Medjugorje is a Fraud

Al Kresta adds more testimony to the mountain of reasons why you should stay far away from this fraud. And Rome will soon add its voice to that of the unbroken testimony of every local ordinary to address the fraud  there, reiterating yet again that nothing supernatural is occurring there. In short, Mary is not appearing there and never was.

The bishops and the pope are nice and so will, very likely, simply reiterate that nothing supernatural is occurring without adding (as I will because I am more blunt) that the thing is a fraud, not a mistake.  I’d  stay far away from it, if I were you.

By the way, may I just say that I think I deserve tremendous credit for restraining myself from saying “Medjugorje is a fraud. EIEIO!”

Thanks!  I’m here all week!

Update: A reader demands to know a) how I answer the fact that Pope John Paul II said nice things about Medj and b) how on earth we can explain how a fraud could possibly go on for 31 years.

Three words:  Marcial Maciel Degollado.  The private opinion of even a good and holy Pope is not infallible and Maciel’s fraud (a fraud involving the complicity of numerous others in the Legion) went on for decades longer than that.

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. My prayer is that they stick with the Church.

  • Scott W.

    *Pulls up chair with bag of popcorn*

    There is an old Simpsons episode that had an Alan Alda robot that had a switch between only two modes–maudlin and irreverent. Likewise I await the Mudj defenders and their only two modes: wait-and-see, and You-are-going-against-Mary!

    • Ted Seeber

      I thought that was a Futurama Episode. Not too many Robots in the Simpsons.

      • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com/ The Ubiquitous

        Yep. I’d have found a link to a clip, but no luck on YouTube.

  • http://www.thethirstygargoyle.blogspot.com Thirsty Gargoyle

    I know folk who pronounce it ‘Major-forgery’.

  • http://www.thethirstygargoyle.blogspot.com Thirsty Gargoyle

    I know folk who pronounce it ‘major forgery’.

    • Klaus

      I prefer “Megaforgery” or “Medjugoogoo”.

  • ds

    The article is at Kresta’s site but was written by Howard Kainz.

  • http://www.bigbluewave.ca SUZANNE

    If there’s disobedience to the bishops, it’s a fraud. ‘Nuff said. The Virgin Mary has nothing to do with disobedience to bishops and even if she were appearing, she’d expect us to obey the bishops when exercising their legitimate jurisdiction, even if they are wrong. Disobedience to the bishops is encouraged, therefore it’s wrong. Game over.

    • Michele Q

      Agreed! Disobedience is a dead giveaway.

    • Jack Grimes

      The accusations of “disobedience” are very casually thrown around without specifics.

      Meanwhile, the messages are filled with exhortations to obedience like this one from June 2, 2012: “Everyday I pray for the shepherds and I expect the same of you. Because, my children, without their guidance and strengthening through their blessing, you can not do it.”

      Consider this: disobedience always compounds itself, until there is all-out rebellion and war. Even if it is granted that in the early days the visionaries were “disobedient”, how is it that there is today so much peace, 30 years later?

      If all this were not of God, at least one of the six visionaries would have gone the way of Jim Jones or David Koresh by now.

      The six are either liars, lunatics, or visionaries. I have seen nothing to support the first two propositions. Therefore the third, however improbable, must be true.

      • John H.

        Jack, the liar/lunatic/lord argument applied to the apostles by C.S. Lewis, only worked because the apostles were martyrs. They died for Christ, in poverty. The “visionaries” are far from martyrs. They are living very well indeed. I’m not saying I know for a fact they are liars. I don’t claim to read souls. I’m just pointing out the obvious flaw in your argument.

        • Jack Grimes

          Good point, John. You’re right the apostles obviously have a stronger case. What I am arguing, though, is that among the visionaries there is a conspicuous absence of the elements normally associated with international religious frauds (sex scandals, lavish spending, cult of personalities).

          That all six have managed to lead quiet, healthy, stable lives with their families in moderate comfort despite the white-hot gaze of the world and these extraordinary things is impressive. See my comment below for more on this.

          • http://sanctaecclesia.wordpress.com David Young

            While I cannot attest to the veracity of this article, there have actually been reports of scandals there, such as in http://www.cephas-library.com/catholic/cath_medjugorje_2.html. I tend to follow the line of reasoning that since the apparition has not been given approval, as Fatima, Guadalupe, etc., have, one should be wary. These apparitions are “safe”, and have ecclesiastical approval, so these are worthy of devotion.

    • Roaming_Roman

      I am constantly reminded of St. Faustina’s absolute obedience, and our Lord’s encouragement of her to be obedient, even when wrong. And so it came to pass – by suffering under obedience from being forbidden to promote the Divine Mercy devotion for so long, St. Faustina with Our Lord won for the Church one of the most healing and marvelous devotions we have, and now we not only pray the Divine Mercy but we honor our Lord with Divine Mercy Sunday and we even had a Pope who might just as well be given the title “Pope of Divine Mercy”. All because of the simple obedience of a nun to her superiors, even though we look back now and see that they were “wrong” to do so.

      When those who uphold Medj tell me that they “know” it is true and they scoff at what anyone who doubts it might say, even to the point of being utterly offended and mad at me…. I ask them if they want to be like St. Faustina or like Fr. Maciel…..

  • Fr. Bryan

    I’ve been to Medjugorje and I loved it, whether or not there was anything miraculous happening there or not. I didn’t see a single miraculous event, unless you consider packed Churches for daily masses and long confessional lines miracles (and this wasn’t even during peak tourist season. The people packing the Church and the confessional lines were locals in the town).

    Bottom line is I saw lots of devout people and I heard a message that we should pray, fast, go to confession, and read our Bible. So, whether or not the apparition stories are true or not is beside the point. If its fraudulent, then its fraudulent. But if its fraudulent, the devotion of the people in the city will remain a powerful testimony to prayer, fasting, and reading the Bible and receiving the sacraments.

    • ivan_the_mad

      Point taken about genuine devotion, but I must object. If the point of the post is that the visionaries are frauds, then “whether or not the apparition stories are true or not is” absolutely not “beside the point”. It *is* the point ;)

  • Clare

    It is taking all my strength to subdue my sarcasm and scathing nature right now. I cannot believe you just posted this! There is no basis for your dismissal other than that it is your personal opinion. What about the countless conversions (including my own) and the countless vocations to the priest hood because of Medj? or the fact that the 5 main instructions are Prayer from the heart, Holy Eucharist, Bible, Confession, and Fasting? Please – i dare you – find 1 thing that Medj has said that goes against the Churches teachings? I am returning to Medj for the 4th time in 3 weeks to stay with Jacov Colo – the youngest visionary and i will be posting on my blog http://www.faithinourfamilies.wordpress.com/ everyday to let people know what is going on out there and to promote it as much as possible. I implore you to take the time to read some of my posts – even if it is to re-enforce your own personal dismissal of the whole thing. In the words of Teresa of Avila i invite you to ‘Look again’.

