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Eyewitness testimony: Fatima

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  • Eyewitness testimony: Fatima

    I've noticed that some of the arguments used to defend the resurrection of Jesus (including eyewitness testimony of a high number of witnesses) can also be used to defend the historicity of the 1917 claimed miracle at Fatima. If this was a genuine miracle, it would go a long way toward establishing that the RCC is the true Christian church. How do those of you who are not Catholic deal with this?

    Out of curiosity, I looked at one skeptical website which concluded that it was a group hallucination (which scholars such as Habermas maintain are not possible).
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
    I've noticed that some of the arguments used to defend the resurrection of Jesus (including eyewitness testimony of a high number of witnesses) can also be used to defend the historicity of the 1917 claimed miracle at Fatima. If this was a genuine miracle, it would go a long way toward establishing that the RCC is the true Christian church. How do those of you who are not Catholic deal with this?

    Out of curiosity, I looked at one skeptical website which concluded that it was a group hallucination (which scholars such as Habermas maintain are not possible).
    Heh, that ain't the only Catholic miracle around, either. There's a' many more.
    Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

    -Thomas Aquinas

    I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

    -Hernando Cortez

    What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

    -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
      I've noticed that some of the arguments used to defend the resurrection of Jesus (including eyewitness testimony of a high number of witnesses) can also be used to defend the historicity of the 1917 claimed miracle at Fatima. If this was a genuine miracle, it would go a long way toward establishing that the RCC is the true Christian church. How do those of you who are not Catholic deal with this?

      Out of curiosity, I looked at one skeptical website which concluded that it was a group hallucination (which scholars such as Habermas maintain are not possible).
      A genuine apparition would not necessarily establish that the RCC is the true Christian church; satan can appear as an angel of light, after all.
      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

      Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
      sigpic
      I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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      • #4
        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
        A genuine apparition would not necessarily establish that the RCC is the true Christian church; satan can appear as an angel of light, after all.
        That is certainly true. I certainly would not want to claim that with confidence as some (Protestant, generally) scholars seem to because it might seem to veer a little close toward risking blaspheming the Holy Spirit in the case it were genuine.
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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        • #5
          Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
          A genuine apparition would not necessarily establish that the RCC is the true Christian church; satan can appear as an angel of light, after all.
          You're ignoring the Miracle of the Sun that came afterwards. Or the prophecy that came true in the Second Secret. Or the incorruptible face of Jacinta, one of the children that Mary appeared to.
          Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

          -Thomas Aquinas

          I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

          -Hernando Cortez

          What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

          -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            That is certainly true. I certainly would not want to claim that with confidence as some (Protestant, generally) scholars seem to because it might seem to veer a little close toward risking blaspheming the Holy Spirit in the case it were genuine.
            Right. We are to test the spirits, though.

            When a couple icons started weeping myrrh a couple years ago at a church in my diocese, one of the first things the priest did was an exorcism. They're still weeping today (in fact, I'm planning to go see them next week), and many miracles of healing have been attributed to them.
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
            sigpic
            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

            Comment


            • #7
              I have no idea what to think about Fatima except that the three children were drawn closer to God because of it. That said I never really have known what to make of Fatima. I was a little more inclined to believe the Lourdes visions. I do think that if the fruit of the vision was pointing people to Christ and leading them to Him then it was more than likely genuine. However it is not the only way to hear Christ. Its hard because even if people have come to God because of it, traditions have been established around it that should not necessarily be established. The question becomes, is this because men idolize what should not be idolized? Or was it false to begin with. Because of the fog surrounding it; its become hard to judge it.
              A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
              George Bernard Shaw

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              • #8
                Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                Right. We are to test the spirits, though.

                When a couple icons started weeping myrrh a couple years ago at a church in my diocese, one of the first things the priest did was an exorcism. They're still weeping today (in fact, I'm planning to go see them next week), and many miracles of healing have been attributed to them.
                Not that I'm doubting it, but is there a resource I could look at for this?
                Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

                -Thomas Aquinas

                I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

                -Hernando Cortez

                What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

                -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know this will come out wrong, but I know MANY Catholics who I believe to be Christians IN SPITE of the Catholic Church. Just because God honors their faithfulness does not automatically endorse the Catholic Church per se.
                  "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                    I know this will come out wrong, but I know MANY Catholics who I believe to be Christians IN SPITE of the Catholic Church. Just because God honors their faithfulness does not automatically endorse the Catholic Church per se.
                    Couldn't we say that about all the churches we belong to though? we are Christian in spite of the (fill in the blank church) because its Jesus that saved us and not the Church?
                    A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                    George Bernard Shaw

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                      I've noticed that some of the arguments used to defend the resurrection of Jesus (including eyewitness testimony of a high number of witnesses) can also be used to defend the historicity of the 1917 claimed miracle at Fatima. If this was a genuine miracle, it would go a long way toward establishing that the RCC is the true Christian church. How do those of you who are not Catholic deal with this?

