The Coming Storm and How to Prepare

Ludolf Backhuysen - Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee

A storm is approaching. We've been watching it build on the horizon for decades, and now it's here. The first sprinkles of rain have already hit us, and with the wind now whipping up, we know the torrent to follow cannot be far away. Flashes of lightning and claps of thunder now surround us. The full fury of this tempest cannot be far off now. I'm speaking metaphorically of course, but the illustration of a storm could not be more accurate. I'm speaking of the political, social and economic storm that is soon to hit the Catholic Church in the United States.

While a lot of hope is riding on this 2016 presidential election, I am here to tell you that no matter who wins, the storm is still going to hit us.

If Donald Trump wins the presidency, some of the ill effects of this storm can be postponed. The Church will be given some more precious time to prepare, perhaps four to eight years at the most, but the storm will still come. I want to make this perfectly clear so there are no misunderstandings. A President Donald J. Trump CANNOT stop this storm. He won't have the power to stop it, nor the necessary support. He can postpone it a bit, and maybe even lessen its damaging effects, but he cannot stop it.

If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, the storm will hit us hard and fast. There will be little time for the Church to prepare, perhaps no time at all. The intensity of this storm and the damage it will cause to the Church will reach maximum effect. Some of the damage will be felt immediately, within the next four to eight years, and some of it will be felt over the long term, the next ten to thirty years. A President Hillary Rodham Clinton and those whom she surrounds herself with is the worst possible combination for creating what is often called "the perfect storm," reaching maximum intensity for the worst possible damage.

Like all storms, however, there will be survivors. The Church will survive this storm, but what it looks like after it passes depends a lot on us, how faithful we are, and how we apply our faith to civic life, particularly in the votes we cast.

DEFINING THE STORM

So what is this storm? Exactly, what am I talking about? I am talking about the growing level of anti-Catholic prejudice in society, media and government. This is coupled with a general anti-Christian prejudice, which particularly affects Evangelicals as well, but it is shrouded in praise and reward for Catholics and Protestants who oppose traditional Catholic-Christian teaching on morality. So it's a sneaky kind of prejudice that shrouds itself in an apparent tolerance (even embrace) of Christians who DON'T abide by traditional Catholic teaching on morality, but is made manifest by its open resentment of Christians who DO abide by traditional Catholic teaching on morality. So in essence, the prejudice is anti-Catholic at its core, but because many Evangelicals abide by a large portion of traditional Catholic morality, they become targets of it too.

Please note, many Evangelicals would simply call their moral beliefs "Biblical morality," but that is a misnomer because liberal Protestants consider their morality "Biblical" too. They just redefine morality based on their own Liberal interpretation of the Bible. Evangelicals who hold to the principle that abortion is a grave sin, homosexuality is wrong, same-sex "marriage" is not marriage at all, and that sex is for authentic marriage alone, are abiding by a traditional and historic CATHOLIC interpretation of the Bible on these things. Therefore, they are abiding by Catholic morality, and since the new anti-Catholicism is directed against traditional Catholic teaching on morality, these Evangelicals are finding themselves as targets too. The same goes for other religions such as Mormonism and Watchtowerism (Jehovah's Witnesses). They only suffer from this form of prejudice insofar as they embrace traditional Catholic teaching on morality. If any of these groups simply jettisoned traditional CATHOLIC teaching on morality from their churches, they would immediately cease to be targets of the new prejudice. Make no mistake about it. This new prejudice is, at its core, and anti-Catholic prejudice, and it is particularly focused on traditional Catholic moral teaching.

The storm that is coming, indeed is already here, is the phenomenon of this anti-Catholic prejudice flowing through society, the media, and now into government. As the government is infiltrated by officers who subscribe to this anti-Catholic prejudice, the storm intensifies. What we got under President Barack Obama was just the first breeze of the storm, combined with a little spritz of drizzle. It was the front of the storm, but that is now passing. This was manifested in Obama's HHS Mandate, which requires all providers of medical insurance, including religious providers, to cover the cost of abortion and artificial contraception. While this battle has been playing out in the courts, small Christian businesses have been destroyed by other lawsuits, alleging "discrimination" for failing to provide non-essential services to same-sex "weddings." As horrible as a violation of religious freedom this was, it is but the tip of what is to come. These are just the outer edges of the storm. Now that is coming to an end, and the only question that remains is, shall there be a temporary lull before the main storm hits? This will likely happen if Trump is elected. Or will the edge of the storm immediately be followed by a gradual increase into the full tempest, without an interlude to prepare? This will likely happen if Hillary is elected.

