The M+G+R Foundation

A Book on Apparitions of the Virgin Mary

by The M+G+R Foundation


The Position of the Roman Catholic Church

Regarding Certain Marian Apparitions

A. What does Canon Law tells the faithful about the belief and dissemination of information on Marian Apparitions?


"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)]

B. What Is "The Church"? What Is "Church Approval"?

The Church

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 Roman Catholic Church, commonly referred to just as "the Church". The clergy, however, is not the Church, it is part of the Church. The Roman Catholic 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 (1). He was the spiritual leader 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 Controlling Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church who, of their own accord, choose to alter the teachings of the Faith (2) to suit their needs and/or failings, do not represent "The Church".

Church Approval

Basically the procedure is very simple and generally follows these steps...

1. Private 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 investigation.

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 incomplete information.

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 the above listed Step 6).

C. Notes On Approvals Of Certain Marian Apparitions

Note [1] - Rosa Mystica 1947;1966/1976  (3)

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 within the Hierarchy.

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 the same adversaries.

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 Montichiari and he declared:

"Yes, I went to Montichiari 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 [2] - Garabandal 1961/1965  (4)

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 opposite.

Thus officially, at the Diocesan as well as the Vatican level, the "file remains open" gathering new information.

Visiting clergy may offer mass at the local church.

Technically, the file of the Apparitions of Garabandal cannot be completed until the two originally made prophecies are fulfilled: (1) The Warning; and (2) The Miracle. (*)

(*) We are no longer expecting either. Humanity is heading directly into the Chastisement.

In addition, a prophecy regarding John Paul II as the last Pope has also not been confirmed 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 [3] - Akita, Diocese of Niigata, Japan 1973  (5)

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 (6).

Note [4] - San Nicolas 1983/1990

A Diocesan Level Commission was immediately set to investigate the events. Finally, in 2016 the Apparitions have been declared of supernatural origin and worthy of belief.

Bishop Hector Cardelli of San Nicolas in Argentina's Buenos Aires province made the announcement on May 22, 2016, at the conclusion of a Mass during the well-attended pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas.

At the time of this writing:

* The huge Sanctuary, as requested by Our Lady, was built.
* The Bishop leads the public procession every 25th of the month.
* The Archbishop, when visiting, is a participant in the procession.
* When 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 [5] - Medjugorje 1981/1993

A Special Commission, appointed by the Vatican, is making a detailed study. In the meantime, at the time of this writing:

* Viennese Cardinal Schönborn has a history of showing support for Medjugorje events.
* Thousands of clergy and religious believe in it and have visited the site.
* Over 50 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 original prophecies, there will be a Warning and a Miracle. (*)

(*) We are no longer expecting either. Humanity is heading directly into the Chastisement.

Book Index  |  Last Chapter (Ch. 9)  |  Next Appendix (App. 2)

(1) The True Petrine Ministry
(2) Our Position Regarding The Catholic Faith
(3) Apparitions of Our Lady - Rosa Mystica at Montichiari-Fontanelle
(4) The Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in San Sebastián de Garabandal
(5) Our Lady of Akita, Japan. Messages and Details.
(6) Apparitions of Akita. Approval of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Related Documents


Rough draft completed during Easter Week in 1993 while in Fátima, Portugal • Overall Revision on May 2018

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