People have been posting about a concept of an “Era of Peace” on Earth, or an Intermediate Coming of Christ.
First of all one must define what its meant by this. This is believed by some to be a perfect era where people are good, and there are no wars, no violence, everyone is living in “peace”. I do not think this will happen in history. We did have a (not perfect) “time of peace” (call it era of peace if you like) prophecied at Fatima, it did start from Malta when Bush and Gorbachov met (as Our Lady of Consecration had told Guza Mifsud at Ghirgenti), because the Berlin Wall fell down, and the Soviet Block crumbled. The Cold War ended and we had an “era of peace” until lately.
Author Mark Mallett believes in an era of peace with wars:
This reign may not always produce peace—it might even produce “war”, since those who oppose the demands of the Gospel will resist it.
In a way a 3rd coming of Jesus reminds me of the Rapture which needs another coming of Christ which just isn’t anywhere in Scripture. And as I say, we should stick to the basics.
EWTN’s Fr Colin Donovan writes clearly:
Naturally, non-Catholics cannot accept that the Catholic Church represents Christ in this world, so they are forced to look for a personal earthly reign somewhere out in the future. The notion that Jesus will come, reign, and then depart, so that the devil can trick the world again, is incompatible with the incomprehensible dignity of the Lord and His love for His people. Jesus’ Coming will be definitive, triumphant and ever-lasting, NOT temporal and limited.
For those who say it will be a “Eucharistic Reign”. No there will not be a “Eucharistic reign”. Jesus is already here in the Eucharist, he already reigns.
Look at this quote which is given by those in favour of an “era of Peace”:
Whereas people had previously spoken only of a twofold coming of Christ—once in Bethlehem and again at the end of time—Saint Bernard of Clairvaux spoke of an adventus medius, an intermediate coming, thanks to which he periodically renews his intervention in history. I believe that Bernard’s distinction strikes just the right note. We cannot pin down when the world will end. Christ himself says that no one knows the hour, not even the Son. But we must always stand in the imminence of his coming, as it were—and we must be certain, especially in the midst of tribulations, that he is near. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Light of the World, p.182-183, A Conversation With Peter Seewald
Some like myself think it is a BAD TRANSLATION too. Read this quote from a forum:
“For one, in the homily at Fatima, I don’t think the Pope said the remark about St. Bernard. ..
Also, reading the article as it is , with the disjointed St. Bernard quote in it, which speaks of a third coming, the article then goes on to be confusing by seemingly saying Jesus is returning and it will be a new heaven and earth (which is associated with the traditional Second Coming which is St. Bernard’s third coming) – so which is it the article is saying? Is it the final coming (2nd traditional, 3rd coming for st. bernard as interpreted by some)? Is it the St. Bernard intermediate coming? (Which I actually do not believe St. Bernard meant)”
You can find the posting here: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=7726976
I read the english version published on Amazon Kindle.
There’s an old saying in biblical studies that a text without a context is just a pretext for making it say anything one wants. So I looked at the context in the English translation.
And precisely before that quote, Pope Benedict writes
“We are not dealing with a book suited for calculating chronologies. The important thing is that every period open itself to the presence of the Lord. That even we, here and now, stand under the Lord’s judgement and that we let ourselves be guided under his judgement.”
This is not referring to some particular incident (“third coming”) but to the presence of Jesus throughout history – here and now.
I also researched the original German phrase. The German original refers to the “space between” his first and second coming… thus there would be millions of comings if you interpret this the way these people do!
The original German is as follows:
Das Kommen Christi
Wichtig ist, dass jede Zeit sich der Nähe des Herrn stellt. Dass gerade auch wir, hier und heute, unter dem Gericht des Herrn stehen und von seinem Gericht her uns richten lassen. Der heilige Bernhard von Clairvaux hat, während man bis dahin von einem zweimaligen Kommen Christi sprach – einmal in Bethlehem, das zweite Mal am Ende der Zeit –, von einem „adventus medius“ gesprochen, von einem mittleren (my italics) Kommen, durch das Er periodisch immer wieder in die Geschichte hereintritt.
Ich glaube, damit hat er die richtige Tonart getroffen. Wir können nicht festlegen, wann die Welt zu Ende geht. Christus selbst sagt, niemand weiß es, nicht einmal der Sohn. Wir müssen aber immer sozusagen in der Nähe seines Kommens stehen – und vor allem in den Bedrängnissen sicher sein, dass Er nahe ist. Zugleich sollten wir bei unseren eigenen Taten wissen, dass wir unter dem Gericht stehen.
