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Medjugorje Hoax


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I found that story (or one similar to it anyways) in a work by Fr. William G. Most called "Private Revelations and the Discernment of Spirits" posted on the EWTN website: [url="http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/maryd8.htm"]http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/maryd8.htm[/url]

"1. Pure bad faith, fakery.

Magdalen of the Cross was a Franciscan of Cordova, born in 1487, who entered a convent at age of 17. From the age of 5 the devil appeared to her as various Saints, led her to desire to be considered a saint. At 13 he said who he was, offered an agreement: he would spread her reputation for holiness, and give her at least 30 years of pleasures. She agreed, and it all came true--ecstasies, levitation, prophecies, simulated stigmata. At door of death she confessed. Exorcism was needed."

Is this what you were referring to?

There is another interesting part in this article.

[quote]1.) "Authority of the Church

We distinguish two kinds of actions by the local bishops of places of alleged apparitions:

1) a decision that it is or is not authentic. Since the Church herself has no providential protection in the area of private revelations, the bishop could be in error. We are not obliged to believe him, or even the Pope himself in such a case.

2) [b]an order to all not to go in pilgrimage to the place of the supposed visions. This is a different matter, it is an exercise of authority, which the local bishop does have. [u]Therefore if there are violations of this order, and yet visions seem to continue, we may be absolutely certain that the visions are false.[/u][/b] [b]Our Lady or the Saints will never appear to promote disobedience. [/b]Even if there seem to be benefits to the devotion of people, we must still obey. And we need to recall how demanding the Church is of proof for alleged miracles. At Lourdes, after thousands of seeming miracles, the Church has checked and approved only a little over 60 cases since the start of that shrine."[/quote]

Fr. Most is right. I believe according to canon law (I'll check to be sure) it is the local bishop's jurisdiction and authority to speak on private revelations in his area. I paste the entire letter from the bishop to give the full context, but the bolded part is all that seems necessary if you don't want to read the whole thing:

[quote]Declaration of the Bishop of Mostar
Concerning Medjugorje - 25 July 1987

After a version of this declaration, translated into English not from the original Croatian, but from an Italian translation, had been circulating for some time, the bishop asked Father Hugh Thwaites, an English Jesuit, to have an accurate translation made from the original Croatian. The task was undertaken by my wife Marija, who is Croatian, and my son Adrian, who has a Cambridge degree in Serbo-Croatian.

