Private revelations: Are they reliable?| AD2000


Above is a photo of crowds of mostly Catholics that gathered for weeks in front of what looked like an image of our Blessed Mother that had appeared suddenly in one of the windows of a largish private hospital. This hospital is not 10 minutes’ walk from one’s stately pile and it all happened about one and a half years ago.

All were hoping for some kind of “message” and you can see a brief video on it all here.

Below are snippets from a recent article by John Young in the Melbourne (Catholic) publication AD2000 taking a broad look at the question of private revelations.

Please read J0hn Young’s balanced full article in AD2000 here. (Back issues to 1988 of AD2000 are available on the site. These would probably interest many here.)

  • Firstly, there is no doubt that God does sometimes give messages to chosen individuals. That is recognised by all orthodox theologians, and the Catholic Church has officially approved some of these communications .
  • Catholics who simply dismiss private revelations, ignoring them completely, should examine their motives and ask themselves whether they fully accept the truths of Divine Revelation on the subject matter. Have they doubts, for instance, about the reality of hell or the urgency of doing penance as a reparation for sin?

  • At the other extreme are people who uncritically accept the numerous alleged seers claiming to receive communications from heaven, and who travel to site after site where supernatural events are said to have occurred, even though the claims are dubious.
  • He (St John of the Cross) points out that there are no more articles of faith to be believed.
  • John of the Cross also warns that the devil sometimes deceives a person by first presenting truths, and then instilling falsehoods.
  • St John sees a great danger to one’s spiritual life if one forms the habit of seeking visions and messages from heaven. One can become addicted to these. Attachment to these can interfere with true detachment of spirit. It can lead the seeker to dwell on the sensual aspect of the revelations instead of the spiritual.
  • So we need to be prudent, and to be always ready to accept rulings from Rome on these matters, for the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit.

About GC

Poor sinner.
This entry was posted in Devotion, Marian and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Private revelations: Are they reliable?| AD2000

  1. GC says:

    No, Toad, I am not the auntie in the aqua twinset with the matching chunky rosary.


  2. Roger says:

    What a real pleasure to see Catholics openly praying and giving witness to teir Faith! Rome could learn a lot from them!


  3. Toadspittle says:

    “So we need to be prudent, and to be always ready to accept rulings from Rome on these matters, for the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit.”
    Then how come The Dreaded Vatican Two came about?
    Was that somehow not “…one of these matters”? …Holy Spirit not on hand to guide that day?

    “Firstly, there is no doubt that God does sometimes give messages to chosen individuals.”
    …Oh yes there is. Every atheist, for example, absolutely “doubts” it, to put it mildly.
    (Every atheist might well be wrong of course, but that’s another matter.)
    How the statement above should read is:
    “Firstly, there is no doubt – among people who have no doubt that God does sometimes give messages to chosen individuals – that God does sometimes give messages to chosen individuals.
    …That help?
    Oh, well. Ces’t la vie, as Roger would say.
    …Often does, no doubt.


  4. Michael says:

    I just think that people need to work on the basis that private revelation is probably wrong (as almost all are) but allow for the possibility that it isn’t. Sadly a friend’s mother put a lot into a private revelation that turned out a hoax and left the Church completely.

    Toady why is VII dreaded? What about it (other than the poltergeist attributed to it) do you consider wrong? Until a Pope grasps the nettle and interprets the conciliar documents noone can really know what to make of it.


  5. Toadspittle says:

    I don’t (indeed, didn’t) dread it myself, Michael – but get the powerful impression that others do: Smoke of Satan, etc., – Blatant refusal to consecrate Russia to The Virgin – Gay cardinals facing the wrong way serving communion by hand without the protection of altar rails to the sound of electric guitars and bongo drums – Having to shake hands with, and give The Sign of Peace to, the Great Unwashed – People being openly beastly about Michael Voris’s lovely hairpiece….

    Fie!…No end to the dreadedness, it would seem . Although, quite possibly I’m wrong. Usually am.

    “I just think that people need to work on the basis that private revelation is probably wrong…”

    Couldn’t agree more ..and would personally extend this to public revelation – regarding subjects ranging from metaphysical to political – encompassing en route (as Roger would say) pronouncements on skirt lengths by “fashion gurus,” and those assessing the aesthetic qualities of Mel Gibson movies – as well as those on what a nice man Christopher Hitchens was – on the way.


  6. GC says:

    I don’t (indeed, didn’t) dread it (i.e. Vatican II) myself, Michael.

