It Pays To Write Your Bishop
By various published, signed and unsigned articles, Bishop Stanislaus Brzana has opposed our campaign to consecrate Russia for many years. He started in 1985. Because of this, he was sent a personal copy of our open letter in issue No. 18 of The Fatima Crusader which we published in October 1985.
Bishop Brzana continued to oppose this campaign and in 1987 and again in 1992 wrote against it. Today, it is with gratitude that we publish the letter of James Lammers, a lay member of the diocese of Ogdensburg where Bishop Brzana is the bishop. By reading his letter (see below) we see that he has persisted for five years by sending letters to his bishop regarding the consecration of Russia.
The Bishop had just once more published disinformation against the consecration of Russia when Mr. Lammers took up his pen to write once more. This time his letter reached the mark.
On this page we see the response of Bishop Brzana. It is obvious that the Bishop is willing to obey Our Lady when the Pope gives the word to consecrate Russia.
If only many more people would be as persistent as Mr. Lammers. (You can start today!) You see, the Pope hesitates in part because he fears the opposition of some bishops. It is by a persistent letter campaign to each bishop that even the hardest opposition to the consecration of Russia will either disappear or be neutralized.The Bishop's letter of response below shows that, indeed, it pays to write your bishop.
624 WASHINGTON STREET
OGDENSBURG, NEW YORK 13669
September 16, 1992
Mr. James P. Lammers, Champlain, NY
Dear Mr. Lammers:
Thank you for your recent letter concerning the consecration of Russia, and thank you also for the previous letter about altar girls. My article on the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was based on the authorities which I cited. I believe that these authorities are reliable.
If the Holy Father should decide to have another consecration and ask the Bishops of the world to join him, I myself will be happy to cooperate. I am sure this will also be true of my successor.
Asking the Lord to bless you abundantly, I am Fraternally yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Stanislaus J. Brzana, S.T.D.,
Bishop of Ogdensburg
cc: Rev. Timothy J. Soucy
11 September 1992
Most Rev. Stanislaus J. Brzana, S.T.D.
Bishop of Ogdensburg
624 Washington Street
Ogdensburg, NY 13669-0369
Permit me to offer some comments relative to your article in the August 19th, 1992 issue of the North Country Catholic, concerning the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Although I claim no particular expertise in ecclesiastical matters or the Fatima consecration, please permit me to express my views in accordance with Canon 212, Code of Canon Law.
If the Consecration of Russia was made on March 25, 1984; it is hard to understand why the Church waited until 1989 to make this fact known. His Holiness must certainly have been in receipt of thousands of requests for the consecration since 1984. One wonders why he did not immediately issue a public statement indicating that the consecration had been done. To date, we have not had a public statement by His Holiness to that effect.
It would appear that many of the Catholic Bishops, themselves were not aware that the consecration had been completed. When I sent you a letter on December 2, 1987 to encourage you to join the Holy Father in making the consecration, and did not receive an answer on that particular subject, I sent a querry to your Chancellor, Father John Murphy, on February 3, 1988. The reply from Father Murphy, on Feb. 16, 1988 — almost 4 years after the alleged consecration, — states:
"Bishop Brzana has great appreciation for the consecration of the world to Mary that has been made by the Holy Father. He is ready to follow the lead of the Holy Father and join in a Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart at any time that the Holy Father sees fit to organize any such consecration." (emphasis mine).
Father Murphy's remarks make it clear that, although he recognizes the consecration of the world by the Holy Father; he also feels that the consecration, specifically of Russia had not been made. I can only assume that when I receive a letter from the Chancellor of the Diocese, that he speaks for you and that such a letter was written with your approval of its contents. If the Consecration of Russia was done, one wonders why Father Murphy did not tell me so at that time. One wonders what new information about the consecration has surfaced between 1984 and 1989 (apparently, after Father Murphy's February 1988 letter to me) which would indicate irrefutable proof that the 1984 consecration of the world is sufficient to fulfil the request for the Consecration of Russia.
His Holiness has never publicly confirmed the consecration. To the contrary, his statements (on 2 occasions) in 1984, as reported in "L'Osservatore Romano" which referred to "those peoples for whom You Yourself are awaiting our act of consecration" certainly could have no other meaning than the people of Russia. Sister Lucia herself has reportedly stated at least 5 times between 1984 and 1989 that the consecration was not made.
It seems to me that your conclusion that the Consecration of Russia has been accomplished fails to take into consideration the well-founded observations of many Fatima observers which have been published in various Catholic publications. I note that all your references to the alleged consecrations are quoted from "Soul" Magazine. One wonders if any other source was consulted.
You may choose to disregard the information reported by sources other than those quoted from Soul; however, in doing so I feel that you do a grave injustice to the Catholic people of the diocese. It is extremely difficult for the laity to obtain definitive information from our hierarchy, regardless of the subject of our concerns. Even though your article in the NCC purports to give definitive answers, you still do not clarify the issue, since you do not refute the criticisms of those others who have studied the Fatima situation. Nor do you answer the questions raised by those people.
