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Chapter 12

Does the Third Secret Consist of
Two Distinct Texts?
     

       Despite their best efforts to close the book on Fatima, the Sodano/Ratzinger/Bertone alliance had not succeeded with the June 26, 2000 press conference. Knowledgeable Catholics the world over simply did not believe that a wordless and rather obscure vision of “a Bishop dressed in White” could be all there was to a secret the Vatican had kept under lock and key for forty years.

       The best witness in support of the claim that something had to be missing was, ironically enough, Cardinal Ratzinger himself, speaking in 1984 in the Jesus magazine interview we have already pointed out. What had happened to the “religious prophecy” the Cardinal had mentioned back then, concerning “dangers to the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore (the life) of the world”? What about his statement in 1984 that “the things contained in this ‘Third Secret’ correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions, beginning with that of Fatima itself in its [already] known contents”? Nothing in the vision of the “Bishop dressed in White” repeats what has been said in many other Marian apparitions, for in this vision Mary says nothing at all. And if, as Cardinal Ratzinger 2000 was now claiming, the “Bishop dressed in White” was Pope John Paul II escaping death in 1981, why had Cardinal Ratzinger in 1984 not simply revealed this and declared the Third Secret to have been fulfilled?

       The inescapable conclusion for many completely loyal Catholics was that there had to be another document to go along with the vision. Perhaps the height of the Vatican's embarrassment on this score came on May 16, 2001, nearly a year after the “Fatima is over” press conference. On that date Mother Angelica—who is, if anything, a staunch defender of the Vatican apparatus—expressed the common sense of millions of Catholics on her live television show:

       As for the Secret, well I happen to be one of those individuals who thinks we didn't get the whole thing. I told ya! I mean, you have the right to your own opinion, don't you, Father? There, you know, that's my opinion. Because I think it's scary. And I don't think the Holy See is going to say something that does not happen, that might happen. And then what does it do if it doesn't happen? I mean the Holy See cannot afford to make prophecies.1

       The question we must confront in this chapter—the question raised by such Catholics as Mother Angelica—is whether the Third Secret of Fatima is completely contained within the single document published in June 2000, or whether it is comprised of two documents: the vision published in June 2000, and a separate text containing the words of Our Lady which explain the vision—words which probably follow immediately after the phrase “In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved etc.” in Lucy's Fourth Memoir.

       The conviction grows that there are indeed two documents containing the Third Secret. But what evidence is there to support the existence of a second document?

       As we noted in Chapter 4, the existence of two documents—one being a letter written on a single sheet of paper and sealed in an envelope, the other being in a notebook that Sister Lucy turned over along with the envelope—is clearly suggested by the testimony of various credible witnesses, including Sister Lucy. A more detailed discussion of their testimony can be found in Frère Michel's book The Whole Truth About Fatima - Volume III: The Third Secret. The 20,000 copies of the French edition of Volume III were published in 1985 and 1986 (after more than 4 years of research), and 50,000 copies of the English edition were published in 1990. To our knowledge this book has never been questioned as to either the authenticity or thoroughness of its research. Volume III alone has over 1,150 footnotes, citing numerous documents, witnesses, and testimonies. Likewise, Frère Michel's sources and his own testimonies have never been questioned; thus, Frère Michel himself is also to be considered a valid and credible witness.2

       We now turn to the business of proving from the available evidence, some of which we have laid out in the preceding chapters, that there are indeed two original manuscripts by Sister Lucy pertaining to the Third Secret, and that both documents eventually found their way to the Vatican. We recall what Sister Lucy wrote to Bishop da Silva on January 9, 1944:

       I have written what you asked me; God willed to try me a little, but finally this was indeed His will: [the text] is sealed in an envelope and it [the sealed envelope] is in the notebooks ...3

       Examination of the original Portuguese reveals that Sister Lucy means to say that the Secret proper is in the envelope, and that the envelope is in one of her notebooks which she also consigned to Archbishop Manuel Maria Ferreira da Silva (the Archbishop of Gurza) for carrying to Bishop da Silva of Fatima in June of 1944. As Frère Michel further states:

       The seer discreetly handed the Bishop of Gurza the notebook in which she had slipped the envelope containing the Secret. That same evening, the bishop placed the envelope into the hands of Bishop da Silva ...”4

       But what happened to the notebook? Surely it contains some text relevant to the Third Secret. Why else would Sister Lucy have entrusted both the sealed envelope and the notebook to the Bishop of Fatima?

       The following table summarizes eleven different facts pointing to the existence of two manuscripts for the Third Secret of Fatima: one in the envelope, containing the words of Our Lady, and another in the notebook, probably containing the vision of the “Bishop dressed in White” which was revealed on June 26, 2000. We will examine these facts in the subsequent sections. We must emphasize at the outset, however, that one cannot discount the possibility that the text in the envelope has been lost or destroyed and that it may, in fact, never be produced.

 

Third Secret Text #1
Alluded to by Various Witnesses
(see Chapter 4)

Third Secret Text #2
Published by the Vatican
June 26, 2000

(1)

Text contains words of Our Lady.

Text does not contain any words of Our Lady.

(2)

Text transferred to Holy Office - April 16, 1957.

Text transferred to Holy Office - April 4, 1957.

(3)

Written on a single sheet of paper.

Written on 4 sheets of paper.

(4)

About 25 lines of text.

62 lines of text.

(5)

Text was ready on January 9, 1944.

