Author Topic: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion  (Read 6713 times)

Online Kaesekopf

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2022, 02:36:21 PM »
My wife wrote a series on this years ago:
http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/spirituality/82-spirtuality/222-defense-of-divine-mercy.html
http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/spirituality/82-spirtuality/242-defense-of-the-divine-mercy-devotion-part-2.html
http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/spirituality/82-spirtuality/467-defense-of-the-divine-mercy-devotion-part-3.html

In the end of the day people do get to pick what they believe and what they don't believe.  At judgement day it is determined whether we believed and acted rightly by God.  If people don't find the Divine Mercy Devotion in its: Apparitions, Chaplet, Image believable or from God then you can share with them why you find it believable, or how it benefits you. 

Your wife's series helped change my mind, for what it's worth. 
Wie dein Sonntag, so dein Sterbetag.

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Jesus son of David, have mercy on me.
 
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2022, 02:40:25 PM »
As a traditional catholic for about a decade now, and one who has participated in online traditional catholic forums for the same.  As it regards this devotion in relation to traditional latin mass catholics, I have observed the dividing line between acceptance and rejection of the divine mercy devotion based on theological grounds to consistently fall between old guard sspxer's and sedevacantists on one side, and post 2012 neo-sspxer's and ecclesia dei indult trads on the other side.  This is not to say that any of the groups listed in this spectrum are or should be characterized as divine mercy trads.  But, only acceptance verses rejection is the issue.  I doubt that divine mercy is even very popular among ecclesia dei trads compared to conservative novus ordites.  And the sspx only came to be open to and promote sr. faustina after 2012 when there was "rebranding" of the institution, and a purge and defection of "rigid" clergy.  What changed in the sspx?  Politics changed.  It is part/a result of the outreach to conservative novus ordites in my opinion.
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12
 

Offline Wyo Wolverine

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2022, 02:41:08 PM »
So, up until last week, I watched The Fatima Center on you tube. Previously, I had found Father Michael Rodriguez a fairly based priest. Almost 2 weeks ago, TFC posted a video from Fr. Rodriguez in which he poo-poo'ed all over the Divine Mercy devotion and St. Faustina. Citing it's "newness" and questioning it's authenticity. The video presented the priest's own personal opinion, however misguided and not church teaching. 

That was only half of it. The other half of it were the comments.

"Isn't St. Faustina a heretic?"
"St. Faustina's diary is heretical"
"St. Faustina was canonized by JPII, so she's not a real saint"
"Fr. Chris Alar supports the Medjugorje *hoax*, therefore everything he says is wrong"
"Fr. Chris Alar misguides people"
"
ETC....

I went back and forth with one woman, who blatantly accused Fr. Chris Alar (Of the Marians of Immaculate Conception) of something with no proof whatsoever, she just pulled it out of thin air. Calumny is a sin.
I said I'd pray for her, which I did. Her response was to tell me no, not necessary... It went on and on and on. So many supposed Catholics in the comments were making up fallacies out of nothing. I finally got so irritated I just ejected myself from arguing with people who were so pointedly lying, misleading, etc. The amount of sheer fallacies spewed out in the comments were surprising.

Additionally, my wife has felt led to put together a Divine Mercy prayer and discussion group here in our local diocese. They will meet every Tuesday during Lent at our local Knights of Columbus leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday. Each week will focus on a particular aspect of the devotion. This is to help educate and spread the Divine Mercy devotion.  Divine Mercy Sunday is a HUGE thing if you know what it really means for the soul! But even as a cradle Catholic, she had very little understanding of it up until recently. Again, going around to our 3 local churches, she encountered somewhat hostile pushback at one church amongst the office staff just trying to get it into the bulletin, as things that go in the bulletins have to be submitted about 4 weeks ahead. The other 2 churches were very receptive.

We as lay Catholics don't get to pick and choose which saints we think are *real* saints and which aren't. Divine Mercy Sunday is akin to being baptized all over again. This is enormous. I don't know if all of the hostility is due to cafeteria Catholics, poor communication from priests, etc....

I was really floored by it all. If the actual devotion doesn't move or speak to somebody, that's one thing. It's natural that different devotions call to different people. But to openly misrepresent, lie, bear false witness, etc.  it's really something to see, and not in a good way.

What say you?

My wife wrote a series on this years ago:
http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/spirituality/82-spirtuality/222-defense-of-divine-mercy.html
http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/spirituality/82-spirtuality/242-defense-of-the-divine-mercy-devotion-part-2.html
http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/spirituality/82-spirtuality/467-defense-of-the-divine-mercy-devotion-part-3.html

In the end of the day people do get to pick what they believe and what they don't believe.  At judgement day it is determined whether we believed and acted rightly by God.  If people don't find the Divine Mercy Devotion in its: Apparitions, Chaplet, Image believable or from God then you can share with them why you find it believable, or how it benefits you. 


