There perhaps is no issue more contentious than the mandatory mask laws spreading across the world. Aside from sharp disagreements on their effectiveness, the issue is dividing not only the general public but churches. Bishops and politicians alike need to base their decisions on solid science. Our health depends upon it. Read Unmasking the Factsby Mark Mallett at The Now Word.
ONE of the “now words” the Lord put on my heart some fourteen years ago was that a “Great Storm like a hurricane is coming upon the earth,” and that the closer we get to the Eye of the Storm, the more there will be chaos and confusion. Well, the winds of this Storm are becoming so fast now, events beginning to unfold so rapidly, that it is easy to become disoriented. It is easy to lose sight of the most essential. And Jesus tell His followers, His faithful followers, what that is:
You have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Rev 2:3-5)
On this Commemoration of All Souls today, we are immersed in the reality of all our loved ones that have departed before us, and the thought of where they are. We pray for them, for those who are still being cleansed in the fires of purgatory, so that they will hasten toward full communion with the Lord. But in this reality we realize a stark truth: all these souls that have departed left behind their possessions, their estates, their empires; their dreams, their politics, their opinions. They stand now before the Creator in the primordial nakedness of Adam. To them, there is nothing more essential, more important, more necessary now than to belong totally to God. They cry, they weep, they regret; they sigh, they desire, and they long to be fully in the bosom of the Father. In a word, they burn with love, and will, until all the imperfections they carried into the next life are purified.
In the Church Suffering (the term used to describe the souls in purgatory), we behold a living parable of the essence of life: we are created to love the Lord Our God with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength. Anything less is to not be fully alive. In this truth lies the secret, not of happiness (that sounds too mundane), but of pure joy, purpose, and fulfillment. The saints were those who discovered this while still on earth. They sought after Jesus the way a Bride longs for her Bridegroom. They did all their work and labour in and for Him. They willingly suffered injustice, hardship and persecution for love of Him. And they joyfully deprived themselves of lesser pleasures for the sake of knowing Him. How beautiful that St. Paul penned these words for us in a moment of burning love:
I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him… (Phil 3:8-10)
The American election is not what is most important; it is not whether the Latin Mass is restored or not; it is not what Pope Francis said or didn’t say, etc. etc. For many Christians, these things have become their battle cry, the hill on which they are willing to die. While these may be important, they are not the most important. What is essential is that we find the love that we had at first, that burning zeal that sought after the Lord, that thirsted to read His Word, that longed to touch Him in the Eucharist, that once raised its voice in songs of worship and praise. And if you feel you never did have that encounter with Love, that no one told you that Jesus desires this too… then today is as good a day as any to pray for this Divine Fire to be stoked in your soul. Yes, pray with me now,
Come Holy Spirit! Come and fill my heart. Enkindle in me the fire of your love. Set me aflame! Burn away the illusions in my mind and the attachments in my heart that keep me from God. Come to your poor servant this hour and lift me up to the Heart of my Father. Place me in His loving arms that I may know His infinite goodness. Fasten my old self to the Cross with the same nails of Christ that I may be as united to Him in death, death to self, as I am in life—in living for Him. Come now, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Great Lampstand of the Flame of Love.
Oh, dear brother and sister, why write further? Countless books have been penned on the interior life, the life of the soul, and this journey toward union with the Divine. So let me not repeat what better minds have already said. Rather, today is the day to rouse desire. To come to Jesus with desire. To say to Him,
O Lord, you see my poverty. I am like an ember turned to ash—the flame of love snuffed out by the worries, cares, and anxieties of this world. O Lord, I have pursued idols, sought after empty treasures, traded the goods of your Merciful Heart for the momentary and fading pleasures of this passing world. Jesus, take me back. Jesus, stand no longer on the outside of the door of my heart, knocking, waiting. Wait no more! I can do nothing except, with the key of desire, open the door of my heart to You again. Lord, I have nothing else to give you but desire. Please, enter my heart, set up your home, and let us become one Flame again.
Give your past to Jesus, and let it remain in the past. Confession is the most blessed cubicle on earth. Today, let the Spirit of Love become the spark of a New Day. The winds of Satan are about to rage upon this planet, seeking to blow out the last vestiges of faith and trust in God. Let it not be so with you, Our Lady’s Little Rabble. She’s counting on you, pleading through tears of love. For you are to become the first bearers of the Flame of Love in a world that will be so wounded by sin that were it not for your living faith, all should despair. A remnant… a remnant… this is all God needs to set the world aflame again. And Our Lady wishes it to begin, especially with her beloved sons, the priests:
When will it happen, this fiery deluge of pure love with which you are to set the whole world ablaze and which is to come, so gently yet so forcefully, that all nations… will be caught up in its flames and be converted?… When you breathe your Spirit into them, they are restored and the face of the earth is renewed. Send this all-consuming Spirit upon the earth to create priests who burn with this same fire and whose ministry will renew the face of the earth and reform your Church. —From God Alone: The Collected Writings of St. Louis Marie de Montfort; April 2014, Magnificat, p. 331
But all of us, all of you who are reading this, are invited into what Jesus calls “My special fighting force.” We are called to confront this Storm—not with anger, sarcasm, and clever arguments—but with faith, hope and love and the power of the Holy Spirit. But we cannot fight with that which we do not have. Therefore, this is the hour to beg the Lord God to set your heart on fire with the Flame of Love, with the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, so that it might become a blazing wildfire to the ends of the earth.
It will be the Great Miracle of light blinding Satan… The torrential flood of blessings about to jolt the world must begin with the small number of the most humble souls. —Our Lady to Elizabeth, www.theflameoflove.org
May [Mary] continue to strengthen our prayers with her suffrages, that, in the midst of all the stress and trouble of the nations, those divine prodigies may be happily revived by the Holy Ghost, which were foretold in the words of David: “Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth” (Ps. ciii., 30). —POPE LEO XIII, Divinum Illud Munus, n. 14
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, ask St. Joseph to pick you up from the dust of discouragement; ask Our Lady today to wipe away the tears for tomorrow; and invite Jesus to be the Lord of your life from this moment on. For your part, love Him with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your strength. And begin to love your neighbour—truly love them—as you would yourself. While this is impossible for men, nothing is impossible for God. Thus,
We humbly implore the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, that He may “graciously grant to the Church the gifts of unity and peace,” and may renew the face of the earth by a fresh outpouring of His charity for the salvation of all. —POPE BENEDICT XV, May 3rd, 1920, Pacem Dei Munus Pulcherrimum
Renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Grant to Your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Savior, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen. —POPE ST. JOHN XXIII at the opening of the Second Vatican Council
…so great are the needs and the perils of the present age,so vast the horizon of mankind drawn towards world coexistence and powerless to achieve it,that there is no salvation for it except in a new outpouring of the gift of God.Let Him then come, the Creating Spirit,to renew the face of the earth! —POPE PAUL VI, Gaudete in Domino, May 9th, 1975 www.vatican.va
…the threat of judgment also concerns us, the Church in Europe, Europe and the West in general… the Lord is also crying out to our ears the words that in the Book of Revelation he addresses to the Church of Ephesus: “If you do not repent I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Light can also be taken away from us and we do well to let this warning ring out with its full seriousness in our hearts, while crying to the Lord: “Help us to repent! Give all of us the grace of true renewal! Do not allow your light in our midst to blow out! Strengthen our faith, our hope and our love, so that we can bear good fruit!” —BENEDICT XVI, Opening Homily, Synod of Bishops, October 2nd, 2005, Rome.
IN March of 2020, Canadian priest and seer, Fr. Michel Rodrigue, wrote in a letter to supporters:
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 will see great things.
So, what happened in October? Mark Mallett and Prof. Daniel O’Connor look over what is now a monumental month in the life of the Church and the world…
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A COUPLE of days ago, I was moved to republish An Invincible Faith in Jesus. It is a reflection on the beautiful words to Servant of God Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970). Then this morning, my colleague Peter Bannister sent this incredible prophecy from Fr. Dolindo given by Our Lady in 1921. What makes it so remarkable is that it is a summary of everything I’ve written here, and of so many authentic prophetic voices from around the world. I think the timing of this discovery is, itself, a prophetic word to all of us.
But first, here is the prophecy, followed by my commentary. God alone! (Dio solo)It is I, Mary Immaculate, Mother of Mercy.It is I who must lead you back to Jesus because the world is so far from Him and cannot find the way back, being so full of wretchedness! Only a great mercy can lift the world out the abyss into which it has fallen. Oh, my daughters,you do not consider what state the world is in and what souls have become! Do you not see that God is forgotten, that He is unknown, that the creature idolizes itself?… Do you not see that the Church is languishing and that all her riches are buried, that her priests are inactive, are often bad, and are dissipating the Lord’s vineyard?
The world has become a field of death, no voice will awaken it unless a great mercy lifts it up. You, therefore, my daughters, must implore this mercy, addressing yourselves to me who am its Mother: “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope”.What do you think mercy is? It is not merely indulgence but also a remedy, medicine, surgical operation.The first form of mercy needed by this poor earth, and the Church first of all, is purification. Do not be frightened, do not fear, but it is necessary for a terrible hurricane to pass first over the Church and then the world!The Church will almost seem abandoned and everywhere her ministers will desert her… even the churches will have to close! By his power the Lord will break all the bonds that now bind her [i.e. the Church] to the earth and paralyze her!They have neglected the glory of God for human glory, for earthly prestige, for external pomp, and all this pomp will be swallowed up by a terrible, new persecution! Then we will see the value of human prerogatives and how it would have been better to lean on Jesus alone, who is the true life of the Church.When you see the Pastors expelled from their seats and reduced to poor houses, when you see priests deprived of all their possessions, when you see external greatness abolished, say that the Kingdom of God is imminent! All this is mercy, not an ill!Jesus wanted to reign by spreading His love and so often they have prevented Him from doing so. Therefore, he will disperse everything that is not his and will strike his ministers so that, deprived of all human support, they might live in Him alone and for Him!This is the true mercy and I will not prevent what will seem to be a reversal but which is a great good, because I am the Mother of mercy!The Lord will begin with His house and from there He will go on to the world…Iniquity, having reached its apex, will fall apart and devour itself… THE TIMING That prophecy of a coming purification was given in 1921, nearly a hundred years ago. Given all that is happening at this hour, one can’t help but recall the anecdotal account of the vision of Pope Leo XIII. As the story goes, the pontiff had a vision during Mass that left him utterly stunned. According to one eyewitness:
Leo XIII truly saw, in a vision, demonic spirits who were congregating on the Eternal City (Rome). —Father Domenico Pechenino, eyewitness; Ephemerides Liturgicae, reported in 1995, p. 58-59
It is believed that the Pope overheard Satan asking the Lord for a hundred years to test the Church (which resulted in Leo XIII composing the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel).
