The Kingdom of Love in the Truth

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Sylvie Payeur Raynauld

In May 2010 the Éditions Fides published a book, La face cachée de l’Armée de Marie [lit. the hidden face of the Army of Mary], written by Father Raymond Martel, a priest from the Diocese of Amos in the Abitibi region of Quebec. The publication of this book was announced in the media, among them Le Nouvel Observateur catholique and Pastorale Québec, as well as on Radio Galilee. Our members who read those publications were indignant over the unjust treatment meted out once again to the Army of Mary in ecclesiastical milieus. Here is a first reply to the crusade of “misinformation” undertaken by Father Raymond Martel by means of his book.

A Continuing Saga

La face cachée de l'Armée de Marie

The Army of Mary has always shown a great concern for openness. Thus, its paper, Le Royaume, reports on the important events concerning the Work in order to keep its members well informed as well as those people who wish to follow its progression, something that is all the more necessary because of all the falsehoods circulating against the Army of Mary and its Foundress.

Le Royaume is intended to counterbalance this misinformation, and that is why some issues of this paper as well as other publications of the Work are sometimes given to some people to help them have a sounder and fairer opinion of the Army of Mary which is given such a rough time in ecclesiastical milieus and even in the media.

So it was that, in a parish of Amos in the Abitibi region, members of the Army of Mary thought it would be good that their parish priest, Father Raymond Martel, be offered a subscription to the paper Le Royaume. It was a generous gesture on their part and another proof of openness (nothing to hide!). But their parish priest, basing himself especially on certain issues of this paper, on a few other publications of the Work, and upon his personal research on Internet and different publications in which the Army of Mary was described as a “sect”, wrote the book La face cachée de l’Armée de Marie, published by the Éditions Fides in May 2010.

A Study That Is Not Very Credible

In the introduction to his book, Father Martel mentioned several authors who did not draw very flattering portraits of the Army of Mary and its Foundress (portraits which do not, in any way, reflect reality). For example, here is how he presented one of those authors:

“Jean-Guy Vaillancourt, a sociology professor at the University of Montreal, places the Army of Mary within the group of Catholic traditionalists in Quebec. In 2000, he published an article in the review ‘Religiologiques’ in which the Army of Mary was mentioned under the section of ‘the social strategies of right wing Catholic groups in Quebec’. In 2001, he co-signed with Martin Geoffrey, a chapter in the collective work ‘La Peur des sectes’ [lit. the fear of sects]. In that article, the Army of Mary was one of the groups studied by those researchers.” (p. 11)

That the Army of Mary should have been described as being a “right wing” Catholic group is quite surprising when one is familiar with this Work and its divine origin... Would God, then, be “right wing”?

The Army of Mary does not have any of the characteristics of sects. His Excellency Maurice Couture declared, when he was the Archbishop of Quebec, that “the basic principles of the Army of Mary are very Catholic: veneration for the Holy Father, worship of the Eucharist and Marian devotion. There is nothing more Catholic than that.” He added that what was “unacceptable” was the “manner in which Marian devotion was promoted.” (Press conference on the Army of Mary, May 23, 2000)

Assuredly, within the Army of Mary there have been developments in Marian devotion, given that Mary Immaculate has become incarnate in Marie-Paule with a view to the Co-Redemption. And the Co-Redemptrix was rejected by the Church of Peter of our time, just as the Redeemer was rejected by the Sanhedrin of His time.

I – The History of the Work

Livre Tout se terminera par la cour

Father Martel’s first chapter which is entitled, “The saga of the Army of Mary in conflict with the Roman Catholic Church”, deals with the history of this Work. According to what he says, in preparing this chapter he relied especially on my book “Tout se terminera par la Cour” (1994), referring to it “among other things because of the official documents reproduced in it” (La face cachée..., p. 245, footnote 17).

But in order for them to be properly understood, the facts must be placed in perspective, something which is lacking in Father Martel’s study, for it is obvious that he is biased. He presents the interventions of the authorities against the Army of Mary without giving the elements set forth by the Work to show how the accusations brought against it were false, as well as the injustice of the procedures used.

Here are some examples of the very incomplete presentation Father Martel made of the Army of Mary and its Foundress, which invalidate his study.

Marie-Paule

Marie-Paule

Life of Love lifts the veil over Marie-Paule’s marital situation which was a real martyrdom because of the conduct of an unfaithful and irresponsible husband. Now, how does Father Martel describe this marital life? “A difficult union”, a “turbulent life as a couple” (p. 15). (But he does indicate that Marie-Paule left her husband upon the advice of four people, among them two priests, and that she was given custody of her children.) However, anyone who has not read Life of Love might think that Marie-Paule shared in the responsibility of the failure of her marriage, which is not at all the case.

Father Martel reported that, in 1954, “Marie-Paule would have heard for the first time the interior words: ‘The Army of Mary’,” and he raised some doubts in that regard. He wondered if she knew of the existence of a review published by the Jesuits in Montreal between 1940 and 1951 under the title of The Army of Mary (p. 16 of his book). – Marie-Paule was unaware of the existence of that review.

