Tuesday, November 19, 2013

BIlly Graham is calling on America to repent......why are so many Catholic priests remaining silent?

As America continues to embrace a Culture of Death, which includes sodomite "marriage," various chastisements (such as this one) are befalling this once-Christian nation and serve both as a warning and as a call to repentance. Rev. Billy Graham has been calling on Americans to repent (see here).  Why are so many Catholic priests remaining silent?

Excellent article from TFP on natural disasters and chastisement

By Luis Sérgio Solimeo

The string of natural calamities and man-made tragedies afflicting the world and the United States, particularly Hurricane Katrina in late August, have stimulated many people to reflection. Some see these tragic events as God’s chastisement of a sinful mankind; others see them as yet one more merciful warning from Providence; others yet deny both options and give various reasons.

Modern society’s staggering apostasy from the truth of the Gospel prompts many to ask themselves if God is not trying to send a message to the world through these calamities. Could He be saying: “Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore and do penance. Behold, I stand at the gate and knock”?1

Could God be showing His supreme displeasure with the reigning amorality and libertinism, loss of faith and dissemination of sins that “cry out to heaven for vengeance” such as abortion and homosexuality?2

If we consider just abortion, for example, could these calamities be a Divine chastisement for the blood of millions of innocent victims that rises to heaven clamoring for justice? “They have poured out the blood of the Saints as water, round about Jerusalem. And there was none to bury them. Avenge, O Lord, the blood of Thy Saints, which has been shed upon the earth.”3

An Archbishop’s WordsCommenting on 2005’s Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the retired Archbishop of New Orleans, Most Reverend Philip M. Hannan was very much of the opinion that these tragedies were Divine chastisements for sin:

“I’ve been speaking at local parishes, and here's what I kept telling the people I say, look, we are responsible not only for our individual actions to God, but in addition to that, we are also citizens of a nation and in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, it says that a nation has a destiny and we are responsible whether we cause it or not for the course of morality in that nation. We are responsible as citizens for the sexual attitude, disregard of family rights, drug addiction, the killing of 45 million unborn babies, the scandalous behavior of some priests – so we have to understand that certainly the Lord has a right to chastisement.… We have reached a depth of immorality that we have never reached before. And the chastisement was Katrina as well as Rita.”4

That people who deny the existence of God would summarily write off Archbishop Hannan’s courageous assessment is understandable. However, we see some Catholics rush to join the opinion of such atheists – perhaps unwittingly – emphatically denying any spiritual significance to these disasters. How can these Catholics be so sure that these calamities are not “signs of the times?”5

That they are not chastisements? Or warnings from God?

A First Objection: If It Can Be Explained Scientifically It Cannot Be Divine Intervention Among these Catholics are some who suggest that natural catastrophes can be explained scientifically and that there is no need, therefore, to bring Divine intervention into the picture to understand what happened. This argument is only partly correct.

God Uses the Natural Causes He Created to Intervene in History Science can explain the mechanics of natural disasters, but not their transcendent meaning. For this, we must look to philosophy and theology.

Indeed, to suggest that the forces of nature act wholly on their own, to the exclusion of any Divine plan, is to deny that they are God’s creatures. It is to affirm either that the Creator made things without an end and purpose, or that He is unable to intervene in His own creation.

However, if God were to have made things without a purpose, He would not be wise; and if He were unable to control events and direct them toward the end He had in mind when He created them, He would not be almighty. This would be tantamount to denying His existence, for the sheer possibility of an imperfect God contradicts the very idea of God. Either He is an absolutely perfect being, or the very idea of God makes no sense.

Nothing in Creation Escapes God’s GovernmentIndeed, not only did God create all beings through a sovereign act of His Divine Will, but He sustains them in existence and directs them toward the end for which He created them: His extrinsic glory. In other words, all of Creation is under Divine government and is subject to God’s wise designs. As Saint Thomas teaches:

“God [is] the ruler of things as He is their cause, because the same gives existence as gives perfection; and this belongs to government. Now God is the cause not indeed only of some particular kind of being, but of the whole universal being. Wherefore, as there can be nothing which is not created by God, so there can be nothing which is not subject to His government.… Now the end of the Divine government is the Divine goodness. Wherefore, as there can be nothing that is not ordered to the Divine goodness as its end, so it is impossible for anything to escape from the Divine government.”6

