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Vatican set to discuss supernatural phenomena and apparitions at Friday press conference

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The Vatican is offering insight on apparitions and other supernatural phenomena on Friday in a press conference set to be streamed live on YouTube.

The press conference has been scheduled for Friday at 6 a.m. ET, when the Vatican is set to present guidance on new provisions from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to a news release from the Holy See Press Office. The center of discussion will surround apparition, which the Encyclopedia of the Bible refers to as a supernatural or spiritual visitor.

Vatican officials are also set to publish updated documentation about apparitions on Friday.

Current guidance outlines direct steps officials must take when someone reports an apparition, including establishing whether the claim is valid under a positive and negative criteria. Guidelines also instruct officials to cautiously “permit some public manifestation of cult or of devotion” and express a judgment on the merit of the supernatural claim.

Three speakers are scheduled for the conference including Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Monsignor Armando Matteo and Sister Daniela Del Gaudio.

How to watch Vatican press conference livestream

The Vatican is set to stream the news conference on its official YouTube page at 6 a.m. ET.

What is an apparition?

In a biblical context, apparitions refer to “any appearance of a dead and disembodied person. This is rare, and mostly reflects popular belief,” the Encyclopedia of the Bible definition states.

Apparition primarily relate to divine entities including saints or the Virgin Mary.

Last apparition guidance revisions made in 1978

The new guidelines mark the first revisions to its doctrine regarding apparitions since 1978.

In April, the dicastery was “in the process of finalizing a new text with clear guidelines and norms for the discernment of apparitions and other phenomena,” the dicastery told the National Catholic Register.

Pope Francis recently spoke to CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell in the first in-depth one-on-one interview to a U.S. broadcast network, the network said. An extended version of the interview will air on CBS’ “60 Minutes” program on Sunday, May 19 where the pope will address several of the Church’s controversies and “the steps he’s taken to bring the traditional institution into a modern era.”

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