Fátima and Fr. Dollinger: A Response

The following article has been updated in accordance with some new information that came to my attention on June 6, 2017.
Chapter 12 of On the Third Part of the Secret of Fátima,
wherein the story of Fr. Dollinger is discussed, has been updated.
The revised text shall appear in a second edition of the book.
Readers are directed to this page for the updated information.

I read with interest the article on One Peter Five about a phone conversation between Dr. Maike Hickson and Fr. Dollinger on Sr. Lúcia, the Second Vatican Council and the third part of the secret of Fátima. Hickson states that Fr. Dollinger, a friend of Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI, was told by Benedict that there was more to said part of the secret that the Vatican has not published. Allegedly, the “unpublished” part talks about a “bad Council” and a “bad liturgy.”

Having studied Fátima over the years, this topic is of much interest to me and I would like to write about some things that are perplexing from Fr. Dollinger’s claim.

As was noted by Dr. Hickson, Dollinger’s claim has been available to an English-speaking audience for several years. It was put into print at least twice by Fr. Paul Kramer and the Fatima Center founded by the late Fr. Nicholas Gruner. The first instance was in 2005 when the Center’s publication, The Fatima Crusader, issued a transcript of a speech that Fr. Kramer gave in September, 2004. During the speech, Fr. Kramer revealed the essential nuts and bolts of Dollinger’s claim, though Kramer did not reveal the name of his source at the time.

The second instance can be found in the spring 2009 edition (issue 92) of The Fatima Crusader in the article entitled The Secret Warned Against Vatican Council II and the New Mass. It is important to note that in their respective versions, both Kramer and Hickson agree on the main point which is that there was (allegedly) more of the third part of the secret that was not published. They do, however, disagree on the details of that story.

The first notable difference in the details is that in Kramer’s 2004/2005 version, Kramer makes it appear as though there was one conversation between Dollinger and Ratzinger. Later, in 2009, Kramer says that there were two conversations. Dr. Hickson, in 2016, following suit with Kramer’s 2004 version, does not distinguish two conversations, implying that there was only one. Specifically, in his 2009 version, Kramer relates that Fr. Dollinger is said to have relayed that the conversation between Dollinger and Ratzinger took place in 1990. Dr. Hickson’s article indicates that the conversation was held after the text was released in the year 2000.[i]

The above discrepancy, however, is not what is most perplexing about Fr. Dollinger’s claim. What is most perplexing is that he has apparently directly contradicted Sr. Lúcia herself. Between both versions from Fr. Kramer and Dr. Hickson, there is agreement on a central point: that there is more to the third part of the secret of Fátima and it involves a “bad” (or “evil”) Council and a “bad” Mass.[ii]

One of the more notable Fátima scholars was a priest named Fr. António Maria Martins, S.J. In 1973, he published a book entitled (in Portuguese), Memórias e Cartas da Irmã Lúcia (Memoirs and Letters of Sr. Lúcia). As the name implies, this book reproduces the four famous Memoirs of Sr. Lúcia and includes several of her available letters at the time. One of those letters, dated September 16, 1970 to Mother [Maria José] Martins, has a truly revelatory line from Sr. Lúcia in light of the present discussion with Fr. Dollinger.

Writing on the Rosary to Mother Martins, Sr. Lúcia makes a comment about the Second Vatican Council. She wrote:

The simple remembrance of the mysteries in each decade is another radiance of light supporting the smoking torch in the souls. This is why the devil had moved against it such a great war. And the worst part is that he had deluded and deceived souls of great responsibility for their position. They are blind men leading blind men. They pretend to base in the Council and do not realize that the Holy Council ordered them to preserve all the practices that in the course of years had been fostered in honour of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God. The prayer of the Rosary or five decades is one of the most important and according to the decrees of the Holy Council and the orders of the Holy Father one we must maintain.[iii]

How is it possible for Sr. Lúcia to refer to the Second Vatican Council as a “holy” or “Sacred” [Sagrado] Council in her letter to Mother Martins if Our Lady had told Sr. Lúcia that it was a “bad” (schlecht) Council? This is a notable discrepancy which must be addressed.[iv]

Another, and final, point concerns an open question of the source for these alleged comments of Sr. Lúcia about a “bad” Council and Mass. Were these remarks in a written document or were they a verbal statement from Sr. Lúcia? Fr. Dollinger does not appear to specify in either version. This question is an important observation because of critical information published in a recent biography of Sr. Lúcia, entitled Um Caminho sob o Olhar de Maria (A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary). From this biography, written by the Carmelite Sisters who lived with Sr. Lúcia, we now know that Our Lady had commanded Sr. Lúcia in 1944 not to write down what was given her to understand of the significance of the third part of the secret.[v]


The command of Our Lady: “Do not be afraid, God wished to prove your obedience, Faith and humility, be in peace and write what they command you, not, however, what is given you to understand of its significance.”

