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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:14 am 
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Recently, my wife and I visited with our dear friend Fr. Joe, who was the spiritual advisor to our pilgrimage group in Medjugorje. Fr. Joe told us a story concerning the Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet, Bishop Kaffer, who recently passed away.

According to Fr. Joe, Bishop Kaffer was very skeptical of Medjugorje, particularly in regard to the number of apparitions experienced by Medjugorje visionaries since 1981.

One day, Fr. Joe learned that the Bishop had made a pilgrimage to Medjugorje during the 25th anniversary. When asked about why he went to Medjugorje when he had so many doubts, the Bishop responded that one day, it occurred to him that Our Savior is present in each and every Host at each and every Mass and has been for the last 2000 years. He went on to say that if we as Catholics truly believe that, then it should not be at all difficult to accept that His Mother would present Herself to the visionaries for as many times and as long as She has.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:12 pm 
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Location: My feet are in the US, but my heart is in Medjugorje
The Holy Spirit was at work in the Bishop for sure! What a brilliant way to look at it! :D

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:53 pm 
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The following is a link to an excellent article summarizing the Herzegovinian and Mostar Affairs.

Although a fairly long article, the information it contains is important for anyone who wants to understand the background of the conflict between the Franciscans and Bishop in Medjugorje.

http://catholic-ecclesia-dei.blogspot.c ... fairs.html

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:00 am 
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On August 21, 2009, Matt Abbott presented an article describing an interview with E. Howard Jones that is clearly anti-Medjugorje.

The following link is an excellent response to the Jones interview and worthwhile reading for those interested in staying up to date with the latest rebuttals to critics of Medjguorje.

http://catholic-ecclesia-dei.blogspot.c ... i-and.html

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:53 am 
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Thanks Tim for posting these two informative articles :D .......


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 Post subject: Is Medjugorje real?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:37 pm 
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I visited Med in 1995 with a group from Indiana. I was impressed by the very real emotion displayed by many visitors. Wherever we went in Med,it felt like one feels while visiting Rome...as if Christ is truely present here!
But, that`s the rub! Many pilgrims will follow these supposed apperitions ..all over the world,but,neglect to go to their local Catholic churchs except for their Sunday obigation!
Christ is truely present in each of our Catholic Church`s,so ,why are`nt the pews filled to capacity...DAILY!! I don`t fault anyone from visiting these sights where Mary may be appearing.But, maybe, instead of flocking to the sights that have been approved or the ones which haven`t,the many visititors should seek solice and healing before the Blessed Sacrament in their local Catholic Church`s first...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:36 pm 
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Rockhurst...

There are so many who have not even heard of Medjugorje.......thousands who do know the existence of Medjugorje or any other Marian apparitional sites.....that may be one of the reasons why the pews are so empty at our churches....

Bless, Sharon


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:53 pm 
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MedjAdmin wrote:
Leo Daly and Starbright, among others, created this response to criticism of Medjugorje. I believe it has been posted before, but Hopper asked if we could make it a "sticky" and I believe that is a great idea, one that I should have implemented long ago. There are new developments with the Vatican removing the jurisdiction over Medjugorje from the local Bishop's Conference, so please, everyone, let's suggest some additions and/or ammendments to the below document to make it fully update and factually persuasive.



Criticism 1: There is too much emphasis on the Virgin Mary at Medjugorje.

At Medjugorje, the Virgin Mary does not come of her own accord but has been sent by God:

25th April 1997
"Dear children! Today I call you to have your life be connected with God the Creator, because only in this way will your life have meaning and you will comprehend that God is love. God sends me to you out of love, that I may help you to comprehend that without Him there is no future or joy and, above all, there is no eternal salvation. Little children, I call you to leave sin and to accept prayer at all times, that you may in prayer come to know the meaning of your life. God gives Himself to him who seeks Him. Thank you for having responded to my call."

25th September 1994
"Dear children! I rejoice with you and I invite you to prayer. Little children, pray for my intention. Your prayers are necessary to me, through which I desire to bring you closer to God. He is your salvation. God sends me to help you and to guide you towards paradise, which is your goal. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray. Thank you for having responded to my call.

25th January 1999
"Dear children! I again invite you to prayer. You have no excuse to work more because nature still lies in deep sleep. Open yourselves in prayer. Renew prayer in your families. Put Holy Scripture in a visible place in your families, read it, reflect on it and learn how God loves His people. His love shows itself also in present times because He sends me to call you upon the path of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call."

25th March 1990
"Dear children! I am with you even if you are not conscious of it. I want to protect you from everything that Satan offers you and through which he wants to destroy you. As I bore Jesus in my womb, so also, dear children, do I wish to bear you into holiness. God wants to save you and sends you messages through men, nature, and so many things which can only help you to understand that you must change the direction of your life. Therefore, little children, understand also the greatness of the gift which God is giving you through me, so that I may protect you with my mantle and lead you to the joy of life. Thank you for having responded to my call."

21st March 1985
"Dear children! I wish to keep on giving messages and therefore today I call you to live and accept my messages! Dear children, I love you and in a special way I have chosen this parish, one more dear to me than the others, in which I have gladly remained when the Almighty sent me. Therefore I call on you - accept me, dear children, that it might go well with you. Listen to my messages! Thank you for having responded to my call."

