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Russian People Hear More About John Paul II's Connection to Fatima.
Inside The Vatican ^ | 10/24/01 | Alessandro Schirru

Posted on 10/25/2001 7:56:58 AM PDT by marshmallow

Papal visit to Russia one step closer.

A new book clearly laying out Pope John Paul II's deep connection with Fatima was presented in Moscow last week, causing some observers in Russia to suggest that a papal visit to Russia is now one step nearer.

On October 16, the 23rd anniversary of John Paul II's pontificate, Aura Miguel, the most prominent Portuguese journalist in the Vatican press corps, presented in Moscow her book "The Secret that Leads the Pope."

"Events like this one (the presentation of the book) make the visit of the Pope to Russia even more likely," proclaimed Russian journalist Alexej Bugalov, correspondent for the Tass news agency at the Vatican.

Opening the ceremony, Bugalov spoke with great emotion of the Pope's recent visit to Kazakhstan, recalling fondly one of the banners at the papal Mass which proclaimed: "Holiness, we are waiting for you in Russia."

"Even if these words have not yet been pronounced by the Russian Orthodox Church," Bugalov continued, "they are pronounced by the simple faithful."

The thesis of Miguel's book is simple but intriguing: that the papacy of John Paul II is mysteriously sustained - "led" (as the title says) - by the Secret of Fatima.

Many, particularly in the Catholic world, know the story of the apparitions of Mary in Cova da Iria, Fatima, Portugal which began on May 13, 1917 and continued for six months, always on the 13th of the month (except in August, when the three children were imprisoned by the town's mayor). Scores of books in many languages have been written on Fatima, but few have traced out the connections between the Fatima apparitions and the papacy of Karol Wojtyla.

By presenting her book in Russia, Miguel has revealed a link between the life and work of Pope John Paul II and the Secret of Fatima that, until now, most Russian people had never heard of.

The book begins with the Pope's reawakening in the hospital after the assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square in May, 1981. One of those close to the Holy Father reminded him that the date of the assassination attempt was precisely the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.

John Paul II, despite his precarious condition, immediately requested that all of the documents regarding the mystery of Fatima be brought to him.

The author speaks of the "clamorous" experience of the Pope, of his "entering into the mystery" by means of a bullet, of his attempts to follow the instructions given by Mary in her later apparitions of 1925, 1926 and 1929; of his correspondence with Sister Lucia, the only seer still living, who only after the consecration carried out in 1984 confirmed the fulfillment, in her view, of the Virgin's requests.

The author did not know the contents of the third secret when she published the first edition of the book and did not wait for the Holy Father to make it public. The subsequent revelation of the secret, however, only confirmed the thesis of the book, which was then re-issued, with the new information and explanatory notes.

Aura Miguel, during her presentation, made reference to Vittorio Messori's interview with the Holy Father in 1994, in which the renowned Italian journalist wanted to attribute to Pope John Paul II a decisive role in world history of the last 10 years. But the Pope demurred, saying he did nothing but proclaim the Gospel: "Proclaiming the Gospel brings, on it own, the affirmation of human values and of respect for the human person, and his freedom."

When Messori insisted, in a subsequent interview, on the Holy Father's role in the fall of communism, John Paul II, somewhat mysteriously, spoke of the message of Fatima, stressing that three young girls could not have understood or interpreted what they had heard. They were ignorant, did not know geography, history or the social changes that were occuring at that time, he said. "Perhaps this is also why the Pope was called from a far-away country," the Holy Father said, "and perhaps this is also why there had to be the assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square on the very day of May 13, 1981... so that all would become more transparent and understandable, so that the voice of God which speaks in the history of men through "the signs of the times," could be more easily heard and understood."

Aura Miguel added, "If the Pope believes that the assassination attempt was useful, this usefulness benefits all Christians, in the East and the West. It is also, then, thanks to the protective hand of the Virgin - which deflected the bullet - that we have had a pontificate in which the constant desire has been a unified Europe, which, even in its diversity, breathes with two lungs, Rome and Byzantium."

Though it cannot be known in this world whether it is really through this inexplicable connection between Fatima and the papacy of John Paul II that Communism fell and that Russia has opened itself to a more democratic and free regime, with the beginnings of religious liberty, it is clear that, through these events, the formerly perscuted Christians in the East have benefited.

A brief address by Viktor Popkov, the director of the book's Russian publishing house, confirmed this benefit, saying many Russian Christians look with hope to the mystery of Fatima, which speaks of a Russia which must "free herself from her errors."

This young Orthodox, who had first-hand experience of communist concentration camps, conveyed in a few simple words something of what Christians during those dark years experienced, when even carrying a religious book was considered an act against the state, punishable by harsh penalities.

"The 1970s were years of desperation," Popkov said. "All attempts to rebel or to construct something ended badly, so much so that many asked themselves what was the point of doing anything, of living the faith, spreading it, organizing seminars, teaching the catechism..."

The election of a Polish Pope in 1978 was a sign for many: "A slavic Pope, one of us, who knows well what communism is...," Popkov said. "At that moment the light of hope was lit that something big was beginning."

Yuri Karlov closed the evening's presentations with the following address which, for its clearness and incisiveness, we print in its entirety: "Again a thought, without which perhaps my attempt to understand the miracle of Fatima as a message meant for all Christians would be incomplete. We have spoken of the concrete ways in which the prophecies have been fulfilled on a political level; we have spoken of Gorbachev, his contacts, important political documents. But we must also keep in mind something else, which, allow me to repeat again, is that this was a message much more complex, addressed to all of us.

"Not only did Gorbachev visit the Vatican, but also the Metropolitan Yudenarij; not only did communist bureaucrats establish contact with the Vatican, but there was also the great Russian Orthodox Leader, Metropolitan Nikodim, the man who personally converted me to the Orthodox faith. There were complex negotiations with Metropolitan Kirill and finally a thought from Gorbachev himself, which at that time would have been difficult to publicize. Already, then, when speaking of the changes in our (Soviet Union) attitude toward religion, towards Christianity, towards the Church, Gorbachev said: "We stand in front of a triangle: the State, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Vatican. In this triangle, all must be well-defined. It could be that Fatima will truly be of help in this."

(Alessandro Schirru, an Italian Catholic journalist, has lived in Moscow with his wife and nine children since the early 1990s.)

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
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To: Stavka2
You need to get over yourself. Catholics don't sit around talking about how we can get the Orthodox.
41 posted on 10/26/2001 6:46:53 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: Stavka2
You are flirting boldly with bigotry. Anyone who cannot discourse without contempt and name-calling is not interested in honest discussion; your talk is hampered by a sense that your case is weak: hence the namecalling.
42 posted on 10/26/2001 7:11:19 PM PDT by ventana
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To: Conservative til I die
To quote the good 'Zulu'....

"We should agree we disgree on theology (our disagreements are really MINOR ones in comparison to what we have in common), stop quarreling and bickering among ourselves, and face together our common enemy - the harbringer of a new Dark Age - the Islamic plague."

And one more thing...I never stated that I was the center of the Catholics world, I was trying to establish some kind of end to the "rancour of this discussion".

As usuallly is the case, with some of you Roman of you JUST HAS to get some kind of "dirty dig" in AT ANY PERSON who does NOT belong to your Church. That person being ME!! I am highly offended by your SNIDE remarks.

I believe that I am seeing WHY the Orthodox Christians find so many of you, Roman Catholics REPUNGANT AND PUSHY....this does not include MY OWN, RC relatives who absolutely ADORE the Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church and the Mennonites, the Salvation Army.... and their own Church, of course....THANK GOD!!

I think you need NEVER reply to me again...I dislike you very much.

43 posted on 10/26/2001 8:06:21 PM PDT by crazykatz
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To: Stavka2; The_Reader_David
I've been musing over what little I know about the orthodox church. Both the orthodox and the catholic seem to have, let me word this carefully, been in religious control of countries where anti semitism was rampant.

How do the orthodox relate to the Jews today?

I'm not trying to start an argument, just trying to settle quesitons in my own mind.

