Memo to a certain Medjugorje adherent who is attacking skeptics (again)

Relax. Settle down. Be at peace.


There’s no need to obsess the way you are over what a tiny handful of people may think about Medjugorje. If some, like I, doubt that it’s an authentic apparition, so what? Why does that rob you of your peace? Your most recent behavior indicates that you are unsettled, anxious, and worried about the fact that some are skeptical about Medjugorje. This turmoil and defensiveness exhibited in your recent public comments is not from the Holy Spirit.


Pause, take a deep breath, and ponder these words from Scripture:

“If this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” (Acts 5:38-39) 

Please remember that this passage is just as important for you as it is for anyone who doubts Medjugorje. Think about that. Just pray for God’s will to be done in this matter.


And then, spend some time thinking prayerfully about this wise advice from Saint Teresa of Avila:



“Let nothing disturb you, let nothing afright you.
Nothing is wanting in w
hom God possesses.
God alone suffices.
All things are passing.
God never ceases.
Patient endurance attains all things.”

113 Comments

  1. Davide

    Dear Patrick,I understand that you may take a lot of heat for your skepticism on Medjugorje. And I appreciate your advice to those to calm down. However, please also try to understand where they are coming from. For many of these people, they converted to Catholicism because of Medjugorje, so their faith is closely linked to the apparitions. This is not an excuse for them, just a note of context. For these people, who still may be new to Catholicism, they will predictably be very zealous and emotional in defending Medjugorje, even though many may not have the grounding yet to formulate coherent responses. I know you to be a well grounded Catholic who will not allow the (sometimes) immature faith of others to further polarize your own skepticism about Medjugorje. This would be a greater fault, if indeed true, because you are a well-respected apologist–one of the best there is–and may people value your opinion, and will follow your lead in all things. Your postings on Medjugorje do not affect just a "tiny handful of people"; your influence is much greater than even you may realize..

  2. ministryvalues.com

    " zealous and emotional in defending Medjugorje"Speaking for myself (steve ryan) this charge of " zealously defending" Medjugorje misses my entire point completely. Just what are we/me "defending"?As I have said from the beginning I look to Medjugorje with great curiosity- i look for answers to a great mystery that I do not think anybody can dispute exists (hello Sheriff Coffin – you out there) and yes much of the "event" rings true to me and I do value the "messages" of Medjugorje. If speaking my mind and not being Patrick Madrid's potted plant is viewed as "zealous" well I guess than so be it.And that is the important point. The "Skeptics" want me to be a potted plant and obey the Bishop of Mostar – I do not find that position interesting nor viable given the actions by thousands of Bishops and priests and the enduring nature of the phenomenon. Sheriff Coffin – Question – you say Medjugorje is fantasy.. Cardinal Schonborn says much of Medjugorje rings truePlease explain to me your qualification and insight why you "get it" so much better than the Archbishop of Vienna does. And please spare me the tedious business of Bishop of Mostar has spoken and that medjugorje has been ruled supercalifagilisticexpealodotious.The root of zealousness comes from defending the Bishop of Mostar. I am just looking for answers the skeptics are defending their beliefs with a rigid desire for medjugorje to just go away

  3. Nick

    Stephan,You have an unhealthy devotion to apparitions. Not only do you post messages on your site said to be from alleged apparitions, but you do not caution readers about the nature of unapproved revelations. An example of the above is this article. (Warning to readers: Article is about a revelation which the Church has not yet judged to be worthy of belief (i.e., from Heaven) and which should not be believed in until it is worthy of belief)Patrick,I am posting this on your blog, with apologies, because I feel you deserve to know that Stephan has an unhealthy devotion, and so, as it happens with unhealthy devotion, emotions run high in the devotee and the devotee rarely, if ever, listens to the voice of reason. Not to say or imply that this is the very case with Stephan, but just a word of caution about how such people come into discussions.

  4. ministryvalues.com

    Pedro Regis the Brazilian nut is well a nut is that devotional enough for you but thanks for the refferals

