Diocese of Santander
Some people have been coming directly to the Diocese of Santander (Spain) asking about the "alleged apparitions" of Garabandal, and above all for the position of the hierarchy of the Church concerning these apparitions.
I must communicate that:
1. 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].*
2. In the month of December of 1977 Msgr. del Val, Bishop of Santander, in union with his predecessors, affirmed that in the six years of being Bishop of Santander there were no new phenomena.
3. Not withstanding, the same Msgr. del Val, the first years having passed in which there was confusion to enthusiasm, initiated an interdisciplinary study in order to examine with greater profundity these phenomenon. The conclusion of this study coincided with the previous findings by the bishops, which is to say, that it does not prove [no consta] the supernaturality of said apparitions.
4. This study concluded during the days in which I took possession of the diocese in 1991. Taking advantage, in that same year, of a trip to Rome for the motive of making the ad limina visit, I presented said study to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and asked for guidance for pastoral activity concerning the case.
5. On Nov. 28, 1992, the Congregation sent me its response, consisting in, that after having examined attentively the mentioned documentation, it did not consider it opportune to intervene directly, removing the ordinary jurisdiction of the Bishop of Santander, this subject that belongs to him by right. Previous declarations of the Holy See agree in this finding.
In the same letter it was suggested, if I find it opportune, to publish a declaration in which it is re-affirmed that the supernaturality of the referenced apparitions was not proven, making my own the unanimous position of my predecessors.
6. Given that the declarations of my predecessors, who studied the case, have been clear and unanimous, I do not find it necessary to have a new public declaration that would give notoriety to something which happened so long ago. However, I find it opportune to redact this information as a direct response to the persons who ask for direction concerning this question, which I give finally, accepting the decisions of my predecessors and the direction of the Holy See.
7. In reference to the celebration of the Eucharist in Garabandal, following the dispositions of my predecessors, I only allow that it be celebrated in the parish church without reference to the alleged apparitions and with the permission of the current pastor, who has my confidence.
With the wish that this information is helpful to you, receive my cordial greeting in Christ,
Bishop of Santander
"Conchita and the rest of the children signed a document with the bishop agreeing with the findings of the Church and promising never to promote the apparitions again. Does that sound like the Church is open to the possibility that these visions are from heaven? The original visionaries have reportedly lived up to this signed document, but the Garabandal promoters have not.
All of the children have reportedly retracted all belief in the miracles.
Arguments Against The Heavenly Character Of The Visions At Garabandal:
All eight bishops of Santander have, from 1961 up to now, supported by the Holy See in Rome, publicly declared that there is no evidence that supernatural apparitions have taken place in Garabandal. This does not mean the Church is saying that nothing out of the ordinary, beyond the natural, or preternatural happened at Garabandal. It only means that the Church, through a succession of bishops and with the affirmation of the Holy See, has repeatedly insisted that there is no evidence that what happened at Garabandal was of a heavenly origin. What does that imply?
A locution told the children that Pope Paul VI would live to see the Great Miracle. This is problematic, because Pope Paul VI entered eternity on August 6, 1978.
In Conchita's diary one can read (p.164, Dutch edition) that Pope Paul VI knew the date of the Great Miracle.
The “Virgin” promised that St. Padre Pio would witness the miracle. St. Padre Pio entered eternity on September 23, 1968.
One of the locutions received by the children included the prediction that there would be only three more popes until "the end of the times." Pope John XXIII was the pope at that time. Since then, we have had Popes Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, and Pope John Paul II.
Since Pope John Paul II was Pope John XXIII's third successor, Pope John Paul II, according to the prophecies associated with the visions at Garabandal, should have been the last pope. This is problematic, because Pope John Paul II entered eternity on April 2, 2005, there has been no warning and no miracle, and Pope Benedict XVI has been validly elected by the conclave of cardinals and has been the reigning pontiff since April 19, 2005.
More Red Flags:
In 1966 Conchita wanted to enter the Carmelite Convent in Pamplona. "Jesus" told her to go back to the world.
Conchita made a museum of her house in Garabandal. She has since sold that house and owns a house in New York and a flat in Fatima as well. Compare that with St. Bernadette in Lourdes.
Conchita reportedly admitted to Father J. Pelletier that she herself had stolen the Host from the tabernacle for the so-called mystical communion.
Just before the visions in Garabandal the four seers had stolen apples. The first vision reportedly began when the girls decided to steal some apples from a schoolteacher's tree. An unseen force reportedly forced the girls to their knees. In this first apparition they saw what appeared to be a holy angel.
Conchita was reportedly often caught in contradictions.
Many of the visions reportedly involved the girls having conversations with the “Lady” about frivolous things, such as how the “Lady” liked their clothing.
The children were reportedly “given” the “Child Jesus” to pass around to one another in a manner very much like the way one would see children handling a toy doll. The children also claim to have touched the “Virgin” many times. However, they acknowledged that they could not feel anything during these occasions.
After seeing the children apparently passing some unseen object around, which was later said to be the Infant Jesus, people asked the girls if they actually touched the Infant Jesus.
The girls replied, “No, you cannot touch either the Blessed Mother or the Infant.”
“But how can this be?” the people asked.
The girls explained, “Well, you see what you hold, but you feel nothing; you feel no weight. If you stretch your hand to touch Our Lady, your hand can go no further because Our Lady is there, but you feel nothing.”
The girls reportedly claimed that they gave sweets to the Infant Jesus.
The “Virgin” asked that the girls not bring blessed sacramentals [rosaries, crucifixes, etc.], because she wanted to bless these objects herself. The vision is reported to have blessed and kisses hundreds of objects. This is troubling for two reasons: first, because only blessed sacramentals affect the devil and fallen angels; second, the Blessed Virgin Mary is not a priest and therefore she cannot confer a priestly blessing.
Conchita reportedly said the Blessed Mother played hide and seek with her.
The Blessed Virgin is also said to have helped find shoes which had been lost by some of the pilgrims.
The Blessed Mother was said to have told the children that she perfumed the brushes of her slippers."[/b]