Is there private divine revelation?


#1

Does God offer divine revelation to an individual?


#2

It depends on what you are referring to by the term divine revelation. If you mean general revelation that is binding on the consciences of all Catholics, then although general revelation was given to individuals during pre-Christian and apostolic eras, general revelation closed at the death of the last apostle. If you mean apparitions or locutions that call people of a certain era to repentance or encourage them to more faithfully live the gospel, yes, those have been given at times to individuals during the Christian era. However, such private revelations are not binding upon anyone until the Church determines their authenticity. Once authenticated, they are only binding upon the individual who received them; other Catholics are not bound in conscience to accept even approved private revelations.

“The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Yet even if revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries (Catechism of the Catholic
Church
66).

Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations” (CCC 67).


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.