Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Jimmy Akin on Gematria and the Beast of Revelation

Jimmy Akin, from the National Catholic Register, has put some interesting videos concerning the preterist interpretation of the Beast of Revelation on his blog (see here). He goes into some detail on how the practice of gematria was behind the original meaning of the number of the Beast - which encoded the numerical value of the name Kaiser Neron in Hebrew. Understanding gematria is essential for any modern interpretation of this mysterious passage.

See also the related post Hebrew 666?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

St. John Bosco's Prophecy of the Turn of the Millennium

I am currently attempting to find the original source of a prophecy attributed to St. John Bosco concerning the turn of the millennium, which is apparently related to his Dream of the Two Pillars. The prophecy seems to be genuine enough, having been quoted in Ted and Maureen Flynn's book Thunder of Justice (A213), and also appears to be connected to Don Bosco's prophetic dream "March of the 200 Days". I don't have St. John Bosco's Biographical Memoirs to hand to be able to pinpoint the exact source, but will update this post when I eventually find it. The prophecy in question directly refers to the turn of the millennium as a prophetic turning point after a period of chaos in the Church (the Great Apostasy), following an Ecumenical Council in the 20th century (Vatican II):

"There will be an Ecumenical Council in the next century, after which there will be chaos in the Church. Tranquility will not return until the Pope succeeds in anchoring the boat of Peter between the twin pillars of Eucharistic Devotion and Devotion to Our Lady. This will come about one year before the end of the century."

The above prediction is similar in many respects to the various prophecies of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and again can be used to bolster the hypothesis I forward in Unveiling the Apocalypse - that the eschatological Fall of Satan foretold in the Book of Revelation occurred at the turn of the millennium, which coincided with the eschatological astronomical phenomena described at the opening of the sixth seal. This in turn heralds not only the sealing of the saints in heaven, but also the fulfilment of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast on earth, and the moment when Satan transfers his power and authority to the Antichrist.

As we shall see, the above prophecy appears to be directly related to Don Bosco's March of the 200 Days, which can be found in volume X of the Biographical Memoirs pp49-59. The dream of the March of 200 Days is set among a section of the memoirs containing three prophecies, the first of which is connected to St. Dominic Savio's vision of the Pope and the conversion of England:

...there will come a great warrior from the North carrying a banner and on the right hand that supports it is written: "The Irresistible Hand of the Lord." At that very moment there went out to meet him the Venerable Old Man of Lazio, holding aloft a brilliantly glowing torch. The banner then increased in size and turned from black to snow-white. In the middle of the banner, in letters of gold, there was written the name of Him who is able to do all things. The warrior with his men bowed and shook hands with the Venerable Old Man.
(You can find the full text of the three prophecies here).

This vision of St. John Bosco appears to be related to the prophecies of the Angelic Pope and the Great Monarch, which as I suggest in the book, is directly connected to the Two Witnesses of Rev 11 - the two figures symbolised by the two pillars in his prophetic dream.
We can see the similarities between the above prophecy and that of St. Dominic Savio below, where like the "Venerable Old Man of Lazio" (who represents the Pope), the pontiff holds aloft a flaming torch to enlighten a nation residing in spiritual darkness:

One morning as I was making my thanksgiving after Communion, a very strong distraction took hold of me. I thought I saw a great plain full of people enveloped in thick fog. They were walking about like people who had lost their way and did not know which way to turn. Someone near me said: ‘This is England’. I was just going to ask some questions, when I saw Pope Pius IX just like I have seen him in pictures. He was robed magnificently and carried in his hand a torch alive with flames. As he walked slowly toward that immense gathering of people, the leaping flames from the torch dispelled the fog, and the people stood in the splendour of the noonday sun. ‘That torch’, said the one beside me, ‘is the Catholic Faith, which is going to light up England.’”

The conversion of England is foretold in many prophecies to inaugurate the beginning of the Second Pentecost - including those of the 1846 version of La Salette, and of St. Malachy. So St. Dominic Savio's vision here is clearly associated with the new springtime envisioned by Bl. John Paul II and Bl. John Henry Newman.
The first prophecy of St. John Bosco then continues with the theme of the Second Pentecost:

Things follow too slowly upon each other, but the great Queen of Heaven is at hand; the Lord's power is Hers. Like mist She shall scatter Her enemies. She shall vest the Venerable Old Man with all his former garments. There shall yet come a violent hurricane. Iniquity is at an end, sin shall cease, and before two full moons shall have shone in the month of flowers, the rainbow of peace shall appear on the earth. The great Minister shall see the Bride of his King clothed in glory. Throughout the world a sun so bright shall shine as was never seen since the flames of the Cenacle until today, nor shall it be seen again until the end of time...

Note the mention here of "two full moons" shining "in the month of flowers", as it becomes important later.
The theme of the Second Pentecost is continued in the second prophecy, concerning the 200 day march, which as well as being directly associated with the Dream of Two Pillars, also contains imagery strongly reminiscent of the Third Secret of Fatima:

It was a dark night, and men could no longer find their way back to their own countries. Suddenly a most brilliant light shone in the sky, illuminating their way as at high noon. At that moment from the Vatican came forth, as in procession, a multitude of men and women, young children, monks, nuns, and priests, and at their head was the Pope.
But a furious storm broke out, somewhat dimming that light, as if light and darkness were locked in battle. Meanwhile the long procession reached a small square littered with dead and wounded, many of whom cried for help.
The ranks of the procession thinned considerably. After a two-hundred day march, all realized that they were no longer in Rome. In dismay they swarmed about the Pontiff to protect him and minister to him in his needs.
At that moment two angels appeared, bearing a banner which they presented to the Supreme Pontiff, saying: "Take the banner of Her who battles and routs the most powerful armies on earth. Your enemies have vanished: with tears and sighs your children plead for your return."
One side of the banner bore the inscription: Regina sine labe concepta [Queen conceived without sin], and the other side read: Auxilium Christianorum [Help of Christians].
The Pontiff accepted the banner gladly, but he became distressed to see how few were his followers.
But the two angels went on: "Go now, comfort your children. Write to your brothers scattered throughout the world that men must reform their lives. This cannot be achieved unless the bread of the Divine Word is broken among the peoples. Teach children their catechism and preach detachment from earthly things. The time has come," the two angels concluded, "when the poor will evangelize the world. Priests shall be sought among those who wield the hoe, the spade, and the hammer, as David prophesied: 'God lifted the poor man from the fields to place him on the throne of His people.'"
On hearing this, the Pontiff moved on, and the ranks began to swell. Upon reaching the Holy City, the Pontiff wept at the sight of its desolate citizens, for many of them were no longer. He then entered St. Peter's and intoned the Te Deum, to which a chorus of angels responded, singing: Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. When the song was over, all darkness vanished and a blazing sun shone. The population had declined greatly in the cities and in the countryside; the land was mangled as if by a hurricane and hailstorm, and people sought each other, deeply moved, and saying: Est Deus in Israel [There is a God in Israel].
From the start of the exile until the intoning of the Te Deum, the sun rose 200 times. All the events described covered a period of 400 days.

The two angels in this vision are highly reminiscent of the two angels described in the Third Secret, which we have previously identified as symbolising the Two Witnesses of Rev 11 - who spearhead the religious renewal towards the end of the world. And like the two pillars in St. John Bosco's dream, the angels bear banners containing Latin inscriptions. The vision of the pope weeping at the sight of the city's "desolate citizens, for many of them were no longer" is also similar to the secrets of Fatima . Compare this with the words of the Third Secret below:

"...before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way..."

Fr Frank Klauder forwards an interesting possible interpretation of the March of 200 days, which also gives a date relating to the turn of the millennium. I will quote the relevant material below:

1. The four hundred "days" refer to four hundred months, or thirty-three-and-a-third years;

2. The two hundred "days" refer to sixteen and a half years;

3. The first "brilliant light" before the beginning of the procession or march refers to Vatican Council II, which ended in 1965;

4. The "furious storm" that broke out refers to the controversies that arose after the council;

5. The end of the first two hundred "days" or sixteen-and-a-half years, brings us to 1982, when the Pope visited Fatima, one year after the attempted assassination on his life. At that time, speaking, in the third person the Pope said:

"Today John Paul II reads the message of Fatima again, with trepidation in his heart, because he sees how many people and societies-how many Christians have gone in the opposite direction to the one indicated in the message of Fatima. Sin has made itself firmly at home in the world, and the denial of God has become widespread in the ideologies, ideas, and plans of human beings."

