There has been a great deal of controversy about the so-called "Third Secret of Fatima". It is proposed by some that there is a second part to the secret which the Vatican has not revealed. In Italy this controversy is heating up. Books have been published about this, on both sides. I have read a few of them. One of the books was co-authored by none other than H.E. Tarcisio Card. Bertone.
Tonight on a TV show "Porta a Porta" on the Italian network RAIUNO Card. Bertone appeared through a live hook-up from the Apostolic Palace in order to "resolve" the controversy.
I watched it.
Card. Bertone did something extraordinary. He displayed on the air the envelopes in which the Third Secret was contained. After opening them one by one, with many closeups of the camera, Card. Bertone then took out of the last small envelope Lucia’s written sheet with the text of the Third Secret. Bertone explained that that is all there was. Perhaps the reason why some assumed there was some other part to the secret is because of the way the sheet was folded. Instead of being folded in half, it was folded twice, into fours, as it were.
Alas, the other folks on the show were less than helpful. In fact, they were unedifying. For example, Marco Politi of La Repubblica…. well…
Of course what was seen on TV tonight doesn’t really resolve anything. Still, some one bent on saying that there is more to the secret will have to explain how what Card. Bertone showed on TV was inadequate proof.
Do you believe that the pope-like figure from the third secret was indeed JP2?
You mean there is no heavenly confirmation of the fact that all secular media personal (excepting Chesterton) will go to hell? That’s disheartening.
But Father, isn’t it a well known fact that the third secret is being suppressed through the combined efforts of the Illuminati, Rosicrucians, Trilateral Commission, and the Council of Foreign Relations??????
I believe that the pope-like figure is Benedict XVI.
If you can read portuguese you can read this article about the Third Secret and the
visions of St John Bosco: http://montfort.org.br/index.php?secao=cadernos&subsecao=religiao&artigo=fatima3&lang=bra
The figure is Pope John Paul II.Sister Lucia confirmed that.
It still makes one wonder why the Third Secret wasn’t announced in 1960 or anytime after that until the year 2000.
A number of older accounts have the third part of the Secret handwritten on a single sheet of paper, twenty-five lines long, and in continuity of its being a quotation of words of our Lady. How were these accounts ever resolved?
Still, some one bent on saying that there is more to the secret will have to explain how what Card. Bertone showed on TV was inadequate proof.
Just like Thomas, unless they put their hands on the envelopes, they will doubt.
Yes, because faith in the Risen Lord and believing a particular theory re: the secrets of Fatima are analogous, aren’t they?
We will have to see if Antonio Socci has any response to this.
I absolutely do not believe the explaination given by the Vatican regarding the Third Secrete of Fatima, nor do I believe that John Paul II was the pope in the vision, or described bby the Third Secret or by Sister Lucia.
I DO believe that the part of the Secrete, the rumored part which speaks of mass apostacy even in the Vatican, of corruption and disaster after a Council, or another event fortold by Our Lady, and the ruin of the Church and turn away from the Faith IS part of the Secrete, and has not been revealed and has been covered up for obvious reasons. To reveal it would totally discredit Vatican II, because the disaster that followed it was predicted by Heaven some 50 years before the Council even happened.
Not to be totally, I emphasize TOTALLY honest about it (and the Vatican I don’t think is being honest), does a huge disservice to the Church.
Many millions DO believe that a large part of the Third Secrete involves the massive collapse of the Faith and the turn away from traditions and the Faith after a Council, and the corruption of the Faith from the decisions and agenda of Church leaders starting at the very top.
Whatever game Cardinal Bertone etc. comes up with, many millions of good Catholics who are not sede-vacantists etc. but just intelligent enough to see a deception, will not be easilly fooled.
Whether or not the Church’s favored interpretation of the Third Secret is correct, there’s no basis for the conspiracy theory that Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Cardinal Bertone are the evil masterminds of a conspiracy to silence Sister Lucia and put words in her mouth that she never said. Frankly, anyone who believes such a ridiculous thing is tooty-frooty in my not so humble opinion — deficient both in charity and in common sense.
One Fatima conspiracy theorist made a big deal about the fact that Sister Lucia once said the Third Secret included a prophecy that Portugal (which recently legalised prenatal infanticide) would always preserve the dogma of the faith (something I thought was Rome’s job, not Portugal’s, but anyway). His proof that the Church had deleted something from the Third Secret? The official text of the Third Secret, which contains a footnote in which the CDF notes the absence of that prophecy! Some coverup! Some conspiracy! I think it’s far more likely that Sister Lucia just forgot what was in the Third Secret — in her memoirs she mentioned the prophecy, but she hadn’t actually seen what she had written for many, many years. Anyway, given what has been happening to Portugal lately, it doesn’t appear that Portugal will always preserve the dogma of the faith — seems that nation is just as capable of infidelity as the rest of the human race.
Matthew: I am not sure by what criteria or evidence some people would be convinced. There are those who are simply against believing anything the Holy See says unless it confirms what they have already decided to believe. And they believe certain things on no other evidence but the speculation of those who have little credibility.
Many millions DO believe that a large part of the Third Secrete
I wonder if “millions” even know about this controversy much less “many millions”.
