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By Stephen Ryan
Anti-Medjugorje strongmen, Patrick Coffin, Patrick Madrid and Mark Shea are at it again. Like ghost-busters they have decided to protect the faithful from the “fruits of Medjugorje”. Recently, Patrick Coffin and Patrick Madrid aired a discussion on Catholic Answers Radio about what’s happening at Medjugorje.
I reached out to the radio hosts to discuss my concerns about their broadcast but as you will see at the end of this short article one of the hosts was not quite up for a dialog. So I decided to write this in response.
My first concern was about the radio program’s timing. Why did they schedule the program for mid August. I had my suspicions but I wanted to hear from the the hosts themselves. Since I did not get a response I will share my thoughts on this matter.
Perhaps cynically, Patrick Madrid and Patrick Coffin chose to have their anti-Medjugorje discussion on the virtually the same day visionary, Mirjana Soldo, launched her new biography titled, “My Heart Will Triumph”.
It is quite telling of the deep-seated bias that the two well known Catholic apologists (they are not alone) hold for Medjugorje by having a discussion on the day an important book about Medjugorje comes out yet both panelists had no interest in reading it or even mentioning that fact.
I’m no radio professional but I’m under the impression that topics on radio shows are often centered on new books and breaking news. If you are going to talk about Medjugorje why ignore one of the biggest piece’s of Medjugorje news (Mirjana’s biography) since the Vatican announced its investigation into the alleged apparitions. It’s worth noting that Mirjana’s biography, at the time of this writing, is one of the best selling books IN THE WORLD. To this point the radio guys had not one peep to say about Mirjana’s book.
Now if Patrick Madrid and Patrick Coffin say they were not aware that the book was coming out on the day of their radio program then quite frankly what business do they have talking about the subject in the first place. But for those who are paying attention it is pretty easy to conclude the program was just another anti-Medjugorje hit piece timed specifically on the day of the book launch by two guys who have a long history of saying negative things about Medjugorje.
Patrick Coffin did not talk about Mirjana’s book but he did have a lot to say about Medjugore – nothing new mind you – just a lot to say.
Mr. Coffin is well aware that the Vatican has completed a five year investigation into Medjugorje. He is also aware that the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has submitted their findings to Pope Francis. The Catholic world awaits the Pope’s decision on Medjugorje.
Coffin knows all this but on his radio program he leaves this information out and emphatically says the local Bishop is the authority that matters and because of the Bishop’s prior rulings the case is closed and that Medjugorje is one big case of Church “disobedience”. Seriously, as I was listening to the program, I literally had to recheck the date of the broadcast to make sure I was not listening to a 15 year old program.
After the radio show concluded I quickly shot off an email to Mr. Coffin. I pointed out that he did not discuss the Vatican investigation and that he continues to rely on an obscure paranormal investigator for most of his negative positions. I asked Coffin why he relies on a self-appointed authority while dismissing the important point that the Vatican has conducted an investigation. I also pointed out that Cardinal Schonborn, viewed by many as the “Pope’s Right Hand Man” has had positive things to say about Medjugorje and the important Cardinal’s views should carry weight and provide listeners a balanced perspective in a discussion. Nope, to Patrick Coffin the research conducted by a college professor, working on his own, is the authority that counts. Patrick Coffin responded to with this little gem:
Video of the most recent Medjugorje Youth Festival. For me it’s a little slice of how Medjugore can help change people