The Vision of the Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady of Fatima at Tuy, Spain, June 13, 1929, asking for the Consecration
of Russia to the Immaculate Heart by the Pope with all the Bishops in union.
OUR LADY OF FATIMA
The Church's Obligation to Believe
and Obey Our Lady of Fatima: Part 2
by Father Nicholas Gruner, S.T.L, S.T.D [Can.]
Public Prophetic Revelation
The next theological position is that the Message of Fatima is not a private revelation, nor is it part of the Deposit of Faith, but it nevertheless carries with it the solemn obligation -----before God and man-----to believe it, to obey it as well as to defend it and advance it to the extent of our power and possibilities.
Even if the previously outlined position that "Fatima is in the Bible" turns out not to be defined by a future Pope at a future date; nevertheless, we are still obliged to believe and obey the Fatima Message and requests.
This third position is a clear answer to the false statement that "Fatima is only a private revelation". As we shall see, this third position is based on Sacred Scripture and on right reason.
It shows that those who claim, even people like Cardinal Ratzinger or Father Fox, that we (or the Pope or bishops and priests) are not obliged to believe and obey Our Lady of Fatima are clearly wrong.
This third position, very simply then, is that the Blessed Virgin Mary's Message of Fatima is a public, prophetic revelation.
And this is a position that has been elucidated more completely by better theologians than myself. You will find among them Bishop Graber of Germany, who tells us that those who say that Fatima is a private revelation that can be ignored are wrong. [NOTE 2] You'll find the same position held by Father Joseph Ste. Marie, a Carmelite theologian who taught in Rome. [NOTE 3] He also quotes other theologians who maintain that those who say that Fatima's just a private revelation and one need not pay attention to it, are badly mistaken. [Ibid. See NOTE 3]
And what is a private revelation? A private revelation, strictly speaking, is a message to an individual from God or a Saint that he is bound to believe. So, if Our Lady appeared to one of you, or your patron Saint appeared, and told you what you must do in order to save your soul, or what you must do tomorrow, or even in the next hour, that revelation which you have, which no one else can verify, would be private and no one else would be bound to believe it except yourself.
Fatima is Public
But Fatima is not unverifiable, and it's not a message for one individual. It's a public message given to the whole Church and verified by a public miracle and public prophecies. And the consequences of ignoring the requests of Our Lady of Fatima are catastrophic. Fatima is a public, prophetic revelation, and as such, once the Church has examined it and found it worthy of belief, Natural Law and Sacred Scripture tell us what we must do. In 1 Thessalonians 5: 19-21, St. Paul writes "Do not extinguish the spirit. Do not despise prophecies. But test all things and hold fast that which is good."
Fatima is Prophetic
The Message of Fatima is a public revelation; it's a prophecy. The Church has tested it and found it to be good and, therefore, we are bound to hold fast to it. To take the attitude that it can be ignored without consequences would be to despise prophecy. Otherwise, we would be extinguishing the spirit, and if we could do that, we could then say "Well, it's uncomfortable for me to consecrate Russia," or "It's uncomfortable for me to pray the Rosary everyday," or "It's uncomfortable for me to do this or to do that, and so I don't want to do it."
So all I have to do is simply say "I don't have to believe it", and then I can peacefully go on my way and say, on Judgment Day, "Well, I didn't know You wanted me to pray the Rosary. I didn't know You wanted me to promote the Message of Fatima. I didn't know You wanted me to consecrate Russia." The Lord will say "Well, you were told." "Oh, but I was told it was a private revelation which I didn't need to obey to save my soul." "Well you were told by Me in no uncertain terms. I worked a great miracle so that you would know that this message came from Me. You just did not want to hear. You wanted to shut Me off. You obviously were trying to extinguish My Spirit. That excuse will not excuse you. Don't bother to tell Me that Cardinal Ratzinger and Father Fox said it would. You know better! To ignore it is to extinguish the Holy Spirit, [NOTE 4] Who spoke to you through this prophecy. You despised prophecy, you're guilty, and it's too bad for you."
It is what Sister Lucy in her famous interview with Father Fuentes spoke about: To refuse the known truth is a sin against the Holy Spirit. God has given the evidence that the Message of Fatima comes from Him.
Lessons From the Bible
Our Lord spoke to the cities of Capharnaum, Bethsaida and Corozain. Sacred Scripture says:
"Then began He (Jesus) to upbraid the cities wherein were done the most of His miracles, for that they had not done penance. Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida: for if in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in you, they had long ago done penance in sackcloth and ashes.
