A Response to Mark Miravalle’s Critique of Maria Divine Mercy: Part 1

by Arthur Policarpio

This article is the first part of a series in response to Dr. Mark Miravalle’s article condemning the prophecies and messages given by Our Lord to the Irish seer “Maria Divine Mercy”.  In this article, we examine three (3) of the objections raised by Dr. Miravalle regarding the Messages.

Objection 1: The Emergence of the False Prophet

On February 11, 2012, exactly one year before the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Maria Divine Mercy received this message from Jesus:

My poor Holy Vicar, Pope Benedict XVI, will be ousted from the Holy See in Rome. Last year, my daughter, I told you of the plot, within the corridors of the Vatican. A plan to destroy My Holy Vicar was devised in secret on the l7th March, 2011, and this will come to fruition, for it has been foretold.

Exactly one year after that message, Pope Benedict XVI made the unprecedented act of resigning from the papacy.  The circumstances surrounding his resignation raise a lot of questions: Why would the pope resign right in the middle of the Year of Faith that he himself declared?  He declared his resignation on February 11, 2013, and a mere two weeks after, his resignation took effect - why so abrupt?

On April 12, 2012, Jesus gave this astounding message to Maria Divine Mercy:  “My beloved Pope Benedict XVI is the last true Pope on earth…. The next Pope may be elected by members within the Catholic Church, but he will be the False Prophet.”

It is this aspect of the Messages given to Maria Divine Mercy that has caused many well-meaning Catholics, as well as prominent theologians such as Dr. Miravalle, to reject the Messages.  Dr. Miravalle, in his critical review, said:

The message directly contradicts Catholic teaching as to the legitimacy of a validly elected Pope. The message implies that an “anti-pope” can come from a valid conclave, which constitutes a false or “heretical” position. The alleged message goes on to claim, by deduction, that Pope Francis is in fact the “False Prophet.”

Below, I give seven (7) reasons that will hopefully show to the reader that the above prophecy concerning the emergence of the “False Prophet” is both possible and believable:

1. Antipopes. The history of the Catholic Church is replete with accounts of “antipopes” competing for the papacy.   The first antipope emerged in the 3rd century.  During the time of the Western Schism, there were as many as three popes competing for the papacy.

2. Antipopes in Deed.  There have been historically-documented instances of popes in the past who may have been validly elected by a conclave, but who nonetheless were virtual “antipopes” in words and deeds.  One such pope was Pope Boniface VIII, who forced his predecessor, Pope St. Celestine V, to resign after only five months as pope.  Celestine V was the last pope in Church history to resign, prior to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Boniface VIII put Celestine V into prison, in conditions so desolate and inappropriate for a former pope.  Celestine V eventually died in prison after 10 months of captivity.  History books are replete with the words and deeds of Pope Boniface VIII - his obsession with worldly power, forcing land owners from their lands and parceling these out to relatives, and many other deeds unbecoming of the status of the “Vicar of Christ” on earth.  It is important to note that Benedict XVI visited the tomb of Pope St. Celestine V several times prior to his actual resignation - as if pointing us to the story of Celestine V, and the circumstances behind his resignation.

3. The Hidden Hand of Freemasonry.  At the turn of the century, Pope Pius XII seized documents from a masonic lodge that contain chilling details of a plan by the secret sect to destroy the Catholic Church by infiltrating its ranks with freemasons.  The goal, as stated by the “Alta Vendita” documents, is to cultivate “a pope according to our needs”.  At the turn of the century, they almost achieved their goal, as only a last-minute intervention during the conclave by an alert Cardinal prevented Cardinal Rampolla from being elected pope.  Cardinal Rampolla was later found to be a high-ranking member of a Satanic, masonic sect.

