Catholic Family News

Viganò Vindicates Traditionalists and “Fatimists”

This article is featured in the current (June 2020) Print Edition of Catholic Family News (click HERE to subscribe; current subscribers can access the E-Edition HERE).

Since the publication of his testimony concerning Theodore McCarrick and the widespread cover-up of the latter’s crimes, “beginning in the Roman Curia” and including Pope Francis himself (Aug. 2018), Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former apostolic nuncio to the United States (2011-2016), has exhibited an astounding transformation.

Less than two years ago, he was simply a retired Vatican diplomat, one who easily could have chosen to live out his retirement years in peace, comfort, and anonymity. Instead, not only did he choose to expose “the homosexual current” among the Church’s hierarchy – those prelates bent on “subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality” – he has also consistently been raising his voice against a host of “profane novelties” (1 Tim. 6:20) and in defense of Catholic Tradition on multiple fronts.

It seems that this humble and typically soft-spoken diplomat has been chosen by Heaven for our times to “give testimony to the truth” (John 18:37) – not only to the truth about Tradition, but also the truth about Fatima, which has been systematically suppressed for decades by his former superiors in the Secretariat of State (more on this to come).

An Astounding Transformation

Beginning last summer, readers may recall that Dr. Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican magazine began publishing vis-à-vis his “Moynihan Letters” (notes to readers) details from his then-recent conversations with Archbishop Viganò. In a letter dated July 30, 2019, for example, Moynihan shared about their lengthy private meeting, which occurred the previous day: “We have spoken now for many hours, and his central concern is for the safety, freedom and doctrinal purity of the Church – the Mystical Body of Christ, the people of God, which he has served throughout his life, and still wishes to serve with all his being.” He goes on to quote Viganò’s comments about “the history of the Jesuits” and “the triumph of a 60-year-old plan…to bring a new sort of thinking into the heart of the Church, a thinking rooted in elements of Liberation Theology containing strands of Marxism, little interested in traditional Catholic liturgy or morality or theology, but rather focused on ‘praxis’ in the field of social justice” (see here for more details).

Fast forward six weeks or so to early September 2019 – just over a year since the publication of Archbishop Viganò’s initial testimony regarding McCarrick – and Dr. Moynihan published another letter detailing what I dubbed at the time, “More Bombshells from Viganò”, bombshells which Moynihan introduced as follows:

“Now, with the passage of a year, Archbishop Viganò has a still deeper concern: that the clerical sexual abuse crisis is only one aspect of a deeper and wider crisis of the Christian faith in our age. …

This deeper and wider crisis, Viganò believes, involves, theologically, an illegitimate rejection (that is, not a legitimate development) of traditional Catholic doctrine. The aim: to construct a more modern ‘new church,’ marked by a faith and practice in many areas of Catholic moral and sacramental life different from the Church of the past.

Viganò sees this rejection of traditional teaching as a matter of grave concern.

In keeping with his role as a Catholic bishop, he told me, he feels it his duty to do all he can to defend orthodox doctrine.

‘I cannot be silent if the faith is at stake,’ Viganò told me. ‘If others will join me, all the better. But even if I am alone, I must speak out.’”

At the time, His Excellency was still apparently adhering to Benedict XVI’s “hermeneutic of continuity” concerning the documents of Vatican II – in other words, that the entire Council can be interpreted in a manner consistent with Tradition – telling Moynihan, “So what happened after Vatican II ended in 1965 was absolutely the opposite of a policy of continuity, which would have been the correct interpretation of the Vatican II documents. Instead, there was another interpretation, of discontinuity, promoted by all the huge machine of media propaganda.”

Not so, however, come November 2019, when the former nuncio wrote the following in his devastating critique of the so-called “Abrahamic Family House” initiative:

“In the garden of Abu Dhabi the temple of the world syncretistic Neo-Religion is about to rise with its anti-Christian dogmas. Not even the most hopeful of the Freemasons would have imagined so much!

Pope Bergoglio thus proceeds to further implement the apostasy of Abu Dhabi, the fruit of pantheistic and agnostic neo-modernism that tyrannizes the Roman Church, germinated by the conciliar document Nostra Aetate. We are compelled to recognize it: the poisoned fruits of the ‘Conciliar springtime’ are before the eyes of anyone who does not allow himself to be blinded by the dominant Lie.”

And further:

“Pius XI had alerted and warned us [referring to Mortalium Animos, from which Viganò quotes earlier in his essay]. But the teachings that preceded Vatican II have been thrown to the winds, as intolerant and obsolete. The comparison between the pre-conciliar Magisterium and the new teachings of Nostra Aetate and Dignitatis Humanae – to mention only those – manifest a terrible discontinuity, which must be acknowledged and which must be amended as soon as possible.”

