If Jesus does not return soon, I look to Our Lady of Good Success who said “the total restoration of the Catholic Church” would come some time after the 19th century. Our Lady of Fatima also speaks of the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart in “an era of peace.” Would this be the miraculous beginning of the Angelic Pope and Great Monarch in the 6th age of the Church before the Antichrist arrives in the 7th age? In such prophesies, we need to consider not just the Western Rite of the Catholic Church, but also the Eastern Rites.
In this CPX catechism video, I explain the difference between Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. Both Churches have seven valid sacraments. But only Eastern Catholics are in union with Rome. There is a hope that the Eastern Churches (especially the Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox) would come into union with Rome if we ever had a true traditional Pope. Perhaps they would end not only their schism, but also abjure their heresies.
Of course, many Eastern Orthodox believe we Catholics are the heretics. But imagine we had a traditional Pope who abrogated the errors of Vatican II and the new sacraments (which, yes, I believe are valid.) If we had a traditional Pope who returned the Church to her patrimony, and if the Russian and Greek Orthodox overturned their schism and heresies, they would have much less heresies to reject than your average Western modernist Catholic.
Why? Because “modernism” is the synthesis of all heresies, meaning most Catholics today believe nearly every heresy found in the first millennium of Christianity. Of course, they use slightly different language than the early heretics, but most modernist Catholics today currently believe in every possible heresy (eg Gnosticism is now found as nominalistic obedience… and Arianism is now found as ecumenism…. I explained both of these on Taylor Marshall’s show when we discussed the Jesuits in early 2023. But I got most of these initial ideas on Orthodoxy and the promised future Pope from Fr. Paul Kramer when he was on an Eastern Catholic’s podcast last year.)
Basically, the Orthodox would have to abjure only a couple heresies (that we won’t get into here.) But liturgically, the Orthodox would have to change absolutely nothing to come into union with Rome, except maybe add the Filioque in the Creed. Like the TLM, the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom also back to the 6th century (at the latest.) All of their sacraments are apostolic in origin, unlike the new Western sacraments. For example, the Eastern Orthodox have exorcisms in baptisms as does the ancient Roman Rites. But the Novus Ordo baptism has a very short, optional minor-exorcism. This means that the Orthodox sacraments are closer to the traditional Roman sacraments in dozens of ways.
Similarly, many intense Russian Orthodox (like ROCOR today) put extreme emphasis on the Church Fathers, all of whom existed before the Great Schism between East and West. (In other words, traditional Roman Catholics and ROCOR Orthodox can often be found frequently quoting the same early saints who knew the Apostles.) Many Russian Orthodox monks and priests who lived through communism renounced the ecumenism that the USSR tried to foist on them. In fact, many Russian monks in the 20th century suffered as they stood against such ecumenism.
If the Russian Orthodox one day were to accept the Pope in Rome, and stopped thinking we were heretics, and dropped their heresies (three giant miracles, I know!) they would have to change nearly nothing about their sacraments to be Eastern Catholics in full communion with Rome. (Keep in mind that even now the Roman Church recognizes the validity of the sacraments of not only Eastern Catholics, but even Eastern Orthodox.)
But those running the current Vatican apparatus today are simply universalist unitarians, so probably 99% of modernist Catholics (even at the grassroots-level) would reject the prophesied future traditional Pope as he eradicates modernism in both doctrine and liturgy. On the other hand, both ROCOR and traditional Catholics believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father, whereas most modernist Catholics believe nearly everyone is saved. Thus, if we received a truly traditional Pope “to restore the spirit of the Church’s priests” then the East would be an easier “bridge to build” to Apostolic Catholicism than what it would take to convince your average modernist Catholic in the West (who lives and thinks essentially as a Methodist with occasional use of sacraments.)
Basically, Fr. Paul Kramer (formerly of the Fatima Center) teaches that because the Eastern Orthodox never had a Vatican II, the Russian Orthodox would only have to refuse to be schismatics (and drop a few traditional heresies, but not anything as epidemic as modernism) to come into union with the Roman Catholic Church. I can’t find the quote, but I believe Padre Pio even said that Russia would convert before the United States. Of course, this will only happen when we have a traditional Pope who accurately consecrates Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, exactly as Our Lady of Fatima has asked. Clearly, this has never been done.
How can Fr. Paul Kramer and I be so sure of this?
Although communism greatly compromised the Russian Orthodox hierarchy shortly after the Bolshevik revolution, the communists never successfully changed the Patristic faith of the stalwart Russian monks who went into prisons and forests and poustinias to keep their ancient faith. Thus, we can extrapolate from this that Russian Orthodox (at least the more hard-core ROCOR factions) have never changed their faith due to communism. The Russian Orthodox were decimated from without due to communism. But the Russian Orthodox were never decimated from within, as we in Rome were by the modernists in the 1960s.
In short, the Russian Orthodox never had their Patristic faith or ancient Divine Liturgy changed by communists like we did by Vatican II via our infiltration from within. This means the Eastern Orthodox one day attempting union with a truly traditional Roman Pope (hopefully choosing to re-establish the Patristic faith and the ancient Eastern and Western liturgies, exclusively) would be easier for most Eastern schismatics than all the Western heretics who currently call themselves “Catholics.” Of course, the beginning of these dominos of division between East and West will only begin to fall when we have a truly traditional Pope who obeys exactly what Our Lady of Fatima requests on the exclusive consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.