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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:10 pm 
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Leo Daly and Starbright, among others, created this response to criticism of Medjugorje. I believe it has been posted before, but Hopper asked if we could make it a "sticky" and I believe that is a great idea, one that I should have implemented long ago. There are new developments with the Vatican removing the jurisdiction over Medjugorje from the local Bishop's Conference, so please, everyone, let's suggest some additions and/or ammendments to the below document to make it fully update and factually persuasive.



Criticism 1: There is too much emphasis on the Virgin Mary at Medjugorje.

At Medjugorje, the Virgin Mary does not come of her own accord but has been sent by God:

25th April 1997
"Dear children! Today I call you to have your life be connected with God the Creator, because only in this way will your life have meaning and you will comprehend that God is love. God sends me to you out of love, that I may help you to comprehend that without Him there is no future or joy and, above all, there is no eternal salvation. Little children, I call you to leave sin and to accept prayer at all times, that you may in prayer come to know the meaning of your life. God gives Himself to him who seeks Him. Thank you for having responded to my call."

25th September 1994
"Dear children! I rejoice with you and I invite you to prayer. Little children, pray for my intention. Your prayers are necessary to me, through which I desire to bring you closer to God. He is your salvation. God sends me to help you and to guide you towards paradise, which is your goal. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray. Thank you for having responded to my call.

25th January 1999
"Dear children! I again invite you to prayer. You have no excuse to work more because nature still lies in deep sleep. Open yourselves in prayer. Renew prayer in your families. Put Holy Scripture in a visible place in your families, read it, reflect on it and learn how God loves His people. His love shows itself also in present times because He sends me to call you upon the path of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call."

25th March 1990
"Dear children! I am with you even if you are not conscious of it. I want to protect you from everything that Satan offers you and through which he wants to destroy you. As I bore Jesus in my womb, so also, dear children, do I wish to bear you into holiness. God wants to save you and sends you messages through men, nature, and so many things which can only help you to understand that you must change the direction of your life. Therefore, little children, understand also the greatness of the gift which God is giving you through me, so that I may protect you with my mantle and lead you to the joy of life. Thank you for having responded to my call."

21st March 1985
"Dear children! I wish to keep on giving messages and therefore today I call you to live and accept my messages! Dear children, I love you and in a special way I have chosen this parish, one more dear to me than the others, in which I have gladly remained when the Almighty sent me. Therefore I call on you - accept me, dear children, that it might go well with you. Listen to my messages! Thank you for having responded to my call."

So Mary has been sent to help bring people back to God. In a message on 26th June 1981 Mary said:

"I have come to tell you that God exists. I am here because there are many true believers. I wish to be with you to convert and to reconcile the whole world."

The focus of Medjugorje is on God and not on Mary. The miracles that take place are caused by God and not by Mary. Every message teaches people how to get closer to God, by prayer, fasting, reading the Bible, confession and the Eucharist. These are basic teachings of the Catholic Church on how to progress on the journey of faith and are not focused on Mary but on God. Mary said to the visionaries that if they had to choose between having a vision and going to Holy Mass, they should choose Holy Mass, because that is where they would find her Son.

Criticism 2: The Medjugorje visionaries are being disobedient to the Church

No order from any bishop can actually stop the visionaries having visions but bishops can try to place a gag order on the Franciscans and remove the seers from Church property.

The visionaries stopped having their visions in the Church at the request of Bishop Zanic (previous bishop of Mostar). Bishops Zanic and Peric (current bishop of Mostar) have tried to stop Medjugorje from promoting the visions by telling the visionaries to stop claiming that they have been seeing Mary. But this has not been done officially, just mentioned in a homily, therefore as far as the visionaries are concerned it is hearsay. Besides, the Bishop has no authority to stop a human being from claiming apparitions anyway, no bishop has. They only have the authority to make a judgement on behalf of the church for others to follow.

According to a decree in 1966 by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine and the Faith, seers do not need ecclesiastical approval for private revelations:

A. Ecclesiastical permission is not required for publication of revelations, visions, miracles or for the
frequenting of non-recognized places of apparitions.

A decree of the "Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine and the Faith" was published in the "Official Acts of
the Holy See" (A.A.S.) 58/16, dated December 29.1966.

Articles 1399 and 2318 of Canon Law are abrogated by this decree.

This decree of abrogation was approved October 14, 1966 by His Holiness the Sovereign Pontiff Paul VI. who ordered at the same time its publication.

This approval by the Holy Father took place during an audience accorded to His Eminence Cardinal Ottaviani,
Pro-Prefect for the "Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine and the Faith."

The decree was made in Rome. November 15, 1966. It bears the signatures of:

A. Cardinal Ottaviani. Pro-Prefect

P. Parente. Secretary

The decree took effect three months after its publication, hence on March 29.1967.

Canon 1399

The Canon 1399 forbade by right the publication of certain books such as those that deal with revelations, visions, prophecies and miracles.

This Canon has been repealed. This means that as far as these publications are concerned, the prohibition is lifted as to their being bound by ecclesiastical law. This means that henceforth: Catholics are permitted without need of Imprimatur, or of NIhil Obstat. or any other permission. to publish accounts of revelations, visions, prophecies and miracles. Of course these publications must not put in danger the Faith or the Morals: this is the general rule which every Catholic must follow in all his actions, even journalists. especially Journalists.

There is hence no longer any prohibition concerning the narrative of seers. be they recognized or not by Ecclesiastical Authority.

All the more reason is it permitted for Catholics to frequent places of Apparitions, even those not recognized by the Ordinaries of the diocese or by the Holy Father Granted that the Catholic visitors who frequent these places must respect the Faith and the Morals. However, they are not subject to any ecclesiastical discipline, not even for their public prayers.

Permission is required only for the celebration of Holy Mass or any other religious service.

Canon 2318

Canon 2318 carried penalties against those who violated the taws of censure and prohibition.

This Canon is abrogated since 1966. None can incur ecclesiastical censure for frequenting places of Apparitions even those not recognized by the Ordinaries of dioceses or by the Holy Father.

Also. "those who would have incurred the censures treated in Canon 2318 will be like absolved by the very fact of the abrogation of this Canon." (Cardinal Ottaviani)

So the visionaries do not need the permission of the Bishop of Mostar to make public their private revelations.

Bishop Zanic set up a commission to investigate the authenticity of the visions, but Cardinal Ratzinger rejected it and gave the authority to the Yugoslav Bishops’ Conference. Their conclusion was the Zadar Declaration of 1991, which said that investigations continued and that in the meantime pastoral care was to be given to the pilgrims:

DECLARATION OF THE EX-YUGOSLAVIA BISHOPS' CONFERENCE ON MEDJUGORJE
At the ordinary session of the Bishops' Conference of Yugoslavia in Zadar from April 9 - 11, 1991 the following was adopted.
DECLARATION
The bishops, from the very beginning, have been following the events of Medjugorje through the Bishop of the diocese [Mostar], the Bishop's Commission and the Commission of the Bishops Conference of Yugoslavia on Medjugorje.
On the basis of the investigations so far it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.
However, the numerous gatherings of the faithful from different parts of the world, who come to Medjugorje, prompted both by motives of belief and various other motives, require the attention and pastoral care in the first place of the diocesan bishop and with him of the other bishops also, so that in Medjugorje and in everything connected with it a healthy devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary may be promoted in accordance with the teaching of the Church.
For this purpose the bishops will issue specially suitable liturgical-pastoral directives. Likewise, through their Commission they will continue to keep up with and investigate the entire event in Medjugorje.
In Zadar April 10, 1991
The Bishops of Yugoslavia
(Zagreb Glas Koncila May 5, 1991 19)

Here is a letter answering questions from the Bishop of Langres, France, asked on 14th February 1996, asking what the position of the Church is and whether people are allowed to go there for pilgrimage. The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith replied with this letter through its secretary. It shows that Bishop Ratko Peric does not have authority over the Church’s decision on Medjugorje.

