The Tablet’s bizzare report on Medjugorje, Card. Schönborn

And now for one of the most absurd interpretations of news you will ever read.

This is either pure ignorance or deliberate misdirection.

Either way it is from RU-486 (aka The Bitter Pill aka The Tablet).

Church in the World
Schönborn says Pope might visit Medjugorje  [And I might become the next Archbishop of Southwark.]
Christa Pongratz-Lippitt9 January 2010

A cardinal close to Benedict XVI has signalled his support for the controversial Marian shrine of Medjugorje. [Does that sound even slightly plausible?]
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna indicated that Pope Benedict himself might one day [] visit the spot where the Virgin Mary is believed [by fewer and fewer] to have appeared to a group of local children. Speaking on his return from a three-day visit to the shrine in Bosnia at the turn of the year, he told journalists in Vienna that the time had come to integrate the “Medjugorje phenomenon” into the Church’s ordinary pastoral work.

Asked in an interview with the Bologna-based daily Il Resto di Carlino what he would tell Pope Benedict XVI about the trip, he said: “The Pope does not need my advice. [Therefore….?] He knows very well how important the Virgin Mary is for the Catholic Church and he is a fervent devotee. [My heavens… did Card. Schonborn really say that?  Was he addressing elementary schoolchildren at the time?] He has visited many Marian shrines and I think one day he might even come here.” [And I might one day visit Kinshasa.] He added that Medjugorje could “become something very important and profound”.

The cardinal’s support comes as a surprise to many who have observed the wrangling over the shrine. The local Franciscan community believes the visions are genuine while the local bishop of Mostar, Ratko Peric, has been highly critical.

Until Cardinal Schönborn’s visit, the Vatican itself had appeared sceptical [Which means Joseph Ratzinger…]  but his declaration of support could mark a turning point. [And I hereby declare that the Cubs will win the 2010 World Series… it could happen!]  Speaking in Vienna, the cardinal was cautious, [More cautious than this journalist.] saying that he does not want “to pre-empt a world church decision”. He acknowledged that the first impulse for pilgrimage had come from the apparitions but that he was more concerned with the devotion they had inspired. “Medjugorje is concerned with belief in Jesus Christ, with prayer, with the Eucharist, with practised charity, with what is essentially Christian and with strengthening Christian everyday life,” he said.  [And what if it is not approved by the Church?]

Cardinal Schönborn indicated that he stood by the guidelines issued in 1991 by the then Yugoslav bishops’ conference, which had twice been confirmed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. These stated that it was not certain whether what was happening in Medjugorje was supernatural and that this question was being left open.

Among the “abundant fruit” from the shrine, the cardinal singled out priestly vocations, conversions and charities including Mary’s Meals, which provides daily meals for schoolchildren in a number of African countries.

Many aspects of Medjugorje conformed to the “grammar of Marian apparitions”, Cardinal Schönborn said, adding: “Perhaps we in the Church should let ourselves be more inspired by this Marian concept.”

Bishop Peric said that by going to Medjugorje, Cardinal Schönborn had only “added to the local Church’s suffering”.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. But Father! But Father!

    The real story is that it is based on something that never took place.

    According to the Papa Ratzinger blog, Cardinal Schonborn’s spokesman said this was a fabrication.

    Google translation of statement posted on Papa Ratzinger blog

    Original Italian link: ATTENZIONE: il card. Schönborn smentisce l’intervista a “Il Resto del Carlino” su Medjugorje

  2. I might add, that given the date – January 9th, of the diocesan statement, could this have been the catalyst which got the Holy Father’s attention more than anything. Think about it, the Holy Father hearing reports that Cardinal Schonborn is making such statements (which ended up being false)…..

  3. Agnes says:

    Oh good grief.

  4. Random Friar says:

    *smacks self* Lord, please take me now. I’m ready, really!

  5. Tominellay says:

    The linked IL RESTO DI CARLINO article is dated January 03, 2010…THE TABLET is just making trouble…

  6. Fr. Z: The next Archbishop of Southwark? Really???
    Maybe our Holy Father would like to also visit our very poor, unnoticed, hidden “Cor Jesu Oratory” in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin…would some “visions” help this?
    Just kidding…M. is not anything I’m interested in promoting!

  7. chonak says:

    Oh, good Heavens. The author of the interview reaffirms it’s true: that he spoke with the Cdl. at the Cenacolo, kissed his ring, etc., and the words attributed to the Cdl. reflect his statements. (He posted a comment on a site that had republished the interview and was retracting it after getting a denial from Vienna.) It’s a bit of a circus!

  8. Prof. Basto says:

    I started reading it, but then I couldn’t continue. It makes me sick.

  9. Maltese says:

    Cardinal Schonborn refused a fellow Bishop from taking part in a pro-life rally in his diocese, and then there’s this, of course:

    Perhaps Medjugorje fits well with his own syncretic, relativistic, modernistic, indifferentism towards the unbloody Sacrifice (cf. the balloon mass he “presided” at)? Just a thought since Medjugorje seems to instill indifferentism towards the eternal Sacrifice…

  10. Tominellay says:

    Thanks, Chonak (@ 6:56 pm)…

  11. Theodorus says:

    Whether the interview really took place or not, it further shows how wrong Cardinal Schonborn’s decision to go to Medjugorje was, despite repeated disapproval of the so-called apparitions from the local bishops. If he had not gone, nobody would have “fabricated” such an interview.