4. Corroborating Prophecies from Reputable Marian Apparitions. Many reputable Marian apparitions have prophesied about the “end times” - the times that lead to the Second Coming of Jesus - and the “Great Apostasy” that will emerge in the Church.  The messages of Mary given to Fr. Gobbi of the Marian Movement of Priests (containing Church imprimatur and nihil obstat) say explicitly that in the end times, the “man of iniquity” will sit in the chair of Saint Peter, and will “create a false church” by merging this with other religions.  Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich warned of a coming great schism in the Church during the end times, as well as the “strange relationship” between two popes, one of whom will lead a false church. In Akita, Our Lady warned of great division in the Church, which “bishops against bishops, cardinals against cardinals...”.  In La Sallette, Our Lady likewise warned of this crisis that would face the Church during the end times. Could all of these approved and reputable apparitions and prophetic messages be false? Or are these all messages from heaven, given to multiple sources, meant to warn us about the greatest evil and deception that will befall the Church during the end times? 

5. The Bible has Prophesied about the Emergence of the False Prophet.  The Book of Revelation warns that during the end times, the Antichrist and the False Prophet (the “false prophetess” referred to in Revelation) will rise and will greatly deceive God’s children: “And I saw, from the mouth of the dragon, and from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophetess, three unclean spirits go out in the manner of frogs.” (Revelation 16:13).  In the end, the Lord says that He will prevail, and that the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be defeated: “And the beast was apprehended, and with him the false prophetess, who in his presence caused the signs, by which she seduced those who accepted the character of the beast and who worshipped his image. These two were cast alive into the pool of fire burning with sulphur.” (Revelation 19:20).

Furthermore, the book of Daniel warns that in the end times, the “abomination of desolation” will take place in the Church, and the “daily sacrifice” (referring to the Holy Mass) will be abolished.  This is in line with prophecies given to Maria Divine Mercy, as well as the messages given to Fr. Gobbi by Our Lady, which warn that the False Prophet will eventually abolish the daily sacrifice of the Mass by denying the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist through the changing of the words of consecration.

6. Not Meant to Divide the Church.  The messages do not call us to rebel against the Church.  On the contrary, it calls us to remain loyal to the Church and the hierarchy.  The messages, however, do clearly prophesy that major major changes in the Church will happen very soon - changes in the sacraments, the Holy Mass, the Eucharist, tolerance for sin - all under the guise of “modernizing” the Catholic Church.  All of these will culminate in the creation of a new, modern, “one world church” that will deny the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and will merge the Catholic Church with other religions.  Once these things happen, Jesus calls us to remain loyal and true to the Church - the TRUE Church, and the TRUE Faith.

7. Fulfillment of the Prophecies will Prove or Disprove.  In the end, the fulfillment (or non-fulfillment) of the prophecies will prove or disprove the messages.  Is it wise to dismiss these prophecies outright - with so many corroborating prophecies saying the same thing? What if they were true?  It is wise to heed the story of people during the time of Noah - many laughed at him and did not believe in his prophecies.  Eventually, when the prophesied Great Flood came true, they were unprepared, and got destroyed. Meanwhile, those who believed in the prophecy and prepared well were saved.

Objection 2: “Denial of the importance of Church evaluation of alleged message”

Dr. Miravalle says that “The alleged messages reject the importance of the Church’s investigation and subsequent judgment of the authenticity of the alleged message.” Miravalle says that the seer should herself to Church authorities for proper investigation, prior to spreading of the messages. 

Below are some responses to the above objection:

1.   There was no formal Church investigation of the messages given to all the prophets throughout salvation history.  The “Church hierarchy” at the time of Jesus - the pharisees and sadducees - actually denied the Word of God Himself.  There was no Church investigation of the prophecies of Noah, Ezekiel, Isaiah.  Were these prophecies not valid because there was no formal investigation by the Church hierarchy?   God has always prepared the world for important events throughout history via His prophets.  If Jesus was indeed coming back in our generation, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that God will prepare for this most important event through an end time prophet? 

