Pope St. John Paul II and his Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (November 22, 1981) a Stumbling Block to the Viri Probati Argument


Post-Vatican II, the innovators have co-opted the term viri probati, which in Church Teaching and Tradition refers to ‘approved men who are to be successively chosen to continue the ministry of the Holy Orders after those who appointed them have died’, to mean ‘tested married men, potential candidates for priestly ordination, witnesses of a mature and contrasted Christian life’.

If the viri probati are such tested married men, then their married life would be exemplary, and we would expect of them, for example, to have been married only once, and that they manage their children and their households well, and that they are also temperate, gentle, and live the virtue of poverty [cf. 1 Tim 3:1-13 (RSVCE)].

Most likely they are also fathers of large and poor families and spend their lives for their children and who with their effort and constancy — often without complaining of their needs — bring up their family, creating a cheerful home in which everyone learns to love, to serve and to work. [cf. The Virtue of Poverty | St. Josemaría Escrivá].

And finally, a clear sign of the holiness in the marriage of a true vir probatus [innovators’ definition] and his wife is precisely the joy with which they welcome and ask the Lord for vocations among their children. Their family will be open to transcendent values, and serve its brothers and sisters with joy, it will fulfil its duties with generous fidelity, and will be aware of its daily sharing in the mystery of the glorious Cross of Christ, becoming the primary and most excellent seedbed of vocations to a life of consecration to the kingdom of God” (Familiaris consortio, n. 53) [Cf. Apostolic Journey of His Holiness John Paul II to Rio de Janeiro, on the Occasion of the 2nd World Meeting for Families (October 2-6, 1997) | Mass in the Cathedral of St. Sebastian in Rio de Janeiro | Homily of John Paul II, 4 October 1997]. (My emphasis)

(What irony that it is Brazilian bishops – with Pope Francis apparently in agreement – who are pushing for the ordination of viri probati [innovators’ definition] in remote, indigenous communities in the Amazon when the great and saintly pope spoke these words in Brazil).

Conclusion

If there are viri probati [innovators’ definition] in remote, indigenous communities in the Amazon or elsewhere, and if these viri probati are true, vocations to the priesthood and religious life would arise naturally from their holy families. There will be no need for the innovator bishops to presumptuously present such men for ordination.

Once again, the great and saintly Pope St. John Paul II and his Exhortation Familiaris consortio (November 22, 1981) are a stumbling block to the innovators and their wrecking plans.


“I saw a great power rise up against the Church. It plundered, devastated, and threw into confusion and disorder the vine of the Lord, having it trampled underfoot by the people and holding it up to ridicule by all nations. Having vilified celibacy and oppressed the priesthood, it had the effrontery to confiscate the Church’s property and to arrogate to itself the powers of the Holy Father, whose person and whose laws it held in contempt.

– Jeanne le Royer (Sister of the Nativity), born in 1731 and became a nun in 1755. | Catholic Prophecy by Yves Dupont

The Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate of Canada’s Document on Chapter Eight of #AmorisLaetitia is full of #AmorisLaetitia’s Poison

+ Most Reverend Scott C. McCaig, C.C.
Bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Canada

The article, Canadian dioceses clarify Pope’s teaching on marriage by Deborah Gyapong, Monday, 13 March 2017 | The B.C. Catholic reported that:

Two more Canadian dioceses have joined the Alberta and Northwest Territories Bishops in issuing guidelines on Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried.

Like their western Canadian counterparts, the Archdiocese of Ottawa and the Military Ordinariate of Canada have responded to the controversial chapter eight of Pope Francis’ post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia by interpreting it in light of the Church’s constant teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and her discipline on the reception of the sacraments.

This is far from being true. The document itself On the Implementation of Chapter Eight of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia in the Military Ordinariate of Canada is full of Amoris Laetitia‘s poison. Read on:

For Those Unable to Separate: Continence

Those divorced and civilly remarried couples who for serious reasons cannot separate, in order to receive absolution in confession which would open the way to receiving Communion, must take on the duty to live in complete continence:

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.”xi

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith, Cardinal Müller, recently stated that this requirement, “is not dispensable, because it is not only a positive law of John Paul II, but he expressed an essential element of Christian moral theology and the theology of the sacraments.”xii

The Apostolic Exhortation recognizes the difficulties inherent in couples living together in continence (cf. AL note 329) and insists that human frailty must be taken into account:

Perhaps out of a certain scrupulosity, concealed beneath a zeal for fidelity to the truth, some priests demand of penitents a purpose of amendment so lacking in nuance that it causes mercy to be obscured by the pursuit of a supposedly pure justice. For this reason, it is helpful to recall the teaching of Saint John Paul II, who stated that the possibility of a new fall “should not prejudice the authenticity of the resolution” (AL, Note 364)

Although this practice has been formally recognized as a valid pastoral solution since the time of the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, it is still an example of an extraordinary circumstance which will be examined in greater detail in the next section.

