversion on the part of Lutherans), unless a false agreement about this doctrine should first be declared. This was first accomplished through the issuance of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999, and then basically repeated in From Conflict to Communion. It is this latter document which will form the foundation for what will occur in Lund at the end of October.
It is one thing, however, for bishops and theologians to spin their lies in documents. It is altogether another thing to establish a unity of hearts in practice and worship. After all, a very small percentage of the laity ever read such documents. Somehow these lies must be incarnated in pastoral practice. It is not, therefore, an accident that the document which will be the foundation of the Common Prayer and celebration in Lund is titled, From Conflict to Communion. It is almost certain that the eventual goal of this event will be the recognition of the right of Lutherans to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion in Catholic churches. It is then inter-communion which will act as the river of darkness enabling these lies to penetrate the minds and hearts of the Catholic faithful.
I must also mention the role that Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia has played in eventually eliminating barriers to inter-communion. In my analysis in the June-July edition, I explained how the Catholic concept of Charity and Sanctifying Grace, which has been the traditional defense against such sacrilege, is therein heretically falsified and denied. As I pointed out, it would seem very telling that the “Celebration” in Lund is to follow close upon the heels of the issuance of Amoris Laetitia.
As is the case with the Catholic Church’s doctrine of Justification, the great bulwark protecting Catholic doctrine concerning the Eucharist is the Council of Trent. And just as From Conflict to Communion undermines and contradicts Trent in regard to the doctrine concerning Justification, so it does the same in regard to the doctrines of Transubstantiation and the nature of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
After stating that Luther’s notion of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist was that He was present “in, with, and under” the bread and wine (Consubstantiation), which “is analogous to the union of the divine and human natures in Christ”, From Conflict to Communion then proceeds to undermine Trent’s teaching with the following:
Although the Council of Trent admitted that we can hardly express with words the manner of his presence and distinguished the doctrine of the conversion of elements from its technical explanation, it however declared, ‘the holy Catholic Church has suitably and properly called this change transubstantiation’. This concept seemed, in the Catholic view, to be the best guarantee for maintaining the real presence of Jesus Christ in the species of bread and wine and for assuring that the full reality of Jesus Christ is present in each of the species.
Notice the verbs that are here applied to the Church’s infallible teaching: “admitted” and “seemed”. It is as though in defining the Eucharistic change as transubstantiation at the Council of Trent, we must now view the Church as having been a tremulous young lady who was not at all sure of what she was doing. Quite to the contrary, Trent was completely bold, masculine, and assured in proclaiming the following:
If anyone saith that, in the sacred and holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood — the species only of the bread and wine remaining — which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls transubstantiation; let him be anathema.
This is not an “admission” of something which might “seem” to be true, but rather a bold proclamation of absolute Truth itself. It is a direct condemnation of Luther’s teaching, and a condemnation and excommunication of anyone who denies the Church’s teaching concerning transubstantiation.
What is more, it is profoundly deceptive to state, as does From Conflict to Communion, that Trent “distinguished the doctrine of the conversion of elements from its technical explanation”, implying therein that Trent somehow “admitted” that the Eucharistic conversion was a total mystery possessing no elements corresponding to human categories of thought and expression. While fully respecting the fact that, as Trent itself declares, Our Lord is in the Eucharist “by a manner of existing… we can scarcely express it in words”, it yet does indeed offer a quite technical and simple explanation of the metaphysical manner in which this conversion takes place. And it is this explanation — this doctrine of Transubstantiation — that Trent declares binding on the minds and hearts of all Catholics.
However, the “arts entirely new” which From Conflict to Communion spins around the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation, in its attempts to whittle away at the insurmountable distances between Catholic and Lutheran doctrine, are almost “innocent” when compared with the deception practised in its treatment of the Eucharist as Sacrifice.
The Eucharistic Sacrifice
It would first seem necessary to offer a short explanation of Luther’s own view of the Catholic Mass. This is “aptly” uncovered in Article II of The Smalcald Articles, written by Luther in 1537, which constitutes an integral document of the Lutheran Book of Concord, and was intended by Luther to be presented at a Council called by the Pope in Mantua. (This Council did not actually come to fruition, buts its aims were gloriously achieved at the Council of Trent.) Therein, Luther writes the following (excerpts):
I offer the above analysis of Luther’s view of the Mass in order to first establish that the hypocrisy and duplicity practised by Catholics at the ecumenical activity in Lund, will be fully matched on the side of Lutherans. Repeating Luther’s own words, we “are and remain eternally separated and opposed to one another”.
