The Third Secret for our time gives:
Dramatic Predictions About the Pope
by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité
Continued from Issue 28
Frère Michel was born in 1948 and is considered among the most promising of the new Fatima experts. He holds a Master's degree in letters from the Sorbonne and a licentiate in philosophy from the Institut Catholique of Paris. He entered the community of Little Brothers of the Sacred Heart in 1970.
He is the author of the 4-Volume work The Whole Truth About Fatima which is indisputably the most thorough and scientific investigation into Fatima ever published. We have recently published Volume I in English. The following extract is taken from the soon to be published Volume III of this same work.
|The Whole Truth About Fatima — Volume I, Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinté, is available from The Fatima Crusader.|
The Popes Will Undergo the Consequences of Their Non-obedience
The three other references to the Holy Father in the second Secret are found in the two paragraphs announcing the chastisements which will fall on the Church and humanity, if they rebel against God's plan.
First of all, Our Lady dates the beginning of the great chastisement by referring to the Pope: "In the reign of Pius XI ...", She says. And we have seen that this expression, far from being erroneous or insignificant, was surely deliberate: it underlines the responsibility of the first Pope to receive the requests of Fatima, and the first to pay no attention to them.
Next, in two places in the Secret, Our Lady foretells the sufferings of the Holy Father. However, it is important to interpret this prophecy correctly.
Here once again, a later revelation sheds light on the meaning of the Secret of 1917: the revelation of August 1931, which is so important, but curiously enough, passed over in silence by the majority of commentators on the Message of Fatima.
Later on by means of an intimate communication, Our Lord complained to me, saying: "They did not wish to heed My request. Like the King of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars, and persecutions of the Church; the Holy Father will have much to suffer."
There are other texts of Lucy, and we shall see them later on, that insist on this chastisement of the papacy, comparable to the chastisement that fell on King Louis XIV and his successors for not obeying the requests of the Sacred Heart, which had been passed on by St. Margaret Mary. However, we have said enough on this subject to draw the obvious conclusion about the content of the Third Secret.
II. The Third Secret Announces the Defection of the Pastors
The Pope Free of Responsibility for the Apostasy in the Church?
The inference is simple: if the Holy Father is named five times in the part of the Secret which has been disclosed, as the first one responsible for the salvation or chastisement of Christendom, how is it conceivable for him to have no responsibility for an infinitely more serious catastrophe, a spiritual one, which therefore depends on his direct and immediate power?
It might be possible for a schism or heresy in one part of the world, tearing part of the flock away from the Church. But the fragment of the Secret which we know, as small as it is, does not permit us to suspect this kind of trial.
It suggests instead a near universal apostasy. And in this case, how could such an apostasy happen except with the knowledge of the Pope, in direct dependence on his supreme responsibility as Guardian of the Faith?
How can "the dogma of the faith" come close to disappearing without a lapse on the part of him whose principal duty is precisely to preserve intact the deposit of Faith within the Church?
In short, if the second Secret indicates discreetly but firmly the overwhelming responsibility of the Popes in the temporal chastisements which fall on Christendom, is it not unthinkable that the Third Secret predicts the crisis in the Church without indicating the cause?
Since Her prophecies which contain threats are always conditional, Our Lady of Fatima never predicts a chastisement without mentioning the responsibility of those who draw it on themselves: it is sinners who go to hell; and the Pope, bishops and Faithful, by turning a deaf ear to Her requests, bring on the scourge of communism and its aftermath.
If then the apostasy makes its way into the Church, how can the Shepherds not be responsible? The good shepherd does not let the wolf penetrate into the sheepfold and ravage the flock. And as Sister Lucy said to one of her nephews in the priesthood: "The sheep follow their Pastor when he knows how to lead them and guide them on the good path."
Moreover, one fact stands out before our eyes: the parallel and simultaneous development of the two series of chastisements: the temporal ones striking the nations and the Church, but from without, and the spiritual chastisements which wound the Church from within, by the loss of faith.
