In a recent article on the Secret of Fatima, Steve Skojec, the founder and editor of OnePeterFive, published, to my knowledge, for the first time in the English language words from Rome’s chief exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth (d. 2016), about Padre Pio and his knowledge of the Third Secret of Fatima. They come from a newly published book written by José María Zavala, entitled The Best Kept Secret of Fatima (El Sécreto Mejor Guardado de Fátima). OnePeterFive‘s contributor, Mr. Andrew Guernsey, was very helpful in finding these quotes. Since Mr. Skojec’s own article is somewhat lengthy, many readers may not have realized the importance of this interview with Father Amorth, which was only to be published after the priest’s death. In the following, I shall quote extensively from Steve’s own post which first speaks about Father Amorth’s own conviction that the specific Consecration of Russia has not yet taken place, and then enters into the larger discussion about Fatima:
It [a piece of the Fatima puzzle] came in the form of an interview with the very famous (and now deceased) Roman exorcist, Fr. Gabriel Amorth, also conducted by José María Zavala. Fr. Amorth personally knew Saint (Padre) Pio for 26 years, and it is from this towering figure of 20th century Catholic sanctity that he claims to have learned the contents of the Third Secret of Fatima.
Fr. Amorth was interviewed by Zavala in 2011, who kept the interview secret until after the exorcist’s death, publishing it for the first time in his book about Fatima. In the interview, Fr. Amorth relates — as he has done elsewhere — that he does not believe the consecration of the world by Pope John Paul II in 1984 was sufficient to satisfy the requirements set forth by Our Lady.
“There was no such consecration then,” he [Father Amorth] says. “I witnessed the act. I was in St. Peter’s Square that Sunday afternoon, very close to the Pope; so close, I could almost touch him.”
Pressed by Zavala as to why he so forcefully believes that the consecration was not done, Fr. Amorth replied: “Very simple: John Paul II wanted to mention Russia expressly, but in the end he did not.”
Zavala pressed the issue with Fr. Amorth, saying that Sister Lucia herself (as mentioned above) had said that Heaven had accepted the consecration. He describes an incredulous reaction from Fr. Amorth. “Lucia said that…?” He asked. Zavala continues:
“Well, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said it, in the year 2000, hiding behind a letter [escudándose en una carta] from Lucia dated November 1989, in which she stated that Heaven had admitted consecration in spite of one of the most important conditions.
“Have you seen that letter?” He asks, as if conducting a police interrogation in search of evidence.
“Never,” I say flatly.
“I do not think you’ll ever see it, because I’m convinced that Lucia did not write it.”
“How are you so sure of that?”
“Why didn’t Bertone show it when he should have, when he announced the Third Secret of Fatima? A simple photocopy of the manuscript, included in the official dossier of the Vatican, would have been sufficient to dispel any doubt. If the Vatican has always been scrupulous in providing the documentary proof that authenticated the information by Lucia on minor matters, what reason would they have to skimp on the only documentary evidence that, according to Bertone, validated a fact that without doubt was of as much importance as the consecration performed by John Paul II?
“Yes, it’s weird,” I admit.
“You really think Lucia took five years to write that the consecration had been truly accepted? And that Bertone waited no less than sixteen years to announce the validity of something so crucial as the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?” Father Amorth’s voice sounds like dry leaves.
“It’s all very strange, in truth.” I [Zavala] nod again.
“Moreover,” he adds, “if the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary made by Pius XII in 1942 was only partially accepted [because he did not specifically mention Russia – ed], for Jesus said that in view of it the war would only be shortened rather than finished immediately, why would He now change his mind with John Paul II, if Russia was not mentioned on this occasion?”
“It would be an incongruity, yes.”
“I have no doubt that the consecration did not occur on the terms required by the Virgin. But we must not lose sight of what she herself wanted to tell us through Lucia: ‘In the end My Heart Immaculate will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and it will become [come to be], [thereby] granting itself to the world a time of peace’…”
The interview digresses here from the topic of Fatima, but Zavala returns to it again later:
“Forgive me for insisting on the Third Secret of Fatima: Did Padre Pio relate it, then, to the loss of faith within the Church?”
Fr. Gabriele furrows his brow and sticks out his chin. He seems very affected.
“Indeed,” he states, “One day Padre Pio said to me very sorrowfully: ‘You know, Gabriele? It is Satan who has been introduced into the bosom of the Church and within a very short time will come to rule a false Church.’”
“Oh my God! Some kind of Antichrist! When did he prophesy this to you?” I [Zavala] ask.
“It must have been about 1960, since I was already a priest then.”
“Was that why John XXIII had such a panic about publishing the Third Secret of Fatima, so that the people wouldn’t think that he was the anti-pope or whatever it was …?”
A slight but knowing smile curls the lips of Father Amorth.
“Did Padre Pio say anything else to you about future catastrophes: earthquakes, floods, wars, epidemics, hunger …? Did he allude to the same plagues prophesied in the Holy Scriptures?” [asks Mr. Zavala]
“Nothing of the sort mattered to him, however terrifying they proved to be, except for the great apostasy within the Church. This was the issue that really tormented him and for which he prayed and offered a great part of his suffering, crucified out of love.” [says Fr. Amorth]