Akita, Japan: Are the supernatural events genuine?
Note: In this report I may occasionally use bold print, CAPS, Italics, or word underlining for emphasis. This will be my personal emphasis and not that of the source that I am quoting. Any footnote preceded by a number or letter/number combination in (parenthesis) is my personal library numbering system.
"Not to oppose error is to approve it, and not to defend the truth is to suppress it" - Pope St. Felix III
Q: Hi Ron, Just read in an answer column, Drummond, I believe, that stated that AKITA was an unapproved apparition. I have always understood that the Vatican has Akita, Japan on the approved list.
Can you check this out? Love Ya with Prayers, Joseph Collura
Yes, they are approved.
"Since 1973, when the events began (at Akita, Japan), eleven years have passed. As that was the first time I (Bishop Ito) was a witness of the rather extraordinary events, I went to Rome to the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1975 where I consulted with Monsignor Hamer, secretary of this Congregation and whom I already knew. He explained to me that such a matter belonged above all to the authority of the bishop of the place (of Akita, Japan)."1
"On Easter Sunday, 1984, 22nd April, the Most Rev. John Ito, the Bishop (of Akita, Japan) directly responsible, issued a pastoral letter declaring, 'the events of Akita' to be supernatural. On November 3rd of the same year, the Bishop himself came to pray at the sanctuary of Yuzawadai (Akita) with a group of pilgrims. Since that time pilgrims have come in ever greater numbers from all parts of Japan and from other nations."2
This report prepared on August 16, 2009 by Ronald Smith, 11701 Maplewood Road, Chardon, Ohio 44024-8482, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers may copy and distribute this report as desired to anyone as long as the content is not altered and it is copied in its entirety. In this little ministry I do free Catholic and occult related research and answer your questions. Questions are answered in this format with detailed footnotes on all quotes. If you have a question(s), please submit it to this land mail or e-mail address. Answers are usually forthcoming within one week. PLEASE NOTIFY ME OF ANY ERRORS THAT YOU MAY OBSERVE!
+ Let us recover by penance what we have lost by sin +
From: Waterinckx Mark To: mark leo Waterinckx Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 5:45 PM Subject: AKITA
I present you this article about the 'apparitions' in Akita-Japan. It is the translation of my article published in a Dutch newsletter AVE 2003. I give permission to publish it in any English newsletter or on Internet.
Let me know if you agree, please. Pax et Bonum, Mark Waterinckx, Catholic apologist, Belgium
In Akita, Japan, all kinds of supernatural phenomena are attributed to a wooden statue of Mary, made as a copy of the Lady of All Peoples in Amsterdam, such as light effects, sweat with a pleasant odour, human tears (101 times!), blood from the right hand, messages from an angel and miraculous healings and conversions from the statue.
Both Akita and Amsterdam were recognised as supernatural by the local bishops, respectively in 1984 by Mgr. Ito of Niigata, Japan and in 2002 by Mgr. Punt of Haarlem. Many people who believe in the Queen of All Peoples in Amsterdam therefore see this as an affirmation of the authenticity of apparitions to Ida Peerdeman.
In the Roman Catholic Church the diocesan bishop has jurisdiction concerning private revelations; therefore everything would appear to be in order. But after a thorough study of Akita from more than 20 different sources, I noticed to my amazement ever more agreements with Amsterdam, from which I could only conclude that both bishops had made the wrong decision. This would not be the first time in recent church history. In the past, even popes, bishops and saints have been misled by false apparitions, which they held to be authentic. Fortunately private revelations are not part of the contents of the faith.
One must therefore be able to put this matter in perspective. As a matter of fact, both Mgr. Punt and Mgr. Ito point out that one is free to believe in them or not. They are certainly not infallible. Both bishops were also so unwise (with their own limited and subjective experience) to go against the recommendations of the episcopal commissions and against Rome. But let us first consider the phenomena of Akita.
REMARKABLE EVENTS IN AKITA
The port city of Akita lies in the mountains in the northwest of the largest Japanese island Honshu. In the hamlet Yuzawada of the village of Sugawa near Akita is a small convent of the Servants of the Eucharist. The founder of this secular institute is Mgr. Jan Shojiro Ito, the bishop of Niigata, who on 22 April 1984 recognised the phenomena as supernatural. In this convent has lived since 1969 Sister Agnes Sasagawa Katsuko, born in 1931, who plays the leading role in the sensational events. She was invited by Bishop Ito himself to enter this new community, in spite of her bad health (at 19 years of age she incurred a paralysis after a failed operation).
