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

Have any of you ever heard of Our Blessed Mother causing the members of her Son’s Church to disagree.
Please get real people, what you are been told at Medjugorje are the basics of your Roman Catholic faith.
Do your priests at home not teach these things to you!
Why do you need to travel to Medjugorje to learn of the necessity to confess your sins regularly? Have your priests not already told you that!
Ivan’s property dealings have just recently been published on a website. Did you know he was able to pay back an $800,000 bank loan in six months in 2004 not bad for someone that doesn’t even hold down a job?

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive
 

I just returned from Medjugorje a little over two weeks ago. The erroneous picture this article paints of Medjugorje doesn\’t even come close to what actually going on in Medjugorje. Medjugorje is a \’school of prayer\’ as often said by the late Fr. Slavko Barbaric.. Medjugorje is drawing many people into a deeper and more intimate Faith in Christ.

The negativity that surrounds Medjugorje is just that! It \’surrounds\’ Medjugorje but it is NOT Medjugorje.. As mentioned already, Fr Thomislav Vlasic was never a spiritual director to the six visionaries nor had a direct and personal role in the happenings of Medjugorje.

The reason evil seems to surround Medjugorje is because it wants to destroy what Our Lady is trying to accomplish, which evidently, is to bring Her children, the children of the Church back to Christ, and to the Mystical Body of Christ which IS the Church..

I continue to pray..

Posted by John | Report as abusive
 

Please remember Lourde, Fatima and so many apparition shrine that have been also critisized as such. Try to stop people to go, put the seer in prison ect….. But at the end (many years to come )It survive all, the question is WHY ???? because it is The Queen of Heaven that win always at the end.

 

This article is full of false statements. Ten Franciscans were never removed or sent away. Father Tomislav, who is only human, was distanced from Medjugorje more than 20 years ago, the visionaries themselves did so. The Vatican has never had a “skeptical viewpoint” of the apparitions at Medjugorje. It would have shut it down almost 30 years ago when it started if there was anything false about it. The Vatican has consistently allowed pilgrims, including Church hierarchy, to go to this beautiful village for pilgrimage. Medjugorje has the support of millions of laity, thousands of priests, and hundreds of devout cardinals and bishops and illegedly Pope John Paul II. The positive fruits of Medjugorje are there: conversions, vocations, lives being changed but the media always focuses on the few negative aspects which are prevalent everywhere and in everything in this world! Why are people so cynical? If you don’t believe in it fine but stop bashing Medjugorje with a serious lack of journalistic integrity. If the Church in Rome says for people to not go there, I would ofcourse respect and obey but I would continue to believe in my heart. I know God is giving us this last chance through His Mother Mary and her apparitions and articles like this throw this back in His face. We have lost our faith!

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive
 

my concern is if the vatican rules against how many souls will lose their faith feel they have been duped is this the evil ones plan
i have been once had a great time but wont go back until the church rules

Posted by tjay | Report as abusive
 

Lake J:
You asked for examples of messages that contradict the Church so here you go…

“The Madonna always stresses that there is but one God and that people have enforced unnatural separation. One cannot truly believe, be a true Christian, if he does not respect other religions as well.” There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church and that has been Church dogma since day one.

“The Madonna said that religions are separated in the earth, but the people of all religions are accepted by her Son.” So Jesus accepts Islam, the New Age Movement and the Wiccans? I don’t think so.

“The Blessed Mother says all religions are dear to her and her Son.” Well Wiccan is a religion so are we to believe that Our Lord and Our Lady have a fondness for witchcraft?

“I do not dispose of all graces.. Jesus prefers that you address your petitions directly to him, rather than through an intermediary.” This message, allegedly from Our Lady, basically disregards the need to say the Rosary (Hail Mary full of grace…) or respect sainthood.

“Tell the Father Bishop (Zanic) that I request his urgent conversion to the events of the Medjugorje parish…I am sending him the penultimate warning. If he is not converted, or will not be converted, my judgment as well as that of my Son Jesus will strike him.” Our Lady does not talk like this. She never told Bernadette of Lourdes or Lucia of Fatima to tell their skeptical bishops to convert or else.

Posted by Andrew | Report as abusive
 

I know that all apparitions are ultimately judged by their fruits and accuracy of their prophecies. The Rawandian messages have been officially accepted by the Church due to the genocide events of 1991 occurring that were described in the apparitions of 1984. These apparitions began during the same year as Medjugourge. I truly believe there will be a time when the Church declares these apparitions as authentic — unfortunately, that time may be after the events (secrets) occur as in Rawanda.

Posted by Darnell Cuevas | Report as abusive
 

If so many people, including myself, come back to GOD, then their must be something to it. The devil has been against us since the 1st apparition.

 

I have read some of these messages and they are all so blessed. They have been touched with the love of our Blessed Mother, who leads us to Her Son. I have been twice and it has also changed my life. I long to go back one day….Medjugorje has changed alot of lives. My prayers is that the Vatican will see what an awesome place Medjugorje is. Dear Lord hear all the prayers of the faithful. Maybe, we could all start a Rosary Novena for the Vatican to approve this wonderful spiritual place.
God Bless, Linda

Posted by Linda Sue | Report as abusive
 

Note that this article is just a (personal) weblog of one of the Reuters correspondents. It is not a news report from Reuters and should not be referred to as such. It did not come through the board of editors to be launched as an official news article from Reuters. Note that it says “After observing events sceptically for many years, the Vatican …” Everyone who knows what John Paul II and the then cardinal Ratzinger as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now pope Benedict, have said about Medjugorje, knows that this is far from the truth. The verdict over Medjugorje (the right to speak as a church person over Medjugorje) has already long been taken out of the hands of the bishops of Mostar and recently Sarajevo and put in the hands of the Vatican itself. So whatever these bishops say about Medjugorje, it does not matter anymore, only what the Vatican says matters.

