Reprinted with permission from The Fatima Crusader Issue 53.
Third Fatima Conference
Questions and Answers
“The Message of Fatima is ...
... His Holiness Pope John Paul II
May 12, 1982, Fatima, Portugal
The Fatima Crusader Magazine has extended an invitation to the world’s bishops to attend the Third Fatima Conference in Rome — as our guests and without expense to themselves or their dioceses. Priests and laity will also be attending.
At this conference, a large number of the faithful will gather to consider the Message of Our Lady of Fatima, especially as it concerns Her Peace Plan for the world: the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, as She requested at Fatima.
The Third Fatima Conference Rome 1996
The Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart is a subject of intense controversy in the Church today. There are those who insist that it was accomplished in 1984, when the Holy Father consecrated the world, but not Russia specifically, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We believe that world events since 1984 should demonstrate to any objective Catholic that the Consecration has not occurred; that Russia is not converting. Far from it! That is why the Third Fatima Conference is taking place.
Here we answer some questions about the Third Fatima Conference, in the hope of counteracting the efforts of those who seem determined to prevent any public discussion of the full Fatima Message, and most especially the need for the Consecration of Russia:
Q Does a bishop, priest or member of the lay faithful require “authorization” or “permission of ecclesiastical authority” to attend a private congress of the faithful to promote the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
A NO! Under canon law all the Christian faithful (including priests and bishops) “… are free to make known their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires to the pastors of the Church.” — including, of course, the Pope. [Canon 212 (2)] They also have “the right ... to make their views known to others of Christ’s faithful …” [Canon 212(3)]
What is more, all of the faithful “have the right, indeed at times the duty . . . to manifest to the sacred Pastors (including the Pope, as Supreme Pastor) their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.” [Canon 212 (3)]
Thus, absolutely no “authorization” or “permission of ecclesiastical authority” is required for the faithful, including their bishops, to gather together at a private conference on Fatima, or to communicate the results of that conference to the pastors of the Church, including the Pope.
In short your right to attend gatherings like the Third Fatima Conference is guaranteed to you by the law of the Church.
Q Does the Fatima Crusader apostolate need “authorization” or “permission of ecclesiastical authority” to conduct the Third Fatima Conference?
A “Christ’s faithful may freely establish and direct associations which serve Charitable or pious purposes … and they may hold meetings to pursue these purposes by common effort.” (Canon 215)
In keeping with their right, and duty, to express their views on Church affairs to the sacred pastors, including the Pope, the Christian faithful also have “the right to promote and support apostolic action by their own initiative.” [Canon 216]
In pursuing “their own initiative” for apostolic work, all the members of the Church are “free, by means of private agreement made among themselves, to establish associations...” [Canon 299] The formal recognition of such private associations by ecclesiastical authority is purely optional; such recognition need not be sought, and is not necessary for the existence of the private association or the conduct of its activities. [Canon 299(3)]
Thus, the Fatima Crusader apostolate needs no authorization or permission of ecclesiastical authority whatsoever to stage the Third Fatima Conference or to invite the bishops of the world to attend it.
Q Is Father Nicholas Gruner, the head of the Fatima Crusader apostolate, a priest in good standing?
A YES! Certain members of the hierarchy and the Catholic press who oppose Father Gruner’s work have accused him of being “without faculties”, and have claimed that he is “not a priest in good standing with the Church.” This is an old lie, constantly employed in an effort to discredit Father Gruner without ever discussing the merits of his apostolic work, which no Church authority has ever forbidden him to conduct.
The simple truth of the matter is this: Father Nicholas Gruner has been a priest in good standing continuously since his ordination in Italy in 1976. He has never been suspended front the priesthood or subjected to any other canonical penalty whatsoever.
It is also true that since 1994 Father Gruner has been contesting through the legitimate canonical channels an unjust order to return to the Diocese of Avellino, Italy after an approved absence of sixteen years, during which time he built up a worldwide Marian apostolate with the full knowledge and toleration of three successive bishops of Avellino. It must be noted that never in those sixteen years did any of these bishops forbid Father Gruner to engage in his apostolic work as head of the Fatima Crusader apostolate.
In fact, the only basis for the order to return to Avellino after an approved absence of sixteen years is Father Gruner’s alleged “failure” to become incardinated in another diocese. But Father Gruner has obtained at least three offers of incardination in other dioceses, including a formal decree of incardination from a holy and kindly Archbishop who believes that Father Gruner is “a chosen vessel of election for propagating the devotion to our Blessed Mother and proclaiming the Message of Fatima to the four corners of the world.”
