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 The Message of Garabandal 

The Church Position
on Garabandal
gh   Glenn Hudson          (Click with Edge; Right click to read aloud)

The Church Position on Garabandal

The Church has a very strict and precise terminology for judging alleged apparitions (very few apparitions are officially approved). According to the norms of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, alleged apparitions are classified in one of three categories:

Constat de supernaturalitate - It is certain that the events are of supernatural origin.

Constat de non supernaturalitate - It is certain that the events are not of supernatural origin.

Non-constat de supernaturalitate - It is not certain that the events are of supernatural origin.

So where does Garabandal stand? In a clarificatory letter (English translation published in the EWTN website) dated June 8, 1993 written by Jose Vilaplana, Bishop of Santander (the local Diocese to which Garabandal belongs), the Bishop wrote the following:

All the bishops of the diocese from 1961 through 1970 asserted that the supernatural character of the said apparitions, that took place around that time, could not be confirmed. [no constaba]. They based their decision from the first Commission, which was later proven to be fraudulent.

Based on the above, Garabandal is classified in the 3rd category – it is not certain that the events are of supernatural origin.

In a letter written by Bishop Eugenio Beitia Aldazabal dated July 8, 1965, he clearly wrote that we have found no grounds for ecclesiastical condemnation. Bishop Jose Cirada Lachiondo, in a declaration published June 1970, wrote that the messages of Garabandal “do not contain anything contrary to traditional Church teaching on Faith and Morals”.

The first biased commission clearly did not condemn the apparition and the messages, because they had no proof, declaring that “we have not found anything deserving of ecclesiastical censure or condemnation either in the doctrine or in the spiritual recommendations that have been published as having been addressed to the faithful.” * It should be noted the First Commission NEVER interviewed the girls, their parents, or any eyewitnesses who asked to testify to the miracle ! They never sent a report to the Vatican either! This Commission was called “a fraud” by Juan Alveraz Seco, Brigadier Chief of the Civil Guard, who was in charge then.

The bishop who called the second commission, Bishop del Val, (who by the way resigned from the first Commission in protest because he believed), upon retiring from office stated in an interview that the message of Garabandal was “important” and “theologically correct.” His report was the only report ever sent to the Vatican.
In light of the above, even though the Church has not given official approval yet, a Catholic may in good standing believe in the events at Garabandal. The local ordinaries have been very clear to avoid condemnation. In fact, the Bishops allow private pilgrimages to Garabandal – a typical practice when an alleged apparition has not yet been approved or condemned.

Also keep in mind Pope Paul VI met Conchita in 1966, believed her and said ”Conchita, I bless you and the whole Church blesses you”. He praised Garabandal, and asked for it to be better known throughout the world. He was given the date of the future Miracle, and decided the Church should wait until that date, before approving it.

On May 6, 2012, Bishop of Santander, Vecente Jimenez Zamora (installed in 2007) celebrated a Mass in Garabandal in commemoration of the completion of a restoration project of the village church. In a refreshments period after Mass, he was open and most cordial with all the villagers and visitors. On May1, 2013, the Bishop again celebrated Mass in the village church of Garabandal and prior to the Mass, kissed a crucifix belonging to villager David Toribio that was kissed by the Blessed Virgin at Garabandal.
Bishop Jimenez's Masses in Garabandal were firsts, since no Bishop of Santander had ever said Mass in the village church from the time the apparitions began in 1961.

Some noted Garabandal believers

Saint (Padre) Pio

Saint (Pope) John Paul II

Saint (Pope) Paul VI

Saint (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta

Saint (Fr.) Jose Maria Escriva

Saint (Madre) Maravillas

Pope Benedict XVI

Venerable Marthe Robin,

Venerable Fr. Ciszek ,

Venerable Padre Nieto,

Cardinal Ottaviani (Vatican Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) ,

Archbishop of Madrid, Casimiro Morcillo Gonzalez

Arch Bishop Carlos Sierra of Madrid, Spain,

Arch Bishop Manuel Lopez of Mexico,

Bishop of Fatima Joao Venancio,

Fr. Constant Luis Pel

Madre Esperanza of Jesus,

Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria

Mother Angelica

No other apparition ever had this list of believers.


Last Update  Apr 12, 2024