Medjugorje seer, Mirjana, says she was given a similar vision, which she recounts to author and attorney Jan Connell:
J (Jan): Concerning this century, is it true that the Blessed Mother related a dialogue to you between God and the devil? In it… God allowed the devil one century in which to exercise extended power, and the devil chose these very times.
The visionary answered “Yes”, citing as proof the great divisions we see particularly among families today. Connell asks:
J: Will the fulfillment of the secrets of Medjugorje break the power of Satan?
M (Mirjana): Yes.
M: That is part of the secrets.
J: Can you tell us anything [regarding the secrets]?
M: There will be events on the earth as warning to the world before the visible sign is given to humanity.
J: Will these happen in your lifetime?
M: Yes, I will be a witness to them. —p. 23, 21; Queen of the Cosmos (Paraclete Press, 2005, Revised Edition)
As a footnote… in our webcast a few months ago, Prof. Daniel O’Connor noted that, in 1920, Russia became the first country to legalize abortion. Without question, this satanic door that was opened has alone brought humanity to the point of this purification some one hundred years later, which brings me to the next point…
CONFIRMING THE PROPHETIC CONSENSUS
I. The world has become a field of death…
Spoken three years after World War I—but before the holocaust of Communism, World II, Nazism, ethnic genocides, abortion, famines, laboratory created viruses, and legalized assisted suicide—Our Lady truly predicted the future state of the world in 2020. The popes would later call this field of death the “culture of death.” Hence, Our Lady indicates that this world bathed in blood will eventually reach The Point of No Return:
…no voice will awaken it unless a great mercy lifts it up. You, therefore, my daughters, must implore this mercy…
Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy. —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 300
II. …it is necessary for a terrible hurricane to pass first over the Church and then the world!
Those who know my writings will understand why my jaw fell open upon reading that. As I recounted in The Great Day of Light, in 2006, I went to a field to pray and watch an approaching storm. As dark clouds rolled in, I clearly heard in my heart these words:
A Great Storm, like a hurricane, is coming over the earth.
…the elect will have to fight against the Prince of Darkness. It will be a terrible storm. Rather, it will be a hurricane which will want to destroy the faith and confidence of even the elect. In this terrible turmoil currently brewing up, you will see the brightness of my Flame of Love illuminating Heaven and earth by the effusion of its effect of grace I am passing on to souls in this dark night. —Our Lady to Elizabeth Kindelmann, The Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: The Spiritual Diary, Kindle Edition, Locations 2998-3000 with Imprimatur
III. The Lord will begin with His house and from there He will go on to the world…
I gasped when I read this (since I never get used to this apostolate). Since addressing the pope’s remarks in The Body, Breaking, these words from Scripture have been emblazoned on my heart:
For it is time for the judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, how will it end for those who fail to obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17)
As I noted in A Great Shipwreck, 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
While many people are looking for major calamities or wars to break out, to me, the Pope’s statement on “civil unions”, which neither he nor the Vatican have retracted or corrected, is one of the most serious events in my lifetime regarding any kind of crisis in the papacy. Consider what Fr. Michel said: “The great events of purification will begin this fall.” As errant bishops and Catholic statesmen alike rush now to suddenly endorse civil unions, we are watching in real-time the sifting of the weeds from the wheat. I am convinced Francis’ statement, if not corrected, will become a leading factor in a persecution of the faithful the likes of which we have not seen in the West since the French Revolution. This was, in fact, one of the main warnings I was inspired to write in 2005 shortly after the Asian tsunami (see: Persecution… and the Moral Tusnami).
Persecution is purification. As Our Lady said to Fr. Dolindo:
The first form of mercy needed by this poor earth, and the Church first of all, is purification.
IV. The Church will almost seem abandoned and everywhere her ministers will desert her… even the churches will have to close! By his power the Lord will break all the bonds that now bind her [i.e. the Church] to the earth and paralyze her!
Hardly any commentary is needed at this point, particularly as churches begin to close again in France, Italy, and Ireland (where priests are being threatened with imprisonment should they say Mass in public). The Church has been weighed and found wanting. For not only did many bishops close their parishes with hardly a blink, but they put into place more stringent standards than nearly any other institution (including agreeing to take down names of everyone attending Mass to submit to authorities). This “bond” that is now becoming evident between the hierarchy and the State is going to be broken. How?
…if there is to be a persecution, perhaps it will be then; then, perhaps, when we are all of us in all parts of Christendom so divided, and so reduced, so full of schism, so close upon heresy. When we have cast ourselves upon the world and depend for protection upon it, and have given up our independence and our strength, then [Antichrist] will burst upon us in fury as far as God allows him. —St. John Henry Newman, Sermon IV: The Persecution of Antichrist
V. …all this pomp will be swallowed up by a terrible, new persecution!
As a result of the spirit of compromise that will have entered the Church, Our Lady warns of a persecution that will swallow up the Church’s temporal glory. Several years ago, as I drove to confession, I was suddenly overwhelmed with an incredible sadness; that all the beauty of the Church—her art, her chants, her ornamentation, her incense, her candles, etc.—must all go down into the tomb; that a persecution is coming that will take all this away so that we will havenothing left but Jesus. I came home and wrote this short poem, which is constantly on my heart these days: Weep, O Children of Men.
WEEP, O children of men! Weep for all that is good, and true, and beautiful. Weep for all that must go down to the tomb, your icons and chants, your walls and steeples.
Weep, O children of men! For all that is good, and true, and beautiful. Weep for all that must go down to the Sepulcher, your teachings and truths, your salt and your light.
Weep, O children of men! For all that is good, and true, and beautiful. Weep for all who must enter the night, your priests and bishops, your popes and princes.
Weep, O children of men! For all that is good, and true, and beautiful. Weep for all who must enter the trial, the test of faith, the refiner’s fire.
…but weep not forever!
For dawn will come, light will conquer, a new Sun will rise. And all that was good, and true, and beautiful will breathe new breath, and be given to sons again.
VI. When you see the Pastors expelled from their seats and reduced to poor houses, when you see priests deprived of all their possessions, when you see external greatness abolished… so that, deprived of all human support, they might live in Him alone and for Him!
This recalls the famous prophecy given in the presence of Pope St. Paul VI in 1975 during a gathering, known widely now as The Prophecy at Rome. I did an entire video series based on this:
Because I love you, I want to show you what I am doing in the world today. I want to prepare you for what is to come. Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation… Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there. I want you to be prepared, my people, to know only me and to cleave to me and to have me in a way deeper than ever before. I will lead you into the desert… I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on me. A time of darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for my Church, a time of glory is coming for my people. I will pour out on you all the gifts of my Spirit. I will prepare you for spiritual combat; I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has never seen…. And when you have nothing but me, you will have everything: land, fields, homes, and brothers and sisters and love and joy and peace more than ever before. Be ready, my people, I want to prepare you… —given to Dr. Ralph Martin in St. Peter’s Square, Rome, on Pentecost Monday, 1975
A year later, Fr. Michael Scanlan (1931-2017) gave an almost identical prophecy that Dr. Ralph Martin recently recovered. See here.
VII. All this is mercy, not an ill! Jesus wanted to reign by spreading His love and so often they have prevented Him from doing so….
How often have I said this! It is not the “chastisements” that are coming that frighten me. It is the thought that the youth of this generation, left virtually shepherdless, will be swept up and deceived by this Marxist revolution; that the blood of the unborn would continue to be spilled through abortion; that seniors would continue to be abandoned and isolated and euthanized; that pornography would continue to destroy the fertile minds of men and women; that the message to pursue pleasure alone would continue to corrupt this generation; and that our young would have their innocence robbed by a hedonistic agenda we call “sex education.” It is not that God would intervene with Divine Justice that I find frightening, but that He would leave us to our own devices! Hence, the present and coming purification is mercy, not an ill.
As Our Lady said, Jesus wanted to reign by love, but we have prevented Him. Five years later, He said virtually the same thing to Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta:
My will wants to Triumph, and would want to Triumph by means of Love in order to Establish Its Kingdom. But man does not want to come to meet this Love, therefore, it is necessary to use Justice. —Jesus to Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta; Nov. 16th, 1926
Thus, the hardships that we must pass through are necessary to prepare for the reign of Jesus in His Church when His “will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Ah! my daughter, grave things are to happen. In order to reorder a kingdom, a house, a general uproar happens first, and many things perish-some lose, others gain. In sum, there is chaos, a greater struggling, and many things are suffered in order to reorder, renew and give a new shape to the kingdom, or the house. There is more suffering and more work to do if one must destroy in order to rebuild, than if one only had to build. The same will happen in order to rebuild the Kingdom of My Will. How many innovations need to be made. It is necessary to turn everything upside down, to knock down and destroy human beings, to upset the earth, the sea, the air, the wind, the water, the fire, so that all may put themselves at work in order to renew the face of the earth, so as to bring the order of the new Kingdom of My Divine Will into the midst of creatures. Therefore, many grave things will happen, and in seeing this, if I look at the chaos, I feel afflicted; but if I look beyond, in seeing the order and My new Kingdom rebuilt, I go from a deep sadness to a joy so great that you cannot comprehend… My daughter, let us look beyond, that we may be cheered. I want to make things return as in the beginning of Creation… —Jesus to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta , April 24th, 1927
And all of this will be accomplished with and through Our Lady, as she said to Fr. Dolindo:
This is the true mercy and I will not prevent what will seem to be a reversal but which is a great good, because I am the Mother of mercy!
On this universal level, if victory comes it will be brought by Mary. Christ will conquer through her because He wants the Church’s victories now and in the future to be linked to her… —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 221
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HOLLYWOOD has been overrun with a glut of super hero movies. There is practically one in theatres, somewhere, almost constantly now. Perhaps it speaks of something deep within the psyche of this generation, an era in which true heroes are now few and far between; a reflection of a world longing for real greatness, if not, a real Savior…
CALL TO HEROIC FAITH
While your faith in Christ and to His teachings, right now, might seem to bother others; while they might dismiss you, for now,as a fundamentalist, a “right-winger”, or fanatic… the day is coming when your faith in God will be an anchor to possibly thousands around you. Hence, Our Lady continually calls you and me to prayer and conversion so that we will become the spiritual “super-heroes” the world so desperately needs. Don’t miss this call!
This is why the Father is permitting so many sufferings within the Church, our families and life situations: He is showing us that we must have an invincible faith in Jesus. He is going to strip the Church of everything so that we will have nothing but Him. There is a Great Shakingcoming, and when it does, the world will be searching for true superheroes: men and women who have real answers to hopeless crises. False prophetswill be ready for them… but so will Our Lady, who is preparing an army of men and women to gather the prodigal sons and daughters of this generation before the Day of Justice. 
