November 20, 2002
volume 13, no. 140

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The Twenty Mysteries of the Rosary?

    Saint Piux X warned that one of Modernism's chief precepts is that in a "living religion," everything must always be in a state of flux, and change. Today the modernist notion that "everything must change" is now called the "continuous aggiornamento" of Vatican II.

by John Vennari

Reprinted with permission of Catholic Family News, see Editor's Notes below.

Part Two of Two Parts

    Editor's Note: We pick up where we left off yesterday in which we continue to bring you the article by John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News which was published in the November issue of CFN. We have divided the article into two installments. Yesterday John laid out the facade of change for many secular sources cannot see through the spin of the Pope's tinkering with the Rosary, the "Psalter of the Blessed Virgin" which he has discarded by adding 50 more Aves to the 150 Psalter that has always been in alignment with the 150 Psalms of David, something John Paul II's predecessors pointed out often. Today, John takes up the question of Fatima and Lepanto and alerts the reader to what Pope Saint Pius X warned. One of the most alarming aspects of the Pope's tinkering is that with his new innovation he has introduced a new number when one divides the Rosary into three as Our Lady asked. Before 150 Aves when portioned in thirds has always been five decades. Now, as Vennari points out below, when one divides the expanded 200 Aves into thirds the number is 6.66! Ouch!

Fatima: "Recite a Third of the Rosary"

   At Fatima, the Mother of God did not ask for a radically updated Rosary. Through the children, she told us to recite daily "a third of the Rosary," 25. This is especially attributed to the message of Our Lady of Fatima on June 13, 1917. The actual translation is: "I want you to come here on the thirteenth day of the coming month, to recite a third of the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. I will tell you later what I want." William Thomas Walsh in his book Our Lady of Fatima, translates the phrase into English as "recite five decades of the Rosary every day," Dr. Walsh then supplies the following footnote: "The word Our Lady used, according to Lucia, was 'terço' meaning 'a third' - that is, five of the fifteen decades of the Rosary." Our Lady of Fatima, William Thomas Walsh (New York: Doubleday, 1954), p. 68. and warned of dire consequences if Her requests were not fulfilled. Thanks to the latest update, however, every new book that recounts these words of Our Lady of Fatima will require a footnote to explain that when She said "a third of the Rosary," She meant 5 decades, since a third of the new twenty-decade Rosary is 6.66 decades.

   It is puzzling that the post-Vatican II Popes constantly give our Lady something different from what She requests. Our Lady asked that the Third Secret be revealed in 1960. Pope John XXIII refused its release, as did his immediate successor, Pope Paul VI. In 1964, during the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul sent a Golden Rose to Fatima, something other than what She asked. The then-Bishop of Lieria, Bishop Venancio told Father Caillon that we would have preferred receiving the Third Secret rather than holding the Golden Rose. 26. Fatima, Intimate Joy, World Event, Volume IV, "Tragedy and Triumph," Frère François de Marie des Anges, (Buffalo: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1994), p, 87.

   Our Lady also requested the Collegial Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. Pope John Paul II consecrated the world to Her Immaculate Heart in 1982 and 1984, something other than what She asked. Would not the best way to propagate devotion to Our Blessed Mother be to finally perform the consecration of Russia, which will bring about its miraculous conversion and the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, and spark an unprecedented worldwide devotion to Her Heart? Sister Lucy asked Our Lord why He would not convert Russia without this consecration. Jesus responded, "Because I want My whole Church to recognize that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart, so that afterwards its veneration may grow and be put alongside devotion to My Sacred Heart." 27. Dr. António Maria Martins, SJ, Memorias e Cartas de Irmã Lúcia, Simão Guimarães Filhos Lda, Porto, 1973, facsimile edition of Sister Lucia's 'Memorias' and letters with a Portuguese transcription and with French and English translations, p. 415.

   This consecration remains unfulfilled, and Russia has not converted, despite the ridiculous attempts of Fatima revisionists to claim otherwise. The mounting hostility between the Catholic Church and Russia is clear for all to see.

