The Third Secret of Fatima and the “Hermeneutic of Conspiracy”

“I am convinced that we are entering into a new phase of Fatima’s history,” says the author of a new book on the controversial Third Secret of Fatima.

Images of Sr. Lucia's description of the Third Secret of Fatima, as reproduced on the Vatican's website. (Images via vatican.va)

Kevin J. Symonds (kevinsymonds.com) is the author of the recently published On the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima (En Route Books and Media, 2017), which offers a scholarly challenge to those who claim the existence of a yet-unrevealed text of the third part of the secret of Fatima, given to Sr. Lucia de Jesus dos Santos by the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. In response to the publication of his book, Symonds was invited by Angelus Press to debate Fatima controversialist Christopher Ferrara at the traditionalist publisher’s annual conference in October.

In the following interview with CWR’s Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Symonds discusses his research on key issues of controversy in the debate over the text of the Third Secret, and his recent debate with Ferrara. He also reveals the existence of a heretofore unknown letter from Sr. Lucia to Pope Paul VI regarding a “diabolical revolt” against the Church that seems to refer to themes from both the second and third parts of the secret.

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, for CWR: The appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima in 1917 are probably the most written-about apparitions in the modern history of the Catholic Church. They are also the subject of much controversy in some circles. In your view, what is the state of Fatima scholarship today and what led you to make your own contribution to the subject?

Kevin J. Symonds: I have the distinct impression that the bulk of the scholarship on Fatima is performed in Europe. Not all of it is available in English, which is most unfortunate for the Anglophone world, as we are bereft of some excellent scholarship. That said, there is the critical documentation published by the Sanctuary of Fatima, which is available in Portuguese up to 1930 and extends to 15 or so volumes. There is hope of adding to this collection the post-1930 documents. Additionally, Dr. Cristina Sobral has presented the official critical edition of Sr. Lucia’s Memoirs. The Sanctuary of Fatima is also taking some steps to make solid scholarship available in English.

My own contribution on Fatima came out of a desire to engage an influential body of literature that has largely emanated from France and North America. In the latter, there is the work of Father Nicholas Gruner and his Fatima Center, while in France there is the work of the Abbé Georges de Nantes and his Contre-Reforme Catholique. These two groups do not always agree with each other, but there was some collaboration between them in the 1980s into the 1990s. Later, in 2006, the Italian journalist Antonio Socci joined the discussions. There has not been much (if any) critical work addressing the body of literature published by Gruner and the Abbé, though there has been some response to Antonio Socci. My book is an attempt at providing a critical assessment of some contentious points that are generally common to all three.

CWR: Your book contains various quotes and even full-length translations of some vital primary source material. How did you go about investigating this subject and how were you able to obtain access to these primary sources?

Symonds: The literature from Father Gruner and the Abbé de Nantes struck me as being an enclosed circle that was given credibility by the journalistic clout of Antonio Socci. Prior to Socci’s involvement, the main audience for Gruner and the Abbé were various “traditionalist” Catholics with some conspiratorial understandings of the third part of the secret. Socci expanded that audience to include a much larger swath of people. I decided to examine matters for myself. I travelled to various academic libraries to do research on the topic during the summer of 2016 and chronicled my travels on my website. I have a modest background with Romance languages which helped me in my research of the primary sources. Later, as a member of the Mariological Society of America, I requested permission (which was granted) to research in the archives of the Sanctuary of Fatima. The information I obtained from these sources, as well as from Fatima scholars and officials, formed a picture that offered an alternative view to that of Gruner and the Abbé.

CWR: Fatima controversialists have long denied that the Third Secret was truly revealed to the public by the Holy See in 2000. Although some among them have simply dismissed the text presented to the public at that time as inauthentic, others have claimed it is incomplete and that some other explanatory text must exist. You argue that primary source material does not support their claims. How has your investigation of primary sources on Fatima led you to this conclusion?

Symonds: These groups strike me as having a deep concern for the Church. Unfortunately, their concern led them to develop what I call in my book the “hermeneutic of suspicion and conspiracy,” meaning that they view ecclesiastical authority with suspicion and mistrust in matters pertaining to Fatima. Using that suspicion and mistrust, they have organized a like-minded narrative from mostly circumstantial evidence. What is circumstantial, however, might have an alternative explanation. To find out, I checked their sources, approaching matters using the older documentation as well as the latest information in the widening reservoir of resources on Fátima. My research showed that some arguments proposed by Gruner and others had merit while others are not viable.

For example, shortly after the publication of the integral text of the third part of the secret in June 2000, there was a general impression among some Catholics that there was more to the third part. This hunch then led to claims from Gruner and his associates that there was a second text with explanatory words of Our Lady that the Holy See was withholding. Here, one must separate truth from fiction, and we were recently given important information that addresses this matter.

In 2013, the Carmelites of the convent of St. Teresa in Coimbra, Portugal, where Sr. Lucia lived for 57 years, published a biography on her entitled Um caminho sob o olhar de Maria (A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary). They revealed a previously unknown command of Our Lady to Sr. Lucia from January 3, 1944—that she was to “write what [her superiors] command you, but not that which is given to you to understand of its meaning.” Apparently, there was some prophetic insight into the third part that had been given to Sr. Lucia by 1944 but which she was not allowed to communicate to others. This fact could account for why the text seemed “incomplete” to some people.

We must accept the logical consequences of this command, the most obvious one being the impossibility of Sr. Lucia giving an accompanying explanation to the third part of the secret when she wrote it down in 1944—a notion that had been proposed by Gruner and his Fatima Center. Other primary source documents available in 2000 told us how reluctant Sr. Lúcia was to speak of her mystical experiences. There was also the simple fact that prior to 2013, we possessed no document from her describing the apparition from January 1944. We knew the fact of the apparition, but not its details, thus caution was necessary before presuming anything. Again, what is circumstantial might have an alternative explanation.

Instead of engaging critically with these facts, Father Gruner and his associates (not the Abbé de Nantes) argued that the Holy See was covering up a second text of the third part of the secret. Such arguments made for sensational propaganda of scandal and Vatican intrigue, real cloak-and-dagger stuff, that played upon the sympathies of Catholics concerned for the state of the Church. My book challenges this narrative.

CWR: You recently debated one of the principal Fatima controversialists, Christopher Ferrara, at Angelus Press’ annual conference. Was that the first time you spoke with him?

