Tuesday, May 31, 2011

medjugorje...

... it looks like Easter of 2012 I will making a trip here. I am just curious what reader opinion is of the apparitions. I want to hear your arguments for and against this location.

updated: So many of you ask, why Medjugorje of all places? Why not Lourdes or Fatima. Simply answered, geography. I am just not going to that part of Europe. The people I will be traveling with want to go to Medjugorje, I want to go Dubrovnik. It just seemed like a happy compromise. That's all.

54 comments:

TCN said...

I suppose that originally Mary may have appeared there, but judging from the fruits of the "apparitions" I'd guess it hasn't continued. The problem, in my mind, is obedience, or the lack thereof. If your bishop says knock it off, you knock it off and discuss it later. That's not what happened. So, I'd be wary of what I find there.

Matt said...

If it were me, I would choose somewhere that was already an approved apparition site. I don't have an opinion one way or another regarding medjugorje. If I had the chance I'd go to Fatima or Lourdes over a site that does not yet have canonical approval.

pilgrim said...

TCN... Wary of the Mass, confessions, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Veneration of the Cross, prayer of the Rosary? :)

Stop guessing... go there!

By the way, the local bishop made a visit to Medjugorje last Sunday. So it is not out of bounds even for him. And why should it be? He sat down for lunch with the Franciscan pastoral staff after confirming a group of parishioners. Even had his picture taken with the group. It’s posted on the parish website for the world to see.

Crescat... you’ll enjoy your time in Medjugorje at Easter. You’ll see that Medjugorje is much about resurrected lives and faith. You won’t be able to miss it, even on your own account. That’s why these people come back and give such a strong witness.

Don’t want to go into the arguments for and against because arguments don’t deliver anything – walk not talk.

peace

Mark of the Vineyard said...

A priest also gave communion to a protestant woman, saying that he was influenced by Mary.

Piotrek said...

Very atypical of genuine Marian apparitions and probably demonic. I agree with TCN on obedience. Why don't just go to the Divine Mercy shrine in Łagiewniki (Cracow). They actually close the gift shops on Sundays, even though that's when they get the most pilgrims. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

To the extent that RC officials have addressed the "apparitions" they have been dubious at the least. I think I would file this under "approach with great caution."

Mark of the Vineyard said...

I go with the obedience crowd. If you want an approved apparition, there's always Fátima. You'd have a free guide as well :-D

Piotrek said...

pilgrim,

"Stop guessing... Go there!" etc.

Sorry friend, but your try-it-you'll-like-it recommendation reads like from the mouth of the serpent in the garden of Eden. That cavalier attitude really turns me off to Medjugorje. Fail.

Joseph M said...

In necessary things, unity,
in undecided things, freedom,
and in all things, charity
- St. Augustine

Personally, I'd go somewhere approved, like Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima. God can work through anything, the Church has not prohibited pilgrimages (as long as they are not organized by church personnel in such a way as to give the impression the Church has approved the apparitions), but why subject your soul to controversy when there are other places to go? Why set yourself up for possible disappointment, if the Church does not ultimately approve this apparition, and all the spiritual turmoil that can entail?

Dymphna said...

I agree with TCN. Obedience is the main fruit to look for. It is not there. Go with approved apparitions.

Terry Nelson said...

If you can go - go. See what it is all about. Those who follow Medj say one has to go there to understand. Just visiting there is a neutral act. Are you going with the Spirit Daily crowd?

:)

Just another mad Catholic said...

Why not go on pilgramage to Walsingham, if you do I can finally meet the crescat face to face :)

Serously Kat If I were you I'd stay the hell away from Medjugorje; Fatima is very very Beautifull (apart from the new church, EVERY hotel has a chapel where Mass is celebrated and you can go and see Jesus in the middle of the night, there Is a wonderful English Priest (retired but still acive) by the name of Fr. Edwin Gordon who is totally blind but still offers Mass (N.O Ad Orientam) every day at the Solar De Marta hoteland hears confessions every day from 9-11 in the morning.

Maryjohn said...

If you go you will likely 'feel ' something but that does NOT mean it will be of God or the Blessed Mother.

It may have begun as genuine but it doesn't seem to be any longer.
Why: gone on way too long.
Nothing new forthcoming. Seers have become rich (what OTHER has - Bernadette? Seers of Fatima? The peasant man of Guadalupe? )

So go if you must but keep your prayers and spiritual defenses up at all times. Personally, I stay away from the place or any other that the Vatican hasn't given its okay on. That is why Christ left us with Peter - so that we would have guidance on these things.

Terry - visiting may have a neutral intention, but I would so fear the insidious machinations of evil to make one feel all over warm and cozy.

There is a woman in our church who raves about the place and goes on and on about how she 'feels' when she is there. Again - devil can appear as an angel of light. I just don't trust the place.

So - blather over Kat. Be careful and keep your guardian angel close!

pilgrim said...

Matt, TCN, Mark, Piotrek, John, Joseph, Dymphna, Terry, JAMC, Maryjohn...

My turn to guess... :)

Ten people who have never been to Medjugorje, but have all the answers.

Can’t wait until after next Easter when Crescat can say “Well, I’ve been there and this is what I think...”

But maybe by then the Church will have come up with an answer that will keep the pot boiling. I can’t see it switching off the gas. It’s had 30 years to do so.

pilgrim said...

Sorry Terry! :) I should have left your name off the list.

Sancta Camerinus said...

I second a pilgrimage to Walsingham :)

Though the actions of the Priests at Medjugorje do not reflect the validity of the apparitions, I don't think. The Priest which gives the Holy Eucharist to the Protestant, may just use this as an excuse.

God Bless :)

Anita Moore said...

If the Blessed Virgin were really appearing in Medjugorje, why did she fail to predict the forthcoming war that was about to tear the region apart?

pilgrim said...

Yes, Sancta Camerius, countless are the reasons and excuses for arriving in Medjugorje. The question I asked after four days on my first visit to Medjugorje was: “Why am I here, I can get all this back home. I can go to Mass, confession Adoration and receive the Sacraments back home. Why am I here?”

I found the answer later on that day! :)

“Rabbi, where do you live?” “Come and see” he replied (John 1 : 39)

pilgrim said...

Anita asked: If the Blessed Virgin were really appearing in Medjugorje, why did she fail to predict the forthcoming war that was about to tear the region apart?

Wars don’t just start in the Balkans, they’re ongoing in people’s hearts. Thankfully, Our Lady speaks of how wars can cease and peace can come, that her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

But if you really want a direct answer then ask Our Lady the question. She speaks to all hearts that are opened to listen, but sometimes not in the way we demand or expect.

Anita Moore said...

Wars don’t just start in the Balkans, they’re ongoing in people’s hearts. Thankfully, Our Lady speaks of how wars can cease and peace can come, that her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

Contrast this with Our Lady's pointed and very specific prediction to the children of Fatima that if her requests for repentance and conversion were not heeded, another and worse war would break out during the reign of Pius XI; and that the sign of impending war would come in the form of a light illuminated by an unknown light. This prediction was close to 20 years in advance of the events themselves.

Elise said...

Geez, Cat, why don't you pick a slightly less divisive topic, like the death penalty???

pilgrim said...

Anita... I was expecting the Fatima comparison.

Our Lady does predict at Medjugorje... she says, if this happens then this will be the outcome. This is what she said at Fatima, if this does not happen, (repentance and conversion), then war will occur. This is not any different to the way she speaks at Medjugorje. The choice is ours. It’s a personal choice and decision we are invited to make, conversion and repentance. This is what happens at Medjugorje, people repent and make a decision to change their lives. Millions have made this decision and are encouraged to continue their conversion through her regular messages and the Sacraments of the Church. She has even said, “What I started in Fatima will be completed in Medjugorje.” The Lady appearing to six visionaries in Medjugorje is the same Lady with the same message who appeared to the Fatima seers.

We can learn much from the truth of Fatima when we look at what is happening at Medjugorje. Our Blessed Mother has not come with any new message. It’s the same message. Her first message was: “Peace, peace, peace, only peace, Reconcile with God and each other.”

Now if thqt’s not a call to repentance and conversion, then I don’t know what is. When she first appeared on June 24, 1981, it was also the feast day of John the Baptist, hardly a coincidence for Our Lady to choose that day to proclaim the same message as the Precursor.

