Saturday, January 11, 2014

Third Secret of Fátima is a “genuine document” says Portuguese professor

The statue of Our Lady of FátimaThe manuscript of the Third Secret of Fátima, which was published by John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger in June 2000 is apparently a “genuine document” and was written by Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, the eldest of the three shepherd children visited by a series of Marian apparitions who died in February 2005.

This is according to Professor Maria José Azevedo Santos, a paleographer who lectures in the Literature faculty of Coimbra University. 

Mrs. Santos carried out a study on the seer’s manuscript which describes the scene of the “bishop dressed in white” who suffered martyrdom atop a mountain, along with many other Christians. John Paul Ii saw a connection between the Third Secret of Fátima and his assassination attempt on 13 May 1981.

Upon completion of her study, Professor Santos gave an interview to the official newspaper of the Portuguese Marian sanctuary Voz da Fátima, which will be published on 13 January. The news agency of the Catholic Church in Portugal has released a preview of the interview.

 “The Church is certain that the document is original,” Professor Santos stated. “It is a genuine, true document, written by Sister Lucia.” Last September Professor Santos had the chance to carry out research at the Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. She says that the absence of Sister Santos’ signature does not “invalidate the authenticity of the document” as it is possible to compare the text of the Third Secret with other manuscripts by Sister Lucia. There is therefore scientific evidence that she is the author of the text.

Controversies over the authenticity of the text which came to light in 2000 aside, the document’s most serious critics do not really doubt that the text was written by Sister Lucia but claim that there are clues which suggest there is a section from the text that is missing. 

According to the critics’ reconstruction – which the Vatican has repeatedly rejected – a part from the sheet of paper containing the description of the vision, there should be another one with the words which the Virgin Mary apparently addressed to the three shepherd children. This would help explain the meaning of the apparition itself.

In June 2000, when the then cardinal Ratzinger spoke to journalists about the Third Secret, he said there was no “official explanation” for the apparition, even though John Paul II recognised himself as the “ bishop dressed in white” who was killed. When the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Tarcisio Bertone, acting on behalf of the Pope asked Sister Lucia to comment on this, she confirmed this interpretation.

When Benedict XVI visited Portugal in 2010 he was more cautious when commenting on the subject, leaving open the possibility of the prophesy not yet being complete. Prophesy here is meant in the Biblical sense of the word and not in futuristic film terms.

No comments: