Pope Francis’ Vision for the Church: As Relayed to an Atheist

by Paul Simmons

On the sixth month of his pontificate, Pope Francis rocked the Catholic world with a series of landmarkinterviews granted to Eugenio Scalfari – the atheist editor and founder of the historically rabid, anti-Catholic Italian publication entitled “La Repubblica”.  Pope Francis initially submitted a letter to Scalfari on September 11, 2013, which was followed up with a face-to-face interview on October 1, 2013.

The atheist Scalfari, historically critical of the papacy and the Catholic Church, at the end of the interview, gushed: “This is Pope Francis. If the Church becomes what he imagines and desires, it will mean the changing of an era.”

The interview, upon closer inspection, is a concise summary of Pope Francis’ all-encompassing vision for the Catholic Church.  While conservative Catholic publications voiced their concerns with many of the points raised in the interview, much of the secular media have nothing but rave reviews of Pope Francis’ new vision for the Church.

This vision, as we shall see subsequently in this article, is a stark departure from the line of previous pontiffs.  Scalfari summarised some of the “innovations”, as he calls it, of the new pontiff that have won over hearts of the secular media:“His mission contains two scandalous innovations: the poor Church of Francis, the horizontal Church of Martini. And a third: a God who does not judge, but forgives. There is no damnation, there is no hell.”

After much controversy, the full text of the interview was taken off from the official Vatican website, after initially being published in full.

So what did the pope have to say in the interview?  In this article we tackle some of most important points, as well as a personal opinion and analysis of this author regarding these points.

What is The Most Urgent Problem Facing the Church?

According to the pope, “the most serious evils currently afflicting the world are unemployment among the young and the solitude in which the elderly are left. This, in my opinion, is the most urgent problem facing the Church”.

While it is true that youth unemployment is a serious issue, should this be THE number one priority of the Church?  The Catholic Church is not an NGO.  It is not the private sector.  It is not the government.  Youth unemployment is a societal problem that should be the main responsibility of the government, with cooperation from NGOs and the private sector.

On a practical level, even if it wanted to, the Church does not have the means and resources to solve this problem.   Priests are not equipped or trained to solve this problem.  The formation of priests is not about solving youth unemployment – priestly formation is all about learning the Catholic Faith and Catholic Spirituality, so that priests can subsequently impart this to their flock.

If solving youth unemployment is the number one priority of the Church, does this mean that priests should spend more time finding ways to provide employment to the youth?  Doing so will mean priests spending more time on worldly, secular affairs – working with the private sector to promote employment, launching job fairs, encouraging local businesses and industries, perhaps even launching their own job-promoting businesses as well.  Private industry and government are the only ones who can solve this unemployment problem –  not the Church.

Priests are NOT NGO workers.  Priests are not businessmen.  Priests are not government workers.  Priests are, first and foremost, caretakers of souls.  The main goal of priests should be to help their flock advance spiritually in order to go to heaven.  Heaven is the ultimate goal. The sacraments – the Eucharist, Confession, Baptism, etc – are the spiritual tools that the flock need that nobody else can provide except priests.

As the Lord Jesus said, “What profit is there for a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul in the process?”  If we were to re-phrase this within the context of the problem of youth unemployment: “What profit is there for all the youth in the world to find profitable employment but lose their souls in the process?”  What use is there in providing the youth jobs if they end up squandering their spiritual lives?  Saving souls is the most important priority of priests – and the Church in general.

On Abortion, Life

While previous pontiffs have emphasised the fight for life and protection of the unborn, as well as preservation of Catholic dogma in the midst of a secular world, Pope Francis has instead de-emphasised these things.  In an interview with “La Civilta Cattolica”, he said: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible…it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

Furthermore, he stressed: “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”

As a result of this interview, secular newspapers and publications around the world screamed their headlines: “Pope says Church is ‘Obsessed’ with Gays, Abortion and Birth Control” (New York Times), “Pope says Church must end obsession with gays, contraception, abortion” (Reuters),“American Catholics back pope’s downplaying of social issues” (CNN).

Some abortion clinics even went to the extent of placing the pope’s words (“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion..”) in their premises.  NARAL, a large pro-choice and pro-abortion organisation in the United States, posted a note in their Facebook page the day after the pope’s interview: “Dear Pope Francis, Thank You. Signed, Pro-Choice women everywhere.”

On Homosexual Marriages

The pope likewise made headlines all over the world when, on an interview onboard a plane after World Youth Day celebrations in Brazil, he proclaimed to journalists: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” This is in marked contrast to Pope Benedict XVI who, while emphasising the need to respect people with homosexual tendencies, emphasised that “deep-seated homosexual tendencies…are objectively disordered.”

That simple, one line comment sparked a wave of headlines around the world.  Secular newspapers screamed: “Pope signals openness to gay priests” (Wall Street Journal); “Pope Francis says he won’t judge gay priests” (Fox News); “Pope charts new ground on gay priests and women”(Forbes).

Politicians pushing for legalisation of homosexual marriages latched on to the pope’s words.   Illinois recently became the 16th state in the United States to legalize homosexuality, and several Catholic politicians, who were previously unsure of their stand, cited the pope’s words as the basis for their “change of heart” that led to them voting for the measure.  Michael Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, went so far as quoting the pope in supporting the measure. In his final speech during the deliberations on the proposed bill, Madigan said:

…the quote that I offer is a quote from Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic church, who is quoted as saying, “If someone is gay, and he searches for the Lord, and he has good will, who am I to judge?” Pope Francis has spoken, and he has articulated the ba-sis of my thinking on this issue… For those that just happen to be gay – living in a very harmonious, productive relationship but illegal – who am I to judge that they should be illegal?

A Major Change in Emphasis

While there seems to be no clear change in doctrine with regard to marriage and the Church’s stand on abortion, there is a very clear change in emphasis.  Many conservative Catholics, embroiled in the midst of a fierce battle with governments on issues such as gay marriages and abortion, have been caught off guard.

Many Catholics have defended the pope, saying that the secular media is taking Pope Francis’ words out of context and taking advantage of this to promote their own causes.  They emphasise that the pope has not really changed any of the Church’s teachings in this regard.  But while that is true, what is clear is that this very unmistakeable change in emphasis cannot be interpreted any other way except for this: we should not be “too obsessed” with issues such as the fight for life and defence of the family.  The fight for life and defence of the family are NOT the most important problems facing the Church today.

The slaughter of millions of defenseless, unborn babies is NOT our priority.  The defence of the traditional family unit – the view of marriage as only between a man and a woman – is NOT our priority.  Fighting the government’s efforts to legalise abortion and homosexual marriages in our countries is NOT our priority.  Rather, our priority should be focused on  solving the problem of “unemployment among the young” and “the solitude in which the elderly are left.”

The subtle, dangerous message to Catholics, particularly pro-life advocates, is this:  Tone down, don’t be too obsessed with your cause.  The pro-life movement is NOT the Church’s priority. Rather than spending so much time petitioning your government and the supreme court to defend life and defend the family, we need to spend more time helping find employment for the young.

Is youth unemployment a more important problem than the slaughter of millions of innocent babies in their mother’s wombs?  Is youth unemployment more important than the defence of the traditional family unit – the bedrock of society?  Isn’t it that when you destroy the family unit, you destroy society?  Look at the Western world today – it is a society in decay and moral collapse.  At the root of this decay and collapse is the destruction of the family – through divorce, gay marriages, abortion.

Is there a “Catholic God”?

The pope said to Scalfari: “… I believe in God. Not in a Catholic God; a Catholic God doesn’t exist.”

What is the problem with the above statement?  It essentially tells us that the Catholic view of God is not the only true view of God.  Every religion has its own view of God. For Muslims, God is Allah – Jesus Christ is not God, He is just a prophet.  For Buddhists, God is not a real entity, a real Being, but “nirvana” – a state of mind.   For satanists, their “God” is the “Great Architect of the Universe” – Lucifer, the “light”.

Based on the pope’s statement, all of these various perspectives of God are correct.  There is no single interpretation of God that is correct.  The Catholic interpretation of God does not exist.  In other words, our view of God as a Most Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is not the only valid view of God.  The Muslim view is valid as well. The Buddhist view is all right.  Even the satanic view is all right.

But isn’t it that we should be absolutely insisting on the Catholic view of God?  The Catholic view of God is that of the Most Holy Trinity.  Jesus is not just a prophet, but the Son of God made flesh.  Shouldn’t we be emphasising that the Catholic view of God is the one, true view?  This Catholic view of God is not something that can be diluted.  It is non-negotiable.  We cannot accept the Muslim interpretation of God that denies the divinity of Jesus. We cannot accept the Buddhist view that God is not a real entity but just a “state of mind.” We cannot compromise the Catholic view on God for the sake of “ecumenism” and “unity” with our non-Christian brethren.

Is there an Absolute Right and Wrong? 

Scalfari asked the pope: “Your Holiness, is there only one vision of the Good? And who determines what it is?”

The pope answered:

Each one of us has his own vision of the Good and also of Evil. We have to urge it [the vision] to move towards what one perceives as the Good…I repeat it. Everyone has his own idea of Good and Evil and he has to choose to follow the Good and to fight Evil as he understands it. This would be enough to improve the world.

In his original letter to Scalfari, the pope expounded on the above point:

The question for one who doesn’t believe in God lies in obeying one’s conscience. Sin, also for those who don’t have faith, exists when one goes against one’s conscience. To listen to and to obey it means, in fact, to decide in face of what is perceived as good or evil. And on this decision pivots the goodness or malice of our action.

The pope’s statement above is moral relativism –  a dangerous heresy that, if adopted by the world, will cause widespread adoption of sin.  “Each one of us has his own vision of the Good and also of Evil” – in other words, there are no absolute truths.  There are no absolute moral codes of conduct.  No institution, no Church has the right to definitely say what is right and what is wrong.  The ten commandments are not relevant – each one of us can write our own version of the ten commandments.  Everyone is free to judge for himself what is good and what is bad.

Imagine the problems that this statement will cause in the world.  The terrorist has his “own vision of the Good and also of Evil”.  For him, the act of beheading innocent people for the sake of Allah is “good”.  Blowing himself up to kill and maim hundreds of people is “good” – it is his ticket to heaven.  There is nothing wrong with these brutal actions – for as long as they do not go against the terrorist’s conscience which, in his own personal version, absolves these actions as actually “good.”

For the teenager who gets impregnated, her “own vision of the good” is that since she is not emotionally ready to have a baby, and does not have the financial resources needed, it is perfectly within her right to terminate the pregnancy.

For homosexuals who decide to get married, their “own vision of the good” is that everyone in love, regardless of their gender, has a right to marriage.   For government officials who plunder and steal the people’s money, their “own vision of the good” is that for as long as they are able to help the people somehow, it is OK to personally reward themselves through corruption.  The list goes on and on.

To say that “each one of us has his own vision of the Good and also of Evil”is to give everyone the license to do whatever he or she wants to do in this life.  You can do absolutely whatever you want in this life – commit an abortion, kill, commit slander, steal – for as long as your action is aligned with your “own vision of the good and also of evil.” Any action in this life is OK – for as long as we “choose to follow the Good and to fight Evil as he understands it.”

Moral Relativism is a Grave Heresy

Peter Kreeft, a known Catholic apologist and writer, warned against moral relativism, saying that it is “the single most important issue of our age”.  He defines moral relativism as follows:

Moral relativism usually includes three claims: That morality is first of all changeable; secondly, subjective; and third, individual. That it is relative first to changing times; you can’t turn back the clock. Secondly, to what we subjectively think or feel; there is noth-ing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. And thirdly, to individuals; different strokes for different folks. Moral absolutism claims that there are moral principles that are un-changeable, objective, and universal.

Compare the above definition of moral relativism to the statement of Pope Francis:  “Each one of us has his own vision of the Good and also of Evil. We have to urge it [the vision] to move towards what one perceives as the Good…I repeat it. Everyone has his own idea of Good and Evil and he has to choose to follow the Good and to fight Evil as he understands it. This would be enough to improve the world”.

Clearly, the pope’s statement (“Each one of us has his own vision of the Good and also of Evil”) is consistent with Kreef’s definition of moral relativism: morality is changeable, it is subjective, and it is individual.

Kreeft says that “no society has ever survived without rejecting” moral relativism:

Moral relativism is a philosophy that denies moral absolutes. That thought to me is the prime suspect—public enemy number one. The philosophy that has extinguished the light in the minds of our teachers, and then their students, and eventually, if not re-versed, will extinguish our whole civilization. Therefore, I want not just to present a strong case against moral relativism, but to refute it, to unmask it, to strip it naked, to humiliate it, to shame it…How important is the issue? The issue of moral relativism is merely the single most important issue of our age, for no society in all of human history has ever survived without rejecting the philosophy that I am about to refute.

