Enter your email address to receive updates by email:

subscribe in a reader like my facebook page follow me on twitter Image Map
Podcast Message Line: 512-222-3389
Logos Catholic Bible Software

« Weeeeelllllllll. . . . Isn't That "Special" | Main | St. Mr. T? »

July 25, 2006

Comments

Venerable Aussie

What is the actual relationship (if any) between the ex-Franciscans and Medjugorje? Just curious.

Inocencio

Venerable Aussie,

The Te Deum link that Jimmy posted has some background information about the Franciscans and Medjugorje.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

what was the problem with the Franciscans in Assisi. what were they up to?

Maureen

Jimmy --

In re: Kathleen McGowan, I believe the name of the city is Marseilles, not "Marseille". So actually, she has a factual error in the first word of her story.

Either that, or USA Today has abysmal proofreaders.

Inocencio

Pope restricts autonomy of Assisi Franciscans

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

sky

Maureen,

As a matter of fact the name of the city is "Marseille" with no s at the end.

Brother Cadfael

As a matter of fact, both spellings are apparently accepted, but from what I've seen Marseille is the preferred and Marseilles is the alternate. But I'm sure there are many who would change the order as well.

DJ

But the really important question is this:

How would Jimmy pronounce it?

BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

I don't believe in Medjugorje. But I'm not rooting against it either.

a

Diane K

HI Venerable Aussie,

There is far more going on with the local Franciscans there than can possibly be explained in this comment box. There are two sources to find information at this time. One is the new book by Donal Anthony Foley: "Understanding Medjugorje..." The other is the book written by Michael Davies, "Medjugorje - After Twenty-One Years". This latter book, in its 6th edition is only available in free downloadable format (all 217 pages) at the Davies site - see the link my my blog which Jimmy provides. I have to head off to work now.

I believe both of these works have been authorized by the Bishop's office. Foley makes a strong case, citing Canon Law on how books involving alleged private revelations require the authorization of proper authority to be published. This is to prevent scandal and to prevent a flood of misinformation. Foley goes on to say how the Laurentin and Rupcic books - two key supportive writers have not gotten that permission for their works. My guess is that none of the other pro-Medjugorje works are out there with ecclesiastical blessing either.

I don't have time to type it out now, but may do it on my own blog in the coming days. Foley digs up a 1996 L'Osservatore Romano piece on the Vassula Ryden case, in which the CDF addressed the problem of circulating writings about and from non-approved sources. He, in part, cites Canon 823:

***********************************
Can. 823 §1. In order to preserve the integrity of the truths of faith and morals, the pastors of the Church have the duty and right to be watchful so that no harm is done to the faith or morals of the Christian faithful through writings or the use of instruments of social communication. They also have the duty and right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgment and have the duty and right to condemn writings which harm correct faith or good morals.
*********************************************

Now, I just received an email from Louis Belanger, editor of the 1989 book, "The Hidden Side of Medjugorje" which was written by Fr. Ivo Sivric, OFM (deceased), who was native to the area, but educated in, and living in the US. In the email I've received (and I hope to have this up on my website soon - once I figure out how), he attached documents showing authorization to publish the Sivric/Belanger book.

All those having authorized books should show their authorization on their websites.

Foley had several other points listed from the L'Osservatore article, but it is too much for me to get into here. It can be found on page 188-190 of his book. I'm almost done with it, and hope to do a review of it soon. I'm just short on time.

Diane K

Correction on the Foley book pages. The above should read 198-199.

sky

My mistake, I didn't realize that in English both spelling were allowed. The official name of the city is "Marseille" and any Francophone European woule expect it so, but I didn't know that as far as Anglophones were concerned both were ok; Mea Culpa.

Venerable Aussie

Thanks Diane K for the background. Like many bloggers here I'm sure, I have (extended) family who have been to Medj. but I've never really given it a lot of thought.

chris K

If it was the initiative of the local bishops then one would expect it to be discussed. If it were a Vatican initiative, it might not be.

Jimmy fails to note that the local bishops have for a long time asked for an international commission, stating that this "apparition site" is no longer local or even national in scope, but involves the world.

Okay. That's it. Slam dunk. Case closed. The Holy See requested the new commission.

Not necessarily. Since, as I stated above, the regional bishops have asked for such a commission for quite some time before. They have made statements that they had a rather positive view of events but went to the neutral choice out of respect for the local authority who literally threw a tantrum against any positive decision. Then we have, which is not included in this "analysis", the worldwide reaction, with loads of letters and other contacts, to the CDF after the most recently publicized homily of the local bishop with its rather subversive timing to the 25th anniversary, celebrated by something like 250,000 pilgrims. This was another interjecting of the local bishop's private opinion into the matter. It was actually done before the anniversary, but was held for public announcement to coincide with the later date. It caused great confusion .... again. Perhaps the CDF then had to react in some public way to answer this confusion of the faithful devotees that they heard from in great numbers.

Bishop Peric took the opportunity to signal the likely direction--or at least his desired direction--for the commission's conclusions by stating B16 privately expressed skepticism about the apparitions and by publicly calling on the seers to stop making their claims.

And you really believe that this pope enjoys any such publicity as to his personal opinions on a subject still under what should be an objective investigation and who was the one with the backing of JPII who made an unprecedented intervention to prevent a negative decision at that time ('86)? That action of removal of the dossier was said to have surprised the bishop when he was so certain of having his way! This pope tells no one about his plans of action or thoughts except those few personally trusted colleagues. He is very private. That has been written of quite often since his pontificate began. You believe that he enjoys the local bishop blabbing about personal conversations ... even if true?? Rather, you have to remember that the bishop has also stated that our former pope, JPII, also backed the local bishops' negative opinions! We have now documented letters, besides the statements of very orthodox, faithful, and trustworthy bishops, priests, of JPII's great affection for Medj, calling it a continuation of Fatima. Now, perhaps Benedict only acted in obedience to JPII's convictions at the time, but he has so far continued, in his talks, the connection to JPII's pontificate in spirit. The whole world knows of JPII's favor for Medj ... and so does Benedict. I don't doubt that he will work to rein in excesses and give clearer guidance, but I doubt if some final decision will all of a sudden come to pass. Even though this is a new commission, it will still have to consider all of the former scientific exams (three now....and the last most recently submitted to the Vatican which only points to normalcy of seers with no fraud) and other most positive fruits. If this pope should differ in opinion, then we will have two popes with two different opinions of an apparition site...which often happens with local authority.

It is also known that a Vatican well respected theologian witnessed the tirade by the local bishop re: his beliefs even in Fatima and Lourdes ... no! Since the regional bishops' conference wishes to respect the local bishop, as they desire same for their own jurisdictions, they are probably happy that the CDF will take this action at least partially out of their hands

Yes, prayer should be done by all to discern the Father's will in all of this.

BTW, the Franciscans of the shrine itself have done nothing but attempt to clear up any differences with the local bishop. The head of their order is doing the same. The question then, is just who has been misusing authority?

Inocencio

Chris K,

"This was another interjecting of the local bishop's private opinion into the matter."

The local bishop is the authority on the matter.

Can. 753 Although the bishops who are in communion with the head and members of the college, whether individually or joined together in conferences of bishops or in particular councils, do not possess infallibility in teaching, they are authentic teachers and instructors of the faith for the Christian faithful entrusted to their care; the Christian faithful are bound to adhere with religious submission of mind to the authentic magisterium of their bishops.

"The question then, is just who has been misusing authority?"

Anyone who assumes an authority they do not have.

If the new commission gives a verdict of Constat de non supernaturalitate will you accept that judgement?

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

lourdes

Just to clarify - when the bishop refers to the "local church of Mostar-Duvno" he is not specifically referring to the parish of St. James in Medjugorje. In fact, the Franciscans he is referring to where not connected with the Medjugorje parish. There seems to be some confusion in the reporting of this story that makes it seem that the bad priests were in Medjugorje. In fact, the bishop's homily was much broader.

Also, it seems that there is quite a contingent of those rooting for the "debunking" of Medjugorje and the books being pushed are the "anti-Medjugorje" books. I would submit that the books that speak of the abundance of good fruits outweigh the negative books quite handily. And not only of the fruits, but of the extensive testing of the visionaries and their experiences. There is a book by Father Rene Laurentin, a renowned Mariologist, entitled "The Apparitions at Medjugorje Prolonged." Father Laurentin speaks quite positively of Medjugorje.

Also, when one speaks of good fruits as not being necessarily a proof of the apparitions, I agree. However, in the case of Medjugorje we are not talking about a stream or trickle of good fruits, but an avalanche. One cannot easily disregard this phenomenon.

So, please, when speaking of Medjugorje, please refer to some of the positive publications in order to balance the opinions being promoted. As someone who has personally benefited from the graces received at Medjugorje, I have a very positive view. I wait for the confirmation of this view from the Holy See and the bishops' commission ( in spite of many others who seem to be anxiously cheering for the negative).

chris K

"The question then, is just who has been misusing authority?"

Anyone who assumes an authority they do not have.

Correctamundo Inocencio. But you don't seem to know about the intervention of CDF authority over the local bishop's in the question of this particular apparition site. Again, just who has been misusing authority? You appear to believe that it is the Vatican for if, according to your statement, the local bishop alone still has the authority here for the ruling, the place would be condemned and without any pilgrimages allowed!! And, so far, it isn't. Are you saying that the Vatican had no authority to overrule the normal bishop's authority over this apparition site and that their recognized guidance should be overruled by the bishop? See, this is the confusion established by the bishop interjecting his opinion into the situation (and that is how it has been described by the CDF)... and probably why the CDF is going to oversee the future commission.

If the new commission gives a verdict of Constat de non supernaturalitate will you accept that judgement?

Are you insinuating that I would be unfaithful? I've never written anything of such sort. You would be better to turn the question to the present and known Church guidance as to whether the debunkers themselves are accepting the current stance of the Church and not attempting to influence the uninformed that something has been condemned or given the negative choice of the three. Hmmm.

ml

Carrie Tomko has the following post on her blog:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

EMAIL FROM MARK WATERINCKX

It is officially confirmed now. The Vatican asks the Bosnia-Hercegovina-bishops conference to install a new commission about Medjugorje. And following the directives of the Vatican itself they have to consider the FACTS before the fruits. So the chance of a recognition of the 'apparitions' is 0%. The real problem of this sad story will be the psychology of the Medjugorje-supporters.

http://www.carrietomko.blogspot.com/

This is welcome news if it's true. The facts of Medjugorje are the problem, which is why supporters always want to insist that the fruits alone matter.

The 1978 guideline for discernment of apparitions is clear on this point--that facts must be considered before fruits are considered.

Mark

"The real problem of this sad story will be the psychology of the Medjugorje-supporters."

Is conversion now considered some sort of mental disorder?

MaryC

Mark:
it depends whether or not their conversion can withstand the inevitable negative declaration of the commission.

There are people with a lot of emotional capital invested in Medjugorje, and I fear that many may become so disillusioned that they leave the Church. This highlights the danger of a spiritual life that revolves around private revelations.

Here is an article that enumerates some of the problematic facts surrounding Medjugorje.

http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/MedjugorjiLies.html

MaryC

Can anyone explain to me how to create a live link.

chris K

This is welcome news if it's true. The facts of Medjugorje are the problem, which is why supporters always want to insist that the fruits alone matter.

The 1978 guideline for discernment of apparitions is clear on this point--that facts must be considered before fruits are considered.

ml, are you saying that the former commission missed out on some facts ... after 25 years of consideration which included such objective facts as the very scientific studies conducted three separate times? Guess you better make a listing and send it on ... or they just might miss them. Just can't trust those bishops!! And the sources you cited are where you get your complete information? I see. And once others go to the link you provided I think they might just also understand!

chris K

MaryC,

I see you too have found the go-to link for obsessive Medj. debunkers! Have you read up on some of the history its manager has had with Fatima and those whom he's now broken off with? Whoooo ... ooooh, with the obsessive conspiratorial types! Better to stick with the very respected and renowned Marian experts like Fr. Laurentin or the Vatican respected Marian library at the U. of Dayton. Or even read some of the statements from the bishops in the conference themselves. And Mr. Foley is another obsessed debunker. He can't wait for the Church to act ... he has to pre-judge the Church according to his own prejudices. If it doesn't match the "apparition proprieties" that he is comfortable with (Fatima) it's evil! He conveniently leaves out other more similar contemporary APPROVED places such as Kibeho, Rwanda, also involving teens (he thinks they should only be children like Fatima ... Mother Mary doesn't usually chose others!) or Akita or Amsterdam or others that are recognized separately from the legitimate adult visionaries involved. There are a lot of red flags there too! Often wonder why people love to stay away from the legitimate books and sites. Just don't want to learn all of the facts rather than gossip?

Christopher

Chris K.

Are you insinuating that I would be unfaithful?

It's a 'yes' or 'no' question. Instead, you hedge with:

You would be better to turn the question to the present and known Church guidance as to whether the debunkers themselves are accepting the current stance of the Church and not attempting to influence the uninformed that something has been condemned or given the negative choice of the three.

The difference is this: you have much more invested in being a true believer, than I do as a former believer and now a skeptic. If I'm wrong because I'm listening to the bishop, I'm not under the pain of sin. If you're wrong because you're NOT listening to the bishop, you'll have to answer for your disobedience. Without getting into Paschal's wager, et al., which is the prudent path, in your opinion?

If you want to continue to charge that the Bishop does not have the power to speak for the Church (read: VATICAN) in primary oversite of Medjugorje, then the teaching on Apostolic Succession is a fraud, plain and simple. The power of the Vatican to intervene does not remove the potency of the bishop's decree. And as Jimmy points out, the CDF's stake in this may be primarily to definitively deal with issues that are not going to either approve or disapprove of the visions themselves. And ironically, these "side" issues have to do with disobedience to the local bishop (which is what you are encouraging by promoting Medjugorje) and not the authenticity of the seers.

