Enforcing the New Orientation
The months following the June 26 press conference witnessed an acceleration in the campaign to impose the new orientation on the Message of Fatima and the Church at large.
For example, on June 29, 2000, only two days after the Gorbachev farce, a seemingly unrelated but actually quite relevant event took place. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos issued a letter in his capacity as the head of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, which is supposed to insure access to the traditional Latin Mass for those who seek it. The letter announces something quite remarkable at a time of general lack of discipline in the Church: The General Chapter (meeting) of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (chartered by Pope John Paul II to serve the needs of traditional Catholics who have not welcomed the changes in the Church) will be suppressed. Its election will not be held. The Fraternity's priestly members will not be allowed to re-elect as their superior Father Josef Bisig, who was expected to be nominated and re-elected by an overwhelming majority at the Chapter. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos would simply impose upon the Fraternity a candidate more to his liking. Further, the rectors of the Fraternity's two seminaries would be removed and replaced with more liberal-minded priests.
The rationale for the Cardinal's actions is stated in his letter:
In a later interview in 30 Days magazine, the Cardinal further explained that he was only helping the Fraternity “to strike a balance between their original charism and the outcome of their insertion within the ecclesial reality of today.”2
Consider these two phrases together: “a spirit of rebellion against the present-day Church”, and “their insertion within the ecclesial reality of today”. Now, the seminarians of the Priestly Fraternity are baptized Catholics. They were born and raised in the “mainstream” Catholic Church. They were not members of the supposedly “schismatic” Society of St. Pius X founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, known for his resistance to the post-conciliar changes. No, they were young men who came from the “mainstream” of the Church and joined the Fraternity's seminaries to be formed in a traditional manner and to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass.
And yet these young men, who have never gone into schism (so-called), are being told that nonetheless they must be inserted into the “present-day Church” and “the ecclesial reality of today”. But if they are already Catholics, then what is this thing into which they are being “inserted”? Is it the Holy Catholic Church? Clearly, it is not. What the Cardinal is speaking of—whether he knows this explicitly or not—is the Church of the Adaptation; the Church of the new orientation. We know this because the priests and seminarians of the papally chartered Fraternity of Saint Peter are indubitably Catholics, so that if they are being inserted into anything it is not the Holy Catholic Church but something else.
And that is why we speak of the Stalinization of the Church. It is not as if the Church has been completely overthrown and has ceased entirely to be what she was, for this is impossible, given the promise of Our Lord that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. Rather, a sort of Trojan Horse has been set up inside the Church—a church within the Church; a collection of novel practices and attitudes—never before seen in Church history—that now wishes to insist that it is the Church. And whomever wishes to get along in the Church today, the Holy Catholic Church, must consent to be inserted into this “ecclesial reality of today” within the perennial ecclesial reality of the Church. The “ecclesial reality of today” is only a temporary phenomenon that God will surely rectify because of the untold damage it has caused the Church; but Cardinal Castrillón and his collaborators, carrying the overall Party Line of the Church's new orientation, wish to pretend that it will be a permanent thing.
One could not ask for a better proof of the existence of the Church's new orientation—her Stalinist Adaptation, as it were—than the Cardinal's brutal suppression of the Priestly Fraternity. Such actions would never be taken against the Jesuits or the other priestly orders that have been undermining the Church since Vatican II. Why? Because these morally and doctrinally corrupt orders adhere to the Adaptation, to the Party Line, to the new orientation. In the current crisis, the only thing the Vatican is willing to enforce with immediate and vigorous action is the Adaptation of the Church to the world—not sound doctrine, not sound practice, which are flouted throughout the Church with virtual impunity—but only the Adaptation.
In September of 2000 we encounter yet another dramatic example of the Church's Adaptation. From September 12-19, 2000, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray was in Red China to attend “a Symposium on Religions and Peace”. While there he celebrated Mass in the presence of the schismatic bishops of the Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA). The Mass was celebrated in the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians, which the Red Chinese regime has stolen from the true Catholic Church in China.3
The CPA was formed in the 1950's to replace the Catholic Church after “Chairman Mao” declared the Catholic Church “illegal” in Red China. The CPA is thus a human organization created by a Communist government and set up as a “church” which Chinese Catholics must join, forsaking the Roman Catholic Church, whose very existence has been declared “illegal” by the Red Chinese regime. The CPA constitution explicitly rejects submission to the Pope and declares the CPA to be autonomous from Rome. The CPA bishops and priests, therefore, are all schismatics by definition.