Beginning 1973 she also became deaf, because of exhaustion, and learned to lip read.
On 12, 13, 14 and 24 June 1973, Sister Agnes saw rays of light coming from the tabernacle.
On 28 June 1973, a painful wound formed in her left hand in the form of a cross. On 29 June 1973 she saw angels around the altar.
On 6 July 1973 a woman appeared to her who said: "Fear not" (she thought that this was her guardian angel who appeared under the appearance of her sister – an evil spirit can also do this). The voice said among other things: "The wound in the hand of Our Blessed Lady is deeper than yours."
When she arrived in the chapel, Sister Agnes noted that the statue of Mary had indeed a bleeding wound in the palm of her right hand, also in the form of a cross! Sister Agnes now heard a voice from the statue and heard her first message: "My daughter, my novice, you have in obedience left everything to follow me. Your hearing will heal. Pray for reparation for the sins of humanity".
On 27 July 1973, the voice of the angel said: "Your suffering will come to an end today". The blood which Mary has shed is for your conversion. (Sister Agnes had already been converted to Christianity before she entered the convent). The painful wound of the Sister disappeared the same day; the wound of the statue of Mary after two months, but from that day it no longer bled.
On 3 August 1973, Sister Agnes gets her second message from the statue of Mary: "My daughter, my novice, do you love the Lord? The Heavenly Father will send a great punishment to the whole of humanity. So often have I already tried with my Son to placate the wrath of the Father. Prayer, penance and brave sacrifices can help. Honour poverty, chastity and obedience. Let yourself be led by your superior". (This referred to the bishop).
On 29 September 1973, the wound of the statue of Mary disappeared, but now the statue proved to be covered with sweat, especially the face and neck. A wonderful fragrance of flowers surrounded the sweating statue.
On 13 October 1973 came the climax with the third and last message: "My beloved daughter, as I have already said to you, if humanity does not convert itself, the Father will send a great punishment to the human race. Without any doubt it will be a terrible sentence, more terrible than Noah’s flood, such as no one has ever seen. Fire will fall from the sky. Through this punishment a large part of humanity will be destroyed. The survivors will envy the dead. Pray the Rosary. The devil has penetrated the church; cardinals will rise against cardinals, bishops against bishops (cf. Garabandal - AVÉ no. 3), altars and churches will be devastated. If sins will still increase, the forgiveness of sin will stop to exist!"
Our Blessed lady also asked Sister Agnes to listen to her superior, the bishop Mgr. Ito. On 15 October 1973, the sweating statue of Mary exuded fragrance for the last time.
On 13 October 1974, Sister Agnes recovered her hearing again for a while.
On 4 January 1975 the statue started to weep. This was repeated 101 times, up till 15 September 1981. There were about 500 witnesses, among which four times was Bishop Ito himself. The chaplain and spiritual adviser of Sister Agnes, Father Thomas Yasuda, had samples of the blood, sweat and tears of the statue of Mary examined in the universities of Akita and Gifu. The judgement was: human origin, blood group O.
(Which is the blood group of Sister Agnes? In Civitavecchia-Italy there is also a weeping statue of Mary... of Medjugorje. The owner Fabio Gregori refuses to let his blood be examined. Here too the Italian bishop Girolamo Grillo believes in a miracle, but the Vatican refuses recognition).
Sister Agnes later still received messages of her guardian angel, and on 30 May 1982 her deafness healed definitively.
On Easter, 22 April 1984, Mgr. Ito published a long pastoral letter, in which he announced his resignation and explained that the inquiries to date did not allow the supernatural character of the events in Akita to be denied. "Consequently, in expectation that Holy See adopts a definitive position, I do not prohibit the devotion to Our Blessed Lady of Akita. Even if Rome would give a favourable judgement, one is not obliged to believe it. It concerns only a private revelation. One is only obliged to believe in the divine revelation which contains everything what we need for our eternal salvation".
