I have been thinking about this, mainly because of the conversations taking place in David Warren’s blog. More and more I find myself recalling the biblical prophecy “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise on you, and his glory shall be seen on you” Isaiah 60:2. Darkness, like light, has a source somewhere. We know who is producing all this obfuscation and for what purpose. Remember that night in Gethsemane when Peter first appealed to weapons to defend his Master and then, only hours later, consumed with fatigue and confused, denied Him three times.
I know many centuries have passed and we have a clarity of doctrine that poor Peter could not even dream of that night. The guy had his share of making mistakes, being chastised by Jesus, accused by the powers of the day, etc. Admit that it was too much for a simple Galilean fisherman. The man was a pathetic choice for quarterback in the Super Bowl of Good vs. Evil. So many have been beating on him for the last twenty centuries: the Sanhedrin first, then St. Paul, and who knows how many others we do not even know or remember.
I sympathize with him because he was a fighter, perhaps his own worst enemy. His shortsightedness comes trough in Scripture as strongly as his lovable humanity: he is an ugly, lovable guy, like Anthony Queen in those 1960’s movies. He was chosen by the Lord in person and the Lord wanted him to be there not only to be the first Pope but to imprint in the office that elusive thing we call charism.
He is the one that had to hear Jesus say in a dark prophetic tone: “Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” What an ominous prophecy that is because I believe Jesus is not talking only about Peter and the end of his papacy atop of the Mons Vaticanus. He is talking also about Peter’s spiritual descendants. The Papacy is old now, by far the oldest continuous spiritual institution in the world. Where is the papacy being taken? Why all this confusion?
Remember that the Mons Vaticanus was the place where the prophets of Rome (the augures) used to take a doe to read its entrails and divine the future, hence the name Vaticanus from vaticinium a hill of prophecies where, according to some, there was a door that lead to heaven.
I know some will chastise me for believing the words of Our Lady of Garabandal: “In the end there will be confusion in the Church.” Aside from Garabandal, this great period of confusion has been mentioned by many saints, popes, and others. Fr. Joseph Brennan, O.C.S. says in one of his articles “Prophecy for Our Time” that appeared in the May 1983 edition of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review: “Christianity will undergo its most severe test of yet. There will be many casualties, much purification. Such confusion will reign that it will appear that Christianity has almost vanished.” Also Bl. Catherine Emmerich saw in her visions those forces of evil taking the fight to the proximity of the altar. For my life I am confused too. I have been confused since Benedict announced his resignation. I have seen the work of Bergoglio here in Buenos Aires and I confess that his aims sometimes are befuddling even to the most astute among us. But I also have to trust he will not sink, he will not fail unless God allows the failing to the extent He deems necessary.
I believe this Pope may die a martyr’s death and perhaps he will become one of the greatest saints of all times. His charism is strange, for starts he is a chemist chosen to be Pope in a world plagued by the scourge of drugs. Remember that the word for sorcery and the demonic arts in the New Testament is pharmakia. Those hidden signs, those suggestive coincidences add up in Bergoglio-Francis. Here in Buenos Aires we know that he truly changed the Church doing a lot of good and getting the Church closer to the people, the poor, the truly oppressed — I am not talking about the politically oppressed — but those oppressed by the lack of hope reigning among the poor.
I am not giving advice. I cannot make heads or tails of the current situation. I know that like the first Peter, Bergoglio may be way over his head and he may not even know it. That is the most marvelous thing because that’s a sure indication that the Lord is near. In my opinion, Jesus is about to knock out the system, and he seems to have chosen the closest thing to a bumbling fool that He could find among the Cardinals. If foolish Peter was enough to defeat Caesar may be it will take a Bergoglio to end the cruel reign of this world’s powerful lords of drugs, darkness, and war.