I love conspiracies. I really do! The craziness of how it all originates and how subversive it all is. Most of the times conspiracies are just plain science fiction. But sometimes something comes up that snags your interest.
I started reading on Gregory the Great, as part of my sermon prep, and ended up being pulled into the Third Secret of Fatima conspiracy. I’m especially intrigued by an Irish Catholic Jesuit Priest named Malachi Martin, who seems to be at the centre of every Catholic conspiracy of the 20th Century!
Lucia Santos, one of the three children who saw the visions of Mary in Fatima, Portugal, revealed there were three secrets. The first secret was a vision of hell. The second secret was a prediction that World War 1 would end then another world war would ensue. The third secret was/has been stooped in controversy.
Lucia said that Mary had told her not to reveal the third secret until 1960. At the bequest of a cardinal, she wrote the vision on a small note and sealed it. It was then sent to the Vatican just after the end of WW2. 1960 came and the note was not revealed. Such was the outrage that the third secret was not revealed by the Vatican, that all manner of conspiracies began to circulate. It even caused one guy to hijack an Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to London, demanding that the Pope release the third secret!
Mixed in with this is a strange event that happened 2 years prior to the 1960 deadline Mary had instructed. It is known as the Siri Thesis, in that when Pope Pius XII died in 1958, after some time, the white smoke (denoting a new Pope had been elected) appeared from the Sistine Chapel Chimney. The Swiss Guard assembled to give salute to the new Pontiff, and news journalists made their announcements. But no Pope came out. Moments later, the smoke turned back to black! 2 days later, the smoke went white again and John XXIII (Angelo Roncalli) was the new Pope. Conspiracy theorists suggest that it was actually Cardinal Siri who was first elected, and took the name Gregory XVII, but apparently dire threats were made from the Kremlin (according to Malachi Martin, nuclear threat!!!), and thus the election of the Pope was changed!
Even though in 1980 Pope John Paul II stated that “Because of the seriousness of its contents, in order not to encourage the world wide power of Communism to carry out certain coups, my predecessors in the chair of Peter have diplomatically preferred to withhold its publication.” The Vatican finally decided on June 26, 2000 to release the Third Secret. The official response of the Vatican was that the secret was about the persecution of Christians in the 20th Century. The text was released and after everyone read it, they were left with a very big question… why wait 40 years after it was supposed to be released to release it, when there was really nothing much to it?
A wave of disbelief spread throughout the Catholic world. Many Catholic leaders believed what was released was not the Third Secret. In fact, those that had actually read it, including Malachi Martin, swore what was released was not the third secret, but a fabrication. The Third Secret, according to these priests (and Malachi Martin) was about apostasy in the Catholic Church hierarchy, beginning from the Pope and leading the church to ruin (apparently, with a time frame in line with the Prophecy of Popes by St. Malachi made in the 12th century – which basically means after this Pope). It also included the command of Mary to reach out and bring the Russian Orthodox Church back into the fold (I guess the Russians took that seriously!). Cardinal Siri was a conservative priest that would have followed the third secret to the letter in regards to the Russians, and would have cleansed the Church according to the faithful Siri Thesis supporters.
And guess who did the commentary on the Third Secret and was part of the team that led in the release of the document in 2000? Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI).
You gotta love conspiracies!
Any conspiracies you find particularly interesting?