Words of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1948):

“[Satan] will set up a counterfeit church which will be the ape of the [Catholic] Church… It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content.”

“We are living in the days of the Apocalypse, the last days of our era. The two great forces – the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of the anti-Christ – are beginning to draw battle lines for the catastrophic contest.”

“The False prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit Church.”

“Christ’s Church the Catholic Church will be one; and the false Prophet will create the other.” - Things Accelerate Toward the End – Prophecy of Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Also, Pope St. Paul VI addressed the faithful in the 1970s stating that the "smoke of Satan has entered the Church".

In addition, St. John Paul II also stated that we are now in the Final Confrontation with the counterfeit Church during his pontificate.

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.

“We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. . . .How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.” - The Final Confrontation

Bicentennial talk given in the United States by the future St. John Paul II, then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Kraków, Poland

In light of the understanding of Blessed Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Pope St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II the Great, what is the COUNTERFEIT CHURCH and what are its' marks?

It seems to me that since the three who identifies the counterfeit church belongs to Vatican II, it would mean that they are speaking of a church that resembles Catholic Faith only but is separated from the Vatican II.

My question is according to Vatican II Church, what is the counterfeit church and what are its marks?

  • 1
    @KenGraham — comments are not for mini answers. That just gets debate going. Only ask for clarifications or suggest improvements to posts, then it will be clear when things get off track. – Caleb Aug 25 '18 at 15:16
  • 4
    Marian — stop using comments to post your opinions. Either edit to improve your posts based on feedback or let it go, topical commentary (especially polemical content) will not be tolerated in comments. – Caleb Aug 25 '18 at 15:17

According to Vatican II Catholicism, what is the counterfeit church and what are its marks?

This can now be answered clearly by the recent developments in the Church Crisis facing the Catholic Church today. From the very words of Pope Francis saying "the real schism is now visible", and followed up by his recent challenged to all the schismatic rigid Rad Trads saying "I am not afraid of schism".

The big story: Pope Francis: ‘I’m not afraid of schism’ “A schism is always an elitist separation stemming from an ideology detached from doctrine,” he said.

In the New York Times, Ross Douthat said there was real division: “The partway-liberalisation of the Francis era has encouraged the Church’s progressives to push further, while many conservatives have been flung into intellectual crisis or a paranoia-flavoured traditionalism.”

What Catholics said

John Allen of Crux noted that “As any Church historian will tell you, the formal sense of a ‘schism’ is a break in communion with the leadership of a church,” carried out by a leader such as a bishop. In that “full-blown sense” the possibility of a schism was “remote”.

At Catholic Culture, Phil Lawler wrote that “As we head into the Amazon synod, there are numerous indications that the Pope and his allies will use the meeting to ram through another set of dramatic changes in Church teaching and discipline. He is willing to break with our fathers in faith.”

The Pope had dismissed critics such as Cardinal Müller, increasing the divisions, he said. “Pope Francis is not afraid of a split in the Church. I am. That’s why I’m afraid of this Pope.” https://catholicherald.co.uk/magazine/the-big-story-pope-francis-im-not-afraid-of-schism/

Also, Pope Francis profound statement speaks about the state of the Catholic Church in America who are the main source and very active state who are well known to attack the dignity of Pope Francis and undermining his papacy. Pope Francis said "I am honoured by American criticism".

Pope Francis to journalist: ‘I am honored that the Americans attack me.’

In this link article it is noteworthy to read the book of Nicolas Senèze author of the book "How America Wants to Change the Pope".

The book describes how a wealthy and often traditionalist sector of the American Catholic church—both clerical and lay—attacks Pope Francis and notes that it is already working, with projects such as the “Red Hat Report,” to ensure that the cardinal elected pope at the next conclave is to its liking. It was clear from the context that Pope Francis was referring specifically to that sector of the U.S. church that is mentioned in the book and not to anyone else.

Mr. Senèze’s book details the opposition to Pope Francis—which Senèze says comes from “a small minority”—including Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop Charles Chaput and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò (the former papal nuncio to the United States), as well as from wealthy lay people like Tim Busch and some U.S. Catholic authors like George Weigel, together with a sector of the U.S. Catholic media. https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2019/09/04/pope-francis-journalist-i-am-honored-americans-attack-me

Other relevant article on Seneze is this link; https://cruxnow.com/pope-in-madagascar/2019/09/04/pope-francis-says-its-an-honor-that-americans-are-attacking-me/

A long-time Vatican reporter from the French Catholic daily, Seneze told the pope that he wanted to explain the roots of American opposition to the Argentine, which has the support of several right-wing news outlets. In his book, Seneze names EWTN, founded by the late Mother Angelica, and Canada-based LifeSiteNews.