There is some debate over the precise meaning of this command from Our Lady, but one thing is clear: Sr. Lúcia may have understood more of the third part of the secret than what she may ever have said publicly.[vi] In fact, she may have taken this knowledge with her to the grave. To date, the status quaestionis is: did Sr. Lúcia ever write down this information, and, if so, when, why, and to whom? No one has answered the question and it is where matters currently lay in the discussions.

The above are just some simple considerations on the third part of the secret of Fatima. I respect the work of Dr. Hickson but I must also respectfully submit these considerations to a public who have a right to know the facts of the case and where important questions and/or matters stand. For more information about this discussion, I would like to recommend to the reader two articles of my composition entitled Is There a ‘Fourth Secret’ of Fatima? and In Defense of the World Apostolate of Fatima.

Update: 5-26-16: Click here to listen to Michael O’Neill “The Miracle Hunter” interview me on the Fr. Dollinger claims! Skip to the 26:30 mark for the interview.

Update: 6-2-16:I have updated this entry with a formal paper submitted to academia.edu.

Update: 1-26-17: In light of the publication of my book, I removed the paper from academia.edu.

Update: 6-12-17: I have updated information on this page in accordance with some new information. For the sake of accountability, I have preserved the original text if anyone needs it.


[i] Speaking only of the 2009 (Kramer) and 2016 (Hickson) versions of the story, Fr. Kramer discussed this matter on his Facebook page.

[ii] In a comment under the article on One Peter Five, Dr. Hickson was asked what German word was used in her conversation with Fr. Dollinger to describe the Council and Mass. She responded that Father used the word schlecht which simply means “bad.” On another interesting note, another commenter claimed to have heard, through another party, a slightly different version of what was said by Fr. Dollinger, which was “don’t change the Mass, don’t call a Council”. Also, in my book On the Third Part of the Secret of Fátima, I claimed that Fr. Kramer did not mention a “bad” or “evil” Council in his 2009 version. I had overlooked that he had, in fact, mentioned this aspect of the story in said version. Moreover, it was discussed in the 2004/2005 version as well. This matter has been amended for the second edition of my book.

[iii] Fr. António Maria Martins, S.J., (edit.), Memórias e Cartas da Irmã Lúcia. (Porto, Portugal:  Simão Guimarães, Filhos, LDA, 1973), 454. The Portuguese is:

….A simples recordação dos mistérios em cada dezena é mais um raio de luz a sustentar nas almas a mecha que ainda fumega.

Por isso o demónio lhe tem feito tanta guerra! E o pior é que tem conseguido iludir e enganar almas cheias de responsabilidades pelo lugar que ocupam!… São cegos a guiar outros cegos!… E querem apoiar-se no Concilio, e não vêem que o Sagrado Concilio ordenou que se conservem todas as práticas que no decorrer dos anos se vêm praticando em honra da Imaculada Virgem Mãe de Deus, e que a oração do santo Rosário ou Terço é uma das principais a que, em face do ordenado pelo Sagrado Concilio e pelo Sumo Pontifice, estamos obrigados, isto é, devemos conservar.

[iv] Known to this author are remarks about this letter of Sr. Lúcia’s made by Frère François de Marie des Anges in his book Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph (Buffalo, New York: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1994), 111, 114. As these remarks pertain to the current discussion, they do not appear to have any bearing.

[v] Carmelo de Santa Teresa – Coimbra, Um Caminho sob o Olhar de Maria: Biografia da Irmã Lúcia de Jesus e do Coração Imaculado, O.C.D. (Coimbra, Portugal: Edições Carmelo, 2013), 266. The Portuguese text reads, “Não temas, quis Deus provar a tua obediência, Fé e humildade, está em paz e escreve o que te mandam, não porém o que te é dado entender do seu significado.

[vi] This statement is without prejudice to the letter that Sr. Lúcia wrote in May, 1982 to Pope St. John Paul II wherein she clarified that the text of the third part of the secret pertained to Our Lady’s words about the spread of the errors of Russia. In this letter, Sister never revealed the command of Our Lady in 1944, thus not affecting the statement at hand.

3 thoughts on “Fátima and Fr. Dollinger: A Response

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