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Continued from Crusader 75

A New Fatima for the New Church

The Neo-Catholic Establishment Joins the Post-conciliar Revolution in Revising the Message of Fatima

PART II

By Christopher A. Ferrara

The Wanderer Aids the Revolution — Again

As this publication and others have noted, whenever there is an innovation in the Church the conciliar revolutionaries need to consolidate, The Wanderer is only too happy to oblige. The New Mass, the new ecumenism, the new inter-religious dialogue, the New Evangelization — the New Whatever have all been vigorously defended by The Wanderer against the objections of faithful Catholics. Now, true to form, The Wanderer is doing everything it can to help foist the New Message of Fatima on the faithful.

In its October 30 edition The Wanderer ran an article by one Steve Mahowald, trumpeting yet another private "interview" with Sister Lucy in which she allegedly (and inexplicably) repudiates her constant testimony before 1989 that the consecration of Russia called for by Our Lady of Fatima needs to mention Russia.

I: SISTER LUCY'S PREVIOUS STATEMENTS

Let me recall some examples of that testimony here:

Sister Lucy’s September 1985 Interview in Sol de Fatima, the Blue Army’s Official Publication in Spain:

Question: John Paul II had invited all the bishops to join in the consecration of Russia, which he was going to make at Fatima on May 13, 1982, and which he was to renew at the end of the Holy Year in Rome on March 25, 1984, before the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Has he not therefore done what was requested at Tuy?

Sister Lucy: There was no participation of all the bishops and there was no mention of Russia.

Question: So the consecration was not done as requested by Our Lady?

Sister Lucy: No. Many bishops attached no importance to this act.

Sister Lucy’s 1983 Statement to the Papal Nuncio:

Precisely because the attempted consecration in 1982 made no mention of Russia (and the bishops did not participate), Sister Lucy told the Papal Nuncio to Portugal on March 19, 1983 that the 1982 Act of Consecration was insufficient because Russia was not the object of the consecration and the bishops did not participate in a solemn public ceremony consecrating Russia. She concluded: "The Consecration of Russia has not been done as Our Lady requested. I was not able to make this statement before because I did not have the permission of the Holy See."1

Sister Lucy’s Testimony to Father Umberto, Published in L’Osservatore Romano:

On May 12, 1982, the day before the attempted 1982 consecration, L’Osservatore Romano (Italian edition) published a 1978 interview of Sister Lucy by Father Umberto Maria Pasquale, a Salesian priest, who was "the confidant of the seer of Fatima since 1939."2 During this interview, which took place on August 5, 1978, Sister Lucy told Father Umberto in no uncertain terms that Our Lady had not requested the consecration of the world in general, but of Russia specifically, and only Russia:

At a certain moment I said to her: "Sister, I should like to ask you a question. If you cannot answer me, let it be. But if you can answer it, I would be most grateful to you … Has Our Lady ever spoken to you about the consecration of the world to Her Immaculate Heart?" "No, Father Umberto! Never! At the Cova da Iria in 1917 Our Lady had promised: I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia …. In 1929, at Tuy, as She had promised, Our Lady came back to tell me that the moment had come to ask the Holy Father for the consecration of that country (Russia)."3

Sister Lucy’s Handwritten Letter Confirming Her Testimony to Father Umberto:

After this conversation, Father Umberto asked Sister Lucy to put this clarification in writing. Her handwritten note was first published in a 1980 pamphlet produced by Cavaleiro da Imaculado, establishing beyond any doubt that the consecration of "the world" did not suffice to fulfill Our Lady’s request at Fatima, as Sister Lucy herself would later say after both the 1982 and 1984 consecration ceremonies.

Here is the photographically reproduced copy of Sister Lucy’s letter to Father Umberto, dated April 13, 1980.

The following is a translation of the letter written by Sister Lucy to Father Umberto on April 13, 1980.

Reverend Father Umberto,

In replying to your question, I will clarify: Our Lady of Fatima, in Her request, referred only to the consecration of Russia. In the letter which I wrote to the Holy Father Pius XII — at the direction of my confessor — I asked for the consecration of the world with explicit mention of Russia. Yours devotedly and in union of prayers. Coimbra, April 13, 1980. (Signed by Sister Lucy)

Here Sister Lucy confirms to the whole Church, in her own handwriting, that the consecration of the world is extraneous to the Message of Fatima, and represents, at most, the suggestion of her confessor. This suggestion seems to have resulted from a command by the Bishop of Gurza that Sister Lucy address to Pius XII a request for the consecration of the world (in addition to Russia), in her letter of December 2, 1940.4 What this seems to demonstrate is Sister Lucy’s willingness, under pain of "obedience", to refrain from insisting clearly and unequivocally on what Our Lady specifically requested.

