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


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.

Pope Benedict XVI: “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.”

The pope emeritus received the new cardinals 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 left them with highly-relevant words, taken within the context of today’s crisis within the Church: “The Lord wins in the end. Thank you all.”

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

  1. 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 crisis.  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. The Church is in the midst of a creeping schism that threatens to grow wider and wider.
  2. 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, and now reportedly even Cardinal Muller, Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
  3. The 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.

The times we live in are unprecedented.  As Cardinal Muller 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 “Prophesy of the Popes.” Also known as the “Prophesy of Malachy,” the prediction is attributed to Saint Philipp Neri – according to which, Pope Francis may be considered to be the last pope. Ganswein said:

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.


The Book of Truth: A Critical Review

by Michael Shimpert

Will the Second Coming of Jesus Happen in our Lifetime?

In a series of alleged messages given to an Irish seer who goes by the anonymous name of “Maria Divine Mercy,” Jesus says that His Second Coming is close, and that it will happen in this generation. The messages, given to Maria on an almost daily basis beginning 8 November 2010, are found in this website and compiled in a 5-volume book entitled “The Book of Truth”. The messages contain prophecies of events leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus.

Are the messages authentic? Are they a hoax? Or worse, could they be fabrications by the Evil One himself in an effort to confuse us? This article attempts to give an overview of the messages as well as provide an opinion regarding their authenticity.

Can We Trust Private Revelation?

The fact is that, throughout history, God has always communicated to His people through “private revelations”. Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Noah, Daniel, Revelation as revealed to St. John – all of these are private revelations no different from those happening today. The only difference between the private revelations of the past and those of the present is that that those in the past were documented in the Bible.

If we simply ignore these modern-day prophecies without, at the very least, studying them and sincerely asking the Lord for the grace of discernment, we will be no different from the people during the time of Noah. They jeered Noah and scorned his prophesied Great Flood – and ultimately paid the price (Luke 17:26-30).

In the “Graces and Mercy” prayer book, Pope Urban VIII (1623-44) is quoted as saying:

 In cases which concern private revelation, it is better to believe than not to believe, for, if you believe, and it is proven true, you will be happy that you have believed, because our Holy Mother asked it. If you believe, and it should be proven false, you will receive all blessings as if it had been true, because you believed it to be true.

The Purpose

Jesus says to Maria that the purpose of the Book of Truth is to prepare our current generation for His Second Coming. If the Second Coming took place tomorrow, Jesus says that most of humanity will not be saved, since many will be unprepared. In His great Mercy, He is communicating with us through Maria to help prepare us. Below is the first message of Jesus to Maria dated 9 November 2010:

I am returning to earth as foretold. That time is drawing so quickly that many will not be prepared. So many will be shocked and taken unawares that they will not believe it is happening. There is not much time now for My prophets to help prepare mankind for this Great Event.

In a message given on 20 May 2011, Jesus explains clearly what the Second Coming means:

Much confusion exists in the world regarding this event. Many people believe that My Second Coming indicates that the end of the world has come. That is not the case for, instead, it will mean the End Times when Satan and his followers who create untold misery in the world will be banished from earth for 1,000 years.

This New Paradise I have promised will come about when Heaven and Earth merge to become one. This new life I bring to all My devoted followers is one of love and glory. You, My followers, will have to endure much suffering, however, while this transition takes place. To help prepare the world for this great event, I am bringing a great gift of My Mercy beforehand. The Great Warning, which will give each and every one of you the chance to see your sins and how they offend Me, will enable you to see the Truth…

…My daughter I will rule the earth for the 1,000 years. Make no mistake for I am now in charge of events as they now unfold in the world…

One World Group and the Antichrist

Jesus reveals to Maria that several important events will occur before the Second Coming, the most prominent being the emergence of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and the Great Warning.

Jesus says that there is an elite, one-world group of powerful men who, behind the scenes, orchestrate all the major global events of today: the financial crisis, the banking collapse in Europe, wars in the Middle East. This powerful group is embedded in every corner of the world and all levels of power: the government, media, business, and even within the Catholic Church. It is led by the Antichrist, a powerful global political figure, a “leader in waiting,” who is still currently hiding, but will supposedly soon emerge. Jesus explains further the nature and the agenda of this “global elite group” in His message to Maria dated 5 October 2011:

The global leaders I speak of, who through cowardice hide where you cannot see them, are increasing their plans for global domination. They are building armies, weapons and poisonous substances all with one goal in mind, to destroy My children… They have even managed to infiltrate My Church from within… On the outside they will be seen to offer the world salvation in the guise of humanitarian efforts. Their creative solutions to make life easier for you will be in the form of unifying your money, your food, your health, your welfare and your religion as one, all under one domain, the domain of the antichrist.

