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

My spiritual conversion is because of Medjugorje . Many Many miracles are attributed to Medjugorje , Physical Mental and Spiritual . Confessions , in Medjugorje , are a Major Part of The Healing Process , that is why Medjugorje is called The Confessional Of The World . Many Priests have found their Vocation in Medjugorje , and so I could go on and on about The Phenomenon that is Medjugorge . If this is the work of Satan , it has got to be the Biggest mistake he has ever made ! Yours In Christ . Joe

Posted by joe.livingston | Report as abusive
 

I visited Medj. in the early nineties.
If it is a fraud then somebody there has access to very rare and very advanced technology, in order for me to have witnessed what I and many others simultaneously witnessed.
If it is a fraud then it is the most fantastic fraud of all time.
Also, because of fantastic occurrences in my personal life, directly related to my visit to Medj. I do not believe it to be a fraud.
I am grateful to God for my time there and I urge you to visit.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

I have been there many times as far back as 1985. I truely now believe it is a deception, not a fraud. I believe those kids saw what they believe to be the Blessed Virgin Mary. but in saying that i believe, that these vision are not of GOD and are designed, to divert from the real messages of FATIMA, which were RESTATED IN AKITA, WHICH ENDED IN 1981. WHEN DID THIS START 1981. If you look at LOURDES. AT THE TIME THERE WERE NEARLY 50 REPORTED SIGHTINGS OF OUR BLESSED MOTHER, ALL FALSE IN AN ATTEMPT TO DESTROY LOURDES.

Posted by GERRY | Report as abusive
 

I know we have to be very careful re apparitions etc. But one can only go by your own experiences. I am 63 and have been having locutions since the age of 5, I do have a spiritual director and he has 98 pages so far of my experiences. I have been to Medjugore 4 times the first time was with my daughter Kate, she had been away from church for a number of years. Kate had cancer and she was reluctant to come (it was my first time too) anyhow she came. As I went to bed I felt Our Lady’s presence with us she was there whilst I fell asleep, I awoke about 5am and there she was again, I just lay in this beautiful presence of Our Lady. When we climed up Cross Mountain (sorry can’t spell the correct name!) there was 3 of us went up and we went our separate ways for a while, when we got together again my daughter told me “well I’ve had a word with him, and I said if you are really there and if you are listening to me then send one of these birds through the middle of the mountain (she said that whilst up there she noticed that all the birds were flying on the outside and not coming into the middle)she said in about 2 mins a bird came across the middle, Kate being Kate said “well thats ok but I want another one” she said I had to laugh because one almost hit my nose it came so close” I said “well you have your answer” Kate was spiritually healed in Medjugore once home she went to confession and returned to church, my daughter died on August 27th 2004, the afternoon she died I was sitting doing the rosary and about 4pm I just said to myself “Oh Our Lady and the Holy Spirit are here” for me it is so natural I don’t get excited I just accept things, but that is when Our Lady took her in her arms to heaven. This is only a very small part of the experiences I’ve had in Medjugore, there is one thing for sure if Our Lady wants Medjugore to continue it certainly will.

God Bless

Mary.

 

I’d be surprised if Medjugorje was a fraud and I’d have to ask, why would God perform miracles there if that were so? To confirm a place that is fake? To confuse? Or are these miracles of the Devil? It seems strange that the many fruits of Medjugorje are healings, miracles, conversions and prayer groups…..So if it’s of the Devil? Then it’s certainly backfired!

I went there in 1996 a non Catholic. I was witness to the first supernatural miracle of my life and have yet to witness anything like it before or since. The miracle of the sun during an outdoor Mass. How was this done? Smoke and the mirrors? There was no way there was any trickery involved.

The stunning miracle lasted approx 5-10 mins and occured during the consecration of the Mass. Nothing could have prepared me for it. I was shaking, I was awe stricken and tearful. At that moment, I felt I was faced with the undeniable realisation that God EXISTS! It should not take a miracle no, and I already believed in God? Yes! But I cannot describe what affect something like this can have on a person and if something like this changes an atheists’ mind or lifts a person’s faith, or confirms those whom already believe? Wonderful! God IS alive and God IS a God of miracles. One only has to read the bible to see that. Why should He then not exercise this in our day and age?

So to me, something is definitely going on there that is spiritual. I cannot say if the actual apparitions/messages themselves are a hoax or not, but I can say that either God or the Devil are showing signs/wonders regardless!

I came back home from that place and I was soon baptised a Roman Catholic.

Posted by Bex | Report as abusive
 

I believe in Our Blessed Mother’s appearances at Medjugorje. No need to say another word. The Vatican will approve soon – I know this.

Posted by John Hardwick | Report as abusive
 

We agree with CHurch teaching on all things faith and morals. Our opinion is only that an *opinion* Only those given the authority can make a valid and final decision. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church concerning apparitions. If you have a problem with the Church’s authority..I suggest you re-examin your faith.

Posted by M Flores | Report as abusive
 

There are three causes of apparitions 1) God (very rare), 2) the Devil (quite often) and 3) humans (more likly then not). Human beings can delude themselves through either malice i.e. money and wealth. or innocently i.e mental illness. The scripture tells us that the Devil can immittae the angels of light and indeed the much famed spanish nun Magadelene of the Cross in the 16th centuary worked marvellous miricles through the work of the Devil which even convinced princs of the church. At this alleged site, the model has been one of intentional disobediance to church authroity and the desperate looking for loopholes in church rulings. Yes many people have found faith and that is good but the foundation rock must be faith in Christ and His church and not some apparition in the former yugoslavia. What does the Devil gain he gains a generation of disobediant catholics he would rejoice. The only valid position given that the Zadar Declation in 1991 found no prove of supernatural source after ten is to be very cautious. And we should ask our bishops to censure claimed apparition tracts under canon 823 and 827 of the Code of Canon Law 1983. In the case of Med following the 1991 declaration the best cause is \”it is better to not believe then to believe\”.