Brothers and Sisters,

Today in Medjugorje, on the occasion of administering the sacrament of confirmation, you are perhaps expecting me to say a few words concerning those events about which the whole world is talking. The Church must concern herself with them, and whatever is of concern to the Church, she refers to particular individuals and commissions. You know that at the moment this subject is being discussed by the commission which was convened by the conference of Bishops of Yugoslavia, because the Church cannot expose her credibility lightly before the 20th century world which seeks to discredit and criticise her, so that it can say: "There you are—there is Jesus Christ for you."
I can assure you that I prayed, studied, and kept silent for six years. Others have prayed too, and I thank them for it. In every Holy Mass that I have said Medjugorje was present in my intentions. In my daily rosary I prayed to Our Lord, and to the Holy Ghost, to give me light from God. This has helped me to form a firm and certain conviction concerning everything that I have heard, read or experienced. There is a great deal of praying and fasting going on here (in Medjugorje), but it is in the belief that all the events are truly supernatural. However, to preach falsehood to the faithful concerning God, Jesus, and Our Lady - that merits the depths of hell.
In all my work, prayers, and studies I had one aim before me—to discern the truth. With this aim, as early as 1982, I formed a four-member commission which later, with the help of some bishops and fathers provincial, I expanded to 15 members drawn from nine theological centres from seven dioceses and four provinces, and two leading psychiatrists who were enabled to consult their colleagues. They worked for three years. The Holy See was informed about their work, and the events. This commission of the Conference of Bishops of Yugoslavia continues to concern itself with the same problem.
However, there were impatient people who went ahead before the judgement of the Church, and declared that miracles and supernatural events were taking place. They preached on private revelations from the altar, something which is not permitted until the Church declares such revelations to be authentic. That is why the various authorities demanded that pilgrimages should not be organised, that the Church's judgement should be awaited. This was first done on 24 March 1984 when the commission on Medjugorje warned against it, but, unfortunately, without effect. Then, in October of the same year, the Conference of Bishops declared that there should be no more officially organised pilgrimages to Medjugorje. By "officially organised" is meant those who gather or come in a group. That had no effect either. Then the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, on 23 May 1985, sent a letter to the Conference of Italian Bishops asking them to try to reduce the number of organised pilgrimages, and likewise to minimise all forms of propaganda. That too bore no fruit. Finally, when the second commission was formed, Cardinal Franjo Kuharic and the Bishop of Mostar, in the name of the Conference of Bishops of Yugoslavia, declared publicly on 29 January 1987: "For this reason it is forbidden to organise pilgrimages or other manifestations motivated by the supernatural character attributed to the events in Medjugorje" This pronouncement came from the highest level in the Church and must not be ignored as if it were of no significance. Ever since the first news appeared concerning the unusual events in this diocese, the bishop's office followed the reports carefully, and collected everything that could serve in the search for truth. The bishop allowed the seers and religious involved full freedom, and even defended them from political and press attacks. We taped all the conversations, collected chronicles and diaries, letters and documents. The commission of our professors of theology and physicians studied all this for three years. The three year work of the commission concluded as follows: two members voted in favour of the truth and supernatural nature of the apparitions. One member abstained from voting. One accepted that something had happened at the beginning. Eleven voted that there had been no apparitions—non constat de supernaturalitate.31
I am firmly convinced that all the members of the commission worked conscientiously and examined everything which could have aided their search for truth. The Church cannot risk her credibility, and often, in similar cases, she has studied events like these carefully and rebuked groups who gathered in places where it had been established that the events were not supernatural. Let us remember Garabandal in Spain, San Damiano in Italy, and dozens of similar places in the past few years. The seers at Garabandal claimed that Our Lady promised a great sign for the whole world. Twenty-five years have passed since then, and still there is no sign. If Our Lady had left a sign it would be clear to all what this is about.
It was said that Our Lady started to appear at Podbrdo on Mount Crnica. When the police stopped people going there she appeared in people's homes, on fences, in fields, in vineyards, and tobacco fields. She appeared in the church, on the altar, in the sacristy, in the choir-loft, on the roof, in the bell-tower, on the roads, on the road to Cerno, in a car, on a bus, in schools, at several places in Mostar and Sarajevo, in monasteries in Zagreb, in Varazdin, in Switzerland, in Italy, then again at Podbrdo, in Krizevac, in the parish, on the presbytery and so on. This does not list even half the number of locations where apparitions were alleged to have taken place, so that a sober man who venerates Our Lady must ask: "My Lady, what are they making of you?"
[b]By divine law I am the pastor in this diocese, the teacher of the faith, and the judge in questions concerning the faith. Since the events in Medjugorje have caused strife and division in the Church—some people believing, others not believing—because there are those who have refused to submit themselves to the authority of the Church. Because the recommendations and decisions of the above mentioned authorities, commissions, congregations of the bishops' conference had no effect, I, the bishop of Mostar, answerable before God for the discipline in this diocese repeat and confirm earlier decisions of ecclesiastical bodies, and I forbid pilgrimages to come here and attribute a supernatural character to these events before the Commission of the Bishops' Conference completes its work.[/b]
I turn to you, O Immaculate Virgin and Mother, Mother of God, and Mother of the Church, Mother of the faithful who seek, pray to, and love you. I, your servant, the bishop of Mostar, turn to you, and before the whole world declare my deep and constant faith in all the privileges God bestowed upon you according to which you are the first and most excellent of His creatures. I express my profound and unswerving faith in your intercession before Almighty God for all the needs of your children in this vale of tears.
I declare my profound and constant faith in your love towards us sinners, that love to which you have testified by your apparitions and assistance. I myself have led pilgrimages to Lourdes. It is precisely with the strength of this faith that I, your servant the bishop of Mostar, before the great multitudes who have called upon you, discern and accept your great sign which after six years, has become clear and certain. No special sign is necessary for me, but it was necessary for those who believed in a falsehood. The sign you have given is that for six years you remained silent continually whenever they prophesied that there would be an apparition on the mountain which would be permanent and for all to see. "It will be soon, quite soon, just be patient a little longer" They were saying this as early as 1981. Then they claimed that it would be on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, then at Christmas, then for the New Year and so on.
Thank you, Blessed Lady, for manifesting by your six year silence whether or not you have spoken here, whether or not you had appeared or given messages, revealed secrets, or promised a special sign. Most holy Virgin, Mother of Christ and our Mother, intercede for peace in this restless region of the Church, the diocese of Mostar. Intercede especially for this village, this parish where your holy name has been mentioned countless times in messages. Accept, most holy Virgin, in reparation, the sincere prayers of those devout souls who are far from fanaticism and disobedience within the Church. Help us all to come to the real truth. Beloved, humble, and obedient Maiden of God, help Medjugorje to follow with a firm step the shepherd of the Church on earth, so that we all may glorify you and thank you in truth and love. Amen.

