Monday, December 14, 2009

Garabandal – The Church's Position By Colin Donovan S.T.L.

Garabandal Village 2Image by garabandal archives via Flickr

Garabandal Pines 1Image by garabandal archives via Flickr
The history of all approved apparitions shows that the Church requires
unequivocal evidence of supernaturality. This can be cures, as at Lourdes
and Beauraing, or a supernatural prodigy, as at Fatima. The reason from
the Church's mystical theology is that most mysticism (as both St.
Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross teach) is mediated by the
angels (who have a created angelic nature). What the good angels can
do, the bad angels can imitate, so that many so-called "supernatural"
phenomena are merely preternatural (above human nature, but not above
the angelic nature). At Garabandal this would include the ecstasies, the
ecstatic walks, the returning of rosaries and medals to the proper owners
and so on. None of these things, much less the miraculous photos,
rosaries turning gold etc. of more recent alleged apparitions, proves anything
to the Church about the divine origin of a phenomenon. In the
absence of some clear supernatural proof neither the local bishop or
Rome is likely to approve an apparition.
While two commissions convened by bishops of Santander, Spain, have
stated that there were no phenomena which would authenticate the
events as certainly supernatural they did not condemn the message. In
this regard, the first commission stated, "we have not found anything
deserving of ecclesiastical censure or condemnation either in the doctrine
or in the spiritual recommendations that have been published as having
been addressed to the faithful." The bishop who called the second
commission, Bishop del Val, upon retiring from office stated in an
interview that the message of Garabandal was "important" and
"theologically correct." Indeed, some of the prophetic elements of the
message can be found in private revelations which have been approved
since the initial decision on Garabandal in the 1960s. For example, the
concept of a worldwide warning can be found in the Diary of Saint
Faustina (Diary n.83), and both the message of Divine Mercy given to her
(Diary n.1588), and that of Akita (approved by the local bishop), speak of
chastisement if mankind does not ultimately repent. Similar prophetic
content can be found in the writings of Elizabeth Canori-Mora and Mary of
Jesus Crucified, both of whom were beatified by Pope John Paul II, as
well as in prophecies given by God to Blessed Anna Maria Taigi and St.
Caspar del Bufalo. Finally, the principal promoter of Garabandal, Joey
Lomangino, testifies that it was Saint Padre Pio who told him the Blessed
Virgin was appearing at Garabandal and he should go.

It seems, therefore, that notwithstanding the decisions of two commissions
accepted by the bishops of Santander, that there are reasonable
grounds for individual Catholics to find Garabandal credible. The
children themselves predicted that the message of Garabandal would be
approved with difficulty, but in sufficient time to spread it. Perhaps this
means that the "warning" (a clearly supernatural event) must occur first
for approval to be given. Given the seriousness of the times we do well to
heed the message of conversion, whether proposed by Fatima or some
other source such as Garabandal, Medjugorje or another, without fear,
that is, with complete confidence in God's providence for us and the
world. The future will take care of itself if we remain spiritually prepared
for anything. This has always been the advice of the saints, anyway.

From "The Messenger of the Two Hearts" Hampton, Vic. Australia
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