Dear OnePeterFive donors, supporters and readers,
I recently watched a robust critique of Archbishop Viganò’s geopolitical analysis by Ukrainian Catholic priest Fr. Jason Charron on the Matt Fradd show. I highlight his critique not because I agree with everything that was said, but because it is an important analysis from an important source. It also gives an occasion for me to reflect on the realities that Catholics are facing now and the backdrop of how we got here.
Our editorial stance is “unite the clans to rebuild Christendom.” I want to review some moments of this effort in the 20th century to give us some context for what we now face. First, we’ll provide a little background about a history of “unite the clans” and then reflect on what Fr. Charron’s commentary can mean for Catholics right now.
When Catholics United for the Truth
When Our Lady of Fatima spoke to the children, she warned all the faithful of the threat of eternal damnation for sins against purity. After the unjust treaty of Versailles ended World War, many of the countries which embraced the free market economics of the American Empire were struck with the First Sexual Revolution.
This was seen especially when Hollywood began in the 1920s to mass produce pornographic movies, which shocked the consciences of Protestants and Catholics alike.
Against this, Catholics in the United States and western Europe formed local chapters of a “Legion of Decency” wherein the faithful bound themselves to boycott these wicked films corrupting the morals of youth. Certain Protestants and Jews joined the lead of the Catholic Church, and this movement actually brought the regime of pornography to its knees, initiating the period in film history known as “the code years” (c. 1934-1964).
The key to this success was in political action by Catholics united against evil and for truth.
It was unity for the sake of truth, rebuilding Christendom.
The enemies of Christ were terrified because nothing could stop a Church united like this against evil.
The Machinations with Vatican II
In the midst of the second Vatican Council, the enemies of Christ made their move.
In particular, it is difficult to overestimate the effect of mass media. The media manipulated the perception of the Council into political categories. The “European Alliance” was billed as “liberal” and the Roman Curia (later the Coetus Internationalis Patrum) was the “conservatives.”
This characterization contains a half-truth, since the northern Europeans were indeed involved with some “progressive” tendencies (although this term is misleading), but the reality is far more complex than that, especially when we consider social questions of the day.
An outstanding example which shows this complexity is Josef Cardinal Frings (labeled as a “progressive”), who was the leader of the Volkswartbund, the German version of the Legion of Decency, fighting against the pornography being pushed in West Germany at the time. So Frings was in fact at the forefront of the fight in western Europe against “progressive” ideas, yet he was considered a “progressive.”
In short, the binary political dichotomy of Vatican II into a liberal/conservative conflict (with the former being “victors” over the latter) is a falsehood historically, spiritually and doctrinally, but it is still repeated even by Catholics.
Nevertheless, the media trick worked, and Catholics quickly divided based on secular political categories, defined in relation to what the mass media said the Council was or was not. The Council itself contained (and introduced) unresolved issues, which continue to plague the Church to this day. But even more than this, these pre-defined categories were able to turn a united front of Catholics against the filth in society into party affiliations quickly manipulated by secular political parties.
Especially after Humanae Vitae of 1968, these political categories successfully divided Catholics, so that the “culture war” was immediately lost as the enemies of Christ pushed pornography through a circle firing squad of Catholics by 1964 with The Pawnbroker, while quickly legalizing contraception, abortion, and then divorce on demand.
The First Sexual Revolution was defeated by a united front of Catholics for the truth.
The Second Sexual Revolution (c. 1968-1973) took advantage of divided Catholics and pushed their agenda in souls and society, and now we are picking up the pieces.
The COVID Takeover
In our post-Sexual revolution era, Catholics are still more divided against each other than united against the enemies of Christ.
This political division among Catholics was quickly seen after the COVID takeover began. In 2020, news began to spread about the virus, and the governments across the world – “Liberal” in name but Marxist in almost everything else – began to seize power and transgress the local liberties of communities. What did Catholics do in response to this?
They quickly divided along their pre-set political categories. (We set aside here any question of the scientific aspects of COVID and focus solely on the political takeover that is undeniable – governments attempted to force their citizens to destroy their own economy and then take the vaccine, frequently against their consciences.)
It was really sad to see, but I’m sure the fallen angels were laughing, moving their puppet government leaders into position to impose Marxist, Masonic, or other globalist conspiracies and “Great Resets.”
It was truly remarkable how easily governments took control and abused local liberties.
But then, something happened.
After two years of this tyranny, the Canadian Uprising showed the world what a united front would do against this takeover. Immediately the movement spread across the world and the globalists were terrified. As our contributing editor Kennedy Hall reported a few days ago for LifeSite, “The Freedom Convoy was wildly successful and we have the convoy to thank for our daily recapturing of freedoms and normalcy. Mandates are dropping, as are fraudulent death tallies of wrongly labeled COVID death.”