Thus, in a matter of a few months, His Excellency went from defending “a policy of continuity, which would have been the correct interpretation of the Vatican II documents,” to publicly acknowledging “a terrible discontinuity” between “the pre-conciliar Magisterium and the new teachings” contained within those same documents (see here for more details). An astounding transformation, indeed!

Growing Bolder All the Time

So far this year, I am pleased to report that Archbishop Viganò has grown bolder in his defense of Tradition; and further, that he has begun to speak out about crucial facts concerning Our Lady’s Fatima Message.

On April 21, a Portuguese website called Dies Irae published an interview with His Excellency, which was subsequently translated into English by Inside the Vatican. The very first question touches upon one of the controversies surrounding the Message of Fatima, namely, “the third secret” or third part of the Secret entrusted by Our Lady to the three shepherd children on July 13, 1917 during her third apparition.

Placing the question in the context of “[t]he COVID-19 epidemic” and Pope Francis’ “prayer for humanity” on March 27 “in front of an empty St. Peter’s Square,” the interviewer states: “There were many reactions to the way the Pope acted in that moment, one of which tried to associate the solitary presence of Francis with the Message of Fatima, i.e., the third secret. Do you agree?” This is how Archbishop Viganò responded:

The third part of the message that Our Lady entrusted to the shepherd children of Fatima, so that they could deliver it to the Holy Father, remains secret to this day. Our Lady asked for it to be revealed in 1960, but John XXIII had a communiqué published on February 8th of that year in which he stated that the Church ‘does not wish to take on the responsibility of guaranteeing the truthfulness of the words that the three shepherd children said the Virgin Mary spoke to them.’ With this distancing [of the Vatican] from the message of the Queen of Heaven, a cover-up operation was started, evidently because the content of the message would have revealed the terrible conspiracy against the Church of Christ by its enemies. Until a few decades ago it would have seemed incredible that we would reach the point that even Our Lady could be silenced, but in recent years we have also witnessed attempts to censor the Gospel itself, which is the Word of Her divine Son.” (Emphasis added)

For clarity’s sake, it was not the Vatican that released the infamous 1960 communiqué, but rather a Portuguese press agency; however, the text of the communiqué does indeed reveal a “distancing” of the Vatican “from the message of the Queen of Heaven”. More importantly, though, as noted by Christopher Ferrara in his book The Secret Still Hidden, the communiqué discloses that “the Third Secret involved words of the Virgin Mary [not simply a vision], presented in the form of a letter to be opened in 1960”.[1]

Taking these details into account, let us return to Archbishop Viganò’s response:

“In 2000, during the pontificate of John Paul II, Cardinal Sodano presented as the Third Secret a version of his own that in several elements appeared clearly incomplete. It is not surprising that the new Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, sought to draw attention away to an event in the past [the assassination attempt on John Paul on May 13, 1981] to cause the people of God to believe that the words of the Virgin [in 1917 when she appeared] had nothing to do with the crisis of the Church [in the decades after 1960] and the marriage of modernists and Freemasonry that was contracted behind the scenes at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Antonio Socci, who has carefully investigated the Third Secret, unmasked this harmful behavior on the part of Cardinal Bertone.” (Emphasis added)

It is no exaggeration to say that these observations of Archbishop Viganò are just as explosive as his original testimony concerning McCarrick and the cover-up of the latter’s crimes, a cover-up which he alleges includes none other than Cardinals Angelo Sodano (Vatican Secretary of State, 1991-2006) and Tarcisio Bertone (Sec. of State, 2006-2013), the very same Vatican prelates responsible for covering up the truth about Fatima (see here for more details).

Note, in particular, His Excellency’s mention of “Antonio Socci, who has carefully investigated the Third Secret” and “unmasked…Cardinal Bertone.” He is referring, of course, to Socci’s groundbreaking book The Fourth Secret of Fatima (first published in Italian, 2006; English translation, 2009), the account of his “voyage into the greatest mystery of the 20th century” throughout which he ends up being converted from the Vatican party line on Fatima to the position of the so-called “Fatimists” – “a result,” he says, “that seriously contradicted my initial convictions, and that surprised and impressed me.”[2] As Socci states elsewhere in his book’s Introduction, after investigating “the concrete and reliable elements of criticism [of the Vatican party line] in the traditionalist literature…in the end I had to surrender – thanks also to the revelations of an authoritative witness [i.e., Archbishop Loris Capovilla][3] who furnished invaluable information.”[4]

Viganò Calls for Consecration of Russia

Archbishop Viganò has apparently done the same and surrendered to the evidence, not only concerning the Third Secret, but also regarding the still-incomplete consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Says Viganò in the same Portuguese interview:

Let us not forget Our Lady’s unheeded appeal for the Pope and all the Bishops to consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, as a condition for the defeat of Communism and atheistic materialism: consecrate not ‘the world,’ not ‘the nation which You want us to consecrate to You,’ but ‘Russia.’ Was it so costly to do that?” (Emphasis added)

Here, His Excellency makes reference to the various attempts (in particular, of Pope John Paul II) to consecrate Russia without actually naming the one country specified by Our Lady. Let us recall that in 1917, in the second part of the Secret, Our Lady said that in order to “prevent” such chastisements as “war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father,” she would return “to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays.” She kept her word by appearing to Sister Lucia, the eldest of the three seers, on Dec. 10, 1925 (First Saturdays devotion) and again on June 13, 1929, during which Our Lady told Lucia:

“The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. So numerous are the souls which the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me, that I come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.”

