... And Medjugorje.
Diane at Te Deum Laudemus has an update on the Fr. Spaulding case, as well as an interesting discussion making the connection between Medjugorje and the Scottsdale Visionaries. I clearly recall when the Scottsdale thing began, since I was part of a prayer group at a downtown parish which included devout pilgrims who had been to Medjugorje and who believed they were able to discern the authenticity of just about every new apparition and locution which made its way down the pike. Back in the late 1980's through the '90's, things developed so quickly, it became a sort pandemic of mystical phenomena.
Anyway - this is what Diane has to say about it all...
Fr. Spaulding, Medjugorje, and the "Scottsdale Visionaries"
What I want to explore here, is a bit of Fr. Spaulding's history with regard to an entirely different matter: The "Scottsdale Visionaries", and Medjugorje. I had read about the case being sent to the Vatican by the Diocese of Phoenix, and thought I had recognized the face; but, I set it aside until I got an email from Andrew Rabel, Australian correspondent for Inside the Vatican magazine who visited Assumption Grotto in September of 2009. With his permission, I share a part of that email:
In the early 1990's, he took a group of young people from his parish, St Maria Goretti in Scottsdale, to Medjugorje on pilgrimage. Shortly after he returned, he claimed that he and some of the young people, were claiming revelations. (Just as an interesting aside. I believe this is the most striking Medjugorje copycat event that has happened in the world, ie another group of young people in a parish claiming visions!)[...]
One of the young people in the parish, later moved to another part of the United States, and claimed to have continuing apparitions. These events to Mrs Gianna Talone Sullivan, were condemned by the Archdiocese of Baltimore, in the strongest terms.
We'll get to what happened in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in a moment.
There are many "offshoots" from Medjugorje - people claiming to have visions, private revelations, and other phenomena following a visit to that place or involvement with the visionaries. I have to agree with Andrew, that the case in Scottsdale was remarkably similar in that it involved a priest and a group of young visionaries. This all began after several pilgrimages to Medjugorje: - Finish reading here
Another interesting source of what went on in the 80's and 90's, as well as background on the Scottsdale claims, may be found here: The U.S. Marian Apparition Burn-out.