I hear the supernatural argument from Catholics a lot as a form of apologetics. Fatima and other Marian apparitions, Eucharistic miracles with bledding hosts, exorcisms, etc. I’d like to know what Anglicans and Orthodox have to say about these miracles? Do you believe in any of them? If you do, would seeing Mary in these apparitions constantly refer to Catholic dogma (rosary, papacy, sacramentals, etc.) or the fact that the Eucharist turned to real blood in a Catholic setting motivate you to convert? In CAF we discuss theology in an intellectual setting a great deal arguing about apostolic succession, sola scriptura or tradition, indulgences, purgatory, you name it. But I don’t hear the supernatural side discussed much. I don’t hear much about supernatural events in Anglicanism or Orthodoxy yet I know both have exorcists, etc. What is your view of these supernatural occurences, real or cooked-up, and what part did they plan in your conversions or current state of faith? I’d especially like the Anglican and Orthodox views…
Since there have been no orgainized denial of Marian doctrines or devotion or of the Eucharist in the East comparable to Protestantism, such phenomena are unnecessary.
This is not to say that great Eastern saints have not seen the Theotokos or that there are not provisions for what to do if the Lamb takes the appearance of flesh or a child, but these are rare.
As far as I know, the most common EO supernatural (being very liberal with that word) occurence is the presence of either bleeding or (more common) weeping / oozing icons. The icons generally give off myrrh oil. Most EO (and OO) groan because it’s usually an indicator of something bad.
The most well-known for EOs is the Holy Fire.
The most well-known for OOs is Our Lady of Zeitoun.
They’re both quite nifty.
As an aside, I’ve never heard of any Anglican supernatural events, though I’d love to hear about some.
Well, the Orthodox churches are not completely bereft of this phenomenon. One of the most important feasts in the Eastern calendar was inspired by a Marian apparition from the pre-schism era.
The closest Catholic analog to the Holy Fire phenomenon at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre would be the annual Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano. Some have claimed that the Holy Fire is divine proof that God favours the Julian date of Easter. (It is not a convincing argument to me, but proponents believe in the phenomenon and it dates far back into antiquity).
The concept of bleeding or weeping statues has some parallels with Orthodox weeping icons
There seem to be a lot more of these things in the Catholic Church (plus untold numbers of apparitions, approved or not), but there are Orthodox parallels. In defence of the Orthodox, private devotions or apparitions have had a far more limited impact on the iconography or liturgical life of the church (the Protection of the Mother of God is an exception).
You and I have had some very meaningful and worth while discussions here. I consider you one of the kindest and most intelligent Catholics I have spoken with here to date. I want that to continue because I value that. In regards to your question, I must say that I truly believe that much of these alleged supernatural events are coincidental and some of them I believe are completely fabricated by overly and in many cases dangerously motivated people. Do I believe that Mary is alive and well and in Heaven with the rest of the saints? Absolutely I do. Do I believe that the Eucharist is the body blood soul and divinity of Jesus Christ? Of course I do, the Scriptures prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. But I think that fanaticism exists to over-blow some things and cook other things up, like anything else, there are always those who seem to thrive on it as opposed to the truth. Great question!
Well first let me thank you for your kind words; I only wish I could live up to them! Honestly, one thing that prompts me to bring these things up is Bishop John-David Schofield, the Bishop of San Joaquin here in the Central Valley of California. Several years back he shared with us a powerful experience he had at an Anglican monestary in England. He told us a story of how he was thinking of getting married and leaving the whole idea of being a priest when, according to John-David, Jesus Himself appeared to him in this little monestary. He said he saw Christ and that Jesus spoke audibly to him telling him to take a vow of celibacy and follow Him as a priest. He tells this story with a lot of passion in earnest. He has talked about experiencing a miracle in the Eucharist as well. I never got the details.
What prompted this thread is that I was thinking, if supernatural phenomena occur in other churches, namely Anglicanism and Orthodoxy (the two that interest me the most), then wouldn’t that be some indicator of Christ being actively present in that Church? I have not heard much of Eucharistic miracles, etc. outside of the Schofield story and was wondering if anyone heard any others. I’m open to such things occuring outside of Catholicism.
The famous movie, “The Exorcist” was based to some degree on a famous exorcism that William Blatty heard about while at Georgetown as a young man. I’ve read a lot about that St. Louis exorcism and find it compelling. I have read that Anglicans have exorcists in almost every diocese across the world. I wonder if it happens often that Anglican priests are able to exorcise demons, etc. We hear so much supernatural phenomena related to Catholicism in the media. It’s as if these things only happen in Catholicism so the media, movies, TV, etc. always portray it that way.
A lot of Catholics use supernatural apologetics i.e. Fatima, etc. to encourage people to look into Catholicism so I’d like to see what the non-Catholics have to say on the matter. I appreciate your thoughts, Justy, and I also can appreciate your caution!
Icons spontaneously weep myrrh all the time in the Orthodox Church. Well, maybe “all the time” is a bit of an exaggeration, but miracles like this and healings from icons and relics and holy monks happen enough that you should have no problem finding plenty of material to read if you look it up. There are saints and laypersons who have been visited by the Theotokos and other saints…
I used to belong to an AngloCatholic church within the Episcopal Church USA.
At my church, many parishoners had devotion to Mary as Our Lady of Walsingham. They accepted the vision of Lady Richeldis. Many visited the Anglican shrine at Walsingham.
Some of these same parishoners also accepted the idea of weeping statues.
Now, many of these people felt that they were already in the “correct church”, that is an AngloCatholic church in the Episcopal Church USA. There was no need for them to convert to the Catholic Church. (Personally, there was some anti-Catholic bias amongst these folks.)