Friday, May 22, 2020

Fatima - the repellent stuff.

Why people consider it passe.

I had a discussion with a friend who has never been attracted to Fatima and the devotion.  He has a ton of questions - which comprise his objections, more or less.  I like skeptics and academics who are also devout Catholics.  No one is obliged to believe private revelations, even though several Popes have endorsed Fatima, and the prophecies and miracle have been validated.  Fatima has its share of eccentrics, and due to all the bad interpretations of the secrets and message, the authentic message is eclipsed and ignored.  My friend asked why the devotion is still credible?

I responded that it is credible - but the extreme side has exaggerated the message and distorted the secret, while they sensationalized the warnings from the Blessed Virgin. Essentially the message of Fatima is similar to that of the revelations to S. Margaret Mary and the request for the King of France to consecrate the nation. He did, but it was late, which led to secularization - I simplified the narrative.

Our Lord appeared to Lucia telling her how important the consecration to the IHM was to him and for the peace of the world - which has been entrusted to the Virgin. He told her the consecration will take place, but it will be late - citing the French failure. Over the decades, esp. approaching 1960, many Catholics were anxious for the Holy Father to reveal the 3rd part of the secret.  This apparently was even more important for them than the request for 1st Saturday devotion and the consecration to  Russia. Of course, Pius XII did so in a round about way, but it wasn't in union with all the bishops, etc..

As we know, JPII did it, and only much later revealed the 3rd part of the secret.  The JPII consecration was as OL asked, collegial, including a sort in pectore reference to Russia.  Sr. Lucia said it was done and accepted by heaven, albeit late.  Obviously the errors of Russia had meanwhile spread and we have seen the effects of that, albeit nuclear war was avoided.

Nevertheless, these people continue to claim the consecration wasn't done, or at least not accomplished exactly as OL requested - in this, they have veered off track.  In reference to an earlier post on Frere Michel's early work, I continued:

I had no idea how far Frere Michel's position Fatima (the secret and consecration, etc.) had evolved nor his association with Gruner.  The Gruner position is that the Virgin warned of a bad council, the Novus Ordo, and bad popes. Lucia never, ever said anything about that. She participated in the NO Mass and sacramental life.

Long story short, the bare bones of Fatima is credible - substantiated by every Pope since Pius XII, verified by Sr. Lucia herself, as well as a stunning miracle, several prophecies fulfilled, resulting in numerous conversions and so on. Because the effects of the 'errors of Russia' are still at play, the world remains in conflict. However, extrapolating the pandemic and antivax theories as part of the message is a stretch.   I seriously think Cardinal Burke has been misled by all the right wing propaganda - including QAnon crap.  The misinformation just can't be flushed out of the culture, or strands of popular-piety at this time.   Anyway - these people have done more harm to the Church and the devotion by their conspiracy theories, which in many instances have been actual lies, repeated so often, they are no longer differentiated from the original narrative. 

Cardinal Burke ... the Coronavirus as chastisement.

To my amazement, later in the day I received an alert,  LifeSite published a talk by John Henry Westen, going even further than Cardinal Burke's address Wednesday, using Fatima to discredit Pope Francis.  An excerpt:

Thursday, May 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In these times of Coronavirus it has become for me clear that we are living in the end times, at least as that pertains to the chastisement predicted by Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. Today the greatest deprivation of all time has taken place. For the first time in history the greater part of Catholic humanity has been deprived of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
[...] In these times, the confusion is most grave as it is comes from the Pope himself who is supposed to be the chief guardian of the truths of the faith. Pope Francis has caused dreadful confusion with public statements to the press distorting Church teaching about contraception, cohabitation, homosexuality and transgenderism.
[...] It is worth noting that just before this virus broke out, the Pope allowed for idolatry in the Vatican Gardens. The Pachamama idolatry that took place there also included prostration before a statue of the Pachamama. The statue was later processed into St. Peter’s Basilica where the Pope and several Cardinals said prayers before it. This act was condemned by many Cardinals, bishops, priests, and laity all over the world. - Westen

LifeSite, Westen, Burke, Vigano and Schneider are acting as a parallel Magisterium.  The Rome Life Forum is not a synod - they are not in charge.  In fact they are leading a movement in opposition to the Pope.  It's unbelievable.  Westen clams the greater part of humanity has been deprived of Mass.  Later he concedes Mass is continued to be celebrated, but compares it to how priests would function under extreme persecution.  So many claims and subsequent links to Fatima are a misrepresentation of fact, based upon hybrid private revelations and subjective interpretations.

