Friday, March 31, 2017
The Dangers of False Apparitions
We must avoid messages that are not OFFICIALLY approved by the Church. Currently there is an apparition fever in a lot of places. This is dangerous, because many believe more in what is said in a supposed or real apparition than what the Magisterium of the Church teaches; being that the revealed Truth ended with St. John, the rest are apparitions and private revelations that are not part of the faith and do not bind the believer. True apparitions cannot be in contradiction with the Revelation of God, made through the Bible or Tradition (that is, the teaching that comes to us orally and is not in the Bible) and guarded by the infallible Magisterium of the Church. Any doctrine against faith shows the falsity of the supposed "apparition", and if the contradiction is not so obvious, at least it makes it very doubtful.
False appearances may be deceitful, or the evil one may be involved in them. The true ones will always be in agreement with the faith. The problem is that a lot of Catholics do not know their faith well and therefore do not easily notice when an error is expressed against it. Even when the doctrine is correct, we must wait for the definitive and official judgment of the Church. Remember that Christ warned us about the coming of false prophets. We must be cautious and not believe all that is presented to us as supernatural. It is not wise to advertise these issues until they have been approved officially by the Church, and not by the opinion of any priest.
Our yardstick must be the Magisterium of the Church that guards the Divine Revelation, and not the apparitions. As long as the Church does not adopt a clear stance on each case, we must be cautious and not propagate everything that comes to us. In the meantime, we must discern that any message contrary to dogma is a sign of falsehood.
We cannot absolutely deny the truthfulness or sustain the falsity of a certain apparition until there is an opinion of the Church, unless it contradicts the dogma, but in any case we must be cautious and sensible. Hence the convenience of not being eager for supernatural matters. For a Catholic to be saved the Revelation made by God is sufficient.
What joy to know that Our Lady has really appeared in places like Tepeyac in Mexico, in Lourdes, La Sallete or in Fatima, etc. Knowing that the Church has APPROVED these apparitions, we are the first to rejoice and to spread their maternal messages. Of all the others, let us be cautious; be careful, and very prudent.... Let us not spread something as true, when it is just being analyzed.
In fact, not everything is genuine and authentic. Hence the need for prudence and discernment on the basis that all private revelation must be in accordance with the dogmas of our faith. The Revelation of God through Tradition and the Bible requires our complete agreement. Private revelations do not. The problem is that when there is contradiction, some people prefer the supposed private revelation over the Bible and Tradition. Those who do this, completely invert the values and get lost in “credulism”, and that can lead them to heresy, all this surrounded by an atmosphere of apparent and extreme piety.
Private revelations may be:
1) Approved officially by the Church and, therefore, in full harmony with the dogma (another issue is a possible incidental error only of the seer, which does not directly contradict the dogma).
2) False. By deception of the seers, by diabolic intervention, by holding heretical doctrines, by mental disorders of the supposed seer, etc. The Church does not approve them.
3) Doubtful. The doctrine does not contradict the dogma but there are elements that make them doubtful. The mistakes do not fall into the category of heresy and can be attributed to the visionaries and not to the messages received by them. They are under review.
4) Probable. They are also being analyzed. The doctrine is excellent and fully Catholic. There are many favorable fruits. In principle, no doubtful elements are observed. Notwithstanding all this, only the official judgment of the Church can assure us that they are approved, and not that of any particular criterion, however prestigious it may be who issues it.
In any case, only the first ones can be fully secure.
Remember that Christ warned us of false prophets, and in false appearances there are also false prophecies and false and heretical doctrines. The devil drags us using these means. He takes advantage of the piety of people to drag them to error and false devotions. There have even been schisms and antipopes as the product of these false seers, despite having begun in an atmosphere of great piety, with good fruits and conversions. Let us not forget that the devil sometimes disguises himself as an angel of light, for he is the great deceiver.
Therefore, let us be cautious, be careful, be very, very prudent... Let us not spread something as true, when it is just being analyzed. It is urgent to use discernment in the face of the alluvium of dangerous apparitions that swarm throughout the world.