Rorate Caeli

Op-Ed - The Great Crisis of the Church: Between the Great Whore and the Woman Clothed with the Sun

Juan Manuel de Prada
ABC (Madrid)
July 3, 2016

(John sees the Great Whore - Illumination, c. 1450)

Numerous are the readers who write me, troubled, some very shaken in their beliefs, others in a state of anguish nearing the loss of faith, begging me to speak up on this or that ecclesiastical insanity. For many years, I offered my naked face so that the enemies of the Faith could strike it; until a certain day on which its supposed guardians started to strike it as well (and with such ferocity!). Presently, I am going through a dark night of the soul of uncertain outcome; due to which, apologizing immensely, I cannot handle the requests of my anguished readers, but rather add myself to their own tribulation. However, I will remind them of a passage of the Scriptures that, in dark moments, one should have present, so that hope shall not die. And these lines shall be the last ones I will dedicate to this heartbreaking matter.

In one of the visions of Revelation is mentioned to us the Great Whore, who "fornicates with the kings of the earth" and "makes drunk they who inhabit the earth with the wine of her whoredom." This Great Whore is the religion that is adulterated, falsified, prostituted, delivered unto the powers of this world; and she is the antithesis of that other woman who appears in Revelation, the delivering Woman clothed with the sun, and crowned with stars, who has to flee to the wilderness, persecuted by the Beast. If the Great Whore represents the religion kneeling before the "kings of the earth", the delivering Woman represents the faithful and martyr religion. These two sides of religion, which are perfectly distinguishable for God, are not always so for men, who frequently confuse one with the other (sometimes out of candor, sometimes out of deceit). And they will only be fully distinguishable on the harvest day, when wheat and tares are separated.

In the meantime, in order to identify this prostituted religion, we have to guide ourselves with the signs that Christ gave us: it is the religion that became salt without savor, it is the religion that keeps silent so that the stones cry out, it is the religion that allows for the "abomination of desolation", adulterating, hiding, and even persecuting the truth. "They will put you out of the synagogues," Christ prophesied, in a last warning to the sailors, "whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God." Evidently, he was not speaking of the persecution decreed by the kings of the earth, but of a much more terrifying persecution -- a great mystery of iniquity -- driven by the Great Whore.

How does the Great Whore fornicate with the kings of the earth? By surrendering to their laws, by compromising with their ideological dictatorship, by keeping silent about their aberrations, by coveting their riches and honors, by clinging to the privileges and sparkles with which they bribed her, in order to have her at their feet: in sum, by placing the powers of this world in the place that belongs to God. And how does she intoxicate the peoples with the wine of her whoredom? By adulterating the Gospel, reducing it to a despicable mush of do-goodism, by muddying the millenary doctrine of the Church, by courting the enemies of the Faith, by disguising as mercy the submission to error, by spreading confusion among the simple people, by condemning to anguish and bewilderment the faithful, whom she even points as enemies before the dumbed-down masses, who will then be able to massacre them more easily. In the end, these faithful will be very few; but, on the other hand, they will be very visible, provoking the hatred of the prostituted religion, that will persecute them all the way to the wilderness: "And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake. But he that shall endure unto the end, he shall be saved."

Meanwhile, God will keep his promises on the permanence and infallibility of his words: "Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass." And this last light will be our only consolation, while the dark night of the soul overwhelms us.