I have read quite a bit around this issue on both sides. While I admit that what Card. Bertone said last night – did you see it? – was not to my mind entirely satisfying , it nevertheless will require a careful examination before any precious presuppositions can be maintained.
If the Third Secret is the mass apostasy from the faith and corruption in the Church, then it is no secret.
Having said that, when I read the Vatican release and interpretation, my reaction was: If this is all there is to it, why did they wait so long?
Father Z: I wonder if â€œmillionsâ€ even know about this controversy much less â€œmany millionsâ€.
Of course, and sadly, you’re absolutely right. Most Catholics don’t even know there is a crisis currently in the Church let alone this level of detail.
Unfortunately, I start to cringe every time Bertone talks about this. Because every time he does there are numerous counts of discrepancies in what he says. The latest, below:
It gives me great ire to see that what was given to three simple children in love and confidence by their Blessed Mother could be taken and twisted into a tangle of sensationalist intrigue. The very mission of Fatima was not merely to presage certain world events, but to remind us that prayer is a necessity at all times. Were the prophetic books of the Bible treated in a similar manner, I doubt the canon would have been compiled! However, with the grace of the Holy Spirit and the lovingkindness that God displays in all His Providence, He has preserved His word throughout the ages and has not ceased to gift us with further encouragements: the writings of the Fathers and Doctors and the visitations of His Blessed Handmaid and Mother of His Divine Son.
Why, then, do we find such difficulty in accepting all good things with humility and thankfulness? Why must we continue to confuse and obfuscate by way of our gossip, insinuation and errant curiosities? Prophecy is designed not to strike fear as much as give clear vision of consequence for our actions. Let us then persist in prayer, as our Lord, our Blessed Mother and so many members of the Communion of Saints have instructed, and not give berth to fear, suspicion or doubt. The Lord God has all things well in hand.
Most Catholics donâ€™t even know there is a crisis currently in the Church let alone this level of detail.
I strongly disagree. The average Catholic is very aware of the collapse of the life of the Church. Just because he doesn’t run around in a state of high dudgeon doesn’t mean he hasn’t noticed the problems.
RBrown said: “If this is all there is to it, why did they wait so long?”
I’ve wondered that, too. My guess is that it may have had something to do with the sensation that would naturally ensue upon release of a vision of a man in white — evidently a Pope — being killed in the midst of a ruined city, which one might readily take as an allegory of a great calamity to befall not only the Pope but the entire Church. Especially during the Cold War, and especially during the upheaval following Vatican II, I can see why they might have thought it not “pastoral” to release it earlier. But those decisions only helped feed the Fatima conspiracy theories, which will live on long into the future regardless of the fact that there is no real evidence to support them.
The TV interview is believable only if one presumes that Cardinal Bertone actually brought the third secret and not a deceptive prop. Certainly we should all hope that he would not do such a thing, but the whole thesis that the Vatican is withholding the “real” third secret presupposes an attempt at deception.
Even if there is an unreleased text beginning “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved …”, and it were released tomorrow, I don’t think it would result in any change in the church or in the world, so I choose not to get to worked up about it.
Has anyone considered the basic fact that for a cardinal or pope to lie repeatedly to the world would be a grave sin? Could any pious person really justidy that kind of lie?
But those decisions only helped feed the Fatima conspiracy theories, which will live on long into the future regardless of the fact that there is no real evidence to support them.
Have you read the Socci book?
I have not, therefore I feel unable to say that there is no evidence to support the allegations of a cover up.
However, here are two interesting articles about the Socci-Bertone duel of books:
Two words: mental reservation.
If the Popes clearly believe that they are protecting the faithful by not revealing the entirety of the third secret, I can understand their behavior, and I do not think it amounts to grave sin. Unfortunately, Cardinal Bertone accused a good man (Socci), by all accounts I have read, of using the tactics of freemasons. Many past Cardinals, who have read the secret, have spoken of it, and Cardinal Bertone’s understanding of the secret does not seem to match theirs. I have never lost much sleep about this issue, but I think it would have been prudent of Bertone to leave this one alone. He has no empirical evidence to discredit Socci, ie transcripts of his conversations with Sister Lucia. Perhaps Fr. Z could give us a synopsis of Succi’s book (I can not read Italian) and then show how Cardinal Bertone dealt with the arguments Socci put forward.
“Many millions DO believe that a large part of the Third Secrete involves the massive collapse of the Faith and the turn away from traditions and the Faith after a Council, and the corruption of the Faith from the decisions and agenda of Church leaders starting at the very top.
Whatever game Cardinal Bertone etc. comes up with, many millions of good Catholics who are not sede-vacantists etc. but just intelligent enough to see a deception, will not be easilly fooled.”
I agree 100% with you, Matthew. Highly placed, reputable,clergymen and Fatima scholars have said this all along–until more recently, that is. I am talking about the likes of Canon Barthas, Pierre Caillon, Fr. Joao De Marchi, Fr. Alonso, Fr. Fuentes, Frere Francois. Fr Gruner is saying NOTHING new. He merely repeats credible sources who have already said what he is saying.
RBrown: “The average Catholic is very aware of the collapse of the life of the Church. Just because he doesnâ€™t run around in a state of high dudgeon doesnâ€™t mean he hasnâ€™t noticed the problems.”
