Vatican cracks down on "seers"

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has rejected claims of a British woman who says that Our Lady has been appearing to her for more than 20 years.

The London Telegraph says the Vatican has dismissed as a fraud, her claims that the Virgin Mary has been appearing in a pine tree at her Surrey home since 1984.

67 year old Patricia De Menezes has developed an international following since she first began "seeing" the apparition, dubbed "Our Lady of Surbiton".

The freelance jewellery designer insists that she has been given a divine message urging the Church to proclaim aborted babies as martyrs.

But her Community of Divine Innocence, which has devotees in nearly 50 countries, has now suffered a significant blow to its credibility.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has crushingly rejected her appeals for formal recognition by the Pope.

Congregation Secretary Archbishop Angelo Amato has labelled the claims "exaggerated" and "hysterical".

The Catholic Church in England and Wales rejected her claims in 2001, but she then sought approval for her movement from Rome.

The Archdiocese of Southwark, in which she lives, welcomed the ruling by the Holy See, indicating that it meant the sect had no backing from the Church.

Vatican rejects woman's Virgin Mary claim

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Wikipedia)
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Vatican)
Community of Divine Innocence

24 Sep 2007