IV. Extraordinary Circumstances

Special Consideration

Required Having established the ordinary discipline of the Church, it is now possible to examine extraordinary pastoral situations with much greater precision. These require special consideration precisely because, for one reason or another, the pastoral situation differs in important respects from those envisioned by the ordinary discipline of the Church. As Pope Francis stated, “While upholding a general rule, it is necessary to recognize that responsibility with respect to certain actions and decisions is not the same in all cases” (AL 302).

The Help of the Sacraments

In very specific situations the Church’s help for those in irregular situations can include the help of the sacraments (AL, note 351). The conditions indicated in Amoris Laetitia for such a pastoral exception to the ordinary discipline of the Church (as declared in Can. 915, CCEO, Can. 855) are as follows: 8

The Law of Gradualness

1. First, the “law of gradualness” must be applied. With this moral principle we have the recognition that the fullness of God’s life-giving law must always be our aim, but also that moral conversion is often a slow and gradual process:

“…the law is itself a gift of God which points out the way, a gift for everyone without exception; it can be followed with the help of grace, even though each human being “advances gradually with the progressive integration of the gifts of God and the demands of God’s definitive and absolute love in his or her entire personal and social life” (AL 295).

From a ministerial point of view this moral principle requires that when facing difficult and irregular situations we must be “merciful and helpful”, patiently guiding and assisting people to advance, at whatever pace they require, toward the fullness of God’s law and loving design:

“… all these situations require a constructive response seeking to transform them into opportunities that can lead to the full reality of marriage and family in conformity with the Gospel. These couples need to be welcomed and guided patiently and discreetly”. That is how Jesus treated the Samaritan woman (cf. Jn. 4:1-26): he addressed her desire for true love, in order to free her from the darkness in her life and to bring her to the full joy of the Gospel” (AL 294).

What is critical to note is that “this is not a gradualness of the law” (AL 295). We are not speaking of accepting an irregular situation as normative:

Naturally, if someone flaunts an objective sin as if it were part of the Christian ideal, or wants to impose something other than what the Church teaches, he or she can in no way presume to teach or preach to others; this is a case of something which separates from the community (cf. Mt 18:17). Such a person needs to listen once more to the Gospel message and its call to conversion (AL 297).

Practically this means that there must be a firm purpose of amendment; the intention on the part of the recipient of Penance or Holy Communion to bring their lives into full conformity with the Gospel, even though there may be grave circumstances that presently prevent this.

Absence of Mortal Sin

2. Secondly, the person in this objectively irregular situation must not be in the state of mortal sin. Amoris Laetitia, quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church (articles 1735 & 2352), insists that “a negative judgment about an objective situation does not imply a judgment about the imputability or culpability of the person involved” (AL 302). Due to serious mitigating factors it is possible that someone be in an objectively sinful situation and yet not be in the subjective state of mortal sin:

The Church possesses a solid body of reflection concerning mitigating factors and situations. Hence it can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace (AL 301).

Once again it is incumbent upon the minister to accompany the person in question to gain a true picture of the full pastoral situation:

Consequently, there is a need “to avoid judgements which do not take into account the complexity of various situations” and “to be attentive, by necessity, to how people experience distress because of their condition” (AL 296).

Danger of Further Harm

3. Finally, there must be a grave pastoral reason why embracing the ordinary discipline of the Church would only cause further harm. Several examples of such grave situations are specifically mentioned in the exhortation:

One thing is a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity, generous self-giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins. The Church acknowledges situations “where, for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate.” There are also the cases of those who made every effort to save their first marriage and were unjustly abandoned, or of “those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably broken marriage had never been valid”. Another thing is a new union arising from a recent divorce, with all the suffering and confusion which this entails for children and entire families, or the case of someone who has consistently failed in his obligations to the family (AL 298).

When Continence is not Feasible

Ordinarily, receiving the sacraments for those in an irregular situation requires continence, but there are extreme situations wherein abstaining from conjugal relations is not feasible. Below is a succinct explanation of just such a situation and the underlying moral principles involved:

The situation foreseen here is apparently that of one party desiring such abstinence [as required by the Church for those divorced and civilly remarried without a decree of nullity] but the other refusing and threatening dire consequences in the absence of conjugal life. The first party then agrees to sexual relations against his or her will, for example, to preserve the welfare of the children. In such cases, the practicing Catholic party may not be guilty of serious sin and could therefore, in some cases, be admitted to the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist. This case, it should be noted, could be treated in such a manner even before Amoris Laetitia, according to application of 10 the standard principles of moral theology and confessional practice, analogous to the determination of the moral culpability of contraception when the spouses do not agree.xiii

As noted, these were already accepted foundational principles of moral theology and confessional practice. The application of these principles explicitly to the divorced and civilly remarried in a magisterial document is seen by some as an example of the authentic development of doctrine.