    • Chris

      The question is not whether those of us who don’t believe can accept Medjugorje if the Church were to approve it (we can, and wouldn’t have to anyway). The question is whether you can accept the Church if it declares Medjugorje a fraud or diabolical deception.

    • Fr. Bryan

      Is it possible that all the conversions and vocations to the priesthood have nothing to do with the apparitions at all and everything to do with the Gospel being preached and people praying, fasting, and receiving sacraments?

      • Mark Shea

        Yes.

    • BenM.

      It is Church teaching that the faithful are not required to believe in private revelations.
      Heck, we don’t even have to believe in the events that took place in *Fatima*!
      But let me ask you this…and mind you, no one has given me a good answer to this as of yet:
      Out of ALL of the approved apparitions out there that the faithful are allowed to be devoted to, why be devoted to Medjugorje? Many supporters of Medjugorje chide the non-believers with a “wait and see” until the Vatican chimes in……If we need to wait for the Vatican to chime in, then wouldn’t it be prudent to just stay away until they do? To still have a devotion to Medj before the Vatican approves it would be falling into presumption.
      There are plenty of of approved apparitions out there to be devoted to, and you don’t even NEED to believe in them to be in good standing with the church!

    • ivan_the_mad

      “There is no basis for your dismissal other than that it is your personal opinion.” Sure there is. The local ordinaries, Pavao Zanic and his successor, Ratko Peric, have expressed their opinions that nothing supernatural is occurring there. Now, clearly, there’s nothing official from the Church yet, but for some folks, when it’s the word of a visionary against the word of the bishop, the bishop wins. Every time.

      And no, you can’t just dismiss what the local bishop had to say because it’s “just his opinion”. Like anything else that comes from a bishop or some other Church official, it may not be binding doctrine, but it certainly can’t be dismissed out of hand.

    • Ted Seeber

      With God, even fraud can bear good fruit.

      • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com/ The Ubiquitous
        • bernard

          Not according to Jesus: Matthew 7 : 15-20

          • john konnor

            Article 1. Whether good can be the cause of evil?
            Objection 1. It would seem that good cannot be the cause of evil. For it is said (Matthew 7:18): “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit.”……….

            Reply to Objection 1. As Augustiine says (Contra Julian. i): “The Lord calls an evil will the evil tree, and a good will a good tree.” Now, a good will does not produce a morally bad act, since it is from the good will itself that a moral act is judged to be good. Nevertheless the movement itself of an evil will is caused by the rational creature, which is good; and thus good is the cause of evil.
            ………….summa theologica aquinas
            ….now the meanings reside in the proper exegesis and hermeneutic…..many adherents at medjugorje remain obstinant and objurate in disonance to practical reason..which precluding invincible ignorance are hallmark of infernal spirituality….indeed many travel to this place many times spending huge sums..however they could earn more blessings carrying a cold cup of water across the street to a sick neighbour….everything from the trinkets to the spirituality is superficial…the flesh is willing but the spirit is indeed weak to be obedient at this place….

    • Barbara P

      Regarding the claims of conversions related to visits to Medj, isnt it fair to say that the people who visit are seeking something and are open to conversion or even on the verge of conversion anyway? How many avowed atheists visit Medj and then convert? How many atheists visit Medj anyway? How can anyone say that the visits to Medj made people convert? I really do not understand this as evidence of something supernatural happening. Conversions happen all over the world every day in all places when a heart is open to the Holy Spirit.

  • Ted Seeber

    Even a fraud can produce *real* good and *real* conversions, is the problem.

  • JohnB

    I live in Birmingham, AL. Its 102 degrees outside right now. I can believe the Devil has been here. He would feel right at home. ITS HOT!
    Seriously though – stay away from Caritas. Bad news….

    • Jared

      Indeed it is. I’m in Hayden, just a few miles north of you.

  • Colleen

    Mark,
    You said, ” Rome will soon add its voice…” So is the Vatican supposed to be putting something out about this some time soon? I know of people who still believe the apparitions are real and it seems the only way to get through to them may be to show them something from the Pope saying it is wrong. So frustrating! Opinion blogs are not good enough for them because they are so sure “because it is Marian, it is ok” and are blinded by their devotion to “Our Lady” and say : “To Jesus through Mary” which is a good thing (if it is really Mary). I don’t think they will listen unless the article is directly from the Vatican. I noticed the article said something about a bit of new age being mixed in. Do you know what they are talking about there? Maybe that might open their eyes if I can point out specifics on this.

  • Mary

    I do not believe that anything supernatural is happening at Medjugorje and 40,000 messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary sounds preposterous to me.

    God can and does permit conversions everywhere but I do not believe these conversions are related at all because of someone visiting Medjugorje. I really don’t intend to sound disrespectful to Clare, but going to Medjugorje for the fourth time in three weeks sounds obsessive. I do not understand the need to travel great distances for an apparition that has not been approved by the Vatican when we have Jesus present in the Eucharist in Tabernacles and Adoration Chapels in our own neighborhoods.

    • bernard

      I think Clare meant that in three weeks time she is going for the fourth time. :)

      If my Mother spoke to me only twice a day for the 84 years she lived on earth then that’s 60,000 plus times.

      I wonder how many times people speak to the Blessed Mother? I wonder how many times she is inclined to want to answer, that’s of course if she has a tongue at all?

  • Christine

    On another (silly note) I can’t help but picture bugs bunny skipping in circles singing the Doo Dah song, right before he swan dives into his rabbit hole.

    Bugs, I mean Mark, you crack me up…

  • MattyD

    Disobedience to the bishop is the dead giveaway! Now if you’ll excuse me, Bishop Couchon wants me to gather more wood to burn that heretic Joan of Orleans.

    • Mark Shea

      Yes. And every claim of private revelation is always and everywhere identical to Joan of Arc. Always. Everywhere.

      Did you know Joan of Arc bought a house for $800,000 dollars in the US and paid it off in one year with earning from her visionary and pilgrimage racket? http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/archives/2010/01/from-petrus-car.html Clearly, all bishops every–and especially the 19 local ordinaries who have declared that nothing supernatural is occurring in Medj are the exact moral and theological equivalent of Cauchon. Look at how their rejection of this enormously popular “vision” has personally benefitted them.

