The Benedict Option Omits the Fatima Answer

Our-Lady-of-Fatima-201x300 The Benedict Option Omits the Fatima Answer

“Nowhere in Mr. Dreher’s book is there mention of Our Lady of Fatima”

As the situation of the nation worsens, many are weighing their options. One much-discussed alternative is what is called the Benedict Option.

The Benedict Option is the name of a just-published book by journalist Rod Dreher. The author holds that conservatives have lost the Culture War and it is time to find a way to survive in a “post-Christian” America. Rather than oppose the wave of secularism that lashes society, it is much better to build arks to ride above the fray. These arks involve intentional communities, still inside society, that will allow members to develop themselves spiritually in the hope of better times—a wait that the author admits might even take centuries.

Mr. Dreher uses the example of Saint Benedict of Nursia who supposedly left decadent Rome to live an isolated intentional life away from society. Americans wishing to survive in these uncertain times are encouraged to “secede culturally from the mainstream.”  He insists that those involved must still have some presence in society, which might serve as an unintentional witness to those outside the option.

RTO-mini2 The Benedict Option Omits the Fatima AnswerFree Book: Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go

A Broad Option that Limits

A great controversy has arisen around the Benedict Option. No one disputes the reasons behind the proposal. The nation faces grave dangers that merit action. However, many do question the wisdom of pursuing this option of ark-like withdrawal.  The debate is complicated by the fact that there is no single option being proposed but rather many different options tailored to every religious group, dedication level or inclination.

The broad ecumenical character of the Benedict Option message may allow more to be included under its umbrella, but it also tends to reduce it to what is naturally possible to participants coming from differing religions. If all cannot agree about the role of grace in changing history, for example, then the matter must be addressed in generalities. The Benedict Option also tends to restrict it to an historical narrative that can be commonly held by all faiths.

Thus, concretely for the Catholic who is engaged in the Culture War and following the debate, there is one major omission that clouds the idea of a possibly Catholic Benedict Option.

The Fatima Omission

That omission is Fatima. Nowhere in Mr. Dreher’s book is there mention of Our Lady of Fatima or any role of the Blessed Mother in addressing the crisis. The problem is that the Mother of God is very central to the Catholic perspective. It is not optional.

This is especially true about the apparition of the Blessed Mother to three shepherd children in Portugal in 1917. The event has always been considered a solution directed to the present times—not that of possible centuries hence. It is perplexing that a proposal to deal with the current crisis would completely ignore the most spectacular religious and historic event of the twentieth century that specifically addresses these very issues.

Anyone familiar with the message cannot help but be impressed by looking at the past and seeing that things Our Lady said would happen have, indeed, happened. Her warnings about world wars, conflicts, persecutions, and the spreading of the errors of Russia throughout the world have all come to pass just as she predicted.

Likewise, a look at the present leads one to easily see how the Fatima message is more relevant than ever, especially in describing the immoral fashions, the blasphemies, and the lack of Faith that are evident everywhere.

Given the Fatima record, there is no reason to doubt that those things that lie still in the future will also be fulfilled. To a world that has not heeded her warnings, the Blessed Mother foretold a great chastisement that will fall upon the world in which “nations will be annihilated,” and the “good will be martyred.”  She also foretold the conversion of Russia and the world, and the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.

Not an Option Among Many

The means by which these results might be obtained were very clearly given by the Blessed Mother. She requested some general measures accessible to everyone inside and outside of society. These center on prayer, penance and amendment of life. She asked for specific actions in the observance of certain prayers on five consecutive first Saturdays and the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart.  By its omission of the Fatima message, the Benedict Option makes all these essential requests optional.

And while it might be argued that Mr. Dreher would have no problem admitting a Fatima version of the Benedict Option, such a concession would only trivialize the message. Fatima becomes an equal option among so many others and not the only real and heaven-sent solution for a modern world in crisis and apostasy as affirmed by popes and Catholics for the last hundred years.

No Final Goal

Perhaps that is the main problem with the Benedict Option—it is only an option without a final goal. Options are by definition means or choices made toward an end. The Benedict Option is merely a means to survive the crisis—for centuries if necessary. However, it has no specific or unified end. Participants need not even be Christian. There is no desire for a final unity but rather the option facilitates the continued fragmentation of the nation into sub-cultures inside the larger post-Christian society.

