The crisis of the church is, above all, a crisis of faith.
In July of 1917 on the third apparition of Fatima, Our Lady opened her hands and the light reflecting from them penetrated the earth and the three shepherds (Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco) saw a sea of fire and Our Lady explained: You have seen hell — where the souls of poor sinners go, to save them, God wills to establish throughout the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart.
“If people will do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. The war (World War I) is going to end. But if they do not stop offending God, another and worse war will break out in 1938 (World War II) — in the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you, that he is going to punish the word for its crimes by means of war, hunger, persecution of the church and of the Holy Father.
“To forestall this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the communion of preparations of the First Saturdays. If they heed my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, etc., etc., etc. — In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved — etc.”
Back in 1960, Pope John XXIII said he would not make a decision on the third secret that was to be mentioned by him because:
1) Sister Lucia is still living.
2) The Vatican already knows the content of the letter.
3) Although the church recognizes the Fatima apparitions, she does not pledge herself to guarantee the “veracity” of the words that the three shepherds claim to have heard from Our Lady.
My comment to Pope John XXIII is that he became pope well after World War II in 1958. It was in July of the third apparition, that Our Lady told the three shepherds the three secrets of Fatima. This she said in 1917 — five years before Pope Pius XI even became pope in 1922.
Father Paul Kramer, who read the third secret, said that Pope John XXIII called the three shepherds prophets of doom. I don’t know why Pope John XXIII could not understand what was said at Fatima in the third apparition. By 1960, what had happened in the world should have given Pope John XXIII a certainty that what was said to the three shepherds were accurate comments that existed like Our Lady had predicted.
This was to me, a miracle that I could understand, that World War II would start in 1938 and to name the pope (Pius XI) who was to reign at that time, and I wondered why Pope John XXIII could not accept it. If I ever get to heaven, I will ask Pope John XXIII why he was never able to figure this out.
Carlo Olivero, Dalzell