Symonds: No, it is not. Chris and I publicly disputed during the summer of 2015 over a mistranslation in the Carmelites’ biography [of Sr. Lucia]. I have elsewhere written about this matter in more detail. Having now met Chris in person, I know that he cares much for the Church, though we do not see eye-to-eye on Fatima. I keep open the doors of communication and respect his pro-life work in the legal system.

CWR: What are his principal criticisms of your position and how do you respond to them?

Symonds: Our principal disagreement concerns our hermeneutical approaches to Fatima. Chris prefers the hermeneutic of suspicion and conspiracy with the rhetoric of a lawyer. A theological lens would serve him better. He might think me too credulous when it comes to Vatican officials, whereas I would say he has been in an adversarial posture with the Holy See on Fatima for so long that he has lost objectivity. The contrast in our respective positions was apparent during the debate. For example, Chris stated that I was “running away” from a phrase in Sr. Lucia’s fourth Memoir: “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith shall always be preserved, etc.” This phrase is used by some as proof of a second text. The word “etc.” is thought to indicate words that we never received.

Chris neglected, however, to state that Chapter 9 of my book contains a critical examination of this phrase and whether it is the ending of the second part of the secret or the beginning of the third. My book might be the only one in English with such an examination. After presenting the evidence for both sides, I left the matter open-ended for readers to decide for themselves. I personally do not believe it is the beginning of the third part and I promote the view that the secret in all its parts is an organic whole and needs to be read in that context. Central to Chris’ argument is the belief that the phrase is the beginning of the third part. I was reluctant to engage Chris’ polemics during the debate. I opted for a simple “just the facts” approach. Several people came up to me afterwards to express their gratitude for my approach!

Another matter that arose during the debate concerned a letter Sr. Lucia wrote to Pope John Paul II in May 1982. A part of this letter was published with the third part of the secret in June, 2000. The 1982 letter offered some general guidelines for the Holy Father to interpret the third part, and it disproves the notion of a second text. Sr. Lucia expressly stated in her letter that the Holy Father was “anxious to know” the third part of the secret. Well, if there was a second, explanatory text of Our Lady that the Pope already read between 1978 and 1981, why would he be “anxious to know” the third part of the secret?

When I posed this question during the debate, Chris questioned the letter’s authenticity. I responded that the Carmelites of Coimbra have authenticated the letter and provided some details about it in their biography. Chris simply reasserted his position, yet, in doing so, there was an indirect implication made against the integrity of the Carmelite nuns of Coimbra. I have been to the Carmel of Coimbra and do not find its integrity to be questionable.

CWR: In 2010, Pope Benedict delivered a discourse during his airplane trip to Fatima, in which he spoke of “new things we can find” in the third secret regarding attacks on the Church, noting that “attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church.” Have you found anything relevant to this in your own research on Sr. Lucia and Fatima?

Symonds: I examined Pope Benedict XVI’s discourse, and my findings are in Chapter 11 of my book. The Holy Father’s remarks were interpreted by the Fatima Center as him saying that the third part of the secret is still playing out before us, contradicting what he said in the year 2000. Pope Benedict did no such thing. He maintained that the events prophesied in the third part were fulfilled in the 20th century. His position in 2010 was built upon a theological distinction he made between 2000 and 2010 that had been overlooked at the time of his apostolic voyage. There are always going to be attacks upon the Church, Pope Benedict argued, and we can look to the third part of the secret for inspiration and hope in the triumph of God over such things.

CWR: What paths of scholarly research remain open at this point regarding Fatima? What, if anything, can new scholarship contribute to the Catholic Church’s understanding of the Fatima apparitions?

Symonds: I am convinced that we are entering into a new phase of Fatima’s history, one marked by a deeper study of the life and person of Sr. Lucia. Given that she was the primary interlocutor with Our Lady at Fatima, what Sr. Lucia says about the message is important. The Church’s norms for discerning private revelation include examining the “personal qualities” of the seer(s), thus we need to understand her better. Take, for example, Sr. Lucia’s reluctance to speak about her supernatural experiences. How much did this fact affect her writings about the message of Fatima? Scholars need to discuss this question.

Sr. Lucia was commanded in 1944 by Our Lady not to reveal the meaning of the 1917 vision. Compelling evidence suggests, however, that in various writings, Sr. Lucia used words that were from her supernatural experiences without expressly stating these things were from Our Lady. The Italian journalist Marco Tosatti attributed a quote to Pope John Paul II’s personal secretary, Cardinal Dziwisz, that helps us to understand better this point. Dziwisz said that we have “to understand what Our Lady had said and what was said by Sr. Lucy.” We must also be clear on what is our own interpretation of the facts. Making these distinctions is quite difficult and requires a lot of responsibility. I suspect that is the reason why the Holy See chose to publish the excerpt from Sr. Lucia’s May 1982 letter to Pope John Paul II. It was probably the most direct statement from her in the Holy See’s possession!

CWR: Have you discovered any examples of such indirect referencing in your own research?

Symonds: Yes, there is at least one that is already public knowledge, namely Sr. Lucia’s January 9, 1944 letter to Bishop José da Silva. I would like to submit that there might be another one. In June, I visited the Sr. Lucia museum in Coimbra, which is overseen by the Carmelites of Coimbra, Sr. Lucia’s convent. On display was the first page of an unpublished and undated letter of Sr. Lucia to Pope Paul VI. She wrote him a beautiful, encouraging letter that was similar to one that St. Pio [of Pietrelcina] wrote to the Holy Father in September 1968.

In her letter, Sr. Lucia spoke about a “diabolical revolt” that was being “promoted by the powers of darkness” with “errors” being made against God, his Church, her doctrines and dogmas. She said the Church was going through an “agony in Gethsemane” and that there was a “worldwide disorientation that is martyring the Church.” She wrote to encourage Paul VI as the Vicar of Christ on earth and to tell him of her and others’ steadfastness to him, to Christ and his Church, in the midst of the revolt. Perhaps I am biased, having studied the third part of the secret, but I was struck by how similar Sr. Lucia’s discourse appeared to the second and third parts.

CWR: What similarities do you see between this letter and the texts of the second and third secrets of Fatima?

Symonds: Sr. Lucia’s discussion on the Church’s “agony in Gethsemane” and its martyrdom by a “worldwide disorientation” seemed similar to the third part of the secret, which portrays a global martyrdom of the Church while making its way to a cross. What causes this martyrdom? In the second part of the secret, Our Lady warned about the spread of Russia’s “errors.” Those errors caused exactly what Our Lady predicted: wars, persecutions of the Church, and suffering for the Holy Father that were brought on by Communism and its enforcing atheism through revolution. In June 1958, Sr. Lucia wrote to Pope Pius XII and told him that Communism would reach its zenith in the 1960s. The errors of Communism did infect the world, leading people to revolt against God and all that is holy. Therefore, those who are faithful to Jesus Christ in the midst of the revolt undergo a martyrdom.

CWR: Do you have a complete copy of this letter and will you reveal the whole text to the public?

Symonds: No, I do not possess a complete copy. The museum only had the first page on display and does not allow photography. I did, however, take notes. I could read Sr. Lucia’s handwriting as I’ve seen it in some reproductions published by Father António María Martins in 1973. Out of about 350 words there were a very few that were illegible to me. I took the information back to Fatima and processed it with a Portuguese-speaking friend. Later, the Sisters gave me permission to discuss what I saw in the museum.

To be clear, let me add that it would be irresponsible for me or anyone else to state with certitude to the public that Sr. Lucia made use of the third part in this letter. In fact, one of the points I criticize in my book is people positing their own ideas as Sr. Lucia’s. We have to be clear, as I said earlier, on what is from Our Lady, what is from Sr. Lucia, and what is our own interpretation. Moreover, the Holy See has observed that the events in the third part of the secret condense many events into a single description. Thus, to say that Sr. Lucia’s letter is the only interpretation would be unwise, and I plan on publishing an essay that discusses this fact in more detail. In the end, theologians and scholars, not polemicists and sensationalists, must take Our Lady’s call at Fatima and interpret it in the light of our great tradition. This requires humility and openness to God’s grace, whereas sensationalism stokes the very distrust of the Church that runs absolutely contrary to the message of Fatima.

CWR: When do you think scholars will have the opportunity to study Sr. Lucia more in depth?

Symonds: Her cause for canonization is now in Rome. The process requires an environment free from polemics. Once this occurs, and experts have a better sense of matters, more information will become available, but it will take time. There are about 11,000 documents just in Sr. Lucia’s letters alone. I have met the vice-postulator for her cause, Sr. Angela Coelho. She is a good woman. We must practice, as Sr. Lucia used to say, “Patience!”

About Matthew Cullinan Hoffman 13 Articles

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman is a Catholic essayist and journalist, and the author and translator of The Book of Gomorrah and St. Peter Damian’s Struggle Against Ecclesiastical Corruption (2015). His award-winning articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, London Sunday Times, Catholic World Report, LifeSite News, Crisis, the National Catholic Register, and many other publications. He holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Holy Apostles College and Seminary.

64 Comments

  1. This is a very good interview on an important book. The more important thing, of course, is to live the message of Fatima, which is one of prayer and penance for the conversion of poor sinners.

    • Our Lady told Lucia at Fatima things would be clear in 1960 and the dogma of the faith would be lost :magisterial apostasy is clear for me

      When Our Lady at Fatima told Lucia that things would be clear in 1960 and so the Third Secret should be opened at that time, it was because in 1960 the Catholic Church had officially accepted that invisible cases of the baptism of desire(BOD), baptism of blood(BOB) and being saved in invincible ignorance(I.I) were visible exceptions ‘to the dogma faith’.So with ‘the dogma of the faith’ out of the way and the excommunication of Fr. Leonard Feeney still not lifted,there was a theological opening for the new ecumenism,salvation for non Christians in their religion-defacto and the rejection of the Proclamation of the Social Reign of Christ the King with alleged known salvation outside the Church that had become practical exceptions to EENS.This was the new theology based upon an objective error( invisible baptism of desire is visible) which within five years (1965) the magisterium would approve in the text of Vatican Council II.
      This was confirmed in Our Lady’s prophecy when she said that the dogma of the faith will be lost except in Portugal.So may be at some future time in Portugal they will affirm EENS, as it was understood by the missionaries and magisterium of the 16th century.
      With the rejection of the dogma EENS in 1960 the old exclusivist ecclesiology, which was based upon EENS was replaced with magisterial heresy.

      Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Bertone then officially approved what has now developed into wide spread magisterial apostasy with the Church’s teachings changed on mission, ecumenism, other religions and salvation, pluralism without the Proclamation of the Social Reign, a new ecclesiology, new salvation theology,canon law to support the apostasy…

      So what Pope Benedict and Cardinal Bertone had to officially state on Fatima has left many questions answered when we see how they have compromised the faith and did not correct the errors, in theology and doctrine, when they had the opportunity.Perhaps on Fatima too they had to get the approval of the Vatican-Israel Commission and the synagogue of Satan which encourages this apostasy in the Church.
      Pope Benedict who told the Chief Rabbinate of Israel that Jews do not need to convert in the present times and Cardinal Bertone who assured the rabbinate in a letter of the belief of Catholics in Jesus without the necessity of being a member of the Catholic Church for salvation, were both doing in a subtle way what Pope Francis is doing openly today.

      In the communication/debate between Hoffman and Ferrara 1 the point brought out strongly for me is that the Vatican could have hidden the truth about what Our Lady really told Lucia.The deception was there at the Vatican even before 1960.The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 upon which Vatican Council II is based could have been ‘doctored’.At Fatima Our Lady was brief but in her messages to Fr. Stefano Gobbi of the Marian Movement of Priests she is elaborate.We can fill in the blanks while reading this book.

      Our Lady tells Fr. Gobbi(1970s) that there will be an apostasy in the Church and it will be there from ‘the top’.