If the Lord has not lifted the heavy cross from your shoulders yet; if He has not delivered you from your helpless situation; if you find yourself struggling with the same faults and stumbling into the same sins… it is because you have not learned to fully surrender yet, to truly abandon yourself to Him.
Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo (d. 1970) is a relatively unknown prophet in our times. Of him, St. Pio once said “The whole of paradise is in your soul.” In fact, in a postcard to Bishop Huilica in 1965, Fr. Dolindo predicted that “a new John will rise out of Poland with heroic steps to break the chains beyond the boundariesimposed by the communist tyranny.” That, of course, was fulfilled in Pope John Paul II.
But perhaps Fr. Dolindo’s greatest legacy was the Novena of Abandonment that he left the Church in which Jesus unfolds how to abandon to Him. If St. Faustina’s revelations guide us on how to trust in Divine Mercy, and Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta’s revelations instruct on how to live in the Divine Will, Fr. Dolindo’s revelations teach us how to abandon ourselves to Divine Providence.
Jesus begins by saying to him:
Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying? Leave the care of your affairs to Me and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to Me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.
So, most of us read this, and then say, “Okay, please fix this situation for me so that…” But as soon as we begin to dictate to the Lord the outcome, we are not truly trusting Him to act in our best interests.
Surrender to Me does not mean to fret, to be upset, or to lose hope, nor does it mean offering to Me a worried prayer asking Me to follow you and change your worry into prayer. It is against this surrender, deeply against it, to worry, to be nervous and to desire to think about the consequences of anything. It is like the confusion that children feel when they ask their mother to see to their needs, and then try to take care of those needs for themselves so that their childlike efforts get in their mother’s way. Surrender means to placidly close the eyes of the soul, to turn away from thoughts of tribulation and to put yourself in My care, so that only I act, saying “You take care of it”.
Jesus then asks us to say a little prayer:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!
How hard this is! The human mind, like metal to a magnet, is powerfully drawn to thinking, reasoning, and obsessing over our problems. But Jesus says, no, let Me take care of it.
In pain you pray for me to act, but that I act in the way you want. You do not turn to Me, instead, you want Me to adapt your ideas. You are not sick people who ask the doctor to cure you, but rather sick people who tell the doctor how to… If you say to me truly: “Thy will be done”, which is the same as saying: “You take care of it”,I will intervene with all my omnipotence, and I will resolve the most difficult situations.
And yet, we hear these words, and then reason that our particular situation is beyond supernatural repair. But Jesus calls us to “fold the wings of the intellect”, as Catherine Doherty would say, and let Him act in the situation. Tell me: if God created the heavens and earth out of nothing, can He not handle your particular trial, even as things appear to go from bad to worse?
You see evil growing instead of weakening? Do not worry. Close your eyes and say to Me with faith: “Thy will be done, You take care of it”…. I say to you that I will take care of it, and that there is no medicine more powerful than My loving intervention. By My love, I promise this to you.
But how hard it is to trust! To not grasp after the solution, to not try in my own humanity to resolve things myself, to not manipulate things to my own outcome. True abandonment means completely and utterly leaving the results to God, who promises to be faithful.
No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
But the “way” is not always our way.
And when I must lead you on a path different from the one you see, I will prepare you; I will carry you in My arms; I will let you find yourself, like children who have fallen asleep in their mother’s arms, on the other bank of the river. What troubles you and hurts you immensely are your reason, your thoughts and worry, and your desire at all costs to deal with what afflicts you.
And that is when we begin again to grasp, to lose patience, to feel that God is not doing what He should. We lose our peace… and Satan begins to win the battle.
You are sleepless; you want to judge everything, direct everything and see to everything and you surrender to human strength, or worse—to men themselves, trusting in their intervention—this is what hinders My words and My views. Oh, how much I wish from you this surrender, to help you; and how I suffer when I see you so agitated! Satan tries to do exactly this: to agitate you and to remove you from My protection and to throw you into the jaws of human initiative. So, trust only in Me, rest in Me, surrender to Me in everything.
And so, we must let go again, and cry out from our souls: O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! And He says…
I perform miracles in proportion to your full surrender to Me and to your not thinking of yourselves. I sow treasure troves of graces when you are in the deepest poverty. No person of reason, no thinker, has ever performed miracles, not even among the saints. He does divine works whosoever surrenders to God. So don’t think about it any more, because your mind is acute and for you it is very hard to see evil and to trust in Me and to not think of yourself. Do this for all your needs, do this all of you and you will see great continual silent miracles. I will take care of things, I promise this to you.
How Jesus? How do I stop thinking about it?
Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away on the flowing current of My grace; close your eyes and do not think of the present, turning your thoughts away from the future just as you would from temptation. Repose in Me, believing in my goodness, and I promise you by My love that if you say, “You take care of it,” I will take care of it all; I will console you, liberate you and guide you.
Yes, it is an act of the will. We have to resist, to fight it, and resist again and again. But we are not alone, nor without Divine help, which comes to us by way of prayer.
Pray always in readiness to surrender, and you will receive from it great peace and great rewards, even when I confer on you the grace of immolation, of repentance and of love. Then what does suffering matter? It seems impossible to you? Close your eyes and say with all your soul, “Jesus, you take care of it”. Do not be afraid, I will take care of things and you will bless My name by humbling yourself. A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender, remember this well. There is no novena more effective than this.
Learn, my brothers and sisters, the “art of abandonment,” demonstrated most especially in Our Lady. She reveals to us how to surrender to the Father’s Will, in every situation, even the impossible—including what is happening now in the world. Paradoxically, her abandonment to God, which annihilates her own self-will, does not lead to sadness or a loss of dignity, but to joy, peace, and a deeper awareness of her true self, made in God’s image.
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior… (Luke 1:46-47)
Indeed, is her Magnificat not a praise of God’s mercy toward the humble—and how He humbles those who wish to be rulers of their own destinies, who out of arrogance of mind and pride in the heart, refuse to trust in Him?
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. (Luke 1:50-53)
That is, He lifts up those with an invincible faith in Jesus.
Oh, how pleasing to God is the soul that follows faithfully the inspirations of His grace!… Fear nothing. Be faithful to the end. —Our Lady to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 635
Mother, I am yours now and forever. Through you and with you I always want to belong completely to Jesus.
You are loved.
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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. 677
Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. (John 16:20)
DO you want some real hope today? Hope is born, not in the denial of reality, but in a living faith, in spite of it.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus took Bread, broke it and said, “This is my body.” So too, on this eve of the Church’s Passion, His mystical Body seems to be breaking apart as another controversy has rammed the hull of the Barque of Peter. How should we respond?
As I described in The Great Shipwreck?,the main issue at hand is Pope Francis’ comments in a new documentary (according to the English subtitle):
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. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that. —Catholic News Agency, October 21st, 2020
What has followed has been hair-splitting over the comments; whether he was intending to change Church teaching; whether the editing misconstrued what the Holy Father intended and whether the English translation is correct.
But it doesn’t really matter, and here’s why.
Despite repeated requests for clarification from the Vatican, none has been forthcoming as of this writing (though one Vatican staffer allegedly said that “talks are underway to deal with the current media crisis.”)Vatican correspondent, Gerald O’Connell surmises: “My years of experience covering the Vatican leads me to conclude that the press office has remained silent only because it knows that this is what the pope wants.” According to Time, the director Evgeny Afineevsky “ended up so close to Francis by the end of the project that he showed the pope the movie on his iPad in August.” If that being the case, Francis has known the contents, and how they would be presented, months before the documentary’s premiere this weekend. The prefect of the Vatican’s communications office, Paolo Ruffini, has also seen the documentary and praised it without further comment. 
The significance of all this was not missed by the controversial gay rights advocate Fr. James Martin, who now in clear opposition to Church teaching, tweeted:
What makes Pope Francis’ comments supporting same-sex civil unions today so momentous? First, he is saying them as Pope, not Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Second, he is clearly supporting, not simply tolerating, civil unions. Third, he is saying it on camera, not privately. Historic. —https://twitter.com/
For the record, one priest attempted to explain that the subtitle is a mistranslation of Francis’ words. However, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, a theological advisor to Francis, said the translation is accurate.
As headlines around the world blared ‘Francis becomes 1st pope to endorse same-sex civil unions’, debate erupted on how the video was edited. It turns out that two different interviews were combined for the whole controversial segment. The first few sentences were constructed from a lengthier comment that Fr. Gerald Murray of EWTN says altered the original context of the Pope’s comments on families (see here):
Pope Francis was in fact speaking about the right of homosexuals not to be rejected by their own families, not about homosexuals creating new families of their own, presumably by adoption or through surrogate motherhood. The problem, though, remains that the Vatican has publicly embraced this film. —Fr. Gerald Murray, October 24th, 2020; thecatholicthing.org
But it is the second part of the quote where the Pope seems to call for a civil union law that has drawn the most attention and controversy. It comes from raw footage from the Vatican’s archives of a long television interview with Pope Francis made by Valentina Alazraki, a reporter for Mexico’s Televisa, in May 2019. Catholic News Agency and O’Connell give the missing context of the Televisa interview:
Alazraki asked [Pope Francis]: “You waged a whole battle over egalitarian weddings, of couples of the same sex in Argentina. And later they say that you arrived here, they elected you pope and you appeared much more liberal than what you were in Argentina. Do you recognize yourself in this description that some people who knew you before make, and was it the grace of the Holy Spirit that gave you a boost? (laughs)”
According to America Magazine, the pope responded that: “The grace of the Holy Spirit certainly exists. I have always defended the doctrine. And it is curious that in the law on homosexual marriage…. It is an incongruity to speak of homosexual marriage. But what we have to have is a law of civil union (ley de convivencia civil), so they have the right to be legally covered.”—Catholic News Agency, October 24th, 2020
The context in this account is clear: civil unions instead of “homosexual marriage.”
