We know from Apostle’s times that Jesus claimed that an attack or persecution to the Church member’s is a direct attack on Himself what more to a Vicar of Christ.

The Road to Damascus

"As Saul drew near to Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him,“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” “Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied.(Acts9:3-5)

And more importantly, St. Peter the 1st Vicar of Christ is shown in the Book of Acts as filled with the Holy Spirit guiding and empowering his thoughts,words & actions being the visible head of Christ founded Church..

Acts 5:3-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.

Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?”She said, “Yes, for so much.”

Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. (Acts5:3-10)

The “lies uttered to St. Peter concealed with evil intentions” is abominable to God, thru the presence of the Holy Spirit guiding and inspiring the actions of the Vicar of Christ.

The Vicar of Christ is the mouthpiece of God as Jesus said;

Luke 10:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”(Luke10:16)

And for Ananias & Sapphira uttering lies to St.Peter the Vicar of Christ “face to face” suffered Godly wrath immediately thru physical death.

Ananias & Sapphira suffered death is a testament to the wording of the 4th Commandment.

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.(Exodus20;12)

Ananias & Sapphira’s days were ended when they lied infront of the Holy Father,St. Peter the Vicar of Christ.

My question is in light of the continuing attacks & disrespect on the dignity of Pope Francis being the Vicar of Christ daily if not hourly receiving unkind, harsh, foul & blasphemous words in the light of experienced of St. Peter during Apostolic times and teaching.

Is there a recorded accounts in history on anyone attacking & disrespecting the dignity of any of the 266 Popes by “uttering lies with evil intentions” that suffered God’s visible wrath like the one of Ananias & Sapphira?

  • 3
    Don't neglect that lots of Catholics don't agree that Pope Francis is the legitimate heir of Peter's so-called appointment thereof. So, for them, the answer is who cares?
    – SLM
    Aug 8, 2018 at 0:20
  • 7
    The sin of Ananias & Sapphira were not that they had no respect of St. Peter. Their sin was that they were trying to cheat God. Aug 8, 2018 at 6:24
  • 1
    @SLM Is sedevacantist an authority to declare the legitimacy of a Pope? The sedevacantist is only a product of confusion & division among SSPX leadership based on history.I think they have no God given authority.Do you have a more credible source?thanks Aug 8, 2018 at 22:45
  • 1
    Sedes are schismatics, their opinion is irrelevant to the question. Don't waste our time you're just glorified Orthodox. I find the question really interesting, and it would be a shame to see it go to waste. Aug 9, 2018 at 0:50
  • 1
    In the history of the Popes, three of them have been historically taken hostage and into exile. the captures suffered greatly, but not in terms you may deem as "god's visible wrath".
    – Ken Graham
    Aug 19, 2018 at 12:39

4 Answers 4


Has anyone in history suffered God’s visible wrath by uttering disrespect & attack on the dignity of the Vicar of Christ?

Bishop William of Utrecht appears to have done so in 1076.

Pope Gregory VII, also known as Hildebrand, had excommunicated Henry IV, King of the Germans, also known as the Holy Roman Emperor. Gregory said Henry was no longer King. Henry summoned his bishops and ordered them to excommunicate the Pope. Henry said Gregory was no longer Pope.

Plans were made for the High Mass at Utrecht Cathedral on Easter Day, 27th March, 1076. Henry was to attend wearing his crown and robes, several bishops were to formally denounce the Pope and pronounce his excommunication.

Several bishops left Utrecht secretly during the night of Easter Eve, leaving only Bishop William of Utrecht to formally condemn Gregory, and declare his excommunication, which he did.

Later that same day lightning struck the church and it was largely destroyed by fire. Then, exactly a month to the day later, Bishop William died in great agony.

Henry then summoned another council, to take place in the city of Worms, at Whitsun, seven weeks after William's formal excommunication of the Pope. None of the nobles he had summoned turned up.

The following winter was unusually severe. Gregory was in a castle in Tuscany while Henry stood outside barefoot in the snow, wearing only a shirt, begging Gregory's forgiveness. Only after three days was he allowed inside to kiss the Pope's foot and receive pardon. Whether Henry's contrition was genuine, or merely politically astute, is unclear, but it was not the end of the disputes between the two men; or between future popes and monarchs.

