John Thavis discusses "The Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age"
The New York Times bestselling author of The Vatican Diaries examines how the Catholic Church evaluates, judges and controls miraculous events and offers a glimpse at the behind-the-scenes debate over their authenticity.
Apocalyptic prophecies and miraculous apparitions are headline-grabbing events that often put the Catholic Church's doctrine of "rational faith" at odds with the passion of its more zealous followers. To some, these claims teeter on the edge of absurdity. Others see them as evidence of a private connection with God. For the Vatican, the issue is much more nuanced, as each supposed miraculous event could have serious theological and political consequences. In response, the Vatican has developed a highly secretive and complex evaluation system to judge the authenticity of supernatural phenomena.
Former journalist John Thavis uses his 30 years' experience covering the Vatican to shed light on this little-known process, revealing deep internal debates on the power of religious relics, private revelations, exorcisms, and more. Enlightening and accessible to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, the book illustrates the Church's struggle to balance the tension between traditional beliefs and contemporary skepticism.
“An American Catholic who has done his homework, learned Latin and Italian, made friends in high places and found his way for thirty years in the maze of church bureaucracy gives us a humane and realistic and (yes) humorous picture of a mortal institution that guides hundreds of millions of mortals along the path from birth to death and beyond. To an old Prot like me, it’s a tour of alien terrain and a bridge to old and dear friends.”--Garrison Keillor
John Thavis is the prizewinning former Rome bureau chief of the Catholic News Service. He has written extensively on religious issues in Europe and the Middle East, has lectured on Vatican affairs in the United States and Europe, and has won awards for his firsthand reporting on the war in the Balkans. In addition to numerous awards for individual excellence and analytical reporting, he has received the St. Francis de Sales Award, the highest honor given by the Catholic press. He lives in Minnesota.