The Need for Pastoral Discernment

Considering the nature of these criteria it is unlikely to encounter a large number of these cases. It is possible, however, to imagine other circumstances in which they could apply. This only emphasizes the need for careful attention to, and discernment of, each individual situation.

To illustrate, the section “When Continence is not Feasible” ought to stand out. How is it that a divorced and civilly remarried couple [with one or both parties having valid prior marriage] can be said to engage in conjugal relations?

One also ought to see Kasper’s Pope Francis’ Proposal.

It is evident that Bishop McCaig is engaging in the now tried and tested modernists’ M.O. which is, state Catholic Doctrine/Teaching saying it is not changing, yet place a contrary doctrine or teaching alongside it.


[UPDATE: March 1, 2017]
LifeSiteNews article Canada’s military bishop reaffirms Catholic teaching on marriage in Amoris Laetitia guidelines by Lianne Laurence fails to uncover the insidious nature of Bp McCaig’s guidelines.

Who exactly are viri probati? – That they are “tested MARRIED men” is a pure invention by the innovators.

Where does the term viri probati appear in Church documents?

The term viri probati appears in Caput III, 20, in Constitutio Dogmatica de Ecclesia Lumen Gentium, a Vatican II document.

  1. […]

Constituerunt itaque huius modi viros ac deinceps ordinationem dederunt, ut cum decessissent, ministerium eorum alii viri probati exciperent.(42) Cf. S. CLEMENS ROM., Ad Cor. 44, 2: ed. FUNK, 1, p. 154s.)  […]

The English translation being [cf. Lumen Gentium – EN]

  1. […]

They therefore appointed such men, and gave them the order that, when they should have died, other approved men would take up their ministry.(6*) S. Clem. Rom., ad Cor. 44, 2; ed. Funk, I, p. 154 s. […]

The footnote references the only genuine writing of Pope St. Clement I, the fourth pope, which is a letter to the Church of Corinth.

Pope St. Clement I

In Chapter 44. The Ordinances of the Apostles, that There Might Be No Contention Respecting the Priestly Office, the saintly pope writes:

Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ, in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that you have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour. –  Fathers of the Church > Letter to the Corinthians (Clement) – http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1010.htm [cf. also http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ii.ii.xliv.html | Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL)]

From these two Church documents, nowhere does it appear that viri probati [= approved men] means “tested MARRIED men”

So when and how did viri probati come to mean “tested MARRIED men”?

From these web articles What is viri probati? A proposal for extreme situations, which did not advance | ROME REPORTS and VIRI PROBATI DicEc, it is appears the idea was floated as such within the Second Vatican Council and got nowhere and it was post-Vatican II that viri probati became a “technical” expression for married men, potential candidates for priestly ordination, witnesses of a mature and contrasted Christian life [Google translated].

Conclusion

Clearly then what Church Teaching and Tradition means by viri probati, that is, approved men who are to be successively chosen to continue the ministry of the Holy Orders after those who appointed them have died, is not what the innovators have co-opted to mean “tested MARRIED men”.

This has nothing to do with “salus animarum” criteria or solving a shortage of priest in certain areas, but everything to do with the attempted destruction of the Holy Orders and of the Church.

This seems to be a to-do on Pope Francis’ very disturbing and destructive agenda and he has floated the idea before, as he is wont to do, via an interview in 2014 [cf. Pope says married men could be ordained – if world’s bishops agree by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, 10 April 2014 | The Tablet], only in the latest interview, he doesn’t mention the bishops being in agreement, perhaps having learned from the Synods on the Family in 2014 & 2015.

(All emphases mine)




“I saw a great power rise up against the Church. It plundered, devastated, and threw into confusion and disorder the vine of the Lord, having it trampled underfoot by the people and holding it up to ridicule by all nations. Having vilified celibacy and oppressed the priesthood, it had the effrontery to confiscate the Church’s property and to arrogate to itself the powers of the Holy Father, whose person and whose laws it held in contempt.

– Jeanne le Royer (Sister of the Nativity), born in 1731 and became a nun in 1755. | Catholic Prophecy by Yves Dupont

In the Wake of #AmorisLaetitia, will ‘A Simple Prayer Book’ be Revised? (A Response to Dr. Edward Peters: ‘I do not think that Francis changed any doctrines in Amoris’)

From THE MASS SIMPLY EXPLAINED in A Simple Prayer Book by the Catholic Truth Society [CTS] in His Eminence Vincent Gerard Cardinal Nichols‘ London, there is:

a-simple-prayer-book25

Who may receive Holy Communion

To receive Holy Communion, we must be “in communion” with the Church: we should be in a state of grace, keep the fast of one hour (not required for the elderly or sick), and we should prepare devoutly to receive the sacrament. The Church encourages those who are properly disposed to receive Holy Communion whenever they participate in the Mass.

Those who are living together as husband and wife but who are not married, or who are married outside the Church without permission may not receive Holy Communion.

If we are conscious of having committed a mortal sin, we should make a sacramental confession before receiving Holy Communion.


Now when

[asked] if the exhortation modified church teaching, Nichols said: “There is no question of that…The issues raised by Amoris Laetitia are not core doctrinal issues, these are about how do we live, in very traditional terms actually, everything in Amoris Laetitia is drawn from the tradition of the Church: how do we live the mercy of God and how do we enable people who feel judged, feel excluded, feel as if they have no place, to begin to explore that.” – UK cardinal says on ‘Amoris’, we follow the pope’s lead by Austen Ivereigh, February 22, 2017 | CRUX

The immediate above is from an article which occasioned Dr. Edward Peters to write:

Cardinal Vincent Nichols’ echoing of claims that Amoris laetitia changed no doctrines occasioned a question for me: Am I the only (or among the few) Amoris critics who agrees with Amoris defenders that Pope Francis made no doctrinal changes in Amoris?I am a lawyer, not a mind-reader, February 23, 2017 | In the Light of the Law – A Canon Lawyer’s Blog

Now if the Cardinal says, ‘on ‘Amoris’, we follow the pope’s lead’ and that no core doctrinal issues are raised by Amoris Laetitia and Dr. Peter ‘agrees with Amoris defenders that Pope Francis made no doctrinal changes in Amoris’, surely THEY MUST AGREE that the teaching [=doctrine] in ‘Who may receive Holy Communion’ in CTS’ ‘A Simple Prayer Book’ MUST BE REVISED in the wake of #AmorisLaetitia, for example, as follows:

Who may receive Holy Communion
(Revised in the Wake of Amoris Laetitia)

To receive Holy Communion, we must be “in communion” with the Church: we should be in a state of grace, keep the fast of one hour (not required for the elderly or sick), and we should prepare devoutly to receive the sacrament. The Church encourages those who are properly disposed to receive Holy Communion whenever they participate in the Mass.

Those who are living together as husband and wife but who are not married, or who are married outside the Church without permission may not receive Holy Communion but following Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (March 19, 2016), in certain cases, the sacraments may also be given to people who live in ‘irregular’ situations.[1],[2],[3],[4]

If we are conscious of having committed a mortal sin, we should make a sacramental confession before receiving Holy Communion.


Footnotes:

[1] In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, “I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [24 November 2013], 44: AAS 105 [2013], 1038). I would also point out that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (ibid., 47: 1039). – Cf. Footnote 351 [paragraph 305], Amoris Laetitia (March 19, 2016).

[2] “Naturally this poses the question: what does the Pope say in relation to access to the sacraments for people who live in ‘irregular’ situations?”, continued the cardinal. “Pope Francis reiterates the need to discern carefully the situation in keeping with St. John Paul II’s Familiaris consortio. ‘Discernment must help to find possible ways of responding to God and growing in the midst of limits. By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth, and discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God’. … In the sense of this ‘via caritatis’, the Pope affirms, in a humble and simple manner, in a note that the help of the sacraments may also be given in ‘certain cases’. But for this purpose he does not offer us case studies or recipes, but instead simply reminds us of two of his famous phrases: ‘I want to remind priests that the confessional should not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy’ and the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak’”. – Presentation of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia: the logic of pastoral mercy, 08.04.2016

[3] Expressing his appreciation for the ‘pastoral charity’ contained in the bishops’ document, Pope Francis insists “there are no other interpretations” of the apostolic exhortation which he wrote at the conclusion of the two synods on the family in 2014 and 2015. (My emphasis) – Pope endorses Argentine bishops’ document on Amoris Laetitia

[4] And a few days later, during the flight from Lesbos to Rome, Francis once again proposed Schönborn as the main exegete of the post-synodal exhortation, he being a “great theologian [who] knows well the doctrine of the faith,” as the pope described him. To the question of whether for the divorced or remarried there now is or is not the possibility, formerly precluded, of receiving communion, the pope responded with a peremptory and for once unmistakable: “Yes. Period.” But he recommended that none other than Schönborn be consulted for a more detailed reply. – The German Option of the Argentine Pope


Conclusion

Cardinal Nichols, Dr. Peters, and all of Amoris defenders who say that Pope Francis Pope Francis made no doctrinal changes in Amoris, MUST ACCEPT THAT he has done so de facto even when they insist he hasn’t done so  de jure i.e., he hasn’t changed the Church teaching on the matter in, for example, the Catechism of the Catholic Church or the Code of Canon Law, etc.

