Discerning Private Revelation: A Particular Pitfall

Originally published at Catholic Stand on January 16, 2016.

Over the course of my now fourteen years of studying and working with the Catholic Church’s theology of private revelation, I have come to understand a particular pitfall in discernment. This pitfall concerns the dissemination of alleged private revelations. Unfortunately, there appears to be many different ideas and opinions as to how this dissemination works. This difference is part of the reason why I wrote the book Refractions of Light. In the article, I would like to discuss this particular pitfall in order to shed some light on the confusion that today continues unabated in the Church.

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Interview with Special Envoy to Medjugorje

La Fede Quotidiana has the following interview in Italian with the Special Envoy to Medjugorje. The following English translation is my own and is to be considered a “working” translation.

“I do not know why he named me. I’m grateful. The assignment does not scare me. The spiritual fruits of Medjugorje are good.”
The Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser says in this interview with La Fede Quotidiana.
He is the Archbishop of Warsaw-Prague, recently appointed special envoy of the Pope for the pastoral aspects in Medjugorje.

Excellency, did you expect this assignment?
“No, and I do not know why the Pope named me. Of course, I’m grateful, I will carry it out with the utmost of my commitment, it however, does not scare me.”

You are known to be a conservative bishop…
“I do not call myself that. Rather, I am a man of the Church who seeks to be true to the Word, doctrine, and Tradition, of course to all documents. If that means being conservative, I am conservative.

Poland, of which you are a son, nourishes towards Medjugorje generally positive feelings …
“In fact it is the case. The Catholics of this nation, which is deeply Marian, have a good idea of Medjugorje, along (questo) general lines. And there are many. Moreover, in Medjugorje 2 million pilgrims come each year and this means something. But I will no deal (occuperó) with the theological aspects and of the apparitions that are the subject of the Pontifical Commission. My concern (lit. “range of action”) is pastoral.”

The visionaries?
“For me, they are neither a problem nor the problem. I repeat, they are not part of my task.”

John Paul II, who you knew well, nourished good feelings towards Medjugorje …
“He was devoted to the Madonna in general, including that of Medjugorje. It is not a bad thing.”

Our Lady of Medjugorje is Queen of Peace, but also of the family that you as a bishop argues decisively ..
“True. It is very important to invoke Mary for the protection of the family consisting of a man and a woman united in sacramental marriage. In the center of the Medjugorje apparitions we find the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration, fasting, penance, good things without danger for the life and the strengthening of the faith that stimulate and encourage” (che vanno incentivate ed incoraggiate).

What are the fruits of Medjugorje?
“As I said, I will limit myself to the pastoral and not to the doctrine and thus not to the subject of [Medjugorje’s] truthfulness. As for the fruits on souls, they seem positive to me. By fruits, I mean the practicing of the sacraments, conversions, change in lifestyle, participation in Mass and this happens in Medjugorje, we cannot deny it and disregard it pastorally.”

You have recently been seriously ill. Is it true that you also prayed to Our Lady of Medjugorje?
“I contracted malaria in Africa. I prayed to the Madonna, I believe in Mary in all her manifestations.”

Cardinal Bertone Interview

The Sanctuary of Fátima publishes a journal entitled Fatima XXI. It is a very nicely arranged journal with many interesting articles.

For my research on the third part of the secret, I found an interview between the Portuguese journalist Aura Miguel and Cardinal Bertone entitled Fátima: A Message for the Church, a Call to Community and to Humanity. I thought it was a very interesting article. While lengthy, I have excised the parts wherein Aura Miguel and Bertone spoke on the topic of the third part of the secret.

I leave the interview in the Portuguese language. If anyone feels up to translate it, please contact me. Meanwhile, we jump in media res….


Fátima: Uma Mensagem para a Igreja, um Apelo à Comunidade e à Humanidade

Tarcisio Bertone entrevistado por Aura Miguel[1]

A.M. E o que mais o impressiona na mensagem?

Card. B.: È a oração e a penitência, sem dúvida. Mas é também, e sobretudo, a extrema proximidade de Nossa Senhora ao povo cristão e à Igreja; é esta presença de Maria, uma presença que se revela num acompanhamento muito terno, desde que somos crianças – vemo-lo com os pastorinhos, como Ela se revela e se mostra especialmente aos mais pequenos. Mas não só, porque depois também acompanha os cristãos, é forte e ajuda-nos, como num campo de batalha e depois também como a invocava frequentemente o beato João XXIII (a entrevista teve lugar antes da canonização de João XXIII], auxilium episcoporum, auxilio dos bispos…

A.M.: Ao Cardeal Bertone foi confiada a revelação da terceira parte do segredo. Como viveu esta aventura?

Card. B.: Foi uma maneira peculiar de me aproximar do mistério de Fátima, porque fui encarregado de estudar o processo para a publicação dos escritos da Irmã Lúcia que se referiam à terceira parte do segredo e de retirar do arquivo secreto do então Santo Oficio – da Congregação para a Doutrina da Fé – este preciosíssimo manuscrito da Irmã Lúcia, sobretudo o famoso envelope…

A. M.: Ainda se lembra como foi?…

Card. B.: O envelope tinha quatro páginas guardadas nesse cofre, que estava fechado e cujas chaves as tinham o Prefeito, o Secretário e o Arquivista da Congregação. Três chaves à moda antiga para abrir o cofre onde estava guardado o envelope com a terceira parte do segredo. Nessa altura, eu era Secretário da Congregação para a Doutrina da Fé…

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Angry Birds and Private Revelation

One of the features of international travel on an airplane is watching movies. Those long hours of airtime seem to fly by rather quickly with a good movie or two. On the way back to the States from Fátima, I was able to watch Angry Birds. As I watched, a theme it contained jumped out at me, namely deception in private revelation and how we respond to it.

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Interview with Michael O’Neill

The following is a transcript of my interview with Michael O’Neill “The Miracle Hunter” of Relevant Radio.
It was recorded on October 13, 2016 and broadcast on October 16, 2016.

October 13th is one of those days that, just like May 13th, is one of the days that’s associated with Our Lady of Fátima. Of course, October 13th is the anniversary of the great Miracle of the Sun, the Fátima Sun Miracle. We’ve got someone today who is an expert in private revelation and he’s written a book, Refractions of Light, author Kevin Symonds. Welcome to the program today Kevin.

Hello Mr. O’Neill. Good to be with you today.

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Yves Chiron and Fátima

Well, I certainly did not see this one coming. Yves Chiron, a noted French scholar, has weighed in on the recent talks with Fátima, Dollinger and Ratzinger. He published an article in his periodical Aletheia in which he takes to task Dr. Hickson’s article.

The article is in French, but I have completed a rough English translation. I include it below for your perusal, having taken the liberty to add some links to Chiron’s sources, a couple of notes and placing some accent marks. The text is taken from a transcription available on the TradiNews web site.

Make sure to visit my articles  (here and here) and my interview (here) on this matter as well!


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