Strange Medjugorje news

I prefer to keep WDTPRS a fairly “Medjugorje Free Zone”.   It’s all too strange for me, I’m afraid.  That said, a while ago I had a note from someone declaring that if the Holy See gives approval to the Medjugorje “apparitions”,

“I will seriously take a step backwards from my Catholic Church. I am afraid that I cannot take this nonsense, and can no longer attend Mass. If it is approved.”

First, I don’t think there is any chance that the Medjugorje… I don’t know what to call it… phenomenon? … will obtain official approval.

Second, we are not bound to give assent of faith to messages or revelations delivered in apparitions.  Approval or recognition from the Church gives us the freedom to accept them or not according as our lights and inclinations guide us.  Leaving the Church because the Church gives approval to this or that apparition is short-sighted.  Were the Church to ask (impossibly) you to believe that there are four persons of the Quaternity or that women can be ordained priests or that the Lord did not rise from the dead, then we might have a problem.  But that won’t happen because the Church cannot teach errors about those things.

Were anything going on at Medjugorje to obtain some approval at some level, I would shrug and go about my day.  Well…  I might write a blog post about it and then add a note about Mystic Monk Coffee, a far more interesting topic.

With that, I bring you this weird story from CWN.

Cardinal Schönborn again hosts Medjugorje ‘seers’ in Vienna cathedral
November 17, 2011

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn celebrated Mass at Vienna’s cathedral of St. Stephen on November 17, as part of a televised event that included testimony from a Medjugorje “seer,” who promised an apparition of the Virgin Mary immediately before the Mass.Ivan Dragicevic, one of the “seers” who claim to have been receiving regular apparitions of the Virgin May for decades, spoke in the cathedral, in an event that was offered on live streaming video broadcast. The schedule called for an apparition at 6:40 pm, Vienna time. [?!?] Dragicevic said that the Mother of God would bless all those present—and that this blessing would extend to those watching the internet broadcast.

The event in the Vienna cathedral caused consternation among Catholics who have questioned the validity of the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje. Bishops in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Medjugorje is located, have strongly discouraged interest in the “Medjugorje phenomenon.” Still the alleged seers have continued to make public appearances in Catholic churches around the world, with the apparent approval of other bishops.

Cardinal Schönborn has a history of showing support for the Medjugorje “seers.” Early in 2010, he was forced to apologize to Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar (the local diocese) for creating difficulties with his public expressions of support during a “private” visit to Medjugorje in December 2009. Later in the year, however, he welcomed the “seers” to Vienna and praised their efforts.

Last year the Vatican created a special commission to study the Medjugorje phenomenon, in response to pleas for a definitive statement from the Holy See on the alleged apparitions. The commission–chaired by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the retired vicar of the Rome diocese—has held meetings and interviews but has not issued any public statement.

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133 Responses to Strange Medjugorje news

  1. Ben Trovato says:

    Fr Z, you are quite right that it would be ludicrous to leave the Church merely because it approved these apparitions as potentially worthy of belief, given that we are quite free not to believe any private apparitions.

    Having said that, everything about Medjugorje seems fishy: and the fishiest bit of all is how different the ‘Gospa’ is from our Blessed Mother as she features in the Gospels, and as she has appeared at Lourdes, Fatima and so on. One might say her characteristic mode is silence and contemplation: a woman of few words (consider her Gospel utterances). Yet at Medjugorje the ‘Gospa’ is alleged to spout endless and platitudinous (and sometimes dubious) pronouncements year after year, to order…

  2. “I will seriously take a step backwards from my Catholic Church.” Oh, really, and where else will you go?

  3. cpaulitz says:

    Yet no one can still explain the flat-out heresies reportedly spoken by this apparition. She prayed the Pater with them, which she didn’t at Lourdes, for she has no trespasses to be forgiven; she said all Faiths are equal, etc. Does this sound like Our Lady? No, in fact, it’s blasphemy against her and, therefore, against God:

    A) Fr. Tomislav Vlasic: “Do you feel the Virgin as she who gives graces (which is the traditional Catholic doctrine of Mary, the Mediatrix of All Graces) or as she who prays to God? (true also, but in conformity with some Protestant theology and not the fulness of Catholic teaching.) Vicka: “As she who prays to God.” (“Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje? by Fr. Rene Laurentin, 1984, p.135-136, 154)

    B) The Virgin was accustomed to reciting the Our father with the seers. (But how could Our Lady say: “Forgive us our trespasses,” since she has none? At Lourdes, Our Lady was careful to keep her lips closed during all the Paters and Aves, reciting only the Gloria Patris.)

    C) Mirjana: “I recently asked the Virgin this question (whether many souls are damned), and she told me that nowadays most souls go to Purgatory.” (book by Fr. Faricy, p. 64)

    (…a comforting thought, perhaps, but opposite to the teaching of Fatima, St. Louis de Montfort, Pope Gregory the Great, St. Alphonsus, St. Anthony Claret, St. Augustine, etc., etc.)

    D) Oct. 1, 1981: “All religions are equal before God,” says the Virgin. (Chronological Corpus of Medjugorje, p. 317)

    E) The Virgin: “I do not dispose of all graces…Jesus prefers that you address your petitions directly to him, rather than through an intermediary.” (Chron. Corp. p.181, 277-278)

    F) “In God there are no divisions or religions; it is you in the world who have created divisions.” (Faricy, p.51)

    G) “God directs all denominations as a king directs his subjects, through the medium of his ministers” (“The Apparitions at Medjugorje,” by Fr. Svat Kraljevic, 1984, p.58)

    H) “Each one’s religion must be respected, and you must preserve yours for yourselves and for your children.” (Kraljevic, p.68)

    I) “The Virgin added: ‘It is you who are divided on this earth. The Muslims and the Orthodox, like the Catholics, are equal before my Son and before me, for you are all my children.” (Fr. Ljubic, p.71)

    (…unbaptized Muslims equal to the baptized, who by this fact are the adopted children of God?)

  4. Gregg the Obscure says:

    One must wonder who manages the calendar of the Queen of Heaven.

  5. Sword40 says:

    Makes you wonder doesn’t it, cpaulitz. I have a son who went there back in 1993. He does not have a lot to say about the trip except the stop over in Rome was great.

  6. p2rp says:

    Speaking of Mystic Monk Coffee I just nearly spewed a mouth full all over my keyboard when I read this…. Fr Z, you never fail to amuse! Anyway, perhaps if everyone on both sides of the argument took a deep breath and spent some time meditating on and re-acquainting themselves with what the Catechism teaches regarding private revelation we all might be better off? (however, I do commiserate with your earlier note writer’s sentiments)

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__PH.HTM

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

    Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations”.

  7. Ismael says:

    I doubt Rome will approve Medjugorje and if it does it will not be anytime soon.

    1- Already the previous commissions declared that Medjugorie ‘is not found that it is of supernatural origin’… which means that they clearly had serious doubts about the apparitions… (it does not rule out that they will approve it in the future but it does mean that there are strong reservations about it)

    2- The final verdict, if POSITIVE, can be given only when all apparitions have stopped and all the ‘messages’ have been properly analyzed, not before.

  8. colospgs says:

    Yes, Ismael, they must stop first. I can imagine, if they are not from God, what the first message after approval would be.

  9. Speramus says:

    The key word is obedience! The first sin of Adam And Eve disobedience! For another bishop or cardinal for that matter, to undermine a decision made in good conscience from a bishop of another diocese, a decision that was made after much prayer and consultation with other bishops and Rome. A decision supported by the conference of bishops in Yugoslavia. For Cardinal Schönborn to give his visible support through his words and actions sows much confusion and is not from God! I will continue to pray for him! Our Lady at Guadalupe sent Juan Diego to the bishop with the sign not to the Pope in Rome. The signs at Medjugorje are preternatural. The devil can appear as Jesus and Mary. He did to Ann Catherine Emmrich and others. Ann Catherine Emmrich said if she did not have a real apparition of the Virgin she would have been deceived! If the apparitions at Medjugorje were supernatural in origin, signs similar to Fatima and Guadalupe to convince the bishop of Mostar would have been given to bring him to his knees. As it is many preternatural signs are occurring that the devil also can do! All the disobedience convinces me that Medjugorje is not from God but the devil! The bishop of Guadalupe and more recently the bishop of Akita in Japan (1973) had many supernatural signs to convince them to approve the apparitions taking place. The apparitions of Akita are little known today because of the Medjugorje hype. Akita a continuation of Fatima is a great warning from God because the Fatima Message is not being lived by the people today. Did you know that Akita was only about 60 Miles from the epicenter of the earthquake in Japan and Fatima prophesied the annihilation of nations! Let us pray the Rosary more wear the brown scapular and do penance while there is still time for Mercy!

  10. leonugent2005 says:

    Ivan Dragicevic does not have apparitions, You name the time and pay his fee and he conjures up the Queen of Heaven right on schedule just as he promised. The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy hosted one of his seances last year, right there in the sanctuary.

  11. pelerin says:

    I have to admit that out of curiosity I watched the ‘event’ live on the internet followed by the Mass celebrated by the Cardinal. However my computer froze several times so made everything rather disjointed and gave up completely when it came to describing what Our Lady was supposed to have said this time.

    The Cathedral where it all took place including the so called ‘apparition’ was absolutely packed and everyone there was muffled up in thick coats and scarves. It looked very cold – even the female conductor of the choir had on a quilted coat. There was a guitar and violin solo which surprisingly was rather beautiful and unnacompanied singing during Communion in the Mass by monks and nuns was excellent. There was not a balloon to be seen either.

    There was dead silence before Mass and during the so called ‘apparition’ and all you saw was Ivan (I think that was his name) nodding occasionally. Earlier he spoke about his experiences which was translated into German for those present and into English for the broadcast (or Spanish should you so wish)

    According to the ‘seer’ Our Lady had come to tell us that God exists. Mass was to be the centre of our lives and we were to find time to go to Adoration. Nothing there to object too although when he described her as having blue eyes and black hair it did sound a little strange.

    By the time the ‘seer’ recounted what Our Lady was supposed to have said that evening my computer refused to give me any more! I have not changed my mind regarding the apparitions at Medjugorie – I remain extremely sceptical especially now having seen the ‘seer’. I shall not watch again and think it is a pity that the German Cardinal allows him in his cathedral before the Vatican has pronounced on it.

  12. jbas says:

    I suspect interest in this is rooted in a hunger for experience of the supernatural. But if priests preach the Truth fully and celebrate the Holy Mass reverently (preferably EF for Latin priests), then that should take care of the desire.

