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Thomas Moriarty wrote:

Hi, guys —

With all of the "sightings" of Our Lady written up in the papers these days, I asked our pastor if the Church condoned or discouraged the worship of Mary under these various guises.

He told me that the Church neither officially approves or disapproves these reports of the visitations of Mary but rather they reaffirm the portions of these "visitations" that are helpful to the faithful, on their journey of faith, as OK. This assumes, of course, that it is not an "out and out" fraud easily disapproved by any rational person.

  • Is this your group's understanding of this issue?


P.S. The pastor has visited Lourdes and Fatima on several occasions.

  { Does the Church condone the worship of Mary and how does the Church view Marian apparitions? }

John replied:

Dear Tom,

The Church never, ever, ever, has or will condone the worship of Mary!!!

The Church venerates and encourages devotion to Jesus' Mother (Our Lady), but never worship.

I believe this is what you pastor implied in his response. The Church may approve a particular apparition, like Fatima or Lourdes, however it does not bind us to accept it. This is because Marian apparitions are "private revelations". Catholics don't have to believe private revelations.

We are only bound to "public revelation" which ceased around the year 100 A.D.

John C. DiMascio

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