What Does Saint Thomas Say About Immigration?

Nothing could be farther from the Fatima message which foresees the whole world’s conversion to the Faith and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary—in the near future. The means and final goal are very clear. It enlists the help of the Mother of God since it clearly is beyond the capacity of people today to overcome the adversaries of the Faith.

On this centennial of the Fatima apparitions, many rightly look upon the year with great expectation since the Mother of God brought hope and promises for this world in crisis. It  is to her that those searching for solutions should turn. She is the great and only answer. Without her, there is no option.


As seen on Church Militant.


  • Barbaracvm

    the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart. —- the most needed action that has not happened. Mary warned that the enemy would infiltrate the church.

    • JBQ21

      True. True. True. The consecration of Russia is open to argument. The observation of the infiltration and decadence inside the Catholic Church is beyond argument.

      • Rosech Levy

        JB, true but remember this the Catholic Church was founded by our Savior and although we have had nasty and corrupt popes, etc., before, after 2000 yrs. the Catholic Church is still here, and in the USA a big factor in education, hospitals, clinics, home for aged and sick because Jesus is still working with us. What is also sad today is we no longer have true Catholic universities but their day of reckoning will come and karma is never really nice! And Satan never stops working either and it makes me laugh at such as Soros, the Obamas, and so many others who think faith is a just a “thing” and can be twisted into anything. Today we have just as much sinning, sexual insults, weirdos, you name it as has been had over the life of people on this planet. Actually, it has amazed me how Russia has allowed return to our faith, and when I visit and I studied in China, it also amazes me how many are Catholic there, altho other denominations are there as well, but the Catholic Church is growing by leaps and bounds, or as one Asian woman told me, they know they need God!

    • Adrian Treviño
      • Barbaracvm

        There is concerns that Sister Lucia ‘s agreement was done for her. The Blessed Mother asked specifically “Russia to be consecrated to her” which has not been done. It is always tied into world peace. Mary never asked for the world to be consecrated to her.

        • Adrian Treviño

          So then it doesn’t matter what the Church has done then, she doesn’t have Jesus’s authority then? What more merciful thing to do consecrating the whole world then just Russia. Sister Lucia was asked if the consecration was done and she said yes. All else are just conspiracy theories. Gos bless.

          • Barbaracvm

            The Blessed Mother specifically asked for Russia not the world. The men of the church changed the requirement. Who is closer to GOD? Man’s arrogance is amazing. Remember this is Mary’s request. Mary’s request is direct from Christ.
            Sister Lucy’s confirmation has long been thought to be ordered by her bishop to support the pope. Her vow of obedience would require her to not speak against the administrators. As if they would allow her to speak out.

            IF indeed the Fatima requirement has been met, where then is there not the promised peace?

          • Adrian Treviño

            And the Church with its authority given by God decided to consecrate the world.
            Russia did change, communism was shaken of its core. Why there is no peace? Simple, it is the lack of faith, prayer and penance, that means all Catholics of the world. We don’t do this things enough. How about the first 5 Saturday devotion? She asked for that also, I don’t know any catholic near me that practices this devotion, even me. And yes, Satan won’t stop either, we have abortion, euthanasia, same sex “marriage, there are a lot of things that will prevent peace. And as the Blessed Mother told St. Bernardette, “I can’t promise you happiness here, but on the next life, yes” (I’m paraphrasing).

  • Fatima

    I had told them a thousand times that everybody needs to call, write, twit… whatever to the Pope, Bishops, Priests, Cardinals and raise a serious question “WHEN WILL YOU PEOPLE OBEY GOD AND DO THE CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA THAT OUR LADY REQUESTED?”

    • Our Lady-Good Success devotee

      We have seen so many petitions for various matters. is petition the answer to awaken our Pope, Bishops, Cardinals, priests?

      • Fatima

        The Bishops and Cardinals need to wake the Pope up. He is in a delusional Diabolic Disorientation with the New Jews World Order. He must obey and fear God, not the stupid Jewish Banker Cartel and its tool-bags. Don’t they have any more faith in God and His Mother? Do the consecration. It only takes about 20 to 30 minutes to save all humanity. What they have to lose? That’s their jobs, their obligation.