Sister Lucy’s 1982 Statement to the Papal Nuncio:

On March 21, 1982, Sister Lucy met with the Papal Nuncio to Portugal, Most Rev. Sante Portalupi, precisely to discuss how the consecration the Pope had planned for May 13 of that year should be carried out. The Nuncio was informed as follows:

Sister Lucy explained that the Pope must choose a date upon which His Holiness commands the bishops of the entire world to make, each in his own Cathedral and at the same time as the Pope, a solemn and public ceremony of Reparation and Consecration of Russia5

Sister Lucy’s 1957 Statement to Father Fuentes:

On December 26, 1957, Sister Lucy gave the following testimony to Father Fuentes, the Vice Postulator of the cause of Jacinta and Francisco:

Father, the Most Holy Virgin is very sad because no one has paid any attention to Her message, neither the good nor the bad. … The good continue on their way, but without giving any importance to Her Message. Tell them, Father, that many times the Most Holy Virgin told my cousins Francisco and Jacinta, as well as myself, that many nations will disappear from the face of the earth. She said that Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation ."6

Sister Lucy’s Testimony to Historian William Thomas Walsh:

On July 15, 1946, the eminent author and historian, William Thomas Walsh interviewed Sister Lucy for his book Our Lady of Fatima, which sold over one million copies. Walsh asked precise questions about the requisites for the consecration of Russia, with a view toward Pius XII’s recent 1942 consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart — a ceremony Sister Lucy clearly did not view as having fulfilled Our Lady’s request:

Finally we came to the important subject of the second July secret, of which so many different and conflicting versions have been published. Lucy made it plain that Our Lady did not ask for the consecration of the world to Her Immaculate Heart. What She demanded specifically was the consecration of Russia. She did not comment, of course, on the fact that Pope Pius XII had consecrated the world, not Russia, to the Immaculate Heart in 1942. But she said more than once, and with deliberate emphasis: "What Our Lady wants is that the Pope and all the bishops in the world shall consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart on one special day. If this is done, She will convert Russia and there will be peace. If it is not done, the errors of Russia will spread through every country in the world."
II: "SISTER LUCY'S" LATEST CAPITULATION

Mahowald’s article is but the latest in a series of trial balloons that have floated out of the convent in Coimbra since 1989, when computer-generated letters purportedly from Sister Lucy to a Mr. Noelker and several others stated for the first time that the 1984 consecration of the world was (contrary to reason itself) a consecration of Russia. The Noelker letter in particular was quickly exposed as a fake, because it asserted that Paul VI consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart during his visit to Fatima in 1967, when in fact Paul VI did not consecrate so much as a tree stump. Sister Lucy, who was present for the entire papal visit, would not have made such a mistake. Besides, an elderly nun who had written even her voluminous memoirs by hand would hardly switch to a word processor to peck out a half-page note to Mr. Noelker. Yet, curiously enough, the Noelker letter (identified only by date) was the only evidence the Vatican cited in its June 26, 2000 commentary on the Third Secret to support its claim that the Consecration was done in 1984. Sister Lucy herself was never brought forward to testify on this point — not even to authenticate the already-debunked Noelker letter.

The Mahowald article is no more convincing than the Noelker letter. First of all, like every other reported recantation of Sister Lucy’s unvarying prior testimony concerning the consecration of Russia, the article makes no attempt to explain why Sister Lucy would suddenly contradict everything she had said before. Any reasonable inquiry into this matter would first seek an explanation for the contradiction, but, oddly enough, none is ever sought by the purveyors of "Sister Lucy’s" latest capitulation. Why do they never ask Sister Lucy to explain her prior statements? The answer seems obvious: Sister Lucy could not be counted on to maintain the position currently attributed to her if she were pressed to reconcile that position with her prior testimony. She might say something embarrassing like: "Under obedience I have come to see that my belief in this matter was wrong." In other words, a pressing examination of the contradiction might well reveal that Sister Lucy has been browbeaten into a retraction.

