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A new look at Medjugorje?

posted by awelborn

CNS reports:

Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, announced a commission would be formed to review the alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje and pastoral provisions for the thousands of pilgrims who visit the town each year.

"The commission members have not been named yet," Cardinal Puljic told Catholic News Service in a July 24 telephone interview. "I am awaiting suggestions from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" on theologians to appoint.

"But this commission will be under the (Bosnian) bishops’ conference" as is the usual practice with alleged apparitions, he said.

The cardinal said he did not expect the commission to be established until sometime in September because of the summer holidays.

He said the primary task of the commission would be to review a 1991 report from the region’s bishops that concluded, "It cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations."

In addition, he said, the commission would be asked to review pastoral provisions that forbid official diocesan and parish pilgrimages to Medjugorje, while at the same time allowing priests to accompany groups of Catholics in order to provide the sacraments and spiritual guidance.

When asked if the new commission was the idea of the doctrinal congregation or of the bishops’ conference, Cardinal Puljic said, "I would rather not answer that question."

Diane from the Te Deum blogspot noted this in the Croatian press several days ago, and has been on the story.



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Darren

posted July 24, 2006 at 11:24 am


“When asked if the new commission was the idea of the doctrinal congregation or of the bishops’ conference, Cardinal Puljic said, “I would rather not answer that question.””
As a newcomer to Catholic politics, what does it matter where the idea came from?



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David L Alexander

posted July 24, 2006 at 11:47 am


“It cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations.”
Which means that, as of this moment, they are not. Which means you don’t pretend that they are.



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Dean

posted July 24, 2006 at 11:50 am


If the request came from the Vatican, it could signal the beginning of an official suppression of the whole thing. See Fr. Z’s blog: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2006/07/vatican-commission-on-medjugorje/



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Brad C

posted July 24, 2006 at 12:13 pm


“‘It cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations.’
Which means that, as of this moment, they are not. Which means you don’t pretend that they are.”
I don’t know. To say it cannot be affirmed that they are genuine is not to say that it can be affirmed that they aren’t genuine. The weaker statement seems to allow one to hold the opinion that they are genuine, pending a final judgment by the Church, of course.
I hope this leads to the Church making a definitive judgment on the matter SOON. This is a divisive and confusing issue. When I was considering becoming Catholic over a year ago, I went to a parish where the priest included “revelations” from Medjugorje in his homilies as fact. He said, for instance, that when he led a pilgrimage there “Mary” told them that 1/3 of people go to Hell, 1/3 of people go to Purgatory, and 1/3 of people go directly to Heaven. When my wife and I got in the car after Mass, she said, “Did Father say that he was talking to Mary?” We had no clue that he was referring to a conversation with Mirjana at Medjugorje. It was presented as fact.



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diane

posted July 24, 2006 at 1:08 pm


Brad C: Your priest misinformed you. Mirjana has never said anything like that.
In a video made during the ’80s, Vicka is shown telling pilgrims that–per Our Lady–the largest number of people go to Purgatory, the second largest to Hell, and the smallest number directly to Heaven.
That is a far cry from 1/3, 1/3, 1/3.
It is certainly not “fact”–and would not be considered as such even if the apparitions were officially approved.
But IMHO, it sounds pretty good. :)



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Diane K

posted July 24, 2006 at 1:20 pm


Thanks for the plug Amy. I was attempting to post the CNS article and was having nothing with problems. Now it appears twice on my blog and blogger is down with respect to editing or posting.
However, I’m glad to see that we now have the confirmation we were looking for. I didn’t know how reliable that Croatian paper was.
Someone asked above what it matters who it came from…..
If it came from the Vatican, then it is significant because it could signal that the Holy See has seen enough. Such a commission would not be necessary to promote status quo – they would just leave things alone. They could not possibly affirm it with “visions” ongoing. The only thing left is what many of us expect will be a change in status which would ultimately signal a condemnation. Certainly this is just my personal take on it and others will take it other ways.
All the good fruits in the world don’t justify allowing something to continue if it has become apparent to the CDF that this is not authentic. Great harm can befall the Church if she allows something to continue in which people are placing much stock into that is not authentic. People are not treating it cautiously – they are diving in head first. Theologians have good reason to bring it to an end based on several factors and these are only a few:
30,000+ messages (unprecedented and unnecessary)
self-promotion of the “visionaries”
“Gospa on demand” where she shows up anytime, anyplace, for any “seer”
This says nothing of the critical situation involving local Franciscans which I don’t see getting resolved until the Medjugorje question is answered once and for all.



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chris K

posted July 24, 2006 at 3:21 pm


This was already discussed on Dom’s blog last week. Here is a comment from there re: the Croatian article:
Here is the translation:
Source: http://www.vecernji-list.hr/newsroom/news/croatia/592082/index.do
Translation given below:
SURPRISE FROM VATICAN – HOLY SEE IS TAKING THE MEDJUGORJE PHENOMENON INTO THEIR OWN HANDS
The Church has decided to studiously review the events at Medjugorje and a new Commission will decide.
The Catholic Church is starting a new commission that will look into the Medjugorje events. This sums up what Cardinal Vinko Puljic, president of the Bosnia and Hercegovina Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Sarajevo, said to reporters at the end of the Bishops conference held July12-14, 2006 in Banja Luka. This announcement surprised many, because Medjugorje was not even one of the topics discussed at the meeting. On top of that, it is well know that the Church will not take a definite position about the Medjugorje phenomenon while it is still going on, and even more well known is the position of the bishop of Mostar, who time and again has claimed that there are no apparitions of the Mother of God in his diocese.
The request from the Vatican for a new commission will reanalyze the position of the bishops taken in the 1991 Zadar declaration, by which “it cannot be determined that anything supernatural is happening there”? It cannot ignore what is happening in Medjugorje and has been insisting for over a half a year that something be done.
The Medjugorje phenomenon has had effects all over the world, there are more and more pilgrims from the entire world coming in throngs to the small village in Hercegovina and are praying to the Mother of God. The commission will be put together by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, even though the normal practice is for this kind of commission to be established by the local bishop. But, because of the negative position of Bishop Ratko Peric, the commission will be international in order for it to be completely objective and neutral. It will probably consist of two teams that will have clear jurisdiction and orders.
Holy Place
The Holy See has decided to take Medjugorje into its own hands and finally decide whether Medjugorje is an official shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary where people come not only privately but with the official recommendation of the Church, or a “normal” place of prayer in which nothing supernatural has occurred.
“I was very happy to hear the news that Cardinal Vinko Puljic announced,” said Father Petar Ljubicic, who is the priest that will announce the secrets of Medjugorje when the time comes. “We have been expecting this for a long time. The Cardinal said that the Holy See, that is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will name a new commission that will analyze and look into what has already been happening in Medjugorje for 25 years. Since I was a priest in Medjugorje and have followed the events since the beginning, I am very happy that it will now be looked into more seriously.”
Serious study
Father Petar said, “As for the previous commissions, that looked into the events, I can say that some members were open and serious theologians, who were specialists in spirituality and had studied mystical experiences, but there were also other individuals who were not serious about the events and never actually came to Medjugorje. I ask myself how they could give an opinion of up until now, they can not be certain of anything supernatural?. Some on the council rejected even that apparitions were possible at all. That greatly confused me. The need was felt a long time ago for the Holy See to take the whole matter in its own hands.

