Today's Crisis Within The Church Is
Because Russia Is Spreading
Pope John Paul II at Fatima
Pope John Paul II wants to stop the crisis within the Church by obeying Our Lady of Fatima but he needs your support. For more information on this see block of articles starting from "World Peace or the Annihilation of Nations" and ending with "In Defense of God's Right" in the Table of Contents in this Issue.
Our recent articles regarding the Vatican-Moscow Agreement have been carefully read and gratefully accepted by members of the clergy and laity around the world. Most of the readers who wrote us on this subject showed they understood the articles and our purpose in publishing them.
A few readers did not see the point of publishing this material. We thought it should be self-evident but we have written them to explain further. More recently it has come to our attention that one European columnist with a little influence in the U.S.A. has dismissed the reports of The Fatima Crusader and other Catholic papers of U.S.A., Italy, France and Great Britain as "Extremist." Apparently, a U.S.A. magazine has used the same name-calling tactic without in the least answering the documentation and the reasons presented by The Fatima Crusader and other Catholic journals who courageously publish the truth.
Our readers should not be surprised that some good but misguided people try to bury the truth of what we have reported. They may have been deceived by the errors Our Lady said would be spread. The fact that a few members of the Clergy and laity try to prevent the truth from being known just demonstrates the truth of Our Lady's words that "Russia would spread her errors" so that now, even within the Church, some people try to silence us from crying out to you, "You are in mortal danger — your Eternal Salvation is in danger — here is what you must do."
This is our response: Jesus said, "The truth will make you free." The truth should be evident to any believing Catholic upon reading and studying this open letter. We hope and pray and trust that — with the help of Our Lady — you will know how to defend yourself against the errors of those who say we must close our eyes and not see that Communist Russia, by its bloody persecution, has silenced the Vatican for 20 years. They erroneously say we must not see that Communists are successful in warring against us through their agents who are wolves dressed in sheep's clothing. St. Paul tells us, "There are none so blind as those who will not see."
We are pleased to note that a Catholic paper which had originally attacked us for publishing these facts has written to Father Gruner to apologize and withdraw their false allegations.
God, in 1938, worked "the Great Sign" so that the people would know that the Church and the Pope are being persecuted to this day. God worked this Great Miracle precisely because the fact of this most bloody persecution is hidden from us by the media and most Church media which do not generally keep it before our view. This persecution is the cause of the 20 years of Vatican silence regarding Communism. The knowledge of the extreme danger we are in is essential for the salvation of many souls and for world peace, because without it the people will not energetically defend themselves and the Faith.
We feel it is necessary to arm our readers against the errors of these people who would have us throw down the arms of truth. If the Faithful do not know their Faith is under attack and from what quarter, they will not know how to defend themselves. Our whole purpose in publishing this is for the preservation of the Catholic Faith and to enable the Bishops to obey Our Lady of Fatima before it is too late.
For the above-mentioned reasons, we publish here this open letter by Father Gruner, sent originally to the few people who wrote directly to us suggesting that we, too, remain silent about the Vatican-Moscow Agreement.
We have received many letters, most of them positive, regarding the September-October 1984 issue of The Fatima Crusader, of which over 180,000 copies have been distributed. Your letter was one of only four or five from people who expressed some reservations regarding part of the contents of that issue. We received only a few more letters similar to yours referring to the April 1985 Issue of The Fatima Crusader, of which over 320,000 copies have been distributed. Most people, indeed, continued to give us their moral and financial support after Issue No. 17. In fact, we have been enthusiastically congratulated for bringing the Vatican-Moscow Agreement to the attention of God-loving Catholics.
Referring to the Vatican-Moscow Agreement, you ask, ''WHAT GOOD IS BEING DONE BY TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT SUCH AN AGREEMENT, AND CONCLUDING IT WAS A BETRAYAL OF THE CHURCH? OR A SURRENDER TO MILITANT ATHEISM?"
I appreciate the fact that you took the time and effort to write your question to The Fatima Crusader. Many people from all walks of life have followed The Fatima Crusader reasoning and have been grateful to us for bringing this matter to their attention.
However, as a result of your letter, we realize that there are still a few people who do not see the importance of letting the faithful know that their Church is being silenced due to tremendous pressure from Soviet Russia (see The Fatima Crusader, Issue No. 16, "The Present-Day Persecution of the Church by Communist Russia Seriously Threatens Your Eternal Salvation"). I now realize that some people, for whatever the causes, could not understand just how important and useful the publication of the Vatican-Moscow Agreement is. For whatever the cause, you were unable to follow the reasoning given in The Fatima Crusader, Issue No. 16, which pointed out the importance of these facts being published. I shall try, therefore, to explain more fully what good these articles do.
In Loyalty to Pope John XXIII
These facts of the Rome-Moscow Agreement are published together with original Fatima Crusader articles commenting on this Agreement out of loyalty and support to the efforts of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, as well as those of Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. Pope John XXIII only intended the agreement to be a short-term policy. We know this from the fact that he thought that Vatican II would only be of short duration. We also know his commitment to orthodoxy in Doctrine and he could never have wanted the disastrous effects that this policy has caused due to its continuing for a long period of time. To defend Pope John XXIII, we pointed out why, as a short-term policy, such an agreement could have been justified in the light of the then current events of international politics that Pope John XXIII knew so well (The Fatima Crusader, Issue No. 16, footnotes No. 1 and No. 2 to article "The Fatima Crusader Comments on the Vatican/Moscow Agreement").
Pope Paul VI also tried to stop what he called "the auto-destruction of the Church" as he saw the "smoke of Satan" enter the Church, but having been close to the Vatican-Moscow Agreement negotiations, he failed to see that it was this agreement which, in fact, was a major cause of the terrible disorder in the Church which he denounced so publicly, or else he was by then unable to act. Pope Paul VI also was very concerned about orthodoxy.
In Support of Pope John Paul II
This article about the Vatican-Moscow Agreement, as well as its sequel "The Vatican Silenced by Moscow" in Issue No. 17, together with the numerous articles related to the facts published in those articles, is published especially out of loyalty and support and help to Pope John Paul II and those Cardinals around him, particularly Cardinals Ratzinger, Oddi and Gagnon, who show extraordinary and enlightened loyalty and defense of the Pope and the Catholic Faith. It is in support of Pope John Paul II as he sets about the superhuman task of changing this Vatican Policy, especially now that further passage of time has also demonstrated the necessity of breaking loose from these clutches of Soviet Russia.
Pope John Paul II Needs Our Prayers
As we reported in our September-October issue of The Fatima Crusader, Issue No. 16, "Pope John Paul II Denounces Communist Regimes for Persecuting Catholics", the Pope already has personally repudiated this Vatican-Moscow Agreement by denouncing in February-March 1984 the persecution of Catholics in Russia and Albania and Lithuania. The Pope has continued to break out of this disastrous agreement by formally ordering Cardinal Ratzinger, Head of the Holy Office, to publish the first major anti-Communist document published by the Vatican in over 20 years. I refer to the document regarding so-called Liberation Theology.
Cardinal Ratzinger willingly worked hard at preparing this document. But the Pope needs the support of our prayers and also needs the moral support of the laypeople and religious and the clergy as he faces strong opposition to this very important change of policy from within the Vatican. As you may know, Cardinal Casaroli, the Secretary of State, has publicly disowned and implied criticism of the above-mentioned document against Liberation Theology.
It is particularly fitting that The Fatima Crusader and other Fatima-oriented magazines should help the Pope as he struggles against opposition from within the Church, to protect the Faith against the "errors of Russia" that Our Lady said would be spread among us if we did not listen to Her requests of Fatima.
Vatican-Moscow Agreement Must Be Repudiated
As we shall see, it is fitting for The Fatima Crusader to take the lead in the publication of this news. This is because the Vatican-Moscow Agreement must be repudiated not only by the Pope but also by all the Catholic Bishops. As you know, Mary, Our Blessed Mother, said "God Promises to Save Russia By This Means." That is, as Jesus Himself has confirmed to Sister Lucy of Fatima, that God will only convert Russia and bring peace to the world through the solemn and public Consecration of Russia by the Pope together with all the Catholic Bishops on one specific day.
The Pope and all the Catholic Bishops must, therefore, obey this command of God given by the Most Holy Trinity in a most solemn way on June 13, 1929, through Our Lady of Fatima. (Regarding this serious obligation of the Bishops, see also Professor, Father Joseph de Ste. Marie's article, "The Church's Duty in the Face of the Fatima Message", Issue No. 9-10 of The Fatima Crusader. See also Issue No. 11-12, "World Peace Depends on the Catholic Bishops and You".) In order for them to obey in the precise manner that God demands of them, the Bishops must all repudiate the Vatican-Moscow Agreement.
Thus, we see that it is most appropriate for The Fatima Crusader to take the lead in warning the Catholic Bishops and the faithful about the Vatican-Moscow Agreement. This is because in North America, it is only The Fatima Crusader magazine which clearly and continuously tells the people about this most urgent command to the Pope and all the Catholic Bishops by God. No human plans, no policies of diplomacy, no reasons of State can overrule this direct command of God given through the Message of Fatima, which is a very extraordinary intervention of God in human history.
The Fatima Crusader Serves the Catholic Church
In all this, we see that The Fatima Crusader does us all a great service by bringing this most important truth about the Collegial Consecration of Russia to our attention. Thus, we are all reminded to pray for Pope John Paul II and pray for the Bishops who are loyal to him so that they can fulfill the duty God has given them.
In addition, we see that The Fatima Crusader is truly loyal to the Most Holy Trinity as we do what we can to make all aware of God's command. We see that The Fatima Crusader is loyal to Jesus and Mary and to Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, as he tries very hard to obey Them in this matter. Thus, we see The Fatima Crusader is truly a great Catholic Magazine, particularly in tune with Pope John Paul II as he tries to obey Our Lady of Fatima to get Russia properly Consecrated and as His Holiness struggles to get the whole Church, together with himself, to repudiate the Vatican-Moscow Agreement.
Enemies Penetrate Deeply Into The Church
Pope John Paul II particularly needs our prayers and our moral support and practical support because the existence of the Vatican-Moscow Agreement for more than twenty years has allowed our enemies to make deep inroads into various important positions in the Church around the world. In Rome, Cardinal Gagnon, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, has, at the beginning of 1985, confirmed that Pope John Paul II is being hindered from governing the Church by a network of people in the Vatican as well as in National governments. Cardinal Gagnon gave the example of how he could not get rid of a certain person working in his department. Even Pope John Paul II, who agreed with Cardinal Gagnon, was unable to get rid of this unsuitable individual.
Catholic Faith Undermined By Moscow
Above all, this article should lead pious people to pray for His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, as he tries against tremendous odds to change this Vatican policy. We see now why the K.G.B. would want to hire a man like Agca to shoot the Pope. If the people only knew of the tremendous danger the Pope and our Faith are in as a result of this agreement, they would hasten to obey Our Lady of Fatima. Pope John Paul II said at Fatima that Our Lady came because She saw the very basis of our Salvation undermined by our enemies. The Vatican-Moscow Agreement, which has now gone into the long-term, has greatly helped the militant atheists in undermining the Catholic Faith, which is the basis of our Salvation.
By informing the people about this agreement, they can protect themselves. As long as the people are faced with the silence of the Vatican and the Bishops regarding Communism, they may be led (in fact, I know that a number have already been led) to think that Communism is not intrinsically perverse, that it is not a danger, that one can be a Marxist and a Catholic at the same time. See, for example, the article by Jim Castelli in Our Sunday Visitor of February 19, 1984, page 6, in which Castelli, a staff writer for Our Sunday Visitor states or implies that one can be a Catholic and a Marxist at the same time. This is heresy.
The Visitor, as you know, has a circulation of about 200,000 copies circulated among Catholics. By at least revealing the source of the Vatican's long silence, we will help stop the process whereby thousands — perhaps millions — of Catholics have been so terribly deceived into thinking there is nothing wrong with Communism.
Bishops, Priests and Informed Laymen
Must Warn the People
We can better understand the betrayal of the Church by the Vatican-Moscow Agreement by considering the following lesson from the Book of Ezechiel in the Bible. The refusal to warn the Faithful of the dangerous approach of a mortal enemy is likened in Sacred Scripture to a watchman on guard duty whose job and God-given duty is to cry out when he sees an enemy approach. For him not to cry out is a betrayal of his sacred trust. The watchman on duty is the Bishop, and to a lesser, but still very real extent, the priest. To cry out is our duty; to remain silent is a betrayal in such circumstances.
To illustrate our point, let us for a moment quote Cardinal Spellman, who, some years ago, writing about his patriotic duty, spoke about his obligations to break silence regarding the threat of Communism:
"I feel that I would not be a true American if I entered into the conspiracy of silence and did not raise my voice above those who privately and in whispers talk about Communism but neither act nor speak publicly against the insidious enemy of Americanism.
"It is my firm faith that the first step in defense of American safety and unity is to break the conspiracy of silence enveloping and endangering her."
Obedience to God Demands that the Faith
Must Be Defended
This same line of reasoning holds true for defending the Catholic Church against the insidious enemy of Communism, which has now succeeded in introducing some of its subversive agents into the Catholic clergy and into Catholic lay organizations. Such an agreement allows the enemies of God to attack and undermine the very foundation and basis of the Church and our Salvation. This basis and foundation is none other than the Catholic Faith. Such an agreement allows the wolf to devour the sheep in great numbers as the pastors are apparently voluntarily held in bondage and sit idly and silently by as very many souls are lost. THIS IS UNILATERAL DISARMAMENT OF THE CHURCH. To understand this point more fully read "The Catholic Church Betrayed" in The Fatima Crusader, April 1985.
It should be evident from all the above that the Vatican-Moscow Agreement entered into on a long-term basis can never be justified.
Not even the order of a Pope could justify such a long-term agreement. St. Robert Bellarmine would say such an order can — indeed, must be — resisted. St. Thomas Aquinas says that the Catholic Faith must be defended by all, to the extent they can. No one, not even the Pope, can order the Church to throw away the armament of truth and thereby hand over the Church into bondage to Soviet Russia.
Therefore, I hope that you can see that we are not moved to publish these accounts about the Vatican-Moscow Agreement by any animosity toward Cardinal Tisserant. If he was holy, it was despite this agreement, not because of it. We published this report because it is important for the Salvation of souls, and for the cause of Our Lady of Fatima, that the facts be known clearly.
Cardinal Tisserant's Error
Regarding your defense of Cardinal Tisserant, it is not enough for one in his position to advocate prayers for the conversion of Russia. Certainly, prayer is necessary and it must be advocated. However, for Cardinal Tisserant or others in a similar position to only advocate prayers is not enough. Prayers must be joined to fulfillment of daily duty. Thus, for Cardinal Tisserant to advocate prayer, yet, at the same time, to conclude a long-term agreement with Soviet Russia, whereby he bound the Vatican to not do its duty, to God and to us, of denouncing the evils of Communism - is not the act of a saint.
Defending the Faith a Sacred Trust
To come back to your question, "What good is being done by telling people about such an agreement and concluding it was a betrayal of the Church?" What is good? Good is determined by the truth. Good is what our final purpose in life is, and whatever leads us to the final end, which is the happiness of seeing God face to face in heaven. How do we know the final purpose of life and the means whereby we are to achieve this purpose? We know these things by our Faith. So, to take away the Faith by silence or by words is evil. An agreement to not defend the Faith by those commissioned and entrusted with the sacred duty of defending the Faith, cannot but be evil and a betrayal of a sacred trust. This is self-evident.
Thus, we can conclude, that it is, no doubt, a betrayal of the Church, to agree to maintain silence about the intrinsic evilness of Soviet Communism today. It is not a temptation to speak out against such a betrayal. Rather, it is a temptation to maintain silence, even if, as you say, you find that it really pays to accentuate the positive.
It is the devil's trick to suggest to us that we should maintain silence in the face of this Vatican-Moscow Agreement. It is not a question of sowing suspicion and discord; it is a question of telling the people the truth, the facts so that they can protect themselves and their neighbors against the wiles of the devil and his human associates, the militant atheists.
Communist Secret Police Agent Nikodim
Regarding your defense of the Russian Orthodox Bishop Nikodim, we wish to point out that your affirmation that Nikodim was another St. Thomas More is not true. Nikodim is not canonized. Furthermore, St. Thomas More never worked for an atheistic regime as a member of their secret police, as did Nikodim. St. Thomas More was not a cleric. St. Thomas was a Catholic, a member of the ''One True Church" founded by Jesus Christ. St. Thomas More was executed rather than renounce his allegiance to the Church and the Pope. Nikodim was, or claimed to be, an ordained Bishop but he was not a member of the Catholic Church. He was employed willingly by the Soviet atheistic state in the service of the hated K.G.B. police while wearing the garment of a religious man.
That he may have converted before he died, we have reason to believe, and we give thanks to God for this. But his later conversion does not make the Vatican-Moscow Agreement something for him to be commended for by God or by man.
Crisis Is Grave
We try to accentuate the positive in The Fatima Crusader by first pointing out that there is a real problem in the Church and in the world. Then we show our readers that there is only one solution to these problems, and that each reader has a duty to do all he can to be part of this solution — by fulfilling Our Lady's requests, so that many souls will be saved and there will be peace, and so that we will not all be enslaved by Russia, which is certain to happen if the people continue to effectively ignore Our Lady of Fatima.
The People Need to Know the Facts
To bring across the urgency, the reality, and the authenticity of Our Lady's Message of Fatima to the general public today, we must publish the facts about how far Russia has already succeeded in silencing the Church and also in silencing Our Lady of Fatima's Message. We must show how Russia, thereby, is on the verge of winning this battle against the Church.
Pope John Paul II stated, "Our Lady's Message at Fatima is addressed to every human being." We, therefore, try to bring the Message of Fatima to everyone's attention and show the relevance of this Message for our time. At Fatima on May 13, 1982, Pope John Paul II also proclaimed, "The Message of Fatima is more relevant and more urgent today than it was 65 years ago." The urgency of today's critical situation in the Church and the world must be brought home to the general public if they are going to finally react in time. Thus, the people need to know the facts. Pious exhortations to a relatively few people are not enough.
Vatican-Moscow Agreement Is Against Fatima
Thus, they need to know their Faith is being undermined by the Vatican-Moscow Agreement. They need to know that the only hope for winning this war with Communism is obedience to Our Lady of Fatima, but this obedience is presently stopped by the Vatican-Moscow Agreement.
Therefore, with regard to your suggestion that the agreement between the Vatican and Moscow should remain secret, we disagree. Firstly, it was not a secret. What we published was already published by the French Catholic and Communist press at the time of the agreement. Only very few editors (for example Mr. Madiran), realized the grave implications of this agreement at the time. It has been more recently published again in the Catholic journals in France and in Italy (one Italian Catholic magazine that has carried this story critical of the agreement is edited by a personal priest friend of Pope Paul VI - Monsignor Luigi Capovilla) as well as in Scotland by the Catholic magazine Approaches, edited by Mr. Hamish Fraser, the well-known convert from Communism who spoke at a large Blue Army Rally in Paris. This Vatican-Moscow Agreement, as you know, has been publicly confirmed by Monsignor Georges Roche, official biographer of Cardinal Tisserant. (See The Fatima Crusader Issue No. 17, The Vatican Silenced by Moscow .) So the agreement was not a diplomatic secret; it was, rather, unknown to much of the public in North America. Secondly, we have already at length explained in this letter, as well as in Issues No. 17 and No. 16 of The Fatima Crusader, why we think this agreement should be as widely known as possible.
In all this, we should remember that even our mistakes will be used by Our Lady to bring about Her ultimate triumph over the forces of militant atheism, that is, Communism and Freemasonry. Therefore, that Nikodim and Tisserant imposed this agreement which is a betrayal of the Church does not make it less of a mistake for the agreement to have been made. It is just that God allows evil in order to be able to draw a greater good out of it.
Betrayals of the Faithful Today
The betrayal of the Church by the long-standing Vatican-Moscow Agreement may not have been intentional on the part of the Vatican officials, but that it is a betrayal of the faithful is seen by the spread of the Russian Communist errors among the faithful in various forms of so-called ''LIBERATION THEOLOGY.''
This ''Theology" contains errors which are contrary to the Catholic Faith while at the same time this so-called Theology claims to be Catholic. Thus, the unsuspecting are fed poisonous doctrine in the name of Catholic teaching.
There are also many other betrayals of the faithful today. Betrayal of the Church can also be seen in Catechisms in North America. For example, "The Jesus Book" is heretical, yet in 1974 this book was recommended by a Catechetic Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. Another fundamental betrayal of the Faithful regards the Message of Fatima. Despite the efforts of various Fatima apostles and apostolates, still far too many of the faithful are ignorant about the crucial importance of Fatima. Pope John Paul II has publicly lamented the fact that the Message of Fatima has not been welcomed as it ought to have been. Concerning Fatima, witness the conspiracy of silence regarding the necessity of all Catholic Bishops to solemnly and publicly consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in order to obtain peace. This consecration has not been done.
Everyone Must Be Told
Father Pierre Caillon is recognized as an expert on Fatima by The Fatima Crusader magazine, Soul magazine, and Approaches magazine, as well as by many people. By now, you should be aware of what he reported Sister Lucy had officially said to the Papal Nuncio to Portugal, His Excellency Archbishop Portalupi (see The Fatima Crusader Issue No. 16, "Fatima May 13, 1982: What Actually Happened? Was Russia Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?"). Sister Lucy was responding to the Papal Nuncio's enquiries on behalf of Pope John Paul II, regarding the Consecration of Russia. On March 21st, 1982, as well as March 19th, 1983, Sister Lucy clearly pointed out what Our Lady had specifically requested of the Pope and all the Catholic Bishops.
Even after March 25, 1984, it is evident from this report of Sister Lucy that the Consecration of Russia, according to Our Lady's command, has not been done.
Furthermore, Pope John Paul II, after consecrating the world on March 25, 1984, himself, twice publicly stated that the Consecration of "certain peoples" awaited by Our Lady of Fatima has not been done (see The Fatima Crusader, Issue No. 16, "Our Lady of Fatima Awaits the Bishops").
In this regard, the public needs to know the facts:
|(a)||that the Consecration of Russia must be done according to the command of God and Our Lady before peace can be given to the world;
|(b)||that despite misinformation to the contrary, the above-mentioned Consecration of Russia has, in fact, NOT BEEN DONE;
|(c)||that it is part of the duty of Catholics to do what they can to see that the Bishops obey this command of God and Our Lady;
|(d)||that it is very urgent that the Bishops obey soon; otherwise, all of us in North America, as well as the world over, will be either killed or enslaved by Soviet Russia.|
It is our fervent hope that many other Catholic magazines will bring these positive facts clearly to the public's notice. It is by bringing the full peace plan of Our Lady of Fatima to everyone's attention that we will fulfill the obligations we all have of publishing this message from Our Lady to our brother Catholics and all mankind.
I trust that this letter, along with the various articles published in Issue No. 17 of The Fatima Crusader which you have already received earlier this year, as well as a careful reading of Issues No. 15 and No. 16 of The Fatima Crusader, will be more than enough to sufficiently answer your letter.
Thank you for complimenting our "wonderful" work. You keep up your good work. Thank you for prayers. I pray for you, too. Remind everyone you are able to reach to fulfill all of Our Lady of Fatima's requests. As God has put great resources at your disposal to do this, you have these days a most difficult charge to fulfill. Remind as many people as you can to pray the Rosary every day and wear the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and also remind them to pray and do all they can to get Russia Solemnly and Publicly Consecrated by the Pope, together with all the Catholic Bishops on one specific day.
Yours sincerely in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
With my priestly Blessing
Father Nicholas Gruner, S.T.L., S.T.D. (Cand.)
Father Gruner in India
Thanks to your generous support, Father Gruner was able to bring the International Fatima Rosary Crusade to India. Our Pilgrim Virgin Statue blessed by the Pope at Fatima, is seen here in the Cathedral of Madras, India, at the high altar over the tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle. The Archbishop of Madras and Father Gruner both preached to, the congregation about Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 1985, when the Statue arrived in the Cathedral. The Faith is still strong, beautiful and simple in India. Trusting in your generous love for Our Lady of Fatima, Father Gruner promised to supply the newly opened International Fatima Rosary Crusade branch office in Madras with thousands of Scapulars, Rosaries and Pictures of Our Lady of Fatima. Please help make this become a reality.