The events which had unfolded since the Fatima conference of 1992, by any reckoning, would have annihilated most priests — especially one who was now being pressed in the vise of “administrative decrees” intended to crush the life out of his Apostolate by removing him from it, and who wished to speak with bishops in Mexico about the conversion of Russia which had just been bartered away at Balamand.
Nevertheless, while the Balamand Statement was being implemented, and the bizarre “Sister Lucy Interview” publicized by Carlos Evaristo was being taken as gospel by those who wanted apparitions with more ecumenical messages to replace Fatima's stern warnings, Father Gruner coolly moved forward to appeal once more to the bishops in the cause of Fatima.
The decision to hold a Second International Peace Conference in Mexico might seem like a suicide mission to most. But Father Nicholas Gruner saw it as providing a golden opportunity to penetrate even deeper into the compelling reasons for the collegial consecration of Russia. He could not forget that Our Lord's words to Sister Lucy at Rianjo conveyed one of the most terrifying prophecies and rebukes in a century of Marian apparitions:
In the August 1931 message, Our Lord in Rianjo, Spain, gave Sister Lucy of Fatima a very stern warning to pass on to the hierarchy when He said: “Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, they will follow him into misfortune”.1
Our Lord is referring to the misfortune of King Louis XVI, who was the third king to reject Our Lord's plan given through St. Margaret Mary for the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart. Having failed to effect the consecration, Louis XVI was guillotined in 1793, by the French revolutionaries. Through Sister Lucy, Our Lord admonished the Pope and the bishops about the fate which awaits those who refuse to carry out the Divinely mandated consecration of a nation.
The old “krock” on Father Gruner is that he is “disloyal” to the Pope. His critics have never bothered to explain how it could be loyalty for a subject to ignore a grave warning from a Divine messenger that the life of his sovereign was in jeopardy. Our Lord had not predicted a great tea party when He told Sister Lucy at Rianjo that His ministers would follow in the footsteps of the beheaded Louis XVI should they fail to heed His commands at Fatima. If loyalty was lacking, it had to be on the part of the critics who continue to hide the warning of Our Lord from the Pope and the bishops.
What better place to remind the bishops than in the fast-beating heart of a country that has been the center of persecution of the Church throughout her long, tortured history — Mexico?
It is said that thirty million people live within whispering distance of one another in Mexico City. To descend by plane into the ocean of light this population generates at night is to experience the shock Cortes must have felt when he came through the high mountain pass of Popacatapetl and saw Montezuma's capital at his feet. Mexico is the center of a world apart. It was at the fast-pulsating heart of this endangered world that the Second International Peace Conference for Bishops was scheduled for November of 1994.
In the months leading up to the Conference, invitations went out to the bishops of the world, announcements were sent to interested Church associations, 150,000 posters promoting the Conference were distributed and over 500,000 copies of a special issue of The Fatima Crusader were mailed to supporters.
To prepare for the Conference, the first undertaking in the spring of '94 was for Father Gruner to meet with Bishop Fuentes, the bishop of a small diocese in Mexico, whom he had met in Fatima in 1992. At first Bishop Fuentes appeared delighted with the proposal for a conference and most co-operative, going so far as to make introductions to the Mexican Bishops Conference, the CEM. Abbot Schullenberg, Rector of the Shrine of Guadalupe, encouraged Father Gruner to use the Aula Magna, the Great Hall at Lago de Guadalupe, which is owned by the CEM.
On May 2, the Secretary-General of the CEM, Bishop Ramon Godinez Flores, agreed to the rental of the Aula Magna conference facility,2 the same facility where the Mexican Bishops hold their annual meetings. On May 5, the CEM accepted and deposited the check which had an endorsement clause typed on the back of the check indicating that endorsement and deposit of the check constituted an agreement to rent the Aula Magna conference facility. Everything seemed to be proceeding smoothly — too smoothly.
Under the relentless demands of producing the Conference, it was natural that the signs and signals of a determined opposition might slip by unnoticed or without being afforded the attention that may have been due. In the offices of the Vatican Secretary of State the opposition was forming its battalions, and they were ready to move into action.
