Thursday 29th January 2015

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

A Book Review . . . A Failure To Distinguish A Hierarchy Of Texts

February 10, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY

The Signs of the Times, the New Ark, and the Coming Kingdom of the Divine Will, by Kelly Bowring (Two Hearts Press, 2013: print edition, $17.86, Kindle edition, $13.25).

A list of the sources used is given at the beginning of the book, and while some of these are very familiar, such as St. Louis de Montfort, St. John Bosco, and the Fatima seers, others are far less well known, such as Ven. “Conchita” (Concepion Cabrera de Armida), and the Servant of God Cora Evans.
Others, such as Servant of God Maria Esperanza (associated with the claimed visions at Betania, in Venezuela), could be said to be somewhat controversial, while some of the apparitions mentioned, and particularly “Our Lady of All Nations” (Amsterdam) and “Our Lady of Akita,” are questionable.
The “Divine Will” movement which is associated with Luisa Piccarreta, is a focus of the book, and while it has received some Church support, it too could be said to be still undergoing a process of discernment, and so it seems risky to put too much reliance on it just yet, particularly in comparison with Fatima or the Divine Mercy devotion.
The first chapter of the book is concerned with what Christ said about the End Times, and no Catholic can quarrel with His authoritative words about what will certainly happen in the future. But we must ask, are those events imminent and can this be ascertained by seeing what recent seers, saints, Popes, and apparition messages, have had to say about this topic?
This is what the author sets out to do in further chapters, particularly regarding the importance of the Divine Will devotion, and how this relates to the Second Coming. But certainly, in reading the first chapter, the strong impression is given by Bowring that the End Times are close, and that the advent of the Beast of Revelation is near (p. 27).
The second chapter continues in a similar vein, with a focus on apocalyptic events in the writings of saints and Popes. In themselves these texts and prophecies are important and valuable, but they have to be read in context, and with an understanding that the events they portray may not happen for a long time yet, possibly centuries.
One of the problems with the book is that the prophecies it includes are not referenced to any particular sources. And while a lack of references makes the book less formidable for the average reader, the reality is that a book of this type really does requires references.
However, there is a useful discussion of the prophecies from Blessed Elizabeth Canori Mora (d. 1825), who saw visions relating to a future crisis in the Church, in which the papacy would be attacked, and also of some of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s prophecies.
Bowring asks the question, “When will all these things happen?” and gives this answer: “Recent prophecies have indicated that we are now in the times of the rise of evil and the earthly reign of the antichrist” (p. 55).
He then gives quotations from various recent Popes who have pointed to the dangers surrounding the advent of the Antichrist, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that this event is imminent, and in fact in one of the quotations given, from Pope Benedict XVI, this Pontiff clearly stated that: “The real crisis has scarcely begun” (p. 60).
One of the serious weaknesses of the book is the way that the alleged visions of Our Lady of All Nations, in Amsterdam, are given credence, despite their many questionable aspects, and particularly the fact that this Lady of All Nations promoted a prayer which speaks of the Blessed Virgin as being she who “once was Mary,” as though the name Mary should not be used.
And this is despite the fact that we have the Hail Mary as one of the major Catholic prayers, and there is also a feast day of the Holy Name of Mary. Similarly there are problems with aspects of the alleged visions at Akita.
As the title of the book indicates, there is a particular focus on the idea of Our Lady as the New Ark, which comes from the alleged visions associated with the title Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These visions have received some Church approval, but the tone of some aspects of the message is suspect, and particularly the idea that a new petition should be added to the Hail Mary, as follows: “Spread the effect of the grace of your Flame of Love over all of humanity.” This may be genuine, but it is unlikely that Heaven would make such a request to change a prayer as well established as the Hail Mary.
However the author’s focus on Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart and the Fatima message is important and useful, as are his references to the works of St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maximilian Kolbe.
Chapter 5 is given over to Luisa Piccarreta’s Divine Will devotion — which despite a degree of Church approval — cannot be said to be properly established in the Church, while chapter 6 deals with “Coming Chastisements.” Padre Pio is put forward as a witness to the idea that there will be “three days of darkness” in the future, but again there is no reference to any source. And Bowring also speaks of Melanie of La Salette’s later alleged prophecies as though they were genuine, rather than highly questionable (p. 167).
Overall, the Divine Will devotion may turn out to be genuine, but it would seem prudent to treat it with caution until we have more certainty about that, and so it shouldn’t be treated as being on a par with, for example, Fatima. It seems to lack the simplicity of the Fatima and Divine Mercy devotions, and this is another reason for caution.
Chapter 7 deals with what we can do about all of the above, and sees consecration to our Lady, the rosary, and the Fatima Five First Saturdays devotion, as well as eucharistic adoration and devotion to the Sacred Heart as the answer. It also deals with devotion to St. Joseph, the importance of fasting, and of purity.
Overall, there are many good aspects to this book, particularly the extensive quotes from Church approved texts, but the big problem is that these are from a whole variety of sources, and there is a need to distinguish a hierarchy of texts, such that those which are clearly the most important, such as Fatima, are given prominence.
Another problem is that disentangling the future on the basis of prophecies is a very difficult task, and in all probability, it will only when the Church is actually going through the End Times that she will be able to correctly discern the meaning of these events. Thus it would seem to make more sense for Catholics to concentrate on building up the Church now, rather than focusing unduly on the future.
Overall, it is a cause for concern that the book will give a distorted message to many readers, who will get the impression that the coming of the Antichrist is fairly imminent, and for this reason, this book cannot be generally recommended.

