A reader sends in some questions of interest concerning Our Lady’s apparitions in Fatima in 1917.
1 As best we know, six eminent English-speaking Catholics of the 20th century seem to have taken little to no notice of the highly important apparitions of Fatima – Belloc, Chesterton, Fr Peyton, Bishop Fulton Sheen, Tolkien and Evelyn Waugh – is there an explanation ?
First and foremost, modern men, which includes the Catholic clergy, are born and bred in materialism and rationalism, meaning that anything more than just material, or surpassing their human powers of reason, is hardly to be taken seriously. But heavenly apparitions, like those of Our Lady at Fatima, are essentially spiritual, not material, and they far surpass mere human reason as to their source or content. It follows that few “serious” inhabitants of today’s world, even churchmen, incline to take seriously “apparitions of Our Lady”. Did She not Herself complain between the two World Wars that even good souls were not paying attention to her message of Fatima ? And after World War II, did not the churchmen themselves, preparing Vatican II to change God’s own religion, from 1960 seek to stifle that Fatima which spoke up for the true religion ? And if that was the example given by the churchmen, is it so surprising if even the good laity neglected Fatima ?
2 Moreover, if other Marian apparitions after Fatima are genuinely from Heaven, like, supposedly, Garabandal and Akita, why do their messages not explicitly condemn such huge threats to Catholics’ faith as the New Mass and the Newchurch, i.e. the Conciliar Church ?
“Omne malum a clero” says an old Church saying – all evil comes from the clergy. That is not the whole truth, but it tells much truth, going back to Judas Iscariot. Down all the history of the Church, bad priests have been major causes of evil in world and Church, and souls do need to be warned accordingly. But if Our Lady wishes to warn souls against evil-doing priests, She must strike a delicate balance between denouncing the evil-doers and protecting Her Son’s own priesthood from further damage. For instance at Garabandal She said that “the Eucharist is being neglected”, which hits a major nail on the head without blaming any priest in particular. But in 1965 She did also go so far as to say, “Many Cardinals, Bishops and priests are on the road to perdition, and are taking many souls with them.” Could the warning have been more clear or accurate for the year of the closing of the Second Vatican Council ? The problem is not that She does not speak up. The problem is that the Newchurchmen above all do not want to hear.
3 But the New Mass is a horror – how can She not be explicitly warning against it, if it is indeed Her ?
Bear in mind that the evidence is irrefutable that there are still Eucharistic miracles being wrought by God with hosts consecrated at a New Mass by a priest ordained in the New Rite by a bishop consecrated in the New Rite. Look up on the Internet, for instance, the Eucharistic miracle that took place in Sokulka, Poland, in 2008. Where God wishes us to believe, it stands to reason that He provides the necessary evidence. Of that evidence, He gave us our minds, not our emotions, to judge. By such miracles, even today, God must be wanting to warn His shepherds as to what they are mishandling, and to re-assure His sheep as to how He is continuing to feed them, even with the New Mass. How could Our Lady condemn outright what Her divine Son is still deigning to use for the nourishment of souls ?
4 Might the apparitions’ failure to condemn such dangers for the Faith suggest they are not genuine ?
No. Genuineness is a question of truth, truth is a question of evidence, which is prior even to the judgment of the Church, great help though the Church’s approval should be to discern the truth. But the Church’s approval does not make the truth. It merely makes for Catholics a (normally) safe assumption of truth.
God gives the evidence for an open mind,
But truth is alien to today’s mankind.