   This past spring, for example, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church publicly called the Pope's televised broadcast into the Russian Nation "an invasion of Russia." 28. "Russian Patriarch Slams Popes Video Link-up as 'Invasion'," BBC News, March 2, 2002. The Financial Times recently reported "A total of five Catholic priests have been refused access to Russia so far this year, in a campaign denounced by the Vatican as 'persecution'." The priests were reportedly refused residency in Russia "for religious reasons". Father Stefano Caprio was told by Russian officials that he could only obtain Russian citizenship by marrying - hardly an option for a Catholic priest.

   The Times further reported that in Russia, "Local (Catholic) priests report periodic harassment by authorities; the construction of a Catholic cathedral in the northwestern city of Pskov has been held up; and the Kremlin appears sympathetic to the Orthodox church's persistent opposition to a visit to Russia by Pope John Paul." 29. "Russia Battles for Believers after Vatican Brings in Bishops," Andrew Jack, Financial Times (London), Sept. 14, 2002.

   Other reports tell of vandalism and desecration of Catholic churches in Russia. 30. "Vatican Blasts Russia Over Claims of Nun in Brothel," Ann Fleet, The Scotsman, October 15, 2002.

   Ironically, the week that the Pope issued his Apostolic Letter on the Rosary marked a new low in Vatican-Russia relations. On October 14, the same day that information on the "new mysteries" was leaked to the press, the Vatican voiced outrage that a church property in Moscow was turned into a brothel. The Vatican said it was part of a long-running smear campaign against the Roman Catholic Church in Russia.

   In a statement, the Vatican said Franciscan friars in the Russian capital had rented out one of the apartments to a private individual who assured them it would be used "for charitable purposes". Instead, it became a house of ill repute with prostitutes dressed as nuns.

   Vatican spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, branded the incident "a despicable operation designed to discredit the ... brothers ... and through them, the Catholic Church." The statement said the episode was part of a campaign "bent on damaging the reputation of the Catholic community." 31. "Brother Riles Vatican," The Ottawa Sun, October 15, 2002. Anatoly Pchelintsev, a Russian lawyer for the Franciscans, said the reports of the brothel that appeared in Russia's news media was "part of a smear campaign" against the Catholic Church. 32. "Russia Catholics Decry Story About Monastery Brothel," John Danisaewski, Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2002.

   Obviously, Our Lady of Fatima's call for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for its conversion is more urgent than ever.

   Despite this urgency, the Pope's 13,500-word Rosarium Virginis Mariae treats Fatima as practically non-existent. This is one of the most baffling aspects of his Letter. 33. It is baffling because of the good things that Pope John Paul II has said about Fatima in the past. For example, The October 24, 1997 L'Osservatore Romano quotes the pope saying, "Fatima is one of the greatest signs of the times in the 20th Century because it announces many of the later events and conditions them on the response to its appeals." Fatima, along with Lourdes, is mentioned only once in passing. The Pope took the time to explain each prayer of the Rosary: the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, etc., but he makes no mention of the Fatima aspiration that Our Lady asked to be included after each decade: "Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need."

   In the Apostolic Letter, this modest addition to the Rosary ordered by Our Lady of Fatima is ignored, only to give center-stage to John Paul's radical alteration. The Letter also contains no specific mention of Our Lady's "Immaculate Heart", nor any word of the Five First Saturdays of Reparation. It's almost as if Fatima never took place.


   Also missing from the Apostolic Letter is any mention of the Battle of Lepanto. 34. In Rosarium Virginis Mariae, the closest John Paul comes to any allusion to Lepanto is in an extremely veiled reference in Section 39: "At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer, and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation." It is true that Pope John Paul recounts that October is the month of the Rosary. But October enjoys this dignity because of the astonishing victory Our Lady gave to the Catholic warships against the Muslim fleet on October 7, 1571.

   The Fifth Lesson of Matins for the Feast of the Holy Rosary (October 7), which was part of the Church's liturgy up until to Vatican II's aggiornamento, reads:

    "From the salutary practice (of the Rosary) countless fruits have flowed to Christendom. Among these, we should especially mention the victory over the powerful tyranny of the Turks won at the battle of Lepanto by St. Pius V and the Christian princes which he had aroused. For, as this victory was won on the very day on which the sodalities of the most holy Rosary had been offering their accustomed supplications and carrying out the prescribed prayers that was rightly attributed to these prayers." 35. The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Volume II: August to Advent, (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1963) p. 1631.

