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Cardinal Mario GrechSynod on Synodality

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) – A high-ranking Vatican cardinal has described the current multi-year Synod on Synodality as a “discernment process” for the Church to “find truth,” hinting at possible changing of doctrine by Pope Francis after the Synod.

The Vatican’s Synod on Synodality is asking “what is the type of Church that the Holy Spirit is enlightening us to have for today?” said Cardinal Mario Grech, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.

Speaking to Catholic News Agency (CNA) in an interview released March 2, 65-year-old Cardinal Grech defended the Synod that his General Secretariat is organizing alongside the pro-LGBT Cardinal Jean Claude Hollerich, who serves as the Relator General of the Synod.

“This synodal process is not sociological analysis of the Church, but it is a discernment process,” Grech said. “And when we say discernment, that means that we are trying to listen to the Holy Spirit.”

“Because after all, this is not an exchange of opinions — I say mine and you say yours — but together as a community, we try to do this personal discernment and this ecclesial discernment that is listening to the Holy Spirit together,” Grech said.

Running from 2021 to 2023, the Synod is currently at the diocesan stage, at which bishops must listen to both Catholics and non-Catholics in order to learn “how God is calling us to be as the Church in the third millennium,” according to the vademecum or handbook for the Synod. The local responses will then be submitted in preparation for drafting a working document or instrumentum laboris.

Listed on the Synod Resource website are submissions from a number of heretical and dissident groups, including the pro-LGBT New Ways Ministry, Women’s Ordination Conference, and the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests.

Pointing to the Synod’s question about the Church’s identity, Grech appeared also to reference these Synod Resources, saying that “by presenting this, these themes, to the people of God, we hope that we can help them to engage in this discernment process in a prayerful attitude.”

Despite the Synod being already underway since October 9, Grech noted that a key challenge still remaining was understanding “what synodality really implies.”

“Though it is a constitutional element of the Church, unfortunately we still have difficulty to figure out now what synodality means,” he said, “how we can really walk together, how we can really create space for all the baptized so that we can be one Church. I think, yes, this is one of the difficulties that we are encountering.”

This attempt to “create space” is seen in the preparatory documents that propose a fundamental shift away from traditional teaching by recommending that the Synod must listen to “people who have left the practice of the faith, people of other faith traditions, people of no religious belief, etc.”

No one – no matter their religious affiliation – should be excluded from sharing their perspective and experiences, insofar as they want to help the Church on her synodal journey of seeking what is good and true,” reads the vademecum. (Emphasis original)

Putting this concept into practice, Grech appeared to praise Germany’s Synodal Way, where recently an overwhelming majority of participants voted early February to approve documents calling for blessing of same-sex couples and the ordination of women.

“Church councils are synods, and the Church councils brought about an evolution in doctrine, but if we say for example, diocesan synod, or a national synod, those are different experiences of a synodal Church,” Grech said. Germany’s Synodal Way he described as simply being a “synodal experience on a national level.”

However, the Synodal Way has been previously condemned by Cardinal Marc Ouellet of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, who said the German bishops’ plans were “not ecclesiologically valid.”

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Please read the latest from LifeSiteNews about the text of the Act of Consecration which was just released by the Vatican: 'BREAKING: Text of Pope Francis’ consecration of ‘humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine’ released'


The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on the feast of the Annunciation, March 25.

On March 15, the Holy See Press Office wrote:

On Friday 25 March, during the Celebration of Penance at which he will preside at 17.00 in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The same act, on the same day, will be carried out in Fatima by His Eminence Cardinal Krajewski, Apostolic Almoner, as envoy of the Holy Father.

This unexpected and monumental announcement comes after the Catholic bishops of Ukraine issued an urgent and heartfelt plea to the Holy Father on Ash Wednesday, asking that he make the consecration as Our Lady of Fatima had requested. The bishops wrote:

Responding to this prayer, we humbly ask Your Holiness to publicly perform the act of consecration to the Sacred Immaculate Heart of Mary of Ukraine and Russia, as requested by the Blessed Virgin in Fatima.

May the Mother of God, Queen of Peace, accept our prayer: Regina pacis, ora pro nobis! In July 1917, Our Lady of Fatima gave the three visionaries this message, asking for the explicit consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart:

To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.

Our Lady of Fatima then repeated the request in 1929, when she appeared to Sr. Lucia saying:

"The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, and to order that in union with him and at the same time, all the bishops of the world make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to convert it because of this day of prayer and worldwide reparation."

While Pope John Paul II made an “entrustment-consecration” of the world, including Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984, he deliberately avoided making the explicit mention of Russia as Our Lady had requested.

Following the announcement that Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine, LifeSiteNews is now asking the Pope to ensure that the consecration is performed precisely as Our Lady of Fatima requested. In order to fulfil the request Our Lady made, the Pope must "order" the "bishops of the world" to make the consecration of Russia "in union with him and at the same time."

Along with this, the day of consecration must be a "day of prayer and worldwide reparation."

The importance of the specifications made by Our Lady was noted by Sr. Lucia. Having seen a copy of Pope John Paul II’s consecration text prior to the 1984 “entrustment-consecration,” she said “That consecration cannot have a decisive character.”

Then in 1985, following Pope John Paul II’s "entrustment-consecration," Sr. Lucia observed that:

"There was no participation of all the bishops, and there was no mention of Russia." She was then asked, "So the consecration was not done as requested by Our Lady?" to which she replied: "No. Many bishops attached no importance to this act."

With Pope Francis’ proposed consecration only days away, LifeSiteNews is urging him to fulfil the request of Fatima, to "order" the bishops to join him in making the consecration and to make the day one of “prayer and worldwide reparation.”

