Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Fascination With Fatima Prophecy

I recently read with interest an article from Brooklyn's diocesan newspaper, "The Tablet," from a May edition. I'm always saving newspapers, cutting  out articles I like and saving articles to read at a later date. I love the printed word. The article was titled, "Is Third Secret of Fatima Still A Secret?" by John Travis. It told about a small group of skeptics who recently met in Rome, not far from the Vatican, to discuss the third part of the Fatima message which the Vatican "explained" ten years ago. According to Vatican experts, the message didn't contain any apocalyptic message as "Fatimists" or members of the "Fatima Challenge movement" expected. This group was disappointed and insists there is still more to the prophecy. According to the article, "The pope's Vatican aides consider the 'Fatimists" a fringe element that is best ignored."
Fatimists believe that there was more to the third secret and they believe the explanation given of the third secret "removes the vision's apocalyptic scenario and lulls the faithful into a false sense of security." Looking at recent world events,  most especially at what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico and it's almost understandable why these skeptics might think there was something apocalyptic left out of the explanation. 
But anyhow, the prophecy or vision of the third secret was of a "bishop in white, who struggles up a hill amid corpses of slain martyrs, and then falls dead after being shot by soldiers." (Whether this bishop symbolized Pope John Paul II, who was shot and wounded on May 13, 1981 or a convergence of several 20th century pontiffs who helped the Church ward off the dangers, it doesn't mean someone must be killed." 
I'm just using my religious imagination......Perhaps the 'bishop in white' represents all the faithful baptized Christians struggling in modern times to grow spiritually and journey towards God. They struggle knowing they are surrounded by a "great cloud of witnesses", some of whom gave their life for the faith. All are united to them through the community of saints to which we all belong. What about the bishop being shot in the vision? Perhaps the bishop represents all the faithful who are "shot down," trampled over,  and persecuted in modern times, for the faith as they struggle to live the gospel message.
I guess there could be many interpretations of the vision. Vatican officials say there there is no cover-up, that there is no apocalyptic message that's being hidden or withheld. And more importantly, "The Fatima messages are not dogma and the Church does not impose belief or any single interpretation."