It would appear that the Church still won’t give a final judgment before it ends. But, after the international hullabalu that occurred after the recent homily from the local bishop, the CDF probably got a lot of requests for the Church to act in some way to end the confusion. Some of the bishops on the commission and of the bishops’ conference have themselves asked for an international commission to be established since Medj. is so international in scope and except for trying not to degrade the local bishop’s position, most had given a positive opinion … and that is why it remained in the neutral position.



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Jason

posted July 24, 2006 at 4:21 pm


30,000+ messages (unprecedented and unnecessary)
I don’t know much about Medjugorje, but from what I’ve read, this seems to be a valid reason to question it. Why does Our Lady need all those messages? And what is she telling us that the Church isn’t? Seems an apparition should have a reason, or at least be brief and to the point. At Fatima she warned about WW2, for example.



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David L Alexander

posted July 24, 2006 at 4:30 pm


The weaker statement seems to allow one to hold the opinion that they are genuine, pending a final judgment by the Church, of course.
Since the Church TEACHES that there is no public revelation after the death of the Last Apostle, there is no reason to consider any PRIVATE revelation as authentic, UNTIL proven otherwise. Such a position is consistent with the Catechism (65-67).
Besides, what if you promote belief, and then are proven wrong? Better to withhold official promotion, especially since the operative word in private revelations is PRIVATE.



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chris K

posted July 24, 2006 at 4:43 pm


“When asked if the new commission was the idea of the doctrinal congregation or of the bishops’ conference, Cardinal Puljic said, “I would rather not answer that question.””
As a newcomer to Catholic politics, what does it matter where the idea came from?

Perhaps this is why (from the article):
The commission will be put together by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, even though the NORMAL PRACTICE (my emphasis) is for this kind of commission to be established by the local bishop. But, because of the negative position of Bishop Ratko Peric, the commission will be international in order for it to be completely objective and neutral. It will probably consist of two teams that will have clear jurisdiction and orders.



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Diane K

posted July 24, 2006 at 6:04 pm


Nice try on that translation you provided from the Bettnet comment section. I don’t know where that translation comes from as the person did not cite their source, as they should have. The translation contains things that are no where to be found in the original article and you provide it again here. Is it, perhaps, a translation of one of the German articles? Or the Dutch article translated? It certainly is not a pure translation of the Croatian original.
My blog contains the simple Croatian version below the English translation I came up with and the tone is altogether different. And, it is minus the commentary from Ljubicic.
Cardinal Puljic never divulged who prompted this commission. It could very well have been the Vatican during their recent ad limina visit, or the BiH conference may have told Pope Benedict it was time. He does not say who prompted it.
If it was the Vatican, it is not promising, imho. A) They cannot affirm something supernatural while the “seers” are having ongoing “visions”. B) They wouldn’t need to revisit the question of status if they felt status quo were just fine. C) That leaves one thing: Condemnation. The latter can come while visions are ongoing and in the Foley book, I just read cases of where the Vatican did step in prior to the end of the so-called visions. I don’t have the book with me at the moment, but Foley gives specifics.
See my blog link in Amy’s original post here to get to my translation.



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David L Alexander

posted July 24, 2006 at 7:37 pm


“They cannot affirm something supernatural while the “seers” are having ongoing ‘visions’…”
Soooo… as long as they’re yappin’, ain’t nothin’ gonna happen!!!



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dymphna

posted July 24, 2006 at 8:19 pm


Well this is a step in the right direction. This thing has gone on for far too long. Either condemn it as a hoax or deem it worthy of belief.



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ml

posted July 24, 2006 at 8:32 pm


Bayside was condemned while it was ongoing, but Bayside was still fairly local even though it had followers around the world. Medjugorje was promoted so heavily by the Franciscan priests in the area and charistmatic movement that maybe the only practical thing to do was forbid parish/diocesan pilgrimages and insist that nothing wacky happened in liturgical or prayer activities.
However, this commission does seem to be part of a trend to rein in and settle out-of-control/controversial movements and people: Fr. Gino Burresi, Assisi Franciscans, Fr.Maciel, Neo-Catechumenate Way . . . There’s no way the new commission is going to approve it at this point, so the question is what they are intending. An outright condemnation is not out of the question IMO although it would be wrenching to so many Catholics who are attached to it and it would be humiliating to all the priests and bishops who have actively promoted it.
Looking at the article on CNS, I get the feeling that what we might see is a crackdown on what is allowed with respect to the “seers” announcing their messages in Peric’s diocese and a clarification with respect to behavior the Church expects from people who do believe it.
In my diocese, there’s an annual, full-day parish-sponsored, diocesan-advertised (events listing on its website) Medjugorje anniversary celebration around June 24-26. Mass is part of it, there is a crowning of Our Lady of Medjugorje (the pictures from one year showed a statue of Our Lady of Fatima draped in a homemade gray mantle to look like the Gospa), major speakers (Fr. John Corapi, Fr. Donald Calloway), etc.
Now if Archbishop Bertone said in 1996 that parish and diocesan sponsored pilgrimages to Medjugorje, understood as a place of authentic Marian apparitions, are not allowed, then why are these parish-diocesan anniversay celebrations allowed?
Maybe one of the things this commission is going to do is make it very clear what the limits are regarding belief and promotion of highly controversial, unapproved apparition sites.



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ml

posted July 24, 2006 at 8:44 pm


Oops, forgot to finish.
So from Diane’s list, I think it may be:
B) They wouldn’t need to revisit the question of status if they felt status quo were just fine.
I believe they (CDF and Bosnian bishops) don’t feel that the status quo is just fine.
+Peric said in an interview after his recent visit with B16 that the pope and his former CDF colleagues couldn’t comprehend how Catholics could believe in an apparition that was decades long with thousands of messages.



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Diane K

posted July 24, 2006 at 9:13 pm


ml,
I agree with the other possibility you raise, that the commission will make more definitive guidelines. We can put that down as yet another alternative.
However, something leads me to believe otherwise: Cardinal Puljic says in his interview to CNS that their primary objective is to revisit the current status of, “It cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations.” The pilgrimage issue is secondary to the primary issue. For this reason, I believe a change in status is coming.
ml says….
***************************
An outright condemnation is not out of the question IMO although it would be wrenching to so many Catholics who are attached to it and it would be humiliating to all the priests and bishops who have actively promoted it.
***************************
To this I would say, why where there priests and bishops promoting it in the first place? Promotion of unapproved apparitions is not prudent. There is a reason why priests and bishops are suppose to distance themselves from things which have not been approved, and we are witnessing it now. If an unapproved apparition is ever condemned, it puts those priests and bishops in a very awkward position.
It is certainly a delicate issue for many Catholics who are attached. If this leads to a change in status to the negative, I would think that they must address the heavy pastoral issue associated with it. This, perhaps, is one reason why they must revisit the pilgrimage issue.
If it were ever condemned, it would kill the local economy. To that I would say, why was it allowed to grow, in spite of the ecclesiastical warnings to not promote. This is visible as far back as 1985 when Bishop Zanic stated clearly that it all must cease. But the Franciscans enabled the seers to defy his orders.
Do the ends ever justify the means? I think the answer is “no” if the means is rooted in falsehood – namely false apparitions. Pope Benedict is a solid theologian and I believe his position has been well misrepresented in many pro-Medjugorje books. He himself had stated,
***********************************
“Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
I-00120 CITTÀ DEL Vaticano
22 Juli 1998
Herrn …………
00069 Trevignano Romano (RM)
Dear Mr. …
First of all, I have to apologize for answering your kind letter from 27th May only today. The burden (i.e. work load) of the last few weeks has been so heavy that I had to postpone my private correspondence again and again so that only now, as my vacation is about to begin, I can at last try to answer the more important letters.
I thank you very much for sending me the memorandum by Claus Peter Clausen, whom in fact I know as the author of the Schwarze Briefe (Black Letters). I can only say that the statements attributed to the Holy Father and me are freely invented.
With my best wishes for your manifold activities.
Josef Ratzinger
****************************************
I don’t think Pope Benedict will permit something to continue if the bishops themselves agree that nothing supernatural is happening there. Pope John Paul may have had good reason to let status quo reign during the war and the years following in order to just let the community recover from that devastation. But its been a long time now, and the evidence just mounts against authenticity. 30,000+ messages alone is highly suspect.



