Another Distortion of the Fatima Message from the World Apostolate of Fatima:

An Ecumenical Consecration of Russia?

by James Hanisch
February 5, 2018

Having been co-opted long ago by Vatican authorities, the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) seems to have taken on as its special role the dissemination of modernist assaults on the Message of Fatima. The latest is right in line with its lamentable forerunners in a sad tradition[1] of dangerous errors.

Building on Cardinal Raymond Burke’s call[2], in May 2017, for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary “in accord with her explicit instruction” — by which we can only assume that he means a consecration by the Pope in union with all the bishops of the world, with Russia as the explicitly named object — the WAF adds,

“Perhaps now is the time to invite our Russian Orthodox brothers to join in a consecration in order to please Our Lord who told Sister Lucia, ‘I want my whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary…’”[3]

Indifferentism, the Enemy of the Immaculata

The most painful implication of the WAF’s statement is the rank indifferentism contained in the reference to Our Lord’s “whole Church,” as if the Eastern Orthodox churches have a part — even a necessary part — in this whole.

On the contrary, let’s remember that Our Lord has given an indelible mark of unity to the one Church which He established. Those who unhappily leave that Church (to their peril, for it remains the only ark of salvation), leave its unity behind them unimpaired. The Church is one and indissoluble, no matter how few are its faithful members. As Pope Pius XI insisted,

“[T]his Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics, for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it . To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it.”[4]

What Precisely Was the Fatima Request?

But beyond the issue of heretics and schismatics being outside of the Church, the WAF’s statement raises an interesting and important question about exactly what Our Lady meant in calling for “all the bishops of the world” to participate in consecrating Russia.

On June 13, 1929, Our Lady of Fatima announced: “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”[5]

The Eastern Orthodox churches do have valid Holy Orders; their clergy are true priests and true bishops. Must the Eastern Orthodox bishops therefore be included alongside the Catholic bishops in this collegial act of consecration, so that “all the bishops of the world” shall have played their essential part?

Sister Lucy Settled This Question Long Ago

Actually this issue was clarified by Sister Lucy herself less than a year after Our Lady had announced Heaven’s formal request for the Consecration. In a letter of May 29, 1930 to her confessor, Fr. José Gonçalves, in which she stressed the close association of the two Fatima requests (for the Consecration of Russia and the First Saturdays reparatory devotion), Sister Lucy referred explicitly and restrictively to the Catholic bishops of the world as the designated participants in the requested Consecration:

“The good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father will himself make a solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, as well as ordering all the bishops of the Catholic world to do the same. The Holy Father must then promise that upon the ending of this persecution he will approve and recommend the practice of the reparatory devotion already described.”[6]

This participation of the Catholic hierarchy is not without significance, as Frère Michel explains:

“The conversion of Russia through the mediation of Mary is to be a first prodigy. But there is also a second: ‘ And through the mediation of the Catholic hierarchy.’ This extraordinary miracle will stupefy the world, reawakening faith and causing a hymn of thanksgiving to break out among the people. It will be imperative that the whole world — heretics, schismatics, Jews and pagans — realize that God has performed the miracle through the mediation of the Queen of Heaven, but also in response to ‘a solemn and public act’ of the pastors of His one, true Church, which is Catholic and Roman.

“What admirable wisdom in this twofold mediation! For together, both are expected by God for the long-awaited miracle, so necessary to world peace, to finally take place.... Deliverance will come at the request and on the decision of all the Catholic bishops obeying their head, this Pope of Rome, whose universal primacy of jurisdiction as successor of Peter, the Russian Church, in its obstinate rebellion, has refused to recognize. Yes, let us admire the astonishing, divine stratagem through which God wills to bring back to His flock, by the millions, the multitude of His sheep led astray in the schism, and at the same time assure world peace.”[7]

A Two-Fold Demonstration to the World

When the Holy Father at last orders the Catholic bishops of the world to join him in consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, all of mankind will marvel at the result, recognizing the cause-and-effect relationship between this act of devotion and reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the miracles of conversion and peace that ensue. In Sister Lucy’s words:

“Russia is an immense territory, well defined, and its conversion will be noticed, thereby giving concrete proof of what one can obtain by the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”[8]

And this act of Consecration — having originated by the command of Heaven, and being executed through the command of the Pope and the obedience to him of the Catholic bishops — will further demonstrate that the conversion of Russia came through the Catholic Church — the one true Church — not the schismatic Orthodox churches.