Anita Moore said...

Hey Kat:

-- The present Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, the diocese of Medjugorje, has said nothing supernatural is taking place there.

-- His predecessor said nothing supernatural is taking place there.

-- The "visionaries" have been caught out in lies ever since the beginning -- starting with the claim that the "visions" started while they were out tending their sheep, when really they were out sneaking a smoke.

-- One of the "visionaries" was unable to explain the Annunciation even though she claimed the Virgin had just spent 3 years telling her her life story.

-- The "visionaries" seem able to summon "Mary" at will, anywhere they please.

-- The "visionaries" say Mary says that all religions are equal. They also say that among the Gospa's recommended reading is Maria Valtorta's Poem of the Man-God, which is on the Index of Forbidden Books (still binding, by the way, even though discontinued).

-- The former Franciscan friar who acted as the "visionaries'" spiritual director has been dismissed from the clerical state. By the time the "visions" started, he had fathered a child upon a nun, and abandoned them both around the time the "visions" started.

-- The Bishop of Mostar-Duvno has had to cope with what he has termed "schism" in connection with Medjugorje and the Franciscans involved in the alleged phenomena.

Why not visit Fatima instead?

Nan said...

Anita, let's not forget that the alleged apparition spoke against the Bishop.

At the wedding in Cana, Mary told the servants "do whatever he tells you." She would never speak against the Bishop!

The Ironic Catholic said...

OK, I've never been. BUT ...
some of the most devout and truly holy Catholic people I know have had utterly life-changing experiences there (granted, years ago).

I trust them because I know them well and see the fruit in their lives. Seriously, I think one is a living saint.

Can't there be some middle line? I honestly don't keep up with all this, but isn't much of the difficulty around a priest who served as a guide for some of the visionaries? And it's not like the Church said this place was demonic...it just hasn't given it the full thumbs up. Right???

Owen said...

Golly, site traffic must be low.

Maggie said...

Phew, you really opened Pandora's combox over hear! Almost as heated as the to-veil-or-not-to-veil debate on Father Z.

For what it's worth, I'm cautious of anything that hasn't been declared worthy of belief by Rome. I have no credence to say anything negative or positive about Medj, having never been there nor possessing the authority of Mother Church, but since there are other approved sites, those are the ones I'd stick with. We even have one in my Diocese (Green Bay); it was approved by a team of Vatican Marianologists and sanctioned by our Bishop just last December.

If you end up going, I'd be spiritually armed and on the alert.

Sarah said...

First of all, I know many good, holy Catholic people who have been to Medjugorie, had an amazing time, and come back spiritually renewed. Most of them are into charistmatic/praise-and-worhship stuff, to give you an idea of their personalities. They go to Mass, pray lots of Rosaries, and get fired up about Jesus. What could go wrong?

On the other hand, the amount of controversy surrounding the apparitions makes me skeptical. The lack of Vatican approval and the mysterious continuation of visions for decades, but only for certain people, are a turn off. This article in First Things provides a good timeline. http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2009/09/what-happened-at-medjugorje

Like most of the commenters, I'd go to Fatima or Lourdes first. But you are a smart cookie and I'm sure you won't get snookered by any scam artists when you are in the Balkans.

pilgrim said...

Anita’s list of “premises” makes me wonder why the Holy See ever bothered itself with setting up a fourth commission to study the Medjugorje phenomenon if they had all been found truthful and valid during previous commission studies. :)

But not everyone relies on information published by someone bent on condemning Medjugorje before the Church makes any final decision.

I still find it amazing, that the Church, with a duty to protect the faith and morals of the faithful, has yet to declare the Medjugorje messages a danger.

I wonder why it has taken 30 years without any declaration that the messages are a threat? It would be a very simple and effective way of stopping the ever-incrreasing flow of pilgrims heading to Medjugorje.

T said...

