This article is an excerpt from Chapter 8, which is entitled “The Message of Fatima versus the Party Line“, from The Devil’s Final Battle.
A Press Conference to Announce the Sodano Party Line
We thus arrive at the fateful date of June 26, 2000. On this date the Third Secret is “disclosed” at a Vatican press conference, along with a commentary prepared by Cardinal Ratzinger and Monsignor Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, entitled The Message of Fatima (hereafter referred to as TMF). In TMF the Party Line on Fatima would be officially promulgated – by the direct command of Cardinal Angelo Sodano. (See the beginning of The Devil’s Final Battle Chapter 8 for an explanation of “the Party Line”.)
First of all, the faithful were told that the following text of a vision seen by Sister Lucy is all there is to the Third Secret of Fatima:
After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: Penance, Penance, Penance! And we saw in an immense light that is God: something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it a Bishop dressed in White we had the impression that it was the Holy Father. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels, each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.
The immediate reaction of millions of Catholics could be summarized in two words: Thats it? Clearly, something was amiss, since nothing in this text corresponded to what Cardinal Ratzinger himself had said about the Third Secret in 1984 — a point to which we shall return shortly. Nor did it contain anything that would have explained its mysterious suppression since 1960.
Most important, this obscure vision, written down on four sheets of notebook paper, contained no words of Our Lady. In particular, it contained nothing that would complete the famous phrase spoken by Our Lady at the conclusion of the recorded portion of the Message of Fatima as faithfully transcribed by Sister Lucy in her memoirs: “In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved etc.” Sister Lucy had added this phrase, including the “etc.”, to her fourth memoir as part of the integral text of the Message. This addition had led every reputable Fatima scholar to conclude that it signaled the beginning of the unrecorded Third Secret, and that the Third Secret pertained to a widespread dogmatic crisis in the Church outside of Portugal. Clearly, the Virgin had more to say that was not written down because Sister Lucy had been instructed to keep it secret — until, as we have seen, 1960.
In a curious maneuver, however, TMF had avoided any discussion of the telltale phrase by taking the text of the Message of Fatima from Sister Lucys third memoir, where the phrase does not appear. TMF justifies this as follows: “For the account of the first two parts of the secret, which have already been published and are therefore known, we have chosen the text written by Sister Lucia in the Third Memoir of 31 August 1941; some annotations were added in the Fourth Memoir of 8 December 1941.” Annotations? The key phrase concerning the preservation of dogma in Portugal was no “annotation” but an integral part of the spoken words of Our Lady, after which She had said: “Tell this to no one. Yes, you may tell Francisco.”
Having deceptively mischaracterized an integral part of the Message of Fatima as an “annotation,” TMF then buries it in a footnote that is never mentioned again: “In the Fourth Memoir Sister Lucia adds: In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc….”
Why are Sodano/Ratzinger/Bertone so leery of this key phrase that they would so obviously go out of their way to avoid it by using an earlier and less complete memoir of the text of the Message? If there is nothing to hide in this phrase, why not simply use the Fourth Memoir and attempt an explanation of what the phrase means? Why did the authors of TMF so obviously pretend that the phrase is a mere “annotation,” when they know full well that it appears in the integral text as part of the spoken words of the Mother of God? We shall return to this suspicious behavior in a later chapter (“Cardinal Ratzinger’s Message of Fatima“, Chapter 11 of The Devil’s Final Battle).
Another ground for suspicion was that the vision of the “Bishop dressed in White” was not at all the one-page “letter in which Sister Lucy wrote down the words which Our Lady confided as a secret to the three shepherds of the Cova da Iria” — as the Vatican itself had described it in the aforementioned 1960 press release. The text of the vision spans four pages of what appear to be ruled notebook paper.
Another suspicious circumstance is that on June 26 Cardinal Sodanos falsehood of May 13 was clearly exposed: the Pope is killed by soldiers who fire upon him as he kneels at the foot of a large wooden Cross outside a half-ruined city. The Pope is not “apparently dead”, as Sodano had falsely asserted in May; the Pope is dead. The vision, whatever it means, clearly has absolutely nothing to do with the 1981 assassination attempt. The faithful had already been duped in May, and now the process of duping them was clearly continuing.
