Commentary on Pope Francis and the Amazon Synod

Fr. Richard Cortese, Director of the MMP-USA

by Fr. Richard Cortese, Director of the MMP-USA

November 1, 2019, Updated on 2-15-2020
Solemnity of All Saints

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the MMP,

Our Lady in Her messages to Fr. Gobbi repeatedly emphasizes that we must pray for and be faithful to the Holy Father, the Pope.  I would like to strongly give support to this.  We must, as She has told us, pray very much for him, love him and support him.

Many today it seems are saying, “I don’t understand the Pope.  I don’t know what he is doing.”   And, I agree, that sometimes it seems we don’t understand everything.  But, we must be faithful and pray, and not lose our peace of heart.  Remember that Our Lady has said in her last message given on December 31, 1997 (# 604) that “all has been revealed.”  It is important to be as simple children and to trust Our Lady.

Our Lord as the Good Shepherd, and Our Lady who tells us these are Her times, for sure know exactly what is happening.  Perhaps it is as if we are being tested.  The media is writing just about anything that pleases their whim.  There are those inside the Church, as Our Lady tells us, who are more willing to listen to the Evil One, than to God or the Church.  The result is polarization, confusion, high emotion, and the feeling that the Church is being torn apart.

In one of Her early messages, Our Lady tells us that the Church will maintain its traditional form. It will not be changed.  In Her messages,  she gives us hope in sharing from Her Immaculate Heart a very traditional set of Catholic teachings and values.  In one message, She asks us to read the “Creed of St. Pope Paul VI”  (cf. #292d; 340h).  It’s a lovely summary of all the teachings of our Catholic faith, written at a time when it seemed everything was falling apart and when dissent was seeking to enter everywhere into the life of the Church.  I remember those days. They were difficult, but Our Lady was with us!

In another of Her messages, She mentioned the Catechism of the Catholic Church (cf. #486p).  It is a magnificent summary of the teachings of the Church.  It embodies the teaching of the Vatican II Council, and the Sacred Tradition of the Church.

Our Lady’s love for the Pope in Her messages is unmistakably clear. Let’s follow Her example by loving, supporting and praying with Her for Pope Francis, not only in our Cenacles but also in all that we do.  Our Lady tells us that there will come a day when only a small remnant will be left to support the Pope, but that on this remnant the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart will occur.  Let us be very careful to not let so much false news, or half truths, or spectacularized reports sway us from the loving messages of Our Lady for the first of Her Sons, the Pope.

The fact of the matter is that the Amazon Synod is an advisory synod for the Pope.  Anything and everything that has been said or written in the synod has no validity until the Pope Himself writes his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation.  This may take anywhere from a few months to a year.  It’s up to the Pope to write what he wishes to write.  At that time we will know what the Pope thinks and wishes to say to the Church. Everything else in effect until then could be considered as so much hot steam and verbiage.  Even the working document is not a definitive document.  It can change greatly as the Pope decides what to do and what to say in his final Apostolic Exhortation.

Please note the following excerpt taken from the Act of Consecration which Our Lady Herself gave to Fr. Gobbi.

“Above all, we wish to be united with the Holy Father and the hierarchy, firmly adhering to all their directives, so as thus to set up a barrier to the growing confrontation directed against the Magisterium, that threatens the very foundation of the Church.

Under your maternal protection, we want moreover to be apostles of this sorely needed unity of prayer and love for the Pope, on whom we invoke your special protection.”

Our Lady repeatedly tells us to be joyful, not to worry and to be at peace.  This too is my counsel.  Time and patience will reveal things to us, how her plan of peace and salvation for so many souls will pan out. I prefer to let Our Lady guide us in this, as we quietly pray and listen to Her, and not to those voices of anxiety, worry, dissent, disaster, or even prophecy.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  Let us encourage one another, seek to be patient and calm, and to love one another.  And to continue to spread the Cenacles, especially in families.  I’d like to encourage the Cenacles among the brother priests.  How powerful is a Cenacle? How powerful is the Immaculate Heart of Mary?  I’d say powerful enough to crush Satan’s head, and to help save a multitude of souls, and to help us support and pray for the Pope.  Our Lady has told us She is “suppliant omnipotence.” (cf. 275k)  Let us please put our emphasis on this!

References are to the messages in the book, “To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons.”

Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Querida Amazonia” dated February 2, 2020, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, was recently released.  We at the MMP wholeheartedly support the Holy Father and pray that his exhortation be well-received and implemented.

Q & A

On June 28, 2019 in an interview by the Corriere della Sera Italian newspaper, Pope Emeritus Benedict was quoted as saying: “There is only one pope; it is Francis.” Do you think this truly reflects Pope Emeritus Benedict’s thoughts?

Answer:   Yes, absolutely. I find this very helpful and consoling, especially at a time when many have been strongly questioning if Pope Francis is the authentic pope.  Pope Emeritus Benedict is described in this same article as being physically very frail, but with a perfect clarity of thought.  Some have said that Pope Emeritus Benedict was coerced to say what he said, and that he is even a sort of papal prisoner living under duress.  But, how can this be the case when we see that he is absolutely clear minded and aware of all that is going on in papal and ecclesial matters?  Pope Emeritus Benedict is perhaps a model of humility and docility, as he has always been, to the person of the pope.  At his resignation in February of 2013, he promised respect and obedience to whoever his successor would be.  I feel certain he meant this, and thus far he has done so.  He prays very much for the Pope and the Church as we too are called to do.  Much more is done through prayer and sacrifice, and our MMP Cenacles are precisely this when our priests and laity gather together to pray for the pope as the Apostolic Church did for St. Peter when he was miraculously freed from prison by an angel (cf. Acts ct. 12).  Our MMP priests and laity should be careful not to allow ourselves to be caught in the trap of thinking otherwise even though it may be a struggle for some.  We are called to be simple and docile as Our Lady is, and to love and pray for Pope Francis, even though we may not understand all that is happening.  Our Lord Himself has promised that He will give to the pope the grace to lead and guide the Church; he did this when He prayed for St. Peter that his faith might not fail (Lk. 22:32).  And, this includes all the successors to St. Peter till the end of time.  This has been the case throughout the history of the Church, especially in those times of great trial and confusion for the papacy. Divine grace, strength and guidance have always been present to help resolve things even in the most difficult of situations.

How are you and I to understand Pope Francis?

Answer:   Our Lady in Her messages tells us to understand him with love, prayer and silence. In message 108, August 22, 1976, She says:

“I was silent at my Son’s words; I was silent at the voice of the Apostles; I am now lovingly silent at the voice of the pope.”  She explains why it’s necessary to be silent:  “that it [his voice] might be disseminated more and more, that it might be heard by all, that it might be received into souls.  This is why I am very close to the person of this first of my beloved sons, the Vicar of my Son Jesus.  By my silence I am helping him to speak.  By my silence I am lending strength to his own words.”

The prayer of interior silence unites one to the Holy Spirit in the temple of one’s soul.  In such prayer for the pope, it then is the Holy Spirit who touches, guides and helps the pope.  The Holy Spirit unleashed in the interior prayer of silence is much more powerful than any words that might be used and shared about the pope, positive or negative.  This was always the prayer of Mary for Jesus and the Apostles, and continues to be for the pope.  She meditates on all this lovingly and powerfully in Her Heart, Her Immaculate Heart.  I am convinced that the more you and I do this, the more the Holy Spirit and the Immaculate Heart of Mary will lead us to understand the pope in this time of immense confusion and conflict.

What would Fr. Gobbi say about Pope Francis?

Answer:   After having a personal fit, as he did with some of the Roman congregations when he defended the nature of his locutions, I think he would very much want us all to lovingly support and pray for the pope, make sacrifices for him, and remember him constantly in our rosaries and Masses, and especially in the MMP Cenacles. In spite of his many trials with the Roman congregations, he never criticized or said anything negative about the popes of his time (Pope Saint John XXIII, Pope Saint Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, Pope Saint John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI).  He loved the popes and prayed constantly for them.  Even from his earliest years he held a great respect, love and veneration for the pope.  I think he would want us to do the same.  He would want us to publically not say anything negative about Pope Francis, only to lovingly maintain a vigil of silent prayer and sacrifice for him.  This is what Our Lady shared with him in so many of Her messages.  This is one of the foundations of the Marian Movement of Priests, to support the pope.  He would encourage us to let go of the temptation to criticism and judgment,  and let God take care of each situation, always with constant prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The triumph is Hers, and takes place when we are docile to Her inspirations.  Fr. Gobbi, I think, would want us to imitate Our Lady, and have the same attitude as Hers.  In message 108,  August 22, 1976, She even says that there are those who thinking themselves “guardians of tradition and defenders of the faith” will think that Our Lady “had nothing to do with the Holy Father’s way of acting,”  thinking also that the pope is “denying the truth.”  She says, ‘no,’ Satan is so subtle that he can cause people to think this way, even to the point of using Our Lady’s name to “aim sharp criticisms at the person and work of the Holy Father.”  No, Fr. Gobbi would never go for this, nor should we.  We must be as a simple small child and pray and trust in Our Lady.  It will then all work out according to God’s and Her plan, and we will then be humble, faithful and obedient children of Her Immaculate Heart, giving Her glory and defeating Satan who always wants loudness and rebellion.

Do you have any final comments?

Answer:   Yes, please do not underestimate the gifts that Pope Francis has up to this point given to the Church.   He has canonized three popes:  Pope Saint John XXIII, Pope Saint Paul VI, and Pope Saint John Paul II.  This is no small gift and should be a great cause of joy for all the Church.  He has canonized the parents of St. Therese, St. Louis Martin and St. Zelie Martin.  This is especially significant for families today and all of us.  What wonderful parents these were, “living more in heaven than on earth” St. Therese tells us.  On May 13, 2017 while visiting the Shrine of Fatima, Pope Francis canonized two of the three children of Fatima:  St. Francisco Marto and St. Jacinta Marto.  What about Pope Francis and St. Joseph?  He ordered that the name of St. Joseph be inserted in all the Eucharist Prayers of the Mass; St. Joseph is necessary for us today and powerful.  He gave us an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, setting the theme of his pontificate.  And, he has done many other things which probably we don’t hear too much about.  He has also embraced the poor of the world like no one else, and like Pope Emeritus Benedict defended the ecology of the earth.  How careful we must be to not get drawn into judgements and conclusions about him, especially with movements of polarization, and conflicts such as have been tearfully attested to by Our Lady in Her messages with bishops coming to oppose bishops, even among the highest authorities of the Church, the cardinals.  Our Lady in Her messages speaks of the influence of Freemasonry infiltrating into the interior of the Church even to the highest levels.  Nothing is said of the Pope himself being involved in this, though he certainly is aware of its influence and has to deal with it in all its subtleties.  Our Lady says it is permitted by God as part of the necessary purification of the Church.  Pope Emeritus Benedict was certainly aware of it calling it, I would say, by its philosophical name, the “tyranny of relativism.”   Look at the Middle Age Pope Celestine.  He resigned from the papacy after less than a year.  Dante was so upset at him that he resigned, that in the Divine Comedy, the greatest of Italian works of literature, he placed Pope Celestine in the Inferno, in Hell.  Sometimes we too can be tempted to do the same, demonizing a person or a situation.  Yet Pope Celestine was later canonized as a saint.  Those consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary must not get caught up into these things, lest that which happened to Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees occur to us when they opposed Him as evil and could not see Him as the Holy One of God, the Messiah and Savior of Israel (cf. Mk. 3:22).