Over 100 bishops have been consecrated illicitly by the CPA without a papal mandate, in direct violation of the Code of Canon Law; worse still, those illicitly consecrated bishops publicly declared their primary allegiance to the Communist regime of China while disavowing (in the CPA Constitution) any allegiance or submission to the Pope. As a result, these illicit bishops, and those who consecrated them, would be excommunicated latae sententiae (automatically), even if they were members of the Catholic Church, which they are not. In 1994 the CPA bishops issued a so-called pastoral letter in which they endorsed China's population control policy, which includes forced abortions on all women who have one child already, calling upon Chinese Catholics to support this abomination.
In short, the CPA is a Communist-created, Communist-controlled, blatantly schismatic, blatantly heretical, pro-abortion organization, created by the devil himself, acting through Mao Tse-tung and his successor “President” Jiang. And yet the Vatican has declared no schism, nor any excommunication of these Communist-controlled, pro-abortion clergy. Instead, Cardinal Etchegaray went to China and celebrated Mass in the presence of CPA bishops in a Marian Shrine which the CPA, with the aid of Communist goons, stole from the Catholic Church and the Catholic faithful. Cardinal Etchegaray even stated that he “recognized the fidelity to the Pope of the Catholics of the official church [i.e., the CPA]”. Fidelity to the Pope on the part of bishops who endorse forced abortion and whose Communist-controlled association rejects the papal primacy in its very constitution? What sort of nonsense is this?
While Cardinal Etchegaray was in China, an 82-year-old Catholic priest in the “underground” Catholic Church, which remains in union with Rome, was beaten into a coma and carted off to jail by “security” police.4 In accordance with Ostpolitik, the Vatican has issued no protest over the nearly fatal beating of this priest, nor any protest over the arrest, imprisonment and torture of loyal Catholic priests, bishops and laity by the Red Chinese regime. The Vatican apparatus is still chained to the Church's new orientation—“dialogue” with the Church's enemies and silence even in the face of blatant torture and persecution of faithful Catholics. This is the fruit of the new orientation's abandonment of righteous opposition to evil. And this policy of the Adaptation of the Church will, in the long run, have the intended effect on millions more, who will apostasize and lose their faith, because the Vatican apparatus will no longer stand up and oppose evil with the righteous anger of old.
Here too we see the disparity of treatment as between traditional Catholics who in any way present an obstacle to the new orientation, and those who embrace the new orientation wholly and entirely. In contrast with the Vatican's pandering to the CPA, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was publicly pronounced both excommunicated and schismatic in a motu proprio prepared for the Pope's signature within 48 hours of Archbishop Lefebvre's consecration of four bishops without a papal mandate5—an action the Archbishop took in an effort (however misguided some may think it to be) to maintain Catholic tradition in a Church that appears to have gone mad.
The Red Chinese procure (through former Catholic bishops) the consecration of 100 bishops without a papal mandate for their pro-abortion “church” and the Vatican takes no punitive action. Quite the contrary, it sends a Cardinal (no less) as a representative to hobnob with some of the illicit bishops! Yet, when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrates four bishops to serve Catholic Tradition, he is immediately cast into outer darkness by the same Vatican apparatus, even though Archbishop Lefebvre and the four newly consecrated bishops consistently professed their loyalty to the Pope whom they were attempting to serve by preserving traditional Catholic practice and belief. Why this striking disparity of treatment? The answer, once again, is that Archbishop Lefebvre resisted the Adaptation; the Red Chinese bishops, on the other hand, exemplify it.
But it is even worse than this. According to an Open Letter of protest to Cardinal Sodano and other members of the Vatican apparatus, published by the Cardinal Kung Foundation, priests of the CPA—a schismatic, Communist-controlled, pro-abortion “church”—have been given canonical missions and priestly faculties in American dioceses. Thus, these Communist priests celebrate Mass and hear confessions of Roman Catholic faithful in their local parishes where these agents of a Communist government learn the secret sins of innumerable Americans which may provide material for blackmail to the Communist masters in China. This was confirmed by Archbishop Levada of San Francisco, who claims that the Vatican—and no doubt Cardinal Sodano was involved in this decision—has authorized the granting of “an apostolic mission” to these priests of the pro-abortion, Communist-controlled, schismatic CPA.6
Here is a literal, visible penetration of Communist power into the body of the Church. There could not be a more dramatic demonstration of the Adaptation. But the presence of these Communist-controlled priests in American parishes is only an icon of the whole process that began in Metz, France, back in 1962, when the drawbridge of the Church was let down and the forces of the world, the Church's sworn enemies, began to march into the Church, leading even Pope Paul VI to speak of the invasion of the Church by worldly thinking.
