With All the Korea Hubbub…

…some Catholics are working themselves into a terror over the alleged apparitions of Our Lady at Akita.  Not so fast:

In 1981, after studying the case, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had reached a negative decision regarding the visions and messages of Akita, and the supposed supernatural events that took place there. After reading the report, Bishop Ito found that a number of details had not been submitted to the congregation, so he sent them to Rome, with a request that the case be re-evaluated in light of this new information. By the time Bishop Ito was ready to retire, the congregation had not reached a decision, which explains his statement about waiting for the Holy See’s “definitive judgment on this matter.”

No approval

Nonetheless, statements that the CDF and Cardinal Ratzinger specifically had recognized Akita as an approved apparition circulated soon after Bishop Ito released his letter. Then, in 1990, Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, president of Japan’s conference of bishops, gave an interview to 30 Days, an Italian Catholic magazine, in which he said bluntly, “The events of Akita are no longer to be taken seriously.”

Given all the conflicting information, in 1999 Christian Order, a British Catholic magazine, sent a formal query to the apostolic nuncio in Japan, Archbishop Ambrose de Paoli. He replied: “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has asked me to respond to your query re: Akita. … The Holy See has never given any kind of approval to either the events or messages of Akita.”

It appears, then, that Akita is not an approved apparition and the apocalyptic warnings we have read recently are not “worthy of belief.”

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