It's amazing how things change. I was brought up in the 50's where every Friday my Roman Catholic friends would tell me that, because of Fatima, they had to go to church to pray for the conversion of Russia to Roman Catholicism! Now I'm supposed to believe my ears were wrong & the prayers were for the conversion of Russia from communism.
Orthodoc, I have to agree with you, I went through the Catholic school system for 13 years. We attended Mass nearly every morning at 7am after I turned 8 years old and we were always taught in religious studies classes that the prayers at the end of Mass were for the conversion of Russia to Roman Catholicism.
Given the self-understanding of the Roman Catholic Church at that period prior to Vatican II, how could it be otherwise? There was a genuine and profound belief that the world must be in obedience to the Holy Father in Rome. By those lights Russia's conversion to Roman Catholicism was seen as the greatest blessing that God could bestow.
On a thread devoted to this topic of Fatima people asked for the source of my quotes on this topic but the thread is no longer accessible and so I should like to incorporate these references in this message to you. The quotes totally support your position and are fully relevant to this thread.1.
In 1917, the Lady of Fatima said,"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world."Reference:
The words of the Lady of Fatima are easy enough to find on many websites and in hundreds of books on Fatima. Here they are on an EWTN website:http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/FIRSTSAT.htm
See "The Third Apparition, July 13"
Now what does the Lady mean by the words "she [Russia] will be converted
? Here is what Joaquin Alonso writes. Fr Alonso is THE archivist of Fatima and has a 26 volume edition on Fatima to his credit.
Father Joaquin Alonso, probably the top Fatima expert of the 20th Century. Father Alonso, who had many interviews with Sister Lucy, wrote in 1976: ". . . we should affirm that Lucia always thought that the 'conversion' of Russia is not to be limited to the return of the Russian People to the Orthodox Christian religions, rejecting the Marxist atheism of the Soviets, but rather, it refers purely, plainly and simply to the total, integral conversion of Russia to the one true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church."
"La Verdad Sobre el Sacradoto de Fatima, Fatima sin mitos," Father Joaquin Alonso, (2nd edition, Ejercito Azul, Madrid, 1988) p. 78. English translation by Joseph Cain. [/b]
Original Spanish reads: ". . . podriamos decit que Lucia ha pensado siempre que "conversion" de Rusia no se entiende solo de un retorno de los pueblos de Rusia a la religion cristiano-ortodoxa, rechazando el afeismo marxista yateo de los, soviets, sino que se refiere pura y Ilanmente a la conversion total e integral du un retorno a la unica y verdadera Iglesia, la catolico-romana
Note that the original Spanish is even more explicit than the English translation. Russia's conversion is to the Roman Catholic Church ("Iglesia, la catolico-romana.")
Pope Pius XI clearly stated:"For if, as they continually state, they long to be united with Us and ours, why do they not hasten to enter the Church, the Mother and mistress of all Christ's faithful?"
~Pope Pius XI, in Mortalium animos 1928.Reference: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19280106_mortalium-animos_en.html
See paragraph 11
Pope Pius XII warned about confusion regarding the one true Church, the Roman Catholic Church:"The Catholic doctrine will have to be proposed and expressed totally and integrally: what the Catholic Church teaches about the true nature and means of justification, about the constitution of the Church, about the primacy of the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, about the only true union which is accomplished with the return of the dissidents to the only true Church of Christ, must not be passed over in silence or covered over in ambiguous words."
~ Pope Pius XII, in On the Ecumenical Movement 1949.Reference: http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFECUM.HTM
See Section II, the last paragraph of the section.
In the context of its times and certainly as it was taught through the 1950s and 60s (the times I remember) the conversion of Russia was certainly to Roman Catholicism. This, after all, was genuinely considered by Catholics of that time, as the greatest of all possible blessings.
I hope that these references will be satisfactory to those who were asking for them.