October 2nd: A letter from Bishop Flores, dated a month earlier, arrived at Father Gruner's Canadian office. It contained the second of the checks initially sent to reserve additional rooms for the event, the text of the letter announcing that the reservations of the Aula Magna facilities had been canceled. The stunning words used were:
Not quite. Only five weeks remained to the opening speeches of the Conference, to which considerably over 100 bishops had committed to being present. Even so, no one panicked. After the letter of cancellation arrived, the immediate need was to find alternative facilities in Mexico City. It was done: God willing, the Second Fatima Peace Conference would take place instead at the Sheraton Maria Isabela Hotel on Paseo de la Reforma.
It was then that the Apostolate heard about the Big Lie. All the way from Rome to Mexico. At first it was just a whisper. Then a letter surfaced that had been sent to every bishop in the world via the global network of Papal Nuncios. Father Gruner began receiving notes from bishops who had been advised by the head of the Conference of Bishops in their own countries not to attend, on the strength of advice reaching them through the Apostolic Nunciature in each country. The letter from the Vatican was a recycled version of the same “declaration” published in L'Osservatore Romano and elsewhere by Cardinal Sanchez and Archbishop Sepe to derail the 1992 Conference in Fatima.4
The letter referred once again to the old canard that Father Gruner did not have “permission of ecclesiastical authority” to hold the Conference in Mexico City. This in spite of the fact that it was manifest that Bishops of the Catholic Church do not require the “permission” of Vatican bureaucrats to attend a private religious conference. To add to the absurdity, no official Vatican mechanism even exists for the “official authorization” of such private events. The “declaration” was demeaning, insulting to the bishops, and (as expected by its issuers) the cause of mass confusion and upset.
The letter was a prime specimen of the literally truthful lie: yes, there was no “ecclesiastical permission” for the conference, but none was required in the first place. By use of this literally truthful lie, the bureaucrats had hoped to create the impression that bishops — who by virtue of the divine constitution of the Church are the rulers of their own dioceses and answerable only to the Pope — were somehow subject to travel restrictions imposed by a pair of Vatican bureaucrats sitting in the Congregation for the Clergy!
The law of the Church is clear, and the law had not changed since the first Conference, when canon lawyers had emphatically stated what should have been a matter of common sense: Absolutely no “permission of ecclesiastical authority” is needed for any member of the faithful, much less a bishop, to be present at a private Marian conference. On the contrary, it would be a violation of the law of the Church to require such permission. The bureaucrats were in fact openly defying the present Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II — a Code which had by Providence made explicit the always-existent natural right of the faithful to form associations, conduct meetings and present their concerns about Church affairs to the sacred pastors.* The modernists had been abusing this same natural right for thirty years, staging their motley assemblies and issuing their heretical manifestos with total impunity. Oddly enough, the bureaucrats had never seen fit to interdict any of these modernist gatherings with letters dispatched to the entire world episcopate through the Nuncios.
* The detailed case against these illegal maneuvers by a very small number of Vatican-based bureaucrats has been officially lodged with His Holiness Pope John Paul II, on November 20, 1996, in exact accordance with the provisions of Canon Law for cases like this one where a Church official grossly abuses his position of authority.
To give one example among many, in August 1995, the 25th Anniversary of the leftist Campaign for Human Development (CHD) was held in Chicago. At this event, twenty-five bishops, including three Cardinals, gathered with priests, nuns, ex-nuns, and laity. The conference promoted left-wing political actions, it sneered at “the religious right”, promoted “anti-patriarchy” feminism and called for improvement for the lives of such “minorities” as gays and lesbians.
The Saturday afternoon CHD liturgy included pagan dance at the offertory by dancing girls in leotards and low-cut tops, and scandalous irreverence of the Blessed Sacrament after Communion when about ten lay “extraordinary ministers” gathered around the altar irreverently gulping down the consecrated Bread and Wine as if they were at a cocktail party, talking and chatting out loud with each other and friends all within arms reach of the 25 bishops who simply sat and watched.4B
Yet not one of the bishops participating in this event received even a slap on the wrist from Roman authorities for attending. But then, the modernists were not gathering to discuss and promote the “intolerable” Message of Fatima.
