The great apostasy predicted in Sacred Scripture during the End Times is an event in which many of the formal members of the Catholic Church, including non-practicing, minimally practicing, and unfaithful practicing Catholics depart from the true Church and instead fall into various grave errors. Some fall away completely from the Christian faith, believing instead whatever secular society will teach. Some fall into atheism or agnosticism. Some become Muslims or members of some other religion. Some join a schismatic and heretical group, that pretends to be a remnant of truly faithful Catholics.
This great apostasy occurs twice, once during each of the two parts of the tribulation. The worse apostasy is during the second and so-called “greater tribulation”, when the Antichrist has his reign. At that time, one third of the Bishops (Rev 12:4) fall away from the true Church and follow the Antichrist. Along with them, many unfaithful or weak-in-faith Catholics fall away and follow the Antichrist. Then almost the whole world worships the Antichrist, except for those faithful members of Catholic Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. No other religions will survive.
The great apostasy NEVER includes apostasy by any valid Roman Pontiff, and NEVER includes an apostasy by the body of Bishops. Then neither the Antichrist nor his false prophetess ever become Roman Pontiff. They hate the Catholic Church, and they do not wish to rule the Church, but rather to destroy Her. So the great apostasy never includes the Pope. At its worst, the great apostasy includes only a third of the Bishops, and that is only during the reign of the Antichrist. Then the main part of the apostasy, during each period of time, is found among the laity, priests, deacons, religious, scholars, theologians, and self-appointed leaders.
Notice that the papal accusers are clearly guilty of schism by rejecting Pope Francis, the other recent Popes, and the First and Second Vatican Councils. They are also guilty of heresy, as previously discussed on my blog. So they are the ones who are in danger of full apostasy. Some have already apostatized from the true faith, and currently they worship only themselves, inwardly, as predicted at La Salette. They try to convince the faithful to reject the Roman Pontiffs, by shouting “Apostasy! Apostasy!” But in fact they themselves are encouraging apostasy by attacking the Popes, the Councils, the body of Bishops, and the Magisterium. Any true predictions of apostasy refer to them, and not to the Roman Pontiff.
It is dogma that the Church is indefectible, therefore, at no time can the Church commit apostasy. And this necessarily means that the false Church of the Antichrist, and any other false Churches at any time in human history, are not the true Church. Neither can it be said that the Roman Pontiff rules the false Church, and the true Church is eclipsed. For it is dogma that each Roman Pontiff has the charism of truth and of never-failing faith. Apostasy, heresy, and idolatry are impossible for any valid Pope. So is it possible then that Pope Francis or some other Pope is invalid? No. For the body of Bishops is indefectible. Therefore, they can never go astray following a false head. Any Roman Pontiff accepted by the body of Bishops is the valid Roman Pontiff, even if his election were illicit or invalid. As soon as the body of Bishops accepts him as Roman Pontiff, he is the valid successor of Peter. For in order that the Church be indefectible, the Pope and the body of Bishops must each and all be indefectible also.
The Antichrist will form a false Church, led by the false prophetess — a woman. For sinful secular society has long clamored for priestesses, women Bishops and a female Pope. The Antichrist obtains the worship of the world by giving them whatever they want. So the false Church is led by the woman prophet who assists the Antichrist. And that false Church openly worships the Antichrist, who will rule over the whole world by sheer political and military power. There is no such person in the world today, nor will there be for many centuries. So it is impossible to support the claim that Pope Francis leads a false Church, or that he is associated with the Antichrist. The body of Bishops can never follow a false Pope.
Trust the Church. Trust each Roman Pontiff. Trust the body of Bishops. Trust the Lord Jesus Christ working through the Roman Pontiffs. Trust the Holy Spirit guiding the Church. Do not trust anyone who attacks Popes, Councils, a large number of Bishops, or the Magisterium itself. Do not trust any person or group who usurp the authority of the Church by telling you, in contradiction to what the Church actually says, that some other doctrine or discipline should be followed instead.
Show your love for Jesus by being obedient to His Church, even when you do not understand or agree. Those who only obey those with whom they agree, only love themselves.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.