Catechism Series on the Basics of the Catholic Faith

Pope John Paul II Gives Us the Key – Part Three

In Spite of the Efforts to Bury it:

Pope John Paul II Gives Us the Key to the Real Third Secret


Part III

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 Part I of this article (Issue 67), I examined what Pope John Paul II has told us concerning the Third Secret in his sermons of May 13, 1982 and May 13, 2000 and what this means to us. I discussed how the Pope has revealed to us the essence of the Third Secret — that the Catholic Faith is being undermined in our time by (among others) one-third of the Catholic clergy.

In Part II of this article (Issue 68), I discussed the importance of knowing the identity of those persons in the Catholic Church who are undermining the Faith and the importance of knowing how they are going about undermining the Faith. I also discussed how we can distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys in the Church and the importance of this to the average layman. I also summarized what we know about the Third Secret and its importance to our eternal salvation.

At the end of Part II, I emphasized that the Third Secret concerns the infallible definitions of the Faith and that definitions, by their very nature, have to say what the truth is and, therefore, by strict logical implication, what the error is and that the error is condemned. If a person stubbornly holds on to a condemned error after he has been informed of the infallible truth then he cannot be saved (unless he repents before he dies), so it’s only charitable to warn him. And so it is our duty to witness to the truths of our Faith and to protect the little ones from errors against the Faith by defending the Faith in public. That’s why the Church anathematizes those errors and those clergy and laity who stubbornly hold on to them.

It would seem then that Vatican II — by attempting to teach without definitions, without condemnations, without anathemas — in practice fell into a snare of the devil. Our Lord said “By their fruits you shall know them.” [Mt. 7:16] The fruits of this snare are evident all over today: only 20% of Catholics go to Sunday Mass (before the Council 70% of Catholics practiced their Faith), and today the non-practicing Catholics’ morals are as bad as those of non-Catholics in matters such as abortion, divorce, adultery, fornication, voting for abortionist politicians, etc. The teaching of Vatican II which refuses to anathematize error could have error in it — this was admitted by the General Secretary of Vatican II, Cardinal Pericle Felici — so we must judge everything in Vatican II by the solemn definitions of previous Popes and the previous twenty General Councils.

Q: How can we be morally certain that what you say here is the Third Secret?

We know what the Third Secret is because Pope John Paul II has revealed to us what it is, and the proper Catholic interpretation of his statements coincide with what we have learned from other reliable sources as well, including the following:

1. We know it from the Pope.

As previously mentioned, Pope John Paul II warned us in May 2000 about the dangers to the Faith in our day by citing in his sermon Apoc. 12:3-4, which predicts that one-third of the stars of heaven would be taken down to earth by the tail of the dragon, and the Pope indicates to us that the danger is now. Catholic commentaries have traditionally interpreted this passage as referring to one-third of the clergy — i.e. Cardinals, bishops, priests — as undermining both the Catholic Faith and the salvation of souls by working for the devil.

2. We know it from Cardinal Ratzinger.

In his 1984 interview with Italian journalist Vittorio Messori, Cardinal Ratzinger stated that the Third Secret refers to “the dangers threatening the faith and life of the Christian, and therefore the life of the world.” This is similar to what the Pope has told us on May 13, 1982 and on May 13, 2000.

3. We know it from Our Lady of Fatima.

At Fatima, Our Lady spoke of the “dogma of the Faith” being preserved in Portugal. The dogma of the Faith is the entirety of the defined doctrines of the Catholic Faith. These one must believe — the defined doctrines are infallible, they cannot fail. If a Pope, Cardinal, bishop or priest or even an Ecumenical Council says something contrary to dogma, he is — objectively speaking — guilty of heresy and may lead the faithful to perdition. And we see much contradiction of defined Catholic dogma today and the faithful are not warned against the dangers to their faith.

4. We know it from Father Malachi Martin, who read the Third Secret when he worked in the Vatican.

Father Malachi Martin has told us that he has read the Third Secret — he announced that on the Art Bell radio program, which we have on audio tape. In addition, in answer to a number of questions, Father Malachi Martin stated that Our Lady came to Garabandal, Spain, because the Third Secret was not released in 1960 as She had requested. As a result, Our Lady appeared in 1961 — one year after the Vatican failed to release the Third Secret — and She basically released the Secret to the four children at Garabandal, or at least within the message of Garabandal. And the most striking thing of all in that message is “many Cardinals, bishops and priests are going to hell and dragging many souls with them” and that a great chastisement awaits mankind because of the sins of this time.

5. We know it from the message of Our Lady at Garabandal.

One of the most essential — as well as very striking — parts of what Our Lady is reported to have said in Her message of Garabandal is “to the Eucharist is being given less and less importance.” She also said “many Cardinals, bishops and priests are on the road to hell and that they are dragging many souls with them”. That, of course, ties in with Pope John Paul II in effect telling us on May 13, 2000 that one-third of the Catholic clergy are working for the devil, and that ties in with the Pope telling us on May 13, 1982 that the dogma of the Faith is being undermined from within the Catholic Church. Father Malachi Martin has said that the message of Garabandal is what the Third Secret is about. Although the reported apparitions of Our Lady at Garabandal have not been approved by the Church, the Bishop of Garabandal — that is, the Bishop of Santander, Spain — officially published in July 1965 that the message of Garabandal is not contrary to the Faith. And, of course, it ties in with the Church-approved message of La Salette which predicted that Rome would lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.

