I decided to write about the newly revealed Third Secret of Fatima, because I just finished editing Michael Hesemann's new book "The Fatima Secret" for our Hidden Agendas series. It will be the third book in the series and is due out in October.
Many miracles seem like wishful thinking, when you take a good look at them. But the Miracles at Fatima do seem extraordinary, especially when you consider that the Mother of God was seen flying about in what we would today describe as a UFO!
Three naive, uneducated Portuguese shepherd children had a series of visions of the Madonna in 1917. By the time the 3rd vision occurred, thousands of spectators were there and they all witnessed The Miracle of the Sun, an unexplained event in which the sun turned a series of bright colors. Photographs were taken of this extraordinary phenomenon.
Two of the shepherds did not survive childhood, but the third, Sister Lucia, is a nun who is now 93 years old. She wrote down the first two Secrets in 1941, but felt that she should keep the Third Secret to herself.
The first Secret consisted of a vision of hell and a prophecy of a great war, now assumed to be World War II. The second secret involved Russia, and said that she needed to be consecrated to the Holy Mother or else her errors (meaning Communism) would be spread throughout the world. The current Pope, John Paul II, took this seriously enough to do it twice, at first secretly in 1984.
In 1944, Lucia became ill and was afraid she would go to the grave with the third Secret, so she wrote it down and sealed it inside an envelope. This was sealed inside a second envelope and was passed to different people for safe keeping over the next few years, most of whom wanted nothing to do with it. Surprisingly few of the people who have held the Secret in their hands have actually read it. It ended up in a safe in the Vatican, although Pius XII, who died in 1958, probably never read it.
The Third Secret has been revealed as an image of an angel holding a flaming sword (reminiscent of Revelation). Lucia and the children then saw "a bishop dressed in white" and had the impression that he was a Pope. They saw members of religious orders climbing a steep mountain with a huge cross at the top, made out of tree trunks. On the way to the top, the Pope passed through a city in ruins, filled with corpses. When he reached the top and knelt at the cross, he was killed by soldiers, as were the others who made it to the top. Angels gathered up their blood and sprinkled the bodies below with it.
The Catholic church sent Lucia to a convent when she was a young woman (although she seemed content to go) and warned her that she should not communicate with anyone from the outside world. They clearly wanted to control the Fatima secrets, the same way they controlled the information in the Dead Sea scrolls for 40 years.
This brings us to a basic question: why should any religious leader or institution want to control our thoughts and beliefs? They assume they know what's best for us, since they've studied the subject more than we have. But if there is a God, is this what He (or She) is telling us? If that was the case, why wouldn't the Madonna have appeared to the Pope instead of to three innocent children? The symbolism seems clear: "Unless you become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
The Catholic Church isn't the only religious organization that feels this way. I once read a column written by Billy Graham in which he was asked if there were more than four gospels. He replied that there definitely were not. I was surprised, because this is absolutely untrue. It's known that there were more original gospels, and that a church committee chose the four we read today at the Council of Nicea in the fourth century AD. If anyone wants to read what's left of the rest of them, they can be found in "The Complete Gospels," edited by Robert J. Miller. I think the council picked the best ones, but that doesn't mean we should be "protected" by being told there were no others.
This theory of "protection" is especially relevant today. Cardinal Ratzinger, who may be the next Pope, held up the release of the rest of the Third Secret while he wrote a lengthy commentary, because he obviously didn't trust us to interpret it for ourselves. If the true secret has not been released, he is most likely the culprit, because he's never been in favor of revealing it.
In 1984, when asked why the secret hadn't yet been revealed, Ratzinger said, "It would add nothing to what a Christian must know. If it is not published--at least for the moment--this is to avoid confusing religious prophecy with sensationalism." In 1996 he gave an interview in which he said the secret should be kept "because it does not say anything that the Christian message does not already contain." This is someone who feels he knows what's good for us and believes that it would be best if we didn't think too much for ourselves.
Are we being fed a pack of soothing lies? Let's examine what was said about the Secret before it was revealed.
In 1957, a bishop held the sealed envelope containing the handwritten Secret up to the light and counted approximately 24 lines of writing on a single piece of paper, so we know it can't be too long.
When she wrote down the first two secrets, Lucia gave us a hint about the third Secret by giving us the first line: "In Portugal the doctrine of faith will always be preserved." She also said that the third Secret should not be revealed until after 1960, "because it will be much clearer then."
We must remember that the Vatican is a separate government, and as in all governments, leaks occur. In 1952, Father Schweigl met with Lucia at her convent and said, "I cannot reveal what I learned about the Third Secret, but I can say that it has two parts, and one refers to the Pope." We now know that his may be true. He went on to say, "The other--although I am not allowed to say anything--must be the continuation of the words, 'In Portugal the doctrine of faith will always be preserved.'" This implies that the opposite will happen in the rest of the world--that religion will be forgotten.
In May 1958, a Mexican priest got permission to talk to Lucia and quoted her as saying that, "many nations will vanish from the face of the earth." He said that what saddened her most was that, "the souls of the clergy, who fall from their glorious calling, drag countless souls with them into hell."
This sounds like a prediction that the official church will start giving out false teachings, except in Portugal. It also seems to predict that some type of worldwide catastrophe will occur. These revelations set up scandal among the control freaks at the Vatican, who kicked him out of the priesthood.
John XXIII, who was responsible for the reforms of "Vatican II," which loosened up the church considerably, still did not want to reveal the Secret. He didn't even read it until a year after he took office. When he finally did, people with him described his face as turning as white as chalk. He said that the people who wanted to reveal it were "prophets of doom," which certainly hints that the message in the Secret is a dark one.
