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It is never easy to know what the Holy Father is thinking. The Pope's public pronouncements — his writings, his speeches, his homilies — can be long and sometimes hard to follow, even for theologians and academics.
To really know the Pope's mind, we may better pay close attention to the words he says in prayer, the thoughts and wishes he expresses to Heaven — knowing full well that the faithful are listening. During his tour of the Holy Land, on May 13, 2009 — the 92nd anniversary of Our Lady's first apparition at Fatima — Pope Benedict addressed some astonishing words to the Blessed Virgin.
“You promised the three children of Fatima that ‘in the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.’” he prayed. “May it be so!”
His prayerful remark represents an amazing reversal of the "party line" of Cardinal Bertone and others that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart is already behind us, following the so-called "consecration of Russia" in 1984 — a "consecration" that failed to mention Russia by name for fear of offending the Orthodox.
Father Nicholas Gruner and other Fatima scholars have said for years that the Consecration has obviously NOT been done in the way Our Lady of Fatima requested. If it had, we would see the fruits of it: the conversion of Russia, the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart and the period of peace, prosperity and security that will follow.
Our Mother Mary cannot lie, so the state of the world — rife with violence and poverty — proves that, as Pope John Paul acknowledged in 1984 (after he did the consecration of the world), we are still awaiting the Consecration of Russia and the Triumph. And now Pope Benedict XVI says the same thing.
So we see that the Fatima Message IS getting through, all the way to the very one who we pray will, in union with the bishops, solemnly and publicly consecrate Russia to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart as She requested. "May it be so!"
Be sure to read “A Reversal of the Party Line!”, the latest Fatima Perspective by Christopher A. Ferrara, for more on the Pope’s astonishing declaration.
Find out what Sister Lucy herself said about the ineffective “consecrations” of 1984 and before. Get The Divine Impatience, by Father Nicholas Gruner and others, from the Fatima Shoppe, only $9.95.
Cathy Pearson explains why “Consecrating Russia Will Help, Not Harm, Catholic-Orthodox Dialog” in The Fatima Crusader No. 91.
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It appears that the Holy Father is also trying to do something about the crisis in the priesthood, about which we at the Fatima Center have spoken and written for decades. On June 18th, the Pope released a letter to the world's priests on the eve of the Year of the Priest, which began on the 19th.
The purpose of the special year, the Pontiff wrote, is "to deepen the commitment of all priests to interior renewal." June 19th, 2009 is the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, a day traditionally dedicated to prayer for the spiritual welfare of priests. So, he says, it is an appropriate time to launch a worldwide, year-long quest for spiritual revival.
Pope Benedict also reminds us that this year is the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, who has been proclaimed the patron saint of all Catholic priests. He cites the words of the Curé of Ars and the testimony of his life and death as an example which all priests should follow.
Click here to read the full text of the Holy Father’s letter to priests.
The Fatima Center dedicated to this great saint our Society of St. John Vianney, founded nearly ten years ago. We wholeheartedly approve and endorse the Year of the Priest.
It is encouraging that the Church acknowledges, at last, that there is a crying need for improvement and to intensify and restore some order to the proper formation of priests.
Just as Our Lady of Fatima warned, Holy Mother Church is now being persecuted by the infiltration of perverse men; heretical men; apostate men, including Masons and communists; and especially by a nefarious network of homosexuals, pedophiles and sexual perverts.
Scandals like the ones coming to light all too frequently are clear signs that God is angry with His people. We know why this is happening. Through the guidance and intercession of His Holy Mother, God has told us His reasons and given us Heaven's own remedy for what ails His Church.
That remedy is to be found in the Message of Our Lady of Fatima. If we heed it and obey Heaven's commands, we can yet avoid the destruction of much of the Church and the annihilation of many nations.
We must do penance and pray for our priests. May God send us more good and holy priests who preach, teach and practice the traditional Catholic Faith, in which we find the path to our salvation.
And we must recognize and encourage the work of the good priests, those who are working out there in Our Lord's vineyard. As a mark of our participation in the Year of the Priest, the Fatima Center will choose 100 priests, nominated by lay members of our Fatima Movement of Priests and Society of St. John Vianney, as the Fatima Priests of the Year.
Each Priest of the Year will receive a beautiful plaque, AND a treasury of 12 Catholic books, selected from the Fatima Shoppe — a humble but suitable thank-you for their devotion and toil.
We will tell you in our next e-newsletter how you can nominate a priest who deserves this honor.
Click here for an overview of the Year of the Priest.
A special indulgence is available for those who attend Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest, for the priests of the Church during this year.
Find out more about the Society of St. John Vianney, its purposes and goals.
The Fatima Shoppe has four excellent books by or about St. John Vianney —Sermons of the Curé d'Ars; The Curé of Ars by Francois Trochu; The Little Catechism of the Curé of Ars; and Thoughts of the Curé d'Ars — from as low as $2.95. Any of these would make a great gift for a good priest!
Cardinal Joseph Zen, who retired in April from his position as Archbishop of Hong Kong, said last month that bishops of the CCPA, that is, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (the "church" set up by the Communists) are more obedient to the government than to Rome. And, he says, Vatican diplomacy is gravely at fault.
The prelate told AsiaNews that Chinese Catholics should follow the instructions in Pope Benedict's 2007 letter to the Church in China. In particular, he said, religious freedom must be stoutly defended — regardless of the cost — because the intent of the Communists to suppress or take over the true (underground) Church has never changed.
He blamed Vatican "diplomacy" (the responsibility of the Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone) for compromises being made by Church officials on the mainland to accommodate the CCPA. And, he warned, cooperation in a nationwide assembly of Catholics under the control of the CCPA would be no less than a "slap in the face" for the Holy Father.
Cardinal Zen called on the Vatican to get tough with the Communists, and not worry so much about re-establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. He said the faithful in the rest of the world must not be tricked into thinking there is religious freedom in China when there is not.
In spite of the Vatican's overtures to the Communists in the run-up to the Olympics, they are carrying on just as before, imprisoning and torturing bishops and priests, even killing priests and religious. Yet under the direction of Cardinal Bertone, Cardinal Zen said, "there were concessions and compromises so that everything could finally be officially put to rights. But that never happened...”
"We pushed ahead," he continued, "without necessary meditation and without ever trying to really improve the situation. Now we have arrived at a point in which it is no longer right or possible to accept further compromise. The moment is mature for a new chapter to begin. The Pope's Letter to the Catholics of China (2007) must mark this new beginning."
You’ll find this and other key parts of the Asia News interview with Cardinal Zen here.
Don't miss "Upheaval and Slaughter in Communist China", by Donald McAlvany.
Read "Catholics in China Facing Crackdown, Return to Underground", by Patrick E. Tyler.
Check Vatican pronouncement on China: "Statement of Support or Start of a Sellout?", by James W. Bannister.
A Reversal of the Party Line! - Discusses the Pope's statement of May 13, 2009 concerning the words of Our Lady of Fatima.
The Importance of Appearing Christian - What happens now that “Mr. Infanticide” has captured the White House.
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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