It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Yes, I the Pope can make mistakes. I am not really perfect
Pope blames church's own sins for sex scandal
LISBON, Portugal – Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday blamed the church's own sins for the clerical abuse scandal — not a campaign mounted by outsiders — and called for profound purification to end what he called the "greatest persecution" the church has endured.
His strong comments placed responsibility for the crisis squarely on the sins of pedophile priests, repudiating the Vatican's initial response to the scandal in which it blamed the media as well as pro-choice and pro-gay marriage advocates for mounting what it called a campaign against the church and the pope.
Speaking en route to Portugal, Benedict said the Catholic church had always suffered from problems of its own making but that "today we see it in a truly terrifying way."
"The greatest persecution of the church doesn't come from enemies on the outside but is born from the sins within the church," the pontiff said. "The church needs to profoundly relearn penitence, accept purification, learn forgiveness but also justice."
The comments marked Benedict's most thorough admission of the church's own guilt in creating the scandal. Previously he has blamed abusers themselves and, in the case of Ireland, the bishops who failed to stop them.
He was responding to journalists' questions, submitted in advance, aboard the papal plane as he flew to Portugal. His four-day visit will take him from Lisbon to the famed Fatima shrine to Portugal's second city, Porto.
It is not known whether Benedict would make further remarks about the scandal during the trip, but there have been no reported cases of sex abuse in Portugal, unlike in Malta, where Benedict met with abuse victims on a trip there last month.
Read more: Yahoo news
It's good to hear him speak out about accepting the blame and seeking to purify the Church, though nothing will be good enough for some people.
Bishop Bernard Fellay on the Rosary Crusade and Doctrinal Talks
Houston, Texas—Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X recently spoke to The Remnant in an exclusive interview following the completion of their third Rosary crusade for the Holy Father on March 25, 2010. Despite Cardinal Kasper’s most recent obvious attempt to “poison the well” and upend the ongoing discussions with the Society’s theologians and representatives of the Holy See (talks in which, it should be noted, he has no role whatsoever), the Holy Father will visit Fatima this week and deliver an intense message.
Our Blessed Mother cannot be circumvented when it comes to answering prayers as she so wills as the mediatrix of all graces. Let us pray, then, that the Holy Father’s message at Fatima this week will be an answer to the most recent rosary crusade for the intention of the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Hear of Mary and for the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart. Five and half million rosaries from the U.S. and a total of 19,142,065 rosaries by Traditionalist Catholics worldwide have been offered for this intention.
Read more: The Remnant
Originally posted by Gazrok
It's good to hear him speak out about accepting the blame and seeking to purify the Church, though nothing will be good enough for some people.
The problem is inherent in the priestly vows. If one does not learn how to adequately handle sexual issues prior to becoming clergy, then you've got a vow of celibacy that goes directly against our baser instincts as humans, of course you're going to have problems...
R.W. Johnson of the London Review of Books has knighted himself defender of the world against the “untold suffering” of clerical celibacy, eh? On October 21, 2007 the Associated Press reported that over 2,500 instances of sexual misconduct had been reported among public school teachers during a five-year period, with cases ranging “from bizarre to sadistic.”
Public-school teachers do not take vows of celibacy, Mr. Johnson.
On March 20, 2010 the Associated Press reported that the Boy Scouts of America were in possession of 1,247 documents which they had classified as “perversion files” – i.e., 1,247 internal documents used to track Scout leaders suspected of sexually abusing young boys.
Scout leaders do not take vows of celibacy, Mr. Johnson.
On October 13, 2009 the New York Times reported that, during 2009 alone, 26 child abuse arrests were made among rabbis, yeshiva teachers, camp counselors, merchants and family members of the Orthodox Jewish Community.
On June 18, 2007 the Insurance Journal reported, “The three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members.” But, of course, R.W. Johnson has assured us that “both the Protestant churches and the Jews are sensible enough not to make such extreme demands [celibacy] on their clergy.”
In today’s pop-psychology parlance, Mr. Johnson would be labeled an “enabler” – someone who enables another person to persist in self-destructive behavior by providing excuses or helping the person to avoid the consequences of such behavior. Normal, heterosexual, celibate men do NOT suddenly assault young boys merely because they happen to be in proximity to them. That’s not the way it works, Mr. Johnson. The current “priest scandal” is not a celibacy problem. It is a homosexual predator problem – as distinct from “homosexual problem,” which would unfairly imply that all homosexuals are predators. It IS a homosexual predator problem in that young men and boys are being targeted by older men.
