A bishop's warning about the promotion of unapproved "apparitions"

September 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Allow me to draw your attention to a timely blog post from Diane at Te Deum Laudamus, highlighings a statement issued last year by His Excellency, Archbishop Peter Sartain, the newly appointed Archbishop of Seattle. (Note: This statement apparently was issued while he was still Bishop of Joliet.) It gives a good example of the proper caution and circumspection Catholics should have regarding the claims of alleged apparitions and alleged visionaries, such as those associated with Medjugorje.


Those who chase after “signs and wonders” and flock to hear alleged visionaries associated with unapproved apparitions speak in public — complete with apparitions on demand — should heed the words of this vigilant bishop. 

Diane writes: “In April of 2009, Bishop Peter Sartain, of Joliet, Illinois, . . . issued a memo to priests of the diocese which states, in part (emphases mine in bold; added emphasis in italics).”

“From time to time we are approached by parishioners who would like to invite speakers representing various alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, private revelations or locutions, or others claiming to possess extraordinary spiritual gifts. My purpose in bringing this to your attention is to ask that you not issue such invitations. Whether the speakers would make presentations on well-known alleged apparitions, such as Medjugorje, or lesser known private revelations, we must be extremely cautious about inviting or promoting them. 

“As you know the Church takes great time and care before declaring that an apparition is worthy of belief, and even then it never says that a Catholic must accept the apparition as a matter of faith. We must avoid giving the impression that alleged apparitions about which the Church has not made a judgment are somehow already approved. 

“It is our responsibility to see that our parishioners are not led down the wrong path. That is not to say that those who ask us to promote these matters are doing so out of bad faith, but we must be extremely careful not to confuse our parishioners. 

“Our greatest spiritual treasures are the Word of God, the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and the teaching of the Church, and our focus should always be there. Needless to say, these comments do not refer to apparitions such as Fatima, Lourdes or Guadalupe which enjoy the approval of the Church.” 

[Diane comments . . .]
“Bishop Sartain exemplifies the very behavior exhibited by bishops throughout the history of the Church by discouraging activity in his diocese which could lend credibility to the alleged apparitions, including those of Medugorje.  His actions are also very collegial in that his statement is also in harmony with the pastoral directives of his brother bishop.

DISHARMONY and RUPTURE




It’s hard for me to fathom why a bishop or archbishop would knowingly permit (or invite) “visionaries” of unapproved apparitions to speak and have “visions” on Church property.  People develop attachments to such phenomena, which they believe to be real (we are not talking about approved apparitions like Lourdes and Fatima).  It is hard enough for some to give up this attachment if the Church condemns it as not supernatural.  This may be even more true, if a bishop’s actions (or permissiveness), gave the thing even more credibility than it should have had.  I’m sure there are cases where a bishop is unaware that such activity is happening in his diocese.  But, when high profile diocesan staffers are involved – such as a vocations director – or the archbishop himself shows up to greet the “seers”, it seems unlikely that he would not know what is going on.  I think the more likley scenario is that he is not well informed about the phenomena as he thinks he is.  In any event, a simple phone call to the responsible diocesan bishop, or even the CDF, rather than to favorite mariologist would seem prudent, and collegial.  If he is disinclined to speak to his brother bishop about the events, then this too is a fruit which calls for deeper examination. (source)

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107 Responses to “A bishop's warning about the promotion of unapproved "apparitions"”
  1. MaryAgnesLamb says:

    It seems to me that an important rule of polite engagement would be to at least get the name of your correspondent right. @Steve Ryan, you might want to try to do that. the lady's name is Diane. one n. quite simple really.

    I once was very interested in Medjugorge. Not so now, as I found the evidence of lying, disobedience and the purported encouragement of disobedence to legitimate authority by Our Blessed Lady (!!!) simply too much to bear.

    Nothing is lost by obedience. By disobedience, all is thrown away.

    Denise Griffiths, OCDS

  2. Daniel says:

    Stephen Ryan's comments seem to suggest that there has only been one bishop of Mostar for the past 30 years (one man's opinion). After Bishop Zanic retired some 13 years into the case, the Vatican replaced him with Bishop Peric for the past 17 years. If the Vatican did not like Bishop Zanic's negativity, they made an odd choice for his replacement.

  3. Martha says:

    Wow. I agree with Patrick 100%. Poor Patrick. Hang in there! I'd love it to be real, too- who wouldn't? At least that's what the Bishop of Mostar said! But the Church hasn't approved it yet, so we should all be prudently cautious.

    I'd like to know, too: why is everyone so upset? It's CREEPY!! My family is ready to cast me out for even questioning such a thing, as though it's Dogma or something. We're all Catholic here (I'm assuming!), and it's very black and white. Being Catholic is such a wonderful gift because, unlike Protestants, we're not forced to figure everything out ourselves, as though we're each some individual prescient deity! Thank the Lord for the Catholic Church!

    And pray that she comes to a ruling soon, as everyone has clearly lost their minds. I love Mary so much. Love her as she is- don't try to guess where she MIGHT be. Love her at Lourdes, at Fatima, in your heart! Love her while adoring her son at Mass in your own local Parish! Love her while praying a rosary in your own home! I'm certain that loving her in Medj. won't be held against you if it is disapproved, but whyyyyy go to those lengths? There aren't even any indulgences in it for you! Silly, silly, stiff-necked people. Never listen to your parents, never know what's good for you.

    All we have to go on is what's already been deemed by the local Bishops, and the first committee. And that doesn't look so good.

    Be Catholic, people. I love what Kevin Symonds said on a comment near the top. We're not Protestant. Where's the question? There isn't one! Obey your authorities.

  4. Arch Hall B& B says:

    hi this is steve ryan

    Patrick I did not change my mind really. I just wanted to address the point about my frustrations with the combox. Again.. you are not the source of my frustrations I have been kind of shootin the messager. The real culprits are the spammers who interfere with the exchange of ideas over the internet. I have a terrible problem with it so my sympathies . But for this kind of conversation right here this is probably not the best format.

  5. Wade St. Onge says:

    Thank you, Patrick. Charity requires me to give the benefit of the doubt, and it was wrong for me to conclude this was just a way to bait me to his site and avoid answering my points. I apologize, Stephen, for calling you dishonest.

    Still, I think you can understand my frustration. Stephen comes on here and asks for dialogue. He makes a number of points, I put in a great deal of time and effort to engage his points and formulate responses, and he just ignores them all.

    He expects us to grapple with the points he makes, but then does not do likewise with ours. That is why I said I felt like I was "taken for a ride" – there was an impression given there would be a fruitful discussion, I believed this and thus decided it would be worth my time, and then it ended the way I discussed above. No response to my points, no acknowledgment on anything he may have agreed with. That is not very charitable either.

  6. Patrick Madrid says:

    Easy, Wade. It's neither fair nor charitable to brand Stephen as "dishonest." People change their minds. Anyway, I'm glad you both are here to discuss, and I hope it works out that you can both dig into the issues raised to your mutual satisfaction. Let's just keep things calm and courteous. That's all I ask. Thanks.

  7. Wade St. Onge says:

    Stephen, you write: "when someone askes a question directly to me or others I am eager to answer right away".

    That is not true. You have still not said one word in response to my six posts.

    You were also dishonest with me when you said you were done with Patrick's blog. What gives?

    Are you going to ignore this post like you have ignored my others? Let's see …

  8. Arch Hall B& B says:

    Hi Steve ryan here

    I don't want to quibble but Diane (I think i got her spelling of her name right this time) had her issues as well. But you are right the comments eventually get there . But the long delays make the conversation very difficult to follow. Then they come in bunches and then I have to carefully re read things then eventually I find my commnets. The point is when someone askes a question directly to me or others I am eager to answer right away but it goes into a time warp. Other comments then jump ahead and it becomes quite disjointed. I understand the problem Patrick I am swamped with Spam on comments as well but what I do is when there is an active dialog I turn off my filters and let the conversation flow. Then once an a while I have to clean it up. thanks for what you are doing and I am glad you are still ready to discuss this issue. I have learned a lot talking with participants on this board and directly via e-mail and voice.

  9. Patrick Madrid says:

    What puzzles me is how instantly the mere mention of this subject, Medjugorje, gets people so worked up.

    Personally, no, I don't feel taken for a ride. I'm just as ready to discuss the issues as ever.

    Stephen's continued complaints about this blog's comments are also puzzling, since 1) ALL of his posts were posted, timestamped, and in order (save for the one I told him about), and 2) I explained to him that because he was posting so rapidly, the system mistook a number of his posts as spam and relegated them to the spam folder. I found them there and made sure they were posted. Problem solved.

    The comments seem to work just for me and most everyone else.

  10. Wade St. Onge says:

    Well everybody, I have an update for you. Stephen and I continued the exchange on the email.

    I told him that unless he responded to the points I made in Patrick's combox, I would not continue the discussion. He said he was done with Patrick's blog because the comments feature was defective.

    He then invited me to continue to dialogue with him on his site. I told him that if he linked to my blog, re-posted the six points I wrote above on it, and made it a pre-requisite to read my blog piece before posters would be allowed to comment, I would continue the dialogue on his website.

    He responded by saying that he was "worn out" and that I can "forget my rules". He then reprinted "Our Lady of Medjugorje's" message from "yesterday", and left me with that as "food for thought".

    Anyone else feel like they've been taken for a ride? They say there's a sucker born every minute, and I have always prided myself on the "fact" that I was not "one of those". I guess "pride goes before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).

    I am done discussing Medjugorje. I will wait patiently for the Vatican to "Finally" rule on this "phenomenon" (after 29 years of allowing this to go on, and on, and on, and on …).

  11. Wade St. Onge says:

    I'll have to take your word for it that you did not get my email. But it is in my "sent messages" and it is addressed to the address you just emailed me from.

  12. Wade St. Onge says:

    Care to answer any of the other questions I asked and comments I made in my series of six posts? Or was it just a big waste of time? You say you want a dialogue, and then you completely ignore my response to you.

    Once you do that I will reply to the "great models" of Christian life the seers provide us.

    Until that happens, I refuse to "dialogue" with you anymore, because it's not a "dialogue" at all when you just ignore posts like that.

