In a statement before the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on October 27, Pope Francis I endorsed the view that extraterrestrial life – which he refers to as “beings of the universe” – has evolved in ways that is consistent with the plans of “God the creator.” He explained how the Catholic Church views the Big Bang and evolution as scientific processes underpinned by “the plan of the creator.” Pope Francis has officially moved the Catholic Church away from the idea of “God the creator” as a magician or demiurge creating the universe in an act of omnipotence over six days, to a more scientific view that God works mysteriously behind the scenes planning the evolution of life on Earth and the Universe. The Pope’s statement reveals his view that intelligent extraterrestrial life has evolved in a manner that is consistent with “the plan of the creator,” thereby making it possible for extraterrestrials to act in ways that further this plan. The Pope’s statement is a surprising endorsement of the view that the activities of intelligent extraterrestrial life in the universe can be part of a universal plan by “God the creator”. Consequently, Pope Francis’s statement is preparing the Catholic world that extraterrestrial life visiting our world in UFOs may be part of “the plan of the creator.”
Pope Francis began his remarkable statement by first dismissing the simplistic idea behind creationism where God created the universe in six days and nights:
When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining God as a magician, with a wand able to make everything. But it is not so.
He instead endorsed the more evolutionary friendly view that “God the creator” mysteriously works through nature:
God and Christ walk with us and are also present in nature… the scientist must be motivated by the confidence that nature hides, in her evolutionary mechanisms, potentialities for intelligence and freedom to discover and realize, to achieve the development that is in the plan of the creator.
The Pope went on to discuss the evolution of intelligent extraterrestrial life which he referred to as “beings of the universe”:
He created beings and allowed them to develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one, so that they were able to develop and to arrive and their fullness of being. He gave autonomy to the beings of the universe at the same time at which he assured them of his continuous presence, giving being to every reality. And so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the creator who gives being to all things.
The Pope’s statement explicitly endorses the view that intelligent extraterrestrial life may have evolved on many different worlds, and achieved a “fullness of being” and “autonomy” that makes them vital parts of “the plan of the creator.” This suggests that the activities of intelligent extraterrestrial life throughout the universe can be supported by the Catholic Church as consistent with the plan of “God the creator.”
It is important not to underestimate the magnitude of the Pope’s statement since it supports radical ideas of intelligent design such as extraterrestrial intervention in human history may be part of “the plan of the creator.” For example, researchers such as Zecharia Sitchin and Arthur David Horn have claimed that genetic manipulation by intelligent extraterrestrials has occurred on early earthly life forms and primates. This radical version of intelligent design is now compatible with Catholic Church teachings according to the Pope’s statement. Furthermore, the ubiquitous UFO phenomenon that suggests extraterrestrial life is visiting and interacting with our world, may also be part of the plan of “God the creator.” The Pope’s October 27 statement is evidence that the Catholic Church is preparing the world for major developments concerning the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life.
Pope Francis is reportedly preparing a major world statement about extraterrestrial life and its theological implications. Rosana Ubanell from Voxxi News today reported that due to advances in scientific detection methods for the discovery of extraterrestrial life, Pope Francis wants to be ready with a statement about “First Contact”. Ubanell reports that details have yet to be officially announced but that the Vatican’s interest in extraterrestrial life is well documented through recent astrobiology conferences the Vatican Observatory has sponsored or participated in. Father Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit astronomer and one of the leading Catholic proponents for preparing for the scientific discovery of extraterrestrial life, on July 18, won the Carl Sagan science medal from the American Astronomical Society. Pope Francis, a fellow Jesuit, regularly consults with Consolmagno and other leading Vatican astronomers about scientific issues. It is likely that Pope Francis is preparing an “Urbi et Orbi” speech – Latin for “to the city [of Rome] and the world” – about First Contact with extraterrestrial life.
