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26 June 2000:

The 3rd Secret Release
Raises More Questions

Readers of The Fatima Crusader have been waiting to hear Father Gruner’s assessment of the text of the Third Secret of Fatima published by the Vatican on June 26, 2000. The publication of this text comes after more than 20 years of petitions by the faithful for its disclosure.
This development is a wonderful vindication of the God-given right of the faithful, including the supporters of Father Gruner’s apostolate, to petition the Supreme Pontiff in matters pertaining to the good of the Church — despite the claims of some over the years that even to request disclosure of the Secret was to be “disloyal to the Pope.” The Holy Father himself has put that accusation to rest once and for all. In response to thousands of phone calls, E-mail and regular letters, Mary Sedore poses the most commonly asked questions to Father Gruner. The interviewer’s questions are in italics and Father Gruner’s responses are in regular type.

(Mary) Father Gruner, now that the text of the Third Secret has been published, what do you think of it?

(Father Gruner) Bear in mind, first of all, that Cardinal Ratzinger has made it clear that the Church has not imposed any particular interpretation on the text, but leaves the faithful free to reach their own understanding of it. On careful consideration, the text of the vision, which seems disappointing at first glance, is actually quite astonishing. The sword of an avenging angel issues flames which threaten to devour the world, but are repelled by the radiance of Our Lady. But after the Angel proclaims loudly “Penance, Penance, Penance” we see a scene in which the Pope himself, and members of the hierarchy at all levels, and laity as well, are systematically gunned down by soldiers near the locale of a half-ruined city. This vision is quite consistent with the vision of Pope St. Pius X, who foresaw one of his successors stepping through a sea of bodies, escaping from Rome, and then being killed himself. It is also consistent with the vision of St. John Bosco concerning the Pope who wounded, falls once, recovers, and then falls again, this time dead, after which his successor guides the Church to safety between the two pillars of the Holy Eucharist and the Immaculate Heart. What we see here, then, are the members of the Church being routed temporarily by the forces of evil in the world, to the point where the Pope himself is killed. The only way out of this horrible scene is the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is the fulfillment of the Fatima message, not to mention the vision of St. John Bosco.

Father Gruner, it has been said by the Associated Press that you question the authenticity of the text. Is that so?

No, it is not so. The AP story attempts to characterize what I said to their reporter, but it does not actually quote me. I do not question that the text of the vision of Sister Lucy published by the Vatican on June 26 is an authentic text written by Sister Lucy which pertains to the third part of the Secret of Fatima. On the contrary, the publication of this text is a great event for the Church, and we owe the Holy Father a great debt of gratitude. However, I have many questions — as do Catholics around the world — which go beyond this text.

What are these questions?

To develop fully all of the questions which have arisen since June 26 would require a book. I will present some of the more prominent ones.

What About the “Etc?”

First of all, I ask, where is the text that follows the “etc.”?

The “etc.”?

Yes. We know that in Sister Lucia’s fourth memoir, written in December, 1941, she added the words “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” to the text of the first two parts of the Secret of Fatima, which is altogether composed of the three parts. These additional words immediately follow “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, which will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” Then we have: “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.”, followed immediately by: “Tell this to no one. Yes, you may tell it to Francisco.” Thus it is clear that all of the words I have just quoted from the fourth memoir were spoken by Our Lady of Fatima, apart from the “etc.” which undeniably indicates more words to come. Further, the Vatican booklet on the Third Secret — prepared by Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Bertone and published on June 26 — concedes that Sister Lucy’s fourth memoir included the words “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” as part of the Message of Fatima. Now, although the “etc.” obviously means that Our Lady had more to say, the text of the Third Secret published by the Vatican on June 26, 2000 contains only the vision and no further words of Our Lady. So, I ask myself, where is the text that follows the “etc.”? It seems difficult to believe that Our Lady’s spoken message will be allowed to conclude with Sister Lucia’s “etc.”

What do you believe the “etc.” represented?

