Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


CHURCH AUTHORITY UNDERMINES THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE REPORTED VISIONS OF MARY AT MEDJUGORJE

In 1981, on June 24th, a strange report heralded the beginning of the Medjugorje industry. Six children reported seeing a shape standing up a hill. The next day four of these with a few others went back to the hill and they got a closer look at the figure who said she was the Virgin Mary. Soon the Lady began to appear to them in the parish Church of Medjugorje. The seers are: Vicka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Marija Pavlovic, Ivan Dragicevic, Ivanka Ivankovic and Jakov Colo. She gave them ten secrets which prophesy the future. Only some of the visionaries report seeing the Lady on a daily basis. The Lady stopped appearing to the rest except on special occasions.

The Zadar Declaration which decided that there was no reason to affirm that the apparitions were supernatural defended the authority of the bishop: "Yet the gathering of the faithful from various parts of the world to Medjugorje, inspired by reasons of faith or other motives, require the pastoral attention and care, first of all, of the local Bishop and then of the other bishops with him, so that in Medjugorje and all connected with it, a healthy devotion towards the Blessed Virgin Mary according to the teachings of the Church may be promoted. The Bishops will also provide special liturgical and pastoral directives corresponding to this aim. At the same time, they will continue to study all the events of Medjugorje through the commissions."
 
OFFICIAL CHURCH DOCUMENTATION REFUTING THE APPARITIONS: http://members.tripod.com/~chonak/documents/medj_index.html
 
Bishop Zanic believed the claim of the visionaries of Medjugorje that they were seeing Mary the mother of Jesus in visions and getting messages from her.
 
Then evidence came up that they were fooling themselves.
 
He campaigned against the claims. Father Laurentin, a theologian who specialised in theology based around Mary did his best to undermine his evidence.
 
Fr Michael O Carroll who is a member of the Pontifical Marian Academy and of the French Society for Marian Studies is a promoter of Medjugorje. He has joined with the devious Fr Rene Laurentin to do it and his praise for him knows no bounds.
 
Fr O Carroll’s book is called Medjugorje, Facts, Documents and Theology and was published by Veritas of Dublin.
 
Laurentin and Zanic fell out and he accused Zanic of slandering him in saying that he made a lot of money out of his books on the apparitions and that he was used by the Franciscans to defend these appearances and was influenced by the charm of a visionary (page 53). But significantly, no proof is given that Zanic is wrong. O Carroll brags about Laurentin’s respect for authority. But it is the bishop and not Laurentin who has to decide if the apparitions are what they claim to be. Laurentin is authenticating the visions in spite of the bishop which is bad enough if the bishop is open-minded but a scandal if the bishop does not approve. If the bishop is unreasonable then Laurentin should not be antagonising him which could only make him more stubborn. Padre Pio was badly treated by the Church but he obeyed it nevertheless. St Gemma Galgani and all the saints who had apparitions preferred their visions to be in disrepute than for the Church to be disobeyed and their visions commended them for that. The Medjugorje Virgin never chastised Fr Laurentin.
 
Laurentin wrote to Zanic and asked him to stop giving misinformation about him. He did not use the strong words like slander. O Carroll, Laurentin’s mate, bluntly accuses Zanic of slander. What is going on? Laurentin would have read O Carroll’s book. Laurentin would have corrected him if he had been an honest person.
 
O Carroll accuses the bishop of heresy for saying that belief in visions is optional for Catholics (page 107) even though O Carroll approved of what the Church officially taught as we have seen earlier. He argues that it is offensive to say that God could reveal anything and it is up to us to believe it or not. It is O Carroll who is the heretic for though belief in visions is optional if you have reason to doubt them the message must be listened to whether it is from God or not if it fits the revelation God has already given. For example, you don’t have to believe in Fatima to say the Rosary every day and beg the Church to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the apparition there commanded. O Carroll knows this fine well and he knows that the Church is not as certain that Jesus rose as she is of any miracle that is not in the Bible or in divine tradition which is why it leaves us to make up our own minds. It says the faith revealed to the apostles cannot be added to. He is lying and trying to discredit the bishop. His reason for telling this lie is because Ivan Dragicevic wrote a letter threatening the bishop with supernatural disasters and accusing him of hating Jesus if he does not accept the visions. The letter appears on page 97. The bishop was not totally sure that Ivan wrote the letter but it must have been Ivan when Ivan never denied writing it. It was in Ivan’s writing. The bishop would not have passed the letter on to the Vatican with a criticism of it if his position on apparitions being optional were heresy.  
 
