Medjugorje: An Alternate Perspective

In recent days there have been many harsh words written about the alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje. 

Howard Kainz, Marquette University professor emeritus, wrote a critical article published June 29 in Crisis Magazine about an invitation he received to attend five apparitions with Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic Lunetti.  The apparitions are slated to occur at the 2012 gathering at the Tabernacle of our Lady’s Messages at Caritas, in Birmingham, Alabama, between July 1 and 5. 

Kainz reported that

“…the Caritas group, however, is considered schismatic by the visionaries and priests at the pilgrimage center, in a part of what used to be Yugoslavia. On the “official” Medjugorje website we are warned that Caritas of Birmingham is a cult, something like a religious business, not approved….  But one of the visionaries, Marija, still comes regularly to Caritas in Birmingham, contributing to a local, in-house schism of an international cult that bespeaks a larger and ongoing schism with orthodox Catholicism.”

Kainz goes on to call the anticipated apparitions at Caritas “not just heterodox, but heretical.” 

“Jesus told us to judge trees by their ‘fruits’,”  Kainz finishes.  “In Medjugorje, numerous conversions have been reported, Catholics returning to the sacraments after many years, etc. But the main fruit, and the fruit closest to the heart of the devil, has been disobedience.”

Kainz’ article has been widely linked and reprinted:  on Deacon Greg Kandra’s blog, on Al Kresta’s blog, on New Advent and Pewsitter and more. 

Mark Shea has pulled no punches in condemning the apparitions.  He writes,

Medj is a fraud. Those who believe in it had been start asking themselves now whether they are going to trust the Church or this fake “vision” when Rome finds–as it will–that the local ordinaries are right to say that nothing supernatural is occurring there.

There are, indeed, reasons to proceed with extreme caution: 

  1. The local ordinary, Bishop Ratko Perić, bishop of Mostar, believes the apparitions to be untrue, explaining, “The numerous absurd messages, lies, falsehoods and disobedience associated from the beginning with the events and “apparitions” of Medjugorje, all refute every claim of authenticity.” 
  2. In July 2009 Father Tomislav Vlasic, who played a prominent role in promoting and publicizing of the apparitions, was defrocked by Pope Benedict XVI, following accusations of sexual misconduct, and accusations of exaggeration or fabrication of the visions.  
  3. The apparitions which began in June 1981 have been irregular:  The visionary Marija Lunetti (Pavlović), one of the six visionaries who claim to see the Virgin Mary at Medjugorje, receives messages on the twenty-fifth of every month, while Mirjana Soldo (Dragičević) reports that she receives messages on the second of the month.  Others have now received all of the “secrets” and so do not see the Virgin regularly. 
  4. Unlike many other Marian apparitions, the apparitions to Medjugorje’s six visionaries do not always occur at the same location.  So it is that Ivan Dragicevic could travel in the United States, experiencing an apparition at the appointed time but in a different chapel. 


Our Lady of Peace – Medjugorje

Yet there are reasons to hope that the “Gospa” (Croatian for “The Lady”) may, indeed, be offering her blessing and her wisdom to the world, even in this age. 

For one thing, Mary’s messages, some claim, are clearly consistent with her messages at Fatima or at other “approved” apparitions.  Her purpose is to call people to prayer, and to point them toward her son Jesus.

Many of the 30 million pilgrims who have traveled to Medjugorje, in the scenic mountain region of Mostar, have reported unusual visual phenomena. They claim to have seen the sun spinning in the sky or changing colors.  Some visitors have seen figures around the sun, such as a ring of crosses.  Some have claimed that their rosaries, brass or worn before the visit, turned to shiny gold in the blazing sun during an apparition. 

The visionaries attest to the effect that the apparitions have had in their own lives.  Said Ivan Dragicevic,

The apparitions have made a big difference in my life – the difference between heaven and earth. For example, I arrange my day now so that even during the day I find time to pray. Before, my life had no meaning. Now, I’m filled with inner contentment. The first time I saw Our Lady, a change occurred in my soul, and in my heart. Before, I often avoided prayer, but now the difference is so great, I really can’t describe it. I’m confident and not afraid, because I know who leads me, and therefore, I’m not afraid of death. People in our parish, and all people, should feel that way.”

CONFUSED?  The answer is coming.  The Holy See, after receiving many reports, both positive and negative, announced in March 2010 that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had convened an investigative commission to study the phenomenon.  Under the leadership of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, this body of bishops, theologians, and other experts is expected to report any findings to the CDF, which will then judge whether the apparitions are worthy of belief. 

*     *     *     *     *

AND ME?  I thought I would pop in here and offer some observations of my own, based on my very limited personal experience.  I was in attendance at two alleged apparitions about a decade ago—not in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but right here in the U.S., in New Orleans. 

BUT FIRST, I thought I would remind you that it doesn’t really matter what I think.  Eventually, after long and careful investigation, the Catholic Church will rule on whether this particular spiritual phenomena is “worthy of belief.” When that happens, I will follow the clear teaching of the Church. 

AND SECOND, I thought I would remind you that even if the Church approves the apparitions (which Mark Shea deems an impossibility), you are under no obligation to believe them or to follow them or to read about them or to change your behavior or your devotional life because of them.­ The Catechism of the Catholic Church (section 67) explain it thus:

That’s because the Church teaches that the “deposit of faith”—the full teaching as relayed by Christ through His Apostles, has been remitted 2,000 years ago, and will not change.  Nothing can be added or subtracted.  Our understanding of Truth may deepen with a new experience; or it may be expressed in a different way through the words of a contemporary theologian. 

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.”

 I was planning a conference in New Orleans, and was doing a site visit in the “Big Easy” when I received a most unique invitation:

Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic


Would I like to attend a Mass with Ivan Dragicevic, one of the Medjugorje visionaries?  

I was happy to accept; in fact, since my visit to the city (and Ivan’s) continued, I was privileged to be present for not just one, but two apparitions.  This is my report.

On the first evening, Ivan sat in the front pew of the packed church, the guest of honor for a private organization’s dinner.  He did not speak; but after Mass, a prie-dieu was brought forth and placed before the altar.  Ivan came forward and knelt at the prie-dieu.

For a few minutes, nothing happened.  We sang a few hymns, said a few prayers.  Then, Ivan’s countenance changed.  He looked ahead, upward, enthusiastically.  For perhaps ten minutes, as the congregation knelt in silence, Ivan listened and whispered to the unseen visitor. 

When it was over, Ivan crossed himself, then walked over to a microphone where he recounted the Virgin’s message for all to hear.  She had asked for a recommitment to prayer and fasting, talked about her Son’s love for His people.  She spoke kindly, warmly, like a doting mother encouraging her children.  It was too long ago, and I can no longer repeat entire sentences; but I was drawn at the time back to my childhood, back to a dog-eared book I’d owned (and read often) on “Our Lady of Fatima”—a monthly feature from the Catholic Youth Book Club.  It was as though I was hearing those messages which I’d read so often, now voiced by Ivan.