The Vatican’s scientific interest in extraterrestrial life was publicly revealed for the first time in May 2008 when the head of the Vatican Observatory, Fr Gabriel Funes, also a Jesuit, gave an interview to the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. Funes made a series of startling statements about how extraterrestrial life is likely to be more ethically evolved than humans, and can be welcomed as brothers. In his interview, which was titled “The extraterrestrial is my brother,” Funes said that intelligent extraterrestrial life may not have experienced a ‘fall’, and may be “free from Original Sin … [remaining] in full friendship with their creator.” This makes it possible to regard them as ‘our brothers’ as Funes explained:
Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can’t put limits on God’s creative freedom… “Why can’t we speak of a ‘brother extraterrestrial’? It would still be part of creation…
Most importantly, Funes’ statement makes possible the idea that Christianity can be exported to extraterrestrial worlds that have not experienced a ‘fall’ and are free from original sin.
Just over a year after his interview, Funes was the organizer of the first ever Astrobiology Symposium held by Pontifical Academy of Sciences in November 2009. Consolmagno and Funes have ever since played leading roles for the Vatican Observatory in presenting a theological perspective on the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Most importantly, both have been leading advisors to Pope Francis about scientific issues concerning the discovery of extraterrestrial life.
What is likely to be the content of Pope Francis’ upcoming statement or possible “Urbi et Orbi” speech about alien life? An important clue is a forthcoming presentation by Fr. Consolmagno at a September 18-19, 2014, astrobiology symposium organized by NASA and the Library of Congress that is titled: “Preparing for Discovery: A Rational Approach to the Implications of Finding Microbial, Complex or Intelligent Life Beyond Earth.”
Consolmagno is a featured presenter and will discuss the theological implications of discovering alien life. His topic, “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?” suggests that Pope Francis agrees that extraterrestrials are capable of the higher ethics involved in understanding the Christian message and becoming Christians.
If Pope Francis is indeed preparing a statement about extraterrestrial life, it is likely to emphasize that there is no incompatibility in Christian teachings with a belief in extraterrestrial life as Fr. Funes proposed in May 2008. More importantly, Pope Francis is likely to emphasize themes of extraterrestrials: not sharing in original sin; being more ethically evolved; and being capable of sharing the Christian message, and being our brothers.
Not all will welcome a statement from Pope Francis advocating extraterrestrials as brothers and worthy of being baptized into the Christian faith. According to Chris Putnam and Tom Horn, authors of Exovaticana, Pope Francis I is preparing to lead the Catholic Church to embrace aliens as “brothers in Christ” – reflective of the 1950s and 1960s contactee reports of benevolent “space brothers.” Putnam’s and Horn’s Exovaticana portends a future religious war between those accepting extraterrestrials as “brothers in Christ” and those believing them to be returning demons about to enslave us. Despite the extensive scholarship found in Exovaticana, it unfortunately skews data towards an overly negative assessment of the motivations of extraterrestrial visitors. Thankfully, the Vatican’s evolving public position, as reflected by statements from its leading astronomers, shows a far more enlightened stance on how to consider the discovery of alien life from a theological perspective. A statement or “Urbi et Orbi” speech from Pope Francis expounding on various themes associated with the view that extraterrestrials are potential “brothers in Christ’ is a welcome position to take on a controversial issue with major world significance.
Exovaticana is both an informative and dangerous book. Informative insofar as the authors, Chris Putnam and Thomas Horn, provide extensive scholarship into the history of the Catholic Church and its evolving position on extraterrestrial life. They claim that the Catholic Church has begun a global dialogue on extraterrestrial life where Pope Francis I will ultimately disclose the former’s existence to the world.
Exovaticana is dangerous insofar as Putnam and Horn undergird it with some powerful religious prejudices about the motivations of alien visitors to our world. They claim that biblical scripture is a solid foundation for understanding that aliens are demonic entities who destructively intervened in human history, and are about to return and do so again. In contrast, according to Putnam and Horn, Pope Francis I is preparing to lead the Catholic Church to embrace the returning/visiting aliens as “brothers in Christ” – reflective of the 1950s and 1960s contactee reports of benevolent “space brothers.”
Putnam’s and Horn’s Exovaticana portends a future religious war between those accepting visiting extraterrestrials as “brothers in Christ” and those believing them to be returning demons about to enslave us.