2.  A Potentially-Biased Investigating Panel.  The “investigating panel” of any investigation against Maria Divine Mercy will be potentially a biased panel, since many portions of the Messages have to do with the internal corruption of the Church because of the infiltration of Freemasonry within its ranks. If indeed Freemasonry has infiltrated the ranks of the Church, an investigation of Maria Divine Mercy would almost guarantee the stifling of the messages by precisely those masonic forces from within - stopping God’s efforts to intervene and warn us on its tracks.  It is like having a court case, where the accused and the judges/jury are one and the same. 

3.  Urgency to Spread the Messages. If a Church investigation is done, it will take decades to render a judgement on the messages (as past experience has shown) - thus defeating the whole purpose of giving the messages to mankind as quickly as possible because of their urgency.  If Jesus is indeed coming back in our generation, as corroborated by many contemporary Marian apparitions and private revelations, then a decades-long investigation simply cannot be afforded.  A case in point is Medjugorje.  More than 40 millions pilgrims have visited the shrine, scores of conversions and healings have been reported, numerous religious vocations have been born - and yet 30 years after the start of the apparitions, the Church still hasn’t concluded its investigation.  If Church authorities stopped the children of Medjugore from proclaiming and spreading the messages of Our Lady at the start of the apparitions, then we wouldn’t have had the benefit of all the wonderful spiritual fruits that we see today from Medjugorje.

4.  Spiritual Fruits will be one of the Important Bases for Determining Authenticity - If the messages given to Maria Divine Mercy are truly of God, they will spread through the power of the Holy Spirit. A good example is Medjugorje - devotion has spread throughout the world, even without formal Church approval.       

        Another example is the messages given by Our Lady to the Italian priest Fr. Stefano Gobbi. There was no formal Church investigation at the start of the messages/locations. And yet, these messages have spawned a worldwide Marian Movement of Priests and Laity that includes hundreds of priests and bishops, as well as millions of lay faithful. 

Yet another example is in the Philippines, where devotion to Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace has flourished - primarily as a result of reported apparitions of Our Lady way back in the 1950s in Lipa, Philippines. The apparitions have actually been declared by the Church to be not supernatural in origin. And yet, this has not stopped people from flocking to Lipa, and has not stopped devotion to Mary Mediatrix from flourishing.   

In all of these cases, if the Church had stepped in right at the start of these messages, and prohibited their spreading (until after a complete investigation has been completed), then the messages would not have been given the opportunity to spread and generate the spiritual fruits that we now see today in Medjugorje, the Marian Movement of Priests and Laity, Lipa, and many others.  In fact, we need to precisely give time for the messages to spread to see if they will bear spiritual fruit in the form of conversions, prayers, healings, etc.

Objection 3: Spiritual Fruits

Dr. Miravalle says that the messages are characterized by the "absence of the authentic Christian fruits of spiritual peace, joy, and trust, and charity; and, in their place, manifestations of greater fear, anxiety, and dominant negativity."

Furthermore, regarding the tone and character of the messages given to Maria Divine Mercy, Dr. Miravalle says: “Fear-producing tones of divine retribution, anger, justice, and, disaster are the principal themes placed into the alleged words of God the Father and Jesus.”

Below are four (4) responses to the above objections:

1.   The Fallacy of Hasty Generalization

The above is a fallacy known in logic as “hasty generalization”, which is essentially making a conclusion based on insufficient evidence - it usually involves making a conclusion based on a survey from a small group that fails to sufficiently represent an entire population.  A fallacy is “faulty logic”, and as such conclusions made using faulty logic are incorrect. An example of this fallacy is as follows.  A person travels through a town for the first time. He sees 10 people, all of them children.  The person then concludes that there are no adults in the town.

The argument of Dr. Miravalle related to the above is the same.  He randomly picks up a few phrases from the messages, then concludes on the bases of these few phrases (without considering the entirety) that the entire messages are of a certain character - lacking in love, promoting fear, etc.  This is highly incorrect, as a close reading of the entire messages - not just phrases and pockets - will show that the messages are in fact full of love and concern.  

The messages are full of hope - it talks about God’s plan to intervene in these end times to save His children from the grip of the evil one.  It talks about love - that God, in His mercy, will not abandon us in these difficult times, and will forcefully intervene to save His creation. 

Below are some excerpts from the first message of Jesus given to Maria Divine Mercy on November 9, 2010, which gives us an idea of the general tone and intent of the Book of Truth:

I love you all so much that I gave up My Life for you. Have you forgotten this? Through My Divine Mercy I implore all of you to turn back to Me one last time. Through My Mercy I come back to earth to try and help you to look into your hearts and seek the Truth. Do not allow the Deceiver to destroy you. Seek the Truth. Love - Pure Love - is the path to My Father’s Kingdom.

Please remember My Divine Mercy. I love each and every single one of you. Pray for forgiveness now. Hold out your hands and let Me guide you to My Father’s Kingdom. I am returning to earth as foretold. That time is drawing so quickly that many will not be prepared...I beseech you to listen and heed My Word. I love all of you. I ask you to pray for conversion before the End Times, which are almost upon us. I have no wish to frighten My followers but I beseech all of you now to save souls.

How can the above be characterized, in Miravalle’s own words, as “fear-producing tones of divine retribution, anger, justice, and, disaster?” If one reads the above message sincerely and humbly, one cannot help but feel the love of Jesus - but at the same time, the urgency of His call for conversion. 

2. Jesus has always spoken the Truth - often harshly - even if it hurts

One of the objections of Dr. Miravalle to the messages given to Maria Divine Mercy is that for Miravalle, the “messages are replete with negative...rants of condemnation and judgement in words and expressions which gravely misrepresent the infinite mercy and love of the Father and of the Son”.

We have already discussed previously why the above is false reasoning - it is a “hasty generalization” fallacy which does not consider the entirety of the message, but instead merely lifts a few passages and takes them out of context.

However, another aspect of the above is that Miravalle, in effect, is saying to us that Jesus cannot speak this way - Jesus cannot speak “rants of condemnation and judgement”. 

If we look at the Bible, though, we will realize that Jesus has always spoken the truth against sin, oftentimes in harsh “rants of condemnation and judgement”.  He was especially harsh against the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 3:7-10):

You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

We must not forget that while God is merciful, He is also just, and in His justice, He will condemn sin.  There are many, many other instances of Jesus in the Bible speaking in harsh tones (Matthew 9:47):  “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell...”

Jesus even went beyond words in condemning the sins of the Pharisees (Mark 11: 15-17):

...when he had entered into the temple, he began to cast out the sellers and the buyers in the temple. And he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the chairs of the vendors of doves. And he would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. And he taught them, saying: “Is it not written: ‘For my house shall be called the house of prayer for all nations?’ But you have made it into a den of robbers.

If we will apply Dr. Miravalle’s criteria (Jesus cannot speak in harsh “rants of condemnation and judgement”), then we will conclude that the above passages could not have come from Jesus!

Fast forward to the present time, and we see horrible sins that were never even present during the time of the Pharisees, and which cry out to God for vengeance: abortion, homosexuality, devil-worship, satanic cults, pornography...the list goes on and on.  The conditions of the present time are much, much worse compared to the time of the Pharisees.  Who are we to apply limits to the kind of language and tone that the Son of God ought to adopt in these times?

3.   Holy Fear of God’s Divine Justice is Beneficial for our Souls

Yes, sometimes the Truth hurts.  Yes, sometimes Warnings hurt.  Yes, the Justice of God may cause fear in us - and rightfully so, if we are living a life of sin, and risk losing our life to eternity.  If you see a friend walking straight to a cliff, oblivious of the sure fall to death, wouldn’t you shout, scream, and beg him to change his path? 

Holy fear - particularly in cases where there is risk of losing our souls for all eternity - is good.  In fact, the problem with the world today is the opposite: people are precisely no longer afraid of the consequences of sin.  People are no longer afraid of hell.  Many people no longer believe in the eternal punishment of hell - some have even gone to the extent of actually embracing hell, and worshipping Satan through freemasonry and new age practices. 

If you are God, and you see billions of your children not mindful of their souls and headed straight to hell because of their current ways, wouldn’t you try to wake up your children and try to re-ignite this holy fear in their hearts? 

3.  Spiritual Fruits

Dr. Miravalle contends that spiritual fruits “are substantially absent from the alleged messages.”   In essence, Miravalle is saying that the messages given to Maria Divine Mercy have not led to any spiritual fruits and benefits. Again, this is faulty logic - hasty generalization.  Yes, we may encounter a few people who have not borne any spiritual fruit as a result of reading the messages - but it is faulty logic to assume that the entire population is as such. 

Has Dr. Miravalle talked to every single one of the people who have read the messages - and have found that every single one of them have not derived any spiritual fruits? The only way to properly conclude that the messages have not led to any spiritual fruits is to do a global survey of everyone who has read them, and conclusively determine that there was not a single spiritual fruit derived by those who have read the messages.

On the contrary, there are many, many people who have testified to being touched by the messages, and who have embraced the call to fasting, sacrifice and prayer.  Below are just some of the actual, verbatim testimonials by real people regarding the messages given to Maria Divine Mercy (as contained in the “comments” portion of a book review published regarding the Book of Truth):

Mae Diamez-Isidto (August 16, 2013):  “I was once an example of Doubting Thomas until I read MDM messages, pray the Crusade Prayers, pray Holy Rosary and Chaplet of the Divine Mercy to overcome doubts. I am a Catholic since birth and growing up I did things that displeased Lord Jesus Christ.But I seek for Him and now I found Him. Been waiting for His second coming.”

Hellenious Kwekunab Dadzie (August 24, 2013):  “Am truly overwhelmed and sorry for my sins, am a sinner and am not worthy but all I ask of u lord is to forgive our iniquity. lord have mercy on us. let us be among of ur second coming. Amen.”

Laura Javier Real: “God Loves us all! that's why he is warning us to do something! before it happened.. Jesus love is Pure and simple! We just have to get together and do a crusade of Prayers to god and to our blessed mother! to all d Saints and Angels in Heaven, so that satan will be crushed forever and stop harming God's children on earth! Praise be to God! forever and ever, AMEN.”

4.   Call to Prayer

Jesus encourages frequent attendance to the Holy Mass, Eucharistic devotion, as well as the daily recitation of the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  Below are just a few of the many, many calls for prayer that are found in the messages:

“Let Me remind all My children everywhere to recite My Divine Mercy chaplet every single day. Pray too, and I include all Christian faiths, the Holy Rosary to My Beloved Mother for this powerful prayer will weaken Satan’s power over My children.” (13 June 2011)

“Patience, silent prayer daily, the formation of prayer groups, daily recital of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, fasting, and the Holy Rosary to My Beloved Mother combined, act as the perfect formula for saving souls.” (10 August 2011)

“...the miracle of the Holy Eucharist, present in all tabernacles all over the world, exists today and is there to fill your poor undernourished and empty souls with My Presence”. (14 April 2011)

One of the most important spiritual fruits of the Messages are the collection of “Crusade Prayers” that Jesus encourages us to recite every day.  If one sincerely reads the Crusade Prayers, one cannot help but notice and feel the Divine hand that surges through the words of the prayers.  Many, many people have started praying these Crusade Prayers.  In fact, there are instances of priests, nuns, and ordinary lay people going out of their way to reproduce the prayers - at their own cost - and going out of their way, contributing their precious time, to spread these prayers to many people. 

Click here to proceed to Part 2 of this article. 

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