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Modern Day Martyrs Testify
to Failure of Ecumenism
Those of us who live in historically Christian lands often lament the
secularization of our society and the injurious effect this has on our institutions and public life.
To live the Catholic Faith in Western nations now means setting oneself against the dominant culture, almost to the point where we appear to many of our contemporaries as something akin to the Amish — an anachronism that is regarded at best as odd; at worst, as pitifully backward. The word "medieval," in its most unflattering connotations, is applied to us.
But there are Catholics for whom the profession and practice of the Faith can incur more than disapproval or mockery. Father Gruner recently received this terrible and heartbreaking communication from friends of Our Lady's Apostolate in Pakistan.
"Dear Fr. Gruner, I am sad to tell you that ... last night two innocent Christians, Rashid and Sajid, were killed by the masked Muslim extremists right in the premises of Faisalabad court. Afterwards, many of our houses were burnt here in my home town Faisalabad, the third biggest city of Pakistan. Still, the riot against us is going on. Muslim extremists are continually attacking our houses, colonies and towns. They are burning the houses and looting our properties. Kindly keep us in your prayers and pray for peace, because the police are also Muslim and they are doing nothing. Please pray for us."
The words of Our Lady of Fatima, that "the good will be martyred," are coming true. We must pray for these suffering people, but we must also remind our Church leaders of the power they have to stop this suffering.
Until this is done, all attempts to resolve conflicts by human prudence are destined to fail.
Why Can't They See?
But the Vatican persists in its efforts to achieve peace through the already discredited policy of false ecumenism. This policy rests on the belief that Faith is secondary to politics; that people who disagree about the most fundamental things can work together in areas of lesser importance. Nowhere has this approach been proven more disastrous than in the Church's outreach to Islam.
There was a brief period of prayer, or meditation, during which the Holy Father, if he prayed to the Triune God, violated the tenets of Islam and "blasphemed" Allah in a "holy" place.
The Pope was spared the prescribed punishment for his implicit crime and instead joined Mustafa Cagrici, the head of religious affairs for Istanbul, in a vague irenicism about the two faiths working together for peace.
But not all Muslims are as tractable and diplomatic as his Turkish host was on that occasion. Immediately before the Pope's recent trip to Cyprus in June, a Catholic bishop in Turkey was stabbed so severely by his Muslim driver that he was effectively decapitated. See: "Turkish bishop killed by his driver".
Bishop Luigi Padovese was head of the bishops conference in Turkey. His driver, Murat Altun, is charged with the crime. The Vatican spokesman was reluctant to assign a motive for the crime. There were reports that Altun was mentally disturbed.
This would seem to give us a rather strong clue as to Altun's motive. The obvious conclusion that Islamic fundamentalism was behind the murder would be ecumenically embarrassing to the Vatican, so the pretense must be maintained that Altun's reasons are somehow mysterious.
Is the Pope in Danger?
The refusal of the Vatican to acknowledge the implacable hostility of Islam toward the Catholic Faith and, in particular, toward the person of the Pope, is about to be tested severely in September, when the Pope travels to Great Britain to beatify John Cardinal Newman.
The central event during the visit will be a Mass on Sept. 19 at Birmingham, the site of Cardinal Newman's famous oratory. Birmingham also has a large Muslim population and the faithful of Allah are stirring up anti-papal, anti-Catholic fervor in advance of the Pope's arrival. The Islamic Standard, a chief organ of news and opinion for Muslims in England, has been virulent in its denunciations of the Pope and its call for the Muslims to take action during the Pope's visit. See: "Is the Pope In Danger?".
Just to provide a sampling of the rhetoric that is preparing the Muslim population's reception of the Pope, The Islamic Standard writes:
"We at the Islamic Standard hope the Muslims of Birmingham
take this dual opportunity to give Da'wah to these 80,000
travelling disbelievers, whilst at the same time telling the Pope
in no uncertain terms what Muslims think of his evil slanders
against the last Prophet of God and his message."
Do we have reason to fear for the Pope's safety? It would seem so. Do we have reason to expect that violent confrontation is probable in Birmingham and elsewhere. Again, we must answer in the affirmative. Will the Vatican frankly acknowledge as much? It seems doubtful.
We wonder what it will take for Rome to realize that ecumenical relations with Islam for some greater, mutual good — peace, etc. — is not possible. Many Muslims are true believers who hate the infidel and are willing to die for Allah. The Islamic Standard calls the Pope "evil." It does so with impunity. Would a Catholic publication dare to breathe the slightest word of criticism against the so-called "Prophet" Mohammad?
All the Pope did then was to say that religions should not make use of violence in their zeal to proselytize. What will happen in Birmingham? Will the Vatican be able to gloss over what promises to be a very ugly confrontation between Islam — the so-called "religion of peace" — and the Catholic Faith?
