What Was The Question?

We have been getting letters from a "Father Nicholas Gruner" asking for financial support to maintain an "Apostolate" promoting the Message of Fatima. It sounds genuine, but we are disturbed by his recent letters claiming "attacks" upon him from, of all places, Church authorities. Could you please explain these things to us because we do wish to support works spreading the truth about Fatima. We do not wish, however, to support scandalously disobedient clergymen.

P.B., Corpus Christi, TX


Gruner claims that the consequences of being suspended (If and when this should happen) are null-and-void because he has appealed any such decision on the part of his Bishop.

But, it is not true that Gruner can continue on with his work "until a determination was officially received from the Vatican based court." He is not free to continue his work as before, because the Church Law states:

Canon 2243 §1 " A censure ferendae sententiae is inflicted by a condemnatory sentence; it is immediately effective, and there is an appeal only in devolutivo, without suspensive effect. Or a censure ferendae sententiae is inflicted by a precept; it is immediately effective; recourse in devolutivo."

What does all this mean? It means that whatever manner Gruner's Bishop should inflict suspension as indicated, Gruner must act under all the stipulations of the suspension: he cannot function as a priest until his case is resolved.

Thee is an additional problem here which complicates Gruner's situation. Thus far, we have been discussing suspension as brought up by Nicholas Gruner. Lacking the full details of the matter and having only Gruner's side to judge by (And he is insisting that we judge because he urges everyone to read the article he has enclosed in a plea for money.) the flimsy material presented in a news article. Even fairness to Gruner would require that more precision be made than having to depend on a questionable news article. Even though Gruner is very imprudent in his actions, more prudent souls would not wish to risk a rash judgment.

We are assuming, then, that any suspension imposed on "Rev." Nicholas Gruner in the Conciliar Church would be one called ferendae sententiae. That is, the sentence has to be declared in some clear form indicating the intention of the authority. It is different from a suspension incurred ipso facto, or, latae sententiae.

There are only three suspensions that are latae sententiae. Of the three, the only one interesting us here is the one dealt with in Canon 2341: Summoning Cleric or Religious before lay tribunal.

We will quote the entire canon on this point because there are many lay people who have become guilty of the same crime. Therefore, for the sake of everyone, let us see what canon 2341 has to say:

"If anyone, in violation of canon 120, dare to summon before a lay tribunal a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, or a Legate of the Holy See, or any other major official of the Roman Curia in connection with business pertaining to his office, or his own Ordinary, he incurs ipso facto an excommunication specially reserved to the Holy See; if he dare to summon in the same manner another Bishop, even merely titular, or an Abbot or Prelate nullius, or the highest superior of a religious institute approved by the Holy Seem he incurs an excommunication latae sententiae simply reserved to the Holy See; finally, if, without having obtained the permission of the Ordinary of the place, he dare to summon in the same manner any other person who has the privilegium fori, the culprit, if a cleric, incurs ipso facto suspension from office reserved to the Ordinary; if a lay person, he shall be punished by his own Ordinary with suitable penalties according to the gravity of the case." (Canon 2341).

We were informed in the article urged to be read by everyone by Father Nicholas Gruner that he summoned the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Monsignor McCormack before the Canadian courts on the grounds of an action for libel. However, the chancellor of the Archdiocese was merely doing his duty. Nicholas Gruner incurred suspension IPSO FACTO for having summoned such a personas envisaged by Canon 2341 (Monsignor McCormack) before a lay tribunal.

This means, then, that "Father Nicholas Gruner" is automatically suspended from any priestly functions by virtue of his outrageous defiance of those authorities whom he apparently considers merely as "bureaucrats."

With this, we end the consideration of Nicholas Gruner's claims from the point of view of Church Law. We have shown that despite his public protests, Nicholas Gruner does not have any legal action against the lawful command of his Ecclesiastical Superior, Bishop Forte of Avellino.

Theological Considerations.

Embarking on theological considerations of Nicholas Gruner's claimed "Apostolate," the very first consideration is this: From whom did Nicholas Gruner (even if he is considered a `priest' in the Conciliar Church) receive a mandate to engage in his so-called "Apostolate"?

We have already seen that Nicholas Gruner claimed a `permission' from his own Bishop to `work outside the diocese' but we have heard nothing of any other Bishop allowing him to function in that Bishop's diocese. Nor, have we been given any evidence that anyone in authority has given him authorization to engage in a special apostolate such as the one he ascribes to himself.

It would appear, then, that Nicholas Gruner's "Apostolate" is, properly speaking, `his Apostolate' and not that of the Roman Catholic Church. He has no mandate either canonically or theologically deriving from the Church.

