A New Fatima
for the New Church
The Neo-Catholic Establishment Joins the Post-conciliar Revolution In Revising the Message of Fatima
"Sister Lucy is no longer a point of reference today since we have
— Card. Jose da Cruz Policarpo, Patriarch of Lisbon
by Christopher A. Ferrara
Editor’s Note: At press time Mr. Ferrara is awaiting responses from the Fatima Shrine’s rector, Monsignor Luciano Guerra, to an e-mail sent November 10, 2003, and a fax sent November 23, 2003, requesting confirmation of the accuracy of statements attributed to him in Portuguese newspapers, as noted in the following article. As we go to press on December 2, 2003, there has been no word from Msgr. Guerra.
In 1917 a humble field known as the Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal, became a spiritual battleground on which the perennial Catholic faith would contend with what St. Pius X had aptly described seven years earlier as "the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions."1
Eighty-six years later, the battle is being waged literally on the soil of the Cova. According to Notícas de Fátima, the local newspaper with ready access to Fatima Shrine officials, an inter-religious conference held in Fatima October 10-12, 2003 under the auspices of the Shrine’s rector, Msgr. Luciano Guerra, and attended by Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, Buddhist and African animist "representatives," was conducted under the theme that "The future of Fátima must pass through the creation of a shrine where different religions can mingle. The inter-religious dialogue in Portugal, and in the Catholic Church, is still in an embryonic phase, but the Shrine of Fátima is not indifferent to this fact and is already open to being a universalistic place of vocation." The Portugal News presents this thematic statement as a direct quotation from Msgr. Guerra, as have other newspapers, including the Catholic journal The Universe in England.
The headlines in Notícias de Fatima concerning the conference proclaimed:
"Sanctuary [of Fatima] opens itself to religious pluralism" and a "Sanctuary of different creeds."
The text notes that "for the first time" in the Fatima Shrine’s history representatives of the Anglican Church "were officially invited to come to Fatima," along with "Orthodox, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims." Msgr. Guerra pronounced the gathering "a first step. We are like the engineers in Portugal who begin by examining the structures of the bridges to see if we can trust them in the future."2
I have sought (in vain) confirmation or denial directly from the Monsignor concerning the statements attributed to him in the local press, which appear to be accurate quotations. But eyewitnesses who attended the conference, including John Vennari of Catholic Family News, do confirm beyond doubt that the conference’s overall tenor was that Fatima ought to be a place where all religions can gather, as the very subtitle of the conference — "The Place of Sanctuaries in the Relation to the Sacred" — would suggest.
Vennari attended and tape-recorded the main theological lecture at the conference, delivered by the neo-modernist Father Jacques Dupuis — the same Father Dupuis who was lightly wrist-slapped by Cardinal Ratzinger for his heretically indifferentist writings, none of which he was ordered to retract. (Dupuis later declared victory in his brush with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.) Dupuis’s address contended that God has positively willed the existence of other religions as part of His plan for salvation, and that one should not even refer to other religions as non-Christian. Noticias de Fatima quotes Dupuis as follows: "The religion of the future is one of a universal Christ that, in its depths, satisfies everyone." Dupuis’ address was well-received by the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Fitzgerald of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, D. Serafim de Sousa Ferreira e Silva. Indeed, the next day, as John Vennari reports, Fitzgerald stated to the conference: "Father Dupuis yesterday explained the theological basis of the establishment of relations with people of other religions."
Confronted with an international wave of outrage, however, Archbishop Fitzgerald later issued one of those "denials" so typical of the post-conciliar revolution: calculated to mollify the overly credulous, while providing cover for the launching of the revolution’s latest trial balloon. According to the English Catholic journal The Universe, Fitzgerald said: "There is no question of the Fatima sanctuary becoming an inter-faith pilgrimage centre ... This is a place of prayer centred on Our Lady, and everyone is welcome." Read carefully: Fatima is centered on Mary, but everyone is welcome. The conference, Fitzgerald claimed, "was merely ‘part of an ongoing reflection’ on the sanctuary’s ‘inter-religious dimension’ in the Church and the modern world," but "there were no practical conclusions."3 This is rather like a married man who protests that in flirting with other women he is merely engaging in an "ongoing reflection" on adultery.
