Reading Francis Through Benedict: a workshop on misunderstanding Francis

We now have in Francis the most wonderfulest and fluffliest Pope ehvur.  Liberals are crowing that the bestest Pope of all is against rules.  He’s chill about abortion and women’s ordination and, like, stuff.  No other Pope has ever kissed a baby or thought about “the poor”.  He is so original too!  Only Francis could have thought up deemphasizing some controversial issues for a while to make the Church look friendlier and more inviting.

I bring to the honorable readership’s attention, again, a great papal quote:

“I remember, when I used go to Germany in the 1980s and ’90s, that I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems. If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears. I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith – a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us. ” – Address of his Holiness Benedict XVI – Thursday, 9 November 2006

If you are wondering what Pope Francis is doing, this is what he is doing.  He has taken a page from Benedict XVI’s play book.  Francis, however, is giving this strategy far more energy than his predecessor.

But make no mistake: What Francis is doing is original in the extent of the application of the strategy, not in the strategy itself.

And may I remind you that we are only six months into Francis’ papacy and we already have:

  • an excommunication of the priest who supports “gay” marriage and women’s ordination
  • an extemporaneous jaunt into the streets of Rome to meet an anti-abortion march
  • an explicit affirmation of the impossibility of women’s ordination
  • a public endorsement of Summorum Pontificum
  • a speech to Catholic physicians not to perform or cooperate in abortions
  • a call for a “profound” theology about women (read: a good theology that isn’t, as he put it “female machismo”)

And, for good measure.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. McCall1981 says:

    Fr. Z, you could add to your list that he re-affirmed the LCWR reform as well.

  2. mamajen says:

    Very interesting. It seems both ends of the spectrum have made Pope Benedict out to be something he’s not, and now they’re doing it again with Pope Francis. The liberals hated Pope Benedict while the traditionalists saw him as a hero, and now the reverse is true. As is often the case, though, the truth is somewhere in the middle. I was doing a little research earlier and found some of Pope Benedict’s comment’s on the TLM that sounded very similar to what Pope Francis has said recently also. I was surprised.

    Hopefully this post helps a few people step back from the ledge. I really like it when you’re able to find examples like this.

  3. Pingback: Bendict Vs. Francis? | Ad Gloriam Ecclesiae

  4. Cathy says:

    Father Z, I can recognize and appreciate this. What disturbs me more is the faithful on the right who have totally bought into the vision of Pope Francis as one who seeks to destroy the Church as a “modernist”. I can’t help but to see Pope Francis as a good gardener, digging at the roots, spreading manure, and pruning branches. We hear that even bishops are worried! Somehow, all I can say in response is, well, good! I pray for them, our dear bishops, to take back authority given over to boards, it is their authority, not ours, please, with courage, even in past recognition of abuse, take it back and use it properly. Please, go back and embrace wholeheartedly the Moto Proprios on education, charity and liturgy! Sorry for the rant, I guess I’m tired of hearing that the Pope should do something, yet recognizing that when he does, he is largely ignored and often willfully ignored. Why? When this is pointed out, all of the sudden, and with much righteous fury, and the faithful are accused of “attack”?

  5. Geoffrey says:

    Now if only the media would open their eyes.

  6. CatholicMD says:

    Fr Z – Do you know anything about those who were appointed to the office of liturgical celebrations today?

  7. anna 6 says:

    and more:
    “when you have so little time you can’t say everything you want to say about “no”. Firstly you have to know what we really want, right? Christianity, Catholicism, isn’t a collection of prohibitions: it’s a positive option. It’s very important that we look at it again because this idea has almost completely disappeared today. We’ve heard so much about what is not allowed that now it’s time to say: we have a positive idea to offer…”

    Benedict XVI on a German TV interview, 2006

  8. Bruce Wayne says:

    I strongly object to the attempt to impose secular ideologies or political frameworks onto the Church itself or its popes. This is being done constantly by hyphenated Catholics whether liberal/progressive or traditionalist/conservative who think of popes as personal property as “our guy” or “their guy.” The amount of whining in the combox here lately from trads who think Francis is “one of them,” has been very annoying.