Only when the legitimate visible authority in the Church approves any kind of apostolate can we be certain that this is truly the will of God and not the product of fantasy inspired either by self-love and self-will, which ultimately are inspired by the devil. There is no other alternative and anyone who attempts to create another alternative has already proven that it is not the Spirit of God who guides, but the spirit of darkness having transformed itself into an `angel of light.'

No legitimate apostolate can be from God if it is not steeped in a profound spirit of obedience and humility.

The Roman Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. It is, therefore, a supernatural organism in which every part has a function in view of the entire organism. The masterful, doctrinal Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XII Mystici corporis (29 June 1943) spells out in no uncertain terms the place of each member of this Mystical Body of Jesus Christ which is the Roman Catholic Church.

If we ignore this basic fact, there is no possibility of reaching any kind of objective order. It should be noted, that papal documents must be examined in their original Latin because individuals have spread many errors using incorrectly translated words of official documents. Any translation must be accepted with reservation. (Incidentally, this is one of the most solid grounds for maintaining the Latin language as the official language of the Church. )

No objective and fair commentary on Nicholas Gruner can be made unless this fundamental knowledge of the Church is kept before us. If we are ignorant of it, it is impossible to form a correct judgment of what is going on here in the name of the Blessed Mother.

Even the Fatima Message can only be understood within the framework of the Church because it is a message to the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ from one of Its most illustrious members The Mother of Jesus Christ who reigns with Him in Heaven!

Therefore, to side-step or to ignore the Church visible is the same as side-stepping or ignoring the Church invisible. The Church visible is the Church Militant, while the Church invisible is the Church Triumphant.

That there is communication between the three different aspects of the one Church cannot be denied without denying reality.

The entire issue here, in a way, surrounds the communication between the Church Triumphant and the Church Militant.

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. He is the invisible Head since His ascension into Heaven. The visible Head is His Vicar, a legitimately elected successor of St. Peter. `Legitimacy' is essential as much in the realm of the spiritual life as in the realm of human activity. An illegitimate child comes into the world without the natural rights of an heir. In the same way, legitimacy includes not only a physical reality, but the conveying of all moral powers and rights attached to that physical reality.

We must always keep in mind that we are dealing here not with natural realities, but with supernatural realities.

The Roman Catholic Church is not an institution of mob rule nor thinly-disguised "Communism" under the sobriquet "democracy."

The Roman Catholic Church is a theocracy where God rules through His divinely appointed ministers: Pope and Bishops. It is a theocracy where even the `rulers' are equally subject to the law which they must uphold in the name of God. The Church can be called a `monarchy' in a very limited sense because the Church reflects not only the One God but also the Three Divine Persons.` All three Persons are God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.

It is necessary to go into these subtleties because we are dealing with a matter involving obedience and order. The obedience is not a political obedience; it is a religious obedience which ultimately refers to God and His divine will.

We come to the very heart of the matter: The essence of virtue and holiness is obedience to the will of God.

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Mystical Body which is the Church. Since His ascension, Jesus "governs and guides the Society which He founded directly and personally also," as Pope Pius XII says.

"For it is He who reigns within the minds and hearts of men, and bends and subjects their wills to His good pleasure, even when rebellious. `The heart of the King is in the hand of the Lord; withersoever he will, he shall turn it.'(Proverbs 21:1). By this interior guidance He, the `Shepherd and Bishop of our souls,' not only watches over individuals but exercises His providence over the universal Church's rulers for the loyal and effective performance of their respective duties, or by singling out from the body of the Church - especially when times are grave - men and women of conspicuous holiness, who may point the way for the rest of Christendom to the perfecting of His Mystical Body.

Moreover from Heaven Christ never ceases to look down with especial love on His spotless spouse so sorely tried in her earthly exile; and when He sees her in danger, saves her from the tempestuous sea either Himself or through the ministry of His Angels, or through her whom we invoke as Help of Christians, or through other heavenly advocates, and in calm and tranquil waters comforts her with the peace `which surpasseth all understanding.' (Mystici corporis).

Because it is so easy to be deceived by the devil into believing that one is given a `special mission,' Our Lord established His visible authority in the Apostles.

This is the visible and ordinary way through which Our Lord rules His Mystical Body.

