Monday, May 14, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI: "We would be mistaken to think that Fatima's prophetic mission is complete.."

Many Catholics today, including some priests and religious,  have no use for Fatima.  Just recently, Archbishop Loris Capovilla expressed his "reservations" about the apparition.  Others believe that Fatima just isn't "relevant" any longer.

Such an attitude is most unfortunate and is not consistent with the thought of Pope Benedict XVI.  On May 13, 2010, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the Holy Father said that, "We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162).

At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity." (See here).

Vatican II, addressing the charismatic gifts, said that they "must be accepted with gratefulness and consolation."  At the same time, the Council insisted that, "Judgment as to their genuineness and their correct use lies with those who lead the Church and those whose special task is not to extinguish the spirit but to examine everything and keep that which is good." (Lumen Gentium, No. 2).  But there are dark forces at work within the Church which seek to bury Fatima in a deep, dark hole and to convince others to ignore the message of Our Lady, thereby stifling the prophetic mission of the apparition.

The Devil knows full well that his time is short.  Our Lady told Father Stefano Gobbi that, "The powers of hell will not prevail, even if now they have reached the point of contesting the Pope, of opposing him openly and of rejecting his Magisterium.  Thus, errors are being spread about which draw many away from the true faith, and sects are being propagated which draw to themselves many children of the Church...But I am calling all my children to the greatest fidelity to the Catholic Church; I am instilling in them a love for the Church, zeal for her unity, passion for her holiness, and strength for her work of evangelization.  And thus, through those who consecrating themselves to my Immaculate Heart, I am bringing to nothing all the effort which Satan is exerting, in his attempt to draw many of my children away from the one and only Church instituted by my Son Jesus.  And by means of my extraordinary and motherly intervention, once again, the powers of hell will not prevail.." (February 22, 1996).

The Devil knows this.  Which is why he uses others (usually the self-important "intellectuals" who are puffed up with pride) to attack Fatima or Marian apparitions and messages in general or to attempt to undermine their prophetic significance.


  1. Pope Benedict XVI spoke on the need for the Fatima message today: "For us, Fatima is a sign of the presence of faith, of the fact that it is precisely from the little ones that faith gains new strength, one which is not limited to the little ones but has a message for the entire world and touches history here and now, and sheds light on this history . . . Even now there is tribulation, in every conceivable form, and power threatens to trample down faith. Even now, then, there is a need for the answer about which the Mother of God spoke to the children at Fatima."

    Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, Author of No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy, said that we should, "Learn, live, and spread the message of Fatima! This is the express desire of Pope Benedict XVI. And Pope John Paul II once stated that the message of Fatima was more important now than in 1917!"

  2. Regarding private revelations (such as Fatima), we read - from EWTN - "Some private revelations, however, the Church has accepted as credible, calling them constat de supernaturalitate (that is, they give evidence of a supernatural intervention). Such private revelations cannot correct or add anything essentially new to Public Revelation; however, they may contribute to a deeper understanding of the faith, provide new lines of theological investigation (such as suggested by the revelations to St. Margaret Mary on the Sacred Heart), or recall mankind prophetically to the living of the Gospel (as at Fátima). No private revelation can ever be necessary for salvation, though its content may obviously coincide with what is necessary for salvation as known from Scripture and Tradition. The person who believes the teachings of the Magisterium, utilizes devoutly the sacramental means of sanctification and prayer, and remains in Communion with the Pope and the bishops in union with him, is already employing the necessary means of salvation. A private revelation may recall wayward individuals to the faith, stir the devotion of the already pious, encourage prayer and penance on behalf of others, but it cannot substitute for the Catholic faith, the sacraments and hierarchical communion with the Pope and bishops.

    Another way of saying this is that private revelations may not be believed with divine and Catholic Faith. They rest on the credibility of the evidence in favor of a supernatural origin. In the case of private revelations approved by the highest authority in the Church we can say with Pope Benedict XIV,

    Although an assent of Catholic faith may not be given to revelations thus approved, still, AN ASSENT OF HUMAN FAITH, made according to the rules of prudence, IS DUE THEM; for according to these rules such revelations are probable and worthy of pious credence. [De Serv. Dei Beatif.]

    The Pope is saying that a Catholic, seeing that the Church (and here the Holy See is meant, as only it's acts can be of universal effect) has investigated and approved certain revelations, is being prudent to give them human assent. That acceptance does not rest on the guarantee of Faith, or the charism of infallibility, but on the credibility of the evidence as it appeals to reason. The assent involved is not supernatural but the natural assent that the intellect gives to facts which it judges to be true. Approved private revelations are thus worthy of our acceptance and can be of great benefit to the faithful, for as the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes, 'Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.' [CCC 67]

    However, on the other hand, they do not demand acceptance by Catholics. As Pope Benedict states in the aforementioned text,

    it is possible to refuse to accept such revelations and to turn from them, as long as one does so with proper modesty, for good reasons, and without the intention of setting himself up as a superior. [De Serv. Dei Beatif.]"

    Notice the wording here. If one chooses to refuse to believe in a private revelation such as Fatima, one must do so with 1. Proper modesty, which means one doesn't publically challenge the private revelation or ridicule it before others; 2. For good reasons (not completely arbitrary ones; and 3. without the intention of setting oneself up as a superior: e.g., "I know better than the Holy See."

