Saturday, May 12, 2012

Archbishop Loris Capovilla has "reservations" about Fatima and Marian devotion in general

All around us there are signs in abundance that the Apostasy is spreading.  Parishes are emptying, more and more Catholics who have remained are approving of same-sex "marriage" and other forms of dissent.  Preparation for the Reign of Antichrist is in full swing.  Does this trouble Archbishop Loris Capovilla?  One would wonder.  For instead of addressing the myriad evils of our time, the Archbishop has chosen to address something which does concern him: the Fatima apparition and Marian devotion in general.  As noted here, Archbishop Capovilla has "reservations" about Fatima and what he refers to as "excessive focus on Marian devotion."

God preserve us from such nonsense!

Without rendering judgment on the Archbishop's personal motives, it is very troubling that he should attempt to downplay devotion to Our Lady.  For, as St. Louis Marie de Montfort reminds us in his Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, "An infallible and unmistakable sign by which we can distinguish a heretic, a man of false doctrine, an enemy of God, from one of God's true friends is that the heretic and the hardened sinner show nothing but contempt and indifference for our Lady.  He endeavors by word and example, openly or insidiously - sometimes under specious pretexts - to belittle the love and veneration shown to her.  God the Father has not told Mary to dwell in them because they are, alas, other Esaus....But you, my dear Mother, will have for your heritage and possession only the predestinate represented by Israel.  As their loving Mother, you will give them birth, feed them and rear them.  As their queen, you will lead, govern and defend them." (True Devotion, Nos. 30-31).

Archbishop Capovilla employs the specious argument that devotion to Mary can actually harm ecumenism.  But as Dr. Scott Hahn, himself a convert to Catholicism, reminds us, "Authentic ecumenical progress is not simply the result of our own human energies.  Even more, it is not caused by compromise, on either side.  'Here it is not a question of altering the deposit of faith,' writes Pope John Paul II, 'changing the meaning of dogmas, eliminating essential words from them, accommodating truths to the preferences of a particular age...The unity willed by God can be attained only by the adherence of all to the content of revealed faith in its entirety' (Ut Unum Sint, 18).  Ecumenical unity thus requires a special grace and the word of God, who acts for the sake of his family.  Accordingly, we should not expect him to work apart from but through the Mother he gave us to serve as the symbol and source of family unity."

Archbishop Capovilla, who appears to be full of himself and lacking in humility, says that he would lecture the Mother of God on her own words: Do as He tells you - which she spoke at Cana - and remind her that Jesus Himself told us to repent.  It is entirely true that Jesus is the one Mediator Who brings us the Good News and Who calls us to repentance.  But as Pope John Paul II said in his audience of October 1, 1997:

"Mary's maternal mediation does not obscure the unique and perfect mediation of Christ.  Indeed, after calling Mary 'Mediatrix,' the Council [Vatican II] is careful to explain that this 'neither takes away anything from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator' (Lumen Gentium, No. 62)....In addition, the Council states that 'Mary's function as Mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power' (Lumen Gentium, No. 60). 

Therefore, far from being an obstacle to the exercise of Christ's unique mediation, Mary instead highlights its fruitfulness and efficacy...In proclaiming Christ the one mediator (cf. 1 Tim 2: 5-6), the text of St. Paul's Letter to Timothy excludes any other parallel mediation, but not subordinate mediation.  In fact, before emphasizing the one exclusive mediation of Christ, the author urges 'that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men' (2: 1).  Are not prayers a form of mediation?  Indeed, according to St. Paul, the unique mediation of Christ is meant to encourage other dependent, ministerial forms of mediation.  By proclaiming the uniqueness of Christ's mediation, the Apostle intends only to exclude any autonomous or rival mediation, and not other forms compatible with the infinite value of the Savior's work.

In fact, 'just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold co-operation which is but a sharing in this one source' (Lumen Gentium, No. 62)....In truth, what is Mary's maternal mediation if not the Father's gift to humanity."

In the latter times right up to the Reign of Antichrist, the enmity between the children of Mary and the children of the Devil will intensify.  St. Louis de Montfort:

"Mary must become as terrible as an army in battle array to the devil and his followers, especially in these latter times. For Satan, knowing that he has little time - even less now than ever - to destroy souls, intensifies his efforts and his onslaughts every day. He will not hesitate to stir up savage persecutions and set treacherous snares for Mary's faithful servants and children whom he finds more difficult to overcome than others.