Sometimes, the threat of violence serves to clarify a situation as nothing else can. But let us hope actual violence can be avoided. Let us also hope that deliberate ecumenical blindness will give way to a clear-sighted recognition of reality.
What Would Cardinal Newman Do?
While the Muslims are preparing to rally at the Birmingham Oratory to denounce the "evil" Pope, they intend to include in their denunciation the "evil" practice of praying to "dead men," according to The Islamic Standard. The beatification of Cardinal Newman is seen as an affront to the teachings of "The Prophet".
The authorities will doubtless try to defuse the situation, or at least control it, but how will the Pope respond? Will he defend the Catholic Faith's tradition of honoring saints, or simply ignore the protest?
Two days before he is scheduled to beatify Cardinal Newman, the Pope is to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. In light of the Church's establishment of a special ordinariate for Anglicans wishing to decamp from Williams' increasingly eccentric "church" and embrace the Catholic Faith, one wonders what the topic of conversation might be.
Certainly, the Anglican-Roman Catholic Interfaith Commission, still stumbling along after 43 years of ineffectual "dialogue," never envisioned the eventual defection of large blocks of Anglicans to the Roman Church, nor did it anticipate a Pope who would allow it. See:"The Futility of ARCIC".
The entire visit to Great Britain appears to present the Holy Father with a terrain planted with ecumenical landmines, one of which he is bound to step on. He might as well clear the field in advance and say quite simply that there is one true Church founded by Christ and that he, the sole Vicar of Christ on Earth, is the head of that Church.
Such clarity and forthrightness would create a firestorm of controversy, but it would be no more than to state the truth. And it is high time the truth was given its due.
Now an Attack from Atheists!
Meanwhile, along with the difficulties presented by relations with Muslims and Anglicans, the Pope will be an unwelcome visitor in the native land of militant atheists who have called for his arrest and trial. See: "The pope should stand trial".
Internationally famous authors Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins have accused the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church of complicity and cover-up in the sexual abuse of children by priests. They want Pope Benedict XVI to stand trial on criminal charges.
As unlikely as this is to happen, the raising of the possibility is alarming. As the Church relies more on human prudence than Divine guidance, it exposes itself to the vicissitudes of this world. And the world is becomingly increasingly hostile to the Catholic Faith and its chief representative, the Holy Father.
It is increasingly evident the Holy Father wants to tell us the truth about the Third Secret. He wants to steer the Church away from the failed ways of its worldly wisdom and lead it to rely on the remedy offered by Our Lady. We must pray he will have the courage and grace to continue to do so.
We at Our Lady's Apostolate are asking all of our friends and supporters to join us in praying for the soul of Giuseppe De Carli, who died July 13 while undergoing radiation therapy.
Mr. De Carli was the Vatican reporter for RAI, Italy=s biggest television company. He also was a well-known religious commentator for Il Tempo, one of Rome's biggest daily newspapers.
Mr. De Carli graciously accepted our invitation to address The Fatima Challenge during our conference in Rome from May 3-7. As co-author of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's book, The Last Secret of Fatima, Mr. De Carli took a position opposite our own, insisting along with Bertone that the full Third Secret had been revealed and that Fatima concerned only past events.
Despite our disagreements with him, Mr. De Carli demonstrated a fortitude and integrity deserving of admiration. He allowed us to question him and the exchange was one of the liveliest and most important of the conference.
We believe that Mr. De Carli was a well-meaning man who was misled by the Vatican bureaucrats in whom he trusted. We had hoped to persuade him to join us in promoting the full Fatima Message. As he was leaving The Fatima Challenge, following an intense cross-questioning that might have rankled a lesser man, Mr. De Carli embraced Father Gruner and thanked him for all the good work he was doing and made his exit in a dignified and gentlemanly fashion.
Please, pray for the repose of his soul.
Latest Fatima Perspectives
A Harbinger of the Apocalypse? — On five acres of county land in Georgia is a massive, hugely expensive, granite monument (built in 1980) which contains instructions in eight different languages for rebuilding civilization in a post-apocalyptic world. Apparently designed to withstand — and provide "guidance" to humanity following — a global catastrophe, is the monument really a set of instructions for people surviving apocalyptic events about to befall us? Or is it a call for a planned reduction of the world's population from 6.8 billion to 500 million — more than 90%?
Fatima: The Most Inconvenient Truth — The art of fence-sitting is a delicate one, as is admirably illustrated by Inside the Vatican editor Dr. Robert Moynihan. He chose the 93rd anniversary of the July 13 apparition at Fatima to offer us his thoughts on the subject of apparitions in general and to balance himself carefully on his perch between the two controverted questions of the Third Secret and the Consecration of Russia.
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