Again, I wonder why Professor Richard Parish's Bampton Lectures are not packed out with Catholics both Anglican and Roman. The distinguished RC expert on seventeenth century French spirituality this week dealt with the questions of the discernment of true and false spirits in the matter of visions and other supernatural occurrences. I was struck by how relevant it all was to the recently reported Vatican moves to put in place a normative document on such discenment, which, of course, is relevant to the question of the continuing phenomena at Medjugorje. The evidence adduced today suggested that humility on the part of the 'recipient' to the discerning role of church authorities is very important; and that a mark of true visionaries is their submission in these matters to authority. The Vatican rumours indicated that these points would indeed be at the heart of the new regulations.
Next week, Jansenism; the Tuesday after, 5.00 in the University Church, Quietism.