Pope Francis’ position on moral relativism is a complete reversal to Pope Benedict XVI’s view that moral relativism is a danger that the Church must fight.  Just before the College of Cardinals entered the 2005 conclave to vote on the successor to John Paul II, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, warned against the dangers of moral relativism.  He said: “A dictatorship of relativism is being formed, one that recognises nothing as definitive and that has as its measure only the self and its desires.”

Are we Obliged to Follow a Heretical Teaching?

Is it acceptable to criticise the pope?  Aren’t we, as Catholics, obliged to obey the pope in all things?  One may answer that in cases where the pope teaches heresy, yes we can criticise the pope, and no we are not obliged to obey in cases where the teaching is heretical.  The teaching that “each one of us has his own vision of the Good and also of Evil”, as Pope Francis has said, is moral relativism and is a clearly heretical teaching that will lead to widespread disorder and sin, were it to be obeyed.

Canon 188.4 (1917 Code of Canon Law) states that if a cleric (pope, bishop, etc.) becomes a heretic, he loses his office, without any declaration by operation of law. St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Antonius, St. Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and many other theologians all taught that a heretic cannot be a valid pope. St. Alplhonsus said: “If however, God were to permit a pope to become a notoriously and contumacious heretic, he would by such fact cease to be pope, and the apostolic chair would be vacant.”

 St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J. also wrote:  “Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed.”

Why is the Pope Saying these Things?

Why is the pope saying these things?  The personal opinion of this author is that we are witnessing the unveiling of prophecies foretold long ago right before our very eyes. Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich saw a vision of a future false church in the period preceding the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus:  “I saw also the relationship between two popes…I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city of Rome.”

 Many other prophecies and apparitions foretell of the emergence of the “False Prophet” in the bible, who will lead the church into error, before the Second Coming of Jesus. For more info on these visions and prophecies, read this article.

The Need to be Watchful

Is this all too incredible for us?  The controversial remarks of Pope Francis should lead one to ponder them seriously. At the very least – was the pope just being careless, not realising the impact of his statements on the morals of mankind? Or is he paving the way for more drastic changes?

Either way, we – especially the religious and clergy – cannot just be indifferent. There is a famous quote: “Evil thrives when good men do nothing.”  Let us be watchful and vigilant. Most of all, we pray for our beloved Church – and the two popes.

Is Pope Francis Redefining Catholic Doctrine?

by Paul Simmons

In the first year of his pontificate, Pope Francis has undeniably shaken up the Catholic world with a dramatic change in approach and style as compared to his predecessors. While much of the mainstream media has been unified in singing praises on the pope’s efforts to “reform” the Church, responses within the Catholic faithful itself are not as unified.  In fact, Catholic response to Pope Francis can be classified into three, distinct, emerging “camps”.

The first camp includes the more liberal elements within the Church who, like mainstream media, have leaped on the bandwagon, rejoicing at the seemingly more liberal attitude of the Catholic hierarchy on previously hot-button topics such as gay marriages and abortion.

The second camp includes those in the “middle” who, while recognising the radically different approach, nonetheless insist that the pope really hasn’t changed any Catholic doctrine.  Instead, they say that the pope has a more “pastoral” approach, and the difference between him and previous pontiffs is more in terms of emphasis and style rather than substance, or doctrine.

The third camp includes those who are increasingly branded by mainstream media as the “far right”, the “conservatives”, who are alarmed at the dramatic contrast in approach by the current pontiff and his predecessors.  Many “conservative” blogs and publications are increasingly pointing out that this is not just a subtle change in style we are witnessing – instead, they say, it is a powerful revolution slowly unveiling that is increasingly leading to fundamental changes not just in “style”, but in “substance”, or Church doctrine.

The key question, therefore, is this: Is Pope Francis actually re-defining Catholic doctrine?  Has he made any substantial changes to Catholic doctrine that are fundamentally opposed to the Church’s traditional teachings as contained in the Catechism?

In this article, we examine five (5) teachings of Pope Francis which, upon closer scrutiny, appear to be efforts at re-defining certain important Catholic doctrines.

Can Atheists go to Heaven?

On May 21, 2013, Pope Francis created a global firestorm of religious debate as a result of a homily that talked about atheists.  In that controversial homily, the pope essentially emphasized that what matters more is not so much our religious affiliation, but that “we do good”:

If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. “But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!” But do good: we will meet one another there.

After that homily, headlines in major newspapers and mainstream press such as the New York Times screamed with the “big news” that according to the pope, even atheists can now go to heaven: all of us, including atheists, will “meet one another there [heaven]” for as long as we do good.  Here are some examples of the various headlines that made it in major publications: “Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate”“Is Pope Francis a heretic? No but he does raise questions”“Pope Francis: ‘Even the atheists’ can go to heaven’.”  

In a letter to Eugenio Scalfari, atheist founder and editor of La Republicca, Pope Francis expounded on this theme further, suggesting that all that matters for atheists is to “obey their own conscience”:

The question for one who doesn’t believe in God lies in obeying one’s conscience. Sin, also for those who don’t have faith, exists when one goes against one’s conscience. To listen to and to obey it means, in fact, to decide in face of what is perceived as good or evil. And on this decision pivots the goodness or malice of our action.

There are two important points of Church teaching that we need to keep in mind when we read the Pope’s statement above:

  1. Atheism is a mortal sin
  2. Salvation can only be attained through Jesus Christ, and through His Body, the Church

Atheism is a mortal sin.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly teaches that atheism is a mortal sin.  Those who die without repenting of mortal sin go to hell. Therefore, atheists who die without repenting of their mortal sin cannot go to heaven.  The Catechism clearly states this:“Atheism must therefore be regarded as one of the most serious problems of our time…Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion.” (Part 3, Section 2, Chapter 1, #2123)

We also recall the words of Jesus Himself, who emphasised that loving God is the first and the greatest of all the commandments:

And one of them, a doctor of the Law, putting him to the test, asked him, “Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.’ This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”(Matthew 22:35-40)

Rather than warning atheists of the dangers of remaining in a state of mortal sin, or giving them proofs for the existence of God, the pope instead implies that being an atheist is all right: for as long as they “obey their own conscience” (even if this “conscience” tells them that God doesn’t exist).

Salvation can only be attained through Jesus Christ. This is the very foundation of Christianity and our Faith.  Our Faith clearly states that those who do not repent and believe in Jesus cannot be saved: “I am the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” Therefore, atheists who do not repent and ask Jesus for mercy cannot be saved.   Furthermore, the Church teaches that all salvation comes from Christ, the Head, through the Catholic Church which is His body.  Therefore, they cannot be saved who, with full knowledge of the Church as founded by Christ and necessary for salvation, refuse to enter or remain in the Church.

The Previously Condemned Liberation Theology Movement is Back

Liberation Theology is a political and theological movement which originated in Latin America. The movement interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in relation to a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions.  The term was coined in 1971 by the Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez, widely regarded as the founder of the movement.  He wrote one of the movement’s most famous books, “A Theology of Liberation”.  It has been criticized as a Marxist interpretation of the gospel, focusing on freedom from material poverty and injustice rather than giving primacy to spiritual freedom.

Both John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI condemned Liberation Theology. In a 1979 speech given to the Latin American bishops conference, John Paul II criticised the movement, saying “this conception of Christ, as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechism”.  

In 1984, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued an Instruction on Liberation Theology entitled“Liberatis Nuntius”.  In the document, Ratzinger condemned the movement, clarifying in unequivocal terms the Church’s position: “An analysis of the phenomenon of liberation theology reveals that it constitutes afundamental threat to the faith of the Church.”

More recently, on 7 March 2014, the Catholic News Agency publishedexcerpts of an interview with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI conducted by an Italian newspaper, in which Benedict called Liberation Theology a“falsification of the Christian faith”. Referring to Liberation Theology, he said:

It [Liberation Theology] was an error. Poverty and the poor were, without a doubt, set at the center of Liberation Theology, yet in a very specific perspective…It was said that it was not a question of help or of reforms, but rather of the great upheaval from which a new world would spring…the Christian faith was being used as a motor for this revolutionary movement, transforming it into a political force…A falsification of the Christian faith needed to be opposed precisely for the sake of the poor and in favor of the service rendered to them.

What is wrong with Liberation Theology, and why did previous pontiffs condemn it?

First, Liberation Theology was considered by many as a dangerous re-packaging of Marxism – the underlying philosophy behind the scourge of communism which has driven billions of people to atheism. Many statements written by Gutierrez in his book “A Theology of Liberation” were condemned by then Cardinal Ratzinger for their Marxist tone.  Gutierrez went so far as to call for a “socialist society” to come to pass:

Only a radical break with the present state of things, a profound transformation of the property system, the access to power by the exploited class, a social revolution that breaks up that dependence, will allow a different society, a Socialist society to come to pass.

Another great error of the movement is that it puts liberation from earthly injustice as the topmost priority of Christianity; liberation from sin is de-emphasised. Then Cardinal Ratzinger, however, emphasised that sin, not human injustice or poverty, is the greatest evil:

New Testament revelation teaches us that sin is the greatest evil, since it strikes man in the heart of his personality. The first liberation, to which all others must make reference, is that from sin…the most radical form of slavery is slavery to sin. Other forms of slavery find their deepest root in slavery to sin. That is why freedom in the full Christian sense, characterized by the life in the Spirit, cannot be confused with a license to give in to the desires of the flesh…it is significant that the term “freedom” is often replaced in Scripture by the very closely related term, “redemption”.

Under Pope Francis, however, the Liberation Theology movement is making a dramatic comeback.   Yes, this movement, described by previous pontiffs as a “fundamental threat to the faith of the Church”, is very much back in the spotlight.

In early September 2013, the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published an interview with Gutierrez, an article written by Gutierrez himself, as well as two other articles praising his work – one of them by the current prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller.  Archbishop Muller, a close friend of Gutierrez, supports the movement, saying:  “The Latin American ecclesial and theological movement known as ‘Liberation Theology’, which spread to other parts of the world after the Second Vatican Council, should in my opinion be included among the most important currents in 20th century Catholic theology.”

One of Pope Francis’ earliest gestures was to invite Gutierrez himself to Rome.  In their meeting in Rome on September 11, 2013, Francis and Gutierrez celebrated Mass together, then had breakfast.   Not long after that meeting with Gutierrez, Pope Francis revived the stalled beatification case of another exponent of Liberation Theology – Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of El Salvador assassinated in 1980. More recently, on February 20, 2014, Gutierrez was invited to speak in a high-profile event in the Vatican (which coincided with all the Cardinals of the world visiting the Vatican for the installation of 19 new Cardinals) – the launch of a book by Archbishop Muller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Some observers have also noted that the movement is close to becoming official doctrine of the Church  under “Evangelii Gaudium”, the Pope’s first apostolic exhortation.  The document sparked much controversy, particularly in the West for its condemnation of capitalism, with some conservative Americans, such as the famous US radio commentator Rush Limbaugh even saying that the Pope was preaching “pure Marxism”.

The Church is Like Mary and Has Flaws

In a General Audience on September 11, 2013, Pope Francis gave a Catechesis on the Church and the Blessed Virgin Mary, where he gave a questionable analogy between the Church which “has defects”, and Mary:

The Church and the Virgin Mary are mothers, both of them; what is said of the Church can be said also of Our Lady and what is said of Our Lady can also be said of the Church…Do we love the Church as we love our mothers, also taking into account her defects? All mothers have defects, we all have defects, but when we speak of our mother’s defects we gloss over them, we love her as she is. And the Church also has her defects: but we love her just as a mother. Do we help her to be more beautiful, more authentic, more in harmony with the Lord?

The above is a very subtle re-definition of both the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (proclaimed by Pius IX in 1854), and the doctrine of the Church’s own perfect sanctity. If we were to re-construct the above statement, the unstated conclusion (which the readers are left to infer) is that Our Lady has defects and is not “spotless”:

  1. Pope Francis: “…what is said of the Church can be said also of Our Lady.”
  2. Pope Francis: “the Church also has her defects…”
  3. Unstated Conclusion (Reader): Therefore, Our Lady also has her defects.

Again, although the conclusion is not clearly stated, the inevitable flow of the argumentation subtly leads the reader to reach the conclusion that Mary is “flawed” and has “defects”, just like the Church which also has defects. This is contrary to the Church teaching on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception:

Because Mary was destined to be the Mother of the Son of God, and because it was repugnant that God should have any contact, however indirect, with sin, Mary was preserved from the very first moment of her existence from the spiritual darkness of original sin. Therefore, from the very instant of her conception in the womb of her mother Anna, Mary was in union with God, her soul was flooded with His love, she was in the state of sanctifying grace.

Church teaching is clear: The Mother of God is flawless, without sin: she is Immaculate.  As such, Mary is the Mother of the Church and our model.  In his Apostolic Exhortation Signum Magnum given May 13, 1967, Pope Paul VI emphasised that “Mary is the Mother of the Church – not only because she is the mother of Jesus Christ…but also because she ‘shines as the model of virtues for the whole community of the elect.’”

Another important teaching to remember is that of the doctrine of the Church’s own perfect sanctity.     The Catechism of the Catholic Church emphasises that despite the sinfulness of the Church’s members, the Church herself is without any flaws – she is “unfailingly holy.” Below is theexact text from the Catechism on this teaching:

The Church . . . is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as ‘alone holy,’ loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up for her so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God. The Church, then, is “the holy People of God,” and her members are called “saints.” (Part 1, Section 2, Chapter 3, Article 9, #823)

Pope Piux XI, in his encyclical Divini Illius Magistri, said:

…the Church, although human faults can be found in her, is always the Church of Christ, and, as such, true and infallible in preserving and transmitting the sacred deposit of faith, that is, of truth and heavenly grace; and she is holy…

Pope Pius XII, on the other hand, said:

Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments, by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary graces through which, with inexhaustible fecundity, she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors. But it cannot be laid to her charge if some members fall, weak or wounded.

“We need not be afraid” of the Last Judgement 

In a general audience given on December 11, 2013, Pope Francis gave aCatechesis on the Last  Judgement that, upon closer inspection, is essentially a reversal of important aspects of the Church’s official teaching on the matter.

Before we go into the details of the Pope’s catechesis, let us first understand: What is the Church’s official teaching on the Last Judgement?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has a very specific teaching on the Last Judgement: “The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history…” (Part 1, Section 2, Chapter 3,  Article 12, #1040)

The Last Judgement is the hour when Christ will come

in his glory, and all the angels with him. . . . Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. . . . And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (#1038)

The Catechism emphasizes that a holy fear of the Last Judgement is important and fruitful to our souls: “The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them ‘the acceptable time, . . . the day of salvation.’ It inspires a holy fear of God…”

Various saints have emphasised the importance of this holy fear in the final judgement of the Lord during His Second Coming.  Saint Jerome said: “As often as I consider the Day of Judgment, I Tremble. Whether I Eat, or Drink, or whatever else I do, that Terrible Trumpet appears to Sound in my Ears,‘Arise, ye Dead, and Come to Judgment’’’.

An important point to remember is that at the day of the Last Judgement, our relatives, the saints, even the Blessed Mother can no longer intervene on our behalf, as the time of mercy shall have ceased.  For unrepentant sinners, Jesus shall not be a merciful saviour at that stage, but a terrible judge.  Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri said:

Oh! how Great, shall be the Agony-of the Reprobate, at the Sight-of the Judge! “At their Presence”, says the Prophet Joel, “the People shall be in Grievous Pains” – Joel 2:6. According-to Saint Jerome, the Presence-of Jesus Christ, will Give the Reprobate, more Pain than Hell itself. “It would”, he says, “be easier for the Damned to Bear the Torments of Hell, than the Presence of the Lord”.

To summarize, therefore, there are three important things to remember with regard to the Church’s teaching on the Last Judgement:

  1. The Last Judgement is an event that will happen at the end of time when Jesus returns in glory
  2. holy fear of the Last Judgement is important and spiritually fruitful
  3. Jesus will not be a merciful saviour at the Last Judgement; instead He will be the Just Judge.  At that stage, nobody can intercede anymore on our behalf as the time of mercy shall have ceased

In his December 11 Catechesis, Pope Francis emphasised that “we need not be afraid” of the Last Judgement.   Below are some important points he made which, upon closer inspection, are a subtle re-definition of the Church teaching on the Last Judgement:

Official Church Teaching: The Last Judgement is an event that will happen at the end of time when Jesus returns in glory

Pope Francis: “…this final judgement is already in progress, it begins now over the course of our lives… We…in a certain sense, can become judges of ourselves, by condemning ourselves to exclusion from communion with God and with the brethren.” 

Official Church Teaching: At the Last Judgement, Jesus will not be a merciful Savior, but a Just Judge.

Pope Francis: “…at the moment of judgement, we will not be left alone…How beautiful it is to know that at that juncture, in addition to Christ, our Paraclete, our Advocate with the Father…we will be able to count on the intercession and goodness of so many of our elder brothers and sisters who have gone before us on the journey of faith.”

Official Church Teaching: A holy fear of the Last Judgement is important and spiritually fruitful

Pope Francis: “We need not be afraid…Whenever we think of Christ’s return and of his final judgement…we seem to find ourselves before a mystery which towers above us…A mystery which almost instinctively arouses a sense of fear in us, and perhaps even one of trepidation…the whole of Christian revelation culminates…at Jesus’ embrace, which is the fullness of life and the fullness of love…If we think of judgement in this perspective, all fear and hesitation fade and make room for expectation and deep joy.”

What the Pope has done in his December 11, 2013 Catechesis, therefore, is to subtly re-define the very meaning of the Last Judgement:

  1. Instead of an event that will happen at Jesus’ Second Coming, the Last Judgement is “already in progress, it begins now over the course of our lives.”
  2. Instead of emphasising a holy fear of the Last Judgement, we“need not be afraid.” 
  3. Instead of clearly understanding that at the Last Judgement, Jesus will come not as a merciful saviour, but as a Just Judge, we need not be afraid, since the Last Judgement “culminates…at Jesus’ embrace, which is the fullness of life and the fullness of love…” We need not be afraid, since “…at the moment of judgement, we will not be left alone…How beautiful it is to know that at that juncture, in addition to Christ, our Paraclete, our Advocate with the Father…we will be able to count on the intercession and goodness of so many of our elder brothers and sisters who have gone before us on the journey of faith.“

The issue with the above interpretation of the Last Judgement is that it discourages people from having a holy fear of God’s justice. Why bother with repentance and conversion from mortal sin – anyway, the Last Judgement “culminates…at Jesus’ embrace”, right?

While He is a merciful God, the Church clearly emphasises another Divine attribute: His Justice.  On the Last Judgement, God’s mercy ceases – at the Second Coming, Jesus comes not as a merciful Saviour, but as a Just Judge.  As the Catechism says: “The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them ‘the acceptable time, . . . the day of salvation.’ It inspires a holy fear of God…” A holy fear of God’s justice on the day of judgement is important!

Is There an Absolute Right and Wrong?

In September 2013, Pope Francis wrote a letter to Eugenio Scalfari, atheist founder and editor of the Italian publication La Republicca.  This letter, together with a subsequent face-to-face interview conducted by Scalfari with the Pope, sparked massive media coverage – and widespread controversy.  After much debate and controversy, the original text of the interview was taken down from the Vatican website.

During the one-on-one interview, Scalfari asked the pope: “Your Holiness, is there only one vision of the Good? And who determines what it is?”

The Pope answered:

Each one of us has his own vision of the Good and also of Evil. We have to urge it [the vision] to move towards what one perceives as the Good…I repeat it. Everyone has his own idea of Good and Evil and he has to choose to follow the Good and to fight Evil as he understands it. This would be enough to improve the world.

The Pope’s statement above is moral relativism –  a dangerous heresy that, if adopted by the world, will cause widespread adoption of sin.  To say that“each one of us has his own vision of the Good and also of Evil” is to give everyone the license to do whatever he or she wants to do in this life – it gives everyone the license to sin.  

You can do absolutely whatever you want in this life – commit an abortion, kill, commit slander, steal – for as long as your action is aligned with your“own vision of the good and also of evil.”  In other words, there are no absolute truths.  There are no absolute moral codes of conduct.  No institution, no Church has the right to definitely say what is right and what is wrong.  The Ten Commandments are not relevant – each one of us can write our own version of the Ten Commandments.  Everyone is free to judge for himself what is good and what is bad.

Pope Francis’ above position on moral relativism is a complete reversal to Pope Benedict XVI’s view that moral relativism is a danger that the Church must fight.  Just before the College of Cardinals entered the 2005 conclave to vote on the successor to John Paul II, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, warned against the dangers of moral relativism:“A dictatorship of relativism is being formed, one that recognises nothing as definitive and that has as its measure only the self and its desires.”

Doctrinal Error Veiled in Partial Truth is a Grave Danger

Pope Clement XIII once warned about the seriousness of doctrinal error veiled in partial truth, warning that “diabolical error, when it has artfully colored its lies, easily clothes itself in the likeness of truth while very brief additions or changes corrupt the meaning of expressions; and confession, which usually works salvation, sometimes, with a slight change, inches toward death.”

Pope Pius VI likewise warned against doctrinal “innovators” who

sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous maneuvers by the use of seemingly innocuous words such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner. Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith that is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation.

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich once saw a vision of a future false church in the period preceding the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus: “I saw also the relationship between two popes…I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city of Rome.”

Are we perhaps living in the end times prophesied in the Book of Revelation – the time of the emergence of the “false prophet” and the “antichrist” that will precede the Second Coming of Our Lord?  Let us be watchful and vigilant.

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s Prophecy on the “Two Popes”

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (d. 1824) was a mystic and stigmatist. She was beatified in 2004.

March 22, 1820

“I saw very clearly the errors the aberrations an the countless sins of men. I saw the folly and the wickedness of their actions, against all truth and all reason. Priests were among them, and I gladly endured my suffering so that they may return to a better mind.”

 April 12, 1820

“I had another vision of the great tribulation. It seems to me that a concession was demanded from the clergy which could not be granted. I saw many older priests, especially one, who wept bitterly. A few younger ones were also weeping. But others, and the lukewarm among them, readily did what was demanded. It was as if people were splitting into two camps…”

May 13, 1820

“I saw also the relationship between the two popes. . .

I saw how baleful (harmful) would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city (of Rome). The local clergy grew lukewarm, and I saw a great darkness…”

“Then the vision seemed to extend on every side. Whole Catholic communities were being oppressed, harassed, confined, and deprived of their freedom. I saw many churches closed down, great miseries everywhere, wars and bloodshed. A wild and ignorant mob took violent action. But it did not last long…”

“Once more I saw that the Church of Peter was undermined by a plan evolved by the secret sect [Freemasons], while storms were damaging it. But I saw also that help was coming when distress had reached its peak. I saw again the Blessed Virgin ascend on the Church and spread her mantle [over it].”

July, 1820

“I saw the Holy Father surrounded by traitors and in great distress about the Church. He had visions and apparitions in his hour of greatest need. I saw many good pious Bishops; but they were weak and wavering, their cowardice often got the upper hand…Then I saw  darkness spreading around and people no longer seeking the true Church.”  

August to October, 1820

 “I see more martyrs, not now but in the future…I saw the secret sect relentlessly undermining the great Church. Near them I saw a horrible beast coming up from the sea… All over the world, good and devout people especially the clergy were harassed oppressed and put into prison.  I had the feeling that they would become martyrs one day.”

“When the Church had been for the most part destroyed [by the secret sect Freemasons], and when only the sanctuary and altar were still standing, I saw the wreckers enter the Church with the Beast. There they met a Woman of noble carriage who seemed to be with child because she walked slowly. At this sight, the enemies were terrorized, and the Beast could not take but another step forward. It projected its neck towards the Woman as if to devour her, but the Woman turned about and bowed down [towards the altar], her head touching the ground. Thereupon, I saw the Beast taking to flight towards the sea again, and the enemies were fleeing in the greatest confusion…. Then, I saw in the great distance great legion approaching. In the foreground I saw a man on a white horse. Prisoners were set free and joined them. All enemies were pursued. Then, I saw that the Church was being promptly rebuilt, and she was more magnificent than ever before….” [After the Warning with billions of converts]

August 10, 1820

“I see the Holy Father in great anguish. He lives in a palace other than before [notice how Pope Benedict XVI no longer lives in the Papal residence?] and he admits only a limited number of friends near him. I fear that the Holy Father will suffer many more trials before he dies. I see that the false Church of darkness is making progress and I see the dreadful influence it has on the people. The Holy Father and the Church are verily in so great a distress that one must implore God night and day…”

“I have been told to pray much for the Church and the Pope…The people must pray earnestly for the extirpation (rooting out) of the dark church.”

