Duccio, The Betrayal of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, 1308
All of you will have your faith shaken, for it is written:
‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be dispersed.’
Before Christ’s second coming
the Church must pass through a final trial
that will shake the faith of many believers… —
Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.675, 677
WHAT is this “final trial that will shake the faith of many believers?”
In 2005, among the first “now words” I received in prayer was of a coming “persecution” — a “moral tsunami” with “gay marriage” at its epicentre.cf. Persecution!… and the Moral Tsunami Today, gender ideology is now sweeping through Catholic classrooms like a tidal wave as “health” institutions offer to chemically castrate and surgically alter children,eg. here, here, and here and some bishops openly discuss “blessing” homosexual unions. Most alarming, there is little to no public resistance from the hierarchy in this open war on human sexuality. Rather, the Vatican is fixated on “climate change”cf. “Pope Francis says ‘no to war,’ urges climate action in live-streamed chat with Bill Clinton“ and, sadly, advancing the agenda of Big Pharma.cf. Open Letter to the Catholic Bishops
…today we see it in truly terrifying form: the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is born of sin within the Church. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, interview on flight to Lisbon, Portugal; LifeSiteNews, May 12th, 2010
The Great Confusion
An increasing number of laity, priests, bishops and cardinals are voicing grave concerns about the direction of the Vatican in general. From mind-boggling appointments, to troubling off-the-cuff papal remarks, to the alignment with dangerous global agendas, many faithful Catholics are feeling abandoned to the wolves.
When Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2013, I repeatedly heard over and over again one of the strongest interior words to date: “You are now entering into dangerous and confusing times.” Now I know why.
I spoke at length about this with American seer, Jennifer, who received similar words from Our Lord in 2005 (that a Vatican official eventually encouraged her to spread to the world):
My people, this time of confusion will only multiply. When the signs begin to come forth like boxcars, know that the confusion will only multiply with it. Pray! Pray dear children. Prayer is what will keep you strong and will allow you the grace to defend the truth and persevere in these times of trials and sufferings. —Jesus to Jennifer, November 3rd, 2005
The signs are indeed coming forth now like boxcars, as is the confusion. In fact, during the reign of Benedict XVI, Jesus told her in an audible voice (as are all the messages she claims to receive) that when the “new leader” would come forth, so too would a great sifting.
This is the hour of great transition. With the coming of the new leader of My Church will come forth great change, change that will weed out those who have chosen the path of darkness; those who choose to alter the true teachings of My Church. —Jesus to Jennifer, April 22, 2005, wordsfromjesus.com
I hear that when you meet as a church there are divisions among you, and to a degree I believe it; there have to be factions among you in order that those who are approved among you may become known. (1 Cor 11:18-19)
With a Kiss?
Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man
with a kiss? (Luke 22:48)
Cardinal Gerhard Müller said,
…the true friends are not those who flatter the Pope, but those who help him with the truth and with theological and human competence. —Corriere della Sera, Nov. 26, 2017; quote from the Moynihan Letters, #64, Nov. 27th, 2017
That should come first and foremost from his brother bishops.As for the laity: “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which [the laity] possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” —Code of Canon Law, Canon 212 §3 But what happens when the Pope appoints men to positions of power who, with a “kiss” of misguided compassion, propose a false or Anti-mercy?
