DAILY CATHOLIC   TUESDAY   April 13, 1999   vol. 10, no. 72

CATHOLIC PewPOINT

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It's called common sense which isn't too common these days!

          They say a "rolling stone gathers no moss" but since we have never, ever been Mick Jagger fans, we'll override the rock-in-motion and concentrate on the moss which could gather in our backup correspondence if we don't clarify a few of the cobwebs hovering over e-mail that has not been returned. Over the months we have been so inundated with e-mails that we have had little time to answer each one. Especially difficult are those who ask questions for it takes research and research takes time. Ah, time; that precious commodity we all have so little of or at least so little spiritual management of time as God deigns it. With all the viruses going around lately we have had to be very careful with our e-mail system that it doesn't get overloaded. Therefore, we want to answer a few of the more recent pertinent points brought up to us, some of which have merit, the others of which you must remember is left to conjecture. Some make sense, some are departmental, some are common. Most make common sense and deserve an answer.

          First of all, as it always does whenever we write about private revelation, we received quite a few posts on our editorial from this past weekend on the Warning and Miracle. Remember, we wrote this from a journalistic stance, compiling the facts we have been given by the visionaries - those presently from Garabandal which were gleaned from the reliable Garabandal Magazine - to what was imparted to such luminaries as Saint John Bosco, Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, and Padre Pio to name a few. If you notice, we didn't even mention the purported messages to Saint Bernadette of Soubirous or the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart. One reader raised the question of why as to the latter for it was a message to the Hidden Flower on December 8, 1994 which said, "When you hear the proclamation of the final dogma of my mission as Co-redemptrix, Advocate and Mediatrix issued by my beloved Pope John Paul II, you will then be in the time of the Great Warning. I also tell you that you must not select this or that month, this or that feast day! Dear children, every day is holy to God, for He alone created night and day, and blesses the minutes and hours of the day and night. Those events you anticipate shall come, but they will come as a thief in the night when you least expect it." So folks, this editor fell into that easy trap of anticipating by putting the pieces of the puzzle together. We did so because of so many e-mail requests about it. The e-mail that included the message also confirmed that the same prophecy had been imparted to Ida Peerdeman of Amsterdam who received the devotion to Our Lady of All Nations.

          The interesting thing is that last year at this time, when rumor was then also ripe with speculation about the Warning and the Miracle, there was very good indication that the Final Dogma was going to be proclaimed last May 31st in Rome. But those opposed to it managed to torpedo the plans of the Holy Father who had indicated his inclination toward proclaiming this honor for the Blessed Virgin Mary also as a fulfillment of his papacy dedicated to her - Totus Tuus. Now the question arises - is God providing an alternative? We bring up as examples the controversy surrounding the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart which was done by Pope John Paul II on the Feast of the Annunciation in 1984. It was not done in total communion with all the bishops of the world as Our Lady had asked, but that was impossible because all the bishops are not in communion with Rome. Therefore, according to many, including the visionary herself Sister Lucia, the gesture was accepted as fulfilling Blessed Mary's request though you will get an argument from Father Gruner's followers. The same circumstances applies to the Miraculous Image of the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe safely procurred behind glass behind and above the altar at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the shrine near Mexico City. Our Lady had requested in several private revelation messages that the original tilma be taken on pilgrimage throughout North and South America - possibly to every parish in the New World as evidence that she is the Patroness of the Americas and has come to stop the human sacrifice of today - abortion. But the Mexican government, who consider the Tilma a national treasure, would not allow it to be released. Therefore Our Lady allowed a replica of the image to be used which has since traveled to countless parishes throughout both the northern and southern hemispheres and has come to be known as the "Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe" for the many accounts of supernatural phenomena accompanying it which have been documented. What we are inferring is that God allows free will and when man goes against God's plan, in His infinte Mercy He allows an alternative course for us. This is evident from Adam and Eve on all through Sacred Scripture. Remember, God doesn't change His mind; man does. So we are saying that God could provide an alternative course for us in regards the timing of the Warning and the Miracle. We don't know. We are just reporting on what we have received. We do know from a plethora of private revelations from Medjugorje to Betania to countless visionaries and messengers that some of the chastisements have been mitigated because of the prayers of the few faithful who believed. It is interesting to note that this commentary in question was written on the weekend when the Gospel was "Blessed are they who have not seen, yet have believed." We have not seen, yet we strongly believe these things will come to pass. When? That is what we will refrain from from hereon and leave it totally in His hands.

