Debunking six myths about Medjugorje

A new communique was released from the Bishop of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno (the ecclesiastical territory within which the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje are allegedly taking place) helps clarify things by providing a meticulously-documented refutation of what it refers to as six “untruths” being peddled by some promoters of this phenomenon.

Share this with those who may be confused by the relentless barrage of promotion from those Medjugorje boosters who, for whatever reason, do not take into account all the facts surrounding this controversy.

Facts can be quite inconvenient, as this communique shows.


Diocesan Chancery, 2011-12-31

In June 2011 the newspaper Večernji list published a book written by four journalists: Ž. Ivković, R. Bubalo, Z. Despot and S. Hančić, titled “The Mystery of Medjugorje: 30 years of the phenomenon. For the first time: the documents of the Yugoslav secret police”. On June 17, the day before the book’s release, one of the authors wrote an ad in the same newspaper. The book was also mentioned on the website of the Italian vaticanist Andrea Tornielli, on September 9 and 20, 2011.[1] The Canadian psychologist Louis Bélanger responded to him on the internet, on September 19, 20, and 21 of this year.[2]

Tornielli writes that, according to the 1987 UDBA (Ured državne bezbednosti: Office of State Security) document called “Crnica”, it turns out that the principal tool seems to have been “Bishop Žanić, who in the beginning showed himself to be open to the possibility that there was a supernatural event taking place, but later became its most committed enemy”, and that Bishop Žanić’s aversion toward Medjugorje “had been fed by a series of documents manufactured by the secret police.”

In sum, according to the UDBA report, Tornielli says, it turns out that “Bishop Žanić was ready to accept any document against the Franciscans and against the apparitions, even if it was of suspect origin.” Very grave accusations. The author concludes that the Commission of the Holy See on Medjugorje will need to discuss these documents too.

Louis Bélanger reacted on September 19, primarily because Tornielli was attacking the “intellectual, spiritual, and pastoral integrity of the former Ordinary of Mostar, Msgr. Pavao Žanić”. The Italian vaticanist, said Bélanger, “doesn’t ‘document’ anything, doesn’t verify anything: he copies/pastes very serious allegations without granting his readers any factual historical retrospective.”

Tornielli then mitigated his assertions and, on September 20, wrote to Bélanger that it “is a fact that the Communists were trying to control and influence the Medjugorje phenomenon, and that they were trying to influence Bishop Žanić.”

Bélanger replied on September 21, agreeing that the Communists had tried to manipulate both Medjugorje and Bishop Žanić. “My main point is that you convey the allegation that the Secret Service so heavily influenced Mgr. Žanić’s decision that he changed completely his position from January 1982 – does the choice of that date point to a specific historical document? – making him a tool of the communist regime, thus its marionette concerning Medjugorje. As if the Ordinary had no legitimate intimate intellectual, spiritual and pastoral motive for the change of his initial spontaneous and positive assessment of the supernatural quality of the Medjugorje events – completely independent of the regime’s political stratagems.”

Tornielli did not respond further.

Since the late bishop Pavao Žanić is mentioned in numerous pages of the book “The Mystery of Medjugorje” (MM), and not in a complimentary way, it is our duty, for the love of truth and out of respect for Bishop Pavao, who was a bishop in Herzegovina for 23 years, to respond to such arbitrary claims and insinuations. But, as an introduction, another topic:

The first untruth: The journalist Ivković writes: “The day the seers met with the Gospa for the first time, June 25…” (MM, p. 120).

Which Six? It is commonly known that the “seers” met for the first time on June 24, 1981. This also turns up in the same journalist’s writings on pages 9, 17, 29, 166, etc.

This is a big untruth that creates confusion if this whole thing has been elaborated throughout the journalist’s writing. But if the author is thinking of the stable Six, it is worth mentioning here that, in regard to the “seers”, the “mystery of Medjugorje” has not been resolved yet: who was present on the second day of the “apparition”? In fact, the first encounter was on June 24, and this Six was present: Ivanka, Mirjana, Milka, Vicka, Ivan Dragićević and Ivan Ivanković.

The second day, June 25, Milka was not present, nor the second Ivan; and Marija, the sister of Milka, and Jakov Čolo were added. And then: Vicka states that Ivan Dragićević “stood with us and saw everything like us”[3] that second day, while the same Ivan categorically denied to Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo, on June 27, that he had been present at the “apparition” that second day, and he denied it three times.[4]To which testimony should we give credence?

Why is the anniversary the 25th and not the 24th of June? The same author reports the news that the Gospa said “this to the seers a month before the first anniversary of the apparitions, and then they conveyed it to the parish priest so that he could make it known to the faithful” (p. 17).

This news was made public by Vicka in 1985. She added that it had happened in 1982, “about a month before the anniversary, or maybe more.”

It is strange that such a piece of news was not recorded in the Chronicle of the Apparitions, in which its scribe, and moreover the illicit head of the parish at the time, Fr. Tomislav Vlašić, was accustomed to writing all sorts of banalities; and yet he must have left out such an important message. Otherwise, this would be a case of some false recollections and memories.

It is much more probable that this choice was the fruit of a tacit understanding, as has since been recounted: Podmilačje at Jajce has been celebrating St. John the Baptist on the 24th of June for centuries, and it would not be opportune for the young Medjugorje to compete with that celebration. So it was all attributed to the Gospa who supposedly established, on the occasion of the first anniversary in 1982, that the anniversary be celebrated on the 25th of June, as was made public in the book A Thousand Encounters only in 1985. In any case, over time the group of the stable Six was formed.

Let it be said, incidentally: according to the Chronicle of the Apparitions at Medjugorje and in the vicinity about 120 people have affirmed that the Gospa appeared to them between 1981 and 1985, and that Jesus and angels from God also appeared to some of them. If necessary, we could call them all “seers”. Anyway, the Six were chosen.

In the article, “The secret dossier. How the UDBA suffocated Medjugorje” (MM, pp. 119-169), Ž. Ivković reports many untruths in regard to UDBA and he seems to accept them.

The main piece of news goes back to November 17, 1987, six years after the start of the Medjugorje phenomenon. UDBA’s informers in the province are said to have boasted to excess in front of their superiors in the metropolis about their “successes”. The rest is numerous untruths, one after another. It’s impossible to rebut all the untruths here, but we cannot neglect the occasion to do so in regard to the matters that seem truly grotesque.

Bishop Žanić – enemy. The municipal Party conference at Čitluk in August 1981 “also energetically condemned the behavior of part of the clergy,” and the following names were mentioned: “Bishop Pavao Žanić, Fr. Jozo Zovko and Fr. Ferdo Vlašić” (MM, p. 121). Bishop Žanić is included here among the enemies of the state along with the two Franciscans. Should we accept this too? It will be useful to make note of it, because later Ž. Ivković will brand Bishop Žanić as a “collaborator” of the UDBA!

