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Discernment of Private Revelation

Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?
An Evaluation of the messages of Chris Courtis (

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In my humble and pious opinion as a faithful Roman Catholic theologian, the claim that the messages of Chris Courtis ( are private revelation is a false claim. A list of reasons and examples follows.
  1. An Heretical Change to the Creed

    False private revelations often try to convince the faithful to follow new devotions and to adopt new forms of prayer. In this way, they hope to solidify their deceitful grasp on those among the children of God who are easily deceived.

    In the December 13, 2004 message, which Courtis claims is from the Virgin Mary, a new devotional prayer is presented, called the Mother of Mercy Chaplet. The prayers have a wording which is generally devout and orthodox, except for the Creed, where Mary supposedly makes a change to the Creed:
    “Then recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Apostles' Creed. However, in the Apostles' Creed do not say, 'descended into Hell'; replace that with 'descended into the lower part of Purgatory.' ”
    This rejection of the formula that Christ descended to Hell is heretical because it contradicts the Creed, which is a type of summary of what Christians must believe. The Virgin Mary would not change the Creed, which has been accepted and taught and prayed in the Church for many hundreds of years.

    Furthermore, it makes no sense to say instead that Christ descended to the lower part of Purgatory. There is a teaching in the Church that Christ visited the Old Testament Patriarchs and other holy persons who were waiting in the Limbo of the Fathers (which is a kind of upper level of Purgatory), so that they would know Christ before entering Heaven and so as to open the gates of Heaven for them. But to say that Christ descended to the lower part of Purgatory is theologically useless. The Virgin Mary is the seat of wisdom; she does not spout such nonsense, nor would she contradict the Creed, therefore, the claimed private revelations to Chris Courtis are false.

    Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II, tells us, based on her true private revelations from God, that Christ visited Hell itself. Here is what she says about Christ's descent into Hell:
    Finally, I beheld him approach to the centre of the great abyss, that is to say, to Hell itself; and the expression of his countenance was most severe…. The tremendous explosion of oaths, curses, cries of despair, and frightful exclamations which, like a clap of thunder, burst forth when the gates of Hell were thrown open by the angels, would be difficult even to imagine; our Lord spoke first to the soul of Judas, and the angels then compelled all the demons to acknowledge and adore Jesus. They would have infinitely preferred the most frightful torments to such a humiliation; but all were obliged to submit.
    (Blessed A. C. Emmerich, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, chapter LIX).
    She also describes Christ visiting Purgatory, but every part of it, not just a lower portion. Christ had to visit both Hell and Purgatory to fulfill the Scripture:

    {45:23} I have sworn by myself, the word of justice shall go out of my mouth, and shall not return:
    {45:24} For every knee shall be bowed to me, and every tongue shall swear.

    [Philippians 2]
    {2:9} For which cause, God also hath exalted him and hath given him a name which is above all names:
    {2:10} That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:
    {2:11} And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

    Therefore, Christ descended to Hell, as Blessed Emmerich also describes, so that even the souls and the spirits in Hell would acknowledge Him as Lord and God. For Hell is the domain of God, not of Satan. Christ is therefore Lord over Heaven and earth and all that is 'under the earth' (an expression referring to Hell). Otherwise, how could it be said that He 'descended' if He did not go to that place called 'under the earth'? For Purgatory is close to Heaven, because all the souls there are certainly saved.

  2. The messages promote the apparitions and messages to Ida Peerdeman under the name of the Lady of All Nations. This other false private revelation has been rightly judged by many of the faithful to be false.

  3. These messages of Chris Courtis promote a distorted understanding of co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix (see my article for an explanation of the proper theological concepts.) True messages, such as those to Fr. Gobbi, show a profound understanding of this role of Mary. False messages, such as the ones in question, merely repeat the more common erroneous theology associated with this concept.

  4. These messages claim that this teaching is the last Marian dogma in history. This claim undermines the teaching authority of the Church, by claiming that the Magisterium cannot declare any further dogma's related to Mary. On the contrary, there is much more to be known about the Mother of God than can be contained in only 5 dogmas. Furthermore, there are already more than 5 dogmas about the Virgin Mary, including: her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, her Queenship (celebrated as a feast day in the Church and as a decade of the Rosary), her perfect and perpetual Virginity, her suffering at the foot of the Cross, her role as Mother of God, her role as Spouse of the Holy Spirit, her role as a figure of the Church triumphant, etc.

  5. Again, these messages repeat the error of Ida Peerdeman, in using the expression 'who once was Mary.' The Church continues to call her Mary and there is no support in Tradition, Scripture, or Magisterium for a name change.

  6. These messages claim that “2000 was the beginning of the fulfillment of these prophecies, and 2005 will be the middle of these prophecies, and 2015 will be the complete fulfillment of these prophecies.” Also, a false claim is made that an Era of Peace begins in 2015. There are actually a series of confused and somewhat contradictory statements made about what happens during these years.

  7. The claim is made, so often found in false private revelation, that “The future is conditional.” Thus, if predictions of certain messages do not occur, they can claim that events changed due to more prayer or more sin. On the contrary, from God's point of view (and Mary's point of view in Heaven), all is taken into account, including free will decisions and actions, and the whole future is known with certainty.

  8. The claim is made that the Annunciation occurred at exactly 11:45 a.m. and that the Incarnation occurred at exactly noontime. Firstly, God does not schedule the events of salvation history in this manner, as if tied to a time clock. Secondly, private revelation to Anne Catherine Emmerich (recently beatified by Pope John Paul 2) states that the Incarnation occurred at midnight.

