Priests, Bishops and Cardinals?
A piece of information regarding Garabandal that leaves many people perplexed is found in the content of the second message, given on June 18, 1965. Specifically, the words: "Many cardinals, many bishops, and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them."
At that time, and especially in this little mountain village, such an affirmation was unheard of and, for many, unacceptable. In fact, for this very reason, some said that the message could not have come from Heaven, but from the devil. Nonetheless, Aniceta, Conchita's mother, affirmed the veracity of the message when she said, "In 1962, we thought that all priests were saints, and to say such a thing was outrageous. Later, it has been proved to be true... The girl was right!"
The day the message was published, Conchita read only "priests." There are several witnesses who verify that Conchita shortened the original message. Fr. Luna, who was a few meters away from Conchita during the ecstasy, clearly heard Conchita asking the vision, "Bishops? Bishops, too?" Later on, in a letter to the Jesuit Fr. Lucio Rodrigo, Conchita confirmed that the angel had said bishops and cardinals as well.
Not many years later, in an apostolic exhortation of 1970, Pope Paul VI stated,
"Many of the faithful feel troubled in their faith due to an accumulation of ambiguities, uncertainties and doubts that touch upon essential matters of their faith. Such are the Trinitarian and Christological Dogmas, the mystery of the Eucharist and the Real Presence, the Church as Institute of Salvation, the Priestly Ministry in the midst of God's People, the importance of prayer and the Sacraments, moral demands related, for example, to the indissolubility of Matrimony or the respect of human life." (Quinque iam anni - Decembre 8th, 1970)
In his conclusion, he quotes St. Paul's words, "From among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them" (Acts 20:30).
Once again, here it is clear that the content of the message of Garabandal concurs with the Popes' words and with the situations the Church has faced thereafter.
It would be helpful to remember that we should not consider ourselves to be excluded from this part of the message, claiming that we are neither priests, bishops nor cardinals. Every Christian faithful has the duty to pray for his or her pastors so that they may be faithful to Christ, to his Church, and to his teaching. We can comply with this part of the message through prayer.