  13. Arch Hall B& B says:

    i never got your e-mail wade ..

  14. Wade St. Onge says:

    Just reply to the email I sent you a few days ago.

  15. Arch Hall B& B says:

    Stpehen ryan here

    hi wade.. I have read a lot but.. not much new sorry to say.. You are part of the big house beauty queen skeptic crowd. As I have said to those i talk to. The lives the Visionaries live to me is one of the great fruits from Medjugorje .. I am happy they live the precise lives that they live. What a great example of modern catholic life. We should point to the seers as great models .. They laugh, they love, they watch soccer on TV, they probably even sin. I thank the Blessed mother and Our Savior for the example the six seers give me. I wish more people understood that. Personally I like to watch football, I drink a beer now and then., I love my wife I love my faith I love Our Lady. It drives me absolutely crazy that the visionaires are criticized for their example. It is the epitome of hypocrisy and of a log in ones eye by critics. They are models of a modern catholic family. p.s. Ivan's home is modest certainly not a mansion for Boston please understand that

  16. Wade St. Onge says:

    So Stephen, because I say "fair and balanced", you lump me in with CNN and FOX news. Thank you.

    But "balanced" and "fair" are not words that I myself use. Ardent Medjugorje skeptic Richard Chonak wrote a short article on his blog about my blog piece, and these are the words he used too! He stated that he did not agree entirely with me – what does that tell you? I think it tells you that I was being "fair" and "balanced".

    But I did take you up on your offer to "take my best shot". I just wish you would do the same and give my blog article "a shot". But I'll go ahead and post even if it's not going to go both ways here.

  17. Arch Hall B& B says:

    stephen ryan..

    hey Wade.. I am reading your blog well done…send me an email at ryan@ministryvalues.com

    thanks

  18. Wade St. Onge says:

    E. You say: “Visions of the Virgin Mary have a deep and significant history and have shaped the Catholic Church over the centuries.”

    I response: “False” visions of the Virgin Mary, of Jesus, of Saints and Angels also have a deep history in the Church, and they have been the cause of great problems. In fact, the great mystical doctors, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, have both stated that most apparitions are false and that if we ever receive an apparition our first response should be to ignore and dismiss it and conclude that it is from the Devil. As an aside, the false 16th century mystic, “Magdalen of the Cross”, had many of the “factors” that Medjugorje has, and it took “40 years” before she was condemned (Medjugorje is currently only at 29 years). So there is precedent for “unapproved apparitions” to go this long and be known by Popes.

  19. Wade St. Onge says:

    D. You say, (1) “’Disobedience’ towards the Church, I have been told by an authority, is a formal accusation made by the Church which results in an investigative process.” (2) “The Church itself has never made the formal charge of disobedience towards visionaries.”

    I ask you Stephen:

    1. Who is your “authority”? Is it your Harvard-educated editor? (b) Can you please direct me to a Magisterial statement which says that “disobedience” is “limited” to this? I think your “authority” (or perhaps you) is (are) confusing “formal heresy” with “disobedience”. One does not commit “formal heresy” until there is a formal accusation which results in an investigation.

    2. What about the Friars who were suspended for dissenting from the papal decree, “Romanis Pontificibus”? Were they not “officially charged” with “disobedience? If not, why were they suspended?

  20. Wade St. Onge says:

    C. You also say that (1) the Archbishop is wrong to not accord it this status, to “lump it in” with other unapproved “private revelations of locals”. (2) You say he shows a “disprespect” for other “great” leaders who believe it, and thus “Medjugorje deserves more than the Archbishop's dismissal.” (3) You say “the Archbishop’s comments lack perspective on Medjugorje in my opinion.”

    I ask you Stephen:

    1. Why” has the CDF, in its ’30 years’ of following Medjugorje, not give directives “to the other bishops” as well? Why has the CDF not told the “other bishops” throughout the world that they have no business speaking against Medjugorje? I would submit that Medjugorje IS “just simply another unapproved (albeit more popular and perhaps more “fruitful”) apparition” and can thus be treated by the bishop as any other unapproved apparition.

    2. If the bishop is being “disrespectful”, perhaps we can understand in lieu of the fact that he has received “No directive” from the Vatican telling him to take No position on the apparitions. Would you agree?

    3. Thanks for sharing your “opinion”. But in my “opinion”, he is trying to keep members of “his” flock from getting overly attached to an “unapproved” apparition, and rightfully so. This concern is something you share, as you have stated yourself.

  21. Wade St. Onge says:

    B. You say that because Medjugorje is unique for a number of reasons (it has gone on for thirty years, it has believers worldwide, it has been subject to intense study and examination by the Vatican, it has grabbed the attention of Popes, the bishop has been “overruled” regarding his negative judgment, etc.). You say that as a result, Medjugorje now has a certain “status” that puts it “above” other unapproved apparitions.

    I ask you Stephen: Where in the teaching of the Magisterium on private revelation do you justify such a statement? Please cite me the Magisterial teaching that some “unapproved apparitions” have a certain “status” due to having some of the factors you cite?

  22. Wade St. Onge says:

    B. You say that because Medjugorje is unique for a number of reasons (it has gone on for thirty years, it has believers worldwide, it has been subject to intense study and examination by the Vatican, it has grabbed the attention of Popes, the bishop has been “overruled” regarding his negative judgment, etc.). You say that as a result, Medjugorje now has a certain “status” that puts it “above” other unapproved apparitions.

    I ask you Stephen: Where in the teaching of the Magisterium on private revelation do you justify such a statement? Please cite me the Magisterial teaching that some “unapproved apparitions” have a certain “status” due to having some of the factors you cite?

  23. Wade St. Onge says:

    A. Stephen, I have to decide whether to continue this dialogue with you here or give up. I have decided to take one last crack at it.

    I am going to ask you some directed questions:

    1. Is John Paul II necessarily correct about Fr. Marciel Maciel just because he was “John Paul the Great” and wrote “Theology of the Body?”

    2. Is Cardinal Schonborn necessarily correct about Medjugorje just because he was the Editor of the Catechism?

    3. Is John Paul II necessarily correct about Medjugorje because he was “John Paul the Great” and wrote “Theology of the Body”?

  24. Arch Hall B& B says:

    Hi This is Stephen Ryan

    Hi Wade, i have taken the time (a lot of time) to respond on this comments section . so I would prefer for you to make your most important point here – give me your best shot – and we can work it out from there – if you don't mind… Also Wade i am not a big fan of FOx, or CNN or much of the news on TV and so "Fair and Balance" the way I see it is most of the time neither. thanks I hope you understand.

  25. Wade St. Onge says:

    Stephen, why did you refer to me as "ST" (capital letters) Onge the 2nd time you addressed me? Do you perhaps think my name is a bit "presumptuous"? Well it is not because "St. Onge" is my "real" surname. It is not a "user name". It is the name that appears on my birth certificate, driver's license, etc.

    You still have not replied to my personal email. My question, then, is this: Do you really want a dialogue (as you say), or do you want to just dictate to me and "educate" me about "the truth" and "set me straight"?

    You say, “I was hoping to see if we could discuss our differences and concerns … see if there is a middle ground.” That is precisely what I attempted to do in my blog piece – the one you refuse to read. It was a "fair" and "balanced" piece which sought the "middle ground". You are concerned that when "the discussion of Medjugorje is brought up, arguments along the lines that does not advance the conversation in my opinion. That is precisely why I cited a number of arguments my fellow "Medjugorje skeptics" have made and argued "AGAINST" them. So if you "truly" want a "dialogue", that is an excellent beginning.

  26. Patrick Madrid says:

    Sure thing. No problem at all.

  27. Arch Hall B& B says:

    this is Stephen Ryan

    patrick, no worry's don't blame you on that.I was frustrated i hope you understand.. I much prefer to have the conversation here.

  28. Patrick Madrid says:

    Ah, that reminds me. I intentionally declined your post in which you were complaining about my blog and trying to move this discussion over to your website. Just an FYI, because that's why you don't see it. All your other posts, though, are here.

  29. Patrick Madrid says:

    Rest easy, Stephen. Your comment was posted. Look above. The reason for the delay is, as I tried to explain yesterday, when you post comments in rapid succession, the system apparently thinks you're spamming, so it sends it to the spam file, where I retrieved it. A little extra space between comments should clear that problem up.

  30. Arch Hall B& B says:

    this is steve ryan again . Patrick I submitted a substantial comment that has not been posted yet want is posted from me is the business of ST Onge which i submitted after my more substantive comment..

  31. Jared B says:

    I wonder how/if Bp. Sartain's careful attitude towards 'visionaries' will affect the Lay Apostolate of Jesus Christ the Returning King http://www.directionforourtimes.com which has lately become active in my diocese (my very parish, to be precise)…? It has approval in its home diocese of Kildare, Ireland, but is not yet an order of 'pontifical right' and therefore any bishop may allow or disallow it within his diocese as he thinks best. More to the point, Rome is far from finishing its evaluation of the locutions (i.e. she hears voices) of 'Anne the lay apostle', so my parish's hosting a chapter of that apostolate may possibly be discouraged in the future, tho I highly doubt that the archbishop will go to much trouble about it.

  32. Arch Hall B& B says:

    this is STEPHEN RYAN

    Patrick .. i have just scanned the comments …what does wade st onge want me to do other get me to read his blog? I have no idea what he wants

  33. Arch Hall B& B says:

    THIS STEPHEN RYAN

    Patrick I think Dianne K's point that says the six visionaires may not be seeing the the Virgin even though the six have said (according to Diannae K) that they have "seen" and spoken to the Blessed Mother 30,000 times . How do you argue with this . Of course nobody has "proved" the Virgin Mary has truly appeared but for goodness sake can we at least agree the six seers believe they are seeing the Blessed Mother and not Bugs Bunny. I do not know how to describe her logic.

    The reality is that apparitions of the Virgin Mary have occurred in the past and have been "approved" by the Church. Visions of the Virgin Mary have a deep and significant history and have shaped the Catholic Church over the centuries . The events of Medjugorje have, according to Cardinal Sconborn, the markings of past apparitions (she reveals herself to "average Children) .

    Dianne K's position is that the the Seers who simply say "we see what we see" can not be seeing the Blessed Mother because the Blessed mother's behavior upsets her – the Blessed Mother would not “behave that way” Dianna K says.

