The Catholic
COUNTER-REFORMATION
IN THE XXth CENTURY

No 304

DECEMBER 1997


ONLINE PRE-EDITION OF SELECTED ARTICLES


THE STRANGE APOCALYPSE OF JOHN PAUL II DECIPHERED

POST TENEBRAS LUX

On the 1st October 1997 Pope John Paul II sent Cardinal Roger Etchegaray a message on the familiar theme of interreligious meetings for global peace, "Religions must stand up against war" (Documentation catholique, 16 November 1997). In relation to this, let us read a few passages from the "Letter on the Sillon" by Saint Pius X, dated 25 August 1910. Here we have but two contradictory religions… On one side there is the one unique religion, divine and Catholic: that of Christ. On the other side there is the anti-Christ utopia of Vatican II, the MASDU, Movement for the Spiritual Animation of Universal Democracy.

I emphasise the key words, the most significant phrases, where the contradictions are apparent. But the decisive test, that which must win the reader’s conviction, is this: you will search in vain for the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the left-hand column, whereas the quotations in the right-hand column breathe nothing but a desire to "restore everything in Christ".     G.N.


THE MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II

1. It gives me particular pleasure to send my cordial greetings and the expression of my regard through your good offices to the distinguished representatives of the Churches, Christian Communities, and great religions of the world, gathered together on the occasion of the international meeting of prayer, which has for its theme: "Peace is God's name".

Twelve years have now elapsed since that historic day of prayer for peace held in Assisi at the end of October. I had greatly desired that meeting. Confronted with the drama of a world that is divided and subject to enormous threats of war, a unanimous cry to God for peace could not but spring from the heart of every believer! Gathered together on the hill of Assisi, we all prayed for a better future for the whole of humanity.

On the day after that important event, I exhorted all the participants to persevere in spreading the message of peace and in the task of living the "spirit of Assisi", in a way that would initiate a path of reconciliation ever more generous and shared.

2. I am pleased today to observe how far the dynamic of peace – which received a considerable impetus at Assisi – has grown both in extent and depth. With all my heart I thank the Community of Saint Egidio, who took up the "spirit of Assisi" with enthusiasm and fidelity, and who have continued, with this spirit as their focus, to bring together believers of all religions and of all continents, inviting them to reflect and to pray for peace. There has thus been formed and consolidated a pilgrimage of people of good will, desirous of showing their brothers the peace-loving name of God, who wishes to safeguard and promote the life of every rational creature.

This year this symbolic march for peace stops first at Padua and then at Venice. I unite myself spiritually to it, and above all I send my affectionate regards to Cardinal Marco Cé, Patriarch of Venice, and to Mgr Antonio Mattiazzo, Archbishop of Padua, who have made such an important initiative welcome. Likewise, I greet the Christian communities of Venetia, who over the course of the centuries have played the important role of a bridge between the West and the East. History teaches us how precious and fruitful are the encounters between peoples, and how important it is firmly to eliminate conflicts, divisions, and oppositions, in order to replace them with a culture of tolerance, accommodation, and solidarity.

This peace process must experience an acceleration, now that there are only two years before the dawn of the new millennium. With the prospect of this historic date before us, our expectation permits us to reflect and to hope. If we consider the centuries of yore and especially these last hundred years, it is not difficult, amongst their many lights, to perceive numerous shadows. How can we not recall the appalling tragedies that have rained down on humanity during the century now drawing to a close? Our memory of the two World Wars, with all the dreadful exterminations that it provoked, is still keen. Unfortunately, violent and cruel massacres of men, women and defenceless children continue still to this day. For the believer, as for every person of good will, all this is unacceptable! Can one remain unmoved faced with such dramas? For each man and woman of true sensibility they represent an urgent call to prayer and to witness on behalf of peace.

3. These distressing situations were very much present to my mind when, in the Message for the World Day of Peace this year, I wrote: "It is time that we resolutely determine to undertake together a true pilgrimage for peace, each person starting from the concrete situation in which he finds himself. The difficulties are sometimes very great : ethnic background, language, culture, and religious belief, often represent so many obstacles. To march together, when behind one there exist traumatic experiences or even age-old divisions, is not an easy undertaking."

Faith, which is a gift from God, will certainly not make believers unaware of the difficulties of history. On the contrary, it stimulates them to utilise all means to increase the awareness of a common responsibility to construct peace. More than ever it is necessary to abandon the "culture of war" in order to develop a solid and durable "culture of peace". Believers are called to offer their own particular contribution to this enterprise. One must never forget that from every point of view wars are tragedies and that they leave behind them victims and destruction, hatred and revenge, even though they claim to put an end to such quarrels and to resolve conflicts.

4. In this matter the leaders of the various religions can make an essential contribution. They can do this by raising their voice against war and by courageously confronting the risks that could result from war. Moreover, they can check the resurgence of the violence that regularly breaks out by not siding with those who expect conflicts to arise between the followers of different belief systems, and by taking steps to eradicate the bitter roots of distrust, hatred, and hostility. Such passions are at the origin of numerous conflicts. They arise and prosper at the level of that which appears "unfamiliar", and it is in this climate that we must intervene with resolution and courage.

To vanquish the so numerous misunderstandings that separate men and set them against one another is the urgent task to which all religions are called! Sincere and long-lasting reconciliation is the road to follow to give life to an authentic peace, one that is founded on respect and reciprocal understanding. It is the task of every believer to be an active artisan of peace, especially at the historic moment through which humanity is now living, on the threshold of the third millennium.

Venice today represents a particular example of this hope in the task of constructing peace. May the God of justice and peace bless and protect those amongst the Venetian population who these days commit themselves to bearing witness to the "spirit of Assisi" and to building up support for a more just and fraternal world.

Entrusting you, my dear Cardinal, with the charge of expressing my most sincere feelings of solidarity for the distinguished representatives from all over the world and for all those who are taking part in this important meeting, I assure them of my prayers and I greet them all cordially.

