Vatican Discloses 'Third Secret' of Fatima.
May 14, 2000 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Vatican Discloses 'Third Secret' of Fatima. Prophecies to shepherd children, conspiracy theories - this shit is old-school. It must be fun to be Catholic, living in a world that still has shadows and mist. I'm sick of this harsh, bright Enlightenment thinking.
posted by lbergstr (9 comments total)
Trust me, it's not that fun. God I hope html works in these things... the most embarrassing thing in the internet world is using html tags in bulletin boards that ignore them. Oh and being Catholic isn't that fun.
posted by deckard at 1:33 PM on May 14, 2000

Festivals, bingo, getting drunk is considered a sacrement!

Catholicicsm rocks!!
posted by Mick at 3:34 PM on May 14, 2000

I always thought it was interesting that John Paul II paid such close attention to the Fatima prophecies. Now that we understand he saw himself in this particular third secret, it puts his sense of mission in a new light.

I'm not Catholic, I disagree with many Vatican policies, but John Paul II is, I hope, the model of future popes -- active and connected, instead of hermetic and distant. Here he is, stooped from osteoporosis, staggering under the weight of his vestments, and he's still out there travelling and surprising us.
posted by dhartung at 4:53 PM on May 14, 2000

No Mick, that's "Catholicism, Wow!"
posted by endquote at 5:11 PM on May 14, 2000

Of course, the best thing about Catholicism is that the guilt makes sex that much better. (And yes, I'm Catholic.)

[and I know I've nothing to compare it with. but it's a nice line.]

What happened at Fatima is interesting for a couple of reasons: firstly, that the final apparition took place, on cue, in the presence of about 70,000 onlookers, many of whom spoke of idential "supernatural" phenomena. Now I'm a student of the Enlightenment, and of group psychology, but that's pretty remarkable. Secondly, that it's a modern miracle (and yeah, I'm taking David Hume's definition of miracles here): it happened in the era of photography, and one of the protagonists is still alive.

But yeah, given the conservative political leanings of the Pope, I'm not surprised to see the prophecies given a neat anti-Communist reading. (Prophecy, after all, is only useful as retrospective justification, not as a means of prediction...) Still, if you read about the history of the Third Secret, it's quite a tale: Pope John XXIII, generally considered an open and liberal pontiff, was reportedly so shocked upon reading it, that he had it placed on the equivalent of a high shelf in the Vatican archive...

It's very "Foucault's Pendulum", isn't it?
posted by holgate at 5:20 PM on May 14, 2000

Sad to say, Pope JP II is a bit liberal for the establishment. There's an undercurrent in the Church to go pre-vatican II (e.g. mass in Latin, et al). I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd say that the next pope is going to be a hard line conservative as hell italian who will stop or revert any changes he can.
posted by eljuanbobo at 10:20 PM on May 14, 2000

I'm a little disappointed. I was hoping for some way cool, major third prophecy about the destruction of the planet. I can see why, if he really believes in the miracle of Fatima, that a prediction involving his death would upset him.
posted by mrmorgan at 11:27 PM on May 14, 2000

what a prediction...

I predict it will rain
posted by efader at 11:48 PM on May 14, 2000

Nah, eljuanbobo: you won't get a pre-Vatican II Pope elected, simply because of the demographics. Though the next Pope is very likely to be an Italian, you've got all the African and South American cardinals' votes to gather, and in the aftermath of Liberation Theology, the odds are that you'll see a Pope who is, to use the American terminology, "socially conservative but politically liberal". The developing world is the main growth area of Catholicism right now -- and they've got to recruit the priests from somewhere, since the West isn't really sending too many to the seminaries these days -- and in order to maintain that growth, there's a lot of unspoken tolerance towards activities which would be frowned upon in the shadow of Rome.
posted by holgate at 4:22 PM on May 15, 2000

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