The following day, I was again invited to attend the apparition.  This time, the group was much smaller and we had Mass in a small chapel adjacent to the parish church.  We—perhaps 30 men, women and children—sat crowded in a circle in the small worship space, pushed together onto benches, chairs, steps.  Some were only a few feet from the altar where Mass was celebrated.

After Mass, again Ivan came forward.  Again we waited in silence and prayer—this time for a little longer, almost fifteen minutes.  And then she came. 

Ivan’s countenance softened, and he began praying, talking, especially listening.  The room was hushed as we gazed upon Ivan, and Ivan gazed upon the woman. 

Again, when it was over, Ivan stood and repeated the Gospa’s message.  This time, he said, she had been accompanied by the Archangel Michael. As Ivan pointed to where the armed angel had stood, I saw only furniture, a wall, even a person in the space.  Clearly, St. Michael was not troubled by the narrow quarters.

As before, the message was full of love—no, LOVE, all in capitals, love outreaching and  overflowing and covering us all.  And it was full of joy.  And hope.  And encouragement.  And most of all, the LOVE.

MY REFLECTION?  The master apologist C.S. Lewis, in his radio talk, presents what has been called the “Trilemma”:  the trifurcate phrase “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord.”  Lewis calls on his listeners (or readers) to make a decision about Christ:  Which of these was He?  Lewis’ argument is that Jesus claimed to be God; and if Jesus made such a preposterous claim, then one of three things was true:

  1. Jesus was a Liar—lying about His identity (which is morally reprehensible); or
  2. Jesus was deluded into believing that He was God, which would make him a raving madman (whom nobody would respect as a teacher). If that were the case, He couldn’t have been a great moral teacher.  Or,
  3. Jesus is what He says He is:  Jesus is Lord.  This is the only satisfying answer.

I found myself asking the same question that day, listening to Ivan. 

I was convinced beyond measure that Ivan was not a liar.  He did not have the flim-flam smoothness of a magician; rather, he was low-key and direct.  He may have been wrong, I reasoned; but I watched, I sensed, and I could not believe he was lying.  No, Ivan truly believed the story he was telling us, believed it more than I believed the sky was blue.  He was not a liar.

A second part of that “liar” question concerns financial impropriety.  I believe that Ivan did not benefit financially from his claim.  He supported his family, to be sure; but the largesse of the faith community gathered there was directed toward building a church, a shrine, a medical clinic at Medjugorje, and not toward Ivan himself.

Ivan was not a madman.  I watched as he blessed a small child, as he touched the shoulder of an older woman.  He’d never met them, yet he LOVED them with the love of Christ.  I’ve had that feeling, of being in the presence of a saint, a truly holy person, before in my lifetime—but not often.  He shook our hands, each of us, and although we just met, he loved me and he made me love him.

The last question doesn’t exactly apply.  Ivan is not Lord, nor does he claim to be.  What he claimed, though—that by some unimagined grace, he’d been chosen to bear a message from the heavenly realm—seemed the only logical answer to the searing question we all asked. 

Do I believe in Medjugorje?  I await Rome’s ruling; but I stand much closer to the “Yes” pole in the continuum than Howard Kainz, closer than Mark Shea, because of the things I saw and heard that week in New Orleans.

  • Claudia Satori

    Kathy – that is EXACTLY as I experienced my encounters with Ivan, and Fr Jozo. LOVE. My friends who have gone to Medj – the transformations are DRAMATIC. One friend on her 3rd or 4th trip, shared with her friend that they had arrived to late for Reconciliation, so she couldn’t receive Eucharist. At the time of distribution to the small group of 5 – 6,000, the priest walked off the altar to directly in front of her to give her Jesus. She tried to move past and the priest insisted. My friend still tends toward scrupulosity, but is way better.

  • John

    Caution…. everything you wrote about Ivan – how he prayed, what he said, the tenderness of expression and kindness to children… are things that men like Fr. Maciel did.

    Fr. Maciel said and did profoundly loving and gentle things too for those in his inner circle (or perhaps to strangers but for the edification of his inner circle). He’d not have fooled strong personalities and keen intellects with gross behavior or messages that ran close to heresy.

    Life is far more complicated than CS Lewis’ tripartate dilemna. True, bad or insane…. sure. But what about false but not bad? I.e. What if a person presents themselves as something they’re not (a believer) so as to gain some trust/benefit/personal ambition…. by means of parrotting or cobbling together a unique message tailored for some ‘market’.

    Say you’re a politician and you want power – so you begin ‘selling’ some set of policy prescriptions to certain segments of the population…… what if you don’t really believe your message? What if you’re just saying the words – willing to vote or genuinely advance that cause for the gratification of those voters – but without truly believing/loving it?

    Impossible? Hardly. I think it happens all the time politically so why wouldn’t it happen in the life of the Church?

    Does it take away from the ideology or policy or program being advanced if the champeon and proponent of those things isn’t a “true believer”?

    If you are a “big government politician” or a “small government politician” – would it matter to the people helped by your policy whether you genuinely believe your rhetoric or not?

    Most of us wouldn’t know or care if our President really believed in something so long as the ‘bottom line’ to us was positive.

    But it’s different when we follow our religious leaders isn’t it? Was Maciel an evil man or just a split personality/insane man who did horrific things in one personality while pretending to be a saint in another? We’ll never know his secret motives and intentions – all we’ll have to judge are his actions. But it’s not a given that someone’s performance lasting perhaps 2-3 hours proves their virtue and sanity. Plenty of world famous people can keep up appearances for hours or even days at a time before imploding and needing to ‘vent’ or take off the mask. Proof of sainthood (or a vocation!) typically takes much longer time and observation under different circumstances and conditions to ascertain (even in ourselves!).

    As for claims Medj isn’t supernatural….. if what Mark Shea and others claim about the Gospa is true then that can’t be the case either! If what they claim is true (a genuine something is appearing, that when touched felt like steel….) we’re dealing with SOME type of super-natural presence.

    So this calls for great prudence and patience and humility…. if the message or idea of a message from Mary helps our faith and living of charity, then great! Fr. Maciel and the Legionary message helped real people in a real way too…. countless people wouldn’t have been fooled had the message not been at least basic Catholicism 101… but precisely because it’s possible to fool people (not maliciously perhaps in that I doubt Fr Maciel sought to corrupt the Church, he just wanted to have an easy life…), we need to take extra care.

    So is it possible the visionaries aren’t part of a Satanic conspiracy to corrupt the Church or create a 5th column? Yes! Yes, it’s entirely possible that they just wanted to live a decent middle class life, escape Yugoslavia, help their extended families, bring in tourists to their province etc. and had no intention of anything greater/harmful. So they cobble together a basic message that’s vague enough to work over decades….doesn’t lead to any harm, but does allow them to have a basic middle class existence and sense of importance (which is a powerful emotion).

    Just as it’s entirely possible for Maciel to have done all he did with double intentions; to live a secret life of ease while also doing things that

  • MarkC

    While it is true no one is obliged to accept a private revelation, even one endorsed by the Church, Cardinal Ratzinger issues an interesting caveat about the vice of incredulity:

    “it is possible to refuse to accept such revelations and to turn from them, as long as one does so with proper modesty, for good reasons, and without the intention of setting himself up as a superior. [De Serv. Dei Beatif.]”

    So, even in the realm of private revelation, there is the danger of obtuseness. If God has deemed it necessary to send His Mother to earth with a prophetic message, there may well be a compelling reason for it.

  • MarkC

    On this matter of throwing the Holy Father Pope John Paul II under the bus (not to mention Mother Theresa) – on account of his private devotion to our Lady of Medjugorje; the Legion of Christ was founded in 1941 – nearly 40 years before the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II. It was not in his purview to discern the charism or mission of Fr. Maciel – that was a given.
    The idea that the Holy Father (or Mother Theresa) should have had some extrasensory perception and been able to see through the moral compromises made by this man is a stretch. Furthermore, the suggestion that this Pontiff of blessed memory was somehow defective in his mariology or his ability to discern a private revelation is patently unfair. Pope John Paul II may have had his administrative shortcomings, and is subject to fair criticism for many aspects of his 25 year tenure – however, his piety and his theological acumen are peculiar targets for the likes of Madrid, Shea et alia ..

  • Diane K


    Hopefully, the Holy Father, in his mercy for all concerned, will offer his judgment soon, and I do believe that will be the case (any time before the end of the year).

    Let’s start with some common ground items on which I think people from both sides would hopefully agree.

    1) Pursuit of the truth is more important than pursuing approval or disapproval of an apparition. No one should want a false apparition approved or a true apparition disapproved. When we pursue the truth, no matter where it leads, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us, no matter who ends up with some egg on their face, the approval or disapproval should be in harmony with truth.

    2) Good fruits on any alleged apparition or private revelation should never be viewed to the exclusion of bad fruits. If one group of people are going to elevate the good fruits they see, others should be able to discuss what they see as bad fruits. If the Church has not ruled, and it is okay to speak of good fruits, is it not equally just to allow for discussion of bad fruits?

    3) Since the Church concerns herself first with the facts (in pursuit of truth), before examining fruits, we should also be interested in the facts if we are going to devote ourselves to it and promote it to others. The CDF recently released it’s document on discernment of apparitions and I believe it has everything to do with an upcoming decision. I suspect we will see the Holy Father’s decision link back to the criteria. The Church has much experience with false apparitions where good fruits were seen. One case that comes to mind is that of Magdalena of the Cross. There were all kinds of phenomena involved and “miracles”. Bishops even consulted her. Decades later, she confessed to having made a pact with the devil (who enabled her to levitate among other things). There is an excellent collection of facts laid out by Glenn Dallaire here on Magdalena’s case here (and it ends well because she reconciled and underwent exorcism):

    4) While supporters of Medjugorje typically say that the alleged apparitions cannot be judged since they are ongoing, this is objectively false. We should all be able to agree that if a vision is ongoing and the Church approves it one day, the Church would have egg on her face if vision made a claim there are 4 persons in the Trinity the next day. In her wisdom, we do not find the Church approving apparitions while ongoing. However, there are numerous examples of visions and revelations being declared not supernatural while ongoing. Most recently, those affiliated with Holy Love were soundly condemned as not supernatural. (and the “apparitions” created their own decree the next day denouncing the diocese!)

    It is for this reason that people like Mark speculate that Medjugorje will not be approved. Here is what the Apostolic Nuncio said on March 17, 2010 to the people of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

    *************** Begin Quote *********
    From personal experience, every time I met the Holy Father he had great interest in the question of Medjugorje, a question to which he was directed from the very beginning that he became prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It deals with a question for which he feels responsible as the supreme head of the Church to pronounce a clear message.

    The Holy Father personally knows it very well and he has told me that several times – he is well acquainted with the whole phenomenon. He knows about the great good that is being done in this region by the priests, the Franciscan friars, and the laity. And on the other hand he asks himself how come there is information in such opposition to this phenomenon.
    ***************** End Quote **************

    Three times Archbishop D’Errico referred to Medjugorje as a “question.” He also reveals that while the Holy Father sees the good, he has concerns about things that oppose. I should add, that pro-Medjugorje sites have provided bad translations of this, eliminating the word, “question” in all three places, and creating one run-on sentence at the end making it sound like the Holy Father can’t understand why anyone would oppose Medjugorje.

    These words of the Nuncio leads many of us to believe a definitive judgment is coming. Could it possibly be he will simply speak a message without offering a judgment? Archbishop Puljic of Sarajevo – a commissions member says it will be a judgment. If a decision comes, approval is not likely precisely because the visions are ongoing. That’s just an objective observation.

    While I disbelieve in authenticity on many grounds (and I not only went there, I happened to be living there (1980-83). Recall, it began in 1981. I was discerning a vocation with the order of Franciscan sisters responsible for St. James (I’m of Croatian ancestry on my mom’s side). It is for that reason that I have written so extensively over the years. I was cautiously optimistic in the beginning, but later was led to have serious doubts.

    I am among those expecting a condemnation based years worth of studying facts. I’m aware of facts which have proven to be doctored by key people charged with being neutral investigators, and in a way that has kept facts which are not favorable to approval, hidden from the mainstream Medjugorje movement. Sadly, most ardent supporters refuse to look at those critical facts when presented and accuse us of being uncharitable for offering them in discussions. These expose objectively false information passed on in promoter materials. I am confident the Holy See did not dismiss those things in it’s investigation and if there is any chance this could be disapproved, it is more charitable to share it, than to withhold it.

    I will offer a few links in another comment for people to explore these things, if they wish.

  • Bob Sacamano

    So, I always wondered, the BVM appears to Ivan regardless of his location. Does she appear at the local time or does she appear at the local Bosnian time?

    Has she ever failed to appear to him and give him a message?

    It seems like Ivan can just bring her up anyplace anytime he wants. Isn’t that called conjuring?

    • Diane K

      The visions happen at 6:40 SAT (Standard Apparition Time) in the timezone where they occur.

