By NBF News

Pope Benedict XVI, in continuation of his Final Battle against modernism, has abolished, since July, 2008, the standing of communicants at his papal liturgies. Also, there would no more receiving of the Holy Eucharist in the hand. Traditional Cardinals and Bishops have been reacting in support of these measures and implementing them in their churches, stopping Eucharistic abuses and use of Communion ministers.

A serious war is raging over the Most Precious Blood. Jesus said in Scripture that we must eat His Body and drink His Blood  in order  to have life and be saved (Jn 6:25 - 60), a tough teaching to false believers. Following this adumbration, He confirmed it at the Last Supper that the Holy Eucharist (consecrated bread and wine) are, indeed, His Body and Blood. See also St Paul 's testimony (1 Cor II: 23 - 26) and Luke 24: 13 - 35 on the two components of the Holy Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Pope Benedict has, in his teachings and practice, rejected many modernist practices which tend to vitiate adoration of the Holy Eucharist. He and Cardinals like Okogie of Lagos reject theatre, prancing around the sanctuary by preaching priests, thunderous shouts of Alleluia and Amen, dancing and clapping during Mass and so on. According to Pope Benedict, 'certain powerful forces' ( a mild reference to Freemasonry) are responsible for some of these changes in recent decades which contravene authentic Catholic practices.

My article related to this war in the Church, 'The Persecution of Pope Benedict XVI', Daily Sun, April 26, 2010 , generated a lot of interest from readers. I find it necessary to expand on aspects of the topic in order to clarify matters. The volume of end-time literature is staggering and, personally, over the past fifteen years, apart from three decades of social commentary, I have written six books and pamphlets, weekly newspaper articles in  This Day and The Guardian (1996 - 2000), given lectures nation-wide, edited periodicals and magazines for select Catholic audiences and so on.

In this article, I can only respond generally on the mails received, due to constraints of space, but let all those who worry about erring priests and the Sacraments they administer not worry. The teaching of the Church is that all priests, whether in a state of grace or not, act in personna Christi or in the person of Christ. They are alter Christi (other Christs) for as long as they have been duly ordained by their Local Ordinaries (Bishops). They are legal representatives of Christ acting on behalf of the Church with strictly the faculties received from Bishops who trace their ancestry to the Apostles at the Upper Room. A priest may drop dead and go to Hell after hearing a confession or consecrating the Holy Eucharist. While he must pay dearly and eternally for any mortal sin, the faithful will go his or her way with the full benefits of any administered Sacrament.

The entire battle of the end-time in the Catholic Church is over the Holy Mass and the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist, that is, the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, truly present in the species of bread and wine following consecration at the Holy Mass, is the centre and summit of Christian worship. Without the Holy Eucharist, the Catholic Church would be just like other Christian assemblies. The strategy of the devil is, therefore, to place the Antichrist at the pinnacle of the Temple (the Church) as Prophet  Daniel foresaw in the Old Testament, and to end the daily sacrifice  (of the Mass), Dn. 9:27, Dan 12:11. Our Lord Jesus Christ, citing Daniel, confirmed this in Matt. 24:15, that this appearance of the Awful Horror at the Holy Place would mark the very end of time.

Discerning Catholics realize that these prophecies of Daniel and Jesus have occurred but the dreaded man, the Antichrist, foretold by so many Saints, is yet to appear in person, even though he is very much around. His precursors and foot-soldiers are already resident in the Church through the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement whose members have largely colonized the Church and have been eroding the holiness of the Mass through noise, orchestra music and dancing, marketing and all sorts of infractions in what is supposed to be a sacrifice  par excellence, commemorating the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary as Pope  John Paul warned in his last Encyclical Letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia (2003). The Pope quoted scriptural texts to make it clear that anything outside sacrificial worship at Mass would tantamount to a travesty of sorts.

From the above Encyclical followed the  Redemptionis Sacramentum (2004), a binding legal document issued by the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Chapters 7 and 8 are clear on the integrity of the Holy Eucharist and who may administer it. Only in rare extraordinary circumstances can a non-priest touch it .

The Council of Trent of the  16th Century,relying on Doctors of the Church, such as Saint Thomas Aquinas, made it clear that unconsecrated (un-ordained) hands are forbidden from touching the sacred vessels, such as the Tabernacle ,the chalice,the ciborium and  the paten, bearing the sacred species (the Holy Eucharist in the Sacred Host and the Wine/Blood in the Sacred Chalice). But because of modernist errors, not minding that the Second Vatican Council did not abrogate the Council of Trent, many unconsecrated persons casually enter the Holy Sanctuary to open the Holy Tabernacle, to retrieve the Holy Eucharist for distribution. They cite modernist laws but Christ continues to tell mystics around the world that He would never condone this bold effort by Masons in the hierarchy to demystify the Sacrament of His love.

We cannot touch on all the features of the end-time Catholic Church, but two more may be accommodated, the attitude of the Charismatic to scripture and their reservations about the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today, many Catholics clutch dearly to the Bible as if it is the only source of divine revelation, the clearest sign of Protestant thinking. In his Encyclical Letter, Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason), our very cerebral and indefatigable Holy Father, Pope John Paul II observed that fideism (a form of sentimental, non-reasoning approach to faith) is one of the new waves blowing against Catholicism.

In his own words, 'One currently widespread symptom of this fideistic tendency is a Biblicism which tends to make reading and exegesis of Sacred Scripture the sole criterion of truth. In consequence, the Word of God is identified with Sacred Scripture alone, thus eliminating the doctrine of the Church…' The Holy Father went on to remind these Biblicists that, 'the supreme rule of the Catholic faith derives from the unity which the Spirit has created between Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church in a reciprocity which   means that none of the three can survive without the others'.

Many Catholic Pentecostals (Charismatic) have a false devotion to Mary and this belies their true faith in the Church. The great Mariologist, St. Louis Marie de Montfort foretold that, at the end of time, the devil would attack the Church by raising armies not only through many false churches, but also through devilish agents within the Church itself,  who would question the honour, renown and integrity of the Holy Mother of God. But he wrote, 'The power of Mary over all devils will be particularly outstanding in the last period of time. She will extend the Kingdom of Christ over the idolatrous and the Moslems and there will come a glorious Era in which Mary will be the ruler and Queen of human hearts.'

What irony it will be if Muslims join the Church at the end and get saved, while many long- standing Christians forfeit their salvation for enthroning human wisdom over the divine. What irony indeed. This is partly why St. Bernard warned Christians who rejoice that Jesus is their Lord and Saviour but reject Mary's motherhood. They should be careful because their true father may be the devil and not God, the saint warned. In our country, many Pentecostals honour their pastors' wives and  mothers as mummy, but question Mary's motherhood of all Christians.

Odum writes from Lagos.