    Fr. Z does a great job with this post as it illustrates how asinine it is to take a secular political mindset and apply it to one’s view of the pope. One can disagree with this or that prudential action of a pope but the histrionics and blinkered, prejudicial categorizations of the Vicars of Christ as “ours” or “theirs” is a bad path to go down. That dissenting sister called Francis “teachable” and I could easily see some of the trads around these parts having said the same thing about Benedict. Arrogance, pride are not temptations only of one’s enemies.

  9. anna 6 says:

    For context, here is the question B16 had been asked on German TV when he answered with the above:

    Question: A month ago you were in Valencia for the World Meeting of Families. Anyone who was listening carefully, as we tried to do at Vatican Radio, noticed how you never mentioned the words “homosexual marriage”, you never spoke about abortion, or about contraception. Careful observers thought that was very interesting. Clearly your idea is to go around the world preaching the faith rather than as an “apostle of morality”. What are your comments?

    Pope Benedict XVI: Obviously, yes.

    (the rest of his answer is above)

  10. whitewings says:

    And for anyone who thought that Francis was the first Pope to discuss the problem (indeed the elephant in the room) of the huge numbers of divorced and remarried Catholics barred from Communion, here’s Benedict in an essay originally in 1998 which he republished in 2011.

    “If the prior marriage of two divorced and remarried members of the faithful was valid, under no circumstances can their new union be considered lawful and therefore reception of the sacraments is intrinsically impossible. The conscience of the individual is bound to this norm without exception.” A norm, the indissolubility of marriage, that is of “divine law” and “over which the Church has no discretionary authority.”

    But immediately afterward, he adds:

    “However, the Church has the authority to clarify those conditions which must be fulfilled for a marriage to be considered indissoluble according to the sense of Jesus’ teaching.”

    And, he writes, the ecclesiastical tribunals that should ascertain whether or not a marriage is valid do not always function well. Sometimes the processes “last an excessive amount of time.” In some cases “they conclude with questionable decisions.”In still others “mistakes occur.”

    In these cases, therefore – the pope recognizes –, “it seems that the application of ‘epikeia’ in the internal forum is not automatically excluded,” meaning a decision of conscience:

    “Some theologians are of the opinion that the faithful ought to adhere strictly even in the internal forum to juridical decisions which they believe to be false. Others maintain that exceptions are possible here in the internal forum, because the juridical forum does not deal with norms of divine law, but rather with norms of ecclesiastical law. This question, however, demands further study and clarification. Admittedly, the conditions for asserting an exception would need to be clarified very precisely, in order to avoid arbitrariness and to safeguard the public character of marriage, removing it from subjective decisions”.

    Reference –

    Not exactly the actions of a hard line, uncaring Pope, is it? Those are the words of a kind man desperately trying to find a way out of a quite unholy mess.

  11. anna 6 says:

    Pope Francis’ positive approach is bearing fruit. Since he has the world’s attention I would LOVE to hear him say in uncertain terms that he is not distancing himself from B16 or contradicting him, but the contrary, he is following his example. In my view it is imperative that he clear up this misperception for 3 reasons:

    1. to show that it is a fallacy to claim that his leadership in the Church overemphasized moralism in favor of evangelization.
    2. to help heal a defensiveness and distrust that has developed among those in the Church who resent the fact that Benedict XVI has been “thrown under the bus” by not a few people in episcopal leadership and elsewhere in the Church.
    3. to provide justice and repair the reputation of the Pope Emeritus who deserves to be loved and appreciated for all that he has done for the Church, and to ensure that his important and beautiful writings will not be dismissed by future generations.

