"Pope John the XXIII opened the Secret of Fatima in 1960 and cried all day."
I've heard that one since at least the very early 1970's. Mrs. Duffner maybe?
The other one, Pope Paul VI wept on Pentecost Monday, when he realized there was not going to be an Octave of Pentecost any more. A bishop stated it as fact in his memoirs.
Then there is the report of what JPII supposedly said in 1980 at Fulda about the Third Secret of Fatima. It was roundly disputed at the time that he even said it - now it is claimed to be historically accurate. Oddly enough, Bl. John Paul never read the contents of the secret until after the 1981 assassination attempt. Yet the Fulda statement continues to be circulated as true.
More recently there is the 'approval of the Apparitions at Akita'. The local bishop approved them as worthy of belief, yet there is no evidence Pope Benedict affirmed the veracity of the messages as Cardinal Ratzinger and head of the CDF.
Despite claims that Cardinal Ratzinger gave definitive approval to Akita in 1988, no ecclesiastical decree appears to exist, as certainly would in such a case. However, some individuals, such as former Ambassador of the Phillipines to the Holy See, Mr. Howard Dee, have stated that they were given private assurances by Cardinal Ratzinger of the authenticity of Akita. In any case, in keeping with the current norms, given the absence of a repudiation of Bp. Ito's decision by his successors, or by higher authority, the events of Akita continue to have ecclesiastical approval. - EWTN
No doubt the local bishop approved the apparition, writing:
"I authorize, throughout the entire diocese, the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita, while awaiting that the Holy See publishes definitive judgment on this matter." - Akita
. . .
The Paul VI approval of contraception for African nuns... another rumor?
No documentary eveidence has ever been found - so far. Yet the story had legs. After Pope Francis repeated it, I decided to contact one Congregation of Belgian nuns who worked in Congo. (The Nun's Story nuns.) So far they have not replied, and I doubt they will. My thought in contacting them was founded on the persistent rumor/story that some provision had been made. Perhaps it was an inner-congregation agreement, a diocesan proposal? Something presented to the Congregation for Religious which may have been seen by the Holy Father? We may never know.
Phyllis Zagano has done some research on the veracity of the statement, but it appears she has only been able to confirm the threat not only existed, but nuns really had been sexually assaulted:
The pope's comment about those missionary women religious in the former Belgian Congo was real. Within of week of Congo's June 30, 1960, declaration of independence, the army threatened mutiny. Its officers were white Belgians; its enlisted men were black Congolese. Removing the white officers only made matters worse, and within weeks 25,000 Belgians fled the country.
The missionaries -- men and women -- stayed. They were in grave danger, but they stayed to serve the poor.
Here is what the Belgian Government Information Center wrote about some mid-July 1960 attacks: " ... the nuns ... were put in jail ... Negro soldiers attacked one nun and after a fierce struggle, raped her. Later, they attacked the second nun. Two men trampled her under foot." - NCR
What about what Pope Francis and Fr. Lombardi said?
That is documented. It's an 'off-the-cathedra' response to journalists. Though it may be troubling, even confusing, perhaps the Holy See will make a doctrinal clarification, or a retraction. (Remember when JPII was elected? He told the crowds in the square, "If I make a mistake - you will correct me.") I'm sure Pope Francis has been informed that people are confused. The incident may also end up being just one of those things I don't understand?
Again, recalling John Paul II, remember when he kissed the Koran?
I know! What was that all about?
Thoughts to take away here ...
You will find all that in a manner lost, which you have placed in men apart from Jesus. - Imitation, Bk. II, Chp. 7:2.You will soon be deceived if you only regard the outward show of men. - Imitation, Bk. II, Chp. 7:3
Never take a man for your example - however holy he may be - for the devil will show you his faults. - John of the Cross
It is a great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, the deeds, nor the lives of others... - John of the Cross
Pray for the Holy Father. Some saints used to offer themselves as victim souls for the Holy Father, offering all their prayers and sufferings for his intentions.