The Only Way To Peace

"BY THIS MEANS"
Part I: Is It Right To Insist?
by Father Nicholas Gruner, S.T.L., S.T.D. (Cand.)
The Fatima Crusader is sometimes asked: "Why do you seem to put all the onus
for the Collegial Consecration on the bishops? These people seem to think that if
the laity do their job, the bishops will do their own." We respond as follows:
The Fatima Crusader has already published and continues to publish that there
are requests of Our Lady of Fatima directed to everybody - lay people, priests
and bishops. Our Lady requested of all of us to pray the Rosary every day, to
wear the scapular of Mount Carmel, to do our daily duty and to consecrate
ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart.
Besides these requests there is also the very special and specific request that
Our Lady directed precisely to the Pope and the bishops, namely that they on
the same day consecrate specifically Russia to Her Immaculate Heart in a
solemn and public way. They alone are commanded to do this since they are the
only ones empowered by God to make such a public act of reparation and to
solemnly and publicly consecrate a nation to God.
There is a tendency on the part of some lay people to say: "Let the bishops do
their job, we don't have to do anything." Alternately, some bishops may say,
"Let the lay people obey Our Lady, we need not do anything." The fact is that
both are necessary.
In response to such reasoning the magazine Christ to the World, July-August
1983, p. 189, published with the approval of the Vicariate of Rome, points out:
"The question of whether or not the collegial consecration of Russia should be
preceded by a sufficient number of personal consecrations should not be made
an excuse by either the Faithful or the bishops to postpone obedience to Mary,
their common Mother and Queen."
Up to now the emphasis has been on the duty of individuals to obey the
requests of Our Lady. There has been no emphasis, except by The Fatima
Crusader, and a few smaller publications like Christ to the World,
Approaches, etc., on the obligation of bishops to fulfill the commands of Our
Lady.

Jesus Wants It Publicized

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Therefore The Fatima Crusader has felt duty bound to emphasize this aspect of
the Fatima Message both because it is so vitally important and because it has
not received sufficient attention yet by many Catholic publications. We are
encouraged in publishing about this by Jesus Himself.
Our Lord Himself has spoken about His bishops' obligations to obey and that
they have chosen not to obey Him in this matter, and He has stated they will
suffer very serious consequences in delaying this obedience. Furthermore, we
know that Jesus wants His whole Church to know of the command to the Pope
and the bishops.
We know this because in answer to Sister Lucy's question why He would not
convert Russia without the Pope and the bishops consecrating Russia in the
manner specified, Jesus said, "Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge
that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
How are the lay people to know that the conversion of Russia is the result of the
consecration of Russia if the promises and conditions given by Jesus are not
known before the fact takes place? That is why it must be widely published that
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have given this command
to the Pope and bishops which was solemnly transmitted through Our Lady to
Sister Lucy on June 13, 1929.
Sister Lucy, when She received this command was not only in the presence of
Our Lady Who spoke in the name of God, Sister Lucy was also in the solemn
presence of the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity.

Bishops Have Our Lives In Their Hands
The above should be sufficient to justify our publishing on this matter. We shall
now proceed to answer more precisely the difficulty raised by some of our
readers, noted at the beginning of this article.
By way of analogy, if a man is having an operation on his heart, the surgeon
who holds the knife can in all truth be said to have the man's life in his hands. If
the surgeon were to make a serious error, the man would die.
To state this fact is not a criticism of the doctor, it simply states the truth that
the doctor has the very life of the patient in his hands. Similarly, when The
Fatima Crusader says that world peace and the annihilation of nations depend
on the bishops, it is a statement of fact, it is not a criticism.
Just as a surgeon holds the life of a patient in his hands when he is at the
operating table, so the 4000 Catholic bishops, together with the Pope, hold in
their hands the very life and existence of entire nations and world peace. That is
the meaning of Our Lady's request and promise and predictions with regard to
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the consecration of Russia. But stating that is not a criticism, it is making plain
the most important part of the Message of Fatima.
If some members of the hierarchy or even bishops should feel that this implies
criticism, then it must be in response to a guilty conscience. The Fatima
Crusaderhas not apportioned guilt. God knows who is guilty. Those who know
the Message of Fatima, and choose to ignore it, are accountable before God, but
it is not for us to judge subjective guilt. We are simply pointing out objective
facts.

