PROOF of the Catholic Church’s tenacious adherence in the 21st century to medieval ways of thinking comes in a report from the Vatican regarding miracle sightings.
Pope Ratzinger, we learn today, is concerned that not all visions of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and other “miraculous” stuff are genuine, and that the Devil might be orchestrating false sightings in a bid to bamboozle the faithful.
So he has instructed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the Holy Office of the Inquisition, to draw up a new handbook to help bishops snuff out an epidemic of bogus heavenly apparitions – including messages, stigmata (the appearances of the five wounds of Christ), weeping and bleeding statues and Eucharistic miracles.
Monsignor Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, a “respected” Spanish Jesuit archbishop, has been placed in charge of drawing up the handbook, known as a “vademecum”, which will update the current rules set in 1978.
According to Petrus, an Italian online magazine which leans towards conservative elements in the Vatican, anyone who claims to have seen an apparition will only be believed as long as they remain silent and do not court publicity over their claims. If they refuse to obey, this will be taken as a sign that their claims are false.
The visionaries will then be visited by a team of psychiatrists, either atheists or Catholics, to certify their mental health while theologians will assess the content of any heavenly messages to see if they contravene Church teachings.
If the visionary is considered credible they will ultimately be questioned by one or more demonologists and exorcists to exclude the possibility that Satan is hiding behind the apparitions in order to deceive the faithful.