"I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times, and I
attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging"
(Pope Paul VI).
FLOOD AND FIRE
By Regis Scanlon
The moral temperature of the world society has plummeted since the
beginning of with its mini- skirts and
sex-saturated culture. Society rejected Paul VI's 1968 teaching that the
scriptures reveal an "inseparable connection" between and
or the "unitive" and the "procreative" act in marriage (Gen. 1:28,
2:23-24). While some may have only intended to approve of contraception,
the logic of separating life and love resulted in widespread social
acceptance of murder and sexual immorality. and
for example, are now accepted and spreading rapidly as
the world becomes cold-hearted and increasingly more violent.
But, even though society may approve of abortion and homosexuality,
God does not! People today may try to ignore it, but the human fetus is a
person. The psalmist proclaims to Yahweh: "From my mother's womb you are
my God" (Ps. 22:11); and "Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit
me in my mother's womb" (Ps. 139: 13). Abortion, therefore, is murder!
Also, while people today speak about homosexual lovers, St. Paul says that
"no sodomites . . . will inherit God's kingdom" (I Cor. 6:9-10).
Furthermore, St. Paul says that God punished homosexual activity in the
past because it is "disgraceful," "shameful," "perverse," "depraved," and
"unseemly" (Rom. I:26-28).
ABORTION AND HOMOSEXUALITY AS A SIGN
The Sacred Scriptures certainly condemn all sexual activity outside
of marriage. St. Paul, for example, says that "no fornicators . . . or
adulterers . . . will inherit God's kingdom" (1 Cor. 6:9-10). And St.
Peter warns that the "darkest gloom" is reserved for those "with the
lustful ways of the flesh" (2 Pet. 2:17- 18). But and
seem to be the key scriptural indicators of a
perverse and corrupt society. The people of Noah's time, for example, were
murderers, even of children (Gen. 4:23-24). God said to Noah: "from man in
regard to his fellow man I will demand an accounting for human life"
(Gen. 9: 5-6). God destroyed these people by a (Gen. 6-9). The
perverted men of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, on the other
hand, practiced homosexuality. They even wanted to have "intimacies" with
the men (angels) that God sent to warn Lot (Gen. 19:5). God destroyed
these people with from the sky (Gen. 18-19).
Now, St. Jude says about the people of "Sodom and Gomorrah" that
"they are set before us to as they undergo a punishment of
eternal fire" (Jude 1:7. My emphasis). And, St. Peter says that God
punished the "ancient world" at the time of "Noah" and "Sodom and Gomorrah
. . . (2 Pet. 2:5-9. My emphasis).
So, when widespread murder and homosexuality characterize a society, the
people of that society should expect to be chastised by flood and fire and
"undergo a punishment" which is "eternal," leaving only a remnant which is
THE SIGN OF THE RAIN AND THE SUN
Recall for a moment the 1917 apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to
the children, Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco, in Fatima, Portugal. Remember
that Our Lady requested "prayer" and "penance," and in particular praying
to overcome evil in the world. Who could forget that Our
Lady showed the children a vision which Lucia says "horrified us and made
us tremble with fear." Our Lady told them "you have seen hell where the
souls of poor sinners go." Remember also that Blessed Jacinta Marto
stated: "The sins that bring most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh.
Certain fashions are going to be introduced that will offend our Lord very
much.... Do not give yourselves to immodest clothes." And, looking back,
Sr. Lucia says that Jacinta knew that "the sins of the flesh" are the
"kind of sins which offend God most," because "perhaps it occurred to her
to put the question to Our Lady herself."
In order to demonstrate the validity of her message in 1917 Our Lady
provided a stunning miracle which was observed by 50 to 70 thousand
witnesses. And these witnesses included atheists who printed the report of
the event in their secular newspapers. Photos of the newspapers' stories
are in books about Fatima. The miracle consisted of the spinning
and seeming to fall to the earth. The earth (the mud) and people's
clothes, which had been previously drenched that day by a fitful
continuous were completely dry in a matter of minutes and seconds.
The secular newspapers could not explain this event since it involved an
observable change in physical conditions outside the mind, and especially
because "its exact time and location was publicly announced months in
advance" by the children of Fatima.
Finally, remember the famous Third Secret of Fatima which Our Lady
said the Pope could reveal only after <1960>? When people at Fulda,
Germany asked John Paul II in 1980 if the Third Secret of Fatima contained
a threat from God, the Pope responded:
"If there is a message in which it is said that the oceans will
flood entire sections of the earth; that, from one moment to the
other, millions of people will perish . . . there is no longer
any point in really wanting to publish this secret message.
