A Word of Caution for the Flock Entrusted to My Care
Over the past few months there has been a growing movement in the Catholic world, especially on the internet and social media. Maybe you have seen it and maybe you have not. Many faithful Catholics have heard about it and have asked about its message. Recently a talk was given in our area that echoes many of the ideas of this movement.
There is a convergence of messages that are being promoted. In short, messages deal with the end times. One of the most popular figures in this growing movement is a Canadian priest named Father Michel Rodrigue. He prophesizes that we are approaching the end times during which there will be an illumination of conscience giving people 6 weeks to repent. As part of the illumination of conscience, tongues of fire will fall on the heads of everyone and they will see Jesus in the sky. After everyone is given a chance to repent, there will be days of darkness which includes a nuclear war. Believers will be hunted but the Holy Spirit will protect them supernaturally.
In order to prepare for the end times, Fr. Rodrigue encourages people to go to Confession every month (which is a great idea) and to build a shelter with at least a 3 month supply of food. Many of the ideas were also published in a book which has been very popular. Fr. Rodrigue isn’t the only one promoting these ideas, there are many other individuals that are promoting these ideas.
I feel compelled to address these matters because of the number of parishioners that are curious and interested in these prophecies. We must remember the words of Jesus Christ, “Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:13). We do not know when the second coming of Christ will occur. It is for our own good that Jesus conceals the time of the end of the world and His second coming.
I know that these are the craziest times of our lives: a global pandemic, riots, and a divisive election. However we cannot forget history. There have been turbulent times throughout history. There were three men claiming to be Pope, a plague that killed 1/3 of the adults in Europe, and mass genocide of Christians. History is full of trying times.
History is also full of individuals who claim to have special knowledge of the end times. There is a Wikipedia article entitled “List of dates predicted for apocalyptic events” which lists hundreds of people and groups that claimed to be the end of the world. Eventually one of them will be correct, but no one knows when that will happen.
Recently Fr. Michel Rodrigue was “completely disavowed” by his bishop for his messages and prophecies. This is very serious. His bishop believes that he is harming the faith of Catholics. The bishop quotes Jesus writing, “Take heed that you not be deceived” (Luke 21:8).
Many of the teachings that have been promoted in this end time’s movement undermine the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Oftentimes they remove the cross. Nothing bad will happen to believers. Sometimes they remove faith. In the illumination of conscience, everyone will see the truth clearly which leaves no room for belief.
Finally to give one last word of caution. There is also discussion of the Divine Will movement. This movement purports that if someone is living in the Divine Will, they live in perfect accord with God. God’s Will is a crown that guides them constantly.
Living in perfect accord with God’s Will is something for which we should strive. However, the way I have heard this movement described suggests that once someone is consecrated to the Divine Will, they will now always act within God’s Will. This seems to imply that we no longer have free will and cannot choose, if we cannot choose, we cannot love. As love is a free act of an individual’s will and without love, one cannot be Christian. Instead, we would seem to be puppets of God, something contrary to the Catholic understanding of the human person and of God Himself.
Again I make these statements out of love for the flock. I don’t want to see anyone led astray or become wrapped up in apocalyptic prophecies that will likely result in nothing. Please keep faith in Jesus Christ and His Church. Read Sacred Scripture and partake in the Church’s Sacraments. If you have questions about this please call or email me, Fr. Jedidiah, or Alex.
Sincerely in the love of Jesus,
Fr. Sean Wilson