Pavao Zanic
Bishop of Mostar[/quote]

I don't know if the commission has completed its work but if not, then there is a serious trend of disobedience going on as a result of these visions, not only in regards to the pilgrimages but also messages from "Our Lady" which support the disobedience of priests and laypeople to their bishop. This is NOT a sign of Our Lady, and is in fact a sign (as Fr. Most says) that there is nothing heavenly about it.

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honestly, more than anything else, the blatant disobedience to the local bishop and defiance to even their pope is enough for me. Why would Our Lady advocate any such thing?

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Actually, that was exactly the story I was looking for.I will have to have a conversation with my local Dominican Church. (Its offering pilgrimages to Medjugorje, as is the Alive! Catholic paper, neither of which seem to be aware of the controversy if at all.

But again, I'll hold my peace.

[quote]honestly, more than anything else, the blatant disobedience to the local bishop and defiance to even their pope is enough for me. Why would Our Lady advocate any such thing?[/quote]

This is another reason why i'm not sure this is Our Lady here. Miracles by themselves would've been enough.

Edited by Galloglasses
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The Vatican has overridden the Bishop of Mostar and did so a very long time ago. Probably after the Bishop changed his story from believing them to not believing them so that he could avoid a prison term.

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I'd have to read more about that before accepting it. But it still doesn't explain the outright disrespect for clergy, approved by the visions.

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Here is something very recent for you to read. Don't embarrass yourself in protesting pilgrimages. In January in Medjugorje 891 Priests concelebrated (28/day) and 42,500 people received communion.

The Vatican has officially taken the issue of Medjugorje away from local jurisdiction.