Aus eigener Kraft kann der Mensch ohnedies die Geschichte nicht bewältigen. Dass der Mensch gefährdet ist und sich und die Welt gefährdet, wird heute gleichsam auch durch wissenschaftliche Belege sichtbar. Er kann nur gerettet werden, wenn in seinem Herzen die moralischen Kräfte wachsen; Kräfte, die nur aus der Begegnung mit Gott kommen können; Kräfte, die Widerstand leisten. Insofern brauchen wir Ihn, den Anderen, der uns hilft, das zu sein, was wir selbst nicht vermögen; und brauchen wir Christus, der uns zu einer Gemeinschaft versammelt, die wir Kirche nennen.
The German word mittleren is a term specifying an in-between relationship. Thus I was correct in my opinion. It translates to middle, average, medium, mean or central.
About the triumph of the immaculate heart, in a talk, by Fr Gobbi once uploaded to this website (then removed upon request of the USA MMP who knew something was wrong with Fr Gobbi’s belief in this quasi-millennium concept. Fr Gobbi had said it will coincide with the second coming of Jesus.. So there isn’t “space” for a particular coming / moment. Jesus IS here with his church as Pope Benedict said. But no special “perfect” middle moment/eucharistic reign period without wars/violence. If you want you can say this IS the eucharistic reign from the first coming to the second one. That’s ok to say too and it’s not a period without wars/violence.
The only correct interpretation is the original German in which the interview was conducted. And it was just an interview, not an encyclical !
Some argue that St. Augustine proposed, along with three other explanations, that such a period of “spiritual blessing” in the Church is indeed possible (where more people believe the Gospel, but some people will still sin!) “…as if it were a fit thing that the saints should thus enjoy a kind of Sabbath-rest during that period,” But was he writing about an era of peace without wars/violence concept?
From now on any reference to “era of peace” in this article is a reference that kind of an “era of peace”, a time in history without any wars/violence.
You can keep speculating on such an “era of peace”, but it isn’t based on any solid ground in my opinion…
Since this 3rd coming of Jesus is not in the Bible, I can safely say it is just imagination….it’s fiction.
If a seer says there will be TOTAL/PERFECT peace on earth / an “era of peace” with no wars/violence before the second coming, they are completely false. True Complete Peace will only happen after Christ’s return, but not on the present earth as we know it. peace will happen only after the Last Judgement!
Though already present in his Church, Christ’s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled “with power and great glory” by the King’s return to earth.557 This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ’s Passover.557 Until everything is subject to him, “until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God.”559 That is why Christians pray, above all in the Eucharist, to hasten Christ’s return by saying to him:560 Marana tha! “Our Lord, come!”561
Notice this phrase “until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells“.
The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.
The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.
So no triumph with a progressive ascendancy..
And Fr Iannuzzi, who is quoted for this “period of peace”, well, is associated with Vassula Ryden… so his comments carry less weight than otherwise..
The Church has ruled definitively on the Millennium in the Catechism – one of the highest sources of authority in the Church. From the United States Conference of Bishops:
Q. Is the doctrinal authority of the Catechism equal to that of the dogmatic definitions of a pope or ecumenical council?
A. By its very nature, a catechism presents the fundamental truths of the faith which have already been communicated and defined. Because the Catechism presents Catholic doctrine in a complete yet summary way, it naturally contains the infallible doctrinal definitions of the popes and ecumenical councils in the history of the Church. It also presents teaching which has not been communicated and defined in these most solemn forms. This does not mean that such teaching can be disregarded or ignored. Quite to the contrary, the Catechism presents Catholic doctrine as an organic whole and as it is related to Christ who is the center.”
If you read the interpretation of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI they always explained Saint Bernard as referring to Jesus’ continual comings through history through the Sacraments. They never once related it in the way Fr Iannuzzi would have it.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Christ promised that He would be present and reign over His Church in the Eucharist ALWAYS – not at some distant point in the future.
In truth we do not need this modified “milleniarism” even if we do not call it such. We only need the basics of our Christian faith, pray and trust in God and frequent the Sacraments.
As posted by Emmett O’Regan on his site,
Fr. Iannuzzi simply attempts to rebrand his version of Millenarianism as the “Doctrine of the Millennium”, so as to avoid immediate condemnation. But in going on to identify his position with several of the Church Fathers who had specifically taught Millenarianism (before it was condemned) – St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus, Lactantius etc, he makes perfectly clear that his “Doctrine of the Millennium” is exactly the same as the Millenarianism taught by some of the Early Church Fathers, with the slightly modified position that Christ would not rule visibly during this period, but rather invisibly from heaven.
Fr. Iannuzzi’s “Doctrine of the Millenium” does not take into account the fact that Christ Himself stated that He would bind Satan during His descent into Hell after the Crucifixion, in order to free the captives imprisoned there:
“Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.”
