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.

(This CWR essay was posted originally on September 7, 2018.)


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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.

29 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.

    • Fr.Peter Morello,Your comment is the last one but the most powerful and to the point. Church softening it’s approach to homosexuality.ex. leave it to your conscience. Environmental issues overriding essence of marriage.Final battle with Satan. Feminism and Marxist ideology are factors BUT the major assault on family stems from Rome who are obliged to defend Catholic Traditions on family. So many Catholics are in the dark. How to reach the reVerent people in the pews.Thank you Thankyou.I took picture of your statement and will send to all my friends. God bless you in all your ministry. JR.

  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.

    • I agree priests should be allowed to marry. I discovered the root of radical feminism in Kate Millet’s ‘Sexual Politics’ (1970) which was?/is? foundational in ‘women’s studies’ courses. Millet’s family struggled all her life with her mental illness which she fought against treating – successfully destroying her family’s involvement-resulting in legislation preventing families from being involved (HIPPA laws). She and her cohorts in the ‘60’s to destroy the family and promote promiscuity-they adhered to communist doctrines and Alinsky methods.
      I am heartened to read that Our Lady has defeated the demons, just wonder at what point will we see the evidence. Certainly not during the present days with what we see happening to Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump and so many others fighting for marriage, family and country!

    • I agree priests should be allowed the choice to marry. Note the paucity of young men seeking the priesthood. It is now Third World countries sending priests and nuns to Europe, North America, Australasia, etc eg fine Nigerian priests to Ireland. Filipinos and and Indian to New Zealand etc. All because of a “lack of priests’ due to a lack of homegrown seminarians Crisis what crisis? A quarter of a million priests were allowed to abrogate their vows of Holy Orders (unlike married couples their vows of Holy Matrimony) since Vatican II – many to marry ex-nuns. Tens of thousands of those would jump at the chance to return to their ministry, many with fine nun etc wives as pastoral partners with experience of teaching, social (justice) work and as leaders In catechetical education.

      • The Eastern Orthodox have had married priests for a millennium — AND they have fewer vocations than we!

      • “A quarter of a million priests were allowed to abrogate their vows of Holy Orders (unlike married couples their vows of Holy Matrimony) since Vatican II – many to marry ex-nuns. Tens of thousands of those would jump at the chance to return to their ministry, many with fine nun etc wives as pastoral partners with experience of teaching, social (justice) work and as leaders In catechetical education.”

        I don’t think that men and women who broke their vows would make very good priests or pastoral leaders. Certainly I wouldn’t want to be a member of such a parish.

        I recall reading somewhere that someone pointed out that the difference between a celibate priest and a married man is one woman. What next? “Well, yes, priests are supposed to be faithful to this one woman, but just look at how many more candidates we would have if we permitted adultery…”

    • “Priests should have the option to marry. I am tired of seeing bright, young, capable priests come through and then leave to get married. ”

      If they’re leaving to get married, they may be “bright” and “young” and “capable” (whatever that means), but they’re not good and faithful priests.

      This is a clear example of chronological snobbery. “Yes, I know that we’ve had celibate priests for century upon century, but our particular time is just soooooooo special that we can’t possibly expect that now.”

    • St. Peter was married, as was our Blessed Mother Mary, St. James, Paul, Thomas, etc. All of the 12 were married. Only because of the slavery in the Roman Empire where one’s master could perform any abusive sex they wanted on the slaves, and/or prostitute the slave, was celibacy as healthy alternative to sexual violence. Marriage was a luxury in the ancient world at the time of the early church. Widows and orphans were plentiful and 1/3 of the Jewish people didn’t survive the Roman occupation due to starvation and disease per the Roman historical accounts. Married men who were faithful to one wife, good fathers to their children, and took care of their extended families were a moral pillar in the ancient world which Christianity advocated for. St. John and his wife took care of the widow Mary, the Mother of Jesus as Jesus requested on the cross. Monastic life will not go away if priests were allowed to be married, but Roman Catholic would be better served to look to our Orthodox cousins for role models of married clergy and fathers and not the Protestant clergy.
      Like the early church, sexual violence has become normative, and the man who choses to be a devoted husband to his wife, father, and benefactor to extended family more and more rare. I am not sure we can have a healthy priesthood until more men chose to be devoted husbands and fathers, like St. Joseph and the early apostles.

      • Neither Our Lady nor St. Joseph was a priest, so the fact that they were married is irrelevant.

        You wrote, ” All of the 12 were married.” Oh? What evidence do you have of that?

        “Only because of the slavery in the Roman Empire where one’s master could perform any abusive sex they wanted on the slaves, and/or prostitute the slave, was celibacy as healthy alternative to sexual violence.”

        It is foolish to assume that there were only two choices, sexual vionece or celibacy.

