BETTER TO BELIEVE THAN NOT TO BELIEVE.
What about the statement of Pope Urban VIII (17th Century)
"It’s better to believe than not to believe."?
The promoters of un-approved apparitions and private revelations, appeal to two false conclusions from past Pope’s statements, and in both cases they take statements out of context. As the Vatican has already clarified in their Nov. 1996 statement, "The interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI … is absolutely groundless."
And regarding Pope Urban VIII, this also is taken out of context. He was referring to a private revelation that was under investigation but no conclusion was reached yet, for as he said, "and if it should prove to be false". The question you should ask is "prove to be false" by whom? By the promoters, the sheep, the bishop of the mystic, or by Rome.
The doctrine of the Church is "to the judgment of the diocesan Bishop". Of course, there must be a period of time before the diocesan Bishop comes to a conclusion, and during this period of time one is not held responsible for a false belief. If, however, you continue to believe in a mystic that the local Bishop has "proved to be false", will you still "receive all the blessings as if it were to be true"? No! Because then you have violated the Fourth Commandment. "Honor your Father and your Mother" because no one can have God for their Father without having the Church for their Mother.
"But, Lord, I believed with all my heart."
(Matt. 7:21=24) "Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day,
‘Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you, depart from me, you that work iniquity.’ Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock."
The important thing about this statement of Christ is that the person was surprised, he thought he was doing the will of God, and he thought that the power he had to perform miracles and give prophesies was also from God. But this power was not from God. Christ goes on to say what the rules are. "He who hears my word" means all his words. Read HIS WORDS in Matt. 18:17 which states, "And if he will not hear them [witnesses or the facts] tell the church. And if he will not hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican."
"We are of God. [the bishops] He that knoweth God, heareth us. He that is not of God, heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:6)
"But what about the bad bishops?", you might ask. But when you ask that question, you are saying that God has no power over His creatures. This powerless God of yours, can give prophesies and miracles to a mystic, but has no power over the very bishop that he commands us to obey to influence him to make the proper judgment. Therefore, you become your own bishops and your own Church. Then when you go up to heaven, He will say what? When you say I would rather believe in God than man, what you are really saying is I would rather believe in the mystic than the Church, and this is a Gnostic heresy.
Can a bishop make a mistake? Yes! But if you obey him, you are not sinning; but if you disobey him, you are, even if he made a mistake. However, I know of no private revelation in the 2000 year history of the Church that was condemned by a local bishop and later found to be true. I do know of private revelations that were approved by the local bishop and then found to be false. In fact one Pope lamented on his death bed that he almost brought the Church into its ruin by following a false mystic. That Pope was Urban VIII.
In Her Arms