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 <email@example.com>.
"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
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
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):
"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
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:
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.""
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
"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
"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
"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)
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
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
****** 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
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:******
****** This rash diffusion of literature was condemned by the Holy Office in 1880. ******
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
****** Here is a small portion from a Blue Army source: ******
Message from the Mountain, by John Hauf
The following article was excerpted from materials composed by Fr. Roger Castel, M.S. and provided
by the Missionaries of La Salette...
...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
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.
"... 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
"...- 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
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!
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:
But here is the most interesting part:
- 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".
- He believes the "Rome will lose the Faith..." allegation.
- But he does not believe that Our Lady "would use the vulgar metaphor for the Vatican".
- He does not believe that the expression means that "Rome as the seat of the Antichrist
is the Catholic Church.
- He says that "Rome being the seat of Antichrist, is already the teaching of St John in the
When challenged to substantiate that claim, he became quite hostile, even arrogant, but would
not provide substantiation.
- 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."
- His response to my request of him to forward the "french author"'s article on
Melanie went unanswered.
- 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
- 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.
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
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,
"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.
Which words of exhortation were prefaced by:
"Yes, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday; and this letter of mine is a rebuke in the
"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.
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
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.
La Salette, by Solange Strong Hertz
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.
It so happens that the last "Index Librorum Prohibitorum" was published in 1948. A copy is on-line
A search of the 1948 Index produces five La Salette related entries:
Disseminated by the St. Augustine Society under the title 'The
Apparition of the Most Blessed Virgin on the Mountain of La Salette' "
INDEX LIBRORVM PROHIBITORVM --
||Apparition (L') de la Très Sainte Vierge de la
||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
||Le secret de Mélanie, bergère de la Salette, et la
||La leçon de l'hôpital Notre-Dame, d'Ypres; exégèse
du secret de la Salette.
||L'apparition de la Très Sainte Vierge.
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
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:
|DAMNATUR OPUSCULUM: "L'APPARITION DE LA TRÉS SAINTE VIERGE DE LA
||"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.
Not only that, but she believes that there is a case for believing the May 10, 1923 decree is invalid:
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
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.
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"!
Thus my question to xx.xxxxxx:
- First of all, the pages of the Acts of The Apostolic See are FULL
of Decrees signed solely by a Notary. (See following examples.)
- Decree prohibiting the work of M. Mir and I de Recalde; 4 May 1923. Aloisius Castellano, Notary.
- Decree excommunicating the priest Michael Collin, alias Gregory XVII; 30 May, 1951. Marinus Marani, Notary.
- Decree excommunicating Fr. Leonard Feeney; 13 Feb. 1953. Marius Crovini, Notary.
- 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.!
"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:
Despite this, my "academic ecclesiastic" correspondent urged me to read this "opusculum" ("little work") which was
officially placed on the Index of Forbidden Books.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.
"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:
|Officer (in alphabetical order)
||"Society for the Consecration of Russia"
||Hill, Ph.D., Kevin
||Meuli, S.T.D., U.J.D., Ph.L., LL.B., Rev. Fr. Denzil
||Pickford, Ph.D, D.Tech., Timothy Edsall
||Associate & Publisher
||Piggin, Felicity Mary
|Skinner, Arthur R.
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
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!
- Refer to "Oh What a Web They Weave..."