In Spite of the Efforts to Bury it:
Pope John Paul II Gives Us the Key to the Real Third Secret
Our Lady of Fatima said, “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” What is dogma? And what does this have to do with the Third Secret? Father Gruner masterfully shows us how we can protect our souls; how we can know, without a shadow of a doubt, what our Catholic Faith asks of us; and how this helps us to understand the innermost contents of the Third Secret.
by Father Nicholas Gruner, S.T.L., S.T.D. (Cand.)
In this interview, I address the following three fundamental questions concerning the Third Secret of Fatima: 1) Is it crucial for you to know it? 2) What is the Third Secret? 3) What can we do about it?
Q: What has the Pope told us concerning the Third Secret?
Pope John Paul II told us essential elements of the Third Secret in his sermon on May 13, 1982, as well as in his sermon during the beatification ceremony of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto at Fatima on May 13, 2000.
Q: What did the Pope tell us about the Third Secret on May 13, 1982?
On May 13, 1982, Pope John Paul II asked in his sermon, “Can the Mother with all the force of the love that She fosters in the Holy Spirit and desires everyone’s salvation, can She remain silent when She sees the very basis of Her children’s salvation undermined?” The Pope then answered his own question, “No, She cannot remain silent.” Here the Pope himself tells us that the Fatima Message concerns Our Lady’s warning that the foundation of our salvation is being undermined. Then, on May 13, 2000, the Pope in his sermon during the beatification ceremony warned the faithful to beware of the tail of the dragon, and he cited Chapter 12 verses 3 and 4 of the Book of the Apocalypse. The Book of the Apocalypse, Chapter 12 verse 4 speaks of the tail of the dragon sweeping one-third of the stars from heaven, which is commonly understood to mean one-third of the Catholic Clergy.
Q: But where in the Message of Fatima does the Blessed Virgin speak about the basis of our salvation being undermined?
It is clearly not in the first two parts of the Secret of Fatima, which say nothing about the basis of our salvation being undermined or the tail of the dragon sweeping consecrated souls down from their exalted state. The only evident reference in the text of the Message of Fatima about the basis of our salvation being undermined or consecrated souls falling from their state is found in Sister Lucy’s fourth memoir, where she added to the integral text of the Message a phrase she had held back before: “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” Here, and only here, the revealed portion of the integral Message of Fatima touches upon the question of the dogmas of the Faith, and how they will be preserved in Portugal.
But what would be the point of Our Lady mentioning this, if dogma were going to be preserved everywhere else as well? Clearly, the reference to Portugal as a place where dogma will be preserved introduces the notion that elsewhere it will not be preserved, and the “elsewhere” is undoubtedly described in the words comprised by Sister Lucy’s “etc.” Yet the vision published on June 26, 2000 contains no further words of Our Lady. Where, then, are the words comprised in the “etc.” which terminates the obviously momentous reference to dogma being preserved in Portugal, but evidently not elsewhere preserved? I can only conclude that the missing words of Our Lady are found in the “sound track”, as it were, of the Third Secret, where Our Lady would explain the vision published on June 26 by Cardinal Ratzinger and Monsignor Bertone. And I note that very recently Mother Angelica said on her live television show that she, too, “is one of those people who happen to believe that we didn’t get the whole thing” — meaning the whole Third Secret. Mother Angelica went on to explain that she believes we didn’t get the whole thing because “I think it’s scary.” I agree completely. It is very scary indeed, because it must concern the greatest danger of all — the danger to the Faith and to the salvation of souls. The vision published on June 26 simply does not contain anything so frightening, or even controversial, that the Vatican would have kept it under lock and key for forty years.
Q: What did the Pope mean in 1982 when he spoke of “the basis of our salvation”? What is the basis of our salvation?
It is the Catholic Faith. We know this from the Athanasian Creed which says, and I quote: “Whoever wishes to be saved must before all else adhere to the Catholic faith. He must preserve this faith whole and inviolate; otherwise he shall most certainly perish in eternity.”
