Garabandal is a village in Northern Spain in the diocese of Santander. Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared there from 1961 to 1965 to Conchita Gonzalez, Jacinta Gonzalez, Mari Cruz Gonzalez and Mari-Loli Mazon.  This apparition story does not enjoy Church permission or approval.

The Vatican decreed in 1970 that the decision about if the apparition was really Mary rested with the bishop of Santander and that the Vatican had no interest in thinking any more about the vision. All the bishops of Santander disapproved of the apparitions and decreed that they were not of Mary. In 1996, Bishop Vilaplana reminded enquirers that there was no evidence of anything supernatural ever having happened at Garabandal and that all his predecessors believed the same. This conclusion was the result of several thorough commissions or investigations by the Church. The Church would say they were of the Devil if they were supernatural for the Church would love to be able to say that for it gives evidence of the supernatural to a sceptical world but it cannot. The visionaries signed a document that they would never again promote the visions. The Church points out that the supporters of the apparition say they will believe God rather than men when the Church condemns the vision. What encourages disobedience is that the visions said that the Church has lots of bishops who are a bad influence. Then the Church points to Romans 13:1 that says that all people must be subject to earthly authority for God has placed that authority.


The bishops claimed there was evidence that the visions were not supernatural.  They did not take the line that the visions could be supernatural but not from God.  The fact that the vision kept getting her predictions of the future wrong is proof enough that no intelligent devil or god had anything to do with the visions.  However some worry about how the Virgin didn't want blessed objects brought to her but wanted unblessed ones for her to bless them herself.  This is important for those who think demons are deterred by holy objects.

It was predicted that Pope Paul and Padre Pio would see the promised Great Miracle.  But they died and nothing has happened.

Conchita wrote in her diary that the pope knew the date of this miracle - it is total fantasy.

The visionaries signed an agreement with the bishop not to promote the visions. 

Conchita broke that agreement.

The letter below proves Conchita the main witness was promoting disobedience to the Church in 1971 quite soon after the visions.  Interestingly she says that God will vindicate the visions if true.  She mentions obstacles and says God will overcome them if the visions are authentic.  She hints that the rules and demands for obedience from the Church are obstacles.  Catholic doctrine teaches that God always wants the Church obeyed and agrees with it being strict and cautious with apparition claims even if they are true.  Disobedience is a bad fruit of an apparition and is not a mere obstacle. It is a sign that God does not support the visions and they are not authentic.  She goes as far as to say the recipient must not even be influenced by the decrees of the Church.  A person who is against you obeying somebody will tell you not to be influenced by them at all as if there is nothing good or partly good in their rules.  That is too extreme and blatant rebellion.


October 11, 1996 - Bishop Jose Vilaplana

"Some people have been coming directly to the Diocese of Santander (Spain) asking about the alleged apparitions of Garabandal and especially for the answer about the position of the hierarchy of the Church concerning these apparitions.

I need to communicate that:

All the bishops of the diocese since 1961 through 1970 agreed that there was no supernatural validity for the apparitions.

In the month of December of 1977 Bishop Dal Val of Santander, in union with his predecessors, stated that in the six years of being bishop of Santander there were no new phenomena.

The same bishop, Dal Val, let a few years go by to allow the confusion or fanaticism to settle down, and then he initiated a commission to examine the apparitions in more depth. The conclusion of the commission agreed with the findings of the previous bishops. That there was no supernatural validity to such apparitions.

At the time of the conclusions of the study, in 1991, I was installed bishop in the diocese. So during my visit to Rome, as limina visit which happened in the same year, I presented to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith the study and I asked for pastoral direction concerning this case.

On Nov. 28, 1992, the Congregation sent me an answer saying that after examining the documentation, there was no need for direct intervention (by the Vatican) to take away the jurisdiction of the ordinary bishop of Santander in this case. Such a right belongs to the ordinary. Previous declarations of the Holy See agree in this finding. In the same letter they suggested that if I find it necessary to publish a declaration, that I reconfirm that there was no supernatural validity in the alleged apparitions, and this will make a unanimous position with my predecessors.

Given that the declarations of my predecessors who studied the case have been clear and unanimous, I don’t find it necessary to have a new public declaration that would raise notoriety about something which happened so long ago. However, I find it necessary to rewrite this report as a direct answer to the people who ask for direction concerning this question, which is now final: I agree with [and] I accept the decision of my predecessors and the direction of the Holy See.

In reference to the Eucharistic celebration in Garabandal, following the decision of my predecessors, I ruled that Masses can be celebrated only in the parish church and there will be no references to the alleged apparitions and visiting priests who want to say Mass must have approval from the pastor, who has my authorization. It’s my wish that this information is helpful to you.

My regards in Christ,
Jose Vilaplana
Bishop of Santander
Oct. 11, 1996


This implies that there is nothing at all to indicate supernatural visions.  Conchita has not only made money out of her claims but admitted to Father J. Pelletier that she stole the communion wafer to do the communion from the angel.  The lack of reverence exemplified by the visionaries taking the invisible communion and not spending any time in prayer after and just laughing and acting normal is a warning sign for Catholics.  See the footage.


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