Who Is In Error: The Mother of God or Father Fox?

Following is a letter written to Inside the Vatican in response to a “letter to the Editor” written by Father Robert Fox.

August 6, 2001

Mr. Robert Moynihan
Editor-in-Chief, Inside the Vatican
Rome, Italy

Dear Mr. Moynihan:

This letter is in response to Father Robert Fox’s recent “Letter to the Editor”, which was published in the July 2001 issue of Inside the Vatican. In his letter, Father Fox derides the idea that there are “‘two distinct documents’ constituting the Third Secret”. He states that the “‘two distinct documents’ mentioned by anonymous ‘scholars’ are a figment of the imagination.” The purpose of this letter is to explain briefly why the idea of “two distinct documents” is not a “figment of the imagination” but a very probable hypothesis.

First, I would like to note that I do not understand how Father Fox can honestly claim that the hypothesis of “two distinct documents” was put forward by “anonymous ‘scholars’.” There are no “anonymous scholars”, but only concerned Catholics whose names have been published along with their statements. These people include Mother Angelica of EWTN, who expressed the belief of millions of Catholics around the world when she stated on national television, during her “live” call-in show of May 16, 2001, that:

“As for the Secret, well I happen to be one of those individuals who thinks we didn’t get the whole thing. I told ya! I mean, you have the right to your own opinion, don’t you, Father? There, you know, that’s my opinion. Because I think it’s scary. And I don’t think the Holy See is going to say something that does not happen, that might happen. And then what does it do if it doesn’t happen? I mean the Holy See cannot afford to make prophecies.”

Mother Angelica is no “anonymous scholar,” and Father Fox must surely be aware of her opinion in the matter. Yet he resorts to the shabby trick of attributing widespread doubts about the Vatican’s disclosure of the Third Secret to “anonymous scholars”. It is certainly easier to refute anonymous scholars than real people.

I myself have written an article entitled “Are There Two Original Manuscripts on the Third Secret?”, which was published as the lead article in Issue 64 (Summer 2000) of The Fatima Crusader magazine. I am not an “anonymous scholar”. Now I realize that Father Fox may not consider me a Fatima scholar, anonymous or otherwise, but Father Nicholas Gruner is most certainly a Fatima scholar. My article appeared in The Fatima Crusader, which Father Gruner publishes. The magazine has a distribution of 500,000 copies per issue, and is read by many of Father Fox’s supporters. It is obvious that Father Fox is referring to my article, which puts forward a very strong case for the existence of two documents.

As indicated in my article, there is overwhelming evidence to support the existence of two documents comprising the Third Secret in toto. Much of the evidence comes from the testimonies of various credible witnesses, including Sister Lucia herself, as reported by acknowledged Fatima scholar Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité in The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. III – The Third Secret (published in 1985). Some of the evidence comes from Father Joaquin Alonso’s research as the official Fatima archivist. Father Fox claims that Father Alonso never mentioned in his repeated interviews with Father Fox the concept of “two distinct documents”. Maybe this is true; but did Father Fox ever question him explicitly about this? He doesn’t say.

In any event, the probable existence of two documents constituting the Third Secret of Fatima is suggested by at least nine discrepancies between what the Vatican disclosed on June 26, 2000 and the facts that we know about the Third Secret, including: (1) that the Third Secret was written on one sheet of paper; (2) that it was written on January 9, 1944 or a day or two before; (3) that it was written in the form of a letter, meaning it was addressed and signed; (4) that it contains actual words of Our Lady; (5) that it consists of 24 lines; (6) that it was transferred to the Holy Office on April 16, 1957; (7) that it was stored in a safe in the papal apartments near the papal bedside; (8) that the Pope first read it in 1978 within days of becoming Pope (as Joaquin Navarro-Valls revealed to the Portuguese press, as reported by AP); (9) that it prompted the Pope’s consecration of the world on June 7, 1981.

On the other hand, the document released by Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone on June 26, 2000 is (1) written on four sheets of paper; (2) was written by Sister Lucia on January 3, 1944; (3) is not written as a letter; (4) describes an ambiguous vision seen by the three children of Fatima on July 13, 1917, but contains no words of Our Lady; (5) consists of 62 lines; (6) was transferred to the Holy Office on April 4, 1957; (7) was stored in the Holy Office building; (8) was read by Pope John Paul II for the first time on July 18, 1981; and (9) did not, therefore, prompt His Holiness to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 7, 1981, more than a month earlier.

In addition to these discrepancies which I presented in my article, Frère Michel tells us that in 1957 Bishop Venancio (then Auxiliary Bishop of Leiria-Fatima) reported that he discerned inside the envelope containing the Third Secret “an ordinary sheet of paper with margins on each side of three quarters of a centimeter. He took the trouble to note the size of everything.” [The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. III – The Third Secret, p. 481] If we examine what the Vatican released on June 26, 2000, we find that there are no right-side margins of any size in Sister Lucia’s 4-page document describing the vision of the Third Secret.

