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Fátima e a Paixão da Igreja

O ANTICRISTO SEGUNDO ROBERT HUGH BENSON

Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914) é um dos escritores notáveis que, como John Henry Newman e Gilbert K. Chesterton, se converteram do Anglicanismo ao Catolicismo.

O inglês Benson, que nos seus escritos descreve o apenas iniciado XXº século, via então a decadência do Ocidente e sérias ameaças para o futuro da Igreja.

Qual a nova realidade? O homem tendo atingido grande progresso material e científico, num mundo dominado pela tecnologia, tenderia a programar um grande projeto global.

Seria o triunfo do Humanitarismo, antecipado pelo russo Leão Tolstoi.

Note-se que ao título de «Guerra e paz» do escritor russo, Benson antepõe o «Paz e Guerra» do escrito, na origem um sermão, que segue aqui no original inglês.

Publicou em 1907 um romance destinado a ter grande sucesso; «Lord of the World» («O Senhor do mundo») no qual fez a previsão de um desastroso declino da Fé, não por causa de perseguições cruentas, mas da crise interna à Igreja, vítima do humanitarismo, que como se sabe era a «luz» do modernismo iluminista.

Lord of the world

Para tal «ideologia» a caridade cristã seria substituída pela filantropia e a Fé pela cultura.

O que pensava o escritor católico nos alvores do novo século sobre o futuro da Igreja? Ora, a Europa permanecia no centro do mundo civilizado e refletia toda a própria supremacia desse progresso, nas artes, no espetáculo, no transporte, na economia, etc.

A modernidade parecia garantir a riqueza de viagens, descobertas, segurança e paz.

A última guerra européia remontava a 1870 e não parecia haver outra no horizonte.

Vivia-se a “Belle Epoque” numa prosperidade aparentemente tranqüila e era nesse clima, justamente, que os católicos e o Papa São Pio X não podiam ficar serenos.

E com razão; a Iª Grande Guerra para cancelar o Cristianismo estava às portas.

O mesmo se diga depois dessa hecatombe européia, cujo draconiano tratado de paz foi o estopim para que a Alemanha desencadeasse a revanche com a 2ª Grande Guerra.

No meio tempo, as diversas sociedades conheceram a expansão do regime comunista e do seu socialismo materialista levado às mais extremas conseqüências.

Robert H. Benson em  Outubro de 1912, aos 40 anos

Robert Benson, filho do primaz anglicano Edward White Benson.

Para a Igreja abria-se a era de novas perseguições, mas num clima de fraqueza interna devido à difusão do Modernismo, que minava enormemente a sua influência no mundo. A nova psicologia contribuía, a par de diversos esoterismos gnósticos humanísticos, para atacar o Cristianismo. Prevalecia, como fora previsto, também por Benson, a «religião do sentimento», em que Deus ficaria reduzido às consciências num mundo secularizado dominado pela afirmação do homem que se fez deus na revolução atéia e relativista, quando Deus deixava de ser o centro da existência, cedendo o lugar à humanidade. E o Escritor católico descreve a decadência do Cristianismo minado por essa modernidade.

Seus personagens descrevem a realidade histórica que converge para um novo poder civil e religioso, que inclui a ameaça de um confronto do Ocidente com o Oriente.

Na iminência de uma nova guerra desponta o personagem fascinante e misterioso com seu plano de pacifismo mundialista; um novo messias para o mundo inteiro.

O novo «salvador» prega a «grande fraternidade universal» que dispensa a Religião, mas defende o novo culto: o «espírito do mundo», que substitui a «ilusão» do sobrenatural com a política natural da humanidade, que encontrou o seu profeta!

Eis então que a sociedade ocidental dominada pela «ideologia humanitarista» se dedica a uma cultura de vida hedonista que implica a morte espiritual e o Catolicismo passa a ser apenas tolerado sob controle da nova religião humanitária: da adoração do homem.

Benson imagina uma perseguição cruel dos católicos e Roma arrasada num bombardeio aéreo que mata o Papa e o colégio cardinalício quase por inteiro.

Dois cardeais sobreviventes, porém, fogem para a Terra Santa e conscientes da imediata necessidade de um papa (questão hoje esquecida) promovem um conclave em Nazaré com o Patriarca de Jerusalém, elegendo Franklin, um Papa inglês. Este, com o nome de Silvestre III, inicia a reorganização da Igreja em todo o mundo ao nível de catacumbas.

Conhecido o retorno de um papa em Nazaré, lá são ordenados bombardeamentos.

Aí, quando a causa da Igreja parece humanamente perdida, a Providência intervêm.