Posted by chris london | Report as abusive
 

Be patient brethren in Jesus Christ! I hope it will be confirmed as authentic apparitions. Otherwise it could be a real deception in modern era. People made claims there were numerous conversions stories, a confession place of the world, millions and millions of pilgrims made visiting there. All these evidences are seem to be so authentic and convincing indeed. But – also it may well be works of the Satan. The very first signs for us is the confusions and divisions among the elected. What sacrifices the devil wouldn’t unwillingly to do for some good works – fruitful works, but the ultimate goal of him is to deceive many – “…even the elect”. The bottom line is we must wait and see what come out from the Vatican will say. Maybe we live in a fast-food epoch times that may affect our rational thinking. People slowwww down, read the Holy Bible, Love your neighbours, do good things. Love GOD likewise in the Ten Commandments then we don’t have to worry about. May God Bless you all with a lot of peace.

Posted by Sonny | Report as abusive
 

I knew and visited a vatican-based Cardinal during JPII ‘s reign.
he said that the pope had no objections but followed that up saying that there was some woman [ not visionary] travelling the world claiming supernatural phenomena and Miracles associated with Medj. This meant that every single claim would have to be investigated etc and so the task was being made futile [ in short , too much boasting etc was the root problem ].
the Bishop of Mostar MUST speak and guide- my only reservation is that the Archbishop of Split [ Franic] was totally in favour and supported medj.from the start.
even cardinals including the english one have also been impressed. are they ALL gullible ?
Remember that many , many years after lourdes and fatima was approval given; S.PIO was exiled from the church and his order for over 15 years as was S.FAUSTINA before recognition.
if it is declared ‘a fraud’[ and it cannot be proven so ] now – it will still remain an open question ; that’s my point .that’s the nature of ”apparitions”.
there is far too much debate & dissension &’boastfulness’ to qualify such ‘private’ apparitions in this case .

 

It’s an obvious fraud, so the church should stay true to two-thousand years of lying and accept it as true. Rejecting the apparition merely because it’s a hoax would break with lifetimes of Catholic tradition.

Posted by Kieran | Report as abusive
 

We pray, pray, pray… Thanks to Blessed Mary…

 

One of the common theories put around concerning Medjugorije is that these manifestations are the work of Satan.

One of the common responses is “Why would Satan do something which only reinforces faith in God?”

The answer is obvious. God requires faith from his followers. Faith means you believe without evidence.

If God were to provide direct evidence that he exists, there would be no need for faith. Because direct evidence would mean God is a fact, not a belief.

Why believe something which is proven? You don’t need to *believe* something is true, because evidence means you *know* it is true.

So why would Satan create these manifestations? Because it destroys faith. People think there is actual evidence god exists, so they no longer need faith.

Those people who view the miracle might worship God. But they worship him because they saw *evidence* he exists. Not because they have faith he exists.

And if people don’t have faith in God, where do they end up? You guessed it. Oblivion.

So think. All those people going to see the manifestations, might just end up on the highway to hell courtesy of the deceiver’s clamshell tricks.

I don’t know about you, but why would anyone want to risk their soul in such a way? True faith shouldn’t need proof anyway.

Posted by Musings | Report as abusive
 

Imagine the Enemy consulting his chief advisor. “We’ve done well with scandals, drugs, dissenters and all that, but how do we get the good ones?”
“Ah”, says the advisor, “you go and impersonate the Woman you hate, you get them all coming to Mass and confession, you throw in a few of those tricks you’re good at, and feed them messages that will make them think they’re special. They’ll come in their millions, and they’ll swear it’s all genuine. OK, so you’ll lose some to Him, but they’ll say – look at the good fruits – and not see the poison in the fruit. That fruit trick worked before, didn’t it? And you’ll get them following their own imaginations, instead of following Him and His Mother.”
“Good advice”, says the Enemy. “We’ll do it. I know just the place, there between the hills.”
And he did.

Posted by Paul Mac | Report as abusive
 

The Church must be very careful and deliberate. Their is nary a diocese in the world that hasn’t received vocations as a result of Medjugorje. The Church previously declared that it cannot be proved that anything supernatural is occurring there but that it is a legitimate place of pilgrimage and the pilgrims should be ministered to.

The best proof will come soon enough. The visionaries said the secrets would be revealed in their lifetimes. If any one of them passes away before that happens, then they lied and lies don’t come from God. As they reach their fifties, their normal mortality approaches, especially in that part of the world.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive
 

The Church is on dangerous grounds here….regarding the implications that Satan is attempting to lead us astray we must always check w/Scripture and remember Matt 12:25 before making such a statement. She (The Vatican) will also do well to remember Matt 15:8-9 less she fall into the same judgements of the Sanhedrin!

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive
 

“dubious doctrine, the manipulation of consciences, suspect mysticism and disobedience towards legitimately issued orders.”