Although the Mexico Conference in no way offended Canon Law or general ecclesiastical practice, nevertheless a majority of the bishops who had planned to attend cancelled after receipt of the Nuncial missive. Why the high casualty list? Because, without ever telling an explicit lie, the letter clearly implied two very false things: that Father Gruner was under some sort of ecclesiastical penalty, an outlaw, and that any bishop who attended the Conference would be engaging in an act of disobedience. This was all couched in studied ambiguity. No specific offense was attributed to Father Gruner, nor any specific prohibition on attendance at the Conference — because there was no offense, and no prohibition. In the 18 years of his priesthood and work in the Apostolate, Father Gruner had never been charged with any offense whatsoever against the good of the Church, and neither had the Apostolate. The “declaration” was pure vapor. But the vapor had its effect.
To the outsider, the political maneuver from the clique of bureaucrats was nothing less than bizarre, and, with no little hangover from the '92 Conference, outright vindictive. Most priests would have been intimidated into abandoning the undertaking and seeking new winds to fill the mainsail. Yet that did not happen. Despite the withdrawal of many bishops, and the continuing interference of the same Vatican bureaucrats, Father Gruner persisted in completing plans for the Conference. His fixity of purpose was, as many watchers of his Apostolate now recognize, pure vintage Gruner.
Publicly, Bishop Flores made use of the Nuncios' letter to “justify” his cancellation of the Conference at the CEM facilities. As Bishop Flores proceeded to go about sweeping the whole thing under the carpet, and Father Gruner kept moving forward to meet his deadline, the serpent of old extended a second suffocating coil around the Conference plans.
From the Middle East came news that a bishop had been denied a visa on the grounds that the Conference was not approved by the Mexican Government. Incredibly, the Mexican government had indeed announced that they had not “authorized” the gathering.
October 21: An official communiqué from the Mexican Government revealed it was Bishop Flores himself who had gone to the Ministry of the Interior in Mexico City and condemned the Conference. On that same day, further confirmation of Bishop Flores' interference was received from the Consulate General of Mexico, in Toronto.
Officials of the Mexican Government found their hands tied. Under orders from the Ministry of the Interior they could not issue visas for people from other countries who wished to attend the Conference. Around the world, Mexican Consulates had been informed that those applying for visas for this purpose were not to receive them because the Secretary-General of the Bishops Conference in Mexico, Bishop Flores, had not given his completely unnecessary “authorization” for the Conference.
There were both physical and logistical hardships for the bishops who had seen through the vaporous letter from the Nuncios and managed to obtain visas (in most cases by not disclosing the exact purpose of their trip). Arrangements in some cases had been made many months in advance. Worse still, inconvenience to the guest lecturers scheduled to speak at the Conference mounted. Remunerative engagements turned down for the chance to address the bishops were lost.
All these obstacles caused Father Gruner to pause and consider whether there was really a way around the multiplying problems. But he remained convinced that he had a duty to proceed. Nor could he live with the pain of knowing that souls were being lost because the requests of Our Lady had been buried and forgotten in so many quarters of the Church:
And so the Conference would proceed. New arrangements to meet the bureaucratic offensive were being worked out in round-the-clock planning sessions back at the Apostolate. Coralie Graham recalls: “We were determined to provide in a dignified and gracious manner for the bishops who would attend. Thank God for the help of friends of the Apostolate like Ray Flores and Louis Acosta, whose fluency in Spanish was crucial to undoing the damage that had been done in Mexico City and to putting the Conference back on track.”
November 8: Translators at the back of the Conference Hall in the Maria Isabela Hotel began their simultaneous translation of the opening speeches of the Second International Bishops' Conference. A moment of triumph for the cause of Our Lady of Fatima — and a day for savoring the irony in the October letter from Bishop Flores in which he had so confidently declared:
The damage had been severe, but not terminal: Out of the 100-plus bishops who had committed to attending the Conference before the nunciatures applied their pressure, only a fraction would arrive in Mexico City. But their arrival was a testament to the inability of a few Vatican bureaucrats to negate entirely the divine constitution of the Church and the natural rights of the faithful. The curtain had been drawn back for a moment, and at least a few of the bishops had realized that like the Wizard of Oz, the bureaucrats were mere men, actuating the levers of a great machine which generated a lot of intimidating noise and smoke, but had no legitimate power over them. They realized that the only power these men exercised with their great apparatus was the power of fear; and they had overcome that fear.