From the Vatican, 1 October 1997

JEAN-PAUL II 


THE LETTER OF SAINT PIUS X

"There was a time when the Sillon, as such, was truly Catholic. It recognised but one moral force: Catholicism; and the Sillonists were wont to proclaim that democracy would either have to be Catholic or not exist at all. A time came when they changed their minds. They left everyone to his own religion or philosophy." (33)

It did not take long for this indifferentism to give way to denial. Indeed, Pope Pius X refers to "this distortion of the Gospel and of the sacred character of Our Lord Jesus Christ, God and Man, which prevails within the "Sillon" and elsewhere. As soon as the social question is broached, it is the fashion in some quarters to first put aside the divinity of Jesus Christ, and then to mention only His sovereign clemency, His compassion for all human miseries, and His pressing exhortations to the love of our neighbour and to the brotherhood of men. True, Jesus has loved us with an immense, infinite love, and He came to earth to suffer and die so that, gathered around Him in justice and love and motivated by the same sentiments of mutual charity, all men might live in peace and happiness. But for the realisation of this temporal and eternal happiness, He has laid down with supreme authority the condition that we must belong to His Flock, that we must accept His doctrine, that we must practise virtue, and that we must accept the teaching and guidance of Peter and his successors. Furthermore, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them." (42)

Indifferentism, denial. Now, what exactly is this "symbolic march" which, since Assisi, claims to unite believers from all religions? "We fear that worse is to come. The end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a democracy which will be neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, as its leaders have stated, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the "Kingdom of God". (39) Are these "encounters of peoples" capable of attaining their aims of fraternity and solidarity?

"No, Venerable Brethren, there is no genuine fraternity outside of the Christian charity which, through the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ Our Saviour, encompasses all men and seeks to comfort them all and lead them all to the same faith and to the same happiness in Heaven." (24)

The deadline approaches; it is therefore crucial to accelerate the march of this impetuous stream that flows towards the year 2000. What will be the result? Utopias inevitably turn into apostasy… "And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, We ask Ourselves, Venerable Brethren, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas, this organisation which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organised in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor restraint for the passions…" (42)

As for all this evil in the world, truly "unacceptable"! – must one involve all the religions in order to remedy it? "Here we have, founded by Catholics, an interdenominational association that is to work for the reform of civilisation, an undertaking which is above all religious in its character; for there is no true civilisation without a moral civilisation, and no true moral civilisation without the true religion: it is a proven truth, an historical fact. The new Sillonists cannot pretend that they are merely working at 'the level of practical realities' where differences of belief do not matter." (36)

The message of John Paul II invites people to "undertake together a true pilgrimage for peace"… "What are we to think of this appeal to all the heterodox and all the unbelievers to prove the excellence of their convictions in the social sphere in a sort of apologetic contest? Has not this contest lasted for nineteen centuries, in conditions less dangerous for the faith of Catholics? And was it not all to the credit of the Catholic Church? What are we to think of this respect for all errors, and of this strange invitation made by a Catholic to all the dissidents to strengthen their convictions through study so that they have more and more abundant sources of new strength? What are we to think of an association in which all religions and even free thought may express themselves openly and in complete freedom?" (37)

"… But stranger still, alarming and saddening as well, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of reshaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of justice and love’ with workers from everywhere, of all religions and of no religion, with or without beliefs, so long as they forego what might divide them, their religious and philosophical convictions, and so long as they share what unites them, a generous idealism and moral forces drawn from "wherever they can." (38)

If we wish to obtain peace, Saint Pius X shows us the path to take: "…all minds must be united in the Truth, all wills united in morality, and all hearts in the love of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. But this union is attainable only by Catholic charity, and that is why Catholic charity alone can lead the people in the march of progress towards the ideal civilisation." (24) But peace on earth is not the supreme value. Our Lord Jesus Christ "did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of perfect happiness in Heaven: the royal way of the Cross." (42)

"No, Venerable Brethren – We must repeat this with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy, when everyone poses as teacher and lawmaker – the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it. Society cannot be set up unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work. No, civilisation is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilisation, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels, and miscreants: omnia instaurare in Christo." (11)

SAINT PIUS X 


WHAT FUTURE FOR GOD IN THIS MASDU?

On this same October 1, H.H. John Paul II sent a Message for the 80th anniversary of the Apparitions of Fatima to the bishop of the diocese, to his Catholic faithful, and to the participants of a Symposium that was taking place during the traditional major pilgrimage of 13 October.

For the Pope to reflect on the Apparitions, on the miracles and the message of Fatima, is a very rare event. For this reason the content of this document merits the most careful attention. Whereas the previous document, signed by his same hand, was exceptionally banal and made its author look like a post-Christian humanist (to the extent of making us think that its text might be a forgery…), the following document, referring to the greatest manifestation of the Mother of God as a beacon and life-jacket for our century, filled us with happy expectation on reading only its first words and its title: "Let us study the appeals of God in our century".

Incontestably authentic, this pastoral Message comes straight from the hand of the Holy Father; it is his style, not easygoing and gracious, but extraordinarily studied and cryptic. It is clear to me that its literary genre is that of the Apocalypse and has an affinity with the works of Daniel, Zechariah and, most supremely, Saint John: it is a revelation – but one that is reserved only for the initiated – about the future of the world as contained in the most recent secrets of God. I thereupon understood that this Wojtylian apocalypse was wholly constructed in counterpoint, not in contradiction, but in counterpoint with the apocalypse of Our Lady of Fatima. It is in this way that the conciliar Church seeks to position itself on the road to the final Victory, in rivalry, albeit a fraternal rivalry, with the preconciliar Church. The present, the past, and the future of the preconciliar Church have all been revealed since 1917; today it is the turn of the postconciliar Church to be finally enlightened about its progress and its challenges, as it marches towards its worldwide triumph in the year 2000.

Here is our modest written commentary which follows the flow of the text. And – why be hesitant in declaring our mind? – they are drawn up in parallel columns under two confrontational headings:


THE PAPAL APOCALYPSE DECIPHERED
"GAUDIUM ET SPES"

la documentation catholique, 16 November, No 2170

Let us study the signs
and appeals of God
in our century

Message for the 80th anniversary
of the apparitions in Fatima

With all my fraternal salutations in Christ the Lord!

The eightieth anniversary of 13 October 1917, when the prodigious "dance of the sun" took place in the sky, provides me with the happy opportunity of placing myself mentally – because it is impossible to do so physically – before this sanctuary and of praying to the Mother of God on behalf of the preparation of the Christian people, and in a certain sense of all humanity, for the great Jubilee of the Year 2000. It is also an occasion to launch an appeal to families and ecclesial communities to recite the Rosary every day.

I. On the threshold of the third millennium, if we consider the signs of the times in this 20th century, the sign of Fatima appears to be one of the greatest, because its message predicts a number of signs that were to follow and it invites us to live out their messages as well.

Signs like the two World Wars, but also the great gatherings of nations and peoples under the sign of dialogue and peace; the oppression and anxieties that different peoples and countries have lived through, but also the voice that has been given to peoples and individuals and which, in these times, has made itself heard in the international forum; the crises, the desertions and the numerous sufferings of the Church’s members, but also, renewed and more intense, the sense of solidarity and reciprocal dependence in the Mystical Body of Christ, which is currently growing stronger amongst all those who have been baptised, in accordance with their vocation and their mission; the withdrawal from God and His abandonment at the hands of individuals and societies, but also a bursting forth of the Spirit of Truth in hearts and communities, leading to sacrifice and martyrdom in order to preserve the image and likeness of God in man (cf. Gn 1.27). Among these signs of the times and others, Fatima, as I have said, is in the very first rank, and it also helps us to see the hand of God, a providential Guide and patient and merciful Father, in this 20th century.

