Medjugorje: More on Ivan Dragicevic

Emily - statue

Emily - statue

The following article was written in the first part of November, 2013 shortly after the event occurred that is described in the beginning. In light of recent events with Ivan Dragičević, this article is being reproduced with some edits for the sake of clarity and to keep the discussion going.

In November, 2013, the news broke that the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Viganò, under orders from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) banned one of the alleged Medjugorje visionaries, Ivan Dragičević, from speaking in the United States.  This news sent shockwaves throughout the Catholic news. I would like to discuss this news and offer a perspective that I hope will be helpful and well-reasoned.

Like many others, the news was shocking to me. My shock, however, was not rooted in the fact of the decision (and subsequent notice) itself but in the unexpected announcement.

Archbishop Viganò’s letter cites the 1991 Zadar declaration concerning the character of the Medjugorje phenomenon. To be clear, the statement—in its entirety—is as follows:

The bishops, from the very beginning, have been following the events of Medjugorje through the Bishop of the diocese [Mostar], the Bishop’s Commission and the Commission of the Bishops Conference of Yugoslavia on Medjugorje.

On the basis of the investigations so far it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.

However, the numerous gatherings of the faithful from different parts of the world, who come to Medjugorje, prompted both by motives of belief and various other motives, require the attention and pastoral care in the first place of the diocesan bishop and with him of the other bishops also, so that in Medjugorje and in everything connected with it a healthy devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary may be promoted in accordance with the teaching of the Church.

For this purpose the bishops will issue specially suitable liturgical-pastoral directives. Likewise, through their Commission they will continue to keep up with and investigate the entire event in Medjugorje.

Viganò cites the second paragraph (“On the basis…and revelations”) in his letter. Then, speaking in his own words, Viganò continues, “It follows, therefore, that clerics and the faithful are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such ‘apparitions’ would be taken for granted.’”

While seemingly big news, Viganò’s above directive is not all that surprising. What follows is an explanation as to why this is the case.

Historically, the second paragraph of the 1991 Zadar declaration has been a little confusing. The confusion is over making logical conclusions, which will then affect one’s response to the Medjugorje phenomenon. Simply put, if the Church is unable to give a definitive judgment on Medjugorje, how are the faithful to respond to the claims of Medjugorje? Can they make a pilgrimage there, promote it, give money to support it, etc.?

These questions are seemingly answered by the next paragraph in the Zadar declaration. This paragraph appears to allow people to go to Medjugorje and most of the documentation discussing this paragraph focuses on this angle. It is true the document does not forbid trips to Medjugorje, but this is where a careful reading is necessary. The question being addressed is not about pilgrimages to Medjugorje. The question is over the necessary pastoral care to be given to those who go to Medjugorje.

The above observation is an important one because of the way it reframes the focus of the document as well as calls into question subsequent historical developments.

In the Church’s wisdom, no definitive judgment was made in 1991 on the character of Medjugorje, but word had spread far and wide about the phenomenon. In these days where ease of travel and social media are readily accessible, to stop people from going (especially given Medjugorje’s popularity) would have been nearly impossible. However, what happens when one is in Medjugorje is an entirely different story.

In the same paragraph in question, it is stated that a “healthy devotion” in accordance with “the teaching of the Church” was to be promoted by Church officials to those who go to Medjugorje. Now, I will leave it to able historians to describe how successful this proposed enterprise was, but it is necessary to point out one indisputable fact: it is entirely questionable whether or not pilgrims have been duly informed of the full and unadulterated truth of Medjugorje.

Think of it this way, were one to go to Medjugorje, is he met with a barrage of “supportive” materials to the phenomenon, materials that question it, or a healthy mix of both? However one answers this, we must now return to the main focus of this article—why Viganò’s letter is not all that surprising.

As stated earlier, a proper understanding of the 1991 Zadar declaration is necessary in order to understand Viganò’s recent letter. The question at hand is, if the Church has not ruled positively on Medjugorje, can one support it either financially or personally? This has been a bone of contention between those who believe in Medjugorje and those who do not. The former see no problem supporting it while the latter do. From 1991 to 1998 this remained an open question.

In 1998, then Archbishop (now Cardinal) Bertone wrote a letter to a French Bishop on Medjugorje. In this letter, Bertone states, “Finally, as regards pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which are conducted privately, this Congregation points out that they are permitted on condition that they are not regarded as an [authentication] of events still taking place and which still call for an examination by the Church.”

It was seemingly a victory for those who question Medjugorje. Bertone upheld pilgrimages to Medjugorje, but then introduced a logical conclusion based upon the Zadar declaration. If the Church cannot at that time rule positively on the subject, neither should anyone else. Bertone was speaking about how one cannot take for granted that Medjugorje was from God when the Church herself had not done so. To do otherwise is to be out of step with the Church.

Bertone’s logic would obviously cut into the Medjugorje business that sprang up around the place. While he permitted pilgrimages, there was a logical question one had to ask him or herself. That question was, “If the Church has said not to go to Medjugorje believing it to be true, what purpose is there in going?” By design, this question (had people asked it of themselves) arguably would have cut out at least most of the pilgrimages. If statistics from 1998 to the present are any indication, the question of one’s motive in going to Medjugorje appears not to have been considered.

In light of the above, it is not surprising that the CDF and Archbishop Viganò have forbidden Ivan Dragičević from public appearances in these United States. It is entirely consistent with previous statements on the Medjugorje phenomenon. To be fair, the only real difference is that in Vigano’s letter, a clear and direct order is given. The 1991 Zadar declaration and Bertone’s 1998 letter have not been as explicit and left it largely to logic and the conscience of the faithful.

In conclusion, the Papal Nuncio’s letter issued a significant test of obedience for Medjugorje. It is going to be interesting to watch how the phenomenon develops further.

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165 thoughts on “Medjugorje: More on Ivan Dragicevic”

  1. Pingback: Wayne Weible and the Papal Nuncio: A Response : Catholic Stand

  2. Now Kevin who is being sarcastic? Methinks you just can’t stand anyone pointing out your flaws in logic and your conceit.

    1. joannemary, with all due respect, you do not want to get me into a war of sarcasm. First of all, I don’t think my editor would appreciate it. Second, it is destructive to dialogue. Thirdly, as you have clearly demonstrated, it goes absolutely nowhere and only becomes a cause for “gotcha” moments.

      Such is not Christian, and you know it.

      I must, again respectfully, call you to charity and a higher standard. Regardless of what you may think of me, you ARE a representative of Medjugorje. You ought to act accordingly to the spirit of the alleged messages.

    2. Kevin, with all due respect, you have been sarcastic to everyone on this page that disagrees with you. And your comment about the spirit of Medjugorje is just plain flip. You might what to practice that charity too. You clearly have left the impression that anyone who follows those messages are being fooled. That is impossible because of the very content of those messages.

  3. The way you have twisted what the Church has said is disgusting, such as your phrasing “If the Church has said not to go to Medjugorje believing it to be true…”. That is not at all what the Church has said. People are free to go to Medjugorje but are not to assume that the Church in future will authenticate it. People are free to believe in Medjugorje or not, we are simply to recognize that an official ruling has not been made.

  4. I too am way beyond tired of medgagoogoo. These people who claim they’re faithful to Rome but yet disobeying the local bishop are so full of crap. One of the Mostar Bishops put out a document many years ago in which he stated 25 reasons why he didn’t believe in the so-called “visions”. One of them alone should have been enough for any truly faithful Catholic to utterly reject it. One of them was that he was in a room with one of his priests who was interrogating one of the seers, either Marija or Mirjana, I forget which. Anyway, the priest asked about the very first apparition, and the “seer” gave the standard story that they went out to tend their sheep. The priests said wait didn’t you tell me earlier you stepped outside for a smoke? The “seer” put her hand to her mouth and laughed, and admitted that that was what really happened. The Bishop states in the document that he has it on tape. Medjagoogoo was always phony.
    Granted some people have had some spiritual benefit from the whole thing, but that is IN SPITE of, not because of. When the Vatican finally rules, if it rules as it should, there will be many people who WILL NOT accept the ruling, just as they never accepted the Bishops’ rulings. You want to see a REAL schism? Wait till the day Rome rules on Medjagoogoo.

    1. Unfortunately, I have met those people who will disregard what Rome says if it is a negative judgment.

    2. Really? I guess Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Bible, and 2,000 years of Catholic teaching all “know everything” too. Oh, right, they do.

      It is a matter of record that one of the seers lied about the 1st apparition. It is a matter of record that the seers claim that “the Gospa” says we must respect all religions” which is blasphemy.

      Not to mention a few other facts.

      1. when the REAL Blessed Virgin mary appeared at Fatima, she said the war would end soon. And 13 months later, World War I came to an end. In Medjagoogoo, there was no war going on, coincidentally, after “the Queen of Peace” appeared in Medjagoogoo, war breaks out. MMMmmm…..

      2. Absolutely NO apparition has ever been approved that has lasted more than a few months. This phony garbage has been going on since 1981.

      3. The so-called “seers” act more like Tv or movie stars than genuine seers. Again, look at Fatima. Lucy, Jacinta, and Fransisco did not hang out soaking up the attention of pilgrims, or making money off the REAL, GENUINE apparitions that they actually had. And their spiritual advisor wasn’t out getting laid and getting a woman pregnant.

      4. Nowhere does Fatima contradict the Catholic Faith. Medjagoogoo contradicts the Fath in several places.

      5. Perhaps you should ask yourself how respectful you are to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Church when you clearly believe that these phony baloney proven LIARS are running around the world claiming to have “visions” of the “blessed Virgin mary” who conveniently is opposed to a Bishop of the Church, and who clearly proclaims things which totally and utterly contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church, but then, I don’t know everything…..

  5. Ivan has obeyed the order and did not try to go against the Bishop, he stated he will always obey the Church.
    Pope John Paul II’s private secretary showed an Australian priest a
    copy of the newsletter Echo of Medjugorje on the Pope’s dressing table,
    and told him the Pope read a paragraph every day before Mass. Minutes
    before, the Pope had told the priest that he believes Mary appears in
    Medjugorje.
    Medjugorje was sufficiently important to Saint Pope John Paul II for him
    to read a paragraph from the long-lived Italian newsletter Echo of
    Medjugorje every day before he celebrated Mass.
    This additional detail to Pope John Paul II’s devotion to Medjugorje was
    revealed to the Australian priest Fr. Tim Deeter by Cardinal
    Stanislaw…

    1. I have always wondered what the source of JPII’s information was on Medjugorje. He began learning about it from Fr. Rene Laurentin and it is a demonstrably proven fact that Laurentin doctored statements from Medjugorje.

