Medjugorje: Intelligent Objectivity Required – It’s Not About “Faith”…

The article below, first published in the July 2019 edition of the Catholic Truth newsletter – available to read online, with footnotes, here –  is intended to cast light on the claims of the author of My Heart Will Triumph that Our Lady is appearing to her at Medjugorje. Catholics should only want to know the truth about alleged apparitions – to insist on believing in such claims without examining the evidence objectively, is unintelligent, if not sinful. Readers are asked, therefore, to keep an open mind and to read the commentary below in a truly Catholic spirit, revealing what we used to term a “Catholic mind” – that is, forming judgments rooted in the authentic teaching of the Church, and embracing the truth in a spirit of faith. It is true that here at Catholic Truth we do criticise the hierarchy for their errors and failure to teach the Faith, entire and true, but when they ARE doing their duty, as in the matter of pronouncing judgment on private apparitions, then we obey – without question – because that authority to judge, comes from God: this is why, even when priests and bishops have not accepted her messengers (e.g. in the initial days of the Lourdes apparitions), Our Lady, respecting the priesthood, never urges disobedience. We must, similarly respect the authority of the Church, in a spirit of faith, as expressed through the judgement of the local Bishop: If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. (Saint Augustine)…

 

Patricia McKeever (Editor, Catholic Truth) writes…

I’ve made no secret of my disbelief in the alleged apparitions of Medjugorje. So, when asked by a friend to read the book My Heart Will Triumph written by one of the “seers”, I wasn’t too keen but agreed, really to please her; she is a very genuine, and a very kind person, who is a committed Medjugorje believer. In fact, however, contrary to what she obviously hoped, the book only served to confirm my scepticism about the alleged Medjugorje apparitions. In this piece, I’ll highlight a few of the writer’s many statements which make me doubt the veracity of her claims.

Humility…

“Self-praise is no honour” the old adage goes, so reading Mirjana’s “earliest memories” in which she saw herself as “always a little different from other children” (p.17) had me searching in my memory, and dipping into Fatima books, to see if any similar self-praise, however nuanced, had fallen from the lips of visionaries from Church-approved apparitions. I could find nothing. Neither could I find anything in the Fatima accounts which had any of the three child-seers apparently placing themselves on an equal footing with Our Lady – Mirjana: “It may sound strange, but perhaps Mary could be described as a visionary herself – she saw an angel from Heaven and even communicated with him…” (p.203).

Ecumenical/Interfaith:
Denial of the dogma that the Church is essential for salvation

Very much a child of our times, we find Mirjana’s reflections on her childhood friendship with a Muslim leading her to adopt the ecumenical/inter-faith mentality. This friendship, she says: “…taught me not to focus on the differences among people.” Another Medjugorje “seer” – Vicka Ivankovic – follows this line to its logical conclusion:

Q to Vicka: “Is the Blessed Mother calling all people to be Catholic?”
A from Vicka: “No. The Blessed Mother says all religions are dear to her and her Son.”

Catechism & Bible:
Modernist Propaganda

Similarly, Mirjana’s memories of being taught the Faith in her schooldays, is classic Modernist propaganda: “My catechism classes taught me to fear God more than to love Him. I was left with the image of an angry ruler who watched from Heaven to judge and punish me for every mistake.” (P.18) And, revealing her attitude to reading the Bible after the apparitions began: “Personally, I preferred to read the New Testament over the Old Testament. I had trouble reconciling the image of God as angry and jealous – as He is sometimes portrayed in the earlier books – with the God of mercy I had come to know through the apparitions. (p.202). The many revelations in the Old Testament of the great love and mercy of God – The Book of Hosea springs to mind – are ignored. Whether she has not actually read the Old Testament and she has accepted the Modernist propaganda uncritically, or she has been unable to understand it, is a moot point. Either way, she is patently wrong about the attributes of the “God of the Old Testament” who – from all eternity – is possessed of exactly the same attributes as “the God of the New Testament.” There IS only one God – and He is unchangeable, immutable. If He revealed Himself as “jealous and angry” in the Old Testament, then so He remains. Mirjana’s knowledge and judgment about the things of God comes across as impaired, not just as a youngster, or even as a new “visionary”, but throughout her life, as evidenced in this book.

Supernatural Activity…

In Mirjana’s account of the very first alleged apparition we read (p.30) that Vicka asked Our Lady for a sign “so that people will believe me” and then – in Our Lady’s continuing presence – turned to Mirjana to ask the time. At the end of the alleged apparition, Mirjana recalls this request and that she had thus looked at her watch and found the hands had completely turned backwards: “the 2 o’clock mark was in the place of the 10 o’clock mark and so on and the hands were ticking backwards. It all seemed so strange.” Strange? It was more than “strange” – it was, arguably, diabolical. Another very telling incident has Our Lady speaking rather thoughtlessly, if not very uncharitably indeed, about an individual. Mirjana writes:

“Dr Glamuzina, the sceptical paediatrician who examined us that morning, came to observe the apparition – or, more precisely, to observe us during it. Witnesses said her look of scepticism changed to fascination when she saw our faces. She asked Vicka to present a few questions to Our Lady and Vicka agree to do so. After a series of questions, the doctor “then asked if she could try to touch what we were looking at, and we presented the question.” “She may”, said Our Lady. Given permission, “the doctor reached out, but Our Lady suddenly ascended and disappeared. Dr Glamuzina immediately turned to us with a look of distress on her face and said “She’s gone, hasn’t she?” “Yes”, said Vicka. “She’s gone.” “Did she say anything?” “She said, “There have always been doubting Judases.” And then she left. Dr Glamuzina’s face filled with sadness. (P.63)

That claim alone, should serve as a warning to any Catholic with a modicum of knowledge about and devotion to Our Lady, that whatever it is that these young people saw at Medjugorje, it was not, and is not, Our Lady, who is full of grace, and thus (quite apart from the fact that it was Thomas, not Judas who doubted!) could not be guilty of such a lack of charity as that found in her description of Dr Glamuzina.2 Nor does Our Lady play tricks. Why give permission for the doctor to touch her and then disappear when she reaches out to do so? Makes no sense; it is not from Heaven.We must never forget that, as Scripture warns: “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2 Cor 11:14).

Then, after recounting an occasion when she was interviewed by “a foul mouthed policeman”, Mirjana speaks about the “excitement” that “every morning brought the promise of a new surprise or adventure” (p.81). She goes on to explain that sometimes “we experienced multiple apparitions on the same evening. The police chased us and tried to disrupt our plans, so to evade them we constantly changed the meeting place.” Seems Our Lady played along with these adventures, not at all in keeping with her more dignified apparitions at Lourdes and Fatima.

Perhaps one of the most disconcerting moments in the book is published on p.88, where, referring to a taped interrogation in 1981, Mirjana reports herself speaking rudely and crudely to the police interrogator as follows (with apologies for repeating the – albeit relatively mild – crudity):

Interrogator: I’ll ask you one more time. What did you see on that hill?
Mirjana: I saw Our Lady
Interrogator: You saw shit!
Mirjana: No, that’s what I’m looking at now.

Arguably, any Catholic girl raised in an average Catholic family, would neither speak so rudely to an adult, especially one in law enforcement, nor would she use crude language. For someone who is claiming to be in the daily presence of Our Lady – no way. Just doesn’t ring true. Paradoxically, Mirjana says she was surprised to see herself being so bold and that it would have been different had she been interrogated before she started seeing Our Lady but from 24 June, 1981 onwards [date of the first alleged apparition], “the timidity that had plagued me for most of my childhood had all but vanished.” Incredibly, then, thanks to Our Lady, Mirjana had become rude and crude – and, allegedly, this is what had convinced one of the policemen in the room that she was telling the truth about the visions.

On another occasion (p.118) she spoke disrespectfully to a government-appointed social worker, interviewing her about the apparitions; he responded to her comment that she may become a nun (which she didn’t – she’s married, with children) by asking what the nuns have ever done for Yugoslavia. Mirjana’s reply: “And what have you contributed? You sit in that chair picking at your nails. Is that a contribution?”