The Antichrist will be a charismatic global leader whom the world will adore and proclaim a “savior”. Jesus describes the Antichrist in numerous instances throughout the messages:

His cunning will be hidden behind a handsome, charming and articulate exterior, but when My children look into his eyes they will see darkness for he has no soul. He was not created by the Hand of God the Father.” (6 October 2011 message)

He will be seen as the messenger of love, peace and harmony in the world. People will fall to their knees and adore him. He will show you his power and you will believe it is of a divine source. But it’s not… He will strut and show what will appear to be true compassion and love for all. Behind this facade he is full of hatred for you, My beloved children… He will wreak havoc in the world and will murder many. (15 November 2010 message)

2 Thes 2:4 speaks of the Antichrist as follows:

This one will oppose and exalt himself against everything that men adore and call God… The lawless one will come by the power of Satan, with all the force of false miracles and pretended wonders. He will make use of every kind of wicked deception, in order to work harm.

A Plot to Oust Pope Benedict XVI

In a message dated February 11, 2012, Jesus said to Maria Divine Mercy:

My poor Holy Vicar, Pope Benedict XVI, will be ousted from the Holy See in Rome. Last year, my daughter, I told you of the plot, within the corridors of the Vatican. A plan to destroy My Holy Vicar was devised in secret on the l7th March, 2011, and this will come to fruition, for it has been foretold.

Exactly a year after, on February 11, 2013, the unthinkable happened:  The Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI was “resigning” his office effective February 28.  The reason cited was his “old age” and “incapacity” to fulfill his obligations.  Pope John Paul II maintained his post all the way until old age, even until the time when he could not visibly fulfill his duties because of Parkinson’s disease.

If this was a resignation done with the voluntary will of the Pope, why done so soon and so quickly?  The announcement was made February 11, 2013 – a mere two weeks after, the Pope will officially have resigned his post.  Why was such a monumental transition done in such great haste? This was clearly not an ordinary occurrence. What was predicted in the messages to Maria Divine Mercy as early as 2011 in numerous messages has finally happened.

Critics will argue: But the Pope voluntarily resigned, he was not really “ousted”.  We encourage the reader to watch the video below, and judge for himself/herself if this prophesied “evil plot” to oust Pope Benedict XVI is believable.

A few hours after the announcement of Pope Benedict’s resignation, an extremely rare event occurred: lightning struck the Vatican.  Was this a mere coincidence? Or a warning/sign from God?

In a message dated April 12, 2012,  Jesus said that Benedict XVI was the last true pope on this earth:

My beloved Pope Benedict XVI is the last true pope on this Earth…I must warn you that many new self-proclaimed prophets will now emerge, who will contradict My Holy Word given to you, the end time true prophet…They, My daughter, are being sent to prepare God’s children to accept the next pope, who comes after My beloved Vicar, Pope Benedict. This pope may be elected by members within the Catholic Church, but he will be the false prophet. His electors are wolves in sheep’s clothing and are members of the secret Masonic and evil group led by Satan. This is how Satan will try to destroy My Church.

Liberal Prelates Admit Existence of a “Mafia Group” that Plotted the Demise of Benedict XVI

The election Pope Francis was the fruit of secret meetings that liberal cardinals and bishops, organized by Carlo Maria Martini, held for years at St. Gall in Switzerland.  This is what is claimed by Jürgen Mettepenningen and Karim  Shelkens, the authors of a just published biography of the radical, progressive Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels.

The book reveals that the Cardinal was a regular member of a secret pressure group of Churchmen that opposed Pope Benedict XVI. Danneels said that what was officially but discreetly labeled “the Sankt-Gallen group” was referred to by its members as “the Mafia”. Its self-imposed aim was to achieve a drastic reform of the Church, to make it “much more modern”, and for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to head it.

The group met every year since 1996, and together they organized the secret “resistance” against Cardinal Ratzinger, who at that time was the right-hand man of John Paul II. Their goal at the time was to elect a “reformer” pope to eventually replace John Paul II, in view of his nearing death, and to prevent at all costs the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope.