[center][u][font="Arial"][size=6][color="#000000"]SPOKESMAN FOR CARDINAL CONFIRMS THAT MEDJUGORJE HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM COMMISSION INTO DIRECT HANDS OF VATICAN[/color][/size][/font][/u][/center]
[left][i][u][font="Arial"][size=2][[url="http://www.spiritdaily.com/printerfriendly2.htm"][color="#000000"]printer-friendly version[/color][/url]][/size][/font][/u][/i][/left]
[img]http://www.spiritdaily.com/jOHNpAULLUMINOUSWAVES.jpg[/img][font="Arial"][size=4]It came as a complete surprise and we have now confirmed it. It is nearly as if the hand of John Paul II himself is in it.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Or is it simply that Benedict XVI is a bit more mystical than many perceived?[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]In Europe, the press has reported that the matter of Medjugorje -- the famed apparition site in Bosnia-Hercegovina that was so dear to John Paul -- has shifted directly into the hands of the Vatican.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]It is true, we are now told authoritatively.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]The apparitions will not be accepted or rejected by local or regional Church officials until they are directed how and when to do so by Rome, officials now report -- in one of the larger development in this case since onset of the apparitions.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4][color="#ff0000"]"I can confirm it,"[/color] states Monsignor Mato Zovkic, vicar general of the Sarajevo archdiocese. [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Monsignor Zovkic, who is spokesman for the Cardinal of Sarajevo and previously indicated negatively feelings about the site, now tells[i] Spirit Daily [/i]that "the situation is that people keep coming to Medjugorje, they feel something nice, and they are reconciled sacramentally. The Vatican seems to be very interested and so this should be respected."[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Headed by Cardinal Vinko Puljić, the national commission based in Sarajevo was formed after the Vatican took away the authority of discernment from the local bishop, who usually rules on such matters. Now the national commission has also been subjected to higher Church authorities.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]The vicar emphasized that the national commission no longer plans to take action until it hears direct instructions from the Vatican. "This is our viewpoint," said Zovkic, who is also a professor at the seminary in Sarajevo.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4][color="#ff0000"]Such is a major change [/color]in its previous position, which was that the commission would make a determination after the apparitions stopped. "As things are now, yes," the commission will wait for the Vatican, he repeated. [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]It is no minor statement.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]For years, many have been under the misconception that the claims at Medjugorje are under the authority of the bishop in Mostar -- whose diocese includes Medjugorje and who has been strongly negative, even seeking to condemn it. [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]The matter long ago was taken out of those hands, however, and given to a national commission headed by Cardinal Puljić. [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Now, it will go even higher -- indicating, perhaps, that Rome believes Medjugorje exceeds not just local but also regional discernment.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]The original decision to revoke the authority of Mostar was likewise taken under the direction of Pope Benedict when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Instead, the entire matter appears open to restudy.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]A Bible scholar, Monsignor Zovkic said he plans to hold special meetings in Medjugorje on May 7, along with a moral theologian and a canon lawyer. The goal, he said, is to review how priests should conduct themselves during the sacraments, especially Confession -- which is unusually intense at the apparition site, with booths set up for more than a dozen languages and long lines of pilgrims seeking reconciliation.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4][color="#ff0000"]The authority of local ecclesiastic officials[/color] has thus shifted from discernment of the apparitions to sacramental and liturgical administration.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Monsignor Zovkic -- who himself previously had expressed misgiving about the site -- said that "I am looking forward to seeing Medjugorje." He alluded to recent statements by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone -- the current secretary of state at the Vatican and as such second only to the Pope -- to the effect that the matter necessitated re-examination. [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]The new statements in one fell swoop erase objections by those who have long asserted that Medjugorje was rejected or condemned because local bishops in Mostar have been unfavorable. Complicated and even tortured arguments that the site had been rejected can be immediately set aside, pending word from Rome itself.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Long considered a rigid intellectual -- and feared by those who believed he would quash private revelations -- Pope Benedict XVI has thus far taken no such action and instead has hinted at the deep mystical influence of his predecessor.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]In [url="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3667976.ece"][color="#000000"]recalling John Paul II[/color][/url] at a memorial Mass last week, in fact, he mentioned the "supernatural" nature [/size][/font][font="Arial"][size=4]of that pontiff ("Among many human and supernatural qualities, he had an exceptional spiritual and mystical sensibility," intoned the Pope), as did John Paul's former aide[/size][/font][font="Arial"][size=4], Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, who cited numerous miraculous cures attributed to the Pope and said that "I accompanied him for almost forty years, now he is accompanying me — and whenever I have a problem I turn to him." [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4][i]"John Paul's spirit felt at Vatican, ex-aide says," [/i]stated the headline last week (4/3/08).[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]The question was whether that spirit was also influencing the official take on Medjugorje -- which was dear to John Paul II's heart (and in danger of condemnation).[/size][/font]

