Fatima, ideology, and the Vatican’s homosexual crisis

Both radical feminism and homosexuality have no use for healthy, ordered, loving men and women, parents, and children.

The statue of Our Lady of Fatima is carried in procession at the start of a vigil Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal May 12. Pope Francis was making a two-day visit to Fatima to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions and to canonize two of the young seers. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In 1917, during one of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima, the three shepherd children were given a vision of Hell. Our Lady warned that if people didn’t stop offending God then another war would come. In reparation, Our Lady asked “for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays.” She added, “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.”

What, then, were the errors of Russia that she was referring to? Most of us think of Russian errors largely as communist and Marxist ideologies. This is generally correct, as Marxism is behind most of the ideologies we face today either openly or surreptitiously.

But could there be more to it than just that? Something deeper than Marx and crew?

Ideological bedfellows

Ryszard Legutko, a Polish Member of the European Parliament and university professor, raises the question of how Poles who were staunch Soviet “comrades” quickly made a smooth transition into European liberals. If the two projects were diametrically opposed, shouldn’t there have been more of struggle from one to the other, Legutko wonders in his book The Demon of Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies (2016). Legutko concludes that the reason the former communists easily leapt from one ideology to the next was that at their core, they were actually the same ideologies; both were committed to making a complete break with the past, tradition, particularly the Church; both looked toward progress to lead to the perfect man, the perfect society; and both found ways to silence those who thwarted their goals, particularly through “newspeak.”

In comparing the two ideologies, Legutko further explains their commonalities:

By becoming a member of a communist and liberal-democratic society, man rejects vast share of loyalties and commitments that until not long ago shackled him, in particular those that were imposed on him through the tutelage of religion, social morality, and tradition. He feels renewed and strong and therefore has nothing but pity toward those miserable ones who continue to be attached to long-outdated rules and who succumb to the bondage of unreasonable restraints. But there is one obligation from which he cannot be relieved: for a communist, communism, and for a liberal democrat, liberal democracy. These obligations are non-negotiable. Others can be ignored.

The false premise animating both ideologies is that human nature can be changed. Once the process is complete and this new nature assumed by all, there will be world-wide happiness. Until then, “we have to break a few eggs.” The only foreseeable solution from their viewpoint is contained in an unwavering adherence to the party. Should ideological faults be exposed, both quickly blame the fact that the ideology hasn’t been embraced by everyone.

Legutko’s insight about the effort to change human nature isn’t just limited to contemporary ideologies but has a much longer history. In writing about demons, St. Thomas Aquinas says, “Now it is evident that the demons would wish many things not to be, which are, and others to be, which are not: for, out of envy, they would wish others to be damned, who are saved” (I, Q64.3). Among their sufferings, the demons have a type of eternal sadness because they cannot change human nature. Psychologist Fr. Mike Driscoll says, “Demons are forever unhappy… because they want God’s creation to be different than it is, and they will never succeed in changing it to their liking.”

It is curious, then, to consider that this eternal sadness of demons is connected with their desire to change human nature. It is not surprising that the ideologies emanating from “Russia’s errors” also have this same fundamental thrust toward changing human nature. This perversion of human nature is at the heart of the errors Our Lady talked about at Fatima.

Distorting men and women

These errors, of course, aren’t exclusive to Russia and Europe. Americans have widely adopted the notion that human nature can be changed. For example: that a mother could willingly and pridefully kill her own child (and then “shout her abortion”), that spouses could forsake each other with the expectation that there will be no consequences, or that men could lie with each other and expect an open embrace from all and sundry. From the 1960s on, each of these sterile concepts aimed at appeasing the desires of the human heart has failed miserably to serve the individual, the family, or the wider common good.

Radical feminism regularly promotes the “nature can be changed” lie, with celebrities proclaiming that gender equality is the “emergency of our time” that must be addressed with frantic (and vulgar) urgency. Meanwhile, the sisterhood of liberal women is held firmly together by the umbilical cord of abortion. Without this lifeline, there would be no cohesive women’s movement, only many splintered factions. Meanwhile, men have become unnecessary because “the future is female.”

Elsewhere, women have become unnecessary because of the changes in nature, particularly in the cabal of homosexual men in the Church. These clerics have largely bought into the lie that the complementarity of male and female is outmoded or unimportant for society to function properly. Women are as useful to homosexual clerics as “a bicycle is to a fish.”

Rev. James Martin, S.J., shows his own slip when he recommends that homosexuality no longer be referred to as intrinsically disordered and rebranded as “differently ordered”. He commits the same error, yet again, in trying to tweak human nature to include sterile and prohibited sexual acts. And the clerical cabal laughs quietly to itself, thinking “the future of the Church is male.”