So Mary has been sent to help bring people back to God. In a message on 26th June 1981 Mary said:

"I have come to tell you that God exists. I am here because there are many true believers. I wish to be with you to convert and to reconcile the whole world."

The focus of Medjugorje is on God and not on Mary. The miracles that take place are caused by God and not by Mary. Every message teaches people how to get closer to God, by prayer, fasting, reading the Bible, confession and the Eucharist. These are basic teachings of the Catholic Church on how to progress on the journey of faith and are not focused on Mary but on God. Mary said to the visionaries that if they had to choose between having a vision and going to Holy Mass, they should choose Holy Mass, because that is where they would find her Son.

Criticism 2: The Medjugorje visionaries are being disobedient to the Church

No order from any bishop can actually stop the visionaries having visions but bishops can try to place a gag order on the Franciscans and remove the seers from Church property.

The visionaries stopped having their visions in the Church at the request of Bishop Zanic (previous bishop of Mostar). Bishops Zanic and Peric (current bishop of Mostar) have tried to stop Medjugorje from promoting the visions by telling the visionaries to stop claiming that they have been seeing Mary. But this has not been done officially, just mentioned in a homily, therefore as far as the visionaries are concerned it is hearsay. Besides, the Bishop has no authority to stop a human being from claiming apparitions anyway, no bishop has. They only have the authority to make a judgement on behalf of the church for others to follow.

According to a decree in 1966 by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine and the Faith, seers do not need ecclesiastical approval for private revelations:

A. Ecclesiastical permission is not required for publication of revelations, visions, miracles or for the
frequenting of non-recognized places of apparitions.

A decree of the "Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine and the Faith" was published in the "Official Acts of
the Holy See" (A.A.S.) 58/16, dated December 29.1966.

Articles 1399 and 2318 of Canon Law are abrogated by this decree.

This decree of abrogation was approved October 14, 1966 by His Holiness the Sovereign Pontiff Paul VI. who ordered at the same time its publication.

This approval by the Holy Father took place during an audience accorded to His Eminence Cardinal Ottaviani,
Pro-Prefect for the "Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine and the Faith."

The decree was made in Rome. November 15, 1966. It bears the signatures of:

A. Cardinal Ottaviani. Pro-Prefect

P. Parente. Secretary

The decree took effect three months after its publication, hence on March 29.1967.

Canon 1399

The Canon 1399 forbade by right the publication of certain books such as those that deal with revelations, visions, prophecies and miracles.

This Canon has been repealed. This means that as far as these publications are concerned, the prohibition is lifted as to their being bound by ecclesiastical law. This means that henceforth: Catholics are permitted without need of Imprimatur, or of NIhil Obstat. or any other permission. to publish accounts of revelations, visions, prophecies and miracles. Of course these publications must not put in danger the Faith or the Morals: this is the general rule which every Catholic must follow in all his actions, even journalists. especially Journalists.

There is hence no longer any prohibition concerning the narrative of seers. be they recognized or not by Ecclesiastical Authority.

All the more reason is it permitted for Catholics to frequent places of Apparitions, even those not recognized by the Ordinaries of the diocese or by the Holy Father Granted that the Catholic visitors who frequent these places must respect the Faith and the Morals. However, they are not subject to any ecclesiastical discipline, not even for their public prayers.

Permission is required only for the celebration of Holy Mass or any other religious service.

Canon 2318

Canon 2318 carried penalties against those who violated the taws of censure and prohibition.

This Canon is abrogated since 1966. None can incur ecclesiastical censure for frequenting places of Apparitions even those not recognized by the Ordinaries of dioceses or by the Holy Father.

Also. "those who would have incurred the censures treated in Canon 2318 will be like absolved by the very fact of the abrogation of this Canon." (Cardinal Ottaviani)

So the visionaries do not need the permission of the Bishop of Mostar to make public their private revelations.

Bishop Zanic set up a commission to investigate the authenticity of the visions, but Cardinal Ratzinger rejected it and gave the authority to the Yugoslav Bishops’ Conference. Their conclusion was the Zadar Declaration of 1991, which said that investigations continued and that in the meantime pastoral care was to be given to the pilgrims:

DECLARATION OF THE EX-YUGOSLAVIA BISHOPS' CONFERENCE ON MEDJUGORJE
At the ordinary session of the Bishops' Conference of Yugoslavia in Zadar from April 9 - 11, 1991 the following was adopted.
DECLARATION
The bishops, from the very beginning, have been following the events of Medjugorje through the Bishop of the diocese [Mostar], the Bishop's Commission and the Commission of the Bishops Conference of Yugoslavia on Medjugorje.
On the basis of the investigations so far it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.
However, the numerous gatherings of the faithful from different parts of the world, who come to Medjugorje, prompted both by motives of belief and various other motives, require the attention and pastoral care in the first place of the diocesan bishop and with him of the other bishops also, so that in Medjugorje and in everything connected with it a healthy devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary may be promoted in accordance with the teaching of the Church.
For this purpose the bishops will issue specially suitable liturgical-pastoral directives. Likewise, through their Commission they will continue to keep up with and investigate the entire event in Medjugorje.
In Zadar April 10, 1991
The Bishops of Yugoslavia
(Zagreb Glas Koncila May 5, 1991 19)

Here is a letter answering questions from the Bishop of Langres, France, asked on 14th February 1996, asking what the position of the Church is and whether people are allowed to go there for pilgrimage. The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith replied with this letter through its secretary. It shows that Bishop Ratko Peric does not have authority over the Church’s decision on Medjugorje.

