A Plea to Rome: Unplug the Medjugorje Fraud Machine

A Plea to Rome: Unplug the Medjugorje Fraud Machine April 6, 2015

Te Deum Laudamus on the latest in visible-from-space fraudulence of the grifting hucksters known as the Medjugorje “visionaries”.

Dear Rome:  This thing stinks like a week old fish.  Shut it down, I implore you, before more people are hurt by this stunningly, blindingly, obvious fraud.

"Let us just say that compared to me, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery together are ..."

Where Peter Is takes up the ..."
"Was it guarded by a thousand year old knight of the grail? And did you ..."

Where Peter Is takes up the ..."
""Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and not do what I say?" Gooey piety ..."

Historian Heather Cox Richardson on the ..."
"Well it would be if that’s what I’d actually written."

Ross Douthat recently mentioned Where Peter ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tominellay

    I’m Catholic and Croatian; I’m embarrassed by this hoax perpetrated by Croatian Catholics in Herzegovina. Who knows, though? Ivan, Vicka, and Mirjana could wind up in a Madame Tussauds one day.

    • IRVCath

      Part of it is nationalism, as you may very well know.

  • Trish

    The shoes are an embarrassment, but the embarrassment belongs to the shoe designer, John Fluevog. There is no indication that the shoes are related to the visionaries in any way. I am NOT trying to support the visionaries in any way, but I am interested in accuracy.

    • That’s true – and also it’s true that this is only marginally worse than some merchandising from Lourdes itself, spec. at the peak of its popularity http://goo.gl/BVFvRn

      On the other side, it’s also true that the quoted blog is not from the shoe designer, but from some Medjujorgian blog/tweeter (rather prominent, it seems)

      • Marthe Lépine

        I remember, on my one and only visit to Lourdes – over 50 years ago when I had just turned 20 – being rather shocked by the size of the “market” I had to cross before reaching the basilica. Maybe I had overreacted, or maybe it has improved since.

    • Mariana Baca

      I’m not sure even Fluevog intends it to be specifically approving of the visionaries, either, just giving the shoe a distinctive name that evokes “miraculous” without being too overt.

  • me

    His “apparition” schedule is alarming as well, what a joke…

    • It gives the message that Mary is in his pocket rather than he being at heaven’s disposal.

      • Indeed Our Lady even stood up St. Bernadette (twice if I remember right). That she could not command our Lady’s presence at will is excellent evidence of the authenticity of her apparitions.

        And I recall how fierce Bernadette was about her family not receiving a penny, even indirectly, from the apparitions, though they were practically starving. This says a great deal about her integrity and virtue at the age of only fourteen.

        Quite a contrast with the Medjugorje “seers.”

        • Eimeara Volodchenko

          Yes Lori I agree . That is my biggest issue with Medjugorje, Bernadette as you rightly point out was stood up twice. And in the convent she did not expect or get any more apparitions and did not speak of them of her own accord. Sr Lucia did not conjure up the Madonna either

    • Eimeara Volodchenko

      I think you mean Ivan. And yes it is worrying. We don’t not command the Mother of God. As for Vicka and her apparitions in the Holy Land, the travel agent said ”we haven’t decided yet, where the apparition will take place ” .Excuse me???? This is the Mother of God, not a stockbrokers meeting! And the Mother of God choses and always did choose her own locations.

  • Peggy

    You recall that just a couple of weeks ago, StL Abp. Carlson put a stop to authorized events with the Medjujorg… “visionary.” I recently went to the local Catholic Supply store. They are sponsoring a Catholic Family Night at the Cardinals (that’s our great baseball team, fyi!). Sadly, the give-away is a bracelet made allegedly in Medjugorge… (I can’t spell it).


    • Peggy

      The whole thing needs to be discredited simply b/c I can’t spell the name!

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        Lourdes is sooo much easier!

        • Peggy


      • Leo Daly

        Can’t you read what others have written Peggy, it is MEDJUGORJE

    • LizEst

      Someone gave my mother a rosary from there when she was dying. I picked it up and it began to “burn” my hands! They became very itchy, hot and red. Needless to say, we do not have it any longer. Removal approved by a holy priest.

      • Peggy

        Wow. That’s some concrete evidence AGAINST authenticity, I’d say.

  • Pete the Greek

    Wow…. this guy is cleaning up.

  • Marthe Lépine

    As I followed the link given here, then another one… I noticed a mention that Pope Francis will be visiting in Herzegovina in early June. Maybe he will have something to say, or an announcement, about this during his visit.

  • Anonymous

    People need to take more time to research Medjugorje before forming opinions. I have met several people who have been there and they have experienced many miracles while they were there. I have 2 questions for disbelievers to think about. Why has it taken so many years for the Vatican to make a decision on the authenticity of the apparitions? Many people 2000 years ago did not believe Christ was the Son Of God, are you doing the same thing today when you choose not to believe Mary’s words from Heaven?

