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Christian Order Magazine

February 2012
EXORCISING MEDJUGORJE

THE EDITOR

The majority of the pious public has naively fallen victim of the great propaganda. These people themselves have become the greatest propaganda for the events. They do not even stop to think that the truth has been hidden by deliberate falsehoods.

Msgr. Pavao Žanić, former bishop of MostarThe numerous absurd messages, lies, falsehoods and disobedience associated from the beginning with the events and apparitions" of Medjugorje, all refute every claim of authenticity.

Msgr. Ratko Perić, present bishop of Mostar

EXCERPTS
In our day, Medjugorje is the perverse template, spawning countless imitations

The Devil is clever and crafty but also stupid insofar as he always gives himself away with such transparently wicked tactics! The endless mendacity is another giveaway signal of the handiwork of "the father of lies" [Jn 8:44].

In his painstakingly referenced 2007 work "Ces 10 jours qui ont fait Medjugorje", documenting the first ten days from 24 June to 3 July 1981, French historian Joachim Bouflet reveals how the originally recorded accounts by the "seers" have been modified. During those first days, the late disgraced Fr Jozo Zovko rigorously interviewed the "seers" and was not convinced they saw their so-called "Gospa" [Lady]. He said: "There is NO message, there is NO sign; you must have seen SATAN." Yet he soon became a confidant of the visionaries and central director/manipulator of the whole affair, insisting that the "seers" should have their "apparitions" inside the church and insinuating that he himself should tell people what the "Gospa" had said. Before long, Zovko had been stripped of every faculty and expelled three times from Medjugorje by Bishop Perić and the Vatican.

[This revisionist ruse is common to bogus visionaries. Father François-Marie Dermine O.P. has documented the "disappearance, cancellation, censuring and modification of messages" by Vassula Ryden, for instance. He has posted online photocopies of the original messages with the corrections done by the "seer." The intrepid Maria Laura Pio at www.infovassula.ch states that "These documents are part of the famous photocopies circulated by [ex-Medjugorje advocate] Father Pavich in the 1990s, where it is possible to see the deleted passages and the modification of words and sentences in view of the publication of the messages. You will also find a fax written by Vassula in which she confirms having two sets of notebooks and tries to justify the censuring done to the messages."]

Fr Tomislav Vlašić succeeded Zovko as the one who "through Divine Providence guides the seers of Medjugorje," as he wrote in a letter to John Paul II of 13 April 1984. Thereafter the "messages" became more biblical and Franciscan. And totally supportive of one Tomislav Vlašić! Hardly surprising when Friar Tomislav would talk to the "seers," the "seers" would talk to Friar Tomislav, the discussions then being attributed to the Blessed Virgin. Typical of these regular commendations was that recorded in Vicka's diary manuscript of 28 February 1982: "The Gospa came at 6, 3 minutes, she looked kindly at us. Then the Gospa spoke about Tomislav, first she looked at him, and then said: 'you can thank Tomislav very much because he is guiding you so well'."

In July 1988 Marija, another "seer," candidly admitted this mendacious manipulation by Vlašić. After Vlašić stated that the "Gospa" had told Marija "she" approved of a mixed religious community he had founded in 1987, Marija wrote: "Everything that can be understood as a confirmation or approval of this Work of Fr. Tomislav ... on the part of the Madonna through me, absolutely does not correspond to the truth and furthermore the idea that I had a spontaneous desire to write down this testimony is also not true."

"We know that no lies can correspond to the truth," wrote the Chancellor of the Mostar-Duvno diocese, summarising Vlašić's history. "Yet one can see from this how the notorious lies of Medjugorje have also been attributed to the Madonna, which Bishop Žanić painstakingly struggled against in order to defend the honour and dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary!"
Indeed everything points to the creepy Vlašić as the diabolic source of the entire deception:
Fr. Vlašić went to Rome for an international congress of leaders of the Charismatic Movement. During the congress he had asked some of those present to pray with him for the healing of the Church in Yugoslavia. A religious, Sister Briege McKenna, who was united with those in prayer, had a vision: she saw Fr. Vlašić seated and surrounded by a great crowd of people facing him, and from the place where he was seated, there flowed rivers of water. Another religious there, Fr. Emile Tardiff, OP, said in prophecy, "Do not be afraid, I will send you my Mother." After a couple of weeks, the Madonna began to appear in Medjugorje. [Official Bulletin, 2/2008, p. 80, quoting from Rooney - R. Faricy, Mary the queen of peace, Milano, 1984, p. 34.]

