Medjugorje news

Some news about Medjugorje, which I picked up from the great Fr. Blake, PP of Brighton:

The Bishop of Mostar has issued a series of restrictions on Medjugorje, I am afraid it has been translated by machine, the original can be found here, on the diocesan website, it is dated September 2009.

The Bishop needs our prayers, I am sure he is going to have a difficult time, it can’t be easy taking on the Medjatourist industry.

FORBIDDEN :
- NO more retreats, spiritual exercises, conferences, foreign priests… without permission of the bishop
- NO own or foreign priests may propagate NON-recognized ‘messages’ or ‘apparitions’
- EVERY priest must show his ‘celebret’ before H.Mass
- NO more H.Sacrament or adoration in ‘Oasis of Peace’; even NO permission to reside in whole diocese [not sure what that last part means]
- NO services in the private church in Bijakovice; it is now closed.
- NO mentioning of ‘seers’, apparitions, messages’ in parish bulletin;
- NO mentioning of the word ‘sanctuary’ in Medjugorje
- NO mentioning or comment of ‘messages’ or ‘apparitions’ on the 25th of the month via Marija Pavlovic
- NO private ‘apparitions’ of Mirjana Dragicevic in ‘Cenacolo’ of Sr. Elvira
- NO permission for ‘Kraljica Mira’(founder : Tomislav Vlasic) in Medjugorje or in whole diocese
- NO ‘seers’ or others in the church to pray prayers from the ‘apparitions’
- NO intentions during the rosary concerning ‘apparitions’ or ‘messages’
- NO ‘seers’ in or around the church on anniversaries of ‘apparitions’ or ‘messages

Here are other recent statements in Italian
Il contesto del "fenomeno di Medjugorje", I.
deals with the role and manipulations of ex-Fr. Tomislav Vlasic and deceased Fr. Slavko Barbaric
Il contesto del "fenomeno di Medjugorje", II.
deals with the phantasies of T.Vlasic and the manipulations of S.Barbaric around the ‘Youthfestival’
Il contesto del "fenomeno di Medjugorje", III.
first deals with the homily of bishop Peric on June 6 2009 in Medjugorje, in which he thanks the Vatican for the support to his negative standpoint on the ‘apparitions’ in Medjugorje. Then he publishes his letter dated June 12 2009, to the present Medjugorje-parish, Fr. Petar Vlasic.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

170 Responses to Medjugorje news

  1. Central Valley says:

    This is great news. This news should put a crimp in the travel plans of several priests and deacons from the diocese of Fresno, Ca., who on a regular basis shove Medjugore down the throats of the faithful and take faithful on “pilgrimages” there. I wonder if Bishop Steinbock will relay these restrictions to his priests and deacons.

  2. esquiress says:

    I’m so confused by all of the Medjugorje drama and I haven’t figured out how to search the site. Father, have you posted on this subject before?

  3. Fr. John Mary says:

    God bless and keep the good Bishop!
    May the Holy Mother protect and intercede for him in the days ahead.

  4. Dave N. says:

    Good! About 25 years late, but good nonetheless.

    Tragically, it seems that violence between priests sent by the ordinary and the Mejugorjites may have even broken out at times. It would be nice to see this all resolved.

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2009/09/what-happened-at-medjugorje

    I usually don’t read replies to articles, but many are quite interesting.

  5. JennyZ says:

    God Bless the good bishop.

  6. Tominellay says:

    God bless this courageous bishop! All this is published as the official announcement of the Mostar-Duvno diocese. Parts one and two detail the exploits of ex-Fr. Vlasic and Fr. Barbaric, and includes quite a bit of info on the “vision”-inspired, “revised” birthdate of the Blessed Virgin…

  7. chonak says:

    I’ve offered a translation of the Bishop’s letters to two priests, containing directives, at

    http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/archives/2009/09/new-directives.html

  8. Hidden One says:

    Now we shall see how loyal the supporters of Medjugorje are to the Church. If there shall be a formal schism… it shall be soon.

  9. staggering but still standing says:

    Hummmmmmmmm. Now let me see. Pray, say the rosary, read Scripture, fast (and twice a week, for heavens sake!), do penance, freqent confession, reverent communion. That’s pretty much been the alleged message of Medjugorje since 1981. I don’t know if Our Lady Mother is appearing there because the Church has not yet made a determination. But golly gee, it seems to me that those are pretty good ideas anyhow, especially as we watch the deterioration of our entire world.

  10. Susan the Short says:

    While some folks seem to have had genuine conversions from visiting Medj., I remain skeptical of the whole enterprise.

    A nearby parish insists upon changing the Rosary to suit the way they do it in Medj.

    After the Fatima ejaculation, “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy Mercy” the medj-heads sing Ave, Ave, Ave Maria…Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

    I find it difficult to believe that The Blessed Mother desires this extra attention to Herself, especially after all the Hail Mary’s (which all fans of WDTPRS know is Ave Maria in Latin) prayed in every Rosary.

    It’s like they are trying to put Medj. on a par with Fatima.

  11. Magpie says:

    I was always sceptical about Medjugorje. Last August I was offered a free place on a trip to the annual youth festival. Widespread liturgical abuses and irreverence were in evidence, but not much different to what goes on at the world youth days. I also saw A LOT of religious fanaticism. I did not sense any peace. The whole time I was there I stopped my daily Rosary! I find that many of the proponents of Medjugorje have little critical thinking and are so very defensive at any criticism or questioning of what is happening there. At the end it could be a case of the Church and its Magiterium or the Visionaries and their visions. Finally, I sometimes wonder how cool it would be if the devotion of Medjugorje catholics could be harnessed into the authentic restoration and renewal which is so sorely needed, instead of their chasing visions and signs abroad. Interesting short piece on the issue from an orthodox catholic psychologist: http://www.chastitysf.com/q_medjugorje.htm

  12. Staggering —

    Well, the bishop isn’t telling people they can’t fast. That’s not what he’s objecting to.

    There are a lot of cults and unhealthy movements that, outwardly, have a good message. But if you’re telling everyone that God says we should make peace with each other, but inside your group you’re ripping off all the true believers and telling everyone that they should ignore legitimate authority in favor of obeying you… well, that sort of thing indicates that any good in your message has been outweighed by the sign of your nasty actions.

    In general, any apparition should only be valued insofar as it points you toward God. Even among fans of approved apparitions, there are plenty of people who manage to dig out perdition for themselves. There were people in Lourdes while the apparitions were still going on who falsely claimed to be having visions, and even people who were demonically possessed. Medjugorje seems to have attracted a perfect storm of spiritual predators eager to prey upon innocent enthusiasts, and whatever good was there seems to have been stomped out.

    That said, there are plenty of people who were granted heavenly consolations in the midst of the concentration camps; so it’s not surprising that many honest pilgrims would have received graces even from corrupt sources. Seek and you will find.

  13. JosephMary says:

    My own reconversion happened because of Medjugorje. And many souls can say the same. Many vocations also point to it. Yes, the initial messages of prayer, etc. are good. And I was a pilgrim there in 1998. And I saw the sun spin and my rosary turned gold and all of that. There is a powerful spiritual energy there with Mass going on all day and the confessions and prayers and so on. The Sacraments themselves bring that.

    But I stopped following the messages some years ago and then completely when the bishop called the ‘seers’ to obedience from the pulpit at St. James Church along with the parish and Franciscans. And he was NOT obeyed. That is a huge red flag. Rather he has been calumniated. I lost acquaintances over this and almost even one of my good friends who has made it a life mission to promote Medjugorje. A holy priest I knew said that it would yet cause a schism in the Church. What a coup for the enemy to divide those who are Mary’s children! But Our Lady would never ever be involved with bishop bashing and so on.

    I wish it were all true there as in these dark years we have needed the light and hope that seemed to be there. True conversions will be obedient and continue their strong sacramental life. But others might just lose heart and think there is nothing to do with the Church that can be trusted.

  14. chonak says:

    Hats off to your ecclesial sense, JosephMary: it is great to read of someone doing the Right Thing[tm].

  15. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Many argue that the good fruits of Medjugorje is proof of its validity. I’d venture that many do not understand the context of ‘good fruits’. That many people are drawn to say the rosary, approach confession, return to the Church, change their lives is not necessarily a result of the activities there but of the effect of the good people who flock there with good, sincere intentions. These kinds of ‘good fruits’ are not proof of the integrity of the seers.

    There are other cases where activities like this have had good effect on individuals, to be proven later to be completely false.

    And has been pointed out in the comments already, nobody is denying the faithful their pious acts. This is about stopping the suspected dishonesty by the seers and those involved.

    Obedience heals everything. If Medjugorje is from heaven, obedience will prove all in the end. Obedience protects us from our misguided blindness.

    May God strengthen this bishop. These decrees are way overdue.

  16. David2 says:

    I don’t know if Our Lady Mother is appearing there because the Church has not yet made a determination.

    That position is asserted by the supporters of the so-called seers. In fact, the competent local authorities have ruled against the authenticity of the “apparitions” and have been backed up by the Holy See:

    The Vatican position, which also reflects that of local bishops in the former Yugoslav republic was outlined in a letter by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Archbishop Bertone cited a 1991 report by the Yugoslavian bishops which said that, after much study, it could not be confirmed that supernatural events were occurring at Medjugorje. From what was said, it followed that official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, understood as a place of authentic Marian apparitions, should not be organized, Archbishop Bertone said. Such pilgrimages would be in contradiction with what the local bishops had determined, he added.

    We should also remember that of the six “seers” of Medjugorje, none of them have achieved a religious vocation (and several have done quite well financially out of the whole thing – in marked contrast to say, St Bernadette, of Lourdes, and Sr Lucia of Fatima). In 1998, when a certain German gathered various statements which were supposedly made by the Holy Father and then Cardinal Ratzinger, and forwarded them to the Vatican in the form of a memorandum, the Cardinal responded in writing on 22 July 1998: “The only thing I can say regarding statements on Medjugorje ascribed to the Holy Father and myself is that they are complete invention”.

    Add to this the questionable content of many of the “revelations” of the “gospa” [Oct. 1, 1981: "All religions are equal before God," says the Virgin. (Chronological Corpus of Medjugorje, p. 317). "In God there are no divisions or religions; it is you in the world who have created divisions." (Faricy, p.51), the fact that the "Gospa" prays the pater noster including "forgive us our trespasses"] and it’s very clear why the local Ordinary has come out so strongly against the “apparitions”.

  17. Lori Ehrman says:

    Medjatourism says it all! I would not even speculate how rich some have become by the apparitions on demand machine. I love and very much appreciate the current Bishop of Mostar and his predecessor. They both have wanted nothing but to keep us, the faithful, safe from spiritual harm. I don’t understand why obedience to them is so difficult.

  18. And earlier this week the English and Italian were added to the Bishop’s website in Mostar concerning his most recent homily in June 2009. At the end of the homily he has a section saying, ” Finally, a word or two on our local situation.” You can read the text of the whole homily or just the last statement at this link
    http://www.cbismo.com/index.php?mod=vijest&vijest=366

  19. I am hoping this will be out in English soon on the Diocese of Mostar website.

    CNS has done an article on it, but it is quite incomplete. It covers the third part, but misses much of the first part, in which the bishop hits a homerun in defense of the now laicized Tomislav Vlasic’s role in tit all (many news sources – in particular in Germany, and i think Italy) distanced Tomislav Vlasic from Medjugorje (not to be confused with Fra Petar Vlasic the current parish priest).

  20. But I stopped following the messages some years ago and then completely when the bishop called the ‘seers’ to obedience from the pulpit at St. James Church along with the parish and Franciscans. And he was NOT obeyed. That is a huge red flag. Rather he has been calumniated.

    Bingo! This is also a fruit of Medjugorje – division created within the Church whereby the supporters of Medjugorje are pitted against the local ordinary. These supporters errantly believe the bishop was stripped of all authority to govern pastoral matters with regards to Medjugorje and call him “disobedient” or say that “the bishop was silenced”. They take a statement out of context of then Archbishop Bertone on pilgrimages, projecting it to anything he says in trying to shepherd his diocese.

    Bishop Peric was not “relieved of the dossier”, but it was taken to a commission on the basis that it had grown far beyond the boundaries of the diocese (see letter by Cardinal Kuharic in January 1987): During the inquiry these events under investigation have appeared to go much beyond the limits of the diocese. Therefore, on the basis of the said regulations, it became fitting to continue the work at the level of the Bishops’ Conference, and thus to form a new Commission for that purpose

  21. Fr. John Mary says:

    I must include E. Miohael Jones’ work on this whole thing. He has been saying the thing is a hoax since 1988 or so. And he also had a very bad back-lash because of his articles and book.
    But current events are vindicating him.

  22. One of the finest debates I ever saw was when the late, great Michael Davies took on some Medjugorj-istas at at talk back in the 1990s. He had come to Springfield, Illinois, to speak on the English Reformation, and some Medjugorje folks, in a high dudgeon over Davies’ anti-Medjugorje writings, took over the Q and A session to attack him.

    What resulted was classic, vintage, Michael Davies: in the face of withering ad hominem attacks, Davies kept his cool, smiled, told jokes, and completely undid his adversaries with facts and reason. They kept at him through the packing up and as he walked to the door of the hall, and he didn’t lose his cool once. They were wrong, he was right, and he knew it. It was wonderful to behold.

    Later, Davies joked about them as only he could while quenching his thirst mightily. May he rest in peace.

  23. God bless E. Michael Jones, Richard Salbato, Donal Anthony Foley, Mark Waterinckx,, and many others who have done battle with this hoax. Oh, I can’t forget Diane of Te Deum Laudamus and R. Chonak. It is not an easy task to take on something so big and not be tempted to give up. Every time I feel like throwing in the towel I can still see my dearly departed Spiritual Director pointing his finger at me from his death bed saying, “Don’t stop fighting!” and now my present pastor reminds me of this quite a bit when I get discouraged. I am confident the fruits of the labor of those who have fought for the truth and defended the Bishop are now being realized.

  24. And “BOOM!” goes the dynamite.

    OT: I just got my first ipod. Great to hear Fr. Z’s voice. Thank you so much for your podcasts. I started explaining the whole downloading process to a colleague and she just stared at me and laughed and I realized that I’m probably the last person on the planet to get one. Happy to join the club. More Fr. Camillo, please. (Smiley face emoticon.)

  25. Fr. John Mary says:

    boko: Oh, no. I am probably “the last person on the planet to get one”. I am lucky I can operate this laptop!

  26. It’s a good thing you’ve gone to requiring a login to post comments. I’ve posted on Medjugorje before, how I am convinced it is a hoax and perhaps even Satanic in origin, and it has led to some of the nastiest comments being left on my blog (most of which I never published). If the Vatican ever approves the alleged apparitions I will instantly admit I was wrong to speak out as I have, but I am quite certain that will never happen.

  27. David2 says:

    Too true, Augustinianheart. I’ve been screeched at by a Medj-head in the street, and the supporters of the 40,000+ “apparitions” (the Gospa apparrently follows the “seers” around the world, and gives “revelation on tap” – except during football matches – when the Gospa is strangely silent) claim that she defended a local priest, Father Vlasic, who impregnated a nun and sent her away to avoid scandal. Father Vlasic had a very close relationship with the six visionary children of Medjugorje and he even took credit for being their spiritual leader in a letter that he wrote to then Pope, John Paul II. The visionary who claimed that the Virgin Mary had defended Father Vlasic, later recanted and said that she had not really received such a message.

    Bishop Andrea Gemma (former Vatican exorcist) says that the “apparitions” are a “work of the devil” and a diabolical deceit”.

    While the supporters of the “apparitions” talk of the “fruits” of all of this, the “seers” build swimming pools and marry beauty queens.

  28. Re “good fruits”: many bad things have good fruits. A person who is hit and badly injured by a drunk driver may grow closer to God as a result of his serious injuries. A person who steals may undergo a conversion as a result of being caught and punished. A woman who is raped and impregnated may give birth to a child who grows up to discover a cure for AIDS. The murder of Maria Goretti produced a new saint for the Church and the conversion of her murderer. Even the catastrophic sin of Adam bore good fruit, as the Church acknowledges at Easter Vigil, when she sings, “O happy fault! O necessary sin of Adam that gained for us so great a Redeemer!”

    But the actions of the drunk driver, the thief, the rapist, the murderer and Adam cannot on this account be regarded as good. That good fruits derive from these evil acts is due, not to the goodness of the things that led to these fruits, but to God’s power to bring good out of any evil. Whatever good has come out of Medjugorje cannot therefore be enough by itself to prove its authenticity.

  29. Dr. Eric says:

    David2

    The seers at the approved apparitions of Banneaux and Beauraing never entered the religious life and a few of them tried to capitalize on the fact that they were seers. They later repented.

    I was never a Medjugorie fan, it seemed too contrived (well, maybe I did wonder if it all were actually true, but that passed pretty quickly.) So, this news comes as no surprise.

  30. Bogna says:

    Good news. I hope the end of the spooky Medjugorje phantom is coming.

  31. tioedong says:

    oh, the horror, the horror!
    Imagine that people might actually go there to pray and be converted. Tsk Tsk.

  32. oh, the horror, the horror!
    Imagine that people might actually go there to pray and be converted. Tsk Tsk.

    Sooooo……does this mean that if the BVM is not appearing there, the Church should allow it to continue unchallenged?

    I’ve actually had priests tell me that since Medjugorje is bringing about many conversions and confessions, the Church should let it be (even though they don’t believe it is authentic). My reply is always to ask if they are suggesting that it’s ok for Holy Mother Church to engage in consquentialism whereby she is silent on the truth of the matter because of the good it brings.

    Further, discernment can never weigh good fruits to the exclusion of bad. All must be studied. It only takes on really bad fruit to negate authenticity – a theological error, for example.

  33. liebemama says:

    I have a dear friend who would be totally crushed if I told her these things. She and her family are emotionally very involved with the whole Medj-story. I don’t dare bring this info to her attention, but then again I wonder what is the right thing to do.

  34. Melody says:

    I was completely open to Medjugorie until I started praying with a group who liked to read the “messages” each time we met. They are filled with the heresy of Millenarianism and other Protestant end-times theology.

