February 5, 2016 The Memorial of Saint Agatha
When Clement XIV ascended the papal throne in the late spring of 1769 the Church in the West was in the midst of its most intense crisis since the days of Luther 250 years before. Since this crisis has in our day been almost entirely forgotten and/or swept under the rug it is good to outline the situation one more time.
The great Catholic monarchies of France, Spain, and Naples had been driven by agents of the conspiracy of unbelief and the stupidity of their own kings to rise up politically and militarily against the Holy See. Portugal had been in de facto schism with the Church of Rome, a schism engineered by the conspirator who was that unfortunate kingdom’s first minister the Marquis de Pombal, for a decade by that time and the other Bourbon monarchs of the above mentioned nations were threatening the same if their demands concerning the extinction of the Society of Jesus were not met. A kind of blind madness that one often sees at the close of a historical epoch had taken hold of the Catholic world.
As the summer of 1769 wore on the Holy Father performed a rather perfunctory task in renewing the indulgences of his predecessors for the missionary orders, including the Society of Jesus, and this mere formality produced a firestorm of reaction from the court of Paris. The Duc de Choiseul, first minister of King Louis XV of France, penned an angry letter to the French minister in Rome on August 7, 1769 demanding that he make a public demonstration to Clement XIV that the Pope must completely suppress the Society of Jesus within one month or the French ambassador in Rome would be withdrawn and France would sever all communication with the Holy See i.e. create a schism like that of Portugal but on a far grander scale. And he hinted that the rest of the Bourbon monarchies, all the great Catholic kingdoms of Europe save Austria, would follow suit. This would have put the Catholic Church and the Holy See in a worse position than she had been in since the days of Diocletian almost fifteen centuries earlier.
The modus operandi of the conspiracy at this point in its history seems to have been to motivate and to tempt these foolish monarchs into forcing the Catholic Church in their realms to cut itself off from the mother Church in Rome. To transform the Church in all of the great countries that had remained Catholic after Luther’s revolt a quarter of a millennium earlier into Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese ‘Churches of England.’ In this scenario the Church would become completely subject to the state in these countries. And then once the state institutions had been completely taken over by the conspiracy, and this was not long in coming as we shall see, the Church could be crushed. And even if the state’s brutality did not succeed in crushing the Church in each of these countries the Church would still wither and die since she had been separated from the vine in Rome. And then Rome itself would be easy pickings. Or at least that is how their thinking seems to have gone.
They have yet to completely succeed in this goal, even in our own day, and we will go into the reasons why in future posts on this blog, but this remains their goal even now; this very minute there are people working to separate you from Peter. NEVER FALL FOR THE TEMPTATION TO SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM PETER. For whatever reason. It is the great temptation of our age for Catholics to separate themselves from Peter. And it comes from all quarters: from the ‘left’ and the ‘right.’ From ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals.’ From the ‘traditionalists’ and from the ‘modernists.’ Don’t do it. Never do it. No matter how good or how smart the reason seems, it is coming from the devil. Don’t fall for it. No matter what. And run like a bat out of hell away from anyone who even hints at trying to convince you otherwise.
Ubi Petrus ibi Ecclesia, et ibi Ecclesia vita aeterna. And since vita aeterna is what it is all about STAY WITH PETER!!!
Go to Confession and please say three Hail Marys in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.