The presence of the words “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” led virtually every reputable Fatima scholar, and even secular journalists like Vittorio Messori, to conclude that the reference to “the dogma of the Faith in Portugal” was the first sentence of the Third Secret, and that the Third Secret dealt with a compromise of the Catholic faith in countries other than Portugal. Otherwise, the reference to “the dogma of the Faith in Portugal” would make no sense, because it is out of context and out of sequence with the previous text regarding the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the conversion of Russia. The text of the vision published on June 26 — I will call it the Third Secret vision — contains no words of Our Lady, and leaves Our Lady in mid-sentence, as it were. So, we may ask ourselves where the additional words of Our Lady have gone to. There is certainly a great deal of evidence that the words represented by the “etc.” exist somewhere.

What evidence is that?

First of all, we know that in 1952 Father Schweigl was sent by Pius XII to interview Sister Lucy about the Secret. After this interview, Father Schweigl told Frere Michel, in a letter to him, that the Secret “has two parts: one concerns the Pope. The other, logically — although I must say nothing — would have to be the continuation of those words ‘In Fatima the dogma of the faith will always be preserved.’” That is just one of many pieces of evidence.

The 1960 press release announcing that the Third Secret would not be revealed in that year states that “it is most likely that the letter will never be opened, in which Sister Lucy wrote down the words that Our Lady confided as a secret to the three little shepherds.” The same press release states that one of the reasons given by the unnamed “very reliable Vatican circles” for suppressing the Secret is that “the Church ... does not pledge herself to guarantee the veracity of the words which the three little shepherds claim to have heard from Our Lady.” The Vatican never contradicted this press release, which was circulated to the entire world. Now, the text of the Third Secret vision published on June 26, as I have noted, does not contain any words spoken by Our Lady, but only the vision. Where are these “words which Our Lady confided as a secret,” referred to in the 1960 press release?

Are you suggesting that there is another document containing the rest of the Third Secret, the part spoken by Our Lady after the reference to Portugal?

The research and the article by Andrew Cesanek Are There Two Original Manuscripts on The Third Secret? is quite convincing to demonstrate that there is — or at least there was — another document containing Our Lady’s words of explanation of this vision. I comment on his article at greater length in The Other Manuscript: What to Do About It! However, I want to make something perfectly clear here and now. I absolutely do not suggest that the Holy Father would deliberately and knowingly suppress some portion of the Third Secret of his own free will. There would have to be some other explanation. But the fact remains that Sister Lucy wrote “etc.” at the end of a phrase uttered by Our Lady of Fatima regarding preservation of Catholic dogma in Portugal, yet the contents of what is represented by the “etc.” has never been provided. Where are these additional words? Do they exist? Did Sister Lucy write “etc.” for no reason? Was Father Schweigl, the emissary of Pius XII, mistaken? Was the press release in 1960 mistaken? Was it a slip of Sister Lucy’s pen? Or was she not paying attention to what Our Lady said, so that the words indicated by “etc.” are lost to us forever? I would like to focus on one more important discrepancy.

Tell us what it is.

