Fátima Skits

Hi Everyone! I began making little video skits about some Fátima matters. Michael Lofton over at Reason & Theology has been hosting them. I’d like to provide a little context.

The overall point of the skits is to distill some very dense or complicated issues involving Fátima. These issues are historical, theological, textual, or about individual interpretations.

My book on Fátima goes through these matters and it is easy to get lost in the details. Therefore, I am making skits that distill these matters in a simplified format for better accessibility. Some humor is thrown in for effect, not with a mind for being uncharitable.

Fátima Skit-1

In this first skit, I am borrowing from an actual conversation with a commenter on YouTube. The person attempted to use Sr. Lúcia’s letter to Mother Martins (seen in the video) to prove that Vatican II was a “crappy Council.”* I engaged the commenter and pointed out the fact that Sr. Lúcia not once but twice spoke of Vatican II as a “Holy” Council. Unfortunately, the commenter was not understanding what I was trying to do.

The part of our conversation that helped to inspire this video is still available on YouTube. Here are the relevant parts:

*N.B. In his comments, the commenter used the word “crappy” and that the Council “sucks.” I chose to use the word “terrible” for the purposes of the video.

Fátima Skit-2

The second skit is inspired by events that happened between 2013 and 2015.

In 2013, the Carmelites of Coimbra released their biography of Sr. Lúcia. In it, they revealed the words of Our Lady to Sr. Lúcia in January, 1944 about how she now had Heaven’s permission to write down the third part of the Secret, but not its meaning.

In 2014, The Fatima Center wrote about this new revelation and used it in defense of the fourth secret hypothesis (i.e., that Sr. Lúcia had written a second text with explanatory words of Our Lady being hidden by the Vatican).*

How can a command from Our Lady that explicitly states not to write down the meaning be construed as evidence of a second text? That’s the point driving this skit.

*The Fatima Crusader, Issue 110, Fall 2014, pages 22-26.

Fátima Skit-3

The third skit is inspired by various statements made by The Fatima Center along with subsequent developments.

When the Holy See published the third part of the Secret of Fátima in 2000, it partially reproduced a handwritten letter from Sr. Lúcia dated May 12, 1982. In this letter, she offered some remarks to the Holy Father about the third part. At one point of the letter, she remarks, “The third part of the secret, that you are so anxious to know….” The “anxious” phrase was omitted in the Holy See’s various translations of the text, but remained in the image reproduction of the original Portuguese text in the booklet.

The Fatima Center talked about this omission, questioning the assertion that it was written to Pope John Paul II. The publication, however, of the Carmelites’ biography has shed some new light on this matter, clearly proving that the letter was indeed addressed to John Paul II. Furthermore, the biography’s disclosure about this letter led to a new insight. The omitted phrase could be construed as proof that there is no so-called “fourth secret.”

Why would Pope John Paul II be “anxious to know” the meaning of the third part from Sr. Lúcia by 1982 when he allegedly already had a text from her with explanatory words of Our Lady?

That’s the question at the heart of this skit.

Fátima Skit-4

The fourth skit is taken from chapter 1 of my book On the Third Part of the Secret of Fátima.

There is some debate over two dates that have been given for the exact date of the transfer of the third part from Portugal to Rome.

Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, basing himself upon Fr. Joaquín María Alonso (the former Fátima archivist), gives the date of April 16, 1957*. Archbishop Bertone, in his introduction to the Vatican’s booklet The Message of Fatima, states that the date of the transfer was April 4, 1957. This conflict of dates raised questions about the possibility of a second text.**

When one looks at the reference by Frère Michel to Fr. Alonso, we find an unsourced claim from Alonso on the date of April 16.*** How seriously, then, should one take the date provided by Alonso?

That’s the point driving this skit.

*Cf. Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima. Volume III: The Third Secret (Buffalo, New York: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1990), 501, note 39.
**Cf. Fr. Paul L. Kramer, The Devil’s Final Battle: Our Lady’s Victory Edition (Terryville, Connecticut: The Missionary Association, 2010), 226.
***Fr. Joaquín María Alonso, “De Nuevo el Secreto de Fátima,” Ephemerides Mariologicae 32, Fasc. 1 (1982): 86.

Fátima Skit-5

The fifth skit is taken from chapter 6 of my book.

In the 1940s, Sr. Lúcia tried to write down the third part of the Secret, but experienced great difficulty. Fr. Alonso wrote about the matter in his book seen in this short. Unfortunately, Fr. Alonso contradicted himself.

After Alonso’s book was published, Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité did not catch the contradiction. In his own book, Frère Michel focused upon the information on page 82 of Alonso’s book, to the detriment of pages 37-39.* The characterization on page 82 stuck with subsequent writers, not so much the information from pages 37-39.**

Until the publication of my book, and to the best of my knowledge, no one caught the contradiction. The skit demonstrates the contradiction.

*The English translation of Alonso’s book does not use the word “terrified.” Later writers adopted this word.
**See Antonio Socci, The Fourth Secret of Fatima (Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire: Loreto Publications, 2009), 142, 145-153. See also Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima: Volume III, 51; Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph (Buffalo, New York: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1994), 6, 202; Christopher Ferrara, False Friends of Fatima (Pound Ridge, New York, Good Counsel Publications, 2012), 91, 101.

Fátima Skit-6

The sixth skit is inspired by one of the most used arguments for the “fourth secret” hypothesis: the 20-25 lines.

