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1 Recent Events in the Church Show: Father Gruner Was Right About the Secret of Fatima by Christopher A. Ferrara Under the leadership of Father Nicholas Gruner, the Fatima Center was the only Fatima apostolate in the world that had the courage to document the truth about the current crisis of faith and discipline in the Church: i.e., that the Third Secret foretells what Cardinal Ciappi, the papal theologian for five Popes, described as an apostasy that begins at the top. 1 We have carried on Father Gruner s work and honored his legacy by continuing to document this truth as it unfolds before our eyes. During the current pontificate we are witnessing precisely what Pope Benedict XVI revealed about the Third Secret during his pilgrimage to Fatima in 2010, that it concerns: realities involving the future of the Church, which are gradually taking shape and becoming evident. By this he meant that today we are seeing in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church 2 There is no doubt that the presence of sin within the Church is involved in the truly incredible developments surrounding a Synod on the Family that immediately degenerated into a veritable plot to overthrow the teaching of Pope John Paul II, in line with all of tradition, that divorced and remarried persons, who live in a situation of permanent and public adultery, 3 cannot be allowed to receive Holy Communion. This is because their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist and if these people were admitted to 20 The Fatima Crusader Spring 2017

2 the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage. 4 As John Paul insisted, again in line with all of Tradition: Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples. [internal quotation omitted] Following the Synod, however, the plot to overthrow this teaching appeared to achieve its aim with the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL). AL s explosively controversial Chapter VIII clearly opened the door to Holy Communion for public adulterers, while presenting exceptionless negative precepts of the natural law, including Thou shalt not commit adultery, as general rules or an ideal from which certain people may be excused due to mitigating factors. (Cf. AL, Chapter VIII, ). Adultery Is Intrinsically Evil Of particular gravity in this regard is AL s astounding paragraph 301, which purports to declare that the negative precept of the natural law forbidding the intrinsic evil of adultery and other sexual relations outside of marriage is a rule that certain people in certain situations cannot be expected to obey that is, situation ethics even if the person in question knows that the Church teaches that his/her behavior is mortally sinful: Hence it is can no longer [!] simply be said that all those in any irregular situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. [!] More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great The Fatima Crusader Spring

3 difficulty in understanding its inherent values, or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin. 5 The appearance of AL was immediately followed by permission for sacrilegious Holy Communion in certain cases being granted by bishops in Germany, the Philippines, Buenos Aires (with Francis explicit approval by letter), the very Diocese of Rome, the bishops of Malta and numerous other bishops all of them citing only AL as their authority. At the same time, however, other bishops (such as Chaput of Philadelphia) are attempting to maintain the Church s bimillennial discipline. This unprecedented situation prompted four cardinals (Burke, Brandmuller, Caffarra and Meisner) to present their now famous dubia (questions) to clarify whether the Pope intends to overturn the teaching of his predecessors and relativize even the natural law concerning the intrinsic evil of adultery. Thus far Francis has refused to answer the dubia. The resulting civil war over the Church s doctrine and related practice something not seen since the Arian crisis of the 4th century has reached a new level of intensity with the publication of a pamphlet in book form by Cardinal Franceso Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, on February 14. Amoris Laetitia Opens the Way to Sacrilegious Holy Communion Incredibly enough, Coccopalmerio s booklet, which clearly has the tacit approval of the Pope, openly declares that AL does indeed open the way to sacrilegious Holy Communion not only for the divorced and remarried but also for couples immorally cohabiting without even a civil marriage ceremony: The divorced and remarried, de facto couples, those cohabiting, are certainly not models of unions in sync with Catholic Doctrine, but the Church cannot look the other way. Therefore, the sacraments of Reconciliation and of Communion must be given even to those socalled wounded families and to however many who, despite living in situations not in line with traditional matrimonial canons, 22 The Fatima Crusader Spring 2017

4 His Excellency Don Jose Alves Correia da Silva, Bishop of Leiria. Before him, the Third Secret of Fatima which still has not been released to the public. It was to have been released by 1960 at the latest. express the sincere desire to approach the sacraments after an appropriate period of discernment... Yes, therefore, to admission to the sacraments for those who, despite living in irregular situations, sincerely ask for admission into the fullness of ecclesial life, it is a gesture of openness and profound mercy on the part of Mother Church, who does not leave behind any of her children, aware that absolute perfection is a precious gift, but one which cannot be reached by everyone. [I]f the commitment to live as brother and sister proves possible without difficulty for the couple s relationship, then the two cohabiting may accept it willingly; if, however, the commitment creates difficulties, the two partners seem to not be obligated in and of themselves, because they will meet the case of the subject spoken of in [AL] n. 301 with this clear expression: [a subject] can be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further The Fatima Crusader Spring

