Forty years before the trial of the 86 year old Croatian Minister of the Interior, in a Zagreb court which pronounced him guilty of war crimes, and had him sentenced to death, the possible outbreak of a Third World War had been not only envisaged, it had become also a certainty. Indeed, it had been considered a blessing by Artukovic, Ante Pavelic, all their Ustashi battalions, by Archbishop Stepinac, by Cardinal Mindzenty, and by certain experts. It had been expected with no less eagerness in certain quarters of the USA, and by the highest authority at the Vatican, the Pope himself.
Pope Pius XII, diplomatic and political arch-intriguer, was a firm believer in its inevitability. More than that, he conditioned millions of Catholics to accept it as such. Indeed, to welcome it as an instrument for the propagation of the power of the Catholic Church.
He justified it on the assumption that the Virgin Mary was his ally. Since in 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution, she had appeared to three illiterate children in Fatima, a desolate locality in Portugal.
Her apparition had been accompanied by a somewhat strange miracle:
The sun became pale, three times it turned speedily on itself, like a Catherine wheel... At the end of these convulsive revolutions it seemed to jump out of its orbit and come forward towards the people on a zig-zag course, stopped, and returned again to its normal position.
This was seen by a large crowd near the children and "lasted twelve minutes."
The Fatima Cult derived from the alleged appearance of the Virgin Mary to three sickly children at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917.
Following the appearance of Bolshevik Russia and World Communism between the First and Second World Wars, the Cult was soon transformed into an ideological crusade.
The Virgin's prophecy that Bolshevik Russia, unless annihilated, would bring destruction to all nations became a powerful religious and ideological weapon in the armory of the Catholic Church and her political allies; this particularly during the rise of Hitler, who preached exactly the same doctrine.
The Fatima Cult, with its anti-Russian message, was magnified by Pope Pius XII, who gave it a new impetus when Russia was attacked by Hitler in 1941.
After the War, Pius XII used it in his conduct of the Cold War. Monster pilgrimages, totaling one million people each, were organized to the Fatima Shrine. The Pope used to send his own Papal Legate to give official sanction to the political message of the Virgin Mary.
The fact that the other two thousand million human beings in the world never noticed the sun agitate, rotate and jump out of its orbit did not bother the Catholic Church in the least.
On the contrary, the Catholic masses were told to believe that the sun, on the appearance of the Virgin Mary, had truly moved on "a zig-zag course" as proof of the authenticity of her presence. And, of course, of "her messages."
The Virgin's messages had been to induce the Pope to bring about "the consecration of the World to her immaculate heart," to be followed by "the consecration of Russia." "Russia will be converted," she foretold. "The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me." But, she warned, should this not be accomplished "her (Russia's) errors will spread throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions... different nations will be destroyed..." In the end, however, the Virgin promised, by way of consolation, that the Catholic Church would triumph, after which "the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me." Thereupon "she (Russia) shall be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world."
These quotations are from the authenticated messages of the Virgin Mary herself, as related to one of the children and fully accepted by the Catholic Church as a genuine revelation by the Mother of God.
Within a few years the Cult of Fatima had grown to great proportions. The number of pilgrims multiplied from sixty on June 13, 1917 to sixty thousand in October of that same year. From 144,000 in 1923 to 588,000 in 1928. The total for six years: two million.
The Vatican took the promises seriously. Mgr. Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, then the grey eminence behind Pope Pius XI, sponsored a policy supporting Fascism in Italy and then the Nazis in Germany, to help the prophecy come true. To such an extent that he was the chief instrument in helping Hitler to get into power. This he did by urging the German Catholic Party to vote for Hitler at the last German general election in 1933.
The basic idea was a simple one. Fascism and Nazism, besides smashing the Communists in Europe, ultimately would smash Communist Russia. In 1929 Pope Pius XI signed a Concordat and the Lateran Treaty with Mussolini and called him "the man sent by Providence." In 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. In 1936 Franco started the Civil War. By 1938 two-thirds of Europe had been Fascistized and the rumblings of the Second World War were heard more and more ominously everywhere.
Concurrently, however, Europe had also been Fatimaized. The Cult of Fatima, with emphasis on the Virgin's promise of Russia's conversion, having been given immense prominence by the Vatican.
In 1938 a Papal Nuncio was sent to Fatima, and almost half a million pilgrims were told that the Virgin had confided three great secrets to the children. Thereupon, in June of that year, the only surviving childadvised by her confessor, always in touch with the Hierarchy and hence with the Vaticanrevealed the contents of two of the three great secrets.