Before concluding his talk, the Pope recited a prayer, called "apocalyptic" by the New York Times, as follows:

"From famine and war, deliver us.

From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.

From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.

From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.

From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.

From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us.

May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope."

It was at this time that John Paul renewed the consecration of the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, having invited the bishops of the world to join him in a collegial manner and thus complying completely with one of the requests of the Fatima message. Two years later, in 1984, he repeated the same consecration. Events thereafter (1989) witnessed the collapse of the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe.

6. The end of the four hundred "days" brings us to 1999. In that year two full moons occur in the same month, as also in 1988, when there were two full moons in the month of May, as a prelude to the events of 1989.

7. The splendid era of peace, with which "the first prophecy" ends refers to the era of peace promised by Our Lady at Fatima, and which is being gradually prepared by the papal initiatives for the third millennium.

(See full text here)

On a side note to the above material, 1999 had the rare occasion of two blue moons occurring in the same year - a phenomenon which occurs once only every 19 years. It is interesting that Fr. Klauder links the intoning of the Te Deum at the end of the first 200 days with the Act of Entrustment made by Bl. John Paul II in the mid-1980's, which has been so often associated with the collapse of communism in Soviet Russia. And as we shall go into more detail in a future post, Pope John Paul II once again made an Act of Entrustment to the Virgin Mary during the Great Jubilee, on 8th Oct, 2000.
Another of aspect of these prophecies is complimented by Don Bosco's architectural plans for the Church of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, which were based on his prophetic visions. They show that the visions were based on the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, and intriguingly contained a prophetic date pointing to some time in the 20th century as the time of another great Marian victory.

...additional work on the Church of Mary Help of Christians was in progress. Each of the two belfries flanking the facade was to be surmounted by an angel, nearly eight feet tall, fashioned from gilded wrought copper, according to Don Bosco’s own plan. The angel on the right held a banner…bearing the word “LEPANTO” drilled in large letters through the metal, while the one on the left offered…a laurel wreath to the Blessed Virgin standing atop the dome.
In a previous design, the second angel too held a banner on which the figure “19” was drilled through the metal followed by two dots. It stood for another date, “nineteen hundred,” without the final two numbers to indicate the specific year. Though ultimately, as we have said, a laurel wreath was put into the angel’s hand, we have never forgotten the mysterious date which, in our opinion, pointed to a new triumph of the Madonna. May this come soon and bring all nations under Mary’s mantle.
(Lemoyne, Biographical Memoirs IX, p276)

When compared with the other prophecies mentioned above, it seems almost certain that the date 19.. referred to the year 1999.

So it seems that the prophecies of St John Bosco also suggest that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary would take place in a period of history beginning at the turn of the millennium. The promised Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the ultimate fulfilment of the protoevangelium - the moment when the Woman Adorned with the Sun crushes the head of the Serpent (Gen 3:18). It is the intercession of Our Lady which accomplishes the victory of St. Michael over Satan, when the Evil One is cast from heaven to earth:

And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him...
(Rev 12:9)

But while the War in Heaven has been won, the earth still has to bear the full brunt of Satan's fury, when he transfers his power and authority to the Beast that rises from the sea - the Levithan which bears the wounded head that was crushed by the Woman Adorned with the Sun:

Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
(Rev 12:12)

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.
(Rev 13:1-3)

It seems that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is an ongoing process, spanning a period of eschatological history beginning with the end of the 100 year reign of Satan, through to the Second Pentecost, and which will ultimately result in the Second Coming of Christ. It is this Triumph of the Immaculate Heart which will enable the Second Pentecost to take place, allowing the Bride of Christ to prepare herself for the coming of the Groom:

"Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

(Rev 19:7-9)

The marriage supper of the Lamb is to be equated with the coming Second Pentecost, when the Bride of Christ is allowed to dress herself in the pure virginal linen of the righteous deeds of the saints. The Church must purify itself through the Second Pentecost and spread the Gospel to "the fullness of the Gentiles" (Rom 11:25), in order to prepare itself for the Coming of the Bridegroom.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(Matt 24:14)

It is this renewed Church that is represented by the Heavenly Jerusalem, which comes down from heaven to meet the Bridegroom.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
(Rev 21:2)

If this interpretation is correct, then it would explain why Fr Gobbi stated that the Triumph would take place between two points in time - starting from the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, and would ultimately be accomplished in the Second Coming of Christ:

"I confirm to you that, in time for the great Jubilee of the year two thousand, the triumph of my Immaculate Heart, which I foretold to you at Fatima, will come about and it will be brought about with the return of Jesus in glory to establish His Kingdom in the world."

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Third Secret and the Turn of the Millennium

In the previous post More on the "Fourth" Secret of Fatima, we discussed how Archbishop Loris Capovilla - the personal secretary to Bl. John XXIII and witness to the original opening of the secret in 1959, appears to have yet again hinted that there is more to Third Secret than was published on 26th June 2000 - tantalising us with the statements "after so many years I wouldn't know how to reconstruct (the secret) fully...", and "I don't deny that there may be something else...".
(You can find Capovilla's interview below, with the material on Fatima being discussed around 2mins 20 secs into the video).

But if the Church is indeed holding back a portion of the Third Secret - which many consider to be the most important part; how do we reconcile this situation with the fact that the Vatican has consistently upheld that it has revealed the Secret of Fatima "in an authentic and integral way"? I will attempt to address the possible reasons why the full text of the secret has not been published, by carefully examining the words of the few people in the Vatican who are known to have had full access to the text before its publication in the year 2000.
Besides Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Capovilla is thought to be the most authoritative living witness to the original text, and is one of the few people known to have read the full text of the secret. According to Capovilla's testimony, the outer envelope of the Third Secret - which he states is kept in the Papal Apartments, contains his own handwriting, that was written under the dictation of John XXIII when the text was originally opened. The following is taken from Capovilla's personal notes which were recorded in official documentation:

Thursday the 27th of June 1963, I was on duty in the Anticamera in the Vatican [the outer office where the Pope meets various persons]. Paul VI in the early morning received among others, Cardinal Fernando Cento (who had been Papal Nuncio to Portugal) and shortly afterwards the Bishop of Leiria Monsignor Joao [John] Pereira Venancio. Upon leaving, the Bishop asked for “a special blessing for Sister Lucy”.
It is evident that during the audience, they spoke about Fatima. In fact in the afternoon the Sostituto [the Substitute Secretary of State] Monsignor Angelo Dell’Acqua telephoned me on Via Casilina (I was a temporary guest of the Sisters of the “Poverelle”):
“I am looking for the package [plico] of Fatima. Do you know where it is kept?”

“It was in the drawer on the right hand side of the desk, named ‘Barbarigo’, in the [Papal] bedroom.”

One hour later Dell’Acqua called me back: “Everything is okay. The envelope [plico] has been found.”

Friday morning (28 June) between one meeting and another Paul VI asked me:
“How come on the envelope there is your (Capovilla’s) name?”
“John XXIII asked me to write a note regarding how the envelope arrived in his hands with the names of all those to whom he felt he should make it known.”
“Did he make any comment?”
“No, nothing except what I wrote on the outer file [involucro]: ‘I leave it to others to comment or decide.’”

“Did he later ever return to the subject?”
“No, never. However the devotion of Fatima remained alive in him.”

(See the full text here).

Antonio Socci, the author of The Fourth Secret of Fatima, pointed out that the above words that Capovilla was asked to write on the envelope were not present on any of the letters shown by Cardinal Bertone on the Italian TV program Porta a Porta (see Socci's deconstruction of Bertone's television appearance here ). In an attempt to refute the claims made in Socci's book, Bertone appeared on Porta a Porta with the documents relating to the text of the Third Secret published in 2000, but inadvertently showed that this material was different from that described by Capovilla and Archbishop Venancio.

