“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

January 13, 2010

Medjugorje Fact-Sheet: Is the Devil in the Details?



Given the turmoil, uncertainty, and speculation that has been engendered by Cardinal
Schönborn's recent high-profile visit to Medjugorje, I, like many who have been following the story closely, am waiting and watching to see what this new development might portend for the Church's eventual decision on whether the Medjugorje phenomenon is an authentic Marian apparition or not.

The Catholic Church will, I presume, eventually issue some kind of definitive decision on this question, but in the meantime, before that happens, I believe it is wise to consider all the available relevant information and evidence, those which lend support to Medjugorje and those which do not. As St. Paul said, "Test everything; hold fast to what is good" (1 Thess. 5:21).

In addition to the bemused reaction to His Eminence's visit there from the Bishop of Mostar-Duvno (within which territory Medjugorje is situated), a few other high-level Churchmen have been speaking up about the matter, including Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, who is disinclined to accept the claims that the Medjugorje phenomenon is base on authentic Marian apparitions.

Regardless of whether one believes Medjugorje is a true Marian apparition, disbelieves it, or is simply skeptical toward the whole thing but remains open to all credible evidence, pro or con (this is my personal position, by the way), it seems clear that these recent statements from such well-informed bishops are certainly worth pondering.

Consider this, too:

Under the heading: "Medjugorje, Secrets, Messages, Vocations, Prayers, Confessions, Commissions," Bishop Ratko Peric, in 2007, provided an exhaustive chronology and outline of salient facts surrounding the alleged apparitions. For anyone who is serious about wanting to know all the details pertaining to Medjugorje, this "Fact Sheet" is a must read, regardless of where you currently stand on this issue.


75 comments:

  1. “For anyone who is serious about wanting to know all the details pertaining to Medjugorje, this "Fact Sheet" is a must read, regardless of where you stand on this issue.”

    Patrick... your emphasis on “all the facts” is misleading. Surely you mean the facts according to the bishop?

    Truth is not dependent on “facts”. If it was the bishop would have had his way in closing down Medjugorje many moons ago.

    He reports “facts” as he sees and understands. But there are other “facts” that he chooses to ignore. I wonder why he does this? Could it be that he is letting his personal opinion guide his interpretation of “facts”?

    In my opinion. Cardinal Schonborn is just one of thousands of priests who have visited Medjugorje during the past 28 years. So what’s new? Nothing. He expressed his personal opinion and also reiterated the Holy See’s position on Medjugorje. Nothing new about the bishop’s reaction, either. It’s par for the course.

    As for the turmoil ypou speak about it only stems from those who oppose Medjugorje most because that had started to to believe in their own propaganda, that the Church was about to clamp down on all things Medjugorje. Nothing worse than believing in one’s own hype and failing to see the truth amongst the “facts”.

    Oh for the wisdom of Gamaliel.

    “If this enterprise, this movement of theirs is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God.”

    The Good Book is a far better source for anyone in search of Truth.

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  2. Pilgrim, don't forget that I also linked to the pro-Medjugorje super-site which contains all kinds of information in favor of the alleged apparitions.

    If you are going to be logically consistent, you must also say that the evidence presented on that pro-Medjugorje site are merely "facts according to those adherents of Medjugorje," and that they are only "facts as they understand them."

    If you intend to diminish the credibility and importance of the negative evidence supplied by the sources I linked to, then you must, if you want to be taken seriously on this, be willing to admit that one should likewise diminish and discount the credibility of the Medjugorje supporters for exactly the same reason.

    Think about it.

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  3. Attacks upon, and indifference to the facts as laid out by the local bishop is a chief negative fruit.

    I don't think the CDF will be treating his facts with such contempt. If the CDF judges them affirmatively will supporters then accept them?

    Such contempt is how schisms gestate.

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  4. Patrick, I did not forget. That’s why I placed the word “facts” in quotes, even when I made mention of other “facts” apart from the bishop’s.

    As for evidence, all I can say is that it was not due to any argument or evidence produced by anyone, for or against Medjugorje, that persuaded me to the truth of what is happening at Medjugorje.

    My own personal encounter with the Holy Spirit and Our Lady was more than enough to reveal the truth to me when I visited Medjugorje in 2000. This happens frequently to many who visit.

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  5. However Holy Mother Church decides I will support and obey.

    I'm not going to participate in any schism. Personally, I believe that the visionaries are truthful and that they are seeing Our Lady.

    Do I believe in the local Bishop? No and that is because jurisdiction was taken away from him. I'm not saying he's a bad man. I don't know what the truth is concerning him. I just don't take his words to heart.

    No sense in fighting about this. Padre Pio was unable to celebrate the mass publicly for awhile until it was all straightened out. This has happened before, folks.

    I'm seeing traces of contempt here on the thread already for those of us who support it. (not you, Patrick)

    Let's just sit back and wait for Mother Church, ok?

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  6. Pilgrim, okay. So I just want to be sure I understand you. Am I correct that you agree with me that you must also say that the evidence presented on that pro-Medjugorje site are merely "facts according to those adherents of Medjugorje," and that they are only "facts as they understand them"? Right?

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  7. Oh, Susan, thank you. I absolutely have no contempt whatsoever toward you or anyone who believes in Medjugorje. None at all.

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  8. Patrick, I try not to engage in polemics. I always find it a waste of precious time. But thank you for allowing me to post on your blog.

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  9. Does anyone know from Church history when the local ordinary opposed an authentic apparition?

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  10. Patrick, I went to Medjugorje last year. Prayer is very deep. We can feel the love of God and Mary very strongly there. I read a lot about Medjugorje. I have seen beautiful conversions. I think the apparitions are true and the Bishop of Mostar is strongly mistaking. It is sad but it is not the first time it happens in the Church. God will make everything clear later.

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  11. The opinion of the bishop, although important, is not definitive - hence the conference of bishops and involvement of the CDF. Rick asked if a local ordinary has ever opposed an authentic (Church approved) apparition, and the answer is yes - originally Lourdes was opposed, and Fatima as well (depending on accounts). The simple fact that this all started in (1)a Catholic and Croatian village in (2) a Muslim state under (2) a communist regime says a lot about how it is being handled - and the rhetoric on both sides. Also remember that there was a significant problem between the bishop and the local Franciscans well before the apparitions (one charge against the reported apparitions is the actions of these religious - even though it predates the apparitions).
    It would be wise to recount that only one bishop is held to be infallible on faith and morals, and it isn't the bishop in Mostar. David B. Currie's book "Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Christian" contains an eloquent exposition of the Pope's unique position.

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  12. Patrick,
    Thanks for remaining fair on this matter, even though you personally do not believe in the apparitions. I do not even know whether I believe in the apparitions or not; I'm quite happy to wait for the Church to pronounce, and am glad that I don't have to make the decision.

    I see a lot more smoke, half-truths, and guilt by association attempts coming from the anti-Medjugorje side, though, which leads me to think maybe there is something to it after all. There are also a lot of good fruits...as Cdl. Schoenborn said (paraphrasing), "If it wasn't for Medjugorje, my seminary would be empty."

    BTW, I was at your talks last weekend in South St. Paul...thanks for coming up to the tundra to enlighten us!

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  13. Howdy, Medjugorjie supporters.
    Just like to remind you that "feel" what you may, you've got to count the facts which can't be denied:

    these people kidnapped and beat their own Bishop, who was appointed by the Holy Father, who is lead by the Holy Spirit. this didn't happen at Lourdes, Fatima, La-sallet, Guadeloupe, or any of the other approved apparition sites.

