Visionaries and Catholic Principles


In this crisis of the Church, the confusion has clouded the judgement of many.

Excuse making is a simple example of people trying to justify their actions.  In this case they resort to variations on the theme 'change perception of actions'.

I've encountered this in:

  • Sedevacantists: who deny that the Church Doctrine that the recognition of the Pope by the hierarchy is an infallible means of knowing who is the Pope,
  • Resistors: who believe that the ends justify the means, even if they toss out Catholic principles (St. Thomas Acquinas et al) in the process.
  • 'Modern' Catholics: who assert that the SSPX was wrong (about what they were not very specific).

One recent variations is an alleged 'revelation from the Blessed Virgin Mary'. In this case they are attempting to re-cast Bishop Fellay's actions as being against the wish and express command of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A nice way to say that the Virgin Mary trumps St. Thomas Aquinas.

Before dealing with the false assumptions contained in the assertion, it is necessary to establish a basic framework for appraising the visionary and the prophecy.

When someone claims to have seen a vision we have the following possibilities.

They are either:
  1. Mistaken,
  2. lying,
  3. hallucinating / delusional ( psychotic ),
  4. deceived by a evil spirit,
  5. or have been visited by a good spirit
People gravitate towards simple solutions to complex problems, which is the basis for the belief in conspiracy theories.  So most people jump to item #5 when a 'visionaries' tales are aligned with what they want to believe - ie. confirmation bias.

While our task of weeding out true from false apparitions may seem difficult, there is a short cut.  The reliance upon Catholic principles in a similar manner as used to remain on the true path.

The key difference between the first four and last scenarios is that, invariably at some point, the first four will be at odds with Catholic doctrine or principles.

In the most recent case  (ie. Bishop Williamson's "Inside Story") we find the following:
“Tell Bishop Fellay that he cannot move any closer to Rome than he already is, however well-intentioned the Holy Father may be.” And she repeated,“Remember, however well-intentioned the Holy Father may be.” 
What do we have contained within this statement?

A well-intentioned Pope, according to Bishop Fellay, wished to resolve the canonical irregularity of the SSPX.  There is nothing morally wrong with this, and if the Pope were to have followed through by demonstrating the absence of either an immediate or proximate occasion of sin, then the 'command' would have been lawful.

In short the message contains an order to disobey a lawful command that meets St. Thomas' exposition of the principle of obedience, which would be sinful.

A 'message' from Heaven that commands sin is obviously not from Heaven.

This is why it is important to understand and accept Church Teaching and doctrine as the Church understands and not as we would like it to be understood.  Without this foundation we can be easily led astray by well meaning but deluded people.

Bishop Williamson et al had a choice in 2012: Abandon the doctrine of the Church or accept that they were wrong.   They have chosen to abandon the doctrine of the Church.

As for the remainder of the alleged 'message', is just window dressing, or as I would normally say FUD.



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