There have been many chosen visionaries who over preceeding centuries have forewarned us of the great turmoil and betrayals we would suffer in the Catholic Church. Are we seeing these terrible prophecies beginning to unravell in our own times today? The purpose of those heavenly warnings given long ago was to prepare us to remain in God’s good grace, steadfast and strong in the face of a diabolical onslaught. The prophecies given by Our Lady of Good Success at Quito from 1594 to 1634 to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres; those at La Salette in 1846 to Melanie and Maximin; the vision of Pope Leo XIII in 1884 that inspired him to write the prayer for protection to St Michael Archangel; the messages and secrets from Our Lady at Fatima to Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta in 1917; and finally, the prophetical messages in 1973 from Our Lady to Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa at Akita are all well known. They are prophecies recognised as authentic by the Catholic Church, but how few of her children have heeded them!
But there have been other warnings too, other prophecies given to trustworthy members of the Church in recent times that are less well known. Can we not see how they all tie in together? Let us look at just a few of them…
This is the horrifying prophecy of Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979) about the condition of the Church at the time of the anti-Christ:
“[Satan] will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the [Catholic] Church … It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content.”
We are living in the days of the Apocalypse, the last days of our era. The two great forces – the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of the anti-Christ – are beginning to draw battle lines for the catastrophic contest.
The False prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit Church.
Christ’s Church the Catholic Church will be one; and the false Prophet will create the other.
The False Church will be worldly, ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches and religions, forming some type of global association.
A world parliament of Churches. It will be emptied of all Divine content, it will be the mystical body of the anti-christ. The Mystical Body on earth today will have its Judas Iscariot, and he will be the false prophet. Satan will recruit him from our Bishops.
The Antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers. He will not wear red tights, nor vomit sulphur, nor carry a trident nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust. This masquerade has helped the Devil convince men that he does not exist. When no man recognizes, the more power he exercises. God has defined Himself as “I am Who am,” and the Devil as “I am who am not.”
Nowhere in Sacred Scripture do we find warrant for the popular myth of the Devil as a buffoon who is dressed like the first “red.” Rather is he described as an angel fallen from heaven, as “the Prince of this world,” whose business it is to tell us that there is no other world. His logic is simple: if there is no heaven there is no hell; if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgment then evil is good and good is evil. But above all these descriptions, Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect–and certainly no devil ever seen in picture books could deceive even the elect. How will he come in this new age to win followers to his religion?
The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves.
The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion–one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God’s.
In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ …
But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism.” (Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West)
Father Michael Scanlan’s 1976 Prophecy and the Events of 2020
When leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal heard Franciscan Father Michael Scanlan, the president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, deliver a prophecy in 1976 about a time of lawlessness and shuttered churches, no one imagined such a scenario occurring soon — or ever.
“We didn’t dismiss it, but we kind of put it to the side,” Ralph Martin said. Now, 44 years later, the message has struck home, as the seemingly extreme events it cited are happening.
Since discovering the prophecy while doing research for a new book, Martin, the president of Renewal Ministries, has sought to circulate the message and provide commentary on it — not just because it refers to current developments, but because it offers direction about how to respond to such a time as this.
“There’s some real guidance in it and some real hope in it, because, obviously, the Lord knew this was going to happen 44 years ago and he wanted to prepare us.”
Although the prophecy speaks forebodingly of lawlessness and churches with bars across the doors, it does so in the context of asking listeners if they are willing to depend on God alone: “Are you willing to see no law, no order, no protection for you except that which I myself will give you? … Are you willing to see no country — no country to call your own except those I give you as my body? … Are you ready to base your life only on me and not on any particular structure?”
The Gift of Prophecy
Those who, like Father Scanlan, who died in 2017, speak such messages are believed to have the gift of prophecy, as described in the New Testament Book of Ephesians, Martin said. This gift and others are given for the building up of the Church, he continued, and, although associated with the Charismatic Renewal movement, they are supposed to be part of the normal life of Catholics.
Martin has given prophecies, as well, including one in 1975: “Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation. … Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there.”
However, Martin said he considers Father Scanlan’s message to be more specific in its references to the crime and chaos that many Americans are seeing on their streets in the wake of the death of George Floyd and in the mention of churches here and in other countries being closed because of the coronavirus. Martin said the references in the prophecy to dependence on the institutions of schools and parishes also are significant, as dioceses across the country struggle financially.
But he said there are important lessons to be learned as Catholics and others experience the events cited in Father Scanlan’s prophecy. He said during the coronavirus shutdown, when his parish was having online Masses, his pastor pointed out the four ways Christ is present: in the Eucharist, in the person of the priest, in the word of God and in our souls.
When the first two aren’t available, Martin said, Catholics can develop an understanding of and appreciation for the other two. “Those are important things we could learn during this time, but a lot of us haven’t learned it yet. We’re so dependent on the structures of the church building that it will be hard if those are taken away again.”
This prophecy was given by Our Lady at Garabandal (Spain):
“Many Cardinals, Bishops and Priests are on the road to perdition and taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist.”
This message was so shocking coming at the time of the Second Vatican Council (i.e., before the destructive changes were made), that there were many in the Church who tried to discredit the apparitions. And yet it was not long afterwards that the sex scandals by homosexual clerical infiltrators started coming to light. Together with the post-V2 liturgical changes, greatly weakened catechesis and abandonment of much of the Church’s prior pious devotions and practices, especially Marian devotion, people started to lose their Faith. This tragedy drove many to leave the Church, thus appearing to fulfill Our Lady’s warnings of the false shepherds leading their flocks astray!
We are still waiting for the promised Warning (worldwide enlightment of consciences) and the following great Miracle that is to take place at Garabandal.
Conchita González, the main visionary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Garabandal between 1961-1965, was asked on May 19, 2020, to offer some words of advice to all of us in these troubling times. Here are her words: