CENTURIES OF ATTACK ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
From almost as soon as Jesus sent his Apostles out to spread the word, our Church has been under constant attack, both from within and without.
The first arguments and fights came between the Apostles and the Jewish converts, specially as to the treatment of gentile converts.
This was followed by a long list of Heresies.
From the Circumcisers, the Gnostics, the Montanists, the Sabellianists, the Arianists, all the way to the appearance of the Protestants, Heresies span the first 1600 years of the Catholic Church.
Of course there were also very dangerous outside threat. The early Roman Emperors saw this strange and new Religion as a threat to their political power, and a challenge to the established Greco-Roman Gods. The persecutions, executions, crucifixions and other harassment were the daily challenges faced by our ancestors.
Then out of the 7th century, after most of the physical threats had disappeared for over 200years, appeared the Muslims, and their military invasion and subjugation of about two third of Christian territories. In a matter of a few decades, they overwhelmed the entire Middle East, and all of Northern Africa, which had been the most vibrant lands of Christianity, and the centers of some of our greatest philosophers.
By the end of the 8th Century, the Muslims had taken over most of the Christian world, except for Bysantium, and a few small tribal kingdoms in Northern Europe.
The Catholic Church was under siege from all sides, and barely hanging by a thread. Only the Bysantium empire was stopping Europe from being totally overruned.
Europe and the Catholic Church will have to endure another 300 years of unrelenting assaults, kidnapings, enslavement, and persecutions from Muslim forces before Pope Urban II came up with the brilliant idea of the first Crusade, which would unite all the people of Northern Europe to pull together for the first time as one.
Yet it is also when the Turks took over Bysantium, and started threatening central Europe, which until then had remained safe.
Now that the outside danger had been pushed back to a safe distance, a new threat appeared from within. With weak and corrupted Popes and Cardinals, a movement of reform blew over our Church which almost imploded it .
I shall not go into details about this complex period, but to say that instead of coming out weakened, we got out of it strengthened. Yet, another memorable event would shake Europe and the Western world to its core. The French Revolution. At its peak during the reign of Terror, the Church was targeted for destruction by the Free Masons who had become the leaders of the Revolution, a Genocide of Catholics took place in the French regions of Vendee and Britanny. Our Church was outlawed and priests were targeted for excecution. ( An estimated 15000 priests were murdered)
While Napoleon who overthrew the revolutionaries, was not a very religious person, he understood the positive social impact the Church had, and he signed the first concordat with the Pope, which would bring peace and stability to his country.
Unfortunately, after the Napoleonic era, several movements in the Church started to appear, which would lead us to the current crisis we are experiencing since Vatican II.
That movement amplified after Leon XIII advised for the adoption of the modernist movement who wanted to espouse their century. The movement gained a lot of traction in France and in Italy.
Soon the neo-thomism was disqualified and replace by blondelism and the theology of Fr de Lubac.
(This is where Carmen found most of her inspiration.)
The confusion between Natural and Super Natural became rampant, with all the consequences it entails.
Vatican II would make this theology its own, and start a huge revolution in our Church.
Sadly we have only seen the early consequences of these ill advised theories, one of which being the Neocatecumenals.
Over the last 50 years we have experienced the ups and downs of these decisions. My personal feeling being that we probably are only at the beginning of this.
Ironically, our little island has become a testing ground for this epic battle. It appears, we have been projected, against our will at the center of this battle for the soul of our Church.
Since most of us have little to no knowledge about the History of our own Church, I thought it was essential to at least give you, a small window of understanding on that long and complex History.
We need to better understand, that this is not coming to us in a vacuum. While Apuron, Pius and others have been the immediate catalyst to this local catastrophe. This is also part of a much larger struggle for the soul of our Church. It is why we must also take some distance at time to understand where this is going and why we must cast a wide net, if we want to win the battle for the souls of our brethren.
Again we are at a crossroad. The path we choose, and the manner in which we will fight this fight, could very well be, what we shall be judge on, in the after life.