    Disobedience has never been so infested as in the area of Medjugorjie.

    The supposed "gospa" told the "seers" to read "the god-man" a book that was placed on the banned books list by, then, Cardinal Jozef Radzinger. He describes the book as a "highly fictionalized version of the life of Christ."

    And what were these "seers" doing when the "gospa" chose to come?
    The boys were stealing apples, and the girls (after stealing some of their parent's cigarettes) were out smoking and listing to rock music.

    And where are these "seers" now?

    One flunked seminary and is now married to an American Beauty star.
    ALL of them have extremely expensive cars and several houses in different continents and are filthy rich.

    NONE entered religious life. as did Bernadette, and Lucia and others.

    Look past the feelings which can be deceptive, and look to the facts.

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  14. I am a recent convert to Catholiscm entirely due to my experience at Medjugorje. Facts and logical argument did not pursuade me, but the grace of God. Those who believe the visionaries understand but those who don't believe or are neutral can't understand because they are trying to use thier minds to comprehend something spiritual. It is very much like the faith we have that the Eucharist is the Real Body and Blood of our Savior. We will never be able to understand that cognitively.

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  15. Susan L said: Do I believe in the local Bishop? No and that is because jurisdiction was taken away from him.

    Please cite your source for this claim. Be sure to include name(s) dates, and any protocol numbers in the documentation you cite. Include a link to the source if it is on the web. I would really like to see this document that states he has lost jurisdiction.

    I do have a JPG and translation of the document put out by the Tuscan Bishop's conference which acknowledged that they were asked by the CDF to share with the priests of the diocese the 2006 Confirmation homily of Bishop Peric. They explain that the subject came up during their 2007 ad limina visit.

    Further, Cardinal Puljic said in a November 16, interview with Slobodna Dalmacija:

    U svakom slučaju, biskup nadležan za Međugorje je mjesni biskup, naglasio je kardinal Puljić. A kontroverzno hercegovačko hodočasničko središte pod jurisdikcijom je biskupa Ratka Perića, koji, kako je svima poznato, nije jedan od zagovornika za priznavanje Međugorja kao službenog marijanskog svetišta. U tome nije sam jer, kako kaže kardinal Puljić, “Sveta Stolica ne ide putem da se Međugorje proglasi svetištem

    Here's a crude google translation:

    In any case, the bishop in charge is the local bishop of Medjugorje, said Cardinal Puljic. A controversial Herzegovina pilgrimage center under the jurisdiction of Bishop Ratko Peric, as everyone knows, is one of the advocates for the recognition of Medjugorje as an official Marian shrine. In fact I did not because, Cardinal Puljic says, "the Holy See does not go through to declare Medjugorje shrine

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  16. An interesting discussion as Dr. Jones author of the Medjugorje Deception is interviewed by neo-Pagan (racist?) Dr. Tomislav Sunic

    http://reasonradionetwork.com/_archive/TS_20090818.mp3

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  17. http://reasonradionetwork.com/_archive/TS_20090818.mp3

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  18. The thing that worries me is how much weight Medjugorje supporters put into the messages. What if the Church condemns the messages formally? What happens to the faith of all those people who have recieved graces in (not from) that place?

    I believe the church will not approve Medjugorje, so that question worries me. Some people are placing more faith in apparitions and visions than the authority of Christ's Church, which is what matters in the end, appartions approved or not.

    If one's faith rests soley on the feelings a place gave you and not the Church's teachings and above all our Eucharistic Lord, it's misplaced perhaps.

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  19. Follow your bishop, every one of you, as obediently as Jesus Christ followed the Father. Obey your clergy too as you would the apostles; give your deacons the same reverence that you would to a command of God. Make sure that no step affecting the Church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop’s sanction. The sole Eucharist you should consider valid is one that is celebrated by the bishop himself, or by some person authorized by him. Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as, wherever Jesus Christ is present, there is the Catholic Church (Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

    "Follow your bishop, every one of you, as obediently as Jesus Christ followed the Father. Obey your clergy too as you would the apostles; give your deacons the same reverence that you would to a command of God."

    The visionaries are not following the Bishop.

    "Make sure that no step affecting the Church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop’s sanction."

    The visionaries erected a shrine without the Bishop's sanction.

    "The sole Eucharist you should consider valid is one that is celebrated by the bishop himself, or by some person authorized by him. "

    The Franscicans of Medjugorje celebrate the Eucharist without the authority of the Bishop.

    "Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as, wherever Jesus Christ is present, there is the Catholic Church."

    The visionaries of Medjugorje are opposed to the Bishop; therefore, they are not where the Bishop is, and, consequently, not where Jesus Christ or the Catholic Church is.

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  20. Does the holiness or lack thereof in the visionaries confirm or invalidate the apparition?

    Is that a criteria of authenticity?

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  21. When the fruit from an asserted apparition is for people to set themselves against the bishop -- a successor of the Apostles -- then that is a bad fruit.

    It looks like, as is the case with many traditionalists, the promoters of Medjugorje are their own worst enemy.

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  22. Diane, I am not going to do that. I am not going to research websites and links for you. I don't like the tone of your posts here.

    I really should clarify what I meant. Perhaps I chose the wrong word. The local Bishop had the decision taken away from him to officially condemn the apparitions. (this is common knowledge). I apologize for choosing the wrong word.

    Between you and Joan...really.

    Joan, what the heck are you talking about? Who kidnapped and beat their own bishop? Wasn't the visionaries. I don't know who you're talking about.

    And about the moral character of the young children? Sound like hardened criminals, don't they? Nobody as good and moral as Mary Magdalene was...or as stellar as the 12 apostles.

    And if flunking out of seminary and marrying a "beauty star" is so ...sinful...(I'm at a loss of words here.) You should really reconsider what you're saying.

    People can have visions and not be called to be priests/nuns. Consider Maria Esperanza (actually it was the apparition site of Betania that was approved although she had the visions), St Catherine of Sienna (doctor of the Church), Blessed Anna Maria Taigi to name a few.

    DeusCaritasEst: You are misunderstanding all that we're saying. If the Church condemns the messages formally then I will obey without question immediately. I honestly can't see how that would happen unless the messages suddenly change radically. With all due respect, can you name even one message that goes against anything that the Church teaches? If yes, then I will reconsider.

    Patrick, there is a lot of nastiness on this thread (not you)towards those of us who believe. Out and out nastiness. Hardly what one would consider "good fruits." Almost makes me feel like one of the early Christians. (looks nervously around for lions).

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  23. The unfortunate thing is, it's virtually impossible to write something balanced on the subject of Medjugorje, as Patrick has done, without getting at least some criticism from those who are "pro-Medj" and those who are "anti-Medj."

    When I wrote a column on the subject -- and I was careful to be balanced, or so I thought -- I received a nasty e-mail from a Medj-opponent and a nasty e-mail from a Medj-supporter!

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  24. Re:With all due respect, can you name even one message that goes against anything that the Church teaches? If yes, then I will reconsider.


    On 11 November, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples wrote to the General Father of the Franciscan Order: "In the Diocese of Mostar, there are four Friars Minor who, despite being without jurisdiction, continue to exercise their priestly ministry. These are the Fr. Jozo Zovko (and ...) that, contrary to the provisions of this Congregation since 1990 about their assignment to a convent away from Medjugorje, continue to exercise their priestly ministry, remaining in religious communities located close to that parish."

