approved apparitions

This is sort of a “cliché” question, but if an apparition is approved by the church (e.g. fatima), does it mean that the apparition is definitely true, or does it simply mean that the church could not find any feature in the apparition which contradicts the church teachings? What if (this is just pure and random example) the church 50 years later finds out that the lourdes apparition for example was false after all, even if it was approved for a long time, would this piece of evidence invalidate the church?

Apparitions or any other form of private revelation are not part of the deposit of faith. Even famous ones such as Fatima are declared “worthy of belief”, meaning there seems to be no reason why this should not be celebrated as authentic. No catholic is obligated to accept any private revelations.

Yes I agree (I read this specific part of the catechism) :), although that’s not exactly what I was asking though. I was eventually specifically referring to this question (copy-pasted from above):

What if (this is just pure and random example) the church 50 years later finds out that the lourdes apparition for example was false after all, even if it was approved for a long time, would this piece of evidence invalidate the church?

That has never happened and probably never will so why borrow trouble that isn’t likely to happen anyway. The Church has a thorough and careful process of investigation and I trust the Church. Many times things written or said about an approved apparition may be very false indeed but that doesn’t change the validity of the Apparition itself. That is why it is soooo very important to get our information from trusted sources only. I ignore all things that mess with the truth and try to make it what they want. God Bless, Memaw

It does NOT mean that everything said in any visions/messages is true.
We find that many “approved” revelations contradict other “approved” revelations in certain things (for example age of Mary when she died, how many nails were used to crucify Christ etc). We know that visionaries often make mistakes, misunderstand, or misinterpret what they have seen/heard.
Of course, there cannot be anything in such private revelations that contradict any Church teachings or contain attacks against the Pope and the clergy.

First of all, the Church has NEVER declared that Mary “died”. Ask our on line priest Fr. Serpa. Please give us an accurate example when one approved apparition contradicted another approved apparition. All “approved” apparitions have to be in complete agreement with Church teachings. Nothing contradictory would be approved in the first place. Many are not approved for that very reason! God Bless, Memaw

I’ve noticed in the past you don’t read my posts carefully.
I did not say Mary died and I know the Church does not teach that she died or did not die.
I’m talking solely about contradictions in “approved” private revelations. There are many but things like the visionaries talking about Mary dying or her age or the number of nails used in the crucifixion do not contradict Church doctrine because the Church has no doctrine on these matters to be contradicted. I am making the point that not everything in “approved” private revelations are true. When three “approved” visionaries give different ages for the death of Mary then it does not take a rocket scientist to know that at least two of them, if not all three, are not true.
As you don’t seem to believe me then please read the private revelations of St Brigit, Mary of Agreda, and Anne Emmerich and you will see they all say Mary died, and they all give different ages for her death.

I did read it carefully and responded accordingly. Please give us some specific examples. God Bless, Memaw

I told you where to read it. Private revelations of St Brigit, Mary of Agreda, and Anne Emmerich. They all state Mary died and they all give different ages for her death. Don’t be lazy. Read them and you will believe what I have told you.
To give you a hint:

Anne Emmerich said Mary died 13 years after Jesus died.
St Brigit said Mary died 14 years after Jesus died.
Mary of Agreda said Mary died 21 years after Jesus died.

St Brigit said Jesus was crucified to an upright cross and 4 nails were used for his hands and feet.
Anne Emmerich said Jesus was crucified to the cross lying on the ground and only 3 nails were used for his hands and feet.

Those types of situations are not on the same level as Fatima and Lourdes. That is why the Church does NOT bind us to believe even approved Apparitions. Many times when a person like that is considered for Canonization, their “private writings etc.” are not even taken as evidence for their Canonization. And if my memory serves me right, the writings of Anna Catherine Emmerich is believed to be written by someone else. And not used in her process. Sorry, but I don’t get to involved in that sort of reading as it can be confusing. God Bless, Memaw

I have the feeling we are talking at cross purposes.

I’m not disputing that “approved” private revelations do not have to be believed.
I am not disputing that the Church does not teach Mary died.

My posts are simply to respond to the earlier question that was asked and that was is everything in an “approved” private revelation true. The answer is no as I have demonstrated.