The second untruth: The aforementioned UDBA document, reported by the journalist as a discovery, states: “So Žanić in the course of 1986 alone went to Rome 14 times…” (MM, p. 127).

— This is not true. According to . . . (continue reading)


(Courtesy of


  1. GuitarGramma

    Followed the link and read the entire article. It seems to have been written to refute one particular book rather than the entire phenomenon of Medugorje.

    I am not a huge follower of Medugorje, but I do have one story to tell. My very fallen away daughter traveled to Medugorje as a two-week nanny — and stayed for over a year. Today she is the most wonderful Catholic daughter anyone could hope for, all due to her deep reversion in Medugorje. She even faced cancer at age 27 with complete faith in God’s will, whether He would ask her to work for Him on earth or in Heaven. So I can vouch for one good fruit from the alleged apparitions.

    Our family awaits Rome’s verdict on the matter.

    1. Christina

      I’m with you. I am not a huge follower of Medugorje, but I try to keep an open mind. I love our Blessed Mother deeply, and so I try to keep up with different ‘apparitions,’ but always take the messages with a grain of salt until the Church says something definitive. I have heard so many things that simply do not make sense to me, but by the same token, I have seen AMAZING fruits that have come from friends who have visited. In fact, I do not have personal knowledge of a single ‘bad’ fruit, but only numerous good fruits of conversions and reversions and vocations and annulments and turning away from sin and becoming an evangelizer and spreading the gospel, etc. Yet I do question why no vocations among the seers? Why failed attempts at religious life if Blessed Mother is your inspired guide and intercessor? It gives me pause to wonder . . .

      1. pilgrim

        Christina… All the seers live vocational lives through marriage. It is no less a sacrament than holy orders.

        As to your unsureness about the messages why not consider the fact that the Church has never ruled in 30 years that the messages are a danger to the faith and morals of the faithful? Canon law states that the Church is obligated to warn the faithful and take action against works that constitute a danger to the faithful “through writings or the use of the instruments of social communication”.

        This has not happened with the Medjugorje messages.

        The amazing fruits you speak about are a wonderful witness to the working of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives. We are all called to witness to God’s glory and this is what happens so abundantly through Medjugorje, especially a renewed uptake for the Sacraments of the Church.

        In today’s Gospel, Nathaniel asks the question: “Can anything good come out from that place (Nazareth)?” Philip replied, “Come and see”.

        Many do take up the invitation of Our Lady to come and see, and meet with Jesus in Medjugorje, returning home unable to refrain from speaking of they have seen and heard.

  2. pilgrim

    “A new communique was released from the Bishop of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno…”

    The same bishop who emailed Catholic News Service in February 2010 stating that out of respect for the Vatican Commission investigating the Medjugorje phenomenon, he would no make any further public comment on Medjugorje?

    Since then, on three occasions he has spoken publicly on the “phenomenon”. The latest “out of respect” for his predecessor bishop Zanic.

    Despite any further contradictions uttered by bishop Peric or him wanting only to address “facts” that support his personal belief, the Vatican commission will come to a conclusion and make its declaration.

    Good news about GG’s daughter. Am I surprised? 🙂

    1. Diane at Te Deum

      The same bishop who emailed Catholic News Service in February 2010 stating that out of respect for the Vatican Commission investigating the Medjugorje phenomenon, he would no make any further public comment on Medjugorje?


      The bishop was responding to a very public, recent attack on the reputation of a dead bishop, his predecessor.

      He did not go on “offense”, he was on “defense” for the sake of justice and truth.

      If people read that document (at the Bishop’s site), they will find that His Excellency turned their arguments inside out.

      But, Pilgrim and other proponents of Medjugorje will disregard any facts offered by the local bishop. In fact, Andrea Tornielli just demonstrated his biasness, when he took the word of four Croatians and didn’t bother to pick up the phone to see if what they had was in harmony with diocesan records. While I don’t believe Andrea Tornielli is fluent in Croatian, Bishop Peric is fluent in Italian.

  3. Dennis

    I do not if what is happening in Medjugorje is authentic. I only hope that if the Church declares it as inauthentic, that those who believe the apparitions occurred will submit in humility to the ruling of the Church. Mary would not want us to dissent from the Church founded by her son.

  4. Diane at Te Deum

    It’s a very grave accusation to kind of force some dot-connecting with a crow-bar as it was done in this book. Of course, Tornielli being a professional journalist, I am surprised that he did no cross-checking of facts.

    Did it occur to anyone, that before they lead people to believe Bishop Zanic was communist collaborator that they validate “facts” in the UDBA documents against the diocesan logs and other documents?

    Rash judgment, or what Aquinas called “judgment from suspicions”, seems to rule the day when it comes to anything related to the Bishops of Mostar.

    Such judgment from suspicions is what causes people interiorly to not trust the diocese or the bishop as a credible source of information. What a pity.

    Want to learn about rash judgment? I digging into the CCC, Aquinas, Fr. Hardon and Sacred Scripture in – Catholics in the Combox 01: Rash Judgment

  5. CatholicFirefighter

    Mr. Madrid,

    Although your pre-commentary ‘appears’ to be addressing just this one article, your use of the words ‘peddling’, ‘promoters’ and ‘Medjugorje boosters’ are a good indicator of your overall disposition in the matter. Could it not also be said that detractors of Medjugorje are up to some ‘peddling’, ‘promoting’ and ‘boosting’ of their own? Indeed.

    I know that I am not perfect in my discernment, as are neither any Catholic apologists perfect in their discernment. And that, as they say, is that.

    So for me, I shall retain a personal belief that the events in Medjugorje weigh in more in the positive than in the negative.

    Lastly, I thank God for the Magisterium, as it is the ONLY earthly mechanism given to us by the Divine which can formally decide the matter with perfect/irrevocable discernment.

    Let us then forget this futile activity of attempting to bend each others wills, that we may get back to the more important work of learning our Faith and defending Holy Mother Church against what seems like a never ending slew of spiteful criticism and narrowed attacks.


    1. Patrick Madrid

      CatholicFirefighter, my skepticism of the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje is well known and has always been out in the open (scroll down here for a chronology of my comments about it in recent years). So, you’re right, this post is indeed a good indicator of my overall disposition on this issue. Nothing new there.

      As for the words you highlighted, my rationale for using them is simply that the people I had in mind all seem to have some sort of financial interest in promoting the alleged apparitions through books, pilgrimages, etc. They are promoters. They are boosters.

      Whoever said that anyone, including any given Catholic apologist, is “perfect in his discernment”? I haven’t, that’s for sure. So I’m not clear on why you tossed that line into your comments here. None of us has perfect discernment, though we are all exhorted to discern, to “test all things [and] hold fast to what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). It seems to me, though, that many Medjugorje promoters are implacably opposed to any attempt to critically test the alleged apparitions.

