Should you reject the next Pope?

Should you reject the next Pope? The Warning Second Coming messages from claimed visionary “Maria Divine Mercy” say “Yes”. But I say “No”.

The Pope is the Vicar of Christ. The Pope is the Roman Pontiff, the Bishop of Rome; he is the head of the Church on earth. He is the head of the Magisterium. The Pope can teach infallibly under Papal Infallibility. He can participate in the infallibility of an Ecumenical Council and of the ordinary and universal Magisterium.

The Pope can never fall into apostasy (abandoning the true Faith); he can never fall into heresy (rejecting any infallible teaching of the Magisterium); he can never fall into schism (breaking away from the true Church). For Jesus himself and the Holy Spirit, who enlivens the Church, guarantee that the Pope will never go astray:

[Matthew]
{16:15} Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
{16:16} Simon Peter responded by saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
{16:17} And in response, Jesus said to him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father, who is in heaven.
{16:18} And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
{16:19} And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound, even in heaven. And whatever you shall release on earth shall be released, even in heaven.”

[Luke]
{22:32} But I have prayed for you, so that your faith may not fail, and so that you, once converted, may confirm your brothers.”

No Pope can ever commit apostasy, or heresy, or schism, nor can any Pope ever be the Antichrist or the false prophet of the Antichrist. For the Lord Himself guarantees that the faith of each successor of Peter, of each validly elected Pope, will not fail. The Pope, in turn, confirms (strengthens) his brother Bishops, so that the body of Bishops, too, can never fall (as a body) into apostasy or heresy or schism. The Church is built upon the Rock, who is Peter and his successors, and so no Pope can ever lead the faithful away from the path of salvation.

Maria Divine Mercy versus the Church

The messages of “Maria Divine Mercy” contain a clever and wicked trick, not uncommon in the messages of false private revelation. Certain messages undermine the faith of the reader in the Church. These messages instill distrust of the Church on earth. As the messages continue to unfold, the anti-papal and anti-clergy and anti-ecclesial elements in the messages continue to build up. Eventually, the reader becomes convinced that the Church will be taken over by evil soon, and that the reader must then abandon the institutional Church, including the Pope and the body of Bishops in communion with him.

At the same time, these messages encourage readers to place all their confidence, trust, and faith in the visionary and the messages, more so than in the Bible or in the Church.

Despite having over 450 messages to date, there is no mention of the Magisterium of the Church in those messages. Words and phrases such as, “Magisterium” and “teaching authority of the Church”, do not appear in any messages of “Maria Divine Mercy”. The Church is described by these messages as if the Church has no teaching authority, and as if the teachings of the Magisterium were not guided by the Holy Spirit. The Church is described by these messages as if the Church were, even now, in the process of going astray, and as if the one holy Catholic and truly Apostolic Church were not indefectible, were not holy, and were not one.

The Indefectibility of the Church

Jesus taught that the Church is indefectible:

[Matthew 16]
{16:18} And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.

The Magisterium teaches that the Church is indefectible:

“Kingdoms and empires have passed away; peoples once renowned for their history and civilization have disappeared; time and again the nations, as though overwhelmed by the weight of years, have fallen asunder; while the Church, indefectible in her essence, united by ties indissoluble with her heavenly Spouse, is here today radiant with eternal youth, strong with the same primitive vigor with which she came from the Heart of Christ dead upon the Cross. Men powerful in the world have risen up against her. They have disappeared, and she remains. Philosophical systems without number, of every form and every kind, rose up against her, arrogantly vaunting themselves her masters, as though they had at last destroyed the doctrine of the Church, refuted the dogmas of her faith, proved the absurdity of her teachings. But those systems, one after another, have passed into books of history, forgotten, bankrupt; while from the Rock of Peter the light of truth shines forth as brilliantly as on the day when Jesus first kindled it on His appearance in the world, and fed it with His Divine words: ‘Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass’ (Mt 24:35).” (Pope Saint Pius X, Jucunda Sane, n. 8)

What this doctrine means is that the Church cannot go astray, cannot lead the faithful away from the path of salvation, and cannot be taken over by evil. For, even though many sinners are part of the Church on earth, the one holy Church is nevertheless the Body of Christ, with Christ as Her head. Neither can it be true (as these messages falsely claim) that the Pope and the body of Bishops and all who follow them will no longer be the Church, and that the true Church will be only those remnant few who follow one claimed visionary or another.