Pope Francis has been outspoken on a number of occasions reaffirming the Church’s teaching on the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman, and he has unequivocally rejected any notion of “gay marriage” and “gender ideology.”Nonetheless, when Pope Francis said in the documentary, “I stood up for that” being “civil unions”, it confirmed what two biographers have likewise reported in the past about his support of civil unions of some kind as an alternative to same-sex “marriage.” In his biography on Francis, journalist Austen Ivereigh wrote:
Bergoglio knew many gay people and had spiritually accompanied a number of them. He knew their stories of rejection by their families and what it was like to live in fear of being singled out and beaten up. He told a Catholic gay activist, a former theology professor named Marcelo Márquez, that he favored gay rights as well as legal recognition for civil unions, which gay couples could also access. But he was utterly opposed to any attempt to redefine marriage in law. ‘He wanted to defend marriage but without wounding anybody’s dignity or reinforcing their exclusion,’ says a close collaborator of the cardinal’s. ‘He favored the greatest possible legal inclusion of gay people and their human rights expressed in law, but would never compromise the uniqueness of marriage as being between a man and a woman for the good of children’” —The Great Reformer, 2015; (p. 312)
This position was also put forward by Sergio Rubin, an Argentine journalist and the authorized biographer of Pope Francis. None of this is new and has been widely reported for years. But no pope has ever said this in front of a rolling camera.
Some have tried to explain away this controversy by pointing to Francis’ efforts to support a broader definition of civil union to include “any two people cohabiting for more than two years, independent of their gender or sexual orientation.” This may appear as a workaround, except for the fact that the documentary presents this issue in the context of homosexual couples—and thus far, neither Francis nor the Vatican communications office is disputing this.
On the contrary, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under St. John Paul II’s blessing could not have been clearer about giving any kind of support for civil unions between same-sex partners.
In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage… all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions. —Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons; n. 5, 6, 10
So, as they say, “the damage is done.” As I was writing this article, Fr. James Martin was on CNN declaring to the entire world:
It’s not simply he’s tolerating it, he’s supporting it…[Pope Francis] 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. —CNN.com
And Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, citing Pope Francis’ comments, asked the country’s National Assembly to now make same-sex marriage part of their discussion during the next term— which is what retired Philippine Bishop Arturo Bastes predicted:
This is a shocking statement coming from the pope. I am really scandalized by his defense of homosexual union, which surely leads to immoral acts. —October 22nd, 2020; thehill.com (nb. Francis was not defending homosexual unions but speaking of civil unions)
Whether the documentary misquoted the Pope, whether the phrase supporting civil unions was intended for public consumption, whether the translation is correct, whether the Pope was framed, whether he said exactly what he wanted to say… the perception is out there that the Pope is “renovating” the Barque of Peter.
But in truth, it’s hit a rocky shoal.
The consequences will be felt for some time, even if the whole thing is eventually retracted. People are angry and frustrated, feeling betrayed and confused, especially after the theologically pristine years of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Bishop Joseph Strickland, in a moment of raw honesty this week, echoed the warning of Pope St. Paul VI last century that “the smoke of Satan is seeping into the Church of God through the cracks in the walls.”
I certainly don’t put it all on Pope Francis. The machine of the Vatican, there is evil there. There is darkness in the Vatican. I mean, that’s very clear. —Bishop Joseph Strickland, October 22nd, 2020; ncronline.org
Those are painful words to hear. But they should not surprise us. 2000 years ago, St. Paul warned:
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them. (Acts 20:29-30)
…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
Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Inaugural Homily, April 24, 2005, St. Peter’s Square
This controversy has the potential to set off a wave of new laws and persecution of the Church the likes of which we have not seen in our time in the West. Of course, I have been warning about this for decades, but it is no less painful on how it appears to be coming. For me, this is not about Pope Francis. It’s about Jesus. It’s about defending Him, defending the truth He died to give us so that we would be free. It’s about souls. I have several readers who are struggling with same-sex attraction and I love them dearly. They deserve to be fed the truth in love by their shepherds.
Talk of schism by some, which is spiritually reckless, is nonetheless real. But as St. Cyprian of Carthage warned:
If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” —The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition (A.D. 251)
The call, from cardinals and bishops to renowned theologians like Dr. Scott Hahn for Pope Francis to clarify his remarks, are not an attack on the papacy but, in fact, a help to it so that souls struggling with same-sex attraction are not misled and the integrity of the office of Peter is preserved. To be absolutely clear, I have and continue to defend our Church and our popes where justice and fidelity demands it. Some people, even a priest, have tried to pressure me to revolt against the Holy Father. I have been threatened, called a Freemason, and verbally abused by others for not adopting their “hermeneutic of suspicion” that sees every word and action of the Pope through a dark filter, that seeks to judge his motives rather than to understand them.
To avoid rash judgment… Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2478
Yes, that’s a two way street. Those who have been gracious, having given Francis the benefit of the doubt, now await the Vicar of Christ to help them if they have somehow understood this documentary “badly.” Nor should we be intimidated by those voices who, claiming to “defend the truth,” discard all charity and accuse those of us remaining in unity with the Holy Father as somehow betraying Christ. They deem their bullying and name-calling as a virtue and your fidelity and patience as a weakness. The message from Our Lady of Medjugorje today is particularly relevant:
Satan is strong and is fighting to draw all the more hearts to himself. He wants war and hatred. That is why I am with you for this long, to lead you to the way of salvation, to Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Little children, return to the love for God and He will be your strength and refuge. —October 25, 2020 Message to Marija
But the saints revealed how to crush the head of Satan—through humility and docililty:
Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him… I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him. —St. Catherine of Siena, SCS, p. 201-202, p. 222, (quoted in Apostolic Digest, by Michael Malone, Book 5: “The Book of Obedience”, Chapter 1: “There is No Salvation Without Personal Submission to the Pope”). In Luke 10:16, Jesus says to His disciples: “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
Pope Francis with Cardinal Müller. Credit: Paul Haring/CNS
My sentiments follow those of Cardinal Gerhard Müller:
There is a front of traditionalist groups, just as there is with the progressivists, that would like to see me as head of a movement against the Pope. But I will never do this…. 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, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Corriere della Sera, Nov. 26, 2017; quote from the Moynihan Letters, #64, Nov. 27th, 2017
A senior Russian Orthodox Church official predicts that this latest controversy will see Catholics “convert en masse to Orthodox Christianity and Protestantism” as a result. While I think that’s a bit of stretch, I am already aware of one person who jumped ship because of such ongoing controversies surrounding the papacy, and I hear others waffling.
But lest we hear Our Lord rebuke us too as waves crash over the Barque—“Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”(Mk 4:37-40)—we ought to…
…live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon his Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing. —EMERITUS POPE BENEDICT XVI, on the occasion of the funeral Mass of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, July 15th, 2017; rorate-caeli.blogspot.com
If the Church is indeed following her Lord in her own Passion, then we will experience much of what Our Lord and the Apostles did also—including the confusion, division, and chaos of Gethsemane—and the presence of wolves.
Yes, there are unfaithful priests, bishops, and even cardinals who fail to observe chastity. But also, and this is also very grave, they fail to hold fast to doctrinal truth! They disorient the Christian faithful by their confusing and ambiguous language. They adulterate and falsify the Word of God, willing to twist and bend it to gain the world’s approval. They are the Judas Iscariots of our time. —Cardinal Robert Sarah, Catholic Herald, April 5th, 2019
THE ANSWER: PRAYER OF THE HEART
Of Gethsemane, Luke writes:
When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief. (Luke 22:45)
I know that you, Our Lady’s Little Rabble, are tired. Many are grieving, stunned by the daily events unfolding in both the Church and the world. The temptation is to just turn it all off, ignore it, run, hide, even sleep. Still, lest we fall into despair and self-pity, today I feel Our Lady stirring us, telling us like Our Lord did to his Apostles:
Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test. (Luke 22:46)
Jesus did not say, “Aw, I see how sad you are. Go ahead, sleep away my dear ones.” No! Get up, be men and women of God, be true disciples and face what it is coming proactively in prayer. Why prayer? Because the Passion was ultimately a test of their relationship with Jesus.
…prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Kingdom is “the union of the entire holy and royal Trinity… with the whole human spirit.”—Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.2565
Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions. —Ibid. n. 2010
Have you noticed how hard it is to pray lately? Yes, this is how we fall asleep in our souls, by letting grief and discouragement, temptation and sin to distract us from the divine conversation. In this way, we become dull to the Lord and if we let it persist, blind.
It’s our very sleepiness to the presence of God that renders us insensitive to evil: we don’t hear God because we don’t want to be disturbed, and so we remain indifferent to evil… the disciples’ sleepiness is not problem of that one moment, rather of the whole of history, ‘the sleepiness’ is ours, of those of us who do not want to see the full force of evil and do not want to enter into His Passion. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Catholic News Agency, Vatican City, Apr 20, 2011, General Audience
As I began writing this article, a reader sent this to me:
The Church is presently in the midst of her Passion, Christ’s Passion… This is a shocking time in the Church’s history, a brutal time. She is dying, and Catholics need to mourn this lest we fall into denialism—while looking with hope at the resurrection to come. —Matthew Bates
Perfectly said. I have been writing about this coming Passion of the Church for fifteen years (shaking my brothers and sisters awake!) and now it is upon us. But this is not a call to fear and terror but faith and courage and above all hope. The Passion is not the end but the beginning of the final stage of the Church’s sanctification. Is God not permitting all this, then, so that all things work to the good for those who love Him? Would the Lord abandon His Bride?
The Barque of Peter is not like other ships. The Barque of Peter, despite the waves, remains firm because Jesus is inside, and He will never leave it. —Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, Patriarch of Chaldeans in Baghdad, Iraq; November 11th, 2018, “Defend the Church From Those Who Seek to Destroy It”, mississippicatholic.com
The mystical Body of Christ is breaking, straining under growing divisions that have begun to emanate from a fault-line beneath Rome. As I said in The Great Shipwreck?, the only side we have to choose is the side of the Gospel. We must give the Holy Father the benefit of the doubt and a chance to clarify his personal comments, but at the end of the day, the Gospel must still be clearly and loudly proclaimed. If “the truth will set us free,” then the world has a right to know the truth!
This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops. —POPE SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Homily, Cherry Creek State Park Homily, Denver, Colorado, August 15th, 1993; vatican.va
…the Church holds that these multitudes have the right to know the riches of the mystery of Christ—riches in which we believe that the whole of humanity can find, in unsuspected fullness, everything that it is gropingly searching for concerning God, man and his destiny, life and death, and truth. —POPE ST. PAUL VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, n. 53; vatican.va
Christ asks to dine with heterosexuals, homosexuals, and sinners of all stripes, precisely to deliver them from the power of sin. The message of love and mercy that Francis has tried to convey to those far from the Church has, for a fact, drawn many back to the confessional and to Christ. In obedience to the Vicar of Christ, we also need to take up the call, which is Christ’s call, to go out to the ends of the earth in search of the lost.
…all of us are asked to obey His call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the “peripheries” in need of the light of the Gospel. —POPE FRANCIS, Evangelii Gaudium, n. 20
But as we also heard in yesterday’s Gospel, Jesus demands that everyone align with His Word, with the truth, with reality, with their biological sex, and with one another so that, ultimately, we can be one with Him.