  • Enrico D’Angelo

    Prayer, Penance and Amendment of Life – IS WHAT IS NEEDED! And Yes The Church MUST give the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart! It never did!!! It Consecrated the World, but never did conscsecrated Russia.

  • Phil Alcoceli

    A True Catholic can never omit the Virgin Mary and this Benedict Option sounds like just another of the many falsely Catholic ideas floating around and tempting us these days.

    For a little perspective on this subject, think: what if the First Christians when faced with the almighty Roman Empire and its hatred of them, had decided to adopt this “Benedict Option” and be “inclusive” of Gnostics, Judaizers, Jesus-was-married nuts, and every other distortion or heresy.

    Simple: there would be no Christian Catholicism anywhere today. This Benedict Option is a trap for those intimidated Catholics who believe in Jesus as a “little god” in their hearts. The First Christians believed in a big, omnipotent God and so should we. God comes through in impossible times for those who believe in Him as the God He truly IS.

  • Boniface

    This is an amazing critique of the Benedict option.. feels like it came from God himself!!

  • Louis Boo

    We are not to live away secluded from society. We are to live in society and provide an example of the goodness and truth of the Catholic faith for those who do not profess it. Hiding away from the world, unless one is of an order that practices being cloistered, is not what Christ wanted. How will others learn of the Catholic faith if all the Catholics are in hiding?

  • Brooklyn Girl

    Why did the Church deem it necessary to subcumb to political correctiveness. She demanged and received RESPECT when She stuck to Her guns and called a spade a spade and a sin a sin. Whishy washy people always fall down. The Church, back in the 50’s was a force to recon with. Hollywood wouldn’t dare to put the trash they are ramming down our children’s throats, out in movie theaters. What happened to the Legion of Decency? She has done Her followers a great injustice! I don’t think Jesus is happy with Her. Our children need direction, their parents need direction so they can teach their children in the ways Jesus would want. Why did we stop praying for the conversion of Russia? Wasn’t that one of the requests the Blessed Mother made?

  • Adrian Treviño

    The consecration has been done people…what we need to continue doing is prayer, penance and amendment, and that is where we are failing!! The consecration can only do as much as we can do on our daily lives. If things haven’t changed much is because we christians are not doing as much as we can, and I certainly include my self in that group!!

  • “. . . For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus. . . ” 1Timothy 2:5 RHE (Douay-Rheims)

    • Adrian Treviño

      Seems that is what you only read. What about Revelation 5, 8? Or Revelation 8, 3? What about James 5?

      • Rosech Levy

        Well, the Book of Revelation was for the first Christians who expected immediate action at that time, and not for today. Non-Catholic churches always push Revelation as a happening time and again, and time and again it hasn’t happened. NO one knows the day or time but God as Jesus clearly stated. So, I’ll flow with Timothy, thank you. Read the Jerusalem Bible which was and is the only Bible to date translated from Aramaic, the language of Jesus and get the real thing and not something out of the multitudes of “bibles” since then,especially the King James version which is pure entertainment but nothing of consequence. I have taught the real Bible in English and Spanish so I know whereof I speak.

        • Adrian Treviño

          Hi Rosech , yes there are some passages that may refer to things that already happened, but remember, many passages have multiple layers of interpretation. I invite you to read Scott Hahn’s “The Lamb’s Supper”. Great read on how the Catholic Mass is very well represented in the book of Revalation, and this makes this book relevant always.

  • Ramon Martinez

    VERY WELL SAID !!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you very much Mr. Horvat, you explained it very WELL.

  • Origen

    It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks to believe to be true. No Pope has ever fulfilled the request made by The Most Holy Mother of God. RUSSIA HAS NOT BEEN CONSECRATED!!! Sr. Lucia never said it was complete, she said it was accepted. This could mean anything. Anyone who believes the consecration was or is complete is delusional!!! Any Cardinal, Bishop, Priest, Religious or lay that states the consecration is complete is lying. In this case, concerning Fatima and a direct demand from Heaven, Usurping God for political nonsensical reasons is a violation of the highest law, the salvation of souls. For every so called credible expert that states the consecration is complete there is one just as credible who states otherwise. THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING!!! I need to stop now before I say something I shouldn’t. All of these lies and deceit burn me up!!!!

  • It’s impossible for us to be saved without acknowledging and seeking the help of Our Lady.