      Even today after sending so many e-mails to Ladaria,Pozzo and Augustine di Noia they are not willing to say that there are two interpretations of Vatican Council II.One interpretation is rational and the other irrational. They are promoting the irrational version.-Lionel Andrades

  2. That Benedict XVI had sought “new things” onflight to Fatima adds to the mystery, and apparently adds greater clarity. Sr Lucia’s undated letter to Paul VI, what little was available was well researched by Symonds and the interpretations remain as he determined speculation. When Benedict added “The greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church” he according to close friend Archbishop Luigi Negri was under pressure particularly by German Bishops [St Gallen Group?] to resign. And we’re aware of Sr Lucia’s letter to Cardinal Caffarra in which she foretold the Final Battle will be over the sanctity of the Family, that Cardinal Caffarra before he died expressed belief we were in that time. Benedict XVI in his 2016 interview by Peter Seewald Last Testament is asked “You know the prophesy of Malachi, the papacy ends after your Pontificate?”. Benedict, “Anything can be”. That anything means anything. Nothing more. Kevin Symonds is perfectly correct in ending with Lucia’s appeal for Patience. Our task whatever transpires is to patiently, and steadfastly witness to Christ.

      • Christopher I’m reading Ch 11 now and impressed with Symonds’ research of Aquinas on the subject of private and public revelation. Highly technical and reveals much as to possible interpretations of the visions. What does come across however the visions may be understood [Pope Benedict doesn’t deny there validity] is that Benedict XVI clearly believes we are now living thru the prophesy of “part three”, the third phase. Needless to say that of itself is momentous.

  3. I’d like the opportunity to reply to Mr. Symonds in this forum by way of an interview that would address this controversy. I believe my work concerning the Third Secret amounts to considerably more than “lawyer’s rhetoric” and a “hermeneutic of conspiracy,” which is why the late papal nuncio to the United States endorsed my book on the subject (as reported by Robert Moynihan in Inside the Vatican).

    Please contact me at the email address I provided to your moderator.

    • Sir, I want to ask a respectful question. I have read Mr. Symonds’s book and found his discussion about the number of the lines of text to refute your own position, especially with the cardinals Ottaviani and Bertone statements.

      What is your response to Mr. Symonds’s argument? Thank you.

    • Chris, If only you left all the conspiracy theories aside and speak more of how we should just follow the message of Fatima by living what Our Lady asked for, you would be doing a greater service to God and Our Lady. Sister Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart put it in a nutshell. She said for us to abandon all these conspiracy theories and just live the message of Our Lady.

  4. “This requires humility and openness to God’s grace, whereas sensationalism stokes the very distrust of the Church…”

    A non sequitur.

    Those of us who, like Mother Angelica, don’t believe the Vatican line regarding the third part of the Fatima secret don’t “distrust… the Church,” nor is our claim “sensationalist.”

    The small number of men who run the Vatican do not comprise “the Church.” The fact that some of them are prelates does not give them a special pass on credibility. The history of the Church amply demonstrates that. Number 1.

    Number 2, there is good reason to distrust some of them. For merely one example, recent drug orgies within the Vatican come to mind. What happened to the people involved in those?

    Sister Lucia was told by the local bishop to write the third part of the secret, and it took her nearly three months to do so due to its gravity. Vatican officials decided not to reveal its contents for 40 years, and Sister Lucia is never permitted to publicly tell anyone what the third part of the secret consists of.

    Then in the year 2000, we are told that the third part of the secret is nothing more than a vision of a pope and other Catholics being killed, as if persecution of a pope, clergy, and lay people were something so shocking and horrendous that Sister Lucia was unable to write it down for three months.

    I am unembarrassed to admit that I don’t find the official party line credible. I think those who believe it are naïve at best.

    In addition, the alleged “mistrust of the Church” is not confined to “traditionalist” quarters. Mother Angelica was considered a “mainstream” Catholic, and many of her viewers agreed with her assessment that the 2000 reveal was incomplete.

    Further, without making any judgments one way or the other on authenticity, the alleged mystic Father Stefano Gobbi, founder of the Marian Movement of Priests, a movement that includes thousands of priests, laity, and several bishops and cardinals, was not what would normally be considered “traditionalist.” Father Gobbi’s writings, which he claimed to be the actual words of the Blessed Virgin, openly endorse the alleged apparitions of Medjugorge.

    To the point, Father Gobbi’s book states that the third part of the secret is more in tune with what the author of the article considers “conspiracy theory.”

    So, in other words, Catholics who believe that Father Gobbi was a true mystic do not believe, just as most “traditionalists” do not believe, the official Vatican line on the third secret either.

    In fact, I would venture a guess that the number of people who don’t believe the Vatican rendition is rather large.

    • Thanks, DJR, for your apt and succinct analysis of the situation. I am constantly amazed at human beings’ capacity to disregard the obvious and become entangled in distortion. One gets the sense from Symonds that those who are wary–and rightly so– of the falsehoods and deceptions regarding the ‘third secret’ are naive and disobedient. Shame on us. Let us hear from Mr. Ferrara on this topic.

        • No I have not, but I have read Louis Verrechoio’s critique (Also Know As Catholic blog) of Symonds interview which delineates his line of thinking.

      • I have not read the book, but the most I can understand from this interview is that the truth of the matter is unknown and unprovable either way from what information is currently available. In light of the Akita, Japan and Quito, Ecuador messages and what we see happening in the church nowadays fullfilling those messages, I am inclined to believe that there is more to the third secret than has been published. I find it difficult to believe that Sister Lucia did not send it to the Vatican under obedience to do so.

        • Then Cardinal Ratzinger told Mr Howard Dee, ambassador of the Philippines Republic to the Vatican, that the messages of Fatima and Akita (approved by the Church) are “essentially the same”.
          It is enough reading the accounts of Akita apparitions to understand that something very important is lacking to the 3rd Secret as it was revealed in 2000.

    • I told this to my brother once, who was accusing people of things they haven’t done: a storm of doubt is occurring; if that storm is ONLY in you, then its harder to take seriously, but if that storm is in a lot of people, then there’s something a lot of people are witnessing that merits investigation.

      There are a LOT of people who doubt that what was revealed in 2000 was the third secret, not just Gruner et al. but Kramer, Hesse, and Malachi Martin’s interviews hint at a message a lot more drastic.

      I recommend Hesse’s refutation of it: you can find it on youtube. There is a considerable amount of confusion in the church right now, and I’m not just talking about the current pope’s encyclicals…

    • I think you’re absolutely spot on. Especially when phrases such as “diabolical revolt” is used referring to the attacks to the church from those in the church. One can only deduce the possibility and I’ll go further by saying “probability” your assessment is more likely than not. Its content was withheld too long for such an anticlamatic reveal.

