The visionaries were informed at Garabandal that communism would be widespread at the time that the Warning occurs. But this information came to them from the Virgin Mary in Heaven. Mary speaks to us from Heaven in a heavenly manner, giving spiritual values their proper place above temporal values. Therefore, I would interpret her words from a spiritual point of view. It is not political communism that will be widespread at the time of the Warning, but spiritual communism.
Spiritual communism is a kind of false equality which denies different roles for men and women, denies different roles for ordained and non-ordained persons, denies different roles for deacons versus priests versus bishops, denies that there are absolute truths (all opinions are said to be equal or are treated as if equal), denies different roles based on age, denies different roles based on the will of God for each person. Instead, spiritual communism promotes the idea that anyone can take any role, according to whatever pleases them, and that all opinions are of equal value. This idea denigrates the distinctions between human persons and denigrates the will of God based on those distinctions. It denies the fittingness of roles given to persons based on differences in gender, age, state of life, and ability. It also gives incorrect or false opinions the same standing as truth. It is a false equality, a false claim of fairness. This is spiritual communism. And it is already widespread.
Also, if we examine the state of the world today, it is clear to many persons that the tribulation is imminent. And yet political communism is not poised to immerse the world in a major war, such as would fit the Bible’s description of the first horseman (and first seal) of the apocalypse. Instead, radical Islam is threatening the world, the Christians nations of the West, and the nation of Israel. Many people do not realize that Nazi terrorism was one of the preludes to World War 2. Similarly, terrorism by Muslim extremists is a prelude to World War 3.
So it is not political communism that threatens the world today. Mary was not saying that political communism would be widespread at the time of the Warning, but rather spiritual communism. She was warning us about that spiritual communism, which is already widespread in secular society, and also widespread among many members of the Church on earth.
In my view, the wars that occur during the first part of the tribulation are not related to political communism. At Garabandal, when the Virgin Mary was asked about the fears at that time (in the early 1960’s) of a world war between the superpowers (U.S., Soviet Union, China), she answered that there would be no such world war. A world war based on the conflict between communism and democracy does not occur during the first part of the tribulation. Instead, the two major wars of that time are based on the conflict between Christianity and extremist Islam, between Western culture and Arab/Muslim culture.
I believe that the Warning will occur just before the start of the tribulation, for sin and spiritual communism are already widespread. The Warning, Consolation, and Miracle refresh and strengthen the souls of the faithful, to prepare them for the afflictions of the tribulation. But the many souls who refuse to repent, or who soon relapse into old sins, will be filled with fear and desperation in response to these three great blessings.
Then the start of the tribulation increases the fear and desperation of unrepentant sinners. But instead of turning to God and to His Church for guidance, they increase their own sinfulness. This will include an increase in their insistence on the false equality called spiritual communism, and an attempt to blame religion for the sufferings of the tribulation.
Many persons will break away from the Catholic Church, and even try to form their own false church, one that incorporates this false equality by approving of women priests, and by denigrating the role of the Bishops and priests over the laity. This event is part of the great apostasy; it is partly caused by spiritual communism among Catholics. They refuse to acknowledge the Pope and the Magisterium of the Church as their teacher. For they think that all ideas and opinions are of equal value, and that their own decisions on matters of faith and morals should be considered equal to the definitive teachings of the Church.
The visionaries of Garabandal, when speaking of spiritual communism, described both the time leading up to the Warning and the time following the Warning, in the early years of the tribulation:
Mari Loli: “It would look like the communists have taken over the whole world and it would be very hard to practice the religion, for priests to say Mass or for the people to open the doors of the churches.” [Garabandal magazine, special edition, ‘The Warning and the Miracle,’ p. 15.]
In my interpretation, this refers to spiritual communism, not political communism. This affliction of the spread of spiritual communism begins prior to the Warning, in fact it is already widespread in the world. But as the great apostasy unfolds, the effects on the Church will worsen. The great apostasy begins before the Warning, and worsens afterward. Only after the tribulation begins will it be so bad as to make it difficult for priests to say Mass or for a church to remain open.
The first wave of departures from the Church, as part of the great apostasy occurs prior to the Warning. Then many conservatives will depart from the Church, in reaction to the true teachings of Pope Francis (in 2015). These departures will cause confusion within many of the more conservative parishes, but few parishes will shut down or join the schism. Most Catholics and most parishes will not depart from the Church at that time.
When the Warning occurs, a second wave of Catholics will depart from the Church. Those Catholics who refuse to repent of their sins in response to the Warning will react by departing from the Church. To continue as members of the Church without repenting will be too difficult for them, as they will correctly understand that the Church rebukes sinners for their unrepentant sins.
The Warning certainly brings many Catholics to a sincere and full repentance. Those Catholics who repent include already faithful Catholics, minimally practicing Catholics, practicing Catholics who had been unrepentant from certain sins, and even many non-practicing Catholics. So one reaction to the Warning will be a renewal of faith in Catholicism. But not all Catholics will accept the offer to repent. And many who refuse to repent will depart from the Church, resulting in this second wave of departures in the great apostasy.
Finally, after the Warning and Miracle, the afflictions of the tribulation begin. Then the next conservative Pope (the Pope after Pope Francis) will offend liberal Catholics by teaching the truth. The combination of severe afflictions of the tribulation and a rebuke of sin by the Pope will result in a third wave of Catholics leaving the Church, completing the great apostasy.
The Catholic faith will be hard to practice because so many priests and laypersons will have left the Faith. Many parishes will have no priest and few parishioners, and so they will be forced to close. Most dioceses will not have enough money to continue their usual operations, due to a vast decrease in Mass attendance; they will have to lay off staff and cut back on services. In some churches, the priest and the parishioners will have broken away from the Catholic Church entirely. In some dioceses, the bishop himself will break away from the Church. As a result, it will be hard for the remaining priests to say Mass, and hard for the remaining faithful to practice the faith.
The above text is an excerpt from my book:
The Warning, Consolation, and Miracle in 2016
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