II. In observing how man, in the aftermath of Fatima, has distanced himself from God, we must remember that this is not the first time that, sensing Himself rejected and repulsed by man, God, in His respect for men’s freedom, gives the appearance of being distant, and that consequently there is an overshadowing of man’s life that makes night fall on History. But God will always provide us with a refuge first. It was like this at Calvary, when God made man was crucified and died at the hands of men. What did Christ do? After having invoked the mercy of Heaven in these words, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Lk 23.34), he entrusted humanity to Mary, His Mother: "Woman, behold your son!" (Jn 19.26)

A symbolic reading of this evangelical tableau should allow us to see in it a reflection of the final scene of the experience, well known and regularly repeated, of the child who, sensing that he is not understood, abandons his father’s house, appalled and indignant, to lose himself in the night… It is the cloak of his mother that covers him in his frozen sleep, thus relieving his despair and his solitude. Under the maternal cloak that extends from Fatima over the whole world, humanity experiences a renewed longing for the House of the Father and His Bread (cf. Lk 15.17). Dear pilgrims, I ask you to say in His Name and for Her sake, as though you were capable of embracing the whole of humanity, "Holy Mother of God, we place ourselves under your protection. Despise us not in our necessities, but keep us from all danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin".

III. "Woman, behold your son!" It is in these terms that Jesus addressed His Mother, referring to John, the beloved disciple, who was also at the foot of the Cross. Who does not have a cross to carry? To carry it each day, following in the footsteps of the Master, such is the condition that the Gospel imposes on us (cf. Lk 9.23), assuredly a salutary blessing (cf. 1 Cor 1.23-24). The secret is that we must never lose sight of the first Crucified One, He to whom the Father responded with the glory of the Resurrection and who inaugurated this pilgrimage of blessed ones. This contemplation has taken the simple and efficacious form of a meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, which has been consecrated by popular practice and recommended with great insistence by the Magisterium.

My very dear brothers and sisters, recite the Rosary every day! I earnestly ask Pastors to recite the Rosary and to teach others to recite it in their Christian communities. In order that both the human and Christian duties appropriate to each person’s state of life may be faithfully and courageously accomplished, help the People of God to return to the daily recitation of the Rosary, this gentle conversation of children with the Mother whom they have taken into their homes (cf. Jn 19.27)

In uniting myself to this Symposium and making my own the joys and the hopes, the sadness and anguish of each and every one, I fraternally greet all those who are taking part, whether physically or spiritually, in this October pilgrimage, invoking on everyone, but especially on the sick, the consolation and strength of God, in order that they may be content to complete in their flesh what is missing in the sufferings of Christ (cf. Col 1.24), remembering this "Mystery, which is certainly awesome and which is never sufficiently meditated upon, namely that the salvation of a great number depends on prayers and voluntary mortifications, which are offered for this purpose by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ with the co-operation of both the Pastors and the faithful, especially by fathers and mothers of families, in collaboration with the divine Saviour" (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, I § 22).

May my Apostolic Benediction be for you all, both Pastors and laity, a source of encouragement.

From the Vatican, 1 October 1997

JOHN PAUL II 


THE MARIAN APOCALYPSE AVERTED
"LUCTUS ET ANGOR"

Introduction: Fatima and the year 2000 preparations

For John Paul II Fatima is primarily, and perhaps exclusively, a "prodigy"; the strange prodigy of "the dance of the sun". Superstitious people vainly try to find a meaning in it…Its 80th anniversary is for him an "occasion" to come from afar "before this sanctuary". Naturally to pray to the Mother of God…but also to prepare the Church, and in "a certain sense" (?) all humanity, for the great Jubilee in the Year 2000, which has to be the greatest sign of the times, the herald of a new world. It is an "occasion" also to revive the recitation of the Rosary… and thereby to rally the devotees of Mary to the Pope’s plans.

I. Fatima is a light for our century

The Sun of Fatima is the flagship at the head of a whole fleet of prodigies intended to throw light, at least in part, on the progress of our century. The aftermath of the oracle explains its language; there are four categories of scourge: war; oppression of peoples; religious crises, desertions and dissensions within the Church; and finally – and it is clearly the third secret which is released here as a "trial balloon" – the apostasy of the masses and of the princes of the Church leading the faithful after them…That is the sum total of the message of Fatima, which is preparing the world for the severities of its "Guide" (sic), its God! who is nevertheless merciful…

For another "prodigy" and another fleet of signs has filled our skies for the last fifty years. It is the Council, it is Assisi, it is UNO, and there is still another sign to come – greater than all of them, greater than the dance of the sun! – the Jubilee of the Year 2000, the first celebration of the Movement for the Spiritual Animation of Universal Democracy and the proclamation of the Emperor and Saviour Pope of the New World!

Fatima, certainly! predicts "tears and anguish", luctus et angor. It had to do this, since all that touches on its purpose. The Council, Assisi, the Jubilee, that is gaudium et spes: "joy and hope" without limits. Let us re-read these predictions of happiness: …but also, the great gatherings for peace; … but also, democracy, decolonisation and the fall of dictatorships;…but also, the solidarity and ecumenical communion that unites peoples, Churches, and Humanity!… but ultimately, the bursting forth of the Spirit in the Saints and Just Men of these modern times, the Dispensers of Justice and Liberators of the enslaved masses, men capable of dying for Man, the image and likeness of God.

II. But darkness always gives way to Light

Fatima tests our spirit and our faith. But it is not the first time that humanity has rebelled and that apostasy has laid the Church low…"Sensing Himself (sic) rejected and repulsed by man… in His respect for men’s freedom", God gives the appearance of being distant, but no! John Paul II has already revealed to us in his first encyclical that God must be reconciled with the world and that, as soon as the world suffers, His infinite mercy propels God before the feet of men. "It was like this at Calvary, when God made man was crucified and died at the hands of men".

Therefore, if "night falls on History", according to Fatima, there is no need to worry, and the proof of this lies still within the secret of Fatima. In romantically poignant terms the Pope recounts the story of the prodigal son, but he embellishes it with the moving event of the Mother stretching her cloak around the child in his frozen sleep, thus relieving his despair and his solitude. Any parable is daring which makes the child innocent and invents a maternal cloak for Our Lady extending from Fatima over the whole world and saving its lost and unhappy multitudes… who are doubtless repentant? Such is the "experience" of past centuries, one that was dominated by the great Mystery of the Cross of Jesus and that of the tender mercy of His mother, eternal sources of salvation for the world.

