In October of 1992, an historic event took place at Fatima, Portugal. It was here that The Fatima Crusader hosted its first International Bishops Conference, which represented one of the largest private gatherings of Catholic bishops in history and the first ever convened for the express purpose of discussing details of the famous Fatima apparitions. This book contains the speeches presented at this Conference. These speeches were all recorded electronically and later transcribed. They have been edited slightly for readability while remaining faithful to the thought of the speakers.
The Fatima Crusader is the journal of the International Fatima Rosary Crusade, and is wholly dedicated to promoting devotion to and interest in the full Message of Our Lady of Fatima. The magazines founder, Father Nicholas Gruner, is known to millions through this publication, as well as through his daily television and radio programs.
When asked why The Fatima Crusader sponsors these Peace Conferences, Father Gruner gives three reasons:
1) In 1931, Our Lord told Sister Lucy, the lone surviving seer of Fatima, "Make it known to My ministers given that they follow the example of the king of France in delaying the execution of My command, like him they will follow him into misfortune." Our Lord wants this Fatima Message to be known by His ministers, that is, by His bishops. As Our Lords words indicate, there are dire consequences for not heeding Heavens request.
2) The late Hamish Fraser of Scotland, editor of Approaches magazine, was a zealous apostle of Fatima. He related that Sister Lucy remarked that many bishops need to be catechized regarding the Fatima Message.
3) In 1980, in the presence of Cardinal Wyszinski of Poland, Pope John Paul II said that those who are seeking the fulfillment of Our Ladys requestsespecially the Consecration of Russia for world peaceshould first go to the bishops to seek their support and assistance.
Hence, in bringing the Fatima Message directly to the bishops, The Fatima Crusader is merely following the directives of Our Lord, Sister Lucy and Pope John Paul II.
Father Gruners apostolate is one that has sparked controversy, primarily because of its steadfast promotion of the full Message of Fatima, which insists on two aspects of the Fatima Message that many have deemed bothersome:
1) That the Third Secret, which was supposed to have been released in 1960, be revealed in its entirety.
2) The urgent necessity for the Collegial Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope in union with all the bishops throughout the world.
The violence that controversy is capable of fomenting was visited upon this 1992 Conference. The local bishop, who was holding his own conference at the time, denounced The Fatima Crusaders Conference as operating "without ecclesiastical permission," even though no such permission is required.
Because of the subsequent confusion generated in the Press by officials of the Fatima Shrine, about 25 bishops and Archbishops met in the afternoon on October 7, 1992, with Father Gruner to have their questions answered regarding the Bishops Peace Conference scheduled to start the following morning.
Having been satisfied, they decided to seek an audience with the then local bishop, His Excellency Bishop Alberto Cosme do Amaral of Fatima. Three Archbishops, one from India, one from the Philippines and one from Brazil, went as representing the other bishops. At 9 p.m. they met the local bishop who lived in Leiria, 18 kilometers away. This meeting lasted several hours.
Despite the fact that the former Bishop of Fatima, Bishop Alberto, had been the source of grossly misleading statements about Father Gruner and the Bishops Peace Conference, he nonetheless agreed to make the Peace Conference an official part of the Fatima Shrines Conference which Bishop Alberto himself was hosting.
Even though, as Canon Law experts among participants at the Bishops Peace Conference stated, there was no need to have the official invitation and official status granted by the local bishop, this unexpected turn of events was indeed welcomed by all. Especially as it provided a particularly strong response to the misrepresentations published about the international Conference in the daily and international Press.
This accord was announced by the Archbishops returning from Leiria at about midnight to the organizers of the Peace Conference and was then publicly announced from the podium the next day at the opening session by His Grace Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho, Archbishop of Recife, Brazil.
Yet despite this apparent truce, Father Gruner, while in the sacristy of the Capelinha, was the victim of a sudden, unprovoked physical attack by Shrine workers on October 10. The details of this attack at the 1992 Conference are outlined in Fatima Priest, the story of Father Gruner and his Fatima apostolate.
The following pages contain superb presentations by respected Catholic scholars, writers and pastors who support the truth that the full Fatima Message must be known and promptly obeyed. The reader will note that many of the speeches contain a note of urgency, as speakers of various expertise explain the full gravity of the Fatima Message, without ambiguity and without apology. The hour is late and the consequences momentous. Nonetheless, this book is also one of hope. The solution to world disorder caused by sin is easily within reach. It is only for us to submit ourselves to Our Ladys simple, loving directives.
The speeches are divided into three sections according to their respective themes. The book closes with five appendices that include a letter from Bishop Arulappa on the need for the Collegial Consecration, encouragement from various bishops, and also a commentary on one of the most bizarre episodes ever to occur in the ongoing Fatima drama.
At the time of this 1992 Peace Conference, two prelates and a Portuguese-speaking priest from the Conference were present at an interview with Sister Lucy conducted by Mr. Carlos Evaristo, in which "Sister Lucy" apparently denied a substantial portion of what she has been saying for the past 70 years. This interview, subsequently published under the name of "Two Hours with Sister Lucy", has been the source of immeasurable confusion.
Since this encounter was indirectly related to the 1992 Fatima Conference, the publishers have included a brilliant rebuttal of the interview by attorney Christopher Ferrara, which exposes the interview as fraudulent and deliberately misleading.
The publication of this book is of great importance. Through its pages, the work of this historic Conference lives on. By it, the vast number of concerned Faithful who could not attend these seminars may nevertheless benefit from the superb lectures presented. It is hoped that this work will enkindle in many souls a renewed commitment to the full Message of Fatima.