The Lady & The Moral Law – Abortion…

Most discordant of all among the unlikely statements attributed to Our Lady, is the following, quoted by Mirjana on p.108: “There were times when I wanted to confront the girls” [about the fact that they were going for an abortion in the morning, then turning up at afternoon classes and talked about it] “But through my daily apparitions and through prayer, Our Lady taught me that preaching to them and being judgemental would only drive them farther away. Instead, I learned to show them love, and I tried to live as an example of someone who knew God’s love.”

So, from that do we deduce that Our Lady does not approve of the pro-life activists who try to save the lives of the unborn outside abortion clinics? Must we keep silent in the face of the state sanctioned slaughter of unborn children? Is the wilful murder of the innocent child in the womb no longer a sin “crying to Heaven for vengeance”? Just showing “love” (whatever that means) will do the trick, will end the evil – is that it?

The Lady’s Changing Mind…

The well known saying that it is a woman’s prerogative or right to change her mind is, perhaps, epitomised in the Guinness Book of Female World Records which records The longest time spent dithering in a shop was 12 days between 21st August and 2nd September 1995 by Mrs. Sandra Wilks in the Birmingham branch of Dorothy Perkins.

Entering the shop on a Saturday morning, Mrs. Wilks could not choose between two near identical dresses which were both in the sale. After one hour, her husband, sitting on a chair by the changing room with his head in his hands, told her to buy both. Mrs. Wilks eventually bought one for 12.99, only to return the next day and exchange it for the other one. To date, she has yet to wear it.

Mrs. Wilks also holds the record for window shopping longevity, when, starting September 12th 1995, she stood motionless gazing at a pair of shoes in Clinkard’s window in Kidderminster for 3 weeks two days before eventually going home.

Mirjana has Our Lady in the same category as Mrs Wilks. “On December 23, 1982” she writes, (p.135-6). “Our Lady appeared to me as usual and, like always, it was a beautiful experience… but towards the end, she looked at me with tenderness and said: ‘On Christmas Day, I will appear to you for the last time.’ [Emphasis added].

Mirjana describes being “left stunned” and said she “spent most of the night begging God to give me more time with her.” Her ongoing desolation about the ending of the apparitions reveals her lack of resignation to the will of God in the matter, but anyway, no worries, the Lady changed her mind and voila! Mirjana’s visitations were to continue once a year, on her birthday, March 18, for the rest of her life (p.136/7). Then, on p.312 Mirjana reveals that, “recently turned 50”, she is “blessed to see [Our Lady] 13 times a year – on the second of every month and once on March 18”. So, Mrs Wilks, get ready to be replaced in the Guinness Book of Female World Records – or should that be the “Out of this World Female Records”, by the ever-changing mind of the Lady of Medjugorje.

Our Lady in Management Role…

Mirjana writes about the apparition of Christmas day, portraying her relationship with Our Lady as a partnership of equals – note, for example, the “we”. She delegates responsibility to Mirjana which she must, in turn, delegate to a priest of her choice. The simplicity of the portrayal of Our Lady in the Gospels, contrasts starkly with this very modern version of a business manager: “Our Lady and I talked about many things. We summarised our entire 18 months together – everything we had said to each other and everything she had revealed to me. She entrusted me with the tenth and final secret and she explained that I will need to choose a priest for a special role. Ten days before the date of the event foretold in the first secret, I am to tell him what will happen and when. He and I are then supposed to pray and fast for seven days and, three days before the event, the priest will reveal it to the world. All ten secrets will be revealed in this way…Our Lady also told me that she would appear to me once a year on March 18 for the rest of my life. March 18 is my birthday but Our Lady did not choose that date for that reason… Only when the things contained in the secrets start to happen will the world understand why she chose the 18 March. The significance of the date will be clear. She also said that I would experience some additional apparitions.

The Scroll

Mirjana continues (p.137): “She then held out something like a rolled-up scroll, explaining that all ten secrets were written on it, and that I should show it to the priest I choose when the times comes to reveal them. I took it from her hand without looking at it.

“Now you will have to turn to God in faith like any other person,” she said. “Mirjana, I have chosen you; I have confided in you everything that is essential. I have also shown you many terrible things. You must now bear it all with courage. Think of me and think of the tears I must shed for that. You must remain brave. You have quickly grasped the messages. You must also understand now that I have to go away. Be courageous.

Describing her heartbreak at Our Lady’s departure, Mirjana than turns her attention to the scroll: “Beige in colour, the scroll was made of a material akin to parchment – not quite paper and not quite fabric, but perhaps something in-between. I carefully unrolled it and found all ten secrets written in a simple and elegant cursive handwriting. There were no decorations or illustrations in the parchment; each secret was described in simple, clear words similar to how Our Lady originally explained them to me. The secrets were not numbered, but they appeared in order, one after another, with the first secret at the top and the tenth at the bottom, and included the dates of future events.” (p.138).

Mirjana goes on to describe the desolation she felt at this (she thought) final apparition, even admitting some time later that she “fell into deep states of depression anytime I thought about Our Lady’s absence for too long.” (p.139).

Visiting Purgatory…

After expressing her doubts about Hell – Mirjana asked the Lady about this as she saw “sentencing a soul to an eternity of suffering” as contrary to “the merciful and loving God I had come to know” – she was shown “a brief glimpse of Purgatory” which troubled her deeply (p.150), then, on p.151 we read that “Vicka and Jajov told me that on All Souls Day in November 1981, Our Lady appeared unexpectedly and said that she would take them to Heaven. Jakov panicked. He thought she meant forever. “Don’t take me!” He shrieked “Take Vicka. She has seven brothers and sisters and I’m my mother’s only child!” (p.151).

Now, just pause there for a second. Think about that. Does it sound like something Jakov, or anyone else, would say if they were really experiencing visits from Our Lady; an authentic reaction from someone genuinely convinced that they were being taken to Heaven, forever? Doesn’t look that way to me. Most of us would hand over a lottery win in exchange for a guaranteed place in Heaven. Mirjana’s account continues…

“Our Lady smiled, took them by the hand to ‘an expansive place filled with a beautiful light and indescribable joy. They also saw Purgatory and Hell… I’ve never seen Hell. I’ve never wanted to. But Our Lady showed me a glimpse of Heaven in the same way she showed me Purgatory… I cannot speak for God but I believe that if a person lives with peace, honesty and love, then he or she can go to Heaven. Faith and prayer help us to achieve that… But in the end I think it all comes down to love. Did we love God? Did we love our neighbour? Did we love ourselves? How did we express that love?” (p.152) Sounds like a cue for the John Lennon (Beatles) song: All you need is love… But then, he also wrote Imagine (a [much better] world with no religion)…

Fatima & Medjugorje “Connected”…

Mirjana refers to the Fatima apparitions on a number of occasions but says “I’m not personally called to interpret the secrets of Fatima but Our Lady affirmed in Medjugorje that both apparitions are connected to the triumph of her heart.” (p.155).

Odd, then, that Mirjana has accepted, lock, stock and barrel, the Vatican position on the Consecration of Russia and the Third Secret. One would have expected Our Lady – if she wanted to use Medjugorje to help bring about the triumph of her Immaculate Heart – to point out, as she explained at Fatima, that a period of world peace will only come once Russia has been consecrated in the prescribed manner. But no; we find Mirjana explaining that “military disasters” were suffered by the USSR because “the pope completed the consecration on March 25, 1984.” (p.154) Thus, Mirjana opines: “it seems that the second secret of Fatima came true (Ed: interestingly, without the conversion of Russia!) but what about the third secret?” She answers her own question: “…The Vatican finally released the third secret in the year 2000.” (p.154). So, that’s Fatima done and dusted, then…

Annual Peace March…

Despite apparently believing that the Fatima Message has been fulfilled – and thus we are now enjoying the promised period of world peace following from the Consecration of Russia – Mirjana reports that “Fr Slavko constantly urged people in the parish and around the world to pray and fast for peace. He held the second annual Peace March on June 24, 1993…” (p.260). This really does not chime with the belief that the Consecration has been completed in accordance with Our Lady’s request.

Pope John Paul II: Medjugorje Believer

Mirjana quotes from her alleged personal conversation with Pope John Paul II where he supposedly said “If I were not the pope, I would have gone to Medjugorje a long time ago.” (p.198)

Reflect: what kind of pope, if he genuinely believes that Our Lady is appearing on a daily basis, does not organise a visit there for himself? Then, later, Mirjana again highlights Pope John Paul II’s claimed belief in the visions: “Fr Jozo was now the guardian of the Franciscan monastery in Siroki Brijeg… In 1992 he went to the Vatican where he met Pope John Paul II. According to Fr Jozo, the pope passionately told him: “I am with you. Protect Medjugorje. Protect Our Lady’s messages!”

