Scandal, the Mystical Catholic Pyramid, and the Mystery of Doctrinal Development

There is no need to inform the reader of the awful tragedy and sorrowful offense that stands before us in this current time of our Church—the terrible and despicable crimes committed against children, adolescents, and young persons as a result of an infusion of enemies into our Church beginning many decades ago. We are in pain, hurt, anguish, anger, and helplessness. To be sure, in part, it seems all that we can do for now is abandon ourselves and the tainted, wounded Church into God’s hands and pray that some sense of justice and healing can come to the poor and scarred victims, their loved ones, and all those who weep with and for them, saying, “Why?!”

Sadly, too, one the great tragedies that emanates from the horror of scandal is not merely the possible loss of salvation (or derivative ages in purgatory) of those giving scandal but also loss of faith in the scandalized. Indeed, scandal is one of the most potent and powerful weapons at the disposal of the apocalyptic dragon: make the legitimate shepherds look bad, or actually bad; that is, gravely disfigure and distort the image of authentic and loving mediated fatherhood in the clergy of the Church so as to cause a rejection of their authority.

This, in fact, can form the historical basis out of which a parallel epic challenge to the Church exists today. More specially, for about the same time that this most diabolical activity of scandal in modern times has been taking place, the Church has had to face a world that largely regards her as dead, a world of the irrational and godless atheism, nihilism and relativism. It is a dark time indeed. And the root of this historical trajectory into the effectively minor apostasy that we now dwell in, once again, goes back to, in any serious inquiry, scandal.

Frankly, the analysis is not difficult. Firstly, in secularism, man is estranged from God, and so has not peace with Him. Yet, man has not peace with God to the degree that he does not accept the Gospel. But, how does man lose the Gospel? Alas, the answer comes forth per the mystical words of the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Our Lord, according to the loving witness of his beloved disciple, Saint John:

John 17:

And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. ...that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me,.

Behold, this mystical text reveals a central mystery of the Eucharist, of communion, of unity: the efficacy of the Gospel in the world is intrinsically bound up with Christian unity. That is, to the degree that Christian unity is ruptured, the world will have difficulty believing on the Son; and to the degree that the world has difficulty believing on the Son, humanity's peace with God will be ruptured; and to the degree that humanity’s peace with God is ruptured, secularism and spiritual darkness engulf the world.

And yet, now, we ask once again, what holds back the serious division of Christians? Alas, none other than the Apostolic College. The binding element that withholds the flood gates of Christian confounding of the message of Christ is the college of bishops, the legitimate successors of the Apostles, those men who succeed the perennial and original witnesses to the life and teachings of Our Divine and Loving Savior. For herein is Christian stability, the guidance of the Spirit into all truth, and the sure mode of interpretation of Scripture, Sacred Tradition, which those same Bishops preserve by the self-same Divine Spirit. Hence, the devil must tear through this great wall of solid veracity to let loose the flurry of locusts that will go out and torture innocent non-Catholic souls with countless and fiery competing doctrines and factions, somehow reminiscent of the fifth trumpet of Apocalypse (Apoc 9, beginning sections), which has been seen by some Catholic scholars as Protestantism. (The Book of Destiny, Fr Kramer, Tan Books, Commentary on Apocalypse 9). And from there, all else follows.

The great moral laxity and scandal of Catholic leadership in the late Middle Ages paved the way for the rejection of such college’s authority and burst forth into the incomprehensible Christian disunity that became the unfathomable catastrophe that was Protestantism. Subsequently, the aftermath of this avalanche corroborates our previous discussion above: the prima causa of the world’s descent away from Christendom and toward the modern age of near total godlessness in the former Christian lands has been, clearly, disillusionment with the Christian division. For, when a message is unbelievably confused, as it was in Protestantism—myriads of competing factions in mass, mutually-conflicting interpretations, hating and betraying one another’s theologies and universally excommunicating one another to perdition—what can we say except that the message will be rejected, or at least the Messenger.

