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Medjugorje is generating what the Devil loves most: disobedience

St Bernadette lived a holy and humble life. I don’t think the same can be said for the Medjugorje seers

By on Friday, 11 February 2011

Pilgrims gather around a statue of Mary in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina (CNS/Damir Sagolj, Reuters)

Pilgrims gather around a statue of Mary in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina (CNS/Damir Sagolj, Reuters)

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. I have been to Lourdes on several occasions, largely drawn by the personality of St Bernadette herself. Being chosen by Our Lady as her messenger did not make Bernadette holy; it was how she lived her life afterwards, especially during the 13 years she spent at the convent in Nevers: often in pain, unable to take part in the regular life of the community because of her ill-health, lonely, isolated and constantly belittled by the mistress of novices, she nevertheless bore her crosses with exemplary patience.

St Bernadette has been on my mind ever since I got sent a YouTube film recently, advertising Medjugorje. J Edgar Hoover once said that the only certainties in life were death and taxes. I would add a third: controversy over Medjugorje. It seems that Catholics today are divided into two camps: you are either “for” Medjugorje or “against”. This, needless to say, has led to much unseemly in-fighting within the Church.

What annoyed me about the YouTube presentation (apart from the muzak and the hushed and reverential voice of the narrator) was its blatant way of referring to the alleged apparition as “Our Lady”, as if this were a foregone conclusion. It isn’t. I was further nettled by statements seeming to show that the late pope, John Paul II, as well as Mother Teresa, both “believed” in it, as if to demonstrate that the apparitions must be true, simply because of the witness of these two holy heavyweights.

I am not an expert on the subject of these alleged apparitions. But I have read enough of St John of the Cross to know what he means by “spiritual gluttony” in my encounters over the years with adherents of the place. One lady told me excitedly of her rosary turning to gold; another had been overwhelmed by watching the sun dance; a third became very angry very quickly when I expressed a little caution in my response to her assertion that Medjugorje only brought forth good fruits.

My own instinct is to think that Our Lady has not appeared thousands of times to the supposed seers, or given them dozens of different “secrets”. Nor do the seers themselves live lives like St Bernadette. Of course, you don’t have to be a saint to see Our Lady, as I said above; but there seems to be nothing humble, holy or hidden about the later lives of the Medjugorje “seers”.

Actually, what I think as a private person, or what the late pope wrote in a private letter to two friends who had sent him literature about Medjugorje, or indeed what the saintly Mother Teresa is said to have said, is neither here nor there; it is what the Church thinks that matters. What the Church thinks about alleged apparitions is left to the local Ordinary to investigate and pronounce.

Four years after the Lourdes apparitions of 1858, and after a lengthy investigation, the local bishop pronounced them authentic. In the case of Medjugorje, both Bishop Zanic of Mostar and his successor, Bishop Peric, fully investigated the phenomenon and decided that nothing supernatural was taking place. So why are bandwagons of pilgrims still going there? The answer probably lies in Understanding Medjugorje: Heavenly Visions or Religious Illusion by Donal Foley, available from Theotokos Books. Foley has his vociferous detractors, naturally enough, but he has done his homework and reading his book reinforced my own sceptical instincts. In particular, the scandalous behaviour he describes of some of the Franciscans closely associated with the place, seems shocking: Fr Slavko Barbaric, who died in 2000 and who I was told by one of the faithful at the time “has been taken by Our Lady straight to heaven”, had actually had his faculties for hearing confession withdrawn by Bishop Peric several months before his death; Fr Zovko, who was refused permission to celebrate Mass in Washington in 2002, had had his faculties also revoked; worst of all, Fr Tomislav Vlasic, deeply involved in the early years of Medjugorje, was laicised and dismissed from the Franciscan order very recently, in July 2009, for various misdemeanours including some against the Sixth Commandment.

Bishop Peric has spoken of other problems, apart from disobedient Franciscans: religious communities established without diocesan permission and ecclesiastical buildings erected without approval. What is going on? A sound Canadian priest once said to me, when I asked him about the “good fruits” of Medjugorje: “The Devil doesn’t mind a few thousand people becoming better Catholics after going there if, as a result, he’s got millions of Catholics being disobedient to the authority of the Church.”

Obedience is the issue. It’s what the Devil (you can’t get away from him – and my thanks to “paulpriest”, who pointed out at length to me after my last blog how very busy Old Nick is behind the scenes today) hates like poison. You can imagine Screwtape rubbing his hands with glee. St Bernadette was once asked what she feared most; her reply was: “Bad Catholics”.

  • RJ

    There are several people who post here who are sympathetic to the SSPX so it’s well to be aware of that.

  • Anonymous

    Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quadem, December 9, 1854: “For it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God.”

    “Outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through invincible ignorance.” (Encyclical Singulari).

    “The translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace … cannot, since the promulgation of the gospel, be effected except through the laver of regeneration OR ITS DESIRE.” (Dogmatic announcement on Baptism by the Council of Trent).

    How do you explain these if you say invincible ignorance is an invention of Vatican II? And don’t worry, I will give you many more such pre-Conciliar proofs if you continue in your Protestant rejection of the teaching authority of the Church in favour of sola scriptura.

  • Anonymous

    This is completely false on every count.

    First of all, Pope John Paul II did not carry out a consecration of Russia in 1984. Rather, he consecrated the MODERN WORLD, and he did so without the participation of the world’s bishops. Hence, the two essential elements insisted upon by Our Lady throughout the history of Fatima were absent. No mention of Russia and no participation by the world’s bishops.

    Next, you report that Sister Lucy said the consecration of 1984 fulfilled Our Lady’s request. There is no documented evidence whatsoever for such a rumour. This was mooted by a Cardinal who said that Sister Lucy confided this to him even though it runs contrary to every word spoken and written by Sister Lucy during her lifetime. Indeed, immediately after the 1984 act of Pope John Paul II, Sister Lucy is on record as having said that it did not fulfil Our Lady’s request.

    Next, if you read the actual text of Pope John Paul’s 1984 consecration you will note that His Holiness added his own impromtu prayer at the end. It reads: “Enlighten especially the peoples of which You Yourself are awaiting our consecration and confiding.” The Pope was here admitting that he was not consecrating Russia at that time.

    Was Russia truly converted? There are no more Catholics in Russia today than there were prior to Pope John Paul’s act of 1984. Futhermore, following the so-called collapse of Soviet Communism in 1989, Russia became the world’s capital for pornography and the world’s governments began to adopt a more anti-Christian agenda (atheistic agenda). Russia was spreading her errors through this apparent collapse of Communism. Glasnost and Peristroika, then, (Openness and Restructuring) wasn’t ever meant for Russia, it was meant to Open and Restructure the West in accordance with militant atheism.

    Next, the serious decline of the Catholic religion in the world was not halted by this 1984 Papal act. Nor has there been world peace, one of the fruits promised by Our Lady when the consecration is finally done.

    Open your eyes, Bwaj! Catholicism is a minority religion in Russia today. Where, then, is the conversion of that nation promised by Our Lady? Catholicism in the world is in crisis. Where, then, is the grace that should have flowed on the world following the consecration? There are wars and tragedies in every corner of the globe, worsening by the day. Where, then, is the promised time of peace for the world? Do some research before you write in such matters in future.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll second that wise assessment, pat21.

  • Anonymous

    The link I provided above contains pre-Vatican II infallible teaching, yet you say it’s “Wrong”? You do have a serious problem there, my friend!

  • Michael

    With all due respect I accept your right to choose to believe or not but it is important to have facts straight as I wrote already, we must do the investigation and homework before we talk about things we do not know about. What you write above is written down as fact. However, if I pulled out a book right now that says horses grow on trees that does not mean what I read is truth. It also does not mean what Fr. Federico wrote means he was well informed either. I have in front of me documented proof by unbiased reliable sources from the Yugoslavia and U.S., Government and other official sources. The full sources of these documents were put in my book, “Medjugorje Investigated.” One month after my book was on the shelf in Medjugorje (June 25, 2006), Vatican officials which said they would not investigate the apparitions again till the apparitions were over, opened up a new investigation, and yes the documents I have are that powerful!

    You also say the decision of apparitions must come from the Holy See but never in the history of due process has the Holy See been part of the formation of any Commission designed to investigate an apparition in the history of the Church. It is not the responsibility of the whole Church to be involved in such things as if they were to declare that an apparition was of “supernatural power,” and later it was shown that apparition was fake, the faithful would lose trust in the Holy See. The main mission of the Church has always been to protect the beliefs of the faithful. It is the local bishop of the local diocese who is responsible for investigation of apparitions. However for the first time in the history the Church, they had no choice but to respond to documented proof that the first Medjugorje Commission under Bishop Zanic was “tainted with unbelievers,” as was later discovered to be the case with the second commission and the third. In fact now Pope Benedict when head of the Doctrine of Faith wrote a letter to the Yugoslavia Conference of Bishops telling them to tell Bishop Zanic (in my words) to shut his mouth about his negative feelings about the Medjugorje apparitions during the due process of investigation. Zanic remained disobedient to the rule of the his superior and remained an out spoken critic of the apparitions even till his death and his dear friend (now Bishop of the Medjugorje region (Mostar) has followed in the foot steps of his friend Bishop Zanic. I have the U.S. State Department classified documents of the investigation that such a letter was sent by the Doctrine of Faith to Bishop Zanic. I also have the document that state Bishop Zanic himself say’s the Church grows tired of apparition sent to lay people and many no longer believe in apparitions.