Text was ready on January 3, 1944.

(6)

Pope John Paul II read the text in 1978.

Pope John Paul II read the text on July 18, 1981.

(7)

Pope John Paul II consecrated the world on June 7, 1981 after reading the text in 1978 but before reading the 4-page text which he only read on July 18, 1981.

This text was not read by the Pope prior to his act of consecrating the world on June 7, 1981.

(8)

Written in letter form (addressed and signed).

Not written in letter form (not addressed or signed), but as an entry in Sister Lucy's notebook.

(9)

Stored by the Pope's bedside.

Stored in the Holy Office building.

(10)

The single sheet of paper has margins on each side of three quarters of a centimeter.

The 4 sheets of paper have no margins.

(11)

Explains the vision.

Describes the vision.

Fact #1:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #1 –
Text #1 Contains the Words of Our Lady

       In Chapter 4 we noted the Vatican announcement in the February 8, 1960 communiqué of the Portuguese news agency A.N.I. (at Rome), which admits that the text of the Third Secret (i.e. Text #1 referred to in the table) contains the actual words of Our Lady:

       It has just been stated, in very reliable Vatican circles, to the representatives of United Press International, that it is most likely that the letter will never be opened, in which Sister Lucy wrote down the words which Our Lady confided as a secret to the three little shepherds in the Cova da Iria.5

       We also have Sister Lucy's own testimony that the Third Secret contains Our Lady's actual words, not simply a wordless vision. Frère Michel reports:

       ... in her third Memoir, written in July-August, 1941, Sister Lucy had been content to mention the existence of a third part of the Secret, but as yet she had said nothing about it. A few months later, in her fourth Memoir, written between October-December, 1941, she decided to say more. She recopied almost word for word the text of the third Memoir, but adding after the final words—“... and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world”—the new sentence: “Em Portugal se conservara sempre o dogma da fe etc.”6

       This new sentence translates into: “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.”—directly quoting words of the Virgin of Fatima. Frère Michel also reports:

       Indeed in 1943, when Bishop da Silva had asked her to write down the text [of the Third Secret], and she was encountering insurmountable obstacles in obeying this order, she declared that it was not absolutely necessary to do so, ‘since in a certain manner she had said it’.7 Undoubtedly Sister Lucy was alluding to the ten words she had discreetly added in December, 1941 to the text of the great Secret—but added so discreetly that almost nobody noticed them.8

       It is very telling that these discreetly added words—“In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.” are the very ones TMF tries to avoid by demoting them to a footnote, as if they were of no consequence, and by relying on the Third Memoir for the text of the Great Secret, which does not contain these added words.

       We repeat the question we asked earlier: Why would Cardinal Sodano, Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone choose the Third Memoir when the Fourth Memoir offers a more complete text of the Fatima Message? The answer, clearly, is that they chose the Third Memoir in order to avoid any discussion of the momentous phrase “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.” By this expedient they deftly navigated around an obvious indication that the Message of Fatima includes further words of the Virgin embraced within the “etc.”, and that these missing words must pertain to the Third Secret. If it were not so, then Sodano/Ratzinger/Bertone would not have displayed such an aversion to this phrase. They would simply have used the Fourth Memoir, including that phrase, in TMF's discussion of the first two parts of the Great Secret of Fatima. One can only conclude that the phrase to which they were so averse is indeed the gateway into the Third Secret of Fatima, and that they did not wish the faithful or the world at large to focus on this gateway, for it raises too many questions about what lies beyond it.

       The rest of the Secret indicated by the “etc.” was not recorded in the Fourth Memoir but in the later text at issue, the missing text of the Third Secret which explains the vision of the “Bishop dressed in White”.

       In fact, the authors of TMF neglect to mention that immediately after “In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved etc.” we find in the Fourth Memoir: “Tell this to no one. Yes, you may tell Francisco.” Now, if “this” referred only to the Faith always being preserved in Portugal, Our Lady would hardly have directed the seers to hide this heavenly compliment to the Portuguese people. Hence, “this” clearly involves a reference to how the dogma of the Faith would not always be preserved in other places—many other places. That is the very conclusion the authors of TMF have attempted to hide by demoting the key phrase to a footnote.

       As we pointed out in Chapter 4, these ten words—“Em Portugal se conservara sempre o dogma da fe etc.”—introduce a new, and incomplete, thought into the Secret of Fatima. The phrase suggests, as every reputable Fatima scholar concluded, that there is more to follow and that the “etc.” is but a placeholder for the third part of the Secret. But the Vatican's June 2000 manuscript of the Third Secret (i.e. Text #2 referred to in the table on page 149), published in TMF, contains no words of Our Lady; it describes only the vision of the Secret seen by the three children of Fatima. This text does not explain the new sentence in the Fourth Memoir, nor does it provide the words embraced within the “etc.”

       Did Our Lady's actual words, spoken personally by the Mother of God, end with “etc.”? Certainly, they did not. There is undoubtedly more text after the “etc.” What happened to it?

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #1

       These facts demonstrate that there must be two documents: one containing the words of Our Lady, the other containing the vision seen by the three children, but with no words at all which are attributed to Our Lady.

