Nailing jelly to the wall

Once again Ches hits the nail on the head:

… today’s events in Rome are another indication of how complex it is trying to get a handle on this pope. I have no need to rehearse again here the various papal remarks which have shocked not just me but many people in the last month. At the same time, as I say, today’s consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which Pope Francis will perform in Rome is clearly a work of divine origin. Those people who have already labelled him as a modernist and a heretic – some of whom have come sniffing around here looking in vain for validation – cannot begin to account for such an initiative (not even by making desperate reference to Pope St Pius X’s famous profile of a modernist).

Then of course there are various people who are saying that the pope ought to mention Russia explicitly. There was even a petition to this effect doing the rounds this week. A friend send me the link to the petition, asking me what I thought. This is what I wrote:

I’m torn about this issue. It’s true that JPII (and his predecessors) did not do the consecration which Our Lady of Fatima requested through Sister Lucia (specifically mentioning Russia). On the other hand, who can deny that Russia has massively changed – and for the better, though it is not exactly conversion in the full sense of the word – since that consecration in 1984?

Then again, has Heaven bound its gifts so tightly to this one act? On the other hand, we are now beset with all the violence of the post-Cold War period wherein the vacuum left by the end of the ideological struggle between the USA and USSR has been filed with other anxieties: terror, the population bomb, etc. That said, Fatima said nothing about such things, I think…

My piety forbids me dismissing the prospect of a specific consecration of Russia. But intuition says the world is in a different moment about which Fatima did not speak explicitly.

Fatima-ists will find such words impious. I make no claims other than to wish to remain alert to how the world has changed, and to state my doubts about literalism when interpreting Our Lady’s words.

Pope Francis’s papacy is demanding a lot from people I know. The main intellectual challenge is to understand and prepare for the consequences of Francis’s primacy. These could be as dramatic as those of Paul VI’s or as inconsequential as those of John Paul I’s: it is still too early to tell.

The main moral challenges – for me at least – are to try to love Christ’s sweet vicar through all the storm of controversy, to remind myself that I might have had a lot of hard things to say about St Peter, and lastly not to forget in all this that people in glass houses should not cast stones.

May the Immaculate Heart of Mary bless all of you readers today, bless the pope, the whole Church and even me, your servant blogger.

Her Son is still Lord of the universe and has not abandoned us.

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14 Responses to Nailing jelly to the wall

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    Hmm. When I knelt here on Saturday morning after lighting a candle for CP&S, and read the notes which you can see at the foot of the altar, they said that the world was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope Pius XII in 1942. Is it possible (or necessary) to repeat the consecration? Must be, since Pope Francis would know about the earlier one.


  2. johnhenrycn says:

    The painting which introduces this post (please pardon, but expand, my limited knowledge of Catholic symbolism) – would this not be a depiction of Our Lady of Sorrows, rather than of the Immaculate Heart of Mary?


  3. Brother Burrito says:




  4. Brother Burrito says:

    Should any of us creatures be in the business of telling God what to do?

    Well, “placing our trust in the words of a “vision” telling us to consecrate Russia to the IHM, or else the world will end” strikes me as telling God what to do!

    For my sanity’s sake, I would rather subscribe to Catholicism without the private revelations, thank you.


  5. johnhenrycn says:

    Far be it from me to argue with a fake donkey, Brother Burrito, but there are revelations, and then there are Revelations.


  6. Toadspitttle says:

    Anyway, it is a very nice picture. Mary doesn’t look like Ingrid Bergman. (for once.)

    “For my sanity’s sake, I would rather subscribe to Catholicism without the private revelations, thank you.”
    Toad seconds that. (Which must be somewhat disturbing for Burro.)
    However – aren’t all revelations private – initially, at least?


  7. johnhenrycn says:

    Retail Catholic art is not good. Most is very kitsch. It took me years to find a crucifix I could hang next to my bed. Leaving aside the question of depiction, what symbolism is there in a corpus made of wood or marble or metal? Mine is terracotta.


  8. kathleen says:

    Yes JH, I think you are right about the picture of Our Lady above; the one of the Immaculate Heart of Mary does not have seven swords piercing it.

    Anyway, I consider myself a “Fatamaist” (although I’ve never heard followers of Fatima called that before!), and yet I do not think the words of Ches are in any way “impious”. He expresses a view many share about the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart.

    I am happy Pope Francis has consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary anyway. We seriously need Mary’s motherly protection.

    My take on the subject is that the “errors of Russia” Our Blessed Lady spoke of at Fatima are still alive in the world today. Yes, Russia has changed – that is true – but her “errors” were those of atheistic communism that she has “spread throughout the world”, the consequences of which we are suffering… and greatly.

    Where do we imagine the current lack of faith in God, the placing of Man on a pedestal (almost one could say making him into a ‘god’), radical secularism, materialism, liberalism etc, etc, come from? These “errors” have infiltrated every organisation in the West, every corner of literature and entertainment, our homes and schools, and in a big way our governments. (Same-sex ‘marriage’ being a policy of a supposedly ‘conservative’ party??? Who would have thought it possible?)

    Even many Christian churches (and ultra-liberal Catholics can be included here too) deny the existence of Hell, Original Sin, the reality of personal Sin and the need for Repentance, the value of Redemptive Suffering, and so on. They have sold into the modern mindset too, refusing to mention or talk about these ‘negative’ things…. and this is a very real tragedy.

    I made the same mistake once, but now I see clearly that the messages Our Lady gave at Fatima are as alive and as IMPORTANT today – maybe even more so – as they were in 1917.

    [Edit: The ‘mistake‘ I refer to is once thinking that all the prophesies Our Lady spoke of at Fatima had already come and had passed. I see now that that is not so.]


