Are you one of those Catholics who are fed up? Are you fed up with corruption and heresy in the Catholic Church, unrest and turmoil in our society, Catholic priests and bishops who seem to condone immorality and participate in it themselves? Members of the hierarchy who are in cahoots with secular powers?
If you are, do you regularly partake of the blogs and websites that focus on the problems? Maybe you like to watch Taylor Marshall’s videos in which he dwells on the corruption and compromise at the Vatican. It could be you tune in regularly to Michael Voris’ Church Militant website, LifeSite News, the Remnant or some other outlet that focuses on the terrible “signs of the times”. Sometimes a steady diet of this material leads one into conspiracy theories, far fetched end times prophecies and supposedly supernatural signs and wonders that link with Marian apparitions, portents and whisperings of doom.
I follow some of this content from time to time and I am increasingly weary of the whole long parade of doom dealers. Yes the faith is under attack from without and corruption and betrayal from within. Thus it has always been since Judas betrayed the Lord and Peter denied him.
Therefore I do not debate with the doom merchants. They too have their role in the great drama. The prophetic role has been an important part of the history of the people of God. Let them speak out. Let them call out the corruption and sin if that is their vocation.
However, I do notice a couple of things: First, the doom merchants have discovered a deep well from which to draw. This is the everlastingly rich well of human fear and self righteousness. The doom merchants invariably criticize other people who are the terrible sinners and who are about to bring about God’s chastisement. It is almost as if they are looking forward to the chastisement. Secondly, this well of fear and self righteousness is the gift that keeps on giving. I realize from the modest income I receive through my Donor Subscribers, that the “Big guys” who have hundreds of thousands of YouTube views and thousands of monthly subscribers that there is a substantial amount of cash rolling in–and this money flow is totally unregulated or monitored. I realize that those who run these ministries have families to support and payroll to meet. I really don’t mind if they have a substantial revenue stream. However, this fact does mean they have a real motivation to keep throwing red meat to their audience.
This pot stirring and “resistance” is part of contemporary church life and, as I’ve said, the prophetic voice is a necessary one. All I would ask readers is, “Does a steady and unrelenting diet of scandal, controversy, complaint and focus on problems help y0u spiritually? When you come away from reading the latest juicy story of bad priests, corrupt prelates or heretical bishops do you feel it has helped you draw closer to Jesus and Mary? Has it encouraged your life of prayer, your enthusiasm for the corporal works of mercy and your love for God and your neighbor?”
It is possible that the prophets of doom are merely stirring the pot for their own advantage and that they are spreading malicious rumors, gossip and innuendo. I encourage you to pray more, draw closer to the Lord and pray for discernment in your online life.
Finally, one of the tests I always recommend when being hit with some juicy tidbit of church gossip–the latest scandal or conspiracy– is “so what are you going to do about it?”
If the bad news helps you turn to the Lord saying, “Lord Jesus Christ Son of the Living God, Have Mercy on Me a Sinner”–and helps you to determine not to be like those who have shipwrecked their faith, then that’s a good thing. If there is any other response in your heart than that…if for example you end up dwelling on the problems and losing your peace about things that are probably beyond your power to address, then I suggest your time dipping into the cauldron of corruption was time wasted.