Now we know that it is one and the same act of the Sovereign Pontiff, finally consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary — "but it will be late", very late — which will put an end to those dark years and decades of communist domination and apostasy within the Church.
This underlines the fact that the two chastisements have the same cause: the obstinacy of the shepherds in not paying attention to the requests of Our Lady, their refusal to enter once and for all into the ways of God: "To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart."
This is also what the internal logic of that part of the Secret which has been revealed leads us to believe: the Queen of Prophets, predicting that an unprecedented spiritual chastisement would fall on the Church, also explicitly announced the causes of this apostasy.
In Portugal . . . and at Rome?
The very first phrase of the Third Secret undoubtedly supplies us with some additional evidence.
From beginning to end, the great Secret has a world-wide scope: it speaks of nations, the Pope, and the universal Church. There is nothing particularist about it.
The third part of this Secret deals with the "preservation of the dogma of the faith". For a Roman Catholic, these words call to mind the Apostolic See and its organs — today, the "Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" — which has the precise duty, not only to preserve intact in its infallible magisterium the sacred deposit of divine revelation, but to defend it and zealously ensure that only the purest Catholic Truth is taught by all the pastors and professed by all the Faithful of the Church.
If we consider them carefully, the ten known words of the Third Secret are stupefying: "In Portugal, the dogma of faith will always be preserved," etc. In Portugal ... and at Rome? The little phrase deliberately revealed by Sister Lucy does not tell us.
If the Third Secret mentions Rome and the Pope — which is extremely probable — it is in the continuation of the text, which predicts the apostasy.
The Thesis of Father Alonso:
"Grave Shortcomings of the Upper Hierarchy"
The opinion of Father Alonso, expressed on many occasions, and more and more firmly right up until his death on December 12, 1981, must hold our attention here. In 1969, he thought that the Third Secret of Fatima predicted the crisis of faith within the Church. But in 1976, in The Secret of Fatima: Fact and Legend, he added another element of the highest importance to his exposé:
It is therefore completely probable that the text of the Third Secret makes concrete references to the crisis of faith within the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves. He speaks further of "internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence by the upper hierarchy," of "deficiencies of the upper hierarchy of the Church."
Surely Father Alonso did not put down such serious words in black and white without carefully considering the whole impact. On this point the evolution in his thought is worthy of note: he can hardly be accused of being an a priori "integralist". In 1967, he had gone along with the declaration of Cardinal Ottaviani concerning the Third Secret:
"It is a Secret addressed to the Holy Father," he wrote at that time, and it would be "impertinent and useless to hypothesize about its content". He added: "Moreover, everything leads us to believe that this final Secret does not contain any new themes but simply a pressing appeal along with a grave admonition to today's world to practice penance and interior conversion through the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
In 1976, he had totally changed his mind. Now that we are sure that in the meantime he had seen Sister Lucy often; we know that during his work on the critical edition of the documents on Fatima, he had had opportunities to question her on several occasions. As the official expert appointed by Bishop Venancio, would he have adopted this new position on such a burning question without being certain of at least the tacit accord of the seer? He gives us reason to believe that he knows much more about the subject than he is able to say:
... 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."
These lines have a precious value for us, for two reasons. For in addition to the solid induction of Father Alonso, which he established using numerous bits of evidence — "I have the texts," he declared — they indirectly reveal to us the thoughts of the seer herself, such as they appeared in all clarity to a theologian without any prejudice. Indeed if Father Alonso had been mistaken about the content of the final secret, we can be sure that Sister Lucy — who had no qualms about refuting fantastic theories on several occasions — would have found a way to let him know.
III. Now Everything Can Be Explained
|Father Paul Leonard spoke about the Third Secret of Fatima on this TV program explaining what the Third Secret of Fatima means to you and the crisis in the Church today.|
If the Third Secret predicts not only a near universal apostasy, but also reveals the grave shortcomings of consecrated souls — priests and religious — but especially the highest members of the hierarchy and the Sovereign Pontiffs themselves, giving concrete but easily understood details — this would suddenly explain an impressive collection of diverse and independent facts concerning the mysterious Secret. Without this key, these facts would remain for us for so many incomprehensible enigmas.
