Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bishop Sartain of Joliet, Illinois on unnapproved apparition promotion

The letter below is from Bishop Peter Sartain of the Diocese of Joliet, IL to his priests.  In it he says:


Dear Brother Priests,

From time to time we are approached by parishioners who would like to invite speakers representing various alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, private revelations or locutions, or others claiming to possess extraordinary spiritual gifts. My purpose in bringing this to your attention is to ask that you not issue such invitations. Whether the speakers would make presentations on we1l-known a1leged apparitions, such as Medjugorje, or lesser known private revelations, we must be extremely cautious about inviting or promoting them.

As you know the Church takes great time and care before declaring that an apparition is worthy of belief, and even then it never says that a Catholic must accept the apparition as a matter of faith. We must avoid giving the impression that alleged apparitions about which the Church has not made a judgment are somehow already approved. It is our responsibility to see that our parishioners are not led down the wrong path. That is not to say that those who ask us to promote these matters are doing so out of bad faith, but we must be extremely careful not to confuse our parishioners. Our greatest spicitual treasures are the Word of God, the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and the teaching of the Church, and our focus should always be there. Needless to say, these comments do not refer to apparitions such as Fatima, Lourdes orGuadalupe which enjoy the approval of the Church.

Thank you for your attention to this important spiritual matter, and I am grateful for your cooperation.

Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Peter Sartain

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