  13. Jael says:

    “Absolutely diabolical” is how the exorcist Bishop Gemma describes Medjugorje:

    http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/archives/2011/04/gemma-on-medjugorje.html

  14. Stephen D says:

    I too have been disturbed by some aspects of Medjugorje but all I can say is that I have been there and I have witnessed phenomena in that place that are totally inexplicable in human terms and so have several of my family and friends. Something is definitely happening there, whatever its cause might be.

  15. cpaulitz says:

    Perelin: However my computer froze several times …

    Oh no, I hope you got your blessing! Mary is a priest now, don’t you know?

  16. Ditto what Ed Peters said about leaving the Church. Where would you go?

    I had my say about Cardinal Schonborn and other bishops hosting visionaries of the alleged apparition in this post.

    http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2011/11/medjugorje-and-situational-collegiality.html

    Isn’t it a bit odd that no where in the countries which made up the former Yugoslavia do we see bishops permitting the visionaries of the Medjugorje “apparitions” to give testimonies and engage in public manifestations of the phenomena on Church property.

    What does it say about the brother hood of bishops when these visionaries do these things in parish churches and diocesan cathedrals, sometimes with the bishop and vocations director involved.

    Further, these parishes often advertise right on their websites that, “Our Lady” is coming!?!?!?

    It’s not only a slap in the face to the bishop of Mostar, but a slap on the face to all bishops of Bosnia- Herzegovina and Croatia who have followed the respectable tradition of NOT lending credibility to a phenomena before it has at least some level of ecclesial approval.

    All these bishops are doing is causing people to have contempt and disdain for the local ordinary and his brother bishops.

    Episcopal etiquette seems to have been chucked out the window without regard for what this causes among the faithful.

  17. ContraMundum says:

    The Church in Austria seems to have enough troubles to keep Cardinal Schönborn busy without this kind of thing.

  18. Here is Ivan’s upcoming speaking engagements, which includes – I think – a basilica! Such things can signal approval in the minds of so many who lack proper understanding of ecclesiology.

    http://www.medjugorje.org/ivanse.htm

  19. Here is Ivan’s upcoming speaking engagements, which includes – I think – a basilica! Such things can signal approval in the minds of so many who lack proper understanding of ecclesiology.

    http://www.medjugorje.org/ivanse.htm

  20. Alright, I deserve to go to the Nuthouse for this (figuratigvely), but after cpaulitz’s posting, I believe this is the work of Satan. The syncretism and radical ecumenism are the signs here, especially H an I. H is part of what’s destroyed the Church’s influence in the world in the first place with botched ecumenism. Dialogue is totally different from ecumenism and that’s what should be practiced with regard to other religions.
    Also think about it, The Church’s dogma on Mary and everything else and the like has been unchanged for hundreds of years and suddenly Mary spouts this? Yeah even a simple person’s “spidey” sense should be tingling.

  21. Mary Jane says:

    Medjugorje…creeps me out.

  22. cpaulitz says:

    Young Canadian, you sense what you should sense: diabolical disorientation.

    Look at all the faithful that have left the Church, priests that have left the Church, etc. They go to services now led by Old Catholic priests.

    Since when did Our Lady come to Earth and divide us?

  23. Michael J. says:

    Medjugorje is at most private revelation, not public. We are not bound to believe in it. Personally, I do not believe it is valid, or really Our Blessed Mother appearing their, and I can’t believe how much division this has caused within the Church, families, and individuals. I wish people would stop giving attention to these apparations and go to church in their own home churches and pray to Our Blessed Lady and Our Holy Lord there. Personally, I do not understand how a local Bishop can disapprove of an alleged apparation within his own Diocese, and another Church prelate, not the Holy Father, mind you, both encourage devotion to it and give attention to it.

  24. Charles E Flynn says:

    The idea of scheduling an apparition is comic. Is there an app for that?

    Somewhere, probably in the many thousands of pages published by Ignatius Press, something close to the following phrase appears in a discussion of the validity of apparitions, and by what criteria a purported apparition can be legitimately deemed false:

    “the juvenile nature of the remarks attributed to the Virgin”

  25. GordonB says:

    My theory derives from the whole idea that Satan came sometime appear as an angel of light… Essentially, perhaps this started out as a legitimate and real appearance of the blessed mother (I’m not familiar with whether her message has ALWAYS been apparently heterodox) but due to the pursuit of fame and having poor spiritual advisement, they were opened to deception and have been pursuing a deceptive appearance ever since. I think this notion is apparent when studying how individuals can have attachments when initially receiving legitimate spiritual gifts, but begin to seek the gifts instead of the giver and they become susceptible to deceit and lose the gift that began. This would be so appropro of our age — if this is the case.

  26. So many Catholics, many of whom are influential, and many of whom would generally be considered conservative or traditional, have a firm devotion to Medjugorje that I am surprised no one has posted in favor of it yet.

  27. gambletrainman says:

    This reminds me of an incident in our church that an elderly priest (now deceased) told me when the “apparitions” were more in the news than now.

    It seems, that at one point, the “Blessed Virgin” appeared in a puff of smoke, and her image was exactly like the images we normally see of the Blessed Virgin, with one exception—instead of her normal feet, there were clawed feet. “She” hastily excused “herself”, and reappeared completely normal with another puff of smoke, pooh-poohing the former vision with something to the effect of “Pay no attention to that (former “apparition”), and brushing it off with remarks similar to a “typographical error”.

  28. Mr. P says:

    my position on Medugorje can be summed up by a joke: St Joseph asks Our Lady where do you want to go for vacation: Fatima, nah, been there, Lourdes, went there too, Akita, that was our last vacation…Medugorje…sure, I haven’t been there before…

  29. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Fr Z, you are brave to post anything about this. Can the server take the traffic?

    Because the laity is so desperate for a venue for expressing their devotion, these kinds of situations occur. Certain forces in the Church today squash piety and allow misinformation to spread. So here we are. I’m guessing scandal will occur and people will leave the Church when the apparition is defined as a fraud. Only because the Church took so long in supporting the local bishop and acting swiftly.

    I have many friends who are crazy about this phenomenon, yet I would hear that it wasn’t quite right. So I searched until I found a site that told me the other side of the story, at UnityPublishing.
    Those that are crazy about this should check out what the present and previous bishops say, easily accessed at this web site. We are to obey the local ordinary in all things. The disobedience is appalling when you read the history, and the well-researched opinion of the local bishop, and what they advise and order. And most ignore the bishops. Well that tells me all I need to know about the place.

    IMHO, any good that does happen there, is all an effect from the laity that say the rosary, go to confession, attend Mass and perform other pious devotions. The good is NOT caused by any alleged visits from heaven. The Church has been through this before, the devotion of the laity covers many frauds and works of the devil in cases like this.

    That any member of the clergy would support this stuff, is proof of sheer disobedience, willful ignorance, or having been thoroughly lied to.

  30. St. Peter Martyr once exposed a false apparition of Mary by holding up the Blessed Sacrament before it and saying, “Adore thy Son.” End of apparition, which was really a demon. Has no priest or bishop done this at Medjugorje?

    St. Peter Martyr, obtain for us the exposure of all false apparitions.

  31. Norah says:

    I can take or leave private revelations particularly of the unapproved kind.

    The only reason, imho, for one to leave the Catholic Church is when one has come to the honest conclusion, after research, that she is not the Church founded by Jesus and one’s conscience bound one to find that church.

  32. Gleeb Pencilneck says:

    I am becoming more and more uncomfortable with Cardinal Schonborn

  33. “Oh, really, and where else will you go?”

    Well, where do you think? The same places all fallen away Catholics have been going for the last half-century.

  34. Random Friar says:

    I have no idea why the Cardinal, even if he were to believe in this apparition, which seems clear that he does, would continue to make such broad public pronouncements and events. He is a good man, but I fear he’s being led down a wrong path, and has no idea what kind of harm his support might cost, even if just in the general discipline and peace of the Church.

  35. Jael says:

    Tina, great post.
    There are books exposing the lies, disobedience, pregnant nuns, mercenary motivations, priests with no faculties continuing to hear confessions, kidnapping of the bishop, etc. One only needs to do a little research. And take a look at the website of the Bishop of Mostar…many of the bishops’ documents about this have been translated into English. Also good is the short interview about objections to Medjugorje in the article I linked, above.

    I also am mystified by Cardinal Schonborn’s behavior. I wonder if his interest in Medjugorje is a cause of the problems in his diocese.

  36. alex13 says:

    Now I understand the saying ‘more catholic than the Pope’. The Pharisees had the same problem with Jesus, healing on the Sabbath, disciples eating wheat on the Sabbath, not washing his hands properly, speaking to Samartians, (OH say it ain’t so unclean as they were.) the Jews missed out on the Messiah because of their legalism to the Law and the Prophets and what ‘THEY’ thought they meant. Not looking to the spirit of the word. We are all God’s children even if some never hear the Gospel and many will be in heaven as well due to no fault of the own.

  37. Amerikaner says:

    It is my understanding that Sr. Lucia privately confided that she believed Medjugorje to be authentic. And then there is the bishop of Mostar who once stated he didn’t believe in any Marian apparitions including Lourdes and Fatima.

    I keep an open mind regarding the place. I believe St. John Marie Vianney was against La Salette in the beginning, if I remember correctly. So even saints can err.

  38. Jael says:

    Amerikaner, I’d like to see documentation of your claims. Thanks.

  39. ware says:

    I am amazed there is no support here for the apparitions and what is going on in Medjugorje – makes me wonder how many commented here have been there – my bet is NONE. Before pontificating about things you do not understand, do a tad bit of research by going there at least. I have been there, and being conservative, the fruits are all good and that is what this place shall be known for…as for the seers, I leave that to god to sort out but the messages of Our Lady cannot be quibbled with – they are all constant with what her Son imparted.

  40. chonak says:

    Quid gratis asseritur, gratis negatur. Since “Amerikaner” provides no authority to back up his or her beliefs about Sr. Lucia and the bishops of Mostar, they need no rebuttal.

    However, it is easy to rebut one point. Bp. Zanic knew about phony claims that he was skeptical of apparitions in general; he replied in 1985, “I myself have led pilgrimages to Lourdes.”
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/BISHOPS/ZANICMED.HTM

  41. Jael says:

    Chonak, well said. Amerikaner doesn’t even tell us which bishop allegedly made that statement. Thanks for the good source of documents about this.

  42. robtbrown says:

    I knew one of the secondary seers in Rome–she was nice and smart. She also had a younger sister who was dynamite in a mini skirt.