Many want to know merely out of curiosity, or because of their
taste for sensationalism, but they forget that "to know" implies
for them a responsibility. It is dangerous to want to satisfy
one's curiosity only, if one is convinced that we can do nothing
against a catastrophe that has been predicted....
(At this point the Holy Father took hold of his Rosary and
said:) Here is the remedy against all evil! Pray, pray and ask
for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of
John Paul II's reply seemed to imply that a threat of flood is part
of the Third Secret of Fatima.
Later, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger admitted in an interview with
journalist, Vittorio Messori, that he had read the Third Secret of Fatima.
Messori then tells how he questioned the Cardinal about the "secret":
"Undenied versions are circulating in the world, I continue,
which describe the contents of that "secret" as disquieting,
apocalyptic, as warning of terrible sufferings. John Paul II
himself, in his personal visit to Germany, seemed to confirm
(albeit with prudent circumlocutions, privately, to a select
group) the undeniably disconcerting contents of that text.
Before him, Paul VI, during his pilgrimage to Fatima, also seems
to have alluded to the "apocalyptic" themes of the "secret." Why
was it never decided to make it public, if only to counter rash
Cardinal Ratzinger's response, that revealing the Third Secret would
add nothing necessary for the Christian to know and that it "would mean
exposing the Church to the danger of sensationalism, exploitation of the
content," also seemed to "confirm (albeit with prudent circumlocutions)"
that the contents of the Third Secret of Fatima did contain those
Once more, Bishop John S. Ito, D.D., of Akita, Japan, visited with
Cardinal Ratzinger about a pastoral letter he wrote approving a message
given by Our Lady to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa on October 13, 1973, the 56th
anniversary of the Fatima miracle of the rain and sun. While the Vatican
did not give official approval to Bishop Ito's pastoral, the Vatican did
say "there are no objections to the conclusions of the pastoral." Bishop
Ito states in his pastoral that Our Lady said:
"As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the
Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It
will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will
never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will
wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad,
sparing neither priests nor faithful."
Bishop Ito, himself, has been quoted in books as saying that "the
message of Akita is the same as that of Fatima." But, if the threat,
"fire will fall from the sky," is part of the Fatima message, it must be
contained in the Third Secret since it is not part of the already revealed
messages of Fatima.
After a would-be assassin's bullet wounded John Paul II on May 13,
1981, the 64th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima,
John Paul II said that, by saving his life, the Virgin Mary was reminding
him of the message of Fatima. When John Paul II went to Fatima to thank
Our Lady for saving his life, he stated that we have arrived at "a
decisive moment in the life of the Church and this generation." It would
not be at all surprising if the "decisive moment" has to do with the
miracle of the rain and sun. "Most likely, the rain symbolizes the
punishment of the flood at Noah's time and the sun symbolizes the fire
from the sky that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah." And, unless we change our
ways the same thing will happen to us. Perhaps the 1993 flood in the
Missouri and Mississippi Valleys and the 1993 fires in Southern California
were a gentle warning of what could happen in a very short time if God
chose to punish the world once again through flood and fire.
Some people may protest and say that the rainbow represents God's
promise not to destroy the earth again through water. It is true that God
promised that he would not destroy "all bodily creatures" or "all living
beings" on earth again by a flood, but this does not mean that he would
not destroy a part of it, even a great part of it, by a flood (Gen.
RE-EVANGELIZATION OF CATHOLICS
However, Catholic people of the United States, who dissent from the
Pope, must be warned first. The Second Vatican Council taught in its
"Dogmatic Constitution on the Church" ("Lumen Gentium"), that the Pope and
the bishops are the "successors" of the "apostles" and the faithful must
give an "adherence" in "mind" ("will and intellect") to the Pope's faith
and moral teachings "even when he does not speak "ex cathedra." And
Jesus said to the Apostles: "whatever town you enter, and they do not
receive you .
. . it will be more tolerable for Sodom in that day (of judgment)
than for that town" (Luke 10:10-12). The Second Vatican Council taught the
same thing when it declared that the faithful are given the grace of Jesus
Christ, and "If they fail to respond in thought, word and deed to that
grace, not only shall they not be saved, but they shall be the more
Now, John Paul II has reiterated the Church's teaching that
contraception is "intrinsically immoral." And, it is one thing to use
contraceptives out of weakness and another thing to use contraceptives
because one does not believe the "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,"
which requires adherence to papal teaching on faith and morals. The first
is certainly evil, but the second is spiritual apostasy from the faith
A recent Gallup poll claimed that about 70 to 87 percent of so-
called Catholics in the United States do not agree with the Pope's
teachings on human sexuality, like contraception. Also, Cardinal
Bernardin of Chicago recently stated that "according to a Gallup poll only
30% of our faithful believe what the Church teaches on the presence of
Jesus in the Eucharist." Most likely, the 70%, who dissent from the Pope
on human sexuality, and the 70%, who do not believe the Church's teaching
on the Eucharist, are one and the same. Now, these Gallup polls are not
infallible, but it does appear from a common opinion that about 70% of our
Catholic people dissent from the Pope and receive Holy Communion
while ignoring Confession.