Putnam’s and Horn’s main thesis is that the Catholic Church is about to move publicly forward in a bold way on the issue of disclosing the existence of extraterrestrial life. They claim:
[W]hen reading Exo-Vaticana, the number of documents and the amount of commentary evidence on the part of Rome’s astronomers and the Vatican’s emerging theology as conveyed herein would be enough in a legal proceeding to convince the majority of a grand jury to determine “probable cause” – that is, to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that the Vatican has intentionally positioned itself to be the religious authority on, and ecclesiastical benefactor of, Official Disclosure: the imminent and authorized public admission by world governments of advanced extraterrestrial intelligence. (p 523)
In Petrus Romanus, their previous book, Putnam and Horn revealed how the Catholic Church has acted to fulfill a 12th century prophesy by St Malachy about the last Pope – Petrus Romanus – who will lead the Catholic Church during the End Times described in the Book of Revelations. Putnan and Horn provided detailed analysis of the Malachy Prophesy and how the current Pope Francis I is Petrus Romanus. The dissolution of the Catholic Church – as we know it – will come about due to events associated with the visitation of extraterrestrial life, and emergence of an alien savior. Putnam and Horn write:
The investigation you are reading uncovers this clandestine blueprint … and along the way, an astonishing exotheological plan by the Vatican itself for the arrival of an alien savior intelligence …and its connection with Petrus Romanus, the Final Pope. Pope Benedict resigned as this book headed to the printer. By now, the world knows who Petrus Romanus is. But do you know his role for the alien savior? (337-38).
Not only is Pope Francis I destined to disclose the existence of alien life, according to Putnam and Horn, but he will endorse a radical exotheological position of alien saviors on other worlds which is promoted by the Jesuit community. That is the idea that alien worlds may have had their own unique experience of the second aspect of the Christian Trinity – an alien ‘Jesus Christ’ may have lived and died on more than one exoplanet. This would mean that Christian salvation would not be unique to earth, and that aliens could have their own Christic traditions and religious insights.
For the Catholic Church, according to Putnam and Horn, this would make it possible to accept aliens as “brothers in Christ.” They cite the Pope’s chief astronomer, a fellow Jesuit, for endorsing this very idea in 2009 when he said: “To use St. Francis’ words, if we consider earthly creatures as ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters,’ why can’t we also speak of an ‘extraterrestrial brother?”
Putnam and Horn cite Father Kenneth J. Delano who proposes the possibility that visiting aliens are ethically superior as evidence of the Vatican’s developing exotheological position:
For man to take his proper place as a citizen of the universe, he must transcend the narrow-mindedness of his earthly provincialism and be prepared to graciously accept the inhabitants of other worlds as equals or even superiors. At this point in human history, our expansion into space is the necessary means by which we are to develop our intellectual faculties to the utmost and perhaps in cooperation with ETI, achieve the maximum consciousness… (pp. 555-56)
Putnam and Horn cite the key role of Teilhard de Chardin, a famed Jesuit, in influencing the Vatican’s belief in extraterrestrial life. Chardin wrote:
… considering what we know now know about the number of “worlds” and their internal evolution, the idea of a single hominized planet in the universe has already become I fact … almost as inconceivable as that of a man who appeared with no generic relationship to the rest of the earth’s animal population. At an average of (at least) one human race per galaxy, that makes a total of millions of human races dotted all over the heavens (p. 288).
De Chardin’s influence over Catholic theology can be recognized in a homily by Pope Benedict in 2009 that Putnam and Horn cite as key evidence of Vatican’s preparations for the introduction of an extraterrestrial inspired theology:
The role of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it may become a living host, a liturgy: so that the liturgy may not be something alongside the reality of the world, but that the world itself shall become a living host, a liturgy. This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, when the cosmos becomes a living host. (p. 564)
As to the question of the identity of the extraterrestrials that the Catholic Church appears to be preparing for, Putnam and Horn are very clear:
… we have scant evidence that we are dealing with nuts-and-bolts-type craft, and even if so, it is not a matter of need, rather subterfuge to promote belief in space aliens camouflaging demonic entities. (p.231)
They describe the “space aliens camouflaging demonic entities” as fallen angels or “Watchers” that first landed on Earth at the biblical location of Mount Hermon. They go on to describe how once the fallen angels spawned a race of giants:
… the extraterrestrial beings that landed there and those that used women to birth the original giants called Anakim and Nephilim (and other abnormal creations in the Day of Noah (p. 469).