      Finally, my modest proposal is, to use your own words, that you forget the futile activity of attempting to bend people’s will on this issue, at least those who are skeptical of Medjugorje.

      It’s very telling that, whenever a question or difficulty related to the alleged apparitions is raised by a skeptic, it is dismissed and derided as merely a “spiteful criticism” and a “narrow attack.” Nothing I have ever said or written about this subject has been spiteful. And I believe it’s just as telling that Medjugorje adherents feel perfect freedom to routinely disparage their fellow Catholics who are skeptical by branding their legitimate concerns as “futile,” “spiteful,” “narrow,” etc.

      Please think about that.

      1. Diane at Te Deum

        Just snowballing off something you said Patrick:

        Finally, my modest proposal is, to use your own words, that you forget the futile activity of attempting to bend people’s will on this issue, at least those who are skeptical of Medjugorje.

        It’s very telling that, whenever a question or difficulty related to the alleged apparitions is raised by a skeptic, it is dismissed and derided as merely a “spiteful criticism” and a “narrow attack.”

        If one were to go into Google Blog search and put the term “Medjugorje” in there, every day, for the next 90 days, you will probably find 90 days worth of new posts and items which promote the phenomenon to the nth degree. During that 90 days you will also find a good many posts which castigate the bishops of Medjugorje on mere judgment from suspicion.

        During that same 90 days, you might… might…. stumble upon a skeptic or critic who is looking objectively at something new that comes out, or some event that happens.

        So, who is really doing the bending?

      2. QuoTSCumquae

        It’s refreshing to see someone with a clear head on this topic. Mr. Madrid, I commend you for having the fortitude to stand your ground against considerable opposition. It is a sad statement on the well-being of Catholicism these days to see such confusion over something that ought to be rather obvious. But the roots are much deeper than merely Medge and “her” cronies.

        Years ago I knew a couple who had traveled with a show promoting Medge in the early 80’s. It was after the crowds went home that the real interesting things happened. My friends witnessed a transformation of the actors in the troupe whereby they became indistinguishable from circus stage hands after the witnesses go their way. They were all actors, just putting on a show, and down deep they were nothing holy, to say the least. My friends left that traveling show, and became local evangelists who promoted the Rosary, and devotion to Our Lady via approved Marian apparitions like Lourdes, La Salette, Knock, Fatima and Guadalupe — all of which, by the way, have been thoroughly tested, and passed the tests.

        You say, “It seems to me, though, that many Medjugorje promoters are implacably opposed to any attempt to critically test the alleged apparitions.” I would only question why you need the qualifier, “It seems to me…” at the start. I have yet to see any Medge promoter ever once encourage any critical examination. That alone is sufficient. In a similar situation, one Nicole Tavernier performed prodigies, and one Philip Neri was appointed to go and see what’s up. He approached the convent (yes, it was even at a convent this was going on), rang the bell and loudly announced he had “come to see the saint.” When she answered, “It is I!” he turned on his heel and departed, for he had heard enough. He left, convinced he full well understood the reality at hand concerning the seer’s “holiness.”

        What we need in Medjugorje is another St. Philp Neri! Patrick Madrid could then move on to less clear-cut issues (which he would probably appreciate). It seems to me so pathetic that so many Catholics, especially those in the clerical state, have entirely lost touch with the most basic rules for discerning spirits. The history and reports out of Medgeland are a litany of the typical effects of demonic prodigies, and have nothing whatsoever to do with authentic mystical phenomenon. There really ought to be no discussion. It’s a piece of cake.

        The fact that the whole thing is allowed to fester, even from out of the authority of Rome, speaks volumes about “what’s up” in both places!

  6. (Fr) Tim SJ

    I was ordained four years ago as a Jesuit Priest in the UK – where there are not a lot of vocations. I am now working in the Phillipines. When I was a teenager I travelled twice to Medjurgorje – first as a family pilgrimage the second time on my own. Both experiences had a huge impact on me. I am no fanatic – nor am I promoter – but I feel an immense gratitude to Our Lady of Medjugorje and am not embarrassed to say so.

    It is very sad to me to see the hostility of the Bishop – although he knows more than me – this is a game of high stakes! He has a duty to protect his flock. Peoples faith is a precious thing – and we have to tread carefully.

    Faith based on a lie – is fraud of course, but for me and others – our experiences in the former Bosnia were a supplement to our faith, which God has sincce built on. I have often said to sceptical friends – that to live a lie like this for 30 years – is that psychologically possible – remember these were 6 ‘peasant’ children when it started. Maybe for one or two psychopaths – but for all of them?

    It is a shame that something that has been a grace for so many has become a source of division.

    1. Diane at Te Deum

      Dear Fr. Tim,

      First, thank you for your priesthood!

      I feel an immense gratitude to Our Lady of Medjugorje and am not embarrassed to say so.

      With all due respect, Father, has the Church deemed the phenomenon of Medjugorje to be “Our Lady”? Ever Bernadette called her, “The Lady”, rather than putting her own discernment ahead of the Church.

      Secondly, discernment does not begin with subjective feelings and good fruits. It begins with an analysis of the events. Using an analogy I have used before, both poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms can smell good, taste good, and have nutrional qualities. Not all poisonous mushrooms are deadly. Some may make you feel good, but cause other health problems down the road. The bottom line is that neither you or I have the expertise to discern whether this “mushroom” in Medjugorje is of the “poisonous” or “non-poisonous” variety. The Church, through the Commission, and ultimately through the Holy Father, who himself said (through the Nuncio in BiH), Medjugorje is “a question” for which he feels responsible as head of the Church to answer. He acknowledges the fruits, but also the opposition and wants to get to the bottom of it. I have full confidence in this Commission to judge the events before it takes into consideration how people feel and the fruits.

      I would ask you to reconsider referring to the Lady of Medjugorje as “Our Lady” before the Church declares it is truly her.

      It is very sad to me to see the hostility of the Bishop

      There is very clear evidence that the authors of that book, along with Andrea Tornielli, were leading readers to accept calumnious conclusions about Bishop Zanic. Does this mean that the ends justify the means? That, it’s ok to calumniate a bishop – a dead bishop – for the sake of some greater cause? Look carefully, Dear Father, set aside subjectivity and use some objectivity. Even if the Church declares Medjugorje a fraud (and I don’t know that she will, but you don’t know that it will ever be deemed authentic either), your vocation is valid. Cardinal Saraiva, Prefect-Emeritus of the Congregation for Saints (where discernment is a required skill) summed it up perfectly when he explained such vocations: God can draw straight with crooked lines.

      remember these were 6 ‘peasant’ children when it started.

