“We are at the end of Christendom.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen said during a talk in 1947. Look at the symptoms:
- the breakup of the family,
- general dishonesty.”
Prophetic then, he was already a visionary and forewarning in the Jan. 26, 1947, radio broadcast.
“Why is it that so few realize the seriousness of our present crisis?” he asked 72 years ago. Then gave the answer: “
- Partly because men do not want to believe their own times are wicked,
- partly because it involves too much self-accusation, and principally because
- they have no standards outside of themselves by which to measure their times…
Masses are unconscious of the destructive processes going on
To highlight his point, Sheen emphasized that the
- “very day Sodom was destroyed, Scripture describes the sun as bright;
- Balthasar’s realm came to an end in darkness;
- people saw Noah preparing for the flood 120 years before it came, but men would not believe.
In the midst of seeming prosperity, world-unity, the decree to the angels goes forth but the masses go on their sordid routines. As our Lord said:
For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noah entered into the ark, and they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away; so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:38-39)
Sheen wondered if we’re even aware of the signs of the times because “basic dogmas of the modern world [were] dissolving before our very eyes.” Replacing them were the assumptions
- man has (1) “no other function in life than to produce and acquire wealth,”
- (2) the idea man is naturally good and “has no need of a God to give Him rights,
- (3) the idea reason isn’t for discovering “the meaning and goal of life, namely the salvation of the soul, but merely to devise new technical advances to make on this earth a city of man to displace the city of God.”
Brothers in Christ and comrades in anti-Christ
The conflict of the future is
- between the absolute who is the God-man and the absolute which is the man god;
- the God Who became man and the man who makes himself God;
- brothers in Christ and comrades in anti-Christ.”
Sheen goes on to describe the anti-Christ; “his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect.”
He will deceive even the elect
The saintly bishop brings in Communism, too, which has its place in what’s going on at the time and beyond, as we still see. Remember what Our Lady of Fatima said about Russia spreading its errors (Communism) if the world didn’t heed Our Lady’s directives.
Sheen gave the reason why a crisis must come — “to prevent a false identification of the Church and the world.” Our Lord wanted his followers to be different from those who were not: I have taken you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:19)
Even in those 1947 days Sheen saw “Mediocrity and compromise characterize the lives of many Christians.
- Many read the same novels as modern pagans,
- educate their children in the same godless way,
- listen to the same commentators who have no other standard than judging today by yesterday, and tomorrow by today,
- allow pagan practices such as divorce and remarriage to creep into the family;
- there are not wanting, so-called Catholic labor leaders recommending Communists for Congress, or Catholic writers who accept presidencies in Communist front organizations to instill totalitarian ideas in movies.
- There is no longer the conflict and opposition which is supposed to characterize us.
We are influencing the world less than the world influences us. There is no apartness.”
Sheen perfectly mirrored 2018-19 headlines when it comes to people who stand up for the faith, for pro-life, for marriage. “Evil must come to reject us, to despise us, to hate us, to persecute us, and then shall we define our loyalties, affirm our fidelities and state on whose side we stand. How shall the strong and weak trees be manifested unless the wind blows? Our quantity indeed will decrease, but our quality will increase. Then shall be verified the words of Our Master: whoever does not gather with me, scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)
No buying or selling unless men have been signed with the sign of the Beast
Already in 1947 Sheen saw “the coming of the Day of the Beast, when there will be no buying or selling unless men have been signed with the sign of the Beast who would devour the child of the Mother of Mothers.”
The good bishop noted — remember this was 1947 —
- “With the family disintegrating with one divorce for every two marriages in 35 major cities in the United States,
- with five divorces for every six marriages in Los Angeles
— there is no denying that something has snapped… Anyone who has had anything to do with God is hated today.”
He will deceive even the elect
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen predicted in 1947 what can be seen today in Catholic Church and in society generally:
The anti-Christ will not be so called, otherwise he would have no followers. He will wear no red tights, nor vomit sulphur, nor carry a spear nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust.
How will he come in this new age to win followers to his religion?
(1) He will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity, and plenty, not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves.
(2) He will write books on the new idea of God to suit the way people live.
(3) He will explain guilt away psychologically as repressed sex, make men shrink in shame if their fellowmen say they are not broadminded and liberal.
(4) He will identify tolerance with indifference to right and wrong.
(5) He will foster more divorces
(6) He will increase love for love and decrease love for persons.
(7) He will invoke religion to destroy religion.
(8) His mission, he will say, will be to liberate men from the servitudes of superstition and Fascism, which he will never define.
(9) In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality,
he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one; he will not believe in God. And because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect.
(10) He will set up a counter-Church,
which will be the ape of the Church because, he the devil, is the ape of God. It will be the mystical body of the anti-Christ that will in all externals resemble the Church as the mystical body of Christ.
(11) In desperate need for God, he will induce modern man,
in his loneliness and frustration, to hunger more and more for membership in his community that will give man enlargement of purpose, without any need of personal amendment and without the admission of personal guilt.