Does Supernatural Faith require belief in the Trinity? No, says Jesus and His Church.

LifeSiteNews published an “Analysis” article titled: Here’s why Pope Francis is wrong to say Muslims and Catholics worship the same God (Michael Haynes, 3-3-2023)

Though the article author, Michael Haynes, focuses his arguments on Muslims and Islam, sweeping statements are made which imply that only Christians can possibly be saved. These claims are incompatible with the words and deeds of Jesus Christ in the Gospels, and with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

The main claim made by Haynes is clearly taken from Bishop Athanasius Schneider, whom the author repeatedly quotes, in agreement with his position on faith, worship of God, and non-Christian religions. Their claim is that only those who believe in God as a holy Trinity — Father, Son, Holy Spirit — can possibly have supernatural faith.

Haynes quotes Schneider extensively:

Bishop Athanasius Schneider as quoted by Haynes: “That we Catholics adore with the Muslims the one God is not true. We don’t adore with them. In the act of adoration, we always adore the Holy Trinity, we don’t simply adore ‘the one God’ but the Holy Trinity consciously… Islam rejects the Holy Trinity. When Muslims adore, they do not adore on the supernatural level of faith.”

Haynes, with inner quote from Schneider: The cardinal’s words are echoed by Bishop Athanasius Schneider in his book length interview Christus Vincit, when he mentions that “Islam in itself is not faith.” The bishop continues by explaining that faith is only found in Christianity and “is applicable only to belief in the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit … When someone does not believe in the Holy Trinity, he has no faith but simply natural religion.”

If it were true that only those who believe in God as the holy Trinity can possibly have supernatural faith, then only those same persons could possibly be in the state of grace. But this would have the effect of limiting salvation to some Christians, and no one outside of Christianity. Here’s why:

Now a Christian is given the three supernatural virtues and the state of grace at baptism. And that Christian might lose the state of grace, losing the supernatural virtues of love and hope by an actual mortal sin, and yet still retain faith; or all three virtues could be lost by an actual mortal sin against faith.

But it is certainly true that all who are in the state of grace must have all three infused supernatural virtues: love, faith, and hope. Therefore, anyone and everyone who lacks the supernatural virtue of faith also does not have love or hope, and is certainly not in the state of grace. This is the ancient and constant teaching of the Church, confirmed at the Council of Trent. No one can lack these three virtues and be in the state of grace. And no one can lack supernatural faith, and yet have love and hope.

If the assertion of Haynes were true, that supernatural faith is “only found in Christianity”, then non-Christians could not be saved, except by conversion to Christianity — which is not what the Church teaches.

Now a lack of supernatural faith implies the absence of the state of grace, and that state, which always includes love, faith, and hope, is essential for salvation:

Pope Pius XII: “Above all, the state of grace is absolutely necessary at the moment of death; without it, salvation and supernatural happiness — the beatific vision of God — are impossible.” [Address to Midwives, 21a]

By claiming that Muslims and all others who do not believe in the Trinity cannot have supernatural faith, Haynes and Bishop Athanasius Schneider imply necessarily that only Christians can possibly be saved. All others, who live and end their lives without that belief, according to the false doctrine put forward by Schneider and Haynes, cannot have supernatural faith, necessarily implying that they die without the state of grace which is absolutely necessary for salvation.

This claim contradicts the teaching of Pope Saint John Paul II in Redemptoris Missio, n. 10, quoted in its entirety as follows:

“10. The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the gospel revelation or to enter the Church. The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions. For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his Sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation.

“For this reason the Council, after affirming the centrality of the Paschal Mystery, went on to declare that ‘this applies not only to Christians but to all people of good will in whose hearts grace is secretly at work. Since Christ died for everyone, and since the ultimate calling of each of us comes from God and is therefore a universal one, we are obliged to hold that the Holy Spirit offers everyone the possibility of sharing in this Paschal Mystery in a manner known to God.’ ” [inner quote from Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 22]

The Church teaches that non-Christians, even though they do not “explicitly believe in Christ” and are not formal members of the Church, can still be saved, without explicit membership in the Church. Notice the teaching of the Second Vatican Council that “we are obliged to hold” that “all people of good will” have the possibility to be saved, in a way that is concretely available. And John Paul II clearly states that this includes non-Christians, as does Vatican II.