The False Prophet

The most controversial aspect of the messages given to Maria Divine Mercy is the prophesy that the pope who will follow Pope Benedict XVI will be the “False Prophet” of the Book of Revelation. The False Prophet will rebel against the “last true Pope” (Benedict XVI) and establish  a “new” and “modern” Catholic Church. He will appear to be a loving and holy figure, and will be considered by many people as a living saint. But the reality is that he is allied with the Evil One. He will merge the Catholic Faith with all other faiths to form a false, one-world religion. Jesus warns priests, bishops and cardinals about the “False Prophet”:

My Holy Vicar Pope Benedict needs your prayers. Pray for him daily for he needs protection on every level to take him through the torment that lies ahead. It is important that My followers keep alert to any new Pope that may come forward for he will not be from God… You must acknowledge that the False Prophet is about to seduce you. Charm you. Convince you that he represents the truth. You must now show your allegiance to Me, and My Eternal Father… (7 June 2011)

In another message, Jesus elaborates on the coming partnership between the False Prophet and the Antichrist:

…watch with clear eyes the False Prophet who will attempt to lead My Church for he does not come from the House of My Eternal Father. He will seem like he does. But this will be false. Watch too for the friendship he will display with the Antichrist for they will be two of the most deceitful followers of Satan – dressed in sheep’s clothing. They will have powers, which will seem like the miracles of old but these powers will be Satanic… pray for the graces of discernment so that you may see this False Prophet for what he truly is. A demon sent to distract you, from the depths of Hell. (19 February 2011)

According to Jesus, the False Prophet will change the interpretation of the Holy Mass, and will deny the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Together with the Antichrist, he will persecute those priests, bishops and cardinals who will remain loyal to the one, true Catholic Church. Loyal priests will be forced to hold Masses in secret. It will be the most severe persecution in Church history.

This abolition of the Eucharistic Sacrifice to be perpetuated by the Antichrist and the False Prophet is prophesied in the Bible in passages referring to the End Times, particularly the Book of Daniel (12:9-12):

“Go, Daniel,” he said, “because the words are to be kept secret and sealed until the end time. Many shall be refined, purified, and tested, but the wicked shall prove wicked; none of them shall have understanding, but the wise shall have it. From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the horrible abomination is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is the man who has patience and perseveres until the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.”

The Gospel of Matthew likewise speaks of this prophecy:

When you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, a person on the housetop must not go down to get things out of his house, a person in the field must not return to get his cloak – for at that time there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect they will be shortened. (Matthew 24:15)

Finally, in her messages to Fr. Gobbi (which carry the Imprimatur from numerous cardinals and bishops), Our Lady explains this “horrible abomination” prophesied by Daniel:

Beloved children, in order to understand in what this horrible sacrilege consists, read what has been predicted by the prophet Daniel… The Holy Mass is the daily Sacrifice, the pure oblation which is offered to the Lord everywhere, from the rising of the sun to its going down. The Sacrifice of the Mass renews that which was accomplished by Jesus on Calvary. By accepting the Protestant doctrine, people will hold that the Mass is not a sacrifice but only a sacred meal, that is to say, a remembrance of that which Jesus did at his Last Supper… And thus, the celebration of Holy Mass will be suppressed. In this abolition of the daily Sacrifice consists the horrible sacrilege accomplished by the Antichrist, which will last about three and a half years, namely, one thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Unprecedented Crisis in the Church

Since the election of Pope Francis, the Catholic Church has been plunged into a great crisis – perhaps the greatest it has ever faced in its history.  We are now witnessing the prophecy of Akita unfolding right before our very eyes: “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 controversial Synod on the Family witnessed a battle between progressive, liberal cardinals on one hand (like Cardinal Kasper), and faithful, loyal prelates on the other hand (like Cardinal Burke).  The progressive cardinals, with the encouragement of Pope Francis, wanted to revolutionize the Church’s teachings on sexuality, Eucharistic communion, and marriage.  The post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was subsequently published.  After its publication, 45 theologians and priests distributed and published a letter addressed to all the Cardinals of the world, petitioning them to correct the numerous errors contained in the document.

In September 2016, four Cardinals –  Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, and Joachim Meisner – wrote a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to answer a series of 5 “yes” or “no” answers to help clarify errors and confusion that have resulted because of Amoris Laetitia.  When the Pope ignored their letter, the four Cardinals went ahead and published their letter in November, with Cardinal Burke saying that it may be necessary for the Cardinals to make a “formal act of correction” if Pope Francis doesn’t answer a letter from four cardinals asking him to clarify aspects of Amoris Laetitia.

Numerous controversial statements have likewise been spoken by Pope Francis that seem to be contradictory to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Great Warning

It is because of the machinations of the Antichrist and the False Prophet that the Blessed Trinity will intervene in a powerful way. Simply put, if the Lord did not intervene, the one world group will succeed in destroying much of humanity and eradicating Christianity.

The Heavenly Father will intervene with what Jesus calls “the greatest event since the Resurrection”. This event is the “Great Warning” or the “Illumination of Consciences”. It must be noted that this same event has been prophesied in many other modern-day revelations such as those to St. Faustina and Fr. Gobbi; and apparitions like those of Our Lady in Kibeho (Rwanda) and Garabandal (Spain), among others.

