[quote="AnglicanForMary, post:1, topic:289244"]
I am preparing a review of Carl Olson's "Will Catholics Be Left Behind", and have been reading user reviews on Amazon. One reviewer faulted Olson for not including discussion of Catholic private revelation end-times prophecies in relation to the overall teaching about the End Times, and I am trying to work his criticism into my own review, but don't know how seriously to treat this particular objection. I'm also wondering how appropriate it would have been to include such a discussion. I know that private revelations (even Lourdes, Fatima, and Guadalupe) though accepted as genuine do not belong to the deposit of the faith in the same way that Scripture and apostolic tradition do, and that acceptance by the Church only means that nothing in the vision, or revelation in question is contrary to faith or morals, yet I still find myself confused about the relation of the teachings contained in such visions and revelations and their use and promulgation in the wider Church.
I know that aside from the Secrets of Fatima, there have been other purported visions that claim to speak of the end times such as St. Malachy's prophecies, but what is the Church's position regarding the genuineness or reliability of such end-times prophecies?
The Church's approval of some private revelations is partially a judgment on the orthodoxy of the content of the revelations, but also partially a judgment on the credibility of the visionary. The message of a purported apparition may be beautiful and orthodox, but if the visionary shows signs of mental illness or seeks personal profit from their vision, for example, the Church almost certainly will not approve it.
Anyway, since private revelation is non-binding by definition, I wouldn't fault Mr. Olson for choosing to leave private revelations out of his book. Nor would I fault him if he did include approved private revelations. It all depends on what kind of book he wanted to write, and to what audience, and his prudential decision whether a certain kind of material was appropriate for what he set out to accomplish. Since I haven't read the book myself, I can't form an opinion on whether they would have been a positive contribution.