First, in a 1984 interview in the Italian periodical Jesus, Cardinal Ratzinger said that the Secret refers to “dangers to the Faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore to the life of the world ... And then, the importance of the novissimi.” The novissimi are the events of the End Times. The Cardinal went on to say, in the same interview, that the Secret “corresponds to what is announced in Sacred Scripture ...” The Holy Father himself, in his sermon on Fatima, said that the Message of Fatima is the “fulfillment of the divine plan” and the text of the sermon cites the Book of the Apocalypse, Chapter 12, verses 1, 3 and 4. These verses refer to “a woman clothed in the sun with the moon under her feet”, in verse 1, doing battle, in verse 4, with the dragon, the devil, who sweeps one third of the stars from heaven with its tail. In fact, the Pope’s sermon at Fatima specifically refers to the need for the faithful to avoid the tail of the dragon mentioned in verse 4. Now, it is a common opinion in the Catholic Bible commentaries that the stars swept from heaven in verse 4 represent the Catholic clergy, who have fallen from the grace of God into a state of apostasy. But the text of the Third Secret vision published on June 26 contains nothing which appears to refer to dangers to the Faith — that is, heresy and opinions and practices that foster heresy — mentioned by Cardinal Ratzinger in 1984, nor any reference which relates to Chapter 12, verses 1, 3 and 4 in the Book of the Apocalypse. Neither is there any mention of these things in the first two parts of the Secret, which speak of persecution of the faithful, but not dangers to the Faith itself in terms of heresy or apostasy. But the phrase “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.”, at the end of the first two parts of the Secret as recorded in Sister Lucy’s fourth memoir, suggests dangers to the faith elsewhere, and this is perfectly consistent with Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1984 remarks about the Secret mentioning dangers to the Faith and the Pope’s sermon at Fatima clearly alluding to the tail of the dragon in the Book of the Apocalypse.

Well, in view of all this, how does one escape the implication that there is a portion of the Third Secret, what you call the Third Secret locution — the words of Our Lady — which accompanies and perhaps explains the Third Secret vision, just as Our Lady explained the vision of hell in the first part of the Secret?

It is not possible to draw some specific conclusions about these discrepancies at this time unless they are addressed by the Vatican. But the questions are there, and they cannot simply be ignored, especially after so many years of secrecy on this matter. We will have to wait for the answers. I do not see how anyone can explain the “etc.” Perhaps there could be a reasonable explanation for the apparently missing words of Our Lady suggested by Sister Lucy’s “etc”. But we need to hear that explanation. There are too many loose ends for a matter of such gravity for the Church and the world. As Msgr. Balducci, who is a well-known theologian and demonologist in Rome, said to the press in Rome “there are too many discrepancies.” To quote him further: “And I am asking myself, where are the other parts of the prophecy regarding the doctrinal crisis of the Church and the Third World War?” Now, a Third World War is certainly suggested by the text of the vision — the half-ruined city, the many bodies, the murder of the Pope by soldiers. But, where are the words of Our Lady to explain this, as She explained the vision of Hell?

Then what do you say about Cardinal Ratzinger’s proposed interpretation, in the commentary by His Eminence in the booklet published June 26 — namely, that the vision relates to past events: the persecution of the Church in the 20th Century, culminating in the attempt on the life of the Pope in 1981?

Cardinal Ratzinger has made it clear that the Church does not impose this interpretation, but merely offers it as a comment. This is a prudent position to take, because it is clear that the text of the Third Secret vision has nothing to do with the assassination attempt in 1981, and the Church should not commit herself to an interpretation which, as Msgr. Balducci has already noted, is manifestly not supported by the text. Besides, the Vatican’s own documentation precludes the interpretation that the Third Secret vision relates to past events.

Please explain.

The booklet on the Third Secret published on June 26 contains a dramatically important new item, besides the text of the vision itself: a quotation from a letter by Sister Lucy to the Pope on May 12, 1982, one day short of the anniversary of the assassination attempt. The quoted portion of the letter, referring to the meaning of the Third Secret, states that: “if we have not yet seen the complete fulfillment of the final part of the prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge ... It is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment.” So, one year after the assassination attempt, Sister Lucy made it clear that the prophecy of the Secret has not yet been completely fulfilled, that the world is moving in great strides towards an even greater punishment than those of the 20th Century, because of sin. And she herself drew no connection in her letter between the assassination attempt a year earlier and the vision of the Pope being shot dead by a group of soldiers. In view of this, how is it possible to sustain the interpretation that the Secret relates to past events, which culminated in 1981?

Even the Pope, on May 13, 1982, said “the message of Fatima is more relevant and more urgent today than 65 years ago.”

If, as Msgr. Bertone and Cardinal Ratzinger are telling us, the events predicted in the Third Secret were fulfilled on May 13, 1981, then why does the Pope tell us the message is more relevant and more urgent today than ever, one year later?