More on the book of Seneze;

In his book, Seneze explains the origin of the hostility against Francis in terms of two documents by the pope: Evangelii Gaudium, his first apostolic exhortation and considered the Magna Carta of his pontificate, and Laudato Si, an encyclical letter on the environment originally intended to ensure adoption of the 2015 Paris Agreement pertaining to climate change.

The French journalist argues the ultimate goal of the opposition to Francis from some American quarters is to trigger a conclave to elect a new pope, and to guarantee the election of someone more aligned with their interests and vision of the Church and the world.

One of several initiatives to secure this, according to Seneze, is a project called the Red Hat Report, which the “The Better Church Governance Group” hopes to release by April 2020.

The Red Hat Report claims to be drawing on nearly 100 researchers, academics, investigators, and journalists to investigate every single cardinal elector, with the aim “to hold the hierarchy of the Catholic Church accountable for abuse and corruption, and to develop and support honesty, clarity, and fidelity in Church governance.” https://cruxnow.com/pope-in-madagascar/2019/09/04/pope-francis-says-its-an-honor-that-americans-are-attacking-me/

We can see that there are visible forces and groups whose mission is to oust Pope Francis and undermine his papacy. And this group of people are known as the Conservative Catholics or Traditionalist who are openly criticizing and accusing Pope Francis of spreading and teaching heresies.

So, we are seeing two kinds of Catholic group, one is the Vatican II Church which is called by the Rad Trads as Modernist Church and the other as the Conservative Catholics or the Traditionalist.

We now have a visible Two Catholic Church. And there can only one True Catholic Church and the other definitely is a counterfeit.

How do we know who is the True Catholic Church?

St.Ambrose a Traditionalist Father and Doctor of the Church had left us with a very important words to guide all the catholic faithfuls to know the True Catholic Church.

"Ubi Petrus Ibi Ecclesia, Ibi Deus". (St.Ambrose of Milan)

With this important words the Clan of the Traditionalist who are well known and very vocal in opposing & resisting Pope Francis and very proud in saying "they have the building, we have the faith".

The phrase "they have the building, we have the faith", it speaks of the Vatican II Church may had beed occupied by the Pope but their faith is the 2000 years Traditions & Doctrines of the Church. The Clan of Trads is projecting themselves belonging to the Catholic Church pre-Vatican II era. They are making a distinction that their Catholic Faith is different from the Vatican II Church, and their actions for resistance is justified.

The Clan of Trads particularly Michael Matt and Dr.Marshall are openly promoting the evil attitude of "Recognize and Resist the Pope".

Why is "resisting the Pope" an evil attitude? St.Paul has the answer in his Letter to the Romans;

Romans 13:1-2 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) 13 Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God.

2 Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation.

Before going further to now visible Unity of the Clan of Traditionalist that Michael Matt & Dr.Marshall was promoting in their respective channels (Traditional Catholics Unite the Clans with Michael Matt (Dr Taylor Marshall #229 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcMdpdBY2YQ), it is better to understand first the history of "Recognize and Resistors" where it begins, this will give us a picture that there really is a Two Catholic Church that co-exist post Vatican II, one is the SSPX retaining the Holy Celebration of Mass in Latin and the Vatican II which are inspired to celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass. This Two Catholic Church have a different face as one embraces the Old Tradition & Doctrines pre-Vatican II while the Vatican II Church embraces the Holy Spirit inspiration on the New Evangelization in the Third Millenium.

Getting it Half-right: Sedes and SSPX BY MIKE LEWIS · MARCH 21, 2019 https://wherepeteris.com/getting-it-half-right-sedes-and-sspx/ (Note: this link provide a good information on who embraces the Recognized and Resist and it's origin)

Who are this Clan of Trads who are uniting in opposition to Vatican II Church and claiming too, that they possessed the True Catholic Faith?

They recently come to Rome for a Round Table Discussion to undermine the Pan Amazonian Bishop Synod and attack Pope Francis dignity and painted that the Vatican II Church was already infiltrated by Satan.

Who are this Clan of Trads who claimed they are the True Catholic Church?

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In closing, we can see that we now have Two Catholic Church opposing each other, a perfect description of St.John Paul II description of Final Confrontation when he addressed his speech to America, a very telling place where he made this prophecy.

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.

“We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. . . .How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.”

