Angelik gave cancer sufferers false hope with miracle cure, Church says

Angelik told two cancer sufferers they were cured. Both died within a month

Angelik Caruana's holy visions have been debunked by the Catholic Church
Angelik Caruana's holy visions have been debunked by the Catholic Church
Mystic's neighbours were suspicious of alleged visions

Two cancer sufferers who were told by self-styled mystic Angelik Caruana that they had been healed died a month later.

Such false prophecies and alleged miracles were amongst the major issues which had worried the Maltese church authorities during an investigative procedure that led to the Curia’s declaration that Caruana’s visions of the Holy Virgin were ‘not divine.’

Speaking to MaltaToday, apostolic vicar Fr Rene Camilleri explained a number of negative criteria that made the Curia question the alleged divinity of the Borg in-Nadur visions. “These criteria, established in a document issued by the Vatican, clearly say that genuine apparition cases should not be linked to some monetary gain.”

Camilleri said thousands of euro had been collected from people who would wanted to join the monthly spiritual meeting led by Caruana.

But what concerned the Maltese curia the most were a number of cases related to false miracles. “We had two particular cases where Angelik told two cancer patients that their illness is cured, but they died within a month.”

He insisted that their death is not attributed to Angelik’s false intervention, “as that would be criminal.”

‘The church has no problem with people meeting up to pray every month. Maybe, we can turn a blind eye when someone claims that they see the Virgin Mary. But we could not ignore Angelik’s case, as, according to him, the Virgin Mary was making very particular requests.”

The Borg in-Nadur shrine. Photo: Ray Attard
The Borg in-Nadur shrine. Photo: Ray Attard

Neighbours ‘not surprised’ by the Curia’s decree on Angelik

The news that the Curia decreed that Angelik Caruana’s visions at Borg in-Nadur were ‘not divine’ did not come as a surprise for many people in Birzebbugia.

MaltaToday spoke to some residents, who said they always suspected the apparitions to be a fraud, while neighbours said they were convinced that the divine apparitions were nothing but a scam.

If this was truly a scam, it must have been quite complex. As one neighbour described it, “there is a chance that someone was making money out of it. There’s no business like Church business.” 

“It’s about time that the church decides that none of this is real. We all knew that it wasn’t,” another neighbor told us after observing our futile attempts to reach Angelik at his house in Birzebbugia.

Many people in Birzebbugia spoke about Angelik, but the great majority were uncomfortable saying it on camera.

At a local band club, the men at the bar told us he was “a very quiet and mysterious man” who “did not speak much”.

In fact, two old men, who proudly told us that normally they get to know everything about their neighbours, said they had no idea whether Angelik has a job or not.

Caruana works at a residential home for the elderly in Floriana. Even there, attempts to reach him hit a stone wall. A colleague of his said Angelik was on leave.

While waiting for the man outside, hoping that he might light cigarette in his little balcony, we observe a hut-like structure. A neighbour speculated that that was a ‘shrine’ he built some months ago. “He knew the church was investigating the case, and so he built this space for followers to pray.”

A man took us on the site where Angelik says he was visited by the Virgin Mary - a palce ironically called 'Gebel ix-Xitan', the Devil’s Rocks. 

His neighbours recall seeing ‘hundreds of people’ marching down the quiet roads of Birzebbugia, old people carrying stools or folding chairs, heading towards Borg in-Nadur. Some flocked in front of Angelik’s own house to see the statue of the Virgin Mary shedding tears of blood and oil.

Church was wrong before

Believers may feel there is always some room for doubt.

A Church decree does not wipe out all the possibility of the divine. As Fr Camilleri explained, there were cases in the past when the Church issued similar decrees on persons who were later beatified by the same administration at the Vatican.

A good example is that of Padre Pio. When a doctor published a journal in which he claimed that Padre Pio’s stigmata were “false and of neurotic nature”, the Church issued a decree which declared that there was “little proof of the supernatural”.

In three decrees that followed, the Church prohibited its followers from meeting or even writing to Padre Pio. Years later, Pope John II celebrated his beatification.

On yesterday’s Reporter, the Archbishop Charles Scicluna said it was his duty to protect his people “from gross caricatures of faith”.

“The Church is clear in that followers aren’t obliged to believe in private apparitions, even those that are proved legitimate,” Archbishop told presenter Saviour Balzan.

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