Saint Thomas further explains that while this Divine government is direct and immediate from the standpoint of design, this does not mean that God cannot use secondary means for the ultimate execution of His plans. Consequently, He can use the angels or even men to intervene in History. He can use natural forces and the physical laws that are derived from the nature of beings as He created them and their relationships with each other.7  However, just because God usually uses these secondary causes to execute His plans, this does not mean that He is not directing, in a superior fashion, all things to their true purpose, which is His glory.8 Therefore, just because God does not suspend the laws of nature, as He did when opening the Red Sea for the Chosen People, that does not mean events are not obeying His designs.9

In fact, God’s absolute perfection demands that He act continuously in history. This is abundantly confirmed by Holy Scriptures and the writings of the Church Fathers.10 Therefore, when analyzing the present catastrophes, God’s government in the world must be taken into consideration.

A Second Objection: God is Goodness Itself, So He Never Chastises MenOther Catholics disagreeing with Archbishop Hannan’s assessment raise a second objection: “God is supremely good, in fact He is Goodness itself, therefore He never chastises men.”

Actually, since God is the absolute perfect being, and the cause of all perfection, He must have in Himself all possible perfections.11 Thus, He is not only infinitely good and merciful, but also infinitely just. As the Psalmist so aptly says: “Mercy and truth have met each other: justice and peace have kissed.”12

Therefore, while God reserves definitive reward or punishment for the next life, as seen in the parable of the wheat and the chaff,13 He also chastises on this earth. This truth is formally found in Revelation. Some examples are: the plagues of Egypt, 14 the Flood,15 the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah16 and the destruction of Jerusalem.17

God Does Judge and Chastise Men, and Each Man IndividuallyAlso, Saint Paul says that earthly authority “is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.”18 Clearly, human authority could not be a “minister” or agent of Divine justice if God Himself did not meet out earthly punishment.

According to the Apostle, man cannot escape Divine justice, be it in this life or the next: “And thinkest thou this, O man … that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? … But according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up to thyself wrath, against the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God: Who will render to every man according to his works.”19

Finally, Mary’s prayer, the Magnificat, teaches that God’s mercy is manifested “to them that fear him.”20 It is because God judges and chastises that we should fear offending Him.

A Third Objection: Since the Calamity Affected Both Good and Bad It Cannot Be Divine Chastisement – God Would Never Chastise the GoodOther Catholics bring up a third reason why they would disagree with Archbishop Hannan: “These natural disasters, did not only affect evil men, they also brought untold suffering to good people. Thus, they cannot be a chastisement from God. Were God to punish the good, He would not be infinitely just.”

To properly address this objection we must first recall some basic teachings of our Catholic faith:

a) God is the Lord of life: We owe our existence to God and just as He freely gave us life, He is free to take it from us. There is no injustice when He does so, regardless of the stage of life, be it that of an infant, a child, an adult in the full vigor of manhood, or one who has reached venerable old age.

b) Eternal, not earthly, life and happiness are our ultimate goal: Moreover, our earthly life and happiness are not ends in themselves. They are not the supreme reason for our existence. They are the road, the means, for us to attain eternal life, our true goal. Thus, Saint Paul reminds us, “Our citizenship is in heaven.”
21 God’s way of acting becomes incomprehensible when we lose sight of eternal life and heavenly happiness.

c) God punishes collective sin, collectively: When sin becomes generalized, is greatly tolerated, or is committed by particularly representative individuals, it involves the whole family, city, region, nation, or even historical eras. This collective dimension makes sin particularly grave and offensive to God and the result is that Divine chastisement is also collective. Both good and bad suffer. The first suffer to become more perfect; the second as a chastisement for their faults.

Saint Augustine Explains Collective Chastisement The great Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in Northern Africa, and Doctor of the Church, lived during the barbarian invasions that brought about the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Indeed, the Vandals were storming at the city gates as he died.

During this troubled period, pagans blamed the Church for the collapse of Empire and civilization. If the Empire had not become Christian, they argued, Jove and the other gods of Rome would have saved it from destruction. Moreover, they added, the God of the Christians was no god at all since He had not spared the Christians from the barbarians.
Saint Augustine wrote The City of God to defend the Church and shore up the faith in hearts. In his masterwork, he explains the reason for collective chastisements. His reasoning can be summed up as follows:

1. Since nations as such do not pass to eternal life, they are rewarded or chastised in this life for the good or evil they practice; good and bad alike feel the effects of both reward and chastisement.

