The Fatima Message and the Problem of False Obedience

Note: Originally published in The Fatima Crusader, Issue 96, Autumn 2010, pp. 61-78.
– For a more extensive treatment of this topic, see also Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul by Father Nicholas Gruner, B. Comm., S.T.L., S.T.D. (Cand.).

I am very grateful for the opportunity to write about this subject. If only more Catholic publications were open to a search for the truth on what is, in the post-conciliar ambience, a most “politically incorrect” subject: the Message of Fatima and its relation to the current crisis in the Church and the world.


The subjects of this piece are: (1) The evident suppression of a text of the Third Secret of Fatima that would explain and accompany the vision of the “Bishop dressed in White” published under the auspices (strangely enough) of the Vatican Secretary of State on June 26, 2000. (2) The other subject is the obviously not done Consecration of Russia which Cardinal Bertone would forbid us from talking about.

It is not my purpose here, however, to survey all of the evidence that led Antonio Socci, the Catholic luminary in Italy who was determined to disprove the existence of this text, to “surrender,” as he puts it, and to conclude — with those he once dismissed as “Fatimists,”— “that there is a part of the Secret not revealed and considered ‘unspeakable’ is certain.”[1]

In my extended version of this article, I have appended a summary of the key facts that eliminate all reasonable doubt that, as Socci writes, “the explosive part of the ‘Third Secret of Fatima’ exists yet is well hidden …” Indeed, Socci has helped make history by writing a book (The Fourth Secret of Fatima) on the subject that essentially accuses the Vatican Secretary of State of suppressing the very words of the Mother of God.

Rather than reviewing the evidence, my focus here will be on a great obstacle to accomplishment of the imperatives of the Fatima Message: false obedience.[2] Permit me a brief sketch of the context in which this obstacle has arisen.

The Role of False Obedience in the Post-Conciliar Crisis

Since Vatican II there has been an unprecedented division of the Church into warring camps that hoist their respective flags behind impenetrable fortifications. The emergence of these camps is the direct result of the supposed “new orientation” of the Church since the Council — a mirage, of course, but one that has provoked terrible damage in the Church. The very existence of a previously unheard-of distinction between Novus Ordo and “traditionalist” Catholics tells us that the “reforms” of Vatican II have caused a disastrous quasi-schism within the Church itself.

Now, the “traditionalists” are simply the Catholics who did not change, whereas the leaders of the Novus Ordo constituency defend the novelties of the past forty years as though they were defined dogmas of the Faith, even though Pope Benedict has exposed the utter fraudulence of this posture by declaring that the ancient Mass was “never abrogated” and that its use by every priest in the Church was “always permitted.”

The imposition of these novelties upon the Church — and with it, “official” opposition to the Message of Fatima — has depended precisely on a false notion of obedience to ecclesiastical authority. None other than the present Pope himself exposed this false notion when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger:

The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law, but is the guardian of the authentic Tradition, and thereby the premier guarantor of obedience … That is why, with respect to the Liturgy, he has the task of a gardener, not that of a technician who builds new machines and throws the old ones onto the junk-pile …

Here Cardinal Ratzinger was commenting on what even the new Catechism declares: that “even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the Liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the Liturgy.”[3] (CCC, No. 1125, p. 256)

And what is true of the Pope — that his power and authority are limited by the obedience of faith — is all the more true of his subordinates. Yet, in their ranks, the obedience of faith has widely been replaced in the post-conciliar epoch by obedience to their authority for its own sake. Positivism (my will is law) and nominalism (what I will is good because I will it) have invaded the Church, cloaking their abuses in the virtue of obedience, which seems to have become the only virtue insisted upon by ecclesiastical authority.

It is no coincidence that this invasion of the Church by positivism and nominalism coincides with “the invasion of the Church by worldly thinking” that Paul VI lamented — but too late, for the “opening to the world” had already begun to inflict its incalculable damage, and the “smoke of Satan” he also belatedly lamented had already entered the Church through the “fissures” he noticed only after the smoke had entered.

True Obedience: The Obedience of Faith

Of course, what is true of the Liturgy is true of everything else in the Church: there is an obedience of faith higher than obedience to men, higher even than obedience ought to obey God, rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Indeed, all authority is derived from Divine authority, for if there were no God, there would be no ground on which any man could stand to assert authority over another, but only various “social contracts” resting on “consent.” All authority on earth, both temporal and spiritual — from the parent to the policeman to the politician, from the priest to the prelate to the Pope — is ultimately derived from Divine authority. All who exercise authority of whatsoever kind, even papal authority, must exercise that authority in conformity with the Divine will. And all who obey authority of whatsoever kind must obey Divine authority first.

The failure to recognize and acknowledge the obedience which is absolutely due to God above all human authority is what is wrong with the modern notion of authority. It accounts for the moral, political, and social chaos of our time. And that same chaos, as Paul VI lamented too late, has infected even the human element of the Church, producing the paradoxical situation of demands to respect “authority” that contravenes the very basis of all true authority: the Divine will for man.

Now, since all authority comes from God, we obey men because — and only because — their authority ultimately is based upon God’s authority. And this obedience, where it does not contravene God’s law, is actually an act of justice — of giving to another, and ultimately to God, what is due. But God does not give any man the authority to command, nor anyone the right to obey a command, that contravenes the commands He has given us, including the Decalogue and the law of the Gospel, which is the “positive law” of Christ the King.

Moreover, all authority on earth is limited by God’s decree. Not even the Pope has unlimited authority. And we know the limitation of the Pope’s authority by Revelation, Scripture, Tradition, and the teachings of the authentic Magisterium, both Ordinary and Universal, as well as the Extraordinary Magisterium in its dogmatic definitions.

The Obedience of Faith and the Message of Fatima

Of course, as St. Augustine says, “God is order”. And, therefore, there is a hierarchy of authority. And the command of the higher authority — when he is within the ambit of his jurisdiction — supersedes the command of the lower authority. There is a hierarchy of Angels, a hierarchy of being in nature and a hierarchy of authority in the Church. Our Lady’s authority, after that of Her Divine Son, is the highest authority in the Church and the world. It must be noted that the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Queen of Heaven and Earth and Mother of all the living, has real maternal and royal authority over each one of us, every member of the human race, and particularly every Catholic, including each and every priest, bishop, and Cardinal, and finally the Pope himself.

On October 13, 1917, the Queen of Heaven and Earth commanded the sun, and even the sun obeyed Her. So must all Her children, no matter what their rank in the Church. The Message of Fatima, with its prescriptions for the Church, is precisely an exercise of Her authority over the entire Church, the Pope included. And it is impossible for the sinless and ever Virgin Mother of God, possessed of the Beatific Vision in a unique and unequalled way, to abuse or exceed Her authority. Therefore, when She commands, we must obey. Even the Pope must obey Her.

Hence obedience to the Message of Fatima, which means obedience to the Mother of God, is subsumed under the concept of the obedience of faith binding even the Pope to act for the faith, for the salvation of souls, above all else. Which brings me to the question of the Third Secret in particular and its relation to the problem of false obedience.

The Obedience of Faith versus False Obedience Regarding the Third Secret

Now, we know with certainty that the missing text of the Secret — the one that is “well hidden” in the Vatican — involves the famous words of Our Lady recorded in Sister Lucia’s Fourth Memoir: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.’” And we know that an Austrian Jesuit, Father Joseph Schweigl, sent on a mission by Pius XII to interrogate Sister Lucia concerning the contents of the Secret in 1952, revealed that the Secret

“has two parts: One concerns the Pope. The other, logically — although I must say nothing — would have to be the continuation of the words: ‘In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved.’”[4]

Thus, we know that the text comprising the missing second part of the Third Secret records precious words of the Virgin for which Sister Lucia held the place with her “etc.”

But the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, continues to maintain the fiction that the “not easy to decipher”[5] vision of the “Bishop dressed in White,” which has received a welter of conflicting interpretations, is all there is to the Third Secret of Fatima. He steadfastly and most tellingly refused to inquire of Sister Lucia regarding the momentous “etc” even though he had every opportunity to do so over the five years of controversy that raged from the time the vision was published in 2000 — to widespread skepticism about the completeness of the Vatican’s disclosure — until Sister Lucia’s death in 2005. Or perhaps he did inquire and is in possession of information he has deemed expedient not to reveal.