Since the time of Martin Luther, the Catholic priesthood has been the target of choice for enemies of the Church. Both “Reformation” England and “Revolutionary” France saw many good priests senselessly slaughtered. In the 1950’s, former American Communist Party official, Bella Dodd, testified before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. Dodd, who had served as legal counselor to the Communist Party in the U.S., revealed, “In the 1930’s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within …. right now they are in the highest places in the Church …. you will not recognise the Catholic Church." The decade following Dodd’s testimony witnessed the arrival of the “New Springtime of Vatican II.”
Read more: The Remnant
Benedict XVI replied that what can be discovered again today in Our Lady's message from Fatima is the "passion" that the Church is experiencing, and that "is reflected in the person of the Pope."
"The attacks on the Pope and the Church do not just come from outside, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin that is in the Church," he said. "This has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way: The greatest persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is born from the sin in the Church.
"And the Church, therefore, has the profound need to learn penance again, to accept purification, to learn on one hand forgiveness, as well as the need for justice. Forgiveness does not replace justice."
Still, the Pope confirmed that "the Lord is stronger than evil and the Virgin is, for us, the visible, maternal guarantee of the goodness of God, who is always the last word in history."
Benedict XVI affirmed first of all that throughout the centuries, there has been a "courageous, intelligent and creative faith," in the Portuguese nation, spreading to many parts of the world, as in Brazil.
Acknowledging at the same time that "the dialectic between faith and secularization in Portugal" has "a long history," he recalled that there have been numerous persons who've been able to "create bridges" -- "to create a dialogue" between the two positions.
"I think that, precisely, the task, the mission of Europe in this situation, is to find this dialogue, to integrate faith and modern rationality in an anthropological vision that gives plenitude to the human being," he answered.
"The presence of secularization is something normal, but the separation, the opposition between secularism and the culture of faith is anomalous and must be surmounted," the Pontiff contended. "The great challenge of this moment is that the two meet, and in this way find their true identity. It is a mission of Europe and a human need of our history."
Stressing the social doctrine of the Church, the Pope admitted that the Catholic faith has "frequently" neglected the economic issues of the world, thinking only "of individual salvation."
"The whole tradition of the social doctrine of the Church seeks to enlarge the ethical aspect and the aspect of faith, beyond the individual, until reaching the responsibility of the world, a rationality 'conformed' by ethics," he explained. "And, moreover, the latest events in the market of these last two or three years have demonstrated that the ethical dimension is internal and must penetrate economic action."
"Only in this way," he concluded, "does Europe realize its mission."
Read more: Zenit
Fatima debate: Some say 'third secret' is still secret
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Ten years after the Vatican divulged one of the church's best-kept secrets -- the third part of the message of Fatima -- a small band of skeptics and critics are still questioning the official explanation.
More than 100 of them gathered at a hotel not far from the Vatican in early May for a weeklong conference on such topics as "Fatima and the Global Economic Crisis," "The Present Need for the Consecration of Russia" and "Is There a Missing Text of the Third Secret?"
For those in attendance, the answer to that last question is a no-brainer.
"The evidence points to only one conclusion: that something has to be missing," said Christopher A. Ferrara, a U.S. attorney and Catholic commentator who spoke at the conference.
Ferrara pointed to what he described as a series of incongruities and inconsistencies in the Vatican's version. Among people truly familiar with the events at Fatima, he said, only a minority "cling steadfastly to the notion that an ambiguous vision of a bishop dressed in white outside a half-ruined city is all there is to the third secret."
That's the heart of the question for people in the "Fatima Challenge" movement. They argue that the third secret of Fatima was a prophecy so traumatic and dire that several popes decided not to make it known to the faithful, and yet the text published in 2000 contained little more than an allegory about the church's past struggles with 20th-century ideologies.
They say there's good reason to believe the third secret wasn't just about the church battling outside forces, but about Satan working in the church -- at the highest levels. Some have deduced that the secret foresaw the changes of the Second Vatican Council, especially in liturgy and ecumenical dialogue, as part of the "great apostasy" which church leaders refuse to acknowledge.
Most recently, several of these "diehard Fatimists" -- as a Vatican official once described them -- have suggested that the priestly sex abuse crisis in the church is a clear sign of the crisis of faith and pastoral negligence prophesied, they say, by Mary at Fatima.
The conference took place a few days before Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Fatima, and organizers went out of their way to invite the pope and Vatican officials. None showed up. The pope's Vatican aides consider the "Fatimists" a fringe element that is best ignored.
