April 16, 2010 by Patrick Madrid Filed under Patrick's Blog
What are the alleged apparitions intentions?
In Lourdes,Mary brought us healing waters and asked for penance and prayers. She also backed up the Church Dogma of Her Immaculate Conception.
In Fatima, Mary asked to pray the Rosary, do penance, and pray for the family and for the conversion of Russia and the end of the war.
What is Medjugorje's alleged apparition's main intentions besides telling us to pray, pray and pray….and giving us ultimatums, and scary secrets such as the one that if one does not accept her messages it will be too late????
Message of 25. April 2010 "Dear children! At this time, when in a special way you are praying and seeking my intercession, I call you, little children, to pray so that through your prayers I can help you to have all the more hearts be opened to my messages. Pray for my intentions. I am with you and I intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."
"Someone please help me understand why God would go to extraordinary means to come here and have Mary say these banal words. Open our hearts to the messages? What's in them that warrants an open heart? What substance? Pray not for the Pope or the Church, but that we may be able to listen to her messages? I just don't get it."
Sure, I can help you. Jesus is always knocking at the door of our hearts (Revelation 3:20) and we must pray continuously that we may have the grace to hear Him and be open to Him and all of the grace He has waiting for us.
Do you think our hearts can be opened without prayer? No, of course not. We need to pray and pray for our hearts to be open to the love of Jesus.
Through praying for all of the intentions of Mary we are praying for the Church.
You can read the footnote here provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for Revelations chapter 12 which teaches us Mary represents the Church.http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/revelation/revelation12.htm
Mary is asking us to pray for the Church.
I implore you though to not accuse Mary the Mother of God of repeating words too often when She is dong so out of mercy until we can understand them and live them.
Now I ask you to listen to the words of the Virgin, Mary and pray for our beloved Church. Pray for all of her intentions so that you may join in the conversion of hearts and saving souls.
Anonymous:You seem to want me to prove that there are no miracles. There may be, I'm merely stating that the Bishop had said that he felt there were none, and there has been no information to the contrary. If you know that there are miracles, it would seem you would be the one needing to provide information that it has been proven.
"No information" is not quite correct, as I have the information that the Bishop had said the Fr. Laurentin had provided cases to Lourdes and they were found wanting. I am guessing that the bishop was never provided any information that would lead him to the conclusion that many miracles had occurred, since he remains so firmly opposed. I do not have access to any secret files that may have been withheld from the bishop, as I'm not an Anonymous promoter.
Daniel said… I believe that you are correct that we do not have any updated information,
You have no information at all!! Such criticism therefore is baseless and wholly disingenuous.
Anonymous, I think that Anonymous promoters have perhaps been given access to secret files that were never provided to prior commissions looking into the matter. These secret files will be made available to the Vatican Commission, provided that it is not somehow tainted against the visions. We'll know that the promotes determined that the Commission was tainted, and therefore secret files were withheld, if the Commission does not come out with a positive affirmation of the visions. There would be no point in turning over secret files that would be positive to the visions if it is suspected that the Commission is also at war with the beloved Franciscans that remain there against the local bishop's order.
"I didn't know that we had any updated information beyond some quarter of a century old opinion"
If you "didn't know", as you say, then how can you defend your position that there are documents in the parish office in Medjugorje? So, I guess you can't produce the proof I asked for.
I believe that you are correct that we do not have any updated information, there seem to be no documented miraculous cures despite the claims of some promoters to the contrary. Actually it seems that an Anonymous was the one that asked for documented proof, there seems to be none.
Daniel said… So, Father Laurentin, perhaps the foremost promoter of the legitimacy of the apparitions, couldn't get the medical board at Lourdes to accept a single case as a truly miraculous healing.
I didn't know that we had any updated information beyond some quarter of a century old opinion quoted by the same man who mentioned here all of those other "non qualified" extraordinary "cures" that themselves (from Lourdes locale) did not meet the standards of the "bureau". You're talking apples and oranges and with decades of examination in differences. Next time, in category of fair comparison, use equal matter:
According to Dr. Theodore Mangiapan, President of the Medical Bureau of Lourdes, at least 2,000 of the cures effected at Lourdes have been classified as “extraordinary or inexplicable” by doctors since 1858. Yet they have not been accepted as worthy to be published as "miraculous" within their own limiting parameters!
Please ask the pastoral personnel of the parish. They will surely make their archives available to you. You will then have the opportunity to read, search, consult and make your homework as a Medjugorje commentator.
You raised the question. Shouldn't you be the one to do the responsible current follow-up? Or do you just continue with the drive by approach since you yourself can't seem to get beyond your outdated and therefore poor source of decades past? If you bring it up, do the same thorough investigation – IF you could! That would mean to actually get acquainted (up close and personal) with those you feel are too unworthy by apparently the neo Pharisaical standards.
Well, Anonymous, you must know better than me. I suppose that the rigorous particular investigation of each was delved into by the Franciscans themselves and their own Commission of experts before the publication of Fr Rupcic’s book…
And now you're additionally misinformed that somehow the good Franciscans are also medical professionals? Again, just where has there been that rigorous examination in your assessment? You simply admit here that you know of no equal assessment being done on each or any of the cases in question that YOU brought up yourself. Further individual medical inquiry? Apparently not! And remember … we're NOW in 2010!!
@Anonymous April 27, 2010 4:23 PM
“So you honestly believe that the medical commission in Lourdes is being sent and is in the process of investigating cases kept by the parish of Medjugorje as implied by your apparently accepted citing of the commenter above???”
“Here is the confirmation of Bishop Zanic’s statement concerning the dossier submitted by Rupcic/Laurentin to Dr Mangiapan.”
I am sorry to repeat myself like the parrot you so kindly evoked. The animal would be quiet if you had read well.
What is implied is that “Medjugorje went to Lourdes”, the contrary of what you “understood”, to submit a dossier compiled by the Medjugorje Franciscans who confided it to René Laurentin.
“Even your own source is, what, 1988/89?”
My written source: « Bulletin de l’Association médicale internationale de Lourdes, Nos 205-206, Avril 1984, p. 14. [reproduced as it is published in the said Bulletin] ». “1984” Again… well, you know what I mean.
“And it speaks to some "dossier" in general?
It concerns a dossier of 56 cases that had been published by Fr Ljudevit Rupcic in his book: Gospina ukazanja u Medjugorju (1983).
“And the rigorous particular investigation of each was delved into at what time??”
Well, Anonymous, you must know better than me. I suppose that the rigorous particular investigation of each was delved into by the Franciscans themselves and their own Commission of experts before the publication of Fr Rupcic’s book… So, between 1981 and 1983. Moreover they felt that the 56 cases had been so rigorously delved into that they let them to be examined by Dr Mangiapan. My non scientific guess…
With these serene words ends my exchange with someone who continues to hide himself/herself behind "Anonymous April 27, 2010 4:23 PM"
Please find another partner who will be comfortable with your disagreeable tone and will share your certitude concerning the worth of the scientific work done by the Comité médical international de Lourdes.
So, Father Laurentin, perhaps the foremost promoter of the legitimacy of the apparitions, couldn't get the medical board at Lourdes to accept a single case as a truly miraculous healing. The bishop whose diocese this is occurring in does not accept any, and points out some of the harm that has been done by promises of healing. Toss all that out and rely upon the fact that the parish says it has documented cases, or at least a promoter says they do. This particular "Anonymous" must have quite an investment in the outcome.
I really don’t how and why I should grant an anonymous more credibility than to Mgr Pavao Zanic, the then legitimate authority of the diocese of Mostar who identified his sources.
