March 22-24, 2002
volume 13, no. 55

It Doesn't Add Up!

Part One

Where is the Conversion of Russia?

by John Vennari

      "If Bertone's Sister Lucy 'confirms everything written' in the June 26 document, it means that Sister Lucy now confesses, indirectly, that the vision of the Secret may not have come initially from Heaven, [as Catholics were led to believe since 1917] but might have been fabrications out of her own head, based on what she read in devotional books. Statements such as this seem a bit too self-serving for the Fatima revisionists in the Vatican."

    For over 70 years, Sister Lucy of Fatima has maintained constancy on the exact conditions Heaven demanded for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to bring about the conversion of "that poor nation." But according to a communiqué issued on December 20, 2001, by the Vatican Information Service [VIS], that's all changed. The VIS reports of an alleged interview with Sister Lucy by the Vatican's Archbishop Bertone wherein, contrary to more than 7 decades of unchanging testimony, Lucy now allegedly declares "the consecration that Our Lady desired was accomplished in 1984 and was accepted by Heaven." [1] 1. "Sister Lucy: Secret of Fatima Contains No More Mysteries," Vatican Information Service [VIS], Dec. 20, 2001. A report of this interview also appeared in the Jan. 9, 2002 L'Osservatore Romano. It was substantially the same as the VIS report with a little more information regarding Sister Lucy's alleged comments on the Third Secret. Nothing in L'Osservatore Romano's report answers the questions we put forth in this article: Namely, a) why would Sister Lucy claim to agree with Cardinal Ratzinger's June 26 2000 document "Message of Fatima", when even secular newspapers noticed that Ratzinger's document "gently debunks" Fatima; b) After more the seven decades of unswerving testimony, why did Sister Lucy apparently change her testimony regarding the consecration of Russia? c) If the Consecration of Russia was accomplished, then where is the conversion of Russia promised by Our Lady of Fatima?

   Faced with this response, Archbishop Bertone did not ask the obvious questions that reason demands. For starters: if the 1984 Consecration of the world [with no mention of Russia] fulfilled the desire of Heaven, then where is the conversion of Russia that the Message of Fatima promised since 1917?

   This question must be asked------and answered------before any reasonable person can lay down his arms in the struggle for the proper Consecration of Russia, a nation that shows no signs of converting to the Catholic Faith.

   In fact, nearly 18 years after the Consecration, Russia is a decadent country raging with abortion, divorce, immorality and homosexuality, to the point where Moscow now broadcasts live X-rated programing on Russian television------its version of "Reality TV" of which Russian viewers "cannot get enough." [2] 2. "Big Brotherski Goes Too Far for Staid Russians," Mark Franchetti, London Times, November 25, 2001. Even worse, Russia is now a leading world center for the distribution of child pornography [3] 3. "Activists Says Child Porn Prosecutions Will be Difficult in Indonesia, Russia," Christine Brummitt, Associated Press, Aug. 9, 2001. ------but more of these horrid details later.

"Gently Debunked the Fatima Cult"

   The interview between Sister Lucy and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was held on November 17, 2001, says VIS. Readers will recall that Archbishop Bertone co-authored with Cardinal Ratzinger the June 26, 2000, Vatican document, "The Message of Fatima," that accompanied the release of the vision of the Third Secret.

   The November interview reportedly lasted over two hours, and took place in the presence of Father Luis Kondor, S.V.D., vice-postulator of the causes of Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta, and the prioress of the Carmelite convent of St. Theresa in Coimbra, where Sister Lucy lives.

   In the report, Sister Lucy denies rumors that she has received new revelations from Our Lady, especially regarding the September 11 tragedy. When asked about the Third Secret of Fatima and those who claim we've not received it all, she reportedly says "everything has been published, no secret remains."

   The question of the Secret will be left aside for the moment, especially since my able friend Mark Fellows discussed it elsewhere in "Lucy and the Pirates" [A three-parter in The Fatima File.] There is one point, however, that casts doubt on Sister Lucy's purported words.