It is a shame that the catholic church can't backpeddle and annul doctrine developed post-1000 or so. I know a lot of catholics would have a fit and stomp and scream but I wouldn't have a particular problem with it. It will never happen. Too neat and tidy and purifying.

44 posted on 10/26/2001 8:21:18 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: Stavka2
That and the Pope's kissing of the Koran

Would not that one action alone qualify him as a false prophet? He has done so much good on so many levels but the christian faith cannot be compromised. It is something I'm trying to resolve in my own mind. I have so much respect for him about much he has done otherwise.

45 posted on 10/26/2001 8:25:59 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: marshmallow
I would be very interested to know why hasn't the pope visited Ireland and addressed the problems there between " his people," Catholics " and the Protestants, they sure need it there. Yet he is traveling to Muslim contries, and Russia, only to mention a few.

I would " think" it would be more necessary to a land that is suffering over wars between Catholics and Protestants. I'm asking this question very seriously, to my knowledge he has never gone there, has he ?

46 posted on 10/26/2001 8:35:53 PM PDT by DreamWeaver
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To: The_Reader_David
the Popes of Rome repent of their pride in declaring themselves to be the "Vicars of Christ"

All bishops are vicars of Christ, because they follow in the footsteps of the Apostles, of whom Our Lord said, "Who hears you, hears me."

That includes your bishops, too.

47 posted on 10/26/2001 8:36:55 PM PDT by Campion
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To: Stavka2
Yes, thousands of dead priests is sooo unremarkable.

Many Orthodox priests were martyred, true. May they pray for all of us.

On the other hand, some "Orthodox" bishops and patriarchs drew their salary from the KGB.

Also on the other hand, the Catholic Church within the ex-USSR was virtually exterminated. We lost thousands of priests just in Spain, just due to the communist revolution supported there by Stalin.

As an aside, concerning Fatima. The Orthodox get very excited because they assume "Russia will be converted" means "Russia will become Catholic". However, the visionary Sr. Lucia indicates that "the conversion of Russia" may have already taken place. It seems that "the conversion of Russia" really meant her "conversion" (i.e., "turning away") from communism, rather than her "conversion to Catholicism" or even her "re-conversion to Orthodoxy".

48 posted on 10/26/2001 8:46:16 PM PDT by Campion
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To: Stavka2
the Catholic Church, which had no troubles excommunicating tens of thousands of religous men who questioned it's power, has never taken up the issue of excommunicating Hitler or any of the Nazies....please, tell me again how he excommunicated himself...which only works when the Bull is dropped, like it was dropped on two thirds of Christiandom at the time of the Schism.

Wow, the last time I heard this little number it was coming from the Jehovah's Witnesses. Funny company you put yourself in, there, Stavka2.

Let's see ... Hitler excommunicated himself by committing acts of violence against priests and religious, beginning not later than 1934. He formally defected from the Catholic Church on several occasions, not least when he declared in his "Table Talk" that he was "a pure heathen" and denied that he was a Christian at all. (What he said in his public speeches is really rather worthless ... he was a liar, you recall.) The fact that he had formally defected makes his excommunication meaningless under any circumstances; we can't "excommunicate" pagans ... can you?

And -- I'm amazed that you don't know this -- the Bull of Excommunication of 1054 excommunicated only the Patriarch of Constantinople, not "two thirds of Christendom" ... but in reality, it excommunicated nobody at all, because the Pope under whose authority it was issued was dead by that time, and had no authority to excommunicate anyone.

As far as German belt buckles saying "Gott mit uns," they'd carried that legend long before the Nazis arrived. And Germany was predominantly Lutheran, not Catholic, and Hitler drew the majority of his votes in Germany's last free election from the Lutheran districts (north and east), not the Catholic ones (south and west).

And I'm not even going to bother refuting the lies about Pope Pius XII ... Rabbi David Dalin does it much better than I can. You can find his article with the search engine.

Somebody's taught you a lot of nonsense, I'm sorry to say.