      Now, there was a time when Ivan had an apparition at a different time. He was at a soccer match during SAT. It is little details like this that raise eyebrows.

      • Tominellay

        …I’m reading now in a pro-Medjugorje web site forum discussion that on some days Ivan has his normal 6:40 p.m. “apparition” and then a second “apparition” at 10:00 p.m., with his prayer group on Apparition Hill…visions on demand, literally…

        • Kathy Schiffer

          I’ve tried to maintain impartiality– but doesn’t the priest, during the Mass, call on Jesus to come and be with us, to enter the bread and the wine and so to enter our hearts in a special way? Don’t we all call on Mary to be with us, when we pray the rosary? So does the manner, the “on-call” nature of the apparitions, render them unbelievable?

          • Diane K

            Apples and oranges.

            There is a difference between calling on a heavenly being to come into vision, and calling them into our hearts for prayer.

            In the first case, we are talking about discernment of spirits.

            Take a look at the Holy See’s criteria for discernment of apparitions. It’s not long and is loaded with common sense. Also, take note of the ordering of things. If you try to discern something like this with feelings and emotions, you miss the more important things that should be considered.

            Put another way, I like mushrooms. If I go strictly on taste, I don’t really know if the mushroom I picked was poisonous or non-poisonous. Both sets can have good taste, and even a poisonous mushroom can have good nutritional value and vitamins. It may not be poisonous enough to kill at first, and may only cause some side effects, perhaps even some that feel good.

            With apparitions, it is the same. Somewhere, someone claims to have a vision, or hear a voice, or blood shows up on a Host. We can be motivated to pray, to go to Confession, etc., even through something false. I know people who are former Baysiders, who credit coming back to the Church, who became devoutly Marian through it – yet it was condemned as not supernatural. This doesn’t mean we should follow such things (and we should not); it means there can be some apparent good fruits at false apparitions.

            Discernment isn’t based on feelings or emotions; it’s based on some measurable criteria. While I can point to visionaries making money off of the alleged apparitions, the Holy See has ultimate discernment power. Supporters feel it is okay to take in some money to support themselves. However, if we look back at visionaries of approved apparitions, we see the opposite.

            A very good interview was with Cardinal Saraiva Martins, Prefect-Emeritus for the Congregation for Saints (and one has plenty of experience in discerning where grace is flowing). It too is rather short, and worth reading to ponder some of these points you raise, Kathy. He is very gentle with his explanations. Richard Chonak was kind enough to translate it from the Italian. Have a look here:

  • Diane K

    In follow-up to my last comment, I would like to offer those few sources which offer critical information. If you were to google “Medjugorje,” you could go on for pages in the search list and not find these. They are drowned out by pro-Medjugorje sites.

    I don’t think these sites have presented their views uncharitably. I do believe people who are attached to Medjugorje view anything critical, no matter how it is presented, as uncharitable.

    The Bishop

    The first place people should go to on any apparition is the local bishop. Keep in mind that there are apparitions like Bayside and The Diocese of Mostar-Duvno has a section devoted to it, with much of it in English. I especially recommend, as an example, the bishop’s document on the Questionable Games Surrounding the Great Sign; and, the study he released by Prof. Krammerer (includes impartial analysis of medical tests performed on visionaries). Krammerer was the President of the International Medical Committee at Lourdes. When claims are made, bishops may submit them for outside analysis to Lourdes.

    My own discernment meter rises to the red zone when I see attacks against a local bishop because of a private revelation or apparition, most especially when people are discouraged to read his public statements. Moreover, I can’t reconcile Blessed Virgin Mary – a model of humility and obedience – condoning the protection of alleged apparitions of her unto spreading untruths, and speaking condescendingly of a bishop, even if he were entirely wrong about his judgment. The followers of St. Faustina did not have a systematic campaign against the hierarchy involved with setting her writings aside. Years later it was learned that bad renditions had been sent to the Vatican and once that was cleared, yielded official devotion to Divine Mercy. Their humble response demonstrated graces at play.

    Here are some key sites with some background on each.

    1) Louis Belanger is a retired University of Montreal researcher (paranormal psychology) who has devoted decades to studies on this, and collected data – including films in many of his posts, some of which he took as part of his work. The first hours, days, and weeks are of importance to any investigation because it is when facts are most pure. Facts tend to shift with time. Louis worked with Fr. Ivo Sivric, OFM who was born and raised in Medjugorje. The two teamed up and put their research together in a book called, The Hidden Side of Medjugorje. Louis has a website where he continues to analyze facts and prove out distortion of facts. He is skilled in objective analysis. Details matter, especially when words said by visionaries one day are either altered or omitted in supportive books by proponents., then propagated by others writing books and doing studies (a true study looks at both supportive and critical information). The Hidden Side is a gold source, with an index that takes up over 1/3 of the book. It includes translations of tape recorded transcripts of the visionaries during the early days – two different translations (one by a critic and one by a supporter and they are pretty much in harmony). These are unfiltered and unedited so people can have context. Louis has devoted time to analyze some current articles in light of facts. He recently took Andrea Tornielli to task, and the Italian journalist got involved briefly in his combox. Louis’ site has an English and French section.

    Donal Anthony Foley of the UK has released his second work, Medjugorje Revisited, which also makes use of those transcripts. He too provides analysis to uncover problematic statements, contradictions, and curious omissions found in promoter materials.

    Italian researcher, Marco Corvaglia has a very detailed site which again, exposes problematic statements, contradictions and omissions. Marco also looks much closer at claims of miracles and on scientific testing of visionaries. The testing was far from robust and the visionaries were far from cooperative in terms of being together in the same place at the same time. Researchers finally gave up. When people limit themselves to rosy information and see images of electrodes on the heads of visionaries they don’t learn these things. Like, Louis, Marco has made it a point to expose the fallacious attacks against the local bishops of Mostar, including claims that he collaborated with the Communists to take down Medjugorje (find Part 1 and Part 2 in this list). Marco offers his material in English, Italian and French.

    Lastly, I’d like to offer a blog I author, which is devoted to the subject of Medjugorje. I have not updated it in a while, but there are some interesting links and material. Some of these are external, to sites listed above, but I organize them in a way that may make it easier to find. One of the things I want to point out is the decree, Romanis Pontificibus, which is at the center of a conflict which exists between the Franciscans and the Holy See (many refer to this as “the rift between the bishops and the Franciscans). This decree was not available in English until I had it translated from Latin by a canonist in late 2010. There are distortions about this on pro-Medjugorje sites too, but decrees of the Holy See don’t lie. I personally believe that the situation with the Franciscans is of equal, if not greater concern than Medjugorje itself, and Medjugorje has created complications for resolution.

    • Kathy Schiffer

      Thanks, Diane! As always, you have much to offer!