As Socci points out, Venancio had personally carried the Third Secret from Leira, to the nunciature at Lisbon, before its transferal to Rome, and painstakingly recorded the physical attributes of the envelope he was carrying. Venancio recorded the envelope as being 12cm x 18cm - which was different from that shown by Bertone, who stated that his envelope was 9cm x 14cm. In addition, The Message of Fatima document states that the text published in 2000 was stored in the archives of Holy Office, which is quite different from location of the envelope mentioned by Capovilla. Archbishop Capovilla clearly states in his above documents that the envelope of the secret which he wrote upon was stored in the Papal Apartments.
This seems to confirm the investigation of Fr. Joseph Schweigl, who was commissioned to interrogate Sr. Lucia about the Third Secret by Pope Pius XII in 1952. As Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite records in his monumental work The Whole Truth About Fatima (Vol III), published in 1990, Fr. Schweighl had discovered during his investigation that the Third Secret consisted of two distinct parts. In this work, which we must note was published several years before the Third Secret was revealed in 2000, Schweighl states that:

I cannot reveal anything of what I learned at Fatima concerning the Third Secret, but I can say that it has two parts: one concerns the Pope; the other logically (although I must say nothing) would have to be the continuation of the words: 'In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved'. (The Whole Truth About Fatima Vol III p710)

According to The Fatima Network, Solideo Paolini was in possession of an audio recording of Archbishop Capovilla that appears to confirm Schweighl's appraisal of the secret, which he played to the journalists present at Cardinal Bertone's press conference for the publication of his book L'ultima veggente di Fatima:

The Italian newspaper Il Giornale reported, “To the journalists there, Socci played a recording with the voice of Capovilla who on June 21, 2007 said, ‘There was something else, apart from the four pages, an attachment, yes.’ (See here)

This recording would then neatly correspond to Paolini's interview with Capovilla in 2006, as related in Socci's book:
'But I am right; perhaps the Bertone envelope is not the same as the Capovilla envelope...' Immediately, I interupted him: 'Therefore, both dates are correct because there are two texts of the Third Secret?' Here there was a brief silent pause. Then Monsignor Capovilla responded: 'Precisely so!' (Socci, The Fourth Secret of Fatima, p132)

The facts presented above, coupled with many other inconsistencies in the official documentation, has led many to conclude that the Third Secret was composed of two parts - one which is stored in archives of the Holy Office (that which was published in 2000), and another hidden text, which is kept in a bedside cabinet in the Papal Apartments.

When the Third Secret was published in the year 2000, it left many Catholics wondering why it had been suppressed for so long. The content of the vision simply did not warrant it to be withheld way beyond the date of 1960 for its publication specified by Sr. Lucia. And after Cardinal Bertone's TV appearance with the actual letter of the secret, the prescribed date is now known to have been written on the outside of one of the envelopes with the words "By express order of Our Lady, this envelope can only be opened in 1960 by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon or the Bishop of Leiria."  If the Third Secret consisted solely of the text published in the year 2000, why would the Vatican feel the need to continue to suppress it for forty years after the date prescribed by Our Lady?
As I argue in Unveiling the Apocalypse, it seems that the real reason the Third Secret was suppressed until the year 2000, was that it contained a precise date referring directly to the turn of the millennium as the time of the fulfilment of one of its prophecies. If the hidden text of the Third Secret contained a date, such as a reference to the year 1999, or a phrase such as "at the end of the century", this would render it as unpublishable by the authorities in the Vatican until the date had passed and the prophecy could be validated. It would simply be too sensational to publish a highly anticipated text which set the time in which one its prophecies was to be fulfilled by a concrete date.
The secret was most likely originally intended to be released as a whole, after the prophecy was verified - which would explain why part of the text was published in the year 2000. In this scenario, the fact that the Third Secret was divided into two parts enabled the "safe" or "authentic" part of it to be published after the date had passed. But the other part, which contains this hypothetical date referencing the turn of the millennium, remains unpublished because it is perceived by the Vatican to be a failed prophecy - words which belong to Sr. Lucia, rather than to Our Lady. And the simple reason for this is, that on the surface, it appeared that nothing occurred at turn of the millennium to fulfil the words of the prophecy.
We can see what kind of effect that setting an exact date for the fulfilment of prophecy had for Fr. Stefano Gobbi, who predicted that the prophecy of the mark of the Beast would be fulfilled in a period of history beginning in the year 1998, and that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary would take place in the year 2000 (see the earlier post Fr Gobbi's Prophecy of the Chastisement of America). When these dates passed without any apparent fulfilment, Fr Gobbi's reputation was severely, and indeed almost irreversibly discredited.
Although, as I argue throughout my book and this blog, the prophecy of the "War in Heaven" described in Rev 12 was fulfilled at this exact time period, which sees Satan cast from heaven to earth, after which he transfers his power and authority to the Beast, and the inhabitants of the earth are marked with the number of his name (see The Mark of the Beast). Events which were foretold to be accompanied by the Signs in the Sky described at the opening of the sixth seal in the Apocalypse, and in Jesus' Olivet discourse in the Gospels. And if this hidden text does contain a date directly mentioning the turn of the millennium and relating it to the prophecy of the Woman Adorned with the Sun and the casting down of Satan mentioned in Rev 12, then it is not alone, since this is the central thrust of the Prophecy of Pope Leo XIII. And the turn of the millennium is also explicitly mentioned in the original secrets of Our Lady of La Salette, as the date of the arrival of a number of prophecies, including the appearance of a monster (i.e. the Beast of Revelation) who would come to disturb a short lived period of peace (which is to be equated with the Second Pentecost) that would take place after the martyrdom of a pope:

Before all that arrives, great disorders will arrive, in the Church, and everywhere. Then, after [that], our Holy Father the Pope will be persecuted. His successor will be a pontiff that nobody expects.
Then, after [that], a great peace will come, but it will not last a long time. A monster will come to disturb it.
All that I tell you here will arrive in the other century, at the latest in the year two thousand."
(I will go into a more detailed commentary on the above prophecy and its relation to the Apocalypse in a future post).

As we shall see, there appears to be plenty of evidence that the hidden text of the Third Secret concerns the "signs in heaven" described in chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation.
First we should turn to examine some of the evidence which indicate that the hidden text of the Third Secret contains reference to an exact date, before moving on to discuss the evidence that the Vatican considers this portion of the secret to be "inauthentic", and therefore that the full "authentic" part of the Third Secret has been released in full.

The first, and indeed most telling clue that tells us that the hidden text contains an exact date, is in Pope John XXIII's reason stipulated as to why he would not publish the Third Secret at the date of 1960, which was set by Our Lady - because it did not concern his pontificate:

Pope John XXIII announced that he was not releasing the secret at the specified by Sr. Lucia because it “does not concern the years of my pontificate”
(cited in De la Sainte Trinite, M. The Whole Truth About Fatima Vol. III p557)

The obvious implication of the words that it "does not concern the years of my pontificate", is that it contained reference to a date in the future that was well outside Pope John's expected life-span. If it did not contain a precise date, how else could the Pope possibly know that it did not concern his reign as pontiff?
We find the next clue in the writings of Archbishop Capovilla, who cites further reasons why Pope John XXIII refused to publish the secret in 1960:

“Pope John imposed the silence for two reasons: (1) it did not seem to him ‘to consist entirely of things supernatural,’ (2) he did not dare to risk an immediate interpretation, in the midst of the complex 'Fatima phenomenon,' prescinding from minute precisions….”
(cited in Socci, A. The Fourth Secret of Fatima, p154)

John XXIII's sceptical attitude towards alleged mysticism is well known, which would explain the first reason given above. But the second reason, "prescinding from minute precisions", seems to be an extension of his already public declaration that it "does not concern the years of my pontificate". Setting an exact date is perhaps the most minute precision one could make when prophesying a future event. In a Vatican communique of 8th Feb, 1960, which attempted to address why the Church would not be publishing the secret at the date specified by Our Lady, the reasons given were that:

“Although the Church recognizes the Fatima apparitions, She does not desire to take the responsibility of guaranteeing the veracity of the words that the three shepherd children said that the Virgin Mary had addressed to them.”
(Cited in De la Sainte Trinite, M. The Whole Truth About Fatima Vol. III pp578-586)

What exactly could the Church not take responsibility in guaranteeing about the secret? The word guarantee in itself again suggests that the secret contains "minute precisions" that it could not possibly stand by until the event had passed, and the veracity of the prophecy could be ascertained.
Then there is the choice of the year 2000 itself as the publication date for the vision of the Third Secret. If the hidden text referenced the year 1999, the end of the century, or the turn of the millennium as the date when one of its prophecies would be fulfilled, then it would appear that the Church published the vision text at the earliest and most prudent opportunity. And the inclusion of a future date by which one of its prophecies would be fulfilled would explain Cardinal Ratzinger's reason as to why the secret was not published in 1960 - that it was simply too sensational:

"Because, according to the judgement of the Popes, it adds nothing (literally: 'nothing different') to what a Christian must know concerning what derives from Revelation: i.e., a radical call for conversion; the absolute importance of history; the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore of the world. And then the importance of the 'novissimi' (the last events at the end of time). If it is not made public - at least for the time being - it is in order to prevent religious prophecy from being mistaken for a quest for the sensational (literally: 'for sensationalism'). But the things contained in this 'Third Secret' correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions, first of all that of Fatima in what is already known of what its message contains. Conversion and penitence are the essential conditions for 'salvation'."
(Joseph Card. Ratzinger Jesus Magazine)

Cardinal Ratzinger's statement that the content of Third Secret was the same as other Marian apparitions, could perhaps suggest that like La Salette, it too mentions the turn of the millennium.

In his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II also appeared to hint that the words of the Third Secret appeared to be nearing their fulfilment towards "the end of the century":

"Therefore, when I was shot by the assassin in St. Peter's Square, I did not pay any heed at first to the fact that it was precisely the anniversary of the day on which Mary had appeared to the three shepherds in Fatima, in Portugal, revealing to them those words which, by the end of the century, seemed to be moving toward their fulfilment."
(Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p243)

And as we have already discussed in the post The Two Towers and the Sixth Seal, when asked about the Third Secret after he had returned from Sr. Lucia's funeral mass, Cardinal Bertone bizarrely attempted to link the "signs in heaven" described in the Apocalypse at the opening of the sixth seal in Rev 6 with the events of 9/11.

Upon returning from celebrating the funeral mass of Sr. Lucia in February 2005, Cardinal Bertone was asked about the interpretation of the Third Secret in the journal La Republica. As part of his response, he gave the following statement: "prophecy must always be interpreted: It is enough to think of the Apocalypse, of the signs in heaven. Have these perhaps not already been seen with the airplanes that toppled the Twin Towers?" 
(La Republica, 17th Feb, 2005: cited in Socci, A. The Fourth Secret of Fatima, p119)

Why would Cardinal Bertone attempt to link the Third Secret with the "signs in heaven" described at the opening of the sixth seal in Rev 6 and the War in Heaven in Rev 12, with an event which happened around the turn of the millennium? Since there is absolutely nothing in the material of the secret released in 2000 concerning the "signs in heaven" spoken of in Rev 6:12-13 and 12:1-4, these musings could be an attempt to make sense out of something contained in the hidden text that made reference to this general time period. It is widely known that Cardinal Bertone was the last high ranking prelate to interview Sr. Lucia at length, and it appears that he is wrestling with the suggestion that the "signs in heaven" spoken of in the Gospels and the Apocalyspe had occurred at the turn of the millennium. In the post Signs in the Sky, we have already previously identified these signs as an earthquake, a total solar eclipse, a total lunar eclipse which turns the moon "blood red", and a meteor storm - all of which occurred at the turn of the millennium, and which appear to have been concentrated on modern Turkey, which is the location of the seven churches of Asia Minor - to which the Book of Revelation is addressed, as well as the "throne of Satan" at Pergamum mentioned in Rev 2:13.

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.(Rev 6:12-13)

The below Youtube video notes the proximity of the August 11th Solar eclipse visible in Turkey, with the Izmit earthquake six days later on August 17th (just ignore the attempt at the end to predict an earthquake in China following another solar eclipse in 2009).

A year to the day later, on 17th August 2000, one of the most remarkable Marian apparitions of recent times took place - those of Our Lady of Assiut. As I argue in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse, as well as the post Our Lady of Light and the Apocalyptic Nativity, the modern apparitions in Egypt beginning with Zeitoun in 1968, are directly connected to the prophecy of the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12.
A few months after the total solar eclipse and Izmit earthquake, the Leonid Meteor Storm took place, which only occurs every 33 years, and is known as the "King of Meteor Showers", which was followed two months later by a total lunar eclispe - which turns the moon "blood red". Then on 5th May 2000, just days before the beatification ceremony of the Shepherd children, a rare allignment of the 5 visible planets along with the earth and moon took place.
In addition to the other indicators that the so-called hidden text of the Third Secret may have contained a date mentioning the turn of the millennium, there is the level of significance that Bl. John Paul II attached to the Great Jubilee in the year 2000 - going as far as to state in an Apostolic letter that "the Year 2000 has become as it were a hermeneutical key of my Pontificate" (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 23. See full text here. I will go into some more detail on John Paul II's particular attachment to the Great Jubilee year, and how his thought on this subject seems to be shaped by the secrets of Fatima in a future post).

Then we have the words of Sr. Lucia herself, that the content of the Third Secret was "in the Gospel and in the Apocalypse..." (The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol III, p763). And the material concerning the eschatological "signs in heaven" is perhaps the closest point of convergence between the Gospels and the Book of Revelation, which is quoted near verbatim as part of the events that would unfold at the opening of the sixth seal:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.(Matt 24:29)

Furthermore, Sr. Lucia specifically points to chapters 8-13 of the Book of Revelation as the portion relevant to the Third Secret (see The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III p533). And it seems that the struggle between the Dragon and the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12 (which I argue in the book recapitulates the "signs in heaven" described at the opening of the sixth seal, and is a personified dramatisation of this astronomical phenomena) is the chief point of reference in this hidden text, as we can determine from Sr. Lucia's interview with Father Fuentes:

"Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin, and the devil knows what it is that most offends God, and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God, because in this way the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.
"Father, the Most Holy Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world, but She made me understand this for three reasons. The first reason is because She told me that the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Virgin. And a decisive battle is the final battle where one side will be victorious and the other side will suffer defeat. Hence from now on we must choose sides. Either we are for God or we are for the devil; there is no other possibility.
(Cited in Kramer, P. The Devil's Final Battle, p168)

This "final" and "decisive" battle, of course relates to Rev 12:9, where Satan is thrown down from heaven to earth after he is cast out of Heaven by the Archangel Michael - whom Pope Leo XIII invoked in the prayer he composed after his vision of the hundred years of Satan's power. So yet again, the Third Secret, Rev 12 and the turn of the millennium are linked together. And these connections were taken further again with Bl. John Paul II's sermon at the beatification Mass of Francisco and Jacinta Marto on May 13th 2000, which Antonio Socci suggests was made as a compromise in order to impart the essential message of the text that was not revealed:

According to the divine plan, "a woman clothed with the sun" (Rv 12: 1) came down from heaven to this earth to visit the privileged children of the Father. She speaks to them with a mother's voice and heart: she asks them to offer themselves as victims of reparation, saying that she was ready to lead them safely to God. And behold, they see a light shining from her maternal hands which penetrates them inwardly, so that they feel immersed in God just as - they explain - a person sees himself in a mirror...
"Another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon" (Rv 12: 3).
These words from the first reading of the Mass make us think of the great struggle between good and evil, showing how, when man puts God aside, he cannot achieve happiness, but ends up destroying himself.

