- WHY FATIMA
- FATIMA CENTER
- PRAYER & DEVOTION
by Father Paul Leonard
The Message that the Blessed Virgin addressed to the world at Fatima, due to its very nature and origin, is a very serious matter. Whoever would deal with it in an irresponsible manner by misrepresenting it through disinformation, not only performs an immense disservice to humanity whose survival depends upon the fulfillment of Our Lady's requests, but what is even worse, displays a lack of seriousness and respect towards the Mother of God Herself. An organization or publication whose very purpose is to propagate the Message of Fatima and work for the fulfillment of Our Lady's requests, which is itself guilty of misinforming the public in the above-described manner, stands in need of public correction for two reasons:
1. In order to rectify the public injustice perpetrated against the Blessed Virgin Herself.
2. To inform the public which has been misinformed by the irresponsible distortions which have perverted Our Lady's Message which was addressed to them.
It is very unfortunate that a somewhat pretentious, relatively small but influential Fatima-oriented lay association has been engaged in the practice of falsifying and distorting Our Lady of Fatima's Message for quite some time. They have as yet done nothing to indicate that they intend to desist from the practice. Specifically, I refer to their policy of regarding the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, as having been already done. I refer also to the unscrupulous means that they have employed in order to create the impression that the Consecration is indeed done. Rather than engage in quarrels and controversy I shall limit myself to a presentation of established facts which speak for themselves.
In the July-August 1982 issue of the official publication of that lay association (afterwards referred to as the "organization") the editor (presently the managing editor) presented to his readers an article which purports to be an "Exclusive interview with Sister Lucia." The grave deficiencies of the "interview" in the form that it was published, in themselves, sufficiently constitute a positive reason to doubt its authenticity. First, the interviewer is not identified, and consequently no one is able to inquire of the interviewer how, or on what date he was able to talk with Sister Lucia personally. In other words, there were absolutely no means by which the authenticity of the interview could be verified, and so it has remained since the identity of the anonymous interviewer has never been made known.
In the supposed interview, the anonymous interrogator asked Sister Lucia whether "This consecration (May 13, 1982) as made by the Holy Father in union with the bishops of the world, was what Our Lord and Our Lady require according to the apparition of Our Lady on June 13, 1929?" The alleged answer of Sister Lucia: "Yes". A further question: "We were wondering whether the consecration was made as suggested, since the Pope did not explicitly mention Russia in the act of consecration itself." Alleged answer: "His Holiness consecrated the whole world and Russia is included, and His Holiness was referring to Russia when he mentioned the countries in most need of this consecration."
Established and verified facts demonstrate beyond question that the "interview" is utterly spurious - a crude hoax. This is so because all that Sister Lucia wrote prior to the supposed interview directly contradicts what she is alleged to have stated in it.
Sister Lucia wrote down the words Our Lady spoke in the apparition of June 13, 1929: "The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops of the world, to consecrate Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means."
She wrote in a text she gave to Father Goncalves in 1938: "The Good God promises to make an end of the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father deigns to make, and orders to be made, by all the bishops of the Catholic world, a solemn and public act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and if in return for the end of this persecution His Holiness promises to approve and recommend the practice of Reparatory Devotion (the Five First Saturdays)."
Again she wrote in a letter dated 18 May 1936: "... if it will be convenient to insist in order to obtain the consecration of Russia ... I asked Him (Our Lord) why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father making that consecration. (He replied) 'Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary...'"
On June 12, 1930, she writes: "... if the Holy Father will himself make a solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia ... as well as ordering all the bishops of the Catholic world to do the same."
On March 21, 1982, Sister Lucia declared in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to Lisbon, Archbishop Portalupi, the Bishop of Leiria and Dr. Lacerda that the Pope must select a date on which to order the bishops of the whole world to make a public solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, each in his own Cathedral and at the same time as the act effected by the Pope. (See Fidelite Catholique, April 1983).
Thus, all of Sister Lucia's statements and writing prior to the May, 1982 "interview" state explicitly and unambiguously that (1) Russia must be the specific object of the consecration; and(2) that this consecration must be made by all of the bishops of the world, on the same day, with each bishop performing it in his own Cathedral in a solemn public ceremony.