I would be greatly humbled if you would not even consider me in your personally chose person/foundation for "credibility"!!! "Then" might be your operative word to get beyond.
So you honestly believe that the medical commission in Lourdes is being sent and is in the process of investigating cases kept by the parish of Medjugorje as implied by your apparently accepted citing of the commenter above??? And Lourdes has how many years (since 1858) to come up with the few, limited, documented "cures" out of the many, many that, by general standards of medical practice been agreed to have no other basis for healing and yet generally agreed to lie within the charism of healing given there? Even your doctor explains the various reasonings why so many Lourdes claimed cures themselves could not rise to absolute proof due to simply differing standards and limitations to different cultural biases of times and medical standards having limitations. And yet, somehow all those other cures have not been dismissed in the tradition of Lourdes or in the mind of the Church. According to Dr. Theodore Mangiapan, President of the Medical Bureau of Lourdes, at least 2,000 of the cures effected at Lourdes have been classified as “extraordinary or inexplicable” by doctors since 1858. Yet they have not been accepted as worthy to be published within their limited parameters. It doesn't appear that those other many have been historially "disqualified" while not meeting "bureau standards"!!! Love the demagoguery in the use of Lourdes' "bureau" while using on the other hand a person of history with the sad experience of having the Church disagree with his lack of Church expected standards for any kind of sole final judgement!! Go figure. Perhaps, on this authority, one ought to follow the same rigorous standards he cites for other purposes within the same larger question!!!!!
And you, again, actually find the source cited above credible???
Even your own source is, what, 1988/89? And it speaks to some "dossier" in general? And the rigorous particular investigation of each was delved into at what time??
Again…lofty language that reduces itself by its generalized and self incriminating "sources". It's not just that such "sources" rely on worn out partial history that refuses the context necessary for truly objective examination, but they cannot permit themselves the humility to state the obvious – the Church herself has all of that limited "discovery" and has taken a look at that basis for judgement and disallowed it … and has moved on….to look at other things – like real science and the building up of Catholic parish life of the Church all over the world. Ummm, did you sorta conveniently forget that part of the whole?? If you haven't heard as yet – your sole "source" from the past is not the authority over the phenomenon. Are you afraid to venture out into the greater beyond on the topic or something? The parrot needs a few new phrases to repeat over and over! I think they call it "getting up to snuff" on the topic!
Here is the confirmation of Bishop Zanic’s statement concerning the dossier submitted by Rupcic/Laurentin to Dr Mangiapan. « En conclusion, si l’on s’en tient aux normes du Bureau médical, tout ce « dossier » n’a pratiquement aucune valeur… et il ne pourrait tel quel servir… ou tenir lieu d’argument de poids en faveur d’un lieu d’apparitions. » Bulletin de l’Association médicale internationale de Lourdes, Nos 205-206, Avril 1984, p. 14. [reproduced as it is published in the said Bulletin]
See also Donal Foley – Understanding Medjugorje : Heavenly Visions or Religious Illusions?, p. 168 – “In conclusion, if we are to follow the norms of the Bureau, this entire dossier is of no practical value and as such would not give grounds for an argument in favour of the apparition.” [word for word would be = “in favour of a place of apparitions”]
On April 9, 1985, Dr Mangiapan confirmed to me the said statement in a personal letter.
Three years later, in the Bulletin of the CRC, Nr 249, December 1988, I read an interview conducted by Dr Pierre Busson with Dr Théodore Mangiapan. The President of the Medical Bureau spoke to Dr Busson on May 28, 1988.
Dr Mangiapan concluded with these words:
« On parle de « guérisons miraculeuses » à Medjugorje, mais je n’ai encore eu connaissance d’aucune expertise médicale permettant de conclure à la réalité de ces guérisons, encore moins à leur caractère médicalement inexplicable. Je reste très réservé devant l’attitude de l’abbé Laurentin et des propagandistes de Medjugorje qui continuent à faire état de ces « guérisons miraculeuses », en opposition avec l’ordinaire du lieu. Il faut se garder d’entraîner les catholiques à croire aux apparitions de Medjugorje sans tenir compte du magistère ecclésiastique. Pour ma part, j’attends le jugement de l’Église. »
[“One speaks of ‘miraculous cures’ at Medjugorje, but I have not yet known of any medical expertise permitting to conclude to the reality of those cures, let-alone to their medically inexplicable nature. I still have very many reservations about Father Laurentin’s and Medjugorje’s propagandists’ attitudes towards Medjugorje who continue to account for ‘miraculous cures’ in opposition to the Ordinary of the diocese. One should be wary of dragging Catholics into believing in the Medjugorje apparitions without taking into account the ecclesiastical magisterium. For my part, I am waiting for the judgement by the Church.”]
I was surprised by the firmness of that declaration and I wrote to Dr Mangiapan who confirmed to me the exactitude and fidelity of his words with Dr Busson : « Dans ce qui a été publié comme venant de moi, il n’y a rien que je n’accepte pas. » [personal letter dated February 17, 1989 – “In what has been published as of my own words, there is nothing that I do not accept.”]
I will publish on my blog, with the permission of the Editors of the CRC, the interview given by Dr Théodore Mangiapan to Dr Pierre Busson.
I believe discussions about Medjugorje should be constructive and lead to the conclusions that we don't know much at all.
Those who are followers of Medjugorje and believe that they have been touched by the grace of this alleged apparition should, if she is truly Mary, at least show the fuits of those graces,which are alleged to have been received at Medjugorje.
Conversions are not enough if they are not based in a daily living of a Chrit like life.
Humility should be flowing from people who have chosen Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Humility is Mary's most precious gem.
She is the model of humility. She teaches humility to her children. Those who are truly her children live a humble life. Even when defending something we hold dearly we are to practice charity and humility with others.
@Anonymous (April 26, 2010 10:20 AM)
“What a ridiculous link for any consideration of objectivity. Lourdes nor its diocese has any jurisdiction over Medjugorje. It is (and must be) a completely separate study and examination of all facts. The ignorance and its dissemination only grows to embarrassment here. At least stop spreading the lies and seek out some kind of reputable source.”
I really don’t how and why I should grant an anonymous more credibility than to Mgr Pavao Zanic, the then legitimate authority of the diocese of Mostar who identified his sources.
Your moody and unfounded comment is disagreeable. If you have the courage of your convictions and accusations, Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous, please identify yourself, the purported lies and your reputable sources.
Otherwise, the ignorance and its dissemination [will] only grow to embarrassment here.
Checking back, it seems Bishop Zanic had reported that Father Laurentin had sent 56 cases to the Lourdes medical board, but all were rejected from being miraculous. "Dr. Mangiapan responded in their Bulletin April 1986, that these dossiers have no practical value, and they cannot be used or considered as serious proofs of the apparitions in Medjugorje. " This was in a Statement by Monsignor Pavao Zanic, Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, published in May 1990.
Lourdes medical board, which has been doing this type of investigation for over 100 years, is not a reputable source? As I understand it, the local bishop, who does have jurisdiction, is the one who submitted the cases to the medical board at Lourdes. He has reported that there has not been one case that can be considered a medical miracle. I believe that he has also indicated that there are cases of persons that were promised a miracle that died when they skipped the operation. This was on the official diocesan website. Obviously some would not consider the bishop as being objective, and rely instead of reports of the parish office as having volumes of documents.
What a ridiculous link for any consideration of objectivity. Lourdes nor its diocese has any jurisdiction over Medjugorje. It is (and must be) a completely separate study and examination of all facts. The ignorance and its dissemination only grows to embarrassment here. At least stop spreading the lies and seek out some kind of reputable source.