    Dianne K says Cardinal Schonborn behaves disobediently to the Bishop of Mostar as well. The virgin mary of Medjugorje behaves inappropriately by appearing so often and "on demand" The seers behave disobediently and as far is she is concerned they are not seeing the Virgin Mary. She is a scold in my opinion and in the end what she is all about is defending the Bishop of Mostar .

    She writes: “I am offended by the way this bishop was maligned with calumny by the Medjugorje movement – maligned in such a way that I see it as an attack on the Church itself.” This brings nothing new in terms of understanding the mystery of medjugorje. Nobody has maligned the Bishop of Mostar by the way. What has happened is the seers continue to say "we see what we see" and their narrative has gained the attention of many – many who view the events with curiosity and wonder and so the event of Medjugorje goes on.

    As I have said before the Bishop of Mostar has had thirty years to show us the “smoking gun” – thirty years to tell the world what is going on at Medjugorje and we are left with the Bishops "personal" views – we are left with one man's opinion that the events "are not supernatural" Well this may be enough for Dianne K but it is not enough for me and apparently not enough for millions of other Catholics including Cardinal Schonborn.

    Ps I do not see all the posts.. particularly i don't see post to my response to Dianne K request that I post a link to my reference which I did but it never showed up (but lets leave that for now)

  34. Patrick Madrid says:

    Also, Wade St. Onge has asked you a question repeatedly here, Stephen. Don't you see his posts? If so, I'm sure he would appreciate a response from you.

  35. Patrick Madrid says:

    P.S. We all seem to be making our points quite nicely in the comments box. You are, I am, Louis and Diane are. But it's the interaction on the substantive points that seems to be missing.

  36. Patrick Madrid says:

    Stephen, I don't understand what you mean. All the comments are here, including the ones Louis referred to above. Don't you see them? I think his point is that you and Diane have not responded to his questions and comments. I see them there. But I don't see where you have answered them.

  37. Arch Hall B& B says:

    HI STEPHEN RYAN HERE

    Hi Louis. I feel like I am in the twighlight zone on this comments section.. different dimensions etc. I have not gone any where. it is just this combox section needs an excorsist to purge the demons.. nobody can make there point

  38. Patrick Madrid says:

    I understand. No worries. I hope the problem clears up for you soon.

  39. Arch Hall B& B says:

    that is the problem your drop down menu is not populating the "name and Url" that i was using earlier to post . I have rebooted and changed browsers no success .. the arch hall simply populates from a google blog I created for my parents Bed and Breakfeast

  40. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Wade St. Onge

    You are right, Wade.

    Take, for instance, the three-part response I wrote here
    @ Diana
    .

    The "Diana" in question throws the same untruthful and unfounded allegations as those of Stephen Ryan. I take the time to prepare and post a response with the factual references. The result? No answer. Complete silence from "Diana" and the frustration of not being respected.

    The same with Mr. Ryan. I prepared questions and tried to post them there. The "Send" button was not activated. I wrote him a personal email informing him of the technical problem. The result? No answer came back and I could not send my response.

    I think it is an error to hope that these "writers" will produce their posts and comments in good faith and intellectual honesty. When substance is presented, those Lady of Medjugorje's zealots disappear…

    A sad situation, indeed. But that should not discourage us of finding the energy to bring the facts with an appeal to the application of the 1978 Norms that promoters, including Cardinal Schönborn, persist in ignoring them.

    Cordially,

    Louis Bélanger

  41. Patrick Madrid says:

    The comments function is working fine for me. Maybe it's a problem at your end.

    And why are you posting under two different names, Stephen Ryan and Arch Hall B&B?

  42. Arch Hall B& B says:

    steve ryan here .. iti cant post because the combox function is not working properly the drop down menu does not let my sign in with my name

  43. brokenbose says:

    In the vows that religious take, namely poverty, chastity, and obedience, I've always found it poignant that obedience was always implicit in the first two vows, but it is both implicit and explicit in the last. You are obedient to obedience. In that, I'm sure, the Church means to tell us something about that virtue and the path to all others. But I guess some of the medjugorje diehards on here simply know better. Blah, blah, blah–Stephen Ryan. Good one.

  44. Wade St. Onge says:

    Anyone else get the feeling that the posts of us "Medjugorje skeptics" are being heavily ignored and the substance of our arguments are not being responded to?

  45. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    @PRAISE GOD

    As I have said elsewhere, you can quote all you want the legitimate quotes about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    However, you still do not know if the "lady of Medjugorje" IS, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    That is one of the problems I see with Medjugorje devotees is that they presuppose it is the Blessed Virgin Mary. And, if you dare question authenticity, even with reasonable data, they treat you as if you are attacking the Blessed Virgin Mary herself.

    In reality, those of us who challenge authenticity, do so out of a great love for the Blessed Virgin Mary. I find it offensive not only the number of times they claim to have seen her, but the way she is paraded around and comes on demand, or even changes times, such as when Ivan wanted to see a soccer match.

    In a very passionate 1987 homily worth reading in it's entirety, the former, now deceased Ordinary of Mostar, Bishop Pavao Zanic, summed it up perfectly. My emphases in bold…

    The Madonna, they say, started to appear on the Podbrdo of the Mountain Crnica, but when the militia forbade going there, she came into houses, into forests, fields, vineyards and tobacco fields; she appeared in the church, on the altar, in the sacristy, in the choir loft, on the roof, on the church steeple, on the roads, on the way to Cerno, in a car, on buses, in classrooms, in several places in Mostar and Sarajevo, in monasteries in Zagreb, Varazdin, Switzerland and Italy, once again on the Podbrdo, atop Krizevac, in the parish, in the rectory, etc. It is certain that not even half of the places where the alleged apparitions have taken place have been mentioned, so much so that an earnest man–who venerates the Madonna–asked himself: "My Madonna, what are they doing to you?"

    Source: July 25, 1987 Confirmation Homily of Bishop Pavao Zanic in Medjugorje

    I am offended by the way this bishop was maligned with calumny by the Medjugorje movement – maligned in such a way that I see it as an attack on the Church itself. I'm suppose to believe that the BVM is the "lady of Medjugorje"? I know you may not be interested in reading these things, but others with an open mind will. Read more about the calumnes against the local bishop here:

    - The "Gospa" Demonizes the Bishop

    - Medjugorje, the Communists, and the Bishop

  46. Jeffrey Pinyan says:

    stephen ryan, "My point is that Medjugorje has been under intense scrutiny for nearly thirty years scientific investigations ..blah blah blah and by now affords a certain status."

    Your "blah blah blah" isn't helping me understand your point. And just what is the "certain status" that Medjugorje has now attained after thirty years?

  47. PRAISE GOD says:

    After 29 years, you would think that the opponents would show some humility on the subject of Medjugorje since the Vatican isn't even speaking like you all dohttp://www.mariedenazareth.com/14132.0.html?L=1 –Saint Alphonse de Liguori –
    Hide under my cloak …
    She abhors the proud and calls to herself only humble souls: Let whoever is simple turn in here (Pr 9: 4). Mary herself took pains to let this known by confiding to St Bridget:

    "Come here, my daughter, and hide under my cloak: this cloak is my humility."
    After comparing her humility to a great cloak that warms souls, she added:

    "A cloak can't warm someone unless it is worn; so to gain something by my humility, people must wear it, not only in their thoughts, but also in their actions."

  48. nazareth priest says:

    If M. is approved, I'll eat my "hood" (I'm a monk!)…
    The whole thing is just a disaster; my opinion: people are experiencing a Catholic culture at M., the Croatian Catholic culture…it has nothing to do with Mary appearing; if she has "dissed" the diocesan bishop (as it is credibly reported), it is not the Blessed Virgin Mary appearing. No way. No how.

  49. Daniel says:

    I have not seen a thing to suggest that the Vatican is in any way unhappy with how the Bishop of Moshar is handling things in Medjurgorje, their commission would seem to be mainly to consider how the alleged visions are handled outside of his diocese.

    Since the bishop himself stated that "constat de non supernaturalitate" was his "personal conviction", Cardinal Bertone has merely reiterated that is not an official position but a personal one.

  50. stephen ryan says:

    "slap in face" in a headline pretty much says it all about Dianne K's contempt towards the Cardinal

    Of course i am interested in the Aschbishops comments. My point is that Medjugorje has been under intense scrutiny for nearly thirty years scientific investigations ..blah blah blah and by now affords a certain status We can argue this point all day long but the point is the Vatican is not investigating "Mary on a Grilled Cheese sandwich".

    The archbishop i feel in his comments dismisses Medjugorje, and puts it in the category of personal revelations of some local parishioner . The archbishop is free of course to say want he wants but in this case his comments are not a serious criticism of medjugorje but rather a warning not to attach one's self to personal revelations to quickly. Which again is fine and an important warning but after thrity years medjugorje does not deserve to be in that category and in the end shows disrespect for many great Catholic leaders who have shown an interest in medjugorje.

  51. Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    @Stephen

    Thank you for providing the source you to contain, as you said …."the rules of engagement" when it comes to Medjugorje including rules for the Bishop of Mostar not to publically comment

    It's always good to cite the source of a quote so people can see it in context. The quote comes from a letter from then Archbishop Tarciscio Bertone to Msgr. Gilbert Aubry, Pr. No 154/81-05922, May 26, 1998.

    Before we go back to what it says about Bishop Peric, let's look at the actual letter from Bishop Peric to the Secretary General of "Famille Chretienne", Mr. Boutet, Prot.: 1267/97, October 2, 1997

    In point 5, at the end of his letter, he states:

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

    So, you see, in his initial letter which was sent to Abp Bertone, he acknowledges that his personal position, is not the final, definitive decision of the Church. As bishop of the place, he has a right to express his personal conviction and position. Traditionally, Catholics have always given it great weight.

    Stephen – no where in +Bertone's letter can we even infer that the bishop does not have a right to express his personal opinion. In fact, it is quite the opposite when +Bertone states, "he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion.

    Why does +Bertone conclude with, it, remains his personal opinion???