    2. It is absurd to suggest that Pope John Paul II based his thinking just on things that he was hearing from Fr. Laurentin. The Pope was undoubtedly far better informed than you are — I hope you realize this!

    3. Father,

      As I said, “I have always wondered what the source of JPII’s information was on Medjugorje.”

      Perhaps I should amend my statement to read “sources” though I did qualify my statement by saying “he began.”

    4. Wow, you really think you ate an authority don’t you? When you place yourself above the Pope, then that says something about you, and it’s not a good something.

    5. So what on earth does Maciel’s deceit have to do with BVM visitations? or even JPII? Maybe, just maybe, JPII actually read those messages, heard the witness testimony and drew his own conclusions. But wait the great and insightful Kevin Symonds knows so much more that JP II.

    6. joannemary,

      Your question “So JPII was deceived but you are not?” presumes the Holy Father is impeccable. He is not, as the Fr. Maciel case clearly demonstrates.

      Moreover, your sarcasm is not appreciated.

    7. So now you are comparing JP II’s life as a priest to Maciel’s deceptive life?Sainthood seems rather impeccable to me. It seems you have judged yourself impeccable in your discernment of JP II’s ability to judge the BVM messages from Medjugoje. Yep, that Irish wit is hard to beat.

    8. Awe Kevin, I was just beginning to accept that you sincerely reject Medjugorje as a theologian even though I thoroughly disagree with you. Now to insult a truly great Marian theologian puts a bit of a dent in your character. I have known Fr. Rene for years and he does not need to doctor statements on anything nor would he as a true Christian. Be very careful, my friend, for the one thing we are to always do is respect our brothers and sisters in Christ regardless of a presumed wrong.

    9. Mr. Weible,
      I may respect Fr. Laurentin’s work, but I have here said nothing that is not true. Laurentin DID doctor stuff from Medjugorje and this has been demonstrably proven.

      If you have known him for years, with all due respect, then I ask you to speak with Laurentin yourself and ask him to explain the “Unbelieving Judases” statement.

  6. There comes to mind a second thought on this topic. A pilgrim carried a statue of Our Lady of Medjugorje to Civitavecchia, Italy, to put it in the garden. Thereafter the statue began to weep blood. After an initial hostile rejection, the diocese finally decided that the event was authentic and it is now a recognized place of pilgrimage. This reminds me of a similar case with the statue of Our Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam that goes back to 1945 — it was also ignored for years and years (now recognized). Finally, the same kind of statue in Japan began to give miraculous signs. This too was officially approved in the 1970’s more than 20 years before the recognition of Amsterdam. It is almost as if heaven says, “OK, you won’t approve this apparition? we’ll do the same in another diocese where they’re more cooperative.”

    1. You seem to be in the same camp as those who claimed (by their twisted logic) that Jesus drove out devils with the help of the devil himself. As for being a “palace guard,” you are guarding the wrong palace, presuming that you are trying to defend the truth — with friends like you, who needs enemies?

    2. I thought you didn’t believe in “signs” from Our Lady. You are just like so called pro choice Catholics with the truth smacking them in the face and they still reject it.

    3. Since you have no idea who I am, I am astonished that you are astonished at what you think I believe. Your attack ad feminam is childish, false, and uncharitable.

    4. Just going by your retorts. And I have not attacked your character but I did point out your inconsistency regarding signs from the BVM. The comparison to the inconsistencies of Catholics calling themselves pro choice is valid. They lie to themselves even as the truth is self evident. Would you have waited until Rome approved Fatima before you would have believed what was self evident as a witness? If the related message is completely consistent with the BVM’s life and the truths taught about Jesus and the Church, would you use your faith/bible knowledge to discern it or reject it because Rome hasn’t caught up with it yet? The messages from Medugorje are totally consistent with Fatima. So too the miracles. And your name says so much about you. PalaceGuard? Really? Are you so busy plucking what you perceive as splinters from everyone’s eyes that you missed the plank in yours? And, yet, there has been consistent heavenly intervention throughout salvation history, everywhere all over the world.

    5. The blood on the statue in Civitavecchia was later found to be male. The owner of the statue Fabio Gregori refused to take a DNA test.

    6. This bleeding statue, however, began to bleed also when the bishop of the the place took it out of his cabinet to show to his relatives. He then decided to have a commission study the phenomena and it is now a recognized shrine — which in the Catholic Church means it is officially recognized.

    7. The blood test was done AFTER the bishop said that. Gregori’s refusal to take a DNA test speaks volumes. I doubt the bishop ever issued an official decree on it.

    8. There is now a shrine built for the statue in that diocese and the judgment of the authenticity of the event was the result of the committee he had appointed. I would assume that they are much better informed on this than you are. It is very easy to criticize when one is not privy to the facts and relies on magazine articles which often have unsubstantiated rumors. The fact stands, anyway, that this particular case is officially confirmed.

    9. The blood test is conclusive. Unless the diocese issued a formal statement that you can link to you have not provided proof.

  7. You quote Archbishop Vigano as follows: “It follows, therefore, that clerics and the faithful are not permitted
    to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during
    which the credibility of such ‘apparitions’ would be taken for
    granted.’” I would think your average Catholic who is interested in Medjugorje is well aware that it has not been approved. I wonder why we should be deprived of the opportunity of knowing more about it to make an informed judgement on the matter as regards its credibility. To simply forbid talks on it seems quite out of tune with the modern Church that was promoted by Vatican II and Paul VI in reaction to a very negative attitude that prevailed on these matters before the Council. There comes to mind the mystic Marthe Robin in the last century who is held in the highest esteem in France and will probably be canonized. Americans normally know absolutely nothing about her because it was forbidden to even talk about alleged apparitions, etc. until they were officially approved. We seem to be slipping back into the same repressive mentality that gagged such people prior to Vatican II.

    1. Dhaniele,
      Thank you for posting. Your thought reads more like someone who is influenced by Enlightenment thinking than by the Catholic ethos.

      We are not supposed to expose ourselves to matter that is, or could possibly be, contrary to Natural Law. This is a precept not only of the Natural Law itself, but also the Church.

      Moreover, you are mistaken. Neither the Holy See nor the 1991 Zadar Declaration have forbidden talks on Medjugorje. The law on the matter issued by the Church is that these talks cannot presume a supernatural character to events that are under examination by the Church.
      Also, I encourage you to take a look at what the Church said at or just after Vatican II on these matters. My upcoming book will be helpful in this regard.

      On a final note, Donal Anthony Foley has written about Marthe Robin over on his web site.

    2. Just to make things more concrete, Paul VI, on October 14, 1966, confirmed a a decree of the CDF under number 58/16 (AAS) permitting the publication of writings about supernatural apparitions, even if they do not have a “nihil obstat.” The whole point of this was to prevent over zealous people from smothering genuine private revelations. The Pope realized that in the past, as in the case of Marthe Robin (and many others like Padre Pio), genuine mystics had been suppressed by the abuse of ecclesiastical power. The Pope wanted to correct this. As I stated in my posting, people of normal intelligence realize that Medjugorje is not approved, but it is imprudent to try and keep them in the dark about it by placing obstacles in the path of those who want to understand it better. It is on the contrary (to what you said), “Enlightenment thinking” to think that God is remote and “outside the World,” as Pope John Paul II would say, and has nothing more to clarify for his people.

    3. Rather than waiting for your book, let us see instead what Pope Benedict has said about the matter at hand. In the Vatican document entitled, The Message of Fatima, there is a section entitled “Theological Commentary.” The future Pope Benedict states an important aspect of the Church’s
      teaching on Tradition in relation to private revelation. He does this first and
      foremost by putting it in the context of the Council document Dei Verbum, No. 8. There we read among other things that, “there is a growth in
      the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts, (cf. Lk 2:19, 51), through the intimate understanding of the spiritual things that they experience ….” The same section continues “This tradition … comes from the apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit
      …. Thus God, who spoke of old, uninterruptedly converses with the Bride of the beloved Son;” What is perhaps most striking is that the future Pope then went
      on to add the statement that “In this context it now becomes possible to
      understand rightly the concept of ‘private revelation’ which refers to all the
      visions and revelations which have taken place since the completion of the New Testament.” He adds that Jesus was referring also to private revelations when he said: “I have yet many things to say to
      you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will
      guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority … He
      will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (Jn
      16:12-14). The idea that private revelation should be viewed in the context of
      Tradition has, in fact, been the praxis of the Church, as is evident in the
      liturgical year. Thus, to name just a few, there is a feast of Our Lady of
      Lourdes, there is the solemn celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart, and
      most recently there has been the introduction of the Feast of Divine Mercy,
      which is part of the devotion which was spread by St. Faustina Kawalska. The
      Pope has expanded on the correct idea of Tradition and its relation to private
      revelations in his talks on April 26, 2006 and May 3, 2006. To conclude (to be
      brief), people who are dismissive of private revelation as being something of
      little importance or something to be avoided are certainly not in harmony with
      the views of the Pope, who has much more to say about it than I can mention
      here.

    4. Because the Pope has spoken very clearly in explaining the Council and you do not seem to agree at all with their teaching.

    5. I do not wish to be rude, I just want the teaching of the Church to be stated clearly and accurately. I hope that you agree with all the Church documents I have transmitted. If you are at peace with the teachings I have sent, I do not see any problem for either of us and I would consider that matter to be cleared up satisfactorily with absolutely no bad feelings on my part.

    6. Father, in order to understand my writings, you need first to know that I am thinking in a very long continuum. It is unnecessary for me to justify my positions, nor will I be goaded into vexatious speech.

      My book addresses the matters you raise and until you read it, there is nothing more to be said.

    7. What you have done is to present an incomplete picture of what Ratzinger says in the document called “The Message of Fatima”. You leave out the following which makes a very important point: “The authority of private revelations is essentially different from that of the definitive public Revelation. The latter demands faith; in it in fact God himself speaks to us through human words and the mediation of the living community of the Church. Faith in God and in his word is different from any other human faith, trust or opinion. The certainty that it is God who is speaking gives me the assurance that I am in touch with truth itself. It gives me a certitude which is beyond verification by any human way of knowing. It is the certitude upon which I build my life and to which I entrust myself in dying.