Certainly, salvation is offered to all, and certainly salvation is not obtained by all. Some non-Christians and some Christians refuse the offer (by unrepentant actual mortal sin). But the Church teaches that one need not believe in Christ to be saved, and therefore one need not believe in the Trinity to be saved. How can such persons have supernatural faith? Their faith is implicit, like their baptism (implicit baptism of desire).

Haynes complains that Muslims only see Jesus as a prophet, and not as a Person of the Trinity. He thinks this excludes them from supernatural faith. But that is contrary to what the Church teaches.

On the expression, “No Salvation Outside the Church”, Pope Saint John Paul II teaches:

“Since Christ brings about salvation through his Mystical Body, which is the Church, the way of salvation is connected essentially with the Church. The axiom extra ecclesiam nulla salus — “outside the Church there is no salvation” — stated by St. Cyprian (Epist. 73, 21; PL 1123 AB), belongs to the Christian tradition. It was included in the Fourth Lateran Council (DS 802), in the Bull Unam Sanctam of Boniface VIII (DS 870) and the Council of Florence (Decretum pro Jacobitis, DS 1351). The axiom means that for those who are not ignorant of the fact that the Church has been established as necessary by God through Jesus Christ, there is an obligation to enter the Church and remain in her in order to attain salvation (cf. LG 14).

“For those, however, who have not received the Gospel proclamation, as I wrote in the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, salvation is accessible in mysterious ways, inasmuch as divine grace is granted to them by virtue of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice, without external membership in the Church, but nonetheless always in relation to her (cf. RM 10). It is a mysterious relationship. It is mysterious for those who receive the grace, because they do not know the Church and sometimes even outwardly reject her. It is also mysterious in itself, because it is linked to the saving mystery of grace, which includes an essential reference to the Church the Savior founded.” [All Salvation Comes through Christ, John Paul II General Audience — May 31, 1995]

So non-Christians can be in the state of grace, through Christ’s sacrifice, without explicitly believing in Christ. And they then have an implicit membership in the Church, the sole Ark of Salvation. And such persons can be saved, even if they outwardly the Church (“they do not know the Church and sometimes even outwardly reject her”). The axiom Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus does not exclude all Christians from salvation, since non-Christians can be implicit members by the state of grace.

Pope Saint John Paul II also clearly rejects the idea that salvation for non-Christians would somehow imply an equality of all religions, just as he rejects the idea that some are saved without Christ or His Church.

“What I have said above, however, does not justify the relativistic position of those who maintain that a way of salvation can be found in any religion, even independently of faith in Christ the Redeemer, and that interreligious dialogue must be based on this ambiguous idea.” [Ibid.]

And this teaching of Pope Saint John Paul II is in accord with the longstanding teaching of the Church, also found in Doctors of the Church Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Alphonsus Liguori, that a baptism of desire can be implicit. An unbaptized person can receive the state of grace and the supernatural virtues of love, faith, and hope without believing in Jesus as the Son of God, without believing in the Trinity.

Pope Pius XII: “An act of love is sufficient for the adult to obtain sanctifying grace and to supply the lack of baptism.” [Address to Midwives, 21a]

Pope Pius XII describes one type of baptism of desire as “an act of love”, that is, as a type of full cooperation with grace in an act of love of God. Another type is sincere sorrow for sin, in full cooperation with grace.

Certainly, Jews and Muslims are entirely capable of loving God in this way, and of having full contrition for their sins, and therefore they can receive the state of grace, supernatural love, faith, and hope, and salvation, even without becoming Christians and without believing in the Trinity. It may even be possible for persons in other religions, as well as atheists and agnostics to obtain the state of grace by a baptism of desire through a full selfless act of love of neighbor. For all those who truly love their neighbor, are imitating Christ, and so they implicitly love God — even if they do not know God or believe in Him.