So the basis, the foundation of our salvation is belonging to the Catholic Church and holding on to our Catholic Faith whole and inviolate. And that is what the Third Secret is about. And this we know, not only from the Pope’s remark but also from Our Lady Herself saying, “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved,” indicating – just as every Fatima expert has said – that the Third Secret concerns the Catholic Faith. Of course, we have Frère Michel’s book (The Third Secret) and Father Alonso’s writings which confirm that. As well, we have Bishop Amaral — the third Bishop of Fatima — confirming this point in his speech in Vienna, Austria on September 10, 1984. There, he told us that the Third Secret concerns the apostasy of nations. Apostasy takes place with, of course, the loss of faith.
“Its content,” he insisted, “concerns only our faith. To identify the Secret with catastrophic announcements or with a nuclear holocaust is to deform the meaning of the message. The loss of faith of a continent is worse than the annihilation of a nation; and it is true that faith is continually diminishing in Europe.”1
We also have Cardinal Ratzinger confirming the whole thesis of the Secret referring to the danger of apostasy in the Church in his famous interview in Jesus magazine of November 11, 1984, where he tells us the Third Secret concerns “the dangers threatening the Faith and life of the Christian, and therefore the life of the world.” Every word of his interview was approved by Cardinal Ratzinger before being published.
Q: Why should we be concerned about the content of the Third Secret?
The Secret is very important to us — it can’t be any more important — because it concerns the salvation of our very own individual souls. It also concerns the salvation of the souls of the Pope, the cardinals, the bishops, the priests and of every living person. So, the Third Secret concerns every man, woman and child on the face of the earth, but particularly Catholics. This is the most important concern of all because it means our eternal salvation. Our Lord said, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world if he loses his own eternal soul?” If a person loses his soul for the New World Order, the One World Religion, or the promise of peace and prosperity in the world, it doesn’t serve him any purpose at all because he will burn in hell for all eternity. Therefore, the Third Secret is of the highest concern to every man, woman and child, including, obviously every priest, bishop, and cardinal and even the Pope himself.
Q: What is the essence of the Third Secret?
The Third Secret is a prophecy. We know that from Cardinal Ottaviani who read it and said so, and from Cardinal Ratzinger who said in the 1984 interview that if the Secret was not published at least for now it was to “avoid confusing religious prophecy with sensationalism.” It is a prophecy that began to be realized at least by 1960, which Sister Lucy said was the year by which the prophecy of the Third Secret will be “much clearer.” It is a prophecy that tells us about our time. It is a loving warning from Our Lady and also advice on how to act in these circumstances.
We are told by the Third Secret of Our Lady of Fatima that the dogma of Faith will be preserved in Portugal, and this is clearly understood by all the Fatima experts to mean that the dogma of Faith will not be preserved elsewhere. That is the first essential point of the Third Secret.
Therefore, the Third Secret concerns, first of all, the dangers to the Faith, just as Cardinal Ratzinger said in 1984. St. John tells us what it is that overcomes the world: he says it is our faith. For the world to overcome the Church, it has to overcome our faith first of all. And so that is what the Secret concerns: our faith. We know this from Our Lady’s words given to us by Sister Lucy in the beginning of the Third Secret; we know it from Cardinal Ratzinger; we know it from the Bishop of Fatima; we know it from the remarks of the Pope at Fatima in 1982 and 2000. It concerns our faith. There is no question about that.
Secondly, it concerns the dogma of the Faith. Our Lady of Fatima spoke about the dogma of the Faith as always being preserved in Portugal. Why did Our Lady speak about the dogma of the Faith? She spoke about dogma because that would be the target of those who would attack the Church from within. What is dogma? Dogma is what has been infallibly defined. The dogma of the Faith is known by the solemn, infallible definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The word infallible means “cannot fail”. Therefore, the definitions of the Faith, solemnly defined by the Church, cannot fail. So we know what the Faith is, what the dogma of the Faith is, by the infallible definitions.
