NH1 News Debates


Sep 15, 2014 4:59 AM

Pope Francis: The Destroyer prophesied by Saint Francis? What do you think?

Irish Central reports:

"Pope Francis continues to amaze. He married 20 couples on Sunday in Rome several of them “living in sin” having had children outside marriage.
'The people getting married on Sunday are couples like many others,' the diocese of Rome said in a statement. 'Some already live together, some already have children.'
The Pope said marriage was 'real life, not some TV show.'

In marrying them he he kicked away one of the bulwark beliefs of the sex-obsessed hierarchy in the old church, the belief that sex outside marriage was a heinous and immoral act.

All of us Irish Catholics grew up with that unfortunate characterization of those who did not conform to the absolute orthodoxy of only having sex and children within marriage.

All others were fallen sinners. This led to some mighty hypocrisy on all sides as fallen men and women were considered far below the virtuous few – most of whom on closer scrutiny were not such virtuous souls.

The scandal around the unfortunate Bishop Eamon Casey, when it was revealed he had a child, was subsequently utterly dwarfed by the pedophile crisis that hit the church in Ireland like a hurricane.
It seems likely that contraception could be next. Francis is nothing but a realist, and over 90 percent of Catholic couples use contraception.

Francis is trying to make the church more inclusive, to absorb those who have been driven away by right wing ideology bordering on the dictatorial.

Old line conservatives like Cardinal Raymond Burke from St,Louis, once a powerful figure in the Vatican who Francis replaced in the Congregation for Bishops, had held fast to the old teachings. .
Their day is done under this new pope.The words of his 2013 September interview make that clear.
It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” Francis said. “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.

“The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines."

In that same interview Francis cast himself as first and foremost a sinner. It was a remarkable statement, but his papacy is infused with it. We are all sinners, weak, sometimes immoral he says, but we can find our way back to God if we seek to do so. 'Judge not, lest you be judged.'

One can only imagine the privileged conservative old guard choking on their fine Italian wine as they hear this latest pronouncement." (See here).

I've got news for you Francis: The teaching of the Church on cohabitation is also real life and not some TV show. Here's what the Bishops of Pennsylvania had to say about cohabitation not so long ago:

Living Together: Questions and Answers Regarding Cohabitation and the Church's Moral Teaching

Dear Engaged Couple:

We congratulate you on your engagement and want to offer a word of encouragement to you during this special period of preparation for marriage.

While there are many issues which you will discuss over the course of your preparation period, one important area in which many priests and couples have shared their concerns with us is that of engaged couples living together before marriage. While many in our society may see no problem with this arrangement, living together and having sexual relations before marriage can never be reconciled with what God expects of us.

In addition, countless studies have shown that couples who live together before marriage have higher rates of divorce and a poorer quality of marital relationship than those who do not.

Your engagement is meant to be a time of grace and growth in preparing for your marriage. In the months ahead, we urge all engaged couples who are living together to separate. All Catholics should seek to be reconciled with God and the Church by going to confession and by going to Mass and Holy Communion regularly.

Living chastely during your remaining months of engagement will teach you many things about one another. It will help you to grow in the virtues of generous love, sacrificial giving, self-restraint and good communication - virtues which are essential for a good and lasting marriage.

We pray that as you seek God and his way more deeply, you will be rewarded with an abundance of his grace. May your love for each other always be strong and life-giving.

With every prayerful best wish, we remain,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Bishops of Pennsylvania

1. What is cohabitation?
"Cohabitation" is commonly referred to as "living together." It describes the relationship of a man and woman who are sexually active and share a household, though they are not married.

2. Why is cohabitation such a concern for the Church?
As you work with your priest during this time of preparation for marriage, you will speak with him about many issues. But the Church is particularly concerned about cohabitation because the practice is so common today and because, in the long run, it is causing great unhappiness for families in the Church. This is true, above all, because - even though society may approve of the practice - cohabitation simply cannot be squared with God's plan for marriage. This may be why most couples who live together before marriage find married life difficult to sustain for very long.
The Church does not invent laws. It passes on and interprets what God has revealed through the ages. No one in the Church has the right to change what Jesus has taught. To do so would be to deprive people of saving truths that were meant for all time. Our Christian faith teaches that a sexual relationship belongs only in marriage. Sex outside of marriage shows disrespect for the sacrament of marriage, the sacredness of sex, and human dignity.