Yes, I have heard about those "volumes". I also know that these so-called healing were sent to the Medical Bureau at Lourdes. Nothing! From http://www.newjerusalem.com/bishop-truth.htm
"21. By their fruits. ……They do not know that not one miraculous healing has occurred that could have been verified by competent experts and institutions such as the "Bureau Medical de Lourdes". No one knows of any healed from Herzegovina. Everyone knows that little Daniel, old Jozo Vasilj, Venka Brajcic and others cited in the first books about Medjugorje were not healed."
You may feel free to contact the Bureau in Lourdes and ask for yourself. The only way to find truth is to seek it in all honesty.
After all this, what exactly has this "apparition" actually told us that is so earth shattering and worthy of belief? Right now, we've got a huge crisis going on and great persecution of our Pope and what do we get from the "Gospa"?
Someone please help me understand why God would go to extraordinary means to come here and have Mary say these banal words. Open our hearts to the messages? What's in them that warrants an open heart? What substance? Pray not for the Pope or the Church, but that we may be able to listen to her messages? I just don't get it.
I do get the fact that you have to really go to the ocean to know how the air feels and the sound of the waves. No one can really explain what it feels like to be in a snow storm to someone who's never been in one. However, one does not have to experience these things to believe in their existence. I have personally had people tell me that you have to go to Medjugorje and experience it. I've no doubt that those who go there do have special spiritual experiences.
The problem lies in the separation that occurs between two faithful Catholics after one has made their pilgrimage to Medjugorje and one has stayed home. This highly emotional and personal spiritual experience cannot be shared with those who haven't experienced it. It's like going back home after being on vacation and trying to relay the whole experience to your friends – you can't. This is simply part of the human experience and our limitations. However, I believe God acts outside of all of this and frees us all to experience him regardless of money, travel, opportunities. He gives himself freely to us at every Mass at every location around the world. When we receive the Eucharist it is not solely a spiritual or emotional experience. It truly changes us and affect us in ways that surpass simple human emotion. While there are times that we may cry after receiving the Eucharist or feeling God's presence – those are just byproducts – not substance. We are not to rely on our emotions for sustenance.
This whole phenomenon is based on feelings and emotions whether it be happiness or fear. If it wasn't, you wouldn't have priests like Fr. Buchlein saying you have to go there to be "converted."
If there were volumes of actual "medically documented" healings, you would expect they would have handed them on the various commissions that have been investigating. Yet both bishops seem to have said there is not one single case of a medically documented healing.
There are volumes of medically documented healings in the parish office in Medjugorje.
There are many different reasons in this particular situation of private revelation as well as others for selecting the second of three choices of judgement….primarily because the other two choices just could not be made. This statement does not mean that it has been proven that no supernatural basis exists, but only that it is not yet established or proven. This means the matter is open to further investigation. This finding was really a compromise between the position of Bishop Zanic and the good fruits, which the events of Medjugorje were producing.
Most often it is due to the fact that an ongoing private revelation of importance with as yet unrevealed "secrets" as well as much data involved to be thoroughly examined could not go untainted without taking all of the aforementioned into serious consideration.
I ask myself, if Mary really did appear in Medjuogrje in 1981, Why did the Church commission after a long process of investigations found no proof of its supernaturality or that they were from God, even with the "so called good fruits"?
Healings? I want to see documented evidence on these miraculous healings. If they are indeed real then there will be documents stating such.
The World Youth Days have been responsible for many of the fruits that have been mentioned here but I don't think that anyone is claiming these events to be a supernatural apparition. When people get together with a common goal of deepening their faith, beautiful things happen.
Why do so many go to Medjugorje? It started because 6 people claimed to have seen Our Blessed Mother there, and continue to claim such, simple as that. People are attracted to such things and always will be. That people show up for an apparition or supposed supernatural event is no measure of its veracity.
Twenty-nine years?! It doesn't take that long to deliver a warning, or a message of encouragement or clarification of Church teaching. Perhaps I should look into this phenomenon more closely.
The Medjugorje detractors (who prefer to strain the gnat rather than look for the camel) often make statements like that – that the positive fruit of Medjugorje follows naturally from the sacramental activity there. I think the point bears some scrutiny.
The detractors like to say, yes there are good fruits in Medjugorje – confessions, conversions, vocations, healings, prayer – but this can be attributed to the million or so pilgrims per year, the dozens of masses per day (an estimated 40 concelebrations per day), the hundreds of confessions per day. Even if the devil himself were appearing there – as long as this type of prayerful and sacramental activity is included – you will get vocations, healings, conversions etc.
But that begs the question, doesn't it? Why are there a million or so pilgrims per year, hundreds of confessions per day and dozens of concelebrated masses (and healings etc.)? Could it be BECAUSE it is a place of a special annointing and outpouring of grace – A maternal presence and exhortation to faith and conversion?
If you can replicate the fruit – simply by scheduling the masses and the sacraments – then go ahead and do it! In the meantime, Medjugorje is known as "the world's confessional", and Bishops attest that if it were not for Medjugorje their seminaries would be half empty, and pastors like Fr. Buchlein attest that lives are changed for the better there!
So, the "openminded skeptics" want to deny any positive fruit to a heavenly visitation – however, any negative fruit – a cleric who strays from his vows, or a visionary who makes a cute but potentially tasteless joke or a comboxer who "offends" the ever touchy Patrick Coffin – all of this must be attributed to the apparition. As if a visitation of our Heavenly Mother somehow should cleanse us all from any taint or effect of sin.
The Mariologist Mark Mariavelle, who has actually served on investigative commissions of alleged apparitions, responds to this point:
…a basic moral integrity, and not an exceptional standard of holiness, is what commission members of Church investigations look for in evaluating the basic conditions for a possible recipient of heavenly visits or messages.
The six Medjugorje visionaries, Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic, Marija Pavlovic, Ivan Dragicevic and Jakov Colo, have been under the "public microscope" for their most of their adolescent and adult lives. They have been interviewed by a countless number of bishops, priests, religious, theologians, and laity. The overwhelming consensus of public opinion for those who have had direct contact with these six visionaries is a profound respect for their manifest integrity, straightforwardness, and the down-to-earth approach to the Christian life and to their experience as visionaries. Theologians who have interviewed the visionaries have likewise concluded to the same obvious presence of moral integrity and personal authenticity (1).
Remarkable personal sacrifice rather than personal gain has been the foremost experience of these six people, often at the painful expense of personal privacy and hardship. Daily talks to pilgrims, prayer groups, and healing prayer sessions have been the benchmark of life for the majority of the Medjugorje seers for the last 29 years.
Why is the Gospa of Medjugorje so wordy? Mary tends to be pretty straight to the point when she appears, doesn't she? How can anyone believe apparitions that appear so often for years, even decades, on end?
I have been told that there is a great feeling of peace in the area of Medjugorje, but I have to ask, how many Masses are celebrated there every day? Dozens? Hundreds? Might have something to do with it, eh?
Strange that an UNAPPROVED apparition should be the cause of such loss of time and energy.
Strange, too, that one must first feed the Medjugorje Pilgrim Travel Machine with ca$h before one is deemed fit to draw a negative conclusion. Of course, if you do go to Medjugorje, as Diane K and Mark W and many others have done, and *then* draw a negative conclusion, you are a traitor to the Gospa.
You need an attitude adjustment.
Supporters' emotional investment in this phenomenon is no doubt wedded to their financial investment.