2. As for the good, the chastisement purifies their love of God, and may even take them from the tribulations of this life to the eternally happy life of Heaven; “Job’s case exemplifies that the human spirit may be proved, and that it may be manifested with what fortitude of pious trust, and with how unmercenary a love, it cleaves to God.”

3. On the other hand, very often the good are justly chastised for a certain selfishness, a lack of courage and apostolic fervor, that prevents them from pointing out to the bad, the evil of their ways: “Because they weakly relish the flattery and respect of men, and fear the judgments of the people, and the pain or death of the body; that is to say, their non-intervention is the result of selfishness, and not of love.”

4. As for the bad, they are chastised by “Divine Providence, which is wont to reform the depraved manners of men by chastisement.”22

Such is also the teaching of Saint Thomas who says: “Justice and mercy appear in the punishment of the just in this world, since by afflictions lesser faults are cleansed in them, and they are the more raised up from earthly affections to God. Likewise, Saint Gregory says: ‘The evils that press on us in this world force us to go to God.’”23

Our Lady at Fatima: A Prophetic and Maternal WarningProphets in the Old Testament continually warned the Chosen People of chastisements that would come on account of their apostasies. Hence, we read of the prophet Jeremias warning of the Babylonian captivity. In the New Testament, Our Lord warned that Jerusalem would be destroyed because it had rejected Him.24

In 1917, the Blessed Mother appeared in Fatima to warn that if the world did not convert and do penance it would be chastised: “When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.… [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world.
The good will be martyred… various nations will be annihilated.”25  At her last apparition in Fatima on October 13, 1917, Our Lady performed the famous miracle of the sun, perhaps to give us an idea of the natural or man-made cataclysms that could strike mankind, if we do not convert. The miracle was witnessed by 70,000 people and was reported extensively in the Portuguese anti-clerical secular press of the time.26

Has the world converted and done penance during these 88 years since Our Lady made her request? Archbishop Hannan’s words suggest that it has not. He mentions a few of the evils that plague us, but many more can be added to the list. The world has fallen into an almost universal apostasy. Its immorality is unparalleled since the advent of Christianity. More than just an aggressive libertinism, this sad state of things represents a sin of the spirit whereby moral aberrations are esteemed and even protected by law. Massive public parades that glorify homosexual vice have become frequent in nearly all of the world’s major cities. In 2000, a world “homosexual pride” festival took place in Rome. And in August 2005, another 10-day one was to have taken place in Jerusalem, but the vigorous reaction from residents forced the organizers to postpone it for a year.

New Orleans: Tears of Maternal Sorrow and Warning In this regard, it is certainly significant that the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the four statues carved under the direction of Sister Lúcia, the main Fatima seer, shed tears in New Orleans in July 1972.27

One month after that miraculous weeping, the beautiful port city saw the beginning of Southern Decadence – days filled with the public display of naked flesh and homosexual lewdness28 – and with every passing year, New Orleans became increasingly a symbol for those who ignore Our Lady of Fatima’s message of conversion.

Could Our Lady have chosen New Orleans for this miraculous weeping because, in weeping over New Orleans, She was weeping over everything it would come to symbolize?

A Call to Conversion and PenanceThis brings us back to the original question. How should we look at Hurricane Katrina and the string of tragedies that have befallen our nation and the world? As a chastisement? As a new warning from Divine Providence?
The answer is that regardless if the causes of tragedy are natural or man-made, we cannot exclude Divine Providence’s wise and unfathomable designs. Rather, for all the reasons laid out above, and particularly Our Lady’s message at Fatima, it seems to us that prudence demands we give serious consideration to the possibility that God is warning us of our faults and calling us to repentance.

God does not want the death of the sinner, but his conversion. However, if the world does not heed Our Lady’s call to conversion, we cannot be surprised if even worse tragedies afflict the world – the annihilation of whole nations, for example, as mentioned by the Blessed Mother at Fatima.Whatever the future may have in store for us, however, we should always remember that Our Lady also foretold at Fatima both mankind’s ultimate conversion and her final victory, “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”May the series of catastrophes that have befallen America and the world help us to take to heart Our Lady’s maternal call to conversion.

