By This Means
On July 13, 1917 Our Lady told the three children that She would return, "to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart." She fulfilled this promise on June 13, 1929, appearing to Sister Lucy and announcing: The moment has now come when God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops of the world, to consecrate Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. The extreme urgency of this request is clear when we consider that Russia cannot be converted any other way, for it is only by this means that Russia can be saved.
Contrary to what people might think or expect, even in the recent past - the bishops, people close to the Pope and even the Popes have not known clearly and explicitly what the command of Our Lady of Fatima to them has been. (We should note here however that Pope John Paul II has indicated in 1984 that he knows of this request and that it has not yet been done.)
This above-mentioned lack of knowledge in the bishops and papal assistants is in large part due to the disinformation campaign that has been spread by certain people who claim to work for Our Lady of Fatima, but really do not present Her Message properly.
A Good Bishop Misled By Misinformation
The following is a recent, very clear example of this. On Friday, November 29, 1985, Bishop Ganaka, president of the Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, was invited to have lunch with the Holy Father in the Vatican with several other bishops that were attending the Synod.
Having attended the International Fatima Rosary Crusade Symposium on November 24, in Vatican City, Bishop Ganaka there learned for the first time of the important request of Our Lady asking for the consecration of Russia.
He was impressed with our presentation and told The Fatima Crusader that he intended to ask the Holy Father to do this. He also wanted to show his support to Pope John Paul II for this project. Now Bishop Ganaka being from Africa is very influential in the Vatican.
Since the Catholic Church is doing so well in Africa these days, the Vatican officials especially respect the views and advice of the African bishops. So we know that the African bishop could have done great good for the Church on November 29, 1985.
Alas! Someone had placed on a table where the bishops were meeting the Pope that day, a magazine carrying the false news about the consecration of Russia being done. It would seem that this story was a result of the 'bogus interview' of May, 1982.
The Fatima Crusader, in Issue No. 20* and again in Issue No. 22** has demonstrated how false the 'bogus interview' of May, 1982 with Sister Lucy is. But again, the disinformation campaign apparently won the day. Seeing this paper, whichever one it was, on the table in the papal apartments, the bishop lost his confidence in speaking to the Pope about this matter. Therefore he did not raise the subject.
in this book. "Disinformation Tactics Against Fatima Exposed"* See page
A Pope Is Misinformed By A Bishop
The following is another example of the disinformation campaign against Our Lady of Fatima. Archbishop Sante Portalupe, who was Papal Nuncio to Portugal, asked Sister Lucy on March 21, 1982 in the name of the Pope, what the Pope must do to obey Our Lady of Fatima.
Sister Lucy explained to the Papal Nuncio that the Pope must choose a date in which he commands the bishops of the whole world to join him in consecrating Russia. That part of the interview was never transmitted to the Pope before his trip to Fatima in 1982.
In May of 1982 at Fatima the Pope consecrated the world, not Russia. He therefore did not fulfill Our Lady's request. Secondly, he did not command the bishops to join him in this act. This lack of obedience by the Pope was because the Pope was misinformed.
This Disinformation Campaign Is Not New
In 1952 a Belgian woman received a pamphlet on the command of Our Lady of Fatima of June 13, 1929. In that pamphlet, the words of Our Lady were reported as: "The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father ... to consecrate Russia to Me. God promises to save it by this means." Unfortunately somebody had removed, in this pamphlet, Our Lady's words which stated, "together with all the bishops".
The Belgian woman thought she had received Our Lady's words without any change. Moved by what she read, the woman was not to be deterred and through her contacts, energy and strong will she was able to reach the Pope.
She got Pope Pius XII to consecrate Russia on July 7, 1952. Not surprisingly, she did not tell him that he had to do it with all the bishops of the world because the words referring to the bishops had been missing from the pamphlet.
Today You Suffer As A Result Of The Pope Being Misinformed
Therefore, His Holiness did not ask the bishops to consecrate Russia with him. As a result we today are all still groaning under the threat of nuclear war and enslavement to Communism. We have now 50 million abortions a year.
Instead of an era of peace we are living through a continual war; a war of Communism against the Church and war on the unborn with 50 million dead victims a year. Indeed we see that Father Caillon rightly labelled the person responsible for editing out that phrase "in union with all the bishops of the world", as criminal.
