Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, former President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, recently visited Kazakhstan as the Holy Father’s special envoy at the concluding ceremony of the Marian Congress of Kazakhstan. That ceremony took place on the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, on 13 May 2017, and was conducted in the Cathedral of “Our Lady of Fatima” in Karaganda. On that day, Cardinal Cordes was presiding over the concluding Mass and his own homily was read aloud in the Russian language. The Austrian Catholic news website Kath.net published on 15 May 2017 Cardinal Cordes’ prepared homily in full.
Cardinal Cordes, while speaking about the importance of Our Lady of Fatima with regard to the destruction of Communism in Eastern Europe, also makes a significant side remark about Pope John Paul II and about his own 1984 Marian Consecration. As Cardinal Cordes reveals from his own experience, Pope John Paul II had specifically wanted to consecrate Russia by name to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but he failed to do so due to the influence of his cautious diplomatic counselors. The German cardinal explains, as follows:
Just how important Fatima was for the holy pope [John Paul II], I was once to witness myself, [in] a personal encounter with him. Obviously, for a long time he had dealt with that significant mission which the Mother of God had given to the seer children there: to consecrate the world [sic] to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He himself had made this act of consecration on 23 [sic – 25] March 1984, when the statue of Our Lady of Fatima had come to Rome. However, he held back to mention Russia explicitly; because the Vatican diplomats had urgently asked him not to mention this country because otherwise political conflicts might perhaps arise.
A short while later [after that 25 March 1984 event], I was invited by him for lunch. He talked in a small circle about how he felt this urge inside also to mention Russia at that Consecration, but that he then gave way to his counselors. And he then told us with a glowing face: What he renounced for himself, had nevertheless been fulfilled, he said. Through friends he heard something for him important and consoling, namely that some Orthodox Russian bishops had taken his own consecration of the world to the Mother of God as an occasion also to consecrate Russia in a special way to Mary. When he spoke about this story, I could see his joy – surely also about the fact that they had fulfilled his urgent yearning; but also because he had himself in his own intuition guessed the Will of God. [emphasis added]
Cardinal Cordes concludes this story with the words that, in light of these events: “One can only break out in praising God. It [this praise] will sound especially intimate in this place, the only cathedral in the former Soviet Union which is consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima; on this day, on which Pope Francis canonizes the two seer children Francisco and Jacinta.”
This short report as presented here by Cardinal Cordes is yet another confirmation – as previously expressed by Rome’s chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth himself – that Pope John Paul II had given in to outside pressures not to mention Russia explicitly by name when performing the 1984 Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Father Amorth – who is now deceased – had told LifeSiteNews in December of 2015 the following with regard to this momentous matter:
The Consecration has not yet been made. I was there on March 25  in St. Peter’s Square, I was in the front row, practically within touching distance of the Holy Father. John Paul II wanted to consecrate Russia, but his entourage did not, fearing that the Orthodox would be antagonized, and they almost thwarted him. Therefore, when His Holiness consecrated the world on his knees, he added a sentence not included in the distributed version that instead said to consecrate “especially those nations of which you yourself have asked for their consecration.” So, indirectly, this included Russia. However, a specific consecration has not yet been made. You can always do it. Indeed, it will certainly be done … “.
Both testimonies about these incidents at the 25 March 1984 Consecration might seem so small and yet they are, truly, so significant and so consequential. To consecrate Russia by name, and explicitly so, at that moment of history would have meant to put mere human prudential considerations below Divine commands and the merciful warning message of the Mother of God. It would mean to trust God’s Providence and His love for mankind. It would have meant to trust that Our Lady’s conditioned promise to send a period peace will come true.
Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, studied History and French Literature at the University of Hannover and lived for several years in Switzerland where she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.
Her articles have appeared in American and European journals such as Catholicism.org, LifeSiteNews, The Wanderer, Culture Wars, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Apropos, and Zeit-Fragen.