Now some persons on the far right in Catholicism reject the teachings of Pope Francis, of Pope Saint John Paul II, and of the Second Vatican Council. Some of them even reject the canonization of the recent Pope Saints and the teaching of the First Vatican Council on the authority of the Roman Pontiff. They should reflect on the doctrine that an actual mortal sin against faith causes the loss of all three supernatural virtues. So it is hypothetically possible for some Catholics, including some who think non-Christians cannot have supernatural faith, to lack supernatural faith themselves.

But what does Jesus Himself say in the Gospels about Faith and Salvation? Does salvific faith require belief in the Trinity?

{15:21} And departing from there, Jesus withdrew into the areas of Tyre and Sidon.
{15:22} And behold, a woman of Canaan, going out from those parts, cried out, saying to him: “Take pity on me, Lord, Son of David. My daughter is badly afflicted by a demon.”
{15:23} He did not say a word to her. And his disciples, drawing near, petitioned him, saying: “Dismiss her, for she is crying out after us.”
{15:24} And responding, he said, “I was not sent except to the sheep who have fallen away from the house of Israel.”
{15:25} But she approached and adored him, saying, “Lord, help me.”
{15:26} And responding, he said, “It is not good to take the bread of the children and cast it to the dogs.”
{15:27} But she said, “Yes, Lord, but the young dogs also eat from the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters.”
{15:28} Then Jesus, responding, said to her: “O woman, great is your faith. Let it be done for you just as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

The woman of Canaan was not a Jew, as Jesus indicates she was not of “the house of Israel”. She was not a baptized Christian, as Jesus refers to her by the metaphor of children versus dogs. So she did not believe in the Trinity. Yet she has faith in Jesus, adoring him and calling him “Lord” and “Son of David”. Then Jesus tells us, in infallible Sacred Scripture, “O woman, great is your faith.” But her faith could not be great if it was not supernatural faith, nor if it was not accompanied by supernatural love, supernatural hope, and the state of grace. Yet she did not believe in the Trinity.

{7:36} Then certain Pharisees petitioned him, so that they might eat with him. And he went into the house of the Pharisee, and he reclined at table.
{7:37} And behold, a woman who was in the city, a sinner, found out that he was reclining at table in the house of the Pharisee, so she brought an alabaster container of ointment.
{7:38} And standing behind him, beside his feet, she began to wash his feet with tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, and she kissed his feet, and she anointed them with ointment.
{7:39} Then the Pharisee, who had invited him, upon seeing this, spoke within himself, saying, “This man, if he were a prophet, would certainly know who and what kind of woman is this, who is touching him: that she is a sinner.”
{7:40} And in response, Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Speak, Teacher.”
{7:41} “A certain creditor had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
{7:42} And since they did not have the ability to repay him, he forgave them both. So then, which of them loves him more?”
{7:43} In response, Simon said, “I suppose that it is he to whom he forgave the most.” And he said to him, “You have judged correctly.”
{7:44} And turning to the woman, he said to Simon: “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house. You gave me no water for my feet. But she has washed my feet with tears, and has wiped them with her hair.
{7:45} You gave no kiss to me. But she, from the time that she entered, has not ceased to kiss my feet.
{7:46} You did not anoint my head with oil. But she has anointed my feet with ointment.
{7:47} Because of this, I tell you: many sins are forgiven her, because she has loved much. But he who is forgiven less, loves less.”
{7:48} Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven you.”
{7:49} And those who sat at table with him began to say within themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”
{7:50} Then he said to the woman: “Your faith has brought you salvation. Go in peace.”

This woman was a notorious sinner. (She may or may not have been Mary Magdalene.) She sinned much, but Jesus forgave her. He even tells her that her faith has brought her salvation. Yet there is no indication here that she believed in the Trinity. She was likely a Jew who had fallen away from the house of Israel by grave sin. And notice that her faith is accompanied by love. Jesus even says “she has loved much”. So she was in the state of grace, having been forgiven by Christ, and had love, faith, and hope. But there is no indication that she believed in the Trinity. Neither does Jesus tell her, or others He states are saved by faith, that they must believe in the Trinity.

