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Chapter 8

The Message of Fatima
versus the Party Line

       What has been the overall effect of the sudden, unprecedented and quite dramatic changes in the Church which began with Vatican II? As Catholic writers have observed, what Catholics have witnessed over the past 40 years represents a kind of "Stalinization of the Roman Catholic Church" that bears an eerie resemblance to what was called at the time "the Adaptation" of Russian Orthodoxy to the demands of the Stalinist regime.

       The subversion of the Orthodox Church by Stalin is certainly among the developments in Russia foreseen by the Virgin of Fatima. This is precisely why She came to call for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart: so that Russia would embrace the one true religion and the one true Church, not the schismatic Orthodox Church which was founded in human rebellion against Rome when it left the Mystical Body of Christ over 500 years ago, and thus was constitutionally incapable of avoiding its total Adaptation to Stalinism.

       The Orthodox Adaptation began officially when the Metropolitan Sergius of the Russian Orthodox Church published an "Appeal" in Isvestia on August 19, 1927. The Appeal of Sergius, as it came to be known, set forth a new basis for the activity of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian layman Boris Talantov described this as "an Adaptation to the atheistic reality of the U.S.S.R." In other words, the church had to find a way of living, so the argument goes, with the "atheistic reality" of Stalinist Russia. So Sergius proposed what came to be known in shorthand as the Adaptation.

       The Adaptation consisted first and foremost of a false separation between the so-called spiritual needs of man, the purely religious needs of man, and his socio-political needs. In other words, a separation of Church and State. The church was to satisfy the purely religious needs of the citizens of the Soviet Union but without touching on the socio-political structure which had been erected by the Communist Party.

       The Adaptation required a new administration of the church in Russia according to guidelines which were set forth after the appeal of Sergius was published. Basically this came down to an agreement not to criticize the official ideology of the Soviet Union under Stalin. And this would be reflected in all of the activities of the church. Any opposition by the Russian Orthodox Church to the Soviet regime would henceforth be considered a deviation from pure religious activity and a form of counter-revolution which was no longer to be permitted or countenanced.

       In effect the Orthodox Church, through its silence, became an arm of the Soviet state. In fact, Sergius would go on to defend this betrayal and even call for the condemnation and the sentencing to concentration camps of his own fellow Orthodox for so-called counter-revolutionary activities. Talantov, who condemned the whole Adaptation, described it this way: "In actual fact all religious activity was reduced to external rites. The church preaching of those clergymen who held strictly to the Adaptation was totally remote from life and therefore had no influence whatever on hearers. As a result of this, the intellectual, social and family life of believers, and the raising of the younger generation, remained outside church influence. One cannot worship Christ and at the same time in social and family life tell lies, do what is unjust, use violence, and dream of an earthly paradise."1

       This, then, is what the Adaptation involved: The church would be silent about the evils of the Stalinist regime. It would become a purely "spiritual" community "in the abstract", would no longer voice opposition to the regime, would no longer condemn the errors and lies of Communism, and would thus become the Church of Silence, as Christianity behind the Iron Curtain was often called.

       The Appeal of Sergius caused a split in the Russian Orthodox Church. The real believers who rejected the Adaptation, who denounced the Appeal and who remained attached to the Metropolitan Joseph rather than Sergius, were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Boris Talantov himself would eventually die in prison, as a political prisoner of the Stalinist regime. Meanwhile, the Church of Silence, in effect, was transformed into an organ of the KGB. Stalin decimated the Russian Orthodox Church; all of the real Orthodox believers were sent off to concentration camps or executed and replaced by KGB operatives.

       Shortly before Talantov died in August of 1967, he wrote as follows about the Adaptation:

       The Adaptation to atheism implanted by Metropolitan Sergius has concluded (been completed by) the betrayal of the Orthodox Russian Church on the part of Metropolitan Nikodim and other official representatives of the Moscow Patriarch based abroad. This betrayal irrefutably proved by the documents cited must be made known to all believers in Russia and abroad because such an activity of the Patriarchate, relying on cooperation with the KGB, represents a great danger for all believers. In truth, the atheistic leaders of the Russian people and the princes of the Church have gathered together against the Lord and His Church.2

       Here Talantov refers to the same Metropolitan Nikodim who induced the Vatican to enter into the Vatican-Moscow Agreement, under which (as we showed in Chapter 6) the Catholic Church was forced to remain silent about Communism at Vatican II. Thus, the same Orthodox prelate who betrayed the Orthodox Church was instrumental in an agreement by which the Catholic Church was also betrayed. At Vatican II certain Catholic churchmen, cooperating with Nikodim, agreed that the Catholic Church, too, would become a Church of Silence.

       And since the Council, the Catholic Church has almost everywhere unquestionably fallen silent not only as to the errors of Communism—which the Church has almost completely ceased condemning, even in Red China, which viciously persecutes the Church—but also as to the errors of the world at large. We recall that in his opening address to the Council, Pope John freely admitted that the Council (and most of the Church after him) would no longer condemn errors but would open Herself to the world in a "positive" presentation of Her teaching to "men of good will." What followed, as Pope Paul VI himself admitted, was not the hoped-for conversion of "men of good will" but what Paul VI himself called "a veritable invasion of the Church by worldly thinking." In other words, to the extent that this is possible in the Catholic Church (which can never completely fail in Her mission), there has been a kind of Sergian Adaptation of Roman Catholicism.

       Now, in keeping with this Adaptation of the Catholic Church, by the year 2000 the Message of Fatima had been firmly subjugated to the demands of the new orientation. It had already been determined by certain members of the Vatican apparatus that Russia was not to be mentioned in any consecration ceremony the Pope might undertake in response to the Virgin’s requests. In the November 2000 issue of Inside the Vatican, a leading Cardinal, identified only as "one of the Pope’s closest advisors," is quoted to the effect that "Rome fears the Russian Orthodox might regard it as an ‘offense’ if Rome were to make specific mention of Russia in such a prayer, as if Russia especially is in need of help when the whole world, including the post-Christian West, faces profound problems ..." The same Cardinal-advisor added: "Let us beware of becoming too literal-minded."

       In other words, "Rome"—meaning a few members of the Vatican apparatus who advise the Pope—has decided not to honor the specific request of Our Lady of Fatima for fear of giving offense to the Russian Orthodox. "Rome" does not wish to give the impression that Russia should be converted to the Catholic Faith through its consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for this would be quite contrary to the new "ecumenical dialogue" launched by Vatican II. The consecration and conversion of Russia called for by the Mother of God would also be contrary to the Vatican’s diplomatic agreement (in the 1993 Balamand Declaration) that the return of the Orthodox to Rome is "outdated ecclesiology"—a claim that, as we have shown, flatly contradicts the infallibly defined Catholic dogma that heretics and schismatics cannot be saved outside the Catholic Church. In keeping with this blatant departure from Catholic teaching, the Vatican’s own apostolic administrator for Russia, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, stated publicly in January of 1998 that "The Second Vatican Council has declared that the Orthodox Church is our Sister Church and has the same means for salvation. So there is no reason to have a policy of proselytism."3

       Given this de facto abandonment of the Church’s constant teaching that heretics, schismatics, Jews and pagans must be added to the Catholic flock if they are to be saved, a consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart to bring about the conversion of Russia would, of course, be out of the question—at least so far as those who promote the new orientation of the Church are concerned.

       Thus, on May 13, 1982 and again on March 25, 1984, the Pope had consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart, but with no mention of Russia. In neither case had the bishops of the world participated. Thus, neither of the two requirements attested to by Sister Lucy throughout her life had been met. Clearly recognizing this, the Pope himself had made telltale remarks during and after the 1984 ceremony. During the ceremony, before 250,000 people in Saint Peter’s Square, he spontaneously added to the prepared text the following: "Enlighten especially the peoples of which You Yourself are awaiting our consecration and confiding."4 Hours after the ceremony, as reported in the Italian Catholic bishops’ newspaper Avvenire, the Holy Father prayed inside St. Peter’s, before 10,000 witnesses, asking Our Lady to bless "those peoples for whom You Yourself are awaiting our act of consecration and entrusting."5 Russia has not been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart, and the Pope knows it. Evidently persuaded by his advisers, the Pope had told Bishop Cordes, head of the Pontifical Council of the Laity, that he had omitted any mention of Russia because "it would be interpreted as a provocation by the Soviet leaders."6

The Emergence of the "Party Line" on Fatima

       But the faithful would not simply abandon the Consecration of Russia, for it was obvious that during the period 1984-2000 Russia had failed to experience the religious conversion the Virgin had promised as the fruit of a proper consecration to the Immaculate Heart. Quite the contrary, despite certain political changes, Russia’s spiritual, moral and material condition had only deteriorated since the "consecration" of 1984.

