We bloggers and journalists must be precise in the use of words. Definitions and concepts in language form consciences, and move souls. We must be extremely diligent as wordsmiths.
To say that the Church is experiencing civil war reveals not only a laziness as to the choice of an image, but a misunderstanding as to what is really happening in the Church.
First, the phrase....civil war, civil war. The word civil has to do with citizens, with a particular country, with secular laws and customs. Civil war as a phrase means a political war between factions within a country. The Church is not a country but universal, catholic, embracing all members who live in all the countries of the entire world, (which is why the one world government people hate the Church so much).
There is also a connected idea that civil wars take place between factions which could both be in error. The American Civil War was about state's rights and Abraham Lincoln made it about slavery, which is good, but the states had a right to secede legally, despite the evil of the reason. Lincoln created the big executive branch, setting down principles for the overuse of not only executive powers, but federal power, and so on.
Both sides had some right and some wrong.
The English Civil War, (and there were several), especially the big one based on religion, was fought in an arena where the Catholics were already marginalized and excluded in public affairs. Both sides, the Anglican monarchists and the Puritan commonwealth supporters were, therefore, both in error.
The Church is not in error in this battle and it is a war, but not a civil war
Second, what is happening is rebellion against the Teaching Magisterium of the Church, which includes the foundations of morality from both the Ten Commandments and Christ's own teaching.
Rebellion is not the same as civil war. Rebellion is the sin of pride and arrogance against Truth. This type of rebellion marked the Protestant REVOLT not Reformation. Use words carefully. The Protestant Revolt destroyed Christendom and split the Church into many false congregations which do not meet the definition of "religions" according to Ratzinger in Dominus Iesus.
Rebellion starts in the unseen armies of satan, the great rebel, which brings me to my third point.
What is happening is spiritual warfare, not civil war. The old war of satan against the Church he hates has moved into another stage. This old war, seen again and again in the Church with the struggles against heretics, has entered a crisis stage.
Spiritual warfare must be fought with spiritual power, not with politics. Many years ago, I was speaking with some seminarians who were focused on the politics in the Church. I told them their error was in thinking that Church politics would change hearts and minds. I told them that their job was not political, but spiritual.
They got it.
The Church must stand against the Modernists through work, but also and mostly, the personal holiness and orthodoxy of the clergy, including bishops and cardinals.
We have a few holy cardinals. We have a few holy bishops. Not many, not all.
The laity must be holy. We must pray and fast for those working in the Synod. If we do not, we can expect more chaos.
Prayer and fasting change hearts and minds.
Four, the evil of satan is not equal to the power of God. There is a popular painting showing satan and Jesus arm wrestling. This painting shows a mind-set which is heretical.
Satan is a creature, not equal to God. And, the war has been won, on the Cross, and the Resurrection is the sign of victory. But, the clean-up battles must be fought.
My dad was in the Battle of the Bulge. He took men through Germany on the way to Berlin, conquering every small town and village in between. Both sides knew the Allies had won the war, but the little battles had to be fought for the big prize of Berlin.
This is what we are witnessing. Not a civil war between equals, but the mop-up on the way to the Second Coming of Christ and the New Jerusalem.
Words reflect beliefs.
Not civil war, but spiritual warfare, involving people on earth, the angels of heaven, the evil demons of the air, earth and waters, the saints in heaven who intercede for us on earth.
Not civil war, but rebellion from pride, arrogance, heresy, the lack of belief, and even immorality.
Not civil war, but the biggest battle of all time-the beginning of the tribulation and the final age of martyrs.
The Church will prevail, because we pray, fast, do penance; but primarily because of the wonderful promise of Christ, which I repeat here.