THE CANONS OF THE CHURCH ABOUT
lieu of the uneasiness that pilgrims may
have about visiting the apparition site due to the announcement of the
Archdiocese of Miami in reference to the apparition site, the following
statement should clarify the Church’s standing on private revelations,
visions, miracles and apparition sites. This
statement is recorded in the Canons of the
Roman Catholic Church:
PUBLICATION OF REVELATIONS,
A decree of the “Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine and the
Faith” was published in the Official Acts of the Holy See” (A.A.S.) 58/16,
dated December 29, 1966. Articles
1399 and 2318 of Canon Law are abrogated by this decree.
This decree of abrogation was approved on October 14, 1966 by His
Holiness, the Sovereign Pontiff Paul VI, who ordered its publication at the
This approval by the Holy Father took place during an audience accorded
to His Eminence Cardinal Ottaviani, Pro-Prefect for the “Sacred Congregation
for the Doctrine and the Faith.” The
decree was made in
November 15, 1966. It bears the
Cardinal Ottaviani, Pro-Prefect
The decree took effect three months after its
publication, hence on March 29, 1967.
Canon 1399 forbade, by right of publication, certain books such as
those that deal with revelations, visions, prophecies and miracles.
THIS CANON WAS REPEALED ON MARCH
29, 1967. This means that as
far as these publications are concerned, prohibition is lifted as to their
being bound by ecclesiastical law and henceforth, Catholics are permitted,
without need of imprimatur, Nihil Obstat, or any other permission, to publish
accounts of revelations, visions, prophecies and miracles.
Of course, these publications must not put in danger the faith or
morals. This is the general rule,
which every Catholic must follow in all his actions, even journalists,
especially journalists. THERE
IS HENCEFORTH NO LONGER ANY PROHIBITION CONCERNING THE NARRATIVE OF SEERS, BE
THEY RECOGNIZED OR NOT BY ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITY.
ALL THE MORE REASON IS IT PERMITTED FOR CATHOLICS TO FREQUENT PLACES OF
APPARITIONS, EVEN THOSE NOT RECOGNIZED BY ORDINARIES OF THEIR DIOCESES OR BY
THE HOLY FATHER, GRANTED THAT THE CATHOLIC VISITORS WHO FREQUENT THESE PLACES
MUST RESPECT THE FAITH AND MORALS. However,
they are not subject to any ecclesiastical discipline, not even for their
public prayers. Permission is
required only for the celebration of Holy Mass or any other religious service.
Canon 2318 carried penalties against those who violated the laws of
censure and prohibition. THIS
CANON HAS BEEN ABROGATED [REVOKED] SINCE 1966.
NONE CAN INCUR ECCLESIASTICAL CENSURE FOR FREQUENTING PLACES OF
APPARITIONS, EVEN THOSE NOT RECOGNIZED BY THE ORDINARIES OF THEIR DIOCESES OR
BY THE HOLY FATHER. Also,
“those who would have incurred the censured treatment in Canon 2318 will be
likewise absolved by the very facts of the abrogation [revocation] of this
Canon.” — Cardinal