I simply do not believe any of the stuff in the book relating to Pope John Paul II. Not a single word. I have no idea whether there’s been confusion about what the Pope actually said, or a misunderstanding, or whether it’s all been fabricated. None of that do I know. I only know that I do not believe a single word of it. It just does not make sense. It’s as incredible as the idea that a top surgeon would hear about major surgical advances abroad, and yet refuse to go to investigate because he’s a top surgeon! Crackers. We don’t expect popes to visit every alleged apparition site, of course; but this isn’t just some wee wifie (tr. wife!) in an obscure village in the Scottish highlands claiming to see Our Lady from time to time. Medjugorje involves a half-dozen alleged seers receiving messages from the Virgin Mary every day, including messages which change the Church’s dogmatic teaching on salvation (see Ecumenical/Inter-Faith) and, in fact, add to divine revelation about Our Lady – showing us a Virgin Mother very different from that revealed in both the Gospels and at other approved apparition shrines (see Supernatural Activity). It seems very strange, to say the least, that a pope who really believed in such apparitions would fail to visit. It just doesn’t make sense. But don’t take my word for it: here’s a priest who is something of an expert in the field of private apparitions: “As for statements attributed to the Pope (e.g., “I heard that the Pope told Mrs Smith after Mass in his private chapel that he believes in Garabandal and Bayside;” “The Pope told Jack that he could go ahead and print that condemned book”) – no one is entitled to act on such gossip. The Church is governed by publicly promulgated statements – not by hearsay and personal communications.” (Father Peter Joseph, Apparitions True and False, Christian Order, October, 2004).

Mirjana Prayed with Our Lady…    

On p.245 we read: “Our Lady appeared suddenly around 1.50.pm. She and I prayed the ‘Our Father’ together three times – once for the sick, once for those who had not yet come to know God’s love, and once for everyone present…”  

Compare the above claim, with that of St Bernadette of Lourdes when she first saw Our Lady at the Grotto: “Without thinking of what I was doing I took my Rosary in my hands and went on my knees. The Lady made with Her head a sign of approval and Herself took into Her hands a Rosary which hung on Her right arm. When I attempted to begin the Rosary and tried to lift my hand to my forehead, my arm remained paralysed, and it was only after the Lady had signed Herself that I could do the same. The Lady left me to pray all alone: She passed the beads of Her Rosary between Her fingers but She said nothing; only at the end of each decade did She say the “Gloria” with me.  [Emphasis added].

And the two reasons why Our Lady only prayed the Gloria in the Rosary, is because she could not pray to herself, obviously, nor could she ask God to forgive her for her trespasses, since she is sinless, and so she prayed only to give glory to God. That is one of the major claims which cast doubt, to say the least, on the Medjugorje phenomenon. In any Church-authorised process of investigation into alleged apparitions, the investigator, normally the diocesan bishop – only needs to find one such error and that has always sufficed to dismiss a claim as false. People may genuinely believe that they are seeing Our Lady but may, in fact, be experiencing diabolical deceit.

Some Miscellaneous Considerations…

On p.299 Mirjana lists “many of [Our Lady’s] words from the apparitions [which] remain imprinted in my thoughts” including:“My children, do you not recognise the signs of the times? Do you not speak of them?” (April 2, 2006). But what does this mean? Nowhere in the book is this explained; indeed, far from Mirjana speaking of the signs of the times – the increasing state sanctioning of grave sin, through for example, abortion and LGBT+ “rights”, aided and abetted by none other than Pope Francis who, in the early days of his pontificate urged Catholics not to “obsess” about abortion, and, when asked about homosexual activity, scored an own goal for God’s moral law/Catholic sexual morality with his infamous “Who am I to judge?” Far from speaking of these shocking signs of the times, which are descending further and further into the nihilistic abyss, where people no longer know what is right and wrong; far from condemning the part which Pope Francis is playing is this turning away from God, Mirjana believes that “The Holy Spirit always gives us the Pope we need… now we need Pope Francis.” (p.305). Sorry, but the Church needs Pope Francis like Buddhists need a third world war.

Mirjana is certainly very much a Catholic of our times. She refers to “Saint” John Paul II (p.204), and notes (p.203) that when he introduced the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary in 2002, the Miracle of Cana was one of them As we’ve already noted, she accepts the Vatican version of the Third Secret and considers the Consecration of Russia to have been completed.
Given the thousands of messages given to Mirjana and her co-visionaries by, allegedly, Our Lady, it seems odd that Our Lady makes no reference to the Consecration of Russia and the full disclosure of the Third Secret because, according to Mirjana (p.145), Our Lady said: “What I started in Fatima, I will complete in Medjugorje. My heart will triumph.” (Message, January 2, 2016).

Yet, despite making many references to “peace”, this Lady never mentions the Consecration of Russia… “In these peaceless times, I am coming to you to show you the way to peace.” (August 2, 2006). What about the guarantee of peace given to Sr Lucia, Fatima, once the Pope has consecrated Russia in the prescribed manner?  Doesn’t add up. Not remotely.

Then there’s the story of the shoes which Mirjana keeps in a glass case in her home. Apparently, a man had placed them at the statue of Our Lady just before an apparition at the Cenacolo Community alongside the usual petitions, flowers, and rosaries left by pilgrims. Turns out the shoes were placed by a man who had been a close friend of Pope John Paul II “who had told him that he had always wanted to go to Medjugorje but as pope he was never able to… “
So, one day the man joked with the pope saying, “If you never make it to Medjugorje, then I’ll go and bring your shoes there. It will be as if you were able to set foot on that holy ground.” (p.306-7).

This whole business of a pope who wants to visit a particular place of alleged apparitions not being able to do so, just doesn’t ring true – especially at this time of chaos in the Church where popes are visiting mosques and synagogues and nobody bats an eyelid. Indeed, in a place which is drawing so many people, contrary to Catholic traditional practice where it is customary to wait for the permission and approval of the local Bishop before treating a place like a “shrine”, an argument could be made that the pope should go there to praise the good, well-meaning intentions of the tourists/would-be pilgrims, yes, but more importantly to make a public statement reminding everyone of the need to wait for formal Church approval. In this way, the pope would be minimising the possibility of diabolical influence. So, I just do not believe the claims made about Pope John Paul II, “the Medjugorje believer and unrequited pilgrim.” Doesn’t ring true.

The claim about “secrets” doesn’t ring true, either; indeed, Mirjana’s comment on p.313, serve to reinforce the suspicion that these “secrets” are nothing to worry about: “When Jakov and I get together we usually laugh and joke more than we talk, and I often think: If only all the people who are so afraid of the secrets could see us visionaries and how much we laugh! After all, if we who know the future don’t let fear darken our lives, then why should anyone else? All of which begs the rather obvious question, why would God send His Mother to earth with “warnings” – ten “secrets” – that are clearly nothing to worry about?

And again, comparing these alleged seers to the behaviour of the Fatima seer, Saint Jacinta (left) after the vision of Hell, when she was consumed with a zealous desire to make sacrifices to save souls from falling into Hell, we have to assume that whatever was revealed in the Medjugorje visions had nothing to do with the loss of souls – and what else could possibly be of any lasting consequence?

It is also, surely, significant that in all of the conversations between Our Lady and Mirjana there is no mention of the crisis in the Church, and, indeed, that the Lady appears to have no problem with the new vernacular Mass, instead of the official language of the Church – Latin: “After the rosary comes the international Mass. Although it’s celebrated in Croatian, pilgrims use headset radios to listen to live translations in their own languages… English, Italian, Polish, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Korean and more, depending on the pilgrims in town at the time.” (p.317) Not only does Our Lady make no mention of the Mass controversy or the wider crisis in the Church, she speaks of this as being “a time of grace” (p.327).

