I have to say that I always found the notion of Our Lady of Surbiton a little comical. It brought to mind Penelope Keith and The Good Life. Upper-middle-class values, and everything in the most frightfully good taste.
But for the last twenty or so years, one Mrs Menezes claims to have had apparitions and, no doubt is perfectly sincere. But, first the Archbishop of Southwark (both the present one, Kevin McDondald and his predecessor, Michael Bowen) and now the Vatican have very great reservations about, well, not the sincerity of this group, nor their piety, but about whether this really does come from God. And now the Vatican have come down firmly against its authenticity. Fr Ray has posted a substantial piece about it.
I gather that one of their principal aims is to get aborted babies declared to be martyrs and set alongside the Holy Innocents. Clearly, the title of martyr would not be appropriate, because in no sense have these unfortunate babies died as a result of hatred of Christ nor of his Church, but for a number of other reasons, some understandable (though never sufficient), some not. And yet, Pope John Paul II himself widened the concept of martyrdom somewhat in declaring St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) a martyr. She died not because she was religiously a Christian (though of course she was), but because racially she was a Jew. She should have been canonized as a Virgin, and arguably a Doctor of the Church. But in any case, one sometimes gets the impression that Pope John Paul canonized as martyrs anybody who was killed by the Nazis—including vast swathes of Poles. A glance at any page of the new Martyrology will show that. Anyway, back to the movement known as Divine Innocence. Their symbol is not very nice, really—a crucified baby. Abortion is a shocking and brutal business, certainly, but I'm really not sure that this symbol is appropriate.
Meanwhile, in Canada, a group called the Army of Mary have also been condemned, and in this case, six nuns associated with them have also been excommunicated. In this case, their foundress believes herself to be the reincarnation of our Lady. You can read all about it here, courtesy of the Arkansas Catholic.
Now, I don't know what you think of all this, but these are only two manifestations of some seriously weird goings-on here, there and everywhere. In Ireland, statues are held to move in Ballinspittle, and to change appearance in Mellaray. On Achill Island, our Lord and our Lady are in regular touch with Christine Gallagher. Almost every country has these strange manifestations. Some take them to be a sign of the end times.
I, however, have a more prosaic explanation. Our religion has become so puritan in its outward appearence, that people who no longer are allowed the dramas of processions, novenas, 40 hours &c have to get it where they can. So they flock to these strange manifestations of the ?Divine? in order to pour out the devotion that once they would have given the Blessed Sacrament or the statue of our Lady in their own parish church. Secondly, the public expression of orthodox Catholicism has been so downplayed, that people have to get convinced teaching, real talk about God, where they can. And so the natural Catholic instinct comes out in strange lumps, because all the normal channels have been denied for so many for so long. This is just the normal human reaction to repression.
My guess is that these strange things will mostly vanish away if Pope Benedict gets his way in his grand scheme for the Church. Which is why we must pray for a long life and health for him.