1. Apoc. 3:19-20.
2. “The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel, (Gen. 4:10) the sin of the Sodomites, (Gen. 18:20; 19:13) the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, (Ex. 3:7-10) the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, (Ex. 20:20-22) injustice to the wage earner (Deut. 24:14-15).” Catechism of The Catholic Church (Second Edition, n. 1867.
3. Adaptation of Psalm 78:3, 9-10, Tract of the Mass of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs, (Feast day December 28) old Latin Roman Missal.
4. http://www.tfp.org
5. When the Pharisees and Sadducees asked the Divine Master for “a sign from heaven,” He answered: “When it is evening, you say, it will be fair weather, for the sky is red. And in the morning: Today there will be a storm, for the sky is red and lowering. You know then how to discern the face of the sky: and can you not know the signs of the times?” – Matt. 16:1-3. (Our emphasis).
6. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I.q. 103, a.5.
7. “In government there are two things to be considered; the design of government, which is providence itself; and the execution of the design. As to the design of government, God governs all things immediately; whereas in its execution, He governs some things by means of others.” (Ibid., a. 6).
8. Of course, God respects men’s free will and, in case of sin, reestablishes his offended glory by exercising His justice.
9. God commonly acts in history without suspending the laws of nature but by steering them to obtain certain results. For example, when the Prophet Elias prayed for rain in Israel, which was suffering from a terrible drought, God caused many clouds to come together and rain heavily (1 Kings 18:41-45). At other times He suspends the laws of nature, as when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea (Ex. 14:16).
10. Summarizing the central thesis of St. Augustine’s famous work, The City of God, Fr. A. Rascol says that it is Divine Providence that orders favorable events and allows adversities, regulating the joys and afflictions of the just, and punishing some faults while saving others for the day of definitive judgment (Cf. A. Rascol, s.v. “Providence, S. Augustin,” in Vacant-Magenot-Amann, Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1936), Vol. 13, col. 963. On the role of Providence in Scripture, see Leslie J. Walker, s.v. “Divine Providence,” at www.newadvent.org/cathen/12510a.htm.
11. Thus, St. Thomas says: “Since therefore God is the first effective cause of things, the perfections of all things must pre-exist in God in a more eminent way.” (Summa Theologica, I, q.4, a2.
12. Psalm 84:11. (Douay-Rheims.)
13. Cf. Matt. 13:24-30.
14. Cf. Exodus, Chapters 7-8.
15. Cf. Genesis, Chapters 6-8.
16. Cf. Genesis, Chapter 19.
17. Cf. Matt. 24:1-2.
18. Rom. 13:4.
19. Rom. 3:6.
20. Lk. 1:50.
21. Phil. 3:20.
22. Cf. St. Augustine, The City of God, Book I, Chapters 1 and 9. The thesis that nations are rewarded or chastised in this earthly life is an underlying thesis found throughout The City of God, but particularly in Books IV and V.
23. Summa Theologica, I, q.21, a.4.
24. Cf. Lk., 19:41-44; Matt. 23:37.
25. Cf. http://www.tfp.org
26. Cf. John M. Haffert, Meet the Witnesses, (Washington, N.J.: Ave Maria Institute, 1961). Mr. Haffert provides his interviews with numerous eyewitnesses of this awesome miracle.
27. We read on the web site of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima: “New Orleans, LA, July, 1972: During Her tour of the New Orleans diocese, the statue shed tears on numerous occasions.… That was the first time it was discovered that the moisture was human tears and also the first time photos began to circulate.” http://www.tfp.org Cf. also Plinio Correa de Oliveira, “Tears, a Miraculous Warning,” Folha de S. Paulo, Aug. 6, 1972.
28. This August, the homosexual event was officially cancelled because of hurricane Katrina although two unofficial parades were held in New Orleans and Lafayette. The festival’s immorality is evident from this description found on a New Orleans’ tourist web site:“Leave your prudish friends and family at home“Parades and non-stop parties aside, Southern Decadence may be most famous (or infamous) for the displays of naked flesh which characterize the event …. the atmosphere of Southern Decadence has stayed true to its name and public displays of sexuality are pretty much everywhere you look. Like I said, you might want to leave your more prudish friends and family at home…. August 31-September 5, 2005.” http://www.tfp.org
29. “Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live?” Ezek. 18:23

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Pope Francis Effect: False compassion which leads to a weariness of proclaiming the moral norm

Writing for the Associated Press, Rachel Zoll notes that, "The Vatican ambassador to the U.S., addressing American bishops at their first national meeting since Pope Francis was elected, said Monday they should not 'follow a particular ideology' and should make Roman Catholics feel more welcome in church.  Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano noted the challenges from broader society to Christian teaching....'the Holy Father wants bishops in tune with their people....He made a special point of saying that he wants pastoral bishops, not bishops who profess or follow a particular ideology.'  In a September interview, Francis said Catholic leaders should give greater emphasis to compassion and mercy, arguing the Church's focus on abortion, marriage and contraception has been too narrow and alienating..."

