Category Archives: Commentary

Our Lady of Good Success

Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success About Our Times April 19, 2000 TFP.org 

     “At the end of the nineteenth century and throughout
a great part of the twentieth, many heresies will be propagated…”  

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Our Lady of Good Success appeared in Quito, Ecuador to a Spanish nun whose little-known but extraordinary life has a direct connection with our days, [today November 2019].

The Pope’s “infallibility will be declared a dogma of Faith by the same Pope chosen to proclaim the dogma of the mystery of my Immaculate Conception. He will be persecuted and imprisoned in the Vatican through the usurpation of the Pontifical States and through the malice, envy, and avarice of an earthly monarch.”

“Unbridled passions will give way to a total corruption of customs because Satan will reign through the Masonic sects, targeting the children in particular to insure general corruption.

“Unhappy, the children of those times! Seldom will they receive the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. As for the sacrament of Penance, they will confess only while attending Catholic schools, which the devil will do his utmost to destroy by means of persons in authority.

“The same will occur with Holy Communion. Oh, how it hurts me to tell you that there will be many and enormous public and hidden sacrileges!

“In those times, the sacrament of Extreme Unction will be largely ignored.… Many will die without receiving it, being thereby deprived of innumerable graces, consolation, and strength in the great leap from time to eternity.

“The sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with the Church, will be thoroughly attacked and profaned. Masonry, then reigning, will implement iniquitous laws aimed at extinguishing this sacrament. They will make it easy for all to live in sin, thus multiplying the birth of illegitimate children without the Church’s blessing….

“Secular education will contribute to a scarcity of priestly and religious vocations.”

“The holy sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised, for in this both the Church and God Himself are oppressed and reviled, since He is represented by His priests.“The devil will work to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every way, working with baneful cunning to destroy the spirit of their vocation and corrupting many. Those who will thus scandalize the Christian flock will bring upon all priests the hatred of bad Christians and the enemies of the One, Holy, Roman Catholic, and Apostolic Church. This apparent triumph of Satan will cause enormous suffering to the good pastors of the Church…and to the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on earth who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of God Our Lord, asking for light, sanctity, and perfection for all the clergy of the world, to whom he is King and Father.”

“Unhappy times will come wherein those who should fearlessly defend the rights of the Church will instead, blinded despite the light, give their hand to the Church’s enemies and do their bidding. But when [evil] seems triumphant and when authority abuses its power, committing all manner of injustice and oppressing the weak, their ruin shall be near. They will fall and crash to the ground.

“Then will the Church, joyful and triumphant like a young girl, reawaken and be comfortably cradled in the arms of my most dear and elect son of those times. If he lends an ear to the inspirations of grace–one of which will be the reading of these great mercies that my Son and I have had toward you–we shall fill him with graces and very special gifts and will make him great on earth and much greater in Heaven. There we have reserved a precious seat for him because, heedless of men, he will have fought for truth and ceaselessly defended the rights of the Church, deserving to be called ‘martyr.’”

“At the end of the nineteenth century and throughout a great part of the twentieth, many heresies will be propagated in these lands.…

“The small number of souls who will secretly safeguard the treasure of Faith and virtues will suffer a cruel, unspeakable, and long martyrdom. Many will descend to their graves through the violence of suffering and will be counted among the martyrs who sacrificed themselves for the country and the Church.

“To be delivered from the slavery of these heresies, those whom the merciful love of my Son has destined for this restoration will need great will-power, perseverance, courage, and confidence in God. To try the faith and trust of these just ones, there will be times when all will seem lost and paralyzed. It will then be the happy beginning of the complete restoration….

“In those times the atmosphere will be saturated with the spirit of impurity which, like a filthy sea, will engulf the streets and public places with incredible license.… Innocence will scarcely be found in children, or modesty in women.

“He who should speak seasonably will remain silent.

[Editor’s note: During this time, some important hierarchy did not meet the needs and speak for the Church.] 