  3. ..."But I am calling all my children to the greatest fidelity to the Catholic Church; I am instilling in them a love for the Church, zeal for her unity, passion for her holiness, and strength for her work of evangelization. And thus, through those who consecrating themselves to my Immaculate Heart, I am bringing to nothing all the effort which Satan is exerting, in his attempt to draw many of my children away from the ONE AND ONLY CHURCH instituted by my Son Jesus"...
    In other words: "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus" Out of the Church there is no salvation.
    This grand saint canonized by John Paul II, St Maximilian Kolbe, said and wrote before WWII: "The (false) ecumenism is the ennemy of the Immaculata".
    The Immaculata is our Lady, the Mother of Jesus. She knows better than us what the mankind needs.
    The ONLY TRUE and EFFICIENT catholic ecumenism consists in drawing our brothers to the catholic faith and CONVERTING them, not in keeping them enclosed for years in sterile purported "dialogues" that are leading nowhere.
    If not, why would our Blessed Mother have required to consecrate the Russia to Her Immaculate Heart so that Russia will truly CONVERT, not only give up with the communism and the Cold War?
    Sr Lucy added: "This will be a MIRACLE of conversion".
    Where is Russia's conversion right now?? The russian catholic people are still persecuted in a more subtle way in that country, that's the proof that it hasn't yet been converted and therefore the Consecration hasn't yet been done according to the will of our Lady.

  4. Dear Paul,
    Further to your comments about private revelations, I would kindly disagree a bit in the case of the Fatima's apparitions because they differ from almost all private revelations in that our Lady forewarned the kids months before with these words: "On the last month, I will perform a miracle so that ALL MAY BELIEVE." And the miracle happened at the exact moment she predicted, and what a miracle ! Wow ! the sun spinning and dancing in the sky for 10 minutes. Who could deny that it happened since there were about 70000 witnesses? Who could explain it? Nobody.
    Thus are not we obliged to believe
    in the Fatima's apparitions, volens nolens?

  5. Jac, regarding Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, Dr. Germain Grisez provides us with clarification on this teaching:

    "Because the Church is the unique new covenant community, outside her there is no savation, as Lateran IV solemnly teaches: 'There is but one universal Church of the faithful outside which no one at all is saved' (DS 802/430). Vatican II reaffirms this definitive teaching (see LG, 14, AG, 7). But it must be rightly understood. Already in 1863, Pius IX, while absolutely rejecting indifferentism, teaches (as something taken for granted by both himself and the bishops) that those who are ready to submit to God but are separated from the true faith and Catholic unity by invincible ignorance can receive God's grace, live uprightly, and be saved (see Quanto conficiamur moerore, Pii IX Pontificis maximi acta, 3.1 [Rome 1868], 612-614 [DS 2865-67/1677]; PE, 60.6-8). Also, in a 1949 decree approved by Pius XII, the Holy Office rejected a more restrictive interpretation (see DS 3866-73). What is new in Vatican II's teaching is the clarification that, although the one and only Church subsists in the Catholic Church (see LG, 8; UR, 4; DH, 1), she also embraces in various ways all who 'sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do his will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience" (LG, 16; GS, 22)...Thus, it remains true that there is no salvation outside the Church, but it is now recognized that those who are in good faith in not wishing to be inside the Catholic Church are not entirely outside her (see UR, 3; CMP, 30.2)."

  6. Over at "The Fifth Column" Blog, I posted the following comment because Steve Kellmeyer insists that Fatima is not needed.

    "Fatima, in its message and its blessing, is conversion to God. Here in this place we can feel and bear witness to the redemption of humankind through the intercession and help of Our Lady whose foot crushed, and will always crush, the head of the serpent of old" (Pope John Paul II, Greetings during the Marian Vigil at the Shrine of Fatima, May 12, 1991).

    "The evangelical call to repentance and conversion contained in Our Lady of Fatima’s message remains ever relevant. It is even more relevant now than it was 65 years ago. It is now more urgent" (Pope John Paul II, Homily at the Mass in the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13, 1982).

    Pope John Paul II describes the Fatima message as "ever relevant" and "more urgent" than ever before.

    The word "urgent" is defined as, "Compelling or requiring immediate action or attention; imperative; pressing."

    Fatima isn't needed? Not according to Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II!

  7. From the Blue Army (World Apostolate of Fatima):

    Washington, NJ – Laity, experts and relatives of the three Portuguese shepherd children to whom the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917 gathered for the most important Fatima conference in history this past spring. The World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) organized this exclusive conference in Fatima, Portugal for the intentions of: world peace, the salvation of souls, and the strengthening of the Church.
    Fifteen world-renowned Fatima experts delivered speeches and led discussions with less than 200 lay people during the week-long conference at the WAF - owned Domus Pacis Hotel.
    Attendees gained spiritual, historical and familial insights about the Marian apparition of Fatima in accordance with the conference objective: “To further prepare us to help others learn, live and spread Our Lady of Fatima’s message of hope, peace and salvation. To understand the problems we face in the world today and how to solve them in the context of Our Lady of Fatima’s message.”
    “The real message of the conference was a renewal of the call to heed Our Lady’s message of Fatima,” said Fr. Andrew Apostali, C.F.R., conference host and author of Fatima for Today. “Pope Benedict XVI has said that the message of Fatima is by no means over. We are threatened with war. We are threatened with secularism’s sense to suffocate all Christian values and all sense of the presence of God.
    “Our Lady has given us a plan of what we should do,” Apostali continued. “The First Five Saturdays Devotion is the most neglected, but the most essential part of Our Lady’s message.”

    [First Five Saturday devotees go to Confession, receive Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary on the first Saturday of five consecutive months.]

    1. ... in order to do reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

  8. Ellen,
    If Fatima is not needed, the Miracle of the Sun is useless, too.
    If the Miracle of the Sun is useless, the many miracles Jesus performed in his time were useless, too.
    The 5 Saturdays devotion is as important as the Consecration of Russia. Indeed both are narrowly linked because if there are enough people practising that devotion, the Pope will be compelled to perform the Consecration and then the evil times we are currently living in will be postponed by "a certain period of peace".