What is the Catholic Church's view of Anne Catherine Emmerich - can her visions and prophecies be trusted? Is she a true prophet by the biblical standard?

(This question has been prompted by the comments to the answer to What did the serpent look like?)


3 Answers 3


Please see the link below. In a nutshell, at present the Church distinguishes between the writings attributed to her (which the Church acknowledges may have been done by someone else who then put Emerich's name to those writings) and Emerich herself, her life being one of extraordinary virtue (hence her beatification as a blessed).

Source: Catholic Answers.

At any rate, the Church holds that private revelations, such as those that have been attributed to Emerich, are never binding on Catholics and do not add to the Deposit of Faith in Scripture.

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    Could you provide a bit more content from the link--at least a brief summary? A good answer on this site does more than link to somewhere else.
    – Narnian
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 14:27

Three things will be examined: Prophecy, Private Revelation (visions), and Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich:


In Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies?, Mr. Bob Thiel, Ph.D., of "Continuing Church of God", therefore a Non-Catholic quotes:

Benedict XIV (Heroic Virtue, III,144,150) says: "The recipients of prophecy may be angels, devils, men, women, children, heathens, or gentiles; nor is it necessary that a man should be gifted with any particular disposition in order to receive the light of prophecy provided his intellect and senses be adapted for making manifest the things which God reveals to him. Though moral goodness is most profitable to a prophet, yet it is not necessary in order to obtain the gift of prophecy." (Devine, Arthur. Transcribed by Marie Jutras. Prophecy. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XII. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

One does not tell/advise God who he should choose to talk to/reveal visions to. Examples from scripture: Balaam, Pharaoh, Babylonian Kings, etc.

The test of a prophet is set out by God in Deuteronomy 18:22 (RSVCE)
22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him.

Private Revelation (visions):

cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church 66 & 67: Since the advent of Christ, God has spoke definitively through His Son, and therefore after the death of the last Apostle, there is no new public Divine Revelation to be expected for our salvation. On 'private revelation:'.

67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.



In his homily on Bl. Anna Katharina Emmerick, Pope St. John Paul II [the Great] says:

Anna Katharina Emmerick served salvation in both ways. Her words, which have reached innumerable people in many languages from her modest room in Dülmen through the writings of Clemens Brentano, are an outstanding proclamation of the gospel in service to salvation right up to the present day.

Those are the writings that I have been quoting from on Christianity StackExchange.

Hilary Jane Margaret White in her blog Anne Catherine Emmerich, sees these words by Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich, "I saw also the relationship between two popes ... ," as fulfilled in our time.

I believe the foregoing is sufficient, or at least a start, and hopes that the users who read this answer will conduct their own additional investigation into Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich and her visions.


This vision from Anne Catherine Emmerich is heretical because it states that there are pagans in Purgatory, which is contrary to Catholic Faith

”I next saw our Lord, with his triumphant procession, enter into a species of Purgatory which was filled with those good pagans who, having had a faint glimmering of the truth, had longed for its fulfillment: this Purgatory was very deep, and contained a few demons, as also some of the idols of the pagans. I saw the demons compelled to confess the deception they had practised with regard to these idols, and the souls of the poor pagans cast themselves at the feet of Jesus, and adored him with inexpressible joy: here, likewise, the demons were bound with chains and dragged away. I saw our Saviour perform many other actions; but I suffered so intensely at the same time, that I cannot recount them as I should have wished.”

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia productive of eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

From a Q&A


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