Putnam and Horn go on to endorse J.R Church who wrote: “Perhaps the original group of Nephilim were scouts for a much larger force of demonic angels who, under the leadership of Satan came to Earth after the Flood (p 469).” They claim that the atmosphere is the domain of these rebellious spirits or fallen angels:
Given that the biblical and occult sources agree, we have ample grounds to posit that the atmosphere – where the majority of strange sightings occur – is the realm of these rebel spirits. It seems inescapable that fallen angels are the source of some UAP or UFOs. (p. 512)
Finally, we get to the crux of Putnam’s and Horn’s book. This is where they believe that the Vatican is preparing its Catholic adherents to embrace extraterrestrial saviors who are “demons in disguise”:
Given that the Vatican holds sway to over 1 billion followers as well as influencing an even greater number of peoples, governments, and policies world-wide, and puny obstacles to their revised Christianity will thus hardly keep most of the world’s “spiritual” people from wholeheartedly embracing the alien serpent –saviors on their arrival (546-47).
What do we make of the fantastic claim by Putnam and Horn that the Vatican is embracing demons camouflaged as extraterrestrials as future saviors of the Church and humanity? Much of it is based on the skewed writings of UFO authors who ignore the extensive literature revealing the benign activities and intentions of many extraterrestrials visitors – far removed from the abduction phenomenon.
Putnam and Horn quote Richard Dolan and Bryce Zabel , authors of A.D.After Disclosure,who give serious credence to the idea of “demons camouflaged as extraterrestrials”:
If the Christians are right about how they interpret the UFO phenomenon, it is hoped that the rest of humanity will thank them for their stand against a demonic presence masking as extraterrestrials. If they are wrong, or even incomplete, in their analysis, they will be seen as obstructionist or even dangerous, refusing to see the truth that stares them in the face. (221)
As a widely cited UFO historian, Dolan displays his and his co-author’s blind side here in considering “a demonic presence masking as extraterrestrials” as a plausible evaluation of the extraterrestrial phenomenon. In an online extract from their book on the religious implications of extraterrestrial disclosure, it becomes clear that Dolan and Zabel only take seriously the abduction phenomenon for assessing the motivations of visiting extraterrestrials. They don’t consider evidence from early “contactee reports” where human looking “space brothers” were claimed to have arrived to help humanity navigate the perils of the nuclear age.
Initial reports of human-looking extraterrestrials were overwhelmingly benign and non-invasive, suggesting that the “space brothers” were highly advanced ethically as well as technologically. Dolan has written two earlier books on UFOs and the National Security State, in neither does he take seriously early contactee reports of friendly human alien contact. Zabel, co-creator of the television series Dark Skies, similarly focused on the abduction phenomenon and the invasive aspect of extraterrestrials behind it – again ignoring contactee reports entirely. Putnam and Horn, like Dolan and Zabel, focus on the invasive nature of the abduction phenomenon and the extraterrestrial entities behind it. This is a dangerously skewed position to take in attempting to evaluate the motivations of extraterrestrial visitors in general, let alone their impact on world religions.
In addition to putting a negative spin on the motivations of visiting extraterrestrial life based on data exclusively from the abduction phenomenon, Putnam and Horn are against the idea of there being possible alien christs that incarnated on other worlds:
The most compelling biblical argument for the uniqueness of terrestrial life is the incarnation. The Second Person of the Trinity, the One who brought the entire universe into existence (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrew 1:1-2), became an everlasting member of the human race in the incarnation (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:24-25). He ascended to heaven bodily and sits on His throne as a man. This strongly counts against the existence of extraterrestrials and multiple incarnations on alien worlds. (p. 216).
