Vatican tightens its rules on miracles, apparitions and supernatural phenomena

Vatican tightens its rules on miracles, apparitions and supernatural phenomena
Vatican tightens its rules on miracles, apparitions and supernatural phenomena

The Vatican tightened the procedures for evaluating supernatural phenomena, like the virgins who cry and the crucifixes that shed blood, which for centuries has generated mixed feelings among the Catholic faithful..

In a document that replaces the norms drawn up in 1978, the Vatican Doctrinal Office (DDF) indicated that the bishops They will no longer be able to act independently when faced with reports of such phenomena and must consult before investigating.

It also stripped bishops of the power to recognize “supernatural” nature. of apparitions and other supposedly divine events, leaving the decision in the hands of the Pope and Vatican headquarters.

Pope Francis has been skeptical of these types of events and last year told Italian RAI television that the apparitions of the Virgin Mary “are not always real” and that he likes to see her “pointing to Jesus” instead of calling the attention on herself.

Incidents recounted by the faithful, including the appearance of “stigmata,” or wounds from Jesus’ crucifixion, on the hands and feet of holy people, have frequently become the basis of shrines and pilgrimages.

The head of the DDF, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, told reporters that These types of events must be evaluated with great caution, since they can be fraudulent and exploited for
of “profit, power, fame, social recognition or other personal interest.”

The document states that, as a general rule, bishops should issue a “nihil obstat,” that is, an approval for worship that leaves open the question of whether the Vatican could formally recognize the phenomenon as “supernatural.” Such recognition is, however, “very exceptional,” he said.
Fernandez.

Bishops can reach five other conclusions about alleged supernatural events, the DDF said, including their formal rejection, or measures to prohibit or limit the cult of controversial or manifestly false phenomena.

 
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