Third Secret Revealed
But Not All Of It!
By Father Paul Kramer, M.Div.
Editor’s Note: Father Paul Kramer, who is no stranger to readers of The Fatima Crusader, presents an extended commentary on what the Vatican released on June 26, 2000 as the Third Secret. Here, Father Kramer discusses the “official” flawed interpretation of the Secret, the attempt to place the fulfillment of Fatima prophesies in the past and the fact that the consecration of Russia has not been accomplished. He also discusses the obligation to believe the Message of Fatima, and quotes other approved Marian apparitions that predict a chastisement and crisis of faith. He closes by explaining that the Fatima prophesies will only be events that are “part of the past” when the Collegial Consecration of Russia is performed and Russia is converted.
At the end of the Mass, celebrated by the Holy Father, John Paul II, at Fatima on May 13, the Cardinal Secretary of State, His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Sodano declared: “On the solemn occasion of his visit to Fatima, His Holiness has directed me to make an announcement to you.” The Cardinal then, at the end of a brief discourse announced the imminent disclosure, of the third part of the secret revealed to the Fatima seers on July 13, 1917: “In order that the faithful may better receive the message of Our Lady of Fatima, the Pope has charged the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with making public the third part of the secret, after the preparation of an appropriate commentary.”
Nearly a month and a half passed before the press conference finally took place, in which Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone presented their forty two-page booklet entitled The Message of Fatima, in which it is stated by Cardinal Ratzinger himself that the text of the Third Secret is “published here in its entirety”. However, there is much evidence that only part of the Third Secret has been published.
The First and Second Parts of the Secret
The first thing to consider is the nature of the Secret as a whole: namely, it consists of the visible apparition of Our Lady, along with Her spoken words and visions of other things.
The first part of the Secret consists in the vision of Hell and concludes with Our Lady’s words:
“You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go.”
The second part of the Secret consists of Our Lady’s words:
“In order to save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If people do what I ask, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war (World War I) is going to end. But if people do not stop offending God, another even worse, will begin in the reign of Pius XI.
“When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world by means of war, hunger and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father. To prevent this I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays.
“If they attend to My requests, Russia will be converted and the world will have peace. If not, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, fomenting wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated.
“In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me: it will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
The Third Part of the Secret
The third part of the Secret begins with the words, “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc ...” The symbolic vision described by Sr. Lucy, in her notebook, pertains to the essence of the Secret. The third part of the Secret concludes with Our Lady’s words, “All of this — tell no one, except Francisco, you may tell him.” The text describing the vision of the Third Secret in Sr. Lucy’s words (in the notebook) is what was published on June 26. The text of the Third Secret, i.e., the words of Our Lady entrusted to the three children, has never been disclosed. Only the opening phrase and the final words of the Third Secret are divulged in Sr. Lucy’s fourth memoir, while the substance of the words of the Third Secret in the intervening text have been omitted and are indicated by the Latin abbreviation “etc.” — ‘et cetera’, which literally means “and the rest”, or “and so forth”. The words of Our Lady indicated by the “etc.” were written in Sr. Lucy’s letter to Bishop da Silva, on a single sheet of paper and sealed in an envelope.
The next thing to consider is the external evidence, which plainly demonstrates that there exist two manuscripts: One, which contains the notes describing the symbolic vision of the third part of the Secret; and, Two, the letter which contains the words of the third part of the secret which Our Lady spoke to Jacinta and Lucia. (Francisco could not hear the words, but could only see the vision, so Our Lady instructed that Francisco should be told the Secret.)
Father Schweigl, who had been entrusted by Pius XII with a secret mission, interrogated Sr. Lucy at the Carmel of Coimbra on September 2, 1952. Upon his return to the Russicum in Rome, Father Schweigl related: “I cannot reveal anything of what I learned at Fatima concerning the third secret, but I can say that it has two parts: one concerns the Pope. The other, logically — although I must say nothing — would have to be the continuation of the words: In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved.”1
A superb study demonstrating the existence of two manuscripts of the Third Secret appears elsewhere in this issue (Are There Two Original Manuscripts on the Third Secret?). Thus, the details of this need not be discussed here.2
May 13, 1981 is not the fulfillment of the prophetic vision of the 3rd Secret. On that day, the Pope was wounded, not killed. He was shot by a lone gunman, not soldiers. No others, bishops, priests, religious or laypeople were killed or even shot at that day.