“There shall be scarcely any virgin souls in the world. The delicate flower of virginity will seek refuge in the cloisters.…Without virginity, fire from heaven will be needed to purify these lands.

“Sects, having permeated all social classes, will find ways of introducing themselves into the very heart of homes to corrupt the innocence of children. The children’s hearts will be dainty morsels to regale the devil.…

“Religious communities will remain to sustain the Church and work with courage for the salvation of souls.… The secular clergy will fall far short of what is expected of them because they will not pursue their sacred duty. Losing the divine compass, they will stray from the way of priestly ministry mapped out for them by God and will become devoted to money, seeking it too earnestly.

“Pray constantly, implore tirelessly, and weep bitter tears in the seclusion of your heart, beseeching the Eucharistic Heart of my most holy Son to take pity on His ministers and to end as soon as possible these unhappy times by sending to His Church the Prelate who shall restore the spirit of her priests.”

Catholics in the Media

Catholic World News – March 20, 2015

Catholics in the media should have the “courage to speak directly, telling the truth and working to “preserve it from all that distorts and twists it for other purposes.” That was the message of Pope Francis in a December 15 meeting with the personnel of the Italian Catholic television network TV2000.

The Pope urged media figures to resist “propaganda, ideologies, political ends” and all efforts to control the media for economic or political ends. He also cautioned against “fashions, clichés, pre-packaged formulas.”

In reporting on current events, the Pope continued, the media should avoid the twin dangers of providing too much irrelevant information—“saturating our perceptions with an excess of slogans that annul our thoughts instead of setting them into motion”—and oversimplifying stories to promote quick judgments.

Finally the Pope cautioned his audience to avoid “the sins of the media: disinformation, slander, and defamation.” Of these, he said, “the most insidious is disinformation,” which leads people to accept falsehoods or partial truths.

US is adopting official religion

Cardinal George: US is adopting ‘official religion’ on homosexuality that is reminiscent of sharia

Catholic World News – September 10, 2014

In an archdiocesan newspaper column, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said that American law has “taken upon itself the mantle of a religion and officially told its citizens what they must personally think or what ‘values’ they must personalize in order to deserve to be part of the country.”
He writes:
Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the Church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes. What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval. The “ruling class,” those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone. We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family. Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger …

Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society. It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers. Nor will their children, who will also be suspect. Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics. It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.

Editor’s note
[It has been almost one year now since the Cardinal wrote that article. What has transpired since then is our country, under the helm of president Obama has obliterated our Founding Fathers and the Constitution and taken on the mantel as thee only father of our country. He has officially change the natural law of marriage to include the marriage between two men and two women.]

Some “Catholics” are not really Catholics

Pope Francis: Some “Catholics” are not really Catholics
By Dr. Jeff Mirus Jun 24, 2014

Considering the subject of my last In Depth Analysis (Speaking clearly about dangerously imperfect communion with the Church), Pope Francis’ statement last Thursday that mobsters are excommunicated calls for additional comment. What did the Pope say, and how is it to be understood?

The key sentence in his homily in Calabria on June 19th is this: “Those who in their lives have taken this evil road, this road of evil, such as the mobsters, they are not in communion with God, they are excommunicated.” Our first question, then, must be about the meaning of “this evil road, this road of evil”. The antecedent to which “this evil road” refers is found earlier in the same paragraph:

When adoration of the Lord is substituted by adoration of money, the road to sin opens to personal interest…. When one does not adore the Lord, one becomes an adorer of evil, like those who live by dishonesty and violence…. The ‘ndrangheta (Calabrian mafia) is this: adoration of evil and contempt of the common good.

What are we to make of this?
The first thing to notice is that the Pope is here giving a homily to a specific audience. He is not articulating a point of Catholic teaching to the whole Church. The Magisterium is not engaged. We cannot, therefore, leap to the conclusion that Pope Francis is teaching that all who devote themselves to evil are formally excommunicated latae sententiae (that is, as an automatic result of their violation of a particular Church law).

Still less is the Pope pronouncing a sentence of excommunication (ferendae sententiae, that is, by a specifically passed sentence). For Francis describes the condition of these sinners not as an external judgment but as simply being “not in communion with God”. It is perfectly legitimate to assume that by “not in communion with God”, Francis means both not in communion with Christ and not in communion with the Church, for St. Paul’s letters reveal these to be exactly the same thing. But again the Pope appears to be talking about a condition, not a specific sentence, of excommunication.

Imperfect and Severed Communion
In my earlier essay, I wrote:
By a formal repudiation of something essential to the Church’s constitution, communion is wholly severed; membership is lost. Even without a formal repudiation, in any sort of persistent rejection of essential ecclesial authority…communion is at least impaired. It is fractured if not decisively broken; at best, it is rendered incomplete…. With respect to fractured or imperfect or impaired communion, this fracturing may be recognized as a complete break by excommunication. When that happens, the situation is clarified and all doubt is removed.

In this homily, Pope Francis is talking about those who are guilty of “adoration of evil and the contempt of common good”. Obviously, adoration of evil alone covers everything, but Francis presumably specifies contempt for the common good to make the human impact clear. From the congregation’s perspective, I suppose, it is one thing for someone to adore evil in the abstract; it is quite another for him to act in evil ways that harm us.

More to the point here, it is obvious that the adoration of evil is an absolutized description of a spiritual state that must inescapably not only fracture but decisively break our communion with Christ and the Church. The Pope does not fear to describe this as the habitual mindset of the Calabrian mafia, though he is also referring to all those who adore evil, which he sees as rooted in the “adoration of money” (cf., 1 Tim 6:10) and, even more fundamentally, in the failure to “adore the Lord”. There is scope for a lifetime of meditation here.

But is Francis therefore arguing that all those who fail to adore God are decisively out of communion with Him? I suspect the answer is yes if we are referring to those who consciously refuse to adore God, thus seriously embracing some evil as a substitute (pride, power, wealth, pleasure, etc.). And certainly there is a broader sense in which people can be very distant from God (though He is obviously never far from us) through their ambivalence toward and neglect of the Good, of which God is the sole source.

Principles and Signs of Separation
In any case, the Pope insists, in this Calabrian homily, that certain commitments are sufficient to create a real break between the soul and God, and therefore a break between the person and the Church. He specifies the decision to be a “mobster” as one of them. This raises a delicate question. Is every mobster living in mortal sin? Well, not necessarily: Mortal sin requires that we both understand the gravity of an evil and consent to it fully. Obviously there could be many mitigating circumstances, from a failure to recognize the evil to a lack of freedom in the position in which one finds oneself.

Yet the Church could make formal excommunication automatic for all mobsters latae sententiae, as she has for all who participate in abortions, or she could excommunicate all mobsters as a class ferendae sententiae. This would be a huge wake-up call even for those (if any) who are not guilty of mortal sin. It would force people to clarify their commitments, to recognize God’s will more clearly, to face reality and make a decisive choice.

However, that is not what Pope Francis was doing in this homily. What he was doing was stating that there are some commitments, choices and actions which either fracture or completely break our communion with Christ, even without a formal sentence of excommunication. He was demonstrating by example that it is not wrong to speak clearly about those who, despite their continued use of the Catholic name, have rebelled against God and ceased to be members of His Church.

Imperfect communion with the Church

BVM head view

BVM head view

Speaking clearly about dangerously imperfect communion with the Church
By Dr. Jeff Mirus Jun 18, 2014

Two recent stories involving membership in the Church have been at once consoling and troubling. Their titles appear in the following links:

  • Archbishop Cordileone responds to critics on March for Marriage
  • Following same-sex ceremony, Michigan man barred from parish ministries

In the first story, Archbishop Cordileone responded to critics by discussing the problem of “harsh and hateful rhetoric” in the battle over same-sex marriage. There is nothing wrong with the point he made. But perhaps humility prevented him from going after a bigger target. For Cordileone’s chief critic is Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic politician on the national stage who is fond of making moral pronouncements. And it just so happens that Archbishop Cordileone has direct spiritual authority over Pelosi. He is also the head of the US Bishops’ Committee on Marriage.

