Newsletter of the District
Have put Our Lady of Fatima in the closet!”
(Bishop Fellay, Rome,
Sermon of August 9, 2000)
on the Roman Presentation of the Third Secret
By Fr Daniel Couture
The text of the
Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith, which presented the
Third Secret on June 26, 2000, has the following parts:
- Archbishop Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation of the Doctrine
of the Faith
Secret of Fatima: - First and Second Parts - Sr. Lucia dos Santos
- Photostat of Portuguese
- English Translation
Secret of Fatima -
Third Part - Sr. Lucia dos Santos
- Photostat of Portuguese
- English Translation
- Letter in Portuguese of His Holiness to
- English Translation of Letter
- Conversation of Archbishop Bertone with
- Announcement of Cardinal
Sodano in Fatima
- Theological Commentary
by Cardinal Ratzinger
it added up to a good 22 pages. Readers who have access to the
Internet can find the complete text at http://www.ewtn.com/fatima/apparitions/Third_Secret/Fatima.htm
. We would like here to make some comments on some parts of this
On the left
we have put the relevant text from the Roman document of June 26,
and on the right our commentary. Further comments are given in
the next article by Fr . Delestre, the SSPX priest working in Portugal.
Introduction by Archbishop Bertone (secretary of Cardinal Ratzinger).
Bertone: As is well known, Pope John Paul II immediately
thought of consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart
of Mary and he himself composed a prayer for what he called
an “Act of Entrustment”, which was to be celebrated in the
Basilica of Saint Mary Major on 7 June 1981, the Solemnity
In French the act is clearly called ‘An Act of Consecration’,
why use the word ‘entrustment’? .It seems that the word ‘consecration’
of the world or of Russia?
Bertone:: In order to respond more fully to
the requests of “Our Lady”, the Holy Father desired to make
more explicit during the Holy Year of the Redemption the Act
of Entrustment of 7 May 1981, which had been repeated in Fatima
on 13 May 1982. On 25 March 1984 in Saint Peter's Square,
while recalling the fiat uttered by Mary at the Annunciation,
the Holy Father, in spiritual union with the Bishops of the
world, who had been “convoked” beforehand, entrusted all men
and women and all peoples to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
in terms which recalled the heartfelt words spoken in 1981:
7, 1981: “…and embrace with the love of the Mother and
Handmaid of the Lord those who most await this embrace, and
also those whose act of entrustment you too await in a
particular way. “
1982 and March 25, 1984: “…In a special way we entrust
and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which
particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated. …
The power of this consecration lasts for all time and embraces
all individuals, peoples and nations. It overcomes every evil
that the spirit of darkness is able to awaken, and has in
fact awakened in our times, in the heart of man and in his
: About the consecration of the world by Pius XII in 1942,
William T Walsh said after a three hour interview with Sr
Lucia on July 15, 1946
made it clear that Our Lady did not ask for the consecration
of the world to her Immaculate Heart. What she demanded specifically
was the consecration of Russia. She did not comment of course
on the fact that Pope Pius XII had consecrated the world,
not Russia, to the Immaculate Heart in 1942. But she said
more than once, and with deliberate emphasis:
Our Lady wants is that the Pope and all the bishops in the
world shall consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart on one
special day. If this is done, she will convert Russia and
there will be peace. If this is not done, the errors of Russia
will spread through every country in the world.”
plain that she felt that our Lady’s wishes had not yet been
Our Lady of Fatima, Image Book edition 1954, 9th
three consecrations done by Pope John Paul II (June 7, 1981,
May 13, 1982, March 25, 1984), there is never explicit mention
Conversation between Archbishop Bertone and Sr. Lucia, on April
Bertone:: 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”
of Bp de Galaretta: Obviously Sr. Lucia was
not going to contradict the Pope! And this even if the vision
showed that (the pope) was killed by a group of soldiers
who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there
died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and
women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks
and positions. To say that the assassination attempt
fulfills the vision of the pope being killed, leads
to any interpretation, and thus to ‘science fiction’ (Sermon
June 29, 2000, Ecône).
or in 1960?
Before giving the sealed envelope containing the third part
of the “secret” to the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, Sister
Lucia wrote on the outside envelope that it could be opened
only after 1960, either by the Patriarch of Lisbon or the
Bishop of Leiria. Archbishop Bertone therefore asked: “Why
only after 1960? Was it Our Lady who fixed that date?” Sister
Lucia replied: “It was not Our Lady. I fixed the date because
I had the intuition that before 1960 it would not be understood,
but that only later would it be understood. Now it can be
better understood. I wrote down what I saw; however it was
not for me to interpret it, but for the Pope.
Br. Michael’s Conference on Fatima: “Fact#3. Ascertaining that Bishop
da Silva persisted in not wishing to open the envelope, Sister
Lucy "made him promise, in the words of Canon Galamba,
that the Third Secret would be opened and read to the world
upon her death or in 1960, whichever would happen first." A series of testimonies which give
us an account of the repeated statements of Sister Lucy enabled
this fact to be established with absolute certitude.
Finally, this promise to disclose the Secret immediately after
the death of Sister Lucy or in any case, "in 1960 at
the latest", surely corresponds to a request by the Virgin
Mary Herself. In fact, when in 1946, Canon Barthas asked the
seer why it would be necessary to wait until 1960, Sister
Lucy replied to him in the presence of Bishop da Silva, "Because the Blessed Virgin wishes it so."
“Briefly stated, I have established
it solidly in my book and we have all the proofs that God
desired, willed that the final Secret of Our Lady be finally
believed by the Pastors of the Church and made public to the
faithful. This was to be done at the earliest in 1944 or
at the latest by 1960 because as Sister Lucy further explained,
"It would become clearer at that time."
(From his conference on the Third Secret, see it in
Announcement by Cardinal Sodano, May 13, 2000
a) Is “the Bishop dressed in White”
John Paul II?
Sodano: According to the interpretation of the “little
shepherds”, which was also confirmed recently by Sister Lucia,
“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, under a hail of
the assassination attempt of 13 May 1981, it appeared evident
that it was “a mother's hand that guided the bullet's path”,
enabling “the Pope in his throes” to halt “at the threshold
of death” (Pope John Paul II, Meditation from the Policlinico
Gemelli to the Italian Bishops, Insegnamenti, XVII,
1 , 1061).
Commentary: These words of the
Cardinal on May 13 were the first public mention of the content
of the Secret. He applied the prophecy to Pope John Paul
II. Thus, immediately, the Vatican gave an interpretation,
directing the minds in one direction.
Therefore, as Fr Delestre points
out (see next article), “to glorify the person of John
Paul II also implies to glorify the orientations of a pontificate
which has never ceased to apply in every domain, the ‘new
Conciliar orientations’. Thus we are lead to the glorification
of the II Vatican Council itself, with the help of a mutilated
Third Secret which is interpreted exactly in the opposite
direction of the true meaning of the integral Third Secret.
Perverse inversion behind which, without doubt, is to be found
the powers of Darkness”.
b) Is the Third Secret something of
the past or not?
Cardinal Sodano: That text contains a prophetic vision
similar to those found in Sacred Scripture, which do not describe
photographically the details of future events, but synthesize
and compress against a single background facts which extend
through time in an unspecified succession and duration.
As a result, the text must be interpreted in
a symbolic key.
Various Cardinals (Sodano, Ratzinger) insist that it is of
the past, but this quote implies that it could be continuing!
“…facts which extend through time in an unspecified
succession and duration…” If it is unspecified,
how can they specify it?
Sodano: “… 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, under a hail
of the Third Secret: “before reaching there 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; (…) he was
killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows
at him, and in the same way there died one after another the
other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various
lay people of different ranks and positions.”
is not following the text:
Text says was killed ; the Cardinal: apparently
the text, the bishops, priests, etc. seemed to have been killed
after the Pope. The Cardinal puts them already dead among
the corpses through which the Pope walked.
d) Past or
Sodano: The vision of Fatima concerns above
all the war waged by atheistic systems against the Church
and Christians, and it describes the immense suffering endured
by the witnesses of the faith in the last century of the second
millennium. It is an interminable Way of the Cross
led by the Popes of the twentieth century. …
events of 1989 led, both in the Soviet Union and in a number
of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the Communist
regimes which promoted atheism. For this too His Holiness
offers heartfelt thanks to the Most Holy Virgin. In other
parts of the world, however, attacks against the Church and
against Christians, with the burden of suffering they bring,
tragically continue. Even if the events to which the third
part of the “secret” of Fatima refers now seem part of the
past, Our Lady's call to conversion and penance, issued at
the start of the twentieth century, remains timely and urgent
The Cardinal insists that the secret refers to the past
but he has to admit that persecution is not finished! How
to say something to draw the attention on it, and then admit
In other parts of the world,
however, attacks against the Church and against Christians,
with the burden of suffering they bring, tragically continue.
