What an incredible surprise to discover that a recent issue of Inside the Vatican magazine features an article which clearly lays it on the line that the collegial consecration of Russia has not yet been done! Cathy Pearson, author of the said article (entitled “Now is the Time”) also declares that, should there be any doubt on this question, there remains nothing to lose by consecrating Russia by name to the Immaculate Heart – while there is still time. Who could disagree with such objective reasoning?
For those who would like to read the entire article, please know one can make an online order for a back-copy of the said issue (August-September 2008). First, however, allow me to alert the reader to a confusing snag when searching for this particular Inside the Vatican back issue.
The Seeming Problem: The actual Inside the Vatican issue in question is most definitely the August-September 2008 issue and Cathy Pearson's article is actually entitled “Now is the Time.” However, when looking for back issues' contents at the Inside the Vatican website, the only August-September 2008 article listed by Cathy Pearson (which is published in the “Culture” section) is simply described as follows:
Our Lady of Fatima and the Catholic Orthodox dialog
Believe it or not, that is the correct article and the issue to which I refer – despite the fact that the Table of Contents neither lists the article's true title nor does the brief description reveal to what extent the author openly touched on the imperative necessity for the collegial consecration of Russia. Also astonishing is the fact that "the Editor of Inside the Vatican, Robert Moynihan, prefaces the piece with a reference to Cardinal Bertone’s assertion (when he was Archbishop Bertone, introducing the purported entirety of the Third Secret on June 26, 2000) that 'any further discussion or request' concerning the Consecration of Russia 'is without basis.' In reply, Moynihan declares: 'Of course, despite this assertion, Catholics are free to discuss the matter.' " [Christopher Ferrara, "A Breakthrough for Fatima Inside the Vatican"]
Incidentally, below are a few excerpts from Cathy Pearson’s article:
'We strongly adhere to tradition. The recovery and honoring of an ancient liturgical tradition is a development that we can welcome.' "
[Note: What follows next is Pearson’s commentary on Alexi's reaction, with all emphasis mine]
"So much for fears that liberalizing access to the Traditional Latin Mass might impede reconciliations with other Churches."
"It is time to call the bluff of those who similarly maintain that a key request of Our Lady of Fatima -- a consecration of Russia by name to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope together with all the bishops of the Church -- cannot be fulfilled literally because doing so might offend the Russian Orthodox. "
"Of all the reasons put forward over the past 60 years to explain why a succession of Popes shouldn't, couldn't, or didn't perform the consecration of Russia as such, this is surely the least persuasive."
"On the contrary, Fatima offers perhaps the best key in our time for breaking the impasse in Catholic-Orthodox reconciliation."
"Despite strenuous Vatican efforts to declare the Fatima story a closed book, persistent and legitimate questions remain, one of which is whether Our Lady's request for the consecration of Russia has been fulfilled by a series of papal consecrations of the world and ,if not, whether a Russia-specific consecration should now be attempted..."
As Christopher Ferrara comments, "Pearson drops one bombshell after another — far too many to quote verbatim here. By way of summary, she reviews the attempted consecrations by Pius XII and John Paul II, suggests that none of them complied with Our Lady’s requests, and concludes that both Popes 'sensed that more was needed; they wished to comply, but felt they could not. They tried to do as much as they possibly could without mentioning Russia by name — the invisible line they dared not cross..."
" 'But it is time to abandon such 'prudence,' Pearson argues. 'The worldwide moral crisis has worsened exponentially,' she writes."
"As for the endless debate over what the 'conversion' of Russia means — as if we didn’t know — Pearson rather deftly sidesteps the debate by arguing that it makes no difference what sort of conversion occurs in Russia once the Consecration is done in the proper manner, since whatever conversion occurs is, obviously, the one that God intends. And if the conversion of Russia to Roman Catholicism is what God intends, then let it happen. Not even [Cardinal] Bertone could argue with that point."
"Pearson concludes with nothing short of an indictment of the cowardice of Vatican officialdom, noting Our Lady’s mandate to consecrate Russia is like a 'ticking time-bomb, crying out to be defused, while Vatican officials warily eye it from a distance, gingerly pushing it out of sight, saying in effect, 'I would have dealt with it but I was afraid.' "
To the growing list of "Fatimists" (a term intended to be derogatory but which is truly a badge of honor), it seems we may gladly welcome not only the intrepid Antonio Socci but also Cathy Pearson and Inside the Vatican Editor, Robert Moynihan. As Christopher Ferrara concluded, "May God bless them for their service to the cause of Our Lady of Fatima." (Amen.)