– Bicentennial talk given in the United States by the future St. John Paul II, then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Kraków, Poland https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2014/06/01/the-final-confrontation/

  • Important Note: We now have Two Catholic Church today, the Round Table Discussion Group gave face to an Old Catholic Church as they dis-associate themselves from the Vatican II Church who according to their group was "deformed" or "infiltrated" by Satan. It would appear that they are a separate "mystical body" not infected nor infiltrated by Satan as they cling to Old Traditions & Doctrines. So, we now have Two Catholic Church one is "infiltrated" and the other mystical body or group remains "pure" by virtue of them holding to Old Traditions & Doctrines but without Peter as they "resist" him. – jong ricafort Nov 5 at 17:47

According to Vatican II Catholicism, what is the counterfeit church and what are its' marks?

Taking the prophecy of Ab.Fulton Sheen;

“[Satan] will set up a counterfeit church which will be the ape of the [Catholic] Church… It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content.”

“Christ’s Church the Catholic Church will be one; and the false Prophet will create the other.”

Here, Ab.Fulton Sheen described the counterfeit church resembling the Catholic Church stating "It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church". This description clearly tells that the Catholic Church will not be fighting the protestant nor other denomination more so other faith and religions who do not professed the Catholic Faith. Ab. Fulton Sheen was talking of a counterfeit church that resembles likeness to the Catholic Church. But since, Ab.Fulton Sheen prophesy this before Vatican II the counterfeit church will resembles the likness of Traditional Catholic Practices and not the New Church Practices promulgated in the Vatican II Council. So, we are looking based on Ab.Fulton Sheen a difference between Vatican II Church vs. counterfeit church that resembles the Traditional Catholic practices or images.

Who are the known opposition that emerges after the Vatican II Council? Based on Church history during the reign of St.Pope Paul VI the one who separated from the Vatican II Church is the SSPX led by Ab.Lefevbre, and from this group emerges the Sedevacantist and other Traditionalist group who openly voice their opposition. But other group like the FSSP are known to have Full Communion with Rome.

The Society of Saint Pius X (Latin: Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X; not to be confused with the Fraternal Society of St. Peter or FSSP), also known as the SSPX, the FSSPX or Lefebvrians, is an international priestly fraternity founded in 1970 by Marcel Lefebvre, the French archbishop of the titular see of Synnada in Phrygia.

The Society is known for rejecting many of the ecclesiastical reforms both influenced or institutionalized by the Second Vatican Council, and maintaining the Tridentine Mass among its followers. The present superior general of the Society is Father Davide Pagliarani, succeeding Bishop Bernard Fellay.[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Saint_Pius_X

The Protestant,other denominations and other faith & religions was invited to observe the Vatican II Council as some of its teaching involves Unity of Faith & Fraternity among the People of God. What emerges as the group who oppose the Vatican II Church is also identified as originally belong to the Catholic Church and later separated themselves and become openly opposing the Vatican II Council teaching and the Vatican II Church Authority. Ab.Marcel Lefevbre initially form a priestly movement under the Authority of Rome but later on committed an act of disobedience by consecrating priest without the consent of Rome. Ab.Lefevbre also openly criticize the Vatican II changes in teaching and accuse St.Pope Paul VI of teaching contrary to Church Tradition & Doctrine. Their conversation was recorded and published last year and from this we can see that Ab.Lefevbre was seeking "autonomy" and wanted to have the freedom away from authority of Diocese even from Rome. He wanted a special treatment which St.Pope Paul VI objected.

We can find a good explanation of SSPX position and St.Pope Paul VI stance on them in this article;

Marcel Lefebvre: Father of Traditionalist Dissent BY MIKE LEWIS · PUBLISHED JUNE 2, 2018 · UPDATED JUNE 2, 2018 https://wherepeteris.com/marcel-lefebvre-father-of-traditionalist-dissent/

St. Pope Paul VI rebuked Ab.Lefebre's open opposition and accusation by this words:

Paul VI response to Ab.Lefevbre's words & behavior againts the Vatican II Council:

“You have judged the Pope as unfaithful to the Faith of which he is supreme guarantor. Perhaps this is the first time in history that this happens. You told the whole world that the Pope has no faith, that he does not believe, that he is modernist, and so on. I must, yes, be humble. But you are in a terrible position. Performing acts, before the world, of extreme gravity.”

“We are the first to deplore excesses. We are the first and the most prompt to look for a remedy. But this remedy can not be found in a challenge to the authority of the Church. I wrote it repeatedly. You did not take my words into account.”

“How can you consider yourselves in communion with Us, when you take a stand against Us, facing the world, to accuse us of unfaithfulness, of the will to destroy the Church?”

