BAGAC, Bataan, Jan. 31, 2017 – Following reports of a supposed “dancing sun” during the closing Mass of the 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, on Jan. 20, priests caution the faithful about believing such paranormal occurrences, saying it is still better to put greater faith in the Sacraments.
“Due to the possibility of mass deception as well as diabolical influence in these paranormal happenings, the Church had never paid attention to these phenomena in considering the veracity and genuineness of any alleged private revelations,” said Diocese of Novaliches exorcist Fr. Ambrosio Nonato Legaspi in an interview with CBCPNews, noting however that the said “miracle” did not happen in connection to any seer or visionary.
The priest cited as an example of such deception the case of Judiel Nieva of Agoo, La Union fame. Despite extraordinary phenomena surrounding the alleged apparitions, the local Church authorities declared the case as having no supernatural source whatsoever after thorough investigation.
‘Stand alone’ phenomena
“But given that the most recent phenomena associated with the Divine Mercy celebrations are considered ‘stand alone’ phenomena, i.e., they are just observed independent from any claim of private revelations received by seers, we have all the more reasons to be careful in labelling these as ‘miracles.’ Discernment is essential for those who claim they have just witnessed a ‘miracle,’” cautioned Legaspi.
According to him, moral conversion should actually be the basis of judging the authenticity of a religious phenomenon. He urged witnesses to instead focus on the content of the conferences and Eucharistic celebrations of the recently concluded international event. These conveyed the “entirety of the message of mercy,” he stressed.
This message is supposedly the true reason, he said, for experiencing a “grace-filled” event that could actually bring about the spiritual conversion of the faithful.
“The talks, the Sacraments, and the Real Presence of Jesus, Lord of Divine Mercy, really present in the Most Holy Eucharist, are the genuine sources of moral conversions of the participants. Can witnessing a whirling sun accomplish these conversions?” added Legaspi.
Distracted from the Mass?
For another priest, the timing of the so-called miracle of the “dancing sun” made it already suspect.
“Why would Jesus make the sun dance during Holy Communion–like the one I experienced in Judiel’s case back when I was still a seminarian?” Fr. Aristeo De Leon, director of Catechetical Ministry of the Diocese of Novaliches, wondered aloud during a phone interview on Jan. 24.
The priest, who also serves as spiritual director of the Divine Mercy Apostolate in the Novaliches Diocese, was concelebrating the closing Holy Mass of WACOM4 when the alleged phenomenon was observed by many.
To stress the fact that the phenomenon could not have come from God, De Leon further observed that, “People’s attention have been diverted to the ‘dancing sun’ instead of [focusing on] Jesus, Whom they [just] received during Holy Communion; that was His Real Presence there!”
According to Legaspi, the mystic saints have always warned the faithful about paying undue attention to extraordinary phenomena accompanying one’s prayer life, because they are “not essential to our call to holiness.” A close examination of the extraordinary experiences of some pseudo-mystics (false mystics) who were misled by diabolical influences will prove the validity of these warnings, he added.
WACOM4’s closing Mass ceremonies, officiated by Nueva Segovia Archbishop Marlo Peralta, D.D., with Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, D.D., was an occasion to commission the more than 5,000-strong delegation to “go to the ends of the world as ‘missionaries and messengers of mercy’. (Minnie Agdeppa / CBCPNews)