FaithWorld

Vatican ruling on disputed Medjugorje shrine expected soon

By Adam Tanner
October 7, 2009

medjugorje-statueHas the Virgin Mary been appearing daily for many years in the once obscure Bosnian village of Medjugorje to share religious messages with a few local believers? Is the site visited by over 30 million pilgrims a hoax? The question has long divided Catholics who have debated whether the visions are a modern-day miracle, wishful thinking or the result of an elaborate fraud.

(Photo: Virgin Mary statue at reported apparition site, 25 June 2009/Damir Sagolj)

After observing events sceptically for many years, the Vatican may soon issue firmer guidance for Catholics on the claim that the mother of Jesus has been visiting the Balkans, Cardinal Vinko Puljic, head of the bishops’ conference in Bosnia, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. That guidance, if it clearly expresses the scepticism the official Church has long shown towards the Medjugorje phenomenon, could deal a serious blow to a site some Catholics see as a “new Lourdes.”

“We are now awaiting a new directive on this issue,” said Puljic, the Sarajevo archbishop who survived the city’s long wartime siege in the 1990s. “I don’t think we must wait for a long time, I think it will be this year, but that is not clear… I am going to Rome in November and we must discuss this.”

Official Church scepticsm about Medjugorje has become more public in recent months. In June, Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar, the nearest city in Bosnia, warned Catholics against uncritical belief in Medjugorje and issued a series of restrictions on the parish. “Brothers and sisters, let us not act as if these ‘apparitions’ were recognised and worthy of faith,” he said in a sermon (full text here in Italian translation).

medjugorje-processionThen in July, Pope Benedict defrocked Rev. Tomislav Vlasic, the former “spiritual director” to the six visionaries, after a year-long probe into charges he exaggerated the apparitions and had fathered a child with a nun.

(Photo:About 20,000 Catholic pilgrims in Medjugorje, 24 June 2001/Matko Biljak)

The investigation, according to a Catholic News Service report, focused on alleged “dubious doctrine, the manipulation of consciences, suspect mysticism and disobedience towards legitimately issued orders.” One account of his story called him “a modern-day Rasputin with a taste for sex and séances” and another placed the Medjugorje story in the context of anti-communism and Croatian nationalism.

Six children first reported visions of the Virgin Mary in 1981 in a scenario reminiscent of famous apparitions in the French town of Lourdes and Fatima in Portugal. In the following years, the Bosnian village became a major pilgrimage site, giving many visitors a renewed sense of spirituality and locals a steady source of much-needed revenue. It also became the focus of controversy as local Franciscan priests running the site promoted their claims in such open defiance of warnings from the Vatican that 10 of them were expelled from the order and the local bishop called them schismatic.

The 1992-95 Bosnian war disrupted the flow of pilgrims, but with three now middle-aged locals still reporting visions, thousands still flock to the Bosnian town every year. One of the visionaries, Ivan Dragicevic, says on the Medjugorje website that he has received nine out of ten secrets from the Virgin Mary, another element reminiscent of Fatima. He now spends half the year in Medjugorje and the other half in the United States, stopping off in places such as Canada and Peru as well to give lectures on his experiences.

medjugorje-sitePuljic declined to give his own views on the events of Medjugorje. “People have the right to pray everywhere, including in Medjugorje,” he said.

(Photo: Pilgrims pray at reported apparition site, 25 June 2009/Damir Sagolj)

“It is not a sin to pray, it’s not a sin to hear confessions, it is not a sin to give penance, this is a good climate. But this phenomena, apparitions or visions, falls to the (Vatican) commission,” said the cardinal. “It is a very delicate question.”

Do you think Medjugorje represents a miracle or a fraud? What should the Vatican say about it?

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Comments
251 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

This article shows the sign of the times. Anything positive is always met with skepticism. No one bothers to check to see how many lives have been changed? How many pilgrims have been there and what are the fruits? The only thing that seems to get attention is the negative statements. Several members of my family and many of my friends have been there and their lives have changed as a result of the trip. There story did not make the news it seems the only one that made it was the doubts that someone may have about it. Fatima had it detractors and there were many who claimed it was not real, but the Vatican made its pronouncement after the apparition was over. In the case of Medjugorje the apparition is still going on. In our parish we have some detractors who wish to tell us that it is not real and they try to regurgitate the same non sense that is written in this article. You can’t argue with them because they have their minds already made up so therefore all we can do is pray for them. We will all see for ourselves. As the Gamiel stated in to Jesus’ detractors, “lets see if this is real, if it is from God then nothing we will do can change that”, and God help you if on your day of judgment you find yourself on the wrong side of God’s will.

Posted by gaetan | Report as abusive
 

This is certainly some interesting news. We have been discussing these latest developments at the Medjugorje Forum. There have been all sorts of reactions from those who believe in these apparitions. Only time will tell what the Vatican has to say.

 

As an athiest who, in 1995, was called by Our Lady to go to Medjugorje, and who, through many miraculous events, had my entire life changed from one moment of disbelief in God, to the next knowing without a doubt that He exists, I must say that there should be no controversy. Almost 15 years later I am still growing and trusting in Jesus & Mary, completely, and there are many people in my life who have changed as a result of seeing my complete turn-around. This phenomenon is really Heaven sent, and my experience there has been repeated through millions of other pilgrims. Our Lady in Medjugorje has kept her messages very simple in order to draw all types of unbelievers to belief in God, and to strengthen faith. It is Our Lady’s School. There are other prophets receiving messages from Our Lady or Our Lord, who get into more specific areas, to reach other certain types of people, ie, priests, fallen away Catholics, etc.
The sad thing is that people are using their brains too much, and not their hearts. We are all called to be in God’s Holy Will, so that we will be happier – it’s for OUR benefit. Think how wonderful the world would be if all people were in God’s Will, depending upon Our God for everything, rather than thinking we are the gods and ruling ourselves in a fallen, twisted way. All you have to do is look at the condition of the world to see where our “selves” have taken us! Everyone needs to be quiet and listen – God is speaking through His Mother, whom He sent to retrieve us from the edge of the pit of hell. All will know this is true very soon, and hopefully will not pridefully turn away from the truth.
The bible tells us, “if it not from God it will end, if it is from God, you will be fighting God Himself.” Wise words to meditate upon!

Posted by Sharon | Report as abusive
 

In the lives of the Saints, we often read how they insisted on obedience to the Church, that is, obedience to the Pope and the Bishops in Communion with him. Up to this point, the current local Bishop and his predecssor have judged negatively against the alleged visions and messages at Medjugorje.
While a Catholic may personally disgree with the judgement of the local Bishop, he/she is still obligated and required to submit to the judgement of the Church with practical obedience. A Catholic is free to disagree (the Bishop is not infallible in this matter), but we owe him practical obedience, that is, you may not act against the decree; you may not propagate a revelation that the Bishop has judged negatively, or continue to say publicly that you regard it as genuine. We should consider that a bishop or a Church commission may give a negative verdict for reasons which it cannot state publicly, e.g., it may have found out things against the character of the seer, but will not say so publicly, even though this would justify the decision and help people to accept it.
Mark Johnson
USA

Posted by Mark Johnson | Report as abusive
 

I do believe in Medjugorje and feel very surprised that a
newspaper correspondant does not get the true full infor-
mation and background to be able to speak with the truth.
Tomislav Vlasiv WAS NEVER THE SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR OF THE
VISSIONARIES you got your source wrong.
Nevertheless…it does not mater, he went away and had
nothing more to do with Medjugorje for at least 20 years.
We have been going for 21 years been there 104 times and
can give testimony to the many conversions and spiritually growth of the pilgrims that visit Medjugorje.
Our life changed there…meaning: living our Holy Mass with the real conscience and trying to be a better Christian every day of our post-Medjugorje life.
It is so sad to see the people that are away from Our Lord trying to destroy something that brings THEM back
to HIM.
Peace and Good
Mary Fernandez

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive
 

My question is, what will happen if Rome decides negatively against Medjugorje? Will Catholics who are currently in favor of it obey Rome? Would a negative judgement from Rome cause some sort of “Marian schism”?

Posted by Mark Johnson | Report as abusive
 

I went to medjugorje Blessed Mother is truly present. She was with me always. I love blessed Mother. Thank u Most mHoly Trinity. sincerely carmen Madala

Posted by carmenmadala | Report as abusive
 

I have always tried to be a good Catholic and follow all the rules of the church. In the early 80′s I started reading about Medjurgorje and became curious. In 2000 I joined a pilgrimage in Denver, Co. I had a wonderful week as if going on a retreat. Many were seeing the phenomena of the sun. I told God I already believed without seeing anything. On our last day there, Oct. 17th, 2000, I saw the sun phenomena and all I could think was “HOW GREAT YOU ARE LORD”! Fatima happened in 1917 and was not approved until 1938. Sincerly, Magdalen

 

I myself have traveled to Medjugore and If this is not a place that Our Mother is apearing then I don’t know that there are any. It is a very Spitual place with Hunderds of conversions and Callings to the Priesthood.It is Mary’s Place.

Posted by George Stamos | Report as abusive
 

I have been to Medjugorje twice. My most recent trip was last March in 2009 during Lent. I am an obedient daughter of the church and will submit to the authority of the church with regard to Medjugorje et al.

Our Lady is so wonderful. So patient. So full of graces that she wishes to bestow on her children. It is a delight to be present with Our Lady and her angels.

There is peace for all her children. She calls out to us. Let us accept this time of grace and pray for unbelievers in the world who are…according to her revelation at Medjugorje…the source of most of the problems in this world of ours.

Posted by Margie Reilly | Report as abusive
 

Have people forgotten the authority that the Church has to teach and guide Catholics in Jesus’ name? Regardless of our “feelings”, if the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit says that Medjogorie is not from God then that is the definitive word on the subject. Remember, many things that appear to come from god can come from Satan.

Posted by Tom Abbott | Report as abusive
 

I have been to Medjugorje three times and wish I could go more! My pilgrimage to Medjugorje almost 10 years ago led to my hearing in my heart, the call by our Blessed Mother to pray for priests. I have been doing that and when our Holy Father declared a Year for Priests, that confirmed that I have to remain faithful to this call. Join me in praying for priests. Now more than ever before, they need our prayers.
God bless those who believe and those who dont.
Love and prayers from Sri Lanka
Marianne

Posted by Marianne Johnpillai | Report as abusive
 

I HAVE BEEN TO MEDJUGORIE AND I SAY THAT WE WILL KNOW A THING BY ITS FRUITS. I KNOW OF NO UNDESIRABLE EVENTS LEADING FROM THIS SITE AND APPARATIONS WHICH WULD UNDERMINE A PERSONS FAITH. ANN E.

 

I have a Rosary from medjugorje. thats my entire involvement with it.. so take this for what its worth…
i am however a long time devotee of Padre Pio (now St Pio of Petrelcina. HE was suppressed by Bishops, and lived in obedience to the church even when it meant that he could not say Mass publically, could not hear confessions, etc for many years….. his obedience to this was one of the things that convinced many that his stigmata and visions were true.
If the church says “we do not have any reason to believe this and it cannot be promulgated in this or that way” then OBEY.. and keep praying… and perhaps it will lead to further revelation.
but do recall that the church has seldom said much of any definitive nature on modern day apparations

Posted by kirsten | Report as abusive
 

Our Lady Queen of Peace, Our Lady of Medjugorje, has by her motherly admonitions and guidance blessed my life abundantly. I have been a believer of these apparitions since 1985, I have read many articles for and against Medjugorje, I have debated with many friends about the authenticity of these apparitions. At the end of the day, I believe! The fruits have been to wonderful to ignore. I wonder how many people remember Father Slavko Barbaric. We hear much about this Fr. Vlasic but not much about the saintly Fr. Barbaric. If anyone read his books, read about his life and death they would experience one of the great fruits of Medjugorje. Let us pray and wait! Queen of Peace, pray for us!