6. We know it from “Neues Europa”

We also have the endorsement of Cardinal Ottaviani of the article in the German publication Neues Europa in 1963, which reported parts of the Third Secret. Part of that article stated that “Cardinal will oppose Cardinal and bishop will oppose bishop” (confirming what was reported in the message of Garabandal). This opposition occurs between clergy who work to promote the Faith and those clergy who work to undermine the Faith. This opposition occurs because you cannot be for the Faith without opposing those who undermine and attack the Faith, and the heretics cannot be heretics without opposing those who uphold the orthodox Catholic doctrines.

Q: To sum up, when Our Lady said “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.,” what does this mean, if anything, for the rest of the world?

It means that the dogma of the Faith will not be preserved in various (or many) other parts of the world because the clergy and faithful are not adhering to the solemn definitions. This does not mean that everyone in Portugal adheres to the solemn definitions; but Our Lady promises, nevertheless, that the country as a whole will do so, whereas the dogma of Faith will not be retained in other parts of Europe and of the world. It is interesting that (in August 1931 at Rianjo, Spain) Jesus asked us to pray for the conversion of Portugal, Spain, Russia, Europe and the whole world. It seems that these may be the principal nations and the most important continent upon which the fate of the salvation of much of the world depends. The Third Secret concerns the undermining of the Catholic Faith throughout Europe and possibly throughout much of the world.

Q: What can the faithful do about it?

If the people adhered to the infallible definitions, they would retain the Faith. To safeguard your Catholic Faith, you need your own efforts to live a good Catholic life and to read solid Catholic material, to avoid bad books, magazines, TV programs, and to avoid also people who undermine your Catholic Faith, but you also need grace. To obtain this grace, you must pray — especially the daily Rosary. To avoid being confused, do not follow the false shepherds and the heretics who claim to speak to a deeper understanding of the Gospel. If they followed the infallible definitions of the dogmas of the Faith, the faithful would judge everything — including anybody from a Pope or an Ecumenical Council down to a simple layman — according to what is right and what is wrong, in the light of the Gospel and of the infallible definitions which explain the Gospel. They would know if something were of the Faith or not, and they would know when the other person speaking was in error — no matter what their position and stature in the Church was. And they would be able to determine what is wrong, what is against the Faith, because the definitions are infallible. That is, they cannot fail. A Pope can fail at times. At times, an Ecumenical Council can fail — a Cardinal, a bishop, a priest or a layperson can fail, but the solemn definitions of the Pope alone or the Pope together with an Ecumenical Council can never fail.

This is what Our Lady of Fatima came to warn us about and to tell us what to do — to preserve our own souls and to preserve as many souls of the people around us as we can. And this is what the Third Secret is about in a few words. And we’re on solid ground.

Q: What can we do about it to save our souls?

As I said before, pray the Rosary daily and learn the dogmas of the Catholic Faith, especially the infallible definitions. If a person is not ready for these, then he or she should first read and study the Catholic catechisms approved by the Church before Vatican II — especially the Baltimore Catechism (which has withstood the test of time and was approved by the Church before the current state of confusion within the Church), the Catechism of the Council of Trent and the Catechism of St. Pius X.

Q: Do we have evidence of a cover-up of the Third Secret?

We have presented much evidence of this in Issue 64 of The Fatima Crusader; in Father Hesse’s article, “Cardinal Ratzinger’s Third Secret” in Issue 66; and elsewhere. We also have Frère Michel’s masterful study, The Whole Truth About Fatima – Vol. III, The Third Secret, as well as Father Alonso’s published research on the Third Secret, all of which have provided us with much of the evidence that the Third Secret was not released, in its entirety, on June 26, 2000.

We then have Cardinal Ratzinger telling us in 1984 that the Third Secret concerns: “the dangers threatening the Faith and life of the Christian, and therefore the life of the world. And also the importance of the last things. If it is not published — at least for the moment — it is to avoid confusing religious prophecy with sensationalism. But the things contained in this third secret correspond to what is announced in Scripture and are confirmed by many other Marian apparitions …”13 However, in the Vatican document released on June 26, 2000, Cardinal Ratzinger contradicts his 1984 statement by stating that (concerning the Third Secret), “No great mystery is revealed; nor is the future unveiled.”14

And we can also refer to a letter written by Sister Lucy on May 12, 1982, allegedly “to the Holy Father”. The Vatican document of June 26, 2000 presents a photographic reproduction of a portion of this handwritten letter and claims that it was addressed to Pope John Paul II. However, a close comparison of the handwritten Portuguese text (a portion is shown below) with the versions provided by the Vatican (English, Italian, and Portuguese) reveals that a crucial phrase, which proves that this letter could not have been written to the Pope — or to any Pope — has been omitted from all 3 versions.