  12. I sometimes wonder if the unhappy reactions to a message from the Holy Father are not a sign that the individuals giving voice to those reactions are not approaching the Holy Father’s messages as would a student hoping to understand the message and hoping also to find a way to apply it to that student’s established framework of understanding, which is to say using the message to test his or her own applied beliefs for conformance to the truth of Christ so that they can be brought in line with the Church’s teaching, but rather seeking to find in the Pope’s message a way to reaffirm their established framework. If my suspicion is correct, it is no wonder that would explain much of both the seemingly inappropriate celebrations and the inappropriate and querulous reactions that we have seen to both Pope Francis and his predecessors. I know that after more than 60 years on this earth, I still have to strive almost continuously to check my premises and conclusions to test whether my application of them is in consonance with the Church’s teachings, such that it is becoming more and more instinctual to do so. I am not terribly confident that a large proportion of my fellows are as tentative in their conclusions as I am. That may go a long way towards explaining why we see the reactions that we do, even among Catholics, to the publicly quoted statements of the Holy Father.

    And I think the same tentative, or questioning, approach is called for in receiving and applying the teachings of one’s own Bishop.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  13. GregH says:

    The writings and sermons of Pope Benedict are so profound

  14. vandalia says:

    The devil is not very creative. As we see very clearly described in Patristic sources, her (we must be gender inclusive after all) attacks follow very consistent patterns. In the Gospels, we see how the evil one, working through some of the people at that time, worked to attempt to distract Jesus from the Proclamation of the Gospel. Of course, Jesus quickly recognized, and defeated, this type of attack.

    It is foolish to think that this type of attack does not continue to be used today. Preach the Gospel! Do that and everything else will fall into place!

  15. Palladio says:

    Tremendous post, Fr. Z. Thanks.

  16. mamajen says:

    @Martial Artist

    I think you’re onto something there. We should never, ever stop learning.

  17. Ambrose Jnr says:

    Fr Z — you are to be commended for your obedience to Pope Francis and defence of his record.

    However, following the demotion of Cardinal Mauro Piacenza and the non-renewal of the 5-year term for the CDWDS consultants Fr. Uwe Michael Lang and Msgr. Nicola Bux, both great defenders of the reform of the reform of the liturgy, a break in continuity is also evident now…let’s hope Pope Francis does not add insult to injury by promoting a liberal-minded liturgist to new Prefect of the CDWDS…

  18. McCall1981 says:

    Ambrose Jnr,
    Is there any hope that it won’t be Piero Marini? I thought that was a foregone conclusion by now.

  19. Michelle F says:

    I second Bruce Wayne’s post above.

    Aside from the washing of the feet of laymen/women during the Holy Thursday liturgy this year, I haven’t seen nor heard Pope Francis say or do anything that could be construed as revolutionary or liberal. (The footwashing thing should be filed under “Good Intentions” and ignored.)

    I think the problem is too many of us haven’t read the Catechism, or we’ve forgotten what we read in it. By the standards we use in the U.S. today, the Catholic Church is just as “liberal” as she is “conservative.” She does not fit into either box. By trying to fit her into one of those boxes, we end up cutting off many of her very important teachings which will not fit into our chosen box.

    We need to give the Church her own box, one large enough to contain all that she is and all that she teaches, and simply call it “Catholic.” Then we can sort everything by “Catholic” or “Not Catholic,” and leave the little “liberal” and “conservative” boxes as sub-dividers in the “Not Catholic” box.

    And, yes, I was one of those Catholics who totally flipped when I saw that our new Holy Father was a Jesuit from South America. I see now, however, that my problem was caused by the fact that I developed a habit of not trusting God to run His Church properly.

  20. KingofCharity says:

    As usual, nail. on. the. head. Father Z.
    You might want to add the following to your list:
    1. implemented B16’s plan for global Eucharistic adoration (liberals have an unbalanced view of the breadth and depth of the Eucharist . . . they think it is solely the community of believers and their praise of thanksgiving and a “friendship” banquet. If pushed came to shove, I would put my money on it that many liberal parishes would have no problem selling their monstrances to museums and declaring the worship of the Sacred Host as idolatry)
    2. consecrated the Vatican to St. Michael the Archangel and blessed a new statue (liberals despise the St. Michael prayer and view “praying to angels” as medieval superstition hangover, and decorative statuary is viewed as distractive, gratuitous fluff, a Renaissance hangover)
    3. Smack down on the LCWR
    4. Stated, “Christian identity is belonging to the Church, because all of these (the apostles) belonged to the Church, the Mother Church, because finding Jesus outside the Church is impossible. … It is the Mother Church who gives us Jesus, gives us the identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging.”