How many victims there have been throughout the last century of the second millennium! We remember the horrors of the First and Second World Wars and the other wars in so many parts of the world, the concentration and extermination camps, the gulags, ethnic cleansings and persecutions, terrorism, kidnappings, drugs, the attacks on unborn life and the family.
The message of Fátima is a call to conversion, alerting humanity to have nothing to do with the "dragon" whose "tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth" (Rv 12: 4). Man's final goal is heaven, his true home, where the heavenly Father awaits everyone with his merciful love.
God does not want anyone to be lost; that is why 2,000 years ago he sent his Son to earth, "to seek and to save the lost" (Lk 19: 10). And he saved us by his death on the cross. Let no one empty that Cross of its power! Jesus died and rose from the dead to be "the first-born among many brethren" (Rom 8: 29).
(Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, Shepherds of Fatima. See the full text here)

So, as we have seen, the hidden text of the Third Secret may have contained a date concerning the turn of the millennium for the fulfilment of one of its prophecies. The prophecy most likely related to this event is the prophecy of the struggle between the Woman Adorned with the Sun and the Red Dragon - in which the Woman is victorious and the Dragon cast to earth, in the backdrop of a series of astronomical signs which also herald the opening of the sixth seal, during which the saints are sealed in heaven as an antidote the the fulfilment of the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast on earth. Now that we have established this scenario, we should turn to examine the various pieces of evidence which suggest that many within the Vatican believes that this hidden text was a failed prophecy, and thus not part of the real secret - which incidentally, have only began to surface since the revelation of the Third Secret at the turn of the millennium, beginning with The Message of Fatima document itself.
We first find reference to a shadow of doubt being cast over the prophecies of the Third Secret in Cardinal Ratzinger's Theological Commentary, which some journalists noted at the time seemed to be "gently debunking the Fatima cult", and implying that Sr. Lucia "might have conjured her vision from devotional books" (R. Boudreaux, LA Times, 27th June 2000, see full text here). Although this may be somewhat of an exaggerated version of Ratzinger's position (since we all know that Pope Benedict XVI has been a committed Fatima devotee throughout his entire career), it does highlight that there may have been some underlying doubts about some of the content. Now it must be noted that there is nothing in the text published in 2000 that could be open to incredulity, so any misgivings held by the Cardinal must have been centred on the "hidden text".

Is this what the Mother of the Lord wished to communicate to Christianity and to humanity at a time of great difficulty and distress? Is it of any help to us at the beginning of the new millennium? Or are these only projections of the inner world of children, brought up in a climate of profound piety but shaken at the same time by the tempests which threatened their own time?...
...“Interior vision” is not fantasy but, as we have said, a true and valid means of verification. But it also has its limitations. Even in exterior vision the subjective element is always present. We do not see the pure object, but it comes to us through the filter of our senses, which carry out a work of translation. This is still more evident in the case of interior vision, especially when it involves realities which in themselves transcend our horizon. The subject, the visionary, is still more powerfully involved. He sees insofar as he is able, in the modes of representation and consciousness available to him. In the case of interior vision, the process of translation is even more extensive than in exterior vision, for the subject shares in an essential way in the formation of the image of what appears. He can arrive at the image only within the bounds of his capacities and possibilities. Such visions therefore are never simple “photographs” of the other world, but are influenced by the potentialities and limitations of the perceiving subject.

The first thing we note in the above commentary is that Cardinal Ratzinger attempts to interpret the secret in the context of the turn of the millennium - which implies that it specifically relates to this time period. He then immediately moves on to suggest that some of the revelations could have been wrongly interpreted in the imaginations of the children, and then sets about explaining how this is theologically possible for even those who receive genuine private revelations, as is outlined in the teachings of St. John of the Cross.
We then find what may be a further attempt to explain why nothing seemed to occur at the hypothetical date set in the hidden text:

In this way, the importance of human freedom is underlined: the future is not in fact unchangeably set, and the image which the children saw is in no way a film preview of a future in which nothing can be changed. Indeed, the whole point of the vision is to bring freedom onto the scene and to steer freedom in a positive direction. The purpose of the vision is not to show a film of an irrevocably fixed future.

The content of a date mentioning the turn of the millennium as the time by which some of the prophecies were set to occur may also explain the eagerness of the Vatican to confine the interpretation of the secret to the past, such as relating the vision of the pope being killed to the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II, again with the theme that "there is no immutable destiny":

That here “a mother's hand” had deflected the fateful bullet only shows once more that there is no immutable destiny, that faith and prayer are forces which can influence history and that in the end prayer is more powerful than bullets and faith more powerful than armies...

And so we come to the final question: What is the meaning of the “secret” of Fatima as a whole (in its three parts)? What does it say to us? First of all we must affirm with Cardinal Sodano: “... the events to which the third part of the ‘secret' of Fatima refers now seem part of the past”. Insofar as individual events are described, they belong to the past.

(Joseph Card. Ratzinger. The Message of Fatima: Theological Commentary. See the full text here)

Indeed this confinement of the interpretation of the secret to the past was that most perplexed Catholics. Why did the prelates involved feel the need to interpret the secret in light of past events? Although the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II clearly foreshadows the vision of the martyrdom of a pope described in the secret, especially given the significance of the date of May 13th; it most certainly can not be restricted to this event alone. Instead, it seems that the compulsion to interpret the secret in light of past events is due to a time limit imposed within the writings of Sr. Lucia herself - a time limit which had already passed at the moment of the secret's publication.

We next find elements of doubt surrounding the Third Secret in the testimony of Archbishop Capovilla himself, during his interview with Solideo Paolini in 2006. Here, Capovilla clearly suggests that the hidden text of the Third Secret was not published because it was thought that Sr. Lucia was mistaken on a few points in it, and that it therefore could not be part of the authentic text -but rather Lucia's own thoughts. It will be worth examining this interview in some detail:

Before I left his house, Archbishop Capovilla continued to talk freely of various subjects, speaking of many lines of reasoning. I must say that he didn’t openly connect those arguments to the Third Secret of Fatima, but the fact that he was talking about them in that context seems to be a hint towards that direction, an implicit indication, just to make me understand a little, without exposing himself too much.

He started to talk about various things, which apparently didn’t have much to do with my concerns: he spoke about the risk of taking for supernatural things something that might be someone’s fantasies, instead; he spoke about the risk of becoming maniacs on certain things, too fixed upon certain events. I remained silent because I didn’t go there to judge or to comment on anything he said, just to gather his testimony. However, apart from the considerations of what he was saying, something clear emerged out of these freewheeling talks that he spoke in that context and related to the Third Secret.

[The statement here of "the risk of becoming maniacs on certain things, too fixed upon certain events..." sounds remarkably similar to the "minute precisions" mentioned earlier.]

They revealed that he probably thought that Sister Lucy didn’t really receive the Third Secret, or a part of it, by Our Lady, but that she might have invented some of it, in good faith, being mistaken or having dreamt of it; some parts of Fatima, some parts of the Third Secret might not come really from Our Lady but out of fantasies that Sister Lucy dreamt of.

This consideration was reinforced by another line of reasoning he started talking about, in which he was criticizing the easiness of exorcising people who might only be mentally ill instead. Hence the imprudence of exorcising them while they might only need a psychologist. Imprudence that, we must say, he didn’t have in Loreto, because he told me about many examples of exorcisms he had there while he was bishop. So, before saying that certain events are of supernatural origin, we should first think that they might be of natural origin instead. In the context in which these things were said, they seemed to say that instead of thinking that Sister Lucy received the Fatima Message from Our Lady, we should think instead that they were invented by her by mistake, things she might have believed as coming from Our Lady, while they were her dreams instead.

The impression I had from his words was quite strong towards that meaning, and it is reinforced by what one of the closest and more intimate prelates to Pope John Paul II once stated. He said, “It is hard to understand when it is Sister Lucy who speaks or when it is Our Lady…” This very statement was mentioned on the TV program Porta a Porta, which was aired on Italian Television Rai 1 on May 31, 2007. So, Archbishop Capovilla continued, we need prudence to understand what has been said by Our Lady and what by Sister Lucy.

A similar attitude can be found in the letter written by the current Pope to Cardinal Bertone, which was used by the latter as an introduction to his book. This letter is actually extremely vague in its content, and we need to remember that even Mr. Socci received a letter of congratulations for his book from the Pope himself! It sounds strange, doesn’t it? There are two completely different and opposing books which both receive a letter of appreciation by the Holy Father! And in that letter sent to Cardinal Bertone, used by the latter as an introduction to his own book, the Pope speaks of “the authentic words of the Third Secret”!

If we add what was said by Archbishop Capovilla, to what was said in the same vein by the close collaborator of John Paul II (“it is hard to understand when it is Sister Lucy who speaks and when it is Our Lady…”) and to what Pope Benedict XVI has said in his letter “authentic words of the Third Secret”, we must deduct that there is a part of the Third Secret that they don’t deem as authentic, from a supernatural point of view.

It is as if they say that those words come from Sister Lucy and not from Our Lady. Knowing how Pope Ratzinger is widely known to use and weigh each single word used in his sentences, his statement also seems to go towards this direction. Maybe they didn’t publish it because they thought those words were not authentic! Maybe they say that everything has been published, with this meaning: “Everything we thought was the authentic Third Secret, so everything we thought was said by Our Lady, we’ve published it. While instead what we deemed as not authentic, not a revelation from Heaven but mere thoughts of Sister Lucy, we didn’t publish. We have considered these thoughts of Sister Lucy not to be a secret from Heaven, therefore we have discarded them from a supernatural point of view.”