I don’t know about that. I encounter much APATHY. Organize a traditional rosary procession in you town, and see how many people turn out. If the average Catholic “is very aware of the collapse of the life of the Church” as you say, this knowledge is of no help if he will do nothing about it. It is the lukewarm who turn Our Lord’s stomach.
I may be confused, but as a good Catholic, one does not have to take credence in any private revelation, correct? There seems to be amongst seemingly like minded believers an alternate, and in their estimation, a truer magisterium in the Church that what can be found in the actual, visible Church. This alternative magisterium is formed from many threads of private revelation, bolstered by rumors, and feed on theories of conspiracy. Not withstanding the reality of sinful humanity, one can honestly rely only on the actual, present, “public” face of the Church – to take her for what she is and what she teaches, period! To believe otherwise, that the “true” or “real” Church
is something other, is an act of disbelief in Christ. Jesus promised to be with His Church until the end of time – the one, visible, living Church, and not a secret, figmental, “what-I-think-it-should-be” church. (Is not that a whiff of gnosticism?)It is time we let the Pope be pope, and for all the whining little self-proclaimed popes to set off their tiaras – their agendas of the intreges of a Fatima secret or the correct Latin missal, or whatever diversion the Tempter may put on their agenda. It takes humility and faith to stand with the Church. Is it pride and arogance to presume then that oneself is better and bigger than the Church established by Christ?
I invite any who would fear or suspect to read the commision and promise given by our Lord to St. Peter in Mt. 16. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that as Catholics, we trust in the word of God first; “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against (the Church)”. Have faith!!!
widukind, you are a Catholic after my own heart.
Cardinal Ratzinger said, back when, that he was not sure it was JPII and that it could still be another pope. When one examines the vision of PPX, the Fatima vision matches more closely and may still indicate a pope to come.
You mean Pope St Pius X? I’d never heard that he had a vision. Are you possibly referring to the stories about the vision of Leo XIII?
You know, it really is scary to read the conspiracy theories of some people here about a “deception” and a “secret plot” and how they are eerily similar to the trashy “Left Behind” novels predicting secret conspiracy theories. Both adhere to the gnostic notion that the visibal church has become corrupted, etc., and that only those with “secret knowledge” of what’s really going on will prevail.
Contrast this with the humility and simplicity of Sister Lucia. It’s really sad.
Pope John Paul I is the only pope who died and was a man in white too. JPII did not die as the secret indicates. Also, the word “Russia” has never been used in any consecration.
Whether or not God has “accepted” the numerous consecrations done in numerous manners, but not as exactly and simmply spelled out as in the Third Secret, only he knows.
I know that JPII did NOT die. JPI did die. Russia has never been mentioned. Russia’s errors continue to spread to this day.
I do not detect the triumph of the Immaculate Heart occuring currently. Maybe my vision is skewed, but I don’t think so.
I believe Robert is talking about the vision of Pope Pius XII:
A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, “Where have they taken him?” -Pope Pius XII
Was that a vision as such?
ThomasMore1535: “You know, it really is scary to read the conspiracy theories of some people here about a â€œdeceptionâ€ and a â€œsecret plotâ€ and how they are eerily similar to the trashy â€œLeft Behindâ€ novels predicting secret conspiracy theories. Both adhere to the gnostic notion that the visibal church has become corrupted, etc., and that only those with â€œsecret knowledgeâ€ of whatâ€™s really going on will prevail.”
While still the visible Church is the true Church, for you to say there is no corruption seems a little naive.
If the way Fatima was handeled was so pure, then why did the last secret not come out until 40 past the deadline
that Sister Lucia mandated? Forget if we know it all or if we don’t; if a non-Catholic Russia has really converted. Just look at one part of it that’s easy — the popes ignored Our Lady’s demand that it be made known in the 60s.
While some people take this too far and have hatred in their hearts toward the Church, and that’s wrong, you also can’t walk blindly through life or this crisis will never end.
In the field of private revelation, just who is Gruner or even Sr. Lucia to give the Pope orders??
In the field of private revelation, the Pope, as head of the Church, is the final arbiter of what’s what. No one else has anything to say about it.
Sister understood that, and made no criticism.
Fr. Gruner and his loony legion do not understand this, and continue to reap the wages of sin.
Anyway, if it turned out there was a fourth secret, conspiracy types would invent a fith. That’s just the way they work.
Also, conspiracists are Gnostics, and, like Gnostics, have the same moral/personnality defect in that they are ravenously vain. They aren’t going to be taken in, like the rest of you sheep, with the obvious lies regarding [Fatima/the Holocost/etc.] It makes them superior people.
“Have you read the Socci book?”
No, I don’t know Italian. But I’ve read Brother Bugnolo’s translation of Socci’s recent accusations and insinuations that Cardinal Bertone just made up all the conversations he had with Sister Lucia. Socci is a journalist, but not a reputable one as far as I’m concerned. He’s a yellow journalist, and he wants us to put more stock in old and unverifiable rumors than in the actual text of the Third Secret.
“Even if there is an unreleased text beginning ‘In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved â€¦’, and it were released tomorrow, I donâ€™t think it would result in any change in the church or in the world, so I choose not to get to worked up about it.”
Agreed. Of course, there isn’t any unreleased text that says that. Those words appear in Sister Lucia’s memoirs, and the CDF’s annotated text of the Third Secret takes pains to note that those words do not, contrary to what Sister Lucia had previously reported, appear in the text of the Third Secret.