Were the lightning strike and fire in the cathedral of Utrecht, and the agonising death of its Bishop a month later, really visible manifestations of God's wrath? The chances of such events happening by chance, so soon after the formal excommunication was pronounced, must be very small. Many, at the time, concluded that it was highly likely that God had manifested his wrath in such a way as to demonstrate whose side He was on, the Pope's or the King's.

However unlikely it may be that the events at Utrecht, in 1076, considered alone, were due to pure chance, looking back over 2000 years we can see that there have been very many other occasions when opposition to, or criticism of, the Papacy has not been met with a bolt of lightning or agonising death within a month. By the laws of probability, then, it would be extremely improbable if none of these occasions had coincided with a bolt of lightning and a death.

Nevertheless the idea that God uses bolts of lightning to expre3ss his disapproval is very persistent. The lightning strike on St Peter's Basilica in Rome on the night of Pope Benedict's resignation in 2013; and the 1984 strike on York Minster following the Consecration of the controversial Bishop Jenkins of Durham, are examples which have been popularly ascribed to God's disapproval.

Jong Ricafort, in his answer, has noted three prominent Catholic critics of modern Popes, all of whom seem to have lived for many years, continuing to propagate their views, before eventually dying of apparently natural causes. The exception may be Father Malachi Martin. Someone claims an anonymous close friend of Father Malachi said he had told him on his deathbed that he felt a push (from a kitchen stool he was standing on) when nobody was there. Since the friend is anonymous this cannot be corroborated. We cannot rule out the possibility that God allowed an invisible demon to push him off the stool as a mark of displeasure for his criticism of the Pope, but the evidence is not very strong.

Even if it were to be established that critics of the Pope were dying mysteriously, there would still be other possibilities to consider.

In 1988 Pope John Paul II addressed the European Parliament. The Reverend Ian Paisley, a member of the Parliament representing Northern Ireland, stood up and loudly denounced him as the Antichrist. Neither the Pope, nor Reverend Paisley, were zapped by lightning. Paisley remained a MEP until he retired in 2004, topping the poll at every election. He remained a member of the UK Parliament until he retired in 2010, when his son took the seat. He became First Minister of Northern Ireland (equivalent to joint provincial premier); and was Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. If God wished to demonstrate disapproval of criticism of the Pope then Mr Paisley would seem an obvious choice.

He died aged 88 in 2014. It was said at the time that, while on his deathbed, he told a close friend that he wished to convert to Catholicism. The reason he is said to have given was that, if anybody was going to die, he'd rather it was a Catholic than a Protestant. As with Malachi Martin, there is no corroboration.

In conclusion, there is no evidence that, as a rule, those who disrespect or attack the dignity of the Pope are subject to the visible wrath of God. Although it was believed in the 11th century that Bishop William of Utrecht was; this may be ascribed to chance coincidence when considered in the context of history as a whole.

  • @jongricafort Please don't use the comment section for topical discussions. They are not a place to engage people in discussion or debate. They make be used to suggest an improvement or request clarification on a post, but the proper reply should be and edit from the post author. If it drags out past that you're using the tool wrong. Please use Christianity Chat if you feel like talking through a subject with somebody and avoid using the Q&A area for discussion.
    – Caleb
    Aug 23, 2018 at 6:43

Not really; no, God hasn't zapped anyone for questioning the Popes. It may be true, however, that the Catholic Church showed its wrath, like in the Crusades. But, let's start to answer the OP with the Bible.

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I [Paul] withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. ... I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Gal. 2:11, 21

Pretty serious that Peter was frustrating the grace of God, acting as a hypocrite (see 2:13). Did God zap Paul for this? No. Let's move on.

  1. And when the blessed Polycarp was at Rome in the time of Anicetus, and they disagreed a little about certain other things, they immediately made peace with one another, not caring to quarrel over this matter. For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe what he had always observed with John the disciple of our Lord, and the other apostles with whom he had associated; neither could Polycarp persuade Anicetus to observe it as he said that he ought to follow the customs of the presbyters that had preceded him. -Eusebius-

In this instance, we have Polycarp disagreeing with Pope Anicetus. Polycarp followed apostlic teaching. Anicetus followed presbyters sourced back to Sixtus. Later Polycarp was martyred, but it is doubtful it was God's wrath at work. This incident lead to this next incident about 40 years later with Pope Victor.

  1. But this [division by Victor] did not please all the bishops. And they besought him [Victor] to consider the things of peace, and of neighborly unity and love. Words of theirs are extant, sharply rebuking Victor. -Eusebius-ibid-

About 70 bishops sharply rebuked Victor who was leading the church further astray from the Word. Nope, God didn't pour out His wrath on them, including Victor.

About 60 years later, Firmillian and Cyprian rebuke Pope Stephen. Again no wrath of God. After all even the Catholic Church has subsequently agreed with Firmillian centuries later.

And yet on this account there is no departure at all from the peace and unity of the Catholic Church, such as Stephen has now dared to make; breaking the peace against you, which his predecessors have always kept with you in mutual love and honour, even herein defaming Peter and Paul the blessed apostles, as if the very men delivered this who in their epistles execrated heretics, and warned us to avoid them. Whence it appears that this tradition [of Pope Stephen] is of men which maintains heretics, and asserts that they have baptism, which belongs to the Church alone. -Firmillian-

Ouch. But the Catholic Church venerates Firmillian as a saint, even as he blasted the heresy of Pope Stephen.

The list of course of corrections could go on and on. Suffice to say that the answer to the OP is a clear historical nope.

With that in mind, we may examine what happened to Ananias and Saphira. Peter himself tells us exactly that the problem was not lying to Peter, who is full of humility, but to God.

thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. Acts 5:4d

PS. Let me address the reverse of these examples.

The idea of arianism is that there was a time when Christ did not exist. Christians, however, believe He is eternal.

The source of the false teaching is when persecution arose, people left the church. Later as persecution subsided, they wanted to reattend. But they had denied Christ. Solution? Invent the idea that Jesus became Christ at His baptism or at Mary's pregnancy, anything but that Jesus Christ is eternal. In this way, they could say they never denied God.

Now, those who taught this like Arius and Paul of Samosota were members of the church. They lied about the nature of Christ presumably to a Pope. Did God zap them dead? No.

So again, when Ananias and Saphira lied to Peter, it was not to Peter per se, but what does Peter say? You lied to God.

  • @SLM First, your example of Paul rebuking Peter is not good as we know Paul does not do it with evil intentions but with concerned for man's salvation.Your other examples are merely disagreement, it would be understandable and would not fit in simply because there are no evil intentions or malice on their part. Ananias & Sapphira case was different as they intentionally hide the truth to Peter, it's like having a confession on the Face of God on earth and then you have the courage to lie "face to face"; this for me is the gravity of the offense. I'm still looking for a satisfactory answer. Aug 9, 2018 at 8:25
  • @marianagustin I expanded the answer to include the PS. The point is that there were many who opposed the teachings from Rome. If Polycarp, Firmillian, and others had "no evil intent", Rome would have gone along with them, but she didn't. Rome persisted on her course to follow presbyters, to allow baptism by demons as on par with Christian baptism. From Rome's POV, Polycarp, Firmillian, and others were the liars, hiding the truth to be really found in Rome. They went "face to face" with Rome's Pope. God didn't zap them.
    – SLM
    Aug 9, 2018 at 17:58

God does not typically intervene against the suffering of his people on earth. We should not expect such treatment. Lets look at the scriptures.

The Lord Jesus Christ himself was murdered (tho he submitted willingly) on the Cross. Those who tormented him were not struck by the wrath of God. He teaches us, John 15:20-21

20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

So if he did not avenge the death of his own son (at the present time) why would he do it for those "servants" or less than his son.

He also calls christians to follow his example, and suffer unto death if necessary Luke 9:23

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [a]daily, and follow Me.

Matthew 10:22

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Romans 8:36

36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

If we are serving God honestly, according to his Word. We can expect to receive opposition from the world. The world neither loves God, nor honors his servants. Look the the example of the Apostles. Martyred and exiled. And the saints of old mentioned in Hebrews. Hebrews 11:35b-38

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, [k]were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

Lets look to Revelations 6 and find out about the judgement of God against those who persecute his church. Revelation 6:9-11

n He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

The spirits of those martyred for the Word of God cry out in heaven even now for vengeance. But God is waiting until the day of wrath to pay back. The idea that the church should be honored on earth, or without suffering, are certainly common. But I would challenge you that you might want to re-consider these basic pre-suppositions about Christians on earth.