For the body of Bishops and the Pope have an indefectible role in the Body of Christ to teach and to lead:

“Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held. This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.” (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, n. 25)

Rejection of the Indefectibility of the Church

The messages of “Maria Divine Mercy” called “The Warning Second Coming” utterly reject the indefectibility of the Church, and predict that the entire institutional Church on earth will be taken over by evil, and counsel readers to consider that the “remnant Church” left over after this defection is merely the followers of this visionary.

Here are some examples of messages that lead the faithful to distrust and ultimately abandon the Church, the institutional Church on earth led by the Pope and the body of Bishops.

“Even My Church is endorsing laws which offend God. It will continue like this until mankind will behave like animals with no sense of godliness.” August 16th, 2012

This message claims that the Church has gone astray in her teaching by endorsing laws in secular society that are offensive to God. Which laws are these? The messages do not say. For the point of this message is to lead the faithful into distrust of the Church on earth, and to instill the heretical idea that the Church can go astray from God, becoming offensive to God. This claim is heretical because it contradicts the infallible teaching of the ordinary and universal Magisterium on the indefectibility of the Church.

“For soon you will find it impossible to follow a false doctrine imposed on you by the abomination that lies ahead. The False Prophet will not only take over the Catholic Church he will dictate over all Christian Churches which he will merge as one. But it will not be I, Jesus Christ that the New Temple will be built upon. It will be a temple, to replace the Holy See, to honour the beast.” June 10th, 2012

This claim, that the false prophet associated with the Antichrist will “take over the Catholic Church”, is heresy. Jesus himself taught that even the gates of Hell cannot prevail over the Church. The figurative term “gates of Hell” refers to the all the worst evils on earth, the evils that lead souls into Hell. This term would certainly include any and all evil persons, including the Antichrist and the false prophet.

“Gather My Church together and pray for strength for the False Prophet is preparing and is already present in the Vatican. But he hides his true façade very carefully. My beloved Vicar is being isolated and time is short.” August 19th, 2012

These messages give disingenuous praise to Pope Benedict XVI. The praise is disingenuous because, at the same time, the messages present teachings that are offensive to Pope Benedict XVI — especially the claim that the false prophet associated with the Antichrist will take over the Church and is already in the Vatican.

I assure the reader that the Pope has authority, in fact and in law, true and effective authority, over all the Cardinals, Bishops, and other staff of the Vatican. He himself has made a number of changes in which persons held which posts in the Vatican, and they obey him.

But it is a common false claim of various false visionaries, to portray the Vatican, the Holy See, as if it has been infiltrated and almost taken over by evil — so as to instill distrust of the Church in the reader. The purpose of such wicked claims is to make the reader trust in a claimed visionary while distrusting the Church. The eventual result of this process would be to lead the readers of these messages fully away from the Catholic Church. It is as if many of these visionaries are setting up their own false churches, with the visionary as the head.