3. We have good reasons for living together before our wedding. Why can't the Church just accept that?

The Church cares for you as a parent cares for a beloved son or daughter. Knowing that cohabitation increases a couples' chance of marital failure, the Church wants to protect you and preserve your happiness. Besides, most couples don't really evaluate the reasons they give to justify their decision. Think about it:

Reason 1: "It's more convenient for us."

"Convenience" is a good thing, but it's not the basis for making a decision that will affect your entire life. Married life is sometimes inconvenient and even demanding. Cohabitation for convenience is poor preparation for that kind of commitment. Research bears this out. Studies show that those who live together before marriage tend to prefer "change," "experimentation" and open-ended lifestyles - all of which could lead to instability in marriage. One study, conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan, concluded that couples who cohabit tend to experience superficial communication and uncommitted decision-making once they are married. Cohabitation for convenience does not allow for the careful thought and adequate "space" necessary for making wise life decisions.

Reason 2: "We're trying to save money for the wedding, so living together is more economical."
Sure, you might save the price of monthly rent, but you're sacrificing something more valuable. Engagement is more than just time to plan the party. It is a time for deeper discussion and more thorough reflection, which are best carried out in a detached way. Couples who are living together do not have the luxury of such detachment. So whatever expenses you save, you'll likely pay more in the end. Dr. Joyce Brothers said it well in an article on cohabitation: "short-term savings are less important than investing in a lifetime relationship."

Reason 3: "Because of the high divorce rate, we want to see if things work out first."
Studies consistently show that couples who live together score significantly lower in both marital communications and overall satisfaction. On the surface, a trial run at marriage may seem to make sense, allowing one to screen out less compatible mates. But it doesn't work out that way. Couples who live together before marriage actually have a 50% greater chance of divorce than those who don't. And about 60% of couples who cohabit break up without marrying. Living together before marriage is different from living together in marriage, because there is no binding commitment to support the relationship.

Reason 4: "We need to get to know one another first. Later we'll start having kids."
Cohabitation is actually the worst way to get to know another person, because it shortcuts the true development of lasting friendship. Those who live together before marriage often report an over-reliance on sexual expression and less emphasis on conversation and other ways of communication - ways that ultimately lead to a more fulfilling sexual union after marriage. Traditionally, the process of dating or "courtship" has led couples to a deeper appreciation of one another through conversation, shared ideals and dreams, and a mutual understanding of one another's values.
Reason 5: "The Church is just outdated and out of touch with its thinking in this matter. Birth control made those old rules obsolete."

That's just not true. In the early days of the Church, living together outside of marriage was common among the non-Christians in the Roman Empire - as was the use of artificial contraception. But these practices were devastating for individuals, families, and society. Women were treated as disposable objects, mere toys for sexual pleasure, to be discarded when passions waned. The Christian vision of marriage and family led to happiness and fulfillment for individuals and families - and a great renewal of culture and society. Far from being outmoded, then as now, the Church's teaching is revolutionary - and it works!

4. Why does the Church interfere in the sex lives of couples? It's really just a private matter between us.

Sex is intensely private and personal, but it also has deep moral and social dimensions. Sex works as a primary bonding agent in families and the family is the building block of society. Sexual rights and wrongs influence the health and happiness of individuals, families and neighborhoods. That's why sexual behavior has always been the subject of many civil laws. The Church, of course, wishes to safeguard the family and society. But, more than that, the Church wishes to safeguard your relationship with your future spouse and with God. Sex is the act that seals and renews the couple's marriage covenant before God. Sexual sins, then, are not just between a man and a woman, but between the couple and God. And that's the Church's responsibility. Sex is not simply a private matter. If it's between you and God, it's between you and the Church. You need to ask yourself: "When do I stop being a Christian? When I close the bedroom door? When does my relationship with God cease to matter?"

5. But, really, how does what we do with our own bodies affect our relationship with each other and our spiritual relationship with God?

The gift of your body in sexual intercourse is a profound symbol of the giving of your whole self. In making love, the husband and wife are saying to one another in "body language" what they said to each other at the altar on their wedding day: "I am yours, for life!" God created sex to be physically pleasurable and emotionally fulfilling. But it is even greater than all that. It is, above all, the deepest sign of the complete gift of self that a husband and wife pledge to each other. This mutual gift empowers the couple to become co-creators with God in giving life to a new person, a baby. According to God's design, the gift of sexual union has two primary purposes: strengthening married love and sharing that love with children. The only "place" where this total self-giving between a man and a woman is to take place is in marriage. It is the only "place" where children can be raised with the secure, committed love of a mother and a father. So sexual intimacy belongs only in marriage. Outside of marriage, sex is a lie. The action says: "I give you my whole self" - but the man and woman are really holding back their commitment, their fertility, and their relationship with God.
Before giving your body to another person, you need to give your whole life, and you need to receive your spouse's whole life in return - and that can only happen in marriage.