    With all the regular appearances, it always seemed to me like a piano bar: “Now appearing nightly in the lounge”.

    I have known people who went. I have always asked them why not visit Fatima, Lourdes, or Guadalupe. They weren’t interested.

  43. ContraMundum says:

    @cpaulitz

    I do not believe in or defend the reported apparitions at Medjugorje, but I do want to respond to one of your list of complaints against it. The Our Father says, “Forgive us our trespasses,” not, “Forgive me my trespasses,” so I see no reason why the Blessed Virgin would not say it, unless she saw that it would cause confusion.

    Do any approved apparitions of other Saints say the Our Father? It would be just as much a problem for them, because although they have trespasses that had to be forgiven, they no longer need “daily bread”.

  44. Johnno says:

    My journey towards taking my faith seriously is in great part due to reading books on the Apparitions of Mary and after taking a trip to Lourdes. Medjugorje was one of these I’d read along with Garabandal and of course Lourdes and Fatima. Of those only the latter two are authentic and approved. There seems to be some conflicting information coming from all sides… for example some said that the Bishop of Mostar did not believe in Apparitions or even in Fatima and thus was biased in making any pronouncements on Medjugorje, and in terms of statements such as those someone posted above with regards to Mary spouting some hereticl ideas about ecumenism and all religions being equal, I’d read that the answers to questions may have been in the context of how God judges people of other faiths, and in such cases it may be true if other religious people had an invincible ignorance of Christ or are given the Baptism of desire upon death and thus are in union with the Catholic Church. I don’t know what the case is here, and the responses being vague or without some kind of context do seem troubling… Reading about Fatima and Lourdes and other apparitions in hindsight after their approvals is one thing, but an ongoing investigation will no doubt have its shares of facts and faulty information which will inevitably be up to the Vatican investigators and biographers to sort through… In the end I’ll accept whatever hte Church officially rules, and I think it’ll be some time until all is said and done, usually the procedure I believe is to wait until after the Apparitions have come to a completion…

    I can indeed say that a lot of conservatively religious people do take a liking to Medjugorje, thoguh of course they’re not fully paying attention to the fine details, I would say the reason is it’s due to some kind of blind faith or desire to be a part of the mystical Apparitions such as those of Fatima and Lourdes, where there could be the chance of ongoing supernatural phemonena that is seen as a proof of the supernatural power of God alive and working in a world where increasingly we are being bombarded and attacked by the secular and anti-Christ press, institutions and governments. The faithful wonder where has God gone? Will He help us? How long will these times last? Understandably they’re worried. They’re holding on to their faith, but they indeed still worry. They’d be ready to face persecuation and martyrdom if necessary, but nobody honestly looks forward to that outcome, and if they are then they need anything they can get hold of to strengthen and encourage themselves, and so it’s not surprising that news of supposed ongoing Apparitions is one of these things, particular ones where promises of miracles are a big part of them, much like the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima that was seen by multitudes and even stunned and shocked the secularist and socialists! There is a longing for God to act in a manner that will convince the world and turn back the tides.

    The Church was given a task to consecrate Russia and release the 3rd Secret. But in this our leaders and popes horribly failed in their duties, and at this time shamefully highlight the great divide and schism that exists between the Holy Father and many of the world’s cardinals bishops, and well as the triumph of modernity and unbelief over obedience and dogma. The miracle of the Sun took the Fatima Apparitions from the realm of ‘private revelation’ into the category of a ‘public prophetic revelation.’ Even John Paul II and many believed that it was a fulfillment of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation. Thus if it is one day formally ruled by the Church to be a fulfillment of Prophecy in Scripture, then it becomes part of the deposit of faith and thus Catholics are then bound to believe and adhere to what was revealed and said at Fatima. Thus Fatima could be said to have been a fulfillment of prophecy in much the same way John the Baptist’s arrival was a fulfilment of prophecy. A voice crying out for repentance and filled with warning and calling for a form of consecration.

    It is a shame that the Church’s mishandling of Fatima years after triumphantly approving it following one of the most spectacular miracles of our century, and given all the problems and divisions in the Church today and mistrust of bishops after scandals and incompetence continues to arise, that the faithful in confusion and no longer being able to fully trust their shepherds to even be orthodox, will risk defying local rulings and caution on alleged apparitions such as Medjugorje… It is sad state for the Church to be in… The best way to discourage any dangerous behavior with regards to unapproved apparitions would be to all the more emphasize the approved miracles of Lourdes, Fatima and Akita… that’s what the faithful are seeking, they are looking for their Holy Mother! But the Church today as a whole acts too ashamed, and would like to ignore all the warnings about division in the Church and the facts that there are wolves within, and to draw attention away from the cover-ups of the 3rd Secret and the failure to do somethign as simple as consecrate a nation specifically asked for in order to avoid the very situation we are increasingly finding ourselves in… surrounded by enemies, great widespread apostasy, scandal after scandal.

    I pray that Pope Benedict XVI will find it in him to use his authority to put off any politics and failed ecumenism, order the world’s bishops to join him, and once and for all obey God and perform the consecration of Russia, specifically by name, and Russia alone to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that God may provide divine assistance to combat the errors of Communism, so prevalent worldwide, and display to the world that God exists, that great things will be done in connection with His Holy Mother whom He sends to us to aid in our salvation, and that it is through the actions of His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church that He reaches out to the world. There is no rationale or human effort that will convince our opponents whose intellects are so darkened by false philosophies, heresy and pride. Only a divine and unexplainalbe miracle will be enough to shock them into confusion, awe and fear, and thus get them to humble themselves in order to uncompromisingly receive the Gospel message, and therefore repent and convert from the heart.

  45. Moscatelli says:

    @Diane

    Is it not a slap in the face of common sense that Our Lady appears wherever and whenever the “seers” organize their trips?

  46. TimRohr says:

    I’m not a big apparition guy. Ivan came to Guam and gave a talk in 1993. Afterwards I was one of about 100 people who saw the sun spin. I remember my seeing my friend staring into the 4pm sun with his eyes wide open and thought he was crazy. He just said “look”, so I did. And I could look directly at the sun. There was a black disk in the middle of the sun and the corona seemed to spin around it. Some also saw the Host in the middle of the disk. I immediately felt a sense of peace and felt no need to tell anyone. My wife and I had been contemplating doing something permanent to stop having children. We already had 5. Our pastor had advised us that it was up to us. During the “miracle of the sun” my wife received a direct message from the Blessed Virgin: that not to worry, she would take care of her. We have had 6 more children. And she has taken care of us. I’ve never felt the need to tell anyone about the apparition. The spinning sun wasn’t the miracle. Our conversion to accept more children lovingly and willingly from God, was. I feel no need to go to Medjugorje and no need to defend it. I have all I need in the Church and her Sacraments. But that’s my story.

  47. Phil_NL says:

    @David Werling

    Shouldn’t that be “The same places all fallen away Catholics have been going for the last two millenia“?

  48. Phil_NL says:

    Apologies, Father, for – apparently – not properly closing the italics.

  49. Mundabor says:

    I remember when Lola Falana was vey big in Las Vegas.

    She appeared every night, for the enjoyment of the public, and the crowds were delighted.

    Hey, it’s show business, one expects these things.

    The problem with Medjugorje is that apparently a lot of people tend to think of the Blessed Virgin as if she was Lola Falana.

    Hey, Medjugorje is show business, too.

    Mundabor

  50. Mundabor says:

    There’s something wrong with the Italics. Apologies.

  51. Miriam says:

    Medjugorje, what a joke that is. Are we on to the next generation of visionaries there yet? Since the Church won’t rule until they end, it could go on for years and years and years.

    We even have priests leading pilgrimages there and they are not supposed to. They can go as a spiritual advisor but, when they advertise on local Catholic radio and are interviewed on the Bishop’s radio hour and actually use the word pilgrimage then there is something very wrong and disobedient going on.

  52. Inigo says:

    I thought that only the approval has to wait until the apparitions end. Why would the Church wait for example another 20 years to tell the faithful, that it’s false? Why risk their souls?

    IMHO priest should actively discourage all faithful to go. If it should turn out that the apparitions are true after all, then they still could say: “Sorry, guess we were wrong.”.

    I for one, am absolutely sure, that the devil is working there.

  53. cpaulitz says:

    ContraMundum:

    Mary has always, from what I have studied, gone silent during the Pater and the Ave, only to take part in the Glory be …

  54. Supertradmum says:

    I have not believed in Medjugorje since Day One. I read E. Michael Jones’ book on this years ago and his book confirmed my positions on the seers and some of the original priests. The sad thing is that most of my traditional or conservative friends, except for three, all believe in this series of visions. I cannot talk about it and it hurts me that we cannot have a serious discussion about it. In fact, one priest in England said that if a person did not believe in Medjogorje, he or she was an “idiot”. Strong words on something which may never be approved. And, such a statement leaves the door closed for intelligent discussion on the matter.

    Thank you for posting this. I was especially disturbed about the television broadcast the other day, as it was so contrived and I got that good old gut reaction of “Something is not right here.” But, how is it that so many priests are deceived by this phenomenon?

  55. Supertradmum says:

    I did not type my comment in italics…

  56. r7blue1pink says:

    ANYTHING that causes this much division for 30 years is not from God.

    This has become a cultic following. And THAT is VERY dangerous…

  57. Supertradmum says:

    And, sadly, people all over the world are making money on these tours..another bad sign.

  58. William Tighe says:

    “I read E. Michael Jones’ book on this years ago and his book confirmed my positions on the seers and some of the original priests.”

    A book well worth reading:

    http://www.culturewars.com/Reviews/MedjugorjeDeceptionReviews.html

    and which both reveals and documents the frauds, clerical manipulation, sexual misbehaviour, disobedience and defiance of legitimate Church authority, and the suppression of senseless and insane “revelations” that the “seers” produced before “Medjugorje, Inc.” got its act together.

  59. KAS says:

    The Church has so many approved apparitions, pilgrimage sites worthy of the cost to go there, and devotions that few people are using, yet there is so much eagerness for these apparitions. I think it is imprudent to hold unapproved apparitions in such high esteem and to be so eager to have ears tickled with new messages. Few bother to study the writings of the Early Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church or even the Catechism which are sound and proven worthy for hearing and this too lacks prudence.

  60. Here are the videos from the Cathedral uploaded, complete with “apparition” at 6:40 pm SAP (Standard Apparition Time)

    http://marytv.tv/

  61. campello says:

    Well said KAS. Michael Davies is still my go to source on this, God rest his soul.
    http://www.mdaviesonmedj.com/

  62. randomcatholic says:

    I think this is a great post Father! Thank you so much for making it! The holy priest thing really shows through… it is such a measured response… I don’t have that ability.