Putnam’s and Horn’s dismissal of possible alien christs that incarnated on other worlds displays an astounding homo chauvinism. This leads to them concluding Exovaticana with the exhortation:
We … suggest aggressive preparation for an Antichristogenesis – an Alien Serpent Savior … it is obvious to all now that the Vatican has cleverly prepared for his coming… (pp. 556-57).
“Aggressive preparation” appears to be a codeword for a possible religious war where evangelical Christians will collaborate with UFO abduction researchers who take a negatively skewed approach in evaluating the motivations of alien visitors. High on this religious war agenda would be an effort to sabotage any constructive dialogue or cooperation with extraterrestrial life.
Putnam and Horn are very likely correct in their assessment that the Vatican and the Catholic Church is positioning itself to accept extraterrestrial visitors as “brothers in Christ.” In that regard, we might all be surprised by the future role to be taken by the Vatican in disclosing the existence of extraterrestrial life. Exovaticana, insofar as it presents the history of the Catholic Church’s position on extraterrestrial life is very informative and helpful.
Exovaticana is dangerous insofar as it skews data towards an overly negative assessment of the motivations of extraterrestrial visitors. Evidence clearly shows that not all alien visitors have behaved in ways that could be considered harmful to humanity’s vital interests, or violating the rights of individuals. A more balanced approach, as found in the new book Galactic Diplomacy: Getting to Yes with ETis needed – where a comprehensive evaluation of all data on extraterrestrial visitors is analyzed. Thiswill help ensure that humanity moves harmoniously into a wider galactic society where our vital interests are respected, rather than precipitate a religious (interplanetary) war as Exovaticana appears to be advocating.
Yesterday Pope Francis I celebrated his first Easter Mass as the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. In his first “Urbi et Orbi” speech – Latin for “to the city [of Rome] and the world” – he called for peace in the Middle East; an end to human trafficking and greed; preventing the exploitation of natural resources; and protecting animals by becoming “responsible guardians of creation.” The Pope normally gives two Urbi et Orbi speeches each year where he deals with major challenges faced by the world and Christendom.
In a future speech it has been predicted that he will discuss a unique challenge that the world faces according to the authors of a new book. In Exovaticana, Chris Putnam and Tom Horn predict that the new Pope, Francis I, will soon announce the existence of extraterrestrial life, among whom an alien savior will emerge to reinvigorate Christian teachings!
Putnam and Horn, successfully predicted in their last book, the best-selling Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here, that Pope Benedict would resign rather than die in office. They based their prediction on St Malachy’s, Prophecy of the Popes. According to Putnam and Horn, Francis is the final Pope, “Petrus Romanus”, who will oversee the dissolution of the Catholic Church as predicted in St Malachy’s prophecy, by announcing an extraterrestrial savior.
Putnam and Horn claim to have documented the research and evidence supporting their startling prediction in their new book, Exovaticano – advance orders of which have already rocketed it into Amazon’s best seller lists for its April 15 release. On their website and in Exovaticano, they claim that the Catholic Church hierarchy plans to announce an extraterrestrial savior who will usher in a new world spiritual belief system that supplants traditional Christianity and organized religion. Putnam’s and Horn’s research is based on interviews with Catholic scholars and scientists who were willing to discuss the Prophecy of the Popes and the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
Among the Catholic researchers interviewed is Dr Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit and Vatican astronomer who generated much press interest in 2010 for his views on alien life. He said: “Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul.” When asked if he would baptize an alien, Consolmagno replied: “Only if they asked.” Putnam and Horn cite a difficult to find document written by Consolmagno who makes a remarkable claim about the relationship between Jesus and extraterrestrial life:
Perhaps it’s not so far-fetched to see the Second Person of the Trinity, the Word, Who was present “In the beginning” (John 1: l), coming to lay down His life and take it up again (John 10: 18) not only as the Son of Man but also as a Child of other races?
