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Posted On: 08/06/21 15:11
Third Secret of Fatima - Answered by Bishop Athanasius Schneider


Question (Q) : And the "third secret"...

Answered by Bishop Athanasius Schneider : There is also the so-called "third secret." It was the text of the third part of the secret that was read in Fatima by Cardinal Ratzinger in the presence of Pope John Paul II. On that occasion, the Holy See said: "This is everything." Hence, I cannot imagine that a person with such a high moral standard as Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, in the presence of a pope, would deceive the entire world. This is for me impossible. I believe what the Holy See said, that this is the entire text. Therefore, we don't need to seek a kind of "fourth" secret of Fatima. Some people say: "I know the Third Secret of Fatima." However, no one knew it, because it was secret. Some say they saw the comments of a cardinal who saw it, but it is very weak to base a theory, or more than a theory - a conviction - on such things. For me this is not serious.
But there may be a reason that explains the misunderstanding. Sister Lucia's biography contains an expression which says that Our Lady told her that she had to write down the text of the secret, but not what she explained to her about the secret. These are two different things. The text itself was revealed completely, but there could still be some explanations Our Lady gave to her that have not been revealed. I don't know. It could be. But the explanations Our Lady gave to Sister Lucia are not the text of the secret itself. We have to distinguish this.
Q) :Would the explanations be housed in the Vatican?
Bishop Athanasius Schneider : I don't know. What I am proposing is only a hypothesis that there might exist an explanation of what the secret means more concretely, a kind of exegesis. It could be that this explanation has been written down and that it was very uncomfortable in view of the current crisis of the Church. But, I repeat, this is a hypothesis and I have no means of proving it. Maybe this is a plausible hypothesis. This is the only way I can answer those who are still expecting an alleged unrevealed part of the text of the secret itself.

I think it is not sane to wait for a text which, in fact, might not exist. Some people claim that Our Lady must have spoken about the entire interior crisis in the Church. But we do not need a text from Our Lady to demonstrate that this is happening. The crisis is so clearly before our eyes that we don't need a secret. It is surely not a secret that we are living in a crisis. We need no further confirmation from heaven. The enormity of the crisis in the Church that we are now witnessing is evident.
In light of the current crisis, I think we have to maintain a somewhat sober attitude and concentrate on the essence of the message of Fatima, which is penance; to stop sinning because God is already too offended; to make reparation and expiation for the sins against God, against the Most Holy Eucharist, and against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The part of the Fatima message concerning the Eucharist, in the apparitions of the angels, is so important and timely. And then to pray the Rosary for the conversion of sinners, to make the Five First Saturdays, to con secrate ourselves and our families, our countries, Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart. It's so beautiful, so rich.

Q) : How do you believe we should interpret the third part of the secret of Fatima?

Bishop Athanasius Schneider :The third part of the secret is very timely. It shows that we are moving towards an era of martyrdom inside the Church. It shows us the scene of the divine wrath against sin. There is no trivialization of sin, unlike what we see to be fashionable today in the Church with the new so-called pastoral approach of "mercy," which ultimately says: "You may continue to sin without offending God." This is the wrong pastoral approach. Unfortunately, it is used by many priests and bishops and, to some extent, is also supported by the Holy See. But this is contrary to the message of Fatima of the third part of the secret-in which God shows the Angel with the sword, calling for "Penance, Penance, Penance,”penance for sins committed. Then comes the consolation, because Our Lady extends her hands. As the Angel announces the coming wrath of God, fire from his sword reaches Our Lady's hands and is transformed into rays of mercy and conversion. Our Lady is the refuge of all sinners. This is very consoling. The third part of the secret is so rich and serious. For me, this is a message regarding the seriousness of sin. We need to preach again about the seriousness and the peril of sin.
The text then speaks about martyrdom: we need to prepare ourselves to be attacked by the world. Our Lord said clearly, "The world cannot hate you; but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil" (Jn 7:7). These words of the Lord shaped the spiritual physiognomy of the Church of all times.
The content of the third part of the secret contradicts the mentality that we have been living since the Second Vatican Council, even since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII. Such a mentality claims that the world is not attacking us, and that we have to make friends with the world and in some way to cede to the demands of the world. To think and to speak in this way is quite ingenuous and unrealistic. Since the time of Pope John XXIII, a continual adaptation and yielding to the world to the desires and the mentality of the world has characterized so many representatives of the Church. Fyódor Dostoyevsky said: "If one distorts faith in Christ by uniting it with the goals of this world, the whole meaning of Christianity will at once also be destroyed and the mind will necessarily fall prey to unbelief."
The representatives of the Church have demonstrated and still continue to demonstrate in our own day a clear inferiority complex towards the unbelieving and un-Christian world. However, the fact is this: from the beginning, the Church was always being persecuted by the world and will be persecuted until the end of time; this is a significant part of the message of Fatima. 
Q) :How do you interpret the part of the text that speaks of the city half in ruins?
Bishop Athanasius Schneider : In the Bible, the city-specifically the city of Jerusalem-is the symbol of the Church, and the heavenly Church is described as a city, the New Jerusalem.
Q) :Yes, and particularly in the Old Testament, cities are often described in the feminine and they are laid desolate when they have been unfaithful to God.
 Bishop Athanasius Schneider : The Church is described in the Holy Scripture, and especially in the patristic tradition, as a city. In the text of the secret of Fatima we discover the city half-destroyed. This means that the spiritual situation of the Church is in ruins-the consequence of a process of spiritual demolition in doctrine, liturgy, and the moral life. From the spiritual point of view, the Church in our days is half-destroyed by heresies and doctrinal confusion, by chaos in the liturgy, by the chaos of immoral ity. It is such an obvious reality. It is plain for all to see; no one can reasonably deny it.
Q) :And the corpses the pope met along his way through the city half in ruins? 
Bishop Athanasius Schneider : The text of the secret speaks about the pope passing by the corpses of priests. The image of the corpses has a deeper meaning. There are not only physical, but first and foremost spiritual priestly corpses strewn across the Church. Today we are witnessing a tremendous crisis among the clergy. This crisis has not only affected the lower clergy but has torn through the higher clergy, i.e., the episcopacy and the cardinalate and has been going on for half a century. To a great extent, this crisis has been caused by the frequent irresponsible and extremely superficial selection of candidates for the episcopacy and the cardinalate. Such morally deplorable episcopal and cardinalatial candidates, who often times lost the faith and betrayed their Master, Jesus Christ, owed their promotion to favoritism, to membership in the same ideological clerical club. I would also not exclude membership in a sort of Masonic clerical old-boy network.
Today the spiritual corpses of pedophile, sodomite, and plainly heretical bishops and cardinals have been exposed for the whole world to see. One of the messages one can find in Dostoyevsky's famous passage "The Grand Inquisitor," in his novel The Brothers Karamazov, is that even a high-ranking prelate can become an atheist. As in the past decades, so also in our day, one can have the impression that a particular bishop or cardinal is not so far away from being an atheist. The demanding and crystal-clear truths of Christ disturb these bishops and cardinals in their work of abolishing the divine commandments. They say to the world, "Sin does not exist. The first and sixth Commandments are not feasible for people today. In our day, the merciful Christ positively allows the living out of a diversity of sexual orientations because of the dignity of 'LGBT' people, and He allows also the living out of the diversity of religions for the sake of global human fraternity." Like the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoyevsky's novel, bishops and cardinals who speak and behave in this way say to Christ, who is the Truth, "Go, and never come again!" These liberal and worldly bishops and cardinals have imprisoned the constant und unchanging Catholic truth. Yet the truth is Christ, and so they have imprisoned Christ as did the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoyevsky's story. By this very fact, these bishops and cardinals in our days have proven to be spiritual corpses. We can therefore see how timely and relevant the third part of the Secret of Fatima is today. From these obvious facts we can conclude that there is no need for a "fourth" secret of Fatima. Perhaps Our Lady gave an explanation to Sister Lucia; and if it does indeed exist, perhaps it will be revealed in the future. But I believe that there could not be a worse situation in the life of the Church than the one we are now witnessing.

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