The problem is that since Vatican II we have new notions being passed off in the Church as “new” Catholic doctrine which appear to contradict or at least “revise” the infallible definitions. But as Vatican I clearly taught, the infallible Magisterium — which means the Pope definitively teaching the universal Church either alone or together with all the bishops — cannot give us new doctrine. The Magisterium can only pass on and fully explain what God revealed through the apostles. There is no new doctrine being revealed by God since the death of the last Apostle, Saint John. So this “new” doctrine is really pseudo-doctrine. This pseudo-doctrine is being taught very subtly; but when it contradicts the doctrine which has been infallibly defined, then we have to believe the infallible doctrine and we must reject the “new” doctrine. And so, it’s important for us to realize that it is the dogma of the Faith that cannot fail. Men can fail; lay people can fail; priests can fail; bishops can fail; cardinals can fail; and even the Pope can fail in matters which do not involve his charism of infallibility, as history has shown us with more than one pope (e.g. after Pope Honorius died, he was condemned by the Third Council of Constantinople [680 A.D.] for aiding and abetting heresy, and that condemnation was approved by Pope Leo II and repeated by later popes). But the solemn definitions of the Faith by the Pope, or the Pope together with all the bishops in a Council of the Church, cannot fail.
Everything should be judged by those definitions that cannot fail. And so if a pope, a cardinal, a bishop, a priest, or a layman teaches us something contrary to any definition of the Faith, we can know that that layman, priest, bishop, cardinal, or pope is wrong. For example, when John XXII, back in the 14th Century, gave sermons (but not solemn definitions) in which he insisted that the blessed departed do not enjoy the Beatific Vision until the day of General Judgment, he was denounced and corrected by theologians, and he finally retracted his heretical opinion on his deathbed.
And how can we be so sure? Because the definition is infallible, it cannot fail. As I said – a pope, a cardinal, a bishop, a priest and a layman can fail. Yes, even the Pope can fail, and he does fail if he expresses an opinion which is contrary to a solemn, infallible definition of the Catholic Church. This does not mean the Church fails when this happens, but only that the Pope has made a mistake without imposing it on the whole Church. As we see with the example of John XXII, the Pope can make a mistake in some teaching or opinion which has not been imposed upon the Church with a solemn, infallible definition. And so when Our Lady speaks about the “dogma of the Faith”, She indicates to us that the danger to the Faith is clearly seen when the solemn dogmatic definitions of the Catholic Faith are contradicted. The definitions themselves cannot fail.
Q: Do we have any other examples of priests, bishops, cardinals or even popes failing?
Yes, of course. We have Martin Luther who was a priest, who failed — who taught heresy. We have Bishop Nestorius, who taught Nestorianism — that was condemned by the Council of Ephesus. We also have the priest Arius who failed in his Arian doctrine. We have even popes who have failed on occasion, such as John XXII and Pope Honorius. Even the first pope, St. Peter, failed, as shown in Sacred Scripture — not by what he said but by the example he gave. Peter refused to sit at table with Gentile converts, in Antioch about 50 A.D. By shunning these converts he gave the false impression that the First Council of Jerusalem was wrong in its infallible teaching that the Mosaic ceremonial law, including the prohibition against Jews eating with “unclean” Gentiles, was not binding on the Catholic Church. This was the incident for which St. Paul rebuked St. Peter to his face in public.
Another example is Pope Liberius in 357 A.D. (or thereabouts), who failed by publicly arguing in support of an equivocal statement of the Faith which could be interpreted in an heretical Arian sense. And he also failed (under duress while in exile) by wrongly condemning and excommunicating — in reality, only giving the appearance of excommunicating – St. Athanasius, who was defending the faith in this matter. Pope Liberius, the first pope not to be proclaimed a saint by the Church, was wrong because Athanasius was teaching the Catholic doctrine – the true doctrine, the infallible doctrine – taught infallibly by the Council of Nicea. In the case of Pope John XXII, which I have already mentioned, the pope who followed him defined infallibly against the doctrine of John XXII. Also, Pope Honorius was condemned for aiding and abetting heresy, which I also mentioned earlier. So yes, it is an historical fact that popes can fail in the Catholic Faith; they can teach heresy; they can fail in their sacred duty to defend the dogmas of the Faith. But the definitions cannot fail — not ever.
Whenever we come to the question of “well do we believe the Pope or do we believe the infallible definition?”, we must believe the infallible definition or we could end up falling into error, and possibly losing our souls. When the Pope is not speaking infallibly by means of a solemn definition, it is certainly possible that he could say something erroneous, just as Pope John XXII did when he gave his sermons denying the immediacy of the beatific vision. If a Pope can make a mistake, then certainly cardinals, bishops and priests can make mistakes in their teaching and opinions. Bishops can fail, priests can fail, certainly Father Gruner can fail. But the dogmatic definitions of the Church can never fail. That is why God has provided them through the infallible Magisterium of His Church, so that in times of crisis we will always be able to find the truth.
Q: But how can a priest disagree with the Pope or, say, a Vatican cardinal on some question of the faith?
Another point that needs to be understood is that just because a priest like Father Gruner or Father Smith is of a lower rank than Cardinal Ratzinger or the Pope, that does not mean that anything the Pope or Cardinal says is necessarily right and that any priest who may disagree with them on some theological point they make is necessarily wrong.
That is why the Church has infallible definitions. It is by measuring any given teaching against the solemn, infallible definitions that we find out if something is true or false – not by what rank in the clergy a person has. In fact, it was a lay person, a lawyer named Eusebius, who pointed out that Nestorius, a high-ranking archbishop in Ephesus, was wrong when he denied that Mary is the Mother of God. Eusebius stood right up in the pews on Christmas Day, during Mass, and denounced Nestorius for preaching heresy. Yet all the “high ranking” priests and bishops had remained silent in the face of Nestorius’ heresy. So, a mere layman was right and all the rest of them were wrong. So the truth is not a matter of numbers or rank; the truth is a matter of what Christ and God have revealed in Sacred Scripture and Tradition and what has been solemnly defined by the Catholic Church and what the Catholic Church has always taught.
Q: You also mentioned that the danger to the Faith is clearly seen when the solemn dogmatic definitions of the Catholic Faith are contradicted. Can you give an example that illustrates this point?
This is how the heresy of Arianism brought about confusion in the Church from 336 A.D. to 381 A.D. People should know the history of Arianism. Arianism was condemned in 325 A.D.; and yet in 336, it started up again. Starting from 336, it eventually took over about 90% of the bishops before it was defeated 50 years later, so that even the great St. Athanasius was “excommunicated” by the Pope by the year 360. By 381 Arianism had been defeated by the First Council of Constantinople. However, it was still in full bloom for some time between 360 and 380.
Now one reason why the Arians were able to succeed for a time, was that they “successfully” attacked a dogma that had been solemnly and infallibly defined at the Council of Nicea in 325 — that Christ is God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God; begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father. This solemn and infallible definition is in the Credo of the Council of Nicea, which we say every Sunday at Mass.
They overturned the definition by getting many of the “faithful” to argue for replacing it with a false definition which was not infallible. In 336 they replaced the Greek word Homoousion with another word Homoiousion. The word Homoousion basically means “consubstantial” with the Father. For God the Son to be consubstantial with the Father, the Son must not only be God but the same one God as the Father, so that the substance of the Father is the substance of the Son, even though the Person of the Father is not the Person of the Son. Thus, there are three Persons in one God — Father, Son and Holy Ghost — but there is only one God in the three Persons. That is the mystery of the Trinity.
The new word Homoiousion, however, means “of similar substance” to the Father. Thus, the phrase “consubstantial with the Father” – a crucial phrase, which we say in the Nicene Creed – was changed to “of similar substance to the Father” or “like the Father.” So the Arians brought about confusion by adding one letter to the word Homoousion to create a new word with a new meaning: Homoiousion. They attacked a solemn definition, saying that their new definition would be better than the solemn definition. But, of course, the new definition could not be better than the solemn definition, because the solemn definition is infallible.
By adding one letter to one word, the Arians got rid of the infallible definition. This opened the way for the Arians and the semi-Arians, leading to actual warfare. People were martyred, persecuted, driven out into the desert, driven into exile and so forth over this one change to one infallible dogma. St. Athanasius was driven into exile five different times by the Bishops Synod of Egypt. But he was right and they were all wrong — because he clung to the infallible definition, no matter what everyone said.
Q: What can we learn by this example?
In 325, the solemn definition of the Council of Nicea was infallible, but many people then didn’t fully realize that definitions of the Faith were infallible. The difference between then and now is that in 325 A.D. the faithful didn’t have a solemn definition saying that the definitions of Faith are infallible. In 1870, the First Vatican Council solemnly and infallibly defined the infallibility of solemn definitions. Now we know, infallibly, that solemn definitions are infallible. They cannot fail — ever.