Bishop Athanasius Schneider has also composed a prayer to be said for the consecration of Russia, in the manner Our Lady asked for:

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, you are the holy Mother of God and our tender Mother. Look upon the distress in which the Church and the whole of humanity are living because of the spread of materialism and the persecution of the Church. In Fatima, you warned against these errors, as you spoke about the errors of Russia. You are the Mediatrix of all graces. Implore your Divine Son to grant this special grace for the Pope: that he might consecrate Russia to your Immaculate Heart, so that Russia will be converted, a period of peace will be granted to the whole world, and your Immaculate Heart will triumph, through an authentic renewal of the Church in the splendor of the purity of the Catholic faith, of the sacredness of Divine worship and of the holiness of Christian life. O Queen of the Holy Rosary and our dear Mother, turn your merciful eyes to us and graciously hear this our trusting prayer.


+Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana





The Ukrainian Catholic bishops have specifically asked Pope Francis to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, according to the request of Our Lady of Fatima.

Here is a link to their Ash Wednesday letter:

Please WATCH the new John-Henry Westen show about this momentous event:

Then, please read LifeSiteNews latest story on this amazing development: 'Ukraine’s Catholic bishops ask Pope Francis to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary'


The great drama now is the Russian invasion of Ukraine. How far will it go, how will the West and especially the U.S. respond, and will China now be tempted to attack Taiwan? These questions are on everyone’s mind, including fear that it might lead to a far greater war.

It is hard to know exactly what to say other than Russia’s invasion must be condemned. And, that the world must now pray for peace.

Keeping those things in mind, LifeSite now proposes to resurrect this petition - now, more urgent than before - asking Pope Francis to reconsecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Please SIGN and SHARE this important petition to Pope Francis, imploring him to reconsecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the same way that Our Lady of Fatima asked in 1917.

We humbly ask Pope Francis to use the following wording:

“In accordance with Our Lady’s request at Fatima, I, Pope Francis, consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with all the bishops of the world.” 

And then:

“I also consecrate Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with all the bishops of the world.”

The bishops’ wording should be:

“In accordance with Our Lady’s request at Fatima, I, _______________, consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, at the same time as, and in union with, Pope Francis.”

Speaking in Rome only 5 years ago, Cardinal Raymond Burke called on the Catholic faithful to “work for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary” in fidelity to the request by Our Lady of Fatima. 

The Cardinal explained:

"Certainly, Pope Saint John Paul II consecrated the world, including Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984. But, today, once again, we hear the call of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, in accord with her explicit instruction."

This call, whether in 1917, or 1984, or in 2017, is EVEN MORE relevant today!

Pope Saint John Paul II himself wanted to name Russia explicitly in his Consecration, but in the end yielded to pressure not to from advisors. Cardinal Josef Cordes, former president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, confirmed this fact on May 13, 2017, based on his own conversation with the sainted pope.

However, after several years of confusion, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published "The Message of Fatima," on June 26, 2000, in which we learn that Sr. Lucia confirmed that the Pope's consecration was, in fact, done according to Our Lady's wishes (emphasis added):

Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished ("Sim, està feita, tal como Nossa Senhora a pediu, desde o dia 25 de Março de 1984": "Yes it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on 25 March 1984": Letter of 8 November 1989). Hence any further discussion or request is without basis.

But, Cardinal Burke explained why a consecration including Russia is so important:  "[It] is at once a recognition of the importance which Russia continues to have in God’s plan for peace and a sign of profound love for our brothers and sisters in Russia."

For those who may object to calling for the reconsecration of Russia, on the basis that it has already been done, Cardinal Burke recalled the words of Pope St. John Paul II who, in 1982, during his consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart noted: “Mary’s appeal is not for just once. Her appeal must be taken up by generation after generation, in accordance with the ever new ‘signs of the times’. It must be unceasingly returned to. It must ever be taken up anew.”

Burke, former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, gave his address in the month of the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima’s first apparition to the three shepherd children.

Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this urgent petition to Pope Francis, urging him to reconsecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and imploring God to quell the hostilities.


'Russia’s invasion is an opportunity to recall the message of Our Lady of Fatima' -

'Russia attacks Ukraine: explosions in multiple cities as troops move across borders' -

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The appointment of Cardinal Hollerich as Relator General of the Synod on Synodality – who supports the Synodal Way and its proposals – has led some to raise concerns that Pope Francis might not only support Germany’s Synodal Way but might be attempting to implement Church-wide changes via the Synod on Synodality.

Indeed, Grech alluded to such a possibility by referencing the Synod’s link to changing doctrine. He noted first that his Synod of Bishops “has no power to change any doctrine. The synod obviously can go more in depth, about the truth, our tenets of faith.”

But Grech, appointed Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops in 2020, hinted at possible changes coming from the Pope based on the Synod, employing the phrase of the Church being able “to find truth” via the Synodal process.

But then as Episcopalis communio says, it’s up to the Holy Father to make the final decision. He is Peter for the Church. And we have this trust in him. Through the synod, bishops, Peter, listening to all the people of God, obviously, we’ll get more help, more assistance to help us to find truth.

A number of traditional Catholic commentators have already highlighted potential dangers to the Catholic stemming from the Synod. Matt Gaspers, managing editor of Catholic Family News, warned that the Synod would be “a mishmash of confusion and heresy,” and Donnelly told LifeSiteNews of “fundamental error” in the Synod documents, and the subsequent “danger of proclaiming a false and worldly message instead of the Gospel of Christ.”