Francis: A Pope for our times – Part 5
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is the fifth of seven excerpts from a talk by Fr. Linus Clovis at the Catholic Truth Scotland Conference in June 2016. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here and Part 4 is here. To read his presentation in its entirety, click here.
November 4, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — How has this come about? Answering the question himself, the Pope said that there has been an intervention of an adverse power. Its name is the devil, this mysterious being that the Letter of St. Peter also alludes to.
So many times, furthermore, in the Gospel, on the lips of Christ himself, the mention of this enemy of men returns. The Holy Father observes, “We believe in something that is preternatural that has come into the world precisely to disturb, to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council, and to impede the Church from breaking into the hymn of joy at having renewed in fullness its awareness of itself. Precisely for this reason, we should wish to be able ... to exercise the function God assigned to Peter, to strengthen the Faith of the brothers. We should wish to communicate to you this charism of certitude that the Lord gives to him who represents him though unworthily on this earth.” Faith gives us certitude, security, when it is based upon the Word of God accepted and consented to with our very own reason and with our very own human spirit. Whoever believes with simplicity, with humility, sense that he is on the good road, that he has an interior testimony that strengthens him in the difficult conquest of the truth.
Let us now add the Fatima revelations to this mix. It is well known that Our Lady appeared in Fatima, Portugal to three children in 1917 and that certain secrets were entrusted to them. One of those secrets required the Pope united with the bishops to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It has recently been made known by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra that Pope John Paul II asked him to begin a new Pontifical Institute for studies on marriage and the family. In 1980, he wrote to Sister Lucy, the last surviving visionary, simply requesting her prayers for this venture and was surprised at receiving “a very long letter with her signature. . . . In it we find written: ‘The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, for this is the decisive issue.’ And then she concluded: ‘however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.’”
This reassurance is encouraging, because fifteen years after Sister Lucia wrote that letter, Cardinal Luigi Ciappi (1909-1996), personal theological adviser to five popes, made a stunning disclosure about that part of the Fatima secret that the Vatican has never released (and which is evidently referenced by the enigmatic word “etc.” in the published part of Our Lady’s message). His Eminence, one of the few persons who had seen the complete secret, wrote in a 1995 letter to Professor Baumgartner of Salzburg: “In the Third Secret it is predicted, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.”
This apostasy seems to have been foreseen by Pope Saint Pius X, who, in 1910 wrote the French Hierarchy, in a letter entitled Our Apostolic Mandate, “ ... the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer”.
Although Our Lord promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church (Mt. 16:17-19), and that He would assist Her daily to the end of time (Mt. 28:18-20), He made no promise, however, that She would not undergo crises, dissensions, betrayals, scandals and apparent failures. On the contrary, Our Lord's parables about the Kingdom of God, which is His Church, clearly affirmed that good and bad alike would exist in Her bosom until the end of time. Only then will God send His angels to cleanse the earth of scandal (Mt. 13).
This earthly life is a period of trial. Thus, some will do evil and give scandal to others. “It is impossible that scandals should not come,” says Our Lord, “but woe to him through whom they come!” (Lk. 17:1) Saint Paul explains how these scandals help purify our Faith: “For there must be also heresies: that they, also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you." (1Cor. 11:19)