Jesus spoke, at various times, of the Father, and of Himself as the Son, and of the Spirit, but it is naïve to conclude that His listeners immediately understood that Father, Son, and Spirit were three Persons but one God. This teaching and realization came to the followers of Christ over time. So did they lack the state of grace and love, faith, and hope until that later realization? Certainly not, as the Gospel clearly indicates.

{17:11} And it happened that, while he was traveling to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
{17:12} And as he was entering a certain town, ten leprous men met him, and they stood at a distance.
{17:13} And they lifted up their voice, saying, “Jesus, Teacher, take pity on us.”
{17:14} And when he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And it happened that, as they were going, they were cleansed.
{17:15} And one of them, when he saw that he was cleansed, returned, magnifying God with a loud voice.
{17:16} And he fell face down before his feet, giving thanks. And this one was a Samaritan.
{17:17} And in response, Jesus said: “Were not ten made clean? And so where are the nine?
{17:18} Was no one found who would return and give glory to God, except this foreigner?”
{17:19} And he said to him: “Rise up, go forth. For your faith has saved you.”

The Samaritan, who was not a baptized Christian and not a faithful practicing Jew, was saved by his faith. So says Christ the Lord: “For your faith has saved you.” The faith that saves is supernatural faith accompanied by love, hope, and the state of grace. So “this foreigner” was the only one who gave “glory to God”, that is, true worship and adoration — yet without knowing or believing God to be a Trinity.

The Samaritans were not pagans; they were Jews who fell away from the traditional practice of Judaism. Samaritans are to Jews as Protestants are to Catholics. So Samaritans had some wrong beliefs, and were not Christians; but they believed in one God, much as the Jews did. Yet Jesus says this Samaritan was saved by supernatural faith.

{8:5} And when he had entered into Capernaum, a centurion approached, petitioning him,
{8:6} and saying, “Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed and badly tormented.”
{8:7} And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
{8:8} And responding, the centurion said: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.
{8:9} For I, too, am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
{8:10} And, hearing this, Jesus wondered. And he said to those following him: “Amen I say to you, I have not found so great a faith in Israel.
{8:11} For I say to you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and they shall sit at table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
{8:12} But the sons of the kingdom shall be cast into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
{8:13} And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go, and just as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And the servant was healed at that very hour.

To be a Centurion, a Roman soldier would have to believe and practice the pagan Roman religion. Such a position would not be given to a Jew, nor (at that time) to a Christian. The Roman Centurion did not believe in the Trinity, and he practiced a pagan religion. Yet he put his faith in Jesus, without understanding much about Jesus or Christianity. And Jesus says about this pagan Centurion: “I have not found so great a faith in Israel.” This expression necessarily implies that this Centurion had the three supernatural virtues and the state of grace; otherwise, his faith would not be called great; otherwise, Jesus would not have “wondered” at his faith.

And do you not remember that Catholics speak out loud a saying taken from this very Centurion, as an expression of faith, at holy Mass, just before receiving Christ in the Eucharist? “Lord, I am not worthy…” etc. Certainly, Jesus found this pagan Centurion to have true supernatural faith, and so does the Church, otherwise a version of his words would not be used in this way at holy Mass.

So the false doctrine that only Christians who believe in the Trinity can have supernatural faith is contrary to the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels, contrary to the teaching of Pope Saint John Paul II and Vatican II, and contrary to the teaching of the Church on the implicit baptism of desire. That false doctrine is heresy.

This false doctrine implies that only Christians can be saved, and that an implicit baptism of desire is only found among those who believe in the Trinity. How were Jews saved before Christ, since they could not know about and believe in the Trinity? Did the path of salvation narrow when Christ arrived as Savior of the world? No! Certainly not. Persons could be saved without knowing of Jesus and the Trinity in Old Testament times, and they still can. God did not become less merciful when the Son of God was sent to die for us. Since the greatest mercy is Christ’s salvific death on the Cross, the availability of salvation was not narrowed by Christ as compared to Old Testament times. So non-Christians, and those who do not believe in Jesus or the Trinity explicitly, can still be saved by a supernatural faith that is implicit, and by supernatural love, hope, and the state of grace.