    Why dose this friar's disobedience harm the apparition's authenticity?

    Franciscan friars take a vow of obedience. What dose the Church teach about vows of obedience? This:

    Can. 601 "The evangelical counsel of obedience, undertaken in the spirit of faith and love in the following of Christ, who was obedient even unto death, obliges submission of one's will to lawful Superiors, who act in the place of God when they give commands that are in accordance with each institute's own constitutions".

    The friar's disobedience goes beyond the Bishop; he is disobeying the Holy See, and who would dare say the Holy See dose not have the authority to rule? Only heretics would! And that is exactly what the apparition of Medjugorje did - namely, commit heresy - when it said this (from Vicka's notebook):

    "19 December 1981 - Saturday
    I made a request to Our Lady on the problem of Herzegovina, in particular as regards Father Ivica Vego. Our Lady said that for these disorders the more guilty is the Bishop Zanic. Relating to Ivica Vego has said that he is not guilty, but that the bishop has in hand all the power. She said to remain in Mostar and not to leave from there."

    How is this heresy?

    Three reasons:
    1) In light of the Church's teaching on the vow of obedience (see above), Mary would never contradict what the Church teaches. The apparition contradicts the Church by saying there is no disobedience.
    2) In light of the Church's teaching on the sinlessness of Mary, Mary would never lie. The apparition lied against the Church.
    3) In light of the Church's teaching on the Bishop being a vicar of Christ, Mary, just as she never dishonored her Son, would never dishonor her Son's vicar. The apparition dishonored the Bishop in the message it gave to Vicka.

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  25. Susan L. said:

    Diane, I am not going to do that. I am not going to research websites and links for you. I don't like the tone of your posts here.

    I don't think that there is a tone acceptable to anyone who is strongly attached to the Medjugorje phenomenon which are still undergoing investigation and not yet deemed, "worthy of belief".

    The local Bishop had the decision taken away from him to officially condemn the apparitions. (this is common knowledge). I apologize for choosing the wrong word.

    You are partially correct. However, the bishop's authority to rule definitively on the authenticity, or lack there of, was not removed, but elevated. In fact, Bishop Peric has been involved in the process all along - even after it was elevated to a larger body, as was Bishop Zanic before him.

    In 1987 Cardinal Kuharic explained, and his explanation is consistent with a provision in the 1978 criteria for discernment of apparitions for cases that go beyond the bounds of the diocese of origin.

    Cardinal Kuharic said:

    During the inquiry these events under investigation have appeared to go much beyond the limits of the diocese. Therefore, on the basis of the said regulations, it became fitting to continue the work at the level of the Bishops' Conference, and thus to form a new Commission for that purpose.

    He further stated:

    The [CDF] has been informed about it. It has expressed its recognition of the Diocesan Commission's work done under the responsibility of the local Ordinary, and it urged that that work be continued at the level of the National Conference of Bishops.

    The local bishop is a member of the bishop's conference and was thus involved.

    I have another thought on where you might be getting this impression about the bishop's authority (see next comment).

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  26. Susan, here is where I think your impression is originating from.

    Promoter site commentaries about the bishop's "authority being taken away", is likely based on this comment by then Archbishop Bertone to Msgr. Aubry in 1998 in which he said:

    What Bishop Peric said in his letter to the Secretary General of "Famille Chretienne", declaring: "My conviction and my position is not only 'non constat de supernaturalitate,' but likewise, 'constat de non supernaturalitate' of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje", should be considered the expression of the personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion.

    I'm offering this here not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of the many readers observing, if they are inclined to look at what the documents really say.

    This is often used in the websites of profit making promoters to assert that the authority of the bishop "was removed". Further, people actually use this to claim that "the bishop is being disobedient".

    Let's look at it in context.

    First, Bishop Peric, in the very same letter in which he made known his personal position stated:

    5) Nevertheless I am open to a study that the Holy See would undertake, as the supreme court of the Catholic Church, to speak the supreme and definitive judgment on the case, and that as soon as possible, for the good of souls and for the honor of the Church and of Our Lady.

    He never claimed that his personal opinion was the final decision of the Church.

    Cardinal Bertone reiterates this in his letter to Msgr. Aubry and this part is not typically quoted by promoter sites:

    However, the numerous gatherings of the faithful from different parts of the world, who are coming to Medjugorje prompted both by motives of belief and certain other motives, require the attention and pastoral care in the first place of the bishop of the diocese and of the other bishops with him

    Hence, Archbishop Bertone was reminding people of the pastoral authority over the happenings at Medjugorje that Bishop Peric has.

    This authority was recognized by the Papal Household Preacher, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa when he pulled out of a retreat for priests upon learning he did not have permission of the local bishop to preach there.

    The bishop was not being mean-spirited. Rather, the reason he denied Fr. Cantalamessa is because he felt the visit would be exploited in such a way as to lend credibility to something not yet deemed worthy of belief by the Church. Fr. Cantalamessa's response to the denial was not only humble and proper, but it acknowledged the local bishop's authority on these kinds of decisions:

    “My principle is not to preach, especially not to the clergy, without the permission of the local bishop”

    Cardinal Schonborn surely knew that his request would be denied on the same basis given his position with the CDF. He did not ask for permission and his visit was exploited to the "nth" degree. This prompted the public involvement of Cardinal Saraiva Martins and he may not be the last to do so.

    There is a systematic campaign by profit-making promoters to pit the faithful against the bishop. This too is a fruit!

    Note: All of the documents I cite in the first half are in this post: What did Archbishop Bertone really say about Bishop Peric?

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  27. One last thing:

    Nobody (in authority) is requiring us to believe and nobody (in authority meaning Rome) is demanding that we denounce the messages.

    I agree with Matt. Look how this is dividing us...those who love Christ. Even the clergy is divided. My spiritual advisor ( a devout and holy priest) has been to Medjugorje and has seen for himself the fruits and believes.

    We should put down our "weapons." This means guard our tongues as they are the weapons and instead say a prayer.

    Both sides should just let this go for now and wait for the decision. This would please Christ, I believe, and frustrate the devil.

    Truce?

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  28. Diane, all I know is that the decision to formally condemn the apparitions has been removed from the local Bishop and instead there is a committee to investigate. I have no idea about the Bishop's reasons.

    The messages have been consistent all of these years. They're simple and true to the gospel.

    I'm not here to argue. I'm just going to pray and wait.

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  29. Also, where the Blessed Mother is...you know that the devil is going to go to muddy up the works. I'm sure that there are profit-making promoters in there who want to cash in.

    Call it what you want but something in my gut is telling me that this is real. It played a role in my conversion. (There were many factors and this is one of them).

    Since you are trying to convince the silent readers, too, I'm going to offer a piece of advice from a convert to them: Pray and fast for discernment. Then wait for the Church to decide.

    I will be ok if she condemns them. Are all of you going to be ok if she approves them? I'm not saying this to be nasty. Both sides here have to be ready to be disappointed. And you know what I mean.

    Unfortunately, there is an element of pride on both sides that we want to be right. I am absolutely just as guilty as the next person.

    We (on both sides) have to prepare ourselves for humbling and obedience. I'm not good at either (God forgive me).

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  30. Susan,

    I don't think you have any interest in what the Church documents (formal communications) have to say about the whole subject of the bishops authority.

    Hopefully, the many who will visit this thread will look carefully at those communications rather than study commentaries about them.

