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Has Rome Tipped Its Hand on Medjugorje?

August 3, AD2015

mary, jesus, cross, marian, altar

Since I wrote an article back in 2013 on the alleged apparitions of Our Lady under the title of “Rosa Mistica,” it turns out that there have been some further developments on this case. Surprisingly, these developments might have a bearing upon the ongoing speculation about the upcoming judgment from the Holy See on Medjugorje. I would like to examine the facts beginning with the new information on the Rosa Mistica case and then apply it to Medjugorje.

I left off my Rosa Mistica article about the last of the official Diocesan documents having been issued in 2008 under Bishop Luciano Monari. This last document concerned regulations from a Directory that were set in place by the Diocese on Montichiari/Fontanelle from 2001. The Bishop also reiterated that the Diocese does not accept as supernatural the claims of Pierina Gilli and that nothing can be done to “induce the faithful to believe that the judgment of the Church [on this matter] has been altered….”

It was clear within the documents that the Diocese of Brescia was attempting to establish a canonical framework for the devotion of the faithful that is present in Montichiari/Fontanelle. These efforts continued into July, 2013 when said framework was issued publicly by the Diocese in a series of documents. The first of those documents is a Decree of Bishop Monari (Prot. N. 833/13) dated July 1, 2013. In this Decree the Bishop announces that a new Directory with corresponding regulations is being published, effectively abrogating the 2001 Directory.

The Decree recalls the “long journey” (lungo percorso) undertaken by the Diocese to legislate the “exercise of Marian devotion in Fontenelle-Montichiari.” He then expresses his desire to continue this work “with all interested parties and for the good of all the faithful.” To this effect, Monari also states that “firm indications” (ferme indicazioni pervenutaci) from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments (CDWS) as well as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) have assisted him in this matter.

The Bishop then formally promulgated the new Directory and appointed 2 priests to the case, their terms lasting for six months and ending on December 31, 2013 (their terms were renewed on January 1, 2014 and went until December 31, 2014). I do not believe it necessary to go into every detail of the Directory of July, 2013, except to say that the Bishop attempts to foster devotion to Our Lady under her ancient title of “Mystical Rose” (Directory, Norms: 2). He gives a list of Norms that are to be followed “with docility, obedience and a spirit of faith” (Directory, Preface). He again mentions the assistance of the CDF, specifically citing a letter dated November 13, 2012.

The contents of the letter from the CDF are not revealed. It appears, however, that they are alluded to in an official Press Release from the Diocese of Brescia that was issued on July 19, 2013. The Press Release states the following:

According to indications [guidelines] recently received by the Holy See, the promotion of Marian devotion in Fontanelle will then have a more direct link with the responsibility of the Diocesan Bishop, because of the considerable influx of the faithful coming to Fontanelle from the Diocese of Brescia and from other Dioceses in Italy and the world. This is therefore a very important phase of transition that wants to improve and intends to keep account of the steps so far carried out with great dedication for many years, especially by the priests of the parishes of Montichiari and H.E. Mons. Olmi, to whom is expressed a great debt of gratitude.

Only a Marian and baptismal devotion, under the authority of the Diocesan Bishop, will be promoted at Fontanelle. Any reference to apparitions, messages, or other phenomena of a presumed supernatural nature will be excluded that can also indirectly induce the faithful to believe that the judgment of the Church about the so-called apparitions or other extraordinary phenomena in Fontanelle has, over time, been changed in a positive sense by the Holy See.

In order to make more effective the custody and the supervision on the devotion established in the new Directory, the Bishop has named the Diocesan Chancellor, Mons. Marco Alba, as his own Episcopal Delegate. He will be able to count on the collaboration of the Most Reverend Giancarlo Scalvini with special tasks of moderator of the devotion [cult] and administrator.

It will be their care to act in cooperation with the parishes of Montichiari for everything that concerns a harmonious pastoral action among the religious functions of the parishes and those of the Marian devotion at Fontanelle as well as to start collaboration with the members of the Rosa Mistica-Fontanelle association in order to harmonize the activities and statutory tasks of the same [association] in observance of the indications [guidelines] of the new Directory.[i]

From the above, it appears as though the contents of the letter from the CDF to Bishop Monari could very well discuss the obligation of the Diocesan Bishop to assert his authority in the matter. This manifests itself by establishing guidelines for a healthy Marian devotion in Montichiari/Fontanelle and for these to be enforced by Diocesan officials appointed by the Bishop.

The next development occurred on January 1, 2014. Bishop Monari then issued another Decree (Prot. N. 31/14) wherein he erected the canonical foundation known as “Rosa Mistica Fontanelle” according to the norms of the 1983 Code of Canon Law (canon 1303 §1). Attached to this Decree were Statutes for the foundation, comprising 15 different articles notarized by a gentleman named Diego Ferrario. Once again, we see Bishop Monari, in his January 1, 2014 Decree reference the November, 2012 letter from the CDF with this Dicastery’s “indications” for how to proceed in the Montichiari/Fontanelle case.