    Indeed, what’s not to like?

    “During the 1950s, the Netherlands possessed a higher ratio of priests and religious to Catholic population than any other European country. Its Sunday Mass attendance rate was among the highest in the world at the time of the Council; as late as 1967, the figure was still 63 per cent, including 84 per cent in rural areas. The Dutch Church’s missionary activity before Vatican II was unequalled in the world: with two per cent of the world’s Catholics, it provided 11 per cent of it missionary priests.

    Yet within scarcely ten to fifteen years there was almost complete collapse. For example, between 1960 and 1977, ordinations to the priesthood fell from 318 to 16, a far worse drop than in neighbouring Belgium and West Germany. Mass attendance fell to less than 20 per cent of the pre-Vatican II high of 70-75 per cent; again a much worse decline than elsewhere. At the same time, 4300 nuns and brothers left religious life and over 2000 secular priests defected or were laicised: this was three times the world average.” *

    Anything else you didn’t dread, Toad, while you’re at it?

    * From AD2000, July 1988


  7. Toadspittle says:

    I don’t follow your logic I’m afraid, GC. Not wholistic enough, possibly.(I, Toad, that is, not the logic.)
    But then I’m an English toad, not a Dutch one.
    …Perhaps the Dutch work in mysterious ways.
    I don’t recall having ever actually dreaded them, in any case.

    Anyway, to look on the bright side – their tulips (as always), cannabis cafes, Spinoza, Vermeer, and the national football team – all did exceptionally well during the time period you cite.
    Spinoza and Vermeer particularly – have become very vogueish.


  8. Roger says:

    If you look at the History of the Faith you will find that in some cases Church Councils or parts have been surpressed by later Popes. This is how the Church has always worked. Dogmatic definitions are very very rare! So Evolution ISN’T a Dogma of the Church, might be private opinions even of prelates but the Apostles Creed is just that.
    Now with private revelations again there needs to be a distinction between warnings or corrections or prophecy’s or even vocations (all of course conditional). What makes Fatima very Public is 13th October 1917 and the Dance of the Sun!
    Our Lord tells Us not to judge and I think this is wise. So the sight of public veneration by Catholics giving testimony to a living Faith is most welcome.
    The Church is replete with private revelations starting of course with St Stephen! But lets see whether Rome approves of that shall we! I for one would like to see some Faith and obedience to Heaven in Rome. Putting God before the opines of Man.


  9. GC says:

    Hello, Roger, you’ve obviously a great interest in such private revelations, especially those that go on to become rather public. Why is that? Surely a prayerful and loving Christian life nourished by the sacraments is sufficient? Actually, even that can get quite difficult at times.

    I myself find these apparitions and messages interesting and sometimes edifying, but otherwise don’t think of them much.


  10. Toadspittle says:

    “Our Lord tells Us not to judge and I think this is wise. “

    So – you personally don’t judge stuff, Roger, for fear of upsetting Him?
    But…Dante? Hell? Vatican Two? Fatima? The Third Secret? The Holy Trinity? Saint Joseph the Communist? Eternal Damnation? The “Dreaded” Vatican Two?
    …All guesswork – no judgement?

    Because, if you (or any of us) aren’t “judging” stuff all the time – what the hell are we all doing on CP&S?

    …Toad is judged about three times a day. And frequently as many times condemned – and rightly so.

    It seems to me that your entire life is predicated on judging “apparitions” of some sort or another.
    …Still, you may be right. What do I know?
    Seeing apparitions is a skill I don’t seem have to been blessed with.

    “So Evolution ISN’T a Dogma of the Church,”
    … well, even you and I, Roger, can agree on that much at least.

    And, yes, GC – it is undoubtedly a particularly striking “twin-set*,” in your jolly nice snap.
    (Might I suggest “Cerulean,” perhaps, myself? ) …The sort of thing my Mum was perennially fond of.
    …And why not?

    (*Aunties are born with an innate knowledge of these things, I find.)


  11. GC says:

    More towards the aqua green I find, Toad. Cerulean is more blue. I should know as aqua was my mum’s favourite colour for dressing in, especially twinsets. It was more or less the colour of her eyes, a light blue, as she was of Irish and English parentage.

    Well, thank God that’s settled.