    You ask for proof of this I again say I spent hundreds of dollars of my own money to get all U.S. State Department Documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The E series of State Dept. docs now declassified for me clearly show under the Regan administration, “U.S. Ambassador David Anderson, to Yugoslavia” was told to do an investigation of Medjugorje. This was also reported on TV on the show “Inside Edition” when Bill O’Reily was host. The State Dept. documents called, “AirGrams,” clearly show that the investigation conduction by Anderson himself and by his “Political Officers” prove that Bishop Zanic the local bishop in charge of the first “Medjugorje Commission,” has created a tainted Commission of unbelievers with all bias. This makes all documents written about the Medjugorje apparitions against the apparitions null and void, end of story, until a proper investigation is done under the guidelines of Church policy. You may note the forth investigation created under the authority of the Vatican (for the very first time in history) is called an “Independent Commission.” This means the authority has been taken away by the local Conference of Bishops where it has also been proven are biased unbelievers who have publically announced their negative personal opinion on the Medjugorje apparition, prior to the proper procedure of investigation of due process given any apparition.

    With respect to you, it is not fair by any mean for you to take the words of one man and consider these words 100% truth formulating a conclusion. If you yourself do not do any long term investigation turning over rocks to see what is there under a microscope, you don’t really discover the hidden truths. If you believe Medjugorje is false base on this one writing you just posted, you must also believe that horses grow on trees. With all due respect to your beliefs one way or the other, I have spent now a total of 13 years investigating the Medjugorje apparitions and I have studied them intensely for 21 years. I think this would qualify me to have at least a little understanding what is truly going on in Medjugorje. If you are looking for a simple label to classify what is going on in Medjugorje, you would do well to consider the battle in the Church between Traditionalism and Modernism, as a consideration to investigate further. Thank you for your time and your response to my posting. Michael

  • Michael

    Well said and I could not agree with you more about private revelation. There is also no question that the Devil who is also called, serpent and satan loves to lead astray if possible “even the elect,” though his cunning. He does use all in his powers for this goal as he does love disobedience. By no means is my first posting designed to create chaos, disobedience or the like. My only thought was to share what I have learned though documented unbiased sources though many years or research. I do fully understand my commitment to obedience and rule of the Church and by no means do I myself seek to be disobedient to such. Yet I also have to consider Scripture which tells us, “By their fruits you will know them.” In this I know not all is as it seems as Scripture also tells me, “Beware of those who come in sheep clothing but inside are ravishing wolves.” This tells me things are not always as they seem so I must exercise caution and discernment, so I may know the fruits of those who would lead me away from true obedience of Scripture. In regard to my statement that 3 Medjugorje Commission were tainted, we need consider this small fact. As of March 2010 the 4th Medjugorje Commission was established, if the previous Commission were not tainted, why would there now be a 4th? It burns my heart with grave sorrow to say that we are living in a time where there is as a battle going on within the membership which one might call, “Traditionalism and Modernism.” In the end God will triumph! Thank you so much for you posting. Michael

  • Michael

    Thank you very much for your correction both on how you tell me I am wrong about Medjugorje and my failure to formulate proper grammar and such. Let me remind you of the Scripture where some disciples were sent before the Elders of the Church because they were preaching the word of Christ. The Elders forbid the disciples take to the people about Jesus. The disciples spoke their peace to the Elders. The Elder gather among themselves and said, “We can see by the way these men talk they are not educated yet what they say is so profound.” Now let’s talk about the children of Fatima who did not know how to read or write but the Virgin Mary came to them. Now there is Bernadette at Lourdes who also was poorly educated as she suffered from severe asthma and often missed school. I could go on and on and on. God often does not choose the educated that are prideful but chooses the little people who are humble of heart and manner. Do you also not know the scripture? “With what measure you measure and equal measure is given you?” If you chose not to believe in Medjugorje it is your given right both under the Foundation of the Amendments of the Constitution as it also a God given right. I should be also allowed the same respect without condemnation from you. Thank you very much for your posting but please do not contact me again. With Catholic’s like you, who needs enemies? You are in my prayer that God would send you to read the Scripture so you may learn the ways of God and not follow the ways of men which are far from the ways of God.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    Bwaj is very fond of saying: ‘Who cares what the Bishop of Mostar has said. How many times do you have to be told that is his own opinion. The CDF is above him.’

    However, the letter which he is posts with boring repetitiveness in support of that assertion does not say that at all. It is, as is to be expected, very precise and says two things about the Bishop’s judgement.

    Firstly, in pride of place, it says:

    “As for the credibility of the “apparitions” in question, this Dicastery respects what was decided by the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in the Declaration of Zadar, April 10, 1991: “On the basis of the investigations so far, it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.”

    Then it addresses a second point: an letter to Famille Chretien, when it says:

    ‘What Bishop Peric said in his letter to the Secretary General of “Famille Chretienne”, declaring: “My conviction and my position is not only ‘non constat de supernaturalitate,’ but likewise, ‘constat de non supernaturalitate’ of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje”, should be considered the expression of the personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion.”