Fatima, Anticommunism and McCarthyism were linked in the popular consciousness of the 1950's.  Unfortunately, the Fatima movement has often been used for ideological and political purposes.

I leave it here for now.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Who or What is Influencing Cardinal Burke and Others Regarding Fatima?

The ghost of Fr. Gruner?

Venerable Cardinal Burke, in an address to the virtual Rome Life Forum, 'connected the errors of communist Russia with the current corona crisis', calling for the consecration of Russia as per Our Lady's requests at Fatima.

I have to wonder who is influencing Cardinal Burke. In his address, his call to put into practice the message of Fatima, along with the First Saturday devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is wonderful - it is good advice. However, it appears he believes the Consecration of Russia was either incomplete or not accepted by Heaven. That implies that St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, the CDF and Sr. Lucia herself, were not telling the truth. JPII made the consecration, which Sr. Lucia explicitly stated had finally been accomplished, and that Heaven accepted it. I do not understand the Cardinal's contradiction of the Holy See?

Reading the footnotes, I noted Burke appears to rely upon the writings of Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth about Fatima, Volume Three. Frere Michel speculated and wrote about the secret before the third part was revealed - he spoke about it publicly, sharing his insights based upon those who knew Sr. Lucia, as well as his personal intellectual deduction. He is now a Carthusian, Dom François Marie Velut, O. Carth., formerly Prior of Grande Chartreuse, therefore I have no idea what his thought about Fatima is today. 

When I understood he became a Carthusian, my respect for his theories was automatic, and admittedly, influenced my understanding of Fatima.  Until the actual secret was revealed, and having read the accounts of Sr. Lucia herself.  That said, many writers have expanded on the theories set forth by Frere Michel, many of which contradict Sr. Lucia's own testimony.  The idea that the secret was not revealed in its entirety, and that the consecration was inadequate., contradicts the Holy See and Sr. Lucia.

Fatima Crusaders.

The never ending conspiracy theories infecting Fatima, spoils the authenticity of the message for many, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  Many Catholics consider it a sort of right-wing-nut obsession. If the Cardinal would have only emphasized the requests of Our Lady as directed to the faithful, it would have been much better. The association of the virus with the Secret of Fatima strikes me as conjecture.

The 3 volumes on Fatima, written by Frere Michel (Velut) are definitely an important work.  Fr. Gruner and the Fatima Crusader seemed to have based their entire apostolate on Frere Michel's scholarship.  Fr. Kramer's book 'The Devil's Final Battle' is very much based upon Frere Michel's research and public addresses.  Unfortunately, it appears that Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Vigano have been influenced by all of them.  I say that because it contradicts what the Holy See has revealed, and what Sr. Lucia stated before her death, in letters and books, verified by the Carmel in Coimbra, Portugal.

I hate to link to some sites because they deal in misinformation and conspiracy theories.  Nevertheless I will link to provide the reader with the opportunity of reading an address on the secret by Frere Michel in 1985.  Obviously pre-dating the revelation of the actual secret by 15 years.  Likewise I will link to the Cardinal Burke address.

What Cardinal Burke said.

