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Pope John Paul II


We at The Fatima Crusader and the International Rosary Crusade wish to thank you all for your sacrifices, your generous support, and your prayers and Masses that you are having offered for the intentions of this apostolate.

There is so much to tell you about in every issue that we do not have enough room to print all the articles we are sure you would be interested in. We have been aware for some time about articles published as well as letters written which have attacked directly and indirectly The Fatima Crusader and this apostolate. Such attacks are not new in this work of Our Lady of Fatima. In fact, they date back to the time Our Lady appeared in 1917. So we do not feel it necessary to answer every slanderous remark. Otherwise we would waste too much time.

We recognize the intelligence and common sense of our readership and we realize it is not necessary to answer every slanderous remark directed toward our apostolate and publication.

Recently however, articles have been written, and continue to be written, which falsely accused or inferred that this publication, its publishers, distributors and readers are in some way connected with a schismatic group. Since this attack has now reached new heights, a number of people have written to us, more still have telephoned us asking us to defend ourselves and our readers against these defamatory accusations and insinuations which they have heard not only in the above-mentioned articles but also in private letters and conversations which seem to have been generated by these same public articles. In response to our loyal readers who seek our public defense, we here respond.

The official publication of the International Fatima Rosary Crusade, The Fatima Crusader is not connected in any way, directly or indirectly, with any group or person, be he priest, bishop or layman, who does not recognize that His Holiness, Pope John Paul II is Pope, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Visible Head of the Roman Catholic Church, the One True Church founded by Jesus Christ.

Since the misleading articles do not speak clearly, it is necessary that we clarify that a schismatic is a person who does not recognize the present Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, as Pope. In other words, a schismatic means one who does not accept the authority of Pope John Paul II to govern the Catholic Church as the Vicar of Jesus Christ.

To anyone who has read The Fatima Crusader, it is obvious that the publishers and distributors in no way could be considered schismatic. The Fatima Crusader, published in Canada and distributed in the United States by the Servants of Jesus and Mary, does acknowledge publicly, as well as privately, this authority of Pope John Paul II and does obey him. Thus we must affirm most emphatically that such a term cannot be applied to the International Fatima Rosary Crusade, The Fatima Crusader, The National Committee for the National Pilgrim Virgin of Canada, or the Servants of Jesus and Mary in Constable, New York. Furthermore, in response to these unfounded accusations and insinuations, it should be noted that we have many times stated in previous issues our obedience and loyalty to Pope John Paul II.

To be more specific there is a group in Spokane, Washington and Coeur d'Alene and Rathdrum, Idaho, known as the Tridentine Latin Rite Church. Its founder and leader was Bishop Francis Schuckardt. The TLRC are often called 'Fatima Crusaders'. Schuckardt himself says this is an incorrect title since it denotes an apostolate of the TLRC and not the church itself.

The Fatima Crusader magazine, of which this is Issue No. 19, was started in 1978, whose current circulation is 300,000, is published under the direction of Father Nicholas Gruner. It never had, does not now, nor will it ever have any connection with the TLRC and its false Fatima crusaders.

Although Francis Schuckardt was at one time a leading member of the Blue Army, one of many Fatima Apostolates in the world, he is no longer connected with them. Schuckardt has never been connected with The Fatima Crusader, nor with this apostolate, the International Fatima Rosary Crusade, nor with the publishers of this magazine, The National Committee For The National Pilgrim Virgin of Canada, nor with the distributors in the U.S.A., The Servants of Jesus and Mary.

We never had, nor currently have, any connection or affiliation with Schuckardt or the TLRC. Those people are excommunicated and therefore are not Catholics. We have no communion with them. Following the example of St. Maximilian Kolbe, we pray for the return of all heretics, schismatics and enemies of the Church, especially Freemasons and communists.

In response to the slurs, misrepresentations and outright lies which have appeared in several articles, we have been forced to make the above declaration and hope that we will not be forced to take further measures against people who mislead the general public about ourselves and our associates.

With reference to the above matters, we publish here a letter of retraction from one publication that had falsely accused us of being connected with Francis Schuckardt and the Idaho-Washington State group known as the Tridentine Latin Rite Church and Fatima Crusaders. We thank the editor, Ron Pickersgill, for retracting his previous article.

June 28, 1985

Dear Father Gruner:

This is to acknowledge that we have done you an injustice by printing an article in the Summer, 1985, issue of our Newsletter of the Diocese of London which wrongly connects your magazine, The Fatima Crusader, with a schismatic group called "The Fatima Crusaders". I sincerely regret this error which has, understandably, caused you considerable concern.

Neither Bishop Sherlock, the Ordinary, nor Bishop Gervais, until recently his auxiliary, believe that your magazine is related to the aforementioned group.

In your magazine you profess loyalty to the Catholic Church, to Pope John Paul II and to the bishops who are in communion with him. We were totally unjustified in jumping to the false conclusion that you are associated in any way with the Fatima Crusaders, who blatantly denounce the Church.

Be assured, Father Gruner, that I will print a proper retraction of the article in the next issue of our Newsletter, due out at the end of September.

Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,

Ron Pickersgill, Editor

Newsletter of the Diocese of London, Ontario, Canada