Given that, as we’ve already noted, Our Lady is quoted as saying that “What I started in Fatima I will complete in Medjugorje…” it seems strange that she does not mention the signs that Russia has, indeed, spread her errors, which we see, firstly, in the spread of Communism across the world, Russia having been the first country to adopt it as a form of government in 1917 – the year of the Fatima apparitions; and in the rise of attacks on marriage and the family, and even human life itself. Indeed, Pope Francis is presiding over the scandal of Pontifical Academy for Life, now a tool of the United Nations which pushes the “human rights” agenda – contraception, sterilization, abortion, euthanasia etc., taking cover behind “climate emergency” euphemisms such as “sustainable growth”.

In 2017, Pope Francis’ new appointments raised eyebrows; a minority were Catholic clergy, while an Argentine rabbi, an Anglican priest and a number of non-Catholics, who were either members of other religions or nonbelievers, were included.  Importantly, the new statutes dropped a statement which, previously, Academy members had been required to sign, promising to defend life in accordance with Church teaching.

Now, since Our Lady, according to Sr Lucia of Fatima, had already warned of attacks on the family it seems very curious, to say the least, that she would fail to mention the unspeakable attacks on the family and human life, evident even at the time of the first Medjugorje visions, and now tragically aided and abetted by Pope Francis. Thus, her chosen “visionaries” were unprepared for the onslaught which, even at the time of the first visions (1980s) was well underway and this seems strange, not least because their vocation, it would transpire, was to marry and have children. It is puzzling that Our Lady would describe this period of our history as “a time of grace” when evils such as abortion are being promoted as good, and defending God’s moral law – e.g. by condemning LGBT+ “rights” – is a “hate crime”. A time of grace? Really? How so?

And, of course, the above, sadly, is only the tip of a very large iceberg in terms of the Francis pontificate. The Pope’s rebukes to those now pejoratively labelled “traditional” Catholics (as if any Catholic may reject Tradition and remain Catholic – it’s not possible) are frequently reported in this newsletter and widely discussed across the internet (see From the Blog… p.13). It is, therefore, difficult to comprehend Our Lady’s failures to warn against this pontificate, given the gravity of what is happening; her readiness to name-call a doctor a “doubting Judas”suggests it can’t be a “charity” issue. The vision at Medjugorje appears to be fairly outspoken when she converses with the “seers” compared to her silence in the Gospels and her sparing use of words at Lourdes and Fatima.

The Point of it All…

Mirjana shares what she has learned from the visions. “After experiencing Heaven for all thee years, I believe I can finally answer the question that burned inside my heart for so long – the same one that burns in every human heart – what’s the meaning of life?” Adding: “Many people expect a complex answer. My answer, however, is the shortest sentence in this book. Love… Jesus is love incarnate. The Blessed Mother leads us to love… On March 2, 2007, Our Lady appeared with particular conviction and gave me the following message: “Today I will speak to you about what you have forgotten: Dear children, my name is Love… the Great Love sends me.”  (P.333)

Does it seem likely, really, that God would send Our Lady to appear to a group of young people in 1981, and keep appearing to them over a period of many years up to and including the present time and say… well… nothing of any significance? At a time when cardinals and bishops are expressing deep concerns about the state of the Church with the faithful confused and distressed at the many scandals – not least the child abuse scandals – is it really likely that Our Lady would appear on a regular basis to lay Catholics and say not a word about any of this? An unkind interpretation of Mirjana’s book might lead some to conclude that Our Lady came to Medjugorje to set up the Mirjana Fan Club or, at best, to act as a personal spiritual director to the “seers”. There seems to be no real purpose in the apparitions. Even if we broke into Mirjana’s home to steal the scroll containing the alleged secrets, we’d be none the wiser: “I’ve kept the parchment in a secure place…I could even have it sitting on my living room table and you wouldn’t know what it is. When the time comes, those who need to read it will be able to.” (p.327).

Why do critics refuse to believe the truth of the Medjugorje apparitions?

Fatima is the most important event of our times. Its clear purpose was to save souls from falling into Hell. Satan isn’t about to let that put him on the back foot. He has to find a way of replacing and surpassing the Fatima Message and nobody can doubt that he’s had a great shot at it. Michael Davies (RIP) studied the Medjugorje phenomenon in depth and his findings are well worth considering…

My object in this study is simply to show that there is a case against the authenticity of the Medjugorje apparitions, a viewpoint which has been kept from most Catholics due to the vast publicity campaign in favour of authenticity conducted in the mainstream Catholic media (which derives considerable financial benefits from Medjugorje advertising). It is not without significance that the liberal Catholic journals, which have not shown the least interest in the Fatima message, are enthusiastic in their support of Medjugorje. I know that it was the view of the late Hamish Fraser [famous Scot, Communist convert] that Medjugorje was a means being utilized by Satan to subvert the message of Fatima.

Before providing documentation to prove the falsity of the alleged apparitions I will give just two examples of the degree of credibility which should be given to the self-styled “seers” of Medjugorje. The “seers” and their Franciscan manipulators have consistently maintained that during their “ecstasies” they are immobile and without communication with the outside world. A French journalist wished to test this claim, and while one “seer”, Vicka, purported to be in ecstasy, he made a stabbing movement towards her eyes with his fingers. Vicka gave a start and threw her head backwards. Fortunately, the entire incident was filmed. The girl left the room and returned a few minutes later with one of her charismatic mentors, an expelled Franciscan. She claimed that at the moment the journalist made the movement she was witnessing an apparition of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus in her arms, and the Child slipped. “I made a movement to stop Him from falling. That’s all.” (Ed: you can see this entire incident in the short video below…)

There could hardly be a more evident case of outright lying. It is inconceivable that during an apparition of Our Lady with the Child Jesus, the Child could possibly slip. If, per impossible, this did happen, it is stretching coincidence beyond the bounds of credibility to be asked to believe that it happened at the precise moment the journalist made the movement towards Vicka’s eyes, and, finally, if she had been speaking the truth she would have moved forwards towards the apparition and not backwards!

The second incident is documented in the 1990 statement by Mgr. Zanic (Ed: at that time, Bishop of Mostar). It concerns a Franciscan priest, Father Ivica Vego, who was dispensed from his vows and expelled from the Franciscan Order by a direct command of Pope John Paul II as a result of his immoral conduct, which involved the seduction of a nun, Sister Leopolda. When she became pregnant they both left the religious life and began to live together near Medjugorje where their child was born… But… he refused to accept his expulsion and continued to celebrate Mass, administer the Sacraments, and pass the time with his mistress. Why mention such a distasteful event? The reason is that the “seers” claimed that Our Lady appeared to them on thirteen occasions stating that Father Vego was innocent, that he was as entitled to celebrate Mass as any other priest, and that the bishop was harsh! Any reader with a true sense of being a Catholic, a sensus catholicus, will need to read no further to realize the full extent of the mendacity of the self-styled “seers”, a mendacity which cannot be excused simply on the grounds that they have been manipulated by their Franciscan mentors. What credibility can be given to those who claim that the Mother of God told them repeatedly that an immoral priest, expelled from his order on the instructions of the Holy Father himself, is innocent. and that the Bishop who had taken the only course open to him, was the guilty party! And how does a so-called reputable theologian, such as Father Rene Laurentin. who has made a fortune from books on Medjugorje react when confronted with such facts? Mgr. Zanic gives us the answer. He begged the Bishop not to publish details of the incident. Mgr. Zanic tells us that this has been Laurentin’s consistent position, to hide the truth and defend falsehood. Despite the fact that the truth about Ivica Vego can no longer be denied, his prayer book is still sold in Medjugorje and beyond in hundreds of thousands of copies! One might add, almost as an afterthought, that if Our Lady had truly appeared at Medjugorje on about 26,000 occasions by the end of 1993, a claim which in itself defies credibility, she did not bother to warn the Croatian people of the coming onslaught, which they would have to undergo from fanatically anti-Catholic Serbia. Michael Davies: Medjugorje: A Warning, The Remnant Press – possibly out of print but available to read in full online at http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/medjugorje.htm

Why do so many Catholics believe in the Medjugorje apparitions ?