The Army of Mary

With regard to the history of the Army of Mary, Father Martel’s readers are led astray concerning many points because they are not given all the elements which would allow them to make an enlightened judgment. Thus:

“The group’s efforts to obtain ecclesial recognition are rewarded on March 10, 1973, for Cardinal Maurice Roy established it as a Pious Association.... Henceforth, the Army of Mary could spread as much abroad as within Canada.” (p. 16)

Cardinal
Maurice Roy

It ought to be specified that the Army of Mary is not the one that took steps to obtain recognition. It was His Exc. Bishop Jean-Pierre van Lierde, the Pope’s Vicar General for Vatican City, who intervened in this matter with Cardinal Roy. (Bishop van Lierde knew Marie-Paule and some of her collaborators and he was Marie-Paule’s spiritual director for a certain period of time.) Furthermore, it was not as a result of this recognition that the Army of Mary “spread”; it was already known in Rome and in other countries.

Father Martel mentioned that Bishop Lionel Audet, Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Quebec, “would even be considered as ‘the enemy no. 1 of the Army of Mary’.” (p. 17)

That statement was in fact an indication from the Lord, and this was shown many times. It is not a statement that was made off the cuff, without any basis.

“Without waiting for the authorization of the local bishop, Marie-Paule proceeded with the founding of the Family and the Community of the Sons and Daughters of Mary on May 31, 1981.” (p. 17)

Previous to that, the new Archbishop of Quebec, His Exc. Louis-Albert Vachon, had received a letter from Father Léon Boily to inform him of the impending founding of the Community, requesting at the same time that he grant it a canonical existence “ad experimentum”. That letter never received an answer. Concerning the Family of the Sons and Daughters of Mary, a lay work, the bishop’s authorization was not required for it to be founded.

The Report of the Committee of Enquiry on the Army of Mary

“In the spring of 1984, Cardinal Vachon set up a committee, the purpose of which was to conduct an enquiry into the Army of Mary. This committee’s report was presented to the group’s directors on December 17, 1985; they objected to it, without anything more.” (p. 17)

Here we have a very clear example of a presentation of facts which does not seek to make the truth known, quite the contrary! In order to have a good idea of the situation in which the Army of Mary found itself, it would need to have been indicated that, before making their report, the committee members never met with Marie-Paule or other directors of the Work in order to obtain their side of the story. In fact, as incredible as that may seem, here is the mandate the committee had received: Based on the Code of Canon Law, “consider the decree establishing [the Army of Mary] compared with what is said of the public association of the faithful today, analyze this and then make our recommendations.(“Tout se terminera par la Cour”, p. 45)

An approach that was distorted at the very outset: 1. “What is said” of the Army of Mary is what will be examined, (therefore no effort is made to seek the necessary proof to back up “what is said”); 2. It is falsely claimed that the Army of Mary is a public association of the faithful, a type of association that is not governed by the same canonical laws as those applying to a private association (the highest tribunal in the Church would later acknowledge that the Army of Mary is a private association); 3. There will be “an analysis” of these elements which are distorted at the outset, and then “recommendations” are to be made based on those falsehoods.

And Father Martel was content with stating that the Army of Mary’s directors “objected to” the report presented to them, “without anything more”. He does not specify either that, at that meeting of December 17, 1985, the directors were not even given a copy of the report, it having been refused them – instead it was simply read to them –, and that the directors refuted, one after the other, all the false accusations contained in this report, but to no avail. “We are finished our task,” Bishop Marc Leclerc, the president of the Committee of Enquiry had said at the beginning of the meeting. So that, after the reading of the report, Marie-Paule declared to the committee:

“If you had questioned us one single time before writing your report, you would never have been able, in all conscience and honesty, to produce such a report based on so many false accusations and make recommendations on those accusations.” (“Tout se terminera par la Cour”, p. 47)

And Father Martel continued to enumerate facts without ever giving any elements which could be favorable to the Army of Mary.

Once again we see here the process that has constantly been used by the religious authorities against the Army of Mary, that is, to always accuse without ever considering the defence of this Work... which had no other means of defence but the paper Le Royaume in order to be heard and to shed the light of truth on a dark page in the Church’s history.

The Recourse to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome

Let us complete “the history” (!) presented by Father Martel, so that a very important episode in the Work’s history may be better known.

The Sons of Mary - June 2008

Archbishop Vachon, who became a Cardinal in May 1985, was very hostile to the Army of Mary and the Community of the Sons of Mary which he made every effort to fight against in so many ways. On September 27, 1985, he revealed his intentions to Father Céleste Guarise, Father Denis Laprise’s Superior: “It’s all got to be wiped out and those future priests made to disappear!(“Tout se terminera...”, p. 40 and Vie d’Amour, Appendice II, p. 66)

On May 4, 1987, Cardinal Louis-Albert Vachon issued a decree in which he revoked the status of Pious Association granted the Army of Mary in 1975. This decree was marred by irregularities. Some Vatican authorities, informed of the situation, requested that the Army of Mary take advantage of its right to a recourse.

So it was that, under the advice of Vatican authorities, the Army of Mary would go all the way to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura which would validate only one single point: the Army of Mary is truly a private association of the faithful. Nevertheless, the Lord would use, in His way, the “Definitive Decree”, issued on April 20, 1991, by the Supreme Tribunal, to show that Marie-Paule truly is the Co-Redemptrix in our time.

