Catholics and non-Catholics Receive Communion Together in “Ecumenical Mass” Promoted by Turin Archdiocese

ecumenical mass

The “ecumenical mass” promoted by the Archdiocese of Turin, Italy

The group “Spezzare il pane” (“Breaking the Bread”) in the archdiocese of Turin, Italy, has officially started with the celebration of “ecumenical masses” where Holy Communion is distributed to Catholics and non-Catholics.

The group is headed by Catholic priest Father Fredo Oliviero, an apologist for illegal immigration, who has the support of his archbishop, Monsignor Cesare Nosiglia. The practice of the group to distribute Holy Communion to non-Catholics, is openly promoted in the newspaper of the Turin Archdiocese “La Voce e il Tempo”.

Among the members of the group are “Catholics”, Anglicans, Baptists, Waldensians and Lutherans. They gather once a month in one of their churches, where they celebrate a “Eucharist” according to the respective denomination, distributing “Communion” to everybody.

It is now customary that once a month, the group meets in a Catholic, Lutheran, Waldensian, or Baptist church to share the “Eucharist”, partaking in worship or Mass – officiated according to the liturgy of the host church.  According Fr. Fredo, the ecumenical ceremony replaces “in the foreground the identity of Christians with respect to belonging to a specific Church.”  He likewise said that the practice is spreading in other cities in Italy as well.

The Catholic Church teaches that non-Catholics may not receive Communion because they do not share our belief in the doctrine of Eucharistic transubstantiation. According to transubstantiation, the bread and wine are actually transformed into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, with only the appearances of bread and wine remaining.

These developments, indeed, seem to be a corroboration of the various reputable prophecies in recent times that predict the rise of a false church in the end times, just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. This false church, according to prophecy,  will promote a false “ecumenical mass” that will deny the real presence of Jesus.  These prophecies are likewise supported by the testimony of the late Gabriel Amorth, former chief exorcist of Rome, who said that the Padre Pio told him that the third secret of Fatima refers to a false church that will rise in the end times.

Not Required to Have a “Single Thought” on the Eucharist

In an article written by Breaking Bread Founder Fr. Fredo Olivero last May in Turin Archdiocese’s official newspaper and website, he said that attendees to the “Ecumenical Mass” are not required to have a “single thought” on the Eucharist: “It is not required, in order to live together this event, to adhere to a ‘single thought’ on the Eucharist, but rather to respect everyone for the thought of each.”

He also likewise cast doubt on the Doctrine of Transubstantiation of the Catholic Church, saying: “Neither Jesus nor Paul explained the ‘how’ of this presence [in the Eucharist], why then should we do it?”

Eucharistic “interpretations” not part of the Gospel?

Aside from support from his bishop, Fr. Fredo likewise claims that Pope Francis supports this concept of an “Ecumenical Mass”.  In the same article in the Turin Archdiocesan newspaper, Fr. Fredo recalls the visit of Pope Francis on June 22, 2015 to Turin Italy.  Pope Francis then became the first pope in history to visit a Waldensian evangelical church, and in that trip, asked Waldensian Christians for forgiveness for their past “persecution” from the Catholic Church.

Fr. Fredo recalls that on the occasion of that papal visit, Pope Francis did not refute or deny the point of view raised by the moderator, Eugenio Bernardini, who pointed out that the various “interpretations” on the Eucharist were not part of the Gospel.  Fr. Fredo quotes Bernardini, who then said in the presence of the Pope and Waldensian ministers and Christians:

Among the things we have in common are the words that Jesus gave on the occasion of the last supper, “I  am the bread… and the wine.”  The interpretations of those words are different between the churches and within each of them. But what unites the Christians gathered around the table of Jesus are the bread and wine that He offers us and His words, not our interpretations that are not part of the Gospel.

He said that unlike previous pontiffs who had “solved the question [on the Eucharistic presence] precisely”, Pope Francis admitted that could not solve the Eucharistic question precisely himself, because he was moving the Church from an authoritarian decision-making model, to a more “synodal” model.

