Standing in a Miracle (2002)

The Virgin Mary (as channeled by Carolyn Kwiecinski)
Heavenly Grace Foundation

With nothing much else going on at the moment, the Virgin Mary decides to manifest at a prayer group in central Michigan.  "Received" each month by Ms. Kwiecinski, Mary dispenses some homilies about love, prayer, faith, and generally being a good Catholic.  This book provides a transcript of each visitation.

Pretty standard stuff, although there is the fascinating detail in the introduction that the published text has been approved by "the Bishop of Lansing."  First, I had no idea that Catholic bureaucracy had become so extensive that even Lansing warranted a Bishop.  I thought that was usually a multi-state jurisdiction, not multi-county.  At any rate, the Bishop of Lansing apparently reviewed this manuscript for "theological error and harmony with church doctrine."  Now, I find this somewhat extraordinary.  If all involved really believe the Virgin Mary is speaking through Ms. Kwiecinski, then who is the Bishop of Lansing to edit her eternal wisdom? On the other hand, if the Bishop of Lansing received this manuscript and thought, "oh great, someone else thinks Mary is talking through them," than why would he be complicit in fostering such (extra)-delusional behavior? 

Of course, this is the dilemma that has faced the clergy for centuries now--encouraging abstract belief in supernatural intervention on the one hand while taking care to monitor and thus police the "authenticity" of any specific manifestation of said supernaturalism.  Whether she knows it or not, Ms. Kwiecinski is practicing good-old fashioned Spiritualism.  But because she channels "Blessed Mary" rather than simply an ordinary dead person, the Church seems willing to give her a pass.

You might be wondering at this point, as I was, just what is Mary's rank in the Church.  I conclude with the following answer to a FAQ about the Virgin Mother: 

When a Catholic, out of ignorance, calls the Blessed Virgin Mary by the title of "Divine Mary," that person creates problems for the Catholic Church. Such a title gives the Protestants sufficient reason to say that Catholics view Mary as a God and they worship her. Catholics do not worship Mary; they worship Jesus through Mary. Nor do they consider Mary to be God or equal to God.

Remember, it's all about making sure those stupid Protestants don't get even more ammunition to attack the Pope!

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