  • L1R persecutions & passions of Jesus is offered for our redemption, also for all believers they are to follow Jesus by being meek & humble, and drink the cup too.But, Ananias & Sapphhira case, there's a deep message there, they are not persecuting Peter.Remember, Peter is the Face of Jesus here on earth and for a member of a Christ flock to lied with intent to cheat "face to face" meaning this act God hates so much, that He's wrath immediately strikes.Why?...persecution is a different thing. Aug 9, 2018 at 20:42
  • You say "Peter is the face of Jesus here on earth". Why would you say that?
    – L1R
    Aug 9, 2018 at 20:46
  • L1R we are all another Face of Christ, as St.Paul said it is no longer I who lives but Jesus.but to to Peter who directly receives Jesus Anointing to be his Vicar and directly empowers by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. He's mission as Chief Shepherd is for all followers to see the Face of Christ in His leadership. Aug 9, 2018 at 21:23

Has anyone in history suffered God’s visible wrath by uttering disrespect & attack on the dignity of the Vicar of Christ?

I'm looking for all the well-known critics and church enemies who uttered blasphemous words and had written books or thru mainstream and social media had seriously attacked the dignity of all the Vatican II Popes namely St.John XXIII, St.Pope Paul VI, St.John Paul II the Great. Is there a visible punishment or curse that they suffered in relation to their words and deeds against the Vatican II Popes.

Short Answer:

The shortlist that I've found thru research who are well-known in their opposition and rebellion by attacking the Vatican II Church teaching particularly the dignity of Vatican II Popes are the following personalities;

**1. Father Gruner (We resist you to the face; assosiated with this book)

2.Fr.Malachi Martin

3.Archbishop Marcel Lebfevre**

From the three listed names only Arch.Lefebvre had a recorded face to face conversation with St.Pope Paul VI. The other two I cannot find a source if ever they had a chance to voice out their opposition to the Pontiff directly.

Now, with regards to biblical relationship with the action of Ananias & Saphhira it would seems their sins is not in opposition neither rebellion to the leadership of the St.Peter.

If we read back on the nature of their sins, it's stems from face to face lying with St.Peter and in turn St.Peter pronounced that it's not to him that they cheated but to the Holy Spirit.

How can St.Peter, said this? Because as the Chief Shepherd the Anointing of God was with him and the Holy Spirit dwells with him to lead and care for the flock entrusted to him by Christ.

My understanding on the nature on the gravity of the sin of Ananias & Sapphira is that it was in a way a nature of "confession" and St.Peter was seated on His Chair of Authority. The wrath of God is unleash because it was a direct disrespect on the Sanctity of the Chair and the Position of the Authority given to Peter. As if Anananias & Sapphira sins against the Most Holy Trinity in that moment. St.Peter was asking them for the truth and instead they uttered lies.

Going back to the three well-known names who uttered disrespect and and attack the dignity of the Vatican II Popes.

  1. Fr.Gruner it would seems on his deathbed that he comes to his senses and acknowledge his mistakes by recognizing the Papacy of Pope Francis as recorded here on the link;

The Fatime Crusade promoting the praying of the rosaries might have help Fr.Gruner in the hour of his death, as the 15 promises of the Rosaries is given to all the people who prayed and promote the holy rosary.

So, in effect Fr.Gruner was forgiven in the hour of his death from his utterances to the Vatican II Church and Vatican II Popes.

For other narration of Fr.Gruner's death account please see link below;


Although FR. Kramer had a different view of Fr.Gruner's death he said;

FR. KRAMER’S GONE MAD: He Claims God Killed Fr. Gruner For Recognizing Francis as Pope.


  1. Fr.Malachi Martin, his death was a tragic one.

We know that Fr.Martin is an Exorcist, and Fr.Gabrielle Amorth the famous Chief Exorcist of Rome had a famous quote;

"Anyone who goes to Mary and pray the rosary cannot be touch by satan".

However, in the case of the tragic & mysterious death of Fr.Martin it appears that satan and his demons is the cause of his death.

A tragic fall, reportedly delivered by “an unseen hand”, caused Malachi Martin’s second stroke in twelve months. Now the world sadly bids a premature, “Adieu” to a great Irish American priest, distinguished for his life of selfless service to Christ as a long time champion of the underprivileged, a prolific, controversial author, and alike Pope Julius III in the days of Trent, a modern day apostle of the Tridentine Mass and reverential worship. On Tuesday, July 27th, Father Malachi Brendan Martin silently passed away in Manha ttan, only a few days after reaching his 78th birthday.

The invisible (preternatural?) force that shoved Father Martin into a stumble, wherein he hit and fatally traumatized his head remains unknown. Yet, before an accompanying stroke claimed his physical existence, while lying in critical condition, Father managed to convey to a close friend, prudently preferring to remain anonymous...

“I felt something push me, but... no one was there.”


In this case, one would wonder why Fr.Martin was abandoned by God to the forces of evil doing an Exorcism and invoking God's help to free one soul from the grip of satan.

  1. Arch. Marcel Lefebvre; while his contribution in preserving the Tradition of the Church like the Latin Mass is one of his good credential, he is also known to be in direct opposition and in rebellion with the Vatican II Church Teaching and had numerous statement on the Vatican II Popes that attack their dignity.

What is the recorded nature of the death of Arch.Lefebvre?

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

As the great majority of you surely know already, Archbishop Lefebvre died in the early hours of Monday morning, March 25, Western European time. He was in his 86th year and he felt he had fulfilled his mission on earth, so for his part he was quite ready to depart this life. Yet for us his death was still a shock.

For many years he had seemed in such good health that few if any of us took seriously his own repeated references to his coming death. We readily imagined his living for another ten years to continue guiding the Society of St. Pius X with his irreplaceable experience and wisdom, especially through the next few years. Truth to tell, whenever he were to have died, it would have seemed too soon. But now he is gone from amongst us here on earth.

He was hospitalized in Martigny in the Canton of the Valais near Ecône in Switzerland on March 9, as a result of violent pains in the abdomen. The doctors having discovered an alarming lump, they decided on an operation which took place on Monday, March 18. A large cancerous tumour was removed. For several days he seemed to be slowly recovering until on Sunday morning March 24 he fell into a high fever. Antibiotics reduced the fever but also overwhelmed the organism – at 11 pm on Sunday night he lapsed into a coma. Reanimation could not save him. At 3:30 am in the early hours of Monday morning on the day which is normally the Feast of the Annunciation he breathed his last, and gave back to God his heroic and pure soul

For full content of the letter please see link;


We know that Jesus Christ teaches in Matthew 7:1 for all the redeemed "Do not judge". And so, the action of the three well-known priest who are well-known for their opposition to the Vatican II Church Teaching and had in a way attack the dignity of the Vicar of Christ would be for us a reflection on the nature and the recorded way of their passing on this earth.

For the Traditionalist the actions of Arch. Lefevbre is guided by the Holy Spirit,maybe also true for Fr.Gruner and Fr.Malachi Martin as all of them are servant of God.

We can rest assured that only God knows the real story behind their action and if they fulfilled their God given mission to them.

May their souls rest in peace.


  • 1
    Interesting information. There seem to be some problems with your links as some of them are to your C drive rather than to the internet.
    – davidlol
    Aug 21, 2018 at 10:12
  • But your list is ridiculous though, none of those men lied to the Pope. They were open about their disagreements, they didn't pretend to believe something else to get benefits. And none of them died like in Acts, it wasn't sudden death nor was it the Holy Spirit killing them. Especially with Fr. Gruner who shouldn't even be able to come back on his decision since the sin against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable in this life and in the next. Aug 21, 2018 at 14:11
  • Destination Y your correct, that's why for this thread to be answered I narrowed down the answer to Vatican II Popes attacks, for easy sourcing of answer and validation as this are still within our era.As I put clearly on my answer the gravity & nature of Ananias sins. So, in the case of the 3 listed names I look into their life & death story to check if their opposition and direct attack on the dignity on the Vicar of Christ had a traceable effect.I don't know about you but a peaceful & happy death is promised to all Marian Devotee as St.Joseph & Jesus will be around too,Holy Family remember. Aug 21, 2018 at 14:23

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