General Public Does Not Know This Urgent Necessity
Those in the work of propagating the Message of Fatima who deliberately
conceal from the bishops and the Pope this very simple and most important fact
about the consecration of Russia, in effect are despising this command of God.
If the consecration of Russia as commanded by Our Lady of Fatima is not done
in time, then Our Lady has told us very clearly: "Various nations will be
annihilated."
Those who know that the existence of various nations and the salvation of many
souls hangs in the balance, and yet deliberately obstruct this consecration are
guilty of a very serious crime against humanity.
Many bishops to this day do not know about the urgent necessity to consecrate
Russia immediately. They do not know:
(1) That world peace and the literal existence of various nations depends on it.
(2) That millions will die if it is delayed much longer.
(3) That the salvation of many souls depends on it.
(4) That we here in the "free" world will be overcome and enslaved by
Communist Russia if it is not done in time.

The Pope Needs Truth Published Widely
The Pope needs the cooperation and support of the bishops in order to obey Our
Lady of Fatima. But as long as the bishops are lied to or misinformed about the
consecration of Russia, they will not support the Pope. They will not even know
the Pope needs it.
Furthermore, the bishops in turn need to be encouraged and supported by the
laity and by their priests to carry out this command. But how can this be done if
the people and priests are misled into thinking that it is already done -- or that
it is not essential?
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Thus, those who tell such untruths thereby misleading the bishops, lay people
and priests, even if they are sincere in their mistake, still obstruct world peace
and the saving of millions and millions of lives and souls.
If they tell these lies knowingly then indeed they must be guilty of a great crime
against humanity. This is because by their silence and by their connivance they
have not let the people and the bishops know what is the command of God,
thereby causing the annihilation of nations.

Our Responsibility
We who are chosen by Providence to study and propagate the Message bear a
tremendous responsibility. Up to now this clear command of God is not
sufficiently known to the general public. Furthermore, the bishops do not know
the consequences of ignoring this command, therefore we must continue to tell
them.
Rather than criticizing The Fatima Crusader for doing its duty, our opponents
should be thankful and should be helping us instead of preventing people from
spreadingThe Fatima Crusader, because it says the truth plainly.
Priests and publishers of other Fatima magazines and Catholic magazines should
be helping by all the means at their disposal to make these facts widely known.
On judgment day, they may well have a grave responsibility before God for not
doing their part to make this Message and its urgent significance known.
The Fatima Crusader has pointed out that it has been over 58 years since Our
Lady said, "The moment has now come for God to ask the Holy Father, in union
with all the bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to My
Immaculate Heart." In 1917 Our Lady said that She would come to ask for the
consecration of Russia and in 1929, 12 years later, She came back and said,
"The moment hasnow come."
Certainly waiting 58 years has been contrary to God's Will. The Message of
Fatima speaks of four punishments which would befall the world namely war,
famine, persecution of the Church and persecution of the Holy Father if Her
requests were not granted. Our Lady said that to avoid these punishments She
would come back to ask for the consecration of Russia.
Furthermore, She told us that God would give a Great Sign to let us know that
these punishments were about to befall mankind. Because the request of Our
Lady of Fatima was not obeyed in the year 1929 or in the years following, in
1938 God gave us a Great Sign seen by millions of people in Europe, North
Africa and North America, to let us know that the chastisement was at hand.

