Vatican: recent stories about Benedict XVI and Fatima secrets are 'absolutely untrue'

Pope Benedict XVI on June 15 2005 in Vatican City Credit LOsservatore Romano CNA Benedict XVI at the Vatican in June 2005. | L'Osservatore Romano.

The Vatican announced today that recent articles claiming that Pope emeritus Benedict XVI said that the Third Secret of Fatima was not released in its entirety back in 2000 are "pure inventions" and "absolutely untrue."

The Holy See Press Office released a statement May 21 responding to recent blog posts that, during his time as Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told someone the Third Secret of Fatima was not completely published.

According to one article, Professor Ingo Dollinger was told by Cardinal Ratzinger that the Third Secret of Fatima, released in 2000 during the Jubilee Year by Pope John Paul II, was "incomplete."

"In this regard, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI declares 'never to have spoken with Professor Dollinger about Fatima', clearly affirming that the remarks attributed to Professor Dollinger on the matter 'are pure inventions, absolutely untrue', and he confirms decisively that 'the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete,'" the Vatican statement said.

On May 13, 1917, brothers Francisco and Jacinta Marto – 9 and 7 years-old – and their cousin, 10-year-old Lucia dos Santos, were with their sheep grazing near the Portuguese town of Fatima when they saw a figure of a woman dressed in white and holding a rosary.

After this first appearance, the Virgin Mary would come to the children on the 13th of the month from May until October. The message of the Fatima apparitions can be summarized primarily as a call to repentance and prayer.

In 1930, the Catholic Church proclaimed the supernatural character of the apparitions and a shrine was erected at Fatima. Pope Paul VI visited Fatima in 1967, and later Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI visited during their pontificates. Pope Francis plans to visit Fatima in 2017 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions.

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