Preliminary attempts to spin Medjugorje Finding are Under Way

Here’s what we actually know: Two local ordinaries have said there is no reason to think that anything supernatural has occurred there. The spiritual director of the frauds got a nun pregnant. None of the frauds has entered religious life, a number of them have gotten stinking rich. Their dog and pony show has been forbidden from touring the US.

As to the Commission: it’s taken its Entish time and (here’s the key thing) has not yet released its findings.

And yet the Usual Suspects in the Medjugorje camp are already spiking the ball and declaring victory. Why? Because, as with their steadfast rejection of the local ordinaries, they were never ever going to do anything else. So when an article from a couple of pro-Medj journalists, filled with “apparently” and “possibly” appears in La Stampa, that’s good enough for them and they announce the commission will find in favor of the “visionaries”.

But in fact, here is what we know about the Commission’s findings: nothing. Because they haven’t released their findings yet.

For actual sober commentary, see Diane Korzeniewski’s fine site. Especially this.

My own expectation is that the Ents of Rome will say something along the lines of “Lots of nice people have had fruitful experiences at Medjugorje, thanks to the grace of God, but basically the local bishops were right and you should have listened to them. We’re not going to stick our necks out and call the visionaries frauds since that’s hard to prove and will just upset people, but no, there’s nothing supernatural happening here.” Rome=romanitas, so the statement will be something along those line. Medjheads will continue to declare victory since they are incorrigible. But anybody looking at it reasonably will realize the Church is saying “There’s no There there.”

That’s my expectation. My *hope* is that Rome will do something stronger, like condemn it as the fraud it is, since Medjheads *are* incorrigible and this poison needs to stop. But I don’t always get what I want. It’s all in God’s hands. He will dispose of it as he wills.

  • gloria

    Methinks you are the spinner!

    • chezami

      Nope. I’m frank that my speculation is mere speculation. Medjheads are treating their speculation as thought it is fact.

      • gloria

        Well you are doing the same thing as the Medjheads…offering opinion rather than facts. Why not both sides just calm down until the ruling comes down.

        • chezami

          No. I’m not. I’m offering opinion *as opinion*. They are offering opinion *as fact*. In other words, they are spreading disinformation, as is their custom.

    • Stu
      • Dave

        Mark was clearly the lead singer there. You can hear him developing many of the same themes as found on his blog. ;-)

        • Stu

          I don’t he is getting enough sun of late.

  • Stu

    Mark, go easy on this.

    Aside from some of your rhetoric, I see this whole thing the same way that you do. I really do. But, Holy Mother Church has not definitively spoken yet on this and given I share a similar outlook as you, when she does there are going to be some sad people out there who are going to feel a bit lost. Shouldn’t we position ourselves rhetorically in a manner that allows them go gracefully give up on this whole thing?

    As you know, I attend an FSSP parish. Accordingly, there is MUCH skepticism regarding Medjugorje there. MUCH. But, for whatever reason we have had an influx of so-called “Charismatic Catholics” into the parish over the last years (I’m beginning to say that “Charismatics make the best Traditionalists”) and with them have come some fairly devoted proponents to Medjugorje. These are nice people, Mark. Really nice people. And given some conversations I have had with them, I think they are headed for some devastation. I’m not sure building the walls between them and us now is going to be helpful when that happens.

    • Dave

      That’s really interesting that there is starting to be some “charismatic traditionalists.” That actually gives me a lot of hope! There is a lot of good in both groups, along with some extremes that need to be tempered. The extremes could be tempered by this intermixing.

      • Stu

        To be fair, I don’t think they would call themselves “charismatic traditionalists” and they became a part of our parish because something was lacking in their mind wherever they were previously.

      • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com/ Kevin Tierney

        I was discussing this over drinks Saturday. like Stu I wouldn’t call them “charismatic traditionalists.” Instead:

        1.) Like traditionalists, they reject the status quo of contemporary Catholicism.

        2.) They have a lot of fire and zeal, and we can respect that.

        3.) More often than not, the young on both sides find more to work together on than apart on. And younger Charismatics aren’t as blatantly hostile towards traditionalism as their parents were. (really, first and even second generation charismatics were just nasty towards the Latin Mass.)

        Having a regular Latin Mass celebrated at Stuebenville is helping to thaw some of those icy relations on both sides.

    • Diane at Te Deum

      I’ve seen similar with charismatics and agree. These are not the charismatics I knew in my youth who were anti-Marian and perhaps even anti-Eucharistic. It was really a Protestant line back then.

      It may surprise people to know I have good friends who believe Medj is authentic. We know which side of the divide we are on and have no reason to discuss it. We talk about anything but and that’s fine.

      Mark – since the Holy See has not pronounced on it, I would just encourage you to preface your comments about fraud as your personal opinion, which you are free to express.

      And, thanks for the compliment and link

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      I never thought I would hear anyone say that “Charismatics make the best Traditionalists” (I was raised in a Charismatic household), but it just made my heart jump with joy when you said it. What a wonderful thing!

    • said she

      Stu, what else can one do? I’ve got Medjheads in my bible study group. They buy every silly thing that comes along. Sweet, prayerful people! But not well educated, and unable to discern fakery. Due to my thick glasses and honest face, they listen to me. Except when I speak (always delicately!) about Medj not being approved, “so please be careful” – then they nod politely and change the subject. That one has their hearts. If Medj takes a turn away from Holy Mother Church, these poor people will be in turmoil, and I can’t be certain where they will end up. How can we help them if not by reminding them that Medj isn’t approved?