  12. Roger says:

    First God talks through His Prophets always has always will. Now was Fatima Private? Was St Francis stigmata Private? Since Popes have responded to Private revelations and demonstrable obeyed them where is the problem? Our Lady of Guadalope was this Private? Was the Annuciation Private and mean who witnessed this? What about Our Lord’s Temptation by Satan after fasting for 40 days who witnessed this wasn’t it Private? What about the Papacy given to St Peter wasn’t this Private? Even the Sacraments were these not given in Private?
    When we talk of a loving and Christian Life there would be no such thing a Christian without Private Revelations. Who authorised the Private revelations of St Joseph re the flight into Egypt? The very liturgical cycle is replete with Feasts and Saints whose origins are from private revelation.
    The argument that we don’t need private revelation would denude at one stroke Christianity because this wasn’t approved by the Jews hierachy in Jerusalem. Faith means a belief in the Divine, in Prophets and revelation. A living God not one rooted in the Past but alive today and preaching and teaching in short Catholic!


  13. kathleen says:

    Yes, I agree that “Private Revelations” is a loose term to signify a heavenly intervention to either one or more persons at any given time in the history of Mankind.

    Though while it is true that a necessary degree of discernment and caution is needed to not be fooled by evil-intentioned deceivers and those poor folk who suffer from some form of mental instability, there is powerful evidence pointing to the times (too numerous to count) when Our Blessed Lord has permitted the “other world” to touch this one by His Miracles or the visits of His Blessed Mother, holy angels, etc., and without any of these affecting our Free Will to accept them or not.

    I have just returned from a holy and wonderful two-day pilgrimage to Lourdes with the “Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest”. I believe with all my heart, as our Holy Catholic Church has confirmed, that Our Blessed Lady appeared here to little St Bernadette, reaffirming her Holy and Immaculate Conception to the child, that four years previously Bl. Pope Bius IX had declared a Dogma of the Church. Besides, the millions of pilgrims that now visit the sanctuary are edified and grow in their love, hope and charity after coming here; this is what Our Lady wanted!

    This is the comment I have just left on Richard Collins’ blog (Linen on the Hedgerow) on one of his Lourdes’ posts. (He is there now.)

    “I have just returned from Lourdes with the “Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest” group from Madrd. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, and I feel I have been truly and deeply blessed by Our Blessed Lord and His Holy and Immaculate Mother by all the graces bestowed upon me during those two days.

    The venerable Cardinal Raymond Burke was there at the same time, and not only did he celebrate a magnificent High Mass in the sublime Extraordinary Form, but also Vespers, Benediction and prayers. We also had an amazing conference with him that I hope to reprint on our blog (CP&S) in English. (He gave the conference in French, and I only have the translation with me in Spanish.)

    This is the REAL Catholic Church – the Church that Our Lord came to bring us where souls can find the right path to Heaven in the fullness of her teachings and beautiful Liturgy. The sooner the modernists and protestants among our numbers peter out, the sooner the Body of Christ on Earth will triumph in the manifestation of Our Glorious Faith once more.”


  14. kathleen says:

    In looking at GC‘s photo illustrating this article, and reflecting on the expressions of the people in it, you can see that real hunger for God (or the Holy Virgin Mary) that many have while we struggle here in this “vale of tears”.

    It is a natural hunger that we are born with, for the Earth is not our real home and we belong to God. As St. Augustine says so beautifully: “Thou hast made us for Thyself oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” When he wrote these words he was probably thinking of the words of Psalm 27 v.4: “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” Augustine, like all the saints and holy people, knew how nothing here on Earth can bring us lasting satisfaction and happiness, only union with God in Heaven can bring us this.

    This “hunger” for God and Heaven is surely a virtue, if it leads us to humbly accept our daily ‘crosses’ and follow Our Lord in obedience and love. But like all good things, it can be misused and become a destructive obsession too!
    Our Lord said to Thomas that “blessed are those who have not seen and believe”. IOW, I think we should not try “to see” when we are not meant to. Here on Earth we live by Faith (or else faith would not be a virtue but a certainty). If at times we are given the gift of an Eucharistic miracle, an angelic intervention, a visit from the Blessed Virgin, etc., we should be grateful and learn from them, but not just keep wanting more and more without end. This could then even be a form of greed. St. John of the Cross’s words quoted above on this danger of such a thing becoming “an addiction” are very wise.


  15. GC says:

    Roger, apart from the Marian apparitions you mentioned, all the rest are revelations recorded in the Scriptures or in apostolic tradition. The Church declares there is no new revelation after that.

    Of course the Church may also declare, after thorough investigations, that some private messages from the celestial realm are worthy of belief, but these will necessarily be consistent with revelation from the prophets and from our Lord to the Apostles.

