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November 12, 2003, Fort Erie, Ontario - The plan to turn the Fatima Shrine into a place where all the religions of the world will gather to pay homage to their various gods has aroused strong opposition. “According to Catholic Moral Theology”, says Father Paul Kramer of the Fatima Center, “this is a grave sin against the First Commandment and an act of Apostasy.”
The shrine in Fatima, Portugal is revered by countless millions of Catholics as the site of a series of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. The shrine has been visited by millions of Catholic pilgrims since She first appeared.
“This plan is an absolute outrage,” said Father Nicholas Gruner, who heads the world’s largest Catholic organization devoted to Our Lady of Fatima. “Of all sites sacred to Catholics around the world, Fatima is surely a most outrageous choice for a scandalous project of this kind.”
The plan to erect a stadium-like interfaith basilica beside the existing shrine was announced in conjunction with a congress in Fatima by Monsignor Luciano Guerra, rector of the Fatima shrine. Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon José de Cruz Policarpo, the most senior Catholic prelate in Portugal, presided at the congress, and raised no objections to the project.
“To open this Catholic Sanctuary to other religions is an insult to millions of Catholics all over the world, as well as an affront to the Blessed Virgin,” said Father Gruner. “The message conveyed to the children who witnessed the Fatima apparitions was specifically directed at the Catholic Church. It said nothing about accommodating other religions in any way, let alone treating them as equals.”
The aims of the Congress were explained by a Belgian Jesuit priest, Jacques Dupuis. “The religion of the future,” he said, “will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all.” Guerra described Catholic opponents of his plan as “narrow minded, fanatical extremists”.
“Fr. Dupuis is promoting heresy, and apostasy,” said Father Gruner. “We’re going to do everything in our power to defend this holy site from being perverted in this way. We will deluge Rome with petitions urging the Vatican to call a halt to this travesty, and we expect many other Catholic organizations to join us in protest.”
Father Gruner’s Fatima Center, based in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, publishes a quarterly magazine, The Fatima Crusader, with over a million readers in Canada and the United States, and also promotes the Fatima Message through rallies, books, radio and television broadcasts and one of the most popular religious World Wide Web sites. See archive.fatima.org for more information.
CONTACT: Father Paul Kramer or Coralie Graham
Email: email@example.com OR WEBSITE: archive.fatima.org
TELEPHONE: daytime: 905-871-7607; evening; 905-871-7679, FAX: 905-871-5274
FROM: The Fatima Center
452 Kraft Road, Fort Erie, Ontario, L2A 4M7, Canada