(For the Greater Glory of God)
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.
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.
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
No other apparition ever had this list of believers.