Now, however, the partisans of a false and blind obedience to authority counsel us to forget the very words of the Mother of God because a Vatican functionary has deemed them dispensable. One such spokesman, Antonio Borelli[6] of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), who professes to be a champion of Our Lady of Fatima, declares that the words embraced by that telltale “etc” “will remain forever an inexplicable mystery” and that “It is a great disappointment that it has not been possible to resolve the question of the ‘etc,’ but we have to work with that concrete unavoidable fact.” Really? And why is that?

According to Mr. Borelli the answer is: simply and only because a human authority will have it so. And a human authority, moreover, who has no authority in the matter, as the Vatican Secretariat of State is a creation of men not God, and is in no way part of the Divine constitution of the Church. Indeed, Pius XII dispensed with the office during his pontificate.

It was when he was serving as Secretary of State under Pius XI that the future Pius XII made the startling and prophetic statement:

I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to little Lucia 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, her theology and her soul … I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.[7]

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?”[8]

It seems more than probable that the very catastrophe the future Pius XII foresaw is predicted in great detail by the words of the Virgin of Fatima to be found within that troublesome “etc.” But the partisans of false obedience argue that we must put the matter out of our minds to suit the wishes of Cardinal Bertone and all those who have no authority to conceal any part of the Message of Fatima.

False Obedience Against the Consecration of Russia

In like manner do they advocate blind and false obedience to human authority by commanding or appearing to command us to cease petitioning the Pope[9] for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, which Our Lady of Fatima prescribed for peace in the world and the salvation of souls in our time. They do so simply because human authority has declared a substitution for what the Queen of Heaven requested.

Instead of the Consecration of Russia, we were given a consecration of the world and “all peoples” in 1984. The Pope, following his all too fallible human advisors, avoided any mention of Russia for fear of offending the Russian Orthodox in breach of “ecumenical” protocol.[10] And so the Pope — whose very life had been saved by the Virgin, as he himself publicly attested at Fatima in 1982 — consecrated the world and “all peoples” precisely so that it would not appear that Russia in particular was being consecrated. He was induced to do so in order to avoid offending men, while departing from the Virgin’s request, later lamenting (as reported in L’Osservatore Romano) that he had “tried to do everything possible in the concrete circumstances.”[11]

Based on a “consecration of Russia” that refused to mention Russia, human authority — not the Pope, but a Vatican functionary, then Archbishop Bertone — declared in conjunction with publication of the vision in 2000 that “all further discussion or request” for the Consecration of Russia “is without basis.”[12] All further discussion or request! We are told by a man in the Vatican, who has no real authority in the matter, to refrain even from discussing what the Virgin Mother of God, speaking also as Mother of the Church, instructed the Church to do for salvation of souls and peace in the world. We must be quiet!

Furthermore, by that “official” statement we are de facto told to refrain from exercising our God-given right, defined by the Second Council of Lyons and the First Vatican Council, to seek a fully binding and authoritative ruling from the Pope on the matter.

The Message of Fatima Can Never Be Buried

In response to the justified murmuring of the faithful, who would not be “quiet,” on October 8, 2000 the Vatican bureaucracy offered another human substitute for what the Mother of God requested: a papal “entrustment” to Mary of practically everyone and everything on the face of the earth except Russia. This idea of an “entrustment,” as opposed to the consecration Our Lady requested, was an “amendment” of Heaven’s prescription to suit the objection of certain human authorities to a consecration of anything to the Immaculate Heart, which they consider theologically untenable. This disdain for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary reflects a disdain for the Fatima event in general by those who pursue the “new orientation” of the Church, and a wish to be done with Fatima once and for all — while, of course, giving the appearance of treating it seriously so as to appease the “simple faithful,” as they like to call them.