In his declaration Mgr. Ito said that he had never before been confronted with such a situation. He went to Rome for the first time in his life in 1975, and spoke there with Mgr Hamel. In 1976, he asked the archbishop of Tokyo to establish a commission. This enquiry led to a negative result. In 1979, he asked the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome for a second enquiry. The judgement in 1981 was again negative. Mgr. Ito addressed a further request to Rome by means of the papal nuncio in Japan. In October 1983 he went again to Rome and spoke there with three members of the Congregation for the Faith. They told him that the matter was still being investigated.
NEGATIVE ARGUMENTS AGAINST AKITA
Bishop Ito does not take into account the recommendations of his own Japanese commission nor those of Rome (cf. Mgr. Punt concerning 'Amsterdam').
The papal nuncio in Tokyo, Mgr. Ambrose de Paoli, answered in 1999, to the editor of the British publication Christian Order, at the request of the Congregation of the Faith: "The Holy See has never granted any form of recognition to the events or messages from Akita" (the same applies to Amsterdam). This letter can be found on the Internet under: www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/unapprov/akita. This clarification was necessary because manipulators had put false declarations in the mouth of Cardinal Ratzinger (the same occurs concerning Medjugorje) ... and of Mother Angelica of the American T.V. channel EWTN.
Mgr. Ito went three times to Amsterdam, and let himself be influenced by the so-called seer, Ida Peerdeman. The wooden statue in Akita happens to be a copy of the "Queen of all Peoples". Mgr. Ito recognised Akita just before his resignation as bishop. Afterwards one could therefore no longer call him for justification.
In the last message of 13 October 1973, Our Blessed Lady announces a sentence more terrible than Noah’s flood. In Genesis 9.11, God says nevertheless: "There will never be another flood to devastate the earth".
Some texts from the so-called messages of Akita seem a plagiarism of the false third secret of Fatima spread in former days. Mgr. Hnilica, in his Amsterdam-Christmas letter of 2002, refers explicitly to this false third secret of Fatima in connection with Akita.
Other parts from the Akita-messages are plagiarisms of Garabandal (cardinals against cardinals, bishops against bishops...): cf. AVÉ no. 3.
Still other texts of Akita seem a plagiarism of the Secret of Melanie from La Salette, prohibited by the church (see AVÉ no. 4 page 88). This, among other things, is again being promoted by Fr. René Laurentin, against the Rector of La Salette and against Rome!
The message of Akita, namely that "the forgiveness of sin will cease to exist" can in no way be maintained according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This message would imply the abolition of the Sacrament of Reconciliation which was established by Jesus Christ Himself. A skilful move by the opponent of God? The Akita message that the devil had infiltrated the church seems to be a plagiarism of an earlier pronouncement of Pope Paul VI in 1972.
Bishop Ito has said (see Inside the Vatican November 1998) that God would purify humanity before the year 2000. This has NOT happened.
Don Gobbi (a never recognised Italian seer - see AVÉ no. 5), also plays an important role in Akita just as in Medjugorje. In the publication Chrétiens Magazine of November/December 1985 (in which among other things Fr. René Laurentin propagates a lot of false apparitions), there is on page 7 a photograph of Don Gobbi (founder of the Marian Movement of Priests) standing beside Mgr. Ito by the miraculous statue of Mary of Akita. As a matter of fact, the same Don Gobbi claims to have got a message from Our Blessed Lady in Akita on 15 September 1987, who said that she had already spoken in Fatima of a sentence more terrible than the flood! (Sic)
The author of the book Celle qui pleure au Japon – La Dame de tous les Peuples (1985 ed. Téqui-Paris) is a mission priest, Joseph-Marie Jacq. This supporter of Akita mentions in this book both Medjugorje (see AVÉ no. 1) and Garabandal (see AVÉ no. 3) as well as San Damiano (see AVÉ no. 7) and Teresa Musco (see later in AVÉ) as if they were also real apparitions. And what is still more curious, he claims, just like Don Gobbi, to have received a message in Akita from Our Blessed Lady (see the French publication L’ Impartial no. 99 from 1983 p 7).
In general, I notice that authors as well as editors and promoters of books concerning Akita are at the same time proponents of many other, not-recognised apparitions
All the phenomena which are described at Akita have been known for a long time in the two thousand years of church history, from previous non-supernatural apparitions, which were later explained as parapsychological phenomena, human fraud, or as satanic influences. There is therefore nothing new under the Japanese sun of Akita.
