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Papal Silence on the 91st Anniversary
of the Fatima Apparitions

Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.

My friend Jan asked me why the Pope hasn’t said anything about Fatima. She was expecting to hear some words about Our Lady of Fatima from Benedict XVI on October 13, the 91st anniversary of the last Fatima apparition when the great Miracle of the Sun took place before 70,000 persons. It is a day of special significance for Catholics at Fatima and around the world.

A statue of Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady's message regards our days
Like so many Catholics Jan believes the Fatima message continues to be key for our times. The basic Fatima message is simple and clear:
• Hell exists, and many souls are falling into it as the situation of world continues to worsen.

• We should pray the Rosary daily and make the First Saturday devotion in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

• Russia will convert if two conditions are met: men must convert and turn to God, and the Pope together with all the Bishops must consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. (1)

• If the conditions are not met, then Russia will spread her errors through the world and God will send a grave chastisement to an impenitent world. Many nations will be annihilated, but in the end the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph and an era of peace will be given to the world.
Clearly, the conditions for the conversion of Russia have not been met and the Reign of Mary will not come without a chastisement. Russia has not converted and is again openly spreading its communist errors. On the world front, news of religious wars and ethic clashes fill the daily papers to the point that almost no one can keep up with them.

Therefore, nothing would seem more important today than for the Supreme Shepherd to speak to the Catholic flock about the Fatima message, to make the Consecration of Russia following Our Lady's specifications, to exhort the faithful to follow the First Saturday devotion, to insist on the daily Rosary, and to speak out against the new forms of Communism emerging across Europe, Africa and Latin America.

But October 13 came and went, and there was not a word from Benedict XVI on the Fatima message. More than 200 Bishops of the world were in Rome for the Bible Synod, which started October 5. What an opportune moment it was to make the consecration of Russia. The topic was not broached.

Angry Hindu protestors

Religious wars wrack the world. Above, Hindus demonstrate in Orissa, India; below, a Muslim protest in Gaza

Violent Muslim riots
On October 12, Cardinal Bertone spoke on behalf of the Vatican about the need for Catholics to read the Bible – not to pray the Rosary. (2) I suppose that message is more acceptable to the Protestants. That same day, the Pope asked for prayers to end the violence in India, Iraq and the Congo before 40,000 faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square. (3) Another missed opportunity. He did not even mention the Rosary or the Fatima message as the solution Our Lady gave to attain world peace.

Burying the Fatima message

I was not surprised at the silence. In fact, I do not believe that any Prelate has done so much in present times to bury the Fatima message as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI.

The Holy See's official response to the so-called Third Secret of Fatima released in 2000 was signed by Card. Ratzinger and Archbishop Bertone. It included a 40-page theological commentary by Ratzinger in which he did all he could to officially close the Fatima message.

A blatant contradiction

What did he say there? First, he warned the “third secret” was anticlimactic, saying “no great mystery is revealed, nor is the future unveiled.” (4)

With this statement, he contradicted Pius XII and many high-ranking Prelates – among them Cardinals Ottaviani, Oddi, Ciappi, and Biffi – who read the secret and affirmed it revealed a “great apostasy” in the Church and other catastrophic events. (5)

He also contradicted his own words in a 1984 interview where he stated the secret concerned “the dangers threatening the faith and life of the Christian and therefore the world, and also the importance of the last times.”

So, to bury Fatima, Card. Ratzinger contradicted many persons, including himself.

Lively imagination of children?

A photograph of the three seers of Fatima

The Fatima shepherds after seeing Hell
Second, he planted doubt about Lucy’s accounts of the angels and vision of Hell. He suggested they were “images which Lucy may have seen in devotional books and which draw their inspiration from long-standing intuitions of faith.” He questioned whether these accounts might only be “projections of the inner world of children?” (6)

So, Card. Ratzinger cast doubt on the veracity of the entire Fatima message. This recourse of presenting the apparition as a figment of a child’s imagination is, in my view, a very dishonest progressivist trick. Indeed, the Miracle of the Sun - witnessed by thousands of people - confirmed that the children’s account was true and not imaginary.

No Reign of Mary...

Third, in his declarations on Fatima Card. Ratzinger tried to deny that Our Lady was speaking of a future triumph with her prophetic words, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” What did these words mean for him? Nothing. He deviated the theme away from a future triumph: “The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Savior into the world.” (7)

With this, he effectively set aside the devotion to the Immaculate Heart, ignored the call for the consecration of Russia, pretended the errors of the Schismatic Church and Communism do not exist, and closed his eyes to a restoration of Christian Civilization, the Reign of Christ through Mary on earth predicted before Fatima by St. Louis de Montfort and other Saints.

Instead of working for the Reign of Mary, Pope Ratzinger continues on John Paul II’s program to implant the kingdom of man envisioned by Vatican II, following the program of the UN.

Following the same agenda

Benedict covering part of his face

A constant opposition to Fatima
At the end of his report, Card. Ratzinger officially consigned Fatima to the past, a story with no future relevance. As Pope, he has followed this same agenda.

The few mentions he has made of Our Lady of Fatima can be counted on the hand. In 2005, he told “believers” to turn “with confidence to Mary,” reminding them that May 13 was the feast of the Virgin of Fatima. (8) In 2006 he summarized the message as “an intense call to prayer and conversion.” (9) In 2007, he refused the invitation to go to Fatima for the 90th anniversary celebration, and simply asked people to pray the Rosary for peace at the October 7 Angelus. (10) This year, he said nothing.

It is as if the greatest event of the 20th century – Our Lady coming to earth to warn mankind of a terrible punishment and of her triumph – would be no more than a children's tale.

A great act of oblivion, my dear Jan, this is the “homage” Pope Ratzinger offered to Our Lady of Fatima this October 13. It brings to my mind the words of Card. Ciappi about the secret: “A great apostasy that will begin at the top” …
1. On December 10, 1925, Our Lady and the Child Jesus appeared to Sister Lucia at Pontevedra, Spain to ask for the First Saturday Devotion: On the first Saturday of five consecutive months, the faithful should confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation for sins committed against Her Immaculate Heart.
2. “Cardinal Bertone Closes Bible Marathon” Zenit, October 12, 2008
3. “Pontiff Calls for Peace in India, Iraq, Congo” Zenit, October 12, 2008
4. Theological Commentary to the third part of the Secret of Fatima, in The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican website.
5. Interview with well-known Italian journalist Vittorio Messori in Jesus magazine, in Mark Fellows, Fatima in wilight, (Marmion Publications, 2003), pp. 230-231.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. “Pope Points Faithful toward Virgin of Fatima,” Zenit, May 11, 2005.
8. “Benedict XVI echoes the Fatima Message,” Zenit, May 11
10. “No papal attendance at 90th anniversary of Fatima apparitions,” Catholic News Service, January 11, 2207; “Pray Rosary for Peace, Benedict XVI Urges,” Zenit, Oct. 7, 2007.

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Posted on October 30, 2008

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