April 20, 2000 - Father Nicholas Gruner invokes Canon 1506, which requires the Pope to accept both canonical complaints against the named Cardinals and bishops. The complaints are deemed accepted under canon law, once the May 2000 deadline has passed. The Pope does not respond, although he is bound to do so by the law he himself promulgated. Even the Pope is bound by the prevailing law of the Church until such time as he promulgates a new law.
May 13, 2000 - During the ceremonies for the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, Cardinal Sodano announces that the Third Secret of Fatima will be revealed. (The Secretariat of State had previously tried to divert the beatification ceremonies from Fatima to a group beatification ceremony at the Vatican, involving other beati unrelated to Fatima.)
Cardinal Sodano, however, gives a misleading description of the Third Secret, claiming that it consists of a vision in which "the Pope apparently falls dead". The actual text of the vision (to be revealed in the following month) states that the Pope is killed. Cardinal Sodano is clearly paving the way for a bogus "interpretation" of the Secret which will claim that the Third Secret culminated with the failed attempt on the Pope’s life in 1981, and that all the events prophesied in the Secret, to use his words, "now belong to the past."
June 5, 2000 - A letter threatening Father Gruner with a totally groundless "excommunication" is signed by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. The letter is delivered to Father Gruner’s home by a Vatican emissary on June 21 at 10:00 p.m. The emissary lies his way into Father Gruner’s living room by claiming he has good news from "the Holy Father."
June 26, 2000 - At a press conference, the Vatican publishes a text it claims is the entire Third Secret. The text describes a vision in which the Pope (a "bishop in white") is killed by a band of soldiers who shoot him down while he is kneeling at the foot of a large wooden cross atop a hill, after having traversed a half-ruined city filled with corpses. The execution of the Pope is followed by the execution of many bishops, priests and laity.
Questions abound. (See article by Andrew Cesanek in The Fatima Crusader, Issue No. 64.) Among these questions is why the published vision contains no words of Our Lady, even though, when it announced suppression of the Secret in 1960, the Vatican itself referred to "the words which Our Lady confided to the children as a secret." The vision fails to mention the words which clearly follow "In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc." - the phrase Sister Lucy included in her fourth memoir as part of the integral text of the Third Secret of Fatima. The phrase concerning the dogma of the Faith in Portugal is mysteriously demoted to a footnote in the Vatican commentary on the Secret, where it is ignored by both Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone, the co-authors of the commentary.
Cardinal Ratzinger’s portion of the commentary specifically states that he and Msgr. Bertone are following the "interpretation" given by Cardinal Sodano: i.e., that the Message of Fatima, and the Third Secret in particular, relates entirely to events which now belong to the past. Accordingly, Cardinal Ratzinger claims that the Pope’s escape from death in 1981 is what is depicted in the vision of the Pope being killed. Even the secular media recognize the falsity of this interpretation.
The published text of the vision contains none of the elements described by Cardinal Ratzinger in his mysteriously censored 1984 interview in Jesus magazine. The published vision says
nothing about "dangers threatening the Faith and the life of the Christian and therefore the life of the world", nothing about "the importance of the end times", nothing about what is contained "in many other Marian apparitions" approved by the Church and nothing about prophecies "announced in Scripture". Further, while Cardinal Ratzinger said in 1984 that the Third Secret contains "religious prophecy" - a statement he made three years after the attempt on the Pope’s life - he will now claim there is no prophecy, but only a description of past events, culminating in the 1981 assassination attempt.
Further, Cardinal Ratzinger’s commentary scandalizes the faithful by claiming that the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is nothing more than love conquering bombs and guns, and that devotion to the Immaculate Heart means nothing more than each person doing God’s will and thus acquiring an ‘immaculate heart’ of his or her own. The conversion of Russia to Catholicism and the spreading of devotion to the one unique Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout the world are not even mentioned in Cardinal Ratzinger’s commentary.
