If you know anything about the approved apparitions of Our Lady and Saint Michael the Archangel at Fatima, Portugal, in the years 1916-1917, then you probably have heard of this prayer, which Saint Michael — the Angel of Peace — taught the three children, on his first Mission to meet them.
O My God, I believe in Thee, I adore Thee, I hope in Thee and I love Thee! And I ask pardon for those who do not believe in Thee, adore Thee, hope in Thee and love Thee!
However, that is NOT, what the Angel of Peace said. The original Portuguese, in fact, reads thus:
Meu Deus! Eu creio, adoro, espero e amo-Vos. Peço-Vos perdão para os que não crêem, não adoram, não esperam e Vos não amam.
Which in English is this:
My God! I believe, adore, await and love Thee. I ask Thee pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not await and do not love Thee.
LET US DISCUSS THE DIFFERENCES
Like many Catholics, I have always thought the Angel of Peace was instructing in the 3 theological virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity, along with the virtue of religion. Under that assumption, the English translation which is commonly used has been published and propagated. Thus, there are the acts of believing, hoping, loving and adoring.
But what the Angel of Peace says differs on 2 points.
First, he does not say I believe in You, but rather I believe You. The difference here regards the sense of the verb, to believe, in both Portuguese and English. To say I believe in You is an act of faith, which regards dogma or the acceptance of the existence and trust one has in a person. But to say, I believe you, is the simple act of putting complete trust in the other. The first is the kind of faith we have on Earth, where we cannot see God face to face. The second is the kind of trust all in Heaven have in God, Whom they do see face to face and fully.
The first act is remote, and intellectual. It regards the supernatural virtue of faith. The second act is immediate and volitional, that is, regards the will and the supernatural virtue of hope.
Second, he does not say, I hope in You, but rather, I await you.
At first this is a bit difficult for us English speakers to understand, since it is an archaic concept. When a person awaits another, he is waiting for the arrival or visit of the other.
But what does this mean in regard to God?
This has 3 senses. First, that we are waiting for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, at the end of Time, when He shall come to judge all and everyone.
Second, this regards how we must prepare ourselves for a holy death, and to meet Jesus Christ, Who in the moment after death will judge us personally and for all our deeds.
Third, this regards how we should wait for God’s visitations in prayer, by praying more to receive and listen to God, than rambling on speaking to him about what we want.
As regards Angels, it is quite clear that the second sense does not apply to them, but that the first and last are the essence of their expectation of God’s Justice and desire to serve.
This first prayer taught at Fatima by the Angel of Peace teaches us profound truths about how our Catholic Faith must be real, living, and engage us totally in a relationship which is directed directly at God, the Most Holy Trinity. As His faithful servants and adorers, we should fill our life with love and trust in Him. Faith is presupposed, but our life of Faith goes way beyond believing only in doctrines and dogmas. It requires that we make these the foundation of our whole relationship with God.
Let us pray this prayer frequently during the day, and learn from it to make our way back to God and to God. Let us sanctify ourselves in the true adoration of God Who has done everything for us, and who is, as the Angel of Peace declared, “attentive to our prayers and supplications.”
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As Scripture recounts, there comes a time when the sins of mankind are just so great that God’s silence and merciful patience come to an end and He lets lose punishment.
God being of Infinite Power, His Punishments can be most terrible.
God being the Author of Nature can command the forces of the natural world to do things which are uncommon, unusually, apocalyptic and above all inescapable.
But there are some trials and punishments which can be avoided, even if God has decreed them for entire cities, peoples, nations etc..
We see this in the response to the prayer of Abraham, who being shown the destruction of the cities of the plain, asked God to show mercy. And that God in His Mercy sent 2 Angels to rescue Lot.
Who are those 2 Angels of Mercy?
We know from the Fathers of the Church that the three Angels who visited Abraham were the Holy Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
As an aside, I hope you never saw the blasphemous movies and TV shows which denigrated these Holy Angels and made it appear that they were selfish, jealous or evil, like thet godless blasphemers who wrote these scripts are.
