REGARDLESS of what is being said about (against?) Pope Francis, no matter the allegations that he is antipope, he remains a priest whom God has permitted to ascend to the throne of Peter. Mystic exorcist Fr. Michel Rodrigue, in his talk before an American audience last year, urged people to set aside acerbic tongue against the pope, hinting (at least in my view) at the possibility that Francis, along with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, could be martyred.
So what has Pope Francis advised us in these extraordinary times of Covid-19?
"What we are living in now is a place of 'metanoia' (conversion), and we have the chance to begin. So, let's not let it slip from us, and let's move ahead,” he said in reply to a question sent him by the British journal The Tablet.
The Pope said, “the pandemic crisis is an opportunity to reflect on how people use their time and resources, how the church responds to new pastoral needs, how society has allowed the economy to be the first consideration when making decisions about people's lives and how governments still spend billions on weapons when they cannot provide adequate health care to all their people.”
These days of isolation, the Pope said "I'm praying more, because I feel I should," focusing on the needs of others as this " takes me out of my self-preoccupation."
"Of course, I have my areas of selfishness. On Tuesdays, my confessor comes, and I take care of things there,” he added.
Then he posed questions: "what will come afterward. What will be my service as bishop of Rome, as head of the church, in the aftermath?"
"That aftermath has already begun to be revealed as tragic and painful, which is why we must be thinking about it now. I'm living this as a time of great uncertainty. It's a time for inventing, for creativity,” he said.
With almost the entire mankind confined in their domiciles, the Pope noted that "It's not easy to be confined to your house," he said, as he cited Virgil's epic poem The Aeneid: ‘The counsel is not to give up, but save yourself for better times, for in those times remembering what has happened will help us.’"
"Take care of yourselves for a future that will come. Take care of the now for the sake of tomorrow -- always creatively, with simple creativity, capable of inventing something new each day,” he added.
The Pope also advised all not to take refuge in escapism “which in this time is of no use to you."
This, as he also stressed the need for the Church to also be creative during the Covid-19 pandemic by finding new ways to live and share the Gospel.
The Pope recalled that "about a week ago an Italian bishop, somewhat flustered, called me. He had been going around the hospitals wanting to give absolution to those inside the wards from the hallway of the hospital. But he had spoken to canon lawyers who had told him he couldn't, that absolution could only be given in direct contact."
He said he advised the bishop thus: "Bishop, fulfill your priestly duty." And the bishop said, "'Grazie, ho capito'(Thank you, I understand). I found out later that he was giving absolution all around the place."
Amid some confusion in the Church arising from some of the Pope’s statements, the Blessed Mother told mystic Pedro Regis last July 28 as follows:
“Dear children, open your hearts to God’s Truth. Humanity is walking in spiritual blindness and My poor children are heading towards a great spiritual abyss. Do not allow the darkness of the devil to lead you away from the path of truth. You are heading towards a future of doubts and uncertainties. The day will come when many will seek the truth and will find it in a few places.
“I am your Sorrowful Mother and I suffer over what comes to you. The mire of false doctrines will contaminate many of the consecrated, and death will be present within the Church. Love and defend the truth. Whatever happens, remain faithful to the true Magisterium of the Church of My Jesus. Give me your hands and I will lead you to Jesus My Son. Onward without fear. This is the message that I give you today in the name of the Most Holy Trinity. Thank you for having allowed Me to gather you here once more. I bless you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Be at peace.”
Earlier last July 25, Pedro was also told:
“Dear children, go forward along the path that I have pointed out to you. Do not forget: in everything, God first. Do not allow the things of the world to separate you from My Son Jesus. Always seek the Treasures of God. Only in Jesus can you find full happiness. I have come from Heaven to lead you to Heaven. Give me your hands and I will lead you on the path of holiness. Return in repentance to the One who loves you and knows you by name. Do not retreat in the face of your difficulties. When you feel the weight of your trials, call on Jesus.
“Rejoice, for your names are already written in Heaven. Know that human eyes have never seen what the Lord has prepared for the righteous. You will yet have long years of hard trials, but those who remain faithful to the end will receive great rewards from the Lord. Do not depart from prayer, for only through prayer can you understand My Appeals. This is the message that I give you today in the name of the Most Holy Trinity. Thank you for having allowed Me to gather you here once more. I bless you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Be at peace.”