Handing over the symbolic Icon of Our Lady of Kazan: A Confirmation of a Great Crisis in the Church|
Just as Cardinal Giovanni Montini (future Paul VI) carried out the Pact of Metz for John XXIII to appease the Communists, so also Cardinal Walter Kasper is continuing the charade for John Paul II in betrayal of Catholics everywhere by giving away the store to the Russians through the token of an icon which carries so much significance for the Message of Fatima
There was a time when the Blue Army was representative of the message of Fatima in all its integrity, that is to say, a message about the future of the world, the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant. Our Lady promised a new era for humanity, in which her Immaculate Heart will triumph. Our Lady counseled the Church Militant about the need for prayer, sacrifice, good customs, and the particular devotion of the daily Rosary. These counsels were to help souls to reach Heaven and join the Church Triumphant, but also were a means to build on this earth the Reign of Mary.
Last week on February 21-22, Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, traveled to Moscow to meet patriarch Alexis II. Alexis II continues to insist that a papal visit is impossible unless the Catholic clergy cease to proselytize in Russia. Did Kaspar offer as bait for the long-desired meeting the famous icon of Our Lady of Kazan, rescued on the black market by the Blue Army and given to the Bishop of Rome to be returned to the schismatic Russian church?
As part of the message, Sister Lucia gave us to understand a special mission for Portugal, which would maintain the Faith. What does this mean? That Portugal would provide a link between the past and the future Christendom in preserving the true dogma of the Faith. Our Lady also spoke specifically of Russia as part of that new era. She said that Russia would convert if certain conditions were fulfilled, primarily the consecration of Russia by the Holy Father together with all the Bishops of the world to her Immaculate Heart. It is more than sad, it is tragic that this has not been done in full compliance with her command.
The Fatima message had a clearly militant character because it implied the victory of good over evil, not only a transformation of evil personal lives and customs, but also the fall of an evil social and economic regime, Communism. An important part of this message was that Russia "would be converted." Therefore, the message in its full integrity also signifies a censure of the Greek Orthodox Church, which, as Catholic Church teaching clearly states, is a schismatic Church "because it will not acknowledge the supremacy of the Holy See. Its denial of Papal infallibility also constitutes it heretical. And heresy is one of the greatest of all sins, when it is not the result of invincible ignorance … Thus, they call themselves the Orthodox Greeks while we call them the Schismatic Greeks."  1. Spirago/ Clabrke, The Catechism Explained (NY: Benzinger Bros., 1898), p. 99. This expression used by Our Lady, conversion, means that the Russian Schismatic Church was - and is - on the wrong pathway.
The new "message" of Vatican Cardinals is clearly incomplete
Now, these were presuppositions of the message of Fatima for most faithful Catholics. However, the last twenty years have seen many efforts to moderate or distort its content. More recently, Cardinals Sodano and Ratzinger did their best to change the tonus of the message with their interpretations of the third part of the Secret, which is supposed to be the true and complete message of Our Lady from the hand of Sister Lucy. 2. On May 13, 2000, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, made a brief interpretation of the message yet to be released. On June 26, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, presented a "Theological Commentary" on the released third part. My point here is not to discuss the contents of the released text itself.. Let me only state that I think that this text could be authentic, but it is not complete. The released text just does not completely fit with the ensemble of the prior message of Our Lady.
What is certain is that the Prelates' interpretations of this released text are misleading and contradictory. What Cardinals Joseph Ratzinger and Angelo Sodano attempted to do was to relegate the "secret" of Fatima and its contents to the past. The message of Fatima is interesting insofar as it foretells the World Wars, the rise of Communism and, according to these prelates, the 1981 attempt on the life of John Paul II. It is still somewhat useful in that it preaches prayer and conversion. However, all having been said and done, according to the Cardinals, it is time to close the book on Fatima. The message from the Vatican: It is finished, over, part of the past.