 

I went to Medjugorje in the early fall of 1992. I am from the U.S. but I went with a group from Canada. I went right at the exact time the war broke out. I remember a night in Medjugorje when we sat in a dark staircase praying the rosary because there was a blackout in the village due to a bombing threat from the air. It was scary and uncertain during that night. But my week there was a very deep spiritual event in my life. We had a private audience with Vicka, one of the visionaries, who had an appraition while we were there. My faith became deeper; my prayer life became stronger; my love for Jesus grew more than ever. I had a reconciliation with many things in the confessional there. I often look back on my experiences from Medjugorie as great. If the Catholic Church debunks the visions, it will not shake my faith and experiences I took from that great week. Once you are touched profoundly in a deep spiritual sense, it is nearly impossible to shake one’s faith. I will always charish my time with God in Medjugorie.

 

I know what I seen, and no one can say I did not
see the sun spinning, and changing beautiful colors. I
also seen a woman foat up the stairs on Cross Mountain after the last station. She made it up that mountain
by the Grace Of God. The apparitions are what brought
me this Holy Place.
John T. Koszalka
Lindenhurst, New York
USA

Posted by JOHN T. | Report as abusive
 

To those who believe no proof is necessary and to those who don’t believe no proof is enough.

Posted by linda | Report as abusive
 

Phil,
Our Lady DID NOT say that all religions are the same.
This is relativism; a modern day spiritual death-trap.
Certainly the Mother Of God is not a relativist.

Our Lady said;
All men are born equal in the sight of God.
Man caused the divisions in the faith not God.
Our other Christian brothers and sisters, Muslim, Jewish.
Hindu etc are also much loved by God and are destined one day to return to the House of The Father.
.
We are to love them and respect them.

Our Lady also stated that all religions are NOT THE SAME.
They power of prayer differs in each of them.
The Holy Mass is the “greatest prayer on earth”.
We cannot understand it’s greatness.

Also Blessed Mary told the Visionaries that if the choice was to go to Holy Mass or see Her in an apparition, they should always choose The Holy Mass.
This should speak volumes to all Catholics and all people God and of goodwill

 

Regardless of what Rome rules, many are praying and
giving adoration to our GOD and Majestic KING !!

Posted by Richard A. Albrecht | Report as abusive
 

In fact this article is filled with false statements about Medjugorje. For example: Fr. Vlasic was never the visionaries’ spiritual director and the Vatican would have shut down the site a long time ago if they believed it was a hoax. They are investigating and people should be humble and pray that Our Lady will enlighten the investigation commission to the result that She wants not to be bringing false statements and hatred about the site. Much good in terms of conversions and reconciliation has come from the messages and visits to Medjugorje and that is NOT the work of the devil. The devil does not reconcile and does not bring people to God. Many lives have been touched in a beautiful way and the lives of the ones they affect have been touched as well. Many members of the clergy including exorcist priests have visited and celebrated the sacraments there. They would know if that is the work of the devil and would be the first ones to speak up against it if they did not believe it was from God. The comment by “Lake J” do not have a date or a source. Humm! Where did he get that from? Perhaps from an anti-Medjugorje web site? Those are full of lies and misconceptions. I would advise anyone to do a better research before believing these skeptics who are full of self-rightousness and full of pride. They think that because they are good Catholics they don’t need to respect the work the Lord is doing in the world to bring those away back to the Church. We all need conversion of the heart before we can walk fully in the commandments of the Lord. Pride blinds people to see the work of God. Skeptics made Bernadeth (Lourdes), Francisco, Lucia and Jacinta (Fatima), Alphonsine (Kibeho) suffer much and made all sort of false accusations. But the Lord showed to all through the approval by the Church years later that they were true prophets used by Our Lady to bring people back to the Lord. The only one interested in destroying the good work in Medjugorje is Satan. Do not be part of his work. If you do not believe in Medjugorje, be humble and wait silently and in prayer for the Vatican’s ruling, but do not bring your pre-judgement into the picture and do not advance lies. The ruling on Medjugorje is the job of the Vatican, not of the laity. People are free to believe in the messages as long as they are not condemned, and as of today they are not condemned by the Church. The Bible said we should not despise prophecy and we should use our discernment based on Scripture and the Magisterium. As for me, I have not found anything against the Church’s teachings and I believe Medjugorje is true and I am so happy the Blessed Mother is doing this beautiful work.
Hail the Queen of Peace
The Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Savior and King be with you always.

Posted by Rose | Report as abusive
 

Has the virgin Mary been appearing–NO. Those Christians who actually pay any attention to THE lasting word God given us so we can know about if people come back and give us message or not–the Bible–know that it teaches that when we die, we rest and then at the end of days we will be resurrected for judgment and rewards (for the faithful). Mary like ALL OTHERS who die in Christ is not in any way, shape, or form aware of whats going on here on earth, nor are they able to communicate with us. But the RCC has been spreading this lie of Mary’s visiting and sending messages for centuries–now people believe she appears on potato chips and screen doors too. She, as a faithful,saved, believer is simply awaiting the end of days so she can receive her reward like the rest of the faithful, as that is what God has told us happens through HIS MESSAGE to us, THE BIBLE. But this is a book that unfortunately the RCC continually contradicts with teachings such as the one talked about here.