Read more: CNS
Pope's visit to Portgual may shed light on Third Secret of Fatima
The third secret was only disclosed by the Vatican in 2000 and was said to have foretold the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II by a Turkish gunman in 1981.
There has been intense speculation ever since that the Vatican withheld part of the secret, which is said to have concerned the Satanic infiltration of the Catholic Church, the rise of an anti-Pope or even nuclear Armageddon. The Holy See claims that it has released the full text of the secret and that it is holding nothing back, but many Catholics are not convinced.
Benedict is one of the world's leading authorities on the mystery because as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, before he was elected Pope in 2005, he was responsible for developing the Vatican's official position on the miracle of Fatima and wrote a scholarly interpretation of the Third Secret.
Benedict's visit is heavy with symbolism. He will be in Fatima on May 13 – the same day, in 1917, that the Madonna supposedly first appeared to the children. It is also the date on which Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca came close to killing John Paul II after shooting him in St Peter's Square.
Read more: Telegraph UK
Thirty-Three Facts Proving the Existence of a Second Text Pertaining to the Third Secret of Fatima
Those who have read the Secret have revealed that it speaks of a coming state of apostasy in the Church, but the text of the vision says nothing of this.
Our Lady clearly had more to say following Her momentous declaration: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc,” which clearly begins another, and thus the third, part of the Great Secret, but the text of the vision contains not a word from Her.
Our Lady explains everything in the patently obvious vision of hell contained in the first part of the Great Secret, yet we are asked to believe that there is absolutely no explanation from Her concerning the text of the vision in the third part — i.e., the Third Secret — even though Borelli and others have demonstrated that this explanation must exist because their own “interpretations” are in conflict with each other and Our Lady could not possibly have meant the Church to be endlessly divided by arguments over what the vision means.
Father Schweigl, sent by Pius XII to interrogate Sister Lucia, revealed that the Third Secret has two parts: one concerning the Pope, and the other “logically — although I must say nothing — would have to be the continuation of the words ‘In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc’,” but the text of the vision does not contain that logical continuation of the Virgin’s words.
The Vatican-initiated press release from 1960, announcing suppression of the Third Secret, describes the suppressed text as “the letter” that “will never be opened,” containing “the words which Our Lady confided as a secret to the three little shepherds...”, but the text of the vision is not a letter and contains no words confided by the Virgin as a secret.
Cardinal Ottaviani, who read and had custody of the Secret after Pius XII ordered its transmission to the Vatican in 1957, revealed that it involved a “sheet of paper” bearing 25 lines of text recording “what Our Lady told her [Lucia] to tell the Holy Father...”, but the text of the vision spans 62 lines, and in it the Virgin does not tell Sister Lucia anything at all.
Cardinal Bertone has admitted that Ottaviani stated “categorically a text of 25 lines,” and he was unable to refute that testimony, offering only a patently untenable “attempt” to explain that “maybe [!]” Ottaviani was “mistaken.”
A text of the Third Secret was kept in the papal apartment during the pontificates of Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI, and at least at the beginning of the pontificate of John Paul II, even though Bertone’s “official account” speaks only of a text in the Holy Office archives.
John XXIII read a text of the Secret that was so difficult it required an Italian translation of the Portuguese, but also read another text, the following year, that he could understand perfectly without a translation.
The text of the vision contains no particularly difficult Portuguese expressions.
There are two different Italian translations of the Secret: the one prepared for John XXIII, and the one prepared in 1967, neither of which we have been allowed to see.
Three different Popes (John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II) read texts of the Third Secret in two different years of their respective pontificates, but all three of these second readings are mysteriously omitted from Bertone’s “official account.”
When pressed to explain what text of the Secret John Paul II reportedly read in 1978, given that Bertone claims John Paul did not read the Secret until 1981, Bertone was evasive and finally said merely that “in my opinion” John Paul did not read a text in 1978, when it would have been a simple matter to establish his “opinion” as fact by simply consulting innumerable sources at his disposal, including the Pope himself — an omission clearly suggesting that Bertone knew the report was true and that his “opinion” was false.
Archbishop Capovilla, personal secretary to John XXIII, confirmed that the text of the Secret kept in the papal apartment was contained in the “Capovilla envelope” on which he wrote his name, the names of all who had read its contents, and the judgment of John XXIII that he would “leave it to others to comment or decide” what to do about the text.