The Enemies of Christ Cannot Endure a United Catholic Front
We can fairly characterize the successful Canadian Uprising as in some sense a Catholic defense of subsidiarity. The principles of the Uprising were entirely Catholic, even if their organizers did not realize it. (We must note in passing the Catholic ethos of French-founded Canada is not lost, despite the Quiet Revolution.)
Now what would have happened if, when the COVID takeover began, the Catholic Church immediately led an uprising like the Canadians? What if they united like they did against pornography in the 1930s?
Even if the bishops laid down like they did against the secular governments (probably to get their handouts like before), the laity could have fought for the Mass and against tyranny. If the laity would have arisen and fought for their rights like the Canadians, the COVID tyranny would have ended within a month.
Instead the enemies of Christ were able to confuse us, divide us, and push their own tyranny for two years, destroying economies, destabilizing the lives of families and children, and gaining greater power over individual consciences than ever before.
War: the Greatest Occasion for Media Mind Control
After Russia invaded Ukraine, the media turned all its attention to this conflict. Catholics seem to be falling again into party lines created by governments and media, and abandoning a patient and rational, Catholic analysis of the situation. In general, two views are emerging as dominant: one is pro-NATO, and another is pro-Russia.
Thanks to Putin’s Valdai Speech (which condemned western Marxism), some Catholics see Putin as a Trump figure – very imperfect, yet perhaps providentially used against secular Liberalism? Putin has put in place pro-family policies in Russia and supports the Russian Orthodox Church, which has been experiencing a revival since the fall of Soviet Communism.
On the other side we see the pro-NATO stance, which highlights the fact that Russia never submitted to a “de-Bolshevik-cation” like Germany did with “denazification.” KGB Putin is acting just like the Czars did against Catholics (and the west) or the Soviets did against all dissenters. And now he has invaded a sovereign country, triggering self-defense based on just war theory.
Now we must realize that war is the best occasion for media mind control. War is an extremely complex thing (especially in the modern world), with multiple parties and interests involved, and many hidden factors and machinations that are typically not known for years until after the war ends. Even more than COVID, this war has introduced to the Anglophone world a complex situation with deep roots (going back centuries before the Soviets!) which involves two East Slavic languages (Ukrainian and Russian) not to mention a third factor – Communist China.
On the media narrative, we suggest this commentary from early in the conflict from Eric Sammons:
Viganò and Charron
Here we can come back to the discussion about Archbishop Viganò’s analysis. For this is an occasion to unite the clans for Christendom. His Excellency’s commentary rightly points to the machinations of the enemies of Christ on the occasion of this conflict. No one can deny that our enemies are on the move, and we need to be extremely vigilant of their aims and tactics.
We need to weigh what is said from His Excellency with what is said by this Ukrainian Catholic priest. Please read all of Viganò’s commentary here. Since readers are likely familiar with these comments, I want to simply share some of Fr. Charron’s comments, then point to where we can fight on the same side here.
This is what I appreciate about Fr. Jason Charron’s response to Archbishop Viganò: it comes from a pious man of God who knows both languages and is Ukrainian himself. He does not label Viganò, but rightly praises His Excellency as a godly man who stood against the Third Pornocracy regime in the Vatican when he exposed the McCarrick scandal. Yet his forceful critique of the Archbishop is just as pious and honest.
He addresses the failures of the West against Communism, but does not hold back against Putin either. He speaks like a priest should – not falling into a party line, but speaking prophetically as Archbishop Viganò has tried to do since he began. Moreover, he also does not deny the main concern of His Excellency – that the NATO side is pushing for the globalist regime promoted by means of the COVID crisis.
One of the most important aspects of Fr. Charron’s comments are about his on-the-ground knowledge of the 2014 Coup in Ukraine. We know that the CIA was involved in this, but it is difficult to know (so close to the event and without all the archival documentation) how much it was “orchestrated” by the CIA, as was their other regime changes in other countries. As Dr. Mazza observed last week, the 2014 Coup, even if it was a CIA operation, was supported by the Ukrainian Catholics because no Catholic would wish to be under Moscow. Fr. Charron shared how, for all Putin’s apparent religious enthusiasm, the Ukrainian Catholic Church is banned in Russia.
Thus, if Putin succeeds in a pro-Moscow regime change, he could “liquidate” the Ukrainian Catholic Church – the largest eastern Catholic Church – as the Soviets did before him. He could ban the UGCC just like it’s currently banned in Russia. He could also force unity among the Orthodox churches by banning the Constantinople-supported Ukrainian Orthodox Church – a move that might actually end their schism, but continue the centuries-long domination of the Orthodox Churches by the Czar, as Peter the Great began when he abolished the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate.