The idea that belief in the Trinity is required for supernatural faith has never been taught by the Church. Bishop Athanasius Schneider teaches heresy on this point, and so does the aforementioned article from LifeSiteNews.

If heresy is committed with full knowledge and full deliberation, as God may judge, then in that case, the Catholic who believes in the Trinity would lose love, faith, and hope, and would love their salvation unless they repent. Not every actual mortal sin deprives the soul of faith, but actual mortal sin against faith itself deprives the soul of all three supernatural (infused theological) virtues.

The article author, Michael Hanes, quotes and then rejects the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on Muslims and the worship of God. He prefers instead the ideas of the schismatic and heretical bishops Athanasius Schneider and Carlo M. Vigano.

Haynes quotes the teaching of Vatican II, in Lumen Gentium, which says that Muslims adore the one true God, and then he rejects that teaching.

“That we Catholics adore with the Muslims the one God is not true. We don’t adore with them. In the act of adoration, we always adore the Holy Trinity, we don’t simply adore ‘the one God’ but the Holy Trinity consciously… Islam rejects the Holy Trinity. When Muslims adore, they do not adore on the supernatural level of faith.”

The assertion that Muslims (specifically in their adoration of God!!!) do not have supernatural faith would necessarily imply that Muslims always lack the state of grace, and always lack all three infused theological virtues: love, faith, and hope. Such a wicked assertion condemns all non-Christians, contrary to the teaching of Jesus and the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

And then Haynes goes on to agree instead with Vigano, contrary to Vatican II: “Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano also wrote that Lumen Gentium 16 ‘cannot be interpreted in a Catholic way’ and ‘blatantly contradicts Catholic doctrine.’ ”

Such a rejection of this teaching of Vatican II implies also a rejection of the teaching of Pope Saint John Paul II, the teaching of the Gospels, and the teaching of the Church on an implicit baptism of desire and salvation. These things are necessarily implied by the heretical claim that only those who worship the Trinity can have supernatural faith.

Now consider the case of infants baptized into the Church. They have supernatural love, faith, and hope and the state of grace from baptism. But they don’t explicitly adore the Trinity, as Haynes and Schneider claim is essential for supernatural faith and salvation.

Finally, this heretical doctrine, in implying that non-Christians cannot be saved becomes a type of Feeneyism. And Feeneyism is a condemned heresy, which that only those baptized with water can be saved, and which denies the baptisms of desire and of blood.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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7 Responses to Does Supernatural Faith require belief in the Trinity? No, says Jesus and His Church.

  1. Robert Fastiggi says:

    Dear Ron,

    Thank you for this important article.

    Vatican I, in Dei Filius, anathematizes those who say that “the one true God, our Creator and Lord, cannot be known with certainty with the natural light of human reason through the things that are created” (Denz.-H 3026). Those who say that Muslims cannot know the “one true God” would fall under the anathema of Vatican I. The one true God is the Trinity. Those who know God by natural reason nevertheless can know and adore “the one true God” even though they don’t know the revelation of God as Trinity.

    Here are some other sources of interest:

    St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225–1274), in De Rationibus Fidei: Reasons for the Faith against Muslim objections, chapter seven writes: “I say this supposing our belief that the whole disposition of nature and all human acts are subject to Divine Providence. Take this belief away and all worship of the Divinity is excluded. Yet we argue presently against those who say they are worshippers of God (Dei cultores) whether Muslims or Christians or Jews.” Here Aquinas joins Muslims, Christians, and Jews together as those who say they are worshippers of God.

    St. Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621) believed that Jews and Muslims worship the one God. In Book III, chapter 10 of his Controversy on the Word of God (De Verbo Dei), he writes: “Jeremiah foretold the future—that in the time of the New Testament all men will know the one God, which certainly now is fulfilled. For the Gentiles have been converted to the Faith, and also the Jews and the Turks, although they are impious, still they worship the one God” (Deum collunt tamen unum).

    The Jesuit, Francisco Suárez (1548–1617), thought that Christian rulers could allow the infidels freedom of worship within their realms as long as their forms of worship were not opposed to the natural law. Thus, he thought that religious rites that were not intrinsically evil or contrary to natural reason could be tolerated. Among these “are the Jewish rites and perhaps even many rites of the Muslims and similar non-believers, who adore only the one true God: [ut sunt ritus Judaeorum, et fortasse multi etiam ritus Sarracenorum, et similium infidelium, qui unum tantum verum Deum adorant] (De fide. disp. XVIII, sect. 4 n. 9 in, Opera omnia, Vol. XII, Vivès, ed. p. 451).

    Paul VI, encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam (1964):
    107. … Then we have those worshipers who adhere to other monotheistic systems of religion, especially the Moslem religion. We do well to admire these people for all that is good and true in their worship of God. (quos propter ea quae in eorum cultu vera sunt et probanda, merito admiramur)

    John Paul II, ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II TO YOUNG MUSLIMS Morocco, Monday, 19 August 1985
    1. … Christians and Muslims, we have many things in common, as believers and as human beings. We live in the same world, marked by many signs of hope, but also by multiple signs of anguish. For us, Abraham is a very model of faith in God, of submission to his will and of confidence in his goodness. We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection. (In the French original: Nous croyons au même Dieu, le Dieu unique, le Dieu vivant, le Dieu qui crée les mondes et porte ses créatures à leur perfection).

  2. guilhermefeitosa024 says:

    funny, these traditionalist commentators never quote some more “conservative” speeches of Pope Francis, for example in some audiences in 2013, 2014 and 2015 Pope Francis practically affirmed the Church’s need for Salvation:

    “It is an absurd dichotomy to think of living with Jesus without the Church, of following Jesus outside the Church, of loving Jesus without loving the Church”
    -Address by Pope Francis, May 8, 2013

    “Sometimes someone says: ‘I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, but the Church doesn’t interest me…’. How many times have we heard this? And that’s not right. Some consider being able to have a personal, direct and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and mediation of the Church. These are dangerous and harmful temptations. They are, as the great Paul VI said, absurd dichotomies. […] Remember well: being a Christian means belonging to the Church. The first name is “Christian”, the last name is “church member”.
    –Pope Francis General Audience, June 25, 2014

    “It is not possible to ‘love Christ but without the Church, listen to Christ but not the Church, belong to Christ but outside the Church’ ( Ibid .). Indeed, it is the Church, the great family of God, which brings Christ to us. […] It is the Church that today says: “Behold the Lamb of God”; it is the Church that announces it; It is in the Church that Jesus continues to carry out his gestures of grace which are the Sacraments.”
    –Pope Francis Homily, January 1, 2015

    they only show the Pope’s most controversial speeches, because it suits them. Pope Francis is completely orthodox in his teaching

  3. Adrian Quinn says:

    Ron, I am not sure where to leave this message. I was wondering could you explain why the apparitions in Kibeho Rwanda are on your false apparitions list when it was officially approved in 2001? Thank you

    • Ron Conte says:

      approval by a local Bishop is not sufficient; it is not the same as approval by the Holy See. Also, the visionaries were not all approved by the local Bishop (as I recall). Finally, two of the visionaries claimed that Jesus were returning for this generation, which is always a sure sign of false claims of private revelation.

  4. Robert Fastiggi says:

    Dear Ron,

    Approval by the Holy See certainly gives more credibility to reported apparitions, but approval by the local bishop is approval by the competent eccleiasical authority unless the Holy See is called upon or chooses to intervene. See III, 1 in these 1978 CDF Norms:

    Of course, theologians and other members of the faithful are free to express their own opinions as to why they believe certain apparitions are false, even if these apparitions have been approved by a local bishop. Belief in private revelations is not required on the part of the faithful, but I think it would be foolish not to believe apparitions such as Guadalupe, Lourdes, and Fatima that have been given so much papal support.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima and others have the support of the Holy See, many Bishops, and the body of the faithful. By comparison, the apparitions to seven persons in Kibeho Rwanda only had approval from the local Bishop for three of the visionaries, and not the other four. The 7 persons did not have visions and messages together, like the visionaries of Lourdes or Fatima. Some may be true, and others may be false.

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