These are virtually the exact same words used to describe Fr. Gino Burresi, a well known reputed mystic once considered by many to be the heir apparent to St. Pio of Pietrelcina. In the decree signed by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, any delusion Fr. Gino’s fanatical followers maintained about him should have been dissipated. But the beliefs many had in him continue to this day despite the Church’s judgment and an abundance of evidence against him (that the Church in Her sense of justice has never publicly revealed). His followers believed he had visits from the Virgin Mary, secret messages, and that he bore the stigmata. Many stories of conversions, wonders, and miracles surrounded him as well. Eventually he was exposed by a long Church investigation that took 15 years. Interestingly, the conclusions Cardinal Ratzinger reached (and confirmed as Benedict XVI) were identical to those reported to the Vatican by Fr. Gino’s superiors in 1988. (I know because I was the one who wrote them and took them to the Vatican.)

My point is, I have learned that in the history of the Church it seems at least 99% of the time visions and apparitions, no matter how appealing and seemingly approved by wonders and signs, turn out to be false. It is a very important part of spiritual wisdom to realize this to be the case.

It is noteworthy that the few apparitions of the Virgin Mary that in time have been declared “worthy of belief” by the Church, involve very few actual visits from the Mother of God, and very few words. For my part the length and frequency and details of these so-called apparitions are proof enough they are not valid. Or have we all forgotten Garabandal, Bayside, San Damiano, and Necedah, Wisconsin?

What is even more alarming is the need some of the faithful seem to have to cling to “signs and wonders.” Have they never read in the Acts of the Apostles how Simon Magus did many signs that even led some early members of the Church astray? Be done with these things, people! And stop listening to whispers and rumors about what this Cardinal or that bishop said. One of Fr. Gino’s penitents at the time he was exposed was the Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation for Consecrated Life! Yes! Bishops, priests, and anyone can be deceived unless they maintain a healthy skepticism accompanied by a thorough knowledge of the Church’s experience in these cases, and a good grasp on mystical theology.

I already assert as my opinion that these visions at Medjugorje are not worthy of belief, and I will be thoroughly surprised if the Vatican does not soon publicly declare the same thing.

Posted by Joseph Danielson | Report as abusive
 

I believe that God is doing something here. People are coming back to Him through the Sacraments of confession and the Eucharist. I also will put my trust in my Church. It si Christ’s Church and the Church will decide if it is to be public or not. Whatever happens God is to be praised above all.

Posted by Bernadette Lysaght | Report as abusive
 

The rules of faith are clear:

Beware of miracles, regardless of the form. The evil one may use miracles too. And mankind doesn’t have the ability to tell one from the other.

Posted by Manny | Report as abusive
 

What does Satan and his fallen angels want to do ? Yes ! Destroy Medjugorje. For all of you who have eyes and ears and a heart. Please listen :
I say to you in all sincerity and love. Believe ! Shed your unbelief for you are falling prey to the fallen angels. This is exactly what they want. They are the sowers of doubt and criticism. They are the liars, the destructive forces behind all this. Do not give in to them but believe ! The Blessed Mother is appearing in Medjugorje. I will give my life for this truth.
I’ve been a witness to many miracles there ! Pray for those Bishops who are so heavily attacked by the fallen angels which are in the air. Let us pray for all the doubters. Keep going there. You will be richly blessed beyond your wildest dreams.

 

I’ve been in so many arguments with my friends over this, because they truly believe in Medjugorje and I think it is clearly an elaborate hoax. But all the evidence points to a fraud. No real Marian vision would include sexual scandals and such blatant money-mongering as Medjugorje has. It has done some good, as the conversion stories and spiritual renewals show, but good can come out of evil and that is what has happened in this case. I am eager to hear the official Church ruling so we can find out once and for all whether Medjugorje is a lie.

 

All we keep hearing over and over is that “you have to go there. I experienced this or that. It has to be true.” To this I ask, since when is our faith founded on what we see or hear or what emotional experience we have? Thank the Lord that he gave us a “system” of faith called the Catholic Church that isn’t dependent upon feelings or supernatural occurrences. Jesus Christ himself warned against basing our faith on signs and wonders. God does work miracles and does on occasion appear to people, but for the most part he’s an even keeled non-emotional steady-Eddy. He works in our lives every single day in ways that most of us don’t even realize. He wants us to believe without seeing and doesn’t want us reliant upon some seer to guide us in our daily prayer life. Instead, he wants us to be obedient to his Church to free us from the dangers of addictions to emotional and spiritual highs and keep us on the proper path to holiness for which there is no prescription i.e., fast on Weds., pray 5 rosaries this day, go to confession every week, etc., etc,.

If we were to believe the messages of Medjugorje were coming from the real Virgin Mary, we would have to think God would have us be kept on the emotional roller coaster of fear, accusations, guilt and confirmations of our holiness. Ooh, today I’ll make the sun spin for you. Tomorrow I’ll give you the exact words you were hoping for. Next week, I’ll point out the lack of faith of all of those around you. Next month, I’ll make you feel guilty for not praying enough. Next year I’ll give you that thing you asked me for and then make you feel like you need to travel all the way here to thank me. Talk about being a puppet on a string! This isn’t the God I profess faith in.

People who go there on pilgrimages for the purpose of being around the apparitions and expecting grace from the apparitions are going in disobedience to Church authority, but all you hear them say is that it is “just like heaven there.” Plain and simple, the beings in Heaven are there because of their Obedience to God. The ones that are not there are in Hell because of their disobedience to God. So, if they’re saying Medjugorje is like Heaven, I think I’d rather stay home!