It is perplexing that the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life supported Italy’s abortion lawcf. jahlf.org while suggesting that assisted suicide can be the “greatest common good concretely possible.”cf. lifesitenews.com He also promoted the injection of children with the experimental COVID gene therapy when it was, and still is, wholly unnecessaryWorld-renowned bio-statistician and epidemiologist, Prof. John Iannodis of Standford University, published a paper on the infection fatality rate of COVID-19. Here are the age-stratified statistics beginning with ages:
0-19 years: .0027% (or a survival rate of 99.9973%)
20-29 .014% (or a survival rate of 99.986%)
30-39 .031% (or a survival rate of 99.969%)
40-49 .082% (or a survival rate of 99.918%)
50-59 .27% (or a survival rate of 99.73%)
60-69 .59% (or a survival rate of 99.31%) (Source: medrxiv.org) cf. lifesitenews.com and even lethal.“Several analysis of data from across Europe has sadly found a concerning link between the approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children and an increase in excess deaths among children. With the latest finding a 760% increase in excess deaths.” cf. shtfplan.com
Fr. Antonio Spadaro, known as “the Pope’s mouthpiece,” has just been appointed to the Roman curia – a man who claims that Jesus was “insensitive” and “disrespectful” and who was “healed” from his “nationalism” and “rigidity” by his exchange with the Canaanite woman.cf. blog.messainlatino.it
Perhaps most astonishing, though, is the appointment of Cardinal-designate Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández to the second highest office in the Church to oversee the orthodoxy of Catholic doctrine (he is the cleric who ironically penned a book on erotic kissing.cf. ncronline.org ) As Edward Pentin reported, the new prefect for the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith appears to remain open to “blessing” homosexual unions “if a blessing is given in such a way that it does not cause that confusion,” said Arch. Fernández.ncregister.com But how can the Catholic Church bless a sexual union that she at once teaches is “intrinsically disordered?”CCC, 2357: “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.” The answer is she can’t: “Under no circumstances can they be approved,” states the Catechism echoing biblical mores.cf. “Critiquing Fr. Martin’s LGBT Website“ So why is this even being publically discussed when the former Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith has already declared:
…it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex. The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan. —March 15, 2021; press.vatican.va
Here is why this public position is so grave. By simply raising the spectre that such immoral acts (unions) could possibly be “blessed,” young people, in particular, can be led astray into sinful relationships that could damage them for life, if not eternity, under a false presumption that there is something righteous in activity contrary to the “Creator’s plan.” The word for this is scandal.
Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense. Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2284-2285
On the cutting edge of this scandal is another man in Francis’ circle who has claimed that the Pope is lending support to homosexual civil unions.
It’s not simply [Pope Francis] tolerating it, he’s supporting it… he may have in a sense, as we say in the Church, developed his own doctrine… We have to reckon with the fact that the head of the Church has now said that he feels that civil unions are ok. And we can’t dismiss that… Bishops and other people can’t dismiss that as easily as they might want to. This is in a sense, this is a kind of teaching that he is giving us. —Fr. James Martin, CNN.com; see the controversy here: The Body Breaking
Her priests violate my law and desecrate what I consider holy; they do not distinguish between holy and common, nor teach the difference between unclean and clean… (Ezekiel 22:26)
Mixed Papal Signals
However, one cannot simply say that Fr. Martin drew this conclusion out of thin air. I explained the context of his remarks based on a controversial television interview Francis gave that led to headlines racing around the globe declaring, ‘Francis becomes 1st pope to endorse same-sex civil unions’. (See The Body Breaking, which was also a prophetic warning that such statements could foment schism. Indeed, one priest recently took to a camera and declared that Francis “is not pope and is not Catholic” because he holds to “heresy.” More on that in a little bit.)
Pope Francis repeatedly exhorted the hundreds of thousands of youth gathered at World Youth Day in Lisbon that “everyone” is welcome in the Catholic Church. Later, when asked to comment directly on those who identify as homosexuals, but who do not feel called to celibacy and yet want to be part of the Church, Pope Francis invoked the parable of the wedding banquet.
Jesus is very clear about this: everyone… he sent out to the streets to call in everyone, everyone, everyone. So that it remains clear, Jesus says “healthy and sick,” “righteous and sinners,” everyone, everyone, everyone. In other words, the door is open to everyone, everyone has their own space in the Church. How will each person live it out? We help people live so that they can occupy that place with maturity, and this applies to all kinds of people. We must not be superficial and naive, forcing people into things and behaviors for which they are not yet mature, or are not capable. —August 28, 2023, comments to Portuguese Jesuits, laciviltacattolica.com
Indeed, everyone is allowed and welcomed to enter a Catholic church. The question is what makes us actual members of the Body of Christ? According to Scripture,
John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus. (Acts 19:4)
The Catechism says, “Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation.”n. 1427 As Peter repeated in his first public homily, “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment.”Acts 3:19 Repentance is the condition to begin experiencing “refreshment” in Christ’s Church.
Nonetheless, Francis continues:
Since they are virtuous in other areas of their lives, and know the doctrine, can we say that they are all in error, because they do not feel, in conscience, that their relationships are sinful?
Scripture calls us to the “obedience of faith.”Rom 1:5 It is our obligation, then, to follow an informed conscience.
Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1783
Fr. Dominic Legge, O.P. is an instructor in Systematic Theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC. He explains the crucial difference between growing in holiness and breaking with sin.
