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Part I – The Urgency of the Fatima Message

Chapter 4

In the Grip of the Godless

by Josyp Terelya

I will briefly tell you about my family. I came from a family of high-ranking Communist officials. My father was a cabinet minister. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. He was in charge of the KGB, which is the Soviet agents outside of Russia.

My mother completed her schooling at the School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. She was responsible for atheistic and anti-religious policies in the trans-Carpathian region of Ukraine. I did not live at home. I was raised by my grandmother, and until I was 12, I did not even know of my parents. After the death of my grandmother, my parents took me to live with them. I was 16 years old at the time. I was raised in a religious way, and when I was taken to live with my parents, my brothers and sisters were being raised in a Communist system. My mother raised me in the same fashion. She wanted to change the ways of my upbringing, and conflicts began to appear. I completed college where I studied construction, and then entered the university in Kiev. I was fairly active in the Church of the Catacombs. At 18 years old, I was the leader of the youth wing of the Church of the Catacombs. Here in the West, few know and understand our Church. You know only what you’re told in the newspapers. It must not be forgotten that in the Soviet Union, any denomination of any religion was persecuted. In 1946, all of our bishops, including our Metropolitan, were arrested. Thousands and thousands of priests and monks were arrested. All were shot, with the exception of Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj, Bishop Valescowski, and Bishop Charneski who died in exile. The Church was left without leadership. The people began to organize themselves. For 120 villages we had one priest who would hide in the mountains. The KGB were looking for him. In 1953 he was found and executed. He was shot. Only now, in these times of Perestroika, a few months ago, one of the high-ranking officials in the police, before his death, told where this priest was buried.

Many times the West wrote about me saying I was a fanatic. This is the same thing the Communists would declare. I have been living outside the borders of the Soviet Union for five years, and I see that people are losing their Faith. We cannot say this is only due to our materialistic needs in the modern world. The people themselves are to blame.

Masonry Controls Communism

In the West, very few people know that almost the entire upper echelon of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union were members of the Masonic Lodges. My father was a Grand Master. He accepted membership into the Lodge from Marshal Tito, Khrushchev and Brezhnev. For all intents and purposes, my father controlled all Masonic activity of the lodges in the eastern part of Central Europe. Therefore, many people were astonished when there was discussion about my being freed since President Mitterand, Queen Beatrice and President Reagan took an interest in my being released. I was freed from the concentration camp in 1987. I was stripped of my citizenship and forced to leave the Soviet Union, notwithstanding the fact that the Ukraine has proclaimed so-called independence. I still cannot return to the Ukraine.

During my stay here, I have passed on a multitude of information to the Western governments about what really and truly is happening in the Soviet Union. I obtain my information because I have very close contacts.

When I first came here, I was fairly naive. I thought that everyone in the West was truly against Communism. With time I came to realize that it did not sit well with many members of various Western governments when I did not speak highly about Communists. Many people do not realize the situation of what is happening there. Who created this situation? Why did all the Communists simultaneously denounce Communist Doctrine? The answer is not straightforward. We are witnesses of the fact that more and more people are distancing themselves from God. Satan is working to steal people from God.

In the West I have had the opportunity to speak with many members of the media. They asked me, "how on earth did you survive 23 years of concentration camps and prisons?" I answered, "prayer". They do not understand me. The journalists demand that I tell them how I was tortured and how I was beaten. They need sensationalism. I tell you truthfully that they would beat us and deprive us of food, yet these things would not scare us. A person who prays can be free, with God, even in prison. I was detained in a solitary confinement cell for a period of 7 years. They would give us 300 grams of broth, 4 grams of fat and 22 grams of meat. Yet, as you can see, I am standing here in front of you. I am alive. I made a Rosary out of bread and I considered myself lucky when I had a chance to pray, because if you were caught praying you would be punished. We had to hide our little crosses and Rosaries made of bread because for this you could be severely beaten.