    I find the letter writer’s statements odd: “I will take a step back from the Church…” Will you now? Every time something happens in the Church you don’t like you will step back, as if you are that important, like its the Church’s job to constantly impress you so you stay? Who wants to take bets the letter writer is generation x or younger? Isn’t the statement itself a bit narcissistic? Look… there is a TON of stuff that happens in the Church we ALL don’t like. Furthermore, some of what I personally don’t like, others may think is just ducky…. (I for one hate some respected laity in the Church’s right turn on politics…. I am a pro-union / pro-worker guy who LOVES the Church’s social teaching…and has even been a bit defensive of the “white paper” as father Z calls it.) But look, I could be wrong…. we need humility, and there darn well better be room in the Church for all of us who are struggling to live Christ’s will for our lives, and follow Him.

    Its a Church made up of sinners. The Church, in fact, is like a MASH unit, or a trauma ward for sinners. Except those parts of it that are divine, it isn’t some perfect institution, as should be all too evident to anyone who has their eyes open the last couple of decades. The human parts of the Church are ALL TOO HUMAN, and spotted by sin.

    I know of some people who have gone to confession, and even experienced freedom from the occult, because of Medjugorje. I know of others who have been scandalized or hurt by it. IF the Church approves this thing, then that DOES NOT MEAN we have to believe it too. It just means that the faithful can believe it if they want to. (Same thing with Fatima by the way…. and I do know some people who have told me “I could never be Catholic… just look at that Fatima nonsense.”) How does it make those who experienced freedom thanks to this thing feel when we bash it and try to say “good Catholics MUST avoid it!!” And how does it make those Catholics who have been hurt by it feel when we say “you are an idiot if you reject it?” Humility is called for. And a little patience.

    And that brings us to the real issue: our pride is often our biggest stumbling block to being at home in Christ’s Church. That has certainly been true for me in any event.

  63. Michael Davies book was, and still is quite good. However, much has developed since then. Donal Foley has released an updated version of his earlier book, Understanding Medjugorje now under the title Medjugorje Revisited. It is available in both print, and e-book. I highly recommend this book which looks closely at things like early tape transcripts with the visionaries. He also includes considerable information which has come to light in recent years.

    http://www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/books/medjbook/medjbook.html

    There are also many other sources of solid information , but if I put all the links in here, it will end up in moderation. First and foremost, the Bishop of Mostar’s website – cbismo (dot) com. Also, Google: Louis Belanger (note there are English and French tabs); Marco Corvaglia (English and Italian tabs), and my own blog dedicated to objective looks at documents and faqs (google Diane Korzeniewski and Medjugorje).

  64. Rich says:

    I was a bit struck by your post title, Father: “Strange Medjugorje News”. Having both “strange” and “Medjugorje” as descriptors of “news” is a bit redundant, no?

    It’s sad that the Cardinal has given his blessing to this sideshow.

  65. chantgirl says:

    I leave this in the Church’s hands to sort out, as I find it confusing and I’m betting there’s a good deal of misinformation going around. However, what does strike me is the proliferation of claims about Marian apparitions over the last century. Where there is smoke there is fire. Why would so many pop up at the same point in history, if not to distract from the few that are genuine? God has warned His children in various ways over time when they were on the brink or wars, disasters, and punishments. He warned the Jewish people countless times with prophets, culminating with John the Baptist, who did not just proclaim the Messiah but warned them of the wrath to come. Jesus Himself warned of the destruction of Jerusalem. Many times since various saints and the Blessed Virgin have warned humanity when we were at some critical juncture. When I read about Fatima as a young adult, a chill went down my spine as I realized that if WWII was a punishment for that generation’s sins, what punishment would await this generation that has killed millions of the unborn via abortion (maybe billions if we count the lives lost from the pill), has embraced homosexuality, pornography on the grandest scale in history thanks to the internet, cloning of human beings, and animal/human hybrids in scientific experimentation? Surely the weight of our crimes far outweighs the past cultures who have suffered punishments. I have always thought that the Lord would also warn our generation and that the Blessed Virgin would be the most logical choice, as Catholics would believe her more than anyone else. I’m not saying that we are going to live to see the Second Coming (who knows but God), but surely this generation is due for at least a severe correction due to our sins which must be screaming to Heaven for vengeance.

  66. TNCath says:

    I’ve been having misgivings about Cardinal Schonborn for a few years now. He seems to be a loose cannon at times. I’ve always been skeptical of Medjugorje.

  67. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr. Z, right. I’m not an apparitions-kind-of-person, but it’s not something I would leave the church over, for sure. We aren’t bound to assent to apparitions of this type as doctrines of the faith. I tend to think that they may or may not be true based only on whatever the Vatican has to say about them, and I also think that some people might need them and I don’t have anything to say about that, frankly, because I don’t understand it or know about it in any real sense.

    It does seem really, really peculiar to promise an apparition ahead of time. That doesn’t seem at all right to me. I’m pretty sure you can’t order Mary around like that. Weirdness. Makes me wonder about Cardinal Schönborn a little bit, honestly.

  68. ContraMundum says:

    This is just to fix the italics problem by putting in an “end italics” tag.

  69. ContraMundum says:

    Well, I thought that would work. It has on some other blogs.

  70. irishgirl says:

    I was at a couple of Marian conferences in the late 1990s (in Rochester, NY, of all places) where Ivan from Medjugorje was present. He wasn’t the featured speaker, however. Both times he [supposedly] had a ‘vision’ right there on the stage of the auditorium where the conference took place. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I did take some photos while the ‘apparition’ was going on, but I didn’t see anything unusual in them when I got them developed.
    I know people who have gone over there. A dear priest-friend of mine from England went once, when he led a pilgrimage group. He told me, after he got back, that he wasn’t really impressed with the place. He goes quite often to Lourdes, and has also gone to Fatima (that’s where we met, in 1988)
    I had at one time E. Michael Jones’ book on the ‘apparitions’. I let someone borrow it, and never got it back. Reading it made me rather skeptical of the whole phenomena that is Medjugorje.
    Why would Cardinal Schoenborn risk ridicule by hosting Ivan and his ‘apparition’ in his own Cathedral in Vienna? Doesn’t His Eminence have enough trouble with rebellious clergy and laity in his own archdiocese? To think that he was considered a ‘Papabile’…..(shudder)
    Amerikaner: regarding St. John Vianney and LaSalette, you got your facts reversed. The Cure of Ars believed in it from the beginning. When he met Maximin Giraud, one of the two seers (a meeting set up by a group of politically-motivated people), the Cure questioned the boy, and one of the questions was if Maximin ever lied to his parish priest back home in Corps (near LaSalette). Maximin said that he did sometimes lie. The Cure misinterpreted it as meaning that Maximin lied about seeing Our Lady, and as a result he stopped preaching about LaSalette and blessing articles from there.
    Maximin clarified things later by saying that he couldn’t understand what the Cure was asking him; the priest had lost most of his teeth and made communication difficult. By ‘lying’, Maximin meant that he sometimes lied to his priest by saying he was going some place where he was not, and also that he didn’t do his school work.
    The Cure believed in LaSalette again after putting Our Lady to a ‘test’: he needed money for the foundation of a mission. Making a novena to Our Lady of LaSalette, he got the amount which he requested. He said, ‘That boy [Maximin] and I did not understand one other…..one must believe in LaSalette’.

  71. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Fr. Z:

    Strange news indeed. However, if one takes into account the crisis of faith in the Austrian church, and the rebellion of the clergy as well, and then compares that to the sincere faith and practice of the Medjugorge adherents, then the Cardinal’s actions make some sense.

    Bishops, like their clergy, are very human. And when you feel like many around you are abandoning ship, you ask, like the Lord, “and are you also going to leave me?” It is the staunch Marian devotees who will say to the Church in these times of crisis, “to whom shall we go?” In other words, they are loyal, they have a sense of urgency from the Virgin’s (alleged) messages, and they are doers, and not just talkers. Seeing the Cardinal’s predicament in Austria, I can completely understand how it is that he throws his support behind Medjugorge.

  72. Tina in Ashburn says:

    All arguments and feelings and opinions about Medjugorje are moot. ONLY OBEDIENCE TO THE LOCAL BISHOP THERE MATTERS. Even if he is an “idiot”, a liberal, a traddy…whatever. When the bishop has authority to direct the Faithful in a particular matter, then he must be followed. And the local bishop for Medjugorje has authority in this instance.

    In the 50s, my mom remembers being eagerly told about the Divine Mercy. Then the Church suppressed it, and medals and pamphlets disappeared. No argument. When the bishop spoke, everyone obeyed. Now we have the devotion approved and it is fine. Same for Garabandal, condemned in 1965. The seers stopped talking about it, the parish priest supported the decision and everything went quiet. Everyone obeyed, with no argument. When we visited there in the late 60s and my mother asked Mary Loli about the apparitions, all she would say is “I am not allowed to talk about them”. At the time, we did not know that Garabandal was definitively condemned. Even though it is obvious that something unnatural occurred there, the seers rightly never insisted on spreading the messages.
    Bishops have spoken out about Bayside, Naceedah and so much more. The story repeats over and over. Some people are convinced that some “good” [spinning sun, conversion, rosaries turning to gold, streaks of light in photographs, etc] occurs because of these phenomenon and proves ‘good fruit’.
    Sometimes the bishops are wrong, sometimes they are right. What we think or feel or see does not matter. Only obedience matters.
    It doesn’t matter what some saint, visionary, healed person, member of the hierarchy, expert, or even an exorcist says about Medjugorje. It doesn’t matter. ONLY WHAT THE BISHOP SAYS MATTERS.

    The devil defeats us with disobedience. God works His goodness when we are humble and obedient. Let God work out the details.
    These kinds of groups only listen to each other and have contempt for the truth from those on the ‘outside’. Perhaps you can see the parallel with certain Traditionalists who insist on their own way even though they report to no bishop of Rome. This kind of hardhearted disobedience leads one right out of the visible Church.

    Also, any apparition that says to ignore the local bishop, which the Gospa has done, is always false. God respects the authority of the Church on earth, which He established.

    The pro-Medjugorje crowd says the bishop there has it “out” for them, that he is an apostate, a liar, that his research was incomplete or insincere, blah blah blah. This is what happens with many false apparitions. People prefer to believe there is a reason to ignore the bishop. [Just ask those who are still disseminating condemned Bayside information].