I do not see how this prophetic vision can be considered fulfilled in 1981. Furthermore, the interpretation proposed by Cardinal Ratzinger would mean, of necessity, that the Message of Fatima, including its final part, has all come to pass. And this would mean that we have seen the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the conversion of Russia. In view of the current state of Russia and the world at large, the suggestion that the Message of Fatima is now fulfilled does not merit serious discussion. And this suggestion is also very dangerous.

Why do you say that?

Because it invites us to ignore the reality that, as Sister Lucy said in her own letter to the Pope in 1982, the world is moving in great strides toward an even greater punishment than that what we have seen in the 20th Century. The interpretation proposed by the Cardinal says that the threat of global punishment, the annihilation of nations, in the Message of Fatima is past. He says clearly: “Insofar as individual events are described, they belong to the past.” He asserts that “what remains” of the Message of Fatima is “the exhortation to prayer ... And, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion” for each individual man or woman. But no threat of world chastisement. No calamity for mankind. The Cardinal even reduces the image of flames from the sword of the avenging Angel in the vision to man’s use of nuclear weapons, which man can always avoid. This seems to me, with all due respect, an unacceptable reductionism.

What do you mean by that?

To say that Our Lady of Fatima came to earth merely to tell us to be holy — which is certainly crucial — reduces the Message of Fatima to nothing more than a call for personal holiness, devoid of the specific prophetic aspects and warnings which Heaven wanted us to know in this age of the Church. In fact, in his commentary the Cardinal states that “prophecy in the biblical sense does not mean to predict the future but to explain the will of God ...” But I must say that this comment misses the mark. As the First Vatican Council solemnly declared, the surest signs of Divine revelation are the external proofs of the revelation, which are Divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies. The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima fulfilled these criteria, as evidenced by the Miracle of the Sun to confirm the truth of the apparitions as well as the accurate predictions of future events. This is precisely why the Pope has, again and again, affirmed the authenticity and binding nature of the Fatima message, even declaring at Fatima on May 13 that the Message of Fatima is “the fulfillment of the divine plan” as seen in Apocalypse 12, verse 1. It is very disappointing to see the Cardinal dismiss the prophet’s prediction of the future as something which merely satisfies the “curiosity of the mind.” No, it is God’s guarantee that the prophet’s revelation is of Divine origin and that its warnings must be heeded because it comes from God - not to add to the Deposit of the Faith but it seems in the case of Fatima to fulfill the prophecy made in Sacred Scripture. Furthermore, the Fatima prophecies are given to provide guidance to the members of the Church in the context of their circumstances in a particular time in Church history. For example, Pius IX was very grateful for the Secret of LaSalette, which prevented him from making many errors in the administration of the Church in his time.

What about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the conversion of Russia? Where does this fit into Cardinal Ratzinger’s interpretation of the Secret?

I am afraid that Cardinal Ratzinger’s reading of the Message of Fatima completely dispenses with both the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the conversion of Russia as they have always been understood by Catholics. First, his treatment of the Immaculate Heart in the June 26 Vatican commentary suggests that this mean only that “the Heart, open to God” — meaning the heart of each us — “is stronger than guns and weapons of any kind.” Then he goes on to say that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart is “the fiat of Mary ... Because it brought the Savior into the world.” So, according to this interpretation, the Message of Fatima adds nothing to the original fiat of Mary in consenting to become the Mother of God. The fiat of Mary is the same thing as the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart described by Our Lady of Fatima. But it is not the same thing at all! The Message of Fatima says that “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, which will be converted.” The Triumph relates specifically to the conversion of Russia and is to be identified with the conversion of that nation to the Catholic Faith, as the sign of the power of God’s grace in this age of humanity, mediated through the Blessed Mother. But the conversion of Russia is not even mentioned in the Cardinal’s commentary, or anywhere else in the Vatican booklet. It seems as though the conversion of Russia has been written out of the Message of Fatima. It is as if Our Lady never came to earth to speak of the subject. This is very disappointing. Also disappointing is the Cardinal’s treatment of the Immaculate Heart itself.

