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More Posturing From the "Vice President For Theology"

by Christopher A. Ferrara

As noted in my previous column ("The Ignorant Advice of Colin Donovan"), Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) has on its staff a mudslinging "theological expert" by the name of Colin Donovan. Donovan, who also holds the hilarious title of EWTN's "Vice President for Theology" (I kid you not), specializes in the narrow theological field of "General Questions Not Covered Elsewhere."

Well, Donovan is at it again. The Vice President for Theology is having a field day with the Vatican Press Office's announcement on September 12, 2001 that Father Gruner was "suspended"---solely for the "offense" of declining to "return" to Avellino, whose bishop gave Father Gruner permission to leave 25 years ago, since Avellino has never had any need for a priest who cannot speak the local dialect. (Father Gruner was ordained there to join an English-speaking Franciscan community that could not get off the ground.)

Naturally, Donovan fails to mention that the same Vatican bureaucrats who declare the "suspension" (without mentioning any grounds for it) are the very ones who have systematically blocked several friendly bishops from incardinating Father Gruner in places other than Avellino over the years. All that matters to Donovan and the clique of Fatima revisionist dupes he represents, is that now they can say "Father Gruner is SUSPENDED!!!!" After this, all further discussion of the merits of Father Gruner's views, shared by millions of Catholics, is apparently supposed to cease.

Well, it won't cease. Even assuming for argument's sake that Father Gruner is validly SUSPENDED!!!---based on the incardination dilemma his own accusers engineered---he still has the right to express a point of view, write articles and give talks, just like any other member of the Church. Let us recall Hans Küng, whose latest book denies the Scriptural basis for the papacy and suggests that Blessed Pius IX was a psychopath. This is the same Küng, by the way, who publicly declared that John Paul II engages in "despotic rule in the spirit of the Inquisition." Of course, Küng is not SUPSPENDED!!!, even though he is perhaps the most flagrant heretic since Martin Luther. On the contrary, he remains a priest in good standing, and Cardinal Sodano---Father Gruner's leading persecutor---publicly praised Küng's writings in his infamous Lateran speech of 1998. But that's just another example of the double standard of justice in the Church today.

More to the point, Donovan maliciously suggests that Father Gruner is some kind of nut case because he "charges a Vatican conspiracy to cover up the real content of the Third Secret . . ." I say maliciously, because Donovan knows full well that his own boss, Mother Angelica, told millions of Catholics on live TV that she too thinks the Vatican is hiding part of the Third Secret. Let us recall Mother Angelica's words on May 16, 2001, which Donovan and his fellow calumniators at EWTN would no doubt like to bury:

As for the Secret, well I happen to be one of those individuals who thinks we didn’t get the whole thing. I told ya! I mean, you have the right to your own opinion, don’t you, Father? There, you know, that’s my opinion. Because I think it’s scary. And I don’t think the Holy See is going to say something that does not happen, that might happen. And then what does it do if it doesn’t happen? I mean the Holy See cannot afford to make prophecies. . . Something’s gonna happen soon. It could be twenty years before it happens. So to God "soon" could be a thousand years. We don’t know that.

Mother Angelica, therefore, agrees with Father Gruner. Perhaps she too ought to be SUSPENDED!!! And Mother Angelica was quite right: something was "gonna happen soon." Only four months later the terrorist attack on America took place, triggering a chain of events that could well develop into the next world war, or at the very least a massive chastisement for America, the land of partial birth abortion.

So, whether or not Father Gruner is SUSPENDED!!!, one thing becomes clearer with each passing day: Father Gruner is right and the Colin Donovans of this world are tragically wrong. As for Father Gruner's "suspension," that is not the issue and never has been. If (God forbid) Father Gruner dropped dead tomorrow, the issue would remain the same: The issue is the truth about Fatima. And it is precisely the truth about Fatima that name-calling demagogues like the Vice President for Theology are trying to obscure.