III. Soon Fatima’s prodigies and promises will give way to those of the Civilisation of love

Without quoting anything from the Message of the 13th July and its three successive secrets – hell, wars and persecutions, and finally apostasy in the Church’s head and members – John Paul II links the final words of this Message of Heaven, without for all that quoting them, to his own personal message, and he prophesies happy times that we will have done nothing to merit: "In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph"; Russia "will be converted and there will be given a certain time of peace to the world".

Given this stunning volte-face, perhaps someone might dare to ask what exactly is this secret which has kept us in suspense since 1960, and which our Popes have always rejected? Well, John Paul II is not afraid of inventing one. It admirably completes his parable and is also a fine recommendation that cannot be gainsaid: "The secret is that we must never lose sight of the first Crucified One, He to whom the Father responded with the glory of the Resurrection and who inaugurated this pilgrimage of blessed ones…" Ask not where this pilgrimage is going and who these blessed ones are! You will never get a reply. Moreover, the whole point of Fatima is to preach, proclaim and sing about Heaven to us! But no, Fatima's only purpose here is to rally the Catholic multitudes to the Civilisation of earthly love, something real and quite unlike the illusory Paradise of the ancients! So let us press ahead and follow the procession towards a better world in which man will finally take the place of Jesus Christ. It will soon be the Great Jubilee. John Paul II has asked God as a final grace that he may live to see it and preside over what will no longer be a poor mutilated Church, but the great assembly that will establish MASDU…

All that is so finely spoken, so gently presented with its final urgent recommendation to recite the Rosary every day, that all the devout pilgrims of Fatima will get up and follow the immense procession of their Pastors and the bewitched laity.

Is everything lost therefore? No! Post tenebras lux… And the light that will overcome the darkness is the Virgin Mary and Her Secret! It will be opened late, very late! But the time has now come. It is the Word of the Immaculate that will crush the head of the Serpent, will vanquish all heresies, and will liberate creation so that it may be offered in its entirety to the Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ. Amen!

 

"Return again to Fatima, Most Holy Father, and there, joining your voice to that of the vast crowd praying as one, say with them: Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. And when you decide to yield to Mary's requests, you will be granted the miraculous gift of Peace!" (Liber accusationis I, against Pope Paul VI, 10 April 1973)

 


THE DIVINE LIGHT OF THE THIRD SECRET

CARRIES THE CONDEMNATION OF THE CONCILIAR REFORM

Fifty years ago, on the 26th December 1957, Sister Mary-Lucy of the Immaculate Heart confided to Father Augustine Fuentes that the Virgin Mary was "very sad to see that nobody paid attention to Her message". Since then, every time that the truth about the third Secret of Fatima is published in the Church, a command from a senior authority, usually Roman, unleashes a disinformation campaign involving diversion tactics, denials, and retractions, after which the mantle of silence falls back on everything.

In 1959 a simple deceitful note was issued by the diocesan curia of Coimbra to contradict the alarming declarations made by Father Fuentes.

In 1977, in order to contest the demonstrations of the official expert, Father Joaquin Alonso, and to attack his authoritative little book, The truth about the secret of Fatima (ed. Centro Mariano, 1976), Father Geraldes Freire wrote his book The secret of Fatima. Is the third part about Portugal? which was published by the Sanctuary. Its principal thesis was disconcerting, but fully acceptable to the Vatican. Four years later, after the death of the official expert, the latter still had no designated successor. Access to the Fatima archives could thus be closed and even sealed.

In 1985, in the second version of his conversation with the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori, Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, toned down and distorted his own declarations about the content of the third Secret, which had been published eight months earlier in the review "Jesus".

In January 1986, the Bishop of Fatima, Mgr Alberto do Amaral, denied the remarks that he had openly made about the Secret on the 10th September 1984 in the great hall of the technical University of Vienna. What an affair! Brother Michael came up against a thousand difficulties in his attempts to prove the authenticity of the first declaration of the bishop. Ten years later, there was no longer a problem. Mgr do Amaral had just retired and he was no longer subject to reprimand for having spoken too openly about the third Secret. When I met him on the 2nd March 1995, he confided to me: "I had consulted Lucy and I had obtained her assent before affirming at Vienna that the contents of the third Secret ‘relate only to our faith, the loss of the faith’" It was astounding: Mgr do Amaral had completely forgotten the denials he made in January 1986!

In October 1992, when Father Gruner presented the work of Brother Michael of the Holy Trinity, The Whole Truth about Fatima, to a group of fifty bishops who had come at his invitation to Fatima, Mgr do Amaral and Father Kondor organised a parlour with Sister Lucy for Cardinal Padiyara and Mr Carlos Evaristo. Subsequently the Fatima authorities circulated the alleged replies of the seer, which contradicted Brother Michael’s conclusions word for word. However, the young Evaristo, escaping from Father Kondor’s control, attributed statements to the seer which were so ridiculous that the affair became grotesque and discredited the conspirators. The Vatican, embarrassed by these controversies over the testimony of the seer, ordered that in future cardinals could only meet her if they were accompanied by one person only, their private secretary!

Last October, when questioned by a pack of journalists, the Bishop of Fatima, Mgr Serafim Ferreira e Silva, was careful not to infringe the law of silence that the Popes have imposed since 1960 on everything to do with the Secret. Shrugging his shoulders and smiling, he told them:

"The letter was delivered to the Vatican by my predecessor, but he did not leave me a copy of the said secret. I never speak about it, I conceal nothing, nor do I make desperate appeals for it to be published. One thing is certain, I am not at all alarmed by this secret. The story goes that it could have been revealed after 1960. Therefore I would conclude, as anyone might, that this secret concerns an event that has already taken place. If the guardian of this document wishes to publish it, fair enough, but if he does not wish to, it is clear that I cannot force him to do so."

LAURENTIN AGAINST RATZINGER

But on the next day, 11 October 1997, RAI (Italian television) recorded a declaration by the Abbé Laurentin stating that "the Secret concerned deviations from the faith that would arise in the Church after Vatican II". He concluded by deploring that this final Secret had not yet been published. When it was broadcast on the television news on the evening of the 13th October, for the 80th anniversary of the fall of the sun, his declaration caused a great stir in the peninsula and even well beyond! In Portugal, the "Jornal de noticias" for the 14th October announced that, according to Laurentin, "the Secret makes it certain that the faith will be preserved in Portugal, which is something that will not be the case in other countries where the faith is disappearing and where one may observe a serious crisis at the heart of the Church herself".

In Italy, the writer Vittorio Messori immediately repeated the statements of the French mariologist. In the "Corriere della Sera" for the 14th October he explained: "It is understood that the third Secret does not predict a cosmic cataclysm but the crisis of the faith, the apostasy, that has supposedly struck the Church since the Second Vatican Council."

The enemies of Fatima and the Vatican authorities reacted at once. On the 14th October the former private secretary of John XXIII, Mgr Capovilla – his intimate counsellor, "his henchman", as our Father used to describe him – claimed to have read Sister Lucy’s manuscript and he stated: "Whether it be Laurentin or Messori, they are both mistaken when they maintain that the little shepherdess made allusion to a period of strife and heresy in the Church."

On the next day Cardinal Ratzinger himself entered into the fray, writing in "Avvenire" that Laurentin was retailing nothing but "fantasies and twaddle. Three popes have been acquainted with the Secret, and if none of them judged it opportune to publish it, it is because they will have had good reasons. The whole content of the Fatima apparitions is based on the request of the Madonna for 'Prayer and Penance'. It is there that the essential lies."

If the third Secret contained nothing but an invitation to prayer and penance, it is difficult to understand why the Pope should obstinately refuse to divulge it. Nor is it clear why Our Lady should have ordered the three shepherds to keep secret a message which Her public message on the 13th October supposedly repeated word for word.

THE ABBÉ LAURENTIN RETRACTS

 If the Abbé Laurentin had had the courage of his convictions, he would have replied publicly to the Cardinal by addressing a request to him for the publication of the Secret. He had only to follow up the conclusion of his article in the "Figaro" for the 12th May 1982: "The publication of the Secret appears to be desirable today, for this prolonged suspense beyond the date provided for is unhealthy and obscures the message of Fatima … Mgr Théas, to whom I had disclosed the risks involved in publishing the secrets of Lourdes, had given me this reply: ‘Lourdes needs nothing except the truth.’ This golden rule would also benefit Fatima."

As for ourselves, we would certainly present reasons that were more supernatural to support a disclosure of the heavenly oracle: "Were this text known today by the faithful", affirmed Father Alonso, "it would bring them immense spiritual benefit and it would even dissipate certain doubts that many enemies of Fatima spread about in order to damage its message."

Quite different is Laurentin’s explanation published in "Famille Chrétienne" on the 20th November last:

A CLARIFICATION

A journalist from the "GAZETTINO" asked Cardinal Ratzinger: "According to the Abbé Laurentin, the third Secret of Fatima is the prediction 'of marked divisions in the Church based on doctrinal divergences'. What do you think of that?" – "They are mere tales and fantasies", replied Cardinal Ratzinger.

I am in full agreement with this reply. I have never made such a statement, and I regret therefore that my name has been associated with this matter.

Why is there all this confusion? On the 11th October, the RAI had interviewed me at Fatima for its 80th anniversary… One of the twenty questions inevitably turned on the secret. I replied that I was not one of the small number of confidants. I briefly clarified on what bases one might identify its substance, although not its actual terms. The Italian press made a scoop of this, involving a degree of misrepresentation, as often happens in such cases.

It is one of these misrepresentations that has been submitted to Cardinal Ratzinger, with whom I have always been in perfect agreement ever since we were both experts at the Council.

He defended me at the time of another controversy on a Marian issue, and he wrote the preface for my Gospels of childhood. Both he and I have been the victims of this confusion.

Abbé Laurentin

(Famille Chrétienne, no 1036, 20 Nov 1997, p.4)

Laurentin is careful to avoid clarifying what he had actually replied to the journalists of the RAI on that 11th October. By remembering and renewing his involvement at the Council, he finds himself back in communion with Cardinal Ratzinger.

And in order to erase the enormous impression that his rather too spontaneous declaration had made in Italy on the 13th October, RAI 2 broadcast on the 8th December a new interview with the selfsame Abbé concerning the Secret of Fatima and its relationship with the Council: "The third Secret treats of the Church, and not of Portugal or the world. Vatican II is a good Council… even though after it we witnessed unprecedented deviations that provoked the abandonment of the faith by more than 40,000 priests"… In short, there is no question for Laurentin of denying his pact with Vatican II, nor of reconsidering in the divine light of the Secret of Fatima the role he himself played at this disastrous Council – a role that was certainly highly damaging, knowing as we do the cleverness with which he opposed, in the commissions, the definition of the dogma of "Mary Mediatrix of all graces".

CAPOVILLA AGAINST LAURENTIN

While Laurentin was busy retracting, Mgr Capovilla was renewing and retouching his own declarations in several interviews granted to various journalists. His principal affirmations, which were published by Marco Toscati in the Milanese daily "La Stampa", deserve to be quoted, even though one should view them somewhat critically. When Brother Michael of the Holy Trinity reported the replies Mgr Capovilla had made in 1977 to Father Alonso and to Father Freire, he observed: " Some of his affirmations are seriously incomplete, inexact, and even, it has to be said, indisputably untruthful."

Let us first of all note that the former intimate counsellor of John XXIII comes across as a man of the left very frustrated in his political passions by the essential and well known elements of the message, such as the place and  importance given to "the errors of Russia" by Our Lady in the second part of the Secret: "All these continual references to Russia! We must take account of the way a nun – a young girl with all her local culture – expressed herself at that period."

But the discussion turns principally on the third Secret.

MARCO TOSATTI: "Is the prophecy very long?"

MGR CAPOVILLA: "Four or five sheets, in manuscript."

That is incorrect. We know that Sister Lucy wrote it on a single sheet of paper, which Mgr Venancio in 1957 had made out by looking through the two envelopes whilst holding them against the light.

Why therefore this crude error? There are two solutions. Either Mgr Capovilla has not actually read the text of the Secret, and that is quite possible; with "the henchman of John XXIII", no lie should surprise us. Or else Mgr Capovilla is seeking to discredit Vittorio Messori who asserts that the manuscript of Lucy is contained in twenty-eight lines.

Mgr Capovilla claims elsewhere that "the Secret is not connected to any particular year: neither 1960, nor any subsequent date". Another lie. When in 1944 the Bishop of Fatima received the envelope containing the Secret, he could have revealed it immediately. But, relates Father Alonso, "since the Bishop refused to open it, Lucy made him promise that it would be finally opened and read to the world on her death or in 1960, according to which happened soonest". And Father Alonso did not tell lies.

