Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
The Final Campaign Against The Saviour
Fr. Vincent Miceli, S.J.
Sophia Institute Press
Father Vincent Miceli was a great Catholic priest who helped so many of us some decades ago when the Modernists were in control within large sections of the Church. He was a Jesuit priest for many years until he was booted out in 1982 by the liberals who had taken over the order. It is surely time for him to be re-discovered, in the same way that his great friend Dietrich Von Hildebrand has been.
This book is not a work of sensation. It is serious and sober. The coming of the Antichrist at a time of great apostasy is a teaching of the Catholic Church. The author looks at what Sacred Scripture and the Church Fathers have to say about the Antichrist. This is followed by a Chapter on the Antichrist in Mediaeval thought.
The Antichrist will be one person. However there have been "types" of the Antichrist, both persons and movements, over the centuries. The author examines some of the "modern shadows" of the Antichrist. Modernism, for example, saw itself as a humanitarian movement that aimed to eliminate God from society. The author identifies the Abbe Loisy, founder of Modernism, as an "intellectual precursor" of the Antichrist. There were various philosophical precursors that led to Modernism. The nineteenth century philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach wanted to "change the friends of God into the friends of man." Religion was to be transformed into the rights of man. God is nothing more than a psychological need of human nature. He greatly influenced Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche, who proclaimed that God is dead, was another forerunner of the Antichrist, says the author. The socialist philosopher and anarchism's most influential theorist, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, invited the Catholic Church to preach a revolutionary morality. How much we have listened to him! The Church, he proclaimed, needs to be desacralised. Miceli believes that this "Proudhonian perfume" has spread inside the Church since the early sixties in particular. In contrast to Feuerbach, Karl Marx had no time for transforming religion into the realms of politics. Religion needs to be abolished, he said, because it is a drug that keeps people enslaved in destitution. Liberation for Freud, Herbert Marcuse and Wilhelm Reich was not economic. Freud taught that man needed to be liberated from sexual repression. Reich became the Father of the Sexual Revolution. Marcuse saw the long march through the institutions as the only effective way to spread the revolution. Miceli names Freud, Reich and Marcuse as "intellectual shades of the Antichrist."
Unsurprisingly, Miceli sees Hitler as a forerunner of the Antichrist, who will be the ultimate dictator. Stalin and Mao are among the bloodiest forerunners of the Antichrist.
The spirit of the Antichrist is inside the Church. Miceli sees it in the Catholic universities that refuse to heed Catholic doctrine. Like Judas, they have colluded with the enemy in an act of betrayal. Their leaders have set themselves up as rivals of the Church and are thus "playing the role of the Antichrist." Father Miceli rather courageously criticized the Jesuit-run Georgetown University for its promotion of values opposed to Catholic teaching. Little wonder the Jesuits wanted him out.
Then there is the promotion of the "New Christianity," which is nothing more than the old Modernism. According to the New Christianity, all doctrines evolve. The true meaning of the Gospel is economic, not spiritual. Only the poor and their socialist champions really understand the Gospel. The Church is not other-worldly but just part of the world. Or, as a Jesuit priest put it, "Christ was a kind of Palestinian Che Guevara."
My favourite chapter is entitled "Newman and the Antichrist." Cardinal Newman gave four sermons on the Antichrist, based on the teachings of Scripture and his beloved Church Fathers: Times of the Antichrist, The Religion of the Antichrist, The City of Antichrist and The Persecution of Antichrist. To a certain extent, Father Miceli's book reads like an expanded version of Newman's sermons.
I think Father Miceli would have appreciated being compared favourably with Newman. A brilliant book from a brilliant man, a true spiritual son of St Ignatius of Loyola.