The Latest Incurious Witness

Mahowald presents us with yet another incurious witness to Sister Lucy’s change of position. As Mahowald reports, Dr. Fredrerick T. Zugibe gave a conference on the medical aspects of Jesus’ sufferings from Gethsemani to Calvary at the Convent in Coimbra, after which Sister Lucy allegedly told him during an informal get-together that the 1984 consecration of the world by the Pope at the Vatican sufficed for a consecration of Russia. The precise statement Sister Lucy is said to have made to Dr. Zugibe through the translator — and I will get to him shortly — is the following: "It was done. The Holy Father willed it. It was done, and you can tell all your friends."

Like all the other purported witnesses to this new testimony, however, Dr. Zugibe made no effort to get Sister Lucy to explain why she had said the contrary for so long. As Dr. Zugibe told the Editor of The Remnant: "I did not pursue the topic because I was not there to interview Sister Lucia but to present my lecture."

The doctor’s failure to "pursue the topic" is extremely curious given the circumstances of his alleged encounter with Sister Lucy. First of all, in Mahowald’s article Dr. Zugibe recounts his forensic examination of a photograph of Sister Lucy at the request of none other than Carlos Evaristo, his translator for the very "interview" at issue.

According to Dr. Zugibe, Evaristo "had a picture of himself with her [Sister Lucy]. He thought it was not Sr. Lucia" and wanted Dr. Zugibe to perform an "anthropomorphic study" of the photograph to see if it really depicted Sr. Lucy. Amazingly enough, Evaristo, who claims to have conducted two interviews with Sister Lucy (in 1992 and 1993, about which more later) was not even certain the woman who stood beside him in a photograph was Sister Lucy, even though he claims to have interviewed her twice!

Zugibe thus knows of the suspicion surrounding certain "interviews" with Sister Lucy in her convent. Indeed, he says he was engaged by Evaristo to determine whether Evaristo himself had been duped by a Sister Lucy impostor. Furthermore, by his own admission Zugibe knows of the great controversy over whether the consecration of Russia has been accomplished, stating to Mahowald that: "I was going to be telling a lot of people" about what Sister Lucy allegedly said to him concerning this great controversy.

Strange Behavior

Under these circumstances, it is difficult to believe that Zugibe would fail to "pursue the topic" of the consecration of Russia when he had the perfect opportunity to do so by asking a few simple follow-up questions, such as: "But Sister Lucy, you have said many times before that a consecration of the world would not suffice to honor Our Lady’s request for the Consecration of Russia. What has caused you to change your testimony?"

The failure to pursue the matter was very strange behavior for a forensic expert trained in investigation, who lists among his credentials his membership in the National Association of Medical Examiners and his fellowship in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Where was this medical examiner’s nose for suspicious circumstances, his inquiring scientific mind, his natural curiosity, when confronted with Sister Lucy’s change of testimony? Also, Dr. Zugibe’s curious lack of interest in "pursuing the topic" — because, after all, he was in Fatima only to give a lecture on the Crucifixion — hardly squares with his stated intention to tell "many people" about that very topic, as if it were a great revelation that everyone should know.

All of this assumes, for the sake of argument, that the translation given Dr. Zugibe was accurate and complete. But there is good reason to believe it was neither.

Carlos Evaristo, the "Conceptual Translator"

Sister Lucy’s purported statements to Dr. Zugibe are, of course, no more reliable than the translator on whom the doctor was forced to rely. As the doctor has since confirmed, the translator was Mr. Evaristo.

Mr. Evaristo is a rather mysterious individual, who immigrated to Portugal from Canada many years ago and has somehow managed to gain unfettered access to Sister Lucy, when everyone else needs permission from the Vatican. Evaristo has no college degree, nor any certification as a translator. He calls himself a "historian" and a "journalist," even though he has neither a degree in history nor any known staff position with an established journal. At one time he worked for Father Gruner’s apostolate in Portugal as a low-level administrative assistant.