      2. Private revelation is a help to this faith, and shows its credibility precisely by leading me back to the definitive public Revelation. In this regard, Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, the future Pope Benedict XIV, says in his classic treatise, which later became normative for beatifications and canonizations: “An assent of Catholic faith is not due to revelations approved in this way; it is not even possible. These revelations seek rather an assent of human faith in keeping with the requirements of prudence, which puts them before us as probable and credible to piety”
      The Flemish theologian E. Dhanis, an eminent scholar in this field, states succinctly that ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation has three elements: the message contains nothing contrary to faith or morals; it is lawful to make it public; and the faithful are authorized to accept it with prudence.”

    8. I would be very interested in reading your book. I’m writing an introduction to my manuscript regarding the ways in which the Church deals with alleged mystical events prior to their official approval. It is a very fine and careful line the Church has always tread, because it is necessary to allow organic “fruit” to develop, since discerning the fruit of the event is indispensable to the Church’s final decisions on the authenticity or inauthenticity of the events.

    9. The document you are referring to only abolished the Index of Forbidden Books. It in fact makes no mention of private revelations which should be submitted the local ordinary before publication. The CDF issued a statement on this in 1995 which reads in part:
      “1. The interpretation by some people of a decision approved by Paul VI on October 14, 1966, and promulgated on November 15 of the same year, by virtue of which writings and messages coming from presumed revelations might be freely spread within the Church, is absolutely not valid. This decision actually referred to the “Abolition of the Index of Banned Books,” and said that–once relative censures were lifted–the moral obligation in any case not to spread or read those writings which endangered faith and morals still remained.
      2. A reminder, therefore, that for the diffusion of texts of presumed private revelations, the norm of the Code in force, Canon 823, para 1, which gives pastors the right “to demand that the writings of the faithful which touch faith or morals be submitted to their own judgment before publication,” remains valid.3. Presumed supernatural revelations and writings which regard them are in the first instance subject to the judgment of the diocesan bishop and, in particular cases, to that of the Episcopal conference and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.”

    10. Cardinal Ratzinger took a very different view of this when he was in office. There is a mystic whose writings resulted in a notification in November of 1995, as I recall. The following May, the Cardinal met with a group of Mexicans who were upset abut this and wanted to know if they had to stop diffusing her writings. They Cardinal told them they continue to do so with prudence. This was widely publicized and the Osservatore Romano (about a year later) took note of this and described the Cardinal’s action as his “interpretation” of the notification. The cardinal had also made a similar statement to the Brazilian bishops when he met with them. Although that mystic’s writings have since received an imprimatur, it is still true that even before that, her writings were still allowed to be diffused by good Catholics even though there was a notification against them — how much more then for writings that have never had such a notification!

    11. Following this line of reasoning, the 70,000 people who witnessed the Miracle of the Sun on October 13, 1917 in Fatima should not have been there – in spite of the clear invitation and intention of our Blessed Mother that they should come.

    12. I was thinking about how to respond to this and I saw a post from a friend elsewhere. I think it adds some food for thought on the matter:

      [I]f a seer believes Heaven is speaking to him, he should indeed carry out whatever is directed. This does not imply that anyone else has a duty. If people find the seer’s story credible, as a matter of human testimony, and they wish to do good works in a spirit of piety, in fulfillment of the requests, that is fine. This compliance has limits, if Church authorities forbid some activity, or if reason and evidence make it appear that the story cannot be true. On the positive side, if there is a miracle, that is the strongest type of favorable evidence to back up a claim of supernatural intervention.

      Even if the Church approves an apparition, that is only a permission to accept the story as a human story and promote the devotion, not a duty to accept it. So if someone finds an approved apparition story or message implausible, he doesn’t have to believe it. There’s a judgment call involved.

    13. I agree with you here Kevin. You are right in that we Catholics are not required to believe in private revelation – even if it is approved by the Church. And I want to emphasize your point that “…compliance has limits, if Church authorities forbid some activity…”

      Some reports of the Fatima apparition suggest that the local pastor implored people not to attend the apparitions, however, I’m not aware of him forbidding attendance. But I wonder, in actuality, how his comments were made and received.

      Some interpret the Zadar declaration as forbiddance, which it is not. And in fact, I believe that, in genuine apparitions, the Holy Spirit is at work and structures specific details such as this to fulfill the accomplishment of the work of God.

      My concern though is that statements such as “We are not supposed to expose ourselves to matter that is, or could possibly be, contrary to Natural Law. This is a precept ……(of) the Church.” This is not a precept of the Church. And if you are writing a book, I would hope that you not make such statements that might appear as authoritative. Truth is incredibly important. Although such a statement would support someone who believes that we should ignore Medjugorje and, at the time, Fatima, clearly using misinformation to influence people is not of God. If you’re working for God, you have to tell the Truth, even if it contradicts your personal beliefs and preferences. Authors have a huge responsibility.

    14. Yeah! If one was at the 1917 October Miracle, ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE VATICAN TO CATCH UP ON THE SUPERNATURAL REALITY OF IT. The event is always ahead of the clerical review of necessity.

    15. Apparently because of political pressure, the local pastor told people not to go to the Cova da Iria during the Fatima apparitions. Back in 1917, the parish priest represented the authority of the Church. But the Zadar declaration from the local bishop’s commission does not suggest prohibiting pilgrims from attending Medjugorje.

    16. Actually no. You are referring to Father Manuel Ferreira and while he was skeptical of the apparitions he did not tell the children they could not go there. He indeed carefully interviewed them after each apparition including the October one. I made no suggestion with regard to a prohibition on going to Medjugorje.

    17. Yes Tim, I agree with you. I’m not aware that the pastor forbid the visionaries (Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta) from attending the apparitions at the Cova. What I said was that the pastor told people not to go. But it was “implored” – more of a request than a demand.

      I don’t have easy access to precise quotes from him. I am assuming that the video “The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima” – a 1952 Warner Bros. film – is reasonably accurate… although it may not be. In the film, the pastor implored people not to go to the Cova (however, not so to the visionaries; Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta). In any event, he did not appear to forbid attendance to anyone.

      The premise of my posts is that at both Fatima, and at Medjugorje, there have been responsible clergy imploring people not to go – but in both cases (Fr. Ferreira and the Zadar declaration) there was no forbiddance. This is an important distinction with respect to proper and obligatory obedience. Unless and until attendance is forbidden, it is not forbidden. However, some believe (which prompted my initial response) that a suggestion of not attending carries equal weight.

    18. EWTN has a number of good links on Fatima if you google that. In Medjugorje I think it is more the disobedience of the seers to the local bishop that raises red flags

    19. I hear about this “disobedience” of the Medjugorje visionaries quite often from the critics. But I never receive evidence of it. Granted, there are some nuances. For example, when the local bishop forbid apparitions in the church, the visionaries had them elsewhere. Some say the bishop’s intent was to prohibit apparitions and was disobeyed. Others say that in moving outside of the church building, the visionaries were obedient.

      Please note too, that in recent developments, the visionaries have been very obedient (as they have always been). Yet, as you can imagine, if this is a genuine apparition, what elements would the devil deceptively twist to invalidate them in the minds of the faithful?

      Some claim that the differences in the Medjugorje apparitions are too different from previous apparitions – and therefore not from God. Is God limited? Must He follow our rules?

      Some claim that the visionaries “profit” from these events. That is debatable. Money is not the root of all evil, but the love of money is the root of all evil. The father of a Fatima visionary owed many acres of land. Perhaps in the minds of some back then, that fact suggested it was unlike Bernadette of Lourdes and therefore not from God.

      To the critics, I suggest a greater openness to the wonders of God.

    20. Bishop Zanic found them in disobedience : “Following a two-day session, the Commission on the events of Medjugorje declared that the pastoral personnel and the seers in Medjugorje are requested to abstain from any public statement or declaration to the press about the contents of the visions and the alleged miraculous cures.” Have the visionaries avoided speaking to the press since then? Hardly.

      “Even before this, the Ordinary had come to the firm conclusion that the apparitions of the Madonna in Medjugorje are not a reality. Meanwhile, in 1982, the Bishop’s Office had formed the Commission to investigate the events and to study the case thoroughly. Because of it, the Bishop’s Office has refrained from making any official statement on the real state of affairs. However, several times through letters, the Bishop’s Office expressed its desire, and even demanded, that the propaganda stop because of the disobedience of the pastoral personnel and the “visionaries.”

      https://www.ewtn.com/library/BISHOPS/ZANICMED.HTM

      The CDF banned meetings in which the authenticity of the apparitions is taken for granted and then the “visionaries” simply move them to private homes but that doesn’t seem in the spirit of what the CDF asked.

      Ivan Dragicevic runs a bed and breakfast in Medj and the other seers seem rather well off too. Here you can book a tour and accommodations in the Dragicevic home: http://www.pilgrimages.com/medj/

    21. If one is “requested” to do something, but the “request” is not honored, does that constitute “disobedience”? Granted, if one is “ordered” to do something; and has the authority to issue that “order”, ignoring it would be disobedience.

      Yes, the CDF banned gatherings where the authenticity of the apparitions is taken for granted. The visionaries have been obedient to this. Remember though, they were not ordered NOT to have apparitions. (Who would do such a thing – particularly if they are legitimate?) And so yes, the apparitions continue. Marija canceled a scheduled public gathering, citing the CDF’s ban shortly after it was put into effect. She did make a public appearance though, explaining all this and then promptly left.

      Due to the influx of pilgrims, many residents, including visionaries, have taken in guests. In the past, some pilgrims have slept outside. Although there are legitimate costs in housing guests, the rates are far less than what our local hotels charge. It is a charitable effort to house the homeless.

    22. If one’s ordinary requests it and you refuse then I would say yes that is disobedience. If the visionaries with to be obedient to the CDF then they should have their apparitions alone. The CDF was clear: “clerics and the faithful are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences, or public celebrations during which the credibility of such “apparitions” would be taken for granted. ”
      With respect to Marija she evidently does not think the ban on “public” apparitions forbids the use of TV! Her “apparition” of August 10 was live streamed by MaryTV.
      Worse still, all of the visionaries attended the 26th Youth Festival in Medjugorje and witnessed to the apparitions. Crown of stars blogspot which is a pro Medj site noticed the discrepancy but seemed to think the CDF decision “did not apply in Medjugorje itself” !

