Medjugorje and "The Maciel Effect"

April 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog



 
Many adherents of the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje to whom I have spoken personally have invoked the (also alleged) fondness and support of Blessed Pope John Paul II for it. “The Pope was in favor of Medjugorje,” they reason, “and given what a good and holy pontiff he was, it’s highly unlikely that Medjugorje could be anything other than an authentic Marian apparition. And, conversely, it’s an even stronger reason for believing in Medjugorje.”
 
This is a form of what’s known as an a fortiori argument. For example, one might say, “If I think that Medjugorje is true, that’s all well and good. But if even the pope thinks it’s true, then the possibility that it is true is much stronger, much more likely.”
 
Variations of this type of argument can be seen on sundry pro-Medjugorje websites, in which such-and-such a bishop or cardinal is touted as believing that the alleged apparitions are authentic, or such-and-such a theologian is extolled because he has declared that Medjugorje “has the ring of truth,” etc., etc.
 
Strictly speaking, there is nothing wrong at all with arguing for something along these lines. We make use of valid arguments like this all the time (“Grandma always said that eating apples would keep you healthy, but if even expert scientists confirm that belief, how much more so should we take Grandma’s advice seriously,” etc.). The problem, though, at least for those who follow Medjugorje, is that their commonly employed argument, based on the widely held belief that Pope John Paul II strongly favored Medjugorje, skates dangerously close to the edge of the logical fallacy of weak induction. I’ll explain what I mean.
 
As those who follow this blog know, I am an open-minded skeptic when it comes to Medjugorje. I see too many problematic aspects of the alleged apparitions — some, seriously problematic, such as the incitements to disobedience from whoever or whatever is dispensing the messages (for more on that, readmy comments beneath this post) — to be convinced that it is an authentic Marian apparition. I realize, of course, and freely admit, that I may in fact be wrong in my skepticism. I simply may not have properly understood or interpreted the data.
 
As I have said before, if I am wrong about this, and if the Medjugorje phenomena are truly the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, then I will rejoice to have my error corrected. I mean that sincerely. But that’s beside the point for the purpose of this post.
 
What I am driving at, as the title of this article suggests, is that those who attempt to bolster their own faith in Medjugorje, and that of others, by using the argument about Pope John Paul II accepting its authenticity (take note that many now seek to press Pope Benedict XVI into service using this same tactic, as well) are setting themselves up for a serious difficulty.
 
It is a well known fact that Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, was a stalwart supporter of Fr. Marcial Maciel, the disgraced, recently deceased founder of the Legionaries of Christ religious order and its lay arm, Regnum Christi. I can only assume that John Paul was truly ignorant of the many frauds Fr. Maciel had perpetrated for decades. How it is that the pope did not know the truth about that dastardly man is beyond me, but I’m not focusing on that question here. It’s sufficient to remind ourselves that the charism of papal infallibility does not extend to the pope’s private, personal opinions about people and things.
 
As we now know, Pope John Paul II was utterly wrong about Fr. Maciel. He had completely misjudged him. Like a whole lot of other people, including a few popes who came before him, John Paul was conned by a consummate con-man. His approval of the vaunted Mexican priest was in complete error. The gestures of honor and confidence with which he generously betokened Fr. Maciel over many years were completely undeserved. His famous comment that Maciel was “an efficacious guide to youth” could not have been more hideously incorrect.
 
We know that now. We know now the sordid details of many bad things which Fr. Maciel perpetrated over his lifetime. Since his demise, they have continued to belch forth from the grave like a sulfurous semi-dormant volcano that will emit its noxious fumes for a long time to come.
Please note: I am not equating Medjugorje with Fr. Maciel. I am not suggesting any kind of similarity whatsoever between the two. Nor am I in any way impugning or disrespecting or trying to besmirch the memory of Blessed Pope John Paul II. I believe he was a good and holy man who was deceived by a duplicitous, wicked man.
 
And that’s what I hope all Medjugorje supporters who tout the alleged approval of Pope John Paul II will see and understand.
 
All the stories I have heard from Medjugorje supporters about how Pope John Paul II favored or even personally believed in its authenticity have all been apocryphal. I am not aware of the Holy Father ever publicly commenting, one way or the other, whether verbally or in writing, on Medjugorje.
 
Sure, there are numerous instances of private comments alleged to have been made by JPII about Medjugorje, but none that I am aware of which have been verified with documentation, such as video or audio recordings. Peruse these comments, and you’ll see they are all third-hand. He said he said he said, etc.
 
But even that is not the main point here. Let’s say for the sake of discussion that every single last one of those alleged remarks made by John Paul II really did come from his lips. Let’s assume that not only did he say those things, but that he was also convinced that Medjugorje is authentic. And, a fortiori, if even Pope John Paul II himself was a fervent believer in Medjugorje, how much more should we regard it to be true. Right?
 
Wrong. That’s a bad argument to be using in this case. Why? Because even saintly popes can be seriously wrong in their personal opinions.

<
/div>

We might think of this as the “Maciel Effect,” which applies to Medjugorje and can be expressed in the form of the following argument:
 

“If even a good and holy pope can be deceived and be utterly wrong in his sincere personal opinion about the character of Fr. Maciel, then how much more so is it possible that you could be sincerely wrong in your personal opinions about Medjugorje?”

 
Remember: Pope John Paul II was convinced that Fr. Maciel was a holy priest, an exemplary and faithful Catholic, and “an efficacious guide to youth.”
 
He could not have been more wrong about that.
 


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207 Responses to “Medjugorje and "The Maciel Effect"”
  1. Garyb444 says:

    As someone who used to be involved with New Age, the daily messages from Mary at Medjugorje remind me very much of what is called “Channeling.” Messages received by someone that are supposed to be from some entity on the other side. They usually publish these daily messages. And they sound very similar to the messages received from Medjugorje.

  2. kentuckyliz says:

    People I know who are Medj fans keep whispering threats of the coming Church of Medjugorje. OK, denomination #38,849. See ya.

    I saw Ivan the visionary in Louisville KY many years ago–dressed in a shiny suit and cufflinks and gold chains and slicked back hair, with a blonde bombshell hottie wife. He was living a far higher lifestyle than the humble middle class middle aged women who made up his audience. I didn't buy the apparition for a minute.

    Same ladies from my church went up to the Holy Spirit Center in Cincinnati for the Falmouth visionary's scheduled performance. They saw magic lights dancing everywhere! We were standing outside a large building at night and a huge crowd of people were taking flash photos! It was the flashing of the cameras! My my these people were so gullible.

    It makes me understand the historical attractions of gnosticism though. People have spiritual pride and want to be the special insiders with special knowledge, call it Messages if you wish.

    Now you can't swing a cat without hitting an apparitionist.

    As my dad said about Medj, the Virgin doesn't know when to shut up.

  3. Davide says:

    Dear Patrick,

    Although one should not based one's entire position on JPII's support of Medjugorje, it nevertheless can be used as one piece of evidence to build a greater case for the authenticity of Medjugorje. Alone, on its own merit, it may not be case-winner. But when it is combined with many like arguments, such as Mother Teresa's known support for, and even prayers to Our Lady of Medjugorje (also documented by eye witnesses such as Dr. Mark Miravalle), and Fr. Gabrielle Amorth's support as well, stating that Medjugorje is a "spiritual fortress against Satan", as well as the 1998 CDC statement allowing pilgrimage's to Medjugorje and restraining to over-arching rigor of the local Bishop, stating that his personal judgements "are and will remain his personal opinions", as well as the obedience of the visionaries to their spiritual directors and to the bishop, along with numerous other pieces of evidence, a case can legitimately be built for Medjugoje.

    So I am not clear why you posted the above article….It seems to me only to serve to stigmatize any discussion of the JPII with Medjugorje.

  4. mgseamanjr says:

    Patrick, for the record, there are at least three of my quotations deleted. These are:

    1. My Part I from April 6 at 4:05 (addressed to you)

    2. My Part II from April 7 at 9:48 (addressed to Patrick Coffin)

    3. Another posting of mine that was quoted in full by "Daniel" on April 16 at 11:17 but which was later deleted. All the reads now is this:

    Daniel: I somehow had missed this post until after I heard Patrick's appearance on Kresta yesterday, while having participated in previous posts. I noticed mgseamanjr said…
    <>

    The <> are now standing in for my (deleted) quote.

    Since my (deleted) comments were originally posted and discussed for at least a week by others, is it not reasonable to assume they were selectively deleted by someone? Clearly this is not an error of my critique somehow ending up in a spam folder. You state that it was not you who deleted them so either you have forgotten or someone else is deleting comments on your website.

    You poke fun at my stating my comments were deeply critical but what I meant to say was that they were not personal attacks deserving of deletion but sound analysis. Do you care to offer a better explanation of what happened to my comments?

    In response to your comment that Patrick Coffin is quaking in his boots, I would only say that there is no reason for him to fear getting intellectually dismantled when he can count on the critique that does so to mysteriously disappear. It is impossible now for the reader of your website to judge for himself who made the better points and, worse, one is led along an edited path to a certain view point. You write that you do not care what I think but you should take care not to sully your own well deserved reputation with some selective editing of remarks that make your position or postings, or those of your friends, look bad.

  5. Patrick Madrid says:

    Okay, you're comment did finally appear. Must be a some kind of system delay.

    In any case, I very rarely delete posts, and only then when someone goes over the line with ad hominem comments, or spam links, profanity, etc. As I say, it's rare that I take that step, and I honestly do not recall ever seeing any problems like that with your posts. I'm not sure what caused the problem, but at least you know that you are welcome to post here in rebuttal to what I or Patrick the Greater have posted.

    I've been participating in the public-debate arena for nearly 25 years now, and I am used to taking shots from those who don't like me or don't agree with me (or both, as it sometimes happens). I don't find anything here intellectually uncomfortable, but even if I did, I would never delete a post because I thought the poster made such a strong and persuasive case that I was unable to answer it cogently. I can at least assure you of that.

    We may disagree, but let's agree to keep it friendly and, as I'm sure you'll agree, the discussions here will be much better and more profitable for it.

  6. mgseamanjr says:

    By the way, Patrick Coffin need not "shake in his boots" when he can count on my critique disappearing. ;)

  7. Patrick Madrid says:

    Okay, this is strange. I just posted the comment you made a short time ago, and it's not appearing here. I honestly don't know how to explain that! All I can assume is that the system is doing some aberrant things I haven't been aware of like, possibly, deleting random posts. I don't know. But this is yet another reason why I will soon be giving my site a major overhaul and improvement — the blog too — so as to eliminate these kinds of problems.

  8. mgseamanjr says:

    Hang on. These comments were posted and listed for a while. Patrick Coffin replies to my Parts I & II, except there is no longer part II (except where he quotes it). No I do not save these things–I guess I don't expect them to be deleted. You may not care what I think but, whether you like it or not, your reputation will suffer if you are in fact deleting comments with which you disagree or find intellectually uncomfortable. However, I will grant that you did not do it on purpose. I'm truly sorry if I offended.

  9. Patrick Madrid says:

    No, Mgseamanjr, you are wrong. I have not deleted your posts. Sometimes they get caught in the spam folder and I never see them. That happens.

    Hopefully, you've saved a copy of whatever it is you posted that didn't make it to the comments. If so, feel free to post away, and I'll keep an eye on the spam folder to see if it winds up there by accident. I'm sure Patrick Coffin will be quaking with fearful anticipation of your hard-hitting analysis.

    Oh, and one other thing. Let's get one thing straight: I couldn't care less how high or low your opinion of me may be. What you think of me is irrelevant.

  10. mgseamanjr says:

    Patrick,
    I noticed you carefully deleted several of my postings here, in particular those directed at Patrick Coffin. I am not impressed, sir. Are you trying to protect the weak argumentation of your friend and those that agree with you? Please do not tell me that my postings broke some sort of rule since they were merely hard-hitting analysis without insults. You are apparently afraid of this debate. My opinion of you and this website has dropped.

  11. Anonymous says:

    One curious phenomenon that is observed is how some of the large preaching ministries who are in support are also very silent about some very important Church teachings that have a lot of significance in everyday lives – issue of contraception !

    The extent of ignorance or even plain wickedness in this area is overwhelming , with many who are powerful in teaching and formulating health policies in this area pushing teen promiscuity , with a terrifying gusto and not a word about its ill effects – this , inspite of plenty of data to documnet otherwise !

    Any parent of a teen who goes to the health care provider, be inquisitive and educational – if they suggest fornication as though teens are utterly helpless in this area !

    This silence among many of the supporting section of the events ( or even most of The Church !)is also puzzling , esp.if it was believed that Pope John Paul 11 was sympathetic towards the cause ! Yet, noted that in one of the web sites related to the events , there is plain mention of this area , in the examination of consceience section and that is good – esp. when we see that this is something that is not too often seen in such formats !

    And that is a very good fruit indeed !

    Thus, there could be some mysteries in this whole phenomenon that is possibly best left to The Church and meanwhile hoping that it does not promote unintended effects !

    There are those fearful verses – 'the vultures shall be where the dead body is ' !

    If those who are supposed to be doves, under influence of rebellious self seeking traits , then become like vultures and eating off the deadness of sin , whether through choice of being unfaithful to ones God given roles or silence about things they are to teach , they are too in need of much mercy !

    Like the flat salt that is to be trampled underneath , yet , may be in His mysterious , merciful plan , all that The Father hears is the cry for the Mother , a Mother who can trample out flatness of salt,and restore fresh salt of repentance !
    May be the prophetic , Pope John Paul 11 had foreseen the long suffering patience of The Father and His plans to bring good out of it all too , for those who may not be intentionally rebellious !

    There is talk of how the volcano that erupted on 14/4 brings alive psalm 144 that seems meant also for this event – answered pleadings of someone who is under unjust attack 'from forign foes ; their mouths speak untruth ' ..

    'touch the mountains and make them smoke '

    and then goes onto blessings on children – seems a pro Holy Father, prolife , anti slander volcano warning !

    Let us hope that U.K esp. takes note and that the ash has been enough as it is , to keep them from mockery of the upcoming visit of the Holy Father !

    Let us trust in our Father !

  12. Anonymous says:

    Daniel,

    If that "demonic" probability for the supernatural would be discerned it would be condemned, period.

  13. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Tom S.

    In the last comment I addressed to you, I used the term “final determination” incorrectly concerning at least the Zadar Declaration which was at the national level (YBC). Indeed, the Declaration explicitly expressed: “On the basis of studies made so far, it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations.” […] “The Bishops will also provide special liturgical and pastoral directives corresponding to this aim. At the same time, they will continue to study all the events of Medjugorje through the commissions.” [http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2008/09/zadar-declaration-1991.html]

    The verdict was not a “final one”, even at that level. My rapid statement has thus not helped you to “clarify your thinking on that matter” and I am sorry for that bad memory of the wording.

    All of this concerns what is really meant by the non constat. Please remember that my reflection is also not “finally determined”.

    When you consult this table of "Marian Apparitions of the Twentieth Century" [http://campus.udayton.edu/mary//resources/aprtable.html], you will see that the non constat is considered as a “non decision” and the constat de non a “negative decision”.

    That interpretation of a “non decision” perplexes me. For me, it is a decision, maybe not a final one but nevertheless a decision that has a “non” rather than a “yes” in it.

    On the said table, go to the Marpingen Case (Germany) in 1934. If you click to the right on “negative decision” you will be directed to the Decree made by the Ordinary of Trier. („Es steht nicht fest, dass den Ereignissen in Marpingen aus den Jahren 1876 und 1999 ein übernatürlicher Charakter zukommt.“ – It is not established that the events of 1876 and 1999 in Marpingen had a supernatural character). This is what is called a non constat.

    But read also what is coming next : „Es bestehen schwerwiegende Gründe, die es nicht erlauben, sie als übernatürliches Geschehen anzuerkennen.“ There are grave reasons that do not permit to acknowledge these events as supernatural“. This is what is called a constat de non for the same place between 1876 through 1999 (with a new Commission) till 2005 (with the new verdict and the date of the Decree)!

    The story is interesting and I will narrate it on my Blog. The faithful who are a little impatient are well advised to interpret the non constat verdict (1876) as a negative one (2005)!

    Take for instance the wording of the Canon Law. “The burden of proof is on the promoter to demonstrate this to the tribunal with moral certitude; otherwise the defendant is to be dismissed and a non constat decision rendered (c. 1608, ch 4).” [New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (2000), John P. Beal et al., c. 1721, p. 1812]

    I suggested in my last comment that if you present to the ecclesiastical tribunal a “candidate” that is supposed to be the Virgin Mary, and that it is not proven that she has the qualities of the Virgin Mary, a decision of non constat is rendered and the “candidate” is dismissed as not being the Virgin Mary.

    An expert in Canon Law and private revelations would help us to resolve the question and I will try to ask a colleague from my Faculty, and inform the readers of my new Blog in the weeks to come.

    Yet, some facetious observers could say that the theologians and experts of three Commissions who cannot “see” the Virgin Mary in the presented candidate are blind or incompetent… These conjectures may please some devotees but they do not seem to be retained by Church authorities and most of the faithful.

    Cordially,

    Louis

  14. Daniel says:

    I intend this as a theoretical question,not as a statement of my own opinion. The bishop's personal opinion has been given as being there is nothing supernatural. If his opinion were correct, that would mean that there are no visions, that they are fabricated by the visionaries or Franciscans or both. Does that mean that he is ruling out demonic visions? If there actually is an entity appearing, but rather not the Virgin Mary but something demonic, would that make things supernatural? While constat de supernaturalitate is usually presented as something positive, that the Virgin Mary is appearing, what would be the way of stating that there is something supernatural here but it isn't the Virgin Mary? If they hesitate to call things demonic in origin, even if they consider it a possibility, would they use the non constat formula?

  15. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Tom S.

    The valid criteria Father Michael O'Carroll exposed in his Theotokos are in line with those established by Benedict XIV (1740-1758).

    The message sent here, is one of “freedom to consider the apparitions authentic”. The faithful may believe or not believe, before, during and after the events, even if these events are recognized by the Church as supernatural.

    In other words, the first assertion being constat de supernaturalitate, the faithful would still have the freedom of not believing in the said apparitions.

    The second point to be clarified is the signification of the non constat. I understand, as I said, that the words constat and non constat belong to the juridical world. At the tribunal that we are familiar with, you will hear “proven guilty” or “not proven guilty”. The “candidate” is free to go if not proven guilty.

    Let us change the word “guilty” for “worthy” in our ecclesiastical tribunal. The members of the Commission will have to consider if the “candidate”, the Lady of Medjugorje, is “worthy” of being a supernatural entity, the Virgin Mary.

    I know, it looks very pretentious — and my clumsy way to express it doesn't help — but the "entity" that they have to "examine" is still an unknown. They try to compare her traits with the ones they already know of the Virgin Mary.

    They will use severe criteria that have been established by Prospero Lambertini. Before becoming pope Benedict XIV, Lambertini was officially Promotor Fidei. The people who were craving for a rapid sentimental judgment in the acknowledgment of miracles called him advocatus diaboli because he was a great humanist, he knew much about science and he had a critical mind. He was convinced that science does not threaten faith but rather purifies it. The classical rules of judgment he submitted are still “in force” today.

    In that context, there are no 57 solutions. The second enlarged Commission and the third Commission were of the ecclesiastical doctrinal juridical opinion that the candidate was not “worthy” of being considered a supernatural entity, the Virgin Mary. I repeat “not”, because some opine, by a kind of magical thinking, that “not” is a “neutral” or even “positive” term… Well, we do not share the same vocabulary and the same logical inferences.

    This is why I say that if that entity is not considered to be a supernatural entity, it cannot be the Virgin Mary who is, as far as I know, a supernatural being.

    Finally, you write: “…pending the Church's final determination.” Some faithful think that the “diocesan verdict” (Mostar-1986) was not a valid verdict. I don’t agree. Remember: “Competence lies with the bishop of the diocese.”

    It is, in fact a “Church’s final determination” at the diocesan level. If there is an appeal, as it seems to have been the case, the “regional court” (Zagreb-1987 to Zadar-1991-YBC) may intervene. The verdict of the diocesan level still applies until the “regional court” decides with another “Church’s definitive verdict” at the regional level.

    A month ago, we have been witnessing another appeal to a “higher court”, the CDF. I guess that it will be the last “postponement” of a judgment that was so clear, 24 years ago, and again 19 years ago…

    As we have the freedom to discuss about any case of private revelation in avoiding the “extremes of naive credulity and irreverent scepticism” I am submitting my sense of non constat de supernaturalitate as humbly as I can. I am not a specialist of private revelations and I may err in my interpretations. Please correct me if necessary. I will be very grateful to you if you enlighten me.

    Cordially,

    Louis

  16. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Tom S.

    You wrote: “It seems to me that the first assertion — that it has not been proven that the apparitions are authentic – still allows the individual believer the freedom to consider the apparitions authentic”…

    Your question invites me to situate our discussion in the context of “private revelations”.

    I put on the table the criteria published by the late Father Michael O'Carroll before he became a fervent of Medjugorje — Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1983, p. 48.

    “Private revelation made public for any reason — because, for example, of a message intended for others — claims the attention of the Church for different reasons, principally because it must be related to public revelation and must not upset right public order.

    “Then the first task is to establish genuineness.

    “The norms of critical history must be strictly applied; the resources of normal and paranormal psychology, fully used.

    “Error can enter at any stage of the alleged communication. If error is clearly discovered, through deceitful testimony, psychiatric disease, mistaken observation, or defect in a spoken or written narrative, an adverse judgement may be pronounced to avert further harm.

    “If a message or meaning contrary to church teaching is attributed to the event, the decision will be stricter.

    “If there is no reason for an intervention of this negative kind, the Church authorities may still show nothing more than tolerance, permission for the common acts of worship on the spot where the apparition is said to have taken place, and approval of certain prayers linked with it.

    “Competence lies with the bishop of the diocese.

    “Commissions of inquiry have generally been established to help the local authorities to reach a decision.

    “Benedict XIV (qv), in his classic treatise on the Beatification and Canonization of the Servants of God, insisted on the fact that the assent to apparitions was of human faith following the rules of prudence.

    “In summary the extremes of naive credulity and irreverent scepticism are to be avoided.

    “Charity must be observed to all, even to authentic visionaries.

    “The Teaching Authority and the Sentiment of the Faithful (qqv) must work together.”

    (continued)

  17. Anonymous says:

    Louis,

    The decision by the various commissions of "non constat de supernaturalite" is for me a "warning" and a "wait and see" direction to the faithful from the Church.

    When the Holy Spirit, Who is the Only One who knows the things of God, has not been able to give to the Church, via the commissions, to Whom He is the Paraclete and Advisor, the sign of Himself being there ,in Medjugorje, after so many years of apparitions, one has to exercise caution, because as we have known in previous private revelations, the Holy Spirit makes His presence known early, in the very begining of any supernatural private revelation in order to justify the messenger as true messenger of God to the Church so that the faithful can receive the most graces given from that devotion.

    Maria.

  18. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Maria and Tominellay

    An important addendum: (fifth paragraph of my preceding comment)

    “…every informer who has claimed and claims that the Virgin Mary is appearing in Medjugorje or elsewhere in the world mediated through the six Medjugorje visionaries…”

    Thanks for taking my correction into account,

    Louis

  19. Tominellay says:

    Louis,
    I agree with you 100%.
    I think that non constat is a negative decision, and not a neutral decision.

    "The Church upholds and believes that the Blessed Virgin Mary can appear, and that she has appeared at different times in history and also that up to this day there is no proof nor convincing arguments that she ever appeared in a supernatural way in Medjugorje." – Bp. Peric

  20. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Maria and Tominellay

    I think that we all three agree. Let us not discuss the "personal opinion" (constat de non) of the Ordinary of Mostar, even if he has the right to express it as agreed by Cardinal Bertone, Cardinal Puljic and others.

