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Discernment of Private Revelation

Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?
An evaluation of the claimed private revelations at Mount Mellery Grotto in 1985

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In my humble and pious opinion, as a faithful Roman Catholic theologian, the claimed private revelations in the form of messages and apparitions received in August of 1985 at Mount Mellery Grotto, Ireland, are not true private revelations from God. These messages contain substantial doctrinal error; they are incompatible with the teachings of Sacred Scripture and of the Magisterium. This claimed private revelation endanger souls, and is not from God, or Mary, or from Heaven at all. A list of examples follows.

Heresy on the Indefectibility of the Church

First, let's consider the true teaching of the Catholic Faith:

It is an infallible teaching of the ordinary and universal Magisterium that the Church is indefectible.
The Church has "confidence in the promise of Christ that it will persevere and be maintained in the truth (cf. Mt 16.18; Jn 16.13). This is what is meant by the indefectibility of the Church." (The Gift of Authority)
{16:18} And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.

{16:13} But when the Spirit of truth has arrived, he will teach the whole truth to you. For he will not be speaking from himself. Instead, whatever he will hear, he will speak. And he will announce to you the things that are to come.
Catechism of the Catholic Church: "The Spirit who is the Spirit of communion, abides indefectibly in the Church. For this reason the Church is the great sacrament of divine communion which gathers God's scattered children together." (CCC 1108).
The Church can never go astray from truth because the Church has Christ as her head, and the Spirit as Her Guide. The Spirit dwells within the Church, keeping Her always holy and pure and faithful to God -- despite the many sins of the members of the Church on earth.

Next, let's consider the claim made in the messages at Mount Mellery:


And again shortly afterwards:

The messages at Mount Mellery also said:
This message claims that if the world (not the Church) does not improve and believe, then the devil will take over the Church. The assertion that it is even a possibility for the devil to take over the Church is abject heresy, that directly contradicts the teaching that the Church is indefectible. This claim also contradicts the clear and definitive teaching of Christ that the Spirit of Truth will teach through the Church, and that even the gates of Hell itself are not able to prevail over the Church. This message contains an assertion of severe heresy, and so it cannot possibly be a message from the Blessed Virgin Mary, nor from God, nor from Heaven at all.

It is also absurd to claim that if the world does not improve, that God would permit the devil to take over the Church. God is just. Why would he allow the Church to be taken over by evil due to failures in the world, not in the Church? The claim that this is even possible is not only heresy, but also a clever blasphemy against God, for it implies that God is unjust. The God of true justice would never permit the Church to be taken over by evil, nor permit the Church to be destroyed for the failures of the world.

Furthermore, it is clear that since 1985, the world has become ever more sinful. The world did not improve or believe. The world certainly has not improved 'ten times' over. And yet the Church was not taken over by the devil. So this one message asserts heresy, implies that God is unjust, and also has been proven patently false by the passage of time.

False Vision of Noah's Ark

The vision given to the boys of Noah's Ark contains various elements that show the vision to be false:
"The stream in front of the boys turned into a river and the railings into a dam. To the boys left, where the people in the Grotto were standing, appeared a village of huts and beyond it men were building a three decked boat, which the boys recognized as Noah's Ark. One of the men, whom they took to be Noah, was a short fat man, white hair and no beard, chubby face and wearing old baggy, worn clothes. One of the boards which was being curbed to the slope of the boat, sprung out and knocked one of the men backwards.

To the extreme left of the boys was a church. Some people were taking furniture out of the church and making gates and carts out of it. People were jeering at Noah. Other people were building the dam higher. Stones were being brought to the dam in roughly built carts - a few boards on the floor and rough creel in front, pulled by some ox like animals. One of the wheels of a cart came loose and the wheel fell off, much to the boys amusement.

Many animals, large and small, were entering the Ark, up a ramp at the side. There seemed to be two of each animal - elephants, hippopotami, even chickens. A man on a horse was pulling a giraffe by a rope, another pushing from behind. The wind and the rain came. People were trying to make the dam higher. All the animals were in the Ark by this time. The small animals on the bottom deck, and the big animals on the top. Noah and his family were in the middle deck - Noah, his wife, two other couples and two teenage children.