The only Fatima "authority" Cardinal Ratzinger cites is Father Edouard Dhanis, S.J., a modernist Jesuit who spent years casting doubt on the prophetic elements of the Message of Fatima concerning Russia. Father Dhanis claimed these elements of the Message were pious inventions of Sister Lucy. Father Dhanis refused to study the official Fatima archives or consult other private documents made available to him in order not to have to withdraw his false thesis. In keeping with Father Dhanis’ errors, which reduce Fatima to generic piety with no prophecy of future events, Cardinal Ratzinger’s portion of the commentary concludes by asserting that all that remains of the Message of Fatima is prayer and penance.
The astounding quote by Monsignor Bertone, Cardinal Ratzinger’s assistant, in the commentary shows how deeply into error and revisionism Msgr. Bertone and the rest of the anti-Fatima establishment have fallen. Following are the words:
The decision by His Holiness Pope John Paul II to make public the third part of the "secret" of Fatima brings to an end a period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil." Msgr. Bertone says here, in effect, that Our Lady’s promise of a period of peace was dependent on the revelation of the Third Secret, when, in fact, Our Lady said that a period of peace will be granted to the world only when Russia has been consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart and thereby converted. If one had not seen Msgr. Bertone’s words in print, one would have doubted that any sensible Catholic theologian or Church official could have presented such a gross misrepresentation of the Message of Fatima. In view of the current state of the world, Msgr. Bertone’s proclamation of the end of an era "marked by tragic human lust for power and evil" borders on lunacy. What does he think we have today - an era of peace and tranquility?
Msgr. Bertone’s portion of the commentary also claims that any further request for the Consecration of Russia "is without basis." He cites as his only evidence for this claim an alleged "letter from Sister Lucy" in 1989, addressed to an unidentified party. The "letter from Sister Lucy" demolishes itself by falsely stating that during his visit to Fatima in 1967 Pope Paul VI consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart - an event which never occurred. Sister Lucy could not have made such a blunder since she attended the whole of Pope Paul VI’s brief visit to Fatima.
Incredibly, the only person not to participate in the "revelation" of the Third Secret on June 26, 2000 is Sister Lucy herself. She is still not allowed to speak, even though the public is now being told that the Message of Fatima has been fully revealed and that nothing else remains hidden. Her crucial testimony concerning the Consecration of Russia is not elicited, even though Cardinals Sodano and Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone and other members of the Vatican apparatus were in Fatima only weeks before and could have spoken to her about the matter. The obviously discredited 1989 letter is the only evidence on which these Vatican officials expressly rely for their claim that the Consecration has been done. Curiously, Sister Lucy is not even asked to authenticate this letter.
At the conclusion of the June 26 press conference, Cardinal Ratzinger mentions Father Gruner by name, claiming that he must be submissive to "the Magisterium" concerning Fatima and the Consecration of Russia. There is no claim, however, that the Pope himself has proclaimed the Consecration to be over and done with. The Pope plays no role in the June 26 press conference or the Ratzinger/Bertone commentary, which is not a document of the Church’s Magisterium (the authentic teaching office of the Pope or the Pope together with all the bishops in union with him) and therefore binds no one to believe what it claims. Even Cardinal Ratzinger himself admits that his and Msgr. Bertone’s interpretation is not binding.
July 11-12, 2000 - Father Gruner continues to resist the groundless threat of excommunication from Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, publishing his reply to the Cardinal. Father Gruner is the only priest being exposed to such a direct, public threat from a Vatican official. Yet, at the same time, the Vatican turns a blind eye toward innumerable priests who are spreading heresy and engaging in unspeakably scandalous behavior in every nation.