On June 27, 1963, two years before the “official account” claims he read the Third Secret, Pope Paul VI opened the Capovilla envelope, which was retrieved from John XXIII’s Barbarigo desk, read its contents, inquired of Capovilla about the notations on the outside, resealed the envelope, and said nothing further about it to Capovilla.
When asked by Solideo Paolini in 2006 whether there are two different envelopes and two different texts of the Third Secret — the “Bertone envelope” and the “Capovilla envelope”— Capovilla admitted to Paolini: “Exactly so!”
Capovilla has never retracted his statement to Paolini, even though he has had every opportunity to do so.
Bertone has not even asked Capovilla to deny what he said to Paolini, but rather has conspicuously avoided even mentioning Paolini.
Bertone has failed and refused to produce the reopened and resealed Capovilla envelope, even though he has finally admitted that it exists.
Yet Bertone, under mounting public pressure, revealed on the television show Porta a Porta that there are actually two identical sealed envelopes of Lucia’s, bearing the “express order of Our Lady” that the contents were not to be revealed until 1960, even though he had been representing for seven years that there is only one envelope, while falsely claiming that Lucia “confessed” she had never received any order from the Virgin linking the Secret to 1960 and forbidding its disclosure until then.
Bertone also revealed on Porta a Porta a third envelope of Lucia’s, unsealed and addressed to Bishop da Silva, which, together with the Bishop’s outer envelope, would make a total of four envelopes we are supposed to believe were all created for only one text of the Secret.
Yet, when he held up Bishop da Silva’s outer envelope to a bright light in 1957, auxiliary Bishop Venâncio saw only one envelope inside, and took exact measurements of both the envelope and the single sheet of paper within it, which contained 20-25 lines of text, as Cardinal Ottaviani testified.
The measurements of the envelope and the sheet of paper taken by Bishop Venâncio are entirely different from the measurements of the envelope and the sheet of paper revealed by Bertone on Porta a Porta.
Bertone himself revealed, only weeks before his appearance on Porta a Porta, in his book Last Visionary of Fatima, that in April 2000 Sister Lucia “authenticated” sheets (fogli) of paper pertaining to the Secret, even though on Porta a Porta Bertone revealed only one sheet, that containing the text of the vision.
In Last Visionary Bertone also revealed that there was also an outer envelope, not Lucia’s, bearing the note “Third Part of the Secret,” but this envelope has never been shown to the public.
Confronted with mounting evidence of a cover-up, Bertone adopted the line of referring repeatedly to an “authentic” text of the Secret, an “authentic” envelope, and the “only folio that exists in the Holy Office archives,” when he knows full well that the issue is the text and envelope in the papal apartment, thus suggesting (as Socci notes) that he deems that second text of the Secret “inauthentic.”
Called as a witness by Bertone, Bishop Seraphim of Fatima, who purportedly witnessed Lucia’s authentication of the text of the vision in April 2000, employed the even more nuanced declaration that “the Secret of Fatima has been revealed in an authentic and integral way,” declining to affirm simply that the Third Secret of Fatima had been revealed entirely and that nothing had been withheld.
In an audiotape of a subsequent meeting with Solideo Paolini, Archbishop Capovilla further revealed that there is an “attachment” to the text of the vision, which has never been produced.
Bertone has never denied the existence of this “attachment,” even though the prominent Italian newspaper Il Giornale publicized its existence and declared that it “would confirm the thesis of the existence of a second sheet with the interpretation of the Secret.”
Bertone has failed and refused to ask Sister Lucia or Archbishop Capovilla a single question that would penetrate to the heart of any of these matters, which he knows to be in controversy, and in particular has avoided like the plague any questions about the “etc,” the text in the papal apartment, the testimony of Solideo Paolini concerning the admissions by Archbishop Capovilla, the never-produced Capovilla envelope, and the mysterious sudden appearance of multiple envelopes never mentioned before.
To this day, the Vatican has issued no official denial of the devastating allegations in Socci’s book, even though Socci literally accuses Bertone of covering up the very words of the Mother of God.
On the contrary, Pope Benedict XVI sent Socci a note “concerning my book, thanking me for ‘the sentiments which have suggested it,’” without the slightest indication that the book is in error.
Read more: Fatima Perspectives
Pope Reopens File on Third Secret of Fatima
And now none other than Pope Benedict XVI—only days after the Fatima Challenge conference in Rome—has clearly and deliberately reopened the entire Third Secret controversy! During the Pope’s flight to Portugal for his just completed papal visit to the Fatima Shrine, papal spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi read to His Holiness three questions that represented a “synthesis” of the questions to which the press pool sought answers. In answering these questions, as John Allen notes, the Pope “was hardly caught off-guard. The Vatican asks reporters travelling with the pope to submit questions for the plane several days in advance, so Benedict has plenty of time to ponder what he wants to say. If he takes a question on the plane, it’s because he wants to talk about it, and he’s chosen his words carefully.”