If we can call a man who murders one person criminal, if we can call people criminal who in the Nazi holocaust were guilty of the deaths of millions of Catholic Polish people and millions of other Christians in their concentration camps; if we rightly call them criminal, must we not call criminal those people who by their deliberate distortion, disinformation or misinformation on the Message of Fatima will cause whole nations to be put to the torch?
For whole nations will be annihilated, wiped off the face of the earth, if the Message of Our Lady of Fatima has not been obeyed and Russia has not been converted in time by means of this consecration.
Truly the word 'criminal' is just, and Father Caillon, speaking at the Symposium, spoke correctly in calling this criminal. We must agree, it is criminal to distort and to not give the words of Our Lady, but rather our own interpretation which is contrary to the clear words of Our Lady of Fatima.
If some Communists had said these things we would know that we could ignore them because they don't believe in Fatima. But when a person who professes to be Catholic and furthermore professes to be an Apostle of Our Lady of Fatima for many years deliberately distorts the Message of Our Lady then this is truly criminal and doubly so.
It must be stopped, by our prayers and by disseminating the truth. With the help of God and with your help, we shall stop it before it is too late.
We Must Publish The Truth To The World
By the above three examples not only do we see the importance of reporting the words of Our Lady clearly and without distortion, but we also see the importance of publishing the words to the public. Remember, it was not the Curia officials around Pope Pius XII who got the Pope to consecrate Russia in 1952. It was due to a lay woman who picked up a pamphlet that had been published to the general public that got word through to the Pope to tell him of this request of Our Lady of Fatima.
According to Father Caillon, there are still people around Pope John Paul II who are misinformed as to what the requests of Our Lady of Fatima are. In the light of past experience as well as the present misinformation campaign, it is important, therefore, that the full and exact Message of Our Lady of Fatima be given to the general public.
Jesus Wants You To Know
Let us remember that Pope John Paul II has said at Fatima, "The Message of Fatima is addressed to every human being." Next let us recall that God wants His whole Church to acknowledge the consecration of Russia as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
How can this desire of Jesus be realized? How will His whole Church know that the conversion of Russia is a result of the consecration of Russia by the Pope and the bishops to Mary's Immaculate Heart? It is obvious that the Church must be told before the conversion of Russia takes place that it is only "by this means" that Russia is converted. In other words it is part of Jesus' plans for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart - that His command to the Pope and the bishops be widely broadcast before the command is obeyed.
Therefore, when this predicted conversion of Russia takes place, it will be clearly seen by all Catholics to have been a result of this act of obedience by the Pope and the bishops that Russia is converted. It must not be attributed to Cardinal Casaroli's Vatican-Moscow Agreement, (The actual agreement was the work of Cardinal Tisserant and Archbishop Willebrands. The Ostpolitik of Cardinal Casaroli however adheres to the Vatican-Moscow Agreement.) nor attributed to the false reasoning of some pious people who claim that it is by their prayers that Russia is converted.
Conversion Of Russia Only "By This Means"
The conversion of Russia is purely an act of Grace gratuitously given despite our merits and our prayers. We don't deserve it but God will give it through the merits of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, not through our own merits. And God wants it to be seen clearly then, that when the conversion of Russia and peace is given to the world, it is not through any merits of our own, not through any human policies, practices, etc., but only by means of this act of consecration which gives full credit to the merits and intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Therefore, it is important for the public, especially members of Christ's Church, the Catholics, to be informed before the consecration takes place that it is only "by this means" that Russia is converted.
They must know it is "by this means" that peace is given to the world. They must know that it is not anything else which has caused world peace and the conversion of Russia. Therefore, it is important for the truth of this matter to be published NOW.
It was through publishing about it in the past that the Pope came as close as he did on July 7, 1952, to consecrating Russia. But due to the misinformation fed to the chosen layperson, that is, due to the 'criminal' negligence of that leaflet publisher who did not publish the whole truth, Pope Pius XII did not make the Collegial Consecration as commanded by God. And we, as a result of that publisher's negligence, remain in the mess that we are in today.
From the bad example of those who misinformed the Pope in 1952, and again in 1982, as well as those who misinformed Bishop Ganaka in 1985, we can see clearly the necessity for ensuring that the whole truth be published, not only in private letters intended only for bishops' eyes but also in magazines, newspapers, and pamphlets, etc., intended for reception by the general public. If the publisher of that pamphlet in 1952 had only published the whole sentence of Our Lady - what a difference we would have today.