“Fr Gruner is saying NOTHING new.”
You mean “Nick Gruner.” He’s suspended a divinis, and therefore may not go about acting and presenting himself as a priest — not until he is reconciled with the Church.
“JPII did not die as the secret indicates.”
The Secret doesn’t actually say that any Pope would die. It’s a vision of a man in white, apparently a Pope, being killed, but visions are symbolic and allegorical. They can’t simply be taken as video footage of a future event. The death of the man in white could mean a literal martyrdom, or a figurative one, and the shooting may not be a literal one either, though John Paul II believed it was.
As for the interpretation of the Third Secret, I know it is the Church who is appointed by God to judge these matters, not me. Maybe the Church’s favored interpretation is wrong. I don’t know, but I have to give that interpretation the benefit of the doubt. Anyway, I wholeheartedly agree with Widukind above. We need to heed the message of Fatima — prayer and penance — and not get sidetracked by speculations about conspriacies and debatable interpretations of non-binding private revelations and visions.
“If the way Fatima was handeled was so pure, then why did the last secret not come out until 40 past the deadline that Sister Lucia mandated?”
Maybe the Popes deemed it would have been unhelpful to the faithful if it had been released then. Maybe, for all we know, Pope John XXIII didn’t think the Fatima visions were true? Without divine inspirations, seers sometimes do not see clearly, or fail to present their visions quite as they saw them. Really, there could be any number of reasons that wouldn’t require us to see the Popes as lying conspirators attempting to suppress the True Gospel of Fatima That Supplements Or Supersedes The True Gospel of Jesus.
“Just look at one part of it thatâ€™s easyâ€”the popes ignored Our Ladyâ€™s demand that it be made known in the 60s.”
How do we know it is Our Lady who wanted it revealed in the 1960s? What if it was Sister Lucia who mistakenly thought Our Lady wanted it revealed then?
As I read through the different comments they are seem so hostle that they would never lead a person to Jesus! We each need to examine our own lives to see what we each need to change so that we can preach the Gospel were ever we go…… Please arguing over this seems so worthless. Let us all pray the Rosary and Devine Mercy every day to further God’s kingdom instead of tearing it part! God Bless all….
The vision I referenced, by Pope St. Pius X, is:
“I have seen one of my successors, of the same name, who was fleeing over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death.”
Supposedly Pope Pius IX said something similar:
“There will come a great wonder, which will fill the world with astonishment. This wonder will be preceded by the triumph of revolution. The church will suffer exceedingly. Her servants and her chieftain will be mocked, scourged, and martyred.”
AFAIK we are not obliged to believe the apparations in Fatima anyway, so I don’t see what’s the huge fuss.
But what we are obliged to believe in is Vatican II (and Vatican I, and Trent, etc.), and to believe in the Church Visible and her magisterium. There’s simply no way around that no matter how you read it. To accuse Pope Benedict, Pope John Paul II and other holy men of lying to God’s flock and of perpetuating a consipracy is a pretty big accusation to level. To accuse them of lying about the Fatima revelation to protect the teachings of the Second Vatican Council? Well why should they even have to do that. One is pirvate revelation the other public revelation. Even if the message of Fatima were to say – the Vatican would become heretical and Vatican II were a complete mistake, what exactly would that alter? All it would tell us is that maybe we have to look more closely at the claims of Fatima if that were the case (which I don’t think is the case anyway).
In the hierarchy of truth, Ecumenical Council > Private revelation. Plain and simple.
I believe that the Church is obliged to believe in Fatima. Not on the level of Faith but on the level of Love, what Love demands. If the Madonna issues a heartfelt plea as the Mother of the Church, then the Catholic people are not in any way obliged to follow her?
She’s not in haste for herself. But for us. So Love is a demand as well.
I believe that the Church is obliged to believe in Fatima. Not on the level of Faith but on the level of Love, what Love demands. If the Madonna issues a heartfelt plea as the Mother of the Church, then the Catholic people are not in any way obliged to follow her?
She’s not in haste for herself. But for us. So Love is a demand as well.
They should have one big court case to find out who’s telling the truth. Bring them all in.
…I believe that the Church is obliged to believe in Fatima. Not on the level of Faith but on the level of Love, what Love demands.
She’s not in haste for herself. But for us. So Love is a demand as well. ..This Millenium is dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. Whether or not a catholic believes, they still have to accept this.
I donâ€™t know about that. I encounter much APATHY. Organize a traditional rosary procession in you town, and see how many people turn out. If the average Catholic â€œis very aware of the collapse of the life of the Churchâ€ as you say, this knowledge is of no help if he will do nothing about it. It is the lukewarm who turn Our Lordâ€™s stomach.
Comment by Martha
You’re right there is apathy. Much of it is found among those who know the Church only since since Vat II. They see poorly trained, unimpressive priests, banal liturgy, and the zeal of those in religious life has almost disappeared. But I cannot blame them, only those who masterminded the so-called reforms.
Those who knew the Church before Vat II are well aware of that the bottom has been out of the tub for 40 years.
I am a convert since 1999. I don’t know about you RBrown but I am so happy to finally have found the one true church. We can sit around and complain and whine or we can live the holiest life we can, neither right or left but Catholic, pray, help others and preach the Gospel wherever you go, if need be use words!
I am a convert since 1999. I donâ€™t know about you RBrown but I am so happy to finally have found the one true church. We can sit around and complain and whine or we can live the holiest life we can, neither right or left but Catholic, pray, help others and preach the Gospel wherever you go, if need be use words!
Auguri. I converted in 1970. And you’re right–most of what I have done is complain and whine.
But there have been a few exceptions. One was going to France in the early 70’s to find a Benedictine monastery (Fontgombault) with Latin liturgy and begin a relationship in which certain others (mostly also grads of U of Kansas) would also visit and consider their vocations there. Of course, some did enter, and the monastery of Clear Creek in Oklahoma was founded about 30 years later.
Another was spending eight years of my life (and most of my money) studying at the Angelicum in Rome and becoming one of two people since 1980 (and probably earlier) who have done the STB, STL, and STD there while specializing in Thomistic Studies.
A third was teaching theology at the FSSP seminary.
But mostly I prefer to complain and whine.
Dear Father Z.
Maybe the protagonists are searching for the supposed missing part of the Third Secret of Fatima in the wrong place. Heard of the Messages of Garabandal? Checkout the Garabandal website at http://www.garabandal.us
This just in:
Brian, I agree with you. The vision says the pope falls down dead. JPII did not die. JPI did, but he was not shot by a group of soldiers. This vision refers to a future pope.
I think it’s directly connected with what Our Lord said to Sr. Lucy “Make it known to my ministers that they risk following the example of the King of France in not executing my commands. Like him, they will enter into misfortune”. In 1689, Our Lord commanded the King of France to consecrate his country to His Sacred Heart. He (Louis XIV) did not, nor did Louis XV or Louis XVI. 100 years later, Louis was decapitated by the revolutionaries. Now the children receive a vision of a pope stepping over the bodies of other prelates in a devastated Rome and falling down dead, shot by an army. The parallel is quite clear.
St. Pius X had a vision of one of his successors being besieged in a battle and Jacinta had a similar vision. I don’t know if this is Pope Benedict’s fate or not, but I do believe it will happen and that the successor of this pope who is killed will finally consecrate Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart but “it will be very late”. Then, and only then, will the period of peace promised by our Lady occur. It will not take two decades or more to occur – it will happen immediately.
If the 1984 consecration were valid, how could anyone but blind obedience advocates within the conservative Catholic circle possibly believe this peace to be a triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart? There has been NO peace since 1984 and Russia has never been converted. Granting religious liberty does NOT constitute a conversion except to Vatican II fanatics. And Russia has not really granted much religious liberty, because only Orthodoxy, Islam and Buddhism are recognized as religions of the State and given full freedom. Besides, Russia has absorbed the worst of Western decadence ever since it’s “conversion” – pornography, homosexuality, etc. Anyone who believes the “official” Vatican line is just plain blind.
Sorry, I forgot, Judaism is also given freedom in the new “converted” Russia.
But of course, this does not give us permission to have contempt for or scorn the pope. As the message of Fatima stated many times, “pray, pray for the Holy Father!”. We must love him and pray and sacrifice for him. If one’s father is an alcoholic, as mine was, you do not despise him or love him less – you pray for him and grieve for him and do anything you can to help him be the father he was meant to be – for his sake as well as for the family’s sake.
“But mostly I prefer to complain and whine.”
This really made me laugh, because I can identify with your statement. A friend and I sometime get together to do just that, and all the while, we can’t contain our laughter! Who says all trads are pucker-faced, sour-pusses? Complaining can be fun!
Re:Fatima. In brief, I can reiterate what Sr. Lucia has said in the past. If the consecration has not been done as God requested, it is because we are still under the rigors of His justice. We do not merit the peace of heaven, yet. When it comes-the triumph of Our Lady, and ensuing peace-it will be after the proper consecration. Russia will be converted and the WHOLE, ENTIRE GLOBE will know it! Then devotion to Our Lady will be placed alongside that of devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Remember, too, that Sr. Lucia sadly complained that NEITHER the GOOD, nor the BAD, were heeding Our Lady’s requests!
I think people might be surprised how many people know about the 3rd secret. I’m not sure I’m a big Fatima person, but I heard about it literally right after my conversion. It’s out there in the lore that still accompanies the church, all attempts to suppress lore aside. It’s out there with St. Christopher, Bernadette of Lourdes, rosaries owned by lutherans, the prior de sion (or whatever), holy water and (very funny) segments of confessionals in the movies.
I found the official account very peculiar in a number of respects, but I know I wasn’t alone. I don’t know what to think of it. I’m not a big Fatima person and Catholics aren’t bound to adhere to all this like they are the creed, so it hasn’t bothered me much.
I do know there is much controversy in Italy right now because of a book by a certain Mr. Socci which postulates another mechanism for the 3rd secret. I’m not sure whether he says that there are literally 2 pieces of paper or two interpretations one appended to the other and one secret as yet. Anyone want to explain? Is this book available in the States?