Tales of miracles convince many faithful that Medjugorje is true. However, Michael Davies has dug deeper in his study linked above, to uncover the facts: The majority of the pious public has naively fallen victim to the great propaganda, the talk of the apparitions and of healings… They are unaware that not even one miraculous healing has occurred that could have been verified by competent experts and institutions such as the “Bureau Medical de Lourdes”. No one knows of any healed from Hercegovina. Everyone knows that little Daniel, old Jozo Vasilj, Venka Brajcic and others cited in the first books about Medjugorje were not healed. (Michael Davies, Part 3 on the Fruits of Medjugorje)

Editor’s considered comment…

In view of all of the above, I regret having to disappoint my friend, but my belief that it is, in fact, the Devil, not Our Lady, who is appearing at Medjugorje, has been reinforced by reading Mirjana’s book. I will seek to have a copy of this edition/link to this blog discussion sent to Mirjana, as a courtesy. But before bringing this article to a conclusion, I think it is important to publish, below, a relatively recent statement from the Bishop of Mostar, reported in the local print media:

From Total Croatia News, 27/2/17…

The Bishop of Mostar-Duvno Ratko Perić issued a statement on Monday in which he claimed that Virgin Mary had never appeared in Međugorje, adding that alleged apparitions were more a form of manipulation from visionaries and priests who worked there, reports Jutarnji List on February 27, 2017.

“Considering everything that this diocesan chancery has so far researched and studied, including the first seven days of alleged apparitions, we can say: there have been no apparitions of Our Lady in Međugorje”, said Perić, whose bishopric includes Međugorje.

He pointed out that the Church had repeatedly investigated the phenomenon, starting from the early 1980s and ending with a commission which was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, as well as with the positions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2016. “The position of the chancery of this diocese has been clear and decisive: there are no credible apparitions of the Virgin Mary”, said Bishop Perić. He denied the credibility of apparitions during the first days of the Međugorje phenomenon, saying that there were numerous contradictions in the statements of the alleged visionaries of Our Lady in Međugorje. “Once we transcribed audio tapes containing conversations between pastoral staff in the parish of Međugorje in the first week with the boys and girls who claimed that they had seen Virgin Mary, we can say with certainty that alleged apparitions are not credible. And, if Our Lady, Mother of Jesus, has not appeared – and [she] has not – then they are alleged visionaries, these are alleged messages and alleged secrets”, said the Bishop of Mostar.

Bishop Perić also spoke about “ambiguous phenomena” connected with alleged apparitions, claiming that the “woman who appears” in Međugorje behaves quite differently from the true Mary, Mother of God, according to apparitions which the Church has so far recognized as authentic. “She often does not speak first, she has a strange laugh, she disappears after certain questions and then returns; she obeys the ‘visionaries’ and priests to come down from the hill to the church, although reluctantly. She is not sure how much time she will be visible, allows some of the visionaries to stand on her veil which is on the ground, allows others to touch her clothes and body. This really is not Our Lady from the Gospel”, said Bishop Ratko Perić.

Pope Francis recently appointed his special envoy to Međugorje, Bishop Henryk Hoser from Poland, who will study the pastoral issues. Hoser will visit Međugorje, but he will not launch a new investigation of the alleged apparitions of Our Lady, which supposedly began in 1981 and continue to this day. He is expected to collect information about the pastoral situation and the needs of the faithful who come to Međugorje from around the world. Local Bishop: There Were No Apparitions of Virgin Mary in Međugorje, Total Croatia News, 27/2/17

What should Catholics who are believers in Medjugorje do now, in order to please God?

The following advice from a priest expert in the matter of alleged private apparitions spells out the only legitimate path for any sincere Catholic to take, having been made aware of the truth about Medjugorje…

The simple fact is that most claimed revelations are false. It is extremely foolish, therefore, to devote oneself to propagating a disapproved or dubious message, which might actually come from the Father of Lies. If one day you see its falsity for yourself, you will regret it enormously, and be unable to undo the harm done to others. On the other hand, there are more than enough approved messages to spread, if you want to spread them. It is better to keep to what is countenanced by the Church, than to go it alone and risk being a dupe of the devil. (Father Peter Joseph, Apparitions True and False, Christian Order, October, 2004)  

 

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! Immaculate Heart of Mary,  pray for us!

 

Comments invited…

 

Church Authority – Who Decides Which Apparitions Are True? 

Editor writes…

The reported visions at Fátima gathered widespread attention, as numerous pilgrims began to visit the site. After a canonical inquiry, the Bishop of Leiria-Fátima officially declared the visions of Fátima as “worthy of belief” in October 1930, officially permitting the belief of Our Lady of Fátima.

From time to time, I find myself in conversation with well-meaning Catholics who are followers of Medjugorje and, typically, assure me that they won’t be “converted” – no point in discussing it, as they won’t change their mind.  I met one such Catholic again this past week and it renewed my interest in the matter of how to distinguish true from false apparitions, and why it is that those who follow false apparitions, especially the Medjugorje phenomenon, are so wholeheartedly convinced of its truth.

In almost every case where I’ve met a person convinced that Our Lady is appearing at Medjugorje, the person tells me that they had a profound spiritual experience, that their lives were completely transformed by Medjugorje.  Typically, though, and very tellingly, these same people are – in every case known to me – accepting also of the “reforms” of Vatican II and devoted to the “saint” popes who promoted it.  They have no problems with the new Mass and all the liturgical abuses that have flowed from it.

It seems clear, then, that without an authentic  grasp  of the centrality of Catholic Tradition across the board, in every area of our lives, no adherent of a false apparition will ever be convinced of the need to turn away from unapproved apparitions.  In the most recent conversation, the person expressed some surprise as she asked me if it were the case then, that I would only accept (and promote) approved apparitions.  This is the elementary Catholic position – we were always taught to be sceptical of alleged apparitions until the one person in the Church with authority to pronounce otherwise – the Bishop – told us that this or that alleged apparition had now been thoroughly investigated and was either worthy of belief or not worthy of belief.  Below, a very good article setting out the traditional position of the Church on apparitions, and it is worth noting that the author touches on a number of alleged apparitions in our times, including Medjugorje…

Evaluating Private Apparitions – from website Unam Sanctam Catholicam

One of the most appalling phenomenon in the modern Church is the rise in false visionaries who draw away large segments of the faithful into sectarian groups intent on promoting their own visionary. These range from the very large movements like Medjugorje to the very small, like Our Lady of Emmitsburg. In America and Europe, much credence has recently been given to an anonymous web-based locutionist known only as “Maria Divine Mercy.” That an unknown locutionist can get such a following posting anonymous messages on a website is astounding, but it is a symptom of the sad state of affairs in Catholic spirituality these days, where the position of many Catholics seems to be to give implicit credence to any alleged apparition without a thought. As with other issues, the answer is to look to Catholic Tradition to bring back some sanity to the problem of evaluating alleged apparitions. In this article, we will take a very broad look at the Catholic Tradition regarding how alleged private revelations are to be judged, looking at questions of the character of the visionaries, the content of the apparitions, the manner in which they are delivered, as well as guidelines of a more general nature that teach us how we should dispose our mind whenever looking at these questions.

It is difficult to point to a single place in Tradition where we can see all of the following principles crystallized, and this article will draw on the summary already provided in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, which itself draws on the teachings of several popes and theologians, especially of the 17th-19th centuries. Special mention should be made of the scholar-pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) who wrote extensively on this topic.

Preliminary Remarks

Two preliminary remarks to help frame this discussion:

(1) According to Tradition, it has always fallen to the local Ordinary to judge the legitimacy or illegitimacy of any private apparition. This is why, in the story of St. Juan Diego, it is not the pope but Bishop Juan Zumarraga whom Juan Diego must convince; when Zumarraga is skeptical of Juan Diego’s claims initially, we do not see Juan Diego saying, “I will wait for the Pope to weigh in on this” and appealing to Rome; it remains the bishop whom Juan Diego must convince, because final judgment rests with the local Ordinary. This is the Tradition of the Church, and this Tradition still maintains the force of law per the 1978 CDF document cumbersomely named “Norms for Judging Alleged Apparitions and Revelations”, which notes that “the foremost authority to inquire and to intervene belongs to the local Ordinary” [1]. An episcopal conference or even the Holy See may intervene, but only if specifically requested by the Ordinary; thus authority remains with the Ordinary in these cases, which means that those proponents of certain private revelations who protest their legitimacy based on the fact that “the Vatican has not condemned it” are thinking of the problem amiss, especially if the apparition in question has actually been condemned by the local Ordinary. It has never been the Vatican’s prerogative to either approve or condemn; this action is done by the local Ordinary.