The process continues as this excerpt from a previous article explains [Armageddon and the Kings from the East]:

Moving on, if it was true that there were practically as many forms of Protestantism as there were Protestants, it is equally safe to say that there were practically as many forms of supernaturally dead infidelity as there were supernaturally dead infidels (deists and rationalists). Hence, merely natural religion according to reason, confounded ad infinitum like Protestantism, gave rise to a rejection of even religion itself, and a descent into merely worldly reason, an attempt to find the meaning and solution to human problems purely with reason apart from religious considerations. This eventually paved the way for ideologies and systems of thought that, especially in politics, utterly betrayed even reason and became dark, particularly the diabolical left and right.

More specifically, communism, based on atheism, denied God’s very existence itself, contrary to Vatican I that asserted that reason testifies to God’s existence, and, in addition, proposed a hyper-corporal-works-of-mercy solution to poverty, except one that forcefully and viciously used the state as the instrument of “mercy,” like Judas, who complains that the expensive jar could have been sold for much and given to the poor, yet himself ultimately planning to betray all that is of God, yes, the God-man, in exchange for mere money.

Secondly, Fascism and Nazism seemed to swing to the contrasting scene of the woman with the alabaster jar, the Pharisaical scene, where instead of Judas, a Pharisee complains—judges persons: what kind of persons they are, who they are, and that they are sinners, unworthy of mercy. This implies bigotry, superiority complexes, and judgmentalism. All the more did Nazism exhibit supreme bigotry, where it regarded its own Arian race as supreme over others (Pharisees considered themselves superior to Gentiles, the downtrodden, and the “immoral”), and exploded vile hatred of a “kind” of people, the Jewish People [the Holocaust!]. Nazism was very much a twisted, secular perversion of Pharisaicalism.

Certainly, too, out of these depraved systems of secularism of the early twentieth century, which a pope at the time was lamenting and warning against as a rising threat, two world wars ascended, which were minimally minor Armageddons: in the introductory portion of the film The 13th Day, the narrator, taking on the voice of a young Sister Lucia (eldest Fatima visionary), says mystically of World War I, “the innocence of the world was spent.”

Aimless History?

Now, this is indeed history, and part of the thesis of this article is to look deeper into this history for a more profound probing of meaning and structure. Indeed, liberals tend to believe that history is aimless and without form or structure, for whatever reasons. Is it possible, nonetheless, that the historical trajectory of at least the Church’s doctrinal development has, in fact, a form or structure according to a theological analysis of its major doctrinal history and an analysis of the very sources of Catholic truth themselves? I certainly believe so and would like to present the evidence forthcoming. Where would we start? Allow me to introduce the primary mystical imagery that will form our backdrop, the Catholic “pyramid”!

The Pyramid of the Catholic Sources of Truth

In antiquity, the pyramid was an ominous sign. It shewed forth the continuation of Babel, that blasphemous materialistic grandeur pursued in the place of God and ascending to God that the Lord had vanquished temporarily by confounding the human tongue. More specifically, Egypt, a beast as it were, simply picked up where Babel had left off, only in the form of a single nation and a single tongue, rather than the whole of humanity under one universal tongue. The great worldly wonder and spectacle symbolized the tyranny of pagan man—selfish, polytheistic, and self-deifying—then using God’s only Chosen Ones to build their magnificent edifices, oppressing them in slavery, much like the renewed Babel of Pagan Rome, who persecuted God’s New Chosen Ones in the Incarnate One’s Covenant.

Yet, the beauty of God is that He can take the things that pagans distort and use them for His own holy purposes. Toward that end, what we will now probe is that this frightening spectacle of arrogant materialism has profound analogies for two great holy realities: the wondrous ineffable Mystery of the Trinity and a theology of the hierarchy of sources of Catholic truth in relation to two key characteristics of a source: on the one hand, the degree of truth and reliability of the source and, on the other hand, the evidence for the source as legitimate. This mystical pyramid will involve a probe of the sources of Catholic truth that partially diverges from the traditional way, yet retaining all truth intact. It will be necessary to establish this hierarchy first before forming the spiritual pyramid. For this, we must revisit the historical summary we have.