Pope Francis Says to Lutheran Woman to “Go Forward” and Receive Communion

Fr. Fredo likewise recalled the answer given by Pope Francis to a question posed to him by a Lutheran lady during his visit to a Lutheran church in Rome on November 15, 2015. During the question-and-answer session after a joint prayer service with Lutherans, Anke de Bernardinis told Pope Francis that she was married to a Catholic and that she and her husband share many “joys and sorrows” in life, but not Communion at church. “What can we do on this point to finally attain Communion?” she asked.

The Pope responded by saying to the Lutheran woman to “talk to the Lord and then go forward”, suggesting that she could receive Communion in the Catholic Church:

To your question, I can only respond with a question: What can I do with my husband, so that the Lord’s Supper accompanies me on my path? It is a problem that everyone has to answer, but a pastor-friend once told me: “We believe that the Lord is present there, he is present. You all believe that the Lord is present. And so what’s the difference?”—“Eh, there are explanations, interpretations.” Life is bigger than explanations and interpretations.

Always refer back to baptism. “One faith, one baptism, one Lord.” This is what Paul tells us, and from there take the consequences.

I would never dare to give permission for this, because it’s not my jurisdiction. “One baptism, one Lord, one faith.” Talk to the Lord and then go forward. I don’t dare to say anything more.

by Paul Simeon, Veritas

Bishop Paprocki calls on fellow Catholics to “tell people the truth about our Church’s teachings” on homosexuality

bishop paprockiIn a recent interview, Illinois Bishop Paprocki called on the Catholic Faithful to tell everyone the truth about the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, emphasizing that “the most compassionate and loving thing that we can do for people is help them get to Heaven.”

The interview was conducted by ex-gay author and blogger Joseph Sciambra.  The exchange was published on Sciambra’s YouTube channel on August 1.  Sciambra is the author of the book “Swallowed By Satan”, which chronicles his journey out of the gay lifestyle, pornography and the occult. He was a former gay porn star, and after his conversion, is now actively promoting the Church’s teachings on homosexuality through his blog and his Youtube channel.

Bishop. Paprocki tackled the false compassion of accommodating sin pushed by so called gay ministries which are active in many Dioceses in the United States. The interview covered the issue of “gay affirmative” ministries, as well as a Vatican letter issued by then Cardinal Ratzinger on the pastoral treatment of homosexuals.

Bishop Paprocki drew fierce criticism earlier this year by issuing a pastoral decree, barring Holy Communion and funeral rites to active homosexuals. The decree drew the ire of homosexualists both inside and outside the Church, including liberal Jesuit Fr. James Martin, a personal appointee and consultant of Pope Francis.

Paprocki responded to Sciambra on the reaction to his decree:

The first time I had first-hand experience in terms of people telling me directly, in response to my decree on same sex marriage … I had anticipated that there would be opposition, of course, from secular proponents of gay rights, but I think what surprised me was the vehemence of those within the Church. Lay people who told me they were practicing Catholics, parents of gay people and also from priests and deacons who basically were telling me that I was wrong.

Bishop Paprocki commented on the importance of correcting Catholics in public sin as a duty of charity: “The most compassionate and loving thing that we can do for people is help them get to Heaven.”

He continued, “That’s our eternal salvation. So to tell people the truth about our Church’s teachings, and the teachings are based in truth and they are based on love. So to tell someone that he or she is doing something sinful, first of all, Our Lord Himself encourages us to what we call fraternal correction.”

Sciambra went on to bring up the 1986 Letter to Bishops on the Pastoral Care of Homosexuals issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). The CDF was at that time headed by then Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Sciambra referenced the portion of the letter which read as follows:

This Congregation wishes to ask the bishops to be especially cautious of any programs which may seek to pressure the Church to change her teaching, even while claiming not to do so. A careful examination of their public statements and the activities they promote reveals a studied ambiguity by which they attempt to mislead the pastors and the faithful.

