An Open Letter
to the Faithful of Portugal
the Fatima Shrine
In October 2003,
faithful Catholics around the world were horrified to read the news that an
unprecedented "inter-religious congress" of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims,
Orthodox, Anglicans and Catholics was held at the Fatima Shrine, hosted by Fr.
Luciano Guerra, the Shrines rector. Fr. Guerra declared that
"The future of
Fatima, or the adoration of God and His Mother at this holy Shrine, must
pass through the creation of a shrine where different religions can mingle.
The interreligious dialogue in Portugal, and in the Catholic Church, is still
in an embryonic phase, but the Shrine of Fatima is not indifferent to this fact
and is already open to being a universalistic place of
This remark, reported
in Notícias de Fátima and the English-language journal
The Portugal News, provoked a storm of international protest. In
response, Rector Guerra issued a series of equivocal statements, none of which
denied that he had made the remark attributed to him.
Quite the contrary,
in speaking of the new basilica of hideous "modern" design that is to be built
at the Cova da Iria, Rector Guerras "official" response on the Fatima
Shrines website declared:
"And, when it
seems to us to be opportune, after what is already happening in many other
sacred places, this new basilica would be able to receive brothers from
other faiths, who may want, in a brotherly manner, to know how we pray."
Rector Guerra surely
has in view something more than members of other religions paying a visit to
the new basilica to observe how Catholics worship God at Fatima.
If that were all
Rector Guerra meant by the phrase "the creation of a shrine where different
religions can mingle," there would be no need to wait for a moment "when it
seems to us to be opportune" to allow such visits, for they already happen
every day at the existing basilica. Nor if that is all Rector Guerra
meant would he have linked his plans to "what is already happening in
many other sacred places".
For "what is already
happening in many other sacred places" is precisely what many Catholics fear
will soon happen at Fatima: the use of Catholic sacred ground for
"inter-religious prayer meetings" and other events at which the members of
various sects and non-Christian religions, even including witchdoctors and
animists, "pray according to their own traditions."
Guerras guest at the conference in October was Fr. Arul Irudayam, Rector
of the Catholic Marian Shrine Basilica in Vailankanni, India. The Shrine
receives millions of pilgrims a year, including many Hindus, and Fr. Irudayam
rejoiced to inform the audience that, as a further development of
"interreligious dialogue," the Hindus now perform their religious rituals in
the shrine at Vailankanni. The audience, including Rector Guerra, applauded
Have these men
forgotten something as basic as the First Commandment: Thou shalt not have
false gods before Me? Sacred Scripture teaches that "the gods of the Gentiles
are devils." (Psalm 95:5). That the many "gods" of Hinduism are devils
was demonstrated by one of the greatest missionaries of all time, Saint Francis
St. Francis took
great joy in seeing that his young pupils had utterly rejected "the idolatrous
practices of the pagans." They so abhorred the demon gods of Hinduism that they
would reproach their own parents if they engaged in pagan ceremonies, and would
come to tell St. Francis about it.
When St. Francis
heard that "outside the village someone was practicing idolatry, he gathered
together all the boys
and went with them to the spot where the idols had
been erected. His pupils smashed the clay figures of the demons to dust and
spat and stamped upon them." Saint Francis Xaviers biographer explains
that these children "thus gave more insults to the devil than their parents had
shown honor to him."
But now the situation
is reversed: the demonic "gods" of the Hindu religion and other pagan sects are
being welcomed into Catholic sanctuaries, along with heretics and schismatics
who adamantly refuse to return to the one true Church which is the only ark of
their salvation. This is what Rector Guerra meant by "what is already
happening in many other sacred places." And this, quite clearly, is what Rector
Guerra wishes to see happen in Fatima.
In this regard it is
very telling that the only thing Rector Guerra has denied explicitly since the
date of his scandalous remark is that members of other religions would share
"in the way we worship" at the new basilica.
But no one charged
that Rector Guerra was planning to allow non-Catholics to share in
Catholic worship. The real concern the concern that Rector Guerra
has never addressed is that the sacred ground of Fatima would be
made available in some way for the rituals and observances of non-Catholic and
even pagan religions.