In the period following May 13, 1982, various individuals sought an audience with Sister Lucia in order to inquire of her as to whether the act of consecration of the world effected by Pope John Paul II on May 13th had, in fact, conformed to Our Lady's requests. Due to the fact that Sister Lucia was under the order of silence, she was only able to make some "trite observations that would sound encouraging, appeasing and hopeful." The Abbe Pierre Caillon relates: "In particular, a Brazilian advocate, the Blue Army representative for Brazil, presented himself at noon one day at the Carmel at Fatima ..." He mistakenly inferred from the words of her non-statements about the consecration that it had been made, misleading opinion everywhere.
The following year, on the afternoon of March 19, 1983, Archbishop Portalupi, the official representative of the Pope in Portugal had gone to Coimbra on official business specifically to meet with Sister Lucia to establish precisely what Sister Lucia herself thought of the Papal Act of Consecration of May 13, 1982. The interview lasted 2-1/2 hours from 4:00 in the afternoon until 6:30 p.m. The Archbishop was accompanied by two distinguished witnesses, Dr. Lacerda and Father Messias. Sister Lucia had prepared a written statement which was officially read and on which she commented. She told them at that time that:
(1) "The Consecration of Russia has not been made as Our Lady has demanded," and (2) "I could not say so because I did not have the permission of the Holy See." That is, she was (and remains) under order of silence.1
In this official statement, in conformity with all of her previous statements, Sister Lucia flatly contradicts the words attributed to her the year before by her anonymous interrogator in the aforementioned bogus interview. Moreover, she evidences the spurious nature of that interview in that the alleged statements could not have been made by her without her violating the strict order of silence imposed on her under obedience.
By this official, formal and public statement of Sister Lucia, it is patently obvious to anyone that the alleged interview published in the July/August 1982 issue of the aforementioned publication is without any foundation and is completely false.
Despite Sister Lucia's above-mentioned official declaration, that publication had the temerity to even afterwards still refer to their obviously bogus interview reported in their July/August 1982 publication. They did this in their May/June 1983 issue as well as the September/October 1983 issue. The organization continued to refer to as authentic, this bogus interview, at least into early 1984, to uphold their obviously false position. In the May/June 1983 issue of that publication we read, "Sister Lucia said that the consecration was made."
To further confuse the souls entrusted to it, the publication took the step of insisting that the consecration had been done, but suggesting that it was "Incomplete." "There still remains a very important act to be accomplished ... This 'final phase' could come ..." and, "The first and most important phase of the consecration of Russia has now been made." Keep in mind that all this rubbish about a "first phase" and a "final phase" is an invention of the editors of the publication. These concepts contradict the words of Sister Lucia and of Our Lady of Fatima, who nowhere speaks of successive acts of consecration separated by considerable lengths of time, but clearly specify one act on the same day: "A public and solemn act of consecration of Russia" by "the Holy Father" and "by all the bishops of the Catholic world, each in his own Cathedral and at the same time as ... the Pope."
|Sister Lucia, in her authentic interview with Father Fuentes, stated,"The Most Holy Virgin is very sad because no one has paid any attention to Her Message, neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on their way but without giving any importance to Her Message. The bad, not seeing the punishment of God actually falling upon them, continue their life of sin without even caring about the Message. But believe me Father, God will chastise the world and this will be in a terrible manner."|
In order to put an end to the confusion which that organization had created by the spread of these errors and distortions, The Fatima Crusader, in May 1983, published verbatim texts of Sister Lucia which explain exactly why the consecration has not been done. In the letter of July 8, 1982, which bears Sister Lucia's words: "the consecration made by the Holy Father was not yet what Our Lady has demanded with such insistence." This appeared along with the above previously cited texts dated May 18, 1936 and June 12, 1930. In October 1983 and in September of 1984, The Fatima Crusader published articles which reproduced the verified and authenticated letters and official declarations of Sister Lucia in which she unequivocally maintains that the consecration hasnot been done.