(2) In American law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. In Catholic Tradition, an apparition is judged false until proven true. This is the case because in any given situation the possibility of a true apparition is relatively small. Therefore, the Church must approach all apparitions from the standpoint that they are probably false until such a time when a miraculous occurrence gives reason to believe they are true. In fact, until October 14, 1966, Canons 1399 and 2388 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law forbid anyone to circulate publications about new revelations, appearances, miracles, etc. until they had been expressly approved by the local Ordinary. While the new discipline allows for such publications provided they contain nothing contrary to faith or morals, the fundamental disposition of the Church has not changed: an alleged apparition is presumed to be false until positive evidence can be brought forward demonstrating that it is not.

A Serious Business

The Catholic Encyclopedia warns that dealing with apparitions is a serious business:

“Illusions in the matter of revelations often have a serious consequence, as they usually instigate to exterior acts, such as teaching a doctrine, propagating a new devotion, prophesying, launching into an enterprise that entails expense. There would be no evil to fear if these impulses came from God, but it is entirely otherwise when they do not come from God, which is much more frequently the case and is difficult of discernment.”
In ancient Israel, false prophesy was considered so serious as to merit death on the part of the false prophet, who was guilty of not only misleading his people but of blaspheming God by saying in God’s name things which God had not commanded him to say. [2] Notice that it says that it is difficult to discern if a message comes from God or not, and that it is “much more frequently the case” that it is false. In the history of the Church, it is much more likely that any given person who believes they are receiving messages from heaven is mistaken than not, and because of the very serious consequences that can flow from propagation of alleged messages, those investigating these phenomenon must do so in a manner that is exacting and methodical. It should be noted that to be methodical is not to be judgmental; many supporters of Medjugorje, for example, criticize those who seek to look at the evidence in a straightforward and scientific manner as being judgmental. This intent is not to condemn something prematurely, but neither must we praise and approve something prematurely. This methodical, exacting scrutiny is a must because, as the Encyclopedia says, the truth is “difficult of discernment.”

In judging the apparitions and the messages themselves (not counting whatever is found about about the life of the seers), the Church uses a guilty until proven innocent method:

“To prove that a revelation is Divine (at least in its general outlines), the method of exclusion is sometimes employed. It consists in proving that neither the demon nor the ecstatic’s own ideas have interfered (at least on important points) with God’s action, and that no one has retouched the revelation after its occurrence.”

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

As mentioned above, since the vast majority of apparitions are false, and since positive evidence of supernatural activity is necessary for it to be declared otherwise, the Church takes a “guilty until proven innocent” approach. In this, she first tries to see if the apparition can be attributed to anything else: demonic activity, hallucination, fraud, etc. The investigator ought to finely comb through every detail of the supposed apparition looking for possibilities of corrupted doctrine and non-supernatural origins. Only if all of these other possibilities are ruled out is it finally admitted that the apparition may be divine. Unlike an American jury trial where a verdict of Not Guilty implies innocence, there is a neutral verdict the Ordinary may render: Non constat de supernaturalitate. This judgment means it is not clear that the alleged apparition is false but neither is it manifestly true. Therefore, when judging private apparitions, “not condemned” does not equate to “approved”, because there is a third category – neither condemned as false nor approved as true.

Seven Questions

The Encyclopedia goes on to list seven questions to be examined when looking into the character of the alleged visionary, upon whose credibility much rests. Again, we see the process of the Church attempting to find any other explanation for the phenomenon before declaring them supernatural in origin:

(1) What are his natural qualities or defects, from a physical, intellectual, and especially moral standpoint? If the information is favourable (if the person is of sound judgment, calm imagination; if his acts are dictated by reason and not by enthusiasm, etc.), many causes of illusion are thereby excluded. However, a momentary aberration is still possible.

(2) How has the person been educated? Can the knowledge of the visionary have been derived from books or from conversations with theologians?

(3) What are the virtues exhibited before and after the revelation? Has he made progress in holiness and especially in humility? The tree can be judged by its fruits. [In looking at this criteria, we could perhaps call into question the speech of Medjugorje visionary Vicka, 20 October, 1981, she asks Mary to “paralyze someone; strike someone on the head” in regards to Fr. Jozo’s trial. She then says, “I know it is a sin to speak so, but what can we do?” Is this the words of someone making progress in grace and holiness?]

(4) What extraordinary graces of union with God have been received? The greater they are the greater the probability in favour of the revelation, at least in the main.

(5) Has the person had other revelations that have been judged Divine? Has he made any predictions that have been clearly realized?

(6) Has he been subjected to heavy trials? It is almost impossible for extraordinary favours to be conferred without heavy crosses; for both are marks of God’s friendship, and each is a preparation for the other. [Thus visionaries who are living comfortable lives of material prosperity which they acquired because of their apparitions are notably suspect]

(7) Does he practice the following rules: fear deception; be open with your director; do not desire to have revelations?

These questions pertain to the character of the visionary himself. Of course, we must also scrutinize the content of the messages: is there an authentic account of the alleged messages? Do they agree with recognized doctrine and the facts of history or science? Does it help one towards salvation, etc.?

Clear Signs of False Messages

It is interesting that the Encyclopedia goes on to list signs of false messages, not only with the content (which is obvious) but with the manner in which they are delivered. We will examine these questions and then look at how they can be brought to bear in examining contemporary apparitions.

The first sign of a false message noted is that “They [the apparitions] reply to idle questions, or descend to providing amusement for an assembly.” Also, “a revelation is suspect if it is commonplace, telling only what is to be found in every book. It is then probable that the visionary is unconsciously repeating what he has learnt by reading.” Do we find that the dignity and seriousness which become the Divine Majesty in an apparition, or do the spirits “speak in a trivial manner”?

Finally, the Encyclopedia asks: “If any work has been begun as a result of the revelation, has it produced great spiritual fruit? Have the sovereign pontiffs and the bishops believed this to be so, and have they assisted the progress of the work?” If not, this is a sign that the messages are false.

To compare these criteria with some well known apparitions: Let us look at Medjugorje, where the seers ask idle questions again and again: What happened to so and so? When is so and so going to get out of jail? We haven’t seen so and so for a few weeks; where are they? (see the messages of 9/17/81, 10/30/81 and 12/2/81 for this type of idle questioning about things unrelated to spiritual things) At one point, Mary supposedly even rebukes them for their curiosity (9/30/81), yet the seers continue their line of idle questioning!

The second sign of a false message had to do with messages that were commonplace or could have been found in any book. Again, going to Medjugorje, it would be difficult to argue that they are not commonplace. Their non-stop banal drones for peace sound like they could have come from a statement by the USCCB document. But one would imagine the messages could sound commonplace after being repeated about 35,000 times.

As far as warning about vocabulary that is excessively trivial, what could we say about Bayside, where Jesus tells Veronica Lueken that Americans will be “mowed down” by Communists with machine guns and that “many shall die at the hands of these ruffians” [3] Would Jesus use words like “ruffians” or phrases like “mowed down”? Or again, Bayside has Christ misspeaking, which Veronica tries to cover up: “There are many armors worn by My children that will protect them from these Satanists. I know that those who are satirists—I call them satirists, My child. [4]” Satirists? Clearly Veronica misspoke, attempting to say Satanists and then trying to correct her embarrassing blunder.

What about the final criteria about good works, and the assistance and support of the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops?

In the case of Medjugorje, Garabandal and Bayside, the answer os a resounding no. The Bishop of Mostar, the one is the greatest postion to know the facts of the story about Medjugorje and discern the truth, has frequently denied the visions any authenticity, and neither Pope John Paul II nor Benedict XVI accorded any merit of truthfulness to the visions. In fact, the Bishop of Mostar expressely forbid pilgrimage to Medjugorje:

“Therefore it is not permissible to organise pilgrimages and other manifestations motivated by the supernatural character attributed to the facts of Medjugorje” [5].

