(former private secretary to Cardinal Stickler)
Having lived and worked in Rome for 15 years, knowing at least 30 persons involved personally, and as a personal witness to the persecution of Fathers Gruner, Kramer, et al., I can only confirm the truthfulness and accuracy of the facts presented in Francis Alban s book, Fatima Priest.
It is shocking to see how "The Church of the New Advent" (cf. Redemptor Hominis) bothers, harasses, cheats, and persecutes only and especially those who are among the few to remain faithful to the entire Teaching of the Church, and the requests of Our Lady. This book is an absolute must for those who still believe that the Conciliar Church is really Catholic.
Is Father Gruner a prophet or a madman? Born in 1942, his biography has appeared 55 years later. There has been time to assess him. Casual knowledge of Father Gruner is often vague, mistaken, and unfavorable. He is "that priest whoís always talking about Fatima, always asking for money, ... Heís in disobedience ... His work is not authorized ... Heís a maverick." But St. Thomas Aquinas has written: "God sends prophets to every generation, not to give a new doctrine, but to remind the faithful what they must do to save their souls"(p.276).
Writer Francis Alban has assembled the facts on the life of this most unusual priest. Ordained in 1976, in Avellino, Italy, and receiving his bishopís permission to work on Marian devotion in Canada, he returned to Canada, and was invited in 1978 to help in Ottawa with the work of the National Committee for the National Pilgrim Virgin of Canada, that is, Our Lady of Fatima. Named its Executive Director, Father Gruner made it grow enormously as the Fatima Crusader Apostolate (now headquartered in Fort Erie, Ontario), with a regular magazine, radio and TV programs, Website and other outreaches, including an orphanage and medical center in India and food for children in Brazil.
Having long pondered the Message of Fatima and the grave collapse of Catholic piety and faith and discipline after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Father Gruner became convinced that the Consecration of Russia (by name) by the Pope simultaneously with every Catholic diocesan bishop around the world, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, was the key to the Conversion of Russia and world peace. This theme runs tirelessly through the book; at times tediously. But Alban makes his case well, with all relevant documents and ample citations from Father Grunerís own words. These tell us lucidly that the eternal salvation of millions, even hundreds of millions, is depending on this consecration conversion. To resist it or ignore it is a grave sin, especially for the Pope and his bishops, unless they have serious reasons for delaying.
What might these reasons be? The principal one seems to be the secretly begun "Ostpolitik" of the Vatican. This is the agreement between the Vatican and Moscow just before Vatican II opened (1962). Russia would send Orthodox Church observers to the council if the Vatican agreed not to condemn communism at the Council. This "friendly" policy of the Vatican toward Eastern (communist) Europe has persisted. In 1993, after the apparent collapse of communism in the East ("ost") there was a danger that oriental Catholics would demand the restoration of their churches and Catholic faith throughout the Soviet empire. Having been forced into the Orthodox Church decades earlier, and thus having become a puppet of the communist authorities, there was every reason for the Catholic Church to welcome such Catholic restoration. But ostpolitik friendliness prevailed and a new and shocking Vatican-Orthodox agreement in 1993 was achieved in Balamand (Lebanon) whereby the Vatican would agree, for unityís sake, that there be "no question of conversion of people from one church to the other" (section 15). This meant preventing the return of Catholic Christians to the Catholic faith, and, for Father Gruner, means obstructing the "conversion of Russia," and insulting the expressed wish of Our Lady of Fatima through Sister Lucy (the surviving seer).
But why this opposition to Fatima, to Our Lady, to Her message? To read Alban is to conclude that dreams of a new age, of "one world religion," of so-called ecumenism, of unity-in-diversity, of collaboration with Masonry for a New World Order, all these are dominating the thinking of key Vatican bureaucrats and many Catholic bishops in the presence of an ongoing and frail Pope.
Of course this reveals gradual apostasy in the Church, starting from the time of Pope John XXIII and Paul VI, with roots in the modernism at turn-of-the-century. This also means spiritual collapse of the Catholic Church. This writer has long suspected that this collapse is spelled out in the Third Secret of Fatima, as well perhaps as horrifying chastisements. It is easy then to conclude that the Popes declined to reveal the Secret because the people would ask, "if you knew this collapse would happen, why did you not take the required spiritual measures to prevent it?", and also because even panic might set in, or despair, or - as Alban reports - against the Western Allies.
The extraordinary, sustained, and vicious opposition to Father Grunerís crusade for the Consecration of Russia is recounted and documented by Alban in great detail. The Vatican Congregation for the Clergy appears to be the principal agent. Father Gruner was physically assaulted by thugs in Fatima who admitted they had orders to do this from the Shrine Rector. The complex politics behind all this makes for fascinating reading. Hamish Fraser (d 1986) is cited as maintaining that Ostpolitik has resulted in many bishops being modernist and resentful about Our Lady of Fatimaís warnings against unchastity and communism, such that many would refuse to do the consecration, and perhaps provoke open schism.