So maybe the faithful of that time can be excused for allowing themselves to be taken in by the heretics. But in our day, we cannot be excused for being taken in by heretics and giving up the defense of solemn definitions. In 1870 the Church defined that solemn definitions are infallible, and so our defense — our first line of defense and our last line of defense — is the solemn definitions. Solemn definitions judge everybody. They are infallible of themselves — ex sese — to use the Latin phrase used by the First Vatican Council. Had the people fully realized that back in 325 and 336, they would not have given up the old definition – the infallible one – for the new one.
But that’s what we’re doing today, all over again. We are judging things in light of the Second Vatican Council instead of judging the Second Vatican Council in the light of the infallible definitions. The infallible definitions are the unchanging standard by which one measures every doctrine, just like a 36-inch yardstick is the unchanging standard for measuring a yard. We don’t suddenly decide that the new standard for measuring a yard is a 35-inch stick. Everything in the Faith must be measured against the yardstick of the infallible definitions. Even the pronouncements of the popes must be measured and weighed against this standard. And that is the crucial point, and that is why Our Lady spoke about the dogma of the Faith.
And so, what we’ve had since the Second Vatican Council is an attack, a subtle attack on the solemn definitions. We have had a so-called pastoral council which refused to speak with solemn definitions and — in the views of some — actually went against certain solemn definitions. It is the solemn definitions that must judge the council, not the other way around. Vatican II cannot be a super council that overrides all the other councils. On the contrary, Vatican II must be judged in light of the solemn definitions of previous councils and previous popes, since Vatican II did not give us any solemn, infallible definitions. But the excuse that has been used by some highly-placed bishops is: we want to be pastoral, we don’t want to have the voice of condemnations.
Q: What’s wrong with not wanting to have the voice of condemnations?
The very decision not to condemn errors and heresies is the explanation offered for why Vatican II refrained from any solemn definitions. Solemn definitions, by necessity, must say “this is the Catholic Faith” and therefore, by strict logical implication, also say, “those who say the opposite are anathema” — meaning, they are cut off from the Faith and the Church. In other words, you must believe this in order to be saved. So by necessity, the definitions also must state or imply that those who don’t believe this are condemned. This is the reason why solemn anathemas are generally included with the definitions.
By the subtle mistake of refusing to make solemn definitions, the door is opened for using words and language which can go contrary to solemn definitions, and that is exactly the trick which was used by the Arians in the Fourth Century in order to bring about confusion. And they almost succeeded in overcoming the whole Church. And that is what has been going on now for 39 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Here we see what Our Lady of Fatima speaks about. She goes right to the heart of the matter. She says that the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved in Portugal — but clearly there will be a loss of dogma elsewhere. Otherwise the observation about Portugal would be pointless.
Q: Concerning the Third Secret, what else must we remember from the Pope’s speech of May 13, 1982?
We must not forget that the Pope said that our Faith was being undermined. Now to undermine the basis, the foundation, of our salvation is to undermine the Faith, and to undermine something is to attack it by stealth — by trickery, not attacking openly. And undermining is, generally speaking, done from within a given structure. So Our Lady was telling us that we must be especially alert to sneak attacks on our Faith at this time in Church history.
Q: What did the Pope tell us about the Third Secret on May 13, 2000?
In his sermon during the beatification of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco, Pope John Paul II warned us about the dangers to our salvation today by telling us that “The message of Fatima is a call to conversion, alerting humanity to have nothing to do with the ‘dragon’ whose ‘tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth’ (Apoc. 12:4).”
By this statement, Pope John Paul II reveals that one-third of the Catholic clergy is being dragged down by “the serpent” — he is speaking in the present tense. He informs us that the biblical prophecy cited in Apoc. 12:3-4 applies to our time: “And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his heads seven diadems: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth …” (Apoc. 12:3-4)
But the Pope doesn’t say “one-third of the Catholic clergy”; he says (citing Apoc. 12:3-4) that one-third of the stars of heaven are cast down to the earth by the tail of the dragon. He does not explain what the “stars of heaven” are. We have to go to Catholic commentaries in order to know that the “stars of heaven” are consecrated souls of the clergy: cardinals, bishops, priests. So while Pope John Paul II did not say “one-third of the Catholic clergy”, he did say “one-third of the stars of heaven”.