                      Out of curiosity, I looked at one skeptical website which concluded that it was a group hallucination (which scholars such as Habermas maintain are not possible).
                      It would at best establish a point of doctrine - it would not establish the RCC as the true Church.

                      Mass hallucination is a myth. I'm not particularly skeptical of Fatima (which isn't the same as accepting it - I just haven't explored it well enough to form a valid opinion) but if I were I still wouldn't accept 'mass hallucination' as an explanation. It's silly. The thing is either legit, a fraud or somehow an accidental deception (that last one being the least likely) but to argue for any of the above requires more research than I've done.

                      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                      My Personal Blog

                      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
                        Couldn't we say that about all the churches we belong to though? we are Christian in spite of the (fill in the blank church) because its Jesus that saved us and not the Church?
                        Yes
                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                          Not that I'm doubting it, but is there a resource I could look at for this?
                          Well, it's not promoted other than by word of mouth. There are items from the secular press here and here.

                          Here is the material I adapted for our parish bulletin after I first visited (in February 2012).
                          On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, St. George’s Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of Taylor, PA, was blessed with the visitation of the Holy Myrrh-Streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. The Holy Icon arrived shortly after 1 p.m. and was enthroned on the tetrapod for veneration. Hymns to the Virgin were sung throughout the afternoon as faithful came to be anointed and witness this great blessing. A Moleben to the Theotokos was celebrated at 4 p.m. Following the Moleben, Reader Nectarios, guardian of the Icon, presented Protopresbyter Mark Leasure with an 8x10 replica of the Iveron Icon as a remembrance of Her visit to St. George’s. This icon was anointed with myrrh and touched to the original miraculous Hawaiian Icon. It was left on the tetrapod for veneration.

                          The following morning, Thursday, October 13, when Fr. Mark entered the church, he immediately noticed a sweet fragrance. He assumed that it was the lingering aroma that had accompanied the miraculous icon the day before. When he went to venerate the icon on the tetrapod, the one Nectarios presented the previous day, he found that the fragrance was very strong and seemed to be coming from the icon itself. Upon examination he noticed an expanding area of “perspiration” forming around the spot where the icon had been anointed. He thought it was likely just a residual effect from the initial anointing and went about his business.

                          Later while working in the rectory office, Fr. Mark was thinking about Nectarios’ account of how he discovered the myrrh streaming from his icon. It had been left on the top of a bookshelf, collecting dust and forgotten. Fr. Mark felt a twinge of guilt at having allowed the same thing to happen to several icons he had collected over the years. One in particular, the Kardiotissa Theotokos (Tender Heart), had been given to him by Fr. Lawrence Barriger on behalf of the Deanery when he was elevated to Protopresbyter by His Eminence, +Metropolitan Nicholas. It was made by the nuns at Holy Protection Monastery in White Haven, PA. Fr. Mark decided to bring this icon to the church for veneration, as the next day, Friday, October 14, was the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God (Old Calendar).

                          When Fr. Mark placed the icon on the analogion, he noticed that even more “perspiration” had formed on the replica of the Iveron Icon. He proceeded to anoint the Kardiotissa Icon with the fragrant, oil-like substance. By the time Pani Beverly and his children Kyra and Adam got home from school, both of the icons were fragrant and forming areas of moisture.

                          When Fr. Mark came to the church Friday morning for the Feast Day Divine Liturgy, the fragrance was extremely intense. Both icons were sweet-smelling and exuding small droplets of moisture that appeared like sweat. Faithful began arriving for the Liturgy while he was doing the Proskomedia, and they immediately observed what was happening. Over the following days the moisture gradually increased on the icons and began to stream. They were left fully exposed for veneration. The surfaces quickly became smudged from kissing and wiping, obviously in need of cleaning. Fr. Mark wiped them down with cotton and placed them in shadow boxes for protection. Within 24 hours they were both streaming again. He has since wiped them down several times with the same result. At Theophany, the icons were streaming so heavily that the myrrh was running off in sheets.