In defending the credibility of his "interview" with Sister Lucy, Dr. Zugibe quotes copiously from Evaristo’s English-language "transcript" of Sister Lucy’s reputed 1992 recantation of her testimony concerning the consecration of Russia. But, faced with mounting public criticism of the absurd statements attributed to Sister Lucy in the 1992 "transcript", Evaristo was forced to acknowledge that it was a fabrication. In a fax to the headquarters of Father Gruner’s apostolate, Evaristo admitted: "The dialogue was not recorded at the time. No notes were taken — Although I may have a bad memory, this reconstruction of what was said was not largely made by me. I only typed it."7 But, as we noted in The Remnant’s last issue, the only other Portuguese-speaking witness to the conversation, Father Francisco Pacheco, advised Father Gruner’s headquarters as follows:

"I was the official translator of this meeting, which lasted two hours. I categorically affirm that the booklet entitled Two Hours with Sister Lucy published by Carlos Evaristo contains lies and half-truths and is not to be believed. When I was first shown a copy in January 1993, I immediately contacted Carlos Evaristo and I personally told him not to publish this booklet because of the gross lies that he had put in it … I trust that this will end the confusion caused by Carlos Evaristo and his notorious pamphlet."8

Evaristo dug his own grave even deeper with his 1993 pamphlet entitled It All Began with Two Hours with Sister Lucy, wherein he republished the same 1992 "transcript" with the following laughable disclaimer: "This is not a literal translation. It is a conceptual translation. The language used in this document is based on the actual Portuguese dialogue …."9

That Evaristo at first presented a "conceptual" reconstruction to the public as a verbatim transcript of his personal "translation" is all we need to know about Mr. Evaristo’s reliability as a translator for Sister Lucy. Yet this is the very translator on whom Dr. Zugibe and The Wanderer rely in telling us what Sister Lucy now believes.

Hiding the Translator’s Name

When the Editor of The Remnant, Michael Matt, inquired of Mahowald why he had not revealed the name or supplied the credentials of Dr. Zugibe’s translator, he replied: "I did not find it germane." Not germane? In a court of law a translator must take a separate oath swearing to the veracity of his translation, precisely because of the potential for mischief with translators. In this case, we are dealing with a notorious Fatima revisionist who has already admitted to one fake translation of Sister Lucy’s purported remarks, yet neither Mahowald nor The Wanderer saw fit to mention his name.

How is it that Carlos Evaristo, of all people, just happened to be hanging around the convent at Coimbra for the informal Q & A following Dr. Zugibe’s lecture? How is it that Evaristo just happened to be the translator for the key question to Sister Lucy concerning the consecration of Russia? And how is it that Evaristo and the doctor were allowed freely to question Sister Lucy on this matter, when she is otherwise treated as if she were in the Federal Witness Protection Program?

Even Archbishop Bertone had to obtain permission10 from Cardinal Ratzinger to conduct his own highly suspicious secret interview of the seer, revealed two months after the fact, of which the public was given 44 words on the topic at issue out of approximately 14,000 words of conversation. (No transcript of the Bertone interview has ever been made available.) Yet Evaristo, we are supposed to believe, can waltz into the convent and "translate" Sister Lucy’s off-the-cuff remarks, for a lay visitor, on a subject Rome treats like a state secret of the Vatican.

Clearly, what took place during Dr. Zugibe’s visit to the convent was Evaristo’s third attempt — very probably with Vatican clearance — to persuade the world that Sister Lucy has privately recanted her consistent public testimony concerning the consecration and conversion of Russia.

To those who might say this is just a paranoid traditionalist fantasy, I would reply: Fine, assuage our "paranoia" by putting Sister Lucy in front of a microphone and allowing her to take questions from the press. Or, at the very least, let someone willing to ask probing questions interview Sister Lucy in the convent and then make available to the public an unedited transcript of the entire interview. Of course, the Vatican would never allow such a thing. What does that tell us about the Vatican’s confidence in Sister Lucy’s reputed change of testimony?

No, It Is Not Done, And You Can Tell All Your Friends

Here it is important to note the curious choice of phraseology in the statement attributed to Sister Lucy in Evaristo’s latest "translation": "It [the consecration] was done. The Holy Father willed it." The phrase suggests that the Holy Father did not actually perform a consecration of Russia — which, after all, he never mentioned during the 1984 ceremony — but thought he could somehow remedy the omission by internally willing that which he had not carried out externally.

That, in fact, is precisely the theory "Sister Lucy" advanced for the first time in Evaristo’s debunked 1992 pamphlet: "The Pope’s intention was Russia when he said ‘those peoples …’ in the text of the 1984 consecration … God knew that the Pope’s intention was Russia and he meant ‘Russia’ in the consecration. What is important is his intention, like when a priest has the intention to Consecrate a Host."

