Many think that prediction and prophecy are the same but they’re mistaken. It’s true that they both forecast the future but there’s a difference!
A prediction is a forecast made by those who calculate the parameters of the subject involved and after evaluating al the odds they can predict the future. The weather forecast is a classical example. An experienced teacher can predict that one of his students is brilliant and will have a successful career, but at the age of 21 the student tragically dies. The teacher’s prediction would have been correct, however never fulfilled because the variable of the tragic death at young age was not taken into account.
The prophecy is another story. The ancient Pharaohs of Egypt used to say “So shall it be written and so shall it be done”. And so is the prophecy. Once written it is to be fulfilled without exceptions. A prophecy has all the ingredients except the element of time. Without the element of time a prophecy is hard to pinpoint because history tends to rhyme from time to time. Nevertheless we believe that in the last century or so there have been prophetic visions with some time element (more information to follow in future articles).
A typical example is Bible prophecy. Jesus Christ was prophesied centuries ahead of His time. A host of prophets in the old testament heralded his coming, and yet many did not recognise Him and was crucified. The Jews waited for so long the coming of their Messiah that when he came he was not recognised despite having in their hands a book with one third prophecy, the Bible.
Therefore when the Vatican says that the third part of the Fatima secret (actually prophecy would be more appropriate) is referring to the 1981 attempt assassination of Pope John Paul II, they are either wrong or they want us to believe so not to cause speculation like we are doing here. The third part of the Fatima secret clearly states that a Pope is to be killed – Pope John Paul II survived the assassination attempt, therefore this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, possibly by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Therefore since a prophecy cannot be altered why is it written? A prophecy is just a tool to warn us to be prepared for the unexpected eventualities. Nobody knows the moment of the final judgement but when it shall come we ought to be prepared. And be prepared because the signs are out there and we can speculate that the second coming is in the not so distant future.