March 8-10, 2002
volume 13, no. 45

The Third Secret of Fatima

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

by Mark Fellows

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

The Plot Thickens

    By the end of 2001, everyone from grocery store tabloids to the Vatican press office was weighing in with their own versions of reality concerning Fatima. On December 4, 2001, the Sun featured the Blessed Virgin Mary on its cover with the headline "Fatima Miracle." The story was about an American pilgrim at Fatima on October 23, who claimed to see in the sky over Fatima a pillar of fire a mile high. "In the midst of this inferno in the sky," the pilgrim reported, "I saw the face of Mary." The image of Mary assumed full form, and She told the awestruck pilgrim, "Unto you I will reveal the future."

    The future, according to this apparition that only the Sun seemed aware of, consisted of Osama bin Laden smuggling himself into the United States in order to wage war "for the souls of mankind." The ensuing struggle between bin Laden and the United States would result in Christ's second coming. According to the American pilgrim, Mary declared that "God has chosen America to be His champion." No reasons were given for this unusual choice. After a rather lengthy message from Her pillar of fire, Mary allegedly concluded that mankind's future is not only in God's hands, but "in the stars" as well.

    To elaborate on this last point, the Sun introduced "the world's leading Jesuit authority on Fatima," one Father Adrian Forsyte, S.J. An obvious multi-tasker, Father Adrian was not only a Fatima expert but an astrology whiz as well. After speculating that the Blessed Virgin had designated Osama bin Laden as the Antichrist, Father Adrian presented a "Personal Virgin Mary Astrology Chart" for all twelve signs of the Zodiac, based on the alleged apparition at Fatima October 23. "Your car may be your salvation," was Father Adrian's message to Scorpios. Libras were advised to report any suspicious strangers to the police. For those born under the sign of Aries, Father Adrian had this bombshell: "Safety lies in prudent planning." At the end of the article was a last bit of advice: "Use your birth sign to lose those extra pounds, see page 31." [10] 10. No, I'm not kidding. See Sun, December 4, 2001, pp. 10-11. Not to be outdone, on December 20, 2001, the Vatican issued the following document:

        "Made public today was a communiqué regarding a meeting which took place at the convent of Coimbra, Portugal, on November 17, 2001, between Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and Sister Mary Lucy of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart. "Over the last few months," says the communiqué, "and especially following the sad event of the terrorist attack of September 11, articles have appeared in various newspapers regarding presumed new revelations by Sister Lucy, announcements of warning letters to the Pope and apocalyptic re-interpretations of the Message of Fatima.

        "Moreover, emphasis has been given to the suspicion that the Holy See has not published the integral text of the third part of the 'secret,' and some 'Fatimid' [sic] movements have repeated the accusation that the Holy Father has not yet consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

        "For this reason, in order to obtain clarification and information directly from the surviving visionary, it was considered necessary to organize a meeting with Sister Lucy. This took place in the presence of the prioress of the Carmelite convent of St. Teresa and of Fr. Luis Kondor S.V.D., vice-postulator of the causes of Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta; and with the permission of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and of the bishops of Leiria-Fatima and Coimbra.

        "The meeting, which lasted more than two hours, took place on the afternoon of Saturday, November 17. Sister Lucy, who will be 95 on March 22 next year, was in good health, lucid and vivacious. She first of all professed her love for and devotion to the Holy Father. She prays much for him and for the Church as a whole.

        "With reference to the third part of the secret of Fatima, she affirmed that she had attentively read and meditated upon the booklet published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and confirmed everything that was written there. To whoever imagines that some part of the secret has been hidden, she replied: 'Everything has been published; no secret remains.' To those who speak and write of new revelations she said: 'There is no truth in this. If I had received new revelations I would have told no one, but I would have communicated them directly to the Holy Father.'"

        Sister Lucy was asked: 'What do you say to the persistent affirmations of Fr. Gruner who is gathering signatures in order that the Pope may finally consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which has never been done?" She replied: "The Carmelite Community has rejected the forms for gathering the signatures. I have already said that the consecration that Our Lady desired was accomplished in 1984 and was accepted in Heaven."

        "Is it true," the communiqué concludes, "that Sister Lucy is extremely worried by recent events and does not sleep but prays night and day?" Sister Lucy replied: "It is not true. How could I pray during the day if I did not rest at night? How many things are attributed to me! How many things I am supposed to have done! Let them read my book, there are the advice and appeals that correspond to Our Lady's wishes. Prayer and penitence, accompanied by an immense faith in God, will save the world."

    Although the format of the press release is confusing------it seems to be a communiqué about a communiqué------there was no mistaking the point: the Vatican was debunking all speculation, informed and otherwise, about Fatima, the consecration of Russia, and the Third Secret, and insisting that the CDF's The Message of Fatima was the final word on Fatima. Their authority was Sister Lucy.

Lucy's Confirmation?