Such an explanation would give an explanation to the repeated claim, by the Vatican, that they have published and revealed everything about the Third Secret, while taking into account the evident proofs that something, indeed, is missing. (See the full text here)

So it seems that the real reason that the hidden text of the Third Secret has not been published is due to the fact that it contains a specific date - a date that seemed to the prelates involved to have passed without the prophesied event having occurred. But as I argue at length in my book, if the secret does mention a date concerning the turn of the millennium, and it is made in relation to the prophecy of the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12, as most Fatima experts appear to agree, then the prophecy did in fact take place at the set date. Unfortunately its true significance appears to have been (perhaps understandably) overlooked. Therefore the Church is not lying to us when it has repeatedly stated that the authentic text of the secret has been published in full - it truly believes that this is the case. The main reason for its reticence is its desire to protect Sr. Lucia and the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, due to the risk of a misunderstanding by the laity - which would certainly be exploited by the secular mass media. It is easy for theologians to grasp how even those who receive genuine private revelations can be mistaken. But if it published a text with a date that was perceived to have failed at the appointed time, it would only serve to completely discredit the entire Fatima phenomenon - which the Church is attempting at all costs to protect.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

More on the "Fourth" Secret of Fatima

In my book Unveiling the Apocalypse, I go into some detail about the various pieces of evidence which point to the existence of a hidden text related to the Third Secret of Fatima. Indeed many Fatima experts believe that the Third Secret was comprised of two distinct parts, one of which is still being suppressed by the Church. Archbishop Loris Capovilla, the private secretary to Pope John XXIII, and first hand witness to the first opening of the secret in 1959, has ignited this debate once again in a recent interview with the Catholic News Service (CNS). As of 10th May, 2012, Archbishop Capovilla has apparently hinted yet again at the existence of another text related to the Third Secret, albeit in rather typically guarded language:

Speaking to Catholic News Service, Archbishop Capovilla, now 96, dismisses reports that he told an Italian writer in 2006 that part of the secret remains unpublished. He says that he noticed no discrepancy between the published version and the original.

Yet he qualifies his statement with a rare admission of doubt about his own remarkable memory. "I remember a bit," he says, "but you will understand, after so many years I wouldn't know how to reconstruct (the secret) fully."

Nor does he rule out the presence of such a document elsewhere in the archives of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, often referred to as "the Holy Office."

"At the Holy Office there must be a kilometer of paper regarding Fatima," the archbishop says. "I don't deny that there may be something else, but I don't know it."

The above statement is very carefully worded. Upon first reading, it could be interpreted that Capovilla is claiming that Solideo Paolini fabricated the material concerning a hidden portion of the Third Secret during his interviews with the elderly Archbishop in 2006, in which he was alleged to have confirmed the existence of this "hidden" text. Yet we when examine his statement more closely, we find that Capovilla's statement is rather more nuanced. The exaxt words use by Capovilla was that he did not tell Paolini that a part of the secret remains unpublished - which appears to be a carefully chosen phrase. And when we look at Paolini's testimony, we find that this statement is quite correct. Archbishop Capovilla never at any stage explicitly informed the investigator of the existence of a hidden part of the Third Secret, but was rather more cunning in his assertions. Instead, it seems that the Archbishop deliberately guided Paolini to evidence that would lead him to form his own conclusions.
First off, we need to understand that Capovilla is a very old hand in Vatican politics, and fully knows how to manoeuvre in such situations so as to be able to placate the opposition in the hierarchy, while at the same time not compromising the truth of the Fatima apparitions, through the careful use of diplomatically evasive language. We find these same political wiles to be fully present in his interview with Paolini, which is recounted in the below material taken from The Fatima Network:

I went to visit Archbishop Capovilla at his house in Sotto il Monte, the small town, as I said before. I knew him because he was the Pontifical Bishop Delegate of the Marian Sanctuary of Loreto, which is near my house. I live, in fact, in the Marche, an eastern region of Italy — so we started talking about his presence in Loreto. I reminded him of his stay there during the eighties, so he received me with great courtesy and helpfulness. So I said to him: “Your Excellency, the reason for my visit is due to the fact that I am a Fatima researcher.” He was nodding his head, as if to say “I understand”, so I continued: “Since you are a first class source of information, I would like to ask you some questions.” He then said immediately, “No, look, also to avoid any imprecision, since it has been revealed officially, I will limit myself to what has been said.”
Now, this brings up a very well known problem regarding the so-called official version on Fatima. If they said everything on it, absolutely — and not only relatively, as I will explain afterwards — why then does a key witness tell me, in some way, that he is bound to talk only about what has been officially revealed? If we know everything about it because it has been publicly revealed, then I should not feel bound not to talk about it. If instead I feel bound by an official revelation, then this means that not everything has been said, in the whole sense of the word. Let’s examine again the words of Archbishop Capovilla: “No, look, also to avoid any imprecision, since it has been revealed officially …” What imprecisions could have anything to do with what has been revealed officially? Maybe these “imprecisions”, when using the language style of the Roman Curia, which is a diplomatic way of speaking, mean instead the “discrepancies” that could emerge between his testimony and the official version? This would be like saying that the official version is wrong!

Archbishop Capovilla continued: “Also to avoid any imprecision, since it has been revealed officially, I will limit myself to what has been said… Even if I should know something else…”; and when saying these last words he smiled openly. But what were these “other things”? Is there something more then? He continued, “Even if I should know something else… I must limit myself to what is said in the official documents…” The logical meaning of this last sentence is that there is something more besides what has been officially revealed, no matter what you think these “other things” might be or look like...

...Going on with Archbishop Capovilla, he then said to me: “You write the questions and send them to me, and I will answer them. I will search through my documents, if I still have them, because, you know, I donated everything to the museum… and I will send you something I have, maybe a phrase…”; and when he said this he smiled, like he did when he said “even if I should know something else”. His expression was evident, his face was clear, by looking at him there were no doubts what he was thinking of. “You write to me…”

Before leaving him, I asked Archbishop Capovilla whether he had any reservation or request that I keep everything he said to me as confidential and reserved, just as a private conversation to help a Fatima researcher like me in his own studies, but not to be published or the source of it to be publicly revealed. But he replied that it was fine, that I could print or use it as I wished, and so I did, and in doing that I was totally loyal to him.

Once back home, I sent the written questions to Archbishop Capovilla, as agreed, and on July 18th he sent me back a small package...

...there were [...] interesting details in the answers he sent me by mail. All the documents sent to me by Archbishop Capovilla I have forwarded to Mr. Socci, who used them in his book. And among those documents there was one in particular, even if not the only one, which got my attention. Archbishop Capovilla sent me his reserved notes dated May 17, 1967 — 40 years ago, so very close to the facts we are discussing today, when Mons. Capovilla was quite young. Those documents had his seal on them, his personal bishop’s seal; it was a very detailed and precise document, written by his own hand and containing dates, events and locations.

In these reserved notes, he certifies that Pope Paul VI read the Secret in the afternoon of Thursday, June 27, 1963, and that this Secret was held in the Papal apartments, and specifically in a drawer of the desk called “Barbarigo”, in the actual bedroom of the Pope. Meanwhile the official document published by the Vatican in the year 2000, entitled “The Message of Fatima”, stated that Pope Paul VI read the Third Secret, together with Cardinal Angelo dell’Acqua, on March 27, 1965, and sent back the envelope to the archives of the Holy Office, with the decision of not publishing it.

What a discrepancy we have here! Archbishop Capovilla says that Pope Paul VI read it in the afternoon of June 27, 1963, while the official document published by the Vatican says that he read it on March 27, 1965! Two different dates! But there’s more: two different locations in which the Third Secret was being kept! According to the booklet “The Message of Fatima”, the Third Secret had been kept at the Holy Office archives, taken from there and given to Pope Paul VI just to read it, and then brought back to the archives. In the secret notes of Archbishop Capovilla, instead, we read that Pope Paul VI didn’t get the Secret from the Holy See archives, but he took it out of the desk of his own apartment, where the document was being held since the very beginning; while the Vatican booklet states that Pope Paul VI sent it back to the Holy See Archives. There are therefore huge discrepancies of dates and locations! It is the same discrepancy that will happen also with John Paul II, both for dates and locations of when and where he read the Third Secret.

