Denver, Colo., Feb 16, 2017 / 02:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- New claims that messages from alleged visionary Charlie Johnston have been approved by the Church are false, the Archdiocese of Denver clarified on Wednesday.
Mrs. Beckie Hesse, who posts on Johnston’s blog under the name “Beckita,” seemed to claim in a Feb, 7, 2017 blog post that Johnston’s alleged visions “have been fully approved by the Church.”
“In order to ensure that the faithful are correctly informed, it is necessary to publicly state that Mrs. Hesse’s claim is false,” the Archdiocese said in a statement in response to the post.
“The events of 2016/17 have shown that Mr. Johnston’s alleged visions were not accurate and the Archdiocese urges the faithful not to condone or support further attempts to reinterpret them as valid,” the statement concluded.
Charlie Johnston is a blogger who claims to have received visions and messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary, the angel Gabriel and other saints for most of his life. He has blogged about his visions and predictions since 2014 on a WordPress site entitled “The Next Right Step.”
His predictions include warnings of a worldwide civil war, as well as many political predictions, including that President Barack Obama would not finish his second term and the toppling of the U.S. government. He has also written about how to survive if the U.S. government were to start rounding up conservative Christians into detention camps.
Since 1998, Johnston has warned about “The Storm”, a period of major political and more upheaval, which he claims the world is in the midst of right now. He has predicted a rescue from “The Storm” at the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary by October 2017. As his many of his predictions regarding the election and other events proved inaccurate, Johnston announced after Inauguration Day that he was stepping aside from the public scene. Hesse has been posting from his blog this month.
Johnston has said his followers should not focus on his predictions, but instead on doing the will of God in the moment, hence the title of the blog.
But those same predictions garnered enough attention and followers that Archbishop Samuel Aquila with the Archdiocese of Denver launched an investigation into his writings and speeches. A special commission composed of two theologians and a canonist reviewed material from his blog, videos of presentations from various parts of the country, and an archive of his writings from as far back as 1998.
The findings of the commission, which were released in a statement in March 2016, urged extreme caution among the faithful when it came to Johnston’s messages, and also announced that Johnston would not be approved as a speaker for the Archdiocese.
“After reviewing the commission’s findings and in keeping with his pastoral office, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver has decided to strongly advise the faithful to exercise prudence and caution in regards to Mr. Charlie Johnston’s alleged divine visions and messages. As has been demonstrated with other alleged apparitions, the danger exists of people placing greater faith in a prediction than in Christ’s words and promises,” the Archdiocese announced in a statement last year.
“For those who are disappointed by this finding, the archdiocese encourages them to seek their security in Jesus Christ, the sacraments, and the Scriptures. The faithful should also remember Christ’s words: ‘But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’ (Mt. 24:36).”