Brief Summary of Existing Views of Apparitions

Referring to this brief compendium of information about apparitions, we can highlight some obvious inconsistencies and unsatisfactory approaches and conclusions which invite reassessment of these problems. Particularly, there are the following ambiguous and inconsistent approaches and conclusions are:  

1. Until now, the concept of revelation or apparition has included various phenomena such as visions, divination, prophecy, clairvoyant messages and inspiration, which are incompatible with the definition from today‘s perspective. At the same time, what the aforementioned individual concepts mean was not clearly defined.

2. It was evident that pieces of knowledge given by some phenomena regarded as apparitions brought demonstrably confusing and perilous information. This awareness led some to extreme circumspection. Such an approach was applied equally to all these phenomena. There was even a tendency toward total rejection of these phenomena. Moreover, this approach prejudiced assessment of positive apparitions.

3. Owing to the ambiguity surrounding these apparitions, the possibility and purposefulness of distinguishing between them has yet to be felt. All these events have been perceived as having the same character. If a distinction is made, different types of apparitions will have a different impact on theology and psychology.

4. It has not been highlighted yet that supposedly already since 1830, a new series of apparitions – Marian apparitions – have become a reality. These apparitions are not intended to give new dogmatic and ethical knowledge for salvation. They are purported to authenticate the truths of the gospels and to provide God’s exceptional graces for conversion at a time when the faith of many people is gradually dying out. This new fact was pointed out by Cardinal Hans Urs Von Balthasar in the 20th century.

5. On the one hand, it is quite understandable that on some occasions, theologians prefer to dissociate themselves from certain apparitions in order to avoid harmful consequences. On the other hand, other theologians and most of the Popes view other apparitions as signs or messages which can be very useful and they are willing to support them.

This inconsistent situation has led to an exigency to deal with these problems and find new information which would clarify them and distinguish useful types and consequences of apparitions from harmful ones.


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