Bishop Paprocki responded to this excerpt as follows, “In terms of pressure being put on the Church as mentioned in that CDF document, I think is really what we’re seeing happening very forcefully right now. Because the push for gay rights has always been incremental steps.”

Bishop Paprocki continued:

The target for so long has been to get recognition in civil law, and now that’s been achieved. In our country, civil law has recognized same-sex marriage. What they don’t have is moral approval, and the only place that can give them moral approval is the Church. So I think that’s the next target here, in terms of putting pressure on the Church in order to give that kind of moral approval, to say what you’re doing is morally acceptable.

Sciambra’s impressions on Bishop Paprocki

Church Militant reached out to Sciambra and asked him what his impression was of Bp. Paprocki and what he felt like he learned from the interview, and Sciambra answered:

Despite what was often reported in the secular media, and by some left-leaning Catholic commentators and news sites, I found Bishop Paprocki to be a man dedicated to the truth, but also a man willing to listen. Bishop Paprocki is thoughtful and soft-spoken and he conveys the message of Our Lord Jesus Christ with a gentleness and compassion that is largely missing in the Church today. He is a rare combination of honesty and empathy.

Sciambra continued,

I believe he truly cares for those with same-sex attraction and those who identify with the LGBT community, in that he wants all of our brothers and sisters to know and understand the actual teachings of the Catholic Church on this matter. He doesn’t wish to placate or make false statements in order to [ingratiate] himself with those who often view the Church as discriminatory and oppressive. He wants to lift some of that confusion. I would dare to say that he doesn’t care much about his own personal popularity, but is solely motivated by the salvation of souls.

Excerpts on the original article written by Trey Elmore, ChurchMilitant.com

Pope Benedict XVI: “The Lord Wins in the End”

Benedict-the-Lord-wins-in-the-end

Photo above shows Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI giving a brief, yet powerfully-relevant message to newly-minted Cardinals: “The Lord wins in the end.”

In a most unusual message to five newly-minted Cardinals, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had a few short, yet powerfully-relevant words: “The Lord wins in the end. Thank you all.”

The pope emeritus received the new cardinals appointed last June 28, 2017, along with Pope Francis, in the presence of media cameras, which are rare for the retired pontiff. Benedict XVI received each of the new cardinals and spoke to them in their own native tongue. After speaking with each of the cardinals, he encouraged them, saying: “The Lord wins in the end.”

These six short words have rich meaning in today’s context, and we can glean from them three important points:

First, it is an acknowledgement that the Church – and the Faith – is in the midst of a major, important struggle. Although the Church has always been beset by crises and challenges, today’s crisis far outweighs many of the past crises.  We see today bishops publicly sparring with fellow bishops, cardinals against cardinals.  We see the papal encyclical Amoris Laetitia splitting the Church. Some bishops conferences have interpreted Amoris Laetitia in a heretodox manner, opening up access to the Holy Eucharist to people living in sin (divorced and remarried), redefining the Catholic understanding of hell and eternal punishment (“No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the gospel”), and many other issues.

On the other side, we have loyal bishops conferences and cardinals who have remained true to the perpetual Magisterium of the Church.  Five cardinals have even publicly asked the Pope for clarification amid the doubts raised by Amoris.

It is obvious, for those with clear eyes, that the Church is in the midst of a creeping schism that threatens to grow wider and wider.

Second, Benedict XVI’s words give us the impression that the Lord doesn’t seem to be winning, at least at this point in time. Highly-liberal, radical bishops and cardinals have rapidly taken over key positions in Church leaderships. Faithful cardinals who are loyal  to the traditional teaching of the Church have been slowly eased out. Many of the key leaders in the Pope Benedict XVI era have been pushed out of key roles, such as Cardinal Raymund Burke, as well as Cardinal Muller, former Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

The third and last point is that Benedict XVI gives us words of hope amid the dark clouds that we face in the Church. He is telling faithful clergy and lay faithful – do not worry, God is in control, He will always win in the end.

Unprecedented Times

The times we live in are unprecedented. As Cardinal Muller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said, it is the first time in history that we have two legitimate popes living.

Archbishop Ganswein, papal secretary to both Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, has called the situation of two popes a “wake up call”.  During an interview, Ganswein was referred to an old prophecy that has recently gained traction in some clerical discussions: The “Prophecy of the Popes.” Also known as the “Prophecy of Malachy,” the prophecy predicts Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as the second-to-the-last pope prior to the Second Coming of Jesus.

“Indeed, when looking at the prophecy, and considering how there was always a sound reference to popes mentioned in its history – that gives me the shivers,” Archbishop Gänswein admitted. Although Catholics aren’t required to accept the prophecy, “speaking from historical experience, one has to say: Yes, it is a wake-up call.”

We cannot help but recall here as well Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s prophecy of the two popes, wherein there would be a false pope in the end times who will lead the Church into error:

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…

The Lord wins in the end! May the words of Benedict XVI inspire us to carry on the fight to proclaim the Truth and the Gospel to the ends of the earth. ∎

 by Paul Simeon, Veritas

Vatican police break up cocaine-fueled gay orgy at home of one of Pope Francis’ advisors

Monsignor Capozzi

Msgr. Luigi Capozzi (far left) was caught by police amid a cocaine-fuelled sex orgy. He is secretary of Cardinal Coccopalmerio (far right), a close adviser of Pope Francis.

A high-ranking Vatican monsignor who is a secretary to one of Pope Francis’ closest collaborators was arrested by Vatican police after they caught him hosting a cocaine-fueled homosexual orgy in an apartment inside a building that is right next to St. Peter’s Basilica.

The occupant of the apartment, Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, is the secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio – a key aide to the 80-year-old Pope.  Coccopalmerio heads the Pontifical  Council  for Legislative texts and was said to have once recommended his secretary for a promotion to bishop.

At the time of the arrest, Capozzi was allegedly so high on cocaine that he was hospitalized for detoxification for a short period in the Pius XI clinic in Rome. He is currently in an undisclosed convent in Italy undergoing a spiritual retreat, Italian media reported.

Vatican police allegedly caught the monsignor, whom Italian media called an “ardent supporter of Pope Francis,” after tenants in the building complained repeatedly about constant comings and goings of visitors to the building during all hours of the night.

The building is currently being used by various high-ranking churchmen, including prefects, presidents, and secretaries to the Roman Curia.

Clergy caught having gay sex

Police were alerted to the situation when neighbours began to complain of loud noises coming from the official apartment. When police arrived at the scene, they found a group of men having sex. It’s also claimed the men had been doing drugs in the Vatican-provided apartment.

Capozzi managed to evade suspicion from Italian police by using a BMW luxury car with license plates of the Holy See, which made him practically immune to stops and searches. This privilege, usually reserved for high-ranking prelates, allowed the monsignor to transport cocaine for his frequent homosexual orgies without being stopped  by the Italian police. Italian news service Il Fato Quotidiano wrote that the building’s separate entrance into Vatican City from outside the Vatican walls made it “perfect” for clandestine activity.

“Positive elements” in gay couples?

The fact that it was Coccopalmerio’s trusted secretary who was behind the orgies makes the Cardinal’s past declarations on the “positive elements” of gay couples take on pressing significance.

In a 2014 interview with Rossoporpora, the Cardinal said that while homosexual relationships are deemed “illicit” by the Church, Catholic leaders, such as himself, must “emphasize” the “positive realities” that he said are present in homosexual relationships.

“If I meet a homosexual couple, I notice immediately that their relationship is illicit: the doctrine says this, which I reaffirm with absolute certainty. However, if I stop at the doctrine, I don’t look anymore at the persons. But if I see that the two persons truly love each other, do acts of charity to those in need, for example… then I can also say that, although the relationship remains illicit, positive elements also emerge in the two persons. Instead of closing our eyes to such positive realities, I emphasize them. It is to be objective and objectively recognize the positive of a certain relationship, of itself illicit,” he said at that time.

