In early June, Archbishop Viganò gave an interview with the publication Life Site News. During the interview, the topic of the alleged private revelations in Civitavecchia, Italy were discussed in relation to Fátima and the third part of the secret.
I am not an expert on Civitavecchia and leave the details of this case to competent scholars. For my part, however, I have some critical questions about the presentation of Fátima in relation to the claims of Civitavecchia.
I make this video available to the public after attempts to contact Archbishop Viganò privately did not bear fruit. I wish to reiterate what I said a few weeks ago to Paul and Kris over at The Angry Catholic (38:10 – 41:20): I do not write with an animus towards the Archbishop. I write out of concern for him.
Below is the video, followed by a transcript. Be sure to check out my other video on Viganò’s interview with Dies Irae.
Archbishop Viganò has given an interview with the online publication Life Site News (LSN).
Generally speaking, this fairly lengthy interview reveals the Archbishop’s mind a little further with respect to Fátima after his remarks in a previous interview with the Portuguese publication Dies Irae in April, 2020. To LSN, Viganò elaborates upon a comment made to Dies Irae about alleged apparitions in Civitavecchia, Italy in relation to Fátima.
Archbishop Viganò presents, in part, the case of Civitavecchia by paralleling it with Fátima. Specifically, he makes a notable connection between the third part of the secret of Fátima with an alleged revelation at Civitavecchia. It is said that one of the “visionaries” of the latter case, a Jessica Gregori, was given to know the meaning of the third part of the secret of Fátima in the mid-90s by Our Lady herself.
Viganò also recounts a story that Jessica and others went to Sr. Lúcia’s convent in Coimbra, Portugal on June 15, 1996. They attended Mass together, as the story says, and were able to speak to the Sisters afterwards in the parlor through the grill. Jessica, it is said, was able to speak with Sr. Lúcia, privately, for a few minutes, through this grill.
These things are, in essence, Viganò’s presentation, at least as they pertain to our consideration here about Fátima. Before going into these considerations, a few disclaimers:
- I have not studied the Civitavecchia case. Its specifics I leave to informed scholars.
- My lack of knowledge, however, on the details of the case does not prohibit me from asking questions for clarification based upon the as presented by LSN.
- My questioning of Archbishop Viganò in relation to Fátima is solely for the sake of clarifying matters on Fátima.
Having said these things, I will now discuss the matters at hand, beginning with some statements from Viganò about Cardinal Bertone.
Viganò claims that Bertone made an “astonishing declaration” during “a press conference on the Third Secret held in April 2000.” If Viganò was talking about the press conference that introduced the text of the third part of the secret, that conference was held on June 26, 2000. Viganò had the wrong date.
Viganò then says that this “astonishing declaration” “ended” with Bertone saying that “The Third Secret has nothing to do with the apostasy linked to the Council, the Novus Ordo (of the mass) and the conciliar Popes, as the integrists have claimed for decades.”
The contents, however, of that press conference reveal that Viganò’s assertion is wrong. Bertone never said these words at any time during the press conference.
Moving on, then, to Viganò’s remarks about Civitavecchia in relation to Fátima, he takes care to note his sources. Viganò stated to LSN that he personally knows the Gregori family. He had been introduced to them in the late 1990s through (now) Bishop Giovanni D’Ercole of Ascoli Piceno who had worked with Viganò in the Secretariat of State at the Vatican. This knowledge is very helpful as it provides some certitude as to the sources of Viganò’s presentation.
Viganò also references a book written by a Fr. Flavio Ubodi called Civitavecchia, 25 Years with Mary. Fr. Ubodi received an account of a trip to Coimbra by the Gregori family from the family spiritual director, Fr. Manuel Hernández Jerez. A quotation from the book is given in the interview with Viganò. At the end of this quotation, Fr. Jerez states that Jessica and Sr. Lúcia spoke privately, but that he did not know what they discussed.