Father Gruner felt deep sorrow that so many bishops were intimidated by the clique of bureaucrats in the Vatican, and did not attend. Father reflected on this tragedy.
Father Gruner goes on, “As of yet, almost every prophecy given at Fatima has come to pass. The few that are left will happen in the near future. Francisco and Jacinta were both prophesied to die shortly after the apparitions, and they did die. Our Lady prophesied World War II, which would begin during the Pontificate of Pope Pius XI, and it happened as She said. Our Lady of Fatima prophesied a number of other world events which have also come to pass. Clearly, then, this prophecy which warns that the very lives of our Holy Father and the world's bishops are in danger, must be taken very seriously.”
The Sheraton Maria Isabela on Paseo de la Reforma, in the very center of Mexico City, perfectly befitted the hosting of the Fathers of the Church. Throughout her history, the Church has never let danger or controversy intimidate it. The symbolism of veils, crosses, miters could not possibly go unrecorded in Mexico. Not too long ago, Catholic clergy could be shot for wearing clerical garb in this city, the way Father Pro and the Cristeros were shot during the Mexican Revolution — suddenly, without fanfare. International Masonry had tried awfully hard in the last two centuries to keep the Church out of Mexico. Now, under the mask of modernism, certain malevolent forces came close to succeeding once again, this time maneuvering from inside the Vatican itself.
The lesson was not lost on the bishops who appeared in the hotel lobby in the vestments of their office. In a country where pectoral crosses are rarer than passenger pigeons, the hotel employees, taxi drivers, street vendors, and passers-by stared awestruck at the colors of faith exposed so openly. They had reason to be awestruck — outside the hotel a statue of Gloria Liberty reminds anyone gazing out the Conference window that power in Mexico is in the same hands that once ‘tilted the plank’ on altar and crown in the France of Robespierre and Fouquier-Tinville.
The presence of these bishops in Mexico City was an eloquent gesture of licit resistance to Church bureaucrats who seem determined to suppress every element of Catholic Tradition. It seems that any bishop today is free to waltz with heretics and polka with infidels, flatter bizarre creeds, grovel before dissidents and allow a homosexual theologians' mafia to deform and disinform his seminarians. Yet bishops had to struggle against fierce Vatican opposition to attend a conference devoted to Our Lady of Fatima. Had it been a conference of heretics, the journey to Mexico would have been unopposed.
For gatherings with heretics, there is freedom of speech and assembly. For conferences on the full message of Fatima, there is bureaucratic repression on a global scale. The disparity is a stunning example of how Ostpolitik is the one “dogma” that certain Vatican bureaucrats are willing to defend with stern measures.
In making the journey to Mexico, these bishops had reflected the fierce yet humble Catholic spirit of Mexico itself. Mexico is a culture and a world unique even among the many countries where the Church has suffered throughout the ages. For 100 years, priests and bishops in this profoundly Catholic nation had been at the head of an endangered species list. The survival of the Church in Mexico is the history of Mexico. Bishop Clement Kelley, one of the foremost historians on Mexico, wrote from the Mexican perspective on this ability of the Church always somehow to survive:
Next door to the Maria Isabela Hotel stands the American Embassy. For days to come, riot police would come and go from the streets, hoping to contain massive protests against California's Proposition 187. This too was fitting — Proposition 187 is all about keeping Mexican Catholics out of the United States. Mexico is peculiar that way. It is both a place from which Catholics seek to escape, and a haven in which the Catholic Faith has survived, despite the depredations of the Masons. Thus it seems that someone is always trying either to keep Catholics out of Mexico or forcibly to return them there.
