Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Garabandal in the news again.

New restrictions imposed.

I left a comment on the post that reported the new development but the author neither answered or published my comment - which is fine, but I wonder if he thought I was challenging him for his belief in the events at Garabandal?

These are the recent developments:
Restrictions imposed by the new Bishop of Santander Msgr Monge, appointed by Pope Francis in May 2015, as below :
Prohibition of any Mass at the Pines or at the St Michael Chapel
Prohibition to talk about the Appartions of our Lady of Mount Carmel in the village of Garabandal
Prohibition to any Priests to come in Garabandal as a representative of the Church except privately
Prohibition in the village of Garabandal of any religious manifestation in connection with the Apparitions.
The New Bishop Msgr Monge refused also to bless the new center of the Apparitions, opened recently as he imposed a strict control on its website. - Source
My first impression after reading the post and comments was that the restrictions were regarded as an imposition with a negative jibe towards Francis - I'm not sure if Spanish Catholics have a negative impression of the Pope the way English speaking Catholics do.  I may have been reading all of that into the post.

What caught my attention was a claim in the com box that Bl. Paul VI 'believed' the apparitions were true.  I simply asked for documentation on that - I recall he responded favorably towards the seers, but never heard that he pronounced any belief in the authenticity of the events.  What has always impressed me most about Garabandal is the number of holy people who believed the events were authentic and the message worthy of belief. Among them, St. Padre Pio, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and St. Maravillas of Jesus, the great Carmelite restorer of the Teresian Carmel in post-revolutionary Spain.  Likewise, Carmelites I've known have always expressed their confidence in the events and the messages.

I mentioned in my comment that I spent some time at Garabandal as a pilgrim, though I never experienced any interior sense of the authenticity of the events, it was a peaceful, prayerful experience.  I also met one of the seers - can't recall who.  I was also impressed by the solitude and poverty of the village at that time.  While there, if I recall correctly - because it was in the early 1970's - I noted for the first time, restrictions posted in the parish church that nothing supernatural could be determined at that time - so there were restrictions which indicated the local ordinary didn't approve.  My Carmelite friend never told me that.

A few weeks later, I met Joey Lomangino in Fatima and talked to him.  It was common knowledge that his sight was to be restored when the promised miracle took place.  He died without gaining his sight and without boarding the plane he was said to be able to charter whenever the miracle would take place.  (The miracle hasn't taken place of course.)  Roughly - that was his role in the messages.  Today Garabandal adherents are saying that wasn't exactly what was promised him.  Perhaps my reminder of that fact is why my comment was not published.  It doesn't matter.

It is one of the more troubling aspects of alleged apparitions and locutions when things do not turn out as scheduled or predicted.  Naturally one is reminded of Jonah and the disappointment he suffered because Nineveh wasn't destroyed - but in the case of modern prophecies - entire regions or peoples do not show evidence of repentance or conversion - or even demonstrable penance to move God to mitigate the proposed chastisements.  I'm not saying Our Lord is not merciful, nor that Our Lady does not hold back divine retribution in some way - after all there is Biblical precedence for such things.  That said, I am concerned when the bishops and the pope are contradicted as regards judgement on the authenticity of private revelations - it is their responsibility to do that.

"Throughout the ages, there have been so-called private revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church." - CCC 67
"Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries." - CCC 66

That said, as with all such reports of apparitions and messages, details on the events and persons involved, as well as interpretations of what was said, can become confused over time - and their literal sense is not always what is meant. Which is another reason I try to remain aloof.  I'm not able to make these things the focus of my spiritual life, as it concerns a warning, or the illumination of conscience, or even a miracle and a permanent sign left in the pines or any other place.  When people of prayer, contemplative monks and nuns get caught up in such things, I always wonder why or how it concerns them?

We already have that sign in the Blessed Sacrament - in the Church.

We have been experiencing warnings since Fatima, wars, persecutions, the slaughter of the innocent unborn, moral collapse of entire nations, the incursion of paganism and idolatry, the Holy Father suffering greatly.

We now have a Pope illuminating the conscience of Catholics and others throughout the world and rather than repenting, Catholics revolt and accuse him of heresy and of being an anti-pope and so on.

We look for signs and miracles and yet our churches are empty.  Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is left alone.  

Priest and prophet forage in a land they know not ... a virtual world ... their so-called 'digital continent'.  What will happen when the powers of space will be averted, their radios jammed, no signal for their cell phones and tablets?

If they tell you he is here or there - don't believe them. 

The Church is the ark of salvation - wherein the deposit of faith is safeguarded.