    “Where the bishop is, there is the Church” – St Ignatius of Antioch, early Church Father.

    Thanks Diane, William and others for the extra information on resources.

  73. Fr. Sotelo:

    The argument it makes is one of reason. I always follow your posts witih interest and respect your well thought out points. However, there are a number of things to consider.

    My experience with Medjugorje devotees is that they are indeed intimately loving of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and are very close to the Eucharist. In fact, many adoration chapels around the world are filled with Medjugorje devotees. This is commendable.

    What puzzles me is why Cardinal Schonborn cannot have a Marian event in his Cathedral without hosting a Medjugorje visionary, and drawing on that which has not yet been deemed worthy of belief by the Church.

    Further, when Cardinal Schonborn and other bishops host these visionaries of Medjugorje in their cathedrals, how does it make the bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia look, when they do not permit this. It shows a rupture in the brotherhood of bishops, and it shows a rupture with tradition (small t). In the history of the Church, visionaries and mystics were not given a platform on Church property until there was at least first level approval (the local bishop).

    Using what little Croatian I know (I lived in the region from 1980-83), aided with a google translator, I have followed the homilies and addresses of Bishop Peric over the years when he is not speaking about Medjugorje. He is solid. He is orthodox . People in many dioceses of the world who have bishops who have been ambiguous about faith matters should be so lucky, as to have a man like Bishop Peric as their bishop. Yet, he is held in utter contempt and treated with disdain because he cannot accept authenticity and chooses to take steps to protect the Church from what he feels is inauthentic. His “reward” is to have dozens of bishops show up in his diocese and not even contact him; to have bishops in other countries host visionaries that are not permitted to speak on Church property in BiH and Croatia; to be calumniated throughout the web, in conversations, and perhaps even by other bishops who are taken in by pure propoganda rooted in inuendo.

    Medjugorje has become a crutch for bishops who could, instead, foster genuine Marian and Eucharistic devotion, without any mention of Medjugorje – pro or con. This would not divide the faithful, nor would it make the bishops conferences of BiH and Croatia look bad, as well as the Ordinary of Mostar. It also take a lot more work than to advertise a sideshow which becomes a greater, main attraction than the Mass itself.

    These too are fruits.

  74. Just to back up what I said about Bishop Peric being calumniated, here is just one common example, looked at quite well by Italian researcher, Marco Corvaglia:

    http://www.marcocorvaglia.com/medjugorje-en/medjugorje-the-communists-and-the-bishop.html

  75. Fr. Sotelo: A plausible explanation of how a doctrinally sound bishop might take a position that does now seem doctrinally sound. Or might we say that his apparent weakness and that of his local church may be symbiotic?

    Tina: One of the most lucid Medjogorje comments I’ve ever seen. Thanks!

  76. Diane: Yours, too. I was going to say something myself . . . But, hey, what’s left?

  77. For anyone else who wants to see how the Bishop of Mostar is being attacked, here is retired University of Montreal researcher, Louis Belanger taking Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli to task for misinformation about Bishop Zanic.

    http://en.louisbelanger.com/2011/09/19/journalistvaticanist-andrea-tornielli-influent-straight-man-in-the-medjugorje-drama-1-his-insinuative-attack-against-mgr-zanic/

    Yes, Medjugorje has turned people on to Marian and Eucharistic devotion. People have found their vocations too. But can we say it is attributable to an entity not deemed to be the BVM by the Church as opposed to those people taking time to pray, spend time before the Blessed Sacrament, developing a relationship with the true BVM through the Rosary and Total Consecration, making Sacramental Confession a regular part of their spiritual life?

    The good fruits we see are never attributed to these things by supporters, but to the “apparition”.

    There are bad fruits too. I call them, “The Three D’s”.

    - Division/disunity (at every level of the Church)
    - Disobedience
    - Disorder

  78. And, here is proof of the diosrder.

    http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2010/11/1975-decree-romanis-pontificibus.html

    I can’t comprehend how the Blessed Virgin Mary, if it is her appearing to these visionaries, is not the least bit interested in mentioning the fact that several parishes were usurped by local Franciscans; invalid sacraments are taking place there; attempts were made to impart the Sacrament of Confirmation at these parishes. The Franciscans involved have been kicked out of the order by the OFM Generalate in Rome. More than 20 Franciscans refused to sign a declaration of obedience related to this decree and remain suspended. The signatures were not at request of the local bishop, but the explicit wish of the Holy See and the OFM Generalate.

    Regardless of whether you believe the Holy See’s version as seen in that post, or that proliferated on pro-Medjugorje sites in favor of the Franciscans, the fact remains that the lady of Medjugorje has said NOTHING! She said nothing when Bishop Peric had to explain to parents of some 700+ children that their “confirmations” were invalid. She says nothing about invalid confessions being made, illicit Masses, and so forth.

    While it is true that it is not directly related to Medjugorje, it is hard comprehend why the Blessed Virgin Mary would be silent in the face of such serious sacrilege taking place within 30 minutes of Medjugorje itself.

    The silene of this entity about these grave abuses speaks volumes.

  79. dominic1955 says:

    That is one of the best points against the so-called “visions”-the disobedience shown to the lawful bishop. As others have said, regardless if he is a “liberal” or a “trad” or motivated by political ideology or whatever this is an issue that is completely within his competence to rule on. As to lawful ordinary, his ruling goes on this only to be trumped by the Pope himself and then ONLY officially and not with rumors of secret Papal private approval.

    The proper route for any “visionaries” to take in these matters is to adhere to what the bishop says-even if he is wrong! If the visions were real, they would back up the bishop and the Church and not insist on their own correctness without any nod to the authority of the bishop. If they were real, they would silence themselves in obedience to the bishop and then God and/or Mary would work their influence on the bishop to gain his approval. This is especially true since we all know visions and private revelations have no binding authority whatsoever and are not at all necessary to the well being of the Church. They can ALL, every single one of them even Fatima or Lourdes, can be taken or left by anyone in the Church.

    This is also why I’m not a big adherent to visions, the properly approved ones are nice and I stick the Fatima prayer in my rosary and I say the Divine Mercy chaplet sometimes etc. but the visions themselves are, eh, they are what they are. Some folks also fail in their adherence to approved visions like Fatima because they take it as some sort of dogma or are just kooks like Fr. Gruner.

    I’ll just stick to the solid, need to be accepted stuff to build my faith on, thank you…

  80. Jael says:

    It seems probable that, by supporting the disobedience in Medjugorje, Bishop Schonborn has invited the same problem into his own diocese.

  81. nanetteclaret says:

    Wasn’t it St. Faustina who replied, when Our Lord asked her to do something, “only if the Bishop approves?” and then Our Lord commended her for her obedience. The visionaries in other apparitions – which have ultimately been approved – have been completely obedient to their bishops. They have not disobeyed in any way, and that obedience is, I think, part of the fruits of a real apparition of Our Lady. Also, many visionaries, such as Bernadette and Lucia, have gone on to religious life. I don’t think any of the visionaries at Medjugore have gone on to religious life. Seems that quite a bit of the fruits of this apparition are rotten.

  82. chonak says:

    Here’s one example of a doctrinal error among the Medjugorje messages: an assertion that the saints in Heaven are there in soul and body already. (6 May 1982) The visionaries’ advisor Fr. Tomislav Vlasic wrote down that message in the parish’s journal of apparition messages, which he maintained. Bp. Peric quotes it in this article:
    http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/archives/2009/10/context-of-the.html

    This was contrary to the Catholic doctrine of the Resurrection of the body at the end of the world. Because this was an error against a doctrine of the Nicene Creed, CDF required him to undergo a remedial theology course and make a profession of faith. Eventually he left the priesthood.

  83. nanetteclaret:

    Here is what Fr. William Most had to say on the subject, involving St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in his excellent article about disernment of spirits:

    **************************
    Begin Quote:
    The objection will be raised: The Church was so slow in approving Fatima, and so people lost so many graces while waiting. We reply: They lost nothing at all. Visions are not like sacraments, which produce their effect by their own power (that is, the power of Christ working through them) in those who do not place an obstacle. One of the most approved series of visions are those of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary. On one occasion, He had told her to do something, but her Superior did not approve. When He came again, she asked Him about this, and He replied: “Therefore not only do I desire that you should do what your Superior commands, but also that you should do nothing of all that I order without their consent. I love obedience, and without it no one can please me” (Autobiography of St. Margaret Mary # 47).

    End quote
    ************************

    Source: http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/maryd8.htm

  84. nanetteclaret says:

    Diane -

    Thanks for that correction. I knew I had read something like it somewhere… The point about Christ wanting obedience is what is so important for us to remember! It also takes a lot of humility, which is what all of the other visionaries had and which these seem to lack.

  85. nanetteclaret:

    I think St. Faustina had a similar experience. I just remembered that mention by Fr. William Most.

  86. Warren says:

    This age is being defined by an ubiquitous and dangerous naiveté with regards to apparitions, false ecumenism and false prophecies (and false prophets, for that matter…). If the confused doctrine coming out of the mouths of the “seers” and disobedience to the legitimate authority and counsel of the Church is any gauge for determining merit or lack thereof, then Medjugorje and all for which it stands should be completely rejected.

    Medjugorje: not on my list of places to visit.

  87. inara says:

    For those in the US, we have our own *approved* apparition you can get excited about & visit if you like ~ Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, WI!

    She appeared there in 1859, the year after she visited Bernadette in Lourdes (though it was just formally declared ‘worthy of belief’ by the local bishop last Dec 8th). Her message to Sister Adele was: “Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation. Teach them…their catechism, how to sign themselves with the sign of the Cross, and how to approach the sacraments; that is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing. I will help you.”

    She also said: “Make a general confession, and offer Communion for the conversion of sinners. If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them.”

    Exactly one day short of 12 years later, both the Great Chicago Fire & the Great Peshtigo Fire occurred. The Peshtigo Fire is the largest recorded forest fire in North American history…it burned 1.5 million acres, *except the 5 acres* where the apparition appeared that were consecrated to Our Lady. :o)
    http://www.shrineofourladyofgoodhelp.com/index.html

  88. Brad says:

    I am fascinated with our Mother’s silence during the Pater Noster and Hail Mary. I guess I know why, but my mind does loops and spirals pondering the beauty of this creature fully realized. Of how we are changed once we are fully realized. The only thing this foolish sheep has in common with the Saintly Kolbe is in our loops and spirals we both sometimes find/found ourselves asking her, “O Immaculata, who are you…what are you?!”

