Silencing of the Messengers: Father Gruner (1989 – 2015)

In an attempt to silence Father Nicholas Gruner, the “Fatima Priest” whose apostolate promotes the full Fatima Message, in 1989 powerful forces in the Vatican began targeting Father Gruner and his apostolate for suppression. In July of that year Gerardo Pierro, the Bishop of Avellino, Italy (the diocese in which Father Gruner was incardinated at the time), sent a letter to Father Gruner. The letter revealed that the Cardinal Secretary of State, Agostino Casaroli, had sent “worried signals” about Father Gruner’s work in promoting the proper Consecration of Russia as requested by Our Lady of Fatima and requesting the full disclosure of the Third Secret. The new bishop appeared to be unaware that his predecessor, Pasquale Venezia, had given Father Gruner permission to live outside the Diocese of Avellino while engaging in his Fatima Apostolate. Therefore, Father Gruner respectfully replied to the letter, pointing out that he had written permission to be in Canada from the previous Bishop of Avellino.

A month later Father Gruner received another letter, this time from Cardinal Innocenti, who threatened him with possible suspension unless he was either incardinated in a Canadian diocese or returned to Avellino by September 30, 1989. In Fr. Gruner’s reply to Cardinal Innocenti’s letter, he pointed out that the Cardinal had no right to interfere since the Bishop of Avellino had given no orders of his own in the matter, and that Fr. Gruner was acting within the law of the Church. Father Gruner then appealed to the Pope against Cardinal Innocenti’s abuse of authority. Thereafter, the Cardinal never replied or wrote to Father Gruner again.

Incardination blocked

Then in July of 1993, Bishop Gilbert Rego of Simla-Chandigarh, a prominent bishop in India, gave written assurances that he was willing to incardinate Father Gruner, thus apparently ending any effort by the anti-Fatima establishment officials in the Vatican to force Fr. Gruner’s return to Avellino, Italy. However, in November of that year the new Bishop of Avellino, Antonio Forte, admitted to Father Gruner that he was being hindered from approving Fr. Gruner’s transfer out of the diocese of Avellino because Cardinal Sanchez and Archbishop Sepe, of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, told him not to allow it. The Cardinal and Archbishop apparently were working with the Secretariat of State to silence Fr. Gruner and his apostolate. Their actions violated the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Avellino and had no basis in Canon Law. Furthermore, no other priest in the entire Catholic Church has been subjected to such interference in transferring from one diocese to another.

In January of 1994 Cardinal Sanchez, Archbishop Sepe and Bishop Forte began making the final moves in “the incardination game” they were playing against Father Gruner: they commanded him to find another bishop, and then obstructed incardination by other bishops, while refusing him excardination from Avellino. The “checkmate” was to declare that since Fr. Gruner had “failed” to be incardinated elsewhere, he must return to Avellino or else be suspended from the priesthood. This incredible behavior is explained in more detail in Fatima Priest and A Law for One Man. The lies about Father Gruner’s status are still used to this day by enemies of Our Lady.

By 1998 Father Gruner’s canonical case still continued to wend its way through the Vatican court system. During the process, Archbishop Grochelewski, chief justice in the case, admitted that the case is not about Fr. Gruner’s incardination, but rather what he says concerning Fatima. This is the real reason for the numerous unprecedented and illicit actions against Fr. Gruner, even though it is nowhere admitted in the written acts of the proceedings. A cardinal principle of natural justice is that the accused must be informed of the precise charges against him so that he can defend himself. To put Father Gruner on trial for an alleged “offense” concerning his incardination, when the real issue is what he says about Fatima, flies in the face of this principle.

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