Is Father Gruner disobedient? He was ordered to return to the diocese of Avellino. He appealed the order twice, citing unjust factors. Eventually he became lawfully incardinated in the archdiocese of Hyderabad, India, with the Archbishopís permission to continue his apostolate. There seems to be no documented and sustained case of his disobedience. Does he teach false doctrine? Read the thrilling account of seminarian Grunerís search at Rome and around Italy in the 1970sí to secure a faithful, Catholic theological training while modernism was taking over the seminaries all around. Young Gruner proved himself a leader, an organizer, quick-thinking, fearless, with a keen sense of politics and justice and Catholic truth. Is he alarmist and exaggerating and obsessed in his pursuit of the Consecration of Russia? Before reading this book, I wondered about this. The book has deeply reinforced my respect for Father Grunerís perception of Church and Mary and history. I recommend the book urgently to all Church leaders and serious Christians. Father Gruner is not a madman but a faithful prophet, servant of Our Lady of Fatima.
Somewhere in the Vatican, probably in the papal apartments, there is a mysterious piece of paper which is kept under lock and key. The paper contains the text of what Catholics around the world know as the Third Secret of Fatima.
The Third Secret was written down by Sister Lucy, the last surviving seer of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. At Fatima the Virgin imparted two other Secrets which the Vatican has long since disclosed - that Russia would "spread her errors throughout the world", and that world peace could be obtained through the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which would bring about Russia s conversion to the Catholic Faith. The apparitions were confirmed by a "Miracle of the Sun" at Fatima on October 13, 1917, which was witnessed by 70,000 people, including unbelievers. Every Pope since then has accepted the Fatima apparitions as authentic and worthy of belief.
In 1957 the Third Secret was delivered to the Vatican in a sealed envelope with the understanding that it would be disclosed to the world no later than 1960, when Sister Lucy said its meaning would become clear. But 1960 came and went, and the Secret remained under lock and key. In an unsigned press release early in 1960, the Vatican announced, to the dismay of Catholics everywhere, that the Secret would not be disclosed during the pontificate of John XXIII, who had read it, and would probably remain a secret forever. The Secret has since been read by Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger and several other highly-placed members of the Catholic hierarchy. None of them would reveal its contents.
For the past twenty years Father Nicholas Gruner, a Canadian priest ordained in Italy, has devoted his life to unraveling the mystery of the Third Secret and promoting around the world the rest of the Message of Fatima, including the Virgin s call for the Consecration of Russia. In the process, Father Gruner has become perhaps the most controversial priest in the Catholic Church today, and the one most loathed by the forces which are shaping the New World Order - forces which reach into the corridors of the Vatican itself.
Fatima Priest is a chronicle of Father Gruner s life and work. But it is much, much more than a mere biography. The book is nothing short of a modern saga - unfolding as a novel unfolds, with marvelous prose that often borders on poetry. Author Francis Alban has given the Father Gruner story the scope it deserves, demonstrating that its true facts comprise a great drama which is being acted out upon a vast stage largely invisible to the workaday world.
Alban shows the reader that to proclaim the Message of Fatima before the architects of the New World Order is a very perilous undertaking. The Virgin s call for the conversion of all men is anathema to the proponents of a worldwide humanistic brotherhood, in which the call for conversion is an insult to one s fellow man. And yet the Virgin spoke of conversion, and Her words cannot be retracted. But perhaps Her words can be buried. Therein lies the heart of the plot.
Alban names the names and explores the motives of the men, within and without the Vatican, who seek to bury the Message of Fatima because it stands in the way of their agenda. At the very center of their attention these days is a lone Canadian priest who has had singular success in keeping the Message from being completely interred, and who has proven to be almost miraculously resilient in making it more widely known with each passing year.
The lengths to which the anti-Fatima forces have gone in their efforts to silence Father Gruner are as comical as they are amazing. Alban is delightfully skillful in displaying the dark comedy as well as the drama of the piece. But if the Message of Fatima is to be believed - and Pope after Pope has said he believes it - the case of Father Gruner is above all a deadly serious business, for the warnings contained in the publicly known portions of the Message speak of the annihilation of nations. And many Catholics believe that the Third Secret focuses those warnings upon a failure of the upper hierarchy beginning around 1960, when the Secret was to be revealed, but was instead mysteriously suppressed.
As Alban writes: "A life founded upon truth is unshakeable. Only a loss of the truth can make us tremble." With the power of a poet, Alban has shown us that the story of "the Fatima priest" is precisely the story of a great struggle to avoid a loss of the truth - in this case, a truth confided to the world by the Mother of God Herself, confirmed by a public miracle the likes of which has never been seen in human history.
The Message of Fatima is a message of worldwide importance. Those who did not appreciate this before, even those who count themselves among Father Gruner s detractors, will understand it well if they read Fatima Priest.
(Father Fiore is a well-known lecturer, writer and pro-life activist. He is a member of the Round Table of Home School leaders and is also a member of the Home School Network.)
This book should be read by all those seriously concerned about the Faith, families, and the status of the Catholic Church in the world today, said Father Charles Fiore, well-known theologian, pro-life pioneer-activist, and writer.
I refer to Fatima Priest by Francis Alban, a biography of Father Nicholas Gruner, who has devoted his priestly life to promoting devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary - Our Lady of Fatima - and to fulfilling Her request given to Sister Lucy, the last of the Fatima seers, that the Holy Father and the bishops of the universal Church consecrate Russia, by name, simultaneously in public ceremonies to Her Immaculate Heart, said Fiore.
The evidence is incontrovertible and clearly set forth in the book, that despite claims to the contrary by some, the Consecration has not been made in the form and manner that Our Lady of Fatima specifically requested, Father Fiore said.
Two facts underscore this, he continued.
First of all, Pope John Paul II s own words, March 25, 1984, inviting the bishops to join with him in making the Act of Consecration, which they did not do. And secondly, Sister Lucy s testimony in a September, 1985, interview published in Spain s Sol de Fatima, that John Paul II s consecrations of May 13, 1982, and March 25, 1984, did not fulfill the explicit conditions and directions of the Blessed Mother.
As Sister Lucy herself said in Sol de Fatima, [the Consecration was not done as requested by Our Lady] because many bishops attached no importance to this Act, Fiore observed.
Fatima Priest does two other essential things, Fiore noted. It once again underscores the geopolitical reasons (Cardinal Casaroli's so-called ostpolitik, his outreach to the Communist nations of the East when he was Vatican Secretary of State), for the silencing of Sister Lucy, and the Vatican-directed isolation of the Carmelite nun from virtually all visitors since.
And, Fiore continued, it gives details of the vicious lengths to which the same Vatican bureaucrats have gone in trying to discredit and disable Father Gruner and his worldwide apostolate to achieve the legitimate Consecration of Russia as Our Lady requested.
Their attempts to destroy Gruner and his work parallel the attempts of other Cardinals and bishops to undercut and harm the work of my pro-life colleague, Father Paul Marx, OSB., and his Human Life International, and to a certain extent, the opposition to my work and the attempts to discredit me by my former Dominican brethren and the late Cardinals Cody and Bernardin. It is all too familiar - the lies, the deviousness, and the corruption.
At one time biographies were stories that glorified the person being written about. More recently they have been tell-all books that do nothing but revel in scandals and wrongdoing, both real and imagined.
Fortunately, Fatima Priest is not cut from the same cloth. The author, Francis Alban, has creatively used his pen the way an artist uses a brush, to paint a picture of a man that is at once both simple and complicated.
Fatima Priest is a modern day story that inspires religious calling but disturbs concerned mothers.
The author has unknowingly paralleled, in his story, the person Father Gruner has devoted his life's work to making understood and responded to.
Just like Nicholas Gruner, Sister Lucy was part of a loving, religious family. Both had their lives changed forever by the Message of Our Lady of Fatima.
Lucy dos Santos was given a message to warn the Church and the world about the dangers of Russia. She was told the requirements necessary to avoid persecution, annihilation and the devil's reign on earth.
Father Gruner studied that message and for his entire priesthood has tried to get the Pope and the bishops to respond to God's demands: the consecration of Russia by the Pope and his ministers.
Just as Lucy found members of the church's hierarchy using whatever means they could, including outright lies, to silence her, Father Gruner has endured persecution form the very people who are supposed to be God's chosen representatives.
Alban chronologically leads the reader through the life of a man who could and should have given in to pressure from his superiors to be silent or at the very least "politically correct". Physical force was tried when other, illegal means, were unsuccessful.
Interviews and anecdotes are interwoven in a masterful way to show how the efforts by Satan's followers are courageously thwarted by this priest and his loyal followers.
No one who reads this book will forget it. The controversy, the lies, the efforts to silence one man for trying to remind his superiors of the duty they have to obey God and His Mother, will inspire conversation and awaken the long-dormant religious fervor in the Catholic faithful that have been lulled into a false state of complacency by the Satanists in the Vatican.
After reading this book, I have come to the conclusion, that the Message of Our Lady of Fatima lies upon all the Catholics of the world, not just the priests, bishops, cardinals and the pope, but all the laity also. If enough of the lay people would fulfill the five first Saturdays that Our Lady requested, and offered it up for the vatican bureaucrats and dissenters of the church, tremendous things would happen. Apparently, the leadership has neglected educating the people of the church regarding the grave warnings and concerns that Mary, our Sweet Messenger from Heaven came to warn us about and stamped it with the approval from God by the Sun spinning off it's axis (as the church is now doing) and plummeting to the ground. 70,000 people witnessed this event. It was the greatest miralce that has occurred since the resurrection. It's totally dumbfounding to me how the hierarchy cannot wake up and do what she asked! It's definitely in the hands of the laity, we need to spread the message and get people to offer up their first five Saturdays to our Dear Lady for help.