Please explain.

In his commentary, the Cardinal equates in a very ambiguous manner the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the “clean of heart” on this earth, who shall see God in heaven, and who are referred to in the Beatitudes. (Matt. 5:8) The Cardinal says “The ‘immaculate heart’ is a heart” — he means any heart — “which, with God’s grace, comes to perfect interior unity and therefore ‘sees God.’.” And he says that “devotion” to the Immaculate Heart — he himself puts the word devotion in quotation marks — means becoming clean of heart by imitating Mary’s example. Now, there is only one Immaculate Heart, and that Heart is not the same as the heart of someone who has become clean of heart through repentance. The Immaculate Heart is the only heart which (besides the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of course) was conceived without Original Sin, and the Virgin Mary is the only person in human history, besides Our Lord Himself, who never committed a sin of any kind, and who was not even subject to concupiscence or the tendency to sin. Therefore, devotion to the Immaculate Heart is more than simply imitating Mary, as commendable and necessary as that is. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart means precisely devotion to the unique Heart of Mary as Mother and Mediatrix of graces — the graces which flow to us through that unique Heart, unlike the heart of any of us, even the holiest of saints. So, even the unique status of Mary Immaculate is downplayed in this commentary on Fatima. All in all, the commentary dissolves Fatima into nothing more than generic Catholic piety and platitudes, involving events that are over and done with: the avenging angel in Sister Lucy’s vision is just a nuclear bomb, which we can always avoid using against ourselves; the murder of the Pope by soldiers is only an attempted assassination in 1981; the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart is simply Mary agreeing to become the Mother of God, or the love of each of us triumphing over guns and bombs; and all of us can become “immaculate” through grace in this life. And as for the conversion of Russia, it is not even mentioned.

I noticed that Cardinal Ratzinger cited E. Dhanis, S.J. as an authority on Fatima. Isn’t that the same E. Dhanis who claimed that the Message of Fatima is largely a fabrication of the seers, who were really drawing upon their own experiences and adding them to the vision?

Yes, Dhanis made a veritable career out of casting doubt on the Message of Fatima — in a very nice way, you understand. To be perfectly clear, Dhanis’ very polite manner disguises the poison of his false doctrine which insidiously attacks Fatima and Our Lady’s Secret. He claimed that Sister Lucy, the poor, unlearned peasant girl, interpolated her own experiences into the Secret, long after the Russian Revolution took place. Dhanis dares to suggest that Our Lady had never said anything about Russia to the seers. Cardinal Ratzinger suggests the same debunking approach when he says in his commentary that the images in the Third Secret vision are things “which Lucy may have seen in devotional books.” If that is so, then perhaps the whole Message of Fatima, including the vision of hell, is taken from books and other things which the seers experienced. In which case, how do we know that any part of the Message of Fatima is from Heaven, and not the imagination of the seers? You see here why the Los Angeles Times says that Cardinal Ratzinger has “gently debunked the cult of Fatima.”

It must be pointed out that E. Dhanis was completely answered by various Fatima theologians and historians. Frere Michel, in about 150 pages of his first volume of The Whole Truth About Fatima, completely discredits Dhanis as a credible critic. He points out not only his theological errors, his factual errors but also Frere Michel demonstrates Dhanis’ criticism is, in the end, motivated by bad will. I urge you to read Frere Michel on Dhanis.

How Cardinal Ratzinger can consider Dhanis as credible or reliable as a guide to Fatima only demonstrates the bias of the Ratzinger commentary.

It seems the Message of Fatima is being analyzed and interpreted by people who really don’t think very much of it. Is it possible that Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Bertone don’t even believe the literal truth of what is related by Sister Lucy in the first and second parts of the Secret? By extension, whatever the complete contents of the Third Secret are, they don’t seem to believe it comes from God - so they can not only ignore it, but even attack it, as long as they don’t tell a direct lie.