What can we expect when the storm reaches its height? We can expect an all-out assault on religious liberty. On a social level, this will include a general social prejudice toward good Catholics who adhere to the Church's moral teachings. Bad Catholics, or Fake Catholics, who ignore the Church's moral teachings will be lauded and praised for their "bravery." (You'll notice that Obama and Hillary always surround themselves with these types because they shield them from the charge of anti-Catholicism.) This social prejudice will get worse. It may start to manifest in the workplace, as subtly as co-workers looking down upon us, or as overtly as our employers asking us to sign statements supporting same-sex "marriage" as a condition of employment. This media prejudice will get worse too, as television shows are filled with Catholics who don't practice their faith, and/or the moral teachings of the Church are directly assaulted in entertainment. This will be accompanied by media news reporting wherein the Catholic Church (and Catholic leaders) can do no right unless the faith is denied and liberal morality is embraced. This, of course, will be linked to a steady reminder of clerical sex-abuse, wherein less than 5% of Catholic clergy (many of whom were defrocked decades ago), will be portrayed as representing "most" or "nearly all" of the clergy. That will only contribute to the social prejudice, of course, making it easier for our employers and co-workers to view us as "intolerant" or "backward" people.

Where we are really going to feel a difference, however, is the anti-Catholic prejudice that will most certainly trickle into government in the upcoming years. The recent Wikileaks email scandal in the Clinton campaign, dealing with anti-Catholic comments made by Hillary's campaign manager, and his admission that they are trying to affect a "revolution" in the U.S. Catholic Church, an attempt to get it to break with Rome on moral teaching, is evidence that this storm will hit us much sooner if Clinton is elected President. These are the kinds of people she likes to surround herself with, and when confronted with the overtly prejudiced nature of these things, she sends out her FAKE Catholic vice presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, to tell the media that the comments are no big deal, good Catholics are to blame, and there will be no apology for them. If you ask me, that's sort of like telling a battered wife it's her own damn fault, she deserved getting slapped, and she should stop crying and get over it. That seems to be where the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party is going with this. So if they win in November of this year, look out! This is the attitude toward anti-Catholic bigotry we can expect from the Hillary Clinton administration. The courts will begin to side against Christian businesses in greater number. Christian employees will lose all their worker's rights when it comes to conscience protection and personal beliefs. If a corporation wants all its employees to agree with its stand on abortion or homosexuality, then it will enforce that upon their employees, and any resistance will be met with job termination and courts that back it up. Then they'll go after the churches themselves. The government will define what kind of morality can, and cannot, be taught from the pulpit, and with the right Supreme Court justices in place, they will be able to get away with it, in spite of the Constitution. Some churches will lose their tax-exempt status, based entirely on their refusal to back down from traditional Catholic morality (whether they're Catholic or not). Some Catholic priests and bishops, along with some Protestant pastors, will be sued for "discrimination" and/or "hate speech," simply for teaching Catholic morality. In time, these same religious leaders may face prison for the same. Faithful Catholic media, like for example; Church Militant, EWTN, or even this blog, might become targets for censorship, as the government reintroduces a beefed up version of the "fairness doctrine" mandating that all media outlets grant "equal time" to opposing viewpoints. All of this is real, and it is in our future. The questions are simply twofold. When will it come? And how long will it last?

We cannot answer the second question because there is no way of knowing how long it will last. What we can answer is the first question. When will it come? And if we can answer the first question, we can indirectly address the second, because theoretically speaking, if it comes later, it shouldn't last as long.

There is a clear expiration date on the Leftist persecution of Christianity in America. That expiration date comes when Europe goes up in flames. You see, what American Leftists are trying to do right now is make America more European, but when they say European, they don't mean the quaint little villages in the mountains of Austria or the sophisticated museums and restaurants of Paris. No, what they mean is an America that is essentially non-religious, and churches that have become museums. That's what they mean by more European. So long as Europe remains intact and somewhat functional, they have a model to aspire to. As soon as it goes up in flames (and it will someday), that model is gone, along with all their hopes and dreams of a totally Secular society built on free sex, abortion and artificial birth control. So you see, the most ideal situation good Catholics (and Evangelicals) in America can hope for is a delay in the storm, a lull or interlude before the storm begins. Because the longer it takes to get started, the shorter its duration will be before Europe implodes and burns. Once the smoke starts rising over Paris and Rome, the American experiment in anti-Catholicism will immediately come to an end. This is because Americans (all Americans) will watch the fall of Europe in horror on their television screens, and begin to question "how can we prevent that from happening here?" The only solution, of course, will be a return to Christendom.

So the storm means anti-Catholic prejudice run amok, the U.S. Catholic Church under serious legal pressure from the government, and U.S. Catholics (and Evangelicals) dealing with anti-Catholic bias in the workplace and among employers. Christian businesses will become impossible to operate if they offer any kind of service that could be construed to cater to homosexuality. In other words; Christian-run bakeries, flower shops, wedding services, etc. will soon go extinct. All of this WILL HAPPEN. The only real question we can address is WHEN? We'll have a better idea of that after the 2016 election is over. If Trump wins, the heavy storm begins in five to ten years from now, has less intensity, and will end whenever Europe burns (whenever that comes). If Hillary wins, the heavy storm begins within a year or two from now, has a stronger intensity and won't end until Europe burns (whenever that comes).

WEATHERING THE STORM

So now that we've defined what the storm is, when it might start, and how long it will probably last, let's define strategy. How do we as Catholics deal with it?

Since compromising our faith is NOT an option, we're going to have to make some uncomfortable choices. We need to accept that. The first will be where we go to mass, and the second will be where we work, which will undoubtedly affect where we live. This strategy is geared more toward lay Catholics. The clergy doesn't have a strategy. Their only option is to remain faithful and accept whatever consequences come their way. Lay Catholics, however, have some options. We can remain faithful and smartly move around in ways that protect our families.

Where we go to mass will be our first major change. We need to make sure our families are placed in a parish where the faith will be taught and lived so that when the more uncomfortable changes come, they will be ready to make the sacrifice. Allowing our families to continue in parishes that are unfaithful to Catholic morality, or are watered-down in their approach, will only leave our families in a weak position, and unable to cope with the changes that may need to follow at critical times. So plugging your family into a GOOD PARISH that is faithful to the moral teachings of the Church, is absolutely essential to our survival strategy. Remember we are trying to survive as a faith community -- as good Catholics! Our lives are not in danger here, but our Catholic faithfulness is, as well as the eternal destiny of our souls. So the time to make this change is RIGHT NOW. There is no time left for delay.

Consider looking into a traditional Catholic Latin-mass parish. These are almost always solid on moral teachings and are least likely to compromise under social and legal pressure. Also, consider looking into an Ordinariate parish (see here), these celebrate mass in traditional English instead of Latin, but they are similar to Latin mass parishes in their unwillingness to compromise on Catholic moral teaching. None of this is to say that you can't find good moral teaching at a regular Catholic parish. You most certainly can, but you'll have to do a little digging to make sure. The general attitude of parishioners will give you a clue as to where the pastoral leadership stands. Parishes that have many members who are worldly and compromising on moral issues, reflect the leadership that tolerates this, and might actually promote it. So be observant and discerning.

The next thing you're going to need to look at is your general location, and this is something that is surely going to be uncomfortable. If you're single, or an older married couple, this may not be such a big deal. However, if you've got young children, this will be a very important issue that you must address. Some states and cities will be more anti-Catholic than others. In those states and cities, where anti-Catholicism abounds, it will be much more difficult for Catholic parishes to uphold traditional Catholic moral teaching. Those few that do, will undoubtedly come under the full fire of the state and local government during the storm. Therefore, for the sake of your young children, getting out may be the best long-term option.

Let's go through some examples here. States like California, Oregon, Washington, New York, and all the New England states are a lost cause. There is virtually no hope for them. Anti-Catholic laws are already in the works there, which will make good Catholic parishes rare, or virtually non-existent when the storm heats up.

Other less conspicuous states, like Minnesota and the Dakotas, will also become problematic. We could say the same for the rust-belt states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. In fact, probably the best areas where Catholics can expect the most religious liberty is in traditionally non-Catholic states. I'm talking specifically about the Evangelical states of the Bible Belt. I know this may seem counter-intuitive, but probably the best place for Catholics during this coming storm is nestled deep within Protestant country. (Oh, the historical irony of that!) It's the truth though. The Bible Belt is filled with Christians who prize their religious liberty above everything else, and they have the guns to defend it if necessary. I'm not saying it will ever come to that. Rather, I'm saying that Washington D.C. knows this, and so they're less likely to push an issue in that kind of a region when they could more easily push it somewhere else. So relocating to a Bible Belt state should definitely be on the radar of any faithful Catholic family having young children.

