March 1-3, 2002
volume 13, no. 40

The Third Secret of Fatima

Could a Prophecy feared for generations have already come to pass?

by Mark Fellows

Part One
              "The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated"

    Few revelations have been as unconvincing as the Vatican's version of the Third Secret of Fatima. Those who thought, or hoped, that the June 2000 unveiling of the CDF's booklet, The Message of Fatima [1] 1. Published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the (CDF) booklet, The Message of Fatima, June 2000. ended matters are probably surprised by the recent tumult over Fatima in the press. There should be no surprise: For over forty years nearly every tactic------silence, intimidation, bad theology, disinformation, and hired liars------have been used to bury the real Message of Fatima. Yet the cork continues to bob to the surface. The terrorist attacks on September 11 triggered a chain reaction of Fatima stories. The buzz in the press and on the Internet was that the attacks were part of the Third Secret of Fatima.

    How exasperating for the drafters of the CDF's The Message of Fatima, who insist the entire secret of Fatima is contained inside its covers. They simply are not believed, in part because they are not believable, but also because of a certain collective awareness, a shared sense of our impending doom. Deep down we know that a "Civilization of Love" is utopian nonsense. It has never existed and it never will. The real Message of Fatima implicitly confirms this: Hell is real and many souls are going there because there is no one to pray and make sacrifices for them. Heaven's remedy is not well-publicized inter-religious prayer rallies. Rather, it is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Rosary. The real Message of Fatima is not a request for more papal apologies. It is a plea to Jesus to "forgive us our sins," to "save us from the fires of Hell." We are not experiencing the new advent of humanity. We are on the Titanic as it slides into the blackness, and the world senses the impending doom even as it continues to heap judgment on itself.

    What Sister Lucy has said about the Third Secret is worth repeating. There are consistent references to Churchmen "being fooled by false doctrine;" to a "diabolical disorientation" afflicting "so many persons who occupy places of responsibility" in the Church; to "priests and consecrated souls" who "are so deceived and misled" because "the devil has succeeded in infiltrating evil under cover of good . . . leading into error and deceiving souls having a heavy responsibility through the place which they occupy . . . They are blind men guiding other blind men," and so on.

    This awareness can be the fruit of the perspective a Christian conscience brings. For most, however, it is merely an instinctive knowledge. Being primitive, it is easily fooled. Hence the credence given to the bogus Third Secret circulating on the Internet. The language in the false version------"We are close to the last minute of the last day and the catastrophe is near"------was assumed to refer to the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Another portion of the false text------"the Pope and the bishops are now awaiting another message, which speaks about repentance and prayer"------also struck many as credible. It is interesting that American Archbishop John C. Favalora publicly denounced this version of the Third Secret. [2] 2. In a news release dated September 18, 2001, out of Florida, published by Zenit electronic News Services. He was right to do so, but usually the official Church response on things Fatima is reserved to Cardinal Ratzinger or the Vatican Press Office [a pseudonym for Secretary of State Sodano].

    Archbishop Favalora's rebuttal to the false Third Secret------"the secret of Fatima is already known, and the world has not ended"------would have been more convincing without the distinct echo of a company man toeing the Company line. [3] 3. To give the Archbishop his due, he also stated that "catastrophic predictions are not necessary to understand that 'penance and prayer for the conversion of the world are even more necessary " because there are 'even more insidious enemies, such as materialism, secularism and hedonism." This is certainly true, particularly in America. His Excellency's problem is that the Vatican has painted itself into a corner on Fatima, and their case is far from compelling. Not even venerable Vatican booster Mother Angelica believes the Vatican's claim that they have revealed the entire Fatima Secret. What few proponents there are of the CDF's The Message of Fatima seem to comprehend in it nothing more than a stick with which to belabor their more traditional co-religionists. [4] 4. It is a peculiar type of zeal that causes anti-traditional Catholics to compromise not only their credibility, but their consciences as well, all for the sake of-----of what? Taking a bullet for the Holy Father? Or firing a bullet at their enemies? In either case, the truth about Fatima seems secondary to other considerations. So it goes.