       Consider these proofs, which provide only a sketch of the gravity of Russia’s situation as of the year 2000 (and it has only become worse since then, as we shall see):

  • Some 16 years after the Consecration, Russia has the highest abortion rate in the world. Fr. Daniel Maurer, CJD, who spent the last eight years in Russia, says that statistically, the average Russian woman will have eight abortions in her childbearing years—though Fr. Maurer believes the actual number is about 12 abortions per woman. He has spoken to women who have had as many as 25 abortions. A major reason for these dreadful figures is that other contraception methods (which are immoral anyway) have not been introduced in Russia, nor are they trusted. This leaves abortion as the "cheapest way to limit the family size". Presently in Russia, abortions are free, but births are not.7
  • The Russian birth rate is plummeting and Russia’s population is dropping at the rate of 700,000 people each year—an unprecedented event in a civilized nation during "peacetime."8
  • Russia has the highest alcohol consumption in the world.9
  • Satanism, occultism and witchcraft are on the rise in Russia, as even the Russian Orthodox patriarch, Alexy II, publicly admits.10
  • Homosexuality is rampant in Moscow and throughout the country. In fact, in April 1993, nine years after the 1984 "consecration", Boris Yeltsin had allowed homosexuality to be de-criminalized. Homosexuality is now "legal" in Russia.11
  • Russia is a leading world center for the distribution of child pornography. The Associated Press reported on a Moscow-based child pornography ring linked to another child pornography ring in Texas. To quote AP: "Russian law does not distinguish between child pornography and pornography involving adults, and treats the production and distribution of either as a minor crime, said Dmitry Chepchugov, head of the Russian Interior Ministry's department for high technology crimes. Russian police often complain about the legal chaos that has turned Russia into an international center of child pornography production. 'Unfortunately, Russia has turned into a world trash bin of child pornography,' Chepchugov told reporters in Moscow."12
  • Russians now avidly watch "reality-based" TV. On the most vile "reality-based" shows, cameras film the intimate personal lives of Russian "couples," including their sexual activity. Despite grumbles of disapproval from old hard-line Communists, Russian viewers "cannot get enough" of this pornography. The program "boasts an audience share of more than 50% and thousands of Russians have endured sub-zero temperatures and queued for more than an hour to catch a glimpse of it through a window of the flat. Millions have logged on to the website, which has crashed frequently under the weight of traffic."13
  • As for the standing of the Catholic Church, in 1997 Russia enacted a new law on "freedom of conscience" which gave privileged status to Russian Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism as Russia’s "traditional religions," while requiring Catholic parishes to obtain approval from local bureaucrats for their very existence. As a result:
  • The miniscule Catholic priesthood in Russia, some 200 priests, consists almost entirely of foreign-born clerics many of whom are given only three-month entry visas, while businessmen receive six-month visas.14
  • There are a mere ten Russian-born priests in the whole country—five in Siberia and five in Kazakhstan. Ninety-five percent of the priests and nuns in Russia are foreign born. In Archbishop Bukovsky’s frank opinion the Catholic Church "is small ... and will always be small."15
  • Catholics comprise less than one-half of one percent of the Russian population, and Russian Muslims outnumber Catholics by more than 10-to-1. According to a report by Radio Free Europe, in Russia Catholicism is seen as "a kind of unexplainable eccentricity — why should a Russian be Catholic?"16
  • According to the Vatican, there are 500,000 Catholics in Russia, and most of these are in Siberia, where Stalin sent their grandparents.17

       Given this kind of evidence, the question whether the Consecration of Russia had been done in the manner requested by Our Lady of Fatima was simply not going to go away. Therefore, from the perspective of the executors of the Church’s new orientation—the Church’s Adaptation to the world—something had to be done about Fatima. And, in particular, something had to be done about a Canadian priest by the name of Father Nicholas Gruner, whose Fatima apostolate had become a sounding board for millions of Catholics who were convinced that the Consecration of Russia had been derailed by the plans of certain men in the Vatican. Quite simply, Fatima and "the Fatima priest" had to be buried once and for all.

        The process began as early as 1988, when, Frère François recounts: "[A]n order came from the Vatican addressed to the authorities of Fatima, to Sister Lucy, to diverse ecclesiastics, including Father Messias Coelho, and a French priest [evidently Father Pierre Caillon] very much devoted to Our Lady, ordering everyone to cease pestering the Holy Father with the Consecration of Russia." Fatima devotee Father Caillon confirmed the issuance of this order: "An order came from Rome, obliging everyone to say and think: ‘The Consecration is done. The Pope having done all that he can, Heaven has deigned to agree to this gesture.’"18 It was around this time, 1988-1989, that many Fatima Apostolates who had maintained that the consecration of Russia had not been done suddenly reversed themselves and declared that the 1984 consecration fulfilled the desires of Heaven. Sadly, even Father Caillon soon afterwards changed his testimony and began to say that the 1984 Consecration had fulfilled the Virgin’s requests.

        It was also at this time that typewritten and computer-generated letters, purportedly from Sister Lucy, began to circulate. Typical of the manifestly incredible letters was the one dated November 8, 1989, to a Mr. Noelker, which contains the statement by "Sister Lucy" that Pope Paul VI consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart during his brief visit to Fatima in 1967—a consecration that never happened, as Sister Lucy certainly knew because she witnessed the entire visit.19

        Thus emerged the Party Line on the Message of Fatima. What, precisely, do we mean by "the Party Line"? Vladimir Ilyich Lenin once said: "The lie is sacred and deception will be our principal weapon." Thus it was no surprise that Pravda, when it was the official organ of the Soviet Communist Party, was filled with lies, even though the Russian word Pravda means "truth." A newspaper whose name is "truth" was always filled with lies, because, as Lenin said, "the lie is sacred and deception will be our principal weapon".

       Now, a liar will not convince anyone of his lies if he wears a big placard on his chest that says "Liar!" Not even a fool would believe such a man. For the liar to convince people that his lies are truth, the truth must be redefined. This is what is meant by Lenin’s phrase "the lie is sacred …" The lie becomes the "truth" and is slavishly adhered to in place of the truth. As Scripture says, pronouncing the curse in the book of Isaias, "Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness". (Is. 5:20) The darkness of falsehood is given the appearance of the light of truth, and this is one of the principal errors of Russia.

        But this trick of turning a lie into the "truth" did not originate with Russia, or with the Communists; it originated with the devil, who is the Father of Lies. St. Paul speaks of the devil under the guise of the angel of light. To be more specific, he refers to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." (Gal. 1:8) It is the devil, appearing under the guise of an angel of light, who gives the appearance of truth in order to deceive by means of the lie. This is where the error "the lie is sacred" and "falsehood is truth" originated.

        Father Paul Kramer relates a conversation he had with General Daniel Graham, a general in the US Army. "General Graham said that he had once been in Russia with a Soviet official and the Soviet official asked him, ‘Don’t you want peace?’ And the General answered: ‘No! Because I know how you define peace. I do not want that kind of peace.’ As they were conversing, they drove by a huge billboard that showed soldiers with their rifles. On the billboard was the caption: ‘Pobieda kommunista eta mir’. Which is, in English, ‘Communist Victory is Peace.’"

        According to Marxist teaching, the Communist State wages war to make revolution and uses every possible means of deception—total war—in order to subjugate the entire world to Communism. And once total war has been waged and Communism is victorious over the entire planet, then there is the Communist version of "peace". But what is peace in reality? It is best defined by St. Augustine: "Peace is the tranquillity of order." Which definition is correct? It is not a matter of subjective evaluation. St. Thomas Aquinas explains: "ens et verum convertunter", which is a scholastic way of saying that truth is convertible with reality. That which is objectively real is, for that very reason, objectively true. In other words, truth is that which is, whereas a lie is that which is not. That which is not cannot be true. Therefore, if someone declares, for example, that white is black, the claim that white is black is a lie—no matter how high the authority of the one making the claim.

        According to Marxist doctrine, however, truth is that which promotes the Communist revolution. And what is it that promotes the Communist revolution? It is whatever has been decided to be the Party Line. What the Party dictates to be true becomes the "truth" even if, in reality, it is a lie. Thus, if the Party Line is that black is white, then that is what all Party members must believe, simply because it has been decided by the Party that black is white.

       Just as there has been a kind of "Stalinization" of the Church, in the sense of an Adaptation of the Church to the world, so also must there be a kind of Stalinist Party Line on Fatima—a version of Fatima dictated from on high to which all the members of the Church of the post-conciliar Adaptation must adhere. In essence, the Party Line on Fatima comes down to this: The "Consecration of Russia" is over and done with, and everyone must cease asking for it. We have "peace" as predicted by Our Lady of Fatima. Russia is undergoing the "conversion" Our Lady promised. Therefore—so the Party Line goes—nothing in the Message of Fatima remains to be accomplished, and Fatima now belongs to the past.

       As we shall see, all of the terms in quotation marks—"consecration of Russia", "peace" and "conversion"—have been redefined to accommodate the Party Line on Fatima. Where Fatima is concerned, we are now being asked to believe the equivalent of "black is white," for that is the Party Line.

The Dictatorship of the Vatican Secretary of State

       Now every Party Line requires a dictator, a head of the Party, to impose it. From where, exactly, within the Vatican apparatus did the Party Line on Fatima originate? The evidence is overwhelming that it originated with the Vatican Secretary of State. On this point some brief background is in order.

       First of all, in the proper state of things—what St. Augustine called "the tranquillity of order" or peace—the Church is not a dictatorship. Dictatorship is a barbaric institution. As Euripides says "among the barbarians all are slaves but one." Our Lord said "the princes of the Gentiles lord it over" their subjects. (Mt. 20:25) He said to His apostles "with you it is not to be this way." Yet the tranquillity of order—the peace of the Church—has been disturbed enormously in the post-conciliar period. What we see in the Church today is that the hierarchs of the Roman Curia (not the Pope, but a few of his Vatican ministers) lord it over their subjects with an oriental despotism. To be more precise, they lord it over certain subjects, who buck the Party Line, while the Church at large suffers from a near-collapse of faith and discipline which these same potentates ignore.

       How did this come to pass? Since the restructuring of the Roman Curia, around 1967, by order of Pope Paul VI—which was actually designed and carried out by Cardinal Jean Villot—the heads of the various Roman dicasteries have been able to behave like dictators. Before the Second Vatican Council, the Roman Curia was structured as a monarchy. The Pope was the Prefect of the Holy Office, while the Cardinal in charge of the day-to-day business of the Holy Office was the second-in-command. The other dicasteries were of lower rank. And while having their own authority and jurisdiction, again in accordance with that principle of subsidiarity,20 they were subordinate to the Holy Office, and the Holy Office was directly under the Pope. This arrangement was entirely in keeping with the Divine Constitution of the Church. The Pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, was at the head of the chain of command.

       But after Vatican II, Cardinal Villot engineered the restructuring of the Roman Curia. Long before Gorbachev announced his program of perestroika in the Soviet Union, the Church underwent its own perestroika in the Roman Curia. The Holy Office was renamed—but far more significant, the Holy Office lost its supreme position in the Curia. The Curia was restructured in such a manner that the Cardinal Secretary of State was placed over all the other dicasteries, including the former Holy Office. Renamed and restructured, it was now called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and the Pope was no longer the Prefect. But it (the CDF) is now under a Cardinal Prefect (today it is Cardinal Ratzinger) and he is under the authority of the Secretary of State.

       According to the previous arrangement under the Pope and his Holy Office, faith and morals were the preeminent factors determining curial policies. In the post-conciliar arrangement, however, under the Cardinal Secretary of State and his dicastery, the Secretariat of State, it is the Party Line—the politics of the Secretary of State—that is the supreme determining factor in the formulation of Church policies. Even the former Holy Office, now the CDF, is subordinate to the Secretary of State. As a result of this restructuring, the Holy Father, the Supreme Pontiff, is reduced to a figurehead who gives his approval, as a rubber stamp, to rulings presented to him as a fait accompli by the Secretary of State. This bears repeating: The Pope has been reduced to a figurehead in the service of the dictatorship of the Secretary of State.21

       In the Masonic registry required by Italian law, one did find the name of Jean Villot—the same Villot who oversaw the curial reorganization. After Cardinal Villot died, in his private library was found a handwritten message from the Grand Master of Villot’s Masonic Lodge, praising Villot for upholding Masonic traditions.22 As a French priest living in Rome said: "At least in one area he was traditional."

The Use of False "Obedience" to Impose the Party Line

       In 1917, the very year Our Lady appeared at Fatima, Saint Maximilian Kolbe was in Rome, where he saw the Masons showing their open hostility to the Catholic Church and carrying placards announcing their intention to infiltrate the Vatican so that satan would rule from the Vatican and the Pope would be his slave.23 They also boasted at the same time that they would destroy the Church. The intention of the Masons to destroy the Church fits in perfectly with the well-known Masonic dictum, "We will destroy the Church by means of holy obedience." As we showed in an earlier chapter, Bishop Graber of Regensburg, Germany, collected other such testimonies of Masonic luminaries, and the Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita itself boldly declared "let the Clergy march under your standard, always believing that they are marching under the banner of the apostolic keys." That is, the demand for "obedience" would be used in dictatorial fashion to undermine true obedience and the faith itself.

       And the curial reorganization of 1967 would be instrumental in accomplishing that aim by subjecting the whole Church to the Party Line of the Secretary of State—including the Party Line on Fatima—under the guise of a false "obedience" to an authority who has clearly exceeded the bounds established by God Himself. As we will demonstrate shortly, it was Cardinal Sodano who literally dictated the "interpretation" of the visional aspect of the Third Secret of Fatima, which has been published without the Virgin’s own words to explain it.

The Secretary of State Targets the Message of Fatima

       This brings us to the precise role of the Secretary of State in imposing the Party Line with respect to Fatima. As we have noted, this process would involve the Message of Fatima in general and, in particular, perhaps its foremost proponent in the Church: the Fatima apostolate of Father Nicholas Gruner.

       As early as 1989, the Secretary of State at the time, Cardinal Casaroli (the great "architect" of Ostpolitik) had communicated to Father Gruner’s bishop at the time, His Excellency Gerardo Pierro of the Diocese of Avellino, Italy, what the Bishop had called "worried signals" about Father Gruner’s Fatima apostolate. Father Gruner had been ordained in Avellino in 1976 for a Franciscan community that did not form as expected. Since 1978 he had been residing in Canada with the Bishop’s permission, where he had become the leader of a small Fatima apostolate that had since grown into the largest of its kind in the world. But after the Party Line concerning the "consecration" of 1984 had been imposed by the anonymous order of 1988, it was inevitable that Father Gruner’s apostolate and the Secretary of State would collide—just as the traditional orientation and the new orientation of the Church have collided after Vatican II.

       The basic technique for trying to get rid of Father Gruner had been to create a bogus canonical scenario in which, having been ordered to find some other bishop to incardinate him outside of Avellino, Father Gruner’s incardination anywhere else would be blocked through unprecedented arm-twisting behind the scenes, so that Father Gruner would be forced to "return" to Avellino and abandon his apostolate. Having blocked Father Gruner’s incardination by three successive benevolent bishops who were friends of Fatima, the Vatican apparatus (in a complex proceeding beyond the scope of this book24) had finally lowered the boom: Father Gruner must "return" to Avellino or be "suspended" for "disobedience." In essence, Father Gruner was under a threat of "suspension" for having failed to do what his very accusers had systematically prevented him from doing—namely, find another bishop to incardinate him.25

        As Father Gruner’s various canonical appeals from these unprecedented actions against him wended their way through Vatican tribunals, his Fatima apostolate continued to flourish. By the year 2000 the apostolate, particularly through its journal The Fatima Crusader, had become the strongest and most persistent voice in the Church for both the Consecration of Russia and disclosure of the Third Secret.

       Furthermore, the Pope himself had complicated the Fatima picture with his decision to beatify Jacinta and Francisco in a ceremony at Fatima on May 13, 2000. His intention to beatify the two children was made known as early as June of 1999, and this development had clearly triggered an internal struggle within the Vatican apparatus. This is shown by the curious on-again, off-again nature of the beatification ceremony, which is most unusual for the Vatican. First, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, announced in October 1999 that the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco would take place on April 9, 2000 in St. Peter’s Square, along with four other beatifications. The Patriarch of Lisbon is quoted in the Portuguese press as having been informed by the Vatican that it was "quite impossible" for the Pope to come to Fatima for the children’s beatification and that the question was "closed." The Patriarch told Portuguese journalists that he was convinced this "impossibility" of the Pope coming to Fatima was exclusively due to a decision by none other than the Vatican Secretary of State.

       But the Pope had other ideas. In November of 1999 His Holiness—obviously bypassing Cardinal Sodano—informed Bishop Serafim, the Bishop of Fatima, directly that he should announce that the Pope would indeed come to Fatima on May 13 to perform the beatifications. Bishop Serafim did not make the new announcement until December 1999. And then, in March of 2000, the Bishop also let it slip that "the Pope will do something special for Fatima." This prompted furious speculation in the press that the Pope was, at last, going to reveal the Third Secret. Bishop Serafim was immediately rebuked in public by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, possibly under orders from somebody in the employ of the Vatican Secretary of State, who did not wish anyone to know that the Pope was contemplating revelation of the Secret. But the proverbial cat was out of the proverbial bag.26

       And so the Pope went to Fatima on May 13, 2000 to beatify Jacinta and Francisco. The papal appearance was a kind of living demonstration of the conflict between the two visions of the Church we have been discussing. Evoking the Church of all time, the Pope delivered a sermon after the beatifications. In this sermon many things the Church seemed to have forgotten over the past forty years were suddenly recalled again:

       According to the divine plan, "a woman clothed with the sun" (Apoc. 12:1) came down from Heaven to this earth to visit the privileged children of the Father. She speaks to them with a mother’s voice and heart: She asks them to offer themselves as victims of reparation, saying that She was ready to lead them safely to God. …

       Later Francisco, one of the three privileged children, exclaimed: "We were burning in that light which is God and we were not consumed. What is God like? It is impossible to say. In fact we will never be able to tell people". God: a light that burns without consuming. Moses had the same experience when he saw God in the burning bush.

       "Another portent appeared in Heaven; behold, a great red dragon" (Apoc. 12:3). These words from the first reading of the Mass make us think of the great struggle between good and evil, showing how, when man puts God aside, he cannot achieve happiness, but ends up destroying himself. …

       The Message of Fatima is a call to conversion, alerting humanity to have nothing to do with the "dragon" whose "tail swept down a third of the stars of Heaven, and cast them to the earth" (Apoc. 12:4).

       Man’s final goal is Heaven, his true home, where the heavenly Father awaits everyone with His merciful love. God does not want anyone to be lost; that is why 2,000 years ago He sent His Son to earth, "to seek and to save the lost" (Lk. 19:10). …

       In Her motherly concern, the Blessed Virgin came here to Fatima to ask men and women "to stop offending God, Our Lord, who is already too much offended". It is a mother’s sorrow that compels Her to speak; the destiny of Her children is at stake. For this reason She asks the little shepherds: "Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners; many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them".

       The Pope’s direct linkage of the Message of Fatima with the Book of the Apocalypse, and his likening of the Fatima seers’ encounter with God to that of Moses before the Burning Bush, comprised a stunning papal authentication of the Fatima apparitions as divinely given prophecies for our time. All of a sudden, Fatima was squarely before the eyes of the whole Church again.

       There was, first of all, the Pope’s astonishing reference to the Message of Fatima as a Biblical moment, the very fulfillment of chapter 12, verse 1 of the Apocalypse, which speaks of the "Woman clothed with the sun." Here Pope John Paul II echoed Pope Paul VI, who, in his apostolic letter Signum magnum, delivered at Fatima on May 13, 1967, declared:

       The great sign which the Apostle John saw in Heaven, "a woman clothed with the sun," is interpreted by the sacred Liturgy, not without foundation, as referring to the most Blessed Mary, the mother of all men by the grace of Christ the Redeemer. … On the occasion of the religious ceremonies which are taking place at this time in honor of the Virgin Mother of God in Fatima, Portugal, where She is venerated by countless numbers of the faithful for Her motherly and compassionate heart, we wish to call the attention of all sons of the Church once more to the indissoluble link between the spiritual motherhood of Mary … and the duties of redeemed men toward Her, the Mother of the Church.

       Even more astonishing, in his sermon Pope John Paul II had explicitly linked the Message of Fatima to Apocalypse, chapter 12, verse 4, which prophesies that the "tail of the dragon" will sweep one-third of the stars from Heaven and cast them down to the earth. As Father Gruner would later note: "In the language of the Bible, the ‘stars of Heaven’ are those who are set in the heavens to illumine the way for others to go to Heaven. This passage has been classically interpreted in Catholic commentaries to mean that one-third of the clergy—i.e. Cardinals, bishops, priests—fall from their consecrated state and are actually working for the devil." For example, the Haydock Commentary to the Douay-Rheims Bible notes that the image of one-third of the stars of Heaven has been interpreted to refer to "bishops and eminent persons who fall under the weight of persecution and apostatized … The devil is always ready, as far as God permits him, to make war against the Church and the faithful servants of God."

       In this connection Father Gruner, Gerry Matatics—the Catholic Biblical scholar (and former Presbyterian minister)—and others have cited the commentary on Apoc. 12:3-4 by Father Herman B. Kramer, in The Book of Destiny. This work was published with an imprimatur, providentially enough, in 1956, only six years before the opening of Vatican II. In reference to the symbol of one-third of the stars of Heaven, Father Herman Kramer notes: "This is one-third of the clergy" and that "‘one-third’ of the stars shall follow the dragon"—meaning one-third of the clergy, who are the "stars", the consecrated souls in the Church.27 That is, one-third of the Catholic clergy will be in the service of the devil, working to destroy the Church from within. Father Herman Kramer’s commentary points out that the red dragon—a sign of the devil which could also symbolize Communism because red is Communism’s emblematic color—brings the Church into great distress by undermining it from within.

       The commentary goes on to say that, by means of these apostate clergy, the devil will probably enforce upon the Church "the acceptance of unchristian morals, false doctrines, compromise with error, or obedience to the civil rulers in violation of conscience." In addition, he suggests that "The symbolic meaning of the dragon’s tail may reveal that the clergy who are ripe for apostasy will hold the influential positions in the Church, having won preferment by hypocrisy, deceit and flattery." The clergy who will follow the dragon — i.e. the devil — would include those "who neglected to preach the truth or to admonish the sinner by a good example, but rather sought popularity by being lax and the slaves of human respect," as well as those "who fear for their own interests and will not remonstrate against evil practices in the Church" and bishops "who abhor upright priests who dare to tell the truth".28 Father Herman Kramer also observes as follows concerning the state of the Catholic Church in the times prophesied by Apoc. 12:3-4:

       "The apostolic democracy founded by Our Lord may have given way to an absolute monarchy, in which the episcopate rules with oriental despotism. The priests may be reduced to a state of servility and fawning sycophancy. The rule by reason, justice and love may have been supplanted by the absolute will of the bishop, whose every act and word are to be accepted without question, without recourse to fact, truth or justice. Conscience may have lost its right to guide the actions of the priests and may stand ignored or condemned. Diplomacy, expediency and other trickery may be upheld as the greatest virtues."29

       But none of this is mentioned in those parts of the Message of Fatima which have thus far been revealed. Had the Pope, then, with his startling reference to Apocalypse 12:3-4, just given the world a glimpse into the contents of the Third Secret? Would he now reveal the Secret in its entirety?

       But, alas, the sermon ends. It is not the Pope who will discuss the Third Secret. As quickly as it began, the Pope’s momentary return to the vision of the Church of all time is over, and a chief exponent of the new vision rises to his feet. It is Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State—the same Cardinal Sodano who had tried, but failed, to prevent the Pope from going to Fatima to beatify Jacinta and Francisco. For some strange reason it is Sodano, not the Pope, who will announce that the Pope has decided to reveal the Third Secret of Fatima:

       On the solemn occasion of his visit to Fatima, His Holiness has directed me to make an announcement to you. As you know, the purpose of his visit to Fatima has been to beatify the two "little shepherds". Nevertheless he also wishes his pilgrimage to be a renewed gesture of gratitude to Our Lady for Her protection during these years of his papacy. This protection seems also to be linked to the so-called "third part" of the secret of Fatima.

       And then what had seemed so strange suddenly became quite explicable. Cardinal Sodano’s task would be to prepare the faithful to accept the notion that the Message of Fatima, including the Third Secret, was now to be considered a thing of the past. The process would begin with the Cardinal’s "interpretation" of the Third Secret:

       That text contains a prophetic vision similar to those found in Sacred Scripture, which do not describe with photographic clarity the details of future events, but rather synthesize and condense against a unified background of events spread out over time in a succession and a duration which are not specified. As a result, the text must be interpreted in a symbolic key.

       According to the interpretation of the "little shepherds", which was also recently confirmed by Sister Lucia, the "Bishop clothed in white" who prays for all the faithful is the Pope. As he makes his way with great effort towards the Cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred (bishops, priests, men and women religious and many lay persons), he too falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire.

       As the faithful will soon learn, this is simply a lie. The "Bishop dressed in White" in the vision is not "apparently dead" but is killed—as the text of the vision clearly states—in the manner of a military execution, along with many bishops, priests and religious, outside a half-ruined city.

       Why, then, insert the word "apparently" into the "interpretation"? Cardinal Sodano immediately tips his hand:

       After the assassination attempt of 13 May 1981, it appeared evident to His Holiness that it was "a motherly hand which guided the bullet’s path", enabling the "dying Pope" to halt "at the threshold of death". …

       The successive events of 1989 led, both in the Soviet Union and in a number of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the Communist regime which promoted atheism. …

       Even if the events to which the third part of the Secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past, Our Lady’s call to conversion and penance, issued at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, remains timely and urgent today.

       Quite simply, Sodano was preparing the way for an "interpretation" of the Message of Fatima that would bury it once and for all: the Message culminated with the 1981 assassination attempt and the "fall of Communism" in 1989—events which "now seem part of the past." To insure this result, a "commentary" would be prepared before the actual text of the Third Secret would be released:

       In order that the faithful may better receive the message of Our Lady of Fatima, the Pope has charged the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with making public the third part of the secret, after the preparation of an appropriate commentary.

       But why had this commentary not been ready in time for the May 13 ceremony? After all, news of the Third Secret’s impending disclosure had been circulating since at least March of 2000. In that month, Bishop Serafim had announced that the Pope had told him during a visit to Rome that the Pope would "do something special for Fatima"30 when he went there for the beatification ceremony in May 2000.

       Curiously enough, the Pope had urged Bishop Serafim to say nothing about this while he was in Rome, but to wait until he returned to Fatima. But the subject was on the Pope’s mind since the previous November, so why had no "commentary" been prepared during the period November 1999 to May 2000? Surely, such a commentary could easily have been completed in that time.

       Two conclusions suggest themselves. Either the Pope had not told Cardinal Sodano of his intention concerning disclosure of the Third Secret—in which case the Pope does not trust Sodano—or the Pope did tell Sodano, whereupon Sodano assumed that he would somehow be able to prevent disclosure at the May 13, 2000 ceremony. This would explain why Sodano had not arranged for a commentary beforehand: he thought it would not be needed because he would be able to prevent any disclosure of the Third Secret. But the Pope had pressed ahead, and now the Secret had to be "managed" in such a way that the question of Fatima could be laid to rest.

A Press Conference to Announce the Sodano Party Line

       We thus arrive at the fateful date of June 26, 2000. On this date the Third Secret is "disclosed" at a Vatican press conference, along with a commentary prepared by Cardinal Ratzinger and Monsignor Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the CDF, entitled The Message of Fatima (hereafter referred to as TMF). In TMF the Party Line on Fatima would be officially promulgated—by the direct command of Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

       First of all, the faithful were told that the following text of a vision seen by Sister Lucy is all there is to the Third Secret of Fatima:

       After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels, each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God. 

       The immediate reaction of millions of Catholics could be summarized in two words: That’s it? Clearly, something was amiss, since nothing in this text corresponded to what Cardinal Ratzinger himself had said about the Third Secret in 1984—a point to which we shall return shortly. Nor did it contain anything that would have explained its mysterious suppression since 1960.

       Most important, this obscure vision, written down on four sheets of notebook paper, contained no words of Our Lady. In particular, it contained nothing that would complete the famous phrase spoken by Our Lady at the conclusion of the recorded portion of the Message of Fatima as faithfully transcribed by Sister Lucy in her memoirs: "In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved etc." Sister Lucy had added this phrase, including the "etc.", to her fourth memoir as part of the integral text of the Message. This addition had led every reputable Fatima scholar to conclude that it signaled the beginning of the unrecorded Third Secret, and that the Third Secret pertained to a widespread dogmatic crisis in the Church outside of Portugal. Clearly, the Virgin had more to say that was not written down because Sister Lucy had been instructed to keep it secret—until, as we have seen, 1960.

       In a curious maneuver, however, TMF had avoided any discussion of the telltale phrase by taking the text of the Message of Fatima from Sister Lucy’s third memoir, where the phrase does not appear. TMF justifies this as follows: "For the account of the first two parts of the ‘secret’, which have already been published and are therefore known, we have chosen the text written by Sister Lucia in the Third Memoir of 31 August 1941; some annotations were added in the Fourth Memoir of 8 December 1941." Annotations? The key phrase concerning the preservation of dogma in Portugal was no "annotation" but an integral part of the spoken words of Our Lady, after which She had said: "Tell this to no one. Yes, you may tell Francisco."

       Having deceptively mischaracterized an integral part of the Message of Fatima as an "annotation", TMF then buries it in a footnote that is never mentioned again: "In the ‘Fourth Memoir’ Sister Lucia adds: ‘In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc. ...’."

       Why are Sodano/Ratzinger/Bertone so leery of this key phrase that they would so obviously go out of their way to avoid it by using an earlier and less complete memoir of the text of the Message? If there is nothing to hide in this phrase, why not simply use the Fourth Memoir and attempt an explanation of what the phrase means? Why did the authors of TMF so obviously pretend that the phrase is a mere "annotation", when they know full well that it appears in the integral text as part of the spoken words of the Mother of God? We shall return to this suspicious behavior in a later chapter.

       Another grounds for suspicion was that the vision of the "Bishop dressed in White" was not at all the one-page "letter … in which Sister Lucy wrote down the words which Our Lady confided as a secret to the three shepherds of the Cova da Iria"—as the Vatican itself had described it in the aforementioned 1960 press release. The text of the vision spans four pages of what appear to be ruled notebook paper.

       Another suspicious circumstance is that on June 26 Cardinal Sodano’s falsehood of May 13 was clearly exposed: the Pope is killed by soldiers who fire upon him as he kneels at the foot of a large wooden Cross outside a half-ruined city. The Pope is not "apparently dead", as Sodano had falsely asserted in May; the Pope is dead. The vision, whatever it means, clearly has absolutely nothing to do with the 1981 assassination attempt. The faithful had already been duped in May, and now the process of duping them was clearly continuing.

       The dozens of discrepancies raised by this text—prompting Catholics around the world to doubt that we have received the Secret in its entirety—will be addressed in a later chapter. For now, we consider the Ratzinger/Bertone "commentary" in TMF on the Fatima Message as a whole.

Cardinal Sodano Dictates the "Interpretation" of the Third Secret

       First of all, TMF is a virtual admission that the "interpretation" of the Message of Fatima which Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone will "attempt" (to use Cardinal Ratzinger’s word) has been dictated by none other than Cardinal Sodano. No fewer than four times, TMF states that it is following Sodano’s "interpretation" of the Third Secret—namely, that Fatima belongs to the past:

       Before attempting an interpretation, the main lines of which can be found in the statement read by Cardinal Sodano on May 13 of this year …

       For this reason the figurative language of the vision is symbolic. In this regard Cardinal Sodano stated …

       As is clear from the documentation presented here, the interpretation offered by Cardinal Sodano, in his statement on 13 May, was first put personally to Sister Lucia. …

       First of all, we must affirm with Cardinal Sodano that the events to which the Third Secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past.