A Flawed Interpretation
The Vatican’s interpretation of the secret seems an attempt to place the fulfillment of the Fatima prophecies in the past. Archbishop Bertone’s exposition states “The twentieth century was one of the most crucial in human history, with its tragic and cruel events culminating in the assassination attempt on the ‘sweet Christ on earth’.”
Cardinal Sodano’s distorted account of the vision of the Third Secret accommodates the problematic interpretation of the vision — that it refers to the 1981 assassination attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II. In his May 13 address, Cardinal Sodano stated: “‘the Bishop clothed in white’ who prays for all the faithful is the Pope. As he makes his way with great difficulty towards the Cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred (Bishops, priests, men and women Religious and many lay people), he too falls to the ground, apparently dead ...” By contrast, the actual text describes the killing of the Pope by soldiers: “the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him ...” The vision described in the text is a scene in which the Pope is shot dead by soldiers, and then bishops, priests and so forth are killed in the same way, one by one, after they have all gone through a half-ruined city. This clearly has nothing to do with Pope John Paul II not being shot dead by Ali Agca.
Archbishop Bertone seems to have attempted to make it appear that Sr Lucy has also interpreted the vision of the third secret as depicting the assassination attempt of 1981 by merely juxtaposing the two statements: 1)“As regards the passage about the Bishop dressed in white, that is, the Holy Father — as the children immediately realized during the “vision” — who is struck dead and falls to the ground ...”, and 2) Sister Lucia was in full agreement with the Pope’s claim that “it was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death.”3 What Sr. Lucy fully agrees with is only the belief that the Blessed Virgin guided the bullet’s path, but there is no logical connection between the two. Sr. Lucy stated quite plainly that she did not know the identity of the Pope depicted in the vision who is shot dead. Archbishop Bertone himself quotes Sr. Lucy on this point: “We did not know the name of the Pope; Our Lady did not tell us the name of the Pope; we did not know whether it was Benedict XV or Pius XII or Paul VI or John Paul II; but it was the Pope who was suffering and that made us suffer too”.
Fatima Prophecy Passed?
The Vatican is attempting to place the fulfillment of the Fatima prophecies in the past, as Cardinal Sodano stated on May 13, “the events to which the third part of the ‘secret’ of Fatima refers now seem part of the past...”. Archbishop Bertone even goes so far as to make the incredible claim that “The decision of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to make public the third part of the ‘secret’ of Fatima brings to an end a period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil ...” Yet it is abundantly clear from the text of the Fatima message and the symbolic vision of the Third Secret, that the chastisement of the world through war, hunger and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father can only be averted by the conversion and repentance of the human race and the solemn collegial act of consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is also obvious to anyone who is not completely out of touch with reality that the “period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil” is still very much ongoing.
In her letter to Pope John Paul II dated 12 May 1982 (one year after the assassination attempt on the life of the Holy Father), Sr. Lucy wrote:
“The third part of the secret refers to Our Lady’s words: ‘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.4
“The third part of the secret is a symbolic revelation, referring to this part of the Message, conditioned by whether we accept or not what the Message itself asks of us: If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, etc.’...
“Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfillment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc...”
Our Lady’s Words
Let us consider Sr. Lucy’s words very carefully (Our Lady’s words are in quotation marks).
1) The third part of the secret is a symbolic revelation ... — These words refer to the vision described in Sr. Lucy’s notes published by the Vatican on June 26.
2) ... referring to this part of the message ... that is referring to the phrase in the second part of the secret: “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.”
3) … conditioned by whether we accept or not what the Message itself asks of us ... there exists two possibilities, the first: “If people do what I ask, many souls will be saved and there will be peace … If they attend to My requests, Russia will be converted and the world will have peace.” The second: “If not, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, fomenting wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated.”
4) we did not heed this appeal of the Message ... if we have not yet seen the complete fulfillment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides.