Fact #2:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #2 –
Different Dates of Transfer

       Frère François tells us when the text of the Third Secret was transferred to the Holy Office (now known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith):

       Arriving at the Vatican on April 16, 1957, the Secret undoubtedly was placed by Pope Pius XII in his personal desk, inside a small wooden box, bearing the inscription Secretum Sancti Officii (Secret of the Holy Office).9

       It is important to recall what we noted earlier: that the Pope was the head of the Holy Office prior to Pope Paul VI reorganizing the Roman Curia in 1967. Therefore, it was quite appropriate for the Pope to retain the Third Secret in his possession and for the box containing it to be labeled as “Secret of the Holy Office.” With the Pope being the head of the Holy Office, this box became part of the Holy Office archives.

       The Vatican commentary, however, states that Sister Lucy's original manuscript of the Third Secret was transferred to the Holy Office on April 4, 1957. Furthermore, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, tells us:

       The sealed envelope was initially in the custody of the Bishop of Leiria. To ensure better protection for the ‘secret’ the envelope was placed in the Secret Archives of the Holy Office on 4 April 1957.10

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #2

       This difference of dates supports the conclusion that there are two documents: one document containing the vision was transferred to the Secret Archives of the Holy Office on April 4, 1957; the other document, containing the words of Our Lady of Fatima, was transferred to the Pope's apartment, which can be considered a part of the Holy Office, on April 16, 1957.

Fact #3:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #3 –
Text #1 is a Single Sheet of Paper

       As we showed in Chapter 4, Cardinal Ottaviani, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1967, stated that he had read the Third Secret and that it was written on a single sheet of paper. He testified to this fact on February 11, 1967, at a press conference during a meeting of the Pontifical Marian Academy in Rome:

       And then, what did she [Lucy] do to obey the Most Holy Virgin? She wrote on a sheet of paper, in Portuguese, what the Holy Virgin had asked her to tell ...11

       Cardinal Ottaviani is a witness to this fact. In the same press conference, he states:

       I, who have had the grace and the gift to read the text of the Secret—although I too am held to secrecy because I am bound by the Secret ...12

       Note well: Cardinal Ottaviani read the Third Secret. Cardinal Ottaviani later said it was written on a sheet of paper. But the text of the vision produced by the Vatican on June 26, 2000 is on multiple sheets. If the Third Secret sealed in the envelope—the one read by Cardinal Ottaviani—had been on multiple sheets, he would have said so.

       By way of corroboration, Father Alonso reports that both Sister Lucy and Cardinal Ottaviani state that the Secret was written on a single sheet of paper:

       Lucy tells us that she wrote it on a sheet of paper. Cardinal Ottaviani, who has read it, tells us the same thing: ‘She wrote it on a sheet of paper ...’.13

       We also have the testimony of Bishop Venancio, who was then the Auxiliary Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, that he was ordered by Bishop da Silva (the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima) in mid-March 1957 to bring copies of all Sister Lucy's writings—including the original of the Third Secret—to the Apostolic Nuncio at Lisbon for transferral to Rome. Before bringing Lucy's writings to the Nuncio, Bishop Venancio looked at the envelope containing the Third Secret while holding it up to the light and saw that the Secret was “written on a small sheet of paper”.14 Frère Michel was a first-hand witness to this highly probative testimony:

       However, thanks to the disclosures of Bishop Venancio, at the time Auxiliary Bishop of Leiria and intimately involved with these events, we now have many reliable facts which we will take care not to neglect. I myself received them from the mouth of Bishop Venancio on February 13, 1984, at Fatima. The former Bishop of Fatima repeated to me on this subject, almost word for word, what he had already said previously to Father Caillon, who gave a very detailed account of it in his conferences.15

       Here is Bishop Venancio's testimony, according to Frère Michel:

       Bishop Venancio related that once he was by himself, he took the great envelope of the Secret and tried to look through it and see the contents. In the bishop's large envelope he discerned a smaller envelope, that of Lucy, and inside this envelope an ordinary sheet of paper with margins on each side of three quarters of a centimeter. He took the trouble to note the size of everything. Thus the final Secret of Fatima was written on a small sheet of paper.16

       The Vatican's June 2000 manuscript of the Third Secret is written on four sheets of paper. Something is seriously amiss.

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #3

       Once again, the evidence points to the existence of two documents: one consisting of a single sheet of paper, the other consisting of four sheets of paper.

Fact #4:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #4 –
Text #1 is 25 Lines of Handwritten Text

       In addition to the evidence cited in support of Fact #3, regarding the Third Secret being written on just one single sheet of paper, Frère Michel and Frère François both agree that the text of the Third Secret contains only 20 to 30 lines:

       ... we are just as certain that the twenty or thirty lines of the third Secret …17

       The final Secret of Fatima, written on a small sheet of paper, is therefore not very long. Probably twenty to twenty-five lines ...18

       [Bishop Venancio looked] at the envelope [containing the Third Secret] while holding it up to the light. He could see inside a little sheet of which he measured the exact size. We thus know that the Third Secret is not very long, probably 20 to 25 lines ...19

       On the other hand, the Vatican's June 2000 manuscript of the Third Secret contains 62 lines of handwritten text. Again, something is seriously amiss.

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #4

       This discrepancy demonstrates that there are two documents: one with 20 to 30 lines of text on one sheet of paper, the other with 62 lines of text on four sheets of paper.

Fact #5:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #5 –
Text #1 Was Not Ready by January 3

       As we showed in Chapter 4, Lucy first attempted to write down the text of the Third Secret in October 1943. From that mid-October until early January 1944, Lucy was prevented from obeying a formal order to write down the Third Secret by an unspeakable anguish.

