It has been more than six years since we last reported on the ongoing controversy surrounding the Third Secret of Fatima. During that time there have been three new elements to that controversy—two of which are quite recent. The oldest however, dates back only to the summer of 2013:
It has been claimed that in 1956, Fr. Luigi Villa (image at left) received from Pope Pius XII a mandate to devote his life to defend the Church of Christ from Masonic infiltration. It is further claimed that Cardinal Ottaviani was appointed by the same Pope to train and inform Fr. Villa for this purpose. His efforts being greatly hampered after Vatican II (for obvious reasons), Fr. Villa decided to continue the work through journalism and thus founded the publication Chiesa Viva in 1971. Over the years, in spite of constant persecution and even attempts on his life, Fr. Villa and Chiesa Viva managed to expose much of the Masonic infiltration into the ranks of the Vatican II hierarchy. Fr. Villa died in 2012, but the publication of Chiesa Viva was continued—mainly by Dr. Franco Adessa.
Adessa had long been an associate of Fr. Villa. He dedicated the July/August 2013 edition of Chiesa Viva as a "testimony" of what Fr. Villa had revealed to him concerning the Third Secret of Fatima. In the article he says that, when preparing for the presentation of a book he had written, he asked Fr. Villa what he should respond if asked about the Third Secret. Fr. Villa then showed him the Neues Europa text. Villa explained that although this text is about three times longer than the original and therefore generally false, it did, nevertheless, contain the original Third Secret. He went on to point out, one by one, the lines within the Neues Europa text, which he believed to be genuine. A few years later, Adessa asked Villa how Neues Europa came to be in possession of this text. Villa, answering indirectly, said, "Cardinal Ottaviani wrote that diplomatic document. He was later contacted by those of Neues Europa to find out if they could publish the text. Cardinal Ottaviani replied in the affirmative."
If this story is true, it would explain and confirm much of what has been previously reported in this series of articles. The reader will recall that Cardinal Ottaviani, although generally conservative, was adamantly opposed to nuclear weapons. As it was he who encouraged the copying and dissemination of the Neues Europa text, it has been suspected that it was he who sent this "amplified" version to various diplomats in the early 1960's, for the purpose of influencing the ongoing discussions over nuclear testing.
But which lines did Fr. Villa believe were genuine? Shortly before Villa's death, Dr. Adessa reconfirmed his claim and the exact lines which he had previously pointed out. He also received Villa's permission and encouragement to publish the story. Dr. Adessa goes to great pains to show that the sum total of the text indicated by Fr. Villa corresponds to the length of the original text previously described by Cardinal Ottaviani, as well as to the size of the paper upon which the original was written, according to Bishop Venancio. One of the main objections to the "vision text" published by the Vatican in 2000 is that it is nearly four times too long. The following lines—those indicated by Fr. Villa—would indeed fit the required space. We present them in the same English translation used by Dr. Adessa in Chiesa Viva No. 462:
A great chastisement will fall on the entire human race; not today as yet, not tomorrow, but in the second half of the Twentieth Century. No longer does order reign anywhere and Satan will reign over the highest places directing the course of events. He (Satan) will really succeed in infiltrating to the top of the Church. Also for the Church a time for Her greatest trials will come. Cardinals will oppose Cardinals; Bishops will oppose Bishops and Satan will march amid their ranks, and in Rome there will be changes. What is rotten will fall, and what will fall will never rise again. The Church will be darkened and the world deranged by terror. A great war will break out within the second half of the Twentieth Century. Fire and smoke will fall from Heaven, the water of the oceans will become vapors and the foam will rise up flooding and sinking everything. Millions and millions of people will die by the hour and the survivors will envy the dead. Death will reign everywhere for the errors committed by the foolish and by the partisans of Satan, who, then and only then, will reign over the world. At last, those who survive all of these events will once more proclaim God and His Glory and serve Him like before, when the world was not so corrupted.