Three Months of Insurmountable Agony
In the first place, how the very contents of the Secret held back Sister Lucy's pen preventing her for several months from writing down the text in spite of the express order of her bishop.
Moreover, (Father Alonso writes), how are we to understand Lucia's great difficulty in writing the final part of the Secret when she has already written other things that were extremely difficult to put down? Had it been merely a matter of prophesying new and severe punishments, Sister Lucy would not have experienced difficulties so great that a special intervention from Heaven was needed to overcome them. But if it were a matter of internal strife within the Church and of serious pastoral negligence on the part of high-ranking members of the hierarchy, we can understand how Lucy experienced a repugnance that was almost impossible to overcome by natural means.
As a matter of fact, Sister Lucy surely realized that by writing these twenty or so lines, she was inaugurating an event which would have a formidable impact in the history of the Church and the world. For in the school of the Most Blessed Virgin, Lucy was used to judging all things in the light of God: thus in her eyes war, cataclysms and famine, the spread of the communist Gulag to the whole planet, the annihilation of several nations — all these things are infinitely less serious than the apostasy of the Church herself and the apostasy of her Pastors.
To be sure, the Church has the promises of eternal life, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. The infallibility of the Pope will never be compromised. For it is certain that never will any Pope be able to teach error in the exercise of his infallible magisterium, whether ordinary or extraordinary. Nevertheless, the shortcomings of the Pastors in the areas where they are not infallible can still have the most disastrous consequences. Through their fault, the Faithful can lose their faith, resulting — along with the frightful injury done to God by this collective apostasy — in the eternal loss of millions of souls. This is where the Third Secret is connected with the first one, concerning the vision of hell. And in this aspect, in its insistence of the responsibilities of the leaders of the Church, the Third Secret undoubtedly seemed to Lucy to be the most terrible one, and above all the most difficult to transmit. For Lucy was a humble religious, who was accustomed at all times to looking on her superiors as the authentic representatives of God. Now that she found herself suddenly ordered by Heaven to communicate such severe warnings to them, such sharp reproaches regarding their conduct, it was an extremely painful mission for her.
We have already seen how on June 12, 1941, Our Lord commanded her to pass on a similar message to the bishops of Spain. For more than a year, Sister Lucy hesitated, and could not bring herself to inform the Bishop of Tuy. As we recall, it was a severe admonition concerning the internal disorders of the Church in Spain, for which the bishops were responsible. They were expected to apply the remedies and use firmness in doing so. If they failed to do this, they would draw down a chastisement on their country once again.
We ought to reread this whole chapter of the history of Fatima, which undoubtedly places us in the atmosphere of the Third Secret. For we know that the numerous revelations and divine communications received by Sister Lucy all during her life were always in close connection with the great prophetic Secret of 1917, only they came at the providential hour to make more explicit such or such a request of Our Lady. Thus it is clear that the message to the bishops of Spain was directly related — being an application to a particular instance — of the themes developed in the Third Secret on the subject of the universal Church.
Some Revealing Admissions
We know that the Third Secret explicitly concerns the Pope, from several indications in the writings and statements of Sister Lucy.
On March 2, 1945, she wrote to Father Aparicio, her former confessor, who was then a missionary in Brazil:
"Do they pray for the Holy Father over there? It is necessary to pray unceasingly for His Holiness. Days of great affliction and torment still await him."
Father A.M. Martins, who quotes this text, notes down judiciously: "An unconscious reference to the crisis in the Church?" Indeed we see in this a proof that the sufferings of the Holy Father mentioned by the Secret cannot be identified — as many commentators think — with the afflictions of Pius XII during the Second World War. No, in 1945 Sister Lucy shows us that the great tribulations of the papacy are still to come. If the Third Secret is precisely the prophetic announcement of these tribulations, the reflection of Sister Lucy and her pressing invitation to pray unceasingly for the Holy Father is perfectly understandable.
