BEST PRINTED IN "SMALLEST" SETTING ON YOUR BROWSER

"Rome Will Lose The Faith
and Become the Seat of Anti-Christ"
- they say!!!

Compiled by F. John Loughnan

Updated April 3, 2002
CLARIFICATION: To circumvent any misunderstanding - I wish to advise that I concur with the Bishop of Grenoble's decision regarding the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at La Salette in 1846, that the apparition is "worthy of belief." The intent of these articles is to demonstrate that a) the "message" and/or "secret" of La Salette does NOT form an integral part of the Bishop's (and Church's) approval, and b) that the "message" and/or "secret" (which has the BVM say that "Rome will lose the Faith...etc.") is an 1879 corruption of the recorded 1851 "message", and c) that the corrupted 1879 "message" and/or "secret" has been condemned by the Church - culminating with being placed on the Index of Forbidden Books - the Imprimatur in 1879 of the Bishop of Lecce notwithstanding! - F. John Loughnan

On January 27, 2002 I received a "yelling" e-mail from an anonymous person 1 in New Zealand claiming to be "Catholic Action" at <catholicaction@actrix.co.nz>.

Premise:
"ROME WILL LOSE THE FAITH AND BECOME THE SEAT OF ANTICHRIST"

Unfortunately, we see here an actual example of the "blind" leading the "blind"!

Let us consider the following:

The above statement is slavishly accepted and promoted, by many deluded people - almost as if it is "of Faith" that the Blessed Virgin Mary spoke those words to Melanie Mathieu/Calvat and Maximin Giraud at La Salette.

Were these words spoken by the Virgin Mary all those years ago? Or were they, the repetition by Melanie of the apocalyptic ravings of deludeds (such as Luther - who had a penchant for calling the pope the anti-Christ.) It is interesting to note that Melanie made NO mention of this phrase until circa 1878!

Stephen Hand, Editor of TCRNews ran an article on the subject by Brother Thomas Mary Sennot, who is a Benedictine at the St Benedict Abbey, in Still River. Here is an extract:

"Brother Michael Dimond...like a man in the grip of a dream",
by Brother Thomas Mary Sennot

"...I had just finished rereading for the third time Chesterton's St. Thomas Aquinas, and I realized that I had at hand the perfect rebuttal. But let me dispose of two points first. Our Lady at La Salette did not say, "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of Antichrist." The message of La Salette was against working on Sundays and the profanation of the Holy Name of Jesus. Our Lady at this time gave a secret to each of the two seers, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Mathieu, which they were forbidden to reveal. They later wrote them out to be read only by Pope Pius IX. Despite this prohibition, Melanie, much later, decided to publish what purported to be her "secret" on her own, which was so sensational that it brought great discredit to the apparition itself. On December 21, 1915 the Holy Office forbade further publication or discussion of Melanie's revelations (for more on this see article at http://freespace.virgin.net/crc.english/salette.htm) The caption on this tract, "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of Antichrist," is actually by Martin Luther, and was developed at great length by one of his first disciples, Flacius Illyricus, in his "Centuries of Magdeburg." This preposterous theory was ably refuted by St. Peter Canisius, Baronius, and others.

The second point I would like to make is that the author of this tract, Bro. Michael Dimond, O.S.B., is not a Benedictine, nor is his Holy Family Monastery in Fillimore, New York, a Benedictine monastery. You will not find this monastery in any Benedictine Ordo, or in any Catholic Directory. You don't become a Benedictine by simply saying you're one, like some Anglicans have tried to do."
Refer 1: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/3251/genarticle5.html



Refer 2:
From: the Abbe de Nantes site: http://freespace.virgin.net/crc.english/salette.htm

"THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SECRET OF LA SALETTE

"..., the true Secret of La Salette has never been made public. Many Catholics sadly continue to be misled by the false and unapproved 'secret' drawn up by an embittered Melanie Calvat in 1879, a gross distortion of the original version she wrote in 1851. Others, despite their good will, have simply felt unable to give it their credence - providentially it would seem.

This article, taken from the July-August 1996 edition of the CRC, will inspire all those who love Our Lady by helping them to glimpse something of Her real Secret beneath Melanie Calvat's distortions."

Here is a portion from MELANIE'S WRITINGS (same source):
http://freespace.virgin.net/crc.english/salette4.htm#apocalypse

"It is mad

For the cinema grows from year to year until the sensational publication of 1879, when this Secret will be manipulated by all sorts of people, who will find in it an opportunity to make a case against Rome, to doom the cardinals and bishops to hell, often in order to settle personal scores. Following the example of Milanie, moreover.

In fact, Milanie yields to prophetic delirium, taken from the Old Testament then from Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. She furiously spits out her personal hatreds, which she nurtures; she is fierce against those many priests and bishops who rebuffed her - the bad priests because they were bad, the good ones because they found the Secret revolting! Whence 'the priests are a cesspool of iniquity'.

Likewise, her political ideas are dictated by her passions: Mgr Ginoulhiac was favourable to Napoleon III, he chased her out of Corenc, therefore she is opposed to Napoleon III! who was 'a two-faced being!' But she did not reveal that before Napoleon III was known! Had she been very intelligent, or very inspired, she could have said that from 2 December 1851!