Posted by Atlas | Report as abusive
 

If you have ears, eyes and a heart. Believe ! Our Blessed Mother is truly appearing in Medjugorje.
I give my life for Medjugorje!!!! Hundreds of miracles happened there! Hundreds of healings and conversions ! Satan and the fallen angels want to destroy Medjugorje. They are full of rage and jealousy.
You are helping them if you don’t believe. Stand firm in your belief. Our Blessed Mother needs you. Go there in faith. You will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams.
Pray for those who persecute you and Medjugorje, They don’t know what they are doing.

 

I visited Medj. in the 90s on retreat because my aunt invited me, though we were not close, something made me go. I had 2 experiences that were not my imagination: an intimate encounter while praying alone before the Blessed Sacrament (exposed in our chapel) where I sensed an invisible arm coming down around my shoulders. I was miserable and crying and didn’t know why. Someone was trying to comfort me. I think I was being purged on this trip. Regardless of the verdict, I know that satan will interfere wherever good resides.

Ponder all things in your hearts, keep what is good, pray to the HOLY SPIRIT daily, persevere in your faith & receive the sacraments often (confession is key), trust in Jesus & His Mother.

HOPE is a fundamental anchor in our faith. satan will strive to extinguish it. Stay close to Our Lady and entrust all you love to her!
THIS IS A BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD & EVIL.
Heaven is asking each of us: WHAT SIDE ARE YOU ON?
The difference in this war is: There is NO neutral ground.

Posted by Watching | Report as abusive
 

“You will know by the fruits”. If the “fruits” of Medjugorje for the past 28 years have been millions of people returning to the sacraments, conversion of Protestants (Wayne Weibel, myself and several people I personally know) to the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”, numerous vocations to the priesthood, how, pray tell, can this be of satan? What is of the evil one is dissension and division. He’s the master – the author of lies. He knows every single one of our weaknesses – and that’s where he strikes. PRIDE is man’s (or HUman’s, if you will) downfall. It’s pride which fuels rebellion; pride which convinces the educated and experienced that we know all and God will not do “something new” without our perfect discernment. Many times it has been published that John Paul II privately said, “Medjugorje! Conversions, conversions, conversions!” Was he deceived? Or perhaps he didn’t say it all; maybe that’s a deception. We are all free to decide. “As for me and my house”…, we will continue to “pray, pray, pray”, regularly avail ourselves of the Sacraments and read our Scripture as Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pleads with us to do. My faith tells me this is what is right and the devil is in for one hell of a fight.

Posted by Sonni | Report as abusive
 

Why don’t you believe in the apparitions of Our Lady of Peace of Medjugorje?

1. Check this amazing 1 minute video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBiXbJmGz c4

Our Lady of Peace cried for our sins in Honduras 2007 but this is happening all over the world. The image is a replica from the one in Medjugorje (Bosnia) where our Mother is appearing right now (as well as in Salta and San Nicolas, both in Argentina).

Something similar, even with tears of blood, happened in:
• Civitavecchia, Italy, 1995 (blood)
• Córdoba, Argentina, 2005 http://www.reinadelcielo.org/estructura. asp?intSec=3&intId=84
• Mendoza, Argentina, 2005 (blood)
• Marigliano, Italy, 2006 http://www.reinadelcielo.org/estructura. asp?intSec=3&intId=110
• Caracas, Venezuela, 2008

2. Pope John Paul II asked for the statue of Our Lady of Civitavecchia which cried tears of blood (copy of the one in Medjugorje to be taken to the Vatican, prayed in front of her, blessed it and signed a document certifying all this!
Court Finds No Deceit With Weeping Statue [2001-03-20]
http://eltestamentodelpescador.wordpress .com/category/civitavecchia/
http://www.medjugorje.ws/it/articles/int erviews/statue-our-lady-civitavecchia-we eping-tears-blood/

3. Ratzinger rejected the objections of the local bishop of Medjugorje (who recommended his successor because he was against Medjugorje too).
http://www.papanews.it/dettaglio_intervi ste.asp?IdNews=9399
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/archive s/2008/10/petrus-intervie.html

4. Benedict XVI prayed in front of the image of Medjugorje.
This was reported and spread by VATICAN Radio:
http://www.radiovaticana.org/it1/Articol o.asp?c=145895

5. Why does the Vatican encourage further investigations when local bishop objects the apparitions?

After formal investigations, bishops can declare apparitions as one of the following:
1) constat de non supernaturalitate (established as not supernatural)
2) non constat de supernaturalitate (evidence reviewed so far don’t seem to support the supernatural)
3) constat de supernaturalitate (established as supernatural)

It is very important to understand the historic order of events:
1. Successive local bishops have reached the conclusion of non constat de supernaturalitate.
2. THEN the Yugoslavian bishop’s conference confirmed this view.
3. As proven above, The Vatican, under both John Paul II and Benedict XVI, has always encouraged further investigations and sent indirect hints that the apparitions are true. The Vatican respects the hierarchical order and does not make a formal statement which is still in the hands of the Episcopal Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina (which inherited the authority of the dissolved Yugoslavian bishop’s conference).
For instance, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, currently the Vatican Secretary of State and one of the highest-ranking officials in the Church, in his “The Last Secret of Fatima,” published in 2007, said the bishop’s declarations are not the definitive and official judgment of the Church. He clarified that personal pilgrimages are permitted to the site, as the investigations continue.

