If Archbishop Vigano is correct, the battle being fought in the United States of America is not so much political as cosmic: the holy and the fallen angels, that is, who at all times are in conflict over the souls and cities of men, are fighting, he believes, with particular intensity now and in that land.  The mantle of prophecy seems to be upon him; at least, I know of no one of comparable rank who is currently telling so much truth.  When he speaks, for example, of the convergence of a ‘deep State’ and a ‘deep Church’ – or, as we might say, of the synergy of the two beasts of Apocalypse 13 – he is surely pointing to an obvious fact.

Yet I wonder whether the United States of America might not turn out to be the ‘great eagle’ of Apocalypse 12.  It is curious how lacking is a consensus on the meaning of that symbol.  It designates, after all, something of the first importance: a power, apparently not God or Christ, which delivers the Church from the fury of the enemy so that she may survive in solitude.  Fr Herman Kramer, in his long commentary on the Apocalypse, points out that the symbol seems to allude to the Book of Ezekiel, where in chapter XVII Babylon and Egypt are represented as two eagles: the symbol, then, denotes a sovereign power distinct from God’s people.   It is not an apostate power, since apostasy is stigmatised in Scripture by some opprobrious image, such as that of the harlot, not represented by a magnificent bird.  Fr Kramer writes: “The great eagle, therefore, as a nation, has never been Catholic […] This eagle will protect and shelter the Church during the reign of the Beast.”  In particular, it will protect her against the river which comes forth from the mouth of the serpent, a river which in Scriptural terms, seems to represent slander and other evil speech.

This prophetic image fits the United States well.  The European powers have all been Catholic, and the countries that have been included in their several empires may be said to have participated, even if sometimes guiltlessly, in their apostasy.  That leaves hardly anywhere in the world, apart from China, Japan and the United States.  It does not seem likely at the moment that either of the first two countries will become the ally of the Church against the enemy, and both of them have had governments which have martyred the faithful.  America, on the other hand, though never formally Catholic, has been marked from the start, in the persons of many of its citizens, by a reverence for the bible and by a sincere desire to follow Christ.  It has even adopted the eagle as its national emblem.  What the ‘two wings’ might be, by which the eagle gives flight to the Woman, I do not know.  If they represent the forces by which a nation is set in motion, perhaps they are the people and the executive; or else, if suggestion lacks symmetry, two cohorts of the people.  In any case we should no doubt take ++Vigano’s advice and pray for America.