  35. prsuth33 says:

    I am writing as one who spent nearly one year in the Medjugorje area. I, like others, received great consolations in association with Medjugorje. With that said, I am not completely convinced that what is happening is supernatural. Furhter, although Holy Mass in the native Croatian language is prayed with dignity, Masses in other languages are what I would call an abomination. I witnessed things during the English Mass that I never thought I would see. Let me be clear–it doesn’t necessarily pertain to liturgical abuse–but rather, a complete lack of reverence for God on the part of many of the faithful. I became very discouraged as many of those, at least from America, are very much the in the “Spirit of Vatican II” crowd. I voiced concerns to the resident English priest about things I witnessed (ie, a young man casually eating potato chips during Mass). It didn’t result in any changes. I will say this: the large majority of pilgrims are from Italy and Ireland. I could not believe the amount of Italians who made a pligrimage. If and when official condemnation comes, it will result in complete rebellion. I am sure this is a major concern.
    In closing, didn’t one of the more recent popes comment on apparition sites, stating something like the faithful will receive all the graces they would ordinarily receive from any approved apparition site, even if in the end it is condemned?

  36. mhittle says:

    This is based on my personal experiences, so take it with a grain of salt:

    I have never known anyone who was into Medjugorje to be at peace.

    Every single Medjugorje-believer I’ve met has been in constant turmoil over interpreting the latest batch of messages and wondering just what exactly “chastisement” means, when it will happen, and to whom.

    I recently broke up with a girl (I’m 23) who I thought to be a good Catholic girl. She was, except that she and her family were complete fanatics, especially about Medjugorje. My ex snapped at me whenever I would suggest that it may not be true- or even that, as personal revelation, Catholics weren’t obliged to believe in it. Her argument was “well, it’s good, so why not believe in it?” A poor argument, indeed. She is also insanely conflicted and are scrupulous to the point of despair. She has no peace in her life. The more she believed in Medjugorje, the more fanatic and conflicted she would become.

    My advice to her was: “just be a good Catholic- go to Mass and Confession, say the Rosary and help the poor. Then you won’t have to worry about Medjugorje, you can just live your life.” But that wasn’t enough for her. She needed the conflict Medjugorje offered.

    That leads me to my conclusion: I think that Medjugorje is to Catholics what the End Times are to Evangelical Protestants. Those people need to always believe that we’re on some sort of imminent track to destruction- it’s a weird complex or something.

    That’s just my 2 cents.

  37. Henry Edwards says:

    Tina: Thanks for your characteristically level-head statement @ 6:33 pm. I believe that in just those few sentences you summed up plainly and simply all the main issues here, with all light and no heat. Not easily done with this issue.

  38. paladin says:

    Diane wrote:

    Further, discernment can never weigh good fruits to the exclusion of bad. All must be studied. It only takes one really bad fruit to negate authenticity – a theological error, for example.

    Amen, a hundred times! As one who lives not too far from the condemned “apparition” site of Necedah, WI–which also boasted many conversions, returns to fervent practice of the Faith, rosaries, etc., etc.–it’s simply not wise at all to take a few good “fruits” and declare the whole mess “good” thereby! (Heavens, but even the abortion holocaust has “good fruits”, if by that you mean God’s ability to bring good–such as the conversion of souls and the raising up of great Saints–out of even the worst abominations!)

    As St. Faustina wrote: “Satan can even clothe himself in a cloak of humility, but he does not know how to wear the cloak of obedience” (Diary, par. 939)

    Believe me… as one consecrated to the Immaculata through the example of St. Maximilian Kolbe, I would be thrilled if the “apparitions” at Medjugorje had proved to be true… but such rampant disobedience as has permeated every level of the Medjugorje events (to say nothing of widespread corruption, sin, and pride) proves it dead and corrupt, in my eyes. Praise be to God that He’s drawn such good as can be drawn from it!

  39. oh, the horror, the horror!
    Imagine that people might actually go there to pray and be converted. Tsk Tsk.

    Look, the Blessed Mother does not need the assistance of frauds and hoaxes.

  40. There were conversions and reversions at Auschwitz; who wants to go there? Conversion can take place anywhere at any time, even living under a bridge in a cardboard box. It would be interesting to see how many would fly to a place such as the death camps or give up all they own to live in a box under a bridge because someone had a conversion or was called to a vocation from these places.

    I am so happy that Bp. Peric has stood his ground. He is a wonderful Bishop, one whom I have been blest to communicate with on a personal level. He has said that he would be so honored if the Blessed Mother chose to appear in his Diocese but in this case, that isn’t what is happening.

  41. Matthew in Vancouver says:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like the Bishop has just reeled in things which have become out of control. Yes? No? Hopefully, his actions will bring about some obedience.

  42. Malta says:

    Here is a portion of a piece I wrote about Medjugorje:

    “So how does Chartres tie-in to Medjugorje? Notre Dame de Chartres was dedicated to Our Lady, and held the shawl she wore when she gave birth to the Redeemer. In the crypts of Chartres I imagined Our Lady as the humble, selfless woman born without sin in Bethlehem. Humbly giving birth to Our Lord in a stable, and raising Him as a child. I imagined the Catholics at Chartres praying to this humble Virgin century upon century. Chartres is a place of spiritual depth and meaning.

    Medjugorje, on the other hand, has become the Disneyland of “mystical” phenomena. There is even an etymological term known as the “Medjugorje phenomena,” where there are those who stare at the sun for so long, expecting a miracle, that they damage their retinas.”

    http://hospitallers.blogspot.com/2009/09/medjugorje-divine-intervention-or.html

  43. staggering but still standing says:

    Wow! I sure don’t know what nerve I hit in you Suburbanbanshee, but it must have been a biggie! I didn’t even say I believed in Medjugorje. I just said I thought the concepts of conversion and increasing our faith were good ones. And, hate to say it, I still do. Do you know what a banshee is? I’m part Irish, so I do.

  44. Magpie says:

    To Malta:

    YES! I was with a group of youth, and one of the guys stared at the sun. I also have a firend in my home town who has looked at the sun. What they don’t realise is that they will damage their eyes if they keep up that sort of behaviour. Perhaps it was last year, I was with the guy and he said ”Look it’s a Medjugorje sun!’ I looked at the late evening sun. It wasn’t so sore on the eyes. I could see the ‘phenomenon’, it was the natural appearance of the sun IF you are foolish enough to look at it, even if it is late evening! The lack of rational and informed thought processes is quite alarming.

  45. Dave N. says:

    People have conversions in foxholes. That doesn’t make war holy.

  46. Hidden One says:

    Staggering, I think it’s your nerve that got a good whack. Suburbanbanshee said absolutely nothing out of line. It doesn’t even have the syntax of an angry person.

  47. Jane says:

    Many people have telephoned me since 1988 to ask about various saints devotions. Ouiet a few of them were Medjugorje devotees, so they started to talk to me about that subject. I politely pointed out to them a few things about Medjugorje that showed conclusively that it was not authentic. This was usually not received well. The soon that this phoney Medjugorje stuff is finished off the better.

  48. robtbrown says:

    We should also remember that of the six “seers” of Medjugorje, none of them have achieved a religious vocation
    Comment by David2

    Religious vocations are not “achieved” but rather “received”–they are gifts from God.

  49. Random Friar says:

    I remember back in the early 90s, someone asked if I thought Medjugorje was “true or false.” “I don’t know… I don’t have enough info yet” was NOT an acceptable answer (the group was half/half). Hopefully we learn some valuable lessons here and move on. Treat with charity those who are confused or angry right now.

  50. David2 says:

    Robtbrown

    Religious vocations are not “achieved” but rather “received”—they are gifts from God.

    Of course they are. That is what I meant. A careless mistake. Thank you for pointing it out.

  51. chonak says:

    Here’s another fruit of Medjugorje: looking at the sun and ending up legally blind:
    http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=146656436&blogID=226609905

  52. prsuth33 says:

    I failed to mention two things: first, many vocations to the priesthood have been attributed to Medjugorje. Fr. Dan Calloway is one example. He went from a drug addict, who was actually kicked out of Japan, to now being the Director of Vocations for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, spreading St. Faustina’s message of Divine Mercy. Second, and on the opposite end of the spectrum–and of no little concern–is the wealth of the visionaries. All six live very, very comfortably, as compared with those in surrounding villages. Many elderly that I served didn’t even have a pot to piss in. But, the visionaries have elaborate homes, one might even say private estates, and even rent rooms to pilgrims. In the early days many families opened their doors to pilgrims and let them stay for free. Now, it is all about the money. I worked with two people, both of whom have lived in Medjugorje for many, many years. In their opinion, Medjugorje is a very prayerful place where many lives are changed. However, in the words of one, “the visionaries will be awarded an Oscar for their performances when it is all over.” Now, add to the mix the opinion of the Vatican’s Chief Exorcist, Fr. Amorth. This man, who has been casting out demons for decades, firmly believes that Medjugorje is the continuation of Fatima. According to Amorth, the last thing the devil wants is people to convert, to change–in short, to confess. I will admit that each night there are lines and lines of people for the Sacrament of Confession. Now, whether it leads to true change I don’t know. I will accept any decision Mother Church makes. But, it isn’t an easy one.

  53. I failed to mention two things: first, many vocations to the priesthood have been attributed to Medjugorje. Fr. Dan Calloway is one example. He went from a drug addict, who was actually kicked out of Japan, to now being the Director of Vocations for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, spreading St. Faustina’s message of Divine Mercy

    Snowballing off of what Tina said at 6:33, I would raise the question: If a woman who was the product of rape became a religious, or a man conceived during an act of fornication went on to become a priest, does it mean that the rape or fornication should be viewed as good?

    Certainly, the creation of life which can only come from God is good because God is good. However, the behavioral circumstances in which that life was created was evil and sinful. God simply churned out a good from the evil.

    Likewise, vocations, conversions and the like have been spawned from condemned apparitions like Bayside and Necedeh.

    Magdalen of the Cross is another example worth studying because: “For thirty-eight years, up to 1543, she succeeded in deliberately deceiving the greatest theologians in Spain, the Bishops, Cardinals, Inquisitors, and great nobles about the Court. People came from all sides to consult her, and alms were showered upon her. Having been at death’s door, she confessed everything publicly, and then regretted her avowals. Exorcism had to be resorted to before the Devil lost his hold over her will. Finally, she was condemned to be confined in another Convent of her Order.”

    Hey, she even levitated, had ecstasies and some of her predictions came true.

    Source

  54. MichaelJ says:

    prsuth

    Could you provide dome documentation that “Fr. Amorth…firmly believes that Medjugorje is the continuation of Fatima.”? I may have names mixed up, but this is quite the opposite of what I recall reading.

  55. David2 says:

    I failed to mention two things: first, many vocations to the priesthood have been attributed to Medjugorje.

    So? If I discerned a vocation in an air-raid shelter during WWII, would that make Hermann goering and the Luftwaffe holy?

    God is never closer to innocents who love him than when they are in spiritual danger.

    Michael Davies, who worked with the local hierarchy on this issue – said the position of the local Ordinary was not that this circus was not the result of some sort of preternatural demonic activity – rather it was the result of old-fashioned hoaxing, fraud, veniality, sexual license and disobedience.

  56. irishgirl says:

    I used to go to a prayer group that was Medjugorje-oriented, but very low-keyed. The priest who headed it had gone there on pilgrimage, and he invited me to come to the meeting of the group. We recited Evening Prayer, the Chaplet of Mercy, the Scriptural Rosary, and ‘messages’ were read from the book ‘Queen of the Cosmos’. Then there was time for ‘sharing’.

    I also met on a number of occasions a man named Richard Bingold, who had a conversion at Medjugorje after a very ‘wild and crazy’ life. He made a Rosary out of rocks he picked up on the mountain where the ‘apparitions’ took place.

    And I saw Ivan, one of the ‘visionaries’, at a Marian Conference in Rochester, NY, in the late 1990s. Supposedly, he had a ‘vision’ in the auditorium where the talks were given.

    A priest-friend of mine from the UK went to Medjurgorje in 1989 with a pilgrimage group he was taking around Europe. He told me that he was ‘not impressed’ by the place. I don’t believe he has been back there since.

    As for myself, I’m rather neutral. I’ll follow the messages of approved apparitions such as Lourdes and Fatima instead.

    The Bishop[s] of Mostar have taken a lot of heat on this issue-all I can say is ‘Bravo’ for the courageous stand the current Bishop has taken! The sooner this is cleared up, the better!

  57. Michael Davies, who worked with the local hierarchy on this issue – said the position of the local Ordinary was not that this circus was not the result of some sort of preternatural demonic activity – rather it was the result of old-fashioned hoaxing, fraud, veniality, sexual license and disobedience.

    It’s worth considering that when there is old-fashioned hoaxing, fraud, veniality, sexual license and disobedience, not to mention “suspicious mysticism”, the door is opened to the Angel of Darkness. However, often enough, people don’t need his help when pride is in the driver seat. He just sits in the back seat and enjoys the ride.

  58. Konichiwa says:

    “I have a dear friend who would be totally crushed if I told her these things. She and her family are emotionally very involved with the whole Medj-story. I don’t dare bring this info to her attention, but then again I wonder what is the right thing to do.

    Comment by liebemama”

    The right thing to do is to correct what is wrong. If you know something that would save a soul or bring that soul to the right path, then you must share that information with that person.

  59. Luke says:

    First off: I’m rejoicing at the brave efforts the Bishop of the Mostar diocese has made to bring Christ back into the center of so many lives. Second: In my own opinion those who wholeheartedly imbibe the scene at Medjugorje have mistakenly [mistakenly] put their faith in it, instead of the Christ of the gospels (Hosea 2:20). There are many reasons that we can make an erroneous judgment (a partial list can be found in CCC 1792…), but above all we should pray that our brothers and sisters will accept the fulness of public revelation and begin to recognize that private revelation lays the soul open to diabolical deception. Third: (please bear with me…) truth belongs to the common good and does need to be shared in the best way possible. St. John Chrysostom once said in a homily that the peaceful man “suffers persecution for the sake of the truth and lives for the common good of others.” I would suggest that he defined “peace” according to the mind of the Church and not according to the more popular “absence of conflict” definition…

    I would like to add that this seems to be a delicate matter of conscience for many people and that St. Paul exhorts us to use great caution in the way we approach these things with others because of that fact. Still the subject should be broached because willful adherence to what opposes the better judgment of the Church (She’s been at this for 2000 years) can lead to shipwreck (1 Tim 1:19).STILL: I DO NOT have any answer for how to approach conversation about such a matter so close to the heart of many brethren. I too will need to find a way, however. Ideas are welcome!

  60. MichaelJ says:

    Been doing a little bit of digging about this issue, and have an interesting observation. I have noticed that virtually all “moderate” supporters of Medjugorje insert a caveat along the lines of ” I will accept any decision Mother Church makes”.

    To those I ask: What on earth do you think it is the Church has already done?

  61. rachmaninov says:

    the judgemental attitude of some people in these comments is truly staggering -and utterly hypocritical. Can someone tell me please, is there an unwritten rule among traditionalists that God has fobidden the Blessed Virgin from appearing to anyone after Fatima-because it seems to me that that is far as people can accept-even though the world is far worse now than then. I, like the vast majority of people who believe in Medjugorje (and have been and experienced some truly incredible things)will whole heartedly accept what the Vatican decides (as we know it hasnt decided yet according to cardinal Bertone). In the meantime I am happy to be in the company of a variety of extraordinary catholics who have believed in the apparitions eg Blessed Theresa of Calcutta, Pope John Paul II, Maria Esperanza (approved visionary of Betania) cardinal Schornborn (who told Pope Benedict that virtually all his seminarians were coming from Medjugorje conversions). Persecution of authentic visionaries is a good sign as far as I am concerned .The treatment of these six children seems very similar to that of Blessed Alexandrina da Costa and St Faustina to name but two. I am very uneasy at the almost gleeful way so many people like to rubbish Medjugorje. Lets hope for their sake that the Vatican one day does rule against it. On the other hand I am sure the Lord wll be forgiving of those who believed and tried to live the message of inner daily conversion.

  62. Luke says:

    I certainly never said that good people–sometimes the best people–have have to Medjugorje. However, neither the number of people going there nor their names amount to proof of authenticity. What’s in question here is not devotion to Our Lady but a matter of public versus private revelation. The public revelation contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition are necessary means of salvation. Private revelation, i.e.: Lourdes, Fatima and the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje, are not a necessary means to salvation. BUT, they can get in the way. The best mystic Doctors of our Church have taught us that God allows the devil the opportunity to appear as an angel of light along with the good angels which may appear. This presents a danger to us for the simple sake of the fact that he’s far more intelligent than any one of us. This is also a question of extraordinary graces–which are not necessary for salvation–and the grace of the virtues and of the gifts of the Holy Spirit–which endear us more to Christ and necessitate growth in the spiritual life. To become conformable to the image of Christ (Rm 8:29) requires using the Gospel and our reason to keep ourselves on the narrow path (Mt 7:14) and having a daily prayer life committed to spending time in the presence of the One we love.

    Apart from this I must say to you what I would say to anybody: there’s no need to read the messages coming out of Medjugorje to know how to be converted. What we need is to read the life of Christ in the four Gospel accounts and pattern our life after his. This was so important that you may recall Matthias being elected as one of the twelve because he had walked with Our Lord from the beginning and knew his demeanor and witnessed the Resurrection (Acts 1:15-26). There’s only one way for you and I to do the same thing: read the Gospel accounts.

    Reverend Thomas Dubay once noted: “People would sooner cross the ocean than cross the street to witness an act of patience by one to a belligerent other.” Frankly virtue should impress us far more than the fantastic. Virtue is beautiful while the fantastic is often questionable.

    While many people are more than eager to accept that our Lady is speaking or appearing at Medjugorje the Church’s mind is not that. In his epistle to the Colossians, St. Paul expresses some of the ways private revelations come across to people and then points out that their messages are of no use in controlling self-indulgence. Paul says we should rather hold fast to the Head, from which the whole body receives what it needs and is held together—deriving its growth from God (2:16-23). As you know—of course—only by keeping our eyes fixed upon Christ will we find strength to enter by the narrow gate. It’s the same Christ who still speaks these words to his Bride, the Church, “He who hears you, hears me” (Lk 10:16). I would also point you to St. Luke’s Gospel account, chapter 16 verses 19-31.

