Previously on the PCP web site we reported about the debate on the Third Secret of Fatima that took place on October 13, 2017 between Kevin Symonds and Christopher Ferrara. Shortly afterward an interview conducted by Matthew Hoffman with Kevin Symonds appeared on Catholic World Report, prompting replies on the site from Christopher Ferrara, and then an article and interview featuring Mr. Ferrara on two other web sites. Among Mr. Ferrara’s replies to Mr. Symonds, it is one on the Catholic World Report site that calls for a special response. It is his statement that he “did not question the authenticity of the purported letter to John Paul II.” Mr. Ferrara is referring to Sister Lucia’s May 12, 1982 letter to Pope John Paul II, in which she explained to the pope the meaning of the Third Secret.
“Authentic” indicates something genuine, but “purported” often suggests something that is not authentic. Which of the two words expresses Christopher Ferrara’s evaluation of Sister Lucia’s letter? Mr. Ferrara is willing to accept the document as something written by Sister Lucia, but not as what the Vatican indicated – a letter addressed by Sister Lucia to Pope John Paul II on May 12, 1982. He is forced by the logic of his assumptions to reach this conclusion, that it is only “purported” to be such a letter, because its contents disprove his thesis:
1) In the letter Sister Lucia describes the Third Secret as a “symbolic revelation,” an obvious reference to the vision published by the Vatican. If the Third Secret is indeed a symbolic revelation, as Sister Lucia stated, it cannot be another document containing more words of Our Lady, as Mr. Ferrara assumes. This explanation of Sister Lucia constitutes a refutation of Mr. Ferrara’s theory.
2) Christopher Ferrara holds that Sister Lucia’s statement that Pope John Paul II was “anxious to know” the Secret could not have been written to the pope in May of 1982 because John Paul II had previously read the Secret. Here Mr. Ferrara misunderstands Sister Lucia’s Portuguese, because her word for “know” in the Portuguese is “conhecer,” which in this context has the meaning of “understand.” John Paul II had previously read the text of the symbolic revelation, the vision, on two occasions, but Sister Lucia was acknowledging that he was “anxious” to know in the sense of understand what the vision represented.
Rather than being merely a “purported” letter addressed to Pope John Paul II on May 12, 1982, Sister Lucia’s text was an authentic letter written to the pope on that occasion. Christopher Ferrara is forced by the internal logic of his theory to reject the authenticity of the letter as being what the Vatican affirmed it to be, for the text of the letter disproves the two fundamental assumptions upon which the theory of a “fourth secret” rests: 1) that the Third Secret is not solely a symbolic revelation but more words of Our Lady; and 2) while Sister Lucia was explaining the meaning of its symbolism to John Paul II – the meaning which she was given to understand, as indicated in the words spoken to her by Our Lady on January 3, 1944, and as recorded in the Carmelite biography published in 2013 – this explanation given by Sister Lucia does not correspond to what defenders of a missing document assume the Third Secret must contain. The facts contained in Sister Lucia’s letter do not conform to the theory of a fourth secret, and therefore the authenticity of the letter is questioned, and it is described by Christopher Ferrara as being merely a “purported letter” instead.