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Vision Chasers

April 23, 2015  0

TRANSCRIPT—A pious person made an observation recently that things must really be bad because of the great increase in mystical happenings all over the world these past 40 years or so: increased reports of apparitions of Our Lady practically everywhere; inner locutions from mystics all over the world; private revelations granted to the pious—it’s a worldwide phenomenon.

It seems almost all you have to say or blog is something like “Our Lady is appearing privately to a mystic who has a holy spiritual director,” and voila—instant Catholic rock-star status, not to mention the largesse that flows into the coffers of said mystics from generous Catholics, or the sales rung up as people scramble to buy the pamphlets and books given a prominent place on a webpage.

So many innocent and gullible Catholics—starving for the truth being denied them by Church leaders—are content to chase after this vision or that apparition in order to feel some measure of sanity.

From 1970 until 1995, there were the Bayside New York apparitions of Veronica Lueken, who claimed the Blessed Mother and numerous saints told her Pope Paul VI was an imposter Pope. 

Then there were the reports many years ago of claims by Catholic author Matthew Kelly that God the Father was speaking to him directly.  Those claims put him on the map in the Catholic world and, suddenly, he disappeared from the scene. He has since reappeared in the broad arena of “self-help” with his Rediscovering Catholicism book, without much mention of the reported former chats with God the Father.

Of course there are the bogus apparitions of Conyers, Georgia-alleged seer Nancy Fowler through most of the 1990s, complete with vague and obscure warnings from Jesus about weather and diseases and wars—typical fodder in false visions.

Then there are the near-laughingstock secular media reports of pious Catholics coming to see an image of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord on a piece of toast, or Our Blessed Mother in a cloud formation.

This stuff gets enormous traction in the world of social media, where nothing ever seems to die—and even if it does, it comes back to life again somewhere down the road. It’s like nutty Catholic Zombie Apocalypse, playing at a theater near you.  

Then there’s the ridiculous Maria of Divine Mercy apparitions, which were the latest and newest craze among the Catholic pious crowd. They were unique in Catholic history because they were internet-only visions. The website was The Warning Second After the secular media discovered her true identity and the bonanza she was bringing in through sales, alleged seer Mary Carberry shut down her website, disillusioning millions of enthusiasts and close to half a million Facebook followers.    

All these now debunked or officially condemned visions or visionaries, however, point to a very real yet vastly under-reported truth these days: The lack of clear guidance coming from leaders in the Church is what has sparked this near-blind acceptance on the part of so many innocent starving Catholics who chase after almost anything to establish some kind of order in their minds regarding the chaos in the Church.

The craziness going on in the Church these days has created such confusion in the minds and hearts and souls of many simple faithful Catholics that they are willing to accept almost any report of a vision, a message, a locution, an alternative anything that promises to make some sense of the madness—no matter how lunatic fringe it may be.

This is part of the attraction of such breakaway groups like the SSPX or the Catholics who believe there has not been a real Pope since the middle of the last century. Leaders have been so negligent in proclaiming Catholic truth, the Catholic faith, that many pious Catholics and those who believe the Faith start looking in places other than the official Church for the Faith. It is part of the great, still-unfolding tragedy of the past 50 years that there are Catholics who are officially part of the Church, speaking from a jurisdictional perspective, who do not have the Faith while there are others who do have the Faith, but remove themselves from the jurisdictional authority of the Church.

This whole scene is crazy. Dissident homosexual clergy and lesbian nuns are still jurisdictionally in the Church but do not have the Faith, while pious believing Catholics who do believe the Faith have taken themselves outside its jurisdiction by following fake apparitions and/or joining movements of priests who exercise no legitimate authority—like the SSPX, for example, whose marriages and confessions are invalid because they are not in communion with the local bishop, which gives them communion with Peter. Those on the left are “in” the Church but do not have the Faith. Those on the right have the Faith but are not in the Church.

In today’s Vortex, it is those on the “right” we are speaking to mainly. You cannot chase after unapproved apparitions like Medjugore (which has been officially denounced many times) or join breakaway groups all out of a sense of piety and faithfulness in the search for comfort. Being faithful requires you stand at the foot of the Cross and suffer through this passion, not look for escapes that require varying degrees of disobedience.

Chasing after visions does not make someone a better or holier Catholic. What helps make a person holy is his willingness to remain in full communion with the Church and confront the evil that has infected certain quarters of the Church. Confront it directly, in charity, and suffer whatever you have to suffer for confronting it. Joining separatist groups, reading material from alleged visionaries—none of this accomplishes any good. It surrenders the fort to the enemies of the Faith.

Resign from the breakaway groups (like thankfully many of their own priests have done), put down the reports of alleged messages from Heaven, and get back to the Church, which is on fire, and help douse the flames.

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