On the Catholic side, the document From Conflict to Communion again treats the Council of Trent as a young, inexperienced maiden, more than slightly befuddled and unsure of herself:
As a result of the loss of an integrative concept of commemoration, Catholics were faced with the difficulty of the lack of adequate categories with which to express the sacrificial character of the eucharist. Committed to a tradition going back to patristic times, Catholics did not want to abandon the identification of the eucharist as a real sacrifice even while they struggled to affirm the identity of this eucharistic sacrifice with the unique sacrifice of Christ. The renewal of sacramental and liturgical theology as articulated in the Second Vatican Council was needed to revitalize the concept of commemoration (anamnesis).
The notion that the doctrine defined in regard to the Eucharistic Sacrifice at the Council of Trent was the “result of the loss of an integrative concept of commemoration” is indeed blasphemous. In Chapter I of Trent’s Doctrine on the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Church Fathers at Trent proclaimed the following:
He, therefore, our God and Lord, though He was about to offer Himself once on the altar of the Cross unto God the Father, by means of His death, there to operate an eternal redemption; nevertheless, because that His priesthood was not to be extinguished by His death, in the Last Supper, on the night in which He was betrayed, — that He might leave, to His own beloved Spouse the Church, a visible sacrifice, such as the nature of man requires, whereby that bloody sacrifice, once to be accomplished on the Cross, might be represented, and the memory [anamnesis] thereof remain even unto the end of the world, and its salutary virtue be applied to the remission of those sins which we daily commit — declaring Himself constituted a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedech, He offered up to God the Father His own Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine and, under the symbols of those same things, He delivered (His own Body and Blood) to be received by His Apostles, whom He then constituted priest of the New Testament; and by those words, ‘Do this in commemoration of me,’ He commanded them and their successors in the priesthood to offer them; even as the Catholic Church has always understood and taught.
Having established the fact that Trent does indeed fully see the Mass as a Memorial or “Commemoration” (anamnesis), we would be blind not to see from the context of the above passage that this “remembering” far surpasses any other sort of human memory both in its cause and its effects. The following passage from Chapter II makes this even more clear:
And forasmuch as, in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner, Who once offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross; the Holy Synod teaches that this sacrifice is truly propitiatory, and that by means thereof this is effected that we obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid, if we draw nigh unto God, contrite and penitent, with a sincere heart and upright faith, with fear and reverence. For the Lord, appeased by the oblation thereof and granting the grace and gift of penitence, forgives even heinous crimes and sins, For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different. The fruits indeed of which oblation, of that bloody one, to wit, are received most plentifully through this unbloody one; so far is this (latter) from derogating in any way from that (former oblation). Wherefore, not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those who are departed in Christ, and who are not as yet fully purified, is it rightly offered, agreeably to a tradition of the Apostles.
There could be no greater integrative “concept of commemoration” than this dogmatic teaching of the Council of Trent. There is here no immature “struggle to affirm the identity of this Eucharistic sacrifice with the unique sacrifice of Christ.” There is only the perfection of Divine inspiration and condescension to the mind of man.
It needs also to be noted that just as was the case with the doctrine of Justification, so here with the doctrine concerning the Sacrifice of the Mass, From Conflict to Communion is intent upon portraying the alleged confusion of Trent finally finding its remedy and cure in Vatican Council II. It is simply a lie. What is at stake here is the denial of Trent.
God our sustenance, bring us together at your eucharistic table, nurture within and among us a communion rooted in your love. Your mercy endures forever! Hear our prayer!
(Intercessory prayer from the Common Prayer Service to be conducted in Lund)
The final great barrier to inter-communion between Lutherans and Catholics is, of course, the Priesthood, and the question of its legitimacy. It is infallible Catholic teaching that the ordained priesthood is one of the seven Sacraments, and that only a validly ordained priest, whose ordination is derived through the powers of Apostolic Succession, can confect a valid Eucharist. Thus, the Council of Trent:
Sacrifice and priesthood are, by the ordinance of God, in such wise conjoined, as that both have existed in every law. Whereas, therefore, in the New Testament, the Catholic Church has received, from the institution of Christ, the holy visible Sacrifice of the Eucharist; it must needs also be confessed that there is, in that Church, a new, visible and external priesthood, into which the old has been translated. And the Sacred Scriptures show, and the tradition of the Catholic Church has always taught, that this priesthood was instituted by the same Lord our Saviour, and that to the Apostles and their successors in the priesthood was the power delivered of consecrating, offering and administering His Body and Blood, as also of forgiving and retaining sins.