    I know people who are interested in visions and locutions exactly because they want Jesus to speak to them. Well he does speak to us in many ways. One of my favorite theologians, Hans Urs von Balthasar said it well when he wrote: “Only in the openness of contemplation and listening prayer is there revealed to us ever anew what Christ means and wants.” The “one thing necessary” is well expressed by the Vatican II document, Sacrosanctum Concilium. In it, near the beginning in paragraph two, is stated that action is subordinated to contemplation and directed to it. By contemplation is meant here the quiet time spent daily with a loving gaze on the beauty of the Lord (Ps 27:4). St. Bernard of Clairvaux would write in this vein that “the fruit of action is conditioned by the tree on which it grows.” These things bring value for the Church community and immense personal value as well. Belief in any apparitions plays second fiddle to loving Jesus Christ by growing closer to him through our daily choices and time spent in prayer quietly allowing his Word to fill our soul like a sweet incense. This is a subject of endless value in comparison with ANY private revelation exactly because it involves your growth and my growth which leads us to becoming saints.

  63. MichaelJ says:

    rachmaninov ,

    The local ordinary, who has the authority to issue such judgements has already ruled that the supposed apparations at Medjugorje are false. His jugment has been upheld ny Holy Mother Church. What is it exactly that you are looking for?

  64. Supertradmom says:

    Thank God for this, after all these years. Read E. Michael Jones’ book many years ago after becoming skeptical at the lack of fruit from those who went and came back. Also, did not find the “seers” reacting in humble, retired ways, as did Bernadette or Lucy, for example. God protect this good bishop.

  65. Luke says:

    rachmaninov: I have a question for you: How do you know that the extraordinary things that you experienced in Megjugorje were of God? Because there are two sides to the invisible realm we claim belief in when we pray the Nicene Creed on Sundays. Have you considered that of the most important things we can do–the first being giving credence to the Teaching Church–that the many small ways that those who go to Medjugorje shift from the Church just enough to prefer their own experiential and intellectual outlook on events? I would challenge you to consider that if the devil wanted to undermine the faith it’s only as simple as getting people to think that the Church is old and slow when it comes to what the faithful need the most. This alleged apparition among the many other negative components it has breathed into the community of the Church, has brought more disunity to us faithful than any other single event I’m aware of. People who leave the Church don’t count. It’s the ones who stay in and think they know better than the Teaching Church who bring disunity. We’re sheep after all and we should allow ourselves to be shepherded by those who hold fast to the True, the Good and the Beautiful.

  66. rachmaninov says:

    Michael j,
    please answer this question. If the Church has accepted the Bishop’s decision as the final statement then why did the Bishops Conference of former yugoslavia get involved? If you read the 1978 CDF document of apparition investigations you will see that the local Ordinary does not necessarily have the final say-especially if the apparition takes on world wide significance-as in this case. Its so typical and hypocritical of traditionalists who claim we are disobedient to the Church when you very people are the ones who ignore what Rome says. Did Cardinal Bertone say Bishop Peric’s views were his own private opinion or did he say they are the Vatican’s?
    Luke unfortunately you have shown the judgemental attitute which i spoke of earlier. How on earth you can claim that those who go to Medjugorje shift from the Church’s teaching. Its laughable really.The sad thing is that its not the Medjugorje followers who cause divison but the zealous traditionalists who cant stand the idea that Our Lady talks in a manner which is embracing of all humanity or in a way more akin to Vatican II. If Our Lady had been saying in Medjugorje restore the Latin Mass then I dont think there would be these condemnations. I wonder if those who are so critical have real trouble with accepting the radical call of Our Lady to pray so much, fast, forgive, pray with the heart and not just the lips. maybe its just safer to rubbish it all and cling to what is comfortable. One last thing. The Medjugorje followers I know (and I know many) love the Pope and obey him in everything. They love the Church, their priests. They desire to be truly converted each day.One striking difference between them and what comes across from many people who comment here is that they possess a joyful spirit which is noticable to others. People here often seem to be just moaning and complaining. Tell me, how is that going to convince non Catholics of the beauty of the truth?

  67. Luke says:

    Rachmaninov: You speak and write very well, but you also overlooked both my comments and my challenges. I never said anything about the Latin Mass either. As far as I’m concerned Christ died for all, but it will only be efficacious to those who accept the radical call of the gospel. Prayer “from the heart” as you say is crucial in following Christ to be sure. But this is nothing new but only what Jesus himself habitually did–he is our road map after all…

    If I may point out that you speak no differently than those here who either can’t afford or don’t bother to learn about the private revelation of Medjugorje. You speak in terms of “you” and “we” or “us”. I have chosen to stick with the “sure path” of public revelation and leave aside that of the many private revelations that happen everyday. Visions and locutions don’t happen only in Medjugorje as you may know. I hope that you are as avid reader of Sacred Scripture (or “God’s Word” as it’s been called since the time of Martin Luther) as you are of the alleged messages coming out of Medjugorje.

    Consider your belief in the the Holy Eucharist: if you really believe that you receive the Body and Blood of our Lord, and you give yourself to him, willingly accepting the conversion he calls you to, what more could we ask for? What could a second-hand message tell us beyond the very gift of Jesus Christ to us? The Bread From Heaven is my joy and my Life.

    As far as I can see I didn’t say anything negative ore out of line with the mind of the Church. I would point those who see the “messages” as an additional means of salvation or somehow additionally necessary to read Deuteronomy chapter 4 verse 2. According to Sacred Scripture, in order to enter into the promised Land we must add nothing to the commands of the Lord, and take nothing from them, but keep the commandments of the Lord our God just as he lays them down for us.

  68. MichaelJ says:

    Rachmaninov,

    Please answer the question. What is it specifically that you are looking for? What do you want the Church to say or do, and what form must this take? You wrote that you “will whole heartedly accept what the Vatican decides”. How will you know if this has happened?

  69. Luke says:

    Jesus opened his public ministry with the words “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15). This is what the Church has asked ever since. My question for every believer of any private revelation is “why?” There is nothing new under the sun since Jesus walked on this earth and both his words and deeds somehow have meaning in each of our lives. What more could we want than the love of God in Christ? The Holy Spirit prays for us in ways we can’t understand and St. Paul assures us that God’s grace is always present to help through anything we encounter. God gives us this gift gratis as St. Augustine tells us. It’s the only free gift we really ever receive…and yet it’s not enough somehow.

    It would be wrong for to expect anyone to answer this publicly, but I ask those who want more somehow to search in the depths of their heart for this answer.

    God gives you everything you need and equips you for any situation life may pose to you. He couldn’t give us any more.

    Whether Jesus himself appeared for 20 years to remind us that he calls us to prayer and conversion wouldn’t change this gift already being given. But he wants us to accept the authority of his Church. Will we bend to the authority of another even if we personally receive a locution that shares all the mysteries of God in an instant? We have books filled with saints who knew Christ so well that they burned to serve the Church he left. St. Teresa of Avila is reported as saying on her death bed that she is most thankful for having been born a Roman Catholic and to have the chance to die as one. Yet we know from her Life that Jesus walked personally with her for over a year. If we are faithful to Jesus Christ we are faithful to his Church. Those who hear you, hear me. The early ekklesia also clung to the teachings of the Apostles as shown in Acts 2:42. The Church isn’t slow to approve a good thing as many think, but She wants us to know it doesn’t matter: we already have Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega. Private revelations do not take up the little Greek letters in between…

  70. mgseamanjr says:

    What an incredible anti-Medjugorje group rant. So many here seem to be better informed than holy Mother Church and are breathing a collective sigh of relief now that is finally a pronouncement that seems to validate your foregone conclusions. As someone who became much more orthodox in the faith through Medj. and attempts to adhere to the “messages” of twice-weekly fasting (who else calls for this, by the way?), daily Bible-reading and rosary-reciting, mass and confession, I now realize, thanks to all your kind postings, that I am apparently incredibly misinformed. After reading these entries, I’ve just concluded that I am a miracle-seeking nitwit who knows relatively nothing of the faith (compared to all of you enlightened ones) and who would immediately abandon the Church if it pronounced negatively on the apparitions. So, thanks very much for setting me straight everyone. Now, feel free to continue your rant and enlighten me some more.

  71. rachmaninov says:

    MichaelJ,
    in answer to your question, I want the Church to do what God Will’s in this matter. No more no less.How will I know? Well as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has juristiction in this matter and not Bishop Peric, I will know when an official statement is made, signed by the Prefect and published in the acta apostolica sedis-as happened in the case of Vassula Ryden in 1995. That is how we know the Church operates on an official level.
    Luke I think one big misconception critics have is that they assume that we spend all our time reading messages and doing not much else. as the passionate response from mgseamanjr shows, that is not the case. Of course there will be exceptions. You stated in an earlier post that people see the messages as an “additional means of salvation”. that is absolutely wrong nobody I know thinks that. What they do think is that going to confession regularly,daily Mass if possible, Eucharistic Adoration(by the way I commend you on your obvious love for Jesus truly present In the Most Blessed Sacrament!) praying the rosary daily and fasting is the best means of following the Lord. All i want to share in my own spiritual life in regards to Medjugorje is that I read the message on the 25th of themonth and the 2nd of the month, I reflect on it a little, thank Our LAdy for the message and then try and live it day by day. If Rome eventually says Medjugorje is really megaforgery then It wont matter to me or I suspect many others because we have been trying to do none other than following as you rightly said the message of the Gospel-which incidentally is what Our Lady has been repeating there all these years. As far as private revelations go-surely God would rather not have to send them because He would hope we would live good humble lives without the recourse of needing regular reminders eg Fatima, Rue de Bac, Lourdes, Divine Mercy etc. Unfortunatly we are rather forgetful and blind therefore humanity needs these wake up calls. Personally I think this is part of a final campaign which will lead to the Return of the Lord in glory. If you read Cardinal Ivan Dias’s homily as the papal representative at the opening of the Lourdes jubilee in December 2007, he expertly summarised this as the reason why apparitions are happening in our time. Sobering but realistic.

  72. paladin says:

    rachmaninov wrote:

    If Rome eventually says Medjugorje is really megaforgery then It wont matter to me or I suspect many others because we have been trying to do none other than following as you rightly said the message of the Gospel

    I can only say that, if you truly know your own mind on that point (and I hope you do), I’m afraid you’re in the minority of Medjugorje devotees; my personal experience with my attempts even to SUGGEST to Medjugorje devotees that Medjugorje MIGHT be false has been one of not-terribly-restrained hostility. I’ve yet to meet anyone of the pro-Medjugorje camp who DOESN’T take even an innocent suggestion of the sort as a direct affront to “the Gospa”. It gives me the creeps, frankly… and that, almost as much as the sin- and scandal-ridden situation “on the ground” at Medjugorje (e.g. rampant disobedience, violence and calumny against the local bishop, heterodoxy with a veneer of authenticity [my wife calls it the "Protestants with Rosaries" phenomenon--though most good Protestants I know would see the inconsistencies/bad smell in this, a mile away]), convinces me of the non-Divine nature of the Medjugorje apparitions.

    Seriously: after several of the spiritual directors of the visionaries impregnated at least two women (at least one of whom was a religious sister), and after watching the jet-set life of the visionaries (yes, they might do some good with the money–but is that sort of “halfway-decent fellow of the world” really what we’d expect from someone who truly saw Heaven’s Queen?), how can some people refuse even to QUESTION the validity of the source?

  73. Jordanes says:

    The false doctrine of religious indifferentism and the infamously bogus prediction are further evidence that there is absolutely nothing authentic about the alleged apparitions of Medjugorje. It was a scam from the start, and it’s still a scam. There’s a reason the Church has never said a single approving word about this phenomenon and has banned pilgrimages to Medjugorje that are intended to support or bolster the alleged apparitions.

  74. Luke says:

    Thank you, rachmaninov.

    Still I disagree on the grounds that we have no way of knowing that these messages come always from a Godly source. It would be impossible for me to say Our Lady is speaking these things when the Church can’t say so. There are many reasons to doubt, however. We could probably go on with justifications on both sides endlessly–due largely to the fact that we never address what the other person has said.

    I’m in complete awe of the many people who have been converted. Not only is it a miracle, but also a difficult one to accept. “Go God” as an old friend used to say.

    mgseamanjr: Isn’t it possible that your interest in the Medjugorje phenomenon doesn’t make you a bad person? I mean why do you assume that we’re attacking your person. I certainly am not. We can’t know everything by a long shot. In truth most of what we know about God will seem like nothing when we see him as he is. Knowing is our way of drawing God to us for a time, but in the end we should be drawn to God in love. I would only add that Jesus called us to conversion and penance and continual prayer long before Our Lady said anything beyond “Do whatever he tells you.”

    Since end times were brought up I would like to point out that Jesus told his Apostles that it wasn’t for them to know the times or moments that God put in his own power (Acts 1:6-8). “God declared how long each nation should flourish” (Acts 17:26). It doesn’t belong to man to know these things (Wisdom 9:13). The end of our faith is to love Eternal Wisdom (cf 1 Cor 10:4; Ws 11:4). We have only to wait for him with our loins girt (ready to travel) and with lamps burning in our hands.

    paladin: I too have encountered a great deal of hostility and even anger upon even slight mention that these phenom could be misleading. It’s just a fact in my own book. I won’t speculate any further on why.

    rachmaninov: It’s not my consideration that you spend all of your time reading the messages but that you read them at all. You give a assent of faith to a private revelation whose validity you cannot prove. As I said above: the Eternal Wisdom of God is the end of our Faith. Jesus Christ. It’s true that fasting and prayer are a means of gaining access to the Wisdom of the Father, but this call goes back to the time before Christ when a remnant of Israel waited for the Messiah by the sacrifice of their lives. It’s not new. We don’t need a reminder, but only to begin the work.

    mgseamanjr: According to my own private revelation I fast three times a week instead of two! Now don’t we sound just like the Pharisee who said “Thank God I’m not like other men”? (Lk 18:11-12). Let’s not compare ourselves with others because Christ is the measure and nobody else. Be perfect as he is perfect as you were predestined by God to become conformable to him. I also hope that you too pray with your heart and not only with your lips as there’s no other way to know God personally than to open your heart to him. It’s far more telling and beyond the value of any message you could give me.

    And if Ivan Cardinal Dias wants to speculate about the end of the world then he can be my guest, but it’s no more right or necessary than it was when Jesus spoke those former words to his Apostles.My only further advice is to bring extra oil with you in case we have to wait a very long time. I’m not sharing either cf: Matthew 25:8-10.

  75. MichaelJ says:

    rachmaninov,

    Why doesn’t Archbishop Bertone’s statement comply with your requirement? As David noted above:

    “The Vatican position, which also reflects that of local bishops in the former Yugoslav republic was outlined in a letter by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Archbishop Bertone cited a 1991 report by the Yugoslavian bishops which said that, after much study, it could not be confirmed that supernatural events were occurring at Medjugorje. ”

    Is there something missing that prevents this from being “good enough”?

    mgseamanjr,

    Other than “twice-weekly fasting, daily Bible-reading and rosary-reciting, mass and confession”, is there anything else that the “messages” are calling upon you to do or believe?

  76. Fr. John Mary says:

    Just though I’d throw one more thought into this.
    From E. Michael Jones’ book “The Medjugorje Deception”:
    “Father Jean Galot made a similar point in the definitive article [on the fruits of apparitions] in the definitive article, which appeared in the mid-80′s in “Civilta Catholica”: ‘It is not sufficient,’ he writes, ‘to use the spiritual fruits alone as the criterion to judge the authenticity of the apparations. Cases are known in which conversions have been substatiated in which the pretended apparitions have been later been rejected by the authority of the Church as without serious foundation’” (p. 66).
    In my simple mind, better to follow the local Bishop in this. Obedience can bring even greater fruits.

  77. rachmaninov says:

    Here I present the true facts from the Vatican about the status of Medjugorje for those who like MichaelJ are obviously confused. Obedience in this matter does not lie with bishop Peric but with the CDF (even in the Ratzinger report Benedict states that the CDF are studying it)
    The authority over the authenticity of the apparitions is no longer in the hands of the local bishop of Medjugorje, nor a commission struck by the Vatican. In a rare move, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took the investigation out of Bishop Zanic’s hands, and placed it in the hands of an independent commission. But now (as of April 8th, 2008), the Holy See itself has taken full authority over the alleged phenomena. There HAS NOT been a definitive pronouncement from the Vatican regarding Medjugorje (even though they could have ruled it false several times by now), other than the ones I list below: “We repeat the absolute need to continue deepening the reflection, as well as prayer, in the face of whatever alleged supernatural phenomenon, until there is a definitive pronouncement.” (Joaquin Navarro-Valls, head of Vatican press office, Catholic World News, June 19th, 1996)
    In a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from then Secretary Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone (May 26th, 1998), he described Bishop Zanic’s negative decision as “the expression of the personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion.”
    Cardinal Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna, and main author of the Catechism of the Catholic Church wrote, “The supernatural character is not established; such were the words used by the former conference of bishops of Yugoslavia in Zadar in 1991… It has not been said that the supernatural character is substantially established. Furthermore, it has not been denied or discounted that the phenomena may be of a supernatural nature. There is no doubt that the magisterium of the Church does not make a definite declaration while the extraordinary phenomena are going on in the form of apparitions or other means.” Regarding the fruits of Medjugorje, this distinguished scholar said, “These fruits are tangible, evident. And in our diocese and in many other places, I observe graces of conversion, graces of a life of supernatural faith, of vocations, of healings, of a rediscovering of the sacraments, of confession. These are all things which do not mislead. This is the reason why I can only say that it is these fruits which enable me, as bishop, to pass a moral judgment. And if as Jesus said, we must judge the tree by its fruits, I am obliged to say that the tree is good.” (Medjugorje Gebetsakion, #50; Stella Maris, #343, pp. 19, 20)
    Regarding whether or not pilgrimages can take place there, Archbishop Bertone (now Cardinal Bertone) further wrote, “as regards pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which are conducted privately, this Congregation points out that they are permitted on condition that they are not regarded as an authentication of events still taking place and which still call for the examination by the Church.”
    In 1996, then spokesman for the Holy See, Dr. Navarro Valls, said, “You cannot say people cannot go there until it has been proven false. This has not been said, so anyone can go if they want. When Catholic faithful go anywhere, they are entitled to spiritual care, so the Church does not forbid priests to accompany lay-organized trips to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina” (Catholic News Service, August 21, 1996).
    On January 12, 1999, Archbishop Bertone instructed the leaders of the Beatitudes Community to help serve the needs of the Church in Medjugorje. On that occasion, he said “For the moment one should consider Medjugorje as a Sanctuary, a Marian Shrine, in the same way as Czestochwa” (as relayed by Sr. Emmanuel of the Beatitudes Community).
    Regarding the length of the apparitions (twenty-five years and running now), Bishop Gilbert Aubry of St. Denis, Reunion Island said, “So she talks too much, this “Virgin of the Balkans”? That’s the sardonic opinion of some unabashed skeptics. Have they eyes but do not see, and ears but do not hear? Clearly the voice in the messages of Medjugorje is that of a motherly and strong woman who does not pamper her children, but teaches them, exhorts and pushes them to assume greater responsibility for the future of our planet: ‘A large part of what will happen depends on your prayers’… We must allow God all the time he wills to take for the transfiguration of all time and space before the Holy Face of the One who is, was, and will come again.” (Forward to “Medjugorje: the 90’s—The Triumph of the Heart” by Sr. Emmanuel)
    And as a note of interest… in a handwritten letter to Denis Nolan, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote, “We are all praying one Hail Mary before Holy Mass to Our Lady of Medjugorje.” (April 8th, 1992)
    When asked if Medjugorje is a Satanic deceit as alleged by a Bishop Emeritus, Cardinal Ersilio Tonini responded: “I cannot believe this. In any case, if he has really said this, I think that it is an exaggerated phrase, absolutely outside the topic. Only unbelievers do not believe in Our Lady and in Medjugorje. For the rest, nobody is forcing us to believe, but let us at least respect it… I think that it is a blessed place and a grace of God; who goes to Medjugorje returns transformed, changed, he reflects himself in that source of grace that is Christ.” —interview with Bruno Volpe, March 8th, 2009, http://www.pontifex.roma.it
    Does anyone still wish to justify their lies that Medjugorje is condemned?

  78. Luke says:

    Obedience is quite a fine idea. Well put Fr, John Mary.

    To be frank, I have only one explanation for those who imbibe the alleged events at Medjugorje: Satan. He has a keen way of weaving lies with the truth and those who turn YES: TURN, from the Teaching Church never see the line they cross. If I had more money I’d create a Coming Home Network for those who want to shed their unwarranted revelatory sound-bites for the pure and simple Truth the Church exists to hand on to the faithful. After all: it’s not only Protestants who can come home, but Catholics who can come back to the right house.

    Let’s face the fact that golden Rosaries are a temporal good that we should not be attached to (Also I’ve never seen one for sale on EBay and so: Do they exist?) And the Heavenly Plaque that is promised to the visionaries would also amount to a temporal good, a passing THING, that doesn’t follow upon sound theology. WE are holier than any created good. The many fantastic messages describe things that are in direct opposition with what God’s beloved should be concerning themselves with. The messages describe much more than just the import of fasting and daily prayer. Let’s be honest.

    Considering that some of the messages do portray the heresy of Indifferentism I suggest that the Masons have been behind this from day one. (I’m joking, of course…)

    I will repeat what I said earlier:

    WHEN ETERNAL LIFE IS ALREADY BEGUN WITHIN US, WHAT GREATER BLESSING COULD EXIST? Our focus should be on the Indwelling Trinity and not on any messages. We can begin now what we will do for Eternity.

    We already have a Road Map and therefore have no use for another one. That seems to be a good “page” for every Catholic to be on together.

    If our conversation between these opposing groups is finished, maybe one of my brothers or sisters could tell me how to embolden or italicize my text. I would appreciate the help.

  79. rachmaninov says:

    By the way I almost forgot to share this wonderful story with you all. I am sure you are overjoyed to know that our belovd Holy Father, Pope Benedict prayed before an image of Our Lady of Medjugorje in July 2007. Here is the link to the vatican radio website which broke the story. Disobedience anyone?
    http://www.radiovaticana.org/it1/Articolo.asp?c=145895

  80. Luke says:

    God has spoken his all in speaking his Word, Jesus Christ. To ask anything more would be to make God mute. Let Christ crucified be enough for you and with him suffer and die. Philippians 4:13.

  81. Dr. Eric says:

    As someone who became much more orthodox in the faith through Medj. and attempts to adhere to the “messages” of twice-weekly fasting (who else calls for this, by the way?), daily Bible-reading and rosary-reciting, mass and confession, I now realize, thanks to all your kind postings, that I am apparently incredibly misinformed.
    Comment by mgseamanjr

    Mgseamanjr,

    The Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Catholics have been doing this for 2000 years already.

  82. paladin says:

    rachmaninov wrote:

    Here I present the true facts from the Vatican about the status of Medjugorje for those who like MichaelJ are obviously confused. Obedience in this matter does not lie with bishop Peric but with the CDF (even in the Ratzinger report Benedict states that the CDF are studying it)

    Forgive me, but–as your statement stands–it makes no sense! It’s true that the CDF has commented about His Excellency Peric’s comment about “not only ‘non constat de supernaturalitate’, but ‘constat de non supernaturalitate’”–but to suggest that “obedience does not lie with Bishop Peric” is crazy-talk. Do you seriously mean to suggest that anyone who believes in “the Gospa of Medjugorje” (not to be confused with the Blessed Virgin) has a “free pass” to disobey the local bishop (similar to the “Gospa’s” instruction in April of 1982, that Ivica Vego “was innocent”–despite later revelations that he had impregnated a religious sister–and that he “can celebrate Mass just like other priests”, despite the fact that he was defrocked in January of 1982 by Pope John Paul II? See this pro-Medjugorje website for the reference, near the top)? That priests who lead “pilgrimages for the Gospa” are *entitled* to say Mass, regardless of whether they have a celebret, or not? Think about what you’re saying!

    As an illustration: check out Canons 1230-1234, for starters, and compare it to the so-called “shrine” erected in Medjugorje without His Excellency Peric’s approval. No approval, no “shrine”; it’s quite simple… and yet, the so-called “shrine” is still quite operational (and busy), and its organizers–all of whom claim to be “faithful Catholics” (somewhat like the alter-egos of Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden)–at the same time politely invite His Excellency to “pound sand”.

    Wretched.

  83. rachmaninov says:

    paladin
    one simple answer please. Did I give you a list of comments from vatican officials, or did I give a list of my own opinions?

  84. Luke says:

    Comments from Vatican officials don’t add up to an authentic apparition.

    Please give us a good reason why we too should read the messages. Especially considering that you’ve ignored every single piece of advice I’ve given.

    You convince us why we should become involved in the Medjugorje phenomenon.

  85. rachmaninov says:

    Luke,
    Im sorry but I have no interest in convincing anyone about Medjugorje. You are so caught up in your own position that you have missed my point completely. All Im interested in is correcting the false claim the the apparitions have been condemned. I have never said its true.Its not my job to convince anyone-but I do feel duty bound to expose plain lies. Its amazing that so many people who consider themselves traditionalist catholics are happy to ignore the Pope’s representatives when it suits them. I consider that more shameful than the liberals who for the most part are just misguided in their beliefs. comments from Vatican officils add up to proving that the case is most certainly not closed. Presumably Pope Benedict in praying before an imae of Our Lady of Medjugorje is being disobedient to Bishop Peric-is that true?

  86. Luke says:

    Then you missed my point: I never said the apparitions were “condemned”. I only want people to know that God allows the devil to have a part in these things too. Laugh or ignore if you will, but I strongly urge those who imbibe private revelation as important in any way to reconsider and follow the sure path of the Holy Gospel (public revelation).

    It’s your choice. Make no mistakes, however, I’m certainly trying to convince you that you are treading on dangerous ground. If you take the time to point out some way that you are not doing so then I will dismantle anything you come up with. I’m that certain that you are on dangerous ground and I have many good reasons to be concerned for your soul. Even if you do not think so.

  87. rachmaninov says:

    Luke are you actually Catholic-your position sounds very much like protestant talk to me-certainly far far removed from papal pronouncemnts on Fatima Divine Mercy, Lourdes
    Thanks for your concern for my soul, its nice to know you care

  88. Malta says:

    “God bless this courageous bishop! All this is published as the official announcement of the Mostar-Duvno diocese. Parts one and two detail the exploits of ex-Fr. Vlasic and Fr. Barbaric…” Also the Priest Ivica Vego, who the “Gospa” voraciously defended previously, ended up getting a nun pregnant. Pregnant nuns and Medjugorje seem to be a theme!

    See: E. Michael Jones, “The Medjugorje Deception,” 1998, pg. 147.

  89. Luke says:

    rachmaninov: Oh yes, I am certainly Catholic. I’m only espousing the words of the best sources we have on the subject of extraordinary graces. Like I said: if you do not believe me, then you continue abiding by the import of private revelation at your own risk.

    Another consideration is this: is it possible that you have been so ardently supporting Medjugorje that you haven’t stepped back to consider the place that private revelation should have in our lives?

    By the way: The Church teaches that I can ignore Lourdes, Fatima and the Divine Mercy devotion exactly because they are private revelation. Good or true as they may be they do not help us to overcome self-indulgence as Paul points out (Col 2:16-23). To do that requires an effort to practice virtue and daily “prayer from the heart” as you like to refer to it. These facts are all contained in the public revelation of Sacred Scripture.

  90. Fr. John Mary says:

    Okay, I’m going to jump into this, again.
    One observation that I think is relevant to all of this is that people going to Medjugorje encounter “Croatian cultural Catholicism” which is very deep and inspiring. Those from the USA especially, or from other secularized countries, “feel” the Faith with an overwhelming sense of the supernatural. Is this what pilgrims experience? As opposed to an authentic apparition of the BVM?
    Evidently, that is what the Bishop of Mostar thinks, or else he would not be doing what he is doing.
    I’ve never been to M. I’m just passing on an insight that others have shared with me.

  91. rachmaninov says:

    Luke ,
    do you realise how you sound? You are coming across as very judgemental of me and what my thoughts may be as to the place of private revelations in the spiritual life-as well as the apparent endangering of my soul. The problem, Luke is that you dont know me-you have no idea about what my spiritual life is like. For all you know I may spend many hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. I may hardly give any real thought to private revelations. I am not judging you.I have no desire to “convert” you.I am really pleased that private revelations are not a concern for you-but ask the millions who have converted there over the years and they will tell a different story.Even if the visions prove false one day hopefully there will be many more places filled in heaven by those same conversions than if it had never happened.IF satan is involved over there then he’s not a clever as we think. Endless lines for confessions, bare footed pilgrims accending the mountain doing the Way of the Cross, huge crowds adoring the Lord -crickey the devil must be thrilled!

  92. Luke says:

    I only pass on to you the teaching of the Catholic Church on the subject of private revelation. I believe that you are a sincere person–beyond question.

    Our spiritual lives all share something in common: Jesus Christ. The Teaching Church how to keep us on the path that leads to him. I’m referring here to the deposit of Faith and not to the opinions of any priest or lay person. The way to Christ may look different for each one of us on the planet. but there are certain things that help or harm every person equally. If I may suggest a little reading material you might check out St. Teresa’s “Life”. God did wondrous things in her life and yet she was more sober-minded than anybody I know. Either way it’s a great book. Edith Stein converted after reading it–she read the whole thing in one night which I find staggering.

    If we are not concerned about the “good” of our brothers and sisters then something is amiss within us. We should be concerned.

  93. Malta says:

    Remember this: if an “apparition” site is not totally focused on Christ’s Sacrifice, it is probably false….

  94. Jordanes says:

    rachmaninov said: Here I present the true facts from the Vatican about the status of Medjugorje for those who like MichaelJ are obviously confused. Obedience in this matter does not lie with bishop Peric but with the CDF (even in the Ratzinger report Benedict states that the CDF are studying it)

    You’re wrong. Despite what advocates of the alleged Medjugorje apparitions repeated claim, the Church has not stripped the local ordinary of his authority pertaining to Medjugorje.

    The Ratzinger Report was published in 1985. It’s 2009 now. There’s no evidence that the CDF is conducting an ongoing study of Medjugorje.

    The authority over the authenticity of the apparitions is no longer in the hands of the local bishop of Medjugorje, nor a commission struck by the Vatican. In a rare move, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took the investigation out of Bishop Zanic’s hands, and placed it in the hands of an independent commission.

    No, the CDF did not take the investigation out of Bishop Zanic’s hands. It was decided to have the bishops of the former Yugoslavia invesitgate the matter together. But none of that deprives the local ordinary of his authority over his own diocese.

    But now (as of April 8th, 2008), the Holy See itself has taken full authority over the alleged phenomena.

    Not true. The Holy See’s investigation had to do with
    the crimes of Father Tomislav Vlasic, not with the authenticity of the alleged apparitions. On that matter, the Holy See has not done or said anything to rescind or overturn or mitigate the findings of the bishops’ commission.

    There HAS NOT been a definitive pronouncement from the Vatican regarding Medjugorje

    But there has been a definitive pronouncement from the Church. There’s no reason to believe there is anything supernatural about the Medjugorje phenomenon.

    Bishop Peric goes further and says he is sure it’s a scam. I think Bishop Peric is right.

  95. Luke says:

    Well stated, Jordanes.

    More importantly I think the fact that private revelations should impact our spiritual lives little or almost nothing. It’s not about us or them being wrong but that following one of the many paths of sanctity that do put an end to our self indulgence is far more important. Neither I nor a whole list of canonized Doctors of the Church buy the notion that this begins with or involves adherence to any private revelation. Even if an angel from Heaven preached a different gospel we should not believe it (Gal 1:8). Even with regard to the Mercy of God while this is a profound message what’s more needed for those who know Christ is to follow him. I certainly need His mercy, but what I need more is to be converted. Conversion takes a lot of work on our part in the beginning and then God does provide a wonderful assistance if he sees that we’re serious. There’s no quick path or secret to overcoming ourselves beyond asking Heaven for the help and beginning the work ourselves. It’s possible for all of us.

    This is the perennial teaching of the Church as I know it. Serious adherence to the Gospel is difficult at first but it leads to the most profound joy–a joy beyond explanation even. The Psalmist could say that both his heart and his flesh sung for joy to the living God (Ps 84:2).

    Some in these postings have scoffed at the idea of the devil being involved in Medjugorje, but I would like to remind those who have done so that the battle for good and evil is not over. The addition of one notion or thought can be enough to steer us from following the narrow path of Christ. What can’t be stressed enough here is that this is a narrow path that leads to Life.

  96. rachmaninov says:

    Luke,
    im sorry but your understanding of private revelations is not what the Church teaches at all. I quote from the Catechism”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.” Notice Luke how the Church uses the word “welcome”.would you like to retract your comment yesterday suggesting that my soul is in danger from accepting private revelations? You know the problem is with people who hold these views is that they ae warped. They bear no resemblance to what the Church teaches. Manipulation of the facts is the name of the game-as Jordanes so expertly showed in his last post. He knows better that the Vatican official spokesman-he knows better than the Secretary of the CDF He knows better than Cardinal Schorborn. Why hs the Vatican never once, not once come out and said our official position is that of Bishop Peric? Why do they say its only his personal opinion-just as Pope John Paul the Great-yes the Great’s personal opinion as roved by published letters is that he believed 100% in th apparitions going as far as to say I go in spirit every day to Medjugorje?Extremists never grasp the truth they manipulate it for their own ends and that is precisely what you people do You cannot dismantle what i say because I have the truth behind me in the form of direct quotes from the highest authorities in the Church
    Just to proe to Jordanes that its not only the local ordinary who has complete juristiction o apparition investigations i qoute from the 1978 CDF document about the investigation of aparitions:
    “III. Other Authorities entitled to intervene

    1. The foremost authority to inquire and to intervene belongs to the local Ordinary.

    2. But the regional or national episcopal Conference may intervene:

    a) If the local Ordinary, after having fulfilled the obligations which fall to him, resorts to them for a study of the event in its entirety.

    b) If the event assumes national or regional importance.

    3. The Apostolic See can intervene, either at the request of Ordinary himself, or at the request of a qualified group of the faithful, or directly by virtue of the immediate right of universal jurisdiction of the Sovereign Pontiff (cf. above, IV).

    IV. Intervention of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

    1. a) The intervention of the Sacred Congregation can be agreed to be necessary either by the Ordinary, after he has fulfilled the obligations falling to him, or by a qualified group of the faithful. In this second case, vigilance is necessary so that the recourse to the Sacred Congregation is not motivated by suspect reasons (for example to force, in one way one or another, the Ordinary to modify his legitimate decisions, or to confirm the sectarian drift of a group, etc.)

    b) It belongs to the Sacred Congregation to intervene of its own accord in serious cases, in particular when the event affects a broad portion of the Church; but the Ordinary will always be consulted, as well as the episcopal Conference, if the situation requires it.

    2. It belongs to the Sacred Congregation to discern and approve the way of acting of the Ordinary, or, if it proves to be necessary, to carry out a new examination of the facts distinct from that which the Ordinary carried out; this new examination of the facts will be done either by the Sacred Congregation itself, or by a commission especially established for this purpose.

    The present norms, defined in the plenary Congregation of this Sacred Congregation, were approved by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Paul VI, on February 24 1978.
    At Rome, the Palace of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, February 27, 1978.”

  97. paladin says:

    rachmaninov wrote:

    paladin, one simple answer please. Did I give you a list of comments from vatican officials, or did I give a list of my own opinions?

    First, you gave your own opinion: that “Obedience in this matter does not lie with bishop Peric but with the CDF (even in the Ratzinger report Benedict states that the CDF are studying it)”; and I told you that this opinion is nonsense (which it is).

    Second, you cut and pasted several opinions from Mark Mallett (see here to find a near-verbatim account of your “quote”), who was extrapolating (rather wildly) from the same handful of broad comments by scattered Vatican officials which have been used interminably (and with great recourse to fallacies) by numerous pro-Medjugorje websites.

    Third, you’ve come to some stunningly inaccurate conclusions, based (I can only suppose) on your preceding hopes (“the wish is father to the thought”); are you seriously unaware of the fact that, for example, the Yugoslavian Bishops’ Conference investigated the matter at the express request of the Bishop of Mostar? This was not a “smack down from on high”; the Bishop requested (and has been grateful for) the help from the Bishops’ Conference and from the CDF.

    But my final point stands, quite firmly, independently of these: your statement about “obedience in this matter not being with Bishop Peric” is so sweeping as to be ridiculous; it gives the clear impression that, since the CDF “has taken the matter out of the Bishop’s hands”, the bishop (and all his future directives) may safely be ignored by Medjugorje devotees. This, again, is crazy-talk… and it betrays a fundamental misunderstanding about the authority of the local ordinary, even vis-a-vis the CDF.