  89. Amerikaner says:

    Fr. John Chisholm, the Irish priest, who experienced the bishop’s statement firsthand is the source. Contact him if you need proof that the bishop said it. Fr. Chisholm’s statement has been provided to the commission investigating the matter.

  90. Amerikaner says:

    Besides, it doesn’t really matter. If the Church approves it, I will believe and support it. If it disapproves, I will not believe it and not support it. In the end, I follow what Rome decrees and not the “opinions” of others.

  91. AnAmericanMother says:

    inara,
    The Peshtigo Fire has been eclipsed in the public memory by the Chicago Fire – also, there were so few survivors from what was a sparsely settled area to begin with.
    There was another amazing occurrence during the fire — Father Pierre Pernin fled to the river with the Tabernacle from his church at Peshtigo, and it survived the firestorm undamaged.

    I crossed the river on the half-charred beams of the bridge which had been joined together so as to offer a means of passage, though a very perilous one, to those who chose to trust themselves to it. I had barely reached the other side when one of my parishioners hastened to meet me, joyfully exclaiming:

    “Father, do you know what has happened to your tabernacle?”

    “No, what is it?”

    “Come quickly then, and see. Oh! Father, it is a great miracle!”

    I hurried with him to that part of the river into which I had pushed as far as possible my wagon containing the tabernacle. This wagon had been blown over on its side by the storm; whilst the tabernacle itself had been caught up by the wind and cast on one of the logs floating on the water. Everything in the immediate vicinity of this spot had been blackened or charred by the flames; logs, trunks, boxes, nothing had escaped, yet, strange to say, there rose the tabernacle, intact in its snowy whiteness, presenting a wonderful contrast to the grimy blackness of the surrounding objects. I left it in the spot where it had thus been thrown by the tempest for two days, so as to give all an opportunity of seeing it. Numbers came, though of course in that time of horror and desolation there were many too deeply engrossed with their own private griefs to pay attention to aught else. The Catholics generally regarded the fact as a miracle, and it was spoken of near and far, attracting great attention.

    You can read his account of the fire here: The Great Peshtigo Fire

  92. Dr. Eric says:

    Nope, still in italics.

    [/i]

  93. Dr. Eric says:

    Now, did that work?

  94. AnAmericanMother says:


    Dr. Eric,
    I’ve opened and closed ‘em half a dozen times, with and without brackets.
    They quit for the block quote, but resumed thereafter.
    ?????

  95. amrc says:

    I am dismayed by the many negative comments about Our Blessed Mother’s appearances in Medjugorje. Have any of you personally been there? Have you studied her messages? I challenge any and all to read her messages, say a year’s worth (12), not one or two out of the 500 or so in isolation. What can be wrong with her exhortations to prayer, fasting, praying the rosary, frequent Mass attendance and confession, daily reading of the Bible, and all of the above practiced as a family? to her repeated urgings for us to pray for non-believers, and for the young especially? Of course her messages are repetitious; the rosary is repetitious, the Scripture readings are repetitious; our times are so dire that God knows we need such powerful means to draw our attention away from so much enchanting media, technological gadgets, materialism (which she also addresses.)
    What can be wrong with the hundreds of thousands of conversions? Where else in the world are such conversions springing? I, myself, was converted by Medj., from a life of mortal sin. I have attended daily Mass and prayed 2 hours a day while raising my family for the past 25 years. I have been a crisis preg. director for 20 years, led daily rosaries for 20 years, Sunday prayer hour (20 yrs.), Family night (5 yrs.), Mothers’ group rosary (15 yrs.), catechist, parish council, etc. My inspiration, daily, is from Our Lady of Medjugorje. Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor; those who are sick, like myself, did and do.

    Fr. Gabriel Amorth, chief exorcist of Rome recently gave an interview where he said how can one NOT believe in Medj. You can google it. Also, the current investigation WAS TAKEN OUT OF THE HANDS OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAV BISHOPS, BY POPE BENEDICT XVI, AND IS NOW IN THE HANDS OF A VATICAN COMMISSION. This investigation is currently going on. Obviously, the Vatican does not find Medjugorje as worthy of easy dismissal.

    I don’t usually respond to blogs, bec. I use my free time in prayer, as Our Lady of Medjugorje begs: Pray, pray, pray. Prayer is life.

    (Also, she does not distract from approved apparitions as Fatima, but frequently has drawn our attentions back to them.)

  96. amrc says:

    Just started to pray, and was distracted by another thought! Our Lady’s appearances are not “scheduled.” She has always appeared to the seers at 6:40 pm, wherever they are.

  97. thelenmt says:

    I have been a reader of this blog for a long time and I think Fr Z is a gift to the Church as we seek to better understand Sacred Liturgy in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Praise God for this blog!

    But I must admit that I am bit shocked by lack of intellectual rigor in the arguments against authenticity of Medjugorje in the combox here of Fr Z’s article. [It's not my article, btw.] While I am not proposing that the apparitions are authentic and certainly not saying that we need to believe them, I do believe that if we are going to reject something it should be done on intellectual grounds which take into account the facts, not simplistic dismissals about something which if authentic is one of the most important events since the Second Vatican Council or one of the most significant deceptions in the last several hundred years to Christ’s faithful.

    Many if not all of the objections against Medjugorje are answerable when the facts are understood. In the end, we must submit ourselves to the Church’s judgment, but in the meantime we use reason to come to a prudential judgment about the possibility of Our Lady in appearing to the world once more who, among other things, is purportedly warning us of a difficult time to come.

    This website below presents the facts and clarifies the common objections which refute the common objections, especially one of the most popular ones above, the objection of the alleged disobedience of the visionaries.

    This site even has a page called, ‘Medjugorje for Traditionalists’ ….I’ll let you read for more!

    http://www.medjugorje-apologia.com/

  98. Brad says:

    Dear amrc, may God bless you.

    I must say, it is not incumbent upon me, a sheep, to “personally go there” and do fact-finding according to my own wallet and vibe-o-meter. If I were to, it wouldn’t matter either way, whichever conclusion I would come to. I have my sensus fidelium, hopefully, but it is not my own personal Magisterium nor my own successor to the apostles.

    I do not say this to make you think I discount and dismiss what you have said in your heartfelt, humble, lovely way. But I do not accept the logistical and moral responsibility of figuring out this or any apparition for myself. I depend on our Mother, the Church.

    We often hear how the message of divine mercy was suppressed for many years and how that parallels the non-acceptance of Medj. To that I say, all in God’s time. If he desired us to have assurance of Medj., we would have it.

    Ave, Maria.

  99. p2rp says:

    @thelenmt

    Is this enough intellectual argument or do you need more?:

    http://www.cbismo.com/index.php?mod=vijest&vijest=101

    “The Church, from the local to supreme level, from the beginning to this very day, has clearly and constantly repeated: Non constat de supernaturalitate! This practically means no pilgrimages are allowed that would presuppose any supernatural character to the apparitions, there exists no shrine of the Madonna and there are no authentic messages, revelations nor true visions!
    This is the state of things today. How will things be tomorrow? We’ll leave them in God’s hands and under Our Lady’s protection!
    Mostar, 1 September 2007
    + Ratko Peri?
    Bishop of Mostar-Duvno”

    To support his Excellency Biship Peric’s declaration, I also offer the following collection of quotes from saints on the virtue of obedience: (it’s too long to copy and paste in it’s entirety, so I only offer the link, I hope you will visit it)

    http://whitelilyoftrinity.com/saints_quotes_obedience.html

  100. thelenmt says:

    P2rp,

    Obedience is my point. But the facts matter. If you would have read the website you would have recongized the 2008 position of the CDF:

    2008: Cardinal Bertone, secretary of the CDF, re-iterates the previous statement of the CDF with the following;

    “Bishop Peric’s statement expresses a personal opinion of his own. It is not a definitive official judgment on the part of the Church. The Church defers to the Zadar statement issued on 10th April 1991 by the bishops of the former Yugoslavia and the statement leaves the door open to further investigations of the affair. So the process of verification needs to move forward”

    This is why the facts matter.

  101. JKnott says:

    The attributes manifested by this “vision” are more in keeping with fallen human nature than the Immaculate Conception, model of obedience and humility. The “vision” clearly criticizes the Bishop to the kids as being wrong for not believing that she is “appearing” and they must tell that to him and to the world. Mary doesn’t backbite or cause divisions. The examples of these are endless. Our holy Mother Mary is made to appear more like a Barbie doll nitwit than ” our tainted nature’s solitary boast.”
    The Vatican commission has a huge pastoral problem to resolve because when the truth is confirmed there will thousands of Catholics who will harbor much resentment towards the Church, or at least lose trust in Her authority, and the keynote of this whole thing “disobedience” will flourish.
    @thelenmt
    Diane at Te Deum has done excellent work in compiling actual documentation on the phenomenom, which of course includes the judgements of the local bishops and the bishops commission. I disagree that the objections expressed on this post are not based on known facts. It might be helpful to go to http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/ to read the documents and FAQS.

  102. thelenmt says:

    @JKnott

    Is the CDF confused then? What are we to make of the 1998 statement of the CDF when Cardinal Bertone explicitly addresses Bishop Peric’s position and says that it “is and remains his personal opinion” and does not express the position of the Church? The CDF states that the 1991 statement of the Yugoslavia bishops is the position of the Church: “non constat de supernaturalitate”. (not established as supernatural)

    By the way, this is the middle position between “constat de supernaturalitate” (established as supernatural–approved) and “constat de non supernaturalitate” (established as not supernatural-condemned) These distinctions are important and need to be understood.

    The website you recommend seems to explain this away by stating that Bishop Peric condemns it. If bishop Peric’s judgment was final then why did the Vatican set up an official commission to consider all of the evidence? It seems clear that by the various statement of the Vatican over the years, and even recently, the case is still very much open.

    But if the CDF is says that the bishop of Mostar is only giving his personal opinion and that the current position of the Church is that it is “not established as supernatural” (which leaves open pilgrimages, personal belief, etc” then calling people who follow the CDF disobedient is strange.

  103. q7swallows says:

    While we wait for the Church to pronounce on Medj., I’ll try to be parked in front of the Blessed Sacrament in our local Byzantine Catholic Church. He’s the Main Event anyway and I’m always sure the BVM is there . . . .

  104. thelemt:

    Cardinal Bertone was referring to a statement made by Bishop Peric, that Bishop Peric said was his personal opinion and conviction. Bishop Peric, in the same letter that +Bertone explicitly expressed his desire for the Church to take the case and give a definitive judgment. The Cardinal merely repeated what was already in the bishop’s communication.