Did Blessed Anna Katharina Emmerick foresee the Lutheranization of the Catholic Church in Our Time?

ANNA KATHARINA EMMERICK (1774-1824)
BL. ANNA KATHARINA EMMERICK (1774-1824)

On the evening of October 1st, the Pilgrim found her exhausted and bathed in perspiration from her heavy spiritual labors. She repeated that St. Michael, besides the seven days’ task, had prescribed certain alms, pointing out what children were to be assisted and what each one was to receive. “The Church,” she groaned, “is in great danger. I must ask everyone who comes to see me say an Our Father for that intention. We must pray that the Pope may not leave Rome, for unheard-of evils would result from such a step. We must pray the Holy Ghost to enlighten him, for they are even now trying to exact something of him. The Protestant doctrine, as also that of the Greeks, is spreading everywhere. Two men live at this time who long to ruin the Church, but they have lost one who used to help them with his pen. He was killed by a young man about a year ago, and one of the two men of whom I speak left Germany at the same time. They have their employees everywhere. The little black man in Rome, whom I see so often, has many working for him without their clearly knowing for what end. He has his agents in the new black church also. If the Pope leaves Rome, the enemies of the Church will get the upper hand. I see the little black man in his own country committing many thefts and falsifying things generally. Religion is there so skillfully undermined and stifled that there are scarcely one hundred faithful priests. I cannot say how it is, but I see fog and darkness increasing. There are, however, three churches that they cannot seize: St. Peter’s, St. Mary-Major’s and St. Michael’s. Although they are constantly trying to undermine them, they will not succeed. I help not. All must be rebuilt soon for everyone, even ecclesiastics are laboring to destroy – ruin is at hand. The two enemies of the Church who have lost their accomplice are firmly resolved to destroy the pious and learned men that stand in their way.”

When the Pilgrim visited Sister Emmerich on October 4th, he found her perfectly worn out by the exertions of the preceding night. That St. Michael’s commands were being fulfilled, was very evident. “I have had combats more terrible,” she said, “than any I have ever endured, and I am almost dead. I cannot say how fearfully I have suffered. This struggle was shown me long ago under the symbol of a person buffeted by demons, and now I know it was myself. I fought against a whole legion of devils who excite minds against me and do all they can to harass me. I have also undertaken too many prayers. They want to install bad Bishops. In one place they want to turn a Catholic church into a Lutheran meetinghouse. I must pray, suffer, and struggle against this, for such is my present task. If the Saints did not assist me, I could not endure it. I should be overcome, and that would be most grievous to me! I see the devil using every artifice to put me to shame. He is continually sending all sorts of people to visit me, to torment and wear me out.
– pg 266-267 of Volume Two of Two, The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich by Carl E. Schmöger, C.SS.R. (My emphasis)


In Our Day

pope_francis_luther3_810_500_55_s_c1

FROM CONFLICT TO COMMUNION Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017

[…]

2. Already the 450th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession in 1980 offered both Lutherans and Catholics the opportunity to develop a common understanding of the foundational truths of the faith by pointing to Jesus Christ as the living center of our Christian faith.(1) On the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s birth in 1983, the international dialogue between Roman Catholics and Lutherans jointly affirmed a number of Luther’s essential concerns. The commission’s report designated him “Witness to Jesus Christ” and declared, “Christians, whether Protestant or Catholic, cannot disregard the person and the message of this man.”(2)

[…]

29. Implicit rapprochement with Luther’s concerns has led to a new evaluation of his catholicity, which took place in the context of recognizing that his intention was to reform, not to divide, the church. This is evident in the statements of Johannes Cardinal Willebrands and Pope John Paul II.(7) The rediscovery of these two central characteristics of his person and theology led to a new ecumenical understanding of Luther as a “witness to the gospel.”

(My emphasis)

[Obviously, when one reads The text of Pope John Paul II’s letter marking the 500th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther, translated from the Italian by UPI, there is no such evidence from the letter of the great and saintly Pope St. John Paul II which states, ‘For the Catholic Church through the centuries the name of Martin Luther is tied to the memory of a sad period and, in particular, to the experience of the origin of deep ecclesiastical divisions.’ and ‘In the first place it is important to continue accurate historical work, It is a question of, through an investigation without taking sides, motivated only by the search for truth, arriving at a just image of the Reformer, of the entire epoch of the Reformation and of the people who were involved in it.

Guilt, where it exists, must be recognized, on whichever side it is found where polemics have clouded the view, the direction of this view must be corrected and independently by one side or the other.’]

Cf.

