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.

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Ivan Dragicevic, Medjugorje "visionary", thumbs his nose at the CDF
It would appear Rome is Leaning Toward Shutting Down the Medjugorje Traveling Road Show
Question about Medjugorje
Medjugorje and the Ents of Rome
  • Clare short

    Thank you Fr. David, that is very useful information for me also. Thank you.

  • EBS

    I believe that the Vatican sometimes, in particularly in the case of Medjugorje, has to tread lightly.
    Look at the polar opposite and very emotional comments that have been posted as a reaction to Marks article. There is so much emotion and opinion surrounding this because it has gone on for so long and involved so many people.
    I believe the Vatican doesn’t want to cause a schism of sorts, and perhaps is looking at a right time to “break the news”.
    In the meantime, it’s up to our discernment- I used to read a lot about Medjugorje as a teenager and believed in it.
    As a grown adult, I have stopped reading and following it because it does nothing for my faith. At all! As a priest said in one of the comments- look in your own backyard, or rather your own Church and the Mass, and see the miracle that occurs there continually, daily in the Eucharist. Faith is about trusting in Gods word, not following things like Medjugorje- it’s a bit immature in my opinion, because people worship it more than they ought to.
    And to have a personal dialogue with God, is to know God speaks to us all the time. His voice is a whisper, and you’ve gotta let go of the distractions to hear it. Medjugorje and the like are just sensational occurrences that shouldn’t drive our Faith. God Himself, along with the guiding hand of His Mother Mary, guide our Faith.
    And to the people that converted because of Medjugorje, that’s great. Let hope their faith has grown enough for them to not credit this place in Croatia as the source of their faith. As it is God that ought to be the cause and purposes for our Faith.

  • Clare short

    I’d like to apologise if any of my comments have been sarcastic! Sorry! I will be flying to medj in a few Weeks and will remember you all. God bless, and stop this pointless bickering!

  • David M. Wagner

    Great post, Mark!

  • Thomas D

    As you see Medjugorje led some off the ‘deep end.’

  • Sam Wood

    How ’bout “Medjugorje is a fraud…doo dah, doo dah!”

  • Laura Kazlas

    Ok. Here is some legitimate documentation in the Pope’s own handwriting, regarding Medjugorje:

    Denis Nolan authored a book titled Medjugorje and the Church, the 2007 version of which contains photos of eight letters (accompanied by the English translations) written by the late pope that reference the alleged apparitions.

    Pope John Paul II not only corresponded with the visionaries, but they also visited him personally. I’m not saying Pope John Paul II personally “endorsed” Medjugorje, but he did say that none of the messages revealed anything contrary to the gospel or the Catholic faith.

    Does anyone have proof that there has ever been a single thing recorded in Our Lady’s messages that is contrary to the gospel or our Catholic faith?

    Tomorrow, Our Lady usually appears to the visionaries and gives us a message (on the 2nd of each month). Let’s see what she has to say tomorrow! Will there be anything in what she says that is contrary to the gospel? Or the Catholic faith? If not, then what’s the big deal if we believe her appearances are real – or not?

    I quit smoking because of Our Lady of Medjugorje. I was a two pack a day smoker for 20 years. I couldn’t quit on my own. I tried everything under the sun, to try to quit smoking and I just couldn’t. I prayed to Our Lady of Medjugorje and she helped me quit smoking. I have been a non-smoker for 20 years now. And, that is a real life miracle.

    • Klaus

      No, it’s not. Quitting smoking is a laudable achievement. It is not a miracle.