She lies and pre-dates the oracles with which she fills out her Secret. Beware! All her dates are thought to be prophetic, but they are post eventum prophecies, for the phrase which authorises publication 'in 1858' is added after the event! in 1870 or 1878, after Lourdes, in order to draw attention to herself. There is no doubt that such post eventum prophecies were customary among the Jewish prophets: for example, Daniel begins by recounting a past history, in a prophetic mode, in order to capture his reader's attention, but when he comes to the actual event, he continues his prophecies by announcing the future.

She too continues, but by announcing and piling up catastrophes, one lot more disastrous than the next. It is neither Catholic nor worthy of the Blessed Virgin, as all good souls have understood: the saints, Saint Pius X, Cardinal de Cabrihres who remained absolutely calm throughout this brawl and practised the discernment of spirits. Here are the last pages of the masterly letter by this cardinal whose testimony in favour of the Apparition of La Salette we have already quoted (cf. supra, p. 6) dated 1 July 1915:

THE COUNTERFEIT VERSION OF OUR LADY'S SECRET

It is this secret, already several times printed, distributed, commented on and recommended by various authors, both ecclesiastical and lay, that M. Mariavi has thought fit to give to the public, presenting it as 'The Gospel of the Virgin Mary', to accompany and complement the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

"In order to answer your question Monseigneur, I have just read the two pamphlets concerning which you desire to know my opinion. It is absolutely unfavourable. The authors of previous publications, to do with this secret, were condemned, if not because of the secret itself, at least because of the scope and the consequences they gave it. A similar fate awaits this present publication.

" I. - It seems, in fact, that we do not have here the secret handed by the Bishop of Grenoble's envoys to HH Pope Pius IX in 1851. In its present form, it was written by Milanie Calvat, but on various occasions and in successive fragments, and seems rather to be the result of a personal composition than an exact repetition of the original text given to Pius IX, and which is said to be no longer in the Vatican.

" II. - As it stands, this secret has no value other than as Milanie Calvat's personal statement, supported by the signature of two bishops from around Naples. Milanie seems to have been sincerely pious, but she may have been deluded, and it seems that her 'mission', instead of extending to our period, ended with the Church's recognition of the reality of the Apparition.

" III. - What is certain, according to a well informed author, is that the first versions of the secret were less developed than the last; it is probable, therefore, that under the influence of the setting in which her life ended, Milanie amplified the first form of the writing she had had sent to the Pope; for certain, we do not have here an official copy of the secret handed to Pius IX. Only the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office could, with the Pope's consent, seek out the original and so determine, against the original contents, its true authority.

" IV. - The nature of this secret, as we read it today, is so strange, arranged in such a confused manner, containing particular allusions to politics, it seems to favour, in such a very precise way, the errors of the ancient millenarists - in that it announces a renovation to be accomplished in time and on earth, unlike the teaching of the true religion about the general resurrection at the end of the world, and about the eternal happiness of the elect - that one necessarily hesitates to ascribe it a heavenly origin. Finally, and more especially, the commentator has taken such liberty in evaluating and judging the Catholic hierarchy, in all its degrees, that one wonders what basis there is for the severity of his words, which would not be out of place in the pages of a newspaper most hostile to the Christian faith. One also wonders how he allies the true piety he professes with the harshness he displays towards persons worthy of every respect.

"What aggravates the rashness of these judgements is that they are, on several occasions, given in a form that is both mocking and insulting, which is belied by the character and dignity of the persons the author sees fit to denounce.

"The holy pope Pius IX, venerable cardinals such as Mgr Perraud, Mgr Lugon and Mgr Sevin, bishops like Mgr Maurin of Grenoble, and all his predecessors down to Mgr Ginoulhiac, of such learned memory: all are included in the hurtful reproaches, which the commentator dares to attribute in the first place to the Most Blessed Virgin Herself!

"And all this is written and published, offered and distributed for those who would like to find in these pages food for their curiosity. Would they learn charity and love by learning to despise the legitimate authority of the priesthood? For, the remarkable thing is that this Christian, this Catholic, seems to savour a sort of enjoyment in scourging the leaders of holy Church, those whom he mocks in calling them 'our princes'

"You will not, therefore be surprised, Monseigneur, if I condemn these two pamphlets by Dr Mariavi, if I rebuke their spirit and their character, and if I advise the faithful not to read them.

"With my affectionate respect,

A., cardinal de Cabrihres

Bishop of Montpellier.

(Le Hidec, Les secrets de La Salette, p. 164-167)
This definitive judgement was corroborated a few months later by Rome through the publication of a decree which forbade Catholics to deal with the question.""




What does the Catholic Encyclopedia say on the matter?

The Catholic Encyclopedia, of course, is excellent as far as it goes. And, in this case, it goes as far as 1910; see the copyright on the bottom?

