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“They will make war, no more.”

What Is Peace?

by James W. Demers and Christopher A. Ferrara

Since 1978, Catholics worldwide have been kept steadily and consistently informed about Church and world affairs by an energetic and tireless apostolate unique even in the colorful annals of clergy/laity initiatives: The Fatima Crusader. The apostolate’s journalistic “slant” is also unique: it reports on events from the perspective of the Message of Fatima, a series of statements conveyed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children in apparitions at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. The Catholic Church has long since pronounced the Message of Fatima worthy of belief.

In 1992 the apostolate, operating from two modest addresses, one on each side of the US/Canadian border (and not far from it), made history. In that year the apostolate invited every bishop in the world to assemble and discuss a Peace Plan for mankind. It was a move destined to breathe new life into the much-touted but markedly deflated clergy-laity dialogues of the post-conciliar Church.

This was not to be any bleeding heart, hands across the water seminar on coexistence drawn from the passionless live-and-let-live polls and consensus so popular among the liberal, left-leaning Church gurus of the post-conciliar era. This Peace Plan was not the result of the workshopping mania that has turned a post-conciliar synodal fad into long-running grade-B entertainment. Nor was this Peace Plan a fancy flight of ‘60s do-gooderism, which rarely surpassed the less-than-taxing question “Where have all the flowers gone?”

The 1992 First International Bishops Peace Conference had only one peace plan in mind, that given to the Church, and therefore to mankind, in 1917 by Heaven itself at Fatima. The plan was delivered to an endangered world by the Mother of God in a pasture 2 kilometers north of the village of Fatima, in northern Portugal, to three peasant children ages 10, 9 and 7. The hope it engendered has nourished the faithful of the Catholic Church throughout all of this century:

“You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart . . . In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

It was not long before the Church pronounced these simple words worthy of belief, along with the rest of the Fatima Message. After all, the contents of the Message were part of a most miraculous story, one scripted by Heaven itself. Before Vatican II, before the ’60s, before television weakened man’s power to imagine, to pray and to dream, few Catholics were unaware of the Fatima story. Because the story contained three children of very young ages who were set upon and persecuted by adults who mocked, scorned and even imprisoned them, the Fatima story had a ready audience with children. Few Catholic children left grade school without knowing the names of Jacinta, Francisco and Lucy, the meaning of the words Cova da Iria, Fatima, and of course, they all had been told of the great Miracle of the Sun, when the sun removed itself from the laws of nature and plunged to earth to terrify, bedazzle and ultimately delight 70,000 eyewitnesses who had gathered on October 13, 1917, in a pasture near the village because one of the children had predicted three months in advance that a great Miracle would occur on that day.

The great Miracle of the Sun was the seal of a promise made by Heaven through the Mother of God at Fatima that Russia would be converted, that in the end the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God would triumph. And there would be peace. This hope-filled story, a staple of Catholic upbringing, like so many other staples of the Faith, was sidelined and methodically censored out of the lives of Catholic children as a direct result of the political maneuvers of those insiders who hijacked the Second Vatican Council in 1962.

But the plan for world peace announced at Fatima made specific demands on the hierarchy of the Church, the Pope and bishops. The last surviving Fatima seer, Sister Lucia of Fatima, has made it clear on many occasions that what Our Lady requested at Fatima was a public ceremony in which the Pope and the world’s bishops simultaneously consecrate Russia, by name, to the Immaculate Heart.

To this day, the request has not been carried out. On the contrary, for over three decades some alien forces within the Church itself seem determined to undermine the great hope extended to mankind through Fatima. They have opposed any effort to consecrate Russia by name because this action would contradict a diplomatic agenda which began just before the Second Vatican Council and is still continuing.

That agenda began with what is known as the Vatican-Moscow Agreement in the summer of 1962. That pact, forged at Metz, France, between Cardinal Eugene Tisserant, representing Pope John XXIII, and Metropolitan Nikodim of the Russian Orthodox Church, has been the hinge on which the door opening to the East swung to and fro over the past 37 years. Sought out by John XXIII as a means to secure representation of the Russian Orthodox Church at his coming Council, the pact, at the insistence of Moscow, required that there be no condemnation of Soviet Communism on the Council floor. The justification for this demand by the Russian Orthodox was that any condemnation of Communism would be seen as a condemnation of the Russian people.

