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Mons. Athanasius Schneider en la entrevista de la Cofradía de Nuestra Señora de Fátima, enero de 2022Imagen de YouTube

(LifeSiteNews) —  Bishop Athanasius Schneider expressed joy in comments to LifeSiteNews about the news that Pope Francis has announced that all bishops have been asked to join him on March 25 at 5 pm when consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima.

“One can only rejoice that the Pope now invites all bishops to unite with him at the consecration,” the Kazakh bishop said via email.

Bishop Schneider also shared with LifeSiteNews his thoughts concerning the fact that the Pope will not only consecrate Russia – as it was specifically requested by Our Lady – but also Ukraine. Some Catholics have objected to this apparent addition.

Bishop Schneider wrote:

In the year 1917, when the Mother of God spoke of Russia, the territory of present-day Ukraine belonged to Russia. At the time, Ukraine did not exist, but only Russia. That is why today it makes sense to mention Ukraine. Would one only mention Russia today, the entire territory of present-day Ukraine would be not included, but this territory was part of Russia in 1917.

Therefore, this well-known and respected prelate assures us that we should not worry about Ukraine’s inclusion by Pope Francis in the upcoming act of consecration.

LifeSiteNews also asked Bishop Schneider if he believes the time of peace and of conversion Our Lady promised would follow Pope Francis’ consecration of Russia. He thoughtfully responded:

The consecration is not a Sacrament and also not an automatism. Everything is in the hands of God, [including] time. Our task is to do what the Mother of God said; the rest will be done by Providence in the times and ways we do not yet know.

That is to say, Catholics should not be disappointed if there is not an immediate response from heaven to the consecration of Russia and Ukraine, but trustingly await God’s rescuing help when He sees fit.

LifeSiteNews is very grateful to Bishop Schneider for his guidance and leadership in this question.

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PETITION to Pope Francis: Reinstate Puerto Rico Bishop, Daniel Fernández Torres
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By all accounts, Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres' diocese of Arecibo in Puerto Rico is flourishing because of his adherence to the perennial teachings of the Church.

But, without any formal proceedings, Bishop Fernández Torres has been summarily 'relieved' of his episcopal duties allegedly because he championed conscience rights in the face of a Church vaccine mandate in Puerto Rico.

Please SIGN this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres now.

To be clear, COVID-19 is a serious disease, oftentimes with debilitating consequences, or worse, for those who contract it.

However, all coronavirus vaccines currently authorized for use in the U.S. and Puerto Rico have been tested on or produced with cell lines of aborted babies. And, the vaccines have been linked to serious side effects, while none has yet completed long-term testing.

Given the complexity of this issue, the Church has determined that getting vaccinated is a matter of personal discernment which each individual must make after informing his or her conscience.

As such, the Church teaches that there is no moral obligation to be vaccinated. Indeed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Church's teaching authority where faith and moral are concerned, issued a statement to that effect in December, 2020.

Specifically, the CDF's, “Note on the Morality of Using Some Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines,” of December 17, 2020, n. 5 states: “At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”

Therefore, it would appear that for simply restating the current teaching of the CDF and for opposing his brother bishops in Puerto Rico on this seminal matter of conscientious objection, Rome is now attempting to "cancel" Bishop Fernández Torres.

This is wrong, unfair and discriminatory!

And, Bishop Fernández Torres is hardly the first bishop to defend Church teaching on conscientious objection on the issue of mandatory vaccination. Both the Colorado and South Dakota bishops' conferences released similar statements, and like Bishop Fernández Torres, they also offered to validate religious exemptions for member of their flock who asked to be exempted from vaccination.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres.

For his part, Bishop Fernández Torres, 57, a staunch defender of life and family, protested his removal as "totally unjust" in a statement released Wednesday (3/9/2022).

The bishop, who led his diocese for nearly 12 years, noted that Pope Francis’ apostolic delegate to Puerto Rico verbally requested that he resign, but said that he refused to do so, as he "did not want to become an accomplice of a totally unjust action."

"No process has been made against me," Bishop Fernández Torres wrote, "nor have I been formally accused of anything, and simply one day the apostolic delegate verbally communicated to me that Rome was asking me to resign."

“A successor of the apostles is now being replaced without even undertaking what would be a due canonical process to remove a parish priest,” the bishop added.

“I was informed that I had committed no crime but that I supposedly ‘had not been obedient to the pope nor had I been in sufficient communion with my brother bishops of Puerto Rico,’” he said. “It was suggested to me that if I resigned from the diocese I would remain at the service of the Church in case at some time I was needed in some other position; an offer that in fact proves my innocence.”

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres. Thank you!


'Pope Francis abruptly removes faithful bishop who opposed COVID vaccine mandates' -

'Puerto Rico bishop supports conscience objections to COVID vaccines, allows priests to sign exemptions' -

**Photo Credit: Diocese of Arecibo

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LifeSite’s Editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen reached out to the bishop after Westen and his co-founder Steve Jalsevac asked our readers to contact their own local bishops, asking them to join Pope Francis in his March 25 consecration. Bishop Schneider immediately responded with a public call to all the bishops in the world to join the Pope in this matter. He also wrote a novena to be prayed until March 25.

A day later Catholic Family News published a letter by which, on March 17, the papal nuncio in the United States, Archbishop Pierre, informed the head of the U.S.C.C.B., Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, that Pope Francis plans to invite all bishops in the world to join him. The Vatican has since confirmed this news.

After this fruitful intervention, Bishop Schneider now assures us that this act of consecration could very well be in accordance with the requests of Our Lady of Fatima.

Thus, let us rejoice, pray the novena prepared by him for this occasion, offer extra rosaries and prayers, and trust in God’s loving care for mankind.

Let us also remember here that, since of November last year, weekly public rosary processions and meetings throughout the whole world have taken place. In nearly 5,000 places in the world, Catholics are coming together in order to ask God to “consecrate our countries to the Mother of God, asking her for help for all citizens to obtain unity and peace.” This initiative was started in Austria by a father of ten, after both the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and Alexander Tschugguel had started their own initiatives.

It is important to remember that the fruitful consecration of Russia also depends on our own prayers and sacrifices.

Father Karl Stehlin, a traditional priest of the SSPX and founder of the Militia Immaculata according to the original charism of St. Maximilian Kolbe, has reminded the faithful in his book on Fatima that a public act of reparation for the committed public sins is needed, as well as an official approval of acts of devotion (the Five Saturday devotion). We laymen definitely have to do the Five Saturday devotion as Our Lady requested in Fatima. Father Stehlin himself, in a March 18 communication, expressed his joy over the news of the upcoming consecration of Russia and Ukraine and has called upon all the faithful to join with their prayers.

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Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli,, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana,, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.


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