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Milleniarism, postmillenialism, premillenialism, amillenialism and Catholic Cathechism

Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by insearch, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Peter B

    Peter B Powers

    Dear Mark and Stephen,
    As I tried to say over on the other thread, this disagreement seems to hinge on whether or not the Church has or has not made any definitive statements concerning this issue. One side says yes, the other no (which seems the more credible reading of the evidence to me). If not, then this is a question in the category of theologoumena in which different opinions are possible. Until there is agreement over this, it's difficult to see how this dialogue can proceed as long as the allegation is apparently being made that one side has put itself formally outside the bounds of orthodoxy.
  2. insearch

    insearch Angels

    There is nothing to comment. If he speaks not ex cathedra and the quote is from the book and not from the open source which I can vet myself it can not be commented as the ability to take the quote and twist it out of context is widely known.
    Not to mention that in order to have perspective on the issue one has to compare ALL the disclosed ever opinions on the matter( by the same person) - in a time frame ( 1990 is far far away from 2013) - it has been said here that St.Augustine has 3 positions on the issue of millennium, where it has been the one he finished with( and which IS official position of the Catholic Church, so Peter is not correct, that both positions are possible) and the previous were just opinions in evolution.
  3. Mark Mallett

    Mark Mallett Angels

    Hi Stephen,

    I will be happy to respond. However, I'm not going to do so without properly explaining the context of any quotes I use.

    The one Cardinal who perhaps counts the most in this regard, whom you should also quote, is Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he was Prefect....

    Padre Martino Penasa spoke to Msgr. S. Garofalo (Consultant to the Congregation for the Cause of Saints) on the scriptural foundation of an historic and universal era of peace, as opposed to millenarianism. Msgr. suggested that the matter be posed directly to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fr. Martino thus posed the question: “È imminente una nuova era di vita cristiana?” (“Is a new era of Christian life imminent?”). The Prefect at that time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger replied, “La questione è ancora aperta alla libera discussione, giacchè la Santa Sede non si è ancora pronunciata in modo definitivo”:

    The question is still open to free discussion, as the Holy See has not made any definitive pronouncement in this regard. Il Segno del Soprannauturale, Udine, Italia, n. 30, p. 10, Ott. 1990; Fr. Martino Penasa presented this question of a “millenary reign” to Cardinal Ratzinger

    Also, the theological commission in 1952 concluded:

    …a hope in some mighty triumph of Christ here on earth before the final consummation of all things. Such an occurrence is not excluded, is not impossible, it is not all certain that there will not be a prolonged period of triumphant Christianity before the end. If before that final end there is to be a period, more or less prolonged, of triumphant sanctity, such a result will be brought about not by the apparition of the person of Christ in Majesty but by the operation of those powers of sanctification which are now at work, the Holy Ghost and the Sacraments of the Church.The Teaching of the Catholic Church; as cited from The Triumph of God’s Kingdom in the Millennium and End Times, Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, p.75-76​

    As for papal quotes, there are dozens. However, it comes down to interpretation, as you've proven. In this regard, our approach is indeed miles apart. Your approach has been more in keeping with Protestant eschatology and scholastic theology neglecting other currents of theology. However, I have also incorporated the early Church Fathers, patristic theology, mystical theology, approved apparitions, and the teachings of 20th century mystics and saints. Nonetheless, in my post today called What If....? , I examined a few papal quotes that, logically speaking alone, cannot refer to Heaven as you imply.

    For example, when Pope Benedict XVI called the youth to be “prophets of this new age” that is coming, he said to them:

    Empowered by the Spirit, and drawing upon faith’s rich vision, a new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished… Dear young friends, the Lord is asking you to be prophets of this new age... —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Homily, World Youth Day, Sydney, Australia, July 20th, 2008

    If this refers to Heaven, as you no doubt conclude, then it may come as a surprise to others that Heaven is still under construction; that we are going to have to “help build a world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed.” I was under the impression that, in Heaven, the gift of life was already welcomed. However, this statement makes more sense if it is understood as a triumphant period of Christianity in the world that emerges after this present culture of death has been crushed beneath Our Lady’s heel—the “triumph of the Immaculate Heart.”
    In 1957, Pope Pius XII in his Urbi et Orbi Easter address that you quote in your book, he says:

    But even this night in the world shows clear signs of a dawn that will come, of a new day receiving the kiss of a new and more resplendent sun… A new resurrection of Jesus is necessary: a true resurrection, which admits no more lordship of death… In individuals, Christ must destroy the night of mortal sin with the dawn of grace regained. In families, the night of indifference and coolness must give way to the sun of love. In factories, in cities, in nations, in lands of misunderstanding and hatred the night must grow bright as the day, nox sicut dies illuminabitur, and strife will cease and there will be peace. —The Tablet, April 27th, 1957 as cited in Heralds of the Second Coming by Stephen Walford, p. 218-219

    So what if there is to be no “era of peace” and this refers to the state of Heaven, as you say? Then Catholics may find it strange that there will be “factories” in eternity.

