Global and Political Ramifications of Fatima …
CONVERSION OF GODLESS PORTUGAL
… A Foreshadowing of Russia's Future Conversion
by Arnaud de Lassus
In this thought provoking informative essay condensed from a paperback edition of "Un Eclair dans le ciel: Fatima", Arnaud de Lassus expounds upon the political and global ramifications of Our Lady of Fatima's Message. Portugal was, in the words of Cardinal Cerejeira, a "harbinger of what Mary's Immaculate Heart has in store for the world." The conversion of the godless regime in Portugal was a foreshadowing of events that will take place in Russia when it will have been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope and the bishops. The Vatican-Moscow Agreement has been the great obstacle to the consecration of Russia and to world peace.
POLITICAL ASPECT OF THE MESSAGE OF FATIMA
I. Political Content of the Message
Two aspects must be distinguished here: the salvation of nations seen globally through the Consecration of Russia to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary — (so long as it has not been so consecrated, Russia will continue to spread its errors and provoke wars), and the salvation of individual nations through the consecration of each of these to Mary's Immaculate Heart.
1. Salvation of Nations Seen Globally
"The good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father is ready to make, and orders the bishops of the Catholic world to join him in making, a solemn and public act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the most holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and if His Holiness promises, in return for the end of that persecution, to approve and recommend the practice of the reparatory devotion indicated above."1 (TVF, vol. II, p. 294)
The Consecration of Russia as Requested at Tuy Has Not Been Made
It is important to dispel the widely held but mistaken belief that the Consecration of Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart has already been carried out in accordance with Our Lady's requests.
This is not so. In 1942, 1952, 1964, 1982 and 1984 consecrations were indeed carried out, either by a Pope alone, or by the Pope together with a certain number of bishops. None of these consecrations conforms to the conditions laid down by the Virgin Mary Herself. This conclusion emerges both from an examination of the facts and from Sister Lucia's own statements.
At the end of an article entitled: 'Sister Lucia of Fatima's thinking in regard to the consecration of Russia', the Abbe P. Caillon, present superior of the Blue Army in France summed up the question as follows:
"After each great attempt at consecration, in 1942, 1952, 1964 and 1982, a great number of people, and sometimes very highly-placed ones, believed and declared that the consecration had taken place. But the small voice from Portugal said no. Likewise, after the great attempt in 1984, very many believed and proclaimed that, this time, it had taken place. But the same small voice from the Carmel of Coimbra still said no. When I say 'consecration', I mean of course the consecration of Russia.
"What must be done now? We must explain to everyone that, in this matter, we must totally dispense with the words 'world', 'human race', 'humanity', 'all nations', 'all peoples' and say quite simply 'consecration of Russia'. Let us try to obtain the approval and participation of all the bishops to this consecration of Russia."2
2. The Salvation of Individual Nations by the Consecration of Each to Mary's Immaculate Heart
The Message of Fatima contains other promises concerning not the nations of the world seen globally, but each nation seen individually. The conditions required are not the same. In the first case the mediation of the Pope and the world's bishops was essential, whereas in the second, all that is needed is that of the episcopate of the nation concerned.
"Seven months before the declaration of war, on February 6, 1939, Sister Lucia wrote to her bishop, Msgr. da Silva. While warning him that war was imminent, she communicated a magnificent promise to him: in this horrible war, Portugal would be spared because of the consecration of the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary made by its bishops."3
This element of the Fatima Message is relatively little known, but of the highest importance in Sister Lucia's eyes, and one to which she constantly returns. For example, on August 18, 1940, in a letter to Father Goncalves, writing on the subject of the request for the consecration of Russia in order to obtain its conversion and consequently peace in the world:
"The proof that God gives us is the special protection of Mary's Immaculate Heart for Portugal because of the country's consecration to Her. Those persons of whom you speak to me are right to be afraid (of war). All that would have happened to us if our prelates had not responded to our good Lord's demands, and from the bottom of their hearts implored His mercy and the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
And Sister Lucia insisted on mentioning this prophecy of peace for Portugal in the letter she wrote to Pope Pius XII on December 2, 1940, an indication of the importance she attached to it within the general context of the Fatima Message.
"Most Holy Father (she wrote) … Our Lord promises our country a special protection during this war, in consideration of the consecration of the nation by the Reverend Prelates of Portugal to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And this protection will be the proof of the graces that He would grant to other nations if, like our own, they were consecrated to it (the Immaculate Heart)."
It would be hard to make a more precise, clearer and firmer prophecy. What did in fact happen? The prediction became reality in every detail. (TVF, vol. II, pp. 270-71.)
II. The Facts Confirm the Message: Russia's Action
"If My requests are heeded," (Our Lady had said on July 13, 1917), "Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated." (LOW p. 162.)
Seventy years have passed since this warning was sounded; the facts have fully confirmed its exactitude. We shall mention some of them as illustrations.
1. Marxist Infiltration Into the Catholic World
The contamination of Catholic milieux by Marxism is one of the most surprising phenomena of the last forty years.
THE SITUATION IN FRANCE. This can be illustrated by a passage from Father Fessard's 'Church of France, watch out or you'll lose your faith':4
'It cannot be denied that, since the end of Vatican II, the Catholic Church, especially in France, is undergoing a profound crisis of faith and morals, one which is sapping the authority of an episcopate incapable of overcoming it, handicapped as it is by what it calls its "collegiality" and prisoners of the pressure-groups that control the commissions created to serve it. Leaving to one side other aspects of this crisis, in themselves no less serious, I shall concentrate here on the exposure of the increasing influence of Marxism in Catholic Action movements and among a section of the clergy, and on showing why and how our bishops, far from opposing this, seem unconsciously to be backing it to the extent of adopting the same jargon as their opponents.'
It is possible that the spread of Marxism may have slowed down since 1978, when Father Fessard wrote his book. But the CCFD affair,5 the welcome given in France to liberation theologians and their ideas, the reports emanating from the congresses of Catholic Workers' Action and the Young Catholic Workers show that the danger is still disquietingly present.
THE SITUATION IN LATIN AMERICA. We are all aware of how widespread the theology of liberation is in Latin America, a continent which by the end of the century will contain more than half the world's Catholic population.
Now 'liberation theology' can be defined as a Marxist ideology expressed in religious language (such language being necessary to make Marxism acceptable in countries with strong Catholic roots). Such a 'theology' constitutes yet another way of 'Marxising' Christian clergy and people.
2. The Vatican-Moscow Agreement of 1962
Russia would not have been so successful in spreading its errors throughout the world if there had not been (as Jean Madiran put it) a sort of "unilateral disarmament on the part of the Holy See in the face of Communism" in the shape of the Vatican-Moscow Agreement of 1962.
This agreement, so important and yet so little known, was revealed to the public by Jean Madiran in two issues of Itineraires (No. 280 of February 1984 and No. 285 of July-August 1984), and by Hamish Fraser in a number of articles and supplements to Approaches (Nos. 84, 85, 86, 88).
It consisted of an agreement concluded at Metz in 1962 between Cardinal Tisserant6 and Msgr. Nikodim.7 Msgr. Georges Roche, who for 25 years had worked alongside Cardinal Tisserant in Rome, gave the background as follows (in Itineraires No. 285):
"It is a matter of general knowledge that this agreement was negotiated at the highest level between the Kremlin and the Vatican. Msgr. Nikodim and Cardinal Tisserant acted merely as spokesmen the one of the master of the Kremlin and the other of the pontiff then gloriously reigning."
The content of the agreement was summarized thus by Jean Madiran:
"John XXIII had given the Soviet negotiator, Msgr. Nikodim, a promise not to attack either the Russian people OR THE REGIME of the country. The object was to persuade Moscow to allow Russian Orthodox observers to attend the Council. Ever since that time the Holy See considers itself as still bound by the engagements taken by John XXIII. COMMUNISM is no longer ever mentioned by name in any pontifical document." (Itineraires No. 280, p. 2)
CONSEQUENCES OF THIS AGREEMENT
Consequences for the Second Vatican Council:
"That Council, which was to boast that it had looked the 'problems of our times' in the face and dealt with them in depth, was condemned from the outset to remain silent on the most serious and most dramatic of those problems, namely the continual expansion of Soviet Communism and the servitude it imposed on its people." (As Madiran expressed it in Itineraires No. 285, p. 158.1)
Consequences for the post-conciliar period:
"The secret negotiations between the Holy See and the Kremlin did indeed take place. The agreement was indeed concluded. The engagement entered into by Rome has been kept. All the evidence shows that the pact is still in force, although it is no recent event, but goes back to 1962. For nigh on 22 years (Madiran was writing in 1984) the attitude of the Catholic Church worldwide towards Communism has been conditioned by the promise it then made to the Soviet negotiators." (Itineraires No. 280, p. 1.)
Since 1984, when Jean Madiran wrote the above paragraph, certain documents of the Holy See have forcefully criticized Marxist ideology, in particular the Instruction on certain aspects of the theology of liberation issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on August 6, 1984. But none of them have renewed the condemnation of the Communist regime as this had been expressed by Pius XI and Pius XII, and which can be summed up by this statement of Pius XII in his Christmas message of 1955: "We reject Communism as a social system by virtue of Christ's doctrine."
