Thursday, October 15, 2009


There's been quite a smackdown in Medjugorje over the last few months.

The seers have been banished, the parish forbidden to publish or mention the "messages", a "chapel" the seers were operating up has been kiboshed, priests have to check in for permission to say a Mass - etc.

I know many people who traveled to Medjugorje and had a prayerful and holy experience.

Why wouldn't they?

They planned a trip to a destination where they intended to have a prayerful and holy experience.

There's Rosaries, prayer, music and a lot of people with Marian devotion there who have also traveled a long way to have a prayerful and holy experience.

God is present there as He is anywhere two people gather in His Name.

If you make plans to go on a retreat, you gear up spiritually, go there with intentions, you bring the tools for the objective of the experience and you feed off the people around you.

I never got good vibes from the windows of the souls of seers in Medjugorje. The messages weren't gelling for me. There were no vocations, scandal in the personal lives of the characters, the frequency of the messages were suspicious - among other things. They lost me when they started claiming the Blessed Mother would reschedule giving them nightly messages if there was a scheduling conflict with a local parish or a plane filled with pilgrims got delayed.

One of the elements that troubled me from the beginning was the dynamic that Medjugorje was essential to our personal salvation and the salvation of the world.

It appears that in the eleventh hour, one of the "seers" is trying to make the discipline of the Church as an event that will bring retaliatory action by God and the Blessed Mother.

Years ago, it was reported that Vicka Ivankovic, the most prominent seer at the famed apparition site of Medjugorje, had stated that the purported secrets there would begin when all belief in the apparitions seemed to be almost extinguished.

Who knew. Our survival has relied upon belief in Vicka Ivankovich. The Pope is blowing it!

And this one really laid it on thick:

Another alleged Croatian seer, Jim Singer, who now lives near Burlington, Toronto, said years ago that on September 23, 1995, "Our Blessed Mother stated (among other things) that the time is rapidly approaching when God's children will turn their backs on Medjugorje. The gift of Medjugorje will suffer tremendously and will reach the point when it will appear to be extinguished permanently. Many will rejoice and become cynical. Only the steadfast few will remain faithful and loyal few will remain faithful and loyal.... but at a great personal cost, humiliation, and ridicule. Indeed, the pressure will be so great that even the loyal souls will endure periods of serious doubt. However, just when it would seem that this gift is finally dead, Jesus Himself will raise it like the phoenix from the ashes.... And that is when the TRUE understanding of the gifts, and the prophecy of Medjugorje, will begin... but, for many it will be too late.

The story I first linked claims there's a rumor Cardinal Ratzinger visited Medjugorje "incognito".

When you have to start digging that low to validate your "apparitions", it isn't good.

Interesting developments ahead.


Kyra said...

Like so many others, I first visited Medjugorje in the '80s out of curiosity, not really looking for a deep spiritual experience. I did fall in love with my faith while there - so the spiritual experience came as an unexpected gift. I have mixed feelings about the phenomenon now. While it seems that the seers were very believable as children, I have to wonder as time goes by. I'm trusting in the judgment of Christ's Church.
"Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying, but test everything, holding fast to what is good." (Thessalonians 5:19-21)

Anonymous said...

Mixed feelings also,although I always say if the Blessed Mother isn't appearing on earth, she should be!
Seriously, it does take a very long time to get people to convert their lives, and shifting the world would be a huge course correction. So perhaps 28 years isn't yet enough.

And I do know one wonderful priest who found his vocation there; he said he saw the Virgin himself, and he has been a force for good ever since (more than 10 years).

From the beautiful City of Boston said...

When the Angel of Gabriel delivered a message to Mary, God had formed her and chosen her and knew she would say "yes" - He knew what kind of a life she would lead and that in selecting her, it would bring no scandal to the Church.

Throughout history, the seers the blessed mother selected lived an exemplary life and always included vocations.

It just isn't possible that God and Mary didn't know that the priest would in the future sleep around with a nun and impregnate her - - or the lives of the seers involve scandals.

I don't negate anything holy that arose from a pilgrimage there. However, if you get on a plane to travel to a third world country for a religious experience, you're ripe for having one. You want one. When your feet hit the ground from the plane - you take all the actions to have a religious experience.

Just like if you gained 50 pounds and headed out to a fat farm. You know where you're going, you know what is spiraling out of control in your life and you plan your "vacation" to a place where you intend to get control.

For those who had the experience there - goodie. There's Fatima, Lourdes and a host of other places that are...well, proven and affirmed by the Church. There are places like Catholic Family Land. Sadly, that can happen right in every parish in front of the Blessed Sacrament - the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord -- we just don't take advantage of it.

Prophesying is good stuff so long as it comes from a conduit of God's and not some kind of con artist making it all up.

A lot of people got roped into this for a long time. I'm relieved to see they are finally taking action. It's late in the game and sitting on such obvious con artists doesn't give me and many others a whole lot of confidence about perverts, corruption and contract killers within.

I'm very relieved to see this...

pilgrim said...

They lost me when they started claiming the Blessed Mother would reschedule giving them nightly messages if there was a scheduling conflict with a local parish or a plane filled with pilgrims got delayed.

Did the visionaries really claim this, or is this statement some kind of wit on your part?

As to “smackdown”, have you considered that the tidying up operation long neglected by the local bishop comes at the request of the Holy See as it prepares to grant Medjugorje shrine status?