Pope: Luther’s intention was to renew the Church, not divide her, 19/01/2017 | Vatican Radio

Martin Luther was a ‘teacher of the faith’, say German bishops by Jonathan Luxmoore, Friday, 12 Aug 2016 | Catholic Herald

Catholics and Lutherans celebrate Reformation with new Bible translations, 10 February 2017 | The Tablet

Bischöfin Fehrs: Papst Franziskus ein “verkappter Protestant”

Pope Counsels Lutheran Woman About Receiving the Eucharist

A Pope Like None Before. Somewhat Protestant by Sandro Magister
The idyll between Francis and the followers of Luther. The alarm of cardinals and bishops against the “Protestantization” of the Catholic Church. But also the distrust of authoritative Lutheran theologians

Communion For All, Catholics and Protestants. Words of Kasper, Or Rather of the Pope | 16 Feb | Settimo Cielo di Sandro Magister

Dialog With the Lutheran World Federation at the Cost of Catholic Identity, Sunday, March 19, 2017 | The Eponymous Flower


The Beast‘s Magazine’s Take [i.e., The Economist’s annual collection of detailed, numerate and opinionated predictions for the year ahead.] – The World in 2017 | The Economist

tw2017_cover_the-tower

Martin Luther, church-splitter – Five centuries since Luther’s clash with Rome, Europe faces division once more by Matt Steinglass EUROPE

The process by which memes go viral has not changed much since the 16th century. On October 31st 1517 Martin Luther, a monk at the University of Wittenberg, wrote out a list of 95 theses objecting to the indulgences authorised by the pope to raise money for building St Peter’s Basilica. The story that Luther nailed his theses to the door of Wittenberg’s Castle Church (as depicted here) may be apocryphal. But, in the equivalent of an ill-judged late-night tweet, he did send a copy to Archbishop Albert of Mainz, who was taking a cut of the indulgences. Soon Luther and Albert’s allies were engaged in a flame-war using the pre-eminent social-media platform of the time: pamphlets. As usual, things escalated. The pope had Luther convicted of heresy. Luther called the pope the Antichrist. German peasants and princes defected to Luther’s side, and Europe was plunged into more than a century of savage war between Catholics and Protestants.

Now, 500 years on, the Reformation has the soft glow of history. Commemorative events are planned across Germany in 2017. Some will celebrate reconciliation: on March 11th Germany’s head Lutheran and Catholic bishops will lead a service dedicated to the “process of healing of memory”. Pope Francis got that process moving in 2016, with a visit to Lutheran Sweden.

Some Catholic clergy still object to such ecumenical gestures. After all, Luther tore apart their church by insisting that the pope had no more say than any other Christian. Yet most practising Protestants and Catholics today feel they are on the same side, largely because they are among the few Europeans interested in Christianity at all. In most of Europe less than a third of the population considers religion an important part of life. Eastern Germany, Luther’s homeland, may be the world’s least religious region, according to one study.

Today few secular Europeans understand the reasons for the split in the church, or the logic of Luther’s doctrine that only faith, not good deeds, leads to salvation. They are far removed from a world where “good deeds” might mean coughing up your savings for a promise that God will release your late relatives from their suffering in the afterlife. For that matter, a few years ago, Europeans thought themselves long past the stage of resorting to violence over religion. That was premature. Intolerance, corruption and religious upheaval are all making a comeback, and not just in the Middle East. Time to bone up on our Luther. (My emphasis)


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Comment by the author and owner of The War Blog:

The thunderbolt is a symbol of Zeus and we now know that the devil has come down to the Church in rage.

A Fairy Tale Antichrist: The Wicked Prince by HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN, 1840

The Wicked Prince
by
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
– 1840 –

The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories: Hans Christian Andersen
The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories: Hans Christian Andersen

Once upon a time there was a proud and wicked prince who thought only about how  he might conquer all the nations of the earth and make his name a terror to all mankind. He plunged forth with fire and sword; his soldiers trampled down the grain in the fields, and put the torch to the peasant’s cottage so that the red flames licked the very leaves from the trees, and the fruit hung roasted from black and charred limbs. Many a poor mother caught up her naked baby and tried to hide behind the smoking walls, but the soldiers followed her, and if they found her and the child, then began their devilish pleasure. Evil spirits could do no worse, but the Prince rejoiced in it all.

Day by day his power increased; his name was feared by all, and fortune followed him in all his deeds. From the conquered cities he carried away gold and precious treasures, until he had amassed in his capital riches such as were unequaled in any other place. Then he built superb palaces and temples and arches, and whoever saw his magnificence said, “What a great Prince!” Never did they think of the misery he had brought upon other lands; never did they listen to the groans and lamentations from cities laid waste by fire.