Now the real Sister Lucy would know — and here is another reason we must suspect the whole "interview" with Evaristo — that a priest cannot confect the Blessed Sacrament by his mere intention to do so, without saying the proper words. That is precisely the point: the proper word for a consecration of Russia is Russia.

The useless phrase "those peoples" referred to by "Sister Lucy" is taken from a spontaneous remark John Paul II added to the text of his March 25, 1984 consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart, which he recited in St. Peter’s Square: "Enlighten especially those peoples whose consecration and entrusting You are awaiting from us."11 The Pope’s spontaneous remark implies that he knew he was not consecrating Russia on this occasion, and that the consecration would come in the future.

Several hours later the implication became explicit when the Pope, while kneeling before a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, declared to Her before 10,000 witnesses: "We wished to choose this Sunday, the Third Sunday of Lent, 1984 — still within the Holy Year of Redemption — for the act of entrusting and consecration of the world, of the great human family, of all peoples, especially those who have a very great need of this consecration and entrustment, of those peoples for whom You Yourself are awaiting our act of consecration and entrusting."12

Hours after the consecration of the world, the Pope’s veiled reference to Russia — "those peoples" — described a nation still awaiting the consecration requested by Our Lady of Fatima. Worse, the 1984 consecration formula did not even mention "that nation" as needing to be consecrated, but rather "those peoples" — a double veiling of the object of the consecration.

Why this strange aversion to mentioning Russia in the consecration of Russia? We now know that the Pope was specifically advised by members of his curia to avoid mention of Russia in any consecration ceremony.

In the November 2000 issue of Inside the Vatican, a leading Cardinal, identified only as "one of the Pope’s closest advisors" (I later learned it was Cardinal Tomko) is quoted to the effect that "Rome fears the Russian Orthodox might regard it as an ‘offense’ if Rome were to make specific mention of Russia in such a prayer, as if Russia especially is in need of help when the whole world, including the post-Christian West, faces profound problems …"

The same Cardinal-advisor added: "Let us beware of becoming too literal-minded." So, The Wanderer, parroting the Vatican Party Line, asks us to believe that Russia was consecrated in a ceremony from which any mention of Russia was deliberately omitted, precisely so that the Russians would not recognize their country as the object of the consecration!

Regardless of what Sister Lucy is alleged to have said lately about the requirements for a valid consecration of Russia, this is a matter of simple common sense, employing the commonly understood meaning of words. To consecrate means "To declare or set apart as sacred: consecrate a church" (American Heritage Dictionary).

Imagine a bishop who insisted on consecrating a new church by consecrating the whole diocese without mentioning the church, on the theory that the church is part of the diocese. Or imagine a bishop who refused to consecrate the hands of a new ordinand, preferring to consecrate the whole body because, after all, the hands are part of the body. One would rightly question the bishop’s mental competence. That the consecration of a thing needs to mention the thing consecrated is not a proposition rational people would debate. The Wanderer, however, is determined to give it a go.

The Wanderer "Explains" Russia’s Failure to Convert

But if the consecration of the world in 1984 was just as good as a consecration of Russia, why has Russia not undergone the religious conversion Our Lady promised as the fruit of the consecration? Ever ready to defend the Party Line, no matter how silly it looks in the process, The Wanderer also asks us to believe that Sister Lucy now says that Our Lady of Fatima never meant a religious conversion at all when She prophesied: "In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted."

On this point, however, the best The Wanderer can do is to quote Dr. Zugibe’s statement that "The sisters [N.B. not Sister Lucy, but the other sisters in attendance] said that the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary gave people the right to free will, to make their own choice. In other words, it opened it [Russia] up so that they could go to church, they could go to Confession — you have free will to save your soul — to do what you want. That was opened up to them. Not a great or big holiness that you could see — people have the wrong impression of that — [B]ut this opened up a freedom of religion where they can make their own free choice."