These Archangels, on the other hand, in truth and reality are most Noble, most Good, Most Zealous, and Most Faithful, and most determined to lead us to Heaven where we and they can rejoice in the true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.
To discern who those 2 Angels were, is important, because in times of great woe, we too need to turn to the Holy Angels to recuse ourselves and our families from the great punishments of God which descend upon the whole land round about us. And if we are faithful Catholics, we can ask this help, because God does not wish to punish everyone. But since this is a special grace, which we cannot merit without asking, we need to ask for it and know whom to ask.
To give you an example. A friend of mine told me recently that he has fallen 3 times in the last year and hurt his foot, leg and knee. He asked me why, as a faithful Catholic, is this happening to him. I told him I am not a doctor, but I asked him if he had a devotion to Saint Raphael the Archangel. He said he did not. He only was very devoted to Saint Gabriel. Oh, I said, that explains it! Saint Raphael is the patron of travelers, and if you are having problems as you walk, your lack of devotion to Saint Raphael is undoubtedly the reason. I mean what I say, because I know it is true.
When my dear and beloved mom, was in her last year of life, she began to lose her balance and lose her fear of falling. She would wander the house at night-time and sometimes she would fall down. I was very concerned and so I started praying to Saint Raphael for her. From then on, she never fell, except on one occasion and was miraculously protected. She had wanted to go to daily mass, and after helping her out of the car onto the sidewalk, I returned to shut the doors of the car. And she fell right down on the hard concrete, with a boom. I was shocked and dismayed. So I helped her up and asked if she had hurt herself, and she said no. So I steadied her and continued to close the doors of the car. And she fell again. Boom. I was terrified. I helped her up and asked her again if she had hurt herself. She said no. In subsequent days we checked her carefully and she did not even have a bruise! Saint Raphael had come to her aid.
Saint Raphael is the most famous of all the Archangels in the Bible. He has an entire Inspired book of scripture about him. It is called the Book of Tobias, and you can find it in the Vulgate version of the Bible. Do not read the book of tobit which is a mutilated copy of Tobias to which superstitions of pre-Christian Jews has been added. The Book of Tobias was redacted by Saint Jerome and is one of the books most cited by Our Lord in His preaching.
Saint Raphael is the special patron of travelers and of the sick. Everyone should have a devotion to him, for both reasons. Tobias tells us that this Holy Archangel is one of the seven Seraphim who stands before the Throne of God in Heaven. For these reasons, I hold that one of the two Angels sent to Lot is Saint Raphael, since they were sent on mission, to rescue Lot and his family from an impending apocalyptic destruction, which required great knowledge and power to fulfill.
The other Holy Archangel, who is undoubtedly a Seraphim, and whom Scripture tells us is probably one of the two Angels send to rescue Lot, is Saint Michael. Saint Michael is the Angel of the Lord, according to the Saints. His job was to meet out destruction to armies and nations, and to lead the Chosen People out of Egypt, across the Red Sea and to the promised land. He brought forth water from the rock at the command of Moses, he guarded by a column of smoke, so that the enemies of God could not see His people. He led God’s people by a column of fire at night, so that they could see their way in a dark land.
The Saints say Saint Michael is responsible for miraculous springs of water and he has ever been invoked at springs to cleanse them from impurities. He is also the Angel which strikes wicked men and cities and lands with plague, as we read of in Scripture, under his title as, The Angel of the Lord, and in history, as happened here at Rome in the reign of Pope Gregory the Great.
So for all these reasons, I believe that Saint Michael is the other Angel of Mercy.
If you want protection in this time of universal madness, you can do no better than having a devotion with these two Great Archangels. And you can do so, by first asking them pardon, humbly, for lacking in devotion to them, resolving to have devotion from now on and for the rest of your life, and by saying some approved prayers to them on a regular basis. Finally, entrust yourself and your family’s protection to them.
But none of this will obtain their friendship if you do not first confess all your sins and resolve to be faithful to God, because the stain of sin on the soul is like the smell of shit in the pants of someone standing hear you. It makes you repulsive to the Angels of God and difficult for them to endure hearing your requests. So get yourself to confession!