    Answer: Even Bishop Peric knows that as of 1997 he, alone as Ordinary, could no longer speak for the Church because:

    "During the inquiry these events under investigation have appeared to go much beyond the limits of the diocese. Therefore, on the basis of the said regulations, it became fitting to continue the work at the level of the Bishops' Conference, and thus to form a new Commission for that purpose."Cardinal Kuharic, President of the Yugoslav Bishop's Conf, Jan 18, 1987.

    BTW – this then appeared in the Vatican's own newspaper, “L'Osservatore Romano” on February 14, 1987.

    Where do we read that language again, that the case was elevated to a higher body? When the new commission was created on March 17, 2010. Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi stated:

    From Zenit:

    Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, noted today that initially a diocesan commission existed to investigate the apparitions.

    However, given that the phenomenon went beyond the competence of the Diocese of Mostar, the bishop referred it to the episcopal conference of Yugoslavia, which no longer exists. The bishops' conference came to no conclusion with regard to the question of the supernatural nature of the phenomena….

    "…The bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina therefore requested that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome to take the situation into its hands," added Father Lombardi.

    There is nothing in any of these communications which suggests that "a rule of engagement" is in play which forbids the bishop from speaking out on Medjugorje. Everything upholds his authority as bishop of the place to speak, until a higher body can come to a definitive judgment – at the invitation of the Bishops of BiH and Bishop Peric.

  52. Patrick Madrid says:

    Okay, but you're still using a double standard, and that's not fair.

    You seem very quick to defend the opinion of a bishop who supports Medjugorje, and yet you don't seem at all interested in the opinion of another bishop (Archbishop Sartain), who does not. Why is that?

    I see nothing in Diane's writings that could even remotely be styled "contemptous" toward Cardinal Schonborn. But sadly, your own comments about Diane drip with contempt. Why is that?

  53. stephen ryan says:

    patrick yes you are correct that i am calling out Dianne K .. I am telling her and you for that matter that her comments on her web site about the Cardinal's disobedience towards the wishes of the Bishop of Mostar are not only disrespectful and contemptuous towards Cardinal Schonborn, they are also just plain wrong.

    Also to put Dianne K in the same sentence with Cardinal Schonborn as you effectively have just done, again creates problems for me and really does not address any of the issues at hand.

  54. Patrick Madrid says:

    Stephen, I noticed just now this comment toward Diane from you in an earlier post:

    "You consistently write how the Cardinal should and should not behave. And I am sorry to say you come across like if you had the chance you would correct the Cardinal directly and tell him “How Grace works” as well."

    And yet, you don't seem to see that you are engaging in this very behavior toward her. You are telling her how she should and should not behave — worse yet, what opinions she should and should not hold. Why the double standard?

  55. Patrick Madrid says:

    Stephen, let me clarify what happened with the comments. First, I did not post anything out of order, rather I posted all comments as they came in. It seems that you were posting comments in such rapid succession that the system mistook a number of your posts for spam, which is why, yesterday, I discovered over a dozen comments (most, but not all, yours) sitting in the spam folder. Which means that 2) you need to give a little space between your posts, otherwise that problem will likely happen again. And 3) the monitoring of comments will continue, mainly because of pornbots, crazies, and other people/things that post comments that are harmful in some way. It's a protection for my readers.

    Lastly, when I travel out of state for speaking engagements, as I was in recent days, I can't closely monitor the blog comments, which means that sometimes a longer interval than normal will elapse before they appear. There's nothing I can do about that except ask all of you to be patient.

  56. Cló Mhuire says:

    @stephen ryan Are you at peace?

  57. stephen ryan says:

    i would like to get to the original point of this conversation and that is the Archbishop of Seattle comparing Medjugorje to personal revelations of local parishioners and warning catholics about unapproved apparitions. Now that
    This was actually my post (with the wrong name)
    Medjugorje is being investigated by the Vatican and has the attention of Popes for nearly 30 years Medjugorje deserves more than the Archbishop's dismissal which in turn disrespects great men of the Catholic Church who have been genuinely curious about the mystery of medjugorje. The Archbishops comments lack perspective on Medjugorje in my opinion.

  58. stephen ryan says:

    Bishop of Mostars opinions about medjugorje must be viewed as his "personal" opinion "which is and remains his personal opinion." So to be clear on this matter, the Bishop of Mostar's opinions about Medguorje are not recognized as official and so he therefore is not allowed to speak of Medjugorje (as it pertains to the apparitions) in an official capacity.

    Some feel the Bishop of Mostar has been quite "disobedient" by criticizing Cardinal Schonborn's visit to Medjugorje by suggesting the Cardninal visit brings credibility to the events.

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

    Finally, as regards pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which are conducted privately, this Congregation points out that they are permitted on condition that they are not regarded as an authentification of events still taking place and which still call for an examination by the Church.

    http://www.medjugorje.org/newletter.htm

  59. Cló Mhuire says:

    @stephen ryan Are you at peace?

  60. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Stephen Ryan,

    You seem not to be happy with some technical difficulties concerning the publication of comments on the present blog. I must tell you that I have been confronted with the problem of a "send" button that is not activated on your own combox and that you have not answered my personal email that informed you of that difficulty.

    My questions concern your repeated allegations that are not supported by official documents and that we find here. I will then address them here.

    Are you so kind to quote in its entirety the document signed by Cardinal Ratzinger that proves your point? : “Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger intervened in 1986 and took the jurisdiction of Medjugorje away from the local bishop of Mostar, Bishop Zanic, placing it into the hands of the Yugoslav Bishops Conference. This was done so Medjugorje could be judged objectively.”

    What were the recommendations and the consequences of that alleged document?

    Are you so kind to quote in its entirety the document or its section signed by Archbishop Bertone that proves your point that the then Secretary of the CDF “specifically calls for the local Bishop to not offer his personal views on the apparitions”, or signed by the Church that the “local Bishop of Medjugorje has been told by the Church not to offer his personal views on the matter.”?

    Are you so kind to explain how “Catholic Culture.org" by publicising that the local Bishop is critical of the mysterious events in Medjugorje lends support to a position that is in direct conflict with official Church rulings”?

    I thank you in advance for your precious collaboration.

    Cordially,

    Louis Bélanger

  61. PRAISE GOD says:

    http://www.mariedenazareth.com/1014.0.html?&L=1

    OUR LADY OF GRACE—-As told in the apocryphal Book of Judith in the Old Testament, Satan well knows that in order to capture the city of Bethulia, Holofernes cut off its aqueducts. This same evil spirit garners all of its powers to destroy the devotion to the Mother of God in faithful souls, because when this salutary canal is closed, it is easier to subjugate them. “See, faithful souls,” wrote Saint Bernard, “with what affectionate devotion the Lord wants us to honor our Queen! He placed in her the fullness of all good, in order to oblige us to have recourse to her continually with complete confidence in her protection, and to admit now that if we have the smallest hope in obtaining grace and reaching eternal glory, we can only realize this through Mary.”
    Every letter of pardon from the King passes through the door of his palace; in the same way, all graces coming down from heaven to earth pass through the hands of Mary
    Saint Antoninus likewise said: “All the graces that have ever bestowed upon humanity, have come through Mary.” That is why it she is often compared to the moon: “Placed between the sun and the earth,” says Saint Bonaventure, “the moon reflects the light it receives from the sun, and Mary receives from the Divine Sun the heavenly influences of grace, in order to send them to us here below. For this same reason the Church invokes her under the title of Propitious Gate of Heaven or Felix coeli porta.

    Every letter of pardon from the King must go through the door of his palace; in the same way, all graces coming down from heaven to earth, pass through the hands of Mary. Saint Bonaventure added that no one can enter heaven without going through this door which is the Blessed Virgin Mary.

  62. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    Disagreements are normally rooted in differing underlying assumptions.

    Stephen, you said something back in your comment from September 25, 2010, 7:17 AM

    The Catholic Church has been very specific about "the rules of engagement" when it comes to Medjugorje including rules for the Bishop of Mostar not to publically comment.

    I am very interested in understanding what you have read which leads you to believe that the Bishop of Mostar is subject to some rule to not publicly comment on Medjugorje.

    Please do give us some kind of link to where you are getting this. I think that you are either misunderstanding something, or not reading it in it's entirety.

    How about it? I have provided links and sources to back up my key points. You have provided nothing thus far.

    That's why there is a problem. We are operating under different assumptions. If the Bishop of Mostar was truly told that he was not to comment publicly on Medjugorje, I would like to see that document. Really.

  63. Arch Hall B& B says:

    i would like to get to the original point of this conversation and that is the Archbishop of Seattle comparing Medjugorje to personal revelations of local parishioners and warning catholics about unapproved apparitions. Now that Medjugorje is being investigated by the Vatican and has the attention of Popes for nearly 30 years Medjugorje deserves more than the Archbishop's dismissal which in turn disrespects great men of the Catholic Church who have been genuinely curious about the mystery of medjugorje. The Archbishops comments lack perspective on Medjugorje in my opinion.

  64. stephen ryan says:

    maybe this combox is working better so here goes..

    Dianne K, I have a consistence problem with your debating style.. for example you write

    "It's a matter of understanding how grace works"

    What you are implying, whether you realize it or not, is that you are the grand authority on such matters of things like "Understanding how grace works". This style finds its way into your criticism of Cardinal Schonborn. You consistently write how the Cardinal should and should not behave. And I am sorry to say you come across like if you had the chance you would correct the Cardinal directly and tell him “How Grace works” as well.

    Then you go on to say “ Mary, a true Mother, would not turn her back on those who go on pilgrimage with pure hearts believing she is there, even if she is not.” Do you even realize what you are saying here? Again you make statements as if you know best what Our Lady's absolute intentions are in all matters.

    Your style makes it quite difficult to have reasoned exchanges on points of view that differ from yours and with your certainty and zealousness before you know it you are demonstrating contempt and disrespect towards great intellects of the Church. As I said earlier you treat Cardinal Schonborn as if he is a doddering fool and your language suggests that if the poor man would just listen to you the whole nasty business of Medjugorje could be cleared up in a jiffy.

  65. Wade St. Onge says:

    I am still waiting for you to respond to my email, Stephen, in which I have agreed to take you up on your offer.