What would this imply? That there is no more crisis in the customs. After all, we have a Pope who participates in events with rock entertainers famous for publicly debasing moral customs and with dancers sensuously gyrating in body-tight leotards, who promotes youth rallies around the world that have been called "Catholic Woodstocks." Instead of a crisis of customs, we have the blessing John Paul II is giving to the youth's "adaptation to the modern day world."
It would imply that there is no more crisis in the Church, even though many Fatima experts like Fr. René Laurentin and many high placed persons like the late Cardinal Silvio Oddi have sustained that the complete message to which they had access deals specifically with a crisis in the Church.  In a recent book, Cardinal Oddi said, "According to the interpretation that seems most probable to me, the third secret … refers to a 'revolution' in the Catholic Church" (Quoted in We Resist You To The Face, LA: TIA, Inc., 2000, p. 75).
It would imply that there is no more need for the conversion of Russia. Communism is supposedly dead. This, despite the fact that Communism continues to live - not only with a new face in Russia and other countries, but with its old face in China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba…
And the time of peace that would be granted to the world after Russia's conversion? The interpretations of Ratzinger and Sodano imply that we would be in this blessed time, despite the growing number of accounts of Muslim massacres of Catholics in East Timor, the Molucca Islands, the Congo, Sudan, Algeria, China, Pakistan and Indonesia. This despite the violent conflict between Israel and Palestine that was recently renewed and could spark a world conflagration.
Finally, it would imply that there is no more need for Russia's conversion from the heresies of the Schismatic Church, even though the doctrine and the facts say the opposite. In the field of principles, it is enough to read the letter of St. Pius X regarding the schismatic errors to know that nothing has changed in the doctrine professed by the Schismatics.  From the Letter Ex quo of December 26, 1910. DR, 2147a. In the realm of facts, the Schismatic Church shows neither openness to the Vatican's repeated calls for dialogue nor sympathy for Catholic works of evangelization in Russia. Quite the reverse, in fact, is the case. Schismatic Russian patriarch Alexis II has repeatedly refused to invite John Paul II to Moscow. Under pressure from Alexis II, the Duma amended a law on religious freedom to forbid any proselytism that attempts to attract believers away from the Schismatic Church. There is little freedom and few rights for the One, Holy and Apostolic Church. Alexis II complains continuously about the Catholic apostolate and the Catholic re-taking of property that Stalin handed over to the Schismatics under Communism, particularly in the Ukraine. So, despite the theater being staged to the contrary, the conversion of Russia has not yet occurred.
The Handing Over of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan
Why are Vatican organs trying to change the reality and drain all the seriousness from the message of the Mother of God?
The ecumenical initiatives of John Paul II provide at least one answer. In order to achieve his great desire to visit Moscow and be received by Alexis II, it is speculated, the Pope had to put the Fatima issue to rest. First, the announcement of the so-called third part of the secret of Fatima with interpretations that can imply that the conversion of Russia is already begun and well on its way to completion by the Schismatic Church. Then, on October 13, another act of "entrusting" the world to Mary - again, without any explicit mention of the consecration of Russia in order not to "provoke" the Communist leaders or Schismatic hierarchs. And now, with the support of the Blue Army and the enthusiastic applause of the progressivist and pseudo-conservative media,  5. Marguerite Peeters, "The Icon of Our Lady of Kazan," Lead story, Inside the Vatican , Dec. 2000. the Pope is prepared to deliver to the Russian Schismatic Church the most sacred icon of Russia, the miraculous image of Our Lady of Kazan, which was protected by the Blue Army in Fatima until the mid 1980's.