I went there in June '07 as a very lukewarm Catholic. It changed my life. It not only saved my marriage, but my agnostic husband of 25 yrs converted to Catholicism last year after seeing my transformation. I hadn't been to confession in 30 hrs but now go regularly. It healed my lifelong problem with chronic depression and literarally saved my life. GO with an open heart. Btw, the Vatican has taken over the investigation of Medjugorje because it has been mishandled at the local level. Blessed Pope John Paul had a special love for Medjugorje and Pope Benedict has been there before becoming a Pope. the only reaso why the Vatican can't officially approve it is because their policy has always been that they can't OFFICIALLY approve the visions until after she stops appearing. And she 's been appearing for almost 30 hrs. How can a place that has created so many millions of conversions be considered evil???

pilgrim said...

Maggie, it’s good to prepare for pilgrimage, whether it be to Fatima, Lourdes, Medjugorje or just our daily pilgrimage through life. Pilgrimage is about meeting with God. People meet with God in Medjugorje, but Our Lady warns that satan is strong and wants to destroy her plans. She asks for prayer and fasting to overcome.

I’ve lost count of the number of skeptics I’ve met in Medjugorje that have returned home with a completely different understanding. I was one of them. :)

Richard Collins said...

There is nothing about Medjugorje that is like any of the other approved Marian apparitions. I find it very hard to think of Our Lady in the context of division, sectarian strife,publicity and spectacle.
For me, Lourdes or Fatima - fantastic!

jmartin456 said...

Even things that are evil can change our lives. People can be converted because they endured a natural disaster or an accident.

God can use anything.

Look at the years and years of apparition messages. Really?

I mean...really?

I would think Mary would be getting tired by now.

Kat - research the purported apparitions in Conyers Georgia. People claimed conversions and miracles there too - and probably experienced them. But it was utterly fake.

shadowlands said...

pilgrim said:

“Why am I here, I can get all this back home. I can go to Mass, confession Adoration and receive the Sacraments back home. Why am I here?”

As I age, I seem to be reaching this conclusion more and more, sometimes as soon as I have stepped outside of my house haha! Perhaps it is of spiritual benefit for some though, to travel to places where, it is obvious, other holy people will be present. Fellowship, the oil running down Aaron's beard etc... Whatever one thinks of Medjugorge, the presence of the faithful there, must be having a positve impact on the surroundings. If a person is uncomfortable with it all, avoid it, ofcourse.

It's not the law that we have to accept any of these things, is it?

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Kat - Just curious: Why not go to the site of an approved apparition, and one not riddle with so many controversies?

Balance out what you read on the vast majority of sites you will find at the top of google searches promoting the alleged phenomena with these sources which offer a critical view.


http://en.louisbelanger.com/

http://www.marcocorvaglia.com/medjugorje-en/home.html

And, my other blog:

http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/

God bless and prayers as you discern which sites you will support with your pilgrimage dollars.

Sheba said...

Hello, I my name is Sheba from East Africa, Uganda and enjoy your blog. On this particular subject, I would like to give my humble opinion.

Many saints have been persecuted especially within the Church (Case in point Padre Pio). Medjugorje may be one of them, and might also be under persecution.

However, obedience is important. My suggestion to you is, find out if the Church authorities explicitly state that we should not visit this site.

And if you find that there isn't any restrictions, well then, a visit is not disobedience. Remember, that if this is all the work of the devil, Our Father guarantees to deliver us from all evil! It is not a sin to seek God with all you heart. I believe He delights in that.

Dymphna said...

Don't go. Medj. is not an approved apparition. Go to Lourdes, go to Fatima, heck go to Wisconsin instead. Medj. is either a human hoax or a diabolical one.

Terry Nelson said...

Miss Thang knows how to drive up stats - must be sweeps week!

Owen said...

Dear Kat, you see, what dear Terry has just said? (right above this comment if I get it in fast enough) Well, that in my sometimes cryptic way and only that was all I was saying. The Medj question, no matter where it is posted always brings out the combox controversy, and the usual suspects as well as the same old arguments for and against.

pilgrim said...

Darling, you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

Well, I hope to be there for Pentecost. I wonder if there will be any visitors from Rome?

Baron Korf said...

I don't deal with anything mystical that is not approved by Apostolic Authority. Too much danger involved.

Terry Nelson said...

Owen - I think I'll do a post on Kat in the hat at...

pilgrim said...

A two-hour documentary was transmitted this week at prime time on a major Italian TV station Rete 4.

You can view the first part of the documentary at http://www.temponuovo.net/

...and brush up on your Italian at the same time. Worth watching.

