The retraction of Dr. Morales according to the Diario Montañés
The retraction of Dr. Morales according to the Diario Montañés
Dr. Luis Morales Noriega— well-known psychiatrist of Santander (in Cantabria, Spain)— was part of the commission appointed by the Bishopric of Santander for the study of the apparitions of San Sebastián de Garabandal since they began in the summer of 1961. He never hid his negative opinion on the matter, a position that had a decisive influence on the Bishopric’s stance. On the basis of the reports of that commission— in large part, Morales's studies— several episcopal notes were published in which it affirmed "It is not confirmed to be of supernatural origin" in the events of Garabandal.
"It is not confirmed”, in the language of theology, does not mean that there was no apparition, but that we do not know if there was or not. It indicates a lack of certainty both to affirm and to deny. It is a statement that should push you to complete the studies to get out of doubt. However— far from that— the reports of Dr. Morales favored the running aground of a situation that has led to many prejudices and misinterpretations.
But the years passed and, on May 30, 1983, Dr. Luis Morales convened a conference in the halls of the Ateneo de Santander that had the title: "The appearances of San Sebastián de Garabandal." The Ateneo is an institution that has the greatest prestige in the Cantabrian capital for its trajectory— already centenary— at the service of culture, from the highest scientific level. Both the title of the conference and the framework chosen to celebrate it presaged an event of great relevance for the history of Garabandal. The Ateneo registered a historical full. El Diario Montañés, Cantabria's most widely read newspaper, described it this way: "The auditorium of the Ateneo was completely full. The lower room completely full. The lounge, the cafeteria and the game room were full as well as the entryway and the stairs going up to the learned house.”
And what did Dr. Morales, the former enemy of the Garabandal apparitions, have to say to create so much expectation? Dr. Luis Morales Noriega affirmed — to the surprise of so many— that the Virgin Mary had truly appeared in Garabandal, and that he had permission from the diocesan hierarchy to pronounce himself in that way. This was published in the Diario Montañés the morning after his conference in the Ateneo, in its edition of May 31, 1983, an article that we offer full under these lines.
But he also said that, for him, “Garabandal is the same as Lourdes or Guadalupe” and that “Garabandal is a beacon,” because “the Virgin Mary who appeared to these girls in Garabandal has updated a ‘new’ way of life, —prayer, sacrifice, humility ... —and methodology of science.” All these quoted phrases are textual answers from Dr. Morales to the journalist Julio Poo San Román, who interviewed him for a new article, which was published by the Diario Montañés on June 1, 1983, and which you can also read below.
The retraction of Dr. Morales was public and complete, to the point of concluding his talk "asking the Virgin of Garabandal that the years that I still have life pass in her shadow, and that She welcomes me later in her womb."
His change of position marks a before and after in the history of the appearances of Garabandal, and requires a review of everything said and written about them in previous years.
Diario Montañés, May 31, 1983
Dr. Morales defended the appearances of Garabandal
The Ateneo broke its attendance record, with an impressive full house.
"If today I am here and I have spoken about the Virgin of Garabandal, it has been because She has made my viewpoint change, and I do it with permission from the ecclesiastical hierarchy."
That is how Dr. Luis Morales Noriega’s lecture, The Apparitions of San Sebastián de Garabandal, ended last night, after being asked in the colloquium after his scientific talk.
The auditorium of the Ateneo was completely full. The auditorium of the Ateneo was completely full. The lower room completely full. The lounge, the cafeteria and the game room were full as well as the entryway and the stairs going up to the learned house. In the audience there were many priests, the majority young, religious and doctors.
After the presentation by Dr. Colvée, Dr. Morales made a concise history of the apparitions from June 1961 to November 1982, in which, with the arrival of the Pope in Spain, impelled him to deal with the issue in depth. He made a psychological analysis developing scientific, physical and mathematical concepts around these phenomena, with quotes from professionals in each of the fields.
He said that the Virgin Mary’s apparitions to the girls was not only a miracle, but a providential act, a wedge embedded in the world to provide greater spirituality.
He spoke about the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to saints, and also to those in Lourdes and Fatima, and then in Garabandal, and how the messages are the same, underlining that the "stubborn people” of Garabandal must be sure that the Virgin appeared to girls. He said that, thanks to Garabandal, a new path of life and methodology of science has been updated.
He concluded by asking that Our Lady of Garabandal be merciful to him in the years that he has left of life.
- Diario Montañés, June 1, 1983
Garabandal seems to have come out of the official silence.
The conference of Dr. Morales has put the review of the 1961 events back on the table.