 

This decision will truly polarize Catholics. This is a good thing. Our Faith should not be based upon apparitions whether true or false. Our Faith is based on Christ and his teachings through the Magesterium of the Church alone. I believe, that is one of the reasons the Vatican has hesitated so long on this decision, it will be a weeding out issue…plus the fact that the apparitions are supposedly ongoing, how can they rule on something that is ongoing. what would happen if they rule it ‘positive’ and then something demonic (God forbid) comes out of these apparitions, it would foolish.

Posted by ManFromUncle | Report as abusive
 

Medjugorje: It’s about time to lower the curtain. But what to do about the hundreds of spin-off seers and so-called apparitions?

Posted by Fr. Augustine Serafini | Report as abusive
 

I THINK THAT THE WRITER OF THIS STORY HAS AN AGENDA OF HIS OWN…
I DO NOT BELIEVE THE VATICAN WILL PRONOUNCE ANY JUDGEMENT ON THIS UNTIL THE APPARITIONS CONCLUDE…

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive
 

ivisited medjugore in 1988. Although I considered myself a devout Catholic at the time ,Icame home from medjugore with such joy and strenth in my faith. The miraculous events I witnessed where over wealming. I witnessed the spinning sun,my rosaries turned to gold on the second day of my visit.These events I consider gifts from heaven.No matter what is decided to the validy of Medjugore I still have my heavenly experiences in my heart and I will always be grateful I was on such holy ground. Through Mary to Jesus!

 

I went twice to Medjugorje and i lost 2 baby boys and after going there i have now 2 baby girls . my sister who never conceived went with her husband and came back pregnant. my brother went once and he keeps on going every year i can t count any more and he now talks only about God. Our Lady changed my family life and mine. I am 100% that the Vatican would not say anything bad about it cause Our Lady loves and prays for the Pope and the Pope does the same and he can never hurt Mother Mary.

Posted by paula | Report as abusive
 

AFTER HAVING BEEN TO MEDUGORJE I HAVE NO DOUBT AT ALL THAT THE VISIONS ARE REAL…IF THE VATICAN DISPUTES IT I DON’T THINK IT WILL TAKE TOO LONG FOR THE MOTHER OF GOD TO PROVE THEM WRONG AND WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE…PRAISE BE TO GOD………………

Posted by Karen Connaughton | Report as abusive
 

Jerry, Adam Tanner has simply reported what Cardinal Puljic told him in an interview in Sarajevo on Tuesday. Puljic said he expects the Vatican to issue guidelines soon — Tanner did not make this up. Would you say Tanner had an agenda if he had decided not to report this? The news has obviously stirred a lot of interest among readers.

 

i am a Baptist convert to the Catholic church and fruit of Medj. through reading anothers book on the subject. From reading this book it brought me to my knees and brought me Home. For a former Baptist, this was a miracle. Then in 1998, on our Blessed Mothers birthday. Sept 8th, a grace was granted in which i had been most desirous of, to live a celebate life, indeed this was a miracle, and just enjoyed this life and renewed this vow of celebacy of now 11 years with the assistance of my local Bishop. I had lived a life of samesex attraction up to this point for 35 years, 21 of those with a companion, Bob, who just this year passed away, who became my greatest benefactor in urging me to Live my faith, Thanks be to God, Most Holy Trinity, throught the Immaculate Heart of Maty. In J.M.J. ray linton

Posted by Ray Linton | Report as abusive
 

To start, let us consider some facts;

Prior to 1960 the percentage of U.S. Catholics who attended weekly Mass was around 75%. Today that percentage is (depending on study) between 25-33%.

Over 60% of U.S. Catholics born after 1960 rarely or never attend Mass. Of those Catholics who rarely or never attend Mass, 90% do not believe in the Divine Presence in the Eucharist.

This is the fruit of Vatican II, less and less Catholics believing in the source and summit of the Catholic faith – the Holy Eucharist.

It appears that the Catholic faith could use a stimulus plan, oh wait, they’ve already received one and her name is Mary. And, she’s been leading pilgrims to her Son from obscure parts of the world, such as Medjugorje.

The Catholics who believe in the apparitions of the Blessed Mother are the ones who attend daily Mass, pray a daily rosary, exercise the confessional regularly, participate in Eucharistic adoration and, in general, are the most devout practitioners of the Catholic faith.

This is the fruit of Medjugorje, case after case of reversions and conversions to the Catholic faith, including clergy, even amidst the terrible scandal of rampant acts of perversion within the priesthood.

If the Catholic Church was healthy, then there exists the logic to in suggesting that the reported apparitions of the Blessed Mother could be a trick by the Devil to distract Catholics from appropriately practicing the faith. This acceptance of the visions being from Heaven could place the believer in grave danger. But the truth, the real truth, is that the Church is not healthy. There has not been any expediential growth to the Church since the advent of Vatican II and the percentage of Catholics who practice their faith has declined dramatically since Vatican II. As Catholic Seniors, who represent a high percentage of the most ardent practitioners of the faith, continue to pass away that percentage will continue to decline.

