Reviews of Fatima in the Third Millennium
by Timothy Tindal-Robertson
Review by Rt Rev & Rt Hon Monsignor Graham Leonard, KCVO
The Church in this country is deeply indebted both to the author and to the Catholic Truth Society for this admirable presentation of the significance of the message of Fatima for the world situation today, and for doing so in such an accessible and readable way.
In his Commentary on the third part of the Secret of Fatima, Cardinal Ratzinger, when speaking of private revelations "some of which have been recognised by the authority of the Church", continues, "it is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history". What he says stands in sharp contrast with the views of liberal subjectivists who say that the Faith must be modified to reflect the views of our passing age. The Cardinal insists that private revelation "shows it credibility precisely by leading me back to the definitive Public Revelation".
He emphasises that prophecy in the biblical sense does not mean to predict the future but to explain the will of God for the present and therefore show the right path to take for the future. In this context the message of Fatima calls all Catholics today to lives of sacrifice demonstrated in penance, to conversion of heart and to constant and regular prayer.
The author stresses that the Pope cannot and has not sought to impose the message of Fatima since, in the words of Cardinal Ratzinger, "it is a help which is offered, but which one is not obliged to use". Nevertheless, it is also clear that by his acts, his teaching and his personal example, John Paul II has sought to show the Church that Our Lady's message has a significant value as "a genuine help in understanding the Gospel and living it better" at the present time.
I know from my own experience, and from having just made my first pilgrimage to Fatima, that the Pope's experience has been shared by priests who have sought to discern and articulate the response of the faithful to the situation created by the events of September 11.
Mr. Tindal-Robertson's exposition of the meaning of Fatima is very welcome. It is illuminating, inspiring and timely and will, I have no doubt, help the Church to challenge and overcome "the culture of death".
(First published in the Catholic Herald)
Review by Martin Blake for Catholic Family
(to be published in their issue for Feb 2000)
In the Jubilee Year 2000, three events of capital importance occurred in the Church which brought the message of Fatima right back into prominence.
The Holy Father beatified Francisco and Jacinta in the Cova da Iria on May13th; a month later he published the so-called "Third Secret"; and on October 8th he entrusted the coming Millennium to Our Blessed Lady in St Peter's Square, in the presence of the Fatima statue and the largest gathering of Bishops since Vatican II.
Timothy Tindal-Robertson, whose CTS booklet The Message of Fatima, was so helpful a few years ago, has now produced a fascinating study of these three papal acts. No one in this country is better qualified to write on the subject of Fatima, and there is still much which even long-standing devotees can learn.
Like the Gospels themselves, the events of 1916-17 and their subsequent developments are so rich in content that one needs to keep studying and reflecting on them, and clearly the Holy Father is most keen that we should do so.
This admirable booklet will help us to do just that.
Theotokos Catholic Books - Book Reviews Section - www.theotokos.org.uk