5 sin. In other words, Coccopalmerio s pamphlet, based solely on Chapter VIII of AL, declares that not only the divorced and remarried but also de facto couples and those cohabiting must be given absolution in Confession and Holy Communion despite situations not in line with traditional matrimonial canons meaning adultery and fornication if: (a) they sincerely ask for the Sacraments after (b) a period of discernment whatever that means and (c) they are sincerely convinced they cannot change their irregular situations. False Mercy Immoral The teaching of John Paul II, affirming the constant teaching and discipline of the Church throughout her history, is here clearly overthrown. According to Coccopalmerio, people living in adultery need not cease their adultery by living as brother and sister (for the sake of any children) when this would create difficulty for the couple s relationship. But that very sort of relationship is immoral and must be ended, as the Church has always taught. The primary difficulty with such relationships is that they are mortally sinful. But, Coccopalmerio, citing only AL, 301 quoted above declares a relationship constituting adultery or fornication is not mortally sinful if the one involved in such a relationship supposedly faces a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin Coccopalmerio also provides an utterly astounding explanation of what AL means by without further sin. As reported by Crux magazine in its story on the pamphlet: According to Coccopalmerio, the couples who can [live as brother and sister], should, but there s also the reality that without sexual intimacy between a couple, the temptation to be unfaithful and find intimacy elsewhere grows. So, Coccopalmerio again, speaking with the apparent approval of Francis seriously proposes that someone living in adultery can continue to commit adultery with his/her partner in adultery while receiving Holy Communion if it is the case that 24 The Fatima Crusader Spring 2017

6 otherwise he/she would end up fornicating with someone else! In other words: continue committing one mortal sin to avoid the temptation of committing another. This idea is simply monstrous. It defies belief that a Vatican prelate could propose it to the whole Church. Destruction of Church Teaching But it is even worse than this. As noted above, Coccopalmerio suggests that those living in irregular relationships meaning those habitually engaging in adultery or fornication have merely fallen short of absolute perfection [which] is a precious gift, but one which cannot be reached by everyone. In other words, Coccopalmerio declares that not everyone can be expected to achieve the absolute perfection of avoiding sexual relations outside of marriage! This idea represents the de facto destruction of the Church s entire teaching on sexual morality, for it purports to reduce a fundamental moral precept the very least that God expects of us with the aid of His grace to a mere ideal. The natural moral law would thus no longer be a law at all but rather a kind of benchmark for personal growth and development. Reach it if you can, but if you cannot, God will forgive you anyway. Then there is the implication that those living in irregular situations meaning that they habitually engage in adultery or fornication while not absolutely perfect in their behavior are nonetheless living in some degree of moral perfection, as if there could be gradations of obedience to the Sixth Commandment. Moral Madness All of this is moral madness. If carried to its logical conclusion, it would mean that no one need obey any aspect of the moral law if it would be too difficult to achieve the absolute perfection of the ideal. And what is the source of this madness? Not Coccopalmerio, but Amoris Laetitia, the creation of Francis and a team of Modernist ghostwriters. Chief among these is his old friend Víctor Manuel Fernández, aka Tucho, a theological menace who wrote a book on the art of kissing and whom Bergoglio made a titular archbishop as one of his first acts of office. Even the staid, resolutely middle-of-the-road Catholic Herald has run a headline story The Fatima Crusader Spring

7 on Coccopalmerio s bombshell under the headline The Church is now in a full-blown civil war over doctrine. After sketching the trajectory on which Francis has launched the Church, the Herald does not hesitate to draw this momentous conclusion about what is happening in the Church at this very moment. Cardinal Coccopalmerio is a senior Vatican figure; his book has appeared with evident support from within the Vatican, and without official contradiction. And his opinion is close to that of many other prelates (such as the bishops of Malta and most of those in Germany). So the debate about Communion can no longer be seen if it ever could as a marginal squabble between liberals and conservatives. Nor can it be framed as a question of whether you prefer a bit more mercy or a bit more justice. It is now, quite plainly, a debate about whether the teaching of the Church is still valid. Of course, Church teaching is still valid. Not even a Pope can alter, much less declare invalid, what the Church has always taught on faith and morals. But Francis has given the impression that such a thing is possible, thus igniting a civil war in the Church over a moral precept as basic as Thou shalt not commit adultery. The Catholic mind staggers before such a total capitulation to the sexual zeitgeist by a Vatican cardinal, who, like the other papal surrogates participating in this diabolical farce, suggests but dares not state explicitly that Francis adheres to this view. But what is happening today would not have been a surprise to Father Gruner. Nor, in the light of the Message of Fatima, is it a surprise to Cardinal Caffarra, one of the four cardinals who submitted the dubia to Francis. For, as Sister Lucy warned him in a letter during the late 1990s: [T]he final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don t be afraid, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. 6 Yet God is already drawing good from this continuing evil. Catholics of good will around the globe are now coming to understand that something is wrong in the Vatican, something of unprecedented magnitude. 26 The Fatima Crusader Spring 2017

8 Christopher Ferrara, a long-time friend of Father Gruner, is a frequent speaker at Our Lady s Advocates conferences. He is a renowned Fatima expert and author of several books on Fatima, including False Friends of Fatima and The Secret Still Hidden available from The Fatima Center. They are beginning to see, as those devoted to the Message of Fatima have long understood, that we are in the midst, precisely, of an apostasy that begins at the top. That apostasy, fearful though it is, can only be the final stage of the ecclesial crisis foretold in the Third Secret, and thus the beginning of dramatic events for the Church and the world that will lead, finally, to the glorious outcome to which Father Gruner devoted his life s work, the work that we continue in his memory: the Consecration of Russia and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Footnotes: 1. Father Gerard Mura, The Third Secret of Fatima: Has It Been Completely Revealed?, Catholic (published by the Transalpine Redemptorists, Orkney Isles, Scotland, Great Britain) March Interview of the Holy Father Benedict XVI with Journalists During the Flight to vatican.va 3. Catechism of the Catholic Church, SS Familaris consortio, n Translations provided by Rorate Caeli and onepeterfive.com (third passage). 6. Cardinal; What Sister Lucia told me: Final Confrontation between the Lord and satan will be over Family and Marriage, June 17, The Fatima Crusader Spring

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