6. Why can't I just follow my conscience if I believe living together is okay?

People can be wrong in matters of conscience, and people often are. Where our self-interest is concerned, our capacity for self-deception is huge. Here, as in everything we do, we need an objective standard to tell us if our conscience is properly formed and able to make right judgments. Morality is not a matter of opinion or "gut feeling." Conscience is God's voice, speaking the truth deep within your heart. It's unlikely - if not impossible - that God would contradict His own commandments just for your convenience or desires. You are acting in good conscience when you choose to do what God intends. The choice to live together outside a marriage is always wrong and sinful.

7. Why does the Church claim that living together is a scandal to others?

Many of our family and friends are doing the same thing. Just because everyone does something doesn't make it right or any less serious. A couple's choice to live together is not simply made in isolation. It affects everyone in relationship with these two people - parents, brothers, sisters, friends, and even other members of the parish. A cohabiting couple implicitly communicates that there is nothing wrong breaking God's law. This can be especially misleading to young children - nieces, nephews, and children of
friends - who are impressionable and whose moral reasoning is immature.

8. What is the best way to prepare ourselves spiritually for our upcoming marriage?

"A wedding is for a day, but a marriage is for a lifetime." That can be a long and happy time, but only with good preparation. The best way to get ready for marriage is to practice your faith. Catholics do this by faithful attendance at weekly Sunday Mass, by going to the Sacrament of Penance (confession), by prayer, and by practicing works of charity. If you haven't been attending Mass regularly, your parish priest will want to see you back. If it's been a long time since your last confession, your priest will help you. Confession is a necessary step if you have already been cohabiting. During the days of preparation, you are strongly encouraged to pray together as a couple, read Scripture, and lead a virtuous life. For guidance, look to other couples with strong Christian values.

9. Why should we need to separate now? It's just an arbitrary rule of the Church.
The Church's teaching on cohabitation is not an "arbitrary" rule. Living together before marriage is a sin because it violates God's commandments and the law of the Church. St. Paul lists this sin - technically called "fornication" among the sins (whether within or outside cohabitation) that can keep a person from reaching heaven (see 1 Corinthians 6:9) Cohabitation works against the heart's deepest desires and greatly increases the chances of a failed marriage. If you are honest with yourself, every practical consideration will tell you that separating before marriage is the right thing to do. It is a decision to turn away from sin and to follow Christ and His teaching. That is always the right decision. But it's a good decision for other important reasons, too:-it will strengthen your marriage -it will deepen your friendship -it will foster deeper intimacy and communion -it will build up your problem-solving and communications skills -it will give your marriage a greater chance for success. You may think you are unique and that your passion for each other will never wane. But that's what most couples think. No one goes into marriage planning for a breakup; yet a majority of couples today do break up. You want to be one of the exceptional couples who not only succeed in marriage, but also live together in happiness and fulfillment. Some couples who are living together think that separation before marriage is artificial or meaningless. Some fear that halting sexual activity will be harmful to the relationship. But this is rarely the case. Sometimes in marriage, too, a sexual relationship will have to be suspended for a time due to illness, military service, business travel, or the good of a spouse. Relationships not only survive this , but actually grow stronger. God rewards such sacrifices with graces for a good relationship. Abstaining from sex will also enable you to rely on other means of communication, which ultimately will empower you to get to know each other in a deeper, lasting way.

10. What good will following the Church's teachings do for us anyway?

Catholic teaching in this matter brings rich blessings to those couples who willingly accept it. The Good News of Jesus frees you to enjoy intimacy even more:
-by appreciating your spouse as a person, not an object
-by living in a stable, secure, permanent, and faithful relationship
-by expressing true, committed love rather than simply satisfying a physical urge
Married life has a special place in God's plan. Like everything good, it require sacrifices. But they're small compared to the rewards. Seek first the Kingdom of God; everything else you desire will be given to you - and more!

