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

Our Lady's alleged revelations to a Costa Rican man asking for the use of essential oils to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have gone viral on the internet. What are Catholics to make of such revelations?

The seer named Luz de María de Bonilla allegedly received a message from Our Lady on June 3, 2016, giving her instructions on how to use a blend of essential oils, which she called Good Samaritan Oil, as a preventative. Measure against outbreaks of infection. Our Lady also recommended eating a clove of raw garlic every morning or using oil of oregano because "both are excellent antibiotics".

On January 28, 2020, Our Lady reportedly told the seer again: “Great plagues, plagues caused by unknown viruses are invading humanity. Use good samaritan oil for protection, in case of a highly contagious disease you live with, just a pinhead in the earlobe. When the number of infected increases, you should place it on both sides of the 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 blend of essential oils known as "thieves oil" and is associated with the legend of four thieves who stole the bodies of victims of the bubonic plague but managed to escape the infection while using these ingredients. . It has been used in witchcraft for centuries for "protection" and is praised by essential oil purveyors who claim it boosts the immune system and protects people from infections such as the flu and viruses.

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To give credibility to the alleged messages, a nod from a bishop named Don Juan Abelardo Mata Guavara, Bishop of Estelí, Nicaragua, who approved the messages that this seer received between 2009 and 2017 — or another Church authority — is the 2020 Embassy approved and recommended these alternatives for use against COVID-19.

Althoughchurchpassed no judgment on the supernatural nature of the revelations, the messages have gone viral on the internet and many Catholics are touting the oils as a "Church-approved" way to protect against the coronavirus.

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

As Kevin Rickert, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. Mary's University of Minnesota, tells us, "The crux of the matter is the distinction between ordinary and extraordinary care," and he explains these distinctions in terms of alternatives in his article "Alternative medicine and the duty to use ordinary means.“

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

Alternative medicine, like essential oils, is generally defined as treatments that have not been scientifically proven or do not meet the standards of what would be considered accepted medical procedures. Therefore, Our Lady's supposed 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 admit there is no scientific evidence to support their use in the way Our Lady recommends. supposedly prescribed.

On behalf of Dr. Russell Osguthorpe, an infectious disease physician and chief medical officer for essential oils company doTERRA, said spokesperson Kevin WilsonHallas of March 2020: "doTERRA recognizes that essential oils have profound health and wellness benefits, but we do not claim that our products prevent, treat, or cure any disease, including COVID-19."

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

Experts such as Michael O'Neill, author ofVirgin, Mother, Queenand creator, has doubts that Our Lady gave these instructions.

"While Our Lady drew attention to the waters of Lourdes, St. Bernadette generally does not recommend natural remedies or disregard medical advice," O'Neill said. "This appears to be a non-standard request by 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 has occurred. He simply asserts that the messages are free from doctrinal error. Such a declaration is usually made by the Ordinary of the place where a supposed Marian apparition is taking place. Since Luz de María, born in Costa Rica, currently resides in Argentina, it's unclear why a Nicaraguan bishop gave her the green light. Attempts to obtain clarification from Bishop Mata and Argentine church authorities are ongoing.

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"Participation in an unauthorized apparition can present major challenges to faith, and it is important to remember that the centrality of our faith is to be found in the words and works of Jesus Christ in the Gospels, not in alleged apparitions." , guesses O'Neil. "If believers find that the messages help them draw closer to Christ, the messages can certainly be of great spiritual benefit, but they are unlikely to be secret potions to ward off viruses."

This advice is common sense for most Catholics, so why have these revelations reached the Catholic population so far?

It may be due to a movement among some Catholics who believe that "natural" means of health care are better because they are "a gift from God". as Dr Rickert warns, however, 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 spirituality, divine 'revelations' promising healing through essential oils or other formulas can open 'magic orbs' and a way to 'take 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.

“With regard to COVID-19, we must rely on properly conducted research studies, not the claims of visionaries, when trying to develop drugs or treatments that offer protective or therapeutic benefits. God intends for us to use science and medicine to reverse disease, but we must always temper our desire to survive soberly about the finality, inevitability, and unpredictability of death. The perspective of Thief in the Night should get our attention more than any Oil of Thieves.

This article originally appeared onNational Catholic Registryand is reproduced here with their kind permission.


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