But notice that Fitzgerald conspicuously failed to deny that Msgr. Guerra had said, as The Universe repeated: "The future of Fatima, or the adoration of God and His mother at this Holy Shrine, must pass through the creation of a shrine where different religions can mingle." Two steps forward, one step back. Fatima may not be an inter-religious Mecca today, but it has now been established that the Shrine, according to Fitzgerald, has "an inter-religious dimension" on which the unprecedented conference was part of "an ongoing reflection." Stay tuned for the "practical conclusions." They must think we are very gullible indeed. By the way, "the shrine is about to undergo a complete reconstruction with a new stadium-like basilica being erected close by the existing one built in 1921."4 The conciliar "renewal" finally claims Fatima.
The astoundingly impudent title of the conference was "The Present of Man — The Future of God." In the Church of the conciliar springtime, God’s creatures host motley inter-religious assemblies to discuss the "future" of their Creator. This should hardly surprise us, since one of the more confusing themes of the current pontificate, enunciated in encyclicals and audience addresses, is that Christ by His Incarnation "fully reveals man to himself…"5 This theme proceeds from the equally confusing conciliar pronouncement in Gaudium et spes that it is "only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear."6 Hence, says the Council, by His Incarnation Christ has "in a certain way united Himself with each man." The Council never explained how the mystery of the Incarnation could make the "mystery" of man clear, or in what sense man is a "mystery." Man’s nature is known and understood and is not numbered among the mysteries of the Faith. Nor did the Council explain what the phrase "in a certain way" is supposed to mean. These are just some of the doctrinoids (ill-defined notions masquerading as Catholic doctrine) this "pastoral" Council produced, once it was "liberated" from the "rigid" classical precision of the preparatory schemas that were tossed into the wastebasket.
As Cardinal Ratzinger has observed, at Vatican II "for the first time in a magisterial text, a new type of entirely Christocentric theology appears, which, in relation to Christ, ventures theology as anthropology…"Only since Vatican II could an oxymoronic anthropological theology suddenly "appear" in the Church, like a quark unexpectedly winking into existence in some experimental vacuum chamber. But if theology has become anthropology, it does not require much of a leap to conclude that the future of man is "in a certain way" the "future" of God. The spread of this confusion fulfills the prophecy of Pius XII (when he was still Msgr. Pacelli), which he specifically linked to the Message of Fatima:
“I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul … A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God."7
Given a "new theology" that holds (without explaining) that every man is "in a certain way" united to Christ, it must seem quite reasonable to Guerra that all religions should have the use of the Fatima shrine. Indeed, as reported by Noticias de Fatima, Guerra justified the coming sacrilege by claiming "the very fact that Fátima is the name of a Muslim and Mohammed’s daughter, is indicative that the Shrine must be open to the co-existence of various faiths and beliefs." But here Guerra surely knows he is concealing the truth. The village of Fatima was named after a Muslim princess who, following her capture by Christian forces during the Moorish occupation of Portugal, was smitten by the Count of Ourem, converted to Catholicism, and was baptized before marrying the Count in 1158. Her baptismal name was Oureana, but her birth name had been Fatima, after the daughter of Mohammed. The naming of the village of Fatima is thus a testament, not to "inter-religious dialogue," but to the triumph of Christendom over the Muslim occupiers of Portugal (a process that required another century to complete).8
Guerra’s revisionism reminds me of a letter from Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, rebuking Fatima stalwart Father Nicholas Gruner. (In the midst of the worst clerical scandals in Church history, Father Gruner is the one and only priest in the entire Catholic Church that Castrillon Hoyos’s Congregation for the Clergy has publicly condemned in L’Osservatore Romano.) The Cardinal’s letter castigates Father Gruner for failing to recognize that Our Lady of Fatima "marked out a program for the New Evangelization which the whole Church finds itself engaged in … at the dawn of the third millennium."9
Come again? This is the sort of nonsense the Vatican apparatus now expects us to adopt as part of what has rightly been called the Stalinization of the Roman Catholic Church.10 Where Fatima is concerned, Guerra and the Cardinal provide apt examples of the Party Line, according to which the Message of Fatima’s timeless Catholic verities are replaced with the empty slogans of the post-conciliar revolution.11 Those who reject the slogans and defend the traditional understanding of the Message are denounced with Soviet-style epithets: "old fashioned, narrow minded, fanatic extremists and provocateurs," is how Comrade Guerra reportedly described faithful Catholics who objected to his vision for the Fatima shrine.
The Message of Fatima, like the constant teaching of the Church before Vatican II, is devoid of slogans. Merely to read the key elements of the Message is to understand how nearly the Catholic religion has been eclipsed by the revolution’s slogans:
You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go.
To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.
If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.
The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI.
When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays.
If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.
In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.