This action would be "a prophetic sign that can be interpreted in the light of the message of Fatima," the lead article by Marguerite Peeters in the December issue of Inside the Vatican glibly explains.  6. Ibid., p. 14 The conversion of Russia must not be "narrowly interpreted" as conversion from Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism. Not at all. Peeters appears to accept with complicity the private statement of a Russian Schismatic Archbishop: "Very few are those Catholics who would be so foolish as to think that the Mother of God would want to change Russian history. Russia is an Orthodox country. Therefore, conversion means returning to the Orthodox [Schismatic] Church."  7. Ibid. Accepting this same erroneous presupposition, Inside the Vatican editor Robert Moynihan stresses the urgency of delivering the statue "so that Russia can return to the faith" - not to the Catholic Faith, mind you, but to the heretical creed of the Schismatic Church. "Each day that passes, more Russians are being attracted away from Russian Orthodoxy to non-Orthodox faiths [read Catholic Faith]," he laments. "Therefore, Russians need the icon of Our Lady of Kazan as urgently as Pope John Paul needs to give it to them."  8. Ibid., Introductory Editorial, p. 9. Why? Not for conversion to the true Faith, but to "save" an admittedly floundering Schismatic Church.
The icon of Our Lady of Kazan, one of Russia's most venerated icons, had been carried by generals into battles since the 13th century and is the symbol of Russian victory and liberty. The miraculous image of the "liberator of Russia," considered as the very "soul of Russia," was stolen from the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan in Petrograd in 1904 and disappeared from the East European scene. When the Communists took over Russia in 1917, they turned this great Cathedral into a museum of atheism.
Around 1950, the icon re-emerged in England. This is when the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, headquartered in Washington, New Jersey, received the very good counsel to redeem it in order to venerate it and return it to the people of Russia when the promises of Our Lady of Fatima would be fulfilled. A fund drive raised the needed capital, the icon was purchased and installed in a Byzantine chapel constructed for it in Fatima, with the Blue Army as its guardian. Everything was prophetically waiting for the conversion of Russia and the fulfillment of the prophecies of Fatima.
Then, more recently, someone had the very unfortunate idea to give the symbolic and miraculous icon to John Paul II so that he could bring it back to Russia, based on the false notion that the conversion was done, the promises fulfilled. The idea was accepted, and the icon was privately transferred from Fatima to the Holy Father's apartments in Rome. Now, John Paul II is prepared to deliver the icon to Russia during his trip to the Ukraine next year with hopes it will be the ticket to his cherished meeting with Alexis II in Moscow.  Ibid.
If the first idea of purchasing the icon was genial, this second one was extremely lamentable, to say the least. The initiative would be the coronation of these erroneous interpretations - the death of Communism and the conversion of Russia - as well as an indirect assertion that the Russian Schismatic Church is not in error.
What was the glory of the Blue Army has become its shame. What was the confirmation of the message of Fatima - a crisis in the Church and Russia's need to convert - was transformed to its negation. The group that Providence chose as the guardian for this symbolic icon became the one who, indirectly, will deliver the icon of Our Lady of Kazan to the Schismatic Church at the hands of a Pope.
What more can be said about this sad drama that is unfolding in our days? My opinion is that, if we look more profoundly, we see that this is actually a confirmation of the full message of Fatima. This handing over of the icon of Our Lady of Kazan confirms that there is, indeed, a grave crisis in the Church at present. My reasoning is very simple. The Russian Schismatic Church continues to spread the same heresies and errors that St. Pius X warned us against. Therefore, it did not convert. If some Catholic authorities deny that it is in error, they are denying the true Faith. And it seems that in some cases this is really happening. So, the shameful idea of the Blue Army to deliver the icon of Our Lady of Kazan before the real conversion of Russia actually confirms the message of Fatima: that there is a crisis inside the Church and that Russia needs to convert.
The Blue Army has reneged on its mission, rolled up its banners, claimed that the fight is over and the battle is won. But in reality, by this action, the Blue Army is confirming the message that it is trying to deny.
Marian Therese Horvat, Ph.D.
For past columns by Dr. Horvat, see Archives of Echoes of True Catholicism
Thursday, February 28, 2002
volume 13, no. 39
TRUE ECHOES OF CATHOLICISM