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Report: "FATIMA 2000"

by John Vennari

The visitation of Our Blessed Mother to Fatima, Portugal in 1917 is the most important event of the Twentieth Century. In a few short visits, and with an efficiency of words, nobility of manner and gravity, Our Lady told us what Heaven thinks of the present state of mankind. We have been weighed in the balance and have been found wanting. If mankind continues on its path, it will suffer Divine punishment from a God "Who is already too much offended."

Only Heaven has the right to issue an ultimatum, and the world's most dramatic "either/or" was executed by She who has been crowned Daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son and Spouse of God the Holy Ghost. Her beauty, goodness and gentleness sometimes makes us forget that She is the solemn ambassador of the omnipotent "I Am Who Am". When She speaks, it is at the command of the Blessed Trinity, and the entire created universe must snap to attention and take heed. Even the sun dances at Her request.

But men are not so easily moved. It would seem that it is easier for Heaven to turn the entire solar system on its head than to have many Churchmen lend an ear. In 1917, the sun danced at Fatima. Since 1917, numerous prelates have danced around the Fatima warnings and evaded implementing Our Lady's full requests. Day by day, the predicted consequences of ignoring Our Lady's words become more apparent, and the urgency more acute. Hell is hemorrhaging armies of demons to the four corners of the earth, and all about we hear their laughter of mockery and triumph. The darkness of post-Christian paganism closes in on all sides, and the simple, Heaven-sent solution is downplayed, ignored, misrepresented and opposed.

The Clash

All Fatima apostolates promote Our Lady's call for the daily Rosary, Five First Saturdays, the Brown Scapular, prayer and sacrifice, and offering our daily duty to God. The point of controversy surrounds the Third Secret which remains hidden, and the Collegial Consecration of Russia which has not been fulfilled. The "politically correct" Fatima apostolates dilute the Message of Fatima so as not to incur the displeasure of certain Church leaders who look upon these two points as a bothersome nuisance. In spite of glaring facts to the contrary, these apostolates claim that the Collegial Consecration of Russia has been done, and that the Third Secret really shouldn't be revealed anyway.

The International Fatima Rosary Crusade distinguishes itself in not only promoting Our Lady's request for the Rosary, Five First Saturdays and the rest, but especially of the necessity for the release of the Third Secret and the urgent need for the Collegial Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope in union with the bishops of the world. It is because Our Blessed Mother told us that this is the only solution to world peace and the cause of the salvation of many souls that The Fatima Crusader and its publisher, Father Nicholas Gruner hammer at this message without change like a drumbeat. The message is repetitive by necessity, not by intent. No matter what one may think of Father Gruner, the cold fact remains that his is the only worldwide Fatima apostolate that has the message right.

It is this fidelity, Our Lady's words and the intense interest of faithful Catholics who want to know the full Message of Fatima (and not just the portion that self-appointed "experts" wish to promote) that accounts for The Fatima Crusader's popularity and wide spread support. It was this hunger for the truth that caused nearly 200 faithful, including archbishops, bishops, priests, religious and laypeople to fly to Rome from November 18th to 24th to attend the Third International Fatima Congress hosted by The Fatima Crusader. The Congress, entitled: "Fatima 2000: World Peace and the Immaculate Heart of Mary", was opened by His Grace Archbishop Benedict To Varpin, and was a great success despite the opposition it had encountered.

John Vennari, editor Catholic Family News, a keynote speaker at Fatima 2000.

More Intrigue

Like its two preceding conferences, the Third Fatima Congress had attracted the opposition of certain Vatican bureaucrats who remain determined to squelch the view expressed by The Fatima Crusader magazine, and held by many of the faithful.

These functionaries issued a communiqué ‚to every bishop in the world stating that no bishop should attend the Congress in Rome because it "lacks permission of ecclesiastical authority", when in fact no such permission is required by the law of the Church.

