"The doctrines of Godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion; the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat is now openly proposed as a reward for impiety; so that he whose blasphemies are the more shocking, is more eligible for the oversight of the people.
Priestly gravity has perished; there are none left to feed the Lordʼs flock with knowledge; ambitious men are ever spending, in purposes of self-indulgence and bribery, possessions which they hold in trust for the poor. The accurate observation of the canons are no more; there is no restraint upon sin.
Unbelievers laugh at what they see, and the weak are unsettled; faith is doubtful, ignorance is poured over their souls, because the adulterators of the word in wickedness imitate the truth. Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose. Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in faith avoid the places of worship, as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitude with groans and tears to the Lord in heaven."
-- St. Basil the Great
Prayer for the Holy Church
Lord, God of virtues, turn Thy loving face towards us and save us!
Thou didst banish idolatry from the world, and didst plant the vine of the Church with so much care, that carefully revealed truth was made known in all parts of the world. The cross of Jesus Christ has been everywhere adored, the prophecy has been fulfilled which announced that one day the true faith should fill the whole world.
But too soon heresy, that wild beast coming forth from the forest of hell, came to lay waste that vine, so that error is now reigning in many kingdoms of Europe. And what is still more deplorable is that in countries that have remained faithful the Faith has now become an object of persecution on the part of the unbelieving.
Ah, my God! We beg Thee to turn Thy face to us, and behold now Thy vine has been laid waste. Look on it, visit it, and repair the damage done to it by its enemies: they have despised and turned into derision Thy Church, Thy Scriptures, Thy precepts, Thy maxims, in a word, all holy truths.
Call to mind O Eternal Father, that in order to obey Thee and to cultivate this vine according to Thy holy will, Thy Son Jesus Christ made himself the Son of Man; call to mind that He consecrated the sweat and fatigue of His whole life to planting it.
We pray Thee, then, through Thy love for this divine Son, to hear our prayer: do Thou vouchsafe to govern and preserve the Holy Church; do Thou vouchsafe to humble her enemies. We pray Thee, hear us.