    Thus the letter affirms the official pronouncement of the Declaration of Zadar that “it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations;” but notes that the further opinion that ‘constat de non supernaturalitate’ is only a personal opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Michael,

    I’m really not supposed to be blogging this week but when I received the Disquis alert to your post in response to one of mine, I just had to apologise for my thoughtless remark about paragraphs, which was really just meant as a joke. I wasn’t at all meaning to make any kind of comment on your education – I was once secretary to two orthopaedic consultant surgeons and neither of them could spell for beans! It doesn’t meant they were not very clever men. If I had thought for a minute that you would interpret my remark as putting you down in terms of academic education, I would not have written it. I frequently make the very point you make about the unlettered and the non-academics being the people always chosen by Our Lord Himself (I don’t suppose fisherman had to have university degrees!) and the fact of genuine seers, such as the Fatima children, being illiterate peasants. Our Lady had to tell little Lucia that she wanted her to learn to read.

    My apologies for hurting your feelings. Truly unintentional. I hope you can forgive me for my thoughtlessness.

    God bless.

  • Michael

    I received many great gifts in Medjugorje. When I came home people told me Medjugorje was fake and that shook my faith. It is not uncommon for our faith to be tested. In the Old Testament we read of the test of Abraham to sacrifice his son in a burnt offering to God and there is another story in the Book of Job. There are many other examples of the testing of faith which can shake our beliefs. The question is if we allow ourselves to be taking of the solid foundation on which we stand, when our faith is shaken. Often time we are put to the test which we overcome though the process of Romans 5:3-5. My shaken faith did not make me weak it made my stronger. I went from believing in God to knowing God exists. Yes I know we are not saint as if we were we would not have the word of God come down in flesh that we have come to have life in the spirit everlasting. I am deeply sorry you are of the mind that what I wrote in the posting was my opinion of Medjugorje and that what I wrote was superficial and not deep. In truth with all kindness, all I had to say about Medjugorje (beyond the fact my faith was shaken) was document fact, none of which was my opinion. In the posting I did not say one way or the other if I had an opinion. In fact, I said that everyone has a right to believe as they so choose. I am sorry my writing skills are such that you did not understand these things I wrote in the posting. Thank you much for your note. Michael

  • Anonymous

    Well Bwaj, I can see by this and your other posts on this thread that you haven’t got your finger on the pulse at all regarding private revelations. If you want to enter into these sort of discussions in future, make sure you know what you’re talking about.

  • Michael

    AMEN

  • Anonymous

    “Who cares what the Bishop of Mostar has said” – this just shows your utter contempt for legitimate ecclesiastical authority. The CDF have always supported Bishop Peric in this trial. He has always been in good standing with them. If you don’t believe me, write to them:-

    His Eminence William Cardinal Levada
    Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
    Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11
    00120 Vatican City State
    Europe

    Shame on you bwaj and your prideful disobedience that shuns legitimate ecclesiastical authority.

  • Michael

    Yes thank you I do know these things. There is one thing worth considering, if the first, second and third Medjugorje commissions prove the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina, agree, “There is no evidence of supernatural origin,” why is there a forth commission now investigating? In my possession is documented proof the answer to this question is, the Medjugorje commissions were tainted with bias. This is why the previous evaluation of Medjugorje commissions has been thrown out in favor of a new “Independent” investigation of the Medjugorje apparitions.

  • Buddy

    It seems to me that the best way to discern if Our Lady is appearing in Medjugorje, is to do the Five First Saturdays as requested by Our Blessed Mother at Fatima which consists of Confession, Communion, Five decades of the Rosary, and keeping Our Holy Mother company for fifteen minutes, while meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary, in repairation for outrages an insults committed against Her Immaculate Heart. Also the wearing of the Brown Scapular. I believe the scales will quickly fall from our eyes. As Our Lady said with the Rosary and the Scapular She will save the world. “In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph”, what more do we need?, just do it.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    Bwaj is very fond of saying: ‘Who cares what the Bishop of Mostar has said. How many times do you have to be told that is his own opinion. The CDF is above him.’

    However, the letter which he is posts with boring repetitiveness in support of that assertion does not say that at all. It is, as is to be expected, very precise and says two things about the Bishop’s judgement.

    Firstly, in pride of place, it says:

    “As for the credibility of the “apparitions” in question, this Dicastery respects what was decided by the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in the Declaration of Zadar, April 10, 1991: “On the basis of the investigations so far, it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.”

    Then it addresses a second point: an letter to Famille Chretien, when it says:

    ‘What Bishop Peric said in his letter to the Secretary General of “Famille Chretienne”, declaring: “My conviction and my position is not only ‘non constat de supernaturalitate,’ but likewise, ‘constat de non supernaturalitate’ of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje”, should be considered the expression of the personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion.”

    Thus the letter affirms the official pronouncement of the Declaration of Zadar that “it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations;” but notes that the further opinion that ‘constat de non supernaturalitate’ is only a personal opinion.