What we see in these above documents is a clear desire from the Diocese of Brescia as well as the CDF to regulate the devotion expressed by the faithful in the area of Montichiari/Fontanelle. This devotion was inspired by the claims and writings of the alleged visionary Pierina Gilli from 1947 onwards. Though it was clear after Diocesan authorities examined said claims that there was no evidence of the supernatural, the Diocese still had to regulate the otherwise good devotion and intention of the faithful.

The above facts and their recent promulgation raise an important question: are the above acts in the Montichiari/Fontanelle case a foretaste of what we can expect in a judgment from the Holy See on the Medjugorje phenomenon? Has Rome, in fact, quite possibly tipped its hand?

Earlier this summer, Pope Francis created quite the media frenzy when he was returning to Rome from his trip to Sarajevo. During his press conference, the Holy Father was asked about Medjugorje. Though there was some initial dispute as to the exact words as the reports were first coming out, the official text on the Vatican’s web site reads:

In regard to the issue of Medjugorje, Pope Benedict XVI at the time convened a committee presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini; there were other Cardinals, theologians and specialists on the committee as well. They did an investigation and Cardinal Ruini came to me and gave me the study they did, after many years of labour, I don’t know, maybe three of four years, more or less. They did a fine job, a fine job indeed. Cardinal Müller (Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) told me that he would be having a feria quarta (a meeting dedicated to this specific question) at the right time; I think it was done on the last Wednesday of the month. But I am not sure… We are close to coming to a decision. And then the results will be communicated. For the moment, all that is being done is to give guidelines to the bishops, but along the lines that will be taken. Thank you!

[Father Lombardi notes that the proposed feria quarta has not yet, in fact, taken place.]

It was that last line about the Holy See giving “guidelines to the bishops” that are “along the lines that will be taken” that sent the media into a flurry of activity.

The reason for said activity is because of steps taken on Medjugorje that were publicized prior to the Pope’s remarks in June, 2015. Beginning in November, 2013, reports arose on actions from the CDF concerning how local Ordinaries were to handle events and/or functions on Medjugorje. In short, local Ordinaries were to ensure the faithful in their care were not to attend functions that presumed a supernatural character to Medjugorje.

Later, in February, 2015, one of the alleged visionaries, Ivan Dragicevic, gave the impression that he was going to disobey this order by appearing at a function in St. Charles, Missouri, which is within the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The Archbishop, H.E. Robert Carlson, received a “request” from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to remind the faithful of their duty as was expressed in 2013. This order was duly carried out in a letter from the Archbishop to his priests and deacons. The letter originally appeared on the Diocesan web site, but is no longer featured. It is, however, preserved on the blog Te Deum Laudamus.

Since the above actions, in July of this year it was reported that another of the alleged visionaries of Medjugorje, Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, was also prohibited from speaking. This time it was claimed that the Diocese of Padua, Italy, specifically the Bishop, H.E. Antonio Mattiazzo, issued a letter to event organizers containing the prohibition. I say “claimed” because the Diocesan web site appears to have no record of the letter, though the supportive National Medjugorje Movement web site claims to have a (partial) English translation of the letter. The text reads:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith points out that, pending further provisions by the Holy See, the Christian communities – bishops, priests and faithful – are required to observe the already established by the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in the Zadar Declaration of April 10, 1991: “On the basis of investigation up till now it is not possible to say whether it’s supernatural apparitions or revelations”. It is therefore not allowed to the clergy and faithful of the diocese to participate in any meetings, conferences or public celebrations in which would be taken for granted as to their credibility.

The above texts and accompanying stories are seen as being indicative of the direction the Church is going with respect to Medjugorje. It must then be observed that if these are the “lines” along which the Church is taking the Medjugorje phenomenon, then it does not look as if said phenomenon will be attributed with a supernatural character. This observation, however, does not address the same question that the case of Montichiari/Fontanelle faced, namely the question of the devotion expressed in Medjugorje.

Shortly after the Pope’s remarks in June, various media outlets were quick to follow up with the other remark from the Pope on the late June meeting of the CDF. The reports conflicted. Some said the meeting took place, others denied it. All in all though, the idea spread that the Holy See might not declare the alleged apparitions to be supernatural, but it might allow the devotion expressed in Medjugorje to continue. This would happen by regulating the situation in Medjugorje by issuing guidelines. Nothing was proven however, due to the absence of an official statement from the Holy See. The end of June came and went with no official statement on the matter.

The question remains though, will the Holy See offer “indications” to the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno (wherein Medjugorje is located) on Medjugorje just like it appears to have done with the Diocese of Brescia on Montichiari/Fontanelle? Or was it that various media reports read what I will here call the “Montichiari/Fontanelle Solution” back into the Medjugorje phenomenon?

Has the mind of Rome been displayed? Time will tell, and no matter where one falls in the discussion on Medjugorje, it is going to be truly revealing to see people’s responses to the judgment of the Holy See.