    • The answers to your questions are simple: a) the diocesan bishops involved have repeatedly rejected the visions from almost the beginning. They are the ordinary authority who decides in these cases. The Vatican has been involved only because of the scandal caused by the activities of the visionaries. b) Your reasoning is ridiculous. Are you saying that just because the evidence that Jesus is the Son of God is very good, we are required to believe each and every supernatural claim, whether or not there is any good evidence for them?

      • Anonymous

        There is evidence that these visions are authentic. Anyway, the next few years will reveal the truth. I hope you believe when the permanent sign appears. The Vatican has the final word. Pray to the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you. You may be astounded by what you begin to understand. It is important to pray every day and to ask that the Holy Spirit reveal the truth to you. Remember that Jesus performed miracles and yet people still denied him even after witnessing these miracles. It surprises me that people think the visionaries have been faking this for 33 years. All of them are capable of a 33 year hoax? Think about it……..

        • What’s the positive evidence? I’ve never seen any.

        • capaxdei

          Anonymous claims of the importance of having the truth of an apparition revealed by the Holy Spirit to someone who lives five thousand miles away count as evidence against the apparition as having a Divine origin.

        • Eimeara Volodchenko

          Of course they are capable of a 34 year old hoax. I have thought about it, if they said it was a lie, they would face countless law suits at the least, be beaten up and very likely killed. And human nature being what it is, even with trivial issues how many people admit they are wrong?? Very few. Magdalena of the cross fooled everyone for 50 years with stigmata , levitation and only on her deathbed did she tell the truth, it was all from satan

          • anniefitz

            Medjugorje mafia would be most unhappy that the tourist trade and foreign currency dried up. It is entirely possible that they are under enormous duress to keep the show on the road considering what its worth.

            • eimeara volodchenko

              Yes huge pressure and probably more on Marija, Vicka and Ivan and to some extent Mirjana as all have daily or monthly apparitions as opposed to Ivanka and Jakov. But I have one question, did they make the whole thing up ? Would they do that in a communist country? I guess we have to remember Yugoslavia was the most liberal of them all and was a tourist destination. I think myself the apparitions may be satanic. It seems Ivanka and Mirjana saw something, but not Our Lady. A unclear silhouette? How could anyone be so sure it was the Mother of God – Bernadette and the Fatima Children saw their heavenly visitor clearly and they were not sure at all as to her identity for some time

    • IRVCath

      On the first question, out of pastoral concern for Bosnian Catholics (who are mostly Croat-speaking). Medjugorje, for better or worse, has, because of the tensions arising from the Bosnian War, become a symbol of Bosnian Croat nationalism. The fear is that an un-nuanced condemnation will stir negative feelings among Bosnian Catholics against Holy Mother Church – they might perceive it as Rome insulting their national identity.

      • Anonymous

        That is not why there has not been a decision.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Why has there not been a decision?

    • Marthe Lépine

      The problem is that there are some reasons to not be sure that what is coming from Medjugorje is actually “Mary’s words from Heaven”…

      • Anonomous

        Could you please tell us what are the reasons?

        • Marthe Lepine

          Easy: Just read what Mark is saying about it. And… It is known that Satan and his cohorts can make themselves appear like what they are not; not saying that it is necessarily the case in Medjugorje, but the fact that the bishops of the area have doubts should be enough of a warning to exercise prudence in that matter.

  • Mark Shea, I’d like to offer you an all expenses paid trip to Medjugorje. Bring all your doubts, questions, skepticism, etc, and do an investigation in person. Only then can you truly provide commentary and pass judgement. I’m bringing a group there in June, and it will include skeptics and atheists, and I will make a documentary about their journey. Join us. I ask this with respect and kindness. Yes, I’m a believer, but only after having been there 30-something times and getting to know the people there quite well. My film will be objective and will present everyone’s experience exactly as it happens. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get a firsthand look at Medjugorje, and what you say afterwards is totally up to you. I’m praying that you accept this offer. You can contact me through the film’s website, http://www.apparitionhill.tv. What do you say?

    • I have to add that the blog post on Crown of Stars about those shoes was tongue in cheek. It was certainly not a positive endorsement of them. Also, what are your thoughts on Pope Francis recently inviting Italy’s most prominent Medjugorje promoter to the Vatican for 45 minutes? http://crownofstars.blogspot.com/2015/04/pope-invites-medjugorje-promoter-to.html …And what about when Pope Francis consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and invited delegations from all the approved apparition sites in the world, as well as a delegation from Medjugorje and sat them up in the front? I don’t know about you, but to me that sure seems to indicate a positive stance from the Vatican.

    • chezami

      Bunk. The bogus claim that only those who have been there are permitted to comment is falsified every day in a thousand ways. The bishops have warned against this for years. The fraudulent visionaries have made a pile of money off it. The “messages” are pablum.