Yet they cannot be done with Fatima, for the Message of Fatima is from God. Pope after Pope has attested to the supernatural character of the apparitions and the Fatima Message in particular. Even Pope Benedict, who as Cardinal Ratzinger lent his name to the Secretariat of State’s campaign to persuade the faithful that the events predicted in the Third Secret “belong to the past,”[13] has reversed himself and begun to speak of Fatima as a heavenly signpost pointing still to the future — a future in which triumph and tragedy are in the balance. In Bethlehem in 2009, Benedict referred to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart as an event that has yet to happen:

You promised the three children of Fatima that “in the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph”. May it be so! May love triumph over hatred, solidarity over division, and peace over every form of violence! May the love You bore Your Son teach us to love God with all our heart, strength and soul. May the Almighty show us His mercy, strengthen us with His power, and fill us with every good thing. (Cf. Lk 1:46-56)

On May 13, 2010 at Fatima, the Pope prayed that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be realized before 2017 A.D.

Thus, Pope Benedict XVI himself rejects the absurd contention of human “authority” (such as Cardinal Bertone) that the 1984 ceremony was the “Consecration of Russia”.[14] Our Lady has requested that, and what we see in Russia today — a neo-Stalinist dictatorship and three abortions for every woman — and that what we see in the world today — moral, spiritual, social, political and economic collapse — is not the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart that She promised upon Russia’s consecration to Her.

That the Message of Fatima is from God is the reason that, as one Catholic writer so aptly put it, Fatima keeps bobbing to the surface like a cork underwater. What certain men, who exceed their authority, keep trying to submerge — Fatima — rises again and again, with the Pope himself frustrating their effort to keep it down.

No Man Can Silence God

“I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40) Thus did Our Lord reply to the Pharisees when they demanded that He silence His disciples, who were proclaiming: “Blessed be the king who cometh in the name of the Lord”. The Pharisees who would soon orchestrate the execution of the very Anointed One for Whom they and the Jewish race had been waiting, first attempted an expedient compromise: obey us, your religious superiors. Remain silent, as we demand, and we will leave you alone.

But silence was not possible; for no man can silence God. Had every one of the disciples been intimidated into silence by that Pharisaical abuse of authority, the very rocks on the ground would have preached the Gospel in their stead. And woe to them who had counseled silence in the name of obedience to human authority. Soon after this encounter with the Pharisees, having reached Jerusalem, Our Lord pronounced His terrifying judgment on those who would not hear the Gospel:

And when He drew near, seeing the city, He wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. (Cf. Luke 19: 40-43)

Fatima Must Not Be Silenced

And so it is with the Message of Fatima, which contains “things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes” — that is, from the eyes of the very people who have a duty to heed them and make them known, just as the Pharisees who demanded silence from the disciples had a duty to heed and follow the Messiah.

This is not, of course, to claim that the Fatima Message is the Gospel, but rather that the Gospel itself obliges the Church to heed it as an authentic prophecy: “Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not despise prophecy.”[15] For as Saint Thomas reminds us, God sends His prophets in every age “not indeed for the declaration of any new doctrine, but for the direction of human acts.”[16]

The Message of Fatima has been given to the Church precisely for the direction of human acts in our time: the Consecration of Russia, the First Saturday devotions including the Communion of Reparation, making sacrifices for sinners, and the fervent recitation of the Rosary. And what greater prophetic credentials could there be than those of the very Mother of God and the Miracle of the Sun — the greatest public miracle since the Resurrection — which She deigned to obtain in response to Her mocking challengers so that “all might see and believe.”

One must state, in all candor, that we are the victims of an abuse of authority by certain ecclesiastics who despise the Fatima prophecy (i.e., the whole Fatima Message), even though the Popes themselves have recognized it as binding upon the Church. Here is one papal explanation John Paul II gave in 1982 at the very site of the Fatima apparitions. The Pope himself proclaimed the very point I have made here — that the duty to obey Fatima proceeds from the Gospel and sacred Tradition, the twin sources of Revelation:

The appeal of the Lady of the Message of Fatima is so deeply rooted in the Gospel and the whole of Tradition that the Church feels that the message imposes a commitment on her.[17] (May 13, 1982, at Fatima)

Antonio Socci has said it very well in the very book in which he justly accuses errant human authority of hiding part of the Third Secret and impeding the Consecration of Russia: “The Fatima event has received on the part of the Church – which in general is always very cautious concerning supernatural phenomena — a recognition without equal in the history of Christianity …. It is really impossible — after all of this — to continue to speak of a ‘private revelation’ and of the relative importance of the Message.”[18]

And here I must note the remarkable fact that Pope Benedict, having received Socci’s book accusing human authority of this truly Pharisaical abuse of power, has thanked him for “the sentiments which have suggested it,” words which Socci says are “comforting before the insults and coarse accusations” Bertone has hurled at him.[19]

The Duty to Refuse False Obedience Respecting Fatima

What, then, must we do? We must do what the disciples did when confronted by a demand for false and immoral obedience: respectfully, but firmly, refuse to obey.[20] As Saint Thomas teaches, we have the right and even the duty to disobey certain commands of the Church’s rulers for the same reasons we are not bound to obey political rulers in all things.

Firstly, “Charity,” says St. Thomas, “is a greater virtue than obedience.”[21] The greatest charity is the salvation of souls. Our Lady said, “If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.”[22] (July 13, 1917) And, as the Church teaches and professes, the salvation of souls is her first law. (Canon 1752) Hence, the Message of Fatima pertains to the first law of the Church — the law to which all other laws of the Church must be conformed.

Secondly, it is a matter of common sense — and no one has more common sense than St. Thomas — that not even the rulers of the Church have any authority from God to exceed the scope of their authority, as the Secretary of State has done in the case of Fatima. Nor can any authority in the Church demand obedience to unjust commands contrary to the common good of the Church or the divine law itself, or to even a mere human good where undue harm would result. For example, if even the Pope were to issue a command that all Catholics must sleep on the floor for the rest of their lives as a penance, one could refuse to obey such a command merely on account of its undue burden on the human good and necessity of sleep.

Thirdly, as St. Thomas teaches, there are three kinds of obedience: obedience sufficient for salvation; perfect or superabundant obedience; and, finally, what he calls indiscreet obedience, which obeys even in matters unlawful. Indiscreet obedience is contrary to God’s law and, therefore, we must never give it. Indiscreet obedience is, quite simply, a sin.

Even when speaking of professed religious, who have the highest duty of obedience in the Church, St. Thomas teaches that a religious is bound to obey his superior only in respect of those things that belong to his mode of religious life — that limited obedience suffices unto salvation. If a subject wishes to obey in other matters, he would be exhibiting a superabundance of the virtue of obedience. But such superabundant obedience must not be “contrary to God or to the rule they profess, for obedience in these cases would be unlawful.”[23] I repeat: St. Thomas teaches that it would be unlawful for even a professed religious, under the strictest vow of obedience, to obey a command contrary to God or to the rule that he professes before God.

To obey a command to be silent from those who despise the prophecy of the Mother of God at Fatima is to despise that prophecy oneself, contrary to the injunction of the Gospel, and thus contrary to God. It is also contrary to the rule that all Catholics profess at Baptism and Confirmation: the rule of Faith, which obliges one not to despise prophecy, and to refuse to follow those who do despise prophecy. To follow the despisers of prophecy is, in fact, disobedience of the worst sort — the following of men rather than God, which will lead to our destruction no less surely than it did the destruction of Jerusalem. As Our Lady of Fatima Herself warns us: “If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.”

Do we believe this prophecy or not? If we believe it, as we must, silence or inaction in the face of attempts to alter or bury it is not an option, much less a duty of “obedience,” but a sin of omission. Our duty, therefore, is not to obey those who would be done with Fatima, but on the contrary unceasingly to pray, petition, and demand with all due respect that human will give way to the Divine will, that the Third Secret of Fatima — a precious message-warning to the Church and the whole world — be revealed in full, and that Russia be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Consequences We Face

What are the consequences of churchmen continuing to ignore what Our Lady of Fatima has commanded? Quite simply: accountability to Our Lord Himself, to the Blessed Virgin and to their fellow men for the resulting chastisement on account of disobedience. I have explored the full implications of this accountability elsewhere.[24]

But here we need only consider the example of the King of France. If the King of France had not been subject to obedience to the Sacred Heart of Jesus when he was given the order through St. Margaret Mary, on June 17, 1689, to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart, then there would have been no justification for the chastisement of his successor, Louis XVI, on June 17, 1789 – one hundred years to the day later – when the Third Estate overthrew his authority and declared itself the National Assembly, thus commencing the French Revolution that led to Louis’ execution in 1793.