Amazingly enough, we have Cardinal Ratzinger preparing the commentary on the Third Secret — after contradicting the Pope by telling the public that no one has to believe and obey Our Lady of Fatima — and then we have the Cardinal citing Dhanis, a Fatima-debunker, as his only theological authority, ignoring every other Fatima scholar and theologian! With interpreters like these, Our Lady of Fatima and Her Message are not being treated fairly.

Very possibly, Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Bertone do not believe that the precise and complete contents of the first, second, and third parts of the Secret come from God. Nevertheless, they seem to think that the Fatima prophecies and visions are only useful to nourish the piety of the credulous and that no serious, intelligent, cultured person could possibly believe the words of Our Lady as reported by Sister Lucy.

Cardinal Ratzinger suggested quite publicly, on June 26, that maybe Sister Lucy got the Secret out of some pious literature and then, in some strange psychological process, came to believe that this came directly from Our Lady.

It appears that this is how they may be treating this matter.

By the way, it was the view of Dhanis that in present world circumstances the consecration of Russia was “a practical impossibility” because of the political difficulties and outrage it would cause. This seems to be the very same advice the Pope has been receiving over the years. Now that we see that Cardinal Ratzinger apparently relies on Dhanis as his authority on Fatima, one can perhaps understand where — besides the Vatican Secretary of State — the advice not to mention Russia in the Consecration is coming from.

Speaking of the Consecration of Russia, I noticed something quite odd about the Ratzinger/Bertone commentary. On page 8, Msgr. Bertone says that Sister Lucy confirmed that the Consecration was done in 1984, but the only evidence he cites is a letter by Sister Lucy written to an unknown person on November 8, 1989. Yet Bertone went to Fatima to speak with Sister Lucy in April 2000, and the Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Sodano were in Fatima on May 13, 2000. Do you see where I am going with this?

Of course. Why didn’t Msgr. Bertone or Cardinal Ratzinger or Cardinal Sodano ask Sister Lucy if the Consecration was done in 1984? Why didn’t they bring her to the microphone to tell the world that the Consecration has been accomplished and that no one should worry? Why didn’t Sister Lucy tell the Pope, so that the Pope could tell us? Why, instead, does Bertone cite only a computer generated letter from 10 years ago, mailed to a person he doesn’t even identify?

The answer seems clear: None of them asked Sister Lucy about the Consecration because they were afraid of the answer she might give, or else they did ask her and got a answer they did not wish to hear.

We have a copy of the November 8, 1989 letter referred to by Msgr. Bertone, which was privately circulated at the time and a copy was sent to The Fatima Crusader. As I recall, the letter was computer-printed and bears what purports to be Sister Lucy’s signature. It is addressed to a Mr. Noelker, whose name was not mentioned by Msgr. Bertone. But Sister Lucy writes all her letters, and even her extensive memoirs, by hand. Since when does a cloistered nun start using a computer at the age of 82? This is very significant: even though Msgr. Bertone went to Fatima to have Lucy authenticate the text of the vision, he did not ask her to authenticate the 1989 letter, despite the fact that, at the time (i.e. 1989-90), its authenticity had been publicly challenged vigorously and been proven to my satisfaction to be false, 10 years ago. The Vatican commentary now relies on that very same 10 year-old letter as the only evidence it offers today that Sister Lucy says the Consecration was done. Yet she was available to all of them at Fatima less than two months ago, and nobody asked her to testify that the Consecration has been done.

So, the Vatican commentary, by avoiding any current verification of whether Sister Lucy thinks the Consecration has been done, has really conceded that it hasn’t been done by failing, as it were, to call its most important witness to the stand?

Yes, that’s right. The inference, as the lawyers say, is that the testimony would have hurt their case, so that is why they did not call her as a witness, even though she was right there and available to testify. On this point, I note another very significant concession in the Vatican commentary.

