It Doesn't Add Up! |
Where is the Conversion of Russia?
by John Vennari
"...it must be emphasized, since today's ecumenical mind-set has confused the issue, that the conversion of Russia means conversion to Catholicism. This is not only a point of common sense, but it is also found in the testimony of Father Joaquin Alonso, probably the top Fatima expert of the 20th Century. Father Alonso, who had many interviews with Sister Lucy, wrote in 1976:
'. . . we should affirm that Lucia always thought that the 'conversion' of Russia is not to be limited to the return of the Russian People to the Orthodox Christian religions, rejecting the Marxist atheism of the Soviets, but rather, it refers purely, plainly and simply to the total, integral conversion of Russia to the one true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church'."
Over Half a Century of Consistency:
Russia Must be Consecrated by Name
Over 55 years ago, on July 15, 1946, the eminent author and historian, William Thomas Walsh interviewed Sister Lucy, which is recounted in his gorgeous work, Our Lady of Fatima. At this interview, which appears at the book's end, Mr. Walsh asked her pointed questions about the correct procedure for the Collegial Consecration:
"Finally we came to the important subject of the second July secret, or which so many different and conflicting versions have been published. Lucia 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:
Sister Lucy is clear and forthright. The collegial consecration requested by Heaven is the Consecration of Russia, not the world, which must be done by the Pope in union with the world's bishops on the same day.
Then there is the little-known revelation of Our Lady to Sister Lucy in the early 1950s, which is recounted in Il Pellegrinaggio Della Meraviglie, published under the auspices of the Italian episcopate. The Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Lucy in May 1952 and said "Make it known to the Holy Father that I am always awaiting the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart. Without the Consecration, Russia will not be able to convert, nor will the world have peace." 
12. II Pellegrinaggio Della Meravigle, p. 440. Rome, 1960. This same work, published under the auspices of the Italian episcopate, affirms that this message was communicated to Pope Pius XII in June. Also, Canon Barthas mentioned that apparition in his communication to the Mariological Congress of Lisbon-Fatima, in 1967; see De Primoridiis cultus mariania, Acta congress us mariologici-mariana in Lusitanla anno 1967 celebrati, p. 517. Rome, 1970. See Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, pp. 21 and 37.
'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'." 
11. Our Lady of Fatima, William Thomas Walsh, (Image-Doubleday, New York, Ifnprimatur 1947) p. 221 Emphasis in the original.
Thus, 10 years after Pope Pius XIl's 1942 Consecration of the world, we have the report of Our Lady reminding Sister Lucy that Russia will not be converted, nor will there be peace, unless Russia is consecrated by name.
Fast forward 30 years to 1982, Sister Lucy's testimony remains steadfast. On May 12, 1982, the day before the attempted 1982 consecration, the Vatican's own L'Osservatore Romano published an interview of Sister Lucy by Father Umberto Maria Pasquale, a Salesian priest, during which she told Father Umberto that Our Lady had never requested the Consecration of the world, but only the Consecration of 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?"
This testimony was confirmed by Sister Lucy in a hand written letter to Father Umberto, which the priest also published. A translation of the letter reads:
"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]."
"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 . . . ------Coimbra 13 IV -1980 [signed] Sister Lucia."
Again, on March 19, 1983, at the request of the Holy Father, Sister Lucy met with the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Portalupi, Dr. Lacerda, and Father Messias Coelho. During this meeting, Sister Lucy confirmed that Pope John Paul's Consecration of 1982 did not fulfill the requests of Our Lady. Sister Lucy said:
"In the act of offering of May 13, 1982, Russia did not appear as being the object of the consecration. And each bishop did not organize in his own diocese a public and solemn ceremony of reparation and Consecration of Russia. Pope John Paul II simply renewed the consecration of the world executed by Pius XII on October 31, 1942. From this consecration we can expect some benefits, but not the conversion of Russia."
She concluded, "The Consecration of Russia has not been done as Our Lady had demanded it. I was not able to say it because I did not have the permission of the Holy See." 
13. Reported within an article by Father Pierre Caillon of Centre Saint Jean 61500 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.
A year later, on March 25, 1984, Pope John Paul II made an Act of Offering wherein he again consecrated "the world," not Russia. As with the 1982 Consecration, "each bishop did not organize in his own diocese a public and solemn ceremony of reparation and consecration of Russia."
Fatima author Frère François writes, "In the months which followed the Act of Offering of March 25, 1984, which was only a renewal of the act of 1982, the principal scholars of Fatima agreed in saying that the consecration of Russia had not yet been done as Heaven wished it."
Such was the conviction of Father Antonio Maria Martins, 
14. See Fatima e o Coraço de Maria, p. 101-102.
and of Father Messias Coelho who, on the eve of March 25,1984, had announced in Mesagem de Fatima, of which he is the publisher-editor, "Consecration of Russia: It will not be done yet this time." He further explained, "It is certain the more contains the less. Apparently therefore, the 'Consecration of the world' will perhaps give the impression of having the power to take the place of consecrating specifically Russia. However, the problem cannot be resolved in logical terms, nor even in the light of systematic theology." 
15. Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, pp. 172-173.
These theologians based their statements not only on the bald fact that a consecration of Russia needs to mention the word "Russia," but also on the testimony of Sister Lucy herself.
On Thursday, March 22, 1984, two days before the Act of Offering, the Carmel of Coimbra was celebrating Sister Lucy's seventy-seventh birthday. She received on that day, as was her custom, her old friend Mrs. Eugenia Pestana. After extending good wishes to her Carmelite friend, Mrs. Pestana asked, "Then Lucy, Sunday is the Consecration?" Sister Lucy, who had already received and read the text of the Pope's consecration formula made a negative sign and declared "That consecration cannot have a decisive character." 
16. Ibid. pp. 167-168.
The "decisive character" which is the stamp of the proper consecration is the miraculous conversion of Russia.
And it must be emphasized, since today's ecumenical mind-set has confused the issue, that the conversion of Russia means conversion to Catholicism. This is not only a point of common sense, but it is also found in the testimony of Father Joaquin Alonso, probably the top Fatima expert of the 20th Century. Father Alonso, who had many interviews with Sister Lucy, wrote in 1976:
". . . we should affirm that Lucia always thought that the 'conversion' of Russia is not to be limited to the return of the Russian People to the Orthodox Christian religions, rejecting the Marxist atheism of the Soviets, but rather, it refers purely, plainly and simply to the total, integral conversion of Russia to the one true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church." 
17. La Verdad Sobre el Sacradoto de Fatima, Fatima sin mitos, Father Joaquin Alonso, (2nd edition, Ejercito Azul, Madrid, 1988) p. 78. English translation by Joseph Cain. Original Spanish reads: ". . . podriamos decit que Lucia ha pensado siempre que "conversion" de Rusia no se entiende solo de un retorno de los pueblos de Rusia a la religion cristiano-ortodoxa, rechazando el afeismo marxista yateo de los, soviets, sino que se refiere pura y Ilanmente a la conversion total e integral du un retorno a la unica y verdadera Iglesia, la catolico-romana."
In a 1985 interview in Sol de Fatima, Sister Lucy was asked if the Pope fulfilled the request of Our Lady when he consecrated the world in 1984. Sister Lucy replied: "There was no participation of all the bishops, and there was no mention of Russia." She was then asked, "So the consecration was not done as requested by Our Lady?" to which she replied: "No. Many bishops attached no importance to this act." 
18. Sol de Fatima, September 1985.
Even Father Rene Laurentin, a comrade of the progressivists, admitted in 1986, "Sister Lucy remains unsatisfied 
19. Chretiens-Magazine, March 1987, #8. Cited from Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, p. 189.
. . . Lucy seems to think that the Consecration has 'not been made' as Our Lady wanted it." 
20. Father Laurentin, "Multiplication des apparitions de la Vierge aujourd'hui, p. 45, Fayard, September, 1988. Cited from Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, p. 189.
Then on July 20, 1987, Sister Lucy was interviewed quickly outside her convent while voting. Here she told journalist Enrique Romero that the Consecration of Russia has not been done as requested. 
21. This testimony of Sister Lucy was reported in the early August (1985) edition of Para Ti published in Argentina. See World Enslavement or Peace, . . . It's Up to the Pope, Fr. Nicholas Gruner (Immaculate Heart Publishing, 1989), pp.212-213.
More of Sister Lucy's affirmations that the 1984 consecration did not fulfill Heaven's conditions could be cited, 
22. For more testimony, see Chapter VI of Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph.
but I think the point is made.
Yet Archbishop Bertone, who traveled all the way to Portugal to give us a "clarification" never asked Sister Lucy the obvious question: "Why do you now say that the consecration of the 'world' satisfies the demands of Heaven when for the last 70 years you insisted, without wavering, that Our Lady did not ask for the Consecration of the 'world,' but "Russia?"
Did our shrewd Vatican interrogator simply forget to ask this question? Did it never occur to him? Did he "let it pass" out of convenience? For that matter, are we receiving an honest account of the conversation between him and Sister Lucy? None of us can answer these questions. All we see is that Archbishop Bertone never clarified for us the reason for what appears to be Sister Lucy's sudden about-face on
seven decades of unswerving testimony.
Nor did Archbishop Bertone ask Sister Lucy the other questions screaming to be asked: If the Consecration demanded by Heaven was fulfilled, then where is the conversion of Russia? Where is the promise of peace? Where is the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart?
But let's face it. No one has ever accused Archbishop Bertone of being an expert on Fatima. He doesn't even appear to be a Fatima hobbyist, not even a weekend dabbler. Perhaps Msgr. Bertone is unaware that Our Lady already gave the world a glimpse, a peek, a prelude, of how the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart will look. She did this in Portugal after the Portuguese bishops consecrated that nation-----by name -----to the Immaculate Heart on May 13, 1931.
It seems that Our Lady used Portugal to show on a national level what She will do worldwide when the Pope, in union with the world's bishops, Consecrates Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. Perhaps Our Lady also gave us this preview so that an insipid pan-religious "civilization of love" could never masquerade successfully as the Triumph of Heaven's Queen.
Next week: Part Three The Consecration of Portugal: "Showcase of Our Lady"
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.
March 29-31, 2002
volume 13, no. 60
The FATIMA FILE