The Council’s sessions were to last from 1962 to 1965, the most volatile years of the Cold War in which the persecution of Christians behind the Iron Curtain and in countries dominated by Communism throughout the world not only continued unabated but increased in intensity.

The surrender of the Church’s prerogatives as the guardian of the morals of mankind was not to end for the Church with the closing of the Council. By the time Paul VI became Pope, anti-anticommunism was the spirit of much of the hierarchy over which he had to rule. In fact, the silencing of the Church on Communism had only just begun with the Council. The Vatican-Moscow Agreement was to prove a most effective muzzle on the Roman Catholic Church for the remainder of the century. Its most recent manifestation, on paper, is the so-called Balamand Agreement of 1993, in which Vatican diplomats agreed in principle that the return of the Russian Orthodox to Rome was no longer required, and represented what the document called “outdated ecclesiology.” The conversion of Russia to the Catholic faith had been formally repudiated by Vatican negotiators. The fact that they are acting directly against the command of Christ “Make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you” seems not to trouble them.

Then, too, there is the whole new orientation of the post-conciliar Church, which no longer speaks as Our Lady spoke at Fatima. Since the Council there has been almost no talk from the Vatican, about the need to save poor souls from hell through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, much less the need to convert Russia to the Catholic faith. Hell and the necessity of conversion to the one true religion are simply no longer mentioned.

Thus arises opposition to the Message of Fatima within the post-conciliar Vatican apparatus. To be sure, there are many holy and well-intentioned prelates inside the Vatican, but it does not appear they have control of the Vatican diplomatic apparatus. Every decision taken by those in control of that apparatus has moved the Church further away from its traditional approach to the world—that the Church is here to save souls from hell—and toward fulfilling a new agenda of “world peace”, “ecumenical dialogue” and “brotherhood” between what the Vatican now calls “the world’s great religions.” In the midst of this new agenda, the Message of Fatima, with its call for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the conversion of Russia and the world, must seem a great embarrassment.

So successful have the anti-Fatima forces been in directing the bishops’ attention away from Fatima that by the 1990’s a startling reality had to be admitted: many bishops were totally unaware that the Fatima Message was directed straight at them, that the successful fulfillment of its promises depended on each and every one of them, that they had been misled, misinformed, manipulated, and had their rights and prerogatives as consecrated members of the episcopacy curtailed. Those bishops were the subject of the information campaign which the apostolate launched in the series of bishops conferences which began in 1992.

Helping the bishops of the world overcome suppression of the Fatima Message was what the 1992 Bishops Peace Conference, held in Fatima itself, was all about. There would be a second conference in Mexico City in 1994, and a third in Rome in 1996. This year, mere weeks before midnight chimes in the year 2000, the apostolate will host its Fourth International Bishops’ Peace Conference, this time in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Why Bishops’ Conferences?

The man-made “Peace in Kosovo”, a peace built on air war, the nighttime bombing of civilians and the perverse hype at which the media (especially the American media) excel, is touted as proof that Communism has truly fallen and that the chastisement it visited upon the world belongs to another age.

Just as the light bulb separated modern man from the 19th Century and consigned the Victorian era to the rigid gloom of its elitist Jansenist principles, the Internet has severed us from the historic reality of communism, setting it adrift into one of those bayous of history where the evil it represented is forgotten among the colorful overgrowth of fables, legends and outright falsehoods that are the staple of historical revisionists, including those who wish to revise the history of the Message of Fatima.

That man is the plaything of the media and not the other way around is proven yet again by polls proving that television viewers accept the Kosovo Peace as real and rational, and as confirmation of the accepted “wisdom” that until now in human history “peace” remained elusive only because the instrument for installing and maintaining it was not solely in the hands of an American President with vast amounts of weaponry at his command.

Peace, according to the media, has nothing to do with saving souls from hell, the Immaculate Heart, or Heaven. It has to do with human smarts, American technology and imagery. Especially imagery. Even a child could tell that Milosovic was going to lose, not because his features projected the hallmark stupid face of communism that had stared coldly down at us from Lenin’s tomb throughout the Cold War, but because he didn’t have one iota of the Hollywood superhero’s glamour upon which Bill Clinton relies so heavily. So why, if the outcome of the inevitable Clinton/Milosovic High Noon had been pre-programmed into our psyche by a century of celluloid westerns, should the public pay any mind to a peace plan delivered to three peasant children by the Blessed Virgin Mary?