CONGREGATIO PRO DOCTRINA FIDEI
Citta del Vaticano, Palazzo del S. Uffizio
Pr. No 154/81-06419
May 26, 1998
To His Excellency Mons. Gilbert Aubry,
Bishop of Saint-Denis de la Reunion

Excellency,

In your letter of January 1, 1998, you submitted to this Dicastery several questions about the position of the Holy See and of the Bishop of Mostar in regard to the so-called apparitions of Medjugorje, private pilgrimages and the pastoral care of the faithful who go there.

In regard to this matter, I think it is impossible to reply to each of the questions posed by Your Excellency. The main thing I would like to point out is that the Holy See does not ordinarily take a position of its own regarding supposed supernatural phenomena as a court of first instance.

As for the credibility of the "apparitions" in question, this Dicastery respects what was decided by the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in the Declaration of Zadar, April 10, 1991: "On the basis of the investigations so far, it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.” Since the division of Yugoslavia into different independent nations, it would now pertain to the members of the Episcopal Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina to eventually reopen the examination of this case and to make any new pronouncements that might be called for.

What Bishop Peric said in his letter to the Secretary General of "Famille Chretienne", declaring: "My conviction and my position is not only 'non constat de supernaturalitate,' but likewise, 'constat de non supernaturalitate' of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje", should be considered the expression of the personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion.

Finally, as regards pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which are conducted privately, this Congregation points out that they are permitted on condition that they are not regarded as an authentification of events still taking place and which still call for an examination by the Church.

I hope that I have replied satisfactorily at least to the principal questions that you have presented to this Dicastery and I beg Your Excellency to accept the expression of my devoted sentiments.

Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone
(Secretary to the "Congregation for the Doctrine,” presided over by Cardinal Ratzinger)

This is the summary of the letter:

1. The declarations of the Bishop of Mostar only reflect his personal opinion. Consequently, they are not an official and definitive judgement from the Church.

2. One is directed to the declaration of Zadar, which leaves the door open to future investigations. In the meanwhile, private pilgrimages with pastoral accompaniment for the faithful are permitted.

3. A new commission could eventually be named.

4. In the meanwhile, all Catholics may go as pilgrims to Medjugorje.

We can’t but be thankful for this long awaited explanation.

It can therefore be seen that the bishop of Mostar’s opinion is his own private opinion, which he is entitled to as local Bishop, but remains his personal opinion and does not affect the visionaries.

The jurisdiction over the visions and visionaries belongs to the Yugoslav Bishops’ Conference.

Marija, Ivan and Mirjana do not live all the time in Medjugorje and so are not under the bishop of Mostar anyway for large parts of the year.

Criticism 3: Faith should be based on reason and not on the heart

The following is excerpted from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s ‘Behold the Pierced One: An Approach to a Spiritual Christology’ (G. Harrison, trans.; San Francisco: Ignatius, 1986), pp25-26.

“By nature, knowledge depends on a certain similarity between the knower and the known… religion can only be understood through religion… The fundamental act of religion is prayer… it is the act of self-surrender by which we enter into the Body of Christ. Thus it is an act of love.

…it is only possible really to understand this person [Jesus] by entering into this act of prayer… Therefore a participation in the mind of Jesus, i.e., in his prayer, which (as we have seen) is an act of love… is the basic precondition if real understanding… is to take place.”
So we know God by love and God is love. As humans, we love with the heart. This surely makes clear that to respond to a private revelation of this kind with the heart is the appropriate response.

Quite apart from the opinion given here of Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), Mary, in many messages over the twenty-five years of apparitions at Medjugorje, has repeatedly asked us to use our hearts in our relationship with God and our relationships with each other.

29th November 1984
"Dear children! No, you don't know how to love and you don't know how to listen with love to the words I am saying to you. Be conscious, my beloved, that I am your Mother and I have come on earth to teach you to listen out of love, to pray out of love and not compelled by the fact that you are carrying a cross. By means of the cross God is glorified through every person. Thank you for having responded to my call."

28th February 1985

"Dear children! Today I call you to live the word this week: "I love God!” Dear children through love you will achieve everything and even what you think is impossible. God wants this parish to belong completely to Him. And that's what I want too. Thank you for having responded to my call."

19th September 1985
September 20, 1985 (Friday) "Dear children! Today I invite you to live in humility all the messages which I am giving you. Do not become arrogant living the messages and saying 'I am living the messages'. If you shall bear and live the messages in your heart, everyone will feel it so that words, which serve those who do not obey, will not be necessary. For you, dear children, it is necessary to live and witness by your lives. Thank you for having responded to my call."

25th October 1989
"Dear children! Today also I am inviting you to prayer. I am always inviting you, but you are still far away. Therefore, from today, decide seriously to dedicate time to God. I am with you and I wish to teach you to pray with the heart. In prayer with the heart you shall encounter God. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray! Thank you for having responded to my call."