The corresponding text in the English version provided by the Vatican is shown below.

In the following statement taken from Sister Lucy’s letter, just referred to, the bolded text has been deliberately omitted from the Vatican’s printed versions: “A terceira parte do segredo, que tanto ansiais por conhecer, e uma revelacao simbolica …” which translates to “The third part of the secret, which all of you (plural) want ardently to know, is a symbolic revelation …” where the verb tense of “you want” is plural and informal. Therefore, more than one person is being addressed in this letter. In addition, Sister Lucy, a cloistered nun who is instinctively deferential to ecclesiastical authority, would certainly know better than to address the Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Catholic Church with the familiar and informal “you”.

In addition, this omitted phrase also states that the recipients want “ardently to know [the Secret]” even though Pope John Paul II had already read the Secret — either in 1978, within days of becoming Pope (according to Joaquin Navarro-Valls) or on July 18, 1981 (according to Msgr. Bertone). Since the Pope had already read the Third Secret by 1981, why would he “want ardently to know” what it contained in 1982? Furthermore, how could Sister Lucy possibly state that the Pope wanted ardently to know the Secret, when he could have obtained the text from the Vatican archives (or the safe in the papal apartment) any time he wished?

The same letter states: “And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfillment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides.” Why would Sister Lucy tell Pope John Paul II in 1982 that the prophecy of the Third Secret was not yet fulfilled if the prophecy had already been fulfilled with the failed attempt on the Pope’s life on May 13, 1981 (as Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone later claimed on June 26, 2000)?

As further evidence of a cover-up of the Third Secret, Pope Pius XII told us that the message of Our Lady of Fatima to Sister Lucy concerned the suicide of the Catholic Church in altering Her liturgy. Nowhere do we see any references to the ramifications of the Church changing the liturgy in the parts of the Message of Fatima that have already been revealed to the world. Therefore, it must be mentioned in the Third Secret, which was NOT fully revealed on June 26, 2000.

Pius XII, who died on October 9, 1958, gave us this warning — quoted on pages 52-53 in the book Pius XII Devant L’Histoire (the title in English is Pope Pius XII Before the Bar of History) — at a time when altering the liturgy was considered unthinkable, un-Catholic:

“Suppose, dear friend, that Communism (Russia and Russia’s errors, in Fatima terms) was only the most visible of the instruments of subversion to be used against the Church and the traditions of Divine Revelation … I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy … A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God … In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, ‘Where have they taken Him?’”

We also have the statement that the Pope read the Third Secret not in 1981 after he was shot — as Msgr. Bertone claimed — but in 1978, according to the testimony of the Pope’s personal press spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls. And so, obviously, there are two different stories coming out of the Vatican: one saying that he only read it after May 13, 1981 — more precisely, in July 1981 — the other one saying that he read it, actually, in 1978. In fact, Pope John XXIII read it in August 1959, less than a year after his election; Pope Paul VI read it within weeks after he was elected in 1963. It doesn’t make sense that Pope John Paul II would not read it until three years later; when, in fact, we have the testimony of his portavoce, his press agent, saying that he read it a few weeks after he was elected. Why would Msgr. Bertone go to great lengths to say the Pope had not read it until July 1981. The only answer that reconciles both statements is that there are two documents, as Mr. Andrew Cesanek has shown in his article (“Are There Two Original Manuscripts on the Third Secret?”) in Issue 64 of The Fatima Crusader.

Our arguments are based on facts. It is an axiom that against a fact there is no argument (“contra factum non est argumentum”, St. Thomas Aquinas). You cannot argue against a fact. If there is a tablecloth sitting on my table, which has red color on it, which I see with my own eyes, you can argue all you want that it is not there, but the fact is: it is there; and against that fact there is no argument. Not even the argument from authority, “the Pope says it is not there; Cardinal Ratzinger says it is not there,” can prove the opposite of the plain facts. Against any other fact there is no argument. What St. Thomas Aquinas has done is to give us an axiom that says: when you get to a fact, you can’t use reason to prove that the fact isn’t there. The fact is: the fact is there, and that’s that. And so we have facts, and there’s no argument against these facts. And just like the axiom “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line”, so “against a fact there is no argument” is also axiomatic.

Q: What are they hiding?

They are hiding the most important part of the Third Secret, about the dangers to your faith by the bad people infiltrated among us. It is that part which was not revealed by Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone at their press conference of June 26, 2000. This is why The Fatima Crusader is needed. This apostolate and this magazine are one of the few means by which the public in the English-speaking world can learn the whole truth about Fatima. This is the only large-scale English language Fatima apostolate (that we know of) that is publishing the whole Message of Fatima, and this apostolate is devoting a full-time effort to make this truth known.


Footnotes 1-12 refer to Parts I and II.

  1. Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III – The Third Secret, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, 1990, reprinted 2001, pp. 822-823. See also Jesus magazine, November 11, 1984, p. 79. See also The Fatima Crusader, Issue 37, Summer 1991, p. 7.
  2. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Theological Commentary”, The Message of Fatima, June 26, 2000, p. 32.
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