Julio Poo San Román
The night before last, and with an impressive full house, Doctor Luis Morales Noriega gave a lecture at the Ateneo de Santander on The apparitions of San Sebastián de Garabandal. The subject was the source of an interest that has become even more topical when Dr. Morales himself affirmed that "If today I am here and I have spoken about the Virgin of Garabandal, it has been because She has made my viewpoint change, and I do it with permission from the ecclesiastical hierarchy." That is, that this permission now comes to contrast with the prohibition that, for more than a dozen years, existed around these phenomena that occurred in the hidden village of Cantabria, and that began in June 1961.
From then on, the Virgin of Garabandal was acquiring a following among people, in such a way that Garabandalist movements arose in many countries of the world. From many of them, in constant influx, pilgrims arrive to visit this village perched in the mountains of Cantabria: they come on the ferry, by plane, on organized excursions. A few days ago almost two hundred Japanese people on pilgrimage visited Garabandal, and not many weeks ago they were Mexican and North American pilgrims. Today, with the road from Cosío, the climb is comfortable and easy, not like at that time of the alleged appearances that we went up on several occasions, with sun and cold, with rain and storms ...
He who writes this had the good fortune then to be the first one who dealt with the subject with full breadth, not only in the provincial press, but also nationally and internationally. When the first alleged appearances occurred, we met with the girls, Conchita, Mari Cruz, Mari Loli and Jacinta, on several occasions, and talked with them, hearing them explain in detail the alleged visions first of an angel and then of the Virgin Mary.
Then came the official silence, which has not been an obstacle for the creation of Garabandal Associations in various parts of Spain and other nations in the five continents. It has been like that until now, with news coming to us from the hand of Dr. Morales, resurrecting the subject in this conference.
What has led you to think about it again?
The Marian enthusiasm of the Pope when he came to Spain in November, and even more so when he was in the Shrine of Guadalupe that said more or less that he did not understand how he had been first in a Guadalupe of Mexico and now in this Guadalupe of Spain. That it was the same, presenting His Holiness from the scientific point of view that history is a phenomenon that men do, but that the Virgin has no history because she is always the same. Then it led me to think about this revision, what the obstinate regarding Garabandal, whether they be Catholic, Protestant or any nation, call, the transference in the Virgin, affective, existential and rational devotion to San José, as well as respect for the ecclesial hierarchy and the bishop.
And, what consequences have you drawn from this revision?
I present the problem so that each person interprets what they want, but, in the message of Garabandal, the apparitions or what the girls said isn’t the important part. It is the attitude that the Virgin has given us for a new methodology of interpreting the facts in this atomic age that we began, be they political, economic, etc.
What does this mean?
The first teaching is that it makes us feel and palpate the transcendence of humility, without which there is no possible wisdom, even if there is culture. It is then when we become aware that through human effort we have nothing more than the temporal truth, but amidst all aspects we can approach the timeless truth, which is the source of love for understanding and the liquidation of feelings.
So, how do you see the phenomenon of Garabandal?
For me, in particular, Garabandal is the same as Lourdes or Guadalupe, that is, they are existential and rational vital expressions, which from a unitary sense of science demonstrate that society and today's man has vitally and rationally hunger and transcendence. Garabandal is a beacon, to guide the voyages that lead us to a civilization that is not one of animal ecology and ethology, because we are people of an intellectual nature, not mere living objects.
And as for miracles?
Look, neither Bernardette nor Jacinta are saints. Neither need they be, nor are the girls of Garabandal. For me, Garabandal has caused me to recall and re-visit the sixteenth century of Saint John of the Cross and of Saint Theresa of Jesus, or the seventeenth century of Saint Paul of the Cross and of Saint Alphonsus Maria Liguori. To understand at once the differentiation of spasms, seizures and pathological hysteroid crises, and the inhibition or ecstasy of the functional union with Christ and the Virgin, let us say that the first entropic clarifications are phenomena, and the second syntropic ones, according to the the modern interpretation of astrophysics.
And how do you catalog the girls?
Normal and common. In a one-dimensional aspect of science, that is, in an immediate aspect depending on a broad and elegant conception, in a poor way we can classify them as we want. But in a unitary sense of science, then nobody dares to classify, which is why we have to be very cautious, having again founded the hope in the wisdom of the humble, as these girls were. In short, the Virgin who appeared to these girls in Garabandal has updated a "new" path of life, —prayer, sacrifice, humility ... –and methodology of science. That is why I end like in my lecture yesterday, asking the Virgin of Garabandal that the years that I have left of life I spend in her shadow, and that She welcomes me later in her womb.