    And that must really settle things. What more could be said? Who could gainsay the only surviving visionary of Fatima about Fatima? The answer is: the only person who can gainsay Sister Lucy is Sister Lucy. She has lived almost ninety-five years and has said many things about Fatima that are a matter of record. Virtually all Lucy's statements contradict the Vatican's version of Fatima, particularly as it relates to the consecration of Russia, the Third Secret, and devotion to the Immaculate Heart. This means that Lucy's published statements on Fatima contradict the CDF's The Message of Fatima. Consequently, it is difficult to accept as credible the contention that Lucy attentively read and meditated on The Message of Fatima, and "confirmed everything that was written there."

    For this to be true, Lucy would have to agree with Cardinal Ratzinger, who in The Message of Fatima suggested that the apparitions of the Angel and the Blessed Virgin Mary were not objective appearances by Heaven's messengers. Instead, they were perhaps "the projections of the inner world of children." [11] 11. The Message of Fatima, p. 25. Lucy's visions were not real, their true origin is from "images Lucy may have seen in devotional books." [12] 12. lbid., p. 35. Cardinal Ratzinger has a reputation as a traditionalist, but his interpretation of Fatima is classic neo-modernism. That is, there is no external, objective truth, be it dogma or actual heavenly bodies: all religion is subjective, emanating from the natural human soul, and developing and changing over time to meet the changing religious needs of evolving mankind.

    In fact, Ratzinger's commentary on Fatima is pinched from the first neo-modernist arch-enemy of Fatima, Jesuit Father Eduoard Dhanis. During the pontificate of Pius XII, his lone voice of velveted malice insinuated doubt against a series of heavenly apparitions approved by the Church hierarchy and embraced by the faithful. How satisfied Father Dhanis would be to see his subtle character assassinations smoothly parroted by the second most powerful man in the Roman Catholic Church.

    Sister Lucy was aware of Dhanis' criticisms of Fatima. She invited the Jesuit to come interview her and examine the documents on Fatima. Dhanis declined; his mind was made up, even though it was obvious from his commentaries that he hadn't taken the time to study Fatima in any depth. Unfortunately, it appears Cardinal Ratzinger hasn't either. For how could he maintain that the visions of the Blessed Virgin were merely "interior visions" when hundreds of eyewitnesses saw the leaves and branches of the holm-oak tree She rested upon move and bend under Her? How could he explain the other objective phenomena accompanying Her visits and also viewed by eyewitnesses: the flashes of light, flower petals falling from the sky, or the little cloud that accompanied Our Lady of Fatima as She came and left the Cova da lria? Above all, how does Cardinal Ratzinger explain the cataclysmic Miracle of the Sun? Was it merely a subjective; interior vision that predicted and produced a prodigy viewed with awe and terror by seventy thousand people, and reported in secular newspapers around the world? Cardinal Ratzinger cannot explain this, because his understanding of Fatima, borrowed from Dhanis, is too superficial to "sustain the supernatural.

    Are we really to believe Msgr. Bertone then, when he asserts that Sister Lucy has attentively read and meditated on the CDF's The Message of Fatima, including the faithless commentary cited above, and "confirmed everything that was written there?"

13. The Message of Fatima, p. 7. Yet so embarrassed were the drafters that they could not bring themselves to cite the bogus letter as their source for their claim.

    In 1992, another bogus interview was publicized as proof that Sister Lucy believed the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart had been accomplished. This was a particularly stubborn interview that lingered, in various versions, for years. It contains more remarkable statements supposedly made by Sister Lucy, such as "the Virgin did not request the conversion of Russia to Catholicism." There was also an account [by Lucy?] of Mikhail Gorbachev kneeling on his knees before John Paul II to beg forgiveness for his sins. Speaking of John Paul, Lucy also allegedly declared that "He who is not with the Pope is not with God." Interestingly, another comment attributed to Sister Lucy in this interview was "the Third Secret is not meant to be revealed". [14] 14. There are numerous sources for the various false interviews/letters of Sister Lucy. A handy synopsis is found in Chronology of a Cover-Up, written by Father Paul Kramer and published by the Fatima Center. The infamous 1992 interview was done by Carlos Evaristo, who admitted doing some creative editing with Lucy's remarks. This "interview" was exposed at length in more than one CRC volume.

    Of course, in reality Lucy said none of these things. In fact, at various times she has said the exact opposite: that Russia's conversion would be to Catholicism, that the consecration has not been done as Heaven demands, and that the Third Secret should have been published in 1960. Although numerous attempts have been made during the present pontificate to pit Sister Lucy against the Fatima Message, none of the bogus interviews mentioned above were conducted by a Vatican prelate, much less published by the Vatican. The interview of Sister Lucy in the document of December 20, 2001, carries the unmistakable weight of authority of the Holy See itself. Yet it seems to contradict everything that may reasonably be believed about Fatima. What are we to believe?

Next week: part three - The Communiqué

    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 8-10, 2002
volume 13, no. 45
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