July 13th, 2012It’s Hardly Prophecy Any Moreby Kevin O'Brien | http://www.thewordinc.org
Not long ago James V. Schall SJ wrote a piece that began, "Catholics have little legal future in this country except as a narrow, strictly defined sect." He went on to suggest that there would come a time in the U.S.A. where we will have an officially tolerated faux-church, and an actual, but underground and persecuted, church-of-the-catacombs, as in China.
I said at the time, "The true Church will be persecuted and shuttered because of 'hate speech' - which means pointing out the sins of sodomy, fornication, contraception, abortion, the abuse of children, the abuse of the poor, de facto slavery to the state and to corporations, and all the things we're not only tolerating but celebrating in our culture today. The 'official church', the false church, will join in celebrating all these horrors and will make it all go down smoothly by offering services with gay guitar music and self-esteem workshops over coffee and donuts."
Today, in a stunning bit of writing that takes your breath away, Fr. George Rutler brings the prophecy closer to home, as he notes, "The national election in November, 2012 will either give Christians one last chance to rally, or it will be the last free election in our nation. This can only sound like hyperbole to those who are unaware of what happened to the Slavic lands after World War I and to Western Europe in the 1930’s."
Mere rhetorical panic? No, for Fr. Rutler explains himself ...
Unless there is a dramatic reversal in the present course of our nation, those who measured their Catholicism by the Catholic schools they attended, will soon find most of those institutions officially pinching incense to the ephemeral genius of their secular leaders, and universities once called Catholic will be no more Catholic than Brown is Baptist or Princeton is Presbyterian. The surrender will not come by a sudden loss of faith in Transubstantiation or doubts about Papal Infallibility. It will happen smoothly and quietly, as the raptures of the Netherworld always hum victims into somnolence, by the cost factor of buying out of government health insurance.
And this will produce, Fr. Rutler predicts, a shake out - or, in his words, "the majority of Catholics with tenuous commitments to the Faith will evaporate, as did the lapsed baptized in North Africa during the oppression of the emperor Diocletian."
He also hits two other home runs in this article - he brings the spirit of St. Paul to bear on the issue, and he deconstructs a phrase that has long irked me, "Post-Christian".
This new period is not “Post-Christian” because nothing comes after Christ. We can, however, call it “Post-Comfortable Christian.”
Not all bad, you know, for Comfort has not been good for us.
Let us thank God for the prophets among us, like Fr. Schall and Fr. Rutler, who are preparing us for this era of Post-Comfortable Christianity - even though it's less prophecy than mere description.
Indeed, when Isaiah pointed out famously, "Behold a virgin shall conceive", his point at the time was not the coming Messiah; his point at the time was, "Before this kid, conceived now, is old enough to know right from wrong, all hell will break loose and we'll be in an era of Post-Comfortable Judaism, to say the least."
In other words, it's right around the corner.