    Let us stick with the non constat.

    I have submitted my interpretation : the entity called the Lady of Medjugorje is not the Virgin Mary.

    Consequently, the religious manifestations based on the claim that the Virgin Mary is appearing in Medjugorje do not respect the verdict rendered after the work of the second enlarged Commission (1986) and the work of the third Commission validated by 19 of the 20 bishops of the YBC in 1991.

    Let us be clear : since 1986 until today, in 2010, every individual, lay- or religious-person, every priest, bishop, cardinal, every visionary, every Medjugorje Franciscan, every informer who has claimed and claims that the Virgin Mary is appearing in Medjugorje or elsewhere in the world, has not respected the letter and the spirit of the non constat if they knew about the said verdict.

    Do we agree with that interpretation? Do we understand that the verdict is not the sole prerogative of the Ordinary of Mostar but also of the more than 60 theologians, experts and bishops who have worked on that dossier since the creation of the first Commission in 1982?

    That is what would be interesting in the debate, right now. I would like to know more from you, Maria and Tominellay, and the other participants. What do you make of these thoughts? What is your sensus fidelium?

    Cordial thanks for your feedback,

    Louis

    PS: Tom S., your question comes in as I am signing this comment. I will come back to you. Thanks for your comment and question that helps me also to clarify my thinking. LB

  21. Tominellay says:

    The burden of proof is on the one claiming to "see"…
    Yes one is free to believe anything he wants to believe; but that's when a bishop's directives protect the Church. If one prays to the Blessed Mother in his home or in his church, that is one thing; but if one follows a seer up Apparition Hill and kneels down and prays to an "apparition", but Mary is not there, then exactly to whom is one praying, and before whom is one kneeling?

    These are high stakes.

  22. Tom S. says:

    Maria and Louis, thank you very much! In all sincerity — these postings have helped me to clarify my thinking on the matter greatly. I look forward to your blog, Louis.

    A quick question for Louis, however. I’m not entirely sure I understand your interpretation of a “non constat” verdict. Given the importance of the matter, I hope you’ll bear with me.

    You write, “the formulation of the verdict could be: ‘it is not proved that the entity — claimed by the Medjugorje visionaries and Franciscans to be the Virgin Mary — is a supernatural entity and that her apparitions and revelations have a supernatural character. In other words, the Lady of Medjugorje is not considered to be the Virgin Mary.’”

    I don’t see the connection between the first and second sentences. How do you move from asserting, correctly, that the entity “is not proved to be the Virgin Mary” to your second assertion, namely, that the entity “is not considered to be the Virgin Mary”?

    It seems to me that the first assertion — that it has not been proven that the apparitions are authentic –- still allows the individual believer the freedom to consider the apparitions authentic, pending the Church's final determination. Am I wrong?

    Many thanks,
    Tom S.

  23. Tominellay says:

    Bishop Peric's homilies and his directives have been entirely consonant with the "non constat" formula.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Louis,

    Bishop Peric's personal opinion of "Constat de non supernaturalite" is still on the table. This is why I said that it "could" be erroneous on his part but not assuring that it is. The commission might be working on this very subject as we write.

    Bishop Peric is not infallabile and thus can make errors when working on his own. I am not saying that he has erred, but I cannot affirm this either,as much as I can not affirm that Medjugorje is true nor that is false. Everything is in the hands of the Church through the help of the Holy Spirit.

    This opinion of "Constat de non supernaturalite" is Bishop Peric's own opinion, as the Ordinary of the place, but it remains his personal opinion just as Achbp. Bertone wrote in the letter to Msg.Aubry.

    When and only when the commission gives its results and the CDF decides to public the results, then we will know whether the Holy Spirit was truly inspiring Bishop Peric by affirming exactly what Bishop's personal opinion has been of "Constat de non supernaturalite".

    For now, we can only say that, as you have stated above, the stance of the Church on Medjugorje is "Non constat de supernaturalite".

    Maria

  25. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Daniel and Sabeth,

    “Those issues have been around for years, and the article would suggest that Dr. Miravalle is either ignorant of the real issues or purposely misrepresents them while never addressing them. Hopefully the flaw has to do with the editor of the article.” [Daniel, April 22, 2010 12:06 PM]

    My answer is “No”. The “concealment flaw” has not to do with the editor of the article. Mark Miravalle was not “ignorant of the real issues”.

    “Should we also look for errors in the life time discernment of those with wealth of experience in the study of Marian phenomena like Laurentin and H. Joyeux, Robert Faricy, S.J., Fr. Michael O'Carroll, Mark Miravalle?” [Sabeth, April 6, 2010 3:29 PM]

    My answer is “Yes”. We should also look for “errors of concealment” in the discernment of Mark Miravalle with “wealth of experience in the study of Marian phenomena”.

    My last comments have been rather long and I do not want to “textually abuse” of Patrick’s hospitality in his Blog. My next comments will be developed in the weeks to come in my new Blog, once it is launched. All that needs to be clarified, here, for an appropriate and short answer to Sabeth’s and Daniel’s questions is the following.

    Mark Miravalle, S.T.D. wrote The Message of Medjugorje. The Marian Message to the Modern World. (1986). New York: University Press of America, 151 pages.

    In his “Declaration” (p. vii), the author emphasizes that his book represents an adaptation “of a doctoral dissertation successfully defended at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, the thesis of which sought to illustrate theologically that the “Message” of Medjugorje represents an authentic embodiment of sound Catholic doctrine as dictated by the Church’s Magisterium. The dissertation received the pontifical university’s Vidimus and Approbavimus as a work free from any doctrinal statement contrary to faith and morals.”

    Unfortunately, the work is also free from “difficulties” that I have already quoted in Patrick’s Blog.

    The messages concerning the end of the “apparitions” on July 3, 1981, and the numerous messages reported by Vicka in her diary that I have exposed are nowhere to be found in the adaptation of his thesis.

    Strangely for a doctoral thesis, he doesn’t quote the messages from the original Croatian source he should have transcribed from the tapes and from the diaries and chronicles of which he knew the existence through his Muses: Tomislav Vlasic, Jozo Zovko, Svetozar Kraljevic, René Laurentin and Ljudevit Rupcic.

    In his chapter 1 which “covers” the Lady of Medjugorje’s messages between June 24, 1981 and March 7, 1985, he refers abundantly to those secondary sources, especially to Fr Kraljevic (40 times) and Fr Laurentin (52 times) who, themselves, reproduced the messages that pleased them.

    Did he know about the taped interview by Fr Zovko on June 30, 1981? Yes, he quotes 96 out of 12 thousand words that were said during that interview. Documented examples will be exposed in my Blog.

    Yes, we should look for “errors of concealment” in the discernment of Mark Miravalle with “wealth of experience in the study of Marian phenomena”.

    Cordially,

    Louis

  26. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Tom S. and Maria
    (continued/end)

    Now, another difficulty is to understand what non constat de supernaturalitate really means. My own interpretation is the following.

    Constat and non constat are terms used in a juridical context. Constat practically means "proved". Then, the formulation of the verdict could be: "it is not proved that the entity — claimed by the Medjugorje visionaries and Franciscans to be the Virgin Mary — is a supernatural entity and that her apparitions and revelations have a supernatural character. In other words, the Lady of Medjugorje is not considered to be the Virgin Mary.

    You may disagree with my interpretation, but you would have, before discarding them, to disqualify seriously the material proofs (diaries, chronicles, interviews, etc.) that have been brought to the "tribunal" to base the non constat.

    On the other hand, the constat de non supernaturalitate would mean — again my own interpretation — that one has the material proof of seeing, for instance, a Franciscan composing flagrante delicto one message, handing it to the visionary, and attributing it to the Virgin Mary when publishing it. A German photograph took pictures of Marija with Tomislav Vlasic writing something on a piece of paper in the setting of an "apparition" in the "chapel of the apparitions", a situation that would be akin to the one I described. I have known the photograph and seen these pictures. In my humble opinion, they do not constitute a proof in themselves, as no conversation was taped during the action that would support the claim of duplicity.

    In that context, if my interpretation of the constat de non… is correct, I would say that, to my knowledge of the dossier, that verdict would need hard proofs of a precise behaviour caught in the act. But who am I to discuss things that I don't know. The Ordinary of Mostar knows more and better than all of us about the painful case of Medjugorje and he may well have these proofs to substantiate his "personal opinion" that he expressed after the Zadar Declaration (1991).

    In the meantime, the non constat de supernaturalitate remains valid since 1991. And the fact remains that the visionaries, the Franciscans, the activists like Fr René Laurentin and many other informers and organizers of pilgrimages have not respected the real meaning of the verdict and the directive that had been expressed by Cardinal Kuharic and Bishop Zanic at the creation of the third Commission in 1987 :

    "Thus the Bishops Conference of Yugoslavia will form a Commission to continue the investigation of Medjugorje's events. While waiting for the results of the Commission's work and the Church's verdict, let the Pastors and the faithful honor the practice of the usual prudence in such circumstances. For that reason, it is not permitted to organize either pilgrimages or other religious manifestations based on an alleged supernatural character attributed to Medjugorje's events." [The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, p. 140.]

    The last sentence is no matter of interpretation. That directive has not been respected until today by the visionaries who travelled all over the world, by the Medjugorje Franciscans who carried on their agenda to the Vatican and by some bishops and some cardinals who have even nested in the village of the diehard rebels and supporters of the Lady of Medjugorje.

    Cordially,

    Louis

  27. Louis Bélanger says:

    @TomS + Maria

    One observation seems to be neglected concerning the "personal opinion" of the Bishop of Mostar.

    Please consider that the non constat de supernaturalitate is a verdict that has been expressed formally for the first time by the second enlarged Commission in 1986. The Bishop of Mostar (Mgr Pavao Zanic) was only one of the 15 members of the Commission. Here are the details from an official source : [http://www.cbismo.com/index.php?mod=vijest&vijest=101#_ftnref19]

    "There were 15 members in the Second Commission: 12 priests and 3 medical experts. They held seven meetings in all. The first was in Mostar in March 1984, and the seventh in the same city in May 1986, during which the Commission completed its work. The members of the Commission voted on the following conclusion: Non constat de supernaturalitate (11 voted ‘for’, 2 ‘against’, 1 accepted ‘in nucleo’, and 1 abstained).

    “The Commission prepared a draft “Declaration” in which were listed the “unacceptable assertions” and “bizarre declarations”, attributed to the curious phenomenon. The Commission also stated that further investigations were not necessary nor the delaying of the official judgement of the Church. The bishop duly informed the Bishops’ Conference and the Holy See, and he then informed the public during his homily in Medjugorje in 1987."

    You may be inclined to discard the judgement of one person that "errs", as has been asserted or hypothesized on this blog, but how about the judgement of 11 out of 15 qualified theologians and experts coming from different Yugoslavian dioceses? It is reasonable to think that, in that situation, the error of judgement is less "probable", unless you claim that these eleven persons were "conspirators". In that case, you would have to prove it seriously.

    Then, the members of the third Commission begin to meet in 1987 and work till the end of 1990. Here again, the official source : [cf the preceding reference] :

    "In January 1987, upon the suggestion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, cardinal Kuharić and bishop Žanić made a joint communiqué in which they announced the formation of a third Commission and in which they asked the faithful not to organize pilgrimages which would ascribe to the events of Medjugorje any supernatural character. The Commission was comprised of 11 priests (6 religious, 5 diocesan), 4 psychologists and one religious sister as secretary.

    "The Commission held 23 meetings in Zagreb at the Secretariat of the Bishops’ Conference. The first meeting was in April 1987 and the twenty-third in September 1990.

    "A characteristic of the third Commission was that its work was to be done based on the findings and results of the previous Commissions and ex novo. Everything was done under oath and no communiqués for the public were made. The results of their four-year long efforts were presented to the members of the Bishops’ Conference in Zagreb in 1990. Discussions at the Bishops’ Conference on the “apparitions” were held on four occasions: 25 April, 9 October and 27 November 1990, and the Declaration on Medjugorje was accepted by a vote held in Zadar on 10 April 1991: 19 bishops voted for the Declaration while 1 abstained."

    Let us be serious! The personal "opinion" of the local Ordinary would be "insignificant" in that context where 18 of his colleagues bishops and cardinals voted for the non constat de supernaturalitate after agreeing with the conclusions of the Commission that had 23 meetings! Unless you claim that these 18 bishops and cardinals were "conspirators". In that case, you would have to prove it more seriously…

    (continued)

  28. Daniel says:

    His opinion, which has been formed by listening to tapes of interviews, reading diaries and other notes of the seers, having met with Fr. Laurentin and various others. The Vatican Commission will have the opportunity to do the same. The vast majority of supporters are not even aware such materials exist, having been warned not to pay any attention to the bishop and his "personal opinion". I'm sure the bishop is aware that the disobedience issue is not simply a failure of a few Franciscans to not believe his opinion.

  29. Anonymous says:

    To Tom S,

    Yes,Bishop Peric's personal opinion could be just as erroneous as JPII's personal opinion on Fr. Maciel, I believe the Holy Spirit will let us know if this is the case. But, for now, it is best to be prudent and wait for that day when the Church tells us if Medjugorje is authentic or not.

    I would like to post the entire paragraph of ArcBP Bertone to Bp Aubry written in a letter dated 26 May 1998 in reponse to questions that the BP Aubry had about Medjugorje.

    "What His Excellency Msgr. Peric stated in a letter to the General Secretary of 'Famille Chretienne', in which he declared: 'My conviction and position is not only 'non constat de supernaturalitate', but even this: 'constat de non supernaturalitate', of the apparition or revelations of Medjugorje', must be considered the expression of a personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar, who, as Ordinary of the place, always has the right to express what is, and remains, an opinion which is his personally."

    Maria.

  30. Tom S. says:

    In 1998 the CDF called the negative position of Bishop Peric toward the alleged apparitions "his personal opinion." Can't Bishop Peric's personal opinion be just as erroneous as JPII's personal opinion re Fr. Maciel?

  31. Daniel says:

    It also seems incredible to me that Dr. Miravalle, in an article credited to his authorship in 2008, reduces the issue of disobedience of the Franciscans to the following:
    "Therefore, to claim that some Franciscan priests are in acting in 'disobedience' to the local bishop because some may believe in Medjugorje would be a misunderstanding of the official Vatican and Ex-Yugoslavian bishops’ statement which allows for personal belief. The unofficial, personally negative opinion of the local bishop does not bind any member of his diocese or Catholic individual elsewhere to follow his own personal opinion."
    An awkward statement in which he seems to suggest that the bishop had commanded them to disbelieve in the apparitions and they refused to disbelieve. The disobedience issue is over 20 years old when Dr. Miravalle gave this response. Louis has just provided details of transcripts of conversations with the seers from 1982. Those issues have been around for years, and the article would suggest that Dr. Miravalle is either ignorant of the real issues or purposely misrepresents them while never addressing them. Hopefully the flaw has to do with the editor of the article.

  32. Daniel says:

    Dr. Mark Miravelle is usually mentioned as someone that wrote and defended a doctoral dissertation on Medjugorje and apparently continues to support it. I came across the following article which claims his authorship from 2008: http://www.medjugorje.ws/en/articles/medjugorje-real/
    It seems to demonstrate Patrick Madrid's point, in this case he cites Mother Teresa's supposed belief. He refers to the fact that she had a calendar with a picture of Our Lady of Medjugorje. Then after discussing various Marian issues, he quotes her as saying that she asked Our Lady of Medjugorje to come to her home for the dying in Calcutta and she did. Mother Teresa refused to provide any other details.
    Seeing as how Mother Teresa seemed quite reluctant to discuss Medjugorje in the conversation, it seems odd to me that Dr. Miravelle would divulge this snippet of a conversation as being support of the supernatural reality of the visions after her death.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Not Mr.Patrick here :) yet , just wanted to bring this persepctive, already alluded to in the article above ; it talks about the special circumstances of charism of infallibilty and how it does not apply to personal opinions !

    Yet, many , like me could be yearning for a bit more !
    How about if Fr.Maciel had repented and was in a state of grace when he went to see the Holy Father ; unsure if he relapsed in his seriously sinful actions and how lasting the repentance was ; unlike many these days , he chose to support his children too , not encourage the women to do something much worse !

    It could be like the controversial act of the Pope kissing the Quran ; he was not embracing Islam , yet showed them respect for whatever is good in it – mention of God's mercy, resepct for holy people and for the people who follow same .

    Same way , the controversial apparitions too , even if they could have started out under whatever circumstances, unsure if the ardent longing and prayers of people there now are causing good effects , even when it does not provide for guarantee against faults / failures for those involved , as is well seen in its history !

    Thus the decision of the Bishops , from studying the phenomenon in its earlier days, still relevant and The Church now has the privilege of determinig if we are dealing with more !

  34. Anonymous says:

    Hi Patrick – truly enjoy your show, and thank you so much for all the work you've done on behalf of the Church. EWTN played a major role in my re-conversion.

    I had a quick question and, not having actually ever posted anything on a site like this, hope that you're still reading the thread. Anyway, here goes: doesn't the argument about John Paul II's erroneous judgment cut both ways?

    That is: if the fact of JPII's terrible mistake re Fr. Maciel should, in turn, lead one to question their commitment to the truth of the Medugorje apparitions, can't it also be said that JPII's serious mistake re Fr. Maciel should lead us to question the Bishop of Mostar's judgment re the apparitions?

    I guess what I'm getting at is this: if the good and holy Bishop of Rome is capable of such errors in judgment, why not the good and holy Bishop of Mostar?

    Thank you so much for your time — and keep up the blessed work!

  35. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Paul Baylis
    (continued/end)

    "January 20. 1982 – Wednesday – We asked what Fathers Ivica Vego and Ivan Prusina were going to do now that they have been discharged. The Gospa answered: "They are not guilty. The Bishop has acted rashly in the decision. Let them stay, they are to pray often, and all others are to pray for them."

    "April 16. 1982 – Friday – […] "My Gospa, what about the Bishop? Will he change his behavior? The Gospa answered: "I am not in a hurry. I am waiting to see if he will give in after those messages of mine which I sent through you."

    "April 26. 1982 – Monday – "The Bishop himself does not even have any true love of God for those two. [...]

    What the Bishop is doing is not the will of God: innocent, without fault, and punished in such fashion! God would not allow this, but the Bishop is not acting by God's grace, and so he can do what he wants. But justice, which has not been seen for a long time, will be seen one day. I will start to calm everything down, and many Franciscans will be suffused with great happiness."

    "End of August, 1982 – The Gospa told me that Ivan and Ivica are not to leave Mostar."

    "September 29. 1982 – Wednesday – Father Ivica asked: "Are we to leave Mostar or are we to stay?" The Gospa answered: "Stay." [The Hidden Side..., p. 120-121]

    Well, Paul, if the Lady of Medjugorje's behaviour is not a problem for you, so be it.

    But it was certainly a problem for the members of the first three Commissions who did not acknowledge her by voting “non constat” concerning her supernatural origin and the supernatural character of the revelations and messages. And as history has not changed, it will also be a problem for the members of the Fourth Commission.

    You may consider that my sources and references are not valid. This is your privilege. But don't stay home and make judgments from your lazy-boy.

    You have made your recommendations that I have read with benevolence. Here are mine.

    Do your homework and travel to the Mostar bishopric to consult the archives as I did. Look, for instance, at Vicka's diary as I did. Verify her handwriting and her signature as I did. Have long conversations with the Bishop as I did (it was Mgr Pavao Zanic).

    Consult, travel, correspond, reflect, translate, meditate, sing daily the Salve Regina, contemplate, write again and publish a book after 4 years of these healthy exercises, as I did.

    And if you are in Medjugorje, don't stay down there too long. Elevate yourself to the Krizevac, stick close to the Cross for a while, without anybody around you, and pray silently, as I did. Maybe it will help you to see the other side of Medjugorje, as it did for me.

    Cordially, as usual,
    your preferred newbie,

    Louis

  36. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Paul Baylis
    (continued)

    One seems to forget that the majority of the other Franciscans from the Province of Herzegovina have not given their consent to the disobedience of their isolated Medjugorje brothers.

    The Franciscan Bulletin Fraternitas published an important clarification — “Mostar Special fraternal visit” — in his N° 30 [03.1998 - Online N°3 - Communications Office - OFM - Roma [http://www.ofm.org/3/frat/FRAeng30.html] I quote some significant excerpts:

    "The Province of the Assumption of Mostar is in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and exists and operates in the diocese of Mostar, except for one house in Zagreb for post-novitiate formation. The Province consists of about 260 members, with an average age under 50…

    "The painful events of recent years, the "burden" of past history, the kind of formation and pastoral work almost totally dedicated to running parishes, have left a profound mark on the life of the friars, the Fraternities and the Province.

    "The Vicar-General, Br. Estêvão Ottenbreit, and the General Definitors Brs. Kapistran Martzall and Peter Schorr carried out a visit from 17 November to 7 December 1997. The aim was to meet the friars individually and help them put into effect the decree Romanis Pontificibus, to work out proposals together to bring about the normalization of the Province's "structures" and make a new life for it possible.

    "More particularly, the visit began and ended with a meeting with the Provincial Definitorium, the first of which served to draw up a declaration to be signed by all the friars recalling the decisions of the General Chapter and adding a promise to put into effect the Decree in obedience to the Pope and the Minister General.

    "The second meeting served to evaluate the visit and the conversations with the Brothers.
    Between the first and the second meeting there were 182 conversations with individuals or groups of friars (including those in Germany, Switzerland and Austria), in each case concluded with a local Chapter. From the conversations and the declaration signed by the friars it is clearly evident that a large and solid majority desires and wills a solution of the present problems, in particular the putting into effect of the Decree Romanis Pontificibus. [Emphasis is mine. The implementation has been signed on February 20, 1999]

    Nowhere is to be found that the Lady of Medjugorje “encouraged” that implementation. On the contrary, she backed up the rebels as mediated by Vicka in her Diary:

    "December 19, 1981 – (Saturday) – I asked the Gospa about the Herzegovina problem, especially that which relates to Father Ivica Vego. The Gospa said that Bishop Zanic is the one most guilty for all these disorders. As to Father Ivica Vego, she said that he is not guilty, but that the Bishop has full power. She told him to stay in Mostar and not to leave there."

    "January 3. 1982 – Sunday – All the seers have asked the Gospa about Ivica Vego. The Gospa answered: "Ivica is not guilty. If they discharge him from the Friars Order, let him be courageous. Every day I say: "Peace! Peace!" yet there is more and more unrest. Let him stay! Ivica is not guilty." She repeated this three times. We all heard, and told him.

    "The Bishop is not bringing about order, and so he is guilty. He won't always be the Bishop. I will show justice in the kingdom." This lasted ten minutes, and was all about Ivica.

    (continued)

  37. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Paul Baylis
    (continued)

    Please, Paul, don't miss the point of the critics. You and I are not "enemies", we are members of one another, of the Communion of Saints.

    I am raising my voice again because you do not seem to hear me when I say that the "Lady of Medjugorje" as described by the individual Vicka in her diary is not the Virgin Mary known by the universal Church.

    Here is an excerpt of Vicka's Diary (September 4, 1981):
    "We asked about a man who had seen Jesus on his way when he was taking some people to their destination. He [the driver] met a man all bloodied. That man was Jesus.

    Jesus gave him a bloodied handkerchief and asked him to throw it into a river. Driving further on, he met a woman. And that woman was the Blessed Virgin Mary, and she asked the driver to hand the bloodied hankie over to her.

    The driver offered her his own hankie, but the Gospa wanted the bloody one. When the driver gave her the bloody hankie, the Gospa said: "If you had not given it to me, that would have been the end of the world."

    The Gospa said that was the truth." [The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, p. 250]

    According to Vicka, the Lady of Medjugorje said : "If things go on this way, you will never see the sign." (September 5, 1981).