Questions for Reflection and Prayer:

1. As an engaged couple, why did you choose to cohabit before marriage?
2. What have the two of you learned from your experience of living together? What have you learned about yourselves as a couple and as individuals?
3. What is the driving force behind your decision to marry at this time? What has changed in the relationship and made you wish to marry and have your marriage blessed in this Church?
4. Was there a previous reluctance or hesitation to marry? If so, why? Have those issues been completely resolved?
5. Why are you seeking marriage in the Catholic Church?
6. What does marriage as a sacrament mean to the two of you?
7. How do you see your faith and love for each other as an intimate part of your marriage?
8. How do you want your marriage to be open to life?
"At the beginning, the Creator made them male and female and declared for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. And the two shall become as one. Thus, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, let no man separate what God has joined."
- Matthew 19:4-6
"The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws . . . God himself is the author of marriage."
- The Church in the Modern World, Vatican II, 48
"The conjugal covenant of marriage opens the spouses to a lasting communion of love and life, and it is brought to completion in a full and specific way with the procreation of children. The communion of spouses gives rise to the community of the family." - Letter to Families, Pope John Paul II, 7
"Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses . . . is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death . . .That total physical self-giving would be a lie if it were not the sign and fruit of a total personal self-giving."
- Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II, 11
"The spouses' union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family. The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity."
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2363
"The very preparation for Christian marriage is itself a journey of faith. It is a special opportunity for the engaged to rediscover and deepen the faith received in Baptism and nourished by their Christian upbringing. In this way they come to recognize and freely accept their vocation to follow Christ and to serve the Kingdom of God in the married state."
- Pope John Paul II, The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World

Father Malachi Martin, a Jesuit scholar who served as a member of the Vatican Advisory Council as well as personal secretary to Cardinal Augustin Bea, was known to be in possession of detailed information pertaining to the Third Secret of Fatima, which he said addressed a plan to install the False Prophet during a "Final Conclave."

Is it just a coincidence that the current Pontiff took the name Francis - after Saint Francis of Assisi - when the same saint was given a prophecy which enabled him to prophesy that, "...a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death.....some preachers will keep silence about the truth, an others will trample it under foot and deny it....for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer."
This prophecy of an anti-pope seizing papal authority and the faithful remnant of the Church being subjected to persecution like never before in history has been spoken of by many seers. Blessed Joachim prophesied that, "Toward the end of the world, Antichrist will overthrow the pope and usurp his See." Malvenda says that, "...Rome itself in the last times of the world will return to its ancient idolatry, power and imperial greatness. It will cast out its Pontiff, altogether apostasize from the Christian faith, terribly persecute the Church, shed the blood of martyrs more cruelly than ever, and will recover its former state of abundant wealth, or even greater than it had under its first rulers."

The priest-mystic Father Herman Bernard Kramer, in his classic work "The Book of Destiny," interprets the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation thusly: "The 'sign' in heaven is that of a woman with child crying out in travail and anguish of delivery. In that travail, she gives birth to some definite 'person' who is to rule the Church with a rod of iron (verse 5). It then points to a conflict-waged within the Church to elect one who was to 'rule all nations' in the manner clearly stated. In accord with the text this is unmistakably a papal election, for only Christ and His Vicar have the divine right to rule all nations.....But at this time the great powers may take a menacing attitude to hinder the election of the logical and expected candidate...."

What else does this describe but a revolution in the Church? See here for what's going on in Pope Francis' Argentina.

Frederick William Faber (died 1863): Antichrist…Many believe in a demonical incarnation—this will not be so—but he will be utterly possessed…His doctrine as apparent contradiction of no religion, yet a new religionHe has an attending pontiff, so separating regal and prophetic office (Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p. 87).

Anna-Katarina Emmerick(19th century): The Church is in great danger…The Protestant doctrine and that of the schismatic Greeks are to spread everywhere. I now see that in this place (Rome) the (Catholic) Church is being so cleverly undermined, that there hardly remain a hundred or so priests who have not been deceived. They all work for the destruction, even the clergy. A great destruction is now at hand…I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church. They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church. Everyone was admitted in it in order to be united and to have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, sects of every description. Such was to be the new Church…I saw again a new and odd-looking Church which they were trying to build. There was nothing holy about it… (Dupont Y. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, pp. 66, 71, 116)

Yves Dupont {writer interpreting A. Emmerick}: They wanted to make a new Church, a Church of human manufacture, but God had other designs…An anti-pope shall be set up in Rome (Dupont, p. 116).

Oba Prophecy: It will come when the Church authorities issue directives to support a new cult, when priests are forbidden to celebrate in any other, when the highest positions in the Church are given to perjurers and hypocrites, when only the renegades are admitted to occupy those positions. (Dupont, p. 115)

Ted and Maureen Flynn (20th century): Catholic prophecy warns us of severe problems facing the papacy in these end times…chaos will be within our midst. An Antipope will seize papal authority…It will be those who hold fast to the truths of the faith who will be labeled as the perpetrators of this horrible schism, according to some visionaries. (Flynn Ted and Maureen. The Thunder of Justice. MaxKol Communications, Inc. Sterling (VA), 1993, p. 255)

Jeanne le Royer (d. 1798): I see that when the Second Coming of Christ approaches a bad priest will do much harm to the Church (Culligan E. The Last World War and the End of Time. The book was blessed by Pope Paul VI, 1966. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 128).

