Cardinal Raymond Burke called Catholic laymen to “work for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Cardinal Burke, the former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, is currently Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. He is one of the four Cardinals who submitted to Pope Francis a formal request to clarify the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
In the month of Mary, and only a few days after the centenary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to the three shepherd children, Burke gave a wide-ranging speech at the Roman Life Forum on Friday morning, May 19, 2017 on “The Secret of Fatima and a New Evangelization” to an international audience of over 100 pro-life and pro-family leaders.
On the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart
The speaker described the triumph of the Immaculate Heart as much more than the end of the world wars predicted by Our Lady of Fatima.
As horrible as are the physical chastisements associated with man’s disobedient rebellion before God, infinitely more horrible are the spiritual chastisements, for they have to do with the fruit of grievous sin: eternal death.
He agreed with Fatima scholar Brother Michel de la Sainte Trinité that the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart refers primarily to “the victory of the Faith, which will put an end to the time of apostasy, and the great shortcomings of the Church’s pastors.”
Cardinal Burke recalled that it is the responsibility of the Pope, the bishops and the priests to teach the faith in its integrity.
For that reason, the Third Secret is directed, with particular force, to those who exercise the pastoral office in the Church. Their failure to teach the faith, in fidelity to the Church’s constant teaching and practice, whether through a superficial, confused or even worldly approach, and their silence endangers mortally, in the deepest spiritual sense, the very souls for whom they have been consecrated to care spiritually. The poisonous fruit of the failure of the Church’s pastors is seen in a manner of worship, of teaching and of moral discipline which is not in accord with Divine Law.
Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart
Although the call for the explicit consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is controversial, Burke gave a simple rationale for it:
The requested consecration is at once a recognition of the importance which Russia continues to have in God’s plan for peace and a sign of profound love for our brothers and sisters in Russia.”
The Cardinal went on to say that when Pope John Paul II consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984, he wanted to mention Russia explicitly but did not because of pressure from his counselors. This fact was confirmed by Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes while speaking in Rome on May 13, 2017. The former President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum recalled speaking with Pope John Paul II after the 1984 consecration. “He refrained from mentioning Russia explicitly, because the Vatican diplomats had urgently asked him not to mention this country, because otherwise political conflicts might arise.”
Cardinal Burke quoted John Paul II himself, who in 1982 noted: “Mary’s appeal is not for just once. Her appeal must be taken up by generation after generation, in accordance with the ever new ‘signs of the times’.”
Cardinal Burke reviewed other ways recommended by Our Lady of Fatima for the faithful to take part in bringing peace to the world and to the Church: daily Rosary, the Brown Scapular, sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, reparation to the Immaculate Heart by the First Saturday devotion. By these means, along with the consecration of Russia, we agree with Cardinal Burke's declaration that “she promises that her Immaculate Heart will triumph, bringing souls to Christ, her Son" and that the triumph of Our Lady will bring about the triumph of the Catholic Church.