Pope Benedict is in Fatima right now. When he arrived in Portugal on Tuesday, he said:
I come as a pilgrim to Our Lady of Fatima invested from on high with the mission of confirming my brothers and sisters as they advance on their own pilgrimage towards heaven.In an interview with the Press on his flight to Portugal, referring to the current scandals afflicting the Church the Pope said the greatest threat to the Church comes not from without but from within. He also identified himself as a suffering Pope.
The Virgin Mary came from heaven to remind us of the truths of the Gospel which for humankind - lacking in love and without hope of salvation - represent a source of hope... The relationship with God is a constituent part of man who was created and ordained for God, who seeks for truth within his own cognitive structures, who tends towards good in the sphere of volition, and who is attracted by beauty in the aesthetic dimension.
A conscience may be described as Christian in the measure to which it is open to the fullness of the life and wisdom we have in Jesus Christ. The aim of this visit, which I am now beginning under the sign of hope, is to be a proposal of wisdom and of mission.
Apart from the great vision of the Pope's suffering, which we can primarily ascribe to Pope John Paul II", said Pope Benedict, the apparitions "indicate events of the future of the Church, which develop and are revealed little by little. Thus it is true that, apart from the moment indicated by the vision, we see the need for a passion of the Church, a passion naturally reflected in the person of the Pope, but the Pope stands for the Church and thus it is the sufferings of the Church that are being announced.The Vatican is updating its coverage of the Pope's visit here.
As for the novelties we can discover in this message today, we may see that attacks against the Pope and the Church do not only come from outside; rather, the sufferings of the Church come from inside the Church, from the sin that exists in the Church. This was always common knowledge, but today we see it in truly terrifying form: the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is born of sin within the Church. Thus the Church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness but also the need for justice. Forgiveness does not replace justice.