The Hierarchical Descent

Firstly, let us recap the history we have just discussed; the process went like this, in brief:

  • Bishops and Sacred Tradition: make them look bad, scandal

  • Bishops and Sacred Tradition: completely reject them, clinging only to Scripture, Protestantism

  • Sacred Scripture: reject it and all Supernatural religion because they are confounded: age of solo-ratio, Enlightenment, Deism, Rationalism, French Revolution, Masonry, and so forth, clinging only to Reason

  • Reason: Reject reason and all religious truth, 20th century apostasies: atheism in East, relativism in West

Now, let us in fact back up in salvation history for the Church and look at the whole picture after pagan Rome, which is when primary doctrinal development commenced:

  • Trinity and Incarnation: attack the nature of God as Trinity and Incarnation in the first heresies from approximately 300 – 600 AD, and then supremely in Islam, 650~ AD

  • Supreme Bishop: attack Peter in the Great Schism

  • Bishops and Sacred Tradition: make them look bad, scandal

  • Bishops and Sacred Tradition: completely reject them, clinging only to Scripture, Protestantism

  • Sacred Scripture: reject it and all Supernatural religion because they are confounded: age of solo-ratio, Enlightenment, Deism, Rationalism, French Revolution, Masonry, and so forth, clinging only to Reason

  • Reason: Reject reason and all religious truth, 20th century apostasies: atheism in East, relativism in West

Here, to begin our hierarchy of truth, five sources of truth emerge, as seen above; they are:

  • Trinity and Incarnation

  • Supreme Bishop

  • General Bishops and Sacred Tradition

  • Sacred Scripture

  • Reason

How might we realize this five-fold list above? As follows: when speaking of the sources of Catholic truth, we traditionally think of three sources of truth:

  • Scripture

  • Tradition

  • Magisterium

However, God Himself as Trinity and Incarnation is a source, too, even if He is no longer here in direct, revelatory presence. In fact, this is the ultimate source, non-mediated. Additionally, Reason is a source of truth, since even from natural wisdom, we can know monotheism and natural law in some sense, if even with difficulty in some cases.

Moreover, the Magisterium has two degrees to it: general Apostolic Succession, or the collection of regular Bishops, and then the supreme Apostolic Successor, Peter. Also, Tradition never exists apart from a valid Bishop. Where the valid Bishop is, there also is Tradition. And Tradition is the property of the Bishops, who are its custodian. Therefore, Bishops and Tradition go together always. Hence, a more accurate rendering of the sources of truth is not merely three but five, like the toes of the human foot:

  1. Trinity and Incarnation

  2. Supreme Apostolic Successor

  3. General Apostolic Successors and Sacred Tradition

  4. Sacred Scripture

  5. Reason

This renewed list of five sources rather than merely three, the Traditional way, enables the major steps of doctrinal history to be placed in perspective. From here, the historical journey of doctrine in the Church bears this out completely!

  1. After Pagan Rome, the majority of the primary heresies afflicting the Church until the Schism were mainly attacking God in His special nature as Triune and Incarnate: Arianism, Monophysitism, Monothelytism, Nestorianism, Apollinarism, Pneumatomachianism, Tritheism, and so forth. Too, Islam culminated these: it totally denied the Trinity and Incarnation and, if that were not enough, went on to suggest a revelation beyond Jesus, the Quran, which Arianism, while also denying the Trinity and Incarnation, did not. Too, even the Iconoclastic heresy is an affront to the Incarnate God, since, it involves the interpretation of the First Commandment which is to have no other gods before Him; more specifically, because saints possess the presence of deifying sanctifying grace, saints are in fact divinized, so that sacred images, even images of the saints,, are images of Christ, and hence of God, an Incarnational mystery.

  2. Then, the next great attack was clearly the Great Schism of the East, which assaulted Peter, the supreme apostolic successor, just underneath God.

  3. As for the next great attack, really, in the Middle Ages, Albigensianism or Catharism were minor compared to what was the clear continuing trajectory of the opposition to the Church, the moral fall of the clergy in the late Middle Ages, paving the way for the great assault, the Protestant Rebellion; and lo and behold, the ultimate thing that all Protestants have in common is in contesting the general Bishops and Sacred Tradition, which are just beneath Peter, the supreme Apostolic Successor.

