Father Joaquin Alonso, who for sixteen years was the official archivist of Fatima, wrote a monumental work on the Fatima Message, entitled Fatima Texts and Critical Studies. This book, which consists of 24 volumes containing 5,396 documents, was withheld from publication by the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, Msgr. Alberto Cosme do Amaral, at its completion in 1975. Since then, only two of the 24 volumes have been released for publication, and these were heavily edited.
Before his death in 1981, Father Alonso stated the following important conclusions concerning the Third Secret:
It is therefore completely probable that the text makes concrete references to the crisis of faith within the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves [and the] internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence by the upper hierarchy.1
In the period preceding the great triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, terrible things are to happen. These form the content of the third part of the Secret. What are they? If ‘in Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved’, …it can be clearly deduced from this that in other parts of the Church these dogmas are going to become obscure or even lost altogether.2
Thus it is quite possible that in this intermediate period which is in question (after 1960 and before the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary), the text makes concrete references to the crisis of the Faith of the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves.3
Does the unpublished text speak of concrete circumstances? It is very possible that it speaks not only of a real crisis of the faith in the Church during this in-between period, but like the secret of La Salette, for example, there are more concrete references to the internal struggles of Catholics or to the fall of priests and religious. Perhaps it even refers to the failures of the upper hierarchy of the Church. For that matter, none of this is foreign to other communications Sister Lucy has had on this subject.4
Father Alonso also believed that the Third Secret concerned “internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence by the upper hierarchy,” and of “deficiencies of the upper hierarchy of the Church.”
Significantly, Sister Lucy never corrected these conclusions of Father Alonso, even though she had never hesitated to correct other statements by clerics and various authors concerning Fatima when they were in error. As the official Fatima archivist, Fr. Alonso had access to the documents and to Sister Lucy herself. Thus, his testimony is of capital importance.
- Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III: The Third Secret, (Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, 1990) p. 704.
- Ibid., p. 687.
- Ibid., pp. 705-706.