      • MattyD

        I’m not equating these visions with St. Joan’s. Only pointing out that disobedience to a bishop is not as reliable a test as so many folks here are assuming . As we see in the case of St. Joan, the local bishop was dead wrong. Literally.

        • Mark Shea

          And, on rare ocassions, a witch doctor may heal somebody when all of Western medicine is wrong. There are always rare exceptions to rules of thumb. Still and all, when local ordinaries say 19-0 , “There’s nothing supernatural happening here” and the “visionaries” (with their horny defrocked priest advisor) do all they can to inflame true believers against the bishops, it’s not a bad general assessment to say “disobedience to the bishop is a sure sign that this is a fraud”. If and when Rome says, “All the local bishops are evil men on the take” we can re-assess. Meanwhile, common sense says “Listen to the bishops, not the “visionaries”.

        • Mark Shea

          And, by the way, I’m not at all sure that Joan ever disobeyed even as vile a pig as Cauchon.

          • MattyD

            1) I think Couchon ordered her to stop wearing men’s cloths and to recant her visionary claims, she (ultimately) said she could not comply.

            2) But more to the point, if you’re interested in some thoughtful balance, this link counters (credibly, IMHO) most of the common critiques of Medjugorje. (Including alleged “disobedience” [see #11] and claims that Mary had called all religions “equal” [she did not, see #5])
            http://www.medjugorje-apologia.com/common_misconceptions_defense.html#_12

        • Maiki

          As far as I know, Bishop Couchon lacked proper jurisdiction to actually try St. Joan of Arc — so it wasn’t the unfavorable opinion of *her* bishop, but *a* bishop. She only “disobeyed” in so far as she was coerced into signing a document she couldn’t read under coercion, and went against it.

          None of these is the case in Medjugore.

          • MattyD

            Oh, I’m sure there are all kinds of differences that we could cite in the two cases. From geography to what they ate for dinner. But none of that would change the essential point – the bishop who “ruled” on alleged supernatural claims was wrong in Joan’s case, and Joan’s disobedience to said bishop does not invalidate the authenticity of her supernatural claims.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Yes. The visionaries that live comfortable lives of luxury are exactly like Joan burned at the stake.

      • MattyD

        Bishop Couchon would probably agree with that.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Sigh. You’re not interested in anything except hearing that disobedient visionaries are good and holy people. I can’t help you with that.

          • Mark Shea

            Actually, he’s not. He’s simply arguing that their disobedience is not a slam dunk disproof. His point is not “the visionaries are telling that truth” but “bishops can be lying scum”. His point, while true, is extreme minor, particularly in this case. It’s also true that sometimes apparent murder victims might have actually been struck and killed by micrometeorites. But most people are not going to take that into their calculations.

  • Irenist

    Someone very dear to me experienced a miraculous cancer cure and converted from atheism to Catholicism at Medjugorje. But of course, “under controlled laboratory conditions, God will do whatever he likes,” so that doesn’t prove anything about Medjugorje, just about the greatness of God. I’m not especially informed about Medjugorje, but I do know that the right attitude in these matters must ever be “Roma locuta; causa finita.”

  • http://www.lewiscrusade.org John C. Hathaway, OCDS

    Colleen, yes, the Vatican is completing the final definitive investigation. The Pope has said several times he wants this thing wrapped up.

    What gets me is how people will take the statements saying “no evidence of the supernatural” and interpret them to mean, “We’re still waiting for evidence.” Then those same people will say, “Look at the rosaries turning to gold! The Miracle of the Sun happens there *every day*! People are being *healed*!!” Yet the point of “no evidence of the supernatural is that none of those things qualify as “miracles” according to the Church’s definitions.
    Indeed, I saw one website on “rosaries turning to gold” that pointed out that, in addition to the fact that this “phenomenon” happens at a lot of sites proven false and has never happened at a site that was approved, the phenomenon, when tested, is some kind of strange paint-like substance. So even though another substance turning to gold would be alchemy to begin with, it’s not a change in substance. And the fact that the material is not quite paint, and the rosaries are “changing” in situations that would preclude someone coming along and painting them, are proof not the of the “supernatural” but of the “preternatural,” which would indicate not a human fraud but a demonic deception.

    So, the possibilities are as follows:
    1) Something genuine happened to begin with, and some genuine experiences are happening today as Fr. Bryan describes–not because of the “apparitions” but the faith of the pilgrims (i.e., I always make the example that the SSPX have lots of vocations, so if lots of vocations are a sign of authenticity, the SSPX must be authentic). However, it was quickly corrupted by ambition and possibly demonic influence. This is Fr. Groeschel’s position.
    2) It started as a human fraud, but the Devil got involved and started making fake preternatural phenomena, like the “Tashlan” fraud in _Last Battle_, to deceive people from authentic apparition sites. Again, the good phenomena are happening because of people’s faith, not because of the site itself.
    3) It started as a demonic deception and continues to be, and the “visionaries” are not so much intentional frauds as unwitting participants in the fraud.

    • Marion (Mael Muire)

      Back in the late 1980s a friend of mine came home from a visit to Medjugorje. The metal links between the inexpensive rosary beads she had carried with her (not the beads themselves) had turned to gold. My friend was a nuclear engineer (specializing in the design of reactor cooling systems), and naturally, she wanted to have the rosaries tested. She took them to a reputable jeweller, and without saying that anything unusual had occurred, asked him to examine them. The jeweller pronounced the links to be made of “solid 18 K gold.”

      Even so, and even though I am devoted to Our Lady, I never felt much attraction to Medjugorje. Alarm bells kept going off in my head whenever I heard the name mentioned or saw books or articles about the apparitions. Never could put my finger on it; intuition, I guess, and I learned a long time ago, in the absence of solid evidence to the contrary, always to trust my intuition very much.

    • Ted Seeber

      I’ve never quite figured out why Rosaries turning to Gold isn’t just tarnish.

      • Marion (Mael Muire)

        The only set of rosaries which had (allegedly) changed to gold that I’ve had the opportunity to examine was the set belonging to my friend. (Believe me, any woman who grew up in the city or in the suburbs knows whether she is looking at gold or at tarnish. Kind of like the way most men would know the difference between a metalflake and rust). My friend’s looked like gold to me, but more importantly, according to my friend, they looked like gold to the jeweller who examined them.

        • suburbanbanshee

          1. Looking isn’t a test. Acid is a test. :)

          2. But yeah, demons doing paint for the gullible and gold for the skeptical would be a fairly standard piece of demon cunning.

