Several years ago, a priest-friend justified his own liberties with the liturgy to me, saying: "there is no progress in the church without first disobedience," and this was long before the neo-cult showed its deformed head.
Sadly, he was right. Vatican II never called for communion in the hand, the elimination of Latin and Gregorian Chant, the abrogation of the traditional Mass, the removal of the tabernacle from the apex of the sanctuary, the destruction of the "communion rail" altar girls, rock, folk, jazz music, etc. Yet, all of these exist today and with permission.
Almost all of those things were practices originated by progressive clergy who believed Vatican II did not go far enough to modernize the church and took it upon themselves to do so. I personally watched all of this happen while growing up in a post-Vatican II leftist Los Angeles. And with the destruction of all that was sacred in the sanctuary of the church came the destruction of all that was sacred in the sanctuary of the home, in marriage, and in the family. But that is another story.
Over time, these disobedient clerics were rewarded by Rome with so-called limited permissions - like the one we find in MEMORIALE DOMINI which gave permission for communion in the hand despite the fact that the majority of the world's bishops were against it. So there is no reason for Kiko Arguello to also think that his persistent disobedience will not also be similarly rewarded.
This is hard for many Catholics to accept. Most of us have an unquestioning faith in Church leadership. But then most of us don't know our history. Satan has always attacked the Church at its heart: Rome...and those who run it.
That Satan is alive and well in the halls of the Vatican is not speculation. Pope Benedict himself abdicated the chair of Peter in 2013 because, as he publicly stated: he did not have the strength to fight the "wolves" - the very wolves he feared when he ascended to the chair in 2005.
Certainly Christ promised us that the "gates of hell would not prevail" against our Church, but he did not promise that those gates would not be broken open and our Church infested with demons and choked with the "smoke of Satan" - as Paul VI famously termed it. Read the Gospels and see how many times Christ himself warns of this war with Satan which all of us must fight - and fight to the end.
I can't remember when it actually happened, but at some point in the last thirty years of my life I decided to fight back against the evil eating out the heart of my Church. Most of that evil was let in by well-meaning people who were not conscious of the atrocities they were participating in. But much of it was let in by people, often clerics, who knew exactly what they were doing.
That Satan has been winning over the last several decades is no more apparent than in the long exodus from the sacraments by our own family members and friends, a sad exodus most of us have witnessed, and often helplessly. Spiritually starved by the lack of sacramental grace, Satan has had an easy time picking us off: destroying marriages, destroying families, destroying souls, destroying vocations...
I share this reflection to let you know that the Battle of Agana is part of a much larger battle. It is more than just a cult's takeover of our resources. It is more than just the trafficking in "vocations" (even now Apuron is in the Philippines offering "free scholarships" to our "seminary" in Guam). It is more than just your being bumped out of your parishes and your positions. It is the same age old battle between heaven and hell that was been raging since Michael threw Lucifer to the earth.
It is a Spiritual Battle, the old Warfare the saints so often spoke of. So join them. Gird your loins. Put on buckler and shield. And let your daily prayer be: "St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in BATTLE..."
In case you didn't know, the "St. Michael Prayer" was composed by Pope Leo XIII after he had a vision on October 13, 1884 of an argument between God and Satan in which Satan boasted that he could destroy the Church within the next century if he had "greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service" - meaning, the clergy.
Shaken by this vision, Pope Leo composed the prayer to St. Michael and ordered it said at the end of every Low Mass (a Mass which is not sung) throughout the Universal Church. Despite the hell on earth of two world wars, the Church continued to prosper and grow, especially in America where it was bursting at the seams with schools and vocations.
In fact, in his book Iota Unum, Vatican historian and "peritus" Romano Amerio, noted that Pope John XXIII felt confident in calling a council to "update" the Church because at the time the Church was unquestionably strong.
And then came Inter Oecumenici, a Vatican II Instruction which came into effect on March 7, 1965. The instruction "suppressed" (forbid) the public recitation of this prayer after Mass. And so with St. Michael out of the way, it would be only a few short years (1972) before the Paul VI would lament: “From some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.”
To be continued.