“If you are not against the Council, you must adhere to it, to all of its documents.”

“We are a community. We can not allow autonomous behavior to various parties”

“But it is not so, of course, that you contribute to the building up of the Church. Are you aware of what you are doing? Are you conscious that this goes directly against the Church, the Pope, the Ecumenical Council? How do you have the right to judge a Council? A Council, after all, whose decrees, in large part, were signed by you. We must pray and reflect, subordinating everything to Christ and to his Church.”

Connecting this with Pope Benedict XVI addressed describing who becomes the known opposition to the Vatican II Council was described in this Vatican official published document, here's the link;

MEETING WITH THE PARISH PRIESTS AND THE CLERGY OF ROME ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI Paul VI Audience Hall Thursday, 14 February 2013http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2013/february/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20130214_clero-roma.html

Pope Benedict XVI words affirmed the Vatican II Church that was born from the Vatican II Council is the True Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ. And he described the opposition as the Council of Media affiliated with groups known to oppose the Vatican II Council Teaching.

Your Eminence, Dear Brother Bishops and Priests,

For me it is a particular gift of Providence that, before leaving the Petrine ministry, I can once more see my clergy, the clergy of Rome. It is always a great joy to see the living Church, to see how the Church in Rome is alive; there are shepherds here who guide the Lord’s flock in the spirit of the supreme Shepherd. It is a body of clergy that is truly Catholic, universal, in accordance with the essence of the Church of Rome: to bear within itself the universality, the catholicity of all nations, all races, all cultures. At the same time, I am very grateful to the Cardinal Vicar who helps to reawaken, to rediscover vocations in Rome itself, because if Rome, on the one hand, has to be the city of universality, it must also be a city with a strong and robust faith of its own, from which vocations are also born. And I am convinced that, with the Lord’s help, we can find the vocations that he himself gives us, we can guide them, help them to mature, so as to be of service for work in the Lord’s vineyard.

The known opposition who spread confusions on the teaching of the Vatican II Council was described by Pope Benedict XVI as the Council of Media. But Pope Benedict XVI does not stated who are the leaders of this Council of Media or who are the known group Catholics or other faith who funded them to destroy the mission of Vatican II Council to foster Unity among the People of God.

I would now like to add yet a third point: there was the Council of the Fathers – the real Council – but there was also the Council of the media. It was almost a Council apart, and the world perceived the Council through the latter, through the media. Thus, the Council that reached the people with immediate effect was that of the media, not that of the Fathers. And while the Council of the Fathers was conducted within the faith – it was a Council of faith seeking intellectus, seeking to understand itself and seeking to understand the signs of God at that time, seeking to respond to the challenge of God at that time and to find in the word of God a word for today and tomorrow – while all the Council, as I said, moved within the faith, as fides quaerens intellectum, the Council of the journalists, naturally, was not conducted within the faith, but within the categories of today's media, namely apart from faith, with a different hermeneutic. It was a political hermeneutic: for the media, the Council was a political struggle, a power struggle between different trends in the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of those who seemed to them more closely allied with their world. There were those who sought the decentralization of the Church, power for the bishops and then, through the expression "People of God", power for the people, the laity. There was this threefold question: the power of the Pope, which was then transferred to the power of the bishops and the power of all – popular sovereignty. Naturally, for them, this was the part to be approved, to be promulgated, to be favoured. So too with the liturgy: there was no interest in liturgy as an act of faith, but as something where comprehensible things are done, a matter of community activity, something profane. And we know that there was a tendency, not without a certain historical basis, to say: sacrality is a pagan thing, perhaps also a thing of the Old Testament. In the New Testament it matters only that Christ died outside: that is, outside the gates, in the profane world. Sacrality must therefore be abolished, and profanity now spreads to worship: worship is no longer worship, but a community act, with communal participation: participation understood as activity. These translations, trivializations of the idea of the Council, were virulent in the process of putting the liturgical reform into practice; they were born from a vision of the Council detached from its proper key, that of faith. And the same applies to the question of Scripture: Scripture is a book, it is historical, to be treated historically and only historically, and so on.

We know that this Council of the media was accessible to everyone. Therefore, this was the dominant one, the more effective one, and it created so many disasters, so many problems, so much suffering: seminaries closed, convents closed, banal liturgy … and the real Council had difficulty establishing itself and taking shape; the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council. But the real force of the Council was present and, slowly but surely, established itself more and more and became the true force which is also the true reform, the true renewal of the Church. It seems to me that, 50 years after the Council, we see that this virtual Council is broken, is lost, and there now appears the true Council with all its spiritual force. And it is our task, especially in this Year of Faith, on the basis of this Year of Faith, to work so that the true Council, with its power of the Holy Spirit, be accomplished and the Church be truly renewed. Let us hope that that the Lord will assist us. I myself, secluded in prayer, will always be with you and together let us go forward with the Lord in the certainty that the Lord will conquer. Thank you!

