Modern-day Apostles of the Great Apostasy

At La Salette, our Lady said: “The Vicar of my Son will have much to suffer, because for a time the Church will be delivered over to great persecutions: this will be the time of darkness; the Church will have a frightful crisis.”

The tribulation is divided into two parts, the second part is for the distant future. But I believe that the first part of the tribulation will occur for this generation, that it will begin soon, perhaps even this year (2011). As I’ve said, if the extremists take over all the Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa, as seems to be happening now (in the ‘Arab Spring’), then the first horseman of the tribulation will be imminent: World War 3.

But what will the effect of the first part of the tribulation be on the Church?

There will be several Popes with short reigns. Pope Benedict XVI will die just before the tribulation begins. He is a Pope of Peace offered by God to the world just before a time of war. Under the next Pope, who I believe will be Cardinal Arinze as Pope Pius XIII, the great apostasy will occur. This Pope will require Catholics to believe and practice the Catholic Faith in order to be a member of the Church. The reaction from the unfaithful will be outrage. So many Catholics, for so many years, have been believing and doing whatever they wish, that they will be outraged that the Pope would require them to believe what the Magisterium teaches in order to receive Communion. Among these unfaithful are many who considered themselves to be conservative Catholics, or who considered themselves to be faithful to the Magisterium.

They will depart in droves. Most Catholics will leave the Church. Many will no longer practice the Christian Faith at all. These many Catholics who will leave the Church will include a significant percentage of Bishops (perhaps a third), many priests, many religious, and most lay persons. Some who depart will try to form their own competing Church, one that permits the members to believe whatever they think is true, and to do whatever their conscience tells them (or supposedly tells them) is good. This great schism will wound the worldwide Church deeply.

This great apostasy unfolds during World War 3, and the Pope will soon suffer martyrdom because of the war. Then there will be held two elections for the Pope. One election, held by the faithful Cardinals and faithful Bishops, will elect a true Pope, but not according to the proper rules. The other election, held by unfaithful Cardinals and unfaithful Bishops, will elect the most prominent antipope in the history of the Church. Many of the faithful will be confused, not knowing who is the true Pope, or whether either one is a true Pope.

Which Catholics will leave the Church? Perhaps some Catholics who are not very devout, or who have some serious struggle on a matter of faith or morals will hang on to the true Church, and not leave. And perhaps some Catholics who are devout, but have some serious faults or hidden sins, will depart. Many of those Catholics who depart at the great apostasy have already departed in their hearts and minds. There are many priests and theologians, for example, who publicly are known to dissent from definitive magisterial teachings, who are publicly known to promote grave doctrinal errors or heresies. There are many Catholics who have already rejected the Church as Teacher; they believe whatever is the prevailing view in sinful secular society. These Catholics have already departed interiorly. When the great apostasy occurs, perhaps some will repent; but most will leave the Church exteriorly as well.

Who is prepared for this impending crisis in the Church? Few. Who is speaking out about the crisis of faith that exists already, which is in truth the very foundation of the great apostasy? Few.

In Catholic publications, some authors in recent years (not only myself) have written on the topic of the impending tribulation. Online, some Catholics discuss the tribulation, when it might occur, and how it might unfold. But the vast majority of Catholic authors, bloggers, posters, and the like have no clue. They are not preparing anyone for this crisis. They rarely address the crisis of faith in the Church — that most Catholics do not believe and practice the Catholic Faith. There is a sin of omission there.

But what is worse is that more than a few Catholics, writing online and in print, are encouraging confusion on doctrinal and moral issues, undermining magisterial teaching, and even contradicting Church teaching in order to teach heresy, doctrinal error, and foolish theological opinions. The Church encourages us to engage in the apostolate of the laity, acting like little apostles in the service of Christ and His Church. But some Catholic authors (from book authors, to bloggers, to anonymous online commentators) have become like apostles of the great apostasy. So far from warning the faithful about this impending crisis, so far from trying to correct the widespread doctrinal errors that plague the Church, they are doing the opposite. They lull the faithful into a false sense of security, portraying the Church as having very few problems. Or worse, they lead the faithful away from the teachings of Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium, and into numerous errors, of every kind, on every topic pertaining to religion.

I am speaking here very broadly, so as to include very many theologians (a majority of them, I think) and many priests (a large percentage). There are many such persons who have fallen away from the Church in their hearts and minds. But instead of leaving the Church, they ‘teach’ others their own faithlessness and errors.

[2 Peter]
{3:3} Know this first: that in the last days there will arrive deceitful mockers, walking according to their own desires,
{3:4} saying: “Where is his promise or his advent? For from the time that the fathers have slept, all things have continued just as they were from the beginning of creation.”

[2 Timothy]
{3:1} And know this: that in the last days perilous times will press near.
{3:2} Men will be lovers of themselves, greedy, self-exalting, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked,
{3:3} without affection, without peace, false accusers, unchaste, cruel, without kindness,
{3:4} traitorous, reckless, self-important, loving pleasure more than God,
{3:5} even having the appearance of piety while rejecting its virtue. And so, avoid them.

{4:1} I testify before God, and before Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead through his return and his kingdom:
{4:2} that you should preach the word urgently, in season and out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke, with all patience and doctrine.
{4:3} For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but instead, according to their own desires, they will gather to themselves teachers, with itching ears,
{4:4} and certainly, they will turn their hearing away from the truth, and they will be turned toward fables.
{4:5} But as for you, truly, be vigilant, laboring in all things. Do the work of an Evangelist, fulfilling your ministry. Show self-restraint.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and Bible translator

My books of theology
My work with Sacred Scripture

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2 Responses to Modern-day Apostles of the Great Apostasy

  1. Robert says:

    I was wondering what your opinion is of this website which has caught my attention recently: The site consists of a series of alleged private revalations being posted by an anonymous mother of four living in Europe, who has been receving (allegedly) inner locutions from Jesus concerning what’s happening in the world now and the coming Warning, rise of the anti-Christ and coming Tribulations.

    • ronconte says:

      That false visionary and her website are on my list of false claims of private revelation, at number 199. Her website formerly contained her claim to have received a message from Jesus telling her to write a book, telling her that this book would be as great as the Bible and would become part of the Bible. This claim is utter heresy, therefore these messages cannot be from Heaven. See the claim here. (They took down one of the pages with that same type of claim.)

      They also were claiming that the Warning would occur in 2011. As soon as my predicted date for the Warning on Good Friday of 2011 turned out to be wrong, they took down their claim that the Warning would occur in 2011. (Now they claim it is an unspecified number of ‘months away’.) I write speculative eschatology, so if I err, the mistake is mine. But their claims are based on a claimed private revelation. Their error indicates that their claim of private revelation is false.

      One message says: “You must now open your minds, leave all human reasoning aside to accept the truth of your existence on earth.” This message directly contradicts the infallible teaching of Vatican I on faith and reason. See chapter 4 in its entirety as well as section 4 of the Canons. It also contradicts the teaching of Pope John Paul II in the encyclical Faith and Reason.

      The messages also teach the heresy of millenarianism, portraying Jesus as saying “I will rule the earth for the 1,000 years.”

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