Criticisms and responses to the Divine Mercy devotion November 18, 2013Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Grace, Interior Life, religious, Saints, sanctity, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
My Polish friends will likely disavow me over this, but I found some interesting discussion regarding the Divine Mercy Chaplet/Devotion at P Blosser’s site and I thought I’d share some of the data. It’s a funny thing. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is one of those items in the Church – and there are a fair number of them – where the more you dig, the less clear it becomes. On the surface, one sees a canonized Saint and papally approved devotion. Then one reads of earlier condemnations of the devotion back in the late 50s. But then one reads again of bad translations and perhaps an overly hasty condemnation. But one digs deeper and finds that maybe that original condemnation was not so hasty. It’s all so confusing.
Irrespective, here is some of the best data I found. Below is a short summation of the earliest condemnation of the Divine Mercy devotion:
Pius XII … placed this devotion, including the apparitions and the writings of Sr. Faustina on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books).
Next, came other prohibitions made by Pope John XXIII. Twice in his pontificate, the Holy Office issued condemnations of the Divine Mercy writings.
Not once, but twice under Pope John XXIII, this particular devotion was condemned through the Holy Office. The first condemnation was in a plenary meeting held on November 19, 1958. The declaration from the Holy Office issued these three statements about this devotion:
- There is no evidence of the supernatural origin of these revelations….
- No feast of Divine Mercy should be instituted….
- It is forbidden to disseminate the images and writings propagating this devotion under the form received by Sr. Faustina.
Now, via a commenter at pblosser’s site, a defense against this condemnation:
The condemnations of the devotion and writings of Faustina stemmed largely from judgments based on faulty Italian translations of the diary. It is important to remember that Faustina’s formal education didn’t extend past about 2nd Grade elementary school. She tended to spell things phoenetically and her grammar was poor; moreover, she did not employ a rigorous mechanism for dileniating in her text where the interlouctions with Our Lord and Lady stopped and started, relative to her own thoughts and words. When the Diary was first compiled from the handwritten text (during World War II), there was not the luxury of time to carefully analyze it and provide a critical apparatus for working around those shortcoming. When it was translated into Italian, the problems were compounded. In those early translations, it was not possible to easily determine whether Faustina’s references to “mercy” and “my mercy” and various other spiritual favors and promises referred to her own person or to Our Lord. The rest is history – for a period of nearly 20 years, the devotion and Diary were censured by Rome.
Diane K from Te Deum Laudamus offered some more explanatory material:
But just as you’re thinking, OK, the Divine Mercy devotion must be OK, along comes another commenter which goes to yet another level, casting more doubt. The below offers some interesting insights, as much for how these devotions get publicized and promoted in today’s Church as for its doctrinal content:
But, finally, here is a sermon from about the best priest I personally know on the subject, endorsing the practice and explaining much of the history:
I have had some folks asking me of late what I thought of the Divine Mercy devotion, which is why I am putting this post up. It’s highly providential to me that Professor Blosser got the discussion started.
I actually do pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, but I am nowhere near as attached to it as I am to the Rosary and certain other prayers, especially some Novenas. It is a private revelation/devotion – you can be a 100% perfectly orthodox Catholic and say pbbbt to the whole thing.
I present the above so you can have a pretty well-rounded view of this devotion and make your own determination.
But the messenger will be shot, on schedule.