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Had the consecration of Russia been done between 1929 and 1938, then Russia
would have been converted and these punishments would not have befallen us.
Since that time, as we have pointed out in our magazine, things have gotten
worse, not better, and they will get worse still until this command of God is
obeyed.
It is our duty to point out these things. If there has been and continues to be
subjective culpability in those who misinform the public and delay obedience, it
is for God to decide. But for us to conceal the truth would make us culpable of
continuing to see that this command of God is not obeyed.
Those who criticized us before for making this so clear should realize that they
may be called to account by God for their criticism should they continue to
obstruct this Message from being widely diffused. The same is true for those
who, now being informed, continue in any way to obstruct the Pope and the
bishops' obedience to this command.
Let us recall those prophetic words of Pope Pius XI in his Encyclical "Divini
Redemptoris" which particularly speaks of our time." There are some even who
refer to certain changes recently introduced into Soviet legislation as a proof
that Communism is about to abandon its program of war against God. See to it
venerable brethren, that the faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived.
Communism is intrinsically evil."
Truly the Communists have made great strides with their propaganda war. As
Pope Pius XI warned, the Communists would try to worm their way into Catholic
publications. Today you can even read Catholic newspapers and periodicals that
trumpet out the Soviet line and sad to say even publications that are supposed
to be spreading Our Lady of Fatima's Message are in reality spreading Russia's
errors.

In Response To The Second Question
An objection raised against The Fatima Crusader is that we should be telling the
people to pray for the bishops, not putting all the onus on the bishops. It is
unfortunate that those who make this objection did not read the Special
SupplementPage S-2, where we have in large letters the words of Our Lady:
Sacrifice yourselves for this intention and pray, and immediately
following,The Pope and the bishops need your help, and in large letters
also, "To help the Pope and bishops we must pray the Rosary, wear the
Scapular, amend our lives, and make reparation to the Sacred Heart and
the Immaculate Heart."
Again on page 3, over half a page deals with making a spiritual bouquet for the
Holy Father, and we printed in large letters the words of Jesus to Sister
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Lucy: "Pray, pray a great deal for the Holy Father. He will do it, but it
will be late." If other journalists can emphasize the truth of the matter better
than we have, then by all means let them do so, but so far no one has said it as
clearly.

A Third Difficulty Raised By Some
A third difficulty raised by some is as follows: We should not be putting political
pressure on the bishops to force them to make this act of consecration.
We have explained at length in several issues that the laity do have rights, and
all members of the Catholic Church have the right and sometimes even the
obligation (See Vatican II LG No. 37) to petition the Holy Father in matters
pertaining to ecclesiastical jurisdiction. It is solemnly defined by the Second
Council of Lyons, as well as the First Vatican Council, that each member of the
Catholic Church has the right to seek a ruling from the Holy Father regarding
matters pertaining to Church jurisdiction. And certainly Fatima is such a matter.
As the 5th Lateran Council tells us, the Pope is the judge with regard to
prophetic revelations. Now the Message of Fatima is a prophetic revelation
approved by the Pope and the Church. It states clearly that peace will only be
given to the world when the Pope and the bishops obey the Command of God.

The Duty Of Pope, Bishops And Us
Therefore the Pope and the bishops have a duty to God and a duty to all of us to
obey promptly. As long as they delay, we are in danger of losing our lives, our
freedom and more importantly, our souls through religious persecution, under
the heel of Russian Communist domination.
Since this is their duty, we have a right to ask the Pope to command the
bishops. If we have the right, we have the duty to use that right, at least those
of us who are informed and know these facts. We exercise this right by
respectfully bringing these matters to the attention of the Holy Father. Nothing
could be more important for him to attend to than obeying Our Lady of Fatima
exactly in consecrating Russia.
The present Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, would like nothing better than to
fulfill this command of God, given through Our Lady of Fatima. It is only
because of the tremendous pressure exerted by Soviet Russia as well as by
pressure from some within the Church that he has not yet commanded the
bishops. If he knew that he had the unqualified support of Catholics he would
not hesitate in giving this command.
It is our duty to help him by publishing the truth about this message of Our
Lady of Fatima, by answering objections, by circulating petitions and by bringing
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these petitions by the millions to the Holy Father through channels that we can
trust. This,The Fatima Crusader has been doing and will continue to do.

