On being explicitly asked, in a 1980 interview for the German magazine Stimme des Glaubens published in October 1981 to speak about the third secret, Pope John Paul II had said:
“Because of the seriousness of its contents, in order not to encourage the world wide power of Communism to carry out certain coups, my predecessors in the chair of Peter have diplomatically preferred to withhold its publication. On the other hand, it should be sufficient for all Christians to know this much: if there is a message in which it is said that the oceans will flood entire sections of the earth; that, from one moment to the other, millions of people will perish… there is no longer any point in really wanting to publish this secret message. Many want to know merely out of curiosity, or because of their taste for sensationalism, but they forget that ‘to know’ implies for them a responsibility. It is dangerous to want to satisfy one’s curiosity only, if one is convinced that we can do nothing against a catastrophe that has been predicted.” He held up his rosary and stated “Here is the remedy against this evil. Pray, pray and ask for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of God.”
When asked what would happen in the Church, he said: “We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because it is only in this way that the Church can be effectively renewed. How many times, indeed, has the renewal of the Church been effected in blood? This time, again, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong, … we must entrust ourselves to Christ and to His holy Mother, and we must be attentive, very attentive, to the prayer of the Rosary.”1
- English translation from Daniel J. Lynch, The Call to Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (St. Albans, Vermont: Missions of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pub., 1991), pp. 50–51.