July 14, 2000 - Father Gruner learns that Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos is commanding various Nuncios of the world to continue to plague Father Gruner with false accusations. For example, the Nuncio to the Philippines circulates the lie that Father Gruner is guilty of forging Vatican Secretariat of State documents to imply Vatican endorsement of his apostolate - a manifest absurdity. These lies are refuted by the apostolate’s published declaration. (See Fatima Priest.) Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos ignores Father Gruner’s repeated requests that he retract the false allegation of forgery. Instead, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos simply revises the accusation to alleged "inappropriate use" of genuine documents, refusing to admit that his original accusation was a lie. All Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos’ accusations are refuted in the apostolate’s reply but he refuses to retract any and all of his false allegations.
July 15, 2000 - Issue 64 of The Fatima Crusader is published by Father Gruner. This issue demonstrates that the text of the Third Secret released on June 26 is probably incomplete. (See, especially, the article about the existence of two texts by Andrew Cesanek. Copies are available in Italian, English and Portuguese on the Fatima website, www.fatima.org.)
August 8 - October 16, 2000 - Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos refuses to withdraw his threat of excommunication. In mid-October he says he is referring the matter to "higher authority." He refuses to identify this "higher authority," although it is clearly the Vatican Secretary of State.
August 31, 2000 - Father Gruner files with the Holy Father a second reminder concerning his canonical complaint and recourse to the Pope against Cardinals Innocenti, Sanchez and Agustoni, Archbishop Sepe, Archbishop Grochelewski and Bishop Forte, under Canon 1506. The grounds for the complaint are abuse of power and violation of canonical due process. The complaint notes that (unless and until the Pope promulgates a new law) the Pope is bound by the laws he has already promulgated to hear the case.
October 8, 2000 - Yet another consecration of the world, but not Russia, is performed in a Vatican ceremony. This ceremony is called an "entrustment." Although anti-Fatima propagandists say the Consecration of Russia is impossible, some 1,400 bishops and 76 Cardinals are gathered in the Vatican on this date and can easily mention Russia during the "entrustment." In fact, a number of bishops think this is exactly what they are going to do. The text of the entrustment is not made public until October 7, the day before the ceremony. The text makes no mention of Russia, but does mention an "entrustment" of the world, "the unemployed," "youth in search of meaning" and other objects of "entrustment" - anything and anybody but Russia.
November 30, 2000 - Inside the Vatican magazine reveals that a Cardinal described as "one of the Pope’s closest advisors" admits that His Holiness has been counseled not to make mention of Russia in any consecration ceremony because this would offend the Russian Orthodox. That Ostpolitik and Vatican diplomacy have prevented the specific Consecration of Russia is here confirmed by a Vatican prelate.
December 20, 2000 - Father Gruner finishes writing a canonical complaint to His Holiness Pope John Paul II against Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos for crimes against Church law and formally requests, in due canonical form, the Cardinal’s removal from office. Canons 1405, 1406 and 1452 §1 are invoked, under which the only competent judge in such cases is the Pope, and that the Pope is bound to decide the complaint.
May 16, 2001 - Reflecting the growing skepticism of millions of Catholics, Mother Angelica states on her live televison show on this date that she does not believe the Vatican has revealed the entirety of the Third Secret:
"As for the Secret, well I happen to be one of those individuals who thinks we didn’t get the whole thing. I told ya! I mean, you have the right to your own opinion, don’t you, Father? There, you know, that’s my opinion. Because I think it’s scary. And I don’t think the Holy See is going to say something that does not happen, that might happen. And then what does it do if it doesn’t happen? I mean the Holy See cannot afford to make prophecies."
August 30, 2001 - The Fatima Center sends a letter to thousands of the press and world leaders containing the following warning in the light of the Fatima Message:
"There will come a day, sooner than you think, when bombs will start exploding even in the ‘peaceful’ parts of the world."
September 11, 2001 - Terrorists hijack two airliners and crash them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, causing them to collapse. Another hijacked airliner crashes into the Pentagon. More than 3,000 people are killed in the bloodiest terrorist episode the world has ever seen. This act of war is definitive proof that the Consecration of Russia, which Our Lady promised will bring world peace, has not been done. Yet the anti-Fatima establishment insists that the Message of Fatima was gloriously fulfilled with the consecration of the world in 1984 and that the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is upon us.
