Can You Trust Medjugorje?

Last week I received a mailing from Caritas of Birmingham, in Sterret, Alabama. It was an invitation to come to the four-storey Tabernacle of our Lady’s Messages at Caritas, where a visionary, Marija Pavlovic Lunetti, is slated to receive five messages and apparitions during the 2012 gathering from July 1 to July 5.

Caritas is a group devoted to the Medjugorje Marian apparitions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is a continuation of international devotional interest in a phenomenon beginning on June 24, 1981, when six young people said they had received apparitions from the “Gospa” (Madonna). I’m not sure how we got on to their mailing list.  Possibly a relative submitted our name and address.

Statue of Mary at Caritas in Alabama

The Caritas group, however, is considered schismatic by the visionaries and priests at the pilgrimage center, in a part of what used to be Yugoslavia. On the “official” Medjugorje website we are warned that Caritas of Birmingham is a cult, something like a religious business, not approved.

But one of the visionaries, Marija, still comes regularly to Caritas in Birmingham, contributing to a local, in-house schism of an international cult that bespeaks a larger and ongoing schism with orthodox Catholicism.

Numerous books have been written on Medjugorje, most of them favorable.  But most of the pro-Medjugorje books ignore the early tapes made by Fr. Cuvalo and Fr. Zovko, on the days immediately following the apparitions, which began on June 24, 1981; they are based on interviews recorded over a year after the original visions, and incorporated in the 1985 book, A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. And none of them take into account the first tape made by Fr. Cuvalo before Fr. Zovko took over the taping of interviews with the visionaries.

But Donal Foley’s book, Medjugorje Revisited: 30 years of Visions or Religious Fraud? does take into account early tapes as well as later sources, brings out some crucial differences in the early and later transcripts, and leads the reflective reader to serious doubts about what is really happening at this pilgrimage center.

Compared to approved apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, for example, at Lourdes and at Fatima, the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje contain numerous anomalous aspects:

In the initial appearances, the Gospa appears out of a cloud of light which gradually takes on the image of a young woman in her late teens.  She has blue eyes and is wearing a gray dress.  She looks like she is holding “something like a baby” in her arms, but none of the features of the baby can be seen.  Her hands are shaking.  She laughs.  The visionaries are able to touch and kiss her, but her vestments are “steel to the touch.”  When a lady doctor asked if she could touch her also, the Gospa agreed, but complained about “unbelieving Judases.” 

Fr. Rene Laurentin

Fr. René Laurentin, a supporter of Medjugorje, in his Chronological Corpus of the Messages, changed this obvious blooper to “doubting Thomases.”

In the first few years following the apparitions, around thirty different apparition places were chosen, with the Gospa appearing often as if “on cue.” Some of the messages, even in our open-minded era, would be categorized as not just heterodox, but heretical.  We hear that all religions are equal (“Before God all the faiths are identical.  God governs them like a king in his kingdom.”) All sufferings are equal in hell; and Mirjana quotes the Gospa as telling her that people begin feeling comfortable in hell.  As regards the afterlife, those who go to heaven after death “are present with the soul and the body.” When the Madonna is asked about the title, “Mediatrix of all graces,” she replies, “I do not dispose of all graces.”

Although Medjugorje claims to be a continuation of Fatima and the “last appearance of Jesus or Mary on earth,” there is strangely no exhortation to the devotion of the Five First Saturdays, which Our Lady of Fatima asked for in reparation for the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Unlike the approved apparitions, the visionaries at Medjugorje have been consistently disobedient to local bishops.

  • December 19, 1981, Vicka in her Notebook writes that their bishop, Pavao Zanic, was “the more guilty party” in conflict with the Franciscans, and the Gospa defended the Franciscans who were disobeying the bishop’s order to share their parish with secular clergy.
  • June  21, 1983, in a letter the visionary Ivan said that the Gospa demanded the  Bishop’s “immediate conversion” and that he should stop emphasizing the “negative side”– otherwise she and her Son would punish him.
  • February 3, 1985 the Gospa told three visionaries that Fr. Barbaric, whose removal  was requested by the bishop, should stay.

According to the German theologian, Manfred Hauke, the Gospa urged disobedience thirteen times to Bishop Zanic, who had originally been inclined favorably to the apparitions.

Pilgrims to Medjugorje occasionally report signs, such as the appearance of a gold tint on the chains of their rosaries, and the phenomenon of a “dance of the sun,” in which the sun, seen by the naked eye without causing harm, proceeds up and down in a yo-yo manner, emitting various colors. The latter is obviously construed as a reenactment of the famous “miracle of the sun” at Fatima, on October 13, 1917. “Healing” miracles have been reported, but none have been tested by experts and verified.

“Our Lady”?

On June 29, 1981, the Gospa announced that a four-year-old boy would be healed, but this never happened. A sign from heaven predicted by the visionaries for August 17, 1981, never materialized.  Ivan, in a signed statement, on May 9, 1982, said that a sign would appear in six months – a “huge shrine in Medjugorje” in memory of the Gospa’s apparitions.  But this also never materialized. In 1983 the visionaries said a “visible sign” would be left at Medjugorje in perpetuity. But this has not happened.

In September, 1981, the prophecy that “Germany and the U.S. will be destroyed,…the Pope will be exiled to Turkey,” never took place.  Nor did peace for Yugoslavia predicted by the Gospa during the 80s.  Yugoslavia broke up during the Bosnian war, 1992-95, leading to the violent separation of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina from Serbia.

The visionaries allege that they have received secrets from the Gospa.  Jakov Colo, Ivan Dragicevic and Ivanka Ivankovic have each received nine, while the others have received all ten. Only one of the secrets has been revealed by the visionaries: Namely, the Gospa’s promise of a “visible sign,” mentioned above.

On June 30, 1981, the Gospa said that her appearances would end in three days, but they went on without interruption.  As of 2004, over 33,000 messages had been delivered by the Gospa.  The number now is around 40,000. Three of the visionaries, Ivan, Vicka and Marija, still have daily visions. We are dealing with a Madonna who, in contrast with the authorized apparitions, has become extremely talkative. If we weren’t referring to heavenly personages, the category of “personality change” would suggest itself.

Numerous attempts have been made to subject the visionaries to testing by experts.  However, when experts came from various countries in 1984, 1987, 1988, 1992 and 1995, to test the visionaries, they either claimed to be sick, or that Our Lady had “paused” in her appearances, or they simply did not cooperate.

During the tests on October 6-7, 1984, of the visionaries during ecstasy, Dr. Philippot, an ophthalmologist, found that the pupil of the visionaries did react to light. Once, when the visionaries were being filmed during ecstasy, a skeptical pilgrim made movements with his two fingers towards the eyes of Vicka in ecstasy, and she reacted by moving her head back; later she explained that this was because she thought the Blessed Virgin was about to drop the baby Jesus, and she wanted to keep him from falling.

Both Pavao Zanic and Ratko Perić, the bishops who have had jurisdiction over Medjugorje since 1981, have concluded that the apparitions are not of supernatural origin. Nineteen out of 20 bishops in the Yugoslav Episcopal Conference in 1991 issued the Zadar declaration: “On the basis of investigation up till now, it cannot be established that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.”

In 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a vision in which he listened to a dialogue taking place between God and Satan.  Satan boasted that he could destroy the Church, if only God would remove some of the restraints on his power and give him a hundred years.  God answered, “So be it,” causing the Pope, fearful for the coming trials of the Church, to compose the prayer for protection to St. Michael, recited at the end of Mass until 1964.

Is it conceivable that starting in 1981, the devil, looking over his victories and concerned that his time might be coming to an end, might look to subvert the Church with something like a pretend-Madonna? Jesus warned us (Mt. 24:24, Mk. 13:22) that in the final days prophets would arise with signs and wonders, and would be able to deceive even the elect.

For the Spirit of Evil, with no interest in goodness or holiness, it would have to be “out of character” to appear as the holy Woman whom he hates, and whose foot (Genesis 3:15) will finally crush his head. On the other hand, what a tremendous victory it would be to get the devotion of the faithful, drawing them in subtle ways to the devil’s own “religious reeducation” project.

Mistakes might be made, of course.  For example, in 1982, one of Mirjana’s expected visions of the Gospa turned out to be the devil, until it changed into the Madonna, apologizing and telling her that this was just a trial. And on August 2, 1981, the Gospa allowed the people present to come and touch her, but turned black; Marija explained that this was because sinners were touching her, and they should go to confession.

Medjugorje is frequently touted as a continuation of Fatima.  At Fatima, Our Lady promised that eventually, through the power of the rosary and fulfillment of her request of Mass attendance on five first Saturdays, her Immaculate Heart would eventually triumph and world peace would ensue. This might coincide with the end of the time given to the devil.  From the devil’s viewpoint, might not a distraction be in order? Some traditional piety, with prayer and fasting, and a touch of “New Age” spirituality?  If Medjugorje were approved officially by the Church, the devil’s feared triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart might be staved off indefinitely.

Jesus told us to judge trees by their “fruits.” In Medjugorje, numerous conversions have been reported, Catholics returning to the sacraments after many years, etc.  But the main fruit, and the fruit closest to the heart of the devil, has been disobedience.  Original sin came into the world not through lust or greed or murder, but through disobedience; and the redemption took place through the obedience of Jesus (Romans 5:19) and the fiat of his mother. In Medjugorje, we are confronted with the counterintuitive phenomenon of the Madonna encouraging disobedience to the successors of the Apostles, and disobedience of some Franciscans to Vatican directives.

Other “fruits” include the massacres and mutilations that took place from 1991 to 1992 when, because of the war, three groups involved in the pilgrimage trade, losing business, turned on each other, resulting in an estimated 80-140 deaths and 600 expulsions; and the revocation of faculties or laicization of Frs. Zovko and Vlasic, guides of the visionaries accused of sexual infractions. Nine Franciscans were also expelled from the order and a divinis. According to historian Michael Sells, religious nationalists in Medjugorje “cleansed” non-Catholics, destroying an Orthodox monastery and murdering priests and monks. Bishop Perić was kidnapped on April 2, 1994, in retaliation for his criticisms of unauthorized activities in Medjugorje, and released only when the Mayor of Mostar intervened with UN troops.

And so what are we to conclude? Bishop Perić’s statement in 1997 still seems to be the most relevant:

On the basis of the serious study of the case by 30 [academics], on my episcopal experience of five years in the Diocese, on the scandalous disobedience that surrounds the phenomenon, on the lies that are at times put into the mouth of the “Madonna,” on the unusual repetition of “messages” for over 16 years, on the strange way that the “spiritual directors”of the so-called “visionaries” accompany them throughout the world making propaganda of them, on the practice that the “Madonna” appears at the “fiat” (let her come!)  of the “visionaries,” my conviction and position is not only non constat de supernaturalitate (“no evidence of the supernatural”) but also the other formula constat de non supernaturalitate (“evidence of the non-supernatural character”) of the apparitions or revelations of Medjugorje.

 

Howard Kainz is professor emeritus at Marquette University. He is the author of several books, including Natural Law: an Introduction and Reexamination(2004), The Philosophy of Human Nature (2008), and The Existence of God and the Faith-Instinct (2010). Professor Kainz is a regular contributor To Crisis Magazine

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  • guest

    This is one of the worst articles I have ever read. No substansiation of so called quotes and “facts” Obvious slanting of facts.  You can tell a tree by its fruits.  Vocations have grown, lives changed and cures( and they have proof) of hundreds of people.  The blessed mother has said the sign would come when the apparitios end.  There is a miracle in my own family of an alcoholic who now hasn’t had a drink in 22 years. Prayer groups have grown and the young who go there have changed their lives.  The Pope said when he was alive that ” if I wasn’t Pope I’d be in Medjugorge !

  • maria

    Have you even ever been there yourself?  How can you make an adequate judgment without even being there?  When I went, you really had to search to find information about the apparitions.  The focus was on the Eucharist, Mass, adoration, confession, prayer and the rosary.  I know many holy priests from the diocese here who have gone on pilgrimages there and speak highly of it.  One holy priest I know received his calling there.  On my pilgrimage was Archbishop Flynn.  Pope John Paul II spoke affectionately of Medjugorje.  One example is in his letters to Marek Skwarnicki.  In addition, he reportedly said it was the spiritual heart of the world.   

  • maria

    By the way, I am speaking of Medjugorje, not of this place in Birmingham.  I know nothing of that.

  • Katherine

    I really hope that you have spent a lot of time researching Medjugorje on both sides and have spent hours in prayer over this topic.  I hope you didn’t just do an internet search for those who oppose Medjugorje and report what they said. 

    To bash something that has led to many vocations, conversions and fervent prayer is a serious matter.  The Catholic Church has not even made a ruling on Medjugorje and is still investigating it right now. 

    It seems strange that you would make such a rash and harsh judgment, asserting that the Virgin Mary is actually Satan.  It seems odd that Satan would be at the heart of a place of prayer, standing-in-line confessions, adoration, numerous priests, conversions, rosaries, vocations, etc.  Why would he want to do draw people to God and the Catholic Church? 

    After my mother read Wayne Weible’s (a convert to the Catholic Church after he learned about Medjugorje) book “The Message” about 20 years ago, she started praying the rosary daily and has continued to this day.  Maybe you should spend your time bashing a true evil instead of trying to draw people away from conversion of heart and soul to God.

  • servantofcharity

    I haven’t heard these accusations before, so I would need to do my own research.  I have been to Medjugorje and did find it beautiful.  Of course disobedience is not a fruit of the Spirit and if anyone’s affection for Medjugorje leads to disobedience, it is disordered, regardless of the validity of the apparitions.  I find it hard to believe the devil would direct people to the Eucharist and Confession, sure roads to Heaven, but the bottom line is, once the Church rules, then we’ll know for sure.

    John
    servantofcharity.blogspot.com

  • Gabriel960

    If your going to make these accusations you should get your facts right. For some reason you sound embittered against the apparitions. Pope John Paul II, when he was alive said that if he could he would go there. That says alot. I have never seen anything that resembles disobedience. Caritas is not a cult. There are many Medugorje Caritas centers throughout the country. The visonaires were just recently called to Rome and interview at different times. One has to experience the truth of the fruits that are happening in peoples lives that go there. I have seen it in my family, life changing for 20yrs not. These apparitions are a gift from God and Blessed Mother said yes once again to come help her children.

  • quiz

    Thank you for writing this article.  I’m always amazed at the arrows and judgements thrown by those who love Medjugorje towards those who urge caution.  

  • Zachary Enes

    I think we
    ought to respect the judgment of experts in spiritual theology and apparitions,
    i.e. (specifically mariologists.) I think the Pope’s wisdom in allowing the
    theological commission to further evaluate the matter, says enough about it’s
    possible authenticity. I am open to it being wrong, of course. The evil one can
    manifest himself as an angel of light, we all know.  He is also a master deceiver.

    I feel
    comfortable to an extent with Dr. Mark Miravalle’s stance given his
    expertise.  I figure he is a mariologist
    who has knowledge enough on the apparitions to answer clearly some statements
    that have been made.

    Also, I do
    like that it was believed Sister Lucia of Fatima believed in the Medjugorje Seers
    and prayed for them. That does not make it true, unless Our Lady of Fatima said
    something of the matter later to Sister Lucia, without her ever saying
    anything. I think I heard somewhere the Blessed Mother continued to appear to
    her even when she was in the convent, secretly. Who knows? In any event, even
    if sister Lucia was a believer, she can be just as wrong as the rest of us who
    believe. 

    Ann the lay
    apostle has been looked favorably with her Bishop, she is connected to that
    place.  However, there has also been
    Gianna Sullivan and her connection with Medjugorje, which makes me wonder a
    bit.

    I think we
    ought to respect the judgment of experts in spiritual theology and apparitions,
    i.e. (specifically mariologists.) I think the Pope’s wisdom in allowing the
    theological commission to further evaluate the matter, says enough about it’s
    possible authenticity. I am open to it being wrong, of course. The evil one can
    manifest himself as an angel of light, we all know.  He is also a master deceiver.

    I feel
    comfortable to an extent with Dr. Mark Miravalle’s stance given his
    expertise.  I figure he is a mariologist
    who has knowledge enough on the apparitions to answer clearly some statements
    that have been made.

    Also, I do
    like that it was believed Sister Lucia of Fatima believed in the Medjugorje Seers
    and prayed for them. That does not make it true, unless Our Lady of Fatima said
    something of the matter later to Sister Lucia, without her ever saying
    anything. I think I heard somewhere the Blessed Mother continued to appear to
    her even when she was in the convent, secretly. Who knows? In any event, even
    if sister Lucia was a believer, she can be just as wrong as the rest of us who
    believe. 

    Ann the lay
    apostle has been looked favorably with her Bishop, she is connected to that
    place.  However, there has also been
    Gianna Sullivan and her connection with Medjugorje, which makes me wonder a
    bit.

  • Zachary Enes
  • Matt B

    It’s rich that someone who teaches at a Jesuit university can speak seriously about the visionaries being disobedient to the Church.  It’s llike that kingdom Jesus spoke about “being divided against itself.”

  • James H

    I can’t speak to many of the allegations here, but I have to say something about those I can.

    “And on August 2, 1981, the Gospa allowed the people present to come and
    touch her, but turned black; Marija explained that this was because
    sinners were touching her, and they should go to confession.”

    The account I read some time ago said [paraphrasing]: that the alleged visionary/ies said to the people present they could touch the apparition if they wished; some did, and some of those said they felt a tingling, electric sensation in their hands. Then the alleged visionary/ies cried out to stop touching, because some of the people had left dirty marks on the apparition’s dress, and the apparition had started to cry. They said it was people’s sins which were making the stains. Unsurprisingly, many of those present later sought a confessor.

    That’s the first point.

    Second: “massacres and mutilations that took place from 1991 to 1992…revocation of faculties or laicization of Frs. Zovko and Vlasic”
    Tomislav Vlasic was only present in Medjugorje from ’82-’85, IIRC. He was moved within a few years of getting there, and was subsequently laicised for having fathered at least one child. He’s been in Italy for at least 20 years.

    “Bishop Perić was kidnapped on April 2, 1994, in retaliation for his criticisms of unauthorized activities in Medjugorje”

    I find it inconcecivable that this hasn’t come out before. I’ve been watching Medjugorje comments for years, and I’ve never read about this, even from the most vehement critic.

    “the main fruit, and the fruit closest to the heart of the devil, has been disobedience”

    The main fruit in the people who’ve actually been there, has been remarkable conversion stories, reconciliations with the church and one healing miracle on the part of a woman I know personally (and no, she wasn’t expecting it). She never reported it to any authorities, because she said she ‘didn’t want to become a Medjugorje bore’ (!) The only negative aspect of the spirituality of those bores (and I have to say, that’s not an inaccurate description) is an excessive Marian focus – it’s like there’s suddenly a fourth person in the Trinity!
    The differences are significant. If something I can speak to has been altered like this, why? And, can I trust anything else revealed here? Who is misinforming, and who is telling the truth? I’d love an unbiased source, but for all my searches, I haven’t found any, or at least none published on the Web.

  • Gary

    There really is only one test and Mr. Kainz covered it – disobedience to the local bishop.  Why would Mary (if the apparition is real) condone that???  Secondly I remember watching a one-hour talk given by the so-called visionaries about five years ago.  It was all about them – there was little humility there..  I never heard during that hour anything about the message of Jesus and Mary as to the salvation of souls.  

    These kids sure have pulled a fast one on alot of people.

  • Matt B

    I guess what we’re talking about is 95% of Catholic colleges, 2/3 of men and women religious, 85% of self-described Catholic faithful, including about 60% of those who attend Mass regularly, as well as most of the US episcopate – who owe obedience to the Pope – being disqualified because of your “disobedience” criteria. 

    If the author of this illustrious article is anything like the vast majority of US Catholic “sholars,” there’s little hope for his soul, either.  If Mary were to “name names” among the episcopate, she wouldn’t be hard pressed for apt targets. 

    That’s the main problem with Medjugorge: Our Lady is a lttle too outspoken.  Unheard of for a plaster statue.

  • Pargontwin

    Thank you so much for this article.  I have been warning my friends about Medjugorje for years; now I can present something more definitive than just a vague “something I read a while ago.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003586781928 Magdalene Prodigal

    I have been to Medjugorje and was once an avid supporter.  I no longer am.  Disobedience is what I have seen and that is never from Our Lady. When the visionaries were asked by the bishop to go silent while the investigation was ongoing, they patently refused. He called them to obedience by name from the pulpit of St. James. And that turned me from support. Our Lady is OBEDIENT! One can claim the bishop has no authority …well he does in his diocese even if the investigation has gone to the Vatican. Saints would obey their bishop and not bad mouth him.  Think of Padre Pio who was obedient. Think of St. Faustina….and those that supported the Divine Mercy and when asked to be silent, they were and so the Divine Mercy after some decades was approved and is a worldwide devotion.  None of this obedience is evident at Medjugorje.

  • Scotts

    I noticed this article this afternoon and printed it out because I
    knew I was going t adoration tonight.  I
    just got back from 2 hours of my regularly scheduled adoration.  We are very blessed to have perpetual
    adoration in our sister parish.  There were only 11 when I printed it, so I will have to go look at the other comments.  Before I
    response to the article though and more importantly to the vial responses, let us pray:

    “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your
    faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and
    they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.”

    I used to chase Mary around or “be a Mary Chaser” or that maybe too harsh; however, I think
    that is what it was.  When I was a
    teenager (the years of 1990-1994 specifically), my parents, siblings and I,
    used to go to all of the “Reported” apparitions in Illinois and Indiana.  We followed Medjugorje, we followed “the Marian
    Movement of Priest”, we followed the Hillside apparitions, we followed the
    events Bloomington, Indiana and many other ones.  To this day, our parish priest still has
    Medjugorje day every 25th of the month or the Sunday following that
    day if it doesn’t fall on Sunday.

    Just an FYI from here, I have not been to a Medjugorje day,
    meeting, etc or, for that matter any other “reported” apparition site in 12
    years or so.  Do I miss it, NO.  To be honest, I have been drawn closer to
    Jesus, at least I hope.  I finally asked
    myself and I want to ask you this, however, before you start yelling expletives
    at the screen and start being on the keyboard to write a response, take time to
    think about this and to pray about it. 

    What would happen, if the Holy See, came out tomorrow and DECLARED
    that the apparitions at Medjugorje were “NOT of SUPER NATURAL ORIGINES?”

    How would you feel?

    How is your faith going to change? IS it going to change? 

    I know quite a few people who would either walk away from the Catholic
    Faith or would reject what the Holy See said because THEY think the apparitions
    to be of “Super Natural Origins”.  This
    is why I called it earlier “Mary Chase” or searching for something. 

    According to the Holy Roman Catholic Church, public revelation
    ended when the last Apostle died and scripture was complete. http://www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/PRIPUB.TXT
    How does God speak to us now? Through Sacred
    Tradition (CCC 75–83), Scripture (CCC 101–141) , and The Magisterium (CCC 85–87, 888–892).  We as faithful are not bound by our faith to
    believe in Private Revelation.  We can
    believe or not, if they are authentic, it should bring us deeper in faith, but
    it shouldn’t matter if it happened or not.

    Instead of reading the messages from Medjugorje or from Ann the Lay or
    whoever, you should be reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Holy
    Scripture, lives of the Saints.  You have
    a responsibility to God, yourself and the Church to KNOW your faith and be able
    to defend it.  You are supposed to “And he said to them, “Go into all the world
    and preach the gospel to the whole creation. (Mark 16:15).  The Blessed Mother is to draw use closer to
    her Son, Jesus.

    I pray the rosary daily and try to make it to daily mass every day, I
    hope the Blessed Mother is not upset with me that I am not following her or wait
    with anticipation for every message she gives. 
    I hope she is happy that I hold here in a place of honor and not worship
    her.

    We as Roman Catholics
    are losing ground or have lost a lot of ground! 
    Many people that were Catholics are either not practicing, don’t know
    their faith and going to other religions to “have a personal relationship with
    Jesus” or to “be Saved”.  We have a great
    responsibility to first KNOW our faith and then to go out and evangelize our brothers
    and sisters in Christ, not only in our church but the whole world.

    I hope this makes
    since to everyone.

    BTW:  it doesn’t state that Fr. Vlasic has been
    gone since 1985? It states:

    Vatican City, Jul 27, 2009 / 12:17
    pm (CNA).-
    Pope Benedict XVI has approved the laicization of Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, a
    priest leading the claims that the Virgin Mary has been appearing in the
    Bosnian town of Medjugorje. The priest has reportedly decided to leave the
    priesthood and his religious order. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope_benedict_laicizes_priest_connected_to_alleged_medjugorje_apparitions/

    It only matter because you should be praying for all
    priests, deflocked or not.  They all need
    our prayers, so they can have the time to convert before they pass on to eternity.  We cannot just
    others, we have enough problems with our own sins and vices.
     

  • Bob

    If the people are being touched by God to truly repent and convert through the reception of the Sacraments and devotionals then it is a working of the Holy Spirit. That being said, however, discernment is still critical. Our beloved John Paul II was used by Fr. Maciel from the Legionaries of Christ. Does that make the Holy Father less holy? Of course not. But the revelations of Father Maciel’s improprieties have shaken the foundations of that order and the spiritual lives of it’s members. Lies,chaos,confusion and division are hallmarks of the diabolical. Obedience is a sign of humility and, as Our Lady has often said, is the greatest of the counsels. I continue to remain indifferent on Medjugorje and apart from that will appreciate any good that may result. 

  • bronwyn

    We must remember that all visionaries are not all saints. I too have doubts but my cousin believes and she passes along the messages to me. I kept one:

    “Dear children; You are gathering around me, you are seeking your way, you are seeking, you are seeking the truth but are forgetting what is the most important, you are forgetting to pray properly. Your lips pronounce countless words, but your spirit does not feel anything. Wandering in darkness, you even imagine God Himself according to yourselves, and not such as He really is in His love. Dear children, proper prayer comes from the depth of your heart, from your suffering, from your joy, from your seeking the forgiveness of sins. This is the way to come to know the right God and by that also yourselves, because you are created according to Him. Prayer will bring you to the fulfillment of my desire, of my mission here with you, to the unity in God’s family. Thank you.”

    According to Mirjana, Our Lady blessed everyone that was present, then she thanked them and called us to pray for our priests.

  • Maria

    I agree that we should know our Catholic faith.  However, to some, this yearning starts with an interest in the Virgin Mary.  She always leads us to Jesus, not to herself.   

    Please do not be critical of the way God calls some to be closer to him.  Why would he send Our Lady to Fatima if He did not want some people to be converted and to be closer to Him through this channel?

    No, I would not lose my Catholic faith if the Church proclaimed Medjugorje to be false.  The Church has not made a stance, yet, remember?  What if, on the other hand, the Church decides that Medjugorje is valid?  Then, this article will look foolish, uninformed and sinister.  My faith does not change either way.

    By the way, have you ever thought that “Medjugorje day” might draw some people closer to Jesus?  Just a thought!  It might be the spur that draws some to daily Mass, adoration, daily rosary, etc.

  • ElizD

    This is so muddled. One need only read St John of the Cross’ (the “mystical doctor”) The Ascent of Mount Carmel to understand why one should not pay attention to Medjugorje. Catholic spiritual theologians who are in sound keeping with the Tradition have not been Medjugorje promoters. “Ann a Lay Apostle” has been exposed as a fraud http://catholiclane.com/deception-for-our-times-questioning-anne-a-lay-apostle/ and Sr Briege McKenna and Fr Kevin Scallon publicly withdrew their support from her after learning the truth. Unfortunately, widespread false approaches to the subject of private revelations has caused great harm, St John of the Cross pray for us.

  • Jenny

    I have read that the children at Fatima were disobedient to their parish priest and bishop, going to the apparition site on the day of the Miracle of the Sun.  Is this not true?

  • Stephen

    “The Pope said…”    Sure, where and when? Liar.

    Ivan and the other gypsies from Mejegoofy are hustlers that
    put words into BVM’s mouth.
    They ‘sell’ this foolishness to poorly formed Catholics just like snake oil salesmen.
    It has run its course.
    May the righteous inspiration of St. Joseph halt this diabolical hoax.
    They are slandering his dear wife.

  • Stephen

     Do you want a list of people who were snookered into magical trips for promised healing, and then just died alone while Mejugoofy ‘friends’ were no where to be found?  3 grand for a long bus ride to a 3rd world country to make cancer go away.   HELLO?  Catholic dogma is that The all powerful, all loving, all knowing incarnate God is available in every tabernacle

    It is a hoax.

  • Stephen

     Once the church rules?
    The local bishop(s) have ruled repeatedly and consistently for decades.
    Oh, didn’t your medjugoofy travel agent tell you?
    PS. there are far more beautiful places on God’s green earth than Croatia.

  • Stephen

     My little children.
    Thank you for responding to my call.
    Gag.

  • Stephen

     AMEN

  • Stephen

     “I used to chase Mary around or “be a Mary Chaser” or that maybe too harsh;”

    DO not apologize for the Truth revealed!
    Your witness is important.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tish-Morgna/100000098075242 Tish Morgna

    The devil is more than willing to “draw people to “god””.  When they are disobedient, they serve the devil.  No amount of prayer or fasting will do these “believers” any good if they will not obey the Church in Her bishops.

  • Tevenbly

    Do I dismiss Medjugorje – no. The fruits speak for themselves. I have grown in personal prayee and seen/heard miracles there just like I know believers of Fr. Seelos church or Guadalupe Basilica. About Caritas of Birmingham? Well, having visited there a year ago, the place did disturb me with its cult like community. I think as my friend pinpointed, the main problem with Caritas @ Birmingham is that Terry C. Is filled with pride. Marija is only visionary who will frequent that place. My faith is not built on miraculous healings but on knowing God through my own faith journey through scripture, the sacraments, prayer life. The rest, I will trust the Holy Spirit to give the gift of discernment.

  • Du_gave

    hardly more beautiful  than Croatia, but herceg-bosna I could believe.

  • Margretto

    Did you read the article?  The Bishop has declared the apparitions to not be of supernatural origins. The church therefore has said that the apparition is false.  Rome does NOT have to declare it false, the Bishop already has.The local Bishop is the one to declare it’s falsehood or truth.  Always remember that God will make good out of bad, I came back to the Church through a false apparition however the holy spirit revealed to me that I was not to be a part of this apparition. Praise be to God.
    By the way, have you ever thought that “Medjugorje day” might draw some people closer to Jesus? Just a thought! It might be the spur that draws some to daily Mass, adoration, daily rosary, etc. And what if it doesn’t? What if it tears them away and it produces dare I say DISOBEDIENCE???????

    Why do people always get their back up when someone criticizes Medjugorie or the Marian Movement of Priests.?  I don’t see people getting upset when a person does not believe Fatima or Lourdes.

  • Matt B

    A lot of people who protest most stongly about spritual beings would not recognize one if he or she hit them over the head. 

    Lourdes and Fatima have been “prettied up” and “holified,” so it’s ok for “rational” people to accept them.  But at the time they were highly controversial, even to the hierarchical Church.  I wonder how the European clergy reacted to the mestizo Mary of Guadaloupe? 

    The distinguishing characteristic of Medjuorje is not obedience, as many mention.  Most of these are not concerned with obedience in the least.  That’s just a hypocritical pretense.  The real point is charity. 

    Steven, for one, is failing completely at that.  Many of his “Medjugoofies” are good Catholics who believe in God enough to actually expect him to penetrate our mundane existence in a miraculous way.  Whether Mary is judged to be there or not is inconsequential.  He will still be left with egg on his face.  Loving and believing are never penalized in heaven.

    Let’s call out this cynicism for what it really is: spiritual snobbery.

  • Matt B

    Scotts, you’re comment points to 2 things, I’d like to point out:

    The Faith does not depend on Marian apparitions.  In a strict sense, the Faith doesn’t depend on Eucharistic adoration for 2 hours and attending daily Mass.  Many who are good Catholics don’t read the Bible, or even read!  CCC has been “put down” by all sides of the Church – some because not enough read and understand it; and some because it puts lay people in the place of “judging.”  In any event, the tendency of “religious” people to go over the top and start behaving like Pharisees has always been a very real danger – and one preached about by every apostle, and Jesus himself.

    The real point about religious practices is not the practice itself, but using it as an aid to live the Christian life.  To be “doers of the word; not just hearers.”

    This is true of lay people like you and me, who work out our salvation in the vineyard of daily living: working and raising families.

    This is also true of priests and religious, who have an even more serious obligation to lead the faithful by examples of virtuous living.

    This is the key to Mary’s call at Medjugorje.  For all the repetitive messages, only one or two things are said – over and over.  Everyone who has noted this apparition at all has heard these one or two messages.  However, how many have put them into practice?

    But the same can be said of daily Mass.  Of the Catholics who faithfully attend, how many are putting this valuable help into practice – in their lives and relationships – loving as Christ did, in a total and self-sacrificing way.

    Whether this apparition is declared to be authentic or not has almost no bearing on it’s truthfulness.  We are a Church, and a world, that is bearing down on the universal apostacy prophesized in the Holy Book (and maintained by magiserial teaching).  I hope your practice of religion has prepared you for the ride.

  • Matt B

    I hope you’re prepared to back up your indignance with strict adherence to every Church rule and law.  According to my informal survey, there’s not a single human being who is totally obedient.  In fact, the ones who shout most loudly about “obedience to the bishops of the Church” are usually hiding a secret disobedience of their own.  How about adding “doubt” to your list of cardinal sins?

    Perhaps I’m wrong about my statement that every human being has been (and is) disobedient.  Perhaps there have been one or two who have not disobeyed.  They look on the rest of us with indulgent smiles, shaking their heads over our increasingly complex psychological games that we use to rationalize our own closely held sinfulness.

    “One thing, only, is needed” they keep telling us.  But who listens? 

  • Margretto

    Would you like to reveal to me my “secret disobedience”?  Having doubt in a fake apparition is a cardinal sin? Since when? I don’t even have to believe in the true apparitions and I would not be sinning if I didn’t.
    You prove my point that fake apparition believers get their backs up when challenged.  Matt resorting to lies points to one direction and who is the father of lies?
    .      

  • James H, London

    “Catholic dogma is that The all powerful, all loving, all knowing incarnate God is available in every tabernacle”

    Yes – but we don’t see conversions, long lines for confession, and occasional miracles in front of every tabernacle, do we? Please avoid occasion of unforgiveable sin. People are disappointed in the search for miracles all the time, even at approved apparition sites.

    If the good things happening are due to the apparitions being genuine, I want to know.
    If the good things happening are simply due to the weight of prayer of innocent people, despite the apparitions being fraudulent, I want to know!

    No-one seems to have the slightest clue, and the worst abuses of truth and charity always seem to come from those most certain of their position.

    I’m going to await the Church’s judgement on the matter. Even if the church makes the wrong decision, I won’t incur any guilt by consenting to it. We were told to expect a ruling of fraud from the Vatican commission sometime ‘in the next 12 months’ at New Year 2011, by a respected Catholic priest blogger, which suggests that the affair is far from being as obvious as some insist.

  • Zachary Enes

    Usually “traditionalist theologians” have
    not supported the Charismatic movement, which, though having many problems, admittedly,
    still has Church approval. St. John of the Cross is great, the only authority,
    no, albeit one of the best, without question. 
    Pope John Paul did a doctorate on his spirituality.  It was not enough to deter him, however, from
    believing in the good fruits of Medjugorje.   

    The topic of mystical theology is huge. It admits of
    many different opinions.  It is not like
    there are no universals, we know the general categories: Purgative, Illuminative, and Unitive.
     We know many other absolute principles
    exist.  St. Josemaria stated that every person
    has their own “way.”  Mother Teresa’s
    spirituality was not that of others.  St.
    Ignatius differed from John of the Cross, etc. 
    I have read direction from saints that were different from others, maybe
    even on similar topics.

    Abandonment
    to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade offers a different approach from more intellectual
    discourses.  Writings such as would be
    found in Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. 
    I love Lagrange as he is an absolute spiritual mastermind. On the topic
    of apparitions, what about Fr. René
    Laurentin?  He is a giant in Mariology.

     

    Thanks for
    the article on Ann.  I learned a lot more
    about the whole matter.  Personally I do
    not follow anything with that whole thing, and know very little about it.  The point was made, though, that Ann is
    simply not “holy enough.”  We know the
    Church does not require heroic virtue for an apparition or charismatic
    experience to be true.  St. Paul the
    Apostle had his Damascus Road experience.  One could hardly say he had heroic virtue
    then.

     

    Many traditional theologians like
    Garabandal, as I do as well.  We
    know that the visionaries during the time did not possess a
    high degree of virtue.  Neither did they
    afterwards.  Take a look at the many
    examples offered by St. Alphonsus Liguori in the Glories of Mary.  The Church understands the seer must possess good moral
    character.   I am not sure
    enough about Ann, but I am not going to make the argument she does not.  

     

    The Church has always had people
    who have experienced mystical or charismatic experiences that were not of saintly
    character.  That does not mean it is
    coming from the Devil.  I don’t even
    spend much time worrying about who is authentic or not.  Anyone well intentioned can be misled by
    directors and deceived. St. Teresa believed visionaries should or be open to deception.  They should be obedient to what their
    directors say.

     

    Padre Pio was
    pretty certain after an experience that it came from God; to the extent he said
    he could not doubt it.  Even so, he would
    have never gone against his director.  It
    is a difficult matter, but I like to take the rout of discernment by way of healing
    prayer and giving over one’s visions, private experiences, and gifts over to
    God after the example of St. Ignatius suscipe.  Attachments to anything but God’s will, is
    not of God.  Giving one’s experiences
    over to God, in addition to healing prayers, is a great way to discern internal
    charismatic experiences.  Demons hate
    prayer and won’t hide for any long time under repeated prayers of deliverance.

  • Benjamin

    On May 26, 1998, Archbishop Tarcision Bertone, then the Secretary to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the most influential office within the Roman Curia and the one responsible for dealing with reports of private revelation, issued a letter clarifying the Vatican’s official position on Medjugorje. The letter explained:“What Bishop Peric said…declaring: ‘My conviction and my position is not only “non constat de supernaturalitate,” but likewise, “constat de non supernaturalitate” of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje,’ should be considered the expression of the personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion.”
    The Vatican has distanced itself from the bishop’s negative opinion. Unfortunately, most Medjugorje critics have elevated this strong willed (renegade?) bishop’s personal opinion—which contradicts the Church’s official stance—over the teachings of the Vatican and the Pope on Medjugorje, showing very subjective disobedience to the Holy See on this important matter. Treating the bishop of Mostar’s personal opinion as if it was official Church teaching, especially when that personal opinion contradicts official Church teaching, is a troubling sign of pick-and-choose-cafeteria Catholicism that the faithful should disdain from.

  • Jeremy

    The Church HAS NOT made a ruling and is still investigating!!! 

  • Mark

    Dear Mr. Kainz,

    I am not sure why you think that you have the authority to judge the apparitions at Medjugorje when the Vatican has not yet made a decision.  They are still investigating it and have started a new investigation in 2006, I believe. 

    Do you think you have more wisdom than the Holy See?  Please show some humility and show some deference to the Pope, allowing our Holy Catholic Church to be the judge. 

  • john

    Actually, Fr. Benedict Groeschel of EWTN has been quoted saying this:

    The great Franciscan intellectual, Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, himself an investigator of supernatural phenomena, once admitted about John Paul II in a revealing interview: “I can tell you for a fact that the pope loves Medjugorje from afar and would go there in a minute if the theologians would let him.”

  • Jmfiat

    Nothing from Jesus and Mary about the salvation of souls? Really?  Have you read all the messages to date?  You think a l hr. program will be all-encompassing?  Our Lady points to Jesus ALWAYS and one of the visionaries prays exclusively for the salvation of souls.  Please take time to investigate the truth.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IG7APUGKQ4TZMR2GEAC2H7WCZI Truth Teller

    At this point, I think we should all hush up and quit rehashing the same points pro or con. Let the Church Commission do its job…I think they said they’d be done with their work by the end of the year.

  • Annemariecostello

    wow you hit a nerve with this post.  I have been to Medjugorje and experienced a lot of phenom.  it was great; however that was many years ago.  now I am not sure, in fact very skeptical.  I also went to NY at bayside.  that was many years ago too.  I found out quickly that was not true.  The fruits were very evident, pride, self righteousness, disobedience. Even there, I saw many conversions;  in fact I converted.  It literally scared the hell out of me.  God works all things to the good for those who love Him.  He gently showed me the error.  I know people who still follow this and they are Catholics who look like they have the life sucked out of them.  I think the evil one is smart.  He knows our weakness.  He knows how to go after good people.  He looses one or two once in a while, but in the end, if he prevents some of these good catholics from becoming saints I guess he doesnt care about those that escape.  It is hard to say you may be wrong especially if you have been preaching this stuff.  Humility is the answer.  Humility and honest prayer.  God turns it all into good in the end.   Thanks for the article!

  • servantofcharity

    I suspect you know that Rome has not made an official ruling, and Catholics that visit Medjugorje are not being disobedient.  The local bishops are to be respected, but please be honest with your implications.

    John
    servantofcharity.blogspot.com

  • servantofcharity

    “More than once in recent years, the Vatican has said that dioceses or parishes should not organize official pilgrimages to Medjugorje. That reflects the policy of the bishops.

    But the Vatican has also said Catholics are free to travel to the site, and that if they do the church should provide them with pastoral services.”

    From a Catholic News Service story marking the 25th anniversary.  Anything more recent?

    John
    servantofcharity.blogspot.com

  • Lmaloy53

    I cannot speak as to whether the apparitions at Medjugorje are authentic or not.  I know several people who have been there and they.behave in a most blessed manner and after  20 years are still very dedicated to Our Lord, His Blessed Mother, and Holy Mother Church.  However, none of us are required to believe in any private revelations even though many people seem to profit by their exposure to them.  Fine.
    One thing I have  noticed in all these comments is that the negative ones are filled with spite, ridicule, and a total lack of charity or willingness to pray for any souls who MAY have been led astray while the others are filled with the opposite of these qualities.  If we are to judge by the fruits of our actions, it does not cover these harsh critics in glory by any means.
      Please think before you shoot off your mouths, people.

  • Paul

    I never heard of Howard Kainz before this Internet article and reading this article reflects sloppy journalism by simply picking and choosing the writings of others to substantiate a preformed opinion. Hardly honest. I wiould rather put my trust in the Church authorities like Cardinal Shonborm (http://www.medjugorjetoday.tv/6198/cardinal-impressed-by-medjugorje-fruits/) over Hainz and his untrustworthy source, Foley.

  • Patrick

    At every alleged
    “apparition” that these supposed seers from Medjugorje have, they say that the
    “Gospa” prays the Our Father and Glory Be with them (they used to say “Gospa” would pray the whole Rosary, but they changed the story a while back). Our Lady
    revealed herself to St. Bernadette at Lourdes
    as the “Immaculate Conception.” That is, Mary was preserved from the
    stain of original sin by God Himself and she lived a completely sinless life
    while here on Earth. This is a dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church. Now
    how can the sinless Blessed Virgin Mary pray the Our Father and say,” forgive us
    our trespasses” when she has none???? No Medjugorje supporter or promoter
    has ever answered this question. I have asked Ivan Dragicevic (one of the
    alleged “seers”) this very question to his face on two separate
    occasions while on the So. Cal. leg of his annual “Gospa” tour of the US, and he has
    had no answer for it. He only shrugged his shoulders, gave a cold half-smile
    and says, “bless you” then turned and walked away. 
    The clearest moral proof that the apparitions
    are authentic would be the humble obedience of the seers, pastors and devotees
    of Medjugorje. That their local bishop regards them as disobedient, and teaches
    in fact that the apparitions are inauthentic, is not something that should be
    ignored because of enthusiasm for the content of the messages. If one
    disagrees, one should do so based upon sound information, not emotion, and with
    respect. Obedience to the Church is proof of authenticity.

    “Therefore
    I responsibly call upon those who claim themselves to be “seers”, as well as
    those persons behind the “messages”, to demonstrate ecclesiastical obedience
    and to cease with these public manifestations and messages in this parish. In
    this fashion they shall show their necessary adherence to the Church, by
    neither placing private “apparitions” nor private sayings before the official
    position of the Church.”  – Bishop Peric of Mostar, 6-15-06 

    If the apparitions were true, they’d have stopped.

  • Christina

    So true, Paul!

  • Christina

    What about the weeping statue at Medjugorje, the “Resurrected Christ”?  Perhaps this could be a sign from God?  I never heard anything about this statue before or after my return from Medjugorje, so I don’t think people are using it as a spectacle to attract attention.  We could see the weeping clearly when I was there. 

    Is it still weeping?  Does anyone know?

  • stevenboe13

    “Poorly formed Catholics” is a phrase which implies that you are properly formed. Thus there is a degree to which you are stating that if one is properly formed as you are, they would know this is false. Im sorry, but this is not a “righteous inspiration” of St. Joseph. Suppose your right. Suppose the apparitions are false (which the fruit itself and the fact that these children are unresponsive when poked by pins and needles during their reported visions is indicative that they are not false) but supposing that they are, what good does it do to call these visionaries gypsies and hustlers? 

  • stevenboe13

    correction what good does it do to call these “reported visionaries” gypsis and hustlers? 

  • Joycelen7

    Calling evil good and good evil is the sin against the Holy Spirit. I think all must be very very careful before they speak of this situation. Perhaps should not speak at all but just look to the Holy Father for direction.  It is also true that the Church has often persecuted visionaries and seers until the truth is irrefutable. May the Lord set his seal over our mouths. We are not God, each little person in the Church may have an opinion, but that is all it is. CAREFUL!

  • Joycelen7

    Stephen, you are so angry and why is this?

  • Mrovertaxed

    I have been to the place and read tons and tons about it and never have I heard some of the things mentioned in the article in terms of time and place of a permanent sign. I can tell you absolutely that I think it is real and have seen and continue to see the miracle of the sun, as does my wife. Information I have read and I have followed it since 1987 has always been consistent and never has there been any hint that all religions are equal, the message is to live the gospel, pray, repent, and fast. Time will tell, but frankly I believe that the secrets are just that and are well kept these many years, the permanent sign is not on a time-table per se, but the clock is ticking. The priest who is to reveal it is not getting any younger. Nobody committing fraud would bother to mention a permanent sign since it puts them on the spot, why would the bother. Besides the signs I saw and still see are quite book of revalations. I am not the one blocking out the sun from the sky.

  • Frgrace

    Medjugorje brought me back to the Sacramental life of the Church; I am now a priest.
    I have returned there 7 times as a priest and I am continually amazed by the outpouring of grace in the Confessional, at Holy Mass, at Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Stations of the Cross, the Holy Rosary etc etc. The Holy See is current undergoing a study of this phenomena. Let’s be obedient to the Holy See and in the interim we are free to go there as pilgrims and have our faith strengthened as I love to do.

  • john konnor

    …Let us make an analogy here…in prayer we have a mystical tree…its roots being the anchor (holy fear) since as in scripture it is written the begginning of wisdom is the fear of God an his holy ordinances…now the root is holy fear(wisdom)…the trunk of this tree is hope (God is hope) certain hope stems from God through faith is his holy church it becomes the trunk of the tree…a quickening of the spirit to acts of love will be the branches. In that they reach to God in affection,,, the fruit will be the reverance and affection …when the fruit is green it is still holds a flavour of the tree it clings to its own desires and is not ripe meaning the self offers the fruit with some hidden intention whether it is receive a reward or whatever it may be…now the fruit is ripe and perfect if the affection is free from desire meaning selfless….only loving God for himself….now we can continue this analogy to the fruits of conversion …. We see a fruit has three parts…an outer shell(rind). A flesh and a seed…. Now the fruits of conversion in medjugorje are mainly due to emotion (peace tranquility). We know that the emotions are the lower part of the soul. And we are inclined to them as a result of our fallen nature…so we see this is the most bitter part of the fruit the emotion or rind…now the intellect is the highest faculty….since God through his intellect willed all things… In the soul judgements are made this way….first we feel then we make a judgement by our cognitive intellect then we move to the volition of the willl…. In medjugorje we see that the intellect is bypassed …… In order to make an informed judgement we need to base our intellect on an infallible guide …anyone in thespiritual life knows that we need a spiritual elder to help us remain free from error….so too in medjugorje we have the bishop…..who is in good standing ….as long as our elder does not tell us to sin then we are obliged by God to listen(obedience) ….. Now the intellect is the flesh of the fruit and the seed of the fruit is faith based on the divine light as it is revealed to us through the church scripture and tradition and doctrine…. Now we see how bad the fruit is in medjugorje…. The rind looks good ….. But the intellect is defiled by the emotions and the seed is bad as well since there is no divine light (disobedience)…….true the bishop is not infallible but we owe him practical obedience since he is in good standing and not condoning sin…..the bishop has the authority that has been confered by Christ….the bishops are successors to the apostles…. Our life as christians is an abnegation of our will to that of the father…..the bishop plays the role of spiritual father….even if he. …errs we still gain virtue by submitting our will to his…it is called church hierarchy ….so the fruit of medjugorje is at best only fit for human consumption it is made bitter by disobedience to authority……

  • john konnor

    …hello again… medjugorje and its visions can be refuted with some simple theology …and a bit of applied logic… try to set emotion aside for a moment..as scripture reveals…The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it? ……Aug. 2, 1981: That evening during the apparition, those present followed one another in order to touch “the veil, the head, the hand, the dress” of the apparition. “At the end the Virgin seemed dirty, full of stains.” (Bubalo, p.73-74)
    heresy-The soul is not defiled by inferior things, by their own power, as though they acted on the soul: on the contrary, the soul, by its own action, defiles itself, through cleaving to them inordinately, against the light of reason and of the Divine law.-thomas aquinas summa theologica….. since Mary is in heaven with a glorified body anything earthly could not defile her in any way… since she is glorified and impassable in heaven….. her nature is eternally configured it cannot be changed since she is one with God in heaven… anything attached to God cannot be altered in any way… God is immutable and so the things of heaven are since they are like him… this is also an apparition it is hard to believe that it has any temporal character namely that it is made of solid matter that can be touched….now it is “impossible” that the sins of humans can have any effect on the celestial body of Mary who is glorified and impassable in heaven… God will bring good out of bad… but the fallout from medjugorje will be tremendous after the vatican concurs with the local bishop that the visions are not from heaven….any good at this place stems from the sacraments of the church and any sincere prayer that has been made through people owing to their belief and faith in God …their only fault being invincible ignorance ortheir failure to properly research this place and placing some of their faith at the whims of either liars or seers who themselves are victims of some more veiled and sinister collusion….pray for me…as i will continue to pray for us all…God bless

  • Rigby

    While we’re on that note, what do you think about the Jesuit pope?

  • johnkonnor72
  • Brian

    I was at Medjugorje just over 3 weeks ago. I attended a talk by the pastor there – Fr. Marinko (hopefully, I spelt his name right). He said that if indeed what was happening in Medjugorje was false, then He would have put a stop to it somehow. Let’s think about this. We will soon be celebrating 32 years of Mother Mary’s descent on Medjugorje. God is all powerful. If His people were being misled, He would have brought about the collapse of Medjugorge (to cite the most extreme possibility). There was a war in this region for 4 years but yet Medjugorje was untouched. Why my friends? This is truly a place of special significance.

  • Brian

    I made a typo – the sentence “He would have put a stop to it”, should read as “God would have put a stop to it”

  • john konnor

    ..with all due respect to the priest.. as Jesus said we should honour and pray for priests and never deliberately criticize one..however to say God would stop human beings from carrying on some sort of collusive charade if it were to bring about evil is to contradict the notion of God’s permissive will..”it follows that God knows neccesarily what he wills but he doesn’t will necessarily everything he wills” -thomas aquinas….which is to say God who is a just judge at the begginning or antecedent to the fact wills good for all creation however owing to the sinner deserving a just reward God consequently wills they be punished however God universally wills the good to live and the unjust to die(spiritually) so we see that the absolute will of God always occurs and the antecedent may not since men are free….if we apply your logic to islam then we see that it does not hold up…if we realize that the one true church is founded by Christ and through no other can one be saved..barring invincible ignorance which is indeed rare.. we see that Islam is a false religion and if it were that God willed all falsehood to not occur then we would have no need for a final judgement…but we see islam stands for many hundreds of years and it indeed is not the true faith….and God has not put a stop to it..since the just deserve merit and a reward and the unjust garner guilt and judgement….theodicy is a good subject to read up on..interesting stuff…:-)

  • stevegbrown

    Initially I was very moved by the apparitions of Medjugorje. For all I know they could very well have been authentic. When I was in a seminary in Italy, many seminarian and priest friends had gone there and were impressed as to its authenticity. A friend of mine at the time who was at the Angelicum in Rome, did his doctoral thesis on Medjugorje. This was all at the beginning. Since learning about Ivan’s disobedience, still, I thought, Maximin Giraud the boy seer of Our Lady of La Salette was very contentious (some would say, a real jerk) and yet La Salette was authenticated. I am personally convinced that Fr. Gino Buressi of San Vittorino was an authentic mystic but lost his gifts through his own pride and who knows what. Remember, Mother Theresa of Calcutta was a friend of Fr Ginao when he was Brother Gino. It is possible for one to receive a truely special gift from God and loose it. We have free will. But when I learned of the children’s disobedience to their local bishop, their Franciscan spiritual advisor’s scandalous personal life and now the apparitions in Birmingham AL – it seems that the seers there are profitting from all the pilgrims… it makes me wonder. I’ll just stick with Our Lady. “Totus tuus” as St. John Paul the Great said

  • nono81

    I would suggest to look back at the Fatima apparitions. The reason people gravitate to Medj also is because of it happening in much modern times. When Fatima seems to have been pushed in the sides, especially the simple but direct messages of Mary in Fatima. She wasted no words in Fatima. Until this has been established by Holy Mother Church just seek Fatima. Mary’s very message also is total obedience to Holy Mother Church.

  • Sarah Johns

    confused!!!!!!!!!

  • Sarah Johns

    This email and password red tape is confusing me!

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