Too narrow?  But Our Lord insisted that we must, "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few" (Matthew 7: 13, 14).

Why is the Holy Father insisting that the Church's focus on moral norms is something "alienating"?  Pope John Paul II has already refuted this lie.  In his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, he explained that, "The Church's teaching, and in particular her firmness in defending the universal and permanent validity of the precepts prohibiting intrinsically evil acts [such as abortion, homosexual acts and contraception], is not infrequently seen as the sign of an intolerable intransigence, particularly with regard to the enormously complex and conflict-filled situations present in the moral life of individuals and of society today; this intransigence is said to be in contrast with the Church's motherhood.  The Church, one hears, is lacking in understanding and compassion.  But the Church's motherhood can never in fact be separated from her teaching mission, which she must always carry out as the faithful Bride of Christ, who is the Truth in person.  'As Teacher, she never tires of proclaiming the moral norm....The Church is in no way the author or the arbiter of this norm.  In obedience to the truth which is Christ, whose image is reflected in the nature and dignity of the human person, the Church interprets the moral norm and proposes it to all people of good will, without concealing its demands of radicalness and perfection." (Veritatis Splendor, No. 95, citing Familiaris Consortio).

The Holy Father goes on to remind us that, "..genuine understanding and compassion must mean love for the person, for his true good [the greatest of which is his soul and his salvation], for his authentic freedom.  And this does not result, certainly, from concealing or weakening moral truth, but rather from proposing it in its most profound meaning as an outpouring of God's eternal Wisdom, which we have received in Christ, and as a service to man, to the growth of his freedom and to the attainment of his happiness." (Veritatis Splendor, No. 95).

While it is true that everything must be done to help sinners, this cannot include helping them to sin or to remain in sin. Because of human frailty, every sinner deserves both pity and compassion. However, vice and sin must be excluded from this compassion. This because sin can never be the proper object of compassion. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 1).

It is a false compassion which supplies the sinner with the means to remain attached to sin. Such 'compassion' provides an assistance (whether material or moral) which actually enables the sinner to remain firmly attached to his evil ways. By contrast, true compassion leads the sinner away from vice and back to virtue. As Thomas Aquinas explains: "We love sinners out of charity, not so as to will what they will, or to rejoice in what gives them joy, but so as to make them will what we will, and rejoice in what rejoices us. Hence it is written: 'They shall be turned to thee, and thou shalt not be turned to them.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.6, ad 4, citing Jeremiah 15:19).

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that the sentiment of compassion only becomes a virtue when it is guided by reason, since "it is essential to human virtue that the movements of the soul should be regulated by reason." (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, c.3). Without such regulation, compassion is merely a passion. A false compassion is a compassion not regulated and tempered by reason and is, therefore, a potentially dangerous inclination. This because it is subject to favoring not only that which is good but also that which is evil (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 3).

An authentic compassion always stems from charity. True compassion is an effect of charity (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.3, ad 3). But it must be remembered that the object of this virtue is God, whose love extends to His creatures. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.3). Therefore, the virtue of compassion seeks to bring God to the one who suffers so that he may thereby participate in the infinite love of God. As St. Augustine explains: "'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' Now, you love yourself suitably when you love God better than yourself. What, then, you aim at in yourself you must aim at in your neighbor, namely, that he may love God with a perfect affection." (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, No. 49,

Weakening or watering-down moral norms is not an act of charity.  It is an act of counterfeit charity, an act of spiritual violence.

Related reading here:   http://lasalettejourney.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-new-masonic-pope-imbued-with-italian.html

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers..."

In his book entitled Communism and the Conscience of the West, Fulton John Sheen warned that, "The Antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers. He will not wear red tights, nor vomit sulphur, nor carry a trident nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust. This masquerade has helped the Devil convince men that he does not exist. When no man recognizes, the more power he exercises. God has defined Himsel as "I am Who am," and the Devil as "I am who am not."

