Countdown to the Kingdom Responds to the Bishops

This morning, I discovered that Countdown to the Kingdom (CTTK) has responded to the letter of Bishop Bourgon of Hearst-Moosonee.

CTTK’s entire argument rests, as I have said previously, upon the two Bishops’ statements containing no formal condemnation in forma specifica. Then, they add to this the following statement:

Were a bishop to issue a formal condemnation of Fr. Michel Rodrigue’s messages, and were the prophecies of the Warning, the Chastisements, World War III,  the Three Days of Darkness, and the Era of Peace to then occur, such a condemnation would reflect poorly on said bishop and on the Catholic Church as a whole. An erroneous condemnation would put into question the sanctity and surety of any bishop’s official statement, which is presumed utterly correct and to come from a thorough investigation.

CTTK would likely prefer to think of this statement as something along the lines of a “friendly warning,” but I beg to differ. It comes across more as a bully-tactic in that it serves the purpose of backing the two Bishops into a corner of continual doubt. Doing this provides a soft and cushy “grey area” in which CTTK can then operate.

I believe it is appropriate to draw attention at this time to the 1983 Codex Iuris Canonici:

Can. 386 §1. A diocesan bishop, frequently preaching in person, is bound to propose and explain to the faithful the truths of the faith which are to be believed and applied to morals. He is also to take care that the prescripts of the canons on the ministry of the word, especially those on the homily and catechetical instruction, are carefully observed so that the whole Christian doctrine is handed on to all.

§2. Through more suitable means, he is firmly to protect the integrity and unity of the faith to be believed, while nonetheless acknowledging a just freedom in further investigating its truths.

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

Based upon the above considerations:

  1. Bishops Bourgon and Lemay have made known their mind on the question of Fr. Rodrigue;
  2. They have declared their total disavowal of Rodrigue’s alleged messages;
  3. In doing so, they have exercised their office;
  4. The faithful are bound to obey what has been stated.

I would add to these considerations the observation that BOTH Bishops have indicated that Rodrigue was never an official exorcist. This can be interpreted as a tongue-in-cheek (indirect) statement that Rodrigue has misrepresented himself, if not actually lied.

Despite these facts, CTTK has decided to downplay the statements of the Bishops by dismissing them as being merely their “personal opinion.” In doing such, CTTK is dangerously running close to encouraging disunity within the Body of Christ. Moreover, if Fr. Rodrigue has misrepresented himself as an “exorcist,” CTTK is not wise in continuing to defend him.

They need to stop. Now.

If CTTK believes the Bishops’ statements are erroneous, unclear or rooted in improper methodology, the 1983 CIC has provisions relevant to these matters:

Can. 212 §2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

I strongly encourage CTTK to take advantage of the law and write to the two Bishops and seek clarification. I would add, however, that this should have been done before publishing the present statement.

Let me be clear: CTTK, knock it off.

A Short Reply to Countdown to the Kingdom

Countdown to the Kingdom (CTTK) has responded to the news concerning the Bishop of Amos, Québec’s recent letter on Fr. Michel Rodrigue.

Quite frankly, I have little wherewithal to respond to CTTK in any great length. I shall, then, keep my post here short.

CTTK’s post is in reply to Dr. Mark Miravalle’s own reproduction of the news over at Mother of All Peoples web site. Notice how CTTK is not actually responding to the Bishop of Amos. It’s responding to Miravalle. This fact is most curious because Miravalle is entirely incidental to the development in Rodrigue’s case with the Bishop’s letter. The letter itself should be CTTK’s focus.

I cannot help but wonder if CTTK is targeting my old college professor? If so, why?

Next, CTTK argues Miravalle (by this point, a straw man?) over the word “disallowance:”

Within the space of this short headline, two errors are being promoted:1) that Fr. Michel’s messages have been “disallowed,” [1] and 2) That this “disallowance” (which appears nowhere within the body of the letter itself) comes from Fr. Michel’s Bishop.

In the footnote, CTTK says the following:

Despite the Open Letter’s own subject line, the content of the letter itself contains no actual disallowance — i.e. no condemnation — of Fr. Michel’s messages.

In other words, CTTK’s position is this: there is no specific formula of condemnation (“disallowance”) of Fr. Rodrigue’s messages in the Bishop’s letter. Therefore, we can continue as before with Fr. Rodrigue.

Concerning the claim that a “disavowal” is not in the body of the letter, let’s take a closer look at the letter.

The Bishop of Amos does use the word “disavowal” in the body of the text. It is found in the body of the Bishop’s French text (page 2, third paragraph from the bottom). The French word is “désaveu,” denial, rejection, disavowal:

The word was translated differently in the English translation of the letter (“disallowance”/”disavowal”). Here in this paragraph, the Bishop is indicating that there has already been a disavowing in the letter. The question, then, is where can it be found?

Notice that the paragraph with this phrase “To this disavowal…etc.” followed a citation to a previously unpublished letter to Fr. Rodrigue from the Bishop dated to April 21, 2020. In this new letter, the Bishop of Amos unequivocally stated, “I want to make it clear that I absolutely disagree with the prophecies [from] you on the aforementioned site….”

That certainly sounds like a disavowing to me, even if not in forma specifica.

One can therefore safely conclude that, by the present letter of September 3, 2020, the Bishop of Amos:

  1. disagrees with Rodrigue’s alleged prophecies;
  2. is now making public the fact of his “absolute” (absolument) disagreement;
  3. is disassociating himself and his Diocese from the alleged messages and prophecies of Fr. Rodrigue;
  4. Fr. Rodrigue now has little to do with the Diocese of Amos.

The “disavowal” was given voice in the paragraph cited from the letter of April 21. It was not in forma specifica and it is upon this fact that CTTK wishes to “hang its hat.” Such a claim, however, is beyond sophistry, it’s ludicrous.

If memory serves, during its promotion of Fr. Rodrigue, CTTK played-up the association of Fr. Rodrigue with the Diocese of Amos. Now CTTK wishes to downplay the same Diocese when it makes negative statements about Fr. Rodrigue. Curious.

-Kevin Symonds

Correction (9-9-20): O’Connor may not have written the CTTK post. I have updated my post accordingly and revised a few finer points.

He Who Defines the Terms Wins the Debate: A Response to John Gehring

On September 2, Commonweal published an article by Gehring entitled Who’s a ‘Fake’ Catholic?[1] The article itself discusses the “faith” of the Democrat Presidential nominee, Joseph R. Biden. Gehring’s central point is that recent (and, by extension, not so recent) questions surrounding the “faith” of Joe Biden are not “fair.” The tagline for the article is explicit: “It’s fair to challenge Biden on his positions, but not to question his faith.”

While reading the article, I noticed a glaring omission: there is no definition of the word “faith.” An old adage states that “he who defines the terms wins the debate.” Thus, for Gehring to omit the definition of “faith” is a glaring oversight as it is a necessary component to the discussion.

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