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chris K

posted July 24, 2006 at 10:51 pm


They could not possibly affirm it with “visions” ongoing.
Ah, the wise have spoken! So be it. But…that isn’t exactly so. Lucia of Fatima had ongoing apparitions connected to Fatima after approval. And everyone believed that she would see the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart before she died. Some might say that she witnessed the signs of its beginning, but not completion. Anyway there was still more to discover and interpret yet for the future. And Amsterdam’s apparition site was approved while the prophecies in the messages are still to be seen … one being that on a given date of May 31st would be proclaimed the 5th and final Marian dogma. Betania was approved before Maria Esperanza’s visions and messages ended. Soooo…
Nice try on that translation you provided from the Bettnet comment section. I don’t know where that translation comes from as the person did not cite their source, as they should have.
Calm down, Diane. I wasn’t “trying” anything. I merely offered a translation that I had seen elsewhere since people have been seeking such. Obviously the first portion is the translation of the Croatian article of Vercenji list re: the new commission … similar to what people on your own blog have offered from their own limited Croatian. The rest is added commentary by one of the main characters involved with the apparition site also given to the Vercenji list. It’s there … simply just go look for it!! I mean, if you “offer” your own eager conjectures of hoped for condemnation of the site, others can present additional information … no?
With the past statements offered by the bishops that no final judgment will be made while events are ongoing, it would seem logical that after the recent added confusion of the bishop’s homily, (again differing from the Vatican recognized bishops’ conference/commission statement), and causing lots of inquiries of the CDF as to just what authority has jurisdiction, the Vatican is answering the many former requests for some international commission to take over and get things out of the local/national contention among the bishops there … so there can be some recognized objectivity….and guidance.



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Waterinckx Mark

posted July 25, 2006 at 1:27 am


If you want to know the big psychological problem with Medjugorje, read this : http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/MedLove.htm



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Patti

posted July 25, 2006 at 1:52 am


Time for the secrets to unfold and settle the whole thing.



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David L Alexander

posted July 25, 2006 at 9:31 am


“Ah, the wise have spoken! So be it. But…that isn’t exactly so. Lucia of Fatima had ongoing apparitions connected to Fatima after approval.”
If it “isn’t exactly so,” it wouldn’t be very wise, now, would it?
It probably helped that the Blessed Mother didn’t claim to be the Fourth Person of the Trinity, which is one of the reasons to wait until the visions have stopped before making pronouncements. None of this changes the necessity of burden of proof on the visions themselves, as opposed to skeptics.



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chris K

posted July 25, 2006 at 10:03 am


“Ah, the wise have spoken! So be it. But…that isn’t exactly so. Lucia of Fatima had ongoing apparitions connected to Fatima after approval.”
If it “isn’t exactly so,” it wouldn’t be very wise, now, would it?

David,
Obviously I was being facetious re: “wise”. Should have put scare quotes around it for your benefit!! Trouble with comments, … unless one gets to know each person, one may mistakenly misinterpret intentions. Anyway, humor helps and keeps things open and not so rigid.
None of this changes the necessity of burden of proof on the visions themselves, as opposed to skeptics.
There is always a burden of proof on all Christians who speak to any matter when they begin speaking to what the Church has given in guidance through a particular bias that limits allowing the whole picture to be told. We have skeptics as well who would attempt to influence people away from what the Church has truly spoken to … as if they speak for the Church or attempt to influence the uninformed by pre-empting what the Church has as yet to decide. I would say that they have then accepted that burden of proof when they make such statements … not just questions out of skepticism.



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ml

posted July 25, 2006 at 1:15 pm


[i]Lucia of Fatima had ongoing apparitions connected to Fatima after approval.[/i]
The original six apparitions to all three children occurred from May13-October 13. 1917. Sister Lucia had another apparition in 1925 (first Saturday devotion) and one in 1929 (vision of Trinity/request for consecration of Russia). These two extra apparitions to Lucia were over when local approval was given to the events of 1917 and were clearly considered separate from the apparitions given to all three children. Bishop Correia’s October 1930 pastoral letter only approved the first six apparitions:
“In virtue of considerations made known, and others which for reasons of brevity we omit; humbly invoking the Divine Spirit and placing ourselves under the protection of the most Holy Virgin, and after hearing the opinions of our Rev. Advisors in this diocese, we hereby:
1. Declare worthy of belief, the visions of the shepherd children in the Cova da Iria, parish of Fatima, in this diocese, from the 13th May to 13th October, 1917.
2. Permit officially the cult of Our Lady of Fatima.”
In October 1930, the Sacred Penitentiary under Pius XI granted a partial indulgence to those who individually visited the Fatima Shrine and prayed for the intentions of the Holy Father, and a plenary indulgence once a month to those who went there in a group.
The first official indication of Universal Church approval of Fatima was in 1940; Pope Pius XII spoke of Fatima for the first time in an official Papal text, his encyclical Saeculo exeunte. In the text he stated: “Let the faithful not forget, especially when they recite the Rosary, so recommended by the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, to ask the Virgin Mother of God to obtain missionary vocations, with abundant fruits for the greatest possible number of souls” (http://www.fatima.org/essentials/facts/popeapprov.asp)
In 1942, Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that was the first official notice of Sister Lucia’s two extra apparitions in the 1920’s. The fact that she was a clearly holy woman who never disobeyed a superior’s command was no doubt in her favor. You can’t say that of Medjugorje.
[i]Amsterdam’s apparition site was approved while the prophecies in the messages are still to be seen[/i]
Amsterdam has a form of local, not Universal Church approval. And I seriously doubt it ever will get Universal Church approval.
[i]Betania was approved before Maria Esperanza’s visions and messages ended.[/i]
Finca Betania, the location of numerous apparitions of the Virgin witnessed by nearly 2,000 people, has a form of local, not Universal Church, given in 1987. Additionally, Bishop Pío Bello Ricardo noted in his pastoral letter that [b]a few[/b] people had received messages in addition to a vision. Maria Esperanza is given credit for being the first one credited with seeing an apparition of the Virgin (80 people with her saw phenomena) and for organizing various pious activities on the sight, but the pastoral approval of Finca Betania is not approval of Maria Esperanza or her messages. (http://www.mariaesperanza.com/english/pastoral.htm)
Moreover, in a letter to Maria Esperanza in 1991, the same bishop gave her permission to accept speaking engagements, but reminded her that his official approval of Finco Betania did not extend beyond what he had written in that 1987 pastoral letter. (http://www.mariaesperanza.org/english/index_frameset_en.htm). In other words, nothing specific to Maria Esperanza’s claimed messages or extraordinary phenomena has any ecclesiastical approval whatsoever, not even local.