You see, it doesn't matter whether the visionaries are for real or not. Those who profane the local bishop by willfully disobeying his decrees are profaning Christ Himself. The Bishop is absolutely within his rights to tell these people to knock it off. At the end of the day, they're PRIVATE revelations and unneccessary for your salvation or mine. If the Blessed Mother is truly appearing to these visionaries, she can't possibly be revealing anything so important to our souls that it would justify disrespecting the authority granted BY CHRIST to Bishop Peric. What the true believers of Medjugorje have done is raise these messages to a level of PUBLIC revelation, which is directly contrary to the dogma that all public revelation ceased with the death of John.

Is Mary at Medjugorje? OF COURSE SHE IS. So is Jesus. And the Holy Spirit. And the Father. Is she the "Gospa"? According to two successive bishops at Mostar, she IS NOT.

Truly - it's a wicked generation that looks for a sign. His word should be good enough for you, but it's not.

lourdes

I really take umbrage at MaryC's insinuation that conversions connected with Medjugorje are so tenuous that they would disappear at the drop of a negative decision. Obviously, MaryC does not have much in depth experience with the vast throngs who have converted. She posts a link to "unitypublishing" that supposedly lists "facts" surrounding Medjugorje. Who is unity publishing? What makes you so sure these are facts?? Let's wait for the commission. And, sorry, but my conversion does not "revolve around" private revelations. I guess I'm a sorry sack who needed a knock on the head to straighten out my secular soul. Too bad I wasn't as grace filled as the rest of you who were able to become incredibly "orthodox" without having to resort to silly supernatural experiences. Why would the Father resort to such embarrassing feats? Doesn't he know we're very educated and practical, we don't need this kind of stuff. It distracts us from arguing about how the priest should stand at Mass and the proper translation of the creed. Now that's for us educated folk...not this mystical nonsense.

ml

MaryC didn't say everyone who believes in Medjugorje will fall away from the Church. Reread her post. She is correct that there are people who become attached to specific apparation claims and who will reject the authority of the Church if the claims are rejected. Bayside is a recent example of this. When the local bishop ruled against it, Bayside supporters worked up a number of arguments to support their disobedience to his ruling and they continue to promote Bayside and Veronica Leuken as authentic.

Christopher makes excellent sense.

Michael Davies: Medjugorje After 21 Years, 1981-2002 (free 217-page online book listing many of the more notable problems with Medjugorje).

MaryC

Chris K:
the Church in the shape of, not one, but TWO local bishops has acted, and stated quite clearly, that nothing supernatural has occurred at Medjugorje. It is up to the local bishop to decide the authenticity or otherwise of reported apparitions in his diocese, not Father Laurentin or anyone else. Rome has never overturned the negative verdict of a local ordinary in this matter.

Pro- Medj folk who call opponents nut-jobs are simply using ad-hominem tactics to avoid facing the facts. Even Fr Laurentin has had to admit that the 'seers' have lied.

Incidentally, if, as medj supporters claim, JPII was favourably disposed; why did he install Bishop Peric as successor to Bishop Zanic, the former being as equally opposed to the 'apparitions' as his predecessor?

chris K

If you want to continue to charge that the Bishop does not have the power to speak for the Church (read: VATICAN) in primary oversite of Medjugorje, then the teaching on Apostolic Succession is a fraud, plain and simple. The power of the Vatican to intervene does not remove the potency of the bishop's decree.

Well, you must be living in a different Church than most of us. (BTW, I've always spoken to the "apparition" site itself.) If that is so, then why for the past 15 years since the Zadar declaration hasn't the bishop's decision and stated choice for ruling been honored by the Church? Your hierarchy pyramid must be turned upside down.

If you're wrong because you're NOT listening to the bishop, you'll have to answer for your disobedience.

Yoo hoo! Again, I've spoken only to the legitimate authority of the Church over the appartion site itself. In that I am obedient. Is the bishop??

The difference is this: you have much more invested in being a true believer, than I do as a former believer and now a skeptic.

At the present time I have nothing more invested than following the current guidance of the Church with what is permitted and with what my own local bishop advises.

Truly - it's a wicked generation that looks for a sign. His word should be good enough for you, but it's not.

Wow, you really sit on a pretty high judgment seat of your own making! No one was "looking" for this "sign". It was given. It just happened. When a gift is freely given by heaven for the benefit of God's children at particularly horrendous times in human history (and anyone who's been reading the papers for the past few decades might agree that we are in such times ... perhaps worse than ever before with the whole world in danger of annihilation and people dropping like flies away from Truth), then it would seem prudent to accept any possible graces so mercifully offered noting all the while their obvious good fruits. Remember the fellow who was blind from birth and was healed by the Lord? When others disputed it due to their prejudices and ignorance he could only speak honestly to his own human experience. Simply, "I was blind ... now I see".

MaryC

Lourdes: I wasn't disparaging private revelations per se, I understand how they can be an aid to a person's spiritual life. Nor do I suggest that those who believe in Church approved apparitions are mentally or spiritually deficient.

What I have observed, particularly in regard to Medjugorje, is that it's supporters tend to be so single-minded in their adherence that any objection is met with an angry and defensive attitude.

I fear that a negative verdict regarding Medjugorje will result in many, not all, such people leaving the Church in disillusionment.

ml

Chris K:

"ml, are you saying that the former commission missed out on some facts ... after 25 years of consideration which included such objective facts as the very scientific studies conducted three separate times? Guess you better make a listing and send it on ... or they just might miss them. Just can't trust those bishops!! And the sources you cited are where you get your complete information? I see. And once others go to the link you provided I think they might just also understand!"

Pseudo-scientific experiments are not going to play into the decision. I linked above to Michael Davies' online book that gives numerous examples of the problems with Medjugorje. You might contest some of them, but you can't contest all of them, and these are the FACTS of the case that have to be considered first.

I linked to Carrie Tomko's site only because of the post referencing the email from Mark Waterinckx, and I clearly said "If this is true." Spirit Daily can be loony on various subjects, but that doesn't mean the inside information he gets from email correspondents is necessarily incorrect.

What Tomko wrote--that the commission will be directed to study the facts of Medjurgorje before the fruits--is, as I noted, consistent with the 1978 CDF guidelines. Both Bishop Zanic and Bishop Peric have written extensively about the problems with the facts of Medjugorje that can't be dismissed; if these things are true (the things in Michael Davies' book), then the Virgin Mary is not appearing at Medjurgorje.

Medgugorje is an isolated village where pilgrims are exposed to multiple channels of ordinary and sacramental grace, and that alone explains the conversions people have there. Sandra Miesel is a Church historian who has written many times that people attributed miracles to what turned out to be false saints' relics. Bayside was supposedly the site of all sorts of extraordinary phenomena, miracles of spiritual and physical healing (including a nun), and powerful conversions. Those things didn't make Veronica Leuken and her claims true.


Christopher

Chris K.

after 25 years of consideration which included such objective facts as the very scientific studies conducted three separate times?

Science? Science is a tinker toy to Satan. He can drum up enough "convincing data" to make your head spin.

Science deals with the natural. God deals with the supernatural. Hypnosis can produce the same effects the seers "experience" during their "visions".

And let's not talk about one of the seers startling when someone feigned poking her in the eye during an "ecstasy". The experience of "ecstasy" makes the person experiencing it impervious to outside distraction, other than the words of their priest if he is present. And "no", the Blessed Mother wouldn't drop the baby Jesus. He's not a football.

chris K

the Church in the shape of, not one, but TWO local bishops has acted, and stated quite clearly, that nothing supernatural has occurred at Medjugorje.

Sorry, MaryC, but you're not up on the facts. The dossier was removed from Zanic and given over to the bishops' conference before any "action" was taken. From there came the Zadar declaration which the Church accepted. The current bishop only agrees in his opinion with his predacessor. There has been no other commission or study for this bishop to "act". There have been no TWO official local bishops' actions. And you are misstating the actual choice by the bishops' commission. IF it were as you would like to believe, the local bishop would have had his way since the 80s with the placed condemned and no pilgrimages permitted. The Church acted within its rights to prevent such a negative decision which they obviously believed resulted from a prejudiced examination and wanted an objective study. Now, you may continue stating otherwise, falsely, but it changes nothing for the moment. Wait and see what will progress.

Rome has never overturned the negative verdict of a local ordinary in this matter.

Rome hasn't had to "overturn" anything because it never got to that stage before Rome intervened. It sorta nipped it in the bud, so to speak.

And Popes don't install bishops based on opinions of private revelations!!

lourdes

Believe me there is very little to compare in Bayside and Medjugorje other than the fact that they were both claimed apparitions of the blessed mother. I am very familiar with both and the messages coming out of Bayside were not in line with Church teaching. None of the supposed messages from Medjugorje stray from the teaching of the Magisterium.

In addition, the hierarchy very quickly put the smack down on Bayside. That has not happened in Medjugorje.

Finally, why not quote someone like Archbishop Hannan, the former ordinary of New Orleans or others in the Church hierarchy who have favorable impressions of Medjugorje. The priest who is the vocations director at the Shrine for Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA also received a conversion through Medjugorje. There are many other priests and religious who could be cited as Medjugorje converts. I don't believe there was a single vocation coming out of Bayside.

Anyway, my point is that it's all very nice to stack up the critics. But there should be balance in your observations. And which bishop authorized Donal Anthony Foley's book? I read that he's from England, so does that mean what he says should be accurate because his bishop said go ahead and write something? If it has an imprimatur it only means that nothing he wrote goes against the teaching of the Church, it doesn't mean it is factually accurate.

And, MaryC, thank you for your clarification, but I still think you are underestimating the vast majority of those who have had a positive experience in Medjugorje. If anything, the experience has deepened my trust in the Church hierarchy and that has been my experience with othersas well.

I will tell you that my entire family has been hit like a wave with graces that began after we visited Medjugorje. It has resulted in the formation of prayer groups, vocations, spiritual renewal and more.

Also, it seems like one of the criticisms of the visionaries by Donal Foley is that they put up pilgrims in their homes. This doesn't seem very different from other Catholic evangelists or apologists who rely on Paypal donations, etc. to support themselves. I don't think those donations go to charity, either. Believe me when I tell you that these visionaries do not appear to livehigh on the hog. Of course, I may be fooled by appearances, but it's a very simple village and the cost of $1,800 for a week's stay including airfare, doesn't seem out of line to me.

Again, let's wait for the determination of the commission, but if we must pre-judge, let's please look at both sides more carefully.

chris K

Pseudo-scientific experiments are not going to play into the decision.

Apparently you are not aware of those professionals conducting the objective tests. Figures!

The experience of "ecstasy" makes the person experiencing it impervious to outside distraction,

And you are correct. The visionary was reacting to the vision itself, not to outside distration ... just as she and others have been witnessed to suddenly smile or cry or sigh or shake their heads in agreement or show other human reactions ... to what they experience in the vision ... not to outside stimulation. They don't lose their human response while in that "other world". Facts again are a bit truncated here.

Science? Science is a tinker toy to Satan. He can drum up enough "convincing data" to make your head spin.

Well you and Satan just got rid of a whole bunch of saints, based on objective medical examination of miracles. And you just can't believe those close medical exams of P. Pio to attempt to find the origins of his stigmata. Proved they were real...yeah, that old tool of Satan really worked there! And you sorta sliced off whole portions of JPII's excellent writings on science and its usefulness in partnering with faith. That evil science! Pretty soon the debunkers will have a very naked Church left!

Mike

So the Blessed Virgin Mary actually dropped the baby Jesus according to one of the seers? Are they sure that it wasnt Brittany Spears?!

I guess I would blink too... yes apparitions must be true!

Christopher

Well, you must be living in a different Church than most of us. (BTW, I've always spoken to the "apparition" site itself.) If that is so, then why for the past 15 years since the Zadar declaration hasn't the bishop's decision and stated choice for ruling been honored by the Church?

What do you mean, has it been "honored"? It doesn't need to be "honored" by the Church. The decisions stands on the integrity of the office of Bishop. It doesn't need further approval or disapproval from the Vatican. You err in equating "the Church" strictly with "the Vatican". The Pope is the Bishop of Rome. First and foremost, he is a bishop endowed with the same power as the Bishop of your own local dioceses. What he has in addition, as pope, is infallibilty on matters of faith and morals. This is not a matter of "faith and morals", so by definition, he has nothing to add to the discernment of the local bishop. The weighing in of the Vatican is not in order to supplement the bishop. The bishop, himself, has requested this of the CDF if that's what it takes to convince his flock that he is correct. I'd call that a spiritual work of mercy.

Yoo hoo! Again, I've spoken only to the legitimate authority of the Church over the appartion site itself. In that I am obedient. Is the bishop??

Are you saying the bishop doesn't have legitimate authority over his flock? He's not allowed to expect obedience of his flock? Why don't we just outsource that position to Bangalore then? Maybe we can have customer service at Dell Computer handle questions on Medjugorje while they're at it.

and with what my own local bishop advises.

Your own local bishop is not the local ordinary of Mostar. It's not his jurisdiction to discern this matter.

No one was "looking" for this "sign".

I submit that those who most vehemently disagree with the bishop are more worried about protecting their own understanding of the signs they perceive at Medjugorje, instead of being humble in the pursuit of truth. The bishops words are not "mud".

Remember the fellow who was blind from birth and was healed by the Lord? When others disputed it due to their prejudices and ignorance he could only speak honestly to his own human experience. Simply, "I was blind ... now I see".

I don't doubt the conversions going on at Medjugorje. They're a lot like the conversions going on in my home diocese - only we're not building hotels and running tourbuses around my church, then sticking a shiv' in the back of the bishop when it's convenient.

MaryC

Chris:when I stated that Rome has never overturned a negative decision made by a local ordinary, I was speaking generally not specifically about Medjugorje. Rome leaves the initial inquiry in the hands of the bishop of the diocese in which the alleged apparitions have occurred, and, like I said the negative verdict of a local bishop has never yet been overturned.

