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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Catholic World News News Feature

Cardinal Bertone unveils book on Fatima secrets September 25, 2007

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, introduced his new book on the message of Fatima, at a September 21 reception hosted by the Pontifical Urbanianum University.

In his book-- entitled The Last Fatima Visionary: My Meetings with Sister Lucia-- the Italian cardinal emphatically rejects speculation that the famous "third secret of Fatima" has not yet been completely revealed.

In 2001 the Vatican ended years of speculation about the "third secret" with the announcement by Pope John Paul II that the message confided by the Virgin Mary to the seers of Fatima was a prophetic vision, describing a struggle between the Catholic Church and a totalitarian system, culminating in an attempt on the life of the Pope. That vision, Pope John Paul said, evidently referred to the attempt on his life, which took place on May 13-- the feast of our Lady of Fatima-- in 1981.

At the time Cardinal Bertone-- then an archbishop-- was the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and he traveled to Portugal to meet the last surving Fatima seer, Sister Lucia, who was living in a convent in Coimbra. The cardinal's book is based on his conversations with Sister Lucia-- who confirmed, he reports: "Everything has been published; no secret remains."

Cardinal Bertone's book is a direct rebuttal to a popular book by the Italian journalist Antonio Socci, whose book The Fourth Secret of Fatima made the argument that the 2001 announcement from the Holy See presented only a fragment of the "third secret."

The cardinal's book includes a preface by Pope Benedict XVI, who was the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the time the "third secret" was revealed. Vatican journalists could not recall a previous occasion when a reigning Pontiff contributed a preface to a book written by someone else.

Among those attending the book presentation were Cardinal Ivan Dias, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization; deputy Prime Minister Francesco Rutelli; the leader of Italy’s Christian Democrats, Pierferdinando Casini; and former prime minister Giulio Andreotti, who now serves as editor of the Catholic monthly news magazine 30 Giorni.