Tragic Consequences Of Further Delay
Without any doubt, the Fatima Message as is published in Sister Lucy's memoirs
and letters, and in other undisputed sources, states clearly that Russia must be
consecrated by the Pope and the bishops before Russia is converted and peace
given to the world.
The consequence of this delay is that many souls are lost for all eternity.
Already in a letter of July 15, 1940, Sister Lucy had said the same thing: "I am
really sorry that it (the consecration of Russia) was not done. In the
meantime so many souls are being lost!" Our Lady of Fatima said, "If My
requests are granted many souls will be saved."
Pure and simple logic compels us to say that either this solemn command given
to the Pope and the bishops was given by God through Our Lady of Fatima on
June 13, 1929, or it was not. If the command was given then they must obey.
Furthermore, simple logic forces us to acknowledge that God has told us
through the Fatima Message, that the peace of the world and continued
existence of various nations is dependent upon the obedience of the Pope and
the bishops to this command, or it isn't.

Our Lady's Words Are Clear
The meaning of Our Lady's words is clear, namely, that if this command to
consecrate Russia is not obeyed in time, various nations will be ANNIHILATED,
that is, wiped off the face of the earth. The Church has approved the Fatima
Message, and is therefore bound to obey it. That means that the Pope and the
bishops are also gravely bound to obey the command given to them. This is the
obvious meaning of Our Lady's words and it is the conclusion of various Fatima
scholars.
If these conclusions are not true, if the Message of Fatima teaches something
contrary to these conclusions, we have a right to know by a public, official,
magisterial ruling from the Pope. In other words, if this is not the proper
interpretation of the Message, we have a right to a ruling from the Pope.

Unique Position Of Pope
The Pope cannot not be responsible. By the very nature of the Church as
founded by Jesus Christ, the Pope, after God, has supreme authority, and
therefore he also has supreme responsibility.
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This responsibility binds him to command the bishops, since the good of the
whole Church is at stake, and he is the only one who has this power from God
to apply the healing remedy. We therefore have the right and even the
obligation to ask the Pope to do his duty to command the bishops to consecrate
Russia.

The Pope Is Like A Doctor
When you go to a doctor you have a right to ask him to do his best to make you
well and save your life. He is personally responsible for the professional work
that he does for you, whether it be advice, or a prescription, or surgery.
If the doctor has diagnosed the illness and knows the cure, and is able to apply
the remedy, he is duty bound to give the remedy needed. This is clear. Similarly
the Pope, by approving the Fatima Message, has diagnosed the illness of the
world and knows its cure--which is to consecrate Russia. The Pope, like the
doctor, when he has it in his power, is bound to give us the cure which is to
command the bishops to join him in consecrating Russia in the manner specified
by Our Lady of Fatima.
You have a right to expect that your lawyer will counsel advice and represent
you according to the law of God and your best interests. If your lawyer does not
have your interests at heart he must not accept the responsibility of
representing you.

Priest Obligated To Parishioners
Similarly the parish priest is responsible not only to God but also to the souls
who have been entrusted to him. It is a strict obligation in justice for him to
help them save their souls. Thus for example a parish priest cannot refuse the
sacraments to a member of his parish who reasonably asks for them. To do so
would be a gross dereliction of duty.
Although the priest has a higher position than the lay people, the laity
nevertheless have a right given to them by God to receive from their parish
priest both true Doctrine and the Sacraments because both are necessary to
save their souls. The same is true for the bishop and for that matter the Pope as
well.