Regarding declarations of the current bishop of Mostar, where Medjugorje is located:
http://chonak.tripod.com/documents/m1997 1002_peric.html
For wrong reasons, he has publicly declared his opinion of constat de non supernaturalitate (i.e. people shouldn’t believe in the apparitions). It is very important to clarify that this is only a personal opinion, NOT AN OFFICIAL ONE, since the bishop can’t open an official enquiry of something which is now in the hands of the bishop’s conference. Anyone omitting this clarification, makes the bishop of Mostar’s statement look not prudent, disordered, out of line, defying a higher authority and making it appear that the bishop is claiming an authority which he has not.
Even more, the bishop’s conference claims it is now in the hands of the Vatican.
http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009  /10/07/vatican-ruling-on-disputed-medju gorje-shrine-expected-soon/#respond

One of the wrong reasons the bishop used to dismiss the apparitions is that the seers shouldn’t know beforehand when our Lady will appear. If the bishop considers this a reason to suspect the apparitions, then he would have to dismiss Fatima, since the three shepherds were told exactly when Our Lady would appear (and that very day happened the miracle of the sun).
This bishop also forbids pilgrimages to Medjugorje which “presuppose the authenticity of the apparitions”. If this isn’t a bad translation, the bishop is wrong: it is obvious good Catholics don’t put themselves over the Church formal approval just as the pilgrims to Fatima or Lourdes weren’t defying authorities by going there until it was finally approved even decades later. The Vatican made that very clear (see above Bertone’s quote): pilgrimages are allowed.
Let’s pray for the bishops of Bosnia-Herzegovina so that they promptly issue a true statement on Medjugorje.

Further reading from EWTN, the largest Catholic media network in the world, founded by a cloistered nun and only based on donations (if that isn’t a miracle then what!!!):
http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/medju gorje.htm
http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/appar itions.htm

6. Apparitions of Salta, Argentina confirm Medjugoje.
The seer from Salta, María Livia travelled to Medjugorje where in a message there she confirmed Mary’s real birthday on August 5th (as indicated by Our Lady in Medjugorje). This message (and all the rest until 1997) has received the nihil obstat imprimatur declaration by the Salta Archbishop Blanchoud, who endorsed the apparitions, though did not issue a formal statement (his successor upon his death hasn’t approved the next messages yet, let’s pray for him).
Messages at:
http://www.inmaculadamadre-salta.org/es/ 3Mensajes/Leer/Mensajes1990-97-ingles.ht m
Note: my 4 year old born-deaf nephew recovered perfect hearing and I personally know healings of leukemia, brain degenerative disease, scoliosis, etc.

7. Important information
Former Medjugorje Priest Laicized [2009-07-29]
Superior: Not a Judgment on Pilgrimage Site

Watch this impressive videos of Medjugorje:
http://www.dmisericordiamed.it/videosmed jugorje.htm
(if Firefox does not work try with Internet Explorer)

Documents:
http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_appa ritions/statements/index.html#medjugorje
? May 26, 1998 – Letter by Archbishop T. Bertone to Mgr. Gilbert Aubry, Bishop of Saint-Denis de la Reunion [ more ]
? January 7, 2000 – Msgr. H. Brincard, Bishop of Puy-en-Velay, Association of Marian organizations; From the official bulletin of the French Episcopal Conference [SNOP], No. 1,064 [printed in Documentation Catholique of 7 January 2000]. [ more ]
? JULY 3, 2001 – Zenit News Agency Article: Medjugorje: 20 Years Later, the Questions Linger – Church Has Not Ruled on Reported Apparitions [ more ]
? February 17, 2004 – MEDUGORJE: SECRETS, MESSAGES, VOCATIONS, PRAYERS, CONFESSIONS, COMMISSIONS Msgr. Ratko Peric Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, BiH From a talk given at Maynooth, Co. Dublin [ more ]
? June 15, 2006 – HOMILY OF BISHOP RATKO PERIC, SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST, MEDJUGORJE, 15 – VI – 2006, [ more ]

“Blessed are those who believe without seeing…” Jn 20,29

Woe to those who work against Our Lady’s work. Isaiah 5,20

His Holiness, Pope Urban VIII (1623-44) declared:
“In cases like this (apparitions), it is better to believe than not to believe, for, if you believe, and it is not proven true, you will be happy that you have believed, because Our Holy Mother asked it. If you believe, and it should be proven false, you will receive all blessings as if it had been true, because you believed it to be true.”

In “Lumen Gentium”, Vatican II, CH. 12, we read:
“Such gifts of grace, whether they are of special enlightenment or whether they are spread more simply and generally, must be accepted with gratefulness and consolation, as they are specially suited to, useful for, the needs of the Church… Judgments as to their genuineness and their correct use lies with those who lead the Church and those whose special task is not to extinguish the spirit but to examine everything and keep that which is good. (confer 1 Thess 5, 19-21)” ["Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. But prove all things; hold fast that which is good". (1 Thess 5, 19-21)

"Since the abolition of Canon 1399 and 2318 of the former Canonical Code by Pope Paul VI in AAS 58 (1966) 1186, publications about new appearances, revelations, prophecies, miracles, etc., have been allowed to be distributed and read by the faithful without the express permission of the Church, providing that they contain nothing which contravenes faith and morals". [This means that no IMPRIMATUR is necessary.]

In obedience to the decrees of Pope Urban VIII and other sovereign Pontiffs, the writer declares that the graces and other supernatural facts related in this text, rest on human authority alone ; and in regard thereto, as in all things else, the writer submits himself without reserve to the judgment of the Apostolic See, which has power and authority.

