«In the light of Our Lady of La Salette’s message, you give an important place to the ministry of reconciliation. This Jubilee year is a privileged opportunity to rediscover the fullness of the mercy of God, who wants to reconcile man to himself and to his brothers and sisters. In fact, “the Church, as a reconciled and reconciling community, cannot forget that at the source of her gift and mission of reconciliation is the initiative, full of compassionate love and mercy, of that God who is love and who out of love created human beings; and he created them so that they might live in friendship with him and in communion with one another”»
— Pope St. John Paul II, Address to the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, May 4th, 2000
On my last May article against Marian misappropriations by papal critics, I thought I should talk about La Salette. These apparitions are another favorite for the dissenter community, since Melanie Calvat (one of La Salette’s visionaries) has reportedly said:
“Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.“
Dissenters like to believe “Rome” means the Vatican, so that they can spread their quasi-protestant narrative about the hierarchy being in apostasy, which would mean they are the only true remnant of Catholicism left. In this narrative, then, the Antichrist can only be the Pope (again, a very protestant thought)… especially a Pope they disagree with.
However, when doing research for this article, I discovered that the heavy lifting had already been made by apologists Jimmy Akin, whose Catholic Answers “La Salette: Sorting fact from fiction” I suggest reading in full.
Basically, the bullet points from Mr. Akin’s article are as follows:
- Rome may well refer to the town, not the Church (and, if I may add, since these prophecies are usually shrouded by symbolism, Rome can also be a reference to the pagan and murderous empire that crucified Our Lord)
- Apostasy does not mean heresy, or even heterodoxy; Conspiracy theorists that abide by the Great Apostasy of the Church narrative simply like to call apostasy to whatever it is they don’t like
- Melanie Calvat’s secret about the Antichrist contain many things that were later added on, many of which have been demonstrably false.
On my end, I would like to again restate the central argument on all these articles I have published this month about Marian apparitions: The Church does not force us to believe in any private revelation, but we are bound as Catholics to the teachings issued by the Pope on faith and morals; Therefore it is illogical that our salvation as Catholics should hinge on us heeding a private revelation urging us to disobey the Pope.
Ergo, any interpretation of a Marian apparition that talks about an apostasy involving the Church, namely the Pope, must mean 2 things: either the Marian apparition is false, or the interpretation is incorrect. Since Fatima and La Salette have been deemed worthy of belief by the Church (which means the Church doesn’t think belief in those apparitions is wrong per se), going so far as having popes visiting the shrines of those apparitions, then the most obvious explanation is that the interpretation given by papal dissenters must be bogus. And since we know papal dissenters have an ulterior motive to spread those wrongheaded interpretations, this just reinforces the likelihood that they are incorrect.
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Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.