Fr Ray Blake has published a few prescient quotations from deceased Cardinal Giacomo Biffi (1928-2015) on his blog that could be seen as describing pretty aptly the current ideology in the Vatican, infiltrated by enemies of the Cross and the true faith.
“… the Antichrist presents himself as a pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist. He … seeks the consensus of all the Christian confessions, conceding something to each one.”
“The crowds follow him, except for tiny groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. Chased by the Antichrist, they tell him, ‘You have given us everything except for the one thing that interests us, Jesus Christ,'”
“Today, in fact, we run the risk of having a Christianity that puts Jesus with his cross and resurrection into parentheses,”
“There also are relative values such as solidarity, love for peace and respect for nature. If these are given an absolute value or uprooted from or placed in opposition to the proclamation of the fact of salvation, then they become the basis for idolatry and are obstacles on the path to salvation.”
We are adding a few more insightful quotes from Cdl. Biffi on other topics of interest:
- “The ideology of homosexuality – as often happens to ideologies when they become aggressive and end up being politically triumphant – becomes a threat to our legitimate autonomy of thought: those who do not share it risk condemnation to a kind of cultural and social marginalization. Catholics must prepare for persecution by homosexual activists and their allies.”
- “The Italian government should favour Catholic immigrants to offset the number of Muslim immigrants to protect Italy’s national identity. … Muslims—the vast majority of them, with few exceptions—come here determined to remain foreign to our ‘humanity’ whether individual or in groups, in what is most essential to it, most precious and most secularly indispensable: more or less openly they come to us determined to remain substantially ‘different,’ in the expectation of substantially remaking us into something similar to them.”
- “In order to bring a bit of clarity to the confusion that afflicts Christianity in our time, one must first distinguish very carefully between the conciliar event and the ecclesial climate that followed. They are two different phenomena, and require distinct treatment.
Paul VI sincerely believed in Vatican Council II, and in its positive relevance for Christianity as a whole. He was one of its decisive protagonists, attentively following its work and discussions on a daily basis, helping it to overcome the recurrent difficulties in its path.
He expected that, by virtue of the joint effort of all the bishops together with the successor of Peter, a blessed age of increased vitality and of exceptional fecundity must immediately benefit and gladden the Church.
Instead, the “postcouncil,” in many of its manifestations, concerned and disappointed him. So he revealed his distress with admirable candor; and the impassioned lucidity of his expressions struck all believers, or at least those whose vision had not been clouded over by ideology. On June 29, 1972, on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, speaking off the cuff, he said:
“I have the sensation that through some fissure, the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God. There is doubt, uncertainty, trouble, disquiet, dissatisfaction, confrontation. The Church is not trusted . . . It was believed that after the Council there would be a day of sunshine for the history of the Church. What has come instead is a day of clouds, of darkness, of seeking, of uncertainty . . . We believe that something preternatural (the devil) has come into the world to disturb, to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council and to prevent the Church from bursting into a hymn of joy for having regained full awareness of itself.”
“These are painful and severe words that deserve painstaking reflection. How could it have happened that from the legitimate pronouncements and texts of Vatican II, a season followed that was so different and distant?“ said Cardinal Biffi.
Europe’s inevitable showdown
In an interview at the beginning of the 1990s Cardinal Biffi was asked with what he termed “enviable optimism”: “Are you among those who think that either Europe will be Christian or it will not be at all?” His answer:
- “I think that either Europe reverts back to being Christian or it will be Muslim.It seems to me that what actually has no future is the “culture of nothingness,” which appears to be vastly predominant among the people of Europe, rich in means and poor in truth: a content-free and limitless freedom, a skepticism boasted of as if it were an intellectual accomplishment. “
- “This “culture of nothingness” (supported by hedonism and by libertarian insatiability) will not be capable of withstanding the ideological assault of Islam, which is bound to come: only the rediscovery of the Christian event as man’s only salvation—and therefore a decisive resurrection of the ancient soul of Europe—can offer a different outcome to this inevitable showdown.Unfortunately, neither the “humanists” nor the “Catholics” seem to realize the tragedy that is unfolding. The secularists with their relentless action against the Church do not realize that they are fighting against the strongest inspirer and the most valid defense of Western civilization and its values of rationality and liberty. When they do realize it, it may be too late. “Catholics,” by letting the awareness of the truths they possess fade away within themselves and by replacing apostolic concern with pure and simple dialogue at all costs, are unconsciously preparing their own extinction. My hope is that the seriousness of the situation may at some point lead to an effective reawakening both of reason and of the bygone faith.”
All things are possible for God
Finally, in order to comfort those who fear a decline or even a disappearance of Christianity in the world, and to demonstrate that God “can always turn in favour of believers situations that appear desperate,” Biffi gives the example of the appointment of Ambrose as bishop of Milan in 374:
- “After the twenty-year episcopacy of Auxentius, a man of polluted faith, in league with the Arian empress Justina and a docile instrument of court meddling in the life of the ‘holy nation’, humanly speaking no one would have bet a dime on the revival of Milanese Catholicism. But then came Ambrose, and everything changed. ‘After the late death of Auxentius’, St. Jerome writes in his ‘Chronicon’, Ambrose became bishop of Milan, and all of Italy returned to the true faith’.”
Let us pray earnestly with sincere and hopeful hearts to Our Father in Heaven, following in the footsteps of this faithful Prince of the Church, that one day the pope and the whole Vatican – currently preaching and acting in ways that confuse and disorientate and so often fly in the face of Christ’s Word and the timeless teaching of the Church – will likewise “return to the true faith”.
[See CNA’s obituary of Cardinal Biffi: “Catholics in Bologna mourn Cardinal Biffi, a humorous, plain-spoken preacher”.]