Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pope Benedict on the Third Secret: "It Is Spoken"

In reflecting on Pope Benedict XVI’s recent pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal, there exists a surprising media oversight in regard to three little words uttered by the pope about the Fatima apparition and, in particular, the Third Secret. Those three little words definitely reveal that there is more to the Third Secret than a startling but inexplicable Vision. A careful examination of the literal Italian-to-English translation of Pope Benedict XVI’s words show that - not once, but twice - His Holiness made clear that the Third Secret is also spoken.
Flying en route to Portugal on May 11, 2010, the pope chose to make his surprising commentary to a group of journalists who were the press corps of the papal entourage. It is the professional practice for such “flying” correspondents to previously submit their questions for the Pope a number of days in advance. However, not all questions are answered. Of all the recent questions submitted, the Pope chose to answer only three. The last of the journalists’ three questions, all of which were formally presented to the Pope by Vatican spokesman Fr. Frederico Lombardi, addressed both the apparitions of Fatima and the Third Secret.
We’ll get to the Pope’s response in just a moment. Meanwhile, in the following chronological order, John Vennari (editor of Catholic Family News, who is also a frequent speaker, as well as a contributor to “The Devil’s Final Battle,” a compelling book on Fatima), Antonio Socci (Italian Catholic journalist and the admirably honest author of the book, “The Fourth Secret of Fatima”) and Christopher Ferrara (Catholic lawyer and author of “The Secret Still Hidden”) have provided reasonable, illuminating observations on the Pope’s response to the following question (translated here, Italian-to-English):

Q. “Holiness, what significance do the apparitions of Fatima have for us today? And when you presented the text of the Third Secret, in the Vatican Press Office, in June 2000, it was asked of you whether the Message could be extended, beyond the attack on John Paul II, also to the other sufferings of the Pope. Is it possible, according to you, to frame also in that vision [meaning the Third Secret Vision] the sufferings of the Church of today for the sins of the sexual abuse of minors?”

(In Italian, this question is phrased: Santità, quali significato hanno oggi per noi le apparizioni di Fatima? E quando lei presentò il testo del Terzo segreto, nella stampa vaticana, nel giugno 2000, le fu chiesto se il messaggio poteva essere esteso, al di là dell’attentato a Giovanni Paolo II, anche alle altre sofferenze dei papi. È possibile secondo lei, inquadrare anche in quella visione le sofferenze della Chiesa di oggi per i peccati degli abusi sessuali sui minori?)

The Pope's answer? Ah…the answer. Well, it all depends on the accuracy of the Italian-to-English translator. After all, the question was asked in Italian, and the Pope answered in Italian.

That said, over the past two weeks I’ve read a number of translations concerning this one response of the Pope's, including John Vennari’s translation, which is found in his article. Objectively speaking, John Vennari's rendition is the most accurate.  I can say this because in all the other other online articles I've studied on this topic, important little nuances are overlooked or mis-translated; in one particular case, the translation is so "off the mark" (and so politically-correct) that one must question the correspondent's agenda. 

At any rate, it should be noted that Mr. Vennari’s translation is only an excerpt of the Pope’s remarks on Fatima and the Third Secret. Since I understand the reason for the “pull-quote” (so to speak), I am going to follow suit.

The Pope’s Answer:
First,  however, I present in Italian the most pertinent “pull-quote” of the Pope’s words, taken from the original Italian article. That is, I am focusing only on particular phrases of the Pope's answer. The reason I will first show the Pope's words in Italian is for the benefit of my readers, who will see for themselves the bolded words I have translated.

Second, I offer an absolutely literal, word-for-word English rendition of my own. (Also note that John Vennari similarly quotes only parts of the same paragraph, but he includes more of the excerpt.) Again, what I cite below is a smaller extract of the Pope’s answer to the question (in red print, above), because the following words unmistakably prove that the Third Secret is spoken:

Pope Benedict XVI (in Italian):Oltre questa grande visione della sofferenza del Papa, che possiamo in sostanza riferire a Giovanni Paolo II sono indicate realtà del futuro della Chiesa che man mano si sviluppano e si mostrano. Cioè è vero che oltre il momento indicato nella visione, si parla, si vede la necessità di una passione della Chiesa, che naturalmente si riflette nella persona del Papa, ma il Papa sta nella Chiesa e quindi sono sofferenze della Chiesa che si annunciano.” [Quote taken from an Italian article by Gian Guido Vecchi. ]