  4. It just keeps going: the Protestants’ confounding of the Scriptures only served to make humanity doubt the veracity of the Bible itself and, in fact, all Divine Revelation, which gave rise to a general climate of solo-ratio, or faith in Reason alone, the natural digression from the Protestants’ counterpart rallying-cry, sola-scriptura (Enlightenment, French Revolution, Masonry, and so forth).

  5. Finally, in the 20th century, even Reason dies, and we have total apostasy, as in atheism in the East [which is irrational since it denies God, who can be known from Reason alone, Vatican I] and relativism and materialism in the West [which is irrational since it denies objective truth].

A Structural and Theological Nature

Now, why have we gone to all this trouble with a source hierarchy and historical analysis? Well, look closer! A definitive decline subsists. In short, each of these steps is rejecting the associated source of Catholic truth, and the sources are decreasing in reliability of truth. That is, as we descend the list from top to bottom, the sources of truth in bold become less reliable in truth as a source when taken by themselves than the ones above. Yet, on the other hand, as we likewise descend, the sources become more evident as legitimate. This will mean that if these sources are arranged on a pyramid, height on the pyramid will represent degree of truth, and width will represent evidence that the source is legitimate. This means, in lesser terms, as you ascend the pyramid, truth increases, but the evidence for the source of truth becomes narrower.
First, let us work out this theology of the pyramid, and then we can show that the Church’s historical doctrinal trajectory has descended the pyramid perfectly. Well will start from the bottom and work upward:

  1. Reason: The weakest source in terms of truth is Reason, since it only gives natural truth, as in basic monotheism and natural law, but it is the most evident source; all men have reason and can plainly see it. No man may excuse himself from seeking out truth with reason. "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God." (Ps 14:1)

  2. Scripture: Scripture is less evident than reason in the world, since only Christians have it in full. For example, the New World Indians only had reason before Europe came to them. Before the Spaniards came to the Aztecs, they did not have Scripture. No savage can ever have Scripture unless it is brought to him. So, again, whereas all men have reason, not all men have Scripture. Scripture is less evident. But it is the most evident source of Revelation. All three forms of Christendom accept the Scriptures. Yet, the Scriptures are also the least reliable source of Revelation by themselves, since they are highly susceptible to misinterpretation without Tradition and Bishops. Protestants only have Scripture, but they are all over the board on truth.

  3. Tradition and Bishops: the evidence for general Apostolic Succession and Oral Tradition is less in the writings of the Fathers than for Scripture. The vast majority of early church father testimony is citing Scripture. Quotes that argue for valid Tradition and Succession from the Apostles are much less. So, again, Tradition and authoritative Apostolic Succession are less evident to humanity than Scripture. But Tradition is far more reliable than Scripture, since it gives the right interpretation. With only Tradition, the Orthodox would still have all their dogmas, even without Scripture. But again, the evidence for Tradition is less than Scripture, hence why only two of the three forms of Christendom accept Tradition, Orthodox and Catholic.

  4. Peter: Quotes in antiquity that speak of Peter's special office of infallibility are far less than general quotes about general Apostolic Succession. Therefore, Peter's special role in Apostolic Succession is less evident than general Bishops, hence why the Orthodox do not accept him. But Peter is even stronger in truth than his other brothers combined, since with Peter, the fullness of truth on earth is known in Catholicism. Hence why the Orthodox are a little bit in error and debate a thousand years of what we know to be certain as dogma.

  5. Finally, the Trinity and Incarnation lies even above Peter, since God is the ultimate source of truth, but those mysteries are so elusive, so hidden!

What we have shown is that as you ascend the pyramid of sources, the truth increases but the evidence for reliability decreases, and down the pyramid, vice versa.

Finally, In light of this, since God’s sources of truth are ordered theologically, and the devil must necessarily work with reality as it is, it is no surprise that the devil is taking pot shots at the lesser evident sources of Catholic truth and moving down to the most evident sources, and, derivatively, at the most reliable sources in terms of truth, down to the least reliable. In that way, truth peels off little by little, like knocking off layers of a pyramid.

