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Controversial Fatima priest suspended by Vatican.

PORTUGAL: The Vatican has confirmed the suspension of a priest who spreads a controversial interpretation of the message of Our Lady of Fatima.

The Congregation for Clergy, in a Sept. 12 note, said the suspension of Fr. Nicholas Gruner, head of the Fatima Center in Fort Erie, Ontario, and of The Fatima Crusader Magazine, was "confirmed by a definitive sentence of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature."

The Canadian priest was suspended by the Avellino, Italy, diocese where he was ordained in 1976.

The triggering event for the Vatican statement was the announcement of a conference on the Message of Fatima and World Peace that Gruner's organization is planning to hold in Rome Oct. 7-13 at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. The meeting will come in the middle of the Synod of Bishops scheduled for October, and hence is likely to garner much media attention.

Gruner, contacted by telephone in Fatima, Portugal, said the timing of the Vatican publication, the day after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, "is very strange."

"We have been saying all along that acts of war will take place if Our Lady's request for the consecration of Russia does not happen. This is the only weapon that can stop these kinds of things from happening," the 59-year-old Gruner said.

Pope John Paul II, Vatican officials and Carmelite Sr. Lucia dos Santos, the surviving Fatima visionary, all have said the consecration was performed March 25, 1984.

Gruner continues to maintain the consecration was not performed correctly. In addition, he does not believe that the so-called third secret of Fatima published on the pope's orders in June 2000 is the complete text.

Although the suspension means Gruner has no permission to perform priestly functions, he said he continues to do so publicly because he believes the suspension is invalid.
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Title Annotation:Canada's Nicholas Gruner persists
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 28, 2001
Words:310
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