In any event, it is helpful to actually read the data to get the full picture together with additional information. Consider this section:
(From here on, my comments will be within ****** and ****** )



"...These two secrets, which neither Mélanie or Maximin ever made known to each other, were sent by them in 1851 to Pius IX on the advice of Mgr. de Bruillard. It is unknown what impressions these mysterious revelations made on the pope, for on this point there were two versions diametrically opposed to each other. Maximin's secret is not known, for it was never published. Mélanie's was inserted in its entirety in brochure which she herself had printed in 1879 at Lecce, Italy, with the approval of the bishop of that town. A lively controversy followed as to whether the secret published in 1879 was identical with that communicated to Pius IX in 1851, or in its second form it was not merely a work of the imagination. The latter was the opinion of wise and prudent persons, who were persuaded that a distinction must be made between the two Mélanies, between the innocent and simple voyante of 1846 and the visionary of 1879, whose mind had been disturbed by reading apocalyptic books and the lives of illuminati....

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX
Copyright (c) 1910"

****** Thus, Melanie produced "two versions diametrically opposed to each other..." The first, around 1851, from the "simple voyant"; the second 1879, from the "visionary...whose mind had been disturbed..."

Let's go a bit further: ******

...As early as November 1847, her directress feared "that the celebrity that had been thrust upon her might make her conceited." Surrounded with concern and consideration on the part of visitors when she became a postulant, then a novice in the same Congregation, she held fast to her own opinions. For this reason, the new Bishop of Grenoble, while recognizing her piety and devotion, would refuse to admit her to vows "in order to train her... in the practice of Christian humility and simplicity". Unfortunately, Mélanie then took to lending a willing ear to "troubled and sick individuals," to people whose minds were obsessed with popular prophecies, pseudo-apocalyptic and pseudo-mystical theories. This would affect her for the rest of her life. To give credence to her pronouncements she linked them to the secret she had received from the Beautiful Lady. Even a cursory review points to immutable differences between what Mélanie says and writes, and the words and signs Mary gave at La Salette. Mélanie's problems and phantasms became the epicenter of her discourse. Through her prophecies she reaps revenge on those who oppose her projects. She thus expresses her rejection of a society and a hostile environment. She recreates an imaginary past where the frustrations of her childhood are effectively exorcised. As early as 1854, Bishop Ginoulhiac wrote: "the predictions attributed to Mélanie... have no basis in fact: they have no importance with regard to La Salette... they have come after La Salette and have nothing to do with it". The bishop added: "The children were given the broadest freedom to amend or deny any statement they may have made, but they have never altered anything on the veracity of the event of La Salette". With this in mind, Bishop Ginoulhiac, on September 19, 1855, proclaimed the following from the Holy Mountain itself: "The mission of the shepherds is herewith ended, that of the Church begins." Unfortunately, Mélanie pursued her prophetic meanderings. Later, these were orchestrated by the blazing talent of a Leon Bloy and would become a "Melanist" movement allegedly stemming from La Salette, but lacking any foundation except the unverifiable pronouncements of Mélanie. All this is far distant from the historical foundations of the Apparition. The content of these so-called prophecies, despite their religious veneer, have nothing to do with religious truth as taught by the Church, and recalled by Mary at La Salette. The subject matter is no longer faith but the unstable, questionable and sterile domain of personal assumptions. This type of writing alienates faith instead of strengthening it. In 1854, a English priest brought Mélanie to England. She entered the Carmelite convent of Darlington the following year: she took temporary vows there in 1856, but left the convent in 1860. She tried religious life again with the Sisters of Compassion of Marseille. After a stay in their convent of Cephalonia (Greece), and a short sojourn at the Carmelite convent of Marseille, she returned to the Compassion for a brief time. Following a short stay at Corps and La Salette, she went to live at Castellamare di Stabia, near Naples in Italy. She resided there seventeen years, writing her "secrets" as well as a rule for a future foundation. The Vatican urged the local bishop to forbid her this type of publication, but she persisted in her search for approbation and an imprimatur, even extracting a hearing from a papal official, Bishop Lepidi. This, however, never constituted even a veiled approval. The authority invoked by Mélanie is incompetent in the matter. After a stay at Cannes in the south of France, Mélanie travelled to Chalon-sur-Saône, seeking to found a community with the sponsorship of the Canon de Brandt of Amiens. Eventually she entered into litigation with Bishop Perraud, the ordinary of Autum. The Holy See, brought into the matter, decided in favor of the bishop. In 1892, Mélanie returned to a place near Lecce, Italy, then journeyed to Messina in Sicily on the invitation of Canon Annibale di Francia. Following a few months in the Piedmont region, she was invited by the abbé Combe, pastor of Diou, a priest much taken up with politico-religious prophecies, to settle in the Allier region. She finished a contrived autobiography, wherein she created an extraordinary childhood enriched with pseudo-mystical wanderings, her own imaginings and the chimera provided by her correspondents. The message Mélanie attempts to link to La Salette during this period has nothing whatever in common with the testimony she gave about the Apparition in the early years.

Our Lady of La Salette - Story
http://www.nsrasalette.org.br/ingles.htm

****** I have pointed out previously that the so-called secret of La Salette (the 1879 version) contains the allegation that Our Lady stated that "Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of anti-Christ."