September 12, 2001 - Revealing their bizarre obsession with Father Gruner and his Fatima apostolate, only one day after the worst terrorist attack in world history, Vatican officials cause the Vatican press office to publish a "Declaration" to the world alleging that Father Gruner has been "suspended" from the priesthood, and that no one should attend a Fatima-related peace conference being sponsored by the apostolate in Rome from October 7-13, 2001. The "Declaration" states that it has been issued upon "the mandate from a higher authority". The carefully inserted article in the phrase "a higher authority" clearly indicates that the "authority" in question is not the highest authority in the Church - namely, the Pope. The expression "a higher authority" is Vaticanspeak for the Secretary of State - Cardinal Sodano. In any case, under Church law a "mandate" by a nameless person is null and void.
The "Declaration" gives no grounds for the "suspension," there being no grounds beyond the bogus accusation that Father Gruner "failed" to find another bishop to incardinate him and must therefore "return" to Avellino after 23 years. This is the same "failure" which the Vatican bureaucracy had engineered through its unprecedented interference in offers of incardination by a series of friendly bishops over the years, all of whom wished to foster Father Gruner’s work.
The Vatican announcement claims that the conference in Rome does not "enjoy the approval of ecclesiastical authority." The statement is evidently calculated to mislead, since these Vatican officials are well aware that no approval whatever is required under Church law (canons 212, 215, 278, 299), which guarantees the natural right of clergy and laity to associate and discuss matters of concern in the Church. Incredibly, Vatican officials have never taken such dramatic measures, or indeed any measures at all, to prevent innumerable conferences and other gatherings constantly being held throughout the Church by priests, nuns and lay people who openly dissent from Catholic doctrine. These same Vatican officials seem to view the Message of Fatima as the greatest threat to the Church today.
That the Vatican should step up its persecution of Father Gruner only hours after thousands of Americans were slaughtered in an unprecedented terrorist attack, demonstrates beyond doubt the utter perversity of the opposition to the Message of Fatima from within certain elements of the Vatican bureaucracy. Neither the spread of heresy nor innumerable sexual scandals among the clergy over the past forty years has ever prompted such action from these same Vatican elements, who are duty-bound to protect the Church from her real enemies. It is a mystery of iniquity that the prime imperative of these Vatican officials, even in the midst of worldwide bloodshed and apostasy, has become suppression of the Message of Fatima - the very means by which bloodshed and apostasy can be averted.
September 13, 2001 - The Fatima Center responds to the "Declaration" published by the Vatican Press Office, noting, among other things, that Father Gruner appears to be the only priest in the living memory of the Church who has been publicly denounced to the world for an "offense" that is not even specified by "a higher authority" who is not even named.
September 21, 2001 - After receiving what she privately admitted was as an "ecclesiastical telephone call" from someone in the Vatican bureaucracy, an agent of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome sends a letter advising that the apostolate’s contract for their facilities for the October 7-13, 2001 Conference on World Peace will not be kept - and that they refuse to keep their written contract. All this less than three weeks before the Conference begins, and after the apostolate has expended more than $100,000 on advertising and other arrangements. When pressed for an explanation for this breach of contract, the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart claims that it suddenly had to schedule a "structural inspection" of its facilities - during the very week the apostolate’s conference is to be held!
September 30, 2001 - Despite the Vatican’s claim that the entire Third Secret has been released, Sister Lucy remains under orders not to speak in public about the Message of Fatima without permission from Cardinal Ratzinger or the Pope himself. And, as the world spirals downward into violence and the loss of God, the Consecration of Russia remains undone. The annihilation of nations hangs in the balance as the world prepares for war.
Next week: Part Six: Where Do We Stand?
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 appeared as a supplement in the April issue of this year by Father Paul Kramer from Canada who has a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy and in Sacred Theology, and a Masters in Divinity, and is a Doctor of Sacred Theology.