Cardinal Burke granted a long interview on August 14, 2017, to the Catholic weekly The Wanderer. One of the many themes discussed was the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as Our Lady requested at Fatima.
Cardinal Burke is anxious to see the requests of the Blessed Virgin in Fatima fulfilled in detail, but he also defends John Paul II’s act in 1984, when the Polish pope consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with an implicit reference to Russia. Thus, his theory is that although the consecration of Russia was “validly” accomplished in an implicit way in 1984, given the “present time which is so grave”, it needs to be renewed more formally and explicitly in order to “respond to the request one more time” and “carry out what Our Lady asked exactly as she asked it”.
The journalist Don Fier began by reminding the cardinal that Sister Lucia of Fatima claimed in an authentic letter on August 29, 1989, that the consecration of the world made by John Paul II on March 25, 1984, had fulfilled the Blessed Virgin’s request. Nevertheless, at the last Rome Life Forum, Cardinal Burke urged the faithful to work for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Hence the journalist’s question: “What does the consecration you are calling for entail; is it more than the Pope simply naming Russia explicitly?”
The cardinal answered in no uncertain terms: “It is exactly that; it is as simple as that, namely, to fulfill Our Lady’s request exactly as she asked for it. There is no question that Pope St. John Paul II was keenly aware of the seriousness of the situation, of the need to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He intended precisely to do that on March 25, 1984. For my part, I believe he would have done it explicitly except at that time it was argued that in order to promote a friendlier relationship with the Eastern Bloc countries, the name of Russia should not be mentioned in particular.
“I believe it was the Holy Father’s intention — that he did, in fact, consecrate Russia. However, it is also my belief that, given the situation in which we find ourselves today, the consecration of Russia must be done explicitly, exactly as Our Lady requested (while in no way denying John Paul’s intention to include Russia when he consecrated the world to her Immaculate Heart).
“My intent is not to level accusations against anyone, but rather in response to the present time which is so grave to urge the need to carry out what Our Lady asked exactly as she asked it.
“To repeat, the consecration I called for is in no way to call into question what Sr. Lucia said about St. John Paul II fulfilling what Our Lady asked for. It is simply to respond to that request one more time and consecrate Russia in an explicit way. At the same time, it is the right and duty of the faithful to ask Pope Francis to do this consecration.
“In actuality, I believe that for Russia it is a sign of a particular respect and affection for the country that the Church would consecrate it explicitly to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Certainly, at the time of the apparitions, Our Blessed Mother had in mind the spread of atheistic Communism. It is connected with a spread of materialism and relativism which people now do not call atheistic Communism but which is so virulent in our society.
“That Russia be consecrated now expresses also the respect for their nation which could now lead to a repudiation of Godless thinking. In this way, Russia could return to her noble past in which it was one of the most God-fearing nations in the world and where there was a tremendous devotion to Our Blessed Mother, especially as a means of expressing faith in God.”