On April 30, 1991, the Lord said to Marie-Paule:

“COUNT TODAY THE NUMBER OF YEARS BETWEEN THE DAY IN APRIL WHEN I INFORMED YOU OF YOUR PAINFUL MISSION, AND THE DAY IN APRIL WHEN THIS MISSION ENDED THROUGH THE CHURCH’S VERDICT.”

Marie-Paule wrote:

“I was immediately given to ‘understand’ that this was a matter of the 33 years of the Co-Redemption, like the 33 years of the Redemption.”

Thus, between April 28, 1958, the day when the Lord announced Marie-Paule’s mission to her, and April 20, 1991, the day of the Church’s verdict, 12,045 days went by, which was “33 years to the day”! (“Tout se terminera...”, pp. 254-255 and Vie d’Amour, Appendice V, p. 93)

How could Marie-Paule have orchestrated such an outcome? Rather, one can see in this a proof of the authenticity of her mission and of the intervention of God who uses men’s actions, regardless of how iniquitous they might be.

Cardinal Ratzinger’s Letter of February 29, 2000

Father Martel wrote:

“In the course of the year 2000, the Army of Mary continued to fight with the ecclesiastical authorities. On March 31, Bishop Gerald Wiesner, O.M.I., President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) sent to the Canadian bishops a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger [the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith], dated the preceding February 29. That letter was a reply to Bishop Wiesner’s letter of December 20, 1999, in which he solicited ‘in particular... an intervention by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concerning doctrinal issues that are held by Marie-Paule Giguère and which are irreconcilable with the Catholic faith.’ The Prefect of the CDF encouraged the CCCB to take action in the dossier.” (pp. 19-20)

This correspondence was published in the special issue of May 13, 2000, of the paper Le Royaume (the source used by Father Martel), with comments, in order to set out the errors and the false interpretations.

We will simply give one single example. In his letter, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that Cardinal Vachon had taken the decision to “dissolve the association” (whereas he simply withdrew from it its canonical status; the Army of Mary existed before having been given the status of Pious Association, and the lay people have a right to gather together in the Church), and that decision would have been “approved by the Holy Father on 6 February 1987.”

This was the first time such an approval by the Holy Father was brought to the attention of the Army of Mary. Would not Cardinal Vachon have mentioned this when he issued his decree, if this statement was founded? One must say that this new element in the dossier is not very credible.

However, this letter opened the way for the Doctrinal Note published by the CCCB on the Army of Mary on August 15, 2001, a document the authorities would subsequently incessantly refer to in order to support their decisions against this Work. We will come back to this a little later on.

Spiri-Maria, Eucharistic and Marian Center

Disciplinary Notice Issued by Archbishop Couture on April 12, 2000

Father Raymond Martel continued with the Disciplinary Notice addressed to Marie-Paule by the new Archbishop of Quebec, His Exc. Maurice Couture, on April 12, 2000. In that letter, Archbishop Couture reproached the Foundress with not having sought permission before building “a place of worship” (Spiri-Maria) and he expressed “his total disagreement”.

This Disciplinary Notice is also found in the special issue of May 13, 2000, of the paper Le Royaume, with Marie-Paule’s reply to Archbishop Couture, a few excerpts of which we will now quote:

“Must we forget that God, in His great freedom and the very beautiful liberty He leaves to all human beings, is above us and that there are times when He passes through all the obstacles raised by men, especially when the Church is in a state of crisis and it is a matter of the salvation of souls? The Code of Canon Law stipulates precisely, in the administration of the one thousand seven hundred and fifty-two (1,752) established laws, never ‘to lose sight of the salvation of souls which must always be the supreme law in the Church’. This simple answer is in reference to Canon Law mentioned in Your Excellency’s letter....

“The Army of Mary and its associated works do not belong to me. I am only the instrument who obeys the orders ‘received’. Human considerations did not guide me when it came time to undertake the construction of the ‘Spiri-Maria’ building, for this would have struck me down with fear. God’s precise order and all the means He placed at our disposal forced me to advance in spite of my constant hesitations. God did not demand of me that I request permission from Your Excellency because He knew what your response would be. He spared me that humiliation, but He is preparing another one for me according to His Wisdom of Love, one which is foolishness here below. There you have the life of a servant or a handmaid of God!”

Doctrinal Note on the Army of Mary, August 15, 2001

Father Martel:

“The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops followed up on Cardinal Ratzinger’s recommendation by publishing, on August 15, 2001, a ‘Doctrinal Note of the Catholic Bishops of Canada concerning the Army of Mary’, in which is written, among other things:

“ ‘... the Bishops of Canada declare, and hereby inform all the Catholic faithful, that the Army of Mary, regardless of its claims to the contrary, is not a Catholic association. Some of the teaching it propagates about redemption, the Virgin Mary and “reincarnation” are profoundly at variance with the teaching and profession of faith of the Catholic Church.’ ” (p. 20)

World Trade Center

World Trade Center
September 11, 2001

A response to this Doctrinal Note is published on the Army of Mary’s web site (www.communaute-dame.qc.ca), and it sets out the Note’s errors and false interpretations. As for Marie-Paule, her regard was turned towards world events, for she noticed in the past that every blow struck the Work has a painful repercussion in the world.