In the language of the Bible, the “stars of heaven” are those who are set in the heavens to illumine the way for others to go to heaven. This passage has been classically interpreted in Catholic commentaries to mean that one-third of the clergy — i.e. cardinals, bishops, priests — fall from their consecrated state and are actually working for the devil. These clergy are undermining the Catholic Faith, undermining our salvation.
Commenting on Apoc. 12:3-4, Father Herman B. Kramer, in The Book of Destiny, points out that the red dragon — a sign of the devil which could also symbolize Communism because red is Communism’s emblematic color — brings the Church into great distress by undermining it from within. Father Herman Kramer tells us that, in reference to the one-third of the stars of heaven, “This is one-third of the clergy” and that “‘one-third’ of the stars shall follow the dragon”.2 Thus, one-third of the Catholic clergy will work for the devil, possibly under the influence of Communism, to destroy the Church from within.
Father Herman Kramer goes on to say that, by means of the apostate clergy, the devil will probably enforce upon the Church “the acceptance of unchristian morals, false doctrines, compromise with error, or obedience to the civil rulers in violation of conscience.” In addition, he suggests that “The symbolic meaning of the dragon’s tail may reveal that the clergy who are ripe for apostasy will hold the influential positions in the Church, having won preferment by hypocrisy, deceit and flattery.” The clergy who will follow the dragon — i.e. the devil — would include those “who neglected to preach the truth or to admonish the sinner by a good example, but rather sought popularity by being lax and the slaves of human respect,” as well as those “who fear for their own interests and will not remonstrate against evil practices in the Church” and bishops “who abhor upright priests who dare to tell the truth”.3 Father Herman Kramer also observes as follows concerning the state of the Catholic Church in the times prophesied by Apoc. 12:3-4:
“The apostolic democracy founded by Our Lord may have given way to an absolute monarchy, in which the episcopate rules with oriental despotism. The priests may be reduced to a state of servility and fawning sycophancy. The rule by reason, justice and love may have been supplanted by the absolute will of the bishop, whose every act and word are to be accepted without question, without recourse to fact, truth or justice. Conscience may have lost its right to guide the actions of the priests and may stand ignored or condemned. Diplomacy, expediency and other trickery may be upheld as the greatest virtues.”4
Therefore, it seems very clear that Pope John Paul II has sent the Church a warning that the Third Secret concerns the clergy; that one-third of the Catholic clergy are following the devil and taking souls with them. What else could the Pope have meant, in view of the commentaries which are certainly known to him, when he quoted Apoc. 12:3-4, and warned about the tail of the dragon? As we have just seen, this is not my opinion; it is understood that the stars of heaven are the Catholic clergy.
So, the Holy Father himself reveals what is in the Third Secret. Because, you see, the reference to Apocalypse 12:3-4 is nowhere in the revealed part of the Fatima Message, so it must be in the Third Secret in the words of Our Lady which have not yet been published although their publication the Pope had just ordered at the time he gave his sermon at Fatima.
In conclusion, we can see that the undermining of the Catholic Faith from within the Catholic Church by one-third of the Catholic clergy today is an essential part of the Third Secret. The treason of one-third of the clergy is cited in the Message of Fatima, and this treason is happening in our time. Many clergy are betraying the Church with scandalous behavior. The evidence of the unfolding of the Third Secret is there for all to see. In his sermon at Fatima, the Pope himself warned us about what is happening today. Thus, one-third of the Catholic clergy are promoting, directly or indirectly, false doctrines which go against the dogma of the Faith, against defined doctrines. Now, definitions by strict implication must anathematize error. It is in their very nature that whoever believes the contrary error is cut off from the Catholic Faith and, by that fact, is cut off from the Catholic Church. In order to be saved one has to belong to the Catholic Church.
Q: How do you belong to the Catholic Church?
You must be baptized into the Church; you must continue to accept the authority of the Pope to rule the Church as taught by Jesus Christ and as defined by His Church; and you must hold on to the Catholic Faith whole and inviolate. So, if somebody believes the opposite of a defined dogma, then he is not only cut off from the doctrine of the Faith, he is also cut off from the Church by this very act. If he is cut off from the Church, he is of course anathema — he is damned for believing that condemned doctrine. That is just the essence of any definition: the definition is saying this is true and the opposite of what they defined is then false. And those who follow this false doctrine are going to hell.
