- WHY FATIMA
- FATIMA CENTER
- PRAYER & DEVOTION
Edited transcript of a Speech by Christopher A. Ferrara
To pick up on something John Vennari said about the ecumenical slogan, that what unites us is so much greater than what divides us, I propose a new slogan, because Father was talking about grassroots activism. How about a bumper sticker that says: "What divides us is so much greater than what unites us." Because, as John pointed out, that’s what Fatima is about: the things we have forgotten, the things that divide us from those who do not practice our holy religion.
I saw a movie once, I don’t even remember what the title was, but I remember one scene from it, where a son and his mother are discussing something he had done — something awful, something truly terrible to another person. His mother turns to him and says, as only a New Yorker can, "God is gonna punish you severe."
Now, that’s a kind of prophecy by someone’s relative, and even human prudence would suggest that you should listen to this relative.
But what if this relative had said: "Not only is God going to punish you severe, but you will break your leg two weeks from now. And a few months after that, you will break your arm, and a few months after that, because God will punish you severe, you’ll contract double pneumonia." What if all of those things happened to you, just as your relative said they would?
Well, human prudence would indicate to you that this relative is onto something, and that maybe you should listen to your relative.
Suppose, however, we have a prophecy, not by a relative — which we should take seriously under the circumstances — but one by the very Mother of God. Suppose that prophecy is equally accurate, but pertains to events by which the whole world is going to be punished severe, and that every one of those events happens on schedule.
This is a prophecy every Catholic, every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth, would have to take seriously, just on the basis of these confirmations of what the prophecy predicts.
Now, back in 1991, when we heard about the fall of Communism, it seemed that those who said that the Consecration of Russia was done in 1984 had the better of the argument for a moment — but only a moment.
Back then, I remember thinking: "Nothing will come of this, nothing will really change." Father Gruner was also saying that back in 1984. He was saying that Russia will not convert. And the world laughed at Father Gruner: "Ha, ha, ha," laughed the enlightened ones. Authority has told us — they were telling Father Gruner — that the consecration was done and that we could expect that Communism will collapse.
And when there were certain cosmetic changes in 1991, the laughter increased: "Is Father Gruner still saying that Russia is as red as ever? Ha, ha, ha."
And in his quiet way — you know how he sounds — he said: "No, Russia will not convert." He said that with absolute surety, never wavering for an instant, no matter what was going on — or was apparently going on — in Russia.
And then, sure enough, the other shoe dropped: in 1997 a "Freedom of Conscience" law was enacted in Russia, reducing the Catholic Church to the status of a foreign sect that had to be registered, while protecting Orthodoxy, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism as official religions.
Then, after that, the visas of Catholic priests began to be revoked. The Bishop of Siberia — where most Russian Catholics reside — was kicked out. He hasn’t been back to Russia since. The headquarters of the Catholic Church in Russia conducts its business in an office that doesn’t even have a sign on it letting you know that this is the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Moscow.
Now what about Vladimir (the "practicing Christian") Putin? You’ve heard about how Vladimir is "a practicing Christian." Well, the practicing Christian has been busy over the past several years assembling a neo-Stalinist dictatorship, step by step.
First, he had the "Freedom of Conscience" law passed. Then he began to target his political opponents with investigations for tax evasion. Then he began to take over the media and energy companies that these targets of his were the shareholders and heads of. They were all expelled from Russia or indicted on trumped up charges.
Then he began to centralize the media under Moscow’s control, so that today there is no longer an independent mass media in Russia.
Then he began to centralize power in himself as President of Russia by outlawing the formation of grassroots political parties, enacting a statute in his puppet parliament — the Duma — that makes it almost impossible to start a grassroots political party.
And then, just a few days ago, he introduced legislation to end the popular election of governors in Russia. They are now to be appointed by the political party that is controlled by Mr. Putin.
Even the New York Times is now saying that Vladimir Putin is — surprise, surprise — a neo-Stalinist dictator. And the political opposition in Russia — whatever is left of it — is saying we have gone back to the days of Brezhnev.
Now, how did Father Gruner know with such absolute surety — when everything in Russia seemed to be changing that nothing, in fact, would change? He knew because of this prophecy of the Mother of God. And Our Lady of Fatima’s prophecy is far more compelling than the prophecy of the sensible relative, because it is confirmed by God Himself through the miracles and other evidences we’ve seen.
Now, let’s keep one thought in mind to bring some perspective to this. We are portrayed as kooks and cranks and members of a Fatima cult because we believe in these apparitions. Remember, however, that in this age of confusion when the liberal Churchmen seem to be turning everything in our Faith upside down, when the liturgy has been destroyed, when the priest scandal is ignored, when we see witchdoctors coming to Assisi remember that in the midst of all this confusion, even the Vatican pays lip service to the Message of Fatima.
The Vatican staged a whole event to discuss the Message of Fatima before the whole world — to give us this so-called interpretation of the Third Secret. But they never, for a moment, suggested that the Message was false, that nothing ever happened at Fatima. Even they were forced to acknowledge the validity of the apparitions.
So not only human prudence, but our obligation as Catholics to listen to the voice of God Himself — speaking through His Virgin Mother in an event that even the Vatican recognizes as authentic — compels us to follow and adhere to this Message.
Because only a fool would doubt the Message of Fatima!