Until today, the darkest period in the history of the Catholic Church, resulting not from popular heresy (e.g. Arianism, Protestantism) but, rather, from the determination of a corrupted priesthood and an episcopacy that was distancing itself from the needs of the laity, occurred during the ninth and tenth centuries. The bright spark that began turning the tide in that dark age of clerical pride was the establishment of the Benedictine monastery at Cluny, by William “the Pious”, the Duke of Aquitaine in France.
It has been well argued and argued well that the social system of Feudalism helped to save medieval Europe. In this system, there were four classes of people – the ruling monarchs (the crown) class that controlled all the land and assets of his kingdom, the barons or nobles who swore an oath of loyalty to the ruling monarch and leased land from him in exchange for the right to establish his own legal system, currency and tax scheme, the knights/vassals who were loyal to the baron and leased land from him in exchange for the right to rule his own sub-kingdom where the fourth class of people, the serfs/peasants/villeins, who lived and worked at the service of the lord of the manor in exchange for protection.
Within this social system of Feudalism, the bishops and abbots of monasteries were treated as vassals, because they controlled large tracts and land and even Castles. They also exercised the right to tax and administer the law to the serfs/peasants/villeins who lived and worked on their land. Depending upon the strength of their king, some of these bishops and abbots could be very independent of the pope and more loyal to their king than the pope.
Yet, this assumed loyalty was not enough for the ruling class. Their desire to only have bishops who were faithful to them and their interests gave birth to the right of lay-investiture in which, prior to his consecration, a king or prince would invest the man elected bishop with the symbols of his office – a ring (symbolising the bishop’s marriage with his church and the crosier) and a shepherd’s crook (symbolizing that he was the spiritual shepherd). Afterward, the bishop was then granted by the ruling monarch a benefice – the land of the diocese and the wealth pertaining thereto. Therefore, should a man be elected bishop, but not invested by his monarch; thereby, no benefice, he was not really a bishop within the Feudal system. Within such a concept, it was only natural that the practice of simony (named after Simon Magus – Acts 8:9-24) would come to be, in which the buying and selling of Church offices or privileges for money became very common.
Priests, as well, were participating in this system of benefices and simony, which created an opportunity for a priest to serve not the interest of the People of God, but, rather the lord and be his pawn. Not even the Papacy escaped the consequences of Feudalism. For, many of them also became handpicked pawns of Roman lords and Emperors who cared nothing about the People, but, rather, only their self-interest and the interests of their temporal lord. Just cursory look at some of the characters who served as Bishop of Rome during this period, particularly from Formosus (891) to John XV (996), it doesn’t take long to see how it is a miracle of God that the Catholic Church is still here today. Over the past nearly 2,000 years, it has been a rarity for a Pope to be canonized a Saint, and the Church has had very few saintly Popes. Therefore, do not be alarmed when one comes along who is not.
A new crisis has emerged in the early 21st century Church, where there appears to be a neo-clerical investiture system in place that comes complete with benefice and is not immune to a neo-simony (i.e. sodomy). This new crisis involves not just the Papacy but extends all the way down to seminarians. According to a litany of exposes by Church Militant, reporting by LifeSiteNews, and an alarming report by His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò, it is clear to detect that there is a network of homosexuals in the Church who are handpicking seminarians, priests, bishops, cardinals, and even a pope who shares their ideology.
These men are loyal to each other and their ideology to promote homosexuality within the Catholic Church at any means necessary. In exchange for this blood fellowship, they go to extraordinary measures to protect one another, just as a vassal or knight would protect his baron or king. These men hate the laity and other clerics who do not belong to them. They will bully, blackmail, and destroy anyone who attempts to expose or hinder their agenda.
The gulf between the People of God and many of those who have been called to care for us has not been greater in 1,000 years. Back then we had the rebirth of religious life at Cluny. We did not have the internet. We did not have a secular society in the West that hates God and His Church. We did and do have Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit who are always cleaning up our Church. I do not know what the new reformation of the Church in the West will look like or what form it will take. According to reports of gay retreats for religious and the oath many religious have to be loyal to the pope, it doesn’t appear our help will come from them. I think the faithful are on their own this time, but with God, the angels, and the Church Triumphant on our side, we will win.