       And just in case the reader still has not gotten the point, the basic aim of TMF is driven home once again:

       Insofar as individual events are described, they belong to the past.

       Is it not curious that the interpretation of the Virgin of Fatima’s vital message to the world had been given over, not to the Pope, nor even to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (which was merely aping Cardinal Sodano’s opinion), but to the Vatican Secretary of State? What authority does Cardinal Sodano have to impose his view upon the Church? None, of course. But Cardinal Sodano had arrogated that authority to himself in keeping the overall post-conciliar ascendancy of the Vatican Secretary of State to the status of de facto Pope when it comes to the daily governance of Church affairs.

       Here it would be opportune to provide another very telling example of this usurpation of authority by the Secretary of State. In an article entitled "The Pope, the Mass and the Politics of the Vatican Bureaucrats" (The Latin Mass magazine, Winter Supplement, January 2002), Italian journalist Alessandro Zangrando recounts an incident in which the Vatican Secretary of State blocked publication in L’Osservatore Romano of the Pope’s praise of the traditional Latin Mass. The praise had been expressed in a papal message to an assembly of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: "In the Roman Missal of St. Pius V, as in many Eastern liturgies, are very many beautiful prayers with which the priests express the most profound sense of humility and reverence before the Holy Mysteries, the prayers revealing the Substance Itself of each Liturgy."

       Zangrando noted that while papal messages to Vatican congregations are routinely published soon after their release, this one was not. It was only after the Pope’s praise of the traditional Mass was published in the secular Italian newspaper Il Giornale that the Vatican Secretary of State suddenly (within 24 hours) released the text of the Holy Father’s message through the Vatican Press Office—more than a month after its issuance by the Pope. But to this day, and contrary to normal practice, the Pope’s message to the Congregation has not been published in L’Osservatore Romano, the Pope’s own newspaper. Zangrando quoted the conclusion of the renowned "Vaticanista" (specialist in Vatican affairs) Andrea Tornielli: "The very fact that 24 hours after the publication of the article [in Il Giornale] the Vatican Secretariat of State made public the text of the Holy Father’s letter, proves that a real attempt had been made at ‘censoring’ the Pope’s words... The operation backfired with unintended results"—that is, the Pope’s praise of the traditional Mass ended up gaining even wider publicity in the secular press.

       Here we see how another key element of the Church’s new orientation—the abandonment of Her traditional Latin liturgy—was enforced by the Secretary of State, who tried to censor the Pope’s praise for the traditional Mass. Who knows how many other papal utterances have been censored—successfully—by the Vatican Secretariat of State? This incident is only typical of the way Church governance operates today, especially given the Pope’s declining physical health.

Cardinal Ratzinger Executes the Sodano Party Line

        Returning to the "commentary" with these facts in mind, one can see that the press conference of June 26, 2000 had one overriding purpose: to carry out Cardinal Sodano’s order concerning the "correct" interpretation of the Message of Fatima. By the time the reporters left that room, the Message of Fatima—all of it—was to be buried. And once buried, the Message would no longer impede Cardinal Sodano and his collaborators in their relentless pursuit of the Church’s new, post-Fatima orientation, which includes (as we shall see) the important Church business of lauding, dining and hobnobbing at the Vatican with the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev, having the Pope apologize to the Red Chinese regime, pressuring Romanian Catholics to surrender to the Orthodox church the local Catholic Church’s rights to the properties stolen by Josef Stalin, supporting and even contributing money to a godless, unaccountable International Criminal Court under United Nations auspices that could try Catholics of any nation for unspecified "crimes against humanity", and other such "triumphs" of Vatican diplomacy.

        In other words, every last holdout in the Church must be brought along to the Vatican’s new way of thinking and speaking to the world, which does not square well with Our Lady of Fatima’s prophecy of the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, the spread of devotion to Her Immaculate Heart and the consequent conversion of Russia through the intervention of the Immaculate Heart. This sort of talk just won’t do anymore, even if it does come from the Mother of God. So, the precise task entrusted to Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone on June 26 was to find a way to detach the faithful once and for all from the explicitly Catholic aspects of the Message of Fatima, which all too clearly remind us of the "triumphal" Church of the "pre-conciliar dark age". As the Los Angeles Times would observe in its headline of June 27, 2000: "Catholic Church Unveils Third Secret: The Vatican’s Top Theologian Gently Debunks a Nun’s Account of Her 1917 Vision That Fueled Decades of Speculation." The effort was so blatant that even a secular newspaper could not help but notice it. Let us provide the proof of this crime against the Virgin of Fatima and the saintly seers God chose to receive Her message.

        First there was Cardinal Ratzinger’s attempt in TMF to dispose of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart:

        I would like finally to mention another key expression of the "secret" which has become justly famous: "my Immaculate Heart will triumph". What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time.

        The attentive reader will notice immediately that Cardinal Ratzinger has conveniently removed the first three words from the Virgin’s prophecy: In the end. This clearly deliberate censorship of the very Mother of God was necessary for Cardinal Ratzinger’s revisionist "interpretation" along the lines dictated by Sodano: namely, that Fatima belongs to the past.

        Thus, "In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph" is—after the expedient removal of the first three words—now to be understood as follows: "2,000 years ago My Immaculate Heart triumphed." Our Lady’s prophecy of what will happen in the end is blatantly falsified into a mere acknowledgment of what had already happened 20 centuries ago at the beginning of Christian history. Four future events—the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, the consecration of Russia, Russia’s conversion, and the resulting period of peace in the world—are cunningly converted into one event 2,000 years ago!

        This tampering with a message God Himself sent to earth through His Blessed Mother should cause any member of the faithful to rise up and demand justice in the name of Heaven. But Cardinal Ratzinger’s butchery of the Message of Fatima does not end here; it is far worse than even this. Concerning Our Lady’s call to establish devotion to Her Immaculate Heart throughout the world as "God wishes," Cardinal Ratzinger offered this mockery:

        According to Matthew 5:8, the ‘immaculate heart’ is a heart which, with God’s grace, has come to perfect interior unity and therefore ‘sees God.’ To be ‘devoted’ to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means therefore to embrace this attitude of heart, which makes the fiat—your will be done—the defining centre of one’s whole life.

        Notice, first of all, the quotation marks Cardinal Ratzinger places around devoted and immaculate heart, which he strips of its upper-case I—a sure sign these words are about to acquire a new meaning.

        Thus, "God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart" is now to be understood as: "God wishes everyone to do His will." In fact, everyone whose heart is open to God’s will acquires an "immaculate heart" of his own. So, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means opening one’s own heart to God, not spreading devotion to Her heart in order to make the world (especially Russia) Catholic. Immaculate with a capital I becomes immaculate with a lower-case i, and Her Heart becomes everyone’s heart, at least potentially. As a magician would say: "Presto, change-o!"

        There is, of course, only one word to describe the demotion of the one and only Immaculate Heart—conceived without Original Sin and guilty of no personal sin whatsoever—to the level of the heart of any person who turns away from his sins and finds interior unity with God. The word is blasphemy. More will be said about this particular outrage in the next chapter.

        The conversion of Russia was a bit more difficult to make disappear. There is not much one can say to obscure the Mother of God’s very clear statement that "the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted." But, as we have demonstrated abundantly, the conversion of Russia is no longer acceptable to the Vatican apparatus. The solution to this problem was simply to avoid any discussion of the subject in TMF, although Our Lady’s words are quoted without comment. The conversion of Russia? What conversion?

        The crowning insult was Cardinal Ratzinger’s citation of only one "authority" on Fatima in TMF: the Flemish theologian Edouard Dhanis, S.J., whom Cardinal Ratzinger identifies as an "eminent scholar" on Fatima. Cardinal Ratzinger of course knows that Dhanis, a modernist Jesuit, made a veritable career out of casting doubt on the Fatima apparitions. Dhanis proposed that everything in the Secret of Fatima beyond a call for prayer and penance was cobbled together in the minds of the three children from things they had seen or heard in their own lives. Dhanis thus categorized as "Fatima II" all those things which the "eminent scholar" arbitrarily rejected as fabrications—without ever once interviewing Sister Lucy or studying the official Fatima archives.

        As Dhanis put it: "All things considered, it is not easy to state precisely what degree of credence is to be given to the accounts of Sister Lucy. Without questioning her sincerity, or the sound judgment she shows in daily life, one may judge it prudent to use her writings only with reservations. … Let us observe also that a good person can be sincere and prove to have good judgment in everyday life, but have a propensity for unconscious fabrication in a certain area, or in any case, a tendency to relate old memories of twenty years ago with embellishments and considerable modifications."31

        Dhanis, who refused to examine the official Fatima archives, cast doubt on every aspect of the Message of Fatima which did not accord with his neo-modernist leanings: the prayer taught by the Angel he called "inexact"; the vision of hell he called an "exaggeratedly medieval representation"; the prophecy of "a night illumined by an unknown light" heralding the advent of World War II he described as "grounds for suspicion." And as for the consecration of Russia, Dhanis flatly declared that: "Russia could not be consecrated by the Pope, without this act taking on the air of a challenge, both in regard to the separated hierarchy, as well as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This would make the consecration practically unrealizable …" Thus, Dhanis declared that the consecration of Russia would be "morally impossible by reason of the reactions it would normally provoke."32

        Dhanis’ deconstruction of the Message of Fatima is a typical example of how modernists undermine Catholic truths based upon premises they themselves invent. Since (invented premise) the consecration of Russia is morally impossible, how could Our Lady of Fatima have requested it? Having thus stacked the deck against Sister Lucy, Dhanis states the "inevitable" conclusion: "But could the Most Holy Virgin have requested a consecration which, taken according to the rigor of the terms, would be practically unrealizable? … This question indeed seems to call for a negative response. Thus, it hardly seems probable that Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia. …" Based entirely on the premise Dhanis invented, Sister Lucy’s testimony is pronounced a fraud.