Jesus is demanding, because He wishes our genuine happiness.—POPE JOHN PAUL II, World Youth Day Message for 2005, Vatican City, Aug. 27th, 2004, Zenit.org
The Gospel is a message of love, incredible love of God for poor sinners. But it’s also a Gospel of consequences for those who reject it:
Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 15:15-16)
To enter the Passion of Christ, then, is to become a “sign of contradiction” that will be rejected as well. We must prepare for this persecution. And to that end, part of the Passion is indeed the time of sorrows that are now upon us.
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three… (Luke 12:51-52)
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. (John 6:69)
The answer is that the holy courage St. John Paul II calls us to is not an emotion, but a divine gift. It is the fruit of faith. If you are afraid, it may be precisely because you have not yet fully opened the gift. So here are five ways for you to begin walking in holy courage in our times. (These five means are also “hidden” in a homily Pope Francis gave during the dark hours of Easter Vigil in April, 2013)…
I. LET JESUS IN!
The key to the words of John Paul II to “not be afraid” lies in the second part of his invitation: “Open wide the doors to Christ!”
The Apostle John wrote:
God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him… There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear… (1 John 4:18)
God is the love that drives out all fear. The more I open my heart to Him in childlike faith and “remain in love”, the more He enters, driving out the darkness of fear and giving me a holy confidence, boldness, and peace. 
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)
The confidence comes from not knowing about Him as one would from a textbook, but knowing of Him as from a relationship. The problem is that many of us have not truly opened our hearts to God.
Sometimes even Catholics have lost or never had the chance to experience Christ personally: not Christ as a mere ‘paradigm’ or ‘value’, but as the living Lord, ‘the way, and the truth, and the life’. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, L’Osservatore Romano (English Edition of the Vatican Newspaper), March 24, 1993, p.3
Or we keep Him at arms length for many reasons—from fear that He rejects me, or will not provide for me, or especially, that He will demand too much of me. But Jesus says that unless we become trusting like little children, we cannot have the kingdom of God,  we cannot know that Love, which drives out fear…
…Because he is found by those who do not test him, and manifests himself to those who do not disbelieve him. (Wisdom of Solomon 1:2)
Therefore, the first and foundational key to not being afraid is to let Love in! And this Love is a person.
Let us not close our hearts, let us not lose confidence, let us never give up: there are no situations which God cannot change… —POPE FRANCIS, Easter Vigil Homily, n. 1, March 30th, 2013; www.vatican.va
II. PRAYER OPENS THE DOOR
Thus, to “open wide the doors to Christ” means to enter into a real and living relationship with Him. Coming to Mass on Sunday is not the end per se, as if it were some kind of ticket to Heaven, rather, it is the beginning. In order to draw Love into our hearts, we must sincerely draw near to Him in “spirit and truth.”
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
This drawing near to God “in spirit” is foremost called prayer. And prayer is a relationship.
…prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit… Prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.2565, 2560
Prayer, said St. Theresa of Avila, “is a close sharing between two friends. It means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who loves us.” It is precisely in prayer that we encounter Jesus, not as a distant deity, but as a living, loving Person.
Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome Him as a friend, with trust: He is life… —POPE FRANCIS, Easter Vigil Homily, March 30th, 2013; www.vatican.va
When we simply speak to God from the heart—that is prayer. And prayer is what draws the sap of the Holy Spirit from Christ, who is the Vine, into our hearts. It draws in Love who casts out all fear.
Prayer attends to the grace we need… —CCC, n.2010
The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is—trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts. —Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul, n. 1578
So you see, God wants you to open wide your heart to Him. And this means a giving of yourself. Love is an exchange, an exchange of time, of words and trust. Love means becoming vulnerable—both you and God becoming vulernable to one another (and what is more vulnerable than hanging naked upon a Cross for one who may never love you in return?) Just as drawing near to a fire banishes cold, so too drawing near to Him in “prayer of the heart” expels fear. As you carve out time for supper, you must carve out time for prayer, for that spiritual food which alone nourishes, heals, and liberates the soul from fear.
III. LEAVE IT BEHIND
There is good reason, though, why some people are afraid. It is because they deliberately sin against God.  They choose to rebel. That’s why St. John goes on to say:
…fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
But you might say, “Well then, I guess I am doomed to be afraid because I am constantly stumbling.”
What I am speaking of here is not those venial sins that arise from human weakness and frailty, from imperfections and the like. These do not cut you off from God:
Venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace it is humanly reparable. Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness.—CCC, n1863
What I am speak of here is knowing that something is a serious sin, and yet deliberately committing it. Such a person naturally invites darkness into their hearts rather than Love.  Such a person is deliberately inviting fear into their hearts because “fear has to do with punishment.” Their conscience is disturbed, their passions are aroused, and they easily weary as they stumble in darkness. Therefore, in opening wide one’s heart to Jesus through prayer, one must first begin that prayer in the “truth that sets us free.” And the first truth is that of who I am—and who I am not.
…humility is the foundation of prayer… Asking forgiveness is the prerequisite for both the Eucharistic Liturgy and personal prayer. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2559, 2631
Yes, if you wish to live in the freedom of the sons and daughters of God, you must make a decision to turn away from all sin and unhealthy attachments:
Do not be so confident of forgiveness that you add sin upon sin. Do not say, His mercy is great; my many sins he will forgive. (Sirach 5:5-6)
But if you sincerely approach Him “in truth”, God is waiting with all His heart to forgive you:
O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy… Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet… I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1486, 699, 1146
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. (1 John 1:9)
Confession is the place designated by Christ Himself for one to be liberated from the power of sin. It is the place where one draws near to God “in truth.” An exorcist said to me that “One good confession is more powerful than one hundred exorcisms.” There is no more powerful way to be delivered from a spirit of fear than in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
…there is no sin which He cannot forgive if only we open ourselves to him… If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. —POPE FRANCIS, Easter Vigil Homily, March 30th, 2013; www.vatican.va
Many of us may do the above, and yet, we are still prone to having our peace disturbed, our interior security rattled. Why? Because we do not depend entirely upon the Father. We do not trust that, no matter what happens, it is His permissive will—and His will is “my food.” We are happy and peaceful when everything is going well… but angry and disturbed when we encounter obstacles, contradictions, and disappointments. It is because we are not totally abandoned to Him, not yet dependent solely upon His designs, the way the birds of the air or the creatures of the forest are (Matt 6:26).
True, we can’t help but feel the sting of these “thorns”,  of these unexpected and unwanted sufferings—and that is human. But then we should imitate Jesus in His humanity when He abandoned Himself completely to Abba: 
…take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done. (Luke 22:42)
Notice how after Jesus made this prayer in Gethsemane, an angel was sent to comfort Him. Then, as though human fear evaporated, Jesus stood up and delivered Himself to His persecutors who had come to arrest Him. The Father will send the same “angel” of strength and courage to those who abandon themselves totally to Him.
To accept the will of God, whether it is to our liking or not, is to be like a little child. Such a soul who walks in that kind of abandonment is no longer afraid, but he sees everything as being from God, and therefore good—even, or rather, especially, when it is the Cross. David wrote:
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105)
Following the “light” of God’s will casts away the darkness of fear:
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
Indeed, Jesus promised that we would find “rest” in Him…
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. (Matt 11:28)
When we take the yoke of His will upon us, that’s when we find rest from the anxiety and fear that seeks to overwhelm us.
So don’t be afraid if God seems distant in your suffering, like He has forgotten you. He will never forget you. That is His promise (see Isaiah 49:15-16 and Matt 28:20). Rather, He sometimes hides Himself and His intentions in the painful disguise of His permissive will so as to reveal to us whether or not we actually trust Him and will wait for His timing and providence. When it came to feeding the five thousand, Jesus asks:
“Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test [Philip], because he himself knew what he was going to do. (cf. John 6:1-15)
So, when everything seems to be collapsing around you, pray:
…and surrender to your circumstances by returning to the duty of the moment. My spiritual director often says “Anger is sadness.” When we lose control, that’s when we feel sad, which manifests in anger, which then gives fear a place to dwell.
If following Him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust Him, be confident that He is close to you, He is with you and He will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as He would have you do. —POPE FRANCIS, Easter Vigil Homily, March 30th, 2013; www.vatican.va
Lastly, fear is vanquished by joy! True joy is the fruit of the Spirit. When we live points I—IV above, then joy will be born naturally as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. You can’t fall in love with Jesus and not be joyful! 
While “positive thinking” is not enough to drive out fear, it is the proper attitude for a child of God, which then creates good soil for the seeds of holy courage to sprout.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. The the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:7)
Thanksgiving “in all circumstances”  enables us to open wider our hearts to God, to avoid the pitfalls of bitterness and embrace the will of the Father. And this has not only spiritual but bodily repercussions.
In fascinating new research on the human brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf explains how our brains are not “fixed” as once thought. Rather, our thoughts can and do change us physically.
As you think, you choose, and as you choose, you cause genetic expression to happen in your brain. This means you make proteins, and these proteins form your thoughts. Thoughts are real, physical things that occupy mental real estate. —Switch On Your Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf, BakerBooks, p 32
Research, she notes, shows that 75 to 95 percent of mental, physical, and behavioral illness comes from one’s thought life. Thus, detoxifying one’s thoughts can have a dramatic impact on one’s health, even diminishing the effects of autism, dementia, and other diseases.
We cannot control the events and circumstances of life, but we can control our reactions… You are free to make choices about how you focus your attention, and this affects how the chemicals and proteins and wiring of your brain change and functions.—cf. p. 33
Ex-satanist, Deboarah Lipsky in her book A Message of Hope explains how negative thinking is like a beacon that draws evil spirits toward us, like rotting meat draws flies. So, for those who are pre-disposed to being grumpy, negative, and pessimistic—watch out! You are attracting darkness, and darkness drives out the light of joy, replacing it with bitterness and gloom.
Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness… and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! —POPE FRANCIS, Easter Vigil Homily, March 30th, 2013; www.vatican.va
Perhaps it will surprise some readers to know that my recent writings dealing with war, chastisement, and the Antichrist were written with Easter joy in my heart! To be joyful does not ignore reality, sorrow, and suffering; it does not play-act. In fact, it is the joy of Jesus that enables us to comfort the mourning, to liberate the prisoner, to pour balm on the wounds of the wounded, precisely because we carry to them authentic joy and hope, that of the Resurrection that lies beyond the crosses of our suffering.
Make conscious choices to be positive, to hold your tongue, to keep silent in suffering, and trust in Jesus. One of the best ways to do this is to cultivate a spirit of thanksgiving in all things—all things:
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:18)
This too is what it means when Pope Francis says, “not to look among the dead for the Living One.”  That is, for the Christian, we find hope in the Cross, life in the Valley of Death, and light in the tomb through a faith that believes all things work to the good for those who love Him. 