Communist Russia Kept In Power By Disinformation
Today close to half the world's population is subjected to Russia because of disinformation, misinformation, given out in 1952. Russia continues to spread its errors, continues to hold in subjection over one billion, 500 million people. If the Pope and the bishops were clearly informed and if the objections and false reasonings against Fatima were clearly exposed, then we are certain the Pope would do it.
If the Pope and the bishops would not do it out of a sense of duty, they at least would certainly do it to please the Catholic public. Just as the woman in the parable of the unjust judge did not cease asking for justice even though the judge feared neither God nor man, but she eventually received justice due to her perseverance.
Similarly, the lay people if they only knew that they are being denied fundamental justice by the lack of obedience of the Pope and the bishops, would without doubt persist in asking the Pope and the bishops to obey, and would eventually obtain their request.
We Must Insistently Ask
We have a right to ask the Pope and the bishops to fulfill their duty. And it is their duty. It is not just a pious exercise. They are obliged as we have demonstrated in The Fatima Crusader, to obey this command of Our Lady of Fatima. They are obliged, and we have a right and in fact an obligation to insist that they fulfill their duty.
For example, when a lawyer takes on a client, he cannot accept a client and then not defend his cause. A few years ago a lawyer was hired and his advice and presence were needed, not in court but in another situation. On a Saturday, this lawyer had already prescheduled a golf game. It was to him a very important golf game but the client was perfectly within his rights to tell his lawyer, "You are my lawyer and this is, so to speak, my day in court and you have an obligation to be present. I am not interested in whether or not you are going to have your golf game." The lawyer realized his obligation and took care of his client first.
Similarly, a doctor, when he accepts a patient, has an obligation to try to heal that patient. By the very acceptance of that patient, he has undertaken the duty of trying to cure and trying to help that patient in whatever moral way he can give him help. And so if a doctor says, "Well, I'm too busy today," we would say that if the patient needs his help and would die otherwise, that doctor is being criminally negligent, for he is not fulfilling his duty.
Bishops Have Accepted This Responsibility
And so, before a man becomes a Pope, or before a man becomes a bishop, he is asked if he accepts the position. He is not just made a bishop, he accepts the office of Pope or bishop. He thereby accepts the responsibilities to each one of us that go with the position he has undertaken. He then has a duty not only to God but also to each one of us - namely to help us save our souls.
To do his duty to God and to us and to do his duty to the common good which includes doing what he can to bring about peace in the world, he is bound to obey the command to consecrate Russia. Now God has given it into the Pope's hands and into the bishops' hands to give peace to the world to avoid the annihilation of nations, if they will obey this command of His to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary before it is too late.
They, therefore, have an obligation to us, they have an obligation to the common good, they have an obligation to the Blessed Virgin and to God Himself to obey this command. We have a right to insist that they fulfill their duty towards us. God can insist with them that they fulfill their duty towards Him. We have a right to ask them respectfully and insist that they do their duty and obey the command of Our Lady of Fatima before it is too late for all of us.
Our Souls Endangered
Not only our lives, not only our freedom, not only are our homes and our families endangered, but even our eternal salvation is endangered. This danger exists as long as this act of obedience is not fulfilled by the Pope and the bishops. It will be much harder to save our souls under a Communist regime when the whole world is enslaved by Communism. We will have no place to run to or turn to for help except to God. When the Communists arrive here we will be asked to deny Christ, to accept the reign of the Communist party or its successor, the anti-Christ. We will find ourselves either becoming great Saints, heroic martyrs, or we will be giving up our Faith and denying Christ and very possibly dying in that state and going to hell for all eternity for that sin.
And so it is not just for the motive of saving our temporal well-being. It is not just our freedom that is at stake. It is not just avoiding the pains of dying or suffering hardships and tortures in Communist prisons and psychiatric wards that we are concerned about. It is much more! It is spiritual death for all eternity in hell that is at stake. That is why it is so urgent that this command given through Our Lady of Fatima be obeyed.
Most Important Intervention
This command was given by the Most Holy Trinity Itself to the Pope and the bishops in that solemn vision of June 13, 1929. The Message of Our Lady of Fatima and the command for the consecration of Russia is the most important intervention in human history since Christ walked on the face of the earth.
