A Special Report
The Apostasy Within the Church Accelerates
by Coralie Graham
The Church is not experiencing great pastoral advances today. Rather it is in decline. This is clearly seen from the statistics and projections of David Barrett, the authentitive compiler of the World Christian Encyclopedia.
The Catholic Church is Losing Rapidly
Catholicism is only growing at 1.5% annual growth rate which is more than ten times less the annual growth rate of the Moslems which is 16%.
According to these trends by the year 2000 the Catholic Church will be surpassed by the Moslems as the world's largest religious body.
But the rate of growth 1.5% shows something even more disturbing: Because the world's population is increasing by more than 1.5% each year, it means that the Church is not even keeping up with population growth.
Is it because married Catholics around the world are contracepting themselves and thereby preventing new children of the Church from being born? Or is it that they are not bringing their children to be baptized? Either way it is a major crisis.
Missions at a Standstill
Furthermore this extremely low growth rate means that the Church's missionary effort in effect is at a standstill. But it is even worse than that!
First we should note that of those who call themselves Catholic, many do not practice their faith. Officially 39% of Europe is still Catholic and 25% of the USA. Yet less than 50% go to Mass each Sunday. In some places it is only 2%.
But that is not all! Latin America, of which almost all the population up to a few years ago was at least nominally Catholic, today is fast losing souls to false religions.
Already 10% of the Latin American population has been deceived out of the Church by the combination of the preachers of other religions while the Catholic clergy in part are being taken over by the Marxists to spread Communism in the guise of liberation theology.
Malachi Martin in his book The Jesuits tells the sad story of how the Jesuits led the way to taking thousands of souls out of the Church into Marxism. They did it through "Liberation Theology" which maintains the use of Catholic terms but gives a Communist meaning and message to them.
In some places the inroads of the Pentecostal sects into Catholic Latin America is even higher. 20% of Guatemala is already Protestantized and 14% of Chile. Puerto Rico which was 93% Catholic 30 years ago at the present rate of its apostasy will be less than 50% Catholic by the year 2000!
In Asia the one Catholic country, the Philippines, about 200,000 souls fall for one or another of the many evangelical sects.
Missions Betrayed from Within
But as bad as all that is, it is not all! The missions have been betrayed from within the Church itself. Various religious orders which traditionally have been entrusted with missionary work have Superiors at or near the top who do not believe in the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation.
Some of them seem to heretically hold that "Outside the Church a person can save his soul." For example, Michael Amaladoss of India, one of the four general assistants of the Society of Jesus openly questions the need for Baptism and the need to proclaim Christ as the only Savior.
To publicly call into question a Dogma of the Faith is to be a heretic or at least suspect of heresy. Yet nothing is done to stop this. We know that it is a Dogma of the Catholic Faith - that the Church has always taught and held - and must hold until the end of time that "In order to be saved one must be a member of the Catholic Church." Outside the Church there is no salvation. And in the Athanasian Creed which goes back to the early Church, we find: "Whosoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith; for unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire he will undoubtedly be lost forever."
It is the teaching of Sacred Scripture that only in the name of Jesus Christ can anyone be saved and Christ has entrusted the job of teaching and baptizing to His Church without which there is no salvation.
Yet these fundamental dogmas have been attacked openly even by writers and priests and religious superiors of some of the most powerful and respected orders.
Pray, pray for the Holy Father. Is John Paul II the Pope referred to in the Third Secret?
Cardinal Tomko is Worried
Cardinal Tomko, appointed by Pope John Paul II as the Prefect of the Roman Congregation in charge of world missionaries, is already concerned and rightfully so. On October 5, 1988, at the International congress on the theology of the missions held at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, he spoke about several theological theories which he believed were responsible for obscuring and even paralyzing the missionary consciousness of the Church.
These theories attacked the fundamental claim of Jesus Christ to be "The Way, the Truth, the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. He who does not believe (in Me) is condemned." Jesus is the sole Savior of all men. There is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ. Yet this truth of the faith is called into question in missionary orders of all places.
Cardinal Tomko sharply criticized Paul Knitter an American who used to be a member of the Divine Word missionary order and who wrote two books which are published in the United States by another Missionary Order, the Maryknoll Fathers (which raises about 35 million dollars from the lay people each year for their so-called "missionary work.")
The two books Knitter published through Maryknoll are titled No Other Name? and The Myth of Christian Uniqueness.
Is it any wonder with books that are openly written and published by "Catholic" authors and publishing houses which apparently doubt and call into question the unique and necessary role for the salvation of souls of Christ and His Church that the Catholic missionary effort is paralyzed and worse.
Bishops Seem Helpless
We should remember that for anyone to call into doubt Catholic Dogmas of the faith is by that fact alone excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Yet the pastors of the Church seem helpless against these attacks on our Church.
"What is taking place today is actually a 'demissionization' of the Catholic Church" says Father Giovanbattista Mondin, the vice rector of the Pontifical Urban University. Mondin says the "suicide of the missions" began at the end of the 1960's. Mondin points out that the theoretical source was Karl Rahner's false thesis of the "anonymous Christian" and "the salvific function of the non-Christian religions."
Father Salvatore Zavarella, the director of the Franciscan Missionary Center in Assisi is aware of the crisis in Catholic missionary work. He says "I certainly hope that the encyclical we are waiting for on missions will be written because the things to clarify in this field are not few and only Rome can do it. There has been a great deal of confusion in these last few years about the idea of mission."
He further states "Today truth is relativized. Theorists insist that mission must be replaced by dialogue or by inculturation. But while we are discussing ecumenism the fundamentalist Protestant churches financed by the United States are moving towards the conquest of Latin America.
"At the same time without us noticing Africa is becoming Moslem with the money of Qadhafi and the wealthier Arab nations. The sad thing is that the secularized mentality has permeated even the men of the Church."
This rapid and accelerating decline of the Catholic Church worldwide reminds us of the third part of the Fatima Secret which Cardinal Ratzinger has read and publicly commented on.
In the light of the spreading Apostasy and dangers to our own faith and salvation it is most important that we reflect on his commentary.
Cardinal Ratzinger, referring to the Third Secret of Fatima said it contains "A radical call for conversion; the absolute importance of history; the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian and therefore of the world. And then the importance of the last events at the end of time."
The Cardinal went on to say, "Conversion and penitence are the essential conditions for salvation."
The Third Secret is meant for our time. Our Lady revealed to Sister Lucy that She wanted it revealed to the Catholic Faithful by 1960. Father Alonso the Archivist of Fatima tells us that the Third Secret also refers to the guilt of the upper hierarchy of the Church for the present day Apostasy going on. Frere Michel further comments on the Third Secret and the Pope. His article"Dramatic Predictions About the Pope" is found in this issue.
We must more than ever pray for the Pope that he save our Church by consecrating Russia and resisting the Modernist Catholics in the missions and in the religious orders who betray their sacred trust.
"Pray, pray a great deal for the Holy Father" Jesus told Sister Lucia of Fatima. We must indeed pray for him. He has many trials and we must help him now more than ever.