Expert Answer Forum
Fr. Gobbi QUESTION from Paula February 3, 1999 My church has a centacle meeting on Tues. evenings. It includes the rosary and prayers followed by mass. My concern is the use of Fr. Gobbi's book as a prayer book when the vatican has not given his work the OK for general use. Our priest is present which seems to indicate that this is fully accepted. Thank you in advance for your answer.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on February 7, 1999 Dear Paula:
Any ecclesiastic authority that I am aware of has not as yet approved Father Gobbi’s locutions, but the Church is investigating. The book that you refer to is the publication of his locutions. Thus one should exercise great care and caution in developing any devotion to any private revelation that is not as yet approved.
The Marian Movement of Priests, however, as an organization apart from Father Gobbi’s locutions seems to be a good organization as far as I know. I believe good things have been said even by the Holy Father about the organization. (Don’t quote me on that, I am relying on faulty memory). But we must understand that any approbation of the organization is NOT approbation of the locutions of Father Gobbi.
I have glanced at a few Internet messages recently that have made remarks that Father Gobbi’s locutions may not be of supernatural origin due to some prophecies that he made that were suppose to have come true in 1998 and didn’t. I don’t know anything about that so cannot comment as to whether that is true or not.
The best word I have is that the current status of Father Gobbi’s locutions is that the Church is investigating but has not made a decision.
We must remember that NO Private Revelation, even an approved one like Fatima, is necessary for salvation nor is it necessary for devotion. If a private revelation leads one to Christ and our Blessed Mother and to devotion of the Eucharist, if it leads us to study the Bible and Sacred Tradition, then praise God. But we can do all those things without the aid of a private revelation.
I wear a Brown Scapular on my habit (goes all the way down to my ankles), I wear a Miraculous Medal Ring as a symbol of my profession and my office, I pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, I say the Fatima prayer during the Rosary. All these things are a result of Private Revelations and they all are helpful to my spirituality. But if none of those private revelations happened, if there were no Brown Scapular, no Miraculous Medal, no Divine Mercy Chaplet, no Fatima prayer, would that mean I couldn’t be a devout Catholic? No. We must remember that all Private Revelations are extra and if they help, great, but we don’t have to have them to be a saint.
Because of the nature of Private Revelations, I personally do not recommend developed devotion toward it until the Church has made its decision on the visions, locutions, or whatever. You will NOT miss out on ANYTHING if you avoid getting involved until the Church decides; but you may gain great contamination by pre-mature devotion to a private revelation not yet approved since once the Church does investigate and decides, the decision may not be positive.
The potential for damage FAR outweighs the potential benefits in my view. We have all we need in PUBLIC Revelation to live our lives as Saints and even to interpret our times. If one wishes, they may add to that approved Private Revelations. Within the wisdom and guidance of the Church in interpreting approved Private Revelations, and obedience to the Church on this, these too may be of benefit to us in living the Christ-life.
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