Now, in the Catholic Church, it is bishops (and not politicians) who have the authority to expound the truths of faith and morals as revealed by God through both supernatural and natural means. In other words, it is bishops (and not politicians) who teach the proper understanding of Divine Revelation and the Natural Law. Politicians, for their part, are to be guided by these truths.

Nancy Pelosi has attempted to reverse the roles. She argues that Archbishop Cordileone ought to adjust his praxis to her doctrine. The resulting conceptual disorder is grotesque, and in adopting this posture, Nancy Pelosi has, at the very least, impaired her communion with the Catholic Church.

In the second story, Bishop John Doerfler of Marquette has rightly barred from Church ministry a parishioner who entered into a same-sex commitment ceremony. Bobby Glenn Brown can no longer serve at Mass as either a lector or a cantor. Bishop Doerfler has also kindly pointed out that “the inability to serve in a ministry does not disqualify a person from being a member of the Church.” Yet by aping marriage in a same-sex commitment, Brown has presumably at least impaired his communion with the Catholic Church.

Membership in the Church

Bishop Doerfler is right in saying that “everyone is invited to follow Jesus Christ and is invited to be a part of the Catholic Church”. He is also right in noting that exclusion from ministry is not the same thing as disqualification from membership. But surely some reasons for exclusion from ministry do in fact disqualify from membership. I would argue that there are three. A refusal to be baptized is obviously one. Deliberate rebellion against the Church’s constitutional structure and authority is a second. And a formal repudiation of the Church’s teachings on faith or morals is a third.

When we formally refuse to accept the Church’s proper constitutive authority to teach, rule and sanctify—her doctrinal inerrancy, her spiritual jurisdiction, and her sacramental power—these rejections separate us from the body of the Church. Such a formal repudiation dissolves our juridical membership in the Church. We are no longer Catholics (and, as our formal repudiation makes clear, we no longer wish to be).

But not all breaches arise from such a formal process of rejection. In many cases, people will try to have their cake and eat it too. They will claim to love their Faith while denying the truth of some of the Church’s teachings, or while abusing the sacraments in some way, or by refusing the spiritual authority of their bishops or of the Pope. These things may be done individually or as part of a movement or group. The confusion arises from the coupling of a Catholic claim with an ongoing, consistent repudiation of the Church’s Divine authority.

Such incongruities may not separate us from the Church entirely as does a formal repudiation, but at the very least they indicate that the affected person’s communion with the Church is seriously impaired—seriously enough to be termed “incomplete”. As a case in point, note that this was the judgment expressed by Pope Benedict XVI when he lifted the excommunications of the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X. He explained that he hoped his action would be “followed by the solicitous fulfillment of full communion of the Church with the Society of St. Pius X, thereby witnessing to authentic fidelity and a true recognition of the magisterium and the authority of the Pope, with the proof of visible unity” [emphasis added].

Thus Benedict regarded the SSPX’s communion with the Church to be impaired or incomplete whether the bishops were excommunicated or not. But it is not just organizations which can partially or completely break their communion with the Church. Individual Catholics can do exactly the same thing. By a formal renunciation of something essential to the Church’s constitution, communion is wholly severed; membership is lost. Even without a formal repudiation, in any sort of persistent rejection of essential ecclesial authority—despite rhetoric or even imperfect desires to the contrary—communion is at least impaired. It is fractured if not decisively broken; at best, it is rendered incomplete.

At the same time we must recognize that ordinary sin only weakens our bonds of unity in the Church, without severing any of them. By ordinary sin, I mean the common struggles of those who recognize the Church’s teachings as right and good while still finding it difficult to live according to those teachings.

