Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Fraud at Fatima
 
The Virgin Mary allegedly appeared in the middle of six consecutive months to three young children, Jacinta born 1910, Lucia born 1907 and Francisco born 1908 in Fatima Portugal in 1917. The Virgin supposedly made people have a vision of the sun spinning at the end of the appearances.
 
Background
 
The book we are referring to for now is Celestial Secrets.  I absolutely loved this book. I couldn’t put it down. It argues that in relation to the apparitions of Mary to three children at Fatima in 1917 that the entity was not Mary at all but the Church made sure people would think it was. It explores evidence from the original accounts that the phenomena had too much in common with reports of visions of alien messengers and spaceships to be genuinely Catholic.
 
I have always suspected that the Catholic Church, despite its antagonism towards miracles, will hijack some of them when they are popular enough and when it gives Church image and coffers a boost. The Church fears miracles and apparitions due to its belief that God has established the Church to teach us and the Church is infallible. It says miracles and apparitions only draw attention to aspects of what the Church already teaches. The Church says we are not obligated to believe in them of they are not part of the faith. The Church says that God has stopped revealing new truth since the last apostle of Jesus died and the Church with his guidance tells us what God’s teaching is. It fears apparitions and miracles because they can tend to make the witnesses or apparition your teachers in preference to the Church. This has happened at Medjugorje where messages from Mary are given out without any effort being made to provide them to legitimate Church authorities to check them for orthodoxy first. The visions of Medjugorje are the real magisterium for devotees of the apparition.
 
The Church claims that apparitions and miracles verify that she is the true Church and are signs from God to that effect. Yet it doesn’t investigate any miracles that don’t fit Catholic orthodoxy such as milk-drinking Hindu idols. It doesn’t even investigate most miracle and apparitions reported by Catholics. A religion that does that is plainly lying when it says that miracles authenticate the claims it makes. Besides the Church says we are obligated to believe in the miracles of Jesus in the Bible and even today the Church rejects more impressive miracles at Lourdes as not genuine. It expects us to take the word of the gospels for it that Jesus did miracles and ignore many modern miracle testimonies some of which are supported by doctors.
 
In the book we read that the Church took charge of the evidence and testimony in relation to the alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima and controlled Lucia the only surviving main witness to make sure anything that was said was what the Church wanted to be said (Foreword ii).
 
The book is based on the original records which the Church kept locked up for six decades (Introduction iv). Two authors of the book Ferndades and d’Armada spent 25 years researching diary entries and letters and other sources of information at the time of the apparitions to get at the true story.

Mary appeared at Fatima to the three children Lucia and Jacinta and Francisco in 1917 starting on May 13th.

The fact that there had been several apparitions reported of Mary over the centuries in the region of Fatima (page 38) lends support to the thought that the three witnesses of Fatima might have been influenced by them to wrongly interpret what they saw.

Jacinta told the parish priest in July 1917 during the apparitions, that the lady she saw wore a knee-length skirt and that when the lady left she raised her toes up with the heels pointing down and the body already disappeared. This is so bizarre that it beggars belief. It is no wonder Celestial Secrets surmises that the experiences are identical with the contactees who claimed to have encounters with aliens. The entity was not the Virgin Mary who wouldn’t behave so strangely.

Francisco said that the Virgin didn’t move her lips as she spoke and didn’t move as if she were some kind of doll (page 96). Lucia had a light within that made her understand the Virgin (page 97). With such a bizarre method of communication, it would be easy for Lucia to imagine communications from her Catholic conscious. Did she think the vision was putting thoughts in her head?

The vision made buzzing noises (page 249).

Canon Formagao had severe problems with the Virgin wearing a knee length skirt which even prostitutes of the time didn’t have the audacity to wear (page 151-153). This made him suspect that the vision was of the Devil but he deduced that it must have been really Mary for apparitions are authenticated not by the testimony of witnesses but by their popularity among pious people.

The earliest evidence about the 1917 apparitions is that the entity interpreted as Mary never said she was of the family of God or Christ or mentioned Jesus or God. Lucia and Jacinta says she wanted a chapel built but they were not sure if she said she was the lady of the rosary or if she meant she wanted a chapel for the lady of the rosary. Though lady of the rosary is a title of the Virgin Mary an entity carrying a rosary might call itself the lady of the rosary in another way: just the lady with the rosary.

Pro-Fatima booklet, What Happened at Fatima?  tells us that the vision said to Lucia that she must say the rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war “for only she can help you” (page 32). The booklet expresses puzzlement at the entity talking as if she is not Our Lady or Mary. Also, the “for only she can help you” implies that God won’t help unless Mary is invoked. This contradicts the Bible doctrine that Jesus Christ intercedes for sinners. This being was not the Mary of Christianity. We must not forget that Roman Catholicism is not a true form of Christianity.

It is certainly doubtful that the vision was really of Mary.
 