49 posted on 10/26/2001 8:59:21 PM PDT by Campion
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To: DreamWeaver
I would be very interested to know why hasn't the pope visited Ireland and addressed the problems there between " his people," Catholics " and the Protestants, they sure need it there.

Two reasons: (1) The IRA is a bunch of Marxists and anarchists who don't take their orders from the Pope, so it wouldn't do any good; and (2) the Protestants would have a cow, so it would do a great deal of harm.

50 posted on 10/26/2001 9:02:16 PM PDT by Campion
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To: The_Reader_David
What is the Eastern spin on Ferrara-Florence? As I understand it, the Turks offered the them a choice, and they chose to renounce a Church council (both lungs) to avoid worldly annihilation. Their decision was certainly understandable, (nobody said this would be easy), and I don't know if I would have done differently in their shoes, but how do your leaders explain it? I am genuinely curious, and ask this with all respect due a brother in Christ.
51 posted on 10/26/2001 9:50:31 PM PDT by tristero
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To: The_Reader_David
and is now running neck and neck with Islam for that distinction.

Glory to God! Thanks for sharing this.

52 posted on 10/27/2001 10:03:47 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: crazykatz
Excuse me sir/ma'am, but are you currently taking any prescription medications?
53 posted on 10/27/2001 10:06:40 AM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: Campion
Also on the other hand, the Catholic Church within the ex-USSR was virtually exterminated. We lost thousands of priests just in Spain, just due to the communist revolution supported there by Stalin.

That musta been a sweet deal for the Orthodox clergy in the USSR.
54 posted on 10/27/2001 10:09:16 AM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: Stavka2
Thanks for the bump. Reading about JP2 always makes me scurry to read more about prelest. Worldliness is never holy and flaunting of it always leads me to feelings of suspicion.

I prefer holy men in backwood huts, hopefully part of a monastic community, but not always.

JP2 would do well to study St Seraphim at length, and it wouldn't hurt him to read several times The Way of the Pilgrim. But then again perhaps he suffers from mental deterioration at his advanced age...

55 posted on 10/27/2001 10:11:43 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: marshmallow
He is a truly humble man.

Thanks for a good laugh this morning!

56 posted on 10/27/2001 10:16:06 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: marshmallow
Have you been paying attention to what the Pope has been saying?

I have mostly been paying attention to what he has been doing. Like making a habit of visiting traditional Orthodox countries, often against their wishes. That strikes you as humility?
Then he chooses Ziggy Brezinski as a companion to visit the hotbed of Ukraine and in honor of his visit an Orthodox church is scheduled to be leveled supposedly to make room for JP2 to speak in the city. That strikes you as honorable behavior? You have my pity.
By the way, Ziggy is in bed with at least one major oil company and hates Russians with a passion. Some way to get yourself invited to Russia, eh? And there was/is a major oil pipeline being debated in Ukraine just before the time of JP2's visit.
Methinks JP2 has been delving into some worldly behaviors even beyond his excessive need for publicity and ecumenical leadership. Whether intentionally or not.

By the way, hope this answers your questions about why Russia didn't want him to come visit.

57 posted on 10/27/2001 10:24:05 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: marshmallow
The Pope has continually and steadfastly reached out to the Orthodox Church. His attempts have often been rebuffed such as the shameful behavior of the Greek Orthodox hierarchy on his recent visit to Greece.

But why??? Is it humble to force yourself on others when you are unwanted? Is it holy? What do you call it? I teach my children that this behavior is rude. Agreed on the shameful behavior of the monks.

58 posted on 10/27/2001 10:28:34 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: marshmallow
Maybe this is because Orthodoxy's own contribution to the opposition of communism, was at best, unremarkable.

Yes, we are a passive faith and a nonworldly one. But it sure beats thinking you are more powerful than God in making world changes, or more knowledgeable than God as to which changes are necessary.

59 posted on 10/27/2001 10:33:57 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Stavka2
you know those nifty northern guys from Germany: the Nazies.

Well at least they didn't beatify more than one of them. (And isn't that the funniest thing - choosing your own saints instead of letting God do it?)

60 posted on 10/27/2001 10:37:17 AM PDT by MarMema
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