  66. stephen ryan says:

    i agree with dianne.. this comments sections is a total pain..my comements have not been included and they are out of sequence.. Patrick Madrid quite frankly this has been a waste of time.. and it does not allow for anybody to get their point across.. please tell your web guy to fix this..

  67. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    Since I had to break my comment up into multiples parts, which then went out of sequence and is missing the first part, I have made a blogpost in my Medjugorje Documents & FAQ's blog, explain why it is out of step for a bishop to host "seers" of Medjugorje.

    It gives the appearance of canonical sanction, which we can see IS happening among the devotees of Medjugorje who are exploiting Cardinal Schonborn's visit to Medjugorje, and how his hosting of Maria and Ivan.

    Here is that post which pulls in a number of documents that are relevant. We have to ask whether the Church wants the appearance of canonical sanction. I think if we examine a few things already publicly available, the answer is a clear "no".

    Should bishops allow "seers" of Medjugorje to speak in their dioceses?

  68. Jeffrey Pinyan says:

    Stephen Ryan, two things:

    1. Dianne K

    You've been consistently misspelling her name (Dianne, Deaane, Dianna). It's spelled DIANE. Please pay attention to what you're typing. Typos like that, although objectively harmless to the point you're trying to make, can be interpreted by readers as sloppiness and carelessness.

    2. “Te Deum Laudamus!”

    This does not mean "The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!" It is, instead, the beginning of the Te Deum, a traditional Catholic hymn. It means "We praise you, God".

  69. PRAISE GOD says:

    POPE B16 ALLOWS PILGRIMS TO GO TO MEDJUGORJE, THEREFORE — PERHAPS THE BISHOP OF MEDJUGORJE IS THE ONE WHO IS DISOBEDIENT!

    Read the last line—

    Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition that appeared before various individuals in separate occasions around Lourdes, France. The apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes began on 11 February 1858, when Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl from Lourdes admitted, when questioned by her mother, that she had seen a "lady" in the cave of Massabielle, about a mile from the town, while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. [1] Similar appearances of the "lady" took place on seventeen further occasions that year. Bernadette Soubirous was canonized as a saint, and many Christians believe her apparitions to have been of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    Pope Pius IX authorized the local bishop to permit the veneration of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes in 1862.

  70. stephen ryan says:

    hey guys not sure why the first part of my comments were not posted.. please advise thanks

  71. Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    Stephen Ryan says: The Bishop’s [Sartain]words belittle the role of Our Lady in the redemptive process – . The Catholic Church has emphatically encouraged the faithful to pray to Our Lady and the church has understood that the faithful need at times the guiding hand of Our Lady. His argument that the “focus (on the Eucharist ) should always be there” reveals a bias against Our Lady and her special and elevated role in the Catholic Church.

    Oh, Stephen. This is a terribly misinformed statement. I truly pity that you think this is the case. What is concerns me more about your statement is the potential for a similar reaction to a possible, negative judgment against Medjugorje. If the unthinkable happens, and the Church says it is not authentic, how will you react? This is what I meant about people getting attached to things that are unapproved. It is difficult to let go of the attachment.

    Once again, this statement shows an inability to separate authentic Marian piety and devotion, approved by the Church, from "Our Lady of Medjugorje". Even approved apparitions are not required for authentic Marian piety and devotion. They are aids, not an end. They should never be held above the Eucharist, to Whom Mary should always lead us, first and foremost.

    Bishop Sartain is not belittling Our Lady in any way. The subject of the letter is about public appearances of visionaries of unapproved apparitions on Church property. He is not speaking against Marian piety itself. You are confused. It has traditionally been a big "no-no" to allow such visionaries on Church property if a cult following has not been approved. He had to make the statement because he was blindsided by a Medjugorje event held in his diocese.

    The subject of attachment to unapproved apparitions needs to be looked at more closely, and the dangers.

    The apparitions affiliated with Holy Love Ministries was recently condemned as "not supernatural" by Bishop Lennon in Cleveland. It came after the Holy See directed him to make a definitive (as in final) judgment. The Holy See makes clear through this directive, that the judgment of Bishop Lennon will be the judgment of the Church. Decision-making is always driven to the lowest level of authority in the Church.

    What happened in the wake of the condemnation? The "entities" of Holy Love issued their own decree against the bishop of the diocese. It even made a powerpoint slide and the messages continued to work at pulling people away from the bishop.

    This is how the devil works. He knows he cannot get pious Catholics through ordinary dissidence, so he lures them with pious things, all the while poisoning the well with contempt for the local bishop. Then contempt flows for the Church itself in the wake of a condemnation, ultimately resulting in schism.

    That's the devils goal. In the end, there are now even priests who have allowed themselves to be divided from the Church over Holy Love Ministries. Those priests are now leading vulnerable, ill-formed Catholics away with them.

    This is why the Church discourages lending credibility to any unapproved apparition until she decides that it is worthy of belief. Not one commission thus far has deemed Medjugorje worthy of belief, so bishops who permit a cult following ahead of the Church are putting the faithful in great danger. Their attachment is increasing rather than being held at bay while we wait for a final judgment.
    With the large caseload of claims of apparitions around the world, it is not practical for the Holy See to take on every case. This is explained clearly in the 1978 criteria for discernment of apparitions.

  72. Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    I would like to respond to some points made by Stephen, but will break them down into individual comments so they don't get lost.

    Stephen says (emphasis mine in bold):

    The Archbishop says “Our greatest spiritual treasures are the Word of God, the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and the teaching of the Church, and our focus should always be there”. Who am I to argue a ecclesiastical point made by the Archbishop, but personally I feel, particularly in America, that many people forget that the Catholic Church has encouraged the faithful "to find Jesus through Mary" throughout history

    Stephen, I'm not clear on the point you are trying to make here. It sounds like you feel Cardinal Schonborn should have placed greater emphasis on Mary's role. Did I misunderstand you?

    I agree with you that Mary has been undervalued by many Catholics over the last 5 decades. I have stated many times, that while I disbelieve in the authenticity of Medjugorje, I do credit it with giving Marian devotion a big shot in the arm. If I don't believe she is appearing to the "seers" of Medjugorje, then how do I explain this good fruit?

    Simple: Romans 5:20 "…but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    It's a matter of understanding how grace works.

    Mary, a true Mother, would not turn her back on those who go on pilgrimage with pure hearts believing she is there, even if she is not. This having been said, if it is inauthentic, to allow it to continue as is, would be an injustice on many levels.

    I have had some priests tell me that they personally do not believe she has appeared to anyone there, but that we should just leave Medjugorje be since there are so many people returning to pious practices, to Mary, to the Sacraments – especially the Eucharist and Confession, and because of vocations.

    I believe this is a form of consequentialism, which was condemned by Pope John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor.

    What everyone should be concerned with is not the approval or condemnation of the alleged apparitions of Medjugorje, but with the truth of whether the BVM truly appears to self-proclaimed visionaries.

    Stephen – Medjugorje is not a proper solution to the problem of the weak Marian devotion you and I both have witnessed over the past 5 decades.

    The best possible solution is for archbishops like Cardinal Schonborn to get on their knees in their dioceses and lead the people in public Rosaries on a regular basis. Archbishops should generously encourage the faithful of their dioceses to do the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, and to pray the Angelus. These do not belong to Medjugorje, but to the Church.

    Medjugorje devotees often think that the only way to foster Marian devotion is through… "Our Lady of Medjugorje".

    Show me online proof – via video or the Archdiocese of Vienna website, where Cdl Schonborn can be seen leading the people of his diocese in Marian devotion without an unapproved apparition.

    This is the problem. Cardinal Schonborn is using an unapproved Marian apparition as a solution instead of getting out there regularly and zealously to promote Marian devotion that are in harmony with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

    Holding prayer services with "seers" of unapproved apparitions is not in harmony with the teachings of the Catholic Church, even if approved devotions like the Rssary are used at them.

  73. stephen ryan says:

    This should be my first comment

    Hi patrick thanks for stepping up to openly discuss this issue. I have sensed from your writing that you are opened minded and you are motivated as a truth seeker and a protector not just of the Catholic faith but really almost as importantly is that you just don't want to see people hurt if the whole thing blows up. This is all understandable. Also let me say you are a very successful spokesman for our faith and I very much appreciate your work and I very much respect that . With that said I am well versed in many of these issues that pertain to Our Lady, but good lord, I am not the authority (though I will say I have spoken with some of them).
    There are many places to begin but let’s just get right into the business about the archbishop of seattle (excuse me for spelling errors, grammer shortcuts etc. going forward if you will .. no disrespect is intended)
    The archbishop of seattle's comments that tie together and compare "private revelations' of local parishioners to the nearly thirty years of the mystery of Medjugorje, a phenomenon that has had the attention (and some say admiration) of Popes, creates problems for me right away.
    Medjugorje is unique in this way – as a phenomenon to the Catholic Church. So I think it is important when Medjugorje is discussed it should be with the understanding that the mystery has been under intense scrutiny and investigation of the Catholic Church for nearly three decades and by now affords a certain status. Furthermore there have been clear directives regarding Medjugorje from the Catholic Church and the "Magisterium". The Catholic Church has been very specific about "the rules of engagement" when it comes to Medjugorje including rules for the Bishop of Mostar not to publically comment.
    So for the Archbishop to cavalierly compare Medjugorje to private revelations of locals, he demonstrates a lack of perspective on this very important issue. My point here is that when the discussion of Medjugorje is brought up, arguments along the lines that does not advance the conversation in my opinion. A serious discussion of Medjugorje in my opinion requires a certain amount of respect for what has occurred over the years.

  74. stephen ryan says:

    hello.. can my posts be corrected.. and put in proper sequence… also if this "waiting for approval" could be turned off for now it would make this conversation more dynamic thanks

  75. Anonymous says:

    Some bishops allow priest to invite pro abortion, pro homosexual rights, as speakers to their church and universities. Will they ever get it? We in the pew need spiritual food, not their radical, left wing, socialist agenda that got the worst pro death president in office. Is the good bishop concerned about all of the millions they gave through the CCHD to ACORN,and still stealing from us to give to the Center For Community Change?