The general request which Our Lady asks is that people must stop offending God. Sr. Lucy stated in her letter to Pope John Paul II that, “we did not heed this appeal of the Message”. The Rosary and the Brown Scapular, the devotion of the first Saturdays, making sacrifices and doing penance are some of the means that can help to bring this about. Our Lady’s particular request is the Consecration of Russia, which will bring about the conversion of Russia and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: “In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me: it will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” It is the Pope’s responsibility to carry out this act of consecration in the manner requested by Our Lady of Fatima, in order to bring about the conversion of Russia, world peace and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The consecration of Russia, as Sr. Lucy has stated (see below) has not yet been done either.
Consecration of Russia Not Accomplished
The Vatican’s document on the message of Fatima presents no stronger evidence in support of the position that the Consecration of Russia requested by Our Lady has already been done than a computer generated letter that purportedly bears Sr. Lucy’s signature. In the meeting of April 27, 2000 with Sr. Lucy, Archbishop Bertone failed to ask Sr. Lucy if the Consecration had been done correctly, and he failed to ask her if that was indeed her letter (yet he verified from her the authenticity of other documents that she had written in longhand). That dubious letter is the only piece of evidence that he brings forth to support the claim that the consecration has already been done.
I have written twelve articles specifically on the topic of the consecration of Russia requested by Our Lady of Fatima. In my most recent article published in the Spring 2000 issue (no. 63) of The Fatima Crusader, I briefly demonstrated again that the act of consecration requested by Our Lady of Fatima has not yet been accomplished:
“Here is what Sister Lucy actually stated after the March 25, 1984, consecration of the world. On July 20, 1987, Sister Lucy stated to Enrique Romero in a subsequently published interview that the consecration of Russia requested by Our Lady of Fatima is not yet done. In an interview which appeared in the September 1985 issue of Sol de Fatima, Sister Lucy was asked if the Pope fulfilled the request made by Our Lady at Tuy when he consecrated the world on March 25, 1984. Sister Lucy answered: ‘There was no participation of all the bishops, and there was no mention of Russia.’ The interviewer then asked, ‘So the consecration was not done as requested by Our Lady?’ Sister Lucy answered: ‘No. Many bishops attached no importance to this act.’ These statements correspond precisely to the conditions which Sister Lucy set forth in her official statement of March 19, 1983, to the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Sante Portalupi, in which she stated for the record, that: ‘the consecration of Russia has not been made as Our Lady has demanded.’ She then set forth the conditions necessary to fulfill in order to validly accomplish the consecration of Russia according to Our Lady’s request at Tuy: 1) Russia must be clearly indicated as the object of the consecration; and 2) each bishop must make a public and solemn ceremony in his own cathedral.
“The importance of the public and solemn participation of the world’s bishops can be grasped when one considers the proper meaning of the words ‘in union with all the bishops of the world’. What is meant by this phrase is manifested in a parallel passage of Our Lady’s words in Tuy set forth in writing by Sister Lucy:
“‘The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, and to order that in union with him and at the same time, all the bishops of the world make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart ...’5
“In view of all this clear and precise evidence, one is compelled to seriously question the authenticity of the alleged statements of Sr. Lucy that the consecration of Russia has been accomplished.”6
To date, no one has even attempted to refute the evidence and arguments I have presented. I also mentioned in that article that the computer generated article that Sr. Lucy had purportedly written, signed and sent to me was subsequently examined by a court-accredited forensic scientist, who declared in writing that the person who signed the letter was not the same individual who had signed the documents in Sr. Lucy’ memoirs. The letter referred to by Archbishop Bertone dates from the same time period and is of similar appearance to the forged letter that Sr. Lucy purportedly sent to me, and I repeat, that is the only piece of evidence that he produces in support of the position that the consecration of Russia has been accomplished according to Our Lady’s request.
