There’s the old story of the guy in the lunatic asylum who insisted he was dead.
A doctor was convinced he could reason the guy out of his delusion, so he asked him, “Do dead men bleed?”
The man replied that they did not.
So, quick as thought, he prick the man’s finger with a needle and showed him the blood streaming down it. “What do you say to that?” he asked, triumphantly.
“Well, what do you know! Dead men do bleed!”
For years, we’ve heard the endless conversation
Catholics who heed the Magisterium: The local bishops at Medjugorje have all said Mary is not appearing there.
Medjugorje True Believers: Rome took the business out of the hands of the local ordinaries because they can’t be trusted!
Catholics who heed the Magisterium: Actually, that’s a lie. The local ordinaries deliberately handed it off to Rome in the hope that True Believers will listen to the Supreme Authority in the Church since they are bent on ignoring and spreading lies about Medjugorje.
Medjugorje True Believers: Wait till Rome speaks!
And so we’ve waited while the Ents of Rome study the thing and try to figure out how to break it to True Believers that, as the local bishops have already made clear, there’s no There there when it comes to Marian apparitions. To be sure, there’s sacramental grace in the Mass and the sacraments and lots of people are completely innocent who go there, simply seeking God and (God being unscrupulous about such things) finding him because of their innocent faith.
But the “seers” are frauds (now banned by Rome from bringing their circus to the US and calling it “Catholic”). And not a few of their True Believers are active liars too, spreading disobedience to the bishops and falsehood about this fake apparition. But still the cry has gone up: “Wait for Rome!”
So the other day, coming back from Fatima, Pope Francis just said he doesn’t buy Medjugorje.
Mimmo Muolo [“Avvenire” (Italy)]
Good evening, Your Holiness. I am asking you a question on behalf of the Italian group. Yesterday and today, in Fatima, we saw a great witness of popular piety together with you; the same [popular piety] one also finds, for example, at other Marian shrines like Medjugorje. What do you think of those apparitions — if they were apparitions — and of the religious fervor they have aroused, given that you have decided to appoint a bishop delegate for other pastoral aspects?
Medjugorje. All of the apparitions, or alleged apparitions, belong to the private sphere; they are not part of the ordinary public Magisterium of the Church. Medjugorje: a commission headed by Cardinal Ruini was established. Benedict XVI established it. At the end of the 2013 or the beginning of 2014, I received the results [of the commission] from Cardinal Ruini. It is a commission of good theologians, bishops and cardinals. Good, good, very capable. The Ruini-report is very, very good. Then, there were some doubts in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Congregation judged it appopriate to send all of the documentation to each of the members of the congress of the “feria quarta” [a meeting held each Wednesday in the CDF], even the things that seemed to be against the Ruini-report.
I received the notification: I remember it was a Saturday evening, late evening. It did not seem right to me: it was like auctioning off — I apologize for the word — the Ruini-report, which was very well done. And on Sunday morning, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith received a letter from me asking him to say that, instead of sending [everything] to the “feria quarta,” the opinions should be sent to me, personally.
These opinions were studied, and all of them underline the thoroughness of the Ruini-report. Yes, mainly there are three things to distinguish. Regarding the first apparitions, when [the “visionaries”] were young: the report more or less says that we need to continue to investigate. On the alleged current apparitions, the reports has its doubts. I personally am more “naughty”: I prefer Our Lady as mother, our mother, and not Our Lady as head of the telegraph office who sends a message every day at a certain hour … this is not the mother of Jesus. And these alleged apparitions do not have much value. And I say this as my own personal opinion. But who thinks that Our Lady says: “Come and tomorrow, at this hour, I will give a message to that visionary”; no. [In the Ruini-report] a distinction is made between the two apparitions. And third, the true heart of the Ruini-report: the spiritual aspect, the pastoral aspect, people who go there and convert, people who encounter God, who change their lives … There is no magic wand for this, and one cannot deny this spiritual-pastoral aspect.
Now, in order to look at these things with all of this information, with the responses that the theologians sent to me, this bishop [delegate] was appointed — he is very good because he has experience — to see how the pastoral part is going. And ultimately, something will be said.
The instant response of Medjugorje True Believers on my Facebook wall: Trust your gut, not the Pope! Besides everything he says is soooo confusing! And Popes make mistakes but Mary is never wrong! And besides, somebody’s rosary turned gold there.
“Trust your gut.” Honestly, one of the many reasons I don’t buy Medjugorje is that it cranks out such reliably orthodox Mormons and such reliably ill-catechized Catholics.