Medjugorje: A Warning

CP&S is posting two short and current articles by Christine Niles from ‘ChurchMilitant.com‘ about the ongoing Medjugorje controversy. If anyone should continue to have any misgivings about the dubious authenticity of these apparitions, please also take the time to read the article linked to below by the renown Catholic author, Michael Davies (RIP) in 2005, and published here by ‘The Remnant Press’.

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Ruling on Medjugorge Near” – 7th June 2015.

The Pope has said the Vatican is “about to make decisions” on the controversial apparition

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The Holy Father has said a ruling on Medjugorje is near.

On the papal plane Saturday, Pope Francis said the case was now in front of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and that “[w]e are about to make decisions …”

Medjugorje has been steeped in controversy, as alleged visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary have reportedly been taking place like clockwork in the Bosnian town for more than three decades, with thousands of messages from Our Lady, some of which are doctrinally questionable.

Both bishops of the diocese with jurisdiction over the reported apparitions have condemned the visions as false. Bishop Ratko Peric, current bishop of Mostar, said

During my official visit to the Holy Father Benedict XVI, I not only expressed my doubts but also my disbelief in the “apparitions” of Medjugorje. The Holy Father, who prior to his election was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, replied with this thought: “We at the Congregation always asked ourselves how a believer could possibly accept as authentic, apparitions that occur every day for so many years?”

The most recent official message from the Vatican on the topic occurred in October 2013, in a letter from Apostolic Nuncio Carlo Maria Vigano. He issued a message to every U.S. diocese on behalf of the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith forbidding the faithful to participate in any events where “the credibility of such ‘apparitions’ would be taken for granted.”

The Vatican also reaffirmed that

with regard to the credibility of the “apparitions” in question, all should accept the declaration, dated 10 April 1991, from the Bishops of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, which asserts: “On the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations.”

The letter was sent in response to a speaking tour of one of the seers, Ivan Dragicevic, who was scheduled to speak in various American parishes. The letter clarified that the faithful were not permitted to attend such events. To this day, dioceses and parishes are not allowed to organize official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, and several of the Franciscan priests at the heart of the Medjugorje phenomenon have been suspended for disobedience.

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Vatican Cancels Another Medjugorje Event” – 9th June 2015

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has once again stepped in and canceled another Medjugorje event

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The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has once again stepped in and canceled another Medjugorje event.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the CDF, prohibited a parish in Sestola, Italy from holding a prayer meeting scheduled for June 21 where Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic, one of the Medjugorje seers, was to offer her testimony and possibly have a vision. Vicka has attended the same event over the past two years and reportedly had visions during her time there.

Last year, Mueller had to remind two Italian dioceses they could not sponsor events for Medjugorje visionaries. In March, in light of a scheduled conference with Ivan Dragicevic at a parish in St. Louis, Missouri, Archbishop Robert Carlson issued the following statement:

I have received a request from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to remind everyone that they are not to participate in events that promote the so-called visionaries of Medjugorje and in particular Mr. Ivan Dragicevic.

And just last month, another scheduled event with Ivan Dragicevic in Padua was called off after Müller intervened.

It was in response to a speaking tour by Dragicevic in 2013 that the CDF issued a letter to be sent to every American diocese forbidding the faithful to participate in any events where “the credibility of such ‘apparitions’ would be taken for granted.” The letter also reaffirmed the findings of the 1991 Yugoslavian Bishops’ Conference, which concluded that “it is not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations” at Medjugorje.

So far, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued letters forbidding Medjugorje-themed events in the United States, Italy and Spain.

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Medjugorje: A Warning – by MICHAEL DAVIES on ‘The Remnant Press’

“[…] Several years ago I was visited by some good friends with a booklet in Croatian about some apparitions allegedly taking place at Medjugorje in Yugoslavia. They wished my wife, who is Croatian, to translate it. When I had been given a resume of the alleged messages I advised my wife not to waste a second of her time translating them as, in my opinion, they did not possess a vestige of credibility. I am glad to say that these friends now share my opinion. Since that time the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje have attracted more attention and more enthusiasm almost daily, and millions of Catholics now flock there from throughout the world. The initial opposition of the then communist government of Yugoslavia was transformed into an attitude of enthusiastic co-operation once it became clear that pilgrimages to Medjugorje provided an extremely lucrative source of foreign currency.