How blind some of the opponents of Medjugorje seem to be, not understanding or recognising the real reasons for the bishop’s recent actions.

And if the messages aren’t gelling for you, then neither can scripture, because Our Lady isn’t bringing anything new to the table, only the Gospel message.

And why worry about the frequency of the message, when the Gospel is read at Mass every day throughout the world? What’s the difference? Only that some fail to listen to the Gospel message or even recognise it when they hear it. Same goes for Out Lady’s messages from Medjugorje.

As to vocations, there are at least 500 priests who claim to have received their vocation through their experience at Medjugorje, not counting deacons and other religious.

As to the report re Vicka and extinguished belief in the apparitions, check the source, the book, and then check with the visionary herself and see what she says. Too often, the visionaries are misquoted or words put into their mouths, as you attempted to do so with your claim about delayed pilgrim flights.

You are correct in saying there are interesting developments ahead. The first will be recognition of Medjugorje as an international shrine. There will be no move on deciding on the apparitions until they end.

But we can rest assured that if anything was flaky about the messages, or they were considered a danger to the faith and morals of the faithful, then the Holy See would have spoken out. Canon Law dictates that the Church must do this if there is a danger. It 28 years the Holy See has not spoken out against any of the messages.

A visit to Medjugorje is a good way to test the spirits, so to speak. Failing that, the positive experiences of the people you know who have been to Medjugorje will speak of what is happening there.

These experiences should not be dismissed so lightly in the way you have spoken about. Most of these experiences are not shared by millions of Catholics around the world who attend Mass each weekend when God is present.

So why does this happen at Medjugorje? Has it anything to do with the claim of Our Lady’s presence there, along with the Holy Spirit. Does she have a specific reason for appearing there? If so, why? And why do millions return home renewed and on fire wanting to spread the Good News. What is all the excitement about?

I guess you have to experience the special grace at Medjugorje to really understand the fervour of those who return and “cannot refrain from speaking of what they have seen and heard”.

peace, and thank you for listening and the opportunity to respond to your comments.

From the beautiful City of Boston said...

Dear Pilgrim,

Thanks for your comments.

I'm not an enemy of apparitions and having had a few mystical experiences myself - I absolutely, unequivocally and zealously treasure this precious gift of our Church and the many saints who have left us their experiences with them. I say this with the caveat that though my experiences appeared to be angelic in nature, I never made a determination or gave them any weight or used them as an anchor in my life.

One thing about having the propensity to be sarcastic, sometimes people have a hard time recognizing when I'm being serious.

I am very serious about the seers alleging Our Lady agrees to change the timing of her visit to appease other people's schedules.

One time, when a seer was sponsored at a parish, whatever time the seer claimed the Blessed Mother visited him every night - it interfered with a Vigil Mass the parish priest was doing and the priest told the sponsor the event couldn't happen at the parish. The seer and the sponsor fought it for some time but then - alas - the Blessed Mother told the seer she would come to him an hour later on that evening.

This is not the only time a seer has alleged they could change their appointment with Mary.

That you attempt to connect my affirmation of Scripture with my disbelief in the seers and their messages and then connect the dots that the foregone conclusion is that Scripture and the messages of the seers are of equal value to salvation is part and parcel of the spirit of Medjugorje and only further confirms that it is not the spirit of God.

I'm not sure how long you have been a Catholic, but I can assure you that the Vatican doesn't speak out against reprobates and con artists pretending they are prophesying and preaching in the Name of the Catholic Church. Would that they did. We have a very long list of periodicals and priests and missions that are misleading millions of Catholics. Pick up a copy of the National Catholic Reporter, have a look see at Richard McBrien's archives. The lack of a message from the Vatican means jack and squat about whether you've been conned.

As I'm sure you're aware, the Vatican has insisted that the word "shrine" be forbidden when speaking about Medjugorje. This, along with all of the disassociation with the seers going on, it saddens me to see you think this is all a preparation for an official announcement of affirmation from Rome about the apparitions, the seers and a formal announcement that Medjugorje is a Catholic Shrine. Really, I can't tell you how upsetting this is to me personally. There is nothing that is more maddening to me than a victim of a Catholic con.

The graces from Masses and prayers in a place where thousands of Catholics congregate are powerful enough in their own right. I've felt these graces many times and in many places - both alone in front of the Blessed Sacrament and with others on a pilgrimage somewhere.

God Bless

TheLastCatholicinBoston said...

The dude lives in an upscale apartment in the North End.
He has a palatial hacienda in his home town and travels the world delivering his messages.
Completely Preposterous!
I attended his show out of curiosity once and the first thing he said was
"keep the children back" ...Dude if our Blessed Mother is showing up tonight - she wants to hang with the kids...
The BVM has appeared to him over 8,000 times!?
She appeared to the Fatima Children 6 times!
and by the way - I think it is diabolical in nature.
You don't put words into the mouth of the Gods mother unless you have the audacity of Satan.
I heard one Holy man say that you never see the head or feet of the Gospa of Mejugagorja because you'd see Horns and hooves.
I see that Ivan has a showing next month in Medway. I told my dear wife I may go and and see the slandering boob Ivan - and kick him right in the groin.
You can see the sentimentalism of the Ivan groupies a mile away.
I'd love to give him the benefit of the doubt but the cottage industry and travel agency millions is just too outrageous to let go.