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March 30, 2009

Pope John Paul II on the Coming Battle for Truth

We are, today, [standing] before the greatest combat that mankind has ever seen. I do not believe that the Christian community has completely understood it.

We are, today, [standing] before the final struggle between the Church and the anti-Church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel.

— Cardinal Karol Wojtila, November 9, 1976

Archbishop Sheen on the Coming Battle for Truth

The world is rapidly being divided into two camps, the comradeship of anti-Christ and the brotherhood of Christ. The lines between these two are being drawn.

How long the battle will be, we know not.

Whether swords will have to be unsheathed, we know not.

Whether blood will have to be shed, we know not.

Whether it be an armed conflict, we know not.

But in a conflict between truth and darkness, truth cannot lose.

— Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Three Views of the Future

Suddenly, it's 100 years from now—the late 21st century. You can see the Catholic Church's condition as it could be when your great-grandchildren are adults. What will it be like?

These three fictional scenarios reveal what we Catholics can do today to avoid grave difficulties down the road. If you think the age of martyrs has long since passed, think again. The future of the Church might well be dangerous, bloody, and grim, or it could be one of glorious serenity and holiness, or it could be something quite different altogether.

The following "documents" present scenarios for the Church as it might become a hundred years from now. The author wishes to point out to the reader that, given the complexity of factors in the present world, many other situations could develop. But the following suggest three which are not beyond the realm of possibility.

The first: The Catholic Church is undergoing a worldwide persecution, during which the strengths of the Body of Christ are in full flower under conditions of extreme stress.

The second: A worst-case scenario, in which the Church, especially in North America and Europe, has been largely compromised, has grown lukewarm and has made a false peace with the
spiritus mundi.

The third: After a delay of a century, a grace period brought about by the "New Evangelization" of Pope John Paul II, the Church has succeeded in bringing the gospel to the entire world. However, once again the secular order has begun to degenerate into universal materialism. The Church, having made many gains and suffered some losses, now faces a situation strikingly similar to that of the late 20th century. ( Continue reading.