But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you.
And thou Capharnaum, shalt thou be exalted up to Heaven? Thou shalt go down even unto Hell. For if in Sodom had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in thee, perhaps it had remained unto this day.
But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee." [Matt. 11: 20-24]
How can it be that to refuse to believe in Our Lord's miracles is culpable, whereas to refuse to believe in the Miracle of the Sun, which happened before 70,000 witnesses, is not culpable? The cities of Bethsaida, Capharnaum, and Corozain were condemned for refusing to believe the known miracles of Christ and for rejecting the message that was given with those miracles. That merited damnation. And, by the same line of reasoning, so would refusal to believe in the Message of Fatima. Because the miracle has been testified by 70,000 people, and not only the Miracle of the Sun, but also the cures and the prophecies.
The First Vatican Council teaches us that God not only moves us by interior graces to believe the Catholic Faith, He also gives external motives of credibility. [NOTE 5] And the two greatest of those are external miracles and prophecies which have come true. And we have both of those things in Fatima. So God has given the external signs and God has also given the external prophecies, all of them verifying the truth of this message.
The Pope's and All the Bishops' Obligation to Listen to Fatima
There are people who think that somehow or other the Message of Fatima exempts the hierarchy, priest or bishops, or the Cardinals, or the Pope, from obeying the Message of Fatima. I'm not here to pass judgment on anybody, but that is not theologically accurate.
Some would ask "Who is more important, Sister Lucy or the Pope?" I think the question is put badly. It's not a question of whether Sister Lucy commands the Pope. She doesn't have any pretense of doing that, nor do I. But am I now contradicting what I just said? I am not. The answer is simple. It is for the prophet to give the message as God gives it to the prophet, in this case Sister Lucy. It is for the Church to examine whether the prophecy comes from God, which it has done. And the Church has said "Yes, this message comes from God." It is then the obligation of the Church, including the Pope and the bishops, to obey God, Whose message was given through the prophet.
So the relationship between the prophet and the hierarchy is not one in which the prophet commands the hierarchy. It is God Who commands the hierarchy. It is God Who gives His message through the prophet to the hierarchy, and it is for the hierarchy to obey, once it has determined that the message indeed comes from God.
More Reflections on Scripture
Is there any Scriptural basis for this? Certainly. You will find various examples in the Acts of the Apostles of just such a relationship in the time of the Apostles. For example, the very consecration of St. Paul as bishop was done through the voice of prophecy. While they were praying together, the Holy Ghost spoke, obviously through a prophet, and said "Separate Me Saul and Barnabas, for the work whereunto I have taken them." [Acts 13: 2]
And so the Catholics praying together there prayed and fasted further, and then a bishop among them made Paul and Barnabas bishops. But they were appointed bishops through the voice of prophecy. And we also have the example of St. Paul writing to the Ephesians [2: 20], in which St. Paul says that the Church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and the Prophets.
According to Father Joseph de Ste. Marie, the context tells us the prophets talked about are the prophets of the New Covenant, who are the foundation of the Church together with the Apostles and the bishops their successors. St. Thomas tells us God sends prophets of the New Covenant to every generation, not to give a new doctrine, but to remind the Faithful what they must do to save their souls.
Father Joseph de Ste. Marie develops this theme further and we have published it in The Fatima Crusader and also in my book World Enslavement or Peace. I think you'll find much of the argument I've given here between pages 83-157 of my book. [Available from the Fatima Center for $9.95.]
It's now thirteen years in publication and has been sent to all the bishops. I've yet to have one theologian disagree with us. The obligation to believe and to obey is a solemn one and you'll find that the examples of the history of the Church also confirm this.
The Example of the Beheaded King of France
There is also the revelation of St. Margaret Mary. [NOTE 6] The Sacred Heart of Jesus told St. Margaret Mary that the King of France must consecrate his country to the Sacred Heart. Not simply privately, but publicly, and to put the emblem of the Sacred Heart on the standard, on the flag of France, and on his coat of arms. Now this was given without a Miracle of the Sun. This was given in the message given to St. Margaret Mary on June 17, 1689.