 

It has been said that you can judge a situation with the fruits it produces. Why are so many people enimical and sceptical about Medugorje? The fruits are miraculous! How many conversions, people brought back to the faith, lives transformed, and what to speak of vocations to the priestshood and religious life as a result of visiting Medugorje? When our Lady appeared at Fatima, and at Lourdes, the response was the same it has been for many non-believers about Medugorje. Doubt, unbelief and skepticism. If people would pray to the Holy Spirit for the Spirit of Truth, and clarity, it all will become very clear that Our Lady is definitely appearing there, just as she did at Lourdes and Fatima. Of course, we have to be obedient to what the Church rules on it. Remember, it was the Church that was skeptical about Lourdes and Fatima in the beginning, but the Holy Spirit perservered, and shed His Truth on the apparitions so that Holy Mother Church could rule favorably. May the Holy Spirit descend powerfully on all those who are making that crucial decision about Medugorje…May God’s Will be done!

 

I am a believer in many Marian apparitions, but this one troubles me. I had a bought a book on the subject many years ago, and after reading it that first night I had a dream of seeing Our Lady and after trying to touch her garment, it turned black. I never finished the book and have never had the desire to know more about this place or its apparitions.

 

I find it hard to believe that the Virgin, Mother of God
has appeared these many years.

Regina

Posted by Regina | Report as abusive
 

There is NO DOUBT in my mind that Medjugorje is an out and out fraud. Priests cohabiting with nuns, disobeying one’s superiors, silly messages. Imagine the Virgin Mary agreeing to allow one of the female ‘seers’ to frequent discos or encouraging them to smoke! The sooner the Vatican officially rules on this fraud, the better.

Posted by Joseph | Report as abusive
 

The widespread disobedience there makes it impossible for these apparitions to be genuine. Too much power and money are involved. One can have conversions or good experience anywhere. If one looks at other false apparitions, all the “followers” were also experiencing great fruits, faith revival, conversions, going to Mass, etc. Nothing new here, except maybe the scale of the deception…

Posted by flo | Report as abusive
 

Re Joseph Danielson’s posted comment, Garabandal has never been condemned, unlike Bayside and Necedah which have been condemned.

Posted by MaryAnne Tassiello | Report as abusive
 

When our Beloved John Paul II was here on earth ,he stated that he and or then Cardinal Ratzinger(now Benedict XVI)would decide on the authenticity of Medjugorje.Perhaps our Pope will rule on it soon or state as did his predecessor that if people go there,convert there,pray there,go to confession there,that is good.True the events APPEAR TO BE GOING ON FOREVER:HOWEVER, is that reason to condemn the whole thing.If the events are from the devil,then,he is helping a great number of souls convert to Our Lord’s way of thinking .Again let’s wait & see how the Holy Father handles this and respect his directves whether we agree or not. CARLYLE

Posted by joseph carlyle willams,jr. | Report as abusive
 

Submission to lawful authority is the hallmark of the virtue of humility. It takes humility for proper discernment of such things.

As for “good fruits”,…”If the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil, NONE OF HIS VIRTUOUS DEEDS WILL BE REMEMBERED.” Ezech. 18:24

The “good fruits” of those who actively support such “apparitions” in defiance of lawful authority aren’t good at all and count against them as hypocrisy.

Fiat Voluntas Tua

Posted by Barb | Report as abusive
 

I wonder how many of you that commented even went to
Medjugorje. If you haven’t and then give criticism about
then shame on you. There are many and I mean MANY men
young and old who have gone there and been so touched by
Our Dear Mother that they have become priests! If that’s
not GOOD fruit then one must be truly blind. No wonder
Our Lady appears every 2nd of the month to pray for unbelievers! Catholics against Catholics. Is this not what the devil likes? It the same Mother where she appeared at Lourdes, Fatima or Medjugorje. Go there and esperience Her there with an open heart and ask the Lord if its real or not and then lets hear what you have to say. If you haven’t been there with a sincere open heart, abandoned to God and letting Him show you if its true or not, then you are just gossiping.
God help you if you are truly wrong and its all true!! May Our Lady bring the Holy Spirit and enlighten our minds and sould to the truth about her appearances in Medjugorje and may all be for the GLory of God. Peace to you ALL.

Posted by Barb | Report as abusive
 

Man from Uncle wrote;
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.

Man from Uncle you are correct that there has been growth in those regions of the world, however, when you examine the statistics you’ll find that the percentages of Catholic population in the United States and in the World has not seen change. For example the percentage (provided by the CARA study) of Catholics worldwide was 18 percent in 1965 compared to 17 percent in 2009. So, there has actually be a decline in the percentage of Catholics worldwide, regardless of the reported growth in certain regions. These are the facts.

Apparently, based on statistical evidence, changing the language of the Mass from Latin to every language has not impacted the growth of Catholicism worldwide, but, in fact, there has been a decline.

So, a slight decrease in the percentage of Catholics doesn’t seem to be a big deal, right? The body of the Church is about the same as it was 50 years ago, right? Not exactly, and here lays the concern. The percentage of Catholics remains about the same as it was, however, the percentage of practicing Catholics has dramatically decreased. So, the body appears about the same, but, in truth, there exists a corosion that is rapidly depleting it.

For example;

A Gallup study shows that the peak for Catholics attending Mass regulary was in 1957-1958 at 74 percent. In 2009 the percentage, according to a Gallup study, is 36 percent. In 1965, the percentage was 67 percent.

