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An Answer to Poor Excuses and
“Mental Reservations”

by Father Nicholas Gruner, B. Comm.; S.T.B.; S.T.L.; S.T.D. (Cand.)

A South American bishop once asked us, “the Vatican has said that the Third Secret is entirely released. You say it has not been released. Does this mean that the Vatican is lying?”

Father Paul Kramer answered that those who say the Secret is completely released are doing so by means of a mental reservation. Pope John Paul II in his May 13, 1982 sermon at Fatima, Cardinal Ratzinger in the 1984 Gesu interview, told us in an oblique manner some of what is contained in that part of the Secret yet to be released. Pope John Paul II told us more on May 13, 2000. Quite possibly he and others have let out certain parts of it in an oblique way in other talks. So, in a manner of speaking, they feel it can be said that the Vatican has released the entire Secret.

But this oblique means of revealing the Secret is not good enough, nor is the mental reservation employed justifiable. The Secret of Fatima “concerns the dangers to our Catholic Faith”; it concerns “the dangers to our lives” (because of our Catholic baptism); it concerns the very “life of the world” as then-Cardinal Ratzinger on Nov. 11, 1984, told us. It is thus a most serious message, a most serious prophecy.

Since the Holy Ghost inspired St. Paul to write, “Extinguish not the Spirit. Despise not prophecies.” (1 Thess. 5:19-20) we are bound to treat this prophecy with respect. We are bound to hear it, to heed it, to obey it.

But how can we hear it if it is kept locked up, buried, forbidden? Worse still, we are told that it has all been released, but this statement is said with a mental reservation being used. And this mental reservation causes the people who have a right to hear the exact words of Our Lady contained in the Secret to be misled.

Mental Reservations by the Vatican
on the Third Secret: Are They Justified?

When can mental reservations be used? Can mental reservations be used in any circumstance?

Moralists tell us that mental reservations cannot be used in all circumstances. If the people have a right to know the explicit truth, the use of a mental reservation is wrong. It can even be a mortal sin if the truth being withheld is that grave and if the obligation to tell it is also grave.

So in the Third Secret, we are talking about a matter that threatens my salvation, my eternal salvation. It has a bearing on whether I go to Heaven or hell. So certainly, the matter is grave.

And the Pope’s obligation to tell us is also grave, since the Pope has a strict obligation to tell us what we need to know to save our souls. It doesn’t matter if some people will not listen; it doesn’t matter if some people will be radically opposed; it doesn’t matter if some people become belligerent. The obligation to tell the truth remains.

St. Alphonsus Liguori

St. Alphonsus Confirms the Obligation
to Tell the Truth Clearly

St. Alphonsus Liguori is the great Moral Doctor of the Church, the Patron Saint of Moral Theologians. The Church tells us we are safe in following his moral teachings. And St. Alphonsus confirms what we have said above.

St. Alphonsus asks the question, “Do we always have to tell a hard truth to someone who we are morally certain will not accept what we say?” St. Alphonsus distinguishes three different rules for different circumstances:

First: If what the person is doing is in good faith — that is, he does not genuinely know what he does is wrong. (But we must be careful, says St. Thomas Aquinas, if a person does not know but he is guilty for his ignorance — that is, if he could easily know but deliberately chooses to remain ignorant so he remains ‘free’ to do as he pleases — then his ignorance makes his sin more guilty, not less).

St. Alphonsus thus teaches: if a person is truly in good faith in his ignorance, and if we judge he will refuse the correction, then we do not have to tell him, only on the condition that the only person he hurts by his objective sin is only himself. BUT...

Second: This decision to not tell someone he is wrong is not correct (even if he is only hurting himself) if the person doing it asks you directly for your counsel in this matter.

St. Alphonsus makes this second point that you cannot hold back the hard truth from a person (even who probably will not accept it if you tell him) when that person has asked you for your knowledge on that particular point. That is because God has already made him aware there is something he should know and he is fulfilling his obligation to seek the truth. Even if he rejects it after he asks you, you cannot partake of his sin by refusing to give him the truth.