And so, St. Paul said, “If I or an angel from heaven or anyone should teach a doctrine different from the doctrine that I have taught you, then let him be anathema.” Let him be accursed, let him be cut off from God and from the saints, and let him go to hell. So all definitions — either explicitly or implicitly — condemn error, but Vatican II refused to solemnly define doctrine or condemn error. At the Second Vatican Council, they tried to have a so-called pastoral council, which did not condemn error. By not condemning error, in effect the Second Vatican Council refused by and large to exercise its infallible Magisterium. Therefore, anything taught by Vatican II has to be judged by the infallible teachings of the Church — not the other way around. The infallible teachings of the Church cannot be judged by Vatican II.
Vatican II is not authoritative to the extent it did not exercise its supreme Magisterium, its power to define doctrine and its power to anathematize error. And to that extent, since it did not exercise its authority, everything at Vatican II that was not yet taught infallibly, previously to Vatican II, has to be examined in the light of the dogmatic definitions of the Catholic Church. However, that is not what is happening today. What’s happening today is people are redefining “the faith” – it’s not the faith – they’re redefining it in light of Vatican II, even against solemn definitions of the Catholic Church. What we must hold on to is the solemn, infallible, unfailing definitions — which are incapable of failing.
So that is why it is especially relevant in our time to remember Our Lord said “When the Son of Man comes again, will He find faith on the earth?” and He said, apparently referring to the same age, that “if it were possible even the elect would be deceived.” So how are we to avoid being deceived by the appearance of Catholic teaching, which is in reality not Catholic teaching but in fact the opposite of it? We’re to avoid being deceived by holding on to — with all our might, with all our heart, strength and will, and our mind especially — the infallible definitions. These cannot fail; by holding on to them, we will then hold on to the Catholic Faith. If we don’t hold on to them, we could well be deceived along with everybody else. That is why it is important for us to remember that Our Lady spoke about the dogma of the Faith. The dogma of the Faith is defined by solemn Catholic definitions.
Q: Why wasn’t Pope John Paul II more clear with his warning?
Just like his statement in 1982, the Pope did not say that the Faith would be undermined, but he did say that the basis of our salvation was being undermined. But what is the basis of our salvation? It is our faith. We have to understand that the Pope is telling us these things, but yet not that openly.
On the one hand, the Pope feels he has to speak because — like Our Lady — he cannot remain silent; and he is speaking very publicly and he is speaking in a very public place, among devoted servants of Our Lady — that is, before the crowd in Fatima, before a million people in 1982 when he talks about the basis of our salvation being undermined. He also talks about the apocalyptic menaces — or almost apocalyptic menaces — looming over mankind in 1982. In the year 2000, he speaks about “one-third of the stars of heaven”. But he doesn’t speak that clearly that the average person can understand without just a little bit of explanation. The Pope is telling us that the Third Secret concerns the dangers to the Faith and that one-third of the Catholic clergy are involved. However, the Pope does not say these things directly — but in a somewhat hidden manner, in language for the learned to grasp. He may not want to turn off the simple folk without them being given a chance for an explanation.
Sister Lucy said over and over again that in this time of confusion, this time of “diabolical disorientation”, there would be persons of high authority within the Church – persons who have heavy responsibility (to be clear, cardinals and bishops and priests) who would be “blind and leaders of the blind”. It is a spiritual chastisement for our sins of not listening to the warning already published at Fatima.
It comes to our knowledge and attention that the Pope does not feel that he can speak freely, because he is surrounded somewhat by priests, bishops and cardinals who are undermining the Faith, who are part of that one-third. But the Pope either doesn’t know who they are or he does know who they are, but he doesn’t feel that he can speak safely and survive to the next day. Whatever his reason, he is not speaking that clearly — but he is speaking clearly enough that we can figure it out. Jesus told His disciples on one occasion, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (i.e.: let him who has ears to hear, let him understand).
Q: How is the basis of our salvation — the Catholic Faith — undermined?
