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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Fatima Revisionists: the Saucer People
of the Catholic Church

by Christopher A. Ferrara

The Fatima revisionists, having painted themselves into a nasty corner on the question of the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (they continue to insist that consecrating the world is just the same as consecrating Russia), are no doubt experiencing that condition the psychologists call “cognitive dissidence”. In other words, reality has contradicted their pet delusion, creating a dissidence in their minds between reality — which is real — and their delusion — which they only think is real.

Some people affected by this condition opt for the delusion instead of reality, much in the same manner as the “saucer people” whose starship from the planet Antares (or wherever) fails to arrive on the predicted date, even though the saucer people were waiting in the desert with their luggage. Rather than admit they are delusional, the members of the saucer cult will just revise the starship’s arrival date. (Perhaps there was a slight mistake in calculating the inclination of the cosmic infundibulum.)

It has been eighteen years since the “consecration” of Russia, and the Fatima revisionists are still waiting for their starship to land in the middle of the desert, with their bags all packed and ready to go. But the starship is not going to arrive. Instead, a wholly unconverted Russia (where abortion is the preferred method of “birth control”) steps up its persecution of the Catholic Church. Even the secular media can now see a pattern of governmental oppression emerging from recent events.

On April 25, 2002 the Helsinki Watch Commission (a human rights organization focusing on Russia) reported on the sudden revocation of entry visas for Bishop Mazur of Siberia and two key priests in the miniscule Catholic ecclesial apparatus in that nation. Helsinki Watch also reported the protest of Congressman Christopher H. Smith: “Commission Co-Chairman Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) today reacted with dismay over the Russian Government’s most recent actions regarding the treatment of religious workers.” Smith urged the Russia government “to quickly permit the Catholic priests to obtain visas and re-enter Russia”, pointing out that “the inability of [Catholic] priests to enter Russia presents a special difficulty for the Catholic Church, since the vast majority of its clergy are foreigners. Consequently, the appearance of Russian authorities targeting Catholic clergy is of great concern. The Kremlin should take steps to counter these fears and ensure that these practices cease.”

The Vatican, of course, issued no public protest whatever, since the brilliant policy of Ostpolitik (administered by Cardinal Sodano) requires the Catholic Church to refrain from all protest in the hope that “quiet diplomacy” will gain concessions. In reality, the Church’s silence provides excellent cover for the Church’s persecutors.

Meanwhile, Vladimir (“the practicing Christian”) Putin has done nothing. Don’t hold your breath.

Helsinki Watch summarized the evidence of recent days — evidence whose implications the Fatima revisionists will no doubt ignore in their struggle with cognitive dissidence: “Last Friday, April 19, Russian authorities summarily cancelled the visa of Bishop Jerzy Mazur, a Polish citizen and one of Russia’s four Catholic bishops, forcing him to return immediately to Warsaw. Bishop Mazur heads the Diocese of Saint Joseph in Irkutsk, the largest, in terms of territory, Catholic diocese in the world. Bishop Mazur was reportedly informed by Russian officials that he was on a “black list” of individuals barred from entering the Russian Federation. In an earlier incident, Russian officials at the same airport seized the visa of Father Stefano Caprio, an Italian priest who has worked in Russia for more than a decade. When Father Caprio attempted to apply for a new visa, the Russian Embassy in Italy reportedly said he was banned from traveling to Russia, and would have to wait an entire year before submitting a new visa application.” And then, according to the Moscow Times, on April 22 two police officers stopped Damian Stepien, a Franciscan friar from Poland, after leaving the city’s Catholic cathedral. They “seized his passport, destroyed his photo then discarded the passport.” And lest we forget, last spring Friar Stanislaw Opiela, secretary of the Russian bishops’ conference, was denied a reentry visa and has since given up trying to obtain one.

While all this is going on, according to the Moscow Times “Pro-Kremlin lawmakers and nationalist activists” came together Tuesday (April 23) to protest ‘an encroaching Western expansion led by the United States and the Vatican’. The coalition will organize a ‘nationwide day of protest’ this Sunday. The group labeled the Roman Catholic Church’s decision to strengthen its dioceses as a threat to Russia's statehood.”

Helsinki Watch concludes: “The recent visa confiscations and expulsions of Catholic clergy are the latest moves in a series of actions by the Russian Government concerning religious freedom.”

But the Fatima revisionists are not alarmed. Since Russia was “consecrated” in 1984, they insist, the conversion of Russia will arrive any day now, any day. And so will the starship from the planet Antares.