  5. “This you do not tell anyone. To Francisco yes, you may tell him.” – Tell him what? Couldn’t he see that vision published by the Vatican in the year 2000 as Lúcia and Jancinta did? Actually he could, he just couldn’t hear for some reason. As it is stated somewhere else in the Lúcia’s Memories, Francisco said: “I din’t hear anything, I can only say yes, I did see.”

  6. I noticed this remark in Mr. Symonds’ interview and cannot allow it to pass without comment:

    “I was reluctant to engage Chris’ polemics during the debate. I opted for a simple “just the facts” approach. Several people came up to me afterwards to express their gratitude for my approach!”

    On the contrary, Mr Symonds revealed during the debate that he is not interested in the facts as opposed to explaining away the facts. For example, I confronted him repeatedly with the existence of an envelope containing a text pertaining to the Secret on which Msgr. Loris Capovilla, personal secretary to John XXIII, wrote his name, the name of the cardinals who had read its contents, and the dictation of Pope John that he would leave the contents to his successors to judge. That envelope was kept in a writing desk in the papal bed chamber called Barbarigo, was reopened by Paul VI, when Capovilla informed him of its location, and then resealed.

    That envelope has never been produced. Unable to explain its non-production during the debate, Mr. Symonds finally declared to the audience that it doesn’t exist! But it most certainly does exist, as confirmed in detail by Capovilla during a televised interview presented by none other than Cardinal Bertone, then Vatican Secretary of State, with Capovilla even specifying the exact drawer in the desk where it was kept.

    This is just one one of many examples I could cite, in an appropriate interview, of how Mr. Symonds labors to explain away a mountain of evidence while refuting nothing.

    By the way, I did not question the authenticity of the purported letter to John Paul II. The handwriting is Sister Lucia’s. What I question is the Vatican’s publication of a fragmentary single paragraph from the letter without the addressee or a signature or the full context. Furthermore, the fragment as published makes no sense: John Paul II could not have wanted to know the Secret in 1982 because had already read it—twice: in 1978 and (evidently a separate text) and also in 1981.

    Symonds concedes the 1978 reading took place, but he attempts to explain the Vatican’s refusal to mention it in the official account by speculating that this was an attempt to avoid embarrassing John Paul II by letting it be known that he was “imprudent” in wishing to read the Secret immediately after his election. That argument is nonsensical. The Pope read the Secret three years before the official account says he did, but the Vatican refuses to mention this. Draw your own conclusions.

    Finally, contrary to what Symonds claims, Sister Lucia does not give any real indications of the Secret’s meaning in the fragment, but states merely that we are “going toward” fulfillment of the Secret. Toward what? Mr. Symonds’ position boils down to the manifestly absurd contention that Our Lady explained to Lucia the meaning the vision published in 2000 but then instructed her never to tell anyone exactly what it means. Let us just say that he is overly credulous of a Vatican apparatus not exactly known for its candor.

    It is easy to dismiss the case I presented as “polemics” and “lawyer’s rhetoric,” but empty labels are not arguments. May I expect the courtesy of equal time?

    • It seems to me you’re getting more than equal time in the comments. Kevin Symonds critiqued some of your specific claims in the answer to one question, and your text in response is actually longer.

      • FIne. Leave it at that. For the future, might I suggest interviewing the other side of controversy, while refraining from labelling only one side (mine) as “controversialist”?

        Also, I note Symonds’ reliance on a thinly veiled argumentum ad homimen: i.e., that my side of the controversy is “an enclosed circle that was given credibility by the journalistic clout of Antonio Socci. Prior to Socci’s involvement, the main audience for Gruner and the Abbé were various “traditionalist” Catholics with some conspiratorial understandings of the third part of the secret.”

        In other words, we were not credible people until Socci gave us credibility. That is not argument. It is simply an insult. Again, the papal nuncio to the United States recommended my book to Robert Moynihan because it contains detailed, fully supported arguments, none of which Mr. Symonds has actually refuted, as one will see upon careful review of his lengthy book which, at best, proposes implausible alternative explanations, based on speculation, and calls for “further study.”

        • Sister Lucia was VIDEOTAPED in the mid 90’s saying that everything had been revealed.

          Oh, I forgot. She wasn’t the REAL Sister Lucia, it was a double. LOL.

          Was Sister Lucia a LIAR?

          Grunerites must OWN the schism they are causing. I do NOT care what motivates you. I care about the Holy Church. You people do NOT have the right to undermine legitimate authority nor to question Sister Lucia’s veracity.

          God bless Symonds work. May people spewing lies and dissension within the Church be exposed and prayers offered for them to repent.

          • Albertus Magnus. November 29, 2017 at 3:46 pm. “Sister Lucia was VIDEOTAPED in the mid 90’s saying that everything had been revealed. Oh, I forgot. She wasn’t the REAL Sister Lucia, it was a double. LOL. Was Sister Lucia a LIAR?”

            The third part of the Fatima secret was publicly revealed in 2000. How is it possible to make a statement in the mid 1990s that “everything had been revealed”?

            Further, such a statement would contradict earlier statements made by Sister Lucia. In writing about her mystical experience in Tuy, Spain, she stated: “I understood that the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal.”

            She never revealed any information with regard to that, so everything is not revealed.

            Finally, as related by Fatima Network: “In December 26, 1957, Father Augustine Fuentes interviewed Sister Lucy at her convent in Coimbra, Portugal. Later, with an imprimatur and the approbation of the Bishop of Fatima, Father Fuentes published the following revelations concerning the Third Secret, revealed to him by Sister Lucy during that interview.

            Father, the Most Holy Virgin is very sad because no one has paid any attention to Her message, neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on their way but without giving any importance to Her message. The bad, not seeing the punishment of God actually falling upon them, continue their life of sin without even caring about the message. But believe me, Father, God will chastise the world and this will be in a terrible manner. The punishment from Heaven is imminent.

            “Father, how much time is there before 1960 arrives? It will be very sad for everyone, not one person will rejoice at all if beforehand the world does not pray and do penance. I am not able to give any other details because it is still a secret.

            “This is the third part of the Message of Our Lady, which will remain secret until 1960.

            “Tell them, Father, that many times the most Holy Virgin told my cousins Francisco and Jacinta, as well as myself, that many nations will disappear from the face of the earth. She said that Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation.”