And yet Catholics know that only through Her can peace come to the world in this age of mankind. True peace. Lasting peace. A peace founded not merely on human concepts of justice but on God’s justice based upon the Social Kingship of Christ—another phrase which has dropped out of the post-conciliar vocabulary.

There is no question that the blueprint for the foundation on earth of that justice was delivered to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church by the Mother of God at Fatima. Not only has the Church long since pronounced the Message of Fatima worthy of belief, Pope John Paul II himself, speaking at Fatima in 1982, confirmed that the Message “imposes an obligation on the Church.”

The history of the apostolate’s bishops’ conferences is a history of an effort to make that obligation more widely known to those who are charged by God with fulfilling it.

The First International Bishops’ Peace Conference October 1992, Fatima, Portugal, on the 75th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun.

No sooner had the first bishops’ conference been announced than the anti-Fatima forces sprung into action. The conference was planned by The Fatima Crusader to encompass the date of October 13, 1992, the 75th anniversary of the great Miracle of the Sun. The most dramatic salvo fired by the anti-Fatima forces was timed to coincide with the arrival in Fatima of the 104 bishops who were to be guests of Father Gruner’s Apostolate and whose transportation and accommodation had been paid by contributors from around the world.

It came from Archbishop Sepe, who had recently been transferred to the Congregation for the Clergy after many years in the Secretariat of State, and Cardinal Sanchez, of the same Congregation. These prelates published in L’Osservatore Romano an unprecedented “Notice” which stated that Father Gruner did not have priestly faculties in the diocese of Fatima and that his Fatima Conference had been planned without “ecclesiastical permission.”

The “Notice” was a classic case of the literally truthful lie: Father Gruner did not need “faculties” or “ecclesiastical permission” in the first place, since Church law permits priests and laity to gather and exchange views on Church affairs without permission of any kind. The “Notice” was completely meaningless, but it had the desired effect of making it appear that the bishops conference was illegitimate.

The “Notice” was quickly accompanied by a crude attempt to manipulate the bishops arriving from around the world by directing them away from The International Peace Conference at the Florista Conference Center in Fatima to another conference, the one hosted by the Fatima Shrine officials in the Paul VI Center.

After much intense labor to overcome these hurdles, the situation was clarified. At the insistence of some of the bishops in attendance at the apostolate’s conference, the Bishop of Fatima gave his blessing to the event, and invited the bishops in attendance to participate in the activities at the Paul VI Center as well. Cardinal Sanchez’s and Archbishop Sepe’s misleading “Notice” became a complete non-issue.

The conference proceeded, and the truth about the Message of Fatima was laid out in speech after speech to the assembled bishops. The apostolate’s information campaign was gaining momentum.

However, two years would pass during which the innuendoes of the “Notice” were neither withdrawn nor corrected. In fact, the authors of the “Notice” never would admit to the fact that Father Gruner had needed no permission or faculties to conduct a conference on Fatima. “If they were interested in the truth,” Father Gruner would later state, “they would not have left their misleading notice uncorrected. ”

It was incumbent on Father Gruner in his responsibilities to his supporters world wide that he secure some form of acknowledgement that the implied accusations of the “Notice” were false. Accordingly, in January of 1994, Father Gruner traveled to Rome to seek the fraternal correction of his accusers. He was already at that time preparing to host a second conference in Mexico. While Cardinal Sanchez granted Father Gruner an appointment, he allowed Father Gruner only a moment to speak. As soon as he asked the Cardinal about the misinformation he and Archbishop Sepe had published in the “Notice”, the Cardinal quickly brushed the matter aside and told Father Gruner to come back and see him the next day. But the next day the Cardinal was suddenly unavailable. Archbishop Sepe, despite the intervention of Cardinal Oddi, refused to see Father Gruner for even a moment.

The only evident response of Cardinal Sanchez and Archbishop Sepe to Father Gruner’s efforts to resolve the matter was to publish the same accusations again! In July of that year the two prelates republished their “Notice”, which repeated the now positively false claim that Father Gruner had no permission to gather the bishops together in Fatima (the Bishop of Fatima having blessed the conference once the bishops arrived), and they further falsely claimed that there was no “permission” for the conference being planned for that year in Guadalupe and Mexico City.