When Noah had the ramp closed he went to the back of the Ark to look at the dam. A crack came in the dam and it split in two. The water hit the Ark and it went flying in the air, It landed back in the water again. The people remaining in the village were swept away. But the waters kept rising and came up over the mountains and all were drowned."
This set of claims about Noah's Ark is incompatible with the teachings of Sacred Scripture on Noah, the Ark, and the Flood, for several reasons.

1. The vision portrays the Flood as if it were caused by the breaking of a dam. Sacred Scripture teaches that the Flood occurred because of 40 days and 40 nights of rain.

2. The vision claims that when water from the dam breaking hit the Ark, it flew into the air. This is not physically possible. The Ark, by all accounts and estimations, was an immense ship. According to Scripture: "And thus shall you make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits." (Genesis 6:15). And it was weighed down with its contents of people, food, and especially many animals. It could not possibly have been thrown into the air.

And of course, the Flood was not caused by a dam breaking, but by rain over many days. So there was no sudden rush of water, which might at least throw a small boat into the air.

3. Scripture teaches that Noah and his wife were accompanied by three couples: Noah's three sons and their three wives. But the vision contradicts Scripture by claiming that there were only two other couples (not three), and two teenage children. Neither can anyone claim that the two teenagers were the third couple, since Scripture says this about Noah's three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth:

"In truth, when Noah was five hundred years old, he conceived Shem, Ham, and Japheth." (Gen 5:31)
"And he was six hundred years old when the waters of the great flood inundated the earth." (Gen 7:6).

So Noah's sons were most probably in their senior years when the Flood occurred; they were not teenagers.

4. It is a common misconception that there were two of each animal species on the Ark. This common misconception is incorporated into the vision, as if there were two and only two of each animal. But Scripture says otherwise:

{7:2} From all the clean animals, take seven and seven, the male and the female. Yet truly, from animals that are unclean, take two and two, the male and the female.
{7:3} But also from the birds of the air, take seven and seven, the male and the female, so that offspring may be saved upon the face of the whole earth.

The clean animals are those that can be eaten, such as chickens. But the vision claims that there were only two chickens, not seven male and seven female (14 total), as Scripture says. Even for unclean animals, those that cannot be eaten, such as the elephant and the hippopotamus, there were two male and two female (4 total), according to the Bible.

Any claimed private revelation that contradicts the teaching of the Church or teachings of Sacred Scripture must be a false private revelation. For God never inspires false visions, nor does He teach in private revelation what contradicts the teachings of His Church.

5. The vision claims that there was a church, from which furniture was being taken. Noah lived in the time before both the Christian and the Jewish religions were founded. So there were no churches.

6. The description of Noah as "a short fat man, white hair and no beard, chubby face and wearing old baggy, worn clothes" is very unlikely. The vision makes Noah seem silly and poor. Men in those days, especially older men like Noah, would have beards; they did not have modern razors. Shaving the face or the head would be done with difficulty, if at all. That Noah could build a large Ark, and yet be fat is ridiculous. And, in order for him to afford the wood and labor for such a large ship, he must have had success and wealth. So it is not likely that he wore old baggy worn clothes.

This claimed vision, on the whole, is more like a cartoon than a true vision of a real event. And this, coupled with the many contradictions with Scripture and reason listed above, shows that this vision of Noah's Ark is not from God.


The content of the messages of this claimed private revelation are clearly contrary to the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels on the indefectibility of the Church, and the constant teaching of the Magisterium on the same subject. The claim that the devil might take over the Church is abject heresy. From this point alone, it is clear that these messages are not from the Blessed Virgin Mary, nor from God or Heaven at all. It is most probable that these messages are from fallen angels, who wish that the devil were able to take over the Church. In addition, the ten year prediction of these messages has failed, for the world has worsened and yet the Church was not taken over. Finally, the vision of Noah and the Ark is incompatible with the description in Sacred Scripture. Therefore, for all of these reasons, the claimed private revelations given at Mount Mellery in August of 1985 cannot possibly be true. These are false messages and false apparitions. The faithful would do well to avoid them.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and Bible translator
1 August 2011

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