Concerning the year 1960, Brother Michael had already drawn attention to this untruth in Mgr Capovilla’s replies to Father Alonso. Today Mgr Capovilla adds that "the secret is not linked to the end of the millennium". That is strange. It is as if he dreaded, between now and the year 2000, an event prophesied by the Virgin Mary!

Let us continue reading the conversation:

MARCO TOSATTI: "Recently, the mariologist René Laurentin made a connection between the prophecy and the divisions in the Church, the year 1960 and the Council."

MGR CAPOVILLA: "Above all, it has nothing to do with these stories about struggles inside the Church, which Laurentin is talking about. Even though it is true that these difficulties have always existed amongst us. Saint Paul has stated it already: You come together for the Eucharist, but among you there are some who are rich and there are others who have nothing to eat. There have also been heresies. But when I heard Mr Messori saying that, 'When Pope Paul VI gave his speech about the fumes of Satan entering the Church, he made use of twenty-one lines taken from the third Secret of Fatima', I intended to write Cardinal Ratzinger. But then I saw that he had given a very grave reply in "Avvenire". I am the only one to know these things apart from the Pope and the Cardinal. This Laurentin! If he knows the secret, let him come out with it; he at any rate is not bound to silence!"

Curiously, in 1977, in his reply to Father Alonso’s questions, Mgr Capovilla had not sought to modify the latter’s thesis on the Secret in any way. The official expert had in effect questioned him over the reasons that lay behind the decision not to divulge the Secret:

1. Is it because certain nations or certain Church authorities (cardinals, bishops) are expressly mentioned in it?
2. Is it because the Secret concerns the religious crisis in the Church?
3. Is it because it contains references to Russia and its influence in the world?

This is what Mgr Capovilla replied: "I do not believe that the Pope’s reserve was occasioned by the mention of specific persons or nations, nor by any political references". The counsellor of John XXIII skipped the second question. He did not deny therefore that the Secret contained the announcement of a crisis in the Church and an obscuring of the faith.

Furthermore, in last November’s "Famiglia Cristiana" we read this striking reply from Mgr Capovilla: "The part of the secret contained in the envelope can be deduced from Sacred Scripture, from the Gospel itself. The misfortunes that lie in wait for humanity are so numerous. As for the Church, Jesus even went as far as to say: ‘But when the Son of Man returns, will He find any faith on the earth?’"

The suggestion by Vittorio Messori that the content of the Secret may be related to Paul VI’s cry of alarm appears to be judicious. Commenting on our Father’s editorial for July 1972, "Who governs the Church?", which drew certain lessons from Paul VI’s recent speeches, we wrote: "Paul VI, who knew the content of the third Secret of Fatima, perhaps had it very much in his mind when he explained the postconciliar devastations and catastrophes by referring to the infiltration of the Church by an invisible and mysterious power, the devil. It is noteworthy that several of the themes broached in his speeches from the 21st to the 29th June 1972 accord with those of the third Secret. But in disguising his own responsibility for the crisis, it is probable that Paul VI was spurning one of the essential points of Our Lady’s warning, concerning him personally, at the very moment when it was being realised!" Paul VI was in effect – he primarily and more than anyone else – the accomplice of Satan, the destroyer of his own dwelling, the Church, since he absolutely refused to combat the heresy, schism, and sacrilege that was openly committed, perpetrated, and professed by numerous high-ranking members of the hierarchy.

Mgr Capovilla gives us this irreplaceable testimony about John XXIII’s reading of the Secret.

MARCO TOSATTI: "How did Pope John take the revelation?"

MGR CAPOVILLA: "… With the prudence that was characteristic of him. He had been told about the Secret as soon as he had been made pope. Shortly afterwards, John XXIII appointed several cardinals and, among them, Cardinal Cento who [whilst apostolic nuncio to Lisbon] had brought the envelope to the Vatican during the papacy of Piux XII; we do not know if the latter read it [it is highly doubtful that Pius XII did read it]. The envelope was effectively placed in the archives, under seal. Nobody knew what it contained. Cento then said to Pope John, 'It would be wise for you to find out what is in it. Sister Lucy has contacted me. She could issue a message to the world. I do not know if that would be opportune. We should perhaps ask the Secretary of State's office what they think about this.' Unanimously everyone answered no."

Unanimously? Is he sure? It is a great pity that we only have the testimony of Mgr Capovilla about these consultations and their outcome.

MARCO TOSATTI: "How did Pope John react?"

MGR CAPOVILLA: "One of the Pope’s secretaries asked him, ‘Should I get the envelope?’ John XXIII told him to wait. After he had announced the Council, he went to Castelgandolfo and said: ‘Now, please, bring it to me.’ The envelope was handed to him on Monday [the 17th August 1959], but he ordered Mgr Paul Philippe, ‘Put it down there, I shall read it on Tuesday when my confessor is here.’ The confessor [Mgr Alfredo Cavagna] came. The Pope opened it, started reading, then called me and gave me the text. It was written in Portuguese and several of its expressions were in dialect. We were not able to understand it all. So the Pope called for Mgr Paolo Tavares, the future bishop of Macao. Tavares read it and translated it accurately. The Pope said, ‘Now my colleagues must learn about it, to see what needs to be done.’ Those who read it were Tardini, Dell’Acqua, Samoré from the Secretary of State’s office, his confessor, Parente and Philippe from the Holy Office, and myself. Agagianian was at Castelgandolfo that day, and he read it also."

To lessen the responsibility of John XXIII and himself in failing to divulge the Secret in 1960, it is in Mgr Capovilla’s interest to claim that the Pope humbly asked for the advice of several key persons. But have all these prelates really read the exact and complete text of the Secret drawn up by Sister Lucy? "We have solid reasons to doubt this", replied Brother Michael. "Without doubt the Pope was content to speak to them about it; some of them in 1959 and the majority in 1960 or later, and in a fairly vague manner. According to Mgr Capovilla, Mgr Samoré is meant to have read the Secret. Now, the latter denies this. Everything can be explained if John XXIII contented himself with speaking vaguely about it."

Elsewhere, in his conversation published by "Famiglia Cristiana", Mgr Capovilla confesses, "I do not know how the officials of the Holy Office, the Secretary of State’s office, or any other ecclesiastic reacted." And, to the question, "Did you, who read the text of the third Secret, ever comment upon it with Pope John?" he replied, "No, never."

For the first time Mgr Capovilla reveals the terms of the note that the Pope dictated to him and which was then placed in the envelope along with the Secret:

MARCO TOSATTI: "What was the conclusion?"