Speaking of lore, it’s around in a concrete way. I have a statue, medium sized, in not very good condition now, of a St. Therese, said to have come from a church someplace in Chicago. It seems this thing found it’s way into a dumpster (gee, I wonder how that happened?!), then into a car trunk belonging to someone who wasn’t catholic, to a rural town in Michigan and then through a couple of non-catholic households in various Michigan towns, and finally to me. I was given it by a non-catholic relative, now passed away, because I knew the saint’s name, of course, because of the roses. It’s not in very good shape but I keep it in memory of her, my relative, who I pray for.
Beauty does survive and it’s part of the lore of the Church. It’s out there still. Not even Armageddon could kill it. *The point?Probably we should treat lore with more respect than we do.*
One result of this private revelation has been to convince many Christians Holy Mother Church is lying to them.
Satan could not be any happier.
Those who do think Holy Mother Church is lying to them never seem to get it that idea places them in the same camp as those described as falling away from the Church.
Ironies abound in these end times, don’t they?
Fr. Z your comments ..
I have read quite a bit around this issue on both sides. While I admit that what Card. Bertone said last night â€“ did you see it? â€“ was not to my mind entirely satisfying , it nevertheless will require a careful examination before any precious presuppositions can be maintained.
appear to me to help weaken Faith in the Church.
Are we all to engage in private judgment when the Church speaks?
And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me
Every time we publicly criticise or attack the Church we atack Jesus.
The last prophetic work which the Church acknowledges as Divinely inspired is the Apocalypse. The prophetic spirit did not disappear with the Apostolic times, but the Church has not pronounced any work prophetic since then, though she has canonized numberless saints who were more or less endowed with the gift of prophecy. The Church allows freedom in accepting or rejecting particular or private prophecies according to the evidence for or against them. We should be slow to admit and slow to reject them, and in either case treat them with respect when they come to us from trustworthy sources, and are in accordance with Catholic doctrine and the rules of Catholic morality. The real test of these predictions is their fulfilment; they may be only pious anticipations of the ways of xxyyyk.htm”>Providence, and they may sometimes be fulfilled in part and in part contradicted by events. The minatory prophecies which announce calamities, being for the most part conditional, may or may not be fulfilled. Many private prophecies have been verified by subsequent events, some have not; others have given rise to a good deal of discussion as to their genuineness. Most of the private prophecies of the saints and servants of God were concerned with individuals, their death, recovery from illness, or vocations. Some foretold things which would affect the fate of nations, as France, England, and Ireland. A great number have reference to popes and to the papacy; and finally we have many such prophecies relating to the end of the world and the approach of the Day of Judgment.
When the Church says, Look, this is what the Third Secret was, who are we to object?
Not Spartacus: When the Holy Father publishes a book (not part of the Magisterium) about the Lord and invites discussion, we are free to discuss it. No one will be surprised when we do, least of all the Pope. When His Eminence Card. Bertone goes so far as to publish a book about the the issue of the Third Secret, answering a book by a journalist, and when he decides to appear on a popular Italian talk show in order to speak his piece while submitting himself to questions from journalists, I, a journalist and vaticanista, feel free to talk about these things.
The Cardinal decided to make public statements about the merits of Antonio Socci’s book. By doing so, he opens himself to comments about his book.
I am at least being fair by actually reading the books involved and giving them a fair shake. I address the Cardinal’s TV appearance on its merits. The Cardinal’s book I will start on fairly soon.
On the merits of the argument Card. Bertone used on TV, considered in themselves, I am not entirely convinced that he has responded to Socci’s claims. Socci (with others) has arguments. Card. Bertone said he was going to refute Socci in his book. He went on TV to make an argument against Socci’s claims. Did what he offer really count as an adequate response in that milieu? I am not so sure. At this point, the Cardinal has descended, for good or ill, into the journalistic scrum. The “It is so because I said so!” doesn’t work too well in the scrum.
“‘Shut up!’, he explained”, doesn’t cut it in this case.
Card. Bertone didn’t have to do any of this. I actually give him credit for doing so, since he has been made into one of the villains of the story by those who are convinced we are not being given everything. Still, it might have been better simply to stay above the fray.
Be sure of this: since Pope Benedict wrote a preface to Card. Bertone’s book, then the Pope was ultimately not against him publishing this book. If the Secretary of State appeared on “Porta a Porta” then the Pope knew it and approved. (Incidentally, it pulled lots of market share away from the transmission of the slanderous BBC program attacking the Pope and the Church.)
If we are going to limit ourselves to simply accepting that we have the entire text of the Third Secret merely because “someone said so”, then we ought to be satisfied with John Paul II’s decision to release what he released. However, that is not where the story ends. Thus, that is not where our interest needs to end either.
I experience a Catch 22 whenever I read the secret. If I’m to accept the official interpretation of the secret as JPII’s attempted assasination, am I also to understand St. Peter’s as the city in ruins and all the people assembled there as corpses being blessed? Spiritualizing these words brings no comfort.
I, a journalist and vaticanista, feel free to talk about these things.
Fr. Z. I understand your position and I thank you for your kind and patient response. I understand you could have taken offense due to my posts.
FWIW, the sole reason I subscribed to The Wanderer was because of your column. I treasure your podcasts and forward them to my family. I am a big fan of yours and I do respect what you say and I admire the way you think.
I wanted to make all of that clear before making an observation.
When the CDF released THe Message of Fatima that, for me, foreclosed all controversy. I am speaking just personally.
When you write what you have and take the approach that you do it appears to me that whether or not the Church lied about the Fatima Message, or distorted the Fatima Message, or did not publish all of the Fatima Message is an open question for you.
If you are convinced the Church did any of those things, what will the consequences be for you personally?
When the CDF released the Fatima Message, it testified..
The third part of the â€œsecretâ€ was written â€œby order of His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and the Most Holy Mother …â€ on 3 January 1944.
There is only one manuscript, which is here reproduced photostatically. The sealed envelope was initially in the custody of the Bishop of Leiria. To ensure better protection for the â€œsecretâ€ the envelope was placed in the Secret Archives of the Holy Office on 4 April 1957. The Bishop of Leiria informed Sister Lucia of this. …
Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished (â€œSim, estÃ feita, tal como Nossa Senhora a pediu, desde o dia 25 de MarÃ§o de 1984â€: â€œYes it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on 25 March 1984â€: Letter of 8 November 1989). Hence any further discussion or request is without basis. …
THEOLOGICAL COMMENTARY (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
That text contains a prophetic vision similar to those found in Sacred Scripture, which do not describe photographically the details of future events, but synthesize and compress against a single background facts which extend through time in an unspecified succession and duration. As a result, the text must be interpreted in a symbolic key. …
Thus we come finally to the third part of the â€œsecretâ€ of Fatima which for the first time is being published in its entirety. As is clear from the documentation presented here, the interpretation offered by Cardinal Sodano in his statement of 13 May was first put personally to Sister Lucia. Sister Lucia responded by pointing out that she had received the vision but not its interpretation. The interpretation, she said, belonged not to the visionary but to the Church. After reading the text, however, she said that this interpretation corresponded to what she had experienced and that on her part she thought the interpretation correct. In what follows, therefore, we can only attempt to provide a deeper foundation for this interpretation, on the basis of the criteria already considered.
â€œTo save soulsâ€ has emerged as the key word of the first and second parts of the â€œsecretâ€, and the key word of this third part is the threefold cry: â€œPenance, Penance, Penance!â€ The beginning of the Gospel comes to mind: â€œRepent and believe the Good Newsâ€ (Mk 1:15). To understand the signs of the times means to accept the urgency of penance â€“ of conversion â€“ of faith. This is the correct response to this moment of history, characterized by the grave perils outlined in the images that follow. Allow me to add here a personal recollection: in a conversation with me Sister Lucia said that it appeared ever more clearly to her that the purpose of all the apparitions was to help people to grow more and more in faith, hope and loveâ€”everything else was intended to lead to this.
Let us now examine more closely the single images. The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword. The vision then shows the power which stands opposed to the force of destructionâ€”the splendour of the Mother of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to penance. In this way, the importance of human freedom is underlined: the future is not in fact unchangeably set, and the image which the children saw is in no way a film preview of a future in which nothing can be changed. Indeed, the whole point of the vision is to bring freedom onto the scene and to steer freedom in a positive direction. The purpose of the vision is not to show a film of an irrevocably fixed future. Its meaning is exactly the opposite: it is meant to mobilize the forces of change in the right direction. Therefore we must totally discount fatalistic explanations of the â€œsecretâ€, such as, for example, the claim that the would-be assassin of 13 May 1981 was merely an instrument of the divine plan guided by Providence and could not therefore have acted freely, or other similar ideas in circulation. Rather, the vision speaks of dangers and how we might be saved from them.
The next phrases of the text show very clearly once again the symbolic character of the vision: God remains immeasurable, and is the light which surpasses every vision of ours. Human persons appear as in a mirror. We must always keep in mind the limits in the vision itself, which here are indicated visually. The future appears only â€œin a mirror dimlyâ€ (1 Cor 13:12). Let us now consider the individual images which follow in the text of the â€œsecretâ€. The place of the action is described in three symbols: a steep mountain, a great city reduced to ruins and finally a large rough-hewn cross. The mountain and city symbolize the arena of human history: history as an arduous ascent to the summit, history as the arena of human creativity and social harmony, but at the same time a place of destruction, where man actually destroys the fruits of his own work. The city can be the place of communion and progress, but also of danger and the most extreme menace. On the mountain stands the crossâ€”the goal and guide of history. The cross transforms destruction into salvation; it stands as a sign of history’s misery but also as a promise for history.
At this point human persons appear: the Bishop dressed in white (â€œwe had the impression that it was the Holy Fatherâ€), other Bishops, priests, men and women Religious, and men and women of different ranks and social positions. The Pope seems to precede the others, trembling and suffering because of all the horrors around him. Not only do the houses of the city lie half in ruins, but he makes his way among the corpses of the dead. The Church’s path is thus described as a Via Crucis, as a journey through a time of violence, destruction and persecution. The history of an entire century can be seen represented in this image. Just as the places of the earth are synthetically described in the two images of the mountain and the city, and are directed towards the cross, so too time is presented in a compressed way. In the vision we can recognize the last century as a century of martyrs, a century of suffering and persecution for the Church, a century of World Wars and the many local wars which filled the last fifty years and have inflicted unprecedented forms of cruelty. In the â€œmirrorâ€ of this vision we see passing before us the witnesses of the faith decade by decade. Here it would be appropriate to mention a phrase from the letter which Sister Lucia wrote to the Holy Father on 12 May 1982: â€œThe third part of the â€˜secret’ refers to Our Lady’s words: â€˜If not, [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated’â€.