        That is precisely the line adopted by Cardinal Sodano and his Vatican apparatus: the Mother of God could not possibly have requested anything as diplomatically embarrassing as a public consecration of Russia: and so we must do away with this embarrassing notion once and for all. And it is this line, the Party Line, that Cardinal Ratzinger endorsed in his "commentary" by praising Dhanis as an "eminent scholar" on Fatima. Cardinal Ratzinger, following the Party Line, suggests that the Third Secret in particular consists of "images which Lucia may have seen in devotional books and which draw their inspiration from long-standing intuitions of faith." In other words, who can really say which parts of the Third Secret are authentic and which are merely personal memories or "intuitions"? And if that were true of the Third Secret, it would also be true of the rest of the Message of Fatima.

        Cardinal Ratzinger’s stealthy attempt to undermine Sister Lucy’s credibility, while professing great respect for the Message of Fatima, will be taken up again in the following chapter. Here it suffices to say that Cardinal Ratzinger’s evident agreement with Dhanis that all the specifically prophetic elements of the Message are unreliable serves to disqualify him from making any "interpretation" of the Third Secret, or any other part of the Fatima Message. Quite simply, Cardinal Ratzinger does not believe that the Mother of God called for the consecration of Russia, the conversion of Russia to the Catholic Faith, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, and the establishment of the specifically Catholic devotion to the one and only Immaculate Heart throughout the world. That being the case, the Cardinal had a duty to reveal his bias and abstain from the matter, instead of pretending to give an "interpretation" that is really an attempt to debunk and discredit that which he purports to "interpret."

        What was left of the Message of Fatima after Cardinal Ratzinger and Bertone got done with it on June 26? On this point, Cardinal Ratzinger, Msgr. Bertone, and Fr. Dhanis all agree: "What remains was already evident when we began our reflections on the text of the ‘secret’: the exhortation to prayer as the path of ‘salvation for souls’ (sic) and, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion." On June 26, 2000 the Message of Fatima became Fatima Lite: a watered-down prescription for personal piety without any specific relevance to the future.

        For this the Mother of God came to earth and called down the Miracle of the Sun? It is interesting to note that even in presenting this minimalist version of the Message, Cardinal Ratzinger could not write about salvation for souls without bracketing those words with the same squeamish quotation marks he used to distance himself from the words devotion, triumph and immaculate in his commentary. It seems even Fatima Lite is not quite light enough in Catholic content for the ecumenical palates of modern churchmen.

        As for Our Lady’s prophetic warning that "various nations will be annihilated" if the consecration of Russia were not done, this we are apparently supposed to forget. There will be no annihilation of nations, "Fatima is all in the past." Cardinal Sodano says as much. Cardinal Ratzinger agrees.

The Party Line on the Consecration of Russia

        We have mentioned Archbishop Bertone’s role in TMF. His principal contributions to the farce were two:

        First, Bertone issued the "command" (binding, of course, on no one) that the faithful must cease asking for the Consecration of Russia: "Hence any further discussion or request [of the Consecration] is without basis."

        To support this claim, Bertone cited exactly one piece of evidence: the manifestly fake "letter of November 8, 1989" from "Sister Lucy" to Mr. Noelker, which we have already mentioned—the same letter in which "Sister Lucy" writes about a consecration of the world by Pope Paul VI at Fatima which she never witnessed because it never happened. Tellingly enough, Bertone fails to identify the addressee of the letter. Nor does he provide the world with a copy to examine, lest anyone notice the fatal blunder concerning Pope Paul’s nonexistent "consecration of the world." Even more telling, TMF contains absolutely no direct testimony by Sister Lucy herself concerning the Consecration, even though Bertone himself had interviewed her about the Third Secret only two months earlier, and she was readily available to Cardinal Ratzinger and the entire Vatican apparatus during the beatification ceremony in May.

        Small wonder. TMF’s version of the "consecration of Russia" —which is to say Cardinal Sodano’s version—flatly contradicts a lifetime of testimony to the contrary by Sister Lucy. We consider a few examples here.

        Over 55 years ago, on July 15, 1946, the eminent author and historian, William Thomas Walsh interviewed Sister Lucy, which is recounted in his important work, Our Lady of Fatima, which sold over one million copies. At this interview, which appears at the book’s end, Mr. Walsh asked her pointed questions about the correct procedure for the Collegial Consecration:

        Finally we came to the important subject of the second July secret, of which so many different and conflicting versions have been published. Lucia made it plain that Our Lady did not ask for the consecration of the world to Her Immaculate Heart. What She demanded specifically was the consecration of Russia. She did not comment, of course, on the fact that Pope Pius XII had consecrated the world, not Russia, to the Immaculate Heart in 1942. But she said more than once, and with deliberate emphasis: ‘What Our Lady wants is that the Pope and all the bishops in the world shall consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart on one special day. If this is done, She will convert Russia and there will be peace. If it is not done, the errors of Russia will spread through every country in the world’.33

        Sister Lucy is clear and forthright. The collegial consecration requested by Heaven is the Consecration of Russia, not the world, which must be done by the Pope in union with the world’s bishops on the same day.

        Then there is the little-known revelation of Our Lady to Sister Lucy in the early 1950s, which is recounted in Il Pellegrinaggio Della Meraviglie, published under the auspices of the Italian episcopate. The Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Lucy in May 1952 and said "Make it known to the Holy Father that I am always awaiting the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart. Without the Consecration, Russia will not be able to convert, nor will the world have peace."34

        Thus, 10 years after Pope Pius XII’s 1942 Consecration of the world, we have the report of Our Lady reminding Sister Lucy that Russia will not be converted, nor will there be peace, unless Russia is consecrated by name.

        Thirty years later, in 1982, Sister Lucy’s testimony remains steadfast. On May 12, 1982, the day before the attempted 1982 consecration, the Vatican’s own L’Osservatore Romano published an interview of Sister Lucy by Father Umberto Maria Pasquale, a Salesian priest, during which she told Father Umberto that Our Lady had never requested the Consecration of the world, but only the Consecration of Russia:

        At a certain moment I 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 Russia ... In 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 (Russia)."

        This testimony was confirmed by Sister Lucy in a handwritten letter to Father Umberto, which the priest also published. (See photographic reproduction below.) A translation of the letter reads:

        Reverend Father Umberto, in replying to your question, I will clarify: Our Lady of Fatima, in Her request, referred only to the Consecration of Russia ... — Coimbra 13 IV - 1980 (signed) Sister Lucia

        Again, on March 19, 1983, at the request of the Holy Father, Sister Lucy met with the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Portalupi, Dr. Lacerda, and Father Messias Coelho. During this meeting, Sister Lucy confirmed that Pope John Paul’s Consecration of 1982 did not fulfill the requests of Our Lady. Sister Lucy said:

        In the act of offering of May 13, 1982, Russia did not appear as being the object of the consecration. And each bishop did not organize in his own diocese a public and solemn ceremony of reparation and Consecration of Russia. Pope John Paul II simply renewed the consecration of the world executed by Pius XII on October 31, 1942. From this consecration we can expect some benefits, but not the conversion of Russia.35

        She concluded, "The Consecration of Russia has not been done as Our Lady had demanded it. I was not able to say it because I did not have the permission of the Holy See."36

        A year later, on March 25, 1984, Pope John Paul II made an act of offering wherein he again consecrated "the world", not Russia. As with the 1982 Consecration, "each bishop did not organize in his own diocese a public and solemn ceremony of reparation and consecration of Russia". Concerning this ceremony Frère François writes: "In the months which followed the act of offering of March 25, 1984, which was only a renewal of the act of 1982, the principal scholars of Fatima agreed in saying that the consecration of Russia had not yet been done as Heaven wished it."37

        Such was also the conviction of Father Antonio Maria Martins,38 and of Father Messias Coelho who, on the eve of March 25, 1984, had announced in Mensagem de Fátima, of which he is the publisher-editor, "Consecration of Russia: It will not be done yet this time." He further explained, "It is certain the more contains the less. Apparently therefore, the ‘Consecration of the world’ will perhaps give the impression of having the power to take the place of consecrating specifically Russia. However, the problem cannot be resolved in logical terms, nor even in the light of systematic theology."39

        These theologians based their statements not only on the bald fact that a consecration of Russia needs to mention the word "Russia", but also on the testimony of Sister Lucy herself.

        On Thursday, March 22, 1984, two days before the act of offering, the Carmel of Coimbra was celebrating Sister Lucy’s seventy-seventh birthday. She received on that day, as was her custom, her old friend Mrs. Eugenia Pestana. After extending good wishes to her Carmelite friend, Mrs. Pestana asked, "Then Lucy, Sunday is the Consecration?" Sister Lucy, who had already received and read the text of the Pope’s consecration formula made a negative sign and declared "That consecration cannot have a decisive character."40

        The "decisive character" which is the stamp of the proper consecration is the miraculous conversion of Russia. Although the new "ecumenical orientation" of the Church has confused the issue, the conversion of Russia means conversion to Catholicism. This is not only a matter of common sense, but it is also found in the testimony of Father Joaquin Alonso, probably the foremost Fatima expert of the 20th Century. Father Alonso, who had many interviews with Sister Lucy, wrote in 1976:

        ... we should affirm that Lucia always thought that the ‘conversion’ of Russia is not to be limited to the return of the Russian people to the Orthodox Christian religions, rejecting the Marxist atheism of the Soviets, but rather, it refers purely, plainly and simply to the total, integral conversion of Russia to the one true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church.41

        In a 1985 interview in Sol de Fatima, Sister Lucy was asked if the Pope fulfilled the request of Our Lady when he consecrated the world in 1984. Sister Lucy replied: "There was no participation of all the bishops, and there was no mention of Russia." She was then asked, "So the consecration was not done as requested by Our Lady?" to which she replied: "No. Many bishops attached no importance to this act."42

        Even Father Rene Laurentin, a comrade of the progressivists, admitted in 1986 that "Sister Lucy remains unsatisfied43 ... Lucy seems to think that the Consecration has ‘not been made’ as Our Lady wanted it."44

        Then on July 20, 1987, Sister Lucy was interviewed quickly outside her convent while voting. Here she told journalist Enrique Romero that the Consecration of Russia has not been done as requested.45

        More of Sister Lucy’s affirmations that the 1984 consecration did not fulfill Heaven’s conditions could be cited,46 but the point is made: Msgr. Bertone and Cardinal Ratzinger, following Sodano’s Party Line, were relying entirely on a single, manifestly bogus letter to overcome more than fifty years of unwavering testimony by Sister Lucy on Heaven’s requirements for an effectual consecration of Russia. They had not dared to ask Sister Lucy about the matter themselves—or, if they had, she had not provided answers consistent with the Party Line.47

The Party Line on Fatima and World Peace

        This brings us to Msgr. Bertone’s second contribution to the farce. It came in the form of this statement:

        The decision of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to make public the third part of the "secret" of Fatima brings to an end a period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil, yet pervaded by the merciful love of God and the watchful care of the Mother of Jesus and of the Church.

