Allegations had, and continue to persist that the Vatican is still concealing the truth about the ‘third secret’ said to have been revealed by the Virgin Mary exclusively to three Portuguese children on July 13, 1917.
On the 99th anniversary of the secret visions, despite ongoing reports of papal obfuscation and lies, large crowds gathered at the Shrine of Fátima near Leiria. Pilgrims came from all over the world, including China, Indonesia, and Costa Rica, as well as Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
However, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had felt compelled, at the time, to issue a formal denial of any wrongdoing in the third secret controversy.
The popular belief is that between May and October 1917, apparitions of the Virgin Mary, also known as Our Lady of Fátima, were witnessed on the 13th of each month.
The apparitions have been described as “undoubtedly the most prophetic of modern times” by the Vatican.
The main visionary, 10-year-old Lucia Santos, became a cloistered nun and revealed the secrets in 1941. The first two focused on the horrors of hell, the threat of another world war, and the threat to humanity posed by Russia’s replacement of Christianity with communist totalitarianism.
Sister Lucia waited until her local bishop ordered her to write about the third secret. Her one-page letter, dated January 1944, was kept in a sealed envelope by the bishop of Leiria until it was delivered to the Vatican in 1957 for safekeeping in the Secret Archives of the Holy Office.
According to critics, successive popes “suppressed” the information until the year 2000, when John Paul II deemed it appropriate for publication. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, his secretary of state, declared that the third secret was the Virgin Mary’s prophecy of John Paul’s assassination attempt on May 13, 1981.
Many Catholics reacted with skepticism to the announcement. An “interpretation” by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, another of John Paul’s top officials, only fueled the international outrage. Traditionalist Catholics condemned it as part of the “heresy” that had infiltrated the papacy since the 1960s’ modernising Second Vatican Council.
Many Catholics have long believed that the third secret foretold of a satanic takeover of the Catholic faith, and that each pope since the Second Vatican Council has been the Antichrist.
Ratzinger succeeded John Paul II as Pope Benedict XVI, but resigned in the midst of scandals involving alleged Vatican corruption and widespread sex abuse by priests, becoming the first pope to do so in nearly 600 years.
The third secret cover-up allegations had resurfaced in the 2016 Fátima celebrations which began in mid-May. I will tackle this in the next piece.
Traditional Catholics have been warning for decades about the apocalyptic “crisis of faith”.
Of course, telling the truth can land people in hot water. A priest and a public relations executive were convicted in July of 2016 by a Vatican court for their roles in leaking secret documents to two journalists. The priest has been imprisoned.
The leaked documents allowed journalists to gain access to the workings of a Vatican commission established in 2013 to advise Pope Francis on reforming the Vatican’s deeply flawed Roman Curia, which Francis once referred to as “the leprosy of the papacy.”
Unfortunately, the leaks did not shed any new light on Fátima’s third secret.