    My aim is not to pass judgment on authenticity which is the responsibility of the Church. Rather, it is to draw attention to the words of the local bishop who stands on solid ground doctrinally, and who is proven by communications referenced above to still have pastoral authority. The documentation further states, "....the other bishops with him" not the local bishop with other bishops.

    So please stop spreading the non-truth about the bishops authority.

    This systematic campaign by profit-making promoters, and suppoters who fall for it are playing right into the hand of he who desires the faithful have contempt for the bishop. This too is a fruit and it is incompatible with all that the Blessed Virgin Mary represents.

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  31. uhmmm, Diane? I don't think you're hearing me.

    I am not spreading non-truths.

    Please go back and read the last couple of posts I wrote. You're too caught up in the anti-Medjugorje thing. Both sides (this includes you, too, Diane) can easily play into the devil's hand by our posts.

    I'm getting really ticked off at your attitude. Being ticked off is making it hard to post with charity.

    You are exactly trying to pass judgment on authenticity. That is shown by your last paragraph after accusing me of spreading "non-truths."

    I will repeat to you one last time. It is not the local bishop's authority anymore to formally condemn or authenticate the apparitions. That is why I am not taking what he says to heart when there are others (cardinals, for example) who disagree.

    I don't have contempt for him. I'm just not taking what he says to heart. That is not a negative fruit.

    Diane, you have contempt for those of us who do believe.

    Please don't talk to me about negative fruit.

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  32. There is a lot about that place that never rang true, even when it first began in 1981, there was always something odd about it.
    Our faith shouldn't be based on apparitions approved or otherwise. Blessed are they that do not see and still believe.
    Amen?

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  33. Nick, I just found your post and read it. I then checked out your link. This doesn't look legit. This isn't a link to Vicka's notebook. This is someone "reporting."

    This is not enough to convince me, Nick. If Vicka said that the Blessed Mother told her to disobey then I would dismiss Vicka. Our Blessed Mother would never tell anyone to disobey church authority but this is not from Vicka. This article is from someone else.

    Diane: I wrote out a lengthy post and then inadvertently erased it. *sigh* (hate when that happens).

    I am not spreading non-truths. And please don't lump in with those who would support Medjugorje no matter what. I don't appreciate it. I said that I would obey Mother Church no matter what. Will you if she approves?

    If you want to say that the local Bishop's opinions will weigh heavily with the committee...fine. I have no problem with that.


    The problem with your tone issue: You say that there is no tone that would be acceptable to those who strongly support. Well, I have no problem with Patrick's tone. I have no problem with anyone who doesn't look down on me because I believe. That's what is coming across in your posts and others here. Talking about schisms and negative fruits of those who support it.

    I've seen your writings on another thread You were very gracious so I don't think you realize this. You sound like you're coming on here armed with a hammer ready to take us on and beat it out of us.

    That, along with my sinful pride, is enough to shut me down. I'm being painfully honest here (and believe me, this is painful). How can I honestly try to listen and research everything you say when it sounds like you're talking down to me?

    That hurt for me to say. And I have a lot of stupid pride.

    I'm getting a lot of distractions now over here so I'm going to sign off.

    I really hope that Mother Church decides one way or the other soon. May God's will be done.

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  34. Re: This is not enough to convince me, Nick. If Vicka said that the Blessed Mother told her to disobey then I would dismiss Vicka. Our Blessed Mother would never tell anyone to disobey church authority but this is not from Vicka. This article is from someone else.

    How many visionaries would you dismiss? By the way, the Catholic Church judges a revelation based on the visionary - including Vicka. In other words: If any one of the visionaries - if even the least of them - reports that the apparition teaches heresy, than guess what? A negative judgment will come. Why? Because unlike some people, the Church is serious when it comes to revelations; she doesn't ignore certain people nor certain events but judges the fruits and events together to know the truth. Since the apparition committed heresy, and Mary would never commit heresy, than it follows - logically - that the apparition is not Mary.

    As for the excerpt from Vicka's notebook: You must have missed the photocopies. Photocopies are sometimes included in articles to prove that the person quoting a document, book, or other writing isn't making things up but is actually quoting the author. The article writer quoted Vicka's notebook. By the way, I am well aware of what Vicka said on September ("I have no secret notebook other than the one in which I have noted what Our Lady told me of her life. If you wish, I can confirm this on an oath.") and well aware that she was lying, since there are photocopies - physical, concrete evidence - of three secret notebooks she has. So tell me, who are you going to believe? A person that lies about not having notebooks or a person who has told you the truth about said notebooks? Who are you going to believe, a person that has visions of an apparition that lies against the Church or a person that speaks the truth about Medjugorje? Choose wisely, for Jesus Christ is the Truth.

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  35. Susan L.

    Tone is sometimes difficult to discern when the voice cannot be heard. It would be better to talk it over coffee.

    It might help to see where I am coming from....

    In November of 1980 I left home for a Franciscan convent in Herzegovina (my mother was of Croatian ethnicity and nuns from the order served in a few parishes here in the US). Sisters from the province I was in were responsible for the parish of St. James.

    I was there, about 20-30 minutes by car from Medjugorje when it all broke out in June of 1981. I remember it well. I wanted to believe it was all true, but was cautious. I leaned more in favor of authenticity, than not - because of good fruits. I saw it all first hand, before it became a global phenomenon!

    I met Fr. Jozo several times and had a positive impression of him, as I did all of the Franciscans. I have pictures of the visionaries and had met them. I had been in the sacristy of St. James when the "visions" began. I remember when the "Great Sign" was suppose to appear, then didn't - exactly as Bishop Peric explains in his latest document, The Questionable Games Surrounding the 'Great Sign'. I became somewhat suspicious then, remembering what my Father taught me after being burned by a false apparition: Never put stock into it until the Church says it is worthy of belief. I remained hopeful that it was all true, but remained cautious.

    I got sick and had to leave, returning home to the US. Without any internet, there was no way for me to keep tabs on what was going on and thoughts of it faded away over time.

    In 2005 I googled Medjugorje and began to look for info. I was excited as I read what was on many of the most popular sites. Then one day in a forum, a man confronted me with something about the Franciscan priests. I took offense because these were people that I knew. I debated him back and forth.

    I had such a disdain for the bishop in my heart, and it was all coming from things I had read on promoters sites (people making a profit from sales, pilgrimages, etc.) In trying to prove the man wrong, I proved him right! Some of my Franciscan friends were involved with some unFranciscan things.

    For the firs time, I had access to the actual words of the bishop, and his reasons for not accepting authenticity. At first, I couldn't bring myself to read them, but I had to in order to debate the man.

    Over the last few years, I learned even more. In reading the documents, I saw how things were omitted by certain authors - like Fr. Laurentin (whose misteps are well documented by Bishop Peric). Several of these authors have literally filtered out damaging portions of tape recorded interviews with the "seers"! This comes out when you see an unedited transcript. I respected these authors and was scandalized that they could hide or modify the truth.

    While you have a personal belief in the apparition, I have a personal disbelief, for many of the reasons cited by Bishop Peric and Cardinal Saraiva Martins. Most especially, I don't think Our Lady would pit the faithful against the bishop, even if he were wrong. Mary is a model of humility and obedience. I just can't reconcile the disobedience, the deception, or the division at all levels of the Church with an authentic apparition.

    It may be hard to understand, but there are those of us who feel Our Lady is under attack with falsehoods which are causing division.