In other words, the Pope wanted to talk about the Third Secret of Fatima, ten years after the subject was supposedly laid to rest. Here is the pre-selected question and the pertinent portions of the Pope’s explosive answer:
Lombardi: Holiness, what significance do the apparitions of Fatima have for us today? And when you presented the text of the Third Secret, in the Vatican Press Office, in June 2000, it was asked of you whether the Message could be extended, beyond the attack on John Paul II, also to the other sufferings of the Pope. Is it possible, according to you, to frame also in that vision the sufferings of the Church of today for the sins of the sexual abuse of minors?
Pope Benedict: Beyond this great vision of the suffering of the Pope, which we can in substance refer to John Paul II, are indicated future realities of the Church which are little by little developing and revealing themselves. Thus it is true that beyond the moment indicated in the vision, one speaks, one sees, the necessity of a passion of the Church that naturally is reflected in the person of the Pope; but the Pope is in the Church, and therefore the sufferings of the Church are announced…. As for the novelty that we can discover today in this message, it is that attacks on the Pope and the Church do not come only from outside, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from sins that exist in the Church. This has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from enemies outside, but arises from sin in the Church.
Now, it is obvious that the vision of “the bishop dressed white” does not depict an attack on the Pope and the Church from enemies within, but rather the execution of (apparently) a future Pope by a band of soldiers outside the half-ruined city, followed by the execution of bishops, priests and members of the laity in a train of martyrs, not sinners, whose blood is gathered up by the angel who appears in the vision. Only one thing could harmonize the vision with the internal subversion of the Church to which Benedict refers: a text in which the Virgin explains how a crisis within the Church leads to a chastisement of the Pope and the Church as seen in the vision, probably accompanied by a chastisement of the whole world, as the half-ruined city filled with bodies would indicate. (Tellingly, at the Fatima Challenge conference De Carli referred to the bodies as carbonizzati—charred! Where did he acquire that detail?)
It would seem, then, that we are dealing with a missing text that would predict a great chastisement having to do with the telltale phrase that both Sodano and Bertone have avoided like the plague for the past ten years: “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc”—the “etc” having been added by Sister Lucia to indicate a precious message-warning from the Virgin in the words that follow. This is the phrase the Vatican commentary on the vision suspiciously evades by drawing the text of the Message of Fatima from Sister Lucia’s Third Memoir rather than the Fourth Memoir in which she added to the integral text of the Message the momentous reference to Portugal and the dogma of the Faith. Even more suspiciously, the Vatican commentary consigns that reference to a footnote, describing it as “some annotations” by Lucia, when it clearly contains a direct quotation of the Mother of God.
In that same commentary, the former Cardinal Ratzinger hewed to the “party line” dictated by the Secretary of State—then Cardinal Sodano, now Bertone. In his own contribution to the commentary Cardinal Ratzinger said quite the opposite of what he now says as Pope Benedict: “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 decipher.” The future Pope explicitly conformed himself to the Secretary of State’s party line: “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.”
But what authority has the Vatican Secretary of State to interpret the Message of Fatima? None, of course. The Sodano/Bertone “interpretation” of the Third Secret has no weight whatsoever and now joins so many other pseudo-authoritative pronouncements in the post-conciliar discard bin.
Antonio Socci, whose book Fourth Secret of Fatima (which I was privileged to translate from the Italian) essentially accuses the Vatican Secretary of State of a cover-up of the very words of the Mother of God, was quick to comment on the Pope’s explosive remarks.
For those who do not know, Antonio Socci is one of Italy’s foremost Catholic intellectuals, an Italian celebrity of the first rank who hosted his own television show on one of the major Italian TV stations. He is not a traditionalist, but on the contrary first entered the Fatima controversy utterly convinced that the traditionalists were wrong about the Third Secret, only to conclude upon examination of the evidence “that there is a part of the Secret not revealed and considered unspeakable is certain.”
“The Pope,” he writes, “is engaged in a great Operation Truth on Fatima, at the cost of contradicting the version of the Secretaries of State.” Socci ties the Pope’s remarks to a letter from Lucia presented by the Vatican itself back in 2000, in which the seer states that we “have not yet seen the final consummation of this prophesy” and that “we are walking toward it, little by little, with large steps.” Noting that the Secretary of State has simply ignored the import of that warning while pretending that the Secret “belongs to the past,” Socci calls it “only one of so many anomalies in this fifty-year-old story that, unfortunately, is filled with lies and silences, twisted interpretations and omissions (as I have shown in my book).”