In an interview with the Italian magazine Famiglia Cristiana, in fact, Cardinal Bertone has recently said that the theory of the Secret being held in the Pope’s apartments was just pure fabrication, a lie. But then, Your Eminence, if these are all fantasies, then Archbishop Capovilla has lied to me! He must have forged an official document 40 years ago! We will get back to this point later, but I just want to specify that Archbishop Capovilla already talked about this thing, but now it is proved by written documents, detailed and original.

I immediately called Archbishop Capovilla, thanking him for his quick answers to my questions, and I spoke to him about this incredible discrepancy. He answered saying, “Well, but I spoke the truth, I’m still lucid, you know?!” So I said, “Of course, Excellency, but how do you explain this certified discrepancy?” He then started to talk about something else, but I asked him again: “All right, Excellency, but I am referring to an official written document of the Vatican, which is obviously based on archive documents!” So he answered, “But I justify…” As if to say, we both tell the truth, me and Cardinal Bertone — this was the sense of his reply!

And then he continued with this telling phrase: “Maybe the Bertone package was not the same as the Capovilla package!” — meaning the envelope and the text that Cardinal Bertone speaks of is not the same as the one Capovilla speaks about! So I immediately interrupted him and asked: “So both dates are true because of the Third Secret there are two texts?” He remained silent for a while, a brief and telling pause; it was evident that Archbishop Capovilla was thinking about it, so his answer was well reflected upon and thought about, it was not a rushed reply. After that pause of silence, the Archbishop answered me this way: “Per l’appunto”, which in Italian means “Precisely so”, “It is as you said”!!!

After this shocking statement I obviously tried to get more information from him, but Archbishop Capovilla interrupted me and said, “Please, let it go; we have got the Gospel, let us think about the Gospel…” It was a diplomatic answer, obviously, to say “Stop, I cannot say anything more.” And this is quite revealing of how he thinks, which is quite common in the Vatican, that the Third Secret is just simply a private revelation, something for fanatics, something that does not pose any obligation on anyone, at all, something that you can believe or not, something you can just ignore if you choose. They think this way because, according to them, we don’t even know what comes from Our Lady and what comes from Sister Lucy, it’s not an important thing, etc.

This answer of his, therefore, made me think that he was trying to get away from a difficult situation, but also made me think that he maybe didn’t consider the Message as authentically supernatural. It is probably due to considerations like the one expressed by Archbishop Capovilla that a certain Party Line has been followed about Fatima.
(See the full text here)

So we can see that during this interview, factually speaking, Archbishop Capovilla did indeed not tell Solideo Paolini that there were two texts of the Third Secret. Rather he presented him with sufficient evidence to allow him to deduce these conclusions for himself. And we can clearly see that the same deftness of diplomatic sensitivity was used in this most recent interview with CNS. Yet the timing of these revelations, just before the the anniversary of the first apparitions on 13th May 1917, gives us reason to ponder as to why this elderly Archbishop would wish to venture into this spiritual minefield yet again. By doing so, he clearly intends to draw attention to this subject once again as an ongoing unresolved affair.
Capovilla then goes on to reaffirm the validity of the text released in the year 2000, but cannot resist to add that there may be another text related to Fatima which is still being kept hidden.
His statement that he would not be able to fully reconstruct the secret which he first read in 1959 is rather telling, since officially speaking, this material has been in the public domain since the year 2000. The implication here is that there is some element to the Third Secret that is not on the official records, and the fact that he states that it would require memory to access the information at hand, suggests that the text he is referring to is presently inaccessible to the public, and was only available to himself through the faculty of memory. Rather teasingly, he then goes on to state that he can't deny that there may be something else, and then includes the familiar sounding words "but I don't know it". This phrase sounds remarkably similar to the the Italian idiom "Nulla so" highlighted by Paolini Solideo and Antonio Socci:

As an answer to my question regarding the existence of an unpublished text of the Third Secret, Archbishop Capovilla wrote these two clear words, written in a good and readable handwriting “Nulla so” — “Nothing I know”!
Now, it is strange in itself that one of the very few living people who know the Third Secret, in answering my questions, says that he doesn’t know if there is anything else unpublished, because if the so-called fourth secret — an expression used by Italian media to ironically call the unpublished part of the Third Secret — does not exist, well he should be the first to know, because he read it in the summer of 1959; so he should not have told me that “he doesn’t know about it”! Instead, he should have said something like “no, it’s everything, there is nothing else”. Saying he doesn’t know anything about it sounds strange in itself, but actually, instead, is quite clear: he knows it very well, he just doesn’t want to talk about it!

Moreover, the expression “Nulla so”, “Nothing I know”, does not exist in Italian. It only exists as an idiomatic and dialectal sentence used in Sicily. In Sicily, there are entire cities or areas under control of the Mafia, the well known criminal organization. If someone speaks to the police about them, they get killed. Therefore the locals are afraid of talking about Mafiosi, and when the police ask them about the hideouts of those criminals, they answer with that expression “Nulla so”, “Nothing I know”, which truly means “I know where they are, but I cannot speak because otherwise they will kill me.” The expression, therefore, means “I cannot talk.”

I don’t want to personally offend anyone with this example, but it was Archbishop Capovilla who used such an expression, as I said; and as Mr. Socci has carefully reported in his book, Capovilla said that to clearly and ironically evoke the so-called “omerta’ siciliana”, the “Sicilian code of Silence”. This code of silence is needed when you must keep something hidden. So that’s why Archbishop Capovilla used that expression, ironically, as a joke, which brings us back to what we said at the beginning: He was not able to speak openly about it!

Another telling piece of information can be found in Capovilla's statement that he wouldn't be able to "reconstruct the secret fully" from memory, which implicitly suggests that there is some element to the secret not commonly available. Surely Archbishop Capovilla would not have to be able to reconstruct the secret from memory if it was already freely accessible to everyone after the Vatican
published it in the year 2000.
In my next post, I will detail how there appears to be yet more evidence to explain why this so-called "hidden text" of the Third Secret may have been suppressed by the Church. Evidence which concurs with my suggestion that the "hidden text" may have explicitly mentioned the turn of the millennium, and which was perceived to have failed to materialise at the appointed time by the Church hierarchy (hence Capovilla's reservations that the text in question may have been a figment of Sr Lucia's imagination). As I suggest in the book (as well as the earlier post The "Fourth" Secret of Fatima), the real reason that this hidden portion of the Third Secret was suppressed was because it specifically mentioned an exact date. I argue that this "hidden text" highlighted the turn of the millennium as a prophetic turning point - as the time when Satan would be cast from his adversarial role in the heavenly court to be confined to the earthly sphere, after his hundred years of power. Yet because none of the Signs in the Sky given at this time to indicate the opening of the sixth seal were recognised by the appropriate authorities, it seems that the fulfilment of this prophecy has been greatly overlooked.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Sibylline Oracles and the End-time Flood

Michelangelo's Delphic Sibyl, in the Sistine Chapel

Another prophecy of great antiquity which follows the general outline of eschatological events I highlight in Unveiling the Apocalypse can be found in chapter IV of the Sybilline Oracles. As regular readers will know, in the book I argue that the eschatological earthquake that is foretold in various places in Scripture to accompany the Second Coming of Christ when he appears in glory over the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, will start a chain reaction of geophysical events that will culminate in a eruption of the volcano Cumbre Vieja on La Palma in the Canary Islands. Many geophycists believe that the next eruption of this volcano (especially if it is particularly powerful) could send a huge portion of the island cascading into the sea, generating a mega-tsunami that will engulf the eastern seaboard of America. I then go on to propose that this disaster will bring about the downfall of the United States, that will enable the rise to power of the Antichrist, possibly in Europe, who in turn will bring about the battle of Armageddon - which will be precipatated by an invasion of the land of Israel.
The Sibylline Oracles were highly respected by Medieval Christians due to their Messianic prophecies, with St. Thomas Aquinas using their example in his Summa Theologica to show how pagans were capable of geniune prophecy. However they are a composite work of pagan, Jewish and Christian origin, which was expanded and developed over many centuries before reaching their final form at some time in the 6th century AD.
The fourth chapter of the Sibylline Oracles is thoroughly eschatological in character, and narrates a sequence of events which include earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, as well as the devastation of many cities in the sea before the destruction of the world by fire and the subsequent General Resurrection of the dead. Like Jesus' eschatological discourse in the Gospels, and the Book of the Apocalypse itself, the Siblylline Oracles bases these end-time events in the background context of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in the 1st century AD (the preterist layer of interpretation concerning the abomination of desolation), and the tyrannous reign of Nero (the original beast of Revelation) - events which foreshadow the reign of the Antichrist towards the end of the world. And for good measure, it foretells that these events would take place in the backdrop of a period of apostasy - the Great Apostasy spoken of in numerous places throughout Scripture which we appear to be currently enduring today.
Although the place names obviously do not match with those that would be most seriously affected by the threat posed from Cumbre Vieja, we should remember that in prophetic tradition place names are substituted by other names with a deeper, symbolic meaning - "Babylon" is used to describe the ruling world power for example (which would have been Rome for Christians of the 1st century), and Jerusalem is symbolically referred to as "Sodom" and "Egypt" in Rev 11:8 - places that were destroyed by fire falling from heaven.
The relevant material is included below:

Sib Or IV vv60ff

From the first generation, those I'll tell.
First over all mortal shall Assyrians rule,
And for six generations hold the power
Of the world, from the time the God of heaven
Being wroth against the cities and all men
Sea with a bursting deluge covered earth.
Them shall the Medes o'erpower, but on the throne
For two generations only shall exult;
In which times those events shall come to pass:

Dark night shall come at the mid hour of day
And from the heaven the stars and circling moon
Shall disappear; and earth in tumult shaken
By a great earthquake shall throw many cities
And works of men headlong; and from the deep
They shall peer out the islands of the Sea.
But when the great Euphrates shall with blood
Be surging, then shall there be also set
Between the Medes and Persians dreadful strife
In battle; and the, Medes shall fall and fly
'Neath Persian spears beyond the mighty water
Of Tigris. And the Persian power shall be
Greatest in all the world, and they shall have
One generation of most prosperous rule.
And there shall be as many evil deeds
As men shall wish away--the din of war,
And murders, and disputes, and banishments,
And overthrow of towers and waste of cities,
His dark wave somewhere underneath the earth.
And there shall come from Asia a great king
Bearing a spear, with ships innumerable,
And he shall walk the wet paths of the deep,
And shall sail after he has cut the mount
Of lofty summit; him a fugitive
From battle fearful Asia shall receive.
And Sicily the wretched shall a stream
Of powerful fire set all aflame while Etna
Her flame disgorges; and in the deep chasm
Down shall the mighty city Croton fall.

[The identity of the city referred to as "Croton" is unknown]

And strife shall be in Hellas; they shall rage
Against each other, cast down many cities,
And fighting make an end of many men;
But equally balanced is the strife with both.
But, when the race of mortal men shall come
To the tenth generation, also then
Upon the Persians shall a servile yoke
And terror be. But when the Macedonians
Shall boast the scepter there shall be for Thebes
An evil conquest from behind, and Carians
Shall dwell in Tyre, and Tyrians be destroyed.And Babylon, great to see but small to fight,
Shall stand with walls that were in vain hopes built.
In Bactria Macedonians shall dwell;
But those from Susa and from Bactria
Shall all into the land of Hellas flee.
It shall take place among those yet to be,
When silver-eddying Pyramus his banks
O'erpouring, to the sacred isle shall come.
And Cibyra shall fall and Cyzicus,
When, earth being shaken by earthquakes, cities fall.
And sand shall hide all Samos under banks.
And Delos visible no more, but things
Of Delos shall all be invisible.
And to Rhodes shall come evil last, but greatest.
The Macedonian power shall not abide;
But from the west a great Italian war
Shall flourish, under which the world shall bear
A servile yoke and the Italians serve.
And thou, O wretched Corinth, thou shalt look
Sometime upon thy conquest. And thy tower,

O Carthage, shall press lowly on the ground.
Wretched Laodicea, thee sometime
Shall earthquake lay low, casting headlong down,
But thou, a city firmly set, again
Shalt stand. O Lycia Myra beautiful,
Thee never shall the agitated earth
Set fast; but falling headlong down on earth
Shalt thou, in manner like an alien, pray
To flee away into another land,
When sometime the dark water of the sea
With thunders and earthquakes shall stop the din
Of Patara for its impieties.
Also for thee, Armenia, there remains
A slavish fate; and there shall also come
To Solyma an evil blast of war

[Solyma is Jerusalem]

From Italy, and God's great temple spoil.
But when these, trusting folly, shall cast off
Their piety and murders consummate
Around the temple, then front Italy
A mighty king
 shall like a runaway slave
Flee over the Euphrates' stream unseen,

Unknown, who shall some time dare loathsome guilt
Of matricide, and many other things,

 [The above "mighty king" who commits matricide is a reference to Nero]

Having confidence in his most wicked hands.
And many for the throne with blood
Rome's soil while he flees over Parthian land.
And out of Syria shall come Rome's foremost man,
Who having burned the temple of Solyma,
And having slaughtered many of the Jews,
Shall destruction on their great broad land.
And then too shall an earthquake overthrow
Both Salamis and Paphos, when dark water
Shall dash o'er Cyprus washed by many a wave.
But when from deep cleft of Italian land
Fire shall come flashing forth in the broad heaven,
And many cities burn and men destroy,
And much black ashes shall fill the great sky,
And small drops like red earth shall fall from heaven,
Then know the anger of the God of heaven,
For that they without reason shall destroy
The nation of the pious. And then strife
Awakened of war shall come to the West,
Shall also come the fugitive of Rome,
Bearing a great spear, having marched across

Euphrates with his many myriads.
O wretched Antioch, they shall call thee
No more a city when around their spears
Because of thine own follies thou shalt fall.
And then on Scyros shall a pestilence
And dreadful battle-din destruction bring.
Alas, alas! O wretched Cyprus, thee
Shall a broad wave of the sea cover, thee
Tossed on high by the whirling stormy winds.
And into Asia there shall come great wealth,
Which Rome herself once, plundering, put away
In her luxurious homes; and twice as much
And more shall she to Asia render back,
And then there shall be an excess of war.
And Carian cities by Mæander's waters,
Girded with towers and very beautiful,
Shall by a bitter famine be destroyed,
When the Mæander his dark water hides.
But when piety shall perish from mankind,
And faith and right be hidden in the world,
. . . Fickle . . . and in unhallowed boldness
Living shall practice wanton violence,
And reckless evil deeds, and of the pious
No one shall make account, but even them all
From thoughtlessness they utterly destroy
In childish folly, in their violence
Exulting and in blood holding their bands;
Then know thou that God is no longer mild,

But gnashing with fury and destroying all
The race of men by conflagration great.
Ah! miserable mortals, change these things,
Nor lead the mighty God to wrath extreme;
Put giving up your swords and pointed knives,
And homicides and wanton violence,
Wash your whole body in perennial streams,
And lifting up your hands to heaven seek pardon
For former deeds and expiate with praise
Bitter impiety; and God will give
Repentance; he will not destroy; and wrath
Will he again restrain, if in your hearts
Ye all will practice honored piety.
But if, ill-disposed, ye obey me not,
But with a fondness for strange lack of sense
Receive all these things with an evil ear,
There shall be over all the world a fire
And greatest omen with sword and with trump
At sunrise; the whole world shall hear the roar
And mighty sound. And he shall burn all earth,
And destroy the whole race of men, and all
The cities and the rivers and the sea;
All things he'll burn, and it shall be black dust.
But when now all things shall have been reduced
To dust and ashes, and God shall have calmed
The fire unspeakable which he lit up,
The bones and ashes of men God himself
Again will fashion, and he will again
Raise mortals up, even as they were before.
And then shall be the judgment, at which God
Himself as judge shall judge the world again;
And all who sinned with impious hearts, even them,
Shall he again hide under mounds of earth
[Dark Tartarus and Stygian Gehenna].
But all who shall be pious shall again
Live on the earth [and (shall inherit there)
The great immortal God's unwasting bliss,]
God giving spirit life and joy to them
[The pious; and they all shall see themselves
Beholding the sun's sweet and cheering light.
O happy on the earth shall be that man].

 See the full text, with additional commentary here.