You indicated in your article that "it is up to the church to evaluate this (request made to Sister Lucia in 1929) as a private revelation and take whatever action it chooses." You also state that "As a matter of fact, the Popes have already consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary." The fact that the church has recognized Fatima (a private revelation) would attest to the credibility of Sister Lucia. Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume that The Blessed Mother's message to Sister Lucia at Tuy, in 1929, is an extension of the message revealed in 1917 at Fatima. The fact that you indicate that the Popes have already consecrated Russia, would lead me to believe that the church has confirmed the necessity of the consecration.
You quoted Bishop Luna as indicating that "The Holy Father is disturbed by the many letters being written demanding a Consecration of Russia." It appears to me that His Holiness is perfectly capable of informing the Catholic World, in his own words, that these letters disturb him and that the consecration has been completed. He has not done so, to my knowledge. I become suspicious when people make statements which would appear to speak for the Pope.
Some experts on Fatima have expressed their opinions that the Consecration of Russia in 1952 by Pope Pius XII, and the consecration in 1964 by Pope Paul VI do not satisfy the requirements since they were not performed in union with all the bishops of the World. It seems reasonable to assume that, had either of these consecrations satisfied the requirements, Almighty God would not have permitted the imprisonment, torture, and murder of millions of people by the Communists to continue after 1952 (or 1964).
You quoted Father Robert J. Fox as having stated that Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz pointed out that all the "new religious freedoms" in Russia began with the March 25th 1984 collegial consecration by the Pope and Bishops of the world. It would seem that such swift and decisive action by Almighty God to grant these "new religious freedoms" in Russia as a result of the 1984 consecration, would also hold true in 1952, or 1967, or immediately after the other previous or subsequent consecrations (i.e. Pope Pius XII in 1942; Pope John Paul II in 1982, etc.). It would seem that if any of the aforementioned consecrations satisfied the requirements of Fatima, then it would have served no purpose to continue to repeat the consecrations on subsequent occasions. You yourself reminded the laity, in your NCC article, that "it is not necessary to plead for something which has already been done." I would conclude that it would not be necessary to repeat a consecration which had already been done several times.
It would appear to me that your personal consecration of March 25, 1984, at St. Mary's Church in Brushton, did not satisfy the requirement that the Bishops were to make the consecration in their own Cathedral. Your article indicated that your consecration was of "the whole Diocese of Ogdensburg". This would lead me to believe, then, that you did not actually make the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; but the Diocese of Ogdensburg in lieu of Russia.
You quoted Father Fox as writing in 1989 that Sister Lucia said "Our Lord accepted the collegial consecration of March 25, 1984". Father Fox does not advise his readers just exactly to whom Sister Lucia was supposed to have made this statement. He leads his readers to believe that Sister Lucia told him of this fact. However, it has been reported that Father Fox did not meet with, or talk to Sister Lucia, and that "Father Fox said that Sister Lucia's Superior said, that Sister Lucia said." Sounds like hearsay to me.
I have read elsewhere that Father Fox's principal witness to Sister Lucia's comments was a relative of hers — Maria do Fetal Neves Rosa; however, Father Pierre Caillon, President of the Blue Army in France claims that he knows Maria do Fetal Neves Rosa well, and she informed him that the Consecration of Russia had not been done. Then, Cardinal Law of Boston is reported to have had a conversation with Sister Lucia in 1989 and was reportedly told that the consecration was not done. Again, more hearsay, however, it appears that Cardinal Law should be able to verify the accuracy of this report.
My own personal opinion on the subject of the conversion of Russia is that Russia has not been converted. Since the Leonine prayers for the conversion of Russia, previously said after Low Mass since 1930, were discontinued in March 1965, one could conclude that Billions of prayers for Russia have not been said. It does not seem reasonable that Almighty God would answer prayers which have not been said.
In the Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI on Atheistic Communism (Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937). His Holiness spoke of his distrust of Communist tactics. Of particular note, is his statement that "There are some even who refer to certain changes recently introduced into soviet legislation as a proof that Communism is about to abandon its program of war against God. (para 57)" This is as true today as it was when Pope Pius XI wrote those words in 1937. He also said: "See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived: Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever. (para 58)" Your Excellency, a rose by any other name is still a rose. Communism by any other name is still instrinsically wrong and a war against God.
As you know, next month, at Fatima, a meeting will take place which will be attended by at least 80 bishops from around the world. The purpose of this meeting is to explore all sides of this issue with Religious and Lay experts on the Fatima Message. You would agree, I'm sure, that such dialogue could only be of benefit to the Church in these perilous times. I hope you will consider attending this meeting. It would appear that there are at least 80 bishops from around the world who are willing to admit that the question of the Fatima consecration is still unclear.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
James P. Lammers