And, I agree, popes generally don't install bishops based on the opinions of private revelation. But I'm sure the pope takes into account the individual circumstances in each diocese when selecting a suitable candidate as bishop and therefore the Medjugorje phenomena must have been a factor in this case.

lourdes

Christopher, you may not be building hotels or running tour buses in your diocese, but it goes on in many other dioceses. I was at the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa (sp?) in Doylestown, PA... many tourbuses, and they built their own hotel. Last year I was in Lourdes...lots of tour buses, many hotels. Same thing at beautiful shrines and churches throughout Europe and the U.S. I don't think the fact that tour buses come to a parish and hotels are built to house them shows a negative sign. And, of course, just as there are many good and gracious people in Medjugorje there are also hustlers and con artists and those who would take advantage of the pilgrims. So, what else is new? When I was in Lourdes I was warned to watch out for the pickpockets.

If there were no pilgrims, you probably would be saying it was a sure sign that Medjugorje was false...otherwise where are the fruits? Now that there are positive fruits you say, that doesn't mean anything... Good fruit can come from a bad tree. Methinks you just don't want this phenomena to receive the stamp of approval.

Christopher

Well you and Satan just got rid of a whole bunch of saints, based on objective medical examination of miracles.

Did any of these "objective medical examination of miracles" involve quack-science as at Medjugorje, or known, accepted, and verified standards of the medical community? Do you know the difference between a "miracle" and a "supernatural event"? To date, there have been no documented, supernatural miracles at Medjugorje. None. Zippo. Zilch. A "garden variety" miracle without supernatural characteristics is as much a proof of the work of Satan as it could be of God. Just because someone can point their Polaroid at the sun and get a reflection of the aperture and call it a "doorway to heaven" doesn't make it a supernatural miracle. The authentic "fingerprint" of Mary involves supernatural phenomena, not cheap tricks of light and sound.

Christopher

Good fruit can come from a bad tree.

Not according to the Bible:

Matthew 7

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit.


18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.

Can good things come about in spite of evil? Yes. Most definitely. I sin every single day and God still loves me. It's all I can hope for.

Christopher

I was at the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa (sp?) in Doylestown, PA

The title "shrine" implies that it is approved by the bishop, in which case, AWESOME - bring on the pilgrims to Our Lady of Czestochowa! Those who promote Medjugorje have the audacity to overstep the Bishop by calling it a "shrine" in their literature, promotional advertising, etc. It can't be considered a shrine without his approval.

Christopher

lourdes:

And, MaryC, thank you for your clarification, but I still think you are underestimating the vast majority of those who have had a positive experience in Medjugorje. If anything, the experience has deepened my trust in the Church hierarchy and that has been my experience with othersas well.

I don't think any of us who are skeptical of Medjugorje are doubting that there are many many conversions going on there. The thing is, there's nothing any more special about Medjugorje than, say, Yankee Stadium when it comes to the operative nature of grace. It's a very short trip between "Medjugorje, the apparition site," and "Medjugorje, the holy land". Your conversion and the conversions of your family came about because you were seeking God. He promised He would open the door to all who knocked. My own conversion came about, not because of Medjugorje, but in spite of it. The Blessed Mother responded to MY call, not the other way around, and I can never EVER repay the gift of her tender mercy towards my wretched being, except by following her Son and "doing whatever He tells [me]".

At any rate, please pray for me. We all have the same goal of being with the Father in heaven, so we shouldn't bicker as much as we do...

lourdes

Christopher,
You throw around accusations without substantiation. Who exactly has the "audacity" of calling Medjugorje a shrine. I don't think it's any of the parish priests there. Perhaps some tour group used that term. Are you sure you can't use the term "shrine" without the bishop's approval?? I've used the term shrine for many places of worship. Sorry, I guess I need to be reprimanded for inexact use of religious terminology.

Also, support your claim that only "junk science" was used to investigate Medjugorje? I sense there is an underlying reason for your hostility that you are not stating. Otherwise, why are you so scathing in your attack? The messages don't lead anyone away from the faith. They repeat the call to prayer, conversion, fasting, scripture and holy Mass. What is so wrong about that? The allegations you make are hearsay that have nothing to do with these simple messages. They are based on gossip and innuendo. Go to the official website of the parish. You won't find anything odd there.

By the way, I wasn't the one saying good fruit can come from a bad tree. It seems that all of the detractors on this thread are making that claim. I see quite the opposite, the myriad of conversions coming from Medjugorje seem to indicate a good tree.

There were studies by French, Italian and Yugoslavian doctors. You can form your own conclusion about whether or not they were "junk" science, whatever that means. If you check the facts, you will see that there are several dossiers of Medical studies. One of them by Doctors Frigerio and Mattalia have been opened and published. Others were presented to the bishops commission and are confidential. I don't know how you deem the quality of these studies to be "junk" if you haven't read them.

And, honestly, there haven't been many officially approved healings at Lourdes. Believe me, there are more important healings than physical ones.

Christopher, I don't think that anything anyone can say is going to convince you about Medjugorje. Your mind appears to be made up and even if the commission arrives at a positive judgment, you will probably not believe. That is your right. But, please, if you're going to throw accusations and judgments around, support them with facts, not emotions.

lourdes

Christopher,
Our comments seem to be crossing each other. Thank you for your comment and I will certainly pray for you. Please do the same for me.

I have to disagree, however, with your statement that there is nothing different between Medjugorje and Yankee Stadium (especially since I'm a Mets fan). There are profound graces that come from perpetual adoration, that come from places of worship.

Our Lord, for some reason, has deemed certain places to be holy sites that are different from other places. I am not saying that Medjugorje has had a definitive proclamation of being such a place, but there are differences between those places and secular venues. Saying that someone can be converted at Yankee Stadium is missing the point a little. Someone, I suppose, could be converted in a porn theater. However, there have been places throughout the life of the Church that have been the sites of strange and wonderful happenings. It's not to say that you have to go there to convert, live a holy life, receive graces, etc., but for whatever reason there is something special about these places and the Lord has chosen to break through the veil separating our world and the world beyond. Many of the holiest people I know have never ever had such an experience. All of the holy people I know do not seek it. But, for whatever reason, it does happen and I'm one of those sinful stubborn people who needed an extra knock on the head. I thank God for His extra help.

Diane K

Hey Jimmy - can we save these comment threads for analysis in another year or two?

We see in this thread, evidence of what Msgr Henri Brincard pointed out:

The examination of the events must, consequently, precede the examination of the fruits. When this order is not respected errors of judgement can arise.8


If we examine the events of Medjugorje in the light of the fruits, what do we observe?


It is first of all undeniable that at Medjugorje there are returns to God and 'spiritual' healings. It is no less evident that the sacramental life is regular there and the prayer fervent. One could not deny these good fruits in situ. We should even rejoice in them. But can we say that they continue in our parishes? Difficult question, for we must note unfortunately that the susceptibility, even aggressiveness, of some partisans of Medjugorje towards those who do not share their enthusiasm is such that it provokes, here and there, serious tensions which attack the unity of the People of God.

Source

Roamin' Roman

The question I have, that no one seems to have answered, is whether or not the seers have OBEYED the bishop's last request to cease speaking publicly?

You see, I had no feelings one way or another about Medj until this past year, when in Rome some of my fellow students went up there on pilgrimage. All of them stood by it, but when they described the apparititions to me I was just concerned. It just didn't sound right, and neither did the extreme emphasis that all of them, and the other Medj devotees that I found in Rome, placed on that place and the people there.

I still don't have strong feelings one way or ther other about it, I do know that of course there have been many conversions and good fruits. But of course, fruits do not the truth make. I will certainly leave any judgment on the site to the Church and not to the existence of these wonderful fruits. Likewise, while I may grant that the teachings coming from Medj are fully in line with Church teaching (I'll take your word on it, I haven't read them all, and the fact that the Church herself hasn't stamped them as being OK is what this whole discussion is about anyway!), the same case is true - the message does not mean that the messanger is of God. The best con artists sit and wait for years if necessary to build up confidence in the people they are going to scam - and Satan is the King of all con artists. Not saying he's behind this, but I am saying that if your entire case rests on the "fruits" and "message", you're not going to get very far.

Which brings me to my point. I am a strong devotee of the Divine Mercy devotion and St. Faustina. The Divine Mercy was ordered to cease by the local and Roman authority - and this directive was obeyed immediately! St. Faustina herself writes in her journal (which was to be suppressed for many years itself!) that under the care of various spiritual directors, it happened that sometimes things that Jesus wanted to be done were NOT done because of what the spiritual director told her to do under obedience - and she relates that Jesus was PLEASED with this, because by her obedience to them she was obeying Christ first - Jesus KNOWS that private revelation is something that we can be confused by, and so He accepts that there is a necessary step in discernment that is in obedience to His earthly representatives, in the person of the bishops and priests in authority over us in certain matters. It is actually through the Divine Mercy disciples' faithful obedience to remain quiet publicly about St. Faustina's message that proved, in the end, that the events surrounding her life and witness could be approved by the Church as an authentic path to holiness.

Of course, in saying this, I am also saying that since St. Faustina's diary is private revelation you should not listen solely to it either. However, the points that are in it stand, and have been part of the life of the Church since the beginning - obedience to proper authority is the lynchpin of the organizational aspect of the Church militant. Without this sense of obedience, you end up Protestant.

All that being said - if the seers and responsible persons at Medj are DISOBEYING this directive from their ordinary, instead of proving their faith and communion with the Church by humble obedience, then the only response I can give is - I don't believe them, and for the love of God and Mary I pray that they stop now on their own, or that the Church definitively gives direction to the faithful on this matter - and if Mother Church gives a positive directive on the issue, then fine, I will gladly accept it as so. But, if there is a negative directive, will Chris K, lourdes, and so many other Medj devotees accept that? Or just keep going for an "appeal", waiting in not-so-joyful hope for the coming of the savior of the Medj phenomenon?

lourdes

Roamin Roman,

My answer to your question of whether I will accept a negative direct is "of course." I also agree that the "seers" should be obedient to the bishop. But, I would also say let's wait and see what comes of the new commission and keep an open mind. And I would say to Diane K that the "aggressiveness" on this thread seems to be coming from those who are skeptical rather than those who are favorable. In any event, let's wait and see and hopefully we can all rejoice in the gift of our faith no matter what the outcome will be.

A.M.

I am a Medjugorje skeptic, but I echo the question asked earlier in this thread: why hasn't the Church lowered the boom on this sooner, when it acted so quickly in other cases like Bayside?

Joseph

The ongoing disobedience to the local Bishop can been seen as a bad fruit.

chris K

I am a Medjugorje skeptic, but I echo the question asked earlier in this thread: why hasn't the Church lowered the boom on this sooner, when it acted so quickly in other cases like Bayside?

1. Because JPII was a devotee, believed it was a center of spirituality, encouraged his underlings to visit, visited with some of the visionaries, and through his authority put the kabash on the local bishop's negative judgment.

2. I didn't know that the Church was "lowering the boom". Projection?

Inocencio

chris K,

"Because JPII was a devotee, believed it was a center of spirituality, encouraged his underlings to visit, visited with some of the visionaries, and through his authority put the kabash on the local bishop's negative judgment."

Can you please present the documentation your claims.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Diane K

A.M. asks:

I am a Medjugorje skeptic, but I echo the question asked earlier in this thread: why hasn't the Church lowered the boom on this sooner, when it acted so quickly in other cases like Bayside?

At Bayside, the priests supported their bishop when he essentially said, "Not!" The "seers" did not have any priestly support in order to promote their efforts.

At Medjugorje, the Franciscans who initially showed skepticism themselves according to tapes made of the early days, eventually involved themselves too deeply only a month or so after this began. Rather than distancing themselves from it, so as not to give it credibility before the Bishop could approve or disapprove of a cult fullowing, the Franciscans began promotion (details can be found in the Davies book which is here in free, downloadable form), and they can be found in the new Donal Anthony Foley book, Understanding Medjugorje, which focuses heavily on the first few hours, days and weeks of the apparitions (beginning June 1981).

Like a crime scene, this is the most important time to investigate, not once the trail gets cold and other things can sidetrack judgment of events. Pro-Medjugorje books focus largely from 1983 and onward, omitting critical information that was available to authors who believe the apparitions are false.

The Vatican does not make judgments. Rather, it defers to the local Ordinary. However, due to the international status Medjugorje had, it really needs to be dealt with by a commission. There have been several. In 1991 the Yugoslav bishops commission elected to give it a status that says they cannot affirm that there is anything supernatural about the visions. The ruling was negative, but left open the door. They have now waited 15 years and have plenty of evidence to put this in its proper place now.

It is important to note again, that no books should have been published without the permission of the bishop who has jurisdiction - in this case Peric, and Zanic before him. Or, it must come from a higher authority. Foley, Davies, and before them, Fr. Ivo Sivric/Louis Belanger (Hidden Side of Medjugorje 1989), got permission from the respective bishops to print and distribute their books. Louis Belanger has sent me copies of the faxed, written permission with signatures.

I would love to see such evidence that the Bishop of Mostar granted permission for the pro-Medjugorje books to be published. And, the magazines, the websites, and anything else that promotes the appartions.

What happened with Medjugorje that it has gone on this long, is one big promotional campaign to make it seem authentic. If enough people are interested, surely the Vatican will see it and affirm it. But, this is not how it works. As the French Bishops point out, "events" must be judged before the "fruits" by the local Bishop. Only after he is certain nothing can harm the Church will he grant any kind of following or promotion. Canon Law 823-1 is cited by Foley as the reason such permission is usually sought for written materials. When it is followed, it prevents a large cult following from happening BEFORE the ordinary gives it his blessing, and protects the faithful from fraud.

But God gives people a free will, and so does the Church. They will not put a gun to someone's head to say "stop". But, as the disobedience mounts, it becomes evidence. If the Blessed Mother were truly showing in Medjugorje, then the "seers" and followers would be graced in such a way as to humbly submit their will to that of the lawful ecclesiastical authority - the Bishop. His authority was not respected once he put is fist down and said that he had seen enough. The Franciscans (seers associates) continued to aid them in developing the cult following.