    Oh! when in every city and village the law of the Lord is faithfully observed, when respect is shown for sacred things, when the Sacraments are frequented, and the ordinances of Christian life fulfilled, there will certainly be no more need for us to labor further to see all things restored in Christ… And then? Then, at last, it will be clear to all that the Church, such as it was instituted by Christ, must enjoy full and entire liberty and independence from all foreign dominion… All this, Venerable Brethren, We believe and expect with unshakable faith. —POPE PIUS X, E Supremi, Encyclical “On the Restoration of All Things”, n.14, 6-7

    But what if there is to be no such temporal “era of peace”? Then Piux X’s words are a pipe dream if not a theological error. For he refers to a time of peace and liberty “when the Sacraments are frequented.” The Sacraments belong to the temporal order, not Heaven: they will cease in eternity since Jesus will then be physically and eternally present and united to His Mystical body. Thus, this time of peace he is referring to cannot refer to Heaven, but to a momentous hour in the future.

    What the Church has condemned as Chiliasm, Montanism, liberation theology, Communism, Socialism, political messianism, etc. etc. is any notion of a "utopia" on earth where there is no more sin and potential for evil. That indeed is millenarianism. However, a triumphant period of sanctity, as the Magisterial statement of the 1952 Theological Commission shows, is fully within the realm of possibility. And if we are to believe the Mother of God, the mystics of this past century, and the Early Church Fathers, then such a reality is far from unfounded.

    Your book may have an imprimatur, Stephen, but so does Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi's writing on The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in which Servant of God Luisa Picarretta shows how the coming new era of "Living in the Divine Will" is part of God's plan and firmly entrenched in the Church's Sacred Tradition. It has the Vatican's seals of approval, etc. Your book has nothing contrary to the Faith to the extent that it does not propose error, hence, an imprimatur is not surprising. However, that does not mean your book is the definitive statement on the end times. Obviously, there is more to the "end times" than what you've written.
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  4. stephen

    stephen Angels

    Cardinal Ratzinger signed the notification of Vassula Ryden saying it was a doctrinal error to expect an imminent arrival of the Antichrist followed by an era of peace.
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Guest


    You are talking in circles: on one hand you are saying that the sections of the Catechism that you cited discount the Millennium, but on the other hand you are stating that the same passages demonstrate amillenialism as the proper interpretation. You can't have it both ways.

    The word Millennium is not used once in the Catechism as far as I am aware.

    The sections of the Catechism that you stated DO NOT condemn the Millennium. That is impossible. The Millennium is part of Sacred Scripture being mentioned EXPLICITLY in Chapter 20 of Saint John's Apocalypse.

    The Church HAS NOT defined amillennialism as THE DEFINITIVE interpretation. You continue to fail to produce a Church document defining amillenialism as the definitive interpretation. The sections of the Catechism that you cited do not define the proper interpretation of the Millennium. The Second Coming/Last Judgement/Fulfillment of the Kingdom are NOT the same things as the Millennium. Again, I ask you to produce a Church document defining the proper interpretation of the Millennium as amillenialism. If and when you produce such a document, I will accept you opinion.

    St. Augustine is not the Church anymore than Rev. Iannuzzi. Rev. Iannuzzi uses much more than simply St. Augustine's writings to make his case. He uses the writings of the Church Fathers and Early Writers - who were much closer to the time of Christ and as such had a better grasp of the Oral Tradition concerning the Millennium.
  6. stephen

    stephen Angels

    I would like to ask you something. You accept Vassula's explanation for the eschatology question posed to her yes? In that she refutes the suggestion of millenarianism.
    If so, why did the CDF not alter its notification concerning the doctrinal error of an era of peace. Either they think she was lying in her answer(which I dont believe for a minute), or as I have stated all along the error does not just refer to a pure form of millenarianism
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  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Guest

  8. insearch

    insearch Angels

    So are you. How many times did you repeat the claim that Last Judgement and Millennium are different episodes( as if anybody ever said otherwise)?

