Father Gruner answers questions from our readers and friends
|Father Gruner was in Rome recently with the Pilgrim Virgin Statue|
When you state that the Holy Father has not yet consecrated Russia, are you not implying that he is a "bad" Pope because he does not obey Our Lord and Our Lady?
No. Let me explain. Some people simply cannot conceive that the Holy Father, knowing that the peace of the world depends on the Consecration of Russia, could be so derelict in his duty as to not obey Our Lady and consecrate Russia in the specific manner She asked for at Fatima. Their minds and hearts reel at the very notion that any Pope could be so callous or unfeeling as to put into jeopardy the happiness and salvation of millions upon millions of souls.
To answer these critics, first of all, we must realize that it was Pope John Paul II who himself acknowledged that he has not done the consecration as Our Lady of Fatima requested. The simple fact is that he has publicly acknowledged this on at least two separate occasions since the consecration of the world at Fatima in 1984.
Secondly, it is important to note that no one has suggested (least of all The Fatima Crusader or myself) that the Pope has not done the consecration out of any base or improper motives. It is clear that the Holy Father feels that his freedom of action is compromised when it comes to this highly controversial act and that certain powerful forces are allied against him who will stop at nothing to prevent him from obeying Our Lady's command.
We must never forget that this Pope was nearly killed on May 13, 1981 by a gunman who swore that he was part of a larger multinational conspiracy dedicated to his assassination. The millions of dollars deposited in the would-be assassin's bank account remains grisly testimony to the power and influence of the Pope's enemies.
Thirdly, if, for a moment, we accept that Pope John Paul II actually did consecrate Russia in 1984 according to Our Lady's request, then by the same false reasoning of these critics we must necessarily suggest that all of his predecessors - from Pius XI through John Paul I - were "bad" popes because, unlike him, they freely chose to ignore the Mother of God's command and thus jeopardized the lives and salvation of billions of souls.
Obviously, this is not true. And just as obviously, to say that the consecration has not yet been accomplished is not (and never has been) to imply base or unworthy motives to any Pope.
I keep reading that the Consecration of Russia has already been done, yet you insist that it has not. Who am I to believe?
By its very nature, the Consecration of Russia will be a fact of objective history which should be easy enough to establish. Simply speaking, the consecration requires that the Pope order all the Catholic bishops of the world to, on the same day and at the same hour, solemnly and publicly pronounce a common prayer consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
No such event has ever taken place. That is, no Pope has ever ordered the bishops to consecrate Russia and no Pope has ever sent a common prayer to the world's bishops that explicitly and specifically consecrates Russia (and only Russia).
(Pope Pius XII is the only Pope who personally consecrated Russia in a public way, but he never ordered any bishops to join him. He also consecrated the entire world in 1942 as did Paul VI in 1964 and John Paul II in 1982 and again in 1984. In all these cases, the act of consecration was of the world and not specifically and only of Russia, as Our Lady asked at Fatima.)
It is manifestly a matter of historical record that the consecration requested by Our Lady at Fatima, that is the Consecration of Russia, has never occurred.
This point has to be so clear and obvious to all, even the most partisan person. For example, one well-known French priest, Father Rene Laurentin in the past few years tried to argue that the Consecration of Russia was done by March 25, 1984. However, in the late autumn of 1995, on nationwide Italian Television, when he was seriously challenged, Father Laurentin admitted to millions of people that the Consecration of Russia as requested by Our Lady of Fatima has NEVER been done.
If one were to argue (as some have) that the Pope de facto consecrated Russia when he consecrated the entire world, then the question immediately arises why did Our Lady specify Russia (and only Russia) and not the world in Her request?
Why Did Our Lady Specify Russia?
Sister Lucy has explained that Russia is a definite place, with definite borders, and when the whole world sees that specifically Russia is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and as a direct result of that consecration that that specific country is converted - it will be seen by all as a moral miracle that came only as a result of the merits and prayers of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.
Are You Saying that Only Russia Needs to be Converted?
Could it be that Our Lord and Our Lady want the Consecration of Russia because only Russia needs conversion? Hardly. It is clear that Jesus and Mary understand that the whole world requires conversion as well. This is what Our Lady means when She says at Fatima: "I have come to warn the Faithful to mend their lives and ask pardon for their sins."
The testimony of the last remaining seer of Fatima also makes this point clear. In August 1931, while praying for Spain, Portugal, Russia, Europe and the world, Our Lord spoke to Sister Lucy and said: "You please me very much by praying for the conversion of those people." And He went on to say, "And ask it also of My Mother saying to Her often:"
"By Thy pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world." "Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world."
By composing, dictating and telling us to pray often the above two prayers, Jesus is making it very clear He knows that the whole world and not just Russia alone needs conversion.
Both Our Lord and Our Lady know that it is not just Russia that needs conversion, but nevertheless They both specify Russia alone as the object of the consecration.
The promise of world peace is given by the conversion of Russia which will only take place through its consecration by the Holy Father and all the Catholic bishops.
The plain fact is that those who claim that the Consecration of Russia has taken place are actually making Our Lady out to be a liar. At Fatima, She solemnly promised that at its consecration, Russia would be converted.
Now, concerning this conversion, there are two elements that need be taken into consideration. First, what exactly is meant by conversion? And, second, how long does conversion take?
What is Meant by the "Conversion" of Russia?
There can be little question that the conversion Our Lady referred to is the conversion of non-Catholics into Catholics. When She spoke of the conversion of Russia in 1917, that nation was not yet under the yoke of atheistic Communism, but rather was a bulwark of the Eastern Orthodox religion. If Russia was to be converted as Our Lady said it must, it was certainly not to the Orthodox version of Christianity which it already embraced, but instead to our own Holy Catholic Faith.
Likewise, Our Lady did not promise to convert Russia to democracy or representational government. She did not come to Fatima to convert the world or bring it peace through democracy, but rather appeared to three Catholic children and, through them, to the true Church of Her Son, Our Lord and Redeemer. The conditions by which conversion and peace are to be established in the world are vested solely in the hands of the Catholic Church, its leaders and the Faithful.
Looking at the historical facts of the last 78 years, there is simply no way that we can sensibly say that Russia has been converted to the Catholic Faith. Without counting satellite nations, Russia boasts a population of 140 million souls. Less than one million of these identify themselves as Catholics. Based on these figures, one could hardly call Russia today a "Catholic country" and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it is not even a Christian one any longer.
To those who point to changes in Russia since the fall of the Marxist regime, it should be noted that these are almost entirely political changes that have in many cases actually further poisoned the moral condition of the people. Western-style sex shops and gambling dens and a proliferation of crime and prostitution can hardly be adduced as evidence of conversion to the Catholic Faith!
Whether by self-proclaimed "Fatima experts" or not, those who contend that the conversion of Russia has taken place are, in fact, really saying that Our Lady does not keep Her promises, that She does not really mean to do what She says.
How do you reply to those who say "The conversion of Russia has already begun"?
Of course, there are those who argue that the conversion will take some time, that it is a gradual process and we are merely seeing the "tip of the iceberg" now. If we were talking here about one month or six months or even a year, possibly such an argument might be valid. But it has been a full 12 years since the so-called "consecration of Russia" took place in 1984!
Reviewing the history of those 12 years, one would be hard-pressed indeed to find any real evidence that a widespread conversion to the Catholic Faith is taking place in Russia. The sole Catholic bishop in Russia has actually made a point of not accepting Orthodox converts to the Catholic Faith while, at the same time, loudly announcing that Russia has been converted!
This is hardly what anyone would call a great missionary effort on the part of our Holy Church. If it is a matter of depending on the action of this one bishop and his superiors in the Vatican, we can be certain that we will never see Russia converted to Catholicism ... not now, not in a million years.
Our Lord and Our Lady's purpose of converting Russia through its consecration by the Pope and the bishops is to demonstrate to the world that it is solely through the merits and intercession of the Immaculate Heart that this miracle of conversion can occur.
And indeed Our Lady has shown already that She is capable of converting people instantly. In the case of Mexico, an entire nation was converted in less than 10 years. Between 1531 and 1540, the entire population of 9 MILLION souls was converted to the Catholic Faith.
If the Queen of Heaven can convert a pagan nation practicing human sacrifice in less than 10 years, surely She can convert the same number of Russians in the same number of years. 12 years have come and gone ... and yet the number of Catholics in Russia has not meaningfully increased.
Why do you insist on promoting this aspect of the Fatima Message, namely the Consecration of Russia?
The critical significance of the Fatima Message, its meaning to our time and for all time, rests in its solemn promise of conversion and peace brought through obedience to Our Lady in the Consecration of Russia. It is especially critical for our time when you realize that world peace will never come until that consecration is done.
With wars and violence rife throughout the world and with the recent reemergence of the Communist Party in Russia, it is clear that no such conversion and certainly no such peace has or is taking place.
I challenge those who say the consecration has taken place to give me any significant evidence whatsoever that Our Lady's promises of Russia's conversion and world peace have ensued as She said they would. In the absence of just such evidence, I will continue to maintain that Our Lord and Our Lady await the fulfillment of the Fatima request for consecration. It's just as simple as that.
Are you aware, Father Gruner, of what your opponents are saying about you?
Sadly, most of my opponents do not have the courtesy or courage to confront me face-to-face with their charges. Occasionally, I stumble across them or am told of them by a third party. I know, for instance, that some ultra-traditionalists believe that I am too respectful and too loyal to the Holy Father. On the other hand, some modernist Catholics think I am not respectful or loyal enough. Others criticize me for being "naive" or, conversely, "dogmatic" by taking Our Lady's Fatima words too seriously. Their position is that the Fatima Message, particularly as it concerns Russia's consecration, is not to be taken literally. They seem to feel that the Message is some kind of poetic fantasy much akin to a fairy tale or legend.