“Last night I was taken to Rome where the Holy Father immersed in his sorrow, is still hiding to elude dangerous demands (made upon him). He is still very weak, and exhausted by sorrows, cares and prayers. He can now trust but few people. That is mainly why he is hiding. But he still has with him an aged priest who has much simplicity and godliness. He is his friend and because of his simplicity they did not think it would be worth removing him. But this man receives many graces from God. He sees and notices a great many things which he faithfully reports to the Holy Father. It was required of me to inform him while he was praying, of the traitors and evil doers who were to be found among the high ranking servants living close to him, so that he might be made aware of it.”

August 25, 1820

“I do not know in what manner I was taken to Rome last night, but I found myself near the Church of St Mary Major, and I saw many poor people who were greatly distressed and worried because the Pope was to be seen nowhere, and also on account of the restlessness and the alarming rumors in the city. These people did not seem to expect the Church doors to open; they only wanted to pray outside. An inner urging had left them there individually. But I was in the Church, and I opened the doors. They came in, surprised and frightened because the doors had opened. It seems to me that I was behind the door, and they could not see me. There was no office on in the Church. But the sanctuary lamps were lit. The people prayed quite peacefully…”

“Then I saw an apparition of the Mother of God, and she said that the tribulation would be very great. She added that people must pray fervently with outstretched arms, be it only long enough to say three Our Fathers. This was the way her Son prayed for them on the Cross. They must rise at twelve at night, and pray in this manner; and they must keep coming to the Church. They must pray above all for the Church of Darkness to leave Rome…”

“She (the Holy Mother) said a great many others things that it pains me to relate: she said that if only one priest could offer the bloodless sacrifice as worthily and with the same disposition as the Apostles, he could avert all the disasters (that are to come). To my knowledge the people in the Church did not see the apparition, but they must have been stirred by something supernatural, because as soon as the Holy Virgin had said that they must pray God with outstretched arms, they all raised their arms. These were all good and devout people, and they did not know where help and guidance should be sought. There were no traitors and enemies among them, yet they were afraid of one another. Once can judge thereby what the situation was like.”

September 10, 1820

“I saw the Church of St Peter: it has been destroyed but for the Sanctuary and the main altar. St Michael came down into the Church, clad in his suit of armor, and he paused, threatening with his sword and number of unworthy pastors who wanted to enter. That part of the Church which had been destroyed was promptly fenced in with light timber so that the Divine office might be celebrated as it should. Then, from all over the world came priests and laymen and they rebuilt the stone walls, since the wreckers had been unable to move the heavy foundation stones. And then I saw that the Church was being promptly rebuilt and She was more magnificent than ever before…”

September 12, 1820

 “I saw a strange church being built against every rule…No angels were supervising the building operations. In that church, nothing came from high above…There was only division and chaos. It is probably a church of human creation, following the latest fashion, as well as the new heterodox Church of Rome [one world church of the False Prophet], which seems of the same kind…”

“I saw again the strange big church that was being built there (in Rome). There was nothing holy in it. I saw this just as I saw a movement led by Ecclesiastics to which contributed angels, saints and other Christians. But there (in the strange big church) all the work was being done mechanically (i.e., according to set rules and formula). Everything was being done, according to human reason. I saw all sorts of people, things, doctrines, and opinions. There was something proud, presumptuous, and violent about it, and they seemed to be very successful. I did not see a single Angel nor a single saint helping in the work. But far away in the background, I saw the seat of a cruel people armed with spears, and I saw a laughing figure which said: ‘Do build it as solid as you can; we will put it to the ground’.”

“I saw that many of the instruments in the new Church, such as spears and darts, were meant to be used against the living Church. Everyone dragged in something different: clubs, rods, pumps, cudgels, puppets, mirrors, trumpets, horns bellows – all sorts of things. In the cave below (the sacristy) some people kneaded bread, but nothing came of it; it would not rise. The men in the little mantles brought wood to the steps of the pulpit to make a fire. They puffed and blew and labored hard, but the fire would not burn. All they produced was smoke and fumes. Then they broke a hole in the roof and ran up a pipe, but the smoke would not rise, and the whole place became black and suffocating. Some blew the horns so violently that the tears streamed from their eyes. All in this church belonged to the earth, returned to the earth. All was dead, the work of human skill, a church of the latest style, a church of man’s invention like the new heterodox church in Rome.”

September 27, 1820

“I saw deplorable things: they were gambling, drinking, and talking in church; they were also courting women. All sorts of abominations were perpetrated there. Priests allowed everything and said Mass with much irreverence. I saw that few of them were still godly, and only a few had sound views on things.  I also saw Jews standing under the porch of the Church [the Jews who will accept the Antichrist – John 5:43]. All these things caused me much distress.”

October 1, 1820

The Church is in great danger. We must pray so that the Pope may not leave Rome; countless evils would result if he did.  They are now demanding something from him. The Protestant doctrine and that of the schismatic Greeks are to spread everywhere. I now see that in this place (Rome) the (Catholic) Church is being so cleverly undermined, that there hardly remain a hundred or so priests who have not been deceived. They all work for destruction, even the clergy. A great devastation is now near at hand.”

“In those days Faith will fall very low and it will be preserved in some places only.”

“The Little Black Man in Rome, whom I see so often, has many working for him without their clearly knowing for what end. He has his agents in the New Black Church also. If the Pope leaves Rome, the enemies of the Church will get the upper hand. I see the Little Black Man in his own country committing many thefts and falsifying things generally. Religion is there so skillfully undermined and stifled that there are scarcely 100 faithful priests. I cannot say how it is, but I see fog and darkness increasing … All must be rebuilt soon; for everyone, even ecclesiastics, are laboring to destroy (and) ruin is at hand. The 2 enemies of the Church who have lost their accomplice are firmly resolved to destroy the pious and learned men that stand in their way…”

October 4, 1820

“When I saw the Church of St Peter in ruins and the manner in which so many of the clergy were themselves busy at this work of destruction – none of them wishing to do it openly in front of the others  – I was in such distress that I cried out to Jesus with all my might, imploring His mercy. Then I saw before me the Heavenly Spouse, and He spoke to me for a long time…He said, among other things, that this translation of the Church from one place to another meant that she would seem to be in complete decline. But she would rise again; even if there remained but one Catholic, the Church would conquer again because she does not rest on human counsels and intelligence. It was shown to me that there were almost no Christians left in the old acceptation of the word.”

October 7, 1820

“As I was going through Rome with St. Francis and the other saint, we saw a great palace engulfed in flames from top to bottom. I was very much afraid that the occupants would be burned to death because no one came forward to put out the fire. As we came nearer, however, the fire abated and we saw the blackened building. We went through a number of magnificent rooms (untouched by the fire), and we finally reached the Pope. He was sitting in the dark and slept in a large arm-chair. He was very ill and weak; he could no longer walk. The ecclesiastics in the inner circle looked insincere and lacking in zeal; I did not like them. I told the Pope of the bishops who are to be appointed soon. I told him also that he must not leave Rome. If he did so, it would be chaos. He thought that the evil was inevitable and that he should leave in order to save many things beside himself. He was very much inclined to leave Rome, and he was insistently urged to do so. The Pope is still attached to the things of this earth in many ways…” 

“The Church is completely isolated and as if completely deserted. It seems that everyone is running away. Everywhere I see great misery, hatred, treason, rancor, confusion and utter blindness. O city! O city! What is threatening thee? The storm is coming, do be watchful!…”

June 1, 1821

“Among the strangest things that I saw, were long processions of bishops. Their thoughts and utterances were made known to me through images issuing from their mouths. Their faults towards religion were shown by external deformities. A few had only a body, with a dark cloud of fog instead of a head. Others had only a head, their bodies and hearts were like thick vapors. Some were lame; others were paralytics; others were asleep or staggering. I saw what I believe to be nearly all the bishops of the world, but only a small number were perfectly sound. I also saw the Holy Father – God-fearing and prayerful. Nothing left to be desired in his appearance, but he was weakened by old age and by much suffering. His head was lolling from side to side, and it dropped onto his chest as if he was falling asleep He often fainted and seemed to be dying. But when he was praying, he was often comforted by apparitions from Heaven. Then, his head was erect, but as soon as it dropped again onto his chest, I saw a number of people looking quickly right and left, that is, in the direction of the world…”

“Then I saw that everything pertaining to Protestantism was gradually gaining the upper hand, and the Catholic religion fell into complete decadence. Most priests were lured by the glittering but false knowledge of young school-teachers, and they all contributed to the work of destruction. In those days, Faith will fall very low, and it will be preserved in some places only, in a few cottages and in a few families which God has protected from disasters and wars…”


“I also saw the various regions of the earth. My Guide (Jesus) named Europe and pointing to a small and sandy region, He uttered these words: ‘Here is Prussia (East Germany), the enemy.’ Then He showed me another place, to the north, and He said: ‘This is Moskva, the land of Moscow, bringing many evils’.”  

“I see many excommunicated ecclesiastics who do not seem to be concerned about it, nor even aware of it. Yet, they are (ipso factor) excommunicated whenever they cooperated to [sic] enterprises, enter into associations, and embrace opinions on which an anathema has been cast[i.e. become Freemasons]. It can be seen thereby that God ratifies the decrees, orders, and interdictions issued by the Head of the Church, and that He keeps them in force even though men show no concern for them, reject them, or laugh them to scorn.”

April 22, 1823

“I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church. They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church. Everyone was to be admitted in it in order to be united and have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics sects of every description. Such was to be the new Church…But God had other designs…”

“I see that when the Second Coming of Christ approaches, a bad priest[Francis] will do much harm to the Church. When the time of the reign of 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. The nearer the time of the end, the more the darkness of Satan will spread on earth, the greater will be the number of the children of corruption, and the number of the just will correspondingly diminish…”  

“They built a large, singular, extravagant church which was to embrace all creeds with equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, and all denominations, a true communion of the unholy with one shepherd and one flock. There was to be a Pope, a salaried Pope, without possessions. All was made ready, many things finished; but, in place of an altar, were only abomination and desolation. Such was the new church to be, and it was for it that he had set fire to the old one; but God designed otherwise….”

“I came to the Church of Peter and Paul (Rome) and saw a dark world of distress, confusion, and corruption, through which shone countless graces from thousands of saints who there repose…”  

“I saw the fatal consequences of this counterfeit church: I saw it increase; I saw heretics of all kinds flocking to the city. I saw the ever-increasing tepidity of the clergy, the circle of darkness ever widening…”

“Again I saw in the midst of these disasters the twelve new Apostles laboring in different countries, unknown to one another, each receiving streams of living water from on high They all did the same work. They know not whence they received their tasks; but as soon as one was finished, another was ready for them…”  

“The Jews shall return to Palestine, and become Christians toward the end of the world.”

October 22, 1822

“Very bad times will come when non-Catholics will lead many people astray. A great confusion will result. I saw the battle also. The enemies were far more numerous, but the small army of the faithful cut down whole rows of enemy soldiers. During the battle, the Blessed Virgin stood on a hill, wearing a suit armor. It was a terrible war. At the end, only a few fighters for the just cause survived, but the victory was theirs…”

Will Pope Francis Allow Communion for Divorced and Re-married Catholics?

by Paul Simmons

On February 20, 2014, at the request of Pope Francis, Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the Unity of Christians, gave a controversial speech to more than 150 cardinals gathered in the Vatican for a “consistory” in preparation for the upcoming Synod on the Family in October.  In his speech, the Cardinal called on the Church to allow communion for divorced and re-married Catholics.

Divorced and re-married Catholics are prohibited from receiving sacramental communion because they are living in a state of mortal sin. The Church teaches that  marriage is indissoluble – divorce does not break the bond of marriage.  Therefore those who divorce and subsequently remarry are living in a state of adultery, and are therefore prohibited from receiving communion.  They can, however, say a prayer of “spiritual communion” instead.

Kasper, however, called into question this prohibition, arguing as follows:

Whoever receives spiritual communion is one with Jesus Christ, how then can he be in contradiction with the commandment of Christ? So, why can he not then receive Sacramental communion? If we exclude divorced and remarried Christians from the sacraments (…) do we not perhaps put up for discussion the fundamental sacramental structure of the Church?

In his speech, Kasper laid down his “criteria” for allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion:

Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.’” – Matthew 5:321. if he repents of his failure in the first marriage, 2. if he has clarified the obligations of the first marriage, if it is definitively ruled out that he could turn back, 3. if he cannot abandon without further harm the responsibilities taken on with the new civil marriage, 4. if however he is doing the best he can to live out the possibilities of the second marriage on the basis of the faith and to raise his children in the faith, 5. if he has a desire for the sacraments as a source of strength in his situation, should we or can we deny him, after a period of time in a new direction, of “metanoia,” the sacrament of penance and then of communion?

The speech sparked an intense debate amongst the Cardinals, with many going public with their objections to Kasper’s proposals via interviews with the press.

Is the Catholic Church on the verge of allowing communion for divorced and re-married Catholics? Doing so would mean a complete reversal on a ruling that is as old as the Church itself. It would lead to devastating changes to the Catholic understanding of the human family and human sexuality.  It will also greatly undermine core Catholic teachings on the Sacrament of Marriage, Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Pope Francis: One Mind with Kasper?

In a March 5 interview with the Italian daily “Corriere della Sera”, Pope Francis expressed support for Kasper, praising him for his “beautiful and profound presentation” made to the College of Cardinals:

Cardinal Kasper made a beautiful and profound presentation…he confronted five points; the fifth was that of second marriages. I would have been concerned if in the consistory there wasn’t an intense discussion. It wouldn’t have served for anything. The cardinals knew that they could say what they wanted, and they presented many different points of view that are enriching. The fraternal and open comparisons make theological and pastoral thought grow. I am not afraid of this, actually I seek it. “No one is permitted to know a woman other than his wife. The marital right is given you for this reason: lest you fall into the snare and sin with a strange woman. ‘If you are bound to a wife do not seek a divorce’; for you are not permitted, while your wife lives, to marry another.” – St. Ambrose of Milan, “Abraham” c. 387 A.D.

On the day of Kasper’s lecture, Fr. Lombardi, the Holy See spokesman, said that the Pope’s words and Cardinal Kasper’s are  “in great harmony.”

It must be noted that Kasper is one of the pope’s favourite Cardinals, with many writers even calling him “the pope’s theologian”.  In his first angelus address as pope on March 17, 2013, Pope Francis publicly mentioned Kasper, praising him:

In these days, I have been able to read a book by a cardinal—Cardinal Kasper, a talented theologian, a good theologian—on mercy. And it did me such good, that book, but don’t think that I’m publicizing the books of my cardinals. That is not the case! But it did me such good, so much good…

The Pope Calls a Divorced and Remarried Woman

On April 25, 2014, in an apparent break from traditional Catholic teaching, Pope Francis was reported to have called remarried Argentine Jacqui Lisbona to say that there was “nothing wrong” in her taking Holy Communion. This despite the fact that she is married civilly to a previously divorced man. Lisbona originally wrote to the Pope to complain of the fact that she was refused Communion by her local priest, who was merely implementing the Church’s rule that unless a first marriage is annulled, Catholics who remarry cannot receive Communion since they are essentially living in a state of mortal sin and committing adultery.

Lisbona reported that in her conversation with Pope Francis, the pontiff told her: “It is an issue we are discussing in the Vatican, because a divorcee who takes communion is not doing anything wrong……There are some priests who are more papist than the Pope.”

As a result of this single phone call, the media screamed their headlines all over the world: “Fracas over divorced stirred by call from the Pope”; “Pope in hot water over personal phone calls”; “Pope tells sinner she should be allowed communion”.  If verified, the incident has widespread ramifications for the future of the Church, for here we have a sitting Roman Pontiff openly contradicting the Church’s traditional teachings on marriage.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi went in full damage control mode after the widespread media coverage, clarifying that the calls were part of the pope’s “personal pastoral relationships” and “do not in any way form part of the pope’s public activities”.  He acknowledged that media reports about the phone call have been “a source of misunderstanding and confusion”.  Finally, he emphasised that “consequences relating to the teaching of the Church  are not to be inferred from these occurrences.”

A Clear Church Prohibition

The proposals of Kasper – as well as the implicit approval of the Pope as can be gleaned from his actions (allowing Kasper to speak on the issue in front of Cardinals; calling up the divorced and remarried woman to tell her it is okay to receive communion) – are contrary to the clear teaching of the Catholic Church on this matter.

Jesus was very explicit in His teaching on divorce and remarriage:  “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mk 10:11-12).

Divorced and remarried Catholics cannot receive Holy Communion because they are living in a state of mortal sin.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says unequivocally:“Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.”  – CCC 1385

The Catechism clearly states its prohibition in this matter:

Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions… the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists…Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence. – (n. 1650 Catechism)

Pope Pius XII recalled to the parish priests of Rome on March 16, 1946 that not even the pope has the power to dissolve the bond of marriage: “The matrimony between baptized, validly contracted and consummated, cannot be dissolved by any power on earth, not even by the Supreme Church Authority.

Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical entitled Familiaries Consortio, re-affirmed clearly the Church’s teaching on this matter:

…the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage. Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.” (Familiaris Consortio, 84)

Other passages in the Bible emphasise the importance of receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord worthily:

“Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body (accepting all the doctrine of the Church and being in a state of grace in full communion with the Church), eats and drinks judgment on himself.” 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

Priests and Cardinals Rebuke Kasper

Many priests and Cardinals have gone public in rebuking the proposals of Cardinal Kasper. Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (the supreme Canonical Tribunal of the Catholic Church), said in an  interview with EWTN TV that Cardinal Kasper was “in error”.  He says that Kasper’s proposal to allow communion for divorced and remarried Catholics was not implementable: “In my estimation as a canonist I do not think it is possible…I trust in coming days… the error of his approach will become ever clearer.”

He recalled that the teaching of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage is clearly stated by Jesus Himself in the Gospel: “Here we’re not talking about truth that developed over time but here we’re talking about the very words of Christ himself in the Gospel in which he taught – and no one contests – the indissolubility of marriage.”

Burke revealed that the talk of Kasper was received by much opposition before the College of Cardinals: “The fact that he gave the text before the College of Cardinals does not in any way signify that it was well received by all the cardinals.”

Another Cardinal who went public with his rebuttal of Kasper was Cardinal Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologne:

If the Church admits [them] to the Eucharist, she must anyway grant a judgment of legitimacy to the second union. That is logical. But now – as I asked – what to make of the first matrimony? The second, it is said, cannot be a true second matrimony, considering that bigamy goes against the word of the Lord. What about the first one? Is it dissolved? But the Popes have always taught that the power of the Pope does not reach that point: the Pope has no power over a marriage that is ratum et consummatum. The proposed solution leads us to think that the first matrimony remains, but that there is also a second kind of cohabitation that the Church legitimizes. It is, therefore, an extramarital exercise of human sexuality that the Church legitimizes. But with this, the foundational pillar of the Church’s doctrine on sexuality is negated. At this point, one could ask: so why are not free [extramarital or premarital] unions approved? And why not relations between homosexuals? “A wife must not depart from her husband.  Or, if she should depart, she must remain unmarried.” –  St. Cyprian of Carthage, “Testimonies,” c. 250 A.D.

Fr. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., St. Louis, Missouri, in a letter to Vatican historian Robert Moynihan, wrote:

The German bishops have devised a pastoral plan to admit divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion, whether or not a Church tribunal has granted a decree of nullity of their first marriage…And what of Jesus’ teaching that those who remarry after divorce commit adultery? Admitting them to Communion without a commitment to continence will lead logically to one of three faith-breaking conclusions: (a) our Lord was mistaken in calling this relationship adulterous – in which case he can scarcely have been the Son of God; (b) adultery is not intrinsically and gravely sinful – in which case the Church’s universal and ordinary magisterium has always been wrong; or (c) Communion can be given to some who are living in objectively grave sin – in which case not only has the magisterium also erred monumentally by always teaching the opposite, but the way will also be opened to Communion for fornicators, practicing homosexuals, pederasts, and who knows who else?

Who is Cardinal Kasper?

So who is Cardinal Kasper and why is he pushing for measures that will have devastating effects on the family?  Cardinal Kasper is a radical liberal who has called for a “modernization” of the church, frequently clashing with the conservative theology of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: “The church needs to take seriously the legitimate requests of the modern age.”

He has called for a radical re-examining of the Holy Eucharist – the cornerstone of our Faith.  In his book “Sacrament of Unity”, published in 2005, Kasper called on the Church to move towards the vision of a “shared Eucharistic meal” with Protestants:

The fact that fidelity to the truth makes it impossible in today’s situation for all Christians to meet around the one table of the Lord and take part in the one Supper of the Lord is a deep wound inflicted on the Body of the Lord. Ultimately, it is scandalous…

Of course, this “shared Eucharistic meal” with Protestants is simply not possible.  Doing so would mean the Catholic Church compromising its core teaching in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist through the act of Transubstantiation during the Mass.

Kasper’s latest progressive push for allowing communion for divorce and remarried Catholics is nothing less than a direct, frontal assault on the bedrock of the Catholic faith: the institution of marriage, as well as the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

German Bishops Push for Communion for Divorced and Remarried

German Bishops have actually moved forward on their own on the issue of divorce and remarriage.  In October 2013, the Archdiocese of Freiburg, headed by Cardinal Marx (who is part of Pope Francis’ Council of 8 Cardinal advisors), released a document that laid out plans to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion, if they promised to enter “a new moral responsibility” with their new spouse.  The guidelines recommend that “in justified individual cases divorced should be allowed to return again to the sacraments…A personally responsible decision of conscience and a conversation with the chaplains are prerequisite.”

In response, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, prefect of the CDF, published an article in the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano saying that the practice of withholding Communion from those in a state of mortal sin would remain in place. This was followed by a letter to the German bishops ordering them to revisit their draft document.

The German bishops responded to this with more defiance, with Bishop Gebhard Fürst of Stuttgart saying in November they had voted to adopt the guidelines and expected them to be approved at their next plenary meeting in March 2014.

Bishop Gebhard Fürst of Stuttgart has told a group of German laity that while the indissolubility of marriage is “non-negotiable” for the Catholic Church, the German bishops are going to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, despite clear instructions to the contrary from the Vatican’s doctrinal chief.

Loosening of the Catholic Annulment Process

Another measure proposed by Kasper during his speech in the consistory of Cardinals is that of loosening the Catholic annulment process –  an explosive, potentially devastating measure that will lead to more marriage breakups – only this time, with “blessing” from the Church.  In particular, Kasper argues for a decentralisation of annulment proceedings from ecclesiastical tribunals. In order to understand the nature of this proposal, we must first understand the distinction between divorce and annulment, as well as the Church’s process for granting of annulments.

The Church prohibits divorce, but it does have a process in place to evaluate requests for annulment of marriages. There is a big difference between divorce and annulment.  Divorce is an act recognised by some states/governments that involves the dissolution of the legal marriage contract – it does not, however, dissolve marriage in the eyes of the Church, since marriage is indissoluble.

Annulment on the other hand, within the context of the Church, is a recognition that there was never a valid marriage in the first place (for example, if one of the couples was merely forced into the marriage, etc).  A Church-granted annulment, therefore, does not dissolve the marriage bond – it is simply a recognition that there was no valid marriage in the first place.

The process for securing an annulment from the Church is completely different from merely legal annulment proceedings sponsored by the State/government.  A church body headed by Cardinals and clergy, called “Ecclesiastical Tribunals”, handle the process of evaluating and studying requests for annulment.  It is a lengthy and exhaustive process, akin to a real legal court case, complete with submission of evidence, case facts, and other documents – and rightly so, in order to defend the sanctity of marriage.

Kasper’s proposal is to decentralize the annulment process, and give authority to local priests and bishops to grant an annulment to couples. Kasper said:

According to canon law the evaluation [of annulment cases] is the task of the ecclesiastical tribunals. Since these are not “iure divino,” but developed historically, we sometimes ask ourselves if the judicial way should be the only one for resolving the problem or if other more pastoral and spiritual procedures could also be possible.

As an alternative, one might think that the bishop could entrust this task to a priest with spiritual and pastoral experience as a penitentiary or episcopal vicar… Is it truly possible that the good and bad of persons should be decided at second and third hearings solely on the basis of the proceedings, meaning paperwork, but without knowing the person and his situation?

If adopted, the above measure will have devastating consequences for the Church and for the family.  It will conceivably lead to more “annulments”, since the process will be simplified, with authority for granting annulments transferred from the Ecclesiastical Tribunals to local bishops and priests.  It will likewise be prone to abuse and loose interpretation, since the rigourous process adopted by Ecclesiastical Tribunals will be replaced with the subjective judgement and interpretation of local pastors.

The Tribunals are there precisely to safeguard the sanctity of marriage and protect the core teaching that marriage is indissoluble.  Once subjectivity is introduced in the process, how are we to prevent a local pastor making an erroneous, subjective decision to grant a bogus annulment? This subjectivity will lead to errors in judgement, which will lead to de-facto granting of divorce by local priests.

