O'Sullvan's Law is as close to prophetic as worldly wisdom can be.
John O'Sullivan is a conservative journalist who has been involved with, among other enterprises, National Review. He is most famous, however, for one short, easy-to-understand sentence that has become known as O'Sullivan's Law.
"All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing."
The popes of the latter part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th intuited this law, or, more likely, were inspired by the Holy Spirit when they began to mobilize the Church against a new heresy. This heresy came to be known as Modernism. This is not the first time the Bear has written about Modernism. You can read about it here.
Modernism is the "synthesis of all heresies," according to St. Pope Pius X. The mother of all heresies, according to the Bear.
Once an organization ceases to be fundamentally and actively conservative, it is simply a matter of flipping the switches in the machinery of that organization from "conservative" to "liberal," one by one. Large organizations take time, but it is as inevitable as death.
Once the Church started to turn her face away from heaven and toward the world -- and, sad to say, every day brings new evidence that this is happening -- it is just a matter of time. The faithful are like heirs living off the dwindling legacy from their ancestors. Once they were rich, but now they are just keeping up appearances, and, soon, even that will be too much. Their hopes are pathetically small: a mass without too much impiety; keeping perhaps one of their children in the Church; a pope who doesn't upset them more than once or twice a month.
To use a biblical metaphor, they are straining to hear the shepherd's voice, but there are only fading echoes.
Sooner or later, a crisis will reveal what people have known in their hearts all along: the unthinkable has happened. The Church of the West is no more.
But what about the "gates of hell not prevailing" against the Church? "Gates" never came after anybody. The Church should be minding her own gates and not worrying about an external threat. You don't march against the enemy's gates (the more probable meaning of the saying) until you have disposed of the Fifth Column in your capital.
So what happens then? The Bear doesn't know. Maybe he'll go all Jeremiah, if that's what God wants. He'll probably hang on to illusions and let his children and grandchildren deal with it. Boomers did not make this problem, but they didn't fix it, either, although the Bear doesn't know what they could have done. Hindsight is 20/20, and who could have envisioned the Church of the 50s being demolished in a few short decades?
O'Sullivan's Law was written for secular institutions. Perhaps it will not apply to the Church. Perhaps we have looked into the abyss and all but the most evil-hearted and cowardly will shrink back and throw the pirates off the Barque of Peter. More likely, something will happen that will force a decision while the pirates remain in control. The post-Christian era will become the post-Church era. The Bear doesn't know how or when that will happen, or what he will do, but he has faith that when the time comes for action, we will all know beyond a doubt.
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