Even if the events to which the third part of the “secret”
of Fatima refers now seem part of the past (…)
Theological Commentary, by Cardinal Ratzinger
Again: the Third Secret is over, is of the past:
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
Commentary: Fr Delestre:
The whole eschatological and politico-social dimension which
constituted the importance, the singularity and the specificity
of the apparitions of Fatima have disappeared. All is over,
Fatima must line up behind all the other Marian apparitions,
must become a ‘normal’, ‘classical’ message
The “Public Revelation”
Ratzinger The term “public Revelation” refers to
the revealing action of God directed to humanity as a whole
and which finds its literary expression in the two parts of
the Bible: the Old and New Testaments.
No mention of Tradition as source of Revelation! Cf. Vatican.
I (DzS 3006 quoting Trent DzS 1501):
(…) continetur ‘ in libris scriptis et sine scripto
traditionibus, quae ipsius Christi ore ab Apostolis acceptae,
aut (ab) ipsis Apostolis Spiritu Sancto dictante quasi per
manus traditae, ad nos usque pervenerunt ’ The Revelation
(…) is contained in the written books and in the non-written
traditions, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ
Himself, or handed down under the dictation of the Holy Ghost;
these traditions have come all the way to us.”
salvation? A clear reference to Vatican II.
It is called “Revelation” because
in it God gradually made himself known to men, to the point
of becoming man himself, in order to draw to himself the whole
world and unite it with himself through his Incarnate Son,
Who is entitled to interpret the Holy Scriptures, the Magisterium
or any faithful?
Ratzinger The Catechism of the Catholic Church
says in this regard: “...even if Revelation is already complete,
it has not been made fully explicit; it remains for Christian
faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course
of the centuries” (No. 66).
Second Vatican Council notes three essential ways in which
the Spirit guides in the Church, and therefore three ways
in which “the word grows”: through the meditation and study
of the faithful, through the deep understanding which comes
from spiritual experience, and through the preaching of “those
who, in the succession of the episcopate, have received the
sure charism of truth” (Dei Verbum, 8).
The ecumenical Protestant tendency of the Cardinal becomes
very clear in this commentary. Here, he, the Prefect of the
Roman Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, leans towards
the heresy of Sola Scriptura which says that it is
really up to the faithful to understand and interpret Scriptures…
No real need of the Roman Magisterium for this, it only comes
in third position!
Pet. 3, 15 – 16: “…our most dear brother Paul, according
to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: as also in all
his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are
certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned
and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures,
to their own destruction.”
e) The obsession with the historical context of the
Ratzinger (Private revelations are) “ to help live
more fully by it in a certain period of history”.
Implicit application: again, Fatima was for the
past, just like Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus and St Pius
X’s Pascendi. It was all good, but then, no longer
today. (Card. Ratzinger did use these last two as example
in a document to theologian some years ago.)
Ratzinger’s authoritative reference: Fr Dhanis
Ratzinger The Flemish theologian E. Dhanis, an eminent
scholar in this field, states succinctly that ecclesiastical
approval of a private revelation has three elements: the message
contains nothing contrary to faith or morals; it is lawful
to make it public; and the faithful are authorized to accept
it with prudence (E. Dhanis,Sguardo su Fatima e bilancio
di una discussione, in La Civiltà Cattolica 104
, II, 392-406, in particular 397). Such a message can
be a genuine help in understanding the Gospel and living it
better at a particular moment in time; therefore it should
not be disregarded. It is a help which is offered, but which
one is not obliged to use.
Cardinal Ratzinger dares to quote the most virulent opponent of Fatima, Fr Dhanis, S.J.
as “an eminent scholar”. See The Whole
Truth on Fatima, vol. 1, pp. 389 – 410 (English edition). Br.
Michael gives the background to the text quoted by the Cardinal
from La Civilta Cattolica (cf. Br. Michael, footnote 7).
The Devotion to the Immaculate Heart.
Ratzinger: According to Matthew 5:8, the “immaculate heart” is a heart
which, with God's grace, has come to perfect interior unity
and therefore “sees God”. To be “devoted” to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary means therefore to embrace this attitude of
heart, which makes the fiat—“your will be done”—the defining
center of one's whole life
Our Lady had said in the First Part: To save them, God
wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate
Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved
and there will be peace.
Cardinal shifts from the devotion to the Immaculate Heart
to the sixth beatitude. Where is Our Lady in the Cardinal’s
text? According to him, anyone can therefore become (!) ‘immaculate
h) The famous
Protestant objection: there is only One Mediator!
It might be objected that we
should not place a human being between ourselves and Christ.
But then we remember that Paul did not hesitate to say to
his communities: “imitate me” (1 Cor 4:16; Phil 3:17; 1 Th
1:6; 2 Th 3:7, 9). In the Apostle they could see concretely
what it meant to follow Christ. But from whom might we better
learn in every age than from the Mother of the Lord?
Response of the Cardinal: Our Lady is only there as a model,
like St Paul:
a shrewd way to divert the attention on Her role of Mediatrix!
“To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion
to my Immaculate Heart.” This is not just a question
of imitation, it involves prayer to Her, it involves her power
of Mediation. How many times in Fatima, Our Lady asked for
the recitation of the Rosary? We can see here a clear influence
of the Protestant denial of the dogma of the intercession
of the Saints.
i) The ‘anti-fatimist”
thesis of Fr Dhanis, S.J.
Ratzinger: The concluding part of the “secret” uses
images which Lucia may have seen in devotional books and which
draw their inspiration from long-standing intuitions of faith.
The Cardinal follows the thesis of Fr Dhanis in a subtle
way, even casting doubt on the origin of the whole third secret
“…images which Lucia may have seen in devotional books…”
In other words, she may have invented it!
had said about the vision of hell: “The vision of hell
corresponds to the idea that the children had. The seers received
a very intense knowledge of the horror of sin and damnation,
and little by little this knowledge evoked a vision in their
imagination.” Br. Michael continues: “Dhanis says
that it was an intimate, inexpressible experience, which the
children clumsily described according to the medieval ideas
received from the catechism” (vol. 1, pp.404-405). Strangely
enough, Ratzinger speaks of ‘devotional books’ and ‘long-standing
intuitions of faith’ after having quoted this ‘eminent scholar’
j) First Conclusion
of Cardinal Ratzinger: Fatima is now over.
Ratzinger: 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’. Insofar as individual
events are described, they belong to the past.
k) Second Conclusion
of Cardinal Ratzinger: we are all immaculate.
Ratzinger “(…) my Immaculate Heart will triumph”.
What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation
of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. (…)
But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered
human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose
evil no longer has the last word.
So, My Immaculate Heart will triumph simply means
that human freedom is more powerful for what is good than
for evil!!!!! That is an incredible subversion of the famous
quote. Read the Cardinal’s sentence again.
Our Lady says “My Immaculate Heart”, she doesn’t glorify
man’s freedom at all; secondly there is only one who is the
Immaculate Conception; according to the Cardinal, every
heart – he says “human freedom” absolutely, without
distinction – is the Immaculate Heart?! Thirdly, what is
says is denied by St Paul’s constant teaching of the inner
struggle between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ man. He should re-read
Roman chapter 7. We reach here implicitly the heresy of universal
salvation, since “the freedom to choose evil no longer
has the last word”. It means that, since the Incarnation,
man always chooses in the end what is good, therefore will
In all this
theological commentary, Cardinal Ratzinger manifests a clear ecumenical
spirit in order to please the Protestants:
He omits the mention of the oral Tradition as a source
of Revelation (Sola Scriptura);
He puts the meditation, study and the spiritual experience
of the faithful as the first two means of interpreting Scripture
(free interpretation – ‘libre examen’). The Magisterium of the
Church only comes third.
Against Our Lady, he first pushes her aside, saying
that the expression “Immaculate Heart” simply refers to the
‘Clean of Heart’ of the 6th Beatitude.
Then, he eliminates her role as intercessor, as Mediatrix,
by saying that she is, like St Paul, simply a model of Christian
life, a model to imitate, nothing more. No mention of her intercessory
Finally, by an implicit denial of the consequences
of original sin (the tendency to do evil), he changes completely
the obvious meaning of ‘My Immaculate Heart will triumph’ –
which is a victory of Our Blessed Lady – by saying that this expression
simply means that human freedom is more powerful for what is good
than for evil.
