Defending the Catholic Faith
by Father Nicholas Gruner, S.T.L., S.T.D.(Cand.)
In this issue of The Fatima Crusader, we bring you up to date on the attack by certain high placed authorities in the Church on the very Shrine that commemorates the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. On this sacred ground the Shrine’s own Rector allowed the sacrilege of Hindu rituals to take place at the altar on the precise spot where Our Lady of Fatima appeared to call for Russia’s conversion and the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.
We discuss how thousands of traditional Catholic clergy and laity traveled to Fatima in August, 2005 to make reparation for this sacrilege, only to be harassed by the Rector and his minions.
What are we to make of this madness, which seems to grow worse with each passing day?
After forty years of seemingly endless change, upheaval, disorientation and scandal within the Catholic Church, all in the name of the “renewal” of Vatican II, faithful Catholics must fight the temptation to despair. “When will it end?” we may ask ourselves.
With nearly everyone in authority going along with the revolution in the Church and pronouncing it a great improvement over the Faith of our fathers, it would be easy to give up and simply acquiesce in what the authorities have approved or tolerated.
This, indeed, is what many Catholics have done, despite all the evidence that the changes in the Church since Vatican II have been utterly disastrous on every score: baptisms, vocations, conversions, Mass attendance, adherence to Catholic doctrine — in short, every indication of the vitality of the Church — has plummeted since the Council’s end in 1965.
But no authority, no matter how high — not even the Pope himself — can demand that we ignore the evidence of our senses. The Church is clearly in the midst of the worst crisis in Her history. The current Pope, himself, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, admitted that
“The results of the Council seem cruelly to have contradicted the expectations everybody had, beginning with John XXIII and Paul VI ... [W]e have been confronted instead with a continuing process of decay that has gone on largely on the basis of appeals to the Council, and thus has discredited the Council in the eyes of many people.”1
Against A Fact There Is No Argument
There is no argument against a fact: the “renewal” of the Church after Vatican II is a catastrophic failure. Instead of a “renewal” what we see is an attempt to impose upon the Church an entirely new religion in place of what was handed down by the descendants of the Apostles for nearly 2,000 years.
Thanks to “ecumenism,” “dialogue,” “interreligious dialogue,” and, of course, the New Mass, the exterior condition of the Church today is such that the great Popes before the Council would not even recognize the average Catholic parish as Catholic.
Here too, Cardinal Ratzinger admitted the truth, for he wrote the French language preface to a book by Monsignor Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, in which the Monsignor made the following astonishing but all-too-true observation about the state of the Church today:
A Catholic who ceased to be an active member of the Church for the past generation and who, having decided to return to the Church, wants to become religiously active again, probably would not recognize today’s Church as the one he had left. Simply by entering a Catholic church, particularly if it happens to be of ultra-modern design, he would feel as if he had entered a strange, foreign place. He will think that he must have come to the wrong address and that he accidentally ended up in some other Christian religious community.2
No! One cannot argue against a fact. No matter what certain authorities may say to the contrary, the revolution in the Catholic Church since Vatican II has, like all revolutions, involved a turning away from, and a rejection of, the past — in this case, the very traditions of our Faith.
And, no matter what “authority” says, the Church is in crisis because the commands of Fatima have not been obeyed. They have not been obeyed because the consecration of Russia has not been carried out, despite the 1984 ceremony in which Russia was never mentioned. As “authority” prattles on about the “miracle” in Russia, in the real world we can see that since 1984 Russia has become an abortion-ridden, neo- Stalinist dictatorship allied with Red China. In Russia today the Catholic Church suffers persecution so severe that even the Vatican has strongly protested that it “recalls the regrettable practices of the Soviet era.”3
That even the highest authorities in the Church have approved the disaster of the past 40 years is no reason to go along with it. We should remember that this is not the first time in Church history that Her leadership has succumbed to what Sister Lucy rightly called “diabolical disorientation.”
We can certainly see our current situation in Cardinal Newman’s description of the Arian crisis in the Fourth Century, when almost all bishops either accepted or lent themselves to the heresy that falsely taught that Christ is not true God as well as true man:
The body of bishops failed in their confession of the Faith ... They spoke variously, one against another; there was nothing, after [the Council of] Nicea [325 A.D.] of firm, unvarying, consistent testimony, for nearly sixty years. There were untrustworthy Councils, unfaithful bishops; there was weakness, fear of consequences, misguidance, delusion, hallucination, endless, hopeless, extending into nearly every corner of the Catholic Church. The comparatively few who remained faithful were discredited and driven into exile; the rest were either deceivers or deceived.4
Notice Newman’s phrase “the comparatively few who remained faithful were discredited and driven into exile…” Is that not precisely what we see today in the case of the comparatively few who remain faithful to what is now disparaged by the “deceivers or deceived” of our time as “pre-Vatican II Catholicism”?