        It is difficult to find words to express the offensiveness of this absurd claim. Here Sodano’s Party Line seriously proposes that an entire era of human lust for power and evil has been brought to an end with the Vatican’s "disclosure" of the obscure vision of the "Bishop dressed in White." In which case, why did the Vatican wait forty years to bring on world peace, when all it had to do, according to Msgr. Bertone, was stage a press conference in 1960 to publish this vision?

        Cardinal Sodano evidently recognized that he must provide the faithful with some sort of counterfeit to take the place of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, which had never materialized following the 1984 "consecration of Russia." The press conference of June 26, 2000 was thus presented as the great culmination of the Message of Fatima!

        But somehow Msgr. Bertone and Cardinal Ratzinger alike had managed to ignore the obvious implications of Sister Lucy’s letter to the Pope of May 12, 1982, which they themselves had (in part) photographically reproduced in TMF:

        And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfillment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it with great strides.48 If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc. And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment.

        This 1982 letter makes absolutely no reference to the 1981 assassination attempt; much less does it characterize the attempt as any sort of fulfillment of the Third Secret. Clearly, a year after the attempt Sister Lucy remained worried about a global chastisement in consequence of the Church’s failure to heed the imperatives of the Fatima Message. She certainly was not writing to the Pope about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, but rather the annihilation of nations.

        Also very curious is that the same letter from Sister Lucy (which Ratzinger and Bertone tell us was addressed to Pope John Paul II) contains the phrase: "The third part of the secret that you are so anxious to know (que tanto ansiais por conhecer)". Why would the Pope be "so anxious to know" the third part of the Secret if he already had the text in his possession at the Vatican, where it has been lodged since 1957? Why would His Holiness be "so anxious to know" what he had already read in 1981 (as Bertone/Ratzinger claim), or as early as 1978, as papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told the Portuguese press?

        It is highly suspicious that the phrase "you are so anxious to know" is deleted from every Vatican translation of the original Portuguese letter in the various language versions of the Cardinal Ratzinger/Bertone commentary. Even the Portuguese language version of TMF omits the phrase "you are so anxious to know" from the Portuguese typeset reproduction of the original letter. Clearly, the Vatican apparatus wanted to avoid a storm of questions about how the Pope could be anxious to know something he already knew. But by the time reporters could compare their translations with the original Portuguese letter, the press conference was over and no further questions could be asked.

        Two conclusions are possible: Either the letter was not really written to the Pope, or there was something more to the Secret which the Pope really did not know as of May 12, 1982, the date of the purported letter from Sister Lucy. As Sir Walter Scott’s famous aphorism goes: "Oh! what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."49 The first lie—that Fatima belongs to the past—leads to a tangled web of other lies in order to cover up the first.

Targeting Father Gruner

        But there was more to be done in this campaign to bury Fatima in the past. What about "the Fatima priest", whose apostolate’s publications and broadcasts were persistently and quite effectively hammering home the point that the Vatican apparatus, pursuing its new vision of the Church, had turned its back on the Virgin’s requests? At the end of the June 26 press conference, Cardinal Ratzinger went out of his way to mention Father Nicholas Gruner by name, stating that Father Gruner must be "submissive to the Magisterium" on the question of the Consecration of Russia, which (so the Party Line goes) was now over and done with. But the Magisterium—the authoritative teaching office of the Church—had taught nothing of the kind. There was only the Sodano Interpretation of Fatima, and TMF’s non-binding "attempt" to explain away all of the specific prophetic content of the Fatima Message50 (leaving only prayer and penance).

        Ratcheting up this persecution, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy had, only days before the June 26 press conference, sent Father Gruner a letter containing the astounding threat that he would be excommunicated from the Catholic Church. This letter was followed up with a communiqué to the bishops of the Philippines (where Father Gruner’s apostolate is strongly supported), advising that Father Gruner would be excommunicated unless (among other things demanded) he "reconciled himself to Church authorities"—that is, return to the Diocese of Avellino, close down his apostolate and bow to the Party Line on Fatima. For his own part, the Bishop of Avellino had never needed Father Gruner’s services, never supported him financially since 1978, and had never taken any steps to secure a proper immigration visa for the "return" to Avellino. The Bishop of Avellino was nothing but a pawn in the Secretary of State’s chess game. (We will have more to say about this travesty in later chapters.)

        In his remarks about Father Gruner at the end of the June 26 press conference, Cardinal Ratzinger had also noted that Father Gruner was no doubt suffering from angoscia—the Italian word for extreme mental anguish. Cardinal Ratzinger obviously knew of the threat of excommunication, which would indeed cause angoscia in any faithful priest who loves the Church. But Father Gruner’s plight is only emblematic of the plight of the Church as a whole in the post-conciliar epoch: a priest who has committed no offense against faith and morals is personally threatened with excommunication by the very head of the Congregation for the Clergy, while throughout the Church predators in Roman collars molest altar boys or spread heresy as their bishops move them from place to place or conceal their activities and protect them from punishment; and the Congregation for the Clergy does nothing.

        What is to explain this outrageous disparity of justice? There seems to us only one sensible explanation, based on what we have shown thus far: In the Catholic Church of the post-conciliar Adaptation the one unforgivable offense, just as in Stalinist Russia, is to buck the Party Line. And Father Gruner had bucked the Party Line on Fatima.

Exit Our Lady, Enter Gorbachev

        We have claimed that this mockery and obscuration of the Fatima Message—the Party Line on Fatima—was intended to bury it once and for all, so that Cardinal Sodano could get on with his pursuit of the Church’s new orientation. Here is a particularly compelling example of what we mean:

        Fatima having been "gently debunked" (to quote the Los Angeles Times) by Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone on June 26, the Vatican apparatus, led by Cardinal Sodano, immediately got down to what it considers the serious business of the Church. The very next day Mikhail Gorbachev was seated as a guest of honor between Cardinals Sodano and Silvestrini at a Vatican "press conference." What was the purpose of this press conference? It was called to celebrate one of the key elements of the Church’s new orientation: Ostpolitik, the policy of "dialogue" and accommodation with Communist regimes (including Red China) that persecute the Church. The immediate occasion for the press conference was the posthumous publication of the memoirs of Cardinal Casaroli, the grand architect of Ostpolitik and Cardinal Sodano’s predecessor in enforcing the Party Line of the Secretary of State.51

        In true Stalinist fashion, no questions from the press were permitted at this curious "press conference"—a press conference with no questions from the press! Evidently the Vatican wanted to be sure that no one bucked the Party Line with any questions about Fatima, or why the Vatican was honoring the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev, a man who admits he is still a Leninist and whose tax-free foundations are promoting the use of abortion and contraception to eliminate four billion people from the world’s population.52 This is not even to mention this blood-drenched character’s public defense of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan when he was still head of the Soviet Communist Party—a genocidal campaign that included planting bombs disguised as toys, so that Afghan children would have their limbs and heads blown off.53

        Could there be a more dramatic demonstration of the fundamental opposition between the Church of all time and the Church of the Adaptation? On June 26, 2000 Our Lady of Fatima was shown the door, Her heavenly message audaciously censored and revised by men who would dare to consign it to oblivion. Then, a day later, Mikhail Gorbachev entered the Vatican to celebrate the Church’s new orientation, as implemented by the late Cardinal Casaroli and by his successor, Cardinal Sodano.

        Gorbachev, leader of the culture of death, was honored by the Vatican again on November 4, 2000 when he addressed the Pope and other prelates at the "Jubilee of Politicians"—a dinner gala for about 5,000 of the world’s rulers of godless secular republics. The photographers captured the Pope listening very attentively to a speech by this key promoter of the abortion holocaust.54 This grotesque mixture of a Jubilee—a spiritual tradition in the Church derived from an Old Testament custom—with speeches by pro-abortion politicians on secular matters, is only typical of the new orientation, which constantly seeks to merge the Church with the world in the great Adaptation of Roman Catholicism to "modern civilization".

       Gorbachev admits that he is still a Leninist, and he continually promotes abortion, population control and his Leninist principles through his State of the World Forum. Gorbachev was invited by Cardinal Sodano to sit beside him at the Vatican press conference of June 27, 2000 to promote Cardinal Casaroli's memoirs upholding the Vatican policy of Ostpolitik, which refuses to denounce the errors of Communism and state atheism. Pictured above is Gorbachev, invited to the Vatican in November 2000 to address the Pope and other Vatican curial officials and politicians at the "Jubilee of Politicians".


Footnotes

1. "The Moscow Patriarchate and Sergianism" by Boris Talantov, from Russia’s Catacomb Saints, (St. Herman of Alaska Press, Platina, California, 1982) pp. 463-486.

2. "The Moscow Patriarchate and Sergianism: An Essay by Boris Talantov," found at www.orthodoxinfo.com/resistance/cat_tal.htm.

3. Remarks of January 17, 1998 at Aid to Church in Russia Conference, www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Faith/1998-03-04/Russia.html. Reprinted in The Catholic Dossier, March/April 1998, p. 4.

4. L’Osservatore Romano, March 26-27, 1984, pp. 1, 6.

5. Avvenire, March 27, 1984, p. 11.

6. Father Fabrice Delestre, "Fatima: Why Isn’t the Mother of God Being Obeyed as She Should Be?", Angelus, June 2000, Vol. 23, No. 6. See also Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: Joie Intime Événement Mondial, (French edition, Contre-Réforme Catholique, France, 1991) pp. 363-364; Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, pp. 168-172.