 

Thanks for posting this, I will read it.
"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose, it will defend itself."
-St. Augustine
 

Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2022, 02:57:25 PM »
I have heard for years that the "book" was not only on denounced as heretical by many bishops, but also that the faithful were blatantly told not to spread the devotion or display any of the images anywhere. Is that not true? Also, the hijacking of the second biggest feast day in the liturgical calendar for "Mercy Sunday" gave some people pause.

Don't get me wrong. I have been to the shrine in MA many times, I think there are some nice aspects to the devotion. My brother, who has a very sound head on his shoulders, and is very pious, loves this devotion. I have just never really been on one side or the other.

 
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Offline TradGranny

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2022, 03:11:46 PM »
Church Reasons to Condemn the
Divine Mercy Devotion
Msgr. Patrick Perez
Several readers have addressed questions to TIA asking orientation about the Divine Mercy devotion. Since we knew Msgr. Perez had addressed the topic some months ago, we invited him to write an article about it for our website. Since he is busy with many pastoral duties and unable to write, he sent us both the tape and text of that sermon (April 21, 2013) for us to edit and post at our convenience.

We transferred its spoken language to written language and inserted title and subtitles. Although it is a long article, we thought it would be better to offer it to our readers in a single piece, rather than to break it into several articles.  TIA


My dear faithful, today I want to say a few words about the Divine Mercy devotion. I receive many questions about this subject every year and now I want to address the topic. As a source reference I am using principally an issue of The Angelus magazine (June 2010). This research comes from Fr. Peter Scott. Since he provided most of what I needed for this talk, ‘birettas off’ to Fr. Scott.

The Divine Mercy devotion was re-launched by John Paul II. During his long pontificate he established a feast day in honor of this devotion. During his homily at the canonization of Sr. Faustina on April 30, 2000, he declared that the Second Sunday of Easter would henceforth be called Divine Mercy Sunday.

Consequently, every year on the Sunday following Easter, which is called Low Sunday - in Latin it is called Dominica in Albis, Sunday in White - I am asked this question, “Father, why don't we celebrate the Divine Mercy Sunday?”

Divine mercy

A typical Divine Mercy image remindful of a whirling dervish
Now, the easy answer would be, “We don't do it because it's not in the traditional calendar.” But, then, the feast of Padre Pio also is not in the traditional calendar, but we celebrate it. We do it as prescribed in the Common of the Missal, which allows us to honor recently canonized saints. So, the question returns: Why don’t we celebrate the Divine Mercy Sunday?

I have analyzed the prayers of the Divine Mercy devotion and found nothing wrong with them. But there is something wrong with what surrounds this new devotion.

Let me acknowledge that there are persons, possibly even some persons here, who have received graces from doing the Divine Mercy devotion. That is not an indication that the devotion itself is necessarily from Heaven.

Remember God always answers our prayers. You always receive some grace by your prayers. For example, let’s imagine you made a pilgrimage to visit the burial place of a saint. You made the pilgrimage and thought you were kneeling at the correct grave venerating that saint. In fact, however, he was not buried in that cemetery, but in a church nearby. Nonetheless, God gives you graces because of your effort and your desire to please Him and make reparation for your sins.

You made that pilgrimage; you will not leave it without grace. God does not take a position like, “Well, you're at the wrong grave. Sorry, you travelled 6,000 miles for nothing and now you receive nothing.” No, God will always answer your prayers. So, please, remember when you hear people say, “Well, I have received graces from this devotion.” This in itself is not an indication that the devotion is from Heaven. Certainly the graces are always from Heaven. But the devotion may not be.

Condemnations of this devotion

What is wrong with the Divine Mercy devotion?

First, when this devotion fell under the attention of Pius XII, he was concerned not with the prayers of the devotion, but with the circumstances of the so-called apparitions to Sr. Faustina and their content. That is, he was concerned with what Our Lord supposedly told Sr. Faustina and what he told her to make public.

Pius XII, then, placed this devotion, including the apparitions and the writings of Sr. Faustina on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books). That list no longer exists, since it was formally abolished on June 14, 1966, by Paul VI. On the one hand, it is unfortunate that it no longer exists. But, on the other hand, if that list were to exist today it would be so vast that it would fill this room. Practically everything that is written today has something objectionable to the Catholic Faith.

John Paul II divine Mercy devotion

JPII supported the thrice-condemned devotion
So, Pius XII put the writings of Sr. Faustina on the Index of Prohibited Books. That meant that he considered that their content would lead Catholics astray or in the wrong direction.

Next, came other prohibitions made by Pope John XXIII. Twice in his pontificate, the Holy Office issued condemnations of the Divine Mercy writings.

Today the Holy Office is called Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. But before it was called the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Its name has changed over several years.

This Office - placed under the direct control of the Pope - is responsible for maintaining the purity of the doctrine and, therefore, it watches over the dissemination of different documents in the Church.

If the Pope wants to correct the faithful on a particular topic, he usually does this through the Holy Office. So, the proclamations, declarations and documents issued by the Holy Office may be seen as coming from the Pope himself.

Not once, but twice under Pope John XXIII, this particular devotion was condemned through the Holy Office. The first condemnation was in a plenary meeting held on November 19, 1958. The declaration from the Holy Office issued these three statements about this devotion:

1. There is no evidence of the supernatural origin of these revelations. This means that the members of the Holy Office examined the content and decided that there was nothing there to indicate the apparitions were supernatural. In an authentic apparition - Our Lady of Lourdes or Our Lady of Fatima, for example - you can look at the content and affirm it can not be definitively said they are of divine origin, but there is enough evidence to say that it is possibly so. On the other hand, in the Divine Mercy apparitions, they said definitively that there is no evidence whatsoever that they are supernatural. This translates, “We do not think that these apparitions come from God.”

2. No feast of Divine Mercy should be instituted. Why? Because if it is based on apparitions that are not clearly coming from God, then it would be rash and temerarious to institute a feast in the Church based on something that is a false apparition.

3. It is forbidden to disseminate writings propagating this devotion under the form received by Sr. Faustina, as well as the image typical of it. So, it was forbidden to even publish the image of Our Lord as Divine Mercy.

Now, you have all seen this image, even if in passing, and you would know and recognize it. It shows a strange picture of Jesus that makes me uneasy. I cannot really tell you why. I do not like it. I don't like the face, I don't like the gesture, I don't like the posture, I don't like anything. This was my first impression of this image. I don't want it around because it is, for lack of a better term, creepy to me when I look at it.

The image shows multicolored rays, I think they are red, white and blue, coming from His chest region - no heart, just these rays. You have all seen this. Well, that was the image that was forbidden to be published or spread.

On March 6, 1959, the Holy Office issued a second decree on the order of Pope John XXIII. It forbade, once again, spreading the images of Divine Mercy and the writings of Sr. Faustina propagating this devotion. It also stated that it was up to the bishops to decide how they were going to remove the images that had already been displayed for public honor.

I do not need to say much more about these declarations. Two Popes strongly warned the faithful of a danger in this devotion. Pius XII put it on the Index; John XXIII issued two condemnations through the Holy Office about the spiritual danger this devotion presented to the faithful. Not much more needs to be said on that.

Principal error: It presents an unconditional mercy

Let me present you with a parallel thought.

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Above, a majestic Jesus with the halo of divinity and a well-defined Sacred Heart gives a clear blessing; below, a worker-like Jesus without the proper halo or a heart makes a gesture more like a "hello" than a blessing
rays divine mercy
Consider the true image of Christ Our Savior. Probably the most symbolically rich and accurate representation of Him, besides the Crucifix, is the image of the Sacred Heart, because the image of Our Lord with the Sacred Heart summarizes the whole theology of Redemption.

They pierced His Hands, His Feet and His Sacred Heart; the crown of thorns encircles the Heart, which burns with love for man. This was the price He paid, the sacrifice He made for our redemption. He offered Himself because of His burning love for us despite the fact we are ungrateful creatures who rebelled against our Creator. Think about it. He created us and then we nailed Him to a cross even though He was God and completely innocent of any guilt. So, the Sacred Heart encapsulates all this.

In the images of the Sacred Heart, He points to this symbolic font of love and mercy for us. The devotions to the Sacred Heart always suppose reparation for our sins. We are sinners, we must make reparation. Despite the promises from Our Lord and the fact that He paid an infinite price for our Redemption, we must make reparation. We should always do penance for our sins and make various kinds of reparation.

Now, consider the image of Our Lord representing the Divine Mercy. It is an imitation of the Sacred Heart without the heart. When you pay attention, you notice that in the image there is no heart. There are simply rays coming out of a point above His waist. This symbolizes the error of the Divine Mercy devotion. It preaches that we can expect an unconditional mercy with no price to be paid whatsoever, with no obligations whatsoever. This is not the message of Christ.

Christ is merciful. Time and time again, His mercy pardons our repeated sins in the Sacrament of Penance, always taking us back no matter how bad our sins are. And what happens in the Sacrament of Penance? The very name of the Sacrament tells us exactly what happens: to be effective the Sacrament supposes penance. Not only are you there at the Sacrament recognizing your full submission to the Church and your dependence on the Sacraments for forgiveness, but you walk out of the confessional with an imposed penance.

You are also often reminded from this pulpit that you must not only fulfill that penance, but you must continually do penance, your own penance. You don't just say a decade of the Rosary and say, “Well, I've done my penance. Now, I can go merrily on my way.” You must always have the spirit of penance for your past sins; you must live with it.

The central error of the Divine Mercy is that it promises lots of spiritual rewards with no requirement of penance, no mention of reparation, no mention of any condition.

Unfortunately, this corresponds very much with what Pope John Paul II wrote in the Encyclical Dives in misericordia. I do not recommend reading it to any of you, except the most prepared, because it has many misleading things. It re-echoes this mercy with no price, gifts from heaven with no requirements, God's mercy with no mention of penance or reparation for sin whatsoever.

Anticipating that encyclical Pope John Paul II already in 1978, the very first year of his pontificate, set in motion the canonization of Sr. Faustina and the institution of a Divine Mercy Sunday feast. As I said before, both Sr. Faustina’s writings and the very idea of having a Divine Mercy feast day had been prohibited and condemned by two previous Popes.

Presumption in Sr. Faustina’s writings

The writings of the Polish Sr. Faustina herself, published in English in 2007, pose cause for concern. The work has 640 pages and transcribes frequent supposed apparitions and messages from Our Lord.

Faustina John Paul II divine Mercy

A new "save-yourself-without-effort" devotion
This long thread of statements supposedly from Our Lord to Sr. Faustina has some things that would make a correct-thinking Catholic very uneasy, to say the least. I will exemplify by taking a few quotes from her writings.

On October 2, 1936, she states that the “Lord Jesus” appeared to her and said, “Now, I know that it is not for the graces or gifts that you love Me, but because My Will is dearer to you than life. That is why I am uniting Myself with you so intimately as with no other creature.” (Divine Mercy in My Soul, The Diary of Sr. Faustina, Stockbridge, MA: Marian Press, 1987, p. 288)

How can we believe that Our Lord has united Himself more intimately with Sr. Faustina than with the Blessed Virgin Mary? At first, we might read this and think, “Oh, that's beautiful.“ But later it may hit you, “Wait a minute, Our Lord united Himself more intimately with Sr. Faustina than with any other creature? Our Lady was the Immaculate Conception, but she was also His creature, she was created by Him as the rest of us were, albeit with the greatest exalted position free from original sin from the very beginning.”

And now are we expected to believe that Our Lord told Sr. Faustina that He is more united to her than anybody else, even the Blessed Virgin Mary, and certainly more than all the other Saints? This affirmation smacks of pride in itself, let alone the assertion that it came from Heaven.

This type of presumption is present in many other cases.

Our Lord supposedly addressed Sr. Faustina on May 23, 1937, with these words: “Beloved pearl of My Heart.” What bothers me about this is that it is pure saccharin. Look how Our Lady speaks to Sr. Lucia or to St. Bernadette. It is not as “beloved pearl of My Heart.” It is impossible to imagine Our Lord stooping to saccharin language. Our Lord is Christ the King, Creator of the universe, and ruler of all that is. He does not say things like “beloved pearl of My Heart.”

Let me continue. Then, He said: “I see your love so pure; purer than that of the angels, and all the more so because you keep fighting. For your sake, I bless the world.” (ibid., p. 400) First of all, except for the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are not free from original sin and, therefore, we are not capable of a love purer than the angels.

warsaw

Nazi soldiers invaded Poland after Sr. Faustina announced a blessed world - above, they are marching on Warsaw
As for blessing the world, that might be fine. If we had one real saint in the world, then the Lord will give us blessings for that one real saint. This is not my objection.

My objection is that this revelation was in 1937; the world was on the verge of World War II, which Sr. Lucy had already been forewarned of by Our Lady at Fatima: if Russia is not consecrated, and man does not convert, then this big disaster will befall mankind for their evil ways and their sins.

At that moment, we were about to see that disaster descend from Heaven, yet Our Lord tells Sr. Faustina, “For your sake, I am going to bless the world.” Was World War II a blessing on the world? Since her native Poland did not go unscathed by the German invasion, it does not seem likely that He actually blessed the world.

Another example: Sr. Faustina claimed that Our Lord told her that she was exempt from judgment, every judgment - particular judgment and the general judgment. On February 4, 1935, she already claimed to hear this voice in her soul, “From today on, do not fear God’s judgment, for you will not be judged.” (ibid., p. 168)

Now, nobody but the Blessed Virgin, as far as I know, is free from the general and particular judgment. St. Thomas Aquinas, according to the pious story, had to genuflect in Purgatory before going to Heaven. I don’t know if this is fact, but it is a lesson for us that nobody is exempt from any kind of judgment.

And add to these examples the preposterous affirmation that the Host jumped out of the Tabernacle three times and placed itself in her hands, so that she had to open up the Tabernacle and place it back herself: “And the host came out of the Tabernacle and came to rest in my hands and I, with joy, placed it back in the Tabernacle. This was repeated a second time, and I did the same thing. Despite this, it happened a third time.” (ibid., p. 23) It makes it sound like a hamster that has gotten out of its cage. “Oh, no, here it is again. I have to go put this back now.”

How many times has the Church declared that the hands of a priest are consecrated to handle the Sacred Species, and what kind of lesson would you be giving to the world by this example of the Host leaping into her hands so that she had to place it back in the Tabernacle herself?

Our Lord does not contradict His Church by word or by gesture. And this would be a little bit by both. She related what happened, but the gesture itself would be Our Lord contradicting the Real Presence and everything it represents.

A lack of Catholic spirit

In short, the whole Divine Mercy devotion does not represent a Catholic spirit. The Catholic spirit is one of making constant reparation in penance for our sins, of praying for the graces of God, for the mercy of God in this life.

Let me close by saying that it is the background of this devotion that is questionable. You do not just institute a particular devotion with its own feast day based on something that has been condemned for very good reasons in the recent past.

When you look at the prayers of the Divine Mercy devotions, they are perfectly orthodox. There is nothing heretical or presumptuous in these prayers. But just remember the reason why it has been condemned and why we do not recognize Divine Mercy Sunday is because of its past, not because of the content of the prayers.

It is very important to know this, because it is one of many things that were brought back in modern times that were condemned in the past. And this is not a case of the Church changing her mind. It is a case of a representative of the Church doing something he should not be doing.
To have courage for whatever comes in life - everything lies in that.
Saint Teresa of Avila
 
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Offline TradGranny

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2022, 03:32:29 PM »
The title of this thread is misleading. Loyalty to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and loyalty to the eternal teachings of the Church is important and cannot fairly be equated with "open hostility" to a novel devotion based on a private revelation. This is especially when that private revelation emphasizes the wonderfulness of the purported seer.

This is an excerpt from a longer article here:
https://cmri.org/articles-on-the-traditional-catholic-faith/the-divine-mercy-devotion-why-did-the-holy-office-ban-it/

In an article in the National Catholic Reporter of August 30, 2002, the author (John L. Allen, Jr.), referred to the near 20-year ban (from the 1959 decree until the 1978 decree which reversed it) and admitted that there were theological problems with the message: “Officially, the 20-year ban is now attributed to misunderstandings created by a faulty Italian translation of the Diary, but in fact there were serious theological reservations — Faustina’s claim that Jesus had promised a complete remission of sin for certain devotional acts that only the sacraments can offer, for example, or what Vatican evaluators felt to be an excessive focus on Faustina herself (http://tinyurl.com/ncr-online-sr-faustina).

If we examine the authentic promises of the Sacred Heart, we do not find a similar wording, to the effect that all temporal punishment will be remitted for confession and Holy Communion received on a particular day. Of course, our Divine Lord could do just that if He so willed, but the problem is that this promise omits to mention the need for contrition and amendment of life.

Another theological novelty can be found in the writings of Canon Ignacy Rozycki, who had been appointed by Karol Wojtyla to examine the diary of Sr. Faustina. In his enthusiasm, he proclaims this devotion a “second baptism.” In other words, he is endorsing the same idea that on the feast of Divine Mercy one can obtain a complete remission of sins and all punishment due to them, just by performing devotional acts and receiving the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. But the terminology of a “second baptism” has always been used by the Church to refer only to the profession of perpetual vows in a religious institute approved by the Church.

Another potential reason for concern can be found in the image of Divine Mercy. As mentioned above, this picture is of Our Lord with His left hand at His heart, the other being elevated toward the viewer. From the Sacred Heart there emanate rays of white (signifying grace) and red (signifying the Blood of redemption). One objection is that the Sacred Heart itself is not seen. The rays emanate from Our Lord’s breast, but without picturing clearly His heart. Another problem is that with many of these images — indeed with the original picture — there are no wounds in Our Lord’s hands and feet, or they are so faint as to be not clearly visible. But we know from Sacred Scripture that Our Lord retained these wounds after His resurrection.

The image we are accustomed to seeing does have wounds that are faintly visible, but it is not the original; it is the work of an artist by the name of Adolf Hyla whose rendition became popular. His work, however, was vigorously rejected by Fr. Sopocka who worked with Sr. Faustina to have the original image painted by the artist Eugene Kazimirowski. Was part of the reason for Fr. Sopocka’s opposition to the Hyla painting the fact that he had posed for the image of Our Lord, dressed in alb and cincture? Be that as it may, the original image does not show the wounds in Our Lord’s hand, feet or side. Pope Pius XII commented on this omission in the case of crucifixes. After lamenting the errors of modern authors who wish to remove attention from the Passion of Christ and instead focus only on the glorified Christ, he states: they “have gone so far as to want to remove from the Churches images of the Divine Redeemer suffering on the cross” (Mediator Dei, 1947, par. 162). I believe these defects in the image (omission of the Sacred Heart and the wounds) are another reason for the suppression of the devotion.

Cardinal Ottaviani was the head of the Holy Office in 1959 when it issued the notification forbidding the distribution of “images and writings that promote devotion to Divine Mercy in the forms proposed by Sister Faustina.”

A third reason, can be found in the wording of the 1937 decree of the Holy Office, warning against devotions which are “useless imitations or corruptions of similar ones which are already legitimately established.” Of course, the devotion to the Sacred Heart immediately comes to mind. Does not devotion to the Sacred Heart emphasize the infinite mercy of our Divine Redeemer? Why then is there a need for another devotion to focus on the divine mercy? Would that not merely serve to take attention away from devotion to the Sacred Heart?

Let us also call to mind how insistently the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been promoted by Holy Mother Church. The first Office and Mass to honor the Sacred Heart were written by St. John Eudes in the 17th century. In 1856 Pope Pius IX extended the feast to the entire Church. Pope Leo XIII consecrated the entire human race to the Sacred Heart in 1899, calling it the most important act of his pontificate. Pope Pius XI raised the feast of the Sacred Heart to a double of the first class — the highest rank possible. Pope Pius XII devoted an entire encyclical to this devotion (Haurietis Aquas, published in 1956). Everywhere in the Church there are devotions to the Sacred Heart, First Friday observances, etc. So another devotion to Our Lord, centering entirely on His mercy, would only seem to take attention away from a devotion, already universally recognized and observed, which centers on His love and mercy. Thus it appears to be an unnecessary repetition — a “useless imitation,” to quote the words of the decree.

We may never know for sure the exact reasoning of the consultors of the Holy Office for rejecting this devotion. It could have been for one, two, or all three of the reasons we have given, as well as others unknown to us. Be that as it may, the fact is that the devotion to the Divine Mercy, after having been suppressed by the Holy Office in 1959, is now widely promoted in the Conciliar Church, whereas the solid and divinely-willed devotion to the Sacred Heart is all but forgotten.

Let us then be cautious of new, unapproved devotions. Remove the image of Divine Mercy from your homes, if you have it displayed, and use, rather, the image of the Sacred Heart. Do not pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy or other devotions honoring this particular title. Instead pray the litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and other devotions to the Sacred Heart. Finally, be sure to often read and meditate on the Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for therein you will find all you need to understand the infinite love and mercy of Jesus.
To have courage for whatever comes in life - everything lies in that.
Saint Teresa of Avila
 
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Offline Wyo Wolverine

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2022, 03:46:38 PM »
So, up until last week, I watched The Fatima Center on you tube. Previously, I had found Father Michael Rodriguez a fairly based priest. Almost 2 weeks ago, TFC posted a video from Fr. Rodriguez in which he poo-poo'ed all over the Divine Mercy devotion and St. Faustina. Citing it's "newness" and questioning it's authenticity. The video presented the priest's own personal opinion, however misguided and not church teaching. 

That was only half of it. The other half of it were the comments.

"Isn't St. Faustina a heretic?"
"St. Faustina's diary is heretical"
"St. Faustina was canonized by JPII, so she's not a real saint"
"Fr. Chris Alar supports the Medjugorje *hoax*, therefore everything he says is wrong"
"Fr. Chris Alar misguides people"
"
ETC....

I went back and forth with one woman, who blatantly accused Fr. Chris Alar (Of the Marians of Immaculate Conception) of something with no proof whatsoever, she just pulled it out of thin air. Calumny is a sin.
I said I'd pray for her, which I did. Her response was to tell me no, not necessary... It went on and on and on. So many supposed Catholics in the comments were making up fallacies out of nothing. I finally got so irritated I just ejected myself from arguing with people who were so pointedly lying, misleading, etc. The amount of sheer fallacies spewed out in the comments were surprising.

Additionally, my wife has felt led to put together a Divine Mercy prayer and discussion group here in our local diocese. They will meet every Tuesday during Lent at our local Knights of Columbus leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday. Each week will focus on a particular aspect of the devotion. This is to help educate and spread the Divine Mercy devotion.  Divine Mercy Sunday is a HUGE thing if you know what it really means for the soul! But even as a cradle Catholic, she had very little understanding of it up until recently. Again, going around to our 3 local churches, she encountered somewhat hostile pushback at one church amongst the office staff just trying to get it into the bulletin, as things that go in the bulletins have to be submitted about 4 weeks ahead. The other 2 churches were very receptive.

We as lay Catholics don't get to pick and choose which saints we think are *real* saints and which aren't. Divine Mercy Sunday is akin to being baptized all over again. This is enormous. I don't know if all of the hostility is due to cafeteria Catholics, poor communication from priests, etc....

I was really floored by it all. If the actual devotion doesn't move or speak to somebody, that's one thing. It's natural that different devotions call to different people. But to openly misrepresent, lie, bear false witness, etc.  it's really something to see, and not in a good way.

What say you?

My wife wrote a series on this years ago:
http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/spirituality/82-spirtuality/222-defense-of-divine-mercy.html
http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/spirituality/82-spirtuality/242-defense-of-the-divine-mercy-devotion-part-2.html
http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/spirituality/82-spirtuality/467-defense-of-the-divine-mercy-devotion-part-3.html



Thanks again, this was excellent and well written. Many thanks to your Mrs.!

My entire reasoning for this topic was just wondering whether or not I was just being weird or imagining things. Like I was sitting there watching The Fatima Center's video, going, "gee, am I the only person who supports this?"  But your wife's postings definitely put things into perspective.
"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose, it will defend itself."
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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2022, 03:54:40 PM »
My entire reasoning for this topic was just wondering whether or not I was just being weird or imagining things. Like I was sitting there watching The Fatima Center's video, going, "gee, am I the only person who supports this?"  But your wife's postings definitely put things into perspective.

It is common for a quick rejection to be encountered by those who have other reasons to be wary of what is new.

The degree of this rejection can vary from just lack of interest to open condemnation of the devotion.

The condemnation can go too far sometimes. It is better to reserve judgement and just not participate if one finds something problematic that the Church seems to promote. Sometimes it is based on favouring more time tested devotions or lack of knowledge of the intricacies of a new devotional practice.

