How the new norms from the Vatican doctrinal office will influence apparition cases

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The Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith is no longer in the shadows when it comes to dealing with alleged Marian apparitions or supernatural phenomena. Before now, the Dicastery had made suggestions, but its role on the matters were not clear.

One example of this is the case of a village in Italy, where a woman claimed to have visions of a Virgin Mary who allegedly wept blood. The bishop of the area said the supposed apparitions were not supernatural.

CARD. VÍCTOR MANUEL FERNÁNDEZ
Prefect, Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith
ORIG ITALIAN
In the case of Trevignano, the Bishop had the encouragement of our Dicastery to act. Now we can say so. Before, it was not said. We can specify it: he had the accompaniment and support to declare it as not supernatural.

Another of the most controversial cases is that of Medjugorje, a town in Southeast Europe where there are also alleged apparitions. Pope Francis has been very skeptical on the subject and has said so publicly.

POPE FRANCIS
The apparitions, the alleged current apparitions, presents its doubts. I personally am more “bad”: I prefer Our Lady mother, our mother, and not Our Lady chief telegraphist who every day sends a message at such an hour... this is not Jesus' mother.

The Vatican doctrinal office pointed out that the case of Medjugorje is still being studied and that the norms outlined in their new document can help to resolve it in a simpler way.

In the last decades, the number of alleged phenomena have increased. And as the Vatican doctrinal head points out, a declaration from the Dicastery is not necessary.

CARD. VÍCTOR MANUEL FERNÁNDEZ
Prefect, Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith
ORIG ITALIAN
The case of Lourdes, Fatima and Guadalupe—the enormous growth of these experiences is not that they depended on a declaration of supernaturality. So for a phenomenon to grow under the action of the spirit, it is not indispensable that these declarations continue to be made, which, in fact, have been very rare, very few. In the last century, I have counted more or less six. No more in a century.

Therefore, the Vatican will not declare if alleged apparitions are real. The only person with the power to endorse an apparition is the Pope himself. However, the Dicastery says that would be a rare occasion.

CA
TR: AT




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