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Discernment of Private Revelation

Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?
An evaluation of messages: Part 2

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In my humble and pious opinion as a faithful Roman Catholic theologian and Bible translator, the claimed private revelations to an anonymous woman, in the form of messages posted on her website (, are not true private revelations from God. These messages contain many substantial doctrinal errors, in addition to the heretical claim that this woman will write a book which will become a part of the Bible, and which will be equal to one of the Gospels. Her claimed private revelations endanger souls and contradict the clear and definitive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on many points; therefore, these messages are not from Heaven. A list of examples follows.

Prior to her reception of claimed private revelation, this claimed visionary was a lapsed Catholic who had not received the Sacraments in years, including Confession. She was a business woman, who was leaning toward being an agnostic and had not prayed in years. She is an Irish woman, who is said to be married with children. She suffers from a serious illness and is bedridden much of the time.

This woman has remained anonymous, as is common among the false visionaries. She has chosen for herself an exalted nickname, also a common feature of false private revelation: "Maria Divine Mercy". Maria is the Latin name for the Blessed Virgin Mary, as in: "Ave Maria". And "Divine Mercy" refers to the greatest work of God. This visionary is not sinless, like the Virgin Mary. This visionary is not Divine, nor is she the source of all Mercy. This name, which she chose for herself, shows arrogance and self-exaltation. But many of the other false visionaries also call themselves by such special names. It is a common feature of false private revelation.

The evil dictator Gaddafi

This message portrays Jesus as if he were calling the brutal dictator Muammar Gaddafi "my son".

"The death of My son Muammar Gaddafi whose soul that you and those close to you have been praying for over the last number of months is one of the first prophecies which will prove to the world the authenticity of these messages." (message of October 20th, 2011)

Is it true that Jesus would call anyone and everyone His "son", even the wicked? Let's see what Sacred Scripture has to say on this point:

[Matthew 7]
{7:23} And then will I disclose to them: ‘I have never known you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity.’

{23:15} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and by land, in order to make one convert. And when he has been converted, you make him twice the son of Hell that you are yourselves.

{23:25} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you clean what is outside the cup and the dish, but on the inside you are full of avarice and impurity.

{23:27} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed sepulchers, which outwardly appear brilliant to men, yet truly, inside, they are filled with the bones of the dead and with all filth.

{23:33} You serpents, you brood of vipers! How will you escape from the judgment of Hell?

So we can clearly see from these examples of Jesus' own words in Sacred Scripture that our Lord would not refer to an evil dictator as "My son".

Why were the visionary and her closest followers told to pray over the soul of this brutal dictator? The message says nothing about his repentance and conversion, and nothing about his evil deeds, harming millions of persons in his own nation for many years. Jesus did not hesitate to condemn the scribes and Pharisees, and if these messages were really from Jesus, He would not have called this wicked man "my son" and He would have condemned his wickedness.

By the way, it is foolish for anyone to claim that the death of Gaddafi was somehow the fulfillment of a prophecy. It was clear for many months in advance of his death that his government would fall, and that he would likely die (as often happens to dictators). So this is not a prophecy, since it is the expected outcome. Also, the alleged prophecy was not publicly revealed until after the event happened. True prophecies are revealed in advance, not after the fact.

The visionary and her followers were told to pray for this wicked man because these messages are from fallen angels (i.e. devils), who like to help the wicked and hinder the good.

False claim about Satan

A recent message claimed that all injustice and evil in the world is caused by Satan.

"If you believe in the existence of Satan then know that everything that is unjust and evil in the world is caused by him." August 5th, 2012

This claim is contrary to the teachings of the Church on free will and sin. Every human person has the gift of reason and free will from God. When people sin, committing evil or unjust acts, they are not caused to sin by Satan. They sin by their own free will. In fact, the knowing exercise of free will is exactly why sins have culpability. We are able to do good, or to do evil; if we knowingly choose, of our own free will, to do evil, then we are the cause of that evil, of that injustice.

It is just as the Blessed Virgin Mary said at La Salette: "the sins of men are the cause of all the pains which come upon the earth". Similarly, at Fatima, she said: "Wars are a punishment for the sins of mankind" and "I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not continue to offend Our Lord, Who is already too much offended."

Sin is the cause of all the injustice and evil in the world. But sin only occurs when people exercise free will to choose wrong over right. Satan does not cause our sins.