In 1951 an Encyclical of Pope Pius XII said that the world today is worse now than before the flood. Today with 50 million babies murdered by abortion each year with the support of the government and by the tacit approval of the silent majority, the world is indeed much worse. Their innocent blood cries to Heaven for vengeance.
Truly the world deserves chastisement. Nevertheless, God would grant the conversion of Russia and world peace to us today if we obtained the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the manner commanded through Our Lady of Fatima. Those who despise this request by ignoring it, or even worse, by obstructing it, are made more guilty and therefore more deserving of punishment than their other sins have already merited for them.
A question we are sometimes asked is: "Why do you seem to put all the onus for the Collegial Consecration on the bishops? These people seem to think that if the laity do their job, the bishops will do their own." We respond as follows:
The Fatima Crusader has already published and continues to publish that there are requests of Our Lady of Fatima directed to everybody - laypeople, priests and bishops. Our Lady requested of all of us to pray the Rosary every day, to wear the scapular of Mount Carmel, to make sacrifices by doing our daily duty, to consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart, and to practice First Saturday devotions.
Besides these requests there is also the very special and specific request that Our Lady directed precisely to the Pope and the bishops, namely that they on the same day consecrate specifically Russia to Her Immaculate Heart in a solemn and public way. They alone are commanded to do this since they are the only ones empowered by God to make such a public act of reparation and to solemnly and publicly consecrate a nation to God.
There is a tendency on the part of some lay people to say: "Let the bishops do their job, we don't have to do anything." Alternately, some bishops may say, "Let the lay people obey Our Lady, we need not do anything." The fact is that both are necessary.
In response to such reasoning the magazine Christ to the World, July-August 1983, page 189, published with the approval of the Vicariate of Rome, points out: "The question of whether or not the collegial consecration of Russia should be preceded by a sufficient number of personal consecrations should not be made an excuse by either the Faithful or the bishops to postpone obedience to Mary, their common Mother and Queen."
Jesus Wants It Publicized
Our Lord Himself has spoken about His bishops' obligations to obey and that they have chosen not to obey Him in this matter, and He has stated they will suffer very serious consequences in delaying this obedience. Furthermore, we know that Jesus wants His whole Church to know of the command to the Pope and the bishops.
We know this because in answer to Sister Lucy's question why He would not convert Russia without the Pope and the bishops consecrating Russia in the manner specified, Jesus said, "Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
How are the lay people to know that the conversion of Russia is the result of the consecration of Russia if the promises and conditions given by Jesus are not known before the fact takes place? That is why it must be widely published that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have given this command to the Pope and bishops which was solemnly transmitted through Our Lady to Sister Lucy on June 13, 1929.
General Public Does Not Know This Urgent Necessity
Those in the work of propagating the Message of Fatima who deliberately conceal from the bishops and the Pope this very simple and most important fact about the consecration of Russia, in effect are despising this command of God. If the consecration of Russia as commanded by Our Lady of Fatima is not done in time, then Our Lady has told us very clearly: "Various nations will be annihilated."
Those who know that the existence of various nations and the salvation of many souls hangs in the balance, and yet deliberately obstruct this consecration are guilty of a very serious crime against humanity.
Many bishops to this day do not know about the urgent necessity to consecrate Russia immediately. They do not know:
(1) That world peace and the literal existence of various nations depends on it.
(2) That millions will die if it is delayed much longer.
(3) That the salvation of many souls depends on it.
(4) That we here in the "free" world will be overcome and enslaved by Communist Russia if it is not done in time.
The Pope Needs Truth Published Widely
The Pope needs the cooperation and support of the bishops in order to obey Our Lady of Fatima. But as long as the bishops are lied to or misinformed about the consecration of Russia, they will not support the Pope. They will not even know the Pope needs it.
Furthermore, the bishops in turn need to be encouraged and supported by the laity and by their priests to carry out this command. But how can this be done if the people and priests are misled into thinking that it is already done - or that it is not essential?
Thus, those who tell such untruths thereby misleading the bishops, lay people and priests, even if they are sincere in their mistake, still obstruct world peace and the saving of millions and millions of lives and souls.
If they tell these lies knowingly then indeed they must be guilty of a great crime against humanity. This is because by their silence and by their connivance they have not let the people and the bishops know what is the command of God, thereby causing the annihilation of nations.
