A Great Shipwreck?

 

ON October 20th, Our Lady allegedly appeared to Brazilian seer Pedro Regis (who enjoys the broad support of his Archbishop) with a strong message:

Dear children, the Great Vessel and a Great Shipwreck; this is the [cause of] suffering for men and women of faith. Be faithful to My Son Jesus. Accept the teachings of the true Magisterium of His Church. Stay on the path that I have pointed out to you. Do not let yourself be contaminated by the mire of false doctrines. You are the Lord’s Possession and Him alone should you follow and serve. —Read full message here

Today, on this eve of the Memorial of St. John Paul II, the Barque of Peter shuddered and listed as the news headline emerged:

“Pope Francis calls for civil union law for same-sex couples,
in shift from Vatican stance”

In a documentary that premiered today in Rome, Francis says:

Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it. 

Those remarks are followed in the video by:

What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.Catholic News AgencyOctober 21st, 2020

It must be said that, since the raw footage is not available, it is hard to know if these statements are pieced together in a way that is consistent with the context (ie. it appears to be edited responses). That said, the plain language of the statement (translation) would appear to be as the headline suggests: Francis is endorsing civil union laws for same-sex couples. If that is not the case, a clarification from the Vatican and the Holy Father would be imperative.

 

THE CHURCH’S TEACHING ON SAME-SEX UNIONS

It must be said straight away that what Francis has said in this documentary, or in previous interviews and off-the-cuff statements, are not necessarily binding magisterial teaching for the reason that they are outside the proper exercise of the Magisterium (certainly, his statement against the alienation of those with homosexual tendencies is right and consistent with Catholic teaching; see below). As Catholics, we have to be very careful about this basic fact that not every word a pope utters requires “religious assent”[1]CCC, n. 892 unless it lies within his ordinary Magisterium (teaching authority). Case in point, when Benedict XVI was pope, he wrote the book Jesus of Nazareth and clearly stated in the foreword:

It goes without saying that this book is in no way an exercise of the magisterium, but is solely an expression of my personal search ‘for the face of the Lord’ (cf. Ps 27:8).” — Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, Foreword

Nonetheless, this does not diminish the stature and office of the man speaking and his capacity to cause scandal by erroneous or ambiguous statements, even when they are his opinions. The same can be said for all of us Catholics who, by virtue of our baptism, are called to be faithful witnesses by both word and example. But how much more so for the hierarchy: 

…as the Church’s one and only indivisible magisterium, the pope and the bishops in union with him carry the gravest responsibility that no ambiguous sign or unclear teaching comes from them, confusing the faithful or lulling them into a false sense of security. —Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; First ThingsApril 20th, 2018

In regard to endorsing civil unions for same-sex marriages, St. John Paul II signed off on the Considerations presented by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on this issue:

Civil laws are structuring principles of man’s life in society, for good or for ill. They “play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behaviour”. Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation’s perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriageall Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unionsConsiderations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons; n. 6, 10

The Catechism is straightforward in this regard:

Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. 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.Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2357

It is totally within the State’s prerogative to grant tax benefits to whom they wish. Nonetheless, there are just and unjust laws and the Church has a moral duty to call the State to act in accordance with reason and justice. 

…civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience. Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person.Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons; 6.

Clearly, from these magisterial statements, Catholics cannot support any initiative that would endorse same-sex unions. So now what?

 

 A FLIP-FLOP?

My inbox is overflowing with Catholics deeply concerned and shaken by this documentary revelation. For one, this new statement is conflicting with previous statements of Francis on homosexual unions:

Photo Credit: National Catholic Register

The complementarity of man and woman, summit of divine creation, is being questioned by the so-called gender ideology, in the name of a more free and just society. The differences between man and woman are not for opposition or subordination, but for communion and generation, always in the “image and likeness” of God. Without mutual self-giving, neither one can understand the other in depth. The Sacrament of Marriage is a sign of the love of God for humanity and of Christ’s giving himself for his Bride, the Church. —address to Puerto Rican Bishops, Vatican City, June 08, 2015

“Gender theory,” he said, “has a “dangerous” cultural aim of erasing all distinctions between men and women, male and female, which would “destroy at its roots” God’s most basic plan for human beings: “diversity, distinction. It would make everything homogenous, neutral. It is an attack on difference, on the creativity of God and on men and women.” —The TabletFebruary 5th, 2020

In 2010, when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he fought against a law affirming gay marriage. He stated plainly then:

At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children… Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.National Catholic RegisterJuly 8th, 2010

Finally, during a meeting with the Italian group Forum delle Famigilie, Pope Francis made remarks widely reported in “gay” publications:

It is painful to say this today: People speak of varied families, of various kinds of families, [but] the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the only one.gaytimes.co.uk

While Church teaching is not confusing, this seeming flip-flop is.

 

CHOOSE THE GOSPEL

However, the idea that you must now “choose sides” is a deception; it is a lie from the pit of Hell in order to divide the Church. When St. Paul saw that Peter was “not in line with the Gospel,” he did not choose any side except the side of the Gospel. And the Gospel calls us to be servants to one another. That means charitably teaching, exhorting and correcting one another—including popes. 

When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong… I saw that they were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel… (Gal 2:11-14)

The post-Pentecost Peter… is that same Peter who, for fear of the Jews, belied his Christian freedom (Galatians 2 11–14); he is at once a rock and a stumbling-block. And has it not been thus throughout the history of the Church that the Pope, the successor of Peter, has been at once Petra and Skandalon—both the rock of God and a stumbling block? —POPE BENEDICT XVI, from Das neue Volk Gottes, p. 80ff

The advice of Cardinal Sarah at this point is even more apropos. 

We must help the Pope. We must stand with him just as we would stand with our own father. —Cardinal Sarah, May 16th, 2016, Letters from the Journal of Robert Moynihan

Standing with the Pope does not mean thoughtlessly applauding everything he says or does, most especially when he has caused confusion with possible eternal consequences. In the words of Cardinal Raymond Burke:

It is not a question of being ‘pro-’ Pope Francis or ‘contra-’ Pope Francis. It is a question of defending the Catholic faith, and that means defending the Office of Peter to which the Pope has succeeded. —Cardinal Raymond Burke, The Catholic World Report, January 22, 2018

Consider Francis’ own advice:

I would be scared to feel more important, you know? That I am scared of, because the devil’s cunning, eh? He’s cunning and he makes you feel like you are in power, that you can do this and that …but like St. Peter says, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion. Thank God I haven’t lost that yet, have I? And if you ever see that I have, please tell me; tell me; and if you can’t tell me in private, tell me in public, but tell me: “Look, you should change! Because it’s obvious isn’t it?”La StampaSeptember 17th, 2013

In the meantime, Catholics have to remind themselves that the Church does not rise and fall on pontifical statements, no matter how egregious they may be. 

Christians should bear in mind that it is Christ who guides the history of the Church. Therefore, it is not the Pope’s approach that destroys the Church. This is not possible: Christ does not allow the Church to be destroyed, not even by a Pope. If Christ guides the Church, the Pope of our day will take the necessary steps to move forward. If we are Christians, we should reason like this… Yes, I think this is the main cause, not being rooted in faith, not being sure that God sent Christ to found the Church and that he will fulfil his plan through history through people who make themselves available to him. This is the faith we must have in order to be able to judge anyone and anything that happens, not only the Pope. —Maria Voce, President of Focolare, Vatican InsiderDec. 23rd, 2017 

 

THE GREAT SHIPWRECK

Nonetheless, I by no means wish to diminish the seriousness of what was spoken in this documentary if this is, in fact, a new position for Francis. In the message above to Pedro Regis, Our Lady speaks of the shipwreck of the Barque of Peter causing “suffering for men and women of faith.”

