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The Fatima Network

Our Lady's Electronic Newsletter: October 2007

This newsletter is intended for subscribers and others interested in the Message of Our Lady of Fatima and the work of Our Lady’s Apostolate. If you feel you have received it in error, or wish to be removed from our e-mailing list, please let us know. Just send your reply to our e-mail address with "unsubscribe" in the subject line, and we will respect your wishes.

BIGGEST EVER ONLY WAY TO WORLD PEACE CONFERENCE HELD IN BRAZIL

     The Archdiocese of Botucatu, Brazil, was the venue for the Fatima Center's first-ever regional peace conference, Only Way To World Peace, which was held during the week of August 20th. Nearly 200 bishops and priests from all over Latin America converged on this city near Sao Paulo for five solid days of learning and discussion about the Message of Our Lady of Fatima.

     Hot topics of discussion were the decline of the Church in Latin America, the ongoing controversy over the Third Secret, and the recent Motu Proprio on the restoration of the Latin Tridentine Mass. Nine speakers, including Father Nicholas Gruner, the Fatima Priest, gave 25 different talks on these and other subjects. Click on Fatima On Demand to watch and listen to the speeches, in your choice of English, Portuguese or Spanish.

     According to conference organizers, this was the first such meeting to be held in the developing world. "We forget," Father Gruner said, "that in spite of modern communications, places like Latin America are far from Rome, thus somewhat out of touch with developments and controversies in the Church today. For instance, many of the priests I spoke to were not aware of the Motu Proprio. That is why it is so important that we give them these opportunities to get together and get answers to their questions about our Catholic Faith."

     Planning is now under way for the next regional conference, which will be held in India early in the new year. Organizers say they have already been contacted by scores of bishops and priests who hope to attend.

     Beginning in 1992 in Fatima, Our Lady's Apostolate has regularly brought together hundreds of bishops, priests and lay people from around the world to publicly discuss the Fatima Message and its vital importance to peace in the world and the Church. To read, listen to or watch important materials from these historic and deeply inspiring gatherings, click on Fatima Peace Conferences.

RESTORATION OF THE LATIN MASS:

Is it really happening?

     The president of the Ecclesia Dei commission, which helps the Vatican in its outreach to traditionalist Catholics, said in September that "from this point [September 14th], priests can decide to celebrate the Mass using the old [Tridentine] rite, without permission from the Holy See or the bishop."

     In an interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos explained that Pope Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, affirms the right of any priest to use the "extraordinary form" of the Latin liturgy. "It is, therefore, unnecessary to ask for any other permission," he said.

     It is troubling that the Vatican continues to call the Mass-of-All-Time the "extraordinary form". One would think that since the Traditional Mass was never abrogated — as the Pope stated clearly — it would be the Novus Ordo Mass which is truly the "extraordinary form". Click here to hear Father Paul Kramer's talk on "The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass".

     In an accompanying letter to the bishops, the Pope stressed that he was in no way rolling back the reforms of Vatican II. Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said the Motu Proprio "doesn't impose any return to the past, it doesn't mean any weakening of the authority of the Council nor the authority and responsibility of bishops."

     Some bishops, especially in North America and Europe, are apparently interpreting this to mean that their permission is still required. They have warned their priests against using the 1962 Missal without explicit permission from the diocese, even though Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos says this is not so.

     Now we are to see the traditional Mass coexist alongside the Protestantized Novus Ordo Mass. The Pope said that the new Mass celebrated in the vernacular that emerged after Vatican II would remain the "normal" form of Mass, while the Tridentine version would remain an "extraordinary" form that, according to the Vatican, would probably only be sought by relatively few Catholics.

     Whether the majority of Catholics will, as James Bannister predicted in "Will the Vatican Withdraw the 'New Coke' and Give Us Back the Classic?", "vote with their feet" and return to the traditional Mass, leaving Novus Ordo liturgies even more empty of worshippers than they are already, remains to be seen.

     Father Paul Kramer's excellent book, The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy is available from The Fatima Shoppe.

"Papal Document Vindicates Adherents of Latin Mass"

Full text of the Motu Proprio

"Benedict XVI's letter to the bishops"

VATICAN-CHINA RELATIONS:
Getting better or getting worse?

     On July 16th, officials of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association — the pseudo-church set up by the Communists to supplant the Roman Catholic Church in China — announced that they had selected a new Bishop of Beijing. Joseph Li Shan, a parish priest in the CCPA archdiocese of Beijing, was named to succeed Michele Fu Tieshan, the government-approved head of the archdiocese, who died in April. AsiaNews reports that although the bishop-elect was not appointed by the Pope, he was one of several candidates to whom the Vatican "raised no objection". AsiaNews says the bishop-elect was selected through an "independent process that appears to be an effort to compromise between the demands of the Holy See and those of the [Communist] Beijing government".