Father Gruner believed the Conference had to proceed because the tragedy of Mexico's past could well mirror the tragedy awaiting the Church Universal if Our Lady of Fatima were not obeyed. A suggestion of the import of the meeting came at the air terminal in Mexico City when Father Marcel Nault, a priest who always wears his cassock, was confronted by a man wanting to know if priests were now allowed to be seen in public in cassocks in Mexico. When Father Nault answered that yes, they were, the man asking the question gave him a look, which brought to mind the sight of dead Cristeros hanging from trees during the Mexican Revolution. Of course, the Revolution against the Church continues in every country in the world. That is why Our Lady came to Fatima. And that is why the bishops had come to Mexico City.
The opening Mass for the Conference started on time at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Ten million pilgrims a year come to pray before the Tilma of Our Lady on which Her miraculous image appears. All of the conflicts, crises, and struggles of the Church fade from mind as that small assembly of bishops lined up to concelebrate Mass. Then something happened. The bishops, upon entering, passed in single file before the image on the Tilma. Anyone who has seen it, passed by it, stood under it, gazed upon it, prayed before it, will tell you: the image is alive.
One looks upon it. It looks back. And the world changes. Those bishops who insisted on attending, gathered upon arrival to look up into the living eyes of God's Mother. She looked back at them. Millions have experienced Her glance. A living person looks out from the holy Tilma, subjecting Herself to the scrutiny of the curious for the sake of Her Son. She is indeed alive.
Perhaps it was there at the Shrine, before the Tilma, that the determination was made to go forward with the Conference as if numbers did not matter. From that moment on, the Conference unfolded with ease. As they concelebrated Mass before the Tilma, the bishops were serenaded by specially assembled Mexican musicians, the music of the Mexican people was a reminder that they were at the foot of Tepeyac Hill, the very spot where Our Lady expressed to Juan Diego the will of Heaven itself with such eloquence She caused the great nation of Mexico to resound with Her praises throughout the centuries, regardless of opposition.
Not even the dreadful architecture of the new Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe could diminish the unquenchable Marian devotion of the Mexicans who flock there. Like much of the post-conciliar Church architecture, the new shrine is an incomprehensible clash of styles reflecting the conflict of ideologies clawing for supremacy in the Church today. It offers not one reflection of the glories of the Faith, the traditions of the past, the authority of the Church. Not even an echo of the glorious cathedral that was originally the home of the Holy Tilma is represented in the new shrine. It stands, a hollow, empty drum of cement, an appalling concrete tent pitched over the miraculous portrait of Guadalupe.
To the people of Mexico, the mammoth empty shell reflects none of their culture nor their faith which, from its inception, was nurtured by the Tabernacle of the Living Lord. As for the Tabernacle in the shrine, merely to locate it in this architectural wasteland could consume an entire Mexican holiday. Who could have been surprised, therefore, when Rector Schullenberg, who directed and oversaw its construction, was widely reported to have recently declared that Our Lady had never even appeared at Guadalupe.6 The resulting public outcry would force his removal as Rector — proving once again that sometimes the duty of maintaining the integrity of the Faith devolves to an angry laity, rising in righteous opposition to feckless clerics.
Nevertheless, amidst the coldness of the place, Bishop Salazar's warm words of gratitude and recognition during his first Mass at the Guadalupe Basilica touched the hearts of Father Gruner and his group: “I am here precisely because Our Lady called me through the continual invitation of Father Gruner and his group accompanying him. There is something precious here because what we are seeking is peace.”
But no one gathered in the Shrine that day for the opening of the Conference could have foreseen that the Vatican bureaucracy's poison-pen letter was to bring to the floor of the Conference a voice that would cut like a two-edged sword, ripping apart the curtain concealing the forces which had tried to crush the Conference.
The dramatic moment came with the arrival on the Conference floor of the Vatican-based Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo. From this brother of Peter, Cardinal Sanchez and Archbishop Sepe received a fiery public reprimand. Also reprimanded was the Vatican Secretary of State's office, for its heavy-handed use of the Nuncios to browbeat bishops into shunning the conference. Archbishop Milingo issued a powerful testament that Truth cannot be imprisoned in a Nuncio's briefcase.
The deliberate undermining of his own personal and unshakeable loyalty to the Holy Father implied in the letter to the bishops triggered his dramatic statement to the stunned assembly. His ringing commentary was in the form of an authoritatively worded protest delivered not to the Conference but from him as a consecrated bishop of the Church of Rome to those forces that had tried to prevent him from attending.
