The spirit of the Antichrist in distorted pacifism, environmentalism, and ecumenism

The spirit of the Antichrist in distorted pacifism, environmentalism, and ecumenism

Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, this year’s preacher of the papal Lenten retreat, said this week that excesses of ecumenism and a tendency to downplay Christ’s sacrifice are signs of the Antichrist.

In a meditation preached during the Lenten Retreat for Vatican leaders this week, the outspoken Italian cardinal cited the vision of the Russian philosopher Vladimir Soloviev. “The Antichrist presents himself as a pacifist, ecologist, and ecumenist,” he said.

Cardinal Biffi decried the tendency of some Catholics to promote vague spiritual goals, rather than stressing the centrality of Christ’s Sacrifice.

Gosh, how many times have you heard someone say, “I’m not religious. I’m spiritual,” as if somehow it was better to have some vague notions of God while ignoring the His salvific message in the Gospel. Interesting also that “ecologist” is one of those signs of the Antichrist, considering my post the other day about the “global-warming religion” that seems to have sprung up. So many people act like pantheists, divinizing nature and the planet, almost to the point of worship. What is the Antichrist is not an attempt to divert us from the legitimate worship of God by distorting a good—in this case, respect for nature—into an evil.

Keep in mind two things. First, Biffi was not saying that there is one individual—or even a conspiracy of individuals—that are Antichrist in the way that Protestant apocalyptic literature often has it, e.g. the “Left Behind” books. I think he’s referring to the work of the Devil in the world, always trying to divert our attention from Christ, using different means in different eras. In the past, it took another form, but today it’s materialism, a distorted pacifism, an excessive ecumenism, and an enviro-pantheism. Second, this is not an official policy statement or universal teaching being promulgated to all the faithful, nor is it necessarily Pope Benedict’s view. This is Cardinal Biffi’s personal opinion. Of course, Pope Benedict could be in agreement with the cardinal too. Try not to make more (or less) of it than it is.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli