Dear fellow disciples,
Although I wrote about this in my book, A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward, I want to make sure that we don’t miss what Archbishop Fulton Sheen revealed to us many years ago about the methods of the anti-Christ. They are so applicable today.
In a remarkable radio address in 1947 titled “The Antichrist: Sign of Our Times,” the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen spoke about the modalities by which the Antichrist will work. Archbishop Sheen – whose cause for canonization is underway – said that the devil is never more powerful than when people think he doesn’t exist. (At the end of this letter, I provide the web address to a remastered, audio version of this sermon for anyone who would like to listen to Archbishop Sheen and the web addresses for two National Catholic Register articles about the sermon.) Indeed, a 2011 report from the Center for Research on the Apostolate (CARA) found that eighty-three percent of Catholics believed that the devil was only a symbol. Archbishop Sheen also reminded us that the devil will certainly not look like a comic book devil but will be disguised as a great humanitarian. In his 1947 address Archbishop Sheen said:
“He [the Antichrist] will write books on the new idea of God to suit the way people live; induce faith in astrology so as to make not the will but the stars responsible for sins; he will explain guilt away psychologically as inhibited eroticism, make men shrink in shame if their fellowmen say they are not broadminded and liberal; he will be so broadminded as to identify tolerance with indifference to right and wrong, truth and error; he will spread the lie that men will never be better until they make society better . . . he will foster more divorces under the disguise that another partner is “vital,” he will increase love for love and decrease love for persons; he will invoke religion to destroy religion; he will even speak of Christ and say that he was the greatest man who ever lived; his mission he will say will be to liberate men from the servitudes of superstition and Fascism, which he will never define. But in the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one; he will not believe in God.”
Recent polls of Catholic thought confirm what Archbishop Sheen forewarned. According to a Pew Research report from October of 2018, thirty-three percent of Catholics believed in astrology, thirty-six percent in reincarnation, and forty-six percent in psychics. Each of these beliefs is entirely contradictory to Church teaching. Additionally, sixty-one percent of Catholics wanted the Church to permit cohabiting couples to receive Communion, sixty-two percent wanted the Church to allow Catholics who are divorced and remarried without an annulment to receive Communion, and forty-six percent wanted the Church to recognize gay/lesbian marriages. And these percentages keep growing. The flock is being carried off by the world, the flesh, and the devil, and yet the shepherds refuse to sound the alarm and cry out the impassioned cry of Peter: “Save yourself from this crooked generation” (Acts 2:40).
Archbishop Sheen continued commenting in his radio address on how the three temptations of Christ in the desert will be repeated:
“The temptation to turn stones into bread as an earthly Messiah will become the temptation to sell freedom for security, as bread became a political weapon, and only those who think his way may eat. . . [The Antichrist] wants no proclamation of immutable principles from the lofty heights of a Church, but mass organization through propaganda. . . Opinions, not truths, commentators not teachers, Gallup polls not principles, nature not grace – and to these golden calves will men toss themselves from their Christ . . . to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a city of man without a city of God, or a politics which is a religion.
“It breaks down all national boundaries, laughs down patriotism, dispenses men from piety to country . . . makes men proud not that they are Americans, French, or British, but members of a revolutionary class.”
Today, the Archbishop might add the revolutionary class, Silicon Valley, and the global elite to his description of those under the spiritual influence of the Antichrist. Sheen saw the Antichrist setting up a counter-Church, “which will be the ape of the Church because, he the devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the anti-Christ that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ.”
Archbishop Sheen predicted people flocking to accept the counter-Church that promises to unite people in a world brotherhood. He foresaw people lonely and desperate but not wanting to humble themselves and adore the one true God. People turning away from the meaning in life they once found in the true Church.
“Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world. The great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on,” Archbishop Sheen said. “From now on, the struggle will be . . . for the souls of men.” He saw a great division taking place, people dividing into two different religions as absolutes, “the God Who became man and the man who makes himself God; brothers in Christ and comrades in anti-Christ.”
It is good for us to remember that Satan inspired mankind’s original turning from God and spurred mankind’s drive for autonomy and knowledge apart from God. He continues to inspire the human race’s rebellion against God, a rebellion visible in many contemporary forms. In a series of videos on our YouTube channel, Peter Herbeck and I are trying to raise the alarm that a real spiritual war is going on, give insight into the deceptions of the devil, and, at the same time, provide great hope in the power and love of Christ to overcome Satan’s attacks if we simply stay connected to Christ!
Thank you for the lives you are living, the prayers you are saying, and your support for us in our mission as well.
Your brother in Christ,
For your reference:
Listen to the original recording of “The Antichrist: Signs of Our Times by Venerable Fulton Sheen” on Virgo Sacrata at https://www.virgosacrata.com/antichrist-signs-of-our-times.html.
See also Joseph Pronechen’s article, “Fulton Sheen’s Clear Warning about the Anti-Christ,” National Catholic Register, February 10, 2019, https://www.ncregister.com/blog/joseph-pronechen/fulton-sheens-view-of-the-anti-christ.
See also Joseph Pronechen’s article, “Did Fulton Sheen Prophesy about These Times?” National Catholic Register, September 20, 2019, https://www.ncregister.com/blog/joseph-pronechen/did-fulton-sheen-prophecy-about-these-times.