Curiously, Bishop Zanic changed his mind — firmly and forever — after initially being disposed to the claims of the seers. This is considered very bad. Yet Father Zokvo (the suspended Franciscan) changed his mind — firmly and forever — after initially being skeptical toward the same claims. This is considered very good.
I have not been to Lourdes or Fatima but I accept the verdict of the respective bishops. I have not been to Medjugorje but I accept the verdict of not only the first bishop but also his successor and the multiply enlarged National Bishop's Commission with its 1991 Zadar Declaration, as well as the protocols of the Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith, which always refer inquirers to the Zadar directives.
"Non constat de supernaturalitate."
Works for me.
Nick, the whole string is provided in that post-link I provided at the end of that post with the letters about the National Basilica. Click then scroll slowly to the bottom.
Thanks Diane for the correction!
You should post that document on your blog so more people can be aware of the truth.
Padre Pio, even in the face of unjust accusations remained obedient to his authorities. He did not diss them because he was unjustly accused.
As you can see by the trail of documentation between the religious order and diocese, Fr. Jozo Zovko, OFM has unfortunately not followed the example of Padre Pio in this regard.
Padre Pio's obedience in the face of unjust accusations revealed much later to the world, his extraordinary virtue. He beared with patience the crosses sent to him, following protocol. He also acted on the graces given to him.
The promoters certainly do an excellent job of leaving out facts and sanitizing the messages so as not to "have blackened the air with doubt and confusion." It does seem the majority of troublesome messages are from the first year or two, and the "seers" have grown and got their act together since. Facts aren't the most important thing anyways, you have to go there and experience it yourself (per the promoters). And if the Vatican does happen to rule negatively, well you can't take away what you have experienced, ignore the facts.
Interesting you bring up Padre Pio. He himself lived in a climate of accrimony and false accusation. His faculties were suspended between 1931-1934 due to calumny and jealousy of the local clergy. In lifting the ban against Pio, the Holy Father, Pope Piux XI said, "I have not been badly disposed toward Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed."
When Padre Pio was asked why did he and all his followers have to suffer that ordeal, his reply was "It was done for the good of both your soul and mine." And this is my reply also: It is done for your soul, dear devotees and mine. This situation, if accepted with peace, love and trust in God's infinite goodness, will raise us up another step in our quest for a deeper spirituality and relationship with God.
In light of the remarks of the Fr. Jozo's provinicial ("Fr. Jozo Zovko is a priest in good standing"), it seems the same accrimony which existed in the Diocese of Mostar BEFORE the apparitions began – and two successive Bishops have been unable to extinguish – are consuming the clergy of Mostar, Diocesean and Franciscan.
The inclination of some to glom onto any crumb of innuendo or accusation is doing nothing to expose the truth but simply further an agenda. "If the facts don't fit the way we want them to – we'll bend them a little; or simply move on to the next story". Congratulations Patrick, on your scoop (NEWSFLASH: "The visionaries are human")! Good job Diane, you can rest a little better now – knowing you have blackened the air with doubt and confusion.
Fortunately, the International Commission will have the benefit of a larger view and hopefully be less inclined to "strain the gnat while missing the camel".
Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, and because some of the names can be similar, please note that all of the friars shown on the medjugorje.hr page you provide are in good standing and are not effected by those letters which were about two specific people. Ditto with the images.
The diocese has a complete list of the well over 20 Franciscans who so not have faculties and the names of all who have been expelled by the OFM Superior General in Rome. Scroll slowly here to the bottom of this google-translated page and be careful of people who may have the same or similar names to those listed.
There are many good Franciscans there in the Herzegovina Province who are doing the right things. We wouldn't want to inadvertenly assign guilt by association.
There is public info showing that in 2002 Zovko was in "good standing" with the OFM's, but, this is problematic as we will soon see. It became public knowledge in 2002, when the National Basilica in Washington DC canceled Fr. Zovko's appearance just two days before the event.
Here is a trail of interesting letters. Note that I have them in chronological order.
November 14, 2002, letter from Fr. Slavko Soldo, OFM (Provincial)
Fr. Jozo Zovko is a member of our community in good standing. He was the pastor at Medjugorje when the apparition of the Blessed Mother started in 1981. It was time of the communist regime in our country. As pastor of Medjugorje Fr. Jozo was put in prison by the communist court. After he was released from the prison, he continued to spread the message of the blessed Mother Queen of peace.
In our community Fr. Jozo Zovko is known as a charismatic priest who suffered for his faith and continues suffering. He spends long hours in prayer, counseling and preaching. Most of the time he is in the church, often for 10 hours a day.
Those who oppose the apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Medjugorje are constantly after Fr. Jozo, trying to stop his mission, but those who accept the Medjugorje consider him a dedicated priest and are inviting him to lead retreats for them and pray for them in their needs. Among those who are inviting him, are many priests and bishops. Fr. Jozo is tireless in that service. He did ask permission to travel to the United States and it was granted to him. I hope that this will be of help to you.
But, religious order provincials and generals do not give faculties. Only a bishop can do that.
November 19, 2002 Notice from the Basilica of the National Shrine about Father Jozo Zovko, OFM
The November 21 Marian Mass and prayer vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine will continue as scheduled without the participation of Father Jozo Zovko, O.F.M. Father Zovko’s faculties have been revoked and he is under censure from the Bosnian Diocese of Mostar-Duvno. In accord with Canon Law, he may not exercise his priestly ministry here.
The National Shrine and the Archdiocese of Washington, though unaware of the basis for Father Zovko’s censure, or any credible allegations against him, are obliged to adhere to its canonical stipulations.
It is odd that a priest without faculties would be considered in good standing by the OFM provincial. Was the provincial not aware?
The bishop not only notified the province on June 15, 1994 (prot 423/1994), but he notified the Holy See of continued disobedience on June 11, 1998 when in Rome for his ad limina visit (prot 1203/98).
This is very strange.
The pro-Medjugorje site, "Send your Spirit Medjugorje" raised this very question (interestingly, the site went defunct a few years ago, but I still had a copy of the communication they had up). Here is that letter, to which they never received a reply as of when I found it in 2005:
November 25, 2002
Fr. Slavko Soldo, OFM,Provincial of the HerzegovinianFranciscan Province of the AssumptionMostar – Fax: 333-526
Although Fr. Jozo is in good standing with you, he is, however, in disobedience to the local bishop, and therefore, the church, as indicated in the letter (Dated November 18, 2002, Prot. 1942/2002) from Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar to Msgr. Michael J. Bransfield, Rector Basilica National Shrine Of Immaculate Conception, Washington, D,C. Fax 001 202 526 8313.
Why did your Franciscan province permit him to be in such disobedience and without priestly faculties for 13 years?
Please reply. Thank you
For a complete history on Fr. Jozo Zovko and list of canonical penalties, see this post.
Code of Canon Law regarding dismissals from institutes:Can 696 – Dismissal from an InstituteCan 700 – Confirmation of a Degree of DismissalCan 701-702 – Consequences of a Legitimate Dismissal
Since Canon 696 applies, it means the Franciscans committed "grave, external, imputable, and juridically proven" acts. Whatever grave acts they committed, the Holy See, in light of Canon 700, knew and verified them.
Since Canon 700 applies, it means the dismissal of the 'friars' was "confirmed by the Holy See". So the 'friars' are not disobeying the Bishop but Rome – specifically the Holy Father, whom every Franciscan makes a special vow of obedience to, and whom signs (and therefore confirms and approves) every degree the Holy See makes.
Since Canons 701 and 702 apply, it means the 'friars' vows, rights, and obligations "cease ipso facto" and they "cannot exercise sacred orders" in the diocese of the Bishop of Mostar. By pretending to still belong to the Order of St. Francis and by celebrating the sacraments in the diocese of the Bishop of Mostar, the 'friars' are committing disobedience: disobedience against Rome.
Medjugorje's official website provides the evidence that the 'friars' are pretending to still be Franciscans. Another Medjugorje website provides evidence that the Franciscans are celebrating the sacraments. So there is photographic evidence of what the 'friars' are doing; it's not just gossip or hearsay. Plus, the evidence comes straight from Medjugorje, so it can't be dismissed as anti-Medjugorje propaganda.
Letters from the Holy See on the dismissal of the Franciscans in Medjugorje, as found in the book Medjugorje after Twenty-One Years: A Definitive History:
Congregation for the Religious
Prot. No. 32343/97
Holy Father, the procurator general of the OFM beseeches your Holiness to confirm the decree for the dismissal from the aforesaid order of Fra. Petar Barbaric, pronounced on 2 March 1998 by the general minister for the reasons mentioned previously.The Congregation for the Religious,8 having carefully considered the matters set out above,9 confirms the aforesaid decree for the dismissal from the aforesaid order of Fra. Boniface Petar Barbaric as requested, in conformity with the provisions of Canons 696/700 of the Code of Canon Law on the grounds of his unauthorized absence [that is to say, from the house of his order], all the consequences prescribed by canons 701 and 702 of the Code of Canon Law moreover ensuing.
Contrariis quibuslibet non obstantibus, ili.Vatican City, 23 March 1998
O.D. Di Odoardo CP, Jesus Torres CMF,Principal of the Section Undersecretary
Copy conformed to the original, Fr. Antonio Riccio.
Prot. No. 32344/97
Holy Father, the procurator general of the OFM beseeches your Holiness to confirm the decree for the dismissal from the aforesaid order of Fra Bozo Rados pronounced on 2 March 1998 by the general minister for the reasons mentioned previously.The Congregation for Religious, having carefully considered the matters set out below, confirms the aforesaid decree for the dismissal from the aforesaid order of Fra Bozo Rados as requested, in conformity with the provisions of canons 696/700 of the Code of Canon Law on the grounds of his unauthorized absence [that is to say, from the house of his order], all the consequences prescribed by canons 701 and 702 of the Code of Canon Law moreover ensuing.
O.D. Di Odoardo CP, Jesus Torres CMF,Principal of the Section Undersecretary
@Anonymous April 18, 2010 2:56 PM who said: Your "accusations" have long ago been dismissed. There is testimony to the factual happenings between the bishop and his meetings with the communists…
Check out the difference between the inuendo found at pro-Medjugorje sites with the calumnies about the bishop and communists (without documentation and objective data like names, dates, places) and contrast it to this analysis of Bishop Zanic and the communists by Prof. Marco Corvaglia which does have names, dates, places, and document numbers.
Medjugorje, the communists, and the bishop
Visiting the Mostar diocesan website you would find that the bishop says:"The obstinacy of the pastors and other associates of Medjugorje is evident in that a member of your Province, Fr. Jozo Zovko, who has no priestly faculties and who is forbidden from celebrating any priestly functions in this diocese, has been invited this year to preside at the Way of the Cross in Medjugorje and has been in this regard presented as available for confessions”.
Anonymous seems to simply be providing further evidence of Fr. Zovko's obstinate disobedience.
Your "accusations" have long ago been dismissed. There is testimony to the factual happenings between the bishop and his meetings with the communists. There was found to be no basis for the accusations against Fr. Jozo. You can cite the canon law only if it was followed in the procedure against the priest/s to begin with. It wasn't. You have current evidence in just how these recent bishops of that area plant misinformation in diocesan news … putting out a portion of a private communication between a Cardinal of the Church to insinuate and have reproduced completely out of context something never to have been made public in the first place. Shame on such examples of "shepherds"!
The bishops have been admonished by respected and learned theologians/bishops of the Church re: the treatment against those under their authority. There's a real history there and hopefully therefore there will be a re-arrangement of the authority over the Medj. parish and the Franciscans so worn out from deliberate restrictions due to the underlying agenda.
Marian Times reported that Father Jozo had been accused of sexual abuse. I am not accusing him, but pointing out that he's been accused and that what people would expect nowadays is that someone who is accused should be suspended while an investigation is made. Whether or not that was the reason the bishop suspended him, he was suspended. Being in good standing with his Franciscan Province allows him only to hear confessions of Franciscans within his Province, not the confessions of the faithful. Check Canon 969 of Canon Law. My tie to the sex abuse scandal is simply that when a priest has been accused, whether rightly or not, we would expect him to abide by the suspension of his bishop while an investigation is conducted. Father Jozo did not. I "slander" Father Jozo for pointing out that he failed to obey the suspension of his faculties, and you are not slandering the bishop by continuing to refer to him as cowering. You also don't seem to concede the point that the incident of "cowering", has nothing to do with the current bishop.
Dr. Jones discusses Medjugorje with former diplomat and apostate Catholic Tomislav Sunic. I suspect Mr. Sunic has views on race which we all would disagree with (including most strenuously-Dr. Jones)
P.S. BTW, your "banned" priest was just home visiting with a smile and a message re: time of his future return – hopefully he was able to rest his ailing back with some kind of therapy. You might, other than your collection of so-called human "misdeeds" you might, after all those years, gained some charity for others. Doesn't look like it though. The fruits of negativity.
Dear 'Anonymous',Why not mentioning your real name???1°Jozo has been banned from Medjugorje already 20 years ago, not by the bishop, but by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of People on February 15 1990(letter nr. 5673/89). Jozo refused to obey.In 2009 he has been banned from Siroki Brijeg to the island of Badija by the Franciscan Provincialate in Mostar and later to Austria.2° Why I went 24x to Medjugorje, you ask,trying to ridiculise this. Well, Mr. 'Anonymous', there exist honest people who investigate things.At the University I was specialised in Analytical Chemistry. Later I worked in the Atomic Center in Mol/ Belgium. I also worked during 2 years in the International Institute for Patents in The Hague/ Netherlands.After the miraculous healing of my wife(she had a broken neck, braindamage, and lost a child after 6 months pregnancy because of a car accident) by Padre Pio, I started examining all kind of real and false miracles. I have 300 files of them.So I arrived also in Medjugorje in 1984, and returned 24x until 1997. I have audiotapes of all 'seers' and franciscans. Then on August 4 I went to inform bishop Peric about all the fraud in that socalled 'miraculous' place.
without any facts you are now connecting Fr. Jozo with "the sex abuse scandal"??? Shame on you for slander. If you have some facts put them out there – or are you relying on the well refuted "Wanderer" gossip. If you can do nothing but spread that gossip/sin you're following that "father of lies", not his nemesis.
Fr. Jozo's superior (who btw, is closer to the facts than yourself): "It's not true that Fr. Jozo was suspended by his Franciscan general. He is not suspended! He is a priest in good standing with his community!"
Bishops don't willy nilly on their own whims universally suppress priests. They have the power to force their judgements in error (and we have seen just what the Vatican thought of such judgements re: the Medjugorje phenomena) within their bailiwicks, but not outside. These Mostar bishops of late with the history of the region/Franciscans can be readily seen as ruling with prejudice and without complete recourse for the priests within Canon law and then publicly inferring untruths. For that they will have much to answer.
Fr. Jozo did not cower under the orders/force of the atheists/communists – he did not stop evening mass at the parish at their orders – he did not stop defending what he was convinced (after originally testing the spirit) was from God. The bishop cowered, changed over night after threats from Gov. and fearful priests of his area. Thus we have the true measure of the men.