    The word millennium is NOT used in the Catechism even ONCE for one pure reason - because the Catholic Church and Catholic doctrine do not even consider this concept taken seriously.
    One does not address the issue which is not existent in his worldview.

    amillennialism as a doctrine is clearly reflected in the articles of Catholic Catechism without it being named as such - because there is no need to name it - all articles provided ARE the amillennialism by its entire content and that is why I repeatedly provided them - to prove that there is nothing else on the question of end of times, except what I have provided.

    And to equate the Church Father( St.Augustine) with just someone's opinion ( Fr. Ianuzzi) is so ridiculous, that I do not think there is any possibility to further discuss the issue - if you do equate the two, I suspect you are not able to discern the differences between the two.
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  9. stephen

    stephen Angels

    No David,
    Sorry, but the Church has not rejected bingo:LOL:
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  10. Fatima

    Fatima Guest

    For the sake of proper definition I refer to Servant of God, Father John Hardon's SJ, Catholic Dictionary as follows:

    A thousand years during which Christ is to rule on earth, before the last day, based on Revelation 20:1-5. Held by some Fathers, such as Justin (A.D. 100-65) and Ireneus (130-200), the millennium is still professed by a number of Protestant denominations. The Catholic Church interprets the biblical passage as referring to Christ's spiritual reign in the Church and takes "thousand years" to mean simply an indefinitely long time.
    stephen likes this.
  11. Mark Mallett

    Mark Mallett Angels

    Hi Peter. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. I also agree that a position that the matter is definitively closed is nonsense (see Magisterial statements from my previous post).

    However, without a proper theological foundation, others are also reading more into the Catechism's condemnation of millenarianism than what is there. That is because they have failed to understand what millenarianism is in the first place; what its modified and mitigated forms have taken over the centuries; how Eusebius the historian bastardized the early Church Father's theology with poor assumptions and bad theology; how St. Augustine's explanations of the millennium have not been carefully examined and how the one that he states is his "opinion" has been generally accepted, etc. etc. Thus, when confronted with papal statements which clearly speak of a temporal period of peace and justice, individuals are limited in how to interpret them, defaulting to a protestant form of biblical exegesis. They ultimately have to overlook a vast number of statements as well from approved mystics, such as Venerable Conchita, Maria Esperanza, Luisa Picarretta, St. Hannibal, Fr. Gobbi, etc. who all refer explicitly to a new era of peace on earth, before Heaven—precisely what the Church Fathers taught:

    Again, most significantly, as I've pointed out elsewhere, are the writings of Luisa whose spirituality of the "era of peace" has now received explicit ecclesial and Vatican approval in the recent doctoral dissertation of Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi.

    In the end, because the Church has not made a definitive pronouncement on a coming period of triumphant sanctity, such debates as the one here are, I agree, somewhat a waste of energy. So why respond? To exclude the possibility of an era of peace paints a vast portion of the Church, including many Cardinals, bishops, priests and layman as embracing heresy—and this is most unfortunate if not defamatory. That would mean the papal theologian for Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, is also a heretic. For he wrote:

    Yes, a miracle was promised at Fatima, the greatest miracle in the history of the world, second only to the Resurrection. And that miracle will be an era of peace which has never really been granted before to the world. —October 9th, 1994, The Apostolate’s Family Catechism, p. 35
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  12. stephen

    stephen Angels

    why dont you address the post I wrote concerning your own blog post?
  13. Mark Mallett

    Mark Mallett Angels

    Stephen, I am surprised that you continue to leave out important information regarding this alleged seer's case. You have quoted the 1995 Vassula document in your book, and yet you have for some reason neglected to disclose the ensuing dialogue that took place between Vassula and Cardinal Ratzinger and formal letters released by the CDF since then. I'm assuming you are simply unaware.

    Most notably, Vassula was asked to provide clarifications on certain points in her writings, which included the "era of peace." Her answers were submitted through Fr. Prospero Grech, renowned professor of Biblical theology at the Pontifical Institute Augustinianum, who was commissioned by Cardinal Ratzinger to put 5 questions to the alleged seer. On reviewing her answers, Fr. Prospero called them "excellent." More significantly, Cardinal Ratzinger himself, in a personal exchange with theologian Niels Christian Hvidt, who has carefully documented the followup between the CDF (and initiated the meetings with Vassula), said to him after Mass: "Ah, Vassula has replied very well!" It is hard to imagine that two renowned theologians would be this satisfied with clarifications that remained some kind of heresy.

    In a unique insight into the convoluted politics of the Vatican, Cardinal Ratzinger on another occasion responded that He would like to "see a new Notification" but that he had to "obey the cardinals." It was confirmed in May of 2004 that a new notification would not be forthcoming and that, rather, the positive response to Vassula's clarifications would be "kept low-key."