      Indeed. I was living there when it all broke out, discerning a vocation with the Franciscan sisters (I’m Croatian on my mother’s side). They were children then. Did you know that there are tape recorded conversations with the visionaries, soon after all this began? Are you aware of the problems linked with things said in those recordings? Fr. Laurentin did a very good job of withholding certain things in his writings, and at least once, altering the words (when he was suppose to be discerning, not promoting). Here it all is in black and white (if truth, and justice, mean anything in this matter). Thanks be to God the Commission will not be looking only at the fruits, but also these events.

      Again, I thank you for your priesthood and as with all Medjugorje supporting priests I know, I believe you are solid in our devotion to the BVM and the Eucharist. Those don’t belong to Medjugorje; they are a part of our Catholic heritage. It’s too bad so many bishops and priests stuffed it in the closet because if they hadn’t, people wouldn’t be traveling to the other side of the world to have such open devotion.

      1. Nick

        Only in this day of confusion would someone thank a priests for his service to the Body of Christ as a priest, then immediately rebuke him for what that priest sees as the potential spiritual root of that vacation. My God.

        I’d take a younger priest who received a calling to the priesthood from Medjugorje over a post-Vatican II liberal priest any day. Especially over one of those awesome gay priests that abused so many children back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

  7. Tom B

    Patrick, I’ve always felt that your analysis of the Medjugorge “situation” has been unbiased and spot on. For me the critical evidence has been the conduct of the seers after their alleged visions.

    Consider one of the seers, Marija Pavlović. “In response to an Italian journalist’s question Why haven’t any one of you decided to become a priest or nun? Marija in 2001 gave the following explanation: For many years I though that I would become a nun. I began visiting a convent and my desire to go there was very strong. But the Sister Superior once told me: “Marija, if you want to enter, you are very welcome; but if the bishop decides that you must not speak about Medjugorje, you will have to obey”. At that moment I began thinking that my vocation might possibly be to witness to what I have seen and heard, and that I will be able to find the road to holiness outside the convent.” O.P. p.28

    Doesn’t this response sound eerily familiar? Fr. John Corapi? Failure to obey, failure to give up the trappings of this world.

    It seems to me that the lesson is to put no mortal on a pedestal, nor confuse our Lord or Lady’s message as being somehow dependent on any presently living human being. Much good can come from preaching the Word of God and heeding the advice of our Lady through authenticated apparitions. Don’t worry about the rest. If Medjugorge is not authenticated but traveling there has led to a deeper affinity to the Blessed Mother, then great. Just don’t fall for the trap of elevating a messenger such as a preacher or seer to authorship of the message. A true preacher is merely a cooperator in spreading the Word – not his or her word – but the Word of God. Beware those who seem to be more interested in personal gain – as it would appear for the Medjugorje “seers” and unfortunately Fr. Corapi – who did a great deal toward bringing Catholics back to the faith. Idolize our Lady and the Lord, not a person or place, for Sic transit gloria mundi!

    1. pilgrim

      TomB… I am always surprised how some observers of the Medjugorje phenomenon are prepared to deliver a judgment according to the perceived financial circumstances of the seers – not just on one Medjugorje seer, but all six. Perhaps generalising in this way is another of those easy traps we can all fall into at times. But I agree that there are dangers associated with the cult of celebrity. Another danger which confronts us is a ready acceptance of media reports to define the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

  8. Harry Flynn

    The devil can suggest people to enter the religious life. Therefore, to say that Medjugorje is inspiring people to enter the priesthood or religious life and therefore must be from God is theologically suspect.

    1. Nick

      “he uses devils to cast out devils” ….hmmm, were have I heard that before? I know it sounds familiar….

      The devil leading people to Jesus, clearly the most deceptive attack from Hell devised, lol..

  9. CatholicFirefighter

    Mr. Madrid,

    The Holy Catholic Church has yet to decide on Medjugorje, as such, I have also yet to decide on the matter and continue to keep my options open.

    Yet by your own confession, you seemed to have already called it a hoax and made your decision. That Mr. Madrid, is your error, and you should seek to rectify it as soon as possible.

    As for why I said “none of us are without error in discernment”, I did so because right now, no person can say for sure what’s going on regarding Medjugorje. Yet for some reason that eludes many of us, you seem to think you DO know. Again, please rectify this faulty position at the earliest possible convenience.

    Finally, if you would like to use the Bible verse on “testing all things”, fine. But at the same time, remember the verse where it says “to whom more is given, more is expected”. With you being a Catholic apologist, you must use more caution before attempting to refute something that the Holy Catholic Church has yet to even judge on.

    Some FYI for you Mr. Madrid:
    In my area, local Catholic parents are fighting to keep Planned Parenthood out of one of our local schools. They succeeded, but the lions of evil are fighting back and want to return and continue to preach moral evil. So the Faithful parents are in dire need of support/prayers. In light of examples like this, people need to stop wasting time discussing Medjugorje when there are matters of grave importance that need immediate attention.

    In other words, “stop playing the fiddle while Rome is burning.”

    I have said all I am going to say on the matter, and I respectfully request that you consider doing the same. Rome is burning …


    1. Patrick Madrid


      You are confusing being skeptical of the alleged apparitions with deciding they are spurious. I am skeptical, but I have not made up my mind. In that, you and I are alike. You say you’re “keeping your options open.” Fair enough. So why do you deny me the same option?

      Also, why do you give me advice that you yourself did not take? You felt free to continue talking about Medjugorje (i.e., your most recent post), and yet you requested that I stop? That’s called a double standard.

      I presume you have not visited any of the countless pro-Medjugorje blogs and websites and requested that all those who believe in and promote the alleged apparitions stop talking about it because the Church has not yet made a judgment on them. Of course you haven’t. Double standard.

      Are you also willing to say “stop playing the fiddle while Rome is burning” to those who favor Medjugorje, or do you reserve that exhortation solely for those who, like I, are skeptical or not favorably disposed to it?

      Those are sincere and respectful questions. I ask them because I detect in your comments and those of countless others who want to silence Medjugorje skeptics a double standard that says: “Those who believe the alleged apparitions are authentic are free to proclaim and promote their belief to the world. But those who are skeptical must be silent.”

      Double standard. Not acceptable.

  10. John Davis

    Reading through these posts reminds me of G K Chesterton’s comment that Catholics “agree about everything, its everything else we disagree about.” As a private revelation, this is part of the everything else.

    Medjugorje is not, and even if approved by the local ordinary, will never be, binding on Catholics. In fact, even though approved, we are not bound to believe Fatima, or Lourdes, or Guadalupe. All of the messages of these apparitions are totally optional.

    I just wish that many Catholics would defend our Public Revelation with the same vigor as they defend phenomena such as Medjugore.