Brandishing a letter from the Nuncio in Nigeria telling bishops not to attend the Conference, Archbishop Milingo electrified the delegates with an eloquent defense of the prerogatives of the episcopacy, which the bureaucrats seemed to have overlooked. He denounced the letter from the Nuncio as an illicit attempt to take away his freedom of conscience and his freedom to act on his own recognizance. He blasted the letter as an abuse of authority, an insult and a humiliation to all the bishops who received it, and he noted, just for the record, the empty seats reflecting the number of less courageous prelates who had been intimidated into staying away.
Apparently, the much touted ‘religious liberty’ of Vatican II had been suspended at the hotel Maria Isabela, denied to the consecrated leaders of their own Church. The laity who had been preparing to speak to their pastors were to be denied freedom of speech on the very spot where Our Lady of Guadalupe had expressed the will of Heaven. To all this, Archbishop Milingo, a Church Father with six million followers, brought a crystal clear focus. Holding up the letter for all to see, he zeroed in on a major failing of the pastors and laity of the Church today with a litany for the episcopacy in our time: Why are we not making new disciples for Christ? Because the bishops are “ ... shaking in their trousers!” he cried. Why are they shaking in their trousers? Because they don't have real authority.
Why don't they have real authority if they are consecrated bishops? Because a clique of bureaucrats in the Vatican, trading on the Church mystique, can, with unjustified letters, completely unchallenged and unchecked, dictate to bishops what they can and cannot do.
How can they get away with it?
Because bishops who resist them can find themselves removed to the backwoods, removed from benefits, reduced in every way imaginable! They are living on suspended authority, he proclaimed angrily. If the certain Vatican officials pull the plug then the bishop is retired. Under such conditions the episcopacy is merely a front for the games of unnamed and unseen bureaucrats.
The bureaucratization of the Holy See was harming the divine constitution of the Church, preventing the bishops from acting according to their conscience and denying the faithful their God-given right to petition the Holy Father for the Consecration of Russia:
But what of “obedience” to the “Holy See”? Should not the bishops comply with directives from the Secretariat of State? Archbishop Milingo reminded his brother bishops that Our Lord did not establish Vatican Secretariats to rule over the descendants of His Apostles, and that it was a false obedience which the anti-Fatima bureaucrats were promoting:
Of course, Archbishop Milingo was right: There would be no consequences for his coming to Mexico City because, in truth, the Vatican bureaucrats had no authority to forbid or to punish his appearance. Where the descendants of the Apostles were concerned, the bureaucrats were in truth as powerless as the Wizard of Oz behind his flimsy curtain. If only his brother bishops would understand this, they could shake off the paralysis of fear which had gripped the Mystical Body of Christ since the Council:
The scenario Archbishop Milingo depicted in his fiery oration was indeed a bleak one. The Pope is dependent on his bishops. But the bishops have become subservient to the bureaucrats, whose agenda does not include the Message of Fatima. The Pope is therefore at the mercy of those same bureaucrats regarding the Collegial Consecration. The bureaucrats had decreed in Balamand that there would be no conversion of Russia, and the prelates who had endured Communist persecution in Eastern Europe obediently fell into line, somehow failing to notice that the piece of paper which commanded them to forget the Message of Fatima was in reality no command at all, but simply a piece of paper. It could not overrule the decree of Heaven at Fatima.
At the service of the bureaucrats are the Nuncios, transporting their demands and instructions from country to country, to the bishops of the world, as they had after Balamand. The Nuncio has become the henchman of the clique—thus have the words ‘diplomacy’ and ‘diplomat’ become ghosts of their former meaning, and the Nuncios mere couriers of an earthly enterprise.
The effect can be deep and long lasting. Consider that it is one thing for officials in Rome to pull the plug on a bishop, but how are they to dispense with priests? Simple. Even unsubstantiated fluff, passed from the hand of a Nuncio to a bishop, has the potential to irreparably damage a priest.
How then, in Archbishop Milingo's terms, can bishops make disciples of priests if the Nuncios have them “shaking in their boots”? How then can priests make disciples out of the people if the priests are “shaking in their boots”?
