PRELATE EXPLAINS DISCLOSURE OF THIRD FATIMA SECRET
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II waited until the Jubilee year to disclose the
"third secret" of Fatima because the message concerned "the popes of the 20th century," the
Vatican's Secretary of State has disclosed.
In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Cardinal Angelo Sodano said that with
the 20th century now concluded, the Holy Father saw no reason to delay public announcement
of the message of Our Lady of Fatima. Also, he said, in light of historical developments, "the
symbolic visions contain nothing mysterious."
Pope John Paul II read the third secret shortly after his election, the cardinal continued. But
perhaps because the message takes the form of a symbolic vision, he did not show any special
interest in that message until after the assassination attempt of May 13, 1981. At that point,
however, the Pontiff immediately recognized the relevance of the vision, and gave credit to the
Virgin Mary for preserving his life.
Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the spokesman for the Holy See, said that Pope John Paul had chosen
not to release the secret himself, but to allow Cardinal Sodano to make the dramatic
announcement. The reasons for that decision, he said, were twofold. First, the Pope felt a
measure of personal reserve about publicizing the message, since he himself is clearly a
protagonist in the prophetic vision. Second, he wished to indicate the official character of the
announcement while still clearly preserving the distinction between this vision, which is a private
revelation, and the body of Revelation transmitted through Scripture and Church tradition.
When journalists asked whether the announcement could be taken as a signal that the Pope is
now considering stepping down, the papal spokesman quickly dismissed such speculation. A
smiling Navarro-Valls remarked: "In the 17 years that I have worked for the Pope, I have never
heard him make the slightest allusion to that subject."