      • Bunk? Are you kidding? Only one bishop there is against it. Look at all the others who are for it. I reiterate, one can only truly judge by going there and talking to the visionaries and seeing for themselves what is truly going it. It’s absurd of you to suggest otherwise. How can you judge six people you’ve never even met? That’s not Christian.

        • HornOrSilk

          No, several bishops have spoken out. You lie. Bunk indeed!

          • Only one bishop there is against it, meaning there in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I don’t lie. Please do your research. The one against it has never even met with the visionaries. Think about that. For example, look at the recent words of Cardinal Puljic who recently said “I see that the faithful are coming to Medjugorje and going to confession, making penance, and returning home changed. This place is the largest confessional in Europe. This is perhaps the strongest sign in Medjugore, not an apparition, not a message, but the creed professed and restored.” It’s so weird to me that no one here reports positive things. That smacks of an agenda. And gosh, look at your responses, people; this place is a pit of vipers. Did someone forget that religion should lead you to love?

            • And let’s look at the other bishops there, like Franjo Komarica, president of the Bishop’s Conference for the region, who recently cited Medjugorje’s good fruits and has also said, “Before the war, I paid several official visits to Medjugorje. For a considerable time now, Medjugorje is a world phenomenon that has outgrown the limits of the local diocese. Responsibility for the judgement of the Medjugorje phenomenon must rest with the Holy See, while the local bishop has the right and the duty to take care of the correct liturgical and pastoral life of his diocese as a whole, which includes the parish of Medjugorje.”

              Why does no one comment on the positive things I’ve posted? What do you say about Pope Francis meeting with a prominent Medjugorje promoter? Or about a Medjugorje delegation being invited to the Vatican for the consecration? It’s so weird to me that people can be this set in their ways that they won’t even acknowledge anything that might contradict their views in the slightest.

              • chezami

                Pope Francis met with a transsexual. He’s a shepherd. Doesn’t mean the agendas of those he meets with have the Vatican Stamp of Approval. Medjugore is a fraud.

                • William S. Stenstrom

                  The real fraud is becoming obvious as this thread continues.

            • HornOrSilk

              I have done my research. You lie. Many bishops have spoken out.

              • Twist words much? I said the bishops *there*. I’m done here. Your lack of charity is evidence of why the world really needs Our Lady right now. I hope you find peace in your heart.

                • HornOrSilk

                  Many bishops there have denied it. For decades. You are indeed done, because you do lie. You misrepresent the church. The lack of charity is shown in the misinformation used to encourage disobedience to the church. You are indeed done.

                • Eimeara Volodchenko

                  Sean Patrick Bloomfield this isn’t lack of charity – no one is slandering the visionaries. Criticism is being offered here. Why do you medjugorje supporters get touchy when anyone criticizes? One doesn’t have to meet them to make judgement. For me , looking at a dossier of Ivan Dragicevic’s property and his and the other visionaries speaking tours is enough. They are frauds and show – offs. End of story. Oh and before you tell me they have to travel to spread the message, believe me they don’t. St Bernadette and Sr Lucia spent their lives as enclosed nuns and there wasn’t one single trip around Portugal or France for them. In this age of technology, with the internet and Medjugorje Magazines in religious shops, we don’t need them putting on a pantomime with a conjured vision so conviently on demand

        • anniefitz

          Two, two local, successive bishops. Two Bishops whose God given authority has been rejected every time the seers have an apparition in public. They disregard and disobey church authority regularly, consistently, knowingly. They have no excuse.There is no such thing as a professional seer. When I see one extravagantly blowing kisses to the crowds I feel nauseous. Would Bernadette do that? No. The children of fatima? No.

          • Eimeara Volodchenko

            Exactly, Neither Bernadette or the Children of Fatima would blow kisses as Vicka does. I thought myself it was ridiculous and out of place. I am not even sure if she is all there to be honest ,looking at her idiotic grin. Go to youtube and watch her on the late late show – she’s smiling stupidly and takes the conversation over.

            • anniefitz

              I feel very sorry for her. The smile is on 24 hours a day. It looks like a grimace to be honest: a very strained smile. In contrast Bernadette and The children of Fatima look quite glum in their photos. They avoided pilgrims and the public. Their instinct was to hide away and disappear. They didn’t clamp their palms over people’s craniums and “pray over them”. When Bernadette beheld Our Lady her whole countenance was transformed. A pale, sickly girl suddenly transformed into a healthy beautiful one. Bernadettes expression was breath taking and she seemed to emanate an inner radiance. That is what convinced the people present before anything. Vicka on the other hand has the same worn, strained, grinning expression she always wears for everyone. She always crashes her knees down violently as if Our Lady has just popped out of a wardrobe.I mean its not as if she didn’t know Our Lady was enroute. Why not kneel beforehand? Because crashing down on both knees is a more dramatic spectacle for the crowds.