   Before claiming the Third Secret has been revealed in its entirety, Bertone's Lucy says that she "attentively read and meditated upon the booklet published by the Congregation of the Faith and confirmed everything that was written there." This is odd since even the Los Angeles Times recognized [and stated] that the Vatican's June 26 document on Fatima "gently debunks the Fatima cult." [4] 4. Los Angeles Times, "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," June 27, 2000. Further, the same June 26 Ratzinger/Bertone document floats the suggestion that Sister Lucy might have gotten the idea of the vision of the Secret from "images which Lucia may have seen in devotional books." [5] 5. "The concluding part of the 'secret' uses images which Lucia may have seen in devotional books and which draw their inspiration from long-standing intuitions of faith." The Message of Fatima, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, June 26, 2000. This, in fact, is the thesis of Father Edouard Dhanis, the modernist Jesuit who contributed to the heretical Dutch Catechism, [6] 6. See, Hebblethwaite, Peter. Paul VI (New York: Paulist Press, 1993), pp. 490-91. who made a career out of trying to debunk Fatima, and who suggested that Lucy might have inadvertently made up the entire matter of the "Third Secret." [7] 7. Father Dhanis is the only "Fatima expert" mentioned in Cardinal Ratzinger's June 26 document The Message of Fatima.

   If Bertone's Sister Lucy "confirms everything written" in the June 26 document, it means that Sister Lucy now confesses, indirectly, that the vision of the Secret may not have come initially from Heaven, [as Catholics were led to believe since 1917] but might have been fabrications out of her own head, based on what she read in devotional books. Statements such as this seem a bit too self-serving for the Fatima revisionists in the Vatican. [8] 8. We can only mention in passing the large issue that in 1988, the Vatican ordered all Fatima Apostolates to claim that the 1984 Consecration fulfilled the request of Our Lady of Fatima. Frère François writes that in 1988, "an order came from the Vatican addressed to the authorities of Fatima, to Sister Lucy, to diverse ecclesiastics, including Father Messias Coelho, and a French priest very much devoted to Our Lady, ordering everyone to cease pestering the Holy Father with the Consecration of Russia." Fatima devotee Father Caillon writes, "An order came from Rome, obliging everyone to say and think: 'The Consecration is done. The Pope having done all that he can, Heaven has deigned to agree to this gesture." (Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, pp. 189-190.) It was around this time, 1988-1989, that many Fatima Apostolates who had said the consecration of Russia had not been done suddenly started saying that the 1984 consecration fulfilled the desires of Heaven. It was also at this time that the fake, typewritten letters of Sister Lucy started to circulate. Sadly, even Father Caillon soon afterwards, changed his testimony and started to say that the 1984 Consecration fulfilled the requests of Fatima. For more, see The Chronology of a Cover-up, (1929- 2001) recently published by the Fatima Center, 17000 State Route 30, Constable, NY 12926. It also threatens to undermine the credibility of the seer herself. Rather than comment further on this point, we simply observe that it doesn't jibe with the stability of Lucy's lifelong testimony. As is typical of the post-conciliar period, we are faced with another Vatican "clarification" that raises more questions than it answers.

The 1984 Consecration

   The VIS then refers to the question of Pope John Paul II's 1984 Consecration of the world. To quote the report: "Sister Lucy was asked: 'What do you say to the persistent affirmations of Father Gruner who is gathering signatures in order that the Pope may finally consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which has never been done?' She replied: 'The Carmelite Community has rejected the forms for gathering the signatures. I have already said that the consecration that Our Lady desired was accomplished in 1984 and was accepted by Heaven'." [9] 9. Vatican Information Service, Dec. 20, 2001.

   Before discussing the questions this statement raises, it must be said that gathering signatures for the Collegial Consecration of Russia is not exactly a sinister act, nor did it start with Father Gruner. Fatima Apostolates were doing it for decades.

   Just one example. In 1971, five years before young Nicholas Gruner was ordained to the priesthood, Bishop Venancio of Fatima encouraged lay groups, especially the Blue Army, to gather signatures requesting the proper Consecration. Within a few years, Cardinal Slipyi presented Pope Paul VI with more than 2 million petitions for the Collegial Consecration of Russia. [10] 10. Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, which is Volume IV of Fatima: Intimate Joy, World Event, Frère Franyois de Marie des Anges, (English translation by Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, NY, 1994) p. 134. Further, it is not clear that Sister Lucy's Carmelite Convent ever took part in these signature-gathering initiatives.

   But that is a minor point. Of graver concern is the sudden rupture in Sister Lucy's steady testimony of what Heaven required for the collegial Consecration of Russia by the Pope in union with the world's bishops, to bring about the conversion of Russia and the triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.

Next week: Part Two Over Half a Century of Consistency: Russia Must be Consecrated by Name

    EDITOR'S NOTES: We have received the gracious permission of John Vennari, editor of the Catholic Family News to reprint various articles published in his excellent traditional monthly newspaper dedicated to defending the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church. This article first appeared in the February issue of this year.

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March 22-24, 2002
volume 13, no. 55
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