Let’s Say You Are A Cardinal…
I mean, one of the good ones. Not SSPX-good of course (I do not think there is a single one among them: not Burke or Piacenza or Caffarra) but still a good one, with love for the Church and fear of the Lord.
You have, of course, looked with a growing sense of horror at what has been happening in the last fourteen months. You are known to be no friend of the new course, which contributes to your isolation as the Maradiaga tribe pushes you more and more toward the margins of influence. But still, you are a Cardinal: a Prince of the Church, and one who can have an interview and a headline every day.
You have, probably, thought the best think to do is to wait in the shadow, and hope for better times. That was at the beginning, when you thought Francis is merely a bad Pope, but nothing to lose one's sleep about.
But then Francis' showed his true face with growing brazenness; and boy, that face is ugly. Your sleep became increasingly less restful.
Now, you just can't sleep. Other than Francis, you do believe in the God of the Christians, and you are therefore afraid of Judgment. You know that one day you will appear in front of your Creator – or at least in His waiting room – and the possibility of hearing the words “depart from me, ye workers of iniquity!” directed at you, with no appeal and no remedy at all, chills your very blood.
You are a smart Cardinal. Not all of them are, but you are one of the smart ones. Therefore, you know that unless God puts Francis in a coffin, or causes him to have a miraculous conversion to Catholicism, it is only a matter of time until you are required to make choices on which your eternal salvation may well depend.
In October, mass sacrilege will be allowed. Openly, in broad daylight, among the praises and jubilation of the world. Francis obscene merry-go-round will go into sixth gear and start spinning like the Devil himself is pushing it. From the atheists to the adulterers, from the infidels to the lukewarm and to the simply stupid – and you know, because you are smart, that taken together they are the absolutely vast majority of humanity – a tidal wave of approbation will sweep everything in front of it, and leave behind immense devastation.
It will be 1527 all over again, but this time on a spiritual, and on a planetary scale.
You perfectly well know what it means for you: when the tidal wave starts to roll, every Cardinal standing in front of it may well be wiped out, as Maradiaga & Co. start thundering against the counter-revolutionaries. To speak out is, clearly, to take part in a turkey-shooting on the wrong side of the barrel.
But if you do not face the barrel, a far more terrible calamity may befall on you one day, as you realise your silence has made you an accomplice in perhaps the worst rape of Truth in history.
You try to look at it from every angle. You try to find solutions that would allow you to avoid an open confrontation. You do everything you can to persuade yourself that prudence requires that good men remain in the shadow, and patiently bide their time; working constantly under Francis' and Maradiaga's radar, and creating a net of underground resistance ready to strike one day.
A comfortable thought, this one; but when you look at it with total honesty, you know it's no more than convenience, and wishful thinking. Francis will take care a comfortable majority of his appointments are made among dyed-in-the-wool Modernists. Biding one's time would only mean to allow the revolution to consolidate, the tumour to metastasise. You know it, no matter how many times you try to persuade yourself there's still a place for strategists in the Vatican.
There isn't. Revolutions always get rid of them.
You think of the French Revolution, when the priests were given the choice between civilian life and guillotine. You remember reading that ninety percent chose to betray Christ, but ten percent – an awful lot of necks, in fact – chose Christ; and the guillotine.
They didn't “bide their time”. They knew the option was not open to them. They were priests. There are options a priest just doesn't have.
You start seeing things in a clearer way now. You are in a position of great privilege and honor at the moment, but this was never meant to come to you for free. Ubi honor, ibi onus. It was always requested of those who wanted to live like a Prince that they be able to die like a Prince. You swore to be willing to die for Christ the day you were ordained. Those French priests choosing martyrdom were not Cardinals, either; they were Princes only in their deaths, without the correspondent advantages in their lives.
You are getting bolder now. And come on, will you be killed? Yes, you might be sent to some obscure office; you might be sent to a Country full of horrible spiders, and extremely hungry flies; you might be sent where Christians are persecuted. Where, in fact, many are persecuted who aren't Princes, and who bear everything with faith in the Lord, and confidence in His just reward. But you will very probably not die, you will probably remain a Cardinal, you will probably keep a measure of influence and power. But what does this count in the end?
You must speak out.
You must speak out before and after October, come what may. You must openly denounce the sacrilege. You must leave a record for future generations. You must, if need be, become an example for future generations. Because you are a Prince. You are a Prince. You are a Prince.
And if this must be so – and it must be so; of this at least, you know there can be no doubt – then it is better to start fighting now; because the only chance of success is if many Princes put their swords on the side of yours and make clear now, not later, that they are going to fight both before and after October.
Will there be many of them? Realistically you know it's possible, but not probable. But the courage of each one of them will embolden others, and as they count themselves they might, come October, discover they are a frightful adversary. Princes from Africa and Asia will come to your help. It's one step at a time, and God never gave guarantees of earthly victory anyway. The Church was built on the blood of the martyrs.
Let's say, my dear reader, you are a Cardinal. This is what you, I hope, would decide you have to do.
I know it's easy to be an “armchair Cardinal”, but it is far easier to be a Prince of the Church only when it's comfortable. It is from those who have been given most honour and power, that the willingness to fight must be first asked.
If the Princes do not lead, how will the troops go to battle?
Yes, some troops will go to battle anyway. Priests and Bishops – those who are good at least – will join the fight, and will not care of consequences.
I shiver at the thought of the Princes who will die after refusing to lead them.