    The local bishop has now forbidden foreign priests from leading pilgrimages, retreats, etc, without his express permission; and he has forbidden any priests from celebrating Mass in his diocese without his express permission (which is the case anyway–it was simply being ignored by the pro-Medjugorje priests on the ground… on the pretext that “the CDF thinks it’s okay”). This is binding, and no one may appeal to the CDF, etc., to evade them.

  98. rachmaninov says:

    “scattered vatican officials” are still vatican officials.Bishops serve the Church in union with the Pope and the directives of the roman curia. I am sorry that you cannot accept this truth.Whatever rubbish you come out with., the truth remains that the quotes i gave prove beyond any doubt that Bishop Peric does not have authority over the investigation. He does in all other areas to do with the pastoral care of the parish but not the apparitions.I hope one day your acceptance of the entire truth of how the Universal Church is governed will make you realise your error in this matter

  99. Jordanes says:

    rachmaninov said: Manipulation of the facts is the name of the game-as Jordanes so expertly showed in his last post.

    Thank you. I agree, Medjugorje advocates do manipulate the facts and spread untruths about it. That’s what you’ve been doing.

    He knows better that the Vatican official spokesman-he knows better than the Secretary of the CDF He knows better than Cardinal Schorborn.

    The Vatican spokesman hasn’t said anything that contradicts what I have said. As for Cardinal Schonborn, he has his opinion, which may or may not be correct. A mere appeal to authority does not of itself prove anything.

    Why hs the Vatican never once, not once come out and said our official position is that of Bishop Peric?

    Why should the Vatican issue any such ruling? The Holy See hasn’t indicated that it is conducting a formal investigation
    of Medjugorje, and a statement like that would only follow the conclusion of such an investigation. They have been content to let the decision of the local bishops stand, intervening only to deal with the canonical crimes and delicts committed by some of the people who got the Medjugorje ball rolling.

    Why do they say its only his personal opinion

    Because that’s what it is. And yet it remains the case that, contrary to what Medjugorje advocates like you would have us believe, the Vatican has NOT deprived Bishop Peric of his authority over the Medjugorje matters that pertain to his diocese.

    Notice that the Holy See has said and done nothing to indicate that Bishop Peric’s opinion of the matter is false.

    just as Pope John Paul the Great-yes the Great’s personal opinion as roved by published letters is that he believed 100% in th apparitions going as far as to say I go in spirit every day to Medjugorje?

    Sorry, those are more untruths of the Medjugorje promoters and advocates.

    Extremists never grasp the truth they manipulate it for their own ends and that is precisely what you people do

    That sounds like a pretty extremist thing to say, rachmaninov.

    You cannot dismantle what i say because I have the truth behind me in the form of direct quotes from the highest authorities in the Church

    I think we’ve done a fine job of dismantling your assertions — and your quotes don’t support your belief that Medjugorje is authentic. The Church clearly does not endorse or smile upon the Medjugorje phenomenon.

    Just to proe to Jordanes that its not only the local ordinary who has complete juristiction o apparition investigations i qoute from the 1978 CDF document about the investigation of aparitions:

    No one has disputed the CDF’s jurisdiction, and it is blazingly obvious that I never said or suggested anything so silly as that only the local ordinary has complete jurisdiction. What I said is that there is no reason to believe the CDF is investigating the apparitions. Bishop Peric has said the CDF is not, and he would be informed if there were. The most recent rumors of a CDF investigation turned out to be referring to the CDF investigation and prosecution of Fr. Tomislav Vlasic: NOT the investigation that Medjugorje advocates have repeatedly claimed has been ongoing since the 1980s.

  100. rachmaninov says:

    Its not about me proving Medjugorje is true-as ive said many times already-only that the Vatican has said the Bishop’s opinion is his own private one. How do you explain Mr Navarro Vals quote ” you cannot say people cannot go there until it is proven false” and “until there is a definitive pronouncement”
    The letters from Pope John Paul are absolutely true and have been made public by the recipients of them.
    You asked why should the Vatican issue any ruling-well for the same reason they did with Vassula Ryden. Considering the huge amount of controversy over this topic dont you think if Rome wants it sorted finally Cardinal Levada only needs to write a short letter saying that the Bishop Of Mostar’s opinion is to be taken as the Vatican’s final ruling on the matter. It hasnt and you know why it hasnt because as all the quotes tell you that no final judgement has yet been made. I simply cannot understand what the reason is you people will not accept what is so glaringly obvious.Is it pride?

  101. mgseamanjr says:

    Luke said: “Isn’t it possible that your interest in the Medjugorje phenomenon doesn’t make you a bad person?”

    I’m sorry but you’ve lost me. I don’t know what that means.

    The point I was emphasizing was that many folks here on this site and elsewhere assume without sufficient evidence that the pro-Medj. crowd are fanatical miracle-seekers who would abandon the faith if Medj. were declared false by the Vatican authorities. It is entirely apparent that because you and others have concluded on your own that the whole operation is false, you therefore draw all subsequent conclusions about the place beginning with the assumption that it is a fake. Therefore, Catholics who make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje are a sad lot, duped into looking ro some emotional high or miracle, not devout but shallow in their faith, etc., etc. The number of accusations and assumptions made about people like me are countless and, frankly, I’ terribly sick of reading them. Go back and read nearly all the comments above. They can be summed up like this: “Finally, the Church has come around to my way of thinking” and “These immature Medj. folks really need our prayers, poor saps, please pray for their enlightenment.” This smacks of arrogance and judgment and reminds me an awful lot of the Pharasees. I have met and read the postings on this and other sites of plenty of Catholics who are solid and orthodox in the faith, who are articulate and intelligent people, and who support the site but who are holding back final judgment until the decision comes down from above.

    It is ironic that we who converted or reverted back to the faith through the site are trying to live the messages in our daily lives (see my post above) are constantly labeled fanatical and shallow and wedded to the site rather than the Church, while the anti-Medj. crowd incessantly barrages us with messages that we are ignorant and that they already have all the answers. Who is more fixed and confident in their position? Excuse me but after 28 years of this, the Church has seen fit to withhold judgment, preferring rather to gather all the facts before drawing a conclusion (but perhaps the Church too is ignorant and ought to consult you since you anti-Medj. folks who appear to know more than her).

    MichaelJ, You asked: “Other than “twice-weekly fasting, daily Bible-reading and rosary-reciting, mass and confession”, is there anything else that the “messages” are calling upon you to do or believe?”

    I have no idea what you’re talking about or insinuating.

    Dr. Eric says: “The Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Catholics have been doing this for 2000 years already.”

    I am very happy to learn that all of our eastern brethren are fasting on bread and water twice/week. Perhaps, though, there is a difference here between having a tradition of fasting and actually doing it and promoting it. We Catholics too have a long tradition of fasting: the prophets, Jesus and the Apostles all fasted. It’s just that no one was doing it until after the alleged apparitions called for a return to it. The only Greek orthodox priest I know decided to fast along with me in solidarity. [Allow me to put in a plug here for two outstanding texts on fasting by Fra. Slavko Bararic, OFM].

  102. Luke says:

    Pride on whose part? Ours? This sounds like two sides of a war. It isn’t that.

    You can go to Medjugorje if you want to. I’m not trying to stop you.

    Instead of “living the messages” we need to live the Gospel. At least if you want to be Catholic.

    mjseamanjr: it was you who enumerated your fasting, prayers and spiritual adherences–nobody else. Go read St. Lukes Gospel 18:11-12.

    My major point is that private revelation leads people to say erroneous things exactly like “[we] are trying to live the messages in our daily lives.”

    We’re not judging your personal intentions is what I meant by my former comment, mjseamanjr. But you wrote the above statement and it’s false with regard to the faith you espouse in Jesus Christ.

    We live the Gospel according to the manner the Church lays it down for us. Period.

  103. ssoldie says:

    For (31 years) Our Blessed Mother has been sending messages to how many seers? and where ever they are at in the world?. REALLY, no thank you, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady Of Lourdes, Our Lady Of Fatima, Our Lady Of Akita, common sense and right reason tells me these are true messages of Our Blessed Mother, she was quite explicit, she had a certain length of time that she wanted the seer/seer’s to come to her, and a true miracle was always there. I had a lady tell me her rosary turned to gold at Medjugorje, I asked her to take it to a jewelery shop and have it authenticated. No! it was not gold. Remember the devil and all his associates are cunning, if the Church cannot be destroyed from without, it will be destroyed from with in, and only a Remnant will be left.

  104. Nan says:

    The fruits of Medjugorje are disobedience. That tells me all I need to know.

    The messages seem to be rehashed from existing information; and I don’t need to go to a supernatural vision to be told pray the rosary, read the Bible, go to Mass and Confession. These ideas aren’t new and may all be obtained at my local approved shrine merely by going to Mass, where it’s included in homilies and Confession. And sin? They talk about that, too.

    I don’t need to have my faith validated with a rosary supposedly turned gold by supernatural power. Mine is plastic and blessed by a holy priest. What more do I need?

  105. Luke says:

    ssoldie: Pope Leo XIII heard Satan say those very words: “I will destroy your Church from within.”

    Those who doubt their personal ability to judge the intelligent deception of Satan should be warned. Public revelation trumps any private revelation.

    It trumps it exactly because it’s the only necessary path to salvation and because we have certitude from the Church far exceeding any mere “welcome” as the Catechism states.

  106. mgseamanjr says:

    Luke says: “Instead of ‘living the messages’ we need to live the Gospel.’”

    Exactly. Now please tell me what about fasting, daily Bible-reading and rosary-reciting, mass and confession contradicts the Gospel? The messages ARE the Gospel. I could easily have said that I am trying to live the Gospel. On the one hand, I hear people saying that we should return to the Gospel, which is what these messages say, and on the other I hear people saying, these messages are too mundane because all they say is a return to the Gospel. By the way, it’s great that you can say you don’t need these messages Nan. But if the Blessed Mother has come down to tell us to return to the Gospel, apparently many people do need to hear the messages. Take a look at the state of the Church and tell me it is very healthy. I suppose many good Catholics said the same thing during the apparitions at Fatima but we know that there wasn’t a good enough response then.

    I could comment further on these latest postings but I am too tired of rehashing the same arguments. I repeat: how is it that so many of you can state that there is incredible disobedience, lies, Satan, etc. written all over this place and yet the Vatican hasn’t seen it that way after 28 years? My how stupid they must be over there in Rome! There are an awful lot postings above dripping with judgment of those who support Medj. It’s a pity that more of you can’t fathom leaving open the slightest possibility that perhaps we ought to withhold judgment until our Church pronounces a verdict after studying all the facts.

  107. mgseamanjr says:

    Luke says: “it was you who enumerated your fasting, prayers and spiritual adherences—nobody else. Go read St. Lukes (sic) Gospel 18:11-12.”

    I am familiar with this passage in Luke. I considered carefully whether I should make the statement to which you refer and I decided to make it for two reasons. First, I felt that there was enough unanimity on this site so that I would not appear to be exalting myself in making it. But the reason I wanted to make the statement is to respond to the fact that supporters of Medjugore are very often being painted with a wide brush and are more often than not being labeled as shallow, miracle-seeking fanatics. This has not been my experience nor that of those whom I know to have been converted or reverted through the site. A lot of people on this website and others have apparently come to conclusions about Medj. based on someone they’ve met who exhibits these characteristics. While there can be little doubt that such people exist, and that they are perhaps attracted to alleged apparition sites, it is fair to point out (and perhaps necessary) that those being converted are finding true grace and are living much more fully the Gospel than the critics of the site would have people believe. Perhaps there are two types of people who experience Medj. but to portray the place accurately, you need to shine light on both.

  108. Melody says:

    Further considering the matter, it is possible that there WAS a real apparition at some point, and that at least one of the visionaries is the real deal, but I certainly don’t think the convenient monthly messages are real.

    As I mentioned, I have actually read the messages, because people in my prayer group are obsessively into Medjugorie. It took me a long time to make up my mind, because many of the people giving them to me are those I otherwise respect.

    The daily messages have no real content or are rehashed versions of previous messages. Others read too much like someone’s personal opinion, and don’t have the universal quality of earlier approved apparitions. I have to admit, a few sound like they could have been copied from Father Z’s rants about corruption in the Church, and likely refer directly to the local bishop. Although I agree with these, I think Our Lady is a bit more delicate on these matters.

    As far as the disobedience, I’m at odds. We can all quote doctrine and sound sure of ourselves, but if the apparition occurred here in California, would you listen for a moment to Cardinal Mahony’s condemnation? This is why I decided to make up my own mind about it.

    As the Church teaches, all authentic revelations are consistent with the deposit of faith. Most apparitions simply remind us of some aspect of the faith that needs a bit more attention, such as the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

    However, many Medjugorie messages espouse a protestant style end-times Millenarian theology. I know Medjugorie believers with a very unhealthy obsession with the “chastisement.” They believe only followers of Medjugorie are warned properly about this and do not hesitate to herald every natural disaster as a sign of its coming.
    Some even believe in a rapture like theology, in which Our Lady will shield the faithful from the chastisement.

  109. Luke says:

    Why not live the Gospel because the Gospel calls us to live it’s message?

    Playing it safe seems like a wise thing to do beyond all arguments while we “withhold judgment until our Church pronounces a verdict after studying all the facts.”

  110. Luke says:

    I never called anyone a fanatic on this question.

    Why can’t any of the supporters of this alleged apparition say whether or not they can be certain the Devil hasn’t twisted at least some of the messages?

    If you can’t be certain. Join us in our happy quest to adhere to the public revelation of Sacred Scripture and Tradition. ALL ARE WELCOME.

  111. Jordanes says:

    rachmaninov said: How do you explain Mr Navarro Vals quote ” you cannot say people cannot go there until it is proven false” and “until there is a definitive pronouncement”

    What in his statement needs explanation. He said people can visit Medjugorje just like they can visit any other church on earth. The only thing forbidden is making pilgrimages to Medjugorje whose purposes are to validate the alleged apparitions that the Church has not approved, that She says have not been proven to have anything supernatural about them.

    “You cannot say people cannot go there until it has been proven false. This has not been said, so anyone can go if they want. When Catholic faithful go anywhere, they are entitled to spiritual care, so the Church does not forbid priests to accompany lay-organized trips to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina.”

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the alleged apparitions, which are falsified by the heresy of religious indifferentism put on the lips of the Blessed Mother and by a false prediction that shows the so-called seers to be false prophets.

    The letters from Pope John Paul are absolutely true and have been made public by the recipients of them.

    Those alleged statements of John Paul II have never been confirmed. There are no published letters. Where are you getting your misinformation?

    http://athanasiuscm.blogspot.com/2009/02/john-paul-ii-and-medjugorje.html

    You asked why should the Vatican issue any ruling-well for the same reason they did with Vassula Ryden. Considering the huge amount of controversy over this topic dont you think if Rome wants it sorted finally Cardinal Levada only needs to write a short letter saying that the Bishop Of Mostar’s opinion is to be taken as the Vatican’s final ruling on the matter.

    We can discuss hypotheticals till Doomsday. The fact remains that there is no evidence of any ongoing CDF investigation to determine the validity of the Medjugorje apparitions, nor has the Church ever said anything to support the Medjugorje phenomenon.

    It hasnt and you know why it hasnt because as all the quotes tell you that no final judgement has yet been made.

    The fact that a “final” judgment has yet to be made does not give you the right to disregard the judgment and the decisions that are that is currently in force.

    I simply cannot understand what the reason is you people will not accept what is so glaringly obvious.Is it pride?

    We do accept what is so glaringly obvious. That’s why we avoid unapproved, dubious apparitions as the Church counsels us.

  112. Fr. John Mary says:

    WOW! This issue is a considerable one even today…the number of posts is, well, mind-boggling!
    I must confess that at first, in the early 1980′s, I was taken by this event. But further reading and exploration made me very wary; as J. Galot says in his article in “Civilita Catholica”, the endless messages are a definite cause for concern.
    The apparitions at Lourdes and Fatima were confined and very direct. They seem to be the ‘norm’ by which modern apparitions are discerned. Our Lady of Akita, although they were over a number of years, had a definite conclusion.
    This seems to be the norm. I’m only commenting upon what “experts” have written.
    Left to my own devises, I am absolutely an “agnostic” when it comes to private revelation.
    Leave it to the Church; in other words, the legitimate authority.

  113. Luke says:

    Return to the sure path to salvation: public revelation unless you know that the messages come from God 100%.

  114. rachmaninov says:

    Father John Mary,
    just to point out that the Church officially approved last year the apparitions of Laus which lasted 52 years.
    Jordanes heres the qoutes from Pope John Paul’s letters.That link you gave doesnt have anything about it as far as i could see-anyway the authenticity is not in doubt as the couple worked for one of the pontifical councils and were very well know friends of the Pope:
    “We have in incontestable documentation the written words of Pope John Paul II to his lifetime Polish friends, Marek and Sophia Skwarnicki in their personal correspondence (released with their permission), which manifests the saintly Holy Father’s personal belief in Medjugorje, and his common spiritual practice of daily pilgriming to Medjugorje in his heart” (19). For example, in John Paul’s letter of December 1992 to the Skwarnicki Family, he writes:
    I thank Sophia for everything concerning Medjugorje. I, too, go there every day as a pilgrim in my prayers: I unite in my prayers with all those who pray there or receive a calling for prayer from there (20).
    On February 25, 1994, John Paul writes:
    I guess Medjugorje is better understood these days. This kind of “insisting” of our Mother is better understood today when we see with our very eyes the enormousness of the danger. At the same time, the response in the way of a special prayer—and that coming from people all around the world—fills us with hope that here, too, the good will prevail (21).
    And in closing his May 28, 1992, letter to his Polish friends, John Paul reiterates: “And now we every day return to Medjugorje in prayer” (22).
    Is Medjugorje real? According to the Church’s own criteria, the spiritual fruits superabundant throughout the world, and the saintly witnesses and discernments of Pope John Paul II and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, I believe the only proper theological response is “yes.”
    Notes
    (19) “Original Letter Correspondence of Pope John Paul II to Marek and Sophia Skwarnicki,” as published in Nolan, Medjugorje and the Church, Queenship Publications, pp. 151-147.
    (20) Ibid., p. 153.
    (21) Ibid., p. 157.
    (22) Ibid., p. 155.
    Taken from Mark Miravalle’s website
    Also Jordanes-just to clarify for the hundredth time for those slow so understand what Im saying. I am not interested in claiming that its all true. I am proving that the last official document is the Zadar declaration of 1991 which leaves the door open for further development. That is the position still today. It was the Bishops conference that made it, not Bishop Zanic or Peric-proving that the 1978 declaration on apparitions was being followed ie that the global nature of the events had led to it being taken out of the bishop’s hands and gone a stage further. My quotes from Navarro vals were not meant to be trying to prove the authenticity(manipulation again!!)but to show that the investigation is not concluded.Finally I dont disregard the judgement made-oh no, I like the vast majority of Medjugorje followers (I dont like the term but it will do) accept 100% the Zadar one as the most recent, therefore we await the wisdom from the church to guide us and at present that wisdom is allowing us to go like hundreds of bishops and carinals who have gone.Remember Jordanes that previous bishops in authentic apparitions were against eg Lourdes, Fatima, the bishop of Blessed Alexandrina da Costa, the bishop of Amsterdam. All eventually have been given the seal of Church approval.The devil causes problems by convincing many to rubbish before the Church has spoken definitively. You and those above who gleefully jumped on the bandwagon help him in his job by twisting the truth.Persecution is fine for us because its the way of Jesus and the saints.Where anti Medjugoje people have spent the past 20 odd years denying the truth of what the Church has said the great majority of us will, on the day a negative judgement comes, if it does will say fine. May God’s Will be done and never read another message. That is true obedience not some pharisaical version which is propogated in many comments above

  115. Luke says:

    Ahumm…the messages aren’t necessary for your salvation…

  116. rachmaninov says:

    who said they were?

  117. Fr. John Mary says:

    rachmaninov: I’m sorry, but I am not familiar with “Laus”. Did these apparitions cover 52 years, or did it take 52 years for the Church’s approbation? I ask this sincerely, since I am not aware of this.
    Sinerely, FrJM

  118. rachmaninov says:

    Dear Father,
    the actual apparitions themselves lasted 54 years.Here is a link to the story :http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=7006

  119. Luke says:

    rachmaninov: You’re either out to prove something or you believe that they are needful in some way. Either way you’re on a “slippery slope.”

    Even if all of your very well put together facts add up to a truth the reality that they don’t add anything to the eternal words of the same Christ who said, “I am the Way.” The Iter ad Deum as St. Thomas referred to him. There is only one sure pathway that leads to God.

    satis verborum.

  120. rachmaninov says:

    Jordanes,
    more proof that the Vatican controls things about Medugorje:
    “In the Vecernji list of March 21, 2008, Ivan Tolj published an interview with Cardinal Vinko Pulji?, Archbishop of Sarajevo.

    Question: the recently published interview with the Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of the Holy See, that the case Medjugorje should be re-examined, inspired various speculations. Has the Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina discussed this matter, and is it true that Medjugorje shall be officially examined once again?

    Cardinal Puljic’s answer: „Our BC has not discussed this matter, because the phenomenon of Medjugorje does not come within our competence. At the moment when the Holy See takes the decision and gives a task, we shall think about what to do. This is why it is not necessary to speculate, unless concrete instructions come. After the work of the Commission, the BC has already decided to accompany the phenomenon pastorally. This is nothing new, but the implementation of the first decision of the BC about the phenomenon Medjugorje.”
    Why does he say “at the moment when the Holy See takes the decision and gives a task”? That statement proves beyond any doubt that its not the Bishop or the Bishop’s conference that is in charge but the CDF-would you like to offer an opinion?

  121. paladin says:

    rachmaninov wrote:

    “scattered vatican officials” are still vatican officials. Bishops serve the Church in union with the Pope and the directives of the roman curia.

    Right… including the successor to the apostles who happens to be the bishop of Mostar, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But my point stands (and several other commenters have confirmed): you’ve quoted (in the instances where the quotes were reliable, and not simply a wishful paraphrase) sayings from various Vatican officials which fall into two camps: (1) personal opinion of the speaker, and (2) declarations that people are free to visit Churches in Medjugorje (as they can any valid Parish Church in the world that isn’t currently under interdict, or something). Your own claims, however, go beyond that raw data… and you assert that these quotes entail some sort of approbation of the alleged “visions” at Medjugorje… which is simply not true.

    I am sorry that you cannot accept this truth.

    I think you need to keep a firmer hold on your rhetoric, friend; to the extent that you gave accurate quotations (and some of them range from vague to unconfirmed to almost certainly false), this is a matter of interpretation, as well as accuracy.

    Whatever rubbish you come out with., the truth remains that the quotes i gave prove beyond any doubt that Bishop Peric does not have authority over the investigation.

    And I say that your claim far outstrips its data. First: Bishop Zanic was *part* of the Bishops’ Conference which supposedly “took jurisdiction from him”; that’s enough to put the lie to any claims that he was somehow “relieved of duty in this regard”, by them (again, abstracting from the plain fact that the Bishop *requested* the intervention). Second: to say that the CDF has competence and jurisdiction in this matter is one thing (and quite true); but to say that “Bishop Peric does not have authority over this investigation” is either vague tripe (true, in the sense that he cannot shut it down; false, in the sense that he has no competence to influence the actions at the alleged “apparition” site–which IS the topic of the current post, yes?) or a disingenuous smear which serves to cast doubt upon the right of Bishop Peric to exert discipline upon the people involved (or planning to be involved) at the site itself… which, again, is nonsense.

    Perhaps we could cut to the chase. Bishop Peric, as far as I can tell by this report, has now shut down all retreats, pilgrimages by foreign priests, etc., unless they have his explicit approval. Do you think he has the authority to do this (as opposed to having the CDF contradict him, etc.)? Do you think that His Excellency has the authority to forbid all visiting priests (whether devotees of “the Gospa” or not) from celebrating the Sacraments (save in grave necessity, as permitted by Canon Law) in his diocese, without his permission? My point was this: all people in the Diocese of Mostar ARE under obedience to obey these directives, as well as the other ones issues by His Excellency. Your sweeping comment that “Obedience in this matter does not lie with bishop Peric” seemed to imply that Medjugorje devotees could ignore these new orders, and proceed as they have been doing for years (i.e. in stark disobedience). I flatly disagree.

    He does in all other areas to do with the pastoral care of the parish but not the apparitions.

    Surely you see that juridical matters regarding the parish (and the entire diocese) and the matters surrounding the alleged “apparitions” OVERLAP? Did you even read the main post (above), listing the new orders from the Bishop? Don’t you think that will have an impact on the supposed “apparitions” and the actions of its devotees? Have some sense, man!

    I hope one day your acceptance of the entire truth of how the Universal Church is governed will make you realise your error in this matter

    With all due respect, friend: drama is no substitute for fact. In fact, you are the one who is rather confused about the workings of the Catholic Church, in this matter. Please do read the original post, then read (or re-read) my questions immediately above, and then come at this with a fresh mind, would you?

  122. rachmaninov says:

    pathetic really Paladin
    personal opinion of the speaker? What coming from the lips of the official papal spokesman!
    I couldnt agree more about no substitution for the facts. Where you and others have to twist and manipulate to make your point I rely on the facts, the words of those who matter. Tell me paladin whats your opinion about thoe bishops around the world who dont want to implement summorum pontificum?

  123. Luke says:

    Christian charity should dictate that we will not come to an agreement here.

  124. Fr. John Mary says:

    Okay, I have to leave another comment…whether it is cogent, or not, whatever…
    We just prayed Vespers where the Pauline Christological hymn said, “He was obedient unto death, death unto the Cross…”
    The bottom line, in my humble estimation, is to be obedient to the legitimate authority of Holy Mother Church, in imitation of our blessed Lord.
    If M. is authentic, it will be made manifest through the legitimate authority of the Church.
    At this point, there are too many questions, problems, conundregms,…
    Why not just leave it at that?
    Just live your Catholic life, faithful to Peter, in the holy Tradition of the Church…rosary, fasting, reading of Holy Scripture, regular reception of the Sacrament of Penance?
    That’s all I want to know.

  125. Fr. John Mary says:

    And since I cannot keep my “mouth” shut…one more recommendation:
    Read Msgr. Ronald Knox’s excellent book, “Enthusiasm”, which records the many movements throughout the Christian tradition that “looked” good at the time they were manifested but did not have the solid core of real Catholic truth.

  126. Nan says:

    mgseamanjr, even if I believed the messages were truly from the Blessed Virgin Mary, private revelations are non-binding, therefore I can choose to pay attention to Medjugorje or not. I choose not.

    The Bishop of Mostar has spoken. That’s more than enough.

    Btw, Fr. Z, in the early years of the seers activities, someone gave a non-Catholic acquaintance a medal from Medjugorje and he passed it on to me. I have no idea whether it was blessed or whether that matters if it’s related to a questionable place. How would you recommend getting rid of it?

  127. paladin says:

    rachmaninov,

    First, lay off the insults (“pathetic”), please. Second: you really might do well to read the original CWN article from which Dr. Miravalle, et al., have cherry-picked their quotes from Dr. Navarro-Valls; it’s quite illuminating… and its context and tone hardly support your reading (and that of Dr. Miravalle, at al.) of the select quotes from it.

    You quoted, in your defense of your idea that “Holy See itself has taken full authority over the alleged phenomena”:

    “We repeat the absolute need to continue deepening the reflection, as well as prayer, in the face of whatever alleged supernatural phenomenon, until there is a definitive pronouncement.” (Joaquin Navarro-Valls, head of Vatican press office, Catholic World News, June 19th, 1996)

    I looked up the original article (quite easy to find, in the excellent CWN website–my compliments to their search engine!), and the context it supplies is quite helpful. Note the parts which I emphasize in bold, below:

    HOLY SEE CAUTIONS FAITHFUL ON MEDJUGORJE

    Jun. 19, 1996

    VATICAN (CWN) — The Holy See today confirmed that the Church remains her official position of skepticism regarding the “presumed appearances” by the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, in what is now Bosnia.

    A note released on June 19 by Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the head of the Vatican press office, indicated that “no new facts” have emerged to alter the Church position in this case, and thus that the Holy See “must respect the competence of the local bishops.”

    [Note: this really sounds as if the Vatican, as articulated through Dr. Navarro-Valls, is respecting the competence of the Yugoslavian bishops--including H.E. Peric--doesn't it?]

    The statement was released in response to a series of reports and rumors, circulating among Catholic journalists during the week, that the Church might make a new statement on Medjuguorje.

    The validity of the phenomena at Medjugorje has been a live question for Catholic authorities since June 25, 1981, when a group of eight youngsters said that they had seen the Virgin Mary, who called them to fast and pray for peace. Although that group has been dispersed, most of the young people say that the apparitions have continued, with daily messages from Our Lady, to this day. Over the past 15 years, some 20 million pilgrims are reported to have made the trip to Medjugorje to visit the site.

    However, in April 1991 the bishops of what was then Yugoslavia issued a statement indicating that their investigation had revealed no conclusive evidence that would allow them to determine whether or not the phenomena at Medjugorje truly derived from supernatural causes. The bishops did observe that the pilgrims who were flocking to Medjugorje appeared to be motivated by real piety, and their experiences should increase their Marian devotion.

    Today’s Vatican statement concluded: “We repeat the absolute need to continue deepening the reflection, as well as prayer, in the face of whatever alleged supernatural phenomenon, until there is a definitive pronouncement.”

    [Note: did you catch that Dr. Navarro-Valls did *NOT* specify WHO would give the pronouncement? In the context--immediately after it was said that the bishops of Yugoslavia "issued a statement indicating that their investigation had revealed no conclusive evidence that would allow them to determine whether or not the phenomena at Medjugorje truly derived from supernatural causes"--it seems that the expected "pronouncement" (for which is needed deepening reflection and prayer) is to come from THAT CONFERENCE (or their successors). How you get "The Vatical is now 100% in charge of this issue, from this, is beyond me.]

    The latest flurry of press interest in Medjugorje can be traced to an article which appeared in the French and Italian press in recent weeks. Bishop Taverdet of Langres, France, had asked for a clarification from the Vatican regarding the proper answer to Catholics who planned pilgrimages to Mejugorje. He received a response from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, indicating that in the absence of some clear indication that the apparitions are authentic, such pilgrimages should not be organized or sponsored by pastors or diocesan authorities.

    In other words: the “new” norms just laid down by His Excellency, Bishop Peric, are merely restatements (and enforcement) of both his own statements and the CDF’s supporting statements.

    Tell me paladin whats your opinion about thoe bishops around the world who dont want to implement summorum pontificum?

    I’d say that they’re willfully defying the Holy Father’s written mandate, issues motu proprio (wouldn’t you?). You aren’t suggesting that the Holy Father has issued a new Motu Proprio mandating a respect for the alleged “apparitions of Medjugorje”, are you? Otherwise, I fail to see the relevance of your comment, re: Summorum Pontificum…

  128. Luke says:

    Fr. John Mary: You weren’t the last one to speak afterall. No worries…

    And so to reiterate: Not only has the Church spoken on this matter, but no private revelation is a means to salvation except to those who receive them and only then under certain circumstances and not as a matter of final perseverance. Private revelation–especially the dubious unapproved ones–can be a serious impediment to salvation, however.

    Those who imbibe the Medjugorje phenom should know that God will not go easy on you because you had good intentions. You are now given the opportunity to make good choices. Informed choices.

    Go to confession and then come back to follow Jesus Christ according to the straightforward truths Holy Mother Church hands on to us. (Or gamble with your salvation. It’s up to each of us to decide how high the stakes are I suppose).

  129. Fr. John Mary says:

    Luke: I could not have said it better. Blessings! FrJM

  130. Luke says:

    The Pillar of the Cloud

    LEAD, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
    Lead Thou me on!
    The night is dark, and I am far from home—
    Lead Thou me on!
    Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
    The distant scene—one step enough for me.

    I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou
    Shouldst lead me on.
    I loved to choose and see my path, but now
    Lead Thou me on!
    I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
    Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

    So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
    Will lead me on,
    O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
    The night is gone;
    And with the morn those angel faces smile
    Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

    John Henry Newman
    June 16, 1833.

  131. Jordanes says:

    rachmaninov said: just to point out that the Church officially approved last year the apparitions of Laus which lasted 52 years.

    There’s no similarity between the Medjugorje scam and the Laus apparitions. Laus was a local affair, and compared to Medjugorje was a quiet phenomenon. The saintly seeress of Laus didn’t even record or publicise the overwhelming majority of her apparitions and locutions. But with Medjugorje we have a new apparition delivered regularly like clockwork — with one alleged seer conveniently going into trances and channeling the Blessed Virgin — and these messages and apparitions come to and through persons demonstrating not a hint of heroic virtue.

    Jordanes heres the qoutes from Pope John Paul’s letters.That link you gave doesnt have anything about it as far as i could see-anyway the authenticity is not in doubt as the couple worked for one of the pontifical councils and were very well know friends of the Pope:

    Thanks. I hadn’t heard of these alleged letters of John Paul II. They do appear to be authentic, though I can’t say if they’re genuine or not. The fact that the man who allegedly received them and allegedly published htem was a friend of John Paul II who worked for a pontifical council does not prove that these documents are forgeries. Since it has already been established that the supposed seers of Medjugorje have placed false doctrines on Our Lady’s lips and have made a prediction that was proven false, the prudent thing to do with claims in support of Medjugorje, including these alleged letters, is to remain skeptical until solid evidence is presented of authenticity.

    Even if John Paul II did get a little silly and imprudent abotu Medjugorje, though, that does nothing to establish the authenticity of Medjugorje nor to constitute reason for Catholics to believe in it. Private comments are not official actions, and it’s only official actions that count in these cases. Officially the Church has done nothing to approve or support the Medjugorje scam.

    Also Jordanes-just to clarify for the hundredth time for those slow so understand what Im saying. I am not interested in claiming that its all true.

    If it’s not all true, Catholics shouldn’t waste their time with it. Don’t eat food that had been mixed with poison.

    I am proving that the last official document is the Zadar declaration of 1991 which leaves the door open for further development.

    That’s true. The Church could issue an even more negative judgment.

    It was the Bishops conference that made it, not Bishop Zanic or Peric-proving that the 1978 declaration on apparitions was being followed ie that the global nature of the events had led to it being taken out of the bishop’s hands and gone a stage further.

    No, it proves nothing of the sort, as as been explained here. It wasn’t taken out of the bishop’s hands.

    My quotes from Navarro vals were not meant to be trying to prove the authenticity(manipulation again!!)but to show that the investigation is not concluded.

    That would be that ongoing CDF investigation for whose we have no evidence.

    Finally I dont disregard the judgement made-oh no, I like the vast majority of Medjugorje followers (I dont like the term but it will do) accept 100% the Zadar one as the most recent

    And the ONLY judgment. The Church does not approve of Medjugorje.

    therefore we await the wisdom from the church to guide us

    What are you waiting for? You already have it.

    and at present that wisdom is allowing us to go like hundreds
    of bishops and carinals who have gone.

    You have permission from the Church to visit Medjugorje, just as you have permission to visit my parish. That’s all. But you also have the Church’s counsel that you shouldn’t believe in Medjugorje.

    Remember Jordanes that previous bishops in authentic apparitions were against eg Lourdes, Fatima, the bishop of Blessed Alexandrina da Costa, the bishop of Amsterdam.

    Amsterdam? You mean the unapproved, spurious Lady of All Nations apparitions? The Holy See issued a firm, negative judgment against Amsterdam, and the Holy See has never rescinded that judgment.

    The Church hasn’t approved Medjugorje either, nor has she said Bishops Zanic and Peric are wrong in their personal opinions of the matter.

    All eventually have been given the seal of Church approval.

    All except for Amsterdam, that is, which remains condemned by the Church. The local ordinary has decided to disregard that judgment, but the matter was taken out of the hands of the local ordinary, to use the language of the Medjugorje advocates. It is the Church’s supreme legislator who has jurisdiction over the Amsterdam question, not the local ordinary. Since the Holy Office in Rome issued the judgement, only the Holy Office can rescind it. The local ordinary’s opinions and the actions approving what Rome has disapproved are invalid.

    The devil causes problems by convincing many to rubbish before the Church has spoken definitively.

    He causes even more problems by convincing many to believe in spurious apparitions — to believe in them despite the Church’s disapproval or lack of approval.

    You and those above who gleefully jumped on the
    bandwagon help him in his job by twisting the truth.

    You’re the only one here who has been twisting the truth, rachmaninov. You ought to be ashamed of yourself accusing people that they have helped the Devil by pointing out the truth that the Church has only said negative things about Medjugorje, and that there are BIG problems with this alleged apparition that just shouldn’t be there if it were authentic.

    Persecution is fine for us because its the way of Jesus and the saints.

    Ah, delightful. A martyr complex to boot.

    Listen to the Church, rachmaninov, not the “Gospa.”

    That statement proves beyond any doubt that its not the Bishop or the Bishop’s conference that is in charge but the CDF-would you like to offer an opinion?

    Sounds to me like Cardinal Puljic is saying there is no investigation.

  132. Jordanes says:

    “The fact that the man who allegedly received them and allegedly published them was a friend of John Paul II who worked for a pontifical council does not prove that these documents are forgeries.”

    Make that:

    “does not prove that these documents aren’t forgeries”

  133. Luke says:

    St. Thomas laid it down that to love is to will the good of another. It’s according to this precept of abiding concern for others that those of us in the Church who pass by extraordinary things for the surpassing Love of Christ, given freely to those who are satisfied with becoming like unto him crucified even in the smallest way, call you others back(Rm 8:29). In carrying the true Cross no answers will be found beyond loving God’s own until the end of our days (Jn 13:1). This is how we consider others better than ourselves in a spirit of humility (Ph 2:3-4).

    There will be no Crown or reward given except to those who love as Christ also loved us (Ph 2:8).

    Revelation 2:10
    Do not be afraid of the sufferings that are coming to you: I tell you the devil is going to send some of you to prison to test you, and you must face an ordeal for a short time. Even if you have to die, keep faithful, and I will give you the crown of life for your prize.

    The Pillar of the Cloud

    LEAD, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
    Lead Thou me on!
    The night is dark, and I am far from home—
    Lead Thou me on!
    Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
    The distant scene—one step enough for me.

    I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou
    Shouldst lead me on.
    I loved to choose and see my path, but now
    Lead Thou me on!
    I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
    Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

    So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
    Will lead me on,
    O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
    The night is gone;
    And with the morn those angel faces smile
    Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

    John Henry Newman
    June 16, 1833.

  134. rachmaninov says:

    Im really sorry but nothing in these recents posts changes anything to what I have written. Do you sometimes wonder why catholics-liberals and those like me who are loyal to the pope find you people arrogant and fanatical? Its a big reason why restoration of things like the Latin Mass will be more of a strugle because you are a barrier to authentic reform. Your views show no compassion or love of neighbour just judgement and condemnation. I have talked to priests who say the extraordinary form and they share my concern.you seem to not grasp the essentials of love ad charity-this talk from Luke about fearing for my soul is frankly unbelievable.No Popes talk like you. You shift your alleagince between bishops and popes depending on whom seems to supports your views. Im sorry for you all I really am not because I think i know better than you, but rather because the example you are setting is contrary to the spirit of the gosel in my understading and more like the way the pharisees acted.
    Jordanes -soory but about Amsterdam you are wrong this is the letter from the CDF which asks the prayer to be changed. He noted that the apparitions were approved therefore why did he not state that the CDF was not supporting this approval? Only asking for an alteration toa prayer?
    “”With regard to the devotion known as ‘Lady of All Nations’ and the Marian apparitions experienced by the late visionary Ida Peerdeman, I wish to advise Your Excellency that although the said apparitions have received approval from His Excellency the Most Rev. Joseph Maria Punt, Bishop of Haarlem (Holland), in his Comunications of 31 May 2002, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has expressed concern regarding one particular aspect of that devotion whereby official prayers invoke the Blessed Virgin as Lady of All Nations ‘who was once Mary.”

    This is my last word on the matter you will be pleased to hear. As far as im concerned we are all brothers in the church andI totally respect your decision not to follow the messages.

  135. Jordanes says:

    Such huffpuffery. Rachmaninov, you’re the only one talking like a fanatic. You’re arrogant and judgmental, but ironically given to poor judgment regarding the unapproved apparitions of Medjugorje and the fraudulent “apparitions” of Amsterdam. The CDF noted that Bishop Punt had approved the alleged apparitions, but did not say that the CDF was overturning Rome’s condemnation of the apparitions. The letter explicitly forbids Catholics from praying to Mary under Ida Peerdeman’s condemned and hereticall title of “the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary.” It allows a Marian devotion to Mary under the title of “Lady of All Nations” only so long as Ida Peerdeman’s fraudulent apparitions are not approved or promoted. The letter states that the CDF does not usually “give official approval to presumed supernatural messages.” Thus, “a” devotion to Mary under the title of Lady of All Nations has been approved, but neither Peerdeman’s fraudulent apparitions nor THE Lady of All Nations devotion, in which people pray to a person who used to be the Blessed Virgin Mary but is now a different creature, have any ecclesial approval. Bishop Punt’s attempted approval of what Rome condemned is invalid. Read through Peerdeman’s alleged apparitions and revelations: it’s clear they’re even more manifestly spurious than Medjugorje, even claiming that God took Pius XII’s life for failing to define as dogma that Mary is Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, and pretending to predict the exact date of his death (in a document that conveniently did not appear until Pius XII was safely dead). Peerdeman also claimed her Lady of All Nations, who isn’t Mary anymore, predicted the dogma would be defined by Pius XII or his successor. Whoops — guess this Lady of All Nations is a false prophetess.

  136. robtbrown says:

    rachmaninov,

    Cardinal Schonborn was not the main author of the catechism. He wrote nothing. He was the editorial secretary.

  137. Luke says:

    rachmaninov: I’m very sorry that you don’t understand the simplicity of following Christ.
    Since you seem intent on being our teacher, I will not go on to instruct about the difference
    between Pope, Saint, Doctor of the Church, or even smaller subtleties such as the role of
    the CDF and their support of Bishop Peric. According to St. Paul’s timeless advice I only
    need to warn you once or twice (Titus 3:10 (but don’t stop there: read chapter 3 in its entirety)).

    You, rachmaninov, have done a very public job of name calling and labeling. You, not me. Where is the joy and gospel attitude in that?

    If a brother came to me and asked how he could convert to Christ I
    would point him to read the Gospel accounts and to the
    Church Christ founded; I would never point someone in the
    direction of private revelation simply because………

    It’s not necessary for salvation.

    God has chosen you to become holy by allowing the Holy Spirit to work
    within your soul and to believe in the truth (2 Thes 2:13),
    take time to test your Faith, examen these things carefully (2 Cor 13:5).

    Have you read St. Luke’s Gospel 6:27-38? If you want to live the Gospel,
    go and live that. You could become a saint.

    If you don’t care that the Medjugorje phenom are not necessary for salvation, then
    you’re speaking to the wrong people about things that don’t concern us. Do test
    your Faith, however, because the sum of our choices have eternal consequences.
    If you strongly feel that you have one up on us, then we’ll see you on Judgement Day.
    Don;t forget to pray for us, and we’ll pray for you in return, because that’s an
    important part of Gospel living also.

    God love you!

  138. Luke says:

    Rachmaninov wrote: “You cannot dismantle what i say because I have the truth behind me in the form of direct quotes from the highest authorities in the Church.”

    There is only one Truth (…Goodness, Beauty…) And there is a short path of
    discipleship or a more complicated one. There are only two edges of this sword
    of truth if I may say it that way, and either you’re on one side or the other,
    ascending (toward our Goal) or descending.

    And also wrote: “…ask the millions who have converted there [Medjugorje] over the years and they will tell a different story [that it is necessary and somehow beautiful or true?]”

    Jesus said that only few find the narrow gate and the straight path that leads to life Mt 7:14.
    We don’t find the correct path to God by following the millions. Christ is our map, and
    the visible Church he left for us illumines the way to Him. That way is generally bound up
    with your daily choices for the good lived generously, and time spent in listening prayer
    with the one we say we love.

    Do the math. OH! By the way: It’s the small numbers that count with God
    those few he uses to weave a breathtaking “remnant.”

  139. mgseamanjr says:

    Nan writes: “mgseamanjr, even if I believed the messages were truly from the Blessed Virgin Mary, private revelations are non-binding, therefore I can choose to pay attention to Medjugorje or not. I choose not.”

    Good. That’s certainly your right as a Catholic (however, I have to say that this reminds me of Catholics who say that they are only required to go to Confession once per year). Perhaps it would be wise to review what Pope Benedict says of Church-approved private revelation:

    “Although an assent of Catholic faith may not be given to revelations thus approved [by the highest authority of the Church], still, an assent of human faith, made according to the rules of prudence, is due them; for according to these rules such revelations are probable and worthy of pious credence” [De Serv. Dei Beatif.].

    Here’s how Colin Donovan, an esteemed theologian and Director of Apologetics of EWTN, interprets what the Pope wrote:

    “The Pope is saying that a Catholic, seeing that the Church […] has investigated and approved certain revelations, is being prudent to give them human assent. That acceptance does not rest on the guarantee of Faith, or the charism of infallibility, but on the credibility of the evidence as it appeals to reason. The assent involved is not supernatural but the natural assent that the intellect gives to facts, which it judges to be true. Approved private revelations are thus worthy of our acceptance and can be of great benefit to the faithful, for as the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes: ‘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 (CCC 67).’”

    Simply put, we are not required to believe in private revelation but we ought to give it our assent and it is prudent to do so. Nan, if the events concerning Medjugorje are approved by the Catholic Church, then the scenario concerning your reaction to it that you have described is akin to this:

    1) God asks or allows the Blessed Mother to warn the world that it must return to God
    2) Mary advises a return to Christian roots: pray, fast, Bible, Mass, confession
    [by the way, who else has been advising fasting?]
    3) The Catholic Church approves the apparitions as authentic; Mary is speaking to mankind and warning us, advising certain behavior lest terrible things happen; The Church teaches that we should be prudent towards such apparitions and give our ascent.
    4) Nan replies: “Thanks anyway, Mary, but what you tell me is non-binding so I’m not interested.”

  140. Luke says:

    Ah! There is the missing thread!! In your #4, mgseamanjr, you have Nan speaking to Our Lady
    saying that–in effect–even if you are speaking, Mary, I don’t need to listen to you. In Luke’s
    gospel account, Mary says, “do whatever He tells you.” If we listen to the voice of Jesus speaking
    through his Church there’s no need for additional practices or concerns.

    If we imitate the virtues of Our Lady then she will undoubtedly be most pleased and give us
    every grace she can accord us with.

    Thanks for ignoring me, by the way…I didn’t ignore you. But I will pray for you. Please do the same for me.

  141. Supertradmom says:

    Does it help all the above discussion to remind ourselves that those in the past who have had a visitation from the Queen of Heaven have entered convents and monasteries, as the appearances were life-changing? How can one stay in the world, be a beautician, or even get married after standing at the foot of the Theotokos, hearing her voice, seeing her Beauty? The world would mean nothing, as Thomas Aquinas stated after his vision of God-”What I have written is straw.”

  142. Luke says:

    Good point, Supertradmom! That also the same glorious beauty God has in store for the rest of us.

    mdseamanjr: As long as you bring EWTN into I can’t help to compare the education of Colin Donovan to the 20yrs Rev. Mitch Pacwa spent becoming a brilliant mind in his own right.

    I personally heard Rev. Pacwa say the following words before a 3000-person crowd in Fargo ND:

    “IF THE CHURCH HASN”T APPROVED IT LEAVE IT ALONE!”
    “IF THE CHURCH HASN”T APPROVED IT, LEAVE IT ALONE!”

    …yes he did say it twice.

  143. Luke says:

    Oh. He said this moments after one of his brother priests spoke and shared his “touchy-feely” story about his experience in Medjugorje.

    The fact is that if we’re not working to overcome self-indulgence (cf Col 2:16-23) then no trip to no place will endear us to Christ.

    The grace of the virtues and of the gifts is what endears us to Christ when we generously live the gospel and pray (The Sacrament are a given, of course). Some who go to Medjugorje claim to live the gospel but hang on to the alleged apparition/messages. This is something you add on to what jives with the Scriptures and it leads you away from Jesus Christ. Extraordinary graces are not needed for salvation. The grace of the virtues and gifts are.

    Test your faith (2 Cor 13:5).

  144. mgseamanjr says:

    Luke, I fail to see your point. The alleged “messages” of Mary at Medjugorje are a reiteration of the Gospel. They are, in effect, Mary saying again “Do whatever He tells you.” If they are authentic apparitions, then there is presumably a reason she is taking the time, and God is allowing her, to give us the advice (i.e. the Church is in an unhealthy state, we need timely reminders to pray more, etc.). I am unaware of the context of Fr. Mitch Pacwa’s quote but if he means to say that we should have nothing to do whatsoever with Medjugorje until it is approved, then I would say that he is entitled to his opinion but I would counter that, first, this is not the position of the Catholic Church and, second, a true apparition site, even before approved, can be a source of great grace. Of course, one must be cautious and prudent–and I would add that the last thing I would want to do is to set myself up against Fr. Mitch in any debate!

    I guess I do not understand your statement that I am “ignoring” you. I simply don’t have time to comment on everything. If you have made some statement that was addressed to me that I failed to consider, I apologize. I feel like I have addressed the major counter-arguments.

  145. mgseamanjr says:

    Supertradmom says: “Does it help all the above discussion to remind ourselves that those in the past who have had a visitation from the Queen of Heaven have entered convents and monasteries, as the appearances were life-changing?”

    Luke writes: “Good point, Supertradmom!”

    Actually, I’m not sure this is a relevant point. Marriage is a sacrament and, I might add, a wonderful vocation that can be filled with grace and blessings. There are plenty of examples of great saints who were married: St./ Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Thomas More, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Bridget of Sweden, not to mention Sts. Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Theotokos. I am always in awe of how God sees fit to shed greater light on some mystery at the appropriate time in history, such as the newly promoted devotion to the Divine Mercy.

    When St. Gertrude the Great, a medieval mystic and early promoter of the Sacred Heart. Once, when given a vision of St. John the Apostle and Jesus, she was allowed to place her head near the wound of our Lord and heart the beating of the Sacred Heart. She asked St. John why, if on the night of the Lord’s Passion he too heard the beating of His heart, he had not spoken of the amazing experience. He replied that this devotion had been reserved for subsequent generations when the love of mankind had grown cold (see “Legatus divinae pietatis”, IV, 305; “Revelationes Gertrudianae”, ed. Poitiers and Paris, 1877).

    Could there possibly be a better time to have holy examples of married people than today, when marriage is constantly under vicious attack and is, quite possibly for the first time in human history, under the threat of being totally undermined and redefined by society? I sincerely doubt it.

  146. Luke says:

    You’re overlooking the more important point that the extraordinary graces involved in private revelation aren’t needed for salvation.

    If you think we need to add them to our efforts to follow the gospel life then you stray seriously from the Church God called you to by Faith.

    The soul isn’t united with God in this life through understanding but through Faith Hope and Charity.
    The normal growth of the grace life is hampered by trying to hang on to our limited concepts. Charity
    on the other hand is a measureless precept (Mk 12:30) and therefore we should be anxious for
    nothing beyond exercising generous Love.

    I took Supertradmom’s point to be: If these visionaries really have been touched by God then why aren’t they living according to the frugality the Gospel calls us to? After all: you can tell a tree by its fruit.

  147. Luke says:

    The last voice that’s included in “public revelation” is that of St. John the Evangelist before he died…Obedience to Tradition picks up from there for you and me.

    Every other voice heard somehow from Heaven is only private revelation…Even when Mary speaks to a soul her words don’t count as additionally “public.”

    This is an important distinction.

  148. mgseamanjr says:

    Luke, thanks for your prayers. I will return them but I can’t continue this dialogue. You are so utterly convinced that Medjugorje is a fraud and that people who go there do not know the faith that you see errors everywhere and feel the need to correct them. Give the accusations a rest. I did not go to Medjugorje because I felt I had to or because I feel that I need the grace derived from private revelation in order for salvation. I went there on a religious pilgrimage, filled with prayer and found grace and benefited. I’m not “overlooking more important points” nor have I “strayed seriously from the Church.” I do not think, nor have I ever maintained, that private revelation is on par with public revelation. However, I hope you would agree that it does not follow that one can not benefit from private revelation. This will probably come as a surprise to you but I actually know the Catholic faith fairly well. If I have written anything that is theologically inaccurate or heretical, please point it out. Otherwise, I would ask you to stop making assumptions and veiled accusations. I feel we reached the end of a fruitful discussion.

  149. Luke says:

    mgseamanjr: I never accused you of anything. Really. My point in a nutshell is: if public revelation suffices for salvation then I’m more concerned about living gospel passages like Luke 6:27-38 than anything else.

    If you decide that Medjugorje is real and you want to add it to your living of the gospel, then I only have one further question:

    How do you know that Our Lady is speaking? How do you know that Satan isn’t involved?

    I can only assume that if you imbibe its value then you believe Our Lady really is appearing. How can you? The Church gives us the tools to steer clear of this assumption: stick to public revelation.

    I’m very glad glad that you know and highly value your Catholic faith and I do believe you. But when it comes to Medjugorje caution should be the buzzword.

  150. Luke says:

    Didn’t anybody like the poem from John Henry Newman? It seems to apply to all of us in a most beautiful way.

  151. paladin says:

    mgseamanjr wrote, in reply to Luke:

    However, I hope you would agree that it does not follow that one can not benefit from private revelation.

    That’s just it: one can certainly benefit from private revelation… if it’s valid, and from God! If Satan chooses to “reveal” something (in the looser sense of “revelation”), I hope you can see how that would stand to no one’s benefit.

    Consider the following facts:

    1) The Church has not approved the alleged “apparitions” at/involving Medjugorje, at any level. They are not approved, and therefore no one is in any position to say that they even *qualify* as “private revelation” (in the supernatural sense). To talk about “private revelation being beneficial” is hasty, if we don’t even know that we have a true example of it, here (as opposed to a hoax, a delusion, or a demonic counterfeit).

    2) Two consecutive bishops of Mostar–who have competence in this matter, as per Canon Law–have condemned the “apparitions” in the strongest language.

    3) The manifold disobedience and immorality involving numerous “intimates” of the Medjugorje phenomenon (e.g. former Frs. Vega, Prusina, etc.) should make anyone–who’s paying any attention at all–stop and examine the movement (and the laundry list of sins, crimes, etc.) carefully, without letting his heart run away with his head.

