May 16, 2000
volume 11, no. 93
THE CHURCH IN RUSSIA Series INTRODUCTION|
During this "month of Mary" and the focus on Fatima with the beatifications Saturday of the Fatima Shepherd Children Jacinta and Francisco Marto by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, and with the debut of the DailyCATHOLIC now being published daily in Russian to reach all parts of the former Iron Curtain, we present a special series written by Father Robert J. Fox, director of the Fatima Family Apostolate and editor of the full color Immaculate Heart Messenger. We are delighted to work with Father Robert Fox in bringing you this special series on Our Lady's plans for the conversion of Russia. If anyone knows the temperature of the Faith in the former Soviet Union it is Fr. Fox. These articles first appeared in earlier issues of his full-color magazine Immaculate Heart Messenger which Fr. Fox edits and publishes. To order a subscription or to find out about other materials such as books and tapes or about the upcoming 18th Annual National Marian Congress to be held on the weekend of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 9-11 at the Shrine in Alexandria, South Dakota, call the toll-free number: 800-721-MARY or 800-213-5541.
The church of the czars had become an anachronism. The crosses and domed cathedrals inside the Kremlin were preserved not to preserve the faith but as museum pieces powerless to the people. The crosses were as it were intended as a ridicule, a remembrance of the pre-scientific czarist era. They were intended as a remembrance of when unenlightened people depended on the crutch of superstition, religion being the opium of the people.
The powers and wealth of the czarist regime with the czarist church opened the way for the revolution's demand for loyalty of the masses without God. A new scientific Soviet with no need for God was the wave of the future. Science could do all things.
Now Mary, the Woman of Faith of the Bible, living and active yet today, is reversing the Soviet process of "God-eradication." She said this would happen. The errors of Russia would spread. But in the end Russia would be converted and her Immaculate Heart would triumph.
That a great historic moment has come already to the world relative to Russia is clearly obvious to anyone who follows the world scene and is not living in the siege mentality of the past 70 years. We are living in a great historic moment and anticipation grows concerning the Pope's first Soviet visit. Some think it may be confined to talks with the Church and state leaders in Moscow before a more general pilgrimage to Catholics elsewhere is arranged.
When Russian Catholics embarked on their first religious pilgrimage outside of the Soviet Union it was fitting to Fatima where God's Mother promised the eventual conversion of Russia. Less than two months after the failed Moscow coup attempt a small group of Catholics went on pilgrimage to Fatima led by the Latin rite Catholic Archbishop of Moscow who had been appointed to the position only six months earlier. They were still living in the glow of happiness of the dramatic collapse of the communist power while more than mindful of the long road ahead.
Wednesday: part three Many New Appointments
May 16, 2000 |
volume 11, no. 93
THE CHURCH IN RUSSIA