                          No one, including Fr. Mark, knew what to do or say about what they were witnessing; he waited an entire month before contacting Diocesan Chancellor Fr. Frank Miloro. At one point, concerned that the streaming might be a false sign, Fr. Mark even performed an exorcism over the icons. He relates that as he started the exorcism, a large puddle of myrrh welled up from the Virgin’s eye and rolled down the Icon.

                          Multitudes of people from all denominations have witnessed the icons actively streaming, including His Eminence, Archbishop Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Athanasy, guardian of the Myrrh Streaming Icon of St. Anne, the nuns from Holy Protection Monastery in White Haven, the monks from Saint Nectarios Monastery in Roscoe, NY, the monks from Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, and numerous Orthodox clergy and faithful.

                          Presently, nearly 4 months after this all started, they remain completely saturated, front and back, and continue to stream heavily. The myrrh even appears and streams from the glass covering the icons, as well as from the wood cases in which they are contained. The flowery fragrance that they exude has at times been so intense that it has been evident to passersby in cars passing by the church. A number of healings have already been attributed to the icons. A man with a bone-deep infected cut on his hand was faced with surgery to remove the infection. After the cut was anointed with myrrh, it completely healed overnight. A girl was hospitalized with pneumonia and pleurisy. One of her lungs had partially collapsed and was filled with fluid, and the doctors were preparing to perform an operation needed to drain her lung. The day after her side was anointed with myrrh, she went home healed. People who required oxygen for breathing problems have left the church no longer needing oxygen, even if they had not venerated the icons.

                          For reasons known only to God (“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever. . . .” Deuteronomy 29:29), St. George’s has been chosen and sanctified as the place where grace has been revealed and the presence of the Holy Mother of God has been made manifest through these icons. At every Moleben service, Fr. Mark is struck by the words of Elizabeth as she greets the Virgin Mary: “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43). “Why here? Why us?” He asks. He wishes he had an answer. Possibly for the same reason God chose the small, obscure village of Bethlehem to be born according to the flesh; for the same reason He chose a simple peasant girl to be His Mother. As Saint Paul explains, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

                          No one knows how long the icons will continue to stream. What Fr. Mark knows is that his parish, as a community, as the Orthodox Church, has been greatly blessed. For as long as the icons continue to stream myrrh, he will thank God for the blessing, rightly honor the Holy Virgin, and struggle to live a life worthy of the calling we have received (Ephesians 4:1). And as we approach the season of Great Lent, we know that our God loves us with an everlasting love: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).

                          What has happened at St. George’s has not been advertised. The Icons will not be subject to media scrutiny or spectacle. They will not be seen in the newspapers, on TV or the internet. The Mother of God is not a celebrity to be haunted by paparazzi. She is the Panagia, the Most-Holy. Fr. Mark will do everything possible to guard, protect and preserve this great blessing in all of its sanctity and mystery. This is a holy gift, a holy place, and nothing will ever interfere with that. He will not permit video or photography of the icons.

                          People have and will continue to come and offer Her due veneration, to pray and ask the blessings and help of the Theotokos. Fr. Mark welcomes all of them. Everyone is welcome and invited to “come and see.” As St. George’s has done since the icons began to stream, the Moleben to the Theotokos will continue to be celebrated every Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m. until the Second Coming of Christ. From an initial “crowd” of 10 people or so the first week, attendance has continued to grow to over 300 at present (more than the church will hold). Fr. Mark stresses that he cannot explain what is happening. All he can say is “come and see.” “The humble shall see this and be glad; And you who seek God, your hearts shall live.” (Psalm 69:32).

                          As we continue this sacred journey together, may the words of the Virgin Mary be on our lips and in our hearts: Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38).
                          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                          sigpic
                          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                            You're ignoring the Miracle of the Sun that came afterwards. Or the prophecy that came true in the Second Secret. Or the incorruptible face of Jacinta, one of the children that Mary appeared to.
                            Actually, the prophecy was disclosed after the fact, so scratch that. The other stuff though...
                            Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

                            -Thomas Aquinas

                            I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

                            -Hernando Cortez

                            What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

                            -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              First of all, I think KingsGambit should have done a better job of summarizing what the miracle is if he is going to make a thread about it.

                              From what I can find online, it sounds like the ghost of Mary supposedly appeared to some people. However, it seems to me like the ghost of Mary would automatically disprove the Catholic Church, because the Catholic Church teaches that Mary was bodily raptured.

                              Originally posted by Catholicity
                              I have no idea what to think about Fatima except that the three children were drawn closer to God because of it.
                              The children subsequently wore tight cords around their waists, performed self-flagellation using stinging nettles, abstained from drinking water on hot days, and performed other works of penance.

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lad...al_apparitions

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