 

I believe Medjugorje is one of the greatest graces our Lord has given us in these times. He said to St. Faustina that this is his time of mercy and that his time of justice is coming. Medjugorje is a major part of the mercy God is giving to this world that has strayed so far from his commandments. Medjugorje, via our Lady Queen of Peace, is a great source of conversion (and divine peace) to those who open themselves even a little to the graces God wishes to bestow on us. Pope John Paul the Great was one of those strong supporters of Medjugorje and I believe our present Pope Benedict is likewise.

Posted by David Tolson | Report as abusive
 

My friend Andrew, I’m afraid I don’t agree with your interpretations:

“The Madonna always stresses that there is but one God and that people have enforced unnatural separation. One cannot truly believe, be a true Christian, if he does not respect other religions as well.” There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church and that has been Church dogma since day one.

((We are still called to respect other religions and their followers. Church dogma does not say to have no respect for other religions, just that Catholicism is the final say of religious truth. John Paul II said almost the same thing here: http://www.romancatholicism.org/jpii-aud ience.htm))

“The Madonna said that religions are separated in the earth, but the people of all religions are accepted by her Son.” So Jesus accepts Islam, the New Age Movement and the Wiccans? I don’t think so.

((She said “the people” of all religions, not the religion itself. Big difference. God loves all people, even Wiccans and New Agers))

“The Blessed Mother says all religions are dear to her and her Son.” Well Wiccan is a religion so are we to believe that Our Lord and Our Lady have a fondness for witchcraft?

((I would offer that her definition of religion does not include Wicca. I doubt John Paul II was referring to Satanism when he made his quote that I linked above….Summarising the theological vision of Vatican II, the Secretariat for Non-Christians (later renamed the Pontifical Commission for Interreligious Dialogue) declared in 1984:The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council . . . affirm that in the religious traditions of non-Christians there exist “elements which are true and good” (LG, 16), “precious things, both religious and human” (GS, 92), “seeds of contemplation” (AG, 18), “elements of truth and grace” (AG, 9), “seeds of the Word” (AG, 11; 15), and “rays of that truth which illumines all humankind” (NA, 2). According to explicit conciliar indications, these values are found and preserved in the great religious traditions of humanity. …..this does not include every belief system that the government might call religion))

“I do not dispose of all graces.. Jesus prefers that you address your petitions directly to him, rather than through an intermediary.” This message, allegedly from Our Lady, basically disregards the need to say the Rosary (Hail Mary full of grace…) or respect sainthood.

((Sir, please. Mary says countless times in Medjugorje that the Rosary is one of the greatest prayers to say. Addressing to Jesus directly is also a good thing))

“Tell the Father Bishop (Zanic) that I request his urgent conversion to the events of the Medjugorje parish…I am sending him the penultimate warning. If he is not converted, or will not be converted, my judgment as well as that of my Son Jesus will strike him.” Our Lady does not talk like this. She never told Bernadette of Lourdes or Lucia of Fatima to tell their skeptical bishops to convert or else.

((Maybe she felt that harsher words were needed in this case b/c this Bishop is on a personal crusade to attack the apparitions. This is not against Church teaching, it is just your opinion of what Mary would say or not say))

Posted by Lake J | Report as abusive
 

Catholics–
The message that really counts is God’s message and you have several hundred pages of messages from Him that you can carry with/keep with you 24/7 and refer to, more than you will be able to plumb the depths of in a lifetime. Go there for messages from God, He wants to reveal them to you–if you will give what HE has to say, GOD, what I repeat, G O D has to say, first place in your mind and heart and not go looking for the supernatural in the form of Mary–who is at peace and rest in the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit (God the Spirit) brings, conveys to the reborn believer what God has to say, not a person who died and is at rest.

 

People raised to new life in Heaven are not “at rest” are they? Sounds like a funeral.

In reality, though, of course the Bible is the word of God which is what Catholicism teaches. After all, the Catholic Church compiled the Bible, yes? And the Catholic Church still retains the ability to interpret it, which is where Protestantism and their 30,000 schisms confuses the issue.

Posted by Lake J | Report as abusive
 

It is not right or spiritual healthy exert these opinions for none of you have the authority to make this decision. Neither should you lose your confidence in the your conversion to the Catholic Church nor should the atheist loose his/her gift Or power of his Christain faith. As fruitful as Medjugore as been no appariation has authority to invoke the church directions or teachings that is reserved alone to the Bishops and the ultimately the Pope the Vicar of Christ. The churches ascent is required: for what she binds heaven will also bind. Also did not heaven sort Mary’s yes so that salvation may become a reality…do you know if she said no there would not be Christ the salvation plan would not be. We have by divine providence always have from our Jewish breathren been patriarchal with one head…all these head exerting options without authority will create a medusa a monster…you know as lovers of Christ obedience and humility is the foundation of all virtue…the same virtues echoed my Mary as the Annunciation. Why have you lovers of Christ failed to echo the same humilty and obedience to this upcoming decisions from the Vatican. What other approved visionary you know of abandon their level of poverty at their poverty? Or sort out focus of attn or celebrity status? Or conflict with teaching of the church or dogma? If these are allegations but innocent is not your decision. The authority of the church is to love God and the faithful… Did not the Lord ask peter 3 times without apology to ascertain the single motives of all the churches acts…to the point of hurting his feelings! Do not think the Lord did not no he will hurt his feeling… This is done to assure the motive is the Love of God: the truth the way the life and the protection andfeeding of the sheep: the faithful. So good works in itself also has nothing to do with the vatican’s decision… Works in itself is not the all in all. Even wonders and signs are not the determinate..this element was also eliminated by Christ words. You have nothing to worry: heaven is bound whether right or wrong…if heaven is silenced it does so in obedience and humility just as Christ comes to the altar by the call of the priest…equally the servant of servants of God must comply with the Holy Spirit and it’s Head. Just like it is sinful and rude to insinuate oneself between husband and wife it is equally sinful to insinuate oneself between Bridegroom(Christ) and Bride(His Church). So I exhort all to cease these discussions to be odedient humble and holy like all good saints and approved apparitions…obedience to one’s superiors in all except sin is a virtue that will never condemn. Our Lady insists…did she not say do whatever He tells you. May the peace of Christ be with all of you.

Posted by Winkyb | Report as abusive
 

All messages of the apparition of Medjugorje, from 1981 until 1988 from the book of marialogian Rene Laurentin and from 1988 until now from http://www.medjugorje.hr, are on my webpage http://www.medjugorje.eu/messages/ . It is one large saveable, printable and searchable Internet page. It includes the following messages:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1ST 1981

Written questions asked of the seers: “Are all religions good?”
All religions are similar before God. God rules over them just like a sovereign over his kingdom. In the world, all religions are not the same because people have not complied with the commandments of God. They reject and disparage them. (On this ambiguous response see annex 2.)
“Are all churches the same?”
In some, one prays to God more. In others, less. That depends on the priests who motivate others to pray. That also depends on the power which they have.

Published by Kraljevic (1983):

Messages approximately grouped on Ecumenism (see annex#2):
In God differences do not exist among his people; religion need not separate people. Every person must be respected, despite his or her particular profession of faith.
God presides over all religions, as a king controls his subjects, through his priests and ministers. The sole mediator of salvation is Jesus Christ.
Do differences exist among the believers of different churches? (A question asked in reference to a certain Protestant community.)
It is not equally efficacious to belong to or pray in any church or community, because the Holy Spirit grants his power differently among the churches and ministers. All believers do not pray the same way. It is intentional that all apparitions are under the auspices of the Catholic Church. (K.59).

Published by Castella – Ljubic (1984-85):

On the matter of a Catholic priest, confused because of the cure of an Orthodox child:
Tell this priest, tell everyone, that it is you who is divided on earth. The Muslims and the Orthodox, for the same reason as Catholics, are equal before my Son and me. You are all my children. Certainly, all religions are not equal, but all men are equal before God, as St. Paul says. It does not suffice to belong to the Catholic Church to be saved, but it is necessary to respect the commandments of God in following one’s conscience.
Those who are not Catholics, are no less creatures made in the image of God, and destined to rejoin someday, the House of the Father. Salvation is available to everyone, without exception. Only those who refuse God deliberately, are condemned. To him, who has been given little, little will be asked for. To whomever has been given much (to Catholics) , very much will be required. It is God alone, in His infinite justice, Who determines the degree of responsibility and pronounces judgment. (C 128).

 

Neither do you need to be concerned about somehow the decsion by the Vatican is an evil act. First the Holy Spirit guides the ways of the Church: did not Caiphas, the High Priest, condemn Jesus and plotted against and he was under influence of the Holy Spirit when he said it is better fir one man to die than many…even if it is an evil act as stated did not Jesus himself said the gates of Hell will never prevailed against her: His Church. So you see it is no need to be concern of these matters. No need to loose faith, to good hope, or love or graces that have adorned your holiness and your soul. Even the what the church declare that this an invalid event your testimony of holiness glorifies God still in that he can draw good out of evil. This is a matter for the Church and it’s authorities not a matter of the Churches children.

Posted by Winkyb | Report as abusive
 

Would all those who have been to medjugorje and not had a spiritual awaking,conversion,healing or other devine grace, please raise your hand.
That should settle that question.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive
 

Dear Faith World, I thank you for giving me and 30+ million pilgrims who have actually been to Medjugorje to weigh in on this issue,as well as those who do not believe in the events at Medjugorje. Everyone is entitled to their opinon. However, I believe the time has come to maintain an open mind, until the Vatican and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has officially announced the Churches stance on the Alleged Apparitions at Medjugorje. First, let me say, that, as a Theologian with a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry I happen to believe in the Fruits of the Alleged Apparitions in Medjugorje. However, that said, I maintain what the catholic church has always taught regarding such private revelations. That is, no one, especially Catholics, are required to believe in private revelations. The truth of the matter is, that we as catholics have no further need or proof than what has already been revealed to us in the sacred scripture. This is, indeed, a fact. However, since that time there have been instances throughout history where Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary has honored this Earth with her presence via private Apparitions, such as the church approved apparitions, most notably, to Bernadette Soubirous at the Grotto in Lourdes France and to the 3 young children at Fatima in Portugal. We must keep in mind that each of these, now church approved apparitions had many detractors, as with present day Medjugorje. Further, there were many who fought against the validity of those apparitions, even though, the age old Maxims,”by their fruits you shall know them” surely applied. Jesus himself tells us in the sacred scriptures that ” a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, as a Bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” Jesus continued: “By their fruts you shall know them.” When one applies this teaching of Jesus to the Alleged Apparitions in Medjugorje, it is my firm belief that in the end, the Fruits of Medjugorje cannot and will not be denied. That said, even if the Holy Roman catholic church approved the Medjugorje Apparitions tomorrow, catholics would still no be required to beleive in their validity, nor, would this validity add anything to Revelation of the sacred scriptures and the vast Tradition of the catholic church.
In closing, let me say this, it is clear that the “Alleged” apparitions at Medjugorje will always have those who believe in them and those who do not. In my humble opinion, the fruits of the alleged apparitions will win out in the end and Medjugorje will eventually be recognized as worthy of belief for those who wish to believe. As long as pilgrims who have gone and continue to make pilgrimage to Medjugorje understand that when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith makes it final decision on Medjugorje, it is to be adhered to and followed to letter. Further, as long as the millions of people who have gone to Medjugorje coninue to strive to Live the faith according to the teachings of the Revealed Truths of the sacred scripture and tradition of the catholic church. May God’s Will be done.
Peace,
Jim Greene, NJ USA