What John Paul called “the law of gradualness” does not refer to a “gradual” turning away from sin, but to the perennial Christian doctrine that we are not yet perfect in the first moment of our conversion. When we receive a grace of conversion, we break definitively from evil and then gradually advance in holiness. We may even fall back into grave sin, but, helped by grace, we repent and start anew. Here, the sacrament of Penance has an important role to play: it calls us to renounce our sins definitively with a firm purpose of amendment. In effect, he who will not yet repent, will not yet accept God’s mercy, and so is not forgiven. (CCC no. 1451; DH 1676.) —October 14, 2014; opeast.org
The ascent in holiness is gradual, but the renunciation of sin cannot be. As such, a “space in the church” is not about having a pew to sit in but a Savior to forgive me and then deliver me from the power of sin and its effects. Friendship with Christ, then, is predicated upon obedience to His infallible Word.
You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:14) Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command? (Luke 6:46)
Thus, the parable of the banquet actually demonstrates that everyone is welcome, but “space” at the table belongs only to those who “break definitively from evil”:
When the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. (Matt 22:9, 11-12)
For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world… (Titus 2:11-12) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
What we are witnessing in Catholic institutions, World Youth Day, and society at large is not just compassion toward those struggling with their sexual identity but a promotion and acceptance of the lifestyle that goes with it. Several cardinals, bishops, and priests have raised grave concerns over this scandalous confusion. But according to the new prefect, they’re not allowed to.
Now, if you tell me that some bishops have a special gift of the Holy Spirit to judge the doctrine of the Holy Father, we will enter into a vicious circle (where anyone can claim to have the true doctrine) and that would be heresy and schism. —Prefect, Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, September 11, 2023; ncregister.com
This is a jaw-dropping statement coming from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. For the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states:
Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter… that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. —CCC, 892
In fact, every single faithful Catholic can claim to have the true doctrine because they are in communion with Sacred Tradition! Moreover,
The pope isn’t an absolute sovereign, whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary, the ministry of the pope is the guarantor of the obedience toward Christ and His word. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Homily of May 8, 2005; San Diego Union-Tribune
Even Pope Francis stated as much:
The Pope, in this context, is not the supreme lord but rather the supreme servant — the “servant of the servants of God”; the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim, despite being — by the will of Christ Himself — the “supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful” and despite enjoying “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church”. —POPE FRANCIS, closing remarks on the Synod; Catholic News Agency, October 18th, 2014 (my emphasis)
In an important new interview, Bishop Athanasius Schneider stated:
The pope cannot commit heresy when he speaks ex cathedra, this is a dogma of faith. In his teaching outside of ex cathedra statements, however, he can commit doctrinal ambiguities, errors and even heresies. And since the pope is not identical with the entire Church, the Church is stronger than a singular erring or heretical Pope. —September 19th, 2023, onepeterfive.com
But he goes on to clarify that, even in such instances, no one in the Church has the authority to unilaterally declare the papacy invalid.
Even in the case of a heretical pope he will not lose his office automatically and there is no body within the Church to declare him deposed because of heresy. Such actions would come close to a kind of a heresy of conciliarism or episcopalism. The heresy of conciliarism or episcopalism says basically that there is a body within the Church (Ecumenical Council, Synod, College of Cardinals, College of Bishops), which can issue a legally binding judgment over the Pope. The theory of the automatic loss of the papacy due to heresy remains only an opinion, and even St. Robert Bellarmine noticed this and did not present it as a teaching of the Magisterium itself. The perennial papal Magisterium never taught such an opinion. —Ibid.
Bishop Athanasius’ explanation is crucial at a time when a multitude of Catholics, distraught over the papacy, are beginning to flirt with schism. Rather, “In such a case,” he adds, “one should respectfully correct him (avoiding purely human anger and disrespectful language), resist him as one would resist a bad father of a family.
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
The Final Trial?
The cross of a heretical pope
– even when it is of limited duration –
is the greatest imaginable cross for the entire Church.
—Bishop Athanasius Schneider
March 20, 2019, onepeterfive.com
We must have enough supernatural faith, trust, humility,
and a spirit of the Cross in order to endure
such an extraordinary trial.
—Bishop Athanasius Schneider
September, 19, 2023; onepeterfive.com
This confusion we are witnessing is nothing short of the chaos of Gethsemane… from the darkness and agony, to the sudden “wave” of guards, to the betrayal of Judas, to the cowardice of the Apostles. Are we not living this moment all over again?
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, n.675, 677
Jesus declared, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” What could possibly “shake the faith of many believers” more, perhaps, than to see cracks appearing in that 2000-year-old rock? What could be more disconcerting than for the very ones charged with guarding the “deposit of faith” to begin recklessly toying with it?