  • Michael

    I received many great gifts in Medjugorje. When I came home people told me Medjugorje was fake and that shook my faith. It is not uncommon for our faith to be tested. In the Old Testament we read of the test of Abraham to sacrifice his son in a burnt offering to God and there is another story in the Book of Job. There are many other examples of the testing of faith which can shake our beliefs. The question is if we allow ourselves to be taking of the solid foundation on which we stand, when our faith is shaken. Often time we are put to the test which we overcome though the process of Romans 5:3-5. My shaken faith did not make me weak it made my stronger. I went from believing in God to knowing God exists. Yes I know we are not saint as if we were we would not have the word of God come down in flesh that we have come to have life in the spirit everlasting. I am deeply sorry you are of the mind that what I wrote in the posting was my opinion of Medjugorje and that what I wrote was superficial and not deep. In truth with all kindness, all I had to say about Medjugorje (beyond the fact my faith was shaken) was document fact, none of which was my opinion. In the posting I did not say one way or the other if I had an opinion. In fact, I said that everyone has a right to believe as they so choose. I am sorry my writing skills are such that you did not understand these things I wrote in the posting. Thank you much for your note. Michael

  • Michael

    Well put thank you and peace and grace to you as well. Please note by accident I responded to someone and accidently put the posting below sent to you. Sorry.

  • Anonymous

    Michael,

    Please share this document you write of IN FULL, or a hyperlink, with us. I’m sure it would have come from a pro-Medj source, which in the final analysis has no authority whatsoever. Look at the 1996 CDF instruction that I have posted elsewhere on this thread:- “Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” So, in view of the undeniable fact that Medjugorje has become a global phenomenon (due to the disobedience of its supporters – read the full 1996 CDF instruction again) it is quite understandable why Bishop Ratko Peric has requested the CDF to form a commission on this phenomenon.

    We have already seen that Medj supporters are ignoring the local Ordinary and the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia-Hercegovina. Let’s see how many will disobey the CDF if a definitive negative declaration is made by the CDF. There has never been a case in the history of the Church where a positive declaration on an alleged apparition has been made by Rome WHERE THE PHENOMENON IS ONGOING. Medj supporters themselves are always very keen to point out that nothing can be finally decided until the alleged apparitions have ended. As the Medj phenomenon is still on-going, this leaves two options for the present commission – they can fail to reach a decision, or they can condemn it as false.

  • Michael

    Sometimes translation is lost through email and what seems to be one way turns out to be something all together different. I have found this problem common with people who do not really know each other. Thank you for your reply and kind words of explanation. Please note my feelings were not hurt. I know God has not graced with me awesome writing skills or great eye sight or typing skills either. I do know God has graced me with heart that burns for truth. Lost in translation may also be the fact I did not write my opinion of Medjugorje in my postings as you may think. All I have written in these group postings were not my opinion. All I wrote in the group postings are from original documents in my position. My person opinion which I did write in the first posting states I am of the mind that people have the right to believe as they will. I would add to our right to believe as we will by adding, less at any time truth is made know to us all and we are healed. God Bless Michael. I understand about bloging in fact this is the first time every I have done it.

  • Anonymous

    Way to go, Buddy, way to go.

  • Anonymous

    Bwaj
    Please can you state your qualifications for saying that Mark’s well-documented observations are satanic? Are you a priest? An exorcist? Perhaps you are a ‘seer’ yourself? If you’ve been to Medjugorje, that could be likely. Many of us know Mark Waterinckx’s background and involvement with Medjugorje. Let’s hear yours. How can you speak with such authority – being as you reject legitimate authority?

  • Anonymous

    See my reply elsewhere on this blog about that letter to Bishop Aubrey from the CDF

  • gloria

    Buddy, I agree with you about doing the First Five Saturdays, Confession, Communion, Five decades of the Rosary, meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary and wearing the Brown Scapular. Our Lady made plain to the three children that God was much offended by the blasphemies, outrages and insults against Him and Our Lady. I would also add that Our Lady asked that the Pope and all Bishops on the same day, consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart which would save the world. Pope Pius XII in 1950, declared as incontrovertible that Our Lady never was corrupted in the grave. That is the Dogma of the Assumption, body and soul of Our Lady. Why not consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart then? Was there a problem even then that the Pope and Bishops in 1950 could not do as she asked?

    Did not Pope John Paul II consecrate the world to her Immaculate Heart? Perhaps some good soul might remind exactly what happened in the 1980s. Russia was not specifically consecrated, and the Bishops did not join with Pope John Paul in this matter either.

    Strange that in Portugal in 1917, the country was under the control of a government that banned priests and nuns from wearing any form of religious apparel. Also treated them as criminals. This government was coming into power in 1910 was an early version of communistic Russia. The three children suffered much, such as being imprisoned for a short time (in August). I wonder at how many Graces and conversions resulted in the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima.

  • gloria

    I see that I should have said that the Dogma of the Assumption is that Our Lady was assumed body and soul into Heaven.

  • Bwaj

    Peric has not and this Commission has nothing to do with him.

  • Bwaj

    Be careful what you say. Satan would not encourage any Marian devotions, much less Confession, Benediction and the Mass.

