The Church has not yet spoken its final word concerning the alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Garabandal. Bishop Doroteo Fernandez, Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Santander had established a commission to investigate the events. The commission was composed of two doctors and three priests and was to have studied events that spanned four years and included hundreds of alleged apparitions. No member of the commission went to the village more that three times.
The Church's position as quoted in the GARABANDAL Magazine, January '88 .."They never went in a body, never had a plenary meeting, nor did they ever issue a common report. Some expressed their negative opinions beforehand and publicly. One member resigned because he did not agree with the methods of the commission. Another member, Father Saez, was favourable to the thesis of the supernatural divine"...Independent studies disclosed highly suspect methods and procedures in the procedure of the commission. Experts on Garabandal today do not regard them as either objective or serious. Bishop Fernandez sent his report to the Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith, which commended his work and accepted his evaluation, without adding any comments of its own. The succeeding bishop maintained the same position.
Bishop Juan Antonio del Val Gallo, until his retirement in 1991, realizing the enormous shortcomings of the work of the first commission, instituted a new private investigation in 1986. In the fall of 1986 he went to Rome and submitted new documentation on Garabandal to the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. After his visit to Rome, the bishop issued a directive whereby visiting priests to Garabandal were now free to celebrate Mass on their own in the village church. This constituted the lifting of restrictions that had been imposed in 1962.
Dr. Morales, had been the chief medical examiner of the first commission. In 1977 he had a change of heart. As his wife lay dying of cancer in a Santander clinic he asked S-ra Maria Herrero de Gallardo to borrow her crucifix, kissed by the Virgin at Garabandal to give to his wife. From then his attitude to Garabandal changed. Eventually in 1983, with the new bishop's approval, he gave a public lecture on Garabandal defending its authenticity. He repeated this lecture two days later in Madrid. Bishop del Val Gallo expressed that he was favourable of reopening the investigations. He was especially qualified to deal with Garabandal and treat properly the various aspects of this considerable problem. He had been bishop of Santander for twelve years, and had also been a member of the first commission in 1961, and as such had witnessed at least one ecstasy. He was a friend of Dr. Morales; and it was he who finally broke the silence of 22 years about Garabandal.
Bishop del Val Gallo was interviewed again in 1992. He confirmed his earlier decisions and indicated that this study was completed in April, 1991, and that the results were presented to Cardinal Ratzinger.
Among the many supporters of the authenticity of the apparitions were Padre Pio and Dr. Morales. The late Cardinal Ottaviani invited Conchita to Rome and interviewed her. He was favourably impressed. Conchita was also received by Pope Paul VI, who said to her: "I bless you and the whole Church blesses you."
Garabandal is still under investigation. My personal interest began when I was approached by Dr. Michael and Helen Rozeluk. I listened to their story. I was convinced of the truth of their account of the miraculous healing. With my blessing they visited various communities with their testimony and they prayed for healing. I myself participated in several of these prayer events, and witnessed several miraculous healings. This for me was a confirmation that Our Lady was truly present in Garabandal and through these miraculous healings confirmed the truth of Her messages. As the Church requires of its faithful, I likewise submit my judgement to the final judgement of the Church. I likewise commend all those who read this testimony to the prayers of the Mother of God, the messenger of heaven in these critical times.
Roman Danylak, Titular Bishop of Nyssa
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