There are many books and web sites which praise Akita to the high heavens. A critical evaluation is rare. The book Faussaires the Dieu by J. Bouflet (see AVÉ no. 1) and the web site www.theotokos.org.uk however provide a critical vision on this matter.
Mark Waterinckx, Dutch newsletter AVE, March 2003
Japanese quake's epicenter located near Marian apparition site
By Catholic News Agency 3/14/2011 www.catholicnewsagency.com
The messages warned of chaos within the Church, and disasters which could afflict the world.
The epicenter of the earthquake is located near the site of an apparition in which Mary warned about a worldwide disaster that could afflict humanity. In 1973, the Virgin Mary was said to have predicted a number of future events - including natural disasters even more serious than Friday's earthquake and tsunami - during three appearances to a Japanese religious sister, Sr. Agnes Sasagawa.
NIIGATA, Japan (CNA) - The epicenter of the earthquake that caused a deadly March 11 tsunami is located near the site of an apparition in which Mary warned about a worldwide disaster that could afflict humanity.
Japanese church officials have confirmed that the Diocese of Sendai, in the north of the country, was hit hardest by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake - the worst in Japanese history - and the resulting 23-foot waves.
Hundreds of people have already been confirmed dead in the city of Sendai, located less than 90 miles away from the apparition site of Our Lady of Akita in the town of Yuzawa.
The city of Akita, which experienced fire damage and flooding along with many parts of northern Japan, is a place of veneration for Catholics. In 1973, the Virgin Mary was said to have predicted a number of future events - including natural disasters even more serious than Friday's earthquake and tsunami - during three appearances to a Japanese religious sister, Sr. Agnes Sasagawa.
The purported appearances of the Virgin Mary in Japan were reviewed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1988. During his time as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prior to his election as Pope Benedict XVI, he let stand the local bishop's judgment that the apparitions and the messages were acceptable for the faithful.
The messages warned of chaos within the Church, and disasters which could afflict the world.
"If men do not repent and better themselves, God the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity," Mary reportedly told Sr. Agnes. "If will be a punishment greater than the (biblical) flood, such as never seen before."
"Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful," she said. "The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church, in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops." "Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord." "Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary," she told Sr. Agnes. "With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."
Two years after the last message, the statue of the Virgin Mary in the chapel where the apparitions had occurred began to emit tears and drops of blood. The occurrence continued for more than six years.
Reports from Akita following Friday's earthquake indicate that the city received significantly less damage than other parts of northern Japan, despite its proximity to the epicenter. However, residents did report power outages, burst pipes, and fires.
Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of Niigata, whose territory includes the Akita apparition site, is also the president of Caritas Japan, which will be working to assist victims of the earthquake and tsunami.
Catholic Church approved apparitions
1973: In Akita, Japan
The July 6, 1973 to September 13, 1981 miracles and visions of Sister Agnes Sasagawa Katsugo of the Community of the Servants of the Eucharist were approved by the local bishop in 1984.
Why Mary Appears
Interview with Mariologist Mark Miravalle (Part 1)
By Irene Lagan, Steubenville, Ohio, September 3, 2008 (Zenit.org)
The statue of the Lady of All Nations at Akita, Japan, wept 101 times and the apparitions and phenomena were declared supernatural by Bishop [John] Ito of Niigata after consultation with Cardinal [Joseph] Ratzinger in 1984.
By Colin B. Donovan, STL Revised April 2001
Today there are a myriad of alleged private revelations and apparitions vying for the attention of the faithful. None have been definitively judged by the Holy See, some have been approved by local authority (e.g. Akita, Cuapa, Betania), others have been found lacking in supernaturality (e.g. Medjugorje, Garabandal), some few have been condemned (e.g. Necedah, Bayside) and finally, the vast majority have received no attention from Church authorities whatsoever.