  • Anonymous

    Once again bwaj, you show your disrespect to legitimate authority. Bishop Peric – please use his full title, he is a bishop of the Church whether you like him or not – is not on the latest commission, but to say that any outcome of this commission is ‘nothing to do with him’ shows your complete ignorance, as he is the local Ordinary and will have to implement the findings of the Commission (unless he has retired by then). The Holy See has not removed him from the Diocese, he is in good standing with the Church. Read the bishop of Mostar’s website http://www.cbismo.com/index.php?menuID=98. You are clearly a very ignorant person and should stop blogging on this matter, because with each comment you reveal your ignorance more and more.

  • Bwaj

    I don’t believe in running around to every shrine or vision site (not to mention my health problems preventing it), alleged or otherwise. I recognize Fatima and Lourdes, Walsingham, Guadalupe etc.,. As for Medjugorje – I believe it until the Commission organized by the Holy Father says otherwise. There are those of us who due to health problems (and because we don’t have much money) can’t visit shrines or pilgrimage sites yet there you all go attacking what may be a genuine one. What Zanic said is irrelevant. In 1981 he recognized it as supernatural until the Franciscans asked Our Lady whether they should give him more of their parishes and she rebuked him. Yet again this was the same with the arrogant Bishop who believed he had a right to take over the Oratory – but St. John Bosco challenged him and went over his head to Rome.
    In fact Zanic has said ‘”either Medjugore dies or I die”‘ and ‘”I am the Commission”. He is not – he is a bishop and he was ordered to be silent on his views.
    Fr. Gabriele Amorth – the principal exorcist of the Catholic Church – believed in Medjugorje. Are you saying he is wrong when he would no how to recognize evil. Perhaps before you keep condemning this as Satanic you should wait for the final judgement of the Church and the opinion of the SSPX and their members like them is irrelevant as they are under excommunication, are they not?
    The reason I am so annoyed is instead of waiting for the Church’s decision you have all decided to judge for yourselves like heretical Protestants that the final decision will be a negative one. If it is – it is, but if it isn’t – where will you stand before the Lord. See: Mk:3.28-30. If graces are coming from Medjugorje – and who are you to say they aren’t until the final decision is given – isn’t that spiritually dangerous as it is no less dangerous to reject a potential vision and pilgrimage site, claiming it is Satanic, as it is to claim a false one is genuine. It would horrify me to say anything about an alleged shrine or vision being Diabolical in case it was not and I was cast into the lake of fire for committing the unforgiveable sin.
    Readers criticize me for condemning their articles yet they are quite prepared to call the integrity and good faith of those who go to Medjugorje (or any shrine) in good faith. In fact you will I believe find a lot of those who reject Medjugorje are traditionalists who even deny that Russia has been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary thus calling Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict, Cardinal Bertone, Sister Lucia and Our Lady a liar. Others are those who are liberals. .

  • Bwaj

    The Pope Pius Catechism is what I was alluding to and Canon 4 of the Canons of Baptism at the Council of Trent states that anyone who does not recognize as valid baptisms performed by heretics, if they intend to do as the Catholic Church does, that is baptize with water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit are anathema.

  • Bwaj

    Where do the Scriptures refer to salvation by faith without Baptism (or the desire thereof). Is a Pope God? What I have said is those who die without accepting Christ (faith) and being baptized (or desiring it) are not saved. Jesus is God – the Pope is not.

  • Bwaj

    Whilst your quoting the Council of Trent at me and being selective I note
    Session 7 of the Council of Trent (3 March 1547) Canons on Baptism http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/trent7.htm#3:
    Canon 4. If anyone says that the baptism which is given by heretics in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the intention of doing what the Church does, is not true baptism, let him be anathema.
    Canon 5. If anyone says that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation, let him be anathema.

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com/ Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS

    @ anyone who may be moderating this forum…

    I would like to ask anyone who is moderating this forum why certain posts seem to be disappearing. It appears to be a moderation issue because a post I made was there for about 15 minutes this morning, then disappeared. I re-did it, and saw that it was still there some hours later. Now it is gone again.

    At the same time, we have a Medjugorje supporter spamming the thread with just a link – three times in succession, and it remains.

    If my comment was deleted, twice, because it violated some policy, I would appreciate being told what I did wrong, or directed to a terms of use page. Just post a link in this thread so we can all see it.

    Or, is it possible that someone hit the flag button because they did not like what I offered and it took it off the board automatically until it could be moderated? If so, can you please check to see if it is awaiting moderation and note that I have posted nothing inappropriately.

    Thank you for reading.

