Skip to comments.Archbshp Sheen's Prophetic warning of 50 years ago: Mary and the Moslems; The Significance of Fatima
Posted on 11/02/2001 5:42:58 AM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
Mary and the Moslems
Moslemism is the only great post-Christian religion of the world. Because it had its origin in the seventh century under Mohammed, it was possible to unite, within it, some elements of Christianity and of Judaism, along with particular customs of Arabia. Moslemism takes the doctrine of the unity of God, His Majesty and His creative power, and uses it, in part, as a basis for the repudiation of Christ, the Son of God.
(The following was written in 1952 and reprinted in the October 2001 Mindszenty Report.)
The Power of Islam
by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Misunderstanding the notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet, announcing Him just as to Christians Isaiah and John the Baptist are prophets announcing Christ.
The Christian European West barely escaped destruction at the hands of the Moslems. At one point they were stopped near Tours and at another point, later on in time, outside the gates of Vienna. The Church throughout northern Africa ws practically destroyed by Moslem power, and at the present hour, the Moslems are beginning to rise again. If Moslemism is a heresy, as Hilaire Belloc believes it to be, it is the only heresy that has never declined. Others have had a moment of vigor, then gone into doctrinal decay at the death of the leader, and finally evaporated in a vague social movement. Moslemism, on the contrary, has only had its first phase. There was never a time in which it declined, either in numbers, or in the devotion of its followers.
The missionary effort of the Church toward this group has been at least on the surface, a failure, for the Moslems are so far almost unconvertible. The reason is that for a follower of Mohammed to become a Christian is much like a Christian becoming a Jew. The Moslems believe that they have the final and definitive revelation of God to the world and that Christ was only a prophet announcing Mohammed, the last of Gods real prophets.
At the present time, the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming a hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power. Moslem writers say, When the locust swarms darken countries, they bear on their wings these Arabic words: We are Gods host, each of us has ninety-nine eggs, and if we had a hundred, we should lay waste the world, with all that is in it.
The problem is, how shall we prevent the hatching of the hundredth egg? It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but that Moslemism, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity - and in a way that even some of our missionaries never suspect. It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teachings of Christianity, but through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God. This is the line of argument:
Mary, Mother of God
The Koran, which is the Bible of the Moslems, has many passages concerning the Blessed Virgin. First of all, the Koran believes in her Immaculate Conception, and also, in her Virgin Birth. The third chapter of the Koran places the history of Marys family in a genealogy which goes back through Abraham, Noah, and Adam. When one compares the Korans description of the birth of Mary with the aprocryphal Gospel of the birth of Mary, one is tempted to believe tht Mohammed very much depended upon the latter. Both books describe the old age and the definite sterility of the mother of Mary. When, however, she conceives, the mother of Mary is made to say in the Koran: O Lord, I vow and I consecrate to you what is already within me. Accept it from me.
When Mary is born, the mother says: And I consecrate her with all of her posterity under thy protection, O Lord, against Satan! The Koran passes over Joseph in the life of Mary, but the Moslem tradition knows his name and has some familiarity with him. In this tradition, Joseph is made to speak to Mary, who is a virgin. As he inquired how she conceived Jesus without a father, Mary answered: Do you not know that God, when He created the wheat had no need of seed, and that God by His power made the trees grow without the help of rain? All that God had to do was to say, So be it, and it was done. The Koran has also verses on the Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity. Angels are pictured as accompanying the Blessed Mother and saying: Oh Mary, God has chosen you and purified you, and elected you above all the women of the earth.
In the nineteenth chapter of the Koran there are 41 verses on Jesus and Mary. There is such a strong defense of the virginity of Mary here that the Koran, in the fourth book, attributed the condemnation of the Jews to their monstrous calumny against the Virgin Mary.
The Significance of Fatima
Mary, then, is for the Moslems the true Sayyida, or Lady. The only possible serious rival to her in their creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed himself. But after the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary. In a variant of the text, Fatima is made to say, I surpass all the women, except Mary.