A Scriptural Basis: Apocalypse 10

Admittedly, the pyramid is a historical entity in Scripture, and the analogy here holds well, but one can ask, is there something even more pronounced and appropriate? Absolutely! Consider Apocalypse 10, which surely gives us an insight into the mystery of truth:

“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow was on his head, and his face was as the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth.” (Rv 10:1–2)

Now, what does a scroll contain except writing, and what writing is there in the New Covenant except the truth, the Word of God in all its totality? The scroll, therefore, can image the totality of God’s truth and mystery. Moreover, by common Gospel symbolism, we are called to walk in the “Way” which is clearly the “Way [of] Truth”, as in “follow Me.” Hence, that our feet are called to walk the way of truth could be extrapolated to mean, at least on one layer of meaning, that our feet become images of the truth themselves.

Toward that end, the angel bearing in his hand the entire mystery of truth coupled with the vivid symbolism of his feet in alternate environments could easily imply that a mystery of Catholic truth extends into the feet of the angel. Indeed, this will be strikingly appropriate, as follows: note, first, that the strong foot (the right foot, since right, in the biblical theology, means the stronger, as in “and he is seated at the right hand of the Father”) rests on the sea, a weak foundation, and the weak foot, the left foot, rests on the earth, a strong foundation.

Wondrous! Strong sources of truth rest on weaker evidence, and weaker sources of truth rest on stronger evidence, just like our pyramid analogy!

The Crucified Feet: a Visual Analogy on the Human Body

While we are at it, a wondrous secondary addendum can be noted in order that any person may see this mystery visually manifested in their feet, as follows: if the foot images the truth, we note that the foot has five toes. How many sources of truth did we have in the pyramid above? Yes, five. Moreover, when Jesus is crucified, his one foot is placed on top of the other foot, and they are brutally fixated to one another by the nail in such a manner that, effectively, a one-to-one correspondence exists between the five toes of each foot. And lo and behold, if we use the Egyptian model of the human toes, which is where the toes descend in length from the big toe down to the little toe perfectly (and noting anyway that since Jesus is Middle Eastern, this is probably his genetic version), we note that the toes are in opposite pose for the two feet when the two feet are nailed together. That is, on the one foot, the toes fall going in one lateral direction, and on the other foot, the toes rise. Bingo! This perfectly images our theology: as we traverse the five sources of truth, from top to bottom, truth falls, but evidence for legitimacy rises, just like the toes!

Putting it All Together in the Trumpets

To wrap up the arguments, we can see that as Apocalypse 10 is an intermission to the trumpets, and as our previously cited Father Kramer in the Book of Destiny saw the trumpets as moving across Church history following pagan Rome, if it could be established that the same Apocalypse 10 is intended to shed light on how to interpret the trajectory of the trumpets, then the trumpets could image a certain illuminative way for the Church, where her knowledge is increasing but the desolations persist (perhaps the trumpets, though ascending, are a sorrowful scale; “I played you a dirge but you did not weep”). In this way, a more Catholic way to approach the text, in the dimension of spiritual historicism, can be the doctrinal development of the Church. Here, too, the Church can be imaged in the 144,000, those Sealed by God and protected from the harm of the same trumpets. Indeed, Christ in no wise wills His Church to be immune from physical harm throughout the ages. For is not the lot of all Christians, especially Catholic, one of the cross and sufferings? How much more, then, must this Seal of protection be spiritual in nature, and the solution is therein immediate: the forehead covers the mind, and the mind is inseparable from the intellect, and if a Catholic is faithful to the teachings of the Church, assenting in mind and will to her proclamations of veracity, that same person will not suffer spiritual harm in their intellect, for the Church is infallibly guided into the truth. No heresy of falsehood will touch them.

In this way, the Church is moving through history as she proclaims through trumpet blasts her great dogmas and doctrines, and faithful Catholics are protected like above, spiritually, from error; but those who resist her proclamations suffer spiritual harm to the same degree as their error, this harm being imaged in the vivid imagery of the trumpets.

The actual mapping out of the trumpets is beyond the scope of this article but can be made available in a profile.

In conclusion, our theology can possibly assist the reader in providing a Catholic alternative to the treatment of the trumpets of Apocalypse In place of a mere preterism that seems to fall short for a deeper sense of a wondrous book, as I tried to do I a previous article on Armageddon and the East.