Controversies: November 2003 Archives

Yes, Fatima will remain Catholic


An article circulating among traditionalists charges that the sanctuary at Fatima is "to become an interfaith shrine", according to statements at a recent conference:

Delegates attending the Vatican and United Nations (UN) inspired annual interfaith congress "The Future of God", held during October in Fátima, heard how the Shrine is to be developed into a centre where all the religions of the world will gather to pay homage to their various gods. The Congress was held in the Paul VI Pastoral Centre and presided over by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon José de Cruz Policarpo.
The discerning reader will recognize right away that this is agitprop, a story perhaps with some basis, but spun to the max, in this case by people who have an interest in making the Vatican look as if it were betraying the faith. The Lefebvrites organized a protest at the site; the Grunerite press's representative is appalled that an interfaith conference would be held at Fatima; and the whole thing is sounding through the echo chamber of the rad-trad network.

It looks like the conference was indeed an opportunity for indifferentist talk by some participants, Catholic and otherwise, but fortunately, somebody has thought to ask the Vatican representative Abp. Fitzgerald about the rumors, and he confirms that while Fatima welcomes all people to come, talk of "an interfaith shrine" is 100% bunk.

A retired American guy named Rick Salbato lives in Fatima, putting together his web site about Catholic controversies; he's provided his own take on the affair too.

'News' from Massachusetts

ScrappleFace is on the job.



The Boston Globe's look at the vast right-wing conspiracy within the AmChurch

(link from Amy)

Two years after Kennedy's election, Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council. Vatican II is now a towering historical event, representing for some the ongoing spirit of reform in the church and for others a kind of theological breeder reactor, constantly on the edge of going out of control. While favoring the latter view, Pope John Paul II, who has led the Catholic Church since 1978, also has reinterpreted the events of the council in such a way that they support his traditionalist view of the church.

Over his lengthy pontificate, John Paul II has allied himself with the traditionalist side of every ongoing dispute within the church.

It strikes me that the media is unable to grasp what is that core of Catholicism - absolute and certain Truth that is unchanging. So when JP II preaches about the Truth, we're told he's supporting his "traditionalist" view of the Church. And because he's a "traditionalist" he put the kabosh on the Vatican II reforms, as though the council stopped just short of allowing women to be ordained and it just needed a little push to make sure we can pack our entire wish-list of western sociological hang-ups into how the Church teaches and preaches.

When the children of the 60's wax poetic about Vatican II, they get all glassy eyed and dreamy. When "traditionalists" remind them of the substance of Vatican II in the form of the actual documents they clamp their hands over their ears and run screaming into night.

Am I wrong about this?

And here's another nugget of wisdom from one of the brightest stars of Catholic acaedmia:

"But what will they do," wonders Notre Dame's [Rev.] Richard McBrien, contemplating the post-John Paul II church, "without their great patron?"

You know what we'll do? We'll have another Pope who by the grace of God preaches and teaches Truth in a holy and uncomprising fashion. Is your brain too full of postmodern theology that you don't remember the Gospel of Matthew and 2000 years of Catholicism?

It quite sad that you often manage to reinforce the media's mistaken idea that the Church is just a big club and if you get "your man" in power everything will change over night.

So to Richard McBrien: how about praying a Rosary before answering your phone next time? That may prevent the floor in Hell being paved with the skulls of priests. And I'll do the same because God knows I need the prayers.

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

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unless you state otherwise.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Controversies category from November 2003.

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