    Of course, some of these later messages will lead to devotions and pious practices. such as the Rosary and Scapular and even to solemn feasts, such as those of the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy.

    You often intrigue us, Roger, with something like a “theology” of some of these later apparitions and messages, which to me often seem interesting and “esoteric”. Tell us, Roger, if you will, do these thoughts come from some author or authors?

    kathleen, welcome back, and you do sound very moved by your recent pilgrimage.


  16. kathleen says:

    Thank you dear GC, and yes, I really was “moved” by this pilgrimage to Lourdes. It was actually very much a last minute decision, therefore I am grateful to Our Blessed Lady for making everything work out smoothly, allowing me to go. Even the almost constant rain we had didn’t spoil it one iota!

    By the way, a lovely older friend I had used to send on to me these AD 2000 magazines she received from her Australian cousin. When this friend sadly died from cancer, that was the end of the magazines! They are very good, packed with interesting articles, and very faithful to Church history and Tradition. I never realised I could still read back copies on line!


  17. GC says:

    kathleen @ 16:00, you can see that real hunger for God (or the Holy Virgin Mary) that many have while we struggle here in this “vale of tears”.

    kathleen, roger @ May 2, 2014 at 19:36 said What a real pleasure to see Catholics openly praying and giving witness to their Faith!

    I believe both of your observations are totally correct and I was very moved by the strong belief in God and their desire for His graces that so many of our Catholics here have. There’s about 1 million of us thanks largely to the labours of French, Dutch and Irish members of missionary or teaching orders, not to forget the Portuguese and Jesuits (like St Francis Xavier), Franciscans and other orders in 16th-17th century Malacca.

    I have to admit to feeling rather embarrassed in another way owing to the image in the window itself being something mostly indistinct and something that could be probably explained by the physical properties of the glass. I feel these people were far far too hasty in believing it to be something miraculous and then blocking the paths and roads outside the hospital. And I haven’t heard anything reliable about any message even though the whole thing occurred within the boundaries of our parish.

    The glass pane was eventually removed by the Archbishop to a church in a nearby district, as can be seen in this video.


  18. GC says:

    I am sorry to hear that about your old friend, kathleen. God bless her!

    I think I remember your friend in 2010 making a comment like that about her cousin and about AD2000 on a British newspaper blog that need not be named.

    Yes, kathleen, you can catch up on years of not reading AD2000 online now! 😉

    They seem quite faithful to Pope Francis and there are lots of interesting book reviews there too.


  19. kathleen says:

    GC, you have the most amazing memory! 🙂
    And I certainly hope to catch up on some of AD 2000’s articles now, but so much to read and so little time to do it.


  20. Roger says:

    At last an appreciation for prayer amd penance be this a pilgrimage in the rain or indeed the rosary and prayers before a trick of the light or reflection. Doesn’t matter God is omniscient and omnipresent. You will find him in your neighbour. Of course the Sacraments Of course the Holy sacrifice of the Mass. The Sacraments are the cures for Our poor souls in this Vale of Tears. The lives of the saints are replete with what are called private revelations. What were the insights of St Pio for instance when reading the souls of poor sinners? Just never forget that this is a vale of Tears! This is where we watch carefully Liberation Theology the adepts selling a material Paradise WITHOUT Christ. There is the theology to watch out for that which ignores Christ. In Heavens eyes the immediate and prayerful response seen above is a living testimony a living Faith. Seen at Lourdes YES! But the wise and prudent waiting for approval will have a very long wait! I believe that so called private revelation is much more common than men will acknowledge! The Word was made Flesh so the Author of Public Revelation dwelt amongst Us. But private revelation has been guiding and moving the Faith for now 2000 years. The charism of Papal Infallibility is itself of a private nature remember!


  21. Toadspittle says:

    ..Easy for vous to say that, Roger.

    So, if I intuit correctly – when you see the face of Christ in the congealed fat of a frying pan for sausages – you go down on your knees and pray to it.
    Doesn’t matter if the sausages are pork or not – It’s all God.
    But, surely, some standards of logic are desirable, no matter how pitifully small?
    Fine. Go ahead.

    “This is where we watch carefully Liberation Theology the adepts selling a material Paradise WITHOUT Christ.
    There is no paradise on Earth – material or metaphysical.
    Never has been – never will be.
    …Or so I suspect. We are all constantly at the mercy of Nature – earthquakes, floods, disease, etc. We must suppose God has designed it that way, to suit His Great plan./i>
    …I might be reading it wrongly, of course.


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