A Book on
Apparitions of the Virgin Mary
by The M+G+R Foundation
The Position of The Church Regarding
A. What Does Canon Law Tells The
Faithful About The Belief And Dissemination Of Information On Marian
"Since the abolition of Canon 1399
and 2318 of the former Canonical Code by Pope Paul VI in AAS 58 (1966)
1186, publications about new appearances, revelations, prophecies,
miracles, etc., have been allowed to be distributed and read by the
faithful without the express permission of the Church, providing that
they contain nothing which contravenes faith and morals". [This
means that no IMPRIMATUR is necessary.]
Therefore, anyone who impedes the constructive dissemination
of information from Private Revelations that does not contravene faith
and/or morals could be, unknowingly, in disharmony with the dictates
and opinions of the Holy See.
In "Lumen Gentium", Vatican II, CH. 2,
Paragraph 12 we read:
"Such gifts of grace, whether they
are of special enlightenment or whether they are spread more simply and
generally, must be accepted with gratefulness and consolation, as they
are specially suited to, useful for, the needs of the Church...
Judgments as to their genuineness and their correct use lies with those
who lead the Church and those whose special task is not to extinguish
the spirit but to examine everything and keep that which is good. "
["Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. But prove
all things; hold fast that which is good". (1 Thess 5, 19-21)
NOTE added on October 7, 2005:
We have tried to find the original documentation of the
quotation which appeared in this part of the document and has been
ascribed to Pope Urban VIII by many writers. We have not found a source
reliable enough to quote. Therefore, since the above referred to
"judgment of those who lead the Church" has been severely compromised
so many times recently, i.e. the
of Jose María Escrivá, Archbishop Levada's appointment (2), and
taking the bloody legacy of Fátima
(3) as concrete
point of reference, miguel de
replaces the statement ascribed to Pope Urban VIII with
"In cases like this (apparitions),
so long as the messages and requests contain nothing which
contravenes faith, morals and good sense, it is better to believe
than not to believe, for, if you believe, and it is proven true, you
will be happy that you have believed, because Our Holy Mother asked it.
If you believe, and it should be proven false, you will receive all
blessings as if it had been true, because you believed it to be true
and no harm resulted from it since nothing said or requested
contravened faith, morals nor good sense ."
B. What Is "The Church"? What Is "Church Approval"?
What is "The Church"? This appears as
an easy question but many people do not know what it is. By using a
personal story this "mystery" will amply clarified.
Recently a friend of mine, while I was
speaking of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje asked me:
"Has this been approved by the Church ?" Before I answered the question
I asked him: "What is your definition of "the Church" ? He answered
"Father Paul" (the local parish priest).
Unfortunately this is a big mistake
that many people make. The clergy is supposed to represent the
teachings of the Magisterium and administer the Sacraments of the
Church. The clergy, however, is not the Church, it is part of the
Church. The Church was not set up as a theological democracy. Jesus
Christ founded the Church upon the Rock of Christ
with Simon-Peter as its visible head (5). He was the spiritual
of the apostles. Through his successor, the Pope, the teachings (the
Magisterium) of the Roman Catholic Church are dispensed.
Those poor members of the clergy,
confused theologians and disoriented Administrators of the Roman
Catholic Church that, of their own accord, choose to alter the
teachings of the Faith (6)
to suit their
needs and/or failings, are not true children of the Church and, most
certainly, they do not represent "The Church".
Basically the procedure is very simple
and generally follows these steps...
apparition/revelation is reported to the Parish Priest.
2. The Parish Priest conducts
a cursory investigation and decides whether it should be brought to the
attention of the local ordinary, the Bishop, with enough evidence to
warrant the Bishops attention.
3. The Bishop decides, upon
the submitted evidence, whether the event warrants further
4. The Bishop sets up a
commission of investigation.
5. If he deems the results of
the appointed commission valid then:
A. If the
apparition/revelation is still not an ongoing event, then the Bishop
will approve it, declare it "worthy of faith" and forward the
documentation to the Vatican.
B. The Vatican will appoint a
commission of its own to review the Bishop's Commission report before
the event is labeled "worthy of belief".
6. If the
apparition/revelation is unfinished or the event was of such magnitude
(in Garabandal, for example, over 1,800 apparitions), the Bishop will
leave the file open" to receive new information, which is a de facto
temporary approval pending the fulfillment of the study.
7. If the results of the
appointed commission indicate a non- supernatural event or a
supernatural event of demonic origin, then the Bishop will issue a
document officially rejecting the event and encouraging the faithful
and clergy to avoid it.
The Bishop may be diplomatically
bypassed by the Vatican as it was done in the case of Medjugorje, when
a new and expanded commission was assembled after the one appointed by
the local Bishop turned in a negative conclusion based on allegedly
From the above, for example, it
follows that it is technically impossible for the Church to give a
final approval to the events of Medjugorje and Garabandal, for example,
since there are yet unfulfilled prophecies of a confirming nature.
(Both are on Step 6).
C. Notes On Approvals Of Certain
Note  Rosa Mystica
The Parish priest, Msgr. Abate
Francesco Rossi, was convinced.
The Bishop of Brescia, Msgr. Giacinto
Tredici, was privately convinced but kept it at a low profile due to
concern about the adversaries.
The following Bishop, Msgr. Luigi
Morstabilini, was "very reflective" about the apparitions and not
negative, yet, the low profile continues due to the same concern about
At the Blue Army Congress in Rome
(September 20-25, 1973), the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, Joäo
Pereira Venancio, was asked about the apparitions in Montechiari and he
"Yes, I went to Montechiari when the
'Castle of St. Mary' was consecrated in 1965. I celebrated in the
cathedral and got the wheat which I took to Fátima. I
distributed communion from the wheaten hosts which were baked, to
thousands of pilgrims, religious and seminarians".
This special wheat was blessed by Our
Lady, Rosa Mystica, and She requested exactly what Bishop Venancio did
with the wheat.
Pope Pius XII granted a private
audience to Pierina Gilli (the visionary) in Castel Gandolfo on August
9th, 1951. Among his statements were:
(1) Pluck up courage, dear daughter,
and try to live up to this great
and wonderful grace! Therefore We give you Our apostolic blessing.
(2) Please, pray also for Us !
Thus there is no "Formal Approval"
from the Vatican but, certainly, enough ecclesiastical support to pay
close attention to this very important apparitions.
Note  Garabandal
The Bishop of Santander, Msgr. Antonio
del Val Gallo reconvened a new commission of investigation. The prior
commission, under the late Bishop of Santander, had based its
conclusion on the statement of the only member with scientific
expertise. He had declared the events of "non supernatural order".
Since then, he has completely reversed himself and declared the total
Thus officially, at the Diocesan as
well as the Vatican level, the "file remains open" gathering new
Visiting clergy may offer mass at the
Technically, the file of the
Apparitions of Garabandal cannot be completed until the two major
prophecies are fulfilled: (1) The Warning; and (2) The Miracle.
In addition, a prophecy regarding John
Paul II has also not come to pass yet.
The reader may ponder on this matter
further. Do keep in mind, however, that Sister Faustian Kowalska, the
"Secretary of Mercy" of our Lord, and who was Beatified on April 18,
1993, "prophesied" the same about Pope John Paul II (although she did
not use the name, just the country of his birth).
Note  Akita,
Diocese of Niigata, Japan
The approval of these Marian
manifestations was contained in the Pastoral Letter of Easter, April
22, 1984, issued by M. Rev. John S. Ito, the then Bishop of the Diocese
of Niigata. At his meeting in Rome on June 20, 1988, the Sacred
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith expressed their approval of the
content of his Pastoral Letter.
M. Rev. Bishop's Ito signed letter
attesting to the above and certifying many other details may be read in
a related document (10).
Note  San Nicolas
A Diocesan Level Commission has been
set up to investigate. In the meantime, at the time of this writing:
* The huge Sanctuary, as requested by
Our Lady, is being built.
* The Bishop leads the public procession every 25th of the month.
* The Archbishop, when visiting, is a participant in the procession.
* When the Pope John Paul II visited Argentina, he requested the pilot
of his helicopter to descend on the construction site of the Basilica
for a visit.
Note  Medjugorje
A Special Commission, appointed by the
Vatican, is making a detailed study. In the meantime, at the time of
* The Archbishop believes in the
* Thousands of clergy and religious believe in it and have visited the
* Over 16 million people have journeyed to Medjugorje.
* Visiting clergy is authorized to celebrate mass in Medjugorje.
Like in the case of Garabandal, this
file cannot be completed because, as part of the prophecies, there will
be a Warning and a Miracle. Until those take place, the file cannot be
closed. Once again, the remarks made under the Note , Garabandal,
apply also here for it is the same Warning and the same Miracle.
Book Index | Last Chapter (Conclusions) | Next Appendix (App. 2)
updated and Links added on October 7, 2005 - Feast of Our Lady of the
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