On July 2, 2018, the publication Catholic Family News issued an article on the organization’s web site entitled Sexual Abuse and the Third Secret—A Timely Reminder. The article was written by the managing editor of Catholic Family News, Matthew Gaspers. Among other aims, the article seeks to connect the third part of the secret of Fátima with some recent news on allegations of sexual abuse.
I met and visited with Gaspers last October after my debate with Christopher Ferrara (later described by Gaspers as “perhaps the most exciting event of the weekend”). Gaspers struck me as being a good man. We engaged in private conversations about Fátima. He listened to what I had to say and was genuinely respectful. Our conversations were meaningful and were a personal highlight of the weekend. Thus, I was saddened when I read Gaspers’ recent article and it greatly pains me to write this response. I do so in all charity and with no ill-will.
Gaspers is associated closely with those who promote the “hermeneutic of suspicion and conspiracy” (as I call it) on Fátima. In his recent article, Gaspers appears to have reverted to form and walk lock-step with his friends by providing the boiler-plate interpretations of that hermeneutic. This is perplexing after last October. Gaspers disregards the challenge issued and which remains open. Why continue to promote the hermeneutic without first silencing the critique? Is it a case of the hermeneutic’s narrative being considered as “über alles” (above all)? The promoters of the hermeneutic think the critique is wrong, but why are they not comprehensively rebutting it? Perhaps they already are and have not announced it?
It is not my intention here to issue a comprehensive response to Gaspers. Instead, I defer interested readers to my book On the Third Part of the Secret of Fátima where most of Gasper’s points are already addressed in detail. There is, however, one new and minor assertion made by Gaspers that I think worth mentioning.
At the beginning of his article, Gaspers notes that Our Lady’s phrase about Portugal and the dogma of the Faith in the secret is “consigned to the status of a footnote at the back the [The Message of Fatima] booklet.” This statement is imprecise. The phrase is mentioned in said booklet as a footnote, but it is not found at the back of the book. It can be found at the bottom of page 16 (English text) as footnote number 7. Please see the photo reproduction herein provided for visual proof.
I would like to say in conclusion that should Gaspers desire to continue our conversations from October, I am most happy to do so.
-Kevin J. Symonds
*Fixed the spelling of Gaspers’ name.