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The History of Apostasy

And the Third Secret of Fatima

By Robert J. Siscoe

POSTED: 7/30/13


The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church. ...Pope Paul VI, Oct. 13, 1977 as quoted in Corriere della Sera, Page 7 of its issue dated October 14, 1977)


Time Magazine, Nov. 22, 1968

If we consider the history of rational creation from the beginning of time, a repeated pattern emerges: over and over again, we see a great apostasy that begins at the top.

At the beginning of time, God created the nine choirs of angels, in hierarchical order, with Lucifer as the head.  St. Thomas explains that the higher angels possess a more powerful intellect and a greater knowledge than the lower, and that the higher angels enlighten those beneath them. (1)  Therefore Lucifer – the chief angel - was not only the highest in hierarchical order, but was also the angel with the greatest intellect, and the one responsible for enlightening and governing the others. 

As we know, this magnificent angel – the greatest creature God had created up to that time – disobeyed God and fell into apostasy, and in so doing brought one third of the other angels with him.  The angels who thought to themselves, “we would rather be wrong with Lucifer than right without him”, got their wish and became demons, while those who remained faithful to God, in spite of the apostasy of their divinely appointed leader, were immediately confirmed in grace and now reign with God in heaven. 

After the fall of the bad angels, God created man.  He endowed the first man with the preternatural gifts of integrity, bodily immortality, impassibility, and infused knowledge, which perfected him according to nature, as well as the supernatural gift of grace, which elevated his soul to the supernatural level, thereby making him a “partaker of the Divine Nature” (2 Peter 1:4).   By the gift of infused knowledge, Adam knew all that he had a natural aptitude to know (2), including knowledge of the physical universe, both material and spiritual, the moral law, the Divine Attributes of God, and man’s relationship to his creator” (3), as well as the supernatural knowledge necessary to guide him and his descendants to their supernatural end. (4)  All of the gifts Adam received would have been passed down to his posterity, with the exception of infused knowledge.  The reason his descendents would not have received this gift, according to St. Thomas, is because Adam was to be the teacher of all other men. (5) As father of the human race, he was to instruct and govern mankind, just as Lucifer was to govern and enlighten the lower angels. As we know, Adam, the father of the human race and divinely appointed teacher of all men, disobeyed God and fell into sin, thereby causing the Fall of the entire human race.  But unlike the angels who fell, God did not abandon man, but instead promised to send a Redeemer. 

Next God established His chosen people – the children of Israel – from whom this Redeemer was to come. This chosen race received supernatural revelation directly from God, and practiced the true religion revealed by God.  The Israelites offered God true worship, and longed for the coming of the Messiah for two millennia. Then, when the long-awaited Messiah finally arrived, their leaders rejected Him, declared him a blasphemer, and had Him put to death by the Romans, thereby causing the fall of the entire Jewish Nation.

Next, God used the betrayal of His once-chosen people, and the sacrificial death of Christ, as the means of Redeeming mankind and saving the Gentiles.  He then founded His Church, the “pillar and ground of truth” (1 Tim 3:15) and exclusive Ark of Salvation, and placed the Pope as the head and teacher of all the faithful.

Now, with the pattern that has been repeated over and over again since the beginning of creation, what should we expect to happen at the end?  Would it be a surprise if the Pope – the divinely appointed head of the Church and teacher of the faithful – repeated the actions of the former divinely appointed leaders and bring countless souls to destruction, thereby bringing about the great apostasy predicted in the New Testament?  Would this be a surprise, or simply the same pattern repeating itself?

Could the great apostasy brought on by diabolically disoriented popes be what is spoken of in the portion of the Third Secret of Fatima that has yet to be revealed?  Let’s consider the testimony of Cardinal Ciappi who read the Third Secret.  Cardinal Ciappi was a distinguished theologian from the pontifical household from 1955 to 1989.  In a letter to Professor Baumgartner, the Cardinal made an astonishing admission about the Third Secret.  He wrote: “In the Third Secret it is predicted, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.” (6) Notice, he didn’t say it would begin “near the top”, but “at the top” – the same pattern we have seen repeated throughout history.