  21. Stumbler but trying says:

    Another uplifting piece and one that gives me hope, joy and peace of mind. Thank you, Fr. Z! I believe most sincerely the Holy Spirit is at work to help us understand and to seek wisdom from those who do understand and are there to teach us. You are a fine example of such a one.

    I am well aware that despite all the clarifications and affirmations, our Holy Father will still be misunderstood, misquoted, and reviled bu many outside and inside the Church but I will press on and keep praying!

    Thank you again and for quoting beloved Papa Emerito too. I had read those quotes elsewhere and learned much and was affirmed much. ^^

  22. KingofCharity says:

    Michelle F
    Great post, well said! Spot on, “By the standards we use in the U.S. today, the Catholic Church is just as “liberal” as she is “conservative.
    I know a lot of traditional Catholics who are either ignorant or ignore B16’s Caritas in Veritate. There are some very challenging ideas in it, many that would “appear liberal” through a conservative eye. You’re right, the Gospel is much, much larger than our American political dichotomy.

  23. vandalia says:

    I have said that if the Republican Party’s philosophy is represented by a triangle, and the Democratic Party’s by a circle, then that of the Catholic Church is purple. It is a completely different plane.

  24. Bosco says:

    “I know a lot of traditional Catholics who…” (fill in the blank)

    Give it a rest would you please?

  25. govmatt says:

    Great post Fr. Z! Couldn’t agree more! (I wish I had something substantive to add to the discussion but Fr. basically covered it all… so… morale boost?)

  26. Bosco says:

    I am watching Director Bruce Beresford’s 1991 DVD of “Black Robe” (again) tonight. If you know of it, it is about a 17th century Jesuit priest who treks across the wilderness of Quebec lead by Algonquin Indians to find and revive a distant mission in the dead of winter.
    By the way, DeNiro’s 1986 “The Mission” is a good ‘un too. More unflinching Jesuit stuff. Jeremy Irons has an important role in the film and, as it happens, lives rather near to my home here in Ireland.

  27. KingofCharity says:

    Ambrose Jnr,
    Fr. Z’s post is in reference to doctrinal continuity, not liturgical continuity. His post was in response to the erroneous public perception that Pope Francis is a doctrinal liberal, hence a heterodox pope. Liturgy is a whole other animal. Fr. Z is re-affirming that Pope Francis is in no way a liberal, progressive pope with a heterodox agenda, and that all his “controversial” sayings are in complete conformity and harmony with B16, the Catechism, and Tradition. He was not speaking on his views of liturgy. Pope Francis is indeed a pastoral and evangelical radical, but in no way a doctrinal or theological radical. The “shock” factor of Pope Francis comes from the fact that we have never seen a pope live out the Catechism (hence, the entire gamut of Catholic doctrine) so literally, thoroughly, fundamentally, and completely . . . . right down to a t. He shows no preference for any particular camp of Catholics or any current status quo within Catholicism.
    I believe Fr. Z has conceded that under Pope Francis’ reign there has been a clear break in liturgical continuity, or at least, the verdict is still out. Pope Francis has clearly shown through his actions that he is a liturgical minimalist and is more concerned with the Novus Ordo being worshipped with reverence and in complete conformity with the authentic phrasing of Vatican II documents rather than promoting the TLM. Pope Francis has shown caution regarding the TLM because due to his personal, cultural, political, and social environment in Latin America, he associates the TLM with anti-Vatican II sentiments and trad extremists, such as sedevacantists, SPPX, etc., all groups who want to “turn back the clock.” As for liturgical style and pastoral style, the two popes do part, but that was not the point of Fr. Z’s post.

  28. KingofCharity says:

    I know a few traditional Catholics who are either ignorant or ignore B16?s Caritas in Veritate.
    There, is that better?

  29. Bosco says:

    Fore my part, I know a number of Catholics who drink milk and are either ignorant or ignore B16?s Caritas in Veritate.

    Does that balance the scales of relevancy?