    There would be no commission right now if a final judgment of the Church had been declared. Card. Bertone makes clear that Bishop Peric has a right to his personal opinion and position – as ordinary of the place (even as the Commission does its work). He has not, however, been “castrated” without any say for what goes on in Medjugorje and in matters connected with it….

    You are correct that the 1991 Zadar Declaration is still in effect. This includes the power given to Bishop Peric to ensure that liturgy and devotion are in harmony with Catholic devotion in Medugorje, and all that is connected to it.

    This was reinforced in a significant way with a 2007 fax by the bishops of Tuscany to priests of the diocese. They acknowledge that then Archbishop Amato (now Cardinal and the prefect of the congregation of saints, and on the Medjugorje Commission), invited them to encourage their priests to read the 2006 homily of Bishop Peric, which laid down some serious law. The fax and related homily can be found here:

    http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2010/03/2007-bishops-of-tuscany-advised-by-cdf.html

    Why would the then secretary of the CDF do this, if he wasn’t acknowledging the authority of the Bishop of Mostar on these things? Read that homily carefully and see exactly what Cardinal Amato wanted the bishops and priests of Tuscany to ponder.

  105. ContraMundum says:

    I can’t help but notice that people are saying things like, “They can ALL, every single one of them even Fatima or Lourdes, can be taken or left by anyone in the Church.” Except that the same people are also insisting that Medjugorje CANNOT “be taken … by anyone in the Church.”

    Now as I understand it, the authority of the local bishop on this matter mostly comes in determining what is taught and preached in his diocese and how Catholic properties are used. He can also react against undeniable heresies, if for instance “Mary” were to claim that she had another child before Jesus. Beyond that, his opinion should be weighed with respect, but it’s just an opinion, and it would not be disobedience for someone in his diocese to conclude that the bishop is mistaken about the alleged apparition. Even less so is it disobedience for someone on the other side of the globe to disagree with the opinion of the bishop of Mostar.

    Also, because other apparitions, such as at Fatima, are still in fact only private revelation, the fact that the apparition at Medjugorje says the Our Father but the apparition at Fatima did not cannot itself be evidence of heresy. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same” — but private revelations are not truths which must be believed with divine and catholic faith.

    Don’t get me wrong; I also think Medjugorje is bogus. It has plenty of obvious problems. Is it really necessary, though, to accuse all those who think it is a genuine apparition of serious sin, rather than an embarrassing mistake?

  106. robtbrown says:

    amrc,

    Have you been to Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe, or San Andrea delle Fratte in Rome?

  107. smad0142 says:

    ContrumMundum,

    Actually it would be heresy to say that the Blessed Virgin Mary prayed the Our Father with the visionaries. After all if words have meaning, and the Blessed Mother prays the Our Father and asks for the forgiveness of her sins, it would amount to a denial of her perpetual sinlessness. Denying the perpetual sanctity of Mary would be heresy.

  108. Actually when I first converted I came across Medjugorie and for a very short time (like a week or two) thought it might be genuine. However, after researching it (and when I research something I research until I reach a point of firm moral certainity) I can honestly say I strongly believe that these “appartions” are false. Many of the miracles are not irrefutably supernatural but at most preternatural. There is a major difference. Turning rosaries into gold or seeing the sun spin, etc do not necessarily mean that the supernatural is at work. A supernatural miracle is that of the incarnation, transubstantion, etc. Just because something happened that we can not explain with our current natural abilities has occurred does not mean that God is at work. The devil is much more powerful and intelligent than most Catholics realize. As with all angels he has certain powers as his NATURAL abilities (though we may not naturally possess those powers ourselves). For him converting a rosary into gold (or at least seeming to) or causing the sun to at least appear to spin to numerous observers is not necessarily impossible or perhaps even difficult.

    It is even possible for some people to psychologically work themselves up to a point where they think they have seen a miracle, etc. Trust me as a former penecostal/ charismatic I can testify that I saw it all the time. It seems people want to believe and see a sign. Why? Possibly for the same reason they asked Christ for a sign inthe Scriptures. It has to do with little faith often- they want something to confirm their faith and shore it up. They often mistake these “signs” as divine approval upon them or their actions.

    Having said that perhaps one may concede that very very early on there is a possiblity that the very very first were genuine apparitions. However, even in my opinion that would be stretching it. It did occur at La Salette and the seers didn’t lead exceptionally holy lives later on (it may be possible that the poor girl struggled with some sort of mental affliction and definitely very poor spritual formation (from the order that initially accepted her. Yet at least they did not capitalize as much over their genuine apparitions as the “seers” of Medjugorie. I am not intending to attack the characters of the “seers” of Medjugorie as they too also experienced very poor spiritual formation (Fr Vasilic comes to mind and the recent pronouncement upon him). In the past few years Medjugorie supporters have attempted to distance him from it but that was not always so and his influence from early on and for over a decade was pivotal whether they want to acknowledge it or not. If one were to objectively research the issue they would find that he was not the only one. There are a number of issues.

    Anyways just because God has mercy upon some benighted soul does not necessarily mean that what that person was doing or about to do was pleasing to God. Remember Saul on the road to Damascus?

    Saying that you have to visit there or else you do not know what you are talking about is silly. I do not need to visit China to know that Prester John’s kingdom never existed. I can merely research the evidence and come to a conclusion that solidly refutes it ever did. The same applies to Medjugorie except there is even more evidence that nearly all the “apparitions” were not legitamate. Whether the seers are deceived or deceivers is more difficult to say. They may be victims themselves of a diabolical delusion. Suffices to say read a number of sound orthodox bookes on Catholic spirituality or the writings of a good number of saints who either received apparitions or guided those who did and it will become evident that in regards to Medjugorie there is something very fishy to say the least.

    In my opinion there are a lot of well meaning and even devout souls who are very simple and do not really grasp how evil evil is. They fail to understand that of its nature evil can not exist in and of itself but must have a host (metaphysicallyspeaking) . As such it mimics what is good partly because it must (in order to exist and existence strictly speaking is good) and partly because if it was easily identified few if any unless they sought their destruction would flock to it. The true nature of evil is disobedience to God and hatred of what is good. Every major and serious sin is rooted in rebellion. Rebellion against God and and his lawful representatives who are within the bounds ordained to them. From everything I have read Medjugorie for all the “good works” on the periperal in its core reeks of disobedience and rebellion. That is not to say it is impossible that certain souls receive legitamate graces. God has the power to confer any grace as He chooses- even if the He brings good out of evil (so as to speak). As in the Garden of Eden just because the fruit tasted good does not mean that it was right to eat it and the same goes of Medjugorie. People need to be reminded that the Church as God’s representative has publically commanded the faithfull (yes including bishops) not to go there on a pilgrimage. That is very serious. The seers have been in constant rebellion against the legitimate restrictions placed upon them by their bishop (when they lived there). Maybe they think they are doing the will of God but in reality as far as legitamite apparitions are concerned their conduct during the “apparitions” are totally unprecedented. I suggest some who think Medjugorie is authentic study Lourdes quite a bit. Even if they share some phrases and pious ejaculations (don’t forget even the devil can speak to God if it serves his own purpose) the conduct difference between the visionaries during and even after could not be more black and white. St Bernadette herself was the strongest evidence of the apparition- not the fountain (if memory serves me correct that was what the investigating panel stated). The contrast between St Bernadette’s life and those of Medjugorie are night and day.

    In the end I believe though as St Bernadette prayed for the false visionaries of her day we should pray for those of ours. Maybe they are not intentionally deceiving others and actually believe what they are saying.

  109. p2rp says:

    @thelenmt

    The CDF is not confused, it is you who are confused by a quote taken out of context by a non-authoritative, secular pro-medj source that carries no official weight regarding our Church. Nothing the CDF has done or said currently contradicts His Excellency Bishop Peric’s statements or declarations. If any untruth, misguidance or contradiction existed in His Excellency Bishop Peric’s statements or documents on his website, the CDF would have had them removed long ago.

    Why do you find docility and obedience to His Excellency Bishop Peric’s guidance so difficult and why do you seek other authority outside our Church to justify this disobedience?

    Regarding the virtue of holy obedience, maybe these quotes from the Saints will help:

    http://whitelilyoftrinity.com/saints_quotes_obedience.html

  110. amrc says:

    Dear robtbrown,

    Yes, I have been to Guadalupe, Knock, Lourdes, Rue de Bac, Banneux, Beauraing and Walsingham, thanks be to God and to my husband’s occupation. Also to World Youth Day in Koln, and Vespers Service for beginning Year of the Priest in Rome.

    Dear All,

    Please visit an excellent article I just found. Wish I had found it earlier, for this author answers almost all of the above cited objections to Medjugorje, more knowledgeably and potently than I can: http://www.medjugorje-apologia.com/misconceptions-defense.ht. (sorry i’m too technoligically inept to post as direct link.)

    If you have time to read this article, please post comments. I am so happy for these negative assessments of Medj.! On “Stir it up Sunday” (thanks for the info on this Fr. Z!), my love for Our Lady has increased and been reignited, so that I may study & pray & continue to share the POSITIVE fruits of Medjugorje. Medjugorje is known for its wine production. How lovely is the sweet inebriation descanted from the deep and constant prayer that Our Lady of Medjugorje exhorts.

    Again, we do not need to adhere to any apparitions. But they can also be used as gifts from God, lighthouses in these dark, tempestuous times to help us to find safe portage to Holy Mother Church’s safe harbors! Especially for the lost!

    Below is a answer to the most cited argument agst. Medj., from the above mentioned website.

    12. But the bishop disapproved Medjugorje. Therefore, we should be obedient.
    Normally, this would be true, since the local bishop is typically the first authority in judging alleged apparitions within his jurisdiction. However, Medjugorje is unique in that Rome has intervened on a number of occasions, opposing the bishops negative opinion that Medjugorje should be condemned. For example, in 1986, the Holy See dissolved the local bishop’s commission, and convened a new commission of all the Yugoslavian bishops in the region. This new commission (which supercedes the authority of the local ordinary) eventually recognized Medjugorje as a Marian place of prayer and pilgrimage–indeed explicitly stating such–though they were not yet able to confirm supernatural origin. However, the local bishop disagreed with the findings, stating; “My conviction and my position is not only ‘non constat de supernaturalitate’, but likewise, ‘constat de non supernaturalitate’ of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje”. To this, the Holy See (CDF) responded; “What Bishop Peric said…declaring: “My conviction and my position is not only ‘non constat de supernaturalitate’, but likewise, ‘constat de non supernaturalitate’ of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje”, should be considered 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.”
    For more information on the Church’s position on Medjugorje, please see our page entitled; “What is the Position of the Church?”.