    1. pilgrim

      John, your wish is happening… endless number of Catholics are being reconciled with the Church and returning to the Sacraments, bearing witness to God in their lives through conversion and ‘resurrection’ experiences at Medjugorje and the messages. It may be considered private revelation but the witness to God’s glory is certainly public and very visible – worldwide! And, thank God, it’s not exclusive to “Catholics”.

  11. Tom

    Thanks Patrick. Great article. I remember a time when it was not so easy to be critical of Medjugorje such as when Dr. Jones (with the encouragement of Fr. Robt.Fox) wrote his first book on the fraud. He lost half his subscribers, got threats and was physically removed from “mainstream” conferences.
    See below

    1. MC

      Yes, once Dr. Jones was finished “debunking” Medjugorje he moved on to other scandals such as how the Jews are running the world, the Church, the Liturgy, etc. The Catholic University of America too cancelled his lectures there; not because of Medjugorje but due to his anti-semitism. Rock on Medjugorje haters..

      1. Tom

        You should try defining anti-Semitism before you start hurling that epithet. Or does ambiguity suit you better.

      2. MC

        There is no ambiguity to the fact the Catholic University of America cancelled his lectures due to his offensive writings – what they termed “anti-semitism”. I see by your link that his grand conspiracies extend beyond the Jews, Medjugorje, and even to subjects like the University of Steubenville and Dr. Scott Hahn. Funny our self-appointed guardians of righteousness on the topic of the Bishop of Mostar don’t seem to raise any objections to this sort of acrimony.

        I will credit Dr. Jones with one of the most outrageous quotations I have ever encountered – what I would call “truth is stranger than fiction:

        “This reminds me of a discussion I had about another book I wrote. The title I chose was [redacted] . . .

  12. MC

    Calling the preeminent journalist of the Vatican, Andrea Tornielli, a “Medjugorje promoter” is laughable. Relying on pseudo-scholar Louis Belanger, whose expertise is – wait for it – parapsychology, to critique Tornielli is sad. Finally, elevating disputes over facts such as the number of trips Bishop Zanic took to Rome in 1986 – was it 7 or was it 14? – to the level of “untruths .. being peddled by some promoters of this phenomenon” is sheer farce.

    Honestly Patrick, do you actually read this stuff before you publish it? Have you considered Tornielli’s analysis – -? Would you even consider reading the investigation of Ivković et. al? Honestly, your lack of objectivity is glaring.

    1. Patrick Madrid

      Yes, as a matter of fact I did read that report when it first came out. But you see, your quibble is really with the Bishop of Mostar-Duvno and his dossier of facts and chronology. Do you have something substantive to add to this discussion, perhaps an actual rebuttal of specific information and argumentation made by the bishop? And how about Louis Bélanger’s critique? Do you have anything substantial to offer in response to what he has written? Apparently no, you don’t. You can bluster and lash out with insults, as you have here, but in the real world of grown-up discussion, that counts for nothing. Unless you have something to back up your bluster, then I invite you to go bluster somewhere else. It’s tiresome.

      1. MC

        The substantive conclusions of journalist Tornielli are not so easily dismissed:

        1) The secret police used Bishop Zanic as a “main tool” in compromising Franciscan priests associated with Medjugorje.
        2) Bishop Zanic’s hostility to Medjugorje was “fed by a series of documents put together ​​by the men of the secret police, which were circulated among Mostar, the Vatican and some European countries.”
        3) As “the second part” of the secret police plan, Tornielli cites “using the ancient conflict that exists in Herzegovina between the secular clergy and Franciscans, foreseen to create chaos in the local Church by turning everyone against everyone.”
        4) A secret police report of November 17th 1987 “shows how Bishop Zanic was willing to accept any document against the Franciscans and against the apparitions, even if of dubious origin.”

      2. Diane at Te Deum

        Oh for heaven’s sake, much of that spin originates in the UDBA documents. That’s like relying on Russian KGB documents to do serious research on Pope John Paul II as if they could be trusted for accuracy.

        You stick with the UDBA and pardon the rest of us for accepting the Bishop’s records and analysis.

      3. Davide

        Dear Patrick,
        If I may just clarify, according to the CDF, the local bishop no longer has the authority in making judgements on Medjugorje. Cardinal Bertone has said on two occasions, and in no uncertain terms, that the bishop Peric’s negative views are just “his personal opinion”, and not reflective of the Church’s position. Therefore, the articles on his diocese website criticizing Medjugorje should be seen in this light.

        Regarding the substance of the article itself, I would respond if I knew what the article was responding to. It seems I am ignorant on this matter. At least to me, none of these issues appear to be mainstream to what Medjugorje supporters “peddle”, and instead are rather peripheral and inconsequential.

        I also wonder at what is the intent in posting this communique. You frame it with the image of Pinocchio in your preliminary commentary, and use words such as “peddlers”, “Medjugorje boosters”, “relentless barrage”…. This does not seem like the position of an objective “skeptic”, as you claim to be. It seems, rather, an attempt to bait for an argument. You then criticize MC for his emotional response. And yet, are you not guilty of the same? How can you expect an honest “discussion”, as you call it, from the way you prefaced this article?

        There is evident emotion underlying your posts regarding Medjugorje, and it seems mostly directed to supporters themselves (or rather, the few over-zealous fanatics), rather than Medjugorje itself. This much is evident. Perhaps you have had some bad experiences with a few rotten apples, and are allowing them to spoil the entire barrel (not unlike what many anti-Catholics do with Catholicism). I do not know. But I can see when someone has become polarized, and is not really interested in an honest discussion. Please, please, please do not allow the failings of a minority to compromise your otherwise impeccable ability to remain objective, dispassionate, and scholarly.



      4. Diane at Te Deum

        If I may just clarify, according to the CDF, the local bishop no longer has the authority in making judgements on Medjugorje

        The bishop was not making a judgment on Medjugorje. he was responding to an insidious attack on a dead bishop in a new book by four Croatians. Andrea Tornielli did a positive review of the book without cross-checking his facts. After the diocese learned that untruths were being spread about Bishop Zanic, the current ordinary felt compelled for the sake of truth and justice to respond.

        Just to be clear Davide, the untruths we are speaking about, are from the documents of the Yugoslav Secret Service (the UDBA). To put this into context of you and other readers, this would be like using information from Russian KGB documents about something involving Pope John Paul II, as if they could be trusted for accuracy.

        To make matters worse, neither the authors of that book, nor Andrea Tornielli, the Vatican journalist who provided a favorable review, bothered to contact to diocese to see if the information in those UDBA documents could be corroborated with facts in the logs and records. They took that highly suspect information from an unreliable source – the UDBA – and used it to lead people to believe that Bishop Zanic was a communist collaborator.