              Vicka avoids questions in interviews and talks all over the host. I think she does this to avoid awkward questions. Also she has made so many blunders about the faith that its wiser to keep to the script like the others “Peace, Pray, love, fast” this keeps the majority of all people of all faiths happy. She wields the mike like the pro she is. Pope Benedict has the commision’s report now and I don’t believe he’s a fan.

              • MarkWilliam

                I think you mean Pope Francis? But otherwise I agree with you. Not something that occurs often.

                • anniefitz

                  No, but it is somewhat of a relief when people do find the oddest of common grounds. I do actually mean Pope Benedict, he has a great interest in the case and as you know set up the commission that is now reporting back.

                  • MarkWilliam

                    The commission hasn’t reported back to Benedict, but to Pope Francis.
                    [Benedict isn’t Pope Benedict. He is Pope Emeritus Benedict. However, I am sure you are correct in saying that he retains an interest in the matter, and in the eventual outcome.]

                    • anniefitz

                      Yes, they’ve reported back to Pope Francis but Pope Benedict was given the findings to read.

                    • MarkWilliam

                      If you think that we have two Popes, then you are quite simply wrong.

                    • anniefitz

                      We don’t? Ooops I’m after inviting both popes to my birthday.

                    • MarkWilliam

                      Careful how you address the invitations, then. And Happy birthday.

                    • Eimeara Volodchenko

                      My guess it that Rome will not say anything. They don’t want to upset the apple cart. How can you tell people who have made multiple trips there and even given away their possessions sometimes even becoming priests or nuns that it was all false.

                    • anniefitz

                      I don’t know Eimeara, I think they’re commited to a definitive judgement after a five year top level investigation by a commission packed to the gills with experts. It seems so drawn out though. Over the last two years it looks like they’ve been gently preparing the devotees of goodwill by perhaps leaking letters banning seers from church property and canceling “apparitions”. The clampdown is slow, sure and progressive.
                      They will hopefully foster genuine marian devotion at Medjugorje. A huge statue of Our lady of Fatima with Lucia, Francisco and jacinta would be a lovely addition to the forecourt of St. James’s!

                    • Eimeara Volodchenko

                      Yes, Annie I think they are letting down the devotees very gently.
                      But do you think the seers made it all up or it’s satanic? The fact that the Lady of Medjugorje was reluctant to appear in a church at the beginning and they can’t see her feet seems to point to being satanic. On the other hand, the fact that they saw a hazy image – (how was Ivanka etc so sure it was the Virgin) could be a fabrication.
                      I hear the argument all the time that they lived in a communist state and wouldn’t have made that up – but well they had nothing to lose. Yugoslavia was already a tourist destination. They were poor peasants most of them and apart from Mirjana were not of high intellectual ability. They must have wondered a lot about their future – and since most of them were close to the end of their school years maybe that played a part in a hoax. Who knows?

                    • anniefitz

                      I don’t know enough to say Eimeara, but I went to Fatima last year and there’s scarcely a handful of pilgrims there. Half the square was empty on the 98th anniversary of the apparitions. Someone said “They’re all in Medjugorje” My friend visited there and she thought there was a lot of emotions on display. Its very charismatic I understand with swaying and even aerobic like dancing up near the outdoor altar at the back. One thing a disabled friend did say was that “Why would Our Lady appear up a mountain that the crippled, ill and elderly could not ascend?” There are no such formidable physical obstacles in Lourdes or Fatima or any official Marian shrine. People have been greviously injured falling down the mountain.

                      One thing that I do remark is that rosaries chain links only turned “gold” in Medjugorje and Bayside. I have never heard anyone reporting gold links on their rosaries in Knock, Fatima, Guadalupe, Akita, Banneux, Kibeho, Rue De Bac, Laus or any other church approved site. No bizzare photos either of spinning or luminous crosses, UFO lights etc as Medjugorje pilgrims have shown me in the past.

                    • Eimeara Volodchenko

                      Annie, I enjoy these conversations! But yes, your friend has been saying the same as I have, why would the Virgin appear such an inaccessible place? Even I, an able bodied person in my 30s found getting up and down that mountain a nightmare- not to mention at night. Why would Our Lady appear at night?Like you say at Lourdes/Fatima no obstacles. They are pretty much on the flat. I think the small number of pilgrims at Fatima could be a diabolical plan for Medjugorje to turn people away from Fatima and have them flocking there
                      to see apparitions.

                    • Eimeara Volodchenko

                      Annie, I just thought of something. Does it not strike you as odd that Mirjana wears glasses during her apparitions this year? My point being, why would you need glasses to see a heavenly visitor? Remember St Bernadette’s last apparition. There was a barricade installed by police and in our earthly terms she shouldn’t have been able to see the Lady. And it is worth mentioning that St Margaret Castello who was stone blind did have the gift of apparitions from Jesus and Mary and only could see at that point.