The religion preached by the Virgin — which is to say, traditional Roman Catholicism — speaks of the fires of hell, the eternal damnation of poor sinners, the divine chastisement of men for their crimes, the need for reparation to God in order that souls might be saved and divine temporal punishments averted, the salvation of souls through their conversion and membership in the Church, and the vindication of the crown rights of Christ the King through the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of His Queen Mother. We have heard nothing of these things from the post-conciliar Vatican, which seems hypnotized by the Rahnerian vision of a world teeming with "anonymous Christians" in no need of the seven sacraments to save their souls because, "in a certain way," they are already united to Christ.
Even when the Vatican apparatus was finally forced to address the Message of Fatima in its June 2000 commentary on the Third Secret (thanks largely to popular pressure generated by the work of Father Gruner), Cardinal Ratzinger only used the occasion to engage in Fatima revisionism so blatant that the Los Angeles Times observed he had "gently debunked the cult of Fatima."12 In his theological commentary on the vision of "the bishop in white," which we were told is all there is to the Third Secret of Fatima (not even Mother Angelica believes that claim), Ratzinger dared to say that "the ‘immaculate heart’ (sic) is a heart which, with God’s grace, has come to perfect interior unity and therefore ‘sees God.’" Ratzinger thus obliterated any distinction between the one and only Immaculate Heart of Mary, preserved free from the stain of original sin (of which Ratzinger said nothing), and anyone’s heart in potentia. From this perversion of the truth, Ratzinger leaped to the conclusion that "To be ‘devoted’ to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means therefore to embrace this attitude of heart …" — thus eliminating Heaven’s mandate to "establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart" as an explicitly Catholic cult, and replacing it with a generic seeking after holiness. Ratzinger then disposed of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart as follows:
I would like finally to mention another key expression of the "secret" which has become justly famous: "my Immaculate Heart will triumph". What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of Her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Savior into the world — because, thanks to Her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time.13
So, according to Ratzinger, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart foretold by Our Lady in 1917 as a future event, actually took place 2,000 years ago — an exegetical trick he accomplished by excising the words "In the end" from the prophecy. Ratzinger conveniently avoided any discussion of Mary’s promise that the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart would be seen in the future conversion of Russia.
Ratzinger’s tampering with the very words of the Mother of God earns him the contempt of every believing Catholic, but it also proves the point being made here. Defenders of the current regime of novelty must ask themselves honestly: Is it not obvious that the religion preached by the Virgin at Fatima cannot coexist with the ecumenical and pan-religious program of the Vatican apparatus? Like matter and anti-matter, the religion preached at Fatima and the new program of the conciliar Church cannot occupy the same space simultaneously; one will annihilate the other, depending on which is present in more abundance. Hence, the new program, which currently predominates, seeks to annihilate the classical Catholicism of the Fatima Message (although it will ultimately fail to do so, given the Church’s essential indefectibility).
John Vennari reports that when an observer quoted to the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Jose da Cruz Policarpo, a passage Sister Lucy had written on the duties owed to God under the First Commandment, the Cardinal replied: "Sister Lucy is no longer a point of reference today since we have such a good one in the Second Vatican Council."14 Even the highest-ranking prelates perceive the Council as the beginning of a movement away from the perennial Faith as expressed in the verities of Fatima. To those who would say this is one of the many "misconceptions" about Vatican II that have proliferated since the Council, I would reply: Name another Council in the entire history of the Church that gave rise to the widespread misconception that its teaching changed what Catholics were expected to believe.
1. Our Apostolic Mandate (1910).
2. Noticias de Fatima, October 24, 2003, "Santuario a Varios Credos," pp. 8-9.
3. Catholic Times online, November 18, 2003.
5. Divini Redemptoris, 8.
6. GS, 22.
7. Msgr. Georges Roche, Pie XII, Devant L’Histoire (Paris: Editions Robert Laffont, 1972), p. 52-53.
8. There are many historical accounts of this event. See, for example, "Our Lady And Islam: Heaven’s Peace Plan," by Fr. Ladis J. Cizik.
9. Letter to Fr. Nicholas Gruner, February 16, 2001.
10. Kramer, Fr. Paul, The Devil’s Final Battle, Missionary Association (Buffalo, NY: 2002), p. 89.
11. The Devil’s Final Battle, Chapter 8.
12. "Catholic Church Unveils Third Secret: The Vatican’s Top Theologian Gently Debunks a Nun’s Account of Her 1917 Vision That Fueled Decades of Speculation," Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2000.
13. The Messsage of Fatima, p. 43.
14. Documentation Information Catholique Internationale (DICI), November 3, 2003.
Continued Next Issue