  12. The kicker is that there cannot be two versions of the truth. Someone is not being truthful, somewhere along the line.

    That in itself is disconcerting.

  13. boko fittleworth says:

    This is a fruit of Medjugorje every bit as much as any vocations and conversions. The fruit of Medjugorje is confusion and division and disobedience.

  14. I was attending a Catholic college in 1960 when the Third Secret of Fatima was to be revealed “.. no later than 1960…”. It wasn’t. Our priest professors were stunned as the Fatima apparitions played a strong role in Catholic life in those days. Fifty years later, the entire secret still has not been revealed (see The Fourth Secret of Fatima newly printed in English). I am convinced we have been living through what the Secret foretold. Can one begin to see why the SSPX gives the Visible Church such a wide birth?

  15. Dear Mr. Erich Leitenberger:

    If you stumble upon this blogpost, can you please write a letter to there in Austria and ask them to please cease production and marketing of DVD’s of Cardinal Schonborn’s very “private” visit?

    I’m sure the Cardinal, if he were aware, would not want his public “private” visit exploited for profit in any way, and lend credibility to the alleged apparitions which have not yet been deemed worthy of belief by the Church.

    Thank you,

    Diane Korzeniewski

  16. robtbrown says:

    I was attending a Catholic college in 1960 when the Third Secret of Fatima was to be revealed “.. no later than 1960…”. It wasn’t. Our priest professors were stunned as the Fatima apparitions played a strong role in Catholic life in those days. Fifty years later, the entire secret still has not been revealed (see The Fourth Secret of Fatima newly printed in English). I am convinced we have been living through what the Secret foretold. Can one begin to see why the SSPX gives the Visible Church such a wide birth?
    Comment by William H. Phelan

    What is it we’re living through that the Secret foretold?

  17. JosephMary says:

    The cardinal added to another kind of ‘fruit’ of Medjugorje which is further division and dissent. He was not courteous to the local Ordinary at all but did his own thing and with worldwide publicity.

    A very holy priest (now deceased) told me that Medjugorje could well cause a split in the Church because of disobedience which we see evidenced more and more now. Our Lady, the Queen of Heaven, is NEVER disobedient and would not be disrespecting the local Ordinary and his authority muchless allowing detracting of him, or even calumny of him. That is not Our Lady.

    I went as a pilgrim myself in 1998. I was a follower for many years but the disobedience is what changed my mind on it.

    But with so many dioceses and parishes in such sad states, can anyone not understand how hurting souls seeking God would turn to this phenomenon. My own conversion, 16 years and counting, stemmed from Medjugorje. God can bring forth good and there are Masses all day long and confessions so the sacramental power is there for THIS reason.

  18. Tony says:

    Cardinal Schönborn is every bit a loose canon as Bishop Williamson. We need to pray for him.

  19. Dave N. says:


  20. Incaelo says:

    Either someone hasn’t been doing their research or they are deliberately misdirecting. Shameful, really, especially since this article describes the sympathetic and friendly experience to Cardinal Schönborn’s visit, even if it is totally untrue. Many people will believe what they read in the Bitter Pill.

  21. robtbrown: From contacts I have developed in northern NJ and Manhattan, including people who have actually met with Antonio Socci, the Italian Catholic journalist who authored Il Quartro Segreto di Fatima, the sense is of a Great Confusion which has led to a Great Apostasy starting at the very top of the Church. Socci admits that he never believed in a Third Secret, but he changed when he saw the lame explanation offered by Cdl Bertone a few years ago when it was attempted to explain it away with the assassination attempt on JP II in 1981. How could an apparition of “a bishop in white”, surrounded by hundreds of dead, being shot at with arrows and bullets, be explained by an attempt to murder one pope who survived? No one else was killed! If this silliness was an attempt to ease Catholic concerns, it blew up in Bertone’s face, and by extension, the Vatican’s as well. Just consider the last forty years in toto. The FSSP and the SSPX treat that era as an aberration which must be erased from Catholic memory. They don’t use the same liturgical calendar as the Visible Church today!

  22. ssoldie says:

    This article is the kind of spin we have been getting for the last 45 years not only from the secular media , but from the Catholic media, and most coming from the Hierarchy.

  23. Re: Fatima, there’s a lot of difference between “I respectfully disagree with Bertone’s interpretation of the prophecy, and I think more will happen along those lines” and “Bad Vatican! Cover up! Even the calendar is wrong! Blah blah blah blah!” It’s all very well to complain about cardinals, but they saw the Pope shot before their eyes on a Fatima day, and they saw him spared. Of course those in the know leapt to the conclusion that this was all about the Third Secret! Most people would!

