I received an interesting letter in the post today. Well, it was not a letter really, but rather a series of photocopied pages sent anonymously with some of the "messages" from a self-proclaimed seer who calls herself "Maria Divine Mercy. These "messages" appear in her books and website and claim to prophesy that a "Warning" is coming and the end of the world is near. Among the messages was one which seems to have been tailored for current events. It seems, according to "Maria Divine Mercy", the next Pope will be the false prophet.
According to the "message" of the 17th February 2013: "the schism within the Catholic Church, as foretold, will now be witnessed, for all the world to see...The Masonic elite have grasped control over My Church and they will wield the most wicket deceit upon Catholics....The false prophet will now take over the Seat in Rome and My Word, just as it was in My Time on earth, will be treated as heresy." "Maria Divine Mercy" claims Jesus is speaking through her.
So that will come as a surprise to our new Holy Father - he will be the false prophet and he will treat the Word of God as heresy. Astonishing claims.
Well, for the last number of months I have been hearing a lot about this woman who hides behind the title of "Maria Divine Mercy". Meeting with various prayer groups, I see many of the faithful in Ireland are reading her book and some of them are being persuaded over to her point of view. Indeed good, orthodox prayer groups are being torn apart as some members take this woman's line and others, aware of the difficulties in her teachings, try to stay clear. These latter Catholics, who cherish the Gospel and union with the Pope, are being rounded on by the others and accused of not being real Catholics, of failing Christ.
For more information on this "seer" read Jimmy Aiken's recent article. This is an excellent, concise summary and rebuttal of the "messages".
In reality this woman is leading people astray: she is fomenting schism in the Church, and many good people who have fallen for her false teachings are now becoming enemies of the Church as they promote her "messages". Indeed when faithful priests point out the errors in these supposed revelations they are attacked by those who were once faithful Catholics. Now it seems these very followers will reject the new Pope, brand him the false prophet and so take themselves out of communion with the Catholic Church.
In one of her "messages" she claims: "He [the Antichrist] will be head of the New World Religion and he, and the False Prophet, who will head up the shell of the Catholic Church on earth will work closely to deceive all of God’s children". So, it seems, those who remain in the Catholic Church in disobedience to "Maria Divine Mercy's" call will be working for the Antichrist.
What is going on? I think it may well be a case of a false prophet indeed - only it is not the Pope. In these difficult times for the Church we orthodox faithful need to stick together, need to support each other and encourage each other to live the faith as well as we can in union with the Holy Father. The devil tries everything he can to try and tear this communion apart, and it seems we may well have another attempt in these false "messages", one which is having some success.
I would ask all Catholics to stay clear of this woman and her "messages". For one thing we cannot establish her credentials. When the Church examines the authenticity of any supernatural events or revelations she examines the alleged seers because their lives and integrity are part of the investigation. If any alleged seer hides behind a pseudonym, even if they claim it is for the sake of humility, their integrity cannot be established, they are frustrating attempts of the faithful to weigh up whether this person is genuine or not. If you look at the history of the Church no authentic seer hid behind a pseudonym - they were known and submitted to the judgement of the Church. Through her invented persona and "messages", "Maria Divine Mercy" is trying to avoid that, and that speaks volumes.
I expect a backlash. A priest I know wrote an article exposing the heresy and inconsistencies in these "messages" some time ago and soon after she was getting "messages" condemning him. So I presume if her followers are offended with what I have written I will pop up in the next "revelation" - this is how false prophets try to quash criticism.
As Jimmy Aiken correctly points out: to adhere to the "messages" and supposed prophecies of "Maria Divine Mercy" can result in grave sin and lead to formal schism. To reject the next Pope and call him the false prophet is to enter into schism, and schismatics incur an automatic excommunication. Harsh things to end this post, but this is serious. "Maria Divine Mercy" may well be putting her immortal soul in danger, she should not have companions on that road to perdition, but rather people who try to bring her to conversion.