This ban was reconfirmed June 30th, 1996 by none other than Cardinal Bertone. This same document states the Vatican’s position on Medjugorje as of 1996. Note the reliance upon the judgment of the local Ordinary:

“The Vatican position, which also reflects that of local bishops in the former Yugoslav republic was outlined in a letter by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Archbishop Bertone cited a 1991 report by the Yugoslavian bishops which said that, after much study, it could not be confirmed that supernatural events were occurring at Medjugorje. From what was said, it followed that official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, understood as a place of authentic Marian apparitions, should not be organized, Archbishop Bertone said. Such pilgrimages would be in contradiction with what the local bishops had determined, he added.”

As for Pope Benedict XVI, in 2006, Bishop Peric of Mostar discussed Medjugorje with Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to the Vatican. In a summary of the discussion published in his diocesan newspaper, Bishop Peric said he had reviewed the history of the apparitions with the pope, who already was aware of the main facts from his time as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

“The Holy Father told me: We at the congregation always asked ourselves how can any believer accept as authentic apparitions that occur every day and for so many years?”

Bishop Peric also noted that Yugoslavian bishops in 1991 issued a statement that “it cannot be confirmed that supernatural apparitions or revelations are occurring” at Medjugorje. Nevertheless, millions of pilgrims each year continue to disobey the Bishop and spurn his authority, producing chaos and terrible fruits, something that in itself is a witness against the apparitions. The same can be said about Garabandal and Bayside, both of which are vehemently opposed by the local Ordinaries, past and present.

Conclusion: A Call to Precision and Obedience

These are the types of criteria the Church must follow when examining alleged apparitions, not so-called fruits (which are always subjective), but hard evidence. Furthermore, no matter what the outcome of the Church’s decision is, one must always submit to the authority of the Bishop; in the case of Medjugorje, the Bishop (who by the way has led pilgrimages to Lourdes and loves the Blessed Mother dearly) has had his authority flounted at every turn. This in itself is enough to make the visions suspect. There is no cause for anyone to get bent out of shape just because somebody is trying to examine these things rationally. We have to make absolutely certain that a vision is true before we proclaim it so; otherwise, false apparitions and false prophets, like in Old Testament Israel, are able to cause much mayhem.   Source

NOTES

[1] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Norms for Judging Alleged Apparitions and Revelations”, 3:1
[2] Deut. 18:20
[3]October 1, 1988
[4] November 1, 1985
[5] Jan 29, 1987, “Communiqué of the Yugoslav Bishops Concerning the Facts of Medjugorje” (Jan 29, 1987)

Comments invited…

Scots Bishop, John Keenan of Paisley, Publicly Supports Medjugorje Hoax…

The Editor writes… 

The stated judgment of the local, investigating Bishop, the Church authority on alleged apparitions, is that the claimed “apparitions” at Medjugorje are not true     Note: the Vatican investigation was launched only because the defiant “seers” refused to accept the decision of their Bishop.

Still, we find “pilgrimages” being organised against the stated wishes of the local Bishop, with priests and bishops setting very bad example by going there and giving credence to what is, effectively, the Devil’s answer to Fatima.  Click here to read the local Bishop’s statement about NOT giving publicity and credibility to this hoax. 

It’s shocking, therefore, but not too surprising to us, to have to report that one of the Scottish Bishops – Bishop John Keenan of Paisley – has defied the wishes of the local Ordinary by accompanying a group called Mary’s Meals (which, from my own, personal – albeit limited – experience of them is up to its neck in Medjugorje) to that diabolical “shrine”. 

Bishop Keenan said: “I was very glad that my first experience of Medjugorje was at the invitation of Mary’s Meals, in order to bless the new centre. We gathered here as a family; Mary’s Meals supporters from Croatia, from the Czech Republic, from Spain, from Italy, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, from Austria, from Scotland and some from Ireland as well.
“As the Mary’s Meals movement grows bigger, there is this sense of the need to return to the source – the wellspring of Mary’s Meals. Therefore, the new Mary’s Meals centre locates itself in Medjugorje where everything began. It allows many people from different countries to be introduced to Mary’s Meals and hopefully take the movement back to their own countries.”

Read the whole report here – unashamedly posted on the website of the Diocese of Paisley. 

Comments invited especially from those who continue to insist that Bishop Keenan is “the orthodox Scottish Bishop,” to which I unfailingly reply:  Yeah, right!  About as “orthodox” as his mentor, Pope Francis.  Yip. THAT orthodox… 

Can’t resist adding that every time I remember Bishop Keenan saying, on his episcopal appointment, that he wanted to “bring Pope Francis’ vision of the Church to Paisley” I have a quiet smile to myself, as I look forward to the spiritual, religious and moral cartwheels he’ll have to turn  if when we get a really sound, traditional pope.  That WILL be fun and worry not, I’ll devote an entire thread to it, be assured…  

Medjugorje Fanatics Attack Bishop Perić – calling him “Satan Incarnate”…

Extracts below From the Athanasius of Mostar to Henryk of Medjugorje

Introduction

A news item was published recently in several media reports that the retired bishop of Warsawa-Praga and archbishop ad personam Henryk Hoser, embarked upon his assignment as the Apostolic Visitor for Medjugorje. The very information itself has caused a lot of reactions in the virtual world. Once again, the battlefield has been opened between those who hold the Medjugorje apparitions as absolute and those who consider them unbelievable. When along with this news, another item was published that the Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, Ratko Perić, [pictured left] as the bishop on whose territory the parish of Medjugorje is located, received archbishop Hoser and Luigi Pezzuto, the Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that on this occasion he expressed his respect for the Holy See’s decision, he offered archbishop Hoser his cooperation and wished him God’s abundant assistance in fulfilling his mission, he then reiterated clearly and unequivocally what has been the constant position of the Diocesan Chancery of Mostar – that he does not consider any “apparition”, any “message”, any “secret” and any “parchment” as authentic, including the first seven or ten days of the so-called apparitions, the reactions turned into open insults and hostility.

The Queen of Peace or the Queen of Unrest

Even just a quick look at the comments made on a few of the most popular portals, both secular and religious, leads one to conclude that there is very little decentness and objectivity in them, and instead a lot of sarcasm, bitterness and gross insults. On the secularist side, the tones generally range from ridicule to the denigration of all sides, which can be understood regarding the approach and credentials of those commenting. Yet it is very sad to observe how on the so-called religious portals, as well as on official and personal profiles on the social networks, the largest number of commentators-believers present scandalously rude insults. In this regard, what is particularly sad is the way the advocates of the Medjugorje apparitions, those who readily refer to the Medjugorje Gospa (ie. Our Lady) as Mother and Queen of Peace, are so full of unrest and such intolerance, that one’s blood freezes in one’s veins due to their attacks against bishop Perić, in wishing that he would croak, to accusations that he is a KGB agent, a hardened materialist and nonbeliever, even going as far to claim that he is Satan incarnate…

We ask ourselves the question: how can one properly understand the decision of the Holy See to appoint an apostolic visitor and thereby, probably, completely relieve bishop Perić of his jurisdiction over the parish of Medjugorje? Even though the mandate of archbishop Hoser has been provided by the Holy See, and although it is exclusively of a pastoral character, we do not believe that with this appointment, bishop Perić is left with any authority for administering that parish but that it has, de facto, become a parish under the jurisdiction of the Holy See. This might itself seem unfair to bishop Perić, even as a sign of his downgrading and a reflection of incompetence, but it really does not have to be so.
Before we discuss what we mean by this, we would like to say a few words about Bishop Ratko Perić himself, and how we see his role in the context of the Medjugorje phenomenon.

The role of Bishop Perić within the Medjugorje phenomenon

Bishop Perić and his closest associates, as well as his predecessor, bishop Žanić and his associates, have done a great deal to reveal the lies of Medjugorje, though very slowly. While there are still a far greater number of those who unquestionably accept the Medjugorje apparitions as credible, one should not ignore the fact that many are asking more and more questions and coming to one of two conclusions: that they are a simple manipulation or that it is not a question of the apparition of Our Lady, but of an apparition of the Devil, as “Fra” Bože would say. However, this time not in the person of bishop Perić, but of “the One who divides” from head to toe.
In this light, the role of bishop Perić, and his closest associates are praiseworthy, because they have shown incredible strength and faithfulness in the defense of orthodoxy, while the sacrifices and insults they have had to bear and keep on bearing, confirm their level of concern in defending the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje, who is spreading unrest all around her. For us then, as we have already mentioned in a previous text, bishop Perić, due to his clarity and strength, is similar to St. Athanasius, who in defense of true faith, had to flee into exile five times due to the attacks of the Arian heretics of his time. Or even more beautifully, the title of “Athanasius of Mostar” belongs to him, as was attributed to him for the same reasons by the President of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Želimir Puljić.
Read the entire article here…

Comment 

There is no shortage of evidence to prove that Medjugorje is a non-apparition, whether a deliberate hoax or a diabolical phenomenon, who knows, but the worry is that it is taking people away from Fatima.  It’s been argued that the Fatima Message – and pilgrimages/events at that shrine – is being diminished and even ignored, due to the drive to promote Medjugorje.  What do you think?  And how did you vote in the poll?