The nine  Marian apparitions that have received episcopal approval: http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/index.html EXTRACTS [chronologically]
1. Quito, Ecuador, 1594-1634, Our Lady of Good Success, four apparitions to Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, approved by Bishop Salvador de Riber in 1611
2. Querrien, France, August 15-20, 1652, Our Lady of Eternal Aid, fifteen apparitions to Jeanne Courtel, a 12-year old shepherdess, approved by Archbishop Denis de La Barde, bishop of Saint-Brieuc, September 1652
3. Robinsonville, WI, USA, October 9-17, 1859, Our Lady of Good Help, three apparitions to Adele Brise, a 28-year old, approved by Bishop David L. Ricken, December 2010
4. Castelpetroso, Italy, March 22, 1888-June 1890, Our Lady of Sorrows, many apparitions to two shepherdesses -
Fabiana Cecchino (35) and Serafina Giovanna Valentino (33), approved by Bishop Macarone-Palmieri of Bojano, 1889
5. Amsterdam, Netherlands, March 25, 1945-May 31, 1959, Our Lady of All Nations, fifty-six apparitions to Ida Peerdeman, approved by Bishop Jozef Marianus Punt of Haarlem, May 2002; in 2005, the CDF overruled that decision -Michael.
6. Akita, Japan, July 6-Ocober 13, 1973, Our Lady of Akita, three apparitions with bleeding statue and stigmata to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa (43), approved by Bishop John Shoojiroo Ito of Niigata, April 1984. In 1988, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger allowed Ito's pastoral letter and its dissemination to the faithful; the recognition was overturned by Bishop Ito’s successor -Michael.
7. Betania, Venezuela, March 25, 1976-January 5, 1990, Reconciler of People and Nations, thirty-one apparitions to Maria Esperanza, approved by Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo, November 1987
8. Cuapa, Nigeria, April 15-October 13, 1980, Our Lady of Cuapa, 4+ apparitions to Bernardo Martinez, approved by Bishop Pablo, Antonio Vega, November 1982
9. San Nicolas, Argentina, September 25, 1983-February 11, 1990, Our Lady of the Rosary, 1816 apparitions to Gladys Quiroga de Motta, approved by Bishop Domingo Castagna of San Nicolas, April 1985
The Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Akita, Japan, to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa
The extraordinary events began on June 12, 1973, when Sr. Agnes saw brilliant mysterious rays emanate suddenly from the tabernacle. The same thing happened on each of the two days that followed.
On June 28, 1973, a cross-shaped wound appeared on the inside left hand of Sr. Agnes. It bled profusely and caused her much pain. On July 6, Sr. Agnes heard a voice coming from the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the chapel where she was praying. The statue was carved from a single block of wood from a Katsura tree and is three feet tall. On the same day, a few of the sisters noticed drops of blood flowing from the statue's right hand. On four occasions, this act of blood flow repeated itself. The wound in the statue's hand remained until September 29, when it disappeared. On September 29, the day the wound on the statue disappeared, the sisters noticed the statue had now begun to "sweat", especially on the forehead and neck. On August 3, Sr. Agnes received a second message. On October 13, she received a final third message.
Two years later on January 4, 1975, the statue of the Blessed Virgin began to weep. It continued to weep at intervals for the next 6 years and eight months. It wept on 101 occasions.
The Messages to Sr. Agnes
July 6, 1973
"My daughter, my novice, you have obeyed me well in abandoning all to follow me. Is the infirmity of your ears painful? Your deafness will be healed, be sure. Does the wound of your hand cause you to suffer? Pray in reparation for the sins of men. Each person in this community is my irreplaceable daughter. Do you say well the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist? Then, let us pray it together."
"Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in Holy Eucharist, I consecrate my body and soul to be entirely one with Your Heart, being sacrificed at every instant on all the altars of the world and giving praise to the Father pleading for the coming of His Kingdom."
"Please receive this humble offering of myself. Use me as You will for the glory of the Father and the salvation of souls."
"Most holy Mother of God, never let me be separated from Your Divine Son. Please defend and protect me as Your Special Child. Amen."
When the prayer was finished, the Heavenly Voice said: "Pray very much for the Pope, Bishops, and Priests. Since your Baptism you have always prayed faithfully for them. Continue to pray very much...very much. Tell your superior all that passed today and obey him in everything that he will tell you. He has asked that you pray with fervor."
August 3, 1973
"My daughter, my novice, do you love the Lord? If you love the Lord, listen to what I have to say to you."
