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Russians Take to the Streets
Over Loss of Free Press

by Christopher A. Ferrara

One almost feels sorry for the Fatima revisionists. They have got themselves in a terrible bind. Day after day, they insist that Russia was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984 and that anyone who says otherwise is “disloyal to the Holy Father” — who himself has conspicuously refrained from pronouncing authoritatively on the matter. Day after day, as the evidence piles up that the spiritual and material condition of Russia is worse than ever, the Fatima revisionists look more ridiculous. How will they ever get out from under? How will they ever be able to admit they have been misleading the Catholic faithful for years?

One suspects that when their own ridiculousness becomes unbearable, they will finally drop their pretense of adhering to the Message of Fatima. They will openly (instead of furtively) give Our Lady of Fatima the heave-ho, telling us that the Message of Fatima was never very reliable in the first place. Better that than to admit they were wrong.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin continues to reveal himself as the dictator that he is. A recent article in World magazine neatly summarizes his systematic clampdown on what is left of Russia’s “free” press. World notes that in April thousands of Russians “took to the streets to protest what they believe is a state seizure of the country’s only independent television network, NTV. Gazprom, a state-run utility monopoly, was snatching up ownership of the network in a hostile takeover. Celebrity journalists, politicians, and entertainment figures mixed speeches with music and poetry to express solidarity with NTV.”

Of course, the demonstrations did no good; Putin’s program of state seizure of independent media outlets continues unabated. World observes that among Russians there is “growing concern that the management image of President Vladimir Putin is a cover for old-style authoritarianism.” Well, well, well. Hasn’t that “alarmist” and “conspiracy theorist” Father Nicholas Gruner been saying that for years? And now we are hearing it from a mainstream internet journal — not to mention such reputable sources as The New York Times, the National Post (of Canada) and The Wall Street Journal.

And lately we are also hearing it from the United States Department of State. According to World “the Bush State Department is losing patience with the Kremlin. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said ‘reasonable observers’ would see the changes at NTV and elsewhere in the Russian media as politically motivated. He said Media Most news outlets are ‘clear targets of a series of extraordinary pressures from law enforcement and other elements of the Russian government’.”

Ah, but there is no such concern among the Fatima revisionists. No, it’s a miracle — a miracle! — what is happening in Russia today. Just ask Father Fox, the Blue Army and that crew of self-appointed spiritual “experts” at EWTN. Don’t listen to Father Gruner and his “ilk”, they say. No, listen to us, because we are “loyal to the Holy Father”, blah, blah, blah.

How pathetic it is that these Catholics, with access to the intelligence of Heaven itself as revealed at Fatima, cannot see what even George Bush’s State Department and secular journalists can see. Ruined Russia is falling into the pit, while the Fatima-revisionist dupes obstinately proclaim her “conversion”. And so it goes in neo-Catholic land — a land of dreams and delusions.

Thanks to Bob Banaugh of Montana for his “heads-up” on the World magazine piece.