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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Pope Appeals to Putin: Let Bishop Back In

by Christopher A. Ferrara

Associated Press reports that on May 8, 2002 Pope John Paul II personally appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to reverse the expulsion from Russia of Bishop Jerzy Mazur, the prelate in charge of Siberia, where most of the tiny flock of Russian Catholics still resides. More than a month-and-a-half later, AP reports that “Putin hasn’t responded.”

What? No response to the Pope from Vladimir Putin, who is — so say the Fatima revisionist dupes — a “practicing Christian”? Why does the Practicing Christian have nothing to say about this outrage? How can the Practicing Christian be unmoved by the Pope’s entreaty? Will the Practicing Christian do nothing about his “ex-communist” government’s expulsion of the Catholic bishop in charge of the largest Catholic population in the Russian Federation — all still there in Siberia, where Stalin sent their grandparents?

According to AP, Monsignor Jean Luis Tauran, the Vatican’s foreign minister, publicly complained “about the silence from Moscow.” Tauran says that “the Russians hadn’t even explained the reasons behind the ‘expulsion of sorts’.” Expulsion of sorts? Mazur has been expelled, period. Why not admit the obvious: the Catholic Church is now suffering official, overt persecution by the regime of the Practicing Christian.

In his May 8th letter to the Practicing Christian, the Pope asked him to intervene in the Mazur case “so that a pastor, who we believe has always shown himself to be generous and loyal, be returned to the Catholic community of such a vast part of the Russian Federation.” No response. In fact, the Russians have yet to give any reason at all for Mazur’s expulsion.

AP observes that “The pontiff’s letter came after an initial one, dated April 20 from Tauran to Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, received no response.” The Practicing Christian sits behind a wall of silence, while the Catholic Church suffers in “converted” Russia.

Tauran also said that “the absence of Mazur had already had concrete repercussions on the diocese and he urged the Russians to respect a Europe-wide pact allowing religions to establish and maintain their presence across the region.” Don’t count on it.

At least one good thing has come out of this development: the cover of the Practicing Christian has been blown. Now even the Fatima revisionists will have to stop calling him that. Yet they will persist in telling us that the “consecration” of Russia occurred 18 years ago. Tell that to the Catholics of Siberia.