Areas in Red are the Bible Belt
Click to Enlarge
There is, of course, another dimension to this. While Catholic parents are called to protect their children from religious persecution when able, they are not called to run and hide from the world. Running away, say to a Catholic country like Costa Rica, Malta or Poland, may be somewhat attractive at first, but then what? Do we just hide and let our faith stagnate? If faithful Catholics must run, they should run into missionary territory instead. That makes more sense. So they can sharpen their faith and evangelise others.

The main reason why we have such a terrible anti-Catholic problem building up in this country is that non-Catholics have a distorted image of what Christianity is. Part of this distorted image comes from Evangelicalism, wherein all Christians are stereotyped according to this template. At the same time, however, the other part of this distorted image comes from weak Catholic clergy, who are derelict in their duty as shepherds and have created a Catholic culture that is essentially devoid of any traditional Catholic moral teaching. That's not to say that such Catholic clergy doesn't exist in the Bible Belt, they most certainly do, but with smaller Catholic populations there; if more Catholics are to move in, and those Catholics demand more traditional liturgy and moral teaching, they will be more likely to get it. It's much easier for faithful Catholics to get what they want in small Bible Belt regions (where their voice is louder) and they consist of 50% of all Catholics there than in large Catholic regions (like California for example), where they consist of maybe 5% of all Catholics. Do you see what I mean? A smaller Catholic presence in a region equals a louder Catholic voice for faithful Catholics in the local Church.

Now to illustrate this point, let me highlight two areas I am personally familiar with. I grew up in Southern California (a heavily Catholic region), but I've spent most of my adult life in the Ozark Mountains of the Southern Midwest (within the Bible Belt). Now, Southern California spans an area of about 56,000 square miles, and the Ozarks span an area of about 47,000 square miles. These areas are within 10,000 square miles of each other, so they're pretty comparable in geography. Where they're really different is in population. Within Southern California, there are approximately 7.2 million Catholics. Within the Ozarks, there are only about 169 thousand Catholics. That means the Ozarks has only about 2% the number of Catholics that exist in Southern California. For every 1 Catholic in the Ozarks, there are about 50 in Southern California.

Now there is something very interesting going on here. In these geographical areas of approximately 50,000 square miles, there are 25 staunchly traditional Catholic parishes in Southern California. By this, I mean Catholic parishes that have lawful canonical jurisdiction and are defined by traditional liturgy (Latin or traditional English) and solid Catholic moral teaching. That's not to say that solid moral teaching doesn't exist in other parishes. I'm sure it does. I'm just using these 25 traditional parishes as examples based on their liturgical styles since the quality of traditional liturgy often reflects the quality of traditional moral teaching from the pulpit. So for Southern California, I can only find 25 parishes that offer mass in traditional Latin or traditional English. In contrast, the Ozarks, a similar square mile area, spanning three states and three dioceses, has no less than 10 traditional Catholic parishes (see them here) comparable to the type I selected in Southern California. Again, the same disclaimer applies here too. I know we can find good teaching, from good parishes in the Ozarks, that don't meet this liturgical criterion. I'm just using this to make a point, so bear with me.

Now let's do some numbers crunching. Based on the numbers above, in the Ozarks, there is 1 traditional-style parish for every 17,000 Catholics. However, in Southern California, there is only 1 traditional-style parish for every 288,000 Catholics! In order for Southern California to compete with the Ozarks, having 1 traditional-style parish for every 17,000 Catholics, it would require no less than 424 such parishes. Yet it only has 25! So based on that alone, which region is more traditionally Catholic? Obviously, it's the Ozarks, because there are more traditional-style parishes per Catholics here in the Ozarks than there are in Southern California.

Now granted, that's just a numbers game, but the point is this. It's not that the Ozarks dioceses are more traditional. They're not. The leadership is similar to what you might find in Southern California. Rather, the reason why you have more traditional-style parishes (per capita) in the Ozarks is that there simply aren't as many Catholics in the Ozarks. The dioceses are smaller in population. So traditional-style Catholics, who want traditional-style liturgy with traditional-style moral teaching, just have a louder voice. They make up a higher percentage of the Catholics in the area too, namely because they have a louder voice. The end result is more traditional-style liturgy (and teaching) available in the similar 50,000 square mile region. That's my point. Faithful Catholics have a better chance at getting what they want, in the way of more traditional-style parishes, if they will just pack up and move to Bible Belt dioceses where there are smaller Catholic populations.