In His message to Maria, Jesus explains the nature of the Great Warning…

This Great Warning, out of Mercy and Love as a last Gift to My children, will happen soon. Every single one of My children will be shown their lives, their sins, their wrong doings and every single insult they were responsible for against their brothers and sisters, all during a mystical experience. Not one man, woman or child on this earth will be excluded. (22 November 2010)

… and of the great signs will appear in the sky:

My daughter you must do everything you can to warn the world because this great event will shock everyone. They will see great signs in the skies before The Warning takes place. Stars will clash with such impact that man will confuse the spectacle they see in the sky as being catastrophic. As these comets infuse, a great red sky will result, and the Sign of My Cross will be seen all over the world, by everyone. Many will be frightened. But I say rejoice, for you will see, for the first time in your lives, a truly Divine Sign that represents great news for sinners everywhere… Welcome the Warning. For then you will be given the proof of Eternal Life and know how important it is. (5 June 2011)

In Matthew 24:29-30, Jesus describes the signs that will immediately precede His Second Coming.

And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of man shall appear in heaven. And then all tribes of the earth shall mourn. And they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven, with great power and majesty.

In her diary, St. Faustina revealed this message given to her by Jesus regarding a “sign in the heavens” that will appear before the Day of Judgment:

Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day.

The message to St. Faustina and the account in the Gospel of Matthew parallel Jesus’ message to Maria Divine Mercy: comets colliding (“stars will fall from heaven”) and the cross appearing in the sky (“the sign of the Son of Man shall appear in heaven”).

A Call to Prayer and Eucharistic Devotion

Jesus invites all humanity to prepare for His Second Coming through much prayer. He has encouraged the formation of prayer groups to recite the various “crusade prayers” He has given through Maria. These crusade prayers are very short prayers that are usually directed to the Heavenly Father, and are very specific in nature: prayer for protection against the Antichrist, prayer to help prepare us for the Warning, etc.

Jesus encourages frequent attendance to the Holy Mass, and emphasizes the importance of praying the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily:

“Let Me remind all My children everywhere to recite My Divine Mercy chaplet every single day. Pray too, and I include all Christian faiths, the Holy Rosary to My Beloved Mother for this powerful prayer will weaken Satan’s power over My children.” (13 June 2011)

His message on 10 August 2011 says thus: “Patience, silent prayer daily, the formation of prayer groups, daily recital of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, fasting, and the Holy Rosary to My Beloved Mother combined, act as the perfect formula for saving souls.”

Jesus also emphasizes the importance of Eucharistic devotion: “…the miracle of the Holy Eucharist, present in all tabernacles all over the world, exists today and is there to fill your poor undernourished and empty souls with My Presence”.  (14 April 2011)

Who is the Real Source of the Messages?

Could these messages come from Satan? Or if not directly Satanic in origin, could these messages be mere fabrications by the seer, influenced by Satan?

The messages talk about timeless Catholic teachings and devotions: belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, daily recitation of the rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, fasting, self-denial, the importance of the afterlife, the reality of Satan. Satan has nothing to gain and everything to lose by emphasizing these things repeatedly.

Fulfillment of the Prophecies will Validate the Messages

Many of the messages are prophetic in nature, and are consistent with Biblical prophecy, as well as those revealed to various credible private seers. The fulfillment of the prophecies is, in reality, the only way to truly, objectively validate their authenticity. A similar case is the apparitions of Our Lady in Garabandal, Spain. These apparitions have neither been approved nor disapproved by the Church – primarily because most of the content of the messages are prophetic in nature and cannot be proven or disproven at this point in time. The Church is suspending judgment, pending the actual occurrence of the prophesied events.

Jesus also explains that the Warning will be the ultimate proof for the authenticity of the messages contained in the Book of Truth:

The world…is being given this special Gift – the Book of Truth – to show My children what they now need to do in order to prepare for The Warning, the Illumination of Conscience, which is being given to mankind to help prepare them adequately for My Second Coming…When this event takes place, after these Messages are given to the world, people will understand the authenticity of My Words given through you, My daughter, to save mankind. (28 January 2011)

Personal Discernment

The Lord Jesus implores those who are doubtful to pray first for the grace of discernment from the Holy Spirit before passing judgment on the messages. He says:

For those of My followers who denounce these messages, I implore you to pray to the Holy Spirit to ask for the gift of discernment before you dismiss My Holy Word. To those of you who insult My visionary and recipient of these messages you must ask this question: if it is Satan who you believe influences these messages, then why would he ask you to pray, to seek forgiveness, to receive the Holy Eucharist? Then you will know that this is impossible. (5 July 2011)

If we sincerely ask the Holy Spirit for this grace of discernment, He will heed our prayers and plant in our hearts the True answer.

