The act of consecration of Russia by Pope Francis on March 25, 2022 raises questions about how it is perceived by the Russian Orthodox.
The first two parts of this article considered first the historical, political and religious context, then the attitude of the Russian Orthodox towards a conversion to Catholic unity. The latter concluded that the Russians do not see the usefulness of the consecration of their country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, since they already recognize the Virgin as the Mother of God, and therefore exclude themselves from the message of Fatima.
As a result, for now, “Russia is unconverted and languishes in the moral corruption and sin that dominates the world. The West has not converted either. It also has ignored the message of Fatima, when it had so much to gain from it.
“If the message of Fatima had not been rejected, Our Lady's universal call to prayer, penance, and change of life would have produced wonders that would have transformed the world.”
It must therefore be admitted that “the East and the West have not taken into account the message of Fatima. The whole world needs to be converted, because error still dominates everywhere. East and West have taken a position that has nothing to do with Fatima, by which they embrace a modern sin-ridden world.”
Along the same lines, Riccardo Cascioli asks in La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, March 28, that the act of consecration not be rendered in vain. According to him, “it risks remaining an isolated episode, if we do not understand that we are the first to be asked to convert us, to return to God.”
“A we have been able to explain, it is not intended as a magic rite, the act of consecration commits each of us to conversion, demands our willingness to allow ourselves ‘to be reconciled with God,’ as St. Paul pleads with the Corinthians (2 Cor 5:20).”
And to clarify: “this concerns everyone: Russian and Ukrainian, NATO, European Union and all those who participate in this ‘game.’…Ukraine rightly complains about Russian aggression and has the right to defend itself; but Russia can rightly complain about NATO provocations; and the former Warsaw Pact countries have every reason to fear the new Russian expansionism and ask for a NATO umbrella, and so on.”
“History is a tangle of wrongs and reasons, it comes out only by changing perspective, leaving the logic of the enemy, from the illusion that the world would be better without this or that man, without this or that people. It comes out first of all by returning to God, and starting with us.”
The message of Fatima therefore remains highly topical. In his interview with Diane Montagna, quoted above, Bishop Schneider affirms: “One must hope that the consecration of Russia will hasten the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will consist in the authentic renewal of the life of the Catholic Church, i.e., in a new splendor of the purity of the Catholic faith, the sanctity of the liturgy, and of the holiness of the Christian life.”
“Lastly, we must hope that the consecration of Russia will hasten an era of peace for humanity. Yet, true and lasting peace in human society will be established only if Christ reigns over human society. As Pope Pius XI wrote: ‘It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ – the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.’ It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace.” (Encyclical Ubi arcano, 49).
From then on, “prayer and penance” remain the watchwords from Our Lady that Catholics must follow faithfully, as recalled in the communiqué issued by the General House on March 19:
“The Society of Saint Pius X places its trust more than ever in the recitation of the rosary and in the practice of penance. It prays in a special way for peace in the world, ever more convinced that nations will only find concord by a true conversion to Christ the King, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”