NB: Many seem to ignore this fact, but an alleged series of apparitions in 1931 took place not far from San Sebastian, a city near Garabandal. The visionary was Ramona Olazábal and her visions began on the feast of Mt. Carmel, July 16, 1931 at Ezkioga, Spain. The visions became popular and attracted crowds, but it was said they became corrupted by opportunistic Freemasons and were subsequently politicized. The apparitions were later condemned. You can read about them here.

The popular support of the events was also linked to anti-clerical factions, used in an effort to discredit the bishops.  Not unlike today when we see the bishops and even the pope opposed in response to restrictions imposed upon claims of apparitions or private revelations.


  1. Interesting post. I'm not too familiar with Garabandal. When I was in Spain we were in Galicia (My daughter was teaching at the University of Santiago.) but didn't get to Garabandal. We went to Fatima. That was lovely. My two year old granddaughter was so excited at the evening procession and kept pointing and saying, "The Queen, the Queen," when Mary's statue came near us.

    1. That's sweet - I think little kids experience something we consider mystical and extraordinary in those instances. The most joyful shrine I ever visited was Lourdes - then after that, Loreto was the most mystical.

  2. There is an active Facebook page dedicated to the events and prophecy of Garabandal. Glen Hudson manages the site and is close with one of the Visionaries, Conchita who lives a quiet and holy life on Long Island. Glen writes that he will announce the date of the Miracle seven days prior. Conchita knows the date and can release to the public seven days before. The prediction regarding Joey's restoration of sight to see the Miracle has several explanations by believers. He will see from Heaven, he saw the event before death his "new eyes" where spiritual. The predictions also include that an event will cause many to dismiss the apparitions. They claim this is the event. What strikes me about Garabandal is that no one has sensationalized or profited from these events. It is true that Padre Pio, Mother Theresa, and Pope Paul privately endorsed or at least supported the visionaries with no public endorsement. Glen reports that Mother Theresa served as a Godmother to one of Conchita's children. There does seem to me to be a genus spiritual real nests to Garabandal. So different from some others like Maria of Devine Mercy,. The current restrictions by the new Bishop maybe because of increasing interest and pilgrimages to Garabandal. True believers are convinced that the Warning is very close, perhaps in the next year or two. Events in Europe and the Middle East confirm this for them. One more prophecy is that the Pope will travel to Russia. Soon after Russia invades Europe and revolutions break out in Italy. The Pope flees the Vatican. A great Miracle is experienced by everyone. All I know for sure is that if the Pope goes to Russia we better take note.

  3. Good comment Terry "We look for signs and miracles and yet our churches are empty. Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is left alone. " good thought! I don't know why we are so intrigued with apparitions (myself included) it seems so superstitious..the Blessed Mother does not seem like she would talk in riddles and be so evasive to encourage people, even the Church to "keep secret," dates and prophesies..what would be the point?

    Interesting that there were other "events," in the general area. You know I love my creepy girls running backwards and again, Lourdes or Fatima etc, none of the people involved did "tricks," that is very much below the Blessed Mother..she does not seem inclined to "put on a show."

    1. I think of you everytime I see the photos of the girls going backward and forward. It's funny, but before JP I, I never recall anything being said about a fourth pope or that JP I was a pope whom OL said 'didn't matter'. The problem with these things is first - you can't take things literally in private revelation. Second - when things don't work out, it seems to me supporters and 'theologians' favorable to the phenomena, come up with new twists to the story to help explain why things aren't going as planned in the original message.

    2. Joey most definitely thought he would have his real, on the mortal plane vision restored. Not his spiritual visions (of which Joey seemed have an abundance of..) or his eyes restored in Heaven..(that goes without saying that all our disabilities will be healed..) However, God can turn any sideshow to the best and Joey did a lot of good work here on earth so good came out of it.Take that Devil, psychosis and or sneaky creepy little girls.

      This fascination with the "end of days," seems actually very dark. The end of time means the end of "hope," doesn't it? It means those that are alive can't live longer to perhaps encounter grace and the unborn will never live....(amazes me that so many anti abortion people seem to be ranting about the end of time and not realizing what that would mean...) Of course, most of the people hoping for this seem to think they are just dandy and will have the express elevator up.

  4. An update to this story. Glenn Hudson reports on his Facebook page that the story of new restrictions being imposed on Garabandal are erroneous. No new restrictions, according to his information have been imposed. The story widely cirrculated on the Internet is apparently false.

    1. Thanks - I checked the site I link to and they updated accordingly. Hudson commented on the post I linked to originally.

      What it says to me is that there is no definitive judgement.

      Thanks Wallace.

      I'm sorry I come off so skeptical but I've met my share of mystics in my life and encountered visionaries and a few victim souls - this stuff is not all that reliable. Fatima is different - it's been vetted by the Holy See.

    2. Terry, you need to write a book...who the hell encounters visionaries and mystics...at Whole Foods?


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