Cardinal Muller: first time in history that we have two legitimate Popes

In an explosive interview with the German version of Vatican Radio last October 26, 2016, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that “for the first time in the history of the Church we have the case of two legitimate living popes.”

This is the first time that a high-ranking Vatican official has publicly acknowledged the highly-unusual situation of the coexistence of two popes.   Muller continued:

Certainly only Pope Francis is THE Pope, but Benedict is the emeritus, so somehow he is still tied to the papacy. This unprecedented situation needs to be addressed theologically and spiritually. On how to do it, there are different opinions. I have shown that even with all the diversity that relate to the person and the character – which are given by nature – that the internal link must also be made visible. “

When the journalist asked what this   “internal link” or inner connection consists of, Muller said:  “This is to profess [to proclaim the faith in] Jesus Christ, Who is the ‘ratio essendi’, the true foundation of the papacy, Who holds the Church together in the unity in Christ.…”

The journalist further asked: “What do two popes together offer the Church?”  Müller responded:

 Both exercise an office that they didn’t give to themselves, nor are they able to define: an office that is already ‘defined’ by Christ Himself, as it has been understood by the believing conscience of the Church. And each man experiences within the papal office – as in every other ecclesial office – a weight that one can only bear with the help of grace.

Muller essentially says that Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI, “both exercise an office” that is the “Papal office”. And he says that this unprecedented situation, of “two legitimate living popes”, “needs to be addressed theologically and spiritually.”

Papal Secretary: An Expanded Papal Ministry

Müller seems to be going in the same direction as Monsignor Georg Gänswein, secretary of Pope Benedict XVI and Prefect of the Pontifical Household of Pope Francis.

On May 21, 2016, Monsignor Ganswein caused quite a stir when in a conference in Rome, he said that with Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, “there is an expanded {papal} ministry, with an active member and a contemplative member.”

In that talk, Gänswein said among other things:

Before and after his resignation, Benedict has understood and understands his task as a participation in the ‘Petrine’ Ministry. He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step [he took] on 11 February 2013, did not abandon this Ministry at all. Instead, he integrated the personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a ministry in common.

Ganswein likewise said:

There are not, then, two popes, but ‘de facto’ there is an expanded ministry, with an active member and a contemplative member. This is why Benedict XVI has not given up his name, nor the white cassock. For this the proper form with which to address him is still ‘Holiness’; and for this, also, he did not retire to a monastery in isolation, but he is within the Vatican, as if he had only made a step to the side to make room for his successor and for a new stage in the history of the papacy.

Pope Benedict XVI: Petrine Ministry is “Forever”

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI himself seemed to indicate as much that he did not intend to revoke his exercise of the Petrine ministry,  not only with choice of an emeritus papacy, but also with the words of his last speech, where he explained that the Petrine ministry was “forever” in his life and added: “My decision to give up the active exercise of the ministry, does not revoke this fact.”

Likewise, in his recent best-selling book, “Last Conversations”, Pope Benedict dedicated a page to explain his current situation, in perfect congruity with the intervention of his secretary in May and with that of Müller. He says that his was not “an escape, but another way to remain true to my ministry.” And he adds that he continues to be pope “in a deeper, more intimate, sense”.

Today Müller says that “the internal link” that ties the two popes together and binds them to guard the deposit of the Faith “must be made visible.”

Was Benedict XVI Forced to Resign?

Not a few commentators and writers have put forward the position that given the strange and sudden circumstances around his sudden resignation, it may be a possibility that Benedict XVI was actually forced to resign by hidden forces within the Vatican plotting his demise. And while many dismiss this talk outright as outlandish “conspiracy theories”, the fact is that some high-ranking, progressive Cardinals have actually publicly acknowledged the existence of such a secret group within the Vatican that plotted the ouster of Benedict XVI.

In his biography, Cardinal Daneels, a high-ranking adviser of Pope Francis, claimed that a secret group of cardinals called the “St. Gallen group” plotted for years to bring down Benedict XVI. He likewise said that the same group was behind the election to the papacy of Pope Francis. ∎

By Peter Boardside, Veritas

Papal Secretary Archbishop Gänswein Speaks on Benedict, The Two Popes, and Prophecy

alightningstrikesstpetersdomeatthevaticanonfebruary11-203x3002xWhen Pope emeritus Benedict XVI resigned as pontiff three years ago, he added a new dimension to the papacy, said his personal secretary Archbishop Georg Ganswein.

