From First Things:
Of course, supernatural apparitions, especially epic ones affecting the solar system, are anathema to atheists, and even to “enlightened” Catholics who are embarrassed by any mention of Fatima. Both ridicule the apparitions as scientifically impossible—the product of backward Catholic spirituality and superstition.
But there are major problems with this line of attack. The campaign against Fatima has to establish that the two saints and their cousin not only deluded themselves, but have deceived millions for a century; and that Sr. Lucia, who died at 97, spent her adult life in a religious order living a lie. The opponents also have to prove that tens of thousands of people who witnessed the Miracle of the Sun experienced an optical illusion that day; or that the Miracle can be explained by mere psychology, or the madness of crowds.
The claim that the seers were fantasists or religious con artists conflicts with the testimonials of those who knew them best, not to mention the extensive investigations conducted by the Church and independent observers. Further, the Miracle of the Sun was seen not only by believers, but by atheists and skeptics who expected to see nothing that day. And numerous scientists have decisively rebutted the a priori assumption that the events of Fatima could never have occurred, including Stanley Jaki, who held doctorates in physics and theology and wrote a book defending the Miracle of the Sun. With worldwide attention being given to the Church’s increasing support for Fatima, it’s not hard to see who is winning this debate.
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Pray always for purity and love