      I really don’t think Ivan is “housing the homeless”, he is taking in people and making money off it. Rene Laurentin has said this about the situation: Marija “had gone from the poorest family among all the visionaries to a condition of wealth that led her to a very different culture and to an easy and brilliant life” [“Eco di Medjugorje”, No 84, July 1991, p. 6] and the twenty-six-year-old Ivan “has begun to like playboy clothing and has developed an exaggerated care for his own person”

      “Ivan now owns a beautiful new house, which will allow him earn a living by hosting pilgrims. This is already the source of income for Mirjana, Ivanka, Vicka and soon Jakov.
      [René Laurentin, Dernières nouvelles de Medjugorje, No 13, O.E.I.L., Paris, 1994, p. 24]

    23. Tim, I appreciate your opinion here, but no, you are not obligated to this level of obedience – to honor all requests of your bishop. Of course if you are ordained a priest, and take a vow of obedience, then yes, that level of obligation is elevated.

      Now granted – we are all entitled to our opinions – the danger comes when one imposes his opinion and resulting condemnation upon another as is the case with critics of the Medjugorje visionaries.

      Until very recently, the CDF restriction was limited strictly to events in the USA. Later, it extended to Italy. So when you mention Marija in August, that didn’t apply at that time. The visionaries were obedient. Note too, that as this test continues, and as the restrictions are further extended, the visionaries are and will continue to be obedient. The monthly message for Sept. 25, 2015 will be the first that will not be spread around the world. Watch for this and see. Again, note the obedience.

      As for the financial positions of the visionaries – opinions seem to exaggerate the prosperity. But even wealth, in itself, is not an evil. We tend to believe that suffering people are more believable…. but that doesn’t make wealthy people liars. Besides, we can’t really “know” the trials and sacrifices of others.

      I hope we agree that if the pope determines that the Medjugorje events are demonic, (and they’re certainly either from God or from the devil) he’ll issue an order, with the threat of excommunication as was done in Naju, Korea (Julia Kim) for spreading false messages.
      http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/index.php/2008/02/korean-bishop-e/
      Accommodating some kind of half-way compromise is not how the Church works with the devil. So watch carefully. I expect the Vatican to corral the events with the intent of maintaining a close eye on what is said and released to the public. But more importantly, note that it will not be condemned. Critics will overlook this detail – which means everything.

    24. I am not giving you my personal opinion here, I am referring to Vatican guidelines with respect to private revelations. Indeed I think one is obligated to that type of obedience as it was a hallmark of all approved private revelations and is indeed among the first criteria the Vatican mentions when evaluating supposed seers: ” Personal qualities of the subject or of the subjects (in particular, psychological equilibrium, honesty and rectitude of moral life, sincerity and habitual docility towards Ecclesiastical Authority” . I don’t know why Medj supporters never refer to or it would seem even bother to read the Vatican guidelines. They are right here: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19780225_norme-apparizioni_en.html
      It would appear that you have also not read the CDF restrictions on Medjugorje. If you read the actual text it makes no mention of the restrictions applying only in the USA as you say:
      “As you are well aware, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is in the process of investigating certain doctrinal and disciplinary aspects of the phenomenon of Medjugorje. For this reason, the Congregation has affirmed that, with regard to the credibility of the “apparitions” in question, all should accept the declaration, dated 10 April 1991, from the Bishops of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, which asserts: “On the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions of supernatural revelations.” It follows, therefore, that clerics and the faithful are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such “apparitions” would be taken for granted.” No geographical exception is mentioned there. I don’t note the “obedience” here at all. You simply ignore what is clear from the CDF statement as I mentioned in my previous post. Regarding the financial issues, I cited what Rene Laurentin stated on the subject who is a long time supporter of Medj and in a position to know. A profit motive is among the negative criteria the Vatican includes in its norms of evaluation: “Evidence of a search for profit or gain strictly connected to the fact.”
      We do know the Church has never approved an ongoing private revelation as it will take no chances on approving something that might manifest problems later. Pope Francis has already expressed some skepticism on the subject.

    25. The interpretation that the CDF’s ruling applied to the USA is based on the fact that it was delivered to the USCCB through Archbishop Vigano who is the Nuncio to the United States. His letter states the information should be given to “bishops” – and the inference is that he’s speaking to those bishops in the USA – not the world.
      Here’s the letter:
      https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/Medjugorje2013.png

      Furthermore, similar restriction was later extended to Italy. (Why incrementally? I don’t know.) But in that it was specifically applied to another country separately, underscores the fact that the confusion (if unintended) is recognized. In both of those cases, visionaries obeyed. Most recently, the restrictions have tightened to include Medjugorje. The visionaries are obeying.
      Personally, I believe this is a test. They’re passing with flying colors.

      Let me emphasize… if the the Church does not condemn these apparitions (Constat de non supernaturalitate) (as it did with Julia Kim in Naju Korea)
      http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/index.php/2008/02/korean-bishop-e/

      but allows them to continue even under tighter controls, that ipso facto is an approval. Because the Church will not allow a demonic event to continue without the threat of excommunication.

      Incidentally, the neutral Zadar declaration (Non Constat de supernaturalitate) should not be confused with the similar condemnation statement.

    26. That’s only an interpretation that you make. What is wrong in one country is going to be wrong elsewhere. Catholic moral theology never has allowed for geographic “exceptions”. The CDF has subsequently intervened to stop other public “apparitions” as well leaving little doubt of the intent they had in the first notice. The “visionaries” should have got the message the first time. But only the most legalistic would assume “this only applies to the USA”. No, they are not obeying, they are shopping for loopholes. The visionaries attest they are receiving personal notices from the CDF and I hope the CDF releases those also. If the church allows them to continue (which seems unlikely given the CDF notices of late) that does NOT mean an approval. Was the Zadar declaration an approval? No, not at all. That declaration did not order an end to anything but pointed out at the same time that there was no reason to think them supernatural. The Zadar declaration is not “neutral” as any fair reading of the text shows.
      Bishops have sometimes allowed false apparitions to continue even though they were disapproved. That happened at Bayside. No one was excommunicated there although the bishop later issued a sterner message. In no sense did the bishop there approve the apparitions nor was his toleration of subsequent ones an approval! You need to read the actual Vatican guidelines. Right now you are just putting your own spin on things similar to the many pro-Medj sites on the web. I have yet to meet a Medj supporter who is at all conversant with the Vatican guidelines or the other available theological literature on the subject such as the excellent work of Father William Most. What is happening in Medj now (latest message Sept. 2) is hardly an exhibit of “docility to ecclesiastical authority”.

    27. Please read that letter again… which includes in the first sentence; “…who asks that the bishops of the United States…” and later, “… around the country…” (referring to the USA.) Very clearly, the focus is on the USA. I believe the reasoning for this incremental establishment of restrictions was to test the obedience of the visionaries – and they passed with flying colors. Very, very easily, the letter could have been more inclusive of other countries or the world. But rather, the wording is very calculated. And so the visionaries can be tested again and again as restrictions are increased. I’m off to mass… will reply later…

    28. Oh spare me! The first part of the letter addresses the bishops the second part is more broadly worded and it is risible to think the CDF makes geographic distinctions. Catholic moral theology does not work that way. You continue to ignore the fact that the “visionaries” are still scheduling public apparitions. That is not “passing with flying colors”.

    29. Tim, I’m trying not to tick you off… and I sense you’re becoming frustrated with me. As for the letter, I’ve explained my understanding twice, and apparently we see things differently. But such a letter, if intended for the world, would not have been sent only to the USCCB when ongoing meetings were occurring around the world. (The USA isn’t the distribution center for the Vatican.)

      No, currently, the visionaries are not scheduling public apparitions. (Can you identify one?) You shouldn’t say things like this when they’re not true. You can’t use lies to build a false Truth. I’m assuming we’re both interested in the real Truth.

      Really Tim, I’m hoping future events will lead you to reconsider the authenticity of the Medjugorje events. Your skepticism is healthy. And of course, our Church is the Ultimate authority and will make the final decision. But please remain open to all possibilities at this time.

    30. UPDATE: Reports that the CDF further restricted the visionaries in Medjugorje are false. (The devil has been busy.)

      “Recently Rorate Caeli and Gianluca Bavile spread reports that
      the Vatican has restricted the visionaries since the parish priest Fr
      Marinko took a decision himself to place restrictions in Medjugorje.
      Soon after the reports were spread, they were found to be denied by the CDF and as of now the Vatican has taken no action.”

      Here’s an interpretation (Google Translate) of the response by Cardinal Muller:

      I, Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in interview to the agency katholisch. On
      August 3, 2015, said the matter of medjugorje: “As is known, the
      commission headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, has looked into the whole
      issue in recent years. This
      documentation and material that was compiled, will be examined in the
      ordinary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in
      the fall. The opinion of the congregation, then it will be submitted to the Holy Father for a decision. ” Therefore, all the news about medjugorje you anticipate about it are false. For it not yet met the congregation and much less the Holy Father has given something about it. The
      Vatican correspondent Andrea Tornielli wrote in vatican insider: “the”
      fourth exhibition “examines the case and express their views, and then
      present them to Pope Francis, who already knows all the documentation. But
      convictions estimates that have appeared in recent days, attributed
      both to the congregation for the doctrine of faith as the pope, are
      absolutely premature and do not take into account the fact that people
      must give their sembrare0 francisco (The 25 cardinals and bishops of the “fair fourth”) Still have not examined the “dossier” “.

      Therefore,
      after consulting the parish of medjugorje today, it is clarified that
      the Franciscan St. James Apostle medjugorje not received any statement
      of the Holy See prohibiting the disclosure of the “messages” Neither
      have received specific provisions on the “seers”. Therefore, we must wait for the meeting of the Congregation for the
      Doctrine of the Faith to occur, and in this case, wait for the
      provisions of the pope, who in his time will appear in the official
      means of news of the Catholic Church.

