Subj: Inside the Vatican News
Date: 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 is prayer."
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."