THE CRUCIBLE 416-244-9999 -24Hrs- 12/24/96 *HST* (223/264)
Note: The following file was originally picked up from the Catholic
Information Network (CIN #1) in San Francisco (415-387-3251) PCP
Although I've had this file for sometime, I have just recently
deemed it appropriate to upload this to ParaNet in light of a
number of references to Fatima and the "3rd" Secret" in certain
UFO related material. In particular, I've seen this subject
referenced in the "Krill" files and in msg threads both on
ParaNet and in the Compuserve Paranormal Issues Forum. Some feel
that it is related, at least in part, to some element of the UFO
phenomenon. Personally, I feel it relates to some "end time"
event which could lie over the not so distant horizon. Although
much of the speculation surrounding the 3rd Secret of Fatima
seems to indicate some kind of earthly catastrophe, its my own
feeling that it also has an explicit political dimension to it,
most probably in relation to the Soviet Union.
From *The Ratzinger Report*1, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger with Vittorio
Messori (Ignatius Press 1985):
Fatima and environs
One of the four sections of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith (the so-called disciplinary section) is entrusted with the task
of judging Marian apparitions.
I ask: "Cardinal Ratzinger, have you read the so-called 'third secret
of Fatima', which Sister Lucia, the only survivor of the group of
those who beheld the apparition, forwarded to Pope John XXIII, and
which the Pope, after he had examined it, passed on to your
predecessor, Cardinal Ottaviani, ordering him to deposit it in the
archives of the Holy Office?"
The reply is immediate and dry: "Yes, I have read it."
Undenied versions are circulating in the world, I continue, which
describe the contents of that "secret" as disquieting, apocalyptic, as
warning of terrible sufferings. John Paul II himself, in his personal
visit to Germany, seemed to confirm (albeit with prudent
circumlocutions, privately, to a select group) the undeniably
disconcerting contents of that text. Before him, Paul VI, during his
pilgrimage to Fatima, also seems to have alluded to the "apocalyptic"
themes of the "secret". Why was it never decided to make it public,
if only to counter rash speculations?
"If this decision has not yet been made", he answers, "it is not
because the Popes want to hide something terrible."
Then there is "something terrible" in Sister Lucia's manuscript, I
"If that were so", he replies, avoiding going further, "that after all
would only confirm the part of the message of Fatima already known. A
stern warning has been launched from that place that is directed
against the prevailing frivolity, a summons to the seriousness of
life, of history, to the perils that threaten humanity. It is that
which Jesus himself recalls very frequently: '... Unless you repent
you will all perish...' (Lk 13:3). Conversion--and Fatima fully
recalls it to mind--is a constant demand of Christian life. We should
already know that from the whole of sacred Scripture."
So there will be no publication, at least for now?
"The Holy Father deems that it would add nothing to what a Christian
must know from Revelation and also from the Marian apparitions
approved by the Church in their known contents, which only reconfirmed
the urgency of penance, conversion, forgiveness, fasting. To publish
the 'third secret' would mean exposing the Church to the danger of
sensationalism, exploitation of the content."
Perhaps also political implications, I venture, since it seems that
here, also, as in the two other "secrets", Russia is mentioned?
At this point, however, the Cardinal declares that he is not in a
position to go further into the matter and firmly refuses to discuss
other particulars. On the other hand, at the time of our interview,
the Pope proceeded to reconsecrate the world (with a particular
mention of Eastern Europe) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, precisely
in accordance with the exhortation of the Virgin of Fatima, and the
same John Paul II, wounded by his would-be assassin, on May 13--
anniversary of the first apparition in the Portuguese locality--went
to Fatima in order to thank Mary, "whose hand (he said) had
miraculously guided the bullet", and seemed to refer to the
forewarnings that had been transmitted through a group of children to
humanity and that seemed to refer also to the person of the Pontiff.
On the same theme, it is well known that for years, now, a village in
Yugoslavia, Medjugorje, is at the center of world attention because of
reported "apparitions" which--whether true or not--have already drawn
millions of pilgrims. But they have also provoked deplorable
conflicts between the Franciscans who govern the parish and the bishop
of the local diocese. Is a clarifying statement of the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith, the highest court in this matter, to be
expected, with, of course, the approval of the Pope, which is
indispensable for each one of its documents?
He replies: "In this area, more than ever, patience is the
fundamental principle of the policy of our Congregation. No
apparition is indispensable to the faith; Revelation terminated with
Jesus Christ. He himself is the Revelation. But we certainly cannot
prevent God from speaking to our time through simple persons and also
through extraordinary signs that point to the insufficiency of the
cultures stamped by rationalism and positivism that dominate us. The
apparitions that the Church has officially approved--especially
Lourdes and Fatima--have their precise place in the development of the
life of the Church in the last century. They show, among other
things, that Revelation--still unique, concluded and therefore
unsurpassable--is not yet a dead thing but something alive and vital.
Moreover--prescinding Medjugorje, on which I cannot express a judgment
since the case is still being examined by the Congregation--one of the
signs of our times is that the announcements of 'Marian apparitions'
are multiplying all over the world. For example, reports are arriving
from Africa and from other continents at the section of the
Congregation that is competent to deal with such reports."
But, I ask, besides the traditional element of patience and prudence,
on what criteria does the Congregation base itself for a judgment, in
the face of the multiplication of these facts?
"One of our criteria", he says, "is to separate the aspect of the true
or presumed 'supernaturality' of the apparition from that of its
spiritual fruits. The pilgrimages of ancient Christianity were often
concentrated on places with respect to which our modern critical
spirit would be horrified as to the 'scientific truth' of the
tradition bound up with them. This does not detract from the fact
that those pilgrimages were fruitful, beneficial, rich in blessings
and important for the life of the Christian people. The problem is
not so much that of modern hypercriticism (which ends up later,
moreover, in a form of new credulity), but it is that of the
evaluation of the vitality and of the orthodoxy of the religious life
that is developing around these places."