This brings us to our second point: namely, why the Blessed Mother, in the 20th century, should have revealed herself in the significant little village of Fatima, so that to all future generations she would be known as Our Lady of Fatima. Since nothing ever happens out of Heaven except with a finesse of all details, I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as Our Lady of Fatima as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her divine Son too. Evidence to suport these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima. A Catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he live to Fatima. Thus, the very place where our Lady apeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.
The final evidence of the relationship of Fatima to the Moslems is the enthusiastic reception which the Moslems in Africa and India and elsewhere gave to the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima, as mentioned earlier. Moslems attended the church services in honor of our Lady, they allowed religious processions and even prayers before their mosques; and in Mozambique the Moslems who were unconverted, began to be Christian as soon as the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was erected.
A Missionary Strategy
Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima. Mary is the advent of Christ, bringing Christ to the people before Christ Himself is born. In an apologetic endeavor, it is always best to start with that which people already accept. Because the Moslems have a devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and to develop that devotion, with the full realization that Our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her divine Son. She is forever a traitor, in the sense that she will not accept any devotion for herself, but will always bring anyone who is devoted to her to her divine Son. As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief.
Many of our great missionaries in Africa have already broken down the bitter hatred and prejudices of the Moslems against the Christians through their acts of charity, their schools and hospitals. It now remains to use another approach, namely, that of taking the 41st chapter of the Koran and showing them that it was taken out of the Gospel of Luke, that Mary could not be, even in their own eyes, the most blessed of all the women of Heaven if she had not also borne the Savior of the world. If Judith and Esther of the Old Testament were pre-figures of Mary, then it may very well be that Fatima herself was a post-figure of Mary! The Moslems should be prepared to acknowledge that, if Fatima must give way in honor to the Blessed Mother, it is because she is different from all the other mothers of the world and that without Christ she would be nothing.
(This article courtesy of The Mindzenty Report, published by the Cardinal Mindzenty Foundation.)
We must assume that someone holding heterodox views could not rise to such a high position in the church and remain there.Why? It wouldnt be the first time.
Therefore, his views must be viewed as inside the sphere of acceptables Catholic teaching on ecumenism.I dont think you can state that automatically. The Pope didnt vet each and every statement he made or will make before appointing him, and the Pope hasnt held in some fashion that his teachings are acceptable. This is a prudential decision, and as such it is subject to the errors or prudence that a Pope is still capable of.
However, if we harken back to earlier church teachings (here I meant Vatican II), we find a different view of ecumenism. So again, I restate the question. Do we follow the current Vatican teaching on ecumenism represented by the top ranking official in charge of ecumenical affairs, Cardinal Kasper, or do we harken back to Vatican II's teaching and disregard the current church's views?I dont harken back, I harken to that which is eternal. Vatican II and the Catechism, as cited above, match. They say the same things. Thus, you can read either, you can harken back or you can read the present Church teachings, which regardless of what the Cardinal states, have not changed. The Cardinal is not the Magisterium, regardless of what he states, he is entirely and completely incapable of changing Church teaching.
I don't know what the point of accusing me of schism was. Perhaps you should be a little more careful before you start throwing such loaded terms around. It is an act lacking very much in the virtue of charity.Perhaps while you are accusing me of using loaded terms and accusing you of schism, you should reread my words:
I do not know you or where you are at, so please understand I make no judgments about you, but those words have such strong historical context to them.How exactly, do you get to my accusing you of being schismatic. I distinctly stated I do not know where you are at and that I make no judgments about you. I am very clear above, the words were words that many schematics utter. Thus, I criticized the wording, not the person.
I dont even accuse most SSPX adherents of being schismatic, Im not going to try to judge you based on one sentence. It is quite simply not my place.
The shenanigans with all this weaselling around with what the Third Secret refers to is troubling.Yes.
Has any credible Catholic authority compiled all of the various statements about the meaning of the Third Secret?Yes, it was published by the Vatican with commentary. If you mean all the statements by various groups claiming this and that about the meaning, I don't think that is possible. So many people are trying to hijack this thing that its impossible to be an expert on all of them.
