Penampakan bentuk Salib dipohon kelapa kini muncul di SABAH.2007
Kejadian Pertama di Kg.Patikang Ulu,Keningau dan kejadian kedua di Kg.Maksak,Keningau. (Petikan Akhbar)
True Christian faith is based on faith and personal relationship with Jesus
12 June 2007
To all Priests, Religious and Laity of Keningau Diocese
May the peace of Christ be with us all.
I write this special Pastoral Letter in view of the phenomenon happening in Kg Patikang and Kg Masak Keningau and the perceptions held by some Catholics. This phenomenon involves apparitions of a cross and Mother Mary ‘claimed’ to be seen by many people and proven with photos. However, these are only images.
To all Catholics and groups in each parish and mission, we must be cautious in accepting and believing in a phenomenon such as this. In cases like this, the Church will not rush into accepting and approving it per se.
If this phenomenon is true, it will definitely bear good fruits in the lives of the faithful and society. Among them, the faithful will be aware and fulfill their responsibilities toward God, one another and society.
In short, if this phenomenon is true, a sense of repentance will well-up among the faithful and in society. For those who have seen the images and are touched personally, well and good, for this is the effect that we are hoping for.
However, let us realise that true Christian faith is based on faith and our right personal relationship with Jesus.
He is present to us through the Sacraments, His Word, through one another and in His creation and is not influenced by ‘apparition’ as the phenomenon occuring at Kg Patikang and Kg Masak, keningau.
No matter what, phenomenon such as this must be perceived carefully and with wisdom:
i) The Catholic Church through the Diocese of Keningau does not approve it per se. Catholics are advised not to do the following: ‘donate money to the coconut tree’ (as some people may take advantage of the situation), conduct novena, pray the rosary, kneel and light candle beneath the coconut tree - these may depict false worship and shallow faith.
ii) Revelation of God is complete through Jesus His Son (Heb 1:1-2). There is no need for us to search for external signs to signify the presence of God. God is usually present in ordinary ways so much so that we fail to recognise and accept Him (Jn 1:10-14).
iii) Usually the revelation of Jesus or Mother Mary takes place on a personal basis, as in Lourdes and Fatima, not with images. Falsification may happen in religious matters.
St Paul has reminded the faithful in Corinth on deception and false apostles, “for Satan himself masquerades as angel of light…” (2 Cor 11:3, 14).
In this IT age, people can falsify many things, documents, images, etc. Don’t let ourselves be influenced. What is most bizzare is that the said ‘apparition’ can move from place to place.
Let us not be disturbed, influenced or even fooled by the various perceptions and assumptions made regarding this phenomenon (Mt 24:4).
True faith is faith in Jesus, united with Him and consistently doing His will through the Church and in our daily lives (Mt 24:13, 23).
As faithful in the Diocese of Keningau, let us continue to be united and faithful to Jesus and His Church in our daily lives, guided by our Diocesan Pastoral Theme, wanting and choosing to serve only Him, our Lord and to form our faith and social responsibilities.
Let us together be responsible in facing this phenomenon so that our actions will not give room and opportunity to others to exploit and abuse the Church, the cross and Mother Mary for personal gains through fearful threats such as ‘chain SMS’ etc.
“Eucharist: core of our culture of worship, faith formation and social responsibility.”
Bishop Cornelius Piong