At first reading, it appears as though Consolmagno is suggesting that Jesus may have been the “Star-Child of an alien race” as Putnam and Horn suggest. On re-reading Consolmagno’s quote, it appears that he is instead claiming that the second aspect of the Holy Trinity that was personified in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, may be recognized as relevant to other worlds and races. This would make it possible for Consolmagno to baptize aliens, even on their own worlds.
If Jesus divinity is recognized by extraterrestrial races, and expressed in a unique way by them, then it is easy to understand why Consolmagno believes that contemporary society will “look to the Aliens to be the Saviors of humankind.” Consolmagno, as Putnam and Horn make clear, is no rogue priest making wild theological pronouncements about alien life. Consolmagno’s boss and Chief Vatican Astronomer, Dr Gabriel Funes, stunned the world in May 2008 when he revealed that it is acceptable for Catholics to openly contemplate extraterrestrial life. In an interview he said:
Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can’t put limits on God’s creative freedom… “Why can’t we speak of a ‘brother extraterrestrial’? It would still be part of creation…
Both Funes and Consolmagno are scientific advisors to the Pope and advise him on all matters concerning astronomy – which includes the likelihood of a future discovery of extraterrestrial life. It’s inconceivable that both Funes and Consolmagno would have been able to make public their beliefs about extraterrestrial life without the approval of the previous Pope, Benedict XVI. It is highly likely that the Vatican astronomers will continue to be given permission to make statements about extraterrestrial life and its theological implications. So is it pure science driving these statements from Vatican astronomers or something else?
Funes and Consolmagno are best known among the scientific community for organizing an astrobiology conference on the grounds of the Vatican in November, 2009. The conference contemplated the consequences of the latest scientific advances which was made possible the discovery of exoplanets. A process that according to many astronomers makes the discovery of extraterrestrial life a question of “when” rather than “if”. For example, Dr Chris Impey from the University of Arizona’s Astronomy Department said at the 2009 conference:
As scientists gather to discuss progress in astrobiology, we still only know of one planet with life: our own. But there is a palpable expectation that the universe harbors life and there is hope that the first discovery is only a few years away.
It may be that Vatican astronomical interest is driven by the possibility of discovering extraterrestrial life on some distant exoplanet in the next few years. Not so according to Putnam and Horn. They contend that Vatican astronomers have already found evidence of extraterrestrial life, much closer to earth.
Putnam and Horn claim that the Vatican’s astronomical telescope (Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope) located at the Mt Graham Observatory, Arizona, is tracking something that has yet to be announced to the world. They quote from Father Malachi Martin, another Jesuit, who cryptically revealed something that was being tracked by Vatican astronomers that had great significance. In a 1997 interview on the popular radio program Coast to Coast AM,
Martin said:Because the mentality…amongst those who [are] at the…highest levels of Vatican administration and geopolitics, know…what’s going on in space, and what’s approaching us, could be of great import in the next five years, ten years.
On the question of what precisely is being tracked, Putnam and Horn claim that “people familiar with Malachi believe he may have been referring to a near-future arrival of alien intelligence.” The aliens will be carrying with them a message that transforms Christianity from an earth-centric faith system into a new galactic faith that welcomes extraterrestrials as our “spiritual brothers”. Who will be the savior that emerges from the incoming extraterrestrial object secretly monitored by astronomers that, if Putnam and Horn are correct, the Vatican is preparing to soon announce in an “Urbi et Orbi” speech to the world?
Marian apparition at Fatima was an extraterrestrial encounter
The Pope’s resignation speech on Monday morning has left Vatican experts baffled over the real reason for his resignation. Most are dismissive of his stated health reason for resigning. Some commentators believe he was ordered to go by powerful behind the scenes forces who believed that the time was right for a new Pope. Some speculate that the Pope was ordered to resign by the Knights of Malta, a powerful behind the scenes Catholic order which has sovereign representative status at the United Nations. They may be right. After all, in 2005 when he began his Papacy, Pope Benedict was widely regarded as a place holder. Place holder for who?
