Medjugorje and the Ents of Rome

A reader writes:

I read your blog from time to time and am generally inclined to your view that Medjugorje is not authentic and of course support the finding of the local bishop that he could not determine that anything supernatural was happening. Some commentators have even suggested there is a demonic element to it. As it is well publicised that the CDF has taken on the case and has passed its findings to the Pope, I cannot understand why there is continued silence on the matter? If people are being exposed to pronouncements contrary to the Faith, through the words of the alleged seers, and exposed to demonic influences, then surely the Church would identify these and speak up quickly and unequivocally? The continued silence makes me think that they have found nothing amiss? It is one thing saying that nothing supernatural can be proved and quite another to say that there is deliberate fraud, statement contrary to the Faith or demonic influence. The theological errors in the Maria Divine Mercy blog were quickly identified and condemned by a united front of a number of bishops worldwide. The same has not happened for Medj which has been going on for such a long time. Some influential bishops like Cardinal Schonborn have actually promoted it. Why is the Church being so slow on this?

As reader Mike Flynn has noted, when you look up the definition of “Rapid Response Squad” you will not find a picture of St. Peter’s as an illustration.  This is a Church that took centuries to work out a definition of even its most core beliefs about the identity of Jesus.  When the conflagration of the Protestant Reformation struck, it took decades to even begin the Council of Trent and decades more to finish it.  The torch-wielding fanatics of Rome, hellbent on killing heretics, took something like seven years of careful deliberation to inflict one of their extremely rare verdicts of death against such an obvious loon as Giordano Bruno. (Not defending the Bruno verdict, simply pointing out that lynch mobs don’t go to all this trouble.)  Heck, the Ents of Rome only got around to saying, “The Beatles were pretty good” a couple of years ago.

All of which is to say that this kind of deliberation is par for the course for Rome.  Dealing with claims of private revelation, particularly ones that are enormously popular with well-meaning people who have been lied to and who find great solace in the lies, is tricky business.  I am morally certain that Rome, when it has finished its work, is going to take a big fat magic marker and simply underscore everything the local bishops have already said.  But the Ents are famous for wanting to have their ducks in a row.  Look how long it took them to reveal the Third Secret of Fatima.  Sr. Lucia said any time after 1960 was fine with her.  But we didn’t see it till about a decade ago.  And when it was made public, the professional Conspiracy Theorists immedately cooked up theories about how the Ents were engaged in a huge coverup of the TRVTH.

Exactly the same thing will happen when Rome fails to come through with support for the delusion that Medjugorje fans have convinced themselves of: that Rome “took Medjugorje away” from the local bishops and is going to vindicate the visionaries in exactly the way She vindicated Joan of Arc over the evil bishop who put her to death.

The reality, of course, is that the local bishops deliberately referred the case to Rome because the Medjugorje zealots were cooperating with the crooks and liars claiming “visions” and successfully creating a worldwide following of suckers who are cooperating in yet another foolish refusal to pay attention to the Church and run off after a fad that is full of dubious theology.

Bottom line: when the Ents finally get past hooming and homming and finally speak, the bishops who referred the matter to them will be totally and completely vindicated.  The trick will be figuring out a way to break this to the honest and good people who have been lied to so that they listen to the Church  and do not, like victims of Stockholm Syndrome, identify with the crooks and liars who have snookered them with this fraud for thirty years.  It’s a pastoral issue, not a truth issue, that is primarily the problem here.

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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
Bishop and Exorcist Andrea Gemma on Medjugorje
Jimmy Akin on Medjugorje
  • ivan_the_mad

    After the Ents finally speak on such a controversial issue, it shall no doubt be off to the bar for no few Ent-draughts.

    • HornOrSilk

      But no Ent-Wives, alas

      • ivan_the_mad

        I should hope not, given vows of celibacy! ;)

    • LSUStatman

      But no pipes.

      “Might be a relative.”
      “‘Let’s not be hasty’”

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    I must admit though- I have yet to see anything from Medjugorje that I can point to and say “there is heresy”. Deluded though the followers of the Gospa may well be, they are rather Orthodox.

