Father Nicholas Gruner is probably the most controversial priest in the Church today. It is a matter of routine to condemn him as being "unfaithul to the Church, or the Pope, or the Magisterium." Why? Because he is not afraid to speak the truth. It seems that anyone who has the balls to stand up to the Vatican bureaucracy, and to so-called "conservative" Catholics, can't possibly be in union with the Church. Recently, on September 12, 2001, 1 day after our country was attacked, the Vatican decides to release a notice about the "suspension" of Father Gruner. It was noted in two major news stories, one put out by the Vatican Information Service, and by Catholic World News. First, if you are in the least objective, I recommend reading Father Gruner's biography, FATIMA PRIEST, by Francis Alban. It is a good read and gives Father Gruner's side of the story. It can be obtained from Fr. Gruner's Fatima Center, or it can be obtained from secular sources such as amazon.com. Second, I have a few questions: 1. If Father Gruner was "suspended" in 1996 by his then bishop, where is the document stating this? 2. What is the reason for the "suspension"? 3. Why is that that the Concregation for the Clergy decided to put out a so-called 'reminder' of Father Gruner's suspension the next day after the U.S. was attacked by terrorists? 4. Why is that Father Gruner is "suspended", while REAL HERETICS and REAL SCHISMATICS are routinely allowed to spread there heresy and errors for decades with hardly a slap on the wrist? And when they do get one, they are not "suspended" or otherwise disciplined? WHY? 5. I read a document online which is supposed to be from the Congre- gation of the Clergy, which mentions Father Gruner's suspension by his then bishop, and which states that it was confirmed by the Congregat- ion, but where is that document from the Congregation? I saw that Colin Donovan of EWTN updated his statement on Fr. Gruner on the EWTN website to reflect the "suspension." Also, I found another "attack" on Father Gruner elsewhere on the 'Net, which I may deal with after Mr. Donovan's statement. Here is the complete text of Colin Donovan's statement. At the end, I will list the URL. I will also place my own commentary throughout: Fr. Gruner and his media apostolate Fatima Crusader and Catholic Family News Fr. Nicholas Gruner started out in the 1970's proomoting the message of Fatima through a magazine called Fatima Crusader. He and his maga- zine have always taken a negative tone on the compliance of the Popes with the message of Fatima, specifically vis-a-vis the request for the Consecration of Russia, and has become more strident over the years. This approach pervades the magazine, and always has, especially in its attitude toward the Roman Curia, BUT, not excepting the Popes them- selves, including the present pontiff. This magazine also attacks any- one who disagrees with Fr. Gruner's opinions on Fatima, showing con- tempt for all other Fatima Apostolates. This includes holy priests like Father Robert Fox, whose Fatima Family Apostolate has propogated the Fatima message to far greater audiences than Fr. Gruner could ever hope to do, taken tens of thousands of young people to Fatima, led them to consecrating themselves to the Immaculate Heart, led them to holy vocations to the priesthood, religious life and matrimony. COMMENT: Mr. Donovan is like most of his so-called "conservative Catholic" brethren. Notice the talk of "negative tone". It seems that unless one is entirely "positive" about the Church's leaders and their decisions, then one is doing a bad thing. As for the Fatima Crusader having "contempt" for other Fatima apostolates, ah, another "negative tone" problem. There are 2 other major Fatima apostolates, the Blue Army, and the Fatima Family Apostolate run by Fr. Robert J. Fox. Both of which claim Church approval. From what I have read, the Blue Army, which was the first, didn't even have ecclesiastical approval until the 1970's, though it was founded in the 1940's. (If I am mistaken on this, please correct me.) As for Fr. Fox's apostolate, it claims the approval of a Roman Congragation, but there is no direct Papal approval (No surprise there.) Both of these have been promoting the idea the "Consecration of Russia" has been done, even claiming the the Pope and Sr. Lucia have said it was done. REALLY???!!! Then where is the official Papal document signed by the Pope (encyclical, motu proprio) in which he declares it was done? Where can I find a video of the press conference or speech or what- ever that took place where he says this? I challenge Mr. Donovan, Fr. Robert Fox, and the Blue Army to produce said documentation. Since none exists, any reasonable person would show contempt for people who have made money, and acquired fame for their "faithfulness to the Pope" by circulating a lie that the very Catholic TV network, and website which supports these apostolates, has the documentation that proves these people are liars! Yes, I am referring to EWTN, the very same outfit Mr. Donovan works for. As noted on my article on my main page, the EWTN library has a file that has the text of 3 Papal Consecrations to the Immaculate Hreart of Mary, including the text of the 1984 Consecration which is the one which the Blue Army and Fr. Fox love