The ongoing, high level maneuvers of some Vatican bureaucrats engaged in keeping the full Fatima Message from the Catholic Bishops of the world is shown forth by this recent letter.
February 26, 1997
His Eminence Bernadin Cardinal Gantin, Prefect
Palazzo delle Congregazione
Re: Prot. 349/93, dated 26 October 1996
According to the attached letter from the Apostolic Nuncio of Australia, this Congregation recently circulated to the world’s bishops a notice under Prot. No. 349/93, stating that they should not attend a conference sponsored by this organization in Rome Nov. 18-23, 1996, entitled “World Peace and the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. The only reason you gave for this advice is that our conference was “absolutely without approval of ecclesiastical authority.”
It seems reasonable to presume that this Sacred Congregation is familiar with the 1983 Code of Canon Law promulgated by the Holy Father. Thus, we presume that when you sent your notice about our Rome conference to the world’s bishops, you knew that under Church law private associations of the faithful like ours do not require “approval of ecclesiastical authority” to hold conferences to which bishops are invited.
On the contrary, as you know, Church law guarantees the positive natural right of all Christ’s faithful to hold meetings on Church affairs, and to form and conduct private associations for various apostolic works on their own initiative without any ecclesiastical “approval” whatsoever. Obviously, these rights apply to bishops, who are perfectly free to attend private congresses on Church matters. And we, as members of the laity, are free under Church law to communicate our concerns to the sacred pastors and to invite them to our conferences. [1983 Code of Canon Law, cann. 212, 215, 216, 278, 299 and, generally, 208-223]
Indeed, precisely because our apostolate is perfectly within the law of the Church, it has received expressions of support from over 1,500 bishops and more than 60 cardinals and patriarchs. A number of these prelates attended our Rome conference despite your de facto interdiction of our apostolate without due process of canon law.
We eagerly await your answers to these pressing questions. Meanwhile, we are directing a copy of this letter to the world’s bishops to rectify the false impression this Congregation has created regarding our legitimate activities in the Church.
We hope to receive your reply soon. If none is forthcoming, we hope the world's bishops will draw the proper conclusions from your silence.
Respectfully yours in Christ,
National Committee for the National Pilgrim
By: Coralie Graham, Executive Director
Note: This letter was sent to Cardinal Gantin by registered mail over three months ago. As of June 3, 1997, he had not replied to the above respectful questions.