Further Reading:

On the Rosa Mistica Apparitions.

Medjugorje: A Clarification and Disobedience.

Medjugorje: More on Ivan Dragicevic.

Wayne Weible and the Papal Nuncio: A Response.


 

[i] The above is my own amateur translation. The original Italian is:

Secondo le indicazioni pervenute di recente dalla Santa Sede, la promozione del culto mariano alle Fontanelle dovrà quindi avere un legame più diretto con la responsabilità del Vescovo diocesano, in ragione del notevole afflusso di fedeli provenienti alla Fontanelle dalla diocesi di Brescia e da altre diocesi in Italia e nel mondo. Si tratta pertanto di una fase di passaggio molto importante, che vuole valorizzare e intende tenere conto dei passi fin qui svolti con grande dedizione, per lunghi anni, soprattutto dai sacerdoti delle Parrocchie di Montichiari e da S.E. Mons Olmi, verso i quali si esprime un grande debito di riconoscenza.

Presso la località Fontanelle dovrà pertanto essere promosso un culto unicamente mariano e battesimale, sotto l’autorità del Vescovo diocesano, e dovrà essere escluso qualsiasi riferimento ad apparizioni, messaggi, o altri fenomeni di presunta natura soprannaturale, che possano anche solo indirettamente indurre i fedeli a ritenere che il giudizio della Chiesa circa le c.d. apparizioni o altri fenomeni straordinari in località Fontanelle, nel tempo, sia stato modificato in senso positivo da parte della Santa Sede.

Allo scopo di rendere più efficace la custodia e la vigilanza sul culto secondo quanto stabilito nel nuovo direttorio, il Vescovo ha nominato nella persona del Cancelliere diocesano, Mons. Marco Alba, un proprio Delegato vescovile, il quale potrà contare sulla collaborazione in loco di un presbitero con speciali compiti di moderatore del culto e di amministratore, il Rev.do Giancarlo Scalvini.

Sarà loro cura agire d’intesa con le Parrocchie di Montichiari, per tutto ciò che concerne una armonica azione pastorale tra le funzioni religiose della Parrocchie e quelle del culto mariano presso le Fontanelle, nonché avviare percorso di collaborazione con i membri dell’associazione Rosa Mistica-Fontanelle, al fine di armonizzare le attività e compiti statutari della stessa in osservanza delle indicazioni del nuovo Direttorio.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Kevin Symonds was born and raised in Massachusetts. He attended Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio where he obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Theology with emphasis in the classical languages. He has published Internet and magazine articles and resides in Texas. His first book, “Refractions of Light: 201 Answers on Apparitions, Visions and the Catholic Church” is now available at Amazon.

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  • Florian

    Aug. 8, I have always believed that Our Lady appeared at Medjugorje in the beginning but in later years, some of the visionaries were make appointments for people to meet them in various places where Our Lady had agreed to appear – it all seemed so bizarre! As if Our Lady, the Mother of God, would follow wherever certain visionaries traveled. The visionary we rarely hear from or about is the youngest boy…hopefully, all will follow the Church’s decision on this…Our Lady is with us every day, everywhere for she is the mother of us all.

    • Gallibus

      Re: ‘As if Our Lady, the Mother of God, would follow wherever certain visionaries traveled’.

      In Her glorified body and by the power of the Holy Spirit, Our Lady is everywhere – why do you think she needs to ‘travel/follow’ to where the visionaries travel?

    • Eimeara Volodchenko

      Yes Gabllus and Florian that poses a very big problem. We earthly beings do not command the Mother of God, this is an outright insult to the Queen of Heaven. She is not a slave.

  • Suburbanbanshee

    Let’s clarify here. Something that happens which doesn’t have a supernatural character is not necessarily something bad. For example, if the seer was a prayerful person who tended to pray with a lot of visual and sensory imagination involved (as, among other holy people, St. Ignatius Loyola taught beginners to do), it can get to a point where it might be difficult to tell spontaneous imagination (like dreams, or like the visual stories many writers compose and experience without conscious involvement) from something that is actually happening or from a perceived vision. If the person is pious and good, his imagination would produce imaginary happenings that were pious and good, and which could well be filled with good advice that would be edifying.

    It just wouldn’t be supernatural.

    Similarly, there have been cases where liars masquerading as seers, or people who were true seers who then fell into making stuff up, have managed to produce a certain number of good fruits, simply because the people who believed them were trying to love God and do His will. God can make a little bit of lemonade out of the rottenest lemons, and He loves us.

    But that wouldn’t be because the liars were experiencing anything supernatural; it would be because God scrambles into all sorts of holes to rescue His lost sheep.

    Also, if you’ve ever wondered why people were so worried about what would happen to St. Bernardette and the Servant of God Sr. Lucia, look up what happened to the children who saw Our Lady of La Salette. The initial apparitions were truly supernatural in character, but afterwards some very bad, unedifying stuff happened with both of them, and their later accounts of later visions were not approved, IIRC. There was also a lot of controversy about their “secrets,” one of which was never published. Humans can sin and mess up as much as they want, even after the holiest experiences.

