The Fatima Secret and St. Malachy
Two weeks ago, the Arlington Catholic Herald included coverage on the Pope's recent trip to Fatima, Portugal from the Catholic News Service, which is sponsored by the D.C. based U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. What was most news worthy was the Holy Father's comments on the sexual abuse "crisis." What was buried a bit were analyses over the debate on the Third Secret of Fatima. Of course, because the Herald covers CNS stories, they do not stay on their web page, so they are impossible to go back to via that route, making it harder to use as a reference in today's commentary. Because this is a "local" column, I don't like to go to "national" sources - even when they are, in fact, local too. Anyway, your intrepid commentator used Google to find the CNS story, which you can find here: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1001924.htm The key point of the story is that the current Pope believes that, when he supervised its release in June 2006, stated:
that there was nothing apocalyptic. "No great mystery is revealed; nor is the future unveiled," he said. He went on to give a theological framework to the apparitions and messages of Fatima, he insisting that in the church's tradition, "prophecy" is not like a "film preview," but more like offering signs that can be useful for Christians.Cardinal Ratzinger said that was how to understand the third secret's vision of a "bishop in white" who struggles up a hill amid corpses of slain martyrs, and then falls dead after being shot by soldiers. Whether this bishop symbolized Pope John Paul II, who was shot and wounded on May 13, 1981, or a "convergence" of several 20th-century pontiffs who helped the church ward off the dangers, it doesn't mean someone must be killed, the cardinal said.
I disagree with his Holiness on this point. It does not apply to John Paul II, since John Paul survived. St. John Boscoe has a similar prophesy about the assassination of a Pope. Further, St. Malachy talks of the destruction of Rome in his last prophesy, so the Secret should not be written off too quickly. Here is what Malachy says (as quoted from wiki here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecy_of_the_Popes):
"During the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, the seat will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed his sheep in many tribulations: and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge His people.The End."
This is Malachy's last prophesy, which foretells either the end of the world or the end of the Papacy. Given the current Pope's prophesy (Gloria Olivae) and his desire for Christian unity with the Eastern Church, I suspect that the latter is true, not the former. It may even be that Peter the Roman is an anti-pope, elected in protest against unity and that he will be killed as part of some general disorder in Italy rather than a deliberate persecution.
I'd say the jury is still out on the Fatima Secret.