If it were not for the apparitions of the Blessed Mother in Medjugorje (and other locales) the state of the Catholic Church would be much, much, much worse. If it were not for the apparitions of the Blessed Mother Catholics would not see the need to pray the rosary, fast, confess their sins regularly, participate in adoration, and in general, practice their faith.

So, for the sake of argument, what if the “smoke of Satan” had infiltrated the Church and affected the practice of the Catholic faith so that Catholics wouldn’t practice their faith and that, say 90 percent, of Catholics thought the Eucharist was purely symbolic. And, then God, witnessing this disaster on earth, sends the Blessed Mother to be the messenger from Heaven to inspire the faithful towards embracing the reality of the Divine Presence in the Eucharist. What might God think if the Church, the Church He established on earth, told those believers, following the direction of the Blessed Mother to seek her Son, to not trust in Her messages, essentially to reject Her? Do you think that God would continue to allow for Her intervention if the Church rejects Her intercession?

Doesn’t the thought of the Church rejecting the Blessed Mother sound ill-fated? If there were ever to be a catalyst that might bring about the end of civilization, rejecting the Mother who brought the Savior into the world might suffice.

Why would the Church promote this rejection? It is because Medjugorje presents a conflict of interest to those who ardently prefer the post Vatican II modernization of the Church. Queerly, the visions of the Blessed Mother are being perceived as the work of Satan, in his effort to subjugate the authority of the Church. Apparently, the crafty one, through promotion of Catholic traditionalism and devotion to Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, is tricking Catholics into practicing their faith too much and too intensely that it is actually interfering with the direction of the Church.

The serious and legitimate threat that these apparitions impose upon the Church is that at some juncture there might be a message that questions the authority or direction of the Church. The concern is that devotionals (especially lengthy ones) to these apparitions could interfere with the trust that the faithful have for the authority of the Church (See the apparitions at Garabandal).

There is a great deal to discern on the matter, it isn’t as cut and dry as one might perceive (because it is our perception which is, and has been, under assault). What seems more logical, that God would allow for Satan to poison the Church or exploit the Blessed Mother? If the Church is preparing to condemn the apparitions at Medjugorje will the visionaries begin to receive their final messages, thus initiating the events in connection to the final harvest/end of times? If the Church doesn’t act towards condemning the apparitions does it then provide credence to their legitimacy, thus frustrating opposition to the apparitions within the hierarchy of the Church?

Let us pray, pray, pray that God will grace us with the wisdom to discern the truth.

Posted by Jon_in_Charlotte | Report as abusive
 

I believe 100% in the apparitions of Medjuogrje. I have been there seven times and many times have seen the manifestation of God that can not be explained.
I have seen people who have been instantly cured of years of pain after
being prayed over by Vicka. I have seen many conversions that take place in the hearts of pilgrims so much that they come home a different person filled with peace and love and joy. The Bishop of Mostar it is reported, does not agree with even Fatima and that is an approved apparition. Let us wait then for the Vatican Commission to decide as we will all be obedient to the Pope. Our Lady will let him know the truth.Our Lady in Medjugorje calls us to put God first in our lives, to the importance of Holy Mass and the Eucharist, to the importance of reading the Holy Bible daily, to open our hearts when we pray especially the rosary, and to fast on each Wednesday and Friday. Nothing new……isn’t that what the Catholic Church has called us to ?
Everyone who does not believe in what comes out of Medjugorje will awaken to the truth.

Posted by Carole Kilichowski Blessed Journeys, Inc. | Report as abusive
 

It doesn’t matter what I think. My opinion regarding the authenticity of Medjugorge will not change the reality of this phenomena one way or the other. Neither will the defrocking of one priest, or 100 priests associated with Medjugorge impact whether it’s true or not, because if God has been allowing the Mother of Christ to visit this place and affect the lives of millions of people in a way that brings them back to the Faith or deepen their faith in Christ, then no opinion is going to change that. What I do know is that my cousin experienced a renewal of his Catholic Faith at Medjugorge, as did his fallen-away father and sister. Three things are obvious pertaining to this story. Millions more have experienced their own conversion stories at Medjugorge. The visionaries have never altered their accounts of their experiences. If it was all a hoax would not one of them have been exposed by now – 28 years after their first alleged encounter with Mary? If they were all crazy, would not at least one of the countless medical, scientific or paranormal studies performed on them exposed their madness? All these children-turned-adults have done for 28 years is lead people to Christ through Mary. As Christ empowered His Church to bind and loose, so the Church will have the final say. When that day arrives, Her decision will not minimize in the least the spiritual fruit that Medjugorge has produced.

Posted by John Murray | Report as abusive
 

I believe in Medjugorje, but I have a stronger connection to Our Lady of America as mentioned in a previous comment.

Our Lady of America is so much further along in its approval process by the Catholic Church. People should awaken to what the messages from Our Lady of America can teach us about how to resolve the problems we have today.

You want to see the sun spin? Go to Rome City, IN and pray the rosary. If the clouds allow it, you’ll see the sun spin. You want healing water? Bring your jugs. It is shooting out of the hillsides and people have reported many healings and spiritual conversions from their visits to this Holy place.

The bishops have given canon approval to this devotion…not to Medjugorje…Yet! Think about it.

Posted by mark wells | Report as abusive
 

Jon in Charlotte,
In condemning the apparitions the Church would not be condemning Our Blessed Mother. There are many other reasons and criteria the Church uses in deciding the authenticity of any apparition, one of these is looking at the visionaries themselves…have they benefited materially from this? …Among many others.
Regarding the growth of the Church, you are also confused on this issue. The Church has grown exponentially in Africa and in Asia as well as Latin America, including South America (Brazil). So, please get your facts before you write your own agenda.
Look, We all love the Blessed Virgin Mary…She is our Mother …The Mother of the Church. Whether or not the decision is positive or negative does not detract that the Church is the TRUE Church founded by Jesus and led by the Pope. Let us not let this issue cloud our spiritual vision.
God Bless us.