At the same time pressure was building on the Bishop of Avellino (where Father Gruner was incardinated in 1976) to recall Father Gruner to Avellino after an approved absence of nearly sixteen years. The obvious aim was to sever the head of the apostolate, thereby ending its efforts to promote the Consecration of Russia among the bishops.

The pressure on the Bishop of Avellino came directly from Cardinal Sanchez, who ordered the bishop to set in motion an intricate entrapment: Father Gruner was to be ordered to find another bishop or return to Avellino. Then Sanchez and his collaborators would systematically block offers of incardination from benevolent bishops in other dioceses. Then it could be claimed that Father Gruner had “failed” to find another bishop, and that it was his own fault that he must return to Avellino. The appearance would thus be created that Father Gruner was “disobedient” and deserving of punishment.

The Second International Bishops’ Peace Conference. 1994: Mexico City and The Shrine of Guadalupe.

As the plan to silence the apostolate proceeded, opposition to its second bishops’ conference was in full swing, even before the countdown for the November conference had begun.

This was initially apparent when the reservation of facilities for the conference in Mexico, namely the Aula Magna of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference Center in Guadalupe, was clumsily and suddenly withdrawn by the Conference Center despite the fact that a contractual arrangement had been entered into and a very sizable deposit had been given and accepted and banked by the Mexican Bishops’ Conference.

Then throughout the world, Apostolic Nuncios, on instructions from the Vatican Secretariat of State, began telling bishops not to attend. As Archbishop Milingo would so resoundingly declare from the conference floor, this constituted direct interference with the rights of bishops to assemble and dialogue.

“Clearly,” Father Gruner would later observe, “there is a definite fear among elements of the Vatican bureaucracy about any advance of the cause for the Consecration of Russia. What else could explain all these totally unprecedented worldwide interventions against a conference which was perfectly permissible under Church law?”

In spite of the strong-arm tactics, the courageous bishops who did attend succeeded in formulating the now famous Fourteen Resolutions, with their call for the Consecration of Russia and disclosure of the even more controversial Third Secret of Fatima, the undisclosed portion of the Fatima Message which was suddenly suppressed in 1960, despite promises of Church authorities that it would be revealed in that year. Many Catholics believe that the Third Secret points to the current crisis of faith and discipline in the Church and lays the blame at the feet of members of the current Vatican bureaucracy.

All in all, the Mexico conference was able to succeed in its aim of heightening the awareness of the hierarchy that the requests of Our Lady of Fatima are no dead letter. From Mexico, from the very Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the word had gotten out that the responsibilities of the bishops of the world to Our Lady of Fatima would no more fade away and be forgotten than would Her miraculous image, not painted by human hands, on the tilma of Juan Diego.

A Letter For A Roman Summer

Many of the workings of the anti-Fatima forces to counteract the momentum for the collegial consecration of Russia were documented, confirmed and spelled out in 1995 in a most unique letter. The letter was addressed to none other than the person of His Holiness John Paul II.

Surrounded by personnel who were clearly not well-disposed to the Message of Fatima’s embarrassingly Catholic tone, the Pope was entirely inaccessible to any but a public entreaty. The means chosen was imaginative, daring and unparalleled: the Open Letter was published on two full pages of Rome’s prestigious daily newspaper, Il Messaggero on July 12, 1995.

Through the publication of the Open Letter, the public was able to learn first-hand what the anti-Fatima forces had been so thoroughly determined to prevent it from learning—namely, that the bishops of the world would eagerly cooperate with the Pope in the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart if so directed by His Holiness.

Certainly readers of that famous issue of Il Messaggero could not escape concluding that the story of Fatima was far from over. The power of Fatima to electrify the Church was still there. And the laity who had funded the publication of the Open Letter were far from being cowed by Vatican bureaucrats. They had their fill with the Vatican double-standard which tolerated, protected and even coddled errant priests and nuns, while devoting all its resources to the relentless hounding of a lone Marian priest from Canada and an apostolate operating out of a converted horse stable.

But it was another repercussion of the Open Letter that meant the most: more bishops, understanding the issue for the first time, communicated their willingness to participate in the collegial Consecration of Russia, and their support of the apostolate.

Strengthened by this response, the Fatima Apostolate proceeded with renewed vigor to host bishops in Rome itself.

1996: Rome, Fatima 2000 The Third International Bishops’ Peace Conference.

