A Reply to Mark Mallett

Canadian bishops Robert Bourgon and Gilles Lemay have “disavowed” the alleged prophecies of Fr. Michel Rodrigue and denied his claim of being an official exorcist. Facing that, the logical course of action for his promoters would be to accept that the priest misrepresented himself, and that his claim to be an “apostle of the last days” is on shaky ground.

But that’s not what you do if you’re musician Mark Mallett, writing on the website Countdown to the Kingdom. In a recent essay, Mallett blandly dismisses the two statements, without naming either of the two bishops – after all, who wants the followers to go and read them directly?

Yes, there are controversies; yes, there are bishops who disavow the prophecies published here; yes, clergy and seers and visionaries are all human and thus prone to mistakes and misunderstandings.

Quite so. It’s a common mistake for priests to claim the status of an official exorcist; happens all the time. Well, maybe not. And it doesn’t matter that the two bishops run the two relevant dioceses: the one where Rodrigue worked, and the one where he officially belongs. Pay no attention to that, of course.

Mallett’s real focus is the sting recently delivered by apologetics writer Patrick Coffin, whose Facebook page had this take:

Two Canadian bishops have come out strongly against the pronouncements and predictions of Fr. Michel Rodrigue [….]. Why have they rejected his efforts? Because it’s mostly looney tunes, guys, new variations on an old problem: baptized astrology, End Times speculation sold as “prophecy,” and fear-based gnosticism. The perfect bit of theater to step forth to exploit the Covid-19 lockdown/BLM/AntiFa/cultural upheaval time known as “2020.”

Mallett didn’t name Coffin either. Instead, his response to such blunt talk from Coffin is sneering and judgmental:

Yes, this is how some of the “intellects” in the Catholic media today view prophecy, a gift of the Holy Spirit affirmed in Scripture and Tradition.

That’s followed with a spiritual threat:

For without a childlike heart, it is impossible to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus said—or to understand the things pertaining to it.

Some self-praise:

But not so with the humble of heart who are not intimidated by the indignant fear-mongering of those who would sooner stone the prophets than carefully discern them.

And there’s a bit of martyr-posturing:

we did foresee that all of the above would draw persecution, mockery, and misunderstanding—for that’s what happens wherever the Word of God is proclaimed.

He suggests that critics may be ill-motivated, with “jealousy toward seers who are gaining more attention than ourselves”.

there are those who will scoff and mock this work—who will dismiss these visionaries as “possessed”, “gluttons” and “drunkards”, so to speak. There’s nothing new under the sun: we stoned the prophets of old and we stone them now. Infected by the spirit of rationalism in our times, some have simply lost the capacity to hear the voice of God. They have eyes to look but cannot see; they have ears to hear, but will not listen.

The image accompanying Mallett’s article doesn’t bother with subtlety: it depicts a hand hurling a stone almost as big as the hand itself.  That’s who you are, apparently, if you dare to call fear-based messages and end-times speculation what they are, and if you dare to point out the gnostic temptation of thinking that you are following the latest “messages from Heaven.”

Mallett suggests that when bishops censure a seer, there is “injury caused”, but the devotees will not “turn against our bishops”. No, instead they will show themselves superior and follow the urging of St. Paul, whom he quotes twice:

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. [1 Cor 13]

So all the accusation, spiritual threat, imputation of motives, and moral preening in Mallett’s article are wrapped in an appeal to agape, with no apparent sense of cognitive dissonance.

For a more comprehensive reply to Mark Mallett on his article, please click here.