    Let’s imagine that some famous apparition, like LaSalette or something, had prophecied that hundreds of towers would fall down, and then imagine that the World Trade Center disaster had occurred on the day of the apparition. Would people leap to the conclusion that the falling tower prophecy was about the World Trade Center? Of course they would!

    I’m not any kind of interpretation expert. But I believe that by the rules of interpretation of Biblical prophecies followed by folks like St. Augustine, it is generally supposed that one can mean many, and many can mean one. Something like “hundreds of people shooting” can be purely symbolic, mostly symbolic, or an indication that one attack is severe. Finally, if God gives a prophecy as a warning along with warnings to repent, He is telling people that the bad stuff in the prophecy can be softened or withdrawn if they repent.

    If you believe in Fatima’s message, surely you believe that the prophecies were given in order that the terrible happenings be softened or prevented? Else, what is the point of telling people to do so much stuff? And if it’s possible that this one happening was softened, shouldn’t you be glad of it, even if your Eeyore instincts reject the thought that nothing worse will happen? Why assume the worst, when you know those Vatican guys put on their underwear the same way you do? We’re all just Catholics together, doing our stupid best.

    Fatima is all about love, peace, and trust, not to mention sanity in the midst of a crazy world. I hate to see people tie themselves up in knots, instead of taking advantage of these wonderful gifts.

    Now, Mr. Phelan, I don’t know you, and you seem like a good egg.

    But if _all_ the people who complain and moan about the Third Secret on the Internet were really following Our Lady of Fatima’s advice every day, they’d be a lot nicer set of people, full of humble, gentle respect for their fellow man — even their fellow cardinal. It’s not a good advertisement for the glories of Our Lady, let’s put it that way.

  24. Titus says:

    For Something Completely Different:

    Father, did you change your RSS settings so that whole posts no longer appear in feeds? I only ask because format changes are usually announced in a post (plus my aggregator is getting truncated and I like using it!). I apologize for the “threadjack.”

  25. robtbrown says:


    1. If the Secret refers to the present mess in the Church, then it’s not a secret.

    2. The interpretation by Cardinal Ratzinger did not claim to be definitive. It is one possible interpretation. That’s why it was titled “un tentativo di interpretatione” (an attempt at an interpretation).

    The text of Lucia itself is loaded with allegorical language, which means it lends itself to various interpretations. One could be that the “great city half in ruins” refers to Christendom, and such an interpretation would include the present Apostasy.

    3. Having said that, I was surprised when I read Lucia’s text. It is hard for me to understand why the Vatican wouldn’t have released it for so many years.

  26. Jaybirdnbham says:

    Agreed that the Tablet’s article is deceptive rumor-mongering.
    That aside (and I hope this isn’t a rabbit hole), I struggle with two opposing mindsets concerning Medjugorje. One, is that I’ve never been there and Mother Church has not definitively ruled on it: therefore I feel I have no right to any strong opinion on Medjugorje.

    But the Second mindset is that two Bishops of Mostar in a row have condemned this alleged apparition as false. And things I’ve read point to a degree of rebellion against this local Church authority by the visionaries; that should NOT be the case if this were a true apparition by the Holy Mother. In real appearances of Mary such as at Lourdes and Fatima, HUMBLE OBEDIENCE was exhibited to Church authority, regardless of whether said authority was “wrong”.

    To me, the lack of respect for not one but now two Bishops says it all. A lack of humble obedience = false apparition. Am I looking at this too simplistically? And, considering my “mindset # 1”, do I even have a right to an opinion?

  27. lofstrr says:

    Yeah, it could happen, but…
    “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?”
    Got to remember to pick up that lottery ticket tonight. :D

  28. Thank you, robtbrown. for your tempered reply. In THE RATZINGER REPORT of 1984, when then Cdl Ratzinger was interviewed by Messori, the Italian Catholic journalist, he was asked point blank if he had read the Secret. Cdl Ratzinger said he had read the Secret, but he stated it was not released as the Church might be charged with sensationalism. He had no doubt what the Secret said and meant. He stated that anyone already had the tools for salvation in the Church,its Sacraments and Divine Revelation. The Ratzinger Report is still available.

  29. MichaelJ says:

    Don’t mean to single you out, but why on earth do people keep saying things like “Mother Church has not definitively ruled on it”??

    Honestly, what more are you expecting? Has the Church ever definitively ruled on a false apparition?

  30. rachmaninov says:

    Why has the CDF never once said the offical position is that of the Bishop of Mostar? Cardinal Bertone said clearly(for those whose hearts are still open on this matter)that the Bishop’s position was only his personal one and NOT representative of the Vatican.
    a perfect case where Rome makes itself heard would be the case of Vassula Ryden.There the CDF intervened officially.Also a question for all those here who maintain that to be obedient is to accept the bishop’s condemnation. If that were the case, then why did the bishops conference of former yugoslavia ever get involved?

  31. Suburbanbanshee: Thank you for your kind words. It is many years since I was a good or even fertilized egg. The message of Fatima is clear: conversion away from sin, to prayer and penance. All of us can accomplish these things with God’s grace. At the same time, we do have to be on guard (as much as our intellects allow) and to look at things objectively, without bringing our emotions into play. If a person or an authority is going to make decisions or statements, then that entity is going to have to answer to someone on the legality/practicality of that decision as Patrick Kennedy, Cdl Schoenborn and now the Obama administration have all recently learned.

