The Orthodox Roman Catholic

Whoever 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. Creed of St Athanasius


A presentation given at the 1990 National Meeting of the Institute on Religious Life…
"I believe the breakdown of religious life in the Western world is a phenomenon that is unique in the history of Christianity. There have been, since the last half of this century more departures from Catholicism, more closing of Catholic churches, more dioceses that have been secularized than ever before in the history of Christianity. We are living in the most deeply de-Catholicized age of Christianity.

"The United States has been one of the main victims. In general we may say the more academically e
ducated, the more wealthy and the richer in this world’s goods a nation was, the greater has been the departure from Jesus Christ. Only God knows what the future will be, but judging by the last five hundred years, there has been a far-reaching breakdown of authentic Christianity. It began, of course, with the rise of Protestantism, originated by a Catholic priest and a member of a religious order.

"In the Catholic Church we have seen the most widespread breakdown of the priesthood and authentic consecrated life. In my thirty-third year of working for the Holy See --just a few things I can share with you. The Holy See seriously wonders how much of the Catholic Church will survive in wealthy prosperous nations of the Western world like our own. What then is the remedy? There is only one way which the revolution can be reversed--and it had better be reversed. Professed Catholics who call themselves Christians must reexamine their faith. We must be sure we believe that God became man in the Person of Jesus Christ. We must believe that when God became man He instituted the Holy Eucharist. We must believe that the consecrated life--of consecrated poverty, consecrated chastity, constant obedience is most pleasing to Jesus Christ. When God became man He made sure He lived a life, I repeat, of consecrated chastity, obedience and poverty. What I want to share with you is that not only religious life, but the Catholic Church will be preserved only where there are--hear it—
Catholics who are living martyrs, do you hear me?

Ordinary Catholics will not survive this revolution. They must be Catholics who are thoroughly convinced that God became Man in the person of Jesus. They must be convinced there is only one supreme authority on earth: the authority of Jesus Christ vested in the Vicar of Christ. What the Church needs, desperately needs, is strong believing Catholics. Otherwise, one nation after another, like our own will be wiped out as a Christian country.

"Lord Jesus, we beg you, strengthen our faith in your divinity, even our conviction that You are God Who became Man to live a consecrated life to teach us what authentic honest-to-God Catholicism is all about. Protect us, Dear Lord, from the widespread mania which has penetrated countries like ours. It is not coincidental we have lost most of the religious in the United States. Dear Lord, how we need a deep faith, the faith of martyrs today, because only those who are convinced that to live a consecrated life means to live a martyr’s life. Dear Lord we are not together here unless we believe You, Jesus , are our God. But help us, we beg You, to become more and more like You--living examples of what the early Church showed the pagan world: that you are our God and we are Your creatures, born in this world to convert a pagan world to Christianity."

Fr John Hardon