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Silhouette of St Peter's Basilica and colonnade, Vatican City. (Image: Raimond Klavins/Unsplash.com)

By Eric Sammons, Crisis Magazine, May 22, 2024

Eric Sammons is the editor-in-chief of Crisis Magazine.

Perhaps surprisingly, the new DDF norms for evaluating apparitions and other supernatural phenomena are reasonable and helpful.

Eric SammonsWhen I first started exploring Catholicism as a Protestant in the early 1990’s, I was taken aback by the fact that many of the Catholics I knew believed the Blessed Virgin Mary was appearing in a small village in then-Yugoslavia. The seemingly outlandish tale conflicted with my stereotype of Catholics as more interested in rituals and rules than visions and heavenly visitors.

As I came to study Catholicism more, I found that not only did Catholics claim the Virgin Mary has appeared multiple times over the past few centuries, but that the Vatican had approved many of those apparitions as legitimate and even having a supernatural origin. Even though I did not hold to Catholic Marian doctrines at the time, it made me more comfortable with Catholicism, knowing that it wasn’t just an ossified shell of a religion as sometimes thought, but attested to the continued intersection of heaven and earth, even officially so. …

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