“Pope Benedict XVI is being plotted against within his own corridors by an evil sect. This sect is known to exist among those sacred servants within The Vatican yet they are powerless against this evil group which has infiltrated the Catholic Church for centuries. They are responsible for twisting the truth of My Son’s teachings. So little is known about them or their vile works. They have driven the true doctrine from the Catholic Church and in its place a lukewarm, watered down version has been force fed to Catholics over the last forty years. So much confusion has been spread by this wicked but hidden sect that my children have wandered away from the true church. Pray that they do not drive the Pope away. Pray that the false prophet will not take the seat of the Holy Father so that he can spread lies. Pray that those sacred servants in the Vatican are strong enough to withstand this evil plot designed to destroy the Catholic Church. They plan to replace the Holy Vicar Pope Benedict XVI with a dictator of lies. He will create a new church in league with the anti-christ and his group in order to deceive the world. Sadly, many of my children will be, in their allegiance to the Catholic faith, follow blindly this new false doctrine like lambs to the slaughter. Wake up children to the truth. This wicked plan has changed the fundamental authenticity of the Catholic doctrine over the years.” January 18th, 2012

Notice how the above message from “Maria Divine Mercy” launches a clever attach on the Church. The message claims that Pope Benedict XVI will be replaced by “a dictator of lies”. When the next Pope is elected, as must happen sooner or later, many followers of these messages will reject that Pope, and thereby fall into the mortal sin of schism; they will reject the teachings of the next Pope, and thereby fall into the mortal sin of heresy; they will reject the entire Church that has the next Pope (and every successor of Peter) as its head, thereby committing the mortal sin of apostasy. This message and many like it are preparing the followers of “Maria Divine Mercy” to break away from the Pope and the Church, in order to follow only her and her messages.

The above message even goes so far as to attack the teachings of the holy Catholic Church “over the last forty years”. Another message uses the phrase the last “fifty years”. The meaning is to reject the Second Vatican Council and its teachings and many of the teachings of the Magisterium since Vatican II. The rejection of an Ecumenical Council is a mortal sin; it is the sin of schism. The rejection of the teachings of the ordinary and universal Magisterium is a mortal sin; it is the sin of heresy. The above message encourages the followers of “Maria Divine Mercy” to distrust the teachings of the Church since Vatican II and to reject the next Pope.

By attacking the teachings of the Church over the last 40 or 50 years, these messages are attacking not only the teaching of the current Pope, but the teachings of Blessed Pope John Paul II and of Pope Paul VI.

But the truth is that no evil organization has “has infiltrated the Catholic Church for centuries”. The Pope and his fellow Bishops in the Holy See (the Vatican) are not powerless against some evil secret organization. This type of conspiracy theory is common in false private revelation and absent from true private revelation.

“Many Popes have been prisoners in the Holy See surrounded by Masonic groups who do not represent God. They hate God and have spent fifty years spreading untruths about the Mercy of God. Their works have led to the collapse of the Catholic Church. This was not an accident. It was deliberately and cunningly plotted in order to destroy the faith of the Church. To destroy the homage of ordinary Catholics to the one true God. For this you will now be cast aside into the wilderness. After Pope Benedict you will be led by Me from the Heavens.” May 7th, 2012

So one message says 40 years, another says 50 years, and another says “for centuries”. Also, there have not been “many Popes” over the last 40 or 50 years, but only four: Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, Blessed Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI. This type of inconsistency and contradiction is common in false private revelation. The claim that many Popes have been “prisoners in the Holy See” is contrary to reason; it is an absurd and diabolical false claim designed to make the reader distrust and ultimately reject the Church.

As for the Masons, that group used to have some power in secular society a few centuries ago, but they never infiltrated the Holy See and they never obtained control or power over the Church. Currently the group is small and has no real power at all. Again, this is a false conspiracy theory such as is found in many other false private revelations. The Church is indefectible, therefore, neither the Masons, nor the Antichrist (when he arrives in the distant future), nor the false prophet associated with the Antichrist, nor any other evil at all, could ever possibly prevail over the Church.

The above message goes so far as to claim that the teachings of the Church for the last fifty years have been “untruths” and that the Catholic Church has collapsed. The above message contains an heretical rejection of the indefectibility of the Church. The above message encourages the reader to reject the next Pope by claiming that “After Pope Benedict you will be led by Me from the Heavens.” Whoever believes this message commits the mortal sins of heresy and schism.

