On Bishop Lemay’s Open Letter of September 3rd

On September 3rd, 2020, Bishop Lemay of the Diocese of Amos published an “open letter” related to Fr. Michel Rodrigue.

Unfortunately, Dr. Mark Miravalle’s “Mother of All Peoples” Apostolate has already misleadingly promoted this document with the headline:  “BREAKING NEWS: Disallowance of Fr. Michel Rodrigue’s Messages and Prophecies From His Bishop.

Within the space of this short headline, two errors are being promoted:1) that Fr. Michel’s messages have been “disallowed,” [1]Despite the Open Letter’s own subject line, the content of the letter itself contains no actual disallowance — i.e. no condemnation — of Fr. Michel’s messages. and 2) That this “disallowance” (which appears nowhere within the body of the letter itself) comes from Fr. Michel’s Bishop.

In fact, the September 3rd open letter includes nothing new relevant to the status of Fr. Michel’s messages. Bishop Lemay already publicly made his complete disagreement with Fr. Michel’s messages clear months ago, and as with the earlier communications, the present letter does not constitute a constat de non supernaturalitate. That fact that Bishop Lemay has now used the word “disavow” instead of the phrase “do not support” in relation to Fr. Michel’s messages is not canonically significant, nor does this personal disavowal constitute a formal condemnation (which, if one were to be promulgated, we would immediately obey by removing Fr. Michel’s messages from this website). It should also be noted that the Fraternité Apostolique Saint Benoît-Joseph Labre (the Fraternity of St. Benedict Joseph Labre), founded by Fr. Michel (who serves as its superior general) remains in good standing with the Church.

As Daniel O’Connor alluded to in his response to Dr. Miravalle’s negative judgement of Fr. Michel — and as Bishop Lemay has now made public in this September 3rd letter — Bishop Lemay “absolutely” disagrees with prophecies of the Warning, the Three Days of Darkness, the Chastisements, and the Era of Peace. It is, therefore, unsurprising that an individual who disagrees with the reality of such things — events prophesied by countless approved revelations — would likewise disavow Fr. Michel’s messages.

Furthermore, the very letter now being promoted by Dr. Miravalle under the aforementioned misleading headline — claiming that Fr. Michel’s messages have been disallowed by “his” Bishop — contradicts this claim, as within it Bishop Lemay writes that, “Father Michel Rodrigue’s residence on our territory has become his only link with the Diocese of Amos. … He remains an incardinated priest in the Diocese of Hearst-Moosonee, Ontario.”

Therefore, while Fr. Michel was exercising public ministry within the Diocese of Amos from 2011 to June 2020, Bishop Lemay was indeed “Fr. Michel’s Bishop,” insofar as each Bishop’s jurisdiction extends to all that transpires within the borders of his diocese and he is responsible for governing the same. However, it appears that even within this time period, no excardination (i.e. official transfer) to the Diocese of Amos occurred in Fr. Michel’s case. Moreover, as of the recent cessation of Fr. Michel’s public ministry within the Diocese of Amos, it is no longer accurate to refer to Bishop Lemay singularly as “Fr. Michel’s Bishop.” Instead, the Bishop of the Diocese of Hearst-Moosonee — not Bishop Lemay — is currently to be considered the competent ecclesiastical authority in matters pertaining to Fr. Michel that are outside of the Diocese of Amos. And this bishop has certainly not, as of this writing, issued a formal condemnation of Fr. Michel’s messages. 

The miscommunications regarding the two claims made — i.e.that Fr. Michel “enjoys the full support of his Bishop” and is an “official exorcist of the Church” are indeed unfortunate. However, it is not true — as Bishop Lemay states in his September 3rd letter — that the former claim still exists in Christine Watkins’ book, The Warning. The present edition of the book (which, incidentally, bears the Church’s Imprimatur) does not contain this claim. In Mrs. Watkins’ defense, such support certainly did seem apparent before its explicit public negation on April 23rd, 2020. Among other examples, we have the case of Bishop Lemay’s June 17, 2015 letter, in which he wrote that Fr. Joseph-Simon Dufour as well as Fr. Michel Rodrigue, given their prior Seminary and theological Faculty professorial experience, have my support and complete trust…” The official document from Bishop Lemay that contains this claim in the original French may be found here.

Regarding the latter claim, it seems clear that Fr. Michel has performed exorcisms with the blessing of the Church. We are not yet certain where the misunderstanding arose in the origin of the claim that he operates as an “official” exorcist of the Church, even though we now know he apparently was not designated to this position within the Diocese of Amos during the last decade. Perhaps he was appointed to this position before arriving in Amos. Perhaps, even if he never was appointed an exorcist on a stable basis, he nevertheless was among the many priests often formally summoned for the task and given the appropriate Church mandate on a case-by-case basis (which, in fact, often occurs). As the Code of Canon Law does not presently require each diocese to have an official exorcist (and many dioceses do not have one), the need to perform an exorcism must be fulfilled, in such cases, by a priest given the mandate to do so while nevertheless not being an officially diocesan-appointed exorcist on a steady basis. (The new Rite of Exorcism, promulgated by the Church in 1999, expressly allows for this.)

It is still not clear how to properly understand the disconnect between Fr. Michel’s claim that he “shares everything [i.e. his messages] with his Bishop” and Bishop Lemay’s claim no such sharing occurred. No one should rashly judge, based on this disparity alone, that either priest is necessarily lying. Perhaps the messages were sent to Bishop Lemay, but never arrived. Perhaps, as often happens with the correspondence of those deluged with it, the messages became lost in the mix. Perhaps they were even intercepted. [2]It is worth noting that the same dynamic exists regarding the famous “Five Dubia” presented to Pope Francis. Cardinal Burke claims he delivered them directly to Pope Francis’ residence long before their being made public. Pope Francis claims he first learned of them on the news. It is not likely that either is lying. It is much more likely that they were intercepted by someone around Pope Francis. In any event, while we do not have all the answers, we do not presently see any of the unfortunate uncertainty regarding the proper explanations for these conundrums as cause for even now outright rejecting Fr. Michel and his messages. 

We conclude by reiterating our total obedience to the Church in accord with the Disclaimer that has been prominently posed on this website from its beginning. Total obedience to the Church, however, does not include the duty to passively submit to every Bishop’s opinion on all matters, nor does it mandate treating their personal negative opinions as formal condemnations. While we continue to discern Fr. Michel’s messages and take a “wait and see” approach to his prophecies — and invite our readers to do the same — we will be preserving them on Countdown to the Kingdom in the absence of compelling reasons to do otherwise. We are not persuaded that such compelling reasons have been given. There still has been no formal condemnation. Learned theologians have now put great effort into writing lengthy critiques of Fr. Michel’s messages in an attempt to undermine them from a theological standpoint, and have failed to produce anything convincing. Calumnious gossip and unfounded accusations have been widely circulating online without any objective serious moral fault or psychological instability on Fr. Michel’s part being conclusively demonstrated. While some people, sadly, are apparently finding themselves afraid due to the contents of Fr. Michel’s prophecies (as is the case even with the many fully approved prophetic revelations that speak of impending Chastisements), the utterly overwhelming majority of feedback from those touched by Fr. Michel and his message expresses abundant positive spiritual fruits in their lives; in particular conversions, vocations to religious life, renewed faith, hope, and joy. Prophetic warnings of future calamities exist within Our Lord’s own words in the Gospels, and have continued throughout Church history to this present day. A dire prophecy does not make it false; it merely suggests the gravity of sin at a particular period of time and the urgency for sincere conversion. It is not up to the seer to edit Heaven’s words based on the possibility of hurting other’s sensitivities, but upon the faithful to respond to such messages with faithful obedience and courage. 

Will the details of what Fr. Michel prophesies for the coming times transpire? Time will tell. In the meantime, let us take Fr. Michel’s advice by praying the Rosary, going to Confession, and consecrating ourselves to the Holy Family. 

References   [ + ]

1. Despite the Open Letter’s own subject line, the content of the letter itself contains no actual disallowance — i.e. no condemnation — of Fr. Michel’s messages.
2. It is worth noting that the same dynamic exists regarding the famous “Five Dubia” presented to Pope Francis. Cardinal Burke claims he delivered them directly to Pope Francis’ residence long before their being made public. Pope Francis claims he first learned of them on the news. It is not likely that either is lying. It is much more likely that they were intercepted by someone around Pope Francis.
Posted in Fr. Michel Rodrigue, From Our Contributors, Messages.