In closing, the counterfeit church basing it from Ab.Fulton Sheen description of resembling Catholic Tradition but "but in reverse and emptied of its divine content.” Since it doesn't have a divine element, they can be a good suspect for backing the Council of Media identified and described by Pope Benedict XVI. This Council of Media aiming to destroy the Vatican II Church with the backing of the counterfeit church fit the description of St.John Paul II on the Final Confrontation between the two churches. For us catholic faithful who stayed in the Ark are confident that the Vatican II Church is the True Catholic Church based on the words of Pope Benedict XVI in His addressed to the Clergy about the Church situation during the Vatican II Council. The counterfeit church was using the Council of Media to advance their agenda and based on the information above the counterfeit church resembles Catholic Faith & Tradition but with No Living Magisterium and No Pope.

In addition in the height of the sex scandal when Pope Francis was asked by a journalist who is behind all this, Pope Francis simply told "We know them". Pope Francis called the church critics and enemies who do not have goodwill but only aim to scandalize the Church as "packed of wild dogs" and their leader is the Great Accuser. Here is how Pope Francis described the human cohorts of satan who are known to belong to the Catholic Church but since they are become the tools of Satan they belong to his counterfeit church whose aim is to war, divide & destroy the Vatican II Church.

Pope Francis, however, went beyond a review of the data to expose what he has discerned as the underlying force behind all this: “Today we find ourselves before a manifestation of brazen, aggressive and destructive evil. Behind and within, there is the spirit of evil, which in its pride and in its arrogance considers itself the Lord of the world and thinks that it has triumphed.”

Indeed, he said, “the brutality of this worldwide phenomenon becomes all the more grave and scandalous in the church, for it is utterly incompatible with her moral authority and ethical credibility.” He emphasized the fact that “consecrated persons, chosen by God to guide souls to salvation, let themselves be dominated by their human frailty or sickness and thus become tools of Satan.”https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2019/02/24/pope-francis-calls-all-out-battle-against-evil-sexual-abuse

So the words of Pope Francis affirmed Ab.Fulton Sheed that satan will set-up a counterfeit church infiltrating the Catholic Church and will infect even the Clergy to become his tools.

Pope Benedict XVI leave us with his reassuring and comforting words that the Vatican II Church is the True Catholic Church with these words;


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    I downvoted because this answer is wrong. The Vatican II church has lifted the alleged excommunication of the SSPX bishops; even before that, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos declared that the SSPX is not in schism. Bishop Sheen says the false church will imitate the true one, so it should have at least a pope, and cardinals, and dioceses governed by bishops; the SSPX has none of that. Bishop Sheen speaks of when [the false church's] visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow"; have any traditionalist leaders been in Moscow? – Andreas Blass Mar 28 at 18:42
  • @AndreasBlass How can Vatican lifted an excommunication when it is only "alleged", don;t you think the Vatican based their lifting of excommunication on official documents ordered by St.JP2? The counterfeit will grow in numbers in the end and will take over Rome and will politically appoint their own pope that will become the Antipope. While Vatican II will be reduced and become a small but a pious church as Cardinal Ratzinger predicted. Pope Francis already acknowledge this vision, saying "how I want the church becomes poor and for the poor". – marian agustin Mar 30 at 0:34
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    JP2 alleged that the SSPX bishops were excommunicated latae sententiae. (As far as I know, he did not excommunicate them ferendae sententiae.) Benedict declared that the four bishops who are still alive are no longer excommunicated. As far as I know, he believed the excommunications to have been real. – Andreas Blass Mar 30 at 0:42
  • Andreas how can Pope Benedict lifted an excommunication if he was not properly guided by extraordinary events that had developed by the second disobedience of Ab.Lefevbre. SSPX cannot claimed their interpretation of Canon Law is correct one as it has no force nor binding. Tthe true and binding interpretation belongs to the Supreme Pontiff alone and when St.JP2 excommunicated Ab.Lefevre and his schismatic act it had the force of Heaven backing Him , excommunication is bound not only on earth but in Heaven. So, if one is excommunicated he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. "Unam Sanctam" – marian agustin Mar 30 at 0:55

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