On January 9, 2004,
nearly three months after his remark, Rector Guerra finally admitted to a
reporter from the English journal Catholic Herald that he had indeed
stated that "the new shrine at Fatima, Portugal would be a place where
different religions can mingle," but claimed that his statement had been
"taken out of context."
however, was on the occasion of a gathering of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims,
Orthodox and Anglicans, who were addressed by an Indian priest who has
permitted Hindu worship in a Catholic Marian shrine in India!
The "context" was
Rector Guerras assurance that the Fatima Shrine would soon undergo a
serious change; that the worship of God at Fatima "must pass
through the creation of a shrine where different religions can mingle."
The "context" was
Rector Guerras observation that while "the interreligious dialogue in
Portugal, and in the Catholic Church, is still in an embryonic phase," the
Fatima Shrine, according to him, is "already open to being a universalistic
place of vocation."
therefore, was that the Fatima of today will not be the Fatima of tomorrow, but
a new, "interreligious" Fatima that had not been seen before until the
congress in October, which was clearly a preview of what Rector Guerra has in
Plans for Fatima
Guerras remark was not "taken out of context." That is the excuse of
every politician who tries to obscure the plain meaning of his own words when
they are not well-received by the public.
It is evident
based on what Rector Guerra said, and on what he did not say that
he has every intention of allowing at Fatima what he himself notes is "already
happening" in other sacred places of the Catholic religion. Rector Guerra, the
very rector of the Fatima Shrine, intends to allow it to be desecrated by the
rituals and observances of false religions.
The Cova da Iria is
the very place where the three shepherd children heard the Mother of Gods
call for the conversion of Russia to the Catholic Faith; the very place where
the Virgin prophesied the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart throughout the world;
the very place where the three children saw the vision of hell, filled with
poor sinners who went there for lack of the help that only the Catholic
Church could give them. On this sacred ground 70,000 people witnessed a
public miracle the likes of which had never before been seen in human history
a miracle that authenticated the Message of Fatima beyond all doubt.
It is this sacred
ground that Rector Guerra plans to defile, in a complete betrayal of everything
the Message of Fatima stands for. And he will succeed unless the
faithful rise up and stop him and those who collaborate with him. Here the
faithful of Portugal have a special duty before God and His Blessed Mother.
ago, God showed His special love for the people of Portugal when He sent no
less than His very Mother to the Cova da Iria with a message of utmost
importance for the 20th Century and beyond. The people of Portugal know well
the contents of the Message of Fatima, but in our present circumstances it is
necessary to recall an oft-neglected portion of the Message.
"In Portugal the
dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc." With these words, which mark
the beginning of the Third Secret of Fatima, the Virgin Mary confided to Sister
Lucy that God Almighty has deigned to exalt the Portuguese people above all
others in the world, to serve as a living testament to the Catholic faith in a
time of widespread apostasy. While the words of the Virgin indicated by Sister
Lucys telltale "etc." have yet to be revealed to the faithful, it is
manifest that this part of the Fatima prophecy pertains to a loss of faith
extending into many parts of the Church, and claiming even members of Her
The Faith Must
Be Protected by All
During the Arian
crisis of the 4th Century, it was the simple members of the laity who kept the
faith at a time when, except for a few good bishops, such as St. Athanasius,
virtually the entire Catholic hierarchy had been seduced or confused by the
heresy that Christ was not truly and fully divine. (The Pope was in exile
during much of this crisis and could do nothing to stop the spread of the
The Message of Fatima
is a warning that another such time of crisis would be visited upon the Church.
We are living through that crisis at this very moment, as anyone with eyes to
see can see: scandal, loss of faith, and outright apostasy are afflicting the
Church on every continent. And now the very rector of the Fatima Shrine plans
to open it to the worship of false religions.
Obligation in the Present Danger
Yet the people of
Portugal remain close to the Virgin Mother of God, and thus close to Him Who
sent Her to Fatima. Each year fully one-sixth of the entire Portuguese
population makes a pilgrimage to Fatima. No other country on earth displays
such devotion to God. Our Lady prophesied rightly when She said that the dogma
of the faith would always be preserved in Portugal.
election of the Portuguese people as a sign of faith in a faithless world
carries with it a grave obligation. For as Our Lord Himself warned: "Of those
to whom much is given, much is expected." (Luke 12:48) Precisely because
the people of Portugal have been so highly favored by God, they will be held to
a higher standard when it comes to His fearsome judgment. Nor must anyone think
that simply by virtue of being a Portuguese, one can have an assurance of final
perseverance in the faith. Anyone can fall from grace and be condemned by
If the people of
Portugal do not resist this evil plan to desecrate the Fatima Shrine by making
it available to the worship of false gods, who will? If the people of Portugal
fail to prevent this sacrilege at Fatima, who will be judged more harshly than
At this very moment
the Holy Mother of God is looking down upon the place She visited 87 years ago.