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chris K

posted July 25, 2006 at 3:30 pm


ml,
Thank you for proving my point! The demand here is that it is not possible to approve of an apparition site BEFORE the messages have ended or before predictions within messages come to pass, or before “visions have ended” as Diane believes, or approval of the spiritual perfection of each and every seer involved (as you personally believe they of Medj. are not), etc. If you can give examples of approval of sites or of only a limited number of messages/prophecies within the whole, neglecting even those that came after an approval accepted by the Church, then you must agree that such “early” approval has been done in the history of apparitions. You even present the situation where a site is approved separate from the very visionary upon whose vision/message the location of the site itself was dependent. Thanks!
But I don’t quite understand your differentiating between Church approval and the approval by the local bishop re: Amsterdam. Church approval is based upon the local bishop’s approval. Medjugorje is only an exception to this through a rather unprecedented intervention by the Vatican.



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ml

posted July 25, 2006 at 7:34 pm


The Fatima commission that ruled in 1930 had only studied the orginal six, self-limited messages. The Virgin of Fatima said she would appear six times and that a miracle would occur in October on the occasion of her sixth visit to the three children. The miracle was predicted to the day and hour and was seen by over one hundred thousand people, even those not in the Cova and even those not expecting it. It was because of the miracle and the fact that it was predicted so accurately that the 1917 events were approved as worthy of belief. Sister Lucia’s private apparitions in 1925 and 1929 were not the subject of the commission’s work, but they obviously didn’t impede the decision in any way regarding the events of 1917.
Medjugorje is nothing like Fatima. It’s been going on for 25 years with not a single prediction (like the October miracle). The six “seers” keep stringing everyone along while they’re making comfortable livings off their apparition claims. When is Vicka going to publish that autobiography of the Virgin that she supposedly recorded about 23 years ago? She wouldn’t even allow the bishop to look at the outside of the notebooks without opening them up. Why won’t Mirjana show the ecclesiastical authorities that divine piece of heavenly parchment that the secrets are suppposed to appear on some day?
Compare that to Sister Lucia. She said the third secret was for the Pope, but that her local bishop could read it if he desired (he did not–he passed it directly to Rome without opening it up). That’s the difference between true seers and false ones. Sister Lucia was even silenced at one point, and she obeyed. Padre Pio is another example of a perfectly meek and obedient seer, no questions asked.
Local approval and Universal Church approval are not the same thing. Akita had the support of the local bishop, but the CDF/Vatican has never recognized Akita as authentic.
[A copy of a letter to the editor of the British Catholic magazine, “Christian Order,” from the Apostolic Nuncio in Tokyo, Ambrose de Paoli, sent in late 1999, was published in the magazine, and in it he makes the following statement:
“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has asked me to respond to your query re: Akita. I enclose a copy of the statement which the Bishop of Niigata sends to overseas bishops who seek information about Akita.
‘The Holy See has never given any kind of approval to either the events or messages of Akita.'”]
Amsterdam is in the same position as Akita. It has the support of the local bishop, but it doesn’t not have the support of the CDF.
When an apparition has Universal Church approval, then it’s recognized by Rome in some official way, like a reference in an encyclical or a feast day placed on the liturgical calendar or an indication of acceptance from an official office with authority to speak for the Universal Church.
Neither Maria Esperanza’s messages nor her purported extraordinary charisms have received any recognition at all, even from her local bishop. The only approval he gave was to numerous apparitions of the Virgin witnessed by some 2,000 people, of whom Maria Esperanza was one. She isn’t credited with any more than that so it’s very deceptive when people claim that Maria Esperanza has local ecclesiastical approval because most people aren’t aware of the difference between the bishop’s limited approval of apparitions witnessed by great crowds and all the messages and whatnot that Maria Esperanza claimed for herself personally. The bishop who approved the site of Betania as worthy of pilgrimage died in 2003, and I’ve never heard of any commission looking into Esperanza’s claims.
There has never been a case in which local approval was denied but Universal Church approval was given. Medjugorje has the involvement of the CDF right now, not IMO because the local bishops conference can’t be trusted, but because Medjugorje fanatics wouldn’t accept any decision from the new commission unless the CDF had its hand in the work in some visible way.



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Judy

posted July 25, 2006 at 9:20 pm


I loved Medjugorje, been there twice…a very Eucharistic and prayerful atmosphere. But way down deep, what bothered me was that we stayed at the simple but large home of one of the visionaries – the yougest, Jachov. I’m not sure of the spelling. I don’t remember how many people it could accomodate, but our group took up at least 6 bedrooms. Surely this was a conflict of interest as he must have been financially profiting from this.



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chris K

posted July 25, 2006 at 10:39 pm


There has never been a case in which local approval was denied but Universal Church approval was given.
And??
Medjugorje has the involvement of the CDF right now, not IMO because the local bishops conference can’t be trusted, but because Medjugorje fanatics wouldn’t accept any decision from the new commission unless the CDF had its hand in the work in some visible way.
The local bishops themselves have been asking for some time for an international commission to be established. Do you know truly anything about this? Some have stated that it is beyond being local or even national, but rather has involved the entire world. Medjugorje devotees (fanatics?, your word) of whom our beloved JPII was and “is”, have accepted the ruling of the commission. It’s all the debunkers who refuse to remain in the “wait and see” mode, in proper obedience, and continue to try to influence other than what the Church has guided through the commission up to this point. It’s the debunkers who wish to jump beyond what the Church has ruled and speak to condemnation or negativity. It only shows the ignorance of proper interpretation according to the mind of the Church.
She isn’t credited with any more than that so it’s very deceptive when people claim that Maria Esperanza has local ecclesiastical approval because most people aren’t aware of the difference between the bishop’s limited approval of apparitions witnessed by great crowds and all the messages and whatnot that Maria Esperanza claimed for herself personally.
Look, Maria had never acted in disobedience to her bishops. She has been recognized by them for years as a legitimate visionary. She traveled to other countries and spoke to her life’s experiences of visions, her current mystical experiences (finding the site of Betania was only a part of them so her mystical experiences obviously would not be included when zeroing in on the shrine itself), personal connection to P. Pio who called her to himself and spoke to her personal mission after he would be gone. She spoke regularly to her mystical experiences and to the various predictions …. with her bishop’s approval to speak. I really doubt that her prediction of 9/11 would be considered as having any connection to Betania itself!! Again, sites are approved, just as saints are made, without all of the supernatural experiences connected to the human/s involved. So what? That was my point to which you seem to agree. So, what’s the beef? And so what if Medj. isn’t Fatima? Amsterdam, Akita, La Salette, Kibeho, Guadalupe, aren’t either. Each is very different and unique and with its own character, religious history, cultural differences, seers’ ages, the needs of a particular time,etc. After all of the examinations and close scrutiny … for 25 YEARS … of the seers of Medj. the result is that there is no concern by the commission for anything untoward. Rather, they have led constant and faithful exemplary Catholic lives … now married with lovely Catholic families. Their own sufferings have been trying and especially serious in some, offering that suffering for the Blessed Mother’s intentions. If you have evidence otherwise you had better notify the CDF so that this new commission will be alerted to what somehow was not noticed by the former commission!
Even if the Church has given a greater emphasis to particular apparition sites it does not make any other approved sites of lesser value to particular devotees. Once one is approved, that is all that is needed for acceptance by the faithful. There is no secondary approval.
I don’t see what you are attempting to prove re: Medj. If you can’t wait to see what the Church will do next and have to personally condemn it for your own personal reasons – well, no one can stop you. Several combox quotes also recently predicted that the CDF would never move again on this, etc. So much for personal predictions and opinions! che sera sera!



