CDF Notification Regarding the Present Ecclesiastical Status of the
Apparitions of the Queen of the Rosary and of Peace in Itapiranga, Brazil
The reported apparitions and subsequent messages from the “Queen of the Rosary and of Peace,” as received by the visionary, Edson Glauber Cloutinho, have, up to the present time, received several forms of official ecclesiastical approval.
In a “Decree of Worship,” dated January 31, 2010, Dom Carillo Gritti, Bishop of Itacoatiara, granted official Church approval for pilgrimages and public worship to be celebrated in the chapel where the apparitions of the Queen of the Rosary and of Peace first took place:
After carefully studying the events, I authorize these pilgrimages and the public cult to be celebrated in the chapel or in the area known as “The Cross,” to invoke Our Lady under the title of Queen of the Rosary and of Peace… This Order of Worship (Decreto de Culto) seeks to promote the spiritual life of God’s people arriving here to honor the apparitions of Our Lady, the devotion of which originated in this place (Official Itacoatiara Diocesan Decree, January 31, 2010).
In a further public diocesan letter by Bishop Gritti which makes reference to the May 2, 2010 initiation of a sanctuary specifically requested in the apparitions, Bishop Gritti acknowledged the visionary, Edson Glauber Cloutinho as “a sincere and devout bearer of visions worthy of being appreciated.” In the same document, Bishop Gritti goes on to state: “The conversions that only God, through the intercession of Mary, can operate have been for me, and other enlightened souls, enough and sufficient reason to see in the visions and messages, the finger of God.” Moreover, the first line of the letter by Bishop Gritti directly stated that “Our Lady manifested herself to Edson Glauber Cloutinho.”
It was precisely this strong ecclesiastical support from Bishop Gritti (who died in 2016), that first led me to particular interest to the Itapiranga apparitions back in 2014. I was then informed that the messages had not yet been translated into English, and therefore undertook the process of commissioning three native Brazilian Portuguese translators to make the messages of the Queen of the Rosary and of Peace available to the English-speaking world. The book, The Three Hearts, was first published on October 13, 2017 and constitutes a synthesis of the “heart” of the messages, as identified by the visionary, Edson Glauber.
On November 30, 2017, a news report on the Spirit Daily website stated that the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith sent an “internal letter” to the Diocese of Itacoatiara. In this CDF letter, which is reportedly a response to a previous letter from one local diocesan administrator who allegedly conveyed questionable information regarding the apparitions and surrounding events concerning the sanctuary to the CDF, the Congregation voiced doubts about the apparitions in a manner which differed from the previous positive statements of the local bishop. The local bishop according to the Church’s own teaching and praxis, has the proper ecclesiastical authority of the first level of discernment regarding apparitions within his diocese. This news report was the first time I was made aware of any possible statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith regarding the Itapiranga apparitions.
Within normal and appropriate Church protocol concerning an apparition which has already received forms of local Church approval, a comprehensive study of the apparitions by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith would take place before any thought or action of reversing any existing positive statements by the local bishop. Such a thorough investigation would typically include direct interviews and discussion with the visionary himself; examination of the interviews/testimonies of the hundreds of pilgrims who have reported profound spiritual fruits and miraculous healings stemming from the apparitions; proper medico-scientific evaluations of the reported ecstasy of the visionary and other concurrent phenomena; as well as extensive theological, medical, psychological evaluations and reports—in short, something similar to the Vatican Commission in regards to the Medjugorje apparitions (commonly referred to as the “Ruini Report”), which was a process of investigation which took several years. To date and to my knowledge, no such comprehensive investigation of anything comparable to the Ruini Report had been conducted by the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith regarding Itapiranga. Moreover, at the time of the November 30 report, the refeneced CDF letter was internal in nature and had not been officially nor publicly promulgated by either the Congregation or the present bishop of Itacoatiara. I therefore waited for an official promulgation of this reported letter from either the CDF or the local bishop.
On Dec 6, 2017, I was notified that the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith which had been sent to the Prelature of Itacoatiara, has now been officially published on the website of the Diocese of Itacoatiara. The letter from the CDF, dated last February 7, 2017, states that, in their opinion, the apparitions and messages reported by Edson are not authentic and, subsequently, that the messages should not be distributed within the Diocese. Within the hour, I immediately notified the publisher of The Three Hearts book to suspend all distribution of the book until further notice in complete obedience to the now published directives of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith regarding the messages of Itapiranga.
I therefore encourage all other followers of the Itapiranga messages to respond in full obedience to the present directives issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. While, from a theological and personal perspective, I continue to privately belief in the authenticity, importance, and beauty of the “alleged” messages of the Queen of the Rosary and of Peace, (a personal belief which the Church herself permits before a final and definitive judgment), nonetheless it is the virtue of obedience to proper Church authority that most pleases Our Lady and which should be the response to this CDF Notification by all true sons and daughters of the Church. Moreover, while I likewise personally hope, as was the case with the temporarily prohibited private revelations and mystical experiences of St. Pio and of St. Faustina’s messages of Divine Mercy, that this present prohibition will eventually be overturned, nevertheless, obedience to proper Church authority must be observed in the process.
Devotees of Itapiranga are certainly free within the proper dictates of the Church to respectfully contact the bishop successor of Bishop Gritti in the prelature of Itacoatiara or the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith directly in order to respectfully request a comprehensive re-examination of the Itapiranga event.
Let us pray for the fulfillment of God’s perfect will concerning the events at Itapiranga, while at the same time remaining in full obedience of mind and heart to the rightful authorities of the Church, which, once again, ultimately brings the most honor and consolation to the Heart of the Immaculate Mother of God and our own Mother.
Dr. Mark Miravalle
December 8, 2017
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
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