          We also received a few posts about the fact that these prophecies are "not Catholic" in content. One wrote, "I read this thing of Fr. Gobbi the other day, where he talked about the idea that Christ's second coming will be before the Last Judgement, i.e., they'll be two separate events. I wondered about this so I checked up with someone who knows and they said that that's clearly and definitely against Catholic teaching! And on a matter as important as this! I mean seriously, what's a guy to do. Another thing that bugs me is the way these messages from the other side go on about evil as though the only evil that exists is pride, murder, abortion, war, hatred, anger etc etc and no mention of things like the delusion of holiness, false spirituality, spiritual deception, darkness assuming the guise of light etc. (which as this learned person told me, are much more deadly and serious things - he says that the Fathers talk about his alot - I dunno myself). So how can we trust things that contain elements which contradict the Faith as taught by the Church and handed down by the Fathers? I myself get real suspicious of anything which talks about peace, love, harmony and justice these days. I mean gee! have you guys picked up a newage mag recently? The amount of false prophets these days is astonishing - even a thickhead like me can see that - and doesn't it say in the Bible something like in the last days there will be many false prophets and these are signs that the Deciever (the Antichrist I s'pose) is about to appear?"

          We can understand his consternation because that's what satan wants. Remember ol' horn-head deals in half-truths and thrives on deception. Our reply to this confused e-mailer is that Our Lord and Our Lady do constantly warn against delusions of holiness, false spirituality, spiritual deception, etc. and offer prayer, fasting and penance as the remedies against these, which, by the way do fall into the sin of pride and other categories of the seven deadly sins. He questions Father Don Steffano Gobbi's messages which is his right but also is the tactic of many who totally reject private revelation which could well be those advisors the e-mailer has sought out. Fr. Gobbi's messages are totally in line with Church teaching and Sacred Scripture and are merely a furtherance of what Our Lady imparted at Rue de Bac, La Salette, Lourdes, Fatima and so many places of visits after that. If these views are not in line with Church teaching, then why would the Church have approved the four apparitions mentioned and confirmed it by canonizing such saints as Saint Catherine Laboure and Saint Bernadette, Saint John Bosco, Saint Louis de Montfort, and more as well as beatifying Padre Pio? The problem is that too many take it literally without realizing what Our Lord and Our Lady mean. The same e-mailer equated our "Heaven on earth" analogy of the Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Age of the Divine Will, the New Advent, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence as being "Chiliasm" which was a form of "Millenarianism" which stemmed from a too literal, incorrect, and faulty interpretation of Chapter 20 in the Apocalypse/Revelation. This heresy is mostly taken up today by the Jehovah Witnesses. We can assure all readers this belief in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart which will usher in a New Millennium of Peace is not "Chiliasm" but rather an affirmation of what has been passed down through the traditions of the Church, Our Lady and the saints as evidence of what is to come. Fatima confirmed it, Fatima has been approved. In other words, the Church says it, we believe it, end of discussion. Again, we refer to John 20: 31. As for the time it will happen - common sense says we leave the "when" up to God.