   Pope Leo XIII in Supremi Apostolatus, the first of his many Encyclicals on the Rosary, boasted of Our Lady's triumph against Islam at Lepanto. He relates that Pope St. Pius V "after rousing the sentiment of a common defense among all the Christian princes, strove, above all, with greatest zeal to obtain for Christendom the favor of the most powerful Mother of God." Pope Leo continues:

    "And thus Christ's faithful warriors ... proceeded undauntedly to meet their foe near the Gulf of Corinth; while those who were unable to take part formed a pious band of supplicants who called on Mary and unitedly saluted Her again and again in the words of the Rosary, imploring Her to grant the victory to their companions engaged in battle. Our Sovereign Lady did grant Her aid; for in the naval battle near the Echinades Island the Christian fleet gained with no great loss to itself a magnificent victory, in which the enemy was routed with great slaughter."
Pope Leo explains that Pope St. Pius V then instituted the Feast of Our Lady of Victory for October 7, which was changed to the Feast of the Holy Rosary by Pope Gregory XIII. Leo goes on to boast of other victories that Our Lady of the Rosary has secured against the "Turks". 36. Supremi Apostolatus, Encyclical Letter of Pope Leo XIII, September 1, 1883. Quoted from The Rosary of Mary, Letters of Pope Leo XIII.

   Likewise Pope Pius XI in his 1937 Rosary Encyclical Ingravescentibus Malis spoke of Our Lady's victory at Lepanto in a manner guaranteed to send ecumenists shrieking into the snow banks:

    "When the impious Mohammedan power, trusting in its powerful fleet and war-hardened armies, threatened the peoples of Europe with ruin and slavery, then - upon the suggestion of the Sovereign Pontiff - the protection of the heavenly Mother was fervently implored and the enemy was defeated and his ships sunk. Thus the Faithful of every age, both in public misfortune and in private need, turn in supplication to Mary, the benignant, so that She may come to their aid and grant help and remedy against sorrows of body and soul. And never was Her most powerful aid hoped for in vain by those who besought it with pious and trustful prayer." 37. Ingravescentibus Malis, 1937.

   This omission of Lepanto occurred, no doubt, for ecumenical reasons. Pope John Paul II continually sends Vatican delegates to celebrate the laying of cornerstones in new mosques, he kisses the Koran. He praises Islam as one of the world's great monolithic religions. Once more, in the name of ecumenism, a major Catholic event, a turning point in history, is deemed too embarrassing to mention in a Vatican document. Then again, perhaps the omission is no big deal. After all, does anyone today actually regard Islam as a threat to world peace?

Door Opened to a Jazzed-up Rosary?

   The dramatic announcement of "new mysteries" eclipsed notice of another major innovation to the Rosary proposed at the document's end. In Section 42, Pope John Paul II opens the door for children and young people to take a "creative" approach to the Rosary. This is a means of subjecting the Rosary to the precepts of the "New Evangelization" that is "new in its ardor, new in its method, and new in its expression." 38. Pope John Paul II and the New Evangelization, edited by Ralph Martin and Peter Williamson (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1994) Chapter 1 by Father Avery Dulles, SJ on the "New Evangelization", p. 28.

   He writes: "To pray the Rosary for children, and even more, with children, training them from their earliest years to experience this daily 'pause for prayer' with the family, is admittedly not the solution to every problem, but it is a spiritual aid which should not be underestimated." So far so good. But then we read:

    "It could be objected that the Rosary seems hardly suited to the taste of children and young people of today. But perhaps the objection is directed to an impoverished method of praying it."

   An impoverished method of praying it?

   What does this mean? The traditional method of silence and reverence? Is this suddenly considered "too much" for children and young people? If so, what was the point of beatifying Jacinta and Francisco of Fatima if we do not look to them as a model for how children and young adults should pray the Rosary. They are an example to us all.

   Yet Jacinta and Francisco are not held up as a model for today's youth on how to pray the Rosary. No, the new model is the "pastoral" and "creative" approach to prayer as is found at World Youth Days!

   The Letter reads:

    "Furthermore, without prejudice to the Rosary's basic structure, there is nothing to stop children and young people from praying it - either within the family or in groups - with appropriate symbolic and practical aids to understanding and appreciation. Why not try it? With God's help, a pastoral approach to youth which is positive, impassioned and creative - as shown by the World Youth Days! - is capable of achieving quite remarkable results. If the Rosary is well presented, I am sure that young people will once more surprise adults by the way they make this prayer their own and recite it with the enthusiasm typical of their age group."

   As CFN readers know, I've been to World Youth Day and reported extensively on its radical notion of jazzed-up prayer. I've said repeatedly that the dominant atmosphere of World Youth Day is not Catholicism but the rock 'n roll culture. World Youth Day is built on the falsehood that young Catholics find Catholicism boring (impoverished) unless we make it bouncy and fun, unless we shuck it of reverence, unless we enliven it with rock 'n roll rhythms.

   At World Youth Day, the Papal Mass was "livened up" with rock 'n roll music and hokey gimmicks. The Papal Vespers, presided over by John Paul, was "livened up" with rock music, pop-rhythms, liturgical dancers, and a Magnificat sung in folk style by a young man with a guitar who sounded like Gordon Lightfoot on a bad day. The World Youth Day Stations of the Cross contained the "creative" approach of "hymns" with funky beats.

   The Pope sees the acres of young people grooving to the music during his papal mass and he praises it as "remarkable results". Within this context, how can the Pope's proposal for a "pastoral approach" to the Rosary that is "positive, creative and impassioned ... as shown by World Youth Days", be seen as anything but a nod to invest the Rosary with pop-culture, modern music and endless "creative" innovations? The Youth Ministers will have a field day.

Everything Must Change?

   Until October 2002, the Rosary was the only major Catholic institution to escape renovation. The Mass was changed to accommodate Vatican II's new ecumenical religion, we now have a "new theology," a "new evangelization," a new catechism, a new Code of Canon Law, Religious Orders liberalized their Rules and Constitutions, seminaries "loosened up," church interiors were gutted, the Breviary was revolutionized, Pope John Paul II changed the traditional Way of the Cross in 1991, adding a fifteenth Station. 39. Bold Strokes Retell Crucifixion," Jill Smith, The Oregonian, September 27, 2001. The article says, " In 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced a new, more ecumenical version [of the Stations of the Cross] that matched the biblical account of the Crucifixion. He removed some scenes and added others, including a 15th station for the Resurrection."

   Now the Rosary will never be the same. The insatiable lust for change and novelty, a defining element of post-Conciliar pontificates, increasingly takes the form of an in-the-flesh manifestation of one of Modernism's chief precepts.

   Speaking of the Modernists, St. Pius X warned, "First of all they (modernists) lay down the general principle that in a living religion everything is subject to change, and must change, and in this way they pass to what may be said to be, among the chief of their doctrines, that of evolution. To the laws of evolution everything is subject - dogma, Church, worship, the Books we revere as sacred, even faith itself." 40. Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Against Modernism, September 8, 1907.

   Here Saint Pius X refers not only to the falsehood of Darwinian/biological evolution, but also to the belief that in a "living religion" everything must always be in a state of movement and flux. This shows that the religion is alive!

   Today, the modernist notion that "everything must change" is called the continuous aggiornamento of the Council. 41. For example, Paragraph #91 of the Vatican's 1993 Directory for the Applications of the Principles and Norms of Ecumenism, one of the most radical documents in since Vatican II, calls for "continuous aggiornamento of ordained ministers and pastoral workers in view of the continual evolution within the ecumenical movement". The Holy Rosary, once thought beyond the reach of man's tinkering, has now fallen victim to Vatican II's evolutionary rage.

   This is one of the many reasons that my family and I will adhere to the 15-decade Rosary of Saint Dominic, and not adopt the new 20-decade novelty. Nor will I teach the Rosary to my children through the pathetic medium of World Youth Day antics. Our Blessed Mother at Fatima taught the children to pray the Rosary as is, and to pray it with maturity, reverence and attention. I will teach my children to do the same.

   Dear Holy Father, we are happy that you wish to revitalize the Holy Rosary. But by downplaying Fatima, and by needlessly subjecting the Rosary to the continuous aggiornamento, you tear our hearts again.

    For the first part of this article, see Part One

    EDITOR'S NOTES: We have received the gracious permission of John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News to reprint various articles that have appeared in his publication that would be of interest to our readers. We urge you to subscribe to John's excellent monthly publication for only $20 a year by calling 1-905-871-6292 or e-mail them at CFN.

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