So a week or so ago, I wrote a little piece called “Despise not Prophesying” for the Register blog. The basic point of the piece was that, though I am leery of unapproved (let alone condemned) private revelation, I think the smart money is on approved ones since the Church is pretty careful about such matters, not wanting to look stupid by approving bogus private revelations. I also (it goes without saying) believe that private revelations are not binding on us, even if authentic, and that, since real private revelations always point us back to the Mass and obedience to Holy Church, that if you are doing that, you are in good shape. Basic message: Yay for approved apparitions.
Well. Sad to say, I blasphemed the Most Sacred and Holy Name of Medjugorje in the course of the piece by daring to (and you may want to sit down for this) voice an opinion. The horror!
I spend a fair amount of time registering my disinterest in sundry conspiracy theories and scare-mongering and private revelation-chasing. I think Medjugorje has all the earmarks of a load of bushwah, I don’t care about the bogus revelations in Conyers or Bayside, and I’m skeptical of the majority of nine-day wonders involving Our Lady on grilled cheese sandwiches or freeway underpasses. I think the alleged “apparation” of Mary in an Anglican parish in Yankalilla, Australia (which I have seen with my own eyes) is a water stain that some extremely imaginative Aussies got too excited about.
So it’s easy, I suppose, to get the impression that I’m basically a hard-boiled skeptic about all private revelation and think it a waste of time and a distraction.
But in fact, I’m not. I think false and fake private revelation is a waste of time and a distraction and I am *highly* inclined to ignore most unconfirmed private revelations (unless, by some literal miracle, God should vouchsafe one to me and make it extremely clear to me that I should pay attention to it). I have no interest at all in claims of private revelation that the Church has either condemned (as with Bayside) or made very clear are not supernatural (as the bishop has done with Medjugorje). Should the Church change its mind with stuff like Medjugorje (which, I am morally certain, she won’t), I will, as is my custom, defer to the Church. But, as I say, she won’t change her mind, so I’m not bothering with it.
That’s it. That’s all. I said, out loud even, that I don’t buy Medjugorje, but will change my view, should the Church say I’m wrong (which I’m confident she won’t). But apparently it was enough. The comboxes were promptly deluged with Medjugorje enthusiasts denouncing me for blaspheming Mary (because, of course, my failure to buy an your claim that Mary is appearing someplace is, as we all know, blasphemy against
your enthusiasm Mary). The comboxes swelled up and burst.
Next thing I know, the passive aggressives over at Spirit Daily are offering one of those “I’m just sayin'” passive-aggressive headlines meant to fire up the torch and pitchfork crowd while leaving the author (I’m talking to YOU, Michael Brown) able to worm out of saying he was actually making a solid charge in plain English. The headline was this:
“Did anti-apparition blogger use “deception”?” and it linked to a particularly hysterical freakout by one of the Medjugore zealots over at Ministry Values.
Mr. Brown, whose Spirit Daily site is a clearing house for every credulous claim of miracle, wonder, sign and portent from across the globe is welcome to be a sucker for Medjugorje if he wants. He’s welcome to disagree with me if he likes. It’s no skin off my nose. If it turns out that Benedict tomorrow announces that Medjugorje is authentic and renames St. Peter’s, “the Supreme Basilica of Our Lady of Medjugorje” then, oh well, I was wrong. Not for the first time either.
But until that happens I will maintain my opinion that Medjugorje is, in all likelihood, the load of dodgy bushwah it certainly appears to be.
Note that: my opinion. Nobody has to agree with me. But neither is anybody, including Mr. Brown or the zealots at Ministry Values entitled to charge me with “deception” merely because I expressed an opinion that they dislike. So I hope that the next time Mr. Brown feels the need to call me a liar or dishonest, he will have the stones to say it to my face instead using passive-aggressive tactics of character assassination that leave him room to worm out of responsibility for his sleazy charge by claiming “I was merely asking a question.”
Man up, Mr. Brown and the quacks at Ministry Values. Or shut up. I don’t take kindly to being called deceptive. You owe me an apology. However, since I know I will in all likelihood never get one, I extend my forgiveness to you in to the hope that one of these days you will admit you were wrong and receive it. Oh, and Mr. Brown, bon voyage on the pilgrimage you are leading to Medjugorje for the low, low price of $2450.I have no vested financial interest in doubting Medjugorje.
By the way, for those who have ears to hear….
If you remain doggedly committed to the eventual vindication of Medjugorje, then read the links above, as you will have nothing to fear from the truth, knowing as you already do, the future. Me: I don’t know the future. I know what I read. And what I read says Medjugorje has no future. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.
But, in my not-so-humble opinion, I’m not wrong. That no more makes me an “anti-apparitionist” than doubting a 300 foot tall Jesus appeared to Oral Roberts makes me an “anti-resurrectionist”.