    • Roaming_Roman

      “Tashlan” is exactly the example that always comes to my mind too!! And especially I hear over and over again the words of Aslan that he and Tash could never be the same, but that anything evil, even in the name of Aslan, is ultimately the property of Tash, while anything that is good is ultimately Aslan’s.

      So the examples of “The Last Battle” give me both anxiety over those who may be taken in by this, to the detriment of their own souls, and reassurance that the Lord is still working through all the good that is actually happening there.

      But remember, if a person is called to conversion and confession, that is only part of the battle — but they may not have converted to Christ, but to some perception of Christ. That is the real risk of things like Medj to my mind, that we are playing with fire here. If there are truly people who “only” converted because of Medj, I would say that they and we should all be very careful of just what it is that they think they have converted TO. Many of them, I hope, have indeed come back to Christ. But how many have converted to the Church of *Medj*, under the semblance of Catholicism, and will fall away utterly should the true Church come down against Medj? Whom shall they follow? Peter is where Christ is, that is plain to me, and so I for one will stay with Peter to the end of the age, and not with any apparition or devotion apart from him.

    • kmk

      What gets me is how people will take the statements saying “no evidence of the supernatural” and interpret them to mean, “We’re still waiting for evidence.”

      John, you are so right–similar to when Pope Benedict invited Fr. Maciel to a life “of penitence and prayer,” and we in RC heard that Fr. M was taking up one more Cross to suffer for the Movement. WHen you have converted or reverted through a particular movement or devotion, it is awfully hard to disentangle, especially if you see nothing but the “good” surrounding you in your local comrades or priests who are far from the circle of power.

      • kmk

        sorry, there should have been quotation marks around that first part–it’s from what John wrote above.

  • Nordog

    I don’t follow the whole thing myself, but more than 30 years of Our Lady talking to the kids and all we get is “pray, fast, receive the sacraments”?

    Pray, fast, and receive the sacraments is not a personal revelation. That’s like saying, “Honor your mother and father” is a personal revelation.

    Wait and see?

    Yeah, I will wait and I will see the Vatican kick this to the curb.

    • http://stevenadunn.wordpress.com Steven Dunn

      If anything else were revealed the apparition would be immediately ruled unacceptable. I don’t believe in Medjugorje, nor do I care a whit about accepted public apparitions, either, like Fatima. But the Church takes an interesting stance: since we accept that all revelation has ceased with Christ, we can hypothesize that what would be, ontologically, a “real” revelation, that is, something that is part of metaphysical reality yet unknown to us, would have to be dismissed. I’m not so sure whether we accept that revelation ended with Christ because there was no more to reveal, or because the unambiguous authority to reveal it through the very act of being, as with Christ, is once again unavailable to humanity until His return.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Revelation of spiritual exercise or prophecy is perfectly acceptable, as it has happened before. Public revelation ended with the death of the last apostle in that all revelation necessary for salvation has already been put forth. If an apparition gave salvific info outside of what has already been revealed, you’re right; it would be immediately and rightfully rejected.

        Medj-Mary seems to be doing neither. She’s content to just gab and gab and gab about that Christ and his Church have already taught for 2000 years.

  • Colleen

    John: Thanks for the clarification on the final difinitive.

    Does anyone know about the new age link???

  • http://stevenadunn.wordpress.com Steven Dunn

    A Franciscan that worked at Medjugorje for many years is associated with my parish, and his stories were enough to convince me that, despite the good produced from Medjugorje, it is, as you write, a fraud.

  • http://manwithblackhat.blogspot.com/ David L Alexander

    Well, it would appear necessary, once again, for me personally to reprint the relevant portions of the Catechism for those of you who still insist that wonderful things are happening in Medjugorje. Never mind that the local bishop (who is ordinarily the FINAL authority in the matter, with Rome never getting involved, ordinarily) as well as his predecessor, have both said that nothing supernatural is happening there. The burden of proof is not on them, but on the alleged phenomenon. Never mind that. Just mind this:

    + + +

    65 “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.”26 Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2:

    In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word – and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty. (St John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel 2,22,3-5 in The Collected Works of St John of the Cross, tr K Kavanaugh, OCD, and O Rodriguez, OCD (Washington DC:Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1979)

    66 “The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”28 Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.

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

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

    73 God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant for ever. The Son is his Father’s definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him.

  • John

    I’m inclined to agree that Medjugorje is not a legitimate apparition–but I have met several people who are very attached to it. I think this whole thing has to be discussed honestly and charitably. The point is to bring souls closer to Christ–not to win the argument.

  • William

    I think even discussing or speculating about Medjugorje is a complete waste of time. I decided some time ago to just wait on the Church’s decision. (Gosh, I can’t believe I took the time to write this! I really have better things to do!)

  • MattyD

    p.s. Mark, are you certain that the local ordinaries voted 19-0 against? According to this source, that’s not correct. (See section #3).

    “The bishops had to classify Medjugorje in one of three ways, either; 1) it is confirmed supernatural, 2) is it not yet confirmed supernatural, or 3) It is confirmed not supernatural. The bishops voted against the third classification by a vote of 19 to 1, deliberating primarily between positive approval and neutrality. Ultimately (and after overwhelming pressure from Bishop Zanic), they chose the second classification, since they could not yet confirm supernatural origin, but recognized Medjugorje as a place of prayer and pilgrimage.”
    http://www.medjugorje-apologia.com/position_of_the_church.html

    • Elaine T

      /unlurk/
      If you want to read the Zadar Declaration (from the local/Yugoslavian bishops (now B-H)) it is translated here:
      http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2008/09/zadar-declaration-1991.html. There were no public comments on it from participants, so how someone can claim Bishop Zanic provided overwhelming pressure – not to mention HOW one person can overwhelm 19, unless they are absolutely spineless – baffles me.

      And the judgement they came to is that they can’t prove Mary is appearing there, or that God is doing anything special there – that’s what the Latin means. (One thing about this whole mess is that it has prodded people to explain for those of us who don’t get it – like me – what the three grades of decision about apparations mean. When I first tried to find out all I could find were incomprehensible explanations in ecclesiastic-ese, not English. ) Back to the subject at hand: The Zadar Declaration came ten years after the whole thing started, and they couldn’t say it was God? Riiight. When God wants His Hand recognized, He makes sure it happens. He hasn’t, in this case.

      As for the pilgrimages, the attitude I get from the English translations seems to be – if people come, they’ll need to receive Sacraments. The pilgrimages are specifically NOT to be treated as associated with the ‘not divine’ apparition. The same website has a bunch of quotes from Yugoslavia (going back to the 1980s) and the Vatican/CDF from the 1990s discussing it. They are quite firm about the pilgrimages not be signs of approval of the events.