CONGREGATIO PRO DOCTRINA FIDEI
Citta del Vaticano, Palazzo del S. Uffizio
Pr. No 154/81-06419
May 26, 1998
To His Excellency Mons. Gilbert Aubry,
Bishop of Saint-Denis de la Reunion

Excellency,

In your letter of January 1, 1998, you submitted to this Dicastery several questions about the position of the Holy See and of the Bishop of Mostar in regard to the so-called apparitions of Medjugorje, private pilgrimages and the pastoral care of the faithful who go there.

In regard to this matter, I think it is impossible to reply to each of the questions posed by Your Excellency. The main thing I would like to point out is that the Holy See does not ordinarily take a position of its own regarding supposed supernatural phenomena as a court of first instance.

As for the credibility of the "apparitions" in question, this Dicastery respects what was decided by the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in the Declaration of Zadar, April 10, 1991: "On the basis of the investigations so far, it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.” Since the division of Yugoslavia into different independent nations, it would now pertain to the members of the Episcopal Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina to eventually reopen the examination of this case and to make any new pronouncements that might be called for.

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

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

I hope that I have replied satisfactorily at least to the principal questions that you have presented to this Dicastery and I beg Your Excellency to accept the expression of my devoted sentiments.

Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone
(Secretary to the "Congregation for the Doctrine,” presided over by Cardinal Ratzinger)

This is the summary of the letter:

1. The declarations of the Bishop of Mostar only reflect his personal opinion. Consequently, they are not an official and definitive judgement from the Church.

2. One is directed to the declaration of Zadar, which leaves the door open to future investigations. In the meanwhile, private pilgrimages with pastoral accompaniment for the faithful are permitted.

3. A new commission could eventually be named.

4. In the meanwhile, all Catholics may go as pilgrims to Medjugorje.

We can’t but be thankful for this long awaited explanation.

It can therefore be seen that the bishop of Mostar’s opinion is his own private opinion, which he is entitled to as local Bishop, but remains his personal opinion and does not affect the visionaries.

The jurisdiction over the visions and visionaries belongs to the Yugoslav Bishops’ Conference.

Marija, Ivan and Mirjana do not live all the time in Medjugorje and so are not under the bishop of Mostar anyway for large parts of the year.

Criticism 3: Faith should be based on reason and not on the heart

The following is excerpted from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s ‘Behold the Pierced One: An Approach to a Spiritual Christology’ (G. Harrison, trans.; San Francisco: Ignatius, 1986), pp25-26.

“By nature, knowledge depends on a certain similarity between the knower and the known… religion can only be understood through religion… The fundamental act of religion is prayer… it is the act of self-surrender by which we enter into the Body of Christ. Thus it is an act of love.

…it is only possible really to understand this person [Jesus] by entering into this act of prayer… Therefore a participation in the mind of Jesus, i.e., in his prayer, which (as we have seen) is an act of love… is the basic precondition if real understanding… is to take place.”
So we know God by love and God is love. As humans, we love with the heart. This surely makes clear that to respond to a private revelation of this kind with the heart is the appropriate response.

Quite apart from the opinion given here of Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), Mary, in many messages over the twenty-five years of apparitions at Medjugorje, has repeatedly asked us to use our hearts in our relationship with God and our relationships with each other.

29th November 1984
"Dear children! No, you don't know how to love and you don't know how to listen with love to the words I am saying to you. Be conscious, my beloved, that I am your Mother and I have come on earth to teach you to listen out of love, to pray out of love and not compelled by the fact that you are carrying a cross. By means of the cross God is glorified through every person. Thank you for having responded to my call."

28th February 1985

"Dear children! Today I call you to live the word this week: "I love God!” Dear children through love you will achieve everything and even what you think is impossible. God wants this parish to belong completely to Him. And that's what I want too. Thank you for having responded to my call."

19th September 1985
September 20, 1985 (Friday) "Dear children! Today I invite you to live in humility all the messages which I am giving you. Do not become arrogant living the messages and saying 'I am living the messages'. If you shall bear and live the messages in your heart, everyone will feel it so that words, which serve those who do not obey, will not be necessary. For you, dear children, it is necessary to live and witness by your lives. Thank you for having responded to my call."

25th October 1989
"Dear children! Today also I am inviting you to prayer. I am always inviting you, but you are still far away. Therefore, from today, decide seriously to dedicate time to God. I am with you and I wish to teach you to pray with the heart. In prayer with the heart you shall encounter God. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray! Thank you for having responded to my call."

25th October 1993
"Dear children! These years I have been calling you to pray, to live what I am telling you, but you are living my messages a little. You talk, but do not live, that is why little children, this war is lasting so long. I invite you to open yourselves to God and in your hearts to live with God, living the good and giving witness to my messages. I love you and wish to protect you from every evil, but you do not desire it. Dear children, I cannot help you if you do not live God's commandments, if you do not live the mass, if you do not give up sin. I invite you to be apostles of love and goodness. In this world of unrest give witness to God and God's love, and God will bless you and give you what you seek from Him. Thank you for having responded to my call."

25th April 1995
"Dear children! Today I call you to love. Little children, without love you can neither live with God nor with brother. Therefore, I call all of you to open your hearts to the love of God that is so great and open to each one of you. God, out of love for man, has sent me among you to show you the path of salvation, the path of love. If you do not first love God, then you will neither be able to love neighbor nor the one you hate. Therefore, little children, pray and through prayer you will discover love. Thank you for having responded to my call."

It would seem that the correct way to approach Medjugorje is with the heart. The late Fr Slavko Barbaric, a Medjugorje priest who was close to the visionaries, wrote many booklets about living your faith from the heart. It seems he too thought this was vital.

Criticism 4: Some people have a problem with the sheer number of messages.

It is true that most Marian apparitions have only lasted a short while. To date, the Medjugorje visions have lasted for twenty-five years. At the beginning of them there were messages every week. Then the messages for the world started to be given once a month. At present we have one message a month from Marija, and sometimes also one per month from Mirjana.

Although there is no precedent for the sheer number of messages coming from Medjugorje, this by itself does not prove that the visions are not real. Who are we to impose restrictions on the Virgin Mary? What knowledge do we have of the reasons for and necessity of lots of messages? We are only human and cannot know the reasons of Heaven. Ten secrets about the future of the world are being given at Medjugorje. Perhaps the world needs this many messages because the events to come are so important or big.

Criticism 5: Some say it is drawing pilgrims away from the true devotional places such as Lourdes, Fatima etc.