LET US PRAY FOR OUR HOLY FATHER, POPE BENEDICT XVI!
By Br. Alexis Bugnolo
The Church has been there before. A despot ruling over the people of God who has imprisoned the Vicar of Christ.
I speak of Herod Agrippa I and Saint Peter the Apostle.
In those days the whole Church joined in prayer for the Pope and the Lord sent an Angel of Deliverance, Saint Michael the Archangel, who broke Peter out of prison.
Pope Benedict XVI is also imprisoned, in that he is manipulated and controlled by others who fear the power of the office which they know He still has, whether he realizes it or not. It is not for nothing, that Saint Michael the Archangel was appointed to be the Patron of the City of Rome. He has ever been active to defend the Pope, and even now summons God’s servants to the Eternal City to defend him. Let us join in prayer with this great Archangel for Pope Benedict’s liberty, safety and protection, against all the forces of darkness which are being conjured together at the Vatican.
And let us not only pray, but let us do something about it! For if we only pray, when we are able to do more than just pray, the Lord will condemn us for sloth.
And let us take confidence in the inspired word of God, which shows what happens to those who imprison Christ’s Vicar on Earth!
Saint Luke: Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 12
1] And at the same time, Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the church.  And he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword.  And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes.  And when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers to be kept, intending, after the pasch, to bring him forth to the people.  Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him.
 “Azymes”: The festival of the unleavened bread, or the pasch, which answers to our Easter.
 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.  And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him: and a light shined in the room: and he striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands.  And the angel said to him: Gird thyself, and put on thy sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.  And going out, he followed him, and he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision.  And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city, which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street: and immediately the angel departed from him.
 And Peter coming to himself, said: Now I know in very deed, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.  And considering, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, who was surnamed Mark, where many were gathered together and praying.  And when he knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, whose name was Rhode.  And as soon as she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for joy, but running in she told that Peter stood before the gate.  But they said to her: Thou art mad. But she affirmed that it was so. Then said they: It is his angel.
 But Peter continued knocking. And when they had opened, they saw him, and were astonished.  But he beckoning to them with his hand to hold their peace, told how the Lord had brought him out of prison, and he said: Tell these things to James, and to the brethren. And going out, he went into another place.  Now when day was come, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.  And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not; having examined the keepers, he commanded they should be put to death; and going down from Judea to Caesarea, he abode there.  And he was angry with the Tyrians and the Sidonians. But they with one accord came to him, and having gained Blastus, who was the king’s chamberlain, they desired peace, because their countries were nourished by him.
 And upon a day appointed, Herod being arrayed in kingly apparel, sat in the judgment seat, and made an oration to them.  And the people made acclamation, saying: It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.  And forthwith an angel of the Lord struck him, because he had not given the honour to God: and being eaten up by worms, he gave up the ghost.  But the word of the Lord increased and multiplied.  And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, having fulfilled their ministry, taking with them John, who was surnamed Mark.
Today I want to confront and address the most urgent and crucial problem for the lay Catholic: the problem of apostasy among the clergy of one’s own local area.
This problem is crucial because without the Church we cannot be saved. And thus without Catholic Clergy we cannot have the sacraments and guidance we need to be saved.
I know of this problem first hand, since I am not a priest, nor do I have any particular talent at convincing priests of anything.
What I say here is for those of you who do not know your local priest well, or who are going to attempt to speak to a priest whom you do not know. For those of you who have a close friendship with a priest or your pastor, you might be able to undertake the core argument (see below) immediately after mass, because he knows you and trusts you already. So do not take my advice as some sort of scrupulous book of rules to follow. It all depends on the priest and your relationship to him AND whether he sincerely and ardently believes the Holy Faith.
Therefore, above all the first weapon we must use is spiritual discernment. And to have this we need first of all to put ourselves in the grace of God by a good confession and firm resolution to take the side of God and to collaborate with Saint Michael the Archangel in everything he may direct us..