Other remarks by Fr Gruner’s Fatima Center (from www.fatima.org)
a) Not a single
word of Our Lady
“There is another
serious question regarding the Vatican interpretation,” said
Father Kramer. “The Vatican’s official booklet notes that Sister
Lucia’s memoirs containing the words of Our Lady in the first two
parts of the Secret end with the crucial phrase ‘In Portugal the
dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc. . . .’ That phrase
just hangs there, out of all context with the previous paragraphs,
leading everyone to assume that the thought would be completed in
the text of the Third and final part of the Secret, following the
noted that, contrary to all expectations, the text of the Third
Secret contains no further words of Our Lady of Fatima. “It
seems difficult to believe that the spoken words of Our Lady of
Fatima end with the ambiguous ‘etc.’ Where is the rest of what Our
Lady of Fatima had to say?” Father Kramer further noted that
the Vatican’s notice in 1960 regarding its decision to suppress
publication of the Secret in that year referred specifically to
the decision not to reveal “the words of Our Lady” contained
in the text of the Secret. “But the text of the Third Secret
released yesterday contains no words of Our Lady at all. This raises
a serious question in the minds of many people.”
added that the Vatican commentary makes no reference to the Conversion
of Russia predicted in the first two parts of the Secret. “The
conversion of Russia is identified by Our Lady of Fatima as the
very Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, the focal point of the Message
of Fatima. Amazingly, the Ratzinger commentary on the Triumph of
the Immaculate Heart in the Vatican booklet on the Secret makes
no reference whatever to the conversion of Russia to the Catholic
Faith. This conversion of Russia has apparently been written out
of the Message of Fatima, never to be mentioned again by the Vatican.
Meanwhile, the abortion rate has soared in Russia, its government
is dominated by atheistic ‘ex-communists’ and recycled KGB agents,
and Russian society is falling to pieces.”
drew a link between yesterday’s publication of the Secret and a
Vatican news conference today at which Vatican Secretary of State,
Angelo Cardinal Sodano, and Mikhail Gorbachev spoke to the press
regarding the memoirs of the late Secretary of State, Cardinal Casaroli,
entitled “The Martyrdom of Patience: 1963 to 1989.” Casaroli’s memoirs
defend the Secretary of State’s policy of Ostpolitik or silence
and non-confrontation toward communist regimes which oppress Catholics
continued: “It seems that the Vatican’s ‘spin’ is that Ostpolitik
has brought about the supposed ‘fall of communism’ and that this
merely political event is the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, leading
to a brave new world of brotherhood represented by people like Gorbachev.
But the Gorbachev Foundation promotes reduction of the world’s population
through contraception and abortion. It is a disgrace that this pro-abortion,
one-world government globalist was made a guest of honor at the
Vatican one day after we are told about the Third Secret. This is
a gross insult to the Blessed Virgin.”
observed that no questions were permitted during the Gorbachev/Sodano
news conference. “Whoever heard of a press conference at which
the press is not allowed to ask any questions? Clearly, the Vatican
press office did not wish anyone in the audience to spoil the illusion
that the Message of Fatima has been fulfilled with the ‘fall of
communism,’ and that people like Gorbachev represent the promising
new future of mankind.”
Why did John XXIII and Paul VI not reveal the Third Secret of Fatima?
of the Pope’s theologian, Fr George Cottier.
It is a
question of pastoral prudence. John XXIII or Paul VI could have
revealed the content of the message. Pope Roncalli had the great
intuition of the Ocuncil, but could he have convoked an assembly
addressing itself to all men of good will, which would not even
close its doors to its persecutors, and at the same time speak of
chastisements inflicted by these same persecutors? Paul VI sought
openings in Eastern Europe where the Church was being martyred,
to study the least possibility to come to the aid of Christians
on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Could he publish a text
which spoke so openly of persecutions? (From Zenit, June 30,
Indeed! When Heavens demands it!
Last remark: The First Saturday Communions
In the whole
document, apart from the actual text of the second part of the Secret,
there is not a single mention of the Devotion to the First Saturdays,
which is one of the conditions laid by Our Lady for the conversion
of Russia. “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.”