The Pope pointed out that the attack on the Catholic Faith is coming from within. He said, “Can the Mother with all the force of the love that She fosters in the Holy Spirit and desires everyone’s salvation, can She remain silent when She sees the very basis of Her children’s salvation undermined?” The word “undermine” implies that you weaken a foundation from within. You attack from without; you undermine from within, where the attack is not expected and everyone’s guard is down — where you are viewed as being among “friends”.
The Faith is always being attacked from the outside; but as the Third Secret tells us, in our time the Faith is also being attacked by “false brethren” inside the Church. We know from the studies of Frère Michel and Frère François that the Third Secret is a prophecy for our time that began in 1960 (The Third Secret and the booklet The Secret of Fatima … Revealed, both written by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité and available from this apostolate) and that we are living through the Third Secret now (actually, from 1960 — when it was to be released — until the consecration of Russia is finally done).
The Catholic Faith is being undermined specifically by one-third of the clergy (undoubtedly, with the help and support of some of the “faithful”) speaking outside of the infallible definitions — pushing and brushing aside the dogmas of the Faith and speaking in language that can easily be misinterpreted so that people misunderstand or are misled and no longer depend upon the infallible definitions. Again, the attack on the Faith is coming from within the Church.
And this leads to the Pope’s point in the year 2000: today, one-third of the Catholic clergy are working for the dragon and working for the devil. They are underminingthe faith – they are doing it from within. And that is the Pope who is giving us this clue that Apoc. 12:3-4 means the undermining of the Catholic Faith from within.
So we have Pope John Paul II telling us that the Catholic Faith is being undermined from within (May 13, 1982: “the very basis of Her children’s salvation undermined”) by the Catholic clergy (May 13, 2000: “one-third of the stars of heaven”). In addition, the 1963 issue of the German publication Neues Europa revealed a part of the Third Secret as involving cardinal opposing cardinal, bishop opposing bishop.
Q: Why would the cardinals and bishops oppose each other?
It would be wrong for cardinals and bishops to oppose each other unless there was something essential at stake. St. Augustine says, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.” What are essentials? Essentials are, among other things, the Faith. And so, if a cardinal is heretical, the other cardinals should oppose him. Whereas, if it is something non-essential, then they should not oppose him.
But the fact is, cardinals and bishops opposing each other is mentioned in the 1963 version of the Secret published in Neues Europa. From the following account, we know that Cardinal Ottaviani encouraged the publication of that 1963 version when asked whether it should be published or not. We know that the Cardinal had a very dry personality and was pretty much indifferent to most apparitions. However, when asked by a priest in 1964 about whether the 1963 Neues Europa version of the Third Secret should be published, Cardinal Ottaviani exclaimed very emphatically, “Publish 10,000 copies! Publish 20,000 copies! Publish 30,000 copies!”
Then we have the testimony of Father Malachi Martin telling us that the message of Garabandal contains the Third Secret or parts of the Third Secret. Malachi Martin, who knew the Third Secret because he read it himself, and who read the message of Garabandal, says that because the Vatican chose not to release the Third Secret in 1960, Our Lady appeared at Garabandal in 1961 and gave us the Third Secret. What is in the Garabandal message? The Garabandal message says, among other things, that many cardinals, bishops, and priests are on the road to hell and taking many more souls with them.
Q: But why should we talk about Garabandal in The Fatima Crusader when it is not an approved apparition?
A very good, valid question. But I must point out to our readers that although the apparitions themselves are not approved, the Bishop of Garabandal — that is, the Bishop of Santander — said that the message itself is not contrary to the Catholic Faith, that there’s nothing in the message that could be taken as being contrary to the Catholic Faith. So, when you have Malachi Martin saying that the message of Garabandal contains the Third Secret or parts of the Third Secret — and he said that on the Art Bell Radio Show just before he died — and the message of Garabandal does say that many cardinals, bishops and priests are going to hell and taking many more souls with them, then it all ties in with everything else we know about the Third Secret — that one-third of the clergy (it may not only mean one-third of the Catholic priests but also can mean one-third of the bishops and one-third of the cardinals themselves) are working to undermine the Catholic Faith.
- Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III – The Third Secret, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, 1990, p. 676.
- Father Herman Bernard Kramer, The Book of Destiny, first published 1955, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois, 1975, pp. 279-284.