Nowhere in Sacred Scripture do we find warrant for the popular myth of the Devil as a buffoon who is dressed like the first "red." Rather is he described as an angel fallen from heaven, as "the Prince of this world," whose business it is to tell us that there is no other world. His logic is simple: if there is no heaven there is no hell; if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgment then evil is good and good is evil. But above all these descriptions, Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect--and certainly no devil ever seen in picture books could deceive even the elect. How will he come in this new age to win followers to his religion?

The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves. . . .

. . . The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion--one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God's.

In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. . . .

. . . But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism. (Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West [Bobbs-Merril Company, Indianapolis, 1948], pp. 24-25).

A false prophet, a Pope who is controlled by Satan, will prepare the world for the appearance of the Man of Sin.  Saint Francis (from whom the current pope took his name) prophesied shortly before his death that, "At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death...Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it...for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer." (Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, Washburne, p. 248).

In his classic work entitled "The Book of Destiny," Father Herman Bernard Kramer, a priest-mystic, prophesied that, "The 'sign' [in the book of Revelation] in heaven is that of a woman with child crying out in her travail and anguish of delivery.  In that travail, she gives birth to some definite 'person' who is to rule the Church with a rod of iron (Apoc 12: 5).  It then points to a conflict waged within the Church to elect one who was to 'rule all nations' in the manner clearly stated.  In accord with the text this is unmistakably a papal election, for only Christ and His Vicar have the divine right to rule all nations..." (p. 480).

The course has been set.  The signs of the times constitute a warning to the remnant Church.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

"In the time of Antichrist, Rome shall be desolated and burnt..."

"The apostasy of the city of Rome from the vicar of Christ and its destruction by Antichrist may be thoughts very new to many Catholics, that I think it well to recite the text of theologians of greatest repute. First Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject, states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Biegas, Suarrez, Bellarmine and Bosius that Rome shall apostatize from the Faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ and return to its ancient paganism. ...Then the Church shall be scattered, driven into the wilderness, and shall be for a time, as it was in the beginning, invisible; hidden in catacombs, in dens, in mountains, in lurking places; for a time it shall be swept, as it were from the face of the earth. Such is the universal testimony of the Fathers of the early Church.”- Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, The Present Crisis of the Holy See, 1861, London: Burns and Lambert, pp. 88-90)

Cardinal Manning delivered a series of lectures in 1861 under the title “The Present Crises of the Holy See Tested by Prophecy” in which Manning he foresaw a future crises in the Roman Catholic Church initiated by a false ecumenism and progressivist theology that many orthodox Catholics have loathed following the Second Vatican Council. Manning believed that this progressivist current would undermine the authority of the Church and ultimately result in a departure from the true faith by the nations together with the displacement of the true pope by a false prophet, thus ushering in the Antichrist and global apostasy. Manning also believed secret societies like the Freemasons were part of this conspiracy. “The secret societies have long ago undermined and honeycombed the Christian society of Europe, and are at this moment struggling onward towards Rome, the center of all Christian order in the world,”he wrote. But when he looked at the prophecy in Revelation 18 concerning the end-time destruction of Mystery Babylon, Manning saw it was the hand of God in judgment of worldwide apostasy emanating from Rome:
"We read in the Book Apocalypse, of the city of Rome, that she said in the pride of her heart, “I sit as a queen, and am no widow, and sorrow I shall not see. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day: death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be burned with fire, because God is strong who shall judge her.” Some of the greatest writers of the Church tell us that…the great City of Seven Hills…the city of Rome will probably become apostate…and that Rome will again be punished, for he will depart from it; and the judgment of God will fall…"

Manning explained how many of Catholicism’s greatest theologians agreed with this point of view:

"The apostasy of the city of Rome…and its destruction by Antichrist may be thoughts so new to many Catholics, that I think it well to recite the text of theologians, of greatest repute. First, Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject, states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Viegas, Suarez, Bellarmine, and Bosius, that Rome shall apostatize from the faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ, and return to its ancient paganism. Malvenda’s words are:
'But Rome itself in the last times of the world will return to its ancient idolatry, power, and imperial greatness. It will cast out its Pontiff, altogether apostatize from the Christian faith, terribly persecute the Church, shed the blood of martyrs more cruelly than ever, and will recover its former state of abundant wealth, or even greater than it had under its first rulers.'
Lessius says: 'In the time of Antichrist, Rome shall be destroyed, as we see openly from the thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse;' and again: 'The woman whom thou sawest is the great city, which hath kingdom over the kings of the earth, in which is signified Rome in its impiety, such as it was in the time of St. John, and shall be again at the end of the world.'
 And Bellarmine: 'In the time of Antichrist, Rome shall be desolated and burnt, as we learn from the sixteenth verse of the seventeenth chapter of the Apocalypse.' On which words the Jesuit Erbermann comments as follows: 'We all confess with Bellarmine that the Roman people, a little before the end of the world, will return to paganism, and drive out the Roman Pontiff.'

 Viegas, on the eighteenth chapter of the Apocalypse says: 'Rome, in the last age of the world, after it has apostatized from the faith, will attain great power and splendor of wealth, and its sway will be widely spread throughout the world, and flourish greatly. Living in luxury and the abundance of all things, it will worship idols, and be steeped in all kinds of superstition, and will pay honor to false gods. And because of the vast effusion of the blood of martyrs which was shed under the emperors, God will most severely and justly avenge them, and it shall be utterly destroyed, and burned by a most terrible and afflicting conflagration.'"

 It was Saint John Bosco who prophesied, "And to you, Rome, what will happen! Ungrateful Rome, effeminate Rome, proud Rome! You have reached such a height that you search no further. You admire nothing else in your Sovereign except luxury, forgetting that you and your glory stands upon Golgotha. Now he is old, defenseless, and despoiled; and yet at his word, the word of one who was in bondage, the whole world trembles.

Rome! To you I will come four times.

The first time, I shall strike your lands and the inhabitants thereof.

The second time, I shall bring the massacre and the slaughter even to your very walls. And will you not yet open your eyes?

I shall come a third time and I shall beat down to the ground your defenses and the defenders, and at the command of the Father, the reign of terror, of dreadful fear, and of desolation shall enter into your city.

But My wise men have now fled and My law is even now trampled underfoot. Therefore I will make a fourth visit. Woe to you if My law shall still be considered as empty words. There will be deceit and falsehood among both the learned and the ignorant. Your blood and that of your children will wash away your stains upon God's law. War, pestilence and famine are the rods to scourge men's pride and wickedness. O wealthy men, where is your glory now, your estates, your palaces? They are the rubble on the highways and byways.

And your priests, why have you not run to 'cry between the vestibule and the Altar,' begging God to end these scourges? Why have you not, with the shield of faith, gone upon the housetops, into the homes, along the highways and byways, into every accessible corner to carry the seed of My word? Know you that this is the terrible two-edged sword that cuts down My enemies and breaks the Anger of God and of men?"

In our own time, the germ ideas of a one-world religion are already being sowed. And this false humanitarian religion will burst into poisonous flower when enough hearts have grown cold and have abandoned the true religion. As Jane Le Royer explained in prophecy: "When the time of the Antichrist is near, a false religion will appear which will be opposed to the unity of God and His Church. This will cause the greatest schism the world has ever known."

Can you not see the emerging signs? How do we find the Church today? The Mystical Body of the Crucified One - the Holy Catholic Church - is climbing Calvary, carrying a heavy cross. She is experiencing the hour of abandonment and betrayal. Her body is being tormented by the scourges of sin which strike at it and by numerous sacrileges which open up deep wounds in it. A Catholic priest in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts openly calls her "evil" just as the Pharisees suggested Our Lord was evil and demon possessed (Matthew 11:18; 12: 24). And his parishioners applaud.

Indeed, Our Lady told Father Gobbi,"The hour of Calvary has arrived for the Church, called to offer herself in holocaust and to be immolated on the cross of her bloody martyrdom. The hour of Calvary has arrived for this poor humanity, which is already beginning to live the painful hours of its chastisement..' (Rome, May 1, 1994).

But too many are proud. Their eyes blinded by sin and egoism. Like the Pharisees before them, they are incapable of reading the signs of the times because their spiritual eyes are closed. They cannot hear the Spirit because their ears are closed. They cannot feel the promptings of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus because their hearts are closed. Such people cannot endure sound teaching but have itching ears and will continue to accumulate teachers who suit their own likings, teachers who will cater to their lusts by providing them with myths (2 Timothy 4: 3, 4).

And still so many of our shepherds remain silent like mute dogs. They have not begged God to end these scourges. They have not wept between the vestibule and the altar. They have not taken up the shield of faith to protect their flocks. Their judgment will be all the more severe, for God expects more from His ministers (Luke 12: 48).

Watch and pray!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Are we witnessing the emergence of the Beast's False Prophet?