    The Angel of Darkness is glad to play along with conversions and positive spiritual experiences. He knows in the end that some will become so attached that even if the Church condemns them as false, some will leave the Church. Bayside, Necedeh, and now Holy Love are prime examples.

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  36. Just to clarify: I am not pronouncing judgment, only discerning the apparition of Medjugorje using the Church's official norms for the discernment of apparitions.

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  37. Contrary to what the visionaries say, Fatima and Medjugorje - from their events and fruits to the private lives of the visionaries and how the revelations affected them along the path of faith - are quite different. Where the visionaries of Fatima were poor and Lucia entered the religious life, the visionaries of Medjugorje have gotten rich off the apparitions and none of them have entered the religious life. Where the message of Fatima was one of prayer and penance, the message of Medjugorje is one of a series of devotions and peace. Where God worked a miracle at Fatima as a sign of the authenticity of the apparitions - the dancing of the Sun - God has worked no such miracle at Medjugorje, and, in fact, the visionaries have said the shrine erected in Medjugorje is the "Great Sign" promised. Where the visionaries of Fatima did nothing without the permission of their parish pastor, the visionaries of Medjugorje erected a shrine without the sanction of the local Bishop - which, by the way, is illegal, as it disobeys the Code of Canon Law. Where Our Lady of Fatima only appeared a few times, the apparition of Medjugorje has been appearing for over twenty years. Where Our Lady of Fatima visited a town no one knew, the apparition of Medjugorje came to children of a village long pilgrimaged to and known for its strange sightings and lights. Where the visionaries of Fatima made no attack upon the priests and bishops who physically assaulted them but bore everything for Jesus, the visionaries of Medjugorje have insulted their local Bishop - even bringing the whole town of Medjugorje against him (he was assaulted on one visit). If you want to arm yourself with knowledge about Fatima and so be able to know the true gap between Fatima and Medjugorje, and thereby defend yourself against confusion and lies, check out these links:
    Fatima In Sr. Lucia's Own Words (PDF)
    The Message of Fatima
    The Sanctuary of Fatima
    Fatima: Grace for Mankind

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  38. Code of Canon Law
    Can. 1230 By the term shrine is understood a church or other sacred place to which numerous members of the faithful make pilgrimage for a special reason of piety, with the approval of the local ordinary.
    Can. 1231 For a shrine to be called a national shrine, the conference of bishops must give its approval; for it to be called an international shrine, the approval of the Holy See is required.
    Can. 1232 §1. The local ordinary is competent to approve the statutes of a diocesan shrine; the conference of bishops for the statutes of a national shrine; the Holy See alone for the statutes of an international shrine.

    "Local ordinary" for Medjugorje is the Bishop. The Bishop did not give approval for a shrine at Medjugorje ("‘Medjugorje’ is neither a diocesan nor national or international shrine" "No-one except the official Church authorities is then authorized to attribute the formal title of “shrine” to this place."). So there is disobedience on part of the visionaries.

    But that's not all. Let's assume, for assumption's sake, that the shrine was not erected by the visionaries but by someone else. What dose this mean? It means there is still disobedience in Medjugorje, because someone didn't get the Bishop's approval for a shrine.

    At Fatima Mary corrected the children, even telling Francisco he must say many Rosaries before he can go to Heaven. At Medjugorje the apparition has not corrected the visionaries - nor has the apparition ever told Medjugorje to get the Bishop's approval for the shrine. There are nine ways to participate in someone else's sin, and one of those ways is by silence. The apparition has kept silent on the shrine, thereby participating in the sin of disobedience. Mary cannot sin, so we cannot assume apparition is Mary.

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  39. Diane, thank you for that explanation. I really appreciated it. I purposely stayed away from this blog because I was afraid of losing my temper and becoming uncharitable. (an opportunity to sin where I really don't need anymore. lol) I only came here because of another blog that had nothing to do with the subject but gave me something to think about. (Sorry to be so vague. It's a bit personal).

    I'm not so attached that I won't consider what is said especially after your explanation. Thank you for answering.

    Nick, I always always always always choose Jesus Christ. (And please remember what I said about obedience to Mother Church).

    Just because I'm not convinced by your link or allegations doesn't mean that I'm not choosing Jesus Christ for the truth.

    Where Mary is...the devil will be, too, to muddy up the waters. Actually, just the fact that there is so much going on tells me that the devil is there, too. Instead of convincing me that Mary isn't there, it convinces me that the devil is working hard to mess it up.

    Which brings me to Vicka. If Vicka is really claiming that Mary told her to disobey Church authority, then I would dismiss Vicka. The other visionaries, I would have to discern. Chances are pretty good that if she was bad, the others would fall like dominoes.

    Let's lay this all to rest and leave it to Holy Mother Church. If it was all this obvious, I would think that the Church would have dismissed it by now.

    AND it's hard to tell everything from a distance. That's why we're all waiting for a decision. If you don't mind, I think I'll bow out of this discussion now.

    peace, everyone.

    Sue

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  40. What a lot of words...!

    To Diane and Nick, do you seriously think ANYONE is going to accept your lengthy arguments against Medjugorje in preference to the fact that Cardinal Sconborn is positive - unless they already disbelieve?

    Medjugorje is open for anyone to investigate and find out for themselves. The internet, for all its faults, allows the open hearted to investigate the truths of Medjugorje even if they cannot go there themselves.

    And may God bless Susan for trying to keep an open heart in her search for the truth! The truth can only be reached through an open heart.

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  41. Nick... You failed to quote all of Canon 1232: I have shown it below, and also the other canons appertaining to shrines. From this you will understand that shrine status is not dependent on the local ordinary. The canon shows that there are three levels of shrine; each are independent of each other.

    So far, local ordinary will not consider shrine status for Medjugorje.

    About four year years ago the Holy See commissioned the Bosnia Herzegovina bishops’ conference to examine the question of shrine status for Medjugorje. The conference is made up of three bishops, one being bishop Peric. After two years the Archbishop of Sarajevo handed the commission back to the Holy See without reaching any conclusion on shrine status. So now it is left to the Holy See to undertake the investigation.

    The Yugoslav bishops’ conference did declare Medjugorje a shrine. However, it can be argued that since the break up of that conference is that status still applicable. I think this is why the Holy See afforded the opportunity to the B&H BC to confirm the status. It didn’t, and so ball is back with the Holy See. It has three options: Ignore any request for shrine status, hand the decision back to the B&H BC to reconsider, give approval at International level. There are indications that the latter may be the outcome.

    Can. 1232 §1. The local ordinary is competent to approve the statutes of a diocesan shrine; the conference of bishops for the statutes of a national shrine; the Holy See alone for the statutes of an international shrine.

    §2. The statutes are to determine especially the purpose, the authority of the rector, and the ownership and administration of goods.

    Can. 1233 Certain privileges can be granted to shrines whenever local circumstances, the large number of pilgrims, and especially the good of the faithful seem to suggest it.

    Can. 1234 §1. At shrines the means of salvation are to be supplied more abundantly to the faithful by the diligent proclamation of the word of God, the suitable promotion of liturgical life especially through the celebration of the Eucharist and of penance, and the cultivation of approved forms of popular piety.

    §2. Votive offerings of popular art and piety are to be kept on display in the shrines or nearby places and guarded securely.


    From this we can see that the Holy See, if it does grant shrine status to Medjigorje, could actually ring-fence the tree that produces fruit, and remove the parish out of the Mostar diocese.