“Above all, reject the lies which will shortly be presented to you by the False Prophet. He will merge the Catholic Church with other churches, including pagan churches, to become one abomination. A one world church without a soul.” May 7th, 2012

To the contrary, Jesus himself prayed to His Father that the Church on earth would be one, and His prayer cannot fail.

[John]
{17:11} And though I am not in the world, these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Father most holy, preserve them in your name, those whom you have given to me, so that they may be one, even as we are one.

Jesus prayed that His disciples on earth would be One, and His prayer will not fail. All Christians will be united in one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, under one Pope, with the body of Bishops in communion with the Pope.

“They will declare that the false prophet will be the true Pope…. Trust in My Words and do not deviate from the Truth as it is being given to you, through these My Holy Messages to the world at this time.” August 12th, 2012

The above quoted message again makes the false claim that the next Pope will be the false prophet associated with the Antichrist. These messages are trying to convince the reader to trust only in the messages of an anonymous visionary, by calling these messages “My Words” and “the Truth” and “My Holy Messages”, while at the same time instilling an extreme distrust of the Church and the next Pope. The goal is to draw the faithful away from the Church, so that “Maria Divine Mercy” can be at the head of her own new religion.

“They, My daughter, are being sent to prepare God’s children to accept the next Pope, who comes after My beloved Vicar Pope Benedict. This Pope may be elected by members within the Catholic Church but he will be the False Prophet. His electors are wolves in sheep’s clothing and are members of the secret Masonic and evil group led by Satan. This is how Satan will try to destroy My Church. Sadly, he will, this False Prophet, attract a large following. Those who oppose him will be persecuted. Run children, while you can. Denounce the lies which will be presented by those who attempt to convince you of the authenticity of the False Prophet. Be strong. Stay faithful to Me, your Jesus. Never doubt My Holy Word.” April 12th, 2012

The electors of each Pope are the Cardinals of the Church worldwide. The idea is absurd that these Cardinal electors are “wolves in sheep’s clothing and are members of the secret Masonic and evil group led by Satan.” I don’t believe that even a single Bishop or Cardinal is a member of any Masonic group.

But more importantly, the Magisterium infallibly teaches that the Church is indefectible, and therefore it is NOT POSSIBLE for Satan to get control of the Cardinals so that they would elect the false prophet of the Antichrist as the Pope. What this visionary, who calls herself “Maria Divine Mercy”, is saying is that the Church will be taken over by Satan through a Masonic group and through the next Pope. This type of calumny against a Pope is a grave sin. This type of claim about the Church is the grave sin of heresy and schism.

Notice that, after encouraging the reader to utterly reject the next Pope and all his Cardinal electors, the same message tells the reader to never doubt the messages (“My Holy Word”) of this anonymous visionary. What kind of idiot would believe these absurd and patently false claims? How is anyone fooled by this unfaithful and unreasonable set of claimed messages? And yet these messages have become very popular among persons who claim to be Catholics. According to Alexa, this website is one of the most popular websites in Brazil, in the U.S., and is one of the top 150,000 websites (by number of visitors) in the world. Many poor lost souls are being led right up to the gates of Hell by this false private revelation.

“One half will believe, out of duty, the need to follow the False Prophet, the Pope who will follow Pope Benedict XVI He, the beast, is dressed like a lamb but is not from my Father, God the Most High, and will fool poor souls including priests, bishops and cardinals. Many will follow him and believe him to be sent by God to rule over His Church on earth. Sadly, many souls will follow his teachings which will be insulting to My Father. Others, filled with the Holy Spirit and given the graces of discernment because of their humble souls, will know instantly, that an imposter sits in the Church in Rome. The new false Pope is already scheming, even before he ascends to the throne of the Seat of Peter, to denounce the teachings of my Son.” April 10th, 2012

Yet another message tells the reader to utterly reject the next Pope and his teachings. The phrase “the beast … dressed like a lamb” is meant to invoke the description of the false prophet in the Book of Revelation.