It is obvious that the bishops and clergy of Yugoslavia have every reason to be predisposed in favor of Medjugorje. If the visions were authentic they would be a tremendous asset to the Church in a country with so many atheists and adherents of non-Catholic religions. Not only would the income from the pilgrimages benefit their poor country, but it would provide badly needed financial help for the Church. However, as Bishop Zanic explains later, only one of the Yugoslav bishops (Archbishop Franic of Split) has expressed belief in the apparitions, and not one of the hundred diocesan clergy in Hercegovina accepts them as authentic. Only two members of the 15 man Commission which examined the events at Medjugorje, accepted the authenticity of the visions (and they were both Franciscans). The Franciscans themselves are divided on the matter, but some of the most influential among them support the position of Bishop Zanic. Those who support the authenticity of the alleged apparitions have been quite unable to suggest any credible ulterior motive to explain the rejection of their authenticity by the clergy of every rank in Yugoslavia outside the Franciscan Order….”

Read the rest of this article here.

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24 Responses to Medjugorje: A Warning

  1. ginnyfree says:

    It still makes me wonder why it is that some defend this long after the Church has spoken. In the years I’ve been a Catholic, I’ve met a few otherwise faithful Catholics who vehemently defend the supposed apparitions and seers of Medjugorje and become very unhappy with one if one mentions the fact that the Church has on more than one occasion condemned said apparitions as well as the “messages” the seers receive. One woman tried to convince me that the Church’s condemnation was actually a proof of their authenticity because it is a “sign of contradiction” that is common in all true sightings, etc. I just rolled my eyes and prayed for her return to obedience. Thanks for the reminder. Hopefully a few will concede they’ve been duped and return. God bless. Ginnyfree.

  2. toadspittle says:

    “We at the Congregation always asked ourselves how a believer could possibly accept as authentic, apparitions that occur every day for so many years?”
    Why should the frequency of “apparitions” be a valid objection? If The Virgin Mary only “appeared” five times in any particular “grotto,” would that make it all right?

    What is indisputable is – that whenever and wherever she does show up – business booms, regardless of whether it’s “genuine” or not. And that’s what counts.
    Cynical? …Yes, a little

  3. JabbaPapa says:

    It still makes me wonder why it is that some defend this long after the Church has spoken

    Because the Church has not, so far, gone so far as to actually condemn the Medjugorje “apparitions” as such, though all signs do seem to point towards her doing exactly that in the near enough future.

    Anything to do with private apparitions and private revelations should in any case be held as part of a private relationship between a seer, the Catholic Church and God with His saints and angels. And certainly not turned into a non-stop circus.

    because it is a “sign of contradiction” that is common in all true sightings

    This is the exact opposite of the truth — speaking from direct experience, a true private revelation is necessarily coherent with the Truth of the Revelation. And no prophet can truly contradict the Prophets of the Lord — only the Christ among living men has ever had any such Authority, and He Himself refrained from doing so except in some sundry matters of mere detail and religious practice.

    A sign that opposes the Law, opposes the Living Word of God, is not of God, but of the Enemy.

  4. JabbaPapa says:

    What is indisputable is – that whenever and wherever she does show up – business booms

    Not in my experience — I’d say the opposite, actually.

  5. geoffkiernan says:

    ‘When ever she shows up ( assume you are referring to the Blessed Virgin) business booms, regardless of whether its GENUINE or not’??? What does that say to you Toad? Just curious…

  6. toadspittle says:

    “The initial opposition of the then communist government of Yugoslavia was transformed into an attitude of enthusiastic co-operation once it became clear that pilgrimages to Medjugorje provided an extremely lucrative source of foreign currency.”
    That’s why “some defend it,” Ginny.
    “One woman tried to convince me that the Church’s condemnation was actually a proof of their authenticity because it is a “sign of contradiction” that is common in all true sightings, etc. “
    I’ve heard that cited regarding the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection. The sad fact is people will believe virtually anything – the sole proviso being that it must be utterly absurd. We all agree on that, don’t we?

  7. toadspittle says:

    It says, “Treat all reports of “sightings,” be it Holy virgins, or little green men from outer space, with the greatest possible scepticism,” Geoff.

    St. Teresa of Avila is reported as having said, “The greater the absurdity, the more I believe,” but I confess I can’t find a solid attribution for this.
    Anyway, I can’t do that sort of thing, personally. For a number of reasons.

  8. toadspittle says:

    ….Then you must tell us more, Jabba. I’m riveted.

  9. geoffkiernan says:

    Toad: “Treat all sightings…………with the greatest possible scepticism” God would prefer it and insist on it . I agree it must be an imperative, such is ‘that one that goes about the world seeking whom to devour’. I know however you are not precluding His ability to allow such phenomena if he chose too, or are you?

  10. toadspittle says:

    “I agree it must be an imperative, such is ‘that one that goes about the world seeking whom to devour’. I know however you are not precluding His ability to allow such phenomena if he chose too, or are you?”

    I assume you are referring to God, rather than Satan, here in the second sentence, Geoff. It is unclear. But it also raises another question, if these “events” are indeed supernatural – how can we know who is responsible out of those two?