  76. s says:

    the sequence of my comments are not correct ..it would be helpful if that was fixed thanks

  77. stephen ryan says:

    (this part was missing)

    Hi patrick thanks for stepping up to openly discuss this issue. I have sensed from your writing that you are opened minded and you are motivated as a truth seeker and a protector not just of the Catholic faith but really almost as importantly is that you just don't want to see people hurt if the whole thing blows up. This is all understandable. Also let me say you are a very successful spokesman for our faith and I very much appreciate your work and I very much respect that . With that said I am well versed in many of these issues that pertain to Our Lady, but good lord, I am not the authority (though I will say I have spoken with some of them).
    There are many places to begin but let’s just get right into the business about the archbishop of seattle (excuse me for spelling errors, grammer shortcuts etc. going forward if you will .. no disrespect is intended)
    The archbishop of seattle's comments that tie together and compare "private revelations' of local parishioners to the nearly thirty years of the mystery of Medjugorje, a phenomenon that has had the attention (and some say admiration) of Popes, creates problems for me right away.
    Medjugorje is unique in this way – as a phenomenon to the Catholic Church. So I think it is important when Medjugorje is discussed it should be with the understanding that the mystery has been under intense scrutiny and investigation of the Catholic Church for nearly three decades and by now affords a certain status. Furthermore there have been clear directives regarding Medjugorje from the Catholic Church and the "Magisterium". The Catholic Church has been very specific about "the rules of engagement" when it comes to Medjugorje including rules for the Bishop of Mostar not to publically comment.
    So for the Archbishop to cavalierly compare Medjugorje to private revelations of locals, he demonstrates a lack of perspective on this very important issue. My point here is that when the discussion of Medjugorje is brought up, arguments along the lines that does not advance the conversation in my opinion. A serious discussion of Medjugorje in my opinion requires a certain amount of respect for what has occurred over the years.

  78. stephen ryan says:

    one important simple point the Diaane K does not understand.. The Cardinal did not organize the appearance of the visionaires in Vienna

  79. stephen ryan says:

    Another point
    The Archbishop says “Our greatest spiritual treasures are the Word of God, the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and the teaching of the Church, and our focus should always be there”. Who am I to argue a ecclesiastical point made by the Archbishop, but personally I feel, particularly in America, that many people forget that the Catholic Church has encouraged the faithful "to find Jesus through Mary" throughout history. These words are the foundation of ministryvalues.com and I think they tend to get short changed and steamed rolled by many including the Archbishop Bishop of Seattle by saying all we need is the Eucharist. The Bishop’s words belittle the role of Our Lady in the redemptive process – . The Catholic Church has emphatically encouraged the faithful to pray to Our Lady and the church has understood that the faithful need at times the guiding hand of Our Lady. His argument that the “focus (on the Eucharist ) should always be there” reveals a bias against Our Lady and her special and elevated role in the Catholic Church.
    Dianne K. – I should let others make this argument (Marc C) perhaps but let’s start with the name of her site “Te Deum Laudamus!” which i think means according to her site:
    The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
    From the beginning and throughout her site Dianne K says unapologetically that she has been a fierce defender of the Local Bishop of Mostar (Medjugorje) and that the “disobedience” of the Visionaries towards the local Bishop has been appalling to her sensibilities.
    First of all “disobedience” towards the Church, I have been told by an authority, is a formal accusation made by the Church which results in an investigative process. Dianne K makes this case in an unceasing way yet the Church itself has never made the formal charge of disobedience towards visionaries. Deaane K accuses the seers as disobedient yet she writes herself “The "seers" of Medjugorje are not permitted to have "visions" on parish property” It is my understanding the “seers” have fully complied with all the demands the Local Bishop has made on them.
    Again perhaps Marc C can make this case better than I can but Dianna K’s attack against Cardinal Schonborn is (fill in the blank) well just extraordinary. She has a way in her language and writing that insists she is the last word and final authority and that the Cardinal is a doddering fool and if the poor man would just listen to her the whole nasty business of Medjugorje could be cleared up in a jiffy. She lashes out at the Cardinal with headlines like “another slap from Vienna”. She puts “slap from Vienna” in quotes – who she is quoting is not clear – herself I presume. She has complete contempt and disrespect for one of the great intellects of the Catholic Church.
    These are just a few points and I will leave it for now and hopefully others can move this conversation along ..thanks

  80. stephen ryan says:

    Hi patrick thanks for stepping up to openly discuss this issue. I have sensed from your writing that you are opened minded and you are motivated as a truth seeker and a protector not just of the Catholic faith but really almost as importantly is that you just don't want to see people hurt if the whole thing blows up. This is all understandable. Also let me say you are a very successful spokesman for our faith and I very much appreciate your work and I very much respect that . With that said I am well versed in many of these issues that pertain to Our Lady, but good lord, I am not the authority (though I will say I have spoken with some of them).
    There are many places to begin but let’s just get right into the business about the archbishop of seattle (excuse me for spelling errors, grammer shortcuts etc. going forward if you will .. no disrespect is intended)
    The archbishop of seattle's comments that tie together and compare "private revelations' of local parishioners to the nearly thirty years of the mystery of Medjugorje, a phenomenon that has had the attention (and some say admiration) of Popes, creates problems for me right away.
    Medjugorje is unique in this way – as a phenomenon to the Catholic Church. So I think it is important when Medjugorje is discussed it should be with the understanding that the mystery has been under intense scrutiny and investigation of the Catholic Church for nearly three decades and by now affords a certain status. Furthermore there have been clear directives regarding Medjugorje from the Catholic Church and the "Magisterium". The Catholic Church has been very specific about "the rules of engagement" when it comes to Medjugorje including rules for the Bishop of Mostar not to publically comment.
    So for the Archbishop to cavalierly compare Medjugorje to private revelations of locals, he demonstrates a lack of perspective on this very important issue. My point here is that when the discussion of Medjugorje is brought up, arguments along the lines that does not advance the conversation in my opinion. A serious discussion of Medjugorje in my opinion requires a certain amount of respect for what has occurred over the years.

  81. Marquis says:

    Roma locuta,
    causa finita.

  82. Dan says:

    Are you also prepared to rebuke those who gathered at Fatima before its approval?

  83. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    For whatever reason, my first comment didn't post again, so – here it is out of sequence with question 2a and 2b, preceded by my opening statement. This was meant to be a series of questions answered leading up to the point about whether it is proper for bishops to host "seers" from a home dioceses where they are prohibited from public events.

    *****

    1) If public speaking engagements by Medjugorje "seers", along with public "visions", and devotions, medals, statues based on "Our Lady of Medjugorje", etc. are prohibited by the Ordinary of Mostar-Duvno, should bishops in other dioceses permit these things in their territory?

    2) Multi-part question:
    a)Does Bishop Peric have authority to prohibit those things stated above?
    b)If "yes", what gives him that authority?
    c)Has Bishop Peric issued prohibitions/directives?
    d) If so, is there proof that the Holy See supports him in these prohibitions/directives?

    *

    Now I will answer these starting with #2 – the question of Bishop [this should be posted prior to the one at 11:26]

    Peric's authority to make certain prohibitions/directives:

    a) Does Bishop Peric have authority to prohibit those things listed in question 1, above?

    Yes. Bishop Peric has this authority.

    *

    b) What gives him this authority?

    The 1991 Zadar Declaration which remains in effect (nota bene: The announcement of a new commission does not abolish this declaration).

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

    A few notes on the above:

    - Following the rule of subsidiarity (I'll let Pat explain this), the declaration points "first and foremost" to the local bishop.

    - It is then chased with encouragement for collegiatlity when says "and the other bishop's with him".

    - It gives him authority over what happens pastorally not only in Medjugorje, but in all connected with it.

    - The declaration makes clear that it wants a healthy devotion to the BVM according to the teachings of the Church. The teachings of the Church on Mary, specifically referencing Marialis Cultus, encourages time-tested, approved devotions. Above all, it does not include devotions based on unapproved private revelations.

  84. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    d) Does the Holy See support him in these directives and prohibitions. Is there proof?

    Yes, the Holy See supports him in all that was said in his 2006 homily with regards to Medjugorje.

    In fact, we see that the Holy See reads it in a way that, what was declared for St. James, carries across boundaries into other dioceses.

    What is the proof?

    This 2007 fax from the Bishops of Tuscany to the priests of the diocese concerning Medjugorje instructing them to read that same 2006 homily by Bishop Peric.

    What does the fax say? (crude google translate version here)

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

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

    In a 2009 homily, Bishop Peric stated publicly, that Cardinal Levada told him that this is how all inquiries are handled on Medjugore by the CDF now.

  85. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    c)Has Bishop Peric issued prohibitions and directives?

    Yes. Most notably are those which came at the end of his 1996 homily in Medjugorje. It's too much to quote in full here, but in part, he said:

    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. Our faith is a serious and responsible matter. The Church is also a serious and responsible institution!

    So, he explicitly prohibits these things in the parish of St. James.

    If they cannot do these things in the parish of St. James, common sense would dictate that he is not going to permit them to have them in any other parish in the diocese.

    In fact, isn't it interesting that you don't see the Medjugorje "seers" in any parish or cathedral in the entire country of Bosnia & Herzegovina?

    What you see demonstrated here are, "the other bishops with him". This includes not only BiH, but Croatia, which makes up a chunck of the former Yugoslavia. So, in 29 years, the "seers" of Medjugorje have not been paraded in front of large crowds on Church property in the BiH, in Croatia, or the former Yugoslavia!

    He also re-iterated formally, directives which he is authorized to give, and added some in 2009 (see part 3 here).

    With regards to statues and devotions, that was was denied in

    1985 by Bishop Zanic when he explicitly ordered these things to be put away, as well as called for the "messages" to cease and the "seers" head off into privacy.

    *

  86. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    That comment above was actually suppose to be the last part. So, this was suppose to precede what is above. We will now consider this supporting information for my comment of 9:08 PM
    **************************************

    Here are some questions to ponder:

    1) If public speaking engagements by Medjugorje "seers", along with public "visions", and devotions, medals, statues based on "Our Lady of Medjugorje", etc. are prohibited by the Ordinary of Mostar-Duvno, should bishops in other dioceses permit these things in their territory?