When the interviewer noted that some attendees at the Synod on the Family were tending in such a direction towards homosexuals, Coccopalmerio agreed. He then immediately went on to criticize those who feared that “valuing the positive elements” of homosexual relationships would be “undermining” the Church’s doctrine on marriage and sexuality, saying such a conclusion was “problematic.”

Earlier this year, the Vatican’s own publishing house released a book by the Cardinal that defended Francis’s 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The book put forward the position that civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics living in adultery as well as unmarried cohabiting Catholics living in fornication can receive Holy Communion.

The Cardinal later defended his interpretation of Amoris, even though it contradicted perennial Catholic teaching, stating that what he wrote was no different from conversations he had had with the Pope on the subject.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan highlighted in a talk given in Washinton D.C. last October the moral principle that “heresy” always goes hand-in-hand with an “unchaste life.” Where there is heresy, there is also sexual immorality, he said. ∎

Mark Jacobs, Veritas

The Last Pope? Revisiting the Prophecy of St. Malachy

two popesArchbishop Ganswin, papal secretary to both Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, has dramatically brought the Church’s attention back to an ancient prophecy that predicts that Benedict XVI will be the second-to-the-last pope prior to the return of Jesus Christ.

In an interview last May 20, 2016, on the occasion of the launch of a book about Benedict XVI’s papacy written by Fr. Roberto Regoli, Archbishop Ganswin  called attention to the “prophecy of the popes” attributed to St. Malachy, and said that prophecy is a “wake-up call”.

St. Malachy, an Irish Catholic bishop, was known as a gifted prophet, even predicting the date of his own death in 1148. The first native-born Irishman to be canonized, he is known in the Roman Catholic Church for his work as a healer, a miracle worker, and as a reformer of the Church in Ireland. He was canonized in 1190 by Pope Clement III. Malachy was visiting Rome in 1139 when he went into a trance and received a vision. He wrote down this extraordinary vision in which he claims to have foreseen all of the popes from the death of Innocent II until the destruction of the church and the return of Christ. He named exactly 112 popes from that time until the end.

Number 111 on the list, the “Glory of the Olive”, is Benedict XVI because the Benedictines have a branch called the Olivetans. Pope Benedict XVI was not a Benedictine priest, yet he chose the name of Benedict, founder of the Order of Saint Benedict. The symbol of the Benedictine order includes an olive branch. The prophecy, therefore, foretells that Benedict XVI is the second to the last pope prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

“Indeed, when looking at the prophecy, and considering how there was always a sound reference to popes mentioned in its history – that gives me the shivers,” Archbishop Gänswein said. Although Catholics aren’t required to accept the prophecy, “speaking from historical experience, one has to say: Yes, it is a wake-up call.”

First published in 1595 by Arnold de Wyon, a Benedictine monk, Malachy’s prophecy consists of 112 short Latin descriptions of future popes. Each of these descriptions identifies one outstanding trait for each of these future popes, beginning with Pope Celestine II, who was elected in 1130. This list stretches all the way from the time of St. Malachy to the present, describing, among many others, Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and finally, “Peter the Roman”, the last pope prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Incredibly Accurate

Although through the years many critics have questioned the authenticity of the prophecy, many scholars and even clergy have come to its defense, citing the incredible accuracy of the descriptions of the future popes.

Scholars have matched up the descriptions with each pope since that time.  For example, Malachy’s description of John XXII, who held the papacy from 1316 to 1334, is “de sutore osseo,” which means “from the bony shoemaker.” This particular pope was, indeed, the son of a shoemaker, and held the family name of “Ossa,” meaning bone. In another close match, Malachy used the term “lilium et rosa” to describe Urban VII, whose family crest was composed of roses and lilies.

The prophecy for Paul VI was “Flos Florum” (Flower of Flowers) and his coat of arms contained three fleurs- de-lis (Isis blossoms). The description for John Paul I was “De Medietate Lunae,” (the Half Moon). He was baptized Albino Luciani (white light), was born in the diocese of Belluno (beautiful moon), became pope when there was a half moon (Aug. 26, 1978), and died after an eclipse of the moon.

John Paul II was prophesied under the title “De Labore Solis,” (from the labor of the sun), and indeed he was born during an eclipse of the sun on May 8, 1920.

A modern version of Malachy’s prophecies was published in 1969 by Archbishop H. E. Cardinale, the Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium and Luxembourg. Cardinale wrote “it is fair to say the vast majority of Malachy’s predictions about successive Popes is amazingly accurate – always remembering that he gives only a minimum of information.”

The Final Entry: The Last Pope

The final of the 112 Latin entries of the prophecy reads as follows.

In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.

There are three important points to note with regard to this final entry:

First, It foretells the “final persecution of the Holy Roman Church”.  Many Church events today bear witness to this reality that indeed, the Holy Roman Church is severely being persecuted, both by outside forces, as well as by “wolves in sheeps clothing” that are within the Church herself.  Prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, there will be many “tribulations” that the Church and the faithful will have to bear.

Second, the city of the seven hills (Rome) will be destroyed.  The prophecy foretells the coming destruction of Rome.

Third, “Peter the Roman” will be the final pope.  Some reputable prophecies have pointed out that in the end times, there will reign a “false pope” who will create a false church.  Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, one of the greatest mystics of all time, saw a vision of the end times, where she saw the “baleful relationship between two popes”, and how the false church grew and size.  The Church-approved apparitions of Our Lady of Lasallete likewise predicted: “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist”. Fr. Stefano Gobbi, founder of the Marian Movement of Priests and Laity, likewise received interior locutions from Our Lady, predicting that the false pope in the end would commit the “horrible abomination”, which would consist in the abolition of the Eucharist and the forming of a false , one-world ecumenical Church.  The messages given to Fr. Gobbi have received the nihil obstat and imprimatur; millions of faithful, and thousands of clergy, are part of the Marian Movement of Priests.

If there will be a false pope in the end times, as predicted by numerous reputable mystics and Marian apparitions, who then is “Peter the Roman”? While many have interpreted “Peter the Roman” to refer to Pope Francis, there is a weight of evidence, covered by this publication, which seems to indicate that Pope Francis is leading the Church in a vastly different direction from his predecessors.

In the messages of Jesus given to Maria Divine Mercy, Jesus explains that “Peter the Roman” is St. Peter himself, who will pasture the Church directly from the Heavens during the final persecution of the Catholic Church by the enemies that have taken their seat at the highest echelons of the Church hierarchy.

The prophecy of St. Malachy is, in the words of Archbishop Ganswein, a “wake up call for us.”  We are all called, in these perilous times, to become true soldiers of Jesus Christ, fighting to proclaim the full truth of the Catholic Faith against all error, and praying and imploring Our Lord: “Maranatha!”, come Lord Jesus!

Pope Francis sends letter of support to controversial nun whose ministry focuses on “transsexuals”

Sister Monica with Transsexuals is supported by Pope Francis

Sister Monica, third from right, with her group of trans women in Argentina.

Pope Francis sent an email of support to sister Mónica Astorga, a controversial Carmelite from  Centenario, Argentina, affirming his support for her ministry with “trans-women”.  Francis wrote to the sister after learning that she was building a house for “trans-women”: “You and your convent are close to my heart, as well as the people with whom you are working. You can tell them this.”

The “trans-women” of sister Monica are male homosexual prostitutes and drug-addicts who identify  and dress themselves as women.  “Trans-women” are transvestites – people  who emotionally and psychologically feel that they belong to the opposite sex. Some transvestites have gone on to become “transgenders”, or those who undergo a full sex-change operation.

