Time for a Reality Check
The Novus Ordo Church and Fatima:
Separating Fact from Fiction
Image © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 3.0
May 13 of this year marked the 99th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. The Blessed Virgin Mary chose to appear to three shepherd children in a field called the Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal, on the very day the future Pope Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli, was consecrated a bishop by Pope Benedict XV in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It was Pius XII who would later become known as the “Fatima Pope”, establishing the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1944 (feast day: Aug. 22), and consecrating “the peoples of Russia” to the Immaculate Heart in his Apostolic Letter Sacro Vergente Anno of July 7, 1952. The bishop of Leiria, the diocese in which Fatima is located, Mgr. José Correia da Silva, had declared the apparitions at Fatima as worthy of belief in 1930 with the approval of Pope Pius XI.
The famous “Third Secret” of Fatima was the third part of a warning for the world given by the Blessed Mother to the children to whom she had been appearing, Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, on July 13, 1917. To emphasize the importance and urgency of the message and the authenticity of the apparitions, the Holy Virgin worked the Miracle of the Sun in the presence of 70,000 witnesses, on October 13 of the same year. In 1950, Pope Pius XII was privileged to witness the Miracle of the Sun himself, repeated in Rome, reportedly on four separate occasions (Oct. 30 and 31, and Nov. 1 and 8).
The first two parts of the Fatima Secret consisted of a vision of hell “where poor sinners go” if they do not repent, as well as a prophecy of the outbreak of World War II as a punishment for people’s refusal to do penance. At the request of the Virgin of Fatima, the third part of the heavenly message was to be kept hidden from the world until, at the very latest, 1960, because by then, she said, it would “become clearer”. In 1943, Bp. da Silva ordered Sr. Lucy to confide the Third Secret to paper, but she found herself unable to do so until January of 1944. The text was written on a single sheet of paper, placed in a sealed envelope, and given to the bishop. In 1957, Mgr. da Silva transferred the envelope to the Vatican at the order of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani. It is not completely certain whether Pope Pius XII ever read the Third Secret, but it is likely that he did not do so. Presumably, the Pope wanted to wait until 1960, but alas, died in 1958. When “Pope” John XXIII usurped the papal throne after Pius XII’s death and founded the Novus Ordo Sect, when 1960 came, he refused to reveal the Third Secret, which the Vatican has kept under lock and key ever since.
Photos of people witnessing the miracle of the sun at Fatima on Oct. 13, 1917 (click to enlarge)
On June 26, 2000, the Modernist Vatican purported to reveal the Third Secret of Fatima in its entirety. To make a very long story short, it is amply documented and morally certain that the text published by the Vatican as the “Third Secret” is not in fact the Third Secret of Fatima. As an “interpretation” of the text, the Vatican claimed that the Virgin of Fatima was prophesying the assassination of “Pope” John Paul II on May 13, 1981, in St. Peter’s Square, a plot that was foiled only, so the Modernist Church asserts, by the special intervention of the Blessed Mother, as the Polish antipope was severely wounded but survived.
Once the 2000 “Third Secret” was released, it became evident rather quickly that there were serious problems with the text. Those who claimed the Vatican’s relase was a hoax and that the true Third Secret was still not revealed, were termed “Fatimists”, and at the forefront of those were the Semi-Traditionalists at the Fatima Center of the Rev. Nicholas Gruner, headquartered in Canada. Although Novus Ordo Watch has serious theological differences with the Fatima Center and its chief personalities — names like Kramer, Ferrara, Salza, and Vennari come to mind — the fact is that, overall, their research on the Third Secret and the Vatican’s attempts to suppress it has been outstanding.