The first was the vision of Hell. (Something well known to the modern world.)
The second was more to the point: a reiteration that Soviet Russia would be converted to the Catholic Church.
The third was given, sealed in an envelope, and put in the custody of the ecclesiastical authority, not to be revealed until 1960.
The dramatic reiteration of the revelation of the second secret about Soviet Russia immediately assumed a tremendous religious and political significance. The timing of the "disclosure" could not have been better chosen. The Fascist Dictatorships were talking the same language: the annihilation of Soviet Russia.
The following year, 1939, the Second World War broke out. In 1940 France was defeated. The whole of Europe had become Fascist. In 1941 Hitler invaded Russia. The Virgin's prophecy at long last was about to be fulfilled. At the Vatican there was rejoicing. Since by now Pacelli had become Pope under the name of Pius XII (1939).
Pius XII encouraged Catholics to volunteer for the Russian front. Catholicsmost of them devotees of the Virgin of Fatimajoined the Nazi armies from Italy, France, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Latin America, the USA and Portugal. Spain sent a Catholic Blue Division.
In October 1941, while the Nazi armies rolled near Moscow, Pius XII, addressing Portugal, urged Catholics to pray for a speedy realization of the Lady of Fatima's promise.
The following year, 1942, after Hitler had declared that Communist Russia had been "definitely" defeated, Pius XII, in a Jubilee Message, fulfilled the first of the Virgin's injunctions and "consecrated the whole World to her Immaculate Heart.""The apparitions of Fatima open a new era," wrote Cardinal Cerejeira in that same year. "It is the foreshadowing of what the Immaculate Heart of Mary is preparing for the whole World." The new era, in 1942, was a totally Nazified European Continent, with Russia seemingly wiped off the map, Japan conquering half of Asia, and World Fascism at its zenith everywhere.
The Fascist Empire vanished with the collapse of Hitler. In 1945, the Second World War ended. And Soviet Russia, to the chagrined surprise of Pope Pius XII, emerged the second greatest power on Earth.
The Cult of Fatima, which had suffered a devotional recess with the defeat of the Nazi armies, now, with the suicide of Hitler, was suddenly revived. And in October 1945 the Vatican ordered that monster pilgrimages be organized to the Shrine.
In 1946, our Lady was solemnly crowned before half a million pilgrims. The Crown, weighing 1,200 grams of gold, had 313 pearls, 1250 precious stones and 1400 diamonds. Pope Pius XII from the Vatican addressed the pilgrims by radio, saying that our Lady's promises would be fulfilled. "Be ready!" he warned. "There can be no neutrals. Never step back. Line up as crusaders"
In 1947 the Cold War began. Hatred against Communist Russia was promoted, headed by the Vatican which sent a statue of our Lady of Fatima, with her "message" on a "pilgrimage" around the world. She was sent from country to country to arouse anti-Russian odium. Whole Governments welcomed her. Within a few years, as the Cold War mounted, the statue had gone to Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australia and had visited fifty-three nations. The East-West split continued to widen.
In 1948 the frightful American-Russian atomic race started. In 1949 Pius XII, to strengthen the anti-Russian front, excommunicated any voter supporting the Communists. And soon afterwards American theologians told the USA that it was her duty to use atom bombs
The following year, in 1950, the "pilgrim statue" of our Lady of Fatima, who had started to travel in 1947, the very year of the outbreak of the Cold War, was sent by airplane, accompanied by Father Arthur Brassard, on the direct instructions of Pope Pius XII... Where? To Moscow. There, with the warm approval of Admiral Kirk, the American Ambassador, she was solemnly placed in the Church of the foreign diplomats. For what specific reason? "To wait for the imminent liberation of Soviet Russia."
Not content with this, Our Lady appeared in person fifteen times to a nun in the Philippines. She repeated her warning against communism. After which a shower of rose petals fell at the nun's feet. An American Jesuit took the miraculous petals to the USA, to revive the energy of fanatical Catholics, headed by the criminal Senator McCarthy and many of his supporters.
American warmongers, led by prominent Catholics, were meanwhile feverishly preparing for an atomic showdown with Russia. Top Catholics in the most responsible positions were talking of nothing else. On August 6th, 1949, Catholic MacGrath, Attorney General, addressing the Catholic "storm troopers" of the USAnamely the Knights of Columbusat their convention in Portland, Oregon, urged Catholics "to rise up and put on the armour of the Church militant in the battle to save Christianity." (Christianity, of course, meaning for a Catholic the Catholic Church.) He further urged "a bold offensive."