O Papa verdadeiro no exílio enfrenta o antipapa e se trava a luta decisiva.

Trata-se do Armagedom, (Harmagedón) a Guerra total entre o Bem e o Mal que ocorrerá no Juízo Final, de acordo com o livro do Apocalipse 16: 14-16.

O recurso à visão apocalíptica não é pessimista, mas de esperança no triunfo divino.

Esse romance se revela surpreendentemente profético para os nossos tempos, quando os próprios clérigos – ditos católicos – imaginam a redução do Cristianismo a uma simples sociologia e moral apartada da metafísica e da teologia, cuja universalidade só serve para fundar uma nova sociedade… mais justa, visto que a Fé pode dividir, enquanto o amor, associado à ciência só poderia unir.

Tal «ideologia», que é a tese maçônica essencial, já neste livro é vista como o lugar de convergência comum entre professores de teologia e filosofia daquele tempo.

É a mentalidade que impera hoje com toda força depois do Vaticano 2.

Por isto o romance que o padre Benson escreveu tem esse cunho profético.

Para isto ideou o personagem de nome di Giuliano Felsenburgh, que encarna o espírito do novo mundo e é, portanto o Anticristo, cujo carisma supera todo sistema político e social com o «partido do humanitarismo».

É a tentação inicial que o homem seja «como Deus», cujo resultado é o domínio do espírito do mundo encarnado sobre as almas.

Foi a percepção de um pastor protestante inglês convertido ao Catolicismo, consciente da invalidade dos sacramentos anglicanos (Papa Leão XIII) e que se fez escritor para glorificar a Igreja e a civilização da Roma católica, com uma visão apologética tão culta e profunda, que previu os males da época sucessiva e porque não, dos anticristos que ocupariam o lugar santo da Igreja.

Tratando, portanto, da resistência e resiliência católica contra os falsos cristos e falsos pastores, a leitura deste grande autor é instrutiva, até nos seus agudos paradoxos.

Os paradoxos do Catolicismo

Aqui temos o início do texto original de uma homilia do Padre Benson de 1913, publicada como capítulo do livro desse título («Paradoxes of Catholicism», Longmans, Green and Co. London, 1923) com o título «Peace and War», que parte das palavras de Jesus:

“Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God” — Mt V. 9.

“Do not think that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace but the sword”  Mt X. 34.

“Bem-aventurados os pacificadores, porque serão chamados filhos de Deus” – Mt V. 9.
“Não pensem que vim trazer paz à terra; não vim trazer paz, mas espada” – Mt X. 34.

“Temos considerado como a chave para os paradoxos do Evangelho e a chave para os Paradoxos do Catolicismo é uma e a mesma – que a Vida que os produz é ao mesmo tempo Divina e Humana. Vamos continuar a considerar como isso resolve os do Catolicismo, especialmente os usados contra nós pelos nossos adversários.”

Depois da arguta dissertação o Autor conclui:

Coragem, então! Nós desejamos a paz acima de todas as coisas – isto é, a Paz de Deus, não a paz que dá o mundo, pois como pode dar, também pode tirar; não a paz que depende da harmonia da natureza com a natureza, mas da natureza com a graça. No entanto, desde que o mundo está dividido em fidelidades; enquanto o mundo, ou um país, ou uma família, ou mesmo uma alma individual se basear sobre princípios naturais divorciados dos divinos, tanto durará o tempo em que para esse mundo, país, família, ou coração humano a religião sobrenatural do catolicismo trará não a paz, mas a espada. E vai fazê-lo até o fim, até a catástrofe final do próprio Armagedom, que fará o mundo tremer. “Eu vim”, grita o Cavaleiro do Cavalo branco, “para trazer de fato a Paz, mas uma paz que o mundo não pode sequer sonhar; uma paz construída sobre os eternos alicerces do próprio Deus, não sobre as areias movediças dos acordos humanos. E até que esta Visão não desponte deve haver guerra; até que a Paz de Deus realmente não desça e seja aceita, até então minhas vestes precisam ser salpicadas de sangue e minha boca proferir: “não a paz, mas a espada de dois gumes”.

Segue o original inglês.

PEACE AND WAR

Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. — MATT. V. 9.

Do not think that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace but the sword. — MATT. X. 34.

We have considered how the key to the Paradoxes of the Gospel and the key to the Paradoxes of Catholicism is one and the same — that the Life that produces them is at once Divine and Human. Let us go on to consider how this resolves those of Catholicism, especially those charged against us by our adversaries.

For we live in a day when Catholicism is no longer considered by intelligent men to be too evidently absurd to be argued with. Definite reasons are given by those who stand outside our borders for the attitude they maintain; definite accusations are made which must either be allowed or refuted.