"It is very important...You will convey it to your superior."
"Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish, with my Son, for souls who will repair by their suffering and their poverty for the sinners and ingrates."
"In order that the world might know His anger, the Heavenly Father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind. With my Son I have intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the Father. I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering Him the sufferings of the Son on the Cross, His Precious Blood, and beloved souls who console Him forming a cohort of victim souls. Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father's anger. I desire this also from your community...that it love poverty, that it sanctify itself and pray in reparation for the ingratitude and outrages of so many men.
Recite the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist with awareness of its meaning; put it into practice; offer in reparation (whatever God may send) for sins. Let each one endeavor, according to capacity and position, to offer herself entirely to the Lord."
"Even in a secular institute prayer is necessary. Already souls who wish to pray are on the way to being gathered together. Without attaching to much attention to the form, be faithful and fervent in prayer to console the Master."
After a silence:
"Is what you think in your heart true? Are you truly decided to become the rejected stone? My novice, you who wish to belong without reserve to the Lord, to become the spouse worthy of the Spouse, make your vows knowing that you must be fastened to the Cross with three nails. These three nails are poverty, chastity, and obedience. Of the three, obedience is the foundation. In total abandon, let yourself be led by your superior. He will know how to understand you and to direct you."
October 13, 1973
"My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior."
After a short silence:
"As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."
"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
"The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them"
"With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation."
"It is Bishop Ito, who directs your community." And She smiled and then said:
"You have still something to ask? Today is the last time that I will speak to you in living voice. From now on you will obey the one sent to you and your superior."
"Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved."
History of Ecclesiastical Approval
February 27, 1978 — Pope Paul VI approves the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Norms of the Congregation for Proceeding in Judging Alleged Apparitions and Revelations. These norms provide the criteria for evaluating such phenomenon and establish the local Ordinary as the competent authority to do so. They also provide that regional or national episcopal conferences may intervene (as has occurred with regards to Medjugorje) if warranted, as may the Holy See.
April 22, 1984 — After eight years of investigations, Rev. John Shojiro Ito, Bishop of Niigata, Japan, recognizes "the supernatural character of a series of mysterious events concerning the statue of the Holy Mother Mary" and authorizes "throughout the entire diocese, the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita, while awaiting that the Holy See publishes definitive judgment on this matter."
Letter of Bishop Ito recognizing the events at Akita
[EWTN: Despite claims that Cardinal Ratzinger gave definitive approval to Akita in 1988, no ecclesiastical decree appears to exist, as certainly would in such a case. However, some individuals, such as former Ambassador of the Philippines to the Holy See, Mr. Howard Dee, have stated that they were given private assurances by Cardinal Ratzinger of the authenticity of Akita. In any case, in keeping with the current norms, given the absence of a repudiation of Bp. Ito's decision by his successors, or by higher authority, the events of Akita continue to have ecclesiastical approval.]
Revised: November 2011
Resources for controverted supernatural events involving Akita
http://www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/unapprov/akita/akita.html [All emphases theirs]
According to the EWTN website, http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/akita.htm, in June 1988, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the then Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave a definitive judgement on the Akita events and messages, that they were "reliable and worthy of belief."
However, this link provides no information to substantiate this claim, and in fact the source of this information is questionable: At the end of the quote about Cardinal Ratzinger, the source is given as:
Apparitions List Archives Apparitions List (Apar-l) is an internet mailing list dedicated to sharing information of all approved apparitions by the Catholic Church, and all reputable on-going apparitions, that are not contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and there are a number of troubling points to consider.
So this information just comes from a privately run mailing list, and not from an authoritative source.
A further disturbing point concerns Fr Teiji Yasuda’s book, Akita: The Tears and Message of Mary. When it was originally translated into English, and published in 1989, the apostolic nuncio in Japan, Bishop William Aquin Carew, asked that sales be suspended, because of the text on the back cover. This was taken from an article in the October 1988 edition of the Catholic magazine, 30 DAYS, which ultimately came from a story reported by an Asian news agency. This detailed a meeting between Cardinal Ratzinger and Bishop Ito in June 1988, at which the latter handed over a dossier on Akita.
