Would Lourdes be approved today?
SIR – Donal Foley is quite right in his cautionary comments regarding Medjugorje (Letter, June 16). The Church has always exercised a healthy scepticism in discerning supernatural phenomena.
However, Fr René Laurentin, the theologian and Mariologist, has commented that even the apparitions at Lourdes would not receive approval from the Church today, such is the level of scrutiny surrounding the wave of claimed private revelations of the past century.
Fr Laurentin, now in his 100th year, did the first painstakingly forensic investigation into the apparitions of Our Lady to St Bernadette, after they had been officially approved. In his more recent study of Marian apparitions, he concludes that the effects of rationalism in today’s Church have led to an overscrupulous negativity about such experiences. I suggest that in the case of Medjugorje the level of scepticism has been unhealthy.
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