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Author Topic Rebecca Administrator USA 1232 Posts
Posted - 01/27/2009 : 2:36:39 PM
Coming soon from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - a set of guidelines for discerning mystical phenomena. I especially like the first guideline - imposing silence on the alleged visionaries.
Pope orders bishops to root out false claims of visions By Simon Caldwell, 13 Jan 2009
quote:Benedict XVI plans to publish criteria to help them to distinguish between true and false claims of visions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, messages, stigmata, weeping and bleeding statues and Eucharistic miracles. In some cases exorcists will be used to determine if a credible apparition is of divine origin or whether it is demonic. The guidelines will come in a vademecum, or handbook, which is in its final stages and will be published soon by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It sets out step-by-step instructions on how Church authorities should deal with claims of such supernatural phenomena. The Pope is said to be deeply concerned by the explosion in the number of pseudo-mystics who, claiming a direct line to God, set themselves against the bishops and lure the Catholic faithful out of the Church and into disobedient cults. When a claim of heavenly apparitions occurs, the local bishop will need to set up a commission of psychiatrists, psychologists, theologians and priests who will investigate the claims systematically. The first step will be to impose silence on the alleged visionaries and if they refuse to obey then this will be taken as a sign that their claims are false. The visionaries will next be visited by psychiatrists, either atheists or Catholics, to certify their mental health and to verify whether they are suffering from conditions of a hysterical or hallucinatory character or from delusions of leadership. The third step will be to investigate the person's level of education and to determine if they have had access to material that could be used to falsely support their claims. The new document will also instruct the bishops to see if the visionaries and their associates stand to gain financially from making their claims. The content of any heavenly messages will also be scrutinised to see if it is harmony with the teachings of the Church. If the visionary is considered credible they will ultimately be questioned by one or more demonologists and exorcists to exclude the possibility that Satan is hiding behind the apparitions in order to deceive the faithful. The Pope decided to act because instances of private revelations continue to multiply, with new cases reported around the world every year.Source: Telegraph.co.uk

RebeccaSeek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand. -Saint Augustine
ClareFrancis Squire USA 354 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2009 : 6:49:21 PM
quote:The first step will be to impose silence on the alleged visionaries and if they refuse to obey then this will be taken as a sign that their claims are false.
Isn't this already a criterium used in the discernment process or is it just an unofficial criterium at this point and will be made official?

ClareForgiveness of sins is a greater work than raising the dead. ~St. Augustine
Rebecca Administrator USA 1232 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2009 : 8:54:02 PM
I hadn't heard of this one being official yet. If that were so then the visionaries of certain famous ongoing appartitions would have been ordered silent years ago.

RebeccaSeek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand. -Saint Augustine
ClareFrancis Squire USA 354 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2009 : 9:41:10 PM
Here's a website I found a while ago when preparing for a Marian night with the young adult group. It doesn't go into too much detail, mostly Catholic common sense: Apparitions--True or False?

ClareForgiveness of sins is a greater work than raising the dead. ~St. Augustine
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