Thursday, July 26, 2007

What's the Deal withe Medjugorje?

Earlier today the Catholic Herald published a story about the Medjugorje pilgrims who were in that horrific bus accident. And while I feel for the victims of the accident, I don't quite understand the fascination of the pilgrims or the Catholic Herald's implicit affirmation with these so-called apparitions of Mary.

There is just so many questions surrounding those "apparitions." First and foremost. the shrine's leading priest, Fr. Zovko, has had his faculties suspended and has suffered censure for still hearing confessions afterwards. His order says he's a priest in good standing, but that basically means that he hasn't been excommunicated, yet. The previous bishop thought it was a hoax and current bishop also thinks it's nonsense. The commission that was set up to study the matter believed it was fake and both bishops asked pilgrims to stop coming. My understanding is that no priest entering that diocese has permission to use his faculties if he is there for the purpose of bring pilgrims to Medjugorje. The current bishop, Bishop Peric, has also stated that he feels the Franciscans running the shrine have broken their vow of poverty with the wealth they have amassed from pilgrims.

A commission says it is a hoax, the bishops believe it is a hoax, and the Franciscans there are getting rich. Seems like a mess to me. Many passengers in the accident felt that God saved them. Perhaps they were just lucky and the Catholic Herald should cover the accident as such.

A Faithful Catholic


Pilgrim said...

“A commission says it is a hoax..”

Which commissiom was this?

Pilgrim said...

“I don't quite understand the fascination of the pilgrims...”

Probably because you have never been to Medjugorje. Understanding anything is difficult when you are standing on the outside and criticising – especially a priest (Fr Jozo) called by God. I am surprised a “Faithful Catholic” would want to choose to to damage another person’s good name in this way.

As to the Franciscans getting rich: did you know that the Bishop of Mostar sets the Mass stipends for the Medjugorje Parish? That all Mass stipends paid by the pilgrims are collected by the Bishop and redistributed through the diocese to help poorer parishes? That the Bishop approves all building and development work undertaken by the Franciscans in the parish? That all the Franciscans are accepted and given the Bishop’s signature to minister in the parish?

Anonymous said...

Hi friend,

Your post reminded me that the town priest did not believe Bernadette (at first) when she claimed to see visions of a beatiful lady at a grotto next to the town dump in Lourdes, France. The Blesed Virgin Mary appearing at the town dump, the whole thing seemed absurd! And one day during an apparition the crowd laughed at Bernadette when Our Lady asked her to wash in the pool (there was no pool yet) so she dug in the dirt and began to wash herself with dirt. Because of Bernadette's willingness to be humiliated and ridiculed for Our Lady's sake, a miracuous spring appeared, which is still there to this day, where countless documented miraculous healings have taken place.

My point? God does not need anyone's permission (not even the bishop's) to enact His plan.

Please consider that Jesus, God himself in human form, stood in the midst of the religious leaders of his day. How few of them recognized Him. Only those to whom it had been revealed by God the Father could say, "You are the Christ, the son of the Living God."

Today, as in the days of Lourdes and Fatima, Mary is standing in our midst as His messenger.

It may come as a surprise to you, but I found the whole thing with Medjugorje to be quite hard to believe at first. But I started to pray, a little every day. It took time for her love to penetrate my heart, but now, I can honestly tell you that her love is one of the most precious gifts in my life.

Thanks and God bless you,

Mike McSpedon
Spotwood, NJ

Dad29 said...

Technically, "first and foremost" is the definitive statement made by H.E. Pavao Zanic, the Bishop of Mostar, several years ago--that there is 'nothing supernatural' which happened at Medju...

This statement was re-affirmed by the Yugoslav Bishops' Conference in 1991.

The Bishop's word is final. Rome reviewed his work and did not demur, stating that NOT recognized as 'a shrine.'

Mike Jones, the man whom the pilgrims love to hate, has an essay here which is worth noting:

Anonymous said...

Dear dad29,
In your post you conclude "the bishops word is final." Here in the USA, the Bishops act more like members of organized crime in the abusive treatment of the faithful, than spiritual leaders. My vote is with the people and those who have visited Medjugorje. Bishops are too political. Medjugoreje touched my life before I went there and continues to have a positive effect since I have returned. At the very least, Medjugoreje is an example of how people from all over the world can treat each other with love and respect. I found it an awesome place and was an awesome experience and I won't let some Bishop dictate to me what is faith building and what isn't. They've lost their credibility and moral authority. The simplicity and sincerity of the visionaries is extrodinary! The love of God is present in that valley even if you don't beleive in the apparitions.
Best to you and all who read this!