Inevitably, in January 2008, the CDF decreed that Fr. Vlašić had "fallen into a censure of interdict latae sententiae," accused of "the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspected mysticism, disobedience towards legitimately issued orders and charges contra sextum [i.e., violation of the Sixth Commandment]." Subsequently, in 2009, 28 years after the first "apparition," this veritable Father of Medjugorje and manifest instrument of the "father of lies" was finally defrocked by Pope Benedict. (Reduced to the lay state, Vlasic was thus theoretically free to marry the former nun with whom he had fathered a child prior to the "apparitions.")

Aiders and abetters

Pervasive and persistent, Medj mendacity is not all about a small clique of arrogant, rebellious, unscrupulous, disobedient Franciscans. They have been aided and abetted at every turn by the likes of René Laurentin, who had defended Vlašić as a "great charismatic leader." Bouflet proves the modification of the "messages" by comparing many successive versions of books written by Medjugorje advocates like Laurentin. Others who have studied the deception in depth over several decades concur. "He altered the truth a least 100 times in order to defend the pseudo-apparitions," said Belgian writer Mark Waterinckx. "A friend of mine told me he could fill an entire encyclopaedia with the lies of René Laurentin." He points to an official but "little known" document dated 24 October 1997, in which the Bishop of Mostar himself lists "5 cases of disinformation by our 'great Mariologist' [Laurentin], who has destroyed his credibility by defending indefensible 'apparitions'." Underlining this unearthly propensity for falsehood, Waterinckx adds: "Yet in a 26 May 2004 article in the Italian journal Avvenire, Laurentin dares to write that he had never said that the Virgin appeared in Medjugorje!"(1).

Clearly, once Laurentin embraced the "apparitions" he found himself forced into covering up the endless absurdities in the "messages." One of the most ridiculous involved altering the date of Our Lady's birthday (8 September). On 22 August 1984, Fr Vlašić wrote to Bishop Žanić informing him that the Madonna’s 2000th birthday was to be held that same year on 5 August! Neither the Bishop nor the Holy See nor anyone with half a brain took this seriously. But sure enough, on 4 and 5 August 1984, a large group of people gathered in Medjugorje to "celebrate" the Madonna’s "birthday." The Chancellor of the Mostar diocese later observed that "The 'Mladifest' (Youth festival) that is usually held at the beginning of August, is probably attached to this Medjugorje invention of Rev. Fr Tomislav Vlašić."

As well as the inanities, Laurentin and his fellow deceivers have also had to gloss over the endless flip-flopping of the "seers" — Vicka Ivankovic in particular! Living proof of the dictum: "To err is human, to persevere is diabolical" (Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum), her blatant fabrications and fantasies are routinely followed by distortions of her earlier declarations. Even contributors to a Medjugorje blog were disconcerted by one online interview in which Vicka said the "Gospa" had told her that unborn babies who are killed by abortion become angels in heaven. The old staples —"mistranslation" and "misunderstanding" — were duly trotted out to defuse things. But when the blog administrator agreed with Vicka things became heated, the heretical idea being contested and labelled ludicrous. The thread finished with a blogger lamenting that "issues like this give ammunition to anti-Medjugorjeans to attack followers." You might say!

The endemic deceit reverberates outwards and downwards to the grassroots. It has got to the stage where the outpourings of the talkative "Gospa" are even being sanitised on parish posters that carry them! In one such case discussed on another Medj blog, a parish was accused of editing the (presumably idiotic) published "message" after people complained that "the original message and the published one were so 'starkly' different."