Behold the spirit of Medjugorje: A spirit of rebellion
Maybe I am just a bad Catholic, but I personally do not see a big problem with the joke. I probably wouldn`t tell it, but then again, I don`t realy like telling jokes, and I am also rather scrupulous. But I don`t find it blasphemous.
I am not a believer in Medjugorje, but this is grasping at straws. I do think that perhaps Fr. might have a point when he questions your open-mindedness. Not that you are not – I just think your skepticism tends to skew your evaluation of such things, like the jokes the seers tell, etc. Which is understandable, but consider how that appears to a Medjugorje supporter.
It always hurts our argument when we mention things like this. To believers in Medjugorje, arguments like this just reinforce their suspicions that we are just “looking for“ stuff. There are such strong arguments to make – why not just focus on those (the disobedience, primarily). Every borderline argument is a step backwards – and makes it less likely that we will convince those who believe in Medjugorje that it might not be authentic.
I could very well be wrong about the joke. But if I am, I still don`t think we should make too much of it – for the reasons I gave.
Wade St. Onge
Anonymous writes: "Since we have the real evidence of Fr. Jozo's character". Marian Times short biography of Fr. Jozo says: "Father Jozo has been persecuted, imprisoned, denigrated and accused of unspeakable sins from graft to child abuse."Even given the benefit of the doubt that any accusations may have been false, when such accusations happen nowadays what is expected to be one of the first responses of the bishop. You would expect the priest to be removed from active ministry while the matter is investigated. Whether these accusations were the main reason or not, the bishop of Mostar suspended Fr. Jozo. Fr. Jozo ignored the suspension and continued to practice his ministry. Without proper faculties from the bishop, he heard confessions. Without proper faculties, such confessions are not merely illicit but invalid, and so Fr. Jozo received further suspension. The current bishop, whom Anonymous feels "exiled in order to get rid of an upsetting reminder that he himself did not quite measure up to accepting the same ordeal", is of course the successor to the bishop that is normally referred to regarding the "ordeal". While I'm sure supporters will consider any accusations as lies to get Fr. Jozo removed, considering all the news regarding the "sex abuse scandal", what does one expect the normal recourse of the bishop to be?
"It is simply another problematic aspect of this whole thing that should be examined."
i think what is problematic, is that you are trying to prove the apparitions in medjugorje not being from God, with stories of hearsay and supporting anecdotal stories that hold such a claim on your blog. i think this is a departure from the valuable service you have rendered to the church, with the books you have written witnessing the truth and beauty of our catholic faith. if merely trying to find something that will be upheld in a court of law is the 'plumb bob within our midst' to guide us to truth, then God help us all. we will all fall short of such an earthly institution. for us personally, for our souls, i think its wise to ask God for the wisdom to see these events as heaven sees them unfolding. i say personally, because the church has not definitively approved or disapproved these alleged apparitions. during the events of fatima, before the church spoke on the matter, the people still needed to follow everyday christian wisdom and prudence. now, with medjugorje we need to do the same and you mister Madrid all the more. people are listening to you. this is the day and age when God is allowing people, such as yourself, to have a name synonymous with the catholic faith. the burden of such a name is not one i would want. i applaud you. He is allowing your service in a fallible teaching office, but a gift to us all as 'teacher' all the same. with good laymen such as yourself, He is filling a void that was once filled by the average cleric down the street who knew his catechism as you do. as you know this catechism is built on the bedrock of our wise church, this is the beauty you stand for and people are learning from you. so when i hear you throwing your weight around on alleged events, with alleged he said/she said, i say BE CAREFUL! BE VERY CAREFUL! as you know this subject of medjugorje is a deep water subject and i thank God the bark of Peter, with the Holy Spirit, will see us through this turbulent time. supporting your argument with hearsay and courtroom tactics is treading in that deep water without that boat of wisdom. thank you for allowing me a voice on your forum. thank you for your service to our Holy Catholic Faith. if you want to talk more we can exchange emails. Pax, chris
Mr. Madrid, I think I could be of great assistance in this discussion on Medjugorje. I have studied the phenomenon for years now and can help with many details of the story in the light of Church teachings. If you are interested, please contact me.
Peace!-Kevin SymondsSummerville, SCStMi49531@aol.com
Since we have the real evidence of Fr. Jozo's character in that he did not shrink in the face of threats by the atheist/communists – arrest and torture for remaining true to his vocation as a Catholic priest with physical infirmity resulting from that torture – it just might be concluded that the bishop, in piling more suffering upon the man, wished him exiled in order to get rid of an upsetting reminder that he himself did not quite measure up to accepting the same ordeal, within the same vocation.
If this "place" is soooo full of "vices", why did it take you something like 24 times to discover it? From what you say it would seem comparable to banging your head against a brick wall over and over!
NOW I know why the evil volcano erupted, disturbing air travel in Europe!! But to everyone here's surprise, it's not God's doings … it's this guy's:
An advice to everybody : Don't go to this place of vices.************************************************Unless you simply wish to follow the Church's guidance since they too will be going.
Fr. Neil reproaches Patrick Madrid that he never went to Medjugorje to see the 'good fruits'.Well, I have been 24 x to Medjugorje and I can tell everybody about contradictions, lies, manipulations, disobedience to the bishop and fraud in Medjugorje. Even sex scandals of the promoting franciscans in Medjugorje.An advice to everybody : Don't go to this place of vices.
Patrick could have cited one of various numerous other incidents vs the one he did but I understand the difficulties of doing that. The Diocese of Mostar site provides much information, but since that comes from the bishop that is "at war" with the Franciscans, supporters won't accept that as a reliable source. The same happens with using E. Michael Jones or Michael Davies as sources. If there is a site out there that provides criticism, then supporters say it is another site out to tear down Medjugorje so pay no attention to it. No doubt the newspaper he quoted from can no longer be considered trustworthy, since it is out to tear down Medjugorje (regardless of what it's overall focus is). Must be somewhat similar to an apologetics debate when the opponent always wants to see where that is in the Bible and you can't quote non-biblical sources. In this case it is more difficult to determine what the "bible" is for Medjugorje.
Neil's point about the gross isn't that meaningful, as they might possibly be operating on a non-profit bases with expenses being equal to gross. Not that I think they are, just that the gross figures on their own don't mean much. They probably are easier to project, just as someone might make some simple projections as to how much "seers" might have brought in over the years from pilgrims staying at their homes. Part of the "seers" expenses no doubt include paying construction costs for the new homes they built to accommodate pilgrims, which have no doubt been paid for by now.The travel agencies no doubt have huge advertising expenses. A good portion of these would go to Marian newspapers that help to promote Medjugorje, but also many diocesan newspapers have been publishing ads for pilgrimages. It seems to me that is a question that the Vatican Commission may be assembling for, as to whether a diocesan newspaper for which the bishop is considered the publisher is not in violation of restrictions for bishops "organizing" pilgrimages by publishing advertisements in their newspapers.
With the following testimony of a first class witness, I think that it would be useful but not necessary to have the tape of the conference.
Here is what Father Ted Shipp wrote in his November 2000 letter to the Editor of the San Francisco Faith:
“I was saddened and angered by the misrepresentation of the author of this article. Since you have read the article and have indicated that it was worthy of print you are aware that I was not only present for the entire retreat but was also the Master of Ceremonies of this wonderful Marian Retreat.”[…]
“I wonder whether the author was actually there or whether the author of the article based his article on the biased description of another person who was present for part or even all of the retreat.”[…]
“What he seemed to record in his article were some of the words of some of the speakers, including those of the alleged visionary Marija. But he clearly did not present the tone of what each on the speakers shared in their respective talks.”[…]
“His information about the Franciscan priests who have been connected with Medjugorje was likewise inaccurate. His accusations about their sexual behavior are also calumnious.”
The complete letter is at this address: http://www.sffaith.com/ed/letters/1100lett.htm
What can we conclude from these excerpts?
The master of ceremonies testifies that the visionary Marija was there and that she spoke. He doesn't criticize the journalist for misrepresentation of what Marija said. Conclusion by inference : the joke was told by Marija and her husband according to what the journalist Cameron O'Shea reported in a very well documented and full of details article. (see his response to the letter with appropriate references)
A short note to the critique by Fr Shipp to the journalist about the “sexual behavior” of some Franciscan priests connected with Medjugorje. Ten years later, we know what happened and that Fr Shipp was badly informed. These priests have been sanctioned/disciplined for their “inappropriate” behavior. [http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2009/07/fr-tomislav-vlasic-ofm-laicized-by-holy.html] and [http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2010/02/ecclesial-disciplinary-actions-against.html]
San Francisco Faith Letter: Biased Description?
More "Marian Medjugorje Conferences":2006 National Medjugorje Conference2010 Marian Conferences
I like it!
Nick said… I'd rather listen to a Bishop than to a visionary. A Bishop is a vicar of Christ, regardless of his vices. A visionary is not Christ's vicar, regardless of his virtues.
April 16, 2010 9:36 PM ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++With the position of Bishop such a man has much to be responsible for and to, in the end, answer for, in his shepherding (or not) of the faithful. Since so many "bishops" did not listen to God's own Mother (through the chosen visionary/s) in her role as a prophet as well as mother when she warned the world (the Church first) at Fatima we are still suffering. She comes as "spouse of the Holy Spirit" and unless, yes, even bishops, are as well grounded themselves in prayer and openness to the Spirit they can gravely err. The Vatican's own recent condemnation of a particular Cardinal's role in the ongoing scandal is evidence of that. One does not simply accept all without discernment or one may fall into the kind of clericalism that has been evident from recent history.
If Laurette Elsberry is reading (she is the one who initiated the comment in the other thread about this joke), I think she should send her testimony to the CDF for the commission along with the documentation that is discussed in that article linked to by Pat at 10:46am. Providing the docs cited below would give credibility to her claim that she was there, as she states.
Here is what it says:
During Spring, 2000 when announcements were made that a major Medjugorje conference was being planned for August in Sacramento, local Catholic Laurette Elsberry wrote to Bishop Ratko Peric, the present bishop of Mostar, to ask for the official position of the Catholic Church on the Medjugorje apparitions. She received a letter in response from the chancellor of the diocese, Don Ante Luburic. He quoted St. Paul's letter to his disciple Timothy: "for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths" (2 Tim 4, 3-4). The chancellor also provided an article, "Criteria for Discerning Apparitions — Regarding the Events of Medjugorje," translated into English from a book about the Blessed Virgin Mary entitled The Seat of Wisdom, edited by Bishop Peric. The chancellor wrote: "You can use it, especially the last ten points regarding the arguments against the authenticity of the alleged apparitions."
Elsberry sent a copy the chancellor's letter and excerpts from the article he sent to her, to many pastors of parishes in Sacramento and Stockton to inform them of the Church's position and to urge them not to be involved in promoting the Sacramento Medjugorje conference. Already conference promoters had used Church channels, including the diocesan Catholic Herald newspaper, parish bulletins, and parish address lists to promote the event.
Also, does the account written by Cameron O'Shea mean that he was indeed present, or was he writing about the "joke" based on the testimony of Laurette?
I wonder how many Medjugorje defenders and websites online are travel agents in disguise.
1978 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Norms for the Discernment of ApparitionsI. Criteria of judgement, concerning the probability at least, of the character of the apparitions and supposed revelations.B) Negative criteria:c) An obvious pursuit of monetary gain in relation with the fact.
On Saturday, April 8, a meeting was held at Leatherby's Family Creamery restaurant in Sacramento at which Lynn Hoffman was introduced. (Flyers announcing the meeting to plan "A Marian Medjugorje Conference" and stating that "Lynn Hoffman, a California resident in close contact with the visionaries of Medjugorje, will guide the meeting and share her ideas," had been placed in Medjugorje-friendly parishes. It should be noted that the flyer failed to state that Hoffman is not merely a "California resident in close contact with the visionaries of Medjugorje," but does have business ties with them, so far as to assigning "pilgrims" (those who make the "first 30 deposits" of $400 each) get "accommodations with Mirjana" to live with one of the two original "visionaries" who launched the Medjugorje phenomenon.
Throughout the conference, Medjugorje luminaries including visionary Marija (Pavlovic)and her husband Paolo Lunetti, Sister Janja Boras, and Father Robert Faricy were highlighted. The importance of traveling to Medjugorje was emphasized to those attending the conference. The general theme was that no one could get the full effect of Medjugorje unless he traveled (and returned regularly) to experience it first-hand, at the site. At the conference, Lynn Hoffman had flyers distributed that listed seven Medjugorje tours during the next four months. (There were 15 tours to Medjugorje that had taken place in the earlier part of the year) Her website listed 21 Year 2001 "pilgrimages" to Medjugorje. If the pilgrimages averaged 30 persons each, at about $1,500 each, that would be a gross close to one million dollars per year for Hoffman's FIAT travel agency.
"Hanging my hat" on this? No, not at all. It is simply another problematic aspect of this whole thing that should be examined. If it turns out to be true that the alleged seer did in fact say the jokes that eyewitnesses claim she said, then it will have to taken into account. It will be interesting to see what is on the recordings of that conference.
But there are two accounts of the same "alleged" remarks and, as I pointed out during this discussion on the radio, that kind of eye-witness testimony would be admissible in a courtroom.
In any case, you can read a much longer and more detailed eyewitness account of that incident "here" in the San Francisco Faith Catholic newspaper. This account appeared in the October, 2000 edition of that paper, which means it was written shortly after the Medjugorje conference, which took place in August, 2000.
Here is the relevant section of that account from this eyewitness:
Back on the Sacramento stage, since they said there were no more questions, the Lunettis pronounced: "we will tell a joke."
"Jesus was in Paradise. The Apostles were a bit bored being in Paradise for such a long time, as we sometimes say we will get bored in Paradise. Jesus said, 'Let's go for a tour on the earth.' And they thought where are we going. Are we going to go to California or Medjugorje, or somewhere else? And they couldn't decide so they said it's better if we go back to the places we know, so they went to Palestine — the Holy Land.
So they went and they decided to have a barbecue on the beach, on the lake, with fresh fish. And they were very happy, so they went and lit up the fire and fished the fish. And since they were in Paradise where they had no more faith but they were completely sure about what they could do — they had perfect faith, we could say — they were all walking on the water.
And so also Jesus went on the water but he started to go down — to sink. So he starts thinking to himself: 'What's wrong with me? I'm Jesus. This is impossible. I'm sinking.' And then Peter saw him, got close to him and said: 'Rabbi, you forgot, your feet have holes.'" Lunetti added after the joke: "So we can have fun with those little things. We can laugh with Jesus."
A short time later Lunetti asked if the audience wanted to hear another joke. Some affirmative responses could be heard.
The joke: "Little Jesus was in heaven, but he was crying and crying. The saints and the angels were worried and asked him what was wrong. Jesus answered that his mother had left him again, and had gone down to Medjugorje without him."
from chris in virginia – so let me get this straight. you are hanging your hat on an alleged blasphemy, by an alleged visionary, at a marian conference that happened 9 years ago, for which you have no proof of?…honestly patrick, i expected much more from you.