The Bible Belt, with a high concentration of Evangelicals, ready to fight for religious liberty, makes an appealing environment for faithful Catholic families with young children. These state governments will work hard against the growing anti-Catholic prejudice of Washington D.C. They already are, with strong religious liberty and conscience protection laws, generous homeschooling provisions, and public acknowledgement of the good of religion. My own home state of Missouri has demonstrated strong work in all of these areas.

Then there is the added benefit of ripe missionary fields for sharpening the faith and bringing Evangelicals into the Catholic Church. This is where we want to be during the full intensity of this coming storm. We don't want to be in a state, like California for example, which is already working to curtail religious liberty, and certainly won't stop once it's fully enabled by a federal government willing to assist it in this area. Faithful Catholics with young children, who take their faith seriously, need to get into solid parishes in the short-term, and in the long-term get their families moved to the states that already protect religious liberty, and are most willing to fight against the radical anti-Catholic (anti-Christian) prejudice that will eventually be coming from Washington D.C. So that's the three-step strategy to weathering the storm.

  1. Get into a solid Catholic parish that has traditional liturgy and teaches traditional Catholic morality.
  2. Get the family moved into the Bible Belt, preferably close to a similar type of Catholic parish that is solidly traditional.
  3. Get involved in state politics there and work to preserve religious liberty.

REBUILDING CHRISTENDOM

What we need to understand is that the current 2016 election is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The only way an anti-Catholic candidate, like Hillary Clinton, can be nominated for president is if the culture at large has already slipped into a similar form of anti-Catholicism. If she's elected, we know that culture has now reached a majority.

Western Civilisation is lost. That's the cold hard truth. We know this by looking at Europe. It is now a continent filled with atheists, agnostics and Muslims. The number of practising Christians is now so small that it's almost unnoticeable. The churches of Europe are now mostly museums, and they've been that way for a long time. The only population that is now religiously devout is the Muslim population, and as more Muslims enter Europe, the whole continent is heading for a clash of civilisations, unlike anything we have ever seen in modern times. Eventually, it will reach a climax, and when it does, the riots will escalate into wars. That's when Paris will burn, and so will Rome, Berlin, London and Stockholm, along with many other cities. That day is coming. We can't know when. It may be as soon as 10 years, or as long as 30 years. Who knows? But when it happens, Americans will watch it all in horror, and only then will they begin to question the wisdom of this nation's anti-Catholic trajectory. This current 2016 election only determines when that trajectory begins. Will it start within the next few years, or later on, within a decade or so. If Trump wins, we get a short reprieve and the storm is postponed. If Hillary wins, there will be no reprieve and the storm will be upon us very soon. How long Catholic Americans (along with Evangelicals) must endure this storm, depends entirely on when it starts.

Either way, Western Civilisation is lost and it cannot be recovered. What Catholics need to start thinking about right now is how to rebuild Christendom from the ground up. We're literally going to be starting over from scratch. Evangelicals may be able to help us fight the prejudice and weather the storm, but they don't have the tools to rebuild a civilisation. Only Catholics can do that. So Evangelicals need us just as much as we need them. We'll need them for the next few decades, but after that, they'll need us even more. As more Catholics move into the Bible Belt, more Evangelicals will convert, and many who don't convert will be more willing to work with Catholics as the storm rages on. When the storm is over, and its time to re-evangelise North America and Europe, the American Bible Belt (looking a lot more Catholic by then) will serve as an excellent base of missionary operations.

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Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books and a columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of 'CatholicInTheOzarks.com.' Your support is what makes essays like this possible. This essay and all of Shane's Internet resources come to you (ad-free) thanks to the generosity of benefactors. Please consider becoming a benefactor.

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Comments

Cecilia Medo said…
I've been reading your posts recently and they're amazingly clear and painfully true. I have questions, lots of them, I live in South America, in Peru, a country that is just about to suffer some serious attempts to normalize abortion or same sex marriage, it's not happened yet, but it will, very soon... And so it will in great part of Latin America. Do you think here (in l. America) we will have to suffer a similar persecution on Catholicism? It's a well-known fact that most of us are Catholic, maybe not all practicing or traditional, but still, the catholic faith and church has a deep-rooted tradition and presence in people's lives, but it is also true that secularism brought by the hand of some left and right wing politicians is gaining popularity, especially among the youngest ones. Will latin America experience a similar fate or a less violent one? Will the USA and Latin America become allies in matters of faith? About Europe, will it inevitably become islamic? When you mention a clash of civilizations, which do you think will win, the Christian or the Islamic? Hope you can answer at least some of my questions. God blessings for you and your loved ones.
Arminius said…
For those of the Faith that say curtailing religious freedoms could never happen here are willfully blinding themselves to historical fact. Look at the sanctioned Catholic persecution that occurred in Mexico not even 100 years ago. Much of the story is wonderfully told in the movie "For Greater Glory." I find it interesting that Jose Sanchez Del Rio was just declared a saint. Many, if not most, Americans have zero knowledge of the armed defense of the faith in Mexico during the 1920s.

