Conyers Statement

Archbishop Advises on Claimed Apparitions 
 
By Thea Jarvis

In a statement distributed to the priests of the archdiocese, Archbishop James P. Lyke, OFM, has provided guidance on reported apparitions of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary in Rockdale County.
 
“At this time, circumstances do not warrant a formal investigation into these events,” the statement said, adding that the archbishop was closely monitoring the reaction of the local Church.
 
The statement said that cults and devotional practices should not distract Catholics from the church’s central dogma and liturgical rites. At the same time, “We cannot deny the possibility that God might continue to disclose Himself by means of timely or historical self-revelation,” the statement said. 
 
Noting that the Church “has always approached events of this nature with great caution and advisedly so,” the statement quoted Acts 5: 38-39: “Leave them alone, for if this plan and work of theirs is a man-made thing, it will disappear; but if it comes from God you cannot possibly defeat them.”  
 
Those drawn to the events at Conyers were reminded that the sacramental life of the parish is the main worship of the faithful and that the Eucharist nourishes faith and should be accorded primary devotion.
 
Since the reported apparitions are without any formal Church approval, “no parish facilities may be used for the fostering of any devotion,” but parish priests and pastors should offer counsel and reassurance to those inquiring about the events, the statement said.

Print Issue: September 19, 1991 Georgia Bulletin


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