These tactics were nothing new. It was a repeat performance by the same men who attempted unsuccessfully to derail two prior Fatima Congresses sponsored by The Fatima Crusader - at Fatima, Portugal in 1992, and at Mexico City in 1994. Through back-door diplomatic maneuvers, the official bureaucrats attempted to block issuance of visas to bishops who wished to attend the 1994 conference at Mexico City, and they persuaded the Mexican bishops conference to cancel the reservation of its facilities for the Congress, forcing it to relocate to an expensive hotel at the last moment.

This year's conference was the target of similar Vatican bureaucratic maneuvers, according to conference organizers, who have received correspondence from bishops in several countries attesting to the refusal of Papal Nuncios to grant them visas to attend.

Papal Nuncio Blocks Bishop's Visa

Bishop Salvador Lazo of the Philippines, a prelate whose name appeared on the invitation form for the Fatima 2000 Conference was denied a visa into Italy by the Papal Nuncio, and could not attend the Congress as a result. The Italian government informed Bishop Lazo that before issuing visas, they must have note verbale from the Papal Nuncio. "This note from the nuncio is an absolute requirement for all religious going to Italy. I used to get a visa for Italy without any difficulty at all, but this time it is quite different," writes Bishop Lazo explaining his regrets for not being able to attend the Fatima 2000 Congress. "We have all valid documents, except nuncio permission." (It should be noted that by civil law, Papal Nuncio permission for clergy to travel to Italy is required, but permission to attend the conference is NOT required by any Church or civil law.)

Archbishop To Varpin of the Archdiocese of Madang, whose name also appeared on the Congress invitation received his visa before the New Guinea Apostolic Nuncio received his order to deny visas for clergy to attend "Fatima 2000". Many attempts were made for His Grace to reconsider attending. "I'm here to pray for world peace," said To Varpin. "I don't get many chances to pray for peace among my friends."

Eleven Speakers, Many Topics

The Congress' curriculum included 11 speakers who specialize in different areas of research and expertise. The speeches ranged in topics such as the history of Fatima, spirituality, dogmatic and apologetical instruction, canon law, and warnings against worldwide atheism. Specific topics included The New One-World Religion, The Threat of Atheistic Globalism, Evolution, What the World Will Look Like Under the Reign of Mary, How to Practice Filial Devotion to Our Lady, The Perestroika Deception, the Third Secret, Russia's Errors, Feminism, Biblical foundations for the Eucharist, the Papacy and Marian Devotion, and many other themes. The lectures, which were simultaneously translated at the Congress into French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, were well received by all who attended.

Father Paul Trinchard (See his article "Providentially".)
Dr. Tom Droleskey, lecturer, journalist and Catholic activist flew in for 3 days to tell us what it will be like in the Reign of Mary.
Cornelia Ferreira, president of Women for Faith and Family, speaks to the bishops and delegates about the coming new world religion and about "The Perestroika Deception."
Mr. Gerry Matalics, a converted Protestant Minister, president and founder of Biblical Foundations International, explains to the bishops and delegates the Biblical foundation of Marian Devotion; Eucharistic Devotion; and the Papacy.

The Conference Delegates ranged from the very-well informed to a surprising number who were hearing much of this information for the first time. Delegates came from the United States, Canada, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Lithuania, Hungary, Scotland, England, Denmark, New Zealand, Gibraltar, Thailand and other lands. Were it not for the unjustified bad press that the Congress had received, the audience would have been at least three times the size.

Excursions in Rome

Since all work and no play makes us dull boys and girls, the Congress also scheduled trips to various sites and Shrines in the Eternal City, including a Wednesday morning general audience with Pope John Paul II. These audiences take place in a large, modern auditorium built in 1971 that seats 9,000. Unfortunately, the building seems more fitted to house the Russian politburo than Papal audiences. It is a hideous monstrosity in which not one trace of our Catholic heritage is reflected in its architectural design. Not even a crucifix could be found.

The Pope looked and sounded exhausted. He now walks like an old man taking very small steps. Arriving at his Chair center stage, he slowly turned around and limply dropped into it. His speech seems just a bit slurred, and it was a sad sight to behold. A number of the bishops from the Fatima 2000 Congress were on stage with the Pope, who afterwards, greeted them warmly.

As Chris Ferrara explained (see "There is a Conspiracy Against This Priest") to the Congress, through no fault of his own Father Gruner today has to commit much time and energy to fighting off a canonical attack upon his Fatima apostolate by bureaucrats who are preventing him from being "incardinated" by a benevolent bishop.

The canonical problems he has encountered are actually nothing more than an attempt to shut down his Fatima apostolate by discrediting his name, as he has done nothing to warrant ecclesiastical penalties. He has appealed the case directly to the Pope. At this Wednesday morning audience, one bishop and one layman were able to place Father Gruner's appeal directly into the hands of John Paul II. A photographer from L'Osservatore Romano captured the exchange on film. What happens next remains to be seen.

The Wednesday Audience

On a personal note, I felt myself feeling very sorry for the Pope having to endure such a grueling procedure every Wednesday morning, even if such an ordeal is self-inflicted. The crowd of 9,000 piles into the auditorium. The Pope enters left stage amid the cheers and tears of the faithful. He sits and reads a homily. He then receives and gives greetings to various countries in the languages of Italian, French, Spanish, English and German. Each group stands, sings or intones a slogan when it is acknowledged.

He then closes by chanting the Pater Noster in Latin with the entire crowd, gives a blessing and concludes the audience. As he is meeting and greeting those on the stage, the 9,000 pile out of the building. The whole exercise takes about 3 hours.

It is long, tedious, and quite frankly, an ordeal I would not want to go through again. Sadly, the stage, building and surroundings strip the Pope of any noble and royal setting that is due his Sacred Office. All is enormous, unfocussed and stark, except for a monstrous pagan-looking sculpture behind the Pope that inspires no reverence.

I guess it is supposed to be a sculpture of the resurrection. A few people remarked that it looked more like Don Bosco's vision of hell. One can only wonder what such an audience would have been like in the days of Pope Pius XII. The barren, lifeless "spirit of Vatican II" pervades that hollow hall, and it is a great relief to be out of it.

Our Roman Heritage

On the other hand, the great Shrines and Churches in Rome leave one awestruck. Everything in Rome is on a grand scale. The structures are colossal and the workmanship is breathtaking. There are no buildings we can compare them to in our country. The Four Major Basilicas: St. Peter's, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls are places that every Catholic should visit at least once in his life in order to link him with his Roman Catholic heritage. How can one express the emotion when visiting St. John Lateran, the basilica from which the Popes governed the Church from the 3rd to the 14th Century? Or when walking on tile floors in St. Mary Major Basilica laid down in the 13th Century? These grand structures were built by men of Faith who operated on the principle that there is nothing too good for God.

Unlike many of today's constructs, these Churches are permeated with a sense of reverence, nobility and majesty. They are, as Professor Amerio wrote, "buildings that pray". Though it is fashionable for the post-Vatican II Catholic to be embarrassed by such grandiose structures, I confess that I make no apology for being proud of architecture that boasts of Catholic triumphalism.

But there is more to the Church than brick, stone, vibrant stained glass and fabulous mosaics. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ composed of men who represent the best and worst of the human condition. It is composed of Church members and Church leaders who are capable of both heroic sanctity and shocking malice. The Church itself is subject to infiltration by evil men who cause great havoc by seeking her destruction. This was the subject of a stunning Friday morning address by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo that received the undivided attention of all present.

Archbishop Milingo Speech: 
"Satanists at Work in Vatican"

Archbishop Milingo had also attended the Fatima Congress of l994 in Mexico. There he severely criticized certain Vatican bureaucrats for their efforts to prevent bishops from attending that conference in Mexico.