  9. kathleen says:

    @ Toad

    Revelation given to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ is most certainly ‘public’ revelation for all Men “for those with eyes and ears to see and hear”. Salvation comes through the Sacrifice of Our Saviour, His very real Crucifixtion, Death and Resurrection. That was not a mystical experience of a few, but something that was witnessed by many of those first followers of Jesus. They have passed it faithfully down to us.

    “Public revelation is binding on all Christians, but private revelation is binding only on those who receive it. The Catholic Church teaches that public revelation was completed, and therefore was concluded, with the death of the last apostle (Vatican II, Dei Verbum 4), but private revelation has continued….”


  10. kathleen says:

    I have been thinking over the underlying subject of this post from Ches. I suppose one could summarise it as attempting to make sense of the “two sides” of Pope Francis is a pretty impossible feat: like trying to nail jelly onto a wall. It can’t be done!

    On the one hand the Pope proclaims (naturally) the eternal teachings of the Holy Catholic Church…. and, as Ches points out, his consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a clear sign of this. I would include as his personal true and faithful Catholicity: his evident Marian devotion in every aspect, his frequent warnings of the “wickedness and snares” of the Devil, his sensitivity towards the poor and suffering, and his humility shown through the shunning of special privileges and anything that even hints of luxury.

    On the negative side (and one that I do not think I have the right to go into in detail) are the many off-the-cuff comments and statements that have set a whole lot of warning bells jangling, arousing the surprise and consternation among traditional Catholics everywhere. It is understandable.

    However, it is early days yet, and we should not panic or lose hope that this Papacy, like the many others in our history of 20 centuries, will not leave its indelible mark of holiness and enrichment on our Holy Catholic Church. Never forget: “The gates of Hell will not prevail…..”


  11. victoria says:

    What is the point of honoring Blessed Mother as Our Lady of Fatima and not do what she requested? Are they making fun of Her? Why not honor her in a more generic way, or use another title like Our Lady of Mercy or something else?

    Mary is the Mother of the Church. She is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. God could have designed His plans for humanity in many other ways, but he decided to create a special human being as a Masterpiece to accomplish his goals. He created Mary to reign with Jesus. Otherwise, the Catholic Church would not have Dogmas about Mary. She has been next to Jesus in all the big events designed by God the Father for humanity. The Church is Hers. She is the Woman Clothed With The Sun. She has power. Where is your belief in the Tradition of Faith?

    Mary has been appearing since the very beginning of the Church, whether bilocating to Zaragoza to request something of Saint James, or working closely with the likes of St Dominic, St Simon Stock, St Catherine of Siena, San Juan Diego, etc., in order to point the Church in the right direction.

    Mary’s messages and requests at Fatima were very specific. All the Popes that knew that they must consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart have failed to do so. They do not seem to have taken Her seriously or were intimidated by someone or some people who are in control. It was interesting that one of the Readings for this past Sunday, October 13th, was about Naaman. May the Holy Father not think that the consecration of Russia is unnecessary or foolish , and may he listen to Naaman’s common sense attendants and just do it!

    God Bless,



  12. kathleen says:


    I agree with you that it should have been done…. years ago, by any of our previous Popes. Do you not think it is a bit late now? Russia has already “spread her errors throughout the world”, as Our Lady warned she would if the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart” were not made. This is why we are suffering so much now, especially in the West, due to the evil atheistic mentality that came out of Russia and spread abroad.

    Making the Consecration specifically of Russia nearly 100 years later would surely be like shutting the ‘stable door’ after the ‘horse’ has already bolted.


  13. Roger says:

    I don’t look at Fatima in isolation. We should look back to look forward. In other words the Faith of Our Fathers received immediately from the Apostles with the later enrichments of the Holy Ghost through Dogmatic definitions Holy Councils, etc. etc.. Seers and visionaries start with Adam and Eve. These didn’t stop after the Public Revelation of Our Lord. The Church has never rejected private revelation and the altars and devotions from these fill the liturgical year. There are two pillars that underpin the Faith these are Sacred Tradition and the Bible.
    What looking back doesn’t mean is living in the Past. Our souls have been created for this time, the Past has already been judged by God. We will be judged on how we have lived in Our time.
    Understand that God is hierachical. The Church isn’t democratic its hierachical.
    Marxism is the Evolution of Society and Revolution the means to speed up change. Revolution and social engineering these flow out of Russia and cascaded throughout the West. Regime change is just another way of saying Social Evolution.
    Evolution is Marxism and Darwinism. Both of these are materialism without consideration for the spiritual. Make no mistake the attack on the Faith is about the superiority off material over spiritual. Consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is restoring a Christian Social Order (Our Lady is Queen of Heaven and Our Lord King of Kings). Marxism and Social Change since 1960 have been applied increasingly to within the Church to change and evolve into a new Body but not that created by Our Lord. Social and Global change that has rejected God! This is choosing the road to Hell over the narrow road to Heaven. Consecration (the QUEEN of Heaven) restores Gods hierachy in this world!
    The Consecration of Russia or Not is not a matter of opinion nor of Judgement because in the End this will be done. “..If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. ..”. Materialism and especially attacks on Tradition, Dogma and Doctrine are PERSECUTIONS OF THE CHURCH! Lets be clear DEATHS are the consequence of not doing this! Nations will be annihilated!


  14. Toadspitttle says:

    “Materialism and especially attacks on Tradition, Dogma and Doctrine are PERSECUTIONS OF THE CHURCH! “

    No they’re not. Persecutions are when people get hurt, tortured, and killed.
    And this is really happening, right now. The rest is twaddle.

    “Lets be clear DEATHS are the consequence of not doing this! Nations will be annihilated!”
    Let’s be clear – DEATHS are the consequence of life.
    And if nations get annihilated, it serves them right.


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