In short, Mother Angelica has good reason to believe that “we didn’t get the whole thing.”

Any reader interested in studying the facts supporting the thesis of the existence of two original manuscripts on the Third Secret of Fatima is encouraged to visit the Fatima web site (www.fatima.org) for the complete text of my article (in Issue 64 of The Fatima Crusader) or write to The Fatima Center at 17000 State Route 30, Constable, NY 12926 (in the U.S.A.).

I note that Father Fox has made no effort to refute the article in any of its particulars, or indeed to discuss any of the evidence supporting the existence of two documents comprising the Third Secret. Instead, he ridicules “anonymous scholars” and then has the audacity to introduce as “evidence” for his position a letter received from “Carmel of St. Teresa in Coimbra, Portugal, on behalf of both Sister Lucia and her Mother Prioress.” But who wrote this letter “on behalf of” Sister Lucia and the Mother Prioress? Father Fox is attempting to refute “anonymous scholars” with an anonymous letter-writer.

Finally, a point of journalistic accuracy. Father Fox claims that the “‘Collegial Consecration’ of Russia by [the] Pope and bishops of the world” occurred on March 25, 1984. Perhaps Father Fox failed to read the April 2, 1984 (English edition) issue of L’Osservatore Romano, where it is reported on pages 9-10 (or the March 26-27, 1984 Italian edition, on pages 1 and 6) that the Pope consecrated the world. There was absolutely no mention of Russia anywhere in the 1984 Act of Consecration. In fact, we find the following passage in Section 1 of the Act of Consecration, as published in L’Osservatore Romano:

“Embrace, with the love of the Mother and Handmaid of the Lord, this human world of ours, which we entrust and consecrate to You, for we are full of concern for the earthly and eternal destiny of individuals and peoples. In a special way we entrust and consecrate to You those individuals and nations which particularly need to be entrusted and consecrated.”

It is after this passage that we find, in Section 2 of the Act of Consecration, the following words:

“Enlighten especially the peoples whose consecration and entrustment by us You are awaiting.” [emphasis added]

This statement clearly indicates that Our Lady is still waiting for the Consecration of Russia as She requested because here Pope John Paul II is addressing Our Lady of Fatima and the only consecration She asked for was the Collegial Consecration of Russia. In a September 1985 interview published in Sol de Fatima, the official publication of the Blue Army in Spain, when Sister Lucia was asked whether the Pope’s 1982 and 1984 consecrations had fulfilled Our Lady’s request at Tuy, she responded, “There was no participation of all the bishops and there was no mention of Russia.”

Three hours after pronouncing the above Act of Consecration on March 25, 1984, before a crowd of 10,000 people inside Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Pope again referred to “those peoples for whom You Yourself are awaiting our act of consecration and entrusting” (reported on p. 11 of the March 27, 1984 issue of Avvenire, which is published by the Catholic Bishops of Italy). This reaffirms the Pope’s awareness that the consecration of Russia was not done on this day.

Furthermore, on May 12, 1982, the day before the Pope’s 1982 consecration of the world, L’Osservatore Romano published an interview of Father Umberto Maria Pasquale, a well-known Salesian priest, with Sister Lucia during which she told Father Umberto that Our Lady had never requested the consecration of the world, but only the consecration of Russia. In this published interview, Father Umberto, a confidant of Sister Lucia for many years, relates:

“At a certain moment I said to her: ‘Sister, I should like to ask you a question. If you cannot answer me, let it be. But if you can answer it, I would be most grateful to you … Has Our Lady ever spoken to you about the consecration of the world to Her Immaculate Heart?’ — ‘No, Father Umberto! Never! At the Cova da Iria in 1917 Our Lady had promised: I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia … In 1929, at Tuy, as She had promised, Our Lady came back to tell me that the moment had come to ask the Holy Father for the consecration of that country (Russia)’.”

As proof of the correctness of Father Umberto’s statement, L’Osservatore Romano also published a photographically-reproduced copy of Sister Lucia’s handwritten note to Father Umberto in which she confirmed what she had said to him in the above-mentioned interview.

That Father Fox would claim a consecration of the world was the consecration of Russia seems typical of his mode of argumentation. A moment’s reflection on the worsening spiritual and material state of Russia since 1984 (including two abortions for every live birth) should convince any open-minded observer that what the Virgin Mary promised as the fruit of the Consecration of Russia — namely, Russia’s conversion — has not occurred over the past 17 years. Therefore, either Father Fox or the Mother of God would appear to be in error on the question of the Consecration. I rather think it is Father Fox.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Andrew M. Cesanek