Now those who stand without the walls of the City of Peace know nothing, it is true, of the life that its citizens lead within, nothing of the harmony and consolation that Catholicism alone can give. Yet of certain points, it may be, in the large outlines of that city against the sky, of the place it occupies in the world, of its wide effect upon human life in general, it may very well be that these detached observers may know more than the devout who dwell at peace within. Let us, then, consider their reflections not necessarily as wholly false; it may be that they have caught glimpses which we have missed and relations which either we take too much for granted or have failed altogether to see. It may be that these accusations will turn out to be our credentials in disguise.

I. Every world-religion, we are told, worthy of the name has as its principal object and its chief claim to consideration its establishing or its fostering of peace among men. Supremely this was so in the first days of Christianity. It was this that its great prophet predicted of its work when its Divine Founder should come on earth. Nature shall recover its lost harmony and the dissensions of men shall cease when He, the Prince of Peace, shall approach. The very beasts shall lie down together in amity, the lion and the lamb and the leopard and the kid. Further, it was the Message of Peace that the angels proclaimed over His cradle in Bethlehem; it was the Gift of Peace which He Himself promised to His disciples; it was the Peace of God which passeth knowledge to which the great Apostle com­mended his converts. This then, we are told, is of the very essence of Christianity; this is the supreme benediction on the peacemakers that they shall be called the children of God.

Yet, when we turn to Catholicism, we are bidden to see in it not a gatherer but a scatterer, not the daughter of peace but the mother of disunion. Is there a single tormented country in Europe to-day, it is rhetorically demanded, that does not owe at least part of its misery to the claims of Catholicism? What is it but Catholicism that lies at the heart of the divided allegiance of France, of the miseries of Portugal, and of the dissensions of Italy? Look back through history and you will find the same tale everywhere. What was it that dis­turbed the politics of England so often from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, and tore her in two in the sixteenth, but the determined resistance of an adolescent nation to the tyranny of Rome? What lay behind the religious wars of Europe, behind the fires of Smith- field, the rack of Elizabeth, and the blood of St. Barthol­omew’s Day but this intolerant and intolerable religion which would come to no terms even with the most reasonable of its adversaries? It is impossible, of course, altogether to apportion blame, to say that in each several instance it was the Catholic that was the aggressor; but at least it is true to say that it was Catholic principles that were the occasion and Catholic claims the unhappy cause of all this incalculable flood of human misery.

How singularly unlike, then, we are told, is this religion of dissension to the religion of Jesus Christ, of all these dogmatic and disciplinary claims and assertions to the meekness of the Poor Man of Nazareth! If true Christianity is anywhere in the world to-day it is not among such as these that it lies hid; rather it must be sought among the gentle humanitarians of our own and every country — men who strive for peace at all cost, men whose principal virtues are those of toleration and charity, men who, if any, have earned the beatitude of being called the children of God.

II. We turn to the Life of Jesus Christ from the Life of Catholicism, and at first indeed it does seem as if the contrast were justified. We cannot deny our critic’s charges; every one of his historical assertions is true: it is indeed true that Catholicism has been the occasion of more bloodshedding than has any of the ambitions or jealousies of man.

And it is, further, true that Jesus Christ pronounced this benediction; that He bade His followers seek after peace, and that He commended them, in the very climax of His exaltation, to the Peace which He alone could bestow.

Yet, when we look closer, the case is not so simple. For, first, what was, as a matter of fact, the direct im­mediate effect of the Life and Personality of Jesus Christ upon the society in which He lived but this very dissension, this very bloodshedding and misery that are charged against His Church? It was precisely on this account that He was given into the hands of Pilate. He stirreth up the people. He makes Himself a King. He is a contentious demagogue, a disloyal citizen, a danger to the Roman Peace.

And indeed there seem to have been excuses for these charges. It was not the language of a modem “humanitarian,” of the modem tolerant “Christian,” that fell from the Divine Lips of Jesus Christ. Go and tell that fox, He cries of the ruler of His people. O you whited sepulchres full of dead men’s bones! You vipers! You hypocrites 1 This is the language He uses to the representatives of Israel’s religion. Is this the kind of talk that we hear from modem leaders of religious thought? Would such language as this be tolerated for a moment from the humanitarian Christian pulpits of to-day? Is it possible to imagine more inflammatory speech, more “unchristian sentiments,” as they would be called to­day, than those words uttered by none other but the Divine Founder of Christianity? What of that amazing scene when He threw the furniture about the temple courts?