  • Anonymous

    Bwaj, your letter is so garbled and brings in so many threads I don’t know where to begin. Just a couple of points and then I’m going to bed. You’ve worn me out. I have been many times to Marian shrines like Fatima, Lourdes, Walsingham etc – all approved by the Church. I would never go to an unapproved ‘shrine’. No-one who opposes Medjugorje on this thread, as far as I can see, has ‘judged for themselves’. They have simply followed the legitimate directives of the local Ordinary and the Bishops’ Conference to date. You have chosen not to. That’s up to you. Let those who wish to obey the local Ordinary, and the Bishops’ Conference and the 1996 CDF declaration on alleged apparitions do so if they wish. There shouldn’t be anything in that to annoy you. If there is, then you’ve got a serious problem which I suggest you see a spiritual director/confessor about. Even if Medjugorje is declared to be genuine then all Catholics have a right to ignore it, if they wish, without detriment to their salvation, as it can only ever be classed as a private revelation, and not the super-dogma that some seem to wish it to be declared as. Please see what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about private revelations – “Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith.” There you are. They do not belong to the deposit of faith, therefore it is not injurious to one’s salvation if one chooses to disregard them. Nobody could follow all approved private revelations anyway, there are too many. When he was Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI once warned about an unhealthy over-emphasis on alleged apparitions and related mystical phenomena. Wise words. Take heed of them.

  • Bwaj

    Session 7 of the Council of Trent (3 March 1547) http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/trent7.htm#3
    Canons On The Sacraments In General: Canon 4. If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation but are superfluous, and that without them or without the desire of them men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification, though all are not necessary for each one, let him be anathema.
    Yes, however, baptism by desire should be the exception not the rule.

  • Bwaj

    Many Protestants believe you only need faith (sola fide) and not Baptism (or in some cases even the desire of it). Once you begin to say a person can be saved without faith in Christ you are beginning to reject the Gospel (St. Mk:16.16 St. Jn;3.16) and don’t tell me there are religions which do not know about Our Saviour because I deny that opinion. Muslims and Jews hate us because we believe in Him. Pagans know about Our Lord. So do agnostics and athiests.

  • Bwaj

    If a person remains in a religion which denies Our Saviour then it stands to reason they also reject Him. Read 1 St. Jn:2.22-23 1 St. Jn:4.1-3 2 St. Jn:7 This is where I am coming from. Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists believe you need faith and Baptism just as Old catholics and Orthodox do. Those who claim baptized Christians are damned if they are not Roman Catholic are in error. This is the difference between those who believe in Our Saviour and are baptized (or desire it) on the one hand and those who
    follow other religions which say true followers of their religion not only cannot befriend Christians, but must fight and kill us if we don’t convert.to their religion. Our conversation is over.

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com/ Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS

    @Michael:

    Let me understand this: You make a claim that the past commissions were “tainted” because they had “unbelievers” on them. Myself and several others have asked you to back that up with something concrete. I do not consider your word that you spent hundreds of dollars on getting information and 13 years of study as proof that the past commissions were “tainted”. If you expect me to accept that as proof, it tells me something about your ability to do fact-finding.

    Money cannot buy truth, nor can time.

    Don’t make grave accusations against Church hierarchy if you are unwilling to share objective evidence in the same forum for others to look at and assess.

    And no… I won’t be running out to buy a copy of your book so I can find the answer.

  • http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/ The Catholic Herald

    None of your comments have been deleted. But we will try to find out what’s happening and get back to you.

  • Anonymous

    I think you have gone off in some kind of tangent here. We are all agreed that in general terms all must receive Baptism if they would be saved. We also appear to be agreed that the sacrament is generally administered using water and the words ‘I baptise thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,’ but that there are exceptions as in cases of baptism of blood or by desire.

    The problem you had was in accepting “invincible ignorance” as an avenue open to Our Lord to extend his limitless mercy. For you, there is no such state as invincible ignorance. But that’s not what the Church teaches.

    I quote Pius IX again: Pope Pius IX, Singulari Quadem, December 9, 1854: “For it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God.”

    “Outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through invincible ignorance.” (Encyclical Singulari).

    You first off asserted that “invincible ignorance” was an invention of Vatican II. Now you reject the statements of Pius IX on the grounds that the Pope is not God. Furthermore, from one of your original posts you claim that all those who remian in their non-Christian religions do so out of a deliberate rejection of Christ and His Church. How can you possibly know that? You can’t read what’s in the hearts of men, and you certainly don’t know if all non-Christians have had the opportunity in life to rid themselves of their ignorance. God alone knows each and every one.

    Now, no one could ever accuse me of favouring either ecumenism or inter religious dialogue. I am vehemently opposed to both modernist errors because they contradict what the Magisterium has taught throughout the ages in respect to heretics and false religions. So I do not argue the case for invincible ignorance out of any liberal Vatican II tendency. I argue the case on the grounds of traditional Church teaching, but with the proviso that Churchmen must do all in their power to make Christ known to all men and not suppress this teaching for the sake of false ecumenism and inter religious babble.

    I hope this clarifies my position. There is a marked difference between being a visible member of the body of the Church and being an invisible member of the soul. Many who were baptised and belonged to the body are now in Hell. Hence, it is quite valid to assert that some who were not members of the visible body could well have been saved because they were united to the soul of the Church.

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com/ Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS

    Thank you for looking into it.

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com/ Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS

    Bwaj – has the Church already made a declaration that it is, in fact, Our Lady? St. Bernadette was humble, leaving the discernment of who was appearing to higher authorities, referring to her merely as “the lady”. Until the Church states that the lady of Medjugorje is the Blessed Virgin Mary, she should not be referred to as “Our Lady”.

    With regards to your statement about “liberals”, I go to daily Mass, spend time before the Blessed Sacrament most days, pray my Rosary daily, pray the Divine Office, and I spend my Thursday nights in a Holy Hour for the sanctificatio of priests. I don’t say these to boast by any means, but I want you to know that most people I know who cannot accept authenticity of Medjugorje (an opinion we are free to have), have great devotion to the Eucharist and to Mary, are very faithful to the Church’s teachings, and understand the need for mortification and sacrifice in their spiritual lives. It is very judgmental to assume that because someone cannot accept authenticity, and speaks about this disbelief, they are some how “liberal”. I would not classify all who believe in it as “charismatics”. I am in a traditional parish and there are some parishioners who follow Medjugorje, but the pastor rightly does not permit any organized prayer groups based on it, or promotional material for any unapproved apparition.

    As to divine chastisements, of course they can happen, but neither you, nor I can possibly know if a particular event is, in fact, a chastisement for something. It is not for us to decide that. Rather, it is best that we continue to offer prayers of reparation for offenses we are aware of. Read more on chastisements from a Catholic apologist here to get a Catholic perspective (there is a danger of straying into a protestant understanding of chastisements). http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=81229&highlight=punish+sin+now

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com/ Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS

    Bwaj – perhaps you are not understanding the context.

    If you look at a bishop’s conference vote like that of a Supreme Court vote, there is the decision which the majority makes, and then, if one ore more judges voted the other way, they are called “dissenting” as in dissenting from the judgment. One of them will write a “dissenting opinion” for the records.

    It is in this context that I refer to Archbishop Franic. It is quite remarkable that out of 20 bishop, he had the lone dissenting opinion on the matter, yet Medjugorje supporters given him the greatest weight, and disregard the other 19 who said that it cannot be affirmed anything supernatural is happening.

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com/ Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS

    Bwaj is just displaying behavior typical of a Medjugorje fanatic. They do not consider anything from the Diocese of Mostar Duvno, from Bishop Zanic, or Bishop Peric a credible source for anything, even when the evidence is overwhelming.

    At the end of the day, I’m not concerned because I know that the Holy See is backing him. http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2010/03/2007-bishops-of-tuscany-advised-by-cdf.html. And, by the way – the undersigned of that memo is now Cardinal Amato – a member of the new Commission.

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com/ Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS

    Here is a video worth watching which shows the attitude of Franciscans towards the bishop. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LStxBC6dSY.

    You can see the context of that video, and much more here: http://en.louisbelanger.com/2010/09/30/medjupedia-a-pause-%e2%94%80-the-construction-of-the-%e2%80%9clady-of-medjugorje%e2%80%9d/

  • Climacus

    Michael,

    Thanks for your charitable response it’s greatly appreciated, however, I believe you miss my point. Please allow me another attempt. One CAN NEVER be led astray by exercising obedience to the teaching authority of the Magisterium of our Church (the Bishops of Mostar). My job is not to judge the successors to the Apostles appointed by God before the beginning of time and confirmed by the Holy Spirit, my job is obedience to their teaching in any matter that doesn’t contradict faith and morals already set forth by our Church. Furthermore, my job is not obedience to my private interpretation of Scripture but obedience to the interpretation of Scripture set forth in light of the Church’s teaching Magisterium. Your statement “those who would lead me away from true obedience of Scripture” speaks volumes. This is not a Catholic but a Protestant view of the use of Sacred Scripture. Allow me to remind you that the Church is the ground and pillar of the truth (1Timothy 3:15) not you. Once again, many thanks, it certainly takes no great gift of discernment to identify what spirit drives you.

    Make no mistake, my heart also burns with grave sorrow over many things happening within and without our Church, however, nothing the Bishops of Mostar have done contradict any faith or morals already set forth by the Magisterium of our Church. Anyone placing themselves above, outside or against the guidance and teaching authority of the Magisterium of our Church and the Bishops of Mostar are in grave spiritual danger. Anyone leading, teaching or tempting others to disobedience is possibly lost.

    In this matter regarding the guidance of the Bishops of Mostar, God requires not my opinion, God requires my humility and obedience.

  • Oconnd

    I think most rational issues with Medjugorje can be dealt with by reading my article I wrote on it after going there. http://danielsvenoconnor.com/thoughts-on-medjugorje-after-my-pilgrimage/

  • Oconnd

    Amen. I have been doing these for years and they have helped convince me of the validity of Medjugorje.

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com/ Diane Korzeniewski, OCDS

    @Editor CT – I think it is safe to say that we got off on a path of misunderstanding one another. God bless and thank you!