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Author Topic: should we believe RCs' visions?  (Read 1184 times) Average Rating: 0
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erracht
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« on: October 24, 2003, 09:31:19 AM »

Sould we believe in visions of God, the Theotokos, Heaven, Hell and others that are said to have been had by Roman Catholic saints? Our Church does not venerate heretics' saints, and while some issues, such as whether or not the Body and Blood of Christ is present in heretical churches, is a matter of contention, some people will vigorously deny sacraments outside the true Church. Now, one of the great defenders of this last idea is St. Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich, who wrote in his tract "Do We Have a Common God with the Papists?" that the visions of Roman Catholics are just delusion and do not come from God. What do you think? Some of what I've read about, for example, St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440. She is supposed to have seen hell, to have had her Guardian Angel follow her around as a boy to console her for losing a child, and to have predicted various things, but there is also a claim that her visions of the Life of Christ may have not been 100% historical)
and St. Catherine of Sienna (a great RC ascetic) are visions that sound like they might be real. Are they to be believed or not?

I'm not really thinking of Fatima here. I read a good article which suggests that this was a case of some kind of "mass hysteria" or a similar phenomenon experienced by impressionable children and other pious folk. Didn't that vision promote the RC church and the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception? If so, it must either be a mental thing, or a demonic vision. I'm thinking of visions experienced by aescetics who, though RC, lead apparently rather Orthodox lives, such as the ones mentioned above.

What about the phenomenon of stigmata? Do the Orthodox ever experience them?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2003, 09:56:00 AM by erracht » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2003, 07:30:38 PM »

Both radical possitions are wrong in my opinion. I think this must be up to the individual. Our hierarchs are wise in not pronnouncing anything specific regarding the RC apparitions simply because it's not our business to do so. Smiley

It's also important to state that RC apparitions and visions is a very general term, RC visions difer a lot from one to another. I'm not an expert on this but we can make a comparisson between the apparition-icon of Our Lady of Guadalpe, revered by both Orthodox and Catholics in my country; and those of the Lourdes Virgin.

While the first one seems inocent, devoid of anything weird or opposed to the Orthodox faith, the second one looks very much like made up, meant to affirm a Latin dogma which has no sense in our tradition.

Now if we talk about visions, it's frankly unfair to call the RC vissions naturalist or evil or diabolical as some chauvinists say. We must remember that the spirituality of the Latins is much different from that of the East. They focus a lot on the crucifiction and the salvific mission of Christ who takes our sins and liberated us from them, more than the defeat of death and the resurrection, in our tradition.
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Timos
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2009, 06:48:50 PM »

The apparition which the RC's claim to support Immaculate Conception is not Fatima, but actually at Lourdes in the 19th century. (St.) Bernadette Soubirous who saw the visions herself claimed that te Virgin Mary said "I am the Immaculate Conception." Who knows if thats what she really said. If she really did say something like that we must consider what would that mean? Would that mean it in the sense of the RC pov or another pov? After all could not the Theotokos have been speaking of herself as the vessel through which the Immaculate Conception (ie. her son, Christ) was born? Just speculations.

As far as visions of the RC's...are not the RC's humans as well? Christians as well? Do they not need God's support and the heavenly guidance? True, they are not in communion with the Orthodox church, but we should never forget that God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2009, 07:22:19 PM »

Only an evil generation seeks a sign...

When the "seer" of Medjugorje said that they had seen heaven, hell and purgatory, I knew it wasn't what it purported.
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2009, 08:17:53 PM »

A sizable portion of Roman Catholics don't even believe these private revelations, key word... private, nor are they bound to believe them.  So, if RCs don't believe in them, no reason Orthodox should have to believe them.  Though some choose to.

And no, Ineffabilis Deus was first, the Marian apparition at Lourdes came after.
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2009, 09:21:47 PM »

While I am a strong admirer of St. Nikolai Velimirovich, and agree with his position regarding the Latins as a Church, I believe that we also have to keep in mind the words of Christ when He said "and other sheep have I, not in this fold".  I believe that it is entirely possible for an individual member of a confession outside of Orthodoxy to have some of the same Graces as those within Orthodoxy.  Few laymen fully understand the intricate details of their individual Church's theology, and that is why I will associate with lay persons from other religions while avoiding the teachers of their errors.  Many laymen have not been exposed to Orthodoxy, and have therefor not rejected the Truth of Orthodoxy.  Preachers, Bishops, Popes and Theologians are another matter.  Nearly all that I have met have openly rejected Orthodoxy for their own particular teaching, and from reading from the Fathers, are more responsible for their error.

Given my belief in the above, I would have to say that it is entirely possible that a person from without the Orthodox Faith could have a vision from God.  Indeed, was not Saul a persecuter of Christians at the time of his vision on the road to Damascus?  However, if the Fathers warn the Orthodox to eschew visions and hold them with suspicion even when granted to Orthodox, should we not be even more carefull and suspicious of those that occur outside the Church? 
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I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.
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