Both of these ideologies—radical feminism and homosexuality—have no use for healthy, ordered, loving men and women, parents, and children. They want the world and the Church to be ruled by “the new men and women” who are either intrinsically or selectively sterile. Russia’s errors are reverberating through the highest levels of the cultural and clerical elite. Like the demons before them, they are determined to destroy the faith and the fundamental building block of any flourishing society, the family.

This desire to distort human nature was confirmed by Cardinal Caffarra in a letter the Fatima-seer, Sr. Lucia, wrote to him:

The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family. Don’t be afraid because whoever works for the sanctity of Marriage and the Family will always be fought against and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. Nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head.

Truly, Russia has spread her errors, but these aren’t just the invention of men, but the very expression of the disordered desires of the demons. No matter what happens, Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph. And human nature will once again be human, not demonic.

About Carrie Gress, Ph.D. 49 Articles
Carrie Gress has a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and was the Rome Bureau Chief of Zenit's English Edition. She is the author of Nudging Conversions, Ultimate Makeover, and The Marian Option, and co-author with George Weigel of City of Saints. A mother of four, she and her family live in Virginia. Visit her online at CarrieGress.com.

14 Comments

  1. CNS Breaking Story:

    Posting 2006 letter from Vatican to Fr. Ramsey, corroborating Archbishop Viganò that Vatican was aware of McCarrick abuse in 2000.

  2. Thank you for this essay. There’s quite a bit in it that I hadn’t heard before. It appears that Marxist ideology literally is from the pits of hell. Very disturbing considering that, some leaders in the Church have been praising it so highly. Perhaps they need to seriously consider where they truly belong. Let me correct myself: there’s no perhaps about it.
    Stephen in Australia.

  3. What renders credibility to Sr Lucia Dos Santos’ Fatima revelations to Cardinal Carlo Caffarra despite inconsistencies and possibility of prophecy stemming from the heart of the prophet not from God are what has transpired. Sr Lucia said the “Final Battle will center on the Family”. As you indicate homosexual relationship mimicking marriage is among the major assaults on the family. The Church is softening its approach to homosexuality the primary indication appointment of homosexual advocate Cardinal Kevin Farrell as Prefect of the Dicastery on Laity and Family. The other is Amoris Laetitia and the approval by the Pontiff of the Maltese Bishops Conf response incorporated in Acta Apostolica, and Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin affirming a ‘leave it to your conscience approach’ as The New Paradigm. The other is the same Dicastery including the Pontiff citing the urgency of environmental issues overriding the essence of marriage to bear fruit. That is linked with a developing new approach to Paul VI’s doctrine on marriage in Humanae Vitae. Before he died Cardinal Caffarra believed we’ve entered that period of final battle with Satan. Feminism and Marxist ideology are certainly factors. We must however acknowledge the major assault on the family stems not from there but from those in Rome who are instead obliged to defend and uphold the sacred Catholic tradition on the family.

  4. Whoa! An article by Dr. Gress. I slammed on the brakes. As usual, she shocks me awake.

    People like myself of an older generation were duped into thinking of communism as primarily an economic ideology. But in George Weigel’s first biography of Pope St. John-Paul II, Witness to Hope, there is “news” for those of us stuck in the old economic view of communism.

    The Polish communist party actively worked to subvert the family, through requiring that women work rather than practice their most-important-in-the-world vocation, rearing the next generation. The Polish communists actively sought to corrupt young people into becoming sexually active outside marriage. Targets of these programs were the communists’ old nemesis, the family.

    I remember the disgust I felt upon discovering that “Lieutenant Kije”, the Soviet era film which was accompanied by Sergei Prokofiev’s excellent music of the same title, dipped into this pornographic lifestyle, portraying old Tsarist royals as sexually corrupt in a winking way.

  5. Sunlight is the best disinfectant!

    We are FINALLY having the discussion needed about the homosexual subculture in the priesthood, and the fact that it has become so powerful that it controls a lot of the levers of power in the Church.

    There needs to be a housecleaning…starting at the top, but I’m not holding my breath.

    For folks who find this complicated, just look at church attendance. The ones that keep the true faith are dull, the others are empty. Not hard to figure out why. In NH the Episcopal bishop has been married, divorced, gay married, gay divorced…tells his flock he needs one weekend off per month to go to NY for a weekend of “stress relief”. If you send your child to a Sunday School in his diocese, what do they teach the children about right and wrong, sin and virtue?

