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April 2, 2010

Cardinal Arinze on how to discern alleged apparitions and "seers"





With all the voices clamoring for our acceptance of alleged apparitions these days, it's worthwhile listening to the advice given by this esteemed Cardinal on how to carefully and prudently evaluate the claims of the "seers."

On one hand, he reminds us that even canonized saints have been confused or mistaken in some detail or another of their recounting of events associated with authentic apparitions. On the other hand, His Eminence also warns that if an alleged apparition tells people to disobey the pope and the bishops, "it's not from heaven."

8 comments:

  1. My wife and I were talking about this just this morning. People will fly across the ocean to visit some site where some supposed visionary claims to get messages from Mary. Meanwhile we have the writings of the saints, the catechism, the Scriptures, and the Real Presence all readily available to us. Whether places like Medjugorje or authentic or not doesn't affect my faith. I do fear that some are putting too much priority on it and missing the treasures at their fingertips.

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  2. From my own reading of the Medjugorje messages the Virgin Mary has never instructed the seers to disobey the local Bishop or the Pope. She has however strongly urged the local Bishop to believe, as below. It's not out of step with the warnings in the OT or some of the books of the NT.

    On June 19, 1982, the Virgin stated:

    "Tell the Father Bishop that I request his urgent conversion to the events of the Medjugorje parish before it is too late. Let him begin by informing himself about all the events with great understanding, love and responsibility. I desire that he place no disunion between priests and that he should not emphasize their negative sides. I ask for his conversion to these events. I am sending him the ultimate warning. if he is not converted he will be corrected. My judgement, as well as that of my son, Jesus, will strike him. If he does not put into effect what I am giving him to know, please tell him that he has not found the path of my Son, Jesus."

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  3. "Tell the Father Bishop that I request his urgent conversion to the events of the Medjugorje parish before it is too late. Let him begin by informing himself about all the events with great understanding, love and responsibility. I desire that he place no disunion between priests and that he should not emphasize their negative sides. I ask for his conversion to these events. I am sending him the ultimate warning. if he is not converted he will be corrected. My judgement, as well as that of my son, Jesus, will strike him. If he does not put into effect what I am giving him to know, please tell him that he has not found the path of my Son, Jesus."


    The apparition in this message claims private revelation is equal to Public Revelation, i.e., if you as a Christian reject it you are going to Hell.

    The apparition in this message claims private revelation is equal to Public Revelation, i.e., Christians must convert to the revelation and not to Jesus Christ in whom God has revealed Himself totally.

    The apparition in this message claims private revelation is equal to Public Revelation, i.e., rejecting the revelation is a sin punishable by God.

    The apparition, in these three ways, has made private revelation equal to Public Revelation. Check out what the Cardinal said about revelations needed to be totally compatible to the Catholic Faith: Is a private revelation which claims it is equal to Public Revelation compatible to the Catholic Faith? No!

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  4. I will put stock in the devotion of people to medjugorje when I see them delving deeply into the CCC and the documents and the encyclicals, writings of the Saints, especially the Early Church Fathers and the Doctors of the Church, and into scripture all the while seeking to understand Scripture in union with the Church. When I see them pray the rosary and attend Mass with depth of devotion, when I see them go to Adoration and seek to make their regular work a prayer to God--THEN I will think there is something to it.

    So far those I know who follow this tend to be a bit rebellious about doing the little ordinary things of God. It is like those little things are not flashy enough.

    But the old woman praying her rosary (or old man, or other unimportant seeming person) with deep faith in the corner of a pew where practically nobody notices her or cares that she/he is there--I see more practiced saintliness there.

    Cardinal Arinze is wise and worth my time to listen to him!!

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  5. Anonymous at 4-2 (4:46pm) said: From my own reading of the Medjugorje messages the Virgin Mary has never instructed the seers to disobey the local Bishop or the Pope. She has however strongly urged the local Bishop to believe, as below. It's not out of step with the warnings in the OT or some of the books of the NT.

    Then likens the infamous "threat message" that the "gospa" had for the local bishop with the Old Testament, completely disregarding what Cardinal Arinze just said.

    Thank you for proving my point that some Medjugorje devotees have used that particular quote to form a negative opinion of the local bishop. Some are openly hostile to anything he has to say while others are indifferent. You don't do this directly, but it is inferred.

    The "message" is hardly compatible with Scripture and there are catechetical flaws.

    This goes to what Cardinal Arinze is talking about when he discusses alleged apparitions in the context of how the Pope, and the "bishops in union with him" are treated.

    It also falls in line with the problem discussed by Arinze that people will focus on the messages every day, but not on Scripture, not on the CCC, not on Church encyclicals and other documents.

    Bishop Peric is a bishop in good standing, and as recent as 2007, we have an independent verification that the CDF was backing him. The Bishop's Conference of Tuscany, Italy sent a memo to priests of the diocese informing them that the subject of Medjguroje was discussed while they were in Rome for their ad limina. Here is a crude google translation in my blogpost which contains a copy of the faxed document:

    During the visit "ad Limina" of the Bishops of the Region of Tuscany, in the period 16/20 April 2007, we had a meeting at the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Secretary Monsignor Angelo Amato, who speaks to us of apparitions of Medjugorje, has invited us to make public the homily the Bishop of Mostar, in order to clarify the religious phenomenon linked to this site.

    In compliance with this invitation to make known, and pray, especially priests, to read it carefully and to learn the lessons necessary for the proper lighting of our faithful.


    I would like to point out, that Archbishop Angelo Amato is on the list of 17 commission members (unofficial list).

    Archbishop Angelo Amato was also the one who signed the letter, authorizing Bishop Ratko Peric to make public the canonical sanctions against then Fra Tomislav Vlasic, OFM. It was also the archbishop who said in that letter: “Within the context of the phenomenon Medjugorje, this Dicastery is studying the case of Father Tomislav VLASIC OFM, originally from that region and the founder of the association ‘Kraljice mira potpuno Tvoji – po Mariji k Isusu’"

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  6. When i heard that Our Lady was appearing in medjugorje in 1990, my husband, a non-Catholic and i, a fallen away Catholic started reading the classics of the Catholic faith including the Douay-Rheimes bible..before we even went there. We started going to daily Mass and praying the rosary every day. We go to Eucharistic Adoration weekly and sometimes daily. And we also went to work every day. That was a lot for us but God made it easy. After we went to Medjugorje, we have continued for 20 years to do the same things. We know our Catholic faith well and continue to read great books, we know the lives of the saints, we have been blessed with so much. And Medjugorje has not disobeyed the bishops or the Pope. If you really read the in-depth books on Lourdes for insyance, you will find the same arguments and also all the phoney 'seers' at that time that thought they also saw the Blessed Mother (tricked by the devil, but exposed) that made Bernadette look like a fool. How I wish you could 'see' that refusing to even open your heart up to Medjugorje is just like refusing to believe in Jesus in His Days On Earth. It is exactly the same thing. I pray you well with an open heart to 'see' with the eyes of faith.
    I am so sorry that you will miss out on the blessings that you can not accept.

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  7. I also have read A STILL SMALL VOICE which is exactly what Cardinal Arinze is talking about. I also knew everything he said on that video. I am very well aware of false appartions that go on today. I don't delve into them. I have stayed with Fatima history and Lourdes history and I stay with Medjugorje firmly until it is proved true or false. Regardless, my faith was re-born through Medjugorje.

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  8. Attn: Paul Baylis.

    I sent you a personal e-mail last week (sent to xmariantimes01@yahoo.com) but have not heard anything back from you. The e-mail did not bounce back to me, so I assume you received it. I look forward to your response.

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