The dozens of discrepancies raised by this text – prompting Catholics around the world to doubt that we have received the Secret in its entirety – will be addressed in a later chapter. (See “Does the Third Secret Consist of Two Distinct Texts?“, Chapter 12 of The Devil’s Final Battle.) For now, we consider the Ratzinger/Bertone “commentary” in TMF on the Fatima Message as a whole.
Cardinal Sodano Dictates the “Interpretation” of the Third Secret
First of all, TMF is a virtual admission that the “interpretation” of the Message of Fatima which Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone will “attempt” (to use Cardinal Ratzingers word) has been dictated by none other than Cardinal Sodano. No fewer than four times, TMF states that it is following Sodanos “interpretation” of the Third Secret — namely, that Fatima belongs to the past:
Before attempting an interpretation, the main lines of which can be found in the statement read by Cardinal Sodano on May 13 of this year…
For this reason the figurative language of the vision is symbolic. In this regard Cardinal Sodano stated…
As is clear from the documentation presented here, the interpretation offered by Cardinal Sodano, in his statement on 13 May, was first put personally to Sister Lucia.…
First of all, we must affirm with Cardinal Sodano that the events to which the Third Secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past.
And just in case the reader still has not gotten the point, the basic aim of TMF is driven home once again:
Insofar as individual events are described, they belong to the past.
Is it not curious that the interpretation of the Virgin of Fatimas vital message to the world had been given over, not to the Pope, nor even to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (which was merely aping Cardinal Sodanos opinion), but to the Vatican Secretary of State? What authority does Cardinal Sodano have to impose his view upon the Church? None, of course. But Cardinal Sodano had arrogated that authority to himself in keeping the overall post-conciliar ascendancy of the Vatican Secretary of State to the status of de facto Pope when it comes to the daily governance of Church affairs.
Cardinal Ratzinger Executes the Sodano Party Line
Returning to the “commentary” with these facts in mind, one can see that the press conference of June 26, 2000 had one overriding purpose: to carry out Cardinal Sodanos order concerning the “correct” interpretation of the Message of Fatima. By the time the reporters left that room, the Message of Fatima — all of it — was to be buried. And once buried, the Message would no longer impede Cardinal Sodano and his collaborators in their relentless pursuit of the Churchs new, post-Fatima orientation, which includes (as we shall see) the important Church business of lauding, dining and hobnobbing at the Vatican with the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev, having the Pope apologize to the Red Chinese regime, pressuring Romanian Catholics to surrender to the Orthodox church the local Catholic Churchs rights to the properties stolen by Josef Stalin, supporting and even contributing money to a godless, unaccountable International Criminal Court under United Nations auspices that could try Catholics of any nation for unspecified “crimes against humanity,” and other such “triumphs” of Vatican diplomacy.
In other words, every last holdout in the Church must be brought along to the Vaticans new way of thinking and speaking to the world, which does not square well with Our Lady of Fatimas prophecy of the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, the spread of devotion to Her Immaculate Heart and the consequent conversion of Russia through the intervention of the Immaculate Heart. This sort of talk just wont do anymore, even if it does come from the Mother of God. So, the precise task entrusted to Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone on June 26 was to find a way to detach the faithful once and for all from the explicitly Catholic aspects of the Message of Fatima, which all too clearly remind us of the “triumphal” Church of the “pre-conciliar dark age.”
First there was Cardinal Ratzingers attempt in TMF to dispose of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart:
I would like finally to mention another key expression of the “secret” which has become justly famous: “my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world — because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time.
The attentive reader will notice immediately that Cardinal Ratzinger has conveniently removed the first three words from the Virgins prophecy: In the end. This clearly deliberate censorship of the very Mother of God was necessary for Cardinal Ratzingers revisionist “interpretation” along the lines dictated by Sodano: namely, that Fatima belongs to the past.
