Here’s an item from the “Credit Where It’s Due” department.
Ireland seems to be the hotbed for phony Catholic prophets. Every few years, it seems, another kook mystic either comes from there or goes there from here to set up shop. For a while Christina Gallagher was attracting followers with her supposed messages from the beyond, then American-born Kathryn Ann Clarke (“Anne, a lay apostle”), and now it’s the anonymous gal styling herself “Maria Divine Mercy”. With a name like that, obviously she didn’t get the humility memo from Pope Francis.
Her writings are full of angry, apocalyptic talk, and even after the failure of her date-specific prediction of a worldwide “warning” to souls, there are still Catholics here and there sucked into her stories of impending doom and disaster, war and warnings, false popes and fake prophecies. From what I see, these are angry people who would like God to knock heads and kick butts, and they are quite willing to spread the gospel of anger provided by this would-be seer. She tells us that the Church isn’t going to approve her messages, but that we should believe her anyway, because God’ll get you if you don’t; and (in her apparently heretical dispensationalist teaching) she indicates that the Church will no longer have a real Pope, so who’s gonna say no to her?
Well, that’s not how Catholic life works.
Professor Mark Miravalle has helpfully applied the Church’s criteria for evaluating mystical claims to her case, and gives the results of his analysis in an on-line article.
Why is this a case of “credit where it’s due”? Because I’m usually pretty skeptical about Miravalle’s writings; after all, he’s taken far too favorable positions about various cases of dubious mysticism: Medjugorje, Kathryn Ann Clarke, and the Amsterdam case. But when he’s right, he deserves our thanks.