      P. Francisco Verar

    31. Except that Pope Francis already expressed his skepticism in an interview last year: “At another time, when we were already walking about the Apostolic Palace Francisco returned to the subject, as if the question were working inside him: “The theme of the apparitions, to be clear. Try to see the side of the locution. So, as I said, it will be from one extreme to another. Sometimes this phrase almost physically embodies a vision and sometimes it can be a mere inspiration , “says the Pope seeking concepts to express what he thinks about these phenomena. ” For example ,” he continues, “those people who feel that Our Lady tells them something have a voiceover in prayer and then say: Our Lady told me that … Of course. They express it in a way that it seems that she appeared to them … But that the seers are protagonists and organize scheduled appearances … that is a sin that may accompany a great grace. ”

      http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2015/06/pope-francis-revealed-blunt-thoughts-on.html

    32. This pope is a smart pope. And yes, he has said several things that, if intended to reflect his divinely inspired decision toward Medjugorje, would mean that it will be condemned. But I suspect there’s meaning to his comments that may not be apparent quite yet.

      But in your example, I think the pope was talking about locutionists, not visionaries, because he mentions a voice, not a vision. There are several so-called locutionists around the world today, (I know one personally) and I have a problem believing them. For me, it is easy to dismiss the claims of someone who says they hear a voice. (To some extent, we all feel the presence and direction of God when in deep prayer.) But a vision is harder to dismiss – although I’ve chosen to dismiss all other unapproved apparitions except Medjugorje.

    33. He alludes to people who hear things and then suggest that it was a vision.

      As you may know, there are dozens of alleged apparitions going on in the world today – and many more that would be best described as locutions. We can’t be certain what was in his mind as he said this.

      ” For example ,” he continues, “those people who feel that Our Lady
      tells them something have a voiceover in prayer and then say: Our Lady
      told me that … Of course. They express it in a way that it seems that
      she appeared to them … But that the seers are protagonists and organize
      scheduled appearances … that is a sin that may accompany a great grace. ”

      The Medjugorje visionaries, both in word and deed make clear their experiences are not simply a voice they hear. I interpret his comment as follows:
      1. He’s not speaking about the Medjugorje visionaries as their experiences can in no way be interpreted or expressed as “seem that she appeared”, or;
      2. He’s not fully appraised of what the visionaries are saying.
      In either case, the statement therefore cannot be attributable to Medjugorje.

    34. That is only your interpretation of what he said, and for reasons unknown to anyone you always think your opinion is the last work. It isn’t.

    35. Tim, are you sure my reasons are unknown to anyone? And did you mean that I always think my opinion is the last “work” (word)? Well l don’t. I defer judgment in this whole matter to that of our dear Pope Francis and I’ll abide by whatever he says – even if I don’t agree with it. I’ve said that before (in this blog) and I’ll stick by it. Will you?

    36. You have claimed that a continuation of the status quo would amount to an approval. That is nonsense but it is revealing that you tend to interpret things as you see fit.

    37. HA! – No you’re not Tim Staples… he’s a nicer guy! HA!
      But tell me, if the visionaries are allowed by the pope to continue spreading their messages, would you consider that a condemnation?

    38. I have never read Tim Staples and telling people the truth is the best thing one can do whether they like it or not. Ask me when Pope Francis does that, you will have a long wait.

    39. In suggesting that Pope Francis is a liar, it appeared to me that you were saying that for Catholics, obedience to the pope on issues where you feel he is wrong is optional. Perhaps you are a member of SSPX.

    40. I have never said or suggested that he was. So you’re not nice and rash judgments are something you will stoop to as well. The score card is piling up here. What would the Gospa say? I have never had a connection of any kind with the SSPX.

    41. Tim, Maybe I misinterpreted what you said here, but I thought you were calling Pope Francis a liar when you said; “…telling people the truth is the best thing one can do whether they like
      it or not. Ask me when Pope Francis actually does allow that, but I
      think you will have a long wait for that.”

    42. ?? I cannot see what that comment has to do with anything Pope Francis has said. It certainly was not directed at him. You seem to be presuming he will allow the messages to be published.

    43. I’m sorry I misinterpreted your post Tim. I had thought you were calling Pope Francis a liar – thus the SSPX assumption. My mistake.

    44. Ah, well I figured you weren’t as nice as you pretended to be. Masks never last. Now I need not think you were nicer than other Medj types.

    45. You need to read the rest of that link. He banned Ivan’s appearance in Buenos Aires at a church, there is no question he was talking about Medjugorje.

    46. That’s good Tim. I just thought that anyone as invested in attacking an alleged apparition as you have might do something silly if he were proven wrong.

    47. Well yeah Tim – I’ve been there and credit it with my conversion. BUT it isn’t absolutely necessary for the continuation and growth of my faith – nor do I feel compelled to convince others about it. The Bible and Tradition are in place to do that for others. Conversely, surprisingly, I find critics expend an exorbitant amount of time wrestling with others over something, about which they should shrug their shoulders if they believe it’s hogwash. Some of them might claim that they’re trying to save souls…. I suspect something else.

    48. “BUT it isn’t absolutely necessary for the continuation and growth of my faith – nor do I feel compelled to convince others about it.”

      Then prove it. Just drop the matter. This will be a test for you. If you can’t let it go, then that says something about your argument.

    49. If you have no such compulsions you would have stopped answering long ago. I converted because of a false apparition myself. And it isn’t easy when truth comes home to roost. So what do you suspect the critics of? Don’t leave loaded statements lying around, they might go off.

    50. Well we don’t know that Ivan wasn’t sent a letter himself that he decided to ignore. No, we are not going to agree on that one and moral theology is not determined by geography. If you don’t think the visionaries are scheduling apparitions you are missing it. Those are on all the pro-Medj sites. It is true! I don’t think “future events” are going to change my mind. We don’t need private revelations. You really need to read your catechism and look at things from a more detached point of view.

    51. HI Tim,

      I think the most recent statement coming from Cardinal Muller (CDF) with regard to geographical implications of restrictions settles the matter; He said “Recently Rorate Caeli and Gianluca Bavile spread reports that
      the Vatican has restricted the visionaries since the parish priest Fr
      Marinko took a decision himself to place restrictions in Medjugorje.
      Soon after the reports were spread, they were found to be denied by the CDF and as of now the Vatican has taken no action.”

      As for your statement “We don’t need private revelations.” – technically, you are correct. But so were the Pharisees. I look at it this way….. If it fact God wills this, that the Mother of God comes to tell me something, who am I to say, “Go away, I don’t need you.”

      As for “rationalizing away” what you consider a mortal sin… Truly, I am probably far more critical in evaluating what is sinful than most people and extremely unlikely to dismiss something sinful. But also, I can’t second-guess the culpability (a prerequisite of sin) of certain circumstances and in addition, account for the Love of God toward us sinners. But to respond to your post directly,, the visionaries have not been disobedient.

    52. You are quite mixed up. The quote you reference above comes from an article at the National Medjugorje Movement site. It is NOT a quote of Cardinal Mueller who is not quoted in the article at all. To date, he has not commented on the claims made by Rorate Caeli. Private revelations are not necessary for salvation is what I meant. I take Fatima seriously but Medjugorje lacks any approval or anything that might confirm it. You again simply ignore the well documented instances of disobedience.

    53. Tim, the letter I posted begins “I, Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in interview to the agency katholisch.” Are you saying someone forged this letter inserting quotes that are not from him?

      A concluding sentence is “Therefore, after consulting the parish of medjugorje today, it is clarified that the Franciscan St. James Apostle medjugorje not received any statement of the Holy See prohibiting the disclosure of the “messages” Neither have received specific provisions on the “seers”.

      This clarifies that there was no statement “prohibiting the disclosure of the ‘messages'”.

      Granted, this was written in Italian, and was translated using Google Translate – which makes it a bit confusing – but it seems the statements made are readily understood.

    54. I looked at the original article on the National Medjugorje Movement site which has your quote but does NOT attribute it to Cardinal Mueller. Now if you have a link to whatever it is you are talking about then post it.

    55. Here’s what I posted earlier – which you may not have seen. It is a Google Translated version of an Italian document which I am having trouble finding again. But I realize the translation is rather difficult. For example,
      “Feria Quarta” is translated as “fair fourth”.

      I, Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in interview to the agency katholisch. On
      August 3, 2015, said the matter of medjugorje: “As is known, the
      commission headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, has looked into the whole
      issue in recent years. This
      documentation and material that was compiled, will be examined in the
      ordinary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in
      the
      fall. The opinion of the congregation, then it will be submitted to the
      Holy Father for a decision. ” Therefore, all the news about medjugorje
      you anticipate about it are false. For it not yet met the congregation
      and much less the Holy Father has given something about it. The
      Vatican correspondent Andrea Tornielli wrote in vatican insider: “the”
      fourth exhibition “examines the case and express their views, and then
      present them to Pope Francis, who already knows all the documentation. But
      convictions estimates that have appeared in recent days, attributed
      both to the congregation for the doctrine of faith as the pope, are
      absolutely premature and do not take into account the fact that people
      must give their sembrare0 francisco (The 25 cardinals and bishops of the “fair fourth”) Still have not examined the “dossier” “.

      Therefore,
      after consulting the parish of medjugorje today, it is clarified that
      the Franciscan St. James Apostle medjugorje not received any statement
      of the Holy See prohibiting the disclosure of the “messages” Neither
      have received specific provisions on the “seers”. Therefore, we must wait for the meeting of the Congregation for the
      Doctrine of the Faith to occur, and in this case, wait for the
      provisions of the pope, who in his time will appear in the official
      means of news of the Catholic Church.

    56. I did cut and paste this from a post in this blog that I had posted earlier – but there have been other things I’ve quoted which may have caused a misunderstanding in our conversation.

    57. Oh spare me! The first part of the letter addresses the bishops the second part is more broadly worded and it is risible to think the CDF makes geographic distinctions. Catholic moral theology does not work that way. You continue to ignore the fact that the “visionaries” are still scheduling public apparitions.

    58. I do not want to undercut you here, but as I understood the incident in July, she was only told by a local Bishop that she could not speak in his Diocese.

      Regarding Ivan, yes, I think that you have a point there.

    59. Perhaps so, but the news has been reported differently on the various Medjugorje sites and so far none of the “visionaries” has to my knowledge provided a copy of any private letters that they received. Medjugorje Today put it this way on July 12: “Visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti announces the end of her talks and public apparitions, explaining that the Church has asked her not to participate in public meetings.” Then on July 18 the National Medjugorje Movement posted this: “We have two spaces available for the youth festival staying with the visionary Marija. RSVP asap if you want them! We have 44 booked already and we are all travelling together! The week will include an incredible itinerary and the opportunity to meet Marija and attend her private apparition.” So an opportunity to attend her “private apparition” was extended to quite a few! So I then asked the NMM folks to clarify what is the difference between “private” and “public” apparitions. Their response: “By this we mean the visionaries having them privately within their own homes, perhaps with family or a few friends. ”
      Sorry but words fail me in trying to figure out how they would advertise an opportunity to attend a “private apparition” to some members of the public and still maintain it is “private”. At least this affair continues to be a source of humor.