In the Via Crucis of an entire century, the figure of the Pope has a special role. In his arduous ascent of the mountain we can undoubtedly see a convergence of different Popes. Beginning from Pius X up to the present Pope, they all shared the sufferings of the century and strove to go forward through all the anguish along the path which leads to the Cross. In the vision, the Pope too is killed along with the martyrs. When, after the attempted assassination on 13 May 1981, the Holy Father had the text of the third part of the â€œsecretâ€ brought to him, was it not inevitable that he should see in it his own fate? He had been very close to death, and he himself explained his survival in the following words: â€œ… it was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of deathâ€ (13 May 1994). That here â€œa mother’s handâ€ had deflected the fateful bullet only shows once more that there is no immutable destiny, that faith and prayer are forces which can influence history and that in the end prayer is more powerful than bullets and faith more powerful than armies.
The concluding part of the â€œsecretâ€ uses images which Lucia may have seen in devotional books and which draw their inspiration from long-standing intuitions of faith. It is a consoling vision, which seeks to open a history of blood and tears to the healing power of God. Beneath the arms of the cross angels gather up the blood of the martyrs, and with it they give life to the souls making their way to God. Here, the blood of Christ and the blood of the martyrs are considered as one: the blood of the martyrs runs down from the arms of the cross. The martyrs die in communion with the Passion of Christ, and their death becomes one with his. For the sake of the body of Christ, they complete what is still lacking in his afflictions (cf. Col 1:24). Their life has itself become a Eucharist, part of the mystery of the grain of wheat which in dying yields abundant fruit. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christians, said Tertullian. As from Christ’s death, from his wounded side, the Church was born, so the death of the witnesses is fruitful for the future life of the Church. Therefore, the vision of the third part of the â€œsecretâ€, so distressing at first, concludes with an image of hope: no suffering is in vain, and it is a suffering Church, a Church of martyrs, which becomes a sign-post for man in his search for God. The loving arms of God welcome not only those who suffer like Lazarus, who found great solace there and mysteriously represents Christ, who wished to become for us the poor Lazarus. There is something more: from the suffering of the witnesses there comes a purifying and renewing power, because their suffering is the actualization of the suffering of Christ himself and a communication in the here and now of its saving effect.
And so we come to the final question: What is the meaning of the â€œsecretâ€ of Fatima as a whole (in its three parts)? What does it say to us? First of all we must affirm with Cardinal Sodano: â€œ… the events to which the third part of the â€˜secret’ of Fatima refers now seem part of the pastâ€. Insofar as individual events are described, they belong to the past. Those who expected exciting apocalyptic revelations about the end of the world or the future course of history are bound to be disappointed. Fatima does not satisfy our curiosity in this way, just as Christian faith in general cannot be reduced to an object of mere curiosity. What remains was already evident when we began our reflections on the text of the â€œsecretâ€: the exhortation to prayer as the path of â€œsalvation for soulsâ€ and, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion.
I would like finally to mention another key expression of the â€œsecretâ€ which has become justly famous: â€œmy Immaculate Heart will triumphâ€. What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the worldâ€”because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: â€œIn the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the worldâ€ (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.
Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect of the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Church has told me the entire secret was published. The Church told me what the Message meant and Sr. Lucy agreed with that interpretation. The Church told me the prophetic vision of Fatima was not a photographic detail of future events. The Church explained what an interior vision meant.
I can;t speak for anyone but myself. But for me, the case is closed, the controversy over.
I well understand why Holy Mother Church reaches out to those who have been convinced she has lied to or mislead them. If they think the Church has lied to or mislead them then their souls will be placed in jeopardy and Holy Mother Church is in the business of salvation.
I can not understand why anyone thinks Holy Mother Church lies to them.
â€œBut mostly I prefer to complain and whine.â€
This really made me laugh, because I can identify with your statement. A friend and I sometime get together to do just that, and all the while, we canâ€™t contain our laughter! Who says all trads are pucker-faced, sour-pusses? Complaining can be fun!
Comment by Martha
Actually, mostly I play tennis and a little golf.
I do not consider myself a Traditionalist. By training and, I hope, by habit, I am a Thomist, and so I don’t have much enthusiasm for or interest in arguments based on Tradition.
I think all Western Liturgy should be in Latin (perhaps excepting the Readings at a parochial Mass) for the reasons stated in Veterum Sapientia–and a few more, among which is the unmusical garbage of the St Louis Jesuits.
To me the rite found in the 1962 Missal is a better expression of Eucharistic doctrine (the center of which is the contemplation of the Divine Truth) than the Novus Ordo (which I think was intended to accommodate Protestants).
But I do agree with you that anyone who likes Latin liturgy is often considered a humorless neophobiac who ruminates about how wonderful life must have been in the 1950’s. What are YOU doing at the recycling center? I thought you liked Latin liturgy?
Not Spartacs: You choose the word “lie”. That is not my choice. If for some reason the whole thing has not been revealed, that reason must be a good one and far above my pay grade.
One way or another, if a person realy tries to live a good Catholic life, the content of the Secrets shouldn’t make too much difference.