This does not mean that he will start talking to us, but if we have confessed ourselves sincerely and show ourselves to be walking on the path of virtue and not of sin and hypocrisy, he will assist our guardian angel to give us little inspirations which lead to greater ones..
I recommend as essential spiritual-military preparations for the prospective spiritual soldier in the legion of Saint Michael, that, in addition to Confession, you do the following:
Consecrate yourself to Our Lady, especially under Her title as Corredemptrix, which She merits on account of her perfect collaboration with the Redeemer in meriting all the graces for us which He merited for us (cf. Fatima Prayer, “O Most Holy Trinity”), a title given to Her by Catholics for more than 800 years and which shows clearly that we have a way back to God when we spurn the graces of Christ; a way back, which He Himself established in His Infinite Mercy for sinners; a way back which was merited by Her surpassing humility and sorrow for sins, the two virtues which are key and essential to the personal conversion of every soul.
Make a pact with Saint Michael to never look upon what is impure and to ask him to protect you from near occasions of sin.
Ask forgiveness of your Guardian Angel for having ignored him throughout your entire life, for having disregarded so many of his good counsels, for having lived your life as if you were to live it on your own and not at God’s direction, for having claimed so many good ideas as your own, when it was he who inspired them, and for having disregarding so many good counsels to avoid sin and to practice virtue. As penance promise to obey his advice in every occasion from now on, and to mortify your mind of all idle thoughts by stop listening to music or the radio all day long, and by spending time each day in daily meditation in silence, keeping a spirit of prayer, by conversing with Jesus, Our Lady, the Saints and your guardian Angel throughout the day, in the silence and sanctuary of your mind.
Say 5 decades of the Most Holy Rosaryof the Blessed Virgin Mary daily.
Receive communion worthily when possible.
Offer alms to the truly poor in reparation for your sins. Do works of mercy to which you are invited or see the need as you see the need, but without neglecting your duties first to your family (parents, children, siblings etc.) and work (as contractually required, avoid the excess of making your job your life, as Christ is your real boss).
If your health can bear it, to fast on Fridays for your own sins, especially for following your emotions, passions and vices into sins. Fasting means eating less and less frequently in humble penance for sins. If you have had a bad habit of mortal sin, and are still tempted, make a clean break with your past life by a rigorous series of fasts, several days or every day of the week, for several weeks or months or years. This is especially needed for those who have given themselves up to gluttony, which is a very common vice in the developed countries of the world.
Spiritual Warfare: Ammunition
Now since the battle at hand requires that we achieve victories by delivering souls from the delusion of error, it is necessary that we prepare ourselves intellectually to explain how lies are lies and errors are errors.
The regular readers of my blog have a good head-start, because the whole purpose of my blog is to give this kind of information, which both orientates you, explains what is going on and gives some counsel on how to react to it.
But you need to also make a list of the biggest problems in the Church right now, because such a list is an excellent way to prepare talking points with priests. I will not suggest what you should put on the list, because it is best that you make up your own, because those issues you think most important are the ones you are apt to be able to speak about most sincerely and from the heart.
As for printed information, for priests I believe that not all information is needed or necessary or useful. But I do believe that the information at ppbxvi.org is the essential: The Canonical Argument, the Scholastic Question and the text of the Academic Conference. Having a copy printed out, with you, when you speak to priests is an easy way to leave something to continue the conversation, if he shows signs of openness to the truth. But to orientate yourself for any eventual discussion and to prepare yourself for any eventual objection, I recommend reading all the Article on the Index to Pope Benedict’s Renunciation.
This is because our Ammunition in this spiritual warfare is Truth about what really happened, what the Code of Canon Law really requires, and how the problem of the invalid resignation is not a complaint generated by faithful who dislike Bergoglio, but a real objective error of interpretation which puts those who accept the error in objective separation from the communion of the Church.
Spiritual Warfare: Strategy
In the science of War, there are two aspects which must be kept in mind and developed in a way that pertains to the realities on the ground: Strategy and Tactics. Strategy is the overall goal and plan for conquest. Tactics are the rules for conducing individual battles so that each can be won without dissipating or destroying allied forces, which are needed for other battles.
STRATEGY: The strategy in this battle is to save the local Church. This requires that we convert Catholics to the truth of what is going on. Now since every military force which is not adept at war is green and needs experience before tackling the most formidable opposition, the best way to start is to chose battles which are easy to win and which, if one fails, will not damage your own forces. Then having learned how to fight by trial and error in small and easy battles, the trained warrior can move on to the more difficult battles, assisted by experience gained and allies won in the first battles. Thus the most difficult battles, that of winning over your Bishop, for example, or getting your entire Diocese to reject the Apostasy, cannot be obtained initially without these preliminary battles. And the best way to practice this warfare, is not to start with priests, but with fellow laymen and laywomen.
INTELLIGENCE GATHERING: The local Church is a society. This society has a structure and way of operation. There are links between persons and persons, between institutions and institutions, of friends to friends and of work associates with work associates. This is the terrain of our warfare. Only Catholics who have lived their lives in the local Church can know of this. And to the extent that we do not know of it, we need to inform ourselves through our personal contacts with faithful Catholics who know better than ourselves. Essential to this initial battle preparation is intelligence gathering of such information. Try to find out who are the best and closest friends of the priest with whom you are going to speak, or which priests he admires most or were instrumental in his own vocation. There are some priests who on account of their learning, piety and sociability are respected by more priests than others are. Approaching a contact first, before approaching the priest, will help you understand whether he will be open to the truth, and will help you acquire, possibly, an ally in the approach, who might recommend to the priest that he speak with you, or recommend to you how to approach him.
The most influential priests in your diocese should be considered the most crucial and important battles to win. You do not want to start the spiritual battle with such a priest unless there is very sound grounds you are going to win it, because the results of a loss will be more devastating, as the enemy will be assisted greatly by recruiting such an ally.
Spiritual Warfare: Tactics
Tactics regards the rules of fighting individual battles of any kind. There are things to be done before initiating combat, things to be done at the start, middle and end of each battle and things to be done after the fight is won or lost.
Prepare yourself spiritually and bring along plenty of ammunition, either in printed form or in memorized information. Essential intelligence gathered should have already indicated that the priest with whom you are about to speak is able to understand what you are going to say and willing to accept hearing it from you, at the time you ask, and in the manner you present it. Your intelligence gathering should already have assured you that this priest will not be afraid of you, or have heard calumny about you, so as to be on the defensive as soon as you approach him.
Pray to his guardian angel and to your guardian angels, to Saint Michael, the patron saints of you and the priest, and to the patron saints of the Parish and Diocese and Church, and those famous saints of your land our country. Explain to these Saints and Angels your intention and how important this fight will be and how you cannot succeed without their intercession and participation.
It makes a big difference, too, whether the priest is a pastor, or merely an assistant pastor: whether he be a diocesan or member of an institute. Some dioceses or institutes are mind-control societies and no free thought is allowed. Some priests are more independent and courageous and are willing to stand for the truth or for their own personal opinions. Do not try to win on a battle field which is unwinnable. If the priest is merely a robot, pray for him. If the priest is manipulative, avoid him. If he does not have a reputation for being faithful to the Church, go on to another priest, because the conversation you need to undertake would be too much for a weak or errant or non-thinker.
Never do what is done in real warfare: never use surprise. This is because in spiritual warfare, truth enters the soul when the person is relaxed and in the mood to accept information and use his reason. It is important therefore that the time of conversation be one in which the passions and emotions of the priest are lulled, that he has time to speak with you, and that your presentation does not seem to be too burdensome to him. So never sneak up on a priest for such a weighty conversation as this. Ask to speak with him at a time comfortable to him.
I would, therefore, recommend, that if you know the priest, to approach him at such a time. But if you do not know the priest, to arrange a meeting by asking for an appointment. Be sincere and say that all the scandals in the Church are causing many Catholics to think of leaving the Church and you would like to speak about some of these things to get some priestly advice. If a priest does not accept such a request, then do not nag him. Another way to approach, is if he is hearing confessions, then you can do this during your visit, though make sure not to start an actual confession, because if you do, you will bind him by his priestly duty not to speak or act upon whatever you may say.