Everyone knew that I was the son of a cabinet minister, everyone knew who my parents were. I was in a special prison where they kept foreigners. There I had the opportunity to meet American officers who were imprisoned during the Vietnam War and being detained even to this day. When I presented this information to the Congress of the United States, I was told that the public does not need to know this. So I kept silent until eleven months ago, when I gave this information to the media.

The Conversion of a Prison Guard

I would like to describe what the surroundings are like to pray in such an environment of extremity. I must explain that in a Soviet concentration camp there were Christians who denounced their faith, who said that God does not exist. These were set free. This was called re-education. However, there were very few Christians who would deny their belief in God. There is one episode where they had beaten me and put me into a small cell made of cement. When I regained consciousness I began to pray for the officer that had beaten me. I prayed out loud. He could not stand it, so he opened the window in the door to the cell and started to yell at me: "Terelya, we will beat you again. I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in God and if there is really a God, why isn’t He helping you? We can do with you as we please". I continued to pray for him. After a certain time, he again opened the window. This time he wasn’t yelling, but he calmly began to converse with me. He said "Josyp, what are you sitting here for? We all know that you are not to blame. Just say that there is no God and they will set you free." I answered that God does not go and beat with a stick. I said that God loves me just as much as He loves you. I said that you have told me that there is no God, you yelled at me and you beat me, and now you are very calmly conversing with me. Is this not God’s strength and will? Is this not an act of God? He said, "Fanatic". He closed the window and left. I continued to pray for him. This was already in the evening. He opened the door even though he was not allowed to open the door by himself. He removed from his shoulders a warm overcoat and gave it to me, and he gave me some hot water. The fact of the matter is that in Soviet prison camps they gave 3 cups of hot water one day and cold water the next day. That day I had cold water, and he gave me warm water so I could warm up. He told me, "Josyp, tell me who is Christ?" We spoke into the early morning. I was in that concentration camp for one month. Every time that he would come for his shift he would speak with me. They transferred me to another concentration camp, but that person quit his job with the MPD. He was baptized and became a Catholic. A year later he was arrested. He spent 19 years in the concentration camps. He was recently freed.

The Primacy of Catholic Dogma

A few days ago I was at a conference in Halifax. People ask me "Mr. Terelya, where is it best for us to go, to Fatima, to Lourdes, to one of the others?" I tell them "You can go wherever you wish, whichever suits you financially. But if you do not travel to Fatima or Lourdes, does that mean you will not be Catholics? Do you not believe that wherever two of you meet in the Name of Jesus, that Jesus will be with you?" We should love our Church. We should pray first and foremost in our own churches. We should be active in the daily Catholic life. Then we can go to where we wish. Oftentimes people do not understand this and they say "Mr. Terelya, are you against the apparitions?" No, an apparition is an apparition. An apparition may be recognized by the Church, but the Church has its own doctrine. We’re not Catholics simply due to the fact that we were at a certain apparition site. I’ve seen a type of passivity result from this. At conferences people pray, they pray the Rosary. However when they leave and go to their homes they do not continue this. We should be Catholics daily, not just at the times of conferences. In Halifax I posed this question to 5,000 people at the conference: "Who here prays every night together with their children?" Only 30 hands were raised, and unfortunately, these are people who complain about the priests in their parishes. They complain that their priests do not know how to work with children. The basis of all Christian teaching is given in the home from the mother and father, and then from the priests and the Church. I asked those present, "Who reads the Bible on a daily basis?" Only one hand was raised. This is horrible. We are passive. We are apathetic. We do not take action. How do we explain that in these times we have had the apparitions of Our Holy Mother in the Ukraine and in other places? This tells us that the world is in sin. This speaks of our passivity. This tells us that the Catholic world is becoming passive and atheism is creeping up on us more and more. I am often asked about the new ecumenical movement. I understand ecumenism in only one sense. If a person has welcomed Christ the King to himself and he is a Catholic, then this is ecumenism. Ecumenism can only be Catholic.