Posted by Jim Greene | Report as abusive
 

Those who believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary DOES NOT APPEAR here on earth, let it be your belief that the people who otherwise believed, respect your belief. But please consider its ultimate intention. On the other hand, I believe you might have your own good way to pray to God. On the part of the Roman Catholic, to prove if it is true or not, it undergoes a thorough and careful investigation, and as of this date, it has no official final statement yet. It takes a long time so that it will never be wrong.

Remember that even Jesus himself has not pleased everybody. When He was on Earth, many people did not believe on him. They even embarrased him, spit on His face, scourged, crowned with thorns, pierced, and killed Him – the heaviest punishment to the worst criminal was intensified for Him.

RESPECT. We, people are separated by differences in belief and/or religion but we can be ONE in prayer to GOD. Love and Respect will build a good relationship to all people even with differences in belief.

Posted by hogel | Report as abusive
 

The apparitions of Mary to the seers associated with Medjugorje are true. A tree is known by its fruit was Mary’s answer and that says it best. The fruit of father Vlasic is similar to the fruit of Judas Iscariot. Was Jesus a FALSE Messiah because one he chose was a crook? So the argument posed against Vlasic’s connections to Medjugorje shows a lack of wisdom or even a lack of scripture knowledge. The local bishops , Peric and Zanic’s open disdain and animosity against the apparitions veracity, is a sign of the times. We are in the major spiritual battle of all time. Pope John Paul said this in 1976 (“We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the antichurch, between the Gospel and the antigospel, between Christ and the antichrist” – Pope John Paul II), prior to the first App’s in Medjugorje. Satan got to them is my humble reading. This being Mary’s last apparitions on earth (the world is about to CHANGE not end) gives rise to things not following other past apparitions. People often get the quote about God respecting all religions as being a proof that it is not Mary. She said all religions are NOT equal but God loves ALL people no matter what religion or no religion they chose. The good news is Mary’s message to Pray, Pray Pray and pray unceasingly is true. She is a “broken record” on this topic so maybe we will get the message that it is supremely important. We didn’t at Fatima and we got WWII as a result. So let’s get the prayers started and see what God will do with our humble sincere prayers from the heart and let the church do its work on ruling on Medjugorje. That its a true supernatural event is obvious according to science. Now let the Holy Spirit inform an UNBIASED commission. 28 years of DAILY apparition is what we should be debating. Why ?? We will find out and then wish we had prayed more. We will echo Schindler in the movie Schlinders list, “I could have done more”. Praying in this case.

Peace,

Mike

Posted by Michael Shannon | Report as abusive
 

TO LAKE J–The Catholic church COMPILED, not AUTHORED, the word of God–this is what Catholics always stumble over–making their church’s role more important than the thing it was asked to compile. That God used your church at a particular point in time to compiled His words into book form –words he gave to other men long ago, does not somehow anoint you as God’s mouthpiece. Paul spread the message on Romans or the roads–do we praise the Romans/the roads because he used them to get around on and get to the places he took the message to? Being the organization that God used doesn’t mean your church somehow supersedes the Word of God–you were simply the servants used to complete the task. The servants role and position is lower than the one served and what he has to say. But the servants got a big head, unfortunately at having been used and now strut around acting as though they wrote the word and can assign it a third place position AFTER their organization and its leader and Mary. God spoke through a donkey too, it doesn’t mean the donkey should be seen as more important than the message it was given to speak. Random house publishes many books, but what matters most is what the book says–what it says and who authored it, not the publisher. As far as being at rest in heaven, read the Bible and you’ll see that’s what it says–your questioning of it shows you don’t know whats there. If you weren’t content to be regurgitated to and would pick up your own fork, and make the effort to put it into solid food, bring it to your mouth, chew and shallow, –that is open, read, meditate on, grapple with, digest and ingest the Word, you’d not be following falsehoods and insisting that what your are being told is true. God gives the Holy Spirit to his children to help them. that there some disagreement is among believers is even addressed by God in the Bible, that he knows it will happen–we are not perfect -but he is and can get around any mistakes we make. NO man was given supernatural power to perfectly understand Gods work never making a mistake. You can believe a church that makes itself more important than God and his message, or you can crack open the book, and read–many things are easily understood, things that the RCC teaching completely contradicts. But if you don’t look for the truth yourself, you will remain mislead on so many points, such as Mary and what happens to believers after they die, before the end of days.