Is Satan at work, in every sin, influencing us toward evil? No. Such a claim is also contrary to the teachings of the Church.

"The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 395)

Furthermore, Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that angels can only be in one place at a time; they cannot be in more than one place at a time. (Summa Theological, I. Q. 52. A. 2; Therefore, Satan cannot be everywhere at once, influencing every individual person toward sin.

It is the case that one or another fallen angel is involved in every sin? No, it is not. The three sources of temptation were summarized succinctly by the theologian Peter Abelard, in his commentary on the Our Father prayer.

“For there are three things which tempt us: the flesh, the world, the devil. The flesh tempts us by appetite and by indulgence. The world [tempts us] by prosperity and adversity: by prosperity so that it may deceive, by adversity so that it may dishearten.” (Peter Abelard, Expositio Orationis Dominicae, Petitio Sexta; my translation of the Latin.)

Pope Benedict XVI recently spoke favorably about Peter Abelard’s work, even crediting him as “the very person who introduced the term 'theology' in the sense in which we understand it today….” (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 4 November 2009)

There is only one source of sin: free will. By definition, sin is a knowing choice of the free will. The three sources of temptation are not sources of sin, but only of temptation to sin. Nothing can cause a human person to sin, except the free will of that person. An act not freely chosen is not a sin. Although the valley of tears in which we all live has many inducements to sin, nothing can compel anyone to commit even a single venial sin. But there are three sources of temptation toward sin: (1) the flesh, (2) the world, (3) the devil.

Therefore, the claim in this message that Satan causes all evil and all injustice is false. The only injustices and evils in the world are those resulting directly or indirectly from sin.

False Claim about Remaining in a State of Grace

One of the messages claims that Catholics must go to Confession every two weeks, or they will not remain in a state of grace:

"For Catholics among you, you must receive the Sacrament of Confession every two weeks if you wish to remain in a state of Grace." July 9th, 2012

The Church teaches no such thing. In fact, Canon Law only requires the faithful to go to Confession at least once a year.

Canon 989: After having reached the age of discretion, each member of the faithful is obliged to confess faithfully his or her grave sins at least once a year.

It is contrary to the teaching of the Church to claim that a Catholic will not remain in a state of grace without receiving Confession every two weeks. What if the Pope does not go to Confession every two weeks? Does he fall out of the state of grace? Certainly not. And neither does anyone else. The Magisterium teaches that only a grave sin, committed with full knowledge and full deliberation -- in other words, an actual mortal sin -- can cause a Baptized person to lose the state of grace.

This message contradicts the teaching of the Church, and so it cannot be from Jesus, who is the head of the Church, and it cannot be from the Spirit, who teaches through the Church. Any claimed private revelation that rejects or contradicts the teaching of the Church is not from God.

Heretical Error on Mortal Sin and Salvation

The same message makes another error, about the state of grace and mortal sin:

I now bequeath a special prayer also for you to say for those poor souls who may die of shock during The Warning and who may be in mortal sin.

Crusade Prayer (65) For those in mortal sin

Oh Dear Jesus, Saviour of mankind
Through Your Divine Mercy I plead for clemency for all those
poor souls in sin who may be taken from this earth during The Warning
Forgive them their sins and in memory of your Passion I beg you to grant
Me this special favour in atonement for their sins
I offer myself to you in mind, body and soul as a penance to salvage
their souls, and to bring them eternal life.
Amen. (message of July 9th, 2012)

This message claims that if a person dies in a state of mortal sin, and therefore not in a state of grace, then he or she can still be saved by this special prayer from this claimed private revelation. But the claim is contrary to the infallible teaching of the Church. It is an heretical claim.

The Roman Catholic Church has infallibly taught that anyone who dies in a state of mortal sin will have eternal punishment in Hell. You can only repent from mortal sin prior to death. No repentance from mortal sin is possible after death. Nor can any prayers cause a person who dies in a state of mortal sin, rather than in a state of grace, to have eternal life. By teaching the opposite idea to what the Magisterium infallibly teaches, this claimed visionary is guilty of teaching heresy.

Pope Benedict XII infallibly defined: "Moreover we define that according to the general disposition of God, the souls of those who die in actual mortal sin go down into hell immediately after death and there suffer the pain of hell." (On the Beatific Vision of God, Constitution issued in 1336.)

And two Ecumenical Council also infallibly taught the same dogma:

Council of Florence: "But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains." (Council of Florence, 6 July 1439.)

Council of Lyons II: "The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, yet to be punished with different punishments." (Denzinger 464)

This teaching is infallible, and yet it is contradicted by the above quoted message of claimed private revelation. The rejection of any infallible teaching is heresy, and the penalty is automatic excommunication. The visionary in question, who calls herself "Maria Divine Mercy" is believing and disseminating grave heresies. Therefore, her claimed private revelation cannot be from God.

Therefore, also, she herself is automatically excommunicated. For she not only believes and teaches the multiple heresies found in these messages, but she also does not care if her messages contradict the infallible teachings of the Magisterium. She has set herself up as an alternate Magisterium, as a new source of supposedly authoritative teaching, with no concern for the actual teachings and authority of the Magisterium. Whoever commits a grave sin, not caring if the act is gravely immoral or not, is guilty of that grave sin. Whoever believes and teaches false doctrines, not caring if it contradicts the infallible teaching of the Church, is guilty of formal heresy and is automatically excommunicated.

Usurping the Authority of the Church

The messages of "Maria Divine Mercy" at website usurp the authority of the Church by claiming to be able to absolve sins without confession and by claiming to be able to issue a plenary indulgence. The messages claim that anyone who says a particular prayer, each day for seven consecutive days, will be granted "the gift of total absolution" and a plenary indulgence.

"I grant them this Plenary Indulgence to enable them carry My torch of fire so that they can spread conversion. This gift from me will enable them to spread the truth of My Holy Word so that it will touch hearts everywhere they go. They must say this prayer for seven consecutive days and they will be given the gift of total absolution and the power of the Holy Spirit." January 31st, 2012

The Magisterium teaches that indulgences, whether partial or plenary, can only be issued by the authority of the Church, that is, by the local Bishop or by the Holy See of the Pope: Indulgentiarum doctrina. An indulgence applies benefits from the treasury of the merits of the Church. Neither a visionary nor a set of claimed messages can exercise this authority.

"An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1478)

Only the Church has the authority to forgive sins and to grant remission from the temporal punishments due for sin.

More important is the fact that a plenary indulgence NEVER occurs without proper reception of Confession and Communion. The absolution of all sin that is part of a plenary indulgence comes from the Sacrament of Confession. The forgiveness of all temporal punishment comes from the works that are done (receiving Communion, saying certain prayers, etc.). And for a plenary indulgence the prayers said must include a prayer for the intentions of the Pope (unless the Church decides to omit this condition). In addition, a person must turn away from all sin, mortal and venial, to obtain a plenary indulgence; otherwise, the indulgence is partial.

The claim that reciting a prayer seven times absolves a person from all sin -- without the Sacrament of Confession, without contrition, without the confession of all mortal sins, and without the absolution of a priest -- is both heretical and schismatic. It is heretical because it rejects the teaching of the Church on the necessity of contrition, confession and the absolution of a priest in order to receive forgiveness from sin. And it is schismatic because it usurps the authority of the Church to issue indulgences.

These grave errors prove that the messages of "Maria Divine Mercy" cannot be from God.

Utter Condemnation of the Faithful

It is a common feature of false private revelations that the messages express utter condemnation for anyone who rejects the visionary or the messages. This feature is found in the messages of "Maria Divine Mercy".

"It is when they try to sabotage the Word of God that their previous good works will be rendered useless. For what good are they when they counteract such worthy deeds with deeds of hatred for God?

I say to them. The day you come before Me to answer for such mean spirited actions will be very difficult for you.

Not only will you have to answer for yourself but you will have to answer for the lies you spread about Me, My Holy Word to others.
You find fault with My Holy Word just as the Pharisees did. By doing so you say that you know more about the Truth than God.

Remember that the more you spread lies about My Holy Word you sin against the Word of God.

This sin, against the prophet of the Lord is one of the most frowned upon by My Father.

All those who have sinned against the prophets of the Lord were punished. For when they try to stop the Word of God, given to the world to save souls, they are preventing the salvation of souls.

For this they will be struck down, for nothing will stop the Word of God from being delivered to His precious children." August 6th, 2012

The messages are clear on this point: Anyone who thinks that this claimed private revelation is false, or who rejects this visionary's claimed messages from Heaven is condemned. This attitude of utter condemnation for merely rejecting a claimed private revelation (one that is unapproved by the Church) is a common feature of false private revelations.