  30. mamajen says:

    Here’s what I found earlier that Pope Benedict said about Summorum Pontificum in an interview:

    Fr Federico Lombardi, S.J., Director of the Holy See Press Office: What do you say to those who, in France, fear that the “Motu proprio’ Summorum Pontificum signals a step backwards from the great insights of the Second Vatican Council? How can you reassure them?

    Benedict XVI: Their fear is unfounded, for this “Motu Proprio’ is merely an act of tolerance, with a pastoral aim, for those people who were brought up with this liturgy, who love it, are familiar with it and want to live with this liturgy. They form a small group, because this presupposes a schooling in Latin, a training in a certain culture. Yet for these people, to have the love and tolerance to let them live with this liturgy seems to me a normal requirement of the faith and pastoral concern of any Bishop of our Church. There is no opposition between the liturgy renewed by the Second Vatican Council and this liturgy.

    And of course in The Big Interview, Pope Francis said:

    I think the decision of Pope Benedict was prudent and motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity.

    I have the impression that Pope Benedict was not trying to do what some people want to think he was trying to do.

  31. MikeD says:

    I don’t find very much seriously objectionable content in any of the Pope’s public statements. What gives me much more pause are his acts of governance to this point. Particularly, putting the Franciscans of the Immaculate into ecclesiastical receivership, and the rather obvious demotion of Cardinal Piacenza.

  32. Nancy D. says:

    Pope Benedict, by stating “if we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions,it is essential that we always begin by highlighting the greatness of our faith least it appear that ours is a Faith of prohibitions, whereas pope Francis is saying that we should not be obsessed with the issues of contraception, abortion, homosexual marriage…

  33. Ambrose Jnr says:

    @McCall1981: I dearly hope not. As long as no such publication has occurred in the Vatican Bulletin, there’s hope indeed. Actually, I don’t think it will be Piero Marini, he’s just a scarecrow for the real candidate, I guess, who’s too liberal for us…a tactical manoeuvre for softening the pill…

  34. Menagerie says:

    It is to be expected that the media will deliberately portray Francis to push their agenda. It is disappointing that Catholics scrutinize and judge his every word, trying to decide whether Francis follows their agenda. I lean toward the traditional myself but I am not called to critique the pope in his every statement. I lack the will, the education, the context, and the pride.

  35. Nancy D. says:

    That should read, Pope Benedict, by stating “if we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions…it is essential always to highlight the greatness of our Faith, a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us “, is highlighting the importance of always being prepared to address the issues of the Day in light of our Catholic Faith, whereas pope Francis is claiming we have become obsessed with the issues of the Day, and we should tone it down. The difference between Pope Benedict’s statement and pope Francis’ nuanced statement, is actually profound.

  36. Nancy D. says:

    We accept God’s Gift of Grace and Mercy through Faith and Good works, following The Way, The Truth, The Light (Life) of Love, our Savior, Jesus The Christ.

  37. kpoterack says:

    ” [with] the non-renewal of the 5-year term for the CDWDS consultants Fr. Uwe Michael Lang and Msgr. Nicola Bux, both great defenders of the reform of the reform of the liturgy, a break in continuity is also evident now…”

    While this is not good, let’s not make more of this than there is. First of all, they were consultants to the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff (not the CDWDS), and a consultant is precisely that: someone who is consulted. As long as Guido Marini is in charge, these consultants have no power. I had a priest/professor who had been appointed a consultant back in the early 1990’s by JPII and was as traditional as could be in those pre-SP days, even had the indult to celebrate the Trid Mass. This was under Piero Marini! How much of a dent do you think he made in Piero Marini’s style? He was just a consultant.

    As for Piero Marini being appointed head of the CDWDS, that hasn’t happened yet – and it might not. However, I am preparing myself that it will be him or someone equivalent with two psychological strategies: 1) it wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world. I sometimes wonder how much these appointments are symbolic. Fr. Z said that the main responsibility of prefects is to “keep the train running on time.” The extent to which a prefect can propose his own projects and set his own course . . . I don’t know. 2) At worst such an appointment would force us in the NLM to regroup and restrategize. I think some of us have been like Cinderellas waiting for Prince Charming (the Pope and the Vatican) to make things all better. While Pope Benedict (and JPII) did what they could, now it is time for us to “put our hands to the plow” and work more. There is so much that needs to be done on the local level.

