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Cast:

Penelope Pitstop : The Universal Church

Sylvester Sneakly : Jorge Bergoglio

The Ant-Hill Mob : Authors of the Filial Correction

© Matthew 21:38

Image result for Icon of Woman Caught in Adultery

Do we read the story of the woman caught in adultery aright, I wonder? It is often supposed that the scribes and Pharisees were testing our Lord, in the sense of seeing whether He would follow the path of Law or of gentleness, so that they could accuse Him of neglecting one or the other. Again, it is also generally supposed that the words ‘he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her’ are meant as a warning not to condemn others while having sins on one’s own conscience. I don’t deny either of these interpretations, but I wonder if they give the principal meaning of the dialogue.

Surely, the trap that the scribes and Pharisees had in mind was that if Christ told them not to stone the woman then He would, as everyone recognises, be seeming to deny the authority of the old Law, and that if He told them to stone her, then He would be seeming to usurp an authority that the Romans had reserved to themselves, that of capital punishment. I don’t know of any evidence that giving commands to stone adulterers was contrary to the popular picture of the Messiah, and would have therefore caused anyone to stop believing in Christ; even though such a command would have been incongruous with the work He had come to do, as perhaps the Pharisees half-understood. On the other hand, anyone who openly pronounced a sentence of death on another person would surely have been brought to the attention of the Roman authorities promptly.

If this is the test, then it throws light on our Lord’s reply: ‘‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.’ One might be inclined to say: ‘Either the scribes and Pharisees had judicial authority or they didn’t; if they did, then they should have carried out the sentence of the Mosaic Law even if they were themselves sinful; and if they didn’t, they were not the proper people to carry it out, however perfect they were.’

But perhaps Christ’s words are meant to address this very question, of whether the scribes did have judicial authority to order an execution or not. As far as appearances went, they did not: the temporal sword, in 1st century Judaea, was clearly in the hands of the Romans, however much the Jews might dislike the fact. There was no realistic prospect of their wresting it from Roman hands, nor was it clear that the Romans were doing anything to them that would make such an effort lawful, even had it not been hopeless. Only one thing, therefore, could have justified someone’s taking the temporal sword to himself: the kind of surpassing excellence that Aristotle speculates about in Book III of the Politics:

When therefore it comes about that there is either a whole family or even some one individual that differs from the other citizens in virtue so greatly that his virtue exceeds that of all the others, then it is just for this family to be the royal family or this individual king, and sovereign over all matters. … It remains therefore, and this seems to be the natural course, for all to obey such a man gladly, so that men of this sort may be kings in the cities for all time.

If any of the scribes or Pharisees had surpassed all other men in this way, then he could have justly set aside the dominion of the Romans, and thrown the first stone. But seeing that none of them did so excel, it was just that they should continue to bear the Roman yoke.

In October 2015, the Remnant Newspaper drew attention to an apparently very rare conjunction of heavenly bodies due to take place during the 100th anniversary of the miracle of the sun.  The author, Patrick Archbold, quoted first the opening verse of Apoc. 12: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.” He continued:

The author of Revelation clearly indicates that this vision is one of a sign in heaven or in the sky. What do we see in the sky of the near future?

On November 20, 2016, an astronomical event begins that will last nine and a half months, culminating in startling concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12. While I am not an astronomer, all my research indicates that this astronomical event, in all its particulars, is unique in the history of man.

On November 20, 2016, Jupiter (the King planet) enters into the body (womb) of the constellation Virgo (the virgin).   Jupiter, due its retrograde motion, will spend the next 9 ½ months within the womb of Virgo. This length of time corresponds with gestation period of a normal late-term baby.

After 9 ½ months, Jupiter exits out of the womb of Virgo. Upon Jupiter’s exit (birth), on September 23, 2017, we see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). At the feet of Virgo, we find the moon. And upon her head we find a crown of twelve stars, formed by the usual nine stars of the constellation Leo with the addition of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

That is a truly remarkable and, as far as I can determine, unique series of event with a startling degree of concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12.

As a result, there was a certain amount of speculation about whether something significant for the Church or the word would happen on September 23rd 2017. Other people drew attention to the importance of 100 years in connexion with Fatima, and wondered whether something dramatic would happen on, say October 13th, 2017. I have discussed this last point here.

However, to my knowledge, no one has pointed out that something rather important did take place on 23rd September. The ‘Filial Correction’ which accused Pope Francis of upholding and propagating seven heresies was first seen by most people, at least on the eastern side of the Atlantic, on 24th September. However, the Associated Press, who seem to have been the first to publish it, date their article to the 23rd.

(Someone might wonder whether the organisers of the Filial Correction released their document deliberately to coincide with the ‘sign in the heavens’. I have been able to speak  to some of them, and I do not believe that this is the case.)

Unless it be otherwise determined, by reason of some exceptional condition of things, it is expedient to take part in the administration of public affairs. And the Church approves of every one devoting his services to the common good, and doing all that he can for the defense, preservation, and prosperity of his country.

– Libertas 45

[T]hat liberty is truly genuine, and to be sought after, which in regard to the individual does not allow men to be the slaves of error and of passion, the worst of all masters; which, too, in public administration guides the citizens in wisdom and provides for them increased means of well-being; and which, further, protects the State from foreign interference. This honourable liberty, alone worthy of human beings, the Church approves most highly and has never slackened her endeavour to preserve, strong and unchanged, among nations. And, in truth, whatever in the State is of chief avail for the common welfare; whatever has been usefully established to curb the license of rulers who are opposed to the true interests of the people, or to keep in check the leading authorities from unwarrantably interfering in municipal or family affairs; whatever tends to uphold the honour, manhood, and equal rights of individual citizens-of all these things, as the monuments of past ages bear witness, the Catholic Church has always been the originator, the promoter, or the guardian. Ever, therefore, consistent with herself, while on the one hand she rejects that exorbitant liberty which in individuals and in nations ends in license or in thraldom, on the other hand, she willingly and most gladly welcomes whatever improvements the age brings forth, if these really secure the prosperity of life here below, which is, as it were, a stage in the journey to the life that will know no ending.

– Immortale Dei 37-38

Paul rebuked Peter because of the danger of salvation for the faithful, and did not allow the latter’s sin to pass, since it was scandalous, though small. He thereby taught others that they should act magnanimously by rebuking the crimes of their prelates when these scandalise the Church and by their bad example lead others toward damnation. The princes of the Church and the princes of the world are obliged to do the same, when the pope scandalizes the Church, once he has been admonished in private and not come to his senses. For it is likely that he will be cowed [verebitur] when princes rebuke him publicly, even if he doesn’t care about the salvation of his subjects. And so even if he himself does not become good, at least he will not continue to scandalise others.

Indeed, those who can help have a much greater duty to do this than to save someone who is being led to bodily death. For they must set themselves ‘up as a wall for the house of Israel’. ‘Seeing their brothers in need and shutting up, in effect, the bowels of their mercy from them, how do they have the charity of God?’ [Commentary on the Summa Theologiae, 2a 2ae 33, 4].