By the end of February, there will be no Pope. The interim government of the Roman Catholic Church is the College of Cardinals, presided over by the dean, Angelo Cardinal Sodano. Sodano is 85 years old and has acquired a great deal of baggage in the form of scandals and missteps during his long tenure in the Vatican, including his time as Secretary of State.
Sodano will be the poster child for all that is wrong with the Church, providing the anti-Catholic media with what is called a target-rich environment. This is the man who dismissed, as late as 2010, the worldwide, massively documented scandal of sexual abuse by the clergy as “petty gossip.” (See: “What to do about Sodano?”.) He tried to cover up the sordid Maciel scandal of the Legionaries of Christ. (See: “The Cost of Father Maciel”.) He is also the man who preceded Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as the enforcer of the Vatican Party Line that Fatima is finished. (See: “Cardinal Sodano, Please Step Aside!” and “Fatima’s False Friends”.)
It is not clear how much influence Sodano will have. He is too old to vote in the conclave, but a life spent in the thick of power-politics in the Roman Curia means that he knows where quite a few bodies are buried. He is doubtless still feared and placated by some of the papal electors.
His successor, Cardinal Bertone, will no longer be Secretary of State during the period of sede vacante, when all previous papal appointments are suspended, but he is the camerlengo, or papal chamberlain, and along with Sodano will be orchestrating all that precedes the conclave.
The likelihood that Bertone will be re-instated as Secretary of State, at least during a transitional period, makes him a powerful figure. Bertone is the sworn enemy of the Fatima Message, of Father Nicholas Gruner and of Our Lady’s Apostolate. (See: “Antonio Socci Refutes Cardinal Bertone’s New Book on the Third Secret”.) He will be locked in the Sistine Chapel, a prominent presence among the 117 papal electors. He is himself a possible papal candidate.
The long battle waged by Sodano and Bertone against Father Gruner and his international Fatima apostolate is recounted in A New Day for Fatima, which constitutes the latest chapters of Fatima Priest. These two prelates were ultimately defeated by Father Gruner’s defense of the truth and by being caught and exposed in their own lies. But they have not gone away. In fact, they are dangerously involved in the process that will choose the next Pope — one who will either obey Our Lady of Fatima, or stick to the Party Line.
We must oppose the Sodano-Bertone influence by praying very hard so that the importance of the Fatima Message in the election of the next Pope is seen and understood. The Cardinals must become Fatima-conscious before the doors of the Sistine Chapel are locked and they are subjected to the intense pressure of Sodano, Bertone and the Vatican insiders.
We must also keep informed. Read the recent “Fatima Perspective” articles listed below.
Redefining the Papacy
There is no shortage of opinion and punditry regarding Pope Benedict’s resignation. He is lauded by some, blamed by others. Speculation about the “hidden” reasons for his relinquishing his office is also not lacking. But whether he is seen as saint or slacker, Pope Benedict has redefined the nature of the papacy.
Many, if not most, Catholics, did not know until Feb. 11 that a Pope could resign. The general assumption was that a Pope remained the Pope as long as he was alive. The office and the man who held it were not considered separable by anything short of death. Now, there has been a sea-change in the minds of Catholics and among the general public.
The papacy is a job one can quit.
An insightful, if not entirely fair and accurate, article in the leftwing German news magazine Der Spiegel spells out the corollary to the possibility of a papal resignation. (See: “Zero Hour at the Vatican: A Bitter Struggle for Control of the Catholic Church”.) If a Pope can resign, then it may be permissible to suggest that he do so. In other words, the Pope becomes more like a prime minister than a monarch. A papal misstep, a public relations disaster, a lack of popularity even, may cause a groundswell of sentiment for the replacement of a Pope with a more capable man with gifts deemed more suitable to the current challenges facing the Church. In short, the papacy may become politicized to an extent no one ever conceived before.
And there is another idea in the wind, expressed succinctly in Der Spiegel:
“If, as Benedict implied in his statement of resignation, the office is too difficult for one man in the modern world, power must then be ceded to Catholic bishops and to world regions.”
The growing influence of Bishops’ Conferences since the collegiality espoused by Vatican II has brought the Church ever closer to what might be called regional government. Pope Benedict’s resignation may help those forces favoring a decentralization of authority. The unity of Church doctrine and discipline has suffered already due to collegiality. An increased autonomy of Bishops’ Conferences could reduce the papacy to little more than an honor granted the Bishop of Rome for historical reasons.
The Barque of Peter appears to be headed into rough waters, no matter who is elected and no matter what policies he adopts. Our Lady of Fatima told us: Only I can help you. When will the princes and prelates of the Church come to believe Her?
While the media — Catholic and secular — occupy their time these days with analyzing the field of likely contenders for the papacy, no one, except Our Lady’s Apostolate, is focusing on the only solution to the terrible crises that loom larger each day. No matter who is chosen as the next Pope, there will remain only one solution that will save our Church and our world: the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as Our Lady of Fatima requested. Meanwhile, pray for the Holy Father, as Our Lady requested.
Latest Fatima Perspectives
Physician, Heal Thyself: A Suffering Pope Abdicates — Andrea Tornielli, the well-known Vatican journalist who spoke at our “Consecration Now!” conference in 2011, wrote an article on February 12 for La Stampa about Pope Benedict’s resignation, entitled “The meaning of the Pope’s gesture.” The article begins with Tornielli addressing Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz’s startling comment from this past Monday, that Pope John Paul II did not step down from the papacy because “he [John Paul II] was convinced that one doesn’t come down from the cross.”
Protecting Our Children’s Innocence Is the Real Issue of Gay “Marriage” — As western leaders continue in their bold attempts to fashion North America and Europe into Socialist utopias, based on principles which are fundamentally anti-Christian, an increasing number of people are protesting against these attempts by western governments to redefine, essentially, what it means to be human. The Socialist paradigm is built, in part, on a “progressive” understanding of human relationships.
After Forty Years of “Liturgical Renewal,” Incompetent Priests, Bored Laity — Zenit reports the hilarious news — hilarious if it weren’t so tragic — that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments “is preparing a booklet to help priests celebrate the Mass properly and the faithful to participate better...” But how can this be when, according to Paul VI, the New Mass was imposed upon the Church after the Second Vatican Council precisely in order to produce a “greater simplicity of the ceremonies...” How could priests be in need of instruction in how to celebrate the simpler new Mass of Paul VI?
Marriage Has Nothing to Do with Religion? — The principal reason the Catholic Church today finds herself reduced to impotence before the power of the secular State is the timid refusal of contemporary churchmen to preach with authority, and defend with courage, the revealed truths of the one true Faith, even to the mighty of this world. In the wake of Vatican II’s vaunted “opening to the contemporary world” — a total debacle for the Church — Catholic churchmen have seemingly accepted a pact of silence concerning the Law of the Gospel.
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