    2) Multi-part question:
    a)Does Bishop Peric have authority to prohibit those things stated above?
    b)If "yes", what gives him that authority?
    c)Has Bishop Peric issued prohibitions/directives?
    d) If so, is there proof that the Holy See supports him in these prohibitions/directives?

    *

    Now I will answer these starting with #2 – the question of Bishop Peric's authority to make certain prohibitions/directives:

    a) Does Bishop Peric have authority to prohibit those things listed in question 1, above?

    Yes. Bishop Peric has this authority.

    *

    b) What gives him this authority?

    The 1991 Zadar Declaration which remains in effect (nota bene: The announcement of a new commission does not abolish this declaration).

    It states:

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

    A few notes on the above:

    - Following the rule of subsidiarity (I'll let Pat explain this), the declaration points "first and foremost" to the local bishop.

    - It is then chased with encouragement for collegiatlity when it says, "and the other bishops with him".

    - It gives him authority over what happens pastorally not only in Medjugorje, but in all connected with it.

    - The declaration makes clear that it wants a healthy devotion to the BVM according to the teachings of the Church. The teachings of the Church on Mary, specifically referencing Marialis Cultus, encourages time-tested, approved devotions. Above all, it does not include devotions based on unapproved private revelations.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Mark C says,

    @Patrick. I'm glad to hear Diane is a fine, upstanding person and a devout Catholic. I do not doubt it. She may be entitled to her opinion, but she is not entitled to her own set of facts. For example, you trumpeted her story "Unsuspecting Medjugorje devotees misled by deceptive translation", which alleged that the Medjugorje.hr website manipulated an Italian translation of an Archbishop's remarks regarding the International Commission (the sort of minutia which is the hobgoblin of small minds). However, when it later emerged that the Italian was the original language, Diane admitted she didn't KNOW what language the remarks were given nor did she even POSSESS the original statement. No retraction of the incendiary charge was ever made on her site or yours. This is the "fruit" of your reliance upon a non-scholar and non-theologian for your information about all things Medjugorje.

    More importantly, if Diane may be entitled to her OPINION, and Bishop Peric is entitled to his opinion, then Cardinal Schonborn is certainly entitled to his! We may be free to disagree with a Prince of the Church but we ought not besmirch his character or make FALSE and unsubstantiated allegations about him (e.g. Cardinal Schonborn may have met privately with the Holy Father after his Medjugorje trip – he regularly does – however, in the absence of information we are not free to speculate that the meeting was a rebuke – that is detraction!).

    Lastly, regarding the charge of "disunity and rupture". Since the Bishop of Mostar has been relieved of responsibility for the investigation the Bishops of the world are not required to "agree" with his opinion for the sake of some hollow unity. In fact, were the Bishop concerned about "disunity and rupture" he would not have prohibited the Papal Preacher from entering into his Diocese and he would not have publicly made such a fuss about the Cardinal failing to inform him (which he was not obliged to do anyways).

  88. Kevin Symonds says:

    Is anyone really listening to the truth? The truth of Holy Mother Church's teaching?

    The Church's theology of private revelation has always admitted prudence and discretion when it comes to alleged private revelations.

    Normae Congregationis–Rome's 1978 document on discerning alleged revelations–is very profound when it references the fact that the mass media make news of such allegations to be spread far and wide.

    Sadly, this has left the impression that Rome is the foremost judge of presumed apparitions.

    It isn't.

    The local Ordinary is.

    If the discernment goes to either the local episcopal conference or to the CDF in Rome, the Ordinary must give prior consent and is to be consulted.

    That is the teaching of the Church. One either obeys, or becomes–ipso facto–a PROTESTANT by obeying his or her private interpretation and/or feelings.

    Whom shall you serve?

    -Kevin J. Symonds
    Wisconsin
    http://d-rium.blogspot.com

  89. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    Now, we can finally, finally, answer… Question 1, which asks whether other bishops around the world should be permitting Medjugorje "seers" to have a events on Church property in their dioceses.

    It is reasonable to conclude that if pilgrimages are not permitted to be organized on a diocesan or parish level, then the parish or diocese ought not be bringing the pilgrimage to the people. It has the same effect on people that an organized pilgrimage would have: It lends credibility to the unapproved "apparitions", in the minds of the faithful.

    It's a break with tradition. I just can't think of any other private revelation where bishops around the world simply decided to host "seers" in parishes, shrines and cathedrals who are forbidden to have public events on Church property in the home diocese.

    It is relativistic to make exceptions for Medjugorje because of the wave of enthusiasm.

    I'm afraid the same wave of enthusiasm has led to a bit of consequentialism, whereby certain Church leaders believe it is inauthentic, but want to squeeze every vocation and conversion they can out of it. That is noble. But it is also justifying the means to gain an end.

    I'll gladly respond to further questions on this as time allows. I have a busy weekend.

  90. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    Now we can finally address Question 1:

    1) 1) If public speaking engagements by Medjugorje "seers", along with public "visions", and devotions, medals, statues based on "Our Lady of Medjugorje", etc. are prohibited by the Ordinary of Mostar-Duvno, should bishops in other dioceses permit these things in their territory?

    To understand the answer, we must first look at what has been said about pilgrimages. We all know that pilgrimages are permitted. There are conditions attached though – very specific conditions. They are not permitted to be organized at the parish or diocesan level. In chronological order we have this explained by Vatican officials.

    In Prot. No. 154/81-01985, dated March 23, 1996, then Archbishop Bertone stated….

    official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, understood as a place of authentic Marian apparitions, are not permitted to be organized either on the parish or on the diocesan level, because that would be in contradiction to what the Bishops of former Yugoslavia affirmed in their fore mentioned Declaration

    Then Vatican Spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls added in August of 1996:

    The problem is if you systematically organize pilgrimages, organize them with the bishop and the church, you are giving a canonical sanction to the facts of Medjugorje … This is different from people going in a group who bring a priest with them in order to go to confession…

    And, finally in Pr. No 154/81-05922, dated May 26, 1998, then Archbishop Bertone again responds, this time to Msgr. Gilbert Aubry:

    Finally, as regards pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which are conducted privately, this Congregation points out that they are permitted on condition that they are not regarded as an authentification of events still taking place and which still call for an examination by the Church.

    (All of these communications are collected in one blogpost here: Are pilgrimages permitted to Medjugorje or not?

    Before we finally answer "Question 1", we need to understand what it means when +Bertone stated, "on condition that they are not regarded as an authentification of events"

    This means that even if giga-billions of people visit Medjugorje each year, they are not considered/regarded as a sign of authenticity of "events". This word "events" is used to basically describe the who, what, where, when and how of the actual "apparitions" and all related to it. In other words, if a giga-billion people showed up to watch a rabbit being pulled out of a hat, the giga-billion people being there does not make what appears to be true, an objective reality.

  91. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    c)Has Bishop Peric issued prohibitions and directives?

    Yes. Most notably are those which came at the end of his 1996 homily in Medjugorje. It's too much to quote in full here, but in part, he said:

    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. Our faith is a serious and responsible matter. The Church is also a serious and responsible institution!

    So, he explicitly prohibits these things in the parish of St. James. If they cannot do these things in the parish of St. James, common sense would dictate that he is not going to permit them to have them in any other parish in the diocese.

    In fact, isn't it interesting that you don't see the Medjugorje "seers" in any parish in the entire country of Bosnia & Herzegovina? What you see demonstrated here are, "the other bishops with him". This includes not only BiH, but Croatia, which makes up a large part of the former Yugoslavia. So, in 29 years, the "seers" of Medjugorje have not been paraded in front of large crowds on Church property in the former Yugslavia, or in BiH and Croatia today, but they have been hosted in cathedrals in other countries, including Vienna, Austria and Chicago, US, this year?. While it is well-intentioned, it is not collegial. That's just an objective observation.

    He also re-iterated formally his directives which he is authorized to give, and added some, in 2009 (see part 3 here).

    With regards to statues and devotions, that was was denied in 1985 by Bishop Zanic when he explicitly ordered these things to be put away, as well as called for the "messages" to cease and the "seers" head off into privacy.

    *

    d) Does the Holy See support him in these directives and prohibitions. Is there proof?

    Yes, the Holy See supports him in all that was said in his 2006 homily with regards to Medjugorje. In fact, we have proof that the Holy See interpreted it in a way that it should be honored across diocesan boundaries.

    What is the proof?

    This 2007 fax from the Bishops of Tuscany to the priests of the diocese concerning Medjugorje instructing them to read that same 2006 homily by Bishop Peric.

    What does the fax say? (crude google translate version here)

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

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

    In a 2009 homily, Bishop Peric stated publicly, that Cardinal Levada told him that this is how all inquiries are handled on Medjugore by the CDF now.

    ***

    [to be continued...]

  92. Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    I'm home and as long as my frequently malfunctioning internet connection works, I'll be able to respond. I'm going to have to break this up into more than one post…

    My post was aimed at generating discussion around these questions and I will have to answer them in reverse order.

    1) If public speaking engagements by Medjugorje "seers", along with public "visions", and devotions, medals, statues based on "Our Lady of Medjugorje", etc. are prohibited by the Ordinary of Mostar-Duvno, should bishops in other dioceses permit these things in their territory?

    2) Multi-part question:
    a)Does Bishop Peric have authority to prohibit those things stated above?
    b)If "yes", what gives him that authority?
    c)Has Bishop Peric issued prohibitions/directives?
    d) If so, is there proof that the Holy See supports him in these prohibitions/directives?

    *

    Now I will answer these starting with #2 – the question of Bishop Peric's authority to make certain prohibitions/directives:

    a) Does Bishop Peric have authority to prohibit those things listed in question 1, above?

    Yes. Bishop Peric has this authority.

    *

    b) What gives him this authority?

    The 1991 Zadar Declaration which remains in effect (nota bene: The announcement of a new commission does not abolish this declaration).

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

    A few notes on the above:

    - Following the rule of subsidiarity (I'll let Pat explain this), the declaration points "first and foremost" to the local bishop.

    - It is then chased with encouragement for collegiatlity when says "and the other bishop's with him".

    - It gives him authority over what happens pastorally not only in Medjugorje, but in all connected with it.

