According to an Austrian priest close to Ratzinger, two things weighed on Pope Benedict's conscience while he was a cardinal:
- One was his mishandling of the Message of Fatima, i.e. the Third Secret, on 26 June 2000. Ratzinger allegedly said "my hand was forced";
- The other was his 1988 mishandling of Archbishop Lefebvre, prior to the latter's excommunication. Ratzinger is reported to have said that in the case of Lefebvre, "I failed".
Note: Bishop Williamson, formerly of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), related this story.