3. Sixty Million Christian Victims of Communism
Sheltered as we are from the direct effects of Communism, we tend to forget the crimes committed in its name. An article in Present of May 1, 1987 commented as follows:
"The sad record for persecution and massacre in this unfortunate 20th Century is held evidently not by Nazism but by Communism, which, it too, not only persecuted and massacred Jews but also caused the deaths of something in the region of sixty million Christians."
… Christian victims of the Communists in Russia, Eastern Europe, Spain, black Africa, Central America, China and Vietnam … Victims about whom even Christians themselves no longer dare to speak.
Three of them — three Spanish Carmelite nuns killed by the Spanish revolutionaries at Guadalajara on July 24, 1936 — were beatified on March 29, 1987. They represent an immense army of Christian victims who, thanks to those three martyrs and the devotion that will be paid to them, will perhaps begin to emerge from oblivion.
III. The Facts Confirm the Message: The Example of Portugal
1. Chronology of Portuguese History from 1917 to 1944
There is no doubt whatever that Fatima marks a turning-point in the history of Portugal, a country which in 1917 was plunged in anarchy, religious persecution and economic disaster as a result of a century and a half of domination by Freemasonry.
October 13, 1917 - Last apparition at Fatima — miracle of the sun.
December 5, 1917 - Coup d'etat by the former Freemason Sidonio Pais, restoring all its liberties to the Church.
December 14, 1918 - Sidonio Pais assassinated; the essentials of his work remain.
1926 - National revival.
1928-1968 - The Salazar government. For 40 years Portugal is governed by the most Catholic statesman of the period.
November 1928 - Consecration of Portugal to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
October 13, 1930 - The Bishop of Leiria gives canonical approval to the apparitions at Fatima.
May 13, 1931 - The Portuguese episcopate solemnly consecrates the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
1936-1938 - Portugal escapes the Communist revolution then raging in Spain.
1940-1944 - Portugal is untouched by the Second World War.
2. Elements of Portuguese History
This short chronology can be better understood if we set it in the context of the following, more detailed notes on Portuguese history before and after 1917.
The 15th, 16th and 17th centuries marked the high point in the history of Portugal as a Catholic, monarchical and missionary nation, which conquered and evangelized Brazil and a part of the Indies.
From the Methuen Treaty of 1703 the country fell more or less under English domination. Masonic influence soon became predominant under the Marquis of Pombal, leader of a sectarian government which in 1759 expelled the Jesuits.
After three Napoleonic invasions Portugal found itself at the beginning of the 19th Century under a liberal and Masonic monarchy. The last king to try to put up a resistance to the Freemasons was assassinated in 1908.
In 1910 a masonic republic was set up, even more sectarian than the preceding regime; shamefully anti-clerical laws were passed with the aim of de-Christianizing the country.
In 1917 the country was on the brink of economic catastrophe, deep in anarchy, subject to open religious persecution. (There were 111 cases of churches and chapels pillaged in 1917 alone.)
The last apparition took place on October 13, 1917. Less than two months later, the Masonic government was overthrown in the coup d'etat of Sidonio Pais, a former Freemason and courageous statesman, who fully restored the Church's liberty. He was assassinated in an attempted Masonic counter-coup on December 14, 1918.
Pais was thus in power for only a year, but recovery had begun, and his work was to last. It made possible the decisive national revival of 1926 and the accession to power of Salazar in 1928. For 40 years the destiny of Portugal was in the hands of this outstanding statesman, a close friend of another great Portuguese, Cardinal Cerejeira, Patriarch of Lisbon. These two men brought about a proper cooperation between Church and State (without confusing their distinct spheres of competence), and thus laid the foundations of a Christian restoration of their country, a restoration that the Cardinal attributed to Our Lady of Fatima.
From 1928 Salazar methodically pursued his policy of national recovery. He straightened out the disastrous financial situation, and thus led the way to economic revival. He vigorously opposed Communism and Freemasonry (the latter was dissolved in 1935), and in 1940 signed a concordat with the Holy See.
He left full and entire liberty to the Church and backed its efforts in Portugal itself and in the overseas territories. He amended marriage legislation so as to conform more closely to Catholic doctrine and canon law.
He summed up the main lines of his policy in the following declaration:
"We have tried to restore the comforting assurance of the great certainties to souls distressed by the doubt and negativism of this century. We have not seen those certainties as fit subjects for destructive debate, and so we have not entered into critical discussion on God and virtue, on our motherland and its history, on authority and its prestige, on the family and its morality, on the dignity of labor and the duty to work.
… We want to build a social and corporative State in a close relationship with the natural constitution of society: families, parishes, communes and corporate bodies …" (TVF, vol. II, p. 263.)
This began to be felt soon after the apparitions; figures for vocations to the priesthood and religious life give us some idea of its extent.