Thus, “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph” is — after the expedient removal of the first three words — now to be understood as follows: “2,000 years ago My Immaculate Heart triumphed.” Our Ladys prophecy of what will happen in the end is blatantly falsified into a mere acknowledgment of what had already happened 20 centuries ago at the beginning of Christian history. Four future events — the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, the consecration of Russia, Russias conversion, and the resulting period of peace in the world — are cunningly converted into one event 2,000 years ago!
This tampering with a message God Himself sent to earth through His Blessed Mother should cause any member of the faithful to rise up and demand justice in the name of Heaven. But Cardinal Ratzingers butchery of the Message of Fatima does not end here; it is far worse than even this. Concerning Our Ladys call to establish devotion to Her Immaculate Heart throughout the world as “God wishes”, Cardinal Ratzinger offered this mockery:
According to Matthew 5:8, the immaculate heart is a heart which, with Gods grace, has come to perfect interior unity and therefore sees God. To be devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means therefore to embrace this attitude of heart, which makes the fiat — your will be done — the defining centre of ones whole life.
Notice, first of all, the quotation marks Cardinal Ratzinger places around devoted and immaculate heart, which he strips of its upper-case I — a sure sign these words are about to acquire a new meaning.
Thus, “God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart” is now to be understood as: “God wishes everyone to do His will.” In fact, everyone whose heart is open to Gods will acquires an “immaculate heart” of his own. So, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means opening ones own heart to God, not spreading devotion to Her heart in order to make the world (especially Russia) Catholic. Immaculate with a capital I becomes immaculate with a lower-case i, and Her Heart becomes everyones heart, at least potentially. As a magician would say: “Presto, change-o!”
There is, of course, only one word to describe the demotion of the one and only Immaculate Heart – conceived without Original Sin and guilty of no personal sin whatsoever – to the level of the heart of any person who turns away from his sins and finds interior unity with God. The word is blasphemy. More will be said about this particular outrage in the next chapter (“Enforcing the New Orientation in a ‘Post-Fatima’ Church“, Chapter 9 of The Devil’s Final Battle).
The conversion of Russia was a bit more difficult to make disappear. There is not much one can say to obscure the Mother of Gods very clear statement that “the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted.” But, as we have demonstrated abundantly, the conversion of Russia is no longer acceptable to the Vatican apparatus. The solution to this problem was simply to avoid any discussion of the subject in TMF, although Our Ladys words are quoted without comment. The conversion of Russia? What conversion?
The crowning insult was Cardinal Ratzingers citation of only one “authority” on Fatima in TMF: the Flemish theologian Edouard Dhanis, S.J., whom Cardinal Ratzinger identifies as an “eminent scholar” on Fatima. Cardinal Ratzinger of course knows that Dhanis, a modernist Jesuit, made a veritable career out of casting doubt on the Fatima apparitions. Dhanis proposed that everything in the Secret of Fatima beyond a call for prayer and penance was cobbled together in the minds of the three children from things they had seen or heard in their own lives. Dhanis thus categorized as “Fatima II” all those things which the “eminent scholar” arbitrarily rejected as fabrications — without ever once interviewing Sister Lucy or studying the official Fatima archives.
As Dhanis put it:
All things considered, it is not easy to state precisely what degree of credence is to be given to the accounts of Sister Lucy. Without questioning her sincerity, or the sound judgment she shows in daily life, one may judge it prudent to use her writings only with reservations. …Let us observe also that a good person can be sincere and prove to have good judgment in everyday life, but have a propensity for unconscious fabrication in a certain area, or in any case, a tendency to relate old memories of twenty years ago with embellishments and considerable modifications.1
Dhanis, who refused to examine the official Fatima archives, cast doubt on every aspect of the Message of Fatima which did not accord with his neo-modernist leanings: the prayer taught by the Angel he called “inexact”; the vision of hell he called an “exaggeratedly medieval representation”; the prophecy of “a night illumined by an unknown light” heralding the advent of World War II he described as “grounds for suspicion.” And as for the consecration of Russia, Dhanis flatly declared that: “Russia could not be consecrated by the Pope, without this act taking on the air of a challenge, both in regard to the separated hierarchy, as well as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This would make the consecration practically unrealizable…” Thus, Dhanis declared that the consecration of Russia would be “morally impossible by reason of the reactions it would normally provoke.”2
Dhanis deconstruction of the Message of Fatima is a typical example of how modernists undermine Catholic truths based upon premises they themselves invent. Since (invented premise) the consecration of Russia is morally impossible, how could Our Lady of Fatima have requested it? Having thus stacked the deck against Sister Lucy, Dhanis states the “inevitable” conclusion: “But could the Most Holy Virgin have requested a consecration which, taken according to the rigor of the terms, would be practically unrealizable? …This question indeed seems to call for a negative response. …Thus, it hardly seems probable that Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia. …” Based entirely on the premise Dhanis invented, Sister Lucys testimony is pronounced a fraud.
