ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENA
(or in other words, contact with the dead using electronic equipment)
There is a paper on the web by Victor Zammit which discusses the Vatican's involvement with this activity.
Unknown to many Christians - Catholics, Protestants and
Fundamentalists - the Catholic Church has been actively positive and encouraging
towards investigation of the Electronic Voice Phenomena.
Two of the
earliest investigators were Italian Catholic priests, Father Ernetti and Father
Gemelli, who came upon the phenomena by chance while they were recording
Gregorian chants in 1952.
Father Gemelli heard his own father's voice on the tape calling him by a childhood nick-name saying 'Zucchini, it is clear, don't you know it is I?'
Deeply troubled by Catholic teaching in regard to contact with the dead, the two priests visited Pope Pius XII in Rome.
The Pope reassured them: Dear Father Gemelli, you really need not worry about this. The existence of this voice is strictly a scientific fact and has nothing to do with spiritism. The recorder is totally objective...
...it receives and records only sound waves from wherever they come.
...This experiment may
perhaps become the cornerstone for a building for scientific studies which will
strengthen people's faith in a hereafter. (Italian Journal Astra, June 1990
quoted Kubis and Macy, 1995:102 ).
Pope Pius' cousin, the Rev. Professor Dr Gebhard Frei, co-founder of the Jung Institute, was an internationally known parapsychologist who worked closely with Raudive, a pioneer in the research.
He was also the President of the International Society for Catholic Parapsychologists.
He himself is on record as stating:
"All that I have read and heard forces me to believe that the voices come from transcendental, individual entities. Whether it suits me or not, I have no right to doubt the reality of the voices." (Kubris and Macy, 1995:104).
Dr Frie. Professor Dr. Gebhard; died on October 27, 1967. In November 1967 at numerous taping sessions a voice giving its name as Gebhard Frei came through.
The voice was
identified by Professor Peter Hohenwarter of the University of Vienna as
positively belonging to Dr Frei (Ostrander and Schroeder, 1977:
Pope Paul VI; was well aware of the work being done from 1959 onwards on the voice phenomena by his good friend, Swedish film producer Friedrich Jurgenson, who had made a documentary film about him.
The Pope made Jurgenson, a Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory in 1969 for his work.
Jurgenson wrote to Bander, a British voice researcher:
"I have found a sympathetic ear for the Voice Phenomenon in the Vatican...
...I have won many
wonderful friends among the leading figures in the Holy City. Today 'the bridge'
stands firmly on its foundations." (Ostrander and Schroeder, 1977:
The Vatican also gave permission for its own priests to conduct research into the voices.
Father Leo Schmid, a Swiss theologist, collected more than ten thousand of them, which were published in his 1976 book When the Dead Speak, shortly after his own death.
There is more at the
Victor Zammit website.