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  42. Re: The Yugoslav bishops’ conference did declare Medjugorje a shrine

    Please provide the official Church documents necessary to prove this. I will be happy to see said documents as the evidence for your claim.

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  43. The Yugoslav bishops’ conference did declare Medjugorje a shrine.

    Would you provide documentation for that, pilgrim?

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  44. Hi all,

    I just wanted to make it clear that the Church's teaching even on approved private revelations, such as Fatima and Lourdes, leaves it up to the faithful to decide whether to believe it or not. So even if the Church did approve Medjugorje - which looking at the facts, I do not believe it would happen - I, as a Christian, still do not have to believe it.

    So let's say someone wants to be against Fatima - which I totally believe in - they could STILL be in good with the Church and receive their heavenly reward. Even if they make me uncomfortable, or if they aren't very politically correct about talking with me about Fatima, or any number of other reasons that they don't believe in it. As long as they live a good moral life and follow the teachings of Holy Mother Church, a Catholic does not need to take a second look at private revelation. Although I think it would be edifying for him to look at some of the approved Marian apparitions!

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
    #67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
    Christian faith cannot accept "revelations" that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such "revelations".

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  45. davidtlig says: To Diane and Nick, do you seriously think ANYONE is going to accept your lengthy arguments against Medjugorje in preference to the fact that Cardinal Sconborn is positive - unless they already disbelieve?

    I leave that to God. May Our Lady guide them.

    Give it more time and we will see the true fallout of Cardinal Schonborn's trip. As others have pointed out, the Holy Father received Cardinal Schonborn in a private audience today, following the plenary meeting of the CDF.

    Medjugorje is open for anyone to investigate and find out for themselves.

    No. It is the Catholic Church which investigates and as with all appartions not approved, she urges the faithful to not treat them worthy of belief ahead of the Church's investigation and ruling.

    The internet, for all its faults, allows the open hearted to investigate the truths of Medjugorje even if they cannot go there themselves

    "Truths of Medjugorje"?

    Has the Church declared something in Medjugorje to be true?

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  46. Susan L says: Diane, thank you for that explanation. I really appreciated it.

    And, thank you for taking the time to understand where I am coming from, even if we don't quite agree.

    I'm all for Marian devotions (and if you look through my Assumption Day photography you will learn that I am in one of Michigan's most Eucharistic and Marian parishes - Assumption Grotto. But my pastor keeps that devotion within the bounds of what is fully approved.

    My point is that we can have devotion to Mary and to the Eucharist through daily Mass and adoration. We can fast, make frequent use of confession and pray. These are things that people really enjoy when they go to Medjugorje. It is graces from these basics that makes Mother Elvira successful with people of Cenacolo, not messages which have not been proven to be authentic.

    But these things (Eucharistic and Marian devotion, confession, mortification, etc.) do not belong to Medjugorje. They are distinctly Catholic and belong to the Church. They were suppressed or diminished by dissidents who advanced "strange teachings" for the past 40 years and people are now starved for them. That's the real lesson of Medjugorje. In Medjugorje, they find these things. So, the attraction to the Eucharist, to Mary and the sacraments is legitimate. Those things which are distinctly Medjugorje, such as "messages", devotions based on the alleged apparition, and the like, have not yet been proven to be worthy of belief.

    This paragraph below is cited in many promoter sites. Read it carefully, several times, focusing on the words I have in bold. The bishop is not being mean, but is acting like a bishop who knows he is accountable to God for following that 1991 Zadar Declaration. I can tell you that if you think he sounds harsh in some of the document links I've provided in this thread, you need to read the Fathers of the Church. Bishop Peric has nothing on them (LOL). Even Our Lord was less than delicate at times.

    Here is that paragraph from the 1991 Zadar Declaration:

    ****
    Yet the gathering of the faithful from various parts of the world to Medjugorje, inspired by reasons of faith or other motives, require the pastoral attention and care, first of all, of the local Bishop and then of the other bishops with him, so that in Medjugorje and all connected with it, a healthy devotion towards the Blessed Virgin Mary according to the teachings of the Church may be promoted. The Bishops will also provide special liturgical and pastoral directives corresponding to this aim. At the same time, they will continue to study all the events of Medjugorje through the commissions.
    *****

    "according to the teachings of the Church"

    We need to reflect on what that means. Holy Mother Church does not teach us to follow that which is not yet deemed worthy of belief.

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  47. In Medjugorje, the visionaries transferred the Nativity or Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary from September 8th to August 5th. This is illegal. Visionaries and apparitions have no authority to do this. According to Canon Law:

    Can. 1244 §1. It is only for the supreme ecclesiastical authority to establish, transfer, and suppress feast days and days of penance common to the universal Church, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 1246, §2*.
    §2. Diocesan bishops can decree special feast days or days of penance for their dioceses or places, but only in individual instances.
    Can. 1245 Without prejudice to the right of diocesan bishops mentioned in can. 87**, for a just cause and according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop, a pastor can grant in individual cases a dispensation from the obligation of observing a feast day or a day of penance or can grant a commutation of the obligation into other pious works. A superior of a religious institute or society of apostolic life, if they are clerical and of pontifical right, can also do this in regard to his own subjects and others living in the house day and night.

    * Can. 1246 §2. With the prior approval of the Apostolic See, however, the conference of bishops can suppress some of the holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday.
    ** Can. 87 §1. A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the Church. He is not able to dispense, however, from procedural or penal laws nor from those whose dispensation is specially reserved to the Apostolic See or some other authority.

    You will not find one canon in the Church's law that says an apparition has authority to transfer feasts, even if to correct the Church. No apparition can transfer a feast, holy, or solemn day.

    You will also not find one apparition that celebrated a feast without Church permission. The apparition of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary instructed her to get the Church's permission for the feast of the Sacred Heart. The apparition of Jesus to Saint Faustina instructed her to get the Church's permission for the feast of the Divine Mercy. In addition, Our Lady of Laus told Benoite Rencurel that she wanted a shrine built for her. Benoite was denied by the Vicar-General, and she complained to Our Lady. Our Lady told her to be patient, and instructed her to obey the Church. So we see both God and Mary instructing the faithful to obey the Church - even if the Church dose not fulfill the wishes of Heaven.

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  48. “We bishops (Yugoslavia bishops’ conference), after a three-year-long commission study, accept Medjugorje as a holy place, as a shrine.”
    Cardinal Kuharic, August 1993.
    Glas Koncila, August 15 1993

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  49. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

    Matthew usefully quotes the only reference in the Catechism to 'private revelation' but seems not to find in the above quote from it, an encouragement to look for Jesus and Mary in Medjugorje.

    Whatever the anti-Medjugorje people might say, the local bishop does NOT represent the Magisterium of the Church. In fact, after trying to find something in canon law about the position of the local bishop in matters associated with apparitions, I can find nothing. As far as I can see, any 'authority' of the local bishop is simply one of church 'etiquette'.

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  50. David,

    There is one fundamental thing wrong with using sensus fidelium in the case of Medjugorje. That "sense" must be aligned with the Magisterium. Right now it is very distant from the local Magisterium. The Holy See would have to overturn the local bishop. He is standing on solid doctrinal ground with his current position. The local Magisterium can never be misaligned with ordinary Magisterium. Hence, Bishop Perics findings would have to be proven contrary to the faith.

    Dissidents often use the SF argument to advance things like sex outside of Sacramental marriage. Their "sense" doesn't change objective Truth. The Church does not have authority to modify Truth for their "sense."

