Oh boy (said without enthusiasm); now we’re getting down and dirty in the Church.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider quite recently came out in a video calling for the faithful to fast on account of Nancy Pelosi’s sacrilegious communions—not so much for the U.S. Speaker of the House who is consuming her own judgment before God, but more for the Church in Rome which allows this scandal to go unchallenged. In doing so, the good bishop is merely repeating the challenge of St. Paul: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)
Bishop Schneider notes that although Pope Francis did not personally give Pelosi communion after her archbishop Salvatore Cordileone denied such permission, the Vatican is culpable for not having released a strong statement against her ongoing scandalous behavior. Of course we are well aware of Pope Francis’ own non-confrontive position, where he admits that he would never refuse anyone the Eucharist as that would politicize the Sacraments. A priest friend told me today that we need to pray Psalm 5 for the Holy Father.
All of this reminds me years ago of a talk in which American bishops were presented with insights on how to fight Satan strategically, given by the famed Roman exorcist, Father Gabriel Amorth. Fr, Amorth recounts in his book above how, during his talk, one bishop stood up and queried, "why we would want to directly confront the father of lies?" And he replied: “did you just hear yourself? We are already at war with Satan!” I have no idea what that bishop could have meant by his question, but it certainly wasn’t well-discerned in light of Scriptures: "Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand up to him, strong in faith." (1 Peter 5:8-9)
The devils have been at war with God’s creation since their fall, and a quick reference to the revelations of Fatima discloses that the battle is heating up as Satan knows his time to seduce and mislead grows short. Of course, no one knows when the world will end. If I am asked when the world will end, I remind people that it ends when "you" die. Why worry about some indeterminate date when mortality daily confronts each of us?
There is a lot of shallow thinking going on with these "sacramental wars," and Bishop Schneider is correct in bringing us back to the basics, namely, that some evil spirits can only be cast out through prayer and fasting. We are long past due as a people of God tightening our belts and begging for mercy on a sin-ridden world.