      • Diane K

        But, I am not gifted with brevity.

        I meant to explain something about Caritas in Birmingham. That is a very strange place with strange circumstances. They once held Masses in the fields there, but the local bishop forbid it, and priests are not suppose to participate in any liturgical activities there. When Bishop Baker took over, he upheld the previous bishop’s directives.

        Also, that one visionary would be pitted against another visionary with regards to Caritas and visions there is very telling. The key word is harmony, and it is lacking in many ways.

        Marco Corvaglia has put together two posts which dig into some interesting details. It’s drifting into a kind of protestant fundamentalism.

        - Part 1 is here (and you are led to Part 2 at the bottom).

        They even have a “Bedroom of Apparitions” there.

        The Holy See has all of this, I’m sure. They can discern it. For anyone else concerned, it’s good information to ponder.

  • Klaus

    Please don’t encourage impressionable souls to embrace a fraud which has been condemned repeatedly by the competent authorities of our hierarchical Church. There are plenty of APPROVED apparitions out there for those who want them – why go chasing deeply implausible, and unapproved, ones, which have set a bishop against some of his supposed faithful, and contain material of doubtful orthodoxy.

    Anyone out there who hasn’t decided to put emotional response above God-given reason should read Donal Foley’s devastating Medjugorje Revisited. It has everything one needs to recognize the wisdom of the local ordinary – soon, no doubt, to be confirmed by Rome.

  • MarkC

    There are, of course, a plethora of Medjugorje hater sites – some very zealous folks indeed; usually very easy to spot – it’s like trying to discern the political slant of MSNBC. There is a lot of mud splattered but no accountability for failed arguments, debunked facts and outright spin. No academic or theological credentials are necessary. The one with the biggest bullhorn wins.
    On the other hand, there are scholars like Dr. Mark Miravalle at the University of Steubenville who successfully defended his doctoral thesis at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome: “The Message of Medjugorje: A Postconcilar Formulation of Lourdes and Fatima.” Dr. Miravalle presented the thesis of the complete conformity of the Medjugorje message with the teachings of the Gospels and the Church Fathers in its foundational elements, and with the Second Vatican Council, its postconciliar teachings, along with the approved messages of Lourdes and Fatima in its developmental themes.
    For a balanced, expert treatment of many of the common issues raised regarding Medjugorje see:

    • Diane K

      There are, of course, a plethora of Medjugorje hater sites – some very zealous folks indeed; usually very easy to spot …

      First, people can note the hyperbole in this statement. If there are a “plethora” of such sites, how is it that one can click page after page of search results on “Medjugorje” and not encounter a single critical site among the dozens of supportive sites?

      On the other hand, there is no shortage of shamefully calumnious pages to be found at pro-Medjugorje sites when it comes to discussing the bishops of Mostar.

      Ponder this very carefully: That is what caused me to get involved in discussions on Medjugorje in the first place. There is no need to trash solid, orthodox bishops, even if they were wrong in their discernment. Grace would be evident in humble, docile followers who, despite their disagreement with those bishops, place their trust in Holy Mother Church to bring about resolution according to God’s will, without insidious, fallacious, vicious attacks from within the Medjugorje movement. The Holy Spirit does not need that kind of “help” to resolve conflicts that arise between apostolic successors and followers of unapproved apparitions. It demonstrates lack of faith and grace.

      Moreover, it is very problematic when, in the whole of Bosnia & Herzegovina, as well as in all of Croatia, the visionaries are not permitted to have visions on Church property, yet bishops in the US, Germany, Italy and other countries permit this. It was basic protocol – protocol that never needed to be spelled out, that visionaries of alleged apparitions which have not been given approval at any level of the Church, would not be given a platform (having visions and promoting them on Church property). This was Episcopacy 101. The reasoning behind it was simple: Don’t do anything that will lend credibility before the Church can complete the discernment process.

      When bishops welcome visionaries of unapproved apparitions in their cathedrals and parishes before the Church deems them worthy of belief, they damage collegiality and cause division among the faithful. This too is a fruit.

      In 30 years from now, we won’t just be looking at the good and bad ways the faithful were affected by the case of Medjugorje, we will be using it to study the way affected harmony at every level of the Church.

      I think it is fine for people to hope Medjugorje is approved as we await a judgment from the Holy Father. What is not okay is to engage in activities that cause division, and incitement of hatred and contempt of the local bishop. Accusing the bishop of collaborating with the communists to take down Medjugorje crosses the line.

      Something worth pondering: Can. 1373 – A person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or provokes subjects to disobey them is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties.

      • Diane K

        Oops – major fail on ending the bold feature. My apologies.

      • mgseamanjr

        It is a fact that there are a LOT of anti-Medjugorje sites on the web. You yourself, Diane, spend a great deal of time to this endeavor and even admit above that you have a website devoted to it. Stating above that all you find are pro-Medj. websites that rip the local bishop is the equivalent of hyperbole. It is also disingenuous of you to ban folks from posting critiques of your views on your websites (something Mark Shea does as well–by the way, Mark Shea’s recent postings are dripping with arrogance). Clearly, you are both more interested in protecting your online reputations than letting your readers probe for the truth.

    • Edward J Baker

      So the pro-abortion Gospa (“all religions are the same” implying pro-abortion religions are “just lile” the Catholic religion) is in conformity to Catholic teaching?

  • steve ryan

    thanks for the article…it is always good to hear from somebody who actually opens their mind and takes the time to go and investigate (attend an apparition or go to medjugorje) My understanding si the local bishop has never spoken with the “seers”

    • Edward J Baker

      Your understanding is false. The bishops caught the “visionaries” in numerous lies in personal interviews.

  • MarkC

    As I said, the one with the biggest bullhorn wins..

  • http://None. J.H.M.O.

    I’m an idiot when it comes to computers and the internet. Yet even I, by simply entering in a Google search the phrase “diocese of Mostar”, was able today to readily pull up the English versions of the website of the diocese of Mostar-Duvno, which gives quite readable English versions of the public statements of the two successive bishops there (Zanic then Peric) about the alleged apparitions at Medjugorie. So, to anyone really interested in the statements of the official representatives — that is, the bishops — of the Church, simply get the statements “from the horse’s mouth”!

  • JustinT

    Very disturbing information about what EWTN, priests of Medjugorje parish and former members living for many years in the community and their closest relatives had to say regarding Caritas of Birmingham and Terry Colafrancesco are here:

    Caritas of Birmingham and “A Friend of Medjugorje” Terry Colafrancesco, Alabama

    Many think that Caritas of Birmingham is a cult and there are plenty of red flags to be convinced about it:

    Friend of Medjugorje (Terry Colafrancesco) and “Caritas of Birmingham” a cult?