      Elaine (rather scared that she can read ecclesiastese that well, now).

      • MattyD

        Thanks for that info Elaine! But 1) your link seems to confirm the fact that the local bishops did *not* specifically choose to reject the alleged apparitions (option #3) but chose neutrality (option #2). In other words, Mark’s casual implication that 19 local bishops oppose, or have ruled definitively, is very misleading – because they specifically did *not* chose the option to reject the apparitions. 2) I’m not sure your assumption that God would clear this up in 10 years (or even 30 or 40, etc) is fair. Reversing Joan of Arc’s trial took the church decades, and canonizing her took centuries.

  • nadster

    Don’t these “visionaries” travel around the world selling their story? I think one of them is married to a miss America or something like that, and lives in Massachusetts. How may kids do they have? I don’t think more than two each…geez, all the markings of piety.

    • William

      Fraud or not, marrying Miss America, living in Massachusetts and only two kids is hardly any sort of sign whatsoever of whether this thing is authentic. BTW, hopefully as you mature in the faith, you’ll learn not to judge others by how many kids they have. My wife and I lost three (one at birth) and now past fertility years have “only” three children. Would you judge us for that, nadseter? The judging on this matter of number of kids that goes on in certain circles (we all know who) in the Church really needs to stop.

      • Molly

        Thank you William.

    • Elaine S.

      Ivan Dragevic is married to a former Miss Massachusetts (not Miss America) and has FOUR children. He lives half the year in Boston and the other half in Medjugorje. Another “visionary,” Marja Pavlovic-Lunetti, lives in Italy with her husband and has four children. The other four visionaries still live in Medjugorje. They are all married and have either 2 or 3 children each. (Some of them didn’t marry until they were well into their 30s, which might be another reason why they don’t have stereotypical “big Catholic families.”)
      All of that is beside the point, however, with regard to determining whether the visions are genuine or not. The “good fruits” argument doesn’t quite cut it because God often brings good out of evil. Conversions and repentance and renewal of faith can be prompted by things like war, sickness, persecution, loss of loved ones, etc., but that doesn’t make those things “good”.

      • nadster

        Four children, big woop. I had that many at age 28, not including our miscarriages. I guess he needs those kids to count his money though.

  • nadster

    How many times does one have to go to Med. to become holy, or to be saved? The answer is NONE. I know people who have been there three and four times, all the while ignoring their parish, familes etc. True sanctity is found in the home, family and parish, not jetting around the globe chasing fairies.

  • Jack Grimes

    Are the visionaries living in the “lap of luxury”?

    I can’t pretend to be an expert, having never contracted a mortgage myself, but I do notice that about $600K of the oft-cited $800K that came into Ivan’s hand was from the sale of the Dragicevic’s prior home, a condo (http://abateoimpertinente.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/inchiesta-esclusiva-%C2%ABnessuno-dei-veggenti-di-medjugorje-si-e-mai-arricchito-grazie-alle-apparizioni-%C2%BB-ecco-le-prove-del-contrario/). Does that seem unreasonable? Before buying that condo, apparently their first mortgage was in 1999 after 5 years of marriage, for $156,000.

    I hate to be voyeuristic, but look at the Dragicevic’s current house: http://www.zillow.com/homes/5-emily-lane,-peabody,-ma_rb/

    4 bedrooms and 4 baths for a house of 6 people (four children.. I’m not sure, but they might host pilgrims there, too?).

    At 5,000 sq. feet, it is above average, but is it really Robin Leach material? Is MTV Cribs going to send a crew there?

    And let’s think about that. Is a shameless international grifter, willing to fake an audience with the Blessed Mother every day for three decades, really going to be content with a cul-de-sac house off I-95? As far as religious hucksterism goes, isn’t this a little.. small potatoes?

    Let’s put this in context. Jim Bakker, an admitted and convicted prophetic grifter, lasted about 13 years before spectacularly flaming out, his “ministry” having hauled in $150 million (and spent even more), of which he enriched himself by several millions while building a giant theme park monument to his ego (http://www.accuracyproject.org/cbe-Bakker,Jim.html).

    Why don’t we see the same thing with Ivan? Or any of the visionaries? Why instead do we see quiet, healthy, stable families? Liars, cheaters, grifters.. they can’t hold up the act for long, and greed ultimately consumes them quite visibly. I am sure that Ivan and the others could skim ten times what Jim Bakker managed to do… but it appears they have not.

    Liars, lunatics, or visionaries.

    • Adolfo

      Unless they’re just smarter than Jim Bakker.

      How long did Maciel keep his charade going?

      • Jack Grimes

        The question is not smarts. If this is a fraud, it is far more diabolical than anything Jim Bakker did. Yet the more someone or something is immersed in the diabolical, the quicker and more spectacularly they go down in flames. But Medjugorje has, if anything, become more obedient over time. Therefore they do not bare the mark of the diabolical.

        Maciel had an easier fraud to maintain. And, in point of fact, weren’t the problems with him well known, just not addressed?

        • Mark Shea

          Maciel was a diabolical fraud and took decades to go down in flames. The problems with visionaries are also well known. Read the link I provided.

    • nadster

      Hey, it sure beats herding goats in Croatia!!

  • Thomas D

    I find it troubling so many seemed very attached to Medjugorje. I would hazard a guess more than the events at Fatima (on deemed worthy of belief). Unfortunately, we still extremism and seperation even with Fatima (i.e., Fatima Crusader; or the book-Devil’s Final Battle; Fourth Secret of Fatima). What will Medjugorje produce once a final decision is reached (which I gather will be non constat de supernaturalitate)?

  • http://catholicboyrichard.wordpress.com Richard G Evans

    We need to await the Church’s official decision. Period. And it should be noted that even then we have every right to question even Church approved “apparitions.” They are all, as you said “private revelations.” While some may not like hearing this, and I say this as a Fatima devotee myself, that INCLUDES Fatima and any others out there, such as Lourdes or Guadalupe too.

    But Medjugorje has not been proven or ruled on–either way. Shea is going too far in saying this. Remember that whatever us who blog say are also “private revelations” or at least private opinions. And that includes Mark Shea. Rome did an unprecedented action in 2007 (I believe that is the correct year) by overriding the ordinaries and taking the investigation upon herself. If Rome was absolutely convinced this was fraudulent they would not have done so. They would have just told people to quit going.

    We can move from opinion to slander/calumny very easily, and Mark Shea, who I normally respect quite highly, has come dangerously close to doing so here. The “teachers of the Church” are our Bishops in union with Rome. Those who have studied theology or even written books are not. Shea and Kresta are both acting a bit Protestant here in my opinion.

    • Mark Shea

      The Church has given official responses–twice. The bishops in union with Rome say there’s nothing supernatural happening there. It is Catholic, not Protestant, to listen to them. Because true believers refuse to listen to them and lead many good-hearted people astray, Rome is now involved and will shortly ratify the findings of the local bishops. There is not “overriding” happening. The local ordinaries want Rome to speak because they know perfectly well that Rome is going to side with them against these “apparitions” and say that nothing supernatural is happening there. At which point, true believers will need to either face facts or go on with their pretzel logic of declaring “Protestant” those who listen to the bishops–and the Holy Father.

      • MattyD

        Mark, are you *certain* that the bishops ruled twice that “nothing supernatural is happening there”? The only ruling I could find was from 1991. And my (admittedly non-expert) understanding is that the local bishops specifically did NOT vote for the option to invalidate the claims, but chose cautious neutrality. I’m really not trying to split hairs. I’m saying that you may be misrepresenting what the bishops actually ruled. You may be drawing strident conclusions that go beyond the local ordinaries.

        • Tominellay

          In May, 1986, the Church ruled against recognition of the supernatural origin of events in Medjugorje. In 1991 via the Zadar Declaration, the Church again ruled against recognition of the supernatural origin of events in Medjugorje. The “non constat de supernaturalitate” formula used in both rulings is a negative judgement, not a neutral judgement. The Latin word “non” is a dead giveaway to this fact.

          • MattyD

            Tom, This source suggests that you are precisely incorrect (on top of your flippancy). Note the importance of where the “non” is placed as to whether the ruling is neutral or negative.
            http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/discernment/

            “Not Worthy of Belief

            The statements to declare a private revelation false are given according to the Latin phrase: “Constat de non supernaturalitate” (It is established that there is nothing supernatural here) . It has been determined that there are no characteristics that show it to be from God thereby attributing it to fraud or another spirit.

            Nothing Contrary to the Faith

            When locally it is decided or suggested that the reported apparition might or might not be of supernatural origin, the apparition is assigned to the category of “Non constat de supernaturalitate” ( It is not established that something supernatural is here). Apparitions in this category do not enjoy approval of their supernatural character but are determined to contain nothing that is contrary to faith and morals.”

            But your confidence, despite being incorrect, is duly noted.

            • Tominellay

              My source is Bp. Henri Brincard in a position paper prepared on behalf of the French Episcopal Conference. Your source is the miraclehunterdotcom web site.
              The logic is in the Latin…

              • MattyD

                Tom, our sources agree! What I’m disputing is your interpretation. when you say “the Church ruled against recognition of the supernatural origin ” that’s very misleading and only *partly* true. Yes, they voted against recognizing but — AND THIS IS THE KEY — they also voted against REJECTING. When evaluating supernatural claims (if I understand correctly) the bishops have THREE options for a ruling: 1) affirm the supernatural claims, 2) cannot affirm the supernatural claims and, 3) reject the supernatural claims. Are you following the difference between #2 and #3? The bishops in question voted for #2 “cannot affirm”, but that is *different* from #3, “reject”. Don’t treat the two as if they are the same thing.

  • Scott

    Brought to you by the “infallible” (and humble) Mark Shea.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Note: even if the Church ruled tomorrow that Medj is a real apparition, Mark could shout to the rooftops that he thinks it isn’t and he would still be in bounds.

      How will you act when the Church rules it is non-supernatural?

    • Mark Shea

      Not infallible. Opinionated. Shall I imitate the humility of those who persistently ignore the findings of the local ordinaries?

  • http://home.comcast.net/~acbfp/ John Beeler

    THANK YOU.

    The bishop said no; the buck stops there. Done.

    (I’ll give good-faith credit to the Garabandal people; they stopped when the bishop said no.)

    It’s long reminded me of the Polish Mariavites in the late 1800s if I remember rightly. Slavic country, Franciscans, orthodox-sounding pious messages, the bishop says no, the movement becomes a schism. The Mariavites ended up ordaining women and with friars and nuns having kids together.

    • Barbara P

      The Garabandal story is not done. There are stilleople on the Internet who speak about it all the time. There are still people who believe there will be a warning and three days of darkness.

      • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

        The Warning and Three Days Darkness were predicted by saints and visionaries long before Garabandal. Even St. Faustina prophesied something sounding very similar to the Warning:

        “Before I come as the just judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort:

        All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be a great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Saviour were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day.”

        Blessed Anna Maria Taigi and others also predicted it.

    • Klaus

      Bishop Williamson, when not denying the Holocaust or endorsing the Unabomber Manifesto, likes to promote Garabandal. Another fraud which’ll soon be discredited, just as soon as Joey Lomangino dies without having had his sight restored.

  • Mike Malone

    As I read the EIEIO part of your column my surroundings suddenly became absolutely still…….the room then became very bright and I thought I heard a beautiful, deep, booming voice exclaim……Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay!

  • Barbara P

    Typo correction: still people

  • http://www.hancaquam.blogspot.com PNP, OP

    Ack. Apparitions, visions, locutions, etc. are all superfluous. All that we need for salvation and growth in holiness is contained within scripture and taught by the Church. Everything else is a sideshow.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

    • MattyD

      Please help me understand something, Father. *If* any given apparition is True (say, Lourdes, Fatima and — maybe — Medjugorje, TBD), why would we *not* want to know more about it? Why should we treat that with indifference? Sure, I understand the serious potential for missteps. But, to me, your comment is like saying “Ack. God’s endlessly stunning, wonderful, radical and ongoing manifestations in our life. It’s all superfluous…” Am I missing something?

      • http://www.hancaquam.blogspot.com PNP, OP

        We might want to know about such things. But knowing about them is irrelevant to our salvation and our growth in holiness. “God’s endlessly stunning, wonderful, radical and ongoing manifestations in our life” is made evident in scripture, Christ and his church, and in created things. We hardly understand these three means of God’s Self-revelation. . .adding controversial apparitions, visions, locutions, etc. to the mix only muddies the already murky waters. An approved apparition (etc) only repeats what we already know from publicly available revelation (see above). So, we end up wrestling over fraud, hackery, authority, etc. and all we really need to do is turn to scripture, the Church, and God’s creation.