In Rome in l996, once again he gave a dramatic speech. This one was entitled "The Three Dimensions of Evil" and was given at the Congress on Friday, November 22. Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo himself, one of the select few Archbishops who actually works in the Vatican said that some members of the Vatican bureaucracy are satanists working to undermine the Church.

Milingo is in a unique position to comment on this because he is a practical exorcist. He has had more "hands on" experience fighting the demonic than perhaps any other Vatican bishop. Knowing that his sounding the public alarm about satanists in the Vatican will draw down heavy criticism on himself, he nevertheless, was moved to denounce this grave danger to the Church. He chose "Fatima 2000" to make known his startling discovery that there are followers of satan in the Vatican who have fallen so low as to be in what he called the "third degree of evil." He explained that these men are extremely evil and very dangerous. They have chosen to work in the Vatican in order to do great harm to the Church and to souls.

Best selling author, Malachi Martin, himself an exorcist and Vatican insider, reached for comment, confirmed the Archbishop's observations. Martin said, "Archbishop Milingo is a good bishop and his contention that there are satanists in the Vatican is completely correct."

In Martin's new 1996 book, Windswept House the author recounts how, on June 29, 1963 a few days before the coronation of Paul VI, there was a black mass perpetrated in St. Paul's Chapel inside the Vatican to enthrone the prince of darkness there and the members of the hierarchy who participated in the terrible blasphemous ceremony gave themselves up totally to the service of satan. A factual mention of this was also included on p. 632 of Martin's earlier book Keys of this Blood.

Not surprisingly, Milingo's speech captured the attention of the Italian Press. Il Messaggero, a Roman newspaper on a par with the New York Times, ran a front page headline of the story in the Sunday, November 24th edition. A number of other dailies also carried the report, including "Il Tempo" Italy's second largest paper. (See further report in "Satanism is Practiced in Vatican!")

Mingling With the Delegates

While attending the Congress it was not uncommon to encounter a wide spectrum of people coming from various backgrounds and experiences.

A doctor from Denmark recounted that he had been told by friends to have nothing to do with The Fatima Crusader, advice he followed with docility until he actually read the magazine and found himself in perfect agreement with everything contained in it.

A priest from Lithuania who was interested in my lecture on Darwinism, recounted that 15 years ago, he had written an article against evolution that was confiscated by the KGB.

A Hungarian priest who, after the Congress concelebrated Mass with Pope John Paul II, told some of the Congress organizers that the Pope related to this priest that he cannot consecrate Russia specifically by name because of "too much politics". This is why one of the Fatima 2000 Resolutions asked for Father Gruner to be able to speak directly to the Pope — so that he could respond to those men around the Pope who tell him that it is impossible to obey Our Lady of Fatima.

The Congress Closes

Father Gruner gave several addresses to the Congress outlining the implications to the world if Our Lady's wishes are not followed, "The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer and various nations will be annihilated."

Father Gruner told delegates in his speech titled "Fatima, Our Only Hope": "Now, with greater urgency than ever, we must petition our Holy Father to step through the phalanx of Vatican bureaucrats which surrounds him and do precisely what Our Lady requested at Fatima, in an apparition the Church has declared authentic and worthy of belief, an apparition confirmed with a miracle witnessed by 70,000 people."

The Congress also included workshops for discussing ideas and methods of implementing the Fatima Message. On the last day of the Congress, a set of resolutions was passed without dissent by all delegates addressing all the concerns raised at this year's Fatima 2000 conference in Rome. (See the Resolutions in "The Third Fatima Congress Resolutions".)

The success of all activities to heal the crisis in the Church and the world are contingent upon Our Lady of Fatima's request being obeyed by Church leaders and laity. It is hoped that the Fatima 2000 Congress in Rome will have done its part to enkindle a renewed interest in the Fatima Message, and that the world will take seriously the uncompromising words of Our Blessed Lady who firmly told us, "Only I can help you."