Lourdes and Fatima are certainly important shrines. Visions of the Virgin Mary in these places have set them for all time as places of pilgrimage. People who visit these places gain graces and progress on their spiritual journey. But the visions in these places have stopped. New revelation will not come from them. In Medjugorje the visions continue and as such it is natural that people will want to come to experience the graces that are still emanating from this place.

Also, the important thing is that we live the Gospel and remain faithful to the Catholic Church. It is not necessary to go on pilgrimage to do that. Therefore it is perhaps a false argument to worry about the numbers of people going to Lourdes, Fatima compared to Medjugorje. People are free to go where they want; there is no ‘quota’ of people visiting Lourdes and Fatima that has to be fulfilled.

Criticism 6: Others talk about the manner in which the visionaries live e.g. the story of Ivan and his Mercedes.

Some of the visionaries put up lodgers in their homes to make a living, but they don’t rake in the cash. They live modestly. Reports of people driving Mercedes (like Ivan) are misleading. A Mercedes in Europe is just another normal car, not a status symbol. There are also waved import taxes on cars for men who served in the army during the war. So a cost of a Mercedes is lower over there than in the USA, for example.

Criticism 7: I have heard a story of Ivan having a smoke during an apparition.

I would reject this story as untrue. Anyone who has seen the visionaries during an apparition will know that they are totally and entirely taken up by the experience. Their concentration and attention is entirely with the vision that they are seeing. Mirjana in Sean Bloomfield’s DVD Miracles of Medjugorje says that she has two daughters and that like any normal mother she would give her life for them; but that when the visions start even her daughters don’t exist for her. She says she sees and hears and is aware of nothing but Our Lady, with everything around her being blue like sky.

Criticism 8: Medjugorje followers put following Medjugorje as more important than following the Catholic Church

Medjugorje is not in place of our faith, but serves to deepen it. The messages coming from there urge us to do all the things that the Church urges us to do to deepen our faith – prayer, fasting, confession, Mass, reading the Bible. Mary herself said that if the visionaries had to choose between a vision and Mass, they ought to go to Mass, because there her Son is present. True Catholics will follow the Church before anything else. Medjugorje is private revelation, which means that it is not required in order to be a Catholic. Medjugorje followers know this. But why pass up something that helps deepen your faith? This is not going against the Church at all.

Criticism 9: Medjugorje followers would leave the Catholic Church to follow Medjugorje if the visions were ever to be denounced by the Vatican

If a Medjugorje follower were a true Catholic, he would follow the Catholic Church first and foremost. If the Church ever pronounces the visions at Medjugorje as false, then most Medjugorje followers, as Catholics, will follow the Church. There was a survey recently on ‘Medjugorje-online’ (a pro-Medjugorje forum) where this question was asked of all forum members. 95% (22) members said they would follow the Church if this were to happen. One person (4%) said they might not. Not all members of Medjugorje-online forum are Catholic so this one person might not be a Catholic anyway. Although this is a small sample of Medjugorje followers, I think it shows the commitment of the average Catholic to his Church. Link to this survey: http://www.medjugorje-online.com/forum/ ... sc&start=0

Criticism 10: The Church has condemned Medjugorje. Catholics are going against the Church by going there.

Please see the letter above under section (X) from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Please also see this excerpt from the Catholic News Service:

Individuals Permitted to Visit Medjugorje
By Catholic News Service

While the Vatican has never said that Catholics may not go to Medjugorje, it has told bishops that their parishes and dioceses may not organise official pilgrimages to the site of the alleged Marian apparitions, the Vatican spokesman said.

"You cannot say people cannot go there until it has been proven false. This has not been said, so anyone can go if they want," the spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, told Catholic News Service Aug. 21.

In addition, he said, when Catholic faithful go anywhere, they are entitled to spiritual care, so the church does not forbid priests to accompany lay-organized trips to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina, just as it would not forbid them accompanying a group of Catholics visiting South Africa.

Criticism 11: Medjugorje is the work of the occult

If the visions at Medjugorje were the work of the occult, that would mean they were the work of the devil. Please see below under ‘Medjugorje is the work of the devil’

Criticism 12: The messages at Medjugorje are fear-based, therefore it can’t be true private revelation

The messages at Medjugorje talk of love, prayer, fasting, Mass and confession. These are the accepted ways of the Church. If you feel that these things are fear-based, then you surely must think that the Catholic Church’s teachings are fear-based.

Here are some examples of messages from Medjugorje. I believe they show the messages not to be fear-based but to be love-based, but you can judge that for yourself:

Message of January 25, 2007
“Dear children! Put Sacred Scripture in a visible place in your family and read it. In this way, you will come to know prayer with the heart and your thoughts will be on God. Do not forget that you are passing like a flower in a field, which is visible from afar but disappears in a moment. Little children, leave a sign of goodness and love wherever you pass and God will bless you with an abundance of His blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Message of February 25, 2006
“Dear children! In this Lenten time of grace, I call you to open your hearts to the gifts that God desires to give you. Do not be closed, but with prayer and renunciation say ‘yes’ to God and He will give to you in abundance. As in springtime the earth opens to the seed and yields a hundredfold, so also your heavenly Father will give to you in abundance. I am with you and love you, little children, with a tender love. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Message of March 25, 2005
“Dear children! Today I call you to love. Little children, love each other with God’s love. At every moment, in joy and in sorrow, may love prevail and, in this way, love will begin to reign in your hearts. The risen Jesus will be with you and you will be His witnesses. I will rejoice with you and protect you with my motherly mantle. Especially, little children, I will watch your daily conversion with love. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Message of April 25, 2004

“Dear children! Also today, I call you to live my messages even more strongly in humility and love so that the Holy Spirit may fill you with His grace and strength. Only in this way will you be witnesses of peace and forgiveness. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Message of May 25, 2003
“Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Renew your personal prayer, and in a special way pray to the Holy Spirit to help you pray with the heart. I intercede for all of you, little children, and call all of you to conversion. If you convert, all those around you will also be renewed and prayer will be a joy for them. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Message of June 25, 2002
“Dear children! Today I pray for you and with you that the Holy Spirit may help you and increase your faith, so that you may accept even more the messages that I am giving you here in this holy place. Little children, comprehend that this is a time of grace for each of you; and with me, little children, you are secure. I desire to lead you all on the way of holiness. Live my messages and put into life every word that I am giving you. May they be precious to you because they come from heaven. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Criticism 13: There are dead and missing pilgrims. It can’t be true.

People die and go missing everywhere. Just because holy things are happening in one particular place does not stop bad things happening nearby. There have been very few deaths and disappearances: the record of these things happening in Medjugorje is not unusually high. Indeed, Fr Slavko Barbaric himself died on Apparition Hill. This has been reported as a particularly peaceful death and is seen as a good and faithful soul going to Heaven and not as a negative event.

Criticism 14: A message said that all faiths are equal. This is against Catholicism.

One of the visionaries asked Our Lady: are all religions the same? She answered:

"Members of all faiths are equal before God. God rules over each faith just like a sovereign over his kingdom. In the world, all religions are not the same because all people have not complied with the commandments of God. They reject and disparage them."

She also said on another occasion:

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

Please note that she is making it clear that all religions are not the same due to the extent to which people have complied with the commandments of God. However, she does not say that you are going to hell if you are not Catholic. I believe that this is where there is misunderstanding. Some Catholics believe this to be true.