In that same year another Catholic, one of the mast highly placed personages of the U.S. Government, James Forrestal, the main crusader against communism at home and abroad, helped Pope Pius XII to win the elections in Italy by sending American money. Plus money from his own pocket.
James Forrestal, who was in very frequent contact with the Vatican and with Cardinal Spellman, knew better than anybody else what was going on in certain Catholic and American quarters. For one simple reason: he was none other than the American Secretary for Defense.
One day, upon hearing a civil aircraft overhead, he dashed along a Washington street with a most fateful message: "The Russians have invaded us!" he shouted. Later on, notwithstanding the assurance of Pius XII that the Russians would be defeated with the help of Our Lady, Catholic James Forrestal, American Secretary of Defense,
James Forrestal, USA Secretary of Defense, a loyal and selfless American, was one of the most tragic highly placed victims of the Cold War.
Stalin's ruthless intransigence and the West's fear of communism were skillfully exploited by Pope Pius XII, who permeated the mounting Russian-American antagonism with a spiritual and ideological mystique.
This he did with the use of religion and the unscrupulous promotion of the Fatima Cult. The Cult's paramount prophecy: Orthodox Russia would become Catholic. The prophecy's fulfillment implied the military invasion and occupation by the West of Russia.
J. Forrestal, methodically briefed by the Vatican on the Communist menace, became so convinced of the inevitability of a USA-Russian atomic showdown that be even helped Pius XII to win the elections in 1948-9 by contributing funds from his own salary to the Italian Catholics.
One day he dashed along a Washington street, shouting that the Russian armies had landed in the capital. During the night of 21-22 May, 1949, he jumped from a window on the 16th floor of the Bethseda Naval Hospital and was killed instantly.
jumped from a window on the 16th floor of a building in the American Capitol, yelling that the Russians had better be destroyed before it was too late.
The following year another fanatical Catholic was appointed to another important post. Mr. Francis Matthews was nominated Secretary of the American Navy. On the morning he took the oath of of rice (in June 1949) Mr. Matthews, his wife and all their six children contritely heard Mass and received Holy Communion in the chapel of the Naval station in Washington.
A few months afterwards (October 1949) Cardinal Spellman was summoned to Rome by the Pope, with whom he had repeated and prolonged private sessions. Although giving rise to sharp speculation, they remained a well guarded secret.
The new Catholic Secretary of the U.S. Navy, strangely enough, soon afterwards began unusually active contacts with other prominent American Catholics. Among these, Father Walsh, Jesuit Vice President of Georgetown University; Cardinal Spellman; the Head of the American Legion; the leaders of the Catholic War Veterans. And with Senator McCarthy, the arch-criminal Senator who, upon the advice of a Catholic priest, was just beginning his infamous campaign which was to half paralyze the USA for some years to come. The Catholic Press began a nationwide campaign of psychological warfare. Open hints of a quick atomic war were given once more.
The culmination of all these activities was a speech delivered in Boston on the 25th August 1950 by Mr. F. Matthews. The arch-Catholic Secretary of the U.S. Navy, the spokesman of certain forces in the States and in the Vatican, called upon the USA to launch an attack upon Soviet Russia in order to make the American people "the first aggressors for peace." "As the initiators of a war of aggression," he added, "it would win for us a proud and popular title: we would become the first aggressors for peace."
The speech created a sensation, both in the USA and in Europe. France declared that she "would not take part in any aggressive war... since a preventive war would liberate nothing but the ruins and the graveyards of our civilization."
Britain sent an even sharper protest.
While the people of the World shuddered at the monstrous proposal, George Craig of the American Legion declared (August 1950) that, yes, the USA should start World War III "on our own terms" and be ready when the signal could be given "for our bombers to wing towards Moscow."
The fact that the advocacy of a "preventive atomic war" was first enunciated by a Catholic was no mere coincidence. For Mr. Matthews, the head of the most important branch of the American armed forces, the American Navy, the largest naval war instrument in the world, had become the mouthpiece of his spiritual master, Pope Pius XII.
Arch-Catholic Matthews was not only the frequent ring kisser of the members of the Catholic Hierarchy in America. He was one of the most active promoters of Catholicism in action in the USA. In addition to which, this super-Catholic Secretary of the American Navy was the Chairman of the National Catholic Community Service and, more sinister still, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, the shock troops of Catholic power in the USA. And, last but not least, a secret Privy Chamberlain of Pope Pius XII.