Is it any wonder the Church is wounded and limping? Under these conditions, a small, privileged clique, completely unthreatened by anyone in the Vatican regardless of what they do, can destroy anyone who stands in their way.9
This time, however, Father Gruner's refusal to cancel the conference had uncovered the less than savory practices of intimidation and coercion the Nuncios and their bosses around the world had been practicing. Their purpose being, in the words of Bishop Flores, to “terminate the possibility of effecting the above-mentioned meeting.”
In mid-week of the Conference, the bishops concelebrated Mass in the Cathedral of Mexico, which once enshrined the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Few locations on earth more aptly mirror the state of the Church today. The building is propped up by scaffolding indicating a much-touted “restoration” and “renewal” that is supposedly under way. But anyone who understands scaffolding can tell at a glance that the cobwebs which cover it mean that the scaffolding is here to stay. The man-made structure it supports has already crumbled into dust; only the falling down remains. It would take a supernatural Hand to restore this once magnificent structure and remove the endless layers of artificial support.
To appreciate the reality of its decay, the bishops had only to walk to the center of the interior and see the pendulum hanging there. It is surely a most fitting symbol of the Church in our time. A gigantic plumb bob, suspended from the ceiling, hangs off kilter, pointing away from the perfect center of gravity. The Church is off her axis.
Yet, even in this collapsing Cathedral, nothing can prevent the faithful from adoring the Blessed Sacrament or walking on their knees to petition for favors. Confessions, a marriage, and baptism were occurring simultaneously amid huge crowds as the bishops entered and departed the Cathedral.
The power of Our Lady is demonstrated with overwhelming force just outside and behind the Cathedral walls. Here stand the fabled ‘Halls of Montezuma’, on the site of Montezuma's Great Temple where as many as 8,000 human victims a day had their hearts ripped out while they were still alive to appease a demonic force that had seized control of Aztec culture.
On this spot, where the tortured cultures victimized by the Aztecs may well have despaired of rescue, Cortes put an end to human sacrifice. Shortly after, in 1531, Our Lady appeared at Guadalupe. Within a few short years of Her appearance, nine million Mexicans were baptized into the Catholic Faith, replacing within the Church the number of Catholics the arch-heretic Luther had led out of it, in Europe. But the intersecting lessons of Fatima and Mexico do not end there.
Thirty miles north of the city, the pyramids of Teotihuacan stand, as they have since long before those same Aztecs came to central Mexico. History has allotted these structures the names of the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, and joining them, the Avenue of the Dead. It was indeed a sobering moment when the bishops were guided toward a ledge from which they could look down into the enclosure where the demonic priests of that bloodthirsty culture performed human sacrifices.
This is a city of death. It is also a metaphor in stone for our own times, when the ravenous god of progress demands daily flesh and blood from once-Catholic cultures. Suzanne M. Rini, in writing on current-day eugenic experimentation, states the parallel with horrifying clarity:
We ought to take a moment to allow the overwhelming nature of this parallel to impress itself upon our hearts. Can there be a more poignant example in the whole history of this century of the effect of the errors of atheistic Russia than the way that evil empire's “legalized” sacrifice of the unborn has spread, as Mary predicted at Fatima, throughout the world—all the more so since the alleged “consecration” of 1984? The Aztec warrior-priest at least indulged in his sacrifice to appease the demands of an imaginary god. Today, the innocent child is slaughtered to appease the demands of a credit-card vacation or a car payment.
The whole truth about Fatima is that Our Lady promised to turn all this around. She laid out simply and clearly how it would be done. The conversion of Russia would come when the Pope and the bishops of the world together consecrated Russia — Russia! — to Her Immaculate Heart. Yet that is the only thing that has not been done in the era of Ostpolitik and world ecumenism.
So much for pretending Fatima is over and done with. So much for the word-processed “letters of Sister Lucy”, proclaiming the very opposite of what she had said in her own handwriting so many times before. So much for creating the illusion that the consecration of Russia has been done and there remains nothing more at stake in the Fatima story. Clearly the stakes are as high as ever. The few bishops who had attended the Conference in Mexico City knew this well.