Angel of Light?

It all begs the most intriguing and fundamental question: is the Medjugorje "Gospa" just a money-spinning fabrication, or an Angel of Light [2 Cor. 11:14]?

As an ardent disciple of the "Gospa," renowned exorcist Fr Gabriele Amorth would clearly not entertain either question. "I always understood Medjugorje as a continuation of Fatima," he said in July 2002. On the contrary, Andrea Gemma, Bishop-Emeritus of Isernia-Venafro, one of the greatest living exorcists, has bluntly stated that "the seers are lying under the inspiration of Satan to enrich themselves economically":

"It is a phenomenon which is absolutely diabolical, ... this whole sham is the work of the Demon. ... These persons who claim to be in contact with Our Lady, but who in reality are inspired solely and exclusively by Satan, are creating tumult and confusion among the faithful for absolutely deplorable interests and advantages. ... Behold why I speak of a mixture of interests, personal and diabolical; the false seers and their helpers’ pocket money, and the Devil creates discord between the faithful and the Church."

Asked what the "seers" would be seeing if they really believed Our Lady was appearing — Marija, for instance, speaks of "having the most intimate experiences of the gentleness and wisdom of the Madonna's advice and the Madonna's answers to my personal questions" — the Bishop replied:

"In reality they would see Satan under one of his disguised forms. Because Satan has every interest in splitting the Church, pitting the two currents of ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ Medjugorje. And it would not be something new: Saint Paul himself asserts that the Devil can also appear as an Angel of Light and that he can disguise himself. ... But beyond his travesties, the Evil One has already intervened and I can assure you that it his he who has been inspiring the false seers since the beginning with the lure of easy money." [Interview with Petrus. See CO, Aug-Sept 2008]
His explanation certainly gels with this snapshot by Mark Alessio:

The details of the "apparitions" themselves border on the grotesque. Here is a "Madonna" who allows people to tramp on her veil, who once became "blackened" as the result of being pawed by sinners and who appeared on another occasion sporting a "dark, hideous face," a devil’s head, according to "seer" Mirjana Pavlovic! In his must-read booklet, Apparitions at Medjugorje?, Bro. Michael of the Holy Trinity described the atmosphere of Medjugorje as "unwholesome." The apparition "burst out laughing" while speaking of the turmoils that have divided local clergy and the Church hierarchy; little children are "seized with panic and began to cry" after the apparition causes a ball of light to explode; an "appalling noise" is heard coming from the mountain of the apparitions; the "Virgin of Medjugorje" alternately laughs, threatens, scowls and sometimes terrifies those in her vicinity [The Remnant, 30/9/08].

Bishop Gemma's take is also strengthened by his accurate forecast in the same interview, that "soon the Vatican will intervene with something explosive to unmask once and for all who is behind this deceit." Within a month, Rome had notified the Bishop of Mostar of its suspension of the aforementioned Fr (now Mr) Tomislav Vlašić. What Bishop Gemma was alluding to was the occult aspect of the Vlašić downfall. Referred to by Bishop Žanić in 1984 as a "mystifier and charismatic magician," and accused of "suspected mysticism" in the Vatican file that brought him down, authentic documentation testifies that while in Medjugorje he conjured up evil spirits. (Also telling is the bold and perverse way he tried to turn the tables and shift suspicion, by casting his antagonist, the local bishop, as the Devil's agent instead. In a January 1985 letter he sent to one of his contacts in the Vatican, asking for protection from the bishop, he wrote: "We have to admit that Satan can also work through the structures of the Church.")

This dark side lends credence to the personal testimony of Mark Waterinckx. On several occasions between 1984 and 1995, during his 22 pilgrimages to Medjugorje, he encountered cases of real demonic possession:

In one case I was even able to make a very remarkable tape recording of the event wherein, as I later understood, the prince of darkness already in 1989 announced the coming civil war in Bosnia.