To apply this to our present case, we are asking for the full Third Secret, even if we, in the Pope’s estimation, will reject its truth. He needs to give it to us nonetheless.

Third: The ignorant sinner must be corrected (and admonished if necessary) also in the following cases:

(i) If what the ignorant sinner is doing causes scandal pure and simple (see page 58 for explanation of pure and simple scandal) among the faithful, or if what he does affects third parties and the injustice deprives a third party of something, e.g. property, relationship, reputation — any good that the third party has a right to. In this case, you must correct the sinner even if he will not accept the correction. It is a serious sin to not correct the ignorant sinner if what the third party suffers is a loss constituting a grave matter. In this case, the refusal to correct the ignorant sinner makes the person who fails to admonish the sinner a party to the mortal sin of one who takes or keeps what belongs to another. If it were the equivalent of a day’s wages for a day laborer, then that would constitute a grave matter and restitution is required.

(ii) The other condition for this third case is that the person who is bound to admonish is a person who has that responsibility in relationship to the sinner, such as his confessor, or his spiritual director, or his pastor. His pastor is one of three persons.

Bishop, Parish Priest, and Pope
Must Instruct the Ignorant!

In strict justice, every Catholic has his own parish priest who is charged with the care of his soul — the Catholic has a strict right in justice to hear a correction from his pastor if he is wrong.

Every Catholic has a Bishop who is the pastor of his soul, the Ordinary of every Diocese must do all he can to ensure that his diocesan members are admonished in matters that pertain to their eternal salvation. Of course each and every Catholic is, by Christ’s design, to be shepherded by the Common pastor of all our souls, the Shepherd of shepherds, the Pastor of pastors, the Holy Father, himself.

So, when the Holy Father knows that some or all of the Catholic Faithful are sinning — and even knows that they (or at least some of them) will not accept his admonitions and correction — he is nevertheless bound to give it so as to discharge his duty to them. He must imitate St. Paul and: “Keep back nothing that was profitable to you.” (Acts 20:20)

From the above we can see that it is clear that the Pope cannot be excused for lack of position as pastor. The Holy Father is the pastor of each one of us. In strict justice, we need to know specifically when we go wrong and he must tell us.

Our Lady's Actual Words
Must be Published

It is a poor excuse to suggest that the Third Secret should not be revealed because it would allegedly create a graver responsibility on the people. It is the Mother of God who wants the Secret to be revealed and She knows what is best for us.

We need to know the Third Secret because it is designed to correct us — in our time — for the specific sins we commit, in language we understand, and with the authority of the Mother of God.

Unfortunately, the moral voice of the Popes has been lost to large portions of our generation to such an extent that we see even Cardinals, bishops, and priests, not obeying or heeding his legitimate commands and counsels.

We have also seen in the past 45 years since the Vatican Council II when the Popes, on occasion, are seen to be breaking with Tradition in a way that is forbidden to them by the Catholic Faith. So having the actual words of the Mother of God will help overcome whatever prejudices large segments of the Catholic population have. If ever there was “Common Error” as the Code of Canon Law allows for in the Church, that time is now. And that Common Error must needs be corrected, especially since it leads to Apostasy.

Ignorance Does Not Excuse Apostasy

It is now clear that the very grave sin of apostasy is now widespread! Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have spoken in recent times about it being widespread in Europe and elsewhere. Apostasy is such a sin that does not admit excuse on the basis of ignorance. We know this from the solemn teaching of the First Vatican Council which states:

“Yet since ‘without faith it is impossible to please God’ (Heb. 11:6) and to enter into the company of His Son, no one has ever obtained justification without faith and no one will reach eternal life unless ‘he has persevered to the end’ in faith (Matt. 10:22; 24:13) (Dz. 1793.)

Canon 6: “If any one says ... that Catholics could have good reason for suspending their assent (of Faith) and calling into question their Faith that they have already accepted ... let him be anathema.” (Dz. 1815)

This Ignorance Must be Corrected

It is further clear from Sacred Scripture that certain sins are so clearly written on the hearts of all men that they cannot claim good faith ignorance for certain sins. St. Paul enumerates some of them as follows:

“And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient.”

“Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.”

“Who having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them but they also that consent to them that do them.” (Rom. 1:28-32)

Obviously, as Sacred Scriptures teaches infallibly and as Catholic Morals point out, there are certain sins, such as murder, abortion, acts of sodomy, fornication, contraception that go against the natural law written on the heart of man. These commandments are so clearly put there by the Creator directly into their hearts that individuals cannot, in good faith, claim ignorance on Judgement Day. Such persons, unless they effectively repent of their sins, will go to hell for all eternity upon their death.

God Has Appointed Watchmen

The priests and bishops of the Church have been appointed watchmen. The duty of a watchman is to cry out when the enemy is coming.

To paraphrase what God explains to Ezechiel are his duties as a watchman, God tells Ezechiel:

“I have appointed you watchman. Now if you see the enemy approaching the city late into the night and you do not cry out the alarm, I, God, will hold you, Ezechiel, guilty for the deaths of any of your fellow citizens — if they are killed by the approaching enemy.”

So Ezechiel had the duty to cry out even if his fellow citizens would not rouse themselves, even if he prudently expected them not to rouse themselves.

On the other hand, to further paraphrase the Book of Ezechiel:

“God told Ezechiel that if the enemy approached the city late at night and Ezechiel saw the enemy and cried out to rouse the citizens and soldier defenders — and they did not get up, did not rouse themselves, did not defend themselves — then God would hold those sleeping soldiers responsible for the deaths of all who were killed by the enemy. But God would hold Ezechiel blameless because he did his duty to sound the alarm.”

Of course, the walled city being defended by the watchman is an image of the Catholic Church which relies upon its watchmen to sound the alarm when the enemy approaches.

The word “bishop” is from the Greek and it means watchman. The Pope must sound the alarm to rouse the citizens of the City of God, the Catholic Church so they may defend themselves from their mortal enemies who are invading the Church, some into the clergy, some even into the Vatican.

One Watchman Appeals to
Other Watchmen

By the publication of this article and the petition (start ing on page 18), I have done my duty as watchman. “I am clear from the blood of all men.” (Acts 20:26) I call upon all priests to read this, and if they can find a substantial error — (not a typo) a theological, or logical error or an error of fact, to draw it to my attention so it can be corrected.

On the other hand, if this is substantially correct or with minor edits can be made to be an accurate admonition to pastors, confessors, spiritual directors, bishops, Cardinals and even to the Pope, then by having the training, the presentation of the facts and the grace of God, priests and bishops must do what they can to bring about the release of the full text of the Third Secret.

To the lay people, this article and the petition (starting on page 18) are, it appears, sufficiently clear, sufficiently well-reasoned to clarify the truth. Ask your priests if they can find a substantial error, and if they cannot, then ask them to pass it on up the hierarchy.

Lay People Pray and Help
the Watchmen of Your Souls

Read these things, ask the help of the Holy Ghost to enlighten you, especially invoke Our Lady of the Rosary and Mother of Good Counsel. If it seems good to you, pass this article on to your parish priest, to your confessor, to your spiritual director, to your local bishop, to the bishop of your diocese, to the Pope.

Ask them to read it, to see if it is true, to either point out exactly where it is wrong or tell you it is substantially correct — if the latter is the case — ask them to pass it up the ladder to their bishops, to their Cardinal, to their Pope — so that it will be acted upon as soon as possible.

Because if this is right, then how can we not say that the soul of Benedict XVI is not at risk? The same applies to the souls of our Cardinals, bishops, priests and ourselves, because, up to now, we have collectively committed the sin of “Extinguishing the Spirit, of despising Prophecy.”

We are hastening the present apostasy among us if we do not love the truth. (2 Thess. 2:1-12) We must love the truth. We must not be silent and by our silence suppress the truth.

If our appeal is not heard by the Pope, by his counselors, we at least will have been freed of the accusation that we did not sound the alarm. It is your soul, your life, it is up to you to do your part.

“I am innocent of the blood of all.”

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