            Sister Lucia stated to Father Fuentes, and no one has ever refuted it, that she and her cousin were told by Our Lady “many times” that nations would disappear and that Russia would be the instrument of punishment chosen by God.

            I would challenge anyone to demonstrate when and where, in the information that has been revealed, Our Lady allegedly told the seers “many times” about that information.

            How many times is “many times,” and when and where were those statements made by Our Lady? And how have the seers disclosed such information?

    • I want to add that your comments above are deceptive, and they constitute the same deception you attempted in your debate with Symonds earlier this year. Symonds did not say in my interview, nor in the debate, that the Virgin Mary gave an order “never” to reveal the secret. He quoted the biography of Lucia published by the nuns of Coimbra stating that she was told in 1944 not to reveal it.

      In the debate, you added the word “never” to create a straw man, and Symonds corrected you then. Now you use the same sleight-of-hand, apparently hoping it will work for you this time. Why do you falsely characterize the statements of those who disagree with your conspiracy theories? Shouldn’t your position be able to stand on its own merit?

      • I should add that I meant “the interpretation of the secret.” Obviously she was supposed to reveal the secret to the authorities.

        • Your reply leaves me perplexed. I never said Mr. Symonds said that the secret as such was never to be revealed. I was I was referring to the Virgin’s own explanation of the meaning of the vision, which Mr. Simons does indeed say was not to be revealed, which is absurd. The Mother of God would not deliver an ambiguous vision and then forbid revelation of her own explanation of it. I don’t see why accuse me of deception when there is none involved.

          • I already corrected that part of my statement — I meant the interpretation (see above). And yes, you did just claim he said that the interpretation was “never” to be revealed, even though he did not say that. You made the same false characterization in the debate, were corrected by Symonds at that time, and then repeated the false characterization then. So by my count this is the third time you’ve done this.

          • I am still perplexed, Mr. Hoffman. According to Symonds, speaking at the debate, we have never been given what the Virgin conveyed to Lucia to explain the vision, which would be part of the Secret, but only “indications” by Lucia, which are not in fact indications of anything definite, so that, according to him, we are left with no definite explanation by the Mother of God of what the vision means, so that everyone can interpret it as he wishes. He further admitted that precisely what the Virgin revealed to Lucia in this regard is lost to us, meaning that (according to him) it was never meant to be revealed to the world. Never. Which is absurd: a vision without a definitive explanation, making the whole Secret pointless or at best a curiosity about which one can only conjecture. Yet the rest of the Message of Fatima is crystal clear, because the Virgin explains it all in words even a child can understand.

            Furthermore, in his official commentary, Cardinal Ratzinger proposed an interpretation, non-binding, calling the vision “difficult to decipher.” We have NEVER been given the key to this “cipher” from the only one who holds it–the Blessed Virgin–which is impossible to believe, as the Mother of God did not come to leave us a riddle to be solved, or rather speculated upon, by Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Sodano.

            You continue to accuse me of misrepresentations, based on what I do not know.

      • Why is it in your response to Mr. Ferrara that you do not address the specifics of his comment? In his second comment to you he addresses your accusations of him. It is indeed perplexing endnote at all convincing.

          • Dear Mr. Ferrara,
            I served Mass for the first time in 1954. Yes, 54 not 64. I remember in the late fifties much talk in the sacristy regarding the impending release of the Third Secret in 1960. I have in my missal collection, a printed flyer given out around 1958 that mentions that “we are expecting to read the words of the Blessed Virgin to Sr. Lucy in the Third Secret in 1960.” The secret at that time was regarded as a letter that Sr. Lucy had written which contained the secret. Fr. Gruner and you and others have rightly pointed out that the secret consists of two parts, one in the Lucy’s notebook which describes the vision, and which the Vatican released in 2000, and the other which explains the vision as well as other things such as, that has never been released. As you know it begins with the words, “in Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc.” which Sr. Lucy added in her fourth memoir. That last quote is the beginning of the unreleased part of the secret, just as you have so many times demonstrated. Many thanks for continuing the good fight for the truth about Fatima.

    • Mr Ferrera, brilliantly done. Thanks for all that you do to defend and protect Holy Mother Church, and also for shedding some light and honesty on what seems to be a deliberate attempt to make the so-called “Traditionalist” (Catholic) look like a tin foil hat buffoon.

  7. One of the main controversy about the 3rd Secret is that its content must include words of the Virgin. We know that the young Francisco couldn’t hear the Virgin’s words and for that reason She allowed Lucy to repeat him those she uttered in the 3rd Secret.
    In addition, the Vatican’s press release of Feb 8th 1960 also clearly hinted to “words” of the Virgin in the 3rd Secret:
    ”Although the Church recognizes the Fatima apparitions, She does not desire to take the responsibility of guaranteeing the veracity of the WORDS the three shepherd children said that the Virgin Mary had addressed to them.”
    Where are these WORDS of the Virgin Mary in the text published in june 2000? This text is only a vision that Sr Lucy describes.
    Though I have no intent to dismiss it as fake, the Socci’s theory about a hidden part is highly credible. This part was kept hidden precisely because the Vatican’s hierarchy (actually Pope John XXIII) doubted its veracity.
    Of course, if this part speaks about “the apostasy (in the Church) beginning at the top”, according to the own words of Cardinal Ciappi who had read the Secret, it is easy to understand that nobody in the highest circles of the Vatican would feel comfortable in revealing it.
    There is a so long string of inconsistencies, discrepancies, half thruths, half lies and occultations sown by the Vatican’s pundits not only regarding the 3rd Secret, but also regarding the Consecration of Russia that suspicion is widespread. Fr Gruner and A. Socci debunked a lot of them.
    On the contrary Mr Symonds looks a bit naïve. It is not enough providing until now unkown documents like this letter to Paul VI, one must address and destroy all the “fatimist’s” arguments. That’s an impossible task.

    • You make excellent points…

      Unfortunately, Mr. Symonds doesn’t address that in this interview, which is not particularly definitive.

      Also, the interview seems to be biased by virtue of the fact that both Mr. Ferrara and traditionalists in general are referred to in a pejorative, dismissive sense (!).

      I know the traditionalist movement very well (for decades) and I know them to be Catholics of extraordinary caliber, leading lives of exceptional virtue and fidelity to the Faith, and who will eventually be proven right, as virtually all of their concerns are already coming to fruition during our lifetimes.