I have produced evidence that this claim is, simply, a canard. Benedictine Bro. Thomas Marie Sennot's critique of the pseuso Benedictine Bro. Michael Dimond on Steve Hand's TCR News (http://www.tcrnews.com/ ) shows "Bro. Dimond" agenda as typical of schismatic and dissident Catholics, who jump on the "Rome will lose the Faith..." slogan in order to help justify their disobedience to the Pope and the Magisterium.

Also from the CRC:******

ACCOUNT OF THE APPARITION OF OUR LADY OF LA SALETTE

"...All sensational publications, therefore, produced to feed public curiosity with the supposed Secrets of La Salette and their fanciful interpretations, must be regarded as suspect. This rash diffusion of literature was condemned by the Holy Office in 1880. All pamphlets or reviews, books or memoirs, emanating from these obstinate visionaries, were successively banned by the competent authorities..."

http://www.crc-internet.org/salette2.htm
****** This rash diffusion of literature was condemned by the Holy Office in 1880. ******



****** Here is a small portion from a Blue Army source: ******

Message from the Mountain, by John Hauf

...Melanie Calvat made many attempts at the religious life, but had become opinionated by her celebrity status and associated with people obsessed with popular prophecies, pseudo-apocalyptic and pseudo-mystical phenomena. She issued prophecies and linked them to the secret given to her by Our Lady. This became such a problem that in 1854, Bishop Ginoulhiac of Grenoble wrote, "the predictions attributed to Melanie . . . have no basis in fact; they have no importance with regard to La Salette . . . they have come after La Salette and have nothing to do with it." On September l9, 1855, on the mountain at La Salette, the bishop proclaimed, "The mission of the shepherds is here- with ended, that of the Church begins.'

Melanie died on December 14, 1904, at Altamura, near Bari, Italy. She is buried beneath a marble column with a bas-relief depiction of Our Lady welcoming her into heaven. In spite of her unapproved writings, Melanie was always faithful to her original account of the apparition and message of La Salette. She demonstrated this at the Shrine of La Salette during her last visit there September 8-19,1902.
The following article was excerpted from materials composed by Fr. Roger Castel, M.S. and provided by the Missionaries of La Salette...
"... obsessed ... pseudo-apocalyptic and pseudo-mystical phenomena ... ... issued prophecies ... such a problem ... Bishop ... wrote, "the predictions attributed to Melanie . . . have no basis in fact; they have no importance with regard to La Salette . . . they have come after La Salette and have nothing to do with it."
Did anything happen AFTER the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia entry on La Salette?

Here we see from
http://mypage.bluewin.ch/cafarus/falseapparitions.html
"...- 1846 La Salette, France, recognized in 1851 but condemned by the Holy Office Decr. 9 1923 and included in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Pius XI)..."
The Catholic Encyclopedia article predates the above condemnation - not of the apparition of Our Lady, but of the false messages promoted by the bitter Melanie and by dissident and disobedient persons with their own agenda.

Anyway, "Bluewin" source provided the link to the Librorum Prohibitorum (Pius XI) at
http://www.univ.com.br/acmm/Diversos/Informacoes/filosofia/espiritismo_e_religiao/
Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum/A_Z/sss.htm

Where we see:
"Salette (La). L'apparition de la Très Sainte Vierge. Decr. 9 maii 1923."
It is interesting, is it not, that an alleged "seer"/"visionary", or the obsessed should repeat Melanie Calvat's fabrication? It only goes to show that while there CAN be a genuine event, there is no guarantee that the "visionary" or the obsessed will always be "kosher" on the matter.

Apparitions, locutions, miraculous healings, strange photos, visions, we hear of these alleged phenomena happening all over the world. The Catholic Church considers very few of such claims as "worthy of belief."

That is why the diocesan bishop possesses the charism of discernment for his diocese on such matters. Can a bishop make a mistake? Yes. But if you obey him, you are not sinning. But if you disobey him, you are - even though he makes a mistake. Remember the 4th Commandment? It still applies to our Spiritual Fathers!

John Loughnan
Sean Ó Lachtnáin's Home Page
January 27, 2002


IS Solange HERTZ THE "FRENCH AUTHOR"?

I have received correspondence, from a person who I will refer to as "xx.xxxxxx", Dialogue With An Academic Ecclesiastic On The Alleged Statement by The Virgin Mary that "Rome Will Lose The Faith And Become The Seat Of Antichrist" which needs to be addressed:

  1. xx.xxxxxx enquired whether I was aware of an Integrist publication of a refutation of my position on the alleged words of Our Lady that "Rome Will Lose The Faith...". The article was said to be by an unnamed "french author".
  2. He believes the "Rome will lose the Faith..." allegation.
  3. But he does not believe that Our Lady "would use the vulgar metaphor for the Vatican".
  4. He does not believe that the expression means that "Rome as the seat of the Antichrist is the Catholic Church.
  5. He says that "Rome being the seat of Antichrist, is already the teaching of St John in the Apocalyse." When challenged to substantiate that claim, he became quite hostile, even arrogant, but would not provide substantiation.
  6. He recommended that I refer my position to my "confessor". This I did, providing him with all the correspondence and files on the subject. To-day, Feb. 13th, Ash Wednesday, my Parish Priest (and "confessor"), Father Roger Ryan, gave me the spiritual advice to "continue what you are doing."
  7. His response to my request of him to forward the "french author"'s article on Melanie went unanswered.
  8. He asked me: are you "being uncharitable, or have you set out on a self-imposed witch-hunt for 'Integrists', and caught me in your sights unjustly?" Well, I have not identified him except as xx.xxxxxx!
  9. His response to my request for assistance in the translation of the Acts of The Apostolic See Decretums and Declaration on "La Salette" was ingnored. Read the Latin Texts and English translations here.
But here is the most interesting part:

Subsequent to xx.xxxxxx's claims about a "french author", I introduced into the dialogue a certain Solange Hertz:
"There are many who cast doubt on the lawfulness of documents signed by "only" a Notary. Such doubt was actualized by Solange Hertz in the Appendix to her book - the appendix only being on the internet at http://homepages.msn.com/ReportersAlley/romcath2/melanie.html"
I sought to establish just who was the "french author" to whom xx.xxxxxx referred.

Instead of doing so, xx.xxxxxx defended Mrs Hertz with:
"Mrs. Hertz's thesis seems to me more probable, since she cites a source with an imprimatur not included in any of the decrees you sent. And she certainly does not discount the authority of the curia, only that the decrees refer to the original authentic text."
Well, some or all of that may be, but not all of it is verifiable in the ONLY material that I have been able to discover on the net - and, xx.xxxxxx was not forthcoming with any URLs to back-up his statement. In any event, the opinion that I have received from a Canon Lawyer regarding the legality of the 1923 document is:
"It seems pretty obvious the prohibition would apply, since the context is clear."


Not only that but xx.xxxxxx tries to bolstered his case for the reliability of Solange Hertz' opinions, with:
"As to the facts, she quotes a book on the question by a member of the Congregation of the Index; I'd read that book before publishing documents on the Web that would call her or Melanie a liar, if I had a conscience.

"Yes, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday; and this letter of mine is a rebuke in the Lord."
Which words of exhortation were prefaced by:
"Here's the core of the problem:  when judging the argument of an author it is normal practice, in both academic and eccelsiastical circles to presume the truthfulness of the writer and to critique his reasoning out of the facts he presents as to the value of his conclusion(s); if you discount the facts presented by an author, a priori, simply because you presmue the author is not trustworthy, while having no evidence to adduce this, then you are not pursuing truth, but rather disagreement. And I see no reason to share such a quest, which is contrary to evangelical charity."
Here are some further Solange Hertzisms"
"At this juncture, when so much of what our Lady prophesied in the Secret is beginning to materialize, the enemy of mankind can be expected to utilize every means of discrediting a prophecy intended to lay open his machinations before the eyes of the faithful. Whereas the arguments which proved so effective in casting doubt on the Secret's authenticity when it was first divulged are being refurbished with a vengeance, the hard facts which demolished them then have only been reinforced by subsequent events. Most of them can be found as good as new in a 40-page brochure in defense of the Secret which was published in French in 1922, bearing the Imprimatur, dated June 6 of that year, of no less an authority than the Dominican Fr. Albert Lepidi, then Master of the Sacred Palace and Permanent Consultor to the Congregation of the Index.

Disseminated by the St. Augustine Society under the title "The Apparition of the Most Blessed Virgin on the Mountain of La Salette," it bears a facsimile of the Imprimatur with Fr. Lepidi's signature, plus the following words in his own hand: "These pages have been written solely in the interests of truth." The first half of the brochure contains Melanie's own account of the apparition, together with the full text of the Secret, which she set in writing in Castellamare, Italy on the feast of our Lady's Presentation, November 21, 1878 and which received an Imprimatur the following year from the local Ordinary, Bishop Zola. The second half is devoted to contemporary testimonials in defense of the Secret, the whole closing with an ecclesiastically approved Prayer to the Most Blessed Trinity for the canonization of Melanie Calvat.

Seven letters from Bishop Zola to various dignitaries figure among the contents. Privileged to authorize the first publication of the Secret in its entirety with his Imprimatur, he never wavered in his convictions concerning La Salette, nor in his veneration for its messenger. Not only have his letters lost nothing of their force with passing time, but hindsight considerably sharpens their focus. A sampling of the longest and most informative one are offered here in translation. The Bishop wrote it May 24, 1880 in reply to questions addressed to him by Fr. Isidore Roubaud, one of the few French priests who dared undertake Melanie's defense in the face of the dogged opposition mounted by Masonically influenced bishops like Mgr. Ginoulhiac of Grenoble, successor to the saintly Mgr. Bruillard, in whose diocese the apparition had taken place and had been originally approved.
About La Salette, by Solange Strong Hertz
Wow!!! Without producing any evidence for her claim (at least in this section of her "thesis"), the nasty Bishop who displeases the Melanieites is branded "Masonically influenced"! Of course, there may be evidence, but at this distance, and without ready access to that evidence, I find this to be an extraordinary claim. xx.xxxxxx does not find any problem, but does not endeavour to help my scepticism.

In fact, he urges me to read the "book on the question by a member of the Congregation of the Index..." I am urged, nay, almost commanded to "read that book before publishing documents on the Web that would call her or Melanie a liar, if I had a conscience."So, what of that book?

Just remember that it is described by Solange Hertz as a
"40-page brochure in defense of the Secret which was published in French in 1922, bearing the Imprimatur, dated June 6 of that year, of no less an authority than the Dominican Fr. Albert Lepidi, then Master of the Sacred Palace and Permanent Consultor to the Congregation of the Index.

Disseminated by the St. Augustine Society under the title 'The Apparition of the Most Blessed Virgin on the Mountain of La Salette' "
It so happens that the last "Index Librorum Prohibitorum" was published in 1948. A copy is on-line here A search of the 1948 Index produces five La Salette related entries:

INDEX LIBRORVM PROHIBITORVM -- 1948

Apparition (L') de la Très Sainte Vierge de la Salette. 1923
Combe, Gilbert-Joseph-Emile Le grand coup avec sa date probable, c'est-à-dire le grand châtiment du monde et le triomphe universel de l'Eglise; étude sur le secret de la Salette, augmentée de la brochure de Mélanie et autres pièces justificatives. 1901
Combe, Gilbert-Joseph-Emile Le secret de Mélanie, bergère de la Salette, et la crise actuelle. 1907
Mariavé, Henri La leçon de l'hôpital Notre-Dame, d'Ypres; exégèse du secret de la Salette. 1916
Salette (La) L'apparition de la Très Sainte Vierge. 1923


The first thing to note is that the first and fifth condemned items refer SPECIFICALLY and respectively to "The Apparition of the Holy Virgin at La Sallette", and "The Apparition of the Holy Virgin"! It would appear, then, that it is the "Apparition" itself which, at this time, was condemned. However, I have not yet been able to find substantiating evidence to establish this as conclusive, and will have to simply state that "it appears from the entries in the Index that the Apparition was condemned."

However, although no author is stipulated, I am prepared to concede that, rather than the "Apparition" itself, the prohibition refers to the "Opusculum" (the "little work") shown below in the extract from the Decretal of 10 May 1923. Please refer to the actual Decree.

It is appropriate to point out here that the above Gilbert Joseph Emile Combe, whose works on La Salette were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books in 1901 and 1907, is none other that the person mentioned in the major multilingual Brazilian website on La Salette, Apparition de la Trés Sainte Vierge sur la ainte Montagne de la Salette. This French site does not dignify the 1879 Melanie fabrication of "Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of antichrist. For those not proficient in French, the Diocese of San Bernadino, California also has the translation on the Melanie section here.. Here is the section relevant to abbé Combe - and Fr. Lepidi, O.P.:
"Following a short stay at Corps and La Salette, she went to live at Castellamare di Stabia, near Naples in Italy. She resided there seventeen years, writing her "secrets" as well as a rule for a future foundation. The Vatican urged the local bishop to forbid her this type of publication, but she persisted in their search for approbation and an imprimatur, even extracting a hearing from a papal official, Bishop Lepidi. This, however, never constituted even a veiled approval. The authority invoked by Mélanie is incompetent in the matter. After a stay at Cannes in the south of France, Mélanie traveled to Chalon-sur-Saône, seeking to found a community with the sponsorship of the Canon de Brandt of Amiens. Eventually she entered into litigation with Bishop Perraud, the ordinary of Autum. The Holy See, brought into the matter, decided in favor of the bishop. In 1892, Mélanie returned to a place near Lecce, Italy, then journeyed to Messina in Sicily on the invitation of Canon Annibale di Francia. Following a few months in the Piedmont region, she was invited by the abbé Combe, pastor of Diou, a priest much taken up with politico-religious prophecies, to settle in the Allier region. She finished a contrived autobiography, wherein she created an extraordinary childhood enriched with pseudo-mystical wanderings, her own imaginings and the chimera provided by her correspondents. The message Mélanie attempts to link to La Salette during this period has nothing whatever in common with the testimony she gave about the Apparition in the early years.


Now, let us return to one of the entries in the ACTS OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE, - the last one Dated at Rome, May, 10, 1923:

DECRETAL
DAMNATUR OPUSCULUM: "L'APPARITION DE LA TRÉS SAINTE VIERGE DE LA SALETTE"
"L'apparition de la trés Sainte Vierge sur la montague de la Salette le samedi septembre 1846. - Simple réimpression du texte intégral publié par Mélanie, etc. Societé Saint - Augustin, Paris-Rome-Bruges, 1922" 10 May 1923


Now! If that is not the very same "The Apparition of the Most Blessed Virgin on the Mountain of La Salette" which is claimed to have been given an Imprimatur by "the Dominican Fr. Albert Lepidi, then Master of the Sacred Palace and Permanent Consultor to the Congregation of the Index", and "Disseminated by the St. Augustine Society under the title 'The Apparition of the Most Blessed Virgin on the Mountain of La Salette' " - then I will "go 'he" for hidey"!!!

In other words, it appears very strongly, that xx.xxxxxx is urging me to read and accept a book, which may or may not have been given the said Imprimatur by Fr. (later, Bishop) Lepidi in 1922 - which book was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books about one year later. And, this is the publication which supposedly disposes of all of the qualms of those who have doubts as to the believability of Melanié Calvat's 1878 version of the 1846 apparitions! Unbelievable!!!

Solange Hertz then proceeded to cast doubts on the "regularity" of the 1915 Decree:
"After Melanie's death in 1904 the enemies of La Salette hoped to deal the final blow to the Secret. Putting the capstone on the falsehoods and misrepresentations already in circulation, a decree was promulgated on December 21, 1915 which ordered "the faithful of all countries to abstain from treating or discussing this said question under whatsoever pretext or form, either in books, pamphlets or articles signed or anonymous, or in any other way." Although the action is duly recorded in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis for December 31 of that year, certain irregularities were soon noted in its regard.

To begin with, it carries signatures of no Cardinals or members of the Sacred Congregation, but only that of its notary, Luigi Castellano. There is moreover no mention of the date on which the Holy Office presumably met to vote this piece of legislation, nor any reference to its ever having been submitted to Pope Benedict XV for final approval. Although the decree forbids all discussion of the Secret and specifies penalties to be imposed on transgressors, no censure whatever is attached to the work itself, as would be expected in the circumstances.There is not even a prohibition against possessing, reading or distributing it!

In other words the alleged 'decree' which has been brandished like a club over the heads of the faithful for over eighty years to prevent their hearing a message addressed 'to all our Lady's people,' has apparently never enjoyed the force of law.
Not only that, but she believes that there is a case for believing the May 10, 1923 decree is invalid:
Reaction on the part of the Holy Office was swift. On May 10, 1923 a decree was issued "proscribing and condemning" the entire brochure, designated by the title "The Apparition of the Most Holy Virgin on the Mountain of La Salette on Saturday, September 19, 1845." That the apparition took place in 1846 and not in 1845 would alone serve to invalidate the decree, besides the fact that for over 43 years Melanie's account of the happening had incurred no condemnation whatsoever from any authorized quarter. To make matters worse, the Holy Office took its fateful action in a session held on the previous day, when Fr. Lepidi was ill and unable to make an appearance, either to defend the Imprimatur he had accorded the original publication or to repudiate the unauthorized letter which had been attached to it.
So saith the true "Integrist"!
  • First of all, the pages of the Acts of The Apostolic See are FULL of Decrees signed solely by a Notary. (See following examples.)
    1. Decree prohibiting the work of M. Mir and I de Recalde; 4 May 1923. Aloisius Castellano, Notary.

    2. Decree excommunicating the priest Michael Collin, alias Gregory XVII; 30 May, 1951. Marinus Marani, Notary.

    3. Decree excommunicating Fr. Leonard Feeney; 13 Feb. 1953. Marius Crovini, Notary.

    4. Warning prohibiting publication of "promises" attributed to the 15 Prayers of St Briget; 28 Jan. 1954. Marius Crovini, Notary.

  • Secondly, (at least in the document on line), she names the Notary who signed the 1915 Decree as "Luigi Castellano." The fact is that the correct name of that Notary (as is frequently demonstrated in the AAS pages) is Aloisius Castellano.!
Thus my question to xx.xxxxxx:
"If it is the reference to which you referred, I would ask you what degree of trust do you place in Solange Hertz' accuracy in detail? Is she to be trusted in all that she reports and writes about?
Sadly, xx.xxxxxx took offence, and replied:
"...when judging the argument of an author it is normal practice, in both academic and eccelsiastical circles to presume the truthfulness of the writer and to critique his reasoning out of the facts he presents as to the value of his conclusion(s); if you discount the facts presented by an author, a priori, simply because you presmue the author is not trustworthy, while having no evidence to adduce this, then you are not pursuing truth, but rather disagreement. And I see no reason to share such a quest, which is contrary to evangelical charity.
Finally, Fr. William Most wrote:

"The Secret of Melanie of La Salette has harsh accusations on clergy and religious in the period 1840 to 1865 - historically untrue."

And in relation to Solange Hertz' exhortation to the Catholic world to "go on, the Index was abolished in 1966, now you can read anything that was on the Index:

Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation states:

  1. The Interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the "abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books" and determined that --- after the relevant censures were lifted --- the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals.

  2. In should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, Canon 623 #1 of the current Code remains in force: "the Pastors of the Church have the … right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgement".

  3. Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and, in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Despite this, my "academic ecclesiastic" correspondent urged me to read this "opusculum" ("little work") which was officially placed on the Index of Forbidden Books.




Footnotes
  1. "yelling" or "screaming" is when the sender types in very large case that is overly large for printing, even in smallest browser mode! It was sent by the founder and International Director of "Catholic Action" is New Zealander, Arthur R. Skinner. Mr. Skinner is also International Director of the "Society for the Consecration of Russia" - which group disbelieves statements and documents from the Vatican and Sr. Lucy of Fatima which claim that Russia WAS consecrated in accordance with the wishes of Our Lady of Fatima.