If we ever do see the day when the apparitions of Medjugorje are fully approved I'll be interested in seeing if Patrick has been converted or if he will continue to wallow in his "open-mindedness" and I will continue to pray for him."
You are not required to believe in Marian apparitions, period. I can deny Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, the lot of them. The church has approved of these, but they are not essential to the faith. So you are wrong on all counts. Even if the church does approve Medjugorje, the faithful are free to believe or not.
The question is: if the Church officially states that Medjugorje is inauthentic, will you follow her?
Just a note, Al Kresta is looking for discussion, as well.
See the Kresta in the Afternoon blog
Fr. Buchlein sounds like a devout and devoted priest, and I appreciate his service to the Church. However, I think he has made several problematic comments.
Fr. Buchlein said they (presumably those, at least some, who believe in the authenticity of the apparitions) are not "getting" it but waiting for the next apparition. That anxiety and restlessness seems to lend itself to an excitement with the event as opposed to a deepening spiritual life and reflectiveness as to what the alleged messages mean. This is not good fruit.
Neither Fr. Buchlein nor anyone else really knows whether Patrick is open-minded about the apparitions. Yet, I find it a bit off-putting to read from Father, "I'm not sure if Patrick knows what the phrase "open-minded" really means but listen to the interview. If we ever do see the day when the apparitions of Medjugorje are fully approved I'll be interested in seeing if Patrick has been converted or if he will continue to wallow in his 'open-mindedness' and I will continue to pray for him." If the apparitions are ever fully approved, I am not aware of anything in the Church's mindset or teaching that would require Patrick or anyone else to be "converted." Fr. Buchlein confirms the same in his comments later in the interview, so I am perplexed as to why he writes about "conversion" to Medjugorje.
From personal experience and lengthy exposure to Patrick's public persona, I have great confidence Patrick is very open-minded and am disappointed at the hint that that he is not.
Then, Father says at the end of the interview that it does not really matter whether the alleged apparitions are true. Unbelievable! Is this not the same as saying, "What the Commission decides does not make any difference?"
Of course, it matters!
If the Church declares negatively, there is a real possibility that demonic influence is behind the last 29 years of this, and there will be much need for thousands, and maybe millions, of people to re-orient themselves. If the Church declares positively, we must seriously ask ourselves why apparitions have been going on daily for 29 years and what it means for all of us.
Declaring it does matter is quite disturbing, and if that is the mindset of those who think these apparitions are true, I think these people are very deficient in understanding what it means to be Catholic.
At the end of the interview, Patrick skillfully explains in very simple terms why it does matter. Heed his advice.
I would like to ask if it is just my imagination or real, that people who use pseudonyms, and especially "anonymous" tend to, in general, be more condescending and snarky?
anonymous @9:52pm said: With all due respect, Fr. Bain, an example of some flash in the pan window attraction is a bit out of the category of a long history of scientific studies…"
Scientific studies like these?
- "I was afraid the Infant Jesus was slipping" (video included).
Or, you can find more details about the scientific studies and the cooperation of the six visionaries (or lack thereof) here, here and here.
With all due respect, Fr. Bain, an example of some flash in the pan window attraction is a bit out of the category of a long history of scientific studies, interviews, reports after reports, constant following, and unprecedented involvement by the Vatican itself as well as the documented experiences of thousands of priests, bishops, and cardinals who have to publicly acknowledge their own Archdiocese's seminaries' indebtedness for vocations to a particular place of grace. Really! Maybe just too much of a stretch for a comparison? You think?
Before it was approved they were doing the same thing to Lourdes – no healings – just hysterical effects by the over-emotional … and look how long it took to approve even those couple of famous places!
I'd rather listen to a Bishop than to a visionary. A Bishop is a vicar of Christ, regardless of his vices. A visionary is not Christ's vicar, regardless of his virtues.
Patrick used the story from the combox – an alleged "tasteless joke" – to disparage the visionary Marija Lunetti? Say it ain't so Patrick! You yourself called the story "unsubstantiated hearsay". What changed? Were you able to substantiate the story? Are you so zealous about denigrading Medjugorje that you are willing to use an unsubstantiated story?
Do I have to ask? We've already seen you trumpet an unsubstantiated allegation about a "misleading translation" from RadioMir. Do you understand the potential for detraction in promoting false rumors??
Most Catholics think that because the fruits of Medjugorje are spectacular Our Lady must be appearing there. But, the truth is an apparition can manifests the holiest of fruits and yet not be from heaven. Twenty years ago thousands of people from around the world flocked to St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Colfax, California to see an apparition of the Virgin Mary on a stained glass window. For months they came despite the warning of the local priest that the apparition began the day after a tree was cut down in the church parking lot. Daily there were long lines for confession, rosary beads were miraculously changing into gold, souls were being converted, and the sick were being healed. A parishioner of mine had her back healed while praying before the apparition. Even the local bishop visited the apparition and said, “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary and for those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”Then, on December 11, 1990, after the first cloudy day in northern California since spring, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “A mysterious light on a church wall that many believed was a divinely inspired image of the Virgin Mary did not appear yesterday amid heavy clouds, seeming to confirm the theory it was merely sunlight shinning through a stained-glass window. When the image failed to appear at its customary time, however, the worshipers trooped out, some in dismay.”
Re: Patrick repeating the story given by Laurette in the comment section in the previous thread on Medj. He seemed to have been greatly impressed by that "story". I have looked for that info. and could so far only find one link which solely, itself, relied also on guess who, "Laurette".
Frankly, I'm surprised that Laurette even attended that particular conference she cited since the link described how she sought out something from the local bishop who no longer is the authority over the phenomena itself for some kind of authority to use to express to pastors in the vicinity of the to-be-held conference in order to "advise" them to discourage parishioners from attending said conference. Whew! A lot of work to bring the attendance down while apparently she herself attended! Now, do we have anti-Medj. "infiltrators" in conferences, seeking the "ah ha" moments??? Sort of like the pro-Obama policy Tea Party crashers! IOW, not from any objective observer by any means.
"Fr. Neil LIVE on the Al Kresta Show 04/16/20100 Comment(s) This is the tape of yesterday afternoon's show. I was contacted yesterday afternoon and was asked if I would be available to answer some questions regarding Medjugorje and the Vatican Commission. I was very surprised to hear at 5PM when I tuned in that Patrick Madrid ( a very "open-minded skeptic" regarding Medjugorje) was also on the show. I was not told this by the station manager when I accepted the invitation. Patrick has been very outspoken regarding Medjugorje and has a strong following. He prides himself in having read many books and articles about Medjugorje. Unfortunately he has never been there but I do hope that one day he may change his mind and and make a pilgrimmage and really see and experiece the "fruits." This would only happen if he were to be truly "open-minded" and leave his skepticism at home or at the bottom of apparition hill. I'm not sure if Patrick knows what the phrase "open-minded" really means but listen to the interview. If we ever do see the day when the apparitions of Medjugorje are fully approved I'll be interested in seeing if Patrick has been converted or if he will continue to wallow in his "open-mindedness" and I will continue to pray for him."
I'm leaning against the authenticity of the Medjugorje visions, BUT,If the Church approves them — I will change my view.
Thanks, Patrick. For some listeners, this show probably give them their first awareness that there is a skeptical case against the Medjugorje phenomenon.
From Fr. Buchlein's remarks, I can only assume that he hasn't delved into the questionable aspects much.
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