The final confrontation: Examining the end times through the lens of Fatima and Benedict XVI

The final confrontation: Examining the end times through the lens of Fatima and Benedict XVI by AMarianSoul via Life Site News

It is no easy task to understand the present crisis of evil within the Church, which at times may seem overwhelming.

Benedict XVI has indicated that the theology of Tyconius can assist the Church in understanding how to expose, and ultimately defeat, the evil of “false brethren” who lie hidden within her. Tyconius’ insights overlap in various ways with the message of Fatima. If we consider Benedict’s comments about Fatima in light of the Tyconian theology of the end times, we are offered a unique perspective on the nature of the Church and the antichurch during their final confrontation.

‘The bishops do, under the guise of a gift of the church, what advances the will of the devil.’

– Tyconius, ‘Commentary on the Apocalypse,’ fouth century

‘[T]he Antichrist belongs to the Church, grows in it and with it until the great discessio, which initiates the final revelation.’

– Joseph Ratzinger, ‘Observations on Tyconius’ Concept of the Church,’ 1956

‘It is not possible for the Church to survive if it passively defers the solution of the conflict that tears apart the ‘two-part body’ to the end of time.’

– Giorgio Agamben, ‘The Mystery of Evil: Benedict XVI and the End Times,’ 2013

‘A great theologian’

During his general audience on Wednesday, April 22, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI made a remarkable reference to an obscure ancient Christian writer from North Africa, Tyconius. Even among erudite scholars and Church history buffs, the name of Tyconius is often unfamiliar. If a student ever comes across a reference to Tyconius when studying the Latin Fathers, it is usually in passing, with hardly a second glance.

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By designating Tyconius that April day as “a great theologian” – a Donatist who lived an ascetical life of prayer in the desert and presumably died separated from the Catholic Church[i] – was Benedict hoping that at least some souls, seeking to understand the perplexing trials of the Church during these times, would wonder why? If no one took much notice immediately, was the Holy Father confident that his allusion to Tyconius would serve as a signpost to be detected and more fully comprehended in the future?

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