John Paul II has warned Catholic Bishops in the United States that it
is "a grave error" to think that "dissent from the Magisterium is totally
compatible with being a 'good Catholic' and poses no obstacle to the
reception of the sacraments." And St. Paul said:
"whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup unworthily sins
against the body and blood of the Lord. A man should examine
himself first; only then should he eat of the bread and drink of
the cup. He who eats and drinks without recognizing the body
eats and drinks a judgment on himself. That is why many among
you are sick and infirm and why so many are dying. If we were
to examine ourselves, we should not be falling under judgment in
this way; but since it is the Lord who judges us, he chastens us
to keep us from being condemned with the rest of the world" (I
Beside the merciful judgment of getting sick and dying (yet attaining
eternal life), there is a more severe judgment from God for receiving the
Eucharist unworthily. Both St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas say that
what happened to Judas, when "Satan entered him" after receiving communion
(John 13:27), is "as happens to them who receive Christ's body
unworthily. And Judas ended up "lost" (John 17:12)!
The serious concern here about Catholics in the United States is
that, since many do not seem to be getting sick and dying from receiving
Holy Communion while dissenting from the Pope, perhaps they are receiving
the more severe punishment of Judas and losing their Catholic faith in the
Eucharist. Indeed, would this 70 70 who dissent from the Pope be willing
"in the presence of men" to "acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the
flesh" by kneeling in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during the
Consecration at Mass, if others did not do it (Luke 12:8-9; 2 John I:7)?
SIGNS OF THE END TIMES
The mass occurrence of those specific immoral acts prevalent at the
time of Noah and Lot (murder and homosexuality), along with the mass
dissent from the authority of the Church and disbelief in the Eucharist,
could lead one to believe that we have actually arrived at the i.e., the For Jesus said:
"As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the
Son of Man. They ate and drank, they took husbands and wives,
right up to the day Noah entered the ark--and when the flood
came, it destroyed them all. It was much the same in the days
of Lot: they ate and drank, they bought and sold, they built and
planted. But on the day Lot left Sodom fire and brimstone rained
down from heaven and destroyed them all.
It will be like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed (Luke
St. Paul speaks of the end times as beginning with a "mass apostasy"
and ending with the "coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 2:1-3).
St. John speaks of the coming of the "Antichrist" as involving the
rejection of "the teaching of Christ" for a "progressive" view of
Christianity (2 John I:4-9). Also, our Lord speaks of the end times as
occurring "when you see the abominable and destructive thing which Daniel
foretold standing on holy ground" (Matt. 24:15). And, Daniel said that
"he" (presumably the Antichrist) with his forces will "defile the
sanctuary stronghold, abolishing the daily sacrifice and setting up the
horrible abomination" (Dan. 11:31). Now, a mass rejection of the teaching
of the Church and Sacred Scriptures on homosexuality, abortion,
contraception, and the Real Presence of Christ in the daily sacrifice of
the Eucharist by the majority of so- called Catholics due to
would qualify as a "mass apostasy" or loss of faith under the guise of
being "progressive," which is characteristic of the end times.
In fact, the growing rejection of the teachings of the Church, and
the reluctance of bishops to fight against it, caused Paul VI to say a
year before his death (1977): "I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the
end times and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are
emerging." Paul VI made a similar statement when he described the
significance of the fall of the sun at Fatima: "'It was eschatological in
the sense that it was like a repetition or an annunciation of a scene at
the end of time for all humanity assembled together.'" And, shortly
before becoming Pope, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla seemed to indicate the same
thing when he stated:
"We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical
confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that
wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the
Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the
confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of
the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel."
Yes, he did say "final" confrontation!
So, are we in the end times? The signs of the end times are certainly
here: widespread murder (abortion), rampant homosexuality, and mass
dissent from the Church (apostasy), especially in regard to the Real
Presence of Christ in the daily sacrifice of the Eucharist. The statements of Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Akita, Paul
VI, and John Paul II only lend support.
Yet, while Catholics do not have to believe the non-doctrinal
statements of Fatima, Akita, Paul VI, and John Paul II, they should give
them a careful hearing, since Fatima has official Church approval, the
publication of Akita has been permitted, and Paul VI and John
Paul II are no mere uneducated evangelical street preachers. Few people
are as qualified as Paul VI and John Paul II for making theological and
philosophical judgments concerning the events of our time.
Our times, therefore, are for the end times.
This is not, however, the same as saying that we have in fact entered the
end times. Jesus talked about his second coming by saying: "As for the
exact day or hour, no one knows it" (Matt. 24:36). He also criticized
those who could not "judge the signs of the times" and "the present time"
(Matt. 16: 2-3; Luke 12:54-56). We must be cautious, therefore, but not
blind to signs! It is hazardous to think either that the end of the world
is imminent or that there are no signs of the end times. In either case
the majority of people do nothing to overcome the evil of our day. In the
first case they think it is too late to do anything (2 Thess. 2:1; 3:11)
and in the second they think it is too soon to be concerned.
THE RESPONSIBILITY TO WARN OTHERS
What should be done, then, when mankind does not progress as God
intends, but takes a radical turn for the worse as it has today? Recently,
in Denver, John Paul II stated: "Like the great Apostle Paul, you too must
feel the full urgency of the task: 'Woe to me if I do not evangelize' (I
Cor. 9: 16). " And,
one can add, especially, "Woe to the shepherds" if they do not defend life
and "warn the wicked man that he shall surely die" (Ezek. 33:7-9; 34:2)!
St. Augustine, applying this statement from Ezekiel to the pastors of the
Church, says: "The wicked one then justly suffers death and the watchman
rightly suffers damnation."
Many today believe that God no longer punishes people in this life
for sin, but St. Peter says: "The Lord indeed knows how to rescue devout
men from trial, and how to continue the punishment of the wicked up to the
day of judgment" (2 Pet. 2:9). And, if one considers the cold-hearted
bloodshed (the rape and murder of thousands upon thousands of women and
children) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, one might conclude that the scriptural
passage foretelling the proximity of the day of judgment, "the love of
many will grow cold," seems to be coming to fulfillment (Matt. 24:12). Add
to this the fact of AIDS and the increasing natural disasters occurring
around the world and one would think that the has already
begun. Indeed, John Paul II, himself, has stated:
"We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-
distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give
up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for
Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to
alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to
avert it, because it is only in this way that the Church can be
effectively renewed. How many times, indeed, has the renewal of
the Church been effected in blood? This time, again, it will not
be otherwise. We must be strong, we must prepare ourselves, we
must entrust ourselves to Christ and to His Mother, and we must
be attentive, very attentive, to the prayer of the Rosary."
So, we must pray the Rosary, do penance, and always remember that
everything can be changed at any moment because: "For God all things are
possible" (Matt. 19:6). Remember also that, when Lot asked God if he would
spare Sodom and Gomorrah if Lot found "at least ten" "innocent" men in the
town, God said: "For the sake of those ten . . . I will not destroy it"
(Gen. 18:28, 32). Perhaps, only a few innocent people could change the
cold hearts of many to charity through prayer and penance. We must recall
the words of the King of Nineveh who urged his people to reform their
lives when Jonah warned that God was going to destroy Nineveh: "Who knows,
God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we
shall not perish" (Jonah 3:9). (Jonah 3:10).
1. Paul VI, "Humanae Vitae," No. 12, "Vatican II: More Post Conciliar
Documents" (Northport, New York: Costello Pub. Co., 1982), p. 403.
2. John Paul II, "Message of Fatima: Call to Conversion and penance,"
"L'Osservatore Romano" (May 24, 1982), 3.
3. Sr. Mary Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, Fatima in "Lucia's own words: Sister
Lucia's Memoirs," Fr. Louis Kondor, SVD (Fatima, Portugal: Postulation
Centre, 1976), distributed by The Ravengate Press, Box 103, Cambridge,
Mass. 02138), p. 108.
4. Sr. Mary Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, p. 108.
5. Don Sharkey, "The Woman Shall Conquer" (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Co.,
1952), p. 141; Robert J. Fox, "Fatima Today" (Front Royal, Virginia:
Christendom Pub., 1983), p. 100; Irma Lucia de Jesus Santos, O.C.D.,
"Memorias e Cartas," introduced, annotated, and translated by Fr. Antonio
Maria Martins, S.J. (Porto, Portugal: L.E., 1973), p. 225.
