THE DECLARATION BY BISHOP JOSEPH PUNT REGARDING THE
SUPERNATURAL AUTHENTICITY OF THE APPARITIONS OF THE LADY OF ALL
May 31, 2002
In Response to Inquiries Concerning the Lady of All Nations Apparitions
As Bishop of Haarlem/Amsterdam, I have been requested to make a
statement regarding the authenticity of the apparitions of Mary
as the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam during the years of 1945
- 1959. Many members of the faithful and bishops have emphasized
the urgency for clarification. I also have been personally aware
that this development of devotion, which has spanned over 50 years,
call for this.
As it is known, my predecessor, Msgr. H. Bomers and myself had previously
given permission for public veneration in 1996. As to the supernatural
character of the apparitions and contents of the messages, we did
not give our judgment, but declared that "everyone is free
to make a judgment for himself or herself according to their conscience."
Having had a generally positive attitude towards authenticity, we
decided to await further development and to "the spirit"
further (cf. 1 Thes 5; 19-21).
Over the period of six subsequent years, I observed that the devotion
had taken its place in the spiritual life of millions all over the
world, and that it possesses the support of many bishops. Many experiences
of conversion and reconciliation, as well as healings and special
protection also have been reported to me. In full recognition of
the responsibility of the Holy See, it is primarily the task of
the local bishop to speak out in conscience regarding the authenticity
of private revelations that take place or have taken place within
Therefore I have asked once again for the advice of theologians
and psychologists concerning the outcomes of previous investigations,
and the questions and objections deriving from them. Their recommendations
state that no theological or psychological impediments for a declaration
of supernatural authenticity can be found therein. I have also requested
the judgment of a number of brother bishops concerning the fruits
and development of the devotion, who within their own dioceses have
experienced a strong devotion to Mary as the Mother and Lady of
All Nations. In light and virtue of all these recommendations, testimonies,
and developments, and in pondering all this in prayer and theological
reflection, I have come to the conclusion that the apparitions of
the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam consist of a supernatural origin.
Naturally, the influence of the human element still exists. Authentic
images and visions are always transmitted to us, in the words of
Joseph Cardinal Rateinger, Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine
of Faith, "through the filter of our senses, which carry out
a work of translation.." and "...are influenced by the
potentialities and limitations of the perceiving subject" (Cardinal
Ratzinger, Theological Commentary In Preparation/or the Release
of the Third Part of the Secret ofFatima, L 'Osservatore Romano,
June 28, 20OO)
Unlike Holy Scripture, private revelations arc never binding upon
the conscience of the faithful. They are a help in understanding
the signs of the times and to help live more fully the Gospel (cf.
Lk 12;56, Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 67), And the signs
of our times are dramatic. The devotion to the Lady of All Nations
can help us, in my sincere conviction, in guiding us on the right
path during the present serious drama of our times, the path to
a new and special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Who alone can heal
the great wounds of our times.
To follow the further development of this devotion and to come to
an even deeper insight into its meaning, I have installed a commission
whose task it will be to continue to document all initiatives, experiences,
and testimonies stemming from the devotion in order to help insure
and preserve correct ecclesial and theological progress of devotion.
I hope this has provided sufficient information and clarification.
(signed) + Bishop Jozef Marianus Punt
- Bisdom van Haarlem Nieuwe Gracht 80, Postbus 1053, 2001 BB Haarlem, Tel. 023 - 511 26 00, Fax 023 - 511 26 29 Militair Ordinariaat
Download the official PDF of this statement.