Cardinal Ratzinger Interpretation Unsound
Cardinal Ratzinger’s attempt to interpret the secret seems to be as equally flawed as the interpretation of Archbishop Bertone. Ratzinger would place the fulfillment of the secret in the past. “What is the meaning,” Ratzinger asks, “of the secret of Fatima as a whole (in its three parts)? What does it say to us?” His answer: “First of all we must affirm with Cardinal Sodano: ... the events to which the third part of the secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past.” The Cardinal is emphatic and unequivocal on this point: “Insofar as individual events are described, they belong to the past.”
Cardinal Ratzinger begins his commentary with a statement filled with errors:
“A careful reading of the text of the so-called third ‘secret’ of Fatima, published here in its entirety long after the fact and by decision of the Holy Father, will probably prove disappointing or surprising after all the speculation it has stirred. No great mystery is revealed; nor is the future unveiled. We see the Church of the martyrs of the century which has just passed represented in a scene described in a language which is symbolic and not easy to decipher.”
First, the claim that “the text of the so-called third secret of Fatima,” has been “published here in its entirety”, is not accurate, as is not only evident from the above considerations, but also can be seen from Cardinal Ratzinger’s own previously published words, as I will demonstrate later. Second, “No great mystery is revealed;” if the Cardinal would recall his own words to Jesus magazine in November 1984, he would not be able to say this, nor could he say, (third) “nor is the future unveiled.” Fourth, “We see the Church of the martyrs of the century which has just passed represented in a scene described in a language which is symbolic and not easy to decipher.” The violent death of a pope carried out by military personnel has not taken place in this twentieth century, which will not have passed until the completion of December 31, 2000. So when Cardinal Ratzinger asks, “Is this (the martyrs of the century which has just passed) what the Mother of the Lord wished to communicate to Christianity and to humanity at a time of great difficulty and distress?”, the obvious answer is a resounding NO!
What Our Lady wished to communicate to Christianity and to humanity is the punishment of the world by war, hunger, the persecution of the Church and the persecution of the Holy Father, clearly depicted in the vision, the “dangers to the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore of the world” if the human race does not repent and stop offending God.
Similarly, if the pastors of the Church and the “supreme shepherd” continue to delay the execution of the heavenly command to solemnly consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, then they will undergo the very thing that is depicted in the vision of the third secret.
“They Shall Follow Him Into Misfortune”
It was Our Lord Jesus Christ Who revealed this to Sr. Lucy at Rianjo in August, 1931 when He declared: “Make it known to my ministers that given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My request, that they shall follow him into misfortune.” Our Lord was referring to the bloody execution of King Louis XVI by Masonic revolutionaries. Louis XVI delayed the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, until after he was deposed and incarcerated, and no longer in a position to be able to carry out the solemn act. He unsuccessfully attempted to comply with the Lord’s request, but he was unable to do so, and he therefore suffered the tragic consequences. It seems that the pastors of the Church will only come to believe and take seriously Our Lady’s request for the consecration of Russia only after the massacre of the Pope and his prelates will have taken place. It will be too late for those who will have perished by the violence of the godless, but it will not be too late for Heaven to intervene and save the world from annihilation through the intercession of the Immaculate Mother of God. Thus, Our Lord said to Sr. Lucy on June 13, 1929 at the Novitiate of the Dorothean Sisters in Tuy, Spain:
“Like the King of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecution against the Church; the Holy Father will have much to suffer.”
Hence, the half-destroyed city represents human civilization: half the human race will perish in the chastisement, as the centuries-old English tombstone prophecy predicts:
When pictures look alive, with movements free (television, movies), when ships like fishes swim beneath the sea (submarines), when men, outstripping birds can soar the sky (aircraft), then half the world deep drenched in blood shall die.
But it still will not be too late, because, as Our Lord said at Rianjo, “It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.”
After consigning the fulfillment of the Fatima prophecies to the past, on page 40 Cardinal Ratzinger indicates that the chastisement threatened in the Third Secret might still take place in the future!
“The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God ...” the cardinal explains, “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”. This seems to be more in keeping with the statements about the ‘third secret’ that the cardinal has made in the past. On November 11, 1984, the Italian journal Jesus published an interview in which Cardinal Ratzinger spoke about the content of the “third Secret”. Asked by the interviewer, Vittorio Messori, if Ratzinger had read the Secret, His Eminence answered: “Yes, I have read it.” While explaining the reason why he thought it had not been publicly revealed, Ratzinger mentioned the topics with which the Secret deals: “the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore the world. And then the importance of the ‘last things’... the things contained in this ‘third Secret’ correspond to what has been announced in Scripture, and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions ...”
Let us now examine what “has been said again and again in many Marian apparitions”:
In the ecclesiastically approved apparition in Akita, Japan, Our Lady revealed:
“If men do not repent and amend their lives, the Father is going to inflict a terrible chastisement on all of mankind. It will be a chastisement more serious than the Deluge ... fire will fall from the heavens and annihilate a great part of humanity ...”
La Salette Apparition
At La Salette on September 19, 1846, in another ecclesiastically approved apparition, Our Lady revealed to Melanie:
“God will strike in an unprecedented way. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust His wrath upon them, and no one will be able to escape so many afflictions together ... The Vicar of My Son will suffer a great deal, because for a while the Church will yield to a large persecution, a time of darkness, and the Church will witness a frightful crisis."
Our Lady of Good Success
In the ecclesiastically approved apparition of Our Lady of Good Success, which took place on February 2, 1634, the Mother of God revealed to Mother Marianna de Jesus Torres:
“... at the end of the 19th century and for a large part of the 20th, various heresies will flourish on this earth … The precious light of the Faith will go out in souls because of the almost total moral corruption; in those times there will be great physical and moral calamities, in private and in public.
“The little number of souls keeping the faith and practicing the virtues will undergo cruel and unspeakable suffering; through their long, drawn out martyrdom many of them will go to their death because of the violence of their sufferings, and those will count as martyrs who gave their lives for Church or for country.
“To escape from being enslaved by these heresies will call for great strength of will, constancy, courage and great trust in God, all of which are gifts from the merciful love of My Divine Son to those He will have chosen for the work of restoration . . . there will come moments when everything seems lost and paralyzed, and just then comes the happy beginning of the complete restoration.
“... having gained control of all the social classes, the sects will tend to penetrate with great skill into the heart of families to destroy even the children.
“... The innocence of childhood will almost disappear. Thus priestly vocations will be lost, it will be a real disaster. Priests will abandon their sacred duties and will depart from the path marked out for them by God. Then the Church will go through a dark night for lack of a Prelate and father to watch over it with love, gentleness, strength and prudence, and numbers of priests will lose the spirit of God. thus placing their souls in great danger.
“... And to scatter these black clouds blocking the brilliant dawning of the freedom of the Church, there will be a terrible war in which the blood of priests and of religious will flow ... that night will be so horrible that wickedness will seem triumphant. Then will come My time: in astounding fashion I shall destroy satan’s pride, casting him beneath My feet, chaining him up in the depths of hell, leaving Church and country freed at last from his cruel tyranny.”
Over 600,000 pilgrims joined the Holy Father in prayer to Our Lady of Fatima at the very site She appeared to the three shepherd children 83 years ago. With the continued support of our prayers and sacrifices, the Holy Father may well soon bring about the fulfillment of Our Lady's requests.
Sister Elena Aiello
Sister Elena Aiello (†1961) who is of great renown for her prophecies was told by Our Lady:
“My Heart is sad for so many sufferings in an impending world in ruin ... The wrath of God is near. Soon the world will be afflicted with great calamities, bloody revolutions, frightful hurricanes and the overflowing of streams and the seas ... the world will be overturned in a new and more terrible war. Arms most deadly will destroy peoples and nations. The dictators of the earth, specimens infernal, will demolish the churches and desecrate the Holy Eucharist, and will destroy things most dear. In this impious war, much will be destroyed of that which has been built by the hands of man.
“Clouds with lightning flashes of fire in the sky and a tempest of fire shall fall upon the world. This terrible scourge, never before seen in the history of humanity, will last seventy hours. Godless persons will be crushed and wiped out. Many will be lost because they remain in their obstinacy of sin. Then shall be seen the power of light over the power of darkness.
“... some nations will be purified while others will disappear entirely.