    Finally, there’s good reason that the Church gives investigative powers to the local bishop in these cases. I think it’s foolish to expect Rome to find a supernatural character and approve of Medjugorje when the bishops on the spot have been so leery of so many sketchy aspects of the messages of the “apparition” and the credibility of the “seers.”

    • Gallibus

      And then one can always trip over one’s own incredulity!

    • Kevin Symonds

      Very good thoughts presented here! Have you seen my article “The Greatest of Pastoral Care”?

      http://www.catholiclane.com/the-greatest-of-pastoral-care/

      The only realm qualm, and which is admittedly minor, I would make is your choice of words “the Church gives investigative powers to the local bishop in these cases.” I think the Bishop has these already by virtue of his authority, not because he is given them by the Church at some later point.

  • Gallibus

    Why don’t they just be honest and say that they don’t have any evidence to prove that the visitations are not genuine and that the messages have nothing that contradicts Catholic doctrine? One person’s reality CANNOT be the same as another’s so if the vision did not happen to one, then one can never know for sure. It is like determining who your father is – you go on the testimony and the evidence – you can never be absolutely 100% sure. Over-prudence is neither helpful nor wise and blocks countless souls in their spiritual growth. Quite simply, to block the Lord or His messenger is to offend the Lord. There are consequences! Take from prophecy what is good – leave the rest! It would be far more fruitful to have an intelligent and insightful analysis of the content of the messages than to spend all this energy trying to disprove them – appropriate focus of attention seems to be absent here.

    In any case, the Lord affirms the Medugorje, Garabandal, and Fatima visitations in messages to other visionaries and so I take the matter as settled. Our Lady said the confusion over the visitations of Garabandal was given to show ‘the confusion in the Church’ – and this confusion is evident in all the froth about them.

    • Kimberly

      You said that the Lord affirms the Medugorje messages to other visionaries. How do you know it is the Lord speaking and not Satan? If Satan wanted people to believe a false vision of Christ, or the Mother of Christ, then wouldn’t he ‘name drop’ Church approved apparitions during the false visions he was causing people to see? Yes he would. This is why it is it is necessary for the Church authorities (The Bishops, who have this authentic authority and sacred responsibility) to discern the nature of any alleged visions, apparitions, or messages.

    • Gallibus

      How does one know anything at all? You and this exchange could simply be an illusion of an overheated mind, a dream, a wish, whatever one wishes to discredit one’s experience of reality. Bearing in mind we are all mostly empty space, an energy field, what is reality after all?

      Satan is master of deception – unless one believes that he is an illusion as well – and it is more than likely that he would cast doubt on the true and substitute lies for the truth in order to confuse at best – if not completely deceive. This is where discernment comes in.

      My point is that one needs to be open to the Spirit and not spend centuries arguing the toss, which action negates the immediate action of the Spirit on souls. Fortunately, the Lord is able to foresee all the nonsense and still achieve His objectives – at least with those who are willing to co-operate with Him. Consider the contemporaries of Noah.

      Faith is based on the absence of proof – one accepts the truth of things one cannot know or prove for the time being – based on the credibility of the presenter. Without Faith, one would have no religion at all.

      Sometimes I think the Bishops, in being over-prudent, are giving satan an advantage he does not deserve, are being disloyal to our King and are neglecting to pasture the souls entrusted to them. They will be held accountable so we need to pray for them.

      As I always say: ‘The rewards of faith are for the faith-full’.
      For the rest – ‘Oh you of little faith – why did you doubt?’ could be the determining question at the Judgement.
      Have you ever wondered what is the reward for those receive a prophet as a prophet – or did you think it was some sort of a lucky-packet?

    • Kimberly

      “Bearing in mind we are all mostly empty space, an energy field, what is reality after all?”

      Et tu, Pilot? “What is truth?” We are not any kind of empty space, or an energy field. We each are human beings made in the image and likeness of God and we each have an immortal soul. That is truth.

    • Gallibus

      So you are a scientist now too? Go away.

    • Kevin Symonds

      Gallibus, I think you are mistaken.

      1) There is evidence that the “visitations” are not genuine.
      2) There is evidence that the “messages” contradict Catholic doctrine.
      3) You express a confusing point on reality when I think you mean experience. To your example, have you heard of DNA testing?
      4) Prophecy must be weighed within its totality. You cannot simply take what is good and leave the rest. If it is all from God, He has given it for a reason and to discard the “all” might be expressive of ingratitude.
      5) There has been some analysis of the alleged messages. Start with Donal Foley’s book on Medjugorje. Moreover, I suspect the Ruini Commission has indeed checked this aspect out as well.
      6) When you say “the Lord” confirmed things to “other visionaries” you cannot do so without proving that these “other visionaries” are authentic. See Kimberly’s post on this matter. She asks a good question.