    Caritas of Birmingham former members testimonies

    Caritas of Birmingham and money

  • Paul

    Hmm he´s definitely not a liar – based on your own personal observation? Well all anyone has to do is search “medjugorje false apparition” on youtube and click on the first video to see irrefutable evidence that one “visionary” has faked apparitions and then lied to cover them. For me, Medjugorje lost all credibility a long time ago and I pray that whatever the Church decides people will be faithful.

  • john konnor

    “Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.>>> since Jesus said he is truth…. the church is his mystical body… the apostles are the rightful succesors… we are obliged to offer practical obedience to the local ordinary… not what we think is right (subjectivism) … God is transcendent without revelation through scripture and his supernatural church and the certitude that comes from the gift of faith we could never on our own know any of this… Jesis is the shepherd…Jesus is the church… the collegiality of the bishops is directly derived from the pope… the enemy divides to conquer… when we are drawn outside the sheepfold which the tenure of obedience affords we become scattered and are more prone to errors…. stick with what the church and her bishops say…

  • Humphrey

    I do not at all support Medjugorje Since it is not Approved by the Church. That is it. Personally it sounds over the top very different then Akita Lourdes or Fatima. What I have read also contradicts the catechism of the catholic church, Many people laim to have seen Martians & are completely convinced of this. I recently had an interesting dialogue concerning Blessed Pope John Paul II & Fatima this person a Traditional Catholic , Had posted a video clip of Fr.Gabriel Amorth he was talking about Fatima & Pope John Paul’s consecration. He stated That Pope John Paul II was not allowed to say Russia. This person who posted the Video was insisting that the consecration was not valid. I presented the other side of the argument, interviews with Sr.Lucia, & Also a former employee of Fr.Gruner’s who pretty much exposed Fr.Gruner as a fraud. Interesting that they were quite ignorant about Fatima, When I mentioned, for Instance William T Walsh’s Book about Fatima They snapped who’s Walsh. When i took direct quotes from Sister Lucia mentioning Pope Pius XII consecration they knew nada they only were interested in Fatima Network and sensationalism. Many Traditionalist do not support Medjugorje but support Bayside Prophecy?? I very much like Fr.Gabriel Amorth, I read some of his books, interesting to note this “so called” Traditionalist read none of them they only knew their sound bite from a youtube video. which they completely misinterpreted & twisted . I was also told about Mr.Salza an ex Mason, who has appeared on EWTN and states The Consecration was not valid. I was told but if he was on EWTN it must be true, I presented evidence of contrary opinion from EWTN Library, When I told them That Fr.Gabriel Amorth supported Medjugorje They said NO HE DOES NOT. He is the HEAD Exorcist. they had chanted this throughout our dialogue. I ignored this silly statement he is an exorcist for the diocese of Rome. I then presented them with Fr.Amorth’s Interview in his own words how he supports Medjugorje. They were truly upset by all the evidence i presented that was factual They said I will delete this conversation since its to upsetting . They did not want their friends to see the truth & know Fr.Amorth supports Medjugorje.They also lied about deleting the information i posted. I realized something about this person that they were not interested in the truth & they were a liar working for the Prince of Lies. and are a sad pathetic caricature of the Catholic Church. . never ever would assume I know more then Pope John Paul II, I can assume that he prayed very very very hard over Fatima that is why he did the consecration again 1984. Can you imagine the sacrifices he offered. For the first time I thought about this, This was a very Holy Man very dedicated to Our Lady. I am sure he fulfilled Our Blessed Mother’s wishes, Gods ways are not ours. We are fools and as a very great Priest who was devoted To Fatima stated, I love going on pilgrimages To Lourdes Fatima but I can see Jesus every day in the Blessed Sacrament. Sister Lucy before she died in an interview stated “he who is with the pope is with God, He who is not with The Pope is not with God. This is something many so called Traditionalist & others need to know. Our Lady’s warning was about disobedience To The Holy Father. Penance Penance Penance, Pope.John Paul when confronted by these fanatics held up the Rosary.
    .All the faithful of Christ must believe “that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold primacy over the whole world, and that the Pontiff of Rome himself is the successor of the blessed Peter, the chief of the apostles, and is the true vicar of Christ and head of the whole Church and faith, and teacher of all Christians; and that to him was handed down in blessed Peter, by our Lord Jesus Christ, full power to feed, rule, and guide the universal Church, just as is also contained in the records of the ecumenical Councils and in the sacred canons. God Bless The Holy Father!

  • John

    I have been twice. My conclusion ? It’s a fake

  • johnkonnor72
  • Frances B

    Well I’ve been praying for discernment….Saw Ivan last night, nice Mass. sat in the front pew. He looks like a man just trying to make a living, and using the alter of our precious Jesus to do it… who wouldn’t rather be getting all your families bills paid, living in Peabody, MA than to be picking tobacco in a fallen country….if kind of think he got himself into a mess with the “daily talks with Our Lady, though, and now he’s stuck with it…….needless to say….any of us could have pulled off that “gig”….so I got up and left……as anyone with even the slightest degree of answer to prayer for discernment would have done….Thank you God, you truly have answered my prayers…..

    • Honesty777

      Ivan as the rest of them have had Scientific studies done some of which were blasting decimals in thier ears so high there ear drums should have burst..pricked with pins and dirt put in thier eyes..Burned with cigarettes and science says we know they are normal. They say they are seeing and hearing something and it’s like they are outside of time..Now take it up with Science!!!

      • Edward J Baker

        If you believe these “studies” ever occurred, there is still a bridge in Brooklyn up for sale.

  • Lizzette l Lespier


  • Edward Baker

    The mother of God is not a clown as she has been presented
    by these phonies at various times. She does not predict sports scores. She does
    not believe that all religions are the same. She does not make deals with the
    devil to perform a guest appearance. She does not claim that if the town drunk
    had not thrown a bloody handkerchief into the river the world would have ended.
    She does not side with Luther and claim that we have no need for intermediaries
    like priests. She does not insult the local bishops. She does not approve of
    the sin of pride in wanting rosaries to turn to gold.

    But Gospa has promoted of these idiocies and more. By the way,
    you might want to consider the significance of Ivan having said a couple of
    decades ago, in a rare slip of honesty, that he’s not sure what he is seeing.

    • Honesty777

      Why do you Lie?

    • Honesty777

      My 3 year old daughter and my Rosaries turned gold ..Wake up your not Mary! How is rosaries turning gold a sin of pride? We hadn’t a clue it would happen never even thought about it and simply thanked her for the grace!

      • Edward J Baker

        I said wanting rosaries to turn to gold is a sin of pride. There is no grace at all in ostantatious clownishness. There is only insult to the Mother of God in treating her as a clown by claiming this falsehood about her.

