Our Lady's E-Newsletter: May 2015
Father Gruner’s Death Followed by Attacks
Upon Fatima Apostolate
On May 8, the day before the Funeral Mass of Father Nicholas Gruner (see: “The Pontifical High Mass of Father Nicholas Gruner’s Funeral”), comments about the nature of the Message of Fatima and its meaning were made at a conference in the Vatican by Cardinal Angelo Amato. The Cardinal’s remarks appeared in several prominent Catholic publications and media outlets, including Catholic News Service, The Catholic Herald in the United Kingdom and the online edition of the newspaper of the Holy See, L’Osservatore Romano (see: “Fatima 'lifts veil' on evil, Christian persecution, says cardinal”).
Cardinal Amato served as Secretary for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), under then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, from 2002 to 2008. He says he had access to the original document of the Secret and had meditated upon its meaning. The CDF (the former Holy Office) was the repository of the Third Secret of Fatima and charged with “interpreting” the vision, written in Sister Lucy’s own words and published in the year 2000 (see: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, The Message of Fatima).
There was nothing new in Cardinal Amato’s presentation, “The Message of Fatima between Charism and Prophecy”. His Eminence repeated the claims of former Vatican Secretaries of State Angelo Sodano and Tarcisio Bertone that Fatima refers to the sufferings of Christians in the 20th Century and that the vision of the bishop in white who is killed after climbing a hill in a half-ruined city is the prophecy of the 1981 assassination attempt against then-Pope John Paul II. That the Pope was not killed in the attack, the Cardinal explains, was due to the intervention of Our Lady, who wished to show the power of prayer. (Such presumption is breathtaking in its arrogance!)
Cardinal Amato did add Islamic persecution of Christians to the list of persecutions that occurred under Nazism and Communism, but he otherwise simply retraced the already amply refuted claims of Vatican bureaucrats determined to consign Fatima to the past. He could not, of course, refrain from disparaging the lifelong work of Father Gruner: “There is no Fourth Secret and no other hidden secrets,” the Cardinal insisted.
The Catholic News Service (a publication linked to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) prefaced the Cardinal’s remarks with a specific mention of Father Gruner: “Canadian Father Nicholas Gruner, who died April 29 of a sudden heart attack, founded ‘The Fatima Crusader’ magazine and was among the strongest voices claiming that there was more to the message of Fatima than had been revealed.”
Why this flurry of publicity in several prominent media venues about a speech that merely repeated well-known (and thoroughly discredited) claims about the meaning of the Message of Fatima? The reference to Father Gruner’s death and the mission of his apostolate offer an explanation.
Father Gruner and his apostolate have been a thorn in the flesh of those in the Church who want to move away from traditional dogma, so firmly embedded in the Message of Fatima. It is worth noting that Cardinal Amato wrongly characterized the Message of Fatima as lifting “the veil on the hell that exists on earth”.
The Message of Fatima, in fact, lifted the veil on the hell that exists IN HELL! In the July 1917 apparition, Our Lady showed the children a vision of hell. It is certainly a central part of the Message of Fatima and one designed to focus our attention on our supernatural destiny. (See: “Sister Lucy of Fatima Describes the Vision of Hell”.)
Cardinal Amato ignores this aspect of the vision, preferring to locate hell on earth and describing it, not as the result of sin, but of “perverse ideologies”. He says that Fatima contains the prophecy of “our heavenly home,” and that Mary joins Her Son in opposing evil on earth, which is the central meaning of the Fatima Message. This he identifies as the “charism of Fatima”.
Did the Mother of God really need to appear to assure us that She is with Her Son in opposing evil? Was this why the Miracle of the Sun occurred? And was not the vison of hell to warn us that many will not reach their “heavenly home” unless man repents of sin? “Perverse ideologies” certainly have worked their harm in the world, but from whence do they originate? Is not perversity, in its core meaning, a turning away from the eternal truths that lead to salvation?
This studious avoidance of the vision of hell Our Lady gave the children and which Sister Lucy reported in great detail is necessary if one wants to fold the Message of Fatima into another perverse ideology: that the Church must get in step with the modern world and that means muting whatever dogma the modern world finds repellent.
Perhaps we should pause to meditate ourselves on that vision of hell. Then, let us ask ourselves how such a vision, and the supernatural truth it reveals, stands in stark contrast to the “I’m OK, you’re OK” approach toward the world that the enemies of Fatima within the Church are trying so desperately to promote:
“Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear….”
The death of Father Gruner is doubtless seen by his enemies — the enemies of Fatima — as an opportunity. They would like Father’s apostolate to be interred with him. To this end, we are seeing — and may continue to see — renewed attempts to consign Fatima to the past and to disparage Father Gruner and his mission.
But the fact that so many media outlets for Church news seized upon Cardinal Amato’s remarks and broadcast them throughout the world indicates an uneasiness on the part of the enemies of Fatima. Father’s death is not enough for them. They want the Message of Fatima to die also and are already adopting the tone one uses when referring to an historical event that is no longer a force in the world.
But, as Father Gruner proved time and again, the truth will not die, nor can its voice be forever muted or ignored. The Fatima apostolate to which Father dedicated his life intends to move forward, implementing the initiatives Father began and seizing every new opportunity that presents itself to us, through Our Lady’s grace and guidance.
The battle is far from over. Father Gruner planted Our Lady’s banner in the field and defended it to his last breath. It is up to us to hold the ground he gained and to advance toward the final victory whose promise he cherished in his heart.
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We must work and pray ever more fervently that the Holy Father and the bishops will heed the requests of Our Lady of Fatima. (See: Petition to Our Holy Father — The Consecration of Russia and Petition to Our Holy Father — The Release of the full Third Secret.)
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