+    +    +

(Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and maintains a related web site at www.theotokos.org.uk where information about some of the alleged apparitions mentioned above can be found.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Notre Dame theologian known for books, liberal stands, dies

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The Rev. Richard McBrien, a University of Notre Dame theologian known for his unabashed liberal stands on various church teachings and his popular books on Catholicism, died Sunday in his native Connecticut, according to the…Continue Reading

Bankruptcy case brings financial fears for Catholic schools

As president of an inner-city Catholic grade school that depends critically on donations, Helen Dahlman admits to an unconventional fundraising strategy. “We believe in miracles, so we pray a lot,” said Dahlman, who leads Risen Christ School in south Minneapolis,…Continue Reading

Cardinal: No pro-life victory without reaching the marginalized

Washington D.C., Jan 22, 2015 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For the pro-life movement to truly succeed, it must fight not only abortion, but also the broader “throwaway culture” wherever life is being discarded, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston…Continue Reading

70 Churches Destroyed in ‘Anti-Charlie Hebdo’ Protests

The Christian community in Niger says it is in shock in the wake of weekend violence that has claimed the lives of 10 people and led to the destruction of dozens of places of worship and Christian homes. The protest,…Continue Reading

ITALY: Muslims smash, urinate on statue of Mary

A man was kneeling in prayer before the statue of the revered Madonna, with the photograph of a loved one in hand, in the small chapel of St. Barnabas in Perugia (Italy), when he was attacked by five “immigrants.” The…Continue Reading

At new in-flight press conference Francis says good Catholics are not required ‘to be like rabbits’

Catholics fail to practise “responsible parenthood” when they have too many children, Pope Francis has said during an in-flight press conference on the way home from Manila. He also denounced the teaching of “gender theory” in schools, likening it to…Continue Reading

CRUX’s “spirituality columnist” is “devastated” the Pope upholds Catholic teaching

Margery Eagan appears to be angling for a job as editor of National “Catholic” Reporter. Or perhaps spokesman for the LCWR: The news that Pope Francis has strongly defended the Church’s ban on artificial birth control left me, in a word, devastated. Goodness. Even…Continue Reading

St. Paul-Mpls. archdiocese declares bankruptcy in response to abuse lawsuits

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday, saying it cannot meet its financial obligations from an unprecedented wave of clergy sex abuse lawsuits. The move freezes lawsuits against the church, protecting the archdiocese…Continue Reading

Pope Francis strongly defends church teaching against contraception

Pope Francis issued his strongest defense yet of church teaching opposing artificial contraception on Friday, using a rally in Asia’s largest Catholic nation to urge families to be “sanctuaries of respect for life.” Francis also denounced the corruption that has plagued…Continue Reading

Bella Dodd, who rejected Communism in favour of faith, is a lesson for young jihadis

Her story shows how easily the best human impulses can be twisted to evil Having blogged last week about John Beaumont’s book, The Mississippi Flows Into The Tiber, with all the extraordinary, uplifting and grace-filled stories of conversion that it…Continue Reading

Fox News’ Bret Baier, actor Gary Sinise cancel on Catholic group after gay gripes

FOX News Channel’s chief political anchor, Bret Baier, has shown himself to have a thinner skin than might be guessed from his on-air persona.  Baier has caved in to pressure from the homosexual activist group ‘Good as You’ to back…Continue Reading

Federal judge strikes down South Dakota’s gay marriage ban

SIOUX FALLS – A federal judge has declared South Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but has stayed the decision pending appeal. U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier on Monday issued a summary judgment in favor of the six couples who filed…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