What is it?

The Vatican has included in the printed text of the 1984 Consecration the words which the Pope added spontaneously as he read the act of Consecration: “Enlighten especially the peoples whose consecration and entrustment by us you are awaiting.” These words were added by the Pope after he had already read the Consecration of the world. Hours later, in St. Peter’s, His Holiness repeated the same message, showing that he knew that Our Lady is still awaiting the Consecration. Father Fox and Monsignor Guerra and others have for years deleted the added words when they printed the 1984 act of Consecration, but the Vatican now concedes that the Pope said them, and so the position of our apostolate has at long last been vindicated. The Consecration is still being awaited by Our Lady. And yet the Pope is apparently still being given the advice of Dhanis — that it is “impossible” to mention Russia by name under present circumstances. Furthermore, the commentary on June 26 wants to give the impression that the Consecration is done. Msgr. Bertone’s part of the commentary states flatly: “any further discussion or request [of the Consecration] is without basis.” I must respectfully disagree. This seems all to be part of the general aim of the Vatican commentary to close the book on Fatima, and silence anyone who says that the prophetic warnings of Fatima are not a dead letter. This approach is summed up in the amazing comment by Msgr. Bertone about the significance of the disclosure of Sister Lucy’s vision.

To which comment are you referring?

On page 9 of the Vatican booklet, just after the quote from Sister Lucy’s letter to the Pope in 1982, the Monsignor states that “the decision of His Holiness 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 ...” Brings to an end? The world is growing more evil by the hour. The U.S. Supreme Court has just upheld partial birth abortion. In Russia, there are two abortions for every live birth and the population is dropping at the rate of 2500 per day. There are wars raging all over the planet, and Catholics are being slaughtered and oppressed in many nations, including Communist China, where the Catholic Church is outlawed. And in Russia itself, the Church is forbidden to proselytize and cannot even maintain a parish without government permission. Yet we are asked to believe that publication of this text brings to an end the epoch of sin and the lust for power. And, you know, on the very next day after the vision of Sister Lucy was revealed, this whole theme of the peaceful and hopeful new world of the Third Millennium was taken up again by the Vatican.

You are referring to the Gorbachev news conference at the Vatican on June 27th?

Yes, only one day after we are basically told, by Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone, that the account of the prophecies of Fatima is a closed book and that it is time to move on, the Vatican invites Mikhail Gorbachev as an honored guest at a press conference, with Cardinal Sodano — who publicly praised the writings of Hans Kung. The press conference was called to announce publication of the memoirs of the late Cardinal Casaroli. Casaroli, as Vatican Secretary of State, defended and carried out the ongoing post-Vatican II policy of Ostpolitik, which is the policy of refusing to condemn or confront communist regimes which oppress Catholics, in the hope of gaining concessions. The timing of this press conference was no coincidence. The message sent was unmistakable: The so-called “fall of communism” means that Fatima is no longer relevant to world politics, and the conversion of Russia is no longer to be mentioned. Gorbachev represents the brand new world of the Third Millennium. But this man, Gorbachev, and his Gorbachev Foundation are promoting drastic reduction of the world’s population through universal abortion and contraception. This unrepentant Marxist-Leninist man, who is the very symbol of everything Our Lady came to combat at Fatima, is given a place of honor by the Vatican Secretary of State — the same Secretary of State who praised the writings of Hans Kung — only one day after the Message of Fatima is “gently debunked,” as the Los Angeles Times put it. Did you know that absolutely no questions were allowed at this press conference? The Vatican Secretary of State clearly did not want to risk embarrassing Mr. Gorbachev, promoter of abortion around the world. It would spoil the illusion that we have entered the post-Fatima era of peace and brotherhood if some Catholic journalist were to stand up and make note of the fact that Gorbachev personifies the very culture of death the Pope has spent the past 20 years condemning. This is truly an outrage.