So it was that less than a month after the publication of the Doctrinal Note by the CCCB, on September 11, 2001, there was the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York..., an event which Heaven (as though to tie it in with the Army of Mary) had “shown” Marie-Paule in advance, at the beginning of the 1980s: “dense smoke billowing from the upper storeys of high buildings in New York followed by their collapse deep into the ground.” Surprised at the vision she had just received, Marie-Paule recounted it to the members of the Army of Mary who had gathered in the basement of Our Lady of the Rosary church in Montreal, some of whom bore witness to this. (“The Kingdom”, no. 152, November-December 2001, pp. 6-7)

Cardinal Marc Ouellet

Father Martel:

“Marie-Paule, after having requested a meeting with Cardinal Ouellet, informed him by letter on May 31, 2004, that she could not meet with him on the following June 13. The reason? ‘An order “received” from On-High more than a month earlier, which had often been repeated... “Soon, you will be asked to go to a place, alone, but make sure not to go there.” ’ [Marie-Paule’s letter published in ‘The Kingdom’, September-October 2004, p. 3] In his reply, the Cardinal said to her: ‘I deeply regret that such a meeting did not take place, based on your decision, and I will inform the Holy See of this.’ [Letter published on the same page of ‘The Kingdom’]. Within the Army of Mary, this letter from the Cardinal received a mystical interpretation. Considered to be a blow struck by the Cardinal, this document is the sword that pierced Marie-Paule’s soul.” (p. 22)

And what a blow! Marie-Paule spoke of Cardinal Ouellet’s “punch-like signature”. In any case, on the day set for the meeting, Marie-Paule would not have been able to go to it, for she was aphonic (at that time, she often suffered from episodes of voice loss). Father Martel went on to say:

“On April 4, 2005, Cardinal Ouellet, in close collaboration with Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, Pontifical Commissioner for the Sons of Mary, published a ‘Pastoral Message concerning the Army of Mary.’ After having denounced ‘the Army of Mary’s doctrine and the way in which this organization presents Marian devotion’, the Cardinal dealt with the question of the ‘wounds to the unity of the Church’”, etc. (pp. 22-23)

Pope John Paul II

Pope
John Paul II

Cardinal Ouellet and Archbishop Prendergast agreed to each publish a document on the same day, that is, on the deferred solemnity of the Annunciation, April 4, 2005. However, their plans were thwarted by the death of Pope John Paul II on April 2, 2005, so that Cardinal Ouellet was in Rome when his message was sent to the Army of Mary on April 5. Those two messages did not provoke much reaction because all the world’s attention was focussed on Rome where homage was being paid to a departed Pope of an extraordinary caliber.

The two documents were published in the paper Le Royaume, no. 172 of March-April 2005, with the appropriate replies from the directors and several members of the Work, including Marc Bosquart who was personally targeted in Cardinal Ouellet’s message, as he quoted him. Here is an excerpt from Marc’s reply:

Marc Bosquart

“Since I am the author of the books from which these statements are excerpted, something immediately struck me: the first quotation comes from ‘New Earth, New Man’ and is found on page 118 (out of 119 pages of text), and the second comes from ‘The Immaculate, the Divine Spouse of God’ and is found on page 125, the last page of the book of which it constitutes the last lines. In other words, the Cardinal has twice quoted only the conclusion of long explanations, without the readers having been clearly informed that they are conclusions, and without them having access to the explanations, proofs and quotations used to establish them. Why act in this way, except to provoke in the readers a reaction of indignation: ‘See how crazy they are! Look at the wild things they’re propagating!’

“It seems to me that such conduct is hardly in keeping with charity. To take quotations out of their context and toss them out as fodder for public opinion in order to discredit a Work of God and to pillory her who is accomplishing it in her flesh, along with all those who follow her in their hearts, is not to stand on the side of Light but on the other side. Who, in our world, in the absence of an explanation, of any complementary information, of any spiritual development, would be prepared to accept the idea that Marie-Paule, a contemporary of ours, is ‘the feminine equivalent to the Redeemer’? No one, needless to say, so much so that one is justified in posing serious questions regarding the deep-rooted motives that pushed the Cardinal to thus compromise himself, not in the eyes of the readers of ‘Pastorale Québec’ [in which his message was published], but in the view of history and the truth.”

The Sons of Mary

Father Raymond Martel speaks of the development of the Community of the Sons of Mary, of the bishops who accepted them and ordained them, of the difficulties they had with certain authorities, among them the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life (CIVCSVA) which successively appointed two Apostolic Visitors and two Pontifical Commissioners for the Sons of Mary, the last one being Archbishop Prendergast.

However, Father Martel does not indicate the real source of all those difficulties. We can have a bit of an idea of this, thanks to the content of a letter dated December 3, 2004, from Father Pierre Mastropietro to Archbishop Prendergast, in response to a letter this latter had written to the Sons of Mary.

