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Fatima - the Third -Secret?

There was a programme on TV a few days ago about the so-called Third Secret of Fátima. The main focus was on whether the Vatican had revealed the real text of the Third Secret, as it claimed, or had fobbed us off with a toned-down version.

Two reasons were proposed for why it might have done this. One was that Our Lady had foretold the corruption of the Church that would result in its complete collapse. The other was that she had said there was going to be a global catastrophe that would destroy all, or almost all, of humanity.

Well, you can see why the Church wouldn't want the first prophecy to come out, especially in the context of the scandals currently affecting the Vatican and the wider Church. As for the second prophecy, that too might be something not to make public. If you were an astronomer who had discovered a large asteroid that was due to hit the Earth in a month's time, would you annouce the fact or keep it to yourself?

Of course, the most likely scenario for the claimed suppression of the truth by the Church is that this is yet another conspiracy theory. But even if the conspiracy theorists are right, so what?

The best contrinution, I thought, was by a bearded parish prieset who said he didn't believe in prophecies of this kind. What he didn't say is that failed apocalyptic pronouncements go right back to the very beginning of Christianity - to Jesus himself.

Jesus was an apocalypticist, who expected the coming of the Kingdom of God on Earth in his own lifetime. (See Paul D Ehrman, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet ot the New Millennium.) This the plain meaning of the New Testament. If the founder of Chistiianity was mistaken, why should we believe in these modern prophecies based on visions?

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