The Catholic Church, in ‘Lumen Gentium’ says:

“Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God, and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life.”

This is not the same as saying that you are going to hell if you are not Catholic. It is not up to us to decide who is and isn’t going to Heaven, hell and purgatory. We should not judge.

Criticism 15: None of the visionaries has become a priest or a nun

This is true. They have all chosen to fulfil their vocation to the married life, which is also a sacrament. Married life is no less valued by the Church than a religious vocation. Yes, Our Mother said she would like them to be priests and nuns but that they were free to choose. I believe their choices even seen in the very worst light only show them to be human beings who follow their hearts. The visionaries are not saints, just ordinary people. Most of them seriously considered a religious vocation but decided in the end that they should get married. [/b]




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:10 pm 
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Here is another good article provided to us by Bluecross. A priest in Medjugorje sent it to him.

Is Medjugorje Real?

Facts and First-hand Accounts
By Mark Miravalle

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Introduction

The reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Bosnia-Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia) have attracted the attention of the world and approximately 30 million pilgrims. Since June 24, 1981, six children began to report daily visits from the "Queen of Peace" and several of the "visionaries" continue to report receiving a daily apparition from the Mother of Jesus over 25 years later.

Is Medjugorje real? Are these authentic apparitions of the Virgin Mary? What is the official position of the Catholic Church about their authenticity? Could these simply be the fraudulent deception of hysteric children (now adults) for reasons of attention and personal gain?

These and other questions concerning the reported Medjugorje phenomena have circulated in international newspapers, chancery offices, rectories and convents, and at family dining rooms the world over.

Five issues stand out from the great number of Medjugorje-related topics, as the "FAQs," the most frequently asked questions. These five questions must be examined from the perspective of the Catholic Church’s approach to Marian apparitions and the facts specific to the reported Medjugorje event.

Church’s Official Position?

Question One: What is the official position of the Catholic Church regarding Medjugorje? Would it be an act of disobedience to pilgrimage to Medjugorje before the Church has given the apparitions a final and definitive approval?

On April 10, 1991, the Bishops’ Conference of former Yugoslavia issued the "Declaration of the Ex-Yugoslavia Bishops’ Conference on Medjugorje." The declaration neither approves nor condemns the apparitions, but does permit personal belief in the apparitions and personal pilgrimages to Medjugorje while the Church investigation continues.

The declaration makes clear that while at that particular point in the investigation "it cannot be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations,"

it continues to state that "the faithful journeying to Medjugorje, prompted both by motives of belief and other motives, require attention and pastoral care" (1).

The Medjugorje apparitions are presently neither officially approved by the Church as being of supernatural origin (constat de supernaturalitate); nor are they condemned by the Church as being false or invalid (constat de non supernaturalitate). They are, at this time, in a type of middle category of evaluation referred to as non constat de supernaturalitate, which allows for personal belief in the authenticity of the apparitions along with personal (non-diocesan sponsored) pilgrimages to the apparition site, while the Church’s official investigation is ongoing.

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Church’s highest authority under the Pope himself for dealing with private revelation, confirmed the legitimacy of personal belief and pilgrimages to Medjugorje at this point in the Church’s evaluation in its statement issued on May 26, 1998 (Protocol No. 154/81-06419). In the statement of Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary to the Prefect, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, to French Bishop Msgr. Gilbert Aubrey, Archbishop Bertone confirms that the 1991 Zadar statement is presently the official position of the Church regarding Medjugorje. Archbishop Bertone (presently Cardinal Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State) states: "As for the credibility of the ‘apparitions’ in question, this Dicastery respects what was decided by the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in the Declaration of Zadar, April 10, 1991" (2).

The 1998 CDF Statement on Medjugorje also makes specific reference to the personally negative position of the present local bishop of Mostar, Msgr. Peric, as constituting "what is and remains his personal opinion" (3). The present bishop’s personal position is not the official position of the Church on Medjugorje. The Vatican Congregation confirms the 1991 declaration of the ex-Yugoslavia Bishops as the present official position of the Church on Medjugorje, which in no way condemns the apparitions, but on the contrary allows for personal belief before any final decision is reached. The Vatican statement ends by likewise repeating the Church’s expressed permission for private pilgrimages to Medjugorje while further investigation takes place (4).

In August 2006, the Cardinal Puljic of Sarajevo announced that a new commission of investigation would be formed to continue the ecclesiastical process of evaluation of Medjugorje. The Commission would not be under the local bishop, but rather under the direction of the Conference of Bosnian bishops (5).

Disobedience?

Question Two: I have heard that there may have been acts of disobedience by the Franciscan priests at St. James Parish in Medjugorje against their local bishop. Is this true, and if so, how could Our Lady ever "bless" acts of disobedience by appearing there?

As we saw in the 1998 Vatican CDF statement on Medjugorje, the present local bishop’s personal stance against Medjugorje is not the official position of the Church, and therefore it is most legitimate for a member of the Church to have personal belief in Medjugorje’s authenticity until the Church completes its final evaluation. This permission is granted by the authoritative teaching of the Holy See and the former Yugoslavian Bishops’ 1991 statement. This permission to personally believe in Medjugorje would of course include any of the Franciscan priests in Medjugorje who choose to give their own personal assent to the apparitions.

Therefore, to claim that some Franciscan priests are in acting in "disobedience" to the local bishop because some may believe in Medjugorje would be a misunderstanding of the official Vatican and Ex-Yugoslavian bishops’ statement which allows for personal belief. The unofficial, personally negative opinion of the local bishop does not bind any member of his diocese or Catholic individual elsewhere to follow his own personal opinion.

Beyond the issue of belief in Medjugorje’s authenticity, there is not a single documented account of any act of disobedience to a canonically legitimate directive from the local bishop by the Franciscan priests at St. James Parish. Although there have been tensions historically between the local ordinary and the Franciscan Order of this region regarding issues such as parish assignments and custodianship, these issues are entirely irrelevant to the present issue of obedience to the local bishop by the Franciscans at St. James Parish.

Even if there had been some acts of disobedience by the local Franciscans as gravely wrong as this would be in itself, it would not, on its own, discount the possibility of authentic apparitions from the Blessed Virgin Mary to the six visionaries. An appropriate Church investigation examines the issue of authenticity based on the moral integrity of the visionaries themselves along with other legitimate criteria, and not primarily upon those who may be proximate to the reported event.

Just Too Long?

Question Three: The messages of Medjugorje have been going on for over twenty-six years now. Isn’t that too long for authentic supernatural messages to take place? Can these apparitions really be true when they’ve been reportedly happening for so long?

The length of the series of a reported apparition event is not one of the valid criteria the Church uses in examining the issue of authenticity. The Holy Spirit "blows were he wills" (cf. Jn. 3:8.), and the Church concentrates on the "what" issue, the essential elements of message contents, general associated phenomena, and spiritual fruits, rather than the peripheral "how long" issue.

While we can look at Church precedence regarding the domain of approved private revelation to get some indication of what is within the boundaries of "usual", we still must be careful not to place human or precedence limitations on the "inscrutable ways of God" (cf. Rom. 11:33).

