Don’t Get Snookered by Phony Apparitions

Don’t Get Snookered by Phony Apparitions December 6, 2012

Whether in Ohio, or in Medjugorje. The report from the Vatican’s Commission is, according to some, due to be handed to the Pope at the end of the month, but (according to others) not. No word when we will hear what’s in it. However, I am morally certain it’s simply going to ratify the warnings of the two local ordinaries who have already looked at it and said there is nothing supernatural happening in Medjugorje. I suspect no small part of the slowness is due to the fact that the people preparing it are not eager to face the firestorm of crazy when they tell True Believers the truth they don’t want to hear. Nonetheless, believers in this great fraud are going to have to decide whether they will listen to holy Church as they should have done when the local ordinaries tried to warn them 20 years ago, or if they will choose to continue blinding themselves with some silly conspiracy theory about the “smoke of Satan” seducing the Pope, etc. blah blah. This is going to be a real test of obedience for some.

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  • Mark, have you forgotten that a commission of bishops has already looked at Medjugorje and declared “Non constat de supernaturalitate” (has not been established as supernatural?) Why would they simply ratify the local bishops opinion (“Constat de non supernaturalitate”) as if that was the most recent and authoritative verdict? It’s not.

    As far the Ohio thing, yeah, definitely stay away from that one. And if Medjugorje is condemned, you are right that it will be a danger…as you can see from the comments on the Ohio link.

  • ivan_the_mad

    I approach even authentic private revelation with caution. I’ve enough work on my hands conforming myself to public revelation, making the Faith alive with in me. I’ve always felt that private revelation would be more of a distraction when I haven’t got the basics down pat. This is of course merely my opinion, but something rings true to me about it.

  • Richard Chonak

    Does anything happen when expected at the Holy See? If the calendar hadn’t compelled them last weekend, they’d probably still be in Ordinary Time.

  • Chris

    I have been to Holy Medjugorje. My sister and I were granted the grace to see with our own eyes a flight of Angels. 20 or 30 of them. We watched them for half an hour do their work. I didn’t see this while in Paris, London, Bucharest, Rome, San Francisco or New York. Surely there is some reason for this. This Donal Foley like article is inaccurate, uninspired and unmotivated.

    • Mark Shea

      How is it “inaccurate”? What does “uninspired” and “unmotivated” mean beyond empty alliterative insult which says, “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up despite what the bishops say”?

  • sara
  • ” Why would they simply ratify the local bishops opinion (‘Constat de non supernaturalitate’) as if that was the most recent and authoritative verdict? It’s not.”

    Under the usual circumstances, it is. The local bishop is the one who determines whether an apparition is supernatural in nature (thus warranting further study) or not. This is the least of reasons why it is extremely unlikely that the Holy See would counter the decree of the present and past Bishops of Mostar. Other considerations are that the visions have not ceased, and the visionaries are not all deceased. There is always the prospect that “visions” at odds with the Faith could eminate from the phenomenon in question.

    It is also important to remember that, given that all public revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, the burden of proof concerning a private revelation is not whether it is NOT supernatural, but on whether it IS. (Refer to the Catechism, 65-67, 73.)

    • Well, there are three options. It certainly won’t be approved now, so that leaves two:

      0 “Non constat de supernaturalitate” – Supernatural has not been established (commision’s position)
      0 “Constat de non supernaturalitate” – not supernatural (bishop of Mostar’s opinion)

  • “My sister and I were granted the grace to see with our own eyes a flight of Angels. 20 or 30 of them.”

    If they all danced for you on the head of a pin, it would not change the fact that the operative word in private revelations is “private.” It is one thing to have an opinion, quite another to believe with the theological virtue of Faith.

  • Matt

    I have a feeling this is going to be a let down. The Vatican will probably just say “we can’t be certain that there is anything supernatural going on” and just wait until the “apparitions” end. It’s not a bad course of action, though I want something definitive as badly as anyone. I’m just plain tired of hearing about Medjugorje.

  • Many people have private experiences. I’ve had them. I take them as signs, but I have no way of verifying for anyone else that they are veritable signs from heaven. If they seem good and have good fruits then cherish them, but don’t confuse them with bona fide messages to the Church.

    They should not contradict teaching or dogma. They should result in increased charity, humility and peace. They should not contribute to personal wealth or notoriety. IMHO.


    Blessed Virgin, Holy Mother
    Tabernacle and protector,
    Hear us when we speak your name,
    To whom an angel glory came

    All around you heaven-light
    For those who have not lost their sight,
    The brightness that the poets knew,
    The draftsmen of a splendor drew

    Workers into paint and clay
    Of music that musicians play,
    Sculptors of a harmony
    That even sightless eyes can see

    You are my patroness as long
    As in my promise love is strong,
    For so I swore to you my oath:
    Obedience and labor both

    Immaculate and faithful one
    The honor of your Lord and Son,
    Renew our hope as we renew
    The vows of love we made to you

    December 6, 2012

  • If I saw 300 angels but ended up the same jerk as I was before I saw the angels, I might worry about that vision.

  • tz

    Supernatural does not mean God or angels. Transubstantiation is supernatural yet happens everywhere. Good can happen, God can use evil.

  • knoxvilletim

    You know, it’s one thing to not believe in private apparitions. That’s your perogative. Just like it is the perogative of the Bishop of Mostar who doesn’t believe in any Marian apparition. But to call Medjugorje “phony” and a “fraud” when Cardinals and Bishops are open to Medjugorje and the Vatican has still not ruled demeans your own credibility. You obviously think more highly of your opinion than that of respected Church leaders. Of course you know that many Marian apparition events were railed against before they were approved, but instead of respectfully exhibiting holy patience, you choose to reveal your bravado and arrogant attitude that many, including myself, find quite repulsive and not consistent with what Catholism teaches with regard to hubris, pride and vain glory regardless of the final outcome on Medjugorje.

  • Chris

    I am flattered that most comments are about my response not the article. Vade en pace

  • Jack

    Come on, the Vatican would be the first to know if the Virgin Mary was appearing for over 30 years in Bosnia, Alabama and everywhere else this minstrel show is seen. The fact they have to convene a commission to deal with this fraud says it all. The Pope was deluded alright by the devil but it was your precious JP2 not the current one,

  • ED

    knoxvilletim — FWIW, I respect Mark, but I tend to agree with you on this topic.

    FYI… I’m not a Medjugorje supporter or fan, but I must admit that I do agree with you that Mark’s incendiary comments over the years on this *particular* topic are quite *unnecessary* and continually incite *division* and *needless* quarrels between many good and active Church members.

    Hmmm(?)… almost… in the same way our *saintly* government continually incites division and quarrels within our weak and sick society today. Hmmm??? That’s so-o-o very weird… could it be possible that Mark is somehow actually working for the government in some silly way too??? LOL

    BUT, HEY… of course, as we all know… *hot topics* and volatile comboxes will always make a blogger much *more* famous and keep them in that important and illustrious limelight. It MUST be quite a BIG temptation to “get all those extra hits”. Let’s hope it’s just this silly *little* misdemeanor Mark is guilty of… and nothing more!!!

    Let’s hope… ;(