        I really wonder if you read that document in full, or if you were just responding to Patrick’s post. You would have known that the untruths spoken of were untruths in UDBA documents. If you are going to bake a meatloaf, you cannot put flour, salt, yeast and water mixture into the pan and get anything but a loaf of bread.. Therefore, because the info they chose to use was untrue, their conclusions are way off base. Here is Bishop Peric responding to one possible conclusion they put before readers:

        Ad 3. The UDBA document doesn’t absolutely show that the conclusion of “collaboration” with UDBA was “possible”, as the reporter states, but precisely the opposite! This should have been evident to the author of this “conclusion”, from the “conclusion” just preceding: if Bishop Žanić was really a “collaborator”, why were there “moles” around him? And, in particular, so many “moles”? And it is equally clear that the Bishop had nothing to do with UDBA, since Ivković reports the document of July 14, 1981, which states at the end that Bishop Žanić was not willing to receive the president of the Commission for Religious Affairs and his co-workers, after they were at the [Franciscan] provincial administration in Mostar. Ivković: “At the bottom of the document, there is an interesting note regarding Medjugorje: ‘although they wanted to speak about the same thing with Bishop Žanić of Mostar also, a meeting with him never came about. One has the impression that Bishop Žanić did not want such a meeting and he wanted to avoid it at all costs at that time” (MM, p. 135). A “collaborator” does not avoid a meeting, but runs to it! We have already said that in August 1981 the Bishop was counted among the enemies of the State!

        Read the full document, slowly, then come back and comment.

        People may want to read up on CCC 2477-78, and pray on that before being taken in by this ruse.

  13. Paul Baylis

    Patrick, did you even read what the “untruths” consisted of? I’m actually sure you did, which makes it even more lousy than if you hadn’t.

    Do you know who Bélanger is? This is the work of spin doctors who went to work with great haste after the book’s release, thinking to themselves “quick, untruths, how many can we drag up?”. I don’t want to use the word naive with you, but man oh man!

    5 years of research swept under the carpet with a list of 5 “untruths” from a known Medjugorje antagonist? I must say I am very surprised and expected a little more from you.

    Let’s examine the five “untruths” (where did you get the sixth):

    1) “The day the seers met with the Gospa for the first time was the 25th June”.
    This is not false. Our Lady first appeared on the 24th, but the children were so frightened that they ran away and never approached her and so never “met with the Gospa”. The 25th was the second apparition when the children did not run away and plucked up the courage to approach her. The loaded word “UNTRUTH” was used for this, which isn’t even a little mistake. It’s absolute truth. This should tell you something about the writer of the rebuttal.

    2) “Žanić in the course of 1986 alone went to Rome 14 times”.
    Apparently, it was only 7. How do we validate this? Does it matter in the larger scheme of things how many times he went to Rome?? Again, the word “UNTRUTH” was used about this, at best, irrelevant “mistake”.

    3) “That Žanić had lost authority in the eyes of his diocesan priests can also be seen by the fact that in August of this year [1987] he decreed a change, a transfer for ten priests, and none of them obeyed this decree from Žanić.”
    This so-called “untruth” is merely a semantical issue over the word “decree”. Essentially, what Belanger is saying is “it wasn’t actually a “decree”, so there could be no “disobedience”, even though in one way or another no priest agreed to be transferred!!

    4) “Kuharić attacked Žanić in his presentation regarding his positions on the case of the “apparitions”, which offended Žanić, who left the meeting in protest.”
    Was Belanger present at the meeting? No, he relied on minutes and look at what he chose for his rebuttal! “The meeting PROCEEDED with a serene exposition on the part of the Cardinal and the Bishop; and of the 18 bishops present, 13, including Bishop Žanić, participated in the discussion. This is the truth.” I’m sure it is the truth, Mt Belanger that the meeting PROCEEDED serenely. Most meetings do. But, how did the meeting CONCLUDE?

    5) A letter supposedly sent to Kuharić, Franic and Peric by the Secret Police, designed to compromise Zanic in the eyes of the Vatican.
    According to Peric, he never received the letter. But Belanger does not confirm whether Kuharić or Franic received the letter. Interesting as they were both part of the Bishops’ Conference for the second investigation. And WHY does Belanger think Peric would have passed the letter onto the Vatican? Tornielli didn’t say that. He simply said that, as per the documented minutes of the meeting, there were plans to compromise Zanic’s standing in the eyes of the Vatican. To this end a letter drafted was sent to UDBA superiors for approval. That seems to be as far as Tornielli goes. Belanger uses the fact that there was no action against Zanic, and in fact, apparent promotion, as a “nya nya..see there wasn’t any such letter”. But, why would the Vatican remove Zanic anyway? For a bad call on Medjugorje? I hardly think so. And was Zanic promoted? No. Belanger tries to paint “filling in at Dubrovnik until a new bishop was appointed” as “promotion”. NO UNTRUTHS HERE!

    Come on Patrick.

    1. Louis Bélanger

      Mr. Baylis

      “While mostly a rational man of sound reason, reading Romances in excess, or books on Medjugorje, has had a profound effect on Don Baylis, leading to the distortion of his perception… In essence, the ingenious gentleman believes every word of these books on Medjugorje to be true, though for the most part, the content of these books is clearly false. Otherwise, his wits, in regards to everything other than Medjugorje, are intact. He decides to go out as a Web developer — — in search of adventure. He dons an old suit of armour, dating long before Benedict XIV (Prospero Lambertini — —, and renames himself ‘Catholic Church – Ecclesia Dei’ — —.” (Paraphrase of part of the Wikipedia article on Don Quixote — —)

      Paul Baylis alleges that what Mgr Peric has published on his diocesan website is from me.

      Mr. Baylis has probably (if not, what is his source?) taken his inspiration from Jakob Marschner — — a talented rédacteur writing for the Medjugorje Franciscans from his native Denmark, a few steps away from Santa Claus who in all likelihood delivered him the scoop during his last December business trip to the south.

      “What Belanger is saying”, — “Was Belanger present at the meeting? No, he relied on minutes and look at what he chose for his rebuttal! (Emphasis is mine)” — “But Belanger does not confirm whether Kuharic or Franic received the letter…”, etc. are all figments of Paul Baylis’ imagination. I have nothing whatsoever to do with that document, except its faithful quotations of excerpts from my blog which are exclusively mine and for which I take responsibility.

      Mgr Peric has published the said document three months after my exchange with the vaticanist Andrea Tornielli on my blog. The Ordinary of Mostar did not need my help. He is the competent authority of his diocese, and has all the necessary documentation to substantiate his assertions.

      I must say however that I rejoiced when I saw that he defended his predecessor, a man of great integrity whom I met, interviewed, and admired. In the next days, I will publish a detailed response to the treacherous accusations against Mgr Zanic.

      In the meantime, I will accept Mr. Baylis’ excuses, if he admits that he has been led astray…

      Have you said: “conspiracy theorist Louis Bélanger”, “spin doctor”?

