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Fatima Challenge Rocks Rome;
Pope Says Third Secret Unfolding Now
Our Lady's Apostolate brought its message, or rather the Message of Fatima, to Rome, to the doorstep of the Vatican. And the Vatican listened.
For five days, from May 3 to May 7, the world's foremost experts on Fatima met at the Ergife Hotel, just 10 minutes from the Vatican. Each day began with Masses and a Rosary to request Our Lord's and Our Lady's blessing and guidance before the talks and discussions proceeded.
And each day, the force of The Fatima Challenge gathered momentum.
Bishops, priests and lay people from throughout the world filled the conference room from morning until evening. It was evident the participants in the conference were hungry to learn more and more about the Message of Fatima, and their appetite for knowledge appeared to increase even as it was fed.
Each talk was more powerful than the one before, or rather each talk became part of a great symphony of truth that swelled and resonated throughout the Eternal City and the world. Our technical team worked tirelessly to make certain that the conference talks were posted daily on our dedicated web site: www.fatimachallenge.com. They can still be viewed there.
The talks were made available in English and Italian. This was truly a global conference, followed daily by the Italian public and our supporters throughout the English-speaking world.
And, of course, the Vatican was listening and watching too.
Giuseppe De Carli, the journalist in charge of TV coverage of Pope Benedict's talks and travels for the Italian national TV network, actually attended The Fatima Challenge, giving an address and accepting questions afterward, of which there were many, posed by Christopher Ferrara, Father Nicholas Gruner and John Salza, all of whom speak Italian.
Why would such a prominent figure in the Italian media, the man who co-authored The Last Secret of Fatima with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, take time from his busy schedule to spend hours at our conference, debating with our experts?
Because we brought The Fatima Challenge to Rome and could not be ignored. The Vatican bureaucracy had to engage us in some way; had to acknowledge that we were there and that we were challenging their interpretation of the Fatima Message. They could not simply back down.
Mr. De Carli presented what he wrongly termed the "official position" of the Vatican on the Third Secret: that its prophecies were fulfilled with the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II and it is now a thing of the past.
He later retracted the claim that this interpretation constituted an "official position" and admitted that it was attributable to Cardinal Bertone and Cardinal Sodano and that no one is bound to believe this position.
The Pope, as Cardinal Ratzinger, had affirmed at a press conference following the June 2000 publication of the Third Secret and the accompanying text, The Message of Fatima, that the Church imposes no interpretation of Third Secret of Fatima on the faithful.
There is no official Vatican position on the Third Secret. Period.
De Carli also categorically denied that there is another hidden part of the Third Secret, what Italian journalist Antonio Socci has called The Fourth Secret of Fatima, in his book by that title. This claim precipitated one of the most dramatic moments of the conference.
Pressed to acknowledge that another journalist, Solideo Paolini, reported that former secretary to Pope John XIII, Archbishop Loris Capovilla, in response to the question of whether there were two envelopes with two parts of the secret, answered "Precisely so," Mr. De Carli said that either Paolini was lying or Capovilla was lying.
"I think Paolini was lying," De Carli said.
Bombshell! Asked what emboldened him to make such an outrageous claim, De Carli said he was in possession of a letter that Capovilla had written to Cardinal Bertone in which he denies having said "Precisely so" to Paolini.
Asked to produce the document, De Carli said he could not as it was "private correspondence." So, the content of the private correspondence can be disclosed, but the proof of it cannot be shown? How strange! To borrow a phrase, the supposedly "official" position gets "curiouser and curiouser."
Within a few days of the conclusion of The Fatima Challenge, with all of its startling developments, only a few of which are mentioned above, Pope Benedict shocked and astounded the press and the Catholic world by saying the Third Secret is not limited to the past but is day by day unfolding now. And he linked the prophecy of the Third Secret to sins from within the Church; to the clerical sexual-abuse scandals.
The Pope thus contradicted former Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano and current Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. No one could have foreseen this, especially not the two Cardinals and their collaborators in the attempt to bury the Third Secret of Fatima in the past.
In a crucial part of the interview, the Pope's press secretary, Father Federico Lombardi, read the following chosen question:
"Your Holiness, what meaning do the Fatima apparitions have for us today? In June 2000, when you presented the text of the third secret in the Vatican Press Office, a number of us and our former colleagues were present. You were asked if the message could be extended, beyond the attack on John Paul II, to other sufferings on the part of the Popes. Is it possible, to your mind, to include in that vision the sufferings of the Church today for the sins involving the sexual abuse of minors?"
