So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fatima Conversations: beyond conspiracies.

1Peter5 is in the midst of either a blogger's best dream or worst nightmare.

In summary:
  1. 1Peter5 (Dr. Maike Hickson) reports Dollinger statement that the publication of Fatima Third Secret is incomplete.
  2. Vatican issues denial of articles regarding the Fatima Third Secret and confirms that the publication of the Fatima Third Secret is complete.
  3. 1Peter5 publishes article (excerpted below) in response to perceived accusations.
Here's the opening of a recent salvo from 1Peter5. Be sure to visit 1Peter5 to read the full article.
Today, May 21, 2016, the Holy See Press Office has released, in its daily bulletin, a statement attributed to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The statement categorically denies the affirmation, reported here, from Fr. Ingo Dollinger, which speaks of a private conversation in which then-Cardinal Ratzinger spoke to Dollinger, a personal friend, about there being more to the Third Secret of Fatima than was published by the Vatican in June of 2000. Here is the full text of the Vatican statement:
Communiqué: on various articles regarding the “Third Secret of Fatima”
Several articles have appeared recently, including declarations attributed to Professor Ingo Dollinger according to which Cardinal Ratzinger, after the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima (which took place in June 2000), had confided to him that the publication was not complete.
In this regard, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI declares “never to have spoken with Professor Dollinger about Fatima”, clearly affirming that the remarks attributed to Professor Dollinger on the matter “are pure inventions, absolutely untrue”, and he confirms decisively that “the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete”.
[00855-EN.01] [Original text: Italian – working translation]

As the Publisher of OnePeterFive, I wish to respond to this statement. One cannot take lightly a rebuttal from someone of the stature of Pope Emeritus Benedict. It is noteworthy that — to our knowledge — this is the first time since his abdication in 2013 that the Pope Emeritus has issued an official statement through the Vatican press office. (Well, ok... . Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI spoke on March 16th: With all that is currently troubling the Church, with all the confusion that now assails the faithful, this is the story which has prompted Benedict to break his silence. Clearly, this is a matter of unusual importance in the eyes of the Holy See. (A little hyperbolic?)
This statement is received by us with filial respect and love for the Pope Emeritus. And yet, it presents a problem. It conflicts directly with statements we have reported, and accuses us of false “attribution” and “invention.” It also flatly contradicts our source, Fr. Dollinger, not offering the possibility even of a misinterpretation, but rather, an accusation that the events he recounts are completely fabricated.
It is, in itself, a strangely perfunctory communique (The use of the word "perfunctory" tends to assume too much about the source's intent.), and is presented in a way that prompts questions about its provenance and completeness. It is not a 1) full, unabridged statement from Pope Emeritus Benedict; nor does it 2) bear his signature (Point #1: a reasonable point worth considering; Point #2: news reports do not bear the signature of the one being interviewed.). We are presented instead with pull quotes attributed to Benedict, and lacking the full context in which they originally appeared (Fair comments). Neither is it given to us to know who conducted this apparent interview with him, or how the questions were phrased (Again, fair comments).
We are, in other words, asked to take it on faith that the statement contains the authentic, complete, and ratified sentiments of the Pope Emeritus on the matter (No one is asking anyone to do anything other than read and weigh the Vatican statement. Let's not indulge leading statements.).
It is noteworthy that when we presented the words of Fr. Dollinger as reported by Dr. Hickson, we were accused by some of reporting unverifiable hearsay. But now we are given partial statements attributed to Benedict by an unnamed member of the Vatican communications staff — statements which implicate us, and also Pope Benedict’s old friend, Fr. Dollinger, in willful deception — and we are asked to believe that the matter is therefore settled? (Is this a fair comparison? Using an accusation ("accused by some") from/by unnamed sources to accuse the author(s) of the Vatican statement of something similar seems weak.)
I hope you will forgive my skepticism (Given the example of the curious actions of the Vatican media at the Synod, one can be forgiven for indulging a reasonable measure of skepticism.)
I have two questions about the semantics of this carefully-constructed statement. I believe they merit consideration. (A more convincing transition to the body of the criticism should avoid statements such as 'I believe' and 'I feel'. Those statements are as irrelevant as they are annoying in matters concerning authentic critical analysis.)
First, I would like to draw attention to the portion which states, “the remarks attributed to Professor Dollinger on the matter ‘are pure inventions, absolutely untrue’.”
Dr. Maike Hickson, who personally called Fr. Dollinger, attests to the truth of what she recounted from that conversation. Inasmuch as the Vatican statement accuses her of “attributing” statements which are “inventions” to Fr. Dollinger, it is false. She did not imagine the conversation she had with Fr. Dollinger, she reported it, and I stand by her testimony with full confidence in her integrity, both as a journalist and as a faithful daughter of the Church.
Further, this morning Dr. Hickson telephoned Father Dollinger with the news of the Vatican statement, and at that time he again confirmed to her emphatically and clearly his previous remarks. In other words, he stood by his story.
Cue the conspiracy chorus!

Can you smell a conspiracy brewing? Nevermind that the Holy See, on the authority of Pope Saint John Paul II, no less, published the following statement that concludes a detailed account of the handling of the Fatima prophecies:
The decision of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to make public the third part of the “secret” of Fatima brings to an end a period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil, yet pervaded by the merciful love of God and the watchful care of the Mother of Jesus and of the Church.
The action of God, the Lord of history, and the co-responsibility of man in the drama of his creative freedom, are the two pillars upon which human history is built.
Our Lady, who appeared at Fatima, recalls these forgotten values. She reminds us that man's future is in God, and that we are active and responsible partners in creating that future.
Tarcisio Bertone, SDB
Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli
Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Keeping it real.

Keep in mind the following criteria when weighing the exchanges which are sure to follow:
  1. Information. What are the facts? Are the facts communicated directly by (a) primary source(s)? If not, why?
  2. Verification. Excluding hearsay and/or a verified untruthful telling or willful misrepresentation of events, what (if any) are the contradictions? If there are contradictions between any authoritative accounts, what is/are the source(s) of the contradiction(s)? A faulty recollection or imprecise representation of the facts by one or more of the principals or their advocates involved may be due to faulty memory or some other unintended miscommunication (e.g., faulty transmission due to a technological cause). A careful re-communication and re-examination of the facts is warranted before debate continues.
  3. Motivation. Other than a legitimate concern for the full disclosure of the facts, such as a benefit to the common good, can any other motive be definitively attributed to the players involved in an exchange? Who stands to benefit the most (from any exchange)? Why or for what reasons?
  • If a prolongation of debate is founded on the achievement of material gain (e.g., financial benefit or benefit to reputation or destruction of another person's reputation to achieve "victory"), one or more parties to the debate may be motivated by unjustifiable and perhaps immoral reasons.
Not referring to the present debate, referring rather to the long history of Fatima speculations: Are the idle speculations offered by conspiracy enthusiasts (in com-boxes, on late night radio and on cable TV shows) as detrimental to the wellbeing of people as the evil perpetrated against nations by communists, the Nazis and Islamist terrorists? Obviously, the degree of moral gravity and culpability attached to certain behaviours may differ, but the malignant power that fuels malicious gossip and murder is the same.
Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew 12:36-37—I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
St. Luke 12:3—Whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
The devil gets his jollies when Catholics attack other Catholics. Let us be keenly aware that we will be held accountable for every uncharitable word and thought and deed. Let us be mindful of our need for repentance and God's mercy when we conduct a daily examination of conscience and when we pray the Penitential Act at Mass. The Sacrament of Penance awaits!

No comments:

Post a Comment

"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...