Guarding the deposit of faith is the mission which the Lord has entrusted to his Church and which she fulfils in every age. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Fidei Depositum
What could be more unsettling than for one’s Mother, the true Magisterium, to be thrown into question?
I do know people [Francis] has surrounded himself with who have clearly spoken heretical statements… When you have a situation where what the Vicar of Christ is doing is doubtful, then I stick with Christ. I believe in the Petrine office, I believe in the Catholic Church because I believe in Christ. So it’s a conundrum that I don’t have any handle for — how do we handle this? But my answer is lovingly and charitably… with real mercy… —Bishop Joseph Strickland, September 19, 2023; Live News Today
We must remember, brothers and sisters, that Christ’s promise of protection against Hell did not pertain to an institution, to a building, or even to “Vatican city.” It pertains to a faithful flock, His mystical Body.
There is a great uneasiness, at this time, in the world and in the Church, and that which is in question is the faith… I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging… What strikes me, when I think of the Catholic world, is that within Catholicism, there seems sometimes to pre-dominate a non-Catholic way of thinking, and it can happen that tomorrow this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism, will tomorrow become the stronger. But it will never represent the thought of the Church. It is necessary that a small flock subsist, no matter how small it might be. —POPE PAUL VI, The Secret Paul VI, Jean Guitton, p. 152-153, Reference (7), p. ix.
While Judas betrayed Christ, Peter denied Him, and the rest of the disciples ran in different directions, there was one Apostle who simply stood — stood beneath the Cross, next to Our Lady. St. John did not occupy himself with the sudden confusion; he did not run after Peter to declare him anathema or hunt down the other apostles to accuse them of mutiny. He couldn’t control the mess, the division, the apostasy. But he could control his response.
And behold, John suddenly found in the midst of the chaos and confusion, in the midst of that storm, that He was not without a Mother!
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)
It is no coincidence that Our Lady said at Fatima:
My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. —Second apparition, June 13, 1917, The Revelation of the Two Hearts in Modern Times, www.ewtn.com
The faith of many is being shaken right now. Satan is tempting many to flee either into schism or into a misguided notion that every word from a pope’s mouth is dogma. Schism and papolatry are both errors.
No, do not betray, deny, or run. Stand. Stand still with Jesus and Mary — and they will surely carry you through this Storm of Confusion and keep you safe, even if the Barque of Peter should shipwreck for a time.
I will never leave the Catholic Church. No matter what happens I intend to die a Roman Catholic. I will never be part of a schism. I’ll just keep the faith as I know it and respond in the best way possible. That’s what the Lord expects of me. But I can assure you this: You won’t find me as part of any schismatic movement or, God forbid, leading people to break away from the Catholic Church. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the church of our Lord Jesus Christ and the pope is his vicar on earth and I’m not going to be separated from that. —Cardinal Raymond Burke, LifeSiteNews, August 22nd, 2016
I believe in the unity of the Church and I will not allow anyone to exploit my negative experiences of these last few months. Church authorities, on the other hand, need to listen to those who have serious questions or justified complaints; not ignoring them, or worse, humiliating them. Otherwise, without desiring it, there can be an increase of the risk of a slow separation that might result in the schism of a part of the Catholic world, disorientated and disillusioned. —Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Corriere della Sera, Nov. 26, 2017; quote from the Moynihan Letters, #64, Nov. 27th, 2017
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|↑1||cf. Persecution!… and the Moral Tsunami|
|↑2||eg. here, here, and here|
|↑3||cf. “Pope Francis says ‘no to war,’ urges climate action in live-streamed chat with Bill Clinton“|
|↑4||cf. Open Letter to the Catholic Bishops|
|↑5||As for the laity: “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which [the laity] possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” —Code of Canon Law, Canon 212 §3|
|↑8||World-renowned bio-statistician and epidemiologist, Prof. John Iannodis of Standford University, published a paper on the infection fatality rate of COVID-19. Here are the age-stratified statistics beginning with ages:
0-19 years: .0027% (or a survival rate of 99.9973%)
|↑9||“Several analysis of data from across Europe has sadly found a concerning link between the approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children and an increase in excess deaths among children. With the latest finding a 760% increase in excess deaths.” cf. shtfplan.com|
|↑13||CCC, 2357: “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.”|
|↑14||cf. “Critiquing Fr. Martin’s LGBT Website“|
|↑18||watch “Unmistakably Clear Where We Are Being Led“|