    • Matt J

      How about the bloody handkerchief story. That’s a pretty good give-away.

      • sez

        Not a fan of Medj (after reading a bit a bout it few years ago), but I never heard of this bloody handkerchief story. Care to post a link?

        • Maureen
          • sez

            Fascinating. Thank you! Yes: that comports with the other things I’ve read about Medj.
            .
            Those who continually to believe uncritically are in my prayers.

            • my2cents

              the story says it ‘was rumored’ now you are believing rumors.

              • HornOrSilk

                The whole “it was Mary” is a rumor.

              • Patrick7Gormley

                The point made by http://www.marcocorvaglia.com/medjugorje-en/the-bloody-handkerchief.html is not that the story of the hanky is a rumour but that the Virgin according to Vicka said the horrible tale is true. That is the problem and you know it. The story says that Jesus is vindictive and irrational and needs the Virgin to control him.

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        I am also unaware of this story. There’s got to be a lot more than a fake Veronica to it to be heresy though.

      • Paul Baylis

        You’d need a lot more than than. There are stranger things aren’t there?

  • tj.nelson

    I’m waiting for an apparition on Facebook – with messages and images on the wall of course.

    • DeirdreMundy

      Hey, the crazy false visionary in Ohio once claimed that Mary dictated POWERPOINTS to her. Which, in and of itself, should have been proof to her followers that something diabolical was going on. Mary wouldn’t use powerpoint! It’s evil! ;)

  • anna lisa

    I don’t think a couple of the visionaries are frauds–victims of the diabolical–perhaps…? Why get all hot and bothered about any of it? Mass, rosary, presence of God, confession–What more do we need? It makes sense that Our Lady would come at critical times to encourage her children. We don’t have to be “team Medjugorje” or caped crusaders to rip it apart. Just leave it be. Catholics need to be encouraged to have balance regardless. Look at the “third secret” fanatics. They are acting foolishly, regardless of the authenticity of Fatima. I wouldn’t skip a beat if a pronouncement *never* came forth on Medjugorje–perhaps some strong language and guidance about *private revelation* in general is in order. The apparitions of Akita leave me wondering as well, and the bishop *approved* them…Garabandal? Bettania? Some of the “visionaries” of Kibeho? There are some odd features about all of them, the possibility that there is diabolical activity as well.
    The supernatural does intersect our lives, but we shouldn’t seek it out. There is enough of it in one mass to last a lifetime.

    • Steven Cass

      I thought Akita was not approved? Or approval was removed? Don’t know I guess. I know that Garabandal *has* been rejected by something like six or eight bishops. Kibeho is… interesting. Some of it was approved by the bishop in 1988, other parts rejected. The aspects of Kibeho that were proved warned about the slaughter in Rwanda in 1994. Here’s a short Wikipedia entry on it that sums it up fairly:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Kibeho

      I don’t know enough about Bettania. I believe they are approved, but I’m willing to be proved wrong on it.

      All that said, I agree with Mark on this. Medj hasn’t been approved yet because I think they are slow moving, and probably devising a way to gently explain it to the truly faithful who are being deceived.

      Anyway, when people ask me, I tell them to study the catechism, read the Bible, pray the rosary, go to Mass on Sunday and any daily Mass they can, and pray often for DISCERNMENT. People generally leave me alone after that. :)

      Edit: AAAND just to follow up on Betania, because I’m interested now, here’s Wiki again:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betania,_Venezuela

      Takeaway quote: “The apparitions at the site were approved by Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo; however, the visions and messages of Maria Esperanza have not been approved, nor have they been disapproved. They are under investigation.”

      Remember to always pray for discernment! God bless

      • anna lisa

        Good advice. I could find no evidence that the approval of Akita has changed. Garabandal seemed diabolical from the beginning. (Those kids ran backwards up a hill.) Kibeho is an example of the diabolical sowing confusion, to take attention from the message of Mary. I’ve read that Lourdes had many false apparitions popping up as well. I wonder if Our Lady came to Medj. before the civil war, (for obvious reasons, as in Kibeho) and the diabolical took over to cause disillusionment and doubt in the faithful. It’s hard to look at a couple of the visionaries and think that they are complete con artists. It seems to me that they became pawns with good intentions

      • jdumon

        Akita was approved by the local bishop, Mgr Ito. That’s enough for the Church’s approval. In addition, Cardinal Ratzinger met with Bp Ito and confirmed the approval. Sometimes later he told Mr Howard Dee, the ambassador of the Philippines Republic to the Holy See that Akita and Fatima’s messages are “essentially the same”.
        Until now Medjugorge has not been approved. Dot.