Now for the word-for-word, literal English translation of the Italian words, but only of those bolded above:

Pope Benedict XVI (in English): Beyond this great vision of the suffering of the pope...That is, it is true that beyond the moment indicated in the vision, it is spoken (or “it is said”), it is shown [or “it is seen”] the necessity of the passion of the Church...and therefore are the sufferings of the Church that is announced.” (Incidentally, I realize the last sentence is awkward, but what I am providing is a literal translation. The last sentence better reads in English as follows: “...and therefore are the sufferings of the Church announced” OR “...and therefore it is the sufferings of the Church that are announced.")

Were those three words "it is spoken" an accidental slip? After all, the Pope had many days to reflect upon what he would say. Yet the way his words are phrased, "it is spoken, it is shown" indicates that he - who has known of the Third Secret's contents for at least 26 years and has probably pondered long and hard upon them - could not help but make such a slip. The Third Secret is spoken.

To fully illustrate this truth, I will share John Vennari's fuller excerpt and translation of the Pope's answer (which also include the select sentences upon which I have focused). Btw, the emphasis below (text in both bold and italic) are Mr. Vennari's:

[Quote] “Beyond the great vision of the Pope’s suffering, which we may connect in substance to John Paul II, there are indications of the reality of the Church’s future, which gradually develop and show themselves. That is to say, beyond the moment indicated in the vision, it is spoken, it is shown there is the need for the passion of the Church, which naturally reflects itself on the person of the Pope, but the Pope is in the Church and therefore what is announced is the suffering for the Church… As for the new things we may find today in this message, it is also that the attacks on the Pope and the Church not always come from the outside, but the sufferings of the Church actually come from within the Church, from the sin that exists in the Church. This has always been known, but today we can see it in a really terrifying way: the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from outside enemies, but is from sin with the Church. And the Church now has a deep need to re-learn penance, accept purification, learn to forgive, but also a need for justice.” [End Quote]

“It is spoken, it is shown...” To all the proofs highlighted above, we can also point to those three words, “It is spoken,” followed by the briefest pause, and then continued with “it is shown.” Let us remember that Pope Benedict was particularly speaking of the Third Secret of Fatima. As the Pope has made clear - the Third Secret is spoken, but it also shown.

Ten years ago, on June 26, 2000, certain Vatican officials presented the Third Secret in such a way as to insist that it consists only of a Vision, a Vision that cannot be explained. Many Catholics have contended that the Third Secret Vision was explained in a Message, a Message that remains suppressed (the proof of its suppression by the Vatican is what Antonio Socci calls "The Fourth Secret of Fatima"), a Message which Christopher Ferrara calls "the secret still hidden."

While there has been conjecture on "when" Our Lady gave the Third Secret Message (before or after the Third Secret Vision of an angel holding in his left hand a flaming sword, as though it would set the world on fire, "a bishop in white," who is seen in the light of God, and "the Holy Father" - who may or may not be the same person as the bishop in white;  a Vision in which is seen the Holy Father walking with halting, trembling steps as he prays over the dead bodies of his brethren, a Vision of the Holy Father's martyrdom as he reaches a cross, a cross made "as of a corktree bark" and implanted at the summit of a hill; the Holy Father falling to the ground dead, dying at the hands of soldiers who come from the other side of the hill bearing guns and arrows; and then more people dying, one after the other "and in the same manner" -  all those who followed the path of the Pope, people from all walks of life), one cannot help but wonder if the Madonna gave the Third Secret Message in the same moments as the children beheld the Vision.

It makes sense that Our Lady's words would accompany the Third Secret Vision; it also explains why Sr. Lucia said "the Great Secret" is one Secret, comprised of three distinct parts. And now, with what Pope Benedict has said of the Third Secret ("It is spoken, it is shown"), we can fully recognize the entire pattern of the Great Secret of Fatima:

1st Distinct Part: The Vision of Hell (a "vision-within-a-Vision," for the children could still see Our Lady (the Vision, with a capital "V") above them, with rays from Her hands parting the earth, as it were, wherein the little ones could momentarily see a terrible glimpse of Hell).

2nd Distinct Part: Our Lady's words explaining the Vision of Hell, followed by Heaven's decree in regard to what is necessary for the salvation of souls in this era (namely, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary), and more prophecies  - all of them contingent upon whether or not the Mother of God was heeded:

“You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them [poor sinners], God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.”

“The war [WWI] is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.”

“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. 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.”

“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace [era of peace, in another translation] will be granted to the world.”

3rd Distinct Part: The Third Part of the Great Secret consists of both words and a "vision-within-a Vision." It opens with the Virgin's words, "In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, ETC." and - as may be deducted from the many proofs in all the Fatima history - as the Virgin continues to speak, the shepherd children see another "vision-within-a Vision." This is the vision commonly called "The Vision of the Bishop in White."

To state it in another way, the Third Secret differs from the first two Secrets because in the First Secret, the Virgin remains in comforting view of the children as they beheld a "vision-within-a Vision." In the Second Secret, the only Vision seen is the Virgin Mary, and She speaks. In the Third Secret, the Virgin Mary is seen, She continues to speak, and yet another vision is seen simultaneously.  The one constant in all three distinct parts of the Great Secret is the motherly presence of the Lady of Fatima.

Yes, it makes absolute sense that the Third Secret is both spoken and shown.

As we reflect on what Pope Benedict XVI said on May 11, 2010, while en route to Fatima, Portugal, one may only ask: Can the objective (fair, impartial) mind have any doubt that there is more to the Third Secret than meets the eye?

[This article was slightly edited for clarification purposes on May 28, 2010. However, nothing was removed from the original.]


  1. Excellent observations!
    Recalling pre Vat 2 Catholic classroom when I was ten as we all anxiously awaited the announcement of the Third Secret from Pope John. Sr Paraclete came on the PA system to say the Pope decided not to reveal it because it did not feel it pertained to his pontificate.a collective sigh of disappointment could be heard throughout the school halls coming from all the classrooms. We all heard that it mentioned ,"Bishop against Bishop and Cardinal against Cardinal". How odd I thought, when it was said again at Akita.Now I am reading the same in the headlines as Bishop attacks Bishop and Cardinal attacks Cardinal with accusations of who knew what when regarding the sodomite scandal within the church.

  2. Dear Marcia:
    My mother also remembers when the Third Secret was to be released in 1960. It was common knowledge among the faithful.
    As for the terrible sexual scandal in the Church, please note that Papa Ratzinger never explicitly said 'yes' in that regard; however, he did speak of the sufferings *for* the Church. Of course, we cannot deny that the scandal is part of the sufferings *for* the Church; it is a pernicious attack against the souls of children and teens; an attack against the family, which is the foundation of society. As terrible as is that scandal, it is one of many of the Church's enemies' plans to destroy the Church 'from within' - just as Pope St. Pius X warned in "Pascendi Dominici Gregis" when he spoke of the enemies 'within' the Church, writing: "...they put into operation their designs for her undoing, not from without but from within." (para. 3)
    Thanks for writing, Marcia!

  3. satan infiltrating the church i think is the recent scandal :(

  4. Hello, Joseph:
    Exactly! For who has made himself the enemy of God and His Church but Satan? Yes, the infiltrators are doing the work of the fallen angels, but we can never forget that the *eternal* Church forever remains Christ's Spotless Bride. The Church does not sin, but individuals *within* the Church can and do sin. The Church is Mother and Teacher; but the children of the Church will either be faithful or faithless. It all has to do with the 'mystery of grace' vs. 'the mystery of iniquity.'
    It is the faithless ones who sully and abuse the eternal Church, just as the innocent Christ was slandered, abused, tortured, and killed. The infiltrators plan to 'kill' the Church, and a time is coming when She will, indeed, die and Her enemies will seem to triumph. God shall allow it, for the Church must always follow the path of Her Divine Spouse, Jesus Christ. But She, too, will be gloriously resurrected.
    Finally, may we remember the words of St. Ambrose: "Also the stars - that is, men surrounded by the praise of their fellow Christians - shall fall, as the bitterness of persecution mounts up; which must however come to pass, until the number of the faithful be made up; for so the good are proved and the weak made known."
    Thanks for writing, Joseph.