Juan Diego: Difference between revisions

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The debate over the historicity of St. Juan Diego and, by extension, of the apparitions and the miraculous image, begins with a contemporary to Juan Diego, named Antonio Valeriano. Valeriano was one of the best Indian scholars at the College of Santiago de Tlatelolco at the time that Juan Diego was alive; he was proficient in Spanish as well as Latin, and a native speaker of Nahuatl. He knew Juan Diego personally
<ref>''The Cleaving of Christendom'', Warren Carroll, p 616</ref>{{additional citation needed|date=May 2018}} and wrote his account of the apparitions on the basis of Juan Diego's testimony.{{disputed inline|for=The Nican Mopohua's first draft dates from 1556, decades after all the alleged witnesses had died. There's no scholarly consensus as to who wrote these first pages. Attribution to Valeriano is based on anachronistic speculation by Sigüenza y Góngora (See "Nican Mopohua" article for details).|date=May 2018}} A copy of Valeriano's document was rediscovered by Jesuit Father Ernest J. Burrus in the New York Public Library.<ref>ibid</ref><ref>"The Oldest Copy of the Nican Mopohua", CARA Studies on Popular Devotion, Vol. IV</ref>
<ref>ibid</ref><ref>"The Oldest Copy of the Nican Mopohua", CARA Studies on Popular Devotion, Vol. IV</ref>
 
[[File:Nican-mopohua.jpeg|thumb|right|250px|Copy of [[Huei tlamahuiçoltica]] preserved at the [[New York Library]].]]
 
Some objections to the historicity of the Guadalupe event, grounded in the silence of the very sources which – it is argued – are those most likely to have referred to it, were raised as long ago as 1794 by Juan Bautista Muñoz and were expounded in detail by Mexican historian [[Joaquín García Icazbalceta]] in a confidential report dated 1883 commissioned by the then Archbishop of Mexico and first published in 1896. The silence of the sources is discussed in a separate section, below. The most prolific contemporary protagonist in the debate is [[Stafford Poole]], a historian and Vincentian priest in the United States of America, who questioned the integrity and rigor of the historical investigation conducted by the Catholic Church in the interval between Juan Diego's beatification and his canonization.
 
For a brief period in mid-1996 a vigorous debate was ignited in Mexico when it emerged that Guillermo Schulenburg, who at that time was 80 years of age, did not believe that Juan Diego was a historical person or (which follows from it) that it is his mantle which is conserved and venerated at the Basilica. That debate, however, was focused not so much on the weight to be accorded to the historical sources which attest to Juan Diego's existence as on the propriety of Abbot Schulenburg retaining an official position which – so it was objected – his advanced age, allegedly extravagant life-style and heterodox views disqualified him from holding. Abbot Schulenburg's resignation (announced on September 6, 1996) terminated that debate.<ref>[http://www.rcadena.net/Sculenburg-tot.htm Dimitió Schulenburg], ''La Jornada'', September 7, 1996; ''cf.'' {{harvp|Brading|2001|pp=348f}}</ref> The scandal, however, re-erupted in January 2002 when the Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli published in the Italian newspaper ''[[Il Giornale]]'' a confidential letter dated December 4, 2001, which Schulenburg (among others) had sent to Cardinal Sodano, the then Secretary of State at the Vatican, reprising reservations over the historicity of Juan Diego.<ref>[http://www.terra.com.mx/noticias/articulo/085686/ Insiste abad: Juan Diego no existió], ''Notimex'', January 21, 2002.</ref>
 
Partly in response to these and other issues, the [[Congregation for the Causes of Saints]] (the body within the Catholic Church with oversight of the process of approving candidates for sainthood) reopened the historical phase of the investigation in 1998, and in November of that year declared itself satisfied with the results.<ref>[http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/JDIEGO.HTM Disclosures from Commission Studying Historicity of Guadalupe Event], ''Zenit'' news agency, December 12, 1999.</ref> Following the canonization in 2002, the Catholic Church considers the question closed.