Intrigued by the controversy, the Italian Novus Ordo journalist Antonio Socci set out to prove the “Fatimists” wrong. In the course of his research, however, he came to the undeniable conclusion that the Vatican’s “Third Secret” was indeed not the genuine Third Secret of Fatima — in other words, the “Fatimists” had been right all along. Socci published his findings in a very interesting book entitled The Fourth Secret of Fatima (2006). The page-turner proved so devastating and embarrassing to the Vatican that “Cardinal” Tarcisio Bertone, then the Vatican Secretary of State, felt compelled to address Socci’s claims. In 2007, Bertone published his response, The Last Secret of Fatima, and also appeared on the Italian television program Porta a Porta for an interview in which he purported to show the original sheet of paper on which Sr. Lucy recorded the Third Secret. Unfortunately for Bertone, his defense of the 2000 text made things worse for his side and unwittingly corroborated the Fatimists’ contention that the Vatican was still hiding the real secret, as Christopher Ferrara demonstrated in his 2008 work, The Secret Still Hidden.
And so, to this very day the true Third Secret of Fatima has never been revealed, despite that fact that Our Lady wanted it to be revealed no later than 1960. What event took place “by 1960” that would make the secret clearer so that it would be better understood?
By 1960, the “pontificate” of Angelo Roncalli (“Pope John XXIII”) had begun to take shape, and preparations for the Second Vatican Council were underway. Antipope John had announced his intention to call an ecumenical council on January 25, 1959, thereby startling the world. It was this council that proved to be “ground zero”, so to speak, of the strange new Modernist religion, the very foundation on which all of the changes that we have witnessed since actually rest. The Catholic Church — or that which outwardly appears to be the Catholic Church — has never been the same since the election of John XXIII. Since that fateful day of October 28, 1958, when the conclave to elect Pius XII’s successor ended, nothing has been as it once was. What the world once knew as the glorious Catholic Church has since become a ludicrous, irrelevant, and impious travesty which, while retaining some outward appearances of Catholicism, has been promoting the doctrines of Freemasonry and gradually eclipsed traditional Roman Catholicism. The false church predicted in Holy Scripture as the “operation of error” (2 Thess 2:10) had come into existence in order “to deceive (if possible) even the elect” (Mt 24:24) as a punishment for people’s rejection of or indifference to truth (2 Thess 2:10). The scriptural prophecies about the “mystery of iniquity” that was being held back until the appointed time (2 Thess 2:6-7), once masterfully outlined and expounded by Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, were starting to be fulfilled:
While we do not know for sure what the actual text of the Third Secret of Fatima is, it seems clear that, keeping in mind what has happened since 1960, it must contain a warning of the false church that would appear with the election of John XXIII and all his wicked successors. Vatican II, the “New Mass”, and the whole new Modernist religion — surely we have been living through the Third Secret ever since. It would make perfect sense that, considering the enormity of what Almighty God knew would happen after the death of Pope Pius XII, He would deign to send His Blessed Mother to give a last warning to mankind that if people do not amend their wicked ways, not only would they go to hell and be punished with another world war, they would even leave to their future generations the mystery of iniquity, the operation of error, an entire false church that would almost succeed in stamping out the holy Catholic Church and bring upon the world untold spiritual ruin and destruction. No wonder our Lord asked His disciples rhetorically, “But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8).
Indeed it would make sense that to underscore the importance and urgency of such a terrible warning, God would work the Miracle of the Sun to wake people from their slumbers. By contrast, it is downright frivolous to suggest that the revelations of our Lady at Fatima would culminate in the prediction of a failed assassination attempt on a future Pope (pretending for a minute that John Paul II was a true Pope). How many Popes have been killed or died under suspicious circumstances over the centuries! Why should God send our Lady to “warn” the world of this, especially since the “Pope” in question actually survived?! And what significance could the year 1960 possibly have for this? No, the Vatican simply hijacked Fatima to promote and gain sympathy for the false pontificate of John Paul II.
Over the years following 1960, a number of texts have appeared claiming to contain the true Third Secret of Fatima. For example, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani (1890-1979), who indeed read the Third Secret, allegedly confirmed that a text originally published in 1963 contained all of the sentences of the true message:
In 1994, a French priest by the name of Fr. Raymond Arnette (1923-2004) claimed to have received a locution that revealed the exact text of the Third Secret. According to Fr. Arnette, the secret is the following:
There will be a wicked council planned and prepared that will change the countenance of the Church. Many will lose the Faith; confusion will reign everywhere. The sheep will search for their shepherds in vain.
