In 1963, the German newspaper Neues Europa published what it purported to be “an extract” of the Third Secret of Fatima. The text of this “extract” was preceded by the following introduction from the editor, Louis Emrich:
I have done everything possible to procure for myself the original text of the third message of Fatima, but all my efforts remained futile. The Vatican has made all the arrangements for this document to remain a papal secret until a new order.
However, today I am in a position to communicate to readers of Neues Europa in all countries an extract of the content of the third Secret, in the form made available in inside information, in diplomatic circles of Washington, London and Moscow
The editor then claims that the “extract” was read by President Kennedy, Great Britains Prime Minister MacMillan, and Soviet leader Khrushchev, and led to the signing of the Anglo-American-Russian accord at Moscow. He concludes by stating that “although this document is not the original text of the message of Fatima, such as it was revealed on October 13, 1917, by the Mother of God to the little seer Lucy, essential points of the original are nevertheless found there.”
The Neues Europa Extract of the Third Secret
Here is the “extract” of the Third Secret of Fatima that was published by Neues Europa:
“It was the thirteenth of October, 1917. On that day, the Holy Virgin appeared for the last time to the little visionaries, Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucy, at the end of a series of six apparitions in all. After the manifestation of the miracle of the sun at Fatima, the Mother of God revealed a special secret message to Lucy, in which She particularly stated:
“‘Dont worry, dear child. I am the Mother of God speaking to you and begging you to proclaim in My name the following message to the entire world. In doing this, you will meet great hostility. But be steadfast in the Faith and you will overcome this hostility. Listen, and note well what I say to you: Men must become better. They must implore the remission of the sins which they have committed, and will continue to commit. You ask Me for a miraculous sign so that all may understand the words in which, through you, I address mankind. This miracle which you have just seen was the great miracle of the sun! Everyone has seen it — believers and unbelievers, country and city dwellers, scholars and journalists, laymen and priests. And now, announce this in My name:
“A great punishment shall come to all mankind, not today as yet, nor even tomorrow, but in the second half of the 20th Century. What I have already made known at La Salette through the children Melanie and Maximin, I repeat today before you. Mankind has not developed as God expected. Mankind has gone astray and has trampled underfoot the gifts which were given it. There is no order in anything. Even in the highest positions, it is satan who governs and decides how affairs are to be conducted. He will even know how to find his way to the highest positions in the Church. He will succeed in sowing confusion in the minds of the great scientists who invent arms, with which half of humanity can be destroyed in a few minutes. If mankind does not refrain from wrongdoing and be converted, I shall be forced to let fall My Son’s arm. If those at the top, in the world and in the Church, do not oppose these ways, it is I who shall do so, and I shall pray God My Father to visit His justice on mankind.
“‘There will also come a time of the hardest trials for the Church. Cardinals will be against Cardinals and bishops against bishops. Satan will put himself in their midst. In Rome, also, there will be big changes. What is rotten will fall, and what will fall must not be maintained. The Church will be darkened and the world plunged into confusion.
“‘God will punish men still more powerfully and harshly than He did by means of the Flood, and the great and powerful will perish just as much as the small and the weak.
“‘The greatest World War will happen in the second half of the 20th Century. Then fire and smoke will fall from the sky, and the waters of the oceans will be turned to steam, hurling their foam towards the sky; and all that is standing will be cast down. Millions and millions of men will lose their lives from one hour to the next, and those who remain living will envy those who are dead. There will be tribulation as far as the eye can see, and misery all over the earth and desolation in every country.
“‘The time is continually approaching, the abyss is growing wider, and there is no end in sight. The good will die with the wicked, the big with the small, the princes of the Church with their subjects. Satans henchmen will then be the only sovereigns on earth.
“‘This will be a time which neither king nor emperor, Cardinal nor bishop expects, but it will come, nevertheless, in accordance with My Father’s plan to punish and take vengeance. Later, however, when those who survive all this are still alive, God and His glory will once more be invoked, and He will once more be served as He was, not so long ago, when the world had not yet become corrupted.
“‘I call on all true imitators of My Son, Jesus Christ, all true Christians and apostles of the latter days! The time of times is coming and the end of everything, if mankind is not converted, and if this conversion does not come from above, from the leaders of the world and the leaders of the Church. But woe! Woe if this conversion does not come about, and if all remains as it is, nay, if all becomes even worse!
“‘Go, My child and proclaim this! I shall always remain by your side to help you.’”
This was the first widely published version of the “secret” after the Vatican announced in 1960 that the Third Secret of Fatima would “remain under seal.” Emrich claimed that it was an “extract of the third message of Fatima (sic) … circulating in diplomatic circles.” No less an authority on the Fatima apparitions than Father Messias Coelho gave credence to it on the authority of one Cardinal, who said that it fundamentally corresponds with the true Secret. However, it must be noted that the text provided above is not an extract of the real Third Secret — there are serious problems of credibility with the Neues Europa version, as Frère Michel pointed out:
- The Third Secret was written on one sheet of paper. The vision revealed by the Vatican on June 26, 2000 was written on four sheets of paper and totaled 297 words. Yet these “extracts” published in Neues Europa total 797 words in English. Thus it is impossible that Sister Lucy could have written the almost 800 words contained in this extract on a small sheet of paper, when she took four pages to write less than half the amount for the vision.
- Although an extract, there is no connection between this text and the known words of Our Lady from the Third Secret: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.”
- “It was the great miracle of the sun! Everyone has seen it — believers and unbelievers, country and city dwellers, scholars and journalists, laymen and priests.” This text from the first paragraph of “Our Lady’s” words is word for word from Canon Barthas’ famous book Fatima, Marvel of the 20th Century. This coincidence is more likely plagiarism than miracle.
- On July 13, 1917 Our Lady said, “Tell (the Secret to) no one. Yes, you may tell Francisco.” Here, She allegedly says, “Announce this” (first paragraph) and “Proclaim this” (last paragraph).
- According to this extract, Our Lady said, “You have seen the Miracle of the Sun” to the children when She gave the Third Secret. She gave the Secret on July 13, 1917, but the Miracle of the Sun occurred on October 13, 1917.
- No war greater than that predicted by the second Secret broke out in the second half of the 20th Century.
With such evidence against the credibility of this “extract,” we must conclude that it is not authentic. However, Frère Michel, who considered this fraud to be based on the prophecies of La Salette, concludes that “it is not devoid of interest, because … it really expressed, and in a striking manner, certain themes of the true Third Secret.” Though the text Neues Europa published is not the Third Secret, the core of the message is very similar. We have as evidence of this the testimony of Msgr. Corrado Balducci, a Vatican insider for more than forty years, who related that when Cardinal Ottaviani was asked whether the Neues Europa account should be published, the Cardinal, who had read the Third Secret — and who had a dry personality and was basically indifferent to most apparitions — exclaimed very emphatically: “Publish 10,000 copies! Publish 20,000 copies! Publish 30,000 copies!”
- Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III: The Third Secret (Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, 1990) pp.642-647; from Neues Europa, no. 20, October 15, 1963, Stuttgart, p. 5.
- Ibid., p. 655.