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« That's About The Size Of It | Main | Secret Project #4 Update »

July 07, 2006


Mark Scott Abeln

I understand that before the Council, episcopal permission was required to publish apparitions. That seems very prudent.

Joy Schoenberger

It seems like Međugorje is in serious trouble if these are the criteria.

A)b.1. the rampant disobedience associated with the suppoed apparition
B)a. conflicting stories among seers, unfulfilled prophesies of the supposed apparition
B)c. Monetary gain

Joy Schoenberger

What about the 1974 Norms of the Congregation for Proceeding in Judging Alleged Apparitions and Revelations?


Thanks for posting this Jimmy. I had often referred to that in my postings when discussing the subject as it is proof that no apparition can be discerned by good fruits alone.

Bad fruits must be weighed, as well, but not until the events have been thoroughly evaluated. The French Bishop's Commission points this out in their 2002 statement. And, they raise critical questions with regards to Medjugorje, applied against the criteria.

I call it an objective look while supporters often ignore it or call it spin, discounting the French Bishop's position (usually in favor of Fr. Daniel Ange's position or Fr. Laurentin, for example).

Note the beginning - the manner in which it is to be discerned sequentially:

a) Initially, to judge the facts according to positive and negative criteria (cf. below, n.1).

b) Then, if this examination appears favorable, to allow certain public demonstrations of cult and devotion, while continuing to investigate the facts with extreme prudence (which is equivalent to the formula: “for the moment, nothing is opposed to it”).

Bishop Zanic had discovered negative fruits, but the cult following was well underway, and any efforts made by the bishop to put a halt to it were stiffled by the local Franciscans. When it was first demanded that the visions cease and the spread of messages,sale of merchandise end, they used a childish loophole: The bishop said the children could no longer have visions in the parish church and should "have them in their home", but he didn't state (in the linked letter), that the children could not have visions in the rectory. Guess where the Franciscans guided them after verbal and written directives from Bishop Zanic? The Rectory. This goes against the 1978 criteria in section II where it states:

2. At the legitimate request of the faithful (when they are in communion with their pastors and are not driven by a sectarian spirit), the competent ecclesiastical Authority can intervene to authorize and promote various forms of worship and devotion if, assuming the criteria given above having been applied, nothing is opposed to it. But there must be vigilance nevertheless, to ensure that the faithful do not regard this way of acting as an approval by the Church of the supernatural character of the event in question (cf. above, Preliminary Note, c).

He intervened alright, and said in that 1985 letter (paraphrased) "the devotions which grew out of these 'aparitions' must come to and end"

This too is a fruit. Show me an approved apparition that underwent a trial through ecclesiastical fire where the seer was led to disobedience via loophole when a clear order was given (with documented fact).

Some may take issue with the harshness of Bishop Zanic's letter. But it had already been going on for several years, with no end in sight. I would have chosen different wording, but not everyone is gifted with great communication skills. It is clear to me, what his intent was - end the visions! End the spread of messages and sale of merchandise. Set aside the new statue. He wasn't trying to end Marian devotion - he was very Marian. He was trying to end things that would give it cult status. Cult status is not authentic if it is not authorized by the ecclesiastical authority. In the early days, it was more of a local phenomenon, not a significant worldwide issue as it is today. And now, because it is out of control, word must come from the Holy See. Given Pope Benedict's track record of late, as you previously mentioned, I think it is coming, and perhaps it is why Bishop Peric is suddenly on very vocal.

Speaking of the statue, what did they do since that 1985 directive? They erected a shrine.

What does Bishop Peric say in his June 15, 2006 homily about shrines?

1 - Medjugorje is a catholic parish in which liturgical and pastoral activities are carried out, just as in all the other parishes of this diocese of Mostar-Duvno. No-one except the official Church authorities is then authorized to attribute the formal title of “shrine” to this place.

What is found on the website of the parish of St. James in Medjugorje?

>> Spreading of Information from the Shrine and Copyright

As we have already underlined on several occasions, the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje and the Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje are the only official voice and source of authentic information from Medjugorje.

We appeal to all of you to spread the information from the Shrine, and we encourage all the friends of Medjugorje to use the materials they find on this web page. When you use these materials, (texts, photos and others) it is obligatory to mention the source, i.e. © Information Centre "Mir" Medjugorje, www.medjugorje.hr. We kindly ask you to do so.

We thank you for all that you are doing to spread Our Lady’s message of peace!

Will this parish website drop the words shrine?

Will it cease publishing messages?

Will it end the sale of merchandise which promotes the apparitions?

A final note about ecclesiastical fire and discernment of spirits:

If I am proclaiming to be seeing the BVM, the first line of defense for Holy Mother Church, if it is not authentic, is my pastor. He owes it to the Church to throw everything in my path to test the spirits I claim to be seeing. If he is convinced that I am seeing divine creatures, then it's the Bishop's turn. I would hope that he would come at me with everything he's got to test those spirits.

Padre Pio was tested in ecclesiastical fire when his bishop ordered him to cease public mass and confession. What did he do? He humbly obeyed, without complaint - for how many years? If I recall, it was something like 15. That, my brothers and sisters, is a fruit - a positive fruit. It is what I call, extraordinary virtue, and is modeled after the Blessed Mother: "Fiat mihi...." or "Let it be done unto me..."


One more recent fruit to add, is the total absence of the bishop's homily - in particular, the second half on any of the leading Medjugorje websites. You can find on some of them, photos of the confirmation and perhaps the first section of his homily dealing with that, but nothing of the second half on apparitions.

Selective coverage is how this got out of control, and it will continue until word comes right from the papal balcony.


First I'll state that I have serious doubts about the athenticity of the reported apparitions. If they ever had any authenticity, it may only have been in the very beginning.

However, since WWII, because there has been, at the least tension, and at the most outright hostility, between the Franciscans and the faithful on one side, and the Bishops on the other, I will not accept the Bishop's opinion on the matter of the Franciscans. I will only accept whatever the Vatican has to say about them. The Bishop is not an objective third party in the matter.


Barbara says: The Bishop is not an objective third party in the matter.

He is not a third party at all, but the Ordinary of the place.

A blanket statement that you cannot support this bishop because of issues between the faithful, Franciscans and bishops is not logical. Each case has to be taken separately.

In the case of this particular Franciscan order, there is real chaos.

The Holy See has sided with the Bishop in each specific case.

Supporters would have us believe this long standing "fued" in which the Holy See sided with the Bishop, is not connected to Medjugorje.

However, the "Gospa" supported priests which were being sanctioned by the Vatican.

E) Jan. 1982: The Virgin states that two Franciscan priests, removed from their order and under suspension by the bishop, one of whom later fathered a child by a nun, may continue to say Mass and hear Confessions. Vicka the seer is asked "If the Lady said this, and the Pope says that they cannot..." Vicka answers: "The Pope can say what he wants. I'm telling it as it is." (from Bishop Zanic's document, 1990) [source]


Well said, Diane.


I will not accept the Bishop's opinion on the matter of the Franciscans. I will only accept whatever the Vatican has to say about them.

This hints at somewhat of a distorted view of the role of the Holy See vis-a-vis the local ordinary. The rule is that the local ordinary, functioning within the bounds of Church law, has full governing power within his diocese, and the faithful of that diocese are bound to his authority. The Holy See intervenes only in the exceptional case that the local ordinary transgresses Church law. So the general practice should be to give the local ordinary the benefit of the doubt unless and until he is contradicted by the Holy See. (Taking into account, of course, that he is not infallible and the possibility of his being wrong is by no means ruled out.)

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