General Audience: Pope Focuses On Role Of Father In Family Life

pope7115

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called on fathers to be present in the lives of their children pointing out that the absence of a ‘father figure’ can have grave consequences. Speaking on Wednesday during the weekly General Audience, the Pope continued in his catechesis on the family, choosing to focus on the dignity and role of fathers. He said that teaching…Continue Reading

Pope’s Morning Homily: Obeying God’s Will is the Path to Holiness

Rome, January 27, 2015 (Zenit.org) Junno Arocho Esteves Obedience to the will of God is the path of holiness. This was the main theme of Pope Francis’ homily during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Today’s first reading from the Letter to the Hebrews explained that the sacrifices of old were not enough “for it is impossible that…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Women First And Foremost In Transmitting Faith

pope714

(Vatican Radio) The primary and indispensable role of women in transmitting the faith to new generations: this was the focus of Pope Francis’ remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day at Mass on Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. On the day when the Church celebrates the memory of Saints…Continue Reading

Pope Angelus: Jesus Wanted United Christians

(Vatican Radio) On Sunday and before the Angelus, the Pope recalled the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and its theme, “Give me a drink”, the sentence uttered by Jesus to the Samaritan woman. He told the faithful gathered that the “desire for unity” of the disciples of Jesus is part of our “thirst not only material for water, but…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Should Catholic Hospitals Use The Morning-After Pill For Rape Victims?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For a compact disc with more than 320 patient information pamphlets for all of the different types of abortifacients, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Even with all of the different contraceptives and abortifacients…Continue Reading

Obama’s Tax On Stay-At-Home Moms

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY President Obama’s disrespect for motherhood has manifested itself in policies ranging from support for same-sex marriage to defense of a form of abortion that involves forcing a baby into a drug-induced premature delivery and then leaving that little one to die. When it comes to the most vulnerable and innocent human…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Dietrich Von Hildebrand’s Heroic Witness In Perilous Times

By STEPHANIE BLOCK My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich by Dietrich von Hildebrand. Translated and edited by John Henry Crosby with John F. Crosby, Image Books (2014); $28.00; 335 pages. My Battle Against Hitler, a posthumously published memoir and collection of essays by “20th century Doctor…Continue Reading

“I Can’t Breathe”… The Plight Of The Preborn

By REY FLORES (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from www.all.org, the website of American Life League. All rights reserved.) + + + This past year has seen race relations decline as a result of a well-orchestrated attempt by a corrupt government that wants to divide us at all costs. And the propaganda peddlers known…Continue Reading

“Flee Immorality,” Church Unity, & Right To Life March

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his January 18 blog…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Pope’s Address At Meeting Of Families In Manila… Set Out On The Path The Lord Sets For Each Of You

MANILA (ZENIT) — Here is a translation of the Holy Father’s January 16 address at a Meeting With Families at the “Mall of Asia Arena” in Manila. In his text, Pope Francis praised the courage of Pope Paul VI in writing Humanae Vitae. ZENIT News Agency provided the text; all rights reserved. + + + The angel of the Lord…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World.. Papal Bloopers And Catholic Teaching

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Pope Francis continues to grab headlines, not only by setting a new record for drawing the largest crowd in history, but also by his question and answer sessions on the planes to and from his pastoral visits. On the plane to the Philippines, the Pope responded to questions about free speech and violent responses to…Continue Reading

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity . . . The Faith Of The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 What did the Early Christians believe about the Catholic doctrine on the perpetual virginity of the Mother of Jesus? Those men, women, and children who sacrificed everything for the true faith — even their very own lives? They were imprisoned, tortured, murdered. Some were burned alive, racked, beheaded. Others were crucified, flayed alive,…Continue Reading

I Believe — We Believe

By DON FIER Over the past three weeks of this series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), we have been reflectively examining the characteristics of the indescribably wonderful gift of faith that Almighty God has so generously availed mankind. As so adeptly summarized in the Compendium of the CCC, we know that faith is “the supernatural virtue which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I remember a nun telling us back in Catholic school that after God ejected Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, He promised that He would eventually send them a Messiah. Where is that in the Bible? — M.R., Indiana. A. In chapter 3 of the Book of Genesis. Actually, the promise was made before God expelled our…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Mutien Marie Wiaux

By CAROLE BRESLIN A few decades ago, when Catholic schools taught religion from the Baltimore Catechism, one of the first questions children learned was, “Why did God make you?” The answer was, “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” The Catechism…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

By CAROLE BRESLIN While we can understand that God is infinite, it is difficult to comprehend the stretch of such infinity. Certainly our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend it. Hence, since our minds our finite, the more we have cluttering our minds with worldly affairs such as possessions, relationships, and activities, the less time and room we have in…Continue Reading