The Prince gazed upon his gold, looked at his superb buildings, and thought like the crowd, “What a great Prince!” “But I must have more, much more! There is no power that can equal – much less surpass – mine!” And so he warred with his neighbors until all were defeated. The conquered kings were chained to his chariot with chains of gold when he drove through the streets; and when he sat at table they lay at the feet of the Prince and his courtiers, eating such scraps as might be thrown to them.

Now the Prince had his own statue set up in the market places and the palaces; yes, he would even have set it in the churches, on the altars, but to this the priests said, “Prince, you are great, but God is greater! We dare not obey your orders!”

“Well,” said the evil Prince, “then I shall conquer God too!” In the pride and folly of his heart he had built a splendidly constructed ship in which he could sail through the air. It was as colorful as a peacock’s tail, and seemed decorated with a thousand eyes, but each eye was the barrel of a cannon. The Prince could sit in the center of the ship and, upon his touching a certain button, a thousand bullets would stream forth, and the guns would at once be reloaded. Hundreds of strong eagles were harnessed to the ship, and so it flew away, up and up toward the sun.

Far beneath lay the earth. At first its mountains and forests appeared like a plowed field, with a tuft of green peeping out here and there from the sod; then it seemed like an unrolled map, and finally it was wholly hidden in mists and clouds, as the eagles flew higher and higher.

Then God sent forth a single one of His countless angels, and immediately the Prince let fly a thousand bullets at him, but they fell back like hail from the angel’s shining wings. Then one drop of blood-just one-fell from one of the angel’s white wing feathers onto the ship of the Prince. There it burned itself into it, and its weight of a thousand hundredweights of lead hurled the ship back down with terrible speed to the earth. The mighty wings of the eagles were broken, the winds roared about the head of the Prince, and the clouds on every side, sprung from the smoke of burned cities, formed themselves into menacing shapes. Some were like mile-long crabs .stretching out their huge claws toward him; others were like tumbling boulders or fire-breathing dragons. The Prince lay half dead in his ship, until it was finally caught in the tangled branches of a dense forest.

“I will conquer God!” he said. “I have sworn it; my will shall be done!” Then for seven years he built other magnificent ships in which to sail through the air, and had lightning beams forged from the hardest of steels, to batter down the battlements of heaven itself. From all the conquered countries he assembled vast armies which, when formed in battle array, covered mile after mile of ground.

They embarked in the magnificent ships, but as the Prince approached his own, God sent forth a swarm of gnats – just one little swarm – which buzzed about the Prince, and stung his face and hands. In rage he drew his sword, but he could cut only the empty air; he could not strike the gnats. Then he ordered that he be brought costly cloths, which were to be wrapped around him so that no gnat could reach him with its sting. His orders were carried out; but one little gnat had concealed itself in the innermost covering, and now it crept into the Prince’s ear and stung him. It smarted like fire, and the poison rushed into his brain; he tore the clothes loose and flung them far away from him, rent his garments into rags, and danced naked before the rugged and savage soldiers. Now they could only mock at the mad Prince who had started out to conquer God and had been himself conquered by a single little gnat!


The Antichrist in Art

antichrists-art-wikipedia-50pc

Left to right:

– Antichrist and the Devil. Detail from the Deeds of the Antichrist fresco by Luca Signorelli, c. 1501.

– Antichrist – detail from a fresco at Osogovo Monastery in the Republic of Macedonia. The inscription reads “All kings and nations bow before the Antichrist.”
By Edal Anton Lefterov – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Woodcut showing the Antichrist, 1498 By Dürer, Albrecht – http://digital.lib.uh.edu/u?/p15195coll15,115, CC0, Link

Source: Antichrist – Wikipedia


Historical Types of the Antichrist and their Tragic End

Antiochus Epiphanes

The three and a half years’ persecution of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes 168-165 BC had become the standard time of a persecution. Three and a half years = 42 months = 1,260 days (v.3). – Cf. The Navarre Bible – New Testament Compact Edition Explanatory Note to Rv 11:2

Antiokhos IV.jpg
By Jniemenmaa (talk) 08:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC), own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Last Days of Antiochus Epiphanes

6 King Anti′ochus was going through the upper provinces when he heard that Elyma′is in Persia was a city famed for its wealth in silver and gold. 2 Its temple was very rich, containing golden shields, breastplates, and weapons left there by Alexander, the son of Philip, the Macedonian king who first reigned over the Greeks. 3 So he came and tried to take the city and plunder it, but he could not, because his plan became known to the men of the city 4 and they withstood him in battle. So he fled and in great grief departed from there to return to Babylon.