“In your letter you allude to ‘difficulties’ that ‘will have to be dealt with some day because they have been raised by Church authorities’... Why then is it so complicated to say things simply? Why so much beating around the bush? Why such a loss of time? Why is it so difficult to state, in a language accessible to all, what these supposed ‘difficulties’ finally are – if they really exist – which the authorities seem to have noted and on the basis of which we have been for so many years, like our Foundress, placed under pontifical mandates, not to say already implicitly condemned?

“Without even knowing what we are guilty of or who these unknown and untouchable accusers are, these latter have enjoyed for years the privilege of writing and stating their opinions in our regard, besides casting with perfect impunity all the stones they think appropriate to throw at us, including the kind against which Jesus Himself wrote figures on the ground one day....

“It must not be thought, Your Excellency, that over the years the Sons of Mary have developed a taste for this type of unjust exercise and even less that they intend to expose themselves to it indefinitely, for, patience, no matter how good or heroic it may be, will never be able to make up for the regrettable actions which have been continuing against them for years.” (“The Kingdom”, no. 170, November-December 2004, p. 17)

The Church of John

Father Martel wrote:

“The tension between the parties went up a notch when a priest from this group accomplished liturgical acts at Spiri-Maria that were illicit (baptism) and invalid (marriage), and when one of them was enthroned as the spiritual head of the Church of John.” (p. 27)

Commenting on the baptism, Father Martel quoted this request from Heaven, formulated by Father Philippe Roy, former Director General of the Army of Mary, who passed away in 1988:

“YVAN’S CHILD IS TO BE BAPTIZED HERE, AT SPIRI-MARIA, THEN, SOON, IT WILL BE INSCRIBED IN THE REGISTER OF THE NEW CHURCH...”

But that message was not complete, for Mother Paul-Marie had not dared immediately reveal the end of it, which reads as follows:

... THE OTHER [CHURCH] IS ALREADY SCHISMATIC.(“The Kingdom”, no. 187, September-October 2007, p. 24)

This indication from heaven is weighty with consequences. It is now the Church of Peter (“THE OTHER [CHURCH]”) which Heaven is considering as being schismatic! And it was to follow up on the indications from On-High that the Sons of Mary began celebrating baptisms and marriages at Spiri-Maria. Finally, Heaven indicated, on August 10, 2006: “YOU ARE NOW FREE.” (White Book II, p. 31)

Padre
Jean-Pierre

Padre Jean-Pierre was enthroned as spiritual head of the Church of John on September 17, 2006, and he conferred the ordination to the diaconate upon five Sons of Mary on January 7, 2007. Cardinal Marc Ouellet issued a Special Declaration on March 26, 2007, which Father Martel quoted:

“Following the recent publications of the paper ‘Le Royaume’ and the formal gestures of disobedience and encroachment of powers in the administration of the sacraments, I am forced to declare that those responsible for the Army of Mary have excluded themselves from the communion of the Catholic Church.... Thus, those ordinations are invalid; they constitute a serious wound inflicted upon the Church.

“As a consequence, I confirm and reinforce what had been said previously by the Canadian episcopate and I declare the following: The Army of Mary has clearly and publicly become a schismatic movement and, as such, a non-Catholic association. Its particular teachings are false and its activities are not able to be frequented nor supported by Catholics. Its priests and its deacons can no longer exercise any ministry on the territory of the Archdiocese of Quebec, and the sacraments of confirmation, penance and marriage which they administer are invalid, given that they no longer have any jurisdiction.” (pp. 33-34)

Father Martel also quoted the letter Archbishop Prendergast addressed to the Sons of Mary on that same day.

The Triduum of May 2007

After having mentioned that Marie-Paule was dressed like the Lady of All Peoples during the ceremony of May 31, 2007 (it must be specified that this demand from Heaven was a terrible trial for our Foundress!), Father Martel went on to say:

“On this same May 31, a rather strange ceremony took place in the chapel of Spiri-Maria. On the one hand, Marie-Paule, appearing as the Lady of All Peoples, crowned the head of the Church of John, Padre Jean-Pierre, who had been previously enthroned. On the other hand, this latter proclaimed a new Marian dogma involving Marie-Paule.” (p. 35)

That is how the dogma of Mary Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate was promulgated, a dogma which the Lady of All Peoples had asked for in her messages at Amsterdam. The next day, June 1, Padre Jean-Pierre ordained as priests six Sons of Mary and on June 3, he canonized Brother Raoul Auclair. It is understood that the program of that triduum was completed at the express demand of Heaven. The Church of John does not assume certain powers on its own; rather, it receives them from God through the intermediacy of the Handmaid, Mother Paul-Marie.

But “what is wisdom of God is foolishness for men”..., which is why such a program may seem “strange”, when one remains on the purely human level.

Father Martel commented:

“The disputes of the Army of Mary with the Roman Catholic Church come to an end with the declaration from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued on July 11, 2007, and made public the following September 12 by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. In it is said, among other things, that ‘the so-called “diaconal and presbyteral ordinations” celebrated by Father Pierre Mastropietro are invalid.’ ” (p. 36)

Then he enumerated the persons who, according to that declaration from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, were excommunicated, and found “astonishing” Marie-Paule’s comments after that declaration. In fact, our Foundress showed how another passage from the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse was being realized before our very eyes.