  32. MichaelJ says:


    Why do you want a “definitive” statement from the CDF but then cite Cardinal Bertone? Isn’t he the Cardinal Secretary of State?

    I’ll ask my question in another way. Does the Church routinely and as a matter of course identify specific apparations or revelations as false (as you and many others seem to want) or does she normally simply state that there is no or insufficient evidence to conclude (as She has done in the case of Mudjugore) that they are of supernatural origin? In either case, who in the Church is normally and routinely charged with making such “definitive” statements?

  33. rachmaninov says:

    you didnt answer my question.I and every other follower of the events of Medjugorje dont need a statement from the CDF because we know we are not being disobedient in the slightest.Its a pity that some many people here think their own personal interpretation takes precedence over the Church.In fact you do exactly what you accuse us of doing.I ask again can anyone tell me why if Bishop Peric’s position is final then why did the bishops conference ever get involved?

  34. rachmaninov,

    “why did the bishops conference ever get involved”

    Because “these events under investigation have appeared to go much beyond the limits of the diocese” (Conference head, Cardinal Kuharic, Glas Koncila, 1987)

    Further up, you ask: Why has the CDF never once said the offical position is that of the Bishop of Mostar?

    The CDF acknowledges the bishop’s authority and position here – not for a final judgment, but for pastoral directives (most of which are being ignored to this day). In 2007 the Bishops of Tuscany sent out a fax to priests of the diocese with this statement:

    During the visit “ad Limina” of the Bishops of the Region of Tuscany, in the period 16/20 April 2007, we had a meeting at the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Secretary Monsignor Angelo Amato, who speaks to us of apparitions of Medjugorje, has invited us to make public the homily the Bishop of Mostar, in order to clarify the religious phenomenon linked to this site.

    The homily the CDF was referring to was the 2006 Confirmation homily in Medjugorje of Bishop Peric, which is seen at the bottom of the JPG of the fax. In that homily, the bishop, in part, stated:

    Therefore I responsibly call upon those who claim themselves to be “seers”, as well as those persons behind the “messages”, to demonstrate ecclesiastical obedience and to cease with these public manifestations and messages in this parish. In this fashion they shall show their necessary adherence to the Church, by neither placing private “apparitions” nor private sayings before the official position of the Church. Our faith is a serious and responsible matter. The Church is also a serious and responsible institution!

    This is important: The bishop himself acknowledged that the final decision rests with the Holy See (see bullet #5 here), but the Holy See has acknowledged his authority to govern the situation pastorally. Given the current status, it is not licit in the case of ANY apparition not yet deemed worthy of belief by the Church – including Medjugorje – to be promoted as if it is authentic. It is Catholicism 101. This can only happen after a cultus is approved by the Church, which has not happened. Hence, all those “messages” published are coming to people through deliberate acts of disobedience, not only by the seers who release them, but by those who are making them public.

    Since that date, the local Bishop has released many more documents, including an update in 2007 of his position: Me?ugorje: Secrets, messages, vocations, prayers, confessions, commissions

    He has also released a detailed study in late 2009, made available in English in January 2010 on the Questionable Games Surrounding the ‘Great Sign’

    On September 26, 2009 he released: Medjugorje Context, part II: what is Our Lady’s birthday?


    Medjugorje Context: Vlasic’s involvement — or: why the “Gospa” is a heretic

    and he updated pastoral directives for which he has not only the authority to issue, but the duty according to the 1991 Zadar Declaration and all subsequent communications (worded as “the local bishop, and the other bishops with him – not he with the other bishops).

  35. rachmaninov says:

