“ Considering that the Holy See had essentially closed the door on the Third Secret of Fatima, Benedict’s reply was nothing short of stupefying. It can now also be perceived as “Tyconian”:
. . . [B]eyond this great vision of the suffering of the Pope, which we can in the first place refer to Pope John Paul II, an indication is given of realities involving the future of the Church, which are gradually taking shape and becoming evident. So it is true that, in addition to the moment indicated in the vision, there is mention of, there is seen, the need for a passion of the Church, which naturally is reflected in the person of the Pope, yet the Pope stands for the Church and thus it is sufferings of the Church that are announced. The Lord told us that the Church would constantly be suffering, in different ways, until the end of the world…As for the new things which we can find in this message today, there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church…””
During his General Audience on Wednesday, April 22, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI made a remarkable reference to an obscure ancient Christian writer from North Africa, Tyconius. Even among erudite scholars and Church history buffs, the name of Tyconius is often unfamiliar. If a student ever comes across a reference to Tyconius when studying the Latin Fathers, it is usually in passing, with hardly a second glance.
Tyconius concludes this passage with one of his most incisive observations: “The bishops do, under the guise of a gift of the church, what advances the will of the devil.” The bishops offer to the beast the veneer of a lamb, while he uses them as mouthpieces for his agenda.
This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church…”
In referring to Scripture he specifies the eschatological texts of Scripture when he used that phrase in Italian, i novissimi [“the last things”]. Some have rather disingenuously tried to argue that when we speak of the “last things” we are talking about death, judgement, heaven and hell – the four last things. But that is not possibly what Cardinal Ratzinger was talking about; that is not possibly what Our Lady was talking about. If we want to learn about the four last things, we need only to consult the catechism; it is very clearly set forth there. Our Lady did not come down from heaven to impart a simple catechism lesson.
The Secret of Fatima speaks neither of atomic bombs, nor nuclear warheads, nor Pershing missiles, nor SS-20’s. Its content concerns only our faith. To identify the Secret with catastrophic announcements or with a nuclear holocaust is to deform the meaning of the message. The loss of faith of a continent is worse than the annihilation of a nation; and it is true that faith is continually diminishing in Europe.
[NB Exorcists have a very difficult time delivering people now and it’s attributed to the lack of faith (grace) in the treasury of the Church.]
Fr. Gabriele furrows his brow and sticks out his chin. He seems very affected.
“Indeed,” he states, “One day Padre Pio said to me very sorrowfully: ‘You know, Gabriele? It is Satan who has been introduced into the bosom of the Church and within a very short time will come to rule a false Church.’”
No faithful Catholic would dare to take such a step of separation, of withdrawal from what appears to be the true Church, unless he was following the Successor of Peter. There could be no definitive separation, no “great discessio” of the true Church from the false unless Peter himself were to step out in faith, led by the Holy Spirit.
Likewise, if the false church were to be “perfected” in its iniquity, it would require its own false ruler, as foretold by Padre Pio, at the moment of the great discessio. A false pope. One who appears to be a pope but in fact is only a bishop, drawn from the group of bishops who, in Tyconius’ words, “do, under the guise of a gift of the church, what advances the will of the devil.”
Venerable Fulton Sheen described the coming anti-church with uncanny accuracy as early as 1948:
[The Antichrist] will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. . . .
Sheen’s prophetic statements resonate with the address given by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, in his address at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1976:
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the Antichrist.