And as for the effect of such words and methods, our Lord Himself is quite explicit. “Make no mistake,” He cries to the modem humanitarian who claims alone to represent Him. “Make no mistake. I am not come to bring peace at any price; there are worse things than war and bloodshed. I am come to bring not peace but a sword. I am come to divide families, not to unite them; to rend kingdoms, not to knit them up; I am come to set mother against daughter and daughter against mother; I am come not to establish universal toleration, but universal Truth.”

What, then, is the reconciliation of the Paradox? In what sense can it be possible that the effect of the Personality of the Prince of Peace, and therefore the effect of His Church, in spite of their claims to be the friends of peace, should be not peace, but the sword?

III. Now (I) the Catholic Church is a Human Society. She is constituted, that is to say, of hu­man beings; she depends, humanly speaking, upon human circumstances; she can be assaulted, weakened, and disarmed by human enemies. She dwells in the midst of human society, and it is with human society that she has to deal.

Now if she were not human — if she were merely a Divine Society, a far-off city in the heavens, a future distant ideal to which human society is approximating, there would be no conflict at all. She would never meet in a face-to-face shock the passions and antagonisms of men; she could suppress, now and again, her Counsels of Perfection, her calls to a higher life, if it were not that these are vital and present principles which she is bound to propagate among men.

And again, if she were merely human, there would be no conflict. If she were merely ascended from below, merely the result of the finest religious thought of the world, the high-water mark of spiritual attainment, again she could compromise, could suppress, could be silent.

But she is both human and divine, and therefore her warfare is certain and inevitable. For she dwells in the midst of the kingdoms of this world, and these are constituted, at any rate at the present day, on wholly human bases. Statesmen and kings, at the present day, do not found their policies upon supernatural considerations; their object is to govern their subjects, to promote the peace and union of their subjects, to make war, if need be, on behalf of the peace of their subjects, wholly on natural grounds. Commerce, finance, agriculture, education in the things of this world, science, art, exploration — human activities generally — these, in their purely natural aspect, are the objects of nearly all modem statesmanship. Our rulers are professedly, in their public capacity, neither for religion nor against it; religion is a private matter for the individual, and governments stand aside — or at any rate profess to do so.

And it is in this kind of world, in this fashion of human society, that the Catholic Church, in virtue of her humanity, is bound to dwell. She too is a kingdom, though not of this world, yet in it.

(2) For she is also Divine. Her message contains, that is to say, a number of supernatural principles revealed to her by God; she is supernaturally constituted; she rests on a supernatural basis; she is not organized as if this world were all. On the contrary she puts the kingdom of God definitely first and the kingdoms of the world definitely second; the Peace of God first and the harmony of men second.

Therefore she is bound, when her supernatural principles clash with human natural principles, to be the occasion of disunion. Her marriage laws, as a single example, are at conflict with the marriage laws of the majority of modem States. It is of no use to tell her to modify these principles; it would be to tell her to cease to be supernatural, to cease to be herself. How can she modify what she believes to be her Divine Message?

Again, since she is organized on a supernatural basis, there are supernatural elements in her own constitution which she can no more modify than her dogmas. Recently, in France, she was offered the kingdom of this world if she would do so; it was proposed to her that she actually retain her own wealth, her churches and her houses, and yield up her principle of spiritual appeal to the Vicar of Christ. If she had been but human, how evident would have been her duty! How inevitable that she should modify her constitution in accordance with human ideas and preserve her property intact! And how entirely impossible such a bargain must be for a Society that is divine as well as human!

Take courage then! We desire peace above all things — that is to say, the Peace of God, not that peace which the world, since it can give it, can also take away; not that peace which depends on the harmony of nature with nature, but of nature with grace.

Yet, so long as the world is divided in allegiance; so long as the world, or a country, or a family, or even an individual soul bases itself upon natural principles divorced from divine, so long to that world, that country, that family, and that human heart will the supernatural religion of Catholicism bring not peace, but a sword. And it will do so to the end, up to the final world- shattering catastrophe of Armageddon itself.

“I come,” cries the Rider on the White Horse, “to bring Peace indeed, but a peace of which the world cannot even dream; a peace built upon the eternal foundations of God Himself, not upon the shifting sands of human agreement. And until that Vision dawns there must be war; until God’s Peace descends indeed and is accepted, till then My Garments must be splashed in blood and from My Mouth comes forth not peace, but a two-edged sword.”

2 Respostas para “O ANTICRISTO SEGUNDO ROBERT HUGH BENSON

  1. Pingback: DO CATOLICISMO EMPALHADO AO TRADICIONALISMO EMPULHADO « Pro Roma Mariana

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