An Open Letter to the
Faithful of Portugal
Concerning the Scandal at
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 vocation."
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."
Indeed, Rector 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 this
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
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."
Pagan gods Welcomed!
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
Rector Guerra Admits
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
The "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
The "context," 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 mind.
His Future Plans for
No, Father 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.
Eighty-seven years 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 heresy.)
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.
The Grave 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.
But Gods 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 they?
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
Petition to 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" facility.
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.
City__________ State/Prov._____ Zip/Postal
Number of Rosaries pledged to stop this "interfaith"
Make extra copies or obtain more copies of this
U.S.A.: Servants of Jesus and
Mary, 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) 871-7607
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