This message was written down and transmitted to the kings of France. They knew of the request and they ignored it, so on June 17, 1789, one hundred years later to the day, the King of France had his legislative power taken from him by the Third Estate, and four years later, after being in prison for some time, he was executed. [NOTE 7]
Our Lord, in the Message of Fatima, makes reference to that very fact when He says, "Make it known to My ministers, given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, they will follow him into misfortune." [NOTE 8]
Now, does it make sense that Our Lord should say that the King of France was punished for not obeying a "private revelation" if in fact it did not obligate him to believe and obey. But as it happened, the King of France was punished very severely for his delaying the execution of Jesus' command! Now Our Lord Himself is formally warning that a number of bishops and possibly the Pope himself-----and maybe even a number of His priests-----will be following the King of France into misfortune for one reason; and that reason is the delaying of obedience to His command to consecrate specifically Russia. That is the clear intent of the message given by Our Lord.
It doesn't make sense that God should give us a message so clearly, so authoritatively and yet we can say with impunity to God, "Well, I don't read it in Scripture, according to my reading of Scripture, so I don't have to listen to You." But there are those blind people who are leaders of other blind people who say we don't have to pay attention to the Message of Fatima. They say this even though they acknowledge that they cannot be certain it is not already in Scripture, in prophecy. Now if I were a betting person, I would not bet on my salvation knowing all that. In other words, if I-----knowing that it could be in Sacred Scripture, knowing that I have the obligation to do God's will and that God's gone to the trouble of telling me what His will is-----should say, "Well, I think I can create a doubt in my mind sufficient to excuse me on Judgment Day" -well, no one's ever argued with God and won the case.
And Our Lord is saying "Because they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, they will follow him into misfortune." I think the obligation-----not only of the Faithful to believe and obey Our Lady of Fatima, but the obligation of the bishops and the Pope-----is quite clear and quite certain.
2. Bishop Rudolph Graber, "Why this Pall of Silence Regarding Fatima?",
Fatima Crusader, Issue 19, February-April 1986, pp. 4-5; or see it
also on our web site at www.fatima.org/library/cr19pg04.html.
NOTE 3. Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie, O.C.D., "The Church's Duty in the Face of the Fatima Message", The Fatima Crusader, Issue 9-10, October-December 1982, pp. 9-10; or in the article on the web at www.fatima.org/library/cr09pg08. html.
4. Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinite, The Whole Truth About
-Vol. III: The Third Secret, (Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo,
York, 1990) pp. 507. See also "Authentic Prophetic Interview With
Lucy of Fatima", The Fatima Crusader, Issue 19, February-April
p. 11; or on the web at www.fatima.org/library/cr19pg03.html.
NOTE 5. "Nevertheless, in order that the obedience of our faith might be in harmony with reason, [Rom. xii. 1] God willed that to the interior help of the Holy Spirit there should be joined exterior proofs of His revelation, to wit, Divine facts, and especially miracles and prophecies, which, as they manifestly display the omnipotence and infinite knowledge of God, are most certain proofs of His Divine revelation adapted to the intelligence of all men (can. ill and iv [see below]). Wherefore, both Moses and the Prophets, and most especially Christ our Lord Himself, showed forth many and most evident miracles and prophecies, and of the Apostles we read: 'But they, going forth, preached everywhere, the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.' [Mark xvi. 20] And again it is written: We have the more firm prophetical word, whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place.' [II Pet. i. 19]"
"[Canon] III. If anyone shall say that Divine revelation cannot be made credible by outward signs, and therefore that men ought to be moved to faith solely by the internal experience of each, or by private inspiration; let him be anathema.
"[Canon] IV. If anyone shall say that miracles are impossible, and therefore that all the accounts regarding them, even those contained in Holy Scripture, are to be dismissed as fabulous or mythical; or that miracles can never be known with certainty, and that the Divine origin of Christianity is not rightly proved by them; let him be anathema." Vatican Council I, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, April 24, 1870. Taken from the book Dogmatic Canons and Decrees, (TAN Books and Publishers) pp. 224, 235-236.See also Dz. 1790; Dz. 1812; Dz. 1813; D.S. 3009; D.S. 3033; D.S. 3034.
NOTE 6. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was a religious in the Convent of the Visitation at Paray le Monial in the province of Burgundy, France. She lived from 1648-1690. She was recognized as a Saint even while she was still alive; thus King Louis XIV, the King of France at that time, should have obeyed the message as having come from God Himself.
NOTE 7. King Louis XVI, the grandson of King Louis XIV who had been the recipient of the message of St. Margaret Alacoque, was stripped of his power by the French revolutionaries and later executed by the guillotine.
8. Message of Jesus to Sister Lucy in August of 1931 in Rianjo, Spain
documented in Fatima ante La Esfinge by Father Joaquin Maria
Ediciones "Sol de Fatima", Madrid 1979, p. 97. d.: Sister Lucia dos
Fatima in Lucia's own words, page 200.
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