From the Times Online:
The Vatican tried yesterday to draw a line under a conspiracy theory that has dogged the Catholic Church for decades – that it was harbouring details of the predicted apocalypse.
The Pope’s second-in-command, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, denied that the Church was suppressing a vision of the end of the world said to have been revealed by the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children on a hillside at Fatima in Portugal exactly 90 years ago.
The three “Secrets of Fatima” were written down by one of the children, Lucia Dos Santos – who became a Carmelite nun – and sent to the Vatican in a sealed envelope. Two of the “secrets” were made public, apparently predicting the inferno of 20th-century world war and totalitarianism and the eventual reconversion of Communist Russia to Christianity.
Pope John Paul II suggested that the third “secret” predicted the 1981 attempt on his life. He failed to satisfy conspiracy theorists however, with many accusing the Vatican of disclosing only part of the last Fatima secret.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Which concludes on the anniversary of the first Marian apparition at Fatima in Portugal on May 13th 1917 (90 years ago this Sunday). The pope was asked about this coincidence of being in a country where Portugese is spoken...
From Papa Ratzinger Forum via John Allen:
Tenth Question (from Catholic radio in Portugal):
Your Holiness, good morning. I’m from Portugal. The Portuguese are following and praying for this trip, which coincides with May 13, the 90th anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima. Do you want to offer us a word about this coincidence, also for the Portuguese people?
Yes, for me it’s really a sign of providence that my visit to Aparecida, the great Marian sanctuary of Brazil, coincides with the 90th anniversary of the apparitions of the Madonna of Fatima.
In this way, we see that the same Mother, this Mother of God and Mother of the church, Our Mother, is present to the various continents, that she shows herself to be a mother to the various continents, always in the same way but with a closeness for every people. To me, this is quiet beautiful.
It’s always the Mother of God, always Mary, and yet in a certain sense she’s ‘inculturated,’ with her specific face wherever she is – in Aparecida, in Fatima, in Lourdes, in all the countries of the earth. Thus, she reveals herself as a mother who is close to everyone, and everyone can come close to one another through her maternal love.
This connection which the Madonna creates among the continents, among the cultures, because she’s close to every culture and yet she unites them all, seems important to me – this specificity of the cultures, all of which have their riches, yet leading to communion in the one family of God.