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"Conversion of Russia" Update:

Russia Denies Permit to Build
Catholic Church — After It Is Built

by Christopher A. Ferrara
October 28, 2011

Does the conversion of Russia have anything to do with the Catholic Faith? Does the Message of Fatima, which says that Russia “will be converted,” have anything to do with the Catholic Faith? Not according to the Fatima revisionists in the Vatican apparatus and their faithful servants among the Catholic rank and file. Over the past twenty-seven years — since the 1984 “consecration of Russia” that avoided any mention of Russia — they have redefined conversion to mean “regime change” and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart to be essentially the geopolitical status quo or else some ill-defined happy event in the dim future.

Well, there has certainly been a regime change in Russia since 1984. But just as certainly there has been no conversion of Russia to the Catholic Faith nor anything that could seriously be described as the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Far from a conversion of Russia to the Faith, what we see in Russia today is a marginalized Catholic Church whose precarious legal existence is at the whim of local bureaucrats controlled from the Kremlin.

Consider the latest among innumerable examples this column has presented. On October 7, 2011 Zenit news reported a protest by Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of the Diocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Russia. (Note that Catholic dioceses in Russia are not allowed to be territorial in nature and must give themselves non-territorial names, so as to avoid offending the Orthodox.) The Archbishop is protesting “the rejection of a permit to build a Catholic church in the northeastern Russian town of Pskov.” According to Vatican Radio, the Archbishop has condemned the action as “deliberate discrimination against the Catholic population of Pskov.”

But this is no mere rejection of a permit to build. This is a rejection of a permit renewal for a church that has been under construction for the past ten years. The pretext, as Zenit reports, was that “construction had not begun before the previous permit ran out.” But that is a lie. Construction began in 2001, after local authorities refused to restore the Catholic cathedral stolen from the Church before the “conversion of Russia” in 1984.

Now, with the parish complex of the new church already built with donations from the local Catholic faithful, local bureaucrats have killed the project and thereby converted the church into an uninhabitable hulk. This after its lower half was consecrated by the former president of the Russian Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, who has publicly denounced the persecution of the Catholic Church in Russia.

Indeed, back in 2002 I reported here (see Fatima Perspectives No. 215) that Kondrusiewicz publicly linked official persecution of the Church in Russia precisely to an appeal by an Orthodox bishop to Vladimir Putin to put a stop to construction of the new Catholic church in Pskov for which the permit has just been revoked after ten years of construction. In his appeal to Putin the Orthodox bishop had whined: “Do not offend our people with a Catholic presence.” It appears that the word has come down from Putin’s Kremlin that the church must not be completed.

Not offending the Russian Orthodox with a Catholic presence in Russia is what the “new” Message of Fatima is all about. The Fatima revisionists are now preaching precisely the opposite of what the Mother of God proclaimed at the Cova da Iria: “In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted...” Of course, we know where to look for inversions of the truth such as this. Whether the promoters of this pernicious fiction know it or not, the ultimate author of Fatima revisionism is the one whom Our Lord called the father of lies.