Are the Mary Apparitions Fake?
  
This is about the Marian apparitions in the Catholic Church and why they cannot be accepted as having the right to tell us what to do and how we should live. We will see how it is best to pay no attention to them and despise their message. People find apparitions and the related miracles fascinating but the truth about them is just as interesting. For not it is enough to say that the Catholic Church boasts of having a faith that has not been added to since the apostles and that these things do not add to divine revelation. But they do for a miracle is a miracle and a revelation is a revelation. They are more convincing which tells us how bad the evidence of the apostles for Christianity was.
 
Some apparition sites honour vindictive visions. Read pages 208 and 209 of Everything You Know About God is Wrong, The Disinformation Guide to Religion, Edited by Russ Kick, The Disinformation Company, New York, 2007. There you will see that The Glories of Mary by St Alphonsus de Ligouri that the Virgin Mary was seen by people, who affirmed on oath, setting fire with torches to a house of immoral entertainment at Montevergine in 1611. Her arson resulted in the deaths of 1,500 people. Our Lady of Medous caused an epidemic of plague in 1648. The Church later changed the story to make it seem the Virgin had halted the epidemic. St Rita of Cascia prayed for God to kill her sons to stop them committing serious sin and it worked and she later became a nun and was famed for miracles and leaving a corpse that has been reported to move by itself since her death.
 
Marian apparitions almost always induce a state of ecstasy upon the witnesses. The witnesses hardly blink during the vision and stare upwards in a trancelike state. They say they are enraptured in joy. But there is no authority for ecstasy at all in the Bible. The resurrection witnesses did not claim - as far as we know - to have gone into such a trance. Paul speaks of visions but does not mention the trance. Jesus said we must do all the good we do to give God joy and do it only for him. He is the ultimate value. Marian ecstasy have people finding intense happiness in the presence of the Virgin and their focus is on her alone. Thus the ecstasy is a sign that if the apparition is supernatural then it is not from God.
 
The Church itself teaches that most apparition claims are probably not from God. Apparitions such as Medjugorje and Garabandal have caused huge trouble for the Church as has many others. Clearly it is best not to pay much attention to apparitions at all!

The gold standard of Catholic visions are met by Lourdes and Fatima.  If we can overthrow them we by default cast doubt on all miracles including Jesus' revival from the dead!
 
LOURDES

The Virgin supposedly appeared to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes in 1858. The spot was an infectious dump and this Lady had Bernadette eating grass from it and her and the people drinking from a spring that was there all along according to shepherds at the time (page 87, 222, The Appearances of the Blessed Virgin; Mother of Nations, page 94). The Virgin asked them to do something dangerous over appearances that were not checked for authenticity yet! She was a devil. Bernadette lied when she said the Lady was the same size as herself and Bernadette was too small for her age for she said that the girl looked 16 or 17. The Lady promised to take Bernadette to Heaven which is against Catholic doctrine which says nobody is to know that. The Lady never promised cures but they are what Lourdes is famous for. Strange that there are no wooden legs lying about it.

As for the allegedly proven miracles of healing at Lourdes which are 64 in number they are not as above suspicion as the evidence says and as one would think (page 177, Believing in God). Some of the people were examined too long before their alleged cure and there is doubt about the diagnosis of others. The Abbe Fiamma was cured of hideous ulcers on the skin in 1908. The healing was reported to be instant but there is no proof that they were not healed between the last examination the date of which is unknown and his dip in the bath of holy water at Lourdes to which he attributed his cure.

In a small book called Spiritual Healing we read that the famous case of John Traynor’s cure from epilepsy and paralysis at Lourdes was never recognised by the Church (71-74). Traynor had problems recalling all about his sicknesses after the cure which could have led to the medical experts being confused and thinking there was a miracle where there was none. They would have depended on his testimony more than on anything else. Traynor died in 1943.

A book published in 1957 called Eleven Lourdes Miracles by Dr D J West showed that the healed people probably had not been diagnosed right and it was not certain that the cures were triggered by Lourdes and the role of suggestion was not excluded for the records were kept in insufficient detail (Spiritual Healing, page 79). I would add that if records are badly kept then there could be outright blunders in which fiction is reported as fact.

The Lourdes Medical Bureau has proclaimed some cures to be impossible to explain. Other medical bodies have checked its work and found explanations for them (page 150, Looking for a Miracle). This is not surprising for medicine requires a lot of interpreting and opinions. A woman was once found to be miraculously free of a disease in one instance and yet some years later she died from it so her being given the all clear was a mistake! The Encyclopaedia Britannica reported that American doctors found the documentation in favour of 1976 inexplicable cure outlined earlier to be equivocal and unscientific (page 151). It is strange that God says miracles are signs meaning that he will ensure they are verified and then does little about such false misleading claims. Most people would believe them.

It is no wonder that the medical reports that verify healings that are taken as miracles showing the Church should canonise people invoked for the cures as saints are highly confidential in the Vatican. This dishonesty is terrible. The cured people will talk about what happened so what is the Vatican hiding?

FATIMA

The Virgin Mary supposedly appeared six times to three children at Fatima in Portugal in 1917. There wasn’t much written down about the visions before World War Two which leaves considerable scope for Lucia the only surviving visionary to exaggerate and tell lies (page 72, The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary). The other children made no record having died soon after the visions. Lucia kept some things back until 1941 as she admitted in her memoirs.
 
It is disturbing that she never mentioned the prophecy about a second world war and a mysterious light that would be the sign that it was coming until after both took place. Frauds always give prophecies after the event.
 
The most important secret of Fatima about Russia and the need for the whole Church to consecrate the world to Mary and that Portugal will always have the faith was hidden until 1942 (Fatima Revealed … and Discarded, page 134). Hiding the secret was dishonest for the people and the Church have a right to know everything to see if the apparition should be believed or not. She could have made the visions up. Why reveal then and not before unless she was inventing the messages? The Virgin told the children she would see them for six consecutive months on the thirteenth. But on one occasion she did not appear for the children were in custody so she appeared on a later day at Valinhos. The Lady was a liar. She made a mistake in telling Lucia what day the First World War would end and Lucia tried to make out that she misremembered what she had been told. The real Virgin would not have risked letting the children forget. Lucia was making up the messages and she was the leader of the trio.
 
Only part of the crowd, which could have been as large as 70,000 people saw the famous solar miracle (page 78, The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary, page 173, Believing in God,) and there were few written reports about it and no two people saw the same thing. Hysteria and tricks of the light, which are inevitable if one stares at the sun, and outright lies to abet the campaign against the anticlerical government explain everything. Moreover, since even Church approved visions are optional for belief what right would the real Virgin have to ask people to risk eye-damage by looking at the sun to act upon the evidence before the evidence was granted? Apparitions are supposed to remind Catholics about the truths of their faith and do not add to that faith. Yet apparitions like Fatima give new revelations about most people going to Hell for sexual sin and about the need for the world to be saved by consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and gave prophecies. La Salette and Medjugorje and Garabandal all made the same mistake.