    60. Consider for a moment that the apparitions are genuine – and that the Mother of God is advising these visionaries. Then, when a letter of restriction is discussed, mentioning specifically USA, is it really too legalistic to respond / obey the specific order (irrespective of whether or not the “why” or “where” is understood)? Err on the side of charity. I don’t believe there was a misunderstanding (the order was clear) – but assume that it was an honest misunderstanding if in fact you insist that the order meant the whole world in spite of the fact it was address to the USA.

      (btw – Mary is not omniscient. Only God is. Keep this in mind as you evaluate actions / wording etc. when it is reported to allegedly be from Mary.)

      Furthermore, a second restriction was imposed that was addressed to Italy. Seems to me that if a mistake had been made in naming just the USA when the world was intended, that same mistake wouldn’t have been repeated a second time naming just Italy.

      No, it’s pretty apparent that these measures are intended to “test” the visionaries.

      When my mom told me to; “Clean your bedroom.”, it was easier for me to do that than when she said; “Make your bed.”, then “Pick up your shoes.”, then “Pick up your socks.” etc. The repetitive demands were harder for me than when she simply said; “Clean your bedroom.” Similarly, a string of restrictive demands is a better test than one test – that if passed cannot be repeated.

      No, the Zadar Declaration was not an approval… but more importantly, it was not a condemnation. Again, the Holy See will not tolerate a demonic enterprise – and this event is either from God or from the devil. Unlike some local bishops on other, unrelated alleged apparitions (as you mention), I believe the Church’s highest authority will be conclusive.

      Incidentally, Bayside was condemned. There’s no ambiguity. Again, anything short of a condemnation is essentially an approval as Good will not compromise for Evil.

    61. Firstly, we never assume it is the Mother of God “advising” them. Consider rather St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. One day Jesus asked her to do something but her superior said no. This greatly troubled her so she asked Jesus about it and he said: “…not only do I desire that you should do what your Superior commands, but also that you should do nothing of all that I request of you without their consent. I love obedience, and without it no one can please Me” (Autobiography of St. Margaret Mary # 47).

      It is more “important” to you to see the Zadar declaration as something more than what it is but that is just typical of the Medj spin machine. I would not anticipate the Vatican’s decision as you do, we don’t know yet what they will say. No, the first directive the bishop issued on Bayside did not impose restrictions except to tell the visionary and her followers not to congregate on church property. Yes, that one was ambiguous. Only the later document from the bishop discouraged belief in it entirely. You simply offer your own interpretations to which I again say no, anything short of a condemnation is not an approval any more than the Zadar declaration was. You are simply in denial. You still have not read the actual Vatican guidelines have you? In actual fact the Church does not really determine definitely whether any apparition is from God or the devil. Were that the case, we would be bound to believe in the approved ones. The most she can say of any vision is that it is “worthy of belief” but only by an assent of human faith. As Pope Benedict XIV said: “Although an assent of Catholic faith may not be given to revelations thus approved, still, an assent of human faith, made according to the rules of prudence, is due them; for according to these rules such revelations are probable and worthy of pious credence”

    62. Yes Tim, I read the “guidelines” shortly after you provided that link. I noted two groups of indicators – one that was positive and the other negative toward genuineness. I also noted a tone of great flexibility in evaluating these indicators. I haven’t commented on this link because it is cursory to the issue at hand… which I believe is; “Have the Medjugorje visionaries been obedient?” One indicator involved financial profit, which you’ve referred to earlier. Yes, this would test the validity of the apparitions, but hopefully, our focus can be a bit tighter involving whether or not the visionaries have been obedient.

      There’s far more going on than we can see. The Fatima prophecies are relevant. But as to Our Lady advising the visionaries – I’m certain she’s doing that if the alleged apparitions are genuine. And like you say, that advice would include being obedient to valid authority.

      Again, religious who take a vow of obedience are subject to a greater obligation toward their superiors. However, I’m not suggesting the visionaries have been disobedient.

      As for the Zadar declaration, let me explain why I consider that more of an approval than a condemnation.

      An approval (Constat de supernaturalitate) (Determined to be Supernatural) was NOT extended to the Medjugorje events by the local bishop.
      But neither was a condemnation (Constat de non supernaturalitate). (Determined to be not Supernatural)

      Rather, the ruling was the more neutral (Non Constat de supernaturalitate). (Not determined to be supernatural).

      Knowing that our Church is wisely cautious about these things, and knowing that an approval of something that is ongoing has never occurred before, to expect a blanket determination of it being supernatural is unrealistic.

      Also, knowing that the Church will not tolerate something demonic, a negative ruling will be quickly and unambiguously be announced if in fact it appears to be not supernatural.

      So I see the Zadar’s ruling (Not determined…) as more of a “….we don’t know at this time…” statement and I view that in a positive light. Granted, that is not “Constat de Supernaturalitate” – which is the only full approval.

      A few days ago, the local bishop approved as “worthy of belief” (Constat de Supernaturlaitate) the apparitions in Lipa, near Manila. Like Fatima and Lourdes, we are not obligated to believe in private revelation. Our Church has the right (and duty) to approve or condemn these things – and like Naju, a condemnation needs teeth that includes excommunication. Because in fact, demonic apparitions are evil and ultimately, attacks on our Church.
      (Btw – curiously, the Lipa apparitions had been condemned earlier by the Holy See – but I’d prefer not to go down this detour…)

      But I see these issues as a sidetrack to evaluating the actions of the visionaries with respect to obedience. I’m explaining myself here, as you’ve requested, to fully respond to your post, in order to put these things aside.

    63. You simply like Medj and are not going to listen to anyone. It doesn’t matter whether you think Zadar (or anything else) is an “approval”. It matters what the Church thinks and that’s all I pay attention. You are nicer than some other Medj followers though. Most get very nasty when dealing with skeptics. Lipa is more complicated than you think. The Vatican told the archbishop in 2010 he would have to accept the 1951 decision, he seems to be going out on a limb now. But he has done that before. You are too committed to Medjugorje to consider the many acts of disobedience present there from beginning.

    64. Why would the Church require that religious take a “vow of obedience” to their superiors if in fact it is meaningless? Is this just for “show”? It has to do with “free will”. Yes, we Catholics are all obligated to obey the Church. If I were the pope’s personal assistant and he said; “I would like to have a cup of coffee.” I would take that as a direct command. But those words have a far different implication to those farther away. Similarly, when the local bishop commanded the priests of Medjugorje to stop those events, (he didn’t direct that order to the visionaries themselves) those priests may have sinned in not doing enough to stop those apparitions. But the visionaries themselves were not only NOT given that order, but in fact would not be obligated to relinquish their free will. (That’s why he didn’t direct it to them.) Similarly, the jurisdiction of my bishop does not include what I must eat for breakfast or what color shirt I wear. (It might for his priests though.)

      I hope I’ve been respectful to you. You also have been a nice person. I think we Medjugorje believers sometimes get frustrated because it seems obvious to us and it’s hard to understand why it’s not obvious to others. I must admit, I lose my cool when arguing with J.W.’s about the Catholic faith. But in the case of Med., belief is not required of Catholics and besides, the issue is not decided. Could still be condemned – in which case, I’ll obey the pope whether I agree with him or not.

      Your last comment – again about disobedience – remains unsubstantiated though. I still haven’t seen an example of the visionaries being disobedient.

    65. I have not said that the vows religious take are meaningless so I have no idea what you are talking about. What I am pointing out is that the laity also have to obey hence my reference to Canon 212 and my noting of the authority a bishop has over the laity as well. When Lucia dos Santos was still a lay person her bishop ordered her into seclusion and told her to speak to no one about the apparitions anymore. She knew she had to obey and she did instantly. That’s what I mean. As Mr. Symonds and myself have both pointed there are instances of disobedience on the part of the Medj visionaries. Medjugorje authors also note this. You would do well to research what Bishops Zanic and Peric said on the subject. You are simply in denial.

    66. Tim, let me explain better…..
      I believe you were saying that we too are obligated to obey our bishops to the same extent as his priests and religious. Yes, we do have an obligation – but not to the same extent as those who profess a vow of obedience.

      When the bishop of Medjugorje directed his priests to stop the apparitions at Medjugorje, he did not direct that order to the visionaries themselves. Why not? Because he knew his authority over their free will did not extend that far. However, he did direct that order to his priests. The bishop did “request” that they stop. Again, he knew he could not require it.

      Granted, if the visionaries had been saying that the Catholic Church was the whore of Babylon (as you can find others saying on various websites) then yes, the bishop could demand they stop saying such things under the threat of excommunication – and rightly so. But they weren’t, and he didn’t. So if in fact these visionaries are disobedient to the bishop, why has he not exercised his authority in excommunication?

      You might know that Bishop Zanic was initially in favor of the visionaries and their claims. (I’m summarizing here without referring to my notes.) Things began to turn when he was threatened by Communist authorities to squash the alleged apparitions or face some jail time. That in itself didn’t change his mind. When the visionaries asked him to reconsider instating a priest he had fired, he said that Mary would not / could not question his authority over such matters. From then on he no longer believed. Bishop Peric was his right hand man. The commission formed by the bishop was a stacked deck – although some of them voted for approval as supernatural. Fr. Jozo of Medjugorje was imprisoned in a jail cell that had standing water.

      I believe the question of their obedience was at least partly resolved in the lengthy conversation we had about the extent of the CDF’s restrictions. I believe that has been answered in favor of the visionaries, based on my post that quotes Cardinal Mueller. I had hoped you would acknowledge that. But instead, we’ve bounced back to an earlier discussion about interpreting the bishops “request” and to what extent that obligates the visionaries. Tim, I suspect no amount of proof will deter your suspicion of these visionaries. Thankfully, that doesn’t jeopardize your soul as belief is optional. But why do you persecute believers?

      Are you Tim Staples? He’s a good guy – but not a believer in Medjugorje. I like all the guys at Catholic Answers – but none of them are believers in Medjugorje. Their knowledge of the bible is exceptional. However, things outside of the bible seem to be a threat to them. They are so heavily invested in the bible (beyond compare) that I suspect they feel challenged by something they can’t explain. It’s not in the bible… .therefore, it can’t be real. Why not? They certainly know that the Catholic Church is built upon the Truth of the Bible as well as Tradition – which includes infallible dogma such as the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.

    67. Chauffeur, I really don’t think you can explain better. When you say we are not obligated to obey bishops in the same way as religious, all you are offering is a personal opinion, you don’t cite any Church sources for that claim. That is ludicrous. This is a MAJOR reason why I don’t take the Medjugorje spin machine seriously, you just make it up as you go along.
      You need to go to the site of Mostar diocese if you are going to talk about what Zanic and Peric said or did, your information is something you purely make up. Your posts are littered with silly assertions such as: “The commission formed by the bishop was a stacked deck – although some of them voted for approval as supernatural. Fr. Jozo of Medjugorje was imprisoned in a jail cell that had standing water.” Number one, kindly prove it was a “stacked deck”. Two, what in the heck does your next sentence have to do with anything??
      Your post does not quote Cardinal Mueller, if you have a source for that then post it. You have not resolved ANY questions about the obedience of the “visionaries”, are you kidding?
      You simply ignore what I have posted and what is plainly available in many books. You don’t have any proof, you rely only on your own assertions. I don’t “persecute” anyone, that is purely laughable. I question them.
      You are making unfounded assertions about those who work at Catholic Answers who indeed accept private revelations approved by the Church. If they are skeptical of Medjugorje so what? It is not approved.

    68. Tim, again, you have not cited a specific command where the visionaries have been disobedient. I’ve asked for that again and again. You pointed to a “request” of a bishop, but no order. You point to an order to the bishop’s priest, but not to the visionaries. You condemn them to this sin of disobedience unjustly. Seems to me that if they were consistently disobedient you could provide plenty of quotes. Although we all must obey our ecclesiastical superiors, my comment was that jurisdiction does not extend to matters such as what we eat for breakfast or what color shirt we wear. (Please don’t stretch my comments to something I didn’t say.) However, that jurisdiction may be applicable to a bishop’s priests who take a vow of obedience. But such overreach of jurisdiction resulted in the death of Joan of Arc and others. Even the pope’s determination that the earth is the physical center of the universe does not have to be respected. Some might argue that if we’re told to march off a cliff, we’re obligated to obey. Clearly there are limits to the demands of obedience. However, a bishop (as I mentioned earlier) has the right and duty to insist upon obedience when and if his commands are ignored. And bishops have exercised that authority through the use of excommunication when it is appropriate. I cited Julia Kim as an example. There has been no excommunication, or threat of excommunication in connection with the Medjugorje visionaries. I’ve asked “Why not?” You offer no reply.

      I’m not calling you names, or insulting your intelligence. But your argument falls flat.

      I don’t have a horse in this race. I’m not writing a book (as at least one other poster has mentioned.) Apparently they don’t see their bias. I’m not part of the “machine” you mention. Merely, I’m a defender of what’s Catholic.

      In connection with the bishop’s concern, I mentioned Fr. Jozo watery jail to substantiate the real threat that in fact was more than a threat because it materialized. Apparently you didn’t understand the connection.

      I guess where this has to go…. is that we’ll wait for Pope Francis to voice his decision. Everything else is conjecture and supposition.

      I believe the ruling will be “non constat de supernaturalitate” and that the visions and messages will continue to be allowed to be spread without condemnation. There’s a slim chance the period of the early years studied (only) will be granted “constat de supernaturalitate” (approved as worthy of belief), but I’m not banking on that. I suspect you believe it will be “constat de non supernaturalitate” (condemned). Let’s wait and see. October should tell.

    69. Indeed I have and so has Mr. Symond, you simply ignore them. Your post is full of nonsense here. I suggest you consult what the Church actually says about the authority of a bishop rather than just giving your own opinion. No pope ever said the world was the center of the universe. Copernicus text on the heliocentric solar system was dedicated to the pope with the pope’s permission. Father Jozo was jailed by the communist regime, not the bishop. The church does not always excommunicate those in error, there are plenty of examples from that. No one should infer from that however that such people are not in error.

    70. You’re misinterpreting what I said. I didn’t say the bishop jailed his priest. Let me walk you through it….
      The Communist authorities were adamantly against the alleged visions from the beginning. They interrogated and threatened the visionaries. Similarly, they threatened the bishop whom they suspected was inventing all this. (Does similar behavior sound familiar?) (Actually at first, he was promoting it.) But anyway, they also threatened the parish priest – whom they eventually jailed. So the threat to the bishop was not just hot air but underscored by this action. I’m not sure how you misunderstood me to say that the bishop jailed his priest. My intent was to demonstrate that threats and actions were real.

      Again Tim, I’ve got no horse in this race. But I do expect that the visionaries will be allowed to continue at least in some capacity to spread the messages and eventually, the 10 secrets. It’s ordained by Mary, and in the end, her Immaculate Heart will prevail. As in all apparitions, there are again many naysayers. Don’t abandon your faith if this goes in an unexpected direction for you.

    71. What you said wasn’t clear but I don’t expect you to offer anything that isn’t the usual Medj spin. You definitely have a horse in this race, that is disingenuous. Anyone who claims “It’s ordained by Mary” has a BIG horse in this race! Again, my faith has nothing to do with Medjugorje!

    72. Nah! I don’t have to convince anybody. My fate doesn’t depend on it. As I’ve said before, private revelations are optional for Catholics. Stick with the bible if that’s what moves you… .it will get you there. That’s all that counts. And I should have clarified – when Mary said “In the end, my Immaculate Heart shall prevail.”, that’s from another apparition – so it doesn’t necessarily relate to Medjugorje.

      I need you cut you loose because I think we’ve exhausted this conversation. Ultimately, we need to listen to the pope… and I expect he’ll make a decision about Medj. in October.

      On my part, I apologize if anything I’ve said has been disrespectful, and I’ll certainly eat crow if the pope says Medj. if condemned. No reciprocity needed from you. God Bless You.

    73. For consideration:

      Pope Francis stated in June that “guidelines” are being given to Bishops. He did not specify just the United States, so we are left wondering if these are being given elsewhere.

    74. Thanks Kevin. But unfortunately, this doesn’t clarify anything with respect to the issue at hand. I’d prefer to stick to the point: The visionaries in Medjugorje have been obedient. Some slice and dice the wording to mean things not said, but at the end of the day, it’s clear that they are being obedient.

    75. UPDATE: Reports that the CDF further restricted the visionaries in Medjugorje are false. (The devil has been busy.)

      “Recently Rorate Caeli and Gianluca Bavile spread reports that
      the Vatican has restricted the visionaries since the parish priest Fr
      Marinko took a decision himself to place restrictions in Medjugorje.
      Soon after the reports were spread, they were found to be denied by the CDF and as of now the Vatican has taken no action.”

      Here’s an interpretation (Google Translate) of the response by Cardinal Muller:

      I, Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in interview to the agency katholisch. On
      August 3, 2015, said the matter of medjugorje: “As is known, the
      commission headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, has looked into the whole
      issue in recent years. This
      documentation and material that was compiled, will be examined in the
      ordinary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in
      the
      fall. The opinion of the congregation, then it will be submitted to the
      Holy Father for a decision. ” Therefore, all the news about medjugorje
      you anticipate about it are false. For it not yet met the congregation
      and much less the Holy Father has given something about it. The
      Vatican correspondent Andrea Tornielli wrote in vatican insider: “the”
      fourth exhibition “examines the case and express their views, and then
      present them to Pope Francis, who already knows all the documentation. But
      convictions estimates that have appeared in recent days, attributed
      both to the congregation for the doctrine of faith as the pope, are
      absolutely premature and do not take into account the fact that people
      must give their sembrare0 francisco (The 25 cardinals and bishops of the “fair fourth”) Still have not examined the “dossier” “.

      Therefore,
      after consulting the parish of medjugorje today, it is clarified that
      the Franciscan St. James Apostle medjugorje not received any statement
      of the Holy See prohibiting the disclosure of the “messages” Neither
      have received specific provisions on the “seers”. Therefore, we must wait for the meeting of the Congregation for the
      Doctrine of the Faith to occur, and in this case, wait for the
      provisions of the pope, who in his time will appear in the official
      means of news of the Catholic Church.

    76. Again, read carefully what Cardinal Muller, Prefect of the CDF requires. Did he prohibit them from speaking entirely? (He certainly could have – or he could have said they may not speak of the alleged apparitions at all.) Did he say they must stay indoors at all times? Of course not. But he made it clear that the authenticity of the apparitions cannot be assumed, or presented as genuine, without the approval of the Church. You and I are entitled to say and believe whatever we wish – provided that we don’t claim to be speaking for the Church. Ivan made it very clear that his apparitions are not approved by the Church and he explained what he perceived to be real – which may yet be proven to be false.

      Of course, critics will not post what Ivan said (with respect to a disclaimer) but await him to blink or cough in order to say he was disobedient.

      You’ve gotta read between the lines. The devil is desperately at work trying to discredit Mary’s work – as he attempted for ALL other Marian apparitions. This activity is par for the course.

    77. “Again, read carefully what Cardinal Muller, Prefect of the CDF requires. Did he prohibit them from speaking entirely?”

      That’s not what I said.

    78. Well Kevin, that’s exactly the point. What are you interpreting the following statement to mean? “no cleric or faithful may participate in any meetings, conferences, or public celebrations in which the authenticity of the apparitions are taken for granted.” Surely we agree that this does NOT mean that the alleged event cannot be discussed. (That’s what we’re doing.)

      I don’t want to misinterpret what you’ve posted, but it seems to me you are saying the visionaries have been disobedient by not staying in their homes and being mum about their alleged experiences – even if they announce at each gathering of a few people some kind of disclaimer. (I had thought Ivan’s disclaimer clarified that the authenticity of the apparitions must not be taken for granted.)

      Bear in mind the intent of the CDF: To retain authority over matters that might confuse others and spread false doctrine about our faith and our Church’s position. It is not the CDF’s intent to make the decision about the legitimacy of these alleged apparitions – they’ve advised the pope and he’ll make that decision.