When to start speaking to a priest about these things is, thus, more an art of knowing the individual priest, than a fixed rule. Due to the diverse dispositions and work of each priest, when to do this might be in entirely different situations, times of the day, days of the weeks, or locations, whether on parish grounds, or perhaps over a dinner at your house or a restaurant. Most priests are overworked and appreciate an invitation and friendly conversation.
CONDUCTING THE BATTLE: Opening salvos
At all times remain calm, friendly and polite. The objective is to spread truth and this only happens in a climate of trust and respect. If what you say or the way you say it cause the priest to be offended, apologize for upsetting him and explain you are only a layman who is not familiar with how one speaks of such things with priests. Also, make it clear that you are discussing this with him in private. Do not imitate me in my conversations with the Curia, because what I am doing at Rome is for the good of the whole Church to inform everyone. Your battles remember have the strategy of winning over your own diocese, and your tactics have to target individuals and secure victories. Keep your victories a secret and do no publish them. The objective, remember, is that the clergy of your own diocese publicly take a stand on their own initiative and as they think best.
As I suggested, have prepared a list of the major or most serious scandals in the Church today, as you see them. Gently move the conversation to one of these, and point out how damaging it is for the faithful who have increasingly more and more reasons to stop going to Church and stop trusting priests. Ask in a spirit of desiring to understand better and engage the priest in doing something to bridge this confidence gap.
If the priest expresses himself as a believer and as someone who is concerned about the truth and about the imminent destruction of the Church, then begin to point out that as Catholics our faith requires us to be consistent. We cannot believe in private and act as pagans in public. This is particularly true in Church. If we continue to pretend that the Church is communion with those who reject Jesus’s authority, then the faithful will just leave and seek Jesus elsewhere. If we continue to treat Jesus in the Sacrament as a candy to be given to everyone regardless of whether they are His friends, by being in the state of grace, or not, we teach in practice that Jesus does not exist and the the Faith is a joke and a farce.
At this point a priest will make it absolutely clear whether he cares or not. If he does not care, move the conversation on to something else or end it, and express your disappointment gently and with respect. For such priest, ending by saying something like, “I believe in Jesus, I want Jesus, and I do not know where to find priests who love Him as I do.” But chose words the way you speak. You want to make the most of every lost battle by leaving in a way that allows another encounter in the future. For priests such as this, who care not so much about truth, but sentiments, you need to show that he has failed in his conversation with you.
If the priest does make it clear he wants to save souls, then point out to him how important it is for him publicly and in his actions and words to take a stand. Explain that the laity only respect priests when they speak the truth, take a stand for truth, and encourage them to do the same. Many priests have forgotten, by the hum drum daily work they do, repetitious, that the laity want leaders in the path of God.
If he responds positively to this line of conversation, point out how in the past clergy have been heroic leaders in times of crisis. They did not fear to speak and they did not fear to pray publicly and preach publicly in accord with the truth. Point out how in today’s world, it is not infrequent that the battle for souls depends on truth and that journalists and a lot of others are habitually inclined to misrepresent the truth. The very ones who daily decry the Nazis are often the very ones who use his tactic of the Big Lie to deceive the masses. That is why priests who defend the truth are so needed today.
If he does not want to be heroic, ask him about how he feels when he does and says one thing in public, and another in private. Does it not cause an interior conflict or depression at having to pretend to go along with lies against the Faith, but personally believe the truths of the Faith? You can talk about all the hot topics in your diocese, such as ecology, woman priests or deacons, support of persons who are enemies of the Church in their politics or personal life. You can ask him what the final result will be of a life of the priesthood spent saying one thing and believing another, publicly promoting or go along with falsehood but being personally opposed. Point out that the prudent thing is to be consistent and if he wants to save souls to be a leader and preach the truth, not just believe it. Act on it, not just say it.
Don’t sound preachy. Speak about your own life and how important God, Jesus, the Church, the Faith is to you and how it has saved you from so many troubles, how Eternal Life is the prize you are seeking and how you want to know which priests really want to save souls, so you can support them.
