"Psychology Today" ridicules Fatima prophecies

"The Miracle of Fatima
What was the Virgin Mary’s secret message to the Pope?

As a youngster, I had a few friends who went to Catholic school. Years later, I taught for a time at a Catholic college. As a result, I heard many references to what has come to be called the Miracle of Fatima. Most of these tales followed the same basic plot line. In the early part of the 20th Century, some children in an Portugese village saw an angelic figure descend from the sky. It turned out to be the Virgin Mary and, after a few additional visits, she provided a prophecy for the Pope. After that, the story became more or less gripping depending upon the skill of the storyteller. After reading the missive, his Holiness wept for three days and three nights…or maybe it was three weeks…a month and a half…whatever."…

Entire entry here: psychologytoday.com/blog/look-it-way/200910/the-miracle-fatima

It appears to me that this guy who from his point of view knows much about cults…which ironically takes over one’s belief system has fallen into the same trap. That’s just my opinion…off the cuff. This guy has his own little cult going on. He has oversimplified the events of Fatima…I had always heard that Lucia wrote everything down right away and gave it to the Pope…which was revealed at a later time. And hey if this guy wants to refute the thousands of witnesses…so what. His argument may be well prove it…the Catholic Church already found it to be so…he needs to prove his argument and that’s all it is-an argument with nothing to back it up.
I never thought of the messages from Fatima to inform one as to future events in the world…but rather to get back to the basics…Honor God, pray for one another and think about what you’re doing. Sorry I didn’t mean to go all over the place with my thoughts-I don’t feel like editing right now.:blush:

I had always heard that Lucia wrote everything down right away and gave it to the Pope.

My understanding is that some things were not written down until years later, even after she had become a Carmelite.

My guess is that facts don’t mean anything to someone who wants to make fun. Apparently, at first writing, the author had Fatima as a village in Italy until someone left a comment and corrected him. I guess the correction was then made to the article, but that is one example that the writer may not be stating facts, just opinions and possibly even rumors. His opening lines seem to support the idea that real research may not have been a part of his writing this article:

“As a youngster, I had a few friends who went to Catholic school. Years later, I taught for a time at a Catholic college. As a result, I heard many references to what has come to be called the Miracle of Fatima. Most of these tales followed the same basic plot line.”…

It would seem his purpose is to bash Catholics. Why complicate things by seeking Truth?

:rotfl::rotfl:I saw that too about Italy…Really kinda ruined his credibility didn’t it! Now we know he is just full of himself.

It’s one thing to choose not to believe, it’s another to ridicule others’ beliefs. This man is ridiculing Catholic beliefs, and that makes him a very small man and certainly not worth my time.

Just as a matter of interest and with no intention of arguing with anybody at all . . .

From what I gather, belief in things like Fatima isn’t compulsory but about what proportion of people don’t believe in them? Is it unpopular not to believe in them?

I wouldn’t say it’s unpopular, more like silly. For somebody to outright deny that something happened that 70,000 people witnessed and lived to tell about it is…well…I don’t even know what to say. :rolleyes:

There is such a thing called denial. Stubborn denial. And no amount of facts or evidence will change denial.

So, people in your congregation are unlikely to say they don’t believe in it, ok.

Most Catholics do believe in the apparitions at Fatima. There are lots of claims of apparitions of Jesus & Mary…most of them proven to be false. Only very few have been proven legitimate by the Catholic Church.

This article is the first I ever heard that attempts to refute it & a poor attempt I might add…the author left out lots of information and he had to be corrected even on its location…I think he just did an article because he had to get one done and did a real sloppy job. I read one of his links…there is nothing unbiased about that article…I wouldn’t use it as t.p.

Kaninchen, you ask a very interesting question. You are correct that the Church does not require Catholics to believe in the apparitions at Fatima.

Based upon my personal experience, almost every traditional Latin Catholic believes that the apparitions are true. I would suspect that among orthodox, Mass-attending Latin Catholics who are not traditional, the proportion is very high.

I couldn’t give an objective answer with regard to either unorthodox or occasionally-Mass-attending Latin Catholics. How many of them even know about the apparitions? I couldn’t say.

