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?

 


Lucia of Fatima made up or imagined her stories about the "apparitions" of Mary at Fatima

Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were the visionaries of Our Lady of Fatima. These three children claimed they saw Mary on a number of occasions in 1917. Francisco and Jacinta died. 

Lucia became a nun in 1921.  The story comes to us through Lucia and she was not a trustworthy source and the Bible itself says that God wanted all things established by three reliable witnesses.

Fatima Attacked From Within
 
In chapter 10 of Fatima Revealed and Discarded we read a refutation of those Catholics who believed that even if the apparitions of 1917 were real.

The book itself confesses that the bedrock of such attacks is the fact that Lucia gave out new information about what had happened in 1917 during apparitions and waited until 1935 and up to 1941 to disclose these things (page 134, Fatima Revealed and Discarded).

The professor of theology from Louvain University, Fr Edward Dhanis, declared that the 1917 visions were real but that only the oldest account of them should be believed for Lucia was adding to the story as time went on. Fr Rene Laurentin who has done so much to promote the fabricated apparitions of Medjugorje defended Dhanis and his honesty in 1961 (page 137, Fatima Revealed and Discarded). As late as 1982, Laurentin was still on his side.

Dhanis acknowledged that the new version of the Fatima story was inauthentic because the first secret was an exaggerated and ridiculous vision of Hell and because the prophecy by Mary of the strange light in Heaven was made after the event in 1942 and because Mary could not want all the bishops to consecrate Russia to her heart for it getting them all to do it was unpractical and impossible (page 140, Fatima Revealed and Discarded). He thinks Lucia copied her Lady’s great promise from the great promise of the sacred heart to St Margaret Mary. The book responds that Lucia was not carried away to make statements that were not true for God verified her message with miracles! So even if she admits to being a liar or overly imaginative they will still believe in Fatima. But even miracles are no good when they back up a dubious authority. To say they are is ignoring the main telltale sign or unreasonably putting it last or second.

Fatima Version 1 and then the fanciful Version 2

There are two versions of Fatima. Fatima 1 is the authentic one and Fatima 2 is the Catholicised and embellished version invented by Lucia which was published in 1941. Fatima 1 doesn’t function as Catholic propaganda and Fatima 2 does (Celestial Secrets, page 147). To create Fatima 2, the Church through the Bishop of Lieria in 1921, ordered Lucia to be taken away from her own people and silenced. She was not allowed to return to Fatima without permission and her mail had to be checked. Even letters to her mother were in this category and nobody was allowed to directly write to her (page 148). She became a nun under duress in Porto at 14 years of age.

Investigators differ as to when Fatima 1 and 2 started. My preference is that Fatima 1 was the story in the few years following the visions and that Fatima 2 started in the 1920s though the inventing involved in it started in force in 1941 when Lucia came out with more fantasies.

In 1941 Lucia reported a revelation from Jesus demanding that Portugal by government enforcement should have no secular celebrations during Mardi Gras but practice prayer and sacrifice and penance (page 149).

Lucia lied about her imprisonment at Ourem in August 1917. Her own family denied her tale as did the prison cook (page 196).

Lucia claimed that she was threatened by being boiled with oil but a friend Maria do Carmo Menezes testified that the phrase came from her and said Lucia and Jacinta never mentioned being jailed (page 196). She knew them well and they stayed with her one month following the alleged jailing.

She lied in her memoirs about the sacrifices made by the children (page 196).

In Fatima 2, claims that the Virgin said in 1917 Russia will put its errors all over the world and start wars were made. The lady threatens the world to have devotion to her immaculate heart or wars will start. She said God would punish the world by war. But in World War II most of the people killed were innocent. Devotion to saints even Mary is optional and for Mary to blackmail doesn’t seem to point to her being a holy entity.

Some Christians believe Mary was evil and was damned and that Jesus came from an evil thing to prove his own holiness. Certainly the Bible never speaks of her being sinless.

Mary said that sinners go to Hell and that to save the world and sinners God wants to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart. The book says that this devotion had already been popularised since 1838 and that in 1850 there were already over 12,000 brotherhoods in honour of the Immaculate Heart (page 228). So what was God on about.

The children were given a vision of Hell which was declared to be the First Secret of Fatima. What was the secret then for Hell was a central dogma of the Catholic faith? This comes from the Fatima 2 stage where Lucia was adding on to and improving her story. In Fatima 1 this vision wasn’t mentioned (page 231). Clearly, Lucia decided after the visions to say there was a secret. She stupidly picked something silly as the secret, a vision of Hell. It couldn’t have been which shows it was all she could think of and she invented the vision. Eventually her imagination led to the invention of the Third Secret of Fatima in the 1940’s which she pretended to have been told by Mary in 1917.

The book shows that in 1917 there was no Third Secret because Lucia said that if the people knew the secret they would be sad or just much the same (page 164). Hell would make them sad as would the prophecy of a bishop in white being shot after climbing over a mountain of corpses. But she indicates that the holy people praying around her all the time mightn’t be upset by it at all. Lucia then lied in the 1940’s that she had been told the Third Secret by Mary in July 1917.