{13:11} And I saw another beast ascending from the land. And she had two horns like the Lamb, but she was speaking like the dragon.
{13:12} And she acted with all the authority of the first beast in his sight. And she caused the earth, and those dwelling in it, to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

The “first beast” is the Antichrist. The lamb who pretends to be a lamb, but speaks like a dragon, is the false prophet.

Notice that in my translation above, I used the feminine pronoun for the false prophet of the Antichrist: “she had two horns like the Lamb”. I used the feminine pronoun, and the term “false prophetess”, rather than “false prophet”, because the Book of Revelation itself plainly indicates that the false prophet of the Antichrist will be a woman:

{2:20} But I have a few things against you. For you permit the woman Jezabel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants, to commit fornication and to eat the food of idolatry.
{2:21} And I gave her a time, so that she might do penance, but she is not willing to repent from her fornication.

She calls herself a prophetess (feminine). She tries to lead the servants of God into the idolatry of the Antichrist. She does not repent, just as the Antichrist never repents.

{17:1} And one of the seven Angels, those who hold the seven bowls, approached and spoke with me, saying: “Come, I will show you the condemnation of the great harlot, who sits upon many waters.
{17:2} With her, the kings of the earth have fornicated. And those who inhabit the earth have been inebriated by the wine of her prostitution.”
{17:3} And he carried me away in spirit to the desert. And I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, filled with names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
{17:4} And the woman was clothed all around with purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, holding a golden cup in her hand, filled with the abomination and with the filth of her fornication.
{17:5} And a name was written upon her forehead: Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of the fornications and the abominations of the earth.
{17:6} And I saw that the woman was inebriated from the blood of the saints and from the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And I was amazed, when I had seen her, with a great wonder.

The Book of Revelation called the false prophet of the Antichrist “the great harlot” (feminine) and the “woman sitting upon a scarlet beast”. The Bible often uses the term fornication to refer to spiritual fornication, i.e. to idolatry. This false prophetess is “inebriated with the blood of the saints” because she helps the Antichrist to kill the faithful servants of God on earth, those who refuse to worship the Antichrist.

Now compare the description given by “Maria Divine Mercy” of the false prophet to the words of Sacred Scripture. The messages claim that the false prophet is a man, while Sacred Scripture says the false prophet will be a woman. The messages claim that the false prophet will be the next Pope, while the Bible says no such thing. Instead, the Bible says that the false prophetess of the Antichrist will help him to kill many of the faithful. The false prophetess sits upon a “scarlet beast”, meaning that she has authority over the Antichrist’s kingdom — not over the Church. She is not a Pope over the Church. Instead, the Bible teaches us that she is over the Antichrist’s kingdom and that she helps him to kill Christians, the members of the Church.

The claims by “Maria Divine Mercy” and her messages about the false prophet are contrary to the teachings of the Book of Revelation on the same subject. And her claims that the next Pope will be the false prophet, elected by Masons under the influence of Satan, is an heretical and schismatic claim which rejects the infallible teaching of the Magisterium on the indefectibility of the Church.

The Canon Laws of the Church

Canon 751 “Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

Canon 1364 §1: “an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”

Under these Canons, claimed visionary “Maria Divine Mercy” is automatically excommunicated (a latae sententiae excommunication), for her obstinate denial of truths infallibly taught by the Church, and for her rejection of the Second Vatican Council, the Magisterium of the Church, and the next Pope. Her heretical and schismatic errors include rejecting the indefectibility of the Church, the validity of the Second Vatican Council, and the authority of the Magisterium in teaching since Vatican II, asserting the heresy of Millenarianism, asserting numerous schismatic anti-papal claims, asserting the schismatic claim that she or her messages can grant a plenary indulgence and the heretical claim that someone who dies in a state of mortal sin can still be saved, along with many other doctrinal errors.

Those who believe and follow the false teachings of “Maria Divine Mercy” are being led into heresy and schism and complete apostasy from the one true Church.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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