“For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.”
(1 Peter 4:6)
Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
As St. Augustine pointed out, it is through the events of the Crucifixion that Satan was bound for the “thousand years”:
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
This same teaching of St. Augustine is reflected in the Catechism’s teaching on the Second Coming and the significance the powers of Satan being bound by Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross does not mean that the Church would be spared from evil or suffering (which many Millenarians believe will happen during the hypothetical future binding of Satan):
Though already present in his Church, Christ’s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled “with power and great glory” by the King’s return to earth. THIS REIGN IS STILL UNDER ATTACK BY THE EVIL POWERS, EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE BEEN DEFEATED DEFINITIVELY BY CHRIST’S PASSOVER. Until everything is subject to him, “until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God.”
The Catechism clearly states here that the Church will always be in travail until the New Creation after the General Resurrection.
We do not need this modified “milleniarism” because Jesus IS PRESENT and INTERVENING in the world right now, even if we do not notice it. Christ allows us our free will, he doesn’t intervene and make us ROBOTS. The evil men do is not God’s fault!
In any case any belief in a future utopian period on this earth, is MILLENIARISM according to the Oxford Dictionary.
It doesn’t matter that Fr. Iannuzzi attempts to make further distinctions, such as whether Christ will reign in the flesh during this period or invisibly, or that he attempts to redefine the meaning of the word. The system of belief relating to the doctrine of the millennium is known as millenarianism. So the Catechism’s teachings on millenarianism directly concerns the doctrine of the millennium (since this is the exact meaning of the word) and when the Catechism says.
Rev Iannuzzi’s belief also means damnation to the vast majority of Jews, too, according to an argument on that same site.
That argument is as follows:
A) Rev Iannuzzi believes in a future Millennium during which Satan will finally be “bound.”
B) This binding of Satan ends up converting the whole world to Christianity.
Therefore, C: Everyone will be converted to Christianity, the vast majority of the world will believe, and Satan will not be blinding people from the truth.
Let’s take the conclusion and use it as a first premises.
A) Satan will not be blinding people from the truth. People will be able to accept or reject the Gospel out of their own free will without Satan blinding them.
B) The Church officially teaches distinctions between vincible and invincible ignorance. Only people who are invincibly ignorant can reject the Gospel and still be saved. If Satan is bound and unable to blind people from the truth, people can no longer be said to be invincibly ignorant.
Therefore, C) Anyone who rejects the Gospel during the 1,000 year Era of Peace does it completely out of their own free will and is not invincibly ignorant. Thus, they will be damned.
A) Anyone who rejects the Gospel during the Era of Peace will be damned, since they cannot be invincibly ignorant.
B) The Church officially teaches that the Jews will convert to Christianity towards the very end of time, once the “full number of the Gentiles has come in” (Rom 11).
Therefore, C) The vast majority of Jews who live during the Era of Peace will not have converted to Christianity until the VERY end of the Millennium, after the “full number of the Gentiles has come in.” Therefore, nearly all Jews who live during the 1,000 year Era of Peace will go to Hell.
There are only two different positions to take on the millennium – amillennialism or millennialism (whether pre or post).
Amillennialism literally means “no millennium” – that there won’t be a future millennium (since it is the present age of the Church).
Millennialism argues that there will be a millennium – either before or after Christ’s Second Coming (pre or post).
Premillennialism and postmillennialism are both specifically Christian forms of millenarianism, which was formally referred to as just chiliasm, before the divergence into pre and post. Nowadays chiliasm is just known as the umbrella term millennialism. Millenarianism is an even broader umbrella term which refers to any doctrine which proposes a utopian “thousand year” reign (of peace with no wars/violence) in the future. For example Nazism, with its promulgation of a “Thousand Year Reich” is a secular form of millenarianism – which is what the Catechism especially condemns – “especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism”. All forms of millenarianism (which propose that paradise can be created here on earth) are condemned by the Catechism. This is the real crux of the matter – not whether Christ will come in the flesh or not to inaugurate this utopia. Invisible comings of Christ as opposed to in the flesh have been proposed many times throughout history, and they are always classified under the terms millenarianism or its specific Christian form chilasm/millennialism. Any systematic theologian will be able to tell you this.
Fr. Iannuzzi gives a new meaning to millenarianism which simply does not exist. In reality, Fr. Iannuzzi’s theories are just a modified form of millenarianism, which would fall under the mitigated (lessened) forms condemned by the CDF in 1944.
If there will be “peace” before Christ’s return in Glory, it won’t be a perfect “peace”. We will still have wars before the second coming. After all Matthew 24:6 says
“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.…