    It is interesting to note who are Mr Skinner's associates on these two groups:

    "Catholic Action"
    Position held
    Officer (in alphabetical order)
    "Society for the Consecration of Russia"
    Position held
    Committee Member Bennett, Kevin  
    Committee Member D'Souza, C.  
    Committee Member Hill, Ph.D., Kevin  
      Meuli, S.T.D., U.J.D., Ph.L., LL.B., Rev. Fr. Denzil Ecclesiastical Consultant
      Pickford, Ph.D, D.Tech., Timothy Edsall Associate & Publisher
      Piggin, Felicity Mary Secretary
    Founder and
    International Director
    Skinner, Arthur R. International Director
















    Whether the International Director has other than New Zealand associates is unknown.
    However, articles by him, under cover of both groups, have been published in Fr. Nicholas Gruner's "Fatima Crusader." Fr. Gruner has been suspended "a divinis." "No, I haven't, says Fr. Gruner. So, what's new? Archbishop Lefebvre, when he was suspended "a divinis" said: "Suspended? Suspended from what?"

    Fr. Meuli, of course, is well known as having been (and may still be) an Advocate for the Holy Roman Rota, and is a Barrister for the High Court of New Zealand. He is currently administering a "Non-geographical Traditional Latin Liturgy" chapel, under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Auckland. It is understood that he is a close associate of the Society of St Pius X in New Zealand.

    It is interesting to note that "Catholic Action" was reported in Southern Voice to have called for the replacement of all New Zealand bishops. Presumably that includes the Archbishop of Auckland who has been, I think, very tolerant of Fr. Meuli!

    Fr. Meuli is believed to have been the Advocate used by Dr. Tim Pickford in his attempt to "have his day" in the Vatican Court over the withdrawal of use of the Tridentine latin Liturgy - a move which was aborted due to the Ecclesia Dei Indult. He is more recently in the news over his letter "Regarding The Legal Status of the SSPX Within the Catholic Church" - a letter which has "gone the rounds", including being passed on to me by Fr. Kevin Robinson of the SSPX here in Hampton, Australia. Fr. Robinson became acquainted with Fr. Meuli while stationed with the SSPX in New Zealand. In this letter, Fr. Meuli pits himself against the "keeper of the keys"; the one who has the power to bind and loose; the lawmaker, and the law interpreter - he fobs the Pope off with an "He is no jurist". To the best of my knowledge, Fr. Meuli "is no pope"!



    Dr. Tim Pickford is another interesting New Zealander, now resident in Australia. His "St Hilary and Justin" page on the Veritatis website [http://www.veritatis.org.au] contains many of Fr. Meuli's Sermons. I have only had time to browse through some of them, but would be surprised if they all were not orthodox.

    Dr. Tim is a fervent promoter of "Garabandal". The bishops of Garabandal (I think there have been some eight over the period) have declared that there is no evidence to support claims for supernatural events having occurred at Garabandal. Tim opposes their findings, and actively promotes the site. Refer go to the Bishop's Letter in Spanish The Bishop of Santander

    It is further interesting to note that the Veritatis website promotes a link to another unapproved (indeed, condemned) alleged apparition - that of Veronica Leuken and Bayside. The link is to "End Times? Prophecy?", which resolves as "The End Days" at http://webcom.com/enddays/welcome.html - a site which promotes the condemned pseudo apparitions to Veronica Leuken of Bayside, Dr. Mary Jane Even, and Australia's own "Little Pebble", aka William Kamm, aka Pope Peter Romanus II.

    Like all the other disobedients, this site also claims that the relevant local Bishop did not have the power to condemn Bayside.



    Does it come as a surprise that Arthur Skinner's allegations (regarding Sr. Lucy of Fatima's signature to various writings are forgeries and that she has not spoken out in favor of the Pope's Consecration in 1984) are reproduced on another pro Bayside site, "Virgin Mary's End-Times Prophecies" at http://www.tldm.org/ - "tldm" stands for "The Last Days Ministries" - what else?

    Mr Skinner managed to have some of his stuff circulated on Marianland. All things are relative, I suppose - Marianland also sells Fr. Wathen, O.S.J.'s "The Great Sacrilege", which lambastes the "Novus Ordo Missae" of Pope Paul VI. A Franciscan Brother describes Fr. Wathen as follows:
    "Finally, Fr. James Wathen was once a Roman Catholic priest. He is now no longer in communion with his bishop, nor with the pope in Rome. He has an agenda - the frequently critiqued OSJ. 2 He is no spokesman for the Catholic Church."
    Unfortunately, there may be real parallels with "integrists" and "visionaries"; Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's schism became "concretized" on the occasion of the illicit consecrations of four bishops; it appears to me that many "apparitionists" (seekers after false visions or locutions - unapproved by the local bishop) are proximate to schism - a state which would become "concretized" if their favorite fancy actually WAS formally condemned by the Pope who, to the best of my knowledge, has never reversed a local bishop's negative decision on an alleged apparition. Like Lefebvre and his adherents, they would cry out "No, we are not! The pope is a prisoner in the Vatican and isn't being properly advised" - or some such thing!

  2. Refer to "Oh What a Web They Weave..."





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