The controversial nun has focused her ministry on reaching out to the transgender community.  She is a member of the Discaled Carmelite Order, a contemplative community.

“I feel that God wants me to accompany the wounded and that’s why I take responsibility. They often tell me I stand with them; it’s that I feel that from that place I can understand them. Because when we look at them from the other side, it’s impossible. I get in deep,” the sister adds.

She started her ministry in December 2005, when her bishop referred to her case Romina, a “trans-woman” who approached the church at the time and wanted to donate a tenth of her wages.  Sister Monica narrates: “When the priest asked her where it came from, she told him from prostitution, and she explained that that was the only work she could get. At that point, the priest called me and told me about the case.”

Since then, she has focused her ministry on transgenders, and has affirmed that Pope Francis knows of the work she is carrying out and supports her.  In the email that the Pope wrote to her, he said: “In Jesus’ time, the lepers were rejected like that. They [the trans women] are the lepers of these times. Don’t leave this work on the frontier that is yours.”

She told that Pope that was merely “making trouble”, as the Pope had called on young people during his trip to World Youth Day Brazil: “I told the Pope that, although he urged young people to make trouble, I’m the one who’s doing it.”

Pope Benedict XVI: The Church is a boat ‘on the verge of capsizing’

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On July 15, 2017,  Pope Benedict XVI sent a message that was read aloud at the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, in which he said that the Church is a boat“on the verge of capsizing”.  The Pope Emeritus said that he was moved at the dubia cardinal’s ability to “live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”

Meisner was one of four courageous Cardinals who had written the dubia to Pope Francis, asking for clarification stemming from the confusion caused by Amoris Laetitia.  Benedict XVI lauded Meisner, suggesting that the Church needs more cardinals like him.  The Church, according to Benedict XVI,  “stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the faith with determination.” Because of this “pressing need,” Meisner “found it difficult to leave his post.”

The message of Benedict was read  by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, his personal secretary and head of the papal household.

A Close Relationship Between Benedict XVI and Meisner

Meisner and Benedict XVI had a close, fraternal relationship.  In fact, reports suggest that the two men had spoken just the day before the cardinal died.

Benedict further relates: “What particularly impressed me from my last conversations with the now passed Cardinal was the relaxed cheerfulness, the inner joy and the confidence at which he had arrived.”

The Pope Emeritus concluded: “What moved me all the more was that, in this last period of his life, he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”

A Call to Combat the Dictatorship of Relativism

According to Benedict XVI, the Church needs more courageous and “convincing shepherds”, like Cardinal Meisner, who will resist the “dictatorship of the spirit of the age.”  The Church is in danger of sinking, and very much needs its shepherds to rise up and proclaim the full Truth of the Catholic Faith against untruths that are besieging it across all levels.

Benedict’s words bear striking similarity to his homily during the Mass offered by the world’s cardinals, just prior to the conclave of 2005 that elected him as pope.  In that homily, he called on the cardinals and bishops to resist the dictatorship of relativism:

Relativism, that is, letting oneself be ‘tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine,’ seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.

One of Four Cardinals Who Formally Submitted the Dubia to Pope Francis

Meisner, who was 83, died while still awaiting Pope Francis’ response to the five questions they raised in the dubia.  Although Pope Francis hasn’t answered the dubia, he has given his approval to interpretations of the controversial exhortation that say those living in adulterous unions may receive Holy Communion.  Meisner, together with Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Caffara, and Cardinal Brandmuller had suggested that they would issue a “formal correction of the Pope” if he doesn’t clarify ambiguous elements in Amoris Laetitia that run contrary to the Church’s teachings on morality, the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Marriage.

Canon lawyer Kurt Martens said Pope Benedict’s message was an “amazing yet diplomatic form of support for [the] dubia Cardinals.”

In June 2017, Pope Benedict met new cardinals alongside Pope Francis. He had a brief message for them: “The Lord wins in the end.

Meisner died holding his breviary, about to offer Mass.