samedi 11 juin 2011

Species of Vision in Fatima

Ratzinger, under John Paul II:

In this field, theological anthropology distinguishes three forms of perception or “vision”: vision with the senses, and hence exterior bodily perception, interior perception, and spiritual vision (visio sensibilis - imaginativa - intellectualis). It is clear that in the visions of Lourdes, Fatima and other places it is not a question of normal exterior perception of the senses: the images and forms which are seen are not located spatially, as is the case for example with a tree or a house. This is perfectly obvious, for instance, as regards the vision of hell (described in the first part of the Fatima “secret”) or even the vision described in the third part of the “secret”. But the same can be very easily shown with regard to other visions, especially since not everybody present saw them, but only the “visionaries”. It is also clear that it is not a matter of a “vision” in the mind, without images, as occurs at the higher levels of mysticism. Therefore we are dealing with the middle category, interior perception. For the visionary, this perception certainly has the force of a presence, equivalent for that person to an external manifestation to the senses.

Source (you will have to scroll down):

My take is that in Fatima and Lourdes it was exterior vision. And that children were chosen because they were too young to have been told that such is the main deception of the devil, and too innocent to be diabolic. When a parson of Lourdes asked for a Rose miracle, it was also by exterior vision that he saw the roses.

I also exclude purely intellectual vision, because there are too many physical or such-seeming details.

I exclude inner vision, because neither is it easily mistaken for sensible vision, nor are children usually prone to such confusion. Not unless they have high fever or yet a few minutes before they rub their eyes in the morning.

It is true that inner vision is not always verbally distinguished from sensible vision by the one reporting, nevertheless, it is obvious that a few questions can clarify the thing. Also, both in Fatima and in La Salette, there were more than one seer, which is one reason to exclude inner vision: such is not shared identically between several persons.

However, resolving for sensible vision, I meet a few pseudocriteria used by Ratzinger under influence, I doubt not, of some academic fad to which he was exposed under John Paul II (one reason to oppose a canonisation of that man, unless it can be shown he tried to abdicate from papacy the last month when he had no voice: if he knew what papacy meant he had no business to allow that kind of fads to fester in the Church he was supposed to be Pope of).

- "the images and forms which are seen are not located spatially, as is the case for example with a tree or a house"

Did the cardinal mean the Lady in White looked transparent? Inner visions are a dear plaything to young children, and I know that either one closes one's eyes or the spacially not located vision is transparent and shows the things "behind it" as perfectly visible and not hidden.

- But the same can be very easily shown with regard to other visions, especially since not everybody present saw them, but only the “visionaries”.

Confer St Thomas Aquinas:

I answer that, As stated in the foregoing Article, the prophetic revelation takes place in four ways: namely, by the infusion of an intelligible light, by the infusion of intelligible species, by impression or coordination of pictures in the imagination, and by the outward presentation of sensible images. Now it is evident that there is no abstraction from the senses, when something is presented to the prophet's mind by means of sensible species--whether these be divinely formed for this special purpose, as the bush shown to Moses (Exodus 3:2), and the writing shown to Daniel (Daniel 5)--or whether they be produced by other causes; yet so that they are ordained by Divine providence to be prophetically significant of something, as, for instance, the Church was signified by the ark of Noah.

All examples given in same article of prophecy granted in other ways than by "outward presentation of sensible species" were about prophets who were alone in prophecy.


In article 8 of III:76, the vision "on part of the beholders" (rather than the beheld) is distinguished by either ONE man alone seeing the extraordinary vision of the Most Holy Eucharist but others seeing something else, bread, or, again, ONE man in ONE hour seeing the extraordinary vision and the next hour seeing bread.

Now, in Fatima and Lourdes, it was not any case of Our Lady looking to others as something else and only to seers as Our Lady. It was a case of Our Lady looking as Our Lady to the seers and not being seen by anyone else. Which is different. Also, in Fatima and La Salette, Our Lady appeared to more than one seer. Therefore it was not a case of a merely subjective vision, but there was an object to be seen.

Why? Because, I think, believing both visions or all three of them to be genuine, that Our Lady chose a method adapted to countering the scepticism.

We live in an age when inner visions - such as Tolkien certainly used for making his work, although it was not a case of receiving a prophetic message but of writing art - are looked down upon so clearly as untruths, even if not, even if he never mistook them for exterior reality and even if they show symbolic truth. We also live in an age when widespread reading and storytelling has made inner visions easier to achieve than to avoid for many. Therefore the medium of the prophecy was:

- poor children with not too much imagination
- exterior visions, in two cases shared by more than one seer.

As I have been put to some kind of rebuke for "false prophecy", I say that this I do not say as a prophet, but simply as a reader of St Thomas Aquinas, who is a good theoologian.* And one read about the apparitions of Fatima and Lourdes.*

Sorry, the man known as Pope had, before the conclave, some lacunae in theology. He loved too much a pseudo-discipline he called "theological anthropology". See first sentence of quote above. Even if it started out as innocent, it had degenerated into a pseudo-discipline in Ratzinger's hands.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Georges Pompidou Library
of Paris,
Pentecost Eve of 2011

*Theologian. And as one read about. Errors and the numbers in post-ID may be due to some curse or excommunication.