The Medjugorje Virgin cannot criticise the bishop. She is only an apparition that has no right to be believed unless the Church in the form of the local bishop and whoever he designates decides if it is credible and compatible with Catholic faith and morality. Yet she criticised the punishment issued to the Franciscans Prusina and Vego by the bishop. O Carroll says the Virgin would contradict a bishop in the wrong for she would have called for the bishop who sentenced Joan of Arc to death to be disobeyed. The Virgin would say nothing and leave it to the sin-convicting power of the Holy Spirit to correct any injustice. O Carroll surmises she would have corrected the bishop who condemned Joan and concludes that what she said about Bishop Zanic by no means proves the Medjugorje apparitions to be false (136). But even if Zanic were in the wrong with the two Franciscans Prusina and Vego, these men could have ministered elsewhere for the sake of peace and could have avoided trouble with the Church. The bishop was not sacking them but moving them. The Church wants bishops to be obeyed even when they are wrong as long as what they command is not sinful. The injustice is a lesser evil in the Church than the bad example and results of disobeying and condemning a bishop which causes more trouble and pain than submitting. The purpose of authority is to keep order for everybody has different ideas and you can’t have chaos. Those who think you are wrong have to be doing with it when you are in authority. The Virgin would have told the bishop who had Joan murdered to kill her if that was what he thought he should do. And we must remember that in those days the Church saw nothing wrong with having heretics and witches put to death. Joan’s alleged holiness did not become apparent until much later. At that time, she was killed for heresy and witchcraft. Even if the Virgin did oppose the bishop it would not mean the Franciscans had the right to defy their bishop for it was a less serious matter and it can’t be proved that the bishop is being sinful. O’Carroll does not want to see this. And if Joan’s bishop was being evil and the Virgin corrected him it would not mean that the Med Virgin could correct Zanic. Nothing Zanic did was sinful. There is a difference between a bishop unjustly moving a priest about a diocese and a bishop who asks a priest to commit murder or to steal for him. The most Mary could have said to Zanic was to think very carefully and perhaps take his time before making a final decision.  
 
The Virgin does not need to get involved in Church politics. All she needs to do is advocate prayer and soul-searching and send the Holy Spirit to give light. That way she can be asked about Church politics and be right to say nothing. The Virgin would like to tell the bishop who had Joan put to death that he was wrong but it is because apparitions are optional for belief that there is no point in her saying anything. There is no doubt that O’Carroll is wrong and proven how erroneous it is to believe that Our Lady of Medjugorje is a Catholic.
 
O Carroll tries to approve Medjugorje despite the disobedience. It helps us and the anti-Medjugorje Catholics that he, the ardent devotee of the fake Virgin Mary of Medjugorje and therefore an idolater, admits the disobedience happened.
 
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, November 1996
 
Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation states:
 
The Interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the "abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books" and determined that --- after the relevant censures were lifted --- the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals.

In should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, canon 623 #1 of the current Code remains in force: "the Pastors of the Church have the … right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgment".

Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgment of the diocesan Bishop, and, in particular cases, to the judgment of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
 
Any apparition that breaks this rule, and the Medjugorje Virgin commands that her messages be distributed as they are received, is not a Catholic apparition or concerned about Catholic orthodoxy. The bishops are the official Catholic teachers not apparitions. The vast majority of modern visions break the rule and so are themselves disobedient apparitions.
 
The visionaries did not obey the letter of Bishop Zanic 25 March 1985 which stated, "Speaking about the apparitions must stop, no message must be published...the sale of records and printed material which promote the 'apparitions' must stop" - page 155, Medjugorje, Facts, Documents and Theology. Pro-Medjugorje prelate, Franic wrote to Zanic in 1985, "I have always defended your prestige" (ibid 157). Franic had a disagreement with Zanic but he limited his criticism to that holding that otherwise Zanic was an honourable man and not the megalomaniac that Medjugorje believers make him out to be.
 
The real Virgin would not appear in a diocese where the bishop was convinced nothing was happening and certainly not for too long a time. She would go elsewhere if she did rather than cause trouble or give anybody an excuse for causing trouble. She would stay if he were open-minded or if he approved.
 
Bishop Zanic published a booklet called Medjugorje in 1990. This is a must for an examination of the apparition claims.
 
The lies told by the Medjugorje supporters only prove the bishop right. The visionaries are fakes.