To the contrary, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the faithful are not required to believe in any claimed private revelation, even if it is approved by the Church. But in the case of this claimed private revelation, which teaches many grave doctrinal errors, it is, in truth, a virtue to reject these false messages; it is a cooperation with grace.

"When such souls attack My Holy Word with such venom, this is a sign of Satan’s confirmation that these messages are authentic.... This sin, against the prophet of the Lord" August 6th, 2012

This message is using the term "My Holy Word" to refer, not to Sacred Scripture, but to the messages of TheWarningSecondComing. This type of exaltation of private revelation to be equal or identical to the Divine Revelation of Sacred Scripture is common among false private revelations, as is the exaltation of the claimed visionary. By calling the visionary "the prophet of the Lord", these messages exalt her in a way never found in true private revelation such as Fatima and La Salette and Lourdes.

Furthermore, it is absurd and contrary to the Christian Faith to claim that strong rejection of a claimed private revelation is "a sign of Satan's confirmation" that the messages are authentic. So now it is Satan who confirms the authenticity of these messages? How perverse! This message is allegedly from Jesus to "Maria Divine Mercy". But Jesus would never say that Satan was confirming Jesus' own words.

"In these messages the Voice of the Holy Spirit is being poured out to save mankind from eternal damnation.... However, when you reject the Holy Spirit and publicly blaspheme against it this is an eternal sin and only a miracle, sanctioned by God the Father, can save your soul... By declaring the Voice of the Holy Spirit to be evil you are guilty of a blasphemy of such magnitude proportions that this is deemed an unforgiveable sin.... You need to ask God to forgive you now, because should you continue to mount deliberate campaigns to block the Voice of the Holy Spirit, the Voice of the Holy Trinity and declare it to be an evil spirit, you will not, nor can you be forgiven, for this is a grave sin." August 8, 2012

This message claims that the Word of God in Scripture is being poured out through messages of claimed private revelation, and that therefore the messages are the Word of God. The Church says otherwise. No claimed private revelation, even one fully approved by the Church, such as Fatima, is the same as the Word of God. Furthermore, the Church teaches that the Word of God is Tradition and Scripture, not Scripture alone.

In no true private revelation whatsoever, not Fatima, not Lourdes, not any private revelation to any Saint, does the private revelation refer to itself as God's "Holy Word". That term is only used by the Church for Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, just as the Second Vatican Council taught: "Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the Word of God, committed to the Church." (Dei Verbum, n. 10)

But the claim that those who reject and argue against the messages of "Maria Divine Mercy" are guilty of an unforgivable sin is absurd. The only unforgivable sin is final impenitence: to refuse, through the last moment of life, to repent from actual mortal sin. Rejecting a claimed private revelation, even if it were true, is not blasphemy, is not an "eternal sin", and is not unforgivable.

Furthermore, the claim that a person who commits the unforgiveable sin can be forgiven by "a miracle, sanctioned by God," is contrary to Church teaching. If a person has committed any actual mortal sin, they can only be forgiven if they repent. An unrepentant person, one who is unrepentant from actual mortal sin, can never be forgiven unless they repent by cooperating with grace. It is a grave doctrinal error (in fact, it is yet another heresy taught by "Maria Divine Mercy") to say that God can forgive an actual mortal sin without repentance by the sinner. Moreover, the claim in this message that God forgives the unforgiveable sin (which is actually final impenitence, not rejecting a claimed private revelation) contradicts the teaching of Christ in the Gospels:

{12:31} For this reason, I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
{12:32} And anyone who will have spoken a word against the Son of man shall be forgiven. But whoever will have spoken against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven, neither in this age, nor in the future age.

Therefore, these messages do NOT pour out the Word of God, but rather they contradict the Word of God and the teaching of the Church. No true private revelation would ever threaten the faithful with eternal damnation for rejecting its messages.

There are many more grave doctrinal errors taught in these messages. I intend to address these, from time to time, in my blog: improperium Christi.

Furthermore, as explained above, this anonymous visionary believes and teaches numerous heresies. Therefore, she is automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church for the sin of heresy.
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."
{3:10} Avoid a man who is a heretic, after the first and second correction,
{3:11} knowing that one who is like this has been subverted, and that he offends; for he has been condemned by his own judgment.

Faithful Catholics should not believe or promote her messages, and should not associate themselves with her or her claimed private revelations in any way.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and Bible translator
14 August 2012

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