Catholic historian: We need consecration of Russia to save the Church
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Famed European Catholic historian Dr. Roberto de Mattei says the consecration of Russia to the Mother of God, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima 100 years ago, is needed now more than ever.
The consecration, he argues, is needed not only to save the world from what Our Lady called “Russia’s errors,” but to save the Catholic Church from the error of “relativism” that is now aggressively assaulting her from within, even at the highest levels.
“The errors of Communism have not only been scattered throughout the world, but have penetrated into the temple of God, like the smoke of Satan enveloping and suffocating the Mystical Body of Christ,” said de Mattei, Professor at the European University of Rome and founder of the Lepanto Foundation, during a March 27 lecture at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC.
The event was sponsored by Tradition, Family, Property in conjunction with The Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy and the Lepanto Foundation.
“Our Lady states that the conditions to avoid chastisement are: a public and solemn act of the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, done by the Pope, in union with all the bishops of the world, and the practice of reparatory Communion on the first Saturdays of the month,” he said.
May 13, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal. In the course of six apparitions, one per month until October 1917, the Lady told the three children about how Russia would succumb to evil and then “scatter her errors throughout the world" if the country was not consecrated to her Immaculate Heart.
The Fatima apparitions were declared “worthy of belief” by a local bishop in 1930 and have been publicly acknowledged and honored by as many as six popes. Pope Francis approved earlier this year the final miracle needed for the canonization of two of the seers, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. He will visit Fatima May 12-13 for the centenary celebrations.
Consecration of Russia remains ‘incomplete’
While since 1917 there have been various consecrations of the world to the Mother of God, critics say that the consecration of Russia specifically asked for by Our Lady of Fatima has not yet been accomplished.
“Today the consecration of Russia has still not been done,” said de Mattei. In his view, St. John Paul II’s consecration in March 1984 and Pope Benedict XVI’s in May 2010 were both “partial” and “incomplete.”
In 2001, the remaining seer, Sister Lucia dos Santos, allegedly told Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, then-secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that the 1984 consecration by Pope John Paul II “has been accepted in heaven.” Critics say, however, that while the consecration may have been “accepted,” this does not mean that it fulfilled what was specifically asked for by Our Lady.
One of the critics is Father Gabriele Amorth, former chief exorcist of Rome, who was present at the 1984 consecration. Fr. Amorth told LifeSiteNews in a 2015 interview, one year before he died, that the consecration requested by the Lady had yet to be fulfilled.
“The Consecration has not yet been made,” he said.
“I was there on March 25 in St. Peter's Square. I was in the front row, practically within touching distance of the Holy Father. John Paul II wanted to consecrate Russia, but his entourage did not, fearing that the Orthodox would be antagonized.”
“Therefore, when His Holiness consecrated the world on his knees, he added a sentence — not included in the distributed version — that instead said to consecrate ‘especially those nations of which you yourself have asked for their consecration.’ So, indirectly, this included Russia. However, a specific consecration has not yet been made. You can always do it. Indeed, it will certainly be done,” Fr. Amorth said.
Kazakhstan Bishop Athanasius Schneider also believes that the consecration has not yet been made.
He said in a 2016 interview with Rorate Caeli that Catholics must “pray that the Pope may soon consecrate explicitly Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, then She will win, as the Church prayed since the old times: ‘Rejoice O Virgin Mary, for thou alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.’”
Christopher Ferrara, a Catholic lawyer and commentator, has also argued that the consecration of Russia, as requested by the Lady, has not yet been achieved. He pointed out in a 2006 article in The Fatima Crusader that Russia was not specifically mentioned in the 1984 consecration, and moreover, that the conversion of Russia promised by the Lady as an effect of the consecration has not yet taken place, which he argues is proof that the consecration has not yet happened.
Since 1984, he wrote, there “has been no religious conversion [to the Holy Catholic religion] in Russia. But neither has there been a moral conversion. Nor a political conversion, nor a ‘conversion to peace.’”
“The facts are overwhelmingly in favor of the proposition that Our Lady asked for the Consecration of Russia, not the world, and that Russia has simply not been consecrated. And now we are facing what Our Lady of Fatima warned us would be the consequences for failing to do as She requested, the suffering of the Church and the annihilation of various nations,” he wrote.
De Mattei said that Russia’s “error” is not mainly its anti-God Communist regime that promised a workers paradise but ultimately led to the deaths of millions by starvation and in gulags. The main error is an “ideology which opposes the natural and Christian order, by denying God, religion, the family, and private property,” he argued.
Part of the Communists’ early agenda included advancing a revolution against marriage, the family, and traditional sexual morals. This included legalizing divorce, abortion, and homosexuality. A populace driven by raging sexual passions, not reason, would be destabilized and easier to manipulate for their purposes. According to former Russian sociology professor Pirtrim Sorokin, “free love was glorified by the official ‘glass of water’ theory. If a person is thirsty, so went the Party line, it is immaterial what glass he uses when satisfying his thirst; it is equally unimportant how he satisfies his sex hunger.”
Russia became the first country to legalize abortion in 1919. By 1965 there was almost three times as many babies aborted as born alive (1.9 million live births to 5.5 million abortions). Russia’s abortion rate continues to be among the highest in the world.
Our Lady told the children that “more souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”
De Mattei said that with the fall of Communism decades ago, the diffusion of Russia’s errors became “unstoppable,” spreading like a plague throughout Europe and the West, assaulting life, marriage, and the family.