    That response was sent out by Fr. Josef Augustine Di Nola, undersecretary to the CDF. In a letter dated July 10th, 2004 to a number of Bishops' Conferences, it said:

    When asked in a subsequent meeting with Vassula on November 22nd, 2004, if the 1995 Notification is still valid, Cardinal Ratzinger responded:

    The CDF clarified in another letter to all the Bishop's conferences that it was now "up to the bishops to make up their "case by case prudential judgment…in view of the real possibility of the faithful being able to read the writings in the light of the said clarifications."

    The bottom line is that the CDF has said Vassula's writings can be read under the prudential judgment of the Bishops along with the clarifications she provided. I cannot see how this would be possible if, in fact, her clarifications were deemed heretical. Indeed, Cardinal Ratzinger indicated that her answers were sufficient.

    Your conclusions in this regard are your own, Stephen. Nowhere is there any statement that the Vatican has condemned the era of peace as properly understood, and evidently explained, by Ms. Ryden.

    All of the above has been carefully documented on Hvidt's website.
  14. stephen

    stephen Angels

    I know perfectly well everything about Vasssula Ryden. I notice you failed to mention Cardinal Lavada's (Ratzinger's successor as Prefect of the CDF) letter of 2007 in which he said "the Notification of 1995 remains valid as a doctrinal judgment".Also Catholics are not meant to partake in any TLIG prayer group. The Vatican (in the form of the CDF) has not given approval to Luis'a writings yet. Lets not mislead people even more. Two theologians have stated their opinion so far.
    And as far as your comment about protestant eschatology, obviously aimed at myself and insearch, with respect is laughable.After all protestants were the ones who decided to interpret Scripture how they wished-rather than accept the Magisterium's interpretation. I would ask you again, please answer my post on the other thread. Please explain what gives you the right to give a new meaning to Jesus' Coming in Glory.
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  15. Fatima

    Fatima Guest

    Well, after reading Mark's defense of the era of peace, I am more convinced then ever of this taking place. I also appreciate Mark's mentioning of "approved mystics, such as Venerable Conchita, Maria Esperanza, Luisa Picarretta, St. Hannibal, Fr. Gobbi, etc. who all refer explicitly to a new era of peace on earth, before Heaven—precisely what the Church Fathers taught". Father Gobbi (whom I was blessed to hear speak) spoke often on the Eucharistic reign of Christ on earth during the time of prolonged peace. Father Gobbi was also spot on when he spoke so often about the influence of Freemasonry in our midst, which is so obvious at this moment in time.
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  16. Mark Mallett

    Mark Mallett Angels


    Cardinal Lavada's letter essentially confirms what I just wrote regarding the modifications, etc. From his letter:

    However, it should be noted that the Vatican is making an assessment on her writings and how she presented an era of peace, which may in fact contain heretical elements that are in fact millennarianism—I don't know, I haven't seen the original writings in question. The CDF was not making any definitive statement on a proper theological "era of peace" as you allege. Your conclusion, again, contradicts the statement issued by Cardinal Ratzinger himself regarding the possibility of a properly understood period of triumphant sanctity in the Church:

    The question is still open to free discussion, as the Holy See has not made any definitive pronouncement in this regard. Il Segno del Soprannauturale, Udine, Italia, n. 30, p. 10, Ott. 1990; Fr. Martino Penasa presented this question of a “millenary reign” to Cardinal Ratzinger

    Nonetheless, this does not change the fact that the answers given were deemed "excellent" by the renowned professor of Biblical theology at the Pontifical Institute Augustinianum and thought to be sufficient ("very well") by the Prefect himself. Regarding her prayer groups, etc. that's a pastoral decision that must be respected and is beside the point.

    It's interesting that you would discount the Vatican seals of approval and ecclesiastical approval given to Rev. Joseph's doctrinal dissertation on Luisa's writings... and then turn around and tout the imprimatur on your book, which likewise, did not receive approval "in the form of the CDF."

    I am not sure what post you are referring to that you wish me to respond to (could you point it out, please). But likewise, you have not responded to the points made in our private emails nor to the posts I've made today. You continually want to keep moving forward rather than addressing the evident contradictions. As you know, I have responded to every one of your points and questions both in private correspondence and here.