The reports received at the Secretariat of State that Father Gruner’s apostolate was intending to host another Bishops’ Conference in the Eternal City itself must surely have been met initially with great scepticism, if not outright disbelief. But it was true, and it meant that the ‘Fatima problem’ had not been solved.

We, writing in the third edition of the book Fatima Priest (a biography of Father Gruner which chronicles at great length the unprecedented Vatican maneuvers against the priest) summarized the reaction of the Secretariat of State to the upcoming Rome event: “What followed over the next six months was a coordinated international campaign of punitive actions the likes of which no priest in living memory had ever been subjected to...”

In January 1996, Archbishop Sepe, Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, issued yet another declaration against Father Gruner and the apostolate, which was to be hand-carried to every bishop in the world through the channels of the Papal Nuncios. It contains the statement:

“The Gruner case has a long history and consequently there are volumes of dossiers in the archives of this congregation.” Ferrara characterizes this statement as an “...interdiction throughout the entire Catholic Church of a priest who had done nothing wrong,” and labels it, “ incredible travesty of canon law.” Sepe, as Ferrara points out, does not define ‘the Gruner case’, nor even hint at what is contained in the ‘volumes of dossiers’ at the Congregation for the Clergy, an omission intended “to create the false impression that there must be something pretty terrible in those records.”

As well, once again Sepe repeated the literally truthful lie employed in 1992 and 1994. Regarding the upcoming Rome conference he proclaims, “Also this conference (in Rome) includes plans for a number of activities which the Reverend Gruner has developed without any ecclesiastical permission...”

As Ferrara notes: “In a Church teeming with conferences and workshops—none of them with ‘ecclesiastical permission’, and many conducted by fulminating heretics—only one gathering consumes the attention of Archbishop Sepe and his fellow Vatican bureaucrats: a conference in Rome devoted to the Message of Fatima.” Curious indeed.

In what amounted to nothing less than an appeal to the clergy worldwide to shun Father Gruner and his apostolate from that day on, Sepe added, “So that this priest might not continue his harmful activities, the Bishop of Avellino, on January 31, 1994, called upon him to return to the diocese within one month.” (No mention was made of the fact that it was Sepe and Sanchez themselves who had pressured the Bishop of Avellino to order that return.) The term ‘harmful activities’ is the kind of carefully chosen phrase calculated to haunt the reputation of a priest for the rest of his life.

In case any recipient of the Sepe letter had missed the point, Sepe added, “At this point in time there is nothing to do but ask...the bishops of your country not to accept the invitation of Father Gruner, and to avoid anything in this regrettable situation to make matters worse.”

And why exactly should they not attend? No reason was ever given beyond the unspecified “harmful activities.” Curiouser still.

As preliminaries got underway for the Rome conference, the Secretariat of State became directly involved in exploiting government connections to interfere with the granting of travel visas to the bishops.

These extraordinary Vatican bureaucratic interventions clearly demonstrated two things: That the center of opposition to the Consecration was the Secretary of State, and that the apostolate’s conferences must have been very effective in advancing the cause for the Consecration of Russia.

The preparations proceeded however and bishops prepared to attend, for it was becoming more and more apparent that something was seriously amiss with the claim that Fatima was a closed book, and that world peace was at hand. Indeed, the anti-Fatimists had been losing ground in their campaign to persuade the world that the Consecration of Russia had already been done by the Pope in ceremonies in 1982 and 1984, neither of which mentioned Russia or involved the participation of all the world’s bishops. Sister Lucy herself had already refuted the claim that the Message of Fatima had been fulfilled by these ceremonies. In an interview in Sol de Fatima, Sister Lucy demolished that claim that the story of Fatima had been concluded in 1982 or 1984:

Question: John Paul II had invited all the bishops to join in the Consecration of Russia, which he was going to make at Fatima on May 13, 1982, and which he was to renew at the end of the Holy Year in Rome on March 25, 1984, before the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Has he not therefore done what was requested at Tuy?

Sister Lucy: There was no participation of all the bishops and there was no mention of Russia.

Question: So the consecration was not done as requested by Our Lady?

Sister Lucy: No. Many bishops attached no importance to this act.