    Google Pope John Paul II and learn in what boundaries SF ms apply. It can never counter the Magisterium.

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  51. David, you said "the local bishop does not represent the Magisterium"

    In each diocese is the local Magisterium and it must be aligned with the higher Magisterium. If there are things contrary to the faith in the messages, for example, he could not pronounce favorably as he would be out of alignment with Church teaching.

    By pointing out what is contrary to the faith at Medjugorje publicly the Church will not over-rule his findings unless he has erred. That which he points out as contrary to faith is like 101. Hence, not likely to be overturned.

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  52. To strengthen Diane's words, here's what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say:

    67 Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

    84 The apostles entrusted the "Sacred deposit" of the faith (the depositum fidei), contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. "By adhering to [this heritage] the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practising and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful."

    92 "The whole body of the faithful. . . cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals."

    904 "Christ . . . fulfills this prophetic office, not only by the hierarchy . . . but also by the laity. He accordingly both establishes them as witnesses and provides them with the sense of the faith [sensus fidei] and the grace of the word"

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  53. No shrine and no pilgrimages. Neither the Diocesan Bishop as the head of the local diocese of Mostar-Duvno, or any other competent authority has ever officially declared the parish church of St. James the Apostle in Medjugorje as a "Marian Shrine" and no "cult" of the Madonna based upon so-called apparitions has even been proclaimed. Due to these discrepancies, the local Bishop has repeatedly forbidden anyone from preaching or speaking in churches on the supernatural nature of these so-called "apparitions and revelations", and he has asked that no official pilgrimages be organized be they at the level of parishes, dioceses or generally in the name of the Church. These and similar warnings were made by our former Bishops Conference and the Holy See. Whoever acts to the contrary, is directly going against the official statements of the Church, which even after 14 years of so-called apparitions and widespread propaganda, still remain valid in the Church.
    -- Msgr. Ratko Peric

    SOURCE

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  54. Yes, Nick we all know and understand what the Diocesan bishop has said about shrine status. But you must understand that if the Holy See wish to give Medjugorje shrine status at international level then it can do so without any permission from the local bishop – as did the Yugoslav bishops.

    This is a fact you should not make yourself blind to.

    And yes, we all know that pilgrimages cannot be organised at diocesan level. I don’t know of any diocese that does this. But there is a difference in a group of parishioners travelling to Medjugorje with their parish priest as spiritual director.

    In my opinion, most critics of Medjugorje fail to see or accept is that there is an instruction in place for pilgrims to receive pastoral support. Ten Franciscans cannot administer to all of the pilgrims needs. They struggle coping with the demand for pastoral care even from their own parishioners.

    Remember when Peter cast his net under instruction from Jesus and landed such a catch that he was unable to drag it in? Other disciples came aboard to assist with the catch.

    This is a similar scenario at Medjugorje. Outside priests are needed to assist with the catch.

    The Church has no problem with this. Neither has the local bishop.

    Perhaps antagonists also fail to understand that all the Franciscans of the Medjugorje parish work there with the blessing and co-operation of the Mostar bishop. All are signed in and vetted by the bishop.

    What many people do not realise also is that ALL Mass stipends given at the parish office are collected by the bishop of Mostar for use as he sees fit. The money does not go to the Medjugorje parish or the Franciscans. Generally the money is distributed to poorer parishes. So bishop Peric has not been slow to claim his pound of flesh from the pilgrims in the way of Mass stipends. No pilgrims, no mass stipends, no money for the poorer parishes of the diocese.

    Nick, you might also like to know that the instructions of the bishop are announced regularly to the pilgrims at Masses. The parish priest also issues a notice to priests and pilgrims about the requirements of the Church. This can be found on the parish website.

    The relationship between bishop and the pastors of Medjugorje is far more cordial and co-operative than critics may wish to accept.

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  55. Yes, Pilgrim we all know and understand what you have to say about shrine status. But you must understand that if the local Bishop and Bishops Conference have not given Medjugorje shrine status at the local or national level than it is highly unlikely that it will become an international shrine

    This is a fact you should not make yourself blind to.

    Perhaps antagonists also fail to understand that the Holy See defrocked the Franciscans, which means they disobey the Church when they celebrate sacraments. Here is the proof.

    I hope you listen to Rome. It is your duty as a Catholic to listen to Rome.

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  56. Nick said: “you must understand that if the local Bishop and Bishops Conference have not given Medjugorje shrine status at the local or national level than it is highly unlikely that it will become an international shrine.”

    Nick, with the greatest respect for your position and belief, let me repeat that the three levels of shrine status operate independently of each other. International shrine status does not have to happen after approval at local or national level. It operates under a different set of statutes governed by the Holy See and not by the local ordinary.

    It must be frustrating for you to judge from afar and have to rely on the misinformation continually pumped out by opponents of Medjugorje; misinformation that they have started to believe is true. Now isn’t that a case of the blind leading the blind down dark alleys.

    Yes, most opponents really believed that the time was drawing near when Rome would condemn Medjugorje, so when cardinal Schönborn turned up and started stating the real facts and position of the Church, well, it was all too much for them and the gnashing of teeth began along with the attempted smears of the cardinal, the latest stemming from the Petrus site and half a letter on the Mostar bishop’s website.

    As to defrocked Franciscans, let me again remind you of the point I made earlier: ALl Franciscans working in the Medjugorje parish do so with the full approval of the Mostar bishop. They cannot pastor in Medjugorje without his signature. Defrocked Franciscans is simply a smokescreen and has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the Medjugorje Phenomenon. If it had, then Rome would have stepped in years ago and closed down the place.

    Of course I listen to Rome, but do you? Have you taken on board cardinal Schönborn’s statement referring to the Zadar declaration of 1991 in regard to the Holy See’s position on Medjugorje? If you had then why the accusations against the Medjugorje Phenomenon.

    Feel free to believe what you want, but why attack other Catholics who choose to believe? What harm are they doing to you? The Church has all of this in hand and I include the Mostar bishop in that as well. There is nothing untoward happening at Medjugorje. The frayed edges which the bishop has tolerated for many years are being dealt with because this is what the Holy See requires. Perhaps it suited the bishop to allow the anomalies to prevail for so long so that he could use this against the Medjugorje Phenomenon.

    But in recent months he has been busy tying up his backyard problem because that is what Rome requires – to dot the i’s and cross the t’s so that the criteria for shrine status is properly met. It has to do this if it is going to put its name to the shrine. whether the bishop likes it or not.

    The tree has to be protected and if the local bishop is reluctant to protect the tree that produces good fruit, then someone else has to.

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  57. Wot, no comment, Diane? Guess there isn’t much to say about the cardinal’s letter, or the piece the bishop allowed us to see. It’s not an apology, that’s plainly clear. But as the bishop had written to the cardinal it was probably best that he acknowledge receipt otherwise the bishop may have felt even more slighted.

    I know how much you like having documentation to back up your arguments, that’s why I was puzzled by you running with the Petrus smear. Not your usual style. The floater by Petrus was a real stinker and you grabbed it with both hands. Ugh!

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  58. Keep that Christian attitude, Pilgrim.

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  59. The first Petrus article was not presented as documented fact by Petrus nor myself. It was explained to be whispers in the Sacred Palace.

    The fact that the Holy See published an out of the ordinary private audience that Cardinal Schonborn had with the Pope, coupled with a prompt fax from ROME by the Cardinal to Bishop Peric of a conciliatory nature....these dots are just too easy to connect. There is no commentary needed.