[font="Arial Helvetica sans-serif"][size=2][img]http://www.spiritdaily.com/cardinal.jpg[/img][/size][/font][font="Arial"][size=4]In [i]Vecernji List[/i], when asked if the Bishops Conference for Bosnia-Hercegovina was going to re-examine Medjugorje -- in light of statements by Cardinal Bertone that such was in order, Cardinal Puljić, as archbishop of Sarajevo, was quoted as saying: [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]"Our conference has not discussed this matter, because the phenomenon of Medjugorje does not come within our competence. At the moment when the Holy See takes the decision and gives a task, we shall think about what to do. This is why it is not necessary to speculate, unless concre[/size][/font][font="Arial"][size=4]te instructions come. After the work of the commission, the [conference] has already decided to accompany the phenomenon pastorally. This is nothing new, but the implementation of the first decision of the conference about the phenomenon Medjugorje."[/size][/font]

[img]http://www.spiritdaily.com/marjana2.jpg[/img][font="Arial"][size=4]It was as remarkable as it was startling because the cardinal who was in charge of the discernment was now stating that he was no longer in charge, and neither was the national conference -- unless the Vatican asked.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]That was a turnaround from statements made at the Cardinal's chancery several years ago, when his vicar general told [i]Spirit Daily[/i] the matter was in the hands of the national commission -- headed by Cardinal Puljic -- and would not be decided until the apparitions conclude. [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]At the time, Father Zovkic had intimated that the cardinal was leaning against the apparitions, as had the Bishop of Mostar, Ratko Peric (and his predecessor, Pavao Zanic), whose authority to rule on the site was removed in 1986 by then-Cardinal Ratzinger. [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Such was long thought to have been done at the behest of John Paul II. [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Private letters between the late Pope John Paul II and a couple in Krakow, Poland, have confirmed in writing that the late pontiff had a positive view of Medjugorje and even a daily devotion attached to the site of apparitions in Bosnia-Hercegovina. He met at least two of the seers, including Mirjana Soldo (above, [i]left, [/i]with whom we will visit, God-willing, during a pilgrimage in June).[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4][color="#ff0000"]The letters,[/color] dated March 30, 1991, May 28, 1992, December 8, 1992, and February 25, 1994, and addressed to Zofia and Marek ("Z. M.") Skwarniccy, make several references to Medjugorje (in Polish, "Medziugorje") by name.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]"And let everything be well on the journey to Medjugorje-Rome," John Paul II had written. "I thank Zofia for everything that regards Medjugorje," the Pope apparently wrote. "I am also going there every day in prayer: I join everyone who is praying there or who derives the call to prayer from there. Today we have understood this call better."[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Similar indications have been given by bishops who have said the late Pope expressed a highly favorable view in private conversation -- but did not want to offend the Mostar chancery. Many have compared Medjugorje to historic apparitions such as those at Fatima and Lourdes. It has drawn millions of pilgrims, tens of thousands of priests, and hundreds of bishops and cardinals from around the world. It is regularly quietly monitored by officials from the Vatican.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4][color="#ff0000"]But no one knew [/color]what Cardinal Ratzinger -- now Pope Benedict -- himself thought, with contradicting indications. On the one hand, it was he who rejected the document by Mostar which would have condemned Medjugorje, and the current Pope also who, in a book called [i]The Ratzinger Report[/i], when asked about Medjugorje, dodged a direct answer by saying that in general the multiplication of alleged apparitions seemed like a "sign of the times." On the other hand, there were reports that he too had misgivings over the conduct of certain parties in Medjugorje.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]But it appears that once more Pope Benedict may have stepped in to prevent an unfavorable ruling. Three of the four members of the national commission -- which includes the bishop of Mostar -- seemed poised to issue a negative discernment when the time came.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Has that now been permanently changed, or only for the time being? Has the Vatican decided that Medjugorje is too large and global for the discernment of so few -- in a region where there is great ethnic and religious antagonism (including between Franciscans and secular dioceses)?[/size][/font]

