Interview with Bishop Fellay on the Rosary Crusade
This interview was published in March 2010 issue of The Angelus magazine.
Your Excellency, you called for a Rosary Crusade from May 1, 2009, until March 25, 2010. What was the reason for such an important effort?
It is obvious that we are not in normal times. Also that we still are in the time covered by the message of Fatima. In 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared three little children and promised that at the end her immaculate Heart shall triumph. In 2000 apparently something of what was called the “Third Secret” of Fatima was released by the Vatican, to the unsatisfaction of almost everybody.
And frankly, it is not over, the triumph in whatever form of the Immaculate Heart has not been realized. That means that it still has to come. And we do count that with such a triumph, a part or all the present crisis of the Church will also be over. So we try to get Heaven do both at the same time by begging and longing for the magnificent triumph of our heavenly Mother, Mother of God.
What were the historical examples which prompted your decision for a “Rosary Crusade”?
Yes, indeed, there are several examples in history of the divine intervention, a true intervention of God or His saints in human history, and specifically after the prayer of the Rosary.
One of the most famous is the battle of Lepanto. St. Pius V, in front of the perils encountered by the Christianity defending itself against the threatening Turks did call all Europe to a spiritual crusade of Rosaries. To the spiritual fight was united the Christian fleet who met with the naval forces of the Islam by Lepanto. Though in smaller numbers, by the end of the day, the victory was so significant that for years and years the Christians were left in peace.
The great battle of Vienna by Sobiesky again against the Turks is also attributed to the prayer of the rosary. As well in Austria, the regained freedon in 1955 from the communist Russia occupation is considered as a victory due to the prayer of the holy Rosary.
Certain people would say that the Catholic Church is so violently under attack by her enemies that prayer does not seem sufficient to support the Church. What do you think of such doubts?
When we pray, we do count on the help of Almighty God and of His saints. This power cannot be put in comparison with any human forces, as strong as they may be. God is the only infinite, infinite in power—we call Him the Almighty God—and this word has to be taken as is without diminution. And God can really do whatever He wants. And the prayer, even more the prayers himself has given us can in all truth obtain what human resources would never have achieved.
True that one of the conditions of an efficient prayer is the trust we put in it to be heard. If ourselves do not see it as realistic that God might listen to us and do what we ask for, we shall get nothing. We have to remember always these words: of your faith would be as big as a mustard seed, you would tell to that mountain to move to the see and it would happen. We should say that on the contrary, the prayer is the only proportionate mean to resolve the problem the Church is facing. This also includes all other necessary actions on our side, of course.
It is evidently difficult to speak of the Rosary Crusade without speaking of Fatima and especially the Third Secret. What is the importance of the “Third Secret”?
We might say that this secret in as proportionally important as the way some try to avoid its full publication. we most likely must accept that the Third Secret does speak about the present trials and maybe some future events of the Church. And as it does not only include some description of desasters but the promise of the victory, of our Lady, and this part, we already know… So we may have to say that we could find in it the key to get out of the present crisis and some precisions about it.
Do you think that the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary has been done?
We may say that some consecration to the Immaculate Heart has been done, even some consecration of Russia, though imperfectly and not respecting all the requirements indicated by the most blessed Virgin Mary. So already Pius XII did consecrate the world, John Paul II did mention the country where the Icon of Mary is venerated… But not all the bishops did united to the consecration of Russia.
Why do you think Pius XII did a “Consecration of the World” to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and not the Consecration of Russia—about which he certainly knew?
There might be at least two explanations: the first is that there was under Pius XII much opposition to such a consecration and the second is that another revelation came from Spain at about the same time asking for the consecration of the World (to the Sacred Heart?). So Pius XII might have tried to combine both in one consecration…Anyway, when he did, some of the miracles of Fatima were repeated for him in the Vatican: a rain of roses and the sun.
How do you think the consecration of Russia could affect the situation of the Church?
In the history of mankind, things are much more linked than what we think, but very often, we do not see or grasp it. And so the consecration of Russia would free that country from its errors, it will convert, as Mary says; how can this affect the crisis in the Church? In many ways, but here we are really in speculation. I prefer to let the Mother of God have free hands to do what she wants. She speaks of triumph, and that means definitely a great victory against the evil forces… such a spiritual victory would not be so spectacular if not accompanied by a real rise of the Church. Do not ask me how, though.
Do you think the results of the consecration of Russia will be entirely supernatural? Some seem to imagine immediate political or natural effects.
There is no need to reduce the power of God or of Mary. It can be both, easily. Would a conversion of Russia be only supernatural or not include some human parts? The present crisis has also human sides, as for example the empty churches, the empty convents… So God could fill them again, and with people of good faith, converting.
What is the importance of the Rosary Crusade for the influence of Tradition in the Catholic Church?
Very simply said: how could we pretend to do any good to the Church if not through supernatural means? So if we make use of supernatural means as is the prayer and the prayer of the Rosary, the importance of the Rosary Crusade can easily be crucial.
Do you think that only the faithful of the SSPX should have been involved in the Rosary Crusade or other Catholics as well?
There is absolutely no limitation to our Crusade. All praying soul is welcome! We have no pretention to the exclusivity of a prayer which has been given to the whole Church. But is is true that there are few who continue to use it, in comparison with what it should be. But due to the circumstances, it was somehow difficult to go over our borders fot this call to prayer.
Have you had any positive reactions to this Crusade from outside the Society over the past year?
Very few. I remember an Italian priest present at the ordinations in Econe who promised to join with one million rosaries. And besides that, Fr. Gruner also launched something similar… It's not much. By the last crusades, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos was impressed by the number of rosaries. He told me he was certain they had their role in obtaining what we got up to now.