It is fully admitted by the document From Conflict to Communion that Luther and his fellow-travellers could find no bishops to ordain ministers, that they themselves did not begin “ordaining” ministers until 1537, and that neither Luther nor his cohorts and followers considered Holy Orders a Sacrament conferring a power unique to the ordained priesthood. Rather, while believing that there were those called by the community to ministry (thus constituting a ministry of authority, but not of unique “powers”), he believed that all the faithful possessed all the powers of the priesthood of Christ, and that all were priests. Rightly, therefore, does the Council of Trent also teach:
Furthermore, the sacred and holy synod teaches that, in the ordination of bishops, priests and of the other orders, neither the consent, nor vocation, nor authority, whether of the people or of any civil power or magistrate whatsoever, is required in such wise as that, without this, the ordination is invalid; yea rather doth it decree that all those who, being only called and instituted by the people, or by the civil power and magistrate, ascent to the exercise of these ministrations, and those who of their own rashness assume them to themselves, are not ministers of the Church, but are to be looked upon as thieves and robbers who have not entered by the door.
It is absolutely clear therefore that Lutherans do not possess a valid priesthood, and equally certain that they do not possess a valid Eucharist. Acting very much like the confused and wimpish caricature with which From Conflict to Communion has consistently tried to paint the Council of Trent, it declares:
One of the remaining questions is whether the Catholic Church can recognize the ministry of the Lutheran churches. Together Lutherans and Catholics can work out the relationship between the responsibility for the proclamation of the Word and the administration of the sacraments and the office of those ordained for this work.
Later, this document goes even further:
In the course of history, the Lutheran ministerial office has been able to fulfill its task of keeping the church in the truth so that nearly five hundred years after the beginning of the Reformation it was possible to declare a Catholic-Lutheran consensus on the basic truth of the doctrine of justification [as explored in my article The Dream of Nabuchodonosor, this statement is a blatant falsification], If, according to the judgment of the work of the Second Vatican Council, the Holy Spirit uses ‘ecclesial communities’ as means of salvation, it could seem that this work of the Spirit would have implications for some mutual recognition of ministry. Thus, the office of ministry presents both considerable obstacles to common understanding and also hopeful perspectives for rapprochement.
As pointed out by Pope Pius XI, there can be no rapprochement except through conversion of those in heresy to the fullness of Truth and Life to be found only in the Catholic Church. There can be no legitimate inter-communion for those living under manifold heresies. If by holding firmly to this position we are accused of lacking charity and mercy, then so be it. St. Teresa of Avila, who was born two years before Luther proclaimed his 95 Theses, and is noted for her great charity towards souls, simply and accurately described Lutheranism as “that wretched sect”. It remains so to this day.
Formalising the Lies
From Conflict to Communion is a tissue of lies. But the institution of these lies into the life-blood of Catholic belief and practice is already underway.
In November of 2015, during an evening Prayer Service at Rome’s Evangelic Lutheran Church, Pope Francis was asked by the Lutheran wife of a Catholic husband about receiving Holy Communion. Part of his reply consisted in the following (quoting from an article by Edward Pentin):
Doctrine, he said "is a difficult word to understand – but I ask myself: don’t we have the same Baptism? If we have the same Baptism, shouldn’t we be walking together?" And further, "Life is always bigger than explanations and interpretations. Always refer back to your baptism, one Lord. ‘One faith, one baptism, one Lord’. This is what Paul tells us, and then take the consequences from there." He again told the lady, "I wouldn’t ever dare to allow this, because it is not my competence. One baptism, one Lord, one faith. Talk to the Lord, and then go forward. I don’t dare to say anything more."
Clearly, he was saying that she should go forward, but that as of right now he could do nothing to give it official endorsement. Next stop, Lund.
Secondly, in January of 2016, a Lutheran group from Finland, led by bishop Samuel Salmi of Oulu, received Holy Communion in St. Peter’s, despite indicating to the priests present that they were ineligible to do so. The priests were fully aware that the group was Lutheran. The Lutherans were in Rome for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and had previously met with Pope Francis.
Interestingly, one of the things Pope Francis said to the Lutheran woman mentioned above was that the answer to her question was “not my competence”, but “should be left to theologians.” As clearly evidenced in the case of the Synod on the Family, the theologians are selected to implement Pope Francis’ agenda. The public posture is humility; the hidden agenda is revolution.