That is precisely the line adopted by Cardinal Sodano and his Vatican apparatus: the Mother of God could not possibly have requested anything as diplomatically embarrassing as a public consecration of Russia: and so we must do away with this embarrassing notion once and for all. And it is this line, the Party Line, which Cardinal Ratzinger endorsed in his “commentary” by praising Dhanis as an “eminent scholar” on Fatima. Cardinal Ratzinger, following the Party Line, suggests that the Third Secret in particular consists of “images which Lucia may have seen in devotional books and which draw their inspiration from long-standing intuitions of faith.” In other words, who can really say which parts of the Third Secret are authentic and which are merely personal memories or “intuitions”? And if that were true of the Third Secret, it would also be true of the rest of the Message of Fatima.
Cardinal Ratzinger’s stealthy attempt to undermine Sister Lucy’s credibility, while professing great respect for the Message of Fatima, will be taken up again in the following chapter (“Enforcing the New Orientation in a ‘Post-Fatima’ Church“, Chapter 9 of The Devil’s Final Battle). Here it suffices to say that Cardinal Ratzinger’s evident agreement with Dhanis that all the specifically prophetic elements of the Message are unreliable serves to disqualify him from making any “interpretation” of the Third Secret, or any other part of the Fatima Message. Quite simply, Cardinal Ratzinger does not believe that the Mother of God called for the consecration of Russia, the conversion of Russia to the Catholic Faith, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, and the establishment of the specifically Catholic devotion to the one and only Immaculate Heart throughout the world. That being the case, the Cardinal had a duty to reveal his bias and abstain from the matter, instead of pretending to give an “interpretation” that is really an attempt to debunk and discredit that which he purports to “interpret.”
What was left of the Message of Fatima after Cardinal Ratzinger and Bertone got done with it on June 26? On this point, Cardinal Ratzinger, Msgr. Bertone, and Fr. Dhanis all agree: “What remains was already evident when we began our reflections on the text of the secret: the exhortation to prayer as the path of salvation for souls (sic) and, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion.” On June 26, 2000 the Message of Fatima became Fatima Lite: a watered-down prescription for personal piety without any specific relevance to the future.
For this the Mother of God came to earth and called down the Miracle of the Sun? It is interesting to note that even in presenting this minimalist version of the Message, Cardinal Ratzinger could not write about salvation for souls without bracketing those words with the same squeamish quotation marks he used to distance himself from the words devotion, triumph and immaculate in his commentary. It seems even Fatima Lite is not quite light enough in Catholic content for the ecumenical palates of modern churchmen.
As for Our Ladys prophetic warning that “various nations will be annihilated” if the consecration of Russia were not done, this we are apparently supposed to forget. There will be no annihilation of nations, “Fatima is all in the past.” Cardinal Sodano says as much. Cardinal Ratzinger agrees.
For more about the Party Line on the Consecration of Russia and the Third Secret of Fatima, see the remaining sections of Chapter 8 of The Devils Final Battle.
1. Dhanis’ entire thesis against Fatima is explained and critiqued in Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume I: Science and the Facts, (Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, U.S.A., 1989) Part II, Chapter 1. All quotations concerning his false theory are from this source.