It is chiefly in reference to these last wicked persecutions of the devil, daily increasing until the advent of the reign of anti-Christ, that we should understand that first and well-known prophecy and curse of God uttered against the serpent in the garden of paradise. It is opportune to explain it here for the glory of the Blessed Virgin, the salvation of her children and the confusion of the devil. 'I will place enmities between you and the woman, between your race and her race; she will crush your head and you will lie in wait for her heel' (Gen. 3:15).

God has established only one enmity - but it is an irreconcilable one - which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer.

Thus the most fearful enemy that God has set up against the devil is Mary, his holy Mother. From the time of the earthly paradise, although she existed then only in his mind, he gave her such a hatred for his accursed enemy, such ingenuity in exposing the wickedness of the ancient serpent and such power to defeat, overthrow and crush this proud rebel, that Satan fears her not only more than angels and men but in a certain sense more than God himself. This does not mean that the anger, hatred and power of God are not infinitely greater than the Blessed Virgin's, since her attributes are limited. It simply means that Satan, being so proud, suffers infinitely more in being vanquished and punished by a lowly and humble servant of God, for her humility humiliates him more than the power of God. Moreover, God has given Mary such great power over the evil spirits that, as they have often been forced unwillingly to admit through the lips of possessed persons, they fear one of her pleadings for a soul more than the prayers of all the saints, and one of her threats more than all their other torments." True Devotion, Nos 50 - 52).

The Spotless Virgin, the Immaculata, has a special "ingenuity" in exposing the Devil's plans and tactics.  Which is why the Devil often uses others - sometimes other Catholics - to try to influence us to abandon our devotion to Mary, or at least to water it down under the pretext that it is "excessive" or "harmful to ecumenism."  

The Devil knows that those consecrated to the Immaculata will be protected in a special way in this time of Apostasy.  Which is why he attacks their true devotion.  Again St. Louis de Montfort: "Since Mary alone has crushed all heresies, as we are told by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Office of B.V.M.), a devoted servant of hers will never fall into formal heresy or error, though critics may contest this.  He may very well err materially, mistaking lies for truth or an evil spirit for a good one, but he will be less likely to do this than others.  Sooner or later he will discover his error and will not go on stubbornly believing and maintaining what he mistakenly thought was the truth." (True Devotion, No. 167),

In other words, those who practice true devotion to Mary will be better disposed toward the truth and will receive special graces against error.

The Devil knows this.  So he tries desperately to undermine such true devotion: "It's harmful to ecumenism," "It is excessive," "It is too pre-Vatican II," "It is Medeival."

Don't you believe the lies.  Consecrate yourself daily to the Immaculata.  Pope John Paul II, in a General Audience of November 15, 1995, said that to honor Mary is to go to Jesus.  How then can our devotion to Mary be said to be "excessive"?  During the same General Audience, the Holy Father places "such as Lourdes, Fatima, Loreto, Pompei, Guadalupe and Czestochowa" [this list is not exhaustive]...are "a wonderful testimony to God's mercy, which reaches man through Mary's intercession.."

And Archbishop Capovilla has "reservations" about Fatima and Marian devotion?  Now I have reservations about him.


ShrewsburyCatholic said...

Since when is "excessive devotion" to Mary a problem in the Church after Vatican II? It wasn't a problem before the Council. Now, marian devotion is almost non-existent. I read where only 2 percent of Catholics pray the Rosary every day. But some 80 percent of Catholic couples contracept.

As for Fatima, this apparition has the Church's full approval. Although one does not have to accept private revelation, it is foolish to express "reservations" about it when the Church doesn't have any.

If Archbishop Capovilla has no use for Fatima that's his affair. But some of us do. And we will not change our minds about Fatima just because he has "reservations."

Anonymous said...

thank you for expressing your beliefs so well. It's my understanding that bishops are the teachers of the faith and to disagree with them or argue with them is wrong. One is to accept what bishops teach; to do other wise is hubris and against the church and the Spirit

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Nice try. Regarding private revelations (such as Fatima), we read - from EWTN - "Some private revelations, however, the Church has accepted as credible, calling them constat de supernaturalitate (that is, they give evidence of a supernatural intervention). Such private revelations cannot correct or add anything essentially new to Public Revelation; however, they may contribute to a deeper understanding of the faith, provide new lines of theological investigation (such as suggested by the revelations to St. Margaret Mary on the Sacred Heart), or recall mankind prophetically to the living of the Gospel (as at Fátima). No private revelation can ever be necessary for salvation, though its content may obviously coincide with what is necessary for salvation as known from Scripture and Tradition. The person who believes the teachings of the Magisterium, utilizes devoutly the sacramental means of sanctification and prayer, and remains in Communion with the Pope and the bishops in union with him, is already employing the necessary means of salvation. A private revelation may recall wayward individuals to the faith, stir the devotion of the already pious, encourage prayer and penance on behalf of others, but it cannot substitute for the Catholic faith, the sacraments and hierarchical communion with the Pope and bishops.