It is a sign of the supernatural when such graces are visible in alleged seers, associates, and followers. When it is absent, and when there is obstinancy, it is evidence of the opposite, and even of diabolical influence. The Father of Lies has proven time and again, he will tolerate some holy things if he feels he can gain in some other way. For example, if a condemnation comes forth, a certain number of people will remain steadfast, placing the visionaries ahead of the Church. Necedeh is a very good example of this, as that false-apparition gave evidence of diabolical influence, yet had many of the same "fruits" you see at Medjugorje.

In the case of Medjugorje, the Bishop has been crying foul from very early. Initially he was open, but then he gave a list of 20 reasons why he could not believe it was authentic.

Bishop Zanic's 20 reasons to disbelieve in Medjugorje

Why did the 1991 Zadar Commission act on this alone? Only God knows. Perhaps to give it more time for more evidence, and truly, that evidence has blossomed against it, with the self-promotion of the "seers" and their promotion by their associates (the Franciscans). Self-abnegation is a sign of supernatural influence, not self-promotion.

I believe the war had much to do with not messing with it for many years after. And, I think the Bishops thought it was going to go away. But it didn't.

Now, the Bosnia-Herzegovina Bishops get to finish the job.

Diane K

The above paragraph should read:

Why did[n't] the 1991 Zadar Commission act on this alone? Only God knows.

Inocencio

MaryC,

"Can anyone explain to me how to create a live link."

HTML Examples

Scroll down to this section HTML Link Examples and click How to create hyperlinks.

Hope this helps.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Mark

"This highlights the danger of a spiritual life that revolves around private revelations.Here is an article that enumerates some of the problematic facts surrounding Medjugorje.
http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/MedjugorjiLies.html"

My spiritual life revolves around prayer, the Sacraments, the Word of God and the Church, the mystical Body of Christ. I am open to the possibility that God is using His mother to send a prophetic message to the world at Medjugorje as He did at Lourdes, Fatima, and Guadalupe (among others). It appears you have a lot of emotional investment in denying the possibility that the Mother of God is appearing there to encourage the world to pearc, faith, prayer, conversion and fasting.

What about the psychology of those at the site you sourced who are struggling merely to accept the Novus Ordo? It appears to be quite a struggle to keep this crowd from Sedevacantism ... Not really the best place to go to form your opinion on anything IMO.

Diane K

Mark,

Many of us who desire to discuss negative fruits, along with the good ones, were one time promoters or supporters.

A common misconception among supporters is that anyone that is against Medjgorje hasn't been there, or was never a supporter themself. People assume we have not "experienced" Medjugorje, when in fact we have.

I lived there for 2.5 years - from November of 1980 (months before it all began) to February of 1983 (around the time Fr. Jozo was released).

I was in the Franciscan convent affiliated with Medjugorje. Our sisters were assigned to that parish, which was 20 minutes away by bus from the provincial house where I resided. I walked, by foot, the full distance from the outskirts of Mostar, to Medjugorje along with my peers. Many people made pilgrimages by foot. It was spiritually moving.

However, I had also made pilgrimages on foot, leaving at 9:00 PM and arriving at 6:00am in Siroki Brijeg - a common destination in August for Assumption. It too was spiritually moving, but there were no ongoing "visions" taking place there. There was Mass, confession, devotion and it was a beautiful experience.

While those who are against are accused of not having been read any supportive books, not having every been there, or being anti-Marian, anti-Eucharistic, liberal, and any number of other things, the truth is quite the opposite.

I had read early Laurentin and Rupcic books and bought it hook, line and sinker. I've already stated that I didn't visit, I lived nearby and personally made and cut hosts for 14,000 people in the early 80's. I witnessed the good fruits of followers back then, but the Sacraments alone can explain this. After coming back to the US due to illness and reintegrating into secular life, I gradually became indifferent to my Catholic faith, while still going to Mass each Sunday. I lost any sense of Marian and Eucharistic devotion.

When Pope John Paul II died I was awakened and thrust into a significant inner conversion with the rise of Benedict, whom I did not know from Adam because I never kept up on what was going on in the Church or in Medjugorje. This re-awakening took me to my present parish, Assumption Grotto in Detroit, where I rapidly developed Eucharistic and Marian devotion, yet the pastor does not permit promotion of any unapproved apparitions: No prayer groups, flyers, books, magazines - nothing. But, it is a very Marian and Eucharistic parish - one that is devout and rich in many of the things I enjoyed about Medjugorje, but absent the "visions". However, the parish does promote approved apparitions like Lourdes and Fatima.

I discovered this parish on May 15, 2005. On August 15, 2005, I consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary by the St. Louis de Montfort method (approved), after a 33-day preparation written by him. Pope John Paul II was consecrated himself in this manner.

I joined a local secular Carmelite community which is one of the things that led me to this parish on Pentecost. Having been reawakened, my original interest in the works of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila reignited and I was blessed to find Grotto, where the diocesan priest is a third order Carmelite himself. I am currently in formation for this order (approved).

Last year, I began nearly daily Mass attendance by getting up earlier and going to a local parish which has a 6:00am Mass. I pray Lauds, Vespers, and Compline from the Liturgy of the Hours daily. I engage in 30 minutes of mental prayer daily, pray a Rosary and most days try to get in a Divine Mercy Chaplet and a few other small devotions, such as the Angelus, and the Fatima Angel's Prayer.

During this time I developed an aversion to my TV God and no longer watch anything, but a few religious programs on EWTN, such as Fr. Mitch Pacwa and Fr. Benedict Groeschel. I no longer listen to radio or newspaper, other than religious programming and writings. I merely glance at a headline here and there on Yahoo when I log into my email.

I've been going to confession 2-4 times monthly, often to work on virtue issues. This too brings its graces, along with a regular prayer life. I participate in adoration at a convent chapel on the grounds of my parish run by a religious order which resides there. I engage in processions and participate in the choir.

I credit all of these good fruits to the sacraments, and to Eucharistic and Marian devotion, all of which are fostered heavily by the priests at my parish. My love for the faith resulted in my photo-rich blog which captures life at Assumption Grotto (click through April, May, and June in particular and just scroll). You will see a very traditional appearing Mass, but it is the Novus Ordo in Latin, and is in compliance with the GIRM, including the ad orientem posture of the priest as he faces the high wall altar during the Eucharistic Prayer.

On Sundays, it is not uncommon for people to show up for the 9:30 Mass which runs to about 11:00 and to still be hanging out at 2 or 3 in the afternoon. The incensing, Gregorian Chant, Sacred Polyphony and beautifully sung/chanted Mass makes it longer, but people don't care. We then socialize in the parish hall and on the large grounds where there is an outdoor grotto. With the very few exceptions, we have hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, icecream and donuts every Sunday after the 9:30 and Noon Masses. Following the noon english Mass, there is a procession to the outdoor Grotto with the Blessed Sacrament where Benediction takes place (in the winter we do it indoors). People just hang out and wait for this. Pictures are on my blog.

We are blessed with many Sunday afternoon seminars provided by one of the priests who enthusiastically engage with us on a regular basis in this manner.

I tell you all of this because these are things commonly found at Medjugorje. There is simply no reason why parishes shouldn't be making these things widely accessible to people right here in the US. It is not my time in Medjugorje which caused my conversion. Rather, it was having found a simple parish which aided me in developing proper worship attitude, frequent use of the Sacraments, a healthy devotion to Our Lady and the Eucharist, which did this for me.

It also goes to show that I, like many who can no longer support Medjugorje, are not anti-Marian liberals who know nothing about the place.

While I have read books supportive of Medjugorje - each of which caused me to develop an interior contempt for the Bishop of Mostar, I would ask if you have read any books critical of it, just to see if there is any merit, in your mind, to what they are saying. All of those books I have listed have been approved by the Bishop of Mostar, who has jurisdiction. As I stated above, all should submit their works to the bishop which has jurisdiction before publishing. Did Laurentin or Rupcic get this approval from Zanic or Peric? Or, any of the other supporters? Canon 823-1 exists for a reason. If supportive authors did not use Bishop Zanic to get their approval, to whom did they go for it?

Unity must subsist in Truth because Jesus is Truth.

Diane K

I meant to comment on my links to Unity publishing.

When I am seeking something objective like the words of a dated speech by a paritcular speaker, I look for that speech on google. For some reason, I am unable to find many words straight from the pen of the Bishops there in Medjugorje on the websites of many of the supporters. Rather, I find commentary downplaying or attacking those things, without the actual words. This is odd behavior for those claiming to be guided by the Mother of God, who was the model of obedience, humility and truthfulness. If I do find it on a website, it often comes with unnecessary commentary which downplays or explains away each of the points made by the bishop. So, if you can find me a copy of Bishop Zanics twenty reasons why he could not believe Our Lady is appearing in Medjugorje on another site, I would appreciate having the link. Just the original letter, please.

Also, my apologies to Our Lord, for having capitalized the "G" in god when I spoke of my TV god above. I was a tv junkie, always having on the television, radio or some other form of distraction. I didn't have time for prayer, but I sure had 2 hours each evening for primetime programming before my inner conversion last year. That was the point of the statement.

Diane K

Mark said,

What about the psychology of those at the site you sourced who are struggling merely to accept the Novus Ordo? It appears to be quite a struggle to keep this crowd from Sedevacantism ... Not really the best place to go to form your opinion on anything IMO.

I'm having a hard time finding anything related to your accusation about Unity. Can you please provide for me, a link to the specific content which you feel proves that Unity is having a hard time accepting the Novus Ordo, or is leaning towards Sedevacantism?

Keep in mind, there are many Catholics like myself who enjoy a more reserved, traditional form of the Novus Ordo, as opposed to the dynamic, contemporary version of the same. I think you will find that Pope Benedict enjoys this kind of Mass, as well. This hardly makes people like me, or those at Unity, leaning towards sedevacantism, or anti-Novus Ordo. I can attend a Tridentine just 10 minutes away from my parish, but I choose the Novus Ordo celebrated in a traditional fashion.

So, where in Unity Publishing;'s site do you find these things?

Mark

Diane,

I appreciate that Mr. Salbato is working hard to keep disenchanted traditionalists from taking the Sedevacantist plunge ("I'm staying ... stay with me and fight" in http://www.unitypublishing.com/liturgy/OldLatinMass.htm). According to the site, the man lives at Fatima and has quite a bit invested in Fatima. I can understand, then (sort of), that a crowd which needs to hold its collective nose to Vatican II and the Novus Ordo is also struggling with Marian prophecy which is "post-Fatima". However, I think it's really sad when vitriol and bitter attacks like "Medjugorje lies" and "Deadly Apparition" and "Medjugorge pedophiles" are utilized to muddy the waters.

If Our Lady felt that the world situation in 1917 warranted her prophetic presence, it is not at least feasible that at this time, with the US holding the ability to destroy the earth 10,000 times over, that her voice is needed again? Does the world not need to hear the call to "peace, faith, prayer, conversion and fasting"?

As Pope John Paul II said to a group of twelve Italian bishops seeking pastoral advice on people making pilgrimages to Medjugorje. "LET THE PEOPLE GO TO MEDJUGORJE IF THEY CONVERT, PRAY, CONFESS, DO PENANCE AND FAST."

Inocencio

Mark,

Can you cite your JP II quote?

Thank you.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Diane K

I too would like to see a source, and date, cited for when Pope John Paul supposedly said this. I am especially interested in the year for this comment.

One thing I would like to note is that supporters continue to make claims in this thread and elsewhere, often without citing their source or providing a link which does cite it. In this case, Mark, I have saved you some work and can cite from where your information likely comes...

In his online, downloadable book, which I've provided a link to further up, Davies says: "The 29 July 1990 issue of Mary's People, a National Catholic Register supplement on apparitions, quoted the Pope as saying: "Let the people go to Medjugorje if they convert, pray, confess, do penance." An enquiry regarding the same alleged comment had been made to the Vatican in 1988, and the reply received from the then apostolic pro-nuncio, Archbishop Pio Laghi, read:

"The statement you cite as a quotation from the Holy Father has never been published or officially verified. Although there have been made observations about Medjugorje attributed to the Holy Father or other officials of the Holy See, none of these have been acknowledged as authentic."


Furthermore, on page 198 of Understanding Medjugorje by Foley (2006), he says:

*****************************************
The following statement from John Paul II, as reported in the 18 September 1996 edition of L'Osservatore Romano, would appear to be a criticism of the spirituality which has developed out of alleged visions like Medjugorje, and represented his more recent thinking on the subject.

Within the Church community, the multiplication of supposed 'apparitions' or 'visions' is sowing confusion and reveals a certain lack of a solid basis to the faith and Christian life among her members."
*******************************************


Then there is the the famous letter by Cardinal Ratzinger written in July of 1998, now Pope Benedict XVI. This is a man who seen Pope John Paul II on a regular basis. Here it is in full.

*****************************************

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
I-00120 CITT DEL Vaticano
22 Juli 1998

Herrn ............
00069 Trevignano Romano (RM)
Dear Mr. ...

First of all, I have to apologize for answering your kind letter from 27th May only today. The burden (i.e. work load) of the last few weeks has been so heavy that I had to postpone my private correspondence again and again so that only now, as my vacation is about to begin, I can at last try to answer the more important letters.

I thank you very much for sending me the memorandum by Claus Peter Clausen, whom in fact I know as the author of the Schwarze Briefe (Black Letters). I can only say that the statements attributed to the Holy Father and me are freely invented.

With my best wishes for your manifold activities.

Josef Ratzinger
**********************************************

I've provided names, dates and sources for each of my claims.

For there to be any serious discussion, it is important to cite sources and provide links where they exist.

MaryC

Innocencio

Thanks for the link. Hope I can follow instructions.

SmileyCentral.com

Mark

Diane,

You have repeatedly cited two strongly anti-medjugorje sources: Donal Anthony Foley: "Understanding Medjugorje..." The other is the book written by Michael Davies, "Medjugorje - After Twenty-One Years". If you chose to accept their view then fine.