A Difficulty Raised By Some
Another difficulty raised by some is as follows: We should not be putting political pressure on the bishops to force them to make this act of consecration.
We have explained that the laity do have rights, and all members of the Catholic Church have the right and sometimes even the obligation (See Vatican II LG No. 37) to petition the Holy Father in matters pertaining to ecclesiastical jurisdiction. It is solemnly defined by the Second Council of Lyons, as well as the First Vatican Council, that each member of the Catholic Church has the right to seek a ruling from the Holy Father regarding matters pertaining to Church jurisdiction. And certainly Fatima is such a matter.
As the 5th Lateran Council tells us, the Pope is the judge with regard to prophetic revelations. Now the Message of Fatima is a prophetic revelation approved by the Pope and the Church. It states clearly that peace will only be given to the world when the Pope and the bishops obey the Command of God.
The Duty Of Pope, Bishops And Us
Therefore the Pope and the bishops have a duty to God and a duty to all of us to obey promptly. As long as they delay, we are in danger of losing our lives, our freedom and more importantly, our souls through religious persecution, under the heel of Russian Communist domination.
Since this is their duty, we have a right to ask the Pope to command the bishops. If we have the right, we have the duty to use that right, at least those of us who are informed and know these facts. We exercise this right by respectfully bringing these matters to the attention of the Holy Father. Nothing could be more important for him to attend to than obeying Our Lady of Fatima exactly in consecrating Russia.
The present Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, would like nothing better than to fulfill this command of God, given through Our Lady of Fatima. It is only because of the tremendous pressure exerted by Soviet Russia as well as by pressure from some within the Church that he has not yet commanded the bishops. If he knew that he had the unqualified support of Catholics he would not hesitate in giving this command.
It is our duty to help him by publishing the truth about this message of Our Lady of Fatima, by answering objections, by circulating petitions and by bringing these petitions by the millions to the Holy Father through channels that we can trust. This, The Fatima Crusader has been doing and will continue to do.
Tragic Consequences Of Further Delay
Without any doubt, the Fatima Message as is published in Sister Lucy's memoirs and letters, and in other undisputed sources, states clearly that Russia must be consecrated by the Pope and the bishops before Russia is converted and peace given to the world.
The consequence of this delay is that many souls are lost for all eternity. Already in a letter of July 15, 1940, Sister Lucy had said the same thing: "I am really sorry that it (the consecration of Russia) was not done. In the meantime so many souls are being lost!" Our Lady of Fatima said, "If My requests are granted many souls will be saved."
Pure and simple logic compels us to say that either this solemn command given to the Pope and the bishops was given by God through Our Lady of Fatima on June 13, 1929, or it was not. If the command was given then they must obey.
Furthermore, simple logic forces us to acknowledge that God has told us through the Fatima Message, that the peace of the world and continued existence of various nations is dependent upon the obedience of the Pope and the bishops to this command, or it isn't.
Our Lady's Words Are Clear
The meaning of Our Lady's words is clear, namely, that if this command to consecrate Russia is not obeyed in time, various nations will be ANNIHILATED, that is, wiped off the face of the earth. The Church has approved the Fatima Message, and is therefore bound to obey it. That means that the Pope and the bishops are also gravely bound to obey the command given to them. This is the obvious meaning of Our Lady's words and it is the conclusion of various Fatima scholars.
If these conclusions are not true, if the Message of Fatima teaches something contrary to these conclusions, we have a right to know by a public, official, magisterial ruling from the Pope. In other words, if this is not the proper interpretation of the Message, we have a right to a ruling from the Pope.
Unique Position Of Pope
The Pope cannot not be responsible. By the very nature of the Church as founded by Jesus Christ, the Pope, after God, has supreme authority, and therefore he also has supreme responsibility.
This responsibility binds him to command the bishops, since the good of the whole Church is at stake, and he is the only one who has this power from God to apply the healing remedy. We therefore have the right and even the obligation to ask the Pope to do his duty to command the bishops to consecrate Russia.
The Pope Is Like A Doctor
When you go to a doctor you have a right to ask him to do his best to make you well and save your life. He is personally responsible for the professional work that he does for you, whether it be advice, or a prescription, or surgery.