Why did or why would factions in the Vatican try to dismiss and poopoo the Third Secret?Not sure what you mean, but I didnt think they did poopoo it. That the various divisions of the apparition fringe isnt satisfied with what it said since it didn't say what they wanted it to say. Similarly so many demand that the Pope say what they want him to say or the Bible say what they want it to say, but that doesn't mean it was poopooed. (can I say poopooed on FR?)
Wasn't it supposed to have been made public in 1960 when part of it allegedly would already be in the process of coming true according to Sr. Lucia?No, a creation of various types who think the Church wandered at about the same time. It fits their world view.
What was it that was coming true in the early 1960s? The great falling away, the great apostasy? You know, you sort of wonder why John XXIII didn't want to make it public.It also makes you wonder about the folks who make the claims about it. If God was really trying to say something more about it, and if God had said through Mary that it was to be published in 1960, do you really think Sr. Lucia would have obeyed any earthly instruction to remain quiet about it?
I pray that the Church brings forth another with the ability to preach like the late Bishop Sheen.I often think it has, but it is so hard to see them though all the dust and haze thrown up in the last couple decades. You can find so many who really can preach, but the times are different. The liberals who are fighting so tenaciously to retain control over the Church in this country arent going to let a good preacher easily achieve national status. Other then an EWTN, a Catholic priest cant get on television anymore to teach the faith. Bishop Sheen was perfect for the time he was in. I think God will give us what we need in this time as well.
But if you begin from unaided reason, the double-predestination doctrine can be seen to be unreasonable.
So there is a paradox. The conclusion derived from First Principles of natural reason apparently contradicts the conclusion derived from certain Scriptural passages. Where does a Christian go from here? The Catholic would defer to unaided reason, since conclusions derived from First Principles are known with certainty. Therefore, the Catholic would conclude (based on the belief that the Bible is inspired) that the Scriptural contradiction is an apparent contradiction or paradox, since Reason cannot contradict Faith (since God is the author of both).
The Catholic would then look to the Church's teaching on the matter or the Church's infallible interpretation of Scripture. With regard to the passages frequently cited by Calvinists which say that "God hated..." the explanation is that the phrase "God hated..." is a Jewish idiom with a different meaning than what we would ascribe to the phrase.
Do you pray for anyone else or do you ask anyone to pray for you?
Sources have also suggested that Sr. Lucia's letter encourages the Pope to fully reveal the Third Secret. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who presented the interpretation of the Third Secret on June 26, 2000, said yesterday that the recent rumours of a letter are only the continuation of, "an old polemic fed by certain people of dubious credibility," with the objective of "destabilizing the internal equilibrium of the Roman Curia and of troubling the people of God."
One of the people who seems to fit Cardinal Ratzinger's description, arguably, is a Canadian priest, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, head of the Fatima Center, who has been suspended a divinis by the Vatican. Fr. Gruner has long maintained that the "third secret" was not fully revealed by the Vatican and has publicly pressured Rome to release the full text.
Gruner claims that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is conducting a "campaign of mystification," revealing only parts of the secret. This "does not conform to the truth," Gruner says.
The article posted by Proud2bRC above cites Sr. Lucia as saying the full text of the Third Secret hasn't been revealed. If she really said it, that's not some fringe group making it up.Which article above? First of all, the links he gave originated, as I said, from the fringe groups. So far as I can tell, the latest rumors about the Third Secret being revealed started at the Remnant. The Remnant, while not being schismatic in a clear sense, is really out there. They rail against everything in the modern Church, from the Mass in English on up.
There are no statements directly from Sr. Lucia. All of them are being filtered through these various groups, whether the Remnant or Fr. Gruner or whomever.
I think it would be helpful to provide you with the Remnant text talking about a letter from Sr. Lucia, the actual letter (in Spanish in case you are fluent) and a translation thereof. You can evaluate it all for yourself, absent anything I think about it. The Remnant:
Michael Matt, editor of the Remnant a traditionalist Catholic newspaper published the following report on their website.
We have been informed by a reliable contact in France that Sister Lucy (the only surviving seer of the Fatima apparitions) has delivered a message to Carmelite sisters in France. According to this report, Sister Lucy recently received another communication from the Mother of God. In the wake of that communication, we are told, Sister Lucy has asked Carmelite sisters throughout the world to pray specifically on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary for a special intention. That intention is, we are told, that the world might be spared a blood bath. Whether this has any connection to the impending war with Islamic terrorists, we have no way of knowing.