While I fervently pray that it does not come to that, nonetheless, the Church's lineage is full of men and women who took up the sword to defend the Faith. If it comes to that, we as a nation are in so much more trouble than we can realize. Interestingly enough, there is a book by a protestant evangelical called "Blood on the Altar", in which he posits a civil war within the Christian Faith which will pit Christian against "Christian."

Sometimes I think we are inside of a dried out wooden shed, full of open, vaporous gas cans, with really stupid people trying to flick a bic lighter inside of it.

Shane Schaetzel said…
Cecilia Medo, I am not familiar enough with the politics of Peru to comment on the situation there. I can say that it is usually common for Latin American countries to follow in the footsteps of the United States, but with only a few exceptions (usually revolving around dictatorships) these Latin American countries are usually several years to decades behind the United States in political change. Sorry, I wish I could say more, but I'm just not competent in this area.

In regards to Europe, the class of civilisations will come, and when it does, Secular Europeans will be left with only two options. They will have to choose between Islam and Christianity, because it will become obvious that Secularism has failed. When they choose, most will choose Christianity, and the clash will deteriorate into all out war in Europe. In the end, Christian Europe will win. I guarantee it. But not before it looks like all hope is lost, and the fight to regain Europe will be horrible, long, and bloody. Before it is over, Paris will be reduced to rubble, and Rome will be in bad shape too. Nothing will have been seen like this since World War II. Not only does common sense tell us this will be so, but we have Catholic prophecies foretelling it from centuries ago. It will happen.
Catharine said…
Shane, thank you for a very well thought-out article. I think, based upon credible Catholic prophecy (an awful lot of what appears to be legit Catholic prophecy is anything but!), a likely scenario for future events would be:
(1) A complete economic collapse and worldwide depression/bankruptcy which will be truly appalling. Whatever we went through in 2007-2008 was only a "heads-up" from Heaven which unfortunately was lost on the US gov't.
(2) The Moslem immigrants and refugees will continue to flood into western Europe where they will continue to commit all sorts of atrocities, and where their numbers (and percentage of total population) will continue to increase. The Moslems have never embraced contraception, abortion, sexual perversions, broken families, etc., to anywhere near the extent the West has. As a result, they will have more children raised in intact families entering the general population.
(3) Western secular civilization will continue to reject Catholic morality. As a result, sexual disorders will increase, and a total breakdown of morality, law and order, will result.
(4) At some point, due to the extreme economic conditions and total societal breakdown, civil wars will break out in western Europe. According to the more reliable Catholic prophecies, Germany will go first, then Italy and France almost simultaneously, and then England which almost all sources say will really "pay the piper."
(5) In the midst of all this, many reliable sources say that while it now appears that Russian Communism is a thing of the past, it (and Russia) will be resurgent, and Russia will invade and conquer western Europe on 3 fronts simultaneously: North Sea, overland (most likely through the Fulda Gap), and Mediterranean. They will be assisted at first by Moslem nations but eventually this alliance will break down, resulting in new wars. Some sources including Sister Lucia of Fatima say that if the collegial consecration of Russia to the IHM is not done, AND if the West does not convert and reform itself, Russia and Communism will overrun the entire world.
(5) The USA will be totally incapacitated, likely by nuclear wars on both the east and west coasts, for some extended period of time, but eventually will recover enough to come to the aid of Europe.
(6) In the middle of all of this, an elderly, weak and worldly Pope will abandon Rome and will die a cruel death in exile.
(7) His immediate successor will be assassinated almost as soon as he is elected, at which time Heaven will have had enough, and the real great chastisement will begin in earnest.
It would appear that 2029 may be a pivotal year for the great chastisement to commence in earnest--this marks exactly 100 years since Our Lord called for the consecration of Russia to the IHM. If the same 100-years-to-the-day calendar applies as did in France, with respect to the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart by the King, then 2029 will mark the end of all possibility of peace.
(8) How long the great chastisement lasts is not clear at all, and it would be contrary to the Gospels to attempt to pin a date on it (we do not know the times or the seasons of these things). 2039? 2048? Into the 22nd Century? No one can say.
(9) The key to ending the continuing deterioration of faith, morals and society lies in both the Pope's consecration of Russia to the IHM, AND in sufficient numbers of people converting, amending their lives so as to live as good Catholics and good Christians. In other words, to a fairly great extent, we (as a whole people) hold the keys to our own fates.
Catharine said…
On a completely different note, it would appear that the entire concept of democracies and republics is a gross error. Benjamin Franklin reportedly said to someone that we have a democratic republic, but only if we can keep it that way. BF also reportedly said that a democracy is 2 wolves and 1 lamb deciding what to have for dinner tonight.
BF also said that if too much political power got into the hands of the lower classes & masses of people, they would degenerate into licentiousness and social order would degenerate to such an extent that eventually they would line up like little children to any tyrant or despot, who would tell them what to do, if only some order could be restored.
The vast majority of people have uncritically swallowed the entire anti-Catholic, materialistic and atheistic crap which really got started in earnest with the French Revolution. This line of thinking and behaving is apparently now spiraling completely out of control and down into the abyss.
It would appear that Divine Providence has mandated that since this is the path most of the West has taken, our choice will be respected by Divine Providence, but those choices must be required to play out in all of their hideous consequences, so that all can see the consequences of "free thought" and anarchy--i.e., placing eternal truth on the same footing, and allowing it the same liberty, as the grossest error and speculation. Only when things play out to the max, in real time, do most people even begin to learn from their mistakes.
Karen said…
"Only when things begin to play out to the max...do people begin to learn..."

