Medjugorje Mudwrestling

As long time readers of CMR are aware, we discuss almost every thing on this blog. Almost. There is one topic not to be discussed here, until now. The M-word. Yes, Medjugorje.

Our general policy is that there is not much to be gained by discussing it as most people's perceptions of the claims are set and dialogue between the two camps tends toward civil war. This coupled with the fact that there is little actual "news" out of Medjugorje these days leads us to the prudent decision to leave this topic alone.

But now, we actually have some news coming out of Medjugorje. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and member of the CDF spent the last five days in Medjugorje. Medjugorje supporters have steadily hinted in advance of the visit that the Cardinal coming was a tacit endorsement of Medjugorje while detractors said that is no such thing since this is merely a "private visit".

Of course, a private visit in and of itself is no endorsement, tacit or otherwise. However, while in Medjugorje the Cardinal said Mass in the Church and gave a public speech. While careful to note that the status of Medjugorje has not changed (neither approved or disapproved) and that a final decision on the phenomena will not be reached until the alleged apparitions end, it is hard to view some of his comments as anything other than tacit (if personal) approval. Emphases mine.
“I know about Medjugorje for many years, not personally because I have never been here before, but in our Diocese and even farther, I do experience fruits of Medjugorje. I always used to say what Jesus has said in the Gospel: “You will recognise the tree by its fruits.” When I see the fruits of Medjugorje back at home I can only say that the tree is surely good.

Speaking, furthermore, about Medjugorje in the Church, the Cardinal added: “Supreme authority in the Church is the Holy See, the Holy Father and his Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that is the highest authority in all of the issues of faith and morality. Supreme authority of the Church gave us clear guidelines, not directly from Holy Father himself, but from Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith that had clearly confirmed what the bishops from Yugoslavia once said, and that undoubtedly is applicable in Medjugorje. I have always repeated that. Those texts are very much known. There are three elements that are valid still today, and I can place my visit to Medjugorje within those guidelines. In that sense, my visit is not something that is unusual at all. The Holy See, in accordance with the Statement of Bishops from 1991, says the following:

“First: Non constat de supernaturalitatae. [HERE HE DESCRIBES WHAT THAT MEANS - SEE Transcript for complete text]

“Second: no official pilgrimages are to be organised, which means that I can not organise pilgrimage of my diocese to Medjugorje. That is logically related to what was mentioned in the previous point. So, there is no official recognition yet, but in that formulation it is also said that supernaturality is not excluded. The Church has clearly said it is not excluded. It is not confirmed, but it is not excluded.

“Third thing that church doctrine clearly states is also in accordance to the statement of Yugoslavian Bishops, that the faithful journeying to Medjugorje require attention and pastoral care. ...

I would advise for patience. The Mother of God is so patient with us that for nearly 29 years here, in a very direct way. She is showing Her vicinity and care for the parish of Medjugorje and numerous pilgrims. We can peacefully wait and have patience! Twenty nine years is a long period of time for us, but not such a long period to our God!”
While not a ringing endorsement, it is arguably a tacit and very surprising one and I am not the only one who thinks so. Bishop Peric, Bishop of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno, is not happy with the Cardinal. While emphasizing that his visit, in and of itself is no endorsement, he confronts the Cardinal in a direct way for what has transpired and the obvious impression it will leave with many. Bishop Peric, after listing the events and communication that led up to the Cardinal's visit, says this:
On December 29th, the Cardinal arrived in Medjugorje. He was followed by the media over the next few days. Reports say that he gave a speech in the church of St. James the Apostle, and noting the mercy of God, said: “Who could make these things up? Who could invent this thing? Man? No, this is not a human act.” On December 31st a journalist [blogger] wrote: “While some had expected the cardinal’s visit to Medjugorje to be private, he has instead surprised the town by being very visible. He has spent his time concelebrating Mass at St James Church, climbing Apparition Hill with visionary Marija Lunetti, praying in silence at Adoration, and, perhaps most notably, giving his talk today in the parish church with the Franciscan friars at his side”

5)In all this I have to admit that I personally, as diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno, remain surprised. I understand that the Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church enjoys the right to profess and preach the Gospel throughout the Catholic Church. But with regard to public appearances outside their own diocese there also exists a certain etiquette in the Church: the bishop or cardinal who intends to come to another diocese publicly, first informs the local bishop, which is encouraged by the Church and by prudence. This understanding in the church and specific caution should be applied especially in this case.

6)I am surprised because Cardinal Schonborn’s office to the publication of this statement, no one has reported, and assuming that the Cardinal knows the position of the Church, based on the results of the commission's research that no one can say that these are “supernatural apparitions or private revelations.” His visit to Cenacolo and with Sr. Elvira, who, by the way, as a religious nun with no permission to reside and operate in the territory of this diocese, could be interpreted as supportive. And, not only her, but a growing number of new communities and disobedient associations of the faithful in Medjugorje, which can be read as an encouragement for their ecclesiastical disobedience.

...[Here he lists his complaints about Medjugorje and the local Franciscans and then finishes]...

8)The Cardinal is excited by the many confession s in Medjugorje, where the Father’s mercy is manifested. We believe that the mercy of the heavenly Father, as reflected in Medjugorje is also in each and every parish of his diocese, both before and after the phenomenon of Medjugorje. Just look at the long lines of faithful before the confessional in all the parishes, especially for Christmas, for Easter, for holidays, or for Confirmation. Many say these confessions in Medjugorje are strong evidence that the Lady “appears”. According to this conclusion on the numbers making confessions, Our Lady would appear in all our parishes, not just those three people once a year in Medjugorje and the other three every day, in fact most outside of Medjugorje, and apparently in the cathedral in Vienna! All together now: about 40,000 “apparitions”! Indeed, one gets the impression that some “visionaries” determine where and when the Lady “comes” since the appearance happens when and where they want. Is this not an inadmissible manipulation of Our Lady and the Sacred in general?

As the diocesan bishop with this statement I want to inform the faithful that the visit of Cardinal Christoph Schonborn does not imply any recognition of the authenticity of the “apparitions” related to Medjugorje. I regret that the Cardinal, with his visit, appearance, and statements, brings something new to the present suffering of the local Church which does not contribute to peace and unity so necessary.
This episode is quite remarkable. The Cardinal's comments and actions in and on Medjugorje are very surprising. While they are certainly nothing approaching official endorsement, they are sure to excite Medjugorje supporters and infuriate Medjugorje detractors. This is so clearly the case that Bishop Peric has publicly called out Cardinal Christoph Schönborn for his words and deeds.

Did the Cardinal really do all this without talking with Bishop Peric? Wow!

We don't take sides on this blog on Medjugorje, but since they added mud-wrestling to the attraction, we just couldn't stay away!

Note: Please try not to destroy the furniture here at CMR discussing this one.


  1. So, was your site-meter tracking low or something? Why not throw in a random post on SSPX just to REALLY get things bubbling? :)

    But, since it's here, may I just point out that those Franciscans don't have faculties to hear confessions in that Diocese? And so, under canon law, those confessions, are in fact, not sacramental and invalid? So really, you have all these folks wandering around THINKING they've made a sacramental confession when they really haven't? So they may still be in a state of mortal sin?

    Frightening, huh?

  2. Psssh, yeah, like I'm really going to post the first substantive comment on this one...

    ...maybe it's time for me to actually buy that Medjugorje book. My world is turning upside down. What if that whole "local bishop is hostile" thing that happened with Fatima really is occurring again?

    All I know is, the editor of the Catechism is no dummy, and he ain't easily duped by the supernatural. And he ain't gullible either. He's even a tad to far advanced on the scientific rationalism scale for my tastes (see "Chance or Purpose")

    Medjugorje detractors, we've just been pwned.

  3. Given what's gone on in Schönborn's territory, i.e. wacky stuff, it's no surprise that wackiness loves company. Wacky is as wacky does.

  4. Cardinal Schönborn:

    I would not trust him on such matters.

  5. Wasn't one of the promises made that the world will end in the lifetime of one of the children? I think we'll all know the state of these apparitions if that's the case.

  6. If you really want to get the furniture-throwing started, post on women veiling at Mass. Or breastfeeding in public. Oooh, I know-- veiled women breastfeeding at Mass!!! :)

  7. Furniture throwing is done by those driven by ego. Be still, let the Holy Spirit grace you with God's love and let God use you as His avitar to love others and spread the Gospel of His Son. Do this and the truths and falsehoods of Medjugorje will be revealed to you in your humility.

  8. What's the big deal with breastfeeding in public? As long as it's discreet.

  9. Cardinal Schonborn has been an embarrassment for some time. He's impossible to take seriously. Look at some of his recent actions such as the infamous balloon Mass, sacrilegious art (including a homoerotic depiction of the Last Supper) on display in his Cathedral, and the recent banning of the pro-life Bishop of Salzburg from speaking in his Archdiocese.

    All evidence suggests that the Cardinal has gone insane, or has otherwise been possessed. His recent behavior is totally inexplicable, and it seems bound to continue.

    The most frightening part is that he's likely to become the next Pope.

  10. The cardinal has reiterated the Holy See’s position on the Medjugorje phenomenon. As to his personal view, he’s walking the talk that he referenced during his New Year homily in Medjugorje (Acts 4 :20): “We cannot stay silent on what we have seen and heard.” – as much as the local bishop would want him to.

  11. Deuteronomy 13:1-5

    1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

  12. Dierdre’s claims of the Franciscans not having approved faculties to hear confessions in Medjugorje are untrue. All Franciscans at the parish of Medjugorje have signed approval from the Mostar bishop. In fact, the parish priest was specifically placed there at the request of the bishop.

    Perhaps Dierdre also does not know that there are hundreds of other priests visiting Medjugorje that also take confessions. This facility is also approved by the local bishop subject to the normal conditions being met.

  13. mark waterinckx belgiumJanuary 4, 2010 at 6:02 AM

    I have a list of 50 books all proving the fraud in Medjugorje. But read the own website of bihop Peric of Mostar Then click on Medugorski fenomen and then on English

  14. Well, belief or non-belief in Medjugorje is not a litmus test of orthodoxy. Please pass the chair. oops...

  15. William said "Wasn't one of the promises made that the world will end in the lifetime of one of the children? "

    In a word. No. Quite the opposite actually. Get your facts straight.

  16. Quote from the Bishop's letter:

    - We now have in the Diocese nine former Franciscans, expelled from the Order of Friars Minor by the Superior General, and the Holy See has confirmed the expulsions. Although suspended a divinis they act as lawful priests in parishes usurped. While the supposed figure of Medjugorje gives answers to the most curiously trivial, I hear not a word about the serious abuses that strike at the unity of this local Church.

    From a Homily in 2001:
    Had they asked me, I would have responded with a sorrowful heart that according to revealed facts which have not been repudiated by anyone so far with sound arguments, the disobedience that has been nurtured for years against the Holy See, the Franciscan OFM Order and the local Church, has recently produced the bitter fruits of invalid and sacrilegious confessions, invalid confirmations and sacrilegious masses.

    If the bishop says the priests don't have faculties, they don't! He can remove them at any time.

    What really bothers me about Med. is the disobedience of the priests and seers. In past apparitions Our Lady has urged seers to obey doubting authority figures and trust that God will change their hearts.

    In this one, the apparition has encouraged disobedience and threatened local ordinaries.

    Um...yeah... sounds a lot like Mary there.

    Also, it disturbs me when Med. fans argue that "Mary outranks the local bishop, or even the pope." Christ put PETER in charge of the early Church, NOT Mary. And Mary was fine with that....

    Luckily, as Catholics, we're not required to believe in ANY Apparition, and there are plenty of approved ones (Guadalupe, Lourdes,etc.) so we don't NEED to go chasing after questionable miracles.

    For a pretty good overview of the whole Med. situation (sorry for the abbreviations- I'm an atrocious speller!) "The Miracle Detective" is a fun, informatove read......

  17. Breastfeeding at Mass-- it always amuses me that some of the people most offended by breastfeeding at Mass are also offended by kids screaming at Mass! Pick your poison, please!

    Women in Veils -- Who cares? What business is it of mine? (Personally, I'd be inclined to wear one if it wasn't for the fact I hate people staring at me....)

    Ooh... can we move on to Providentialism V. NFP? That always fills up the comment boxes!

    Patrick and Matthew-- taking over the contraversial topics since AMP has gotten pretty boring!

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  19. Okay, kids, time once again for what we grown-ups like to call "The Old Bottom Line."

    65 "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son." (Heb 1:1-2.) Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father's one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2:

    "In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty." (St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel 2,22,3-5 in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, tr. K. Kavanaugh, OCD, and O. Rodriguez, OCD (Washington DC:Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1979),179-180:LH, OR Advent, week 2, Mon.)

    66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ." (DV 4; cf. 1 Tim 6:14; Titus 2:13.) Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.

    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".

    The above is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    John of the Cross also said that a private revelation should be considered the result of a diabolical influence, until proven otherwise. And as long as we're judging a tree by its fruits, disobedience is a bad one. The Bishop of Mostar, as well as his predecessor, were well within their rights to act as they have. No subsequent action on the part of the Holy See has changed that.

  20. Deidre,
    The quotes you use to defend your premise don't actually say what you think they say.

    The Bishop refers nine suspended Franciscans, he does not say they are in Medjugorje or that they have anything to do with Medjugorje. Because they don't. The Bishop is in a generations old (pre-dating Medjugorje) battle for the control of parishes in that part of the world. The rest of the comment criticizes "the supposed figure of Medjugorje" (Virgin Mary) for not taking his side in the battle.

  21. No furniture throwing here. Just experience. My husband is a Vietnam vet who was a Marine & saw alot of action. He was haunted night & day (literally) by what he'd experienced there until he experienced Medj 20 years ago. When we got home, he stood up at the podium in our large suburban parish & said that he didn't think "peace like that was possible on this earth". He has faithfully attended Mass & confession & lived in that peace himself since then. So, as far as we're concerned, anybody can say anything they want on this topic but we know what we've experienced. We're living the fruits of it.

  22. David,
    Your comment is true, but has nothing to do with Medjugorje. There is no new revealed Christian faith or doctrine involved here. This is a different kind of prophecy. This type of "prophecy" is meant to encourage the faithful, not to present new revelation. The Church is very clear about the difference and for this reason does not exclude Marian apparitions while at the same time not requiring belief in them.

    Your quote from the catechism does not really apply.

  23. Wait...the catechism does not apply. Canon law (local bishop makes the call or whether an apparition is valid) does not apply...

    Grey Mare, what DOES apply in this case? If the Catechism and Canon law can't be used to determine the validity of an apparition, what CAN be used?

  24. Remember Lourdes, and Fatima were once questionable too!

    Medj does not have official recognition, but this does not make it bad.

    What would it take for the local Bishop to change his mind/heart on this issue? Could anything? Maybe his hatred of this place of prayer is not from God!

  25. I have no idea what to think about Medj. But then one of the great advantages of being Catholic is that the Magesterium will tell me what is and is not worthy of belief. I'm waiting for an official ruling from the Holy Father on the issue.

  26. BishopPeric has no hatred in his heart. He only tells the truth and gives the facts on his website (Medjugorski fenomen)

  27. Medjugorje s a wonderful place. It is a place of prayer and tremendous peace.

    I brought my son to Medj when he was 8. He had a great time. Two hours afer we left, he declared 'this world is crazy, can we not go back to Medj!'

    Two years later I can not count the number of times he has asked and begged to go back.

  28. At Lourdes and Fatima the seers obeyed the Church at great personal cost.

    At Lourdes and Fatima, the seers and their families did not personally benefit from the apparitions.

    At Lourdes and Fatima, Our Lady said nothing against the doubting Bishop.

    It is the JOB of a Bishop to be skeptical, especially when there are Bad fruits mixed in with the good.

    A drink that's 100% poison will not kill, because noone will drink it.

    But mix some poison in with something sweet, and you've got Jonestown.

    The devil can give the appearance of good fruits, or subtlely corrupt what was once good.

    That's WHY we have recourse to the Catechism and Canon law. Otherwise, it all devolves into "Follow what you feel" and we get schism and division-- like what's happening in the diocese of Mostar.

    Anon-- I'm glad your husband found healing and peace, but those gifts come from the Holy Spirit, not some apparition. You can't really know if he found it because he traveled to Medj, or because of your prayers and sacrifices.

    And, in the end, if his peace is dependant on Medj. being approved, it's a fragile one. If people are putting their faith in Medj. instead of in the Church and the Eucharist, that's a BAD fruit, not a good one.

    Mary IS the Queen of Peace, but you don't need a physical journey to find that peace... everything you need is at your local parish.

    Personally, while I appreciate miracles, signs and wonders,there are plenty of APPROVED Marian pilgrimage sites-- so why risk your faith at one that is of indeterminate origin?

  29. Also, Anon-- if your son was begging to go back to Disney World, would you imbue THAT with spirtiual signifigance? What if he was begging to go to the local Mega-Church-with-praise-band?

    Have you taken him to Adoration at your parish, btw? He might enjoy the weekly oasis of peace. (I know several people who bring their children along... I can't bring mine yet (crazy toddler disturbs others!), but I look forward to the day I can!

  30. Deirdre,

    I would never take my son to Disney, I could not afford it. Medj was the only place I could afford to take him too. All the 'approved places' were too expensive!

    And yes he does go to adoration on a regular basis.

    All I am trying to say is that you can not write a place off completely because it has not been approved.

    Not approved does not mean Bad! It is simply not approved.

  31. Anon--depending on what part of the country you live in, there are also some good local Marian pilgrimages your son might enjoy--

    There's that new Guadalupe shrine in La Crosse, and the National Fatima Shrine is out by Philly.

    In Indiana, we've got the Basilica/Grotto at Notre Dame, and the Monks of St. Meinrad also have a Marian Shrine. There's Marytown in Illinois-- and the OMI have shrines in IL and TX...

    You might be able to find some great pilgrimage oppurtunities for your son w/in 3 hours of home! (Much more affordable than international pilgrimages... or Disney! :) Of course, I still have the fantasy where we find the money to take the kids to Rome......)

    (See, Patrick and Matthew? We haven't even spilled grape juice on the new white couch so far!)

  32. For me, the most important incident is the recent rebellion of Cardinal Schonborn against the Pope's selection of a bishop for a German see. The Cardinal joined (encouraged?) other bishops in Germany to refuse cooperation with the Pope and, as a result, the Pope's choice withdrew. The Cardinal and his coterie supposedly believed that the Pope's man was "too traditional". The Cardinal is also prone to making pronouncements on the SSPX situation without approval from Rome. It appears that he already believes that he's the Pope.

  33. This is a very good article to read about discerning aparitions and miracles. Are they from God, man or the devil? Please See:
    I found this link from the blog: linked from
    Also, remember, we all need to take care in speaking or writing to others about our own or others private revelations. And ofcourse, our judgements about others, which can often be sinful or slanderous...See

  34. Deirdre Mundy LOL. Or maybe a post on who the best American Idol winner of all time was. You're really batting 1000 year. Keep 'em coming!

  35. "Not approved does not mean Bad! It is simply not approved."

    When I'm talking to my children, "not approved" means "Don't do it!"

  36. "Not approved" can also mean pending further investigation. The Church is being prudent. But have you seen the videos in YouTube about the solar phenomena there?

  37. Bad fruits arise from approved apparitions as well - Fr Gruner and Fatima, anyone?

    Bottom line is - belief in approved apparitions is not necessary for salvation, and for some, it may become an obstacle to it. Stick to the Gospels and the lives of the saints.

  38. Wow---I am shocked to be following such an UnHolySpirited Catholic site....You will believe that Our Lady has been appearing in Medjugorje all these years, soon enough...the great sign will come upon that hill and many more will believe but it will be too late for some...and those are Her words....WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE COLLEEN WILLARD HEALING IN MEDJUGORJE?.. THAT IS FOR REAL...

  39. Pilgrims go to Medjugorje because Our Lord and Our Lady have called them to go, and they have said Yes to their call. No one goes to Medjugorje by accident.
    Fr. Jozo has said, Do not be afraid to come to Medjugorje, be more afraid of not comimg.
    Our very holy supernatural experiences! in Medjugorje were truly from Heaven and my husband KNEW THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS TRULY PRESENT IN THE EUCHARIST and he did not know that before..he was not Catholic and I hadn't been back to church in years!....MEDJUGORJE IS WHERE HEAVEN MEETS EARTH and that is just the way God wants it...such a shame for non-believers..

  40. Judith said "Wow---I am shocked to be following such an UnHolySpirited Catholic site.."

    Just to re-iterate, CMR takes no stand on Medjugorje. We reported only the facts of this Episcopal dust-up.

  41. Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. ST AUGUSTINE

    "All things upon which you set your trust are yours. Do but expect much of God, and He will do much for you. Expect but little, and He will do little." - SAINT BERNARD

    I PRAY THAT our lady calls you...

  43. page 20- AN EXORCIST TELLS HIS TORY..We cannot omit a reflection about the Virgin Mary. If the firstborn creature is the Word become flesh, She who would be the means of the Incarnation must also have been present in the divine thought before every other creature. From this stems Mary's unique relationship with the Holy Trinity. The bible and the teachings of the Fathers say that Christ is 'the firstborn of all creatures' (Col 1:15) Everything was created for Him and in the expectation of Him.

  44. The Holy Spirit, with divine freedom, gives his charisms however and to whomever He pleases. These are not given to the glory or benefit of the receiver but as a service to his brothers. Among these charisms is the power to liberate from evil spirits and to heal from illnesses. These gifts can be given to individuals and also to communities. They are not tied to personal holiness but to the free choice of God. Experience tells us, however, that God normally grants these gifts to righteous people of proven humilty who pray frequesntly and live an exemplary Chrisitan life-THIS DOES NOT MEAN ABSENCE OF FAULTS!

  45. by the way, the above about the Holy Spirit and His Charisms is from p. 155...AN EXORCIST TELLS HIS STORY, F. Gabriele Amorth

  46. "Just to re-iterate, CMR takes no stand on Medjugorje. We reported only the facts of this Episcopal dust-up."

    Come on, Patrick. Take a stand. We know you want to... stop ranting to yourself and rant online instead.... :)

    Well, unless you're about to start going on about beeswax candles and preparing for the upcoming anti-Catholic persecution by stockpiling spam... because once someone starts on the beeswax and spam there's no going back......

    Oh, Early Riser, if this is getting dull we COULD do the "Malcom Reynolds versus Jean-Luc Picard" thing......then we could attract a whole new demographic to this site, too!

    It would TOTALLY result in some coffee-table crushing action!

    (Though I must admit-- after watching some of Whedon's commentary, I think less of him. Sartre was the most important thing he ever read? Really?!?!?!)

  47. Also, everyone, please remember that when someone criticizes your position on Medagorje, we;re NOT saying you're a bad person or a bad Catholic. We're just questioning this particular apparition, which is NOT essential to Church teaching.

    So there's no reason to get upset and start accusing us of hating the Holy Spirit or whatever.... we're not saying that the people who go to Medj. are evil (or at least I'm not)--just that the behavior of the seers with respect to their Bishop is..distubing. This doesn't mean that God didn't speak to YOU at medj. I just doubt BVM is speaking to the seers. But my doubts about their private revelation has nothing to do with the validity of your family's private revelations.....

  48. Rick, I almost spit on the computer when I read your comment about breastfeeding.

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Hi Mike. I edited it. I wanted to do so earlier and be less graphic but the option to delete was missing somehow. As soon as it appeared to took it out.

    Anyway, there's this piece of clothing, like a scarf, that allows one to breast feed in privacy, FYI.

  51. Um... at the risk of stepping in a fresh pile of horse puckey, let me remind the "look at the conversions/preternatural phenomena/excitement around Medjugorje" crowd that a local "shrine" in Necedah, WI, had all of the above... and was solidly condemned by 5 consecutive bishops (with the Holy See supporting their decision).

    Let me gently offer an alternate explanation to the supposed "good fruit" from Medjugorje, Necedah, and the like:

    People of good faith bring their faith with them, and God rewards and works through that faith. Real conversions can happen even with false apparitions; it's just that the conversions happen DESPITE the alleged "apparition", not because of them (even if the people on-site THINK the "apparition" was responsible). Otherwise, you'll have to explain how "good fruits" can come from unequivocally condemned sites... or would you rather say that the condemned sites are actually "good"? (Some people choose that road.)

    Here's a test: given that no private revelation is binding on anyone except the alleged "visionaries", ask the people in question what they'd do if Medjugorje were condemned unequivocally and finally. If they hem and haw, or even state clearly that "they'd stick with the Gospa", then Houston, we have a problem.

    Re: the Cardinal's actions: he was free to visit Medjugorje as a private pilgrim. He was *not* free to shoot his mouth off on the subject in a public forum. When he said, "We cannot keep silent", that was blithering nonsense, and any disobedient person could say the very same. There was absolutely no excuse for that at all, and the Cardinal owes the Bishop of Mostar (and the people he scandalized) one heck of an apology.

  52. Medjugorgie huh?
    gee isn't that the place where the fransicans have been in a state of disobedience from Rome since the time of Paul the sixth?

    You know, the Med USA has been mighty silent about the time a mob of Med fans kidnapped Bishop Peric of Monstar, beat him, ripped the pastoral cross from him, and tried to make him retract the ban on pilgramages.

    Also the supossed "gospa" has told the "seers" to "read the poem of the god man" which, then, Cardinal Radzinger placed on the BANNED BOOKS list in 1959. it was dicribed by him as a "Badly fictionalized life of Christ..."

    my advice to med supporters: dig deeper, this "gospa" isn't what you think.

    Joan Heatherington

  53. Anyone who posts as many times as that Judith woman, is seriously nutty.

    The Charismatic renewal is DEMONIC. look at this video of one of their conferences:

    Some one call Fr. Euteneuer.

  54. The real question is this; are those of us who belive that Our Lady is appearing in Medjugorjie, ready to be humbly submissive to the Church, should She decide that these are either demonic or invalid?

  55. I am from Ireland, I have been to Medj 3 times.I know loads of people who have been frequently. Most of them do not care whether Our Lady is appearing or not. They simply love the place as a place of pilgrimage.

  56. Come on, Patrick, it's never too late to vacuum your soul.

  57. "Neeeeeyeah let's see: Mecca, Medina and Medjugorje..."

    "Hoh hoh hoh! OK, Mecca, Medina and Medjugorje. What's the question?"

    "Name three places where demons inspired cults and which should be rendered uninhabitable through radiation bombardment."

  58. @Anon@5:14 Here're 11 hits from the Vatican site about the Charismatic Movement or you can go the Vatican site at and type "
    Charismatic Movement" at search window. The results shows the Church's official position on this and it is not what you wrote.

    @Paladin: I like your explanation. I too chase apparitions. In my mind, if our Mother took the time to visit, I should be there if I could. I went to Conyers, GA. Despite the fact that it was judged to be not approved, I believe I was blessed. My visit there propelled set me to become a pro-life activist because I felt that our Lady and our Lord are grieved the most by this on-going slaughter.

  59. As I stated at Catholic Culture in Phil Lawler's commentary on this story:

    Relativism at it's best: "Good fruits" are more important than truth concerning actual events which should always be judged before fruits (Ref: 1978 Criteria for Discernment of Apparitions).

    Consequentalism? That too. Deception and disobedience are ok if there are good fruits!

  60. @DianeTeDeum: There was no verdict on Conyers when I went. And I think the jury's still out on Medjugorje. But correct me if there's been a final deliberation on this.

    What I got from the Vatican site are these and there was no hint of condemnation or rejection about it.

    Come ogni anno, molteplici sono stati i pellegrinaggi che hanno accompagnato, come metodo pedagogico, lo sviluppo del Carisma mariano di totale consacrazione al Cuore Immacolato di Maria: Czestochowa, Lourdes, Fatima, Loreto, San Giovanni Rotondo, Colle don Bosco, Assisi, Medjugorje, hanno ritmato le varie tappe dell’anno. - 87k - 2004-08-18 - Cached

    ... l’histoire, les places de choix reviennent pour le catholicisme contemporain en
    Europe à Lourdes, La Salette et Fatima, ainsi qu’à Medjugorje, bien que - 34k - 2005-09-15 - Cached

    Another sign of the resurgence of popular religiosity has been the appearance of new forms of Marian devotion associated with places like Medjugorje. These new forms of Marian devotion are often tied to experiences of private revelation which need to be carefully discerned; but they take their place in a deep stream of Catholic devotion which looks back at least to the visionary experience of Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes one hundred and fifty years ago. - 101k - 2008-10-23 - Cached

  61. We've just come through the Christmas season. Upon meditating on the Blessed Mother's role in the Incarnation, I realized that we pray in the Hail Mary "Blessed are you among women." Think about the word 'blessed.' When we think of someone as blessed, we think of them as having found favor with God. But in our culture, and even in Mary's day, we would not consider someone blessed to be in the circumstances in which Mary found herself. To be pregnant apart from marriage, even though Joseph still took her as his wife, was scandalous. It couldn't have been very comfortable for her to be surrounded by those whispering behind her back.

    That's just one point. Consider then the difficulties she encountered throughout the rest of her pregnancy - the trip to Bethlehem, giving birth in a cold cave, the warning from the Magi, and leaving for a foreign country in the dead of night. Stark circumstances, indeed. Take a moment to put yourself in her place.

    Consider all that and then take also into consideration that these so-called visionaries, instead of living austere lives are living high on the hog off the multitudes of people taken in by this situation. They live in mansions, drive expensive vehicles, and jet-set around the world to appear at speaking engagements. Even Mother Teresa used the expensive gifts given to her to purchase food and medicine for the poor. She kept nothing for herself.

    There is so much wrong with this issue that it's impossible to disseminate it all here. Suffice to say that good can come out of evil - hence, the conversions and return to confession, etc. Keep in mind, however, that Satan can imitate piety, but he cannot imitate obedience. And that is the key to this whole thing. He's the father of disobedience and lies. That's at the bottom of this whole thing. Whether the pilgrims are regular people like you or me, or cardinals with influence, this shows that no matter what one's station in life people will toss reason and common sense out the window in favor of the sensational.

  62. Rick,

    I am glad that you are discovering Marian devotion. It is truly Catholic and bring us many graces. However, Holy Mother Church encourages us to use caution when dealing with unapproved apparitions.

    The official position of the Church is the 1991 Zadar Declaration which you should read in it's entirety because in it, the local bishop retains authority over pastoral matters in Medjugorje.

    Many promoters and supporters of Medjugorje will try to discredit Bishop Peric by painting everything he says with a broad brush using a statement by Cardinal Bertone with regards to his personal opinion. The Cardinal's statement was for something very specific and did not apply to the bishop's words and actions involved with the pastoral governance of Medjugorje - which Cardinal Bertone affirms in the same letter (see my post: What did Abp Bertone really say about Bishop Peric?).

    Apparitions for which the Church feels may be worhty of belief would never be approved while ongoing. However, apparitions which are deemed as not supernatural, are condemned all the time, as was the case recently with "visions" associated ith Holy Love. The day the private revelations were condemned, the so-called apparition was throwing a nutty. Then went completely spastic, creating a powerpoint chart People gained attachment to it and cannot let go. This is exactly why Satan wants people to draw close to sacred things, and devotions through false apparitions - so that he can win over the souls who will say, "non serviam" and act with disobedience.

    You might take a break from spending time on unapproved apparitions, and spend some time reading what teh saints say about such things. Start with St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.

    If you are going to follow any private revelation, follow some of the many which have gained full approval and present no danger of causing attachment to something which may eventually prove false.

    One of the finest articles I have read on the fruits and Medjugorje, is "Medjugorje and the Flow of Grace". Do read it - there is a great deal of catechesis and theology explained therein.

    Find more at my Medjugorje Documents & FAQs homepage, and at the English section of Italian professor/author, Marco Corvaglia

  63. Oh - here is the decree on Holy Love, and followup links I meant to provide above.

    Private Revelations at Holy Love condemned as not supernatural

    - Condemned apparition goes spastic!

    - Condemned apparition goes into grand mal seizure

    So, can a decision be made on an ongoing apparition? Certainly. If a negative judgment is handed down. Prudence dictates that an approval would never come while ongoing because anything can happen to negate it while the person receiving the private revelation is still living.

    Does that make sense?

  64. Judith said: "Fr. Jozo has said, Do not be afraid to come to Medjugorje, be more afraid of not comimg."

    Dear Judith,

    Are you aware of the canonical status of Fr. Jozo Zovko?

    Here is some useful reading. The many discinplinary actions taken by the Holy See, the Diocese, and the Religious Order does not exactly make him worthy of quoting.

    - List of disciplinary actions taken against Fr. Jozo (with protocol numbers/dates)

    - The trail of disobedience of Fr. Jozo Zovko (Marco Corvaglia)

    You can find more about close associates of the Medjugorje seers in the sidebar of my homepage on Medjugorje Documents & FAQs and Marco Corvaglia's homepage in English (links provided in my previous post - (about 2 or 3 above this one).

  65. Deirdre...
    Interesting that you should plug Randall Sullivaan's book "The Miracle Detective."
    After all, he converted to Catholicism after his experiences there as have many thousands of others including myself. Praise Be Jesus.

  66. @Diane OCDS. Thanks for the info. The Zadar declaration stated "On the basis of studies made so far, it cannot be affirmed that these "matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations."... and concluded " At the same time, they will continue to study all the events of Medjugorje through the commissions."

    That seems to confirm that the jury's still out - like we don't know yet. And that's all that I'm saying - nothing more.

  67. That "the jury's still out" (and it would appear that a judge has already handed down a ruling, if preliminary) should not constitute even a tacit endorsement or approval. As the Catechism would indicate, the burden of proof is on the phenomenon, not those who scrutinize it.

    I once asked the late Dominican and eminent Mariologist, Father Frederick Jelly, what he thought about Medjugorje. His reply: "I wish people got just as excited over the Eucharist."

    The evidence here suggests that we do not.

  68. Excellent quote, David from Fr. Jelly.


    There are three possible decisions that can be handed down.

    "it cannot be affirmed" is the second one in the list shown in my link. This means that after 29 years, there is nothing which can establish the phenomena as supernatural. This means, it is not "neutral" as some believe.

    Can an approval come some years down the road? The possibility is very, very remote, especially in light of the very strong canonical case continuing to be made by the bishop.

    Read carefully his three part statement just released on September 26, 2009 in which he shares heresy on the part of the "gospa" and how the seers and close associates have moved the BVM's birthday from the date celebrated by the Church to some other date.

    Further, he has since released another statement - on December 17th, which goes into detail about the fiasco of the "Great Sign" or lack thereof. There are many contradictions between seers and seers/associates. The bishop shows how deceptive the whole notion of the "Great Sign" is.

    The translation into English is just about complete and we should be seeing it soon.

    I believe it is PAMI (international pontifical Marian academy) which is investigating Medjugorje - a panel of 30 people, which were allegedly working discretely. They were suppose to conclude their work by the end of 2009.

    It just so happens that Cardinal Puljic, head of the BiH Bishop's conference had a lone audience with the Holy Father as the year closed.

    It is thought that most Mariologist do not believe there is anything supernatural occuring at Medjugorje.

    As I said earlier, truth cannot take a back seat to good fruits because this is relativism in practice. Nor do the ends justify the means (consequentialism). We can't excuse away or disregard the disobedience, deception, disorder and even detraction of the local bishop, for the sake of good fruits. He's also been calumniated, and physically attacked by zealots in the region who usurped one of the parishes.

    As the bishop so eloquently points out, it is quite odd that the "gospa" says nothing about such things, especially the invalid Masses and other sacraments. those things may not be happening in Medjugorje, but they are just a short drive away and it is indeed odd that "gospa" does not even mention them (and when she does, she attacks the bishop).

    I'm not buying it.

  69. To those suggesting that we look at the fruits of Medjugorje, I have a simple two-fold question:

    What are your thoughts on the fruits of the Legion of Christ, and do those fruits prove anything about Marcial Maciel?

    The fruits are one thing to examine, not the only thing.

  70. Medjugorje will go 'down hill' before the great sign on the hill and now I am glad that there is so much against this appartion, Ijust never read any before...never came acroos was great...well, perfect time for Patrick to go to Medjugorje...go for your brother. And yes, I will pray my rosary every day for Patrick and Kevin. God Bless...She also said She would appear in every home if necessary...I hope and pray She comes to yours.

  71. MAS-- you're really trying to stir up a hornets' nest, aren't you! :)

    People keep telling me that at Medj. the good fruits outweigh the bad...

    except, the idea of "The Good Outweighs the Bad" isn't CATHOLIC.

    Think about it-- after a lifetime of outwarsdly good works, one mortal sin can damn you.

    The idea of a scale weighing the good and the bad comes from the Egyptians.

    The idea that "I'm a basically good person, so it doesn't matter if I also do x," is our secular society talking.

    Also, what an apparition says matters more than what it does. If an apparition says things that conflict with Church teaching, it is FALSE.

    If you choose to follow the apparition under those circumstances, it's because you've chosen NOT to follow the Church.

    Signs and wonders are not the same as Truth. Feelings are not the same as Truth. Even the devil can fake good feelings.

    I'd suggest everyone read Fides et Ratio. You need BOTH. You can't ignore canon law and the catechism just because something gave you a good feeling.

    Feelings can be WRONG. St. Therese and Mother Teresa felt like God had abandoned them. They persevered because Faith and Reason told them He had not.

    Warm and fuzzy feelings of peace are, in the grand theological scheme of things, pretty worthless. Remember, the people at Jonestown felt happy and at peace too....

  72. Deirdre: bravo!! :) Wow, I need to photocopy that in 100 ft-tall letters and plaster it somewhere where loads of people drive by it every day! (The toner cost would be a bit steep, though.)

  73. @David: No apparition is better than the Eucharist. Here are 5 of my personal posts about that.

    And although it is not a tacit endorsement, it is neither a tacit prohibition. It's just caveat emptor - buyer beware.

    @Diane: Is this alleged apparition about a truth of the Catholic faith like a new doctrine? Let me know because I haven't heard of such. Is it just an invitation to fervour, to devotion, to commitment, to charity, to a more passionate prayer life, to zeal in the apostolate? If so, what is wrong with that?

    @Matthew: Some good priests were produced by the Legionaires. It proves that God can write straight with crooked lines.

    @all: I do appreciate the efforts of those who try to prevent others from being duped by false apparitions. And I shall join them if and when the Church states that Medjugorie is a hoax.

  74. Rick-- Ugh. Not the 'crooked lines' thing again, please?

    The Concentration Camps Gave us Edith Stein and Maximilian Kolbe! It proves God can draw straight with crooked lines!!

    Of course, if they hadn't been killed, they would probably STILL be saints, but have had many more years to think, write, and spread the Good News....

    I think that CS Lewis in Perlandrea has a good answer for this. Yes, God can turn even the Fall of Man into something beautiful (The Crucifixion and Ressurection), BUT How much better it would have been for all of us if we'd never fallen in the FIRST place.

  75. I too am having a jaw-droppingly good time reading Deirdre's posts. Talk about disarming!

  76. Thanks, guys. :) Baby's been growth-spurting this week, so I'm glued to a chair more than usual!

  77. The authority to judge and the duty to obey.
    No private individual has the authority to judge definitively and officially which private revelation are true and which are not. The authority to rule on the genuineness of a private revelation rests first with the LOCAL BISHOP. The apparitions of Lourdes, Knock, Fatima,Beauraing, Banneux- to name only a few- were approved by the LOCAL BISHOPS. The Popes of the time never issued any judgement on them.....It is forbidden, as well as sinful, to propagate private revelations which have received a negative judgement from the local Bishop, the conference of Bishops, or the Vatican's congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.Some people say,"I'm going to follow it until the Pope says it's false".This is a useless guide for action in this matter-very rarely does the Pope make a pronouncement for or against a revelation.....Even should the local Bishop mistakenly disapprove of a genuine revelation, obedience to the Church remains paramount.....In fact, if an alleged visionary disobeys a legitimate order from the Bishop, not even God Himself would want or command a seer to spread the revelation against a lawful decree of a Bishop to desist.In fact, St.Teresa,St Margaret Mary and Sr.Josefa Menendez, where our Lord gave them a directive, but their superior forbade it, obeyed their human superior on earth.Our Lord said-"You were right to obey my representative".I love obedience and without it, no one can please me".A superior may or may not be inspired by God in his command, but you are always inspired in obeying.(Ofcourse, we're not talking about where a Superior commands sin;
    Saint Padre Pio was a model of obedience.Genuine mystics never pretend to set Christ against His Church.You are free to disagree with the Bishop, but you owe him practical obedience, meaning not to propogate a revelation that the Bishop has judged negatively. Read the whole artice at
    There is ALOT of disobedience at Medj.The Local Bishop has sited it in his letter.

  78. "No apparition is better than the Eucharist ... And although it is not a tacit endorsement, it is neither a tacit prohibition. It's just caveat emptor - buyer beware."

    The remarks of John of the Cross, not to mention the behavior of the great mystics as described in the comment posted at 3:21 PM, would suggest a response closer to avoidance than mere caution. And if "no apparition is better than the Eucharist," why would one be any more inclined to visit even Fatima, than Sunday Mass?

  79. @David: "And if "no apparition is better than the Eucharist," why would one be any more inclined to visit even Fatima, than Sunday Mass?"

    My guess is that the Eucharist has become commonplace and familiarity has bred contempt. Without constant prayer, recollection and reflection, one would fail to appreciate the miraculous reality of the Lord's presence there. The wonder is obscured by the noise, dissipations and distractions. Apparitions on the other hand present a novelty that is naturally enticing, kind of a circus to those who are less devout. Then again, perhaps that is the idea - to lead to faith those who are without faith.

    Finally, I think that those who bother to trek that pilgrimage also appreciate the great gift of the Eucharist. It would be interesting to do a survey and calculate that correlation. Intuitively though, who would go to Medjogorie when they can tour London or Paris?

  80. "Intuitively though, who would go to Medjogorie when they can tour London or Paris?"

    Based upon his writings on the subject alone, I believe St John of the Cross would agree. After all, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame is AWESOME!

  81. Medjugorje is a complete fraud. Our Lady would never promote religious indifferentism, deny Catholic dogma, or encourage disobedience to the legitimate authorities of the Church.

    These visions are surely demonic.

  82. Deirdre, I figured since we already had several of the hot-button issues in here, I'd throw in LoC...go for the trifecta ;)

    Rick, you miss my point. Yes, God can write straight with crooked lines (whatever that really means...I'd think it'd be better said that God can draw straight lines using a bent ruler or something...whatever.) My point, though, is that good fruits alone aren't sufficient to prove anything. There were many vocations and a great devotion among those involved with LoC/RC, and many peoples' spiritual formation and growth was greatly helped by their involvement. But those fruits don't offset the wrongs done by the founder, which calls into question the charism of the Legions.

    So pointing out the fruits is a distraction. We're aware of the good that people have experienced through their personal pilgrimages to Medjugorje. Those experiences have nothing to do with the concerns some have with regards to the visions, and do nothing to offset those concerns.

    One important thing for people to remember is that, in all cases, any bad in the beginning doesn't destroy the good that came from it. Priests who answered God's call in part because of LoC are still priests. People who returned to the Church (and the Sacraments) because of Medjugorje experiences will still be in the Church no matter what the final decision is. A Legion of Christ priest doesn't somehow lose his ordination if LoC is suppressed. A confession and absolution received during a pilgrimage to Medjugorje will remain valid and healing...the absolution isn't undone if the ultimate decision is against validity of the visions.

    I personally make no assertion one way or the other. Are the visions genuine? I have no idea. I can speculate all sorts of things, but I have no basis for making a firm decision. In such a case, I put my trust in the Church, in the local Bishop, in the CDF.

  83. I actually found an explanation of the 'crooked lines' saying that makes sense--

    It DOESN"T mean that "God brings good out of bad things"

    It's supposed to mean "Even the small, seemingly meaningless tasks God gives us can contribute to the greater purpose when done well."

    The writer I saw used it in reference to the show 'Joan of Arcadia.' -- **SPOILERS***God often gives her tasks that seem pointless or meaningless (join the cheerleading squad! Build a boat!) that contribute to a larger plan that she can't understand until it's over. (Get help for the girl who just delivered a baby! Bring your disabled brother and your dad together on a project!)

    So, rather than "Even if the visions are demonic, they have good fruits!" it means "That phonecall from Great Aunt Martha that just interrupted my morning prayer served some greater purpose in God's plan that I can't know yet."

    The 'crooked lines' are the tasks we see as interruptions from our 'Big Purpose' (a kid's bloody nose as we try to get things ready for Christmas dinner, a neighbor who asks for a ride to the grocery store when we WANTED to mow the lawn), but that are from God nonetheless. So when we do those LITTLE tasks with great love, we contribute to the 'Straight Line' God is drawing.

    Darn that Therese of Lisieux! She keeps popping up EVERYWHERE these days......

  84. Anyway, I like that interpretation of the proverb better than the one that's more common. Because the "Sin leads to good things!" varient is, frankly, pretty crummy theology.

    So, Maciel's perversions and Medj.'s disobedience are NOT 'crooked lines.' They're just sin.

    BUT the poopy diaper that's calling me from this VERY IMPORTANT discussion?

  85. Good from sin? How about Joseph being sold by his brothers and ending up in Egypt to become instrumental in saving God's people?

  86. How about good in spite of sin? (Whew!)

  87. Rick-- of course, if his brothers hadn't sold him in the FIRST place, his family wouldn't have LEFT the promised land, and so wouldn't have needed to be brought back.......

    God can cause everything to work to the good, but that doesn't excuse the tradgedy that is sin.

    Or, to put it even more clearly, THE ENDS DON'T JUSTIFY THE MEANS. It is not OK to do something bad just because it happens to result in something good.

    Also, just because something APPEARS to be a good fruit at first glance, doesn't mean that it IS one. And we can't know what BETTER things God might have done if we hadn't sinned in the first place. It is a good thing to commit a sin and repent, but it's a better thing to avoid the sin all together!

    It's hard to imagine what human history would look like if Abraham had trusted God's promise, instead of taking a concubine, if Jacob hadn't been cheated, if Joseph's brothers had avoided envy......

    Think of all the bad things that came from each person's sin! A lot of the old testament illustrates the fact that one man's sin can affect the lives of many, even if it seems like a small thing at the time!

    Joseph's brothers are not to be emulated-- they're a warning. (and the good that results comes from Joseph's decision to forgive them and welcome them--- not from the sin itself!)

  88. Deirdre - I like that point about Joseph's brothers. Absolutely they are not to be emulated. And I think another point to the story was God had big plans for Joseph. And regardless of how his brothers tried to derail them, God was still able to use Joseph to his potential and individual talents to fulfill his plan.

    Tying this back to Medj, we have a good family friend who went 2 years ago and never stops talking about it-- and she's not the most religious person in the world (pretty close to a Christmas and Easter Catholic). She does pray the rosary much more often after the visit, which many Medj-minions might point at as one "fruit". Yet one has to wonder if there would have been much more commitment to Catholicism as a whole had this been a true apparition.

    It reminds me of the debate Kruschev had with one of Stalin's biographers after his death. The biographer extolled Stalin's reign, saying that he brought Russia into the nuclear age and made it a world power. Kruschev countered saying something like, "Think of how much more powerful Russia would be today if we hadn't killed off or exiled our top scientists and military strategists." So, what seems "good" or at the very least "acceptible" could be a mere shadow of what could be. This is how I would characterize the "fruits" of Medj.

  89. Deirdre,

    Your posts have been most interesting (as an aside, I'm still cleaning the coffee off of my screen on the "poopy diaper".

    Back to your statement about THE ENDS DO NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS...

    Consequentialism, which is what it is called, is precisely what many want to yield to in the case of Medjugorje. The disobedience, the deception, the attacks against the local bishop are means that are justified (or treated with indifference), for the sake of the "good fruits".

    One thing that caught my eye was that in one of the post-visit interviews, Cardinal Schonborn spoke about the "sensus fidelium" or "sense of the faithful".

    Here is one reporter pointing this out at the end of his blogpost:

    "Now for that theological twist: in his statement in Vienna, Schönborn played down the usual pro-versus-con apparitions argument and urged Catholics to see Medjugorje “in the light of the Second Vatican Council” by looking to the sensus fidelium (”sense of the faithful”) about it. This concept focuses more on what Catholics in the pews actually believe rather than on the dogmas involved. His stress on the “fruits of the tree” rather than its roots fits with this approach. Given the standoff over Church approval for the Medjugorje apparitions, is Schönborn trying to move the theological goalposts to break the standoff and win recognition for them after all?"

    I just can't imagine, that under the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, the lies and deceptions would get a free pass because people like to pray there.

    Any thoughts?

  90. David Alexander - I am hoping to get your thoughts on that comment by Cdl Schonborn on the "sensus fidelium" as well.

    I meant to add that the reason I don't think such an approach will get a free pass is because Pope Benedict XVI has been waging a solid battle against relativism and consequentalism, both of which are very much at play in this whole affair.

  91. BTW-- Catholic Light blog has a post up about the 'Great Sign':

    It seems like Bshp. Peric is getting more and more vocal about the problems with Medagorje. Would he be doing that if the CDF was about to declare the apparitions valid? I'm guessing he knows that Levada and Benedict are going to back him up on this./....

  92. Going to what Deirdre is saying about the bishop being more vocal, it all started to roll with his homily in 2006, which gained traction when the Bishops of Tuscany, Italy were told by the CDF to share it with the priests and faithful of the diocese. Here is a copy of that notice from the Tuscan Bishop's conference, which I just posted yesterday.

    Also, here is a live link to the translation of The Questionable Games Surrounding the 'Great Sign' at Richard's blog. It was actually released in Italian on the bishop's website on December 11th, but with the holidays, and the sheer length of the document, it just took time to get into English.

  93. I meant to point out that the Tuscan bishops did this back in 2007 following the ad limina visit that year.

  94. "Would he be doing that if the CDF was about to declare the apparitions valid?"

    It's more likely that the Bishop of Mostar is being more vocal, to counter the confusion resulting from nuts like Schönborn running around loose, and treating the "sensus fidelium" as if it were a novel concept originating with Vatican II, which it did not.

    Peric isn't holding his breath on the Holy See cranking out an approval, and neither should you. We can count on one hand the number of appearances at Fatima, and approval happened in less than a lifetime. At last count, Medjugorje has been the sight of over ten thousand messages!!! (That's would be a one, with four zeros after it.) Also, Benedict XVI is not John Paul II. The current pope is likely to be more cautious, not less, with regard to mystical experiences.

    And that's without taking into account the other shenanigans.

  95. Diane:

    I think you're right. Peric isn't sticking his neck out without knowing he's covered.

  96. Cardinal Schonborn is for an atheist homoerotic artist:

    But he is against pro-life rallies (and forbids a fellow bishop from attending one in his diocese):

    Yet is adamantly in favor of a diabolical--anti Catholic--apparition site:

    What does this all tell you?

  97. David:

    It's well past 10,000 messages.

    It is now over 40,000 messages.

    And, as the bishop points out in his statement on the Cdl Schonborn visit, at no point does the "gospa" acknowledge the chaos and disorder in the local church, with the many suspensions/dismissal of priests, communities being set up without ecclesial permission.

    There was even a physical attack upon the bishop himself by supporters of one parish usurped by some of those renegade Franciscans he speaks of in his statement dismissed by their Superior General in Rome.

    Here is the account explained by E. Michael Jones:

    Bishop Peric knows that you don't cross the Medjugorje crowd with impunity. In April of 1995, the bishop was attacked by a mob in his chancery; his pectoral cross was ripped from his person; he was beaten up by the mob and then forced into a car and driven to an illicit chapel run by the Medjugorje Franciscans and held hostage for 10 hours. It was only when the mayor of Mostar showed up with UN troups that the bishop was released.

  98. Wow, that would be a four with four zeros. This one could take a while.

  99. Sorry about the delay; real life is pretty busy, at the moment... :)

    Rick wrote, on January 4, 2010 6:10 PM:

    @Paladin: I like your explanation. I too chase apparitions. (emphasis added)

    I think you misunderstood me, here. I do not chase apparitions, in general, and I avoid unapproved apparitions like the plague, until such time as the Church sees fit to approve them unequivocally. In particular, I'm completely convinced that the alleged "apparitions" at Medjugorje are false apparitions, and that--whatever is really happening--the Blessed Virgin is not appearing to those alleged "visionaries", and I strongly doubt that she ever did. No "apparition" so rife with disobedience from top to bottom can come from my Mother Mary, Who was the most obedient human being who ever lived.

    In my mind, if our Mother took the time to visit, I should be there if I could.

    Fine. Then go to Lourdes, or Fatima, or to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, or Akita, or some approved apparition where the Blessed Mother actually DID visit. Surely it follows that, if Motehr Mary did NOT visit a particular site, you wouldn't feel a desire to go there for a "Marian Pilgrimage"?

    I went to Conyers, GA. Despite the fact that it was judged to be not approved, I believe I was blessed. My visit there propelled set me to become a pro-life activist because I felt that our Lady and our Lord are grieved the most by this on-going slaughter.

    Praise be to God for what He did through that event! But I want to be clear, again: God can work anything to good (cf. Romans 8:28), but God forbid that we use that as an excuse to be willy-nilly about embracing "apparitions" which might well be hoaxes, delusions, or even demonic counterfeits! (Cf. Romans 6:1-2) Throwing ourselves into dubious "apparitions" while saying to ourselves, "God will make all things right!" is called the sin of presumption. We might as well throw ourselves down from the parapet of the Temple, since--after all--God has commanded His angels to guard us in all our ways!

    Seriously: guard your heart, Rick, and don't give it away to any specific apparition! Give it directly to Our Blessed Mother, and let the Church handle the "bells and whistles"!

  100. Diane wrote:

    I just can't imagine, that under the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, the lies and deceptions would get a free pass because people like to pray there.

    :) You have seriously got to teach me how to make a great point like that, in 30 words or less! I usually have to blabber on for 4000+ words in my attempts (and hit the "Paladin Google Limit", to boot)!

  101. @Paladin. There was no ruling then just as there is no final ruling now. And I do not promote this alleged apparition but, I keep an open mind and heart. I do not know nor am I inclined to believe everything that the visionary says or hears. I don't think those private revelations require an assent of faith from the faithful - even from legitimate apparitions.

    However, if I have the time and money then I might go there on the chance that God's Mother were truly visiting. If it's true then it's true. If it's not, then God will still know that I preferred that over the carnival or the Louvre to experience a possible visit from His Mother and grow in my devotion. And I don't think I am being presumptious or forcing His hand because, the Church has not said the event is bogus nor stopped me from going. On the contrary, the Vatican citations and the Cardinal's comments seem to not be averse to it.

    And yes, I can do all that at Fatima; however, the apparitions there have long stopped. And when did the Church finally get around to approve the apparitions there? So, one can miss out on an opportunity waiting for the approbation.

  102. I should point out, if someone hasn't already, that there is a pretty lenghty discussion happening at Mark Shea's blog on this, as well.

  103. "There was no ruling then just as there is no final ruling now."

    The assumption is that there needs to be a final ruling to determine one's attitude toward a phenomenon. This assumption is false, as alluded to in the Catechism, the writings of John of the Cross, and others.

    To put it more succinctly, if it's not yet approved, it's ... NOT approved!!! That as opposed to "could be approved" or "no news is good news." Try finding that in the Catechism.

  104. I have to admit, I've always been a little confused why anyone would WANT to see an apparition or have visions! I mean, in general, they cause nothing but trouble and suffering for the visionary-- people thin you're crazy, you have to double check everything with your spiritual director, you get punished... for most visionaries, it seems like the 'gift' of visions is more of a penance than a reward....

    except at Medj.......

    (Full disclosure: As a little girl, I was so disturbed by the stories of Lourdes and Fatima that I spent YEARS begging God never to let me see a vision. Or to experience demonic torments that were obviously demonic. My daily tasks and burdens are MORE than challenging enough -- I wouldn't be able to cope with visions ON TOP of diapers and dirty floors!)

    Anyway, the apparent LACK of suffering of the MEdj. folk also makes me suspicious-- it seems like when Mary and Jesus draw close to someone in visions, the visionary is also asked to take a greater part in sharing their suffering... for most people, visions are HARD.

  105. @Deirdre: Re: Why would anyone want to witness an apparition? If you love someone, would you want to see or hear her? Wouldn't you be interested in news about her specially if she peers through the veneer of eternity and manifest herself in time and space.

  106. "If you love someone, would you want to see or hear her? Wouldn't you be interested in news about her ..."

    This assumption (as with the others) favors authenticity, when the Church essentially teaches the opposite. So the question is not only moot, but has the potential for spiritual danger.

  107. Rick wrote:

    I do not promote this alleged apparition but, I keep an open mind and heart. I do not know nor am I inclined to believe everything that the visionary says or hears.

    That's part of the point, though: how would you ever *know* if the "visionary" says or does anything that's wrong (i.e. not to be believed)? Vicka confessed to lying, not only about her own actions, but about what the alleged "Gospa" actually SAID! It's one thing to lie about smoking (which she did), but it's quite another thing to say, "The Gospa said that she wants thus-and-so", when it's a flat-out lie! See here for just a few examples.

    I don't think those private revelations require an assent of faith from the faithful - even from legitimate apparitions.

    Right... but that's a reason to be CAUTIOUS about them, not a reason to be chevalier about them!

    However, if I have the time and money then I might go there on the chance that God's Mother were truly visiting. If it's true then it's true. If it's not, then God will still know that I preferred that over the carnival or the Louvre to experience a possible visit from His Mother and grow in my devotion.

    Well... there's a serious gap in that supposition. You're assuming that it's a "win/win" situation, and that the worst possible outcome is the waste of some of your hard-earned money (and perhaps some disappointment and embarrassment). I wish that were true. I've personally known how false teachings and misguided devotions have *destroyed* people, and their families. And if it's truly demonic, do you really think that you can waltz through it with a guarantee of "no damage"? This isn't a toy, here!

    And I don't think I am being presumptious or forcing His hand because, the Church has not said the event is bogus nor stopped me from going.

    The local bishop has... and the Vatican has backed up his rightful authority in that regard. Bishop Peric has strengthened his restrictions on so-called "pilgrimages" to Medjugorje and forbidden priests to lead them. The Vatican has said nothing to gainsay that. I'm rather disturbed that you feel quite free to flout the bishop's wishes in this matter; the Fatima visionaries *never* defied their bishop in this way!

    On the contrary, the Vatican citations and the Cardinal's comments seem to not be averse to it.

    The Cardinal has made a royal mess of things, and he has provably violated many norms in his rash "public private visit"; given his own disobedience to the Holy Father, I really can't consider his views to be anything other than gravely suspect (if not sheer lunacy).

    And yes, I can do all that at Fatima; however, the apparitions there have long stopped.

    And this is a problem, WHY?

    And when did the Church finally get around to approve the apparitions there?

    After a prudent interval, when the hysteria had calmed down... while, all the time, the visionaries OBEYED THE BISHOP in every regard. Unlike the Medjugorje "visionaries" and their (now disgraced) "spiritual directors". Seriously... this isn't to be played with, Rick!

    So, one can miss out on an opportunity waiting for the approbation.

    Again: why is this a problem? If anything, the urge to be a "spiritual ambulance-chaser" can lead one toward the "excitement", and away from self-sacrifice and humility!

  108. Why would anyone want to witness an apparition? If you love someone, would you want to see or hear her?

    I'd like to se HER, yes... not some hoax, or cardboard cut-out, and certainly not some assassin who's dressed up as her. You seem to be saying, "Mary is appearing, and yeah, it's not required for me to go, but why wouldn't I?" To which we reply, "Whoa, whoa there! What exactly convinced you that Mary was truly there, again, in the first place?" Unless you think false visions are absolutely impossible (and you'd be woefully mistaken if you think that), you could be walking into a trap... and one whose effects are far more subtle than might be expected. (Why do so many Medjugorje devotees say that, if the Church condemns Medjugorje, they'd "stick with the Gospa until the Pope came to see his error"? Divorcing people from obedience to the Church serves Satan, not God... and Our Mother serves only God.)

    Summary: I assert that it is not Mary who's appearing at Medjugorje... and therefore it's no slight to the Blessed Mother when I warn people against it. If I'm wrong, I lose nothing but a nonessential. If you're wrong, you could be walking into a diabolical trap. Seriously: do you think Our Mother is so blase about disobedience that she smiles at the "happenings" at Medjugorje (and wherever the "visionaries" are, now)?

  109. For what it's worth here are the top 5 subjects from a google search of "pope benedict Medjugorje":
    Pope Benedict laicizes priest connected to alleged Medjugorje ...
    Pope Benedict XVI unfrocks Medjugorje priest - Telegraph
    Medjugorje FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
    Pope finally launches crackdown on world's largest illicit ...
    CNS STORY: Medjugorje 25 years later: Apparitions and contested ...

  110. Paladin-- exactly-- one reason I've NEVER wanted apparitions or visions is b/c there's always a good chance they MIGHT be demonic in origin--- and having to discern which they are seems a daunting and frightening task...especially since MOST visions are not from God-- better not to have them at all, and to stick with the amazing gift God has given us in the Church-- why ask for more?

    Rick-- We can converse with Christ and His Mother perfectly well without the added bells and whistles of a Vision. While I'd like to see Mary some day, I'd really prefer it be after my death, when there's no question about whether it's really her! Until then, prayer is good enough.

    Of course, I admit I'm a total wimp when it comes to anything that smacks of the possibility of the demonic-- I'd rather St. Michael take care of it and leave me to my own more mundane struggles....

    Heck, I know people who believe in the whole 'three days of darkness' thing and say that if you're outside you'll be struck dead, or you can be inside and be demon tormented for 3 days....

    And personally, given the choice between dying on the spot (assuming no unconfessed mortal sins!) OR being tormented by demons, I'd prefer death, because at least then you're headed in the right direction and don't have to worry about possibly succombing to despair!

    But still, it seems to be that most of the approved Visionaries in history (Francis, Bernadette, Padre Pio) didn't really want or seek out signs and marvels-- I mean, honestly, what God has already given us is marvelous enough! I mean seriously-- he loves us so much he bothered to make snow... and flowers... and goats.... he loves us so much that he died on the cross and gave us the Eucharist.... do we really need apparitions too?

    (sorry to wax sappy-- the momentary lull in the snowbound induced chaos went straight to my head! :) But I'm sure the screaming will recommence shortly...)

  111. @Paladin: "I'm rather disturbed that you feel quite free to flout the bishop's wishes in this matter"

    I am flouting nothing as I am still searching for the bishop's teachings and directives. I tried your link but it failed. And so far, all I have read is that it is under investigation. If the bishop says its bogus, then that's good enough for me. I won't even wait for Rome to confirm.

    @Deirdre: You're right about the bells and whistles not being necessary. For me, they're nice to have because I need a little jump start every now and then. Not everyone is St. John of the Cross; I am just Rick. And I think I got a jump start once; then again, I may be wrong. Here's my little sharing on that:

  112. Rick,

    Try this one; I'll give it as text, rather than as a hyperlink:

    Beyond that, Diane, at her own excellent blog, has more resources than I, at her fingertips (or, rather at yours... if you search her blog for "Medjugorje"). But here's an article from the actual diocese of Mostar, from the Bishop's office, re: Medjugorje's alleged "apparitions":

  113. Rick,

    I have a blog which is used to collect Church documents on Medjugorje (Vatican, diocesan, religious order). I try not to use news reports, as opposed to the actual documents, but there are exceptions, such as when then Yugoslav conference head explained why the matter was being elevated to a commission (press release carried in Glas Koncila). You will see that the bishop was never "removed", but has been working with the CDF.

    My blog: Medjugorje Documents and FAQ's is behind at the moment, missing the notice given by the Bishops of Tuscany, Italy (prompted by the CDF) to the priests of their diocese about Medjugorje referring them to Bishop Peric's 2006 homily.

    I concede that there is no better site than that of Marco Corvaglia (Italy), who has made it a point to translate much of his detailed, well documented work into English. What is so unique about his work, and contrasts so well with that of promoters, is the level of facts (complete documents so that excerpts can be seen in context, Church protocol numbers, dates, JPG's of documents, and videos). He even has sections which digs into the science of it all showing that tests done in the past were far from thorough. His work was quoted in part in the local bishop's December 11, 2009 release (Italian) of "The games surrounding the 'great sign'" (English compliments of Richard Chonak).

  114. Matt,
    In re-reading this thread, I have to say it makes me really sad to see Catholics degenerate into the derogatory, naa-nanny-boo-boo tone that so many of these posts demonstrate. Geez, whether our Mother has been appearing at Medj or not, there is no doubt she (like any mom) hates to hear her children carrying on like this!

  115. Most people who give Medjugorje a pass pay little or no attention to what the Church says authoritatively about private revelations, using on-the-record opinions of high-ranking prelates as a get-out-of-jail-free card. If matters essential to the Faith were at stake, one could almost understand. But even they will concede that such is not the case.

    The most one can ever have about a private revelation, is a strong opinion. That goes ditto for Fatima. The public revelation which ended with the last Apostle, and the constant teaching of the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is sufficient.

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