13 March 2513
It is the 13 March 2513. 500 years ago, in the midst of a great crisis of faith, a heretical Pope was elected to the See of Peter.
No one remembers the event. No one – apart from people passionate of history, particularly of church history – remembers him. The second part of the XX and the first part of the XXI Century are recollected as times of great confusion, but the population at large does not care to remember those obscure times.
There is no need for it. A string of very strong Popes (Pius XIII to Pius XVII, who reigned between 2053 and 2144) fully restored Catholic orthodoxy in less than three generations, and the Church influence on Europe, America and Africa has been so strong since that the obscure times of heresy are barely remembered beside the moniker “one hundred years of heresy” or, more shortly, “the troubles”. Most Catholics don't know about Francis more than they do about the Synodus Horrenda.
There were some smaller challenges during this time. In the middle of the XXIII Century, a movement originating from Germany tried to make adultery and sodomy a venial sin and were therefore called the “Venialists” or, as they called themselves, the “Merciful”. But Pope Benedict XIX completely destroyed the heresy starting from 2352, and in twenty years the name was barely remembered.
Not that it was all so linear as it seems centuries later, mind. It never works that way. Pope Pius XIII was elected only in 2053, after his disgraceful predecessor Francis IV started to offer communion to Muslims and worked at an “interplanetary ceremony” able to unite Muslims, Jews, Hinduist, Sikh and Atheists in a “Common worship” meant to become the standard of a “unifying church of the persons of good will” (the project failed when the Pope died). What we barely notice today was a very bumpy road that went on for many decades then, for several decades from Francis I to Francis IV. But in the end, Truth triumphed. As always.
What did the Church do with Francis I to IV? What she always does with heretics: condemn, destroy, forget.
How many remember Huss or Wyclyffe? Ever wondered why? The Church destroys her heretics in a most definitive way: she obliterates them from the public consciousness.
No, you don't really need to know what Huss, or Wyclyffe or the Sillon movement preached. The Church has taken care that most people will never pose themselves the question. She destroys heretics even in their tombs. They deal with heretics so you don't have to.
And so we are here in 2513, in an age of unprecedented prosperity and religious revival. All is good in Vatican land.
You just have to be patient.