Letter / Ratzinger’s “prophecy” and the modernist design. An identity that disquiets
Dear friends of Duc in altum, from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous I have received this contribution that deserves attention and on which we should meditate. It concerns the famous “prophecy” formulated by Joseph Ratzinger in a series of radio conversations for the Hessischer Rundfunk in 1969. A prediction recently taken up by the Argentinean website The Wanderer in the article I proposed to you a few days ago in the Italian version and today in the English version.
Dear Mr Valli,
I remain troubled reading the recent article from The Wanderer translated and published at Duc In Altum (here) which presents Ratzinger’s “prophecy” about the future of the Church hypothesized at the end of the 1960s by the young German theologian, who had been an advisor to Cardinal Frings. Read in the light of recent events, it seems to be a rather disturbing programmatic manifesto that does not show us a Ratzinger who is antithetical to Bergoglio. Nor can it be said that the “process of stoning Pope Benedict XVI […] by the German Bishops, with the consent of the Vatican” departs from this minimal vision – so to speak – of the Church to come: in fact the contrary is actually true, that is, that the resentment towards the Pope Emeritus by the Curia is due to the abandonment of the most extreme demands of the Council by a Pope who has only partly had a change of heart and who is too condescending towards traditional Catholicism. The “betrayal” that Ratzinger is accused of is that he promulgated the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, going far beyond the image of moderate conservatism that he constructed when he was Prefect of the former Holy Office, which was absolutely never to question Vatican II.
Joseph Ratzinger’s “prophecy” is simultaneously a fanciful manifesto of Gnostic inspiration and also a way to cloak the ineluctable failure of the conciliar ideology with a resigned spiritualism, ex ante. It is affected by the Modernist vision, which artificially places the “primitive Church” in contrasting opposition to the “Constantinian Church” and even more so to the detestable “post-Tridentine Church.”
The reason for this alleged opposition lies in the clumsy attempt of the Modernists, already tried by the Protestants and more generally by all heretics, to demonstrate that the Catholic Church betrayed or at least put aside the purity of the Church of Christ, the “primitive Church” precisely, in which unity had not yet been threatened by schisms and heresies, and that as such lends itself in fiction to being the place of ecumenical encounter par excellence: a place where the Canons of the Ecumenical Councils had not yet condemned the errors of the Lutherans, in which the clandestinity of the catacombs had not yet opened to the solemnity of the Roman Basilicas, to the institutionalization of the Religion of the Empire, to the conversion of nations to Christ under Christian Kings, to the “triumphalism” so much hated by heretics of all times.
Ratzinger writes: “We do not need a Church that celebrates the cult of action in political prayers. It is completely superfluous. And then it will be destroyed. What will remain will be the Church of Jesus Christ.” But is there a Church of Christ beyond the one that, over the centuries, has spread throughout the earth, converting peoples and informing their laws, disciplines, arts and daily life? Is it not precisely and only to the Church of Christ that He has given the order: “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15-16)? Or do we perhaps want to admit, as the Modernists affirm, that the Church of Christ subsists (LG 8) in the Catholic Church – a Church obviously distorted into something different from how its Head wanted it – without excluding that it may somehow include also the sects separated from it because of its hateful dogmatist rigidities? Is this not, ultimately, the principle of conciliar ecumenism, which considers unity in the one fold under the one shepherd of whom St John speaks (Jn 10:16), and which Pius XI condemned in the Encyclical Mortalium Animos, still to be achieved?
And how could the Church of Christ have confined itself to a sort of Gnostic elitism, if not by corrupting itself into one of the many sects that, over the centuries, have claimed pauperism, condemned the “Church of political worship” and propagandized a “more spiritual Church,” a “Church of the little ones”? How is the vision of a Cathar, of a follower of Joachim of Fiore, of the Dulcinians or of the Fraticelli, of a Calvinist, distinguished from the renouncing vision of the theologian Ratzinger?
History should have taught us that utopias serve primarily as an element of distraction, so as not to make perceptible the intent to destroy the Church of Christ and to create a church of men, in which an elite of initiates – always the same, and always them – decide what aspect it must have, which truths to maintain and which to renounce, which sacraments to preserve, what kind of liturgy to celebrate, what morality to preach.
In the world of deceptive dreams – or rather nightmares, given the results – the future must be indicated as desirable and positive, even if it represents a scorching defeat: “From today’s crisis will emerge a Church that will have lost a lot. It will become small and will have to start more or less from the beginning. It will no longer be able to inhabit many of the buildings it had built in prosperity. As the number of its faithful decreases, it will also lose most of its social privileges,” Ratzinger writes. We ask: who is responsible for this defeat of the Church, for her marginalization, for this tragic retreat “prophesied” since the Sixties?