- Between 1917 and 1933 the number of seminarists rose from 18 to 201 in the diocese of Portalegre, and in the small diocese of Leiria (in which the seminary had been closed up to 1917) from 0 to 75.
- From 1933 to 1964 the number of secular priests increased by an average of 25%.
- Male religious had been expelled by the revolution of 1910; they remained legally forbidden until 1926; in 1934 they counted 370, and had risen to 1321 in 1941. The number of women religious showed a similar upward trend.
This rise in the number of secular clergy and religious was accompanied by what Cardinal Cerejeira called an "admirable and prodigious renewal of religious life in souls" (in his Pastoral Letter for the Jubilee of the Apparitions in 1942).
A few months after the canonical approval of the apparitions on October 13, 1930, the Portuguese bishops, together with Salazar as head of the government, gave official recognition to the Message of Fatima on May 13, 1931 by solemnly consecrating Portugal to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Protection Against the Communist Revolution
Concerned by the revolutionary events then taking place in Spain, the Portuguese bishops, on May 13, 1936, made the promise "to come on May 13, 1938, at the head of a national pilgrimage to offer solemn thanksgiving to the Most Holy Virgin, Mother of God, in the name of the whole nation, if She obtains for Portugal victory over atheistic Communism and the benefits of peace…." (Extract from their joint pastoral of Easter, 1938.)
Portugal did indeed escape the revolutionary infection. On May 13, 1938, the episcopate fulfilled its vow of two years earlier and renewed its consecration of the nation to Mary's Immaculate Heart. On that occasion Cardinal Cerejeira made the following declaration:
"Since Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917 … a special blessing from God has been poured out on the land of Portugal … If we look in particular at the two years that have elapsed since we made our vow, we cannot escape the conviction that God's invisible Hand has been protecting Portugal, holding at bay the scourge of war and the leprosy of atheistic Communism.
The benefit of peace, for which the Church prays so urgently in its liturgy, and for which we prayed with confidence at Fatima, has been granted us in an almost miraculous manner." (TVF, vol. II, p. 269.)
Protection Against the World War of 1939-1945
Seven months before the outbreak of war on February 6, 1939, Sister Lucia wrote to her bishop, Msgr. da Silva of Leiria. She told him that war was imminent, but at the same time communicated to him a magnificent promise: in that horrible war, Portugal would be spared as a result of the consecration of the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary made by its bishops. And in fact, despite Hitler's plans to the contrary, Portugal was not dragged into the world war. On May 7, 1945, Salazar expressed his gratitude for the Divine protection from which his country had benefited in these words:
"Providence, in its lofty designs, has permitted us to pass through the conflict without being involved in a direct and active fashion …" And he ended with the words: "Let us bless the victory! I shall say no more. At such a solemn, not to say sacred moment, I can feel within myself only a lively impulse of gratitude to Providence for its Mercy, and I pray that its Light may enlighten all those responsible for the destinies of the world."
When in 1946 an American journalist questioned him about Russia, Salazar made this striking reply, which takes us right into the heart of the Secret of Fatima:
"From what we know of conditions inside Russia, a revolution there seems unlikely in the near future. But there is one hope for peace: and that is that Providence will do for Russia what it has done here in Portugal."
In his homily of May 13, 1942, Cardinal Cerejeira pointed out that the example of Portugal was "… a harbinger of what Mary's Immaculate Heart has in store for the world."
"Fatima speaks not only to Portugal but to the whole world. We believe that the apparitions of Fatima are the opening of a new era, that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
"What has happened in Portugal can hardly be seen as other than a miracle, and one that is a harbinger of what Mary's Immaculate Heart has in store for the world." (TVF, vol. II, p. 276.)
1. From Sister Lucia's letter to Father Gonçalves of May 29, 1930.
2. This article appeared in the February 1987 issue (No. 213) of the review 'Stella Maris' (Editions du Parvis, CH-1631, Hauteville, Switzerland).
3. This consecration had been made on May 13, 1931.
4. 'Eglise de France, prends garde de perdre la foi', pub. Julliard, 1979. Father Fessard, a Jesuit, is a "poacher turned gamekeeper"; he was the author in 1941 of the first issue of 'Témoignage Chrétien', which for over 30 years has been peddling progressive leftist views among French Catholics.
5. The French Catholic aid agency accused (justifiably, it would seem) of funneling the charitable gifts of donors to the support of leftist subversion in the Third World. (Trans.)
6. A Frenchman (1884-1972), he was Pro-prefect of the Vatican Library and Secretary of the Congregation for the Eastern Church.
7. A Russian Orthodox prelate (1929-1978). At 31, he had become a bishop, and chief of the 'foreign affairs' department of the Moscow Patriarchate; he was considered to be a KGB representative within the church leadership. He would seem to have been converted by the time of his death in Rome.