[img]http://www.spiritdaily.com/Medjcandles.jpg[/img][font="Arial"][size=4]Such action -- like the 1986 removal of Mostar's authority -- would be unprecedented. However, so is the reach of Medjugorje, which continues to break records as pilgrims fill to overflowing the Franciscan church. [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Several years ago a report claimed that Bishop Peric had publicly complained at the Synod of Bishops that Medjugorje had created division between the secular diocese and Franciscans (due to a controversy back in the 1980s with two Franciscans) and referred to "pseudo-charisms." There are only four members of the conference: Cardinal Puljić; his auxiliary bishop; the Bishop of Banja-Luka; and Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar -- who oversees the actual diocese to which Medjugorje belongs and who has been strongly opposed to Medjugorje. [/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size=4]Ironically, the latest issue arose right at the anniversary of John Paul II's death and at a time when Dziwisz had added, according to another newspaper, that John Paul and Benedict were "true friends" and recalled anecdotes from his decades with John Paul, describing, for example, how the pontiff used to bless the city of Rome before going to sleep.[/size][/font]

[left][font="Arial"][size=4]With the latest report, it seems that the late pontiff is also blessing Medjugorje.[/size][/font][/left]

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[quote name='Deb' post='1495768' date='Apr 9 2008, 05:01 PM']Here is something very recent for you to read. Don't embarrass yourself in protesting pilgrimages.[/quote]

I'll read it, but to be fair, I don't accept the Vatican leadership as valid, so it won't really matter for me personally what they say. I was arguing this last piece for those who accept the pope and his bishops. Since I don't it won't really matter what they say for me personally.

edit: just finished it. Interesting piece. I feel bad for the bishop of that diocese...

Edited by goldenchild17
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I don't feel sorry for the Bishop at all. He is just like the first. I would be more convinced that a single man could be used by the devil than millions of people. :rolleyes:

Edited by Deb
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I will never go there. I am convinced that it is not from heaven. The messages and the lack of respect for their bishop is enough to prove it for me.

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I am convinced it is from heaven. It brought me to the Lord after 35 years. It converted my friend a week ago. It gave me the miracle of the sun every day of my life. I would give my life for my Lord. I pray three hours a day. A year ago, I couldn't even say I believed Christ was the son of God.

The main messages are Prayer, confession, mass, Rosary and adoration. Prayer must come back to the family. Pray Pray Pray. Those are the consistant messages.
Whatever bizarre messages you are believing in are the ones that are not from heaven as their bishop is not and as the Vatican has pretty much come out and said. If Pope John Paul II believed, it is good enough for me.

I will pray that you will receive the call.

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I was unnecessarily short in that last post (got called away prematurely). I don't believe the messages or the visions are from heaven. That much I believe for certain. I believe the messages themselves, as well as the inconsistencies in their stories along with the support for disobedience to clerical authority are all signs that something is not heavenly in origin. On the other hand, I do recognize the other side's argument about how a house divided does not stand and how Satan would not do this with so much benefit to heaven. Still, I do believe that Satan will allow some good to occur in certain situations, as long as some evil is accepted as well. Being a sedevacantist I don't believe the conversions achieved at Medjugorje are real or to the real Church. That is why I believe you are right that in general a house divided does not fall. If I believed these were real conversions to the real Catholic Church then I would have strong inclinations to believe the visions were real. Besides for this, the ecumenical nature (admitted to by both the official medjugorje website as well as EWTN) of Medjugorje bothers be extremely much. The tendency of the visionaries to tell lies (as far as anyone can tell) doesn't help me much either.