                    • anniefitz

                      Hi Eimeara,
                      that’s interesting. I had not noticed that. That’s quite bizzarre. Its like someone wearing sunglasses because the apparition would dazzle them. This lady appears to be under intense stress and even duress coming to the site chosen for the public (always public) “apparition”. I do feel for her because her shoulders are hunched and she is apprehensive and nervous. She looks very reluctant, and to be honest all her gestures and expressions when she is supposed to be beholding the Madonna look forced and strained: there is nothing spontaneous or relaxed. A body language expert would have a field day. If anyone compared the witness accounts of those who observed St. Bernadette, there is no comparision.

                    • Eimeara Volodchenko

                      I remember that the children of Fatima said the Lady was dazzling and more brighter than the sun but they certainly didn’t need sunglasses. The body language is an interesting point, and now come to think of it, Ivan is very tense on speaking tours and Mirjana too. I agree there is no comparison between them and St Bernadette and Donal Foley says something similar in his book about Ivanka’s annual apparition that she was tense and apprehensive of the coming date whereas Bernadette said that if you saw Her once you would die to see her again, the Virgin was so beautiful. And I believe Bernadette’s face was so supernturally beautiful during the apparitions.

                    • Eimeara Volodchenko

                      Also, there is a great deal of arrogance in the messages – as if the seers are put above us -like Ivanka being told that no one on this earth has received the graces that she and the other visionaries have. Don’t you think that’s terribly arrogant? What about the Blessed Virgin herself? To receive apparitions and locutions are wonderful but to be chosen to be the Mother of God and cleansed of all original sin is something that surpasses all other graces and the Blessed Virgin is the only one who received such graces. And Vicka says in Mary Craig’s spark from heaven that many villagers curse the Madonna because she doesn’t appear to them but how could she when they plot against the lives their countrymen etc. Sorry Vicka, but it is not for you to decide who God or his Mother can appear to. Over the centuries sinners of all kinds have been recipients of such graces – St Paul on the road to Damascus is one example. In Lourdes Bernadette made it clear that the Lady loved the people – smiled at people in the crowd as if she recognized a friend and was reluctant to leave them. Bernadette didn’t put herself above everyone else. Nor did Lucia.

                  • Eimeara Volodchenko

                    Ratzinger is very very sceptical , I believe.

                    • anniefitz

                      Yes I would agree. Very sceptical indeed. Have you ever listened to Fr. John hardon’s lecture on mystics and visionaries? Its online at the Fr. John Hardon Archives. Very informative on this subject.

              • Eimeara Volodchenko

                Yes, there is no doubt that Vicka avoids awkward questions, and Ivan , Marija and Mirjana do this too – all three speak English but use interpreters or speak in Italian(Marija and Mirjana). You can see Mirjana speaking in English on youtube but when she gives talks to pilgrims an interpreter is used. The argument goes that people cannot make errors about what she said but why can’t she say it in English in the first place? These people have guesthouses – including Jakov and Ivanka and they’ve been taking in pilgrims for at least 20 years and can’t speak English or express themselves very well according to defenders???? Pull another one. And yes Vicka falling dramtically to her knees is odd. Wouldn’t the rest of us be kneeling? And yes Bernadette’s countenance was so beautiful during the apparitions.

      • chezami

        Have you ever *been* to Ford’s Theatre? Then how do you know “Abraham Lincoln” ever existed, much less was “shot” there by “John Wilkes Booth? It’s impossible to know anything without being physically present at a place.

        Silly argument.

        • You make no sense. Totally unrelated things, and absolutely incomparable in myriad ways. Your mind is obviously set, but I stand by my offer and my insistence that one cannot judge Medjugorje from the outside looking in. You are judging people with no basis and calling them liars, not just the 6 visionaries, but the millions of people who have gone there and have experienced something. I hope you’re not judged by the same measure by which you judge.

          • And what about Pope Francis? Is he “bunk” too? What do you say to this: http://crownofstars.blogspot.com/2015/04/pope-invites-medjugorje-promoter-to.html

          • chezami

            The trusting people who are being defrauded and the crooks who are defrauding them are, obviously, not in the same moral boat. However, the attempt to claim they are is one of the many dishonest ploys I see apologists for Medj constantly deploy. Medj is *never* going to be approved by the Church.

            • William S. Stenstrom

              You have no reason to dismiss this offer. It will cost you nothing. It will qualify your statements if your right. Do it for all the trusting people being defrauded.

              Difficult to critique a restaurant if you haven’t eaten there…

            • Gallibus

              Stand by to be embarrassed!

        • MedjugorjePrayers

          Fast on bread and water Wednesdays and Fridays, Pray the Rosary three times per day, Read Holy Scripture daily, Love your neighbor, remove yourself from anything that is contrary to God, Pray unceasingly, attend daily Mass, go to confession at least once per month……
          Does this sound like something that isn’t from God?
          Just find one thing Our Lady has said that would cause you to call this place a fraud! Please be specific and only refer to what Mary has shared with the seers.
          If your heart is already with God, I promise that if you will faithfully live the messages from Medjugorje for one week, you will hear Mary’s call and become a believer like millions of others who have been fortunate enough to follow Our Lady’s advice. After all, she is just echoing Holy Scripture.
          God Bless,
          Medjugorje Prayers

          • anniefitz

            “I do not dispose of all graces”

            • Gallibus

              What is your objection to this? Have you ‘inside information’ that disputes this?

              • anniefitz

                I’m not sure what exactly you’re refering to, but if it is the above quote “I do not dispose of all graces” which the visionaries claimed “the Gospa” said then they are up to their eyeballs in error as the statement directly contradicts Catholic teaching on Mary, the Mother of God. The statement contradicts Saint Louis De Monford who had supernatural insights into Mary’s role in the Divine plan. If you research Our Lady’s title “Mediatrix of all Graces” that will give you more information. The ETWN network has a historical and comprehensive explanation of the title.

                I do not claim to have all the information but I am a qualified researcher and the first thing one should do in pursuing the truth of an apparition is not to read subjective accounts of pilgrims but the position of the Local Bishop and church norms regarding the discernment of possible supernatural phenomena. There have never been authentic marian visionaries who disregarded directives of their local Bishop. A Bishop has never formally received a letter written by a genuine visionary (written on behalf of Our Lady) threatening the local Bishop with divine justice if he does not immediately recognise and confirm the alleged visions as authentic. That’s not Our Lady. These events happened and are documented in the case of Medjugorje. The letter exists and is part of documented evidence. Consider that a decision is being taken on Medjugorje before the alleged apparitions end. That means they’re not waiting for Mirjana’s “magic parchment” to reveal all to the world. Consider that the “visionaries” have been banned from speaking on church property in the U.S. and Italy by the Head of the CDF. There were about three in my country every year speaking at churches until early 2013 and they haven’t been seen since then. The squeeze down has begun and is ongoing. The Church will do it by degrees so as not to excite the passions of devotees and they will encourage authentic Marian devotion at Medjugorje.

                The trick is to read beyond the propaganda even if it makes us uncomfortable and carefully scruitinise anyone who is making money from the apparition. If their livelihood is heavily invested in the phenomenon it is a problem. They’re not objective: they are promoters. Also, I would urge you to study Church approved apparitions by way of comparison: Our Lady appeared in Kibeho, Rwanda in the 1980’s and Fatima in 1917. Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531.

                Particularly investigate the signs that God gave for the Church to test. Consider the language used by Our Lady at theses sites. It is courtly and elevated. The messages were never saccarine or sentimental. The behaviour of the visionaries in Church approved visions bears no comparision with the ongoing, at times, very peculiar behaviour and claims of the alleged visionaries of Medjugorje.

                To this day there is no supernatural sign that can be assessed by the Church in Medjugorje though it was forcast a number of times by the “visionaries” in the first months and years (it failed to materialise at various times predicted by the “visionaries”). Lasting vocations and conversions can and have happened at false apparition sites.

                Always pursue the truth even if it is painful. Sometimes that means reading outside your comfort zone. I once attended an “apparition” with one of the visionaries and initially I longed to believe but God gave us facts to sift through, brains to assess the veracity of those facts and prudence as a virtue. The Church has centuries of experience and the light of the Holy Spirit:trust Her. God Bless. A.

      • Gallibus

        The objection to making money is what I consider a typical Protestant argument. Where many people gather, money necessarily changes hands for food, accommodation, resources in general. Is this OK only at sports meetings?

        Are the Messengers so obviously wealthy that you envy them? Alas, poor soul! Or is it spiritual envy, the motive for the first murder as recorded in the Scriptures?

        The Lord has validated Medjugorje in messages to Debra of Australia. Yes, I know! She is discredited too! Satan really HATES these messages for promoting the Faith and saving souls, and he is not slow in mobilizing his army of dupes and nay-sayers.

  • anniefitz

    When fellow medjugorje fans meet up one of the first questions they ask one another is “How many times have you been to Medjugorje?!” invariably. “i’ve been sixteen times”, “Actually this is my 27th pilgrimage.” “Well I started coming here way back in 1985 before anyone.” Its like two addicts arguing. A bizarre competitive attitude takes over. What Is that about? No one has asked me how many times have you been to Lourdes, they’re satisfied with a simple yes or no if they ask have you ever been. Likewise when you say you’ve no intention of ever going they get excitable and offended and horrified all at once. I was told that I didn’t understand how much grace I’d lose by not going. That I would miss out on some sort of spiritual transformation out there. The late and saintly Fr. John Hardon and Fr. Hugh Thwaites warned people to be wary of this place in particular. They had very wise things to say about medjugorje.

    • Eimeara Volodchenko

      That’s a silly argument – that you’d lose out on grace by not going to Medjugorje. Talk about trying to brainwash you. I mean just look at the graces you receive by saying the chaplet of Divine Mercy or the Rosary and you don’t even have to go abroad!

      • anniefitz

        Exactly. What frightens me is that Medjugorje has become a pillar of faith. I even think some devotees are heading towards the “If you do not believve in Medjugorje you may not be saved” place. The girl who interrogated me regarding my Medjugorje stance did act as If I’d renounced Catholicsm. I tried to comfort her by saying “If the church declares it true then I’ll go” “But by then it will be TOO Late” So literally we have to believe in the message before the “sign” manifests because by the time the sign appears it will be TOooooo late. Which as one commentator observed that it kinda diminishes the need for a sign. Indeed the function of the sign is obsolete. DOOM LOOMS!

        • Gallibus

          The rewards of faith are for the faith-full! Otherwise it is not faith but simply ‘go with the crowd’.

          • anniefitz

            The Church teaches that public revelation ended with the death of the last apostle. After that we have private revelation which includes prophecies, Divine revelations, locutions and apparitions recognised by the Church. These private revelations have been deemed worthy of belief by the Church but they are not part of the Deposit of Faith. So a person is a faithful catholic if he assents to all the teachings and dogmas of the Catholic Church. He does not have to believe in any Marian apparition approved by the Church. He can become a saint and get to Heaven without recognising any private revelation. I, for myself would trust the Church’s authority on offically approved apparitions, but it is not binding or necessary to do so. I agree that one should never “go with the crowd” especially if its a sheep versus cliff situation. God doesn’t want us to believe mindlessly, he expects us to spiritually discern while looking squarely at the facts of the matter. If it fails to correspond to the teachings of the Church its a dud. As a surgeon knows more about the pathology of the disease than the patient who is experiencing the symptoms: the Church knows more about Medjugorje than pilgrims who have been there multiple times and have experienced all sorts of sensations.

            • Gallibus

              God has never forced anybody to listen to Him or to His Messengers, not even His Blessed Mother. Faithful, let us rather say ‘devout’, Catholics who refuse to exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit are simply fearful Catholics. You are right to be careful of false Messengers – they are a dime a dozen – but the greater number of false messengers at any particular time points to the importance of the Message from God since satan busies himself accordingly.

              You are apparently fearful of falling for a false message, so much so that you ignore every message no matter how it fits in with the Church’s teaching and understanding of God, not to mention the character of God, but you apparently have no fear of ignoring your Creator when He wants to communicate something important? Your fearfulness means usually that you will be dead by the time the Church acknowledges the legitimacy or otherwise of the Message. That won’t help you, since you will have lost your chance to exercise your faith by that time.

              How will you answer God when He asks you why you were so determined to ignore Him when He acted for your good, leaning down from heaven to reach you? True, you can still make it to the outer reaches of Heaven, if that is what will satisfy you. I recall how God encouraged St Paul to be ambitious to prophecy. So, similarly,be ambitious to please the Lord you say you serve. Does a determinedly deaf servant please? I don’t think so.

              What about when the Lord, in a Message, urged us to unite ourselves to the New Ark of protection that He was providing for us – the Immaculate Conception – saying that those who did not would be ‘washed away’ like the contemporaries of Noah?

              True, the Scriptures provide us with enough for salvation and in that sense the Revelation is closed, as the Lord Himself has said in some messages. BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOD HAS GIVEN UP HIS RIGHT TO SPEAK TO US WHENEVER HE WANTS.Neither does it mean that we are wise to ignore Him.

              • anniefitz

                I am sure you are well intentioned but you either haven’t read my posts or missed basic information I supplied. Unfortunately you make certain assumptions that are not accurate or true in your response. In short, you possibly answered in a bit of a rage which might be understandable if I denounced Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary or rejected Church teaching. Let us examine the facts. You do not know my spiritual state any more than I know yours. Fact. What you do know (providing you read my post and do not consider me an outrageous liar)) is that A) I believe in Marian apparitions that have been officially recognised by the Catholic Church. To further impress this fact upon you I will disclose that have undertaken pilgrimages to four of these shrines. I wear a Miraculous Medal and a Brown Scapular that indicates that I believe Our Lady appeared in Rue Du Bac in 1830 to St. Catherine Laboure. The Brown Scapular should demonstrate to you that I accept St.Simon’s Stock’s testimony of beholding Our Lady. Both sacramentals are directly connected to devotions to The Immaculate Heart Of Mary. All Church approved Marian apparitions are completely faithful to Church teaching. Fact. A Marian Apparition cannot contradict a single church teaching. Fact.

                When God creates the setting for an apparition he plans everything and is generous in supplying evidence that the Local Bishop can verify and test. He also, in His Divine Providence, chooses the very Bishop who will preside in the time of the apparition. In all authentic apparition sites there were ample and prodigious miraculous events that held up to intense medical and theological scrutiny. Moreover, God gives the Local Bishop the authority to investigate the event and the power of the Holy Spirit to discern true from false. The Vatican ratifies the Bishop’s judgement and has done in every case. The Zadar Declaration of 1991 is consistent with this policy and the Church continues to this day to uphold that decision. To date it has not been contradicted or overturned.

                Now Prudence should tell us that if there is a serious red flag we should pause and discern. If there are a number of red flags we should avoid the phenomenon entirely. God expects us to be practical, logical and to use our intellect to assess the facts.
                Red Flag No. 1: Two successive bishops over a thirty
                year period have said it is false. Two Bishops Commissions have found nothing to confirm the ongoing event is supernatural.
                Red Flag No.2 Several times “the apparition” has made statements which contradict Church teaching. Error ridden and even heretical statements have been documented.
                Red Flag No.3. Bishop Zanic and his successor have ordered the visionaries to cease having their “visions” in public. The visionaries continue to have “visions” in public. They have been in a state of ongoing disobedience for over thirty years. Every time they have an apparition it is an act of disobedience to the authority of the Church.
                Red Flag No.4
                Follow the money. Genuine visionaries never profit from their apparitions. They would not take a penny directly or indirectly.
                Red Flag No.4 Publicity. Genuine visionaries flee from the public unless they are compelled under holy obedience to appear or testify. They have defied holy obedience not to appear in public for decades. They do not submit to holy obedience.
                Red Flag No.5 (which should really be 2) Zero supernatural signs from God. Only the promise of a sign that was forecast by “visionaries” to appear at certain times in the first few years of the 1980’s but failed to materialise every single time it was predicted.
                Red Flag No.6
                Currently the alleged visionaries are not permitted, by order of the CDF to speak or have “apparitions” on Church property throughout Italy , the U.S. and most likely in other countries. If those red flags were on a beach then you would not dip your toe in the water. They’re not the only red flags either.
                Red Flag No.7. The infamous “Bloody Hankerchief” story.

                As regards the Holy Spirit we should meditate on the Gifts and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Which are two categories. I have seen people speak in what appeared to be tongues twice. Both had spent time in psychiatric units and were were tragically very unwell at the time. We don’t know if the Holy Spirit is genuinely speaking through anyone even ourselves. Speaking in different languages can be a sign of holiness but it is also a classic symptom of demonic possession. That’s why saintly spiritual directors are so vital. I’m not wise enough to figure out if the Holy Spirit is talking to me or anyone. Remember some of the greatest heretics believed that the Holy Spirit was speaking directly to and through them.

                I have never heard of the “outer reaches of Heaven” What is that?
                If I can no longer exercise my faith after I die, is it because you think the Souls in Purgatory and Heaven do not exercise their faith? The alternative meaning is something so dreadful and horrendous that we can safely dismiss that you would even think it.

                You are right the message of Fatima has been neglected by the last few generations, particularly devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the five first Saturdays of reparation she asked mankind for. I have seen the Third Secret of Fatima. I think the messages of Fatima have been eclipsed by many, many, (too numerous to count) banal, false messages. If we take our lead from the popes and pause to consider how they have publically championed, endorsed and promoted Fatima then we would do well to harken to Our Lady’s words.

                St. Louis of France was interrupted from his prayers by a courtier who breathlessly implored the King to come to the palace chapel, that the face of Christ was visible in the consecrated host. Louis dismissed him abruptly asking him why did he dare to interrupt his prayers him to tell him something he knew well and believed.

                Don’t you see? Our Lady is present at the Mass.When you go to Mass she is there. We kneel among angels and the whole celestial court, as well as the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The Church and Her saints tell us this is so. At Mass we are mystically transported to the foot of the cross on Calvary. Christ gives us His precious blood to drink and his flesh to eat under the species of Bread and wine. You don’t need to go anywhere. You can become a saint in your own parish. Given all the evidence against I think Medjugorje will not be recognised.

  • barryrichards

    What are you afraid of Mark? Have you been to Medjugorje? Amazing how so much of the American media seeks to undermine Medjugorje. It seems a lot of Americans are afraid of the truth.

  • Elizabeth Monaro

    I haven’t been and obviously won’t.. Fatima and Lourdes yes. The messages are just too mediocre and repetative. The church is facing major dramas with same sex marriage, Islam, abortion, and scandals within and Our Lady says nothing about these things? No. I am sorry, but I don’t think it’s Mary. Satan maybe or the seers are frauds. Of course miracles and conversions are possible anywhere there are holy people gathered in prayer. I agree fully with the author. These seers have shown no signs of great piety or obedience, and this alone points to FAKE