||Inside the Vatican News
||10/27/01 12:48:34 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Inside the Vatican News Service: The Week in Review
October 26, 2001
by Inside the Vatican staff
The Secret of Fatima: More to Come?
ROME -- News has just emerged that Sister Lucia dos Santos, the last surviving
Fatima visionary, several weeks ago sent Pope John Paul II a letter reportedly
warning him that his life is in danger.
According to Vatican sources, the letter, claiming that events spoken of
in the "Third Secret" of Fatima had not yet occurred, was delivered sometime
after September 11 to John Paul by the bishop emeritus of Fatima, Alberto
Cosme do Amaral.
The Vatican has not confirmed publicly receipt of the letter.
One source for the story, which was reported on in the Italian press yesterday
and today, is Italian priest Father Luigi Bianchi.
Bianchi claims to have met Sr. Lucia dos Santos last week at her cloistered
Carmelite convent in Coimbra, Portugal. (She is not allowed to speak with
anyone who has not received prior permission from the Vatican, so it is not
immediately clear whether Bianchi received that approval, circumvented the
need for it, or did not actually meet Sister Lucia as he maintains.)
"She told me she is very worried about the international situation," Don
Bianchi told Italian journalist David Murgia. "She said we have entered a
crucial time for the Church and for the world -- and that the only salvation
The letter is said to contain this warning: "Soon there will be great upheaval
and punishment." And it reportedly asks the Holy Father to pray because "your
life is in danger."
The current bishop of Fatima, Serafim Ferreira de Sousa, when questioned
by journalists, did not deny that Sr. Lucia had sent a letter to the Pope,
but said "there are no letters from the seer that express fear for the life
of the Pope."
Sources have also suggested that Sr. Lucia's letter encourages the Pope to
fully reveal the Third Secret.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith, who presented the interpretation of the Third Secret on June 26,
2000, said yesterday that the recent rumours of a letter are only the
continuation of, "an old polemic fed by certain people of dubious credibility,"
with the objective of "destabilizing the internal equilibrium of the Roman
Curia and of troubling the people of God."
One of the people who seems to fit Cardinal Ratzinger's description, arguably,
is a Canadian priest, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, head of the Fatima Center, who
has been suspended a divinis by the Vatican.
Fr. Gruner has long maintained that the "third secret" was not fully revealed
by the Vatican and has publicly pressured Rome to release the full text.
Gruner claims that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is conducting
a "campaign of mystification," revealing only parts of the secret. This "does
not conform to the truth," Gruner says.
Regarding the life of the Pope, Don Bianchi is worried. "Lucia said that
he is the target of the enemy, that his life is in danger and we need to
pray for him," Bianchi said.
Sr. Lucia is reported to have also said to the Italian priest that the third
secret has not yet been revealed in full.
In an interview with Murgia, Fr. Bianchi speculated on the possibility that
the Vatican did not reveal the full secret "to avoid creating panic and anxiety
in the population; to not scare them."
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and indeed John Paul II himself,
have interpreted the assassination attempt on the Pope in 1981 as the realization
of the warnings of the third secret.
But Don Bianchi says otherwise. "The message doesn't speak only about an
attempt on the pontiff, but speaks of 'a white bishop who walks amongst the
ruins and bodies of murdered men and women,'" Bianchi said. "This means that
the Pope will have to suffer greatly, that some nations will disappear, that
many people will die, that we must defend the West from becoming Islamicized.
That is what is happening in these days."
Sr. Lucia, when asked by Fr. Bianchi what could be done to stop the terror
that is increasing in the world, is said to have taken the rosary in her
hand and said: "This is the only 'weapon' we have."