In a powerful address during the virtual Rome Life Forum hosted by Voice of the Family (read full talk below), the Cardinal connected the errors of communist Russia with the current crisis, highlighting the prominent role that the atheist communist regime of China has played in it.
“The consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is more needed today than ever,” he said.
“When we witness how the evil of atheistic materialism, which has its roots in Russia, directs in a radical way the government of the People’s Republic of China, we recognize that the great evil of communism must be healed at its roots through the consecration of Russia, as Our Lady has directed.”
“Recognizing the necessity of a total conversion from atheistic materialism and communism to Christ, the call of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, in accord with her explicit instruction, remains urgent.” - LifeSiteNews

The source: Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité.*

What was the major concern of Fatima Crusaders?  The third part of the secret - perhaps even more so than the consecration of Russia.  Lucia said it was accomplished and accepted by heaven, Crusaders say it wasn't.  They also believe there is more to the third part of the secret.  They extrapolate these novelties from Frere Michel's research.  What follows is an excerpt from Frere Michel's 1985 address.  (Contradicting F. Michel's insistence that the secret be made public, I'll cite something Sr. Lucia always said about the hidden part: Sr. Lucia always insisted, "The part necessary for the people to know was already known since 1917.")

3. As long as this Secret is not revealed, the peace of the world will remain tragically threatened. I will explain myself. We believe strongly, that as long as Russia is not consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as God requires it to be, Russia will not be converted. And as long as she will not be converted, liberated from its atheistic and persecuting Bolshevism and from the grip of satanic forces which enslave it, the risk of a nuclear apocalypse will remain a terrible threat for the world. God has willed that the peace of the world depends, in our Century, on the ardent filial obedience of the Pope and of the bishops to the commands of His Most Holy Mother who appeared at Fatima. Now, this act of faith, of confident docility towards the Immaculate Mediatrix, through which our pastors shall carry out the consecration of Russia, presupposes also, and I shall even say first of all, the acceptance and the public disclosure of the Secret. It is a lesson of history: Since 1960, the deliberate, contemptuous concealment of the Secret of Our Lady has gone hand in hand with the stubborn refusal to precisely carry out with exactitude, Her other requests. On the other hand, the publication of the Third Secret will be the clear sign that the Church has officially recognized the Divine authenticity and importance of the Fatima Message in its entirety. One of the major obstacles to the consecration of Russia shall in that case be set aside! 
4. Finally and especially, for the welfare of the Church. While the Church, without a doubt, is going through the most serious crisis in her history, while heresies of all sorts are taught and propagated, poisoning everywhere the people of God, while her “self-destruction” continues without letup since 1960, and when the “smoke of satan” has penetrated into the holy place, to use some expressions of Paul VI, it would be a very great pity and certainly even criminal to continue to neglect, to disregard, to despise the salutary words of the Virgin Mary – concerning precisely this ‘crisis of faith’ that we are undergoing. Since the Queen of Heaven as early as 1917 had foretold the danger and since She had certainly indicated the real causes of it, and moreover, since She had proposed the effective remedies, is it not a terrible shame that these remedies intended to be publicly made known in 1960 have yet to be revealed to us? Is it not scandalous that for 25 years, millions of souls have been suffering in this “diabolical disorientation” and have been running the risk of being lost eternally without the pastors of the Church deigning to accept the extraordinary aid that Heaven is offering them? - This article was originally given as a talk by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité at the Vatican Symposium on Fatima sponsored by the “International Fatima Rosary Crusade” on November 24, 1985. 

I can only hope Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Vigano will stop the the conspiracy theories and contradictory information regarding Fatima.

*Ed. note:  Frere Michel remains a reputable source, so long is that his speculative/deductive work is checked against what has been revealed by Sr. Lucia and the Holy See.  I want to share is own incredulity regarding false secrets revealed early on after the 1960 reading:

"Basing oneself on this reliable data, one can discard a whole series of false secrets that have been successively published for 25 years. I cite them all in my work and I demonstrate, for example, that the most famous of them, the “Secret” circulated in 1963 by the German magazine Neues Europa, and which has been ceaselessly reprinted in innumerable magazines, is a fake.2 There are in this text, several monstrous errors which prove this sufficiently. Moreover, although it is a matter, we are told, of simple “extracts” of the real Secret, these “extracts” are already at least four times too long to fit on the sheet of paper on which Lucy wrote down the whole of the Third Secret." -ibid