25th October 1993
"Dear children! These years I have been calling you to pray, to live what I am telling you, but you are living my messages a little. You talk, but do not live, that is why little children, this war is lasting so long. I invite you to open yourselves to God and in your hearts to live with God, living the good and giving witness to my messages. I love you and wish to protect you from every evil, but you do not desire it. Dear children, I cannot help you if you do not live God's commandments, if you do not live the mass, if you do not give up sin. I invite you to be apostles of love and goodness. In this world of unrest give witness to God and God's love, and God will bless you and give you what you seek from Him. Thank you for having responded to my call."

25th April 1995
"Dear children! Today I call you to love. Little children, without love you can neither live with God nor with brother. Therefore, I call all of you to open your hearts to the love of God that is so great and open to each one of you. God, out of love for man, has sent me among you to show you the path of salvation, the path of love. If you do not first love God, then you will neither be able to love neighbor nor the one you hate. Therefore, little children, pray and through prayer you will discover love. Thank you for having responded to my call."

It would seem that the correct way to approach Medjugorje is with the heart. The late Fr Slavko Barbaric, a Medjugorje priest who was close to the visionaries, wrote many booklets about living your faith from the heart. It seems he too thought this was vital.

Criticism 4: Some people have a problem with the sheer number of messages.

It is true that most Marian apparitions have only lasted a short while. To date, the Medjugorje visions have lasted for twenty-five years. At the beginning of them there were messages every week. Then the messages for the world started to be given once a month. At present we have one message a month from Marija, and sometimes also one per month from Mirjana.

Although there is no precedent for the sheer number of messages coming from Medjugorje, this by itself does not prove that the visions are not real. Who are we to impose restrictions on the Virgin Mary? What knowledge do we have of the reasons for and necessity of lots of messages? We are only human and cannot know the reasons of Heaven. Ten secrets about the future of the world are being given at Medjugorje. Perhaps the world needs this many messages because the events to come are so important or big.

Criticism 5: Some say it is drawing pilgrims away from the true devotional places such as Lourdes, Fatima etc.

Lourdes and Fatima are certainly important shrines. Visions of the Virgin Mary in these places have set them for all time as places of pilgrimage. People who visit these places gain graces and progress on their spiritual journey. But the visions in these places have stopped. New revelation will not come from them. In Medjugorje the visions continue and as such it is natural that people will want to come to experience the graces that are still emanating from this place.

Also, the important thing is that we live the Gospel and remain faithful to the Catholic Church. It is not necessary to go on pilgrimage to do that. Therefore it is perhaps a false argument to worry about the numbers of people going to Lourdes, Fatima compared to Medjugorje. People are free to go where they want; there is no ‘quota’ of people visiting Lourdes and Fatima that has to be fulfilled.

Criticism 6: Others talk about the manner in which the visionaries live e.g. the story of Ivan and his Mercedes.

Some of the visionaries put up lodgers in their homes to make a living, but they don’t rake in the cash. They live modestly. Reports of people driving Mercedes (like Ivan) are misleading. A Mercedes in Europe is just another normal car, not a status symbol. There are also waved import taxes on cars for men who served in the army during the war. So a cost of a Mercedes is lower over there than in the USA, for example.

Criticism 7: I have heard a story of Ivan having a smoke during an apparition.

I would reject this story as untrue. Anyone who has seen the visionaries during an apparition will know that they are totally and entirely taken up by the experience. Their concentration and attention is entirely with the vision that they are seeing. Mirjana in Sean Bloomfield’s DVD Miracles of Medjugorje says that she has two daughters and that like any normal mother she would give her life for them; but that when the visions start even her daughters don’t exist for her. She says she sees and hears and is aware of nothing but Our Lady, with everything around her being blue like sky.

Criticism 8: Medjugorje followers put following Medjugorje as more important than following the Catholic Church

Medjugorje is not in place of our faith, but serves to deepen it. The messages coming from there urge us to do all the things that the Church urges us to do to deepen our faith – prayer, fasting, confession, Mass, reading the Bible. Mary herself said that if the visionaries had to choose between a vision and Mass, they ought to go to Mass, because there her Son is present. True Catholics will follow the Church before anything else. Medjugorje is private revelation, which means that it is not required in order to be a Catholic. Medjugorje followers know this. But why pass up something that helps deepen your faith? This is not going against the Church at all.

Criticism 9: Medjugorje followers would leave the Catholic Church to follow Medjugorje if the visions were ever to be denounced by the Vatican

If a Medjugorje follower were a true Catholic, he would follow the Catholic Church first and foremost. If the Church ever pronounces the visions at Medjugorje as false, then most Medjugorje followers, as Catholics, will follow the Church. There was a survey recently on ‘Medjugorje-online’ (a pro-Medjugorje forum) where this question was asked of all forum members. 95% (22) members said they would follow the Church if this were to happen. One person (4%) said they might not. Not all members of Medjugorje-online forum are Catholic so this one person might not be a Catholic anyway. Although this is a small sample of Medjugorje followers, I think it shows the commitment of the average Catholic to his Church. Link to this survey: http://www.medjugorje-online.com/forum/ ... sc&start=0

Criticism 10: The Church has condemned Medjugorje. Catholics are going against the Church by going there.

Please see the letter above under section (X) from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Please also see this excerpt from the Catholic News Service:

Individuals Permitted to Visit Medjugorje
By Catholic News Service

While the Vatican has never said that Catholics may not go to Medjugorje, it has told bishops that their parishes and dioceses may not organise official pilgrimages to the site of the alleged Marian apparitions, the Vatican spokesman said.

"You cannot say people cannot go there until it has been proven false. This has not been said, so anyone can go if they want," the spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, told Catholic News Service Aug. 21.

In addition, he said, when Catholic faithful go anywhere, they are entitled to spiritual care, so the church does not forbid priests to accompany lay-organized trips to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina, just as it would not forbid them accompanying a group of Catholics visiting South Africa.

Criticism 11: Medjugorje is the work of the occult

If the visions at Medjugorje were the work of the occult, that would mean they were the work of the devil. Please see below under ‘Medjugorje is the work of the devil’

Criticism 12: The messages at Medjugorje are fear-based, therefore it can’t be true private revelation

The messages at Medjugorje talk of love, prayer, fasting, Mass and confession. These are the accepted ways of the Church. If you feel that these things are fear-based, then you surely must think that the Catholic Church’s teachings are fear-based.

Here are some examples of messages from Medjugorje. I believe they show the messages not to be fear-based but to be love-based, but you can judge that for yourself:

Message of January 25, 2007
“Dear children! Put Sacred Scripture in a visible place in your family and read it. In this way, you will come to know prayer with the heart and your thoughts will be on God. Do not forget that you are passing like a flower in a field, which is visible from afar but disappears in a moment. Little children, leave a sign of goodness and love wherever you pass and God will bless you with an abundance of His blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Message of February 25, 2006
“Dear children! In this Lenten time of grace, I call you to open your hearts to the gifts that God desires to give you. Do not be closed, but with prayer and renunciation say ‘yes’ to God and He will give to you in abundance. As in springtime the earth opens to the seed and yields a hundredfold, so also your heavenly Father will give to you in abundance. I am with you and love you, little children, with a tender love. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Message of March 25, 2005
“Dear children! Today I call you to love. Little children, love each other with God’s love. At every moment, in joy and in sorrow, may love prevail and, in this way, love will begin to reign in your hearts. The risen Jesus will be with you and you will be His witnesses. I will rejoice with you and protect you with my motherly mantle. Especially, little children, I will watch your daily conversion with love. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Message of April 25, 2004

“Dear children! Also today, I call you to live my messages even more strongly in humility and love so that the Holy Spirit may fill you with His grace and strength. Only in this way will you be witnesses of peace and forgiveness. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Message of May 25, 2003
“Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Renew your personal prayer, and in a special way pray to the Holy Spirit to help you pray with the heart. I intercede for all of you, little children, and call all of you to conversion. If you convert, all those around you will also be renewed and prayer will be a joy for them. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Message of June 25, 2002
“Dear children! Today I pray for you and with you that the Holy Spirit may help you and increase your faith, so that you may accept even more the messages that I am giving you here in this holy place. Little children, comprehend that this is a time of grace for each of you; and with me, little children, you are secure. I desire to lead you all on the way of holiness. Live my messages and put into life every word that I am giving you. May they be precious to you because they come from heaven. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Criticism 13: There are dead and missing pilgrims. It can’t be true.

People die and go missing everywhere. Just because holy things are happening in one particular place does not stop bad things happening nearby. There have been very few deaths and disappearances: the record of these things happening in Medjugorje is not unusually high. Indeed, Fr Slavko Barbaric himself died on Apparition Hill. This has been reported as a particularly peaceful death and is seen as a good and faithful soul going to Heaven and not as a negative event.

Criticism 14: A message said that all faiths are equal. This is against Catholicism.

One of the visionaries asked Our Lady: are all religions the same? She answered:

"Members of all faiths are equal before God. God rules over each faith just like a sovereign over his kingdom. In the world, all religions are not the same because all people have not complied with the commandments of God. They reject and disparage them."

She also said on another occasion:

"All religions are dear to my son. It is you on earth who are divided. We are all children of God. The Moslems and the Orthodox for the same reason as Catholics are equal before my son and me. All religions are not equal. All men are equal before God. It does not suffice to belong to the Catholic Church to be saved. It is necessary to respect and obey the commandants of God in following one’s conscience. Those who are not Catholics are no less creatures made in the image of God and destined ultimately to live in the house of God. Salvation is available to everyone without exception. Only those who refuse God deliberately are condemned by their own choice."

Please note that she is making it clear that all religions are not the same due to the extent to which people have complied with the commandments of God. However, she does not say that you are going to hell if you are not Catholic. I believe that this is where there is misunderstanding. Some Catholics believe this to be true.

The Catholic Church, in ‘Lumen Gentium’ says:

“Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God, and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life.”

This is not the same as saying that you are going to hell if you are not Catholic. It is not up to us to decide who is and isn’t going to Heaven, hell and purgatory. We should not judge.

Criticism 15: None of the visionaries has become a priest or a nun

This is true. They have all chosen to fulfil their vocation to the married life, which is also a sacrament. Married life is no less valued by the Church than a religious vocation. Yes, Our Mother said she would like them to be priests and nuns but that they were free to choose. I believe their choices even seen in the very worst light only show them to be human beings who follow their hearts. The visionaries are not saints, just ordinary people. Most of them seriously considered a religious vocation but decided in the end that they should get married. [/b]
. http://www.youtube.com/user/tdonn07#pla ... PQuEF_oT0s


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:35 pm 
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LittleRed wrote:
Rockhurst...

There are so many who have not even heard of Medjugorje.......thousands who do know the existence of Medjugorje or any other Marian apparitional sites.....that may be one of the reasons why the pews are so empty at our churches....

Bless, Sharon


There are also sceptics and those exercising deep 'reserve' over Medjugorje, even among my fellow 3rd Order brothers and sisters. I tend to say, well OK, but please look at the spiritual footprint, it seems hardly one that Satan would plant. To one or two I remind them of Thomas's reaction to the other Apostle's account of Jesus appearing among them resurrected - then suggest they might go there and see and 'feel' for themselves.


Peace and Love.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:33 pm 
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Make sure to visit: http://catholicism.suite101.com/article ... pparitions
There is an article titled:The Medjugorje Marian Apparitions. In the middle of the article there is a detailed account of American Pilot Scott O'Grady's Marian Apparition Experience when he was shot down over Bosnia in 1995. Proof positive of the authenticity of Medjugorje.


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 Post subject: Credibility
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:29 am 
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I think that 6 people couldn't lie for so many years, especially from when they were just kids.
And also, what kind of life do they live every day? Can you imagine to repeat the same things every day to different people that ask you the same things? Anybody would go crazy if it was just a lie.

Read this, there is a good analysis on the credibility of the visionaries:

http://madonnadimedju.altervista.org/index.php?p=apparizione&parentID=192&ID=3534


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 Post subject: Authenticity
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:23 pm 
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I think any skeptic would have to sit back and wonder how several rather uneducated children/now adults could keep this "conspiracy" of lies togther for 30 years.

That is VERY hard to due when one thinks about it.........

Underneath many of the arguments against this? rivalry between Franciscans and the diocese of Sarajevo and lets face it, not many protestaants are going to believe this due to their historic issues with the role of mary in the Catholic church. Admitting they might be wrong might be too tall of an order given the veracity of their comments over the decades.

False prophets? I dont see it. Live the 10 commandments, Embrace my son as your savior, renounce sin/repent and satan is real are the core messages from Day one. Sounds pretty biblical to me.......

False prophets? I see false prophets on TV everyday. Wear $1500 Armani suits, live in multi million dollar homes and preach a motivational message devoid of depth to people who just want to "feel good", guilt folks inot tithing 10% and who knows where that money goes(though check the billboards, advertising around your hometown and you will see much of that "tithe")

BTW, the ability to effectively keep this alleged "conspiracy" alive really got my attention. Similar to why many of Christs disciples died in his name so if the resurrection was not real? why die for a lie? Why giev up opnes life to preach a lie for 30 years, One? ok? 2-3 maybe? NOT all of them.

My suggestion? approach this like a skeptic and read thru the many secular MD reports, lie detectors, psych reports and see what your concusion is.

Really quite obvious if one does his/her homework. Praying wont hurt either :D


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:44 am 
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OP,

You have a [/b] at the end of your post.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:36 pm 
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I personaly have resieved many wounderfull graces as a direct result of our ladys apparitions and the whole wounderfull medjugorje experience, our lady has helped me forward in my faith and her messages have given me a greater understanding of Gods endless love for each one of us his children, our lady of medjugorge messages have allways been messages of, allways putting our full trust in God to never lose hope, to regularely pray and fast, we are reminded to say the rosary, and encouraged to live our faith every moment of our life. All these are weapons to defeat saton, and certainly do not promote him, our lady is titled, Queen of peace, and from the beginning of the apparitions in 1981, our lady stressed the need for peace, our lady also stated the impending dangers in that country and the need to continuously pray for lasting peace foretelling of the conflict that sadly, took place in that country. our lady of medjugorje is continually leading us her children to her son, our lord and savior Jesus Christ, regularely reminding us of Jesus in the blessed sacrament of the euchorist, stating if it is a choise for any of us her children between events to do with our lady and receiving Jesus christ her son in the euchorist in holy mass, we are to allways put Jesus first, our lady also stated when pilgrims commented to the visionarys how priverlaged they were to recieve these graces,our lady of medjugorje said through the visionarys that our lady is allways closest to every soul who received her son our lord and savior Jesus christ in the euchorist, more closer than any visionary could experience, in an apparition, because the sacred heart of Jesus and the immaculate heart of mary are perfectly united in there love for each other. I could say so much about all the wounderfull experiences that one experiences there,the constant feeling of peace and holyness from the moment one arrives there,wounderfull,powerfull benedictions, experiences, of a supernatural nature involving the sun,such as seeing the host clearly in the centre of the sun without hurting the eyes, the word peace in there own language that appeared within the clouds over St James church for all to see in the early days of the apperitions. In my honest oppinion i firmy believe the real danger is not weather or not our lady of medjugorje is truly appearing in medjugorje which i truly believe she is but that so many souls who clearly have never been there are crediting the devil with abbilitys that only God has,supernatural graces involving the sun ,similar to Fatima, only God is omnipotent and omnicient.The devil can only do what God permits him to do . These apperitions have been taking place for 29 years this month the longest period in history,as far as i know, and there is no sign as yet of there compleation,what with all the wounderfull conversions that have taken place during that time,peoples lives have been changed for the better I will end know just by saying. I am a dedicated catholic, i have given you all my testimony just as it is, i have absolutely no reason to lie or exagerate, i believe i am a perfectly rational human being,my experiences were not hallusinations vivid dreams or anything else other than what i have said they were, of corse everybody has equal right to believe or disbelieve in these said apperitions,and i sincerely promise i will fully abide by whatever desition the vatican may make. All i ask to those who dont believe the apperitions of our lady of medjugorje are true,please as a brother in faith i ask you dont attack and condemn, clearly judjment has not been made and therefore if they were declared true,as i sincerely believe they will be,those who attacked would have been declaring evil,what is holy, a sin against the holy spirit,it is better to hold your thoughts...YOURS IN CHRIST...FRED.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:41 pm 
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Hi, I was asked to re-post this here: this is a preview of the subject matter of my Master's thesis -

tpangle wrote:
Quote:
A little simple research, combined with basic rules of discernment, shows the Medjugorje phenonemon for what it is-a fraud.


Dear JD,

I have been doing graduate research for the last 6 years on the topic of Medjugorje at a secular university's history department. It is my opinion after all of this research that "a little simple research" is actually not as simple as it sounds. Mainly because the majority of people nowadays have no idea what credible research is. Most people who are anti-Medjugorje, are so because they heard a story from someone else or because they Googled Medjugorje and read off a WEBSITE someone claiming they have "proof" that Medjugorje is a hoax. However, in my EXTENDED research, I have never been able to find a single person who could back up what they were saying negatively about Medjugorje.

On the contrary, there are hundreds of Vatican, U.S. State Department, scientific and medical documents on Medjugorje either affirming that the events cannot be explained by science, medicine or politics, or that Medjugorje has NOT been condemned by the Church and is still under investigation.

I have NEVER seen ONE SHRED of evidence on the anti-Medjugorje side to back up any claims that they have. It is very hard to believe that so many people are being duped by persuasive arguments rather than by what most academics and professionals would call documented evidence. I'm not saying that the documented evidence PROVES that the Mother of Jesus is appearing to these visionaries in Medjugorje, but the evidence DOES PROVE

a) that the visionaries are not lying and are truly undergoing an event that cannot be explained by science (dozens of medical, scientific and psychological reports given by Christians, agnostics and atheists alike attest to this - I've seen some oft his data first-hand. You should read them and watch videos of the children in ecstasy, it is one of the most fascinating things I have seen in my entire life - which is oddly enough, how most of the scientists react!)

b) that the events in Medjugorje were not fabricated by the Franciscans or Croatian Catholics for political or economic gain (U.S. State Department officials attest to this in dozens of documents written after Embassy officers travled to Medjugorje on several assignments to make sure the alleged apparitions would not cause an uprising, the local Bishop Zanic attested to this publicly in many newspaper articles when the Communist government of Yugoslavia was threatening his priests - he later backslid on this assertion after being threatened with prison, which is also documented by the Embassy officers. Also the medical and scientific data would render this theory obsolete)

c) that the events in Medjugorje HAVE NOT been condemned by the Church and that they are still under on-going investigation (U.S. State department documents, several letters from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a written statement from the former secretary of the CDF Cardinal Bertone in his book on Fatima that the official stance of the Church is the statement given by the Yugoslavian Bishops' Council)

d) that there are millions of good fruit pouring out of Medjugorje. If this is a hoax, a trick from Satan, he's doing a really poor job. There have been some divisions caused by Medjugorje, but they are dwarfed by the good that it has done. And plus, there are many many scandals within the Catholic Church that, if improperly understood, people could (and do) seemingly legitimately claim that the Catholic Church obviously is a hoax or demonic because of the division it causes. In addition, the cult surrounding Fatima has been hideously divided since the revelation of the Third Secret. I have received horribly violent videos in the from a Fatima apostolate saying that we need to rise up against certain figures and factions in the Church because of Fatima...does this mean that Our Lady did not truly appear in Fatima? NO! It means people are people and succumb to temptations. For another example, look at Padre Pio. He was a huge cause of division among the faithful and clergy during his lifetime! People accused him of sexual misconduct, fraud, and taking advantage pilgrims. Now he is recognized as a Saint because those allegations were false. What is missing here is historical hindsight. This is not the first time a controversy has arisen in the Church and the Church is doing what it always does: taking it's time. This CERTAINLY does not mean those who have a personal conviction in Medjugorje should be suppressed! Fatima and Lourdes would have never even been investigated if the faithful didn't encourage it! (Lourdes was almost thrown out because a rash of supposed apparitions of Mary broke out right after Bernadette's claim. No one wanted to deal with the controversy. If the faithful had not been devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes, it would have never been approved).

SERIOUSLY, historical knowledge is important!!!

This evidence is FAR from the claim that Medjugorje is "obviously" a hoax...Sometimes simple research is not enough to find the truth...I mean how easy is it to leave the Catholic Church when you don't understand it or when someone plants a "bad feeling" towards the Church in your heart and how hard is it to convince those who have left the Church to come back? It's hard sometimes finding the truth, but it's worth it!

Quote:
I just wanted to add that Unity Publishing, the link that JD posted above to discredit the apparitions, is a joke.