Your including all “approved” revelations and apparitions in your statement. That’s not fair. Fatima and Lourdes are never contradictory to the truth!! Not then, not now… not ever. Pope Pius XII called Fatima the Reaffirmation of the Gospels. The Blessed Mother could NEVER say anything untrue. If a supposed apparition claims that Mary said something against Church teaching, that one will NEVER be approved. As for saint’s and mystics, that is a different story and they are, as far as I know, never said to be “Worthy of Belief” by the Church.There is a big difference.
I have tried to answer the original question and that Post did mention Fatima specifically. God Bless, Memaw

The answer to your hypothetical question, is no. It would serve only to invalidate the presumed validity of the apparition in question.

What the Church does wrt to apparitions is not to ‘approve’ them, per se, but rather issue essentially an official ‘negative approval’–which is to say, that after thorough investigation, nothing about the apparition contradicts Church doctrine, and nothing was found to disprove the claimed apparition. As such, Catholics are free to accept the apparitions as being genuine, and for devotional purposes.

If later evidence came out exposing a claimed apparition as a fraud (for instance; or a result of dillusion, or what have you)–the Church would reverse the ‘negative approval’, and state that it is no longer acceptable for Catholics to treat the said claimed apparition as genuine, and at least any aspects found to be contradictory, would not be acceptable for devotional purposes.

It is worth noting that this is how Catholicism works in general–aside from the affirmative declarations of dogma, most any belief or holding that does not contradict dogma (or otherwise contradict official Church teaching, or Church position), is essentially fair game. This is why you have many ‘radical’ groups within the Church, that are not [necessarily] heretical, but then, not exactly ‘sanctioned’ either. e.g.–charismatics, and some of thier beliefs wrt to ‘speaking in tongues’ and the like. The Church may not necessarily approve of their claims, or officially ‘sanction’ them–but as long as they are not expressly contradicting the Church, they can remain Catholics in good standing.

E.g. 2–Case in point wrt to ‘apparitions’: Medjagorje. Not approved. In fact, essentially ‘disapproved’. Yet, to the extent that those apparitions do not contradict Church teaching, it is acceptable for Catholics (individually) to use them for devotional purposes and pilgrimages there–(but not through parrishes or the like, as that would be tantamont to tacit approval).

This is of course ‘broad brush’, and others will likely disagree to differing degrees with my characterization–but I think you’ll find that for the most part, as a general analytical framework, it works.

CAVEAT: of course also, this is just one humble poster’s opinion/take on it; not intended as authoratative, and I certainly welcome any dissent, or clarification.

Fr. John Hardon S.J. once told me many years ago that Medjugorje would never be approved by the Church because of the many of the statements attributed to Mary. He had worked very closely with the Vatican on other so called apparitions so I trusted his advice to stay away from it. God Bless, Memaw

NO that is wrong. Again you misread what I said. Read my post #5. I said “many” revelations. I did not say “all” revelations.

Oh dear, pardon me. So you said many, well you wouldn’t even know of all of them and no one would. I can’t go back and reread every post. I know what your saying and I happen to disagree with it and that’s the full of it. I have said several times, there is a big difference with ones stated “Worthy of Belief” by the Church. such as Fatima and Lourdes, and other revelations and mystics of which there are to many to count I’m sure. Maybe you should re-read the original Post as the question was about apparitions “Approved” by the Church such as Fatima. Didn’t even mentions writings and mystics. God Bless, Memaw

Actually, it appears I mis-remembered–the Church has not ‘disapproved’ of those apparitions; just not ‘negatively approved’ of them.

I’m sorry but I don’t understand what you mean by ‘negatively approved’. Either it’s Worthy of Belief , or stated as 'Nothing Supernatural occurring, or sometimes even condemned. like Bayside NY was. Many of them just fizzle out on their own.
A book well worth reading is “A Still, Small, Voice.” by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. Available thru EWTNreligious store. Maybe even thru CAF library. God Bless, Memaw

Sorry but you are wrong.
Fatima, Lourdes, St Brigit, Mary of Agreda, and Anne Emmerich ALL have the same “approval” from the Church, i.e. the Church has declared all of them “worthy of belief”.
The Church did not state the Fatima and Lourdes are different. The Church does not have different grades of “worthy of belief”. Only you are doing that.

I think this conversation has reached it’s end. You need to discuss this with someone that is more knowledgeable than you or I. God Bless, Memaw

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