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What does it mean when non-Catholic Christians receive prophetic dreams from the Holy Spirit?

A Xt3 Member asked at 7:36pm on July 11th 2018
Good evening, Father Brendan,

Recently, I came across a Christian street preacher's Youtube channel, Cleveland Street Preachers. It's run by a former Catholic turned atheist turned non-Catholic Christian named Joseph Ibrahim. Here's one of his recent Bible studies in case you want to see what he's about:

If you don't have the time to watch it, I understand. I just wanted to know what the Catholic Church says about non-Catholic Christians receiving prophecies from the Holy Spirit and being verified by others who share their non-Catholic beliefs (i.e., asking God in prayer). In all these visions he and others like him have, God doesn't necessarily point him to the Catholic Church, so what does that mean? Thank you for your time, and have a good night!



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Hi Ryan,

The Church generally limits its statements to matters of Catholic faith and morals, and of course in matters to do with relationships with the various Anglican, Protestant and Orthodox Churches, and with the great Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and so on. So there's no particular statement on visionary experiences of people outside the Catholic Church. But it's always been very clear that even visionary experiences of canonized Catholic saints, like St Bernadette of Lourdes, or the two younger children of Fatima, are private revelations. It doesn't doubt their truth but no Catholic is bound to accept them as true, since what the Church calls 'revelation' properly speaking ended with the New Testament. Personally, I think you'd be better off simply ignoring these events you mention, we've got so many real mysteries to try to appreciate-and even more importantly, to live-like the Eucharist, the Trinity, the Church and the other Sacraments. All of these would take a lifetime and more to even get a glimmering of understanding.

Very best, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 10:30pm on July 26th 2018 reply

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