From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges (…) And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals”

— Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI)

“A smaller Church”; Faith and Future

The above quote is an all-time favorite of a certain catastrophist mindset at the root of much of the current dissent against Pope Francis. People who criticize our pontiff often share memes with this prophecy from then Joseph Ratzinger, predicting the collapse of the Church (at least in the West) under the weight of an increasingly materialistic and relativistic society. They interpret the dwindling numbers of practicing Catholics as a confirmation of this ratzingerian forecast.

However, there is more to this than merely acknowledging the accuracy of Ratzinger’s prophecy. The quote is usually disseminated without any context whatsoever, besides the interpretation given by the person itself doing the quoting. And this interpretation usually has an ulterior motive: to advance a narrative.

According to this narrative, the “small Church” prophecy refers to the current crisis. As a ratzingerian myself, I agree with this. So far, so good. The problem is that these people view themselves as part of the reduced Church. There is no doubt in their minds that they are this smaller Church. It is incumbent upon them, therefore, to preserve the traditions and doctrines of the Church intact until the ecclesiastical renaissance comes again. They are… the remnant (a name they are very fond of, for various reasons.)

Enter Pope Francis, who in their minds has sacrificed the purity of unadulterated doctrine and tradition in order to appease modern-day sensitivities and become more inclusive to sinners. Since they dogmatically view themselves as part of the small Church, if Francis goes against their opinions, it must mean that Francis himself is outside of this small Church.

I can understand the idea of having a smaller Church, but I can’t grasp the concept of a Church so small that it doesn’t include the Pope. So, taking for granted Benedict’s prediction, one must wonder: if there is indeed a remnant, how can we identify who belongs to that remnant? And how should the remnant act?

The idea of a “remnant” in the midst of a perverse generation is so “traditional” that it is older than the papacy itself. It goes way back, right into Old Testament times. Before becoming a papal critic, notable conservative apologist Taylor Marshall published an excellent book about the Jewish roots of Catholicism, named “The Crucified Rabbi.” In it, he wrote:

“According to an ancient Jewish tradition, the universe is sustained by the presence of at least thirty-six tzadikim, or “righteous ones”, in every generation. However, no one knows the identity of those tzadikim. They are humble souls who quietly pray and perform good deeds for the benefit of the world. It is believed that God does not judge the world on account of these saintly souls.”

As Taylor Marshall himself notes, this notion is rooted in Scripture. When Abraham, the father of our faith, found out that God was planning to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, he tried to plead clemency for these cities by asking if God would destroy them if fifty righteous people lived there. Since God answered him that He would spare the cities on account of fifty righteous, Abraham progressively lowers the number, until we find out that God would spare those heavily populated metropolises if as little as ten righteous lived there (Gen 18:16-33).

In his book “Salvation is from the Jews“, Roy Schoeman, another conservative author, cites other examples in Scripture of biblical characters acting on a tzadik-like fashion. In Ex 32:7-14, God says that He will destroy the Israelites for having succumbed to the idolatry of the golden calf, and will rebuild a great nation solely out of Moses’ offspring. But Moses rejects this offer, and instead intercedes for the rest of Israel, who is thus saved from God’s wrath. Later on, in 1 Kings 18:41-45, God saves Israel from a drought for the sake of Prophet Elijah.

But let us not think that this tradition was broken once the Old Testament was finished. Roy Schoeman goes on to enumerate some examples from private revelations where the same logic seems to apply. At Fatima, the three little shepherds are asked to pray and offer sacrifices for the sinners of the world, so as to draw peace upon Portugal during World War One. And Jesus would’ve promised Saint Faustina too, that on account of her, He would bless her entire home country of Poland.

In fact, we need not go to private revelations to prove the compatibility of this idea with our religion. Christianity itself is rooted on the idea of vicarious atonement. Jesus Christ, all holy and without any trace of sin, died for the salvation of sinners. While hanging on the cross, He said of those who were torturing Him: “God, forgive them, they know not what they’re doing.

A pattern seems to emerge here, and it’s as traditional as we can get. A 4,000 year-old tradition. The remnant does not delight in God’s wrath. Quite the contrary: the remnant exists to appease it. They never take advantage of their status as righteous ones in the eyes of the Lord to call fire and brimstone to rain on the sinners’ heads, but they pity the sinners and sacrifice themselves for them, even the unrepentant ones. They are not harbingers of God’s justice, rather they are the emissaries of His mercy. Through them, God’s mercy becomes manifest to all humankind.

It is, therefore, extremely ironic that those who so often misappropriate the title of “the remnant,” would decry Pope Francis on account of his emphasis on mercy. It seems like they didn’t understand what being a remnant actually entails. They entertain the exclusivity of the remnant, but not the essence of the remnant. In a most non-traditional way, they view themselves as the remnant all the while eschewing mercy, or imposing conditions on God’s mercy that the Vicar of Christ himself does not impose. Was there ever a remnant so disgusted with mercy? I don’t think so.

However, if we take Ratzinger’s prophecy seriously (as I do) that the Church will get smaller, then isn’t it fitting that the Holy Spirit would send a Vicar of Christ that would guide the Church when that happens? In other words, if the Church is going to shrink (at least in the West) so much that only a remnant will remain, shouldn’t there be a Pope emphasizing mercy to those who remain loyal? So that the remnant may be able to fulfill its age-old function?

If we define the size of the Church — as papal critics often do — on the basis of those who are fully orthodox (something I am not in agreement with), then it is true that the Church has taken a huge down-sizing. In the West, only a residual percentage of Catholics adhere to all of the Church’s Social and Sexual Doctrines. Dissent from Humanae Vitae is so widespread that many Catholics have turned assent to this encyclical into a litmus test for “true Catholicity.”

However, since there are so few who remain faithful to sexual doctrine, isn’t it only logical that something like Amoris Laetitia would come along, so that those who remain faithful would be able to understand the best way to deal with the multitudes who have deviated from Catholic teaching on sexuality? Isn’t it necessary that the remnant must remain faithful while showing mercy to the masses who have turned away from God?

Unfortunately, many of those who have remained faithful to the teaching of Humanae Vitae dissent from the teachings of Amoris Laetitia. These new dissenters don’t understand that (based on their definition of Catholicism as including only those who adhere to the fullness of doctrine) they are now in fact fulfilling Ratzinger’s prophecy. They are making the Church smaller by putting themselves outside the boundaries of the Church as they define it. For they have become dissenters, and dissenters (in their book) are outside the Church! But they don’t have enough discernment to understand that. Instead, they just wrestle authority away from the Vicar of Christ, while claiming that they themselves are the remnant. This is so tragic that it can only be described as a diabolical trap.

In the meantime, those who have remained loyal to the fullness of doctrine have become rarer and rarer. It is very difficult to find someone who has a positive idea of both Humanae Vitae and Amoris Laetitia in the current landscape. Someone who finds Catholic Social Doctrine and Catholic Sexual Doctrine equally convincing, without any caveats. Someone who respects and follows every pope, from Francis to Benedict XVI, to St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II.

Those few who do have found themselves, suddenly, in isolation. After the promulgation of Amoris Laetitia, they watched helplessly as a great number of their friends, family members, and public figures they once admired descended into the spiral of dissent and anti-papal hatred. Blog sites and news media they once trusted suddenly became vessels of anti-papal propaganda as bad as any secular outlet. People who they viewed as profoundly Catholic simply fell away, showing the fragility of their apparently vigorous faith.

These isolated few have watched this unfurl before their very eyes with a sense of confusion, sadness, loneliness, and bewilderment in their hearts. We read about it everyday in our comboxes, when new readers discover our blog in the midst of so much anti-papal criticism in the once Catholic social media. Theirs is not a triumphalistic attitude, a sense of belonging to an elite, or an identitarian defensiveness. Theirs is a sense of smallness, weakness and powerlessness, the kind of attitude that lets God act, because they let themselves be guided instead of thinking they have everything figured out.

We need more people who are faithful to both Humanae Vitae and to Amoris Laetitia. As St. John Chrysostom urges, we need people who are strict with themselves and lenient with others, as a true remnant should be. Not the other way around, as the false remnant purports to be. Only then may the lapsed ones feel not judged and, shedding their natural distrust against established religion, start opening up their hearts to the life testimony given by faithful Catholics. Only then will our religion expand; not by proselytism, but by attraction, as both Francis and Benedict have told us.

What is the purpose of the remnant? It is not to retreat to a hermetic fortress where Catholicism may be sealed away in a kind of sanctum, protected from the corruption outside, inaccessible to the mere mortal, guarded by austere and pure sentinels. Christ did not die for us so that these Good News should be the property of a selected few. No. He wants those selected few to go out of the house where they locked themselves up out of fear and, full of the Holy Spirit, start preaching at the top of their lungs to all nations of the earth. It was in Pentecost that the Church was born; only in Pentecost can the Church be reborn.

And this brings us back to Joseph Ratzinger. If we want to understand the scope of his prophecy, we must read it through the lens of his entire corpus of thought. Elsewhere I have quoted a speech where he addresses catechists thus:

“Yet another temptation lies hidden beneath this—the temptation of impatience, the temptation of immediately finding the great success, in finding large numbers. But this is not God’s way. For the Kingdom of God as well as for evangelization, the instrument and vehicle of the Kingdom of God, the parable of the grain of mustard seed is always valid.


An old proverb says: “Success is not one of the names of God.” New evangelization must surrender to the mystery of the grain of mustard seed and not be so pretentious as to believe to immediately produce a large tree. We either live too much in the security of the already existing large tree or in the impatience of having a greater, more vital tree—instead we must accept the mystery that the Church is at the same time a large tree and a very small grain. In the history of salvation it is always Good Friday and Easter Sunday at the same time”

His prophecy about the smallness of the future Church should be read with this is mind. This smallness is inherently evangelizing. Why, then, is it strange that someone like Pope Francis would come along, a pontiff with such a missionary charisma, a pope with an evangelizer zeal, urging us to reach out to those in the peripheries (both physical and spiritual)? God is shaping the remnant into doing His bidding, He is giving the remnant detailed instructions. Much of the remnant is refusing to receive its mission, however, because that means leaving ideological and religious comfort zones.

And this brings us full circle to the prophecy itself. In the beginning of this article, I said that many who quote Ratzinger’s prophecy disseminate this quote without any context whatsoever. Well, here we find the full quote.

In it we see Ratzinger describing the smaller Church of the future. By reading the whole text, we can see what the remnant will look like… and what it will not look like. Here is an example of what the remnant will not be (emphasis from now on is always mine):

“The future of the Church can and will issue from those whose roots are deep and who live from the pure fullness of their faith. It will not issue from those who accommodate themselves merely to the passing moment or from those who merely criticize others and assume that they themselves are infallible measuring rods (…) The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed.

On the contrary, here is what this remnant will actually look like:

The future of the Church, once again as always, will be reshaped by saints, by men, that is, whose minds probe deeper than the slogans of the day, who see more than others see, because their lives embrace a wider reality. Unselfishness, which makes men free, is attained only through the patience of small daily acts of self-denial (…) In faith and prayer she[the Church] will again recognize the sacraments as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship. The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek.”

If we take Ratzinger’s prescience in predicting a smaller Church, we should accept all of his prophecy. Not take it in piecemeal fashion, picking from it only the parts that interest us and bolster our narrative, and leaving aside that which does not interest us. The prophecy, if accepted as true, is not a menu in a Cafeteria. It must be taken in its fullness or not taken at all.

More importantly, the prophecy is not meant to exacerbate an apocalyptic mindset, in which faithful Catholics wallow in self-pity for the catastrophes they are forced to experience. Yes, it’s a sober and stern warning of future realities, so that we should be prepared for the challenges lying ahead. However, in no way is it meant to take the joy and lightness away from us. It is not a curse, it’s a blessing. The prophecy is interspersed with hope, encouragement and calls for a happy holiness:

But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. It may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but it will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death

The gates of Hell shall not prevail” — so says Scripture. This means that the Church is indestructible, so what do we fear? But most importantly, it doesn’t mean that Hell is at our gates, so that we should close them. Quite the opposite. It means that we are at the gates of Hell, trying to bring them down. The Church is not on the defensive, but on the offensive.

Nevertheless, the offensive against the powers of Hell lurking in the heart of each man is too great for mere mortals to undertake. We are pots of clay, wrestling against thrones and principalities. No, this endeavor can only be successful with the help of God Himself.

In Judges 7:1-7, Gideon severely downsizes his army, so as to show that the power against the Enemy comes not from numbers, but from God. In fact, this reduced army would not have to fight at all, for the power of the Lord would scatter their adversaries in confusion. So let us not perceive the Church’s smallness with fear, but with faith. Salvation will come not from kings or presidents, from theologians or pundits, or from statistics or multitudes, but from Jesus Christ alone Who has promised never to abandon His Church. Let us not yearn for a return to the supposed glories of an imagined past, but be joyful and content, for it is only when we’re weak that we’re strong (2 Cor 12:9-10). It is only by being the grain of mustard that we, as a Church, will be able to grow into the greatest tree in the field, where the birds from heaven will be able to roost, rest and sing (Mk 4:30-32).

[Image: “Mercy, St. Bartholomew’s Day“, depicting a nun asking a Catholic noble not to go slaughter the Protestants during St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, while a friar instigates him; Sir John Everett Millais; 1886]

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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.

The Remnant: it is not what you’ve been told

56 Responses

  1. Hans Georg Lundahl says:

    You consider the Jewish tradition of 36 tzadikim as identic to the “remnant” or as identic to the duty as per Fatima.

    But the Fatima revelation does not say to be just for those who are not just, it says to do penance for those who do not do penance and to do penance for sinners.

    The sinners still are sinners and still are going to get lost if they do not convert.

    The penance is there to earn them the grace to convert.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      It is not me who draws that parallel, it’s two very conservative authors (one of them at least turned papal critic)

      And nothing that you said negates any of the points of the article. In fact, by saying that the three little shepherds were asked to pray for sinners, you just reinforced my point.