If the priest passes these thresholds of faith, continue, otherwise wind down the conversation, or move it to other topics. Leaving a conversation respectfully and politely is much much better than leaving it with open conflict. However if a priest begins to defend error, heresy, immorality or apostasy in your presence you need to respond with faith, truth and believe and point out that he is wrong.
For the priest who passes these thresholds, you might want to continue the conversation on another day, if you have already talked at length. Most priests cannot take too much in at a time, they have do many duties and you are just another faithful talking about problems in the Church which he has talked to in the last x years of his ministry.
But if he seems sincerely eager to speak, since many priests cannot speak about these things with priests, this is the time to open up the discussion of how controversial and scandalous the Renunciation of Pope Benedict was and how the Catholic Church seems to be transforming into another religion under the direction of “Pope Francis”. If the priest begins to defend or excuse Francis, move the conversation back to the resignation. If he does begin to criticize Francis, also move the conversation back to the resignation, and point out the discrepancies.
CONDUCTING THE BATTLE: The core fight
The chief things to speak about in the core fight are these, in regard to the Renunciation:
It took everyone by surprise, so it is understandable that the shock put everyone in a state of mind in which they were not paying attention to the details of what happened.
No pope had resigned in 7 centuries, so it is understandable if no one was prepared to react properly.
Pope Benedict is a theological genius, and it is not surprising if his way of speaking was not precisely understood for what it really meant.
Point out then that in this matter the opinion of no one binds the opinion of no one, that what is binding is the requirement of Canon Law, because when the man who is the pope resigns, it is the man who separates himself from the Papal office not the Office which separates him.
Explain that like every moral or legal act, there is that which is done and that which is the object of what is done: there is thus a verb and and object of the verb. Canon 332 says the verb is “to renounce” and the object of the verb is the Petrine “munus”, which is the canonical and theological term for the Papal Office.
Affirm that common sense holds that you cannot declare something about anything unless you name the anything about which you are making the declaration.
Thus, when Pope Benedict said he was renouncing the ministry which he had received rather than saying he was renouncing the petrine munus, there is a clear problem which many missed, namely, that no one in the Church has a right to interpret that renunciation as a renunciation of office. This is because, to interpret is to explain a verbal expression using OTHER words.
Thus, the principles of law require us to hold that the Pope renounced His ministry, but do not signify that he renounced the Papal munus or Office.
Our status in the Church, indeed the status of everyone in the Church, even of the man renouncing, does not grant us the right to impose upon what was said a meaning other than the plain meaning of the words. If it was the intention of Pope Benedict to do something else, he should have done that, he could have done that and the Church has the right to tell him so.
In nearly 7 years, Pope Benedict has never said it was his intention to resign the petrine munus, even though in the Act of Renunciation he mentions this munus twice in the Latin text.
There is no solution to this problem other than that Catholics recognize that the Act of Renunciation did not effect the loss of the office. Pope Benedict XVI cannot fix this unless he redoes the Renunciation properly.
Since the Office of Saint Peter is not merely useful but necessary for the salvation of souls, and since who is pope is the touchstone or core of the Communion of the Church, those who are not in communion with the man who holds the petrine munus are in formal schism from the Pope and from Christ and From the Church.
The sign of communion and the practice of communion reach their highest apex and summit at Mass when the priest names the man in communion with whom he is offering the Sacrifice. This is the greatest and most important duty of a priest.
A priest cannot avoid this controversy without putting himself and his entire flock in risk of eternal damnation, because those who knowingly remain in schism are in mortal sin and cannot be saved, because by being separated from the Mystical Body of Jesus, they are separated from the Only one Who can save them!
The sin of Schism does not consist in erroneously naming the wrong man as pope in the Canon of the Mass, because you were mislead, but it does consist in naming the wrong man as pope in the Canon of the Mass once you are informed who still holds the munus.
