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Vatican holds press conference on the topic of supernatural phenomena

By T.K. Randall
May 17, 2024 · Comment icon 13 comments
The Vatican.
The new guidelines were published this morning. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Alex Proimos
The Vatican has today tightened up its guidelines concerning claims of divine intervention and the supernatural.
Claims of weeping statues and the face of Jesus in a piece of toast are likely to be met with a significant degree of additional scrutiny from now on thanks to new guidelines that were revealed during a Vatican press conference earlier on today.

Compiled by the Vatican's Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, the new guidelines are a direct response to the rise in claims of supernatural phenomena and divine intervention on social media and elsewhere.

Until now, there hadn't been any changes at all to the guidelines since 1978.

In particular, the newly published document insists on taking a more cautious approach to claims of the supernatural, especially to make sure that someone isn't trying to profit from a scam or hoax.
Championing such fraudulent claims, the authors argue, can "damage the unity of the Church" and "cause scandals and undermine the credibility of the Church".

Bishops will now be required to seek the approval of the Vatican before publishing any conclusions and even the Pope himself can be consulted in particularly exceptional cases.

The change in guidelines reflects the changing world we live in and in particular, the way that information (and claims of the supernatural) are shared and discussed.

Whether the update will make any practical difference to the issues facing the Church, however, remains to be seen.

Source: BBC News | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by eight bits 1 month ago
This new document seems to focus on public spectacles, rather than exorcisms which are private affairs and have their own set of rules, or the miracles which would qualify somebody to be declared a saint, which also have their own rules. Supposedly, a lot of the US demand for RC exorcism comes from non-Catholics. I don't know.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Piney 1 month ago
  Because of ghost hunters and horror fiction. And when that fails they always need a ****ing Indian. ?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Wepwawet 1 month ago
Is the vatican going to scrutinize all supernatural phenomena, not just Jesus in a cloud or a piece of toast, but things like raising the dead, walking on water, turning water into wine, a wafer into flesh, just wondering....
Comment icon #7 Posted by Piney 1 month ago
Now that is a very good question! Probably not. But if a communion wafer ever turns into flesh it's going to be a very nauseating service. Yuck...
Comment icon #8 Posted by eight bits 1 month ago
Actually that would seem to fall within the scope of the new rules. So, @Wepwawet I don't about Jesus on toast, but yes, some of the things on your list are now going to be handled from the Vatican.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Wepwawet 1 month ago
I wonder then what is going to be left of the religion. From Vatican II it seems as if it's being destroyed changed from within to be something unrecognizable.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Megaro 1 month ago
This is really true. In the long run, the Vatican is no match for people young and old obtaining knowledge of the divine and infinite from the internet and social media.   
Comment icon #11 Posted by XenoFish 1 month ago
You will consume the Holy Beef Jerky and like it mister!!!!!?
Comment icon #12 Posted by TomBarnes 1 month ago
The concept of the Eucharist, central to Christian sacraments, has intriguing historical connections to earlier traditions. Let’s explore this fascinating journey from ancient practices to the Christian ritual: Showbread in Israelite Temples: The immediate precursor to the Christian Eucharist was the Israelite practice of baking “showbread” in their temple. On each Sabbath day, twelve newly kneaded loaves made from ground sprouted grains were placed on a special table, decorated with gold, in honor of the sun god. These loaves, known as “Presence Bread” (Leḥem ha Pānīm), were req... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by eight bits 30 days ago
I just wanted to acknowledge the find of the indefatigable @Still Waters which got lost in a duplicate-thread repair this morning: This article makes some additional points about the relationship between the new rules with what used to be called "The Inquisition." It also includes some illustrations of pareidolia-Jesus phenomena. Thanks, SW.

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