Posted by ManFromUncle | Report as abusive
 

This article mentions the scandal of Fr. Vlasic but doesn’t give any context, just an association with Medjugorje. Buried in the Catholic News Service article referenced by this piece is the fact that Fr. Vlasic left Medjurgorje in the mid-1980′s …
So,what year is it now? How long ago did he leave? For the math challenged, that is over 24-25 years ago … quite a long time … and he was only there in the parish for 1 1/2-2 1/2 years. His influence was marginal. For those interested in the truth of that story, do some more research … I’ve read a very full and oomplete accounting that situation (I can’t tell you right now the website … but he sought to capitalize on Medjugorje, even falsely claiming that the Blessed Virgin Mary authorized/endorsed his community … he was publicly refuted by one of the Medj. visionaries who said that was absolutely not true. The guy has proven to be a scoundrel (May God have mercy on his soul) … so it is absolutely unfair and untrue to judge Medjugorje by any association with this character.
On the positive side, Pope John Paul II told friends that he went to Medjugorje every day in prayer. When asked about the appropriateness of people going there, he rhetorically asked (knowing the answer), “Are people praying there, are people fasting there, are people converting there, returning to the sacraments there? … Well, let them go.” There have been many religious and priestly vocations that have come out of contact with Medjugorje. “Can a rotten tree bear good fruit? … No, a good tree bears good fruit.” “By their fruits, you shall know them.” I had the privelege of sitting within 10 feet (probably 5′) of one of the visionaries on her first trip to America … on an overnight TransAtlantic flight … she was prayerful, fun, completely normal and wholesome … I’m grateful for having been so close to her for that period of time.
There’s no question in my mind that these young people now older are authentic and credible … the real question and challenge is … what are we doing with the messages which they have passed on to us? Are we taking them seriously? Are we living them? That’s why true prophets are hated … because they call us to conversion, to change, to repent, to turn away from sin, materialism, comfort seeking and to turn back to God and His will, His way … and we don’t want to do that … we’re in a rut and prefer to stay that way.

Posted by S.P. | Report as abusive
 

I, like many who have responded to this article, am disappointed that the author of this same article couldn’t get his story straight….No, Fr. Vlasic was never the visionaries spiritual director…Yes, I have been to Medugorje three times, the last time in the 90′s…and would go back again if called by the Blessed Mother…I, like many others, have seen miracles happen there and happen to me personally…I thoroughly believe Our Mother is there in a special way..but, I also know she is always with us everywhere we invite her in…I personally don’t think the Vatican will rule on this site before the visions have stopped…but if they do and it should be negative, I would adhere to their ruling, as I am a Catholic who believes in the Magesterium of our Church…but, in my heart I will always believe what I have seen and how it changed my life and the lives of those I know who have been there…God is still in charge and He always knows what to do in all situations…Praise God and His Most Precious Mother…Harriet Algren

Posted by Harriet Algen | Report as abusive
 

This to me has always been suspicious and I feel that our lady does not need to appear daily and i mean daily for over 25 years to 6 people. I feel that all lot of the messages repeat themselves and have a human touch to them. Its always Dear Children, hmmn well there is a lot of MONEY involved here and the 6 seers are doing very nicely thank you very much.Furthermore how many of them have taken holy orders?
Lucia who saw our lady in fatima became a nun and remained so until she died.
I suspect these people are riding on the back of the TRUE apparitions and eventually they will be caught out and what ever happens the TRUTH always comes out in the wash especialy with OUR LADY if they have been misleading the faithful i would not like to be in their shoes.
The Imaaculate Heart of Mary will Triumph what ever happens.

Posted by damien devereux | Report as abusive
 

A pilgrimmage to Medjugorje in 1987 totally changed my life. I will never forget the infused knowledge of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist that went through me as I witnessed the miracle of the sun. Today twenty two years later, I still am convicted that nothing is more important than to receive Jesus in the Eucharist as often as possible and to pray the rosary, fifteen decades at least, every day. I was raised Quaker, not Catholic. For a long time I was Catholic only to please my in-laws. Medjugorje changed all that, forever!

 

I have been fortunate to go to medjugorje 7 times,
The last visit. I made friends with a college teacher’ who was there with his family [under protest]we sat together at dinner, and every day we walked up the mountain, he was more interested in his hobby [the sky stars formation]with his home made binoculars
and his attitude was flippant’ directed towards the priest and devotees in medjugorje.
The last night there,I left him on the mountain, to take his wife and sister-in-law back down to the hotel.
Next morning he was changed’ he told us with tears in his eyes, that the blessed mother appeared to him, why me…why me, he kept on saying.
This man now has become a deacon, and has changed out of all recognition.
this story was published on the web

 

I didn’t have to go to Medjugorje to believe she is appearing there. My pilgrimage and conversion of heart happened at home after reading a book in the early 90′s my Mom gave me on Medjugorje with a photo of Mary on the cover. One of the Blessed Mother’s messages was she wanted people to also join prayer groups and to pray for the youth. I joined a prayer group through the parish here and continue to go to mass and pray the rosary. I have discerned the signs of the times, no doubt we are living in a truly remarkable times. Pray, Pray, Pray! Praise be Jesus, thank you Mother Mary.

Posted by Esther | Report as abusive
 

There’s no business like religious business: Vicka, Maria, Ivan, Jacov, etc. are exploiting this in a very convincing way.

Praying to God and always expecting or an answer or a sign is not “believing” in the way Jezus meant it to be.
It doesn’t differ from the faith a young child has in Santa: “if I’m good, I will receive”. That’s a very childish approach to being a Christian.

