Home » Posts tagged 'worthy of belief'

Worthy of belief? Prudence, pastoral concern guided Medjugorje commission, member says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — If the Catholic Church recognizes as “worthy of belief” only the initial alleged apparitions of Mary at Medjugorje, it would be the first time the church distinguished between phases of a single event, but it also would acknowledge that human beings and a host of complicating factors are involved, said a theological expert in Mariology. Read more »

Comments Off on Worthy of belief? Prudence, pastoral concern guided Medjugorje commission, member says

Pope Francis to visit Fatima in May for 100th anniversary of Marian apparitions

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Portugal in 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions of Fatima.

The pope, who accepted the invitation made by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the bishops of Portugal, “will go on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima from May 12-13,” the Vatican announced Dec. 17.

A statue of Our Lady of Fatima is carried through a crowd May 13 at the Marian shrine of Fatima in central Portugal. Thousands of pilgrims arrived at the shrine to attend the 99th anniversary of the first apparition of Mary to three shepherd children. Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, received the first of several visions May 13, 1917. (CNS photo/Paulo Chunho, EPA)

A statue of Our Lady of Fatima is carried through a crowd May 13 at the Marian shrine of Fatima in central Portugal. Thousands of pilgrims arrived at the shrine to attend the 99th anniversary of the first apparition of Mary to three shepherd children. Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, received the first of several visions May 13, 1917. (CNS photo/Paulo Chunho, EPA)

The pilgrimage will mark the anniversary of the Marian apparitions, which first began on May 13, 1917, when three shepherd children reported seeing the Virgin Mary.

The apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.

Following the announcement, Father Carlos Cabecinhas, rector of the Fatima shrine told Agencia Ecclesia, the news agency of the Portuguese bishops’ conference, that the visit was a cause for joy for the shrine.

“For the shrine of Fatima, it is a great joy to receive this confirmation of Pope Francis’ visit,” he said.

“We know that those days will be a pilgrimage marked by this festivity that, on the one hand is for the centennial of the apparitions and, on the other hand, marks the presence of the pope in our midst and a pope as beloved as Pope Francis,” Father Cabecinhas said.

While the Vatican confirmed the dates of the visit, the pope had already said that he intended to go.

“Certainly, as things presently stand, I will go to Portugal, and only to Fatima,” he told journalists during his return flight to Rome from Azerbaijan Oct. 2.

Pope Francis will be the fourth pontiff to visit the Marian shrine, following the footsteps of Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who each paid homage different years to Mary on the anniversary of the first apparition May 13.

 

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

Comments Off on Pope Francis to visit Fatima in May for 100th anniversary of Marian apparitions

Determining what Marian apparitions are ‘worthy of belief’

By

Catholic News Service

A recent case involving alleged Marian apparitions in the Philippines, which the Vatican effectively denied as “supernatural,” after a local archbishop had declared them “worthy of belief,” reflects the centuries-old caution with which the church regards reported appearances, real or imagined, by Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Pilgrims visit a shrine to Mary in Banneux, Belgium, Aug. 15, the spot where an 11-year-old girl said Mary appeared to her eight times in 1933 as the "Virgin of the Poor," officially recognized by the Vatican in 1949. Mary's appearances may be unexpected, but her message is not -- that penance and prayer are powerful antidotes to evil. (CNS photo/Julien Warnand, EPA)

Pilgrims visit a shrine to Mary in Banneux, Belgium, Aug. 15, the spot where an 11-year-old girl said Mary appeared to her eight times in 1933 as the “Virgin of the Poor,” officially recognized by the Vatican in 1949. Mary’s appearances may be unexpected, but her message is not — that penance and prayer are powerful antidotes to evil. (CNS photo/Julien Warnand, EPA)

Over the past 500 years, the number of reported Marian apparitions is somewhere in the thousands, although the Vatican has authenticated fewer than 20. Such a wide gap indicates how the official church exercises not just caution but vigorous detective work in its investigations.

And that’s understandable, since church leadership is acutely aware of its own people’s desire to find tangible signs of faith, but also mindful of the skepticism, cynicism and even scorn that many inside and outside the church hold for “supernatural” phenomena, including that connected to religious belief.

So it can take decades, even centuries, to reach a decision, some 300 years, for example, for the church to approve the apparitions of Our Lady of Laus in France that took place between 1664 and 1718.

By comparison, the approval by Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay in 2010 of a series of Marian apparitions that occurred during 1859 in Champion, Wis., the first time apparitions in the U.S. received official approval, happened in the blink of an eye.

The church is also well aware of human nature, and specifically the longing many have to be close to Mary, as indicated in the “lineamenta” (or preliminary document) of the 1997 special assembly of the Synod of Bishops for America.

“Within the church community,” the document noted, “the multiplication of supposed ‘apparitions’ or ‘visions’ is sowing confusion and reveals a certain lack of a solid basis to the faith and Christian life among her members. On the other hand, these negative aspects in their own way reveal a certain thirst for spiritual things which, if they are properly channeled, can be the point of departure for a conversion to faith in Christ.”

Four years ago, the Vatican translated and published procedural rules approved by Pope Paul VI in 1978 that had previously been available only in Latin. “Norms Regarding the Manner of Proceeding in the Discernment of Presumed Apparitions or Revelations” was published to help bishops determine the credibility of alleged Marian apparitions.

The process of verifying apparitions, like that of beatifying and canonizing saints, is generally long, meticulous and sometimes contentious, beginning with the local bishop.

In 1555, Archbishop Alonso de Montufar of Mexico approved the vision of Mary as reported by St. Juan Diego in 1531, on Tepeyac hill in Mexico.

On Sept. 12, 2015, Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles of Lipa, Philippines, stated that the alleged 1948 appearance of Mary 19 times to a novice in the Carmelite order in Lipa City had, in fact, exhibited “supernatural character and is worthy of belief.”

A few months later, however, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith nullified the declaration of Archbishop Arguelles.

And 35 years after six young people first reported seeing Mary appear in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Holy See has not reached a final decision on their authenticity, even as droves of pilgrims journey to the site annually, and several of the young “visionaries” give presentations around the world.

The church’s official position on Medjugorje, stated in 1990 by the Yugoslavian bishops’ conference at Zagreb, and reiterated most recently in 2013, is: “On the basis of studies made to this moment, it cannot be confirmed that supernatural apparitions and revelations are occurring here.”

Yet, the bishops added, “the gathering of the faithful from various parts of the world to Medjugorje, inspired by reasons of faith, requires the pastoral attention and care of the bishops … so that a proper liturgical and sacramental life may be promoted, and so manifestations and contents which are not in accord with the spirit of the church may be prevented and hindered.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, while not using the term “Marian apparitions” explicitly, nonetheless points out that, “even if revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.”

Acknowledging that some “so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the church,” the catechism adds quickly, “They do not belong … to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the church, the “sensus fidelium” knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the church.”

Which is why there is a process for investigating, reviewing and approving or disapproving Marian apparitions — a process ultimately aimed at nurturing a healthy spirituality and belief among all of God’s people.

 

Nelson is former editor of The Tidings, former newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Comments Off on Determining what Marian apparitions are ‘worthy of belief’
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.