In fact, we do have cases within the Church’s mystical tradition where a series of supernatural communications have lasted as long or even significantly longer than the more than quarter-century length of the Medjugorje messages. For example, St. Brigid of Sweden (d. 1373), one of the Church’s most approved visionaries and mystics, received visions and messages for well over a quarter century. St. Gertrude (d. 1302) received visions beginning in her youth and continued in an unbroken series from age 26 until her death. St. Hildegard (d. 1179) received visions from her early childhood, and consistently from age 15 until her death at 83 for a total of sixty-eight years. St. John Bosco (d. 1888) also began receiving visions as a child and continued to have supernatural communications for more than a half century.

More recently, St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968) experienced consistent supernatural communications which lasted fifty years, including apparitions, visions, locutions, apparitions, spiritual transports, and the stigmata. Sr. Lucia of Fatima (1908-2005) began receiving apparitions at the age of nine, and then proceeded to receive both apparitions and messages for decades after her original six 1917 Marian apparitions. It is believed that Sr. Lucia continued to receive supernatural communication from Our Lady, which included the supernatural confirmation of the validity of the 1984 world consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope John Paul II, until shortly before her death in 2005 at the age of 97.

We must be careful not to use incidental criteria, such as the length of the series of the apparitions, as a fundamental reason to validate or invalidate a reported apparition. Keep in mind that the purpose of authentic private revelation is to encourage humanity to live the public revelation of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness of Catholic truth and life. If our contemporary humanity is not responding in general to the overall message of Jesus Christ and the Church, then we should not be surprised when we see an "unusual" increase or continuation of appearances and messages from the Mother of God, the Queen of Prophets, to encourage our world to respond to the saving light of Jesus Christ amidst a world commonly admitted to be experiencing unprecedented spiritual and moral darkness. Perhaps gratitude, rather than skepticism, might be the more appropriate response.

False Ecumenical Teachings?

Question Four: Do the messages reported by the visionaries contain false teachings regarding ecumenism which contradict the official teachings of the Catholic Church’s Magisterium? I’ve heard that one reported message calls for a type of "religious indifferentism" where one religion is as good as another.

The first element that the Church considers in evaluating a reported Marian apparition is its message contents. Is the reported message in conformity with the faith and morals teachings of the Catholic Church? For the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church, and particularly the papal office of Peter, in truth (cf. Mt. 16:15-20), will not contradict himself by revealing a supernatural message to an individual that is contrary to the truth which the same Spirit reveals to the Church (Catholicism of the Catholic Church, 67).

The messages of Medjugorje do not contain a single doctrinal teaching that contradicts authentic Catholic Magisterial teaching. On the contrary, the Medjugorje message presents in its most fundamental themes the Gospel message of Jesus Christ for faith, prayer, fasting, conversion, and peace, as were also expounded upon by the Fathers of the Church. At the same time, the message conveys a contemporary formulation of Catholic teachings which profoundly parallels the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the postconciliar teachings of the Papal Magisterium, as well as embodying a present-day continuation of the approved Marian messages of Lourdes and Fatima (6).

Let us precisely examine the Medjugorje message regarding ecumenism. The message given by the Blessed Virgin states: "In God’s eyes, there are no divisions and there are no religions. You in the world have made the divisions. The one mediator is Jesus Christ. Which religion you belong to cannot be a matter of indifference. The presence of the Holy Spirit is not the same in every Church" (7). The visionary Mirjana added that the Madonna "deplored the lack of religious unity, especially in the villages. She said that everybody’s religion should be respected, and of course, one’s own" (8.).

This message accurately portrays the Catholic Church’s teaching on ecumenism from the Second Vatican Council in its most key components. Firstly, God did not make different religious divisions in the world, but rather man did. Secondly, the truth of the Holy Spirit does not dwell equally in all religions, and therefore, what religion you belong to cannot be matter of indifference. Thirdly, that in spite of substantial differences in truth, we should respect all religions in an authentic effort towards eventual unity in the one Body of Christ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 817-822.)

The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, after discussing the elements of truth and moral life deserving respect in other world religions, confirmed the fullness of truth in Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church:

The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions. She has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct, the precepts and doctrines, which, although differing in many from her own teachings, nevertheless often reflect a ray of that the truth which enlightens all men. Yet she is in duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn. 1:6). In Him, in whom God reconciled all things to himself (2 Cor. 5:18-19), men find the fullness of their religious life (9).

In its decree on Ecumenism, the Second Vatican Council refers to the human elements which that have led to division within the Church in a clear parallel to the Medjugorje message on ecumenism, but and likewise calls for the restoring of Christian unity in the one Church of Christ:

The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communities present themselves as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but they differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ himself were divided. Certainly, such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause, the preaching of the Gospel to every creature (10).

Not only does the message of Medjugorje conform completely to the Church’s official teachings, but they reflect the most current expression of the Church’s teachings with its emphasis on issues precisely such as ecumenism and the contemporary Church mission of authentic Christian unity.

False Visionaries?

Question Five: I’ve heard that the visionaries were not particularly devout before the apparitions began. How do we know they have not been simply falsifying these apparitions for reasons of their own personal gain?

When the Church examines the "visionaries" or recipients of a reported apparition, they look for evidence of the moral integrity of the individual particularly from the beginning point of apparitions onward. The Church does not require a standard of holiness for the visionary before the reported supernatural occurrence begins, but rather what level of Christian virtue and integrity does the individual exhibit during the period of reported apparitions as a potential result of the apparition itself.

The Church grants the possibility that God could choose, in his mysterious ways, someone to receive a heavenly message who could be far from Christ or from the Church, and then to experience conversion as a result of the supernatural intervention. Otherwise, how could we make provision for some of the apostles and disciples of Jesus himself, such as St. Matthew or St. Mary Magdalene, whose former lives where not in conformity with the Gospel, but whose later conversion became examples of Christian discipleship for all times.

Still, a basic moral integrity, and not an exceptional standard of holiness, is what commission members of Church investigations look for in evaluating the basic conditions for a possible recipient of heavenly visits or messages (11).

The six Medjugorje visionaries, Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic, Marija Pavlovic, Ivan Dragicevic and Jakov Colo, have been under the "public microscope" for their most of their adolescent and adult lives. They have been interviewed by a countless number of bishops, priests, religious, theologians, and laity. The overwhelming consensus of public opinion for those who have had direct contact with these six visionaries is a profound respect for their manifest integrity, straightforwardness, and the down-to-earth approach to the Christian life and to their experience as visionaries. Theologians who have interviewed the visionaries have likewise concluded to the same obvious presence of moral integrity and personal authenticity (12).

Remarkable personal sacrifice rather than personal gain has been the foremost experience of these six people, often at the painful expense of personal privacy and hardship. Daily talks to pilgrims, prayer groups, and healing prayer sessions have been the benchmark of life for the majority of the Medjugorje seers for the last 26 years. Worthy of particular mention is the Christian witness of Vicka Ivankovic, known for both her extraordinary suffering and her irrepressible smile.

Since the apparitions began, Vicka has suffered an inoperable brain cyst, severe spinal pain, and a series of similar physical or spiritual penances, which she joyfully chooses to offer for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls. Numerous reports of spiritual and physical healings have come as a result of Vicka’s praying over pilgrims, which she does only with the expressed permission of the parish priests. Although exceptional Christian holiness is not a requirement for being a true visionary, Vicka seems to embody both roles with an inspiring and contagious Christian joy.