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ml

posted July 25, 2006 at 11:57 pm


“The local bishops themselves have been asking for some time for an international commission to be established.”
Chris–Aren’t you the one always posting that authority was ripped from the hands of Bishop Peric and taken over by the CDF? This seems to be a new argument for you.
“It’s all the debunkers who refuse to remain in the “wait and see” mode, in proper obedience, and continue to try to influence other than what the Church has guided through the commission up to this point.”
I don’t think so. As I wrote in a post above:
In my diocese, there’s an annual, full-day parish-sponsored, diocesan-advertised (events listing on its website) Medjugorje anniversary celebration around June 24-26. Mass is part of it, there is a crowning of Our Lady of Medjugorje (the pictures from one year showed a statue of Our Lady of Fatima draped in a homemade gray mantle to look like the Gospa), major speakers (Fr. John Corapi, Fr. Donald Calloway), etc.
Now if Archbishop Bertone said in 1996 that parish and diocesan sponsored pilgrimages to Medjugorje, understood as a place of authentic Marian apparitions, are not allowed, then why are these parish-diocesan anniversay celebrations allowed?
Medjugorje fanatics have completely overstepped their authority in promoting this unapproved and highly controversial series of “apparitions.”
It wasn’t that long ago when you yourself were referring to “Our Lady of Medjugorje” in your posts. There is no cultus allowed until the local bishop declares it permissable as in the pastoral letter cited above for Our Lady of Fatima, but that’s another matter on which Medjugorje fanatics believe themselves entitled to reject.
I don’t believe the CDF views Medjugorje without concern. There was an article shortly before B16’s election in which he was claimed to say he believed Medjugorje to be a hoax. Bishop Peric just gave an interview saying B16 and his colleagues at the CDF could never understand how faithful Catholics could believe the claim that the Virgin had given so many thousands of messages. And now a commission will be appointed in September with the CDF recommending theologians to participate. You can think what you want, but from where I’m sitting, this is part of a trend of this pontificate to rein in excesses. Medjugorje IMO was given a pass for a long time because of the war in the area and the break-up of communism in Eastern Europe.



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chris K

posted July 26, 2006 at 9:54 am


You can think what you want,
Thank you, ml.
but from where I’m sitting, this is part of a trend of this pontificate to rein in excesses.
Perhaps any “excesses” will be given more guidance or enforcement, but I doubt if there will or can be any final judgment at this time. This pope has contributed to a continuation of the spirit of JPII’s papacy. The world knows how JPII felt about Medjugorje as does Benedict. Benedict also stands with a history, backed by JPII, of an unprecedented intervention into this place. That intervention actually prevented a negative decision from going forward at that time. Perhaps the former C. Ratzinger acted only in obedience to JPII’s convictions. If he now acts in complete opposition to that, then we will have two popes with two differing opinions. That has happened before with local bishops re: apparition sites. But I feel that the current pope truly wishes the process of examination to be seen by the faithful as not meshed in with the factionalism and historical disputes as much as possible. If there are others involved with authority other than regional, perhaps the local bishop can also “wait and see” and without confusing the faithful as to just what the Church has decided.
And, BTW, none of the examples you’ve given have been forbidden. There are not diocesan led pilgrimages that would speak to some kind of final Church judgment on the matter. Persons can hardly refer to that particular “shrine” without referring to the principle “character” other than using the name, Medjugorje. That does not mean that anyone is speaking to any fully Church approved shrine. One’s personal feelings about a private revelation are not forbidden, nor can they be. Even if the Church should approve it sometime in the future, I’m certain that most debunkers are too heavily invested in their former dismissals (but I would hope not), that they will continue to announce their doubts and comparisons to one or two particular other spots that fill their own personal definitions of “apparition propriety”! So what? They aren’t forced to believe. When it comes to faith, it’s a gift anyway.
Chris–Aren’t you the one always posting that authority was ripped from the hands of Bishop Peric and taken over by the CDF? This seems to be a new argument for you.
No. The action taken was done rather subtly and with consideration for the bishop’s authority (not “ripped”, your word, not mine) … but the intervention WAS done. That is a fact. And it was not taken out of the regional authority of bishops …. ever. So, no, I’ve never argued otherwise. In fact, if the contributing circumstances had not existed, I would always be for the authority of the local bishop. It’s a shame that the local authority could not perform the examination of this most important event for the Church with objectivity and respectful responsibility for all. That’s too bad. The CDF certainly allowed for several chances for just such an approach. Nothing was “ripped”, as you say.
And actually those “thousands of messages” seem to imply that the Lady is a blabbermouth – something new every day. The only messages for the world come monthly. The daily messages to a few of the seers are most often for their personal guidance. Any given publicly, daily, only refer in some way to the monthly main theme. Rather, if you study them, there is a theme that is emphasized and that theme of a limited number of requests to bring peace and conversion to a world so far from Her Son, is simply repeated … just as any mother needs to do especially with hardened children who never seem to learn. If children are literally on the brink of self destruction and endangering their very souls, daily implorings are a gift from heaven to prevent such losses … esp. if time is short for conversion. A couple of visits isn’t enough for these times. It only shows her never tiring love (and the Father’s as well since He is the One permitting her to remain with us during such times of horror) for all of her children, good and bad. It has been said that these will be her last apparitions on earth in “such a way”. When the “secrets” come to pass, such kinds of apparitions will no longer be necessary. Hmmm. And there are many, many, “visionaries”, mystics, these days with the approval and oversight of their bishops to write and/or dispense their “messages” for the world for these times. Medj. isn’t the lone ranger. It’s just the most public plea.
Re: those articles you read about the statements, confessions, by the popes to this particular bishop re: their personal views as announced by the bishop; The one quality emphasized so often about our current pope is that he only reveals his thoughts and plans to a very few, most trusted colleagues. He doesn’t like publicity! And since we have the personal letters and so many other statements by JPII, the talk by the bishop that JPII too has always been on the side of the local bishops’ opinions, should convince one that certain “articles” lack in evidence!
The Church will move along as she will. We’ll “wait and see”. Meanwhile, ml, you ought to try and catch any talk by Fr. Don Calloway if it’s ever available in your area. His miraculous conversion (through Medj. intervention in his life) and then call to the priesthood is a great blessing for our times … for our youth. And he’s with the Divine Mercy order! It’s great evidence of that Mercy spoken to by St. Faustina – available for all – before the time of Justice arrives!



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Diane K

posted July 26, 2006 at 11:18 am


Jimmy Akin has his own analysis of the news on the Commission to be established.
http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2006/07/new_medjugorje_.html#comment-20189383



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ml

posted July 26, 2006 at 12:11 pm


Chris K,
JPII was presiding over beatifications (a break from the past), and B16 has restored those to the local bishops. Just because B16 loved JPII doesn’t mean he’s going to go along with every decision JPII made if he disagreed with it.
***********
Carrie Tomko has the following post on her blog:
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
EMAIL FROM MARK WATERINCKX
It is officially confirmed now. The Vatican asks the Bosnia-Hercegovina-bishops conference to install a new commission about Medjugorje. And following the directives of the Vatican itself they have to consider the FACTS before the fruits. So the chance of a recognition of the ‘apparitions’ is 0%. The real problem of this sad story will be the psychology of the Medjugorje-supporters.
http://www.carrietomko.blogspot.com/
This is welcome news if it’s true. The facts of the case are the problem, which is why Medjugorje supporters always want to insist that the fruits alone matter.



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diane

posted July 26, 2006 at 1:10 pm


JPII was presiding over beatifications (a break from the past), and B16 has restored those to the local bishops.
So what?? This has zero relevance to Medjugorje. B16, I’m sure, makes such decisions on a case-by-case basis. He doesn’t say, “Well, I’ve reversed JPII’s policy on Matter X; therefore, I’ll reverse his policies on absolutely everything–and the first thing I’ll do is squash Medjugorje, even though I was the one who made the unprecedented move to take authority over the Medj investigation out of the local ordinary’s hands!”
This is apples and oranges. You caannot credibly make the leaap from A to Z.
BTW, B16 hasn’t reversed JPII’s policy re holding prayer-for-peace meetings in Assisi. Wouldn;t that seem to indicate that he is less inclined to overturn his predecessor’s policies thaan you intimate?
Just because B16 loved JPII doesn’t mean he’s going to go along with every decision JPII made if he disagreed with it.
So? Where do you have the slightest hard evidence that B16 disagrees with JPII re Medjugorje? No, Bp. Peric’s incredibly self-serving claims re a private conversation with B16 do not count. I want hard evidence–real evidence. The only hard evidence we have is then-Cdl. Ratzinger’s own actions baack when he was head of the CDF. Those actions rather tend to support the view that he agreed with JPII re Medj, not disagreed. Once again for good measure: It was Cdl Ratzinger as head of the CDF who was responsible for removing jurisdiction for the Medj investigation from the local bishop. What part of that are we not understanding here?
Sigh. The Medj bashers keep insisting that we supporters will be thrown for a loop “when” (not even “if”!) the apparitions are condemned. I wonder whether it will be just the opposite. The bashers will have conniptions on top of hissy fits if the apparitions are actually approved! They won’t be able to deal with it…..
Diane Kamer (not Diane K) :)
P.S. Chris K–thanks for fighting the good fight. May I lend you some moral support? :D



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ml

posted July 26, 2006 at 1:25 pm


Diane Kamer–
I was responding to this from Chris K’s post:
“This pope has contributed to a continuation of the spirit of JPII’s papacy. The world knows how JPII felt about Medjugorje as does Benedict. Benedict also stands with a history, backed by JPII, of an unprecedented intervention into this place. That intervention actually prevented a negative decision from going forward at that time. Perhaps the former C. Ratzinger acted only in obedience to JPII’s convictions. If he now acts in complete opposition to that, then we will have two popes with two differing opinions.”
My point was merely that just because JPII liked something doesn’t mean B16 is going to agree or continue JPII’s policy decisions.
Cardinal Ratizinger could very well have been acting on JPII’s orders regarding Medjugorje, as Chris K. acknowledges. Just because he did something as CDF Prefect does not mean he was acting on personal conviction. The 1991 Zadar declaration could well have been a compromise at the time (the actual findings of the commission were never released) because of the state of Eastern Europe.



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chris K

posted July 26, 2006 at 3:50 pm


JPII was presiding over beatifications (a break from the past), and B16 has restored those to the local bishops. Just because B16 loved JPII doesn’t mean he’s going to go along with every decision JPII made if he disagreed with it.
Did I say otherwise? Everyone is so reactionary. But then, the present pope DOES have on record the unprecedented action the CDF took while under his authority.
The 1991 Zadar declaration could well have been a compromise at the time (the actual findings of the commission were never released) because of the state of Eastern Europe.
Well, until you read some of the statements from the bishops in the conference. They were really favorable towards Medj.



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chris K

posted July 26, 2006 at 3:53 pm


Oh, diane! Well, it does get a bit lonely. I need a mosquito net! Thanks! Gotta go say the Divine Mercy chaplet during this three o’clock hour before it ends!



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ml

posted July 26, 2006 at 6:08 pm


“Well, until you read some of the statements from the bishops in the conference. They were really favorable towards Medj.”
Where would one find these statements?



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chris K

posted July 26, 2006 at 9:00 pm


No offense, but why is it that debunkers can always seem to find those sites or limited books that hide certain facts from you, but when it’s just as easy to discover the facts much closer to the main characters, there isn’t as much effort? Could it just be that there is already an agenda to prove? I’m not saying you do such, but so often, at least in the “elite” Catholic blogs, that’s the case!
A few references:
April 29, 1990 the National Catholic Register (what the Pope has stated about Medj. being a great center of spirituality)
Croatian news
on December 23, 1990 Cardinal Kuharic, the highest prelate of the Yugoslav Commission, stated implicitly that “the Bishops’ Conference was taking a positive stance towards the events in Medjugorje.” The President of the Yugoslav Bishops Commission, Archbishop Frane Franic, in an interview in September 1991, cited Paul’s words of 1 Thessalonians 5: 19-22, i.e. that, following Paul’s call, “It is the duty of the Church Authority as St. Paul says not to suffocate the spirit in the Church of Love but to discern the spirits”. Unfortunately, too often many bishops and priests put it aside. They should examine it for whatever is good and coming from the Holy Spirit, like Medjugorje.”
ex-Archbishop of Split Frane Franic stated in an interview with the Italian daily {Corriere della Sera}, on January 15, 1991, that only the ferocious opposition of Bishop Zanic, who refused to budge from his own verdict, had impeded a positive decision on the Medjugorje apparitions: “The bishops do not wish to humiliate Monsignor, Zanic,” Franic stated, “And when it was brought to his attention that his opposition was unfounded, he began to cry and shout, and the bishops finally stopped arguing.”
Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, Archbishop of Zagreb and President of the Yugoslav Bishops’ Conference, in an interview with Croatian public television on December 23, 1990, said that the Yugoslav Bishops’ Conference, including himself, “has a positive opinion of Medjugorje events.”



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ml

posted July 27, 2006 at 2:10 am


Chris K–
You’re quoted the same two bishops several times over. There were 20 bishops who voted on the Zagreb Declaration.
In 1990 Cardinal Kuharic said the commission had a positive opinion of Medjugorje events. That doesn’t mean he believed the apparition claims were true, since in 1993 he said, “We Bishops of the Commission have accepted Medjugorje as a place of prayer and pilgrimage. This means that we have nothing against it if someone venerates the Mother of God in a manner also in agreement with the teaching and belief of the Church. Therefore, we are leaving that to further study. The Church does not hurry.” (Glas Koncila, August, 1993). Lots of people think Medjugorje is a sham but nevertheless recognize that by virtue of the sacraments and prayer there that it’s a hothouse of ordinary and sanctifying grace.
In 1990, the 20 bishops of the Yugoslavian Bishops Conference voted on the findings of the third Commission: 19 bishops voted for “Non constat de supernaturalitate” while 1 abstained. Archbishop Franic, strong Charismatic, vocal supporter of Medjugorje, and public critic of Bishop Zanic, was the only one who abstained. I’m not surprised he gave a public interview claiming that Zanic had a tantrum because he appears to have had one himself during the voting.
Somehow, I don’t Franic was being all that honest when he said no one dared to upset Bishop Zanic. Want to know why?
Because four years earlier in 1986, the 15 members of the second Medjugorje Commission had voted on the same conclusion (“Non constat de supernaturalitate”): 11 voted ‘for’, 2 ‘against’, 1 accepted ‘in nucleo’, and 1 abstained. Zanic was happy with this result; however, it was at this point (1987) that the CDF asked for a third commission on the level of the entire bishops conference.
With the exception of Franic’s abstention, the bishops were unanimous that there had been no evidence of anything supernatural at Medjugorje during 10 years of daily apparitions, reports of rosaries turning to gold, solar miracles, sensational physical healings, etc., etc., etc. Surely with all the fantastic claims that were being made, they would have found some evidence of supernaturalism, wouldn’t they?
If the nineteen bishops who voted for the Zagreb Declaration had agreed with Archbishop Franic that Medjugorje was supernatural, then why didn’t they just abstain from voting as he had?



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chris K

posted July 27, 2006 at 12:49 pm


Well, ml, I can see that nothing will satisfy your craving to believe the worst about Medj. … and the bishops involved in keeping the matter at least neutral rather than following the local bishop’s animus, and showing him more respect that he’s shown others. And for some reason now you also don’t trust either the president of the conference or the president of the commission to summarize the feelings of the bishops involved. They are the ones to speak for the entirety due to their positions. Rather, you choose to believe the one so very prejudiced that he’s been witnessed at least twice in tirades against this shrine as well as others like Fatima and Lourdes and then not even admitting to the meeting with the theologian Fr. Chisholm who witnessed his adamant rejection of even the supernatural at approved shrines. Well, you’re stuck in a place where one can’t seem to allow the facts to matter. You believe Franic is dishonest. I know the man and I know who was dishonest in the situation … it wasn’t this good bishop. And, BTW, I DO know the history of past commissions. I ought to, I’ve presented the history enough times for those uninformed. It was the known dishonesty of packing those former commissions with both unqualified and prejudiced members (the second was called to correct that mistake in the first and just did the same) that then made the Vatican recognize the need for greater objectivity. Can’t help if, after you ask for the bishops’ statements, you, with no evidence of such, can only come up with implying the bishop lied. Go figure. So, better return to Unity, Foley, et al. You’re birds of a feather. Have fun debunking. Enough pearls lost in the muck on this thread! Prayers!



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ml

posted July 28, 2006 at 3:03 am


I didn’t say they lied, Chris. I said you imply that by saying they were positive about what was happening at Medjugorje that they therefore must have accepted the apparitions as authentic. I pointed out that you don’t have evidence of that, and Kuharic’s 1993 statement seems to support my interpretation.
Bishop Zanic (who made 11 pilgrimages to Marian shrines before 1981) was right: the fanaticism of Medjugorje supporters is incorrigible.



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chris K

posted July 30, 2006 at 2:31 pm


I said you imply that by saying they were positive about what was happening at Medjugorje that they therefore must have accepted the apparitions as authentic.
I implied nothing of the sort. I gave you the bishops’ statements which spoke to the reasoning behind the general nuanced position by the commission. I gave you what you asked for – the bishops’ statements – those bishops in positions to speak for the general mood of the commission. If you wish to extend it beyond that, then you take the responsibility for your own thinking or imaginings rather than projecting them onto others with no basis.
You reacted to those statements with your qualification that the holy bishop is not being truthful:
Somehow, I don’t Franic was being all that honest when he said no one dared to upset Bishop Zanic.
Well, he said it and you asked for it.
There is no final decision about authenticity … only the allowance for further examination. And that was permitted by the bishops’ desire not to decide in the negative which the local bishop desired and which would not have left events open for further examination which apparently is now going to take place. You could at least say thank you for a reply to your needs! It was given … but apparently not accepted because it didn’t quite fit into your expectations. Sorry, but facts are facts. And referring to past local bishop commissions which led up to the removal of the dossier from the local bishop has nothing to do with the last commission. Those commissions were loaded with prejudiced reps … reason why the CDF moved in!
The history of the controversy is meticulously detailed by a professional British journalist and broadcaster, Mary Craig, (who also penned a major biography of Lech Walesa) who first traveled to Medjugorje to produce a documentary for the British Broadcasting Corporation and later penned a book about the controversy called Spark From Heaven.:
As for investigations, a commission that was seen as negative to Medjugorje from the start, was established by Bishop Zanic but composed of just four people (only one of whom visited Medjugorje) and in January of 1984 Cardinal Kuharich of Zagreb asked Bishop Zanic to form “a larger, more serious commission,” says the author.
Such was done and a new commission was formed with 14 members.
“None, however, was known to the public, and none had the remotest connection with the events they were investigating,” notes Craig. “Moreover, the mixture was no more balanced than before, as ten of the 14 were known opponents of Medjugorje. Indeed, one of Zanic’s fellow bishops dryly observed that disapproval of Medjugorje seemed to be a condition of selection.” According to Craig — — who also takes swipes at the pro-Medjugorje camp — the bishop, in pronouncing himself chairman of the commission, “declared his intention of ‘crushing the apparitions.'”
!!!



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sean

posted August 5, 2006 at 5:37 pm


Medjugorje brought me, and my entire family, into the Church.
Medjugorje changed me from a bitter, cynical, heavy-drinking, deplorably sinful non-believer into a young man who believes in God, and trusts in God, more than anything that this troubled world has to offer.
Medjugorje brought my wife, Lisa, into the Church — she was a non-believer from a family of atheists — but I brought her to Medjugorje when she was 23 and I was 24 (I had already been a believer for 4 years).
Her conversion was almost immediate. One night she and I were present at Apparition Hill when Our Lady appeared to the seer Ivan. Lisa and I got separated in the darkness and among the throngs of praying people.
Lisa ended up standing very close to where Ivan was kneeling. Not really believing any of it, Lisa did not bow her head in prayer when the apparition was soon to begin.
Instead, a wavering “star” caught her eye. It moved above Apparition Hill in a smooth motion, descending to the top of the hill until Lisa lost sight of it through the thick trees.
Moments later, however, Lisa saw the light again… she describes it as a blueish ball of light… she watched it move through the trees, over the heads of people, and as it approached Ivan it flashed brightly three times… on the third flash, Ivan went into ecstacy and Lisa saw the light no more.
The experience moved her so profoundly that she hurried to Confession during the pilgrimage, then upon returning home was Baptized, received her First Communion and Confirmation.
We had a beautiful Catholic wedding with a full Mass, and now we are expecting our first child in October. Our marriage and growing family is a true fruit of Medjugorje, because without Medjugorje I never would have been interested in getting married, starting a family and going to Church.
Medjugorje is a bit of Heaven on earth and I speak for a lot of people when I say that, had it not been for Our Lady’s continuing apparitions there, we never would have come to know the love of God.
I have now devoted my life to spreading Our Lady’s messages through documentary videos — my little thank-you for changing my life so dramatically and pulling me out of the darkness I had lived in.



