I vividly remember hearing that voice late one night, as a teenage wife and mother…an inner voice warning me, “You will see times like no other since the beginning.” Only later would I find the Scripture verse that confirmed what I had heard: “For then there shall be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.” (Matt. 24:21).
I wasn’t attending church; I had no church to attend. My Church had been torn asunder before my eyes over a 10-year (1959-1969) period and the destruction continued. They called it Vatican II – opening the windows of the Church to let fresh air in. But, the breeze then blowing was a pestilential one and I felt the need to do something. I was compelled to find the reason these things were happening even though I had another very important job to do — raise my child, and the children yet unborn that would follow him.
Then, there was the gentle young man I met as a Navy wife, a friend of my next-door neighbor. He described living alone in the California desert and meditating on the Scriptures. He listened to my quest for truth with great interest, and then advised me to do the same — to read the Scriptures. Thumbing through the New Testament, much of which I remembered from Catholic school days, I came to the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation), and read the introduction. I knew I needed to start with this book, and so I did. It would lead me through the next 45 years of my life, unfolding piece by piece exactly what Our Lord, St. John, St. Paul, and the prophets foretold.
These Scriptures described how the Continual Sacrifice would be taken away, the shepherd struck, the sheep scattered, the Church preserved in the wilderness for a time, and how the enemy, the abomination, would head the seven-hilled city itself — Rome. St. Paul explained when it would happen — how once he who withholdeth was taken out of the way (2 Thess. 2: 6, 7) and the great revolt took place, then the Man of Sin would be revealed (2 Thess. 2: 3). He also warned us of this abomination’s false miracles and lying wonders. Wasn’t this everything I had watched unfold before my very eyes?
When the pope I loved as a child in grade school, Pope Pius XII, died, a series of counterfeits must have taken his place, as some Catholic prophecies predicted. What I was seeing was real and yet it was not. The world accepted the imposters as the genuine article, and even praised them for their many doctrinal concessions and modernization. The people were mesmerized, just as the Scriptures warned they would be. How could I alert the scattered sheep they were being duped, and were headed for destruction when I scarcely understood it myself? That is where the long road of study began, and the story began to take shape.
It would take 35 years, and many failed attempts, but, finally, the pieces of the puzzle came into focus, and the big picture emerged. One crucial piece eluded me for years. But, it was research a conservative Catholic author fortuitously provided in 2015 that helped. Once that piece was plugged in, the book began to write itself. When I explained to friends what that final piece really meant to us as Catholics, they were astounded. At their urging, I began work on the book in earnest. But, how do you summarize the demise of a worldwide institution, dragging to ruin, in its train, an entire civilization?
Just as you would eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Or, as I learned decades ago, by breaking things down into part acts, telling readers how it was, what happened, and how it is today. What the Catholic Church was throughout the centuries, and its countless contributions to humanity, have been given short shrift. What we have lost as a culture since the 1950s is only now coming to light in recent political developments. All of it is related. All of it was part of a diabolical plot to return the world to its pre-Christian state.
The veil has been lifted, but do we know why it REALLY happened? Where it began? Where it is going? That was the purpose of writing The Phantom Church in Rome — to provide answers for those suffering in these times — but also to offer a blueprint for living out the latter days as true Catholics without a visible Church to lead us. Keeping oil in our lamps and the wicks trimmed, and resisting the urge to fall asleep before the Bridegroom comes is all that remains.
About The Author
Teresa (T. Stanfill) Benns is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and an award-winning community newspaper reporter. A lifelong Catholic, her religious articles have been published both nationally and internationally. Visit her website at: www.betrayedcatholics.com
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