As you well know, there is plenty of hefty analysis on the pro-medjugorje side: Fr. Rene Laurentin, Fr. Michael O’Carroll, Hans Urs von
Balthasar and Cardinal Christoph Schonborn.

I have chosen to examine the messages, the visionaries, and the phenomenon themselves and I find them extremely credible, edifying and compelling. They are not necessary, in that, the Gospels and the deposit of faith give us everything we need. However, prophecy is part of the life of the Church and should not be dismissed out-of-hand. After all, isn't the point of this entire thread the fact the Church has chosen to take a fresh look at the claims.

Sorry, this is my last post. I don't have time to argue this further. It's not really that important.

Inocencio

Italics off

Inocencio

oops

Honora

Weighing in on Marian apparitions is like weighing in on vegetarianism in many ways: best to go fishing instead. However..

"Does the world not need to hear the call to "peace, faith, prayer, conversion and fasting?"

Yes, and it has consistently heard that from Moses on down, from the three major religions; it has been heard most of all, of course, from Christianity, most especially from the Catholic Church-- most pressingly in Lent, but also in every Mass, yes?

The Medjugorje event, to be found valid or not, has already done what it was meant to-- to say to souls again: "Come back to Him with all your heart." The world has indeed heard it. It is time to put it away and wait. As Diane K. has put it so well, what we do to stay close to Him, as we have been taught by the Church and all His saints, is most important. If we must go to a shrine, go to Lourdes where help for trasnporting the sick is always welcomed.

An apparition can neither send us to heaven nor hell, and I fear that the separations over Medjugorje could only have brought another tear to Mary's sweet eye.

J.R. Stoodley

Trying to fix the italics test

J.R. Stoodley

Wow. test

J.R. Stoodley

Looks like the demon of italics has taken possesion of this web site. Or mayby an italics terrorist posted a buch of italics command thingies. Just in case, one last test

Edward

Maybe this will work.

Edward

It worked! It was the "em" tag, not the "i" tag.

Inocencio

Loud applause! Thank you, Edward!

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

chris K

While I have read books supportive of Medjugorje - each of which caused me to develop an interior contempt for the Bishop of Mostar,

Again, Diane, I wonder why you had some "interior contempt" for the Bishop.?

I mean, people can see certain bad judgments, or acknowledge a centuries long history that endeared the peasantry to the Franciscans which the bishop tried to dissolve with an overnight ultimatum, but "contempt"?

Did Laurentin or Rupcic get this approval from Zanic or Peric?

Are you kidding, Diane? They didn't need it!

And with all due respect, Diane, (happy you found Assumption Grotto fills your qualifications), but it doesn't appear that you have really found the "peace" you claim. You appear far too aggitated and rather obsessed with proving a negative. Perhaps you just get rather emotional on whatever you discover anew for the moment ... what new "light" pops on. But, you've never visited the site itself? You've never gotten to know well any of the "seers" or their wonderful Catholic families? You don't know in any familiar way the wonderful villagers who sacrifice each day for "strangers" (now come to be like family)? You don't know well the great Franciscan priests who sacrificed their lives each day during the Balkan wars, crossing enemy lines to minister to all ethnic groups and who continue their overtime service and sacrifice for the thousands of pilgrims? And, apparently you've never experienced the little "kisses" of our Mother given as gifts of encouragement for so many? You've never talked to those who have medically documented supernatural healings from Medj. like Char Vance or so many others that the parish keeps documented? Wow!! You just choose to rely on those worn out and embittered sources (talk about people with contempt!)? From my own reading and researching those folks, Mark has a much clearer idea of the psychology at Unity than you do, unfortunately for you. Yes, the fellow had some run ins with former colleagues and was prevented from achieving a more permanent residency in Fatima!! As one famous person once said ... "why can't we all just get along"? I suppose some people just have a penchant for being argumentative and disagreeable!

And, lastly,...."self promotion" by the visionaries? Never heard any of them promoting themselves. Rather they ecshew any such attention to themselves ... only our Lady's program. They are friendly and exhibit great patience with the constant inquiries and demands by the now pilgrims in the millions. And they serve them, clean after them, live in the limited area of the homes with all the extra rooms going for pilgrims. IOW, generous people because of their love for the Gospa. Otherwise it would be superhuman patience!

Second lastly! And you do know that the bishops who acted as presidents of the conference and commission stated the overall positive leaning of the bishops towards Medj. They stated that it was only due to wishing not to embarrass the local ordinary that they went for the nuanced, neutral selection for status, allowing things to continue and waiting for some future re-opening of the examination. They've asked for some time that a commission with international experts be the one to handle the matter.

Now, if you knew any of the real time, on the ground, principles connected to the actual "shrine" and area, you'd have other sources and might get another "light" on the matter, without any need for "contempt".

Diane K

Mark says:

Diane,

You have repeatedly cited two strongly anti-medjugorje sources: Donal Anthony Foley: "Understanding Medjugorje..." The other is the book written by Michael Davies, "Medjugorje - After Twenty-One Years". If you chose to accept their view then fine.

As you well know, there is plenty of hefty analysis on the pro-medjugorje side: Fr. Rene Laurentin, Fr. Michael O’Carroll, Hans Urs von
Balthasar and Cardinal Christoph Schonborn.

Mark,

Kindly go back and read the post to which you refer. In it, you will find that while I cited Foley and Davies, you missed one very big thing: The quotes coming from the Davies and Foley books are on record with other sources (i.e., L'Osservatore Romano) and they come from notable people:

1) Pope John Paul
2) Apostolic Nuncio Pio Laghi (formerly)
3) Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict.

This is common amongs supporters. Detract the authors of any books which take a hard look at real data, and ignore whom they are quoting and from where the data comes.

I hope people reading this blog will see through the campaign to vigorously prevent any objective information getting out.

I would ask people to consider seeing for themselves what is being criticized here. Download the Davies book and read it, and borrow or buy the Foley book and read it.

Davies carefully lays out in detail just how Fr. Laurentin omitted critical information from his books. Foley also demonstrates this and all had access to the same information. As I've stated earlier, when you see the same tape recorded transcript side by side - Laurentin's sanitized version, versus that of Davies, which is uncut, it makes you wonder what else Laurentin is hiding from his readers. Certainly, Hans Urs Von Balthasaar, who was taking Fr. Laurentin at his word, might have thought otherwise in those early days, had he seen the two samples side by side.

From a letter to Fr. Rene Laurentin from Bishop Peric:


3) With your controversial books on the Medjugorje "apparitions" you have sown, not only in this country but also in the Catholic world, plenty of discord, ambiguity and explicit untruths which will have to be eradicated with time. You are both competent and morally obliged to do this. We want to be at the service of the truth which can liberate us from many inauthenticities regarding Medjugorje, of which you have become a known herald.


4) With your stories on the "apparitions" of Medjugorje, which are truly regrettable you have helped me come to the conviction and to the constat de non supernaturalitate of the so called "apparitions" of Medjugorje. What motives you may have in the entire affair are for you to resolve before God.


5) From now on I cannot remain silent regarding any of your works containing the nonsenses of Medjugorje, which is destroying Catholic unity, ecclesial peace and the pastoral care of this local Church.


6) Besides making these deplorable things public, I also regularly inform the competent Dicasteries of the Holy See, which as columna et firmamentum veritatis must be informed on the matters.

The entire letter can be found by going to this html site for the Davies book. Use the "Edit-Find" pull-down and paste this text in:

Protocol Number: 265/98

You may need to do that twice as it will probably find it in the content table.

Similarly, scroll up a few pages to where a communique regarding the visit was recorded and published by the Catholic Information Agency in Mostar.

Diane K

Chris K said:

Are you kidding, Diane? They didn't need it!

And with all due respect, Diane, (happy you found Assumption Grotto fills your qualifications), but it doesn't appear that you have really found the "peace" you claim. You appear far too aggitated and rather obsessed with proving a negative.

Putting out quotes from competent sources, such as Pio Laghi, Pope John Paul II, and the former Cardinal Ratzinger, among others is hardly a sign of being agitated or negative. It's called being objective. Subjectivity goes on feelings. Objectivity goes on data, oblivious to "feelings". I have found your posts rather highly charged and emotional, and I'll leave it to readers to judge.

Providing unpleasant facts is not being negative. It's perceived as such, but is not the case at all.


Chris further says....(and I cut it short as it was just too voluminuous to add it all)"

Perhaps you just get rather emotional on whatever you discover anew for the moment ... what new "light" pops on. But, you've never visited the site itself? You've never gotten to know well any of the "seers" or their wonderful Catholic families? You don't know in any familiar way the wonderful villagers who sacrifice each day for "strangers" (now come to be like family)?

I lived 20 minutes away from Medjugorje between November of 1980 to February of 1983. I was in the Franciscan convent affiliated with the parish of St. James. Sisters from my convent were responsible for many things there. I had gone several times. As a Novice, I personally cut hosts for some 14,000 people to be used over just a few days during daily weeknight masses. I had to return home due to physical illness, and was deeply saddened at not being able to follow through as a Franciscan, especially with what seemed like a legitimate apparition at the time. I had gone from initial skeptic to about 75% certain something supernatural was going on just based on how many people were coming, how the kids in the village converted, long confession lines, teens singing marian songs as they processed throughout the area, and praying rosaries. I have pictures that I took of the "seers", up close and personal. I have a large rock from Krizevac where I crawled into a hole to dig one out. I admired Fr. Jozo deeply, and shortly before he was imprisoned, he had discovered my affection for Coca-Cola and promised to get me a case. I still recall the day of his trial, with MiG fighters flying low overhead to intimidate the people, and other scare tactics used by the communists.

As I stated before, I didn't become 100% skeptical until I regained my interest in Medjugorje with my sudden, inner conversion when John Paul II died. I went to Medjugorje forums, and a singles forum. In the Catholic singles forum, a young man just insulted Fr. Jozo so badly I got very upset. I was equally upset with what he was telling me about the "seers". I didn't believe him and vigorously defended them, and Medjugorje much in the same way you are now. Using information found at pro-Medjugorje websites, I aided people in dismissing the bishop, and essentially damaged his character in my efforts. In my pride to want to be right about my friends - the ones whom you say I know nothing about - I began to discover that the man at the single's forum was correct. I wanted to prove him wrong, and ended up proving him right.

At that point, it became - Medjugorje friends, or Church. I was defending them because I had befriended them. Once I opened myself to consider what the other side was trying to say, I realized I could not compromise truth for friendship.

Soooo much is hidden. So much is prevented from getting out because people only want to buy things which support Medjugorje. Interestingly enough, I have found no one yet who can claim to have read the Davies book cover to cover, and now the Foley book, who did not go from neutral to negative, or from outright positive to negative.

It's amazing what can happen when you get away from inuendo and into objective facts.

I think I've covered my bases well enough. My passion in getting the truth out comes from a desire to do reparation for trashing an innocent bishop who is working very hard to defend the Church from harm. It's very hard to see at first, but once you begin to look with an open heart and mind, and much prayer, truth is not hard to find.

All I can say, Chris, Mark and other supporters.... if this commission should bring on a negative finding and condemn Medjugorje, I do hope to see you using all that enthusiasm spent defending and promoting Medjugorje to simply promote Marian devotion based on approved apparitions.

Many criticize Foley without having read his book, saying he is simply jealous because he is big on Fatima. I have read the book cover to cover, and this is not the case at all. The reason Fatima is used as an example in his book is because it is the biggest and most significant Marian apparition of our time. Why?

A) It is approved

B) A prophetic message came true when Pope John Paul II was shot.

C) Pope John Paul II visited on year later - which is the highest possible credibility the Church can give an apparition site. It is even more greater than the building of a basillica in recognizing the authenticity - for a pope to visit.

D) The Fatima messages, unknown to many of us who spent too much time following unapproved apparitions, are very meaningful for our times. There is work to be done in joining together for what our Blessed Mother asked for at Fatima. Foley devotes one whole chapter to developing this end of it, and he has convinced me that this is where we need to be focused, as opposed to chasing anything that is not approved.

E) Foley does not discount other approved apparitions and brings them up on many occassions in the book. In contrast to Medjugorje, when looking at actual details in comparison, there simply is no comparison bewteen those approved, and Medjugorje. Fatima was focused on more heavily for the reasons cited above, not because he is jealous, as I've seen claimed in so many places.

With that, I bid you,

Laku noć

chris K

Diane, it's strange how Davies outlines ommissions by Fr. Laurentin! and yet, by some of the other "quotes" you've mentioned so often by Davies of B. Peric, the bishop conveniently "forgets", to Mr. Davies, the meeting he had with two witnesses and attested to by the Vatican well regarded theologian Fr. John Chisholm of the bishop's tirade against even those "go-to" approved sites by your other trusted debunker, Foley, Fatima and Lourdes!

It's pretty bad when you just don't believe in the supernatural happening at apparition sites at all, and YOU'RE the one who should be trusted to give some sort of objective study or oversight of the "shrine"??? Again, it is too bad that these are the only ones you seem to respect, rather than tested and experienced Marian experts like Fr. Laurentin, von Balthasar (you do know that name...no?), and Cardinal Schonborn (the one who oversaw the Catechism and who said that he would have to close down his seminaries without Medj. because they are mostly all Medj. vocations)!!!I guess we had better just discount those witnesses too because they happen to be positive.

And you've confused me. Earlier you wrote:

I had read early Laurentin and Rupcic books and bought it hook, line and sinker. I've already stated that I didn't visit, I lived nearby and personally made and cut hosts for 14,000 people in the early 80's.

So that made me think that you never ventured to the site even though you lived there. Now, an awful lot has happened since '83 when you say you left (which means that you haven't familiarized yourself with the now lovely Catholic families of the seers or the faithfulness of the villagers even after 25 years or so many other amazing happenings which people don't know about unless they are personally familiar) ... like the fall of Communism and the Balkan wars ... which really tested the area and the Franciscans and other devotees - esp. Medj. parish itself with the unbelievable miracle of not being harmed - being protected while just meters outside its boundaries bombs were falling and killing.