to talk about, and claim that the Consecration of Russia has been done. Here is the URL: http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/CONSECRA.HTM The words of the Pope are there for all to see, but Mr. Donovan, Fr. Fox, and the Blue Army can't see that the Pope NEVER CONSECRATED RUSSIA TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY. And yet, these same people have gotten a lot of mileage out of BEING SEEN as "faithful to the Pope", when the POPE HIMSELF on the VERY DAY of this alleged Consecration of Russia does not even use the word RUSSIA at all! But has this stopped people from claiming that the Pope did it? Of course not. In the post-Vatican II Novus Ordo Church, it doesn't matter whether you REALLY ARE in union with the Pope and obey him, it only matters that ONE APPEARS to be. As for Fr. Fox being a "holy priest", I don't consider a priest who has spent the last decade or more promoting a lie to be holy. It has also suggested that Sr. Lucia, the surviving seer of Fatima is kept from speaking the truth about the message of Fatima, the Conse- cration of Russia, and the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima. All evidence that Sr. Lucia has spoken on these matters, whether in lett- ersto others or statements to those who have visited her, including bishops, are denounced as fabrications. Currently, he charges a Vat- ican conspiracy to cover up the real content of the Third Secret, a conspiracy that necessarily involves the Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger, Sr. Lucia and other living individuals, such as Archbishop Capovilla, who, unlike Fr. Gruner, have actually read the Third Secret! COMMENT: Well, then, perhaps Mr. Donovan can answer this. If Fr. Gruner is so wrong, then why not solve the debate in one swoop? On the day of Jacinta and Francisco beatification, when Sr. Lucia was there, and the Pope was there, why did the Pope have the Vatican Secretary of State read the "Third Secret"? The reason alleged at the time was basically so there would be no confusion about the status of the Third Secret, since it is private revelation, it would not be good to be seen reading because it seem to lend a certain "equality" to Divine Revelation. Ok, that makes a certain amount of sense. So, if Father Gruner is so wrong, then why didn't the Pope order Sr. Lucia to read the Third Secret in front of the cameras under obed- ience? Surely, she who has been a nun for well over fifty years, who took a vow of obedience to her superiors would have obeyed such an order without a second's hesitation. And since she was the one to whom it was revealed and who wrote it down, she would know without question what the Third Secret was. If she read it, in front of the whole world with everyone watching and recording, there would be no grounds for even the slightest doubt about what the Third Sec- ret said. Instead, we are read a text by a man who the very next day was sitting at a table with a man who is one of the most public supporters of abortion the world has ever known. Gorbachev, a commu- nist. A holder of a philosphy condemned by the Church, by Pope Pius XI. If that isn't enough, this Secretary of State, not long before had positive praise for a heretic that "conservative Catholics" love to talk about how the Pope took action and declared to not be a "Catholic theologian", a man who called the Pope a "despot", but for some strange reason, has not been excommunicated, or otherwise cens- ured. Yes, I am talking about Hans Kung. I find it highly interesting that clergy like this, and bishops, like the 3 in this country who are huge supporters of the dissident "Call to Action", and the many priests who have of late been implicated in child molesting and in supporting homosexuality are never "suspended" or otherwise discip- lined. They are routinely just shunted off to another parish in the diocese. But Fr. Gruner, who has NEVER, been involved in such activities, and who even the Vatican bureaucrats have never tried to accuse him of doing anything against faith or morals, is the one who is "suspended." Now, of course, Sr. Lucia doesn't speak English, but there has got to be somebody out there who knows both Portugeuse and English who can be trusted to give a true translation. One's views about Fatima, however, cannot seperate one from the Church. Private revelation does not oblige, so neither can a partic- ular interpretation of it. No matter how wrong-headed Father Gruner's views are, they can never, in themselves constitute disbelief or sch- ism. Well, thank you, Mr. Donovan for having the balls to point this out, even if it will make you unpopular with your fellow "conservatives", who seem to hold a contradictory opinion. However, in recent years Fr. Gruner has aligned himself increasingly with ultra-traditionalists who, forgetting the First Vatican Council's doctrine of papal primacy, oppose the acts and decrees of Vatican II and the recent pontiffs in a number of matters, especially liturgical. Taking to themselves the judgment of the sufficiency of acts of papal governance and the interpretation of Sacred Tradition, contrary to both canon law and Catholic theology, they see themselves as the rem- nant of the True Church, awaiting the conversion of the Pope, the bishops, and other "Novus Ordo" Catholics, as they call those who follow the Council and the Papal Magisterium. This practice of private interpretation has led them to a public campaign of resistance to the Holy Father spelled out in another Gruner journal The Catholic (sic) Family News, under the title "We resist you to you face." The "you" is Pope John Paul II. All Catholics should resist this impious campaign to its face! [Note: This campaign is also a formal part of the editorial policy of another ultra-traditionalist newspaper The Remnant, as well.] Well! Ultra-Traditionalists....private judgment... OK, Mr. Donovan, perhaps you can show me a Papal document POST VATICAN II, mind you, in which he condemns "ultra-traditionalists", whatever they are exactly. I would like to draw your attention to the following web page: salbert.tripod.com/index-19.html Here I have posted material that explains what the authority of the Pope is, and is not, and I will also cite a book by Germain Grisez, who, to the best of my knowledge, is an entirely orthodox theologian, that also explains the authority of the Pope. "The Way of the Lord Jesus: Living a Christian Life" pp. 46-55 and 164-168 In addition, Mr. Donovan, the title of the document is "We resist you to THE face." And it is obvious you have not taken the time to read it carefully AND objectively. As for their forgetting Papal Primacy, you really show your ignorance of said document, because if you had read it, or read it with an eye to being objective, it was addressed to the Pope in the first place! Catholics who associate themselves with such efforts participate in at least material disobedience to lawful papal authority. This means that externally, in themselves, their acts are disobedient, though internally, through ignorance, or lack of intention, they may not be morally culpable (formal disobedience). However, they could, over time, find themselves in formal schism from the Church, that is, willfully disobeying papal authority. This is because in the human will it is not very far from whining and complaining about what you don't like about the Church and this pontificate to formally (that is, with full moral culpability) breaking communion with Peter, especially when you have taken the first step of material resistance to Papal authority. Interesting, on one hand they are basically in schism, on the other, they are on not, but on the verge of it. Which is it? Mr. Donovan, I am no theologian, I have no fancy degree, but I do have common sense. I don't take everything that comes out of Rome at face value, at least not these days. On one hand we have the Pope, in official documents, saying we should follow the Traditional way when it comes to ecumenism, but in practice, he goes to synagogues, and says noth- ing to the Jews about Christ being the Messiah, he kisses the holy book of a religion which denies the Trinity and refers to it as dung, he (apparently) authorizes the issuance of notices that certain hardly known theologians or priests and nuns, are not faithful to the Church, while imposing no discpline on them, no punishment, no excommunication; he does not crack down on bishops who willfully allow those certain priest's who have been accused of child molest- ing to continue their sick activities, all under the umbrella of the protection of their bishops, which has resulted in several dio- ceses of late paying out millions of dollars in lawsuits, money that was given by the lay people to the Church to provide for the upkeep of our churches, to let let our priests and bishops live without getting a secular job, etc., and all you can do is accuse people who want answers to questions as to why such are going on and noth- ing is being done about them of being disobedient!!!!!!!?????? Finally, in recent years there has been a certain lack of clarity regarding the priestly status of Fr. Gruner. Well, obviously even the Vatican believes he has been validly ord- ained, he is referred to as Father, and since no lay person can be suspended, or claimed to have been, suspended a divinis........ Although those who questioned the Roman Congregatiion of the Clergy were told that his faculties had been suspended, Fr. Gruner proclaimed himself innocent of disobedience and was appealing to the highest ecclesiastical court, the Apostolic Signatura. As a result, charity and justice obliged that reserve be taken in the matter, until such time as his status was definitively judged by the Holy See. His appeal having been rejected by the Signitura, such reserve is no longer just- ified. The Holy See has made clear, with the authority of the Pope, that "the activities of Father Gruner ... do not have the approval of legitimate ecclesiastical authorities." Catholics should heed this warning, for the reasons stated above. First, Mr. Donovan, and anyone else reading this, if you have not done so already, read the book "Fatima Priest" by Francis Alban for the rest of the story on this. Second, Mr. Donovan, as a moral theologian, you should know better, charity and justice still pre- vail, and also I believe you should be familiar with the 8th Comm- andment of God. I read the news story released by the Vatican Inform- ation Service on September 12, 2001, and it did not say the Pope said or did anything. It said that it