Fiction by Serge
Originally posted on byzcath.org
I am not an expert in biblical or approved Catholic prophecy, nor do I play one on TV, but in the spirit of Vladimir Soloviev’s A Short Novel About the Antichrist, Lee Penn’s prediction of 2015 and Bud Macfarlane’s conservative Roman Catholic speculative fiction Pierced by a Sword (sort of like Malachi Martin crossed with Steubenville) here is a try at historical/speculative fiction:
• Britain abandons the pound sterling (£) for the euro.
• Anglican Communion splits, with majority (conservative African and Asian provinces) breaking away from liberal Church of England and US Episcopal Church; minority of Anglicans in America (Anglican Mission in America, American Anglican Council, what’s left of Forward in Faith) join new as-yet-unnamed communion, with its primatial see the archbishopric of Singapore.
• Pope John Paul II dies and is eulogized by the worldwide secular media, though the world continues to ignore his teaching about abortion. Conclave elects relatively young liberal Italian, Pope Paul VII.
• ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate reconcile. The ROCOR sees in the US merge with the existing Patriarchal jurisdiction, with ROCOR’s first hierarch as head. HQ move to Synod at 93rd Street in New York but Metropolitan Laurus’ cathedral is now St Nicholas on 97th Street. Extreme converts defect to splinter group based in Suzdal’, Russia, the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (with whom the Mansonville, Québec group, the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile, have merged).
• Patriarch of Constantinople abandons Istanbul and moves to Athens, causing a diplomatic incident.
• Europe is united as one state.
• Pope Paul VII has ordained women deacons and brought the Catholic communion into the NCC and WCC.
• Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox Church has quit the WCC.
• The Catholic mandatory celibacy rule is lifted everywhere for ordinands, which in practice turns out to be a sop to the Eastern Catholics, whose Orthodox-oriented converts had been moving to Orthodoxy, particularly the OCA and the Antiochian Archdiocese, in recent years.
• Monastic women deacons appear in most Orthodox Churches.
• Pope Paul VII tries to ordain women priests and denies the divinity of Christ ex cathedra, is deposed by a Catholic general council and becomes an antipope, based in Geneva.
• Patriarch Kyrill of Kyiv, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, is elected the first ever non-Roman Pope, head of the whole Catholic communion. Pope Kyrill I remains Byzantine and appoints a cardinal patriarch of the West/head of the Roman Church.
• While Pope Kyrill resumes the decades-long cleanup/restoration of the Catholic communion, excommunicating dissenters, ‘AmChurch’ officially goes into schism as the cardinal archbishop of Los Angeles and scores of bishops, priests and laity join antipope Paul in a new Geneva-based Ecumenical Catholic Church, which is in communion with what is left of the Anglican Communion.
• While all restrictions on the Tridentine Mass are now gone, the main restoration movement in the Roman Church uses authentic texts translated from the Novus Ordo and a revival of much traditional ceremonial with a few Byzantine and conservative Anglican borrowings.
• Bishops of Society of St Pius X along with their churches are reconciled to official Roman Church.
• Russia, Ukraine and Belarus reenter political and ecclesiastical union, Rus’, under Patriarch Alexis III of Moscow. Pope Kyrill is an honored guest at the Moscow ceremony and gives the blessing alongside the Moscow patriarch.
• Orthodoxy in America is reunited into one canonical Church for the first time since 1917. The Greek patriarch (formerly in Istanbul but since 2010 head of all Greek Christians from his see of Athens) and the Antiochian patriarch in Damascus finally approve the transfer of their prosperous American congregations to the new Church, under OCA Metropolitan, now Patriarch Joseph I. The Orthodox Church in America, now recognized as autocephalous by worldwide Orthodoxy, includes ethnic/national/Old Calendar vicar bishops, including for the former Moscow/former ROCOR groups. American Orthodoxy’s patriarchal see: St Nicholas Cathedral in New York.
• Pope Kyrill makes progress in ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox Churches. Catholics adopt Orthodox paschalion, drop filioque. Assyrian Church of the East is in Eucharistic communion with Catholic Church without being absorbed into it.
• Melkite Church enters dual communion with Rome and Antioch.
• Peace declared in Palestine; UN gets credit.
• Rus’ submits to European rule.
• Copts, Ethiopians, Armenians, Assyrians, Jacobites and Malankara reconciled with Orthodoxy at general council in Athens.
• The Ruthenian Church is all but gone in America, reduced to a few ethnic parishes whittled down by death and attrition of generational members to RC and Protestant churches and to secular culture.* There is talk of disestablishing Ruthenian sees and placing the surviving churches under Roman ordinaries. The Ukrainian Catholic Church’s membership dips but there is no threat of extinction largely owing to ethnic loyalties and immigration from Ukraine.
[*I’m not wishing this — heavens, no! This simply reflects sad demographic trends as I understand them.]
• UN declares one world government. Ageing antipope Paul gives the invocation at the ceremony in UN HQ in NY. New restrictions are placed on Church in united Europe and united Américas.
• Paul VII dies of natural causes in Geneva. His successor is Pius XIII.
• Pope Kyrill is assassinated in Rome by gunman with connections to Pius XIII and new world order, not realizing his dream of reconciling orthodox, apostolic Christianity; conclave elects Cardinal Mpozi of Tanzania as Pope Mbebe I.
• A revitalized Rus’ Orthodox population under Patriarch Tikhon II of Moscow revolts against the new world order. The armed forces, with a nuclear arsenal, join the revolt, forming the Legion of St Michael and seizing Moscow and control of Rus’. The world is at war. Nuclear bombs destroy San Francisco and Kyiv before a cease-fire, but there is no real peace.
• Pius XIII, lauded for his ‘peace’ efforts in the recent struggle, is elected president of the new world order by a grateful population and is installed at the new Cathedral of All Faiths in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount. The Antichrist is here.
• The Vatican is destroyed in a terrorist attack. Pope Mbebe I is driven from Rome into exile, rumor has it in Russia.
• Underground somewhere in central Russia, Pope Mbebe, Patriarch Tikhon and the surviving Orthodox patriarchs (those who have not joined the NWO), representing the remaining Christian faithful underground worldwide, meet. Surviving conservative Protestants have two representatives there as observers; these managed to survive the arduous journey.
The Eighth Ecumenical Council begins. The Schism is over.
As the hierarchs concelebrate at a makeshift Holy Table, there is a blinding light, not from nuclear bombs this time...
Recommended Reading: Windswept House: A Vatican Novel by Fr Malachi Martin
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