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.
Three children in Portugal witnessed apparitions of the Virgin Mary (six times) between May and October 1917. According to one of the visionaries – Sister Lúcia de Jesus Rosa Santos – on July 13, 1917, Our Lady entrusted the children with three secrets, which she (Sister Lúcia) later wrote down and delivered to the Pope. The third secret was not revealed with the others, but Pope John Paul II decided to release it in the Jubilee Year of 2000.
At the conclusion of the Beatification of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto which took place at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Fátima (Portugal) on May 13, 2000, acting on orders issued by Saint John Paul II, the then Secretary of State, His Eminence, Cardinal Angelo Sodano announced publicly that the third secret of Fátima had come to pass when Saint John Paul II suffered an assassination attempt in Saint Peter's Square on May 13, 1981. The bullet narrowly missed vital organs, and His Holiness firmly believed that it was a mother's hand that guided the bullet's path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death (Pope John Paul II, Meditation from the Policlinico Gemelli to the Italian Bishops, 13 May 1994).