  5. ministryvalues.com

    Nick here are some words from Judge Scalia .. from just the other day (warning nick he mentions Medjugorje)Although the sophisticated may deride them as simple-minded, committed Christians should have the courage to embrace their faith he said. "It isn’t irrational to accept the testimony of eyewitnesses to miracles" Scalia said.“What is irrational,” he said, “is to reject a priori, with no investigation, the possibility of miracles in general and of Jesus Christ’s resurrection in particular — which is, of course, precisely what the worldly wise do.”Scalia cited the 10-year-old case of a priest in the Washington archdiocese who was said to have the stigmata. Statues of Mary and the saints appeared to weep in his presence. Reporters for The Washington Post did a story and were unable to find an explanation for the strange phenomena.“Why wasn’t that church absolutely packed with nonbelievers,” Scalia asked, “seeking to determine if there might be something to this?”The answer was obvious, he said with disdain: “The wise do not investigate such silliness.”"Surely those who adhere to all or most of these traditional Christian beliefs are regarded in the educated circles that you and I travel in as, well, simple-minded," Scalia asserted. The Catholic justice cited a story in The Washington Post that described Christian fundamentalists as "poorly educated and easily led. The same attitude applies, of course, to traditional Catholics,"Scalia said, "who do such positively peasantlike things as saying the rosary, kneeling in adoration before the Eucharist, going on pilgrimages to Lourdes or Medjugorje and — worst of all — following indiscriminately, rather than in smorgasbord fashion, the teachings of the pope."

  6. Davide

    Dear Ministryvalues,I hope you did not get the wrong impression of my post. I was not intending to put down supporters of Medjugorje, as I am one myself. I was trying to make the point that a large percentage of Medjugorje supporters are relatively new Catholics, since many of them converted because of Medjugorje. And so it is important to keep this in mind, in discussions such as these. Medjugorje is not the fruit of its followers. The message of Medjugorje should be examined on its own merit, apart from the behavior of some of those who support. As we know with any movement, there will always be extremists (also those who tend to be the most vocal). The traditionalists have theirs, the charismatics have theirs, etc. I am concerned that the name "Medjugorje" has been somewhat stigmatized in recent times as equivalent to a progressive/liberal movement. And in my opinion, it is precisely this sloppy scholarship–of allowing our opinions to be formed by these peripherals–that is to blame. I believe in discussions on Medjugorje, supporters need to learn to stick to the facts, if they want to be effective in showing others the truth of Medjugorje. There is an element of truth to Patrick's post; calm down indeed. Remember how meek and gentle Our Lady is in the messages? Should we not imitate Her example?I believe Dr. Mark Miravalle is a prime example of how a Medjugorje supporters should act. Present the facts on the Church's position. Present the norms of the Church in judging apparitions. Present all applicable evidence (e.g., the fruits, the message, the integrity of the seers, their obedience, etc.), history, context, etc. Be concise. And do not get sidetracked with inconsequentials. Everything else is peripheral, really.

  7. ministryvalues.com

    Davide ..I appreciate your point but I think it is important to understand that I run a news organization (at least that is what google calls me ..they have designated me as "A Google News Source" ) We try and generate a lot of original content …google requires that or you lose your status.. So I am out there trying to uncover the story.(and otheres) My goal has been to get at the root of the "skeptics" views as well as the "Believers"I find this story very interesting (Medjugorje) and so do a lot of other folks .. Looking at Patrick Madrid's blog you will see that this Medjugorje article has been ranked quite high for "Interest" another interesting point is that the fellas at "Creative Minority Report" claim they will talk about "EVERYTHING" except Medjugorje. Most of the Catholic press will not talk about it.. I do.. and I report about it. There is clearly something fascinating about this story .. If people get their knickers in a knot then that means I am doing my job..

  8. Patrick Madrid

    "If people get their knickers in a knot then that means I am doing my job."That may be true, Stephen, but it let's not forget that it doesn't mean that one is doing his job well. Tendentious, insipid, or just plain erroneous reportage is also quite effective at provoking people. I'm not saying that you are necessarily guilty of any of those "journalistic" offenses, but it's worth remembering that just because one can write something that gets people riled up is no guarantee that what was written was particularly useful. P.S. I try to keep this advice in mind when I post stuff on my own blog, especially stuff on hot-button issues like Medjugorje.

  9. ministryvalues.com

    Patrick … we need to get past the idea of Medjugorje is a "hot button issue" .. It is a simply a Catholic/Christian story ..it is interesting and for the life of me i do not know what the Catholic press is so afraid of. Judge Scalia seems to have no problem mentioning Medjugorje ..why should the press Also you say " but let's not forget that it doesn't mean that one is doing his job well..Tendentious, insipid, or just plain erroneous reportage is also quite effective at provoking people. then you say "I'm not saying that you are necessarily guilty of any of those "journalistic" offenses" If you are going to criticize then please be more specific iut would really be helpful.Otherwise it is really just a gratuitous baseless charge and if I am not guilty of those errors than we should leave it that. Lastly to the idea that Medjugorje is a liberal//progressive .. two things1. I here this subtle charge now and then and it is something I am VERY interested in. It goes to the root of the Medjugorje controversy on one level. One of my suspicions is "Our Lady" does not speak about "Gay Marriage" and other hot button cultural war issues or encourage Catholics to vote "republican" I would love to hear more about this. I have said many times the genius of Medjugorje is the "heavenly" (for me anyway) lack of politics or an agenda ..it is my sanctuary..Simple messages/ no politics has managed to convert millions without a single. My suspicion the tag of "liberal" has emerged from the lack of agendas 2. For those who think Medjugorje is "feel good" progressive and liberal please remember fasting is a large aspect to "movement" .. I have a great deal of trouble doing that, It is quite difficult and is a true "penance"