Fr. Charron has other critical comments about the situation. He speaks on media bias and the Soros connection. He speaks from a spiritual perspective, saying that the spirit of antichrist is causing the Muhammadans to join and side with the Russians against Ukraine. He comments on the Four Horsemen of God’s wrath, noting that the first is pestilence, i.e. COVID that came “from Pachamama.” And the second is war. At the very end he also comments on the conversion of Russia to the Immaculate Heart.
None of this is to say that I agree with everything Fr. Jason said – I’m not studied enough in the topic to find everything convincing – the point is that the back-and-forth between him and His Excellency is important for Catholics to consider as we analyze this situation as best we can. He also highlights the most important things that Catholics need to unite for at this time. Unite the Clans does not mean we agree on everything, but that we agree on some important essentials so that we can fight on the same side against common enemies. For Trads, this means fighting above all for the ancient Roman Rite. But I suggest in our current conflict there are also certain truths for which to fight.
Where Catholics Can Unite
As he says in the broadcast, Fr. Charron and Mr. Fradd were just in Ukraine last week helping a group of orphans there. All Catholics must unite to support the widows and orphans and all others (on every side) attacked by this war. We direct our readers to this article written by our Ukrainian Catholic contributors telling westerners where to donate.
From this we can formulate the points where Catholics must unite and fight for Christendom:
- United Support for fellow Catholics – the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Russian Greek Catholic Church, and all Latin Rite brethren besides – when one member suffers, we all suffer. And without a doubt, it is the Catholic Church alone which can resolve this conflict and lead the way to oppose errors on every side, like our fathers did in the 1930s and the Canadian Uprising did.
- United Condemnation of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – I have not heard one Catholic, even the pro-Russian side, say that Putin’s invasion is a just war. An unjust war is terror, destruction, mass murder and the multiplication of widows and orphans. Before all else, unjust wars must be opposed with all of our strength and resources. Only after an unjust conflict has been ended can Catholics talk about what to do next.
- United for the Conversion of Russia to the Catholic Faith – even those Catholics who believe that Russia has “converted” (from Communism) as a result of John Paul II’s 1984 Consecration should still be united to promote the Gospel to Russian non-Christians, and the unity of Russian Orthodox Christians in communion with the Holy See. On a more immediate level, this also means turning Russia away from invading Ukraine.
- United for the Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – as we reported last week, this was requested by the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops, and Pope Francis has announced he will do it on the Annunciation. The Novena for this Consecration begins today. As with the former point, you need not fall into a certain “Fatima camp” about the consecration, only that the Ukrainian Bishops have asked this and it cannot but bring good.
The enemies of Christ cannot endure a united Catholic front. Without a doubt, this war will be used by our enemies to push their agenda further. What is their next move? We must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. If we allow the enemies to divide Catholics, they will succeed in their plans in souls and society. We must unite for the truth.
We know that in God’s inscrutable Providence, war is the wrath of God. This does not mean that the aggressors are just and the victims are wicked – nor the other way around. If the wrath of God falls upon us, we may not understand what it means. But we know with certainty that we must repent and call all men to repent. As King David said to the Lord when his people were punished:
It is I; I am he that have sinned, I have done wickedly: these that are the sheep, what have they done? let thy hand, I beseech thee, be turned against me, and against my father’s house (II Kngs. xxiv. 17).
Therefore in Lent let us turn our eyes to Our Lord, Who Himself was punished for our offenses, asking Our Lady of Fatima to obtain for us the grace of true repentance:
T. S. Flanders
Feria Quarta infra Hebd. II Quad.
Photo: Ukraine. CNA.
 First Apparition, May 13, 1917.
 We should note that the enemies were very active in the 1950s, especially with false Psychology and economic movements destroying Catholic ethnic neighborhoods in the United States, but this did not become conspicuous until the 1960s.
 Bishop Barron’s preface to the Word on Fire Vatican II Collection shows this oversimplification very clearly, but unfortunately so does The Biography of Archbishop Lefebvre by Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais. In the historical complexity of the Council, we can identify four main “party groups” – the Northern European liberals (later known through Concilium), the Northern European moderates (later founders of Communio), the Coetus (led in part by Archbishop Lefebvre), and the Eastern Catholic Bishops – and only one of these four groups was indisputably Modernist. We can further distinguish the bishops between east and western European blocs, which is critical to understand the history after the Council, besides the bishops of the Americas, Europe and east Asia.
Timothy Flanders is the editor-in-chief of OnePeterFive. He is the author of City of God versus City of Man: The Battles of the Church from Antiquity to the Present and Introduction to the Holy Bible for Traditional Catholics. His writings have appeared at OnePeterFive and Crisis, as well as in Catholic Family News. In 2019 he founded The Meaning of Catholic, a lay apostolate dedicated to uniting Catholics against the enemies of Holy Church. He holds a degree in classical languages from Grand Valley State University and has done graduate work with the Catholic University of Ukraine. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.