Father Gruner often spoke of the great honor which will accrue to the Church through the hierarchy’s obedience to Heaven’s command. When mankind at large sees the Catholic bishops of the world acting in union with and obedience to the Pope, and the consequent miraculous grace of conversion which is given to the people of Russia, they will, with the Orthodox, see that the Pope has true primacy among all bishops of the world — a primacy of jurisdiction, not just of honor, as the Orthodox presently maintain:

“God the Father gave all authority to Jesus Christ, Who in turn gave His authority to Saint Peter and the College of the Apostles. God recognizes this authority throughout history, and in our time He will, by the grace-filled miracle of the conversion of Russia, give public recognition to the authority and the unique and very special role and vocation that the Pope and the Catholic bishops (united to the Pope by personal obedience and by the one same Catholic Faith) have in God's Providence. The Pope's unique role as successor of Saint Peter, the Vicar of Jesus Christ and Supreme Head over all the other bishops (even taken together) will be made manifest by this solemn act when he commands all the bishops to join him in consecrating Russia.”[9]

True Bishops, But Not Successors of the Apostles

So we can easily see that Heaven’s request concerns only the Catholic bishops of the world, and that the collegial act of Consecration will be a dramatic verification of their true powers of jurisdiction, which set them apart from the schismatic bishops of the Eastern churches. And this is a key distinction which the WAF’s proposal ignores in a manner compromising to the Faith itself, so it will be worthwhile here to review and clarify the Church’s teaching on this topic.[10]

When the Sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred illicitly (as it has been for centuries in the Orthodox churches), the sacramental character is imprinted on the soul of the person being ordained or consecrated, giving him the power of orders whereby he is able to validly confect the Sacraments of the Church, but he receives no power of jurisdiction, or authority to do so. And it is this power of jurisdiction which gives the true Church of Jesus Christ its mark of Apostolicity, for the chief aspect of Apostolic succession is not the mere material line of ordained persons tracing their Imposition of Hands back to the Apostolic age, but rather the uninterrupted juridical succession of Apostolic authority.

An “apostle” is one who is “sent” or given a “mission.” (The word mission is derived from the Latin word mittere, “to send.”) Our Lord often referred to the fact that He had been sent into this world with a divine Mission from His Father: “God sent ... His Son into the world ... that the world may be saved by Him”[11]; “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, that I may perfect His work”[12].

In founding His Church upon the Apostles, Our Lord promised and established that this same divine Mission which the Father had given to Him would be continued for all time through them and their successors: “As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you”[13]; “He that despiseth you, despiseth Me, and he that despiseth Me, despiseth Him that sent Me”[14].

It was in virtue of the authority which He had received from the Father that Our Lord commissioned His Apostles and their lawful successors to teach and make disciples of all nations: “All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations....”[15] Therefore there can be no authentic priestly calling or work apart from the Apostolic Mandate which has been transmitted through the ages in an unbroken succession of lawfully appointed bishops and pastors in the Catholic Church. As Saint Paul insists: “How shall they preach unless they be sent?”[16]

No one can confer a power which he does not himself possess. By severing their authoritative union with the Supreme Pontiff, the Eastern Patriarchs lost their Apostolic Mission, and could no longer confer any authoritative mission to those whom they might ordain or appoint. They have retained a valid priesthood and sacramental rites, so the Sacraments which do not require jurisdiction for their validity can be assumed to be truly confected by Orthodox priests. But these clerics of the schismatic Eastern churches lost Apostolic Succession centuries ago by withdrawing from the jurisdiction of the successors of St. Peter in the See of Rome.

Heaven Preserve Us from Yet Another Blasphemy Against the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

So, no, the participation of the Orthodox bishops is not necessary to satisfy Heaven’s request for a collegial Consecration of Russia, and neither would it redound to Our Lord’s pleasure or Our Lady’s honor if some of their number were to join in. Until they convert, these bishops have no part in the Church, but rather impersonate the Church in conducting their public rites[17] — an objectively sinful affair[18], the likes of which we should not seek in any connection, above all in our response to Our Lady of Fatima’s requests.

If only such a dangerous notion were confined to the halls of the WAF! But it is not. It had already surfaced more than a year before the WAF’s article, in a proposal announced by Cardinal Joachim Meisner (of otherwise happy distinction as one of the dubia Cardinals, who passed away on July 5, 2017). Speaking at a conference in Germany early in 2016, the Cardinal declared his wish that the recent historic meeting in Cuba between Pope Francis and the Orthodox Patriarch Kirill would inspire both the Catholic and the Orthodox leaders to “consecrate us all to the Mother of God in the midst of the current difficulties, just as the children-seers of Fatima proposed it.”[19]

It’s more than a little frightening, is it not, to hear such a diabolic ecumenical fiasco proposed as if it were Heaven’s own request? — and from such a highly placed source, who in many heroic ways had distinguished himself from the wolves in the Church’s ranks today. Who knows, but that in the present ecu-maniacal climate in Rome, the verboten topic of a Consecration of Russia might be trotted out of its cage as a context for a high-profile inter-religious event drawing the Orthodox and Catholic clergy into a common liturgical action? Heaven preserve us from such a blasphemy, especially in the name of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart for the very errors of the Orthodox sects.

ENDNOTES

[1] The Fatima Center has thoroughly documented and refuted a host of fraudulent contentions promoted by the WAF. See “The Blue Army Leadership Has Followed a Deliberate Policy of Falsifying the Fatima Message” (http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr22/cr22pg26.asp), the three-part article “Father Fox’s Modernist Assault on Fatima” (beginning here: http://www.fatima.org/news/newsviews/062504frfox1.asp ) and “Father Fox Continues to Defend the Indefensible” ( http://www.fatima.org/news/newsviews/1104frfox.asp ).

[2] Cf. LifeSite News, “Full text: Cardinal Burke’s historic call for consecration of Russia”; https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/full-text-cardinal-burkes-historic-call-for-consecration-of-russia This address by Cardinal Burke, given on May 19, 2017 at Voice of the Family’s fourth annual Rome Life Forum, was problematic in the extreme, no less than the WAF’s disastrous follow-up article cited below. Nevertheless, the Cardinal made a brave and crucially important gesture by breaking ranks (to some degree) in this public call for the proper Consecration of Russia as the only remedy to the life- and soul-threatening ills of our day. But it has to be said, as well, that (couched as it was in patently nonsensical claims that Heaven’s request for the Consecration has already been fulfilled in John Paul II’s 1984 consecration of the world, and that “Mary’s appeal is not for just once; Her appeal must be taken up by generation after generation”) taken as a whole, his speech was as much a disservice to the Message of Fatima as it was a call to sanity for his fellow Church prelates. It is nothing less than blasphemous to claim that Our Lady of Fatima’s promises remain unfulfilled in spite of Her request for the Consecration of Russia being duly satisfied. She announced plainly that God would convert Russia by means of this act of reparation to the Immaculate Heart; the added condition of how well the faithful “live out” the Consecration is a deceitful invention.

[3] David Carollo, “Call for consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart is hopeful sign of the times”; https://wafusa.org/call-for-consecration-of-russia-to-the-immaculate-heart-is-hopeful-sign-of-the-times/ (Emphasis in original. The entire article bristles with errors and distortions — too many to unpack in a single treatment.)

[4] Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (On Christian Unity), January 6, 1928, §10 (emphasis added).

[5] Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth about Fatima, Volume II, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, 1989, p. 463 (emphasis added). The stipulation is equally clear in the other form of Our Lady’s request left to us by Sister Lucy: “Our Lady said, ‘The moment has come in which God asks of the Holy Father to make, and to order that in union with him and at the same time, all the bishops of the world make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart,’ promising to convert it because of this day of prayer and world-wide reparation.” (Ibid., p. 555, emphasis added.)

[6] Ibid., p. 465 (emphasis added).

[7] Ibid., pp. 494-495 (emphasis in original).

[8] Interview of May 14, 1982 with Bishop Pavol Hnilica and Father Luigi Bianchi, originally published in the February 1990 issue of the French journal La Contre Reforme Catholique, translated and republished in the Spring 1990 issue of The Fatima Crusader, http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr31/cr31-32pg28.asp

[9] Father Nicholas Gruner, World Enslavement or Peace … It’s Up to the Pope; published by The Fatima Crusader, Fort Erie, ON, Canada, 1988, pp. 76-77; http://www.worldenslavementorpeace.com/e4cp3.asp

[10] See also, for example, Bishop Louis Morrow, My Catholic Faith , published by My Mission House, Kenosha, Wisconsin, 1949, Chapter 59, “The Hierarchy,” pp. 118-119; http://www.catholicbook.com/AgredaCD/MyCatholicFaith/mcfc059.htm

[11] John 3:17

[12] John 4:34

[13] John 20:21

[14] Luke 10:16

[15] Matthew 28:18-19

[16] Romans 10:15

[17] St. Thomas Aquinas, addressing the question “Whether There Can Be Anything Pernicious in the Worship of the True God?” writes: “[I]t is a lie if one signifies outwardly that which is contrary to the truth. But just as a thing is signified by word, so it is by deed: and it is in this signification by deed that the outward worship of religion consists.... Consequently, if anything false is signified by outward worship, this worship will be pernicious. Now this happens in two ways. In the first place, it happens on the part of the thing signified, through the worship signifying something discordant therefrom: and in this way, at the time of the New Law, the mysteries of Christ being already accomplished, it is pernicious to make use of the ceremonies of the Old Law whereby the mysteries of Christ were foreshadowed as things to come: just as it would be pernicious for anyone to declare that Christ has yet to suffer. In the second place, falsehood in outward worship occurs on the part of the worshiper, and especially in common worship which is offered by ministers impersonating the whole Church. For even as he would be guilty of falsehood who would, in the name of another person, proffer things that are not committed to him, so too does a man incur the guilt of falsehood who, on the part of the Church, gives worship to God contrary to the manner established by the Church or divine authority, and according to ecclesiastical custom.” (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 93, A. 1)

[18] St. Thomas, addressing the question of whether heretical, schismatic, or excommunicated priests can confect the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, writes: “[Validly ordained priests] who are separated from the Church by heresy, schism, or excommunication are able to consecrate the Eucharist, ...yet they...sin by so doing. Consequently they do not gather the fruit of the sacrifice....” (Summa Theologica, III, Q. 82, A. 7)

[19] Cf . Maike Hickson, “Cardinal Meisner’s Witness Concerning Fatima and the Dubia,” OnePeterFive, July 8, 2017; https://onepeterfive.com/cardinal-meisners-witness-concerning-fatima-dubia/
(Watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxJphrapOuA)