Our Duty to the Common Good
by Father Nicholas Gruner, S.T.L., S.T.D. (Cand.)
In my book World Enslavement or Peace ... It s Up to the Pope, I spent 50 pages demonstrating that even if Fatima is not contained in Sacred Scripture, we are still bound under pain of sin to listen to and obey Our Lady of Fatima’s message and requests. This obligation extends to all of us: layperson, religious, priests, bishops and the Pope.
If I were to deny or put into doubt this truth, I myself would not be serving the Common Good. I would sin.
Nor am I the only one bound to uphold this truth. Anyone who knows Fatima and its message cannot escape this obligation. If anyone thinks I am incorrect, then I believe they must at least examine my theological reasons before they conclude the contrary position, since we all have the obligation to seek the truth.
Imagine the glorious consequences if enough people understood their duty to the Common Good. Just think if every layperson, man, woman and child were aware of Fatima and the crucial role the consecration of Russia has for their faith, family, freedom and for all their loved ones. Imagine if every man, woman and child in the entire world phoned their bishop, their pastor, and the Pope, to ask him to do the consecration of Russia. If this was done, you can be sure the Pope would do it as he would have all the moral support he needs to enact it. He would be able to command any recalcitrant prelate, he would have no fear of any disobedient bishop leading a revolt against his Papacy.
Let no one say the laity have no place in dealing with the consecration. It is true that in this matter they do not have the power to command, nor are they bishops called upon to directly make the act of consecration. Only the bishops together with the Pope can do that. But laypeople certainly have the power to inform the bishops, they have the power to influence public opinion inside and outside the Church. They have the power to invoke their God-given rights to ask for responsible government and to hold their superiors accountable to the public promises their pastors made in taking on their job as pastors.
There is much they can do. They can pray for the consecration as Jesus and Mary have told us to. They can sacrifice for it. They can tell everyone they meet about it. Because God wants this consecration and its resultant conversion of Russia to be known and seen as a victory to the Immaculate Heart of Mary 1 This will only be known if those who know the Fatima prophecies about Russia pass this on to their fellow man.
The false theology and mind-set that ‘the laity can do nothing’, must be overcome so as to create a groundswell of support for the consecration of Russia. To achieve this we need more priests, laypeople and bishops coming out in favor of the collegial consecration of Russia as requested by Our Lady of Fatima. We certainly have not been left without guidance and directives in this area.
Sister Lucy indirectly addressed the issue of the lay-Catholic's duty to the Common Good when she said “do not wait for the call of penance to come from the hierarchy”.2 She is obviously encouraging personal initiative. On another occasion when asked about insisting on the consecration, She answered by clearly pointing out the necessity of the Consecration of Russia as commanded at Fatima.3
Hamish Fraser pointed out that lay-Catholics have a duty to act as apostles in their own milieux without waiting for orders from the hierarchy. He castigated those Catholics who lamented the deplorable condition of Church and State today but took no action to restore order.4
Canons 208-223 of the New Code of Canon Law, which deal with the rights and obligations of Christ's Faithful, support this position in various places. I am especially impressed with Canon 212, No. 2 which states that ‘Christ's faithful are at liberty to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their wishes to the Pastors of the Church.`Yet, when we respectfully exercise this liberty in petitioning for the consecration of Russia, we are falsely accused as inciting ‘bitterness toward the Holy Father.'
Canon 225, No. 2 states that ‘each layperson in accord with his or her condition is bound by a special duty to imbue and perfect the order of temporal affairs with the spirit of the Gospel’. What better way to permeate the ‘order of temporal affairs with the spirit of the Gospel’, than to work towards the collegial consecration of Russia, which is Our Lord‘s plan for perfecting society according to His Divine Law through Our Lady's Immaculate Heart?
So, while it may be said that working for the Common Good in this manner is ‘politically incorrect’, especially in ecclesiastical circles, it cannot be said that it is against Canon Law, Church teaching and practice.
Let no one say the laity have no place in dealing with the consecration. It is wrong and against our prayer ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth’, and our Faith, to say that the layman can do nothing about bringing the reign of Christ on earth. This is especially true for Catholics in the 20th Century since now we have the spiritual weapons God has given us that will infallibly bring about His kingdom on earth. God has revealed in the public, prophetic revelation of Fatima, His plan for world peace and the establishment of His kingdom on earth. We must offer Eucharistic reparation, pray Rosaries, wear the Brown Scapular, make the Five First Saturdays for the intention of bringing about the Consecration of Russia.
God wants this consecration and its resultant conversion of Russia to be known and seen as a victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This will only be known if those who are aware of the Fatima prophecies about Russia pass this on to their fellow man.
Laypeople and priests can support those who are promoting it among the laity, priests and bishops by their prayers, sacrifices and financial contributions. They can let the truth be known by opposing and silencing those ignorant of Her message, who fight against the collegial consecration and who seek to discredit those who promote the consecration of Russia.
If they have been guilty in the past of sowing confusion of mind, or dissipation of energy, or division of hearts over this issue, they should make reparation by reversing their previous sins of word and actions, and work as hard or harder to promote union of minds, hearts and energy toward this great moment of Triumph of Our Lady.
Those in whatever walk of life who could help promote the consecration of Russia and do not, have only themselves to blame if the threatened chastisement of enslavement by atheistic Russia takes place. They could expect that they, first of all, may fall victims of their sins of omission.
Perhaps they actually would be second to fall victim. The first place is reserved for those who, while claiming the laypeople can do nothing in this regard, make it their business to print and promote lies among members of the Church against this most crucial request of Our Lady regarding the necessity of consecrating Russia.
Today, we need to pray for protection from those people who work against the Fatima Message. I refer to those who do nothing to promote this essential condition for world peace (due to their ignorance of the true Fatima requests). These same people spend a great deal of energy, like the Pharisees of old, pretending to be scandalized at those who promote the truth. Further, just like the Pharisees of old, they seek to destroy the reputation of those good people who refuse to be hypocrites like themselves. It is similar to what the Pharisees did to Our Lord.
In their spiritual jealousy, they became guilty of fighting against God and the known truth. This is a weighty offense and may even be a sin against the Holy Ghost 5 Such as these are in grave danger of losing their souls, and it may take a special grace to save them from hellfire.
We must pray for the weak souls who labor under the burden these hypocrites place on them through their lies and libel. We must be on our guard against them.
We must avoid people and directives that tell us:
l) That we have no obligation to the Common Good.
2) That the individual can do nothing to effect the consecration of Russia.
3) That Fatima is not morally binding on us.
If they really believed those three statements, why do they seek to dissuade us? If it really makes no difference, why don t they just leave all of us in peace?
Secondly, why do they profess love, devotion and obedience to Our Lady of Fatima while, at the same time, they work to destroy people's belief, adherence and support of Her full message and request. Our Lady came for a purpose. She told us the truth and expects us to believe and obey Her. These people claim Her for themselves, but are deceived and blind. Do not follow them.
No matter what anyone may say to the contrary, it is a fact that we all have an obligation to the Common Good. We must tell the truth in public and private. Therefore, we must publish and promote the truth, the whole truth about Fatima. We must pray and work for the will of God to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
None of us are excused from this obligation. None of us may hinder those who truly work for the Common Good. To the extent we are able, we must do what we can now, because none of us have a guarantee we will be here tomorrow.
We have to pray our Rosary each day, make sacrifices, wear our Scapular, consecrate ourselves to Our Lady and make the Five First Saturdays. These are things we can do as Catholics. It's everybody's job, not just the Pope's and the bishop's. Heaven did not give the great grace of the Fatima Message in order for us to yawn toward it with indifference. Responding to Fatima is a duty to which each and every one of us will have to render an account before God.
1. Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: The Only Way to World Peace, pg. 91.
2. Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, pg. 28.
3. Frère François de Marie des Anges, The Only Way To World Peace, pgs. 90-91.
4. Michael Davies, Religious Liberty and the Secular State, Catholic Family News, Aug. 1996.
5. St. Matthew 12:31-32.