      • Marie says:

        An absolutely incredible article. It says it all. Wow! Thank you so much! I’m speechless.

      • Hans Georg Lundahl says:

        I don’t think so.

        They were not told public sinners could go to communion.

        You meant Taylor Marshall and Roy Schoeman?

      • Pedro Gabriel says:

        And they were not told public sinners not in mortal sin could *not* receive communion, even in the private forum and even if that was the manifest will of the Pope.

        Yes I do mean Marshall and Schoeman. Not sedevacantists to be sure, but also no fans of the progressive wing to espouse a “kumbaya” view of mercy. Marshall at least is certainly not biased towards Pope Francis theology, so his parallel between tzadikim and the remnant is surely well founded and not partial.

      • Hans Georg Lundahl says:

        “public sinners not in mortal sin”

        A sin which is making you a public sinner is not venial in its kind.

        A man de facto not fulfilling objective external criteria for a mortal sin would not be a public sinner, but only mistaken for one. B u t, when it comes to the subjective and internal criterium of doing it wilfully, when the external criteria are met, the person is presumed to be doing it wilfully, as long as it is not shown otherwise.

        A public sinner not in mortal sin is either an oxymoron or an act of divination.

      • Pedro Gabriel says:

        There is nothing to presume or to divine. It is just nothing that concerns you. Work up your own salvation instead.

        And unless the divorced and remarried couple is having intercourse in public or boasting of it, I fail to see how you can tell if they are public sinners or if they are, for example, following John Paul II’s mandate to live “as brother and sister”

        Anyway, there is nothing on the three little shepherds dealing with any of this. But there are passages stating that Catholics need to be faithful to the Pope. And to sacrifice and do penance for sinners, especially the ones more in need. This is the actual point of the article.

  2. Mike Demers says:

    It’s a small point but still worth your attention: it’s Marshall, not Marshal.

  3. Ralph says:

    I wonder how the self-appointed remnant deals with this quote from Pope Benedict XVI:

    “I have nothing against it, then, if people who all year long never visit a church go there at least on Christmas night or New Year’s Eve or on special occasions, because this is another way of belonging to the blessing of the sacred, to the light. There have to be various forms of participation and association; the Church has to be inwardly open.”

    The quote is from an interview Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) did with journalist Peter Seewald and is found in the book God and the World. The context is discussing how the Jewish community in the Roman Empire had many “God-fearers” surrounding it and how the early Christian Church maintained openness to people who could not completely identify as Christian but who were nonetheless interested in Christianity. Benedict XVI even sees openness as a necessity in an era of shrinking Catholic congregations.

    This strikes me as exactly the opposite of the “closed club” version of the remnant. I sometimes get the sense that some of the people who see themselves as the remnant actually want the Church to get smaller because then it will look more like the exclusive club they always wanted. They want the “pew warmers” out. This strikes me as not only the opposite of the teachings of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI but also the opposite of what Jesus taught and did. Jesus made it a point to be open and merciful to the people who were considered the worst sinners in society.

    • carn says:

      As far as im am aware, that only real closed club that is advocated by relevant voices, is the “closed club” who is to receive the Body of Christ.

      And that is – as far as i am aware – usually not based on some small minded judgementalism, but more on considering that it is Sacrilege if someone truly unworthy receives and is spiritual danger for both the one receiving as for the Priest if he is aware or is indifferent about the problem.

      As far as i am aware, none of the “self-appointed remnant” has a problem with scores of “pew warmers” sitting in the pews as long as they do not come forth to receive the Body of Christ without at least having been to a valid confession not too long ago.

      “actually want the Church to get smaller”

      They do not want it as far as i am aware; they just see it as an avoidable consequence, if one tries to keep the Eucharist from those unwilling to go to confession and trying to sin no more afterwards.

      Think about what i linked in my other comment (hopefully cleared) that in Chur in an official diocesan paper it is stated that there are groups inside the catholic church in the diocese disagreeing about whether Jesus rose from the dead.

      Not beliving that Jesus rose from the dead is a sin; so if that paper is correct and there are such catholics, they would have to go to confession and confess that sin, repent it and try to from then on no longer deny that part of the creed; otherwise they should not receive the Eucharist.

      If one would even to suggest to go through with that, one of the in the paper unnamed group would for the moment be told not to go to communion; so probably hundreds of Catholics – many of them active in some diocesan structure or even official position – currently receiving would from one day to the next be told that they should not receive unless they accept that Jesus rose from the dead.

      What would the result be other than more or less open conflict with many people leaving the Church being indignated about explicitely required to believe that Jesus rose from the dead?

      • Marie says:

        Carn- It strikes me as odd when someone argues that the “self appointed remnant” are not looking to be part of a closed club, yet sets the rules for those they consider sub par …..such as not having a problem with pew warmers being in Church as long as they don’t go to receive communion unless they had a valid confession not long ago. I’m just curious how you think that should be determined? Whose role is that to judge? How do you know if they went to confession or not? I think the idea is you don’t know, and it is not your place to police other people’s sins under the guise of protecting Church teaching regarding the sacraments. Are those who have had an annulment and remarried required to publicly let every Church goer know so they don’t bring ‘scandal’ when they receive communion? Are those remarried and living as brother and sister, who JPll said can receive communion required to let their fellow parishioners know? Are those who are living in a very unique situation where they are allowed to receive communion required to address the crowd and let them know? There is no “as long as” when it comes to other people’s sins. We accept “Lord I am not worthy” and that is our focus. For the others, we pray that if they have not, they will come to understand teaching. We all have enough of our own sin we need to focus on, and spending time thinking what another sinner may or may not be doing has no place in our faith.

      • carn says:

        “I think the idea is you don’t know, and it is not your place to police other people’s sins”

        But it is the place of priest and upward to tell people that they should go to confession regularly and that certain sins – for example not believing in Jesus rising from the dead and lying every sunday by proclaiming in the creed verbatim the opposite – must be validly confessed, cause otherwise one should not receive communion.

        And i do know what priest and bishops say in public. And few seem to care whether sacrilege takes place or not.

        “sets the rules”

        The rules are not set by any self proclaimend remnant, but by the Church, for example in the catechism. The people potentially being the “self proclaimed remnant” only want, that either these rules are proclaimed and people are encouraged to abide by them or maybe some of them want them to be even enforced in some way.


        It is sort of rule that the faithful should give alms according to how much they can spare. That is a totally unenforceable rule (unless the Church has access to tax records, cause only then it could be determined, whether someone gives enough or not); yet it is still proclaimed and rightly so.

        So just because some of the rules might not be enforceable, does not mean that priests should not teach them. And accordingly, against the proposal to just say that people should not go to communion unless […] all the arguments you list are naught.

        But besides:

        “Whose role is that to judge?”

        The one distributing the communion has the duty not to give it to someone, if there is clear indication that the person is not worthy. So that person is the one to judge. That is Church law according to Cannon 915.

        So in some cases it is Church teaching that what you call “policing” should take place.

        In sum except for the issue of remarried – about which AL tried to introduce some sort of change, with which some “self appointed remnants” have issues – many “self appointed remnants” do not want the “pew warmers” out as a main goal, but just want that the priests and helpers act as the Church teaches that they should act.

      • Dorothy Buckley says:

        Wow. Great to have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed, but the more we look at ourselves we see so much dotting and crossing to do that we let our brothers and sisters enjoy God’s mercy as much as (or more than) we do and leave it at that.

      • Marie says:

        Carn- I was not aware you were speaking only of priests and bishops in the self appointed remnant club. Even if that is the case, again how would you know what has been said or done? Maybe the priest has spoken to him/her/them, so really you are still talking about those who are focussed on others who they believe to be in a state of mortal sin. That is not our place, for we are not privy to that information.

  4. jong says:

    Pedro, thanks for this article this has been my interest for a year now.If we want to undrrstand the Remnant Church we must love and seek Wisdom first as Wisdom searches the deepest thing of God and knows everything.(Wisdom1:7)

    Pope Francis already acknowledge and embraced the vision of Cardinal Ratzinger when he said “How I wish the Church becomes poor and for the poor.”
    The only question is, how does the Vatican II Church arrive to that point.You mention a lot of angle and Gideon is very important as Pope Francis employ Amoris Laetetia to trim down the Clergy and to expose who are the wolves in sheep clothing. And he further trim it down with CCC2267. You see Pope Francis inspiration and tactics was to shake-up the Clergy and the Laity, the greater picture is Pope Francis will be left with few loyal Clergy and lay faithful in the end.

    The Remnant Church is the Apostle of the Last Times or End Times and it is the teaching of the Great Marian Saint, his name is St.Louis De Montfort.
    The Remnant Church is composed of Pope, loyal Clergy and faithful laity that are all Totally Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as Our Lady had promise “In the End My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph.” So, the Remnant Church are those faithful laity and loyal Clergy that are fully united to the Pope and totally consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
    Our Lady had promised that She will accompany the Holy Father until the end because he will suffer greatly from persecutions.

    You are right the Remnant is a small but must be with the Pope, a Remnant who has no pope as their leader is a counterfeit remnant a fitting description of a counterfeit church as prophesy by Ab.Fulton Sheen.

    To grasp Cardinal Ratzinger precise predictions we need to relate it to written destiny of the Church that we all must painfully embrace for a glorious resurection.CCC675 is the Key.

    How will this unfold in the future? We must tie it up with Fatima messages.
    The Consecration of Russia need a Remnant Church to be fulfilled, why?
    It needs a Pope and Bishops that are faithfully united together.Whose heart are totally Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart.Pope Francis mission is to arive at Cardinal Ratzinger prediction first, before he can Consecrate Russia, the reduced Church is a small but a pious church meaning it has the force to command the Spirit of Judas/Clericalism to leave the Church as its members are now all Consecrated to Mary’s Immaculate Heart and he has no longer any holds over them.Consecration is like an Exorcism Rite where Pope Francis will command satan and his demons to leave the Body of Christ whom they infested from within. If you know the principles of Exorcism this is the scenario of Consecration.

    I’m looking for a more desperate attacks before 2022 comes that will further reduced the number of Clergy.Either Pope Francis expose them as wolves and remove them or satan the Great Accuser had successfully uncover his past errors & sins that would make the Clergy leave the Church.

    Why 2022, the Consecration of Russia will happen right at the very ground where Mama Mary appeared to the three children, remember WYD 2022 will happen in Portugal and Pope Francis is known to be a Luminous Pope and connect it in 2017 where the liturgical prayer was pointing to Pope Francis as the Bishop Dressed in White.

    What is the meaning of Dressed in White? its not a literal cloth but a spiritual clothing.Pope Francis living a life of humility,simplicity and transparency like Jesus was clothe with the Light of Christ.
    How about the Remnant the Apostle of the End Times, how can they have the clothing of Light?
    St.JP2 left us with the timely gift in the coming Age of darkness the Mystery of the Light.
    Light vs.darkness is the Final Confrontation and the forces of Light wins as stated in John1:5

    Pope Francis in the end, and it will start in 2022 will only have a few Loyal Cardinals,Bishops and Clergy and faithful religious and consecrated laity as his army.This is the True Remnant Church that Our Lady is forming now to face the growing counterfeit remnant or the counterfeit church whose leader is Satan. Ab.Sheen prophesy that satan will established a counterfeit church that resembles catholic tone but with no pope and church magisterium.But since they will become bigger by the numbers in the end they will appoint their own pope.This pope appointed politically and not elected thru conclave is the typology of the New Caiaphas that would sentence death to the True Remnant.This is the Final Confrontation that St.JP2 described.

    This is all for now,I pray that you allow this to be post for the sake of Mama Mary’s True Warrior in the End Times as described by St.Louis De Montfort.

  5. Ashpenaz says:

    If only Democrats, same-sex couples, women who want the legal freedom to exercise their God-given right to make decisions about their pregnancies, divorced-and-remarried-without-anulment, stable and loving cohabiting couples, married couples who prudently use contraception to regulate birth (and every now and then have sex for the sole purpose of showing love to each other), undocumented immigrants and their supporters, single people who masturbate, married priests, women deacons, believers in the scientific evidence for global warming: if only they would all leave a Church and a God who doesn’t want them! Then, we could have the remnant we’ve always wanted.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      I hope you are not addressing me. In which case, I don’t think you understood what I wrote.

      It is not the purpose of the remnant to be an elite club, but to be “crucified” everyday for the sake of all those people you mentioned and also for all the people who accuse/attack/destroy those people you mentioned

      • Ashpenaz says:

        I’m not addressing you–for once! 🙂 I’m addressing Taylor Marshall, Lifesite, the Vortex, et. al., who have a pretty clear idea who they want the remnant to be–people like them!

      • Pedro Gabriel says:

        For once, we agree

  6. Peter Aiello says:

    I suspect that the remnant is probably unidentified for the most part. God knows who they are. Paul speaks of this in Romans 11:3-4. Elias thinks that he is the only one left who is faithful to God. He says: “Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” Then Paul adds: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

  7. chris dorf says:

    As an aside, I know people in Wisconsin, USA whom left the Catholic Church to follow of female Lutheran minister who formed her own church called ‘Remnant Church of God’. They all sold their houses and followed her to a rural location that God had told her to move her church to. It has a blend of Old Testament and new Testament, as they follow some Jewish dietary rules and worship all day Saturday instead of Sunday and follow no christian holy days.
    Just thought that i would share this.

  8. L. Daily says:

    “As St. John Chrysostom urges, we need people who are strict with themselves and lenient with others, as a true remnant should be.”

    If each person truly resolved to at least attempt to live this way, our Church would be transformed overnight. Excellent reflection.

    • Joaquin Mejia says:

      You are right. I wish everyone would follow St. John Chrysostom’s wise words.

  9. M. says:

    A beautiful article, thank you. I want so much to send it to all my friends, sadly, this site is just written off as “Francis apologetics” and they will not read I don’t think. If they do read, I think they would take offence. Is there any way to reach them?

  10. chris dorf says:

    Dr. Pedro,
    I really love the work that you are doing in your writing and links on this website. It is so necessary today.
    God Bless you and your work.

  11. carn says:

    “If we define the size of the Church — as papal critics often do — on the basis of those who are fully orthodox (something I am not in agreement with), then it is true that the Church has taken a huge down-sizing. In the West, only a residual percentage of Catholics adhere to all of the Church’s Social and Sexual Doctrines. Dissent from Humanae Vitae is so widespread that many Catholics have turned assent to this encyclical into a litmus test for “true Catholicity.””

    You might be overestimating the criteria “papal critics” apply.

    It might be that already counting only those who believe in a triune God is a criteria sufficient in the view of many.

    Indication for this:

    In the diocese of Chur there is in the official paper a description of the different camps in the diocese and a list of questions to which the different camps might have different answer; two of the questions:

    “Is Jesus really the son of God or is he just the Son of men, the son of Josef? Did he really rise from the dead or does just his cause continue?”
    “Ein “Brückenbauer” müsse er sein, der neue Bischof von Chur. So kann
    man es allenthalben hören und lesen. Wie ist das zu verstehen? Er soll
    Brücken bauen zwischen den polarisierten Gruppen des Bistums. Er soll
    Vertrauen bilden und so die Einheit in der Diözese wieder herstellen.
    Doch wie kann er diejenigen vereinen, die sich grundsätzlich nicht einig
    sind in den Fragen wie zum Beispiel diesen: Ist Jesus wirklich der Sohn
    Gottes und nicht nur der Menschensohn, der Sohn Josefs? Ist er wirklich
    von den Toten auferstanden oder geht einfach seine Sache weiter?”

    That is no joke or satire; an episcopal vicar indicates in an official diocesan publication that there might be groups of Catholics (or “catholics”?) being part of the diocese and involved in various debates and even in the debate what qualities a new bishop hopefully might have, which potentially might not believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

    One does (no longer?) need Humanum Vitae as test; the creed is already more than sufficient to – if applied as criteria – to drop the number of Catholics quite far.

    Personally therefore i count as anyone in the flock, who at least accepts most or preferably all of the creed and accepts the ten commandments and the words of Jesus as strong indications what to do/not to do; with that, i can already presume that i have excluded 90%+ of official catholics and potentially even a number of priest and maybe even bishops; whether then also Humanum Vitae and/or Amoris Laetitia or other documents are accepted or not, is in my view too much to ask; otherwise, there is probably no catholic left.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      Maybe, but according to my experience, people who share the “small Church” meme usually do it in the context of sexual doctrine, and Humanae Vitae has a pivotal role in that.

  12. carn says:

    To give positive feedback, the article is correct to critically challenge the idea that someone/some groups think they are that remnant of the true church.

    It is a trap to think the own group/position is the true one (to whatever cause); cause that is what half of the world thinks and logically that not only someone must be wrong, but that the majority of people thinking that they are the true ones are wrong to think so.

    Accordingly, whenever one thinks “Yeah, i am the/among the true one in matter XY” humbleness and understanding should result in the next second in the thought “Statistically speaking, the probability of that being untrue is close to 1, so better check twice and thrice that my position is correct and i should not brag about beaing among the “true one” too much”.

    Also, regarding the Bible and the Jewish tradition it might be that even the “righteous ones” are not fully aware/certain about being “righteous ones” themselves. After all “no one knows the identity of those tzadikim” would only be true, if the tzadikim would not know that they are tzadikim. And at least in my view some of the “righteous ones” in the Bible like Lot do not act as if they are fully aware about their special status before God.

    So as a rule of thumb: Whenever you think you are a righteous one, you aren’t one, cause a true righteous one would not think himself to be a righteous one.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      Finally a comment of yours I can wholeheartedly agree on.

      Yes, it is part of the legend of the tzadikim that no one knows who they are, not even the tzadikim themselves

      And, for the record, I vigorously do not place myself within the remnant. I still have a long way to go.

      But that does not mean that one cannot have an idea of what makes it more or less likely for a person to be part of the remnant. For example, I think you would agree that an active abortion doctor that everyday campaigns for abortion until the third trimester without any restraints would likely *not* be a part of the remnant.

      I sincerely think that I delineated a patterns that is consistent with what a remnant would look like. Not to exalt anyone in particular, but for people to have a model to strive for. Since Benedict’s prophecy tries to achieve precisely that, I think it’s okay to do it.

      • Anthony says:

        Mr. Gabriel – First time visitor, and thank you for your article. Regarding your “But that does not mean…” comment directly above… If God commands us still that “Thou Shall Not Kill”, and couples who actively use so-called oral “contraceptives” ARE killing their children as often as their “contraceptives” function as abortifacients, then how do you rate THEIR likelihood “to be part of the remnant” as you say? I presume you know that “contraceptives” often rely on preventing the new human life from implanting in the mother’s uterus. Or are you too on the slippery slope slide toward infanticide and will that too soon be Catholic?

      • Pedro Gabriel says:

        Since my article specifically mentions that Catholics should be faithful to Humanae Vitae I fail to see why you would ask me such a thing. And why you would imply that I’m heterodox or on a slippery slope to become one. I hope that my faithfulness to Pope Francis does not lead you to try to label me according to narrow ideological categories. I believe and profess everything the Church teaches. Everything.

      • Marie says:

        ….and plenty of us understand and believe everything the Church teaches.

  13. Andrew Nelson says:

    “It was in Pentecost that the Church was born; only in Pentecost can the Church be reborn.” The problem with the modern Church of today compared to the traditional Church is precisely the mode of evangelization. The modern Catholic believes they are truly the merciful ones by showing compassion for the sinner. However, it is at the expense of the truth of Jesus Christ. Mercy without the full truth, is no mercy at all, only false compassion.

    Jesus showed compassion to sinners, but He did not change His law. He showed them the way to salvation, as He does to us today. We can choose to follow Him or not, as those who came before us. We are not in some special time of history where the laws of God are applied different to us. “If you love me, keep my commandments”, John 14:15. Jesus permits us to leave Him, as He is not a respecter of persons. We are called to conform our lives to Him.

    We tend to believe today the mercy of God is automatic. We are called to cooperate with God’s grace, and repentance is still required of us. Our new evangelization will continue to fail, until we proclaim the full truth of Jesus Christ and His Church. The Church does not exclude anyone. It is us who exclude ourselves from the Church.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      You know nothing about Pope Francis and the “modern” Church’s concept of mercy if you think it is given at the expense of the truth.

    • ONG says:

      Andrew Nelson:

      Pope Francis is the Pope of Mercy! A whole year was dedicated to it and a lot has been written about.
      Showing MERCY does not equal to be “the church of nice” or “to accept unrepentants” and “to disregard sin” as certain anti-Francis and anti-Vat. II hyper-traditional websites and their commenters have tried to argue and inculcate their readers for the last years.
      These websites have been and still are a wrench in the works for a successful New Evangelization at the expense of the True Gospel.

      Here’s an example: What have you heard about the Jesuit Fr. James Martin?

  14. Anthony Pagano says:

    Mr. Gabriel’s discussion of what it means to be a real member of the remnant of the Church is interesting and informative. It would have made an excellent blog post on its own. However, used to criticize papal dissenters it falls far short.

    Mr. Gabriel fails to identify which papal dissenters claim to be genuine “remnants” of the Catholic Church. In the United States, for example, few (if any) of the most vocal papal dissenters have claimed (or even implied) that they are members of the vaunted “remnants” of the Catholic Church. As a result Mr. Gabriel incorrectly links papal “dissent” with membership in the so-called “remnant.” He largely (but not completely) ignores the substance of their dissent and instead criticizes their failure as a remnants. There is no necessary link and no dissenter of whom I’m aware claims to be members of the remnant—–Gabriel’s argument collapses.

    The most vocal papal dissenters (at least in the U.S.) don’t consider themselves or the pope outside the Church. They have taken great pains to state that the offending pope is the one, true, validly-elected Vicar of Christ. They dissent from those papal teachings which are unmistakably contrary to doctrine. When Mr. Gabriel does address the substance of the dissent he seems to imply that our individual or collective failure to live according to doctrine (concerning sexuality for example) justifies unorthodox papal teachings. While heterodox papal teachings may contain some worthwhile orthodox statements they are nonetheless a heterodox, unified whole—–hence the dissent. Mr. Gabriel is using a modernist attitude to justify papal heterodoxy.

    Where do the dissenters actually go wrong? They recognize the pope as the true Vicar of Christ while deciding for themselves which of his teachings they will accept. This practice is itself unorthodox and anti-Papacy. Sister Lucia (one of the Fatima seers) was neither a dissenter nor did she ever refer to herself as a member of the remnant. During her later life (I think after she wrote down the Third Secret) she; nonetheless, stated unequivocally that those at the top of the Church were descending the Church into a diabolical disorientation. Look what that disorientation has wrought.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      It is false that dissenters do not view themselves as part of the remnant. We have seen them share Benedict XVI’s quote many times in the context of widespread sexual heterodoxy. They may not call themselves the remnant, but the theology underlying the sharing of that quote is based on remnant theology, even if they do not explicitly say so.

      I have never seen a person sharing the Benedict meme saying that they thought they were not a part of the small Church. In fact, ask them and they will say that the “small Church” is made of people who believe and behave in ways that mirror themselves.

      Since Francis does not mirror them, so much so that they constantly rail against his teachings, I fail to see how this does not mean, as a corollary, that they view him (and more specifically, his teachings) as something external to this “small Church” of theirs, even if theoretically they acknowledge Francis as the Pope.

      As for the rest of your comment to justify dissent, I am amused by your idea that I’m somehow a “modernist” for following papal teaching and that you’re somehow battling “modernism” by justifying dissent from papal teachings that your personal and non-authoritative view regards as “unmistakably heterodox”

      The reason why I have not addressed the wrongness and content of dissent with more detail is because I have written at length on it in other articles. In fact, my last article before this one was precisely about that: “When Heresy pretends to be Tradition”

      I also suggest that you read my article named “Sola Traditio”

      Regarding Sr. Lucia, she was faithful to the Pope and the Third Secret, which has been fully disclosed, does not justify dissent from papal teachings. I have written about it here too

  15. Anthony Pagano says:

    I think Mr. Gabriel grossly misjudges both the time-line and extent of the destruction hinted at in Benedict XVI’s prediction. It describes the Church (which includes its physical structures, clerical hierarchy and its lay members) descending to rock bottom destruction (physical and spiritual)——–this is certainly not evident at the moment. The Church’s spiritual destruction has been visibly proceeding at a snail’s pace since the smoke of modernism crept in beginning in 1969 (Paul VI’s public observation). Francis is only slightly accelerating changes begun by Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Genuine remnants of the Church will exist only “after” the rock bottom destruction described by Benedict XVI has come to pass. A “remnant” is that which remains after the whole has been destroyed. There are no remnants—–not yet.

    Papal dissenters view themselves as holding up that part of Tradition and doctrine from which the pope has deviated. Nonetheless, they still see BOTH themselves AND the true-pope-they-criticize as part of an existing whole. Therefore the claim that they uphold themselves as genuine “remnants” is wrong and unsupportable. I can only conclude that Mr. Gabriel is using “remnant” equivocally.

    Finally, the claim that John Paul II released the entire Third Secret has been questioned by virtually all of the Fatima experts and scholars. Even the secular press in the U.S. raised an eyebrow at such a claim. Subsequent to its release Benedict XVI stated that the Third Secret describes events that have not yet occurred. I’m done.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      Correction, the Third Secret of Fatima has been fully revealed and conspiracy theorists didn’t believe it because it could not be used the way they intended it to be.

      I also find it bizarre that you would trust Benedict’s on his prophecy about the destruction in the Church, but not his “modernist” teachings. You even pit one against the other, as if Benedict’s destructive teachings were fulfilling his predictions of destruction. But is Benedict trustworthy or not? Or only trustworthy when he fulfills an ulterior role in validating a narrative? Anyway, the rest of your comment assumes the Popes are on the wrong and you in the right, a claim that has been dealt with in my other two articles.

      Also, if you read my previous comment carefully, you’ll see I mentioned not only the Popes themselves, but their *teachings*

      DO you believe that Amoris Laetitia will be a part of that small Church? Or do you say that the small Church will inevitably have to prescind of magisterial papal teaching like Amoris Laetitia? If you do, you are still proving my point. The Magisterium of a Pope should be a constitutive part of the remnant.

  16. Leon Berton says:

    Frankly, your reference to certain sectors of Catholics who use the notion of ‘remnant’ makes a caricature of what they mean.

    While some of these persons, arguably, make arguments that might be disputable concerning what, how, and why the Church has set upon a path of auto-destruction during the past 50 or so years, they nonetheless refer to specific individuals and movements that contributed to such.

    Thus, they are not content to retreat into the discourse of biblical typologies in order to imagine that they, alone, due to their ‘transcendent’ insight participate some sort of privilege remnant which can merely postulate that everyone and everything that is permitted to occur within the Church is directly willed by Providence.

    By doing so, one implicitly ratifies the amorphous within Church structures, the formless within the Church’s worship, and the nebulous within the Church’s doctrines concerning right belief and right action.

    In certain past eras, the Church was granted great and profound theologians. Presently, it seems we are supposed to be grateful for and give assent to any amateur who wishes to contrive a website.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      I was going to say that you make some fair points, and was going to address them, but right now I would urge you to leave the passive aggressiveness of your last sentence outside, since I was tempted not to approve your comment because of it (unless by amateur websites you’re referring to sites that promote division against the Holy Father and peddle theological distortions to promote dissent against magisterial teachings).

      My point was not to caricature these people, but to provide some food for thought that would help people correct a certain mindset. And while you are certainly right that some are not happy with the situation, the apocalyptic and desperate attitude is also mentioned in the article.

      As far as the “self” destruction goes, in addition to the “what, how and why”, you might want to consider “whether”. Even if the Church might get smaller, I profoundly disagree that it is a self destructive act. In fact, Benedict posits that it is a creative act, a purification, a necessity for the Church to actually grow.

      Also, if the alleged remnant mentions people or movements that may have contributed to the “self destructive path” of the Church, please consider that claiming that papal or conciliar teachings are part of that path is profoundly un-Catholic, similar to the progressives claims that if the Church wants to survive, she needs to embrace their stance on a myriad of sexual issues.

      • Leon Berton says:

        It is your site and you can censor and suppress whomever you wish.

        However, it is an injustice to make sweeping generalizations about the use of the term ‘remnant’ in this era.

        If one is attacking the use of the term within certain Catholic sectors who consider themselves ‘traditionalist,’ which your essay and several comments seem to imply, then what I have said is very appropriate.

        If, on the other hand, one is referring to, say, certain truly heterodox groups who espouse heretical notions concerning the interpretation of Scripture, this is another matter.

        But for the most part, those who consider themselves ‘traditionalists’ have suffered with and endured mockery and disdain for many decades while they defended what they understand to have been the Church in its profound historical continuity of doctrine and worship.

        They don’t use the term as a banner of self-adulation. Rather, they, more often than not, have reluctantly applied the term due to the dismal erosion they witnessed during the last decades of the Church in most of its institutional and doctrinal dimensions.

        By the way, to rationalize a stance that makes or permits a caricature comprehension of those whom one is supposedly criticizing, all the while posturing oneself as being on an utterly superior level of understanding and depth because one prescinds from specific historical misdeeds and omissions by many hierarchs and ‘peritii’ during these last decades, is itself a subtle and surreptitious form of what you wish to call ‘passive aggressiveness’ against those whom are being criticized, whether explicitly or by innuendo.

  17. Leon Berton says:

    I apologize, but there is one other notion you seemingly assent to that is debatable.

    To take a quasi-Hegelian stance, such as is implied in what you derive from the previous Pope Benedict’s notion of what has transpired within the Church over the last six or so decades, and merely say that it is a ‘creative act’ so that the Church can grow, is at its best naïve, and at its worst a glib stance of contrived indifference to the sufferings imposed upon millions of laity and religious who suffered profound agony as the institutions to which they had committed themselves through a lifetime were destroyed.

    Really, I cannot believe anyone would say such a trite statement who actually had witnessed elderly persons dying in despair in the 1960’s and 1970’s because they perceived what the Church had always taught them was now false; or witnessed the utter nihilistic destruction of precious resources so diligently created by our ancestors and predecessors through the greatest sacrifices, spiritual and material.

    Such contrived ‘transcendental’ stances or postures are really unworthy of a Catholic who knows well her or his history over the past 1500 years and all that it implied and implies.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      I can understand from your tone that there is a lot of hurt in your words. If you want me to debate the particulars of what you said, I will gladly do so, but for now I think it will serve no purpose. I sympathize with you even if I don’t agree with you.

      Let me just tell you that I did not mean to caricature anyone and even less to say that I am somehow “superior” to anyone. In fact, in this comment section I have specifically said that I do not view myself as part of the remnant. My only purpose was to try to correct some misconceptions around this concept, and I think I did it satisfactorily. If all you took from the article was some sweeping condemnation of a particular group, I’m sad to say you missed the major point, which could be enriching to you and even help you to make peace with the Church as she is.

      Also, I suggest you read the article I published just now. God bless.

  18. Leon Berton says:

    I, like many, have witnessed many injustices and terrible things during the past 50 years. The outcome of Vatican ii could have, and should have, been very different than what it was. And the ‘auto-destruction’ was only somewhat mitigated during the pontificate of St. Pope John Paul ii with Pope Benedict following in the wake.

    The Church ‘as She is’ is not, and should not be, a nebulous thing. Rather, the Church as a supernatural society is necessarily manifested in utterly specific and concrete personal actions, omissions and realized structures. And these must have or not have a profound ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ with Her past.

    But judging truly about all this requires an utterly sober and very realistic appraisal of things as they are compared to how they actually were, even granting that the past was never utterly perfect.

    I have long witnessed and reflected on these matters, but I am not greatly consoled by antecedent biblical typologies that may, or may not, in the mysterious ways of the unfathomable unified Will of the Most Holy Trinity, be discernible to us.

    However, as men and women of flesh and blood, persons who are the heirs of an extremely costly and most dear and complex patrimony, I can readily discern what has been lost and how what is claimed to have been gained, more often than not, utterly pales in comparison with the substance, depth, and extent of what has been lost, simply demolished.

    And so, I find efforts to ‘divine Providence’ often dubious, especially when the reading of history must ignore the vastness of what has been destroyed and lost.

    Should the future portend a renewal of the Church that will subsume its past patrimony in a new way which will again impact in a time and world so eroded by demonic forces of ideological globalist secularism, I tend to think it will only occur if such is, in some way, catalyzed by some of those very Catholic traditionalist groups, in spite of their limitations and imperfections, that certain of your commentators criticize.

    I offer to you my sincere regards and will end by saying that your mastery of English is very excellent and your style of writing equally so.

  19. Anthony Pagano says:

    You don’t seem to be familiar with the history of the events. Fatima scholars don’t doubt that “part” of the Third Secret was revealed by John Paul II (JPII) in 2000——that is, he revealed the vision given to the three seers. However, the Fatima experts justifiably believe that Our Lady gave the seers an explanation for the vision which Sister Lucia also recorded. Fatima Scholars suspect that JPII withheld Our Lady’s explanation and, instead, inserted his own explanation of the vision. That is JPII’s Vatican apparatus explained the vision as describing little more than JPII’s assassination attempt.

    If the vision referred essentially to JPII’s assassination attempt (which had almost no effect on the Church or the world) then even the secular press wondered skeptically why the Vatican would withhold this inconsequential secret from 1981 until 2000 (19 years). More importantly, why would Our Lady command the pope (through Sister Lucia) to reveal this vision (purportedly the mere wounding of JPII) to the world in 1960? Our King and Savior gave Our Lady to us as our last hope in the furtherance of our salvation. In what way was knowledge about the wounding of JPII an aid to our salvation? Never mind conspiracy theory, JPII’s purported explanation for the vision given to the seers doesn’t pass the smell test.

    It was you who introduced the Benedict XVI quote as the center piece of your blog post. I don’t have to rely on Benedict XVI’s prediction since it is consistent with the warnings given by Our Lady over several decades of approved appearances. Furthermore it was Benedict XVI who affirmed after the supposed “full” release of the Third Secret that it did refer to events which had NOT occurred—-contradicting the 2000 JPII explanation of the Third Secret. Is Benedict also a conspiracy theorist?

    My previous comments address the “actual” position of papal dissenters (not my own) and address your mis-characterization of those dissenters. Making mistaken claims about groups we disagree with doesn’t help our understanding and certainly isn’t Christian. Papal dissenters do not consider themselves remnants. They consider BOTH themselves and the pope they criticize as members of the one true Church. How then could the dissenters also believe themselves a remnant? You have failed to provide an answer. Dissenters hope that their dissent will aid the one true pope to return to orthodoxy in the one Church they all belong. Popes cannot be separated from their teachings.

    Ad nauseam, “remnants” of the Church CANNOT exist until the Church proper has been largely (but not completely) destroyed—–that is, the near complete destruction of its physical structures, its clerical hierarchy and its lay members. This has not occurred. If this destruction comes to pass and remnants exist to carry on the faith I suspect the Holy Spirit will guide them. I’ll let you faithfully consider whether the Holy Spirit would guide the few remaining members of the Body of Christ to Amoris Laetitia. Your answer might make an interesting blog post.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      “How then could the dissenters also believe themselves a remnant? You have failed to provide an answer.“

      I don’t need to provide an answer, for I do not speak for them. I just relay what I have seen and experienced. Maybe you should ask all those people who share this Benedict meme in the context of widespread sexual heterodoxy and political upheavals. They surely think that the “small Church” prediction is happening right now.
      “Dissenters hope that their dissent will aid the one true pope to return to orthodoxy in the one Church they all belong. Popes cannot be separated from their teachings.”

      So you acknowledge that you think that the Pope’s teachings you non-authoritatively deem heterodox are not a part of the “small Church”. And then go on to say that Popes cannot be separated from their teachings.
      “’ll let you faithfully consider whether the Holy Spirit would guide the few remaining members of the Body of Christ to Amoris Laetitia. Your answer might make an interesting blog post.”

      I already did make a blog post about it. You’re commenting on it.

      And of course the Holy Spirit will guide the remaining few into following the Pope’s magisterial teachings, including Amoris Laetitia. The remaining faithful will need to be orthodox… truly orthodox, as defined by authoritative sources, not by personal interpretations.
      Regardless of the circumstances of the remnant, what matters is that this article shows how the remnant will have to look like. Dissenters do not act like a true remnant should be. Whether in the present or in the future, they act in a way antithetical to a remnant. They are just a group that, similar to everyone else, places their personal opinions above authoritative teaching.

      And regarding Fatima, one thing is for sure: the secret could never be used to undermine the teaching authority of the Church.

  20. Anthony Pagano says:

    The problem is that you have not relayed any “facts” which indicate that the dissenters consider themselves remnants. Your blog post wrongly PRESUMED that dissenters were remnants and then proceeded to criticize their failure to display the attributes of a genuine remnant. I have pointed out that this argument fails for two fatal reasons:
    1. By definition “remnants” cannot exist until the Church has been nearly destroyed as described in Benedict XVI’s prediction. A “remnant” is what remains after the destruction. So there are NO remnants at the present time and dissenters cannot be remnants.
    2. Dissenters consider themselves as belonging to the same one, whole Church as lead by the one, true pope they criticize. Therefore they cannot be remnants and part of the whole at the same time.

    Your inability and refusal to overcome the errors of your blog post demonstrates a tacit admission that your criticism of the dissenters is wrong.


    You have a penchant for jumping to conclusions and misrepresenting the facts. You have repeatedly and incorrectly presumed that I stand with the dissenters. I’ve only been presenting the position of the dissenters honestly. The dissenters only state that some of the pope’s teachings are heterodox. The dissenters do not have to hold a position of authority to point out that some current teachings of the pope conflict with authoritative teachings of previous popes. All that is needed is the ability to read and understand logic. Dissenters have NOT walled themselves off in what you now label a “small church.” Dissenters are criticizing the pope specifically because they consider the pope and themselves as part of the same, one, true, whole Church.


    Taken as a whole Amoris Laetitia is undoubtedly heterdox; too many scholars and theologians have admitted as much. Francis has not denied that Amoris Laetitia is heterodox. Francis has altered previous Church teachings—–heterodoxy—–in recognition of the failure of some (or even many of its members). His justification for heterodoxy in Amoris Laetitia (and elsewhere) is mercy to the sinful. Taken to its absurd conclusion one would alter the Ten Commandments (and every other doctrine) since many members violate them. You merely echoed Francis’s modernist justification. This is how the dissenters see things.. The Church for millennia already has a merciful solution for the failure and sinfulness of men—–heterdoxy and changing the unchangeable is the solution of modernism NOT Catholicism.


    Your original blog speculated about what members of a faithful “remnant” might look like if remnants existed, but they DO NOT exist. You then used this speculation to criticize dissenters as bad remnants and by implication bad Catholics. The Church proper still exists and so there are no remnants—–this much is obvious. Furthermore dissenters consider themselves and the pope they criticize to be members of the same, one, true Church. The dissenters have not walled themselves off as remnants or as members of some “small church.” There are valid criticisms of the dissenters (I’ve previously pointed out their principle fault). The pope himself has not denied any criticism that some of his teachings are heterodox or that a modernist attitude is the basis for those teachings.

    • Pedro Gabriel says:

      You keep repeating gratuitous assertions.

      Regarding your first objection, whether the remnant will only appear after the complete destruction of the Church or not, it’s irrelevant for this article.
      You stated that Benedict’s prediction says that the Church will need to be completely destroyed for the remnant to appear. But Benedict’s prediction *also* states how the remnant will be.
      And the article shows that dissenters do not display the remnant characteristics described by Benedict.
      And that’s the point.

      Regarding your second objection, you keep proving my point that you think that Francis’ magisterial teachings will not belong to the remnant Church.
      But Pope Francis is not heterodox.
      Amoris Laetitia is not heterodox.
      Pope Francis doesn’t need to deny that his teachings are heterodox. They are not. And he’s the Pope.
      And neither you, nor scholars or theologians can change that.

      The remnant, whether now or in a future when the Church is completely destroyed, will have to be orthodox.
      This means, the remnant will have to be faithful to the magisterial teaching of the popes.
      Which means the remnant will have to be faithful to Amoris Laetitia.

      Finally, you keep self-appointing yourself as the mouthpiece of all dissenters.
      But you keep ignoring the existence of all the dissenters who have shared Benedict’s quote on social media in the context of current widespread sexual heterodoxy and political upheavals.
      I’ve repeated this over and over, but you keep ignoring the existence of these people.
      If you disagree, take it up with them, not with me.

      You are not an authority representing all dissenters.
      And you are not an authority to determine what is orthodox or not.
      And certainly not an authority to judge the Pope as heterodox, or his teachings. You yourself admit this, but go on doing it anyway.

      Your inability and refusal to overcome the errors of your comments demonstrates a tacit admission that your criticism of my blog post is wrong.
      All your objections have been refuted ad nauseam.
      You may disagree that you have been refuted, but I do not think it is productive to repeat your (in my mind already refuted) arguments over and over.

      So you’ve made your case and I’ve made mine. We’ll let the readers decide. Thank you for the contribution. Discussion closed.

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