      Come on Paul.

      1. Paul Baylis

        Mr Belanger,
        How about answering me on the specific points I raised? I did believe it was Mgr Peric who wrote this document, but for some reason began to believe they originate with you. At least, if you make it your goal to carefully spread a document, one can resonably assume that you endorse the document. Thus, as you appear to be a moutpiece fo Mgr Peric, is it yet within your capability to answer the specific points I raise? After all, these five points have been seized upon by you and others as an antidote and excuse to ignore the entire five years of research performed by the author.

        Thanks indeed. That would be a substantive contribution to this discussion.

        “While mostly a rational man of sound reason, reading Romances in excess…” doesn’t do much for me or this discussion.

      2. Jakob Marschner

        Belanger writes:
        “Mr. Baylis has probably (if not, what is his source?) taken his inspiration from Jakob Marschner — — a talented rédacteur writing for the Medjugorje Franciscans from his native Denmark (…)”

        – – –

        This I must clearly deny. I am not “writing for the Medjugorje Franciscans”. There are no financial or other ties between the Franciscans and I.

  14. Paul Baylis

    Here is a comment, which appeared on an anti-Medjugorje website, which pretty much sums up the whole problem that Medjugorje believers have with this type of agressive anti-Medjugorje campaigning.

    “Personally Diane, I sense that you are one who is promoting division. Thanks to Medjugorje, I and thousands of others are now devout Catholics who practice the sacraments and hold the Eucharist at the center of our devotion. Your blogs and aggressive journalism seek to destroy an effective avenue for many non-Catholics or non-practicing Catholics (unbelievers) to return to the Church. I feel so sorry for you and your continued cynicism that seeks to divide rather than unite. You and other Medjugorje cynics are the only ones speaking of division. Those who have come home to Catholicism through Medjugorje certainly aren’t speaking of division but rather of unity with Christ.”

    There is a harvest underway as the poster rightly points out. The actions of certain groups will only spoil it. This comment was attacked as a pack of wolves on a rabbit. The attack was done in a pack way yet with feigned outward cordiality.

    The aggression against Medjugorje is the first cause. It is the root of the division. It undeniably has its roots with the communist government and Bishop Zanic (whatever the machinations are there). It is not Medjugorje believers who started this whole thing. Diane K. posts elsewhere that she blogs about Medjugorje because of all the antagonism toward to local bishop because he didn’t approve the apparition. How convenient. Sorry, but how can anyone not notice what travails the Bishop has endured at the hands of practically everyone, and it’s almost as if he has brought it upon himself. Jozo stuck to his beliefs and went to jail for it. Simple. Zanic vacillated and opened himself up to rumour and the old adage that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. I feel pride was a factor (that Mary could never reprimand a bishop as if there are no clergy already in hell). If the Bishop has done wrong (and he has on several notable documented occasions already during and after the Herzegovinian affair) and this is pointed out by practically everyone in the Vatican, the Yugoslav Bishop’s Conference and Mary herself, what is to be done?

    Here’s what was tried by Medjugorje believers, in an effort to extract direction from the turmoil…

    They wrote to Rome. They got a reply. The reply from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was not favourable to the local Bishop stance on Medjugorje. Medjugorje believers had their answer. Since then, it has all been nothing but pre-emptive bluster and harvest-spoiling.

    Medjugorje has never been condemned by the Vatican after two investigations and now into a third. There is no decree about speaking against Medjugorje on blogs, but surely one can see that this is a type of disobedience towards the Vatican, who already ordered Bishop Zanic to desists spreading his ideas. We see also that Bishop Peric has undertaken self-imposed silence on the subject of Medjugorje. We see subtle Vatican moves to stop this hooplah affecting a sane approach to Medjugorje with plans to create a separate diocese of Medjugorje, separate and distinct from Mostar. I welcome this.

    I would like people us to please consider taking a leaf from Peric’s book, let it go, and let God’s harvest continue. This is essentially what the original poster was yearning for, as I am.

    Patrick is hosting a discussion on Catholic Answers about Mejjugorje in March. If this goes ahead, I hope he comes prepared. Because, I for one, am not going to stand by and watch even more of God’s harvest potentially being ripped from His hands.

    Aggression with a suit, tie and gentle demeanour is a particularly foul type of aggression in my book. This division has gone on long enough. Sometimes, we just have to let go and let God. Prayer is the answer! I, for one, have no issue letting go and letting God. I would love to get together with Patrick, Diane and anyone else and form a prayer group to PRAY for mutual guidance and wisdom and for God’s will to be done, but I feel that they need to be moderated, and that is the only reason I keep going. Do we believe in the power of prayer? Do we believe that we should “be still and know that He is God”? Do we trust God? Let’s put out beliefs to the test! Surely God knows better than we do. Let’s pray!

    1. Diane at Te Deum

      Dear Paul,

      You feel free to defend a phenomenon that has not been deemed worthy of belief, even at the cost of trashing the local bishop with inuendo, judgment from suspicion, and outright calumnies found on pro-Medjugorje sites; I’ll defend the Church which includes the apostolic successors of Mostar acting within their rights.

      As Patrick noted earlier – if people like yourself are going to promote an unapproved apparition as authentic ahead of the Church, it is a double standard to expect skeptics and critics to remain silent.

      No one should hope Medjugorje is approved or condemned. Rather, we should all desire very much that Vatican Commission arrives at the truth. Then, everyone wins regardless of what side of the fence they are on, provided the truth can be accepted.

      Bless you, my friend!

      1. Diane at Te Deum


        People may certainly hope for approval. That is perfectly fine. I myself don’t “hope” for condemnation, but I am deeply troubled by many things.

        When truth prevails, everyone wins no matter what side of the fence they are on.

        Hopefully, that clears it up.

      2. Paul Baylis

        Yes, thank you.

      3. Paul Baylis

        Dear Diane,

        What I am trying to say is really quite simple. Let it go! In fact, what you said in your last paragraph pretty much sums up what I have said, yet you use it as a kind of admonishment against me:-) If you really wanted the truth, why be so quick to quash anything which looks bad for the bishop and good for Medjugorje. I don’t want the Bishop to look bad, but if your whole stance is one of obedience to the bishop, even to the extent of not being converted and healed because such a bishop says you can’t, when the Vatican says you can, it’s a step too far and I will most certainly answer that for the sake of souls reading what you are writing.

        I mean, upon analysing what the five “untruths” are, how do you feel that you so quickly endorsed them and passed them around, rather than saying to yourself: These “untruths” should not prevent me from keeping an open mind about what these years of research reveal. Take the Vatican approach, which is to analyse and test everything possible, including all secret police documents. I’m pretty sure the Vatican would not concern itself with the exact date of the start of the apparitions or the number of times Zanic traveled to Rome in 1986.