Let us go right to the source for our information: Pope Pius XII and his doctrinal Encyclical. The Pope is teaching the universal Church in this Encyclical Letter which cannot be ignored without falsifying the teachings of the Church. He states:

"But we must not think that He rules only in a hidden or extraordinary manner. On the contrary, our Redeemer also governs His Mystical Body in a visible and normal way through His Vicar on earth. You know, Venerable Brethren, that after He had ruled the `little flock' Himself during His mortal pilgrimage, Christ our Lord, when about to leave this world and return to the Father, entrusted to the Chief of the Apostles the visible government of the entire community He had founded. Since He was all wise He could not leave the body of the Church He had founded as a human society without a visible head. Nor against this may one argue that the primacy of jurisdiction established in the Church gives such a Mystical Body two heads. For Peter in virtue of his primacy is only Christ's Vicar; so that there is only one chief Head of this Body, namely Christ, who never ceases Himself to guide the Church invisibly, though at the same time He rules it visibly, through him who is His representative on earth. After His glorious Ascension into Heaven this Church rested not on Him alone, but on Peter, too, its visible foundation stone. That Christ and His Vicar constitute one only Head is the solemn teaching of Our predecessor of immortal memory Boniface VIII in the apostolic Letter Unam Sanctam; and his successors have never ceased to repeat the same.

They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth. They have taken away the visible head, broken the visible bonds of unity and left the Mystical Body of the Redeemer so obscured and so maimed, that those who are seeking the haven of eternal salvation can neither see it nor find it."

His holiness, Pope Pius XII, was speaking here only of legitimate successors of St. Peter. He then goes on to instruct the universal Church concerning Bishops.

Jesus governs and guides the particular churches through the Bishops: "What We have thus far said of the Universal Church must be understood also of the individual Christian communities, whether Oriental or Latin, which go to make up the one Catholic Church. For they, too, are ruled by Jesus Christ through the voice of their respective Bishops. Consequently, Bishops must be considered as the more illustrious members of the Universal Church, for they are united by a very special bond to the divine Head of the whole Body and so are rightly called `principal parts of the members of the Lord' ; moreover, as far as his own diocese is concerned, each one as a true Shepherd feeds the flock entrusted to him and rules it in the name of Christ.(Vatican Council, Constitution of the Church, Chap. 3). Yet in exercising this office they are not altogether independent, but are subordinate to the lawful authority of the Roman Pontiff, although enjoying the ordinary power of jurisdiction which they received directly from the same Supreme Pontiff (Ed.note: `Supreme Pontiff' here refers to Jesus Christ, and not to the Roman Pontiff, that is, the legitimate Pope.). Therefore, Bishops should be revered by the faithful as divinely appointed successors of the Apostles, and to them, even more than to the highest civil authorities should be applied the words: `Touch not my anointed one.' For Bishops have been anointed with the chrism of he Holy Spirit.

That is why We are deeply pained when We hear that not a few of Our Brother Bishops are being attacked and persecuted not only in their own persons, but - what is more cruel and heartrending for them - in the faithful committed to their care, in those who share their apostolic labors, even in the virgins consecrated to God; and all this, merely because they are a pattern of the flock from the heart and guard with energy and loyalty, as they should the sacred `deposit of faith' confided to them; merely because they insist on the sacred laws that have been engraved by God on the souls of men, and after the example of the Supreme Shepherd defend their flock against ravenous wolves. Such an offense We consider as committed against Our own person and We repeat the noble words of Our predecessor of immortal memory Gregory the Great: `Our honor is the honor of the Universal Church; Our honor is the united strength of the Our Brethren; and We are truly honored when honor is given to each and every one.'

This represents the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Anyone of whatever stature who would deny this teaching or by devious means try to circumvent the logical conclusions and consequences of this truth must certainly be outside the Church.

Now, it must be eminently clear that Nicholas Gruner does not obey those whom the Holy Ghost has placed to rule the local Church, namely, the Bishops. If he claims obedience to the Pope - as he seems to imply - then he likewise has an obligation to obey the Bishops who take their orders, so to speak, from this Pope.

This is the only upright, honest and praiseworthy conduct Nicholas Gruner can display. Anything else would be scandalous disobedience of which there is more than enough to go around already. And, to be the visible preacher of disobedience while claiming to promote `obedience' to the Mother of God certainly becomes an source of well-founded suspicion as to the source of his `Apostolate.'

The same holds true for all those clergymen who have been validly ordained and to the laity who follow or support them: they are glaring examples of scandalous disobedience to the Church. They claim to be `saving' the Church (and souls), but more than anyone else, they most effectively destroy souls.

Taking a closer look at what Nicholas Gruner is doing, we find that his `theology' is not Catholic at all. In fact, it is really no different than the heretical position of that Church represented by the people whom he accuses of `persecuting' the Blessed Mother.

Is Nicholas Gruner as `Catholic' as he wishes to appear in the eyes of his supporters? Let us see. What are his real beliefs? He certainly has created a more or less plausible stage show of `Catholic devotion to Mary.' We are warned, however, by St. Louis de Monfort against false devotion to Mary.

According to Pope Pius XII, those who are separated from the true Church by heresy or schism are outside the Body of the Church and cannot be living the supernatural life whose source is the Holy Spirit." It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit."