  38. Bosco says:

    My mind frequently turns to the words of Sister Lucy recorded by Father Augustin Fuentes during his interview of the seer of Fatima conducted on December 26, 1957. I shall not cite them at length, but I offer one part here:

    “Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that offends God the most, and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God, because in this way the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.

    That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell. … The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls.


    I am very wary of the “I’m all right. You’re all right.” view of the world. If I become cosy in my sin, falsely reassured like the Disney Title “All Dogs Go To Heaven” then I may die impenitent and wind up in a place without dogs.

  39. ncstevem says:

    King said in his comment above that the current pope, “…is more concerned with the Novus Ordo being worshipped with reverence and complete conformity with the authentic phrasing of Vatican II documents…”

    Short of having a personal conversation with the pope or one of his close advisors how do you know this to be true? Is distribution of Holy Communion in plastic cups now considered reverent?

  40. Bosco says:

    By the way, Saturday, October 5 is the First Saturday of the month of October. It is also the Feast of Saint Faustina. I suggest it is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to begin or renew our reparative devotions both to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to the Divine Mercy.
    Pray the Rosary every day and sacrifice for sinners!
    The Blessed Virgin told Sister Lucy in the same interview Father Fuentes I referenced above:

    “Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary.
    There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.”

  41. Heather F says:

    I’ve been so appalled at some of the comments I’ve read from some of the lunatic fringe of the self-professed “faithful.” Like, come on guys, you know the secular media and the liberal dissenters are either clueless, deluded, or actively opposed to the Truth! You don’t believe their spin about other things, why believe it about the Pope?

    He’s not saying anything new. He’s not even saying it in a particularly new way. He’s just saying it under at a time and place where the media will actually repeat it since they can shoehorn it into their imaginary narrative of a new kind of pope apposed to all those nasty rules and dogmas.

    I read on another blog the following comment: “Before I leave this liberal’s nest of the destroyed Church, I shall today try to find some group to connect with that openly opposed Francis’ politically-correct machinations. If anyone knows of such a group, kindly let me know.”

    Satan loves this stuff.

    Is this not the Church founded by Jesus Himself? Remember the whole “gates of hell shall not prevail” thing? Leaving the Church because you think it’s going to Hell in a handbasket isn’t being faithful – it’s being Protestant. It’s falling into Donatism.

  42. “Pope Francis has clearly shown through his actions that he is . . . . concerned with the Novus Ordo being worshipped with reverence and in complete conformity with the authentic phrasing of Vatican II documents “

    It would be good if someone would cite instances where he has said or indicated this.

    I fear that the future of the Novus Ordo and its reform may be more in doubt now than that of the TLM (which I believe to be secure).

  43. robtbrown says:

    From what I was told some months ago by someone affiliated with the SSPX, Cardinal Piacenza was not moved because he was too conservative.

    The power of a particular Prefect of a Congregation depends on his own ability and the makeup of the bishops who are members of the Congregation as well as the theological consultors (who are not consultants).

  44. Bosco says:

    This coming Sunday, October 13, 2013 marks not only the anniversary of the 1917 Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, but also of a message given on that very same date 40 years later on October 13, 1973 to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa by Our Lady of Akita (Japan).
    The beautiful voice which Sister heard on that date imparted the following message to her:

    “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres, churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the devil will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon would be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer any pardon for them.

    As I told you, if people do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the Flood, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests.”

    I understand Pope Francis intends to consecrate the world to Immaculate Heart of Mary this October 13th. We need to pray much for the Pope and the whole Church.

  45. Bosco says:

    “40 years ago” not ‘later’ . Apologies.

  46. McCall1981 says:

    Ambrose Jnr,
    I dearly hope not as well. I’ve accepted that it probably won’t be someone we’d like, but I’m hoping it won’t be the worst case scenerio like Marini. I’ve read that it’s rumored to be him for a while, but I’m hoping that maybe the fact that it keeps getting delayed means it won’t happen. Probably wishful thinking, but who knows?

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