Assault on the Family and the Eucharist

These two proposals of Kasper – allowing communion for the divorced and remarried, and loosening the annulment process – are nothing less than a direct, full-frontal assault on the familyIf adopted, it will mean that the Catholic Church will formally adopt a practice that is in direct contradiction to the very words of Jesus Himself: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”.  It will mean adopting a practice that will be in complete contradiction with what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has taught on the matter.

Another equally devastating consequence if the Kasper proposal is adopted is the widespread desecration of the Holy Eucharist – public sinners living in a state of adultery, who have not repented of their mortal sin through confession, will be allowed to desecrate the Eucharist by receiving the Body of the Lord in a state of grave sin.

The question is this:  Does the Pope approve of Kasper’s proposal to allow communion for people living in a state of adultery?  From his numerous actions, the answer seems to be YES.  If he does support this position, which is clearly contrary to the teachings of the Church, then we have a disturbing problem.  Canon law specifically teaches that if a Pope believed in a heretical teaching at the time of his election, as well as after his election, then his election is de-facto not valid.

Why is it that Pope Francis seemingly tolerates, if not implicitly supports, these initiatives that are being pushed forward by the rabidly liberal elements within the Vatican?  Could it be that he himself believes that Catholics living in a state of mortal sin should be allowed communion?

If the Pope does indeed support Kasper’s position, how are we to respond to a sitting Roman Pontiff who will clearly then be supporting a heretical position? Do we obey heresy? Or do we proclaim the truth from the rooftops and fight for our Faith?

The stakes are high in this issue.  It must be recalled that it was this issue of divorce and remarriage that prompted the formal schism of the Church of England from the Catholic Church: Henry VIII’s request to be allowed by the Church to divorce and remarry was rebuffed by the Catholic Church, prompting him to separate the Church of England formally from the Church – a split that remains to this very day.

When it comes to the Truth, there is no room for compromise, there is no room for re-interpretation.  The words of Jesus are clear in this matter.  Let us fight to uphold the Word of Our Lord – and to protect the family.  Let us take inspiration from the words of Pope Leo XIII, who said: “An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is not defended is suppressed.”

How to Respond If Pope Francis is the False Prophet

By Dr. Kelly Bowring

Dr. Kelly Bowring is a Catholic Theologian and author of the bestseller The Secrets, Chastisement, and Triumph” and of“The Signs of the Times”This article was originally published on March 13, 2014 by Two Hearts Press LLC in their website:www.TwoHeartsPress.com

I think Pope Francis is the Pope who fulfills  the apocalyptic prophecy during the period relating to the last Pope of the Malachy prophecy. There simply is no more room for another Pope according to this prophecy before the final events unfold. A year ago, after examining the credible heavenly prophecies of our times and their relation to the election of the new Pope, I wrote an article explaining that it was “plausible”(seems reasonable, but not yet certain) that the prophecies might be true concerning their declaration that Pope Francis is the False Prophet.

Today, a year into his pontificate, mounting evidence of credible heavenly prophecy and of Pope Francis’ own actions, teachings and unfolding agenda that aligns with the prophecy have me now thinking it is not only plausible, but also even “possible” he is the False Prophet… it is quite possible.

As a Catholic theologian, I say this with great trepidation, and I ask the reader to hear me out before drawing your own conclusion. It is apparent to faithful Catholics today, and more and more so as the past year progressed, that some of Pope Francis’ actions and teachings have raised legitimate and serious concerns. This article asks you to look at the disconcerting actions and statements of Pope Francis and the “Francis effect” in the light of the potentially related prophecies about him. Of course, time will make things clearer as to his plans and agenda, as he moves beyond his now famous rhetoric toward implementation. So for now, I withhold any conclusions, instead giving Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt, always remaining obedient to the Church as a faithful Catholic theologian. But, alert and investigative I shall remain, and I think that if he is a valid Pope, and the prophecies are wrong and his disturbing rhetoric is just for effect, he will be glad for my vigilance on behalf of the Church.

Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon me to present to you the reader some of the reasons that have led me to this current supposition. First, I will present the credible heavenly prophecies about the False Prophet, then what to expect from the False Prophet according to the prophecies, and finally how Catholics should respond to the possibility and growing concern that Pope Francis might be the False Prophet.

I. Credible Biblical and Heavenly Prophecies Related to the False Prophet

Here are twelve sources of prophecy related to the False Prophet:

1. In the Book of Revelation, the False Prophet is mentioned as the Beast from the earth “like a lamb” who becomes the religious head of the false church. The False Prophet deceives those who dwell on earth”. It is important to recognize that the False Prophet will be the greatest deceiver to ever live on earth, the epitome of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, pretending perfectly to be that which he is not. By this, he will lead many of the faithful into heresy, and he will eventually cause the earth to honor and worship the Antichrist (Rev. 13:12). The Catechism confirms, saying: Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through final trial that will shakethe faith of many believers… in the form of a religious deceptionwhich will be one of apostasy.  (CCC 675)

2. Objectively and of significant note, we are on the last Pope of this age according to the famous St. Malachy prophecy. St. Malachy was a twelfth century Saint whose prophecies concerned the final Pope of our time, the Pope who will reign after Pope Benedict XVI, stating about him:

In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city (Rome) will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people.

So, what does this prophecy tell us? It tells us that with the reign of Pope Francis (the 112th pope of the prophecy), we will endure the final persecution. It is not in the future, but right now. And that Rome is about to be destroyed. This also agrees with the La Salette prophecy (see below). Of the 112 Popes in the Malachy prophecy, the last pope listed, Petrus Romanus, is the only one that did not have a number. Why would all the other popes have a number except the last pope? Is this a hint about his invalidity? Possibly. And it tells us the Judge is returning in this generation to initiate judgment, possibly to usher in the great new Era of Peace that Our Lady of Fatima foretold.

3. Our Lady of La Salette prophesied about the latter times:

Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist… all the universe will be struck with terror, and many will let themselves be misled.

The Church will be eclipsed…

Melanie (the visionary) stated that Our Lady said the Church will be“eclipsed” in this two-fold sense: 1) “that one will not know which is the true Pope; 2) “for a time, the holy Sacrifice will cease to be offered (validly) in churches.”

4. Our Lady reportedly stated through Fr. Gobbi:

I will bring you to the full understanding of Sacred Scripture. Above all, I will read to you the pages of its last book, which you are living. . . I am opening for you the sealed book, that the secrets contained in it may be revealed…

So, according to this prophecy, our generation will indeed experience the final battle of the Book of Revelation, and the beginning of the millennium of peace. So, these events are upon us even now.

Relating the False Prophet to the Book of Revelation, Our Lady continues through Fr. Gobbi, saying:

There comes out of the earth, by way of aid to the black beast which arises out of the sea, a beast which has two horns like those of a lamb… intimately connected to that of the priesthood… The beast with the two horns like a lamb indicates Freemasonry infiltrated into the interior of the Church, that is to say, ecclesiastical Masonry, which has spread especially among the members of the hierarchy. This Masonic infiltration, in the interior of the Church, was already foretold to you by me at Fatima, when I announced to you that Satan would enter in even to the summit of the Church. The task of ecclesiastical Masonry is that of destroying Christ and His Church, building a new idol, namely a false christ and a false church.

The Church will know the hour of its great apostasy. The man of iniquity will penetrate into its interior and will sit in the very Temple of God, while the remnant which will remain faithful will be subjected to the greatest trials and persecutions.

“The apostasy will be, as of then, generalized because almost all will follow the false christ and the false church. Then the door will be open for the appearance of the man or of the very person of the Antichrist!”

5. There is a famous prophecy attributed to St. Francis, as follows:

At the time of this tribulation a man, not (authentically) canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error… There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people… for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.

The only way Pope Francis could fulfill this prophecy, if it is true, is if he personally held a (secret) heresy in his heart at his election. Then he would not have been validly elected. If not validly elected, then he is “a destroyer”and the papacy would be vacant, with an imposter on the throne of Peter – which is at least possible.

Perhaps that’s why Our Lady of Good Success said in 1611 about our time by name that it would be a time of an apparent triumph of Satan, which will bring enormous sufferings to the good Pastors of the Church and to the faithful. Thus, the faithful were to “clamor insistently, imploring our Celestial Father that He might bring to an end those Ominous times, sending to this Church the Prelate who will restore the spirit of its priests.”

6. Bl. Catherine Emmerich prophesied:

I had another vision of the great tribulation. It seems to me that a concession was demanded from the clergy which could not be granted (perhaps forcing them to give Communion to divorced/remarrieds and blessings to gay unions)… It was as if people were splitting into two camps…

I saw also the relationship between THE TWO POPES… I saw how baleful (harmful) would be the consequences of this false church… I saw that the Church of Peter was undermined by a plan evolved by the secret sect… They built a large, singular, extravagant church which was to embrace all creeds with equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, and all denominations, a true communion of the unholy with one shepherd and one flock… I saw the fatal consequences of this counterfeit church: I saw it increase; I saw heretics of all kinds…

When the (true) Church had been for the most part destroyed, and when only the sanctuary and altar were still standing, I saw the wreckers enter the Church with the Beast (antichrist)… I see the Holy Father in great anguish. He lives in a palace other than before… I saw a strange church being built against every rule… the new heterodox Church of Rome… Everything was being done, according to human reason. I saw all sorts of people, things, doctrines, and opinions. There was something proud, presumptuous, and violent about it, and they seemed to be very successful…. The (true) Church is completely isolated and as if completely deserted. It seems that everyone is running away. Everywhere I see great misery, hatred, treason, rancor, confusion and utter blindness. O city! O city! What is threatening thee? The storm is coming, do be watchful!

[I also saw the various regions of the earth. My Guide (Jesus) named Europe and pointing to a small and sandy region, He uttered these words: ‘Here is Prussia (East Germany), the enemy.’ Then He showed me another place, to the north, and He said: ‘This is Moskva, the land of Moscow, bringing many evils’.]”

7. Pedro Regis, whose reported messages have his Bishop’s published recognition, reports Our Lady saying:

The day will come when the (true) Pope will be taken from his throne… Laws will be passed to impede the action of the church…

In the great final battle, the smoke of the Devil will arise in the house of God, but the light of the Lord will prevail… the lack of love for the truth and the disrespect for the sacraments will lead many of the consecrated to the abyss of apostasy… The future of the Church will be marked with a great division and a sad religious dictatorship. Peter will encounter Judas in his way… Betrayal will touch the throne of Peter… A decision will be made and there will be great confusion in the palace (the Vatican)… The future will be marked by divisions and scandals in the Church of my Jesus…

Treachery will touch the throne of Peter… marked by a serious conflict between the true Church and the false one.

St. Peter will direct his barque amidst great tempests. The Barque of St. Peter is going to flounder, and there is going to be great confusion…

An apparently good and just man will appear. He will deceive many people, for he will realize great prodigies. He will come FROM THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE and many people will consider him as a savior. Pay attention and don’t be deceived…

There will be TWO THRONES, but only on one will be the true successor of Peter… an arrogant Pope will divide the Church. His orders will be obeyed and what is precious will be thrown out. A great spiritual confusion is on the way… the one who could have been Peter will become Judas. He will open the doors for the enemy and will make men and women of faith suffer… The church will be without Peter… a war will explode on Rome and there will be few survivors.

Listen to the true magisterium of the Church and flee from the lies of the devil.

8. Our Lady of Akita stated about these times:

The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their Confreres. The churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

9. Sr. Elena Aiello (d. 1961), who was declared Blessed on September 14, 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI, prophesied the following:

Russia will march upon all the nations of Europe, particularly Italy, and will raise her flag over the Dome of St. Peter’s. Italy will be severely tried by a great revolution, and Rome will be purified in blood for its many sins, especially those of impurity!… Oh, what a horrible vision I see! A great revolution is going on in Rome! They are entering the Vatican. The Pope is all alone; he is praying. They are holding the Pope. They take him by force.

10. Jesus reportedly prophesied through Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta saying:

The nations for which I had a predilection, Italy and France, are the ones which have denied Me the most… They will also be the ones which will wage war more against the Church…

Man has lost religion. Religion is ignored by some of the very ones who call themselves religious… this is why man lives like a beast – he has lost religion…

The Church is so full of interior bitterness, and in addition to the interior bitterness, She is about to receive exterior bitternesses. I saw people starting a revolution, entering churches, stripping altars and burning them, making attempts on the lives of priests, breaking statues… and a thousand other insults and evils… there seemed to be a general uproar against the Church… I saw many priests running away from the Church and turning against the Church to wage war against her. (Jesus says this happened because they focused on human and worldly things, which in turn hardened their hearts to divine things.)”

