THE CRUCIBLE +lt;ParaNet Pi+gt; 416-244-9999 -24Hrs- 12/24/96 *HST* (223/264) Note: The fo

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

======================================================================= 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 insist? "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."


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank