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This speaks VOLUMES!!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject: This speaks VOLUMES!!!! Reply with quote

My comments in italics.


Medjugorje 25 years later: Apparitions and contested authenticity

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Twenty-five years after six children in Medjugorje, a village in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, began reporting apparitions of Mary, pilgrims are still flocking to the site and church officials are still cautious about the authenticity of the events.

Marian experts continue to debate the significance of Medjugorje, and several have published books -- ranging from enthusiastically supportive to skeptical -- to coincide with the anniversary.

In Medjugorje, Franciscan pastors are preparing for overflow crowds on June 24-25, the dates on which the alleged apparitions and messages began in 1981. They insist, however, that no special commemorations are planned.

Oh, you mean that this is supposed to be a special anniversary yet there is no plan for anything special honoring the Blessed Mother unlike Fatima and Lourdes?

"Everything's been booked solid for more than a year, and we're expecting thousands of pilgrims. But we're not putting on any spectacle or festival-- just the usual program of prayer," Franciscan Father Ivan Sesar, pastor of St. James Parish in Medjugorje, said in a telephone interview.

And again, nothing special? Let us not forget that the Franciscans at St. James have been defrocked by Pope JPII

Of the six children who originally reported visions from Mary, sometimes daily, one says she still receives messages from Mary on the 25th of each month. They are published online, eagerly awaited by a large network of Christians dedicated to Medjugorje.

According to Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, whose diocese includes Medjugorje, the messages now number more than 30,000, a fact that only increases his own skepticism about the authenticity of the apparitions.

Bishop Peric discussed Medjugorje with Pope Benedict XVI earlier this year during a visit to the Vatican. In a summary of the discussion published in his diocesan newspaper, Bishop Peric said he had reviewed the history of the apparitions with the pope, who already was aware of the main facts from his time as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"The Holy Father told me: We at the congregation always asked ourselves how can any believer accept as authentic apparitions that occur every day and for so many years?" Bishop Peric said.

So, our Holy Father is saying that it is pretty much absurd to accept this?

Bishop Peric noted that Yugoslavian bishops in 1991 issued a statement that "it cannot be confirmed that supernatural apparitions or revelations are occurring" at Medjugorje.

Bishop Peric said he told the pope that his own opinion was even stronger -- not only that a supernatural element cannot be proven, but that "it is certain that these events do not concern supernatural apparitions."

Other priests and bishops have spoken favorably about the apparitions, saying there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of the visionaries or the spiritual effects among pilgrims.

At Medjugorje, the debate over authenticity has been largely set aside by the Franciscan friars who minister to pilgrims and keep in contact with the visionaries.

Largely set by defrocked priests!

"We are not here to give a judgment about whether the apparitions are true or not.

Then why are you yourselves publishing these message hoaxes?

We're here to follow the people who come, to hear their confessions, to give them pastoral care," said Father Sesar, the 39-year-old pastor.

Father Sesar said that, while early pilgrims to Medjugorje may have been drawn there by curiosity or a thirst for supernatural signs like rosaries turning different colors, that is less true today. Much more significant are the long lines for confession that form every day, he said.

Ever heard of collective possession?

"The biggest things in Medjugorje today are prayer and the sacraments. It's no longer a place where people come to see miracles. They are coming for spiritual growth," he said.

You can get some spiritual growth right in front of the tabernacle at your own parish or read the lives of the saints.

Considerable attention, however, is still given to the apparitions and messages which one of the visionaries, Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, says she continues to receive. She now lives with her husband and children in Italy.

The message from May 2006 strikes a pious tone typical of most of the thousands of alleged communications over the last 25 years: "Decide for holiness, little children, and think of heaven. Only in this way will you have peace in your heart that no one will be able to destroy. Peace is a gift, which God gives you in prayer."

Same message for 25 years? Gee, a broken record!

At the Vatican, officials said they are still monitoring events at Medjugorje, but emphasized that it was not necessarily the Vatican's role to issue an official judgment on the alleged apparitions there.

That is because the Vatican knows that it is up to the bishop over that diocese to make the final decisions. Of course we see how many people are being disobedient to that canon Law!

More than once in recent years, the Vatican has said that dioceses or parishes should not organize official pilgrimages to Medjugorje. That reflects the policy of the bishops.

Yet we have the Vocations Director of the Marians and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal do just what they have been ordered by Rome not to do! How holy is that?

But the Vatican has also said Catholics are free to travel to the site, and that if they do the church should provide them with pastoral services.

A catholic is free to travel anywhere in the world and receive pastoral care. Duh! So many people take this to mean an approval but that ain't so.

That has left a margin of ambiguity among Catholics. Adding to the confusion have been claims that the late Pope John Paul II strongly supported Medjugorje in various private statements; the Vatican has never confirmed those statements.

The Vatican didn't but Cardinal Ratzinger did in an interview with a German publication. I think it is posted in the long thread we have here.

After Pope Benedict was elected, it was rumored that as a cardinal he had once traveled incognito to Medjugorje, and that as pope he could be expected to officially approve the site as a Marian shrine.

In his February visit to the Vatican, Bishop Peric said he spoke to the pope about these rumors, and that the pontiff only laughed in surprise.

And the pope LAUGHED!

Pope Benedict, who headed the doctrinal congregation for 24 years, once said the multiplication of Marian apparitions was a "sign of the times" and should not be discounted.

A sign of the times, hum now let me think. A sign of the times in the bible doesn't mean that the signs are good.

"Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ, ' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. [Matthew 24:4-14]

But he has also counseled prudence, even when it comes to apparitions officially recognized by the church, like those at Fatima, Portugal; Guadalupe, Mexico; and Lourdes, France.

Behind the Vatican's careful approach is a basic church teaching: that public revelation ended with the death of the last apostle, and that no private revelation, however interesting, will add anything essential to the faith.

Yet some, like Msgr. Arthur Calkins, a Vatican official and a member of the Pontifical International Marian Academy, believe that while apparitions do not furnish new truths of faith, they can help Catholics understand them better.

Yea, if they are proven to be authentic

Private revelations recognized by the authority of the church "may serve to bring home to the faithful truths which are already known, but not fully appreciated," Msgr. Calkins said in an interview.

"The apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, for example, brought home to the faithful the need for prayer, penance, conversion of heart, reparation for sins. All of this expands on the doctrine of the mystical body of Christ," he said.

Like several other experts at the Vatican, Msgr. Calkins declined to offer any opinion about Medjugorje.

I wonder why?

Marian expert Donal Foley, in his new book, "Understanding Medjugorje," reviews the public evidence, particularly from the early days of the reported visions, and says that, "sadly, the only rational conclusion about Medjugorje is that it has turned out to be a vast, if captivating, religious illusion."

Remember, Donal is a friend of mine and I have his book advertised in the book forum.

In a phone interview, Foley listed several factors that make him dubious: contradictions over how long the apparitions would continue, the excess number of messages, their questionable and sometimes "silly" content, excess focus on inexplicable "signs," and the credulous local culture in Medjugorje.

Foley said it was obvious that some Medjugorje pilgrims have experienced spiritual awakening. But he said part of this could be attributed to a "charismatic element that grabs people's emotions."

Another factor, he said, is that Medjugorje may appeal to Catholics confused by changes after the Second Vatican Council.

"It's a sad reality that some people have had to go to Medjugorje to get priests who were enthusiastic about confession, and to get the things they used to be able to get in the church in the West," he said.

Other writers have used the 25th anniversary as an occasion to celebrate Medjugorje. Elizabeth Ficocelli's "The Fruits of Medjugorje" offers more than 200 pages of what she says are "stories of true and lasting conversion."

In a special anniversary edition of "Medjugorje, The Message," Wayne Weible says that more than 30 million people have made the trip to Medjugorje, where what is "arguably the greatest apparition in recorded Marian history" is still going on.

So, what do we have here? We have proof that the two popes have had words and actions put in their mouth and rumors of Card. Ratzinger being in the location of Medj., to which he laughs! We have proof out of the mouths of the Franciscan's at St. James they are conducting prayer etc. and they are defrocked! Rolling Eyes Figure it out folks, this is all a big money making hoax, and those who have been duped need much prayer. It says in the bible that even the "elect" can be fooled.

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