  9. The further claim is made that Mary was born at 4:00 am. This contradicts private revelation to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, giving the time as midnight.

  10. Excessive focus on evil and Satan and irreligion is found in many messages. For example: “On the seventh day, I desire you to meditate upon all those who are engaged in New Age, Satanic rituals, and those whose beliefs about my Son, me, and the Church are not right.” Many other messages repeatedly mention New Age, wicca, witchcraft, Satanic practices and rituals, etc. Such a focus on evil is characteristic of false private revelation, because the devil likes to boast about how much harm he has done.

  11. The false prediction was made that the Pope after John Paul II would be of Italian descent. (Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, is German.)

  12. The false claim is made: “When the chastisements come, Medjugorje will be spared.” The visionaries of Medjugorje themselves have said that, during the chastisements, the good will suffer with the bad. And they themselves have not said Medjugorje would be exempt.

  13. Other false predictions of future events include this so-called 'secret' now revealed: “After the death of Pope John Paul II, there shall be great trials. Famine will come to the earth in places where famine has never been. AIDS will mutate to such a degree that no drugs or doctors will be able to stop it. Your nation will be divided even against itself, and then Satan, in his last attempt to show his power, will clone a human being. Then within a year after this time, shall peace be brought to Jerusalem, but beware, my dear ones, it is a false peace.” It is a ridiculous assertion that Satan's 'last attempt to show power' would be to clone a human being. Although human cloning is immoral, this message is merely playing off of news stories about cloning.

  14. There is also a lame false prediction, supposedly given in April 2002, but not 'revealed' until January 2004, that is clearly an attempt to take credit for predicting the Iraq war. I won't bother quoting it, since it was only revealed well after the war was underway.

  15. There are clear examples of poor theology, including, for example: “It is true, my dear little children, that when you are baptized, your sins are washed away, including the original sin. However, because you are descended from Adam and Eve, traces of original sin, although washed away, still remain within your DNA, so to speak.”

  16. The person who wrote the messages clearly has no idea at all when things will happen in the future. For example, this message about a 'time-out' for the world:

    “I am so sorry from the bottom of My heart to have to give you this message first. My dear ones, time has run out! The grief that I suffer over sin is enormous! I cannot, I will not, hold My hand of justice back any longer. The time has come. The time is now!”

    And again:

    “I am accelerating this time and My justice so that soon the 'time out' can commence (Jesus, March 13, 2005). However, I wish to make clear, during the 'time out' does not mean you will not have war. Men's hearts are set to evil, then so shall men do evil. What it does mean is that I will not strike the earth. I will leave it alone for the space of one year to repent and to return back to Me. It also means that Satan will have no influence during that time. However, his influence still exists today and most likely will continue to exist even when he is not permitted to do harm. The influence of the evil one penetrates deep into the heart of humanity, and even with this 'time out,' evil can still run its course.'

    And this message also show no knowledge of the future. Some vague statements are made and, despite their vagueness, the messages hedge their bets about the future by claiming all is conditional:

    “I am telling you now, a great event, greater than you've ever known, shall come upon this country and a great event shall also come to the Church, and this event is not a good event. It is not the Illuminada either. It is a very, very bad thing. I am telling you this now because it must be known to the public now, that the future is conditional. It depends on whether the people comply with my message and live the best they can in repentance and love toward my Son.”

    Yet the contradictory statement is made in another message: “all things will come to pass according to God's time table.” So, is the future entirely conditional or is it a set time table? The author of these messages cannot seem to decide.

    “I'm telling you now....” -- but then nothing is told, and statements are made to say also that it might not happen. Would God or Mary really give a supernatural message to the world in order to make some vague statements about the future that may or may not happen? What would the point be to such messages? Clearly, this is not true private revelation.

  17. Again, in other messages, no knowledge of the future is shown. For example, there were 4 hurricanes that hit Florida in 2004. No mention of these hurricanes is found in messages before that time. But in July of 2005, a vague message warns of hurricanes in Florida, obviously playing off of events from the previous hurricane season. But Louisiana and Mississippi are not mentioned.

  18. Another example of ignorance of future events:

    “The anti-Christ is real and he shall come surely as is written of him, but the time when he shall come shall be at my disposal. I am warning you of this now because it is at My Will that he shall come. He shall come either now, or he shall come at the end of time. Either way, it is up to Me when He shall come, and from the looks of the way the world is going at this present moment, I am warning you that I am sending the anti-Christ as soon as possible since your sins are so severe and you will not listen and heed my many warnings.”

    Does the author of this message sound like our all-powerful and all-knowing God? The author of these messages doesn't know what will happen and can't seem to decide what to do.

  19. Odd titles given to the Virgin Mary, for example: “My dear children, next month I shall come under the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel of Garabandal.” Another example is the confused statement: “Even though I have appeared under the title of Mary, Mother and Queen of the Divine Will, and I am connected to that also under the title of Mother of Mercy because I always do the Will of God, I desire you not to focus on those points of the messages now. Instead I invite you to listen and live the messages of the Mother of Mercy, which I am. ”

    Many message portray Mary as if she were speaking in a rambling and confused manner. Such messages are clearly not the words of the Mother of God.
This should be sufficient to show that the messages of Chris Courtis ( are not true private revelation from Heaven.

by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Sept. 17, 2005
updated on November 14, 2006

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