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The Inside the Vatican Photo Is Mislabeled

We are glad that the "mystery" regarding the photo published in the March 2006 issue of Inside the Vatican magazine has come to an end. ITV made a mistake and has apologized for its error in the April issue already available in Canada.

For our readers we reproduce below a copy that an objector sent us. The parts on this topic are highlighted in yellow. The objection and our response to it can be found further down this page.   TIA

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Objection: You Are Conspiracy Maniacs

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To whom it may concern:

The photo in question is not of Sister Lucy it is in fact a photo of Mother Maria Celina, who is interviewed in the article. Inside The Vatican in the current issue - April 2006 - in the Letters to The Editor Section on page 6 has already acknowledged that an error was made in identifying the photo and have clarified who the person really is.

It is interesting to note that it was a Novus Ordo priest Fr. Ambrose Young who immediately emailed the Editor of ITV advising that ITV had in fact mislabeled the photo since the religious in question was in fact the last Mother Superior of Sister Lucy, one Mother Celina. If you get a copy of The Intimate Life of Sister Lucia, it’s clear that this photo is that of Mother Celina.

Why is it that Traditional Catholics see conspiracies everywhere? Why do some assume that everything is a plot? Errors do in fact happen in producing newspapers and magazines everyday.Yes, it’s apparent to everyone that the photo of Mother Celina is not that of Sister Lucy so why try and turn it into anything other than what it is, an acknowledged error in labeling a photo!

Actually when you think of how many people work on the production of any magazine you soon begin to understand how errors, even very serious errors, can and do often occur. You have the writers/authors/columnists that actually write and submit an article in various non-compatible programs. They submit the articles to an editor or publisher who rarely has technical ability. Then hopefully there are fact checkers who read and attempt to catch gross errors. Then you have, art directors who work on general layout and themes, actual designers who do the grunt work in Quark Express, photographers who submit the photos (hopefully properly labeled) then the actual printers, etc. So mistakes really do happen!

Not making excuses it’s just the way it is.

Having said that, I have never personally believed that the later photos of Sister Lucy were actually of the real Sister Lucy. The facial characteristics, the stature, the presence were just not the same.

     Best Regards


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The Editor responds:

Mr. S.M.,

Thank you for sending us a copy of the apology in the latest Inside of the Vatican along with your objection.

You rendered us a good service.

Notwithstanding, it is really curious how well informed you are regarding everything that goes on in Inside the Vatican magazine. Unless you are an insider, I wonder how a simple reader can have such a quantity of details, arguments to justify the magazine, and also a skillfull attack to divert attention to other topics.

You questioned why we posted an article based on the photo of Mother Celina as if she were Sister Lucy of Fatima. The answer could not be simpler:

1. It is because we considered ITV to be a serious magazine. Indeed, a serious magazine normally has a competent staff of editors that prevents this kind of mistake from going to print. Especially in matters of such magnitude as Fatima and Sr. Lucy.

2. The detailed explanation you gave of the publishing proccess of a magazine trying to justify Inside of the Vatican making such a mistake would be valid for a high-school paper, but not for a world-respected organ like ITV. Certainly if they were seeking fraternal charity from us, they would receive our willing pardon. But this does not change the consequences of such a mistake regarding the reliability of the magazine. Next time we promise to be much more cautious...

3. To this lack of reliability could be added the appearance of a lack of courtesy when one considers that Dr. Horvat cordially e-mailed the magazine asking for confirmation regarding the picture, and to date, three weeks later, no reply has been provided.

This addresses your defense of the magazine.

4. Now, let me confront your insinuation that we - and all traditionalist Catholics ... - would be conspiracy maniacs since we posted the above-mentioned photo as if it were of Sr. Lucy and Dr. Horvat compared it with other photos of Sr. Lucy to reach the possibility that there are two Sister Lucys.

5. Regarding your method: The maxim is, "The best defense is the attack.' So, independent of the merit of your accusation, to find a scapegoat again diverts attention from ITV's mistake.

6. Regarding your consistency: In the last sentence of your e-mail you confess you believe that there are two Sister Lucys as well. So, we have a common point: you also believe that there is a fraud going on.

But raising the possibility of this fraud was the only point of Dr. Horvat's article that could provide grounds for your accusation that we - Dr. Horvat, TIA, and all traditionalists - are conspiracy maniacs. Since you admit that a fraud can exist, do you also include yourself among the maniacs? If not, would you be kind enough to explain what precisely you mean by your generic accusation? Until you provide an explanation, I dispense myself from entering into the topic of conspiracies and conspiracy maniacs.

You made a good contribution to the topic, Mr. S.M.   So good that I am inviting Dr. Marian Horvat to write another article with many more photos on the discrepancies of the two Sister Lucys, this time without the good Mother Celina. Let us leave her in peace with her prayers, removed from these worldly concerns.

I hope you will like the article.


     A.S. Guimarães - Editor
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Posted April 14, 2006


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