But in Medjugorje lying and cheating prevail. All the exorcisms which occur there, take place without permission of the local bishop and are therefore not valid. It is therefore understandable that Satan does not let himself be driven out of possessed persons in Medjugorje. In such a situation of manipulation, lies, fraud and disobedience to Church authorities, he would be completely at ease.

He recounts two episodes:

• In the front garden of Vicka’s house a group of people were trying to exorcise an Italian lady in July 1987. Five people (under whom was Vicka) were required to subdue the woman. I recognised this case as authentic and drove by car to the presbytery to obtain the assistance of a priest. Father Ivan Dugandzic, a theologian and former member of the second bishop’s commission on Medjugorje, refused to come. His explanation was frightening: "Some time ago, together with 5 Franciscan priests we tried to exorcise a person over 14 days, while fasting on bread and water, …without result! We were exhausted...."

• In July 1989 the same thing occurred. At the "Christus vincit" in the church, there was terrifying screaming. The young Italian woman was brought outside behind the church and a number of people began to exorcise her. Some pilgrims came to look, others came to join in prayer and others made fun of it. From a distance I heard some fragments of words: … sono maledetto (I am damned)… la voleva Satana (Satan wanted this)… quanto vi odio (how much I hate you)…. I quickly got my tape recorder and without anybody noticing I recorded the following: sono il principe della superbio (I am the prince of pride)… ti odio (I hate you)… non voglio vedere quella croce (I don’t want to see that cross)… sono Beëlzebub (I am B.)… salo (filth)… sono il maëstro solo (I am the only master)… fano malo (they do evil)… All screaming: … ho paura della croce (I am scared of the cross)… ho paura della luce (I am afraid of the light)… ho paura dell'amore (I am afraid of love)… Satana e qui (Satan is here)… Threatening: la bataglia sara destruciendo (the battle shall be destructive)!

The last sentence could refer to the spiritual battle for souls, or to the Apocalypse. But, when two years later in 1991, the war broke out, first in Slovenia, then in Croatia and later in Bosnia Herzegovina, I began to think differently.

The following day I spoke with the [possessed] Italian lady in all calm. She quietly took the rosary out of her pocket and said determinedly: "Jesus and Mary are stronger than satan. Together with them I shall overcome in the end."

Naturally this tape-recording is a remarkable testimony. I therefore waited six years (from 1989 to 1995) before publicising this incredible fact. In my view it is proof of the Christian dogma that evil exists as a person and not just as a concept. In fact it proves much more. Such tape recordings are not uncommon, but in this case I have not received it as a copy, as for example in the case of Anneliese Michel from Klingenberg [see "The Monumental Struggle," CO April & May 2010 - Ed.]. I experienced it myself and recorded it in great secrecy. That the last prophecy has come true is common knowledge. Two to three hundred thousand dead and about 3 to 4 million refugees in ex-Yugoslavia.

As for the "Gospa" herself, in a 2009 interview with Michael Jones, conducted just after the defrocking of Tomislav Vlašić (a decision that vindicated everything Jones had exposed decades before), Waterinckx suggested that only self-designated mediums claim to see the Virgin Mary while pilgrims "communicate" with her, "believing in what they actually don't see." Among the first to stand up to the intimidating, all-powerful Medj industry and reveal the ugly truth about the "seers" and their Franciscan handlers, Jones demurred:

First of all, I disagree with you when you say that the pilgrims who have gone to Medjugorje have never seen anything. Shortly after the publication of The Medjugorje Deception, I got a call from a Unitarian from Boston who had gone to Medjugorje with a number of pious Italian ladies from Boston. He then related the following incident: While standing in his room waiting to go down to dinner, he saw a naked woman walk through the open doorway to his room. She then walked across the room and then walked through the wall. Medjugorje, I learned from a priest who heard confessions there for years, is infested with evil spirits. This charge came out one year ago when the bishop of Mostar released his dossier on Tomislav Vlašić. In addition to sexual improprieties, Vlasic was also guilty of trafficking in spirits. Hence, the demonic infestation at Medjugorje.

As St. John of the Cross said,"The devil rejoices when people seek private revelations." That is so because they are so easy to fabricate.