    "The other day, [you were] a hairsbreadth away from destruction. I saved you in one minute [from destruction]." (September 5, 1981). [The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, p. 251]

    The same Lady of Medjugorje has also improvised herself as literary agent of a prolific writer and historian among the Medjugorje activists:

    "That he who undertakes [this work on Medjugorje] do so in prayer. It is there that he will find inspiration." (note 15, The Hidden Side…, p. 21)

    "Make the priests read Father Laurentin's book and proclaim it." (note 16, The Hidden Side…, p. 22)

    Please, Paul, look at that "stuff". Don't run away when I show it to you, as you have done in your last comment.

    Cope with the real objections, not with the dreams of rebellious Franciscans who are at risk of waking up with a terrible nightmare for them, their followers and worst, the Communion of Saints.

    As a tactical preparation for the Fourth Commission's verdict, one has launched a missile with a known warhead, yesterday, April 20, 2010, in the medjugorje-online.com/forum: Father Jozo returns!

    "Worthy of respect, Padre Jozo you that it has operated and that still works, with your good will, and in humility, and in straight conscience, and in straight obedience, on the way of TRUE HOLINESS, on the way of TRUE CHARITY, on the way of TRUE FAITH, on the way of TRUE HOPE, in Truth, Justice and Forgiveness

    also towards those people that they have laid a trap, conspired against of you with deceit and lie, and towards it makes witnesses, COURAGE! COURAGE! You are not ALONE!

    Much to more they will attack you, much to more I will defend you! "THE LOYALTY RETURNS NEAR THOSE WHO THEY PRACTICE". RETURNS! RETURNS! [Transcribed as it is, graphically and in wording, from the video clip that is present at this address : http://it.gloria.tv/?media=68756

    The searcher of truth will consult the following link for the other story: http://marcocorvaglia.blog.lastampa.it/mcor/2009/07/father-jozo-a-disobedient-franciscan.html

    The devotees often present the Franciscans in Herzegovina as "victims" of "conspirators" from the secular clergy. Especially when they evoke the "Herzegovina Case" and the implementation of the Decree Humanis Pontificibus in 1999. [http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2009/05/february-20-1999-decree-romanis.html]

    (continued)

  38. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Paul Baylis
    Dear Paul,

    I am troubled, you are concerned: it's a good empathic if not compassionate start…

    I wrote: “The argument of the many that believe is stronger than the argument that only a few don't believe. Strange!”

    You wrote: “I would have thought it quite obvious that if one (and only one) person believes something, and it is known that that person made a pronounced error of judgment concerning a certain other issue, then we should rightfully tend to be less likely to believe what that person said than if MANY OTHER qualified people believed the same thing.”

    Forgive me if I err, but I sense a little “stratagem” in your way of expressing what I said in the context of the Commissions.

    I repeat what I said, putting in parenthesis what I meant, which was clearly expressed in the paragraph that followed:

    “(For you, Paul) the argument of the many that believe (sincere uninformed faithful, deceived by interested persuaders) is stronger than the argument that only a few don't believe (qualified experts and bishops of the Commissions who conclude to a non constat). Strange!”

    Your trick has been to change the formulation with “one who errs” compared to “many other qualified people”.

    Then, later, you qualify the “stuff that I am saying” as having been said 20 years ago. I know that for sure. Franciscan Father Ivo Sivric and I wrote that “stuff”, in The Hidden Side of Medjugorje.

    Yes I am a “newbie” in the blogosphere, but I would dare say a “veteran” concerning the critical approach of the Medjugorje phenomenon.

    You assert that thanks to people like yourself, confusion will be cleared up and Louis like so many others — “completely confused and barking up the wrong tree” — will see the light.

    Unfortunately, Paul, I am still in total obscurity in the absence of any argumentation of facts coming from you.

    Would you be so kind to discuss the said “stuff”, the primary sources concerning the first ten days, Vicka's diary, etc. that I evoked in my preceding comment, the “stuff” that was on the tables of the first three Commissions that lead to a non constat, the “stuff” that is on the table of the Fourth Commission?

    Please, Paul, don't denigrate that “stuff” as if it were insignificant. The exposure of what really happened in the first years is the foundation of the non constat, whether you like it or not.

    Louis may be a lovely guy, as you put it generously, but I would not be so sure about Bélanger. That one is an angry guy when he is confronted with documented lies, manipulations, falsifications, concealment of important information that has not reached the sincere pilgrims.

    And you know what? Even Paul said that it is correct to be angry. Not Paul Baylis of the Marian Times, but the other one, Paul of Tarsus. That anger is not of the kind that hates and divides. It is not of the kind that barks up the wrong tree.

    The anger that "our" Paul spoke about is of the kind that shakes the Medjugorje tree to have the fruits examined. It is of the kind that inveighs against duplicity and the lure of material and spiritual profit by merchants of the temple. It is of the kind that made him cry out to the Ephesians: From now on, no more lying; that each one speak the truth to his neighbor; aren't we members of one another?
    (continued)

  39. Tominellay says:

    …hoisted by his own petard…

  40. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    @Paul Baylis:

    I meant to add one more note about Louis Belanger.

    You can see proof that he was in Medjugorje when he steps into the video camera's view momentarily as Ivica Vego and Vicka step back into the sacristy where he had a tape rolling. Louis is the narrator in the second video clip and he explains the revealing event, for English readers,that was recorded on video a few moments earlier.

    Go watch the video: "I WAS AFRAID THAT THE INFANT JESUS WAS SLIPPING!" at the blog of Italian author and researcher, Professor Marco Corvaglia (English version).

  41. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    Paul Baylis said: "….Louis, I'm sure you're a lovely guy, but this stuff that you're saying was being said 20 years ago. Patrick and others take note: The internet never sleeps. Be careful what you write. Another newbie will come online tomorrow, google up Medjugorje and, in the absence of people like myself to clear up the confusion, will end up like Louis and so many others – completely confused and barking up the wrong tree.

    LOL, Paul. I don't think you know about whom you are speaking when you talk about Louis Belanger. I talk about who Louis Belanger is in this post. Please read it before you make any further assumptions that he is relying on the internet for his information.

    LOL LOL LOL

  42. Anonymous says:

    Obedience to the visionaries?

    Please correct me if I misinterpreted his statement.

    After 20 years or so, nothing happening in Medjugorje has brought any proof that the alleged apparitions at Med. are from God and Mr. Baylis is including obedience to the visionaries as if this alleged apparition is from God to be validly applied in the same list as the obedience we should hold to the Bishop and to the Holy See?

    Maria.

  43. Paul Baylis says:

    @Louis Bélanger

    Thank you for your cordial reply. The fact that you are troubled by my reasoning gives me cause for concern, as do your rebuttals thereof.

    I would have thought it quite obvious that if one (and only one) person believes something, and it is known that that person made a pronounced error of judgement concerning a certain other issue, then we should rightfully tend to be less likely to believe what that person said than if MANY OTHER qualified people believed the same thing. Call it the miracle of numbers or whatever else your heart desires. The fact that you added "Strange!" complete with exclamation mark after misconstruing rather clear logic was rather an eyebrow raiser for me.

    You then miscontrue the Zadar Declaration into meaning "the 'Lady of Medjugorje' is not the Virgin Mary". I invite you to study the meaning and historical application of "non-constat de supernaturalitate". I advise you to stick with neutral websites if doing this.

    Then, you imply that every member of the commissions is anti-Medjugorje because of said verdict "non constat de supernaturalitate", which is simply ludicrous and appears to stem from a confusion over what this verdict actually means and in what cases it is used and, more importantly, why it was used in THIS case.

    For starters, we know from several recorded interviews that Archbishop Frane Franic of the Yugoslav Bishops' Conference firmly believed in Medjugorje and, furthermore, he spoke on behalf of all his colleagues, telling the world that the only thing stopping the commission from immediately approving Medjugorje was the crying and complaints of the local bishop after he was told of his (quote) "unfounded opposition". The verdict was apparently provided as an opportunity for the local bishop to save face.

    Anti-Medjugorje promoters often can't see why it is ludicrous and futile to quote the local bishop in defence of their anti-M stance. They happily quote the local bishop, not knowing about his history and the censures placed on his opposition by the Vatican and the whole sorry affair. They completely forget about the Vatican. This is because the anti-M'ers don't tell the full story and keep reiterating that the local bishop always has the last word and castigating everybody for not condoning "obedience".

    E Michael Jones, renowned anti-Medjugorje campaigner who wrote entire books and movies putting Medjugorje and all involved into disrepute (talk about fanatic with a capital F), once told me personally that the local bishop cannot be disobedient because there is no authority higher than the local bishop!!!!

    These people keep stressing “obedience” completely forgetting that, in the case of Medjugorje, obedience could validly be applied to three seperate entities: 1)God, 2)The Vatican, and 3)the local bishop. To the visionaries, the principal question is obedience to God (Acts 5:29 "We must obey God rather than men."). To anyone outside of the diocese of Mostar (including me), surely obedience is due primarily to the vatican. To anyone wishing to enter the parish of Mostar (including Medjugorje), OK, THEN we have a duty to obey the local bishop, unless the Vatican has something else to say on the matter (note recent plans to create a new parish of Medjugorje, separate from Mostar).

    If there is confusion, the first place to ask for clarification is THE VATICAN. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s famous letter gives an example of this process at work.

    Louis, I'm sure you're a lovely guy, but this stuff that you're saying was being said 20 years ago. Patrick and others take note: The internet never sleeps. Be careful what you write. Another newbie will come online tomorrow, google up Medjugorje and, in the absence of people like myself to clear up the confusion, will end up like Louis and so many others – completely confused and barking up the wrong tree.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Very informative posts and for many , thankfully , just an interesting sideshow !

    Yet, lives are affected !

    This thought came in – could it be that for a world where faith is little, the craving for entertainment and excitement is much too much, God could use even these events , to help us to remind of His presence !

    Because the children often forget that He is there , as Bread , in every tabernacle, to satisfy our deepest hungers – to touch Him, to be with Love, to hear our frustrations , to pour out the mercy , into all areas of of our littleness and hungers !

    Hoping that if the verdict is not what all wanted to hear, it too would be seen as mercy , helping us all to rejoice in our littleness, for the sake of Him who has made Himself so very little for us,to remind us how so very precious we are too, in our own littleness so that together we can say – yeah , I am loved and forgiven, just right in my littleness and that is all that matters !

  45. Louis Bélanger says:

    @Paul Baylis,

    Your reasoning is very troubling to me if, out of benevolence, I give you the benefit of the doubt that your are a truth searcher.

    You invoke the "miracle" of the number. The argument of the many that believe is stronger than the argument that only a few don't believe. Strange!

    Following your reasoning, should the 40 members who worked on the First, the Second and the Third Commission and the 19 bishops out of the 20 who have maintained a non equivocal verdict of non constat de supernaturalitate —meaning the "Lady of Medjugorje" is not the Virgin Mary — be considered as "fanatics" according to your criteria?

    Indeed, they are no more than 60 persons compared to the millions of faithful who traveled there to meet the entity that the promoters persuaded them to be the Virgin Mary.

    Moreover, fanaticism has so impregnated persons like Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, President of the Bishops' Conference of Yugoslavia, and Bishop Pavao Zanic, the Ordinary of Mostar, that they, advised by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the CDF, specified in the Communiqué announcing the creation of the Third Commission in January 1987 that

    "it is not permitted to organize either pilgrimages or other religious manifestations based on an alleged supernatural character attributed to Medjugorje's events." [The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, p. 140].

    It is well known that these two dignitaries, in all complicity with the communist regime, hypnotized all the experts and members of the Third Commission and their Yugoslavian colleagues bishops and cardinals who rendered their negative verdict in Zadar, in 1991.

    Consequently, the so-called "Anti-M", the infamous critics, are all zombies manipulated by that little clique of "unbelievers" and they should be discarded from the debate. They are too few, their arguments have no validity. They are messengers of negativity.

    Rather shameful really. Why bother digging when the promoters have persuaded us that everything is OK.

    We must be grateful to them to have concealed the true messages of the entity, to have concealed that the announced last day of the «apparitions» by the entity was July 3, 1981, to have concealed Vicka's diary, to have concealed Tomislav Vlasic's chronicle, to have concealed that Fr René Laurentin falsified historical documents, to have concealed that five secrets were communicated by the entity to the visionaries in 1981, five secrets that became ten secrets in 1982, to have suppressed the image of an entity peddling gossip, to have suppressed the image of a menacing entity and one announcing God's chastisement, to have suppressed the entity's message to encourage the faithful to read one of Fr Laurentin's books.

    Let's be thankful to the manipulators and rewriters of history who have presented us a "clean" Lady of Medjugorje and let's damn the wistle blowers who apply the criteria of discernment first proposed by Prospero Lambertini who had been a so-called "Promotor Fidei" before becoming Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758). In fact, he was paid by the devil, hence his surname: devil's advocate.

    You are right, Mr Baylis, the critics are devilish and they must be crushed. Fortunately, the job won't take too much time, they are "countable on one hand".

    Cordially, as usual,

    Louis Bélanger

  46. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    Any time someone sees this calumny about the bishop and the communists, I would encourage people to read this and pass it along:

    Medjugorje, the Communists and the Bishop by Prof. Marco Corvaglia

  47. Daniel says:

    From what I can tell, no one is disputing that they had been out for a smoke and tried to cover it up, then tried to lie to the bishop about it. The issue still remains as to whether they should be considered credible. "The Madonna smiled" according to the account of Mirjana. Should the bishop have considered her account of the events credible, when he knew she was lying about some of the details. "We know the local Bishop changed his mind after seeing Fr. Jozo arrested, put in jail and tortured. " What makes you think you know that, I don't believe the bishop said that? It does seem the bishop documented that he was lied to, why is it you would think that would not be a factor in changing his mind? Is there any dispute that he was lied to about what the girls were doing at the time of the original vision?

  48. Paul Baylis says:

    This article is not only disrespectful to Pope John Paul, but is a rather weak non-sequitur-esque, begging-the-question attempt to place Medjugorje on shakier ground and in greyer hues because a pope made an error of judgement about a completely different issue!

    I understand the need for anti-M promoters to draw attention to this single mistake. If John Paul II were to ONLY person to believe in Medjugorje, then we might take that one error into account, despite all the many things John-Paul made great judgements on.

    But, unfortunately, that is not the case and the massive volume of pro-Medjugorje statements by vatican officials and clerics, compared to the paucity of anti-Medjugorje statements (countable on one hand), rather places anti-M promoters in the position of needing to dig out and highlight whatever they can – and that includes one error of judgement from a Pontiff.

    Rather shameful really. I mean, why bother digging for, and highlighting, negatives when positives abound. This is what we loosely call "fanaticism"

  49. Anonymous says:

    "Who are you?" inquired Mirjana.

    "I am the Most Blessed Virgin Mary."

    "Why are you appearing to us?" Mirjana asked.
    "We are not better than others."

    In response, the Madonna smiled again, then told the seers, "I do not necessarily choose the best."

    That should do it … esp. if you are acquainted to similar circumstances within other approved apparitions!

    And then we have of course, the Magdalen, who stayed and stood at the foot of the Cross. Not bad, these other chosen less than perfect ones.

  50. Jordan Lindsey says:

    Smoking, looking for lost sheep? The two girls were doing what normal teenage girls do, "talking about things that are so important."

    From the lips of Marijana – she was there.

    We know the local Bishop changed his mind after seeing Fr. Jozo arrested, put in jail and tortured. But what do we make of the fact that thereafter Cardinal Ratzinger called for a Bishop of a local surrounding country to celebrate the Holy Mass in Medjugorje and that three Bishops responded?

    Also what are we to make of the local Bishop telling Fr. Jozo last year to cease caring for the 5,500 orphans he has cared for since the war being there is no social structure in place in Bosnia-Herzegovina to do this? And why did the Vatican and the highest ranking Franciscan in Rome take Fr. Jozo's side?

    It's worrying to me that the local Bishop would stop a priest for caring for orphans.

  51. Daniel says:

    I somehow had missed this post until after I heard Patrick's appearance on Kresta yesterday, while having participated in previous posts. I noticed mgseamanjr said…
    <>
    I had brought up smoking in an earlier post so perhaps I am the critic being referred to, but if so this is an entirely manufactured quote to obscure the actual issue I had raised. What their smoking habits are now or were on the 6th vision had nothing to do it. I had been trying to establish whether or not it was an agree upon fact whether the two girls in the original apparition had gone out for a smoke with cigarettes stolen from one of their parents, whether they tried to cover up this fact with a story about looking for lost sheep, and whether or not they tried to lie about it to the bishop (which seems to be the claim of the bishop). The issue then is not smoking itself, but their credibility.
    What is the story that they are currently telling to pilgrims arriving there? Out for a smoke, or out looking for lost sheep? If the former is true, than it damages the credibility of the supporters as well to report the lie.
    If the facts are as I have suggested, that would certainly go a long way to explain why the bishop's supposedly original positive view might have changed. No need to try to explain it with stories of him giving in to threats of the Communists or being opposed because the "vision" corrected him. He determined that they were lying about one thing, and felt they weren't credible on the remainder. This seems a rather huge issue to me, not some petty issue as to whether or not saints might smoke.

  52. Anonymous says:

    An interesting point but not fully accurate. One could say the same thing about the priest's role with respect to the Catholic Mass. Does the fact that the priest may be in the state of serious sin invalidate the promise of Jesus to miraculously change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ upon consecration? Of course not. The faithful do not receive as many graces because of the celebrant's stain of sin but Jesus still performs His miracle. I would bet 95% that you have not been on pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Most sceptics of Medjugorje have not visited the place. There is a special grace in Medjugorje that cannot be replicated in other places. You have to go there to experience it. It is like your soul is uplifted and brought closer to God. You fall in love with God because He pours out His mercy there. through His Holy Spirit. This is the reason why so many hearts have been transformed in Medjugorje — hearts that have been seriously estranged from God and their fellow man, mothers that have killed their innocent children in their womb, men and women that have decided to leave everything to serve the Lord in ordained ministry, etc. Only God knows the immense good that has come from that place not to mention the hundreds of documented healings. Of course there will be doubters as there were in Jesus' time (even among his apostles) but once the sign promised by Our Lady appears, the Church and the world will know like in Fatima that the hand of God was there. We should be grateful for the length of time that Heaven has allowed Our Blessed Mother to appear because once Our Lady stops appearing and the secrets come into play, we will lament the fact that she did not appear longer.

  53. RC says:

    A couple of members of the commission appear to have expressed themselves in relation to Medjugorje in the past.

    Cdl. Amato, in 2007, urged bishops in Tuscany to publish directives by Bp. Peric: http://www.cafarus.ch/cet.medjugorje.html

    Cdl. Puljic has spoken of the disobedient Franciscans of Herzegovina as adopting "pseudo-charisms", perhaps a reference to Medjugorje:
    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3977&repos=1&subrepos=0&searchid=60856

  54. Anonymous says:

    I have been a bit disturbed by all the goings on recently, however have been praying to PJP 11 for several years for discernment and advice. The Maciel thing did worry me and I awoke this AM thinking oh well PJP was an actor, maybe he fooled us all. Anyhow, several years ago, going through cancer treatment, i wanted an answer to a query and prayed to PJP and the name augustine popped into my mind, I went to the net and searched and found a prayer dedicated to this doctor of the church by PJP. Today, I surfed the net about something else, however came across this by St Augustine that fully discerns and refutes any allegations against PJP in relation to Maciel, whilst still indicating his reactions to Medjugorje being wholesome and most likely correct.

    A quote from the link below: http://www.catholictreasury.info/books/enchiridion/ench6.php

    Or, take the man who believes a bad man to be good, yet suffers no harm at his hand. He is not badly deceived nor would the prophetic condemnation fall on him: "Woe to those who call evil good." For we should understand that this saying refers to the things in which men are evil and not to the men themselves. Hence, he who calls adultery a good thing may be rightly accused by the prophetic word. But if he calls a man good supposing him to be chaste and not knowing that he is an adulterer, such a man is not deceived in his doctrine of good and evil, but only as to the secrets of human conduct. He calls the man good on the basis of what he supposed him to be, and this is undoubtedly a good thing. Moreover, he calls adultery bad and chastity good. But he calls this particular man good in ignorance of the fact that he is an adulterer and not chaste.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Patrick, I found this at ssfaith.com Appears Lauretta seems to be right. Here is a paragraph from the article. There is also another joke that says a lot and appears to be straight from the pit as well as the first.

    "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."

    http://www.sffaith.com/ed/articles/2000/1000os.htm

  56. Anonymous says:

    If in fact this joke was told, as Laurette has claimed, let me just be blunt…it is straight from the pit, plain and simple. I hope she has the recording and if she doesn't there are a few of us who read here that might be able to get our hands on it.

  57. Lauretta says:

    This website:
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1001536.htm
    contains the names of all the members of the commission to investigate Medjugorje. Interestingly, it states that the bishops of Bosnia-Herzegovina requested the commission.

    Also, does anyone know the position about the apparition of any of the named members? None of the big supporters that I know of are named. I was just curious.

  58. Patrick Madrid says:

    Laurette, if she did say that, it was a truly sickening, horrifying thing for her to have said. Good heavens!

    Hypothetically, assuming for a moment that this did happen and that Marija did say this, the natural question to ask is whether anyone here (regardless of your opinion of Medjugorje) can imagine any of the children of Fatima saying such a thing? Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes? Margaret Mary Alacoque of of Paray-le-Monial? Catharine Labouré of Rue de Bac?

    Of course you can't. There's just no way.

    My firm conviction is that no Catholic who in fact had received authentic heavenly apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and had received messages from her, and had been warned against following the spiritus mundi, and had been shown hell, etc., etc., etc. — as the alleged seers of Medjugorje claim they have — no such Catholic would or even could say such a thing.

    Laurette, do you have the recording of this incident? If so, I would like to hear it for myself. I appreciate your tell us about this. You mentioned that you were present when it happened and heard this with your own ears. But for the sake of corroborating what you say with actual evidence, I hope you have or can get a copy of the tape of the event and that you'll share it with me. Otherwise, as you can imagine, your shocking account of what happened will be dismissed by most people as nothing but unsubstantiated hearsay.

  59. Laurette Elsberry says:

    Thank you for this very clear-thinking discussion. I wonder how Pope John Paul would have viewed the following:

    In August of 2000 a Medjugorje conference was held in Sacramento's (CA) Memorial Auditorium. "Seer" Marija Lunetti, along with her husband Paolo appeared. With Paolo translating for Marija, she told the following joke (the joke is recorded on one of the audio tapes sold at the conference).

    "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 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 barbeque 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 Palestine where they had no more faith, but they were completely sure about what they could to – they had perfect faith, we could say, they were all walking on water. And so Jesus went on the water but started to go down – to sink. So he starts thinking to himself, 'What's wrong with me? I'm Jesus. This is impossible'. And then Peter saw him, got close to him and said, 'Rabbi, you forgot, your feet have holes'".

    Shocked? I sure was, but the 2000 people in the auditorium roared with laughter. To me, it was diabolical.

  60. Anonymous says:

    >>>>"Sabeth, to be candid, you are not really adding anything substantive to this discussion, just pointless nit-picking and empty retorts to those who have been trying to reason with you. Please just rest your case where it is now and let things be. All this endless wrangling is not doing anything to strengthen it."

    April 13, 2010 1:45 PM

    I have to agree again with Patrick. Sabeth speaks again and again and up to this point, I am more solidified in my belief that Medj. is not legit and many others here might believe the same. Not to mention her glib retorts that she accuses others of having. Patrick, she will always have the last word on anything, I'm sure. Not just on this forum. So everyone, give it up. It is useless to convince her otherwise.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Best advice to the huge committee – leave well alone. Great for tourism in Bosnia. Great track record of user satisfaction.

    Maybe this big committee has been appointed as a hatchet job? Too bad. Lots of pilgrims will still go there anyway I guess!!

    Waste of time.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Diane for the information.

    I ask God for peace in people's heart for we are to face the greatest trials the Church has ever been.

    Peace,
    Maria.

  63. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    Maria,

    Transcripts from tape recordings of discussions with the visionaries are available in full in the book "The Hidden Side of Medjugorje"

    I believe the site, now set up with Paypal is

    Medjugorje-artifice.info

    Patrick,

    You can always set your options for this post to display current comments and not allow further. I wish blogger had a date limit.

  64. Patrick Madrid says:

    Thanks for proving my point all the more, Sabeth. You had that last word on the matter, so let's just leave it at that.

  65. sabeth says:

    Maria,

    "I wouldn't speak that way of them ,if I were you, because you don't know what is going on there and you might find that the one who is prejudicing them is you by calling them something you are not sure of only God knows our inner hearts and you are not God."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Please, for crying out loud, speak to what I've presented factually – good grief, it's recorded history, by the Church, by her actions, by respected and holy prelates themselves. Please leave out the cause for negative "speculating" with such shallow descriptions as "that way".

    You may be on Patrick's favored list here, as you promote his leanings, but at least give evidence that cannot be refuted. Who is "prejudicing" them – the facts presented? Instead you've worked to "prejudice" against the faithful who are doing nothing outside of Church directives. And within that "prejudice" you have a whole lot of bishops, cardinals, Marian experts and scientists. Are they included in your admonishments because they have spoken out? What a silly argument….and quite, btw, pharisaical.

  66. sabeth says:

    Patrick,

    Just what do you mean "let things be"?? That is a very odd "sum up" by the introducer of such a subject himself, inviting the debate. Sour grapes?

    If you do not wish to have the very few persons with differing views to be a part of the discussion then you ought to put that notice on your headlines. Instead you wait until perhaps the one or two responders (out of the usual abundance of mutual admiration society "anonymi")faithfully reply to the constant sound bite defamers and then move to eliminate that poor side (in number) from the argument. Hmmm….wonder why!!

    At least take responsibility for your publications and viewpoints as open for what is assumed by those who didn't know that's how you operate to be a fair debate or get rid of your comment section.

    I've seen, in one other discussion topic, where you also enter in only to lecture the ones differing from your point of view. I see then you are beyond criticism yourself or ongoing reflection upon greater information offered than you originally proposed.

    It would appear to me that a recognized "apologist" type is here to instead step out in front of the Church herself and attempt to discourage the faithful from following Church directives re: the phenomenon itself…or else one would see, once in a while, an admission of the facts of Church involvement with its logical refutation of the apologies for those no longer, apparently, now relevant. To continue that angle of "evidence" is really what has been so "nit-picking" here.

    I'm sorry if I am not a cheerleader for your peculiar reasonings in light of what is happening, but I cannot be. We have an authority in such matters when it comes to private revelations and it is not yourself.

    You've not presented all of my comments as you have others with unverified gossip – they don't know that of course. I don't care then if you do not print this either – it's meant for you … in reply to your condescending remarks to one who obviously has a much greater depth of acquaintance with the people/place/happenings/fruits than yourself. I say that also, not in arrogance but to the honest facts.

    I would though ask that you be specific to anything that I have offered that has been "empty" in reply (or in error) to anyone who personally asked for a reply and themselves engaged (from all sides against me and maybe one other with the ambushes) in requesting the debate to continue by material that has nothing at all to do with the place and its true history. And if you do so, permit me to respond.

    Your "wrangling" is my "defense" of the facts/history/truth and against the defamation and gossip re: our good Catholic brothers and sisters. They've been through a lot more than you have if disagreeable comments are the measure! If nothing else, at least be charitable, and admonish against such treatment by your own "faithful"!!

  67. Anonymous says:

    Sabeth,

    The Church permits people to go on pilgrimages to Medjugorje on the basis that they only adhere to a healthy devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary according the the teachings of the Catholic Church.

    A quote from the letter sent to Mons. Gilbert Aubry by Arch. Tarcisio Bertone:

    "Finally, as regards to pilgrimages to Medjugojre, which are conducted privately, this congregation points out that they are permitted on condition tha tthey are not regarded as an authentication of events still taking place and which still call for on examanination by the Church"

    Maria.

  68. Patrick Madrid says:

    Sabeth, to be candid, you are not really adding anything substantive to this discussion, just pointless nit-picking and empty retorts to those who have been trying to reason with you. Please just rest your case where it is now and let things be. All this endless wrangling is not doing anything to strengthen it.

  69. sabeth says:

    Maria,

    I believe your "admonishments" are currently outside of what the Church permits and the faithful adhere to up to this point. By speaking this way you advertise that you refuse to accept congenially the particular allowances permitted by the Church as it is moving, and continue to live in some now limiting history. You also describe a certain impossible concept of human nature that the Church Herself does not require.

    Of course it's private revelation so you are fortunate in that breadth of allowance as are others who just might differ from yourself. And what you distantly may "think" and what has been documented are two different animals indeed.

  70. waterinckx mark says:

    The article of Patrick Madrid is very good. He made a comparison between the (wrong) point of view of pope J.P.II concerning 1° Maciel and 2° Medjugorje.
    I made another comparison between the (also wrong) point of view of pope J.P.II concerning
    1° Civitavecchia('weeping' statue of Medjugorje) and 2° Medjugorje See :

    http://www.gloria.tv/?media=67005

  71. Anonymous says:

    Sabeth,

    I have been waiting for the Church, but have you?

    People who have asserted that what is appearing in Mejdugorje and giving messages is our Mother from Heaven are the ones who could be putting words on our Mother's mouth.

    Re: Bishop Zanic and Bishop Peric.

    I wouldn't speak that way of them ,if I were you, because you don't know what is going on there and you might find that the one who is prejudicing them is you by calling them something you are not sure of only God knows our inner hearts and you are not God.

    I stronly believe that the commission is going to be using everything that the Bishop of Mostar has in his office. The things like the files, recordings, statements, interviews and declarations which have been carefully kept since the very first day of the alleged apparition.

    I think that Bishop Peric has recordings on the seers from the very first days when noone knew about them. There are interviews, voice recordings, statements etc.. that did not make it to the public.

    Maria.

  72. Anonymous says:

    I agree, let us not put words in the Virgin's mouth. even good Bishop Peric asked a halt to it
    on 7/6/2006

    http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=20431

    "As the local bishop, I maintain that regarding the events of Medjugorje, on the basis of the investigations and experience gained thus far throughout these last 25 years, the church has not confirmed a single apparition as authentically being the Madonna," he said. He then called on the alleged visionaries and "those persons behind the messages to demonstrate ecclesiastical obedience and to cease with these public manifestations and messages in this parish."

  73. Anonymous says:

    Don't you think it would be a good time for the
    "Gospa" to come out and defend our Pope and the Catholic Church in this time of great crisis? Just a few words to encourage faith in the Church? After all she's in the neighborhood. And no, vague references to "trials" don't count. We all go through trial all of our lives. However, a specific reference to this specific trial of the Church and this specific Pope would be much more in line with other approved apparitions like Fatima and I dare say, would be more credible.

    S.

  74. sabeth says:

    So, wait with the Church so you won't do such a thing. Fortunately it looks like the Church has relied on the same sources as I have – not prejudiced clerics with an axe to grind – those type "sources" didn't seem to appeal to the Church in this new commission thus far!

  75. Anonymous says:

    "It's not good to put words in our Mother's mouth!" Sabeth said.

    I agree 100% with you. This is why the Church has taken up the care to find this very same thing through the new commission.

  76. sabeth says:

    Within context – as inconvenient as that may be for some here:

    May 25, 1987 "Dear children! (speaking to all of her children – everyone on earth) I am calling everyone of you to start living in God's love. Dear children, you are ready to commit sin, and to put yourselves in the hand of Satan without reflecting. I call on each one of you to consciously decide for God and against Satan. I am your Mother and, therefore, I want to lead you all to perfect holiness. (the condition for happiness on earth – holiness with God, refusing Satan's temptations) I "want" each one of you to be happy here on earth and to be with me in Heaven. That is, dear children, the purpose of my coming here and it's my desire. Thank you for having responded to my call."

    Re: Viska's suffering (with joy), it is apparent that you here, with the glib responses, are not aware of or familiar with (how can you be when you advertise how far you are from what you judge) just what those sufferings have been and still are. Anyone can do the same with their sufferings and live in that kind of joy (Viska is an example to them) – but the degree and its offering designates the parameters of "victim souls". I doubt though that that kind of "happiness" is what was intended by the comment that infers some kind of earthly comfort or material happiness. Happiness due to holiness is what is desired.

    It's not good to put words in our Mother's mouth!

  77. Anonymous says:

    Sabeth,

    Thank you for providing us with the website.
    I read it. There is no date, though.
    It is very difficult to trace it from its original source and also to look for it in another site. Is there another source you can provide us with to confirm that the first is substantially probable and true?

    Anonymous of 9:43pm, I was going to say the same thing regarding our trials and our pains that we each has to suffer in the name of Jesus and offer them up for the good of His Church. We all have these trials and may God helps us through them.

    Maria

  78. Anonymous says:

    sabeth, check the message of May 25, 1987 concerning the so-called message where the so-called apparition told the so-called seers they would be happy on this earth. It is there, unless you are reading a newer publication of the so-called messages of that time. Newer publications don't seem to have the same wording as the originals, hum. That subject is for a whole new thread on the problems of Medjugorje. Compare them if you can get your hands on the originals, which I have for reference.

    sabeth said:
    "Then why is Viska a true victim soul, undergoing very painful and chronic back problems with surgeries,etc. all the while remaining patient, offering everything for our Lady's intentions, continuing to be loving and long suffering????"

    My dear friend, if this makes one a victim soul then I must be a true victim soul as well. There are millions of victim souls if what you describe is the proper identification of a victim soul. Every pain and suffering that I endure, which are many, are offered for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, the conversion of sinners, and an end to all the false prophets leading souls down the road to perdition, which I am sure are Our Lady's wishes

  79. sabeth says:

    Maria,

    "Peace be with you, Sabeth. Instead of hammering down on me, why don't you become charitable and teach us what and where is the correct information on this subject so that we can stop spreading wrong things."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I'm sorry but I have tried to, only to meet with more and more ridiculous repeats of gossip with no basis and attempts to find any reason to lead people only to the well worn Medj. debunking sites where the information has long ago been clarified, in context. This current site as well as the one referencing this thread seem capable of only presenting any excuse to lean toward the negative while still wishing you to believe they are waiting with great openmindedness. Ha!

    When you are one or two against the many who respond only with glibness or deliberate slander against those they've never met, know nothing of truth about, and who have not the courage to investigate the sites with clear documentation or to visit the site of ongoing phenomena themselves, it's become obvious from reading here that they have an agenda. All one has to do is Google Medjugorje to find authentic and ongoing sites – very easily – the ones with the documented messages, interviews without bias and in context or with further explanations given when questioned. They have long lists of all of these rehashed questions with answers to each. All of these sites are kept up to date with all happenings in the area. They are not repeating the same hearsay and distortions that long ago were either given greater context or simply proven to be deliberate lies.

    And the rather pharisaical pickings re: where Satan must appear – even when we are warned that Satan can take on the appearance of a bright being or of an angelic description – seems more like emotional/hysterical excuses for fear than correct reasoning.

    But thank you for your offering of peace. Remember what Our Lord Himself said about human peace expectations, even of Him!!

  80. sabeth says:

    Apparently the first time was this:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:FsMe5uLzB6UJ:www.sremmanuel.com/content/medjugorje-mainmenu-86/visionaries+Mirjana+Medjugorje+vision+of+satan+as+handsome+man&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    Yes, this second time also occurred I see. The use of "niche" or "same spot" as Our Lady – like in the single spot of the Lourdes grotto or something that threw me.

    Also, why is it that of all the approved apparitions for comparison here people limit the comparison to only Fatima (where of course 2 of the seers died young) and Lourdes for personal agendas? There are universal similarities, yes, but there are others where Satan attacked just before an apparition of Our Lady – as in Our Lady of America before Our Lady appeared as Our Lady of Lourdes (and also gave consolation to the seer for the earlier Satanic attack) the first time and there are many where the seers did not enter the religious life – Our Lady of All Nations; Betania; La Salette; Banneux; Guadalupe; Kibeho; Knock; as far as I know also Beauraing; Laus for some.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Sabeth,

    There is another website that has something on the apparition of Satan to Mirjana and it is pro Med.

    The following quote is apparently taken from a book "Open Your Hearts to Mary Queen of Peace" Book by Slavko Barbaric and Tomislav Vlasic.

    "Mirjana had a particular vision on 14th April 1982. While she was waiting for Our Lady to appear, Satan arrived disguised as Our Lady. She writes, 'He was ugly, horribly ugly. You cannot even imagine how ugly, he almost killed me with his gaze, I almost fainted. He then told me, 'You must leave God and Our Lady because they will make you suffer, come with me and I will make you happy in love and life'. My heart echoed -No, no, no! Then Satan went away and Our Lady came and she said to me: 'I am sorry for this, but you must know that Satan exists…"

    So, according to your version, the apparition of Satan was of a handsome man and with mesmerizing effects. Where did you find this version of the story? I like to know.

    Maria.

  82. Anonymous says:

    Sabeth,

    Bernadette became a religious nun. To leave the world is to give up everythin that was wordly or normal here on earth, marriage, children, a family life, a home, cooking, parties, etc…

    Maria.

    Maria.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Sabeth,

    Peace be with you, Sabeth. Instead of hammering down on me, why don't you become charitable and teach us what and where is the correct information on this subject so that we can stop spreading wrong things.

    Anyways, what is the difference? Facts or no facts, it's the same incident where Satan appeared to one of the Medj. seers and then an alleged apparition of Mary followed it.

    According to Father Tomislav Vlasic's letter to Pope JPII, this is what he writes about the incident:

    "….She spoke of an apparition in which Satan appeared to her,…and immediately the Virgin arrived and Satan dissapeared…"

    In the Marian Times website they have:
    "She spoke of an apparition in which Satan appeared to her disguised as the Blessed Virgin…Mirjana rejected him, and immediately the Virgin appeared and Satan dissapeared."

    The point I was trying to make is that in Lourdes demons did not even appear in the same spot or niche as Our Lady had appeared.

    Maria.

  84. sabeth says:

    "The so-called apparition in Medjugorge, in the late 80s, told the seers they would be happy on this earth."

    What a bunch of hooey. Then why is Viska a true victim soul, undergoing very painful and chronic back problems with surgeries,etc. all the while remaining patient, offering everything for our Lady's intentions, continuing to be loving and long suffering????

    Some of the stuff thrown out here only demonstrates that such people don't have a clue to any real genuine and accurate source material or refuse, on purpose to seek it out.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Hi Maria, Our Blessed Lady also told Bernadette that she could not promise happiness on this earth, only in Heaven. The so-called apparition in Medjugorge, in the late 80s, told the seers they would be happy on this earth. Quite a different message and something else to think about.

    So many of these so-called messages are contrary to what the Catholic Church teaches; I hope and pray that the good folks out there will brush up on the teachings of Holy Mother Church.

    As for the people who are believers in this so-called apparition, if in fact the Church condemns it and they leave the Church, we should recall what St. John of the Cross said concerning this, "If they were of the truth, they never would have left, but since they never really were of the truth, they couldn't remain."

  86. sabeth says:

    Wow! If you're going to tell stories (begun again with "I heard") at least get some of the facts straight to even begin or one just might think your "search for truth and true facts" is sorely lacking in its methodology.

    Sheesh – Mirjana mentioned an apparition of Satan – as a very handsome man with mesmerizing effect – after this frightening experience Our Lady appeared to say that she was sorry but that we need to know that Satan does exist – esp. when Our Lady is doing something to draw us away from his influence. And it is said of course by the experienced exorcists that Satan's current triumph is to have people today believe that he even exists.

    Perhaps you remain a skeptic, but at least refrain from inventing stories and passing gossip and misinformation because you refuse to go to the authentic sites for accuracy and documented info. "Hearsay" is dangerous and is no foundation for attempting to dissuade others. You only tempt them to believe in erroneous information. In the end, therefore, your "anomaly" isn't!

    To the last anonymous – Ivan also has said the same….and it's recorded, not "hearsay".

  87. Anonymous says:

    Bernadette once said:

    "One you have seen her, you never have any more liking for this earth!"
    Pg. 217 "Saint Bernadette Soubirous 1844-1879 by Abbe Fracois Trochu.

    I believe to have read the same kind of quote from Lucia Dos Santos, and other visionaries of Mary.

    Something to think about..
    Maria.

  88. Anonymous says:

    Another anomaly:

    I heard that Mirjana ,or Marija,or one of the seers, had an apparition of the devil dressed in the same clothes as the alleged apparition and then only seconds later the apparition of the devil changed into a woman supposed to be Mary saying that it was just a trial that it would not happen again. ???

    At Lourdes, when the devil or demons appeared never showed themselves in the niche where Mary appeared to Bernadette; nor on the same exact spot where our Lady appeared.

    Maria

  89. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone else here make a connection between the amibiguous wording of vatican ii and the same kind of ambiguity or downright strange wording of the Medj. messages? To me, it seems that it might be a crowning touch to the council after 40 years. The fact that this "apparition" has been going on for almost 30 years, with 40,000 appearances , it is still trying to convince us of this "truth". Most bizarre. How much "truth" can we endure from this so-called apparition? One would think it would have gotten the point across by now. With all this time it took for the messages, it has hooked a lot of folks with this kind of emotionalism. Look how long it took to make Fatima worthy of belief, 13 years. And there were just a handful of visions. How much longer will it take for the Medj. to make approval, if found to be worth of belief? It just doesn't make sense.

  90. Anonymous says:

    Hoping that the connection made between Medg.and Fr.Maciel would be prophetic , in the best sense of the word , at more than one level!

    We all pretty much know of the start of Islam , it's founder's history ( lot worse than Fr.Maciel, atleast in our eyes , unless one wieghs in their diffrent roles, hence best to leave it upto God !) and yet , how those people who also emphasise mercy have grown ! This , even if they are not fully aware of the truer depths of mercy , like we in The Church are supposed to !

    Interesting to see the connection between
    L& M – like that of the infinite Love of a Father ( and ofcourse our Mother !)

    In the little booklet'Tha Father speaks to His children' , there are the touching passages about how there is no feast in honor of the Father , how there are many who still carry a fearful (or worse!) image of The Father , how He is One with The Son and His Holy Spirit , how He wish to have the Father relationship !

    One could even wonder if much of the history of The Church , atleast its trials have an indirect connection to the lack of Father love and honor from her children and how hunger for same then gets distorted , to set off other movements , where persons get idolised from this hunger !
    In the secular world , or even in The Church , it manifesting as hunger for other men and moves to seduce them to the damage and detriment of all Father image and dignity of men !

    Tomorrow , as The Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday, there is the poignnat scene of how our merciful Lord, restores the trust in His love, for 'The Twin' – St.Thomas and others who witness that scene , this even while reminding him of the his lack and need for trust !

    Let us hope and pray too that all who have put trust in erroneus figures would be brought back , to put there trust where it belongs and that The Church would do so , by revealing The Father , by giving Him glory in more substantial ways and that the ones who so far erred in this manner the most could be the very ones who now could take up this cause the best !

    Coming back to Islam , one has to wonder too, if God could have allowed it to stand for such examples and how, as children of light who knows of God's compassion and love , even for the erring,or esp. for the erring little ones and could do far better , in bringing out much good , from helping to be restored to The Church, in power of humility of recognition of littleness and thus claim on mercy, in the form of being those who help the most, to bring honor and glory to The Father and our Mother !

    May be those ( annoying :) ) pagan artifacts , in the Vatican museums are not done with their message – that The Church is still in the process of resurrecting wounded and dead children and that mission is still to be carried out to the confused world out there – a world hungry to behold the Face of The Father , even if it may not seem to accept this truth !

    One could even wonder if Pope JohnPaul 11 had seen such a possibilty for our times -

  91. Anonymous says:

    Some of Medjugorje messages are confusing. The last message has really kept me thinking. Perhaps someone can shed a light for me and explain why I could be wrong.

    4/2/2010 to Mirjana:
    "Today I bless you in a special way and I pray for you to return to the right way, to my Son- your Savior, your Redeemer – to Him who gave you eternal life."

    I have read previous approved apparitions of Mary and She would always include herself in such a way that she would say : Our Lord, Our God, etc..

    In the Medjugorje messages the apparition sometimes does not include herself.

    I understand that Mary was saved from original sin but either way She was saved by God as she said in her Fiat "My soul rejoices in God my Savior". She was also given eternal life by Jesus resurrection and in this message the apparition seem to have excluded herself from it,too; "Who gave you eternal life".

    She has a Savior and a Redeemer but her condition was that God saved her before she was conceived. She still needed a Savior anyhow.

  92. Anonymous says:

    An Apparition Teaching Error and Heresy
    A) Fr. Tomislav Vlasic: "Do you feel the Virgin as she who gives graces (which is the traditional Catholic doctrine of Mary, the Mediatrix of All Graces) or as she who prays to God? (true also, but in conformity with some Protestant theology and not the fulness of Catholic teaching.) Vicka: "As she who prays to God." ("Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje? by Fr. Rene Laurentin, 1984, p.135-136, 154)
    B) The Virgin was accustomed to reciting the Our father with the seers. (But how could Our Lady say: "Forgive us our trespasses," since she has none? At Lourdes, Our Lady was careful to keep her lips closed during all the Paters and Aves, reciting only the Gloria Patris.)
    C) Mirjana: "I recently asked the Virgin this question (whether many souls are damned), and she told me that nowadays most souls go to Purgatory." (book by Fr. Faricy, p. 64)
    (…a comforting thought, perhaps, but opposite to the teaching of Fatima, St. Louis de Montfort, Pope Gregory the Great, St. Alphonsus, St. Anthony Claret, St. Augustine, etc., etc.)
    D) Oct. 1, 1981: "All religions are equal before God," says the Virgin. (Chronological Corpus of Medjugorje, p. 317)
    E) The Virgin: "I do not dispose of all graces…Jesus prefers that you address your petitions directly to him, rather than through an intermediary." (Chron. Corp. p.181, 277-278)
    F) "In God there are no divisions or religions; it is you in the world who have created divisions." (Faricy, p.51)
    G) "God directs all denominations as a king directs his subjects, through the medium of his ministers" ("The Apparitions at Medjugorje," by Fr. Svat Kraljevic, 1984, p.58)
    H) "Each one's religion must be respected, and you must preserve yours for yourselves and for your children." (Kraljevic, p.68)
    I) "The Virgin added: 'It is you who are divided on this earth. The Muslims and the Orthodox, like the Catholics, are equal before my Son and before me, for you are all my children." (Fr. Ljubic, p.71)
    (…unbaptized Muslims equal to the baptized, who by this fact are the adopted children of God?)

  93. Anonymous says:

    Have read the Foley book, attempted to communicate with the man. He lives in the past, passing on the misinformation and same worn gossip/excuses for closed-mindedness. Is closed to the facts and made up his mind even before the Church has! In fact if he knows anyone is even open to questioning him he becomes unwilling to be open to any correction in fact. Don't search for "facts and truth" there. It's been tried and met with closed mindedness.

  94. Anonymous says:

    Read Donaly Foley's book, "Understanding Medjugorje". It will truly enlighten one, who is searching for the facts and the truth. Reviews and comments on the book can be seen here
    http://www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/books/medjbook/medjcomm.html

  95. sabeth says:

    "This is why it is a red herring: your position is that the bishop has taken the wrong position on Medjugorje for nefarious reasons, and thus, some of the disobedience is justified."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "Nefarious" is your term not mine. I stated and showed the long history of the Herzegovinian affair. If you discount those facts of the long history of the region then your argument itself is negligible. I don't have a "position". I have presented the facts as they stand and I wait with the Church. I think every examination of any private revelation must be seen as objective and thus under authorities that take their responsibility seriously to that end.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "My response was to show how bishops taking the wrong position or giving an order from nefarious or "prejudicial" motives still obligates the Christian to obey."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So you are saying that an individual is obligated to obey something, in conscience, is immoral? I think you're mixing respect for a position with following blindly.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "And please take this in a friendly spirit: You're in a bind."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I'm in a bind? It would appear that those who refuse to accept the reality of both history and the moment have themselves in that position, wishing it away by projecting their own dilemma upon others. Rather, facing the facts of the moment is freeing.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "Debates over this are the picture of fruitlessness."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    And after all that work – sour grapes? I don't think so … I think you've probably learned a lot more than when you started out!

  96. Anonymous says:

    Today too it is necessary … to warn the People of God against false prophets, against the errors and superficiality of proposals that do not conform to the teaching of the divine Master.
    Pope Benedict XVI

  97. Patrick Coffin says:

    Sabeth — stop digging.

    You don't care what two Ordinaries have definitively taught nor to the final Zadar Declaration after three then-Yugoslav Commissions taught. So why will you care when yet one more Commission (under Cardinal Ruini) affirms all of the above?

    You know better. That's why.

    (NB: Bishop Peric has stated in writing that his personal conviction is CONSTAT NON DE SUPERNATURALITATE — the most stringent degree of rejection.)

    Even if your citing of an alleged homily given by Bishop Zanic is accurate, all it proves is that he confirmed some kids that day and surmised that it's unlikely the seers were put up to it or are lying. a) he does not thereby officially pronounce as the local Ordinary on the phenomenon (which he officially did later with a ringing thumbs down); and b) even quasi-positive words about the phenomenon do not rule out the possibility that the entity they "see" is of diabolical origin.

    I'll leave you with this. And please take this in a friendly spirit: You're in a bind. Forget for the moment that if 10% of the disturbing problems with Medj. are true, it doesn't stand a chance of Holy See approval. The fact is, no Catholic will be obliged to accept an approval of Medjugorje (as with any approved apparition)….but *you* will be obliged to let go of your fervent attachment to it if the pronouncements of 30 years of directives by the competent authority are rubber-stamped by the CDF.

    Maybe this is why many Medjugorje supporters are so ansty and defensive. They know the stakes are much much higher for them over this. It represents a scary version of Pascal's Wager.

    I'm with Wade St. Onge. Debates over this are the picture of fruitlessness.

    Over and out.

    Happy Easter.

  98. sabeth says:

    "Ask yourself, in the last couple days while reading comments on this thread and responding to them, have you been at peace?"
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    ah yes … because peace can only live in openness to truth – a search for the most authentic facts of truth.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "The language you use indicates to me you have not been."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Be specific.
    You would probably therefore use the same criteria of "whimpiness = peace" or "not defending innocents strongly = peace" and accuse even St. Jerome of same. WWMD? Perhaps admonish an erring bishop!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But she would do it "peacefully" of course, looking at the true facts. Here, the opposition has set the tone so look in the mirror.

  99. sabeth says:

    Diane,
    Once again your tortured attempts to try and find some reason why your favorite bishop has so far been left out of current commission and whose personal judgment as "sole authority" by being the local bishop was denied, just don't make sense.

    More obfuscation of the actual facts as they stand today.

    When the bishop went to Rome with his preferred judgment of condemnation was it, due to his sole authority as the local bishop (you know, protocol) accepted? No! Is bishop who backed that judgment and of "sole authority" (only one still accepted by those who appear here to make up their minds on just where Church authority lies, for them) NOW "thus far" included on the formed commission with current authority? No!

    Your reasoning means that the previous commission alone should have satisfied the requirement of things going "outside the diocese", and yet why then, mixed in with more international types (guess it's gone a bit more "outside the diocese") are regional prelates like Vinko Puljić, Josip Bozanic, Franjo Topic, Fr Mijo Nikic, Sr Nela Veronica Gaspar included while the local diocesan bishop thus far still excluded????? And….Mihaly Szentmartoni, Serbia, professor of clinical psychiatry, was also on the previous commission committee where the conclusions were that, according to the criteria laid down by the CDF in 1978, the six ‘visionaries’ were considered mentally balanced and showed no inclination to psychotic disorder or hysteria, or other phenomenon of this kind. He's included and yet not the local bishop of history?? Go figure!

    I like this response to B. Zanic's astonishment that our Lady should admonish him, a bishop:

    Archbishop Franic's (Ordinary at the time of the Metropolitan See that in 1981 included Medjugorje) response, "But in the Book of the Apocalypse [Revelation] the Holy Spirit admonishes seven Bishops," but it was not recorded in the minutes of that meeting of the BYC!!!

  100. Lauretta says:

    sabeth said:
    "Wow, giving them more power than God! And even in the horror of war at the doorstep, Medjugorje was once again "saved" from any iota of similar destruction. Miracle! The Commies couldn't shut down the Faith even during the most oppressive years – how else did the Franciscans get martyred and the Faith remain? Whose side are you on??"

    To answer your last question first, I am on the side of Truth who is Christ.

    Interesting that God "saved" the Medjugorje phenomenon from the Communists when he didn't save the churches in Russia from destruction and desecration by the same group. Not to mention the many churches and holy sites in Israel that have been destroyed time and time again by the Muslims. Guess they are not as important as Medjugorje.

    Yes, God COULD have saved Medjugorje sites from destruction but I have a hard time believing that those motels, shops, etc. were more important to God than the sites in which Christ performed His miracles, instituted the Sacraments, etc.

    A couple of other reasons come to mind as to why they might have been kept from harm during the war.

    One is that the government didn't want to lose a great source of income.

    The other is that the evil spirit which brought about the war in that poor region may have recognized in Medjugorje something that was on its side!

  101. Anonymous says:

    Sabeth, I would like to make one more point: the Gospa calls her followers to "Peace", correct?

    Ask yourself, in the last couple days while reading comments on this thread and responding to them, have you been at peace?

    The language you use indicates to me you have not been. I would recommend you take the Gospa's advice and seek to be at peace. How would Our Lady of Peace have you do that? WWMD?

    WWMD: And that goes for the rest of us, Medjugorje skeptics as well as believers.

    Farewell [Banneux, 1933],
    Wade St. Onge

  102. Anonymous says:

    By the way, here is another red herring: "and don't you just love the tortured attempt to try and 'fix' a surprisingly sudden flip flop of amazing proportions by justifying it through blaming children or the solice of a Mother to her most beloved priest sons (esp. when that was deliberately sorely lacking in the persecuting approach by their 'shepherd' and that for historically prejudicial reasons)".

    This is why it is a red herring: your position is that the bishop has taken the wrong position on Medjugorje for nefarious reasons, and thus, some of the disobedience is justified. My response was to show how bishops taking the wrong position or giving an order from nefarious or "prejudicial" motives still obligates the Christian to obey. The above is your response, and does not at all deal with that point. It is another attempt to distract from the issue at hand, and thus avoid giving an answer to an objection which is, quite honestly, unanswerable.

    Wade St. Onge

  103. Anonymous says:

    Sabeth: you accuse me of posting anonymously when in fact I signed my real name (Wade St. Onge) at the bottom of both posts. The option of "Anonymous" is the only one available to me because I do not have accounts in any of the other things (ie. LiveJournal, WordPress, etc.)

    The fact that you did not notice this proves to me you did not really read my posts. Nor, does it appear, are you going to respond to any of my points.

    You say "don't you just love the pre-conditions here for that search for true authenticity?" I would say that responding to the valid points of one you disagree with instead of simply ignoring them or responding fallaciously through red herrings IS the way we search for and find true authenticity!

    Usually, ignoring one's arguments and responding through red herrings is a tacit admission that one is wrong. And when this is pointed out, that person usually responds something to this effect, "well I am not going to waste my time with you" or "you are obviously not open so why bother", or some such other reason, and they will then bow out of the discussion. Is that how it is going to end between us, Sabeth?

    Wade St. Onge (please note the signature)

  104. Diane says:

    Anonymous 6:28am said:

    It is bizarre how rabid these Medj. followers are with there answers. Someone disagrees with them and venom spews forth. Very sad indeed , these "visions" do not breed any holiness in comparison with true apparitions such as Fatima. Emotionalism has truly become the new faith.

    It's interesting you should mention this and it jarred my memory to something involving Cardinal Bertone, I believe back in 2005.

    He was being interviewed on a radio program in Italy and at one point, dared to voice his own personal skepticism about Medjugorje and Civitavecchia. What followed was a flood of phone calls, emails and faxes that made visible the full rancor of supporters. Bertone blew the cover off of it saying something to the effect that followers of the approved apparitions do not behave in this manner.

    I'll have to find that translation and put it up in a post at my blog. It's been a matter of public record in Italy for some years, we may as well offer it in English.

    This is good to reflect on – it was from January of this year.

    On a separate note, I wanted to comment on the post by anonymous @12:10 on this statement: (2) The CDF has taken it out of the hands of the Ordinary. Both sides have interpreted this differently.

    As I have pointed out in other threads here, there is much inuendo as to how the case went from the local bishop in 1987 to that commission which ultimately gave us the 1991 Zadar Declaration. The inuendo is that "it was removed". Yet, official records tell us differently. Since one of those records is from the official bulletin of the Bishop's Conference of the former Yugoslavia, and the other comes from a Vatican spokesman, it is not a matter of my opinion.

    In 1987 Cardinal Kuharic stated clearly that the reason it was being elevated to the next level is because the events had gone outside the boundaries of the diocese. This matches precisely a provision in the 1978 criteria for discernment of apparitions.

    In a press conference on the new commission, Fr. Federico Lombardi stated the same thing. He then gave, as an explanation for this new commission as one of the other reasons in the 1978 criteria: It came at the request of the Bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    I think we should trust official statements by Fr. Lombardi, as well as Cardinal Kuharic in 1987. Otherwise, we are left to assume that both were liars. Inuendo based on people's opinions of what went on "behind the scenes" or through 2nd and 3rd hand information makes Patrick's point in this post that people would rather trust this kind of info than what is objectively documented.

    Well, I think I'm done with this thread as it has been beaten to death. While others may have the last word here, there is no doubt that Holy Mother Church will have the ultimate last word. I have full confidence that the Commission is being led by the Holy Spirit, and guided by the Seat of Wisdom.

  105. sabeth says:

    "It is bizarre how rabid these Medj. followers are with there answers. Someone disagrees with them and venom spews forth."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    More typical descriptions coming,not obviously from a "Medj followers" but, yet again, the intolerant: "bizarre", "rabid", "venom", non-believers "condemned". Whew! And justification for such extreme terms? Sounds more like the knee jerk reaction of the Dems these days – can't counter on points so call names – "racist" "violent". Sad! (earlier it was "weird")
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    .."these "visions" do not breed any holiness in comparison with true apparitions such as Fatima."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    With such uncalled for slander by the intolerant (even against the Church's own guidelines themselves) you just may have inadvertantly fallen upon a self image!

  106. sabeth says:

    In actuality what was correctly quoted from accurate sources was no different than what the Church Herself, in her own ecumenical proposals, has stated.

    The Virgin made the following comments to the visionaries question "Are all religions the same?"

    "All religions are dear to my son. It is you on earth who are divided. We are all children of God. The Moslems and the Orthodox for the same reason as Catholics are equal before my son and me. All religions are not equal. (got that?) All men are equal before God. (got that?) It does not suffice to belong to the Catholic Church to be saved. It is necessary to respect and obey the commandants of God in following one’s conscience. Those who are not Catholics are no less creatures made in the image of God and destined ultimately to live in the house of God (go that?). Salvation is available to everyone without exception. Only those who refuse God deliberately are condemned by their own choice."

    It does not suffice that just being a member of the Catholic Church assures heaven (hmmm, obviously most especially of late)… and it does not suffice that others not belonging are somehow condemned. So, yes, since all God's children do not happen to belong to the Catholic Church for all sorts of human reasons they are all dear to their Mother….and yet all religions are not the same. You see, unlike other poor human sinners… hmmm …, our Mother never gives up on anyone. There is no condemnation due to lack of full knowledge of the Faith….even, I suppose, within the Church Herself! Are you attempting to condemn the Church in Her attitude that honors free will in attempting to find God? Such an attitude does not bode well for true evangelization.

    "Vatican II in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church "Lumen Genitum" says this: "Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God (got that?), and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience (got that … how similar). Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life."

    Somehow I don't see the Church here either "calling all people to be Catholic"! While still praying for the unity one day promised.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "I would like to ask Sabeth and mgseamanjr if they would like to address and respond to the points I made, and do so without using red herrings."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    don't you just love the pre-conditions here for that search for true authenticity? – esp. by all the anonymouses!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    and don't you just love the tortured attempt to try and "fix" a surprisingly sudden flip flop of amazing proportions by justifying it through blaming children or the solice of a Mother to her most beloved priest sons (esp. when that was deliberately sorely lacking in the persecuting approach by their "shepherd" and that for historically prejudicial reasons).
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    "If the Communists didn't like what was going on in Medjugorje they would have shut it down."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Wow, giving them more power than God! And even in the horror of war at the doorstep, Medjugorje was once again "saved" from any iota of similar destruction. Miracle! The Commies couldn't shut down the Faith even during the most oppressive years – how else did the Franciscans get martyred and the Faith remain? Whose side are you on??

  107. Anonymous says:

    Sabeth
    How do you reconcile the following: Question: "Is the Blessed Mother calling all people to be Catholic?" Answer: "No. The Blessed Mother says all religions are dear to her and her Son."– "Seer" Vicka Ivankovic
    If you believe in this statement, then you do not believe in the Catholic faith as the true faith and thus are not catholic.

  108. Anonymous says:

    It is bizarre how rabid these Medj. followers are with there answers. Someone disagrees with them and venom spews forth. Very sad indeed , these "visions" do not breed any holiness in comparison with true apparitions such as Fatima. Emotionalism has truly become the new faith.

  109. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    @Lauretta,

    Your observation is correct.

    Initially, the communists were dead set against it and I recall the things they did to try to hinder it…. until they discovered what a money maker it was.

    @Sabeth and mgseamngr,

    With regards to Bishop Zanic being favorably disposed in the beginning, there is absolutely nothing odd about the fact that as the discernment process went on, the bishop would shift his position. Evidence came to light, such as the "gospa" meddling in the affairs of the diocese, which is unheard of in any other approved apparition, so it is not surprising. At least he didn't bury his head in the sand because he wanted it to be true (and he did because he was very Marian).

    Zanic had led many pilgrimages to various shrines. He would have loved for an authentic Marian apparition to be in his diocese, but he also had to be objective about the various signals.

    Hence, what you see as a weakness (or whatever you see it as), I see as a strength.

    You talk about the Bishop's flip-flop, but it seems to be ok if Fr. Jozo Zovko waffled from disbelief to belief and promoter.

    Here is an excerpt from this very Marian bishop's 1987 homily:

    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?"

  110. Lauretta says:

    It is interesting that the story is told that the Communists influenced the bishop to hold a negative position on the apparitions. If the Communists didn't like what was going on in Medjugorje they would have shut it down. Yugoslavia was, after all, a Communist country and they allow what they want to allow and nothing more. Medjugorje was a money-maker for the country and the Communist government reaped the benefit of that. They could have stopped the pilgrimages into the country any time they wanted to–obviously they didn't want to stop them.

  111. Anonymous says:

    I would like to ask Sabeth and mgseamanjr if they would like to address and respond to the points I made, and do so without using red herrings.

    The post with the article written by Fr Brendan O’Malley was nothing but one long red herring, in which he is saying that no one who has not gone to Medjugorje should condemn it, and that by going there, chances are you will experience conversion and peace and therefore this will prove Mary is really appearing. But this argument was specifically responded to in my post – this article is attempting to "prove" something I as a Medjugorje skeptic have already granted! If I went there, I probably would experience everything Fr. O'Malley says I would! And I am sure Mary is there (just like she is here with me when I pray the rosary) – but that doesn't mean I believe in the authenticity of the apparitions. Re-read my post, please.

    Just a few more responses (and then I really do have to get on with other priorities in my life): (1) Bp. Zanic's flip-flop on the issue. Here is the thing with obedience – it really doesn't matter why the bishop orders you to do something. Maybe someone is paying him or bribing him to give an order, or maybe he is out for revenge, or maybe he flipped a coin one morning and made his decision that way. It doesn't matter why the bishop gives an order, or if he is right – obedience requires that we always, always obey, and promptly. God will take care of the rest and straighten things (or more to the point, the bishop) out. (2) The CDF has taken it out of the hands of the Ordinary. Both sides have interpreted this differently. Nonetheless, the fact is that before it was taken out of his hands, there was a great deal of disobedience until then. They should have immediately ceased and obeyed until the CDF took over. But from 1982 to 1986 they did not. (3) The "mystical phenomenon". Nothing that has been observed and studied in the Medjugorje seers is anything the false mystic, Magdalen of the Cross, did not experience. She even had more extraordinary gifts than the Medjugorje seers. The fact is, all of these things in Medjugorje are "preternatural" only, which is within the power of Satan. (4) That John Paul II has a more intimate knowledge of Medjugorje I think is quite dubious. He actually met Maciel for himself – he never went to Medjugorje (which Medjugorje supporters use as one of their main arguments as to why people like me who have never been there should not give it a negative judgment – which becomes a double-edged sword, by the way). If all he had were reports to go on, he had plenty of those on Maciel. Ratzinger had the same info – but unlike JP2, he saw right through Maciel from day one. Unfortunately, his hands were tied until JP2 passed on to glory. But it does no good to belabour the issue – whatever side one finds himself on with regards to the authenticity of Medjugorje is going to dictate which side he takes on this particular point.

    I hesitate to write the above four responses, because it will probably mean my previous post will once agian be ignored.

    Anyway, the problem with you posting new pieces on Medjugorje, Patrick, is that we re-invent the wheel every time. The same arguments are made again and again, no one convinces anyone else, and we get nowhere. What's the point? Just tell everyone, "for a discussion, look at the responses from past posts on Medjugorje". Everything that you find here, you will find there, and probably by many of the same people.

    Wade St. Onge

  112. sabeth says:

    Sorry, I'm not a priest – I quoted the open-minded experience from a priest. May have been confusing.

  113. sabeth says:

    Diane,

    "I remember when Fr. Jozo was imprisoned, and I remember how impressed people were with how the bishop stood up to the communists against the trumped up charges they made against Fr. Jozo."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    And were you also able from that wonderful convent vantage point to see/feel what Fr. Jozo underwent – coming out physically deminished because he was "caught" by the Commies being faithful … and what the bishop DID NOT undergo similarly?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Tominellay said…
    Patrick's post is clear, and his point is valid. Fr. Neil Buchlein's and Sabeth's comments ignore the obvious.

    April 7, 2010 3:27 PM
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Thank you for your undocumented statement which, like the local bishop's, is simply your "opinion", nothing more.

  114. mgseamanjr says:

    I am not expert on all the events that transpired in 1981 and 1982 but, from your own post, Diane, it would appear that you have not done your homework. From what you have provided from Marco, his documentation only seems to begin in 1982, the second year of the apparitions, and he in fact admits, as you quote him, that Bishop Zanic initially was "favorably impressed."

    Marco's documentation, which you cite, in fact does not refute what Sabeth has written and in fact UNDERSCORES it. Here is a chronological rundown of the combined information:

    June-July 1981 (Sabeth)
    Bishop Zanic visits Medj. five times and comes to a favorable conclusion, even stating so in a homily on July 25, 1981 (Sabeth)

    21 July 1981 (Marco/Diane)
    "Bishop Žanić, met all the seers in Medjugorje and remained favorably impressed."

    August 16, 1981 (Sabeth)
    Bishop Zanic writes in "Glas Koncila," the Croation Catholic newspaper that "it is definite that the children were not incited by anyone, and especially not by the church, to lie." (This is presumably a fact that can be verified by those who know Croatian.)

    Jan.-April 1982 (Marco/Diane)
    Bishop Zanic has a change of heart about the alleged apparitions

    Let's not forget that at the same time that Bishop Zanic apparently changed his mind, Fr. Jozo Zovko was not only imprisoned but tortured. I do not siwh to impugn the Bishop but your facts do not support your conclusions.

    By citing this documentation from Marco, it seems you have inadvertently strengthened the case of a "conversion" of Bishop Zanic (as well as maligned Sabeth, who, I believe, has admitted that he is a priest).

  115. mgseamanjr says:

    Loretta said:

    "One of the "fruits" of Medjugorje that always saddened me immensely was the fact that much of the money that the pilgrims spent over there was then used by the government to finance the war and all of the atrocities that occurred during it."

    I'm sorry but this is the most absurd statement yet on this blog. Do you have any idea what you are stating? Have you any concept of how wars are funded or fought? I would ask for documentation but am afraid of the nonsense that would likely appear.

  116. sabeth says:

    Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said…
    Dear Sabeth,

    Unfortunately, you have been taken in by calumny found on many pro-Medjugorje websites with regards to Bishop Zanic and the Communists.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Coming from the renowned Medj. cottage industry of gossip and condescension. I rest my case.

    Yes, go to the obscure debunker with some alphabet soup behind the name who is about as close to the actual experience of the phenomenon as the asteroid that flew by tonight while disparaging the well known and respected (and experienced) scientists and Mariologists who are involved. No thank you. I'll wait for the ongoing study as long as it's on site and involved … and not so fearful of getting one's hands or "titles" dirty by getting too up close and personal.

  117. sabeth says:

    "My point is that the Vatican is convening a commission on Medjugorje NOW while the apparitions are still happening. If they have not and cannot give a positive judgment while an apparition is occurring, what therefore must the conclusion of the commission be at this time?"

    To get it out of the arena of misinformation and being used for individual agendas. To give the ongoing study some real objective substance and a place where speculation and gossip ends. To enable any ongoing study to be open to all criteria without hindrances by those who wish to sabotage it. It is obviously of world wide importance and must have its effects both acknowledged honestly and taken seriously. With the former prejudiced "studies" now well acknowledged, no judgment from such a history would ever have been accepted as untainted.

    Re: your other curiosities about the future, I live now according to the directives given by the Church and their allowances. How many here quietly follow that? Esp. when it comes to respecting others who do? … as witnessed, not very many. And if it does not effect you one way or the other then why all the challenges to those who simply engage as permitted by the Church? All the other anecdotal comparisons and conditions that have nothing to do with the phenomenon itself mean nothing but to attempt to step out in front of the Church. Never a good idea. In doing so one appears to therefore step out in front of Christ. There is a demonstrative and paranoid fear of something that seems to go beyond what any private revelation deserves. There is slander of people unknown to the slanderers – why? What causes the fear? What causes the name calling and the projections on to others of what is obviously being done by the accuser "victims". No one here has "condemned" them as they like to project or even begun to use the terms they themselves use against those who simply have a different approach. Rather it is those who follow present Church directives who are here falsely accused of "going their own way" rather than be obedient….real lies like that. Shame!! So, again, I say … just who are the ones being uncharitable and disobedient?

  118. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    Dear Sabeth,

    Unfortunately, you have been taken in by calumny found on many pro-Medjugorje websites with regards to Bishop Zanic and the Communists.

    Italian researcher, Professor Marco Corvaglia goes into great detail, and cites his sources for information.

    Please read it slowly and carefully before participating further in spreading calumnies about the bishop.

    Go read: Medjugorje, the Communists, and the Bishop by Marco Corvaglia

    I'll provide the lead-in from Marco's site, and you can follow the link for the rest.