Other Troubles for the Vision
 
The parish priest’s interviews with the visionaries were made into a report. This was their first interview by the Church and it can be read in the book, Os Mouros Fatimidas e as Aparicoes de Fatima. The report says that during the first vision Francisco only saw the Lady just as she was leaving though he was there all the time. That suggests that he wanted to see her like the rest did and he forced himself to hallucinate or imagine the vision. The real Virgin would be careful to eliminate psychological explanations. The extraordinary thing about the first version of the first vision is that the children said that the Virgin wore a skirt down to her knees and wore white socks unlike the Virgin had ever done before. She wore a necklace with a medal on it. She wore earrings and was of medium height and her eyes were black which must mean she had eyes like an alien. This description prompted some to insist that the Lady was really the daughter of Muhammad, Fatima, and not the Virgin Mary. Later the Church manipulated the children to say that the Virgin looked the way she is depicted in holy pictures with long dresses. The short skirt was considered immodest.

The Bible forbids women wearing anything fancy for it wants them to spend the time they would spend on becoming glamorous on good works (1 Tim 2:9,10) so the Bible says the woman was not Mary unless Mary is in Hell and Satan sent her. Jacinta had been seeing a small woman one night near the trapdoor in the attic. She said she saw the same Lady at the apparition site with the others. This suggests that the child had dreamt the vision near the trapdoor. This is not clearly excluded from the accounts and it makes the rest of the apparitions unreliable. The real Virgin would have inspired her not to make this mistake. Jacinta showed confusion about when the lightning that accompanied the Virgin’s arrival at times happened and on whether the Lady spoke and yet she was able to notice minute details about which fingers were holding the rosary beads and many others which suggests that somebody was putting words in her mouth – something that Lucia would have been good at.

Lucia wrote in 1937 that she was very bad at writing but yet the book she wrote then is well enough written. Who wrote it for her? Why did she lie about it being all her work?

Jacinta
 
According to Mother Godinho this is what Jacinta said on her deathbed. It is clearly made up for a child would not have the following concerns or articulate them so well.

The sins which cause most souls to go to Hell are the sins of the flesh.
 
To be pure of body is to keep chastity. To be pure in soul is not to commit sins, not look at what one should not see, not to steal, never to lie, always to tell the truth however hard it may be.
 
Fashions that will greatly offend Our Lord will appear. People who serve God should not follow fashions. The Church has no fashions. Our Lord is always the same.
 
Doctors do not have the light to cure the sick because they do not have love of God
 
Priests should only occupy themselves with the affairs of the Church. Priests should be pure, very pure. The disobedience of priests and religious to their superiors and to the Holy Father greatly offends Our Lord.
 
To be a woman religious, it is necessary to be very pure in soul and body.
 
Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord, and they are not of God.
 
Confession is a sacrament of mercy. Therefore, one must approach the confessional with confidence and joy.
 
My godmother, pray much for those who govern! Woe to those who persecute the religion of Our Lord. If the government left the Church in peace and gave freedom to the holy Faith, it would be blessed by God.

Wars are nothing but punishments for the sins of the world.
 
Our Lady can no longer hold back the arm of her beloved Son from the world. It is necessary to do penance. If people change their ways, Our Lord will still spare the world; but if they do not, the chastisement will come.

The Flop of the Century
 
In October, a crowd of 70,000 had gathered. At the end of the visions, the Lady who had identified herself as the Lady of the Rosary, let the children see Jesus and Joseph and herself in the sun. Lucia shouted for the crowd to look at it and then many of them but not all (page 77, The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary) saw the sun spinning or changing colour or both but the accounts do not agree (ibid 78, 80). Now, for the Lady to want the crowd to look at the sun which is very dangerous over visions that might have been hoaxes shows that she was not the Virgin Mary but something else – perhaps something equivalent to a fairy-tale playmate. Despite all the photographers who were present there are no photos of the changes in the sky or any physical evidence. The best the defender can do is produce photos of eclipses in far away lands! (page 78, The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary). When a miracle is given for unbelievers one would expect the Virgin to have done a better job of seeing to it being authenticated.

Many people would have said they saw something though they did not. The Virgin had said the miracle was for unbelievers and those who saw nothing might have been accused of being so stubborn in unbelief that doing a miracle to convince them would not work.

The Virgin had vowed at Valinhos to convince all that her apparitions were true and from God by performing a great miracle (The Thunder of Justice, page 137). But all in the Cova did not see the miracle of the sun so she lied. The Church lies that the 70,000 did see the miracle (page 54, What Happened at Fatima?) but then we are told that no two people seem to have seen the same thing (page 55, What Happened at Fatima?). “It is clear that only a proportion of the crowd, probably less than half, actually witnessed the miracle. There is some evidence to the effect that only those who were standing in a broad band across the centre of the Cova saw the vision; but the truth of this is now impossible to establish” (page 78, The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary). The Cova was a natural amphitheatre which may mean that the event was a natural illusion caused by the way the sun’s rays were focused by the landscape. This would explain the broad band. The children might have seen it before when they were looking after sheep and planned to have the crowd there that day to see it. Remember Lucia did not roar at the people to look at the sun until she saw the “miracle”.