Two medical teams, one from Milan and the other from renowned French University of Montpellier, have scientifically examined the visionaries during the time of reported apparitions. Each has independently validated the legitimacy of their state of ecstasy as being in some form of true communication outside of their ordinary time-space experience (13). These scientific studies also ruled out any possibility of "collective hallucination" and, by deduction, any form of mere human deception of falsification (14).

Is Medjugorje Real?

The Medjugorje apparitions possess all the principal characteristics that the Church looks for in manifesting supernatural authenticity. The message contents are in complete conformity with the official doctrinal teachings of the Catholic Church. The phenomena that accompany the messages constitute scientifically validated ecstasy during the apparitions and numerous reports of healings. The visionaries manifest lives of moral integrity and psychological stability. More than 200 bishops, archbishops, and cardinals have visited the site officially, in addition to the many unofficial visits by the shepherds of the Church. In addition, well over 100 bishops, archbishops, and cardinals have publicly expressed their belief in Our Lady’s presence in Medjugorje (15). The spiritual fruits of conversion and spiritual peace have been the ubiquitous testimony of the greater part of the thirty million pilgrims who have come to Medjugorje and have responded to the Queen of Peace’s call for greater faith, prayer, fasting, conversion, and peace.

Two final testimonies to the supernatural reality of Medjugorje are worthy of special mention.

On August 14, 1994, I was in Calcutta, presenting talks on the fifth Marian Dogma of Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate to six different sections of Missionaries of Charity groups at Mother Teresa’s direct request (including two of which Mother herself attended). When I first entered her presence and walked over to the place we would sit and begin talking, I saw a calendar with the image of Our Lady of Medjugorje on its cover hanging on the wall next to us. After a few minutes of enthusiastic conversation with Mother regarding other Marian issues, I pointed up to the calendar and asked her, "Mother, do you believe in Medjugorje?" She responded by putting her finger up to her lips as if to gesture "shhh" or let us speak quietly of this, and answered, "I asked Our Lady of Medjugorje to come to my first home for the dying in Calcutta, and she did!" I did not have the courage to further question the future saint, "How did she come, Mother? – in the form of an apparition? a healing?" She simply left the subject with a serene smile on her face.

The second personal testimony comes from Pope John Paul II. Over the course of his blessed pontificate, he had received several of the visionaries in private audience, including a twenty-minute audience with Mirjana in 1987 (16); had invited numerous bishops and priests to go to Medjugorje and to pray for him there (17); and the late Cardinal Tomasek had made public the typical comment of John Paul II to inquiring bishops: "If I were not Pope I would like to go to Medjugorje to help at the work with the pilgrims" (18.).

We have in incontestable documentation the written words of Pope John Paul II to his lifetime Polish friends, Marek and Sophia Skwarnicki in their personal correspondence (released with their permission), which manifests the saintly Holy Father’s personal belief in Medjugorje, and his common spiritual practice of daily pilgriming to Medjugorje in his heart" (19). For example, in John Paul’s letter of December 1992 to the Skwarnicki Family, he writes:

I thank Sophia for everything concerning Medjugorje. I, too, go there every day as a pilgrim in my prayers: I unite in my prayers with all those who pray there or receive a calling for prayer from there (20).

On February 25, 1994, John Paul writes:

I guess Medjugorje is better understood these days. This kind of "insisting" of our Mother is better understood today when we see with our very eyes the enormousness of the danger. At the same time, the response in the way of a special prayer—and that coming from people all around the world—fills us with hope that here, too, the good will prevail (21).

And in closing his May 28, 1992, letter to his Polish friends, John Paul reiterates: "And now we every day return to Medjugorje in prayer" (22).

Is Medjugorje real? According to the Church’s own criteria, the spiritual fruits superabundant throughout the world, and the saintly witnesses and discernments of Pope John Paul II and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, I believe the only proper theological response is "yes."

Notes

(1) Declaration of the Ex-Yugoslavia Bishops’ Conference on Medjugorje, Ex-Yugoslavia Conference of Catholic Bishops, Zadar, April 10, 1991.

(2) Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, May 26, 1998 Statement to Msgr. Gilbert Aubry, Protocol No. 154/81-06419, Vatican City.

(3) Ibid.

(4) Ibid.

(5) Announcement of Cardinal Puljic of Sarajevo, Bosnia- Herzegovina, July 25, 1996, Catholic News Service.

(6) Cf. For example, M. Miravalle, Doctrinal dissertation entitled, The Message of Medjugorje: A Postconcilar Formulation of Lourdes and Fatima, May 31, 1984, which was successfully defended at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome, and which presented the thesis of the complete conformity of the Medjugorje message with the teachings of the Gospels and the Church Fathers in its foundational elements, and with the Second Vatican Council, its postconciliar teachings, along with the approved messages of Lourdes and Fatima in its developmental themes.

(7) Message of Medjugorje reported between 1981-1983.

(8.) Ibid.

(9) Second Vatican Council, Nostra Aetate, n. 2.

(10) Second Vatican Council, Unitatis Redintegratio, n. 1.

(11) Cf. M. Miravalle, Private Revelation: Discerning with the Church, Queenship publications, p. 17. Cf. especially criteria of Pope Benedict XIV for recipients of prophecy, some of whom could theoretically be outside of grace, such as the prophet Balaam and Caiphas.

(12 Cf. R. Laurentin and H. Joyeux, Scientific and Medical Studies on the Apparitions at Medjugorje, Robert Faricy, S.J., A Medjugorje Retreat; Fr. Michael O’Carroll, Medjugorje: Facts, Documents, Theology: Is Medjugorje Approved?; M. Miravalle, Introduction to Medjugorje, Ch. 1.)

(13) James Paul Pandarakalam, "Are the Apparitions of Medjugorje Real?" Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 229-239, 2001. Cf. Laurentin and Joyeux, Scientific and Medical Studies on the Apparitions at Medjugorje.

(14) Ibid.

(15) For the comprehensive list of the names of the cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, see Denis Nolan, Medjugorje and the Church, Queenship Publications, pp. 36-45.

(16) Denis Nolan, "John Paul II Believed in Medjugorje," Mother of All Peoples Marian E-zine, June 30, 2007.

(17) Ibid. Note: I have personally spoken to three American bishops who have the same experience of an encouragement from John Paul II to visit Medjugorje and to pray for him there.

(18.) Ibid.

(19) "Original Letter Correspondence of Pope John Paul II to Marek and Sophia Skwarnicki," as published in Nolan, Medjugorje and the Church, Queenship Publications, pp. 151-147.

(20) Ibid., p. 153.

(21) Ibid., p. 157.

(22) Ibid., p. 155.





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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:54 am 
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Does anyone know if there are any jobs available in Medjugorje? Or how i can get that info.... It would be a dream to be able to live and work there.

god bless





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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:47 am 
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Hello, dear brothers and sisters!