A French philosopher once said: “you have to live as there was no God”.
You must be good, not because there could be a God, but simply because you want to be good.

I’ve been to Med once and I can assure you: it’s really a place where you have to go if you want to lose your Faith.

 

I went to Medjugorge as a favour to someone else.

I arrived as a confirmed atheist.

After two weeks I left as a believer, ministered to by God’s love, having truly accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour.

If it is God’s will, I will be ordained in the Spring of 2010.

Yes, I guess you could say I believe that there’s something happening there. Are there excesses? Undoubtedly, just as there are in Fatima, Lourdes or Rome. More money-grubbing pilgrimage packagers than you could shake a stick at.

But the true pilgrim will not go for the spinning suns or unexpected frangrance of roses. He or she will go to find a place where God shows Godself to the open heart, where it is possible to “be still, and know that I am God.”

May the peace of the Lord be with you all.

Posted by Candidate for Ordination | Report as abusive
 

Padre Pio – the false one below – is a way off. Not only did this “French Philosopher” say what you say he said – but Buddha (or some incarnation of him did).

If one examines the call of the messages from Medjugorje – they are good for the faith. Fasting, prayer, conversion, confession…..those all nurture faith. I don’t expect to get into some conversation to make you or any other carnally obedient individual to understand that. However, for those who have been there with the understanding that with faith – you get the grace out of something for what faith you put into it – then you know what I am talking about. I have never personally been myself – but have seen others and the witness to the site that their lives portray. Padre Pio, go again. This time seek solely to do God’s will instead of going with your discriminatory judgment. For you will get out of it, what you put into it.

Posted by luke1_28 | Report as abusive
 

Are things happening in Medjugorje? Yes, I have been there and did see the sun pulsate, casting off hues of pink and blue. I also smelled roses during Ivan’s “apparition” and heard a few people on the tour swear the links in their Rosaries turned gold. However, Satan has the power to deceive and that is what I believe is happening in Medjugorje. Like the Protestant Reformation, Medjugorje is DIVIDING the Church – not uniting it. The promoters of Medjugorje in the U.S. and in Bosnia are mostly followers of the charismatic movement which is a Protestant movement. For those who truly believe in Medjugorje, I advise to you study the “messages” and compare them with the ones delivered in Fatima, Guadeloupe and Lourdes. I think you’ll find that Our Lady had messages that were brief yet powerful and not in contradiction to Catholic teaching. Study how the seers at those approved apparitions behaved when they were doubted and questioned initially by their priests and bishops. Study how they (unlike the Medjugorje seers) choose lives of service to God through vocations rather than self-promotion and greed. If the Vatican over-rules the Bishops of Mostar then I will accept but when you take a good hard look at Medjugorje v/s approved apparitions, you have to question how much grace is really there.

Posted by Andrew | Report as abusive
 

As a once adamant defender of Medjugorje, I am now a confirmed skeptic. There are “miracles” there I’m sure, just as rosaries turned gold at the now condemned apparition site of Bayside, NY. The problems are not in the “signs and wonders” at Medjugorje–I believe they are there, and I believe the children, now adults, really see something. The problem is not in Medjugorje’s 95% “good fruits,” its in the watering-down of the faith the Martyrs died for. The faith is relative there. The “Gospa” says that all “religions are dear to my Son,” and “Christ rules over each religion.” This is relativism–the very thing destroying the Church right now. Insidious as it is, the very same feature animating Medjugorje right now, might in the end bring negative fruits ten times worse than the positive fruits there.

http://hospitallers.blogspot.com/

 

I have visited Medjourje in 1990 and met 2 of the children who said they had received visions of the Virgin Mary. What I saw of the town was, to me, at least partial proof of the visons. I say this because I saw such spiritual people that I have not seen anywhere else in the world. People working in the fields were praying the rosary while they worked. They used the tools with one hand and with the other held the rosary beads to pray. The church there was filled everyday for every Mass. The many, many priests who were present in the village were kept busy all day hearing confessions. Everywhere people were openly praying.

My personal experience was very enlightening for me. When I decided to go, I wasn’t sure what to expect; but when I came home some 10 days later, I was a changed person. My husband was terminally ill at the time and I was fighting to hold on to my faith. What I prayed for while there was the grace to accept God’s will and for God to help remain faithful to the Catholic faith through all of the situation at home. I wasn’t expecting a miracle cure for my husband or anything like that.

But when I arrived at home, I found that I was much more serene and calm. More importantly, my husband was calmer also and seemed to have accepted that his case was terminal. He asked me to call our parish priest. When Father came, he and my husband talked privately for quite awhile. Afterwards, Father told me, “Don’t worry; Jerry will be alright now.” Nine months later, my husband joined his parents in heaven. I witnessed his prayful life from my return until he died.

Do I believe in the visions there? Most definitely because I know how they affected me and my husband. I pray that the Vatican will at least be open to the possiblity and continue to investigate the situation.
God bless you all and, on this feast of the Most Holy Rosary, I will pray the Rosary a second time today for this.

Posted by Carol CAlloway | Report as abusive
 

Damien: the messages have a “human touch”? Well, Mary was and is human and the messages are meant for humans. What would you expect? Of course they are repeating b/c we are still not listening. A patient mother is repeating her entreaties over and over and over b/c we are not getting the message.

And so what if the visionaries are ok financially? They aren’t rich. They are raising and supporting families, which last I checked was a viable vocation. If they were out committing adultery and taking mistresses, well then i would be concerned.

All,

Anyone who has been to Medjugorje or even read the text of the messages should have no doubt that they are not contrary to Church teachings. The Vatican has not ruled on the veracity of the apparitions, but i believe in my heart they are true as i am allowed to.