      Imagine for a moment that the apparitions are genuine. And that you are a visionary being told that you can’t “participate in any meetings, conferences, or public celebrations in which the authenticity of the apparitions are
      taken for granted.” Would this mean to you that you can’t participate in any meetings, conferences, or
      public celebrations that discuss Medjugorje at all? – Even if you clarify that the alleged apparitions must not be taken for granted? Had that been the intent of the CDF, wouldn’t their statement say so?

    79. I hear about this “disobedience” of the Medjugorje visionaries quite often from the critics. But I never receive evidence of it.

      Evidence of this is all over the place. Have you been to the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno’s web site? They have a whole section on Medjugorje. The Bishop even publicly challenged Fr. Gabriele Amorth for editing-out a “problem” of Medjugorje!

    80. Kevin, again, I’m talking about specific disobedience of the visionaries. There’s plenty of talk about the priests, the vendors and others, but nothing specific that demonstrates disobedience of the visionaries. The confusion (a tool of the devil) twists and turns the truth about a variety of issues – that ultimately is unrelated to the reality of the phenomenon. (Have you heard the one about the Medjugorje priest who fathered a child?…. This constitutes all that is needed to condemn the events by some.)

      But of course, the devil is not limited to telling the Truth – and so it’s possible to find some lies and inaccurate reporting. But chasing it down further shows that the visionaries have been obedient.

      Today’s Gospel Reading is pertinent to this discussion. Lk 7:31-35.

    81. Regretfully, the 1950s movie on Fatima is not entirely accurate. This comes throughout the movie, including in the opening narration.

      Moreover, Sr. Lucia herself saw the movie and did not like it. It showed her father as a drunkard, something that she contested vehemently.

    82. Thanks Kevin. If you have some quotes to forward from the pastor of Fatima, with respect to a proper response to those (then alleged) apparitions, that would be good. I don’t have them. But again, based on what I understand, the healthy skepticism from Church leaders both then and now is comparable.

    83. There is a citation of a letter he wrote to a Portuguese publication. See Renzo & Roberto Allegri’s book on Fatima.

    84. Kevin, I had hoped you would share a quote that demonstrated Father Manuel Ferreira’s position toward the (then alleged) apparitions at Fatima. I do not have the book you named, but perhaps you can offer the quote you mention.

      I believe his healthy skepticism (but not condemnation) was similar to the skepticism we’re now witnessing toward Medjugorje.

  8. I wrote my Masters’ thesis on the government and Church involvement into the Medjugorje phenomenon, including dozens of Yugoslavian, Church, and US Department of State documents — all readily available to the public. If you are able to access it on OhioLink, it’s worth the read if you want a chronology of all the documents: https://etd.ohiolink.edu/ap/10?0::NO:10:P10_ACCESSION_NUM:bgsu1300755377

    Thank you for your time!

    1. Mrs. Grodi,
      Good morning and thank you for posting. I am quite interested in your thesis and will look at it more in depth when the opportunity arises.

      For the moment, I will say that I think you neglected to include mention of Donal Foley’s response to Daniel Klimek.

    2. It was not neglect. Donal Foley’ response to Daniel Klimek was not a contemporary to when I was actually writing, and I only learned of Klimek’s response immediately before my thesis was submitted for review, which is why he received a footnote, rather than any actual historiographical consideration. After that, as far as what is published on OhioLink, it was closed for new revisions. Even though my thesis was uploaded in 2011, it was finished and being reviewed FAR before that. That’s one of the problems about chronicling a current event — at some point, it has to be published and, thus, closed to future information. (Also, missing from my thesis is Cardinal Ratzinger’s interview as the prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith stating that they have asked for the authority to investigate the Medjugorje phenomenon from the local bishop and they were awaiting his approval — and that his approval had to be given freely. Which we can assume it was, because it is clear from the Church documents in 1994 and after that the authority was placed in the Yugoslavian (and later Bosnia-Herzegovina) Bishop’s Conference.) So, there are many things that are pertinent that I discovered after my thesis was submitted, and will certainly be included, if I ever pursue publication.

      To be honest, however, the historiography was a requirement for my department. If it were to have this published, I would scrap the historiography altogether (especially mentioning individual authors — the response is usually volatile and not something I’m interested in), and condense it into two or three paragraphs generally stating why I think the current research on Medjugorje is lacking and what could be done by myself (or by others) to change that. While I have read each of the anti-authenticity authors, I just focused on the earlier works, since all the newer authors seem to just focus on one or two anti-Medjugorje authors to gather their “new” research. Honestly, even though the pro-authenticity authors often wear rose-tinted glasses and forget to cite anything, I found the anti-authenticity authors much more frustrating. I worked in a secular department at a state college, so I really tried to approach the phenomenon as if I were a non-religious researcher: “If I were an atheist and tasked to record the history of this event and how it has effected people and institutions in contact with it, how would I go about chronicling this event?” It’s important to understand that I am a historian, writing as a historian — NOT a theologian. I was not writing this work with an intention of proving or disproving Our Lady’s alleged apparitions — if I was, I would not have received my degree. Rather, I saw a lack in the historiography: plenty of available Church, State, and international documents were available and people — on both sides — were pretending they didn’t exist or they didn’t matter. One of my biggest problems, as a historian, about Medjugorje (particularly the anti-authenticity authors) is that they pretend as if this is an even closed to history and it is up to them to find as many quotes and analyze them ad infinitum!

      I’ll give you an example: There was a quote given in a 2010 interview, in which the archbishop, close to Pope Benedict, made a very pro-Medjugorje statement regarding Medjugorje and the then-Holy Father. Anti-Medjugorje bloggers went nuts the next day trying to examine the phrasing, the translations, etc. *I*, on the other hand — for my own personal understanding, contacted the office of the archbishop who made the statement and was given an explanation for his remarks. There were some big-name, connected Catholic commentators making public guesses and analyzing depths of language possibilities, and I, a lowly student, had the sense to contact the archbishop directly before I opened my mouth!(?) What’s missing from this picture? It turns out they were analyzing the wrong words, in the wrong language in which the statement was originally given. I respectfully mentioned it to a commentator I know personally, and they have since corrected it (years later). It irritates me to no end that people make public statements when they cannot be sure of what they are saying. This is probably what makes me a historian rather than a blogger or a journalist. I need time to make sure that what I’m saying is correct — or that I have at least explored as many avenues as my conscience and reason has opened up to me!

      The reality about Medjugorje, from the standpoint of a researcher, is that everyone (with the exception of very few key players) close to this phenomenon is still alive, and able to be interviewed. There is no reason to be publishing more and more and more books citing the same authors from the early 1980s. Many of the issues they described then are moot now or have been addressed by the Church. Medjugorje — the parish, the city — is there. It’s accessible. I understand Peter Kreeft’s irritation when looking into his own colleagues willingness to seek truth beyond their own preconceive ideas: “If I were an atheist, I think I would save my money to buy a plane ticket to Italy to see whether the blood of Saint Januarius really did liquefy and congeal miraculously, as it is supposed to do annually. I would go to Medjugorge. I would study all published interviews of any of the seventy thousand who saw the miracle of the sun at Fatima. I would ransack hospital records for documented ‘impossible’, miraculous cures. Yet, strangely, almost all atheists argue against miracles philosophically rather than historically. They are convinced a priori, by argument, that miracles can’t happen. So they don’t waste their time or money on such an empirical investigation. Those who do soon cease to be atheists—like the sceptical scientists who investigated the Shroud of Turin, or like Frank Morrison, who investigated the evidence for the ‘myth’ of Christ’s Resurrection with the careful scientific eye of the historian—and became a believer. (His book ‘Who Moved the Stone?’ is still a classic and still in print after more than sixty years.)” (from http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/history.htm)

      This kind of attitude among researchers is irritating — among atheists and believers. While researching Medjugorje, I had to suspend belief with every new source I uncovered and had to understand that “today may be the day that I witness something regarding Medjugorje that I cannot reconcile to my own belief” — but I had to do the research and ask the hard questions — as if I were looking at it with fresh, unbelieving eyes. I would have the same expectations of any author/blogger/commentator.

      Don’t be surprised if I do end up publishing my manuscript someday and use much of the language I have used in this blog comment and my author’s preface 🙂

    3. “It’s important to understand that I am a historian, writing as a historian — NOT a theologian.”

      And a darn good one at that. Love your comment, Teresa! You remind me of Fr. Stanley Jaki who would not leave a stone unturned, although he was a physicist and theologian writing as a historian. Like you, he kept the big picture in mind.

  9. For an excellent book on private apparitions and private revelations, and how to discern the same, I strongly recommend a 1996 book, Trial, Tribulation and Triumph by Desmond Birch. It can be purchased for a very reasonable price (used) on Amazon.
    As both Mr. Birch and the excellent website run by Glenn Dallaire attest, very often the local bishop (who has jurisdiction, NOT the Vatican in most instances) will forbid the traveling dog-and-pony shows which tend to spring up around alleged apparitions, as a sort of litmus test. If the alleged visionary is obedient to lawful church authority, that is one bit of evidence but certainly not dispositive. If, however, the alleged visionary is disobedient, this is an extremely bad sign. According to Mr. Birch, there has never been a single apparition in the entire history of the Catholic church where the alleged visionary is disobedient to lawful church authority, which has ever been approved.
    Personally, given the sordid, tawdry background of certain personnel closely connected with the Medjugorje racket (and a very lucrative racket it has proven to be), I would urge every reader to stay as far away from it as possible.
    If it is of God, it will not be possible to suppress it.
    If it is not of God, then faithful and devout Catholics should not be lending any legitimacy to it, nor spending any money on it, whether in the form of books, CD’s, travels, etc.

    1. “If the alleged visionary is obedient to lawful church authority, that
      is one bit of evidence but certainly not dispositive. If, however, the
      alleged visionary is disobedient, this is an extremely bad sign.”

      Exactly correct. When Saint Faustina was instructed by her confessor to cease paying attention to her visions, she stopped paying attention to them. When he later gave her the “go ahead”, she then resumed.

      Now THAT’S obedience!

  10. Patti Maguire Armstrong

    Thanks for the explanation. It is hard to get accurate information concerning Medjugorje. I credit it for getting my attention and convincing me to pray a daily rosary since 1989, although I don’t pay attention to it any more since all we need is in the Church.

    1. Accurate information is indeed a dime a dozen, Mrs. Armstrong. I recommend Te Deum Laudamus blog as one good online source and Donal Anthony Foley’s book “Medjugorje Revisited.”

  11. Pingback: MONDAY MORNING EDITION - BigPulpit.com

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