Notice how Our Lady never asked for the consecration of the world, but specifically and exclusively Russia. Professor William Thomas Walsh, Catholic historian and author, included the following in his 1947 book Our Lady of Fátima concerning his July 15, 1946 interview with Sister Lucia:

“Lucia made it plain that Our Lady did not ask for the consecration of the world to her Immaculate Heart. What she demanded specifically was the consecration of Russia. … [S]he said more than once, and with deliberate emphasis: ‘What Our Lady wants is that the Pope and all the bishops in the world to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart on one special day. If this is done, she will convert Russia and there will be peace. If it is not done, the errors of Russia will spread through every country in the world.’”[5] (Emphasis added)

She stated the same over the years – including after John Paul II’s 1984 consecration of the world, not Russia – to Fr. Umberto Maria Pasquale (1982), Archbishop Portalupi (Papal Nuncio) (1983), Mrs. Eugenia Pestana (1984), in Sol de Fatima (the Spanish publication of the Blue Army) (1985), and to Enrique Romero (1987).[6]

Archbishop Viganò, for his part, has openly acknowledged on two other occasions this year that Our Lady’s request remains undone: once during an interview with Michael Matt of The Remnant (Mar. 29),[7] and again during an interview with Italian journalist Marco Tosatti (Apr. 29):

“Let us not forget, as I recalled recently [no doubt referring to the Portuguese interview published on Apr. 21]: Our Lady of Fatima promised Sister Lucia that before the end of time a Pope would consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, and that this act of obedience would be followed by an era of peace. Let us therefore confidently place ourselves, our families and our dear Italy under the mantle of the Most Blessed Virgin, trusting in her words.”

Christopher Ferrara put it best in his article published shortly after Viganò’s Portuguese interview appeared: “What Father [Nicholas] Gruner first proclaimed 20 years ago should be regarded as self-evident. The truth will surface even in the midst of the worst crisis in Church history, especially when the source of that truth is the Mother of God Herself.”

God bless Archbishop Viganò for being a courageous witness to this truth in our times!

UPDATE (6/3/20): This morning, I joined Dr. Taylor Marshall on his show to discuss new developments involving Archbishop Viganò and his “astounding transformation” (as I call it) into one of the most staunch defenders of Tradition and the whole truth about Fatima in the Church today:

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[1] Christopher A. Ferrara, The Secret Still Hidden (Pound Ridge: Good Counsel Publications, 2008), p. 26. Available in full online here.

[2] Antonio Socci, The Fourth Secret of Fatima (Fitzwilliam: Loreto Publications, 2009), p. 11.

[3] For a summary of Capovilla’s crucial testimony, see here.

[4] Socci, op. cit., p. 11.

[5] William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fátima (New York: Image-Doubleday, May 1990 edition), p. 221

[6] The references for these instances are all documented in Christopher Ferrara’s False Friends of Fatima (Pound Ridge: Good Counsel Publications, 2012), pp. 48-51. Available in full online here.

[7] Archbishop Viganò to Michael Matt: “Our Lady of Fatima asked the Pope and all Bishops to consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, and announced wars and disasters until this came about. Her calls have gone unheard. The Hierarchy must now reform and obey the Mother of God!”

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Matt Gaspers

Matt Gaspers is the Managing Editor of Catholic Family News. He was asked by John Vennari (1958-2017), longtime Editor of CFN and stalwart defender of the Faith, to carry on CFN’s important work shortly before Mr. Vennari’s passing. In addition to writing for CFN, Mr. Gaspers has also been published by The Fatima Crusader, OnePeterFive, and LifeSiteNews. His study and writing interests include theology, Church history, Fatima, Islam, and the spiritual life. He has spoken at conferences hosted by Catholic Family News and the Fatima Center. He and his wife, together with their children, reside in Colorado.

Matt Gaspers

Avatar photo

Matt Gaspers is the Managing Editor of Catholic Family News. He was asked by John Vennari (1958-2017), longtime Editor of CFN and stalwart defender of the Faith, to carry on CFN’s important work shortly before Mr. Vennari’s passing. In addition to writing for CFN, Mr. Gaspers has also been published by The Fatima Crusader, OnePeterFive, and LifeSiteNews. His study and writing interests include theology, Church history, Fatima, Islam, and the spiritual life. He has spoken at conferences hosted by Catholic Family News and the Fatima Center. He and his wife, together with their children, reside in Colorado.