But that's just me. If it is helping to bring in converts to your Church and is making people fired up about their faith, then it's probably a good thing for your church. But for me its too much like the story of Magdalen of the Cross to whom Satan appeared continuously in the guise of saints, until he made himself known to her. For me this is just far too much like the occasion at Medjugorje when:

"One day, as she (Mirjana) was waiting for the Virgin, she saw the light, and out of the light came the devil, disguised in the features and clothes of Mary, but he had a dark, hideous face...After a while, the Holy Virgin came and said to her: 'I am sorry about that...'" ("Yugoslavia and the BVM" by Tequi)"

Don't take this as an attack on your person or anyone who believes in Medjugorje. If it helps foster your faith, then who am I to argue with that. But I do have many extremely disturbing problems with it which I think are inexplicable and are normally just dismissed by saying either they are being taken out of context (and yet the proper context is never given), or by giving a personal testimony of the apparitions effect on one's spiritual life, neither of which actually answer the problem. I have a great many protestant friends who have been "slain in the spirit" and are all on fire for Christ and whatnot because of it. This does not make their faith right, does it? Sorry if any of that sounded offensive, it isn't meant to be. Just my thoughts.

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I do understand some of what you are saying but, I don't understand how you could not see this as being of the faith and the church. If tomorrow all the visionaries came out and said, sorry, we lied about everything, that would not make my conversion any less valid or my faith any weaker or my belief in the Catholic Church disappear.

These are fruits that could never come from an evil tree. I would never have believed that God could fill my life so completely. Would this conversion have eventually come to me at home? I don't know, I may have taken my own life before that happened. I know where I was when all my signs came, when the Lord came to me and when my heart softened and my eyes opened. From personal experience, I know that the only feelings one gets while in Medjugorje is the power of love and incredible peace.

I was baptized in the Holy Spirit once I was at home and threw my conversion into high gear but the beginning was Medjugorje. Having been there twice I can only say that it feels right in my heart and my soul.

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I think there is a matter of what the Catholic Church teaches about private revelations. Whether they are true or not, a Catholic IS NOT obligated to believe in them. So, if you have some Catholic who doesn't really believe in these apparitions, (or the countless others being propagated in the world today,) there shouldn't be any arguments. A Catholic has a right to believe in these or not to believe in these.

I myself do not believe in these apparitions. I guess it's because I don't find my self needing to. I am from the same camp as those who prefer the "monotany of sacrifice" to "ecstasy" (to quote St. Therese of Lisieux, who by the way, never experienced any apparitions or visions, yet, is one of the Doctor's of the Church.) I think there is a grave danger in being too fast to believe in certain claims, as the Anti-Christ will fool many of the elect with this kind of thing. And just this past year, a few different groups have been excommunicated by their local bishops because of self-proclaimed mystics who boasted of visions and other phenomenon, creating conflict with the Church and with those who followed them and believe in them.

I'm not a skeptic...I'm just careful.

But in the case of Medgugorge, I have often wondered about it's authenticity...because of the great fruit being produced, and the fact that so many of the stories that have come out of there are often very amazing, and hard to explain. It can very well be true, or parts of it are true, or perhaps the Virgin came in the early 80's but no more...but we won't really know for sure until the Church says what's really happening, or until we die, whatever comes first. But I find it completely refreshing to know, I won't be in sin if I dont' believe it. And I wish people would understand that. Too many times I have been persecuted because I don't believe in it...too many people are quick to judge me, and many become tempered by what they consider a great offense to the Virgin...! Holy Mother Church gives me that choice, to believe or not to believe in a private revelation which has been approved. It is up to the individual. And I'm not really "called" to visit these places, because I find myself very much satisfied going to a Catholic Church and knowing the TRUE PRESENCE of GOD is there...and that's enough for me! (The Blessed Mother is there also, and all the Saints!)

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I agree that no one had to believe in any apparition, even those sanctioned by the church. It is a personal choice and seeing as a belief in them is not the same as worshiping God or Mary, I see no harm in it. I will follow the main message that is given out over and over, which are:

Prayer with the heart: Rosary
Holy Bible
Monthly Confession
Grow day by day closer to God through prayer.

The above is what every pilgrim is told to bring home with them to their friends and family.
I did realize the first Sunday mass I attended at my own church when I got home was very powerful and that I have the Lord with me wherever I am. I don't need signs and visions and consolations to believe. I like them and I get them but, I would hope I will be as faithful to the Lord without them.

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