A New Light on the Diocesan Verdict
For someone who is not familiar with the expressions that the Church uses when she evaluates a case of possible apparitions, the words found in Msgr. Fernandez’s note (which was the first diocesan verdict) can lead one to understand that he affirmed that there is nothing supernatural in the events that took place in San Sebastian de Garabandal. However, that is not true. In that occasion, the Apostolic Administrator of Santander used the expression “non constat” (it is not proven).
The Church uses three expressions when she judges such matters:
"Constat de supernaturalitate" - Approval (It is confirmed to be of supernatural origin)
"Constat de non spernaturalitate" – Rejection (It is confirmed to be of non-supernatural origin)
"Non constat de supernaturalitate" – Doubt (It is not confirmed to be of supernatural origin)
The third expression was the one used by Msgr. Fernandez in his official note. Although it may seem negative, it only expresses a doubt of the Commission, which had not reached a majority in its final decision. It says neither “yes” nor “no.” In other words, there was no concrete rejection of the events, they simply could not be confirmed as supernatural. It was not possible to determine if they were true or false. This judgment does not impede the possibility that they could be recognized as supernatural in the future. It is not a closed case. The expression “non constat” was also used by Bishop Eugenio Beitia Aldazabal, who added, “I have never closed the file on this subject.” He confirmed that "We have found no matter of condemnatory ecclesiastical censorship, neither in the doctrine nor in the spiritual recommendations that have been published on this occasion." It is as if he were saying that the supernatural origin is not clear, but the messages and doctrine do no merit a condemnation. This is the ecclesiastical judgment that is currently in force.
This is a small light for those who investigate the events of Garabandal and for those who have doubts about them. Many times, due to our lack of knowledge of certain terms, we take standpoints that we would not take if we had a more complete understanding of the subject matter.
In conclusion, we can say that, even though it is true that Garabandal has not officially been approved by the Catholic Church, neither has it been condemned, and we should pray and ask the Lord to give us light so that, one day, the truth about Garabandal can finally be clarified.