MGR CAPOVILLA: "After he had spoken with everybody, John XXIII said to me, "Write." And I wrote what he dictated: ‘The Holy Father received this document from the hands of Mgr Philippe. He decided to read it on Tuesday, in the presence of his confessor. Having taken note of the presence of obscure idioms, he summoned Mgr Tavares, who translated. He had his closest colleagues read it also. Finally, he decided to put it back in the envelope, saying, I make no judgement on this. He maintained silence in the face of what might be a manifestation of the divine or might not be.’"

These last two phrases reveal John XXIII’s innermost reaction after reading the prophecy of the Immaculate. The Pope doubted its divine authenticity. He thought it possible that this heavenly message might not be a genuine divine revelation and he remained uncertain.

One understands, therefore, why John XXIII never spoke in public about the Secret during the whole of his pontificate. And one is no longer surprised at the terms of the official communiqué issued by the Vatican on the 8th February 1960, announcing that the third Secret would never (!) be published: "Although", as we read in this text for which John XXIII was responsible, "the Church recognises the apparitions of Fatima, she does not desire to take on the responsibility of guaranteeing the veracity of the statements that the three shepherds say that the Virgin Mary addressed to them."

In that year, 1960, the Pope made the necessary arrangements for Sister Lucy to be totally shut off from the world behind the grilles of her Carmelite convent. "In his diary for 19 November 1959 John XXIII, after having received the new bishop of Leiria-Fatima, noted: ‘Interesting talk with the Cardinal Secretary of State and the young bishop of Fatima, Joao Pereira Venancio. We talked at length about the seer of Fatima, today a good religious at Coimbra [we emphasise the next part]: The Holy Office will take care of everything and keep it on the right lines.’ " Now, the orders given by the Holy Office were such that even her former confessor and spiritual director, Father José Aparicio, a true man of God, could not obtain permission to speak with Sister Lucy in August 1960 when he was visiting Portugal. And during the autumn of 1962, when the bishops who were on their way to the Council made a detour via Coimbra to speak with Heaven’s messenger, they left the Carmel without even seeing her.

JOHN XXIII AGAINST FATIMA

Vittorio Messori has correctly gauged John XXIII’s enormous responsibility: "It is clear that the ‘Secret’, if it really predicted the tempest that would soon arrive, was in stark contrast with the roncallian strategy of smiling and optimism at all costs. It was for this reason that the mysterious document was deposited in the archives and the serious decision was taken to ignore the command (which Sister Lucy claimed to have received from Heaven itself) to publish its contents in 1960. One might say that the following Popes, from Montini to Wojtyla, remained in some way prisoners of the decision taken by John XXIII. Must we not in fact admit that Roncalli simply took no notice of the divine warnings and, what is more, that he failed at that time to take any prudent measures to check the predicted crisis in the Church? If things really stand like this, then, in the light of hindsight, Laurentin is right to state that it is ‘a pity’ that it was decided to censure the third Secret instead of publishing it as it was a duty to do."

The reserve and scepticism of John XXIII in regard to the Secret’s contents, does not rule out in any way what he said on another occasion: "This does not relate to the years of my pontificate." Now, according to the very words of Lucy, the prophecy would seem "clearer (mais claro) in 1960", and the only reason that a prophecy might become clearer at a predetermined date is that it has then begun to be realised. But John XXIII refused to believe the prophecy. He did not want to admit that it might be directed at his own pontificate. Deceived by the Spirit of Evil, he remained persuaded that the Virgin Mary would not allow that he personally might be subjected to a divine chastisement: "We feel that, in Her clemency, She intercedes for us, that She implores mercy for us, warding off the chastisements deserved by our faults."

Nevertheless, the mere reminder of the Secret greatly bothered him. When the future Cardinal Oddi expressed surprise that it had not been divulged in 1960, John XXIII replied to him, "Do not speak to me about that." Nonetheless the prelate insisted, "If you wish, I will speak no further about it, but I cannot prevent the people from speaking about it. I would myself have given a hundred sermons to announce this revelation." The Pope retorted, "I told you not to speak to me about it."

Having dismissed the incomparable heavenly oracle, John XXIII was able to preach his own personal revelation. He made himself the prophet of a "new Pentecost" which, he predicted, would inevitably result from his Council.

We deliberately say his Council because John XXIII never revealed which prelates had suggested to him the idea of convening an Ecumenical Council. He even dared to write, in his Journal of a soul, that nobody had addressed such a request to him. He wanted the decision to summon such an assembly to appear his own personal idea, a heavenly inspiration, an illumination from the Holy Spirit. He himself gave so many different and even contradictory versions of the circumstances of this "inspiration" that Peter Hebblethwaite, his biographer – and hagiographer! – felt obliged to explain, "His memory certainly played tricks on him. The completely unconscious revision of his recollections makes it clear what he wished people to believe about the Council rather than what exactly happened…"

So, what actually did happen? This:

At the conclave, on the night of the 27th October 1958, Cardinals Ottaviani and Ruffini, both very aware of the dangers weighing on the Church and on the faith, made their way to the room of Cardinal Roncalli, whose election to the papacy then seemed certain. They suggested to him that he should incorporate into his pontifical programme the holding of an Ecumenical Council. Six days later, on 2 November, Cardinal Ruffini spoke again on this matter to John XXIII. As Hebblethwaite points out, "The first document that mentions a Council dates from 2 November. After he had received Cardinal Ruffini in audience, [Pope] John noted that they had discussed the possibility of convoking a Council."

Thus it was traditionalist Cardinals who requested the Pope to call a Council. They saw it as a remedy against the invasion of apostasy.

But John XXIII’s ostentatious "illuminism" allowed him to take up their suggestions as if they were his own. He then distanced himself from their reactionary concerns and established objectives that were innovatory and unprecedented. John XXIII had in fact for some time looked forward towards the coming of a new Pentecost whose first fruits would be a Reform of the Church. Before entering the Conclave on 23 October 1958, had he not written to the Bishop of Bergamo, "My soul finds comfort in the hope that a new Pentecost might blow upon the Church, renewing its head, leading to a new ordering of the ecclesiastical body, and reinvigorating the progress towards the victory of truth, goodness, and peace."

John XXIII preferred his own supposed inspirations to the divine illumination contained in the Secret of Fatima, the disclosure of which in 1960 would have been a providential help and a source of grace for the hierarchy of Holy Church. The prophetic warning of the Queen of Heaven, protectress of the dogmas of the faith, would have given to the Council Fathers the necessary divine strength to oppose the diabolic disorientation and to firmly defend the integrity of the deposit of Revelation by making a distinction, in the profusion of new ideas, between beneficial progress on one hand and reprehensible errors on the other.

THE PROPHECY OF FATIMA IS FULFILLED

In his overview of the first session of the Council, the Abbé de Nantes wrote: "Between the 11th October 1962, of sinister memory, and the 8th December, the closing day of the first session, I counted – and please excuse the comparison, but it is the only one suitable – seven rounds in which the traditionalist was floored, without however being KO’d. Seven times the bell sounded the victory of Liénart, Frings, Koenig, and Alfrink and the humiliation of Ottaviani, to the manifest satisfaction of John XXIII and to applause from the floor. These rounds were: the opening speech, a veritable condemnation of conservatism; the intervention of Cardinal Liénart on the 13th October; the Message to the world; Cardinal Frings’ insolent use of the warning bell to interrupt Cardinal Ottaviani on the 30th to the applause of the assembly – the Secretary of the Holy Office was reduced to equality with the bishops; he had no more authority than the Bishop of Cuernavaca! – a little later there was the rejection by the reformist majority and by the Pope of the schema on Revelation; the rejection of Cardinal Ottaviani’s proposed study of the schema 'On the Virgin Mary' on the 1st December; and finally the Pope’s entrusting of the Council activities in the interval between the two sessions to a commission of six cardinals, all reformists. At the start of the session, the Roman curia had directed the Council labours, at the end it found itself stripped of its powers and despised."

Now, it can be shown that, in each of these rounds, the intervention of John XXIII in favour of the neomodernist and progressivist group was decisive. On each occasion the Pope assured victory for them, even if it meant infringing the Council regulations.

So it was that when the most reactionary prelates opposed the illegal circulation of the counter-schemas, John XXIII disowned them. The very progressivist Peter Hebblethwaite recounts that, "When Ruffini, Ottaviani, and Bacci came to find him and complain about the supposedly monstrous intrigues of the ‘progressivists’, he consoled them by referring them to history. Things were far worse at Trent where a Latin bishop had pulled a Greek bishop’s beard. And the rejection of a preparatory document was not without precedent. At Vatican I, on the first day of the debates, the schema of Franzelin was rejected. There was therefore nothing to get worked up about."

The cardinals might have replied to him that at Trent the offending bishop, Mgr Sanfelice, Bishop of Cava, was expelled from the Council. As for the schema prepared by Franzelin, it was rejected by the Fathers of Vatican I without any violation of the rules. But above all, the aims of that Council remained completely traditional. Pius IX, in accordance with what he had written in his letter of convocation, had assembled it "in order to decide with prudence and wisdom everything that could contribute to define the dogmas of the faith, to unmask new errors, to defend, clarify, and develop Catholic doctrine, to conserve and heighten ecclesiastical discipline, and to strengthen the lax morals of the peoples."

If one were to identify in the early 60s one event – and one only! – that marked the approach of the spiritual chastisement predicted in the third Secret, it would clearly have to be the opening speech of Vatican II, which assigned the Council as its programme the Reform of the Church herself, rather than the correction of the errors and faults of her members. The reaction of the renowned Cardinal Siri – or, to be more exact, the absence of his reaction on this occasion – clearly illustrates the failure of the hierarchy predicted in the third Secret. On the following day in fact he wrote in his private diary, "I did not understand very much in the Pope’s speech. In the little I did understand I found an excellent opportunity of making a great act of mental obedience… This evening I carefully analysed the Pope’s speech so that I might align [sic] my way of thinking with that of the Vicar of Christ."

"Astonishing." observed our Father, "Right from the start not one person protested against such a programme. Everyone agreed to undertake a work for which they had no juridical competence and no divine inspiration, a work that should not have been attempted nor even desired. Thus they lost themselves along the paths of perdition, and with them the whole Church."

When the session closed on the 8th December 1962, John XXIII spoke about "the radiant beginnings of the Council" and congratulated himself on the total impunity enjoyed by the innovators. "These providential debates have brought out the truth and they have shown the world the holy liberty of the children of God, such as it exists in the Church." The reformist enthusiasm of John XXIII was at its high point: "It will truly be the new Pentecost, so longed for. It will be a new leap ahead."

John XXIII was stricken with blindness, that "wretched blindness of souls" which Saint Pius X considered at the beginning of this century as "the great and just punishment of the Avenging God" who in this way punishes those "who separate themselves from Him" (29 February 1906).

A RARE FORESIGHTEDNESS

Our Father demonstrated remarkable intuition with regard to the content of the third Secret, even before John XXIII’s death. His private correspondence testifies to this. Whereas conservative Catholics like Peter Lemaire would not accept his criticism of the encyclical Pacem in terris, he wrote to the latter in the middle of May 1963, "I wish that the Holy Father, in order to decide between the two parties, would publish the Secret of Fatima. Speak along these lines in your excellent review. It would be a test."

The late lamented Father Alonso attempted to justify the refusal of the Popes to reveal the third Secret, or rather he gave the appearance of justifying their disobedience to the wishes of the Most Holy Virgin, when he wrote these lines in 1981: "An untimely revelation of the text would merely have sharpened even more the two tendencies that continue to tear apart the Church: a traditionalism that would have believed itself to be supported by the prophecies of Fatima and a progressivism that would have howled against these apparitions, seeing that they so scandalously appeared to check the forward march of the conciliar Church."

The truth of these words is striking. The revelation of the prophecies of Our Lady, explained the Fatima expert, would visibly prove that the defenders of tradition were in the right; conversely, it would repudiate the partisans of the "conciliar Reform" to the extent of making them rage against Fatima. Thereupon a question would arise: How long will our pastors prefer to gratify the enemies of the Virgin Mary by remaining faithful to the "conciliar orientations" which have led the Church to her ruin, rather than humbly trusting the prophecies of the Queen of the Apostles, prophecies that are incontestably opposed to the innovators?

That is why the Abbé de Nantes concluded the first two of his Books of accusation by formulating at one and the same time a request and a challenge: he pleaded with the Holy Father to reveal the Secret. Thus, in 1983, he wrote to John Paul II: "There is certainly considerable reference to a Pope in this brief Secret, a crucified Pope to be sure, but also an apostate Pope. Might they be one and the same? Might it be... You? I do not know, and I do not ask to know. But it is already late, very late, to procure for the Church of God the truth of Fatima that will set her free.

"Most Holy Father, publish Our Lady's Secret, and I shall say: ‘Maria seu Roma locuta est. Causa finita. Yes, Mary and Rome, it is all one, have spoken. The Trial is over. Please God, may the error end likewise!’ "

Assuredly this judgement will come to pass when, by a miracle of grace, the gentle Heart of Mary finally triumphs over the Holy Father’s heart, and we can hasten this hour if, by following the example of the three shepherds, we offer prayers and sacrifices for "our gentle Christ on earth".

Frère François de Marie des Anges.