Do we not see that the Fatima Centre and staunchly traditional priests throughout the Church, including myself, are hounded and exiled by liberal bishops and even by certain elements of the Vatican bureaucracy, while the “deceivers and the deceived” hold themselves out as the possessors and guardian of the “true” religion? Just as in the time of Arius, when St. Athanasius, who led the opposition to Arianism, was exiled five times by his “brother bishops” and was “excommunicated” in a sentence “confirmed” by Pope Liberius;
So today we see orthodox, chaste and militant priests declared “excommunicated” or “suspended” for non-existent offenses, while those who seek to destroy the Church are coddled, praised and even promoted to high office.
Thus, some people are told that I am “suspended” for an offense that is not even specified — because no offense has been committed. In addition to public declarations against me there is a private whispering campaign in which letters from this or that priest or local bishop, repeating the same lies, are bandied about as if they had some great weight of authority behind them, when in fact they are based on nothing but mindless prejudice.
One is reminded of a remark by Prof. Philip Davidson in his monumental study of the use of propaganda in the American Revolution: the most effective way to attack the established order and justify rebellion is not “reason, or justice or even self- interest, but hate. An unreasoning hatred, a blind disgust, is aroused not against policies but against people.”5
The Politics of Hate
And the enablers of the revolution in the Church within the “respectable” Catholic establishment are only too happy to cooperate in this ecclesial politics of hate. In the Question and Answer forums of EWTN, for example, EWTN’s theological “experts,” led by its “Vice President for Theology,” one Mr. Colin Donovan, have made more than 66 references to myself alone as “suspended,” “schismatic,” “disobedient,” “disloyal to the Pope” and other epithets with no basis in fact. This hate campaign was finally too much for one EWTN supporter, who blasted EWTN (and Mr. Donovan in particular) on its own website:
“What is Fr. Gruner actually doing that is worthy of such high level attention and censure? Mr. Donovan slanders without evidence. This is treacherous and uncharitable behavior … You should be ashamed of yourselves. I am ashamed that I have supported EWTN over the years with my prayers, my funds, and our visits. I am ashamed of what our Church is doing to people who believe in the historical continuity of our faith and the importance of liturgy in passing on that faith. I am ashamed at the way that Rome is turning its back on the blood of the martyrs. I am ashamed by my own participation in nutty liturgies and heretical CCD.”6
This anguished Catholic perfectly expresses our own sentiments about what is being done to not only myself but also to other good priests today, by those who cloak themselves in authority and prestige (which, before God and man, they do not merit nor do they have), just as the Pharisees of old did.
There is Still Hope
But we can take comfort in the fact that there is an historical precedent for our situation. Just as the Church survived the Arian crisis and the vicious persecution of faithful Catholics, so She will survive the present, even greater crisis. For Our Lady’s promise, “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, Russia will be converted and a certain period of peace will be given to mankind,” cannot fail to be realized. In the end, Her Immaculate Heart will triumph, and all that has gone wrong in the Church will be made right again. God Himself will have it this way, and no other way. The only question being how much the Church and the world will have to suffer before God exacts obedience from His unruly subjects. We rightly fear the annihilation of nations Our Lady warned would be the consequence if obedience were delayed too long.
So, in this issue of The Fatima Crusader there is hope along with bad news. You will read how a few faithful clergy and laity can make a difference by standing up to the abuse of authority in the Church, as they did at Fatima when they made reparation for sacrilege in that holiest of places. And in the story about St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross you will find inspiration in the power of spiritual devotion to overcome all obstacles.
Therefore, be of good hope in the midst of disaster. And let them try to discredit and exile good Catholics while they may. For the days of the revolutionaries are numbered, while the restoration of the Church is inevitable. Until then, we need to obey Our Lady of Fatima, promote Her full Fatima Message and hold fast to what has been handed down to us, and what was confirmed for our time so dramatically in the Message of Fatima.
1. L’Osservatore Romano, 11/9/ 84.
2. Msgr. Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background (Harrison, NY: Foundation for Catholic Reform, 1993), p. 107.
3. CWN news report, 4/12/02, http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=17908
4. John Henry Newman, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine (Kansas City: Sheed and Ward, 1961), p. 77.
5. Davidson, Philip, Propaganda and the American Revolution, (Univ. N. Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, NC, 1941), p. 139.
6. Posted comments of John Turner, Ph.D.
Father Gruner continues to
work spreading the urgent
Message of Fatima, worldwide:
Top left: Following investment in the Brown Scapular, Father blesses long line ups of the Faithful, and signs his published books.
Top right: Father is on site, August 22, 2005, preparing to join the procession to the Fatima Shrine grounds to make reparation for the atrocities committed there.
Father is seen here at Avila on a recent Fatima Center Pilgrimage to Portugal and Spain.