Happy to become a member of your forum.
I am taking part in the discussion at the forum of the Russian Franciscans' site trying to defend Medjugorje. Could you tell me, is it true that nowadays there are several prohibitions from Catholic Church concerning Medjugorje:

1. prohibition of distribution of the messages;
2. prohibition to preach publicly about Medjugorje (esp. it concerns priests during their homilies);
3. prohibition of pilgrimages to Medjugorje as to a place of apparitions (it presupposes that Catholics can go to Medjugorje only as to a place of prayer (for example, for recollections), but not as to a place of apparitions).

Please, I need authentic information, because I got confused in the inaccuracy which have people I dispute with at the Franciscans' site Conference.





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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:55 am 
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I'm not sure of the answers myself but from what I understand:

Medjugorje is now a marian shrine and people can go there at will, including priests, but priests can't lead an official Church pilgrimage there

I have heard nothing about it not being allowed that the messages are passed out. In fact, it can't be true because the priests in Medjugorje itself pass them out and they are all obedient to the Church.

I have heard nothing about priests not being allowed to preach about it either.

Someone else might know more. I suggest you start a new thread in this section because many people might miss your post where it is right now.

Good luck




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 Post subject: Medjugorje critics.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:03 pm 
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Anya wrote:
Hello, dear brothers and sisters!

Happy to become a member of your forum.
I am taking part in the discussion at the forum of the Russian Franciscans' site trying to defend Medjugorje. Could you tell me, is it true that nowadays there are several prohibitions from Catholic Church concerning Medjugorje:

1. prohibition of distribution of the messages;
2. prohibition to preach publicly about Medjugorje (esp. it concerns priests during their homilies);
3. prohibition of pilgrimages to Medjugorje as to a place of apparitions (it presupposes that Catholics can go to Medjugorje only as to a place of prayer (for example, for recollections), but not as to a place of apparitions).

Please, I need authentic information, because I got confused in the inaccuracy which have people I dispute with at the Franciscans' site Conference.


As far as I am aware there is no rule made that the messages are not allowed to be distributed. I also understand that the vatican have now taken Medjugorje decisions out of the Bishops hands and they themselves will make a ruling at some point ( I am told doubtful until apparitions cease or miracle promised is fullfilled. There are more than a million testimonies of pilgrims of either seeing the miracle of the sun, or the cross on fire without burning, or of great healings. I know a nun who became a nun of the Carmelites along with a friend after she went to Medjurgorje. She told me the apparition was full so they were outside and both saw first the miracle of the sun, then everything turned a golden yellow, then a huge cross appeared in the sky and she and her friend saw Our Lord on that cross as if dead. But she said she had a feeling that Our Lord was about to open his eyes and look down on them and she saw before her the horror of her misery and wretchedness. She fell to a knees weeping because of this. She said the whole air was filled with the scent of roses. She left their wanting to give her whole life to God, converted, but more than this and she became a novice and then received her veil as a carmelite Sister. Her friend did the same, but first became a third order Carmelite as she had been married. She at a later time became a full Carmelite nun and passed away recently. Scripture tells us to test the spirit not stifle it, Scripture says 'by the fruits you will know them'. Medjugorje seems to have become a war zone of terroritary, I think this is why the Vatican has taken over. I have never been to this place, but I see each month as if Our Lady directs us on how to conduct ourselves each month, one time to prayer, another to scripture, another to charity, another to opening our hearts ect. Fatima experienced the same critics, and so did Akita which at first was condemned. One could say the same in regard to the Divine Mercy: http://our.homewithgod.com/divinemercy/ fact is truth prevails always and the fact that Our Lady of Medjugorje despite many trials and tribulations still speaks to so many, brings about so many conversions speaks volumes. Our Lady speaks there of God. She began in the early days by saying: 'I come to teach the world that God exists', is this not a great problem in our present time? Unbelief in God's existance. I am reading The Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the moment and in regard to the Eucharist have been struck by the fourth book, where Our Lord speaks of Himself and being seen in glory, and if man saw Him this way, if the heavens opened to reveal Him and all of the Angels and Saints and how they love and treat Him, how would man react. Yet He is present every day in the Eucharist and with the eyes of faith when we see Him there hidden, our hearts should greet Him as if the heavens had indeed opened for us to see Him in His glory with our bodily eyes. http://our.homewithgod.com/sacredheart/ These words certainly have had me thinking. I do not need to go to Medjurgorje in order to speak to Our Lady or hear Her councel. One should not question a Mother's authority over Her children, but should listen attentively. At present after so many years, not one deception, not one lie, not one word against Holy Faith has been found in the words or accounts of witness spoken. This again speaks volumes. God Bless - Sue




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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:42 pm 
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Interesting comments, Sue.




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The so-called William Mac Mac was not really a Catholic priest; I'm sure most of you suspected that. He's a member who I had to ban earlier today under a different name.




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 Post subject: Truth
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:40 am 
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I write to ask you three things.

1. If she is real. I ask where the money from the site and the visits goes. Does it benefit mankind? or does it benefit only a few? Can you please provide proof of this income and proof of where it is spent for the poor, sick and needy. Afterall, Our lady is of God and would not accept money being made to benefit only a few with the use of her namesake.

2. If she is real. Can you please answer one more question? I believe most of the messages are positive. We are near end of times. It is now we see many faulse profits. How can we be sure this is not one of them?

3. If she is real you will have no fear in these questions. You will keep the post here and not be afraid of answering my questions. Therefore I ask can you please keep these questions on your thread for 3 months

4. If this whole thing is not real I pray for you and ask others to pray for you also





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Joshua99

Why don't you go to Medjugorje yourself......................you will have no doubt that our Blessed Mother is there.

As posted many, many times on this site....."you will know them by their fruits". The fruits of Medjugorje are many....

If you can't get there right now, I would like to suggest the book "Medjugorje, The Message" by Wayne Weible.

As for who makes money in Medjugorje, why should that matter to you. Aren't we all allowed to earn a living?




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Joshua, this forum is for people who believe in Medjugorje to discuss it. You will find in the site rules that we do not wish to engage in debates about the authenticity of the reported visions. This is because it takes away from the main purpose of this forum, and because otherwise we would spend all our time repeating endlessly our reasons for following it. We have done this in the past and as fast as we answer one question, there are four more to take its place, and we have to repeat ourselves over and over again. There are other forums where you can discuss the authenticity of the visions at Medjugorje. This isn't one of them. I would ask you please to respect the forum rules if you wish to continue to post here.

In response to your questions, the only money made in Medjugorje is made by the Church in its collections, and these collections are used in the same way as all collections in all Churches all over the world. The money goes direct to the Catholic Church and is used by the Diocese in the normal way.

There are guesthouses, and they charge very reasonable rates, just like there are guesthouses and hotels in Lourdes, Fatima, Rome, Knock etc. These people make their living through paying guests. They do not make loads of money - their prices are very reasonable.

Some independant traders have set up shop around the Church in Medjugorje and they sell souvenirs. This is the same in Lourdes and Fatima, Rome and Knock. They are nothing to do with the shrine, just independant businesses seeing a demand in the market.

That is all the money that is made in Medjugorje. I don't know which of these you are referring to, but your comments make no sense. Why is it ok for these things to happen in Lourdes, Fatima, Rome and Knock but for some reason you think there's something wrong with it in Medjugorje?

As for how we can be sure that the lady of the visions is not a false prophet, well we will only know when the Catholic Church definitively announces it's judgement on the apparitions. Only then will we know that what is happening at Medjugorje is to be trusted.