THE BISHOP OF MEDJUGORJE REFUTES VISIONS 2017
 
BOOKS CONSULTED

“I BEG YOU: LISTEN TO MY MESSAGES AND LIVE THEM,” Padraic Dunne, published privately, Drogheda, County Louth, 1992
BIBLICAL EXEGESIS AND CHURCH DOCTRINE, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
Encountering Mary, Sandra Zimdars-Swartz, Avon, New York, 1991
LOOKING FOR A MIRACLE, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
MEDJUGORJE, David Baldwin, Catholic Truth Society, London, 2002
MEDJUGORJE HERALD, Vol 13, No 2, Feb 1999, Galway, Ireland
MEDJUGORJE, A TIME FOR TRUTH AND A TIME FOR ACTION, Denis Nolan
MEDJUGORJE, FACTS DOCUMENTS THEOLOGY, Fr Michael O Carroll, Veritas, Dublin, 1986
OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE, Tomislav Vlasic OFM, published by Peter Batty, East Sussex, 1984
POWERS OF DARKNESS, POWERS OF LIGHT, John Cornwell, Penguin, London, 1992
QUEEN OF PEACE (Newspaper), Fall, 1995, Pittsburgh Center for Peace
SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL STUDIES ON THE APPARITIONS AT MEDJUGORJE Rene Laurentin and Henri Joyeux, Veritas, Dublin, 1987.
ST JOHN’S BULLETIN, Medjugorje by Br Michael of the Holy Trinity, Society of St Pius X, October-December 1992, no 32, Dublin
THE APPARITIONS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY TODAY, Rene Laurentin, Veritas, Dublin 1990
THE HIDDEN SIDE OF MEDJUGORJE, Fr Ivo Sivric, Ed. Psilog, Saint Francios Du Lac, Quebec, 1989.
THE THUNDER OF JUSTICE, Ted and Maureen Flynn, MAXCOL, Vancouver, 1993
UNDERSTANDING MEDJUGORJE, HEAVENLY VISIONS OR RELIGIOUS ILLUSION? Donal Anthony Foley, Theotokos Books, Nottingham, 2006
VISIONS OF THE CHILDREN, Janice T Connell, St Martin’s Press, New York, 1992
WORDS FROM HEAVEN, Anonymous, Caritas of Birmingham, Sterrett, Alabama, 1996

The following books are available from Militia Immaculatae Trust, 35 New Bond Street, Leicester.

CRITERIA FOR DISCERNING APPARITIONS REGARDING THE EVENTS OF MEDJUGORJE by Monsignor Peric.
MEDJUGORJE – AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS, Michael Davies, Remnant Press, Minnesota, 1998.
MEDJUGORJE THE UNTOLD STORY, E Michael Jones Fidelity Press, 206 Marquette Ave, South Bend Indiana 46617, 1998.
MEDJUGORJE, Bishop Zanic, Mostar, 1990.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND MEDJUGORJE by Michael Mazza.
THE MEDJUGORJE DECEPTION, E Michael Jones, Fidelity Press, Indiana, 1998.
TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDJUGORJE, Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D. Pangaeus Press, Dallas, 1999.

THE WEB

CHRISTIAN REFUTATION OF MEDJUGORJE
http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0079a.html
 
CRITIQUE: POEM OF THE MAN-GOD
http://members.lycos.co.uk/jloughnan/critique.htm

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES DONE ON THE VISIONARIES OF MEDJUGORJE – 1998 SCIENTIFIC STUDY ON THE VISIONARIES
www.childrenofmedjugorje.com/medj/research.htm

THE WANDERER by Paul Likoudis, 1998
www.unitypublishing.com/wanderer.html
 
Unity Publishing has pictures allegedly proving that the messages from Mary are being made up by the priests and that the visions are hoaxes. Ivan was snapped acting as if he was guarding the door while the priest and a visionary were inventing the message. This is however is a pro-Catholic site.
 
AN OVERVIEW OF THE MEDICAL AND SCIENTIFIC TESTING OF VISIONARY NANCY FOWLER CONYERS GEORGIA
http://members.aol.com/bbu84/biblicalstupidity/science.htm#10

DISCERNMENT AND SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF VISIONARIES FROM THE MEDJUGORJE STAR
http://members.aol.com/bbu84/biblicalstupidity/study.htm#11

Videos
 
VISIONS ON DEMAND, Network 5 International, 1997
DIVINE OR DECEIVED? COVER-UP, Network 5 International, 1998

Contact:
Network 5 International
PO Box 51
Liverpool
L69 3EE
 
UNDERSTANDING MEDJUGORJE, HEAVENLY VISIONS OR RELIGIOUS ILLUSION? Donal Anthony Foley, Theotokos Books, Nottingham, 2006
 
To Order Understanding Medjugorje visit http://www.theotokos.org.uk or write to Theotokos Books, PO Box, 8570, Nottingham, England