The article in 30 DAYS contained the sentence: "Ratzinger, after studying the dossier, is reported to have judged the Virgin’s messages as creditable." But in April 1990, Bishop Carew noted of Cardinal Ratzinger that: "His Eminence did not give any judgment on the reliability or credibility of the 'messages of the Virgin.' According to the transcription of the meeting, he simply affirmed that 'there are no objections to the conclusions of the pastoral letter'." The back cover of the book was thus changed following the nuncio’s statement. (30 DAYS Magazine, July-August 1990, "he Tears of Akita," by Stefano M. Paci, pp. 42-43)
More recently, the situation has been further clarified. It appears that the Vatican has not approved of Akita, as the following statement from the Apostolic Nuncio in Tokyo, Ambrose de Paoli, issued in 1999, makes clear. In response to a query from the editor of a British Catholic magazine, the Apostolic Nuncio stated: "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has asked me to respond to your query re: Akita. ... The Holy See has never given any kind of approval to either the events or messages of Akita." (Christian Order, December 1999, p. 610)
As regards the wider Church, following the first commission, the Japanese bishops’ conference decided against Akita, and ordered that group pilgrimages to the shrine should cease, although they were prepared to allow individuals to visit the convent. Indeed, in 1990, the president of the conference, Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, told 30 DAYS, in what were described as terms of "unusual harshness," that, "The events of Akita are no longer to be taken seriously. We think they do not now have a great significance for the Church and Japanese society." (30 DAYS Magazine, July -August 1990, "The Tears of Akita," by Stefano M. Paci, p. 45).
In addition, one of the alleged messages is quite apocalyptic in tone, and speaks of fire which will "fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity ..." At one time it was claimed that this paralleled the contents of the third part of the secret of Fatima, but that is clearly not the case.
It also states that: "The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops." This type of message is more characteristic of the contents of unapproved visions than approved ones.
So all of this indicates that it seems appropriate to put Akita in the "controverted" category of apparitions.
A Correction about the approval of Akita by Rome
October 2007 - March 2008
In the May Sept. 2007 Newsletter, p. 38, it was said that Card. Ratzinger in June 1988 gave a definitive and positive judgment on the Akita events and messages. The exact facts are the following:
In 1975, Bishop John Shojiro Ito flew to Rome, where he consulted Archbishop Jean Jerome Hamer, O.P., the then Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, concerning how to handle the Akita events. Archbishop Hamer told the bishop that conducting an investigation and making a decision on matters of this nature primarily belongs to the authority of the local ordinary of a diocese where an apparition was reported to have taken place.
Then, on February 27, 1978, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith laid down directives concerning criteria for discerning the supernatural authenticity of reported apparitions after Pope Paul VI approved the directives on Feb. 24. The document of the directives is entitled "Normae Sacra Congregationis pro Doctorina Fidei de Modo Procedendi in Dijudicandis Praesumptis Apparitionibus ac Revelationibus."
The directives stipulate that the responsibility to intervene into matters related to reported apparitions primarily belongs to a local ordinary. Article 3 of the document says, ''Officium invigilandi vel interveniendi praeprimis competit Ordinario loci." This means that the responsibility and authority to investigate and intervene primarily belongs to the relevant local ordinary. The document is signed by both Cardinal Franjo Seper, the then Prefect of the congregation, and Archbishop Hamer.
The following year, Bishop Ito went to Rome again, holding consultations with Cardinal Seper. The Holy See gave a copy of the printed document to the bishop.
Then, on April 22, 1984, Bishop Ito, following the Holy See directives, issued a pastoral letter in which he declared that no one can deny the supernatural character of a series of mysterious events at a convent in Akita and solemnly declared that he has decided to ''authorize the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Akita'' on the strength of his power as the local ordinary.
In the pastoral letter, the ordinary described the messages of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Akita for the Catholic Church, communicated through Sr. Agnes Sasagawa. In it, Bishop Ito, a strong backer of the theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas, said, "It is impossible to find in these phenomena any element that is contrary to Catholic doctrines and morals."
In 1987, Bishop Ito sent a letter to Pope John Paul II, along with a copy of the pastoral letter. Then, he received a reply from the Sovereign Pontiff in which the pope, acknowledging the receipt of the bishop's letter, said that he forwarded the pastoral letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Strange times: Leading Medjugorje skeptic calls Kibeho, Akita "Unapproved" apparitions
http://ministryvalues.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1432&Itemid=125 [All emphases theirs]
By Stephen K. Ryan, January 25, 2011
Donal Foley Medjugorje skeptic labels "Our Lady of Akita" and Kibeho as "Unapproved" Apparitions.