    What I will willingly concede – regarding this highly dubious topic – is that the vast majority of those who “see” apparitions and such, are not liars. They genuinely believe they have been blessed with a supernatural vision from above. They see it with their own eyes. Because they go to these places with the intention of seeing it. Regardless whether they are in Medjugorje, or Fatima, or wherever. Others around them don’t see it – but that “proves” nothing does it? Except maybe the ones who don’t see it are sinful. Or whatever. People go to Lourdes expecting to be cured of an illness, and occasionally their expectation is fulfilled. It’s all an extension of that, really. (Or so I diffidently suggest.)

  11. JabbaPapa says:

    No can do, Toad, sorry — not even in private at the Peaceable Kingdom. (though I would be able to provide some circumstancial details)

  12. JabbaPapa says:

    The utterly absurd is a matter of experience for me.

    The vast majority of divine interventions do not seem to violate Physics — a tiny minority however can do so, which has happened to me at least once.

    It is extremely weird.

  13. geoffkiernan says:

    Toad: ‘He who goes about seeking someone/thing to devour’ refers to satin. (I then refer to God’ ability to permit such phenomena.) But now that you mention it….I agree Satin is also capable of such deception hence the utmost scepticism required. The great proof of which is which lies in ,1stly does any message received contravene Church Doctrine? and 2ndly does the Church approve? I think I got is right. In any event a large dose of scepticism will not be wasted

  14. toadspittle says:

    Geoff, are you on the tinnies, Mate?
    You can usually spell Satan all right, if I recall.

  15. toadspittle says:

    “The utterly absurd is a matter of experience for me.”
    Me, too. I spent forty years in the loony media, don’t forget.

  16. geoffkiernan says:

    Satin/ Satan…. I do know the difference. What about giving me a break? What is a tinnie anyway?

  17. geoffkiernan says:

    I have noticed nobody has open a book as to which way the HF will go…. For or against. The Holy Father’ many and varied previous utterances have made it no better that a 50/50 wager, sad to say.

  18. toadspittle says:

    Strewth.
    Are you in the habit of drinking your Fosters from a flamin’ glass then. Geoff?
    What are you – some kind of limey pillow-biter*?

    * Poofter.

  19. toadspittle says:

    I think it’s a pretty safe bet he’s “straight,” Geoff.

  20. kathleen says:

    No, I don’t agree at all Toad.

    For those who have been blessed with a genuine supernatural experience, it was the very last thing they either expected or sought. And look how such a vision changed their lives towards increased purity and holiness of life! (I’m thinking of St. Paul, the little seers at Fatima, Lourdes, etc, and even some of our friends, among hundreds of others where heavenly visions have been clearly genuine and from God.)

    Yet together with the grace bestowed on those who have peeped through the veil that separates us from this life to the next, comes a very heavy cross of suffering at the same time. Not all of us weaklings could bear such a burden of responsibility; so Our Lord only grants it to His chosen few.

    The Medjugorje phenomena however is so evidently a scam. Fallen angel that he is, with superior powers to man, Satan will mimic true heavenly apparitions for his own ends; that is why we must ALWAYS defer to the Magisterium of the Church before pronouncing definitely on the validity of an apparition.

    Michael Davis saw through the Medjugorje ‘apparitions’ right from the start, and was berated by many who had been taken in by them. He wisely notes that: “Medjugorje was a means being utilized by Satan to subvert the message of Fatima”. The message of Fatima is so important for our day and age, that to “subvert” it was a cunning and cruel trick of the Devil’s. Beware!

  21. toadspittle says:

    “For those who have been blessed with a genuine supernatural experience,”
    But who’s to say it’s genuine, Kathleen? The person who thinks they’ve experienced it? …The Magisterium? How does it know? It can only guess.

    We will get nowhere with this. Wish it would stop raining.

  22. JabbaPapa says:

    But who’s to say it’s genuine, Kathleen?

    The Christ, and God’s Saints and Angels, and all souls.

  23. toadspittle says:

    You might as well say, “The Man on the Clapham Omnibus, and The Fellows of All Souls, and The Dagenham Girl Pipers.

  24. Gertrude says:

    It’s very strange. Rumblings from Rome imply that the Vatican will not approve these apparitions, and yet the Medugorje website seems to thin otherwise:

    A report in the Croatian newspaper Vecernji List says that the Vatican is taking steps to restrict the Medjugorje visionaries from witnessing around the world because they do not have sufficient theological knowledge and are often left unsupported and without enough strong links with Church institutions.

    It adds that the Church authorities do not have a problem with the visionaries transmitting messages and will ensure the seers are protected with supervision and ties to Church structures.

    The report also says that no decision will be made on the apparitions until they have ended, which is likely to be after the last visionary has died.

    The parish of Medjugorje will come under greater scrutiny by the Holy See which is satisfied with the pastoral work of the local Franciscans, but not with everything that is happening with the visonaries and around them. ”

    We shall see.

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