    • HornOrSilk

      The reason why people get bothered is that false visionaries lead people astray. Which is the intention of such visionaries.

      • anna lisa

        I think evil is far more subtle than that. If you were diabolical, who would you aim to enlist to do evil?

    • Eimeara Volodchenko

      I am not sure about Kibeho either, Anna Lisa. Alphonsine may be genuine but I have doubts about Anathalie.

  • petey

    sorry, what’s an ‘Ent’?

    • chezami

      Ancient tree-like creatures in Tolkien’s Middle Earth who take forever to say something or come to a decision. Don’t make them angry though. You won’t like them when they’re angry.

      • petey

        but wouldn’t they also then be slow to anger?

        • http://robertfking.wordpress.com/ Roki

          Very slow to anger … but very powerful when their anger is finally roused.

        • chezami

          Indeed they are. You have to read The Lord of the Rings to get the full flavor of the allusion.

  • my2cents

    the devil hates Mary… sometime i wonder if those who are so anti-Medjugorje –in their divisiveness are in cahoots with Satan himself. Its apparent many souls are hungry and as a church we should be working with the pilgrims who go to Medjugorje and lead them to our local Eucharistic Adoration Chapels. Funny thing is as Adoration chapels pop up in our dioceses it seems it is the Medjugorje pilgrims who are the ones begging their priests and helping to promote Eucharistic Adoration. Our Lady always lead us to her SON.

    • chezami

      The whole “you are a minion of Satan if you don’t believe the frauds at Medjugorje” thing is a load of hooey.

    • wineinthewater

      Or perhaps, because the devil hates Mary, he is sowing seeds of dissent under an apparent apparition of her.

      And perhaps, because Jesus loves His mother, He bestows grace on people of good will who pursue Him through Mary, even a false apparition of her.

      I am not morally certain of anything, but I accept the authority of the local bishops in their determination and will accept the authority of Rome in her determination.

    • Patrick7Gormley

      Are the Medjugorje pilgrims doing this because of the reported visions or because of their Catholic faith? May I remind you that accusing people of being in cahoots with the Devil should not be done lightly as you are doing. It would be different if you provided evidence and links to it but mere assertions are no good. Personally the tone taken by too many supporters of Medjugorje is as offputting as that taken by its attackers. I do not regard this hatred as any kind of good fruit. Why are Christians who are not into chasing after apparitions usually so nice to talk to and reason with?

  • Joseph Johnson

    There is an article called “Medjugorje and the Church” here: http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2012/02/medjugorje-and-church.html
    which not only points out the “apparitions on demand” problem with all four of the Medjugorje visionaries, and also the article has a link to a damaging video showing Vicka obviously faking a vision.
    -Joseph Johnson
    USA

    • Paul Baylis

      Oh dear, there is one born every minute. The Internet has a lot to answer for and so do the folks who spread these things.

  • http://www.DSDOConnor.com/ Daniel O’Connor

    “I am morally certain that Rome, when it has finished its work, is going to take a big fat magic marker and simply underscore everything the local bishops have already said.”

    How many public seemingly heartfelt apologies, Mark, are you going to make for your tone and approach on this blog before you actually strive to change your ways? Do you have any idea how vitriolic and flippant it is to announce your “moral certainty” that the six very holy, humble, and edifying Medjugorje visionaries are “frauds, crooks, and liars”?

    • Paul Baylis

      Amen to that. The tone of anti-Medjugorje folks stuns me. It’s like they are all under the influence of the same evil spirit.

    • Eimeara Volodchenko

      Holy and humble visionaries??? No way- they are show offs and crooks.


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