You are aware that at the June 26 press conference following “publication of the Secret”, Cardinal Ratzinger mentioned your name. Can you comment?

Yes, I believe he acknowledged my good intentions but criticized my “methods” and said I should “conform” myself “to the Magisterium.” The Magisterium is the teaching office of the Church, and I have certainly not failed to conform myself to what the Catholic Church teaches. This whole new notion that the “Magisterium” now includes, not just the teaching of the Church, but the policies and practical decisions of Vatican congregations and bureaucrats, is one of the great problems of the post-conciliar Church. We are supposed to believe that if the Pope is told not to mention Russia in the Consecration, then the “Magisterium” has spoken, and no one may suggest that the advice given to the Pope is wrong. But every Catholic has the right to petition the Pope in such matters of practical judgment. It has nothing to do with conforming oneself to the Magisterium.

Father Gruner, now that the vision in the 3rd Secret has been published, where do you and your apostolate go from here?

Well, clearly we have a lot of work left to do. The Consecration of Russia has yet to be done, and the questions about the text just published need to be answered. It is clearer now than ever before that the Pope is struggling against his own bureaucracy, which is blatantly attempting to bury Fatima and celebrate people like Gorbachev, just when the Pope is saying that the Message of Fatima is the fulfillment of the divine plan and is warning us about the “tail of the dragon”. The Secretary of State, in October, 1999 had caused to be announced that it was “impossible” for the Pope to go to Fatima in May 2000 to beatify Jacinta and Francisco. The Pope had to make the announcement some weeks later through the Bishop of Fatima that, in fact, he would go to Fatima in May 2000. I expect that there will be very vigorous attempts now to silence me once and for all, along with anyone else who speaks too effectively about the consecration and conversion of Russia.

Are there any signs of this?

It is surely no coincidence that only days before the June 26 press conference at which the Third Secret vision was published, an emissary of the papal nuncio, who takes orders from the Secretary of State, delivered a letter to my home which threatens me with excommunication. Excommunication for what? As with all of the communications in my case, the letter does not give any grounds for the threats it contains. The emissary lied his way into my home late at night by claiming that the letter he had was not “legal” and that it was “from the Pope himself,” and that I would be “pleased” after receiving it! Of course, it was not from the Pope, and was not sent by the Pope’s command. Meanwhile, the Vatican Secretary of State publicly praises Hans Kung, an open heretic who has called the pope a despot, yet remains a priest in good standing in the Diocese of Basle. This is the great struggle we now face: the struggle between the Vatican officials like Cardinal Sodano who praises Kung and makes Gorbachev an honored guest of the Vatican, and the Church of Our Lady of Fatima, the One Holy Catholic Church we saw in its glory during the Pope’s sermon, at Fatima on May 13, so beautiful in content when he told us already that we are living now during the fulfillment of biblical prophecy of chapter 12 of the Apocalypse. The last book of the Bible written 1900 years ago by command of God to be a guide for our generation in these confusing times. And that we must be on our guard against the devil, who succeeds in dragging down one third of the Catholic Clergy (i.e. one third of the stars of Heaven) to work for him. Will we see the fulfillment of the Third Secret vision? Will the Pope and his hierarchy be hunted and gunned down by soldiers? Will the fire from the avenging angel seen in the vision no longer be stayed by the hand of the Virgin? I still care about the answers to these all-important questions, even if the Vatican bureaucracy wishes to bury them. At the June 26 press conference, when Cardinal Ratzinger mentioned me, he said that I was working under “agnoscia”, which is the Italian word for anguish of mind. Perhaps he was referring to the letter from the emissary. But I have no anguish of mind. I will go on working, and I will oppose any effort to silence me for speaking the simple truth, whose terrifying implications are now seen in the Third Secret vision which they try to dismiss as a thing of the past. And I will continue to ask Our Lady of Fatima to help me to serve Her in any way that I can.

Editor's Note:

The above conclusion is explained further in Urgent Note from the Editor.

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