was done, and I quote, "upon the mandate from a higher authority". The story is no longer on the Vatican website, but can be found elsewhere. Now if the Pope did it, why not just state "upon the mandate of the Pope" (or Holy Father, or whatever)? Easy, because the "higher authority" wasn't the Pope, it was someone else, and Cardinal Hoyos wasn't about to chance being caught in a blatant lie at some point. As for their being no "eccles- iastic approval" of Father Gruner's activities, that crock has been around for years, even EWTN has a file on an older declaration say- the same thing. Since when did Father Gruner need "ecclesiastical approval" to carry out a private meeting? Many clergy carry out private meetings and apostolic activities without "ecclesiastical approval" and they are not "suspended" or accused of being disobed- ient to the Pope. There are some who carry out private (and public) meetings and other activities which are blatantly anti-Catholic that no one in the Vatican has even bothered to complain about. For exam- ple, there are 3 BISHOPS in this country who are members and VERY active supporters of Call to Action, an extremely dissident group. Yet, where is the Congregation of the Clergy and the Pope when it comes to them? Am I to assume that the Pope approves of Call to Act- ion and these BISHOPS support of these activities? Am I to assume that because these 3 BISHOPS support Call to Action that it has "ecclesiastical approval?" Since there has been no condemnation of this dissident organization or these BISHOPS, from Rome, I guess I should assume so. Oh, yeah, I hear you getting warmed up to say, "Just because they disobey, does not justify Father Gruner." Ah, the age-old answer.... Be serious. When I see an official statement spoken or written by Pope John Paul II himself condemning and excommunicating all the dissidents, whatever their rank, then I will take a Vatican news release that claims a perfectly faithful priest has been "uspended" seriously. I would also take it seriously if the Pope himself stated Father Gruner was suspended, until either of those happens, at least have the honesty to state the truth, not what you wish were the case. Father Gruner's disciples, naturally, will appeal to the example of Blessed Padre Pio, who was silenced by the Holy See for a time despite his innocence. It remains to be seen whether Fr. Gruner will imitate the obedience of Padre Pio to what he alleges is an injustice, or, continue to go his own way, thereby demonstrating its validity. Revised 20 September 2001 Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL Really Mr. Donovan, you can read minds, now? And after making sure the STL is after your name, you have to stoop to taking a cheap shot at a priest! I really wish I knew how to answer such a cheap shot. First, you claim the authority of Pope was inviolved in this, which is easily proven to be doubtful at best, and then you try to make it seem if Father Gruner doesn't give up his activities, his opponents will be vindicated of their lies and misrepresentations! I think you need to be reminded of some distinctions: Padre Pio was a RELIGIOUS priest, and member of a RELIGIOUS order. He was also a priest who had certain extraordinary gifts, stigmata, reading of souls in confession and others. His situation was different in many respects. Father Gruner is a SECULAR priest, who is not claiming or manifesting extraordinary gifts, he is simply trying to carry out activities of a private apostolate. I would also like to point out here that Mr. Donovan's associate, Mr. Warren Carroll, who heads up the EWTN forum on Church history has as of late taken to referring to Father Gruner as "schismatic", and his proof for that is Mr. Donovan's statement. Where is the Papal statement that declares Father Gruner to be in "schism"? Where can I find a statement from Father Gruner in which he says that he rejects the authority of the Pope? There is none. So if Mr. Carroll,and others like him were really honest, they would stop referring to Fr. Gruner as "schismatic", because he is not. The URL for Mr. Donovan's statement: www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/fr_gruner.htm
"In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals
and nations which particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated."
"Enlighten especially the peoples whose consecration and entrustment
by us you are awaiting."
- Pope John Paul II, March 25, 1984
Here are the words of the POPE "consecrating Russia to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary," in 1984.
This was taken from the EWTN website:
and that was taken from L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly English Edition.
Here is the proof that the Consecration of Russia has NOT been done,
contrary to the claims of the Blue Army, Fr. Robert J. Fox, various
people in the Vatican, and those who like to claim they are "following
the Pope", including "Sister Lucy".
If Sister Lucy did indeed claim the Consecration of Russia was done,
then she has contradicted the Pope, and as such, has lost all credi-
If she did not in fact claim that it was done, then why are Fr. Robert
J. Fox, the Blue Army, and various people in the Vatican, and those
who are just "following the Pope" claiming she did?