    so you confirm what i said then-there is no disobedience from anyone who goes there.And that the bishop has no authority any longer to make an official judgement of the apparitions. Nobody denies that the Bishop has care of pastoral issues.And on the note about Cardinal Schonborn’s meeting with the Pope, i notice on your blog you ommitted the Cardinal’s words where he stated the commision’s findings would “certainly be good”(Positive for Medjugorje) Also Cardinal Tonini spoke on italian television several days ago on the programme “Mattino Cinque” This is what he had to say:“The position of the church in regards to Medjugorje has always been carefully observed. In this matter, I can tell you of how one day I visited Pope John Paul II. Two bishops were there talking to him, and the conversation casually fell on Medjugorje. One bishop was enthusiastic about it, while the other was rather doubtful. The pope cut it short by stating: ‘God’s grace is free to move how, when, and where it wants.’ This greatly impressed me, since I understood very well that the Pope rejoiced in knowing that the Virgin Mary still has the courage to appear in front of human creatures, to remind them that while time goes by, eternity comes, and it is in eternity that God’s plans are. By carrying the thought of eternity in our lives, we are then able to feel that we are God’s children. These are indeed the big promises which the Lord Jesus came to bring us: to let us know that God awaits us, that we are his children, that he is preparing to pour all his love upon us.
    “I repeat that such meeting – given that I saw the Pope so interested on the subject of Medjugorje – greatly impacted on me, and I told myself that perhaps the Lord’s grace wants to make itself felt even more and that the pope, in that instance, felt directly, personally called to this cause. This truly impressed me.”
    The cardinal then added: “The Catholic Church does not deem to own the apparitions. Our Lady is free to appear whenever she wants. The Catholic Church is very glad that God manifests himself through miracles and through Our Lady’s apparitions. The Church is obviously jealous and doesn’t want any follies to be introduced, it doesn’t want that there may be creatures who own the apparitions and make Our Lady say what they want her to say. This is an extremely delicate subject. The Church has recognised Our Lady’s right to speak; and naturally, since these are enormous treasures, the Church is jealous that some ‘inventory’ fables, prodigies or miracles may be introduced. This is why I am happy that the Archbishop of Vienna, whom I know very well, is present (appearing on Mattino Cinque); his word is a word of warranty.”
    Diane, i think you will find that in the history of authentic apparitions there is always trouble-its a form of purification.Cardinal Ratzinger stated this himself in 1999 in an interview.It happened in Lourdes, Fatima, to St Faustina, St Pio, Blessed Alexandrina da Costa and to Ida Peerdman.A similar thing is happening in Naju Korea. Its to be expected as is the persecution that comes from even well meaning priests and lay people.Ultimately Diane, the Church looks to what the effects are on the pilgrims. And the facts are: regular Mass-daily often, rosary, fasting, charitable work,prayer groups and a joyful-yes joyful living of the gospel.All you critics can throw at us is this false disobedience claim because you cant argue with the reality of the fruits that so many cardinals and bishops(as well as John Paul II recognised).Diane i have been there, ive seen with my own eyes things that ive never seen anywhere else.But If the Church says one day its false then i will accept that immediately and without any hesitation as will the vast majority of devotees

  36. rachmaninov,

    It is good to hit the enter key now and then to give some white space.

    so you confirm what i said then-there is no disobedience from anyone who goes there.

    As long as they are honoring that which then Archbishop Bertone stated in his letter to Bishop Aubrey in 1998 (Pr. No 154/81-05922) when he said they are permitted:

    “…on condition that they are not regarded as an authentification of events still taking place and which still call for an examination by the Church

    Do you know what this means?

    Do they respect the wishes of the bishop to not publish “messages”? Do they come home from their pilgrimage and publish messages all over the web and in publication? If so, then they are acting like children who need their mother to tell them to turn on the water when taking a bath.

    Are there people there setting up unauthorized communities? If so, they are disobedient.

    When they go on pilgrimage are they using prayers based on the apparition in public? If so, they are being disobedient.

    And on the note about Cardinal Schonborn’s meeting with the Pope, i notice on your blog you ommitted the Cardinal’s words where he stated the commision’s findings would “certainly be good”(Positive for Medjugorje)

    How do you know that “certainly be good” is good for Medjugorje, as opposed to “good for the Church” which would be a reasonable interpretation. I mean, it does not matter what is good for Medjugorje. What matters is what is good for the Church. And, what is good for the Church is Truth, because unity subsists in Truth. The bishop is standing on very solid ground doctrinally, especially in light of those recent documents he released. Have you read them?

    And that the bishop has no authority any longer to make an official judgement of the apparitions. Nobody denies that the Bishop has care of pastoral issues.

    The Church’s final judgment could come in the form of a arrow to the local Bishop’s position right from the Vatican website in some declaration. In other words, the Holy See could acknowledge the position of the local Bishop.

    Also, it is important to ask – will the bishop be involved in any such commission? Will he participate as a member, or as one who supplies data? If he supplies data, what kind of data will he supply? They will be interested in far more than fruits. You hear the word “events” a lot. The Church studies events before She concerns herself with fruits. One bad event, if she uncovers it, is enough to void the whole thing. Or, a combination of bad events (problematic messages, lack of docility towards the local bishop, disobedience in giving “messages” to be made available for the public that he said were for private use, etc.).

    Nobody denies that the Bishop has care of pastoral issues

    Then why did the pastor of the parish not formally notify the bishop that Cardinal Schonborn – a priest, was coming? They had time to make plans, but no time to follow explicit directives given on September 26, 2009 to this effect.

    Diane i have been there, ive seen with my own eyes things that ive never seen anywhere else

    You haven’t been to my parish then ;)

    I’m referring of course not to large crowds because crowds are not the center of our faith, Christ is.

    We have adoration, deep devotion for the Eucharist, the Rosary is led by the pastor or other priest after all Masses. Our confessionals are among the busiest in Detroit, and priests are generous with their time there. The priests encourage Eucharistic and Marian devotion, but discourage devotion based on private revelations not yet deemed worthy of belief.

    Also, I lived there from Nov of 1980 to Feb of 1983. So, I know all about fruits. But good fruits alone are not proof that a heavenly being is appearing to anyone associated with Medjugorje.

  37. rachmaninov says:

    good that you are now aknowledging that we are not being disobedient.We are allowed to hold a private view of what is taking place-so long as when a final judgement comes we accept that.
    My comment about things i had seen referred to events that would seem to be of a miraculous nature.One in particular which was personal -it happened at the same time to a young man next to me who is now a priest of Fr Groeshel’s order.
    I think you are stretching it a bit far in not taking the Cardinal’s comment about a good outcome to be not referring to Medugorje-considering his supportive attitude in the interview.
    It was not for the Pastor to tell the Bishop-in fact the Bishop himself said in his statement that the Cardinal could go wherever he likes.
    So Diane your parish is in Detroit-a large city in the USA-as opposed to a valley in the middle of Eastern Europe-of course there is no mass apostasy in the Church is there! Confessionals are brimming everyone adores the Lord and believes the doctrines of the Church, married couples are all using NFP. Nothing could be rosier, wich is why i presume you think Our Lady has no need to come anymore.
    Jesus himself said you will know them by their fruits.
    Why does the anti Medjugorje brigade (including the Bishop) have a different way of knowing than the Lord Himself?
    To me im on much safer ground by always following the Church in these matters rather than a twisted version which manipulates the truth. There have been so many lies from the anti brigade that you wonder where tjheir inspiration comes from-because pride doesnt come from God does it?

  38. rachmaninov said: good that you are now aknowledging that we are not being disobedient

    I didn’t say there wasn’t disobedience. I asked questions.

    My comment about things i had seen referred to events that would seem to be of a miraculous nature

    If you are referring to visuals, just keep in mind that the sorcerers mimicked many of the things done by Moses. Were those things heavenly?

    I think you are stretching it a bit far in not taking the Cardinal’s comment about a good outcome to be not referring to Medugorje-considering his supportive attitude in the interview.

    And, I think it is presumptuous to assume that by “good” we could surmise the Cardinal was referring to “good for Medjugorje” when he said no such thing.

    Again, what is good for the Church is what ultimately matters, not what is “good” for Medjugorje. All that is good is aligned with Truth.

    It was not for the Pastor to tell the Bishop-in fact the Bishop himself said in his statement that the Cardinal could go wherever he likes

    September 26, 2009 Statement (remember, Cardinal Schonborn is first a priest, then a Cardinal)

    Munus docendi:

    The rule is still valid that in the parish of Medjugorje priests coming from elsewhere are not permitted to conduct retreats or spiritual exercises, nor to hold conferences, without the approval of this office. (Circular of 23.8.2001, #1290/2001)

    Analogously, neither foreign nor domestic priests can promote alleged “messages” or “apparitions” which have not been proclaimed authentic in that church or on church property.

    The pastor and his staff are ultimately responsible for who speaks in their parish. The Cardinal did lend credibility to the alleged apparitions for many people, as the bishop points out:

    4) On December 29th, the Cardinal arrived in Medjugorje. He was followed by the media over the next few days. Reports say that he gave a speech in the church of St. James the Apostle, and while emphasizing the mercy of the Father, said: Who could make these things up? Who could invent this thing? Man? No, this is not a human act.

    Nothing could be rosier, wich is why i presume you think Our Lady has no need to come anymore.

    One should never presume what another thinks. You missed the point. The point is that you can have all of those most fundamental and distinctly Catholic things (daily Mass, daily Rosary, Adoration, Confession, penitential acts) without Medjugorje. They are highly effective avenues for grace and have been with the Church before Medjugorje. They will be with the Church long after Medjugorje.

    Why does the anti Medjugorje brigade (including the Bishop) have a different way of knowing than the Lord Himself?

    By what authority do you say such a thing? “A different way of knowing than the Lord Himself”?

    That’s an Apostolic Successor you are speaking condescendingly of, and on a matter for which the CDF backs him, as I have referenced already (read the memo from the Bishops of Tuscany to the priests of the Diocese – link added in one of my previous posts).

    “He who hears you, hears Me”.

    To me im on much safer ground by always following the Church…

    I missed it, rachmaninov. Did the Holy See declare the apparitions of Medjugorje to be worthy of belief?

  39. rachmaninov says:

    Diane ,
    sorry but i did not miss the point at all.The point is that in the Universal Church today there are small pockets of true believers here and there but overall there is a silent apostasy as Pope John Paul II said.You do not see the vast majority of catholics saying the rosary or attending Mass often and there is a crisis in vocations to all forms of religious life.
    Medjugorje is a “highly effective avenue of grace” because millions have been reconciled to the church through visiting there. That cannot be denied. As far as visual signs go i am well aware of the issue of sorcery but i can tell you that if satan is behind this then he has miscalculated badly because he despises Confession and taht is what Medjugorje is famed for.
    Tell me Diane, as you know full well that there is no disobedience in making a private visit there and holding a private belief until a final decision is made and bearing in mind the mass conversions that occur there-brothers and sisters of yours , what is it that causes you to be so against it? Is it because you see the fervour of these people as a threat to you own ideal of what a catholic should be? Medjugorje is a school of prayer-to pray with the heart not just lip service. That is what is at the heart of the message.

  40. Medjugorje is a “highly effective avenue of grace” because millions have been reconciled to the church through visiting there.

