The “Oratory Catechism” is a question-and-answer book which provides an overview of Catholic dogma and in a special section, “The Christian in the End Times”, describes the current situation of the Church and the Faith. The following will first give a general introduction to the Catechism and then offer a look at the table of contents. The End Times – A Time of Decision In view of the plight of today’s world, every thinking person asks himself unsettling questions: What is happening? What is to become of us? How is all this going to end? Christians must also ask themselves: Have the events about the End Times foretold in Holy Scripture begun to unfold? Are they even already far advanced? The answers to these questions are very important for Christians who desire to follow Jesus and to save their souls. Signs of the End Times Today, fear is one of man’s basic attitudes. He is confronted by facts and events which leave him feeling helpless: e.g., – the threat of an all-out atomic war, which gives rise to the call for peace and security. “It is when people are saying, ‘How quiet and peaceful it is’ that sudden destruction falls on them, as suddenly as labor pains come on a pregnant woman; and there is no escape” (1 Thess 5:3); – the worsening destruction of the environment and, thus, the bedrock of man’s existence; – the prevalence of anti-Christian attitudes and powers which, with the help of modern media, make people more and more submissive; – moral disintegration to such an unimaginable degree: rupture of families, abortion, lies, terror, etc.; – the attempt to usher in a questionable world unity, whether political or religious; – the return of the Jews to Israel as well as the fact that Israel has become a focal point of world politics; – principally, however, the worldwide Great Apostasy (2 Thess 2:3). The Great Apostasy The most striking sign of the approaching End Times is the worldwide Great Apostasy. Tens of thousands of priests and religious have abandoned their calling. Even when the remaining priests want to believe, they have often not noticed that they are propagating false teachings with regard to ecumenism, the Eucharist, and other doctrines. A new kind of church functionary is being trained – one who is estranged from the foundations of Faith and liturgy. Although the upcoming generation is usually still baptized, it no longer knows the true Catholic Faith. Mostly, the new generation lives out a take-your-choice Christianity, i.e. one believes whatever is appealing and one acts on speculations articulated by society and its worldly leaders. Faith is vanishing, almost inconspicuously, even from the minds of the older generations. What has caused the Great Apostasy? The main reason is that the highest offices of the Church have been allowed to be taken over by powers at enmity with the Faith. In this way, false teachers and unbelievers have falsified divine revelation and the teaching of the Holy Church. More and more, the Truth is being trampled into the ground. At the same time, the Holy Church’s means of grace have been almost completely ruined. The insurrection began “officially”, so to speak, with the Second Vatican “Council” (1962 – 1965). New teachings were promulgated which called the core of the Church’s unwavering teaching of the Faith into question. At the same time, all Catholic rites were changed to fit the new false teachings. And with the introduction of the liturgy of Paul VI in 1969, the effects were felt almost immediately throughout the Church: the Church’s teaching of the Faith as well as morals were hit hard. Thus, the Great Apostasy was perpetrated by Rome. The New Rome Since the crisis in Faith has been perpetrated by Rome, then Rome can no longer be the center of the Roman Catholic Church. It has become the center of a new church whose main goal is inter-religious ecumenism. Thus, it is best called the Roman-ecumenical church. The New Rome proclaims a new faith. In subtle but sophisticated ways, this new faith mixes traditional interpretations with false teachings so that most of the faithful are being deceived and those who are still unsure are being compelled to accept the changed ways by the demand to be “obedient”. The New Rome has falsified all the sacraments, either per se or in the accompanying rites. Thus, the faithful are being robbed of the means of grace given them by Christ. The New Rome has publicly performed acts and made regulations deeply affecting and changing the religious consciousness of Catholics. Some of these acts and regulations include: prohibiting the true Holy Mass, introducing an additional altar in a central place of the churches (the eucharistic table), allowing the reception of communion in the hand, changing the Church Year and the Calendar of the Saints, almost completely abolishing the fasting and abstinence commands, elevating the governing bodies in the parishes, dioceses and world church, disbanding Catholic schools, introducing ecumenical services of worship, committing themselves to political and socio-political causes (human rights, anti-racism, the United Nations, etc.). The Church of Jesus Christ must be One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. The presence or absence of these characteristics is evident, first and foremost, in the teaching and in the worship practices. Thus, by looking at its false teachings and falsified sacraments, one can discern that the New Rome is no longer Catholic. Which false teachings are promulgated by the New Rome? Only a few of the most important false teachings are cited here: Ecumenism Ecumenism was originally understood to be the Protestant idea of unifying all Christian denominations. The New Rome has broadened ecumenism to include all religions, even non-Christian ones. Its goal is a unified world religion under its leadership. Thus, the Catholic Church’s