In a Fortean Picture Library photo in The Book of Miracles some of the people are not looking up at the solar miracle evidently because they have seen nothing and all of the faces looking up are not amazed. There are no open mouths or hands to the mouth. There is nobody showing any sign of fear. This picture tells a lot of the real truth about the solar miracle. It says Lucia herself did not see the miracle (page 54, What Happened at Fatima?). So the only one who could prove that the Virgin was appearing did not see the super-miracle. Again, the lady she saw did not care about proving the apparition authentic.

The Catholic Church says divine miracles have mostly good fruits. Fatima started the spinning sun trend in religious fanaticism and it has carried on – especially in Medjugorje – and has left many blind or with bad sight due to the damage that comes from looking at the sun or convinced of the truth of silly apparitions since. Plus some who thought at the time of Fatima that the sun was going to fall on top of them were evidently nearly driven to insanity and there could have been a stampede in which people had died for the normal instinct when you see that is to run away. There was no stampede which is evidence that there was no sun seen falling down to earth though some said there was (www.geocities.com/fatimaforagnostics/FAT.12.NEWSPAPER.2.htm). The Christian religion says we must love God totally and our neighbour as ourselves meaning that it is best for all people to serve God alone and to do it by helping others and ourselves not for our sake but for his. This is so unnatural that few do it and so what is the point in Mary’s miracle for its attraction was the display of power and its strangeness. People like to feel that there is a God of power to look after them which is what they want to run after miracles for. But that is quite contrary to the Christian religion which wants them to run after God and nothing else.

Let us finish with an important line in Mc Clure’s wonderful book, The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary, “There are surprisingly few convincing accounts of the solar event at Fatima” (page 80). Yet this miracle is the reason for believing in Fatima and it is a weak one.
   
Madigan Booklet: What Happened At Fatima?

We find much to object to in relation to the Fatima apparitions in the Catholic Truth Society booklet What Happened at Fatima? We are told that Portugal in 1917 was controlled by a government that sought to destroy the influence of the Church which it considered to be superstition by information and sometimes harsher means. The visions of Fatima led to the collapse of the regime (page 5). The visionaries and their supporters then had an ample motive then to lie and cover things up.

It was scandalous how the lady told the children they would go to Heaven before asking them if they were willing to offer all their sufferings in reparation for sinners. They could have refused on the basis that they were promised Heaven anyway (page 20). She should have asked them first. It is easy to resolve to suffer which was what the children did when you know the pie in the sky is hot and waiting for you.

The lady even showed the children God in the form of a light in which they saw themselves as they were in God (page 22). Strange that they were able to sin after that for seeing God is seeing infinite good and is therefore so attractive that we cannot sin afterwards. Lucia said she showed them God. The Lady then offered them a fake God and not the real God for had they seen the real one and not her idol made of light and emotions they would have been impeccable forever.

The parish priest, Fr Ferreira, held that the apparitions were of Satan because they never told the three children to tell everything about the visions and what they said to an orthodox Roman Catholic priest in confession (page 30). The priest was absolutely right if the Roman Catholic Church is the truth. The fact that Jacinta later reassured Lucia that the Lady was beautiful and went up to Heaven so the vision was not the Devil who is ugly and lives under the ground (page 31) proves that the children were prepared to ignore the Lady’s mistakes in order to believe in her and they believed these superficial arguments knowing the Devil would not be that obvious! The priest was certainly right to see that the visions were fake.

The Lady told them to pray for help from Our Lady of the Rosary and said she had come to tell them to pray to her (page 32). As if they had not been praying to her already. This sounds like the vision is denying that it is the Virgin Mary. The Lady could have brought an angel with her to relay this message to avoid lying and pretending she was not Our Lady. So she was an untruthful person then. One sees an element of the Catholic tendency to think of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Knock as separate people in this.

The Lady promised to work a miracle for all to see and believe in, in October (page 33). But this is not true for many did not see the miracle she promised and many who said they did could have been mistaken or subject to illusion.

The Lady did not let Francisco hear what she said but then she permitted the Third Secret, that was only revealed recently, to be told to him (page 37). Strange!

The Church lies that true apparitions promote feelings of peace. Then facts like the riots that nearly happened (page 42) and torment of the visionaries families are left out of the equation. This messing is hard to stomach.

The Lady saying that many souls go to Hell because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them (page 47). Jesus prayed for them on earth and according to the Bible he still does it. She is saying they are not much good. God prefers to ignore Jesus’ prayers in order to have human beings suffer and grovel for sinners. Nice chap! And Jesus was supposed to be God and a mere one of his most insignificant acts has more value than all ours put together.

Jacinta had a great fear of dying alone (page 68). How could she if she had seen God and Mary and Jesus? She always claimed to feel they were with her. This to me suggests an innocent child who was afraid to die because she had told lies.

When popular booklets like this one lie so much and twist the truth how can we trust the Church when it says that its Inquiry has found that an apparition report is true?