That's the biggest issue I have, that what we in the East see as "new" doctrines are confirmed by these visions. If it really was that easy or necessary, then why didn't the Virgin Mary appear at the 7 Councils to tell the Church what was true and what wasn't? Why such a need now? I realize the Catholics have an answer for that (and I've heard several over the years) but I just don't accept those explanations.
Which ones are you thinking about? The only one that could be said to "confirm" any post-schism doctrine (as far as I know) is Our Lady of Lourdes who said, almost in passing, "I am the Immaculate Conception". But, that still was far from the primary message of Lourdes.
yes it was Lourdes I was thinking about. And my thoughts and words were not exactly what I meant, at least in retrospect. You're right, she did say "I am the Immaculate Conception" and like you I feel it was almost said in passing, not the main point by far of what was going on. (considering we call her All Immaculate, again I see no controversy between East and West, just the interpretation of those words)
However what I meant was, (and I think what some Orthodox object to, and the reason why many Orthodox write off these apparitions completely) is because some Catholic apologists or "super devout" Catholics (and yes we have "super devout" Orthodox too) portray it as some defining moment in Catholic theology/history. A way of "proving" us Orthodox are all heretical, wrong, disobedient to Rome, and in schism, after all Mary told us what the absolute truth of this DOGMA is, loud and clear and that should settle it. After all that's what Lourdes was all about, the IC. (or so they might say)
Now, I realize that's not
really what happened at Lourdes, but it is
how some Catholics portray/interprete the event. And then use it to as some "proof" Rome is right and the East has got it all wrong. (I had this debate once with a Catholic, who happened to be formerly Orthodox, so he probably had some bone to pick)
When I said I accept Lourdes personally he asked, "then why aren't you Catholic, after all, she PROVED we are the true Church"...(or something to that effect)
. I think in part, that's why some Orthodox outright reject these apparitions because some Catholic apologist internet hack, or someone they know uses it as a "proof", even though the Church itself doesn't use them as proofs of anything. And frankly we Orthodox don't take the time to go and look into these events for ourselves and so we just assume what some apologist says is true. But it's not always true sadly.
That's what I meant, not so much the events themselves I have a problem with (because as I said I have no problem accepting Lourdes and in fact would love to go there some day), I only reject a certain interpretation of that apparition which as you pointed out, has little to do with the IC to begin with.
Probably like the way most Catholics accept the Holy Fire, and yet don't simply assume that "proves" EOy is the "only true Church"
I just don't like miracles being used in such negative terms like "we're right, you're wrong". Miracles should help bring people to faith, strengthen faith that is weak, and in some cases heal people physically or spiritually, or in other cases may just reaffirm what someone believes already...in the end they should ultimately point people to CHRIST, but I think using them to prove East vs West arguments is NOT what the Blessed Mother had in mind at Lourdes, or in Egypt, or in Russia or anywhere else she might have appeared. Not that you were doing that, this is just a generalization and trying to put my post into a wider context.
With that said, I realize that was NOT the intent of this thread in the beginning (to prove EOy was "wrong") but rather to simply give encouragement and hope to people. So I'm not accusing anyone of that at all. Only trying to explain that I think that because a few Catholics use these apparitions in that manner (as Orthodox do with weeping icons, Holy Fire etc) is the reason so many Orthodox outright reject them as "pagan Goddesses" etc...(which I find odd considering Pagan Goddesses do not exist, according to St. Paul but what do I know? LOL!)
Hope that's a little more clear.