Select Page

Last week, Pope Francis met with DIALOP, a front group which promotes “transversal dialogue” between Christians and Marxists. DIALOP was founded about ten years ago with encouragement from Bergoglio himself.

Putting aside the statement he made of typical Bergoglian bull manure, the meeting begs the question: what dialogue can actual Christians have with Marxists? That Francis meets with them and encourages them in their Marxism is obscene given the long history of Communist persecution of Christians. (Rod Dreher goes into portions of that history but be warned that it’s difficult reading.)

What is it about some “Christians” that they collaborate with Marxists? Given history and today, it is like Jews collaborating with Nazis. Of course, that almost never happens. They are more sensible than Christians that way. Other than George Soros, hardly any Jew is that insane and evil. So why do Christians like Francis “dialogue” with an ideology that has murdered millions of Christians and still persecutes them today?

There is an ancient tradition of interpreting Scripture, particularly the Revelation to St. John, that provides an answer methinks. Tyconius, who influenced St. Augustine among others, saw the church through history as bipartate, one part faithful and the other an evil imposter in league with Satan:

Tyconius’ Exposition [of the Apocalypse], written sometime around A.D. 390,  was the first commentary of its kind on the final book of Sacred Scripture, a commentary that “shaped the Latin reception and interpretation of the Apocalypse for the next eight hundred years.” Tyconius postulates in the Exposition that “there are two cities in the world, one of God and one of the devil, one originating from the abyss, the other from heaven.” However, Tyconius did not regard the world as neatly or conspicuously segregated into those two obvious parts. Rather, he observes that there is an additional bifurcation: “the people of the devil also are divided into two parts, which fight against only one. Because of this, the church is called a ‘third part,’ and the false brothers another third, and the heathen world a third.” Further evidence of this two-fold composition of the people of the devil is seen when Tyconius designates the city of the devil as Babylon. “Babylon…is evil,” Tyconius writes, “whether in the heathen or in false brothers.” For Tyconius, the city of the devil exists both outside the Church and inside the Church – not only among the pagans but also among impostor Christians.

Referring to “false brothers,” Tyconius speaks in the biblical sense, following the example of both Saint Paul and Saint John. Tyconius thus refers to a mysterious presence of evil within salvation history that is seen throughout Sacred Scripture and culminates in the bipartite structure of the Church: she consists of two distinct bodies that co-exist in the same visible institution even though they are diametrically opposed to one another.

But in line with Jesus’ parable of the Wheat and the Tares, telling apart the two opposed parts of the institutional church is problematic, usually impossible, until closer to harvest time . . . until nearer The End. At that time, before the end of this age, there is the Great Apostasy as St. Paul taught (2 Thes. 2:3 ff.) and also Tyconius.[1]

Although I do not presume to be certain that we are in the Great Apostasy, there sure is a lot of obvious and accelerating apostasy going on around here. Each week, it seems, it is becoming more evident who among leaders in the organized church is wheat or tares, who is faithful to Christ and who is in league with Satan. And with Francis being in league with those who persecute the faithful, and with him now persecuting the faithful himself, through suppressing the Traditional Latin Mass, removing faithful bishops and other means, should any doubt remain what side he is on?

Now one can disagree with Tyconius and this humble scholar (although if you disagree too much with Tyconius you may find yourself disagreeing with St. Augustine, too). But there can be no reasonable doubt that apostasy from fake Christians has become more evident and is accelerating even if this is not the final apostasy. [2]

Whether we are in the final falling away or not, we should agree that it is not acceptable for Christian leaders to be in league with Marxism, Nazism and any other evil totalitarian ideology opposed to the Faith and the faithful. One is practically wearing the Mark of the Beast at that point. (I should say here that I include Critical Theory, aka “wokeness”, under Marxism. The subject is too much to go into here but Christopher Rufo well documents that Critical Theory is an intentional variant of Marxism in America’s Cultural Revolution.)

So if and when such evil unfaithfulness is the case with church leaders, how should we respond?
As I wrote here on Stand Firm back in 2020, Dietrich Bonhoeffer showed the way. He opposed mainline German church leaders’ collaboration with the Nazis and did so publicly. And when it was clear repentance was not forthcoming, he cut off fellowship with those “German Christians.”

St. Paul showed the way on the subject of Gentiles being full members of the Church. When St. Peter faltered in this area, Paul “withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” (Gal. 2:11 ff) Quite relevant today, is it not? So much for the supremacy of the Primacy of Peter.

Peter repented, thank God. But some others who presumed to be Christian leaders not only did not repent but went further and taught a false gospel that insisted Gentiles become like Jews and be circumcised to be members of the church. St. Paul not only excommunicated these false teachers but declared them anathema. (Gal. 1: 6-9)

The lines between the faithful and the false may be even clearer today and are becoming more clear and quickly. We not only must not pretend fake Christian leaders are faithful, but we, like St. Paul and Bonhoeffer, should call them out and call them to repentance. And if and when they stiffen their necks and refuse to repent, we should cast them out of our churches. If that’s not possible, then we must at least consider leaving their churches. Although I respect those among Roman Catholics and others who decide to stay and fight, I think Revelation 18:4 applies:

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

That’s what Dietrich Bonhoeffer did. That’s what I did when I left the mainline Presbyterian church decades ago. That’s what most of the Anglican Church in North America did at its formation. We would no longer be “partakers” of the evils of the apostates, either willingly or unwillingly, either directly or indirectly. So we left.

And, sadly, that’s what more and more of the faithful will need to do as this current apostasy deepens and grows even to the point of the Bishop of Rome himself aligning with the totalitarian enemies of God’s people.

My substack has additional thoughts on the Great Apostasy and our response amongst other happy subjects.

[1] I find a recent reconstruction and translation of Tyconius’ Exposition helpful: Francis X. Gumerlock, trans. Tyconius, Exposition of the Apocalypse in the Fathers of the Church series, vol. 134, Catholic University of America Press 2017

[2] By the way, although I do think we are in the Great Apostasy, I suspect it will be a long process, perhaps taking centuries, until the faithful church is small. Hence Jesus’ question, “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on the Earth?” But I do not presume to know.

Share This