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  60. I see you won't listen to Rome. But perhaps you are unaware of what the Church teaches on docility:

    CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
    87 Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me", the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

    I'm ending my part in the discussion here. May you come to heed Mother Church as a child of God, Pilgrim. Good night.

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  61. Does the holiness or lack thereof in the visionaries confirm or invalidate the apparition?

    Is that a criteria of authenticity?


    The seers at La Sallette fell away from the faith, though the woman involved returned at the end. I believe with Lourdes Bernadette's holiness was used as a criterion, but the approval of the apparition did not turn on it, unless I'm mistaken.

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  62. Irrespective of the truth of medjugore, we should be mindful that there are plenty of instances in Church history where a false apparition has occurred, and there were visible fruit connected with it. Even after authentic apparitions such as Lourdes and Knock there were false seers who cropped up afterward. Within our own time, there was an anti-Pope in spain, Clemente Dominguez y Gomez "Gregory XVII" who claimed to have visions, and founded an order based on instructions from the blessed virgin at an apparition site which the Church had not officially condemned. He encouraged the rosary and frequent confession, defended traditional doctrine and brought about numerous conversions. People started selling property to move near him, and all of the sudden he received a vision in which Jesus and St. Peter elected him "Pope", and was crowned by his newly created "cardinals". All of those souls emotionally attached, who saw the good fruit left the ark of salvation for an imposter. Satan will bear conversions and even some souls coming closer to God in order to net many more. Remember the admonition of our first Pope, "Fratres sobrii estote et vigilate!"

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  63. Even after authentic apparitions such as Lourdes and Knock there were false seers who cropped up afterward.

    Athanasius is correct. Medjugorje (which I have no doubt is authentic) has produced an enormous number of such 'copycat' type of 'missions' that lead astray some of those who have been touched by Medjugorje. But the false 'missions' eventually fade away. This is just one of the reasons the truth of Medjugorje shows itself, through its continuing power to convert and bring people back to God even after nearly 30 years!

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  64. For anybody in any doubt about the authenticity of Medjugorje see Colleen Willard's Miracle Testimonial

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  65. I have read that one of the seers was given a book by the Blessed Mother in the early days of these apparitions and now dodges any discussion of it. Does any one know if any one has seen this book or knows anything about it? It sounds fishy like the gold tablets given to the Mormon founder. Would welcome some clarification on this mysterious book.

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  66. I don't know about a book 'given' by the Gospa to the 'seers'.There are 2 stories I remember:
    1° Mirjana should have read a book about Lourdes before the beginning of the 'apparitions'.
    2° Marija should have asked the Gospa about the book(on the index of forbidden books) written by Maria Valtorta, and the Gospa should have approved that book.

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  67. Re:

    "I have read that one of the seers was given a book by the Blessed Mother in the early days of these apparitions and now dodges any discussion of it. Does any one know if any one has seen this book or knows anything about it? It sounds fishy like the gold tablets given to the Mormon founder. Would welcome some clarification on this mysterious book."

    The book you are referencing incorrectly, which is on the life of Mary is being dedicated by Our Lady and written down. It has not yet been finished therefore released and will be at the time Our Lady sees fit.

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  68. Today's daily reading from Acts is appropriate here.

    "So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail;

    but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!" Acts 5:38-39


    The messages of Medjugorje are to put the Eucharistic, Jesus, at the center of our lives, to live the holy Mass. To daily prayer, specifically the pray of the rosary and to pray it everyday, pray it together and with the heart. To read the bible everyday and to mediate on the Living Word of God. To fast twice a week on bread and water, like the early Church did on Wednesday & Fridays, to fast so that we can pray with the heart and make a good confession. And to go to the Sacrament of confession at least once a month.

    These are the messages of Medjugorje, the call to our individual conversions.

    Satan does not bring people to God, to the Eucharistic or the Sacraments.

    Jesus taught us to know a tree by it's fruits. He says, "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?"

    I have heard some say that the fruits of Medjugorje are God turning something bad into something good but Jesus teaches us "Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles". Jesus teaches us to know a tree by it's fruits.

    The fruits of Medjugorje have not been seen since the early days of the Church. Multitudes of vocations being born, people returning to the Father, to the Sacraments...to the Church.

    Medjugorje is about Jesus. It is the call to the family prayer. Our Lady is appearing and she says these are her last apparitions on earth and the fulfillment of Fatima. She is given us the messages that can renew the Church and the world. With these messages the Church can win.

    What are you going to say the day when you stand before all of Heaven? Did you answer the call of Our Lady?

    We all know that if the Church rules that this aspirations are false that those who do believe will out of holy obedience and love for the Church will denounce the apparitions.

    What are you going to do if the Church rules them to be authentic though? Will you still consider yourself a believer when you did not recognize the voice of the Virgin, Mary, the mother of God?

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  69. Garabandal was very popular and had many "good fruits." It was condemned (further, I consider it demonic from what I know of it). I think the devil has gained some polish with Medjugorje. He's been very successful in laying the foundation for a schism.

    Anyway, I wonder how the Church is going to go about approving the site. If they do, if they say nothing in it refutes Church doctrine, then they're going to have to change a few things, such as life beginning at conception, as the "Gospa" said a baby receives its soul at three months, making first trimester abortions okay. Also, they're going to have to take condemnation off "Poem of The Man God" as the "Gospa" said it was fine by her. And disobedience against church authority is also just fine. Never mind that most sainted seers have been obedient. The "Gospa" put her support behind the suspended Franciscans and called the bishop a wolf.

    Sorry for my snarky tone. I just get angry (and my anger comes out as snark) as I love the Blessed Mother as if she were my own mother and am so offended when people attribute things to her that are so decidedly unlike her.

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  70. April said, 11/16/10

    Garabandal was very popular and had many "good fruits." It was condemned

    This is not true. Garabandal is in the same category as Medjugorje. As a mater of fact the latest statement from the bishop Of Garabandal was positive toward the apparitions please read this link to see his statement.
    http://www.garabandal.org/News/Bishops_Letter.shtml

    This is what was said
    May 7, 2007

    Dear Edward,

    Acknowledging receipt of your kind letter presenting to me your assessment of the events at Garabandal, I want you to know that I am open to all information and to every consideration about Garabandal, and I want to continue in this manner, as long as the Holy Father sees fit for me to be Apostolic Administrator, what my brothers in the episcopacy have done regarding the subject in question. What I have done now is authorize priests to go to Garabandal and celebrate Mass there at whatever hour they desire, and to administer the Sacrament of Reconciliation to as many people who desire it there.

    I am sure that the next bishop will advance the studies of the Garabandal events so they may be examined more deeply with the results being sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

    I respect the apparitions and have known of authentic conversions. In light of these events, how can we not always feel the need to open our heart to our mother Mary to tell her that we need her protection, help, spirit, desire, faith, hope and love! I encourage you to continue maintaining this devotion to our Mother.

    If you are interested in speaking with me, don't hesitate to ask for an audience at the Santander bishopric through the Vicar General. There they can take down all your information and set the date and hour for the visit. Hoping to count on your continued prayers and cooperation, I extend to you my most cordial greeting and give you my blessing.

    + Carlos, Archbishop of Oviedo Apostolic Administrator of Santander

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  71. @Dave Hahn, please note that as this blog has been replaced by the new one at http://patrickmadrid.com, I'm not accepting any new comments here. But you CAN post comments at the new blog. Just do a word search on the blog title you want to post under.

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