The Catholic Hierarchy, the Catholic Press, the Knights of Columbus all supported Matthews' advocacy of a preventive atomic war. Jesuit Father Walsh, the foremost Catholic authority in the USA and a former Vatican Agent in Russia (1925), told the American people that "President Truman would be morally justified to take defensive measures proportionate to the danger." Which, of course, meant the use of the atom bomb.
When the USA went ahead with the manufacture of the hydrogen bomb, even the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Senator Brian MacMahon, shrank in horror at the prospect of the sure massacre of fifty million people with such a monster weapon.
Yet Catholics approved of its use. Father Connell declared that the use of the hydrogen bomb by the USA was justified, because "the Communists could utilize their large armed forces...to weaken the defenders of human rights."
Advocacy of a preventive atomic war by a Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbusi.e. Mr. Matthewsassumed horrifying significance when it was remembered that the Secretary of the US Navy's war speech did not come as a surprise to certain selected Catholic leaders or, even less, to the Vatican.
How was that?
Simply that Mr. Matthews had disclosed the contents of his Boston speech to top Catholics prior to its delivery. In fact, days before it was delivered. Chief among these Catholics were top people and the head of the USA Catholic Hierarchy, Cardinal Spellman.
Now, it must be remembered that Cardinal Spellman was in continuous personal contact with Pope Pius XII, whose intimate friend and personal adviser in political matters he had been since the Second World War. Cardinal Spellman, moreover, was the counselor and personal friend of most of the influential military leaders of America. So that whatever of importance was known at the "Little Vatican" in New York, as Cardinal Spellman's residence was called, was instantly known at the Vatican in Rome, and vice-versa.
Pope Pius Xll had been kept well informed about the whole process long before Matthew's Boston speech. Indeed, the evidence is that he was one of its main tacit instigators. The continuous visits at this time of top USA military leaders to the Pope (five in one day), the frequent secret audiences with Spellman, the unofficial contacts with the Knights of Columbia, all indicated that Pius XII knew very well what was afoot.
A few years later, in a hate crusade speech broadcast simultaneously in twenty-seven major languages by the world's main radio stations, Pius XII reiterated "the morality... of a defensive war" (that is, of an atom and hydrogen war), calling for, as the London Times somberly described it, "what almost amounts to a crusade of Christendom" and what the Manchester Guardian bluntly called "The Pope's blessing for a preventive war."
Ante Pavelic, Archbishop Stepinac (whom Pius had promoted Cardinal) and all the Ustashi battalions, at such papal war cry, made ready. This time they would not lose. Since their Protector Pope Pius XII had now allied himself, instead of to Hitler, to a new supporter and partner: the mightiest nation on earth, the victorious United States of America.
1. Description by the Jesuit Father, H.S. De Caires, authorized by the Archbishop of Dublin, 1946.[Back]
2. Description by the Jesuit Father, H.S. De Caires, authorized by the Archbishop of Dublin, 1946. Fatima, Catholic Truth Society of Ireland.[Back]
3. See Fatima, Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, 1950.[Back]
4. For more details of the Papal Nuncio Pacelli's role in helping Hitler to power, see the author's The Vatican in World Politics, 444 pp., Horizon Press, New York.[Back]
5. Pius Xll, in a broadcast to the Pilgrims of Fatima, 13th May, 1946.[Back]
6. Father Edmund Walsh, Vice President of Georgetown University.[Back]
7. Father Ray Goggin, Jesuit. See Philippine Press of the period. Also obtuse, The Universe, April 21st, 1950.[Back]
8. The Bethesda Naval Hospital, May 1949.[Back]
9. The Times, London, 28th August, 1951.[Back]
10. Whose assets in the USA alone in the sixties were assessed at over $200,000,000. See The Vatican Billions by Manhattan.[Back]
11. Washington Star, and reprinted in book form by Father Walsh in Total Empire, Bruce, 1951, Chapter on Atom Bombs and the Christian Conscience. [Back]
12. The Times, London, 2nd February 1951.[Back]
13. See the author's Vatican Imperialism in the 20th Century, Lyle Stuart, New York, 1966. Chapter: Papal promotion of Contemporary Religious Supersititions for political purposes. [Back]
14. See The Times, London, 24th December 1956. Also New York Times; Manchester Guardian, 27th December 1956; Time, 7th January 1957.[Back]
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