      To dismiss such exemplary Catholics as though they were an off scouring of the Church is surprising in and of itself. Hardly charirable, objective Catholic journalism.

  8. A couple of questions that occur to me are:
    1. Why does Mr. Symonds say “a Gethsemane” and “a cross”? Does the pilgrim Church’s journey mirror Christ’s journey or is the Church to suffer and die repeatedly?
    2. Unless one considers Cardinal Caffarra to have been untrustworthy, what does Mr. Symonds make of the Sister Lucia’s comment that “the final battle will be about marriage and family”? Specifically, if Fatima is over or the key parts are done then are we to assume that the current situation represents Our Lady’s victory? If so, what does that say about the Church? If not, then how can we consider Fatima to be complete and, more specifically, what does “final battle” mean?

  9. I find Mr. Symond’s critique of those with many good reasons to believe that the entire 3rd Secret has yet to be revealed to be not only naive but also very self-serving. Symonds seems more intent on building up his own reputation as a Fatima scholar, who can be endorsed by the ecclesiastical authorities, than on seeking for the Whole Truth about Fatima. As such, he is choosing to become part of the problem Our Lady warned about in the full 3rd Secret.

  10. Both of the debaters on Fatima, Kevin Symonds and Chris Ferrara, are respected and present cogent arguments. I would like to ask them how either of their arguments can explain St. John Paul II’s statement in 1980 in Germany: “Given the seriousness of the contents, my predecessors in the Petrine office diplomatically preferred to postpone publication so as not to encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves.

    “On the other hand, it should be sufficient for all Christians to know this: if there is a message in which it is written that the oceans will flood whole areas of the earth, and that from one moment to the next millions of people will perish, truly the publication of such a message is no longer something to be so much desired.”

    Thank you, Mary Nicholas

    • The alleged statements of John Paul II at Fulda have never been confirmed to my satisfaction, so I have not cited them. Interestingly, however, they coincide with what Lucia wrote in one of her diaries as revealed in the recent biography published by the convent in Coimbra: her vision of a vast conflagration involving cities being drawn into swirling vortexes, etc.

  11. The facts are that the Third Part of The Secret was not revealed in 1960, but in 2,000, and Russia was not specifically mentioned by name as our Lady requested during The Vision of Tuy. No doubt, if a group within the Vatican had not conspired, the Third Part of The Secret would have been revealed in 1960, and Russia would have been specifically mentioned by name as Our Lady requested.

    “The “essential dignity of man;” i.e., the very essence of man’s dignity, does not lie in his freedom, rather, it lies in the call to communion with God in whose image and likeness he is created.”

    It is Through, With, and In Christ, in the Unity of The Holy Ghost, that Holy Mother Church exists.

    One Bridegroom, One Bride, on earth.

    One Bridegroom, One Bride, (One Holy Mother Church), in Heaven.

    “No one can come to My Father except Through Me.”

    The denial of The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), is the source of all heresy; There Is only One Word of God, One Truth of Love Made Flesh, One Lamb of God Who Taketh Away The Sins of The World, Our Savior, Jesus The Christ, thus there can only be One Spirit of Perfect Love Between The Father and The Son, Who Proceeds from both The Father and The Son, in The Ordered Communion of Perfect Complementary Love, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity.

    Our Lady of Fatima, Destroyer Of All Heresies, Pray for us!

    • I wonder why no one addresses the plain and simple fact that the RCC blatantly defied the request of Our Lady. So for all their talk, etc, they willfully decided to go against the BVM. I would think that would be the bigger issue/scandal here.

  12. Russia keep spreading her errors as Mother Mary said.The message was given too late.Imagine that God Himself send Our Lady to give us a waning and the hierarchy. Of our Church questione GGd wisdom. Incredible the arrogance of men.

  13. I want to comment on the relevancy that Saint Franciso could not hear but only see the visions. For brevity we refer to the third part of the secret as the third secret, but it does not stand alone. In fact, Sr. Lucia herself stated that the vision of the third part must be understood in reference to the words Our Lady spoke in the second part, that Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars, persecutions of the Church, the good will be martyred, and the Holy Father will have much to suffer. All those words St. Francisco could not hear but we’re part of the greater secret given on July 13, 1917.

    • Yes, Francisco couldn’t hear any part of the message, but those words “This you do not tell anyone. To Francisco yes, you may tell him.” is referring specifically to the gap on the handwritten sheet of paper that follows the half sentence, pronounced by Our Lady, “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.”, otherwise the first too parts of the message should have been kept secret as well. And why save that part for the year 1960?

      Anyway, there are in fact two different texts because there are two different envelops (almost identical) as cardinal imprudently Bertone once showed on the Italian TV:
      https://youtu.be/AhB4WQtiBAE
      Envelope 1:
      https://odogmadafe.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/env1.png?w=700
      Envelope 2:
      https://odogmadafe.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/env2.png?w=700
      Outside of each one says (on the Sister Lúcia’s handwriting): “By express order of Our Lady, this envelope can only be opened in 1960 by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon or the Bishop of Leiria.”

    • The “party line” (that of the hierarchs of the Vatican) is that the Consecration was done by John Paul II in 1984 and that a renewed act of Consecration of Russia would be useless.
      Everyday we are seeing the hands of Russia in the dangerously worsening crisis in Korea: That is the proof that Russia wasn’t converted and that a chastizement is on the way for the xorld.
      Performing an act of Consecration according excactly to our Blessed Mother’s will would need only a quarter of an hour in the Pope’s agenda.
      Perhaps that’s still too much.

      • St. John Paul ll consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984. Sister Lucia in answer to the question that Russia was not mentioned, said Our Lady never gave a formula for the Consecration, only that it be done by the Holy Father in union with all the Bishops of the world. She said that the fact that Russia was implied made the Consecration valid. She said the Consecration was accepted by Heaven. Our Lady said the Consecration would be made late. Our responsibility now is to do all that Our Lady asked for by living the Consecration in the hopes that God may change His mind on the chastisement, just as He did for Ninevah.

        • Furthermore we have the capability of creating a huge army of God’s people to battle evil and bring down God’s mercy upon humanity. By offering sacrifices for the conversion of poor sinners! The converted would be the huge army that could bring Peace and appease the just wrath of God. Our Lady said many souls go to hell because there is no one to offer sacrifices for them. She was talking about us not being generous in making of ourselves a sacrifice. Its up to us!