    • Gallibus

      This evidence should be presented and proven according to the same rigorous standards demanded for the visitations as well.

      Oftentimes in our appraisal of prophecy we come to wrong conclusions based on our limited knowledge and assumptions. (We have the same problem in scientific investigations; we make wrong conclusions based on true observations.)

      Noah’s contemporaries suffered from the same erroneous conclusions and time proved them wrong. Faith is the key! There are even today parts of scriptures that we do not understand clearly or even at all. In our arrogance, we assume too much and lean too much on our own understanding. The Lord gives us information which we may not understand at the time – is He supposed to reveal His Plan to His adversary? – but which we will recognize when it comes to pass so that we will know that it was the Lord who was speaking.

    • Kevin Symonds

      Gallibus, let us wait and see what the Ruini Commission & Pope Francis put out on the matter. They just might put it all out there for show 🙂

    • Gallibus

      DNA analysis is a very recent innovation and even that is not 100% certain – very close but scientists don’t like to claim 100% certainty for anything. There can be all sorts of errors due to misplaced samples, incorrect procedures, poor interpretation, etc. Science is not infallible either. I think the Lord likes to keep us guessing – or probably He is just too great, too complex, for our feeble powers.

      And, even true prophecy can be misinterpreted and judged as false. Tricky!

  • Mike Gannome

    I’ll bet the Church will say that the supernatural character at Medj cannot be affirmed. They will encourage prayer, confession and devotion to the the BVM there, but without reference to the alleged visions. They will restrict public shows by the visionaries and prohibit priests to go on pilgrimages or conduct anything there which refer to the visions. There is no way the Church will declare the visions are supernatural while still in progress. These could go on for another 30-40 years.

    • Kimberly

      The Church may not declare that alleged visions are supernatural while they occur, but they may in fact condemn alleged ongoing visions if it is determined that they are of demonic origin, or simply declare them to be not supernatural in origin. I think they will likely declare them not to be supernatural in origin. The fruit of authentic Catholic devotions is always good, and the people who have made pilgrimages to Medjugorje primarily to pray the rosary, go to confession and attend Mass were engaging in authentic Catholic devotions and sacraments so it isn’t surprising that there were a lot of good fruits there. Any condemnation or negative/neutral judgment about alleged visions and messages from the Mother of God would not change that.

    • Gallibus

      One nevertheless wonders why these people would go all the way to another country to engage in an authentic Catholic devotion and practice that one can practice in one’s own backyard so to speak. I certainly would not go a yard to a place of a fraudulent claim of supernatural origin and I doubt many others would either so I contest your conclusion that they would go simply to have the novelty of saying the Rosary in a different place.

      Dear Lord, assist us in our miserable state of unbelief!
      Holy Mother, thank you for your work for the Lord from your first ‘fiat’ and through the millennia – no wonder He loves You so much!

    • Kimberly

      You wouldn’t make a fraudulent claim of supernatural favors in the form of visitations from the Mother of God, but many, many people have throughout history. This is why the discernment of the Bishops is so important, and why the people should listen to them without letting their desires mislead them. The people who went to Medjugorje to engage in these devotions and partake of the sacraments in that place were driven to experience even more of the supernatural than these things provide. They were sincere in their desires, but the sincere desires of many do not provide proof or even any kind of evidence that these claims of supernatural visitations from the Mother of Christ were true.

    • Gallibus

      You seem to be far too sure of your own opinion – even of others’ motivations – so I will leave you to be nourished by your own thoughts.

    • Marc Conza

      Kimberly is correct. In one of Rooney & Faricy’s early books on Medjugorje they recount the story of a pilgrim who had only HALF of her rosary “turn to gold”, and she said that she was going to return to Medjugorje “to see if the rest of it will turn gold.” Also rosaries “turning to gold” are a tried-and-true trademark of false apparitions. This “sign” was rampant at Necedah, Bayside, San Damiano, and Sabana Grande, all condemned by the Church. It never happened with any of the genuine apparitions approved by the Church (or with Montichiari, which is not yet approved by the Church as this article notes). Father Malachi Martin said this cheap “miracle” is none other than the occult practice of alchemy whereby Satan and his demons change base metals into gold (which, in the practice of alchemy they do in response to the incantations of the alchemists/occultists.) At Medjugorje as well as other false apparition sites Satan does it “gratis” to hook the gullible into believing in and promoting the false apparition.

    • anniefitz

      Well said.

