People Ask Us…
What Seems to Be Delaying
the Bishops from Consecrating Russia
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
Why is it taking so much time for the Pope and the bishops to consecrate Russia as Our Lady commanded?
The theological difficulties are already answered. The Pope and the bishops are duty bound to obey this command of Our Lady of Fatima (See The Fatima Crusader Issue #11-12 “World Peace Depends on the Catholic Bishops and You”). (See also the booklet Reflections by Father Joseph de Sainte Marie — to order this booklet write The Fatima Crusader — click on Contact at page end). But there seems to be some difficulties within the minds of certain members of the clergy (as well as some influential laymen). We present here two extracts of articles written by two well-known experienced lay Catholic observers of the Catholic Church. (You will find the second extract within“Dramatic Warnings of Fatima”). Perhaps these articles will help our readers answer these questions for themselves. Above all what we need to do is: that we ourselves must insistently, confidently and humbly ask Jesus and Mary by our prayers and sacrifices for the Consecration of Russia by the Pope and all the bishops together. We must also respectfully and insistently ask our bishops by our petitions for this Collegial Act of Consecration. See the separate article on this “Obedience to Heaven Is the Only Effective Means of Promoting Peace” in this issue.
The following passage is taken from an article by Gregory MacDonald, a distinguished Catholic journalist of Great Britain, experienced for over 40 years in the mass media. He twice in the pontificate of Pope Pius XII had long and very frank conversations with the Secretary of State regarding the Vatican’s policy towards the Communist governments of Eastern Europe. This Vatican policy towards Communist governments changed in the Pontificate of Pope John XXIII. Here follows Mr. MacDonald’s words:
In Pope John: the Traditional Pope (published in 1964), with commendation by Archbishop Dell’Acqua, Ernesto Balducci is explicit about the negotiations with Moscow, on p. 265: ‘… the deciding factor was Pope John’s behavior towards the Soviet government. For one thing, he gave the government and the Patriarch EXPLICIT GUARANTEES that in the Council the political spirit, however legitimate, would find no expression.’ (English edition, Burns and Oates, 1965.) E.E. Y. Hales, as cited, gives as the formula of the indirect assurances that the Council ‘would not be made the opportunity for polemics about Communism’. This strikes me as a good double-think phrase such as Communist officials and journalists use. It would be accepted that Willebrands meant one thing by ‘polemics’ and his hosts meant something else. Hales gives as his source A. Wenger: Vatican II, Première Session, 1963. On p. 152 Hales refers to Wenger’s essay in the book cited, La Concile et la press Sovietique (sic), with a quotation from a Soviet publicist which is interesting in the light of subsequent events.
World Peace will only come after the consecration of Russia. Russia will only be converted after the Catholic Bishops of the world have together with the Pope, consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The command to the bishops to do this was given over fifty (50) years ago. It has not been obeyed so Russian Communist continue to spread hatred, war, persecution and death. The arms’ race has resulted whereby enough nuclear bombs now exist and are ready to destroy all life on earth. The one hope we have to avoid the nuclear holocaust is not seeking unilateral disarmament, but rather in praying and working so that the Catholic Bishops obey Our Lady of Fatima.
Did Pope John XXIII’s Guarantees Also Rule Out Consecration?
It has also been my opinion for some time that the assurances given to Moscow because of Pope John’s anxiety to have observers from the Patriarchate at the Council may also explain why at Vatican 2 the Pope did not consecrate Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart together with all the other Bishops of the Church.
It certainly cannot be argued that Rome was unaware of this demand by Our Lady. For on October 31, 1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world then at war to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, with an oblique but nevertheless clear reference to Russia.1 And as though to compensate for not having directly and explicitly consecrated Russia in 1942, ten years later, on July 7, 1952, in an Apostolic Letter Vergente Anno, he consecrated Russia explicitly to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, though again without participation in the consecration by the world’s bishops as Our Lady had demanded.
Furthermore, in 1964, immediately after the promulgation of the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, Pope Paul VI renewed the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the presence of all the world’s bishops. And on the same occasion he proclaimed Our Lady Mother of the Church and announced a mission to Fatima.
However, as Francis Johnston points out: ‘… even this singular act did not exactly fulfill the specific request of Our Lady of Fatima’2 WHICH IS FOR THE COLLEGIAL CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA.
Yet Vatican 2, with all the Bishops present under the one roof was the perfect occasion for the consecration.
However, if ‘polemics about Communism’ had been ruled out by the ‘explicit guarantees’ given by the Willebrands mission to Moscow,3 clearly it was also out of the question for Vatican 2 to discuss, let alone perform, the act of consecrating Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, since everyone knew that the purpose of this consecration was the conversion of Russia from the atheistic ideology with which the Soviet regime is identified. Nothing could in fact have been more‘polemical’ than the consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart by the Second Vatican Council.
Something Left Undone
Pope Paul certainly gave every indication of being acutely aware that he had left something undone. When he made his pilgrimage to the tomb of San Celestino the pundits declared that he wanted to abdicate. Much more probable, to my mind, he was aware that he himself, like Pope Celestine, was making ‘il gran rifiuto’4 — he was not carrying out a responsibility laid upon him. So also, during the Council, he sent the Golden Rose to Fatima, and some years later made an apparently empty pilgrimage, in which nothing significant was said or done. I feel it was another symbolic gesture instead of the Act which Our Lady wants the Pope to carry out in the face of Russia and the world.
Significance Of Guarantees
If Vatican 2’s omission to include in its Acts the collegial consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart epitomizes the consequences of whatever ‘guarantees’ were given to Khrushchev by Pope John XXIII, it must surely be obvious that this would not have been possible but for the fact that these ‘guarantees’ were fully honored by his successor Pope Paul VI who indeed, as mentor to John XXIII, may well have proposed giving them in the first place.
However, the real significance of the ‘explicit guarantees’ in question is that they were entirely without precedent.
Previous popes have entered into certain undertakings with temporal princes concerning many issues. For example, whether or not a concordat exists, it is customary for Rome to appoint only such bishops as are persona grata vis-à-vis the temporal power even where there is no formally acknowledged right of veto. This is as true of contemporary Eastern European states today as of states in the so-called ‘free world’.
But never before in the history of the Church had a pope — let alone two successive popes — allowed a temporal power directly or indirectly to exercise decisive influence concerning an ecumenical Council. In the case of Vatican 2, however, its very agenda appears to have been predetermined by an agreement entered into with the most anti-Christian state which has ever existed, and so predetermined that the Council, which claimed to be above all concerned about the Church’s relations with the ‘modern world’, was not permitted even to discuss one of the greatest threats confronting the contemporary Church. And this being so, it is no exaggeration to say that the entire atmosphere of Vatican 2 was thereby conditioned by the ‘explicit guarantees’ given to Moscow ‘that in the Council the political spirit, HOWEVER LEGITIMATE, would find no expression.’
1. This was in response to a request that this be done, by Sister Lucia, who subsequently admitted however that in requesting the consecration of the world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, with special mention of Russia, and not the consecration of Russia she had bowed to episcopal pressure. Cf. Fatima: the Great Sign by Francis Johnston, p. 88.
2. Ibid. p. 89.
3. It seems that Mgr. Willebrands flew to Moscow from Amsterdam as a Dutch businessman.
4. The great refusal.