And the bishop who doesn't even believe in the supernatural possibility at apparition sites is lecturing the world renown Marian apparition expert, Fr. Laurentin?? I don't think so!!

In contrast to Medjugorje, when looking at actual details in comparison, there simply is no comparison bewteen those approved,

That is not true ... when you leave the comfort of former times and more familiar cultures like Portugal ... and include the more contemporary ones. Foley doesn't like those because they don't involve children whom he believes the Blessed Mother only selects for her visits!!

ml

Chris K—

If this isn’t self-promotion, I don’t know what is. Ivan and his wife, Laureen, are in the pilgrimage business, with Laureen acting as their contact person.

Their price for 9 days (August 9-17) is $1,899, which is $100 more than their host site (206 Tours) charges. High season airfare is $1,300, so they make $600 per pilgrim (they have room for 28 pilgrims, with air-conditioning and private baths—14 opportunities per year!), which works out to $235,000 per year if they completely fill up, and they come very close from what I can see. They do need to pay ground transportation, food, laundry, electricity, water, etc., but the meals are quite simple and plain according to Laureen, so they probably clear $100,000 per year in a country where the gross national income is $2,000 per capita (World Bank 2003 figures). It’s an impoverished country, and no one wants Bosnians to be poor, but no wonder Ivan can afford to drive a luxury car with extra-wide racing tires and travel back and forth between his home in Boston and his home in Medjugorje. I’ve seen promotions for the others as well. Spirit Daily runs ads for them periodically.

I can’t help but notice that their photos have recently disappeared and the Dragicevics’ pilgrimage page doesn’t seem to be linked to the 206 Tours main page anymore. Could that mean they’re not feeling so confident about making money off the apparitions now that a new commission is set to begin work in a couple of months?

">http://www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/appdisce/cdftexte.html"> The 1978 guidelines for discerning apparitions are here::

Under “Negative criteria” we see

“c) An obvious pursuit of monetary gain in relation with the fact.”

Diane K

I was done with this thread, but need to clarify my comment about visiting and living there.

My initial statement should have read, "I didn't just visit, I lived nearby"

While I'd love to discuss it more and address more of the misconceptions you illustrate, it's really time to move on. Addressing them will only yield even more of the same.

In Our Lord and Blessed Mother!

ml

Chris K--

Three things:

1) I'm halfway through Donal Foley's book, and it's not favorable to Medjugorje because he is relying on things like tape-recorded conversations with the teenagers in the early years (conversations conducted by the parish priests, not people who thought they were frauds). He does not say only children can be authentic seers.

2) You are sounding very desperate when you have to hang your entire opinion of Bishop Peric on a single conversation that is hearsay at this point. Pope Benedict XVI knows Bishop Peric better than you do, and he seems to be supporting Bishop Peric. Maybe he is better informed about Peric's beliefs than you are.

3) Bishop Zanic, who was the Ordinary of Mostar until 1993, was a very Marian bishop, who as a priest and later as a bishop made eleven pilgrimages to various Marian shrines all over Europe: Lourdes, Fatima, Syracuse, etc. Nevertheless, he did not believe the Virgin was appearing at Medjugorje.

chris K

He does not say only children can be authentic seers.

He uses Fatima as his model comparison (which is ridiculous in itself when speaking to all of the myriad ways of messages and visions occurring in toto) and says that Mary chooses innocent little children rather than teenagers as the norm. In fact, Diane used that reference to prove some kind of strageness to Medj. because of that one factor!!

I never stated my opinion of B. Peric! I merely referred to his prejudices re: apparition sites and the possibility of the supernatural occurring there. And, BTW, it isn't hearsay for me. I can't help it that you can't take the trouble yourself to verify or source anything outside of those very limited and incomplete notoriously debunking books and sites. You can easily find a way to question the witness ... it's pretty public knowledge. Strange how you accept your particular choices for debunking sources hook, line and sinker, and never challenge the gossipy half truths in them ... like they're the gospel, when they are obviously unbalanced and personally motivated. I don't think your litmus tests are of equal value!!

Nevertheless, he did not believe the Virgin was appearing at Medjugorje.

Well, he did in the beginning. It was the best thing since sliced bread to him at one time. The children could only be authentic and he could not see how others could judge them otherwise. Then, with nothing objectively having changed, he reversed overnight ... largely due in the minds of most people on the ground to the ongoing historical differences between the Franciscans of the whole region and the seculars. A real steady guide there! Someone you really need for an objective view of the site itself which got thrown into the larger mess when it should always have remained separate.!!

And, one time I had the occasion of sharing emails with Mr. Foley on a completely other subject. I had never heard of him before receiving a general advertising email on something else he was involved with which sounded Catholic - a retreat center or something. Just in passing I happened to mention Medj. - well, after that I became an unwanted victim of his obsession. He could not just share various findings and I could not get rid of him. He kept emailing after I said we should just agree to disagree. He appeared to me to just be obsessed to the point that he couldn't even leave another alone with their own views or wait with the Church. That set some red flags for me. The emails kept coming even though I had stopped. It really became obnoxious. Now that is a bit unbalanced, no matter who is doing it.

Kenny

Here is a link to a report of Bishop Ratko Peric' Ad Limina visit to Rome in February 2006 and his statement s about Medjugorje. I will say that through my own expereinces at Medjugorje ( I went there in 1998) it drew me much closer to Jesus through his Mother. So no matter the outcome I will be eternally grateful for her intercession on my behalf.
http://www.mdaviesonmedj.com/page_Ad%20Limina.htm

chris K

ml, prove it. All is simply your imagination with no facts. These are normal folks of our time. They have families to feed, homes to maintain, yet live simple lives. The pilgrims themselves are the ones always trying to make connections with the visionaries. They arrange tours with all the expenses involved with that. When tours are not filled, there is money lost. Have you been there to see that there just isn't work for men. The fathers have always had to leave and find work in Germany or some other better spot. If they can make a living and remain with their families then God bless them. And then there are the off seasons where there is hardly anyone coming except those from Italy or nearby countries making their own arrangements. The wars took place which practically closed the place down for quite a while. There are loads of losses and expenses - esp. when families are composed of others with other nationalities and two countries are involved in long distance living arrangements with duties required for both. Better go back to your imaginary accounting sheets that don't seem to factor in the reality. But, don't fear the good visionaries and their families. They won't bite. They're just like the good Catholic families of the area there. But then, you'd have to really get to know them ... rather than just condescendingly gossip without knowing them or having them available to defend themselves. Figures! I would hate to have to make such a living with all of the unsurity involved while having to raise a family. There are loads of tour groups and agencies competing ... or is that another factor of the real world you're unfamiliar with! It ain't cheap crossing the big pond. Our group's fare supported 2 large plane air flights, the three hour bus trip into the remote area, the conductor of the tour, with not much left for the ladies who did all of the work and cooking in the simple home as well as maintaining the vegetable gardens, etc. I bet you wouldn't do it for any price. And realizing the relations living outside of that particular spot, still in refugee camps and other works involved in the aftermath of those wars, they could use a lot more help! If you'd like to help, there's His Work In Progress with their medical mission run by a great fellow who lives nearby me and you can adopt a war orphan or refugee to pay for his/her education and living expenses in a village orphanage supported by some of the visionaries! Go for it! More Christian than prejudiced gossip.

Louis Bélanger

"Chris K.",

I still would like to know if you are the "Anonymus" who wrote in Diane's blog : "After all, it's the true facts that matter ... not the identity of the messenger of those facts." [Homily of Bishop Ratko Peric of Medjugorje - June 15, 2006 - http://te-deum.blogspot.com/ - 7/12/2006 05:33:20 PM]. After being asked to identify himself, "Anonymus" eluded my plea for transparence and disappeared from the said blog. And yet, I had presented what I consider some "hard facts" taken from The Hidden Side of Medjugorje and well documented. Then, the name "Chris K." appeared on Bettnet, Amy Welborn, Jimmy Akin and maybe on other blogs with other identifications. When one looks at the 21-line paragraph beginning with "The real elephant in the living room here that no one will touch is that, in an unprecedented manner, Rome has overruled the local bishop..." --- "Anonymous" Te-Deum's blog, 7/07/2006 04:43:02 PM --- it is the same, word for word, as the one found on Bettnet --- posted by Chris K on 07/7/06 at 04:48 PM . Unless Chris K. has plagiarized "Anonymous", after an interval of 5 minutes, they are one person. That person is quite critical of Bishops Zanic (whom I have known) and Peric and pretends persistently, among other things, that the Zadar declaration is "neutral".
I appreciate the coherence of an argumentation and this is why I took the time and made the effort to follow the "Chris K." and the "Anonymus" writings and to understand "their" points of view. But I am not really used to dialog with phantoms and I would like to integrate these interventions.
So I try for the second time to shake hands with an interlocutor who would be ready to reveal his real identity.
Then we will cope with "hard facts" as he likes them. One has already noticed that English is not my mother tongue. I have to take some time to read and many efforts to write on such a complex, controversial and delicate subject charged with many emotions.
I propose first to discuss the "end of the apparitions" announced by the visionaries on June 30, 1981 and confirmed by them on July 3 1981. What are the facts, the sources, the interpretations. Let's make as if we would like to carry out an arbitrage operation...
Hoping for a respectful and constructive dialog, I remain truly yours.
Louis Bélanger

Diane K

Louis Belanger reminds me of a good college teacher. Wait.....

Oh, yeah.... he is.

I always appreciated those teachers who taught us how to recognize fact from inuendo, and how to scrutinize data carefully, and to be able to back up what we say with something concrete and verifiable.

Hence, I second the call made by Louis, to start the discussion back where it all began in the beginning. I was just looking through my copy of The Hidden Side of Medjugorje for which Louis is the editor. What I was most impressed with, not having started the book, is the credentials and background of Fr. Ivo Sivric, OFM. I am copying this from a post I made at New Advent for the benefit of readers here. I am hoping Louis can make this book more readily available soon because it is a must have if you are reading the book by Foley, Understanding Medjugorje

Here it is:

In thumbing through "The Hidden Side of Medjugorje", I must say it is like a textbook.

Here are the qualifications of Fr. Ivo Sivric, OFM:

-Born 1917 in the locale of Medjugorje.

-Ordained in 1941 after studying theology and philosophy in Mostar (20 minutes away from Medjugorje)

-Completed post-graduate work in Zagreb, then Rome, where he received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology.

-Emigrated to the US where he spent 40 years. He taught at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. (sidenote: Pittsburgh had a huge Croatian population, and Duquesne University was noted for the Duquesne University Tamburitzans, which was a performing dance troupe, entirely Croatian before branching out today to largely Balkan and Eastern European).

-His works include: Bishop J.G. Strossmayer - New light on Vatican I (1975), The Peasant Culture of Bosnia and Hercegovina (1982), and Temelj Krscanstva C.S. Lewisa (Christian Basics according to C.S. Lews) (1988)

-Made 8 extended trips to Medjugorje as part of research done.

When I say this book is like a text book, I mean it is 400+ pages and has 11 chapters, but chapter 11 ENDS on page 183. What follows for the remaining pages is the most astounding and valuable part: Over 200 pages of notes, and appendices with things such as complete audio transcripts.

Like Foley, the Sivric/Belanger book focuses heavily on the first few days and weeks, which is the most critical.

Note that Hans Urs Von Balthasar, who at one time spoke favorably of what was happening at Medjugorje, died in 1988 - just one year before "The Hidden Side..." was made available from a highly educated priest from that region. Foley goes on to point out that Von Balthasar accepted the position of Fr. Laurentin, and was likely oblivious to the ommissions in his work. Those ommissions are noted with the Diocese of Mostar Duvno, and in the works of Davies, Foley, and can be found in this book by Sivric/Belanger.

Hopefully, Louis will find a way to make it more accessible, as it is extremely difficult to find right now.

Diane K

I said:

I am hoping Louis can make this book more readily available soon because it is a must have if you are reading the book by Foley, "Understanding Medjugorje"

To elaborate on this statement, Foley's has many footnotes which lead us to "The Hidden Side...". Viewing this work by Sivric/Belanger, reveals detailed notes, taken from records such as tape recordings.

In fact, supporters make much of Bishop Zanic's turn, where in the early days he was open to the idea of authenticity, but then turned on it (with good reason), but those same supporters may not even know of how several key Franciscans, including Fr. Jozo Zovko and Tomislav Vlasic, questioned the very things Sivric, Foley and others point to today. Their sudden turn, in light of their own objections earlier, is strange to say the least. Those objections become visible in this early work seen in "The Hidden Side of Medjugorje".

chris K

http://www.mdaviesonmedj.com/page_Ad%20Limina.htm

Kenny, rather than proving anything at all, if one reads this reference from the Davies book, with any insight, one can see that B. Peric got nothing from the pope as he would have desired. It appears that he was left with the status quo that the Church followed at that time and with a polite and indirect adviso for him to do the same! If people had referenced any of the excellent reputable authors BEFORE reading this debunking gossip that leaves out "the rest of the story" they could clearly see just how much of the complete picture is left out. Funny, how quotes are referenced and yet the entire scene of the quotes or the opposing facts or other quotes are conveniently left out. The "spin" certainly "didn't stop" with those authors.

Obviously, now, with a new commission forming with new experts to join in the study of all facts, any personal objection of the bishop that attempts to force his opinion to try to stop the happenings won't exactly be welcome! Otherwise ... how could they be studied???!!! Those visionaries better not even mention the word Medjugorje apparitions or messages ... and the Franciscans better not refer to their own dossier of recorded healings to the Church representatives or witnessed conversions of those who thank Our Lady of Medjugorje for them ... or else ... they'll be in disobedience to the order of the bishop! If they do ... watch out ... they'll be excommunicated by the combox objectors!