The Holy Father's answer is astounding:
"...it is true that, in addition to the moment indicated in the vision, there is mention of, there is seen, the need for a passion of the Church, which naturally is reflected in the person of the Pope, yet the Pope stands for the Church and thus it is sufferings of the Church that are announced.
"...As for the new things which we can find in this message today, there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church."
Remember, that vision of the Third Secret released by the Vatican in June 2000 contains no mention or depiction of the Pope or the Church suffering from the sins of those within the Church.
The vision is of an attack from without, culminating in the assassination of the bishop in white, along with other members of the clergy and laity, by soldiers using bullets and arrows. Sins from within? To what is the Pope referring? Obviously not the published vision.
But if the Third Secret is unfolding now, and that if the passion of the Church it predicts is the result of sins from within, then there must be more to the Third Secret than was revealed in the June 2000 publication.
Socci declares that the Pope is engaged in what Socci calls "Operation Truth" on Fatima. This is what this apostolate has been engaged in for 33 years. Now, at last, we are being vindicated by no one less than the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI.
How far will the Holy Father go in Operation Truth? What more will he tell us about the "future realities" contained in the Third Secret? When will he at long last reveal the hidden text and call upon the bishops of the world to join him in consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
"The world is watching and waiting. And we in this apostolate are hoping and praying. We also continue our work of making the full Message of Fatima known. The few facts presented in this newsletter are but a small part of all that was disclosed at The Fatima Challenge and during the Pope's subsequent visit to Portugal.
We are preparing an edition of The Fatima Crusader that will provide a fuller account of all that took place in Rome and the following week in Fatima. We ask for your prayers for the continued success of our mission, of Operation Truth. And we ask you to please pray, pray, pray for the Holy Father, that he will have courage and the protection of Our Lady in the trials to come.
And as we cannot exaggerate the importance and success of The Fatima Challenge, we also cannot minimize the tremendous expense of the conference. We are now hard-pressed to meet the cost of day-to-day operations at The Fatima Center. So, I ask for your help.
We must seize the moment and press our advantage. The next Fatima Crusader will be one of the most important we have ever published. A breakthrough edition. But we need your help to do it. Give all you can so that Our Lady's peace plan will be implemented very soon. The accurate fulfillment of the Fatima requests is the only way to avoid the otherwise foretold certain "annihilation of various nations" in our time. Our Lady's peace plan is the only way for the world to have peace.
Latest Fatima Perspectives by
Christopher A. Ferrara
Pope Benedict "Reopens the File" on the Third Secret of Fatima — Within days after the Fatima Challenge conference (someone at the Vatican was indeed watching, as the conference website monitoring data indicate) none other than Pope Benedict XVI clearly, calmly, and deliberately reopened the entire Third Secret controversy. He did so by demolishing the Sodano/Bertone "interpretation" of the vision of the "Bishop dressed in White" as involving nothing more than 20th century events, which they claimed now "belong to the past."
Breakthrough in Rome — At the recent Fatima Challenge conference in Rome there was another breakthrough for what Antonio Socci has dubbed "Operation Truth" on Fatima. To his credit, the Vaticanist Giuseppe De Carli appeared at the conference in an effort to defend the "official version" of events maintained by Cardinal Bertone, in keeping with the "party line" on Fatima established by his predecessor, Cardinal Sodano. The breakthrough came when Christopher Ferrara confronted De Carli concerning Cardinal Bertone's failure to produce the now famous "Capovilla envelope".
"Friendly Reflections?" A Summary of the Critique — "Friendly Reflections?" is a lengthy critique of arguments by TFP's Antonio Borelli, who argues against the existence of a text of the Third Secret of Fatima that would accompany and explain, in the Blessed Virgin's own words, the vision of the "Bishop dressed in White" published on June 26, 2000. The title of the critique is a play on the title of Borelli's piece, which purports to provide "friendly reflections" on the Third Secret controversy in the spirit of promoting unity among Catholics. But, as the critique demonstrates, Borelli's "friendly reflections" no matter what his subjective intention may have been — seem calculated to disrupt the unity that already exists among faithful Catholics who have studied the controversy, considered the evidence, and arrived at the conclusion so candidly expressed by Mother Angelica on live television a year after the vision was published.
The Last Days of Cardinal Kasper — Examines the fast-approaching end of the "ecumenical" career of Cardinal Walter Kasper, as reported in an article by The National Catholic Reporter. The Cardinal's penchant for undermining Catholic dogma (for example, his denial of the historical reality of the apostolic succession and his call to "revisit" Pope Leo XIII's infallible proclamation on the invalidity of Anglican priestly orders) has been a focus of this column for years.
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