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23rd August 2006, 05:58 AM
Has anyone heard of Barbara Rose Centilli who claims to have private revelations from God the Father? Her books are called "Seeing With the Eyes of God".

Ron Conte
23rd August 2006, 12:25 PM
I've not heard of her before, but I've orders her book to take a look at this claimed private revelation.


26th August 2006, 04:48 PM
I'm a bit concerned that her spiritual director ordered her to destroy her book, yet having done so she rewrote it. I like to see absolute obedience to Spiritual Directors.

Ron Conte
26th August 2006, 06:23 PM
I like to see faithful disobedience and faithful dissent in every Catholic.

A spiritual director can be relied upon for guidance, but he is not going to be present at one's own particular judgment, when one is alone before God.

I have not yet received the book I ordered, so I can't say if I think her claimed private revelation is true or false.

The days are coming when the Bishops and Cardinals of the Church will be divided. And there will be a series of Popes, one very different from the other; one very conservative, another liberal, another a former Protestant. Any Catholic who relies solely on obedience to the current local ordinary (Bishop) or the current Pope will be tossed about like a leaf in the wind.


26th August 2006, 10:24 PM
Traditionally in the Catholic Church obedience to a Spiritual Director has been considered of primary importance and such obedience is considered of very positive significance in the evaluation of mystical phenomena.


Ron Conte
26th August 2006, 10:45 PM
Of course you are right that obedience is an virtue. And obedience to a spiritual director or superior in a religious order is a natural consequence of true obedience to God. But then there are those who lack true obedience to God, but who have obedience to human persons.

In cases of claimed private revelation, I know of a number of clearly false private revelations where the 'seer' has a spiritual director and is said to be obedient.

Also, I think that holy obedience is not so simple. One must know when to say 'no' and when to walk away.


27th August 2006, 09:12 AM
Obedience to a Spiritual Director is a positive indicator, not an infallible one, it would be taken as one indicator in a range of others in the discernment process. However, whilst it may be true that both Director and directee may on occasio be deceived as you suggest, I know of no occasion were a mystic after being directly disobedient to his/her Spiritual Director has been found worthy of belief by the Church ; do you?

One should not conflate such obedience to obedience to ecclesial authority, the two are not the same. In the Discernment process for mystical phenomena, I repeat the traditional approach of the Church is to place a very high premium on such obedience. Thus following the example of Christ Jesus who, "though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant ... he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross" (Phil 2:6-8).
And in opposition to Satan who fell from heaven as a result of his disobedience, 'So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." (Revelation 12:17) Thus at war with Our Blessed Mother Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, the very model of obedience.

Henri Nouwen has written a nice article on the subject.
'The spiritual life is a life in which we struggle to move from absurd living to obedient living.'


Ron Conte
27th August 2006, 02:00 PM
I know of numerous false prophets in the world today; I know of none that are not obedient to their spiritual director (except the one example you cite).

Whatever both true and false prophets have in common cannot be used at all to distinguish between them.

Both true and false prophets offer:

the stigmata
weeping statues and pictures
claimed miraculous healings
other claimed signs and wonders
visions and messages
exhortations to holiness
exhortations to receive Communion and Confession
exhortations to pray the Rosary and to convert, etc.
obedience to the local Bishop
obedience to a spiritual director

I know of no true private revelation that does not exhort to holiness, yet the false ones do the same, so it would be an unrevealing criteria to determine which is true and which is false.

Also, the visionaries of Medjugorje are disobedient to the Bishop of Mostar. And many people therefore say that Medjugorje cannot be a true private revelation. Also, at Medjugorje, the Virgin Mary said, about two Fransiscan priests that they could stay and continue to say Mass, in contradiction to the Bishop.

Disobedience to a Bishop is sometimes a necessary part of practicing the Faith. The obedience that one owes to a spiritual director is certainly a lesser obedience. Therefore, if one must sometimes be disobedient to the Bishop, then one must sometimes be disobedient to the spiritual director.

Ron Conte

27th August 2006, 04:14 PM
No, I'm sorry Ron, I do not agree that the Medugorje visionaries are in fact being disobedient to the Bishop of Mostar, In the usual course of events the Local Ordinary rules on the validity or otherwise of such events in his own diocese, this is correct. But in the most peculiar circumstances prevailing in this area (pretty well open historic warfare between the Franciscans and diocesan clergy) the Vatican took affairs in this matter out of the hands of this Bishop. So in fact you could not be disobedient to a Bishop who had no ecclesiall authority in the matter it having been subsumed to a higher authority, which through most of this painful buisness has rested in Rome. Now ecclesial authority has been delegated to a national commission headed by Cardinal Puljic, which has indicated that -- in the words of a prominent Croatian newspaper, Vecernji List, which broke the story -- the panel "will not make a final pronouncement as long as the phenomenon continues."

If it were a simple matter of disobedience our late Holy Father would have tread a very different path with the visionaries than he clearly had:

Ron Conte
27th August 2006, 06:11 PM
Absolute obedience to anyone or anything other than God is idolatry.

Therefore, true holy obedience must always include some disobedience to whatever is not God.


27th August 2006, 07:07 PM
Welllllllllllll, I would agree that the Christian's final arbiter of right and wrong is his/ her concience, of course

1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. "He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1795 "Conscience is man's most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths" (GS 16).