    Even today, proponents of Medjugorje must somehow come to terms with the uncomfortable opposition of him who was Bishop of Mostar at the time when the phenomenon began, Msgr. Pavao Žanić.
    And so, hundreds of thousands of people that every year go in good faith to that spot heard this version of events, solely based on rumors: the bishop was initially well disposed toward the visionaries, but at one point the communist government intervened and threatened him, inducing him to become an opponent of Medjugorje.

    Let us instead reconstruct the story on the basis of facts and sure things.
    There will be surprises.

    Msgr. Žanić, who met all the seers in Medjugorje on 21 July 1981, remained favorably impressed, but began to be puzzled after having twice met (14 January and 4 April 1982) privately, in Mostar, Vicka and Jakov.
    Since that time, the facts that I am now trying to document, at least minimally, with my work, began to gradually come out.
    The bishop changed his mind.
    So, not only is there no need to attribute this change to the pressures of the police, but it can be categorically excluded, as we shall see.

    But first let us know about Msgr. Pavao Žanić and listen to a statement made by him (in Italian) in this video, dating back to 1983

    Follow the link to watch the video and to read a partial transcript into English of what he is saying.

    Also, please note that I LIVED THERE just about 20 minutes away by car from November of 1980 to February of 1983. I remember when Fr. Jozo was imprisoned, and I remember how impressed people were with how the bishop stood up to the communists against the trumped up charges they made against Fr. Jozo. What Marco reveals matches what I recall from where I sat, which was in the Franciscan convent where I was discerning a vocation since before the phenomenon began.

    There is way too much propoganda out there causing this disdain and contempt for the local bishops. It's one of Medjugorje's greatest fruits: Division and anti-ecclesial behavior.

  119. Lauretta says:

    Sabeth said:
    That's a no brainer and has already been stated. So what's you point??

    My point is that the Vatican is convening a commission on Medjugorje NOW while the apparitions are still happening. If they have not and cannot give a positive judgment while an apparition is occurring, what therefore must the conclusion of the commission be at this time?

    A positive or negative judgment will have no effect on my life whatsoever. Can you say the same? If it is negative, will you give up your position of support or will you do as so many other supporters of spurious apparitions, go off on a wild tangent and begin putting fliers in churches about the Pope being the Antichrist? That happened in our parish years ago by followers of Bayside.

    Our parish had to endure promoters of Bayside, Medjugorje, Vasula, Poem of the Man God, apparitions in Denver, Conyers, GA, etc. etc. etc. I have seen a lot and watched these fads fall one by one. It is becoming somewhat tedious to tell you the truth.

  120. sabeth says:

    "Absolute prohibition from releasing declarations on religious matters, especially regarding the "phenomenon of Medjugorje";

    "It's not merely my opinion or "spin" that he is considered connected with Medjugorje, it is the Holy See and the OFM in Rome."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    And that move was to protect Medjugorje from further connection with one who left long ago to become involved in a type of "sect". Do you know just how long ago this fellow separated from any connection? I thought so, but you aren't telling … here, that is! So you don't like the guy – others didn't either – yet it has had no effect upon Rome's actions since!!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    "Further reading with details about just how involved Vlasic was in the spread of "Medjugorje" is found in two documents by Bishop Peric,"
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Umm…that wouldn't be the best current choice for a source for any "objective" review of any history involved – esp. now with the new and excluding commission – where he is concerned that is!

  121. Sabeth says:

    Lauretta said…
    Sabeth,
    It only makes sense that the Church is not going to give approval to an ongoing apparition since the Church does not have the fullness of the appearances to examine until they are finished.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That's a no brainer and has already been stated. So what's you point??
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    "Also, what have you seen this Pope intervene in so far that has concluded with a positive opinion?"
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    He denied the local bishop's negative/condemning judgment and its apparatus! That's "unprecedented". That is a "positive"!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "One of the "fruits" of Medjugorje that always saddened me immensely was the fact that much of the money that the pilgrims spent over there was then used by the government to finance the war and all of the atrocities that occurred during it."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So sorry you are so saddened. Why then don't you do what other pilgrims have done for years then – went behind enemy lines, risked their own lives to bring survival supplies to the victims of the war. Perhaps you didn't quite get a grip on the Balkan wars. Why don't you even now visit with groups like "His work in progress" who still get supplies to Croatians held in refugee camps or sponsor the village of war orphans?? But to do nothing on the chance that the thugs just might get their hands on some of the material – then the truly "good fruits" of helping some to survive would also not have happened. Strange thing about wars – they're not ideal living conditions!

  122. sabeth says:

    "In the Catholic Church, the local Ordinary is the competent authority in matters of private revelation. No exceptions."

    You obviously do not believe your eyes (if you read, that is) or real actions via CDF re: this "exception". And yes, Bishop Zanic did originally back things until, that is, he didn't. Of course that was still when Communism ruled …. as well as a lot of pressure. They got the priest arrested but not the bishop!

    Do you want to guess just what authority will be the one with the final say here – if there is ever a final say??? And do you want to guess just what authority you yourself will be obliged to honor at that time? If your answer is the one you promote here you will be in error. The CDF has the authority indeed to make just those "exceptions" and in this case it made an unprecedented one! Rewrite history? – that's up to you.

    Re: B. Zanic's original "discernment":

    Bishop Pavao Žanic originally visited Medjugorje five times in the first two months of the apparitions in 1981 and performed a thorough investigation. Afterwards he came only to confer the sacrament of Confirmations to the faithful. In front of over 3000 people at Holy Mass, he declared:

    "I am deeply convinced that no child who says that they have seen Our Lady, has been talked into doing so. If we were speaking about one child only, one might say he could be stubborn and that not even the police could make the child renounce what he said. But six innocent, simple children in the space of half an hour, would, if they were pushed, admit all. None of the priests, I guarantee, had any idea of putting the children up to something…. I am also convinced that the children are not lying. The children are only speaking out what's in their hearts… It is certain: the children are not lying". (From a sermon given on the feast of St. James, the patron saint of Medjugorje, on the 25th of July 1981)

    In "Glas Koncila", the Croatian national catholic newspaper, 16th of August 1981, he stated; "It is definite that the children were not incited by anyone, and especially not by the church, to lie."

    I know that's just documented stuff, but then again, you have to admit….

  123. Patrick Coffin says:

    Sabeth — "we are church"? Huh? You're all wet. In the Catholic Church, the local Ordinary is the competent authority in matters of private revelation. No exceptions. No matter how theologically brilliant outsider commentators may be. Every single apparition in history has been approved by the man the Holy See (and the Holy Spirit) trusts to make such a judgment — the man closest to the events on the ground: the local Bishop.

    Don't believe me. But read this pithy review of how authority in the Church works in this area by late great Father William Most:

    http://www.catholic-pages.com/bvm/private_revelations.asp

    So Bishop Zanic found a huge pile of obvious problems with Medjugorje and came to a proper decision early on. So what? So did Father Manfred Hauke, so did Mark W. of Belgium, so did Diane K. at te-deum, so did I.

    This is starting to become a red herring factory. Bishop Zanic never officially endorsed Medjugorje, never wrote a line in its support. The financial rewards for doing so are enormous and obvious. Yet he didn't want a dime. Neither does Bishop Peric. The Medjugorje movement is the cash cow side of the question. Also, the slanderous chatter (more good fruits?) about Bishop Zanic cowing to the Communists has been handily answered elsewhere.

    "Non constat de supernaturalitate," as Mary Poppins also sang.

    Catholics who disagree with the premise of the Medjugorje movement are free to do so — to say the least.

  124. Lauretta says:

    Sabeth,
    It only makes sense that the Church is not going to give approval to an ongoing apparition since the Church does not have the fullness of the appearances to examine until they are finished. If they gave approval to an apparition and then a later vision proved to be totally heretical, then what? If the visionaries were smart, they would end their visions now before the commission convenes so that there could then be a possibility of a positive declaration!

    Also, what have you seen this Pope intervene in so far that has concluded with a positive opinion? Two heads of orders have been deemed worthy of censure and now he is taking on Medjugorje. I wouldn't place much money on a positive conclusion if I were you!

    One of the "fruits" of Medjugorje that always saddened me immensely was the fact that much of the money that the pilgrims spent over there was then used by the government to finance the war and all of the atrocities that occurred during it.

    It is also interesting that those who have decided that this is a legitimate phenomenon have no problem making that decision but those who have decided that it is not authentic are condemned for daring to come to such a conclusion. As far as I know there has not been one positive conclusion from any bishop of the area or the commissions that were formed to investigate. Seems like, therefore, the safe conclusion would be to go with the skeptics.

  125. sabeth says:

    Anonymous April 7, 2010 6:20 PM :

    "The fruits,i believe, are the product of the Holy Sacraments of the Church being given to people who go there."

    Thank you. Leading up to that summation I was beginning to be afraid that you were only running around looking for signs – and we know what Jesus said about those types!!

    Patrick: "And now we know that the pope was conned by a conman."

    So, he didn't really know the man at all personally. Only a facade. He was seen shaking hands, visiting with those who also did not know the facts of the man's rumored history. IOW, JPII did NOT have all the facts there. And yet, in his closeness with Medj. there is the long record of "objective" scientific studies, even repeated studies, on everyone intimately involved as well as the study and testimony by experts who have the experience of "objectively" studying other cases of past private revelations. There is the KNOWN and documented history of the region itself that points to the Franciscan question being prejudiciously inserted in past judgments. (oh, and about that other commenter re: B. Zanic's history – he was FOR it before he was agin it – and that flip flop also has its alleged political influence)

    Thus, again, to use the Pope in such obviously different categories in order to further a not so objective agenda here isn't pleasant to see – esp. in these times.

  126. sabeth says:

    "You were brave to connect these two phenomena into one article. People from both groups are VERY defensive and protective of their group. You might want to look over your shoulder once in awhile–just kidding!"

    I thought the topic was about not being able to trust the discernment of a holy Pope on this question. Unfortunately though the choice of categories here in a false attempt at comparison simply reveals the moderator's true underlying agenda of discrediting the one because it is somehow equal to the other when it is not. That being said, to disparage a holy Pope using that false premise makes the argument moot as well as disreputable! It's kind of like those who would wish to categorize the "Tea Partiers" as the violent party??

  127. sabeth says:

    "Visiting Medjugorje with an open mind…

    • by Fr Brendan O’Malley

    Mary’s mission is to lead people to God; to lead people to conversion; to lead people to prayer. “Pray, pray, pray” is one of her constant calls.

    On November 25, 2008, her message was: “Dear children, I call you to pray, pray, pray, until prayer becomes life for you.”

    In her message of December 25, 2005, Mary said: “Today, in my arms, I bring you the Child Jesus, the King of Peace, to bless you with his peace. Little children, in a special way today I call you to be carriers of peace in this peaceless world. Thank you for having responded to my call.” reminding us of the importance of saying ‘thank you’.

    How often do we forget to say ‘thank you’ to God; to each other; thank you for the call to be people of prayer, people of peace?

    When we realise how unworthy we are of God’s gifts and graciousness to us, not in spite of our sinfulness, but with all our ‘baggage’, then one’s motivating force can only be one of thanksgiving.

    As a cynic who has been ‘converted’ I suggest that unless one has ‘tasted’ what I would call the ‘Medjugorje experience’, one should not be so ready to criticise and write it off. Why are people so ready to condemn? Why are people so fearful and dismissive? That is their privilege. But why not taste and see? To visit Medjugorje with an open mind is to experience God at work in his people, sending his love and healing through the Virgin Mary.

    Mary calls us to conversion, prayer and love. Mary enables people to be healed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Healing. As a priest who has spent many hours celebrating the Sacrament with people from all walks of life, people young and old, I can affirm that God is
    doing great things in people’s lives, and what is even more wonderful, he has as a result done great things in my own life. I have had my priesthood affirmed and I have been healed of a great burden.

    No one should criticise or deny this place of pilgrimage and renewal. No one should object to this place of prayer and peace. God is truly at work. How envious satan must be to see so many people, young and old, in prayer, penance and devotion, finding peace, purpose, and a God of love and compassion. Medjugorje is a place of hope and a new beginning.

    Our Lady invites us to pray, pray, pray. I pray before God to give you the gift of faith. Only in faith will you discover the gift of life that God has given you!

    May I ask all people to rejoice and to thank God for the wonderful gifts that he gives each day to his people through the Medjugorje experience, through Mary our Mother, whose mission is one of sheer love, leading us to God. Alleluia!"

  128. sabeth says:

    "I am trying to put two and two together about this new commission that the Vatican has formed concerning Medjugorje. Since the "visions" are ongoing and since the Church NEVER makes a positive pronouncement about an ongoing apparition, does this not mean that whatever judgment they make has to be a negative one?"

    Huh? Just the opposite. By your reasoning a negative judgment could be made right here and now and yet the phenomenon has been "saved" from such a thing happening.

    "I pray that some, at least, will be able to accept what the Church declares and not fall into schism."

    I do too … but probably from the reverse mirror view from yours!!

    "After the bishops clearly stated that Medj. is not from heaven, those who knew better decided not follow the true authority. Still to this day, the Medj. followers know better and continue to believe. And the "apparitions" continue. I truly think that the bishops had no choice but to pass this on to the vatican because of this lack of obedience."

    Now, I would have to say that probably only Obama could surpass that snake oil revision of history! So, leaving the judgment in the neutral decision choice is stating that it "clearly" is not from heaven? Better study Private Revelation history and how judgments are applied. And apparently you do not understand the history of the 1991 statement. And so, in your "opinion", the hierarchy of the Church is here not the "true authority" for followers to adhere to? The CDF does not have the authority to step in, in ANY private revelation, and order things??? Welcome to the "we are church" gang right here in comments.

    "This is silly, Michael. There is evidently much that von Balthasar did not know about the phenomenon, some of which has come to light after his death in 1988."

    And I would chance to guess that there must also "evidently" be much that you do not know about von Balthasar!

    "For his theological brilliance, he also threw some intemperate things words at the Bishop of Mostar. Regardless, Hans Urs von Balthasar was never the legitimate magisterial authority. The local Ordinary was and is."

    Oh really … another "we are church" here. I doubt if the "local Ordinary" would agree with you himself … from his own experience!!

  129. Lauretta says:

    Patrick,

    You were brave to connect these two phenomena into one article. People from both groups are VERY defensive and protective of their group. You might want to look over your shoulder once in awhile–just kidding!

    I am trying to put two and two together about this new commission that the Vatican has formed concerning Medjugorje. Since the "visions" are ongoing and since the Church NEVER makes a positive pronouncement about an ongoing apparition, does this not mean that whatever judgment they make has to be a negative one?

    Some people think that the Legionaries are too big to shut down but the Medjugorje supporters make the Legion crowd seem minuscule by comparison. I pray that some, at least, will be able to accept what the Church declares and not fall into schism. I have known several people from other apparitions, such as Bayside, who continued to believe for years even after it was commonly accepted that nothing was going on there. How sad because there are so many good, sincere people involved in Medjugorje.

  130. Anonymous says:

    After the bishops clearly stated that Medj. is not from heaven, those who knew better decided not follow the true authority. Still to this day, the Medj. followers know better and continue to believe. And the "apparitions" continue. I truly think that the bishops had no choice but to pass this on to the vatican because of this lack of obedience. If the vatican declares it not authentic and not from heaven, will the Medj. crowd obey? I seriously doubt it because the emotionalism involved will overcome their faith. They will convince themselves that they are the true Marian followers. After all , if they cannot believe in the local bishops pronouncements, why should they believe it from the vatican? How do they answer the obvious false statements from the apparitions:
    "The Madonna always stresses that there is but one God and that people have enforced unnatural separation. One cannot truly believe, be a true Christian, if he does not respect other religions as well – "Seer" Ivanka Ivankovic
    "The Madonna said that religions are separated in the earth, but the people of all religions are accepted by her Son." – "Seer" Ivanka Ivankovic
    Question: "Is the Blessed Mother calling all people to be Catholic?" Answer: "No. The Blessed Mother says all religions are dear to her and her Son."– "Seer" Vicka Ivankovic

    The Apparitions of Our Lady of Medjugorje, Franciscan Herald Press, 1984

  131. Javaman59 says:

    @Patrick.

    >> Rather, these are instances of the argument from authority, which as Thomas Aquinas says, "is the weakest form of proof."

    I've never heard this before, and it jars with me as a Catholic. I believe that we accept most things on authority, because of the authority of Jesus, as transmitted to His church. If nothing else, it saves us the trouble of reading the whole bible before deciding, for eg. "Should I start an affair with a married woman" (I'm not exaggerating – good "Christians" do that!)

    The closest reference I could find was in Aquinas's item "Whether sacred doctrine is a matter of argument?".. It's under an "Objection". Please note that the Objections in Aquinas are the false positions to which he responds! ie. you have taken him completely out of context. In response he writes "for although the argument from authority based on human reason is the weakest, yet the argument from authority based on divine revelation is the strongest"

  132. Anonymous says:

    It's about time someone made this point on the Catholic blogosphere. I used to get into the occasional Medjugorje debate down in Steubenville (where belief in Medjugorje is almost seen as obligatory), and every time someone said, "but JP2 believed it", I would respond, "Yes, and JP2 also believed in Fr. Maciel". And that was the end of that thread – they would shift to a different argument in favour of it.

    I am surprised you did not point out another connection between Medjugorje and Maciel – namely, the "fruits" argument. As you will remember, the reason Maciel was able to avoid suspicion for so long was because orthodox Catholics (including JP2??) held to the same argument mgseamanjr makes, and I quote him: "But leaving ALL THIS aside, the real question is this: 'Good fruit does not come from a bad tree' (Mt. 7:18). How more clear can that statement be?" Look up Fr. Richard John Neuhaus's defense of Fr. Maciel from 2002, and this is exactly what he argues!

    Three things must be said about the "fruits" of both (well, actually more than that, but I will limit myself here): (a) in both cases, there was good fruit, but much bad fruit as well; (b) the Devil tolerates some good fruit if in the end he knows he will be able to inflict a lot of damage (and the fallout from the LC crisis will continue to get worse and infect a lot of other areas we don't even realize now); and (c) what tree is the good fruit coming from anyway? When you have that many Masses, rosaries, and prayers being offered there every day, you are going to have conversions, miraculous healings, etc. Let's speak about another tree for a moment – namely, the tree of life, the Cross of Christ. Who was responsible for the Crucifixion? Look at Scripture – Satan perpetrated the whole thing. But God turned it to good. Where Satan is active, God will appear to fight him and turn it to good. Especially when people of faith flock there and pray and believe to the hilt.

    There were too many red herrings in the responses here. You addressed some of them, Patrick, but there are more. I am currently writing an article about Medjugorje, and it will end with a discussion of Maciel, and connections to Medjugorje – if, that is, the apparition is indeed not authentic.

    Wade St. Onge

  133. Patrick Coffin says:

    A big part of my reply got lost i cyberspace.

    Just as well. This is my last go 'round with you, Michael (it's also confusing when you use more than one handle.)

    You write: "But sir, you have just done this very thing (judged Medj. based on the mistakes of an individual devotee) in the rest of your post when you state the following:

    “In an interview the Mariologist Father Manfred Hauke invited Medjugore devotees in from the cold, and was attacked in print by a transitional deacon in Germany who called Father Hauke a "liar" and his words an "insult to God."

    and

    “A group of local zealots, aided by rebellious Franciscans in Medjugorje, physically assaulted Bishop Peric on April 2, 1995, yanking off his pectoral cross and driving him to an illicit chapel.”

    Michael, these are but two examples of a *pattern* of thin-skinned, defensive and angry reactions that are observable in many many (not all) Medjugorjians. The late Father Sivric received death threats while in Medjugorje as did writer Mike Jones. Bishop Peric was attacked by a mob sympathetic to the pro-Medj Franciscans (as I mentioned, and as you declined to comment on.) Disturbing…

    This is why Hans Urs von Balthasar, perhaps the leading theologian of the 20th century, reportedly said of Medj. “The theology of Medjugorje rings true. I am convinced of its truth. Everything concerning Medjugorje is authentic from a Catholic point of view. All that happens there is so evident, so convincing!”

    This is silly, Michael. There is evidently much that von Balthasar did not know about the phenomenon, some of which has come to light after his death in 1988. For his theological brilliance, he also threw some intemperate things words at the Bishop of Mostar. Regardless, Hans Urs von Balthasar was never the legitimate magisterial authority. The local Ordinary was and is.

    (Some Medj websites have adopted von Balthasar as a mascot, complete with a drawing of him as an ancient icon. Absurdly, he is often incorrectly described on these sites a Swiss archbishop and cardinal. Well, he was Swiss, but died before receiving his scheduled red hat as a Jesuit scholar not as an archbishop – which he never was.)

    "Apparently he so not so fixated on the mistakes or scandals of a few fringe individuals."

    Now you're just throwing rhetoric against the wall, Michael. A few fringe individuals? The sizable list begins with ex-Father Tomislav Vlasic, Vego, Zovko, Prusina (may I mention the sad case of the biggest American Medjugorje promoter Father Ken Roberts who is no longer permitted to publically function as a priest?), and the host of other disciplined/recalitrant OFMs that surround, propagate and defend the seers against the Bishop?

  134. Boko Fittleworth says:

    Medjugorje is a satanic fraud.

  135. mgseamanjr says:

    Genevieve Kineke said:

    "Making the trip [to Medjugorje] itself would be for many an act of defiance to legitimate authority, right? Why does that remind me of the snake in the garden, telling Eve that if she disobeyed God she would be enlightened…"

    Wrong. I can not answer the second part of your question except to say that you are mistaken. It is not an act of defiance to visit Medj. Among other sites, see: http://www.ewtn.com/library/issues/medjvat.htm

  136. michael says:

    (Part II)

    Patrick C. writes: “You write: ‘Even assuming these folks do not have all the proper knowledge of the Catholic faith, this NOT the way to judge whether an apparition is authentic. It is essentially akin to judging Christianity by the actions of Judas.’ I agree with this, and never once said otherwise in my post. Sorry — a red herring.”

    But sir, you have just done this very thing (judged Medj. based on the mistakes of an individual devotee) in the rest of your post when you state the following:

    “In an interview the Mariologist Father Manfred Hauke invited Medjugore devotees in from the cold, and was attacked in print by a transitional deacon in Germany who called Father Hauke a "liar" and his words an "insult to God."

    and

    “A group of local zealots, aided by rebellious Franciscans in Medjugorje, physically assaulted Bishop Peric on April 2, 1995, yanking off his pectoral cross and driving him to an illicit chapel.”

    How is what you have just done different from rejecting Christianity because Judas betrayed Christ? You have not made a judgment based on what Medj. is but on some fringe story or a confused individual. This is why I wrote: "Try focusing on the core instead: fasting, Eucharist, confession, Scripture, and Rosary. (If that's the devil, talk about a kingdom divided!)" This is why Hans Urs von Balthasar, perhaps the leading theologian of the 20th century, reportedly said of Medj. “The theology of Medjugorje rings true. I am convinced of its truth. Everything concerning Medjugorje is authentic from a Catholic point of view. All that happens there is so evident, so convincing!” Apparently he so not so fixated on the mistakes or scandals of a few fringe individuals.

    I thought my point about a “kingdom divided” was clear but let me spell it out for you: If the message of Medj, is in essence a return to the Lord in these five points (twice-weekly fasting, monthly confession, mass, and daily prayer and scripture), and many folks are trying to live this message and are indeed doing so (I suppose I need not list all the good fruits, such as vocations, etc. coming out of Medj.), then how can it be (as you would have it) that Medj. is the work of the devil since, if it were, this would be evidence of Satan’s kingdom divided against itself? Most of the division I see, and most of the “attacks” and judgmental name-calling, comes from your side, sir (like your likening us to “Jim Jones fanatics”—did you ask me where you have insulted me?)