     Coming as it did not three weeks after the release of Pope Benedict XVI's letter to Chinese Catholics, the appointment appears to be a deliberate provocation, aimed at testing the resolve of the Holy See.

     The argument over who has the right to appoint bishops is one of the main obstacles to improved relations between China and the Vatican. The Communists are afraid of losing control of the "church" which they set up in 1957, after the Communists severed ties with the Vatican and expelled all foreign priests.

     Since then, many local priests have been imprisoned, tortured and even executed. Several who remain loyal to Rome are still in jail because of their opposition to CCPA. China says it now has about five million Catholics, but there are believed to be twice as many who worship in underground churches. The Pope's letter said Catholics could now worship in state "churches", even if their priests had no links with the Pope, if finding Vatican-approved clergy caused "grave inconvenience".

     We can only wonder why the Vatican should seek to win the approval of the Chinese Communists, by softening its stance on the CCPA and otherwise compromising its stand in favor of the freedom of religion and democracy for which so many Chinese Catholics have suffered.

     It seems to us that now, when China is seeking to improve its human-rights image in the West ahead of the Olympics, is the time for Rome to stand fast. The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) is by definition schismatic. It cannot ever be part of the Roman Catholic Church because it owes its allegiance not to Rome and the Pope, but to Beijing and atheistic Communism.

"Full Text of Pope's Letter to Chinese Catholics"

"100-year-old sanctuary of Our Lady of Mount Carmel ordered destroyed in China"

"Support or sellout?"

"Catholics to be banned from 2008 Olympics in China?"

MUST RUSSIA CONVERT TO CATHOLICISM?

Our Lady says yes;
the Vatican says yes

     Led by Father Nicholas Gruner, Our Lady's Apostolate has called consistently and tirelessly for nearly three decades for the Pope, in union with the bishops, to solemnly and publicly consecrate Russia to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart. Through that Consecration, Our Lady of Fatima promised us, Russia will be converted.

     Converted to what? Surely the answer must be, to the Roman Catholic Faith. That means the Orthodox believers, our schismatic brethren, must abandon the schism of nearly a thousand years and return to the fold of Rome. At least, that was what the Church always taught and we always thought. In recent times, though, some Catholics, even priests and bishops, seem to have forgotten this.

     According to the Interfax news agency, Russia 's leading Catholic prelate, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, said at a conference in Moscow marking the 90th anniversary of the Virgin Mary's appearances at Fatima, that it is "completely wrong" to think that the Virgin's prediction about the conversion of Russia meant that all Russians would come into the Roman Church.

     With all respect to the Archbishop, it seems that if he has not lost the faith entirely, he has forgotten what the Church has always taught. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus! Outside the Church there is no salvation!

     Let us hope that Archbishop Kondrusiewicz has now read "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church", released by the Vatican this summer. This text was signed by the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and approved by Pope Benedict XVI.

     This short document is a must-read for all those in danger of being taken in by the false ecumenism which is one of the "fruits" of Vatican II. This document reaffirms the traditional teaching that the Roman Catholic Church is the one, true Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, in which only are to be found all of the elements necessary to our salvation.

     The text said the Council (Vatican II) used the term "church" in reference to Orthodox Churches because, although separated from the Catholic Church, they have preserved apostolic succession, the ordained priesthood and the Eucharist. Nevertheless, the document continues, they "lack something in their condition as particular Churches" because they are not in union with the Pope.

     As for "the Christian communities born out of the Reformation", i.e. the Protestants, the text declares that because they do not enjoy apostolic succession — the unbroken succession of bishops going back to St. Peter — they "cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called 'Churches' in the proper sense."

     The key words here are "according to Catholic doctrine". Extra ecclesiam nulla salus is dogma, and has been for over 700 years! According to Unam Sanctam, written in 1302, "it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." The Fourth Lateran Council (1215 A.D.) profession of faith says: "One, moreover, is the universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all is saved." Devout though many Russians and other Orthodox believers may be, they need to come back to Rome, welcoming the embrace of the Roman Catholic Church, to be saved.

     Let us remember that the Blessed Virgin appeared at Fatima before the Communist revolution. When She asked us to obtain for Her Immaculate Heart the conversion of Russia, She was speaking of a nation which was officially Orthodox, not officially atheist as it later became. Clearly Our Lady of Fatima intended and intends today the conversion of Russia from Orthodoxy to Catholicism.

Full text of " Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church"

"Why don't we proselytize?"

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