The answer, it is clear, does not lie in the inevitability of fate, but in the loss of the sense of the sacred and the supernatural dimension on the part of the Hierarchy, that Hierarchy that at the Council allowed itself to be enchanted by the utopia of the Modernists – and of Ratzinger, among others – and that in the name of the Council worked to abdicate its sacred power in the Catholic nations, deposing the tiara, having the recognition of the State Religion removed from civil laws, becoming a champion of secularism, also claiming for error the rights that are (or at least should be) the exclusive prerogative of Truth, propagating religious freedom, appropriating the democratic and parliamentary vision of post-revolutionary states and even reaching the point of ratifying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the highest expression of “human rights,” in sacrilegious opposition to the sovereign rights of God the Creator and Redeemer. It was the Hierarchy that censored what it considered to be in conflict with the mentality of the age, removing those “medieval incrustations” that in its opinion tarnished the simplicity of the Church of the first centuries, cancelling from one day to the next the priceless patrimony of Faith expressed by the Liturgy, replacing it with banalized rites, deliberately rendered profane by the use of the vernacular language, thrown to the masses as a meal in order to lower Religion, not in order to raise souls to God.
If today the Church has almost no more priestly and religious vocations; if churches are abandoned and services deserted; if everyday life is no longer marked by the sacred rhythms of the liturgical year, by the feasts of the Saints, by the fasts of the Ember Days and Lent, by the domestic rites of Christmas and the Easter Triduum, by the joy of Baptisms, Communions, Confirmations and Weddings and by the mourning of funerals and visits to the dead; if children and young people no longer know anything about doctrine and at their catechism lessons are trained in the school of the obvious and of the politically correct; if the ruling classes have not received any religious and spiritual formation; if egalitarian, revolutionary and materialistic principles have been instilled in the workers and the working class; if states allow divorce, abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and the most aberrant vices; if the people are convinced that they are the depository of power and even Catholics no longer consider the social Kingdom of Our Lord feasible in civil societies; if Masonic sects prosper and spread with the encouragement of the Vatican and the approval of the Bishops, we owe it solely and exclusively to the betrayal of its mandate by the Hierarchy, to having wanted to lay down its arms, to having surrendered unconditionally to the powerful and to having even sold itself to the enemies of Christ.
The church desired by Ratzinger, in a sort of romantic and sentimentalist vision that sees it abandoned by most but with a rediscovered genuineness that it had lost because of the power acquired, is not the Church of Christ, but the result of a revolutionary process, of decades of guilty and renouncing abandonment by those who had received as an inheritance a still prosperous, healthy, expanding Church: it is enough to see the statistics of the time of Pius XII and compare them with the defections and disasters under Paul VI to realize that with the Council the failure of the Catholic Church was decreed and its liquidation was decided.
The church Ratzinger yearned for has been realized, beyond the dreams and with the subtle pragmatism of the Jesuits, by Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who along with Ratzinger appeals to Vatican II to justify his “reforms.”
If we really want to get out of this crisis, we must begin by definitively putting aside all the conciliar rhetoric that has instilled in the Hierarchy that sense of inferiority and inadequacy that reveals an earthly and materialistic view of an institution that is essentially divine, indeed that precisely because it is divine has managed to survive the infidelities, betrayals and corruption of its Clergy. We must not resign ourselves to “surviving” among the rubble caused by the conciliar revolution, consoling ourselves that we have remained in small numbers; also because, in the minds of those who are pleased to be in the minority but nevertheless consider themselves an elect and privileged group, traditionalist Catholics are not expected to be among the few survivors of the “small flock,” but instead a composite and heterogeneous elite of moderates, lovers of Vatican II and those who are nostalgic for the formidable Seventies, proponents of a façade of conservatism infected by liberal ideology, measured ecumenism, and dialogue with the world.
We do not know if and when the Church will regain her splendor, nor whether this rebellious and apostate Hierarchy will realize the outrage caused to God and the incalculable damage caused to souls. But we know that the only way to the restoration of the Church passes through Calvary and culminates on the Cross: it is there that each of us will be able to understand that the earthly triumph of Religion is possible only in a society that lives by Christ, breathes Christ, is nourished by Christ, and performs every action, from the humblest to the most heroic, in honor of Christ. And in order for this to happen, we need faithful who live the Faith in an all-encompassing way, who in their families transmit this Faith to future generations; we need generous and holy young people who vow themselves to the glory of God and to the salvation of souls, who in seminaries and convents grow in holiness, asceticism, mysticism, erudition and preaching. We need priests who respond to their vocation not out of worldly interests or a lust for power or money, but rather in order to better serve the Lord and convert the world to Christ. We need Bishops who are assiduous in prayer, humble, and detached from earthly goods. We need a Pope who is the Vicar of Christ, and not a servant of the New World Order. We need a Pope, to be precise. Period.