Excommunication

With respect to fractured or imperfect or impaired communion, this fracturing may be recognized as a complete break by excommunication. When that happens, the situation is clarified and all doubt is removed. Canon Law describes a number of situations which produce automatic excommunication, such as participation in an abortion or the attempt to confer or receive episcopal ordination without the authority of the Pope. In other cases, excommunication can be imposed and announced publicly. Either way, the one excommunicated is severed from the Church, both externally and interiorly. What is bound on earth is bound in heaven.

Excommunication is relatively rare today, most probably because the social order in most places is in no condition to back it up. In other words, those who are excommunicated are seldom treated differently so that they might be brought through obvious natural disadvantages to a deeper spiritual awareness of their loss. Social support of excommunication can stimulate at least an imperfect desire to repair the breach, but it is largely lacking today.

Moreover, since the modern world typically does not recognize the authority of the Church, and in fact disparages true authority generally, excommunication will almost always draw bad publicity, and may even serve to make heroes of those who fall under the ban. They may, in fact, see themselves as martyrs to obscurantism.

Nonetheless, excommunication has at least three advantages. First, it clarifies the relationship of the one excommunicated to the Church. Second, for a sincere Catholic who has simply gone astray, it can serve as a serious and salutary spiritual jolt. Third, it both reassures and educates the Catholic faithful, demonstrating that our internalization of true principles of faith and morals matters deeply to the Church, to God and to our eternal salvation. In other words, excommunication is a kind of proof that it actually means something to be a Catholic.

Completing Our Two News Stories

While hardly alone, Nancy Pelosi is arguably the most outspoken politician in America who claims the name “Catholic” while persistently rejecting central moral teachings of the Church. She frequently operates in direct defiance of the expressed moral positions of both the US bishops and her own bishop. She has been honored by Planned Parenthood for her support of abortion, and has stated that her Catholic faith compels her to support gay marriage.

Pelosi has also participated in what we might call the Obama charade of honoring dissident Catholics under his Administration, often by appointing them to favored posts, and thereby clearly attempting to further divide the Church and weaken Catholic opposition. Thus it was no surprise, after Pope Francis blessed a rosary and gave it to President Obama during a recent meeting, that Obama in turn bestowed the venerable object on Nancy Pelosi.

It would seem past time for Archbishop Cordileone to either excommunicate Pelosi, who is a major source of public scandal for the Church, or at least explain in no uncertain terms that Pelosi’s persistent public rejection and political opposition to Catholic moral principles has fractured her communion with the Church. The truth is that Nancy Pelosi is not in full communion, if the word communion has any meaning at all—and by pretending that she is, she does enormous spiritual harm to herself and others.

In the same way, although Bobby Brown is not a prominent politician, he was disqualified from ministry for persistent and public resistance to the clear moral teachings of the Catholic Church. It is not as if Brown cannot serve in this or that capacity simply because he is too young, or too old, or currently married, or even of the wrong gender. No, he cannot be admitted to any ministry within the Church because of his clear defiance of the Church’s moral authority.

Even if excommunication is judged unwarranted or inopportune, Bishop Doerfler should make the point that Brown has at least fractured his communion with the Church, rendering it incomplete and imperfect. Why imply the opposite? Why make it appear to be a kind of spiritually insignificant professional distinction? In fact, Brown has placed both his soul and his membership in the Church in jeopardy. This is serious business. To restore full communion, he must repent his rejection of the authority which the Church possesses by virtue of her Divine constitution.

In both cases, communion with the Church is impaired to a sufficient degree that Canon Law actually requires Pelosi and Brown to be denied communion—a disciplinary responsibility honored most often in the breach today. Denial of Communion provides an excellent way to clarify a Catholic’s impaired status, and to warn them of all the attendant dangers. But my argument in this essay is a more general one. There is, I believe, a useful distinction between full communion and incomplete communion (and of course, full separation). Bishops need to address the problem of impaired communion, for it is spiritually devastating when wilfully maintained. Even if they do not wish to excommunicate, bishops must not pretend to any defiant member of the Church that there is nothing seriously wrong.