Bishops Assume Responsibility
To illustrate this further let us consider that when a doctor (or a lawyer) accepts
a person as a client he automatically assumes personal responsibility of taking
care of his client's interests. So too, when a priest accepts the job of parish
priest, he assumes personal responsibility towards all his parishioners to do all
his duties so that the souls entrusted to him will be saved.
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Similarly when a bishop accepts charge of a diocese and when a bishop accepts
to be Pope - he too assumes personal responsibility, not only to God but also he
accepts personal responsibility to each and every soul entrusted to his care that
he will do his duty towards them.
As we have pointed out many times in The Fatima Crusader, the Pope and the
bishops must obey this command of God to solemnly and publicly on the same
day consecrate specifically Russia to the Immaculate Heart. It is their grave
duty to obey God in this matter. Furthermore, it is not only their duty to God but
also it is their duty to each one of us to consecrate Russia.

We Must Ask Them
That being the case, we have a right to ask for this respectfully and even to use
the means in our power to constrain them if possible into doing their duty.
In doing this we must be careful not to overstep the limits of the rights given to
us by God. We cannot command the bishops. We cannot command the Pope.
We cannot sit in a court of civil or ecclesiastical law and judge them as if we
were their superiors, but we can use the means and the rights that God has
given us and which He expects us to use if circumstances warrant it.
The Church is the patrimony of all its members. We have different roles to play
but all have a responsibility for the Church. It does not belong to this writer or
you or the parish priest or the bishop or the Pope. It is God's. The Church has
been entrusted to us to safeguard.
This is especially true of all of us who have received the Holy Ghost by the great
Sacrament of Confirmation. We are called upon to be soldiers for Christ.

Obligation To Publish Fatima Command
As Sacred Scripture tells us, some are apostles, others preachers, others
prophets, etc. and others are lay people. But all are responsible for the wellbeing of the Church. All are bound to uphold the common good by speaking the
truth, publishing it and defending it according to our ability and opportunity.
Publishing the truth is not the exclusive responsibility of any one group in the
Church but of all of us.
It is not then just out of self-interest that we proclaim the Message of Fatima in
its fullness. It is to save the Church that we do so. You too have an obligation to
support our efforts and to multiply them by passing on this most urgent news
now before it is too late for millions of souls.

Laity Have God Given Means
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Cardinal Gagnon stated clearly in a public interview published in
the Wanderer in September 1983, that lay people have it in their power to force
the bishops and priests to obey the Pope. What are these means lay people
have? He recommends openly and explicitly that the lay people are to refrain
from contributing in the collection basket on Sunday to those bishops and
priests who do not obey the Pope in such a matter as, for example, First
Confession before First Communion.
If Cardinal Gagnon can tell us to force the bishops to obey the Pope by
refraining to contribute to the support of the bishops until they obey (just as
you would not pay your lawyer if he does not represent you properly) so you
have it in your power to withdraw material support from your bishops when
they do not do their job.
That is a tool that God has given to the laity. It is not a tool of jurisdiction, that
is, we cannot command them to do something, but we can withdraw our
material support if they don't do their duty.

We Must Use All The Means
Therefore, it seems reasonable that since our freedom, our peace, our children,
our property... will all be taken away from us should we be put under
Communist rule, endangering the salvation of our souls, certainly we have a
right and even an obligation to use the means that God has given us in order to
cause the bishops to consecrate Russia. If Russia is not consecrated in time, the
Message of Fatima states clearly and explicitly that indeed Russia will conquer
us all.
Of course we must also pray for the bishops and in the course of our own lives
we must obey Our Lady of Fatima and spread the Message as it pertains to all
our friends and neighbors. But doing these things does not exclude our
responsibility given to us to do what we can to see that the bishops do their
duty in consecrating Russia. There is nothing more important for the salvation
of souls, peace of the world, and survival of various nations, than that the Pope
and the bishops obey this command of God immediately.