Prayer, Holy Mass, conversion, fasting, return to Christ, etc etc. How are these bad things? Not one apparition of thousands is contrary to any Church teaching. Zero.

The only suspicious thing is the intensity with which the anti-Medjugorje people are attacking it. They take the same tired liberties with the facts. I would bet my life savings that most of the scornful critics have never met any of the visionaries and probably have never even read the messages. Like the local Bishop.

Posted by Lake J | Report as abusive
 

MEDJUGORJE IS REAL! IT IS A CONTINUATION OF THE FATIMA APPARATIONS (JUST ONE OF MY ENLIGHTENMENTS CONFIRMED AND RECONFIRMED MANY TIMES SINCE I FIRST RECEIVED IT).

MILLIONS PEOPLE CANNOT BE WRONG. I WAS ONE OF THE LUCKY 25M. JESUS CHANGED MY ROTTEN HEART INTO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL AND COMPASSIONATE. I RECEVIED MANY HEALINGS, CONVERTED MANY PEOPLE AS A RESULT, SAW MIRACLES OF THE SUN AND CROSS AND HEARTS, HAD MANY DEEP SPIRITUAL AND MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES, WAS GIVEN THE MISSION TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE OF DIVINE MERCY — THE EXTREME MESSAGE OF LOVE, BECAME A CHAPLAIN, ETC. ETC.

IF GOD THROUGH JESUS AND BLESSED MOTHER CAN DO THAT WITH A NOBODY AND SINNER LIKE ME IMAGINE WHAT HE CAN DO WITH YOU AND ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD — LET ALONE THE VISIONARIES WHO HAVE BEEN MUCH MORE FAITHFUL AND GRACED FILLED THAN ME. I AM SO BLESSED, SO BLESSED — THANK YOU BLESSED MOTHER FOR THROUGH YOUR PRAYERS AND MY LOVING SAVIOR, I AND MY CHILDREN AND SO MANY OTHERS HAVE BEEN SAVED. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU — DEAR MOM.

BLESSED BE GOD FOR SENDING US THE BLESSED MOTHER AND THESE MESSAGES IN THESE END TIMES! BLESSED BE JESUS, BLESSED BE THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE CONSOLER, BLESSED BE MARY, THE GREAT MOTHER OF GOD, AND BLESSED BE ALL GOD’S ANGELS, CHILDREN AND HIS CREATION! MAY HIS KINGDOM COME SOON AS WE PRAY IN THE Our Father EVERY DAY — AND MAY HE CONTINUE TO BE MERCIFUL IN HIS CHASTISEMENTS WHICH ARE EXTREMELY NECESSARY AS THE WORLD IS SINKING MORE AND MORE INTO DARKNESS — CLEANSING IS NEEDED — WOULD YOU WANT JESUS (OUR LOVE) TO COME INTO THIS MESS — NO THE HEARTS OF MEN AND THE WORLD MUST BE CLEANSE AND CHANGED SO THAT HE CAN COME AND THAT WILL TAKE GREAT ACTS OF GOD — WE AS DISOBEDIENT CHILDREN WILL FIND IT VERY PAINFUL– IF THE MOTHER OF GOD REPEATS HERSELF IT IS BECAUSE WE ARE SO WILLFUL — BUT THE WHOLE WORLD WILL SUFFER —

PRAY, CONTINUE IN YOUR EFFORTS TO CONVERT, TO PRAY FOR THE POPE AND OUR PRIESTS, PLEASE JUST PRAY FOR WE ARE AT WAR NOW!! THE BATTLES ARE RAGING ALL AROUND US– LIFE/ABORTION, PORN, CHILD ABUSE, TERROR, WAR, PERSECUTIONS, DISEASE, PRIDE, GREED, OCCULT, MALAISE, ENVY, JEALOUSY, A LACK OF LOVE (EVEN AMONGST THOSE WE MINISTER WITH) AND LUKEWARMNESS, HATRED — EVEN FOR GOD, THE LOSS OF LOVE OF CHRIST AND THE CROSS…. MEDJUGORJE IS THE GREATEST BLESSING EARTH HAS EVER RECEIVED AND SENT HEAVEN TO US/EARTH THROUGH OUR LADY THE QUEEN OF PEACE! MIR, MIR, MIR!

OH, LORD, HELP OUR UNBELIEF — SEND YOUR RAYS OF LIGHT INTO THE MINDS AND HEARTS OF ALL ESPECIALLY YOUR CONSECRATED SOULS IN THE NAME OF JESUS. ABBA, ABBA, I AM SO SORRY YOU HAVE TO SEE ALL OF THESE AWFUL COMMENTS AND FEEL ALL THESE DOUBTS COMING THE HEARTS YOU CREATED AND WHOM YOU LOVE ABOVE ALL THINGS. FORGIVE US, FATHER.

Posted by Yolanda | Report as abusive
 

Andrew,

Please provide examples of Medjugorje messages that are contrary to Church teachings. My bet is you can find none at all. And enough with the attacks on the visionaries b/c they chose marriage and family. Is that not allowed by God?

Posted by Lake J | Report as abusive
 

Medjugorje is a holy place. So many come to their spiritual sense there. By whose power to they return to the faith. By whose power was Rita Klaus cures of her illness? the power of God or the power of Beezebub?
The question must be answered.

Like those who believed in Padre Pio even when he was condemned as a fraud by Bishops and other clergy, I believe Medjugorje is an extraordinary gift from heaven. I have been there and a few times and it was sheer joy to pray there with those who lov our Blessed Mother.

My own prediction is that the Vatican statement will be moderate – as it can only be – no confirmation can yet be given while the phenomenon continues – but no condemnation yet either.