Holy Cow!!!! Is this where your simple research is coming from?! If so, I know there is nothing I can say that will convince you because that website contains pitiful research...I can't believe people can look at that and even consider it at truth!! WOW!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:08 pm 
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beautiful! thank you teresa!!! :D

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:31 pm 
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I was asked to repost this here :)

JMJ

I think, when it comes to Medjugorje, the truth is the best route to go. I don't want to pretend that Fr. Tomislav Vlasic didn't exist. Humans are humans, as mamamary posted. And someone being connected at one point with Medjugorje and making bad decisions sheds a bad light on Medjugorje, is similar to saying Our Lady didn't truly appear at Fatima because one of the people who witnessed the miracle of the sun (happy anniversary) left the Catholic Church...it's call the "irrelevant proof" logical fallacy...

Here is a little background info for you, taken from MaryTV before their changed their website, now I can't find it. But Denis Nolan is a dear friend of mine and is very thorough in his investigations:

"After the apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje began and the pastor of Medjugorje was put in prison by the communists, Fr. Tomislav Vlasic was assigned to St. James parish in Medjugorje. In September, 1984 he left Medjugorje and in 1985 was assigned to the parish in Vitina (with all priestly faculties - to preach, to hear confessions, celebrate Mass, etc., ie., when he left, he was in good standing with the Church). He was never formally designated pastor of St. James parish. Parish records state that Fr. Tomislav Pervan served as pastor in Medjugorje from 1982 through 1988.

Fr. Tomislva Vlasic moved to Italy in 1987 and in 1992 joined the Italian Franciscan Province of Abbruzzo. All these years he has not been a member of the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina. It appears he decided to go on a different path in the mid 80’s, having been heavily influenced by a German woman who had come to Medjugorje, Agnes Heupel, who claimed to be a visionary, and with whom he formed his own community in 1987. During this time he tried forcing one of the visionaries of Medjugorje, Marija Pavlovic, to publicly state that Our Lady supported his “spiritual marriage” with Agnes Heupel and the new way of life of his community. To the contrary, Marija’s conscience forced her to write a public statement on July 11, 1988, disavowing any connection with him or with his community: “I repeat that I never received from the Gospa, nor gave Fr. Tomislav or anyone else, a confirmation of the program of Fr. Tomislav and Agnes Heupel.” Though Fr. Vlasic would later build a house outside of Medjugorje behind the hill of Crnica, between the village of Surmanc and Bijakovici, he, himself, kept distant from Medjugorje and was never involved in any activities of the parish.

The fact is that in the mid 80’s Fr. Vlasic decided to go his own way and since then none of the visionaries of Medjugorje have had any contact with him."

It seems that he couldn't let go of his dream of authority at Medjugorje, even after he was transfered. He had a disordered obsession with the power he felt Medjugorje gave him, as having been assigned there once.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:49 pm 
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hi teresa,

thanks for your wonderful posts..

I wanted to ask you two things.

1. I am doing some research for a book and i want to ask you what do you consider the definitive rendition of the first day or two at Medjugorje
2. I really like your post responding to criticism and I wanted to know if i could use it at ministryvalues.com

good luck with your master thesis
thanks

steve ryan

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:15 pm 
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Hello, Ministry Values!

I'm sorry I haven't responded to your PMs yet, I just plain forgot :( Sorry

In my opinion as a historian, there is no definitive account on the first few days of Medjugorje, which is why I'm writing it. Even accounts from the visionaries are only from their point of view.

I am PMing you soon :)

God bless!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:18 am 
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It sounds like Ivan may be a millionaire if he has multiple houses - one of which is worth $800k, which is paid off.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:14 am 
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Location: My feet are in the US, but my heart is in Medjugorje
My appreciation for what the visionaries endure and how they handle it all in stride and even with a smile grows with each post here. They are often in my prayers and will continue to be. Many of us are praying for Ivan's healing from his injury. Perhaps some here would like to join us. :D

Happy Easter everyone! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:17 pm 
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I will also pray for Ivan's recovery, as I would for anyone who was injured. However, I can no longer participate on this forum, based upon the assumption of unquestioning belief that is a requirement of this participation. Take care all, and God Bless all of you.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:12 pm 
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hi bob,

it is not that the forum members have 'unquestioning belief.' most of us are in various places in our spiritual journey, but all of us have a desire to ultimately lead to Christ. it is in Him where our source of unquestioning belief lies.

the forum is a place where believers in medjugorje can come together to share the good news of medjugorje, to hear Our Lady's messages, and to make ourselves aware of ways to be better christians. one thing we decided early on was that we didn't want the forum to be a place of fighting over medjugorje, of having the members worry about being critisized for their belief, and it being a place where medjugorje critics could come and have a field day...

the forum is to be a place of peace for those who do accept that the Mother of God is here to give us guidance, to lead us back to where mankind has moved so far...from God's Will. we are here to share that good news, and that journey back.

we do hope you choose to stay and to pop in and contribute.

God Bless,

mamamary

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:36 pm 
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I for one have witnessed a conversion of someone very dear who once mocked Jesus, Mary and the Father...he laughed at his wife and others for believing and praying...one day he went to Medjugorje just to prove it was all a fake and came home a devote Catholic and has not mocked Jesus, and Mary since. He is my brother in law and I know him very well....God has touched him... it is a Miracle.... God Bless....there is hope for all the Thomas's in this world.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Location: My feet are in the US, but my heart is in Medjugorje
Thank you Jacquelline! :D

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