In Response To A Fourth Question,Priests Are Members Of Hierarchy
Another difficulty for some is that there seems to be no members of the
hierarchy who openly take personal responsibility for what is published.
We answer that The Fatima Crusader is under the direction of three members of
the hierarchy, namely three Catholic priests. To those who do not know that
priests are members of the hierarchy we remind them that priests have received
what the liturgical books call the second rank of the priesthood, implying that
there is a first rank which is that of the bishop.
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By second rank, priests are also members of the hierarchy. Although the
jurisdiction of a priest is in some things dependent on that of his bishop, it is
nevertheless true that priests have a hierarchical role within the Catholic Church
which cannot be swallowed up either by the bishops or by the laity.
The priest is personally responsible to God as well as to the people he serves for
the sacraments which he personally administers and for what he teaches.
For example, Padre Pio refused to comply when he was asked by his religious
superior to whom he was always obedient, to stop hearing Confessions of his
regular penitents every week in order to hear them only every second week.
The Superior had a good reason, namely, to relieve those penitents who had
come from overseas and sometimes waited up to 17 days before going to Padre
Pio for Confession.
The Superior thought that by lessening Padre Pio's Confessions with the regular
local penitents that the waiting period of the overseas people would be
somewhat lessened. Certainly it was inspired by charity. But Padre Pio, obedient
though he was, rejected this suggestion. He did so because he was personally
responsible for the sanctification and salvation of the souls of his regular
penitents. They had a right to have their Confessions heard by him once a
week. Thus Padre Pio, out of obedience to God and to fulfill his duty to his
regular penitents had to refuse his superior.
Similarly, when St. Pius X was a parish priest, he was commanded by his bishop
to stop preaching on a certain subject. He asked respectfully for the bishop to
put his order in writing. Canon law provided then and natural law provides that
every superior be willing to take personal responsibility for every order that he
gives. To insure accountability the subject has a right for the matter to become
a matter of public record.
Thus Pius X asked his bishop to give his order in writing, so that should the
parish priest be asked, or even wish to let it be known, he could point to the
signed document of the bishop. The bishop, not wishing to take personal
responsibility for the order refused to give a written order to his inferior. So the
parish priest, Father Joseph Sarto, (who later became St. Pius X), answered him
and said, "Very well, I will continue preaching what I have been preaching." And
he did so.

Priests Must Loudly Proclaim The Truth
All of the Catholic faithful and even more so, all Catholic priests, have an
obligation to the common good by speaking and by exhorting their fellow
Catholics to live according to the truth of God. No one, not even a bishop, has
the right to obstruct the truth about what God expects of individuals or even
members of the hierarchy from being known.
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Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He has not given jurisdiction to any
member of the hierarchy to obstruct the truth from becoming known, especially
if this truth be useful and necessary for salvation. Now since God has gone to
such trouble, so to speak, and has worked wonders of grace and tremendous
miracles to make known the Fatima requests, certainly He wants us to make
known the whole truth to allmankind.

No Permission Needed To Proclaim Fatima Message
So it is not necessary that there be a bishop who publicly endorses the Message
of Fatima. It has already been endorsed by five Popes. For you to tell the
Message of Fatima to your neighbor, you do not need an explicit letter or
document endorsing your personal apostolate of speaking about Fatima, and
passing on this Message in written form. Nor do three priests and all you
supporters need to get the explicit endorsement of a bishop before we can
speak, exhort and teach the general public about the Message of Fatima and its
urgency and importance. As a matter of fact, there are a number of good
bishops who support and encourage us in our work of publishing The Fatima
Crusader. It is more important that we tell the truth of the Message of Our Lady
of Fatima than to have the worthless endorsement of some members of the
hierarchy who, through ignorance or weakness (or malice) pervert the Message
of Fatima.
A few years ago there was a bishop who suggested in print in another magazine
that Our Lady did not really want us to pray in public for the conversion of
Russia. Father Joseph de Ste. Marie told us that there is yet another bishop who
goes around the world saying that the consecration has been done, when it is
evident that it has not been.
As a result of his misinformation and deceiving the people (whether deliberately
or not) the consecration of Russia according to the command of Our Lady and
the Most Holy Trinity has been set back.
We at The Fatima Crusader prefer not to have the endorsement of bishops like
the above two examples for our magazine. We think the truth is more
important.

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