 

Like Randall Sullivan,who investigated Medjugorje and wrote, I believe, Miracle Detective, I’m bothered by the FACT that some horrible,brutal,barbaric massacres in which some of Medjugorje villagers were likely involved, have taken place around Medjugorje in the late 80s and 90s even while visitors were there. Muslim villages were destroyed and the Franciscans quickly established churches in them. That’s obscene.
Why has the Most Holy Mother of God not spoken out about this, or spoken of the dire need for peace in this tinderbox of a region among the area’s Croats, Serbs, Muslims,Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians?

Perhaps there was once something holy happening in Med,but that doesn’t mean that that is still the case. The evil one wouldn’t appear completely as he is because no one would continue to come to Medjugorje;of course miracles would be allowed to happen,and God can bring good out of anything.But please remember that even the holiest saints,have been well fooled by the evil one. If they could be fooled,then it is millions
of times easier for us to fall victim to the evil one’s deceit.

Plus, this ‘all religions please God’ comment is very troubling. That is not The Roman Catholic Church belief and the Most Holy Mother of God would never say anything that contradicted the Church.Ever.Islam denies the Cricifixion and Ressurection so how God the Father tell the Mother of God that Islam, a religion that denies his Son and her Son,is equally pleasing to God?! Illogical.

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive
 

Winky–God says to “contend for the faith” and “preach the word! Be prepared in season and out of season–correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction. –2 timothy.

but you tell us to not disagree with false RCC teaching and obey but to obey Mary who cannot speak to us. If you knew what GOD HAD TO SAY, you wouldn’t be speaking untruths and giving false counsel.

“our lady” as you call her was an imperfect woman used by God as all those used by God are(imperfect) she served God, and then died and went to her rest She is not speaking.

 

The Catholic church compiled the Bible–as a servant of God, they were asked to take HIS WORDS, given to others hundreds of years before, and to put them into book form— that does not make you somehow greater than the words you were asked to compile, nor in a position to put your church and its leaders in a superior position to those words. But the RCC always teaches that the Bible is down there about 9th on the list below the this capital C church This is outrageous pride. It puts itself above God in doing so. Catholics always stumble over this, bragging that they were used to compile the Bible as though that is someone on par with being the author of those words. Random House publishes books, but its whats in the book and who authored it that are of the primary importance, not the agency that was used to put it into the others hands. The RCC got a big head over being used for this task and has since gone around insisting that being used as a servant somehow puts them on par with the one they serve and his words. IT DOESN’T. Pride blinds and it blinded your leaders to what God words say.

 

I believe in Medjugorje because there are so many good fruits coming from it and also because I don’t believe that the visionaries could have kept up a facade all of these years – if they had been lying they would have broken down years ago. Also they suffer persecution which show that something good is happening there and there life is not an easy one having to go out each morning to speak to lots of pilgrims etc

Posted by Margaret | Report as abusive
 

Johannes writes: “Those who are not Catholics, are no less creatures made in the image of God, and destined to rejoin someday, the House of the Father. Salvation is available to everyone, without exception.”

Those words, ascribed to the “Gospa,” make a mockery of the Martyrs who died–who were fed to the lions–defending the Faith. More importantly, it makes a mockery of Christ’s Sacrifice. It dilutes and in some ways, nullifies, His Propitiatory Sacrifice. As if Christ just sauntered down here to hang Himself on a cross, but, if you believe it, great! If you don’t believe it, also great!

For God–Christ–to Sacrifice Himself in such a manner, man must have been so fallen that there was no other way to Redeem him. But Medjugorje makes a mockery of this unique salvific act because it espouses syncretism, indifferentism and relativism. It dillutes the salvific act down into a common parlance.

http://hospitallers.blogspot.com/

 

I believe in Medjugorje, I have been there 7 times. The first time I came with my husband,who was not a Catholic, we shared many miracles, one which was a miracle. He asked if Jesus wanted him to become Catholic and follow this road he needed a miracle, he asked to have his sinus problem cured and within 15 seconds, liquid poured out of his nose, also his rosary became gold colored overnight, and saw the sun spinning. He did in need follow that path, we remarried in the Catholic church, he went through the Catholic process and became Catholic, joined the K of C. He loves our faith.I saw on that first visit 2 large, slightly different in size, light blue clouds in the dark sky at 10pm head to the top of apparation hill and heard the dogs barking during the whole apparation and stopped barking when she left.I pray for the Bishop of Mostar because I think his pride was hurt when Our Lady said , he acted to quickly kicking out the two Franciscan Priests. I see nothing in her messages in 28 yrs that is against our faith, her son Jesus should be proud of his Mother, for she brings me joy in my life.

Posted by Kathleen Foudray | Report as abusive
 

The visions of Medugorje prompted a surge in Marianist spirituality. That can be a good thing, if gentleness, compassion and other qualities of Christ’s mother are boosted in the faithful. Anti-intellectualism and overly orthodox religiosity can be negative byproducts of such devotions. Don’t discount Medugorje’s validity, though, solely because of the sordidness of the visionaries’ spiritual director. Remember, Mother Theresa also received counsel from a sordid priest, a clergy abuser.

Posted by Linda Briggs-Harty | Report as abusive
 

My understanding is that the Church does not give an official “ruling” on any apparitions until the alleged apparitions are completed. Discernment could not be completed unless all info was available.

