A screen-grab of Father Michel Rodrigue preaching (Facebook)
Two Canadian dioceses have disavowed the messages and prophecies of a Canadian priest known for prophesying doom.Bishop Gilles Lemay of Amos, Quebec, disavowed the messages and prophecies of Father Michel Rodrigue Sept. 3. Six days later, Bishop Robert Bourgon of Hearst-Moosonee, the Ontario diocese where Father Rodrigue was ordained, also disavowed his visions.Father Rodrigue "has retired as an active priest in the diocese" and has renounced "his pastoral responsibility for the three parishes that I had entrusted to him," said Bishop LeMay.Bishop Bourgon also refuted the priest's claim to be "an official exorcist of the church."Father Rodrigue founded the Apostolic Fraternity of St. Benoit Joseph Labre, an association that brings together priests and laypeople, based in Saint-Dominique-du-Rosaire, Quebec. His prophecies are published on an American website. Father Rodrigue also gave several conferences in the United States, where he was able to spread his ideas.
Most people "wanted to know the bishop's position on what Father Michel is announcing," said the vicar general. In other cases, if someone "had reservations about his prophecies, it was clear that this was not what people wanted to hear. They wanted us to say that we were in complete agreement with what Father Michel had said. Others were happy to learn that the bishop advised prudence."Bishop Bourgon recalled that from 1989 to 1996, Father Rodrigue worked in parishes of the Ontario diocese. He then left the diocese and moved to Montreal with the Sulpicians."We had no news of him," he added. Father Rodrigue does not hold any pastoral office or function in either Canadian diocese.Earlier this summer, Countdown to the Kingdom wrote: "Please note that, although we now know that Bishop Lemay 'does not support' Father Michel's messages, it remains true that the messages are nevertheless not condemned. There has been no formal inquiry into Father Michel's locutions/visions etc. by the diocese and so, at this point, we are preserving them here on Countdown to The Kingdom (with Father Michel's express permission) because our position regarding them remains unchanged; we continue to find them important to be discerned ..."The Apostolic Fraternity of St. Benoit Joseph Labre did not react to the bishops' comments."Father Michel Rodrigue is currently on a spiritual retreat," said a spokesman, adding that any request for information should be sent to him by mail."We, too, can only contact him by mail now," said Father Martel.