        • So you have not read the instructions of Our Lady given at Tuy in 1929. Now you say Sr Lucy is either lying or made the whole thing up.

          • My point is that Sr. Lucia told us the truth and that is who we are to believe. The conspiracy theorists are the ones spreading fables and in effect are claiming that Sr. Lucia Dos Santos is not credible when it comes to Fatima. They have convinced many that Sr. Lucia is not to be believed because of the likes of Fr. Gruner who somehow know more about Fatima than did Sr. Lucia. The conspiracy theorists are the ones we are not to believe.

  14. If there is any ‘hermeneutic of suspicion and conspiracy’
    Then that started with Pope John XXIII.
    “We feel that we must disagree with these prophets of
    doom who are always forecasting worse disasters as though
    the end of the world were at hand.”

    • St. Pope John XXlll spoke of the “Prophets of Doom”. There are very few who understood what it was he was talking about. St. John XXlll along with Cardinal Ottaviani wrote 9 Schemas that were to make up the Council. The Progressives eliminated 8 of the schemas after the death of Pope John. 5 of the schemas have been translated into English. When one reads them, St. John XXlll writes like a prophet of doom. For too long “The Prophets of Doom” has been misinterpreted. Lets not take his words out of context. The Second Vatican Council cannot be called the Council of St. Pope John XXlll because his Council was hijacked, it never materialized because of the progressives.

  15. Heres something we should all perhaps try..just live the Catholic faith as given to us and as the angel of Fatima said..pray pray pray..pennance pennance pennance…it’s really not important to delve or dwell on things that we may not truly understand.Leave everything in Gods Hands and go about your lives as He would expect us to do.

  16. Insofar as simply “leaving things in God’s hands” and pray, though well intended by faithful Catholics It’s vital we do more. God expects us to act by witness and I quote here an outstanding Leader in the Catholic faith:
    “Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana in Kazakhstan, said in an interview with Michael Matt of The Remnant newspaper that ‘the true friends of the Pope’ are those cardinals bishops and laymen ‘who express their public concern about these very important issues, about the state of confusion in the Church. They are really the friends of the Pope.’ He called the concerns and calls for clarity, ‘an act of charity towards the Pope.’ He added that he was convinced that when the Pope faces his judgment before God, ‘he will be thankful to those’ cardinals, bishops and lay people who called on him to offer clarity. Archbishop Schneider said that those who perform ‘adulation of the Pope’ and ‘deny the evidence’ that ambiguity in the Pope’s teachings is causing confusion are not helping the Pope nor themselves when they will face their final judgment’. Regarding those who tell the Pope, ‘It’s all okay,’ despite the ‘disastrous situation,’ the archbishop warned that at their judgment God will ask them ‘what have you done when there was confusion, why have you not raised your voice to defend the truth?'”(LifeSiteNews).

    • I really like the bishop, but what has he done to help the pope correct his errors ? He himself is a bishop with the authority to do something as well. I’m sure he will have millions of the faithful stand behind him. He’s one of the most faithful bishops we have left.

  17. Christopher Ferrara’s statement that he “did not question the authenticity of the purported letter to John Paul II” contains the key elements of his opposition to the arguments of Kevin Symonds against a missing document of the Third Secret. “Authentic” indicates something genuine, but “purported” suggests something that is not authentic. Mr. Ferrara is willing to accept the document as something written by Sister Lucia, but not as what the Vatican indicated: A letter addressed by Sister Lucia to Pope John Paul II on May 12, 1982. He is forced by the logic of his assumptions to reach this conclusion, that it is only “purported” to be such a letter, because its contents disprove his thesis:
    1) In the letter Sister Lucia describes the Third Secret as a “symbolic revelation,” an obvious reference to the vision published by the Vatican. If the Third Secret is indeed a symbolic revelation, as Sister Lucia stated, it cannot be another document containing more words of Our Lady, as Mr. Ferrara assumes. This explanation of Sister Lucia constitutes a refutation of Mr. Ferrara’s theory.
    2) Mr. Ferrara holds that Sister Lucia’s statement that Pope John Paul II was “anxious to know” the Secret could not have been written to the pope in May of 1982 because he had previously read the Secret. Mr. Ferrara demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Portuguese language, because Sister Lucia’s word for “know” in the Portuguese is “conhecer,” which in this context has the meaning of “understand.” John Paul II had previously read the text of the symbolic revelation, the vision, on two occasions, but Sister Lucia was acknowledging that he was “anxious” to know in the sense of understand what the vision symbolized.
    Rather than being merely a “purported” letter addressed to Pope John Paul II on May 12, 1982, Sister Lucia’s text was an authentic letter written to the pope on that occasion. Mr. Ferrara is forced by the internal logic of his theory to reject the authenticity of the letter as being what the Vatican affirmed it to be, for the very contents of the letter disprove the two fundamental assumptions upon which his theory rests: 1) that the Third Secret is not a symbolic revelation but more words of Our Lady; and 2) while Sister Lucia was explaining the meaning of its symbolism to John Paul II – the meaning which it was given to her to understand, as indicated in the words spoken to her by Our Lady on January 3, 1944, and as recorded in the Carmelite biography published in 2013 – this explanation given by Sister Lucia does not correspond to what defenders of a missing document assume the Third Secret must contain. The facts contained in Sister Lucia’s letter do not conform to the theory of a fourth secret, and therefore the authenticity of the letter is questioned, and it is described as being merely a “purported letter” instead.

  18. This would all seem a rather convoluted discussion about what was obviously intended to be a pretty simple message as transmitted by Sr. Lucia. In all the history of messaging from heaven and sent in the form of direction or prophecy to humanity, the substance has been clear even if timing and details are either not given or contingent on certain actions. It seems all the elements of the third message were/are present and if more events are to come, they are dependent on what happens on this mortal coil. Conspiracies are always interesting tales but never as they seem. In this country since Lincoln, a number of unpleasant events have been assigned to conspiracies but rarely have foundation. A cottage industry has grown up around such. We have the Dan Brown school of theology and the Oliver Stone version of history as outstanding examples. While a number of people go into a state of angst about detail and minutiae, it seems the message of prayer and reform of one’s life has taken a back seat.

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