“The relativism today professed and lived in the West is rooted in the theories of materialism and Marxist evolutionism; in other words, on the denial of any spiritual reality and any stable and permanent element in man and society,” he said.
Such relativism, he added, is seen with the push for “sexual liberation” that includes abortion, homosexual “marriage,” and now “extramarital unions.”
“The decomposition of Communism has putrefied the West,” he stated.
Russia’s error polluting the Church
It is not only the world that has been poisoned by Russia’s errors. Relativism has even found its way into the Catholic Church, said de Mattei.
He gave as an example the ambiguous teachings of Pope Francis on marriage and the family as found in the Pope’s 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The teaching has been used by dissident Churchmen to advance pastoral guidelines that allow those living in objective situations of grave sin, such as adulterers and fornicators, to receive Holy Communion. Many see the new teaching as giving a favorable nod to those living in adultery. They see it as a new interpretation of God’s mercy, in which couples living in sexual sin can remain in their state while still being faithful to God.
“Who could have ever imagined that a pontifical document […] would endorse adultery? The Divine and natural law does not admit exceptions. Those who theorize the exception destroy the rule,” said de Mattei.
The professor said the dubia, or questions of clarification, raised by the four cardinals to Pope Francis last September about whether or not Amoris conforms to Catholic moral teaching shows the danger the Church is in.
“In one of the ‘dubia’ formulated by the Cardinals to the Pope we read: ‘After Amoris Laetitia is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God's law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery, finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin?’”
Commented de Mattei: “The fact that today a doubt of this sort can be presented to the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith indicates how very grave and deep is the crisis the Church is immersed in.”
De Mattei said that the main way Russia’s “error” can be seen as having crept into the Church is by a recent emphasis from leading Churchmen of reversing the primacy of doctrine over praxis.
“Cardinal Kasper and other pastors and theologians have stated that the Church must adapt its evangelical message to the praxis of the times. But the primacy of praxis over doctrine is the heart of Marx[ism]-Leninism [Russia’s error of Communism],” he said.
“And if Marx stated that the task of philosophers is not to know the world, but to transform it, today many theologians and pastors retain that the task of theologians is not that of spreading the Truth, but to re-interpret it in praxis. We need not then reform the habits of Christians in order to bring them back to Gospel teachings, but adapt the Gospel to the heteropraxis of Christians,” he added.
He called it “unfortunate” that the Catholic Church, in advancing dubious pastoral practices to the detriment of true doctrine, is caught up in “promoting…coexistence with evil.”
‘Wars and persecution’
The professor recalled that part of Our Lady of Fatima’s message involved a coming chastisement if her message of repentance, conversion, and the need to have Russia consecrated went unheeded.
Specifically, the Lady told the children:
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.
De Mattei said now that the Lady’s prophecy of Russia scattering her errors — culminating in the error of relativism — throughout the world “has been fulfilled,” what now awaits mankind is a “terrible chastisement.”
“Without reference to this chastisement, the message of Fatima is emptied of its deep significance,” he said. The only way to hold back the “wars and persecutions of the Church” foretold by the Lady is repentance, acts of penance, and to fulfill her specific request for the consecration of Russia, he said.
“The antidote to the dictatorship of relativism is the doctrinal and moral purity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It will be Our Lady and not men, who will destroy the errors that threaten us.”
“Heaven, though, has asked for mankind's concrete collaboration,” he said. He believes now, more than any time in the last 100 years, is the time to heed the Lady’s request that Russia be consecrated.
‘My Immaculate Heart will triumph’
De Mattei said that the triumph of the Immaculate Heart promised by Our Lady of Fatima will come one way or another. He quoted Our Lady’s words to Sister Lucia in 1944, when she said that there would come a time after the triumph where there would be “one faith, one baptism, one Church, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic.”
Sister Lucia recounted the following of her January 1944 vision in the convent chapel of Tuy, in front of the Tabernacle:
I felt my spirit inundated by a mystery of light that is God and in Him I saw and heard the point of a lance like a flame that is detached touch the axis of the earth and it trembles: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, the rivers and clouds exceed their boundaries, inundating and dragging with them in a vortex, houses and people in a number that cannot be counted; it is the purification of the world from the sin in which it is immersed. Hatred, ambition, provoke the destructive war.
After I felt my heart racing and in my spirit a soft voice that said: 'In time, one faith, one baptism, one Church, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. In eternity, Heaven!' This word 'Heaven' filled my heart with peace and happiness in such a way that, almost without being aware of it, I kept repeating to myself for a long time: Heaven, Heaven!
De Mattei commented: “Our Lady reminds us that a dreadful chastisement threatens mankind and that profession of the Catholic faith in its entirety is necessary in the dramatic age we are living in.”
“We need not then leave the Church, but turn back to Her and live and die in Her, since outside the Church there is no salvation. Outside Her doors there is only the inconsolable abyss of hell,” he said.
There are only two choices, either Heaven or Hell, he said, both of which have their own foretastes on this earth. “Hell for the nations is atheistic, anarchistic, egalitarian society. Paradise for the nations is [self-denying], hierarchical, sacred, Christian Civilization.”
“Let us turn to [Our Lady] then, in this Centenary of Her apparitions, asking Her to make haste, this moment, making of ourselves an instrument, in our times, for Her victory against the Revolution,” he said.
“In the end Her Immaculate Heart will triumph,” he concluded.