        “St. John and his wife took care of the widow Mary, the Mother of Jesus as Jesus requested on the cross.”

        Show me any mention at all of St. John’s being married.

        “Roman Catholic would be better served to look to our Orthodox cousins for role models of married clergy and fathers and not the Protestant clergy.”

        I recall reading on this site not so long ago that the Orthodox have even more of a vocations crisis than the Latin Rite does. But in any case, it’s irrelevant. We don’t have to look to the Protestants or to the Orthodox.

        “Like the early church, sexual violence has become normative, and the man who choses to be a devoted husband to his wife, father, and benefactor to extended family more and more rare.”

        Which has nothing to do with the priesthood.

        “I am not sure we can have a healthy priesthood until more men chose to be devoted husbands and fathers, like St. Joseph and the early apostles.”

        Again: St. Joseph wasn’t a priest, and the only one of the Twelve that we know was married was St. Peter, and there’s good reason to believe that he was a widower.

        We can have a healthy priesthood if the seminaries would do what they should have done all long, which is to filter out those prone to perversion. And we can have a healthy priesthood if Catholic families would raise their children well, fending off the evil that is so pervasive in the world, teaching their children to frequet the sacraments, and making sure that the parents set good examples. And it wouldn’t hurt to re-evangelize the Catholics-in-name-only who don’t even bother to attend Mass and who don’t believe in the Real Presence.

  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.

    • “Priestly marriage is a red herring….nothing to do with sex abuse scandals”

      You’re quite right. What they need to do is what is supposed to have been done all along – weed out seminarians who are suffering the temptation to commit homosexual acts, instead of weeding out the good and decent men who are revolted by the very thought.

  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?

  11. There’s a lot more to Fatima than we can even imagine-so humbling. Family love very important! Children suffer when the family unit is broken. Coincidence, that on October 13 the Catholic Church arrested the Crusaders. Hundreds of years before Fatima. St. Padre Pio’s interview with the Vatican Exorcist and The Third Secret is interesting to read about especially considering what has occurred in the news about the church. Synthetic opioids and evolution of new approaches to medical care around 1917. Young healthy men and millions died from the Spanish Flu after Fatima. There has been interesting studies on that subject-was it in fact just a virus? Strange changes in the weather? A warning about human technology and impact on balance in nature? Yes, abortions and Russia. There is a war against all forms of life that evolved from those who desire power at any costs around 1917 when humankind embraced technology for profit over that as created by God and is given freely. If we don’t care for our common home, the rest doesn’t matter. Praying that there will be a heavenly sign concerning a Supreme Court nominee. I believe the abortion issue was a tipping factor for Trump being elected. What would our heavenly Mother say about Roe vs Wade? The Russian leader loves the icon of Our Blessed Mother. Her Immaculate Heart will Triumph. Thank God for God’s Grace. Let’s pray that people will acknowledge the gifts of miracles God generously lavishes us with.

  12. What Dr. Gress unfortunately does not mention is that Pope St. JohnbPaul II has offered Russia to Mary’s Sacred Heart as requested by Our Lady of Fatima and since then, Russia has seen a conversion back to Christianity and a turn around in family and abortion. That is the major reason why the devils in the West like the European Union and its representatives hate Russia so much.

  13. Since this original posting approx 9 mo past much has transpired since I wrote “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 Argentine [my correction] Bishops Conf response incorporated in Acta Apostolica”. Vos estis lux mundi omits a major corruption within the Church that underlies softening toward all morality and anticipation of sexual abuse of the vulnerable. That egregious corruption is consensual homosexual relationships among seminarians and ordained clergy. While civil authorities condone consensual homosexual acts and our culture is promoting even celebrating such relationships the Church is bypassing this abomination apparently in accord with a New Paradigm favorable reevaluation of same sex behavior. Rather than heroic witness to the truth of Christ and Apostolic Tradition as Saint Matthias, who replaced the betrayer Judas Iscariot the Vatican by all indication favors the more mundane interests of the latter. Our Blessed Mother warned us at Fatima and thru the favor of her Son has assumed a role akin to the theological understanding of Co-Redemptress. Hierarchy remain strangely passive, silent when they must instead be outspoken and in support of attempts to address the mitigation of moral doctrine directly with the Pontiff. The faithful Laity and ordinary cleric must take up spiritual arms prayer, sacrifice, outspoken witness if the Church is to stem this tide of corruption. That I’m confidant is what Christ and Our Lady asks of us.

    • How very, very true……….all of what you say Fr. Peter. Yup, the vast majority of clergy and prelates TOO AFRAID to confront PF and spell out exactly how wrong and deceiving the pope’s New Paradigm is.

      Eccematertua is truly paramount with what ever happens next.

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