Such remarks do not surprise us, we who know that the Apocalypse is being actualized in our time, particularly with regard to the mission of the Co-Redemptrix.

 

Finally, Father Martel set out the changes made to the Eucharistic Prayer during the Masses celebrated at Spiri-Maria (broadcast live on the web site “Radio Amour”). After the excommunication, Cardinal Ouellet’s name was no longer mentioned, being replaced by that of Padre Jean-Pierre. He commented:

“That could only be a source of confusion for the participants and the listeners of ‘Radio Amour’.”

On the contrary, the members of the Work understand the validity of such a change, given the attitude of Cardinal Ouellet who played a great role in this outcome with the Church. Father Martel then wrote:

“Since the end of May 2009, the break in ecclesial communion has been radical in the Eucharistic prayer. Henceforth, Pope Benedict XVI is no longer prayed for. The Eucharistic Prayer III says, among other things: ‘Strengthen in faith and love your pilgrim Church on earth; watch over Paul-Marie, Jean-Pierre and the entire people...’.” (p. 38)

“The break in ecclesial communion” was imposed by Heaven as a result of the attitude of the Church of Peter which, because of its intransigence towards the Marian Work over so many years, brought about this rupture.

The Church of Peter and the Church of John

Father Raymond Martel wrote:

“In this movement’s writings, we come across such expressions as the Church of John and the Church of Peter....

“Furthermore, the Church of John and the Church of Peter are rival Churches. We can really feel this in these comments by Marc Bosquart: ‘At this time, the Church of Peter does not recognize the Work of the Lady and, more particularly, the Church of John. But one day..., the question that could well be asked will be to know if, in the Kingdom and even before that, the new Church of John will be able to recognize what will be left of the Church of Peter...’ [‘The Kingdom’, July-August 2007, p. 27]” (p. 39)

The fact of being “another” Church does not imply being a rival Church. In accordance with its program, the Community of the Lady of All Peoples is open to all peoples and to all religions. We will see in the future how this will become a reality. Father Martel concluded:

“Through all these difficulties with the Roman Catholic Church, the Army of Mary was preparing the birth of the Church of John. This latter is not the fruit of a spontaneous generation, but rather a cleverly orchestrated implementation.” (p. 40)

The Lady of All Peoples

If the “implementation” of the Church of John was orchestrated, that was by Heaven and not by the Foundress of the Army of Mary and her collaborators, who were simply submissive to the divine plan as it was made known. The Work did not orchestrate the founding of the Church of John any more than it orchestrated the confirmation of the mission of the Co-Redemptrix as a result of the seal of 33 years quite involuntarily set on Marie-Paule’s mission by the definitive decree of the Church’s Supreme Tribunal. Such signs ought to make the Army of Mary’s adversaries stop and think...

Finally, Father Raymond Martel concluded the “historical” section of his book with these words:

“The acts done by certain members of this group, bringing about their excommunication on the spot from the Roman Catholic Church, do they not confirm this statement by Christian Godin that ‘many excommunications, if they were not willed, were at the very least desired by the victim’?” (p. 40)

The only thing Marie-Paule has ever desired was to be in the background and have silence, but she was submissive to all the divine Will wanted, accepting to walk along the path of opposition and to remain at the head of the Army Heaven had entrusted to her. An Army whose victory would seal the opening of the Terrestrial Kingdom of a thousand years announced in the Apocalypse.

And, effectively, Marie-Paule is “the victim” in our time, with her back to the cross as the Lady of All Peoples, Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. The Mother of the Kingdom which she opened to the humanity of the new times, the humanity that will accept the Envoy of God and of Mary Immaculate in our time.

II – The Doctrine of the Army of Mary, “Esoteric”?

After having drawn up a very mediocre “history” of the Army of Mary, Father Martel tried to demonstrate that this Work “has become an esoteric movement over the years”. (p. 187)

In the conclusion of his book, he set out the point of departure of his study of the Army of Mary, the “hypothesis he worked from”:

“With very few sources which only provided bits of information, my research nevertheless allowed me to validate the hypothesis upon which I based my work, which is related to esotericism.” (pp. 181-182)

“Esoteric”, “gnostic”, “initiatory”, “Rosicrucian”, so many concepts totally foreign to the Army of Mary, but which are constantly referred to in Father Martel’s book, who has recourse to every possible means in order to attempt to validate the “hypothesis he worked from”, and who declared: “When we reread the texts of the Army of Mary, having in mind esoteric concepts, we see a coherent ensemble. What may seem, at first glance, rather far-fetched ideas, even gross doctrinal errors, are in reality a coherent and rigorous system of thought.(p. 183)

Father Raymond Martel studied the Army of Mary’s writings from a false viewpoint and his preconceived ideas have blinded him, for he sought, at all costs, to support the “hypothesis he worked from” rather than do honest research. I will not deal with all the erroneous points in his book, restricting myself to certain aspects of this study which will not go down in history as an example of intellectual integrity.

Church of Peter and Church of John

Father Martel quoted passages from certain authors, omitting other passages from those same authors which would invalidate his hypothesis. He would even go so far as not to include some parts of quotations when they did not confirm his hypothesis.