I wonder if anyone watched the presentation in the Vatican? :)

Piotrek said...

I'd like to hear from the pilgrims who have gone to approved sites AND THEN to Medjugorje. Perhaps they could offer us a better perspective.

I have chased unapproved Marian apparitions before and having witnessed the craziness associated with them, I've become more skeptical over time. There's probably more of us.

pilgrim said...

Piotrek... I’ve been to Knock, Fatima, Walsingham and Medjugorje, in that order. The only “unproven” apparition I have ever followed is Medjugorje. And yes, “craziness” can be witnessed at times but that says more about the people than the validity of the apparitions.

A Medjugorje priest often states: “Everyone who comes to Medjugorje has a need; some more than others.”

I also understand your feeling of skepticism. It can come to us all at times. I guess none of us want to be made a fool of. Our skepticism can reveal much about our own needs in life. Jesus lost a lot of his followers when he started talking about eating his flesh. It was just a step to far for some of the disciples. Those who stayed were people of faith, not skepticism.

I don’t follow any unproven apparitions outside of Medjugorje. I have received all that I ever searched for at Medjugorje, a full knowledge in my heart and soul, whatever my condition, of God’s love for me. Nothing can ever take away that gift and certain knowledge. It is a wonderful freedom. That’s why so many people returning from Medjugorje want to share their experience. They become witnesses for the Resurrection of Christ in their lives.

Cruise the Groove. said...

Unless it is officially approved by the Church, I would not go there.

pilgrim said...

Here are some better links to the two-part programme about Medjugorje on Italian TV

Part 1: http://it.gloria.tv/?media=162385
Part 2: http://it.gloria.tv/?media=162278

margaret said...

Here's an Orthodox priest's wife's opinion http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/medjugorje.aspx

Sr Margaret

Caroline McCamley said...

I have been to Medj three times. I found great peace there. I met both the crazy and the devout. On one ocassion I brought my then 8 year old son, and he just loved it. It is a great pilgrimage site for a young boy (climbing, hills, mountains, vineyards, ants, lizards, loads of icecream, and really good pizza!) He is still saving up so that he can return.

Piotrek said...

Do we have anyone here who went to Woodstock and had a deeply spiritual experience?

;-)

Caroline McCamley said...

Remember, once upon a time Lourdes and Fatima were not approved.

pilgrim said...

Piotrek wrote: “Do we have anyone here who went to Woodstock and had a deeply spiritual experience?”

My era. :)

Did stand six feet in front of Hendrix’s amp one night and felt the sound waves pass through my body! That was in Manchester, England.

Had a similar experience in Paris, France, in front of ZZ Top.

Gail F said...

I have never had the inclination or opportunity to go to Medj, so it's easy to have an opinion!!!! I am uneasy with all apparitions. I am just not an apparition sort of person. I live near an ongoing, unapproved apparition of Mary and find the whole thing strange. I have not met any of the people who go regularly to see her (it's been going on for years) but apparently they are devout and sincere. I've read Fr. Groeschel about Medj., and the interesting book "The Miracle Detective" (the author doesn't say so, but he obviously nearly had a nervous breakdown writing it). I really can't see Mary appearing daily to the same people for decades, and their lives have been nothing like the lives of previous seers. But something obviously happened there once (maybe is still). There are weird things in the world, and my policy is to stay away from them.

That said, if I were in your shoes I would probably pray a lot and go. It's one thing not to go somewhere, but it's another thing to be there and stay in your hotel room, as it were. I would be too curious to stay away.

Lola said...

I myself am hoping to make it up to Wisconsin. For the Shrine and the fudge.

I've heard the fudge is really good.

If you do go to Croatia, eat the food, and stay away from the 'site'.

Every person I've met in Real Life who made an effort to go there was weird. Not in my favorite kooky 'weird' way. But in a lost kinda way.

Besides, I have to err on the side of caution. I'm just not smart enough to 'discern' those visionaries.

Check out Rich Salbato's info on Medjugorje : http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/MedjugorjeIndex.html

Prudence.

Too much good food and fun and beauty to be had in Europe. Don't waste you're precious vacation time on nonsense.

Have a great time.