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Michael Shannon

posted September 19, 2006 at 11:07 pm


The Apparitions of Mary at Medjugorje are true. The problems with anything else relating to Medjugorje is the problem of sin in the world. People are prone to make a mess of things no matter how holy the venture. Remember Judas Iscariot? The lady who used the criticizing sarcastic term “apparitions on demand” is incorrect. Mary appears on her own timetable not ours. But she allows for the seers human existance and cooperates with them as any Mother would. This is not a time for sarcasm. Humor, OK but Sarcasm, no.
We are in the end times of Satans 100 year “reign” (don’t try to figure out the start and stop dates) as per Pope Leo XIII apparition and Mary’s statement early on to Mirjana. I suggest everyone discern for themselves and forget listening to anyone (including me) other than the Holy Spirit. There are many liars and false statements on both sides of the issue. The human ego prevails. Priests and other “experts” are given to speak as though they are experts on all topics religious it seems. The ego gets involved, (or Pride) and both sides make it hard to discern. Go before the Blessed Sacrament and ask Jesus to help you. I have not been to Medjugorje but I have been given a KNOWLEDGE (a gift of the Holy Spirit) that Medjugorje is real, that is to say, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is appearing daily, to some of the 6 seers. Stupid arguments (from intelligent people no doubt) argue that there are too many apparitions and too often. You don’t get it. This is the end. It is perfectly logical that Our Lady would appear daily and the mercy of God is the reason she keeps appearing. I apologize to those who don’t know. Our Lady gave a message once that hit me pretty hard when she chastised me and anyone like me who spoke ill of non believers. She basicly said “you have the knowledge of the apparitions, they don’t. Who do you think you are”. Ouch, I was rebuked, so I now speak more courteously to those who try to prove Medjugorje as a fake with silly logic and quoting no doubt some false stories. BOTTOM LINE: Be your own doctor and your own accountant and your own discerner. The apps are real and this is the end of “something” and the start of “something else” I can’t begin to describe but the changes are big and forthcoming in the lifetime of the priest they have chosen to give the time of the chastisement. Until then, as Our Lady, the Gospa says— LIVE THE MESSAGES— which coincidentally is the same message Jesus and the Catholic Church has been promoting since Peter gave up his day job and took up the call to fish for men, to Save souls for Jesus for His and our Father in Heaven. Pray, fast, believe, promote internal and external peace, convert to God. My advice is to stop reading the naysayers books and websites and Keep up these Medjugorje directives from Our Lady until the permanent sign appears. If it doesn’t appear in your lifetime you win anyway because you are following Peter and Paul (I am tempted to say “and Mary” but I won’t) and they follow Jesus so you win even if the apps in Medjugorje turn out to be false. Again I know they are real but I am being polite per Our Lady’s direction to me. Thank God for allowing her “on demand” messages and His delaying the chastisement to give us a chance to change.
Forget Franic, Zanic and Panic and listen to the Holy Spirit. The exposed Christ in the Monstrance, the Blessed Sacrament in your chapel is a good venue for hearing the Holy Spirit. The church won’t rule until the apps are over and by then the promised events will have taken place (or not) so its a no brainer. LIVE THE MESSAGES. You can’t lose that way.



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Paul

posted November 3, 2006 at 10:17 pm


Quote Diane from Ratzinger’s letter: “I thank you very much for sending me the memorandum by Claus Peter Clausen, whom in fact I know as the author of the Schwarze Briefe (Black Letters). I can only say that the statements attributed to the Holy Father and me are freely invented.”
I would like to see what exact statements were attributed to JPII and Ratzinger that are “freely invented”. There is a very long list of statements which have been compiled on the website: http://www.marian-times.com/articles/medjugorje/vatican-on-medjugorje.cfm.
Anyway, perhaps the most telling statement from the vatican is the letter distancing itself from the pronouncements of the Bishop of Mostar. See http://www.marian-times.com/articles/medjugorje/vatican-letter1.cfm.



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Rose Ursino

posted October 3, 2007 at 8:49 pm


I would like to comment on your blog on Medjugorje:
By there fruits ye shall know them.
I am from Boston, I have heard it say that Ivan (who is married to a Bostonian) can never go out at a certain time at night, because he recites his rosary and the Blessed Mother appears to him…this has been going on now for many years
I also spoke to a young man who live in the next building over Ivan’s . This young man knew nothing of Medjugorje or who Ivan was. He was out on his roof one evening and he said he saw this young man out there saying the rosary and suddenly three huge balls of light appeared in the sky on to the young man..
Look, no one is forcing anyone to believe, those with faith , those that have the gift to believe, those that have been personally changed those that have had their own prayer experience involving Our Dear Blessed Mother, will never , can never deny the Medjugorje miracle.
Jesus Our Lord sends many people to us , angels, humans, saints, and very very often he sends His Mother, which I believe is the case in Medjugorje!…God help us listen to your messengers,
All over the world there is an outpouring of miraculous phenomenons everywhere here in massachusetts, there is Medway, Milton Hospital, and many more, this all started after the Medjugorje Visitation..why you may ask? Well just look at our state , our laws, our culture then you won’t have to ask anymore.
A friend, believer in Medjugorje



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Rose Ursino

posted October 3, 2007 at 8:50 pm


I would like to comment on your blog on Medjugorje:
By there fruits ye shall know them.
I am from Boston, I have heard it say that Ivan (who is married to a Bostonian) can never go out at a certain time at night, because he recites his rosary and the Blessed Mother appears to him…this has been going on now for many years
I also spoke to a young man who live in the next building over Ivan’s . This young man knew nothing of Medjugorje or who Ivan was. He was out on his roof one evening and he said he saw this young man out there saying the rosary and suddenly three huge balls of light appeared in the sky on to the young man..
Look, no one is forcing anyone to believe, those with faith , those that have the gift to believe, those that have been personally changed those that have had their own prayer experience involving Our Dear Blessed Mother, will never , can never deny the Medjugorje miracle.
Jesus Our Lord sends many people to us , angels, humans, saints, and very very often he sends His Mother, which I believe is the case in Medjugorje!…God help us listen to your messengers,
All over the workd there is an outpouring of miraculous phenomenons everywhere here in massachusetts, there is Medway, Milton Hospital, and many more, this all started after the Medjugorje Visitation..why you may ask? Well just look at our state , our laws, our culture then you won’t have to ask anymore.
A friend, believer in Medjugorje



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johnkonnor72

posted April 26, 2013 at 12:22 am

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