WILL ROME TAKE OVER FATIMA?
Rumors all over Portugal are that Rome is on the brink of Taking over Fatima
By Richard P. Salbato
According to one of Portugal's largest Newspapers, Correio da Manha (CM) the Vatican is on the verge of taking full control of the Fatima Shrine because of the interfaith conference, the visits of the Dalai Lama and the Hindu priests. After the news reports and the denials by priests and bishops in the country, getting down to the truth has been hard, but to the best of my knowledge this is the truth of the matter.
When the Dalai Lama came to Fatima (just to honor Our Lady) and I know because I was there it would have been no big deal except that the Portuguese Press, the bishop, and the Duke of Brigansa (king of Portugal) came with him making a big deal of it. This was not as innocent as it seemed. There are millions of Catholics in China and China is at war with the Dalai Lama. When the Church shows support in a formal way for one side or the other, then it opens the door for China to persecute the Catholics in China as they are doing. Also the radical Hindus in India have been attacking Catholics on a weekly basis including Mother Theresa Nuns in India.
According to Aura Miguel, a Vatican journalist, there are Cardinals in the Vatican and Bishops in Portugal who are very angry about the events in Fatima, including the "so-called" interfaith conference held here. Aura Miguel said that although the Holy Father is known for his ecumenical spirit and brought people of all faiths to Assisi, he kept the bounds of faith, having each group pray in separate buildings and never together. Never was the heresy of "Pluralism" expressed, but in the conference of Fatima, a priest was allowed to express such heresies. This did not set well with Traditional Cardinals in the Vatican and in Portugal. According to Aura Miguel, "Where there is smoke there is fire."
So, in the last five months of this year, the Apostolic Nunciature in Lisbon (the voice of Rome in Portugal) had hearings with ecclesiastical entities and with secret lay men in Fatima, asking questions about the Fatima bishop and the rector of the Shrine of Fatima. This information was passed on to the Vatican.
It seems clear that the Vatican has asked for an auxiliary bishop to assist Bishop Serifim Da Silva, who is 74 and scheduled to retire at 75. It is also rumored that this auxiliary bishop will replace the Rector of Sanctuary, Monsenhor Luciano Guerra.
The Portuguese Bishops have reacted in the most part in favor of the bishop and the rector of Fatima. The head of the Bishops Conference of Portugal, Lusa, D. Tomaz Nunes stated that all initiatives to open the Sanctuary to other religions occurred with the agreement of the Bishops Conference of Portugal, and any action by the Vatican against the Bishop and the Rector would have to be accompanied by sanctions against all the bishops of Portugal belonging to the Bishops Conference of Portugal.
But this would not be unusual as the Vatican has gone against many Bishop's Conferences throughout history including Germany and the United States in the last two years.
Bishop Januário Torgal Ferreira said that these reports were unfounded and accused the Father Gruner group in Canada of attacking the work of the bishop of Fatima.
But this is not the source of the Vatican's problems as the Vatican had already spoken out against Gruner and his groups. To give credit to Gruner and his stupidity only gives him credit which he does not deserve.
Father Luciano Guerra explained that the Hindu group did not violate laws of the Church and also said that because of two hundreds of letters he received over it that it would not happen again and that was good enough for me, since I know him to be a good man and priest.
But the mere fact that the three happenings were imprudent and should never have happened, has harmed Fatima and something more drastic has to happen to recover the reputation of Fatima.
Luciano Guerra said he wants to stay on in his current position until 2007, the year in which work on Santíssima Trindade Church is set to be completed. From a personal point of view, he deserves to have this option, but for the sake of Fatima he may have to be sacrificed, and a great sacrifice this would be for him, who has taken care of Fatima for more than 25 years.
Rome will not ask the Bishops Conference of Portugal for a recommendation for a new bishop. This is not how it works. The Apostolic Nunciature in Lisbon will take recommendations from different people and end up with three names, and these will be sent to the Holy Father. Sometimes the Holy Father will disregard all of these names and pick someone himself, completely outside of the area and even sometimes someone who is not now a bishop and this is what I think will happen.
And although I think it is unfair to him, I think for the sake of peace and the reputation of Fatima, Rector Guerra will have to be replaced also.
Very soon non-catholic Traditionalists like the Pius X Society and Father Gruner will converge on Fatima to hold huge conferences attacking Fatima, and this will not help promote the messages of Fatima. For the sake of Fatima, and not for the sake of justice, these changes should be make quickly and before these people converge on Fatima.
Will Rome Take Over Fatima?
The headlines of Portugal News, is "Rome to control Fátima?" and states that the Vatican is one step away from assuming full control of Fatima. Will this happen? Could this happen? In some ways I wish it would happen which I will explain later but it will never happen for many reasons.
Rome does not have direct control of any Church in the world outside of Rome. This is left to the local bishops. Rome does have direct control of Opus Dei in the same way it had direct control of the Templars but this is and was exceptions. Rome also has some direct control over all Carmelite Convents but this is with the cooperation of the local bishops. Besides these, all orders and churches are under the control of local bishops. Besides these examples private revelation is always under the authority of the local bishop and never has Rome approved or disapproved any private revelation. When the case of beatification or sainthood comes up, as in the cases of Jacinta and Francisco or Bernadette, then Rome and only Rome is the authority, but even then it is the saintliness of the people and not the apparitions. In a few days Rome will beatify Anna Catherine Emmerich but this does not mean that Rome approves all her revelations. Only the Local Bishop has that right.
If Rome were to take over Fatima, then they would be "officially" saying that they approve the apparitions, which I am sure they do, but not "officially".
Not only that but if Rome took over Fatima, why not Lourdes, Tre Fountain, Guadalupe, etc?
It will not happen, but what might happen is that Rome will appoint a Bishop and Rector in Fatima that will do Rome's bidding.
In some ways (many ways) I wish Rome would take over all shrines in the world. At the shrines people from all over the world come and want to see the true Orthodox Catholic faith. In these shrines Rome could show the world how it should be done.
A good example is Rome's new document on the Mass, Redemptionis Sacramentum see http://www.unitypublishing.com/liturgy/VaticanMass2004.htm
People could come to the shrines throughout the world and see the Mass as it should be done and not with the stupid innovations of bishops.
Also the Vatican's documents the Indult, Quattuor Annos, and Ecclesia Dei almost pleading with bishops to offer the Tridentine Mass in every diocese in the world but which is done almost no place. If at least in the shrines of the world one could attend the Tridentine Mass or the Novus Ordo the way it is supposed to be done, it would set the example to the rest of the world.
Truthfully if Rome wants the bishops of the world to obey its documents it should take over the shrines of the world and use them to set the example but this will never happen directly. It could happen indirectly by Rome hand picking the Rectors and the bishops. Let us hope that Rome will do this in Fatima and then see the value of it and do it all over the world.
It defense of the Rector of Fatima, I did get approval for the Tridentine Mass here on a daily basis. I even found them free housing and buildings for classes and even a seminary and I even found a way to pay all the expenses for this move. But the order I wanted to come here did not see the value of it. May God forgive them their lack of vision. Perhaps if this order had seen the value of this move, the Bishop and Rector would not be loosing their jobs. May God have mercy on this order's short sightedness.
One thing that angers me is that if you type in "Fatima" on the internet the first thing you get is Father Gruner's web sites. For this I can be somewhat angry with Fatima for not having a web site that is number one.
That being said, Shrines should be used to show the world the true teaching of Rome and not the liberal interpretations by liberal bishops.