Church lies by omissions re Lourdes 

The Catholic Church has not told you the whole truth about Bernadette's visions at Lourdes


Book extracts for this research are from:


Outbreak!: The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior:


The Church argues that Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary during a series of apparitions at a grotto in Lourdes, France in 1858.


As you will see, the Church arbitrarily chose Bernadette as the only true visionary at the grotto of Lourdes. Though nobody else reported visions along with Bernadette, she had competition. And some of the competition was good. Josephine Albario was one alleged visionary and the well-loved and respected Marie Courrech was another. The latter is as convincing as Bernadette if not better. Her account was very similar - even down to the urge to go to see the vision at the grotto.


This shows that either the Church was being dishonest and strategic or incompetent.


It casts doubt on the value of its research and objectivity.


Estrade the respected writer about the visions noted how Bernadette's story got special treatment.


Our source here, quotes remember are from the excellent book Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behaviour by Hilary Evans and Robert Bartholomew, gives us great light on how the Church cherry-picked data to make a seemingly real visionary out of Bernadette.


Here is a citation:


Estrade's experience with Josephine Albario indicates how the evaluation of an apparition experience is as subjective as the experience itself. Cros, how was the first to pay serious attention to the "false" visionaries, was clearly unhappy to dismiss them all so summarily, and the trouble he took to obtain their accounts at first hand suggests that he may have felt the Church had too prematurely dismissed them. For skeptics who doubt whether even Bernadette herself encountered Mary, the line that separates her experience from those of the "false visionaries" is by no means self-evident.

And another


Marie Courrech was an orphan, age about 30, and employed as a domestic servant in the household of the Mayor of Lourdes, Monsieur Lacade. "She ran about the house all day, there was so much work; looking after the children, doing the bedrooms, shopping, cooking..." A contemporary described her as "very ignorant and very humble." She was, in fact, illiterate. Everyone, whether or not they believed in her visions, considered her to be be honest and pious. "I loved the Holy Virgin since I was a child", she said. When Bernadette was asked if anyone else had seen Mary, Marie was the only one she acknowledged: "There is the servant of the mayor who has also seen her, on the last day that I saw her [16 July]." Cros took down her account in person:


The first time I heard about Bernadette, they said she was bewitched, crazy. I came to the Grotto one morning only. It seemed to me that she saw something: I never had a bad opinion of her. The sight of her gave me pious feelings: I prayed (on my knees) like the others, I wanted very much to see her, that's all.


The 17 April I went down to the Grotto to pray there, I didn't want to go, others asked me, Would you like to come to the Grotto? I don't care to go, I haven't got time. Someone asked M. Lacade [her employer], he allowed me to go. There were three or four of us, it was two or three in the afternoon. We found other people there, praying. I placed myself facing the niche [where Bernadette had seen the apparition] about ten paces distant, and we began to pray. I had great devotion and recited the rosary. I hadn't finished the rosary, I was gazing at the niche, when I saw something like a person, but without any light either before, during, or after. That day, I was astonished, so much so that I didn't know where I was: I was happy, not knowing I was at the Grotto. The person I saw was 15 or 15 years old, dressed all in white. I didn't pay attention to her face, nor her feet, or her hands. It vanished and I was astonished to find myself there, with these other women. I got up and walked away; I was crying. I spoke with the women; they had seen nothing. Back home, I felt the need to be alone and to cry; I wept as I went about my work. That evening I asked myself, My god, what can this be? I thought it might be an illusion created by the demon, I thought all kinds of things.


For two or three days I didn't think of going back, but then the following week one day I felt a strong urge to go there. I went down before daybreak before mass, which I heard on my way home. I went down alone to the Grotto, I wasn't afraid. I positioned myself in the same place, on my knees, with my rosary ... a few minutes later, it appeared, I don't know how. I saw the Holy Virgin quite clearly, in a long white veil which reached to the ground; and a little of her blond hair, wide blue eyes, smiling except when she said to me, Pray for the sinners .... I didn't see her for long, two or three minutes, then she vanished...She said to me, God and drink. take the water three times. Saying that she vanished.