      • Stu

        By all means remind them that it isn’t approved. I certainly do. But tone matters. Going in strong with world like “fraud” and such make the divide much deeper, especially when this is all said and done. I believe Rome will ultimately condemn it. When they do, I would rather my Medjugorje friends be able to easily admit they were wrong rather than building up such a divide between us now they might just avoid in the future.

        But it sounds like you have the same approach.

    • jordanhenderson

      I agree. Mark, you’re tasting bitter again. No need to throw the word fraud around so much, even if it’s true. There’s just no need. Let them stand or fall as they will. Your blog postings won’t have much to do with that.

  • Dave

    I suppose the Commission (or the Pope) could go outside the box and say something similar to what you have speculated. But generally, there are three classifications that usually are used to rule on apparitions:

    1. constat de non supernaturalitate – determined to be NOT supernatural
    2. non constat de supernaturalitate – NOT determined to be supernatural
    3. constat de supernaturalitate – determined to be supernatural.

    Of the three, #3 will definitely not be chosen at this time, as the alleged apparitions are still ongoing. It is a choice between #1, which would be your preference, or #2, which is what the previous Medjugorje commission said, and which would mean the question remains open, with continuation of the crackdowns on those who are misleading people to think that the apparitions are already approved.

    • chezami

      There is no way this load of horse hockey is going to declared worthy of belief.

      • Dave

        What does that have to do with what I said? It certainly will not be declared “worthy of belief” (which would be option #3) at this time. That’s because the apparitions are still ongoing. If option #2 is declared, that is a victory for the Medjugorje proponents.

    • Heather

      Actually, I thought there was another option as well as the three mentioned above: yes, it may well be supernatural, but if it is it ain’t coming from the Good Guys.

      • Dave

        That is certainly possible, and has happened in the past. I’m not sure if the Church has ever declared such, though.

  • Illinidiva

    First, there are people trying to make a buck off of all the Marian shrines, even the approved ones…. St. Bernadette shot glasses. Second, if the Vatican is going to crack down on the charismatics preferred Marian site, then they should crack down on the nuttiness surrounding Fatima as well. Perhaps the CDF could warn people against associating with Father Gruner or the Fatima Center?

    • HornOrSilk

      Well, Gruner did get a suspension. So the Church has gone against him, too.

      • Illinidiva

        True. Gruner is also on the Vatican security’s list of religious crazies. However, it amuses me to no end that many of the same people whining about Medjugorje are the same ones obsessed with Gruner, the real third secret, and the consecration of Russian. Pot calls kettle black.

        • Almario Javier

          Which is funny, since Bl. John Paul II consecrated Russia decades ago. They get the consecration and they still complain.

          • James H, London

            Not only that, but they insist that the last 3 Popes AND Sr Lucia (the last surviving visionary), were all lying when they said the consecration was valid.

            • Almario Javier

              It’s as if when given the choice between an extremely improbable conspiracy theory, and a simpler, more reasonable explanation supported by the evidence, they go for the conspiracy theory.

  • Fr. RP

    Not long ago Pope Francis had this to say in one of his daily Mass ferverinos, ‘“But I know a visionary, who receives letters from Our Lady, messages from Our Lady”. And the Pope commented: “But, look, Our Lady is the Mother of everyone! And she loves all of us. She is not a postmaster, sending messages every day.”

  • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com/ Kevin Tierney

    Sure sounds like they are punting on the issue. Convene a commission to settle the issue, take 3 years deliberating it, then punt.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Supernatural and holy are not necessarily the same thing.

  • Almario Javier

    Remember, folks, even if the Church rules in favor, so to speak, that only means, like all the others, it’s worthy of belief. Nothing is inducing you to believe the apparitions occurred, and it likely won’t send you to hell if you don’t believe it.

    • guesto3

      IOW, you don’t trust the Church unless its overabundance of care and study happens to back your personal prejudices. Just another type of CINO as far as full adherence to unity in spirit is concerned. And nothing is inducing you to be involved at all and yet it appears that you certainly have been in order to influence those who just might trust the Church all this time. Looks like there will be a lot of uneaten humble pie for the former and continuing gossips in the “elitist” blogs.

      • chezami

        Nope. I trust the Church just fine. The ents of Rome can do as they please. I’m just speculating on what I I think they will, in fact, do. Even if, mirabile dictu, they should pronounce this “worthy of belief” (which they won’t) I still am not bound in the slightest to believe it. It’s a claim of private revelation and not binding on the faithful. And, by the way, calling me a CINO is a one way ticket off my blog. Bye!

  • meunke

    ” Their dog and pony show has been forbidden from touring the US.”
    - WAIT! There’s a PONY??? I TOTALLY believe it now!

  • James H, London

    A few points, Mark

    “The spiritual director of the frauds got a nun pregnant.”
    He wasn’t there when the business started, he left 3 years later, and hasn’t even been in the country for 20+ years.

    “a number of them have gotten stinking rich”
    A number of one, I think. And it’s not his money. Another went through chemo, she kept the appearances up even during her wig-wearing days.

    There has been at least one good thing for the ents to consider: a friend of my wife’s was healed of the effects of a stroke, the process began during an alleged apparition. Significantly, she said she doesn’t talk about it because she doesn’t want to be a ‘Medjugorje bore’.

    I’m getting heartily fed up with all the nonsense caused by private revelation. As far as I’m concerned, the whole lot is more trouble than it’s worth.


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