If the doctor has diagnosed the illness and knows the cure, and is able to apply the remedy, he is duty bound to give the remedy needed. This is clear. Similarly the Pope, by approving the Fatima Message, has diagnosed the illness of the world and knows its cure - which is to consecrate Russia. The Pope, like the doctor, when he has it in his power, is bound to give us the cure which is to command the bishops to join him in consecrating Russia in the manner specified by Our Lady of Fatima.
You have a right to expect that your lawyer will counsel advice and represent you according to the law of God and your best interests. If your lawyer does not have your interests at heart he must not accept the responsibility of representing you.
Priest Obligated To Parishioners
Similarly the parish priest is responsible not only to God but also to the souls who have been entrusted to him. It is a strict obligation in justice for him to help them save their souls. Thus, for example, a parish priest cannot refuse the sacraments to a member of his parish who reasonably asks for them. To do so would be a gross dereliction of duty.
Although the priest has a higher position than the lay people, the laity nevertheless have a right given to them by God to receive from their parish priest both true Doctrine and the Sacraments because both are necessary to save their souls. The same is true for the bishop and for that matter the Pope as well.
Bishops Assume Responsibility
To illustrate this further let us consider that when a doctor (or a lawyer) accepts a person as a client he automatically assumes personal responsibility of taking care of his client's interests. So too, when a priest accepts the job of parish priest, he assumes personal responsibility towards all his parishioners to do all his duties so that the souls entrusted to him will be saved.
Similarly when a bishop accepts charge of a diocese and when a bishop accepts to be Pope - he too assumes personal responsibility, not only to God but also he accepts personal responsibility to each and every soul entrusted to his care that he will do his duty towards them.
As we have pointed out many times in The Fatima Crusader, the Pope and the bishops must obey this command of God to solemnly and publicly on the same day consecrate specifically Russia to the Immaculate Heart. It is their grave duty to obey God in this matter. Furthermore, it is not only their duty to God but also it is their duty to each one of us to consecrate Russia.
We Must Ask Them
That being the case, we have a right to ask for this respectfully and even to use the means in our power to constrain them if possible into doing their duty.
In doing this we must be careful not to overstep the limits of the rights given to us by God. We cannot command the bishops. We cannot command the Pope. We cannot sit in a court of civil or ecclesiastical law and judge them as if we were their superiors, but we can use the means and the rights that God has given us and which he expects us to use if circumstances warrant it.
The Church is the patrimony of all its members. We have different roles to play but all have a responsibility for the Church. It does not belong to this writer or you or the parish priest or the bishop or the Pope. It is God's. The Church has been entrusted to us to safeguard.
This is especially true of all of us who have received the Holy Ghost by the great Sacrament of Confirmation. We are called upon to be soldiers for Christ.
Obligation To Publish Fatima Command
As Sacred Scripture tells us, some are apostles, others preachers, others prophets, etc. and others are lay people. But all are responsible for the well-being of the Church. All are bound to uphold the common good by speaking the truth, publishing it and defending it according to our ability and opportunity. Publishing the truth is not the exclusive responsibility of any one group in the Church but of all of us.
It is not then just out of self-interest that we proclaim the Message of Fatima in its fullness. It is to save the Church that we do so. You too have an obligation to support our efforts and to multiply them by passing on this most urgent news now before it is too late for millions of souls.
Laity Have God-Given Means
Cardinal Gagnon stated clearly in a public interview published in the Wanderer in September of 1983 that lay people have it in their power to force the bishops and priests to obey the Pope. What are these means lay people have? He recommends openly and explicitly that the lay people are to refrain from contributing in the collection basket on Sunday to those bishops and priests who do not obey the Pope in such a matter as, for example, First Confession before First Communion.
If Cardinal Gagnon can tell us to force the bishops to obey the Pope by refraining to contribute to the support of the bishops until they obey (just as you would not pay your lawyer if he does not represent you properly) so you have it in your power to withdraw material support from your bishops when they do not do their job.
That is a tool that God has given to the laity. It is not a tool of jurisdiction, that is, we cannot command them to do something, but we can withdraw our material support if they don't do their duty.
We Must Use All The Means
Therefore, it seems reasonable that since our freedom, our peace, our children, our property ... will all be taken away from us should we be put under Communist rule, endangering the salvation of our souls, certainly we have a right and even an obligation to use the means that God has given us in order to cause the bishops to consecrate Russia. If Russia is not consecrated in time, the Message of Fatima states clearly and explicitly that indeed Russia will conquer us all.