Every time a benevolent bishop offers incardination to Father Gruner, the incardination is blocked by certain Vatican bureaucrats. These same bureaucrats now cite Father’s “failure” to be incardinated as grounds for recalling him to Avellino, where he is apparently expected to remain in exile until death.
Of course Father Gruner has every right — indeed, the duty — to contest this cynical attempt to destroy a worldwide Marian apostolate by subjecting him to virtual life imprisonment in a foreign diocese which has absolutely no need of his services. Father Gruner will take every recourse available to him under the law of the Church, including an appeal to the Holy Father himself. And while that canonical process continues, Father Gruner remains a priest in good standing, protected by canon law from the operation of any penalty against him. [Canons 1353, 1638, 1734]
Thus, anyone who says that the Third Fatima Conference in Rome should be avoided because Father Gruner has “no faculties” or is “not a priest in good standing” is guilty of calumny against him.
Q Why is it important to attend the Third Fatima Conference in Rome?
A Because it is becoming clearer with each passing day that failure to heed the full Fatima Message has brought the world to the brink of an apocalypse.
As Sister Lucy, the only surviving Fatima seer, told Father Fuentes:
“Many times the Blessed Virgin told me and my cousins Jacinta and Francisco that Russia is the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation.”
Consider the words of Our Lady at Fatima, approved as authentic and worthy of belief by the Church, and acknowledged as such by every Pope since the Fatima apparitions took place:
“If people heed My commands, Russia will be converted and the world will have peace … If not, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer. Various nations will be annihilated.”
“The moment has 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.”
“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me and she will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
The words of Our Lady could not be clearer: If Russia is consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart, Russia will convert, peace will be granted to the world and Her Immaculate Heart will triumph. If not, global disaster will ensue.
Are we seeing today the conversion of Russia and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart? Hardly. Consider the following:
The great “Russian Bear” is emerging from its seeming hibernation over the past few years. Still armed to the teeth, Russia cheats on disarmament treaties while America obediently dismantles her defenses.
The Russian military is constructing a huge command center deep inside Kovinsky Mountain with U.S. financial assistance, and Russian military authorities refuse to disclose its purpose.
Even liberal secular newspapers like the NY Times have warned that, as seen in the recent Russian Presidential election, Russia could soon relapse into overt totalitarianism, and that Russian nationalism may erupt into the forcible reintegration of the former Soviet republics, which have never really escaped Russian domination.
Far from converting, Russian society is a growing cesspool of abortion, contraception, divorce, alcoholism, and crime. Like our own society, Russia shows absolutely no signs of repentance and conversion to Christ, but only an ever-accelerating decline into total depravity.
As the years go by, the claim that the Consecration of Russia has been effected and that Russia is converting becomes harder and harder to sustain against reality. It is clear that the conversion of Russia is simply not occurring because the consecration of Russia — Russia! — to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope, in union with all of the world’s bishops, has not been done as Our Lady requested at Fatima.
Can we not see that our time is nearly at an end? While the Russian bear rumbles in the East and prepares for new conquests, euthanasia and homosexual marriages have been promoted in our country; and our President refuses to sign a law which would prohibit the brutal murder of newborn babies by “partial birth” abortion. What society in the history of the world has ever recovered from such abysmal moral depravity? How long will we go on ignoring Our Lady’s warning about the consequences of failing to perform the consecration as She requested:
“The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.”
Now, with greater urgency than ever, we must petition our Holy Father to step through the phalanx of Vatican bureaucrats which surrounds him and do precisely what Our Lady requested at Fatima — in an apparition the Church has declared authentic and worthy of belief, an apparition confirmed with a miracle witnessed by 70,000 people.
Our Third Fatima Peace Conference: Rome
The Fatima Crusader has invited the world’s bishops, priests and faithful to assemble for five days of prayer and discussion about the urgent need to accomplish the Consecration of Russia — now, while there is still time.
With good reason is the conference being held in Rome: By gathering in Rome, we pray the Holy Father will hear our petitions without “filtering” by a few Vatican bureaucrats who have labored constantly to block the carrying out of the Peace Plan of Our Lady of Fatima.
We expect that it will be opposed by the same Vatican bureaucrats who attempted to undermine the previous two conferences by advising the world’s bishops that the conferences were not “authorized by ecclesiastical authority.” “Authorized” by which authority, exactly? They never said. Nor could they say, because no such “authorization” is required, as we have shown.
And so, when the bishops receive our invitation to attend our Third Fatima Peace Conference in Rome, we pray they will not be dissuaded from attending by the furious campaign of disinformation which seems to arise against any effort by the faithful to remind the world of the need to fulfill Our Lady’s requests at Fatima. Now more than ever.
Note: This article was published in pamphlet form in six languages and sent to every Catholic bishop of the world. No one ever objected to its contents.