Defining the terms public vs private revelation

Does Public Revelation include anything other than Scripture? Specifically does Sacred Tradition count as part of Public Revelation?

Public revelation ended with the end of the Book of Revelation, the end of Sacred Scripture being recorded.

Private revelation that is approved by the Catholic Church is (for example) found in Apparitions of the Holy Family as in Fatima, Lourdes, the Sacred Heart, La Salette.

So something that Mother Church is convinced is genuine is still Private Revelation as long as it isn’t actually in Scripture? That answers my question, and thank you. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Yes public revelation ended with the end of the writing of Scripture

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The church takes a less defined stance on private revelation. Something like Fatima is usually classified as “worthy of belief” meaning the church finds it at least plausible and not contradictory with anything in public revelation. But it stops short of saying a Catholic must believe it. A Catholic could not disbelieve say, the Resurrection whereas a Catholic could disbelieve in Fatima.

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Not quite.

Public revelation ended with the death of St. John, not with the writing of the last word of Scripture. St. John could have still contributed to Sacred Tradition in his remaining days until he died. Then at that time, public revelation closed.


Yes. Both Scripture and Tradition constitute public revelation.

Private revelation is intended for the person who receives it, thus the “private” prefix. Once the Church studies it for years, even decades, and approves it, the faithful may take interest in it, be devoted to some degree to it, but it is not binding upon any of the faithful to believe.

Public Revelation rests on a tripod of Scripture, Tradition, as taught by the Magisterium. The three elements are in coordination, not isolated.

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Ok thanks .

I went to the Cathechism for this

Does that say what you are saying?

Public Revelation is like a seamless garment. It is consistent, fits together.

Approved Private revelations are individually compatible with public revelation, not necessarily with each other. Public Revelation is for all times, a private revelation may be intended for a given time and place.

Just because a private revelation via one “seer” is approved doesn’t necessarily mean all subsequent revelations via that person are also approved, even if it is claimed they originated with Jesus or Mary.

Even if a “seer” expressed that Jesus or Mary required that a given revelation be communicated to the whole world, or communicated in a certain year, the Magisterium still has the responsibility to exercise it’s prudent judgement, to not release it at all or in a more appropriate year.

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