    It seems to me that there are many anti-Medj. folks whose only impression of the place is what they have seen on anti-Medj. websites or learned from confused devotees. This hardly inspires confidence in your discernment. This is perhaps why some have suggested that Patrick and others travel to Medj. to experience the place. And this is why I sometimes enter these debates—to let you know that there are Medj. supporters who do not attack the bishop and who are solidly orthodox Catholics.

    Patrick C. said: “All this fractious weirdness was not present at Fatima or Lourdes.”

    I have not read of the history of these two apparitions, though I would find it surprising if you are correct and would speculate that, if you are, the increase in “noise” over Medj. is rather due to the improved methods of communication more than anything else. I would add this impression too: it seems strange to me that critics like you create a huge stir and then say “See, look at the big controversy.”

  137. Anonymous says:

    Medjugorje has not produced a miracle to authenticate its own self like in Guadalupe with the roses and the Tilma, in Fatima with the miracle of the sun, where everyone present was dried after they were soaked by the rain, and in Lourdes with the healing waters of Lourdes and the answer to the priest that She is the Immaculate Conception. In Medjugorje, the apparition has not produced her own proof of authenticity. The fruits,i believe, are the product of the Holy Sacraments of the Church being given to people who go there.

  138. Genevieve Kineke says:

    "Have you been to Medjugorje?" "You will believe if you go."

    Fascinating angle, since making the trip itself would be for many an act of defiance to legitimate authority, right? Why does that remind me of the snake in the garden, telling Eve that if she disobeyed God she would be enlightened…

  139. Patrick Coffin says:

    I don't know what to say, mgseamanjr.

    You write: "The typical blog on Medj. is a love-fest of Medj.-bashers and and critiques of Medj.-converted people on the tune of something like this:

    "I once knew a Medj. devotee. Boy, was he a nut…" and it gets much worse from there."

    Sorry, but the statistical fact is that 95% or more of websites are pro-Medjugorje. To raise a critical question about it or to openly reject it (as Bishops Zanic and Peric have done) to be labeled a "basher." It's the strangest thing.

    Medjugorje is an unapproved apparition — unapproved with the second most severe degree given by the Church. In spite of protocols of the local Diocese, the Medj movement plans plans pilgrimages, the messages are circulated as though they are worthy of belief, the schedules of the seers are promoted and advertised. This is problematic.

    You write: "Even assuming these folks do not have all the proper knowledge of the Catholic faith, this NOT the way to judge whether an apparition is authentic. It is essentially akin to judging Christianity by the actions of Judas."

    I agree with this, and never once said otherwise in my post. Sorry — a red herring.

    You write: "Try focusing on the core instead: fasting, Eucharist, confession, Scripture, and Rosary. (If that's the devil, talk about a kingdom divided!)"

    A kingdom divided. Yes. Couldn't have said it better. In every country where Medjugorje is promoted in disharmony with the authoritative 1991 Zadar Declaration, you have a divided Catholic Church.

    You write: "Patrick Coffin and Jeanette, I only enter these debates after I feel like I've been insulted and frankly I get a little tired of hearing how mistaken my judgment is or how shallow my Catholicism is or how a defense of Medj. is akin to schism. I'm sorry to disappoint you all but there is no schism here."

    If I in any way caused you to feel insulted, let me sincerely apologize. I'd be interested in being shown where I did this. I don't know you from Adam. I am not "disappointed" there is no schism. Kindly give me a break. I may not be referring to you personally, but any perusal of pro-Medj websites shows many examples of people who are "sure in their hearts" that the Gospa is appearing despite the foul opinions of the local Bishop, whose person and office is routinely defamed.

    In an interview the Mariologist Father Manfred Hauke invited Medjugore devotees in from the cold, and was attacked in print by a transitional deacon in Germany who called Father Hauke a "liar" and his words an "insult to God."

    A group of local zealots, aided by rebellious Franciscans in Medjugorje, physically assaulted Bishop Peric on April 2, 1995, yanking off his pectoral cross and driving him to an illicit chapel. I take no pleasure in mentioning facts like these.

    The late Bishop Zanic compared the zealotry he observed in Medjugorje with that of the Jim Jones fanatics. An outrageous comment? Jumping the shark? Rather than rebuke him, the allegedly pro-Medj John Paul II made Ratko Peric his successor — a Bishop was is even more critical of the Medjugorje phenomenon. Zanic's courageous 1990 statement "The Truth About Medjugorje" is still available on the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno website as a matter of public record.

    All this fractious weirdness was not present at Fatima or Lourdes.

    I am not a critic against something so much as a Catholic for something: The Church says Medjugorje is unapproved. Full stop. Knowledge of this alone is sufficient for me to avoid further investigation, or flying to Bosnia-Herzegovina, or spend any time reading the endless stream of messages (almost 40,000 now and counting), etc.

    Let us pray for the CDF Commission under Cardinal Ruini that God's perfect will is done and that the faithful around the world abide by its final decision in peace.

  140. Anonymous says:

    'Jesus, I trust in You' is the motto our Lord has given us for our times and since we are still in the Ocatve of Easter , this is right time to be wondering how our Father could be trying to tell us all through all these events, to trust Him, that He loves us , in the midst of all these weaknesses !

    A holy person like Pope John Paul 11 served to be an icon of that love and mercy , which in turn could even have transformed Fr.Maciel, into a person of dignity while in his presence so that the Pope too only possibly could sense same !

    Happened to see the Holy Father, in his last years and it was thatonly that supernatural glow of holiness that one would notice about him ,not all the infirmities that T.V would project !

    Thus, his travels too possibly helped millions to witness a palpable holiness !

    Very relevant and interesting too that the seeming error the Holy Father made in case of Fr.maciel was in a direction opposite of what millions make these days – about their own unborn !

    As a Fatima Pope ,one can even be reminded of that scene when St.Bernadete of Lourdes was asked by The Lady , to drink the muddy water and eat the grass as an act of penance and being ridiculed for same !

    And thus The Father extending arms of mercy here too – telling many that even the best make mistakes and that even there , they are very much loved by Him and that He extends His mercy the most , to these moments and persons !

    Unsure if Legionares and Medgujorge has emphasis on being doers of holiness and thus being subtle carriers of pride in this area !

    Bringing down such obstacles or mountains set against true trust in His love for us – even in the midst of our weaknesses ,this could be a lesson easliy learned, if focus shifts to Him !

    Again, in a world that is dealing with a massive mother wound and its effects , such deep trust in Him , that one is loved , on account of ones' weaknesses , would also take the pain and grace of repentance that might need a strong Mother Presence !

    God has shown the world what the partial fulfillment of the call for unity between The Orthodox and Catholic Church has done , in the fall of communism , brought about by efforts and suffering of Pope John Paul 11 (and thank God that we all are not now under communist/atheist Russia !)

    The Father had tended him onto the next summit , as seen by efforts of the Holy Father ,to bring in deeper awareness of the dignity of the human person , born and unborn !

    Possibly , He is now using all these events , yes , even the abuse scandals , for the next great triumph , when The Church could ardently invite in The Mother, through declaration of the 5th Dogma !

    As bad as these labor pains seem , not bad if the confusion and cries lead to recognising the need of our times , esp. of The Mother , so that we all could say -all has been His mercy indeed !
    That , hopefully would vindicate any and all who have been given the grace of repentance of all wrongdoings , to marvel at His love for them, right in the mdist of it all !

    Let us hope that, that is every child of The Mother !

  141. Anonymous says:

    "Have you been to Medjugorje?" "You will believe if you go". These are the types of statements people who are devoted to the apparition of Medjugorje ask others.

    People believe in Fatima, Lourdes and Guadalupe without having to travel to them.

  142. Tominellay says:

    Patrick's post is clear, and his point is valid. Fr. Neil Buchlein's and Sabeth's comments ignore the obvious.

  143. mgseamanjr says:

    Patrick Coffin said:

    "When the least whiff of critical questioning is directed toward a pointedly unapproved apparition like Medjugorje — duck!"

    Patrick, you are a gracious host but you've got it wrong by 180 degrees. The typical blog on Medj. is a love-fest of Medj.-bashers and and critiques of Medj.-converted people on the tune of something like this:

    "I once knew a Medj. devotee. Boy, was he a nut…" and it gets much worse from there.

    Patrick Madrid has said before that he himself came to his skeptical conclusion about the place based, at least in part, on his impressions of people who are devoted to the place. Even assuming these folks do not have all the proper knowledge of the Catholic faith, this NOT the way to judge whether an apparition is authentic. It is essentially akin to judging Christianity by the actions of Judas. Try focusing on the core instead: fasting, Eucharist, confession, Scripture, and Rosary. (If that's the devil, talk about a kingdom divided!)

    Patrick Coffin and Jeanette, I only enter these debates after I feel like I've been insulted and frankly I get a little tired of hearing how mistaken my judgment is or how shallow my Catholicism is or how a defense of Medj. is akin to schism. I'm sorry to disappoint you all but there is no schism here.

    You critics (and here I am not singling out anyone in particular), nitpicking over ever word spoken by anyone who ever visited the place ("It is reported that an alleged visionary smoked a cigarette on day six–no saint would do that," etc., etc.), act like you know better than the Church does on the matter and absolutely remind me of the Pharisees and the blind man in John 9 ("You ignoramus are telling US about the faith?").

  144. Diane Korzeniewski says:

    There is something else to consider with regards to the Maciel scandal and Medjugorje. It was pointed out to me in an email and I think it is spot on.

    Among the LC's there were fervent protectors of Maciel, to the point that they were either completely blinded by what he was doing, or willing to look the other way, perhaps, for the sake of the "fruits".

    Do we not have the same with Medjugorje?

    Fr. Slavko Barbaric was a Franciscan priest who died in the midst of an act of disobedience, yet he is held up as a "saint", literally..

    Fr. Jozo Zovko is also held in high regard in spite of the long list of disciplinary and canonical actions taken against him.

    Tomislav Vlasic, whose request was granted for laicization followed some of the most severe canonical sanctions (which was signed, BTW, by Abp Angelo Amato, who is now on the commission), is one that Medjugorje supporters try to distance from the phenomena. (Noteworthy is that in the text There's only one problem with that strategy: It was, once again, Archbishop Amato, who stated that his case was being studied "in the context of the phenomena of Medjugorje". Hence, in the end, it is the Holy See who establishes what it considers the facts to be, not a pseudo-magisterium which dismisses the most important part of any case: The flashpoint and early years.

    I think the Holy See tipped it's hand with regards to where it was headed in that study with this important piece of the notification from the Minister General of the OFM:

    b) Absolute prohibition from releasing declarations on religious matters, especially regarding the "phenomenon of Medjugorje";

    It's not merely my opinion or "spin" that he is considered connected with Medjugorje, it is the Holy See and the OFM in Rome.

    Further reading with details about just how involved Vlasic was in the spread of "Medjugorje" is found in two documents by Bishop Peric, interestingly released only in Croatian and Italian on the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno website back this past September. It's amazing how the bishop allowed Fr. Laurentin, and Fr. Barbaric to offer the proofs from their written works, of Vlasic's indepth involvement for several years.

  145. Jeannette says:

    sabeth,
    Franciscans, Legionaries, Dominicans, Jesuits all are allowed into a diocese at the discretion of a bishop. A bishop closes parishes, allow new ones, assigns and reassigns priests in his diocese.

    Thank you for your thoughtful dialogue illustrating my point. Do you consider yourself to be a "fruit of Medjugorje"?

  146. Patrick Madrid says:

    Sure I can. For one thing, there was a time when I was quite well acquainted with the Legion of Christ. I visited and, at times, stayed at their houses in Rome and in other countries (Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, France, England, Argentina, etc.), not to mention the United States. I personally knew many LC priests, including several who had ongoing contact with the Vatican. In over a dozen trips to Rome, often to speak at conferences, I had the opportunity to see how close the LC was to Pope John Paul II; the myriad of different pictures of Fr. Maciel meeting with or greeting the pope, the visits the pope made to LC seminary there, the fact that the pope requested that Fr. Maciel join him as part of his entourage during his three major visits to Mexico (1979, 1990, and 1993), the fact that the pope personally ordained the LC ordination class of nearly 60 priests in 1994, the fact that he named Fr. Maciel a "permanent consultor" to the Congregation for the Clergy, etc., etc., etc. The list of examples is pretty long. But then, you really don't need my personal say-so on this. It's a matter of public record just how well the Holy Father knew and approved of and counted on Fr. Maciel. And now we know that the pope was conned by a conman.

    Honestly, sabeth, for you to pretend that there really wasn't much of a connection is astonishing. Could it be because you perceive the force of what I said in my original post? Namely, that when Medjugorje supporters invoke the alleged personal approval of Pope John Paul for the alleged apparitions, they leave themselves open to the response (as I responded in my blog post) to the reminder that just as the Holy Father was mistaken in his approval of Fr. Maciel, he may also have been mistaken in his (alleged) approval of Medjugorje. That's the real crux of the matter with regard to my original blog post.

    That's not a question we can answer just yet, as we are still waiting for a definitive judgment from the Church. But if the judgment is negative, then the point I have been making here in this post will have been made.

  147. sabeth says:

    Jeannette, I did not "trash" the bishop. If you cannot abide the true facts about that authority (as do, btw, his own Church authorities themselves by their own actions taken re: his situation) without using incorrect terms (to be charitable) against others who can, then you simply give example of the same kind of "clericalism" victimization that got us into the bad state we're in today.

    YOUR terms: "Exemplary Catholics"; "Very Bad Catholic"; "including the bishops who disagree (as "bad Catholics"); and finally "bishops exercise their authority against (Medjugorje-influenced) Catholics". No one else's terms. And IF you are urging bishops to "exercise" some kind of "authority" against pilgrims to Medjugorje, then you are asking them to be disobedient to the Church Herself. Too bad that you have to stoop to the level of deliberately planting words in the mouths of others and slandering through falsehoods those who find it to be indeed good fruit when troubled brothers and sisters find their way back to prayer, fasting and the sacraments. That's not, btw, "exemplary", that's the simple activities of any faithful. Do you have something against that?

    No one is asking you nor anyone to believe in any Private Revelation … just maybe requesting you to be charitable to those who still have the right to discover the Truth, esp. when given that right by our Church.

    Patrick: "1) that the pope did believe that Fr. Maciel was worthy of people's confidence and, as we now know, he misjudged Maciel. In spite of the pope's firm personal opinion that something was true, it turns out that it was not true and that, in his personal opinion, the pope was wrong."

    Could you please inform us of your personal knowledge of just how well the Pope knew Maciel or just what factual information/history he was provided with and within what time window did he have to study any limited info and what physical condition he may have been in to enable himself to use all of his powers to discover the accurate information?

    Since Medj. began in '81 did the longer period for personal examination (almost a quarter century of deep personal interest in the matter), through the testimonies of many, many, reliable persons/prelates who themselves had personal experience with the ongoing happenings, observing the real fruit, just possibly make a difference in the ability to make a more foundational judgment?

    It's better, when hopping on a topic to be sure to give the greater contextual background esp. when comparing apples and oranges!!!

  148. Jeannette says:

    What leads me away from believing the Medjugorje apparition is the same thing that convinced me that something was wrong with the LC: proponents of both gush about how wonderful it is and that so many people have become Exemplary Catholics yada yada while implying that anyone who doesn't agree is a Very Bad Catholic, including the bishops who disagree. mgseamanjr and Fr Buchlein give the implied attack on Patrick's motives and character, sabeth trashes the bishop. If this is what an Exemplary (LC-or-) Medjugorje-influenced Catholic looks like, then it's no wonder bishops exercise their authority against both camps.

  149. Anonymous says:

    Let me hasten to add that, while my own feelings about the Blessed Mother's messages are that they are repetitive and banal, I don't condemn the feelings or experiences of others who find them enlightening, inspiring, or encouraging. When the Church makes Her decision, whatever it is is fine with me.

  150. Joyful Catholics says:

    "We have to remember that even the saints were fooled, at times, and were not exempt from making mistakes.
    That's why Jesus is Lord, God is God. Saints are human!" Good one Nazareth Priest. I may have to use that one in the near future! We are all weak, prone to all sorts of things negative and good. Thought provoking post, Patrick. I know many who've gone to there and are great Catholics but also VERY defensive of "their" experience. Oddly "too defensive" it would seem.

  151. Anonymous says:

    Patrick,

    I am in agreement with you about Medjugorje and the Macial debacle. The comparison is very good, one I hadn't thought of before. There are tons of evidence that would suggest Medjugorje is not a valid apparition. But, what WOULD happen if it is found valid and worthy of belief? Heaven help us. What indeed would that do to the church? Perhaps a license for more harm to the church in unthought of ways.
    But , why stop at those comparisons between Maciel and Medjugorje? One could say the popes, post vatican council ii, have been hoodwinked as well, you could say, dillusional. Just look at the fruits of post council; the mass exodus from the church, catholics who are ill informed about anything catholic, etc. You name it, problems galore. Just some thoughts.

  152. Tapestry says:

    I am not a fan of JPII because he should have been home taking care of the scandals in the seminary and the convents during his reign instead of galloping all over the world.
    Granted he did some good but that has near all been erased. I pray for Pope Benedict everyday he has a lot of fallout to take from JPII.
    I don't believe in Medjujorge because I never heard of a constant miracle except at Mass.
    JPII should get a halo after helping Benedict clean up the mess he left behind because he certainly was not infallible when it came to judgement of people or some places.

  153. Anonymous says:

    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the thing that says more to me than anything else: the repetitiveness and the banality of the so-called messages. I also find them cloying and condescending and have never been enlightened or uplifted by them. Surely the Blessed Mother can do better than that.

  154. Patrick Madrid says:

    Markc, you seem to have missed the point. The purpose of the comparison is to show two things:

    1) that the pope did believe that Fr. Maciel was worthy of people's confidence and, as we now know, he misjudged Maciel. In spite of the pope's firm personal opinion that something was true, it turns out that it was not true and that, in his personal opinion, the pope was wrong.

    2) Many Medjugorje adherents whom I have personally met and spoken to about this issue (often at length) have touted Pope John Paul II's alleged belief in the authenticity of Medjugorje as a weighty reason/confirmation for their own belief in its authenticity. Many have said to me, "If the pope himself believes it, that's good enough for me!" and other such cant along those lines.

    So, juxtaposing these two points, as I sought to do in the blog post, what comes into view is a lesson that I am simply proposing that Medjugorje supporters who so frequently invoke the pope's alleged personal approval of and belief in Medjugorje take note of. Namely, be aware that the pope can (and has been) wrong in his private, personal opinions about people and things.

    If we assume for the sake of argument that Pope John Paul II did in fact personally believe in the authenticity of Medjugorje, that must be contextualized alongside the fact that he also personally believed in the authenticity of Fr. Maciel.

    To say it a different way: Pope John Paul II was scammed by Maciel. It's possible, therefore, that he, along with all the defenders of "the Gospa," was scammed by Medjugorje.

  155. Markc says:

    Patrick,

    As you yourself note, a fortiori is valid if it is CONFIRMATORY and not asserted as the primary validation. I think it is a bit disingenuous to assert that Medjugorje supporters use JPII or Mother Theresa as a primary reason they support the messages or events there. Rather, pilgrims are drawn to Medjuorje by the messages themselves (prayer, fasting, confession, the bible, and the Eucharist) and, secondarily, by the children who – despite their flaws (no scandal – despite the desperate attempts of detractors to imply such) – are genuine and compelling.

    Second, I'm a bit taken aback by your suggestion that the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, was somehow defective in his ability to sense the "path to holiness" in a contemporaneous event such as Medjugorje. His Marian devotion was rivalled by NOBODY and I believe his "radar" on a matter such as this was – not infallible – but worthy of attention and note.

    To be fair, the Legion of Christ was established in 1941 – well before the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. The Holy Father was in NO WAY responsible for the investigation or establishment of the Order. Nevertheless – the LCs are an established order with a recognized charism and spirituality.

    It remains an open question whether they should be reformed or disbanded. To suggest that somehow the Holy Father should have a "super mystical sense" to sniff out the duplicity of Fr. Maciel and overturn the support of previous popes for the LC is a bit unreasonable.

    Medjugorje is the most highly scrutinized apparitions ever – four commissions and multiple teams of doctors and specialists – plus 30 years of parsing every word and action of the seven visionaries and their associates. Sadly, Fr. Maciel does not appear to have been scrutinized so closely. However, to lay the blame at the feet of Pope John Paul II is irresponsible …

  156. What is truth? says:

    We need to be very cautious…

    Matthew 24:24
    For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

    Mark 13:22
    False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect

  157. stanis says:

    I went to Medugorje last summer and attend the youth festival. Wit me are my wife and my 2 young children age 8 and 10. All of us enjoy our praying time, our walking in the middle of croatian summer, went up the apparition hill, etc without complain and feeling tired. And I am a cancer patient. It is a wonderful experience, have you been there Patrick

  158. Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS says:

    Great post, Patrick.

    I think you made it perfectly clear when you said:

    Please note: I am not equating Medjugorje with Fr. Maciel. I am not suggesting any kind of similarity whatsoever between the two. Nor am I in any way impugning or disrespecting or trying to besmirch the memory of Pope John Paul II. I believe he was a good and holy man who was deceived by a duplicitous, wicked man.

    As an ardent fan of Pope John Paul II, I have always known how to distinguish his opinions on matters, which are not infallible, from that which declared not only infallibly, but I always took to heart his pastoral lessons, which I was not obligated to accept.

    There is a clear difference between these kinds of things, and people using 2nd and 3rd hand testimonies of what the late Pope said about Medjugorje.

    I also believe that there is an inability for some to understand the difference between objective fact and subjective opinion. Inuendo rules among Medjugorje supporters. It has been as effective as fuel in a jet and no amount of explaining this difference seems to matter.

    Thankfully, we have a commission made up of people who won't be using inuendo and a fortiori arguments to discern the phenomenon of Medjugorje. And, before people question the integrity of the commission as Liam Ronan did a few posts above, they should consider the actions of the Holy Spirit. Such second guessing of an official commission is like fertilizer for a schism.

    I think people need to be prepared to accept any decisions or statements made by the CDF based on the Commissions findings.

    It is often said, "an apparition cannot be judged until it has ceased". This is all over the web, and in particular in the writings of supporters.

    This needs clarification:

    1) An apparition can never be approved while ongoing because anything can happen to negate it's authenticity which would embarass the Church and harm Her credibility.

    2) Since the apparitions are ongoing, there are only two possible judgments that can be passed if a judgment will be made at all at this time:

    a) The current non constat… position that Medjugorje has held all these years can be re-iterated, which basically says the we cannot affirm it is of supernatural origin.

    b) Or, constat de non…, which states that the thing is not of supernatural origin.

    The latter has happened to phenomena associated with Holy Love Ministries which was condemned just last year in Cleveland – while ongoing. In that case, the Holy See intervened and asked the local Bishop to make a definitive judgment. That judgment became the decision of the Church.

    Just for the record, if the Holy See opts to maintain the current status, and continues to permit pilgrimages or even foster them, I will read any insight She has to offer with an open mind. They may present new information to me that would alter my current position. With what is available to date, I am very skeptical. Based on the CCC I am free to remain skeptical even after reading explanations.

    However, if the Holy See condemns the phenomena itself, the opposite is not true. Continuing to be devoted to something which the Holy See condemns as not supernatural would be imprudent at the least, and potentially sinful at the worst.

    Trust the Holy Spirit and pray for the commission members.

  159. Anonymous says:

    There was no civil trial. Why?

  160. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous @ 9:19 pm, give it up. Even the Kool Aid drinkers who run the Legion of Christ have finally, belatedly admitted that Maciel sexually abused numerous seminarians. That's on top of the multiple identities, maintenace of secret families, plagiarism, massive embezzlement and fostering of rivalries within the Church throughout his appalling lifetime of deception.

    The man and his works were not from God. By their fruits you shall know them.