7. Father Maurer’s remarks appeared in an interview in Catholic World Report, Feb. 2001. A synopsis and commentary on this interview was published in "The Myth of a Converted Russia Exposed", Marian Horvat, Ph.D., Catholic Family News, March 2001.

8. See Mark Fellows, "This Present Darkness" Part III, Catholic Family News, October 2000.

9. Regarding alcohol in Russia, researchers concluded: "Russia’s rate of alcohol consumption, traditionally among the highest in the world, and rising significantly in the 1990s, is a major contributor to the country’s health crisis ... alcoholism has reached epidemic proportions, particularly among males ... A 1995 Russian study found that regular drunkenness affected between 25 and 60 percent of blue-collar workers ... In 1994 some 53,000 people died of alcohol poisoning, an increase of about 36,000 since 1991." In the ten years since the alleged conversion of Russia, there has also been a sharp increase in illegal drug use: "In 1995 an estimated 2 million Russians used narcotics, more than twenty times the total recorded ten years earlier in the entire Soviet Union, with the number of users increasing 50 percent every year in the mid-1990s." From Mark Fellows, "This Present Darkness", Part II, Catholic Family News, Sept. 2000.

10. "Satanism on the Rise in Russia" compiled by John Vennari. See www.fatima.org/satanism. html.

11. "Russia Legalizes Homosexuality", United Press International, May 28, 1993. To quote the beginning of the article: "Russia’s homosexual activists Friday celebrated a major victory for gay rights in post-Soviet Russia following the repeal of Article 121 of the Soviet criminal code, which outlawed consensual sex between men. ‘This is great news for gays and lesbians in Russia,’ said Vladislav Ortanov, editor of the Moscow gay magazine Risk."

12. "Activist Says Child Porn Prosecutions Will be Difficult in Indonesia, Russia", Christine Brummitt, Associated Press, Aug. 9, 2001. (Emphasis added)

13. "Big Brotherski goes too far for Staid Russians", Mark Franchetti, Sunday Times (London), November 25, 2001.

14. "New Visa System Seen Choking Russia’s Catholic Parishes", Russia Reform Monitor, No. 485, July 28, 1998. Also, "Catholic Clergy in Siberia Face Growing Visa Difficulties", Catholic World News, November 19, 1997.

15. Sarah Karush, "Foreign Priests Spark Controversy", Associated Press, February 12, 2002.

16. Radio Free Europe Report, June 20, 2001.

17. Ibid. See also Catholic News Service, February 17, 2002.

18. Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, pp. 189-190.

19. For a good treatment of the falsehood of the Noelker letter, see Mark Fellows, "This Present Darkness" Part II, Catholic Family News, Sept. 2000.

20. The principle which requires that authority be exercised at the lowest possible level to avoid tyranny through excessive centralization of government. For example, the budget of a town should be determined by the town Fathers, not by the state or federal government.

21. Under the old structure, before 1967, the Pope presided over the Roman Curia. Under the new structure, since 1967, it is the Vatican Secretary of State who presides over the Roman Curia. The reader is invited to check the Annuario Pontificio both before and after 1967 to see the change in the structure of the Roman Curia.

22. A French priest showed the Masonic document to, among others, the American priest Father Paul Kramer.

23. Paul Fisher, Their God is the Devil, (American Research Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1990) p. 40.

24. See Francis Alban and Christopher A. Ferrara, Fatima Priest, Fourth Edition (Good Counsel Publications, Pound Ridge, New York, 2000), Chapters 12, 14, 17-22; App. I, App. II.

25. For the details of the long and tortuous "proceedings" to silence Father Gruner, the reader may consult: Fatima Priest (Fourth Edition), A Law for One Man (both available from the Fatima Center, 17000 State Route 30, Constable, New York 12926) or visit the Fatima web site at www.fatima.org.

26. Regarding the on-again, off-again beatification ceremony and related matters, see: the daily newspaper Correio da Manhã of 14 October 1999, the article on p. 12; the weekly newspaper Jornal de Leiria of 14 October 1999, p. 24; the weekly newspaper A Ordem on 21 October 1999, p. 1; the official weekly of the Patriarchate of Lisbon Voz da Verdade on 31 October 1999, on p. 6, the article entitled "The Beatification of the Little Shepherds Definitely Will Be At Rome"; the official weekly of the Patriarchate of Lisbon Voz da Verdade on 5 December 1999, entitled "The Pope Will Return to Portugal; Fatima is the Place of the Beatification"; article in Euronoticias on 24 March 2000, p. 8, entitled "Bishop of Leiria-Fatima" March 21 press conference; weekly Euronoticias of 24 March 2000, on p. 8, "Crisis: The Bishop of Leiria-Fatima Creates A Mystery Around the Visit of the Pope Without Telling the Patriarch What It Concerns, Will the Pope Reveal the Third Secret?"; Euronoticias of 24 March, an article on p. 9 entitled "Analysis: Persons Who Have Studied the Apparitions Say That the Third Secret Could Concern the Destruction of the Faith. A Crisis in the Interior of the Church Would be the Third Secret".

27. Father Herman Bernard Kramer, The Book of Destiny, (first published 1955, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois, 1975) pp. 279-284.

28. Ibid.

29. Ibid.

30. On this point we refer the reader again to the following articles: in Euronoticias on 24 March 2000, p. 8, entitled "Bishop of Leiria-Fatima" March 21 press conference; weekly Euronoticias of 24 March 2000, on p. 8, "Crisis: The Bishop of Leiria-Fatima Creates A Mystery Around the Visit of the Pope Without Telling the Patriarch What It Concerns, Will the Pope Reveal the Third Secret?"; Euronoticias of 24 March, an article on p. 9 entitled "Analysis: Persons Who Have Studied the Apparitions Say That the Third Secret Could Concern the Destruction of the Faith. A Crisis in the Interior of the Church Would be the Third Secret".

31. Dhanis’ entire thesis against Fatima is explained and critiqued in Frère Michel, The Whole Truth About Fatima - Volume I, Part II, Chapter 1. All quotations concerning his false theory are from this source.

32. Ibid.

33. William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, (Image-Doubleday, New York, Imprimatur 1947) p. 221. Emphasis in the original.

34. Il Pellegrinaggio Della Meraviglie, p. 440. Rome, 1960. This same work, published under the auspices of the Italian episcopate, affirms that this message was communicated to Pope Pius XII in June. Also, Canon Barthas mentioned that apparition in his communication to the Mariological Congress of Lisbon-Fatima, in 1967; see De Primoridiis cultus marianae, Acta congressus mariologici-mariana in Lusitania anno 1967 celebrati, p. 517. Rome, 1970. See Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, pp. 21 and 37.

35. Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, p. 165.

36. Reported within an article by Father Pierre Caillon of Centre Saint Jean 61500 Sees, (Orne) France. This article was published by the monthly periodical Fidelite Catholique, B.P. 217-56402. Auray Cedex, France. English translation from The Fatima Crusader, Issue 13-14, (Oct.-Dec., 1983) p. 3.

37. Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, p. 172.

38. See Fatima e o Coraçao de Maria, pp. 101-102.

39. Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, pp. 172-173.

40. Ibid., pp. 167-168.

41. La Verdad sobre el Secreto de Fatima, Fatima sin mitos, Father Joaquin Alonso, (2nd edition, Ejercito Azul, Madrid, 1988) p. 78. English translation by Joseph Cain. Original Spanish reads: "... podriamos decir que Lucia ha pensado siempre que la "conversión" de Rusia no se entiende solo de un retorno de los pueblos de Rusia a la religion cristiano-ortodoxa, rechazando el ateismo marxista y ateo de los soviets, sino que se refiere pura y llanmente a la conversion total e integral de un retorno a la unica y verdadera Iglesia, la catolica-romana."

42. Sol de Fatima, September 1985.

43. Chrètiens-Magazine, March 1987, #8. Cited from Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, p. 189.

44. Father Laurentin, "Multiplication des apparitions de la Vierge aujourd’hui, p. 45, Fayard, September, 1988. Cited from Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, p. 189.

45. This testimony of Sister Lucy was reported in the early August (1987) edition of Para Ti published in Argentina. See World Enslavement or Peace ... It’s Up to the Pope, Father Nicholas Gruner (Immaculate Heart Publishing, 1989), pp. 212-213.

46. For more testimony, see Chapter VI of Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph.

47. The reported November 17, 2001 interview between Archbishop Bertone and Sister Lucy is treated at length in Chapter 14, "Let us Hear the Witness, For Heaven’s Sake".

48. The Vatican translation "we are going towards it little by little with great strides" is clearly defective. The words "little by little" do not appear in the handwritten Portuguese original published on p. 9 of TMF provided by the Vatican itself. We have thus provided our own accurate translation.

49. "Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field", Canto 6, stanza 17. Poem by Sir Walter Scott.

50. It should be noted that Cardinal Ratzinger himself said regarding the Vatican’s interpretation of the Third Secret, "The Church does not want to impose an interpretation". This quotation was reported in: "Final Secret of Vatican Published by Vatican", Boston Herald, June 27, 2000; "Vatican’s Secret is Out", The Express, June 27, 2000; "Vatican Unease as it Reveals the Full Third Secret of Fatima", Financial Times (London), June 27, 2000; "Fatima ‘Snapshot of Martyr’s Past Century’", The Irish Times, June 27, 2000.

51. News of June 27, 2000 press conference. "Gorbachev Helps Introduce Casaroli Memoirs", Catholic World News, June 27, 2000.

52. In September 1995, Gorbachev held his "State of the World Forum" in San Francisco. Over 4000 of the world’s "elite" paid $5,000 per person to attend the 5-day event. In a closing plenary session of the forum, a philosopher/author named Sam Keen provided a summary and concluding remarks on the conference. It reveals the Forum’s anti-life, anti-Christian ethos. To the conference participants, Keen said: "there was very strong agreement that religious institutions have to take the primary responsibility for the population explosion. We must speak far more clearly about sexuality, about contraception, about abortion, about the values that control the population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90 percent and there aren’t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage." See "World’s elite gather to talk depopulation," John Henry Western, The Interim, April 1996.

53. See interview with Afghan official Abdul Shams in Review of the News, July 1985.

54. Photograph published in Catholic Family News, January 2001, p. 13.

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