In 2005, I wrote how this very issue of same-sex unions will be on the vanguard of a persecution of the Church (see Persecution… and The Moral Tsunami). More importantly, we are talking about misleading souls—endorsing objectively mortal sin through civil law so that those with disordered inclinations will not feel “excluded.” Love must be rooted in truth, otherwise, it is a deceptive lie. The Church always, always accepts sinners into her bosom, but precisely to liberate them from sin.

…men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity. The homosexual inclination is however “objectively disordered” and homosexual practices are “sins gravely contrary to chastity.” Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons; 4

Those of you following the prophetic consensus in the Body of Christ are well aware that seers from all over the world have been predicting major events to begin unfolding this Fall (see Why Now?). In just the last month, we have witnessed global leaders enacting severe lockdowns while others, curiously, call for a Global Reset that will “transform” the world. China and the U.S. are perilously close to war with threats being issued every few days. And now this statement from Francis. It would seem to me that major events are already unfurling. 

Another seer on Countdown to the Kingdom whom we continue to discern is the Canadian priest, Fr. Michel Rodrigue. In a letter to supporters on March 26th, 2020 he wrote:

My dear people of God, we are now passing a test. The great events of purification will begin this fall. Be ready with the Rosary to disarm Satan and to protect our people. Make sure that you are in the state of grace by having made your general confession to a Catholic priest. The spiritual battle will begin. Remember these words: The month of the Rosary [October] will see great things. – Dom Michel Rodrigue, countdowntothekingdom.com

On January 3rd, 2020, Jesus said to the American seer Jennifer:

A great unraveling will soon spread throughout the world. 

And then on June 2nd, 2020:

My child, the unraveling has begun, for hell has no bounds in seeking to destroy as many souls [as possible] on this earth. For I tell you that the only refuge is in My Most Sacred Heart. This unraveling will continue to spread throughout the world. I have been silenced for too long. When the doors of My Church remain closed, it makes an opening for Satan and his many companions to unleash great discord all around this world. When humanity no longer cries out at the injustice at the killing of My Little Ones in the womb, then it begins to no longer value life outside the womb. Hold your Rosary close, for it is the greatest armor you have against Satan. He will flee at the very recitation of the great prayers that are [said] with true devotion of heart. Now go forth for a great shaking is soon to come and the fires will multiply, for I am Jesus and My Mercy and justice will prevail. countdowntothekingdom.com

To the Costa Rican seer, Luz de María de Bonilla, whose messages have received ecclesial approval:

Life will never be the same again! Humanity has obeyed the directives of the global elite and the latter will continue constantly scourging humanity, only giving you brief moments of respite… The moment of purification is coming; the disease will change course and will reappear on the skin. Humanity will fall over and over again, being scourged by misused science together with the new world order, which is determined to render inert whatever spirituality may exist within humanity. St. Michael the Archangel to Luz de Maria, Sept. 1st, 2020
And to the Italian seer Gisella Cardia, Jesus allegedly said:
Pray that the suffering would be lessened, as the light in their hearts has now gone out. My dearly beloved children, gloom and darkness are about to descend on the world; I ask you to help me even if everything must be fulfilled—God’s justice is about to strike…. You have presented good as evil and evil as good… Everything is over, yet you still do not understand. Why do you not listen to my Mother, who still gives you the grace of being near to you? Jesus to Gisella Cardia, Sept. 22ndSept. 26th, 2020
In a Good Friday meditation in 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger said that the Church is like…
 …a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. —Cardinal Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI), March 24, 2005, Good Friday meditation on the Third Fall of Christ
Today, it seems as if the Barque of Peter has struck a shoal…
 
 
According to the Lord,
the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness,
but also a time still marked by “distress”
and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church
and ushers in the struggles of the last days.
It is a time of waiting and watching….
Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial
that will shake the faith of many believers…
The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom
only through this final Passover,
when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. 
 

—Catechism of the Catholic Church, 672, 675, 677

 

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1 CCC, n. 892
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