Lucia was more important to Fatima than the Virgin for we have to depend on Lucia to learn if she appeared and what she said. If Lucia was a spurious witness then you can dismiss Fatima.
 
The Encyclopaedia on Fatima

In the New Catholic Encyclopaedia’s entry, FATIMA, we learn that the patriarch of Lisbon had got Canon Manoel Formigao to question the children often while the apparitions were happening. The children who could hear the Lady would have been made more careful by this fact. Remember, Lucia was bombastic about her memory in her memoirs. The entry confesses that Lucia was wrong to say the Lady promised that World War One would end on October 13th 1917 but blames her interpretation! Why blame Lucia and not blame the vision for lying? Lucia was unlikely to make such a mistake and so her understanding must have been right. Who could forget the day a terrible war was to end and forget that same day too? The Lady had lied so if the Virgin Mary does not lie this lady was not her. And it is no use to blame Lucia for the Virgin’s being wrong for the Virgin would have known that the child was not registering it well and told her clearly what she meant once more. In religious ecstasy, the vision and the voice it has sound more real than one’s daily surroundings so she could not forget.

The commission was started in 1922 when Jacinta and Francisco were dead leaving only Lucia. Jacinta had to die for she would not take much needed drinks of water on the hottest days of the year and wearing cords to torment her flesh and whipping herself to please a God who wants her to suffer for the sins of others so that they can enjoy the fruits of her agony? Is it any surprise that this already disadvantaged child who malnourished herself for God did not survive the flu epidemic?

Anyway getting rid of Jacinta was to Lucia's advantage. It was so easy for her then to get it to go her way. And she did keep things from the commission and yet she accepted their approval of her visions which was dishonest for they hadn’t heard the whole story. A child that deceives will only get worse as she or he grows up.

The entry says that the visions of Lucia subsequent to Fatima were not tested by the Church like the Fatima ones were. The Church may permit them to be preached but neither officially approves or disapproves of them. This proves beyond any doubt that the Catholic Church knows more about the visionaries than it is letting on. It does not trust Lucia. The Church knows that you cannot point to a visionary and say that this vision is true and supernatural and that this other one she had is neither or that they don’t know what to make of it. The Church insists that she cannot approve visions if there is any doubt at all. If she starts picking and choosing she could and should accept every apparition in the world as genuine.
 
God in the Bible (Deuteronomy 18) forbids this selectiveness. He said there that if a prophet is always right and predicts the future right then his revelations are to be entirely thrown out if he makes one false prediction or makes an error.
 
You can get a bunch of experts who will come up with a verdict after a commission and you can set up another with a different selection and the verdict will be the opposite. And even if their verdict is the same the reasons could be very different. In that case neither commission is of any help for it is vital that the same reasons and perceptions be accepted and point to the same result. I mean two experts saying essiac cures cancer means nothing if one of them is convinced by testimonies of cancer patients who were cured and the other thinks there is psychic power in essiac and that is evidence enough that cancer cures must happen. The reasons are more important than the verdict for there can be no proper verdict without them. A person who believes you are good because they saw it in your astrology chart may be right that you are good but they only think it because of a bad reason. It is not you they honour but their perception of you that they get from astrology. That is not honouring the truth. A truth believed for the wrong reason is not a healthy or good truth. It might as well be a lie.
 
Lucia calls us to devote ourselves to Our Lady of the Rosary or Our Lady of Fatima. But all we end up doing is believing experts which is so silly. What makes it worse is that it is experts who have not published their deliberations fully and accessibly for us to peruse. This is why all authenticated apparitions of the Catholic Church should not be taken seriously.

The entry tells us that Lucia contradicted what other trustworthy people said in things which were of secondary importance. We are informed that she did this a number of times. If she was unintelligent or a liar she could not have been a true visionary of the Blessed Virgin who has the power to make a person give her message reliably and who would choose the right person.

Other writers say

In the book, Our Lady of the Nations, we read how Bennett in 2012 gives us information about what was in the priest's account of what Lucia told him about the first vision in May 1917.  Her tale did not mention that she asked the lady about the fate of dead girls.  She said the vision would not tell her how long the war was to last.  Interestingly, she says Francisco did not see the vision though he was present at the first vision.  It was only later he saw the woman.  All these things contradict what Lucia said later.  She said for example she was told the fate of the girls one of whom would be in purgatory until the end of the world and said she was told when the war would end.

Bij de Verschijningen en de voorzeggingen van Fatima, 1944, pp. 139-140 by Father Edouard Dhanis, S.J.   It was his scholarship that led the future Benedict XVI to decide in 2000 that the Fatima story was coloured by "Lucia may have seen in devotional books....the projections of the inner world of children."

SO FINALLY?

Lucia if she made mistakes then was lying about how sure she was that they were not mistakes.  Do people really make that many big mistakes?  No matter what you do, you cannot avoid calling her a liar.