    As for giving new meaning to Jesus' coming in glory, I have done no such thing. I have affirmed in my writings and in my book that the glorious return of Jesus in the flesh will occur at the end of history in what is called "the Second Coming." However, regarding our understanding of the "deposit of faith," the Church herself teaches that,

    …even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 66

    The theology of the Day of the Lord is what I am referring to, those last things that lead up to the return of Jesus at the end of time. This, the Magisterium teaches, "remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp". That's what my writings as well as others are attempting to help the Faithful do: grasp a better understanding of eschatology.

    Lastly, you say that you are not following along with the Protestants who decide Scripture as they wish without the Magisterium's interpretation. But, brother, this is precisely what you are doing by ignoring Cardinal Ratzinger, the Theological Commission, and most alarmingly, the early Church Fathers. For...

  17. insearch

    insearch Angels

    In order for something to be deemed heretical that has to be officially condemned and I can' t believe that you, Mark, do not know that this process involves official trial, which can not be conducted over Ryden as Catholic Church does not have jurisdiction over her as Greek Orthodox, therefore you are just twisting the meaning of the words.
    I also am abolutely sure that you know that CDF in it's Notifications repeatedly stated that messages of Vassula Ryden continue to be considered «only as her personal meditations» and the moral obligation neither to spread them nor read them remains.

    The letter from Cardinal Levada in 2007 not only reaffirmed all of the above, but actually proved, that that after more than ten years of talks and a continual giving and recalling, nothing in substance has changed for the Congregation: no supernatural value is attributed to Vassula Ryden’s messages, and while allowing a greater autonomy to individual dioceses, the Congregation advises against the participation of Catholics in her prayer groups and reaffirms the universal value of the provisions of canon law regarding ecumenical meetings.
    In other words, the above mentioned clarifications, as already stressed, were not enough to lift the reservations regarding “a number of basic elements that must be considered negative in the light of Catholic doctrine” (Notification of 1995), nor to allow a recognition, in spite of all the good will manifested by the then Prefect of the Congregation.
    If the Congregation continues to refrain from an explicit condemnation, it is for the reasons already mentioned: Mrs Rydén, a Greek Orthodox, does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Church.

    Prot. N.: 54/92 – 24945
    Your Eminence / Your Excellency,
    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith continues to receive requests for clarification in relation to the writings and activities of Mrs Vassula Ryden. These requests address in particular the import of the Notification of 6 October 1995, and the criteria to be considered by the local Church in judging whether the writings of Mrs Vassula Ryden may appropriately be disseminated.
    1) The Notification of 1995 remains valid as a doctrinal judgment of the writings examined (see Enclosure 1).
    2) Mrs Vassula Ryden, however, after dialogue with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has offered clarifications on some problematic points in her writings and on the nature of her messages which are presented not as divine revelations, but rather as her personal meditations (see Enclosure 2: Letter of 4 April 2002, published in True Life in God, vol. 10). From a normative point of view therefore, following the aforementioned clarifications, a case by case prudential judgment is required in view of the real possibility of the faithful being able to read the writings in the light of the said clarifications.
    3) Finally, it remains inappropriate for Catholics to take part in prayer groups established by Mrs Ryden. Concerning the question of ecumenical meetings, the faithful are to follow the norms of the Ecumenical Directory, of the Code of Canon Law (canons: 215; 223 §2 and 383 §3) and of Diocesan Ordinaries.
    Yours sincerely in Christ
    Cardinal William LEVADA
  18. Mark Mallett

    Mark Mallett Angels

    Yes. Also, see above.
  19. David Wilson

    David Wilson Guest

    You implied otherwise, by citing sections of the Catechism dealing with the Last Judgement/Fulfillment of the Kingdom in order to argue against the reality of the Millennium.

    Of course the Catholic Church takes the Millennium seriously. The Millennium is mentioned explicitly in Chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which is Sacred Scripture.

    The reason that the word Millennium does not appear in the Catechism is because the Church has not yet defined the proper interpretation of the Millennium. The Church has only told us what this Millennium IS NOT. The Church has not told us what the Millennium IS, a point that Cardinal Ratzinger made in 1990.

    Amillenialism is ONE interpretation of the Millennium. It is the popular interpretation among modern theologians. It is not the definitive interpretation and you have yet to cite a Church document stating as much.

    The Church Fathers that Rev. Iannuzzi cites believed in much more than a mere allegorical Millennium. Even St. Augustine did not discount the possibility of a "sabbath-rest" (i.e. period of peace) prior to the Second Coming.

    Saint Augustine is but one voice. But there are others that must be heeded: the OT Prophets, the Church Fathers and early writers, and Church approved private revelation.
  20. insearch

    insearch Angels

    see what? I provided the whole letter from cardinal Levada, I do not see anything in it which would affirm your statements.

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