Presumably Fr. Villa knew of this from his work with Cardinal Ottaviani. But it must be admitted that there is no other corroborating evidence; unless one admits the mysterious words of John Paul II, spoken in November, 1980 while in Fulda: "On the other hand, it should be sufficient for all Christians to know this: if there is a message in which it is written that the oceans will flood whole areas of the earth, and that from one moment to the next millions of people will perish, truly the publication of such a message is no longer something to be so much desired..." (Stimme des Glaubens, October 1981).
2013 was also the year in which the Convent of Coimbra published a biography of Sister Lucia, containing some memoirs previously unpublished. That which caught the attention of the critics of the Vatican's "vision text" (including Antonio Socci) was the section describing Sister Lucia's anguish over the command given her to reveal the Third Secret. Sister Lucia relates that she was visited by Our Lady (on January 3, 1944—but perhaps this was not the only time), who encouraged her to begin to reveal the Third Secret: “Do not be afraid, God wanted to prove your obedience, faith, and humility. Be at peace, and write what they order you, but not, however, that which has been given to you to understand its meaning (...não porém o que te é dado entender do seu significado). After writing it, place it in an envelope, close it and seal it, and write on the outside that this can only be opened in 1960 by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon or by the Bishop of Leiria."
The English translation, published by the World Apostolate of Fatima ("WAF"; formerly the "Blue Army") contained a mistranslation, replacing the above words in bold text with: "but do not give your own opinion of its meaning." When this fraud was exposed, the pro-Vatican II spin machine maintained it was an "honest mistake." This excuse does not, however, match the explanation given to Christopher Ferrara (one of the most vocal critics of the "vision text") by David Carollo, Executive Director of the WAF, in which he wrote:
We used the word "opinion" rather than "understanding." The point is, Sister Lucia understood that the Church was to interpret the meaning of the secret, not her, and she was not to write down any further revelations she may have received. We cannot hide something that Our Lady did not want her to reveal. (As quoted in Fatima Perspectives—A Respectful Reply to David Carollo, Christopher Ferrara, July 9, 2015.)
Christopher Ferrara was not amused. As he points out in his Reply:
...Mr. Carollo has offered a non-denial. While admitting that WAF replaced the Virgin's word "understanding" with "opinion," WAF continues to pretend that in the phrase quoted above the Mother of God was referring to Sister Lucia's understanding of the vision rather than what the Virgin Herself had given Lucia to be able to understand it.
But Mr. Carollo tries to have it both ways, stating that by order of the Virgin (a) Lucia was not to write down her understanding of the vision, or (b) that Lucia was not to write down the Virgin's "further revelations" concerning the vision. Well, which is it? Version (a) simply repeats the falsification of what the Virgin actually said, whereas version (b) admits there were indeed "further revelations" concerning the Secret.
As to these "further revelations," which clearly exist as the Virgin's correctly translated words reveal, the Mother of God would hardly have given a direction that Lucia must never reveal what had been given to her to understand the vision's meaning. If that were the case, what would be the point of the vision — to confuse us and lead to endless debates over its interpretation? The suggestion is preposterous. The only reasonable conclusion is that Lucia was not to write down the "further revelations" at that time but rather in a later separate and distinct text — precisely as the so-called "Fatimists," including the late Father Gruner, have maintained all along.
Indeed, there is already evidence that Our Lady may have visited Sister Lucia more than once, in order to encourage her to write the Third Secret. Fr. A. M. Martins wrote: "According to the written declarations of Mother Cunha Mattos, Lucia's superior at Tuy, Our Lady appeared to the seer on January 2, 1944, and told her to write the third part of the Secret" (Novos Documentos, Sept., 1984). According to the biography mentioned above, Our Lady appeared on January 3, and in a different part of the convent. Were they two separate apparitions? Were there subsequent apparitions?
David Carollo also wrote to Christopher Ferrara that there was nothing left to reveal: "The Sisters of Coimbra have submitted all documents related to the cause—including 11,000 letters—and all of Sister Lucia's private notes and oral narrations to them are now published in the biography. There is nothing more to be revealed, and nothing has been hidden."