The Adaptation of the Message of Fatima
Nowhere can one find a sadder example of the Adaptation of the Church than what occurred on October 8, 2000: a ceremony at the Vatican “entrusting” various things to Mary—an “entrustment” for the masses, to take their minds off the consecration of Russia. During this ceremony “all peoples”, the world, the unemployed, even “youth in search of meaning”—anything and everything but Russia—were “entrusted” to Our Lady. The day before this ceremony the praying of the Rosary in Saint Peter's Square was broadcast around the world by satellite. But one thing was missing: the Fatima prayers. No one at the Vatican would pray: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need.” One decade of the Rosary, however, was recited by Sister Lucy for the cameras in the convent in Coimbra. Looking perfectly miserable, Sister Lucy did recite the Fatima prayers—in Portuguese. She had been reduced to a prop in a publicity stunt.
Here we see the Sergianization of the Message of Fatima, the Adaptation of Fatima to the world. Our Lady of Fatima becomes Our Lady of the Unemployed, Our Lady of Youth in Search of Meaning; and the Rosary is stripped of the Fatima prayers.
And this brings us to early 2001. The year 2000 had been a busy year for the Adaptation, but there was some mopping up to do. Father Gruner was still conducting his very effective Fatima apostolate. So on February 16, 2001, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos wrote to Father Gruner to renew his threat of excommunication of the previous June. If Father Gruner did not stop what he was doing, then there will be “definitive measures that would be painful for all concerned.”
In the same letter Cardinal Castrillón provided another demonstration of the new orientation at work on the Message of Fatima. According to Cardinal Castrillón “the Blessed Mother appeared to the three little visionaries in the Cova da Iria at the beginning of the century, and marked out a program for the New Evangelization which the whole Church finds itself engaged in, which is even more urgent at the dawn of the third millennium.”7 Our Lady of Fatima was now Our Lady of the New Evangelization—about which She had said not a single word at Fatima!
Our Lady did not come to Fatima to announce “the New Evangelization,” a slogan that describes a novel and ineffectual campaign to stimulate the dying faith of those who are already Catholics.8 Nor did Our Lady come to announce any of the other obscure slogans that have overrun the Church in the past forty years: “ecumenical dialogue,” “interreligious dialogue,” “solidarity,” “the civilization of love,” “inculturation,” and so forth. She came to announce the Old Evangelization, the perennial Gospel of Jesus Christ, Who is the same yesterday, today and forever—the selfsame Christ who warned the world that “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; he who believes not shall be condemned.” As a group of Father Gruner's supporters protested in their reply to the Cardinal:
Our Lady of Fatima's message to the world was devoid of slogans such as “the New Evangelization.” She had uttered no slogans at all but only the simple Catholic truth: that many souls are burning in hell for lack of the Catholic Faith; that to save souls God ordains it necessary to establish in the world—not just among those who are already Catholics—devotion to Her Immaculate Heart; that Her Immaculate Heart must triumph through the Consecration of Russia to that Heart; that only by this means can there be true peace in our time. And Our Lady of Fatima also gave us a warning about the consequences of failing to heed Her requests: wars and persecution of the Church, the martyrdom of the good, the suffering of the Holy Father, the suffering of the whole world—all of which are occurring at this very moment in history—and then, if we continue to ignore Her requests, the annihilation of various nations.
The Message of Fatima had, quite simply, been written out of existence, transformed into slogans of the Adaptation. And in line with this Stalinist Adaptation of the Church there would be censorship of anyone who hearkened to the former understanding of the old terms. In the same letter of February 16, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos had demanded that Father Gruner “publicly retract” certain opinions in his apostolate's magazine that the Cardinal deemed objectionable. In a Church teeming with heretical literature which has undermined the faith of millions and endangered their souls, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos wished to censor the Fatima Crusader magazine! And why? Because the magazine had dared to criticize, not Catholic teaching on faith and morals, but the prudential decisions of Cardinal Sodano and his collaborators—including their press conferences and dinners with the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev, their cozy relations with the schismatic CPA and their attempt to bury the Message of Fatima under a mountain of false interpretations.
The treatment of Father Gruner, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, Archbishop Lefebvre, the Society of St. Pius X, and other perceived obstacles to the new orientation of Vatican II illustrates that the post-conciliar epoch presents a situation very much like that lamented by St. Basil at the height of the Arian heresy: “Only one offense is now vigorously punished: an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries and transported into deserts.”