Orthodox Vs Traditional Faith…

 

Catholics will please God by holding to true beliefs and correct moral norms.   The Mass you attend is secondary…

Editor, Catholic Truth writes…

I keep finding myself in conversations with diocesan Catholics – defined simply as those who attend the new Mass  – who consider that being orthodox in doctrine and morals is the most important thing today, not which Mass we attend.  The point is always made that, for those brought up in the new Mass, with no alternative, it’s all they have, and therefore, surely the most important thing is to be wholly orthodox, stick to right beliefs and moral norms.  When I ask if they go along with ecumenical events, I get a variety of responses tolerant of through to positive about ecumenical activities. To date, I’ve never met with an outright denunciation of ecumenism. 

Ditto, these Catholics seldom denounce the false apparitions at Medjugorje, instead focusing on the adherents in their circles who have experienced “conversions” and vocations, including priestly ordinations.  All wonderful people. 

I’m told too, that “traditionalists” need to stop talking so much about the Mass and focus on God more.  Don’t go on the “attack” in conversation with diocesan Catholics right away, to ask if X attends the old or new Mass – speak about God first.

My answers to the above have not been successful in changing hearts and minds Help!

Is Medjugorje – The Devil’s Answer To Fatima – About To Be Approved?

Medjugorje: the devil’s answer to Fatima…

“I think it’s possible to recognize the authenticity of the first [seven] apparitions as proposed by the Ruini commission,” [Archbishop Henryk] Hoser said. “Besides, it is difficult to get another verdict, because it’s difficult to believe that six seers will lie for 36 years. What they say has been consistent. They are not mentally incompetent. A strong argument for the authenticity of the apparitions is their faithfulness to the doctrine of the Church.” Click here to read the entire report. 

Fidelity to the doctrine of the Church?  You kidding?  The “Lady of Medjugorje”, the “Gospa” incites to disobedience – that’s a first. Read more here and reflect: on every occasion when Our Lady has appeared in private apparitions, when the priest or bishop has been sceptical and initially refused to entertain the apparitions as true, as in Lourdes, for example, Our Lady has exhorted the seer to obedience – never disobedience. 

The alleged seers are also known to have a loose relationship with the truth:  Dr. Gagliardi: “We could not ascertain the sincerity of the seers, but on the synchronicity of the ecstasies they were lying”

Finally, click here to read the Facts and Documents about Medjugorje and then tell us your thoughts.  Remember, in normal times the Bishop’s decision on private revelations is all that is required by the Church in judging their authenticity. The Vatican Commission was established because the “seers” refuse to accept the Bishop’s authoritative decision that nothing supernatural is taking place in Medjugorje.

So, given the widespread diabolical disorientation in the Church today, which means that the Vatican as it should be operating is AWOL, and that Pope Francis is the worst ever pontiff in the history of the Church, IS the final slap in the face to Our Lady of Fatima, in this centenary year, to be the approval of this self-evident hoaxers’ paradise – Medjugorje?

Comments invited…  

Managing Medjugorje: Vatican Cop-Out

THE EPONYMOUS FLOWER reports : ‘Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo and member of the Pontifical Commission of Inquiry, which is mandated to study the phenomenon of Medjugorje, said to have “recommended” to the pope to come to a decision on Medjugorje only on “administrative” aspects, but not on the “phenomena” and messages. [The messages are obviously heretical, if words can mean anything at all.]   medjugorje_map

The Virgin Mary is alleged to have regularly appeared at a parish of Medjugorje for the past 35 years to six “seers”, which is under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Mostar. Bishop Ratko Peric, like his predecessor Pavao Zanic (to 1993), regarded the Medjugorje phenomenon with great skepticism. Bishop Zanic declared as competent ecclesiastical authority that the alleged apparitions were “not supernatural” in character ( non constat de supernaturalitate ). This decision was supported and confirmed in 1991 by the Yugoslav Bishops’ Conference and still applies today.

People have “the right to go to Medjugorje to pray and do penance,” explained Cardinal Puljic in December for the Turkish state news agency Anadolu Agency (AA). Medjugorje “is one of the largest confessional benches, not only the Balkans, but in all of Europe, and that has to be somehow taken into account when deciding which one will meet”.
Cardinal Puljic therefore recommended to the Pope a decision to “solely” address the “administrative aspects”, responding in “no way to the question of appearances.” “When it comes to visions and messages, which are still under consideration, the Church does not move quickly. The Church does not hurry, but always arrives at a conclusion. I’m not worried about the attitude of the Holy Father or those of the CDF. “
Concerning the pilgrims, the Cardinal, that which has already been said applies: “It is important that the people who go to Medjugorje, pray for the strengthening of their faith and are comforted in returning home.”

 “Solomonic” or “Educational” solution?

Behind the scenes there has been a tug of war for years in the Vatican around Medjugorje. The Vatican became increasingly cautious, while some Church officials, including the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Schönborn, are convinced of the authenticity of the phenomenon. [Not exactly a vote of confidence.] Since the 80s, however, there has been a negative decision on Medjugorje. Since then, it is argued by proponents that Rome had not yet decided. A decision of Rome, however, not canonically necessary to be provided. Among the supporters of Medjugorje, there is the claim that Pope John Paul II. and the then faith Prefect of the CDF, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger have commented positively about Medjugorje, which has been denied in writing by Cardinal Ratzinger 1998.

In 2009 the CDF confirmed the jurisdiction of the Bosnian bishops and thus the negative decision of 1991.
In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI. finally established a Vatican commission of inquiry to examine the phenomenon of Medjugorje and bring about the much-discussed decision in Rome. The signals emanating from the Commission were negative in the matter. At the turn of 2012, the final report was placed in front of the Pope.

Since then, a decision has been delayed by some church circles, helped along by the unexpected resignation of Benedict XVI. The Commission of Inquiry had completed its work, yet remained for another two years in office until 2014.
A postponement is argued for since it is concerned that a negative decision could unsettle many believers and shake in their faith. In fact, those in the know confirm that tension is very high among Medjugorje. The danger of divisions within the Bosnian Franciscans makes the regular rounds. An argument from experience- which is not taken lightly in Rome, confirms the reluctance of Pope Francis. Francis has expressed himself repeatedly against “an addiction to apparitions and messages.”

On 6 June 2015, the Pope had himself expressed the view of an early decision on the return flight from Sarajevo. But nothing has happened since then. At the end of June, Andrea Tornielli, the papal household vaticanist said that a decision would wait until “after the summer break”, perhaps would even be given “at the Synod of Bishops”.

An “administrative” solution has presented itself after months. A decree lays on the desk of the pope which has been formulated since the spring of 2015. Medjugorje is recognized as a place of prayer, entrusted to the pastoral care of the Franciscan Order, but is subordinated to the jurisdiction and supervision of Rome. There will be no light construction because it interferes with the rights of the Mostar diocese. Public appearances of the “seers” are also suppressed or completely prevented. As far as a non-decision on the “apparitions” and “messages” it is argued that the phenomenon is still ongoing and therefore, to make a final judgment prematurely was indeed impossible. There is talk in Rome of a “Solomonic” or “educational” solution. Source 

Comment:

This is just what we expected from the Vatican,  really.  Yet another dereliction of duty.  It’s patent nonsense to say that “the phenomenon is on-going” – that’s the blankety blank problem, for goodness sake. It WILL be on-going as long as the money keeps rolling in.  Whoever said: “Medjugorje is the Devil’s answer to Fatima” was on to something.  Or perhaps you disagree? Before you say so, watch one of the “visionaries” at work in the video below…