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"Father Gruner Was Right" Update

by Christopher A. Ferrara

With this column (and after a brief hiatus) I am inaugurating a new update feature: the "Father Gruner Was Right" update. This week I will discuss what has already become common knowledge outside the neo-Catholic excuse factory: Vladimir Putin is the new Soviet dictator of Russia. There has been no conversion of Russia in any sense: religious or political. Father Gruner was right.

Let’s consider, as just one piece of evidence, a recent story by The Washington Post News Service entitled: "Putin Moves to Centralize Authority: Plan Would Restrict Elections in Russia." As the Post reports (September 14, 2004), "President Vladimir Putin announced plans Monday for a ‘radically restructured’ political system that would bolster his power by ending the popular election of governors and independent lawmakers, moves he portrayed as a response to this month’s deadly seizure of a Russian school."

As the article notes, under this "radical restructuring" of Russian "democracy"  —  which never really existed in the first place  —  Putin "would appoint all governors to create a ‘single chain of command’ and allow Russians to vote only for political parties rather than specific candidates in parliamentary elections." In short, Vladimir Putin is about to make it official: He is the dictator of Russia.

Putin claims he is only "enhancing national cohesion in the face of a terrorist threat." But his political opponents  —  that is, the few that have not been shot by mysterious gunmen, exiled or indicted on trumped-up criminal charges  —  protest that Putin has taken "another step toward restoring the tyranny of the state 13 years after the fall of the Soviet Union." As Sergei Mitrokhin, a former parliamentary leader from the Yabloko party, put it: "It’s the beginning of a constitutional coup d’etat."

Now, Putin’s plans must be passed by the Russian parliament, but  —  wouldn’t you know it?  —  the Kremlin "controls more than two-thirds of the legislature directly …" Not only that, under Putin’s scheme the parliament itself "would consist only of members elected from party lists, meaning that political parties such as Putin’s United Russia would exercise exclusive control over everyone who runs for election."

Can you spell dic-TA-torship? I knew that you could. And what about the political opposition? Well, it seems  —  and this gets stranger by the day  —  the other political parties "quickly endorsed the ideas. Even the governors, who could lose their jobs, surrendered, either welcoming the plans or remaining silent." Just like that! Why yes, Comrade Putin, we would be happy to see you become the new dictator of Russia. Right this way, Comrade Putin!

I would like the Fatima revisionist stooges who have been laughing at Father Gruner since 1984 to think these thoughts when they go to bed at night: "Was I wrong about the ‘consecration’ of Russia in 1984? In claiming that Our Lady’s request was fulfilled back then, have I promoted a fiction that has caused immense and totally avoidable suffering to the Russian people? Am I myself partly responsible for the rise of Putin the dictator, and the growing alliance between Russia and Red China that threatens the peace of the whole world. Was Father Gruner right?"

Father Gruner was right  —  which is to say, Our Lady of Fatima was right when She warned: "If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will suffer much and various nations will be annihilated."

Let those who have scoffed at Father Gruner over the past twenty years take that thought to bed with them as well.