Fatima visionary reportedly warns Pope of danger ahead
News has emerged that Sister Lucia dos Santos, the last surviving Fatima visionary, several weeks ago sent Pope John Paul II a letter reportedly warning him that his life is in danger.
According to Vatican sources, the letter, claiming that events spoken of in the "Third Secret" of Fatima had not yet occurred, was delivered sometime after 11 September to John Paul by the bishop emeritus of Fatima, Alberto Cosme do Amaral.
The Vatican has not confirmed publicly receipt of the letter.
One source for the story, which was reported on in the Italian press last week, is Italian priest Fr Luigi Bianchi. Bianchi claims to have met Sr Lucia dos Santos earlier this month at her cloistered Carmelite convent in Coimbra, Portugal.
"She told me she is very worried about the international situation," Don Bianchi told Italian journalist David Murgia. "She said we have entered a crucial time for the Church and for the world -- and that the only salvation is prayer."
The letter is said to contain this warning: "Soon there will be great upheaval and punishment." And it reportedly asks the Holy Father to pray because "your life is in danger."
The current bishop of Fatima, Serafim Ferreira de Sousa, when questioned by journalists, did not deny that Sr Lucia had sent a letter to the Pope, but said "there are no letters from the seer that express fear for the life of the Pope."
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who presented the interpretation of the Third Secret on 26 June last year, said that the recent rumours of a letter are only the continuation of, "an old polemic fed by certain people of dubious credibility," with the objective of "destabilising the internal equilibrium of the Roman Curia and of troubling the people of God."
Inside the Vatican