We should understand that the foundation of our Catholic Faith is based on Catholic Dogma. We cannot deviate from our Dogma. Why did we survive the catacombs? In 1946 four and a half million Ukrainian Catholics joined the Church of the Catacombs. In 1988, fourteen million Catholics emerged from the catacombs of a totalitarian, Communist country. Where did they come from? Is this not a miracle? Prayer and our Faith is what allowed us to survive and expand. I am convinced that many people do not know the power of prayer. When I recently travelled through the Philippines, I was envious of their relationship and attitude to their faith and the Church. I have seen such deep faith only in our villages, deep in our Carpathian Mountains. Indeed we must really and truly love God and we must want to obey and be faithful to Him.

Our government in Toronto, Canada, has proclaimed that Sunday is now a working day. They have now taken Sunday away from us. Our Blessed Mother says to us "celebrate Holy Sunday". Christians cannot ignore Sunday because Jesus Christ resurrected on Sunday. This is our fundamental feast. Back home in Toronto we have many groups who join together to say the Rosary. Fifty percent of these groups are Philippine. It is very difficult in these times to be a good Christian. Every bishop knows what kind of problems he has. These very large problems include education, the TV, the press, the radio, etc. Today’s society does not support Catholicism, and in these extreme times, the Blessed Mother comes to us.

Our Lady Visits the Ukraine

In 1986 there was such a situation in the Ukraine where we felt we would be devastated by the authorities. They were preparing for this, the newspapers were writing it openly. There was an explosion at the Chernobyl Electrical Nuclear Station. Pessimism was at an all-time high. People were very scared. One year after the explosion, the Blessed Mother appeared in Hrushiv. Hundreds and hundreds of people under the rule of the Communists would come there to pray. This was very serious for Moscow. Jews, Russians, the Orthodox and the Moslems all came to Hrushiv. One had to be there to see it in order to believe it. It is difficult to describe in words, one had to live it psychologically. I witnessed 52 Jewish families receiving Christ when a bishop was baptizing them. In one day 3,000 Russians became Catholics. Here in the West, Russians are often thought to be bad people. This is not so. The Russian nation is not a bad nation. The Russian nation is one that has been beaten and martyred. Their government is bad, but the nation itself has been looking for God and has suffered like we did in the Ukraine. When I speak in this manner, the nationalists do not like it.

Moscow Rejects Our Lady of Fatima

One year ago a special group was formed in Washington that travelled from Washington to the Soviet Union. This group was led by John Schepp, a Lutheran minister, as an assistant to President Bush. Catholics travelled with them also. They took Our Lady of Fatima with them to Moscow. When the plane arrived in Moscow, they did not let anyone leave the plane and all on board were detained for 4-1/2 hours. No one was allowed off. They were not welcome. The plane was then forced back to Warsaw. It’s one thing to accept money from the West, but it is another thing to accept the Blessed Mother of Fatima in Moscow. These are strictly spiritual interactions and Moscow does not take them lightly.

This year a new group was formed from the United States and Canadian governments. The group from the States was accompanied by Archbishop Hannan of Louisiana. They also took with them the Blessed Mother of Fatima. This was in the year 1992 — five years since the beginning of Perestroika. Russia may be full of wonderful words but they still did not accept the Blessed Mother of Fatima. She was left in Kiev, Ukraine. This is not a simple matter with Russia. We are still working with the previous personnel of the previous regimes, the same people that my father put to work, and they all worked for the KGB.

Is Russia ready to receive the Consecration? The nation wants it but the government does not. We should not forget that the Russian nation is manipulated by various forces. Five thousand Russian officers have been moved to fight in Serbia. A special school has been formed in the Ukraine where 1,200 Iraqi officers are being trained. The Russian Orthodox Church has begun to purge its ranks of priests and bishops that are not Russian. Some have been killed.

The Rise of Neo-paganism in Russia

Neo-paganism is growing in Russia. Today 70% of the Russian Army are neo-pagans. They are the ones that are calling for a military overthrow. This is why it is so important for the Consecration of Russia to Our Holy Mother’s Immaculate Heart. The return to neo-paganism is not simply a fight against Christianity. It is a call for a total massacre of all the Jews in the Soviet Union and a new war. Twenty-two Russian newspapers are calling for this massacre and the Western press is silent about this news. We Christians should not commit sin through our silence. We should speak the truth. Jesus Himself was the Truth and that is why He was so hated. People are taking this matter very lightly; however, we should take it quite seriously. In my short address I cannot touch on all subjects. I have just raised certain fundamental questions that are currently happening in the Soviet Union. In the face of what I have said, the Church has a duty to prevent this war from starting. The Church has a lot of power if it is directed in the right direction.