    But it is not proof that the Blessed Virgin Mary appears to anyone related to Medjugorje.

    “….what is it that causes you to be so against it? Is it because you see the fervour of these people as a threat to you own ideal of what a catholic should be?

    As I stated before, I lived there, I witnessed all those good fruits you speak of.

    I am not “against” Medjugorje, as much as I am “for” the Church and “for” Truth. Good fruits are not absolute proof of authenticity, and many condemned apparitions and private revelations are examples of this.

    What prompts my involvment?

    Attacks on the local bishop which I see as an attack on the Church. As one who once persecuted the bishop in discussions and online with the kind of trashtalk found in pro-Medjugorje sites, I know all about the contempt held by the movement. I was lied to by promoters and their manipulations were made visible. Coming out of it was a most painful process. You need to see an unedited transcript of an audio taped interview with one of the “seers” in the early days and compare that to what Fr. Laurentin and some of the other “reputable” theologians provided with their sanitized versions. Anything damaging about Medjugorje was filtered out or modified.

    Undignified exploitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The “gospa on demand” is outrageous. She doesn’t come if it is an inconvenience to a “seer”, when the scheduled apparition time conflicts with a soccer match. I’m waiting for the “gospa” to show up on the Las Vegas strip, preceded by Bobby Vinton singing Half-way to Paradise. This says nothing of the shameful exploitation at Caritas in Birmingham and their so-called “Bedroom of Apparitions”. This says nothing of the strange “messages” like this one from June 19, 1982:

    “Tell the Father Bishop that I request his urgent conversion to the events of the Medjugorje parish before it is too late. Let him begin by informing himself about all the events with great understanding, love and responsibility. I desire that he place no disunion between priests and that he should not emphasize their negative sides. I ask for his conversion to these events. I am sending him the ultimate warning. if he is not converted he will be corrected. My judgement, as well as that of my son, Jesus, will strike him. If he does not put into effect what I am giving him to know, please tell him that he has not found the path of my Son, Jesus.”

    What you see as an attack on “gospa” for me is a defense of the Blessed Virgn Mary.

    People are engaging in strange spiritualities that are foreign to our faith. The Rosary is valid. The Confessions (when not heard by one of the many priests in the diocese without faculties), are valid. Adoration is good. Penitential works are great. All this is good.

    What is not good is to link these things exclusively to Medjugorje as if they are inseparable. Those who cannot accept authenticity, which is our right, cannot be considered anti-Marian because it is often a great love for Mary that has us involved.

    You defend “gospa”; I’ll defend the Blessed Virgin Mary.

  41. I should have added in my post above, with regards to this quote: <iMedjugorje is a “highly effective avenue of grace” because millions have been reconciled to the church through visiting there.

    Medjugorje itself is not an avenue of grace. The Sacraments, prayers and devotions in accord with Catholic teaching on Mary are the avenue.

    It’s amazing that people will attribute those graces to an apparition not yet deemed worthy of belief, and there is no mention of them being attributed to the Sacraments. Alas! This is also very telling.

  42. MichaelJ says:


    Endless speculation about what this or that Cardinal thinks or about what Holy Mother Church may ultimately do is rather pointless and completely ignores what the Church *has already done*

    In her official capacity, the Church has already ruled that the apparitions at Medjugorje are not worthy of belief. Granted, there is credible evidence that this ruling is under appeal, so to speak, but it all seems to be extemporaneous comments by a few Church prelates and it is unclear if they were speaking in an official capacity or merely as a private theologans.

    The bottom line is that the Church has not deemed these apparitions to be worthy of belief, so you are using your own private judgement, at your own peril, to promote them and continue to believe.

    To a certain extent, I too am using my private judgement to determine that these events are, at best, a fraud, but I learned these skills from professor Big Bird on Sesame street. You know how the ditty goes – “One of these things is not like the other…”.

    I apologize for making light of your sincere beliefs but come on. Compare the events surrounding the purported apparitions at Medjugorje with *every other* approved apprition and it should become painfully obvious that Medjugorje is false.

  43. rachmaninov says:

    the Zadar Declaration is clear-at present it cannot be affirmed that apparitions are occuring-that is NOT the same as saying they are definately not occuring-but of course you know that anyway its just that you would rather not accept it.Strange really that the very people who claim to obey the Church dont actually accept what the Church says!
    Diane you might want to reflect on the fact that most people like myself who hold a private belief in the apparitions dont actually think very much at all about them-we are happy to leave that to the legitimate authorities.We have enough to do trying to lead lives that will please the Lord.Let me be clear. In my posts i have stressed the sacramental life of those pilgrims. Every grace found in Medjugorje originates from God-not an apparition. The Holy Spirit inspires all that is good-and there happens to be very much good there.ITs just not your agenda is it Diane-reeks too much of Vatican II, of inspiring the faithful to being joyful witneses in everyday life .Cardinal George last October was openely critical of conservatives who dont understand the role of the bishop and i think it describes perfectly the attitude of the anti Medjugorje brigade
    “Both liberals and conservatives, focus far too much on the bishops – how much power they have, and the ways in which they exercise it – and not nearly enough on Christ.”
    I can tell you a perfect example of how bishops get it wrong in apparition cases . in Naju Korea, the archbishop delared negatively because hes says Eucharistic miracles are against Catholic Doctrine-and yet another bishop (Dominic Su of Sibu Malaysia)who witnessed with his own eyes in his own cathedral a Eucharistic miracle when the visianry receieved Holy Communion from him declared officialy that the event was of supenatural Diane which bishop has the Charism there because it seems to me that the Holy Spirit is whispereing two contradictory things.
    I would be grateful if you could enlighten me

  44. MichaelJ says:

    That was my point. Saying that “at present it cannot be affirmed that apparitions are occuring” means that you are using your private judgement to determine that they are so you cannot lay the “disobedient” canard at my feet.

    In fact, even if, at some point, the Church approves these supposed apparitions, I am under no obligation to believe and neither is any other Catholic. I can remain a good and faithful and obedient Catholic and believe, for example that the events at Fatima were due to mass hysteria and had no supernatural origin at all.

    So, since you are already using your private judgement to determine that the events at Medjugore are of supernatural origin, I implore you to re-examine the evidence. Compare this to every other approved apparition.

  45. Nan says:

    What bothers me about the alleged apparitions and “seers” at Medjugorje is that the church teaches that I have no obligation to beleive in private apparitions yet those who do believe get combative when others indicate their lack of belief.

    Well, that and the disobedience to their local ordiinary.

  46. rachmaninov says:

    Please point out just one sentence in a post of mine where i have stated that you should accept these apparitions!MichaelJ the Church allows us all to hold a personal private belief until such time as an official judgement comes.The only point i have been interested in addressing is this lie about disobedience. There is no shred of truth in it whatsoever.You cannot be disobedient when the vatican has stated plenty of times that we are free to go there. Im not and never have been interested in “converting” anyone to the apparitions. But i have always been interested in proclaiming the truth when lies are used to try and exert pressure on catholics who have a right to believe. What annoys me more than anything is the arrogant nature of many traditionalists. Its why for many catholics traditionalists are seen as a kind of sect which does not speak for the real truth only a caricature of it.
    I for one defend the pope’s teachings ad follow them to the letter enough for one family member to callme a fanatic ,but woul i ever consider myself a traditionalist?No chance .

  47. MichaelJ says:

    I do not plan to comment on this further.

    Do a google search on “Approved Marian Apparitions”. For those deemed “worth of belief” by the Church note the following:

    1. Who (what sorts of people) Our Blessed Mother appeared to
    2. The effect of the apparition on those who met Our Lady (e.g. did they enter the religious life, or continue with their current vocation?)
    3. The miracles associated with the Apparition
    4. The duration of the Queen of Heaven’s visits
    5. The world and Church impacting events that were taking place at the time
    6. The personal profit realized by the seers as a result of the Apparition.
    7. The conduct of those graced by Our lady’s presence – did any disobey their Bishop?
    8. The theme and types of messages that the Blessed Virgin Mary left
    9. The content of the messages. Were any trivial, ambiguous or arguably heretical?
    10. The effect of the Apparition on Church Unity as a whole.

    Now compare this list to the purported apparitions at Medjugorje and you’ll find that it is different in every aspect. Since the Church has not deemed these to be “worthy of belief”, the burden of proof falls upon you to explain these differences and convince people that Medjugorje is not a fraud.

  48. JonM says:

    Before knowing much about Medjugorje, I thought it was quite possibly the modern Fatima.

    When I read even a cursory description of the alleged apparitions, it became immediately clear that this is either a total sham (unlikely, at least in the total sense) or a deception (likely).

    Mary never, never, never causes division between us and the bishop. She never has and will never. What do we see, increasingly so with this location?

    Beyond that, some of the statements attributed to Mary are absurd and frankly smack of something totally evil.

    Just because people have a conversion or enjoy a healing does not affirm an apparition. Some suggest that this could be one of the worst deceptions because it seems to lure people into a false sense of what the Church is, in a highly nuanced manner.

    MichaelJ lays out many problems. And this is just an overview.

  49. bob says:

    I live in Croatia and have visited Medjugorje numerous times over the past 20 years and thus am quite familiar with the situation. Most of the locals are quite aware that the Vatican will in all likelihood not, because of the nature of the events, officlly recognise them for at least a hundred years or so. Bishop Peri? likewise has no choice but to refute the claims no matter what he might believe. In fact he was sent to Mostar directly from Rome to take over the diocese.
    In my opinion, an unfortunate catch 22 situation has developed, where on the one hand the Church cannot acknowledge the apparitions, yet at the same time cannot alienate the millions of devout Catholics that visit there.
    Regarding some previous comments, nobody can purport to know how Our Lady should or shouldn’t act and therefore draw a conclusion as to the validity of the apparitions. I might also add that the translations, into English at least, of the messages are absolutely horrible and often skew the meaning completely. Also, a lot of weird, if not bad things have occurred surrounding Medjugorje, but as a Croatian saying goes, “where the Church builds a cathedral, the devil builds himself a chapel”

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