    • Elaine T

      For questionable things the ‘seers’ have reported go to the bishop’s website and read the link titled :The Truth About Medjugorie. The seers are documented as having lied, and also as quoting the apparition as supporting two men as ‘innocent’ when the bishop, and saying that they should not obey the bishop. There’s also something in there about the figure saying ‘all faiths are equal’. Sample from it:
      January 20, 1982. The children asked what Rev. Ivica Vego and Rev. Ivan Prusina were to
      do now that they were thrown out of the Order. Our Lady answered: “They are innocent. The
      bishop was harsh in his decision. They can stay.”
      April 15, 1982. Vicka asked Our Lady a question. “Could you generally tell me everything
      about Ivica Vego and Ivan Prusina?” Our Lady smiled at the first and then she said: “They are innocent.”
      She repeated twice that: “The bishop has made a mistake… let them remain in Mostar… they
      can say Mass sometimes but may they be careful to stay away from attention until things calm
      down. They have no faults…”

      Vego is the one whom the Franciscans kicked out for having a mistress and fathering children.


  • Bill

    So what are you saying Father? It’s a blog. It’s meant to spark debate and enlightenment.

    I see your point but I think you’re missing the target here. Mark Shea and other Catholic bloggers are doing their level best to present the truth of the faith as honestly and ad forthcoming as they can

    Do excesses need to be corrected? Sure. But you’re throwing the baby out with the bath water here.

  • Fr. David Abernethy, C.O.


    I assume you are addressing my comments. In no way did I say that Catholic blogs lack value or should be disregarded – as you suggest. However, in the the pressing “need” to comment on everything and the desire to provoke discussion there is often much that is sacrificed and things are often stated in a fashion that is blatantly inflammatory in tone. Contrary to what many may think, cleverness is not necessarily a virtue and it often gives way to mockery and hostility in the exchanges that take place. It seems to me that Catholic bloggers should be seeking to create culture that encourages a certain refinement in those who participate in the discussions they initiate; interaction where there is an expectation of civility and politeness and even a little formality. Sensitivity to others, thoughtfulness, and good manners should be viewed as concrete means of expressing and reinforcing charity. The rush to publish can lead a person to neglect such considerations and scurrility in behavior can quickly take over. The style of writing can still be familiar and direct without devolving into the attitudes and practices I mention above. Laziness in writing and thinking has become the acceptable standard especially in online forums. The subculture that Catholic blogs create isn’t just a matter of manners. It goes deeper than that in my mind. The external forms that express the distinctiveness of Catholic living have the important function in preserving and transmitting the values they embody. Are Catholic bloggers doing their level “best”? I don’t know but I think such things as I have mentioned above should be given due consideration.

    • Bill

      We are all sensitive to the coarseness Father. Nobody here wants reductions to the lowest common denominator. I just worry that as we are reminded not to take it too far, we don’t go anywhere at all.

  • Bill

    I didn’t say nor imply that you thought they didn’t have value.

    I hear what you’re saying and I think your statements are truisms and but I still think you’re giving a lot of people short shrift. There are a lot of tabloids out there. But I think we are enriched by guys like Mark Shea. Especially when they say things we don’t want to hear.

  • Bill

    It’s his blog, not mine or yours or anyone else’s. He doesn’t need my defense. But I am thankful I get the chance to read him regularly.

  • Fr. David Abernethy, C.O.


    Well you did say that I was throwing out the baby with the bath water – as if my concern was a dismissal of the value and importance of Catholic bloggers. I read Mark’s blog and others regularly too (and have had him as a guest speaker at various events) but the style of writing and commenting on posts often lacks not only a generosity of spirit towards others and civility but the “opinions” shared are at times not measured or very thoughtful. In this case, and most cases, I don’t disagree with Mark’s view and believe the Church’s judgment to be essential in this matter. Why you dismiss my comments as mere truisms is interesting given that most of what I express as being important and valuable doesn’t seem so obvious from the blogs that I read or to those who offer comments on them. The freedom of exchange of ideas online is great but it has changed the way the people think, write and interact with each other. I’m certainly not afraid of the truth or of engaging others with differing opinions but I am sensitive the coarseness of the tone that places the one’s view (accurate as it may be) above the dignity of others. For example, Mark’s comment at the beginning “Medjugorje is a fraud. EIEIO!” may seem clever but for those who have experienced spiritual blessings in their life from pilgrimages made, or spiritual practices embraced because of the messages deserve more than having a sledgehammer taken to their devotion. One can express the importance and necessity of abiding by the Church’s judgment without overstating things. Is it the job of 50 unknown strangers to set someone straight? Are we all so far above being frauds, often in ways hidden to us, that we can set upon one another with impunity? And yet, as I said in another comment, there is almost a morbid delight we show now exposing and criticizing the woundedness of the Church or her members. While certainly some things warrant or demand critique, including the focus of this post, and need to be addressed, our love for the Church should not make us mock her (in this case those who had or have a devotion to Medjugorie) as good for nothing or ugly: especially while we remain hidden ourselves in the anonymity of cyberspace. R. Cantalamessa once wrote: “once you have wept with the Church, once you have humbled yourself at its feet, God can command you as he has done in the past to raise your voice against the ‘wounds of the Church.’ But not before.” It is with thought in mind that I lay my “truisms” before you.

  • nadster

    Face it folks, Med. is at best a well-run scam by some sheep herders, who are now married to beauty queens and living in places like Massachusetts and Italy, raking in millions from trinkets and speeches. And I was once a believer. I also hoarded cans of beans prepping for Y2K, bought batteries in prep for the three days of darkness and once believed a prophecy that only Carmelites and Legionaries would be the remaining faithful Catholics. The Maciel happened.

  • Diane K

    This thread has gotten quite long. I have responded in Kathy Schiffer’s thread(and one of my comments is awaiting moderation).

  • Klaus

    It is depressing to see how many videos there are on YouTube of the Medjugoogoo “visionaries” having prescheduled visits with Our Lady. Naturally, only they can see her, but the crowd can be certain of her presence thanks to the staring into middle distance, spontaneous tears… oh, and the time on the clock, since Our Lady always turns up at the predetermined hour.

    Honestly people, this is one step away from Veronica Leuken and her ludicrous traffic light system.

    • Klaus

      (A flashing blue light meant the Virgin Mary was appearing to Veronica. Flashing red for Jesus. Thought I’d better clear that up for those not into reading about crank visionaries.)

  • Tom

    if the church has not ruled out about the apparitions, how can this guy say that it’s a fraud? I’ve been in medjugorje, I saw the sun spinning, it was amazing……Don’t believe him….

    • Mark Shea

      The church has ruled–twice–that nothing supernatural is happening there via the local bishops.

  • Clare
    • Mark Shea

      Clearly, Itallian footballers trump the teaching of two bishops.

  • Clare

    I’m loving the way you always have to try to get the last word in Mark!!! ;)

  • Sean L Tobin

    I am certainly not qualified to say more than it would appear, according to a Bishop friend who went there, that he could not say whether or not Our Blessed Mother was appearing there but he did feel that many visitors were returning to the Church because of their experiences.

  • Anne

    Unfortunately many people who go to Medjugorje are seeking an ‘experience’ of some kind, or some ‘good feelings’. Some come back claiming visions of their own…and that is unfortunate. If we look at the lives of the Saints, we see and hear about suffering and dryness in prayer etc. I do believe Medjugorje is a very dangerous deception and many people will fall away when it is discovered as such. There is a huge danger in relying on visions and apparitions. Another thing that has somewhat bewildered me was, why did all six of these visionaries marry. Not one of them stayed single or became a religious. I find that most strange. When I think of St. Bernadette and all she went through to be obedient to her Parish Priest and enter a Convent.

    Its all very sad that so many believe in these messages of this very strange site of ‘apparitions’.

  • Rose

    I have been to medjugorje and found it to be a very peaceful place. if it was so called false as you are trying to say then why are there so many people returning to the church. Alot of people have been healed while visiting medjugorje. I personnally seen the sun spin and beautiful colours coming from it. Also seen two crosses in the sky when it was clear as. go and visit and see for yourself do not take anyones word for it. My life has changed since being there I am becoming closer to god everyday and i would not give that up for anything. thank you Medjugorje for your gift of love.