Now we look at the testimony of her friend Antoinette Garros,


In her ecstasies, she looked just as Bernadette did, but she had more joy than Bernadette...One day she was in ecstasy on the far side of the river from the Grotto, on her knees, and she seemed to want to throw herself into the river to reach the Grotto. Her eyes were focussed on the niche. I held her by the waist, I felt her struggles, I could feel her heart pounding like violent blows...People watching began to shout, Let her go: if she crosses the river, it will be a miracle. But I didn't listen to them, I was more intent on preventing her drowning herself, and I said to myself, if the Holy Virgin wants her to cross the river, she can snatch her out of my arms.


A researcher declares:


Many accepted that Marie's apparitions were authentic. She made one or two predictions, such as that a supposedly dying child would recover, which proved correct. She seems to have been universally liked and respected. However, although she was questioned about her experiences, the Church never formally interrogated her and no formal evaluation of her claims was made. Instead they were informally rejected along with those of all the visionaries except Bernadette. To a cynic, it might appear that the Church felt that one visionary at a time was as much as they could handle.


Marie had to be kept one time from falling into the river and drowning. Catholics argue that this shows her visions were from Satan. But the accounts don't say she endangered herself on purpose! And what about Bernadette putting rotting infected matter into her mouth in the quest for the spring the lady told her to drink from? The lady did not stop her from degrading herself but watched her.


Believers argue that the other visionaries were deluded or fake. But they just assume this instead of weighing the pros and cons. Why? The other visionaries give evidence that there may have been magical but malevolent forces at work.


Bernadette herself said that during an apparition:


I was not afraid to die, but I was terrified by the voices coming from the back of the grotto. They were evil voices clashing in a guttural, angry way. Save yourself, get out of here, they shrieked. The Lady raised her eyes, frowned at where the voices were, and there was peace.


Bernadette told lies.


Bewildered, I looked across the mill-stream to a niche above a cave in the rock of Massabielle. A rosebush on the edge of the niche was swaying in the wind. It was all that moved. All else was still. A golden cloud came out of the cave and flooded the niche with radiance. Then a lady, young and beautiful, exceedingly beautiful, the like of whom I had never seen, stood on the edge of the niche. She smiled and smiled at me, beckoning me to come closer as though she were my mother, and she gave me to understand in my soul that I was not mistaken. The Lady was dressed in white, with a white veil on her head, and a blue sash at her waist. A Rosary of white beads on a golden chain was on her right arm. On that cold winter's day, her feet were bare, but on each foot was a golden rose radiant with the warmth of summer.


That account of the first vision does not match her earliest accounts of how she saw a white thing like a girl and she called it the thing.


A visionary called Marie Bernard saw entities make indecent gestures in the grotto.


After a vision he had, a lad "went into a bedroom and started climbing up the curtains of the bed, with hideous grimaces: he was grinding or gnashing his teeth, and his eyes had a wild look."


Remember how Bernadette herself as good as authenticated Marie Courrech and agreed with her that the vision was blond with blue eyes! The real Mary would have been an ordinary dark haired Jewish girl. Both girls agreed that they saw something. They called it an it. That vagueness is not very inspiring and suggests that if they saw something they were helped along by imagination to turn a shape into the virgin.


If there were witnesses who saw nothing but a spiritualistic shape in the grotto they were hardly like to tell anybody.


Other claimants to visions at the grotto were just dismissed. Not investigated. Dismissed. Their stories did not reflect well on Bernadette's entity assuming they were as valid as she was. Honesty means you check all out. The other Lourdes visionaries should not be assumed to be having encounters with a different or imagined entity. Visionaries too often have form for exaggerating what they have seen in order to avoid sounding mad or stupid. Padre Pio said a mysterious stranger gave him his wound marks. Later it became "Jesus crucified gave me wounds in a vision". "We see something", was a ringing endorsement of the clarity of the Medjugorje vision!

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