So so true!! If Our Lord or Our Lady came sooner and spared us the chastisement, people would be on their knees in thanksgiving for a few days or weeks only to promptly return to their previous ways.

Look at 9/1. Here we are already welcoming the Muslims with open arms, willing to put our children in harm's way.

It takes a severe and long learning curve for us soft and spoiled westerners to change our thinking and behavior. We have ignored God for so long we don't really know the meaning of penance. We think it means three Hail Marys and that's just the few who still go to Confession. The rest don't even think about penance at all. The Church has continually made traditional Catholic life easier and easier for us so that now we are too weak to do the strong penance required to curtail this looming disaster.

The good news is the Church will be purged of all the lukewarm and apostate members high and low and She will be purified. Christ's Bride will be someway diminished in number but will be stronger and holier.

Sr. Lucia also said that a war would signal the time when the pope would at last consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Our Lady of Fatima save us!
Dymphna said…
Is it really a good idea for a large group to be together. Won't that make it easier for them to be crushed?
Shane Schaetzel said…
Strength in numbers Dymphna, besides not all Catholics will be able to do this, just a segment of the Catholic population. What we are talking about here is joining forces with other Christians willing to fight for religious freedom. There simply aren't enough Evangelical Protestants willing to do that in other part of the country. Only in the Bible Belt do we see enough to have an impact. The sad reality is this. All regions will fall to the secular agenda eventually. The only question is, which will be the last to fall? Catholic families, with young children, need to go there, to gain as much time as possible to raise up a new generation of Catholics. It will be that next generation that witnesses the fall of the West, and the re-evangelisation that must follow.
MORE ABOUT THE STORM THAT IS UPON US. Many things about life in America have deteriorated to an unacceptable level. And, things may be worse than many – if not most – may think. If you believe that this fact-based presentation about how far America has fallen and why it has fallen has merit, and what you can do and should be doing about it, then pass it on: https://youtu.be/lnNsZjTcgaw . In His Peace, through Justice based on Truth, by way of Sincere and Sacrificial Love, Dcn. Joe Gorini <
Catherine, my wife and I were very impressed with your comments and would like to know how to get in touch with you by email.
Liz Meriwether said…
This is an excellent article with many good points made! And it is definitely always best in today's world, to try to be prepared.
The only thing I would add is that God is the only
One who knows the future. Instead of America
watching Europe go up in flames, Europe may watch as America goes up in flames & etc. God alone knows the future, we do not.
And He created each human being on this earth, & He loves each of us. ......even though we are each sinners.
Really enjoyed the article! Keep up the good work!
Terry Nelson said…
A friend alerted me to your article. What you have written makes sense and is quite reasonable. We can know these things naturally, by reading the signs of the times. Your advice is very good - without getting into financial fears and crazy political conspiracies. Your piece is filled with common sense, and you avoid all the prophecies circulating, as well as the numerous conspiracy theories. It is a good piece of advice for those married with children - especially finding an 'orthodox' parish and community and holding fast to the faith.

