Greetings once more from France on this anniversary of the apparitions of La Salette!
I am writing after seeing the latest article on Spirit Daily relaying the Aleteia report of the overriding by the CDF of the diocesan approval by Mgr Jozef Punt of the Amsterdam apparitions to Ida Peerdeman.
Olivier Bonnassies, founder of Aleteia, relayed this to me earlier this week, and we immediately set out to investigate where this had come from. What we found was:
i) The source, “I-Media”, had found an article on the blog of the well-known Italian journalist David Murgia (who has written extensively on private revelation) dated August 28.
He had obtained a scan of a letter to Cardinal Rai from the CDF via the Apostolic Nunciature in Lebanon. Cardinal Rai had inquired into the status of the Amsterdam apparitions in connection with his own support for the French visionary “Virginie”, whose apostolate, the Alliance of United Hearts, is openly supported by the Bishop of Bayonne Mgr Marc Aillet. The Alliance of United Hearts has been campaigning for the Fifth Marian Dogma, hence Cardinal Rai’s inquiry to the CDF.
ii) In the scan of the CDF letter, it nowhere appears that the apparitions to Ida Peerdeman have been declared “false”. It seems that David Murgia over-reacted and has caused a serious misunderstanding by including the word “false” in quotation marks at the top of his blog article. This was then simply repeated in French on Aleteia (where, additionally, a portion of the CDF letter was mis-translated).
iii) The scan of the CDF document simply says that the Vatican position is unchanged since May 25, 1974: non constat de supernaturalitate. We all know that this is not a formal condemnation. But the document then goes on to tell Cardinal Rai that disseminating devotion to Our Lady of All Nations “non sia conveniente”; i.e. is not appropriate.
iv) In other words, it is clear that this does represent a refusal by the CDF to acknowledge the 2002 decision of Mgr Punt. This is certainly a major blow to supporters of the campaign for the Fifth Marian Dogma (including myself). However, the CDF’s letter to Cardinal Rai does not constitute a constat de non supernaturalitate and there is no reference to a new inquiry or new data since 2005. This effectively means that the case of Ida Peerdeman cannot logically be regarded as closed.
I would be very grateful if you could correct the [Aleteia] article so as not to propagate further the journalistic error of David Murgia and I-Media.
Blessings to you and your ministry!
Peter Bannister, Cluny, France
I have been in contact with the Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam and Bishop Punt directly, who have confirmed that there are serious errors in your recently published article concerning the Lady of All Nations from the French Aleteia, and they respectfully request an immediate correction regarding the following points:
- There is no official letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith on this issue. The Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam has not received any letter. There is only a private letter from the Nuncio in Lebanon after some contact with the Congregation. In this private letter, the Nuncio never states that “the apparitions are false,” but only refers to the 1974 non constat de supernaturalitate decision, and leaves out all further developments since 1974, the documentation of which is contained in the recent letter of Bishop Punt of 15 September 2020. You can confirm this yourself as the letter has been published in Lebanon.+
- Bishop Punt did in no way overrule his predecessor, Bishop Bomers. They worked together for years, and had the same identical positive position regarding the authenticity of the Amsterdam apparitions. In fact, Bishop Bomers presided over the funeral of the visionary and spoke very positively about the visionary.
It is requested that you please correct these most serious errors as soon as possible.