No canonical penalty can be imposed upon a priest who names Benedict in the Canon of the Mass, precisely because anyone who would move to do such would thereby formally and publicly manifest that he is in schism from the Christ, from the Catholic Church and from the man who has never renounced the petrine munus according to Canon 332 §2.
Salvation is not possible for anyone who rejects submission to the true pope (cf. Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam).
Be ready to answer all objections. And be ready to explain the practical consequences.
A faithful and courageous and prudent priest will not need advice on what to do next. And it would be impolite to offer any. A young priest might need some advice.
Basically, the best way a priest could react, would be to investigate everything you said, and study the facts and original documents and law. Then being convinced of the truth, preach about it one Sunday to everyone and explain how the Catholic thing to do in such a controversy is to keep naming Benedict as the Pope for now. Then the faithful will support him and he can name Benedict in the Canon without scandal.
But a priest who does not have the courage to preach the truth, might benefit from advising him merely to name the Pope, without a proper name, because no one will really notice. Especially if he says that part of the canon not directly in front of a microphone or in a subdued voice. If he asks what he will say to others about this, advise only one course, to say exactly what you said to him. The truth.
CONDUCTING THE BATTLE: Clean up operations in victory, retreat strategies in defeat
The best outcome is that a priest agree with all these points and agrees to stop naming Bergoglio as the Pope. But nearly all priests will consider these things in private and no immediately disclose their next course of action. Be thankful that the priest heard you out. And promise to pray for him and support him to do the right thing.
The worst outcome is that a priest will interrupt or allow you to arrive at n. 21 but then violently disagree, by pretending it is all meaningless or by revealing himself as an ally of darkness. How you respond here has more to do with your sense of honor and tact. I cannot advise you. As a hermit I am obliged to say certain things a layman is not obliged to say. And I am expected to say them bluntly, because that is my vocation. But for a layman you have the right to leave the conservation by making some polite excuses but always do so in away that does not make it appear that these 21 points were motivated out of politics or hatred. Make it clear that you believe that God exists, that Jesus is really God, that Canon Law is upheld by Jesus and that objective reality is the world in which we must live. Never concede that anything true is up for grabs or that logical conclusions draw from facts are only opinions.
If you win the priest over to Pope Benedict, know that you will merit your own eternal salvation, because this is the greatest act of charity for a priest as a priest. Offer up the merit of the victory or of the defeat born patiently to obtain the graces needed for the next battle.
The best possible outcome is that you convert the priest to join you in this spiritual warfare. The worst possible outcome is that you make of him an ardent enemy who will zealously oppose the truth and warn priests not to speak with you.
If you do not have the reputation to speak with priests on account of such an evil counter-attack, devote your battles to winning over laymen and laywomen with the objective of turning them into front line fighters in the next battles. Teach them to avoid doing the things that did not work for you, and to do the things that did work.
REMEMBER: If you have failed, do not write off the priest. Catholics tried for years to convince me, and only after 5 years did I pay enough attention to read the original texts in Latin, and thus I instantly saw the problem. If you have failed, try to employ another layman or priest whom you have recruited to the cause of Benedict to try again. Sometimes only in numbers does a priest realize that it is something he should pay attention to and think about. If a whole crowd of parishioners approached him at the same time, or over several days and weeks, that would obviously impress him more than someone he does not know asking for a one time appointment.
Finally, the GREATEST STRATEGY for victory is to devote yourself to forming a local group of warriors to do all of the above and meeting from time to time to improve moral, discipline, strategy and tactics.
May God grant you Victory in this His Cause, and may Saint Michael be with you!
NOTES: The most common attack you will receive in this work is that the Devil will send you a soul whom he has convinced to despair to such an extent that they have become an apostle of despair working to destroy the Church. They will say that this will not work, you should stop. They will flip categories of truth and say that speaking the truth is hurting the Church, that truth is a lie and that lies are truth, and that preaching the truth is evil. Pity these souls and ignore them and walk with them no more, just as you would block a troll on social media. Despair is the worst of all sins, because it most effectively blocks the work of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Our Lady. Despair is a child of pride, because the person who despairs places himself over the entire order of mercy and providence and declares that God will not help those who do works of mercy.
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