For example, he comments as follows an excerpt from an article I wrote for the paper Le Royaume, “The Church of Peter and the Church of John, the Two Aspects of the Church of Christ”. (“The Kingdom”, no. 180, July-August 2006, p. 22)

“Sylvie Payeur-Raynauld indicates to ‘The Kingdom’s’ readers that ‘this title of “Church of John” is not new in the Church. In certain milieus, the existence of two major currents was acknowledged and these were sometimes identified as “the Church of Peter and the Church of John”.’ What are those ‘two major currents’ and the milieus that acknowledged them? It would have been a good idea if, in the remarks that followed, Payeur-Raynauld would have informed the reader about this.” (pp. 57-58)

When he quoted that passage from my article, Father Martel omitted the end of it which tied it in with catholicity: “In certain milieus, the existence of two major currents was acknowledged and these were sometimes identified as ‘the Church of Peter and the Church of John’ or, to take up again Adrienne von Speyr’s expression: ‘the ministerial Church and “the Church that loves” ’.

Adrienne von Speyr is a mystic who had Hans Urs von Balthasar as spiritual director. Cardinal Marc Ouellet deeply admires her, explaining in these words the coat of arms he chose as Archbishop of Quebec: “The whole also symbolizes the spiritual heritage received from the Community of Sulpicians and from the Community of Saint John founded by Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr...(web site of the office of the Archbishop of Quebec)

In my article, I also quoted “Nicolas Berdiaev, that great Russian philosopher whose writings converted Olivier Clément (Orthodox historian and theologian) [who] wrote that the Church of Peter is opposed to the Church of John whose ‘saints and mystics are its living guardians’.” What is there in that quotation which is quite astonishing? Here the expression “Church of John” (“the Church that loves” according to Adrienne von Speyr), does it not represent all the saints and mystics who were rejected by the Church of Peter (“the ministerial Church”) before it acknowledged them?

The answer to Father Martel’s question (“What are those ‘two major currents’ and the milieus that acknowledged them?”, which comes back several times in his book) is to be found in my article. But, that was not the answer Father Martel was looking for, because he wanted to state that I was basing myself on esoteric sources.

“How explain that in ‘Le Royaume’, it has never been clearly indicated to the readers that the expressions ‘Church of John’ and ‘Church of Peter’ come from gnostic, esoteric and even initiatory milieus?” (p. 186)

It is wrongly that Father Martel establishes such links, thus sowing that “confusion” which he often accuses our authors of sowing. For example:

“The way Raoul Auclair uses the Christian terminology, and even Catholic terminology – Jesus, Mary, Immaculate Conception – accompanied by references to Saint Paul’s letters, to Christian mystics or even to apparitions of the Virgin, is likely to cause confusion in secular minds.” (p. 107)

Raoul Auclair

Raoul Auclair

Father Martel would have preferred that Raoul Auclair not base himself on the sound doctrine of the Catholic Church and on Marian apparitions which this latter made known so well in our time! He disqualifies himself in attacking Raoul Auclair whom Cardinal Maurice Roy highly esteemed and thought of as being “the Army of Mary’s theologian”. Heaven also bestowed this title upon Raoul: “the greatest theologian of all times”, according to the formula of blessing he received as a Son of Mary in 1977. (Life of Love, vol. XIV, p. 42)

Furthermore, Raoul Auclair’s literary work received the support of eminent Catholics, including Marthe Robin, a well-known French lady with the stigmata, who said to Raoul: “Now is the time to distribute your book ‘Le Jour de Yahvé’.” Marthe Robin would not have encouraged him to distribute that book if it had contained errors!

Esotericism?

In chapter 2 of his book, Father Martel gives us a lesson on esotericism and exotericism or what he refers to as “the double doctrine”.

“The method of the double doctrine inevitably causes a division between those who have knowledge and those who are not in the know. Furthermore, what is revealed to certain people but hidden from the large majority suggests the idea of secrecy which is closely tied in with the term esotericism. Esoteric knowledge, that is to say, “secret teachings passed on by the Master to the disciple” is transmitted through an initiation. As a result of the initiation, the candidate passes from the outside (exoteric) to the inside (esoteric), from the crowd to the restricted group of disciples and receives the key which allows him to draw back the veil, to have access to the knowledge of what is hidden from those on the outside.” (p. 42)

Then Father Martel asked the question (which is not really a question under his pen): “Would there be a two-tiered Army of Mary, that is, exoteric for the masses and esoteric for an elite?(p. 186)

The “method of a double doctrine” as presented by Father Martel could describe the method used by Christ with the people of His time. He would speak to the crowds in parables and, when they were alone, would explain everything to His disciples, as we can see from this passage from the Evangelist Saint Matthew:

“When the disciples got near him, they asked him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ He answered: ‘To you has been given a knowledge of the mysteries of the reign of God, but it has not been given to the others.’ ” (Mt 13:10-11)

The word “esoteric” is overused by Father Martel. Is it not a matter of a debate that is not really one, if, according to Father Martel’s criteria, Christ can be described as being “esoteric”?

Besides, a Russian philosopher, Vladimir Soloviev, was presented by François Pillot and the undersigned in two articles of the paper Le Royaume. Now, in his book, Father Martel considers that author to be esoteric (cf. pp. 186-187). And yet, at the request of Cardinal Maurice Roy, members of the Army of Mary attended a conference in 1976 given by one of his friends, Bishop Jean Rupp, then the Nuncio for Iraq, on the life of the great Russian thinker Vladimir Soloviev... And Cardinal Roy attended that conference. Ought one think then that the Cardinal had leanings towards esotericism?

Zenit, the information agency in Rome, mentioned Soloviev’s name on several occasions. On February 20, 2006, [in its French edition] Zenit reported this comment by Cardinal Poupard: “To return to Soloviev’s thinking today is beneficial, more than ever, in the context of an aggressive secularism characteristic of certain cultures of the Western world.”

And, on February 28, 2007, Zenit mentioned that Cardinal Biffi, during a retreat preached at the Vatican, had dealt with Soloviev’s work which, according to him, “had prophesied the tragedies of the 20th century”.

Would it not be, at the very least, a narrow-mindedness to want to describe as “esoteric” so many authors appreciated within the Catholic Church?

What Father Martel writes is not any more credible when he draws parallels between esotericism and the symbols used by the Marian Work. For example, a cross with a rose in the center of it, about which Father Martel affirms that “we have before us a symbol that is clearly Rosicrucian”... (p. 135)

Spiri-Maria Chapel - Lac-Etchemin

The Army of Mary is a Work of light and the symbols that adorn the sanctuary of Spiri-Maria were “shown” by Heaven to our Foundress, as well as where they were to be placed. No human staging produced this arrangement, nor is there any hidden symbolism stemming from esotericism.

Excommunication

Father Martel discredits himself with his dishonest conduct and his extreme language, such as when he accuses us of being “bewitched”.

“It is no doubt necessary to be bewitched in order to arrive at quietly abandoning the Roman Catholic Church.” (p. 183)

Quietly abandoning the Roman Catholic Church”? Rather, it should be said that it is this latter which expelled the members of the Marian Work after having made them endure one injustice after another!

And this book by Father Raymond Martel can be added to the shameful behavior repeated so many times. The author constantly distorts our remarks, provokes false debates and attributes wrong intentions to us, such as that of “rendering diabolical the Roman Catholic Church”. (p. 155)

The Church is holy, but it has been the target of the Adversary, as Pope Paul VI acknowledged: “The smoke of Satan has entered into the Temple of God(June 29, 1972). Marie-Paule always respected the authorities of the Church and has urged us to do the same, but that did not mean that we always had to remain silent in the face of injustice when it was a matter of defending the Marian Work which is God’s Work.

In the end, that is the stumbling block. The adversaries do not believe that this Work is guided by God, whereas its entire journey brilliantly shows this. Father Martel uses the expression “the Army of Mary’s thinkers(p. 128, etc.), whereas the only Thinker is God. Father Martel speaks of a “cleverly orchestrated implementation(p. 140), whereas the Master Craftsman is God.

Father Martel says that, in the Army of Mary, “the Catholic heritage is not rejected, but it is emptied of its substance(p. 145), whereas the Army of Mary is carefully collecting this valuable heritage (given up by so many representatives of the Church of Peter!), completing it, true enough, in the light of the Co-Redemption which is being accomplished in our time.

Finally, Father Martel ends the conclusion of his book by comparing the consequences of the Army of Mary’s doctrine to “fatal separations”. (p. 187) But who is putting up a separating wall? Who is rejecting God’s plan in our time, thus drawing away from the Source of all things and leading the People of God into error as it too is turned away from its Source?

But no doubt it was necessary that there be this excommunication which established a new parallel between the Church of Peter and the Church of John. In fact, here is what Padre Jean-Pierre recalled concerning the early days of Christianity:

“The first Christians were excommunicated when they were expelled from the Synagogue. That excommunication was precisely the element which allowed the first Christian community to grow and spread even more, for it was now free from all ties with the Synagogue and was thus justified in no longer looking back.

“Neither the first Christians nor the Church of John had to chose to reject anything whatsoever. It was the established institution that charged itself with excommunicating and expelling, doing so, by using methods that were oddly similar.”

History Repeats Itself...

It is fitting to recall here the following passage from the Acts of the Apostles:

“Observing the self-assurance of Peter and John, and realizing that the speakers were uneducated men of no standing, the questioners were amazed.... [These latter] made it clear that under no circumstances were they to speak the name of Jesus or teach about Him. Peter and John answered, ‘Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight for us to obey you rather than God. Surely we cannot help speaking of what we have heard and seen.’ ” (Acts 4:13,18-20)

Peter and John” stood up to the Sanhedrin. The two heads of the Church of Christ: Peter, the Head of the Church that was waiting – “Thy kingdom come”–, and John, the Head of the Church that will see the establishment of the Terrestrial Kingdom, the fulfillment of the divine promise:

“Then I saw new heavens and a new earth… The One who sat on the throne said to me, ‘See, I make all things new!’ ” (Apoc 21:1,5)

Sylvie Payeur Raynauld
December 19, 2010