Bl. Anna-Maria Taigi (19th century): At the end, he will have the gift of miracles (Birch DA. Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before During and After Antichrist. Queenship Publishing Company, Goleta (CA), 1996, pp. 362-363).

Saint Zenobius (died 285): Antichrist will work a thousand prodigies on earth. (Connor, p. 73)

Priest O’Connor (20th century?): This final false prophet will be a bishop of the church and will lead all religions into becoming one. (The False Prophet. Living in the Final Generation. http://www.geocities.com/rebornempowered/ApparitionsofMary.htm 10/12/07)

Priest Paul Kramer (21st century): The errors of Orthodoxy and of Protestantism will be embraced by that false church, it will be an ecumenical church because the Anti-Pope will be recognized by the worldnot by the faithful, but by the world—by the secular world and the secular governments. (Kramer P. The Imminent Chastisement for Not Fulfilling Our Lady’s Request. An edited transcript of a speech given at the Ambassadors of Jesus and Mary Seminar in Glendale, California.

Blessed Joachim (died 1202): Towards the end of the world Antichrist will overthrow the Pope and usurp his See (Connor, p. 76).

St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226): There will be an uncanonically elected pope who will cause a great Schism, there will be divers thoughts preached which will cause many, even those in the different orders, to doubt, yea even agree with those heretics which will cause My order to divide, then will there be such universal dissentions and persecutions that if these days were not shortened even the elect would be lost (Culleton, p. 130).

Gregory the Great, Pope (d. 604): In those days, near the end…an army of priests and two-thirds of the Christians will join the Schism. (Culleton, R. Gerald. The Reign of Antichrist, p. 122)

Yves Dupont {reader and collector of Catholic prophecies}: “prophecies are quite explicit about the election of an anti-pope…Many prophecies predict an anti-pope and a schism” (Dupont, pp. 34,60-61)

G. Rossi (1873): We must observe that St. Malachy does not mention the last Pope as a distinct person from the preceding one, whom he styles Glory of the Olive. He merely says, “During the last persecution of the Church, Peter II, a Roman, shall reign. He shall feed the flock in many tribulations, at the end of which the City of the Seven Hills (Rome) will be destroyed, and the awful Judge shall judge his people.” According to St. Malachy, then, only ten, or at most eleven, popes remain to be in future more or less legitimately elected. We say more or less legitimately elected, because out of those future popes it is to be feared that one or two will be unlawfully elected as anti-popes. (Rossi, p. 139)

Priest E. Sylvester Berry (20th century) As indicated by the resemblance to a lamb, the prophet will probably set himself up in Rome as a sort of antipope during the vacancy of the papal throne . . .(Berry E.S. The Apocalypse of St. John. First published 1921. http://journals.aol.com/langosh5/Father_E_Sylvester_Berry/ 10/12/07)

Priest Herman Kramer (20th century): In accord with the text this is unmistakably a PAPAL ELECTION . . . But at this time the great powers may take a menacing attitude to hinder the election of the logical and expected candidate by threats of a general apostasy, assassination or imprisonment of this candidate if elected. This would suppose an extremely hostile mind in the governments of Europe towards the Church, because an extended interregnum in the papacy is always disastrous and more so in a time of universal persecution. If Satan would contrive to hinder a papal election, the Church would suffer great travail … one…destined for the papacy at the time will institute the needed reforms. A general council may decree the reforms…The lax clergy at the time will extol the conditions then existing…The dragon is a symbolic term for the evil world powers…They will try to make the Church a “state church” everywhere. This is only possible if they can subject the pope to their wills and compel him to teach and rule as they direct. That would be literally devouring the papacy. (Kramer H.B. L. The Book of Destiny, pp. 278,285).

Bishop Malachy (12th century): During the persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit upon the throne, Peter the Roman…the City of Seven Hills (Rome) will be utterly destroyed (Culleton, R. Gerald. The Prophets and Our Times. Nihil Obstat: L. Arvin. Imprimatur: Philip G. Scher, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, November 15, 1941. Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 138).

As the Apostasy continues to spread, hatred for the Ten Commandments will intensify. See here and here.


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