          We also received a few comments about our comments on the news story of Disney sloughing off the film "Dogma" to Miramax and our usual editorial swipe at Nothing Sacred, that poor excuse for a program that tried to depict Catholics today as ABC, Disney and liberals saw the Church, and, thankfully, was removed last year from the airwaves. We have our share of those liberal lurkers who defend their stance whenever they can, but we had one writer whom we suspect wasn't a liberal but someone who has been mislead by the modernists' manifesto, evident in the manner this person wrote about Nothing Sacred: "We found this show poignant, tender, and full of the humanity of the priesthood, men struggling to live the Gospel life, serving the poor, trying to live the Gospel. I wasn't thrilled with the nun-aspiring priest, or the Buddha prayers, but this stuff goes on in Catholic Churches (or haven't you looked at "Renew 2000" either, an official teaching program of the Church). Is it possible that the priests you know are perfect, never struggle, or live in holy bubbles? Keep taking on Hollywood, and Disney; I don't like most of what I see, nor their political agenda. But if they were trying to discredit the Church with "Nothing Sacred," they failed, so they took it off the air."

          First of all, we can't agree with the e-mailer's perception of the show for it was just "humanity" with no divinity; kind of a celluloid Arianism. Secondly, it failed because of the staunch, persistent campaign spearheaded by William Donoghue and the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights which is the unofficial media watchdog for the Church. If Nothing Sacred had been beneficial for Catholics and depicted the Church as she should be, would the League have worked so feverishly to remove it from the air? No way! Truth is it was an agenda forged by liberals ripe with heresy and the modernist manifesto with an emphasis on their battle cry of peace and justice. The priests we know are not perfect - no one is, and they do struggle - who doesn't? But most do strive to live in "holy bubbles" through prayer and living what they preach. Those "holy bubbles" are sanctifying grace that help protect all of us against the polluting air of mortal sin which could burst the bubble and send one plunging into the depths forever. Maybe we all need to strive more to wrap ourselves in these "holy bubbles" and fortify the walls with more graces. Finally their statement that Renew 2000 is an official teaching program of the Church has to be called into question because we question that. Has it officially been approved by Rome? Has it even been officially approved by the bishops? Or is it another of those radical programs that have slithered into diocesan educational programs, allowed in by liberal administrators trying to forge their own agenda on the faithful without the bishops truly understanding the contents? Renew 2000 is at best controversial and many believe it is a front for that notorious Call To Action movement that Pat Ludwa is exposing in his VIEW FROM THE PEW columns this week. Hopefully, Pat will be able to shed light on Renew 2000 for all our readers in the near future as he is looking into it as we write.

          Finally, we have been receiving tremendous response on votes for the Top 100 Catholics of the Twentieth Century, some of whom, believe it or not, we had never heard about and will have to research to confirm their status. We are compiling the list by votes and so far two are running neck and neck for number one. We will leave you in suspense on who until late in the year when the countdown will reveal who are the top vote-getters. But we think most of you can surmise just who we are talking about. Keep voting and, like the Chicago electoral process, vote early and vote often. There are no restrictions. Just click on VOTE FOR YOUR CHOICE OF THE TOP 100 CATHOLICS. Two men who are not Catholic but have been instrumental in living the Catholic corporal works of mercy are Paul Newman and Roberto Benigni. We often berate Hollywood for the bad they do, but we're delighted to praise those movie stars who offer positive, Christ-like tendencies. Such are Newman and Benigni. The latter has donated a quarter of a million dollars to Catholic Relief Services to help refugees in Kosovo and the former is footing the bill to shelter Albanian refugees in Bari, Italy where the Oscar-winning star of Life is Beautiful calls home. Kudos to both and may many others come forward to help those poor souls caught in the crossfire of hate and deception; hate from the centuries-long culture wars and deception from their own governments and NATO's hidden agenda where needed food, clothing and medical supplies are being turned away at the borders and not reaching the people because of bureaucratic red-tape within the NATO machine. We spend millions to bomb and destroy and millions more to rebuild. It doesn't make sense. Think of all the money we could save...and lives, if we ceased the bombing. It's called common sense which isn't too common these days!

Michael Cain, editor


April 13, 1999      volume 10, no. 72
Today's Catholic PewPoint Editorial

DAILY CATHOLIC

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