A schism will tear apart the holy tunic of My Son. This will be the end of times, foretold in the Holy Scriptures and recalled to memory by Me in many places. The abomination of abominations will reach its peak and it will bring the chastisement announced at La Salette. My Son’s arm, which I will not be able to hold back anymore, will punish this poor world, which must expiate its crimes.
One will only speak about wars and revolutions. The elements of nature will be unchained and will cause anguish even among the best [the most courageous]. The Church will bleed from all Her wounds. Happy are they who will persevere and search for refuge in My Heart, because in the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph.
Of course, we do not know whether this is the true Third Secret of Fatima, but it definitely sounds a lot more believable than what the Vatican revealed in 2000. The phrase “the Church will bleed from all her wounds” seems to be an accurate description of what we have been witnessing, and it would fit perfectly with the idea that the Church is currently undergoing her own Mystical Passion, as explained by Cardinal Manning. Needless to say, we have all witnessed a “wicked council” indeed as well as its consequent apostasy.
What’s interesting is that this purported secret prophesies that the sheep’s search for their shepherds will be “in vain”. Why in vain? Because the people claiming to be the rightful Catholic shepherds are not in fact what they pretend to be. Sedevacantism is hinted at, underscored by the mention of a schism, because the Modernist usurpers are false shepherds and have set up a false counterchurch to oppose the true Church. The “abomination of abominations” could very well be a reference to the abominable false liturgy of Paul VI, also known as the “New Mass” or Novus Ordo Missae. In Holy Scripture, there are prophecies regarding the “abomination of desolation” that is found in the holy place, that is, in the sanctuary:
And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall defile the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the continual sacrifice, and they shall place there the abomination unto desolation.
And from the time when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination unto desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred ninety days…
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many. And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom, shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come. When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold I have told it to you, beforehand.
Does Paul VI’s “New Mass” not perfectly fit the label “abomination of desolation”? The magnificent offertory prayers of the Catholic Mass were replaced with a Jewish table blessing; the Holy Sacrifice was turned into a liturgical happy meal; “Holy Communion” came to be distributed and treated like popcorn. The Faith of hundreds of millions of Catholics was ruined.
Interestingly enough, speculation about the true Third Secret of Fatima has received some renewed attention as of late.
The semi-traditionalist One Peter Five web site recently shared an anecdote of Dr. Alice von Hildebrand about what her husband Dietrich was told about the Third Secret in 1965. The testimony resembles that given by “Cardinal” Luigi Ciappi (1909-1996), according to whom it is foretold in the heavenly message that “the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top”.
In addition, the same internet site posted a report of Dr. Maike Hickson relating the testimony of one Fr. Ingo Dollinger, to whom then-“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger reportedly revealed in 2000 that the full — or real — Third Secret had still not been disclosed, and that it actually warns of a “bad council and a bad Mass” — something that would corroborate the text published by Fr. Arnette in 1994:
This revelation about Ratzinger’s testimony is actually not new. “Fr.” Paul Kramer of the Fatima Center had already mentioned it in a speech given in Glendale, California, on September 24, 2004, which was transcribed and published in the Fatima Crusader, vol. 80 (Summer 2005). Kramer said:
Those who have studied Fatima know that what was published five years ago, on the 26th of June, is not the whole Secret; it simply is not. The night before, I should say the early morning of the 26th of June, I went to bed; I left the instruction: it doesn’t matter how early it is, as soon as that Secret is published, bring it to me — wake me up if you have to.
The Secret was brought to me, I looked at it, and the first thing I said is, “This is not the Secret!” I was not alone in making that judgment. A seminary professor, who is a close friend of Pope John Paul II, and who also knows personally Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, has the same impression — this is not the Third Secret.
It cannot be.
And so when he went to the Vatican, he visited Cardinal Ratzinger, and he confronted him. He did not mince his words. He said, “This is impossible! This cannot possibly be the entire Third Secret!” And he insisted that Ratzinger answer him yes or no. “Is this the whole thing? Is this the whole thing, or isn’t it? It cannot be; now you tell me!” Ratzinger admitted “Truly, that was not all of it.”
The Third Secret is About Vatican II
This professor is a priest that I know personally, and a number of people that I know, know this priest personally. He pressed on further for an answer, he would not back off. And he demanded, “What is in the Secret? If that’s not all of it, well, what is there?” Ratzinger’s answer makes it clear. There’s no longer any mystery why they have kept it hidden for so many years. And why the Vatican officials, during the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, said in their press release that, “It may never be published,” it may not ever be released. Ratzinger said that in the Third Secret, Our Lady warns that there will be an evil council. And She warned against the changes: She warned against making changes in the liturgy; changes in the Mass. This is explicitly set forth in the Third Secret.
(Rev. Paul Kramer, “The Imminent Chastisement for Not Fulfilling Our Lady’s Request”, Fatima Crusader 80, Summer 2005; underlining added.)
The Rev. Kramer’s account of the testimony of his professor friend more or less matches what Dr. Hickson reported in the One Peter Five article. Whether the professor and the priest who passed on what Ratzinger had told him are the same person, i.e. Fr. Ingo Dollinger, we do not know, but it is quite likely, since presumably “Cardinal” Ratzinger would have spilled the beans on the real Third Secret only to a very select few individuals, if any. [UPDATE: Yes, it is the same individual — see Fatima Crusader 92 here.]
Unfortunately, like Mr. Kramer’s speech in 2004, so too Dr. Hickson’s One Peter Five article contains several elements of wishful thinking, because Ratzinger (later “Pope” Benedict XVI) is once again gratuitously being painted as the “good guy”, an illusion that is surely emotionally comforting and reassuring to many, but dangerously false nonetheless.
Let’s think about this: If Ratzinger knows that Our Lady warned of an evil council and an evil rite of Mass, and that she wanted this warning to be disclosed to the public no later than 1960 because then it would become clearer, then he has absolutely no excuse to go along with Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Missae anyway! Yet, Ratzinger has been one of the main theological forces and drivers behind the council from the very beginning, serving at Vatican II as suit-and-tie expert theological adviser (peritus) to Cardinal Josef Frings.
Rev. Kramer’s disingenuous dismissals of Ratzinger’s guilt on the grounds that he allegedly used a “mental reservation” — as though such would have been morally permissible under the circumstances — and simply “cannot believe that there was any evil in the Council” are not particularly convincing and a great disservice to the truth. Unjustified and unrealistic excuses have no place in the pursuit of truth regarding such an important matter.
Like Kramer, Hickson too reinforced a number of fantasies that are prevalent among Ratzinger fans: She gave credence to the popular idea that as “Pope”, Benedict XVI
…tried to undo some of the injustices that are directly related with this Dollinger revelation, namely: he freed the Traditional Mass from its suppression; he removed the excommunication of the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX); and lastly, he publicly declared in 2010 in Fatima: “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete.”
(Maike Hickson, “Cardinal Ratzinger: We Have Not Published the Whole Third Secret of Fatima”, One Peter Five, May 15, 2016)
These may be commonly-held ideas but, as we said, they are fanciful, and this we will now demonstrate.
First, regarding the “freeing” of the Traditional Latin Mass, a close analysis of the text of Benedict XVI’s decree reveals that the Antipope’s intention was anything but benevolent:
Second, regarding the idea that by rescinding the “excommunications” against the SSPX bishops, Benedict tried to move in the direction of Sacred Tradition, the following article dispels that misconception:
And lastly, the truth about Benedict XVI’s cryptic “prophetic mission” remark and his airplane comments about Fatima will likewise be disappointing to Ratzinger fans:
- Benedict XVI and the “Prophetic Mission” of Fatima
- No Friend of Fatima: Unspinning Christopher Ferrara’s Defense of Benedict XVI
Thus we see that the real Joseph Ratzinger is quite a bit different from the one many people imagine. It is the same Ratzinger who once wrote: “We must be on guard against minimizing these [Traditionalist] movements. Without a doubt, they represent a sectarian zealotry that is the antithesis of Catholicity. We cannot resist them too firmly” (Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology [Ignatius Press, 1987], pp. 389-90). Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t. We are, after all, talking about a man who denies that Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead. Minor detail.