    - The declaration makes clear that it wants a healthy devotion to the BVM according to the teachings of the Church. The teachings of the Church on Mary, specifically referencing Marialis Cultus, encourages time-tested, approved devotions. Above all, it does not include devotions based on unapproved private revelations.

    *

    [to be continued...]

  93. Anonymous says:

    MarkC,

    @Patrick. I'm glad to hear Diane is a fine, upstanding person and a devout Catholic. I do not doubt it. However, I can spot myopia a mile away and she has it. She may be entitled to her opinion, but she is not entitled to her own set of facts. For example, you trumpeted her story "Unsuspecting Medjugorje devotees misled by deceptive translation", which alleged that the Medjugorje.hr website manipulated an Italian translation of an Archbishop's remarks regarding the International Commission (the sort of minutia which is the hobgoblin of small minds). However, when it later emerged that the Italian was the original language, Diane admitted she didn't KNOW what language the remarks were given nor did she even POSSESS the original statement. No retraction of the incendiary charge was ever made on her site or yours. This is the "fruit" of your reliance upon a non-scholar and non-theologian for your information about all things Medjugorje.

    More importantly, if Diane may be entitled to her OPINION, and Bishop Peric is entitled to his opinion, then Cardinal Schonborn is certainly entitled to his! We may be free to disagree with a Prince of the Church but we ought not besmirch his character or make FALSE and unsubstantiated allegations about him (e.g. Cardinal Schonborn may have met privately with the Holy Father after his Medjugorje trip – he regularly does – however, in the absence of information we are not free to speculate that the meeting was a rebuke – that is detraction!).

    Lastly, regarding the charge of "disunity and rupture". Since the Bishop of Mostar has been relieved of responsibility for the investigation the Bishops of the world are not required to "agree" with his opinion for the sake of some hollow unity. In fact, were the Bishop concerned about "disunity and rupture" he would not have prohibited the Papal Preacher from entering into his Diocese and he would not have publicly made such a fuss about the Cardinal failing to inform him (which he was not obliged to do anyways).

  94. menriquecruz says:

    I agree with most here that we must be very careful when it comes to inviting visionaries to our churches. It is the Bishop's job, within the respective diocese, to make sure who is speaking to the masses. A few years ago in Houston, a little girl claimed yo have seen angels in her backyard. As soon as this was on the news, hundreds were flocking to her home. It got so out of hand that people stopped going to mass on Sundays. Many believed that they should be at this little girls home 24/7. I believe Archbishop Fiorenza, along with Rome investigated this incident, but no official statement was given.

  95. Patrick Coffin says:

    All together now, sing with me:

    "Non constat de supernaturalitate" (sung to the tune of you-know-which-song from Mary Poppins.)

    Dear God: Please help the Ruini Commission put a bow on this mess with a bright, neon "constat de non supernaturalite," which appears to be the only verdict that fits the facts — although it emphatically would not fit the emotional and financial attachment around the globe to this 30-year-old disobedience machine. Oh, and make sure you get Pope Benedict's signature on it, too, although that doesn't have to be in neon. Ink'll do.

    Amen.

  96. Wade St. Onge says:

    I will send you an email, Stephen.

    Personally, I refuse to engage anyone in discussion regarding Medjugorje until they have read my blog piece (another shameless personal plug here: http://wademichaelstonge.blogspot.com/2010/08/apologetics-discerning-spirits-fresh.html.

    I will let Patrick continue responding to the arguments here as he is doing a fine job (as he always does on this topic).

  97. Patrick Madrid says:

    Well, for one thing, I give Diane a forum because she deserves it. She brings to the discussion factual, relevant aspects of the situation that you will not find elsewhere. I know her personally and know that she is a sincere, honest, and a devout daughter of the Church who expresses concerns that she sees. She's entitled to her opinions every bit as much as you or anyone who promotes Medjugorje is entitled to express contrary opinions. I find it interesting that some people are really keen on not giving her a forum. I don't see that you've given a single good reason for not doing so.

    Also, as for her comment about disunity and rupture, what would *you* call it when the bishop ordinary of another diocese publicly fosters the very thing that his brother bishop in Mostar has been trying to discourage? I don't think she was off base at all to acknowledge that there is some pronounced disunity there.

  98. Anonymous says:

    MarkC says,

    So to continue the discussion, you have hi-lighted Diane's blog and her characterization of Cardinal Shonborn's actions as "DISHARMONY and RUPTURE", do you agree with this extreme judgment against the Cardinal? If not – why give her a forum?

    If so, please break it down for me: does Bishop Peric really have jurisdiction in every diocese in the world over what is said about Medjugorje? Does he really have authority over the Cardinal in terms of who he invites to speak at his Cathedral? The Bishop has his opinion that Medjugorje is false (he is on record as denying Lourdes and Fatima as well) – is the Cardinal not entitled to his view as well? Does the Cardinal really deserve vitriol for his pastoral actions?

    If it is imprudent to be overly credulous, is not hypercriticism not a vice to be disavowed as well?

  99. Anonymous says:

    Mark C says,

    @Patrick. Thanks for clarifying, you didn't see my moniker. I'll do all further commenting in the combox. Thanks!

  100. Patrick Madrid says:

    MarkC, no, I haven't had that policy. I guess you didn't see my comment about that on FB. I just now saw your name. Didn't see it at first. Mea culpa!

  101. Anonymous says:

    MarkC says,

    Seriously Patrick? Do you now have a policy that anyone who participates in a combox thread has to "login"? I selected a moniker "MarkC".

    I get it, a "new rule"! No monikers in the combox!

  102. Patrick Madrid says:

    @Jackie, which arguments do you not buy? If you disagree with something Bishop Sartain said, please be specific and identify what it is. Otherwise, I don't really know what it is you oppose here.

    @Anonymous, why are you afraid to post under your real name? I'm not afraid to do so. Which is why it's laughable for you to accuse *me* of "hiding behind" others. You don't seem to be willing to come out from hiding behind your anonymity. I'll tell you what. When you get serious about this discussion to the point where you feel ready to come out in the open, then we can discuss this rationally all you'd like. Until then, though, I am not going to allow you to act as a sniper and take potshots at me and others, anonymously, on my blog. Let me know when you're ready, and we'll go from there.

    @Stephen, thanks for your comments. Sure, I'd be happy to discuss these matters with you via email, if you prefer that medium. A few things to start the ball rolling. You refer to me as a "persistent critic." Well, you are a "persistent promoter." Since the Church has not yet declared definitively, one way or the other, regarding the authenticity or falsity of the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje, then aren't persistent critics just as entitled to express their views of this matter as are persistent promoters? Also, I did not throw anyone under any buses. I just posted the comments from a respected American Archbishop who gave his pastoral advice on the phenomenon of promoting unapproved alleged apparitions. Do you disagree with or even, perhaps, reject his directive? If not, that's great. But if so, then wouldn't you then be throwing *him* under the bus by disregarding his statement? I am sincerely curious about that and look forward to your reply.

    God bless you, and may Our Blessed Lady guide and protect you.

  103. Kellee says:

    I can understand his worry. There are so many people who use apparitions and "visionaries" and get too caught up in that rather then staying focused on Jesus in the Eucharist.

    If apparitions distract you from the Lord, then it's not from God. Just my thought.

  104. Anonymous says:

    MarkC said,
    If Archbishop Sartain chooses this cautious approach he is well within his rights and should not be criticized. At the same time, Cardinal Shonborn has made a different judgment. Is he not within his rights also? Should he be criticized for his differing pastoral decision?

    @Patrick. It is sorry to see you are again utilizing a very suspect source – a website with a very singular agenda, a record of twisting facts to fit a predefined narrative – and no theological qualifications – to criticize a Cardinal of the Church. Do you agree the Cardinal was wrong to visit Medjugorje? Do you agree with the baseless speculation of those who allege he was taken to the "woodshed" by the Holy Father for his visit? Do you think he was not within his rights to invite the visionaries into his Diocese?

    If these are your points then make them – and back them up with facts. But please stop hiding behind surrogates on the extreme wing (e.g. those who cite unity publishing) who think they are qualified to critique Cardinal Shonborn in his exercise of his apostolic ministry in the Church!

  105. stephen ryan says:

    Hi Patrick Madrid… my name is steve ryan and I run Ministryvalues.com Ministryvalues.com is an emerging Online Catholic Magazine and a Google "News Source". I was hoping to reach out to you via e-mail. I have no interest in causing discourse among the Catholic family. At ministryvalues.com we take seriously are responsibilities. We recently conducted an interview with a renowned Catholic Theologian covering a wide range of issues. My editor attended Harvard, received his Master at Yale from the Divinity School and is now pursuing his Doctorate at Catholic University. You and Catholic Culture .org have been persistent critics of Medjugorje (which is fine) but I was hoping to see if we could discuss our differences and concerns .. see if there is a middle ground. There must be better ways than throwing Cardinal Schonborn, Editor of the Catholic Catechism, under the bus to make one's point. You can e-mail me at ryan@ministryvalues.com If you should not want to engage in discussion that is perfectly fine. However a brief comment on this comments page would be much appreciated. Lastly let me assure you I won't bite :) Thanks

  106. Warren Jewell says:

    "Unapproved" means "unauthorized" – I get my catechetical directions from our apostolic bishops, led and symbolized by our Pope, the bishop of Rome. No one else has the authority from Christ Himself.

  107. Jackie says:

    No . If you believe that Mary and Jesus have appeared to countless numerous people throughout the ages, including St. Paul, and that certain apparitions are considered "Approved" , why would it be so scary to think Medugorje is not real?

    If the people in Jonah's day had to wait for the approval of the church and didn't believe Jonah than i guess the whole city of Nineveh would have been destroyed ; so then we , the sensus Fidelium , should be able to discern what is and what is not from God without having the Church's approval . In the words of Peter himself "In this case, we must Obey God rather than men" .

    The bible and sacraments and Eucharist and the Church may be a great spiritual treasure but I hear no mention of the Holy Spirit in all of that, and in fact the only true spiritual treasure is the Holy Spirit in which God said He will pour out in the last days on our sons and daughters. Acts 2:14-21 and Joel 2:28.

    It's too bad that a certain few feel they have to discourage those who might otherwise never have a chance to be saved . Leave them alone!

    I don't buy your arguments .

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