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive
 

I vsited Medjugorje with a group in 2004, and while walking back from the Oasis of Peace with them, stopped to take a group picture around a tiny roadside shrine which had a small statue of Our Blessed Mother, the same that a few of us had bought in a gift shop. When the film was looked at that evening, perfectly outlined in the noonday sky above us was the large figure of a woman wearing a veil, the folds of her dress outlined (the picture was sent to spirit daily by my friend after it was properly developed and named “Our Lady of the Clouds” and can been seen in unusual pictures on the medjugorje web. I also have the moving image on my video camera. I do not think that anyone could have manufactured that as there was not a building for miles -only fields and the image was hundreds of feet in the air. I had never heard of Medjugorje before I went and never for a moment expected to see anything unusual. I just went to pray with the others and hope that God would answer us, and experience a long overdue break. Two other unusual things happened in that trip. A visionary from Ireland on pilgrimage there in Medjugorje stopped at our Inn and spoke to the guests and previous acquaintances there informally. When I was introduced to him, I drew him aside and asked him to pray for my brother who had been harmed by a priest as an altar boy many years ago. We only had recently found out about the abuse. He was severely depressed and his life in turmoil. He asked what we as a family had done about it, and I said ‘nothing, we endured, prayed, got some help and counseling for my brother – the Priest was a sick man. The visionary went around to speak to others and came back to speak to me before he left. He said ‘Before the year is out, great things will happen for T….(my brother)”. Within 8 months, and after 30 years of pain, my brother was acknowledged as a victim, awarded compensation, is married with a family in 2009, an happier than I have seen him before. One other strange thing happened. In my room at the Inn (small private room), I was awakened one night when my bed was lifted at the bottom end and hit against the wall. Needless to say, I was jerked awake, flipped the light terrified at what I might see but, there was no one or nothing to indicate how my bed had moved so hard against the wall. The room was subsequently sprinkled with Blessed Salt, Holy Water, and the light was left on every night after that! Is Medjugorje a fake? – I can’t say but I feel sure that all the Masses, Rosaries, Confessions and fervent prayers have not go unheard of in Heaven.

Posted by Mariam | Report as abusive
 

All I know for sure is that in 1989 on a visit there my life was completely changed, healed and is complete now, until I “see Him who my soul desires”.

Posted by Sr. Judy | Report as abusive
 

Per The Bible: “You are Peter and upon this rock I shall build My Church and the gates of hell shall NOT prevail against it”. The Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church and will continue to do so; as in the case of Medjugorje.
The Magisterium of the Church lead us.

God the Father chose to send His Son to us THROUGH The Virgin Mary (“Hail Full of grace” was the greeting the Angel Gabriel gave her, we believe she was perfect and without original sin). Mary only knew how to love. Our Lady brings everyone back to her son. Suggested book to read: “Rome Sweet Home” by Scott and Kimberly Hahn which shows their journey from the Presbyterian church where he was so adamantly opposed to the Catholic Church TO their family becoming Catholic. EWTN’s, THE JOURNEY HOME, shows converts/reverts journeys to the Catholic Church. Watch it with an open heart and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his truth to you.

Personally, I visited in 1991 with my parents and siblings. It was such a peaceful place though war would break out the following year. I find it amazing that not one of the bombs dropped on the city exploded during the war. There were many conversions there; many good fruits.

Posted by Lisa | Report as abusive
 

I believe that Mary appearing in Medjigoie. I read about this when I was a teenager. My aunt had visited and talked about her trip. I was a teenager then and it was just ne persons account I thought. Than in 2006 I went to confession to let my priest know I had been Married outside of the church in 1993 and that my husband had been married before. My priest said I could not take the Eucarist until my husbands past marriage was anualled and are marriage was blessed in the church. I was saddened and continued to attended mass and not receive the eucharist for two years. During the time I waited, I yearned to have a deeper faith, to stay conected with other Catholics, I started to attended “Hearts on Fire” charistmatic prayer group. It was not long before I had people praying for me and my husband became Catholic and my marriage was blessed in my church. Also I joined ‘St. Josephes” Prayer ministry out of Anacortes, wa. During my few first months of classes the lessons were reflective on bible readings, lessons on how to pray for others taught by Sisters and other prayer ministry members on video and than the practical part were me and the members would pray. Well, the first time I was prayed for I was instantly healed. I had a back problem and when prayed for I was healed as the words came out of the mouth of my prayer partner. I never accepted to experience a healing my self, Just see one perhaps. Now the Miricle Im talking about was not just a miricle because of the instant healing. It was because who truely directed the prayer. It was Mary. I can not tell you exsactly how I knew it was her- I just knew. She told me how to direct the prayer towards her to give to our lord Jesus and he would heal me, and he did. The following lesson, the next week was on soaking prayer and in the same spot that I once had pain was a numming sensation. When I was prayed for the following day the numming left. I believe I was allowed to have the numming sensation to understand the importance of soaking prayer; being prayed for more than once for healing.
Two weeks later, in Feb. I went with a friend to Portland, Or. where others witness one of the seers Ivan from Mejegoria have a vision. I was in the pius praying my Rosery. I could feel the holy spirit in the Church. It filled the air almost like a thickness as you walked in. As I was praying Mary- spoke again- When she speeks you can not do anything but listen. I felt like I was at such peace.