The archbishop spoke about Benedict’s pontificate and its wake at a May 20 book presentation of “Oltre la crisi della Chiesa” (Beyond the Church’s Crisis) by Father Roberto Regoli, an historian and professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University. The book aims to be the first history-based evaluation of Benedict XVI’s pontificate.

He also talked about other interesting matters: The struggle that happened during the 2005 papal conclave, Benedict XVI’s view of his historical resignation, the “Prophesy of Malachy” which allegedly sees Francis as the last pontiff, and others. His thoughts were captured in a rare, candid conversation with veteran journalist and EWTN Rome correspondent Paul Badde.

Struggle at the 2005 Conclave

Archbishop Ganswein reflected on the meaning of Benedict XVI’s election. He said that the election was “certainly the outcome of a clash” whose key interpretation had been given by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger himself in his homily for the pre-conclave Mass on April 18, 2005.

Then-Cardinal Ratzinger reflected on the clash of two forces. He criticized “a dictatorship of relativism” that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desire.” With this, he contrasted Christians’ goal of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and “the true man.” This is “the measure of true humanism.”

This clash is epitomized in what Archbishop Ganswein described as “the dramatic struggle” between two parties in the conclave. He labeled one the “Salt of the Earth” party after the name of a book-length interview with Cardinal Ratzinger. This party gathered around Cardinals Lopez Trujillo, Ruini, Herranz, Rouco Varela and Medina Estevez.

Then there is the highly-liberal “St. Gallen group” gathered around Cardinals Daneels, Martini, Silvestrini and Murphy-O’Connor. This is the group, Archbishop Ganswein noted, that Cardinal Daneels “himself amusedly described as ‘a sort of Mafia-club’.” Cardinal Daneels, in his biography, has suggested that the St. Gallen group was behind election to the papacy of Pope Francis.

Nature Had Spoken

When a massive lightning strike lit up the top of Saint Peter’s dome on the evening of Feb. 11, 2013, many observers chose to interpret this as a divine reaction to the historical announcement of Pope Benedict’s resignation, made that very morning. As his personal secretary, Archbishop Gänswein, reminisced about how both he and Benedict only found out about the lightning strike after the event. “The impression was one of a sign from above, a reaction,” he told Badde. When he showed Benedict images of the spectacular incident a few days later, the pope asked whether this was some kind of digital montage, Gänswein said, adding: “however, nature had spoken.”

How Pope Benedict Sees His Decision to Resign Today

Archbishop Gänswein spoke about the painful emotional impact of Benedict’s farewell from the papal office and household. “Indeed, I found myself compelled to openly cry,” he said. However, with three years having passed since, “there has been a lot of reflection, personal reflection included.”

He affirmed that “Pope Benedict was – and to this day all the more is – very much at peace with his decision to resign, and that it was the right step to take. That helped me personally to overcome my initial resistance and accept what Pope Benedict truly realized after much struggle and prayer, what he found to be the right thing and then decided on.”

Benedict’s greatest joys since retiring, Gänswein said, are “to have time for prayer, for reflection and reading – but also for personal encounters,” despite also living “the life of a monk” in the monastery he now resides in.

An Expanded Petrine Ministry

Archbishop Ganswein said that for the last three years, Catholics have witnessed the unprecedented situation of living “with two living successors of Peter among us.” He said Benedict and Francis “are not in competition with each other, though they have an extraordinary presence.”

For Archbishop Ganswein, Benedict XVI’s resignation announcement on Feb. 11, 2013 marked the introduction of a new institution into the Catholic Church: the Pope emeritus. Pope Benedict used a key phrase in his resignation speech: “munus Petrinum.” This phrase is often translated “Petrine Ministry.” According to the archbishop, the Latin word “munus” has many meanings: service, commitment, guide, gift, even wonder.

“Benedict XVI thought of his commitment as a participation in that Petrine ministry,” the archbishop said. “That means that he left the papal throne, but he did not abandon this ministry.”

Benedict XVI now acts “with a collegial and synodal dimension” and a “common ministry” that appears to echo his episcopal and papal motto: ‘cooperatores veritatis,’ ‘cooperators of the Truth’,” he said.

Hence, “since Pope Francis’ election, there are not two Popes, but there is a de facto enlarged ministry, with both an active and a contemplative member.”

The archbishop said that this is why Benedict did not renounce his papal name or give up his white cassock.

“This is the reason why the correct appellation for him is ‘Your Holiness.’ This is finally the reason why he did not retire to an isolated monastery, but within the Vatican walls, as if he just took a step aside to make space for his successor and for a new step in the history of the papacy,” Archbishop Ganswein said.

This is how Benedict XVI has “profoundly and lastingly transformed” the papal ministry during his “exceptional pontificate.”

The ‘Prophecy of the Popes’

During the interview, Paul Badde referenced an old alleged prophecy that has recently gained traction in some clerical discussions: The “Prophesy of the Popes.” Also known as the “Prophesy of Malachy,” the prediction is attributed to Saint Philipp Neri – according to which, Pope Francis may be considered to be the last pope.

“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.”

Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI Sees Resignation as Expanding Petrine Ministry

In a speech reflecting on Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, Archbishop Georg Gänswein has confirmed the existence of a group who fought against Benedict’s election in 2005, but stressed that “Vatileaks” or other issues had “little or nothing” to do with his resignation in 2013.

Speaking at the presentation of a new book on Benedict’s pontificate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome May 20, Archbishop Gänswein also said that Pope Francis and Benedict are not two popes “in competition” with one another, but represent one “expanded” Petrine Office with “an active member” and a “contemplative.”

Archbishop Gänswein, who doubles as the personal secretary of the Pope Emeritus and prefect of the Pontifical Household, said Benedict did not abandon the papacy like Pope Celestine V in the 13th century but rather sought to continue his Petrine Office in a more appropriate way given his frailty.

“Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before,” he said. “It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed by his exceptional pontificate.”

Reflecting on Benedict’s time as Pope, Archbishop Gänswein said that although he was “a classic ‘homo historicus’, a Western man par excellence who embodied the richness of the Catholic tradition like no other,” at the same time he was “so bold as to open the door to a new phase, for that historic turning point that five years ago no one could have imagined.”

Gänswein drew attention to “brilliant and illuminating” and “well documented and thorough” passages of the book, written by Roberto Regoli and entitled Oltre la crisi della Chiesa. Il pontificato di Benedetto XVI — “Beyond the Crisis of the Church, The Pontificate of Benedict XVI.”

The German prelate especially highlighted Regoli’s account of “a dramatic struggle” that took place in the 2005 Conclave between the “so-called ‘Salt of the Earth Party’” (named after the book interview with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) comprising “Cardinals Lopez Trujillo, Ruini, Herranz, Ruoco Varela or Medina” and their adversaries: “the so-called St. Gallen group” that included “Cardinals Danneels, Martini, Silvestrini or Murphy O’Connor” — a group Cardinal Danneels referred jokingly to as “a kind of mafia-club,” Archbishop Gänswein recalled. (His reference to that struggle backs up an interview German journalist Paul Badde gave the Register last November and EWTN Germany, during which Badde also mentioned German Cardinals Kasper and Lehmann as being part of the St. Gallen group).

“The election was certainly the outcome of a battle,” Gänswein went on, adding that the “key” to the Conclave was Cardinal Ratzinger’s “dictatorship of relativism” homily that he gave on the first day of the election when he was Dean of the College of Cardinals.

Benedict’s personal secretary then referred to how Regoli highlights the “fascinating and moving” years of Benedict’s pontificate, and his “skill and confidence” in exercising the Petrine ministry. He recalled, in particular, the “black year” of 2010, when Manuela Camagni, one of the four Memores Domini consecrated women who assisted Benedict, was tragically killed in a road accident in Rome.

The year, which he attests was a dark one, was further blackened by “malicious attacks against the Pope” and the fallout from Benedict’s lifting of the excommunication on Bishop Richard Williamson who denied the extent of the Holocaust.

But nothing affected Benedict’s “heart as much as the death of Manuela”, whom he considered part of the “papal family” of helpers. “Benedict wasn’t an ‘actor pope’, and even less an insensitive ‘automaton Pope’,” Gänswein said. ”Even on the throne of Peter, he was and remained a man… ‘a man with his contradictions’.”

Then, after having been so affected by the death of Camagni, Benedict suffered the “betrayal of Paolo Gabriele”, his “poor and misguided” former valet who was found guilty of leaking confidential papal documents in what became known as the ‘Vatileaks’ scandal. That episode was “false money” traded on the world stage as “authentic gold bullion” he said, but stressed that “no traitor, ‘mole’, or any journalist” would have caused Benedict to resign. “The scandal was too small” for the “greater, well considered step Benedict made of millennial historical significance.”

Such assumptions that they did have something to do with it, he said, “have little or nothing to do with reality”, adding that Benedict resigned because it was “fitting” and “reasonable”, and quoted John Duns Scotus’ words to justify the decree for the Immaculate Conception: “Decuit, potuit, fecit” — “He could do it, it was fitting that He do it.”

Various reports have suggested that pressure was exerted on Benedict to step down. One of the latest came last year from a former confidant and confessor to the late Cardinal Carlo Martini who said Martini had told Benedict: “Try and reform the Curia, and if not, you leave.”

