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A Third Declaration

This letter by Card. Joseph Ratzinger is the third of three letters issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding the events that occured in Garabandal between the years 1961 and 1965. It is a response to the documentation gathered by the second commission appointed by His Excellency José Vilaplana, bishop of Santander at the time. In the letter, the Congregation reaffirms its position: no direct intervention by Rome is necessary. Cardinal Ratzinger then expresses his desire that the Bishop of Santander make a declaration on the issue, if need be. He advises that this declaration be a reaffirmation that the supernaturality “non constat” (see “Non constat” – A New Light on the Diocesan Verdict).

Rome, 28 November 1992

Your Excellency:
In the letter dated 12 November 1991, you transmitted to this dicastery ample documentation referring to the results of the studies concerning the supposed apparitions of Garabandal, carried out by a Commission expressly nominated by your predecessor, Mons. Juan Antonio del Val Gallo.
In the said letter - and, subsequently, on the occasion of your recent visit to this Congregation - Your Excellency expressed the wish to rely on the support of the Holy See in the matter of an eventual pronouncement concerning the above-mentioned occurrences.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, having attentively examined the cited documentation, does not consider it opportune to intervene directly, withdrawing from Your Excellency's ordinary jurisdiction a matter that corresponds to you by law. Therefore, this dicastery suggests to you that, if you deem it necessary, you publish a declaration in which you reaffirm the non constat of the supernatural nature of the apparitions in question, adopting as your own the unanimous positions of the preceding Ordinaries of that diocese and, in particular, the opinion expressed on 26 April 1991 by the commission presided over by His Excellency Mons. Del Val Gallo.
I avail of this circumstance to express to you my sentiments of esteem and to confirm that I remain sincerely yours in Christ.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

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