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A committed Catholic who fell into a coma in 1959 and woke up a half-century later would not recognize the Catholic Church. He might see a sign saying "St. So-and-so Catholic Church" and wander in, but he would wonder: Where is the altar? Where is the red sanctuary lamp? Where is Jesus? What happened to all the beautiful statues and paintings?
Then, if there was a Mass, he would say: Where IS everybody? Why are the pews empty? Who's the person in the plain cloth poncho? Is he speaking English? What's this terrible "music"? Is he just making this up as he goes along? Such is the state of the Church in 2009, and that's only to speak of a typical parish church and Mass.
What happened to the old Church, the old churches, the old Mass...and the old Faith? How did the Church ever get into this lowly state? What happened...and when? For years now, traditionalists have been saying that the decline of the Church all started with Vatican II. And we at the Fatima Center believe that is exactly what was predicted by Our Lady of Fatima in Her words in the Third Secret, the text which is still being concealed from us by those responsible for the Council and its aftermath.
There are some who don't believe this. They accuse us of being biased against the Council. The truth is, it's not just our opinion. Read the words of David Frum, a secular (in fact, Jewish) writer on socio-political issues. Here is an excerpt from How We Got Here, (Random House, 2000) Frum's analysis of the trends of the 70s, "the decade that brought you modern life - for better or worse".
Between 1965 and 1975 [the decade following Vatican II], most big denominations surrendered all the gains they had made between 1955 and 1965. The blows to the Roman Catholic Church were...punishing.
75% of American Catholics claimed to have attended Mass in the past week in 1957; by 1975, weekly Mass-going had dropped to 54%. The proportion of Catholics who said they attended church "practically never" or "not at all" doubled between 1966 and 1975.
More ominous still was the crumbling of the zeal and self-confidence of the Catholic clergy. A 1971 survey of 5000 priests and 250 bishops by the renegade Catholic priest Andrew Greeley spotted serious breaches in support for Rome's teaching on divorce, birth control, and the all-male priesthood.
So says a noted secular commentator. The Fatima Center has published numerous articles on "the rotten fruit of Vatican II". Here is some recommended reading:
"The Incredible Shrinking Church", a Fatima Perspective by James Bannister,
"Springtime of Vatican II" Update, Fatima Perspective columns by Christopher A. Ferrara,
Mass Facing the People - A Critique, by Michael Davies. Exposes the confused thinking which led to the versus populum. Available from The Fatima Shoppe for only $8.95.
"Vatican Thanks Muslims for Returning God to Europe", a realistic assessment by Magdi Allam, from Catholic Family News,
"Ecumenism: Time to Stop the Insanity", by Edwin Faust, from Catholic Family News.
If you're wondering why the global economy is in crisis, the Pope has the answer. In his annual peace message on New Year's Day, Benedict XVI said the world's economy is in meltdown as a result of "the quest for short-term gains at the expense of the common good". And, he said, the widening gap between rich and poor is the real threat to world peace. His Holiness said, "the conscience of humanity can no longer ignore the economic gaps that have grown even in the most advanced countries."
For a different analysis of the systemic global economic crisis, its relation to the prophecies of Fatima and its implications for Catholics, see "The Crash of 2008: An Update", an interview with Peter Chojnowski, Ph.D., in Catholic Family News.
Although we often wonder about some of the Vatican's policies, especially those that seem to promote the "new ecumenism" which is one of the rotten fruits of Vatican II, we are occasionally pleased when the Pope reaffirms a point of the True Catholic Faith, the Faith handed down to us from the Apostles.
A few months ago, the Holy Father spoke three times in eight days on a dogma that we almost never hear preached in our churches - the dogma of Original Sin. At the Angelus for the feast of the Immaculate Conception His Holiness said: "The mystery of the Immaculate Conception of Mary...reminds us of two fundamental truths of our faith: Original Sin first of all, and then the victory over this by the grace of Christ, a victory that shines in a sublime manner in Mary Most Holy."
Sadly, the Pope did not, in his homily, make the connection between the fall of Adam, the death and resurrection of Our Lord, and the Message of Fatima. You will find the heart of the Fatima Message, as it concerns Original Sin, admirably summed up by Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie, as follows:
There, I think, we have the real Message of Fatima. It is quite brief. But as we reflect on it, we see that these few words are of dazzling richness and limitless depth, indeed with all the depth of the Gospel. For the Message of Fatima is indeed the Gospel message, passing through Mary's Immaculate Heart.
Click here to read the whole article "The Heart of the Fatima Message", by Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie,
You can find this article in World Enslavement or Peace, by Father Nicholas Gruner, available from The Fatima Shoppe for only $7.50.
These four points were foretold and treated in exactly the same way by Saint Louis de Montfort in his True Devotion to Mary, now in stock at The Fatima Shoppe.
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The Curious "Hate Speech" Double Standard - commentary on the controversy surrounding Bishop Richard Williamson of the SSPX.
Keeping the Catholics Down - Why the media keeps putting down Pope Benedict XVI.
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