“Russia will march upon all the nations of Europe, particularly Italy, and will raise her flag over the dome of St. Peter’s. Italy will be severely tried by a great revolution and Rome will be purified for its many sins, especially those of impurity ...
“Another terrible war will come from the east to the west. Russia with her secret armies will battle America; will overrun Europe. The river Rhine will be overflowing with corpses and blood. Italy, also, will be harassed by a great revolution, and the Pope will suffer terribly.
“Great earthquakes will swallow up entire cities and countries, and will bring epidemics, famine and terrible destruction - especially where the sons of darkness are.”
It is clear from Cardinal Ratzinger’s statement, published on November 11, 1984, telling us that the Third Secret is to be found in other Marian apparitions, that there are indeed extraordinary events foretold in the Third Secret. What is absolutely clear is that the Third Secret deals with the great chastisement, the punishment of the world for the crimes and iniquities of sinful humanity.
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (†1837) wrote of the coming chastisement, saying: “God will ordain two punishments: One in the form of wars, revolutions and other evils, will originate on earth, the other will be sent from heaven. There shall come over all the earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights… the air will be laded with pestilence, which will claim principally but not exclusively the enemies of religion …”
Dangers to the Faith
It is equally clear from the approved Marian apparitions, and Cardinal Ratzinger’s reference to the “dangers to the faith”, that the secret deals with the crisis of Faith in the Church. Thus, Father Joaquin Alonso, who was the official archivist of Fatima for sixteen years explained that “It is therefore completely probable that the text (of the Third Secret) makes concrete references to the crisis of faith within the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves,” and the “internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence of the upper hierarchy.”7 Similarly, René Laurentin, a prominent Mariologist, was quoted on May 21 saying: “I believe that the third secret also spoke of crises and divisions within the Church since the Second Vatican Council.”8
One is now no longer left wondering why the Cardinal chose to downplay the Third Secret to such an extent as to minimize it to the point of practically explaining it away in his recent interview with La Repubblica: “There will be no new surprises. What is more, I believe that, at the end, the secret will be reduced to its exact dimension … because not that much can be expected from these private revelations.” It seems it was never his intention to publish the whole Secret, but to suppress the most important part of it. Our Lady’s words have been suppressed from the Vatican’s partial version of the Secret, and they even attempt to conceal the very existence of Her words, in order to accommodate the Secret to their own interpretation!
If there were nothing extraordinary revealed in the Third Secret, if it truly contained “no new surprises”, one wonders why it had been kept secret for more than fifty years, why Our Lady’s words are still kept secret. Bishop Rudolf Graber of Regensburg wrote, “With what anticipation did not the people await the year 1960, when the so-called ‘secret of Fatima’ was supposed to be revealed.” The reasons given by Cardinal Ratzinger in the 1984 interview for the non-disclosure of the Secret are no less obscure than his recent remarks about the contents of the Secret. When asked, “Why has it not yet been revealed?”, the Cardinal answered, “Because according to the judgment of the Popes, it adds nothing to what the Christian must know concerning what derives from Revelation …”
Now really, are we to believe that the Secret had not been disclosed for the mere reason that it says nothing different from what we already know? Nothing new? That’s why it had been kept under lock and key for more than fifty years, and the most revealing part of it remains hidden? If there really were nothing new and extraordinary in the Secret, then why does Cardinal Ratzinger say also (in the 1984 interview) that the Secret has not been revealed, “in order to prevent religious prophecy from being mistaken for a quest for sensationalism.” Now, would he have made a reference to sensationalism if there were nothing extraordinary in the Secret? Even in his interview with La Repubblica, Cardinal Ratzinger said, “I think it is important to address these things in their correct terms, not to think of sensationalism, or extraordinary things …”
If his Eminence would like to disclose the whole Secret in its “historical frame of reference,” then why all the obscurantism and double-talk that conceals the very existence of the words Our Lady confided to the children as the third part of the Secret? Is this situation not just one more symptom of the crisis in the Church, and, in the words of Fr. Joaquin Alonso, the “internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence of the upper hierarchy”? It seems that Our Lady of Fatima is the only one to have spoken intelligibly, so that it is Her words that make up a telling commentary on the faltering and fumbling pastors of the Roman Church, that is why they have chosen to suppress Her words in the Third Secret.