The organization, however, has not retreated one inch from its erroneous position. Rather than admit having made an error and correcting itself, the September/October 1983 issue of the organization announced on page 14 that it stands by its article (May/June 1983 issue) concerning the consecration of Russia: "We have now been informed by an impeccable source," it says, "that this article perfectly reflects Sister Lucia's own thoughts on this subject." And this after the official statement of Sister Lucia which clearly exposes the bogus May 1982 interview. It seems incredible, but nevertheless true, that they so foolishly printed in their September/October 1983 issue, this falsehood which obviously contradicts the official statement pronounced by Sister Lucia on March 19, 1983. That this was no mere oversight or mistake is made evident by the January/March 1984 issue of the organization's publication. The article on page 8, "Collegial Consecration Yes or No," cites the spurious interview of May, 1982 saying "Sister Lucia has gone on record as stating that the Collegial Consecration has occurred."
In the January/March 1984 issue of that organization's publication, in the same article on Collegial Consecration, we read an additional and classic piece of disinformation: "After the Consecration of 1942, she wrote that ... it was still not what Heaven had requested. We have had no such statement from Sister Lucia following upon the 1982 Consecration." This is clearly false. Sister Lucia issued her official statement to the papal representative on March 19, 1983 wherein she clearly stated that "the consecration of Russia has not been made as Our Lady has demanded." The Fatima Crusader found space to publish this statement of Sister Lucia on Page 3 in very large print in October, 1983. Surely that organization with pretensions of being so important and informed had received Sister Lucia's official statement of March 19, 1983, by January 1st 1984. (Finally three years later in their March/April 1986 issue they do finally acknowledge having received news of the official statement.)
That organization, on page 8 of its March/April 1986 issue, finally admits that Sister Lucia told the Papal Nuncio on March 19, 1983 (Msgr. Sante Portalupi) "that the consecration of Pope John Paul II in May of 1982 was not according to the request of Our Lady." While this admission does not explicitly retract the bogus interview so strongly insisted upon a few short years ago, the clear implication of this statement is that the readers of this certain publication were misled at that time.
This deception was given up, it seems, only because of the consecration of the world by Pope John Paul II to Mary's Immaculate Heart which occurred on March 25, 1984. About that consecration, that publication states clearly on page 22 of their March/April 1986 issue that "the Pope in union with all bishops of the world, made the consecration to Mary's Immaculate Heart as was requested in the apparition of June 13, 1929." The message seems to be that it doesn't matter that the prior claims about the events of 1982 were false and based on fraudulent material, because the event of 1984 accomplished the consecration.
|Pictured above are several international experts on the Message of Fatima who spoke at the Vatican Symposium on Fatima, sponsored by the International Fatima Rosary Crusade. From left to right are Father Nicholas Gruner, Father Pierre Caillon from France, Hamish Fraser from Scotland and Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité also from France.|
First of all, the text of the consecration used in 1984 was substantially the same as that of the Holy Father's previous consecration on May 13, 1982. Concerning that text, Sister Lucia officially stated on March 19, 1983 that the consecration of Russia had not been effected in 1982, because Russia had not clearly been the object of the consecration, and because each bishop had not made a public solemn ceremony of Russia's consecration in his own Cathedral. Thus, by acknowledging that Sister Lucia's official statement revealed their prior claim to be fraudulent (the claim that the act of May 13, 1982 fulfilled the request of Our Lady of Fatima), the editors of that certain publication must necessarily admit that the 1984 consecration, too, failed to carry out the commands of Our Lady.
This is necessarily so because Russia had not clearly been the object of either consecration, as is required by Our Lady. How can an organization in good faith claim that the same words used in 1982 which were not sufficient to fulfill Our Lady's commands were sufficient when repeated in 1984?
Unfortunately, the contradictory "doublethink" attitude assumed by that publication's editors is nothing new. In 1972, that publication makes it clear that the consecration has not been made. In 1973 (July/August 1973, p.p. 9-10), they proposed that the collegial consecration of Russia had been fulfilled at Vatican II (where no reference to Russia whatsoever was made in that consecration). Then, in April of 1975 they start the campaign for signatures to petition the Pope for the collegial consecration "of Russia."
