Portugal: SSPX Reacts to the Interreligious Assembly in Fatima

Source: FSSPX News

Except for the local press, the papers barely mentioned the interreligious assembly which took place in the Marian town of Fatima from October 10 to 12, 2003. Only the Society of St. Pius X protested against this new scandal, thus recalling traditional Catholic doctrine. Below is the account made by the priests of the Society in Portugal.

The Facts

From October 10 to 12 in Fatima, in the Paul VI Pastoral Center, an assembly was held entitled “Man’s Present, God’s Future – The Place of Shrines in Relation to the Sacred”.

The bishop of Leiria-Fatima opened the assembly and the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon concluded the so-called “scientific” part. On Sunday, the moderator of the day was the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialog (Msgr. Michael Louis Fitzgerald). Then came the pastoral part. Each of the representatives of shrines of different religions gave their testimony to the assembly. The list was ample: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Orthodoxy, Anglicanism and Catholicism.

The Reaction to This Scandal

Only the Society of St. Pius X organized a ceremony of reparation and information for the faithful in an open and official way.

With the help of the MJCF (Catholic Youth Movement of France) and the priory of Madrid, it was possible to gather a sizable group of motivated faithful in Fatima. Everyone distributed more than 12,000 tracts all over Fatima informing the faithful of the gravity of the blasphemy committed by the organization of this assembly.

The youth of the MJCF, who were particularly effective, were able to gain admission to several of the key talks of the assembly. After the one given by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (“the future of God”), the scheduled debate was curiously canceled… Our young people then took the initiative of going to question the cardinal. The answers he gave them in private revealed the contempt of this unworthy pastor for the flock who is in his care.

When a youth quoted him a passage from the book of Sister Lucy Calls from the Message of Fatima, where she admirably explains God’s First Commandment, the cardinal responded:

Sister Lucy is no longer a point of reference today since we have such a good one in the Second Vatican Council.

When another young person quoted the prophet Isaias fulminating against the “mute dogs” (Isaias 56:10) and asked the Patriarch to comment, he responded: “The prophet Isaias took responsibility for it.” In order to dodge another question, he answered them: “As for me, I prefer to use the language of men”. And of course, he did not fail to remind them that Muslims, Jews and Catholics all have the same God.

The essential aspect of our reaction was of course prayer, daily exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Mass. We also wanted to clearly place public and personal sacrifices of reparation at the heart of these activities. In this spirit, as a group we made the “way of Lucy” on the immense esplanade of the shrine of Fatima. From the top of the hill to the chapel of the apparitions, at the pace of the more courageous ones who went on their knees and despite a heavy downpour that we hoped would be a purifying one, we were able to contemplate the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. At the head of the procession, the banner of Our Lady, Queen of Portugal, which also clearly displayed the name of our dear priestly Society, announced our “stripes”. We all clearly showed the great joy we had acquired in this act of public reparation and penance. On our return to the priory, shoes and clothes were drenched, but hearts and souls were radiant for having something beautiful to offer God and Our Lady.

On Sunday morning, there was no mass at the assembly, but there was a procession of religious costumes currently in fashion throughout the world. This time, we went to the doors of the Pastoral Center. We began by reciting the Rosary on our knees, and then we chanted the Kyrie eleison and the Credo.

During the chants, Fr. Danjou went into the center to personally deliver the press communiqué of the Society and the five tracts that had been distributed throughout the town over the last few days. The operation was carried out without a hitch. The sight of a priest in a cassock even seemed to frighten the three coordinators of the event. What is he up to? their bewildered looks seemed to ask. All he did was to deliver the documents in the name of the Society of St. Pius X, and rejoin the faithful in prayer.

Two youth from the MJCF, still there after our priest left, had the joy of noticing what a strong impression the reading of the press communiqué had on these people. They were flabbergasted!

Once the chanting was finished, we left the “high places” [translator’s note: an Old Testament reference to the pagan shrines where the children of Israel apostatized] and their interreligious testimonies. A wide distribution of tracts concluded our three days of reparation and reaction.

The indifference and ingratitude of the men of the Church astounded us, but we put our hope and trust in God.