It has been long believed that the third part of the Secret was comprised of 20-25 lines. Many people thought that the second bishop of Fátima, João Venâncio, himself made this claim. However, after looking into the matter myself, I discovered that such was not the case and wrote about it in chapter 2 of my book.

This skit gets to the heart of the matter.

Fátima Skit-7

The seventh skit is inspired by the notion that there was an impostor Sr. Lúcia.

The notion has been taken up in more recent years, but actually goes back several more years. One of the earliest groups to suggest it was Marian T. Horvat with Tradition in Action.

An early argument for the notion was the difference in the facial features. However, when the Carmelites published their biography and revealed the dental work that Sr. Lúcia had, they helped us to understand why there was a difference. This skit points out the fact.

Fátima Skit-8

The eighth skit is inspired by the general notion of an impostor Sr. Lúcia.

To date, no one who believes this notion has credibly answered the question “what do her living relatives say about this matter?” As of this writing, her niece is still alive and is over 100 years old. The niece knew Sr. Lúcia before her entrance to the Carmel in 1948.

This skit shows the ramifications of the question.

Fátima Skit-9

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The ninth skit is inspired by Frère Michel’s interpretation of the phrase, “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith shall always be preserved.” He believed that it was the beginning sentence of the third part of the Secret. I discuss this matter in chapter 9 of my book.

Not everyone agrees with this interpretation, Sr. Lúcia apparently being one of them. She wrote in her Fourth Memoir that she was going to write down everything she could, except what pertained to the third part.*

This skit highlights Sr. Lúcia’s own characterization, which is superior to later commentators on this subject.

*Dr. António María Martins, S.J., Memórias e cartas de Irmã Lúcia (Porto, Portugal: Simão Guimarães, Filhos, LDA, 1973), 317.

Fátima Skit-10

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The tenth skit is taken from my research into the Fr. Fuentes story (see chapter 5 of my book).

It has long been maintained that Fr. Fuentes’ interview of Sr. Lúcia in the late 1950s was “suppressed” by Church authorities for suspicious reasons. Well, it is a very distinct possibility that the text floating around Portugal at the time was based upon a flawed English translation of a Spanish original text.

If the PT translation was based upon a flawed EN text, is that why Sr. Lúcia herself denied the claims made in the text? This question is at the heart of this skit.

Forgive the self-plug at the end.

Fátima Skit-11

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In this eleventh skit, I address the question of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks in Fátima on May 13, 2010 about how “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete.”

Some writers interpreted the Holy Father as repudiating, or walking back what he said in his Theological Commentary from the year 2000 about how the prophecies of Fátima have been fulfilled and all that remains is for us to do prayer and penance. I disagree with this interpretation and advance the argument that he distinguished between the specific prophecies of Fátima from its prophetic mission. I discuss the specifics in chapter 11 of my book.

That distinction is what drives this skit.

Fátima Skit-12

The twelfth skit is based upon actual claims that I’ve seen in my Fátima studies, or from conversations with actual people who bring up this point.*

In short, there are those who blame Pope St. John XXIII for not publishing the third part of the Secret in 1960, as was largely expected. They claim that Our Lady said it was to be published in that year. The inscription, however, from Sr. Lúcia does not actually say that the envelope(s) could be “published.” She wrote that they could be “opened” in 1960 by the Bishop of Leiria (Fátima) or the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon.

Without having an express statement saying that the text was to be published, can John XXIII be blamed for not publishing the text?

*On November 3, 2021, this matter came up over at Reason & Theology with a commenter.

Fátima Skit-13

This thirteenth skit is inspired by actual statements that I’ve read over the years, including recent ones, that Pope St. John XXIII disobeyed Our Lady by opening the third part of the Secret “a year early” than she had commanded.

It is well-known that Pope John opened the third part at Castlegandolfo in mid-August of 1959. That is 4.5 months before 1960, so not quite a year. Moreover, some have objected that the Holy Father should just have waited until 1960. This objection, too, is also highly questionable. As I pointed out in the skit, there is ample literature that suggests a much different story.

Canon Jose Galamba de Oliveira maintained that the Bishop of Fátima was able to open and read it prior to 1960. He claimed that Sr. Lúcia herself said that doing so was ok. Canon Galamba’s role in this matter, according to John Haffert of the Blue Army, was the “‘go between’ with Lucia for the diocese [of Leiria] and the Canonical Commission of Investigation” into the events of Fátima (p. 3-4). Fr. Joaquin Maria Alonso also maintained that Canon Galamba held the view of an early opening.*

According to the strict words of Our Lady, the document was to be read by the Bishop of Fátima or the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon. This intention, however, was not fulfilled. The reason is not because of some shenanigans with the Pope. It had everything to do with the reticence of the Bishop of Fátima (Bishop da Silva) towards the third part of the Secret.

Rome had requested copies of all documents on Fátima from the diocesan archives. Bishop da Silva ordered that the original, not a copy, of the third part be sent to Rome. I covered this matter in my book, so interested persons can read about it there.

For our purposes here, can it be said that Pope John XXIII disobeyed Our Lady because he opened the text a little earlier than 1960? No, and that’s the point driving this skit.

*Alonso, The Secret of Fatima: Fact and Legend, p. 47.

The above videos and descriptions will be updated as time goes on, and more videos get added. I hope that this information is helpful for viewers!

For more detailed explanations,*
get my book

*Note that my book does not discuss
the impostor Lúcia notion.