It is bad enough that the editors employed by the "organization" have lost their credibility by dissemination of falsehoods and distortions over the years, but the organization has further undermined its credibility by its frequent reversals of position. Perhaps realizing that it is on shaky ground, that organization has embarked on a none too scrupulous campaign to discredit or silence any group or publication that shows enough sobriety to adopt a consistent position and which disseminates the truth in an unambiguous and factual manner. The Fatima Crusader, by heretofore simply publishing the facts without deceit or distortions has incurred the ire of this organization which, stopping short of overt libel, appears to have striven to create the impression that The Fatima Crusader is somehow lacking in ecclesiastical legitimacy.
Twice in 1985 the organization published conspicuous warnings about an obscure and practically unknown schismatic group of Fatima Crusaders based in Spokane, Washington. At the end of these warnings, as an afterthought, a one line disclaimer noted that they were not referring to "the Fatima Crusaders in Canada." The "group in Canada" however, is not called "Fatima Crusaders" - such an organization does not exist. The "Fatima Crusader" (singular), this magazine, is the official publication of The International Fatima Rosary Crusade and The National Pilgrim Virgin.
Again in their latest issue the publication of that organization resorts to this sort of disinformation procedure. This deceptive practice of associating The Fatima Crusader with non-Catholic organizations appears to be a deliberate attempt to create the impression that The Fatima Crusader (this magazine) is somehow related to the above-mentioned Spokane group. This is evident in that the editors have cleverly emphasized that the schismatic organization in Spokane, Washington is to be distinguished from the "Fatima Crusaders" in Canada, while deftly omitting all mention of the fact that there is absolutely no connection whatsoever between The Fatima Crusader and that schismatic group.
That organization's claim that they are the "only national apostolate of the message of Fatima in the United States approved by the Church" is propagated in such a fashion as to suggest that they are in some manner an "official" organization, and that others which are not "official", and which do not adhere to their "party line", are not to be considered legitimate. For example, one of their well-known writers, in a smaller circulation newsletter of that organization has written of The Fatima Crusader, "The magazine ... is not part of an official Fatima apostolate." He further states that the bishop associated with that lay association and who is their president, has told him that "the magazine is not to be recognized." Such announcements betray an improper understanding of the Law of the Church, for THE CHURCH DOES NOT REQUIRE ECCLESIASTICAL APPROVAL of associations of either the laity or priests. Thus, the "self-proclaimed official" carriers of the Fatima Message do not have the juridical competency to declare which organizations are to be recognized as legitimate.
This pronouncement of that bishop in its implication at least is at variance with Canon Law. Canon Law clearly states that private individuals, "whether clerics or laity, or clerics and laity together,... have the right to constitute associations." (Can. 298-299)
In other words, despite the false impressions created by their disinformation, the present day actual law of the Catholic Church does not require ecclesiastical approval for The Fatima Crusader and the International Fatima Rosary Crusade.
Furthermore, their association also does not require approval from the Church, nor does it have an "official" ecclesiastical status even though they pretend to have one.
The mere fact that their organization has been approved in some places does not confer any official ecclesiastical status upon them. They remain a lay association without any juridical authority to speak in the name of the Church. This fact is adequately demonstrated in the document that grants to that bishop the permission to assume the presidency of that lay association: The document is dated February 3, 1982 and was emitted by the Pontifical Council of the laity. The document is merely a permission for the bishop, it does not confer any status on that organization.
1. See Approaches Supplement to Issue No. 82 "Fatima What Actually Happened". See also Fidelite Catholique April 1983, The Fatima Crusader October 1983, "Sister Lucy's Recent Authorized Statements", and Issue No. 16, "Fatima May 13, 1982 - What Actually Happened? Was Russia Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?".
|Some of our readers may not know all the background information to the various articles, some people may want to verify further some of the facts herein. We therefore give the appropriate references so that you can check out the facts yourself. If you do not know what we refer to, we shall be glad to supply further information to identify the source of information we refer to.|