By living out these five means, which are fundamental to every authentic Christian spirituality, we can be assured that Love will conquer fear in our heart and the darkness descending upon our world. Moreover, you will be helping others by the light of your faith to begin looking for the Living One as well.Wss
ALL, WITH MARY
To all of the above I say, “add your mother.” The reason this isn’t the sixth way to “be not afraid” is because we ought to invite the Blessed Mother to accompany us in everything we do. She is our mother, given to us beneath the Cross in the person of St. John. I am struck by his action immediately after Jesus pronounced to him: “Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. (John 19:27)
We too, then, ought to take her into our home, into our hearts. Even the Reformationist, Martin Luther, understood this right:
Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of us even though it was Christ alone who reposed on her knees… If he is ours, we ought to be in his situation; there where he is, we ought also to be and all that he has ought to be ours, and his mother is also our mother. —Christmas Sermon, 1529
Mary doesn’t steal Christ’s thunder; she is the lightning that leads the way to Him! I cannot count the times that this Mother has been my comfort and solace, my help and strength, as any good mother is. The closer I am to Mary, the closer I come to Jesus. If she was good enough to raise Him, she’s good enough for me.
Whoever you are that perceive yourself during this mortal existence to be rather drifting in treacherous waters, at the mercy of the winds and the waves, than walking on firm ground, turn not away your eyes from the splendor of this guiding star, unless thou wish to be submerged by the storm… Look at the star, call upon Mary… With her for guide, you shall not go astray, while invoking her, you shall never lose heart… if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal. —St. Bernard Clairvaux, Homilia super Missus est, II, 17
Jesus, the Sacraments, prayer, abandonment, using your reason and will, and the Mother… in these ways can one find that place of freedom where all fear dissipates like fog before the morning sun.
You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that roams in darkness, nor the plague that ravages at noon. Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, near you it shall not come. You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see. Because you have the Lord for your refuge and have made the Most High your stronghold… (Psalm 91-5-9)
The primary cause of the sexual and cultural revolution is ideological. Our Lady of Fatima has said that Russia’s errors would spread all over the world. It was first done under a violent form, classical Marxism, by killing tens of millions. Now it’s being done mostly by cultural Marxism. There is continuity from Lenin’s sex revolution, through Gramsci and the Frankfurt school, to the current-day gay-rights and gender ideology. Classical Marxism pretended to redesign society through violent take-over of property. Now the revolution goes deeper; it pretends to redefine family, sex identity and human nature. This ideology calls itself progressive. But it is nothing else than the ancient serpent’s offer, for man to take control, to replace God, to arrange salvation here, in this world. —Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea, speech at the Synod of the Family in Rome; October 17th, 2015
First published December of 2019.
THE Catechism of the Catholic Church warns that the “final trial” that would shake the faith of many believers would constitute, in part, the Marxist ideas of arranging “salvation here, in this world” through the secular State.
The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment… especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675-676
This trial is the Church’s own Passion “when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.” As the United Nations “sustainable development” goals take traction (many of them hiding these very Marxist ideas), and the Church increasingly appears to endorse them, it is not a lack of Romanita to wonder “what is going on?” The temptation though—and it is a dangerous one—is for Catholics to turn against the popes as if they are in fact allowing the gates of hell to prevail against the Church. Here’s another view.
Just as Jesus deliberately handed over His body to the authorities to be crucified, so too, the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, must be handed over to follow her Lord through her own passion, death and resurrection. Is it not true that on the eve of His Passion, Christ dined with Judas, even dipping bread in the same bowl? So too, our popes in this last hour have engaged men who do not have the Church’s best interests in mind. This is to say that the popes are not Judas; rather, it is those who “make a pretense of religion but deny its power,” those who “dialogue” with the Church but who ignore her message; those whose lips impart a “kiss” but whose hearts hold a hammer and nails.
Yes, there are unfaithful priests, bishops, and even cardinals who fail to observe chastity. But also, and this is also very grave, they fail to hold fast to doctrinal truth! They disorient the Christian faithful by their confusing and ambiguous language. They adulterate and falsify the Word of God, willing to twist and bend it to gain the world’s approval. They are the Judas Iscariots of our time. —Cardinal Robert Sarah, Catholic Herald, April 5th, 2019
“But wait,” some of you are saying. “Isn’t Pope Francis using ‘confusing and ambiguous language’?” The answer is both yes and no. Those who wish to interpret this pontificate in black or white inevitably fail—fail to see how Christ is guiding His Church in these last moments of our era, even through popes who can and do make mistakes.
Christ does not fail His Church. Hell will never prevail.
SUSPICION WILL COME
At the turn of the 20th century, Pope St. Pius X set forth a beautiful and prophetic vision of the coming resurrection of the Church, the “restoration of all things in Christ” that will be accomplished within the boundaries of time. It will not only bring nations back into the fold of Christ but establish true justice and peace on earth for a time. Fourteen years later, Our Lady promised that it would be accomplished through her Immaculate Heart.
Yes, a miracle was promised at Fatima, the greatest miracle in the history of the world, second only to the Resurrection. And that miracle will be an era of peace which has never really been granted before to the world. —Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi, papal theologian for Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, October 9th, 1994, The Apostolate’s Family Catechism, p. 35
However, St. Pius X admitted that some would become suspicious of the popes in their work of helping to bring this divine task to fulfillment:
Some will certainly be found who, measuring Divine things by human standards will seek to discover secret aims of Ours, distorting them to an earthly scope and to partisan designs. —E Supremi, n. 4
Perhaps no pope in recent times has come under such suspicion more than Pope Francis.
A NEW POPE, A NEW DIRECTION?
Like a prophet crying out in the digital desert, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio exhorted that…
The Church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries not only in the geographic sense but also the existential peripheries: those of the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance, of doing without religion, of thought and of all misery. —homily before the papal conclave, Salt and Light Magazine, p. 8, Issue 4, Special Edition, 2013
Days later, he would be named the 266th successor to St. Peter—and almost immediately signalled that it would not be business as usual. Shunning traditional papal living quarters and honors, driving in small cars and standing in line for dinner, deriding clericalism and the status quo, the Latin American Pope challenged the entire Church to simplicity and authenticity. In a word, he was trying to model the very “justice” the Gospels invoked.
But he went further. He ignored rubrics and washed the feet of women and Muslims on Holy Thursday; he appointed liberals to high positions; he warmly welcomed controversial figures into papal audiences and conferences; he embraced global religious leaders with aims at “human fraternity,” and he explicitly endorsed the UN’s climate change agenda.
Dear friends, time is running out! …A carbon pricing policy is essential if humanity wants to use the resources of creation wisely… the effects on the climate will be catastrophic if we exceed the 1.5ºC threshold outlined in the Paris Agreement goals. —POPE FRANCIS, June 14th, 2019; Brietbart.com
Now we had a pope personally endorsing a UN document that surreptitiously included those other troublesome targets:
Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health… as well as gender equality, empowerment of women... —Paris Agreement, 2015
Goal number 5 of the UN’s Agenda 2030 is to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” This goal includes the following target which, as explained in Part I, is a euphemism for abortion and contraception:
The Pope’s efforts at interreligious dialogue were no less controversial. He signed a declaration alongside a Muslim Iman which states that “the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom…” Since color, sex, and race are implicitly willed by God, some thought the Pope was saying that God actively willed many religions instead of the one Church Christ established, and was, therefore, contradicting his predecessor.
…they thereby teach the great error of this age—that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion… —POPE LEO XIII, Humanum Genus,. n. 16
While the Pope did correct this understanding when Bishop Athanasius Schneider met him in person, saying it was God’s “permissive” will that many religions exist, the controversial statement remains as is on the Vatican’s website. In fact, that declaration has progressed to another level, with Francis’ cooperation, whereby to promote its tenets of “human fraternity,” an “Abrahamic Family House” will be built in the United Arab Emirates.
A church, a synagogue and a mosque will share the same foundation… the project will represent a new typology of world architecture. “There has never been a building which houses the three faiths in one form.”—Vatican News, September 21st, 2019
All this was followed days later by a controversial gathering in the Vatican Gardens to mark the opening of the Amazon Synod. As the Pope looked on, an indigenous group formed a “sacred circle” and bowed prostrate to wooden effigies and a mound of dirt, thus sparking an uproar from Catholics all over the globe.
A priest and martyr of the Nazi holocaust once said:
At some future date the honest historian will have some bitter things to say about the contribution of the Churches to the creation of the mass mind, of collectivism, dictatorships and so on. —Fr. Alfred Delp, SJ, Prison Writings (Orbis Books), pp. xxxi-xxxii; Fr. Delp was executed for resisting the Nazi regime.
Is Pope Francis helping to bring all things into a “restoration in Christ,” or has he at times departed from the divine narrative?
On Interreligious Dialogue
Popes have made and make mistakes and this is no surprise. Infallibility is reserved ex cathedra [“from the seat” of Peter, that is, proclamations of dogma based on Sacred Tradition]. No popes in the history of the Church have ever made ex cathedra errors. —Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, theologian and patristics expert
When meeting with Muslims at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II was presented a copy of the Quran. While it is usual for pontiffs to receive gifts, what happened next shocked many Christians: he kissed it—a book that contains some grave incompatibilities with Christianity. Like the “Pachamama scandal” in the Vatican Gardens, the optics were terrible.
And then there was the World Day of Prayer for Peace held in 1986 in Assisi, convened by Pope John Paul II to gather religious leaders. The question was how men of different religions, even perhaps different gods, could join together in prayer? Cardinal Ratzinger apparently opted not to attend the event, later stating:
…there are undeniable dangers and it is indisputable that the Assisi meetings, especially in 1986, were misinterpreted by many people. —Clerical Whispers, January 9th, 2011
The purpose of the meeting was not to merge various faiths in a kind of religious indifferentism (as some claimed) but to promote peace and dialogue in a world marred by two World Wars and increasing genocides—often in the name of “religion.” But dialogue to what end? Pope Francis answers that question:
Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and so it is a duty for Christians as well as other religious communities. This dialogue is in first place a conversation about human existence or simply, as the bishops of India have put it, a matter of “being open to them, sharing their joys and sorrows”. In this way we learn to accept others and their different ways of living, thinking and speaking… True openness involves remaining steadfast in one’s deepest convictions, clear and joyful in one’s own identity, while at the same time being “open to understanding those of the other party” and “knowing that dialogue can enrich each side”. What is not helpful is a diplomatic openness which says “yes” to everything in order to avoid problems, for this would be a way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others. Evangelization and interreligious dialogue, far from being opposed, mutually support and nourish one another. —Evangelii Gaudium, n . 251, vatican.va
Consider Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well. He didn’t launch into a proclamation that He was the Savior of the world but rather met her, first, on the level of basic human need.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (John 4:7)
Thus began “dialogue.” Still, Jesus did not reveal His identity—yet—but explored with her a deeper basic human need: a thirst for the divine, for the meaning of life, for the transcendent.
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)
It was in this truth, this “common ground,” that Jesus was able to finally propose the “living water” for which she thirsted, and even stir her to repentance.
“…whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” (John 4:14-15)
In this account, we have a compressed image of what authentic “interreligious dialogue” looks like.
The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself. —Second Vatican Council, Nostra Aetate, n. 2
Indeed, on the last day of that interfaith gathering in Assisi, St. John Paul II identified who the “living water” is:
Is this also Pope Francis’ aim with the interreligious initiatives he has undertaken? We must assume that is the case, even if it often appears as if the dialogue has gone no further yet than “Give me a drink.” The day after appearing in an interfaith video in which Pope Francis said “we are all children of God,” he proclaimed at the Angelus:
…the Church “desires that all the peoples of the earth be able to meet Jesus, to experience His merciful love… [the Church] wishes to indicate respectfully, to every man and woman of this world, the Child that was born for the salvation of all.” —Angelus, January 6th, 2016; Zenit.org
At the same time, we cannot pretend that the Pope has not left confusing perceptions. Regarding the event in the Vatican Gardens, Cardinal Müller, former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made the following sober assessment:
This whole sad story will give support to many aggressive, anti-Catholic sects in South America and elsewhere who in their polemics maintain that Catholics are idol worshipers and that the Pope who they obey is the Antichrist. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics in the Amazon area and wherever the videos of this Roman spectacle have been seen will leave the Church in protest. Did anyone think about these consequences or did they just assume this was collateral damage? —Cardinal Müller, interview with Die Tagestpost, November 15th, 2019
Exaggeration? History will judge, not only this Pope, but all the popes in the last half-century as to whether the Gospel has been better served or obscured through these interreligious ceremonies. To be certain, Francis does not believe in pantheism or animism. In his own words:
Saint John of the Cross taught that all the goodness present in the realities and experiences of this world “is present in God eminently and infinitely, or more properly, in each of these sublime realities is God”. This is not because the finite things of this world are really divine, but because the mystic experiences the intimate connection between God and all beings, and thus feels that “all things are God”. —Laudato si’, n. 234
Alas, the first pope is case-in-point of how the pontiffs, in an attempt to “be all things to all people,” can sometimes cross the line. Peter had caved into the pressure of the “circumcised” when he began to withdraw from eating with the Gentiles. St. Paul “opposed him to his face” stating that Peter and his group…
…were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel… (Galatians 2:14)
On the Environment
A major theme of this pontificate is the environment, and rightly so. The damage man is doing to the earth, and thus himself, is grave (see The Great Poisoning). But Francis is not on an island in sounding this alarm. St. John Paul II addressed the profound ecological crisis of our times in similar language:
Indeed, the increasing devastation of the world of nature is apparent to all. It results from the behaviour of people who show a callous disregard for the hidden, yet perceivable requirements of the order and harmony which govern nature itself… While in some cases the damage already done may well be irreversible, in many other cases it can still be halted. It is necessary, however, that the entire human community—individuals, States and international bodies—take seriously the responsibility that is theirs. —January 1st, 1990, World Day of Peace; vatican.va
In fact, in that speech, he embraced the prevalent science of his day that the “gradual depletion of the ozone layer and the related ‘greenhouse effect’ has now reached crisis proportions.” Like Pope Francis, John Paul II was relying on his advisors such as the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. As it turns out, the opening and closing of a “hole” in the ozone layer is “a seasonal phenomenon that forms during Antarctica’s spring.” In other words, the panic was overblown.
The new crisis today is “global warming.” But again, it’s not just Francis who has been led to believe that there is an imminent climate catastrophe.
Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Letter to His Holiness Bartholomaios I Archbishop of Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch, Sept. 1, 2007
Here, Benedict is using the UN’s lingo, as has Francis. While these words have come to mean something often nefarious for many of the globalists who use them, such as “sustaining the population” (ie. population control), “sustainable development” in itself is not incompatible with Catholicism. As the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states:
The close link that exists between the development of the poorest countries, demographic changes and a sustainable use of the environment must not become a pretext for political and economic choices that are at variance with the dignity of the human person. —n. 483, vatican.va
Thus, Benedict provides a pertinent warning regarding the dangers lurking beneath this ecological movement:
Humanity today is rightly concerned about the ecological balance of tomorrow. It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances. —Message on World Day of Peace, January 1st, 2008; vatican.va
Once again, history will judge whether Francis has been “hasty” in backing “global warming” science.
On the Economy
Francis—citing his predecessors—also calls for a global authority.
…for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. —Laudato si’, n. 175; cf. Caritas in Veritates, n. 67
And like his predecessors, Pope Francis rejects the idea of a “global super-State” calling again for the principle of “subsidiarity” that assures the autonomy of every level of society from the “the family” to international authorities.
Let us keep in mind the principle of subsidiarity, which grants freedom to develop the capabilities present at every level of society, while also demanding a greater sense of responsibility for the common good from those who wield greater power. Today, it is the case that some economic sectors exercise more power than states themselves. —Laudato si’, n. 196
Pope Francis has spared no criticism of these “economic sectors,” invoking near-apocalyptic language himself.
A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power… In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule. —Evangelii Gaudium, n. 56
Western commentators, particularly some Americans, have railed against the Pope claiming he is a Marxist, especially when he bluntly stated that “an unfettered pursuit of money” is the “dung of the devil.” Marxist? No. Francis was echoing Catholic social doctrine that is neither “capitalist” nor “communist” but rather in favor of economies that make the dignity and welfare of the person their animating principle. Once again, his predecessors said the very same thing:
…if by “capitalism” is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative. —ST. JOHN PAUL II, Centesiumus Annus, n. 42; Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, n. 335
Francis was unequivocal against this calumnious charge that he is a Marxist:
Marxist ideology is wrong… [but] trickle-down economics… expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power… [these theories] assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and social inclusiveness in the world. The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor. This was the only reference to a specific theory. I was not, I repeat, speaking from a technical point of view but according to the Church’s social doctrine. This does not mean being a Marxist. —POPE FRANCIS, December 14th, 2013, interview with La Stampa; religion.blogs.cnn.com
But then, as we read in The New Paganism – Part III, there is a destructive backlash rising, a revolutionary spirit against the free market system and the unjust redistribution of wealth; it is a revolution initially taking the form of Socialism (which is no less scatological).
This revolt is spiritual at root. It is the revolt of Satan against the gift of grace. Fundamentally, I believe that Western man refuses to be saved by God’s mercy. He refuses to receive salvation, wanting to build it for himself. The “fundamental values” promoted by the UN are based on a rejection of God that I compare with the rich young man in the Gospel. God has looked upon the West and has loved it because it has done wonderful things. He invited it to go further, but the West turned back. It preferred the kind of riches that it owed only to itself. —Cardinal Sarah, Catholic Herald, April 5th, 2019
Again, history will judge the Pope as to whether his support of the United Nations’ goals is not itself a “naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power.”
All that said, from what we’ve stated above, this pontificate is not a radical departure from its predecessors.
PROPHETIC… OR IMPRUDENT?
As a spiritual family, though, perhaps it’s time to ask some serious questions. Is the Church’s mission being accomplished, or is it being obscured through “dialogue” fixated on the temporal? Are we helping to “restore all things in Christ,” or is the Church becoming too political in aligning with institutions like the United Nations? Are we building good faith, or trusting too much in the goodwill of a secular global political authority? Are we relying upon God’s wisdom and power, or too much upon practical solutions to bring about His future plan for “justice and peace”? Those are sincere questions.
But here is a sincere answer. In a moment of prescience, perhaps anticipating the birth of the United Nations some 42 years later, Piux X said:
There are many, We are well aware, who, in their yearning for peace, that is for the tranquillity of order, band themselves into societies and parties, which they style parties of order. [But it is] Hope and labor lost. For there is but one party of order capable of restoring peace in the midst of all this turmoil, and that is the party of God. It is this party, therefore, that we must advance, and to it attract as many as possible, if we are really urged by the love of peace. —E Supremi, Encyclical, n. 7
No matter how much we exert ourselves in the public sphere, interact with governments or establish fraternal relations with other religions, we will never bring the Kingdom of God on earth, he said, “except by means of Jesus Christ.” Our Lord himself said to St. Faustina,
Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy. —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 300
God loves all men and women on earth and gives them the hope of a new era, an era of peace. His love, fully revealed in the Incarnate Son, is the foundation of universal peace. When welcomed in the depths of the human heart, this love reconciles people with God and with themselves, renews human relationships and stirs that desire for brotherhood capable of banishing the temptation of violence and war. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message of Pope John Paul II for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2000
All our missionary activity must ultimately be directed toward reconciling others with the Father through Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Isn’t this task more urgent than ever?
This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops. —POPE SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Homily, Cherry Creek State Park Homily, Denver, Colorado, August 15th, 1993; vatican.va
Otherwise, we risk falling into idolatry, that is, adultery with the spirit of the world. There is a prophecy from St. Anthony of the Desert worth visiting, particularly as the Church is appearing more and more as a spokesman for the United Nations’ “sustainable development” goals:
Men will surrender to the spirit of the age. They will say that if they had lived in our day, Faith would be simple and easy. But in their day, they will say, things are complex; the Church must be brought up to date and made meaningful to the day’s problems. When the Church and the world are one, then those days are at hand because our Divine Master placed a barrier between His things and the things of the world. —catholicprophecy.org
It’s interesting that the theme of how “complex” situations are in the family today, and how “complex” are the solutions… frequently appears in Amoris Laetitia—a papal document that has created more disagreement than any since Humanae Vitae (this time, for being too liberal rather than too conservative).
St. Nilus lived around 400 A.D and allegedly foretold with stunning accuracy what would occur around the time the United Nations would be formed (1945):
After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people’s minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable. People’s appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair… There will be no respect for parents and elders, love will disappear, and Christian pastors, bishops, and priests will become vain men, completely failing to distinguish the right-hand way from the left. At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and of the Church will change… —(This would refer, not to Sacred Tradition, but perhaps the disciplines of the church or longstanding practices such as the form of the Mass, celibacy, and pastoral norms.) The whole prophecy can be read here.
LOYALTY vs FAITHFULNESS
Such prophecies are intended to prepare us for battle—but we better make sure we’re in the right fight. Using these prophetic words to attack the papacy is a deception; they speak of the Church as a whole, and may or may not include the Pope. If they do, the proper attitude is the one stated wisely by Cardinal Robert Sarah.
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
We can help the popes in five ways: 1) by our prayer; 2) by being a voice of clarity when theirs isn’t; 3) by avoiding rash judgments toward them; 4) by interpreting their words favourably and according to Tradition; 5) and by fraternal correction when they are mistaken (which is primarily the role of fellow bishops). Otherwise, Cardinal Sarah offers a warning:
The truth is that the Church is represented on earth by the Vicar of Christ, that is by the pope. And whoever is against the pope is, ipso facto, outside the Church. —Cardinal Robert Sarah, Corriere della Sera, October 7th, 2019; americamagazine.org
Those who are rattled by Francis, and have thus begun seeking ways to invalidate his papal election, ought to listen to one of the more outspoken critics of Pope Francis’ pastoral approach:
I’ve had people present to me all kinds of arguments calling into question the election of Pope Francis. But I name him every time I offer the Holy Mass, I call him Pope Francis, it’s not an empty speech on my part. I believe that he is the pope. And I try to say that consistently to people, because you’re correct — according to my perception also, people are getting more and more extreme in their response to what’s going on in the Church. —Cardinal Raymond Burke, interview with The New York Times, November 9th, 2019
For even if a pope steers the Barque of Peter in the wrong direction, it will go nowhere so long as the wind of the Holy Spirit does not fill its sails.
In other words, “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” And what could possibly be God’s purpose at this hour?
…there is the need for the Passion of the Church, which naturally reflects itself on the person of the Pope, but the Pope is in the Church and therefore what is announced is the suffering for the Church… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, interview with reporters on his flight to Portugal; translated from Italian, Corriere della Sera, May 11, 2010
Even when our popes say and do confusing things, it is never a reason to abandon ship. As St. John Chrysostom reminds us:
The Church is thy hope, the Church is thy salvation, the Church is thy refuge. —Hom. de capto Euthropio, n. 6.
That, and as Msgr. Ronald Knox (1888-1957) once said, “Perhaps it would be a good thing if every Christian, certainly if every priest, could dream once in his life that he were pope—and wake from that nightmare in a sweat of agony.”
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THE conclusion of the series on The New Paganism is a rather sobering one. A false environmentalism, ultimately organized and promoted by the United Nations, is leading the world down the path toward an increasingly godless “new world order.” So why, you might be asking, is Pope Francis supporting the UN? Why have other popes echoed their goals? Shouldn’t the Church have nothing to do with this rapidly emerging globalization?
Actually, Jesus was a “globalist.” He prayed that the nations would…
…hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10:16)
Pope Leo XIII stated that this, too, was the goal of St. Peter’s successors—a goal aimed at not only the Christian but the civil order:
We have attempted and persistently carried out during a long pontificate towards two chief ends: in the first place, towards the restoration, both in rulers and peoples, of the principles of the Christian life in civil and domestic society, since there is no true life for men except from Christ; and, secondly, to promote the reunion of those who have fallen away from the Catholic Church either by heresy or by schism, since it is most undoubtedly the will of Christ that all should be united in one flock under one Shepherd. —Divinum Illud Munus, n. 10
The first speech that St. Pius X gave from the throne of St. Peter was a prophetic heralding of the imminence of this “restoration” by declaring that which precedes it—the Antichrist or “Son of Perdition” whom he said, “may be already in the world.” Widespread violence had made “it seem as though strife were universal” and thus:
The desire for peace is certainly harbored in every breast, and there is no one who does not ardently invoke it. But to want peace without God is an absurdity, seeing that where God is absent thence too justice flies, and when justice is taken away it is vain to cherish the hope of peace. “Peace is the work of justice” (Is. 22:17). —E Supremi, October 4th, 1903
And thus St. Pius X had brought the phrases “justice and peace” or “peace and development” into the 20th century. This cry for divine restoration became that much more urgent in his successor when, a decade later, the first World War broke out.
“And they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd”… May God… shortly bring to fulfillment His prophecy by transforming this consoling vision of the future into a present reality… The Pope, no matter who he shall be, will always repeat the words: “I think thoughts of peace not of affliction” (Jeremiah 29:11), thoughts of a true peace which is founded on justice and which permit him truthfully to say: “Justice and Peace have kissed.” (Psalms 84:11) …When it does arrive, it will turn out to be a solemn hour, one big with consequences not only for the restoration of the Kingdom of Christ, but for the pacification of Italy and the world as well. We pray most fervently, and ask others likewise to pray for this much-desired pacification of society… —POPE PIUS XI, Ubi Arcani dei Consilioi “On the Peace of Christ in his Kingdom”, December 23, 1922
Tragically, World War II ensued leaving nations divided, mistrustful, and in hot pursuit of more lethal weapons of destruction. It was on the immediate heels of that global catastrophe that the United Nations was born in 1945 with aims of forming “international cooperation in solving economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems around the world.”  It was presided over by President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. All three were Freemasons.
Now, to all appearances at least, it was not only the Church but another “universal” organization working toward “world peace.”
Paul VI clearly understood that the social question had become worldwide and he grasped the interconnection between the impetus towards the unification of humanity, and the Christian ideal of a single family of peoples in solidarity and fraternity. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 13
Entire nations had collided, not only through war, but mass communication. Print, radio, the cinema, television… and eventually the Internet, would shrink the vast world into a “global village” within a matter of decades. Suddenly, nations on opposite ends of the planet found themselves as neighbours, or perhaps, new enemies.
After all this scientific and technical progress, and even because of it, the problem remains: how to build up a new order of society based on a more balanced human relationship between political communities on a national and international level? —POPE ST. JOHN XXIII, Mater et Magistra, Encyclical Letter, n. 212
It was a question the Church almost seemed unprepared for.
The principal new feature has been the explosion of worldwide interdependence, commonly known as globalization. Paul VI had partially foreseen it, but the ferocious pace at which it has evolved could not have been anticipated. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 33
Still, he observed, “As society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbours but does not make us brothers.” Globalization was inevitable, but not necessarily evil.
By the time St. John Paul II had ascended Peter’s throne, the United Nations was firmly established as a global arbiter, mainly through peace-keeping missions. But with new global awareness of violations of human dignity taking place on our television screens, the notion of universal “human rights” quickly evolved. And here is where the vision of “justice and peace,” as understood by the United Nations versus that of the Church, began to diverge.
Most notably was the UN’s demand that member nations recognize the “universal right to reproductive health.” This was a euphemism for the “right” to abortion and contraception. St. John Paul II (and faithful Catholics involved with the UN) vigorously opposed this. He lamented the derisible contradiction that, the very process which led to the idea of “human rights,” was now being trampled upon “especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death.” The future Saint issued a prophetic warning to world leaders:
This is what is happening also at the level of politics and government: the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people—even if it is the majority. This is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed: the “right” ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, n. 18, 20
Still, “reproductive health care” was not the United Nations’ only goal. They also aimed to end poverty and hunger and promote universal access to water, sanitation and reliable energy. Without question, these are goals that converge with the Church’s own mission to minister to Christ in the “least of the brethren.” The question here, though, is not so much one of praxis but underlying philosophy. Put more succinctly, “even Satan masquerades as an angel of light.” While still a cardinal, Benedict XVI targeted this fundamental concern over the United Nations’ progressive agenda.
…efforts to build the future have been made by attempts that draw more or less profoundly from the source of liberal tradition. Under the title New World Order, these efforts take on a configuration; they increasingly relate to the U.N. and its international conferences… that transparently reveal a philosophy of the new man and of the new world… —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI), The Gospel: Confronting World Disorder, by Msgr. Michel Schooyans, 1997
Indeed, can such contrary goals coexist? How can one promote the right of a child to a clean cup of water while at the same time promoting the right to destroy that child before it emerges from the womb?
UNITED HUMANITY VS. GLOBAL FAMILY
The Magisterium’s answer has been to promote the good they see in the UN while carefully denouncing the evil. I suppose that’s what Mother Church does with each of us as individuals, encouraging and exhorting us in the good, but calling us to repentance and conversion where we are not. Still, John Paul II was not naive to the potential for large scale evil as the United Nations’ influence grew.
Is this not the time for all to work together for a new constitutional organization of the human family, truly capable of ensuring peace and harmony between peoples, as well as their integral development? But let there be no misunderstanding. This does not mean writing the constitution of a global super-State. —Message for the World Day of Peace, 2003; vatican.va
Hence, many Catholics and Evangelical Christians were alarmed when Pope Benedict seemed to promote the very idea of a “global super-State.” Here’s what he said in his encyclical letter:
In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n.67
Benedict was calling for no such thing, of course, rather a “reform” of the present-day United Nations so that the “family of nations” can actually function between each other in true justice and peace. No structure, however small (be it the family) or large (a community of nations) can function together without a moral consensus that at the same time holds its members accountable. That’s just common sense.
Also significant (and prophetic) was Benedict’s call for the reform of the entire global economic framework (which is largely controlled by Freemasons and their international bankers). Clearly, Benedict knew which teeth were harmful and which weren’t. While recognizing how globalization had the potential for continuing to help underdeveloped countries, he cautioned in apocalyptic language (see Capitalism and the Beast and The New Beast Rising):
…without the guidance of charity in truth, this global force could cause unprecedented damage and create new divisions within the human family… humanity runs new risks of enslavement and manipulation. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n.33, 26
The Book of Revelation includes among the great sins of Babylon – the symbol of the world’s great irreligious cities – the fact that it trades with bodies and souls and treats them as commodities (cf. Rev 18:13)… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, On the occasion of Christmas Greetings, December 20th, 2010; http://www.vatican.va/
More importantly, Benedict was not promoting the idea of an overarching international body interfering in regional issues but rather the Catholic social doctrine of “subsidiarity”: that every level of society should be responsible for that which it can be.
In order not to produce a dangerous universal power of a tyrannical nature, the governance of globalization must be marked by subsidiarity, articulated into several layers and involving different levels that can work together. Globalization certainly requires authority, insofar as it poses the problem of a global common good that needs to be pursued. This authority, however, must be organized in a subsidiary and stratified way, if it is not to infringe upon freedom... —Caritas in Veritate, n.57
Thus, the popes had consistently affirmed that at the center of this new organization of society must be the dignity and inherent rights of the human person. Hence, it is charity, not control, at the heart of the Catholic vision of “global unity” and thus God himself, because “God is love.”
A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 78
If the popes till then seemed cautious and irresolute toward the UN’s objectives, what about their successor, Pope Francis?