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"Conversion of Russia" Update:

Czech Radio Censors Catholic Church

by Christopher A. Ferrara

On March 1, 2001 Zenit news service reported that “in a move reminiscent of the Communist era, state-run radio has banned an advertisement by Catholic bishops on the grounds that it amounts to proselytism.”

What did the ad say? Nothing more than this: “The Church is not a museum, but a living community that counts on you. Remember your faith at the time of the census.” According to Zenit, state network officials banned the ad on state radio because they “considered it a form of proselytism and, hence, illegal.”

Father Daniel Hermanns, a spokesman for the Czech bishops’ conference, says that the censoring of the ad was prompted by “what is seen as an excessive presence of Catholics in the country.” According to Father Hermanns, “the Church has the potential to grow in this land, which is otherwise regarded as one of the most atheistic countries in the world…” It is not likely that the Church will grow in the Czech Republic, however, if an innocuous statement like the one censored by state radio is deemed “illegal” proselytization.

According to Zenit, Father Hermanns says that growth of the Catholic Church in the Czech Republic “is not well regarded by many of the recycled former Communists who are still active in politics.” Oddly enough, the same situation obtains in “formerly communist” Russia, in which “recycled communists” passed a 1997 law on “freedom of religion” which likewise forbids Catholic proselytization.

Let the Fatima revisionists try to explain how the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the conversion of Russia prophesied by Our Lady of Fatima can be reconciled with laws which ban Catholic evangelism, and state authorities who censor even the most innocuous Catholic message. The current situation in “the former Soviet Union” could hardly be the result of a miraculous intervention by the Mother of God. Yet that is precisely what we were asked to believe when the Vatican published the commentary of Cardinal Ratzinger and Mons. Bertone on the Third Secret of Fatima last June.

Call me a stickler, but I rather doubt that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is taking place when the Catholic Church is forbidden to run a radio ad in the Czech Republic because the law forbids any effort to make Catholic converts. At least that’s how it seems from this Fatima perspective.