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May 19, 2024

Vatican releases new guidance for alleged supernatural phenomena

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has released a new document titled "Norms regarding the manner of proceeding in the discernment of presumed apparitions or revelations", providing guidelines on how the Catholic Church handles alleged supernatural phenomena. The norms contain directives for assessing the credibility of such claims, aiming to help bishops establish whether they come from God or are the result of human imagination. Each reported event will need to undergo a rigorous examination process, which includes an initial, 'positive' evaluation of the facts, interviews with the alleged seers, examination by experts, and checking for theological and spiritual content that does not contradict faith and morals. The document also advises that bishops must consult with the Holy See when dealing with larger-scale supernatural phenomena. It's the first time these internal norms are published, a decision made in an effort to promote pastoral, theological, and canonical clarity. The intention is to guide bishops through the process and ensure a balanced approach between credulity and excessive skepticism. In addressing these phenomena, the Church hopes to both protect the faithful from deceit and promote worthy expressions of popular piety.