(This can happen with eccentric individuals too and it has happened on this forum where individuals will have a bizarre condemnation of a devotion everybody else accepts.)
And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. Luke 17:1

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Matthew 7:15-20

But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent therefore, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7-8

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to godliness, He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions, Conflicts of men corrupted in mind, and who are destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness. But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.  For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. 1 Timonthy 6:3-10
 
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Offline Wyo Wolverine

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2022, 03:57:25 PM »
The title of this thread is misleading. Loyalty to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and loyalty to the eternal teachings of the Church is important and cannot fairly be equated with "open hostility" to a novel devotion based on a private revelation. This is especially when that private revelation emphasizes the wonderfulness of the purported seer.

This is an excerpt from a longer article here:
https://cmri.org/articles-on-the-traditional-catholic-faith/the-divine-mercy-devotion-why-did-the-holy-office-ban-it/

In an article in the National Catholic Reporter of August 30, 2002, the author (John L. Allen, Jr.), referred to the near 20-year ban (from the 1959 decree until the 1978 decree which reversed it) and admitted that there were theological problems with the message: “Officially, the 20-year ban is now attributed to misunderstandings created by a faulty Italian translation of the Diary, but in fact there were serious theological reservations — Faustina’s claim that Jesus had promised a complete remission of sin for certain devotional acts that only the sacraments can offer, for example, or what Vatican evaluators felt to be an excessive focus on Faustina herself (http://tinyurl.com/ncr-online-sr-faustina).

If we examine the authentic promises of the Sacred Heart, we do not find a similar wording, to the effect that all temporal punishment will be remitted for confession and Holy Communion received on a particular day. Of course, our Divine Lord could do just that if He so willed, but the problem is that this promise omits to mention the need for contrition and amendment of life.

Another theological novelty can be found in the writings of Canon Ignacy Rozycki, who had been appointed by Karol Wojtyla to examine the diary of Sr. Faustina. In his enthusiasm, he proclaims this devotion a “second baptism.” In other words, he is endorsing the same idea that on the feast of Divine Mercy one can obtain a complete remission of sins and all punishment due to them, just by performing devotional acts and receiving the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. But the terminology of a “second baptism” has always been used by the Church to refer only to the profession of perpetual vows in a religious institute approved by the Church.

Another potential reason for concern can be found in the image of Divine Mercy. As mentioned above, this picture is of Our Lord with His left hand at His heart, the other being elevated toward the viewer. From the Sacred Heart there emanate rays of white (signifying grace) and red (signifying the Blood of redemption). One objection is that the Sacred Heart itself is not seen. The rays emanate from Our Lord’s breast, but without picturing clearly His heart. Another problem is that with many of these images — indeed with the original picture — there are no wounds in Our Lord’s hands and feet, or they are so faint as to be not clearly visible. But we know from Sacred Scripture that Our Lord retained these wounds after His resurrection.

The image we are accustomed to seeing does have wounds that are faintly visible, but it is not the original; it is the work of an artist by the name of Adolf Hyla whose rendition became popular. His work, however, was vigorously rejected by Fr. Sopocka who worked with Sr. Faustina to have the original image painted by the artist Eugene Kazimirowski. Was part of the reason for Fr. Sopocka’s opposition to the Hyla painting the fact that he had posed for the image of Our Lord, dressed in alb and cincture? Be that as it may, the original image does not show the wounds in Our Lord’s hand, feet or side. Pope Pius XII commented on this omission in the case of crucifixes. After lamenting the errors of modern authors who wish to remove attention from the Passion of Christ and instead focus only on the glorified Christ, he states: they “have gone so far as to want to remove from the Churches images of the Divine Redeemer suffering on the cross” (Mediator Dei, 1947, par. 162). I believe these defects in the image (omission of the Sacred Heart and the wounds) are another reason for the suppression of the devotion.

Cardinal Ottaviani was the head of the Holy Office in 1959 when it issued the notification forbidding the distribution of “images and writings that promote devotion to Divine Mercy in the forms proposed by Sister Faustina.”

A third reason, can be found in the wording of the 1937 decree of the Holy Office, warning against devotions which are “useless imitations or corruptions of similar ones which are already legitimately established.” Of course, the devotion to the Sacred Heart immediately comes to mind. Does not devotion to the Sacred Heart emphasize the infinite mercy of our Divine Redeemer? Why then is there a need for another devotion to focus on the divine mercy? Would that not merely serve to take attention away from devotion to the Sacred Heart?

Let us also call to mind how insistently the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been promoted by Holy Mother Church. The first Office and Mass to honor the Sacred Heart were written by St. John Eudes in the 17th century. In 1856 Pope Pius IX extended the feast to the entire Church. Pope Leo XIII consecrated the entire human race to the Sacred Heart in 1899, calling it the most important act of his pontificate. Pope Pius XI raised the feast of the Sacred Heart to a double of the first class — the highest rank possible. Pope Pius XII devoted an entire encyclical to this devotion (Haurietis Aquas, published in 1956). Everywhere in the Church there are devotions to the Sacred Heart, First Friday observances, etc. So another devotion to Our Lord, centering entirely on His mercy, would only seem to take attention away from a devotion, already universally recognized and observed, which centers on His love and mercy. Thus it appears to be an unnecessary repetition — a “useless imitation,” to quote the words of the decree.

We may never know for sure the exact reasoning of the consultors of the Holy Office for rejecting this devotion. It could have been for one, two, or all three of the reasons we have given, as well as others unknown to us. Be that as it may, the fact is that the devotion to the Divine Mercy, after having been suppressed by the Holy Office in 1959, is now widely promoted in the Conciliar Church, whereas the solid and divinely-willed devotion to the Sacred Heart is all but forgotten.

Let us then be cautious of new, unapproved devotions. Remove the image of Divine Mercy from your homes, if you have it displayed, and use, rather, the image of the Sacred Heart. Do not pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy or other devotions honoring this particular title. Instead pray the litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and other devotions to the Sacred Heart. Finally, be sure to often read and meditate on the Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for therein you will find all you need to understand the infinite love and mercy of Jesus.

How is the title of this thread "misleading" when this has precisely been the experience I have observed?  This thread has nothing to do with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2022, 04:04:22 PM »
This thread has nothing to do with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

That might be the perceived problem.

Zealous promotion of a devotion to those skeptical of it might backfire.

The people who oppose the devotion do want clarity on the matter that it is consistent with all doctrines of the Church and works with all other devotions. The idea that a new devotion is replacing a previously established devotion that is similar in some ways or replacing or repeating sacraments is not without grounds. The promotion of the devotion sometimes seems to do those things, sometimes, it just seems like it might do it, and sometimes, the literal meaning of the promotion would indicate it is.

Great care is needed in promoting something like this in normal circumstances, and especially when people are wary of errors they think are present. Just polling for whether one would use a different set of beads for the Divine Mercy chaplet was enough to get a reaction against the devotion itself. Trying to promote it in this sort of atmosphere needs great care with wording
And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. Luke 17:1

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Matthew 7:15-20

But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent therefore, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7-8

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to godliness, He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions, Conflicts of men corrupted in mind, and who are destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness. But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.  For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. 1 Timonthy 6:3-10
 
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Offline TradGranny

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2022, 04:02:21 PM »
How is the title of this thread "misleading" when this has precisely been the experience I have observed?  This thread has nothing to do with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Hi WW, I am sorry that you have experienced people being hostile. I have posted two articles which raise objections to this novel devotion, without being hostile. When people object to other devotions such as Garabandal or Medjargoria, I don't believe that they are being hostile; they are just objecting. Good people can come to different conclusions, while at the same time trying to be loyal to our shared Faith. Others have not yet come to a conclusion. For example, I go back and forht on Garabandal. On Sister Faustina, when her book first appeared in English I accepted her and the Divine Mercy devotions as Catholic. Part way through the book, I was shocked at her repeated self-aggrandizement and I destroyed the book and went back to the traditional devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. My decision has been confirmed by others represented by my two previous posts. Toward those who practice this devotion I harbor no hostility.
To have courage for whatever comes in life - everything lies in that.
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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2022, 10:41:11 PM »
Your wife's series helped change my mind, for what it's worth.

That's not good.  ::) ::)  :P :P

Back to OP, I do not think it is "Open hostility". It is rather a self defense.
 

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2022, 01:22:00 AM »
Quote
Pius XII, then, placed this devotion, including the apparitions and the writings of Sr. Faustina on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books).

I've seen it written both that Pope Pius XII put the writings on the Index, and that he didn't. Which is right?

It appears agreed that Pope John XXIII did put the writings on the Index. Then they were removed by Pope Paul VI, and warnings rescinded by the CDF. Even if you don't buy that the later decisions were based on more investigation and better translations, the eventual removal of the writings from the Index seems a relevant fact from the perspective of authority.
 
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Offline Goldfinch

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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2022, 10:06:42 AM »
Quote
Pius XII, then, placed this devotion, including the apparitions and the writings of Sr. Faustina on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books).

I've seen it written both that Pope Pius XII put the writings on the Index, and that he didn't. Which is right?

It appears agreed that Pope John XXIII did put the writings on the Index. Then they were removed by Pope Paul VI, and warnings rescinded by the CDF. Even if you don't buy that the later decisions were based on more investigation and better translations, the eventual removal of the writings from the Index seems a relevant fact from the perspective of authority.

Paul VI abolished the Index altogether in 1966. The acts of modernists are seen with deep suspicion by Catholics.
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Re: Open hostility to the Divine Mercy devotion
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2022, 11:38:03 AM »
Your wife's series helped change my mind, for what it's worth.

That's not good.  ::) ::)  :P :P

Back to OP, I do not think it is "Open hostility". It is rather a self defense.

The great thing about Catholicism is that there's a panoply of devotions, and we can pick and choose them as we go.  The Divine Mercy still isn't one of my "go-to" devotions, but I don't dislike it or oppose it anymore.  :shrug:
Wie dein Sonntag, so dein Sterbetag.

I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side.  ~Treebeard, LOTR

Jesus son of David, have mercy on me.
 
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