    Global worming and banning plastic bags are a poor substitute, and the kind of people that get married and have children don’t send their children for that kind of instruction, and hence the empty churches. Same with the Boy Scouts of America. What can they teach the boys about right and wrong now that they’ve thrown the bible in the garbage? Single, liberal women who’ve had abortions, and homosexual men, tend not to have children…they aren’t the future.

    There are parishes in Northern VA that do 50 baptisms a month. There are many good young priests who are not afraid to speak up against homosexuality in the priesthood. Same here in MN where good Catholic schools are full.

    This is the future of the Church, but the fight won’t be won without action and direct confrontation. Let’s confront it head-on and not have another 500 year schism.

    No more trying to meet halfway, no more guilt. In our parish school, none of the other children’s parents are divorced. I don’t feel guilty that my son is growing up without all of the normal disfunction of society around him, he can learn about it later. I do what I can for my family, and am not afraid to speak out about the evils listed in the article, both in the Church and society at large.

  6. Thank you, Dr. Gress. We need to hear more from you.
    “both [communist and liberal ideologies] were committed to making a complete break with the past, tradition, particularly the Church; both looked toward progress to lead to the perfect man…”. I would propose a third ideology that will surprise no one here: pre-marital sex as an acceptable or tolerable human behavior. Is the prevalent homosexual subculture in the Church hierarchy the resultant scourge, the “whirlwind” this is reaping? Heterosexual misbehavior too must be purged from our thinking, from our society. Msgr. Charles Pope recently recalled the threat of invasion to Israel and Judah that Jeremiah prophesied following their grave unfaithfulness (NCRegister, 9/5/18). Alasdair McIntyre also warned about a fall comparable to the Roman Empire, if man continued to refuse his “telos”, or the proper purposes and the good for which he is designed (After Virtue, pgs. 52-59, 263).
    And to your point about the demons wanting to change human nature and the ideologies seeking human “perfection”… Of course this is so. Since the time in the Garden, satan has acted thus, and for this reason Christ gave us the Church whose mission is to be a “structured society whose aim is the supernatural perfection of every human being, [a church] which is endowed with the perfect means for attaining that end”, an end lost in the Garden (Bp. Robert Christian).
    We need the Church and she needs our prayers if we are to achieve the end we all desire!

  7. This is a very intellectual and brilliant article by Dr. Carrie Gress.

    She strikes the nail on the head: it is not merely corporate or embodied Communism that is at issue but ‘errors’ of Russia. ‘Errors’ are nothing more than intellectual falsehoods. The west, right now, is ruled by these ‘errors’ via the vehicle of democracy, than ever before.

    The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart is in the future, when bishops and popes repent and do the Consecration.

  8. I love what Dr. Gress says but in her comments and the comments of others I see no reference to one of major changes that is needed. Priests should have the option to marry. I am tired of seeing bright, young, capable priests come through and then leave to get married. When is the church going to face the fact that they can’t change human nature? I realize this will cause major logistical problems for the church but it will be worth it. The result will be less sex scandals and will help to solve the priest shortage.

  9. Priestly marriage is a red herring….nothing to do with sex abuse scandals. The kind of guy who wants to sodomize many 13 year old boys is generally not looking for a wife for a lifetime monogamus relationship with.

    Many of those who also think of this as a logistical issue miss the point about the giving of one’s whole self to the church, or your wife in the case of those of us who are married. It’s also why you can’t have more than one wife. For married priests of other rites, it’s understood that family comes first, and priesthood is like another job. Even if you’re a good priest, you haven’t left everything and given everything to the church, like those in the latin rite have. This issue has been debated for at least 1600 years.

    • It actually has everything to do with the sex abuse scandal. A married priesthood of mature men would eventually crowd out the immature sodomites. The married priests of other rites function quite well as they know it is not a matter of coming first but of doing right by all of their duties. I can assure you that knowing Eastern Priests and Anglican Priest converts, they are quite aware that their vocation is more than a job. This is why the necessity of replacing the immature of all stripes is a necessity for the future health of the Church.

  10. This article makes no sense. The author makes nothing but a series of unsubstantiated conclusions tied together by little more than empty rhetoric. Homosexuality was a crime under Russian Communism, punishable by five years of hard labor. How does that square with the author’s assertion that Communism and LGBT rights are somehow intertwined? And if LGBT people are as small a percentage of the population as many on the right claim, how is it even possible there is any correlation between LGBT rights and and faltering marriages? People in the past stayed in bad marriages, even violent ones, because they had no options. People have options now and exercise them. Finally, the notion that gay priests have “no use” for woman because they are not sexually attracted to them is nothing but insulting. Aren’t women more than sex objects that produce babies? There is nothing else women have to offer that gay men (or straight men or other women, for that matter) might find appealing?

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