Cardinal Ratzinger further minimizes the importance of the Secret and the message of Fatima in general by treating it as a mere “private revelation”, no different from the multitude of visions, locutions and messages that various devout persons have received down through the ages. The general principle is correct according to Ratzinger’s formulation: “There are no dogmas of faith in matters of apparitions … Of course, one cannot believe in apparitions, I repeat, we are not talking about dogmas of faith.”
Firstly, we must never confuse the obligation to believe with the assent of faith, with the moral obligation to believe and obey the voice of God when He speaks to us. It is true that the message per se does not pertain to the deposit of Faith, but since it reveals things that are contained in sacred scripture, as Ratzinger himself pointed out, we cannot simply dismiss it either. The mere fact that the message does not pertain to the deposit of faith does not mean that we are therefore free to reject it, because even if we are not required to believe with an assent of faith, it can be shown that there does exist the moral obligation to accept and obey the message that God has transmitted to the entire human race through His Most Holy Mother at Fatima.
Bishop Rudolf Graber of Regensburg explained:
“Oh yes, it is quite true that the great revelation of God ended with Christ and the Apostles, but this does not mean that God may no longer speak anywhere to us, His own people. Every communication from God is something tremendous and something holy, whether it be directed to a prophet of the Old Testament or a peasant girl of our age, who can neither read nor write.
“Moreover, did not the apostle Peter declare in his sermon on the First Pentecost, that the Holy Spirit will be poured out over all flesh, that sons and daughters shall prophecy and that old men shall dream, and that even servants and handmaids shall receive of this spirit? And if these things were not to come to pass, what reliability would there be in the word of God?
“Private revelations are merely instances of fulfillment of this promise from the First Pentecost, and also of the promise of Christ that He would be with us all days, even unto the end of the world, fulfillment of the prophetic words: ‘shall make a covenant with them and shall not cease to do good things for them.’
“A theologian of repute has furthermore pointed out that a careful distinction should be made between personal revelations directed solely towards the recipients of the message and those where the message is declared to be for mankind at large. The former can with equanimity be ignored, but the latter must be taken seriously, and Fatima belongs to this category.”9
Father Gruner has also elaborated this point:
“Is it not true that ‘we must not despise prophecy, but test all things and hold fast to that which is good’? (1 Thess. V, 19-22) And has not the Fatima Message been tested and found to be good by five successive Pontiffs, including Pope John Paul II? … Since it has been found to be good, must we not all hold fast to it?”
In his Encyclical Signum Magnum Pope Paul VI clearly suggests that the “woman clothed with the sun” in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse is Our Lady of Fatima. The great miracle of the sun which took place on October 13, 1917, was a clearly apocalyptic portent, and therefore Father Joseph de Sainte Marie S.T.D. explained that “Fatima is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.” Our Holy Father had indicated the same in his beatification homily on May 13, 2000, in which he declared: “According to the divine plan, ‘a woman clothed with the sun’ (Apoc.12:1) came down from heaven to this earth to visit the privileged children of the Father.” The miracle was not merely a visual display, but the ankle deep mud and the thoroughly rain saturated clothing of the vast crowd present at Fatima that day were found to be dried after the brief but spectacular solar phenomenon. Such a tremendous discharge of energy is clearly miraculous, and as such is the unmistakable testimony of Almighty God that the message and what it commands originates from Himself. Thus, we have the moral certitude that God has spoken through His Mother at Fatima, and we are therefore morally obligated to believe and obey.
“You Have Damned Yourself”
When the Blessed Virgin spoke to St. Joan of Arc, the Saint was not obligated to believe with an assent of faith, but when she denied the divine origin of the heavenly messages in order to save herself from capital punishment, Our Lady appeared to her and said: “You have damned yourself” She then retracted her repudiation of the messages, and was then burned at the stake. At her trial, when questioned on obedience, St. Joan declared that if the Pope gave her a command, and her Voices gave her a contrary command, she would disregard the Pope and obey the heavenly Voices. (This can be found in the acts of the trial of St. Joan of Arc) This is the example of a canonized saint, whose canonization provides us with the infallible assurance that Heaven must be obeyed absolutely when it has been determined with moral certitude that Heaven has spoken.