    4) The character of the “visionaries” is in severe doubt, to this day–and, to my knowledge, I know of no approved apparition in which members of the “visionaries” admitted to lying–not about some minor and unrelated errata, like “fibbing” about washing the dishes, but about THE CONTENT OF THE “APPARITION’S MESSAGES, THEMSELVES. This would place doubt in even the most enthusiastic supporter of the movement; “that which has happened, is thereby possible”… if they lied once about the “messages”, they can lie again.

    I’ll say this bluntly: I think Medjugorje is either a hoax (somewhat likely), a delusion (somewhat unlikely), or a demonic counterfeit (all too likely). But I do not “hate” Medjugorje supporters (nor does any anti-Medjugorje-phenomenon poster on this forum, I’ll wager); I am very afraid for them, since they seem to be following a siren call–unblinking, smiling and uncritically–from what they think is Our Lady. Can you honestly expect me (and others of like mind) to smile and nod, in a warm and expansive spirit of “pluralism”, and let people travel down this broad path of (what I take to be) likely-diabolical deception, without sounding an alarm?

    It’s the *uncritical* and fallacy-ridden ATTITUDE of pro-Medjugorje people, who are all too content to gloss over calumnies, disobedience, and even assaults against the Bishops of Mostar with a mild-sounding, “Meh. He probably deserved it. He stood in the way of Our Lady’s message to the modern world. Sad, but deserved.” These people seem completely unaware of the fact that Our Lady would NEVER condone disobedience against even the most humble priest or deacon–to say nothing of a successor to the Apostles, in his own diocese… or even the Holy Father himself! But that is exactly what “the Gospa” has done (cf. “Ivico, et al., are innocent–they can stay, and they can celebrate Mass [despite being defrocked by the Pope], but they should be careful.”–IBID.)

    Do you see, now, why we are so urgent?

  152. mgseamanjr says:

    I ask those who have read Paladin’s comments and mine simply to state whose comments sound the most fanatic and close-minded. I have known many good fruits and I let my Church decide, whose decision I will respect. Now I have finished posting to this blog.

  153. Luke says:

    I don’t believe that we need to use the word: fanatic.

    If you decide that Medjugorje is real and you want to add it to your living of the gospel, then I only have one further question:

    How do you know that Our Lady is speaking? How do you know that Satan isn’t involved?

    When it comes to Medjugorje caution should be the buzzword.

    The Church gives us the tools to steer clear of this assumption: stick to public revelation and keep up your good efforts to serve Jesus Christ.

    If these pointed comments don’t give you sufficient reason to change your own mind, then no list of proofs or arguments from me ever could.

  154. Jordanes says:

    Neither of you sound very fanatical or close-minded. It’s not a point in your favor, however, that you choose to be finished posting to WDTPRS because disbelievers of the alleged Medjugorje apparitions challenge your belief in them here.

  155. Nan says:

    mgseamanjr, so good that you realize I follow church teaching. I won’t take the bait and explain anything about my prayer life; I find discussion of personal prayer to typically be a red herring as those who are most vocal tend to be the least prayerful.

    Pope Benedict spoke of Church-approved private revelations and I would dearly love to visit Lourdes but have only been on a virtual pilgrimage thereto.

    Byzantine Rite Catholics fast twice weekly. I didn’t see that priest today but am likely to next week.

  156. Luke says:

    BTW: mgseamanjr: I do accept your apology and I too feel that we had a fruitful discussion. Keep fighting the good fight.

  157. Luke says:

    Nan: Bury the medal in your backyard. That is unless Fr. Z responded to your former question with a different suggestion.

  158. Nan says:

    Thanks, Luke!

  159. Luke says:

    No problem, Nan!

  160. mgseamanjr says:

    Jordanes, for the record, I meant that I’m finished posting to this thread. It seems that the Medj. supporters are trying to defend the site while others are essentially (sorry for the phrase) “on the attack” (though I do think that the discussion has remained civilized). I’ve finished here because I feel a little like a boxer who has gone too many rounds and gotten battered and so I’ve have had about all I can take (for now). I’ll return when there is more news on the topic.

  161. Luke says:

    There was no attack. As Paladin pointed out we’re “urgent” in our expressions because we wholeheartedly believe that souls are at stake here. Satan is cunning and so we invite you to test your faith as St. Paul also invited people to test their faith. The majority of people here aren’t as willing to say that Mary is speaking at Medjugorje as others are, and the truth is that you can’t know. Because it’s not salutary we are better off to follow the sure path of the Gospel.

    By the way: I would have pointed you to the most solid foundation for discerning these things available in the Church: Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. God did wondrous things in their lives and they soared the heights of union with God, but they were utterly skeptical of putting stock in locutions and visions. Teresa knew they were no measure of holiness. Our daily choices for the good are the path to real sanctity.

  162. paladin says:

    mgseamanjr wrote:

    I ask those who have read Paladin’s comments and mine simply to state whose comments sound the most fanatic and close-minded.

    (*sigh*)

    Is that the best I deserve, from you? A chevalier, dismissive, “May it please the court to observe my opponent, and the fanaticism contained therein”?

    I have known many good fruits

    So have I… within the Medjugorje crowd, and outside of it; I never contested that. I was challenging you also to recognize the *bad* fruits–including fruits which are *intrinsic* to the so-called “apparitions”, and not simply incidental (such as would be the occasional pickpocket or drunkard in the Medjugorje crowd–which would be irrelevant to the case).

    and I let my Church decide, whose decision I will respect.

    I’m glad to hear that. But in the meantime–especially if you’re going around *promoting* this Medjugorje business–it’s reasonable for those of us who see a danger in it to challenge you on it… and to ask, even if you’re determined to stay devoted to the phenomenon, NOT to promote it while its story is so murky and problematic.

    If we’re wrong, then we’ve deprived people of a possible edifying experience that is in no way necessary for salvation. (Even the good-sounding content of the Medjugorje “messages” is a rehash of already-known [and approved!] Fatima content, etc.; so that content is either redundant, inert, or false.) If you’re wrong, then every promotion at your hands (and at the hands of those who agree with you) could have the effect of leading person after person into dangerous error, and perhaps into disobedience against Christ’s Church. Can you not see, even in the abstract, how such a scenario could worry me (and others) in good faith–and without requiring me to be some sort of “fanatical nut-job”, as you implied?

  163. Fr. John Mary says:

    For what it’s worth there is a report at:
    http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009/10/07/vatican-ruling-on-disputed-medjugorje-shrine-expected-soon/
    This may bring a needed clarification. I hope. Soon.

  164. Luke says:

    Sorry, Father John Mary, it doesn’t seem to be worth much to me. it’s a one-page recap of our thirty page discussion minus the often overlooked truth that it’s not necessary for our salvation.

    If I may digress somewhat here I would like to pose this question: With regard to approved apparition sites do the miraculous healing waters at Lourdes trump golden Rosaries and sun-blinding or do they not?

  165. Dave N. says:

    I think the article Fr. John Mary linked to:

    http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009/10/07/vatican-ruling-on-disputed-medjugorje-shrine-expected-soon/

    is probably pointing to the beginning of the end for Medjugorje. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pope shuts the whole industry down within a year or two.

  166. Luke says:

    I don’t want my last words to be those of sarcasm. This has been no effort on my part to mock my brethren or to convey contempt of any kind. We’re separated brethren. Not that so-called “you” or so-called “we” (we’re called One by our Creed) are heretics. Yet we are divided somehow in an important way.

    If you will permit me to add to this drawn out discussion I would like to add the thought that if there is any question about what Holy Church has said regarding the import of private revelation or debate over whether She has spoken approval or not we should err in a vigilant watch for possible danger.

    I cannot—again, personally—see how a man or woman who loves the Church would err in any other way. When doubt is present we cling to the teaching of the Apostles. Love can only tend one way in a sense. It’s not a general pouring out of myself, but a passion directed at something. Jesus Christ speaks through his Church (Lk 10:42). St. Augustine once wrote: “A person has as much of the Holy Spirit as is his love for the Church of Christ” (PL 35,646). Let us not allow ourselves to be outdone in our love towards Christ and the Church, which is “the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12).

    I borrowed these words from the end of Bishop Peric’s recent homily, but I don’t think he’ll mind.

    May the peace of Jesus Christ be always in your souls. Amen.

  167. mgseamanjr says:

    If this blog is still open, I will attempt to post a final reply tomorrow (though I fully realize that no one may be interested!).

  168. mgseamanjr says:

    First, Paladin, allow me to respond to a few things you wrote. You seem upset that one of my replies was too short (“is that the best you could do?”). If you had read my earlier posts, you would have no doubt concluded that the answer to that question is no. I took it upon myself to write a few posts here but, since I work full time and have five young children, the time I can spend on blogs is very limited. You might also recall that I am replying to about five of you at the same time.

    You state that I am promoting Medjugorje. Actually, I do not go around promoting Medj. You would do well to recall that I did not begin this discussion but entered it only after roughly thirty single-spaced pages were written, most of which were full of derogatory comments about, and misconceptions of, Medj. supporters. So I am, when I feel it appropriate, defending it, which is very different. Allow me to give you a small sample of what was written in those first 30 pages:

    -Medj. supporters “would be totally crushed” if given the news that the Church does not approve of the site; The are “emotionally very involved” (liebemama)

    -Medj. supporters are “filled with the heresy of Millenarianism and other Protestant end-times theology” (Melody)

    -Medj. supporters would resort to “complete rebellion” (prsuth33)

    -the “lack of rational and informed thought processes [of Medj. supporters] is quite alarming” (Magpie)

    -MHittle confesses that he/she has “never known anyone who was into Medjugorje to be at peace”

    -Medj. supporters will resort to a formal schism… it shall be soon” (Hidden One)

    -Medj. supporters were labeled “Medjugorj-istas” (Sean P. Dailey), “Medj-heads” (David2). Cf. also references to the “spooky Medjugorje phantom” (Bogna) and “Medjatourism” (Lori Ehrman), the “Disneyland of mystical phenomena” (Malta), Medj. is likened to Auschwitz (Semperficatholic)

    -Medj. supporters are ignorant of Latin (Susan the Short), or are confused or angry (Random Friar) and just plain ignorant (David2)

    -Medj. supporters do not accept the fullness of public revelation (Luke)

    So, Paladin, it was at this point that I decided to post a thought on Medjugorje because what I was reading is, in my opinion, far off the mark. I felt that Medjugorje supporters were being unfairly depicted and, I think it’s safe to say, attacked. We are, as I stated on 3 October 2009 @ 2:37 pm, painted with a very wide brush and often depicted, as here, as fanatic and shallow in the faith. Luke says “I don’t believe that we need to use the word fanatic.” I agree 100% but Luke, it would appear that you need to address your remark to the anti-Medjugorje folks, including yourself. If one were to do a search on the word “fanatic” on this site, one would find these entries:

    -“[a Medj. supporter] and her family were complete fanatics” (mhittle)

    -“I also saw A LOT of religious fanaticism” at Medj. (magpie)

    -“the more she believed in Medjugorje, the more fanatic and conflicted she would become” (mhittle)

    -“The point I was emphasizing was that many folks here on this site and elsewhere assume without sufficient evidence that the pro-Medj. crowd are fanatical miracle-seekers” (Luke)

    -“I never called anyone a fanatic on this question” (Luke)

    -“Rachmaninov, you’re the only one talking like a fanatic” (Jordanes)

    -“I don’t believe that we need to use the word: fanatic” (Luke)

    So, Paladin, I was trying to show the readers on this website that, while “miracle-seeker” and “fanatic” may be accurate characterizations of some of the people attracted to Medjugorje, it certainly does not describe me or anyone I know who has been to the site on a religious pilgrimage. Those I know are educated, articulate and know the faith well; they are not fanatic miracle-seekers. For this reason, I was attempting to be ironic when, in my reply to your post, when I asked rhetorically who seemed more fanatic. I apologize if I offended you.

    I would like to address something else that many anti-Medj. folks have argued here: the idea that somehow good fruit can come from bad trees. There is a kind of twisted logic and verbal gymnastics employed to somehow claim that good fruit can come from bad trees. This of course flies in the face of Mt. 7:17-18. When God said that “good fruit can not come from a bad tree” he meant just that–no need for strange interpretations which are clearly intended to explain away or rob the site of its good fruits.

    In closing, I would like to thank those who are concerned for my soul. I will approach Medjugorje with additional caution, thanks to you. I would, if I may, like to caution you too so that you might avoid sounding arrogant when attempting to instruct the faithful. I am a university professor and I hear much the same attitude from my colleagues in academia: “These simple, misinformed Christians are fanatics and would believe anything. Too bad they can’t be as enlightened as us and see through all the nonsense.” One is reminded of Jn. 9:1-41.

  169. paladin says:

    Wow… this thread is still kicking!

    Anyway… mgseamanjr wrote:

    You seem upset that one of my replies was too short (“is that the best you could do?”).

    Not a bit of it; short replies are neither good nor evil, but short, and they don’t upset me in the least. What annoyed me was the content of your brief comment: your direct suggestion that I, personally, was writing things that were “fanatical” and “closed-minded” (which was something of a “devil phrase”, anyway, since it says nothing about validity–I’m also very closed-minded about any suggestion that 2 + 2 = 5). You’d written, at the time:

    I ask those who have read Paladin’s comments and mine simply to state whose comments sound the most fanatic and close-minded.

    But now, you write this:

    So, Paladin, I was trying to show the readers on this website that, while “miracle-seeker” and “fanatic” may be accurate characterizations of some of the people attracted to Medjugorje, it certainly does not describe me or anyone I know who has been to the site on a religious pilgrimage. Those I know are educated, articulate and know the faith well; they are not fanatic miracle-seekers. For this reason, I was attempting to be ironic when, in my reply to your post, when I asked rhetorically who seemed more fanatic. I apologize if I offended you.

    Well… I appreciate the spirit behind your apology, but I don’t think you’ve apprehended the problem for which you’re attempting to apologize, yet. You protest that you feel maligned (or substitute any word for “unfairly described” that you wish) by various “anti-Medjugorje” contributors. Fair enough… and you’re welcome to take that up with (and debate) them, whenever you choose. But can you explain to me, clearly, how naming ME, in particular, would in any way be fitting, given that I did not call you “fanatical” or “miracle-seeking”, or anything of the kind… and that my only “offense” was apparently being too close when you finally lost your patience, and lashed out? Why, exactly, did you single me out, if you didn’t have a specific grievance against me? Your explanation would have made perfect sense if you’d said, “I ask those who have read anti-Medjugorje comments and mine simply to state whose comments sound the most fanatical, etc.” But as it stands, your explanation is more confusing than your offense!

    As for your list of “anti-Medjugorje” people who have used versions of the word “fanatic” (and you do realize that some of those quotes argued *against* your point, yes?): did you simply miss the posts of pro-Medjugorje people who also used such language, in this thread? Some of your examples (e.g. Jordanes’comment on 5 October 2009 @ 10:26 am) are cases where a pro-Medjugorje person throws the epithet “fanatic”, and the other person is simply RESPONDING. (See rachmaninov’s comment, to which Jordanes was rightfully responding, immediately above the quote you mention.) In short, I have no idea what relevance your “word search” has to the point at hand. If you suggest that we who reject the alleged “apparition” are somehow more prone to accuse you of fanaticism, then I reject the charge. If you mean something else, then please make it clear.

    I would like to address something else that many anti-Medj. folks have argued here: the idea that somehow good fruit can come from bad trees.

    I’m afraid you’ve minsunderstood, again. Those of us who are Medjugorje-wary (or who reject it outright, as any alleged “supernatural event”) attribute the “good fruits” to God’s mercy, to the intercession of the Saints (including some guardian angels who’re working overtime), and to other trees… NOT to the so-called “Gospa of Medjugorje”, or anything specifically germane to that alleged apparition. Good fruit can only come from good trees; that’s quite true. But we must have the trees straight, in our minds, before attributing fruit to one tree over another. We who reject or doubt the authenticity of the Medjugorje “apparitions” (correct me if I’m mistaken, anyone) attribute none of the good works to those alleged “apparitions”, per se. We attribute them to God’s grace, working through people of good faith who are following (what we are convinced is) an error.

    If you’d like to debate the point: how do you (personally) explain all of the “good fruits” (virtually identical to the “fruits” you describe re: Medjugorje: return to practice of the Faith, conversions, devotion to the Rosary, fasting and prayer, etc.–I *have* said this before, you know… see 29 September 2009 @ 11:00 am) which sprang from Necedah, Bayside, and numerous other false apparitions which were unequivocally condemned by Church authorities? We believe that just such a “mixed bag” is happening, at Medjugorje: that good fruits are the result of the sincere (though mistaken) faith of the pilgrims, and not the result of any alleged “apparitions”. Is that quite clear?

    There is a kind of twisted logic and verbal gymnastics employed to somehow claim that good fruit can come from bad trees. This of course flies in the face of Mt. 7:17-18. When God said that “good fruit can not come from a bad tree” he meant just that—no need for strange interpretations which are clearly intended to explain away or rob the site of its good fruits.

    See above.

    In closing, I would like to thank those who are concerned for my soul. I will approach Medjugorje with additional caution, thanks to you. I would, if I may, like to caution you too so that you might avoid sounding arrogant when attempting to instruct the faithful.

    I’m afraid I have to reject your premise: that I approached you in arrogance. Can you not see that I could accuse you of arrogance, as well, in calling your opponents’ writings “fanatical”, “rantings”, and celebrations that “the Church has finally come around to our way of thinking” (the same could be said of pro-Trinitarians after the Council of Nicaea, or after any orthodox victory, could it not? Why do you assume that it’s mere “gloating”–and not genuine relief that a perceived threat is finally being addressed?), and the like. Don’t be too quick to place yourself on a high horse, friend.

    I am a university professor and I hear much the same attitude from my colleagues in academia: “These simple, misinformed Christians are fanatics and would believe anything. Too bad they can’t be as enlightened as us and see through all the nonsense.” One is reminded of Jn. 9:1-41.

    Only one who has taken virtually no care to read the specifics of our comments (aside from the more inflammatory ones–and there were very many which were mild and civil) could say such a thing. Before writing us off as “morally equivalent to atheists and Pharisees”, perhaps you could examine the *content* of our objections with a bit more care?