Only one offense is now vigorously punished today: an accurate observance of the Church's constant pre-conciliar traditions—summed up in the Message of Fatima. Strange to say, none other than Cardinal Ratzinger made the following observation about the so-called “Lefebvre schism” in his 1988 address to the Bishops of Chile:
Stranger still, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos has made the same admission. In the aforementioned interview in 30 Days he said: “The great emergency of our time is to show people that the Church of today is the same as the Church has always been.” But why is there such an “emergency” in the first place? When in the entire history of the Catholic Church did it ever have to be demonstrated that the Church was still the same as before? Why would such a demonstration even be necessary if there were not a very good reason to suspect that the Church has been changed?
There is indeed good reason to suspect this, as we have shown: Since Vatican II the Catholic Church has undergone an Adaptation precisely along the lines predicted, plotted and carried out by Her worst enemies. And those in charge of the Church today refuse to recognize what has happened, even if they are not conscious agents of destruction themselves. They are, as Our Lord said of the Pharisees: “blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.” (Mt . 15:14)
As Sister Lucy herself said: “This is why the devil has waged such a war against it [the Rosary]! And the worst is that he has succeeded in leading into error and deceiving souls having a heavy responsibility through the place which they occupy ...! They are blind men guiding other blind men ... ”9
And, as Saint Paul declared concerning the same type of stiff-necked person: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” It is also written in Sacred Scripture: “For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears have they heard heavily, and their eyes they have shut; lest perhaps they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Acts 28:27) They blindly and stubbornly defend the Adaptation of the Catholic Church as if it were a dogma of the Faith, while the real dogmas of the Faith are being undermined throughout the Church before their very eyes, while they do nothing.
1. Letter to the General Chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, June 29, 2000.
2. 30 Days magazine, No. 11, 2000, p. 17.
3. Zenit, September 19, 2000.
4. CWN News Brief, September 18, 2000.
5. While it is true that in normal circumstances a bishop should not make a new bishop without explicit permission or authorization from the Pope, nevertheless it is foreseen both in law and in practice over the centuries in Church history that a bishop can and sometimes must consecrate—that is, make—another bishop without explicit permission and even to go against a specific direct order of the Pope. Canon Law recognizes the right of a subject to go against an explicit order of a higher authority—even that of a Pope—in a specific instance, after due reflection and prayer, to go directly contrary if his conscience, informed by Catholic doctrine, persuades him that he must do so. (See Canon 1323, especially Section 4; and Canon 1324, especially Section 1 subsection 8, and Section 3.) Furthermore, in law it is not ipso facto an act of schism for one to disobey in a specific instance while being subject to the authority of the Pope in general—but at most it is an act of disobedience.
But even it is not an act of disobedience, at least subjectively, if one does not feel bound to obey the higher authority because the preservation of the Faith and the good of the Church demands it. The act of Archbishop Lefebvre on June 29, 1988 in consecrating four priests to the rank of bishop is beyond the scope of this book, but there are very learned articles by canonists and theologians which make a strong case for the subjective and objective defense of this act. (See articles by Patrick Valdrini, Dean of Canon Law, Institute Catholique, Paris, France and by Count Neri Caponi, Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Canon Law, University of Florence, Italy.) Even various Cardinals in the Vatican have publicly, in various degrees, defended Archbishop Lefebvre in this act.
6. Cardinal Kung Foundation's Open Letter to the Vatican, Sec. III, March 28, 2000 (www.cardinalkungfoundation.org/cpa/openletter.htm). In reply to the Kung Foundation (quoted in the Open Letter), Archbishop Levada reveals that the “apostolic ministry” of CPA priests “is being carried out according to directives received from the Holy See.”
7. Letter to Father Nicholas Gruner, February 16, 2001.
8. The New Evangelization is described as an Evangelization that is “new in its ardor, new in its method, and new in its expression”. It is under the umbrella of the “New Evangelization” that has “justified” the rowdy “Charismatic Movement” and Rock and Roll Eucharistic Congresses, World Youth Days nicknamed “Catholic Woodstock”, and other present-day aberrations in the Church. For a full treatment of the subject, see John Vennari, “Catholicism Dissolved, The New Evangelization” (Four part series in Catholic Family News from Oct. 1998 to January 1999.)
9. See Sister Lucy's quote in The Whole Truth About Fatima - Vol. III, p. 758.