Marcella

I am reading The Medjugorje Deception: Queen of Peace, Ethnic Cleansing, Ruined Lives by E. Michael Jones. It is very informative. It was published in 1998 by Fidelity Press. The author puts the everything in an historical context. He based his book on personal and first -hand interviews, and careful reading of original documents. It is very interesting. He can get long winded about history and sometimes I found his style of introducing a topic and then going off on a long side detail a bit frustrating, but it very interesting. He wrote an earlier book on Medjugorje, but he pretty much incorporated all that information into this one. He includes a bibliography.

ml

Chris K. wrote:

“Diane, it's strange how Davies outlines ommissions by Fr. Laurentin! and yet, by some of the other "quotes" you've mentioned so often by Davies of B. Peric, the bishop conveniently "forgets", to Mr. Davies, the meeting he had with two witnesses and attested to by the Vatican well regarded theologian Fr. John Chisholm of the bishop's tirade against even those "go-to" approved sites by your other trusted debunker, Foley, Fatima and Lourdes!”

As for Chris K's reference to Michael Davies, apparently a letter from a Mr. Bernard Ellis was published in the UK Catholic Herald of 12 July 2002 claiming that Bishop Peric told a Fr. John Chisholm that he does not believe in the authenticity of the Lourdes and Fatima apparitions. Mr. Davies contacted Bishop Peric on this subject and the Bishop told him "on the record" by fax and e-mail that he had never made such a statement to anyone; he added that he had no memory of meeting Fr. Chisholm although Fr. Chisholm had talked to his secretary. Mr. Davies then contacted Fr. Chisholm about this matter asking for clarification and never received a reply from Fr. Chisholm.

I assume the other party Chris K. referred to was Liam Prendergast, who was described in a 1999 Children of Medjugorje online article as the Chairman of the National Medjugorje Council of Ireland. I don't know if he is still the Chairman of this group since the organization doesn't have a web presence other than a link on GospaIreland's website, which doesn't give much information other than to say that Mr. Prendergast was an early organizer of National Medjugorje Council of Ireland following a trip to Ballinasloe in October 1985 by Fr. Slavko Barbaric. The only other mentions I can find online of this name are in advertisements for pilgrimages, such as this one from the Leinster Leader: "There will be two pilgrimages to Medjugorje in 2005. The first will be from 27 May to 3 June and the second 9-16 September. Bookings may be made to Liam Prendergast at 045-431911)." I assume this is the same Liam Prendergast. I can find nothing online connecting Mr. Prendergast with the conversation in question regarding Bishop Peric's views on Fatima and Lourdes--that is, other than rather vague posts by people who claim to have heard about it.

Just this month, in the July 3, 2006 issue of The Word (a magazine published by the Divine Word Missionaries, Maynooth, Ireland), there is an article about Medjugorje in which a Fr. John Chisholm was one of several people interviewed.
http://www.theword.ie/cms/publish/article_409.shtml

Of note, the article mentions that Fr. Chisholm (I assume it's the same one), is an 84-year-old Irish priest living in Medjugorje. Fr. Chisholm had been a teacher at University College Dublin for many years and first heard about Medjugorje in late 1994 while listening to an Irish public radio program. He believed instantly that the Virgin Mary was appearing in Medjugorje. He was caring for his elderly mother at the time, so he had to delay his first trip to Medjugorje until after her death in 1997. He made his first trip to Medjugorje in June 1998. He moved permanently to Medjugorje in spring 2001 at age 76 and resides with the Medjugorje Franciscans, helping them translate the messages into various languages in addition to other pastoral duties.

I have to say I'm astounded that Steve Shawl of Medjugorje.org and Chris K. are putting forth information that implies Fr. Chisholm is a disinterested and objective party on the Medjugorje question. Defining Fr. Chisholm as a "Vatican well-respected theologian" as Chris K. does without mentioning the fact that he lived with the Medjugorje Franciscans and aids them in promotion the authenticity of the alleged apparitions is frankly deceptive.

Bishop Peric has denied making these statements on the record. Fr. Chisholm will not answer correspondence asking for clarification; but he will, apparently, whisper this information to people who won't question what he says. The supposed witness to this conversation, Liam Prendergast, has said nothing on or off the record from what I can discover to corroborate Fr. Chisholm’s account of this meeting with Bishop Peric.

As noted, Fr. Chisholm made his first trip to Medjugorje in June 1998. Steve Shawl of Medjugorje.org thinks (per an email to me) that this alleged conversation might have taken place in 1998. If true, this would have to mean that Fr. Chisholm, on his first pilgrimage to Medjugorje, was granted a private audience with Bishop Zanic along with Mr. Prendergast and that the two of them confronted Bishop Zanic on his position regarding Medjugorje. That may indeed have happened, but frankly it either doesn't seem likely to have occurred during this first pilgrimage in 1998 or else it reveals a great deal about Fr. Chisholm in that he had emphatically made up his mind about these events before he went to the Bishop's Mostar quarters Moreover, I have to note that Fr. Chisholm made his first trip to Medjugorje at age 76 (he is currently 84). That doesn't mean he's senile, but his age frankly gives me pause. Elderly people generally having some degree of hearing loss, and Fr. Chisholm was additionally speaking to a man whose first language is not English. I understand Bishop Peric’s English is very good, but that doesn’t mean misunderstandings didn’t take place, especially if the meeting was confrontational and emotional.

The most charitable explanation of this alleged exchange is that Fr. Chisholm may have had a short, unofficial meeting with Bishop Peric and misunderstood something the Bishop said, perhaps to the effect that no Catholic is obliged to believe in the authenticity of any private revelation, not even Lourdes or Fatima - which is an entirely correct statement of orthodox Catholic doctrine.

Bishop Peric says he has no recollection of meeting Fr. Chisholm, which is not to say he claims it absolutely never happened, just that he doesn’t recall it. Bishop Peric does claim, on the record, that he has never personally denied the authenticity of Fatima or Lourdes to Fr. Chisholm OR ANYONE ELSE. Prior to becoming Bishop, Ratko Peric, who has a doctorate in theology himself, was a professor at the Gregorian University at Rome, so he had come into contact with many students and colleagues over the years. In his 2001 book, Throne of Wisdom, Peric references the work of his theologian colleagues at home and at the Gregorian University on the subject of Marian apparitions. The Medjugorje phenomena was happening in Peric’s home diocese, so can’t we assume that he participated in conversations regarding Marian apparitions during his tenure in Rome? Yet no one, with the exception of Fr. John Chisholm, has ever claimed that Bishop Peric denies the truth of Church-approved apparition sites.

The fact that elderly Fr. Chisholm won't go on the record about this conversation, the fact that the supposed witness hasn't gone on the record to back him up, and that fact that both of these men are pro-Medjugorje activists doesn't lend credibility to the one-sided version of the Fr. Chisholm story posted on Medjugorje.org and spread about by Chris K.

chris K

Wrong again, ml. My information re: Fr. Chisholm, again a Vatican highly respected theologian, is from a witnessed exchange. I have no idea what your personal definition of "on the record" means. Fr. Chisholm is on the record. He was one of those chosen to set up meetings of dialog to try to reconcile the differences between the local bishop and the Franciscans. I'm sorry that you don't know the good priest, but he is on the record. You can easily find the same if you'd try to get beyond the limited debunking sources. After his real time years of experience with Medj and its principles he seems to continue his favor for its truth. Your own, only prejudiced reviewers, don't seem to get the same treatment by yourself. Hmmm. And Father won't repeat his witness? He has. Your books of choice mention only that Peric conveniently remembers "I think he may have talked to my secretary" which Fr. Chisholm also mentions. Or, because this part was mentioned, is Fr. Chisholm cleared for that portion of his statement?? So, he's not a complete liar in his witness??!!

Your inferences of my references as if they are true are really getting to a point of outright misinforming others on your part. Medj.org, as far as I know says nothing of the fullness of the meeting in which this occurred as I have described. I've never read this on their site. Wasn't looking for it there. But it's nice that you refer to this good site, even if it is done only disingenuously to try to back up the missing info left out by the debunkers of choice! It is too bad that Mr. Davies went to press without the statements by the witnesses ... so he did not have the full story. Who in the world of authenticity would talk to the prejudices of Davies?? It's like when the Dallas Morning News, already with their previous positions well known, wrote in error about Fr. Groeschel and when caught in the error, blamed Fr. Groeschel because he wouldn't reply to them!! Smart Fr. Groeschel and smart Fr. Chisholm. They know whom they can trust!

Defining Fr. Chisholm as a "Vatican well-respected theologian" as Chris K. does without mentioning the fact that he lived with the Medjugorje Franciscans and aids them in promotion the authenticity of the alleged apparitions is frankly deceptive.

Wow, are you a conspiracy type. Actually I have mentioned that Fr. lives with the Franciscans in Medjugorje. He speaks several languages and translates the messages from Croatian. And he is a Vatican well respected theologian. Are you saying that he is not? Are you claiming that Fr. Chisholm has lied? You're beginning to sound a bit like the other conspiracy type chosen above ... E. Michael Jones. Sad.

ml

Chris K--

Please tell me where I can find a published account of Fr. Chisholm's account of the conversation he had with Bishop Peric.

chris K

ml, it would appear that you have aleady found it. I have and have shared in many comboxes. But then, I gave you the accounts from the bishops of the commission and you inferred that the bishop in the account was not truthful. Go figure. Enough pearls in the muck here. Anyway,

As for those who may wish for another more well rounded picture of one of the selected authors to follow by the debunkers, Mr. Davies, (and that following appears to be rather blindly!) (and for ml's benefit if he/she is also unaware) here is something to chew on: (two down ... and Foley's red flags were all over the place):

From Stephen Hand's article in TCR "The Fall of Michael Davies":

Note, this article was originally written in 2001. Michael Davies died of prostate cancer in September 2004. He died a friend to the SSPX, the integrist papers, and hostile to the Holy Father whom he considered "a disaster" to the Church.

Do we need to speak again about that loyalty to the hierarchy? Strange how these guys are the ones bringing it up!:

From The Remnant ---September, 2001:
"Michael Davies to speak at The Remnant Forum in October.

"All the way from London, England, Remnant columnist and President of the International Una Voce Federation will be featured at this important gathering in St. Paul. Call today for details: (651) 462-8323. "The Remnant Forum is coming to St. Paul in October. "Forty Years Later: The Family, the Mass, the Church and the World through Four Decades of Vatican II." October 26, 27, and 28, 2001. "Featuring: Michael Davies, Gerry Matatics, Michael J. Matt, Christopher Ferrara, Dr. Thomas Woods, John Vennari, Dr. Marian Horvat, Atila Sinke Guimaraes, Gary Potter, Michal Semin (from Prague), John Clark."

What a collection of would-be magisterial authorities Davies weds! TFP splinters, rigorist Feeneyites, fallen away monks, geo-centrists and who knows what, certainly theologically untrained laymen (in Catholic theology anyway; Protestant's have always been comfortable viewing themselves as a pure "remnant" vis a vis Catholicism), all together to declare in many ways and forums the Pope a heretic, according to their private judgment.

The truth is shown by those whom one is bedding with---and Davies, as the reader can see, beds with the most irresponsible and disoriented enemies of the Holy Father. He raises money for them, helps sell their books and they return the favor.

Thus according to Atila Guimaraes, Michael Matt, Marian Horvat and John Vennari (all Mr. Davies' business partners and mates) the Pope is to be deposed --- for heresies. This absurdity is just a small sample of their constant and provocative impudence and theological cynicism. Here is a group utterly innocent of elementary Catholic dogmatics and theology---even as they speak of such things selectively and constantly--- who are allies to the most virulent Protestant fundamentalist opponents of Catholicism who quote them. The implications are grave.

...Davies appears these days to write the same article over and over as in propaganda technique.

...

This ambivalence is most conspicuous when one looks to the overall and longstanding theology of Davies, Una Voce International president, who wrote recently regarding Protocol 1411, opposing the Holy Father:


"Archbishop Lefebvre withdrew from the 1988 agreement with the Holy See because he felt that the Vatican could not be relied upon to keep its promises. It would appear that there are now powerful forces in the Curia determined to prove that he was right" (See Violation of Natural Justice Below). This was because the Vatican did not agree with Davies' interpretation of what an Indult meant by definition.
Nor would Davies listen to Bishop Bruskewitz who declared the views of his Remnant mates unorthodox; Bruskewitz even excommunicated the SSPX along with neo-modernists in his diocese. Would that he would listen to the Pontifical Commission, Ecclesia Dei, to which he was morally oblidged as a promoter of the Indult (at times).

Clearly this is because Davies remains heavily indebted to and rooted in Lefebvre's errors of disposition, suspicion, and fact. Indeed, Davies' entire theological outlook (as we will see in part below) is thoroughly colored by his long and lasting debt to his mentor. More recently he has taken to bed with the Mattities, speaking at their conferences with the signers of schismatic screeds against the Pope, with Feeneyites also

Good company to keep or to use for references of truth??

Diane K

So, when Michael Davies has transcripts in his book on Medjugorje that were given to him by the diocesan bishop, I am suppose to ignore those full length transcripts because of the affiliations of Mr. Davies?

Do you know that non-believers, athiests, and people of all kinds of religions can be called upon to participate in some way in the discernment of spirits? For example, a buddhist medical doctor may be asked to examine a "seers". An atheist scientist, may be asked to perform various tests on a "seer".

Does their status invalidate their findings?

Michael Davies affiliations, whatever they were, have no bearing on the material in his book, which originated from various sources such as the diocese of Mostar-Duvno, the Holy See, the Religious Order involved, and other works, such as those done by Fr. Ivo Sivric, OFM, whose credentials are astounding. They are listed in my post made on July 29, at around 10:00.

It's not the opinion of Michael Davies I'm interested in, but the wealth of data available in his book.

ml

Chris K-

Do a detail-free letter to the editor from an unknown person, a refusal to comment on said letter from Fr. John Chisholm himself, and a regurgitation of this un-sourced story on a pro-Medjugorje website whose webmaster doesn’t even know when this meeting occurred meet your definition of a “published account”?

Chris K. wrote: “I gave you the accounts from the bishops of the commission and you inferred that the bishop in the account was not truthful. Go figure. Enough pearls in the muck here.”