       We noted also that the order to write down the Secret came after Sister Lucy came down with pleurisy in June of 1943, which caused Canon Galamba and Bishop da Silva to fear that she would die without having revealed the final part of the Great Secret of Fatima. Canon Galamba later convinced Bishop da Silva to suggest to Sister Lucy that she write down the Secret. However, Sister Lucy would not comply without a formal order from the Bishop, which was finally given in mid-October 1943.

       Even then Sister Lucy was unable to obey for another two and a half months, until the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her on January 2, 1944, confirming that it was God's will that she commit the Secret to writing. Only then was Lucy able to overcome her fear and anguish and write down the Secret.20 But it was not until January 9, 1944, that Sister Lucy wrote the following note to Bishop da Silva, informing him that the Secret was finally written down:

       I have written what you asked me; God willed to try me a little, but finally this was indeed His will: [the text] is sealed in an envelope and it is in the notebooks ...21

       The Vatican's manuscript of the Third Secret, however, was completed on January 3, 1944, as shown by the date appearing at the end of Sister Lucy's 4-page handwritten document.22 Furthermore, Archbishop Bertone tells us:

       The third part of the “secret” was written “by order of His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and the Most Holy Mother ...” on 3 January 1944.23

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #5

       Considering that Sister Lucy had finally written down the Secret after an apparition of the Blessed Mother, why would she not have immediately informed Bishop da Silva as soon as the document was ready, given the Mother of God's assurance that it was God's will that she deliver the document? Why would Sister Lucy, trained in obedience, wait another six days after obeying Heaven's command to write down the Third Secret—from January 3 to January 9—before informing her bishop? From this we may conclude that the text of the Third Secret was not ready until January 9, 1944 or very shortly before.

       This difference of dates lends further support to the existence of two documents: one containing the vision, completed on January 3, 1944; the other containing Our Lady's words which explain that vision, completed on or very shortly before January 9, 1944.

       Admittedly, this conclusion is dependent on circumstantial evidence; but Fatima scholars must rely on this kind of evidence because the anti-Fatima establishment has, since 1976, blocked publication of the works of Father Joaquin Alonso, consisting of over 5,000 documents in 24 volumes which are the result of his 11 years of research up to that time. As we have noted, Fr. Alonso was official archivist of Fatima for sixteen years.

       All other conclusions in this article, except possibly the conclusion regarding Fact #11, are not dependent on circumstantial evidence.

Fact #6:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #6 –
Different Dates for When Pope First Read Secret

       On July 1, 2000, The Washington Post reported that Vatican officials recently provided contradictory dates for when Pope John Paul II read the Third Secret for the first time:

       On May 13, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the Pope first read the secret within days of assuming the papacy in 1978. On Monday, an aide to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that the Pope first saw it in the hospital after his attack.24

       An article in the June 26, 2000 edition of The New York Times identified the aide to Cardinal Ratzinger:

       “John Paul II read for the first time the text of the third secret of Fatima after the attack,” a top aide to Ratzinger, Monsignor Tarcisio Bertone, told journalists during a news conference to present the document.25

       According to the Vatican's commentary, Pope John Paul II did not read the Third Secret until July 18, 1981. Archbishop Bertone tells us:

       John Paul II, for his part, asked for the envelope containing the third part of the ‘secret’ following the assassination attempt on 13 May 1981. On 18 July 1981 Cardinal Franjo Seper, Prefect of the Congregation, gave two envelopes to Archbishop Eduardo Martinez Somalo, Substitute of the Secretariat of State: one white envelope, containing Sister Lucy's original text in Portuguese; the other orange, with the Italian translation of the ‘secret’. On the following 11 August, Archbishop Martinez returned the two envelopes to the Archives of the Holy Office.26

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #6

       All these statements are true and can be reconciled if there are two documents: In 1978 the Pope read the one-page document originally sealed in the envelope, containing the words of Our Lady; and then on July 18, 1981 His Holiness read the 4-page document describing the vision of the “Bishop dressed in White.”

Fact #7:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #7 –
Text #1 Inspired Pope to Consecrate World

       Immediately following the statement of Archbishop Bertone quoted in support of Fact #6, the Archbishop goes on to tell us:

       As is well known, Pope John Paul II immediately thought of consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and he himself composed a prayer for what he called an ‘Act of Entrustment’, which was to be celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major on 7 June 1981 ...27

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #7

       How could Pope John Paul II be moved by the Third Secret to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 7,1981, when, according to Archbishop Bertone, the Pope did not actually read the Third Secret until July 18, 1981—six weeks later?

       Again, both statements can be reconciled if there are two documents: the Pope read the one-page document containing the words of Our Lady in 1978—and this is the text that moved him to consecrate the world on June 7, 1981—and then he read the four-page document describing the vision on July 18, 1981. As we have already shown in Chapter 6, Pope John Paul II's own statements demonstrate that he views these acts of consecration of the world as setting the stage for when he finally feels free to perform the Consecration of Russia.

Fact #8:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #8 –
Text #1 is a Letter

       Sister Lucy, herself, tells us that the Third Secret was written as a letter. We have the written testimony of Father Jongen who, on February 3-4, 1946, interrogated Sister Lucy:

       ‘You have already made known two parts of the Secret. When will the time arrive for the third part?’‘I communicated the third part in a letter to the Bishop of Leiria,’ she answered…28

       As Canon Galamba testified:

       When the bishop refused to open the letter, Lucy made him promise that it would definitely be opened and read to the world either at her death or in 1960, whichever would come first.29

       In February 1960, the Patriarch of Lisbon declared:

       Bishop da Silva enclosed (the envelope sealed by Lucy) in another envelope on which he indicated that the letter had to be opened in 1960 by himself, Bishop Jose Correia da Silva, if he was still alive, or if not, by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon.30

       Father Alonso tells us:

       Other bishops also spoke—and with authority—about the year 1960 as the date indicated for opening the famous letter. Thus, when the then titular Bishop of Tiava, and Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, asked Lucy when the Secret was to be opened, he always received the same answer: in 1960.31

       In 1959, Bishop Venancio, the new Bishop of Leiria, declared:

       I think that the letter will not be opened before 1960. Sister Lucy had asked that it should not be opened before her death, or not before 1960. We are now in 1959 and Sister Lucy is in good health.32

       Finally, the Vatican announcement of February 8, 1960 through the A.N.I. press agency also tells us that the text of the Third Secret was written as a letter:

       ... it is most likely that the letter will never be opened, in which Sister Lucy wrote down the words which Our Lady confided as a secret ...33

       Now, the text of the vision of the Third Secret has also been identified as a letter in the Vatican's commentary. However, that text is plainly not a letter, as it is:

  • not addressed to anyone;
  • is dated at the end, even though, according to custom in Portugal since the 18th Century, no letter is dated at the end but only at the beginning;
  • is not signed by Sister Lucy or anyone else; and
  • clearly, therefore, is anything but a letter.

       Copies of letters written by Sister Lucy have been included in her published memoirs. These letters all have an addressee, a date, and her signature.

       Thus, we can expect that the one-page document that was available on January 9, 1944 is a letter addressed to someone (Sister Lucy told Father Jongen in February 1946 that she sent it to the Bishop of Leiria), and is signed by Sister Lucy.

       Here it is important to note that Sister Lucy was offered the option to write the Third Secret in the form of a letter or in her notebook, and that she decided to write it as a letter. According to Father Alonso, Sister Lucy wrote to Bishop da Silva on January 9, 1944:

       I have written what you asked me; God willed to try me a little, but finally this was indeed His will: it is sealed in an envelope and it is in the notebooks ...34

       Again, as we have noted above, Frère Michel reports that, on June 17, 1944:

       The seer discreetly handed the Bishop of Gurza the notebook in which she had slipped the envelope containing the Secret. That same evening, the bishop placed the envelope into the hands of Bishop da Silva ...35

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #8

       The evidence supports this highly probable conclusion: There are two documents—the text of the Third Secret containing Our Lady's words in the form of a one-page letter; and four pages of text from the notebook.

       Moreover, as we have noted, the text of the vision is dated January 3, 1944, whereas Sister Lucy's letter to the Bishop of Fatima stating “I have written what you asked me; God willed to try me a little, but finally this was indeed His will: [the text] is sealed in an envelope and it is in the notebooks” is dated January 9, 1944. It is entirely possible that Sister Lucy's notebooks contain a number of other things pertaining to the Third Secret which she wrote during the period January 3-9, 1944. These other things may be lesser points pertaining to the Secret, leading up to the final disclosure of the most fearsome part of the Secret on January 9—namely, the Virgin's explanation of the Secret in Her own words. We recall here Father Schweigl's testimony that there are indeed two parts to the Secret: one pertaining to the Pope and the other representing the conclusion of the words “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.”

       In this connection it is important to remember that Sister Lucy was given the choice of writing the Third Secret in her notebooks or on a sheet of paper. Evidently, she availed herself of both options. Again, why else would she have turned over both a sealed envelope and a notebook to the Bishop of Gurza for delivery to the Bishop of Fatima?

       Is it not entirely likely, then, that the obscure vision—a “safer” part of the Third Secret—was written down in the notebook, whereas the concrete explanation of the vision in the words of the Virgin Herself—whose impact was quite terrible—had to be sealed in the envelope that Sister Lucy placed inside the notebook? There seems to be no other sensible explanation for why Sister Lucy, in response to the Bishop of Fatima's order to write down the Third Secret, provided him with both a sealed envelope and a notebook.

       In short, the vision of the “Bishop dressed in White”, whose text comprises four sheets of paper, was contained in the notebook, but the explanation—on the single sheet of paper that numerous witnesses have attested to—was sealed in the envelope. That is why the notebook accompanied the sealed envelope.

       Thus, the four pages of text released by the Vatican on June 26, 2000 are possibly the visional part of the Third Secret contained in the notebook, certainly not the one-page letter that was sealed in the envelope.

Fact #9:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #9 –
Text #1 Stored in Papal Apartment

       Frère Michel reports the testimony of journalist Robert Serrou who, while doing a photo story at the Vatican on May 14, 1957,36 about one month after the Third Secret had arrived at Rome on April 16, 1957, discovered that the Third Secret was being stored in the Pope's apartment by his bedside. As Frère Michel tells us:

       ... we now know that the precious envelope sent to Rome by Msgr. Cento was not placed in the archives of the Holy Office, but that Pius XII wanted to keep it in his own apartment.

       Father Caillon received this information from the mouth of journalist Robert Serrou, who himself got it from Mother Pasqualina, in this way. Robert Serrou was doing a photo story for Paris-Match in the apartments of Pius XII. Mother Pasqualina—this woman of great common sense who directed the handful of Sisters acting as the Pope's housekeepers, and who sometimes received his confidences—was present.

       Before a little wooden safe placed on a table and bearing the inscription ‘Secretum Sancti Officii’ (Secret of the Holy Office), the journalist questioned the Mother: ‘Mother, what is in this little safe?’ She answered: ‘The third Secret of Fatima is in there ...’

       The photograph of this safe, which we have reproduced here, was published in Paris-Match a year and a half later ...37

       The photograph of this safe, published in the October 18, 1958 issue of Paris-Match (Issue No. 497, page 82), is shown here. The details of Serrou's testimony were later confirmed in a letter he wrote to Frère Michel on January 10, 1985. In this letter, Serrou states:

       It is exact that Mother Pasqualina did tell me, while showing me a little safe bearing a label with the mention, ‘Secret of the Holy Office’: ‘In there is the third Secret of Fatima.’38

       The Vatican's commentary, however, tells us that the Third Secret had been stored in the building which houses the Holy Office. Again, according to Archbishop Bertone:

       The sealed envelope was initially in the custody of the Bishop of Leiria. To ensure better protection for the ‘secret’ the envelope was placed in the Secret Archives of the Holy Office on 4 April 1957.39

       In addition, we have also demonstrated in Fact #6 that Pope John Paul II read the text of the Third Secret (i.e. the one-page document containing the words of Our Lady) in 1978 and then he read the four-page document describing the vision on July 18, 1981. As discussed in Fact #6, the Holy Office records that Pope John Paul II asked for the Third Secret in 1981, but there is no record of the Pope asking for the Secret in 1978 because he didn't need to—it was in the papal apartments.

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #9

       These testimonies establish the fact that there are two documents stored in two different locations and in two different archives. In 1978 Pope John Paul II read the text of the one-page letter containing Our Lady's words, which was stored in his apartment, a document the Pope did not need to request from the Secret Archives of the Holy Office. But in 1981 Pope John Paul II read the four pages of text containing the description of the vision from Sister Lucy's notebook, which was stored in the Holy Office building. It was this text he had to request from the Secret Archives of the Holy Office.

Fact #10:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #10 –
Text #1 has Margins of 3/4 Centimeter on Both Sides

       Here we have the testimony of Bishop John Venancio, the second Bishop of Fatima, who examined a silhouette of the text under a strong light and noted precisely the margin outlines of the page on which it was written.

       Bishop Venancio related [to Frère Michel] that once he was by himself, he took the great envelope of the Secret and tried to look through it and see the contents. In the bishop's large envelope he discerned a smaller envelope, that of Lucy, and inside this envelope an ordinary sheet of paper with margins on each side of three quarters of a centimeter. He took the trouble to note the size of everything. Thus the final Secret of Fatima was written on a small sheet of paper.40

       Again, the four pages containing the Third Secret vision display no margins whatsoever—a small but very telling discrepancy to be added to all the other discrepancies.

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #10

       This discrepancy also demonstrates that the text released by Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone on June 26, 2000 is not the text of the Third Secret contained in the envelope, and therefore we have not yet been given the complete text of the Third Secret, even though high Vatican officials claim the contrary.

Fact #11:
Supporting Documentation for Fact #11 –
Text #1 Explains the Vision

       In Sister Lucy's Fourth Memoir we read that, during the apparition of Our Lady on June 13, 1917, after Sister Lucy had asked Our Lady to take the three seers to Heaven, Our Lady responded:

       Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make Me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation ...41

       Sister Lucy then proceeds to give us a description of the vision that the three seers were then graced to see immediately after Our Lady spoke the above words—words which explain the meaning of the vision:

       As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands and for the second time, She communicated to us the rays of that immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards Heaven, and I in that which was poured out on the earth.42

       Thus, we see that when Our Lady provides a vision to the children She explains it as well. Indeed, even in TMF we read Sister Lucy's description (taken from her “Third Memoir”) of the vision of hell given to the three little shepherds during the apparition of Our Lady on July 13, 1917.

       Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.43

       Following that account, Sister Lucy then proceeds to tell us Our Lady's words explaining what this vision means, even though it was quite obvious that the vision was a vision of hell:

       You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.44

       So, even though the children knew what they saw, nevertheless Our Lady tells them: “You have seen hell.” Once again, we see that when Our Lady provides a vision to the children She explains it as well.

       In contrast to the above-noted visions and the corresponding words of Our Lady explaining them, TMF provides only the text of a vision that clearly requires an explanation, including the following:

       After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand ... Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.45

       This text of the Third Secret contains no words of Our Lady. Why would Our Lady explain something as obvious as the vision of hell, but offer not one word to explain the obscure passage presented by the Vatican?

       Here it must be noted that immediately following the words “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.”, Our Lady said to Sister Lucy: “Tell this to no one, yes you may tell it to Francisco.” The “this” that can be told to Francisco refers to the last thing said during the vision. If it was only a vision, without an explanation, then Francisco didn't need to be told anything, because he had just seen it himself already. But if “this” refers to additional words of the Virgin by way of explanation of the vision, then Francisco would have to be told because, as we know, he could not hear Our Lady during the Fatima apparitions. Francisco saw but did not hear, and would thus have needed to be informed about what Our Lady had said about the vision.

       Nor can one argue plausibly that “you may tell it to Francisco” refers merely to the words Our Lady spoke during the second part of the Secret. The phrase “Tell this to no one. Yes, you may tell it to Francisco” follows immediately after “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.”46 Clearly, then, the “etc.” indicates the words, not yet written down, that Sister Lucy could tell Francisco orally. Those words clearly belong to the Third Secret, which was finally written down in 1944 under orders from the Bishop of Fatima.

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #11

       Where, then, are the words of Our Lady to explain this vision? If Our Lady said nothing to explain this vision, Her actions would have been inconsistent over the course of the apparitions. Given that the teaching authority of the Church—meaning a formal papal or conciliar pronouncement—is not imposing a specific interpretation on this vision, and if we have not been given any special grace to understand this vision on our own, then there is all the more reason to believe that Our Lady would explain to us the meaning of the vision of the Third Secret of Fatima. And there is obviously an absolute need for the true explanation by Our Lady Herself.

       In fact, Cardinal Ratzinger admits in TMF that his own comments are merely an attempt at an interpretation of the vision of the Third Secret:

       In what follows, therefore, we can only attempt to provide a deeper foundation for this interpretation, on the basis of the criteria already considered.47 [emphasis added]

       Cardinal Ratzinger also confirmed that a specific interpretation is not being imposed on this vision. On July 1, 2000, The Washington Post reported:

       Ratzinger, asked to comment on the Pope's reading of the vision, said there is ‘no official interpretation’ and that the text is not dogma.48

       Now, does it seem likely that the Virgin of Fatima would have given the three children a vision so obscure that even the head of the CDF can only “attempt” to interpret it, when the rest of the Message of Fatima is not only crystal clear, but fully explained by the Virgin's own words in all its visional aspects—even the obvious vision of hell?

       Furthermore, the probability of Our Lady having provided a detailed explanation of the Third Secret vision rises to the level of certainty when one considers the patently fraudulent “interpretation” offered by Sodano/Ratzinger/Bertone—i.e. that the killing of a Pope and many other members of the hierarchy by soldiers is merely the failed assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981. Then there is Cardinal Ratzinger's bogus—bordering on blasphemous—“interpretation” of devotion to the Immaculate Heart, which he demotes to the “immaculate heart” of any one who avoids sin, and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, which he reduces to the fiat of the Virgin 2,000 years ago.

       These are not only lies, but clumsy lies. Our Lady of Fatima certainly foresaw these lies and provided a definitive explanation of the vision to combat them. The Mother of God would never allow such a fraudulent interpretation of Her Message to stand. This makes all the more urgent the disclosure of the true interpretation which is found, we are morally certain, in the missing words of the Virgin—most probably indicated by the “etc.”

Overall Conclusion from the Evidence

       In conclusion, the evidence overwhelmingly supports the existence of two documents:

       One document consists of four sheets of paper (with no margins) containing 62 lines of text copied from Sister Lucy's notebook (not written as a letter), which describes a vision seen by the three children of Fatima but does not contain any words of Our Lady. This text was written down by Sister Lucy on January 3, 1944, transferred to the Holy Office on April 4, 1957, read by Pope John Paul II on July 18, 1981 (but it obviously did not—and could not—move him to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 7, 1981, 6 weeks earlier), was stored in the Holy Office, and released by the Vatican on June 26, 2000.

       The other document is a one-page letter (with 3/4 centimeter margins) containing about 25 lines of Our Lady's own words and sealed in an envelope. This text was written down by Sister Lucy on or very shortly before January 9, 1944, transferred to the Holy Office on April 16, 1957, read by Pope John Paul II in 1978 (moving him to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 7, 1981), was stored in the Pope's apartment by his bedside, and to this day remains unreleased by the Vatican.

       Can we state all these conclusions with total certainty? No, but we can state them with the moral certitude that they are true, because they are supported by a mountain of evidence indicating that something is missing from what the Vatican apparatus disclosed on June 26, 2000. Furthermore, based on the testimony of a series of impeccable witnesses mentioned above, one can state with total certainty that there is a document consisting of one sheet of paper, containing about 25 lines of text, that pertains to the Third Secret but has not been disclosed. Thus, it is certain that someone is lying to us. Either all of the witnesses who spoke of the Third Secret's reference to an apostasy and breakdown of faith and discipline in the Church are lying, or Cardinals Sodano and Ratzinger and Archbishop Bertone are lying. Either Sister Lucy is lying or Sodano/Ratzinger/Bertone are lying. One cannot have it both ways. But since we can have the moral certitude that Sister Lucy is not the liar, it follows, therefore, that we can have the moral certitude that the lies are emanating from Sodano, Ratzinger and Bertone.

       And who, after all, is the more credible witness? Cardinal Ratzinger, for example, who has dramatically changed his testimony since 1984, or Sister Lucia of Fatima, who was chosen by God to be a witness to the Message of Fatima and whose testimony has been unwavering?49 Moreover, if a witness such as Cardinal Ratzinger changes his testimony without bothering to explain the change, is it not obvious that he is being deceptive? Even if this were not the case, we still have the right to question his change of testimony, and every Catholic—indeed, the whole world—is entitled to an explanation.

       Are there good grounds to disbelieve them, and to demand an investigation? There certainly are. Probable cause exists to accuse those we have named of not only fraudulent misrepresentation of the Message of Fatima, but fraudulent concealment as well.

       Indeed, these highly disturbing discrepancies are chief among the reasons that have made it impossible for the Vatican to bury the Message of Fatima. The skepticism of even loyalists like Mother Angelica is only the tip of an iceberg of doubt among the faithful that is growing with each passing day.


Footnotes

1. Mother Angelica Live, May 16, 2001.

2. In some proofs, we are dealing with circumstantial evidence. There are two reasons for this: (1) over 5,000 original documents in 24 volumes compiled by Father Alonso—the result of 11 years of research by Father Alonso, then the official archivist of Fatima—have been prevented from being published since 1976 by religious authorities (i.e. the Bishop of Fatima and the Provincial of the Claretians based at Madrid, Spain), and (2) the continued imposition of a regime of silence upon Sister Lucy (in force since 1960), even though we are now told she has nothing further to reveal.

3. Quoted by Father Alonso, Fatima 50, October 13, 1967, p. 11. See also Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima (WTAF) - Volume III: The Third Secret, (Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, U.S.A., 1990) p. 47.

4. WTAF - Vol. III, p. 49.

5. Quoted by Father Martins dos Reis, O Milagre do sol e o Segredo de Fatima , p. 127-128. Cf. Father Joaquin Alonso, La Verdad sobre el Secreto de Fatima (VSF), Centro Mariano, Madrid, Spain, 1976, pp. 55-56. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 578.

6. WTAF - Vol. III, p. 684.

7. Father Alonso, VSF, p. 64. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 684.

8. WTAF - Vol. III, p. 684.

9. Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph (FTT), Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, U.S.A., 1994, p. 45.

10. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB., “Introduction” , The Message of Fatima (TMF), June 26, 2000, p. 4.

11. WTAF - Vol. III, p. 725.

12. WTAF - Vol. III, p. 727.

13 Father Alonso, VSF, p. 60. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 651. Also, footnote no. 4 in FTT, p. 289.

14. FTT, p. 45. See also Brother Michael of the Holy Trinity, The Secret of Fatima ... Revealed (SFR), Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, U.S.A., 1986, p. 7.

15. WTAF - Vol. III, p. 480. See also Father G. Freire's exposition, O Segredo de Fatima, a terceira parte e sobre Portugal?, pp. 50-51.

16. WTAF - Vol. III, p. 481.

17. WTAF - Vol. III, p. 626.

18. FTT, p. 45.

19. SFR, p. 7.

20. WTAF - Vol. III, pp. 38-46.

21. Quoted by Father Alonso, Fatima 50, p. 11. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 47.

22. Original text of Sister Lucy, “Third Part of the ‘Secret’”, TMF, p. 20.

23. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, “Introduction” , TMF, p. 4.

24. Bill Broadway and Sarah Delancy, “3rd Secret Spurs More Questions; Fatima Interpretation Departs From Vision”, The Washington Post, July 1, 2000.

25. The Associated Press, “Vatican: Fatima Is No Doomsday Prophecy”, The New York Times, June 26, 2000.

26. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, “Introduction”, TMF, p. 5.

27. Ibid.

28. Revue Mediatrice et Reine, October 1946, pp. 110-112. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 470.

29. Quoted by Father Alonso, VSF, pp. 46-47. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 470.

30. Novidades, February 24, 1960, quoted by La Documentation Catholique, June 19, 1960, col. 751. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 472.

31. VSF, p. 46. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 475.

32. VSF, p. 46. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 478.

33. Quoted by Father Martins dos Reis, O Milagre do sol e o Segredo de Fatima, pp. 127-128. Cf. Father Alonso, VSF, pp. 55-56. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 578.

34. Quoted by Father Alonso, Fatima 50, p. 11. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 47.

35. WTAF - Vol. III, p. 49.

36. Ibid., pp. 485-486.

37. Ibid., pp. 484-485.

38. Letter to Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité of January 10, 1985. See also WTAF - Vol. III, p. 486.

39. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, “Introduction”, TMF, p. 4.

40. WTAF - Vol. III, p. 481.

41. Sister Lucy, in an account written for her confessor, Father Aparicio, at the end of 1927.

42. Sister Lucy, “Fourth Memoir”, December 8, 1941, p. 65. See also Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima - Volume I: Science and the Facts (WTAF - Vol. I), Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, U.S.A., 1989, p. 159.

43. English translation of text in Sister Lucy's “Third Memoir” quoted in “First and Second Part of the ‘Secret'”, TMF, pp. 15-16. See also Sister Lucy, “Fourth Memoir”, Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, (Postulation Centre, Fatima, Portugal, 1976) p. 162. See also Sister Lucy, Memorias e Cartas da Irma Lucia, (Porto, Portugal, 1973, edited by Father Antonio Maria Martins) pp. 338-341.

44. Sister Lucy quoted in TMF, p. 16. See also Sister Lucy, “Fourth Memoir”, p. 162. See also Sister Lucy, Memorias e Cartas da Irma Lucia, pp. 340-341.

45. English translation of Sister Lucy, “Third Part of the ‘Secret’”, TMF, p. 21.

46. Father Fabrice Delestre, Society of St. Pius X, “June 26, 2000: Revelation of the Third Secret of Fatima or a Curtailed Revelation”, SSPX Asia Newsletter , July-August 2000, p. 24.

47. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Theological Commentary”, TMF, p. 39.

48. Bill Broadway and Sarah Delancy, The Washington Post.

49. Sister Lucy's testimony is discussed in detail in Chapter 14 of this book along with Msgr. Bertone's effort to change that testimony in a secret interview on November 17, 2001 for which no transcript has ever been produced.

 

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