This contradicts what the Sisters told Solideo Paolini. Christopher Ferrara tells us:
...the Fatima scholar Solideo Paolini, in the wake of the new biography's revelations, wrote to the Convent in Coimbra to ask whether there is among Sister Lucia's documents a text which explains the meaning of the vision in the Virgin's own words. He received the reply that "it is not possible for now to consult the documents you request. In its time, everything will be published." So, contrary to Mr. Carollo's representation, not everything has been published. Yet again, denials regarding the existence of a text related to the vision and completing the integral Secret are negated by the emergence of new information. The cover-up can never quite succeed in tying up such loose ends.
The latest firestorm surrounding the Third Secret actually began to break out in the May, 2009 issue of Fatima Crusader (the publication of the late Fr. Gruner, mentioned above), in an article entitled The Secret Warned Against Vatican Council II and the New Mass—An Exclusive Interview with Fr. Paul Kramer. During the interview, Fr. Kramer mentions a Fr. Ingo Döllinger (image below):
...I am referring to the part of the Third Secret of Fatima that has not yet been revealed. I know this to be a fact because I have personally spoken with a German theologian and a seminary Rector who is a long-time close friend of... Ratzinger, [who] around 1990... revealed to his friend that in the Third Secret of Fatima Our Lady warns not to change the liturgy: literally, not to mix extraneous foreign elements into the Catholic liturgy...
Our Lady also warned that there would be an evil Council in the Church that would cause great scandal. And of course, it was the documents from Vatican II — the Constitution on the Liturgy — which gave the impetus for Paul VI to reform the liturgy in such a disastrous manner that has caused such a loss of faith and confusion in the Church. So we have Ratzinger himself stating to a close personal friend that these warnings were given by Our Lady in the Third Secret of Fatima not to change the Mass in precisely the manner that Paul VI changed the Mass. Now after this took place, the German theologian who I am referring to went back to the country in South America where he was Rector of a seminary and he explained to a young priest what Ratzinger had related to him. And precisely when he related that Our Lady warned against changing the Mass and there would be an evil Council in the Church, the both of them saw a plume of smoke coming up from the floor. Now it was a marble floor. This could not be anything of a natural phenomenon. Both the young priest and the old German Rector were so impressed they drew up a dossier and sent it to Ratzinger. Then on June 26, 2000, Ratzinger published for the world the document [on the Third Secret] containing the vision of a "bishop in white," claiming that the entire Secret is set forth in this document. Yet it can only be understood that way if we say that he is using a mental reservation; that what is set forth by Our Lady in Her words is already implicitly contained symbolically in the vision. The elderly German priest, Ratzinger's long-time personal friend, took note of the fact that when this vision of the Third Secret was published it omitted those elements of the Third Secret that Cardinal Ratzinger had revealed to him nearly ten years earlier. The German priest — Father Döllinger — told me that this question was burning in his mind on the day he concelebrated with Ratzinger. Father Döllinger said to me, "I confronted Cardinal Ratzinger to his face." And of course he asked Ratzinger, "How can this be the entire Third Secret? Remember what you told me before?" Ratzinger was cornered. He didn't know what to say and so he blurted out to his friend in German, "Wirklich gebt das der etwas" which means "really there is something more there," meaning there is something more in the Third Secret. [Ratzinger] stated this quite plainly...
[Döllinger] ...is a man of great credibility, worthy of credence; a man of great seriousness who is not given over to making up fabulous stories, or exaggerating self-importance. The man had no need of such things; he’s a man of utmost credibility.