I would share with anyone what was said- What is important is that Mary-Is never to far away from her son and your prayers our being heared so do not stop praying. And even though I love my church and understand why we must be careful to check and double check all super natural mysterys- It is evident to many people that the holy spirit is alive and is continuing to move the hearts of many believers to a richer faith in Jesus. Jesus.

I would also like to share that same year I received the gift of speaking in Arabic. I was also driving over Deseption pass bridge in Oak Harbor, Wa that same year. I did saying my rosery and just started praying in a new language. I read alot after that about prayer languages and a couple of years later a Doctor of Languages ask me to speak my prayer language and she was asstounded that I was speaking the language. She said she toss and turned at the miricle of me speaking another language. She knew I was given this gift from god and that god was truely alive today.

Sister in faith- Lucy

Posted by Lucy Stark-Anderson | Report as abusive
 

Puddlejumper,

Of course the Catholic Church is not more important than God. My point is that the Catholic Church is the original Church founded by Christ and run by an unbroken line of leaders since St Peter. The Protestant church has split a million ways into everything from liberal Methodists and Episcopalians to modern day fundamentalists, but they are all johnny-come-latelies. The Catholic Church alone remains true to its moral teachings and always will. The every man for himself nonsensical method of Biblical interpretation doesn’t work, so it’s better you figure that out now. Of course all the Christian denominations are guided in some degree by the Holy Spirit, and through them people can find God, but the Catholic Church remains the original and the true.

Posted by Lake J | Report as abusive
 

I never been at Medjugore. However, it represents a lot to me. I believe in it. In Haiti my country in a Charismatic congress I have seen the sun Miracle just like it is hapenning overthere. I felt that peace, I felt the presence of heaven. Let’s all pray for the intentions of Virgin Mary at Medjugore.

Posted by Verdieu Pierre | Report as abusive
 

I believe it is a fraud. I have read about the children of Fatima and these seers seem to be in stark contrast to the humility of the children of Fatima. Also I cannot believe that the Blessed Virgin would appear for 25-30 years in the same place. It is great that people who go there go to confession, but that is not proof of an apparition.

Posted by Ed | Report as abusive
 

Why people just couldn’t be a little more prudent. All we needed is an act of obedience in the faith. My view on this matter is that – it doesn’t matter what miracles and how many conversions it would claim to be to those who experienced but without the Obedience it’s worthless.

Posted by Sonny | Report as abusive
 

You report innocent things in a tone that suggests otherwise, and have distorted the role of the defrocked priest in Medjugorje. This is a most thoroughly investigated and document event, with supernaturally good effects on people worldwide of all backgrounds and walks of life. I do not see any cause for this rancor except jealousy. Even if it were placed under restriction, truth is truth, and no one’s declaration can change what is. Ultimately, truth will prevail, and those who have opposed something so extensively self proven, will be revealed in their own shortcomings.

Posted by Joly | Report as abusive
 

To: Puddlejumper: if anyone is a puppet, people like yourself who believes the false doctrine taught by renegade preachers are the ones who are fooled. No discipline, wacky interpretations and beliefs. Some of the interpretations of scripture I have seen are outright ridiculous in many cases,as they are doing it on their own, no tradition or authority as handed down from the Apostles. You don’t believe what Jesus said “Unless you eat my Body adn Drink my blood, you shall not have eternal life – WE DO and HAVE HAD MASSES SINCE THE DAYS OF PAUL AND PETER. WHO STARTED YOUR CHURCH? THERE IS A NAME FOR EVERY POPE BACK THROUGH PETER, AND HE IS BURIED IN ROME (THE ROME YOU ATTACH TO US WITH EVIL). You are the one(s) attributing to yourself such authority, very haughty indeed. (there are 30,000 different sects of self-interpreted “churches” in shopping centers, movie theaters, etc. around the country). When Jesus said to eat His body and blood, many said, how can this be? They walked away. It wasn’t symbolic – He said My flesh is Food indeed. And that’s just one of the multitudes of scriptures you ignore or twist to you own purposes, even though all of the early Apostles and Fathers clearly regarded the Eucharist as the true Body and Blood of Christ, in the form of bread and wine. You and false preachers malign confession with the very weak “call no am your father” argument, yet Jesus asks the rich young man, what are the commandments, Honor thy Father and Mother was one – did he admonish him and say, don’t say Father – utter, utter ridiculousness and wacky interpretation aimed at leading you and others away fro the church. We can go on and on – you put down confession – Yet Jesus appeared to the Disciples after His resurrection and breathed on them with the Holy Spirit and said – “Whomever sins you forgive they shall be forgive, whose sins you bind they shall be bound.” But again, you and other wacky interpretation to fit your purposes…on and on and on.

Posted by St Anthony Rox | Report as abusive
 
 

The franciscans in Medjugorje have misled and brainwashed the whole world.The ‘seers’ are like puppets in their hands, but are making much money only by their status as ‘seers’.Already 50 books have unmasked the fraud in Med. Fr. Slavko Barbaric died in disobedience to his bishop. Fr. Jozo Zovko has been suspended 3x and is now exiled by Rome to the island Badija. Fr. Tomislav Vlasic has been reduced by the pope to the lay-status. I have 200 arguments against the authenticity of the ‘apparitions’. Read the website of the bishop of Mostar : http://www.cbismo.com

Posted by waterinckx mark | Report as abusive
 

The link I have posted doesn’t work. So put together “dot” and “it”, that appear separate:

http://www.marcocorvaglia.blog.lastampa. it

(Medjugorje without mask)

Posted by Dany | Report as abusive
 

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