Discerning apparitions


#1

Last night at RCIA we were talking about Mary and Marian Apparitions, though we talked more on Mary herself than on the apparitions. Our director gave us a printout of the "so-called’ apparitions of Medjugorje and I think it was written by the bishop of that place. The printout does have the website:
newjerusalem.com/ThroneOfWisdom.htm just in case you guys want to take a closer look at the article.

I was reading through some of it this morning in my car before getting out for college. As I was reading through it, the question of “How can one REALLY, and TRULY discern such an apparition?” burst in my mind.

Just like that kinda bizarre website: visionsofjesuschrist.com kinda makes me wonder too!

I know anything and everything is possible with God, BUT is it TRULY possible to discern that real?


#2

We leave it to the discernment of the Church for them to decide if an apparition is worthy of belief.

For instance, at Fatima, the Church declared that the visions there were worthy of belief because nothing was found contrary to the faith, and the Church discerned that the apparition was authentic.
Even with that, though, no one is bound to believe in the apparitions.
Since they are private revelation, and not general revelation, the faithful are not bound to believe them or accept them.


#3

I remain a little suspicious until it has been investigated and not just follow around any vision or miracle that happens out there.

Scylla


#4

Paris Blues,

If an apparition happens to you, one thing to do is to ask the apparition to say that Jesus is Lord. This is a test that is commended to us in the Bible (I Corinthians 12:3 has something like that). And if the apparition tries to tell you something that is against the teachings of the Church, that is a dead give-away that it is false.

A very wise priest once said of apparitions, “Do you want to see Jesus? Go to Mass!”

  • Liberian

#5

:thumbsup: :clapping: :amen:


#6

These two articles from Catholic Answers may help:
catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0011bt.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/1998/9810fea4.asp


#7

Some aspects that point to a false apparition are:

  • Messages that provide new revelation - All public revelation ceased with the death of the last apostle.
  • Any message content from the seer that has previously been condemmed by the church as heresy;
  • Message demands that the faithful must do certain spiritual practices outside of what is ruled in Cannon Law to obtain salvation/sanctification
  • The message or visionary suggesting that the relivant church authorities are wrong;
  • The vision/message/seer/promoters encouraging disobiendience to the local bishop or being active in disobiendience which inveribly is replicated in followers of the apparition.
  • Elitest views held by seers/promoters/followers that they are the remnant of the church;
  • Elitism and disobiedience manifesting in splintering the church through factions, sects, cults, or labeling unbelivers in the messages as “liberal”;
  • Apocalyptic claims that fall outside the Church’s interpretation of scripture.

This list is not exhaustive.

The Church recognises the charism of discernment in the local bishop in matters of apparitions and trusts in his authority. We, the faithful are united to Christ and his Church through our local bishop who in turn is in communion with the Church and the Pope. As such, the faithful are not burdened with the responsibility of discerning the validity of apparitions. We are instructed to use the Magisterium as our source of spiritual nurishment and if an apparition is approved by a local bishop, we are not bound to believe in it but are permitted to to use it as a “help” in our spiritual journey.

Some aspects that point to a possible apparition are:

  • Impeccable obiedience by the seer to the spiritual director and the local bishop
  • No new revelation in the message
  • Messages do not conflict with the Magisterium

Luke


#8

Please refer to this thread:

Prohibited Book List and Condemned apparitions
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=70493

Luke


#9

[quote=LukeQ]Some aspects that point to a false apparition are:

  • Messages that provide new revelation - All public revelation ceased with the death of the last apostle.
  • Any message content from the seer that has previously been condemmed by the church as heresy;
  • Message demands that the faithful must do certain spiritual practices outside of what is ruled in Cannon Law to obtain salvation/sanctification
  • The message or visionary suggesting that the relivant church authorities are wrong;
  • The vision/message/seer/promoters encouraging disobiendience to the local bishop or being active in disobiendience which inveribly is replicated in followers of the apparition.
  • Elitest views held by seers/promoters/followers that they are the remnant of the church;
  • Elitism and disobiedience manifesting in splintering the church through factions, sects, cults, or labeling unbelivers in the messages as “liberal”;
  • Apocalyptic claims that fall outside the Church’s interpretation of scripture.

This list is not exhaustive.

The Church recognises the charism of discernment in the local bishop in matters of apparitions and trusts in his authority. We, the faithful are united to Christ and his Church through our local bishop who in turn is in communion with the Church and the Pope. As such, the faithful are not burdened with the responsibility of discerning the validity of apparitions. We are instructed to use the Magisterium as our source of spiritual nurishment and if an apparition is approved by a local bishop, we are not bound to believe in it but are permitted to to use it as a “help” in our spiritual journey.

Some aspects that point to a possible apparition are:

  • Impeccable obiedience by the seer to the spiritual director and the local bishop
  • No new revelation in the message
  • Messages do not conflict with the Magisterium

Luke
[/quote]

This is good advice… I would suggest that the believer needs to have a degree of healthy skepticism regarding claims of apparitions and needs to look at possible underlying motivations or evidence of mental illness or instability on the part of the observer which might have a bearing on the claim. I have written a little on particular apparition, for example, which gave me some serious concerns because its teachings run counter to Church doctrine and tradition. Shortly after taking a lot of heat for my position, I learned that I am by no means alone in my views, which was a real encouragement at that time.


#10

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