Fast forward to May, 2016. Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, is a contributor to the conservative blog OnePeterFive. Having heard of this story, as well as corroborating evidence from students of Fr. Döllinger at the Institutum Sapientiae in Brazil, she contacted the elderly priest (ordained in 1954) to clarify the story by communicating with him in his native German tongue. On May 15 she posted her story to the blog, which began:
Today, on the Feast of Pentecost, I called Fr. Ingo Döllinger, a German priest and former professor of theology in Brazil, who is now quite elderly and physically weak. He has been a personal friend of Benedict XVI for many years. Father Döllinger unexpectedly confirmed over the phone the following facts:
Not long after the June 2000 publication of the Third Secret of Fatima by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told Fr. Döllinger during an in-person conversation that there is still a part of the Third Secret that they have not published! "There is more than what we published," Ratzinger said. He also told Döllinger that the published part of the Secret is authentic and that the unpublished part of the Secret speaks about "a bad council and a bad Mass" that was to come in the near future.
Father Döllinger gave me permission to publish these facts… This sensitive information pertaining to the Third Secret, which has been circulating among certain Catholic groups for a few years now, has now been personally confirmed to me by Fr. Döllinger himself, at a time in history where the Church seems to have fallen into a pit of confusion. It might help explain, at least in part, why we are where we are now.
Now the firestorm had really broken out. For the first time since his resignation, Ratzinger was called upon to make some kind of public statement. OnePeterFive reported this fully:
Today, May 21, 2016, the Holy See Press Office has released, in its daily bulletin, a statement attributed to... Benedict XVI. The statement categorically denies the affirmation, reported here, from Fr. Ingo Döllinger, which speaks of a private conversation in which then-Cardinal Ratzinger spoke to Döllinger, a personal friend, about there being more to the Third Secret of Fatima than was published by the Vatican in June of 2000. Here is the full text of the Vatican statement:
Communiqué: on various articles regarding the "Third Secret of Fatima"
Several articles have appeared recently, including declarations attributed to Professor Ingo Döllinger according to which Cardinal Ratzinger, after the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima (which took place in June 2000), had confided to him that the publication was not complete.
In this regard, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI declares "never to have spoken with Professor Döllinger about Fatima," clearly affirming that the remarks attributed to Professor Döllinger on the matter "are pure inventions, absolutely untrue," and he confirms decisively that "the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete."
The Vatican spin machine immediately began to circulate the notion that the matter was closed, the fraud had been uncovered, etc. But the blog did not back down:
This statement is received by us with filial respect... And yet, it presents a problem. It conflicts directly with statements we have reported, and accuses us of false "attribution" and "invention." It also flatly contradicts our source, Fr. Döllinger, not offering the possibility even of a misinterpretation, but rather, an accusation that the events he recounts are completely fabricated.
It is, in itself, a strangely perfunctory communiqué, and is presented in a way that prompts questions about its provenance and completeness. It is not a full, unabridged statement from Benedict; nor does it bear his signature. We are presented instead with pull-quotes attributed to Benedict, and lacking the full context in which they originally appeared. Neither is it given to us to know who conducted this apparent interview with him, or how the questions were phrased...
Dr. Maike Hickson, who personally called Fr. Döllinger, attests to the truth of what she recounted from that conversation. Inasmuch as the Vatican statement accuses her of "attributing" statements which are "inventions" to Fr. Döllinger, it is false. She did not imagine the conversation she had with Fr. Döllinger, she reported it, and I stand by her testimony with full confidence in her integrity...
Further, this morning Dr. Hickson telephoned Father Döllinger with the news of the Vatican statement, and at that time he again confirmed to her emphatically and clearly his previous remarks. In other words, he stood by his story...
[T]he communiqué quotes... Benedict as saying that "the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete." This is very cautious language, in a legal sense. If the Vatican has already published all that it intends to publish about the Third Secret of Fatima — even if there is more that they do not intend to publish — one would be technically correct in saying that "the publication is complete." It does not in any way dispel the notion that a text written by Sister Lucia at the prompting of Our Lady as a means of interpreting the symbolic import of the Third Secret may yet exist...
Clearly, the Third Secret controversy is far from being over—indeed, it continues more furiously than ever.
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