Jesus speaks further about the religious, priests, and enemies of the Church, saying: 

In the religious, in the clergy, in those who call themselves Catholics, My Will not only agonizes, but is kept in a state of lethargy, as if It had no life. How many pretend to be my children, while they are my fiercest enemies! These false sons are usurpers, self-interested and incredulous; their hearts are bilges of vice. These very sons will be the first to wage war against the Church – they will try to kill their own Mother! Soon they will make war against the Church, and Her greatest enemies will be Her own children…

The more it seems that the world is apparently at peace and they sing the praises of peace, the more they hide wars, revolutions and tragic scenes for poor humanity, under that ephemeral and disguised peace. And the more it seems that they favor my Church, singing hymns of victories and triumphs, and practices of union between the State and the Church, the nearer is the brawl that they are preparing against Her.”

11. A recent prophecy about Pope Benedict XVI stated:

Pope Benedict XVI is being plotted against within his own corridors by an evil sect… Pray that they do not drive the Pope away. Pray that the false prophet will not take the seat of the Holy Father so that he can spread lies. Pray that those sacred servants in the Vatican are strong enough to withstand this evil plot designed to destroy the Catholic Church. They plan to replace the Holy Vicar Pope Benedict XVI with a dictator of lies. He will create a new church in league with the anti-christ and his group in order to deceive the world… Great division will emerge within the ranks of priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals. One side against the other. (Eventually) those true disciples will have to hide and preach privately or else be killed. So hidden will the true church be that the true faithful will have to bind together in order to practice their allegiance to My Eternal Father… My beloved Vicar’s days are now numbered. He will have left the Vatican before The Warning takes place.

This source prophesied that Pope Benedict would leave the papacy before his death, and ONE-YEAR LATER TO THE VERY DAY of her reported prophecy, he surprised the world by announcing his retirement. The devil does not know the future! Her messages say Benedict would be secretly forced out, to which much evidence has been presented by those who have investigated it, though he himself also states that the resignation itself was done freely. Several other prophecies of this same source have come true as well. This source also states:

The False Prophet will ensnare My beloved children through his charismatic, charmful ways. The False Prophet will take up position in the Holy See of Rome… My children be aware, however, that the False Prophet will have you believe he is also preparing you for [the new earthly] place of Paradise. His lies will enthrall a naïve group of Catholic followers. He will present a wonderful and loving external charisma and all of My children in the Catholic Church will be confused. One sign to look out for will be his pride and arrogance hidden behind an exterior false humility. So fooled will My children be that they will think he is an exceptional and pure soul. He will be treated like a living saint. Not one word out of his mouth will be questioned. He will also appear to have supernatural gifts and people will instantly believe he can perform miracles. Anyone who opposes him will be criticized and considered a heretic. All such souls accused of being heretics will be cast aside and fed to the dogs. (MDM)

We are warned about how we will be treated! So why should we fight? Because God has called us to be His watchmen (see Ezekiel 33). Should we be surprised that the evil one would react this way towards us after we expose him and his hidden plans? May God guide us in His truth and mercy according to His Divine Will.

With all these prophecies about the False Prophet antipope, who then is the“Peter the Roman” of St. Malachy’s prophecy, who is supposedly currently reigning as the final pope of this era? Well, the prophetic messages of MDM and of Pedro Regis, who has his Bishop’s recognition, have stated that this is none other than St. Peter spiritually reigning over the Church now from Heaven, because according to their prophecies, the earthly papacy is now vacant, held by an imposter. Whether this is true or not, I do not know, but it is possible. Time will tell. Some may interject at this point that Catholics are not required to believe in private revelation, but I ask you – Do you think God would be pleased with an outright dismissal of His prophetic word just because it makes us uncomfortable. Are not these prophecies founded in Scripture anyway? And didn’t St. Paul say regarding prophecy that we are to “test everything and hold fast to what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21) and Urban VIII say about reported prophecy that “It is better to believe than not to believe”?

12. The writing is on the wall and the finger of God put it there. If all these prophecies relate to Pope Francis, as is possible, then the prophecies of a martyred pope, as referred to in the famous St. John Bosco dream and in the 3rd Secret of Fatima and Pius X’s prophecy of a pope leaving the Vatican in haste who dies cruelly in exile, could then be referring to Pope Emeritus Benedict.

According to St. Pius X’s prophecy, this would make sense. He stated:

I have seen one of my successors, of the same name, who was fleeing over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death.

Does this prophecy refer to Pope Emeritus Benedict? Quite likely! St. Pius X prophesied that the Pope who flees Rome and dies a cruel death has the same name as his. Pius X and Benedict XVI both have the same given name of Joseph.

Thus, Benedict might be the “Bishop in white” who is martyred in the 3rd Secret of Fatima and the Pope who is martyred in John Bosco’s dream.

John of the Cleft Rock (14th Century) also prophesied:

Towards the end of the world… the Pope with his cardinals will have to flee Rome in tragic circumstances to a place where they will be unknown. The Pope will die a cruel death in his exile. The sufferings of the Church will be much greater than at any previous time in her history… About the year 2000 A.D., Antichrist will reveal himself to the world.”

Joachim of Fiore prophesied: Antichrist will overthrow the pope and usurp his see.

Premol (5th century) prophesied about the two sides divided and the fleeing Pope of the latter times:

Everywhere there is war! Peoples and nations are pitted against each other… Rome also collapses in tumult. And I see the King of Rome with his Cross and his Tiara, shaking the dust off his shoes, and hastening in his flight to other shores. Your Church, O Lord, is torn apart by her own children. One camp is faithful to the fleeing Pontiff, the other is subject to the new government of Rome which has broken the Tiara.

Cardinal Ratzinger stated about the 3rd Secret of Fatima and thus in general about these prophesies:

The vision speaks of dangers and how we might be saved from them. In other words, these are warnings and are at least in part conditional. Nevertheless, the prophecies of the False Prophet and the Antichrist in the Book of Revelation shall be fulfilled, including that they will be thrown alive into the fiery pool (Revelation 19:20).

Recent Popes also agree about our times.

On May 11, 2010, while traveling on a plane to Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI was asked about the Third Secret of Fatima the pope answered, stating,“The sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from sins that exist in the Church.” Further, on May 13, 2010, before 500,000 pilgrims at Fatima, he stated, “Whoever thinks that the prophetic mission of Fatima is over, is deceiving himself.” He had also stated after becoming pope, “Pray that I don’t flee for fear of the wolves.” And just before becoming Pope, John Paul II famously stated:

We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.” Just a few years before this, Pope Paul VI had told the world: “The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.

Interestingly, St. Faustina wrote in her diary that her “worst day of suffering” where she felt as if she was in Gethsemane (where Jesus was betrayed by Judas) was the SAME EXACT DAY POPE FRANCIS WAS BORN. She writes:

December 17, [1936].  I have offered this day for priests.  I have suffered more today than ever before, both interiorly and exteriorly.  I did not know it was possible to suffer so much in one day.  I tried to make a Holy Hour, in the course of which my spirit had a taste of the bitterness of the Garden of Gethsemane.

II. What to Expect from the False Prophet According to the Prophecies

Here are seven “signs” of the False Prophet to watch out for:

1. Parades (False) Humility with Masterful Deception: Evil is pride masked as humility while masquerading. Every “humble” thing he does will be intentionally broadcast through the media, and he will claim to just be a normal humble person while his campaigns will show him to be a shameless exhibitionist. This propaganda will be exploited to raise his own popularity and seeming egalitarianism. Instead of defending the Faith, he will seek to impress the world’s Catholics by his actions and teachings. His performance of humility will not only be used to denigrate Benedict XVI and the rest of his predecessors, but to portray Benedict XVI as some uncharitable hardline traditionalist. If this occurs in the current pontificate, then we will start to see two sides dividing: Francis Catholics vs. Benedict Catholics.

He will not be who he appears to be, as the False Prophet he will be one of the greatest deceivers in human history, thus he will appear even perfectly to be the opposite of what he is, even more so than if he was really who he appears to be. Thus, he will come across playing his part more perfectly than a real Pope would, at least at first. All other Popes will be shown to have been less than they should have been, in the light of who he pretends to be. He will appear to be a Pope of Popes.

But, his inconsistency with tradition and veiled self-promotion will be one of the “signs” of pretension that he is the False Prophet.

2. Displays Unexplainable Charisma and Achieves Quick Global Influence: Unexplainably and immediately loved by the world and the media, with an unprecedented colossal popularity, where no matter what he says or does, it will only be interpreted one way, he will engage in double speak (speaking to both sides at the same time, out of both sides of his mouth) thereby intentionally causing confusion for the faithful. He will be treated like a living saint. Such a force will accompany him that not one word out of his mouth will be questioned. After some time, he will also appear to have supernatural gifts and people will believe he can perform miracles. Anyone who opposes him will be criticized and considered a heretic (the very opposite of what is true). All such souls accused of being heretics will be ridiculed and belittled, and even persecuted.

Example of his double speaking might be like this: “Of course we know that marriage is traditionally between a man and a woman, and so it shall remain; but we must also be tolerant and compassionate to those in same sex unions, who have (legal) rights as well. In today’s world, we must meet the people where they are; and who are we to judge anyway; thus, we shall require priests to grant them a blessing from the Church for the good of all.”

3. Utilizes the Law of Gradualness (and Popular Support) to Thwart Any Opposition: The hidden agenda of the False Prophet will be to move step by step, always in two directions simultaneously (in the direction of seeming to respect Church teaching and in the direction of altering itseemingly for a good reason), such that the changes that will occur will be minor enough that the faithful will not be aroused or alarmed sufficiently to see beyond the apparent good will of the Pope. As such it will be too difficult to mount a clear defensive to stop him. By way of small almost imperceptible steps – whereby the updating of Church teaching becomes modernizing becomes actual change becomes heresy – with a progression that is ever so cunning that it becomes unstoppable, and in such a way that it is even defended by the faithful who are not aware of the deception and the agenda that is unfolding because of its gradual nature and the double-speak that surrounds it.

4. Projects Openness to Doctrinal Revision and Sets Course for Apostasy: The False Prophet will mislead the Church into heresy, which is discussed as the first seal of the Book of Revelation, when the truth faith will be twisted, when the Church is presented with a new watered down doctrine. Ask yourself: Is Pope Francis taking steps that are possibly laying the groundwork for changes to doctrine and morality, even to the emergence of a one-world religion? If he is the False Prophet, Francis will not simply commit occasional theological mistakes in his rhetoric, but instead, he will move more and more toward openly professing a false faith, thus demonstrating that the faith he holds and professes is false, showing himself to be a heretical anti-pope, and confusing many by portraying the true Faith with a secretly false faith. He will also come up with a solution to unite all churches as one. Hailed as a modern innovator, he will be applauded by the secular world because he will condone sin. He will bring in new laws, which will, not only contradict the teachings (morality and doctrine) of the Catholic Church, but which will go against all Christian laws. This does not mean it will be easy for all to see, for he will use cleverly-crafted reasons, couched in a soft gentle manner, to blind many from the Truth. Every liberal bishop and theologian will have the ear of this Pope, and his praise. These Church leaders will also talk in double-speak in their efforts to undermine Catholic doctrine – their words of love and their quotes from Holy Scripture will be used only to deceive us, and they will scheme to make various reckless and confusing statements to the public – and in turn the False Prophet Pope will laud them as innovators. As this occurs, it will be required for all faithful Catholics to choose whose side they are on, or they will find themselves on the wrong side by default!Unfortunately, many will embrace their false leaders’ lies and laxities rather than face the challenges of the Truth. St. Robert Bellarmine stated: “It is granted to (only a) few to recognize the true Church amid the darkness of so many schisms and heresies, and to fewer still to love the truth, which they have seen, as to fly to its embrace.”