Though our French source is reliable, we have not been able to confirm this report ourselves, and are now in the process of trying to do so. At least two Carmelite convents in the United States have indicated to us that they have NOT received such a message. One Carmelite convent, however, did confirm that they did receive a letter from the Asociatcion Ntra. Sca Del Rosario in Fatima Portugal (dated September 13th, 2001), which did call on the Carmelite order to unite with Sister Lucy in praying for peace in the world on October 7the Feast of the Holy Rosary. In this letter (written in Spanish) there was no mention of a recent communication to Sister Lucy from Our Lady, nor was there reference to a blood bath. We are presently waiting for the text of the French version.
In any event, we believe that, because time is short between now and the Feast of the Holy Rosary, it would be a good idea for all Catholics to join the Carmelites in praying for this intention on tomorrows Feast. Such an intention is a certainly most worthy, especially right now; so even if this French report turns out to be somehow exaggerated, the intention is still well worth remembering during this critical hour of unrest and uncertainty in the world.
Reverend Mother Prioress and Community,
On the occasion of the Carmelite Jubilee Year and with the desire to receive the greatest amount of Grace possible, inspired by the Holy Spirit, we invite you to join yourselves to our continuous Rosary that we will pray on October 7, Our Lady of the Rosary, for the definitive triumph of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
From the same chapel of the Holy Apparitions of the Most Blessed Virgin of Fatima and in the Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, we will remain for 24 hours praying the Holy Rosary and imploring God for peace in the world and for the pardon of our sins.
In a very special way, we will beseech Him in intercession for the holiness of all Carmelites, in union with Sr. Lucia and the Carmelite Communities.
With great affection and alway united with Jesus and Mary, The Association of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
John XXIII Avenue, Number 59
2495-403 Fatima, Portugal
Factions in the Church did wander in the 1960s, by the way.Certainly. Some have always wandered in every age. I cant see how anyone could disagree with that.
It also proceeds from unaided reason. In fact, the first thing obvious to man about God is his power; his love can be naturally put into question, as many Old Testament episodes illustrate.
You wished to insinuate that what I was saying was schismatic while hiding behind a plea that you weren't being judgemental.For someone who is so stridently against my reading anything into your post, you read an awful lot into mine. Im not hiding behind anything, and my words are clear enough. Anyone reading it can decide what they like about me.
And what you were saying was what schismatics say. That doesnt make you one, it just means that it is a common statement that schismatics say.
The implication that I was going to head off into schism if I kept asking similar questions was very clear and by implying it you wished to cut off any further debate on the issue.I hardly wished to cut off debate. If you will note I have posted substance on the issue, I have posted the Church teaching. These things ordinarily further the debate if you are having a discussion with folks who are willing to debate. You have ignored them. If you wish to discuss, please do so.
Perhaps you should step back a second a re-evaluate whether you are qualified to even be using such a term.Dear sir, to repeat myself, I am quite clearly am not qualified. As I previously said:
It is quite simply not my place.You are picking a fight where one does not exist. You are doing your dead level best to ignore or twist my words. I am not calling you schismatic.
How about backing up to this response. Going on to personal attack does not serve anyone's interest.
I too misunderstood your question, and my gut reaction was precisely that of Patent. He beat me to it.
For anyone who has gone rounds with schismatic traditionalists, or been one themselves, they can see the schismatic errors are much more seductive and sinister than liberal or protestant errors. Furthermore, schismatic traditionalists are sometimes the most vicious and uncharitable in carrying forward their agenda.
I do not make the error of confusing schismatic traditionalists with Traditionalists. I personally attend the Indult mass as often as possible (but since it is 90 miles away, that is not often.)
But a Catholic faithful to the Magisterium and the Pope will always jump harder against perceived schismatic errors than other errors, simply because they recognize the mortal danger to the faithful these errors pose.
So lets go forward with charity and overlook what seems to you an over reaction, and what appears to us to verge on schismatic error.