In reality, it appears as if the Mexico agenda had proven to be the greatest challenge to the Vatican bureaucracy since the Vatican-Moscow Agreement and the Balamand Statement provided the Russian Orthodox hierarchy and the KGB a foolproof impediment to the Consecration of Russia.
One of the trademarks of secret societies is that nobody knows where the order comes from. This time, however, an Archbishop had dragged into the light of day in Mexico City the men behind the campaign to silence one lone priest — a priest who in himself could not have caused them the slightest concern, if not for the content of his message.
Within the closeted precincts where appalling agreements have been forged which betray the mission of the Church, there lays an offspring coiled and ready to poison any movement toward fulfillment of the Fatima requests. It was spawned from the illicit union of atheistic communism and the chaperones of the Bride of Christ. Nothing reveals its character more than the tactics it employed in attempting to derail the Mexico Conference: Intimidation. Denial of the freedoms to assemble and to speak openly without fear. Humiliation of the rightful heirs of authority. And always the veiled threat of reprisal.
We have seen these tactics before. They are the currency of the Communist State, whose crown jewel is Russia, where the citizens of Poland today take weekend sojourns to obtain their abortions — 15 years after the supposed “consecration” of Russia in 1984.
Communism was founded on lies. It was coached by the “father of lies”. It lied its way into the Vatican just before the Second Council. And it cannot stop lying.
On a trip to the Pyramid of the Sun during the Conference, so near to one of the greatest victories of Our Lady in history, Her conquest of the hearts of Mexico, a reprise of the Fatima Message was inevitable. It was to Louis XIV, who called himself The Sun King, that Our Lord sent Margaret Mary Alacoque, on June 17, 1689, with the request that France be consecrated to the Sacred Heart, with the promise that He would save France by this means. The Sun King did not fulfill the request. One hundred years later to the day, his grandson, Louis XVI, was stripped of power and France convulsed under the forces that brought about the French Revolution.
Louis XVI studied clocks. His hobby was assembling them. Louis might be called the Time King. The sound of his clockwork ticking in the old Templar Fortress as he awaited his coach ride to the guillotine must surely be one of the most horrifying sounds in history. The ticking clock of history could be heard again when Our Lord said to Sister Lucy at Rianjo that the Ministers of the Church are following the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of Heaven's command, and that “they will also follow him into misfortune.”
Watching these brave bishops from around the world contemplate the pyramids with this message in mind, one thought of Bishop Francis Clement Kelley's great work on the conversion of Mexico, Blood Drenched Altars, which enshrines the words of Christopher Hollis on the faith of Saint Thomas More:
Today, certain bureaucrats in Rome are telling us that Catholics must apologize for their past, their present, their future. This means apologizing also for the Message of Fatima, because the Message of Fatima tells us that Christ must be King and Mary His Queen. The world will not tolerate this Message today; we must, therefore, stop proclaiming it, and start apologizing for it. That is why the Message of Fatima must be suppressed wherever it might be spoken loudly enough for the world to hear.
1. Father Alonso, “Fatima Ante la Esfinge”, Madrid, Spain; 1979, pg. 97; also, Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: the Only Way to World Peace, pg. 78.
2. Father Nicholas Gruner, Special Report - Second International Bishops Peace Conference, The Fatima Crusader, Issue 48, Winter 1995, pg. 20.
4. Ibid, pgs. 20-21.
4B. Catholic Family News, November 1996, pg. 4
5. Bishop Francis Clement Kelley, Blood Drenched Altars, pg. 102.
6. After Abbot Schullenberg, rector of the Guadalupe Shrine, on a radio broadcast in Mexico, expressed his disbelief in the reality of Our Lady's appearance at Guadalupe, a storm of protest broke out causing him to resign his post.
7. Archbishop Emmanuel Mil ingo, Archbishop Milingo's Dramatic Speech, The Fatima Crusader, Issue 48, Winter 1995, pg. 20.
9. Speech given by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, Nov. 13, 1994 in Mexico City, The Fatima Crusader, Issue 48, pg. 5.
10. Catholic Family News, January 1995, pg. 7.
11 . Bishop Francis Clement Kelley, Blood Drenched Altars, pg. 103.