Beware of so-called 'church-approved' coronavirus prevention (2023)

Apparition claims aside, such oils have been used in witchcraft for "protection" for centuries.

Our Lady's alleged revelations to a Costa Rican woman who asked to use essential oils to prevent coronavirus infection have gone viral on the internet. What have Catholics to do with such revelations?

The "psychic" named Luz de María de Bonilla would have received a message from Our Lady on June 3, 2016, giving her instructions on how to use a mixture of essential oils, which she called Good Samaritan Oil. used as a preventive measure against outbreaks of infection. He said the vision also recommended people eat a raw clove of garlic every morning or use oregano oil because "both are excellent antibiotics."

On January 28, 2020, Our Lady said to the seer again: “Great plagues, plagues caused by unknown viruses are encroaching upon humanity. Use good Samaritan protective oil in case of a highly contagious disease in your area - just the pinhead amount on your earlobes. As the number of infected increases, you must place it on either side of your neck and on the wrists of both hands..."

The oils found in Good Samaritan Oil are cinnamon, clove, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus. This is the same recipe for a popular essential oil blend known as "thief oil," which is associated with the legend of four thieves who stole the bodies of bubonic plague victims but managed to escape infection, while using these ingredients. These oils have been used in witchcraft for centuries for "protection" and are marketed by essential oil vendors with claims that they boost the immune system and protect people from infections such as the flu and viruses.

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To lend credence to the alleged messages is a nod from a bishop named Msgr. Juan Abelardo Mata Guavara, Bishop of Esteli, Nicaragua, who approved the messages this seer received from 2009 to 2017. There is no indication that Msgr. Mata or any other church official endorsed the 2020 message recommending these alternatives for use against COVID-19.

While the church has not made any decisions regarding the supernatural nature of the revelations, the messages have gone viral online, with many Catholics touting the oils as a "church-approved" way to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

As compelling as it sounds, these revelations are surprising because they appear to contradict the Church's teaching contained in the ethical and religious guidelines for health services. Based on Pope John Paul II's encyclical on the value and sanctity of human life (the gospel of life) state the guidelines: "A person has a moral obligation to employ ordinary or reasonable means to preserve his life". This is especially true in the case of communicable or life-threatening diseases.

As Kevin Rickert, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy at St. Mary's University of Minnesota, "at the heart of the matter is the distinction between ordinary and extraordinary attention," and he explains these distinctions in his article:"Alternative Medicine and the Duty to Use Ordinary Means".

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Ordinary means are those treatments commonly considered ordinary to the preservation of human life, such as food, shelter, avoidance of unnecessary bodily harm, and the use of approved medical procedures when necessary.

Alternative medicine, like essential oils, is generally defined as treatments that have not been scientifically proven or have not met the standards of what would be considered accepted medical procedures. Therefore, Our Lady's alleged recommendation to use essential oils to prevent contagion is suspect.

Ongoing research into the use of essential oils for health care has found that some products are helpful for general well-being, but even industry experts concede that there is no scientific evidence to support their use in the way Our Lady recommends it allegedly prescribed. .

On behalf of Dr. Russell Osguthorpe, an infectious disease physician and chief medical officer for essential oil company doTERRA, said spokesman Kevin WilsonHallAs of March 2020: "doTERRA recognizes that essential oils have profound health and wellness benefits, but we make no claims that our products prevent, treat, or cure any disease, including COVID-19."

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If this is the case, why would Our Lady instruct us to use anything that is not scientifically proven or consistent with local health policy to protect us during a serious public health emergency? Why would you send messages that don't include at least a recommendation to follow local health policies or seek medical advice?

Experts like Michael O'Neill, author of 'Virgin, Mother, Queen' and creator, has doubts that Our Lady gave these instructions.

"While Our Lady pointed out the waters of Lourdes to Saint Bernadette, Mary does not typically recommend natural remedies or ignore medical advice," O'Neill said. "This appears to be a non-standard request from Mary for an apparition and therefore casts some doubt on the validity of these apparitions."

As for the imprimatur, O'Neill explains that an imprimatur does not mean that a supernatural event took place. It merely states that the messages are free from doctrinal errors. Such a declaration is usually made by the Ordinary of the place where an alleged Marian apparition is taking place. Since Costa Rican-born Luz de María currently resides in Argentina, it's not clear why a Nicaraguan bishop gave her the green light. Attempts to get clarification from Bishop Mata and the Argentine church authorities continue.

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“Participating in unauthorized apparitions can present great challenges to faith, and it is important to remember that the centrality of our faith is in the words and deeds of Jesus Christ in the gospels, not in alleged apparitions,” advises O 'Neill... "If believers find that the messages help them draw nearer to Christ, the messages can certainly bring great spiritual benefit, but they are unlikely to be secret potions to ward off viruses."

This advice is common sense to most Catholics, so why are these revelations so pervasive among the Catholic population?

This may be due to a movement among some Catholics who better view "natural" health care as a "gift from God." like dr Rickert warns, however, that this notion is "a ruse" because "everything that exists comes from God," including science.

Another possible reason for using alternative methods to prevent COVID-19 could be the natural fear caused by the pandemic.

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“Even for religious people, instead of facing our fears and entering a deeper spiritual state, divine 'revelations' promising healing through essential oils or other formulas can open up 'magical solutions' and a way to 'stay in control' . Acceptance of the divine plan, a plan that may include crossing the valley of death,” says Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D., director of education at the National Catholic Center for Bioethics.

“Regarding COVID-19, we must rely on properly conducted research studies, not visionary claims, when attempting to develop drugs or treatments that offer protective or therapeutic benefits. God wants us to use science and medicine to protect us from disease, but we must always temper our struggle for survival with a sobriety about the finality, inevitability, and unpredictability of death. The prospect of Thief in the Night should draw our attention more than Oil of the Thief.”


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