As I answered on that Open Book thread, there were 20 bishops who voted on the Zagreb Declaration, but you gave comments from two of them (Kuharic and Franic, both of whom were public promoters of Vassula Ryden).

As I pointed out to you, in 1990 Cardinal Kuharic said the commission had a positive opinion of Medjugorje events, but that doesn't mean he believed the apparition claims were true, since in 1993 he said, "We Bishops of the Commission have accepted Medjugorje as a place of prayer and pilgrimage. This means that we have nothing against it if someone venerates the Mother of God in a manner also in agreement with the teaching and belief of the Church. Therefore, we are leaving that to further study. The Church does not hurry." (Glas Koncila, August, 1993). Lots of people think Medjugorje is a sham but nevertheless recognize that by virtue of the sacraments and prayer there it's a hothouse of ordinary and sanctifying grace. You can be glad that people are returning to the sacraments in Medjugorje without believing the truth of the apparition claims.

He other bishop you cited, Archbishop Franic, is a promoter of Vassula Ryden, enthusiastic Charismatic, vocal supporter of Medjugorje, and public critic of Bishop Zanic, set himself up again Bishop Zanic by agreeing to join the board of Children of Medjugorje, a public, pro-Medjugorje group. Archbishop Zanic claimed that the other 19 bishops only voted for "Non constat de supernaturalitate" because they didn’t want to upset Bishop Zanic. My very justified question was: then why did the other 19 bishops vote for "Non constat de supernaturalitate" instead of abstaining as Archbishop Franic did? The fact that Franic was the only one who abstained makes me doubt his public statement that the other bishops felt the same way he did.

In a letter to Mrs. Marija Davies on 20 January 1988 (the Croatian wife of Michael Davies who had translated some letters for Bishop Zanic), Bishop Zanic wrote the following:

“Archbishop Franic has caused me dreadful problems, although the mere fact that he thinks something does not mean that it must be true. One of the first questions asked by the sectaries of Medjugorje is: "How is it that Archbishop Franic believes?" I, for my part, say to them, that there are thirty-five bishops in Yugoslavia, and that he is the only one who believes, so that argument is worthless. For them, however, it is enough that one Archbishop believes.”

You might want to read the following article on Michael Davies. Even if you don’t want to read it, you should read the letter of condolence from Cardinal Ratzinger that I pulled out of the article. http://www.latin-mass-society.org/2005/michaeldavies.html. I’m sure you won’t find it objectionable if I take Cardinal Ratzinger’s assessment of Michael Davies over Stephen Hand’s. Michael Davies was a frequent visitor to the Vatican’s Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, of Divine Worship, and the Ecclesia Dei Commission, and Cardinal Ratzinger knew him well enough to send a letter of praise that was read at Michael Davies’ funeral Mass:

Letters to Mr Julian Chadwick
Chairman, The Latin Mass Society

I have been profoundly touched by the news of the death of Michael Davies. I had the good fortune to meet him several times and I found him as a man of deep faith and ready to embrace suffering. Ever since the Council he put all his energy into the service of the Faith and left us important publications especially about the Sacred Liturgy. Even though he suffered from the Church in many ways in his time, he always truly remained a man of the Church. He knew that the Lord founded His Church on the rock of St Peter and that the Faith can find its fullness and maturity only in union with the successor of St Peter. Therefore we can be confident that the Lord opened wide for him the gates of heaven. We commend his soul to the Lord’s mercy.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
(Translated from the original German)
9 November 2004

Do you think Cardinal Ratzinger is good company to keep or to use for a references to the truth, Chris K.?

ml

On the matter of objectivity, I will only add that the Medical Bureau of Lourdes welcomes doctors of other faiths or none at all to participate in the review of possible cures. Why? Because when an atheist reviews the medical file of someone with a serious, advanced illness who underwent an instant and complete return to good health after a visit to Lourdes, and when there is no medical or natural explanation for it, the credibility of the Medical Bureau of Lourdes is enhanced.

It's been said many times that when the miracle occurred on October 17, 1917 in Fatima, reporters from anti-Catholic publications ultimately gave what came to be seen as the strongest evidence that the miracle had occurred precisely because they were there to prove the children liars. Instead they wrote long and detailed articles about what had occurred--both the miracle of the sun and the fact that everyone was bone-dry when it was over even though they had been standing in pouring rain for hours before it occurred.

chris K

The occasion of a man's death and funeral is all you can offer?
So, the Cardinal had met him a few times with regard to his connections and work ... did you expect him to state some kind of pointed references to the man's differences with the Church at the time of his death? That respect for the human person appears to show more respect for Davies than the latter had shown for the hierarchy.

Do you think Cardinal Ratzinger is good company to keep or to use for a references to the truth,

Obviously, ml, you don't trust the good Cardinal yourself in the question at hand, so perhaps, in your mind, he really isn't respected enough to be all that good company. You prefer to somehow accept the former local bishops' opposing opinions over what the Church authority through C. Ratzinger ordered to be respected. And it was through the influence of C. Franic over C. Zanic's that received that attention to forming an objective commission. The facts are as they are. Your favored negative bishops did not and do not rule over the question no matter how much you quote their opinions of the matter or their opinions of others who may disagree with them. That's too bad.

As I answered on that Open Book thread, there were 20 bishops who voted on the Zagreb Declaration, but you gave comments from two of them (Kuharic and Franic, both of whom were public promoters of Vassula Ryden).

How convenient that you always leave out the fact that the two bishops quoted were the heads of the commission and conference themselves with the authority to speak to the mood of the bishops. Since you insist that the bishops must not REALLY have been positive, then all they had to do was agree with the negative desires of the local bishop and all would be over. The reasons for the nuanced decision I also gave you which you also conveniently left out of your incomplete reference to my nice replies to your requests. All you come up with are speculations and imaginings rather than just accept what actually happened. And, BTW, something else you appear to not be quite up to snuff on is the latest notification by then C. Ratzinger to Vassula Ryden - that the public is to know that she answered the questions of concern to the CDF and that there was a clarification to the former notification, except for those not as knowledgable or sophisticated in the Faith. She was instructed to place that clarification in her publications for the future and that any priests inquiring should be told about the clarification. People then could obviously read the writings with the caution to those not fully informed in the Faith.

Now, you guys are running in circles of repetition with nothing new to offer. Diane turns about face and says that it just doesn't matter what one of her favorite debunkers believes on the whole or who he associates with. Strange how those debunkers don't get the same treatment by you as is given to the balanced side!

Now, the repeating of the same quotes, and the admonishment to you for misstating what others have provided and your dismissal of what the presiding bishops over the conference and commission have summed up gets no one to the truth. And since it is just that stubborn refusal to reference anything but those with obvious problems of conspiracy theories and gossip that gets us nowhere, I shall retire from this chamber of noise, but first ...

A comment I thought I had already made re: the other blindly followed debunker, E. Michael Jones, seems not to have gotten posted.

Anyway, Marcella, have you read anything else by Mr. Jones? Talk about conspiracy theorists! Here is a letter written by John Reilly the former editor at Jones' "Culture Wars" magazine as to why he had to separate himself from the magazine:

http://www.johnreilly.info/olem.htm

a portion re: those conspiracy theories ... often referring to the Jews:

Provocative though the magazine continues to be, I really don't want to be involved with what is increasingly becoming a journal of psycho-sexual conspiracy theory.

The problems are apparent in your review in the May issue of Daniel Pipes' book, "Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From." For one thing, I am at a loss to understand what you mean by a "conspiracy." You cite the litigation thirty years ago to remove prayer from public schools as the product of a conspiracy "confected by Jewish organizations." There follows a quote from the Catholic bishops' attorney, William Ball, in which he lists the numerous Jewish organizations that supported the other side.

In the February issue of Culture Wars, E. Michael Jones states that the real followers of Moses are the people who accept Christ.

Who then are the people who claim to be the Jews? Jones answers:

"Revelations 3:9 answers the question by [saying] those 'who call themselves Jewsbut are liars' [are] the 'synagogue of Satan.' In other words, the group that was called by God to prepare the way for the Messiah rejected the Messiah and in doing that, became over the course of the ensuing centuries a group that defined itself as anti-Christian.... "

Jones concludes: "The Jews who reject Christ now prepare the way for the coming of the anti-Christ.... what comes of this group is the opposite of salvation, namely the work of Satan..."

From "Fringe Watcher":

It is interesting to note that Mr. Reilly was former Reviews Editor of E. Michael Jones' Culture Wars (see his "Open Letter" for the reasons why he departed). As many people are aware, Dr. Jones has a long track record of relying on extremist sources and Holocaust revisionists as part of his exaggerated conspiracy fixation on the Jews. In 2004 the Catholic League noted, with reference to Jones' unnecessarily hostile commentary about Jewish convert Roy Schoeman:

"What begins as a review of Roy Schoeman's book, Salvation Is From the Jews, ends up as an anti-Semitic rant playing fast and loose with Catholic theology. It should be unequivocally condemned.... The Catholic League condemns Jones's anti-Semitism and repudiates his efforts to justify it in the name of Catholic theology. One thing is clear: there are many choice terms one can use to describe Jones's view of salvation history; "Catholic" is not one of them (Catalyst, July-August 2004).

Again, great company .... those who love to find conspiracies everywhere.

Nite, nite! ml and Diane can prolong their mutual admiration society of negative packing bishops and their debunking sources. This has gotten rather obsessive in itself!! The rest of us will wait and see, respecting that which has gone forth so far under the Church's guidance.

ml

Chris K—

"Obviously, ml, you don't trust the good Cardinal yourself in the question at hand, so perhaps, in your mind, he really isn't respected enough to be all that good company."

What is your problem, Chris K.?. You posted this about Michael Davies based on Stephen Hand’s web post: “Good company to keep or to use for references of truth?? My response about Cardinal Ratzinger’s personal note praising Michael Davies and the comment, “Do you think Cardinal Ratzinger is good company to keep or to use for a references to the truth, Chris K.?” was a response to that and a challenge to YOU.

"So, the Cardinal had met him a few times with regard to his connections and work ... did you expect him to state some kind of pointed references to the man's differences with the Church at the time of his death?"

Cardinal Ratzinger did not need to write ANYTHING about Michael Davies to send to The Latin Mass Society, but he CHOSE to, and he chose to praise the man for his work. Stephen Hand never contacted Michael Davies for that article you quoted from, and I might remind you that Pope Benedict XVI has met with members of the SSPX in hopes of reconciling with them. If Pope Benedict XVI can maintain friendly terms with the SSPX, then there is no reason why Michael Davies has to be condemned for the same.

And I certainly do trust Pope Benedict XVI. The first thing he had Cardinal Levado do as new CDF prefect was shut down Fr. Gino Burresi, the false mystic who was nevertheless responsible for drawing an extraordinary number of vocations to his order and who had backing from Vatican officials. Surely there weren’t too many people in the Catholic world who would have cared at this point about Fr. Burresi, but Pope Benedict XVI wanted something done about this false mystic in spite of the scandal. Cardinal Ratizinger always said he accepted the 1991 Zagreb Declaration, which declared to the world after 10 years of daily apparitions, there was no evidence of supernaturalism at Medjugorje (“non constat de supernaturalitate”). And I believe Pope Benedict XVI requested the upcoming commission and is sending the list of theologians to choose from because he wants to be sure they follow the 1978 guidelines to the letter (e.g., no consideration of fruits unless the events are judged to be sound and in keeping with the 1978 guidelines).

There are four bishops in Bosnia-Herzegovina who will form this new commission and vote on its findings: Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, Bishop Pero Sudar of Sarajevo, Bishop Franjo Komarica of Banja Luka, and Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno. Cardinal Puljic was a priest in 1985 and was a member of the first four-person commission set up by Bishop Zanic. Fr. Puljic was one of the commission members who caught Ivan in the lie regarding the great sign. We all know Bishop Peric’s position. I know nothing about the other two, but Fr. Rene Laurentin’s comment after the much-cited letter of Cardinal Bertone’s to Bishop Aubrey do not appear favorable to Medjugorje:

“This letter states specifically that from now on the decision has been returned to the episcopal conference of Bosnia. Now this conference consists of only four bishops who are in total solidarity with the diocesan bishop, with a more or less predominant concern to leave in his hands the liberty of judging events in his diocese.” Chrétiens Magazine, September 1998

So why would Pope Benedict XVI want a commission called now (because all evidence suggests that the CDF did request it)? It isn’t going to be approved, and the CDF could frankly clarify what is and is not allowed regarding promotion of Medjugorje without the need for a full-scale commission. The more I think of it, I think that once Bishop Peric told the "seers" to stop publicizing the messages and they refused (justifying themselves by saying they would only stop if ordered by the Holy See), then the Holy See decided to show them how the Church decides these matters.

"Since you insist that the bishops must not REALLY have been positive, then all they had to do was agree with the negative desires of the local bishop and all would be over."

No, that isn’t what I said. Archbishop Franic abstained from voting and publicly claimed that the other 18 bishops (except for Zanic) would have rendered a positive judgment on Medjugorje in 1990 except that they didn’t want to upset Bishop Zanic. That only leaves two possibilies: A) that Franic was right and that those 18 bishops lied when they voted that there was no evidence of supernaturalism, “non constat de supernaturalitatem” (to avoid lying they should have abstained from voting) or B) Archbishop Franic was not correct and those 18 bishops voted as they believed, and what they believed was that even after 10 years of apparitions totaling in the 1000’s, hundreds of claims of miraculous cures, hundreds of claims of unusual physical phenomena, etc., there was no evidence of supernaturalism at Medjugorje (“non constat de supernaturalitate”).

Chris K.--you’re always accusing people of relying on speculation and imagination, but when someone like Louis Belanger challenges you on a point of fact (like the “seers’” claim that the Virgin would only appear for three more days), you simply ignore it. The reason we cite Michael Davies, Donal Foley, and Fr. Sivic is that they rely on documented evidence like tape-recorded conversations (copies of which are in chancery in Mostar). These facts are not in dispute even though Medjugorje fanatics try to ignore them.

Inocencio

Test Test

Inocencio

italicstest

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31