    • Kevin Symonds

      Gallibus, I humbly recommend you read my article “The Greatest of Pastoral Care.”

      http://www.catholiclane.com/the-greatest-of-pastoral-care/

  • Marc Conza

    Medjugorje needs to be outright condemned for the fraud that the original Bishop Zanic exposed it to be in the damning audio tapes he has of the “seers” not only contradicting themselves but outright lying to him under oath in the early days. Whereas I’m actually tired of trying to convince people who refuse to be convinced no matter what evidence there is to the contrary (a mountain of it, actually) about the false apparitions of Medjugorje, I actually want to comment on the Rosa Mystica apparitions. Other than the fact that the Bishops involved in the Montichiari-Fontanelle are products of the liberal theology rampant throughout the Church in Italy (which Bella Dodd directly introduced with her 1,000 communist seminary students who went on to become priests and bishops and train others for this cause for the destruction of the Church from within) I cannot understand the stance the Brescian stance against Montichiari. Because the whole purpose of the Montichiari apparitions is the COMPLETE RENEWAL OF THE PRIESTHOOD AND RELIGIOUS LIFE through the Rosa Mystica devotion, and not the kind of “renewal” that we got from Vatican II, but the exact kind of renewal that is in keeping with Apostolic Tradition and upheld by all the Popes prior to the runaway council. Bishop Venancio of Fatima, who was instrumental in getting Our Lady’s Third Secret to Rome, and who was a confidant of Sister Lucia, had no trouble recognizing the authenticity of Montichiari (the same as he did for Garabandal, whose principal visionary, Conchita Gonzalez, became a close friend of his.) Unfortunately, not being the Bishop in charge of Montichiari, Bishop Venancio’s belief carries no weight with the Diocese of Brescia. What I also don’t understand is the contradictory actions of the Bishops of Brescia over the years. While they continue to officially maintain that the apparitions to Pierina Gilla are not approved, nor should Catholics have the impression that they are, the Bishop of Brescia (which one, I can’t remember at the moment) authorized a life-sized marble statue of Our Lady as she appeared to Pierina to be installed inside the diocesan Cathedral. In 2006 the Bishop made headlines in the Italian press (and I have a copy of one of the articles in the original Italian) that he was giving “the green light” to the devotion to the Rosa Mystica expressed in the apparitions (while holding back, however, on a declaration of the nature and origin of the apparitions.) Is it any wonder Catholics are confused as to the status of these apparitions? I for one am definitely a believer, and to Pierina’s credit her apparitions have none of the disobedience, warped theology, and cheap flashy “signs” (that Satan and his minions are more than capable of manufacturing) that saturates Medjugorje. As with all things, if Montichiari truly originates from God, then He, in His own good time when it will give Him and His Mother the most glory, will provide the Bishop who will not be afraid to authenticate it and begin the renewal of our priesthood and religious orders that Our Lady came to initiate at Montichiari in the hopes of preventing the devastation unleashed on the Church by Bella Dodd and her communists, and the Jews and their Freemasons, that they achieved with Vatican II.

    • AnneM040359

      Paragraphs are your friend!

    • anniefitz

      I once knew a nice lady who corrected people’s grammar in public when they were speaking. People started avoiding her and she never knew why….

    • Rescued By Mary

      There should be two spaces after a period before the next sentance…

    • Kevin Symonds

      Seriously? You are going to argue punctuation? Please take that conversation elsewhere. It is not what my article was about.

    • AnneM040359

      If one goes extreme that is one thing, but breaking paragraphs up simply makes it easy on the eyes to read.

      Maybe that nice lady was at one time was a teacher. Teachers never stop being teachers.

    • Kevin Symonds

      Hi! You make some interesting points, but I think you are mistaken in at least one respect–the Church’s theology of private revelation.

      At the risk of making a shameless plug, I encourage you to buy my book as it should be of tremendous value to you. It is “Refractions of Light” and you can find it on Amazon.

    • Paula Satinoff

      ExCUSE me?! If you are truly in Christ and the Spirit as you seem to imply with your condemnations of false visions and off-the-track bishops, just exactly what is with the anti-Jewish comment in your last sentence? First off, you obviously have very little understanding of history to lump my Jewish brethren in with speculative Freemasons, who had a far stronger link to English (and, later, Contintental) aristocracy than to Jews…if you’re going to drag out the old Rothschild/Bilderburg claim I would remind you that the Freemasons – in particular the English – were in existence easily 50 years beforehand; furthermore it was a few members of the French – and later German – aristocracy and intellectual élite who originated the concepts of anarchy, revolution and ultimately, consolidated power – the Novus Ordo Seclorum, or what we know today as the New World Order. If you’ve ever cracked your Old Testament open, there’s this really cool part where some guy named Moshe goes to the top of this mountain called Sinai, and dang if he doesn’t get handed two tablets of stone carved with 10 do’s and don’t by none other than You-Know-Who. And what’s more (if we skip a few slightly wild paragraphs where Moshe’s folks down below go a little off the rails themselves and he gets just slightly bent, resulting in those two tablets getting broken and his having to re-write them himself all over again…oy, zo verkakhte ah headache…) well, so our longsuffering Moshe calms down, and soon The Lord God of Israel calls him back up to that mountaintop and gives him so many more Thou shalts and Thou shalt nots the good rebbe probably had the first case of writer’s cramp in history. My point being: God took care to give us all those laws to make sure we would stay out of trouble and live lives of holiness–and if you’d ever had an opportunity to get familiar with the basic tenets of what He laid out for us, you would see pretty quickly that it clashes in a really big way with what the Freemasons and the Illuminati came up with just before joining forces at the Congress of Wilhelmsbad. Putting it a little more clearly: Freemasonry and Judaism are antithetical to each other. That clear enough for you? Knowing that one creep with a Jewish name was involved ≠ all Jewish people either being involved in his plotting or being bad. That is reasoning on about the level of a five-year-old. What if, because of the questions coming out of Medjugorje, non-Catholics were to conclude/accuse that all Catholic clergy were misleading the people, and/or that the laity were, for their part, all ignorant, semi-hysterical fools? That’s outrageous, you’re surely thinking. That’s also what reasoning on about the level of a five-year-old will do for you….

      Secondly, fan me with a brick, but I could’ve sworn it was a Pope who ushered in – along with a whole lotta cardinals – Vatican II, not some cabal of hunchbacked, mumbling Jews, which is how I suspect you picture us…you go for the Protocols of Zion vileness the Tsar’s secret police cooked up too?

      Third of all, our Lord chose to live as a Jew. Wake up, buddy. When are you and your Dark Ages ilk going to get the clue that we aren’t Christ killers? My dear, even the Church herself has excused us from “blood guilt” – finally. [Why, we’re not even held guilty of stealing and murdering Christian babies to use their blood in secret rituals any more…in case you hadn’t heard]. You seem a bit concerned about Satan deceiving people…can you not see him laughing at how easily he’s gotten you to fall for his web of lies? He IS the father of lies, from the very beginning. And the one about how we Jews are responsible for the death of the Lord – that was answered definitively once and for all: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. ALL.

      It’s YOUR sin, MY sin, ALL of our collective sin that made it necessary for our Saviour to die on that cross. And let’s get this straight: 1) MY people didn’t nail Him to that cross, your Italian ancestors the Romans did. 2) It wasn’t the nails that held Him to the cross, Marc…it was love. Like that sweet song from the 1960’s used to plead…Put a little love in your heart, bro.

    • Marc Conza

      Thank you for your “in Christ and the Spirit” scathing reply. I suggest you inform yourself on the unbroken 2,000 year Apostolic Tradition regarding the Jews which came from Christ and the Apostles themselves and was hijacked and reversed at the Second Vatican Council, which you can do here: http://www.romancatholicism.org/popes-jews.html. It is the only Church council in history at which heretics and Jews were personally invited in and allowed to systematically introduce time bombs into the Church to achieve her demolition (all according to the Alta Vendita, which you can read online for yourself.) And as for the rest of the truth about “your people” nobody has done a better job at exposing all of it (with every original Jewish source included to prove every one of his points) than the Jewish convert Brother Nathanael Kapner at http://www.realjewnews.com
      When Our Lady came to Fatima to convert Russia, she did not refer to Christian Russia, but to Bolshevic Russia (the Jewish atheist revolutionaries) and let’s not forget that the atheist Communists Stalin, Marx, & Lenin were all JEWS. ( And the founder of Freemasonry, Adam Weishaupt, was a JEW. History is history, whether you like it or not. ) Their errors have certainly spread throughout the world into every facet of society as Our Lady predicted at Fatima, and which Brother Kapner meticulously details.

  • Karen Songe

    I would challenge the members of the Commission to read all the messages that Our Lady has given to the visionaries from the very beginning. I doubt that any of them have done this. And I would like them to see if there is anything in Her messages that are contrary to the Catholic Faith.

    • Kevin Symonds

      Karen, I believe the Ruini Commission did read the alleged messages. I believe this because this was, at least partly, their job.

      Moreover, there is questionable content within the alleged messages. Pray tell, are you familiar with the work of Donal Anthony Foley?

    • Karen Songe

      No, Kevin, I am not familiar with Donal Anthony Foley, so I did research him. There will always be skeptics on both sides, just as there will always be good and evil. Have you read Fr. Donald Calloway’s book, “No Turning Back, A Witness to Mercy”? One of many examples of how Medjugorje has changed people. Here is a link regarding Mr. Foley, you might want to check it out. Pax http://ministryvalues.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1366&Itemid=125

    • Kevin Symonds

      Miss Karen,

      Hi and thank you for commenting. I respectfully ask you not to engage in “trading links.” I am quite familiar with the subject and have many long years behind me on it. It is my hope that you will engage me with the facts in discussion, not simply go tit-for-tat with links.

      In the meantime, specifically to your points, you are mistaken. Evil will not always exist. Good triumphs. Perhaps you’ve read the Apocalypse?

      You may have seen in my author’s bio above that I was educated at Franciscan University. Fr. Calloway was stationed there for some years and we’ve spoken on Medjugorje in his own home. You can imagine that we disagreed.

      Having corresponded with Ministry Values, I am familiar with what they wrote and I think you missed Foley’s response to Klimek.

      Again, thank you for commenting!