However, the Vatican has not found any message so far from Medjugorje to contradict Church teaching and it has not found any reason to prevent the faithful from going there. If the Vatican had had any doubt, then it would have said straight away that the visions were not authentic and told the faithful not to go there. The people on this site have mostly been to Medjugorje and have been following the messages and feel convinced that Medjugorje is true - but please also know that nearly all of us would give up following Medjugorje if the Vatican ruled against it. This is because we are Catholics and follow the Catholic Church. Please also understand that Our Lady at Medjugorje has only ever asked us to be good and better Catholics. She asks for prayer, fasting, reading the Bible, confession and communion. This is what good Catholics do. Would the devil ask people to become better Catholics?

We do not need to be prayed for if Medjugorje turns out not to be real.If Medjugorje is not real, then we have nothing to fear. All we have been doing is becoming better Catholics - that is all that Our Lady has taught us. We will follow the Church in all she teaches before any private revelation.

Now, please respect forum rules in your posting. No more debating the authenticity of Medjugorje, please. I say this as a moderator.




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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:38 pm 
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If she is real. Can you please answer one more question?


i have a question for you....prove to us God is real. you have three months! once you do that and come up with a satisfactory answer for yourself you will have your answer about Our Lady.




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timberhollow wrote:
Joshua99

Why don't you go to Medjugorje yourself......................you will have no doubt that our Blessed Mother is there.

As posted many, many times on this site....."you will know them by their fruits". The fruits of Medjugorje are many....

If you can't get there right now, I would like to suggest the book "Medjugorje, The Message" by Wayne Weible.

As for who makes money in Medjugorje, why should that matter to you. Aren't we all allowed to earn a living?


I can only comment on what Timber has already provided...thanks Timber :D .....

Joshua,
I have been to Medjugorje five times and there are others here who have been there more than myself......

As for the money issue, I don`t see the visionaries nor anyone else living high on the hog over in Medjugorje......sure the some of the visionaries homes seem rather large, BUT that is because they house pilgrims who travel to Medjugorje.....the family that owns the home only lives basically on the first story of the house, the other stories have bedrooms with a small bathroom for the pilgrims...........I can assure you that the visionaries or anyone else DO NOT get rich off of what they charge for room and board.......the prices are quite low compared to American standards of staying in even the cheapest hotel in the USA.......
The shop owners don`t even get rich off of what they sell......for instance, if I buy a rosary in Medjugorje and compare the price to one made in the USA, it is so much lower in price....I actually feel abit of guilt because they are so much less costly.....I bought this beautiful sterling silver rosary for only $6 in Medjugorje(at cost)where as in the US it would have cost me at least $40- $50(or more) bucks......does that sound like the people are getting rich off of the religious items they sell?? ........if you don`t believe anything I have written, then I suggest you go and travel to Medjugorje to find out for yourself :D ..........


As for your other question about living in the end times and false prophets and how can we be sure Medjugorje isn`t one of them............I believe Medjugorje has stood the test of time....this apparition has been going on since 1981...that is a long time and it continues to this very day......good fruits come from Medjugorje :D ......so many conversions, so many people coming back to the faith....living Our Lady`s messages which brings us back to her Son.....Do you really think satan is pushing that to happen??.........

Bless, Sharon





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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:58 pm 
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I'm with you, LittleRed :)




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timberhollow wrote:
I'm with you, LittleRed :)


Thanks Timber :D ...

I feel Frances wrote a most beautiful reply to Joshua...truly the Holy Spirit was working through her as she wrote it :D





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Gosh, thanks :oops:




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The Vatican (more specifically Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) has protected Medjugorje 3 times in the last 25 years. Just this last April 2008, for the first time in the history of the Catholic Church, the Vatican has taken away the authority of, not only the local Bishop of Mostar, but also the Bishops Council of Bosnia i Hercegovina to discern and proclaim the authenticity of the Medjugorje apparitions. This power now rests in the hands of the Vatican--only!




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HELP !!!

The big big long posts are too much for a mere mortal like Julia 60. I can't take em in. A spoonful at a time please. I love you, but it is too much in one readful. Sorry.




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Take your time Julia :D ....





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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:49 pm 
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I liked this post on the criticisms medjugorje receives from the church and others. This was very well written and I thankyou!
I is a terrible, yet horrible thing to dispise the Mother of God - devotions and messages, etc. For it is from God and Jesus they enter the world?? It should be for what reason does the blessed trinity send there Mother?
Seems to me by experience that the diciples of christ, do not wish to share there priesthood with it/there church, in whom Mary is the fullness of the church of God..... It is the priesthood that needs to dicern itself in why it go's to such lengths to push Mary to the side but, out of the church itself. They seem to be taking the same roll as our protostant brothers and sisters, like the fallen angels? It is this same kind of attention God places on the fact that many in the church and world chooce to mock his angels and saints, and speek triffle of those whom have died for the cross, friends and the church. This is one reason the church and world are in the state it's in. Thee angels and saints and there merits are like blessings in the store house waiting on us to ask for them. We have not asked God or are demaining in tone? Not humblly before God. Also: there are many in the church whom feel they possess the gifts of the spirit but, have not exercided them or salt after them, yet feel they can discern what if from above. This encludes many in authority. I have experienced this and witnessed. This God does at times to prove the hardness of the faithfull and priesthood. Also; if they will not see and believe, or do his will he will by pass them or push his brothers to the side. Amen, Amen!





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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:50 am 
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I thank you all for your responses to the criticism because reading it has helped in feeding my faith, I am now going through a difficult time in my life I am getting divorced, loosing my house, and realizing that the man I was married to did not love me; It has been my blessed mother's messages that have gotten me through the chaos with serenity and dignity, I feel at peace and happy because of this, I don't think I would feel this way if it wasn't for web sites such as this one. Thank you mother for your intecession, I plan on visiting you some day soon.




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Makes me sad and a bit angry too, when people are SO against Medjugorje. I notice that for example on the forum "Catholic Answers". Have have you had similar experiences there and are the founders of that forum against Medjugorje? :cry: :cry: :cry:





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Justme wrote:
Makes me sad and a bit angry too, when people are SO against Medjugorje. I notice that for example on the forum "Catholic Answers". Have have you had similar experiences there and are the founders of that forum against Medjugorje? :cry: :cry: :cry:


Hi Justme....

Try not to let those who oppose Medjugorje make you feel so sad or invoke anger.....they are entitled to their opinions.....and it is not a requirement of our Catholic faith to believe in Medjugorje(or even any approved apparition for that matter).....

I do not browse those forums which are anti-Medjugorje.....I believe that Medjugorje is authentic and that is good enough for me....but I do have obedience to our Church and will follow whatever ruling the Vatican hands down on Medjugorje when the time comes......

Bless, Sharon :D





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Thanks Sharon!

I don't want to force my opinion on anyone. But it just hurts me sometimes when I read ignorant prejudices.
I expirence medjugorje friends being very obiedient towards the Catholic Church and liking the Pope.
But I guess it is somehow healthier to stay away from forums which are against Medjugorje... :wink:





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Justme wrote:
But I guess it is somehow healthier to stay away from forums which are against Medjugorje... :wink:


Good advise Justme :D ......





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