But in his speech, Gänswein insisted “it was fitting” for Benedict to resign because he “was aware that the necessary strength for such a very heavy office was lessening. He could do it [resign], because he had long thought through, from a theological point of view, the possibility of a pope emeritus in the future. So he did it.”

Drawing on the Latin words “munus petrinum” — “Petrine ministry” — Gänswein pointed out the word “munus” has many meanings such as “service, duty, guide or gift”. He said that “before and after his resignation” Benedict has viewed his task as “participation in such a ‘Petrine ministry’.

“He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry,” Gänswein explained, something “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“

Instead, he said, “he has built a personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a communal ministry, as if he had wanted to reiterate once again the invitation contained in the motto that the then-Joseph Ratzinger had as Archbishop of Munich and Freising and naturally maintained as Bishop of Rome: “cooperatores veritatis”, which means ‘co-workers of the truth’.”

Archbishop Gänswein pointed out that the motto is not in the singular but in the plural, and taken from the Third Letter of John, in which it is written in verse 8: “We must welcome these people to become co-workers for the truth”.

He therefore stressed that since Francis’ election, there are not “two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member.” He added that this is why Benedict XVI “has not given up his name”, unlike Pope Celestine V who reverted to his name Pietro da Marrone, “nor the white cassock.”

“Therefore he has also not retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy.” With that step, he said, he has enriched the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.”

Archbishop Gänswein repeated that Benedict’s resignation was “quite different” to that of Pope Celestine V.

“So it is not surprising,” he said, “that some have seen it as revolutionary, or otherwise as entirely consistent with the gospel,  while still others see in this way a secularized papacy as never before, and thus more collegial and functional, or even simply more humane and less sacred. And still others are of the opinion that Benedict XVI, with this step, has almost — speaking in theological and historical-critical terms — demythologized the papacy.”
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/archbishop-gaenswein-recalls-dramatic-struggle-of-2005-conclave/#ixzz49upkwq7s

Pope Francis labels Catholics who believe in “absolute truths” as “fundamentalists”

Pope Francis labels Catholics who believe in “absolute truths” as “fundamentalists”

Pope_Benedict_XVI_on_Fundamentalism.pngOn the plane returning from his journey to Africa on November 30, Pope Francis condemned Catholics who believe in “absolute truths”, and labelled them as “fundamentalists”.

“Fundamentalism is a sickness that is in all religions,” Francis said, as reported by the National Catholic Reporter’s Vatican correspondent, Joshua McElwee, and similarly by other journalists on the plane.  “We Catholics have some – and not some, many – who believe in the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil.”

“They do evil,” said the pope. “I say this because it is my church.”

“We have to combat it,” he said. “Religious fundamentalism is not religious, because it lacks God. It is idolatry, like the idolatry of money.”

Turning to Islam, the pope spoke of his friendship with a Muslim, adding, “You cannot cancel out a religion because there are some groups, or many groups in a certain point of history, of fundamentalists.”

“Like everything, there are religious people with values and those without,” he said. “But how many wars … have Christians made? The sacking of Rome was not done by Muslims, eh?”

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.

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 Heresy of Relativism

The Pope’s letter to Scalfari, as well as his recent condemnation of “absolute truths”  is, upon closer inspection, a support for the heresy of relativism –  a dangerous heresy that, if adopted by the world, will cause widespread adoption of sin. According to relativism, we should not believe in “absolute truths”. We should not believe in absolute moral codes of conduct. No institution, no Church has the right to definitely say what is right and what is wrong.

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.  

Pope Francis’ position is a complete reversal to Pope Benedict XVI’s view that 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 relativism:

Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas 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 moving toward a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.

The Church Does Believe in Absolute Truths

In his 2009 Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI said that true love leads one to “defend the truth” and “articulate it with humility and conviction”:

Love — caritas — is…a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth…To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6).

In numerous occasions, St. John Paul II warned against the grave consequences of doctrinal relativism. In this 1981 address during a conference on popular missions, he said:

It is essential to realistically admit, with deep and pained sentiment, that in part, Christians today feel lost, confused, perplexed and even disillusioned; ideas conflicting with the revealed and consistently taught truth have been widely spread; real heresies in dogmatic and moral fields have been promoted, creating doubts, confusions, rebellions, even the Liturgy has been manipulated; immersed in the intellectual and moral ‘relativism’, and consequently permissiveness, Christians are tempted toward atheism, agnosticism, vaguely moralistic illuminism, and a sociological Christianity, without defined dogmas and without objective morality. ∎

by Pablo Mercer