Word vs. Silence
“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by
As I have said before, the document From Conflict to Communion is surely the most demonic document ever to have come forth from a Vatican office. It falsifies Catholic doctrine in relation to Justification, the Eucharist, Ministry, Scripture and Tradition (which I have not covered here), and the Church. In the first paragraph of this article, I stated that what will occur in Lund this month (on 31 October) — all of it being immersed in the spiritual and theological lies of this document — will constitute that “form” of the spirit of Antichrist which will be nourished until his actual coming upon the world stage. This “form” is perfectly formulated in two of the Five Ecumenical Imperatives declared in From Conflict to Communion, and which are to be at the heart of the Common Prayer to be read at the celebration in the Lund Lutheran Cathedral (stolen from Catholics in 1536). The first imperative reads as follows:
The first imperative: Catholics and Lutherans should always begin from the perspective of unity and not from the point of view of division in order to strengthen what is held in common even though the differences are more easily seen and experienced.
The fourth imperative, with its accompanying paragraph of elaboration, reads thus:
242. Catholics and Lutherans have the task of disclosing afresh to fellow members the understanding of the gospel and the Christian faith as well as previous church traditions. Their challenge is to prevent this rereading of tradition from falling back into the old confessional oppositions. [emphasis on this sentence is mine].
The fourth imperative: Lutherans and Catholics should jointly rediscover the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ for our time.
In other words, the fundamental principles of this new “form” of both Catholic and Lutheran theology and life are threefold:
In other words, for Catholics, it is required that we be Silent about the revealed truths we have received from Jesus Christ, and that we adapt ourselves to the modern world. This is a precise inversion of the most fundamental commission of Christ — to proclaim the Gospel to all peoples and nations (Matt. 28:19), and to remain untouched by the world:
I have given them my word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. They are not of the world, as I am not of the world.
It was 52 years ago that the Catholic Ecumenical movement was given the blessing of Vatican Council II in the Conciliar document Unitatis redintegratio. Therein we read:
It is, of course, essential that the [Catholic] doctrine be presented in its entirety. Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism which harms the purity of Catholic doctrine and obscures its genuine and certain meaning.
The document From Conflict to Communion, its Five Ecumenical Imperatives, and the extraordinary lies and deceptions embodied in its teaching, is profound testimony that such false irenicism and non-presentation (Silence) were genetically (so to speak) part of the entire ecumenical movement from the beginning. If they had listened to Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos, they would never have been so foolish as to even begin.
Increasingly, I meet Catholics who are aware of the horror of what is going on within their Church, and whose attitude now consists in reading nothing, following nothing, doing nothing, and simply waiting for things to change. They expected Pope Francis to retire within 3 or 4 years, and he says now that he will not retire. They wait for the election of a new Pope, and yet do not take into account that the Cardinal electors are now in the process of all being replaced by Pope Francis. They continue to pray, but do not take into account that standing up for the Truth of Christ, to the best of one’s abilities, is also a demand of the Gospel and not just an option. Failure to do so can constitute a grave sin of omission, and make “prayer” not seemly at all:
But men that speak truth shall be found with her [Wisdom], and shall advance, even till they come to the sight of God. Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner. For wisdom came forth from God: for praise shall be with the wisdom of God, and shall abound in a faithful mouth….(Ecclesiasticus 15:19-20)
What is happening is not “hermeneutics of continuity”; and it is not legitimate “development”. It cannot be interpreted in the light of the magisterium. It is evil, towards which our silence is the surrender of spiritual death.
The Antichrist will be nourished in the Womb of such Catholic Silence, and without divine intervention, will be born of its implicit blessing. We must pray constantly for such intervention.
The coming of Antichrist has of course been predicted many times before. It may indeed be true that, given any strictly human considerations, he would have arisen in the past, but was prevented by divine intervention. Based on the message of Fatima, we expect such intervention again before his final ascension to the world stage. But, while there is only one Man of Sin at the end of time, there are, in the words of St. John “many antichrists” and many chastisements on our journey towards this Final Confrontation. It would appear that before Our Lady’s Triumph we may expect the worst, and that we will be required to speak our word.
It is not enough to pray; we must also stand and say, No. It is a word for which even the most illiterate and humble person is responsible. And we should do so now, lest we be whittled down to a mere stump of Christianity, lacking the grace and fortitude to stand with Christ (Matt. 12: 30, 37):
He that is not with me, is against me….