"According to the Nuncio, strictly speaking, it (Akita) isn't approved - that's why I put it in quotes - there's a question mark about it." -Donal Foley
Donal Foley's book "Understanding Medjugorje" is considered a must read by many who doubt the events known as Medjugorje. The book according to his web site "is based on the original transcripts of tape recordings of the visionaries made during the first days on the visions in June 1981. According to Mr. Foley's web site "This book clearly illustrates the problems involved in accepting Medjugorje as genuine"
The problem is on Mr. Foley's own web site, "Theotokos.org/uk, where he "clearly illustrates" from his writing that in his opinion, the apparitions known as "Our Lady of Akita" and Kibeho are "unapproved"
Donal Foley writes on his website:
"Thus this section ("unapproved apparitions) will look at alleged apparitions such as those at Amsterdam, Montichiari ("Rosa Mystica"), Necedah, Garabandal, San Damiano, Bayside, Akita, Betania, Medjugorje, Kibeho, Surbiton (Patricia/Divine Innocence), and Scottsdale, amongst others.
Mr. Foley has this to say about the apparition known as "Our Lady of Akita"
"The following information indicates that although the original local bishop "approved" the events at Akita, this is not the stance taken by Rome. A copy of a letter to the editor of the British Catholic magazine, "Christian Order," from the Apostolic Nuncio in Tokyo, Ambrose de Paoli, sent in late 1999, was published in the magazine, and in it he makes the following statement:
"The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has asked me to respond to your query re: Akita. I enclose a copy of the statement which the Bishop of Niigata sends to overseas bishops who seek information about Akita.
The Holy See has never given any kind of approval to either the events or messages of Akita. Thus Akita is definitely not approved by Rome, and it seems correct to put it into the "unapproved" category. (Donal Foley Theotokos.org/uk)
This is a remarkable claim given that Bishop John Shojiro Ito of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Niigata who had been an eyewitness to some of the events at Akita initially approved the apparition in 1984. In 1988 he went to Rome to consult with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict XVI). As the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal Ratzinger formally approved Our Lady of Akita as supernatural and worthy of belief. WikiPedia
We have asked Donal Foley for an explanation regarding his views on Akita. Here is what he had to say to us:
"According to the Nuncio, strictly speaking, it (Akita) isn't approved - that's why I put it in quotes - there's a question mark about it.
Clearly, Mr. Foley's strange position on Akita and Kibeho must call into question his credibility regarding his views on "Understanding Medjugorje".
NORMS REGARDING THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING IN THE DISCERNMENT OF PRESUMED APPARITIONS OR REVELATIONS PAUL VI/CDF FEBRUARY 25, 1978 & DECEMBER 14, 2011
NORMS REGARDING THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING IN THE DISCERNMENT OF PRESUMED APPARITIONS OR REVELATIONS 02 CDF MAY 29, 2012
PRIVATE REVELATION-RULES FOR DISCERNMENT OF PHENOMENA-FR FELIX BOURDIER
CARDINAL IVAN DIAS PROMOTES CONTROVERSIAL MARIAN APPARITIONS
CHRISTINA GALLAGHER-THE HOUSE OF PRAYER
FALSE PRIVATE REVELATION OF MICHAEL DIBITETTO - RON SMITH
FR STEFANO GOBBI-MARIAN MOVEMENT OF PRIESTS
JULIA KIM-MARYS ARK OF SALVATION
http://ephesians-511.net/docs/JULIA KIM-MARYS ARK OF SALVATION.doc
MARIA DIVINE MERCY-THE WARNING SECOND COMING AND THE BOOK OF TRUTH
MARIA VALTORTA-POEM OF THE MAN-GOD
MAUREEN SWEENEY-HOLY LOVE MINISTRIES
PATRICIA DE MENEZES-THE COMMUNITY OF DIVINE INNOCENCE
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 02-MEDJUGORJE
VERONICA LUEKEN-OUR LADY OF THE ROSES