5 Then some one came to him in Persia and reported that the armies which had gone into the land of Judah had been routed; 6 that Lys′ias had gone first with a strong force, but had turned and fled before the Jews;[a] that the Jews[b] had grown strong from the arms, supplies, and abundant spoils which they had taken from the armies they had cut down; 7 that they had torn down the abomination which he had erected upon the altar in Jerusalem; and that they had surrounded the sanctuary with high walls as before, and also Beth-zur, his city.

8 When the king heard this news, he was astounded and badly shaken. He took to his bed and became sick from grief, because things had not turned out for him as he had planned. 9 He lay there for many days, because deep grief continually gripped him, and he concluded that he was dying. 10 So he called all his friends and said to them, “Sleep departs from my eyes and I am downhearted with worry. 11 I said to myself, ‘To what distress I have come! And into what a great flood I now am plunged! For I was kind and beloved in my power.’ 12 But now I remember the evils I did in Jerusalem. I seized all her vessels of silver and gold; and I sent to destroy the inhabitants of Judah without good reason. 13 I know that it is because of this that these evils have come upon me; and behold, I am perishing of deep grief in a strange land.”

Footnotes:

a. 1 Maccabees 6:6 Gk them
b. 1 Maccabees 6:6 Gk they

1 Maccabees 6:1-13Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

Cf. Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time Year I

Note: 2016 Year II. Apt for our times.


Herod Agrippa

The Death of Herod

20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and they came to him in a body, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and made an oration to them. 22 And the people shouted, “The voice of a god, and not of man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord smote him, because he did not give God the glory; and he was eaten by worms and died.

24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from[a] Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, bringing with them John whose other name was Mark.

Footnotes:

a. Acts 12:25 Other ancient authorities read to

Acts 12:20-25Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)


Cf. Catholic Encyclopedia > Antichrist


Pope Francis the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. Hence this is the last post of The WAR.
Pope Francis the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church.
And this is the 266th post of The WAR.

When they are Assembled at Armaged′don, it Behooves them to Choose A Side Wisely.

Pope Francis is allying himself with the international left. – THE AUSTRALIAN (Cf. here, PDF and here)

How Pope Francis Became the Leader of the Global Left By FRANCIS X. ROCCA | Dec. 22, 2016 – With the right on the rise, many progressives are looking to a pontiff who campaigns against inequality and climate change – PDF



Tel megido.JPG
Aerial view of Tel Megiddo from the south east By Created by משתמש:אסף.צ uploaded Daniel.baranek – he-wiki, Public Domain

About Mageddo or [Battle of] Megiddo [(609 BC)] or in Hebrew Armaged′don

[The] Battle of Megiddo is recorded as having taken place in 609 BC when Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt lead his army to Carchemish (northern Syria) to join with his allies, the fading Neo-Assyrian Empire, against the surging Neo-Babylonian Empire. This required passing through territory controlled by the Kingdom of Judah. Judaean King Josiah refused to let the Egyptians pass, perhaps thinking that the Assyrians and Egyptians were weakened by the death of the pharaoh Psamtik I only a year earlier (610 BCE) and also attempting to help the Babylonians.[2 Kgs 23:29] The Judaean forces battled the Egyptians at Megiddo, resulting in Josiah’s death and his Kingdom becoming a vassal state of Egypt. The battle is recorded in the Bible, the Greek 1 Esdras, and the writings of Josephus. – Battle of Megiddo (609 BC) | Wikipedia


RSVCE Footnote Rv 16.16 Armageddon: i.e., Megiddo where Josiah was defeated by the king of Egypt, cf. 2 Kings 23.29.


Finally early in the seventh century Josias tried to bar near Mageddo the advance of the Pharao Nechao towards Mesopotamia and “was slain when he had seen him” (2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:22; Jos., “Ant.”, X, v, i; Max Müller, “Mittheil. d. Vorderas. Gesell.”, III, 1898, p. 56; but against cf. Zimmern and Winckler, “Die Keilin. und A. T.”, 105, who follow Herodotus, II, clix). The mourning for this calamity became proverbial (Zechariah 12:11). The warlike reputation of Mageddo is perhaps confirmed by Apocalypse 16:16. – Catholic Encyclopedia > M > Mageddo


Choose A Side Wisely

In the two battles of the end [second one in Rv 20] a side must be chosen wisely. The devout King Josiah, having disregarded God’s word through prophet Jeremiah and making his own interpretation on the word of God, chose wrongly and paid for it with his life. In the upcoming assembling at Armageddon the Babylonians are doomed and will finally be defeated definitively.


Cf. The WAR: The earthly city, mystery Babylon vs. the heavenly city, Jerusalem


“Io ho la sensazione che il mio pontificato sarà breve… 4-5 anni”. – Papa Francesco, 80 anni amari. In Vaticano è sempre più sotto attacco | IlFattoQuotidiano.it / BLOG / di Marco Politi | 17 dicembre 2016