    God bless you all, too! Christ is King, Our Lady his Beautiful Queen!

  111. Supertradmum says:

    My favorite story about personal visions came from a woman who was trying to convince Pope John Paul II that Bayside was true (now condemned) and that The Mother of God had told the visionary that all priests were to say the Traditional Latin Mass. The answer from the Pope, apocryphal or not, was “How interesting, but the Mother of God does not have authority over the Liturgy. I do.”

    Some of the things coming out of Medjogorje fall into that category of falsity.

  112. ContraMundum says:

    @smad0142

    I’ve already answered that. The words of the Our Father are not, “forgive me my trespasses” but rather “forgive us our trespasses”. If there is an “us” that includes both the Church Militant and the Blessed Virgin, she can certainly say those words — and there is.

  113. dominic1955 says:

    “[Evil spirits] have at times recommended that which is good in order to hinder a greater good, and have encouraged persons to do a particular act of virtue that they may the more easily deceive the unwary…”
    –Pope Benedict XIV, Servorum Dei beatifactione et Beatorum canonizatione.

    Just because good things supposedly happen at Medjugorje does not prove that the visions are real, as in being the BVM. Also, if this “vision” said even one heretical thing, it destroys the whole thing. Telling people they should pray and fast is just a platitude, the BVM doesn’t have come for decades to spout platitudes.

    Also, my point about being able to take or leave visions is that this is the way we can regard the officially approved ones so therefore, one that does not have approval should not even be given any sort of attention by the faithful until such time that is might be given official approval but not before then.

  114. smad0142 says:

    ContraMundum,

    While “us” does undoubedly include the Church Militant, it also includes the person saying “us”. The Blessed Mother does not have any sins, so at best she could say forgive them their trespasses. Words have meaning, and to say that the first person plural does not include the person speaking is simply wrong. The Blessed Mother can not say those words, mean what she says, and at the same time not be comitting heresy.

  115. Dr. Sebastianna says:

    I was in Italy recently, and I met many Holy, conservative Priests there. I was struck by how many of them believe in Medjugorje. One Priest even gave me a Rosary from there. I’m not sure how to “feel” about this.

  116. chonak says:

    The Church cannot forbid people to go to St James Church in Medjugorje: after all, it’s a Catholic parish church, and Catholics are free to visit it and attend Mass there.

    But if one speaks of a “pilgrimage”, that assumes that the destination is a particularly holy place, a shrine, a saint’s tomb, the site of an apparition, a miracle, or another supernatural event. The Church has not given authorization for the faithful to believe in any apparition at Medjugorje, and has not declared any place there to be a shrine, so it’s not appropriate to go there with the intention of making a pilgrimage, still less to recruit other Catholics for an unauthorized “pilgrimage”.

  117. ContraMundum says:

    @smad0142

    I see.

    Please then abandon ever saying anything like “we won World War I”. You had nothing to do with that. Or that “we” were unfair to the American Indians, or that “we” cast off the British monarchy. Did “we” put a man on the moon — or did “they”?

    I, however, know what it means to belong to a group, and to identify, at least in part, with both the praiseworthy and the blameworthy actions of other members. This is what people do who have families, for instance; it’s why we can feel proud of our relatives’ achievements and ashamed of their misdeeds.

  118. bobbyfranky says:

    Pilgrimages by the laity, accompanied by a priest, are allowed, since the intent is to strenghthen one’s love for God. A pilgrimage organized by and run by the parish priest(s) or religious is not allowed, as it would cause confusion and lead to some concluding the Church has ruled postively on Medjugorje. If me and my friend Bob want to go to Medjugorje on a retreat to spend a week undistracted in prayer and penance, surrounded by ohter peoples doing it, that is a good fruit and it is allowed. When has it ever not been allowed to go off somewhere quietly with a few others to pray and reflect on God?

  119. Andrew says:

    Another example from the life of mystic about obedience.

    St Gertrude was experiencing a vision of Our Lord when suddenly the bell rang calling the Sisters to prayer.

    She said to Jesus I have to go now, and join my Sisters. Jesus commended her for her obedience, saying if you had stayed, I would have fled!

  120. Jael says:

    ContraMundum,

    When an American says something like, “We won World War I,” the speaker is identifying with all Americans, because the speaker belongs to a group called “Americans.”

    The Blessed Virgin does not belong to a group called “sinners,” or “trespassers.” So it is nonsensical for her to say, “Forgive us our trespasses.” She is not a member of the group composed of those who sinned.

  121. pilgrim says:

    Jesus uttered the words “forgive us our sins”, yet he was without sin.

    Our anointed priests at Mass, representative of Christ himself (not of the faithful), also pray “forgive us our tresspasses…”

    Consider also Paul’s teaching to the Romans (8:24-27):

    “The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.”

  122. pilgrim says:

    Are we not a “pilgrim” church? And is not a “pilgrimage” an act of faith? We walk in faith, but there will always be a voice attempting to discourage our determination to make the journey, be it to Medjugorje or even to our local parish church on Sunday. It is good to be reassured that Jesus walks with us, wherever our journey takes us. Foxes have dens, the birds their nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest.

  123. Jael says:

    pilgrim,

    Yes, Jesus “uttered” the words “forgive us our trespasses.” He did not PRAY those words; He was merely telling sinners what to pray. That’s a big difference.

    When the priest prays “forgive us our trespasses,” he includes himself because he is a sinner.

    Rom. 8 is irrelevant to the discussion because it does not say what the Spirit is praying.

  124. pilgrim says:

    Jael…

    Having acknowledged that the Spirit does speak for us, why dismiss the passage as irrelevant? Does not the verse actually teach that the absence of words is not a hinderance to the Spirit, the Advocate, speaking on our behalf?

    But the point you are attempting to make about Our Lady praying the Our Father is based on what… a claim that you may have read somewhere without knowing if it is true or not, perhaps hearsay? Does she voice all the words, or just some? Does she stay silent at the words that trouble you? Do you really know? Or is it just something you choose to take on board and believe for your own reasons?

    And if you were to read another report that says Our Lady remains silent during a part of the prayer, would that change your opinion or belief about the Medjugorje phenomenon?

    In my opinion, the Medjugorje phenomenon will not be dismissed by the Holy See on the basis of the words of Our Lady… She has been speaking for the past 30 years and yet the Holy See, in its duty as outlined in Canon Law, has not condemned any of her words and messages given via the Medjugorje visionaries as a danger to the faith and morals of the faithful.

    Finally, when Mary walked the earth and followed and attended to Jesus and his disciples, was there a time when she prayed the Our Father, as the disciples were taught to. Did she place herself above the need to pray as Jesus taught? Did she know at that time that she was without sin? Did she stay silent in the Upper Room when the disciples may have prayed as they were taught: Our Father…?

  125. p2rp says:

    @ pilgrim

    His Excellency Bishop Peric, is the Ordained Authority for the Diocese of Mostar. Last time I checked there has been no other episcopal ordination for the Diocese of Mostar, especially by the name of Pilgrim.

    Whether you like it or not, until such time, if ever, that the Holy See contradicts His Excellency Bishop Peric’s guidance in this matter, Bishop Peric remains the authority as well as his statements and declarations.

    “The Church, from the local to supreme level, from the beginning to this very day, has clearly and constantly repeated: Non constat de supernaturalitate! This practically means no pilgrimages are allowed that would presuppose any supernatural character to the apparitions, there exists no shrine of the Madonna and there are no authentic messages, revelations nor true visions!
    This is the state of things today. How will things be tomorrow? We’ll leave them in God’s hands and under Our Lady’s protection!
    Mostar, 1 September 2007
    + Ratko Peri?
    Bishop of Mostar-Duvno”

    From invalid self-episcopal ordination, spare us O Lord!

  126. pilgrim says:

    p2rp… Your response doesn’t address the point I was making in response to Jael’s concerns about Our Lady praying the Our Father.

    But I shall address your point and ask why the Mostar’s conviction is “not only Non constat de supernaturalitate, but also Constat de non supernaturalitate as regards the apparitions or revelations of Medjugorje.” as he stated in a written letter to Thierry Boutet, editor of Edifa, October 2, 1997?

    Privately, the bishop is saying that there are no apparitions at Medjugorje. Wearing his bishop’s mitre he can only repeat the declaration made by the Yugoslav’s bishops’ conference in 1991, which the Holy See adheres to.

    So the Church still doesn’t know if there are apparitions at Medjugorje, hence the latest commission investigation into the “phenomenon”.

    The Church recognises that pilgrims are free to travel to Medjugorje and Cardinal Vinko Puljic, head of the B+H bishops’ conference has stated: “Our Bishops’ Conference 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 Bishops’ Conference has already decided to accompany the phenomenon pastorally. This is nothing new, but the implementation of the first decision of the Bishops’ Conference about the phenomenon Medjugorje.” (Vecernij list, March 21, 2008)

  127. Jael says:

    Pilgrim,

    You say, “But the point you are attempting to make about Our Lady praying the Our Father is based on what…”

    I never said Mary prayed that prayer. Someone else did. I was merely dealing with faulty reasoning about the use of the word “us.”

    I am bowing out of this conversation now. Goodbye.

  128. Jael says:

    p.s. to pilgrim:

    Oops, what I meant to say was,

    “I never said Mary did NOT pray that prayer.”

    I don’t normally bother discussing Medjugorje because the Church, speaking through the Bishops of Mostar and the former Yugoslavia, has made it very clear that spending time on Medjugorje is most likely a huge waste of time. I only discuss it when I think I can help someone.

    OK, now I’m really bowing out of this conversation. Goodbye.

  129. Jael says:

    I’ll admit it, I’m the one who has been confused just now. I’m trying to do too many things at once today!

    Here’s another attempt at clarity:

    I do not know whether or not Mary said the Our Father at any of the approved apparitions.

    I do not know what the alleged apparition of Mary at Medjugorje allegedly did or did not pray.

    I have never given an opinion on this thread about what Mary did or did not say in the above circumstances. That was someone else.

    I do know that if someone uses the word “us,” it includes the speaker.

    I do know that if the Bible does not tell us what the Holy Spirit is praying, then the HS’s silence does not imply that any certain prayer someone might pray is orthodox.

    Thanks for your patience. Goodbye.

  130. pilgrim says:

    Jael… And thank you for your clarification. Peace. :)