From the CARA study the number of Catholics in 1965 in the U.S. was 45.6 million. In 2009 the total number of Catholics in the U.S. is 65.2 million. The number of Catholics has grown, however, the percentage of Catholic population actually decreased from 24% in 1965 to 22% in 2009.

What is the most alarming statistic is that the number of Catholics who regularly attended Mass in 1965 is greater than the total in 2009, even though there is nearly 20 million more Catholics today than there was in 1965.

So, in the U.S. today, there are actually less Catholics receiving the Eucharist on a weekly basis than there was in 1965. And, we’re talking millions less.

This is the fruit of Vatican II. If the Church were a corporation somebody would have been fired already. And, indicators suggest that it is going to worsen.

Recent trends from the CARA study;
Aside from weddings and funerals,
about how often do you attend Mass?
2002 2008
Rarely or never 25% 32%
A few times a year 25 24
Once or twice a month 12 10
Almost every week 12 11
Every week 22 20
More than once a week 4 3

Fewer Catholics are attending Mass on a weekly basis and more are choosing to rarely or never go to Mass.

A major component to this declining trend revolves around generational differences.

Again from the CARA study (U.S. statistics);
Previous research has consistently shown strong generational differences for Mass attendance and related measures of Catholic commitment.

45 percent of Catholics born prior to 1943 report attending Mass at least once a week (64% at least once a month).

24 percent of Catholics born between 1943-1960 report attending Mass at least once a week (42% at least once a month).

15 percent of Catholics born between 1960-1981 report attending Mass at least once a week (39% at least once a month).

18 percent of Catholics born after 1981 report attending Mass at least once a week (36% at least once a month).

So, as Catholic senior citizens (representing the strongest percentage of Church attendance) pass away the overall percentages of Church attendance will continue to decrease. The reason for this is that the successive generations are not replenishing Church attendance.

Only 15% of Catholics aged between 28-49 reported to attend Mass on a weekly basis. And 60% of all Catholics born after 1960 rarely or never go to Mass.

As I contended in my previous post, which has been showcased throughout this thread of posts, is if not for the Marian apparitions in Medjugorje the percentages of weekly Church attendance would be dramatically less. Medjugorje has provided an infusion to the Church which it desperately needed. The body of the Church might appear stable, but, it’s nearing critical condition.

Posted by Jon_in_Charlotte | Report as abusive
 

It is sad that in this time we are living in a world of so much corruption and lies, we don’t see past our own thoughts. Past apparitions have also been doubted; and then given approval once a sign was given. We have had so many conversions in this time of Our Lady’s apparitions but as it is the church hold’s the final say and all will go through a process. Ultimately God’s Will~Will be done.

 

Do you remember that ‘seer’Ivan Dragicevic would become a priest? That’s what the ‘Gospa’ of Medjugorje did tell him… She should help him…
Well he failed in 2 seminaries(Visoko and Dubrovnik) and married the ex-beauty-queen of Massachusetts, Laureen Murphy. Between 1999 and 2004 they bought 2 appartments and a big villa for the total sum of…(fasten seatbelts)
1.566.000 Dollars!!!
They have their own travel agency in Boston and have a pension for 28 pilgrims in Med.
Read it for yourself :

http://abateoimpertinente.files.wordpres s.com/2009/09/dossier-dragicevic2.pdf

Posted by waterinckx mark | Report as abusive
 

People, I found a few justified questions to the bishop of Mostar, the main source of denigration of the events of Medjugorje:

Why is the bishop of Mostar disobedient to his higher authorities, because the latest statement from the Doctrine of Faith, through Cardinal Bertone, was that the bishop of Mostar should mainly spend his energy gathering material FOR the rightful authorities to judge the validity of Medjugorje, and called bishop’s position (against Medjugorje) his PERSONAL opinion?

Does this statement from a higher authority matter in any way to the bishop, especially since his neighbour bishop from Split has a completely different view on Medjugorje than he has?

The bishop of Mostar knows that he is in NO way the authority to decide the validity of the events? If so, why is him condemning so vehemently the seers and all those surrounding them BEFORE time? For 28 years, both bishops of Mostar, would not stop calling them publicly, liars, daydreamers, deceived by Satan, fanatic ‘false prophets’ and creating a ‘second’ class of (fooled and miracle seekers) Catholics out of those who were blessed in some way at Medjugorje?

The result of all this? Look only at this posting, at the similar verbal and, why not, physical violence of those who were mounted by him against Medjugorje… Detractors of Medjugorje go even that far to judge the good will and authority of the Pope for this matter, because it ‘brings money’ to the Church. How sick is that?

In case the Pope will validate this apparition, what will it be with those who oppose it now so vehemently? Will they gladly accept the authority of the Pope in that matter, as I am ready to accept it in case Medjugorje is proved otherwise, or will they form yet a new branch of Lefebreists?

Posted by Solomon | Report as abusive
 

The human mind is so fickle it tends to attach mystery to what it can not explain..be it deception or genuine phenomenon. most often there are nothing new about the “messages” from these apparitions. They all talk about call to repentance and more elaborate rituals in practice of catholicism. In Nigeria there was a time Aokpe and Umunya towns were the centres of attraction with marian phenomena..later one hears unsavoury stories about the seers or visionaries. Well I have always believed that if there is something new I have not heared from my Parish priest and it must come from Mary, then she better come and tell me by herself! I dont want to be exposed to the debate on what is true or false.