  10. Patrick Madrid

    Oh, no, Stephen. I disagree. Medjugorje is definitely a hot-button issue for many people, including you. If it were not a hot-button issue, you wouldn't be so tenacious in posting constant rebuttals and rejoinders to anything that I and others say here about Medjugorje. Your own activities here prove my point. I say something about Medjugorje and you respond to it. Like night follows day. That's not a criticism of you, it's just a statement of fact.I think you missed the point of my "tendentious, insipid, and just plain erroneous" remark. I was simply pointing out the fallacy in your comment that if you get peoples' "knickers in a knot" that proves that you are doing your job. My point was that provoking people does not mean that you are doing your job well. Being a journalist, which you claim to aspire to, does not consist in provoking people. The job of a journalist is, among other things, to report facts fairly and accurately. It may well be that some of the things you write are insipid and just plain erroneous — I don't know because I very rarely ever visit your website. I can say, though, that your reportage is definitely tendentious, though that is not always a bad thing, when it's handled skillfully.In any case, I stand by the message of my original post, above which all these comments fall: Relax, settle down, be at peace. There's no use in fretting and fuming over the fact that I and a relatively few others are skeptical about Medjugorje. The Catholic Church does not require any Catholic to believe in any approved apparition, much less an unapproved, alleged apparition like Medjugorje. You really don't need to spend so much time and energy trying to convince people that it's true. If it is true, we'll all find that out in God's own good time. If it's not true, that will also come out according to the timetable of Divine Providence.So, in the meantime, don't let skeptics like me, Diane, and Patrick Coffin rattle you or cause you to feel that you have to "do battle" with us. We're not your enemies! We are your brother and sister Catholics who love and sincerely care about you and your spiritual welfare, and I for one am hopefully confident that you care about ours.Let's keep everything in perspective and allow God to work His will in this matter. Until such time as He discloses to all of us exactly what is really happening at Medjugorje, you and I and everyone else are perfectly free to believe in it or to be skeptical about it.

  11. Nick

    Pat,You should do a blog post on the Christians of the Middle East. It would be a great reminder, I think, of the Eastern Rites of the Church and might fan the flame of charity in Christian hearts to help their persecuted brothers out.Or, you should do a blog post on the link between the Eucharist and the Pope, that is, the oneness or unity of the Blessed Sacrament and of the Petrine office. It would be a good apologetics piece, methinks.

  12. Carl

    I think its important to point out that while people may have different opinions on Medjugorje no official ruling has been made from the Church. So we are free to believe either way. I also wanted to share my experience in Medjugorje in 1989. Medjugorje was a place where pilgrims would come to pray, worship, and sing songs. We also had daily Mass in my group. It was a spiritual retreat. People's faith was increased and there was a peace that was felt there. Some found faith there. I don't regret having gone one bit.While I was there the Jesus on my rosary turned blood red. It was previously silver and I woke up and the next day it had turned red. I can't explain how it happened, but I showed it to the group I was with and they were also amazed.Whether you believe in the apparitions or not there was no question that whenever there are 2 or more gathered in Christ's name there he is with them. There certainly was a lot of people praying there. If we could all take that atmosphere of peace and of prayer back to our lives, the world would be a much better place.God Bless

  13. Paul Baylis

    It's very strange indeed this world we live in. The exhortations to relax and be at peace are exactly the message that I, as a Medjugorje believer, want to pass on to certain un-chilled skeptics. Just relax, be at peace, the Vatican will complete its task very soon. In the meantime, find something else to do. Let people be if they want to go to Medjugorje. Just because you have what you think is a eureka "Aha…look at what Donal Foley says here…" moment, just relax, maybe Donal Foley is wrong. Leave it in the hands of the Vatican. You don't even need to get upset if a Medjugorje proponent defends against the attacks of an anti-M'er. Chill out!

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