Rosary Rally a Success. We had about 120 people at our Rally in Keene on Saturday. For two hours, we prayed the Rosary, sang hymns, and gave witness to Our Lady’s Fatima Message. Two fourteen-foot banners, our Third Order’s Pilgrim Virgin, and lots of hand-held signs made for a highly visible display of faith and love of the Mother of God. We hope to have some pictures of the event published soon. We thank Our Lady for the beautiful fall weather.

There are two items of interest in the recent news:

Russian Delegation Walks out of Ecumenical Meeting

At a recent Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical dialogue, there was an awkward moment when the talks broke down. The breakdown did not occur across the table, but on one side, namely, the Orthodox one. Among those in attendance in the Orthodox delegation were representatives of the Estonian Apostolic Church, a communion recognized by the Constantinople Patriarchate, but not by Moscow. The Muscovites, in fact, claim that they have direct jurisdiction over Estonia; hence, they say, the Constantinople-approved hierarchy are usurpers. (See news story here.)

Traditionalists generally take these opportunities to point out the fruitlessness of modern (false) ecumenism. Let’s leave that aside for now in order to make some other points:

Russia, when converted, will doubtless keep her uncompromising attitude. Right now, it serves the cause of her intransigence in schism and her snubbing of Constantinople. After she is converted, though, her “intolerant” attitude will be a valuable asset to the Church. That bodes very well for the future, even for the future of the United States. I say this because of two statements made by Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, which regard Russia and the U.S.: “The Russian people will be converted. Their total conversion will happen very fast. The conversion of the United States will be slow, but sure” (Padre Pio: The True Story, by C. Bernard Ruffin, 264). “Russia will be converted, as the Blessed Virgin said she would. However, Russia will teach the United States a lesson in conversion” (Ibid., 266, emphasis mine in both passages). It seems that Russia’s intrepid spirit will be put to good use not only for her own sanctification, but for ours as well.

In our day, the fundamental problem in theology is in the science of ecclesiology, the study of the Church. It is notable that the same liberal Catholics who tend to sell out our doctrines in this area also fail to understand the sensitivities of the Orthodox on these very matters. Hence, occasional strong correctives come the way of Catholic bishops for failing to understand that the Patriarch of Constantinople is not the “Orthodox Pope.” This highlights some important points: If the men on our side don’t grasp Catholic ecclesiology, how can they understand Orthodox ecclesiology? How can they appreciate the differences? And how, finally, can they attend to the important business of correcting those who are in error?

The question of criss-crossing jurisdictions within Orthodoxy presents a golden opportunity for the Catholic side to assert the claims of the papacy vigorously: Without a supra-national, higher-than-patriarchal office to coordinate such matters, the disputes which caused this recent spat have no resolution whatsoever. Russia, when she is true to her Christian vocation, is part of the Universal Church. (So says Vladimir Soloviev.) When she is once again integrated as a vine on the branch, the papacy will settle the issue of who gets Estonia.

Bogus Marian Apparition Condemned

Patricia De Menezes, founder of the “Community of Divine Innocence,” has developed an international following since she first reported seeing “Our Lady of Surbiton,” in 1984. With followers in over 50 countries, the group has caught the attention of the hierarchy at the highest levels. The attention was not exactly the kind one would want.

Archbishop Angelo Amato, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued an official Statement on the Community of Divine Innocence. Included in the statement was a strong censuring of the idea that of abortion victims are martyrs:

“The central message that De Menezes claims to have received since 1984, namely that the Church proclaim the martyrdom of all the innocent children deliberately killed before birth and acknowledge these unborn children as companion martyrs of the first Holy Innocents, is doctrinally problematic. A martyr is someone who bears witness to Christ. If the victims of abortion were to qualify for martyrdom it would then seem that all victims of any moral evil should be likewise deemed martyrs. De Menezes’ notion of a ‘Baptism of Love’ is not, as claimed, a development of doctrine. Rather it is an innovation which is difficult to harmonize with the teaching of the Church.”

Thank God the Holy See has censured the abortion-martyrdom claim as “doctrinally problematic” and “difficult to harmonize with the teaching of the Church.” In so doing, Rome has slaughtered one of the sacred cows of even some supposed conservative, pro-life Catholics whose zeal is not according to knowledge. (By the way, Christian Order did an earlier story on this false apparition.)