So even if Fatima is not a dogma of Faith, we are still morally obligated to believe the message and obey what God commands through Our Lady’s requests; therefore, the Holy Father declared at Fatima on May 13, 1982, that the message of Fatima is addressed to the entire human race, and that “The message of Fatima imposes an obligation on the whole Church.”
Fatima Message Still Urgent
It was Pope Pius XII who stated that “the time for doubting Fatima is past”. Our Lady warns that in the coming chastisement, entire nations will be annihilated, “various nations will be annihilated” if Her requests are not carried out faithfully. Yet is not the message seriously distorted by attempts to place the secret in an historical framework that would explain, in the words of Cardinal Sodano, that “the events to which the third part of the Secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past”. The very text and context of the first two parts of the Secret manifest that what is foretold in the “secret" has yet to be fulfilled:
“If they attend to My requests, Russia will be converted and the world will have peace. If not, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, fomenting wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated. In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate RUSSIA to Me: it will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
The mere fact that Russia is at least, perhaps, no more corrupt and morally bankrupt than the decadent nations of the west is by no means evidence of its conversion. We will be in a position to say that the events of the Third Secret refer to the past only when Our Lady’s requests will have been fulfilled and Russia will have been solemnly consecrated by the Pope and the bishops, and then the conversion of Russia will take place — and then the world will desist from its denial of God and its rebellion against God — the nations of the world will embrace the Catholic Faith and will be subject to the Divine Law in public and private. When this will have taken place, then there will be peace on earth and the “tranquility of order” (St. Augustine) that can only exist when the nations of the world are subject “under the mighty hand of God” (1 Pet. 5:6) and are united by the bonds of communion: the unity of Faith, unity of worship and unity of ecclesiastical governance — and then there will be in the world “one flock and one shepherd” (unus grex, unus pastor Jn. 10:16). When this will have taken place, then, and not before, will take place the fulfillment of Our Lady’s words: “In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph”, and God’s will expressed in the fourth Gospel will then be fulfilled, that all may be one: “ut omnes unum sint”. (Jn. 17:21)
The Holy Father has ordered the publication of the Third Secret, as Cardinal Sodano has stated in the Pope’s name, “In order that the faithful may better receive the message of Our Lady of Fatima”. It is therefore high time for the Holy Father’s subordinates to publish the rest of the Secret, the parSt of the Secret that contains Our Lady’s words — to immediately cease and desist from the obfuscation, and simply carry out the Pope’s order with prompt and humble obedience, and publish the entire Secret.
Father René Laurentin, considers the disclosure of the Third Secret indispensable for the message of Fatima to be better studied and understood.10 “In order that the faithful may better receive the message of Our Lady of Fatima”, it is high time that the whole Secret be revealed so that the serious study and discussion of the message of Fatima by Catholic theologians and scholars throughout the world can finally take place.
(1) Frère Michel de la Sante Trinité The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol III (Immaculate Heart Publications, Ft. Erie, 1990) p. 710.
(2) Andrew M. Cesanek, “Are There Two Original Manuscripts on the Third Secret?”, Fatima Crusader, Summer 2000 (this issue), p. 3.
(3) Pope John Paul II, Meditation from the Policlinico Gemelli to the Italian Bishops, 13 May 1994
(5) cf. Frère Michel de la Sante Trinité The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol II, (Immaculate Heart Publications, Ft. Erie, 1989) p. 555.
(6) Father Paul Kramer, “Update on the Plot to Silence Our Lady” Fatima Crusader, Feb-Apr., 1986 (#19).
(7) Frère Michel de la Sante Trinité The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol II, p. 704
(8) “Third Secret Raises More Questions”, New York Times, May 21, 2000.
(9) Bishop Rudolph Graber, “Why this Pall of Silence Regarding Fatima?”, Fatima Crusader, Feb-Apr., 1986 (#19).
(10) cf. Público, May 14, 2000, p. 5.