The Catholic Defender: The Eleven Principles of Leadership


These Eleven Principles of Leadership works well in any area where leadership is a must. The Military is routine, but this should apply in the field of business and for my purpose, also in the spiritual realm:


Case in point, the alleged reported vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary at San Damiano Italy (1961-1970) is given a "negative decision" without explanation (The Miracle Hunter). Did the Bishop disbelieve the visions to be authentic, that nothing supernatural is recognized. Did the Bishop believe the story was fradulant, that the story was full of deceptions? Did the Bishop question this was a money making scheme? Did he conclude that there was no evidence to support such a claim? Even though the Bishop gives a negative decision, he does not permit priests to travel there and offer Mass. He does not want pilgrimages to travel there. In saying this, the Bishop does not outright condemn the San Damiano reported visions. In the Catholic world news does travel and the story gets out there word of mouth. Anti-Catholics like John Benko automatically pushes that if there is a negative decision or no decision that the visions are "condemned".


The approval of an apparition's supernatural character means that the case cannot be explained away due to an impediment in the visionary, nor as fraud, nor as a natural phenomenon, nor of demonic origin.

1 Peter 1-5 addresses this in a powerful way stating, "So I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.


Tend the flock of God in your midst, [overseeing] not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but agerly.


Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock.


And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Likewise, you younger members, be subject to the presbyters. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another for: “God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.”

1. Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement - You are never done growing as a leader.

2. Be Technically and Tactically Proficient - Know your business.


3. Seek Responsibility and Take Responsibility for Your Actions - Be accountable.


4. Make Sound and Timely Decisions - Be wise but be decisive.


Are the John Benkos of the world correct in their insistance that reported miracles such as San Damiano Italy are formerly condemned by the Catholic Church? Clearly, informed Christians looking into any such reported events must take what the Church proclaims seriously. If such reported events are not outright condemned consider the Bayside New York:


DECLARATION CONCERNING THE "BAYSIDE MOVEMENT" November 4, 1986 Letter of Bishop Francis Mugavero of Brooklyn

In recent months, doubts have been raised by members of the so-called "Bayside Movement" concerning the official position of the Diocese of Brooklyn on the alleged "apparitions" of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and other heavenly beings, to a woman by the name of Vernica Lueken.


Moreover, erroneous claims have been made by a number of followers of Mrs. Lueken concerning the legitimacy of their position, in order to justify their activities on behalf of the "Movement." These have taken the form of statements in their publications that "since Articles 1399 and 2218 of (the 1917 Code of) Canon Law were abrogated by Pope Paul VI in 1966, no ecclesiastical permission is required, neither can anyone incure censure, for the publication or dissemination of information dealing with revelations, visions or miracles, provided these do not endanger Faith or morals."


As a result of the above-mentioned doubts and claims, a number of Christ's faithful continue to attend the regularly-scheduled "vigils" held at Flushing Meadow Park, and to disseminate or receive propaganda literature on this matter.

I, the undersigned Diocesan Bishop of Brooklyn, in my role as the legitimate shepherd of this particular Church, wish to confirm the constant position of the Diocese of Brooklyn that a thorough investigation revealed that the alleged "visions of Bayside" completely lacked authenticity.


Moreover, in view of the confusion created by published reports of messages and other literature by this "Movement," I consider it my obligation to offer Christ's faithful pastoral guidance, lest their faith be endangered by "messages" and "teachings" relayed by "visionaries," which are contrary to the Faith of our Catholic Church.


Therefore, in consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I hereby declare that:

1. No credibility can be given to the so-called "apparitions" reported by Veronica Lueken and her followers.


2. The "messages" and other related propaganda contain statements which, among other things, are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church, undermine the legitimate authority of bishops and councils and instill doubts in the minds of the faithful, for example, by claiming that, for years, an "imposter (sic) Pope" governed the Catholic Church in place of Paul VI.


3. Those who persistently maintain that "no ecclesiastical permission is required for the publication or dissemination" of information concerning "revelations, visions or miracles," are erroneously interpreting the directives of the Holy See when they attempt to justify the publication of the propaganda literature on the "Bayside Messages."


In view of my declaration concerning the authenticity of the "visions of Bayside," the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has confirmed that the principles governing the publication of such religious material still maintain authoritative moral value prohibiting the endangering of faith and good morals (Cf. Response of SCDF of June 14, 1966, in AAS 58, 1186).


As a result, those publishing or disseminating this propaganda literature are acting against the judgment of legitimate Church authority.


4. Because of my concern for their spiritual welfare, members of Christ's faithful are hereby directed to refrain from participating in the "vigils" and from disseminating any propaganda related to the "Bayside apparitions." They are also discouraged from reading any such literature.