claim to be the “pillar and ground of the Truth” (1 Tim 3:15) has been abandoned. For the Catholic Church’s claim to absolute Truth cannot tolerate the counter-claim that truth and salvation are to be found in other confessions and religions as well. The new church is only supposed to be the “Sacrament of Unity”, that is, a means of establishing a unity among Christians, religions and all mankind. This no longer has any relationship whatsoever with a special calling and election of Christians. Modernism According to Modernism, faith is just an encountering and experiencing of God or of the religious community; it does not acknowledge rational assent to revealed Truth. As a result, the concepts of Faith, Revelation and Dogma are rendered vague and obscure, which necessitates that all clear teaching be dissolved. Characteristic of this movement, the Anti-Modernism-Oath, prescribed by Pope Pius X in 1910, was repealed in 1967. Liberalism Liberalism sees in self-glorified human reason the final authority for human behavior and law. Thus, it sets human liberty higher than God’s Commandments. The idea of religious liberty it advocates places the Catholic religion on a par with all false religions and opposes a Christian state. The Doctrine of Universal Salvation According to this false teaching, all people are already saved and will go to heaven. Correspondingly, hell would be empty. Every Christian who reads Holy Scripture knows that this cannot be the case. This false teaching lulls people into a false sense of security so that they no longer, as St. Paul the Apostle says, work out their salvation “in fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). The Doctrine of Adaptation to the World According to this false teaching, the Church is supposed to be accepted by the world, and the Church is supposed to adapt to worldly developments. However, what St. James the Apostle says is in direct contradiction to this: “Adulterers! Do you not realize that love for the world is hatred for God? Anyone who chooses the world for a friend is constituted an enemy of God” (James 4:4). The Doctrine of Mass as a Banquet In this false teaching, the Sacrifice of the Mass is understood as a banquet (a common meal) in which all people are supposed to cultivate brotherly fellowship with one another. This teaching destroys the Sacrifice as the foundation of worshipping God and, thus, the relationship with God as the fundamental human posture. So when Paul VI taught: “The Lord’s Supper of the Mass is the sacred assembly or congregation of the people of God gathered together, with a priest presiding, in order to celebrate the memorial of the Lord”, it was – and is – a denial of the strictly ecclesiastical teaching of the Council of Trent about the Sacrifice of the Mass. Additional grave false teachings include: Pentecostalism (charismatic renewal); the teaching of a “Spiritual Church” in which all churches are realized; the teaching of a Hierarchy of Truths (important and unimportant truths of faith); Liberation Theology; the doctrine of a Humanity in Peace (a “civilization of love” which leads to the kingdom of the Antichrist). All these false teaching are taught by the New Rome either openly or only somewhat disguised. Almost all bishops, theologians and priests of the New Rome are false teachers or totally apostate. Truth no longer has a voice: all Catholic critique is suppressed or disregarded with scorn. Based on the assumption that God and His mystery find their expression in all religions, the inter-religious prayer gathering put on by representatives of all religions in Assisi on October 27, 1986 portrayed this absence of Truth in a horrifying way. According to this view, all religions are said to worship the same God, so their representatives can pray together to the same God. Robbery of the Means of Grace By falsifying the sacramental rites, the New Rome has essentially robbed the faithful of their means of grace. The rites have been so transformed and changed that almost all their effect and validity have been lost. In most of the tabernacles, Christ is no longer present. The following chart gives an overview of this liturgical catastrophe. How could anyone destroy the most holy work of the Church so outrageously? Overview of the new rites (Sacraments) valid dubious highly dubious invalid Baptism x Confirmation x Eucharist (x)* x* Reconciliation x Anointing of the Sick x Anointing of the Sick (vernacular version) x Diaconal Order x Priestly Ordination x Episcopal Consecration x Marriage x *Invalid as regards the new Eucharist Prayers and the Roman Canon in the vernacular, dubious as regards the Roman Canon in the Latin version. What can be concluded from all this? Modern apostasy is apocalyptic. People no longer believe Jesus’ words, and the faithful are only a small remnant. Jesus prepared Christians for the Great Apostasy. One must remember His question: “But when the Son of man comes (again), will he find any faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). The present task is to be vigilant and prepared, as commanded by the Lord. The New Rome is the Babylon of the Apocalypse! Everyone should be ardently concerned with the most important activities entrusted to man: to serve and love God! But that means to follow the Truth! And to flee the seduction of lies! In these days of seduction by the New Rome, every Christian must give an account of how he kept the true Faith until the end. A Catholic Catechism, which can be consulted again and again, can provide decisive help in this task. What is now at stake? At stake these days is the salvation of souls from their destruction! Christians of all confessions must finally wake up and understand the danger. The End Times are a time of probation, the End Times are a time of decision! Only “the love of the truth” can “save” us (2 Thess 2:10).