I would like to hear from Eastern Catholics (that is, Byzantine, Syro-Malabar, Chaldean, etc.), as to whether they believe in the apparitions. All of my Maronite Catholic friends who were born in the U.S. frequently attend Latin Catholic liturgy, and they all believe in the appartions. I’ve never thought about asking foreign-born Maronites.

I’ve never met a catholic who DID believe in all elements of the Nicene Creed, but refused to believe Fatima was an authentic miracle. Those catholics I know who dismiss Fatima as ‘mob enthusiasm’ believe essentially the same thing about Pentecost…

Note that there are people who get REALLY worked up over (IMO) imagined hidden meaning of the prophecies and theorize that there are still dark secrets that we haven’t been told… That’s not Fatima, that is an unhealthy obsession with Fatima. Such people do exist.

Also be aware that not every alleged apparition in the world gets approved. Most don’t. I personally am skeptical about a major alleged apparition that has been going on for 20+ years now, but won’t name it for fear of thread hijacking…

I was interested because I have a Catholic friend - very seriously Catholic - who accompanies people to Lourdes from time to time but it’s not the kind of question that I’d ask her, we tend to go out of our way to avoid those sorts of questions of one another!

Your friend would be happy to share her beliefs with you. Go ahead and ask her. I wish I could go to Lourdes periodically to see the miracles. I believe miracles do happen.

I think ‘how many Catholics really believe in apparitions?’ might be a little insensitive.

Meanwhile, both of us are quite aware that ‘sharing our beliefs’ (beyond the ‘cultural’ aspects which we both find interesting) with one another could be the road to ending a friendship.

It’s true that that is a risk of opening up that far. But you might also find your friendship is deep enough that you can handle disagreeing without rancor. That kind of thing cand actually deepen the friendship. It might not seem that way on CAF, but it is possible to disagree on these things and not take it personally. Tone is a lot easier to judge in person!

IIRC, John Paul II had a number of close Jewish friends. I gotta believe they didn’t feel the need to tiptoe around each other on faith matters!

There are some Catholics believe in almost every alleged apparition. But Catholics who are trying to conform to Church teaching pay close attention to the local bishop’s investigation of the apparition.

Deepening any friendship has risks, and you’re certainly in the best position to evaluate that risk.

God bless you!

I should, of course, add the reminder that we live in the UK and, despite the fact that we were neither born here, we’ve spent most of our lives here and Brits do tend to avoid religion (in a serious sense) as a topic of conversation - one might say were culturally programmed to avoid it.

Still, I’ll bring it up next time she’s on one of her Lourdes expeditions and try to find an un-challenging way of asking. It’s not as if I want to challenge her beliefs, it’s just something that’s so ‘different’.


Follow your bishop, every one of you, as obediently as Jesus Christ followed the Father…Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as, wherever Jesus Christ is present, there is the Catholic Church (Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

Peter speaks there, on whom the Church was to be built, teaching and showing in the name of the Church, that although a rebellious and arrogant multitude of those who will not hear or obey may depart, yet the Church does not depart from Christ; and they are the Church who are a people united to the priest, and the flock which adheres to its pastor. Whence you ought to know that the bishop is in the Church, and the Church in the bishop; and if any one be not with the bishop, that he is not in the Church, and that those flatter themselves in vain who creep in, not having peace with God’s priests, and think that they communicate secretly with some; while the Church which is Catholic and one, is not cut nor divided, but is indeed connected and bound together by the cement of priests who cohere with one another (Saint Cyprian, Letters 66 [A.D. 253]).

I’d say all Mass-attending Catholics and probably even most “Christmas & Easter” Catholics believe in Fatima and Lourdes.
I’m named for the “doubting apostle” & I don’t blame him a bit – I usually look at claims of miracles and apparitions askance.

But using Occam’s razor it is easier to accept the miracle of the Sun at Fatima than believe 70,000 shared a mass hallucination. At Lourdes there are more unexplained cures than hysteria or the placebo effect could account for. Being rational includes admitting that materialism can’t explain everything, or at least not at present.

There are approved apparitions, esp. recent ones that I rather doubt. Remember, all approval means is that we may pray to Mary as Our lady of X, not that we must believe she actually appeared a X or the secrets she supposedly spoke at X.

Sometimes alleged apparitions are harmful like the (condemned) “Lady of Bayside” in Brooklyn.

Sorry to go on so long.

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