6. Sr. Mary Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, p. 111.
7. John Demarchi, "Fatima From the Beginning" (Fatima: Missoes Consolata,
1988), pictures between pages 96-97.
8. Francis Johnston, "Fatima: The Great Sign" (Rockford, 111.: Tan Bks, 1980),
pp. 52, 54, 69; John Demarchi, pp. 135-142, 251-254; Severo Rossi and
Aventino de Oliveira, "Fatima" (Fatima, Portugal: Consolata Missions,
1981), p. 18.
9. John Paul II, interview with Catholics at Fulda Germany, Nov. 1980,
published in the German Magazine, "Stimme des Glaubens," English found in
Daniel J. Lynch, "The Call to Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart
of Mary" (St. Albans, Vermont: Missions of the Sorrowful and Immaculate
Heart of Mary, Pub., 1991), pp. 50-51.
10. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger with Vittorio Messori, "The Ratzinger Report"
(San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1985), p. 109.
11. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger with Vittorio Messori, p 110.
12. Teiji Yasuda, O.S.V. (and John M. Haffert), "Akita: The Tears and Message
of Mary" (New Jersey: 101 Foundation, 1989), pp. 190-199; Editors, "The
Vatican: Reports of the Weeping Virgin 'Reliable,"' "30 Days: In the
Church and in the World," 6 (October 1988), 56; Stafano M. Paci, "Tears
of Akita," "30 Days: In the Church and in the World," 7 (July-August
1990), 42-45, esp. p. 43.
13. Teiji Yasuda, O.S.V., p. 77.
14. Teiji Yasuda, O.S.V., p. 115 (inscription under picture).
15. John Paul II, "I have arrived in Fatima, a pilgrim in spirit of prayer and
penance," L'Osservatore Romano (May 31, 1982), 8; John Paul II, "Message
of Mary's Maternal Love," "L'Osservatore Romano" (May 17, 1982), 1;
Valentine Long, "Our Lady of Victory Then and Now," "Homiletic & Pastoral
Review" (Aug.-Sept., 1987), 18.
16. John Paul II, "I have arrived at Fatima," 9, under words to English
speaking people. My emphasis.
17. Vatican Council II, "Lumen Gentium," Nos. 20 & 25, "Vatican Council II: The
Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents" (Vol . I), edited by Austin
Flannery, O. P. (Northport, New York: Costello Pub. Co., 1992), pp.
18. "Lumen Gentium," No. 14, p. 366.
19. John Paul II, "Familiaris Consortio," No. 32, "Vatican Council II: More
Post Conciliar Documents," p. 840. My emphasis.
20. Arthur Jones, "Gallup Poll results unlikely to please Vatican," "National
Catholic Reporter" (July 3, 1992), 6.
21. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, in Gianni Cardinale, "Clinton and Us," "30
Days," No. 12, 1992, p. 32.
22. John Paul II, "Meeting with the Bishops of the United States: Our Lady
Queen of the Angels Minor Seminary," Wednesday, September 16, 1987, found
in "Unity In The Work Of Service" (Washington, D.C.: United States
Catholic Conference, Inc., 1987), p. 144.
23. St. Thomas Aquinas, "Summa Theologica," III, q. 81, art. 2, reply to obj.
24. Paul VI, found in Jean Guitton, "The Secret Paul VI" ("Paul VI Secret"),
(Paris: Desclee De Brouwer, 1980), pp. 152-153, English translation found
in "To the Priests: Our Lady's Beloved Sons," locutions of the Virgin Mary
to Don Stefano Gobbi (St. Francis, Maine, P.O. Box 8, 04774-0008: The
Marian Movement of Priests, 1991), p. ix.
25. Francis Johnston, "Fatima: The Great Sign" (Rockford, IL: Tan Bks., 1980),
26. Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, "Notable & Quotable," "Wall Street Journal" (Nov.
9, 1978), 30. My emphasis.
27. John Paul II, "Place your talents at the service of life!" "Homily for the
Solemnity of the Assumption at the Eighth World Youth Day," No. 6, Aug.
15, 1993, at Denver, Colorado, "L'Osservatore Romano" (August 18, 1993),
28. St. Augustine, "Sermon on Pastors," Sermon 46, 20-21; CCL 41, 546-548, in
"The Liturgy of the Hours" (Vol. IV), (New York, N. Y.: Catholic Bk. Pub.
Co. 1975), pp. 298-299.
29. John Paul II, interview with Catholics at Fulda, Germany, Nov. 1980, p.
This article was taken from the April 1994 issue of "The Homilectic &
Pastoral Review", Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., 86 Riverside Drive, New York,
NY 10024, $24.00 per year.