Here is another echo of the private disclosures of Sister Lucy: we know that Father Schweigl, having decided to go to Portugal to conduct a detailed investigation on Fatima, was charged by Pius XII with a secret mission concerning the seer. On September 2, 1952, he interrogated Sister Lucy at the Carmel of Coimbra. Although the Holy Office did not authorize the publication of this interrogation, on his return to the Russicum Father Schweigl confided this to one of his colleagues who questioned him on the secret.
If Pope Pius XII already had, through Father Schweigl, a veiled indication of the subject matter of the Third Secret, this would explain many things. Among other things, it would explain the mission of Cardinal Ottaviani in May 1955, his meeting with Sister Lucy and the fact that he questioned her on the Third Secret. Perhaps it would also explain why in 1956 or the beginning of 1957, Rome demanded the transfer of this document to the Holy Office. It would also explain why Pius XII, already knowing enough to surmise the gravity of the events predicted in the Secret, preferred to wait, putting off till later on the awesome decision to read it.
We might also reread the declarations of Sister Lucy to Father Fuentes in December, 1957. We will not find a single word there which does not fit perfectly well with everything we have said about the most probable content of the Third Secret. On the contrary, the anguished thought of the crisis of the Church which was approaching, and the grave defects of the Shepherds, seems to be underlying everything she said in this conversation, from beginning to end.
Why the Secret was not Disclosed
"The content of the Third Secret must account for why it was not disclosed by Popes John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II." This is one of four certain facts which we have solidly demonstrated at the beginning of our investigation.
Well! Since none of the hypotheses expressed up to now really satisfies this requirement, there is hardly any need for insistence to understand why the Popes, since 1960, have always obstinately refused — for different reasons which we will examine in a special chapter — to disclose this prophecy announcing ... their own shortcomings and the tragic consequences which were to follow for the Church.
It is equally easy to understand why Cardinal Ottaviani, who tried in the name of Pope Paul VI to justify, for better or worse, the failure to disclose the Secret, declared insistently that the famous Secret "was destined for the Holy Father." It was a half-truth ... or a half-lie: destined exclusively and explicitly for the Pope? Certainly not! But directly concerning the Pope? Without any doubt.
Father Alonso understood quite well to what extent it was the content of the Secret, and that alone, which had prevented the Popes from revealing it. In his last article on the Secret of Fatima, written just a few weeks before his death, while he prudently gave the appearance of justifying Rome's silence, he wrote these remarkably clairvoyant lines:
An inopportune revelation of the text would only exasperate still more the two tendencies which continue to tear the Church apart: a traditionalism which would believe it was helped by the prophecies of Fatima, and a progressivism which would have lashed out against these apparitions, which would inhibit so scandalously the progress of the conciliar Church ... Pope Paul judged it prudent and opportune to put off the revelation of the text until better times. Pope John XXIII declared that the text did not refer to his pontificate ... And the following Popes did not consider that the moment had come to remove the veil of mystery, in circumstances where the Church has not yet overcome the frightening impact of twenty years of the postconciliar era, during which the crisis of the Faith has been installed at every level.
What stupefying words: revealing the prophecies of Our Lady, the Fatima expert explains, would clearly prove the defenders of tradition right, and uphold them in their struggle, while on the contrary it would restrain and discredit the partisans of the "conciliar Reform," to the point of making them furious adversaries of Fatima.
The question imposes itself: How long will our Pastors choose to please the enemies of the Blessed Virgin in remaining faithful to the "conciliar orientations" which they demand — and which have led the Church to its ruin — rather than humbly trust in the prophecies of the Queen of Heaven, which are unquestionably contrary to the innovators? How long will they delay obeying such urgent requests of their Mother and Mistress, the Queen of the Apostles, all-powerful Mediatrix of grace and mercy for the Church and for the world?