    Less than a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the bogus Internet Third Secret, came news that the Blessed Virgin had appeared again to Sister Lucy. According to one report, this apparition occurred on October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. It was said that the Virgin asked Lucy and her fellow Carmelites to pray the Rosary in order to avoid "the imminent bloodbath." This appeal was publicized primarily in traditionalist circles, where it was eventually determined to be false. [5] 5. The October 2001 issue of CRC contained a sidebar (entitled "A Sinister Hoax") reporting as rumor that "the Blessed Virgin had appeared to Sister Lucy to ask for the Carmelites to say the Rosary in order to avoid 'the imminent bloodbath.' " The Remnant published an apparitionless version of the same story, with qualifications. Eventually the Superior General of the SSPX, Bishop Bernard Fellay, publicly declared the story was without foundation. Both he and the CRC noted that the Carmel of Coimbra also formally denied the story. Gaining wider circulation was a conversation Sister Lucy had with Italian priest Luigi Bianchi. According to the Italian daily la Repubblica, Father Bianchi revealed that: "Sister Lucy is very worried for the Pope. She says his life is endangered and she urges us to pray for him." [6] 6. The November 2001 issue of Catholic Family News (CFN) contains a photocopy of the article in Italian, with an accompanying English translation. The original article was published on la Repubblica's web page on October 10, 2001. Our archives here have the article but no photocopy. See cfn-index.htm. Father Bianchi's report of his conversation with Sister Lucy fueled existing speculation that Osama bin Laden or other unnamed Moslem "extremists" were plotting to assassinate His Holiness Pope John Paul II. It subsequently came to light that in recent years there have been at least three plots to kill the Pope. [7] 7. According to a Zenit story from Rome, dated October 11, 2001, sources in the CIA and NATO, an Italian press agency, and ex-President Clinton described three separate assassination plots against John Paul II. All were hatched by Moslem groups.

    Several other Italian newspapers picked up the story of Father Bianchi's conversation with Sister Lucy. Some reports stated that Sister Lucy had sent a letter to John Paul II, warning him that his life was in danger. Other accounts included the claim that the Holy See had not revealed the entire contents of the Third Secret of Fatima. This was based on Father Bianchi's assertion that "When Cardinals Ratzinger and Sodano revealed the Third Secret of Fatima, they did it in a very watered down fashion" in order to "avoid creating a panic." According to Father Bianchi, "Sister Lucy agrees with this explanation." [8] 8. November CFN, p. 3. [or see cfn-index.htm] Father Bianchi's statement was contradicted in the January 9, 2002 issue of L 'Osservatore Romano, where it was reported that Sister Lucy did not agree that the Vatican had not revealed the entire Third Secret.

    The Bianchi interview drew a response not only from Sister Lucy's bishop [Bishop Serafim de Sousa Ferreira de Silva of the Diocese Leiria-Fatima], but from Cardinal Ratzinger as well. Bishop Ferreira denied that Sister Lucy sent a letter to John Paul telling him his life was in danger. Bishop Ferreira did not deny Father Bianchi's statements about the Vatican's "watered down" version of the Third Secret, however, and neither did Cardinal Ratzinger, who contented himself with describing "rumors about this alleged letter" of Sister Lucy as "the continuation of an old polemic fed by certain people of dubious credibility," for the purpose of "destabilizing the internal equilibrium of the Roman Curia and of troubling the people of God." [9] 9. All quotations in this paragraph are from a Zenit News Services report from Vatican City dated October 28, 2001, entitled "Bishop Denies Reports That Sister Lucia Warned Pope."

    If he was quoted correctly, Ratzinger seems to be implying a split in the Roman Curia on the subject of Fatima. For a relatively minor story such as Sister Lucy writing the Pope to "destabilize the internal equilibrium of the Roman Curia," one of two things is probably true. Either it is normal for the Curia to be dangerously unstable or, more likely, there is internal disagreement over the Vatican's external packaging of The Message of Fatima. Given the Holy See's public insistence [since June 2000, anyway] that Fatima is a dead letter "belonging to the past," Cardinal Ratzinger's comments are a startling admission. Far from "troubling the people of God," however, the implication that some souls in the Roman Curia may be resisting the neo-modernist straitjacket strapped on Fatima during this pontificate is a real ray of hope in these dreary days of "Son of Assisi."

Next week: part two The Plot Thickens


    EDITOR'S NOTES: We have received the gracious permission of John Vennari, editor of the Catholic Family News to reprint various articles published in his excellent traditional Catholic monthly newspaper dedicated to upholding the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church.

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March 1-3, 2002
volume 13, no. 40
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