THE CANONS OF THE CHURCH ABOUT PRIVATE REVELATIONS
In lieu of the uneasiness that pilgrims may have about visiting the apparition site due to the announcement of the Archdiocese of Miami in reference to the apparition site, the following statement should clarify the Church’s standing on private revelations, visions, miracles and apparition sites. This statement is recorded in the Canons of the Roman Catholic Church:
IS NOT REQUIRED
FOR PUBLICATION OF REVELATIONS,
VISIONS OR MIRACLES
A decree of the “Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine and the Faith” was published in the Official Acts of the Holy See” (A.A.S.) 58/16, dated December 29, 1966. Articles 1399 and 2318 of Canon Law are abrogated by this decree. This decree of abrogation was approved on October 14, 1966 by His Holiness, the Sovereign Pontiff Paul VI, who ordered its publication at the same time.
This approval by the Holy Father took place during an audience accorded to His Eminence Cardinal Ottaviani, Pro-Prefect for the “Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine and the Faith.” The decree was made in Rome , November 15, 1966. It bears the signatures of:
A. Cardinal Ottaviani, Pro-Prefect
B. Parente, Secretary
The decree took effect three months after its publication, hence on March 29, 1967.
Canon 1399 forbade, by right of publication, certain books such as those that deal with revelations, visions, prophecies and miracles. THIS CANON WAS REPEALED ON MARCH 29, 1967. This means that as far as these publications are concerned, prohibition is lifted as to their being bound by ecclesiastical law and henceforth, Catholics are permitted, without need of imprimatur, Nihil Obstat, or any other permission, to publish accounts of revelations, visions, prophecies and miracles. Of course, these publications must not put in danger the faith or morals. This is the general rule, which every Catholic must follow in all his actions, even journalists, especially journalists. THERE IS HENCEFORTH NO LONGER ANY PROHIBITION CONCERNING THE NARRATIVE OF SEERS, BE THEY RECOGNIZED OR NOT BY ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITY. ALL THE MORE REASON IS IT PERMITTED FOR CATHOLICS TO FREQUENT PLACES OF APPARITIONS, EVEN THOSE NOT RECOGNIZED BY ORDINARIES OF THEIR DIOCESES OR BY THE HOLY FATHER, GRANTED THAT THE CATHOLIC VISITORS WHO FREQUENT THESE PLACES MUST RESPECT THE FAITH AND MORALS. However, they are not subject to any ecclesiastical discipline, not even for their public prayers. Permission is required only for the celebration of Holy Mass or any other religious service.
Canon 2318 carried penalties against those who violated the laws of censure and prohibition. THIS CANON HAS BEEN ABROGATED [REVOKED] SINCE 1966. NONE CAN INCUR ECCLESIASTICAL CENSURE FOR FREQUENTING PLACES OF APPARITIONS, EVEN THOSE NOT RECOGNIZED BY THE ORDINARIES OF THEIR DIOCESES OR BY THE HOLY FATHER. Also, “those who would have incurred the censured treatment in Canon 2318 will be likewise absolved by the very facts of the abrogation [revocation] of this Canon.” — Cardinal Ottaviani.