Last month the Vatican declared that a Marian academy will be assisting in investigating Marian apparitions throughout the world. As a reference post, please see https://international.la-croix.com/...pparitions-and-other-mystical-phenomena/17672 The head of the Academy, Father Stefano Cecchin was interviewed by a Spanish website about the goals of the Academy and the interview is posted below (google translated) from this link: https://alfayomega-es.translate.goo...l=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp How was the observatory on apparitions and mystical phenomena linked to the figure of the Virgin born? It arises to give an answer to all the problems, to the confusion that certain false apparitions have created. In the 19th century, under the influence of positivism, the Church almost denied the supernatural; she didn't care. But the problem is that if you ignore it, cults can be born, as has already happened. Latin America is a rampant example of the proliferation of santeros, healers, gurus... people who want to take advantage of the credulity of the people and their pain. Then there is the danger of infiltration by the mafias, who know that the sanctuaries are a source of money. For this reason, it is the bishops themselves who have explicitly asked us for a sound and solid Mariology. What will your role be? We are not here to take the place of the bishops; We only offer training. We try to help them, because they often face situations of this type and do not know what to do, they are not prepared. Either they deny the phenomenon or they ventilate it in a positive way too quickly; other times they are very condescending. For this reason, when a bishop does not know what to do or wants to create a study commission, he calls us. It must be clear that the Pontifical International Marian Academy(PAMI) is a body that reports directly to the Roman Curia. We are the only ones competent in the subject of the figure of Mary in the whole world. Our scholars are accredited by the Holy See. In other words, we are recognized as experts in this discipline and, therefore, with the right to intervene. When we get down to work, we do so with a certificate from the Holy See that accredits us as trustworthy people, without external interests. But it is the bishops who make the final judgment and have the last word. What happens if it starts to be a phenomenon that crosses borders and is not limited to local reality? If the phenomenon expands and becomes worldwide, as in Medjugorje, for example, then the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith intervenes. It also intervenes when there is a doctrinal or theological problem. What type? Can you give an example? We have a clear example in the studies on mother Ágreda. She was condemned by the Inquisition because she said that Mary is the mother of the Church. It was taken as a theological error, but it was not. Do you have an assigned budget? No, we do not receive any remuneration for doing this. We work for free. This reinforces our independence. We have no interest other than the good of the Church. But this can also limit the work... Our work is more of coordination. At the moment we cannot do bilocations [laughs]. But now with the internet it's easier. Our idea is to create a network of specialists based in all parts of the world, so that all dioceses have a specific place where they can find experts, who will be in charge of dealing with these phenomena if they arise. For this we will have the different national Mariological Societies. We will also offer online courses . They analyze stigmata and lacrimation The Vatican presented on April 13 the International Observatory on apparitions and mystical phenomena linked to the Virgin Mary, which is part of the Pontifical Marian Academy. The objective is to create a network of experts to study cases of Marian apparitions, lacrimations, interior locutions, stigmata and other mystical phenomena whose authenticity has not been approved by the Church. How does the study commission work? The apparitions are examined with a magnifying glass in an interdisciplinary way from a scientific perspective. The commission is made up of doctors, lawyers, psychologists... It is necessary to analyse, for example, the morality of the visionaries, their physical and mental state or if there are conditioning factors or external interests. Voting then proceeds. Each member of the commission issues a written judgment, gives his vote, his positive or negative opinion. This material is given to the bishop for him to decide. What elements can make you suspect that it is something false? The Holy See issued clear rules on this in 1978. Therefore, there is a protocol in place. But there are warning signs. Does a mother want to punish her children by sending them illnesses, death...? No way. So the apparitions that speak of God's punishments are absolutely false. What is the role of the Pope in all this? It must be made clear that the apparitions are private revelations. They do not add or subtract from public revelations, so the approval of the Pope is not necessary. There never will be, there never has been. If the Pontiff goes to a place where apparitions have already been approved, it is always with a pastoral meaning. In addition, it must be clear that in the field of Canon Law there is no word apparition. For the Church there are apparitions or mystical phenomena, but in legal discourse we speak of a place of pilgrimage. They are two different things. For example, in the case of Medjugorje, the apparition may not be approved, but the place of pilgrimage is. Was it easier now to undertake an investigation of this type? In the past it was more difficult to find documents, but today it is more difficult to keep at bay all the influences that can distort the messages. The time has changed. We have more resources and more experts. For example, tears of blood are analyzed with DNA tests and thus can be compared with other apparitions.