        Fr. Philip Neri, OP

        • MattyD

          Thank you, Fr. I take that as an important note of caution and moderation. And I hear you that it can muddy the water and distract us from the already-known means of God’s self-revalation. But, if you’ll forgive my curiosity, that still begs the huge question – then why does God keep doing it? In other words, *if* it is from God, and if it is happening repeatedly (Fat, Lourd, Guad, etc), might that be an indication that it should be regarded with more attention and deference that “Ack”?

          • MattyD

            I mean “…more attention and deference THAN ‘Ack’”

            • http://www.hancaquam.blogspot.com PNP, OP

              Matty, those apparitions approved by the Church tell us what we already know. Maybe they appear to reinforce the faithful. I don’t know. My “ack” refers to the constant and useless bickering that goes on around these things. Not the events themselves.

              Let’s ask: Is Lourdes a more important miracle that what happens at the Mass everyday at St. Bubba’s in Goose Neck, MS? Is a rosary with transmogrified beads more revelatory of God than a sinner going to confession? Is a “dancing sun” halfway around the world a better sign of God’s presence than a baptism in your parish? These apparitions get the attention b/c they are sensational, splashy, woo-inspiring “mystical” events that people believe prove something that every sacrament of the Church makes Real.

              If the Blessed Mother wants to appear to some folks and tell them to pray the rosary, fast for the Pope, and go to confession then more power to her! But we should already be praying the rosary, fasting for the Pope, and going to confession.

              Maybe I just get the attraction of Lourdes, Fatima, etc.

              Fr. Philip Neri, OP

              • MattyD

                Very helpful. Thank you, Father.

              • Fr. David Abernethy, C.O.

                Well the constant and useless bickering that goes on about these things is often fueled by blog posts such as this one. We see the same thing here as we often see in the press – a flood of information and opinions that only serve as a distraction and coarsen the sensibilities of readers. In his Harvard address, Solzhenitsyn expressed this about the American press and it is even worse in what we see in the proliferation of online writers. Even if the information provided is accurate, often the opinions or evaluation of those realities are not expressed in a measured and mature fashion. “Because instant and credible information has to be given, it becomes necessary to resort to guesswork, rumors and suppositions to fill in the voids, and none of them will ever be rectified, they will stay on in the readers’ memory. How many hasty, immature, superficial and misleading judgments are expressed every day, confusing readers, without any verification. The press can both simulate public opinion and miseducate it. . . . we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: ‘everyone is entitled to know everything.’ But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era: people also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information. Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic disease of the 20th century and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press. In-depth analysis of a problem is anathema to the press. It stops at sensational formulas.”

                I would hope the Church, as it must in these circumstances, make a judgment for the sake of the faithful. But the manner in which it is often discussed is symptomatic of the “psychic disease” Solzhenitsyn describes. Religious blogs are not immune to inflicting the same “violence” on potential readers – stuffing divine souls with vain talk. In fact, posts are often written with the desire, conscious or not, of eliciting an emotional response (then often easily manipulated by the individual who structured the post in order to present him or herself as taking the moral high ground) rather than thoughtful reflection.

                • MattyD

                  Well said, Fr. David.

  • Ben the Atheist

    We are being literally cooked off the planet due to climate change (Colorado fires are the future, along with the recent extreme heat and nasty storms and Catholics sit around and talk about visions of holy virgins. Says a lot

    • btube

      )

      You’re welcome

    • Bill

      yep… haven’t had wild fires before
      typical angry atheist trolling

    • MattyD

      Ben, I’m with you on climate change. It’s a weak spot among Christians IMHO. But, that’s not the only major moral issue humanity faces. There are thousands of others – poverty, disease, sex slavery, suicide, war, etc, etc. And I’m willing to be that the Christians that debate these supernatural questions on blogs like this are doing *far* more to address the array of global suffering than you have ever, or will ever, do. They do it as individuals, in churches, charities and in their general support for an array of humane government programs. On a scale in the hundreds of millions, if not billions, across the globe. If you’re suggesting we choose your social model — the model of Mao and Stalin — I’m not sure that’s the best idea for humanity.

  • Klaus

    I remember the first time I met one of the Medjugoogoo fanatics. She told me she’d been to Medj a ridiculous number of times (20-something, I think). I asked whether she’d ever been to Fatima. Blank stare. I asked her how she would react if Rome said the events were not of supernatural origin. “I would know Rome had got it wrong.”

    Others may have encountered good fruits, but I’ve only run into fruitcakes. Advice? Give them a copy of Foley’s devastating book and back away slowly.

    • Pancho

      “Others may have encountered good fruits, but I’ve only run into fruitcakes. Advice?”

      Stop hanging out with the fruitcakes.

      Seriously, you’re better off giving them a copy of Fr. Groeschel’s “A Still, Small, Voice” and pray for them . If that’s not enough wipe the dust from you’re feet and pray for them anyways.

      And pray for yourself that you may have patience and understanding and be spared the hurt that drives some people to seek out apparitions.

  • richard

    Watch the videos of the visionary speaking and listening to Our Lady.

  • Clare short

    Mark, if the apparitions were found to be authentic by the Vatican would you believe then? Of would you reject it on the grounds that you are not bound to believe in any Marian apparition? My guess is that you would still reject it. Which means that it doesn’t matter what the Vatican rules! You have decided to reject it anyway!

  • Fr. David Abernethy, C.O.

    If it is a fraud then let us mourn the fact and make reparation for the sin of it, as we should with any of the other examples that have been offered in the comments. So often the reporting of such things and opinions offered borders on delectatio morosa or a morbid delight in the failures and sins of others – as if the flood of words itself isn’t a burden to the minds and hearts of people serving as a distraction at its best and further coarsening the sensibilities and attitudes of modern readers at its worst.

  • Sal

    No, it means yet again, that no one is bound to believe in any private revelation.
    Our options remain open: If the Church rules pro-Medj, we are free to either believe or ignore.
    Which is different from “Not believing”
    You, otoh, should the ruling be anti-Medj, will have a painful decision to make and please believe me when I say you will have my sympathy and prayers.

  • Clare short

    The fact that you would not believe the apparitions anyway, even if the Vatican ruled them as authentic, weakens you’re argument terribly.

    • jcb

      Why?

      (I apparently can’t post a comment consisting only of “Why?” I’ll deal with that issue by taking note of it, like so.)

  • Clare short

    The author of this completely inaccurate article – Howard Kainz – is one of the founding members of the Hegel society of America! ( Hegelianism is a collective term for schools of thought following or referring to G. W. F. Hegel ‘s philosophy which can be summed up by the dictum that “the rational alone is real”) Of course he is not going to believe in medj! He was a poor choice of an author if you wanted to give a balanced view of medj (which of course you didn’t.)