5. Anyone promoting this devotion in any way, be it by participating in the "vigils," organizing pilgrimages, publishing or disseminating the literature related to it, is contributing to the confusion which is being created in the faith of God's people, as well as encouraging them to act against the determinations made by the legitimate pastor of this particular Church (c.212, para. 1).


It remains my constant hope that all the faithful spend their time and energies in promoting devotion to our Blessed Lady, in the many forms which have been approved by the Catholic Church.

+Bishop Francis Mugavero Bishop of Brooklyn

Source: "Cults, Sects, and the New Age," Rev. James J. LeBar (OSV Press).


5. Set the Example - More is caught than taught.


+Bishop Francis Mugavero Bishop of Brooklyn certainly sets the Example making it clear to the faithful. The Declaration concerning Bayside New York is the guidence coming from a Shephard for the spiritual concern of the souls in his care.


6. Know Your People and Look Out for Their Well Being – They don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.



A statistical analysis of the Marian apparition directory reveals the following results. During the twentieth century, there have been 386 cases of Marian apparitions.


The Church has made "no decision" about the supernatural character regarding 299 of the 386 cases. The Church has made a "negative decision" about the supernatural character in seventy-nine of the 386 cases. Out of the 386 apparitions, the Church has decided that "yes" there is a supernatural character only in eight cases: Fatima (Portugal), Beauraing (Belgium), Banneux (Belgium), Akita (Japan), Syracuse (Italy), Zeitoun (Egypt), Manila (Philippines) (according to some sources), and Betania (Venezuela).


Local bishops have approved of the faith expression at the sites where these eight apparitions occurred. Besides the eight approved apparitions, there have been eleven (out of the 386 apparitions) which have not been approved with a "supernatural character," but which have received a "yes" to indicate the local bishop's "approval of faith expression (prayer and devotion) at the site."


Marian apparition directory reveals the following results. During the twentieth century, there have been 386 cases of Marian apparitions. of those with no decision or a negative decision or a "yes" automatically condemned


7. Keep Your People Informed - No team ever failed because of too much communication.


The twentieth century has been rich in reported Apparitions of Our Blessed Mother. Apparitions of Our Blessed Lady have been reported on every continent on our globe. The seers have been people from many walks of life: men, women, and children. The locations where Marian Apparitions have occurred are numerous: large cities, remote areas, caves, churches, fields, homes, monasteries, and other places.


8. Develop A Sense of Responsibility in Your Subordinates - You are responsible for developing your people.


"The Roman Catholic Church has prudently been cautious to approve, disapprove or condemn reported apparitions." In general, studied apparitions are classed as "not worthy of belief," "not contrary to the Faith," or "worthy of belief." The message of an approved apparition cannot have any content that is contrary to the teachings of the Church.


9. Insure the Task Is Understood, Supervised and Accomplished - Set clear expectations and goals, then coach and hold people accountable.


10. Train Your People as A Team - Culture is the Leader’s job.


If the Church makes a negative ruling about a particular apparition, we are not to believe in that apparition. If the bishop makes a positive ruling about an apparition, we are not bound to assent to the apparition, but we cannot berate the messages nor the apparition once the Church declares it valid. The reader will find that in the majority of cases, the Church has neither taken action, nor made a final decision.


11. Employ Your Team in Accordance with its Strengths and Capabilities - Put your people in a position to succeed.


Decisions about "faith expression" are made before the supernatural character of an apparition is decided upon. If the bishop should ever rule that the specific apparition is not of supernatural character, then of course, there would no longer be any devotion that is approved at that site.


The stream is always most pure at the source of the well spring. If the Shephards guarding the flock do not do diligence on these many events ensuring that any message is free from any compromise endangering faith, and good morals. A "no decision" or a "negative decision" only complicates the process. As I asked in the beginning of this blog:

"The alleged reported vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary at San Damiano Italy (1961-1970) is given a "negative decision" without explanation (The Miracle Hunter).


Did the Bishop disbelieve the visions to be authentic, that nothing supernatural is recognized. Did the Bishop believe the story was fradulant, that the story was full of deceptions? Did the Bishop question this was a money making scheme? Did he conclude that there was no evidence to support such a claim? Even though the Bishop gives a negative decision, he does not permit priests to travel there and offer Mass. He does not want pilgrimages to travel there. In saying this, the Bishop does not outright condemn the San Damiano reported visions. In the Catholic world news does travel and the story gets out there word of mouth. Anti-Catholics like John Benko automatically pushes that if there is a negative decision or no decision that the visions are "condemned". Does the Bishop then leave such a decision such as this to the John Benkos who specializes in attacking any and all regardless if In general, studied apparitions are classed as "not worthy of belief," "not contrary to the Faith," or "worthy of belief." Thank you +Bishop Francis Mugavero Bishop of Brooklyn for showing what right looks like. These investigations are not about hurting those invested in such events, but for preventing the spread of dissensions that the John Benkos who love to spread themselves; claiming themselves to be wise they become fools instead.