In a 1984 interview, Cardinal Ratzinger also spoke of the contents of the Third Secret of Fatima.  The interviewer asked: “Have you read what is called the Third Secret of Fatima?”  To his surprise, the Cardinal answered “yes”, and then went on to discuss what it contained.  The Cardinal said “the things contained within the ‘Third Secret’ correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian Apparitions”.  (As an aside, we must ask where Scripture speaks of the failed assassination attempt of John Paul II?)  Continuing on, the Cardinal said the Third Secret speaks of “dangers threatening the Faith… and the importance of the ‘novissimi’[the end times].”  Once again we see a prelate, who had read the Third Secret, state that it refers to dangers threatening the Faith.

But perhaps the most interesting statement comes from Paul VI himself on the sixtieth anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, during which he spoke of apostasy at the very “summit” of the Church, which confirms what Cardinal Ciappi wrote to Professor Baumgartner.  Here is what Paul VI had to say on October 13, 1977:


The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.  (7)

Is it just a coincidence that Paul VI made this statement on the anniversary of Fatima?   It seems unlikely.  It seems more likely that he was revealing what is contained in the Third Secret.

But if this is what the Third Secret contains, when would it begin?  Is there a particular date that one could look to as the beginning of this great apostasy that would begin “at the top” – at the very “summit” of the Church?

In the famous 1957 interview of Sister Lucy of Fatima with Fr. Fuentes, about the events of Fatima, the cloistered nun asked her interviewer the following question: “Father, how much time is there before 1960 arrives?”  Why would she ask about the date 1960?  She then went on to explain.  She said when this date arrives, “it will be very sad for everyone, not one person will rejoice at all if beforehand the world does not pray and do penance.”  She then ended by saying: “I am not able to give any other details because it is still a secret.

In 1960 preparations were underway for the Second Vatican Council, which Cardinal Suenens later described as “the French Revolution in the Church”. Another attendee of the Council, an Archbishop who had lived during both WWI and WWII, described Vatican II as “the greatest war I have lived through”.

This “pastoral council” brought chaos to the Church – even before the close of its final session.  Consider what Fr. Depau wrote to Paul VI just one year after the close of the disastrous council.  

‘Already then, December 1, 1965’ wrote Fr. Depau to Paul VI, who had appointed him as the head of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement, ‘Your Holiness asked me to realize that our Church was going through ‘one of the gravest crises in its history.’ If such a description of our Church's condition was true then, how much more can the same be said of our Church today! To say that it has gone from bad to worse would be the understatement of the century.  Today's condition of the Catholic Church is beyond the point of doctrinal heresy, factual schism and even apostasy. It is in a state of chaos and utter collapse resulting from the systematic destruction of first our liturgical and other traditions, and now our very beliefs and morals. (8)

If that letter describes the Church in the 1960’s, what words could be used to describe the Church in our day?

For those who have eyes to see, the Church is undergoing a crisis of unprecedented magnitude:  a great apostasy that began “at the top” – at the very “summit” of the Church, by means of a disastrous “pastoral council”, and a series of Popes who, whatever their good intentions may have been, were nevertheless induced to attempt to foist a new order upon the Catholic world—an order which is rapidly unraveling into chaos.  We have the promise that the gates of hell will not prevail; neither will a Pope ever infallibly define a heresy, since this would be incompatible with the charism of infallibility.  But without violating any of His promises, there is no reason to believe that God will not permit, and indeed has permitted, the crisis of Faith to reach the very summit of the Church, thereby bringing about an apostasy similar to that which has been repeated over and over again since the beginning of creation. 

Since the Council, we see that the Popes themselves have embraced the same modernist errors that are ravaging the Church from top to bottom and that were warned against by the great St. Pius X in 1907, when he admitted that these errors were to be found “in the very veins and heart” of the Church:

They [Modernists] put their designs for her [the Church’s] ruin into operation not from without but from within; hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain, the more intimate is their knowledge of her. Moreover they lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fibers. And having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt. (9)

In this ecclesiastical crisis of unprecedented magnitude, let us hold firm to “the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:8), and never forget the words of St. Paul: “If anyone preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema” (Galatians 1:8-9).


1)       S.T. PT 1, Q 106, A. 1

2)       S.T. Pt I, Q 94, A 3

3)       Hardon, God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural

4)       S.T. Pt I, Q 94, A 3

5)       Ibid

6)       The Fourth Secret of Fatima, Pg. 122

7)       Pope Paul VI’s October 13, 1977 address on the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions

8)        Letter of Fr. Depaw to Paul VI.  Later published under the title: ‘Be Thou Peter’.

9)       PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS, Encyclical of Pope Pius X on the Doctrines of the Modernists, 1907

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