As The Wanderer would have it, then, the Fatima prophecy has nothing to do with "a great or big holiness that you could see," but only "free choice." Our Lady of Free Choice is The Wanderer’s substitute for Our Lady of Fatima. And, as a matter of fact, the "free choice" of the overwhelming majority of Russian Catholics since the "fall of communism" has been to abandon the practice of their religion. According to 30 Days magazine, statistics collected from every Russian parish show that "Catholics who attend church at least 1-2 times a year do not go beyond 45,000 spread over 258 registered parishes" in all of Russia.13 Nearly 20 years after the 1984 "consecration of Russia," less than one-tenth of one percent of the Russian population attends Mass even twice a year.

As if that were not bad enough, even the Vatican is now protesting the systematic oppression of Russia’s miniscule Catholic minority by the Putin regime, which works closely with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II, who, as Alexy Ridiger, was an agent of the recently renamed KGB before his sudden elevation to the Moscow Patriarchate.14 (The communist-dominated Duma quashed an investigation of Alexy’s KGB past.) The Putin regime has expelled key members of the Catholic hierarchy from Russia (including Jerzy Masur, Bishop of Siberia, where most Russian Catholics reside), while imposing onerous legal restrictions on the few Catholic parishes that have been allowed to exist.

And in the world outside the offices of The Wanderer, everyone knows that Putin is busy re-Stalinizing Russian society by seizing control of the mass media, outlawing the formation of grassroots political parties, and eliminating his most powerful political opponents by having every one of them indicted on specious criminal charges.

This abysmal situation is what The Wanderer is now trying to palm off on its readers as the "conversion of Russia." We are surely witnessing the nadir of The Wanderer’s long descent from the top rank of Catholic journalism. This once-venerable newspaper cannot sink any lower in its quest for anti-Fatima cannon fodder.

A Fatima for Post-conciliar Ears

The Wanderer’s claim that Sister Lucy now says the conversion of Russia means nothing more than "free choice" first emerged in Evaristo’s 1992 pamphlet, where the following "conceptual translation" appears:

Evaristo: But is the conversion of Russia not interpreted as the conversion of the Russian people to Catholicism?

"Sister Lucy": Our Lady never said that. There are many misinterpretations around. The fact is that Russia, the communist, atheist power, prevented the people from carrying out their faith. People now have an individual choice to remain as they are or convert.

In other words, according to Evaristo’s "Sister Lucy," when the Mother of God spoke of Russia’s conversion, She meant nothing more than the freedom of the Russian people not to convert, if that is their choice — as, indeed, it clearly is. Evaristo’s "conceptual translation" put similar nonsense in Sister Lucy’s mouth concerning "the period of peace" Our Lady promised as the result of Russia’s consecration:

"Sister Lucy": But this peace to which the Virgin refers in the prophecy refers to wars and persecutions that the errors of atheist communism were causing all over the world ...

Evaristo: This is important to get straight ... as this is why many people do not comprehend and think that world peace is to be instantaneous ...

"Sister Lucy": The Virgin spoke of a peace from wars promoted by errors ... by the errors of atheist communism in the whole world ... Atheism, yes ... and therefore it is the greatest heresy that exists and it spreads from atheist communism ... it could have been a communism that wasn’t atheist ... But it refers to atheist communism that was producing many wars in the whole world. [all ellipses in the original]

Evaristo: Why is there no peace in Russia today? Why?

"Sister Lucy": Because the wars that exist now are practically not derived from atheism but are civil wars.

So, Evaristo’s "Sister Lucy" informs us that the peace of the Reign of Mary following the conversion of Russia and the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart means only that there will no longer be wars "promoted by atheism," but all other wars will continue unabated — including the war against the unborn, which has claimed some 600 million victims since the "consecration" of 1984.

And how does the "Sister Lucy" of the Evaristo pamphlets — and now the pages of The Wanderer — reconcile the practical atheism of Russian society with the prophecy of Russia’s conversion? According to Evaristo’s "conceptual translation," this is what "Sister Lucy" proposed: "... atheism still exists but I think it is no longer the atheism that wanted to destroy the faith, the Church, God, and everything that is supernatural." In other words, the "conversion" of Russia means only a more benign form of atheism, an atheism that does not deny people their "freedom of choice." This is what Evaristo and The Wanderer present to Catholics as the heavenly prophecy of the Mother of God.

It would be well to summarize, in conclusion, the New Message of Fatima derived from the new meanings given its key terms by the "Sister Lucy" who speaks in Evaristo’s pamphlets and on the pages of The Wanderer:

The consecration of Russia does not require that Russia itself be consecrated.

The conversion of Russia does not mean that Russia will embrace the Catholic religion, or indeed any religion at all.

The period of peace that Our Lady promised the world if Russia were consecrated will have no real effect on the conduct of war, including the worldwide war on the unborn.

Conveniently enough, this new version of the Message of Fatima promises us nothing better than the world in exactly the same condition in which we find it today. By some amazing coincidence, the New Message of Fatima is perfectly accommodated to the pluralist regimes of the New World Order, as well as the Vatican’s New Church program of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue. Yes, it seems Our Lady of Fatima came to promise us nothing more than the post-conciliar status quo! And now, as Evaristo and The Wanderer see things, Catholics should rejoice at the fulfillment of Heaven’s promises.

Far, Far from Fatima

One hardly need demonstrate that after four decades of post-conciliar drift, most of the Catholic hierarchy, not excluding the Vatican apparatus, is very far removed from the simple Catholic faith expressed by the Mother of God at Fatima.

These men would be embarrassed even to recite the words She confided to the three shepherd children as they knelt in humble awe before Our Lady standing on the holm oak tree. Better to give the words of the Virgin new meanings to render them innocuous and inoffensive to itching post-conciliar ears. For that task, it seems, the Vatican mysteriously grants an obscure layman named Evaristo unrestricted access to the last surviving Fatima seer, so that he can float the news of her latest unexplained change of mind. But Catholics who would ask more pressing questions are somehow always barred at the convent door.

It is, in fact, a New Fatima for the New Church of the New World Order that The Wanderer now urges its readers to embrace, along with all the other insane novelties that fading newspaper has gamely defended over the years. But this is only what we have come to expect from The Wanderer, which has published mountains of local trivia from the post-conciliar crisis, while somehow always missing the big story so aptly described by Cardinal Luigi Ciappi in his reference to the Third Secret, which he had read in his capacity as the Pope’s personal theologian: "the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top."15

Has Sister Lucy really recanted her previous testimony to the world? Does she now really agree that the Message of Fatima was, after all, much ado about very little? Has her new testimony been falsified in translation, or is it the product of coercion, extracted from her under pain of obedience? In the end, the answers to these questions are not important. For no matter what Sister Lucy may say today, the promises of the Virgin speak for themselves. It is those promises, according to the common meaning of the words that express them, to which the Catholic mind still adheres with hope and expectation. And any fool can see that the promises of the Mother of God at Fatima are a long way from being fulfilled.

FOOTNOTES:

1. Reported within an article by Father Pierre Caillon of Centre Saint Jean 1500 Sees, (Orne) France. This article was published by the monthly periodical Fidelite Catholique, B.P. 217-56402. Auray Cedex, France. English translation from The Fatima Crusader, Issue 13-14, (Oct.-Dec., 1983) p.3.

2. Kramer, Fr. Paul, The Devil’s Fimal Battle, Missionary Association, (Buffalo, NY: 2002), pp. 270-271.

3. L’Osservatore Romano, Italian Edition, May 12, 1983.

4. Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, Immaculate Heart Publications, English Ed., 1994, pp. 218-219.

5. Article by Father Pierre Caillon, Fidelite Catholique, April, 1983. B.P. 217-56402, Auray Cedex, France.

6. The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. III, The Third Secredt, English Edl, by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, 1990, Immaculate Heart Publications, U.S.A., pp. 504-505.

7. Fax transmission from Carlos Evaristo to Coralie Graham, 23 November 1992.

8. Letter of Father Francisco Pacheco, O.C.C. Postal, 60.033-790-Fort-CE-Brazil, published in The Fatima Crusader magazine, Issue No. 46, January 1994, p. 15.

9. Evaristo, Carlos, It All Started with Two Hours with Sister Lucy, 1993, p. 4.

10. “Archbishop Bertone met Sr. Maria Lucia at the convent of Coimbra, Portugal, 17 November 2001,” L’Osservatore Romano (Italian edition, December 21, 2001).

11. L’Osservatore Romano, Italian edition, March 27, 1984, pp. 1 and 6. See also L’Osservatore Romano, English edition 2 April 1984, p. 10.

12. Avvenir, March 27, 1984, p. 11.

13. “More Power and Less Believers,” 30 Days, No. 9, 2003, p. 31.

14. Moscow Times, June 26, 2001.

15. Personal communication to Professor Baumgartner in Salzburg.

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