NBC/Universal recently interviewed me at length for an upcoming feature on the Third Secret. The producer was stunned to learn of this development, which means, as Socci puts it, that the Pope himself has “reopened the file in a way so precise and dramatic that those who in recent years have paid homage to the Curial version find themselves in a panic…” Moreover, writes Socci, “the Pope knows more than us and holds that this [pedophilia] scandal is only the tip of the iceberg in the Church… and he is thinking of the great sin of apostasy in the Church.” The Pope, he concludes, “perhaps cannot say it explicitly, but is trying to prepare the Church for this immense trial… entrusting everyone to the hands of the Madonna of Fatima. These are extraordinary hours.”
Indeed they are. And in these extraordinary hours it is long past time for Catholics to concern themselves with matters a bit weightier than an audit of the Federal Reserve System or a return to the gold standard. Our entire civilization is hurtling toward an abyss opened up by its own apostasy. The Founding Fathers cannot save us. Our only hope is with the Virgin of Fatima, Mother of God and Patroness of the Americas.
Read more: The Remnant
Pope Resurrects Third Secret
On board a jet bound for Fatima on May 11, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI answered a question regarding the Third Secret that put him at odds with the ‘official’ Vatican interpretation of the Secret propounded in 2000.
In fact, the instant the new interpretation was announced at Fatima on May 13, 2000, faithful Catholics were quick to question it. “What they said all happened in the past,” Julio Estela, a 33-year-old car salesman from the northern Portuguese town of Trofa told the Associated Press at Fatima, “This isn’t a prophecy. It’s disappointing. I think there’s more.”
During Pope Benedict’s latest trip to Fatima, however, the Pope did not speak of the Fatima prophecies as already fulfilled, but linked the Third Secret with the present pedophilia scandals in the Church, and indicated the prophecy of the Secret includes future events.
Two days later, in his homily at Fatima, as reported by Vatican Information Service, Pope Benedict said, “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic message is complete.”
He went on to look forward to the 2017 centenary of Fatima, expressing his hope that “the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions” may “hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, to the glory of the Blessed Trinity.”
This last sentence is a clear indication that the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not yet fulfilled, since the “triumph of the Immaculate Heart”, the conversion of Russia and a “period of peace” granted to the world are the promised result of this consecration – an outcome that has still not occurred since Pope John Paul II’s consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984.
“My Hand was Forced”?
Yet the question can be asked, why is Pope Benedict now apparently contradicting the interpretation given by Cardinal Sodano, Cardinal Bertone, and even by himself as Cardinal Ratzinger in 2000.
To answer this, we will take another look at the rumor that circulated at the time of Pope Benedict’s election. At this time, Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of Saint Pius X related that a priest acquaintance from Austria told him that Cardinal Ratzinger confided (to the Austrian priest) that he had two things weighing on his conscience. One was his mishandling of the Message of Fatima in 2000, the other was his 1988 mishandling of Archbishop Lefebvre. Cardinal Ratzinger is reported to have said that in the case of Archbishop Lefebvre, “I failed”, and in the case of Fatima, “my hand was forced.”
When we look at Cardinal Ratzinger’s commentary from 2000, it seems clear that he was deferring always to Secretary of State Cardinal Sodano’s interpretation of the Vision, and thus attempting to deflect some of the responsibility from himself. Four times in his Theological Commentary, Cardinal Ratzinger insists that he is following the interpretation given by Cardinal Sodano:
• “Before attempting an interpretation, the main lines of which can be found in the statement read by Cardinal Sodano 13 May of this year,”
• “For this reason the figurative language of the vision is symbolic. In this regard, Cardinal Sodano stated…”
• As is clear from the documentation presented here, the interpretation offered by Cardinal Sodano in his statement on 13 May…”
• [W]e must affirm with Cardinal Sodano that ‘the events to which the third part of the ‘secret’ of Fatima refers now seem part of the past’.”…
Also, Cardinal Ratzinger stated at the Vatican press conference that released the Vision that Catholics are not bound to accept the “official” interpretation: “It is not the intention of the Church to impose a single interpretation…” Catholics were never bound to accept the Vatican explanation of the Secret from June 26, 2000.
Read more: Catholic Family News