I need to acknowledge that Bruce Charlton linked to this, and I consider it a word in this season, not merely for the Papists. I know plenty of effete, cowardly, or heretical protestant bishops, moderators and senior pastors, and that is before we talk about the scandals on my side of the Tiber.
Aquinas would have had to think hard and long on this. The Reformed position is to call them Antichristian, which is what they are, and pray for their repentance. As we need to be reminded frequently, we do not need permission to pray to our Saviour, or to do good.
There are two key points here. The first is that when a man is a bad prelate, we should not pretend otherwise merely because of his office. That, Aquinas says, would be a violation of the eighth commandment – a lie. He also compares it to idolatry. An image of Christ or of a saint has no value in itself, but only as a pointer to something beyond it. When we focus on the image itself we turn it into an idol. Similarly, a bad prelate merits honor only because of the office he holds. When we pretend his personal faults are not real, strain to attribute good motives to manifestly unjust acts or hidden wisdom to manifestly foolish utterances, we are like someone who fixates on an image and pretends that the many flaws and limitations it contains as a mere piece of matter must somehow really be divine.
The second key point is that such a prelate nevertheless must be given the honor that attaches to his office as a vicar of Christ. It is an insult to Christ to refuse his representative such honor – as if it is not Christ himself who is permitting such a man to be his vicar, or as if Christ does not know what he is doing in permitting it.
As I have discussed in detail elsewhere, according to Aquinas – and according to Catholic teaching more generally – such a prelate can and ought to be criticized publicly by his subjects when he does something that endangers the faith. But given the nature of his office, even this must be done “not with impudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect.” And if the prelate in question is the pope, respectful criticism is the most one can do, because he has no superior on earth. Christ alone can, and will, resolve the problem in his own time and in the way he judges best.
What these points together entail is suffering. And suffering, as the lives of the saints attest and as scripture teaches us from beginning to end, is the lot of the righteous man – suffering penitentially, suffering in solidarity with others, suffering in unity with Christ’s own agony. This suffering can result from our own sins, or from the effects of original sin on the world around us, or from persecution. And sometimes it can come even from within the Church itself. Christ promises only that she will not be destroyed or, in her decisive pronouncements, bind the faithful to error. Short of that, she can be and sometimes is afflicted with evil of every kind, even at the very top.
There is however, another part to this, as most heretics have stopped worshipping the Lord God Almighty and instead turned to the spirit of the age.
Which in the time of Jeremiah was the greatest power at that time: Babylon. This is a type, there is no babylonian empire as there was then, but the same toxic combination of esoteric mysticism, sexual licence, and globalist rule is baked into the cake of Babylon.
It has been from the time of the tower of Babel to the New World Globohomo Order beloved by the CIA and US State Department.
So to those within the church who would apologize for false sins, and commit real ones, and who teach races their skin is their damnation, there is a prophet who still bear witness against you.
For Babylon will always fall.
50 The word which the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, through Jeremiah the prophet:
2.“Declare and proclaim among the nations.
Proclaim it and lift up a flag,
Do not conceal it. Say,
‘Babylon has been captured,
Bel has been put to shame, Marduk has been shattered;
Her idols have been put to shame, her images have been shattered.’
3 For a nation has come up against her from the north; it will make her land an object of horror, and there will be no inhabitant in it. Whether people or animals, they have wandered off, they have gone!
4 “In those days and at that time,” declares the Lord, “the sons of Israel will come, they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the Lord their God whom they will seek. 5 They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come so that they may join themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.
6 “My people have become lost sheep;
Their shepherds have led them astray.
They have made them turn aside on the mountains.
They have gone from mountain to hill,
They have forgotten their resting place.
7 All who found them have devoured them;
And their adversaries have said, ‘We are not guilty,
Since they have sinned against the Lord who is the habitation of righteousness,
The Lord, the hope of their fathers.’
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them—for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account—so that they may do this with joy, not groaning; for this would be unhelpful for you.
18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. 19 And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you more quickly.
20 Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, that is, Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
22 But I urge you, brothers and sisters, listen patiently to this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23 Know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom, if he comes soon, I will see you. 24 Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.
25 Grace be with you all.
Roosh says before this passage that the Orthodox do not believe in revival. I'd challenge him on this: a reading of church history finds periods of great fervour, particularly when the leadership of the churches becomes infiltrated. The question then is do we schism or correct. What Roosh is seeing is that when the times are corrupt people will seek the truth.
The Church has never faded away or gone into darkness. What you are seeing instead is a noticeable uptick in the calling of those who God deems ready to serve Him in a way that they were not capable before. If God called me at the height of my pickup artist phase, when I believed women were God, I would not have answered. If God called me at the height of my red pill phase with Return Of Kings, when I believed masculinity and its chemical analogue—testosterone—were God, I would not have answered. Even when God did call me in 2019, I still wasn’t ready for Orthodoxy, and needed two additional years in an almost-Orthodox Church to finally receive the faith in full. I’m not the only one who has taken the long road. God does not give us what we cannot handle, and one of the reasons we can handle it now is because the world has become so depraved and corrupt that the truth of Orthodoxy is obvious on its face, or at least much easier to accept, whereas in the past we were able to fulfill our sinful desires while deluded and blind to the obvious evil we were participating in.
Over the last few years I've found that I get on better -- in real life and online -- with those who are fervent about Christ. We are seeking the prescence of the living God. We are dealing with the evil we have done. A fair number have significant theological differences with me: we align in seeking God.
As time has gone on, a fair number have gone hard core: Orthodox (which is not the standard church in the West), or hardcore Latin/SSPX, or crunchy calvinist/pentecostal. The serious protestants are in the churches everybody mocks as "happy clappy" and not in the Standard Mainline anymore: that was taken over by the rainbow.
What I am seeing is God bringing his people home.
I could be wrong: I frequently am. But this is the end of the boomer generation, and their debasement will be swept away by a new time.
More faithful. More about the spirit of God. More worried about children than neuroses.
This is not the end: this is a turning to a beginning.