…by preaching whole Catholic faith and irking everybody.
First, he elevates two seers to sainthood, but not Sister Lucia, freaking out conspiracy theorists.
Then, he uses loaded language about tearing down walls to make the point that the purpose of the Church is to evangelize, not confer a blessing on xenophobic self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagians who hate evangelism and long to live in Fortress Katolicus quibbling over minor points of liturgy.
Then, he irks Protestants with the ancient apostolic truth that to be Christian is to be Marian.
All in all, a good day’s work of speaking the truth in love.
I’m of two minds about Fatima. On the one hand, I totally believe the thing happened. The evidence for it is overwhelming and the attempts to explain away the Miracle of the Sun have the same feeling of sheer preposterousness as a claim the Titanic never existed or that Sandy Hook was a conspiracy between Obama and the parents of the victims to make gun owners look bad.
At the same time, it’s a phenomenon in the Church that appears to me to have passed its sell-by date for a lot of people. The more passionate the devotee of Fatima, the more certain it is that they tend to believe wild conspiracy theories about Sr. Lucia body doubles and sinister plots by JPII and elaborate craziness about the Third Secret and Three Days of Darkness and Francis the Antipope and the false Vatican II Council and so forth.
In Scripture, there is the story of the Bronze Serpent that God commanded Moses to make during the sojourn in the wilderness. Israel had rebelled (again) and the judgment inflicted by God was snakebite. Israel begged Moses for mercy, so he went to God and God told him to fashion a bronze serpent and hoist it up on pole and anybody who looked at it would be healed of snakebite. It was a genuine revelation and command of God.
And yet, it reached a sell-by date. Centuries later, we find the same bronze serpent has been turned into an idol and worshipped under the name Nehushtan. It ends with King Hezekiah smashing and destroying it as a thing that had come to a rival and obstacle to God in the minds of Judahites who preferred it to the God who gave it to them.
I cannot escape the sense that not a few Fatima devotees have done that with this phenomenon, which must break Our Lady of Fatima’s heart.
That said, the Church still honors Our Lady of Fatima with right honor (technically known as hyperdulia, the highest honor you can give a mere creature, but not the latria that is reserved for God alone.)
Blessings on the Blessed Mother on this, her great feast day! Thank you for seeing us through the horror show of the 20th century without us destroying ourselves!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!