Good work.

God bless you and your family.

Terry
Daniel Benson said…
We don't have 4- 8 years. This is not politically or time driven. They are already planned for a total collapse of the dollar and bonds. They are only waiting for a trigger event, to blame the collapse on. Today there are at least half a dozen potential trigger points that could blow up in the next few weeks, months or days. Don't fool yourself this is much much closer than you can imagine. I have a banking contact (high up). This is not far off! Judgement is coming to America, and judgment begins with the house of the Lord. Time to prepare now, watch and pray. But even if Trump wins, they can use the backlash as a cover for a trigger event. Put you trust in God not in men.
Shadowfax said…
Daniel Benson, I also believe we have only weeks or months to go before God lowers the hammer on us. The evil is too great--look at the reports coming out of John Podesta and others of Clinton's team who are involved in Satanism. And about half of the population wants to put these people in charge?! But my prayer and hope is that the Triumph of Mary is soon to follow--100 years after the apparitions at Fatima, rather than 100 years after Mary asked Lucia about the Consecration in 1929.
Joel Fago said…
I believe that the secrets of Medjugorje will start to be revealed in 2017, the 100th anniversary of Fatima. With the secrets, the world will be changed like never before.
Ronnie said…
Excellent article. Well thoughtout, and some good advice. Thank you. And some of the other comments were excellent as well! Glad I read this. I will share with others. Thank you, again
Bob G said…
would add that our young people would need to make career choices which either less directly impact religious freedom such as being a carpenter or an engineer vs. Sadly many of the social sciences and teaching professions, for example, in which "Political Correctness" and acceptance of alternative morality and lifestyles is more easily pushed and accepted, unless one is strong enough and faithful enough to really fight the battles involved, or unless once can find a work setting which is more "traditional" in it's values.
Bob
ocasomedia said…
Wow! We Live in Perú. PPK I heard supports Clinton. Expect Perú to bring in lots of Muslims. We made a big mistake with the marginalized March For Life..it no longer goesthrough the heart of The Jesús Maria district but though a snippet of Javier Prado and down to the beach. It bothered elite anti Catholic leaders to see 300.000 Catholic..more or less March For the unborn. We have to witness for the faith. Bill
ocasomedia said…
Cecilia it is a Small world I Live in Lima.PPK Will bring us Muslims. He is touble and his wife is Germán I think. Diversity is a cáncer when it is code for Muslims and gay marriage.
Maris Bentley said…
"What we need to understand is that the current 2016 election is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The only way an anti-Catholic candidate, like Hillary Clinton, can be nominated for president is if the culture at large has already slipped into a similar form of anti-Catholicism. If she's elected, we know that culture has now reached a majority."
Agree! And the only way the anti-Catholic Hillary Clinton can achieve the presidency is with the anti-Catholic votes of many people who call themselves Catholic!
Antonio Miraldi said…
Very good article and good comment Joel. We will not go as far into the future as the author states as God is about to say "Enough" via Medjugorje. Everything will change. The devil has gotten hold of all the important things and Our Lady has been here 35 years to keep the dam from bursting, and to win! But first we must see the results of a godless world. Light&Joy

Jeff Bernard said…
I plan to stand and fight. "We were not given a spirit of cowardice". Stay where you are and work in the Truth to bring things back to God in your own circle of influence. We can't take off to the Bible Belt and leave the clergy to be rounded up. I have to disagree with this proposal of a Catholic ghetto. God will grant us all that we need, of we respond in Truth to do His Holy Will where we are.
Joel Fago said…

Antonio, Our Lady has appeared to Marija,a Medjugorje seer, at Caritas, Alabama, http://www.medjugorje.com, numerous times. On the vigil of a Caritas consecration of the United States to Our Lady, when Marija mentioned the vigil during an apparition, Our Lady smiled. Could this be a sign that Trump will become President?
Antonio Miraldi said…
Joel: I listened to that too; hard to say but today is the day. I think it means that in the end She will triumph as for the moment the web of darkness has everything important in it . This week we have seen incredible acting by "respectable" offices. The devils want a big war, the issue is not just to persecute Christians. Nations pay in real time for their sins. God will save us via Mary but first we will see the horror of a godless world. Six days ago we were told to be vigil and that our "united love would unmask evil"
She also said "Don't be afraid as I am with you."
In the meantime we should pray and be Light&Joy.