Catholic Family NewsFatima Center Announces
“Fatima Challenge” Symposium
A unique event of major importance to the Catholic Church and all those affected by the Church's actions is set to take place in Rome from May 3 through May 7.
The Fatima Challenge will gather the world's experts, writers and researchers on the prophecies and promises made in the apparitions of the Blessed Mother to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917.
Many of these prophecies have been fulfilled and others, contingent upon the Church's actions, ominously await fulfillment.
Pope Benedict XVI's commission on Fatima; Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State; along with all Catholic bishops and a number of priests, are being invited to participate in the forum and to present their views.
The Fatima apparitions have been deemed worthy of belief by the Catholic Church. Two of the shepherd children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, were declared Blessed during a ceremony in 2000 presided over by Pope John Paul II at the Shrine of Fatima.
Pope Benedict XVI has announced he will travel to Fatima on May 12, 2010. Speculation about his intentions has aroused great interest. It appears likely the Pope will use the occasion to beatify the last of the Fatima seers, Sister Lucia dos Santos, who died in 2005.
The Third Secret of Fatima, which the Vatican published, along with an “interpretive key,” in the year 2000, has ignited a firestorm of controversy, with many claiming that the full text was not disclosed.
Also very much debated is whether the Church has fulfilled the Blessed Mother's request that Russia be consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and all the bishops.
The Blessed Mother promised at Fatima that if the consecration were performed, Russia would be converted and a period of peace granted to the world. She also warned that were the consecration not done, Russia would spread her errors, “various nations would be annihilated,” the Church persecuted, and that the Pope “will have much to suffer.”
Russia has never been the subject of a consecration to the Immaculate Heart made under the conditions specified at Fatima, that is, by the Pope in conjunction with the world's bishops. Some Vatican officials have claimed that a consecration of the world made by John Paul II in 1984 fulfilled the request, but this has been disputed.
The late Pope did not mention Russia specifically, nor did he act in conjunction with the world's bishops. Critics point out that the promise of Russia's conversion and a period of world peace has certainly not followed.
The Third Secret was also purported to be about the assassination attempt on John Paul II in 1981, but the published vision is of a Pope being killed, not wounded, and this is but one of many problems with the interpretive key offered by the Vatican officials.
These and other questions of importance relating to the Fatima controversy will be the subject of the five-day forum.
Father Nicholas Gruner notes, “We will be there to defend the position that the Third Secret is still not fully revealed, and the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary has yet to be accomplished. We have invited those who claim the Third Secret is completely released and the Consecration is accomplished to likewise attend and to defend their position. The discussions will take place in an atmosphere of charity and civility.”
So far, speakers at the symposium include Father Nicholas Gruner, Father Paul Kramer, Christopher Ferrara, Edwin Faust, Dr. Peter Chojnowski, Michal Semin, Cornelia Ferreira and John Vennari. Other participants will be announced at a later date.
The Fatima Center has a limited amount of space open for those friends and supporters who may wish to attend The Fatima Challenge in Rome. The Center is still putting together the pricing, but estimates the cost to attend (including airfare, two meals per day, hotel and conference) to be around $2100 USD.
Since time is short, those interested in attending this historic event should contact the Fatima Center as soon as possible. Phone: 1-800-845-3047.
Father Gruner and the organizers ask that many fervent prayers be offered (especially many Rosaries) that this Symposium be effective for the greater glory of God; that it help hasten the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and world peace as promised at Fatima.
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Also on line at: http://www.fatima.org/news/enlarchive/press_release0110.asp