Another way of saying this is that private revelations may not be believed with divine and Catholic Faith. They rest on the credibility of the evidence in favor of a supernatural origin. In the case of private revelations approved by the highest authority in the Church we can say with Pope Benedict XIV,

Although an assent of Catholic faith may not be given to revelations thus approved, still, AN ASSENT OF HUMAN FAITH, made according to the rules of prudence, IS DUE THEM; for according to these rules such revelations are probable and worthy of pious credence. [De Serv. Dei Beatif.]

The Pope is saying that a Catholic, seeing that the Church (and here the Holy See is meant, as only it's acts can be of universal effect) has investigated and approved certain revelations, is being prudent to give them human assent. That acceptance does not rest on the guarantee of Faith, or the charism of infallibility, but on the credibility of the evidence as it appeals to reason. The assent involved is not supernatural but the natural assent that the intellect gives to facts which it judges to be true. Approved private revelations are thus worthy of our acceptance and can be of great benefit to the faithful, for as the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes, 'Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.' [CCC 67]

However, on the other hand, they do not demand acceptance by Catholics. As Pope Benedict states in the aforementioned text,

it is possible to refuse to accept such revelations and to turn from them, as long as one does so with proper modesty, for good reasons, and without the intention of setting himself up as a superior. [De Serv. Dei Beatif.]"

Archbishop Capovilla's attitude toward the Fatima apparition is inappropriate then. To say that he has "reservations" about Fatima when an assent of human faith is due is unfortunate.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Additionally, Pope Urban VIII said that, "In cases like this (apparitions), IT IS BETTER TO BELIEVE THAN NOT TO BELIEVE, for, if you believe, and it is proven true, you will be happy that you have believed, because Our Holy Mother asked it. If you believe, and it should be proven false, you will receive all blessings as if it had been true, because you believed it to be true."

Robert said...

The push is now on to do away with Fatima. On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was seriously wounded. Two bullets aimed at his skull missed as he bent down to look at a medal of the Lady of Fatima worn by a young girl in the crowd. In the recuperating room he read everything he could about Fatima, and he reread the Third Secret.

On May 13, 1982 (a year later), Pope John Paul II publicly thanked Our Lady for saving his life during his visit to Fatima.

And on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, on December 8, 1983, the Holy Father said that, 'Precisely at the end of the second millennium, there accumulates on the horizon of all mankind enormously threatening clouds, and darkness falls upon human souls."

At the same time that the Fatima apparition is being dismissed by many as "irrelevant," the apostasy continues to spread throughout the Church.

This is all rather frightening.

jac said...

One must take Mgr Capovilla's opinions with a lot of salt.
Here is how Franco Bellegrandi described him:
Mgr Roncalli's's secretary, carefully picked in the pack of those open to Marxism, is a frail, neurotic-looking priest, a certain Don Loris Capovilla, whose scarcely known credential is a brother, a communist cell-head from Mestre, right there, a stone’s throw from Venice. Therefore warmly recommended to Roncalli directly by the PCI (Italian Communist party). This priest, consumed by progressive fanaticism, will be made bishop by Paul VI. His way of running the diocese of Chieti, of which he is put in charge, embitters that clergy to the point that he will soon have to be transferred to Loreto. Here, the former secretary of John XXIII finds this ancient Sanctuary too triumphalist – the Italian Lourdes – to his progressive taste, and thus he orders that the decors be dismantled, starting with the precious glowing lamps that crowned the high altar, which he has sawed up, to make room for the little table-altar of the novel liturgy, leaving not even the window of the House of Mary untouched. But someone files a claim with the Soprintendenza ai Monumenti (Italy’s art works conservation agency), and the hand of the iconoclast is fortunately stopped on time."
Indeed a man I would not recommend our Holy Father to take him as his secretary.

jac said...

Mgr Capovilla fell some years ago straight into a trap opened by Antonio Socci the writer of "Il quarto Segreto" (di Fatima). From the testimony of Mgr Capovilla, Socci could get strong clues and later evidence that the Vatican unveiled only a half of the Third Secret.
Probably he was dismayed to have so provided fuel to the Fatimist cause.

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