These emphatic responses were totally consistent with what Sister Lucy had been saying for the past 75 years. All her previous statements had been clear and precise: the Consecration must be done solemnly and publicly by the Pope in union with all the world’s bishops and with specific mention of Russia. Nor would a consecration of the world, such as that performed in the ceremonies of 1982 and 1984, suffice to fulfill Heaven’s command. L’Osservatore Romano itself had reported in 1982 on a conversation between Sister Lucy and one of her confidants, Father Umberto Maria Pasquale, on precisely this point:

“At a certain moment I [Father Pasquale] said to her: ‘Sister, I should like to ask you a question. If you cannot answer me, let it be. But if you can answer it, I would be most grateful to you. Has Our Lady ever spoken to you about the consecration of the world to Her Immaculate Heart?’

No, Father Umberto! Never. At the Cova da Iria in 1917 Our Lady had promised: I shall come to ask for the consecration of 1929, at Tuy, as She had promised, Our Lady came back to tell me that the moment had come to ask the Holy Father for the Consecration of that country.’”

And so Fatima was not finished, and the Third Fatima conference in Rome proceeded as planned. Once again the various themes of the Fatima Message and its relation to the world and ecclesial crisis of our day were explored for the benefit of the delegates to the conference, and most important, for the bishops in attendance. Above all, the necessity of the Consecration of Russia, and specifically Russia, was driven home and confirmed in the Conference’s resolutions—another affirmation of what the anti-Fatimists were trying to bury. And who could deny that the Consecration was still desperately needed in a world which had descended ever-deeper into crisis since the supposed consecrations of 1982 and 1984?

A Second Appeal to the Pope

In 1998 a second Open Letter to the Pope was published in Il Messaggero to redress the misconceptions and misinformation of the anti-Fatima forces, and to defend Father Gruner and the apostolate before the Pope himself. The Vatican anti-Fatimists had to be stunned to see that 20 bishops and archbishops had signed the second Letter, along with twelve hundred priests and religious and some 15,000 lay people.

The anti-Fatima forces had misplayed their hand and secured results in direct opposition to their desired agenda.

Why A Fourth Conference?

In answer to the question “Why another bishops’ conference?”, Father Gruner has a ready answer:

“Because we must be reminded that the peace promised at Fatima, true peace in the world, can only be the Peace of Christ. Does Holy Scripture not promise that the lion will lie down with the lamb? Where in Scripture does it say that one day bureaucrats in Rome will fashion secret pacts that will bring peace to the world?”

There would have been no need for Christ to speak to mankind and to future history from the Mount of the Beatitudes, or to hang on the Cross, if prophecy had predicted that world peace would be secured by Papal Nuncios with briefcases scurrying through the world’s airports on diplomatic missions intent on building a New World Order opposed to the Kingship of Christ, rather than by the conversion of souls to the one true religion.

Not only is the Fourth International Bishops’ Peace Conference timely, it is more urgent than ever. The evidence is piling up that the much-vaunted consecrations in 1982 and 1984 have not been effectual, and that the promised conversion of Russia is nowhere in sight. Father Gruner quickly catalogues an overwhelming case that the Consecration of Russia has yet to be done:

“In 1997 the Russian parliament enacted a new law which discriminates against the Catholic Church and in favor of Russian Orthodoxy, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam. Cardinal Ratzinger has denounced the new law as a great setback for the Catholic Church in Russia.

“In fact, this law forces every Catholic parish in Russia, but not synagogues or Orthodox churches, to apply for annual registration. Any local Russian bureaucrat in any town in Russia where a Catholic chapel might exist can revoke that parish’s registration and right to exist.

“Today in Russia there are only 100,000 practicing Catholics. There are ten times as many Muslims. Recently, Archbishop Bukovsky, the Papal Nuncio to Federated Russia, admitted in the National Catholic Register that the Catholic Church in Russia “is small . . . and will always be small.” Is this the conversion of Russia promised by Our Lady of Fatima? It’s a joke.

“Even the Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, Alexy II, has publicly condemned ‘the cult of violence, cruelty, betrayal and lechery’ which has arisen in Russia since the so-called consecrations in ’82 and ’84. Alexy blames this situation on ‘the rise of neo-paganism, quasi-religion, quasi-science and quasi-culture by totalitarian sects, black magic practitioners, astrologers and occultists.’ What kind of conversion is this?

“And, of course, abortion, contraception and divorce are still rampant in Russia, as they are throughout the world. Even Poland, the Pope’s own country, has legalized abortion, prompting the Pope to tell his people in 1997: ‘A nation which kills its own children is a nation without hope.’

“A conversion of Russia since 1984? Please, don’t be absurd.”