These are the type of people who, when confronted with a miracle, (like the Miracle of the Sun) will go so far as to deny the evidence of their own eyes rather than accept that God created the natural world and remains Master of it. "Oh ye of little faith" is what Our Lord says of them.
As far as my critics are concerned, I am reminded that St. Paul says that the Cross is a scandal to the Jews and a folly to the Greeks, but to those whom God intends to save, it is salvation to them. Similarly, to those who think that Our Lady of Fatima is a scandal or a folly, there is nothing much I can do for them except pray, pray and pray again, asking God and His Blessed Mother to open their eyes and convert them to the truth.
The truth will make them free and the truth of Fatima will deliver the world and the Church from the imminent danger surrounding all of us.
As I see it, my duty is to God, to Our Lady and to our Holy Faith and to Pope John Paul II and to all men of good will. It is to spread devotion to Our Lady and love of Her Fatima Message without falsification or fear, without alteration or censorship. This is my goal always, my purpose and my most earnest prayer.
Father Gruner, some people say that you are the only public person to give much importance to the Consecration of Russia as Our Lady of Fatima requested.
That is simply not true. There are over 400 bishops who have signed a statement indicating their willingness to consecrate Russia as Our Lady of Fatima requested.
There are many priests and religious who signed our "14 Fatima Resolutions" and the "Open Letter to the Pope" published on July 12, 1995 in Il Messaggero in Rome. Both of these documents emphasize the urgent and critical importance of consecrating Russia as Our Lady of Fatima requested.
Is it not disloyal to publicly say of the Holy Father that he has not done the consecration even if it is true, because to say this publicly is embarrassing to him?
First of all, let me remind you that the Holy Father himself, acknowledged not once but twice, on March 25, 1984, after he consecrated the world, that he had not done the consecration that Our Lady of Fatima asked for. This is not something that I have made up or cannot verify. It is easy enough to verify because it was recorded in the Catholic papers in Rome the next day.
The L'Osservatore Romano reported what the Pope said and we carried a photograph of this report three times in The Fatima Crusader. In it the Holy Father said, "Enlighten especially the peoples of which You Yourself are awaiting our consecration and confiding."
He said that after the consecration of the world; so the Pope knows the consecration was not done. The only people Our Lady of Fatima mentioned to consecrate is the nation of Russia.
Secondly, in the Avvenire Magazine of March 26, 1984, it reports the Pope's own words at 4 o'clock in the afternoon on March 25th, about four hours after he consecrated the world. In effect, the Pope has acknowledged he has not done the consecration.
So if the Pope acknowledges it and says the consecration is not done, why should we not repeat his words? Certainly he was not being disloyal to himself in saying that. Yet because I quote the Holy Father's own words, opponents of Fatima would have you believe that I am the one who is disloyal. No it is they, who falsify and hide his words, who are disloyal.
There are also other priests better known than I am who have said many times in public that the Consecration of Russia has not been done as Our Lady requested, and no one suggests that they should not say these things or that they are disloyal.
Father Gobbi is one such priest that comes to my mind. Father Gobbi often is seen with the Holy Father. He visits him frequently and is photographed with him. In his book entitled Our Lady Speaks to Her Beloved Priests he reports that Our Lady told him the following on March 25, 1984:
"Particular circumstances have not yet permitted the explicit Consecration of Russia which I have requested many times."
On May 13, 1987, Our Lady is reported as saying to Father Gobbi: "My request that Russia be consecrated to Me by the Pope together with all the bishops has not been accepted and thus she has spread her errors in every part of the world."
I draw your attention to the fact that this was said and reported on May 13, 1987 more than three years after the alleged consecration purported to have fulfilled Our Lady of Fatima's request.
On June 10, 1987, a month later, Father Gobbi reports that Our Lady spoke to him as follows:
"It will moreover be particularly important for the development of great events which have been foretold to you by Me if during this year there be at last carried out, My request made to My daughter Sister Lucy of Fatima that Russia be consecrated to Me by the Pope together with all the bishops in the world."
And again on May 13, 1990, Father Gobbi, from Fatima, reports that Our Lady spoke to him and said:
"Russia has not been consecrated to Me by the Pope together with all the bishops and thus she has not received the grace of conversion and has spread her errors throughout all parts of the world provoking wars, violence and bloody revolutions and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father."
... “My Third Secret which I revealed here (Fatima) to three little children to whom I appeared and which up to the present has not been revealed to you will be made manifest to all by the very occurrence of events. The Church will know the hour of its greatest apostasy. The man of iniquity will penetrate into its interior and will sit in the very temple of God while the little remnant which will remain faithful will be subjected to the greatest trials and persecutions.”
Father Gobbi, for writing and publishing these things, is not considered disloyal or imprudent. I am not any less loyal or prudent for revealing the whole truth of the Message of Fatima.
I have answered this objection before, at greater length in my booklet entitled, Make It Known. Anyone who does not feel it was sufficiently answered here can get a copy from The Fatima Crusader.