Monday, January 12, 2009

The Status of Reputed Marian Apparitions at Garabandal, Spain


In response to a query on the CHNI board:

First, no Catholic is obliged to accept any private revelation (which is why we always minimize and underemphasize, if not discourage, their use here), and that is what all Marian apparitions are. For a treatment of this general issue, see:

"Revelations," Fr. Mark Slatter, This Rock, June 1998.

Some apparitions (e.g., Fatima and Lourdes: both of which I accept in faith) are approved by the Church in the sense of being pious, worthy of belief, and faith-building, and not contrary to any Catholic doctrine, with no sense, however, of being binding on every Catholic. Medjugorje is still being investigated by the Church, which has taken no definitive stand as of yet.

Garabandal is not yet "approved" and arguably has some questionable aspects in it. Karl Keating: the "father" of the modern Catholic apologetics movement, contends that it has already been outright falsified, since one of its predictions has not come to pass:
. . . successive bishops of Santander, the diocese in which Garabandal is located, have condemned the apparition. . . .

One of the locutions received by the children included the prediction that there would be only three more popes until "the end of the times." The pope when that prediction was made was John XXIII. Then came Paul VI and John Paul I. Now we have John Paul II, who, being John XXIII's third successor, is therefore the last pope.

A further locution told the children that John Paul II would live to see the miracle. The present Holy Father, as we all know, is frail and ailing. While he might live another decade, he might be called home at any time. Most of us will outlive him, which means we will be able to know with certainty whether the warning and the miracle occurred during his reign and whether he turned out to be the last pope.

Although there are more than a dozen Indian casinos within easy driving distance of my home, I do not visit them. I have no interest in gambling. By the time I put the fourth quarter into a slot machine, I'm bored. I can think of smarter and more enjoyable ways to lose money.

But I am tempted to lay a wager, with anyone who might wish to take me up on it, that there will be another conclave of cardinals and that from it another pope will emerge. I do not worry about losing this bet because I have every confidence that Garabandal is a false apparition.

If a new pope is elected, that will put the lie to the apparition's claims. This will doubly be the case if the promised warning and miracle do not arrive during the current pontificate.

[this e-letter of Karl's was written in July 2003]
Such a false prediction got false prophets stoned in Old Testament times.

See also:

"The Alleged Apparitions of Garabandal, Spain," by Msgr. Jose Vilaplana, Bishop of Santander Spain (posted at EWTN)

"Convincing Evidence on Garabandal"

"Garabandal Letters"

* * *

Colin B. Donovan, STL, however, takes a neutral-to-favorable position in another post on EWTN ("Ask the Expert").

As does the Wikipedia article:

"Garabandal Apparitions"


Ed Kelly said...

All three of your contentions are incorrect: that about the Santander bishops condemning the reported apparitions, the prophecy of the three popes, and that John Paul II would see the miracle. You don't provide any sources for these statments much less prime sources. If we are to take you or any of your work seriously please provide the sources. It would be interesting to know how much work either Karl Keating or Father Mark Slatter have done on the Garabandal apparitions and the Church's investigation of, and judgments on them. From their writngs it seems like very little. Why do you use them as your sources?

Dave Armstrong said...

Thanks for your input. I don't have any time presently to get bogged down in a big discussion about a private revelation. I've said what I've said. Your objection is duly noted.

Todd said...

This post, with the quoted critique by Karl Keating, seems all the more valid, given that we did indeed had a Pope after JPII who was supposedly to be the "third" until the "end", and it looks like with the resignation of his successor Pope Benedict XVI, we will have yet another Pontiff by next month.

After having followed this apparition for some time, and not without some open-minded interest, these recent events really seem to deliver a death-blow to the Garabandal prophecies once and for all.

I have a feeling the same thing will end up happening in Medjugorje.

I just hope that those who have clung to these private revelations all these years will not lose their Catholic faith entirely in all their disappointment.