The Warning of Fatima

Father Gruner believes that the current world situation is so grave that the apostolate should be holding a Fatima conference at least every two years to maintain within view of the bishops “how the Message of Fatima is designed to bring about the Kingship of Christ and the peace of Christ in our time.” He has written and spoken insistently about not only the promises of Fatima regarding the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, but its dire warning about the consequences of ignoring the Message:

“If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated.” “It is the height of folly”, says Father Gruner, “for the members of the Church to ignore a heavenly warning about the annihilation of nations.”

“In August 1931 Our Lord Himself warned Sister Lucy, as she reports in her writings and letters, to: ‘Make it known to My ministers: given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My Command, they will follow him into misfortune.’

“The kings of France failed to make the public consecration of France to the Sacred Heart, as Our Lord had requested on June 17, 1689, in an apparition to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque [the canonized Saint to whom Our Lord also conveyed His request and promises regarding the nine First Fridays].

“On June 17, 1789, one hundred years later to the day, the Third Estate stripped King Louis XVI of his powers. A few years later King Louis XVI found himself in prison awaiting execution by the French Revolutionaries. He realized only then the consequences of disobedience to Our Lord’s command that France be consecrated to His Sacred Heart. “In his jail cell King Louis finally attempted the consecration privately. It was too little, too late. The next day King Louis was guillotined. Soon after, his wife, the Queen of France, and his son, the Prince of France, were also guillotined. “A far worse fate awaits us, as the ministers of the Catholic Church, and the whole world, if we do not obey Our Lord’s command that Russia be consecrated. And that is why I go on with the work of this apostolate—and most important, its bishops conferences, for they are the key to doing what Our Lord commanded through His Mother at Fatima.” Father Gruner’s remarks bring to mind man’s dangerous tendency to repent late for his sins. The direction to ‘Love God and love your neighbor as yourself’ is always remembered when the bombs stop dropping. Every war that ends sees the Beatitudes unrolled before a temporarily repentant world: the sick are nursed, the naked clothed, the hungry fed, land mine victims given morphine to survive the pain of amputation, the fatherless and motherless given succor by the rescuing innocent and repentant survivors.

Yes, man is more than capable of enacting the principles of the Beatitudes when it serves his immediate interests. But the Beatitudes were not meant as a balm to soothe guilty minds while bureaucrats plan another war. They were meant to prevent war on the large scale by bringing the Kingship of Christ to every nation.

The Fatima Frontier

The new millennium is the Fatima frontier. The uncertainties facing mankind in the new millennium are terrifying. But we have Fatima. Fatima, linked as it was by Sister Lucy’s own declaration that its secrets can be found in the Apocalypse, is the sole guarantee that mankind can survive apocalyptic fulfillment. Fatima is like a carpet of safety that will unroll through minefields of danger, if only the guardians of our immortal souls are fully apprized of its promises and its power.

Its power rests in the hands and Heart of the Mother of God. Incredibly, with historically proven records of Her power and the authority given to Her by God over the centuries, certain elements of the Catholic hierarchy itself continue to resist committing all of its future to Her. They follow on the path of the Kings of France, who failed to carry out the Consecration of France for 100 years, until time ran out.

The Virgin Mary overwhelmed the most satanic civilization ever to be recorded in the annals of human history: the blood-drenched demonically possessed Aztecs, who worshiped Luciferian princes and performed human sacrifice. With the simple unrolling of a delicate cactus fiber shoulder wrap, the Queen of Heaven in nine years converted nine million people from a satanic religion to the Catholic Faith, and Mexico is a Catholic nation today, in spite of every effort to destroy its Catholic soul.

In response to one single gesture of trust in the promise of Jesus to “shorten the present tribulation” (World War II) by the consecration of the “world” by Pius XII in 1942, Our Lord turned the tide of World War II at El Alemein. Four days after the consecration on October 31, 1942, the British beat the Germans in the desert. Churchill admitted that until that week they had never won a battle, after that week they never lost one. He called that week the Hinge of Fate. But that consecration did not bring peace to all of humanity. Now Communism was ravaging the globe.

How much more of a miracle would the world see if the Message of Fatima were finally fulfilled? As Father Gruner concludes: “The need to direct the Church toward full and complete trust in the promises of Our Lady has never been greater than today. The war in Kosovo is only the beginning. Many more wars are being hatched in the minds of the bureaucrats of the New World Order. Only Our Lady can rescue us from what they have planned.”