During a Peace March in Yugoslavia, I saw Muslim villages where the Serbs had butchered the Muslims. Twenty-one kilometers from the city of Mostar, in a very small Muslim village of 65 homes, all the buildings were destroyed and all the people, old and young, were killed. I was witness to them cutting off hands, the breasts of women were cut off, eyes were poked out. This is not just a national war between the Serbs and the Croatians. This is something greater. This is a manifestation of total hatred. This is the work of satan. People are God’s creation, and we are witnessing satan attempting to destroy God’s creation. He is destroying people, destroying them in a very brutal fashion in the 20th Century. Some people say that I live very far from this, why do I care? No, we should become involved and speak out about this. We should pray more because it may be too late.

Following the Peace March in Yugoslavia, Moscow allowed me to hold a similar Peace March in Hrushiv. On June 26, I travelled from Vienna to Czechoslovakia in order to travel to the Ukraine. On the 26th I was illegally arrested by the Czech KGB. I was held in prison for three days in Bratislava, and I was returned back to Austria. Over the three days I was not given any food or water. I was beaten and parts of me are still blue. A week later I illegally crossed the border and I was arrested in Hungary. Although the Hungarians arrested me, they treated me well. The officers of the Hungarian KGB were asking me for my autograph. They told me "Josyp, we have to return you back because you are here illegally".

On August 24, there was a large gathering in Hrushiv. There were 370,000 Catholics attending including 40,000 Orthodox. We had a procession. This is the first time in our history that the Orthodox have come together for this retreat with the Catholics.

 by Threatening Vatican
Moscow Prevents Consecration

Many times during conferences I am questioned on very delicate topics which I cannot answer. I have a lot of information. I oftentimes meet with His Holiness the Pope. The Holy Father cannot do everything that he wishes to do, because Moscow has been giving the Vatican specific obligations to meet. Many people complain that the Consecration of Russia has not yet taken place. We must not forget that in the Soviet Union there are approximately 22 million Catholics, and not just the 14 million Ukrainian Catholics, which the orthodox Church and the Church of Moscow will not tolerate. It was our Church that raised the people’s awareness to their freedom and independence, and we should unite all the Catholic interests, all of the Catholics in the Soviet bloc.

There are 1,015,000 Russian troops in the Ukraine. Ukraine does not have its own borders. Everything is under the control of Moscow. The Russian papers are saying that "if you demand more freedom, then we will blow up a few more nuclear electrical generating stations and you will be like the Dead Sea." We are in a very delicate situation, the same way that Catholicism is in the entire Soviet Union. Officially, they have given us the right to pray and have opened the churches, but the governmental decree for the rehabilitation and legalization of our Church has not been made.

Regarding the Vatican-Moscow Agreement, I had a seven-hour discussion with Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal Silvestrini and Cardinal Willebrands. For seven hours we spoke and Cardinal Willebrands said, "why did Ostpolitic happen?" It happened because the Vatican felt that they might be able to include the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church into theirs. That is what they thought. He even said that "this was our biggest downfall because we thought that way". And now it is very difficult to rework all the old politics.

I received a letter from Cardinal Casaroli in which the topic of the Consecration has been discussed. Many Bishops and Cardinals and many Faithful in Saint Peter’s Square are willing to do this but they are waiting for the proper timing. This is a private letter and my conscience will not allow me to release the contents because no one has given me permission to do so. However, I can say that this is a very complex question. You must remember that Moscow is putting great pressure on the Vatican not to do the consecration. They are warning the Vatican that if they in fact do this, then they will devastate the Catholics in their territory. This is a very delicate item. It depends on the bishops as well as the Faithful.