The Final Pope according to the Prophesy of the Popes who would rule during the dissolution of the Catholic Church. What would emerge after the end of the Papacy and the Catholic Church, a new spiritual belief system based on world unity? What set of global events could usher in the dissolution of organized religion? For an answer, we can investigate the 1917 Fatima incident which Pope Benedict played a role in interpreting back in May 2000.
Three young children received six apparitions of the Virgin Mary over a period of six months from May to October 1917. Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto received three prophecies or secrets. Two of the secrets were revealed by Lucia in 1941 in a document requested by Jose da Silva, Bishop of Leiria.
The First Secret concerned a vision of Hell on earth which was mitigated for the children by the promise that they and others would be taken to heaven by their devotion to the “Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Given that the apparitions occurred during the lead up to some of the most intense fighting of the First World War, the First Secret appeared to be a statement of contemporary global events. The Second Secret predicted a second World War and future calamities if Russia was not converted by the prayers of the faithful, and their dedication to the Virgin Mary. Both the onset of the Second World War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 have been regarded as supporters of the Fatima event as vindication of the Second Secret which seemed unthinkable at the time it was first publicly revealed. The Third Secret was not initially revealed by Lucia to the Bishop of Leiria in 1941 because she was “not yet convinced that God had clearly authorized her to act.” Two years later, the Bishop ordered Lucia to put the secret in writing. She wrote the secret down on a sheet of paper, put it in an envelope and sent it to the Bishop in June 1944 with the instruction that it was not to be opened until 1960 when “it will appear clearer.” The “Third Secret of Fatima” was not released to the public for another 56 years fueling speculation that it prophesied calamitous times for the Catholic Church. In May 2000, the Vatican released a document that did indeed reveal calamitous times ahead for the Catholic Church:
And we saw in an immense light that is God: `something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White, `we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.
Lucia later confirmed in communications with the Vatican that the Bishop dressed in White was a future Pope, but she did not know who. The Third Secret did indeed refer to the death of a Pope in a way that echoed the Prophesy of the Popes. The systematic death of Bishops and other religious figures in a ruined city appeared to symbolize the destruction of Rome and the Catholic Church. So did the Third Secret of Fatima prophesy that the Catholic Church would come to an end, and the last Pope killed? The theological commentary accompanying the Third Secret of Fatima was written by none other than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the current Pope Benedict, who then headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. His deputy, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone wrote: “Fatima is undoubtedly the most prophetic of modern apparitions.” While Ratzinger agreed with the prophetic value of the three secrets of Fatima, his interpretation of the Third Secret was that the death of the Pope symbolized the attempted assassination of John Paul II, and the persecution suffered by the Church in the 20th century.
What is the meaning of the “secret” of Fatima as a whole (in its three parts)? What does it say to us? First of all we must affirm with Cardinal Sodano: … “the events to which the third part of the “secret” of Fatima refers now seem part of the past.” Insofar as individual events are described, they belong to the past. Those who expected exciting apocalyptic revelations about the end of the world or the future course of history are bound to be disappointed.
So what was it about the Fatima event and the apparition of the Virgin Mary that could lead to the Vatican withholding the Third Secret for over fifty years until 2000? Was it because it did allude to or confirm what was found in the Prophesy of the Popes – the end of the Papacy and the Catholic Church? Or was withholding the Secret part of the Church’s strategy to see if it would outlast the Communist ideology, which did directly persecute Christians in the Soviet bloc? Pope Benedict opted for the second answer in giving his theological commentary in May 2000, but he knew that Fatima event was not simply a spiritual incident. The Pope knew that Fatima was actually a case of a UFO sighting witnessed by thousands in this remote Portuguese town. The Marian apparition witnessed by the three girls was related to extraterrestrials aboard the UFO whose revelations proved to be incredibly prophetic. The final of which involved the end of the Papacy and the Catholic Church. The real reason behind the Pope’s sudden resignation announcement may be that the Catholic Church is about to be convulsed by events related to the appearance of extraterrestrial life bearing a transformative spiritual message for humanity – one that will bring an end to organized religion around the world.