  • john konnor

    Wherefore she is hailed as a pre-eminent and singular member of the Church, and as its type and excellent exemplar in faith and charity. The Catholic Church, taught by the Holy Spirit, honors her with filial affection and piety as a most beloved mother.-Lumen Gentium 53
    … so i am having trouble here… how as a member of the church is Mary able to order the pope ? … Mary certainly has some extraordinary charisms and graces bestowed upon her as a most perfect creation however she does not have the authority to contradict the Gospel… what the apostles bind on earth shall also be bound in heaven….
    Graf: The Bishop has the duty to judge whether or not this is Our Lady.
    Vicka: He can judge as he wants, but I know that it is Our Lady
    Graf: The Church says of those who are confident in themselves, that this itself is a sign that Our Lady is not in question here.
    Vicka: Let those who are doubtful remain doubtful. I’m not.
    Graf: This is not a good thing. .. You once told the Bishop that he should pay more attention to Our Lady than to the Pope.
    Vicka: Yes, I did…
    Graf: You told the Bishop that he is to blame and that those two (Vego and Prusina) are innocent and can perform their priestly duties.
    Vicka: Yes I did…
    Graf: Our Lady said this, and the Pope says they cannot?(29)
    Vicka: The Pope can say what he wants. I’m telling it as it is

    There are at least two messages from the “Gospa” actually threatening Bishop Zanic, the Ordinary of Mostar-Duvrno at the beginning of the “apparitions”, with reprisals for not approving of the apparitions:April 26, 1982:

    “The Bishop has no real love of God in his heart. Regarding the Bishop, may Ivica (Vego) and Ivan (Prusina) remain calm. What the Bishop is doing is contrary to the will of God, yet he can do as he pleases, but one day justice such as you have never seen shall be revealed.

    “Regarding this supposed statement of the Virgin, one should keep in mind these words of the Mystical Doctor, St. John of the Cross:”He (the devil) is wont occasionally to reveal falsely, but with great distinctness, the sins of others � with a view to detraction.”
    …how can Mary say this? it is not consistent with the voice of a humble loving mother … i have trouble with medjugorje…. true people are attending the sacraments but this is entirely owing to a collective hysteria there are many problems with the messages… thanks for the posts

  • Keith Michael Estrada

    I’m no Bishop. An apparition is not necessitated by an increase of faith. If two or three are gathered in His name, He’ll be there. Those who gained spiritual strength may have been misled, if indeed the whole thing was a scam. However they may have certainly had a personal experience with the Divine, as He is not limited by scams.

  • Humphrey

    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!

  • Humphrey

    Also Pope John Paul II never visited Medjugorje. The Holy See is being very smart about this. Some believe it is a chess game with the Devil. Since the visions seem phony over the top they have already caused disobedience If The Holy See was to openly disapprove of Medjugorje Many might leave the Church which is Satan’s goal. So for those believing there have been conversions due to Medjugorje, they are wrong Christ will convert The Faithful & protect them. Disobedience is not acceptable.
    “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.”

  • George

    Better late than never… Regarding this sentence “A reader demands to know a) how I answer the fact that Pope John Paul II said nice things about Medj” I believe it hasn’t been yet posted here:
    Cardinal Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) has declared in 1998 that no statement concerning Medjugorje has even been issued by Pope John Paul II; any such statement therefore needs to be considered a myth, wishful thinking, or outright deceit. This information can be found on the Bishop of Mostar’s website, here (search for the phrase “frei erfunden”)

  • John G

    I have been twice. I wish I hadn ‘t. I was taken in by all that nonsense. Now I stick to Lourdes and Walsingham where our Lady has appeared. She has not appeared in Medjitsgorythere