Of course we must also pray for the bishops and in the course of our own lives we must obey Our Lady of Fatima and spread the Message as it pertains to all our friends and neighbors. But doing these things does not exclude our responsibility given to us to do what we can to see that the bishops do their duty in consecrating Russia. There is nothing more important for the salvation of souls, peace of the world, and survival of various nations, than that the Pope and the bishops obey this command of God immediately.
Priests Are Members Of Hierarchy
To those who do not know that priests are members of the hierarchy, we remind them that priests have received what the liturgical books call the second rank of the priesthood, implying that there is a first rank which is that of the bishop.
By second rank, priests are also members of the hierarchy. Although the jurisdiction of a priest is in some things dependent on that of his bishop, it is nevertheless true that priests have a hierarchical role within the Catholic Church which cannot be swallowed up either by the bishops or by the laity.
The priest is personally responsible to God as well as to the people he serves for the sacraments which he personally administers and what he teaches.
For example, Padre Pio refused to comply when he was asked by his religious superior to whom he was always obedient, to stop hearing Confessions of his regular penitents every week in order to hear them only every second week. The Superior had a good reason, namely, to relieve those penitents who had come from overseas and sometimes waited up to 17 days before going to Padre Pio for Confession.
The Superior thought that by lessening Padre Pio's Confessions with the regular local penitents that the waiting period of the overseas people would be somewhat lessened. Certainly it was inspired by charity. But Padre Pio, obedient though he was, rejected this suggestion. He did so because he was personally responsible for the sanctification and salvation of the souls of his regular penitents. They had a right to have their Confessions heard by him once a week. Thus Padre Pio, out of obedience to God and to fulfill his duty to his regular penitents had to refuse his Superior.
Similarly, when Saint Pius X was a parish priest, he was commanded by his bishop to stop preaching on a certain subject. He asked respectfully for the bishop to put his order in writing. Canon law provided then and natural law provides that every superior be willing to take personal responsibility for every order that he gives. To insure accountability the subject has a right for the matter to become a matter of public record.
Thus Pius X asked his bishop to give his order in writing, so that should the parish priest be asked, or even wish to let it be known, he could point to the signed document of the bishop. The bishop, not wishing to take personal responsibility for the order refused to give a written order to his inferior. So the parish priest, Father Joseph Sarto, (who later became Saint Pius X), answered him and said, "Very well, I will continue preaching what I have been preaching." And he did so.
Priests Must Loudly Proclaim The Truth
All of the Catholic faithful and even more so, all Catholic priests, have an obligation to the common good by speaking and by exhorting their fellow Catholics to live according to the truth of God. No one, not even a bishop, has the right to obstruct the truth about what God expects of individuals or even members of the hierarchy from being known.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He has not given jurisdiction to any member of the hierarchy to obstruct the truth from becoming known, especially if this truth be useful and necessary for salvation. Now since God has gone to such trouble, so to speak, and has worked wonders of grace and tremendous miracles to make known the Fatima requests, certainly He wants us to make known the whole truth to all mankind.
No Permission Needed To Proclaim Fatima Message
According to the A.A.S. (1966), Pope Paul VI in a document dated November 15, 1966, decreed that we are no longer prohibited by Canon Law from publishing the Fatima Message without an endorsement of a bishop.
So it is not necessary that there be a bishop who publicly endorses the Message of Fatima. It has already been endorsed by five Popes. For you to tell the Message of Fatima to your neighbor, you do not need an explicit letter or document endorsing your personal apostolate of speaking about Fatima, and passing on this Message in written form.
It is more important that we tell the truth of the Message of Our Lady of Fatima than to have the worthless endorsement of some members of the hierarchy who, through ignorance or weakness (or malice) pervert the Message of Fatima.
A few years ago there was a bishop who suggested in print in another magazine that Our Lady did not really want us to pray in public for the conversion of Russia. Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie told us that there is yet another bishop who goes around the world saying that the consecration has been done, when it is evident that it has not been.
As a result of his misinformation and deceiving the people (whether deliberately or not) the consecration of Russia according to the command of Our Lady and The Most Holy Trinity has been set back.
We prefer not to have the endorsement of bishops like the above two examples. We think the truth is more important.