The `Conciliar Church' - the `Church of Vatican II' with its `New Pentecost' as proclaimed by its recognized head, John Paul II, is replete with heresies that had been condemned by previous legitimate Popes. Not only have the Sacraments and the Mass been reduced to Protestant "religious symbols" and nothing more, but the reduction of the Roman Catholic Church
to the level of just another equally `good' religion is a direct and blasphemous insult to God.

The program of the Modernist heretics (which includes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II and every Cardinal, Bishop, Priest, Religious and Laymen supporting them) has been implemented to its fullest: Modern Catholicism can be reconciled with true science only if it is transformed into a non-dogmatic Christianity; that is to say, into a broad and liberal Protestantism. (Syllabus Condemning the Errors of the Modernists, Pope St. Pius X, July 3,1907).

In effect, having separated themselves from the true `deposit of faith' as consistently handed down by the Church, the above-mentioned have separated themselves from the true Church by severing the bond of belief. Nicholas Gruner claims to be a part of that `Church' and in consequence thereof, he is bound to obey those whom he publicly claims to be his superiors. He recognizes heretics as the legitimate superiors of what we are forced to call the `Apostate Church' foretold by St. Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians. He is promoting devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary while at the same time silent about the heresies so wide-spread. He is identifying the Mother of God with heretics and at the same time identifies his `Marian Apostolate' with himself: To criticize Gruner is to attack the Blessed Virgin Mary ! But, that is exactly the tactic used by Hell's `angels': Talmudists and Freemasons. To expose the enemies of Jesus Christ is to be labeled a `hate monger,' an `anti-Semite,' a Neo-Nazi - whatever buzzword has been successful in keeping the abused populace in fear and ignorance is used.

We note the kind of `ecumenism' promoted by John Paul II at Assisi: the Dalai Lama, `incarnate god' of the Tibetan Buddhist's, who himself stated that he does not even believe in God stands next to the alleged-Vicar of Jesus Christ on an equal footing. We note with theological horror the factual denial of the supernatural in the words and actions of John Paul II whom Nicholas Gruner refers to as the "Holy Father."

Nicholas Gruner (assuming he is a validly ordained priest) offers the sacrilegious "Latin Mass of 1962" which is nothing more than a mutilated resemblance to the mandated "Tridentine Mass" and deceives his followers into thinking he is `virtuous' because he must recognize the Protestant "New Order Communion Service" as a valid representation of the Sacrifice of Calvary. Most `intelligent' Catholics don't even know that five Protestant ministers contributed to the creation of the "New Order Mass" - everyone of them denying the Real Presence and the power of priestly Transubstantiation.

Nicholas Gruner goes among all these "Conciliar Bishops" - most of whom have most likely been `consecrated' according to the invalid rite imposed upon the Church by Paul VI in 1968.

Nicholas Gruner has no problem with that, apparently, because he is too busy promoting the `Fatima Message' which requires that a valid Pope and valid Bishops - all staunchly Roman Catholic defenders of the faith - to `consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'

But, how can such a consecration ever take place if there is no valid, legitimate Pope nor valid bishops in what appears to the world as the visible "Roman Catholic Church" ? Does he really think that militant antichrists are going to `consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary'? Every heretic is an antichrist!

Who is Nicholas Gruner's legitimate Bishop? He apparently recognizes "Bishop Forte" as his legitimate Bishop. We, on the other hand, loyal to the logic of our faith, are unable to see in any Conciliar bishop the signs of apostolic succession. We cannot see this anymore than would it be possible to see the signs of apostolic succession in an Anglican bishop, a Lutheran bishop, a Presbyterian bishop, and any other kind of bishop. We recognize only those Bishops who have been validly consecrated according to the discipline of the Roman Catholic Church. It is to such a Bishop that Nicholas Gruner and all priests loyal to the Roman Catholic Church owe supernatural obedience. Failing this, Nicholas Gruner cannot reasonably claim that he is doing `God's work' or that he is promoting the `Fatima Message.' He is promoting an illusion which is not the fruit of supernatural grace, but more the fruit of secret ambition joined to diabolical suggestion. It's another version of Satan's diversion from true devotion to Mary which is only possible in the true Church where alone the Divine Spirit gives life.

There is no doubt that there is much truth in what Gruner says. But, he is not the only one who has been saying these things. The devil cannot deceive without holding out a piece of truth as bait.

The Message of Fatima.

Evidently, the `Fatima Message' must be very incriminating for it to be such a `secret.' God does not send messages for
them to be kept secret. Also - and here is something few people ever stop to think about - God does not create entities without sufficient reason.

1 Conc.Trid., Sess. XXIII, De Reformatione, cap.16

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