    • Karen Songe

      Thank you for your kind response. I’m happy to learn of your background, and have great respect for you because of it. As it turns out Mr. Foley and I are Facebook friends. It’s hard to know everything about our FB friends, because I have over 1100 of them. I just want to be confident that they are Catholic and adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church. AS far as Medjugorje goes, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Oh, I do know that one day there will be no evil, I pray that it is soon. 🙂

    • Kevin Symonds

      Hello Miss Karen!

      Talk to Donal. He can provide you with some good insights into his writings and answer any question that you may have as you read through his book. Take time with things and come to conclusions after prayer and study. You will be thankful that you did.

      I once believed in Medjugorje. The path I try to set you on is one that I walked.

    • Jose

      Please provide the so called questionable content within the messages. Don’t just say it without proving it. And just because you have degrees in theology, it doesn’t make you THE authority. The first Bishop in that area was definitely prejudiced against the messages. Too many good and Holy priests in that area have come out of there believing in the messages. Why should one believe you (and your ” authorative” slightly condescending manner) over them?

    • Florian

      It is not necessarily true that ‘Medjugorje’ has changed people. God changes people and people to there seeking an encounter with God, with Mary and God and Mary honor their need and meet them with grace. It is their honest seeking that brings the grace…that grace is always readily available in the Sacraments, especially during Mass when Jesus Christ Himself descends upon our altars and then enters our bodies when we receive the Eucharist. I understand the need for pilgrimage, and I honor that, but we must not make a ‘place’ the only absolute for encountering God. We encounter Him everywhere, in everyone and, most importantly, in our Churches where Jesus resides physically in the Tabernacle 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    • anniefitz

      I would encourage you to read the the words of Our Lady spoken in Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, Rue De Bac and Kibeho.These are church approved visions. They were all approved by the local bishops and ratified by Rome. One quickly realises that an infinite gulf separates Our Lady’s words at these visions from the “Medjugorje messages”. Our Lady is always succint and profound. Her language is courtly and elevated. She is never verbose. In Knock, she did not speak during the apparition in 1879. A number of the Lourdes apparitions were silent, as were the visions at Beuring, Belgium in 1933. These are all church approved apparitions. They have overcast and neglected by many in the wake of the Medjugorje phenomenon.The messages of Fatima are so vital to read and know. Read and you will see.God Bless, A

  • guesto3

    It would seem that if the ruling is like what is suggested in the article that the local Bishop of the locality of Medjugorje would have to already be seen as prejudiced and therefore once again capable of another “over rule” type of approach with such guidelines as was previously done. Instead the rumor re: a special appointee of the Vatican/a “governor” of sorts could likely be carried out with responsibility of overseeing just the Medjugorje area or “shrine’s” competence. Therefore leaving out personal opinions of authoritative clerics of the region and making a more personal connection with the Vatican’s own oversight. This would make more sense knowing the huge international appeal of this site as well as this very reality being one of the reasons for having the Vatican form its own commission, out of the hands of the local Bishop of objection, in the first place. How, after all of these years of study a blatant resorting only to the 1991 declaration could be made, esp. when that “commission” was interrupted by the war, would really be a declaration of incompetency and neglect of the faithful…. a grave matter of conscience indeed for the authorities involved.

    • Kevin Symonds

      Hello guesto3 and thank you for commenting. You’ve put quite a bit into the comment and so I will take it slowly.

      I suspect you might make more of the “prejudice” of Bishop Peric than needs to be. Peric’s objection rests with the character of the claims–he does not believe they are supernatural. If the Vatican affirms his decision, then there is no real qualm. The question is what to do with the pilgrims who go there, which is a shared concern between Peric and the Holy See. I am not ready to believe that Peric would mistreat pilgrims. That would attribute malice to someone who, unfortunately, has already been much aligned in the English-speaking world (and likely elsewhere) and, I will also add, unjustly maligned.

      Secondly, I would like to respond about your remark about the Vatican and its own commission. While you do not say it directly, your words lend themselves to the idea that somehow Rome thought the local Bishop to be biased, thus necessitating the Vatican’s own commission. I would contest such an idea.

      I think we agree on the last point. Simply to defer to the “non constat” of 1991, in the end, would not be good. The case requires a more definitive statement to lay the matter to rest.

    • Kevin Symonds

      Correction: aligned-maligned.

    • anniefitz

      Divesting the legitimate church authority (The Bishop of Mostar) of a town in his diocese simply won’t happen. Its a terrible rumour. The vatican continues to uphold the 1991 decision made by the Bishop’s Commission. The Bishop is responsible for investigating and discerning the Medjugorje phenonmenon. He is tasked by God to minister to his flock and is given special grace by God to declare if an apparition is true or false.

      A bishop’s decision on the veracity or indeed false nature of an apparition has never been overturned. The bishop decides, the Vatican ratifies the decision. Unfortunately chronic disobedience of leading players in Medjugorje and their disregard for the legitimate church authority directives has compelled the Vatican to intervene in support of the Bishop.