Similarly, if the Pope and bishops were not strictly bound by obedience to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Her requests given to them in the Fatima Message, then the chastisement of the Pope and the bishops as foretold in the vision of the “Bishop dressed in White” — being executed by a band of soldiers outside a half-ruined city — would not be justified on account of their failure to consecrate Russia or to reveal the Third Secret in its entirety.

Yet, it is precisely a lack of obedience by the King, in the first case, and by the Pope and bishops, in the second, that calls down a Divine chastisement upon their heads. As Our Lord Himself admonished Sister Lucia at Rianjo: “Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, they will also follow him into misfortune.”

If the Pope wishes to follow fallible advisors instead of the Mother of God, then, like the King of France, he will be required to pay the price. Similarly, if the bishops, by their indolence, rebellion or false counsel, persist in impeding fulfillment of the imperatives for the Church laid down at Fatima, they will find themselves on that hillside outside the ruined city in the vision, alongside the “Bishop dressed in White,” who is executed before they are executed.

And may God have mercy on us all! For if we neglect to do the part allotted to each of us according to his station in the Church, then we will share in the punishment due for not recognizing our moment of grace and pardon and the moment of our “visitation” [Luke 19:43], which is fast expiring. Like the Gospel — indeed, because of the Gospel — the Message of Fatima must be shouted from the rooftops. Not the stones in the ground, but Catholics all over the world must proclaim the Message of Fatima until its Divine imperatives have been heard and obeyed by the wayward leaders of a Church they have led into an unprecedented crisis. Only then can the Church and the world avoid the fate of which we have been well warned by the greatest of all the Prophets after Our Lord Himself: His sinless Mother, Mediatrix of all graces, including the grace of Fatima.


Note: For those who wish a more complete treatment of the subjects raised here, the following works are recommended: Christopher A. Ferrara, The Secret Still Hidden (2008) – also available in Italian (2009), Portuguese, Spanish and French (all 2010) – Father Paul Kramer, The Devil’s Final Battle (2010); the lengthy response to Antonio Borelli of TFP, “Friendly Reflections?” (2010), and its summary, “Friendly Reflections? A Summary of the Critique” (2010); Father Nicholas Gruner and other Fatima experts, World Enslavement or Peace … It’s Up to the Pope (1988); and Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie, O.C.D., “REFLECTIONS on the Act of Consecration at Fatima of Pope John Paul II on 13th May 1982”, in Marianum (Rome: Ephemerides Mariologiae, 1982), Annus XLIV, Fasc. I-II, No. 128, pp. 88-142. See also Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie, O.C.D., “The Church’s Duty in the Face of the Fatima Message”, in The Fatima Crusader, No. 9-10 (October-December 1982), pp. 9-10; Bishop Rudolph Graber, “Why this Pall of Silence Regarding Fatima?”, in The Fatima Crusader, No. 19 (February-April 1986), pp. 4-5; and (regarding footnote #3) Father Paul Kramer, The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy (2006).

[1] Antonio Socci, Il Quarto Segreto di Fatima [The Fourth Secret of Fatima] (Milano: Rizzoli, 2006), English ed., p. 162; popular ed., p. 111; Italian ed., pp. 172-173.

[2] On the strict obligation of all Catholics – including the Pope – to believe and obey all the commands of Our Lord and Our Lady in the Fatima Message, see also Father Nicholas Gruner’s essays “The Most Grave Obligation” and “Do Not Extinguish the (Holy) Spirit, Do Not Despise Prophecy”, contained in Fatima Priest (Pound Ridge, New York: Good Counsel Publications, 1997), Book II (“In His Own Words”), Chapters 5-6, First Edition, pp. 275-301; Second Edition, pp. 262-288. See also Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie, O.C.D., “REFLECTIONS on the Act of Consecration at Fatima of Pope John Paul II on 13th May 1982”, in World Enslavement or Peace … It’s Up to the Pope (Fort Erie: The Fatima Crusader, 1988), Section XV, pp. 534-582; originally published in Marianum (Rome: Ephemerides Mariologiae, 1982), Annus XLIV, Fasc. I-II, No. 128, pp. 88-142.

[3] The Council of Trent, in Session 7, Canon 13, “On the Sacraments in General”, defines that no pastor of any rank – not even the Pope – can change the Liturgy into new rites of Mass. In the words of Canon 13: “If anyone says that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church customarily used in the solemn administration of the Sacraments may be despised, or may be freely omitted by the ministers without sin, or may be changed into other new rites by any church pastor whosoever, let him be anathema.”

[4] Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima – Vol. III: The Third Secret (Buffalo: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1990, republished in 2001), p. 710.

[5] As Cardinal Ratzinger called it in The Message of Fatima, p. 32.

[6] For a complete response to Antonio Borelli’s reflection on the Third Secret of Fatima, see the response by Christopher A. Ferrara, “Friendly Reflections?”

[7] Mgr. Georges Roche, Pie XII Devant L’Histoire (Paris: Editions Robert Laffont, 1972), p. 52.

[8] Ibid., p. 53.

[9]. Each member of the faithful of the Catholic Church has the right, defined by the Second Council of Lyons and the First Vatican Council, to appeal to the Pope in matters pertaining to ecclesiastical jurisdiction. See Dz. 466 (D.S. 861), Dz. 1830 (D.S. 3063) and Dz. 1831 (D.S. 3064).

[10] See Inside the Vatican magazine, November 2000.

[11] L’Osservatore Romano, May 19, 1982.

[12] “Introduction”, The Message of Fatima (2000).

[13] Ibid., “Theological Commentary”.

[14] On March 25, 1984, Pope John Paul II also rejected this absurd contention by stating after the consecration, “Enlighten especially the peoples of which You Yourself are awaiting our consecration and confiding”, as reported in the March 26-27, 1984 issue of L’Osservatore Romano. See photographic reproduction in Father Paul Kramer, The Devil’s Final Battle, Second Edition (Buffalo: The Missionary Association, 2010), Appendix I; cf. The Devil’s Final Battle, First Edition (2002), p. 274. See also photographic reproduction of the L’Osservatore Romano article reporting similar words spoken by the Pope in a public prayer three hours later, in The Devil’s Final Battle, Second Edition, one-volume version, photo insert section, p. XVI; two-volume version, p. 287.

[15] 1 Thess. 5:19-22.

[16] Summa Theologicae, II-II, Q. 174, Art. 6.

[17] For a further detailed explanation (beyond this article) of why the Church is bound to obey Our Lady of Fatima, see my various essays on this subject, including: “The Message of Fatima Imposes an Obligation on the Church”, “The Bishops Must Obey Our Lady of Fatima”, and “World Peace Depends on the Catholic Bishops and You” in World Enslavement or Peace … It’s Up to the Pope, pp. 84-111, 117-134.

[18] Antonio Socci, Il Quarto Segreto di Fatima [The Fourth Secret of Fatima] (Milano: Rizzoli, 2006), English ed., pp. 7-9; popular ed., pp. 13-14; Italian ed., p. 17. See also Father Nicholas Gruner and other Fatima experts, “The Church (That is the Faithful, the Bishops, the Pope) Have the Obligation to Obey Our Lady’s Requests”, World Enslavement or Peace … It’s Up to the Pope, Section V, pp. 83-157.

[19] Antonio Socci, “Dear Cardinal Bertone: Who – Between You and Me – is Deliberately Lying?”, May 12, 2007, at

[20] Indeed, St. Robert Bellarmine, Suarez and Torquemada all teach the obligation to resist an order that is contrary to the common good of the Church. (Vitoria: Obras, pp. 486-487; Suarez: De Fide, disp. X, sec. VI, no. 16; St. Robert Bellarmine: de Rom. Pont., Book 2, Ch. 29; Cornelius a Lapide: ad Gal. 2, 11, etc.)

[21] Summa Theologicae, II-II, Q. 104, Art. 3.

[22] English translation of text in Sister Lucia, “Fourth Memoir”, Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words (Fatima: Postulation Centre, 1976), p. 162. See also Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima – Vol. I: Science and the Facts (Buffalo: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1989), p. 182.

[23] Summa Theologicae, II-II, Q. 104, Art. 5.

[24] Cf. World Enslavement or Peace … It’s Up to the Pope and other essays referred to in these footnotes.