Readers can decide for themselves about a number of authors, lectors, etc.
I would like to simply postulate one individual who might possibly fit the bill for some: Father Michael Scanlan.
When leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal heard Franciscan Father Michael Scanlan, the president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, deliver a prophecy in 1976 about a time of lawlessness and shuttered churches, no one imagined such a scenario occurring soon — or ever.
“We didn’t dismiss it, but we kind of put it to the side,” Ralph Martin said. Now, 44 years later, the message has struck home, as the seemingly extreme events it cited are happening.
Since discovering the prophecy while doing research for a new book, Martin, the president of Renewal Ministries, has sought to circulate the message and provide commentary on it — not just because it refers to current developments, but because it offers direction about how to respond to such a time as this.
“There’s some real guidance in it and some real hope in it, because, obviously, the Lord knew this was going to happen 44 years ago and he wanted to prepare us.”
The Gift of Prophecy
Those who, like Father Scanlan, who died in 2017, speak such messages are believed to have the gift of prophecy, as described in the New Testament Book of Ephesians, Martin said. This gift and others are given for the building up of the Church, he continued, and, although associated with the Charismatic Renewal movement, they are supposed to be part of the normal life of Catholics.
Martin has given prophecies, as well, including one in 1975: “Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation. ... Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there.”
However, Martin said he considers Father Scanlan’s message to be more specific in its references to the crime and chaos that many Americans are seeing on their streets in the wake of the death of George Floyd and in the mention of churches here and in other countries being closed because of the coronavirus. Martin said the references in the prophecy to dependence on the institutions of schools and parishes also are significant, as dioceses across the country struggle financially.
But he said there are important lessons to be learned as Catholics and others experience the events cited in Father Scanlan’s prophecy. He said during the coronavirus shutdown, when his parish was having online Masses, his pastor pointed out the four ways Christ is present: in the Eucharist, in the person of the priest, in the word of God and in our souls.
When the first two aren’t available, Martin said, Catholics can develop an understanding of and appreciation for the other two. “Those are important things we could learn during this time, but a lot of us haven’t learned it yet. We’re so dependent on the structures of the church building that it will be hard if those are taken away again.”
The response the message has received since it was posted on YouTube, Facebook and the Renewal Ministries blog and shared on the apostolate’s TV and radio programs indicates a significant resonance. At last check, Martin said the YouTube video had more than 153,000 views, subscriptions to the Renewal Ministries YouTube channel were climbing, and the video was being translated into German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese.
“I do feel like people are troubled, anxious and confused,” Martin said. “People feel rudderless. They don’t know what’s going to happen to their country. ... I think people are really worried about what’s happening in America: the polarization, hatred, irrationality, hostility to Christ and the Church from certain sectors. We are in a horrible spiritual battle manifesting itself in very visible ways.”
Father Michael Scanlan’s 1976 Prophecy and the Events of 2020