She is waiting for the people of Portugal to come to the defense of the sacred
ground at Fatima. She is waiting for the Portuguese nation to fulfill its
destiny as the place where the Faith will always be preserved in the midst of
this great crisis in the Church.
And do not be
deterred by those who say that what is being planned for Fatima has the
approval of high authorities in the Church, that it is all part of the
"interreligious dialogue" launched by Vatican II.
Save Your Dogma
Save Your Soul
As the Virgin of
Fatimas own words teach us, the dogma of the faith must be preserved. One
of those dogmas, infallibly defined three times by the Magisterium of the
Church, is that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. Why else did
Our Lady of Fatima come to ask for the conversion of Russia and the
triumph of Her Immaculate Heart (and thus the Catholic faith) throughout the
world? But now we are told by Rector Guerra, on the Fatima Shrines own
website, that the Message of Fatima was merely an invitation to "dialogue with
other faiths." This is a monstrous lie a complete falsification of the
words of the Mother of God.
Our holy religion
does not change from one day to the next. What the Church has condemned, She
cannot now approve. Catholics who know their faith can have no excuse for
following the bad example of anyone, be it priest, bishop, Cardinal or even
Pope. We cannot allow ourselves to succumb to what Sister Lucy has called "the
diabolical disorientation of the Church" in our time. We cannot allow a false
notion of "obedience," and a false deference to authority to subvert the very
foundations of our Faith.
The petition that
accompanies this Open Letter is one means for you to express your opposition to
the threatened abomination in one of the worlds most holy Catholic sites.
We implore you, the people of Portugal, to besiege your parish priests, your
bishops and the Rector of the Fatima Shrine with copies of this petition. That
will mark the beginning of the battle for the Faith in this great nation, so
beloved of God.
And when the battle
is won here, in Portugal, the restoration of Holy Church throughout the world
will not be long in coming. For did Our Lady not promise that in the end Her
Immaculate Heart will triumph? To secure that Triumph the people of Portugal
must lead the way out of our present darkness. That is your duty before God and
His Holy Mother.
the Holy Father,
Pope John Paul II
and to the Bishops of
Your Holiness and Your Excellencies:
We are deeply disturbed and dismayed by recent press reports
of a plan to transform the Shrine of Our Lady at Fatima into an "interfaith"
facility, opening this Catholic holy site to worship on an equal footing by
non-Catholics of all kinds, including Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and
other followers of non-Christian religions. We are also dismayed that Rector
Guerra's recent "denial" only confirms the new interfaith program at
As faithful Catholics and devoted children of Our Blessed
Mother Mary, we wish to affirm clearly and unequivocally our absolute
opposition to this misguided and outrageous plan. We condemn it as contrary to
Sacred Scripture and Tradition and to the actual Message that God's Mother
brought to the world at Fatima. We turn to you, Holy Father, and to the leaders
of the Church in Portugal, beseeching and asking you:
1. To declare an immediate end to any plans and/or
efforts to turn Our Lady's Shrine into a so-called "interfaith"
2. To order all those engaged in the planning and
fund-raising for such a facility to forthwith and immediately cease and desist
from this impious activity which cannot but help to provoke scandal and
disunity among the Faithful.
3. To affirm that Our Lady's Shrine will remain always
and only a sacred Catholic site and to declare that worship services of a
non-Catholic nature are neither permitted nor acceptable on Shrine
4. To investigate the reports of mismanagement and
suspicion of heresy on the part of the Shrine's Rector, Father Luciano Guerra,
who the press has identified as the leading force behind this outrageous
Submitted respectfully and humbly in the Holy Names of Jesus,
Mary, and Joseph.
I the undersigned
agree with this petition.
Number of Rosaries pledged to stop this "interfaith"
Make extra copies or obtain more copies of this
U.S.A.: Servants of Jesus and
17000 State Route 30, Constable, NY 12926
The Fatima Crusader,
452 Kraft Road, Fort Erie, ON L2A 4M7
Phone: 1-800-263-8160 or (905) 871-8041
Table of Contents