Pope John called a secret meeting of the clergy to discuss the Secret. The UFO researcher Jacques Vallee quoted a Vatican insider who was there as saying that when the Cardinals came out of the meeting, their expressions were filled with horror.
Dr. Malachi Martin, now deceased, who was the personal secretary to Cardinal Bea, said that his employer was obviously shaken by the revelation. Martin was told the contents of the Secret by Pope John and told them to Whitley twenty years later.
He told Whitley that there would be another great flood. This is interesting in light of the fact that he and Art Bell wrote The Coming Global Superstorm twenty years later, which predicts the possibility of that very thing.
A worldwide flood would indeed be devastating, but this still does not explain why the Popes and Cardinals should all remain so tight-lipped about it, until we think back to the Old Testament. Remember that, after the first Flood, Noah was told by God that He would never destroy mankind that way again. If the Third Secret predicts a Flood, this would go against Biblical teaching. There's an old children's chant that says, "God gave Noah the Rainbow Sign: No more water--the fire next time!" Would not revealing this contradiction be more important to the Church than warning mankind of the danger to come, in time to prepare for it? I think we can guess the answer.
It was widely hoped that the Secret would be revealed in 1960, as Lucia said it should be, but in 1960 an official announcement was made that the letter containing the Secret had never been opened, and they had decided that it never would be. Since we know that it had been opened, we have additional reasons to be suspicious.
In 1963, another leak occurred. The editor of a German magazine claimed that a Vatican insider had passed him the secret and that it had been used to prevent a possible war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Supposedly, both Kennedy and Krushchev read it, and both backed down. The revelation that we've just been given doesn't seem like it would have had this effect!
The editor published an extract from the Secret in his magazine, which became known as the "diplomatic version," and said that, "a severe punishment will come to the whole of mankind in the second half of the twentieth century" and that scientists would invent weapons that could destroy the world. "A great war will break out in the second half of the twentieth century--millions and millions of people will lose their lives and those who survive will envy the dead."
I sniff "disinformation" here and wonder if that Vatican spy leaked a fake version of the Secret that the Vatican wanted to come out, talking about horrible events that had already occurred and were therefore no longer a threat. The major problem with this version is that it is much too long--it was only an extract, and it was already much more than 24 lines long. Also, it doesn't begin with the words, "In Portugal the doctrine of faith will always be preserved."
In 1967, Cardinal Luciani of Venice had a private talk with Lucia, and was described as coming "out of the room, pale, as if he had seen a ghost." Afterwards, he became deeply depressed and said, "I can't help thinking over what Sister Lucia told me--the secret--it is terrible!" He was elected Pope John Paul I the next year, and died a month after taking office.
The faithful waited around until 1977, when the Vatican announced that "The Third Secret will not be released, for it is addressed to the Pope and only to him." We know that's a lie, since it was told to Lucia and it was first given to her local Bishop. It's pretty certain that the newly elected Pope Paul VI read it.
The announcement also said that "Fatima is not a frightening message, but a message of hope." This contradicts the "Diplomatic Version," as well the reactions of the Popes and Cardinals who read it!
The current Pope, John Paul II, did not actually read the Third Secret until after the attempt on his life in 1981. Perhaps this is why he became convinced that the "figure in white" referred to him.
When the Pope met with Lucia a year after the assassination attempt, she told him that the prophecy of the Secret was not yet fulfilled, so why did the Pope decide that the "figure in white" referred to events that had happened to him a year earlier?
What can we conclude from all this? The recent official revelation includes a copy of Lucia's handwriting, which is convincing until we stop and realize that we have no other copies of her writing available for comparison. And handwriting is like video tape;unfortunately, it's easily forged.
When I counted the handwritten lines, I came up with 63, which is 20 more than the Bishop who held the envelope up to the light saw. I suppose he could have miscounted, but I don't think 63 lines would have fit inside an envelope on a single, unfolded sheet of paper.
Then there is the fact that Lucia herself said that the first line was "In Portugal, the doctrine of faith will always be preserved." This isn't tied to the rest of the Secret; it's either considered the last line of the 2nd Secret or it's not mentioned at all.
There is nothing in the current revelation that talks about religious leaders dragging the rest of us down, as the defrocked Mexican priest reported after his talk with Lucia.
Then there is the fact that Lucia didn't want the Secret revealed until 1960, but there is nothing in it to suggest a reason for this. Also, Lucia said in 1982 that the events had not yet occurred, yet the Pope assumed they referred to something that happened a year earlier. Was this an attempt to placate us by telling us that these events were over and done with?
Finally, and most importantly, there is nothing in the newly revealed Secret that would have caused such drastic reactions among those who read it. The "figure in white" was not specifically identified as a Pope, even though Lucia said she thought the first part of the Secret referred to the Papacy, and the message is revealed to be the type of metaphor that, while ominous, wouldn't scare anyone that much. Since it was received in 1917 and written down in 1944, most readers would have assumed that the devastated city and the corpses referred to events that took place in World War II, like the events forecast in the first Secret. That war was over, so there was nothing to fear.
The Bible says that, to God, "A thousand years is like a day." The seems to be the way the Vatican measures time as well. The Secret will probably be resealed and remain locked away for another 80 years. Will the Church ever relinquish enough control to tell us the truth? Will they ever trust us enough to let us read the Secret and decide what it means for ourselves?
Only time will tell.
NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.