      • Christine Niles

        The devil can ape such mystical phenomena. It means nothing.

  • Honesty777

    I have been to Caritas last July 1st through 6th,First of all Marija barley speaks English. The people who live there are very Traditional Catholics and make a living with there own hands and a lot of very hard work. They are not a cult they are more Catholic then most of us.Most Bishops in America are Masons and Communist’s driving around in Limo’s and many have body gaurd’s,Destroying our faith they lied about what Pope John Paul 2 said when they said he said we can now have Alter Girls. He never said that at all. Alter girls and Eucharistic Ministers,Pope Benedict XVl read his Letter and it said” Alter Girls can only be used where boys can’t be found . Eucharistic Ministers are extra ordinary Eucharistic Ministers that can only be used when a Priest can’t be found..They can go to the Home bound and those in the Hospital but only when there is no Priest and they can’t be in the Church at all giving out Communion as the Priest is there..Our Bishops Lied to all Americans.After Pope Benedict read Blessed Pope John Paul 2′s letter i went to a Priest and he said ” It is a Veil of tears a Veil of tears”..He also agreed the Bishops lied to us. Come August the Bishops have done nothing to stop us from paying for Abortion ,Sterilization, Birth Control,and Abortion inducing drugs. So we as Catholics can’t put any money in the Baskets because it will go for this and we can’t have innocent blood on our hands when we meet our maker. Most American Cardinals and Bishops bottom line is Money!
    That Bishop in Alabama is only concerned about Money ..because there isn’t anything to approve of or disapprove of at Caritas. They are Catholics living and working together. Priest do go there too, also remember Lasalette Messages Cardinals against Cardinals Bishop’s against Bishop’s Priest’s against Priest’s.”Many of the Clergy are heading for Perdition and taking their Flocks with them” That is what Mary said and that is approved by the Church! Bishop’s will have to figure out some other way to have health care as most of us don’t have it either. Come August many of us have to stop giving to our Churches..Because insurance isn’t free Obama is a Liar and we aren’t paying for it but then our Bishop robbed the seminary fund and said we needed to put it back so he wouldn’t have to take out a bank loan..He never told us what he had to steal our money for just that we needed to put it back..I think not!!! These Bishop’s live like kings..Not one Apparition has ever been approved in America but the one in the Kentucky,Ohio,Indiana area rivals the Vatican and still no Bishop approves it even though everything Our Holy Mother said has come to pass there! Bishop’s have too much power they act like miniature Popes! Medjugorje is real as real as Saint Josephs Church in Cold springs Kentucky,the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood Ohio, and the Immaculata church in Cincinnati is real.For those who believe no explanation is necessary . For those who don’t believe no explanation will ever be enough!

    • john konnor

      …to take thomas aquinas’s famous words and fallaciously quote them out of context is of course expected according to the character of the spirit of medjugorje where white is black.. “For those with faith, no evidence is necessary; for those without it, no evidence will suffice.”-thomas aquinas…he was referring to faith not presumption…to believe in medjugorje when the church has not made a prouncement and to flout the authority of the local bishop is arrogant and an insult to Jesus who established apostolic succession through the great commission…so we see that the fruits of medjugorje are to attend eucharist expecting a tender and loving encounter with Jesus with the intention of strengthening the communion of the church ..however in the meantime you hate on the bishops who are the spiritual shepherds which indeed damages unity within the church…obedience is penance for the reason and helps conform us to God’s will mortifying our own…that is why we have bishops in the first place..if the bishop is not exhorting us to sin and acting within his proper tenure then we have no reason to we see happening in medjugorje….it doesn’t make sense how someone can be so spiritually complacent as to think they can love two masters..namely themselves and Jesus at the same time..this is where a house divided against itself cannot stand…the house itself taken symbollically is our soul…either they follow Jesus and what he tells us through the church..or they do as they want…what we have in medjugorje are thousands of protestants who by a combination of the permissive and perfect will of God have been baptized into the catholic church …and we are all ardently praying that they apologize to the local bishop and fall into communion with the true church before the cult of personality cracks and splits the church any further…indeed a chastisement for our sins…we dont need to wait for any chastisement since the phenomenon of medjugorje itself ..IS…the chastisement or the test to see who loves God for the sake of self-sacrifice and who loves God for consolation and a great reward…just a thought thanks… :-)

  • john konnor
  • FMcGonigal

    “She had asked for a recommitment to prayer and fasting, talked about her Son’s love for His people.”

    All religions pray and many of them fast. Christians already know that Jesus loves them. Do we really need Our Lady to appear in person thousands of times to affirm all this? What would be valuable is something profound and verifiable within reasonable time. This has been dragging on for three decades and it is time it was settled one way or the other. Whichever way it goes there will be many Catholics (on both sides) who will have their faith sorely tested. But prolonged procrastination will just delay the inevitable.

  • jim

    Great and balanced argument Kathy. I have been studying Medj a little and it is quite amazing the amount of rhetoric and accusation that are flying about on the web. I have never seen anything like it. It is like a war.. the water is too cloudy and the victim is truth again
    your explanation took me a step close to believing as well because what you say rings true. There is of course the history lesson of Kibeho and Rwanda. Let us all not wait till the church makes her pronouncement to change our behavior’s remembering that a big part of the church’s reason for approval was the accurate prophesy of holocaust. Must we wait till the secrets come to pass before we change?

    • Christine Niles

      Letter dated Oct. 2013, from Cdl. Vigano, Apostolic Nuncio, on behalf of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, regarding Medjugorje:

      “[T]he Congregation [of the Doctrine of the Faith] has affirmed that, with
      regard to the credibility of the ‘apparitions’ in question, all should
      accept the declaration, dated 10 April 1991, from the Bishops of the
      former Republic of Yugoslavia, which asserts: ‘On the basis of the
      research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were
      apparitions or supernatural revelations.’ [Non constat de
      supernaturalitate] It follows, therefore, that clerics and the faithful
      are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public
      celebrations during which the credibility of such ‘apparitions’ would be
      taken for granted.”

      Catholics shouldn’t even be attending these public sessions with Ivan, and he is in disobedience for continuing to do so against the express wishes of his bishop.

      Regardless of all the conversions, the devil will do anything to promote disobedience. Wise Catholics would do well to stay far away from Medjugorje.

  • Mrs. Agnes Robinson

    I’ve been to Medjugorje 3 times , and if I could I would go ever year ; I can’t believe some of the comments that have been written below . Have any of them read Sister [ she was a Nun ] Anne Catherine Emmerich’s visionary book [ 4 volumes ] on ‘the Life of Jesus Christ’ ; especially his passion and the abominable treatment and unspeakable atrocities and violations he received at the hands of Pharisees , the soldiers , the executioners and the baying mob , some of which the Pharisees paid to incite the crowd ? It’s an eye opener , and there is information in there which is not in the Catholic bible . The Visionaries of Medjugorje are living saints , and , probably not in my time , they will one day , probably long after their deaths , be declared as deceased Saints !
    So many extraordinary things happened for me in Medjugorje and continue to do so since ! The latest message I have had this week came after I said the part of the catholic creed …”you ascended into heaven where you are seated at the right hand of the Father , the Almighty ; from thence you shall come to judge the living and the dead ” ; no sooner had I finished saying those words , when , I can only describe what happened next as a transfer of knowledge internally , a bit like mental telepathy , and I was given the following words internally to describe the message …”woe to this world and all it’s people “. Holy Mary’s messages have been ignored by many ; she is our most sacred and eternal blessed Mother, Queen of heaven , all nations and Queen of Peace . The Pharisees , who were supposed to be representing God our Father , never listened to his most sacred and divine son – Holy Jesus ; and this is being repeated today by those who should know better ; there is a prayer called ‘Why do you ignore my Mother’ ; he is sending her into this world and speaking to us through his Blessed Mother and through these Visionaries ; the world needs to sit up and really listen !

  • Pmpc Australia
  • Larry

    The “Apparitions” were a means of a cover-up to hide the Serbian Holocaust by Roman Catholics!

    During the Second World War in Yugoslavia, Catholic priests and Muslim clerics were willing accomplices in the genocide of the nations Serbian, Jewish and Roma population. From 1941 until 1945, the Nazi-installed regime of Ante Pavelic in Croatia carried out some of the most horrific crimes of the Holocaust (known as the Porajmos by the Roma), killing over 800,000 Yugoslav citizens – 750,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 26,000 Roma. In these crimes, the Croatian Ustasha and Muslim fundamentalists were openly supported by the Vatican,
    the Archbishop of Zagreb Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac (1898-1960), and the
    Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini. Many of the victims of the Pavelic regime in Croatia were killed in the war’s third largest death camp – Jasenovac, where over 200,000 people – mainly Orthodox Serbs met their deaths. Some 240,000 were “rebaptized” into the Catholic faith by fundamentalist Clerics in “the Catholic Kingdom of Croatia” as part of the policy to “kill a third, deport a third, convert a third” of Yugoslavia’s Serbs, Jews and
    Roma in wartime Bosnia and Croatia (The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, Vladimar Dedijer, Anriman-Verlag, Freiburg, Germany, 1988).

    On April 6th 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia. By April 10th, Croatian
    fascists led by Ante Pavelic were allowed by Hitler and his ally Mussolini to
    set up a “independent” puppet state of Croatia. Hitler granted “Aryan” status to Croatia as his fascist allies carved up Yugoslavia.

    Pavelic had been awaiting these developments whilst under the auspices of
    Mussolini in Italy who had granted them the use of remote training camps on a Aeolian island and access to a propaganda station Radio Bari for broadcasts across the Adriatic. As soon as the new fascist state of Croatia was born, and campaign of cold-blooded terror began.

  • Christine Niles

    Letter dated Oct. 2013, from Cdl. Vigano, Apostolic Nuncio, on behalf
    of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, regarding

    “[T]he Congregation [of the Doctrine of the Faith] has affirmed that, with
    regard to the credibility of the ‘apparitions’ in question, all should
    accept the declaration, dated 10 April 1991, from the Bishops of the
    former Republic of Yugoslavia, which asserts: ‘On the basis of the
    research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were
    apparitions or supernatural revelations.’ [Non constat de
    supernaturalitate] It follows, therefore, that clerics and the faithful
    are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public
    celebrations during which the credibility of such ‘apparitions’ would be
    taken for granted.”

    Catholics shouldn’t even be attending these public sessions with
    Ivan, and he is in disobedience for continuing to do so against the
    express wishes of his bishop.

    Regardless of all the conversions, the devil will do anything to
    promote disobedience. Wise Catholics would do well to stay far away from

  • anniefitz

    Hmmm, a well known catholic blogger gets an exclusive invite to attend a Mass complete with “apparition” with a “visionary..” Can we imagine Bernadette Soubirous or Jacinta, Francesco and Lucia Marto inviting specific media workers to sit close to them during the apparitions of Our Lady? You have the goodness and integrity to frame your personal response with facts and also objections to the apparitions. Fr. John Hardon was right, genuine apparitions never need to sell themselves. Every pilgrim is urged to “sell” Medjugorje and get people to go on pilgrimage there. It was hinted that it “would be too late” if I didn’t go soon to Medjugorje, that I would lose graces.

    I have been to Rue De Bac, Fatima, Lourdes and Knock. I have never heard of anyone’s rosary beads turning to gold at the sites of Church approved apparitions. It doesn’t happen. The only place I’ve heard that happening is Medjugorje and Bayside. Bayside was condemned by the Church. Can you really imagine cardinals in the commission pouring over gold tinted rosary chains going “Wow, finally proof!!!” There is no sign , all the fruit, all the vocations all the conversions and still no sign. Looks like the Church isn’t prepared to wait around for it anymore. When a “visionary” stands around blowing kisses to the crowd over and over like Maria Callas at final curtain call something is not right in Kansas.
    P.s Did I just read that someone’s three year old turned to gold in Medjugorje?

    • kathyschiffer

      Your comment made me smile, Annie. I was not a blogger at all at the time I attended this Mass, and was certainly not well known! I was in town planning a conference for a Catholic organization, and the masses I mentioned were intended to be private, for a close-knit group of the faithful. It was an honor that I was invited to join them.

      I tend to agree that since the time I published this article more than two years ago, the Church seems to be moving away from the apparitions there. Then again, Pope Francis has been photographed a few times recently with a Medjugorje statue–so who knows? God’s will be done.

      • anniefitz

        Thank you Kathy for providing context and correcting my assumption. I do think you are very good and fair minded when you write about this topic. Apologies for being a dog with a bone but you were a catholic conference organiser at the time therefore an influential contact with obvious talent and skills.
        I too was present for an “apparition” afterwards I learned that the Bishop of Mostar forbade the visionaries from having “apparitions” in public. Every “apparition” is an act of disobedience on the part of the “visionaries.”
        Our lady always uses courtly, elevated language in genuine apparitions. The messages of Fatima especially the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary are spiritual instructions from the Mother of God. They’ve been eclipsed by the monthly/ weekly/ daily messages in Medjugorje. I had the great blessing of going to Fatima three weeks ago. There is an exhibition there of the original handwritten documents of Sr. Lucia on the apparitions including the interrogations by various clergy. The message of Fatima needs to be amplified. Thank you for your time and patience. A.