Writing for the Associated Press, Rachel Zoll reports that, "The Vatican is taking the unusual step of conducting a worldwide survey on how parishes deal with sensitive issues such as birth control, divorce and gay marriage, seeking input ahead of a major meeting on the family that Pope Francis plans next year.

The poll was sent in mid-October to every national conference of bishops with a request from the Vatican coordinator, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, to "share it immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received."

The survey reflects the pope's pledges to move away from what he called a "Vatican-centric" approach toward one where local church leaders are more involved in decision-making.

Among the questions are whether gay marriage is recognized in their country and how priests minister to same-sex couples, including how churches can respond when gays seek a religious education or Holy Communion for their children. The poll also asks "how is God's mercy proclaimed" to separated, divorced and remarried couples. Additional information is sought on the pastoral care of men and women who live together outside of marriage. The survey also asks parishes whether they believe married men and women tend to follow church teaching barring the use of artificial contraception.

The National Catholic Reporter, an independent news organization, was first to report Thursday that the survey will be conducted, and it posted a copy online.

Helen Osman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, confirmed plans for the poll to The Associated Press."

Ten years ago, I was part of a movement (Faithful Voice) which was organized to expose the philosophical underpinnings of VOTF ("Voice of the Faithful"), a dissent group which was involved in a desperate attempt to convince the faithful that the structure of the Church must change and become more democratic.

Now we have a Pope who seems to be toying with the idea of a "democratic" Church envisaged by members of the flagging dissent group as well as dissidents everywhere.

While it is true that some practices in the Church are similar to those of a representative democracy, for example, Bishops who are united with the Pope share authority with him, and their leadership is collegial (LG, No. 22), and the lay faithful have a right to make their needs and desires known while appropriately expressing their opinions (LG, No. 37), still, authority in the Church has a different foundation from authority in a representative democracy. Not to mention a different function. Leaders in a representative democracy govern in the name of the people. But within the Church, pastors govern in the name of the Lord Jesus. By appointment, mission and commission, Jesus has provided for the continuation of His royal office. The hierarchy of jurisdiction, therefore, is a divine institution (LG, No. 18). This hierarchy constitutes the external framework of that organism in which Jesus Himself lives and of which He is both the juridic and mystic Head, namely, His Mystical Body the Church.

Members of the primitive Church understood this as do faithful Catholics today. They knew that the Apostles had received from Jesus their power to teach, rule and sanctify. They understood that even Jesus’ teaching is not His own and that the Spirit does not speak on his own (Jn 7:16; 16:13). In short, they understood that everything comes from the Father (Jas 1:17-18).

Morality is not the fruit of democratic consensus.  A thing is not good or bad or true or false based on public opinion polls.  Morality is not (and cannot ever be) the result of the sum of individual opinions.  Dignitatis Humanae, No. 2 of the Second Vatican Council teaches us that, "It is in accordance with their dignity as persons-that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility-that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth.."

But some are not interested in this moral obligation to seek the truth, and especially religious truth, and to adhere to it once it is known. Such people do not want to hear. They refuse to open their eyes. They refuse to be converted. To such people Our Lord issues a stern rebuke: "He who is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear is that you are not of God." (John 8:47).

For such people, the first demand of conscience, which is that the truth be honestly sought, is not essential. For they have a different concept of conscience. One which Pope Benedict XVI has rejected. Our Holy Father explains that liberalism's idea of conscience, "...does not mean man's openness to the ground of his being, the power of perception for what is highest and most essential. Rather, it appears as subjectivity's protective shell, into which man can escape and there hide from reality." Such a notion of conscience, ".does not open the way to the redemptive road to truth - which either does not exist or, if it does, is too demanding. It is the faculty that dispenses with truth. It thereby becomes the justification for subjectivity, which would not like to have itself called into question. Similarly, it becomes the justification for social conformity...The obligation to seek the truth terminates, as do any doubts about the general inclination of society and what it has become accustomed to. Being convinced of oneself, as well as conforming to others, is sufficient. Man is reduced to his superficial conviction.." (Keynote Address of the Tenth Bishops' Workshop of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, on "Catholic Conscience: Foundation and Formation," February 1991).

The liberal notion of conscience becomes the justification for subjectivity and becomes the faculty that dispenses with truth.

And the truth must be dispensed with so that the Man of Sin will be followed by the masses.  Are we witnessing the emergence of the false prophet who will lead untold millions to prostrate themselves to the Son of Perdition?

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