And so the Fourth International Peace Conference has been planned for Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. And the answer to the question of why it is going ahead can be reduced to one word: Peace. The peace of Christ. The peace promised all mankind if Our Lady of Fatima’s requests are obeyed. Peace will come no other way.

Why in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada?

St. Joseph was the only saint to appear at Fatima beside Jesus and Mary. Canada, known as the Province of St. Joseph in the Church, has had its destiny clearly carved out by Heaven. During the very era when the Huguenot heresy was overtaking the port cities on the Atlantic coast of France, it was a very real possibility that the exploration of Canada would be carried out by Huguenots.

It was during the reign of Louis XIV that the decision was made that French explorers aiming their vessels toward Canada must be committed Catholics. This was the same King to whom the Sacred Heart, through Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, had sent His request for the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart. Though the consecration was never done, Canada was saved from doing a brisk business in guillotines because of the farsightedness of King Louis. The Church in Quebec was so intensely Catholic that the British conquerors, 15 years before the Fall of the Bastille, guaranteed that the Catholic faith, schools and hospitals would remain free and untouched by British rule.

The Canadian martyrs, Brebeuf, Lalemant and Goupil (who labored not far from Hamilton) were the products of the Church’s presence in the North America of that day. They came. They taught. Their skin was shredded from their bodies for their determination to spread the truth of the faith. They were scalded with boiling oil in a mockery of Christian baptism. Their fingers were chewed off at the knuckles, allowed to heal then chewed off to the next knuckle, a devilish reward for the writing of the Jesuit Relations, which records their struggles among the natives of North America. It is a work which to this day is unparalleled for its glowing fidelity to Christ.

The great victory of Lepanto prompted Pope St. Pius V to declare the Mother of God Our Lady of Victory. Today, the international shrine to Our Lady of Victory, renowned worldwide for its beauty and splendor, is a mere one hour pilgrimage from the site of the Fourth International Bishops Conference in Hamilton. As Father Gruner notes, “It is for Our Lady’s promised Victory this conference is being held. It is fitting we go on pilgrimage to Her Shrine by that name.”

Recently the body of the founder of the basilica, the saintly and renowned Father Nelson Baker, was disinterred and with great solemnity transferred to the altar of the Immaculate Conception inside the basilica in anticipation of his elevation to sainthood. Delegates to the Conference will be given the opportunity to pray at his sarcophagus, which daily sees lines of supplicants petitioning him for favors.

Also within an hour’s drive of the Conference is an example of the glory of creation, thunderously displayed in Niagara Falls. Before Eugenio Paceli became Pius XII, he stood before the Falls on a visit to America. After studying them for quite a while, he turned to leave, but then turned back again to give his blessing with the sign of the Cross on this wonder of the world.

Together with the bishops of the Conference, the delegates will be provided the opportunity to see this natural wonder, which like much of Creation could be totally destroyed if the “annihilation of nations” is not avoided by carrying out Heaven’s Peace Plan announced at Fatima. Perhaps they will pray their Rosaries in its mist in reparation to the Immaculate Heart.

A Conference for the Millennium

Father Gruner and the apostolate are convinced that these last months of the 20th Century could very well be the most important months for the next Millennium. They believe that what we do now for Our Lady of Fatima could well decide the fate of the world. As Father Gruner concludes: “We must continue our information campaign for the sake of the whole world, to inform the bishops and give support and hope to the Holy Father. Now that we have helped to gather the support of about 30% of the bishops and 45% of the Cardinals for Our Lady of Fatima, we cannot rest on our laurels. What has been done so far is not enough.

“If we do not continue our efforts, what we have gained will be lost. About 110 bishops die each year. We must more than replace those who are for Our Lady and who have passed on to God.

The powerful bureaucrats in the Secretariat of State who wish us to be silent about the Fatima Message will succeed by our fault if we do not continue to hold these conferences as well as use other means of reaching out to the bishops.

“If we fail to serve Our Lady now, all our work will have been in vain. We must continue to support Our Lady until the last minutes of this millennium and beyond. If we fail to sponsor this conference in Hamilton, our Church Fathers, who are overwhelmed by the responsibilities of this troubled age, might lack the information they need to keep in focus the urgent need for the Consecration of Russia—now, while we still have time.”

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