 

The Medjurgorjie apparations are about MESSAGES to help us live our life in this world. It is a call from God to come back to him. Miracles, the like of what you read about that happen at Medjurgorjie only happen when God touches someone. It is a SIGN of God presence.
Some people LACK faith and try to justify their behavior; READ all the messages and see if what is conveyed is the TRUTH. Pray for discernment first to see the truth.

 

p.s. If this is Satanic deception I am having difficulty seeing what his goal is here. Satan is not an idiot, so what would he gain from leading many people to prayer and conversion? The messages involve going to Mass, fasting, prayer, conversion, coming back to Jesus. There are massive lines for Reconciliation and countless people attending adoration and mass, saying rosaries up and down the mountain. Odd strategy for Satan.

And this is not dividing the Church. The people who do believe are allowed to do so and get great benefit from Medjugorje in every case i have heard (and experienced). Catholics who do not believe, also allowed, in my opinion are missing out but we know that everything needed for salvation is contained within the existing Church. So they are not sacrificing salvation by not believing. No harm, no foul. So what’s the issue?

Posted by Lake J | Report as abusive
 

Here’s a “message” that should give a Catholic with a properly formed conscience pause:

“In God’s eyes, there are no divisions and there are no religions. You in the world have made the divisions…”

Authentic message from the Blessed Mother or nod to the false ecumenism of the modernists?

Also, someone compared the Medjugorje “seers” to Padre Pio. Well, here’s one VERY critical difference: Padre Pio submitted to Church authority, always. And, he always told others to do the same thing. Even when he thought the Church authorities were wrong…even when he KNEW they were wrong. He still submitted to Church authority. Same for St. Teresa of Avila, etc. The spirit of Medjugorje sometimes seems to be one of rebellion against Church authority. That alone is enough to make me not want to jump on the bandwagon.

I am perfectly content to await the judgment of Holy Mother Church, knowing that Her discernment is vastly superior to my own as an individual. Anyone who believes that his or her own private discernment is superior to that of the Church is not Catholic. It is really as simple as that.

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive
 

It was reading Wayne Weible’s column in 1988 that slowly led me back into the Church. I have been to Medjugorje in 2006 and I can’t say enough about it. Once you visit, there will be a longing in your soul to always come back to the “oasis” of peace, love, and spiritual presence. There are many great comments before me but I would like to add that if I were not in my present state of life which God has chosen, I would go back there in a flash and be satisfied living as a pauper dependent in total on the grace from God for my well being. Ad Deum!

Posted by Gene Tabachuk | Report as abusive
 

Such Inaccuracies,
Firstly Fr Thomislav Vlasic was NOT defrocked; He refused to obey orders from the Vatican to obey his superiors.

He was NEVER Spiritual Advisor to ANY of the six Medjugorje visionaries despite this false claim of his.
Furthermore, he was assigned to Medjugorje for a period of just 4 years,having been reassigned to another Parish by his Superiors in 1984.
Not long after, he moved to Italy to form his own religious community with a German woman who is a lay person.
At this point his Superior General became the Friar in the Italian Province where Fr Tomislav now resided.
Fr Tomislav Vlasic steadfastly refused to give up the group, the German woman or to acknowledge the Vatican’s request for his obedience to his superiors.
Neither did he respond to the charges made against him.
He failed to comply with orders from The Holy See to cease preaching or teaching the faithful his own mysticism, false doctrines,etc.
He was also charged with offences {contra sixtum]where he
had been accused by his superiors of being in breach of the 6th commandment, and therefore his Priestly vows of celibacy.

After two serious letters were sent to Fr Tomislav Vlasic by the Vatican regarding aforementioned, Tomislav stubbornly refused to acknowledge or respond to the charges.
Finally Fr Tomislav Vlasic wrote to the Holy Father Pope Benedict 16th REQUESTING TO BE RELEASED FROM HIS PRIESTLY VOWS.
The Holy Father GRANTED THE REQUEST OF FR. VLASIC.

Since 1985 the former Fr Tomislav Vlasic has not been answerable to the Friar General of the Franciscan House in Bosnia but to the Friar General of the Province in Italy where he was residing.

Fr Vlasic had ABSOLUTELY NO INVOLVEMENT in Medjugorje since 1985 and the Franciscans there had no involvement with,nor news from him.
All the above stated can be confirmed easily by the Friar
General of the Franciscan House in Bosnia.
For those seeking the truth confirmation of these facts is easy.
For those seeking to push an agenda contrary to seeking the truth no amount of factual evidence will be enough.
Medjugorje is clearly and indisputably the Work of God.
The fruits in the parish and around the world from the more than 30 million pilgrims is clearly good.
Many have been converted, grown fervent in faith, been healed spiritually and physically and have experienced the “Peace of heaven on the earth” in Medjugorje. I am blessed to be one of them.
In God’s time all will be clear and like many millions of others I have no doubt Medjugorje will indeed be given full recognition by the Holy See as the fountain of God’s Mercy which it is.
As for Bishop Ratko Peric who was a fervent believer in the beginning and now pours distain on Medjugorje at every opportunity I would say this;
Is the Bishop so blind he cannot see the “Light”,of his own Diocese illuninating the whole world?
God alone knows the reason for the Bishop’s darkness.
For all who believe and have been to Medjugorje, all who have not been but believe, we have the Blessed Mother’s assurance that the coming “Acts of God” will leave no more doubt about the truth of Medjugorje for believer and unbeliever alike.

 

Phil,

Please provide the date of the message that you quoted. I don’t think it’s correct, but i could be wrong. Following is a message from Medjugorje and it does not support the supposed quote you gave.

October 1, 1981
Are all religions good?

“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.”

—-

I think most people agree with your statement that they will comply with what the Church decides. Thus far, the Church has not ruled against Medjugorje in any way. We are perfectly free to believe or not.

Posted by Lake J | Report as abusive
 

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