    • Charlotte

      Nothing that comes from God is irrational. Being a serious student of German philosophy hardly disqualifies someone from having an opinion on Medjugorje.

      • jcb

        Although being a serious student of Hegel is, perhaps, a sign of underlying masochism.

        • SecretAgentMan

          As is standing on your head.

    • Klaus

      Being a Hegel scholar does not mean that he is a Hegelian. Logic fail. (That said, Hegelianism is probably more easily reconciled with Catholic doctrine than some of “Gospa’s” sayings.)

  • http://martinkelly.blogspot.com/ Martin

    The visionaries may be suffering from migraines.

  • Joannie

    I get very upset and angry whenever I hear anybody claim that Pope John Paul II was “fooled” by the Founder of the Legion of Christ. Fooled my foot! He supported him blindly because of his believe that the allegations against him were like a Communist conspiracy. But the truth is he would not even let his future friend who would become Pope himself investigate him or his order. Now it is not just him but 7 other LOC priests under investigation for the same things not to mention Fr Williams. If that was not bad enough now we find out Mother Teresa and Fr. John Hardon also looked the other way when it came to sex-abuse. Mother Teresa quoted as saying that talking about sex abuse is worse than the action itself. HUH! Yet high ranking Church People continue to ignore this treat these 3 as heroic, when their actions on this seem otherwise. Or is is it just me? Sex-abuse can’t be okay if a nun or cleric does it but not in other circumstances. Get Real.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Mother Teresa quoted as saying that talking about sex abuse is worse than the action itself.

      Citation, in context, very much needed.

  • marcia g

    Isn’t receiving our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist enough for people? Approved visions are not even necessary, but they are like nice little bonuses from the Lord, why bother with ones that are yet to be proven? Like the “poop in the brownie” story that circulated on the internet forever…. even a little bit of mess in a potential treat ruins the whole batch (short version).

    Jesus Christ, Lord of All, gave us Himself – He gave us the Holy Church and the Sacraments – He gave us His mother – He gives us abundant mercy and forgiveness and the HOPE of Heaven. Who needs more?

  • Laura Kazlas

    POPE JOHN PAUL II had a devotion to Our Lady of Medjugorje and stated that there was nothing contrary to the gospel or the Catholic faith in her messages. If POPE JOHN PAUL II, who happens to also be a SAINT, believed in Our Lady of Medjugorje then that is good enough for me.

    • Mark Shea

      Documentation please? And please note that Pope JPII also supported Maciel. Being a saint doesn’t make one’s private opinions infallible. But I would like to see the hard documentation JPII’s supposed “devotion” to Medj. I suspect that is an urban legend.

      • MattyD

        And *I* would like to see documentation for your claim, Mark, that the local bishops ruled twice that “nothing supernatural is happening here”. I suspect that is a blogger’s legend :)

        • Dave

          The bishop said, at least once, that his OPINION was not only that “the supernatural is not established” but also that “it is established that it is not supernatural.”

          • MattyD

            Thanks, Dave. I suspect you’re right on that one bishop’s opinion. But what I’m addressing is Mark’s claim that local bishops — plural & officially — have twice ruled that “there’s nothing supernatural happening ” there. Because, if that’s true, then Mark’s got a great point that we ought not defy the body of local ordinaries. But I’ve seen no evidence that the local bishops have said anything of the sort, but have actually given the claims a classification of “Nothing Contrary to the Faith”. Which is *very* different.

            • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

              I think it’s pretty clear that the local bishops have not thought Medjugorje is authentic. But since it has been made clear that the authority for evaluating Medjugorje no longer rests with the local bishop, I am not sure why anti-Medjugorje folks press their case by using the OPINION of the local bishop.

              The latest judgment on Medjugorje was “the supernatural is not established” by the Yugoslavian Bishops conference.

        • William LaRue

          Actually, it was the Bishop at first, then a commission of Bishops that handed down that ruling after the scammers ignored the first ruling. Doesn’t seem to stop ‘em, bless their murderous little hearts.

      • Clare

        You Suspect!!! Hmmmmm, Factual.

    • William LaRue

      I find it hard to believe that he said anything about the messages received after he died. That is one of the things that the scammers depend on; the Church up until now refused to authenticate any apparition until after the messages ceased, so as to preclude any errors being included in the messages received. Endless messages = Free get out of jail card. I’m sure that the decision to appoint a commission to study the phenomenon came as a bit of a shock, but apparently not much of one; business is booming!

  • Clare

    Please view these letters written by John Paul II… http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/071201

  • Clare

    John Paul II : “I, too, go there (Medjugorje) every day as a pilgrim in my prayers…” “And now we every day return to Medjugorje in prayer.”
    Seems pretty clear to me!

  • Clare
  • Sal

    First pop out of the Google:
    http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2010/04/john-paul-ii-and-medjugorje.html
    Please note his comparison of what a pronouncement on an approved apparition looks like in comparison to the slim, rather pathetic claims of papal approval of Medj by John Paul II.
    Ya’ll won’t pay attention to official episcopal rulings, but insist we should accept hearsay that even the Medj sites admit can’t be verified. That’s the sort of cultic behavior we worry about where Medj is concerned.

  • Maureen

    If God allows the Blessed Mother to intercede in the current age in an extraordinary way (Fatima & Lourdes & Krakow-Faustina), isn’t it a normal reaction to seek to understand what special reason God may have for doing so and to desire to meet the BVM and Lord there on some level? Going out to discover Emmanuel (God with us) is a basic definition of the Christian pilgrim. If this is so definitely a fraud, why would God participate in such a fraud by providing so much grace of conversion in Medjurgorje? Why not wait to give this great grace when they return home? Is He guilty of muddy-ing the waters, confusing the faithful by granting gifts of grace when they go out in search of him at Medjugorje? It seems that if this is really a fraud, a good God would give those gifts to those who are seeking when they are outside of Med, before they go or when they return but never in the place to those who are coming for Mary’s appearance.

    • William LaRue

      God can cause conversion at a chili dog stand if He so desires. Jesus repeatedly said to people “Your Faith has saved you…” apparently we need more bells and whistles these days. And spinning suns. And golden rosaries. Sheesh!

  • Maureen

    If everything in Howard’s article is true then the Vatican had an obligation to the faithful to provide a clear condemnation of it. To let this go on this long is a serious negligence on their part. Apparently, there is plenty of evidence over the past 30 years for a clear and definitive statement from them. To remain silent is a serious injustice to the faithful.