  161. Peter Hirota says:

    Hey, Patrick!
    Great post. I, like you, am an open skeptic. My experience with people who have visited Medjugorje is split. Some simply have the attitude, as Patrick Coffin suggested, of "it's cool…but give it some thought…" On the other side, I have asked about reports of disobedience to the bishop to which the response was, "Well, I'd disobey him too."
    The fact is, we aren't required to believe ANY apparition, approved or not. The Church, in her great wisdom, approves or disapproves then leaves us the option to build a devotion to any approved apparition and seeks to protect us from those that are possibly fraud or, worse yet, diabolical. My vote is to let the Church do it's thing then go with whatever they say. That's what we rely on, isn't it?

  162. giselle says:

    Umm, Anonymous 9:19 — even the Legion has admitted that their founder was a fraud. That's a given at this point in time.

  163. Orange Blossom says:

    If it is true, NOTHING will stop the Blessed Virgin's and Her Son's messages—-

  164. Ingrid says:

    I wanted to share a personal experience which is somewhat similar to the supporters of Medjugorje. My family used to go to the apparitions of Bayside in Queens, NY for about 10 years at least 15 times a year to stand in some of the most frigid temperatures for 3-4 hours(7-11pm) praying the rosary continuously. I witnessed healings of my mom, friends, and strangers. There were numerous conversions and you could feel the fact that this place was holy; Similar to Medjugorje, within the crowds were priests, nuns, and brothers of various holy orders which also gave it an air of credibility. Personally I learned to pray the rosary and it had a very profound impact on my faith to this day. At the end when the seer passed away and the church investigated the messages, the apparitions were condemned. I believe that what made Bayside real was the faith of the people who were sincerely looking for God. I hear the conflicts Medjugorje and as Patrick says, I’m skeptical because of what I experienced. Ultimately I believe that we need to always remember that the Church is there as our mother and we need to obediently and humbly listen to her. I hope a happy resolution can be made on this apparition and that it does not have a negative impact on the faith of the people.

  165. Liam Ronan says:

    Hmmm if the Pope can be wrong about Medjugorje (and I agree with you Patrick he can be) then what assurance have we that a committe set up to investigate the phenomena will be any more likely to get it right?

  166. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. Madrid,

    If the allegations of sexual abuse are true against Father Maciel why was there never a civil trial?

    What exactly has been proved to be true?

    Thank you.

  167. Brian says:

    Patrick, I love it. I, too, am an 'open-minded' skeptic. It sure is funny what an emotional topic this is to people, per Patrick Coffin's comment.

    As for Fr. Neil's comment, I'm not sure why the 5 year anniversary of JPII's death would preclude one from using him as an example.

  168. Anonymous says:

    At the end of the day, what does it matter? At the end of the day, the only thing we must do is wait for what the Church officially declares re Medjugorje and be obedient to that. Until then, fulfill your vocation, pray the rosary, go to Mass, receive the sacraments, practice the spiritual and corporate works of mercy, and study the teaching of the Church and Scripture via Church teaching. All else is fruitless speculation.

  169. Anonymous says:

    When Sor Juana de la Cruz(I believe this is her name) performed wonders in Spain, people were sure of her authenticity kings, priests, cardinals, and the laity were deceived by her. I believe even the Pope believed her. I am not saying that Medjugorje is like what happened with this nun, but as good Catholics we should be cautious about giving it all to this phenomenas which still has not been approved by the Church even when other high ranking members of the Church fall for it. We should learn from what happened in Spain with Sor Juana de La Cruz, who deceived all people from every ranking and every position.

  170. semperficatholic says:

    Great post Mr. Madrid, I agree with what you have written here.

    kind regards

  171. Tony Schmitz says:

    Dear Patrick,
    I think you should go to Medjugorje, and experience it firsthand! Have you been there?

    Tony Schmitz
    Deo Omnis Gloria!

  172. Anonymous says:

    Praise be to God that we have a Church that looks into these things carefully. I rejoice in the approved apparitions and will be somewhat of a skeptic on this one awaiting the decision.

  173. Arnobius of Sicca says:

    Seems to me with all the ink (or bytes) spilled on Medjugorje, it tends to come down to the irrelevant appeal. it is the Magisterium given the task of assessing whether or not this is a legitimate apparition.

    I'm a skeptic myself. There are many out there who try to argue for the authenticity of rejected apparitions (like Bayside), and the defenses of Medjugorje (like the one provided by the link in John Barry's post) seem to lack crucial evidence.

    However, be that as it may, it is the Commission which will have the authority to assess this claimed apparition. If true, the arguments opposed to it will be flawed. If false, the arguments in favor will be shown to be flawed.

  174. sabeth says:

    Did you fail to note that JPII made no official statement or even visited Medj. parish while in the region – while apparently yearning to do so? His offerings were made as personal gestures and requests while accepting the experiences of those who met with him before or after their own personal pilgrimages. And the quotes re: his discussions were made by those who had met with him … not himself. He did not go about speaking openly of his personal desires and hopes for this phenomenon. He witnessed and accepted the fruits so abundant and yet did not act in any official capacity to establish anything final in the decision making. When people reference him they do so out of affection and great respect for him as a true Marian mystic and child of Mary. This should not call for any comparison to official actions taken re: another category.

  175. sabeth says:

    The looooong history of the "Herzegovinian Affair" with citings of substance and verifications for facts – for those who just may wish to learn something:

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

    2. "The Unquestionable Obedience of the Mostar Bishops Towards the Holy See?

    The Herzegovinian bishops often stressed obedience as the supreme principle of conduct within the Church. In practise however, they themselves at times, did not adhere to this principle but rather when it suited them. When Bishop ani, for instance, came to Mostar as the Assistant Bishop he immediately embarked on convincing the Herzegovinian Franciscans to disobey their lawful Provincial Šili, with the intention of better achieving his aims. He did not succeed in this. When he took over the diocese that is in 1988, a group of Franciscans did not accept transfers, which had been assigned them by the Provincial administration. Bishop ani backed them up in their refusal. He even forbid in writing that they be transferred! They who were disobedient were allowed to keep their jurisdiction and Canon mission yet he refused to issue these to those who were lawfully, pursuant to decision of the Provincial administration, to succeed them. This same practise was continued by the bishop's successor, Bishop Ratko Peri.

    The Herzegovinian bishops demanded that the Franciscans hand over parishes which belonged to them in accordance with the Decrees of 1967 and 1975, yet he continually refused to take over the parishes of Glavatievo and Nevesinje, which were assigned to him in the Decree of 1923, and which the Franciscans had been offering for quite a while. The bishops were not prepared to implement the Decree of 1975 in its literal sense. The Franciscans offered Bishop ani that upon carving up the monastic Franciscan parish in Humac he found new secular parishes in Zvirii-Bijaa and Crveni Grm as determined in the Decree of 1975. Nevertheless he refused this and demanded that the heart of this same parish – Ljubuški and Radišii and that he be allowed to found a new secular parish in these towns even though this is the one thing that was explicitly forbidden in the 1975 Decree! Bishop Peri at all costs demanded that he be given Mostar and apljina yet he refused to take over the parishes in Jablanica and Blagaj which had been virtually completely ethnically cleansed by the Muslims but which nevertheless were to belong to him in accordance to the same Decree of 1975!

    These few examples clearly show that the Herzegovinian bishops are not exactly marked by uncompromising obedience to decisions adopted by the Holy See even though they demand this same obedience of the Franciscans.

  176. Margaret says:

    When we speak of the 'fruits of Medjugorje', we surely have to look further than this period of the so-called apparitions. We have to include the happenings, reactions and results – long and short-term – of the findings of the Commission.

  177. Nick says:

    Pat,

    You should address this:

    Thank you for sending the Claus Peter Clausen's memo. He is well known to me as the publisher of the Schwatzer Brief. I can only say in response that the quotes endorsing Medjugorje which have been attributed to me and the Holy Father [Pope John Paul II] have been made up out of thin air.
    — Cardinal Ratzinger, July 22, 1998

  178. Tominellay says:

    Well, I agree with your post, Patrick.

    I don't think that very many people believe in Medjugorje BECAUSE Pope JPII is reported to have been sympathetic to the Medjugorje cause; however, many, many Medjugorje supporters cite the pope's supposed sympathy when they're getting creamed in internet combox discussions. It's become a last excuse for credulity. No wonder the defensive attitudes!

  179. Anonymous says:

    Could it be that The Lord is preparing His children for the Big Banquet , with The Mother being accepted as Mother of all – the sinner , the saint , the false seer or the confused one , younger brother or selfrighteous older one , unborn or old , with the very relevant and important truth that what really matters is who our Mother is, of every single one of us and thus who our Father is too !

    And that it is His mercy that is the one prevailing truth , in the midst of all weaknesses or greatness that the chidren all can turn to , with the trust that He uses our very wounds , to fill them with loving mercy so that we no longer have to view such with despair or hatred !

    In a world where there are millions living with the deepest wound of being murderes of their own innocent children , such a grasp of the truth His mercy – does humanity need anything else at this point!

  180. Ismael says:

    In my opinion I think that a a fortiori claim is not necessarely wrong. After all the opinion of a Pope carries SOME weight.

    Of course Patrick it is also true that a Pope can be fooled and, unless he truly speaks 'ex-cathedra', he can make mistakes.

    The only thing we can do is wait for the Church to investigate properly the Medjugorje apparitions and give a proper answer.

  181. Anonymous says:

    Good things CAN and DO come from bad happenings, and that good comes by the power of the Holy Spirit. God never abandons us to bad things, He always shows us a way out. Example: I was raped and as a result became pregnant. Today's urge is to abort such a pregnancy. I chose not to abort, had a baby boy. That baby boy turned out to be the only child I could ever have, and my boy became the joy of my life. He's now given me the added joy of a wonderful daughter in law, as well as grandsons.

    God doesn't not let bad actions win, and the ultimate proof is in His life death followed by His resurrection.

  182. Patrick Madrid says:

    I'd have to disagree with both Anonymouses (Anonymice?). The argument I referenced about the pope supporting Medjugorje does rely on an a fortiori claim.

  183. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with Anonymous@12:51 PM … "a fortiori" is the wrong term for the type of argument discussed here.

    "Grandma always said that eating apples would keep you healthy, but if even expert scientists confirm that belief, how much more so should we take Grandma's advice seriously" is not an a fortiori argument. It is simply bolstering one argument (an appeal to authority) for a given premise with a second, presumably stronger argument for the same premise.

    An a fortiori argument doesn't present two arguments for the same premise. It argues from one (presumably known or acknowledged) premise to a second premise which is even more likely to be true. For example, "Grandma never allowed Grandpa's pipe in the house even when it wasn't lit; of course she didn't smoke herself."

  184. Anonymous says:

    No one is safe from being deceived! Not even saints! Good fruits are a gift of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is everywhere, even in Medjugorje. The question is that He, The Holy Spirit, has not made His presence known to the Church via the last commissions and we are awaiting to see if He would make His presence known through the apparition or not.

  185. Patrick Madrid says:

    David, you must have been looking at the wrong place. I did indeed provide numerous, specific examples of what appears to me to be incitements to disobedience. You'll find them in my comments on this thread.. Please pay particular attention to this site which I linked to, which gives a rather comprehensive exposition of those incidents involving incitements to disobedience.

  186. Adele says:

    I'm not sure I agree with you on Medjugore, but like evolution, I couldn't really care less about the subject. Maybe that's awful.

    As to Fr. Maciel, did you hear that he actually told his people not to introduce his cause for Canonization until something like 40 years after his death. How diabolically clever! Just EVIL!

    God bless,
    Cute Grandson, so glad he's out of hospital.

    Adele

  187. Dave Hahn says:

    Patrick,

    I clicked on the link in this article that you said would bring us to your points made about the disobedience of the children or the comments of The blessed Mother telling the children to be disobedient. I was dissopointed because it didn't go into detail it just said the same thing as you did in this article. I thought you were going to site the actual messages and dates of the messages and comment on them. I aven't read those messages. Could you please post the exact comments and the dates of those comments and your source. I also have a question regarding sources regarding any topic not just this one. How do you know that you are reading something someone actually said or if it was made up by someone and why believe it. For instance inthis case how do you know that these statements to disobedience was atually one of the messages and not just made up or misinterpreted by someone who ant-Medj. I'm trying to defend Medj I'm just curious as to how one can actually know what is actually being said and what is made up. I hear so many different stories that there is no way to know what has actually been said or is made up. It seems to me that if someone takes a side in medj it is bias because their is no way to know who is telling the truth and if you choose one side or the other it is because you want to believe it or disbelieve it. There is no way it seems to me to make an objective opinion because the "facts" are all over the board and controdict one another.

  188. mgseamanjr says:

    (Part II)

    It should be noted that the Bishop of Mostar has not been invited onto the commission to study the phenomenon of Medj. Why in the world was this decision taken? It apparently does not affect your thinking. Could it be that the bishop, given a variety of reasons, is too biased? You would be wise to recall the words of Cardinal Bertone: “The opinions expressed by the Bishop of Mostar are merely that, namely his own opinions.” Therefore, your appeal to his arguments are not only an appeal to a biased source but also to one that is apparently somewhat irrelevant to the matter. I am aware of the authority of bishops but it would appear that in THIS case, what the bishop thinks—AND his interpretation of the events AND what he writes to support his case—is not the deciding factor but simply one man’s (albeit important) opinion. It is practically unheard of in church history to hand over a case of an alleged apparition to people other than the local bishop (not to mention entertaining the idea to move the parish outside of the bishop’s diocese) and yet all this apparently has no bearing on your thinking. Your citing of Richard Chonak and other notoriously biased sources on Medj. only weakens your case.

    But leaving ALL THIS aside, the real question is this: “Good fruit does not come from a bad tree” (Mt. 7:18). How more clear can that statement be? Apparently this is not clear enough for you, for you engage in verbal gymnastics to make the argument, apparently correcting the Lord, that “Good fruit can in fact come from bad trees given certain circumstances, etc.”

    Your views are ironic on several fronts. You seem to be more comfortable in the safety of portraying Medj. in a negative light, where your approach is to follow in the footsteps of Colin Donovan, Jimmy Akin, and Diane Korzeniewski (who seems to have made it her overarching mission to expose the “fraud” of Medj.). I state this is ironic because you make the point in your recent piece that “just because Pope John Paul II was favorable to Medj. does not make it authentic. I would not be so glib in a critique of the theological speculations of JP II. The same goes for Cardinal Schonborn, as well as the spiritual giant Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar, who, as has recently been shown to have supported Medj. (to name just a few).

    The core of the message of Medj. is to return to the Lord, with fasting, confession, mass, reconciliation and daily Bible reading. To focus on those elements that are fringe and controversial and only tangentally related to the site (folks, please spare me your dissertations on the scandalous indiscretions of Fr. Tomoslav Vlasic), is to miss the entire meaning of Medjugorje.

    I have enjoyed very much your radio show and I am intrigued by your recent comments that the world (and in particular, our country) may be headed for a serious punishment. Therefore, I find it even more ironic that you are (it seems) in agreement with the alleged seers of Medj. that there are chastisements in store for the world for its sins. I welcome your reply.

  189. John Barry says:

    Read Responses to Medjugorje Criticisms at Medjugorje Forum
    Your arguments against Medjugorje are more than convincingly answered there.

  190. Sabeth says:

    Why, if you are trying to convince others of your complete openmindedness re: the future of Medj, does one get the definite impression that you work, via words and references even to stretch to unrelated categories for comparisons, to discredit the phenomenon which the Church herself has responded to by an unprecedented move to what could be characterized as "saving" it from an assured condemnation by the usually sole authority in matters of private revelation, the local bishop/s???

    Should then people, using your criteria, go in search for what errors in judgment may exist for other noted Catholics in favor? Mother Theresa being one as well as Mother Angelica, and von Balthasar – Medjugorje “a theater of holiness”, or one noted expert in spiritual warfare, Fr. Amorth, Dr. Courtenay Bartholomew, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, to mention a few. Should we also look for errors in the life time discernment of those with wealth of experience in the study of Marian phenomena like Laurentin and H. Joyeux, Robert Faricy, S.J., Fr. Michael O'Carroll, Mark Miravalle? Should "fruits" such as healings – emotional, physical, mental, etc. be discounted along with those rather "untrustworthy fruits" as permanent return to prayer, sacraments, etc. – not some flash in the pan "experience" that so many debunkers like to solely refer to?

    Someone mentioned the length of time of this ongoing phenomenon should force people to look rather to historically approved apparition sites – huh? If people were even barely acquainted with the history, people traveling to Medj. are also awakened to the other Marian sites – there is even greater interest in them due to Medj. – even the villagers themselves who were cut off from Church history due to Communist control. duh! To the contrary, Medjugorje has been linked to and called "a continuation of Fatima" by Sister Lucia herself. Perhaps we had better check into her own mistaken discernments or doubts over the years too. Perhaps Mother Theresa's own doubts in faith so recently revealed ought to draw people away from her other discernments.

    And … with all of this history accompanied by local bishops' negativity/condemnation, why hasn't then C. Ratzinger, now Holy Father, simply followed the usual protocol and left it to the bishop's judgment/s???? Benedict's historical "discernment" certainly did not get caught up in the Maciel lenient treatment and trust!!! So just where is the historical error in judgment for this Pope in order to minimize his own actions re: Medj????

    But just the choice for this comparison herein is truly insulting when it comes to a Marian apparition with all of the noted goodness at a time such as ours today.

  191. Patrick Coffin says:

    One more time: It's okay for Catholics to decline a berth on this particular peace train. It really is.

    I am a believer in Fatima. But say I wasn't. If I were to tell someone who was that I didn't think Mary appeared in Fatima, chances are good he would reply with something like, "Really? Well, I'd say you're missing out on some good things; I find the events of Fatima to be convincing and prophetic, but hey, God bless you."

    But when the least whiff of critical questioning is directed toward a pointedly unapproved apparition like Medjugorje — duck!

    A de facto spirit of schism has already seeped into the Catholic Church around the world over this phenomenon. Please God, spare us from a de jure one.

  192. thetimman says:

    Excellent post. Thanks and a blessed Easter to you, Patrick.

  193. nazareth priest says:

    I agree with you in every respect, here, Patrick.
    Thank you.
    It takes courage to state these things; don't let anyone get "you down"…these are "hot-button" issues, to say the least.
    We have to remember that even the saints were fooled, at times, and were not exempt from making mistakes.
    That's why Jesus is Lord, God is God. Saints are human!

  194. Fr. Neil Buchlein says:

    My previous comments were not in regard to proof of or questions of authenticity. I found your article disappointing and disrepectful of JPII. It seems to me that you will now look at JPII's pontificate and measure and judge everything he said and did by your "Maciel Effect." I think your post does more to alienate than promote unity among the faithful.

  195. irksome1 says:

    A discussion on the Catholic Answers Forum seemed to imply that the Church had officially condemned the apparitions at Medjugorje. If this is true, then isn't being an "open-minded skeptic" not enough? After all, such a thing would, ultimately, be a failure to submit the intellect and the will to the divinely-authorized authority of the Church and her shepherds.

  196. Nick says:

    Here are some links for those on the fence about Medjugorje and those who are just learning about apparitions:

    Apparitions, Visions, Locutions, and Cardinal Arinze
    A written record of the above video
    The Miracle Hunter: Marian Apparitions
    Medjugorje after Twenty-One Years
    Unofficial Medjugorje Website

    In addition, on my website (click my name) you can find – under my personal discernment of Medjugorje using the Church's norms for the discernment of apparitions – links to the Church's documents on docility and obedience, on Public Revelation and private revelation, and on Medjugorje and other related issues.

  197. Patrick Madrid says:

    Thanks. As it happens, I did discuss the question of the good fruits of Medjugorje and how they are not, in themselves, proof of its authenticity (or its inauthenticity). You can read and listen to those comments here:

    http://patrickmadrid.blogspot.com/2009/11/caller-to-my-open-line-radio-show-asks.html

  198. Fr. Neil Buchlein says:

    Patrick,

    I am very disappointed that you would look to criticize JPII in his judgments and even use a term, "Maciel Effect" when now speaking about Medjugorje. I for one have not "run up against" people who seeing and experiencing the fruits of Medjugorje have brought in JPII to bolster their position. Remember, there is always more to the story than the eye can really see. It's ashame that as his 5th anniversary of his death was remembered and that as we celebrate this wonderful season of Easter that you would even write such an article. I'm sorry, but I do not think that you are an "open-minded skeptic."

  199. Anonymous says:

    Next, you may want to address the "fruits" argument as proof of authenticity. Both groups use that as well.

  200. Anonymous says:

    Patrick: I think are your argument about the "Maciel Effect" is right on the money. In fact I think there are many issues other issues in which the "Maciel Effect" can be seen. Pope John Paul II said and did many things I am sure he thought was good and right or just not serious enough to address such as altar girls, communion in the hand, Church "restoration" and many other things that people often defended in a "cult like" manner.

    Such decisions are not simply good or right because the Pope made them. IF JP II could have been wrong about Fr. Maciel he could have been wrong about many other decisions which did not fall within the special protection of the Papacy.

    In terms of Medjugorie while waiting for a final determination of the Church is the obligation and most prudent course for all Catholics I am amazed at how a few things are so negligently overlooked.

    1. Good things can result from bad things happening. Thus any "good fruit" that people attribute to Medjugorie may in fact not be attributable to it at all but despite the possible falseness of it.

    2. There is almost nothing that Medjugorie has in common with other Church approved apparitions especially the length. The Blessed Mother has always delivered profound messages in a pretty short period of time.

    3. Given how long these "messages" have lasted and the unprecedented amount of controversy and confusion around it I would think most Catholics truly devoted to the Church would focus on the richness of the "approved apparitions" rather than continue to put faith and energy into a speculative one.

  201. Patrick Madrid says:

    Yes, that's right, Rick. Thanks for the reminder. I posted that video here last week.

  202. Rick says:

    I have a video where Card. Arinze presents the Church's position about apparations, visions and locutions. It frames the phenomenon in a solid theological, pastoral and devotional perspective

    http://divine-ripples.blogspot.com/2010/04/video-apparitions-visions-locutions-and.html

  203. Patrick Madrid says:

    Thank you, Anonymous, though permit me to differ with you on the issue of whether Medjugorje supports engage in a fortiori arguments. In my experience, many do.

    You are right about the argument from authority being at work here. I included that implicitly in my mention of the fallacy of weak induction.

  204. Anonymous says:

    A good post that makes a good substantive point, but I don't think "a fortiori" is the relevant logical category here. Rather, these are instances of the argument from authority, which as Thomas Aquinas says, "is the weakest form of proof."

  205. Patrick Madrid says:

    Many thanks, Padre Steve. I'll read that article with great interest. Thanks most of all for your prayers.

  206. Padre Steve says:

    Patrick, I respect your position on Medjugorje. I agree that we have to wait to see how the Church finally rules on the apparitions there. I have been impressed over the years with the good fruits that have come from this place. I don't know if you saw this story:
    http://salesianity.blogspot.com/2010/04/jim-caviezel-passion-of-christ-and.html
    We have to continue to ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of discernment in all of this. Keep up the great work and have a blessed Easter!

    • Dawn says:

      Patrick,

      I no longer believe in Medjugorje. I agree with you that it is probably one of the grandest demonic hoaxes in history. However, you and Diane K. assert that we must follow the directive of the Bishop, even though the Vatican has taken authority on the matter away from him. So, are you saying that those who visit the site are disobedient? Must we always follow a bishop’s directive, even if it is not official? That is, just his opinion? Also, you guys say not to pay attention to unapproved apparitions, but if we had listened to Our Lady of Kiebeho, a terrible holocaust could have been avoided. So, can we listen to unapproved apparitions sometimes, but always with proper discernment? Again, I do not believe in Medjugorje, but I am a little confused. Please explain.

      -Dawn

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