See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why do followers of Medjugorje insist you have to go there to believe?



Tour guides flashing their credentials.
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"As a writer with a degree in journalism and experience in newspapers, national magazines, and secular non-fiction, I'm astonished at how many put themselves forward as keen commentators and experts on Medjugorje without having ever visited there." - Michael Brown
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People love to flash their credentials in their efforts to make a point.  I'm astonished at how some people believe a degree in journalism and visiting Medjugorje qualifies one to promote spurious apparitions and revelations not approved by the Church.
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The Bishops of Mostar, who have the authority to teach regarding such things asked people to stay away.  As Bishop Andrea Gemma explained in 2008:
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  "The Holy Church, which alone can make a pronouncement, through the words of the Bishop of Mostar, has already said publicly and officially that the Madonna never appeared in Medjugorje and that this whole production is the work of the Devil."
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When Bishop Gemma, an exorcist, was told that proponents of Medjugorje claim the Holy See never forbade pilgrimages, The Bishop replied:
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 "That's another lie! As I pointed out before, the Vatican has forbidden pilgrimages by priests to the place and has spoken through the words of the two successive bishops of Mostar, Monsignors Zanic and Peric, with whom I have spoken personally, and who have always manifested their doubts to me. You see, even for Fatima and Lourdes, the Holy See didn't express any position directly on those Marian apparitions. So why would they have to make an exception in this case? The truth is that when the Bishop of Mostar speaks, the Church of Christ speaks, and is it to him, who speaks with the authority conferred to him by the Vatican, that we need to listen. Thus, the Holy See has already expressed itself with the words of the Bishop of Mostar, making evident that Medjugorje is a diabolical trick. But I will share a secret with you. You'll see that soon the Vatican will intervene with something explosive, to unmask once and for all who is behind this swindle." - Source
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So who are the private interests claiming to know better and insist that the events at Medjugorje are authentic?  Does a degree in journalism usurp a theology degree?  Does a pious visit to a foreign shrine accompanied by vivid personal spiritual experience, resulting in private opinion, usurp the authority of the bishops or the CDF?  Absolutely not.
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Even Rene Laurentin, the famed Mariologist has distanced himself from Medjugorje:
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"I am only an expert and I have no magisterium. And I never allow myself to give an opinion on the apparitions which I study. I only examine the facts, the reasons in favor and those against. I discern them, I explain them as clearly as possible, but I don't give any judgment. If I had done that, I would have made greater difficulties for myself, which are already great enough, from the moment I involve myself so assiduously in this controversial phenomenon."  [...]  "I say it again: I have never expressed judgments on the authenticity, at least of the apparitions; my studies are merely a small contribution to the Church and to the faithful..." - Fr. Laurentin

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So why do promoters of Medjugorje insist one has to go to the place in order to believe, or at least make an informed judgement?  It makes me think of the Gospel passage where Jesus warns not to go here or there looking for him, even when people tell you, he is in that place or this place.  I also recall John of the Cross, who preferred to remain on the beach in prayerful solitude while his novices went to see a stigmatic.  I think it is better to pray the rosary and visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and obey the bishops instead of going on trips.
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H/T Sancte Pater for link to the Gemma interview.
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Photo:  Miraculous Teddy Bear

4 comments:

  1. Dissidents who follow heresies want people to follow their lead, not Church teaching; the Church has never required belief in private apparitions but has always required obedience to one's local ordinary. Once the Bishop said the apparitions are not holy, the seers should've stopped any and all public actions related thereto.

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  2. "Does a pious visit to a foreign shrine"

    Did I miss something? When was St. James Church in Medjugorje elevated to the status of shrine?

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  3. http://medjugorje1.blogspot.com/2013/06/medjugorje-message-merchants-of.html


    :-)

    ReplyDelete


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