In Catholicism, ‘Marian apparitions’ such as those at Lourdes belong to the most spectacular cases of religious mass phenomenon. A prominent case occurred in 1983 in Peñablanca, Chile. During the first difficult crisis year of the Pinochet dictatorship, a seventeen-year-old youth reported an apparition near Valparaíso. Through dedicated supporters, pilgrimages and press reports, it soon developed into both a mass phenomenon and a media phenomenon. The case became particularly controversial following accusations that the military government had become involved in the events with manipulative intensions.
Oliver Grasmück , Reutlingen.
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