A Vatican academy will investigate “mystical phenomena” around the world, including “weeping” statues of the Virgin Mary, stigmata and ghost sightings as part of plans for a new dedicated observatory, reports Vatican News.
The Pontifical Mariana International Academy (PAMI), which describes itself as a scientific institution of the Holy See, hopes to bring to light “about a hundred ongoing phenomena” in Italy alone.
Still awaiting authenticity from the Church, the specialized observatory will evaluate and study “apparitions and mystical phenomena” around the world.
Speaking about the launch of the Observatory’s new Scientific Committee, Father Gian Matteo Roggio, the Mariologist, told local Italian media: “In Italy there are about a hundred ongoing phenomena that the Church is closely following.
A Vatican academy will investigate “mystical phenomena” around the world, including “weeping” statues of the Virgin Mary, stigmata and ghost sightings as part of plans for a new dedicated observatory.
Father Stefano Cecchin, member of the committee, explained: ‘The purpose of the observatory [is] to activate national and international commissions to evaluate and study apparitions and mystical phenomena reported in different parts of the world.
He added: ‘[It will] promotion of updating and training activities on these types of events and their multiple spiritual and cultural meanings, promotion of large-scale dissemination and advisory activities, especially at the service of local churches and bishops, but also transdisciplinary research activities in collaboration with academic institutions, both laity and ecclesiastical, and the publication of the results of the investigations carried out.’
However, the creation of such an observatory also raises questions and doubts from some critics who believe that the resources of the church can be used more effectively for other needs, such as helping the needy and fighting poverty.