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"Conversion of Russia" Update:

Noose Tightens on Church in Russia
as Key Priest Refused Entry Visa

by Christopher A. Ferrara

On March 6, 2001 reported that Father Stanislaw Opiela, who has played a major role in the effort to rebuild Catholic institutions in Russia, has been refused an entry visa “for the third time in a row.” Looks like the Russians intend to keep him out of the country forever. He must have been doing something a bit too Catholic for their liking.

Since the “consecration of Russia” in 1984 and the “miraculous fall of communism” in 1991, Russia has made no significant progress toward any sort of religious conversion, let alone conversion to the Catholic faith. Since enactment of Russia’s law on “freedom of religion” in 1997, the Catholic Church has been hamstrung in her effort even to exist in that country. Every non-Russian Catholic priest — which is to say, virtually the entire 224-man priesthood in Russia — is required by the new law to leave the country every three months and obtain a new entry visa. It is this provision which has just been used to bar Father Opiela from Russia.

Since Father Opiela was serving as the secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Russia and the rector of the St. Thomas Aquinas College of Catholic Theology in Moscow, and has now been unable to return to his duties for more than six months, I think we can see what the communist-dominated Russian parliament had in mind when passing this particular restriction on the Catholic Church in Russia. The provision makes it impossible to establish any continuity in Church administration, leaving the Church essentially rootless and incapable of growth.

CWN reports that “Russian Foreign Ministry officials have so far refused to explain to Catholic leaders why he has been repeatedly refused a visa. An official at the foreign ministry's department of consular service likewise declined to comment on Father Opiela’s visa refusals.” Big surprise. According to Father Jerzy Karpinski, the current provincial of the Society of Jesus in Russia, “We are in a critical situation. He [Father Opiela] is the only one who can teach some Christian disciplines. Furthermore Father Stanislaw remains the secretary of the bishops’ conference and rector of [the college]. I am having to carry out his duties for the moment.”

In short, the tiny, struggling outpost of the Catholic Church in Russia has been effectively sabotaged through the denial of a single entry visa. That, of course, is exactly the way the “ex-communists” running Russia today planned it when they passed the 1997 law.

The coming months will be a fascinating test of just how deep is the unblinking credulity of the Fatima revisionists, who want us to believe that a nation decomposing before our eyes is really undergoing the Triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. These useful idiots of the ecclesial realm are, like those in the political realm, always an important part of communist strategic planning. They provide wonderful cover for communist designs. By the time the useful idiots are forced to admit they were wrong, it will be too late for what little there is of the Catholic Church in Russia.

Make no mistake about it: without Heaven’s direct intervention, Russia’s “ex-communists” will never allow Russia’s conversion, or anything approaching it. That much is increasingly obvious — from this Fatima perspective.