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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Construction of Convent Forbidden by Russian Mayor

by Christopher A. Ferrara

A strange thing, this “conversion of Russia” the Fatima revisionists have been proclaiming since the non-consecration of Russia back in 1984. Every day the “conversion of Russia” continues, the situation becomes worse for Russian Catholics. At the rate this “conversion” is progressing, Catholics will soon be back in the Gulag. By that time the Fatima revisionists will be telling us that “conversion of Russia” means only that the Catholics in the Gulag will have the freedom to pray in their prison camps.

As reported on March 10, 2004, “tensions between Catholics and Orthodox continue to simmer in Russia. In the latest development, the mayor of Novgorod, a city north of Moscow, has denied the pastor of the Church of the Assumption permission to build a small Carmelite convent next to the parish.”

It seems the local mayor, one Vadim Bulavinov, decided that “a convent is not a normal house and thus cannot be built in the area.” Zenit notes a report in the Italian newspaper Avvenire that the decision followed a protest against the convent by Orthodox bishop Arzamas Georgij Danilov and by letters allegedly received from “writers, artists and simple people” who supposedly were afraid that construction of the convent “would be a challenge to the Orthodox.”

The local Catholic pastor, the Italian Father Mario Beverati (only 10 Catholic priests in Russia are native Russians), promptly followed “the spirit of Vatican II” and caved in to the opposition: “If the Orthodox diocese is opposed, the nuns will not come to Novgorod”, he said.

The Zenit article also notes an interesting fact: “During a press conference, local journalist Oleg Rodin explained that before the Communist Revolution of 1917, there was a Catholic parish in Novgorod with 5,000 faithful, two churches and some chapels.” And now? Only a handful of Catholics, one church and, apparently, no chapels. Here, as elsewhere in Russia, the Catholic presence today — some 13 years after the “fall of communism” — is far less than it was at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, only weeks after Our Lady appeared at Fatima.

This latest development is yet another burning coal heaped on the heads of those who say that Fatima is finished, and who echo the impudent words of the Vatican’s Archbishop Bertone, who informs us that any further request for Russia’s consecration to the Immaculate Heart is “without basis”.

How can Bertone, and those who think like him in the Vatican, live with the suffering of Russian Catholics when they know full well of the objection that this suffering results directly from their own obstinate refusal to do as Our Lady requested? Surely, at least in the quiet of the night as they lie in bed, it occurs to them: “What if I am wrong, and the consecration remains to be done? What if I am responsible for the persecution of the Church in Russia?”

Only God can judge a man’s heart. But I would not wish to be one of the men who have impeded the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God help them all.