1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

28th August 2006, 12:37 PM
Can I raise a point in the middle of this discussion which I am not equipped for from any theological point to contribute to. Ron you are raising a terrible vista for ordinary Joe & Josephine Soap Catholics like myself. If I have to decide if the Pope is right or wrong I cannot. Jesus gave us Peter with all his faults to lead us and he said He will be with us all days even 'till the end of the world. I trust in that promise especially since the Popes I have seen in my life have been holy men. Is this not what originally led to the reformation and the break up of Chrisindom.

Ron Conte
28th August 2006, 01:41 PM

Absolute obedience to the Pope is idolatry and heresy.

We are so used to holy Popes that some Catholics have begun to think that all you have to do is follow what the Pope says. We cannot abandon the responsibility to seek and understand truth. We cannot refuse to learn directly from Tradition and Scripture. And if we faithfully consider what are the truths of Tradition and Scripture, we will sometimes disagree with the Pope's ordinary teaching, or his temporal decisions.

The ordinary Catholic still is obligated to seek truth. If he relies on the Pope AND the Bishops AND the Saints AND Scripture AND his local Bishop and pastor AND fellow Catholics, then he does well. It is not idolatry or heresy. But if he says, 'I'll just believe and do whatever the Pope says,' and he ignores all these other sources of guidance and truth, then he is not living the Catholic faith.

Most of the time, in the present day, all these different sources agree. So the ordinary Catholic is not so hard pressed. He can even, to some extent, ignore certain theological controversies, if he wishes, if it does not effect him directly.

Padraig, I disagree with your theory about obedience, but I think you are living the Faith well.

The ordinary Catholic is going to have great difficulty soon, if he or she is of a mind to merely do whatever the Pope says.

The next Pope will be very conservative. He will require that those who receive the Eucharist also believe and practice the Catholic faith. Catholics will begin to leave the Church in great numbers. Over the course of a few years, the vast majority of Catholics will have left the Church. But some Cardinals and Bishops and priests and religious will try to set up a competing Catholic Church. Then, when this next Pope is martyred, there will be two elections of Pope, neither of them according to the rules written by JP2 for validly electing a Pope. The ordinary Catholic will have difficulty realizing which is the true Pope.

After both clamants to the papapcy are killed at Rome during the war, then subsequent Popes will be fairly liberal. One will even permit women deacons (about 2016). Then in the late 2020's or 2030's the angelic shepherd will be elected, who will be very holy and very conservative and he will reign for a long time.

Any Catholic, during this succession of Popes with short reigns, who bases his faith on just believing and doing whatever the Pope says will be blown about like a leaf in the wind.

Ron Conte

28th August 2006, 03:03 PM
Do you think that the next pope will take women out of participating in the mass as lectors and EM's? What kind of specific changes in the mass do you predict?

Ron Conte
28th August 2006, 06:29 PM
I think that the next Pope will encourage a wider use of the Latin Mass (but not forbid the vernacular). I think that he will not permit women to have so many roles in the parishes and diocese, as if the only male-only role was ordination. I think that he will prohibit women lectors and EMs. I'm not sure how far he will go toward prohibiting women from taking male roles, but far enough to contribute to the great apostasy, which begins during his reign.

I think that he will revise the Lectionary generally; I'm hoping that he will correct a number of problems in the order of the Mass and in parishes. I'm not sure exactly which problems he will correct and to what extent. But there will be very significant changes, which many Catholics, priests, and Bishops will find hard to accept.

It is going to be a difficult time for many Catholics.


Ron Conte
28th August 2006, 11:23 PM
Has anyone heard of Barbara Rose Centilli who claims to have private revelations from God the Father? Her books are called "Seeing With the Eyes of God".
I've now received the used copy of her book that I ordered.
I've placed her on my list of false private revelations.
I'll be working on an evaluation to explain why I believe these are false.


30th August 2006, 02:38 PM
Padraig, I've heard it said that just because an experience is, or may be, supernatural--it does not follow that it is from God. That is why a private mystical revelation needs the objective and educated audit by a spiritual director. And, in light of the ease with which our own hearts can deceive us, not to mention the cunning ploys of the enemy, it would be no light thing to ignore the concerns of such a director. Beyond the advice to be skeptical, this person's director told her to burn the writings!! That would frighten me, if I were in her shoes. I've not had formal, ongoing spiritual direction, but I've spoken with wiser and more qualified people than myself, to get their reaction to matters that befell me at one phase of my life. Having followed the mild course of action prescribed by the two parochial priests, day by day, the dross became separated from the true gold. I guess my sense of it is first: that degree of repudiation is unusually "stern stuff" and to disobey that seems to be an indicator of delusion rather than revelation; second: we should not necessarily conflate obedience to conscience, discernment of God's will, and obedience to a spiritual director regarding private revelation. Ultimately, Ron makes a good point, that we stand alone for judgment, no spiritual director will account for our transgressions against God, so we reserve to ourselves the responsibility to discern, working out our salvation with fear and trembling as the Scripture says. Part of that responsibility, to me, would have to include choosing a spiritual director whom I believed to be a faithful and devout Catholic, with experience and wisdom, and--listening if that one told me to burn my writings. It would never occur to me to "get around it" and possibly damage others as well, by publishing what could potentially be the "doctrines of demons" to add to the babel of heresies and occultism that is now rampant in the world.