Posted by Donatus | Report as abusive
 

To MaryAnne Tassiello posted comment, “Garabandal has never been condemned, unlike Bayside and Necedah which have been condemned”– Please be accurate with your facts. Bayside has never been condemned, period. I challenge anyone to provide an official statement from the Brooklyn Diocese declaring that these apparitions have been “condemned”. The bishop’s 1986 letter against Bayside never used the word “condemned”.

For true and accurate information on the Bayside apparitions, go to: smwa.org/bfr.htm

Darryl Bolisay

Posted by Darryl Bolisay | Report as abusive
 

My own personal opinion of Medugorje is that it is a very holy and special place where Our Lady has been pouring out a multitude of graces on all who have visited there. it doesn’t matter what faith or lack of faith who receive these graces. I have been there three times and have experienced many blessings.I experienced a miracle through our lady of Medugorje in march of 1990.So from my own standpoint, I definitely believe in it. Also, so many people have come back to their faith roots through Medugorje.Let’s all continue to pray for God’s divine plan and will in this matter.
God Bless
Betty Ann

Posted by Betty Ann Parri | Report as abusive
 

Lets suppose that the virgin mary hasn’t apperared in Medjugorje. there has been alot of people that have been helped, by their devotion, the blessed mother still hears their prayers. more people should say the rosary, and they would’nt worry wheather she is apperaing or not.were falling into darkness because there is not enough people praying for peace in the world. look at abortion, we spent all our time worrying about things that don’t help peace.

Posted by David Gonzales | Report as abusive
 

I’ll wait for the official Vatican statement and accept whatever is determined. My personal opinion: this is a hoax or something worse.

Posted by A Catholic | Report as abusive
 

I have read the comments so far, and agree that if you have nt been there, then may be it is better not to say much. I have been there and have not seen visually the manifestation of the apparitions; but I can tell you that God has manifested himself to me in Medjugorje in various other ways. GO TO MEDJUGORJE AND FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF.

Posted by Vero | Report as abusive
 

Dear Friends,

Of course Our Lady is appearing in Medjugorge. If this were the work of satan, “can a house divided against itself stand?” The abundant good fruit of Medjugorge is also solid proof of the goodness of its source, according to the test given to us by Christ Himself. But of course satan is nearby. He always is, and especially where Our Lady is being so effective at drawing so many, many souls to her Son. Satan must hate that Our Lady is bringing so many souls to her Son through Medjugorje. So it doesn’t surprise me at all that one commenter would have a dream with satanic overtones, or that satan had won at drawing disobedience from some members of the Church…He has a vested interest in destroying Medjugorje, and no doubt all persons who are connected with Medjugorje are still human, subject to the same human frailties as the rest of us. And who among you has not yielded at one time or another – or even on a daily basis – to his evil wiles – you cast the first stone. And of course all we faithful Catholics must be obedient to whatever our Holy See decides. Remember St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Padre Pio, St. Jose Maria Escriva and so many others who were unjustly judged from within the Church. Yet they remained obedient even in the face of unjust persecution. Hmmmm. Sounds like Someone Else we know…

Posted by Karen | Report as abusive
 

Catholics,,, don’t be fooled by these things occurring in Medjugorje. The Vatican will reject Medjugorje. The Bishops will denounce it. Then thousands upon thousands of catholics will reject the Vatican and will be divide and “out of the fold.”

Demons
Etymology —-The idea of demons is as old as religion itself, and the word demon seems to have ancient origins. The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the etymology of the word as Greek daimon, probably from the verb daiesthai meaning “TO DIVIDE”, distribute.”

Do your research here is a good place to start
http://www.unitypublishing.com/.

THE GREATEST MIRACLE is not halfway around the world,,,, it is in your parish church at the altar,,, When the Bread and Wine becomes the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ AMEN.

Am I right?

Posted by Leo the Lion | Report as abusive
 

I have never been to Medjugorje, so I don’t know if the appirations are true ( I beleive that they are).
I have two friends that have been and they were totaly moved by their experiences.
I would love to go, so I pray that one day I can.
There are many “saints’ in heaven that are not cannonised.

God bless all

Posted by Murray Carson | Report as abusive
 

When I first heard about the visions at 15 I scoffed. At 24, I heard about them again and attended a service with Ivanka, Ivan and Mirjiana. I then went to RCIA class for 9 months and converted to Catholicism.

I will say that Fr. Tomislav and Fr. Jozo among other priests were definitely not living a Holy life and disobeyed orders from the Bishop – however this has not hurt my Faith. You can’t administer the Sacraments unless you have permission to serve under holy orders in an area. That means all of the people being married, confessed, etc are not under the Church’s Blessings, as these people have been duped into believing. Churches have been built without permission and staffed without proper authority.

Whoa unto those who are being led astray by these pretenders – they will answer to God for their lost sheeple.

However, with that said, we are each responsible to know our priest and what is happening in our own parish.

Even Satan can disguise himself as an Angel of Light and fool some of the people someone the time. Priests today are under attack by their very own liberal parishoneers. I am fortunate enough to have ones that are not afraid to speak out against abortion, premarital sex, contraception, euthanasia, etc…This is not the case in most of the parishes I have visited.

Be ready to search for the Truth and avoid error – like St. Francis of Assisi said in his prayer.

Posted by Shelley | Report as abusive
 

Those who believe in God due to miracles, believe through imagining. Not by faith.

Are they worshiping the god? Or the miracle? And why do they need the miracle anyway?

Posted by Keon | Report as abusive
 

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