Fatima, Portugal, on October 13, 1917
One final comment is in order.
Since this essay is dedicated to separating fact from fiction, we cannot pass over an anecdote Dr. Hickson recounts in her post on One Peter Five. She writes:
In this context, it might be worth mentioning that my husband and I were both together told by a priest who had met privately with Pope Benedict XVI that Pope Benedict himself considers Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre “to be the greatest theologian of the 20th century.” My husband and I both vouch for having heard these exact words directly from this priest — words which were allegedly spoken by Pope Benedict in the context of the pope’s proposal to re-introduce Marcel Lefebvre’s teaching more widely into the Catholic Church.
(Maike Hickson, “Cardinal Ratzinger: We Have Not Published the Whole Third Secret of Fatima”, One Peter Five, May 15, 2016)
Whether or not it actually came from Benedict XVI, the claim that Abp. Lefebvre was the “greatest theologian of the 20th century” is absurd. This has nothing to do with whether or not one agrees with Lefebvre’s theological position — the claim simply cannot be taken seriously, and if Benedict XVI truly made this assertion, then he was either being deliberately deceptive or else he was joking, speaking ironically.
Marcel Lefebvre, whatever his other merits may have been, was simply not a theologian of note, much less the greatest of the last century. Lefebvre never taught at a pontifical university and, to our knowledge, never wrote a single strictly theological work that would have particularly distinguished him from other Catholic bishops. We are not trying to discredit him — we are just trying to put things into perspective. Lefebvre’s main work before Vatican II was that of a missionary: He was a priest of the Holy Ghost Fathers and eventually became Archbishop of Dakar, Senegal. It stands to reason that his contributions in the field of Sacred Theology would be rather limited.
If there is one name that would definitely rank high for the position of greatest theologian of the 20th century, it would be that of Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (1877-1964). Other serious candidates might include Cardinal Louis Billot, Mgr. Joseph C. Fenton, Fr. Édouard Hugon, Fr. Santiago Ramirez, and Fr. Ambroise Gardeil. Without intending any disrespect, it would be fair to say that the name of Abp. Marcel Lefebvre would probably not even show up in a footnote — simply because he was not a theologian of note.
Consider also that for Fr. Ratzinger, a Modernist, none of the people just mentioned would be considered great theologians, nor would Abp. Lefebvre. For Ratzinger, great theologians were the proponents of the Nouvelle Theologie, the Neo-Modernists — names like Edward Schillebeeckx, Karl Rahner, Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Yves Congar, and Marie-Dominique Chenu. Together with Ratzinger himself, those are considered the giants of the Second Vatican Council; in the words of the Modernist Jurgen Mettepenningen, they are the “inheritors of Modernism and precursors of Vatican II”.
So, it is inconceivable that Ratzinger would have pointed to Abp. Lefebvre as the greatest theologian of the 20th century without being either deceptive or facetious. This is not to cast doubt upon the veracity of Dr. Hickson — she merely reported what an alleged witness told her — but simply to reject the claim as lacking all credibility. When fanciful notions like this are put forth, the best remedy is always to go strictly by the facts, because reality is always the best cure for fantasy.
Speaking of reality: It is quite possible that the entire solution to what has happened to our beloved Catholic Church since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958 is found in the Third Secret of Fatima. Let us, then, trustingly and lovingly consecrate ourselves and our loved ones to our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, so that we may be protected from the calamities justly inflicted upon this world, keep the Faith, and obtain from Heaven the grace of final perseverance.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Images source: Wikimedia Commons