Having noted these facts, some questions arise:
- How much of Viganò’s discourse is from his personal knowledge of the case of Civitavecchia?
- What critical examination of the claims of the Gregori family (both with respect to their alleged revelations as well as the subsequent story about the trip to Coimbra) has Viganò performed?
Concerning the alleged conversation between Jessica Gregori and Sr. Lúcia, Viganò does not state what the two women discussed. The alleged specifics of their conversation are discussed by Dr. Maike Hickson in an editorial summary at the beginning of the LSN interview:
It is important to know that Jessica Gregori, the daughter of the family who witnessed these apparitions and supernatural events, was given by Our Lady the content of the third secret of Fatima and that this message was then passed on to Pope John Paul II at the time. She herself was able to meet, in 1996, with Sister Lucia of Fatima and to compare with her the messages they received concerning the third secret. They matched (emphases mine).
After this statement, Dr. Hickson referenced Fr. Ubodi’s book as well as an interview that Fr. Ubodi gave on May 15, 2020 to the publication The Daily Compass. In this interview, Fr. Ubodi relates that he spoke to Jessica Gregori about the trip to Coimbra. He states that Jessica herself told him that she spoke privately with Sr. Lúcia and that they “compared the messages of the Blessed Mother and they matched perfectly.”
If this story is true, and I do not doubt Fr. Ubodi’s sincerity in relaying it, then there are some questions that arise:
- In what language did Jessica and Sr. Lúcia conversate?
- Will Jessica disclose the specific content of that alleged conversation? If not, why?
- Has Jessica herself specifically stated on record that she cannot reveal the content of the conversation?
- Has Jessica herself given a general summary of the topic(s) about which they spoke?
- Has Jessica herself verified that Sr. Lúcia specifically revealed to Jessica the content, the meaning (or both) of the third part of the secret of Fátima as given to her by Our Lady?
- For what reason did Sr. Lúcia (allegedly) speak openly with Jessica about the third part of the secret?
- When did Jessica begin to assert that the content of her conversation with Sr. Lúcia included the “exchange” of their respective understandings of the third part of the secret?
Having asked these questions, and depending upon their answers, there are some observations to make:
- The third part of the secret of Fátima was, in 1996, still not published.
- Both Sr. Lúcia and Pope John Paul II discussed, in 1982, the opportuneness of revealing the third part. The Holy Father deemed it inopportune and Sr. Lúcia agreed with him.
- Lúcia always maintained a discreet silence about the third part of the secret. She was more open about it with the Holy Father (John Paul II especially) in private, but there is nothing in the available historical record about her being so open about the subject to the average layperson. It is a well-known fact that she would not discuss it without permission from the Holy See.
- Lúcia’s humility and obedience as a religious are well-established. For example, in order to seal some envelopes, she wouldn’t even use wax that had been thrown away in a trash can without her superior’s permission! If, then, the Holy Father didn’t want the content of the third part known to the public, there is no reason to believe Sr. Lúcia would disobey him.
- Related to the previous point about Sr. Lúcia’s obedience, she had been commanded by Our Lady in 1944, not to reveal the meaning of the third part. Remember: not even the written description was available yet in 1996.
From these simple observations, one can see that there are some notable difficulties about the claim that Jessica and Sr. Lúcia “exchanged understandings” of the third part of the secret. It simply does not fit the profile of what the historical record tells us.
To conclude then, I offer the following thoughts:
Jessica is now a grown woman. Archbishop Viganò, through LSN, has now made her case more prominent in the English-speaking world. Jessica needs to be asked some “tough questions,” including her giving an absolute affirmation that Fr. Ubodi’s assertion to The Daily Compass about the “exchanging understandings” claim is true.
In summary, then:
- Viganò appears to be basing, at least in part, his belief that the third part of the secret of Fátima “remains hidden” due to his belief in Civitavecchia.
- There are critical questions about Jessica Gregori and Fátima that do not appear to have been addressed, and they need to be.
Thank you for watching this video. May God bless you.