Thus, many of the faithful will be misled. Divisions will ensue. Then the False Prophet will prepare for the Antichrist to rule the new one-world religion, and together they will work to deceive all of God’s people. But the true Church shall not be prevailed against. The truth of Revelation as handed down to us in the Church through Scripture (the Bible) and Tradition (the Catechism) cannot be changed. And we may never do evil (like changing morality or discounting doctrine), even for a good reason. The sure “sign” of heresy and of the False Prophet is the changing of any doctrine, for any reason, even a cleverly disguised reason such as for the sake of (false) mercy, compassion, or unity – as exemplified by the following three examples currently being discussed around the Vatican:

– False mercy in granting Communion (without valid annulment) to Catholic couples who are divorced and civilly remarried, even though they are in the state of adultery

Bible Verse: “Whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” Matthew 19:9

Catechism Citation: “The Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists.” CCC 1650

– False compassion and excessive tolerance in requiring priests to grant a Church “blessing” to gay unions, even as a means to avoid discrimination

Bible Verses: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, not adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, not drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9 RSVCE

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Romans 1:26-27

Catechism Citations: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved… [Even] this inclination is objectively disordered.” CCC 2357-8

“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.” CCC 1601

“‘God himself is the author of marriage.’ The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator.” CCC 1603

“Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another… ‘So they are no longer two, but one flesh.’” CCC 1605

The fact is that this is beginning to happen, and it was prophesied to happen. On prophecy states: “The abolition of sin will be introduced through the introduction of laws which will be seen to endorse tolerance. They include abortion, euthanasia, and same sex marriages. Churches will be forced to allow same sex marriages and priests will be forced to bless them.” (MDM)

– False unity (ecumenism) in allowing non-Catholics to Communion in the Catholic Church through doctrinal compromise or revision and through changes to the Sacraments themselves

Bible Verse: “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself,and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body (accepting all the doctrine of the Church and being in a state of grace in full communion with the Church), eats and drinks judgmenton himself.” 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

Catechism Citations: “Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.”  CCC 1385

Those who receive the Eucharist must “have the required dispositions.”(CCC 1388) They must be in full communion with the Catholic Church, accept all the doctrines of the Church’s Tradition, and be in a state of grace.

Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, ‘have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders.’ It is for this reason that, for the Catholic Church, Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible.” CCC 1400

Those who receive the Eucharist must “give evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding these sacraments (including the Real Presence) and possess the required dispositions.” CCC 1401

Our Church is more and more under attack – from without and from within. What we will see is an attempt to fundamentally transform the Catholic Church, even from within her hierarchy. Is this not the very “doctrines of demons and pretensions of liars” that St. Paul warned would be sanctioned in the latter times (1 Timothy 4:1-2, 2 Timothy 3:1-5)? And if so, make no other conclusion, the wrathof Godwill indeed be directed against those who suppress the truth (Romans 1:18). Perhaps that can also be said toward anyone who suppresses the heavenly messages contained in these prophecies as well.

5. Instigates Divisions and Wars Secretly: The False Prophet will guide the Church to be caught up in revolutionary wars and internal divisions leading to a falsification of the Christian Faith so as to create a new religion fashioned in humanism, not Revelation, according to man’s ways, not God’s. Such wars are discussed as the second seal of the Book of Revelation, which will set the stage for the rise of the Antichrist who will come to power as a false peacemaker with his deceptively loving humane exterior. Be on your guard. Through his despicable deceit, the Antichrist will be seen as the messenger of love, peace, and harmony in the world. He will show a façade of charm, with seeming compassion and love for all. At this point, the False Prophet will be pushed to one side for a time, because the Antichrist will now enter the world stage, as foretold. When you hear the media reports of the new, promising, skilled, peace negotiator, you will know who he is. He will be a very close ally of the False Prophet and is under no illusion as to who he is. The whole world will then fall under his spell. He will confuse many and tell people that all things are good, when they are bad, and holy, when they are not. He will shield and promote the wolves that want to devour the souls of God’s children; but true believers will know who he is.

6. Supports the New World Order and One-World Currency: The False Prophet will give over his mesmerizing global worldwide influence to the man of lawlessness who will arise as a (false) peacemaker to end the global war that is soon coming and to assist him in establishing the new-world order, which is discussed in Chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation. And the Antichrist will control humanity through the new one-world currency and the mark of the beast. Then the persecution led by the New World Alliance will commence. We must take courage and be ready to receive some blows for the Truth. As Benedict XVI recently said: “The courage of the truth is, in my eyes, a criterion of the first order of sainthood” in these times.

7. Assists in The Great Persecution: These two persons, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, are under the direction of Satan, and will bring all humanity to the brink of destruction. Persecution will evolve slowly and be subtle at first, following the law of gradualness. The False Prophet and the Antichrist will work in unison, in order to bring about desolation upon the world, which will result after the abomination in the Catholic Church has been fulfilled. All truth regarding Christ’s teachings will be twisted. Everything will be a lie.

The False Prophet, who will head up the shell of the Catholic Church on earth, will order mankind to worship the human leader of the Antichrist rather than God (Rev. 13:14-15). Then, the Sacraments will only truly be available from those priests (and other Christian clergy) who remain loyal to Christ and to the truths of the Faith. The problem is that those who side with the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be seen to be doing great good in the world, while those who follow the Laws of God will be demonized and sought out and persecuted. The Two Witnesses, the Catholic Church and the House of Israel, will testify against the false christ and the false church, and they will be persecuted, both externally and from within. A time will come when it seems both have been destroyed. But God will intervene, and they will rise again to form the New Heaven and the New Earth.

III. How Catholics Should Respond to the Possibility that Pope Francis might be the False Prophet

Catholics believe that by the will and teaching of Christ, the Magisterium of the Church is protected with the charism of infallibility such that by the power of Holy Spirit the Pope cannot ever err in his official teaching on matters of faith and morals. The true Church will never err in faith and morals. As Catholics, we know this is true. So let no one tamper or interfere with the Word of God.

On the other hand, if a Pope personally embraces a heresy (false doctrine or immorality), even in secret, then he is de facto no longer Pope. So then, if a Pope teaches a false doctrine (or changes doctrine), then this is the sure “sign” he is not a valid Pope, as I have addressed in another article. In such a case, his teachings should not be obeyed and he should not be followed. Faithful Catholics must be attuned to this possibility, especially given the heavenly prophecies related to this and given the serious concerns Pope Francis continues to raise, as well as the path he seems to be leaning toward. But, due to our required obedience to the Magisterium, we cannot decide exclusively for ourselves whether he is in heresy and thus invalid. We must wait until the Church’s otherwise highest authority (like Pope Emeritus Benedict) declares it so and presents the clearest evidence.

But people are already asking how they should respond to the possibility that Pope Francis might be the False Prophet? Here are six ways, as follows:

1. Remain obedient and vigilant. In conscience, heart, mind, and will – remain obedient to Pope Francis, and consider him a valid Pope – for the time being. Know that the Church’s Magisterium shall remain infallible, though not in the False Prophet and his lies, whoever he is. Anyone who supports gay unions, birth control/contraception, abortion or euthanasia, women priests, watered-down doctrine and other heresies must be avoided.

And given Pope Francis’ track record in light of the growing evidence of prophecy, we should stop praising him and his troubling actions; while standing loyally with him (for now) as Pope; praying for him; and asking for clarification, while remaining vigilant for the good of souls and the Church. We desire nothing more than to be faithful to the Pope. We must also see our way through this moment with solid reasoning and faith. This situation now requires a determined vigilance.

2. Remain alert and investigative. Don’t bury your head in the sand and hope it will all blow over. Given both the prophecies and the Pope’s track record of troubling statements, it is permitted and even proper given these circumstances to be evaluative and even somewhat critical of Pope Francis’ actions and teachings. As Catholics, it is permitted to consider the possibility that he may be the False Prophet, while not yet concluding it. Thus, at this point, it is not helpful to excessively praise everything he says and does, mistakenly thinking that this will make you a better or more faithful Catholic in the process. Instead, we should look at what he is saying and doing with a critical eye of reason, as the times call for it, while keeping our faith intact. Indeed, this situation that is brewing may scandalize us. But, let us recall St. Thomas Aquinas who quotes Gregory saying: “If people are scandalized at the truth, it is better to allow the birth of scandal, than to abandon the truth.” Remember, suspicion does not mean a conclusion of guilt, only the possibility of guilt, and thus the need for an investigation. And, as far as what we should do, just share these prophecies and papal concerns – “The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Just let it loose. It will defend itself,” says St. Augustine. So be watchmen of the Church’s morals and doctrine and ambassadors of these heavenly prophecies. For a time still, even if things get worse, do not be surprised if even good Bishops and theologians are confused and misdirected in their leanings and enthusiasms. Soon enough, if things are as prophesy indicates, they will become clearer to them and to large numbers of the faithful. Be patient and persevering.

3. Remain United in the truth of Christ. What happened to – let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’? We will not allow our faith to be tampered with; we know our doctrines and morals are irrefutable and unchangeable. Even if some of the leaders of the Church want to change us (and Christ) or leave us (and Christ) behind – wanting to split us and divide us, we will not be divisive. If these prophecies are fulfilled (as it is evidently headed), then we shall not be dividing from the Church, but they from us. All that we need to do is stay right where we’ve always been in the truth of the Church’s faith and doctrine. Where the true Church will remain.Governed by the Word of God in the Catechism and the Bible, along with the true Magisterium.

Will there be backlash for this article, probably. Will it be fierce, possibly? Why am I writing it? The fact is that Satan hopes to poison our minds towards the Lord’s prophecies and keep the veil over our eyes concerning the unfolding of his plans. We must realize this and try not to succumb to the evil one’s plan to divide us and to use each other to attack the other. He will turn one against the other. He will create doubts and divisions. It is clear that we must prepare for spiritual battles that will pour a terrible deluge of hatred not only upon these heavenly messages but also toward those who promote them. We must not allow these attacks to stop us. I recommend that we respond by ignoring these attacks, and that we move forward and give the world these heavenly messages as quickly as we can. Many, when presented with these messages, will feel a compunction to listen to them, as we do, and they will then be given graces to see the Truth of revelation and the truth of events as they unfold.

Remember, you do not have to follow anyone who is preaching heresy (moral or doctrinal errors). There is a deceitful schism developing in the main body of the Church between Catholics who want to overthrow the Church’s teachings and doctrine and the faithful remnant who don’t. Those who promote apostasy, not the faithful who remain true to doctrine, will cause the new schism. When they go too far, if this is Pope Francis’ real agenda, then we will have to look to the “worthy Shepherd” of Benedict XVI to extricate the error and restore to the Church to its beauty (as Bl. Tomasuccio de Foligno prophesied a Pope would do). As to the rest, leave all to the Lord’s will.

4. Remain charitable. You will respond one way or another to the information in this article, by acknowledgment or disagreement. If you consider the possibility that these prophecies might be true, then spread this article. God does not give His prophecy to the few open-minded faithful only, but to all the faithful. He wants His revelation shared and spread, to anyone who will listen and respond. And realize that many, especially at this point, will not yet agree. They will not be able to see or consider the situation, yet. Do not try to argue your perspective. Present the information. Pray for discernment. Pray for the Pope and the Church, for true mercy, compassion, and unity. Let us pray for one another and for unity in the truth. Time will make things more clear one way or another. Pope Francis is either the False Prophet, which is a real possibility, or he is not, and someone else is. It is either going in this direction, or it is not, and criticism of this message won’t change it. If it is going in that direction, you will be glad God informed you through His prophecies beforehand anyway, even if you initially rejected them.

5. Remain hopeful. God is in control, and the events of these times are in His Providence. Remember that God brings good out of all things for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). And He foretold these things through Daniel and St. John in the Bible and through many heavenly prophecies, so that we would have courage as the events unfold and so that we would recognize that He wants us to respond with hope and faith in Him. Fear is not from the Lord. Make our own Psalm 91: I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’… I will not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day. Christ shall take care of us and our loved ones, and know that He has sent His Mother to assist us in a special way in these times.

6. Remain prayerful. Prayer is the only way to victory and peace. The prophecies of the False Prophet are close to fulfillment. According to the Book of Revelation, and these other prophecies, the False Prophet must be in place as the first seal in the Final Battle, even before the other seals of wars, famines, epidemics, the 1st seal of the great apostasy before the 2nd seal of the apocalyptic wars. The False Prophet will be the false Elijah, the false John the Baptist, who validates the rising anti-christ. Through his religious authority and global influence, he will help solidify the authority of the Antichrist. But, we in turn will assist in the defeat of the evil one. And to do this, we must pray. Pray, pray, pray!

It seems the last Pope of Malachy’s prophecy may be in place and the great apostasy is commencing soon. For those who have eyes to see, the final storm is rising. We must bear witness to the Truth of the prophecies foretold, even as painful as they are. One thing about prophecy – it is never easy to hear, much less accept. But, the fruits of prophecy are always what the Church needs and what God wills. Thus, John Paul II is encouraging us from above: “This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel… It is the time to preach it from the rooftops.” Whether Francis is the False Prophet as various prophecy indicates specifically and much other prophecy alludes to, this is both plausible and possible, but time will tell. We must pray for the Catholic Church, including Pope Francis, that all will remain in the Truth of Jesus’ Revelation and of His death on the Cross. If you share or repost this article, please do so in its entirety. Couragio!

For more information on the prophecies of our times, go towww.TwoHeartsPress.com