        People are noticing that you are, in fact, creating division and almost lasso-ing people off the plane to Medjugorje, where they could be converted and healed. Please listen to them. You said it should be win-win for Catholics who believe in Medjugorje and those who do not. I agree, but I also say this: Let it be win-win-win for believers, unbelievers and those who need conversion and healing – those regular Joe’s, perhaps agnostic, perhaps atheist, reading about the apparition and getting on the plane for conversion and healing. We are forgetting this last category, which is the actually the key to why God would send Mary as it was the key to why He sent his Son.

        You mentioned Patrick’s comment: “if people like yourself are going to promote an unapproved apparition as authentic ahead of the Church, it is a double standard to expect skeptics and critics to remain silent.”
        It is not promotion that I’m interested in. This all began for me when I was reading joyful comments on blogs and forums about people who had been to Medjugorje or planning to go there and then someone responds that Medjugorje has been condemned and they shouldn’t go there and to read Donal Foley and whoever else. I am a regular on the atheist forum where I talk about miracles as evidence for the existence of God, etc, etc. And if I bring up a particular apparition, particularly one where extensive scientific studies have been done, such as Medjugorje, the first thing atheists do is google up anything against this miracle as a kind of excuse for not having to believe it and to continue in sin. Needless to say, the proliferation of blogs at the time made this an easy task. Souls snatched by lies, innuendo and half-truths. It was awful to watch. I fear for souls who are ripe for harvest, but someone jams a rock in front of the harvest blade. I think this is something the Vatican fears too, so they are pleading for sanity and peace and patience.

        I yearn for the conclusion of this investigation. I really do. Impatience and paucity of reliable information makes us do silly things.

        God bless you.

      4. Eimeara

        This gets sillier all the time. People don’t need to be converted and healed in Medjugorje. If God wants to cure or heal me or anyone else he will and can do it in our local church if its his will.
        And now Diane is ‘lassoing people off planes’ as if she has a stick in hand.
        Don’t waste your time going there folks. Attention seekers, summoning Our Lady on demand and taking Her everywhere they go. Not to mention a travel agent saying we haven’t decided where the apparition will take place in Bethlehem yet. Excuse me? We? This is the Mother of God, not some stockbroker meeting and sorry, but She decides when and where She appears, not any of us.
        How so many can fall for this crap is beyond me.

    2. Louis Bélanger

      @Mr. Baylis

      You have published yesterday a post on your own website where you expressed false allegations about Patrick Madrid, Diane Korzeniewsky and myself, specifying that you would send your post/comment to Patrick’s present combox.

      You wrote to your readers: “Here’s what I responded on his blog (which probably won’t make it through moderation). Patrick, did you even read what the “untruths” consisted of? I’m actually sure you did, which makes it even more lousy than if you hadn’t. Do you know who Bélanger is? This is the work of spin doctors who went to work with great haste after the book’s release, thinking to themselves “quick, untruths, how many can we drag up?” I don’t want to use the word naive with you, but man oh man!”

      I have tried in vain to send a response to your numerous allegations. My comment disappeared, like the Cross on the Krizevac in misty weather. Your blogger profile doesn’t contain your email coordinates. Hence your presentation of myself as the Ordinary of Mostar’s éminence grise becomes unanswerable.

      Please, Mr. Baylis, send your said comment to Patrick who confirmed me that he did not receive it. It will give the opportunity to Patrick’s readers to see how well your research is documented and to me the right to a response.

      Thanks for your collaboration,

      Louis Bélanger

      1. Patrick Madrid

        Thank you, Louis. When I saw your post and approved it, it prompted me to think that perhaps Paul Bayliss’s missing comment may have been intercepted by the spam filter. I checked and found that, indeed, that’s exactly where it was. This has happened before. Usually, when someone posts a comment too quickly after an earlier one or if they press “post” more than once in rapid succession, the system will send it straight to spam and I don’t see it. Anyway, mystery solved. Thanks again.

      2. Louis Bélanger

        Thank you, Patrick, for your meticulous verification.

  15. Davide

    “I really wonder if you read that document in full, or if you were just responding to Patrick’s post.”

    Dear Dianne,
    May the peace of Christ be with you.

    In regards to your comment, I was mostly responding to Patrick’s post. To be honest (and forgive me for my candor), I have do not have much interest in reading the document again. It concerns me little, and is inconsequential in the mainstream Medjugorje debate.

    Perhaps I would have given it more of my time, if it were not for how Patrick prefaced the post, with the image of Pinocchio, and the use of words such as “Medjugorje boosters”, “peddlers”, “relentless barrage”, etc… If that is how he views the Medjugorje supporters, then nothing I say will avail much.

    Patrick is keen at pointing out double standards of other people’s arguments. But it is unfortunate that he cannot see within himself the same prejudices he faults in others. “Honest discussion”? Would that it be so. Honest discussion can only happen between people who respect each other, and their viewpoints.


  16. Paul Baylis

    The wisdom of Gamaliel…

    If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God. (Acts 5 : 38-39)

    1. Tom B

      Paul, you speak of those who hold true to the position of the Church, i.e. that Medjugorge is unauthenticated as yet and should not be held out publicly as anything different, as being divisive. I would suggest respectfully that it is just the opposite. Those who promote Medjugorge as anything different are the ones who are divisive.

      Here is the problem with such public proclamation that Medjugorge is authentic. Many people are led to spend thousands of dollars to make pilgrimages to this place in such a belief. None of the individuals and companies (including the seers) that are promoting these pilgrimages, that I can find, make any disclaimer that the apparitions have not been authenticated by the Church or even couch the apparitions as “reported apparitions” or “alleged apparitions”. Rather they tout them as real and true. Many people relate that they have had profound conversions upon travelling to Medjugorge and point to something about this place as the cause for conversion. How will these people feel if the Church after winding up its investigation comes to the conclusion that the “apparitions” can not be authenticated? Duped.. betrayed.. wonder whether their conversion was real, etc etc?

      It seems to me your position that just sit back and let this go on without speaking out is first of all, as pointed out by Diane and Patrick, a double standard, but also is fraught with the possibility of doing great harm to some – financially and spiritually. Wouldn’t it be better to channel that passion and spiritual direction toward authenticated apparitions – Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe? How many approved miracles have resulted from these authenticated apparitions, many, – and how many from Medjugorge – 0.

      Paul, I think you and others who want to believe in Medjugorge would agree with me that the practice of standing up at funerals and delivering eulogies which proclaim the sainthood of the deceased, presuming that he or she is certainly with God this day are an abuse. Are such eulogies innacurate? Hopefully not! But only the Vatican has the authority to proclaim that any mortal other than Our Lord and Lady are in heaven. The same with apparitions. To presume otherwise and proclaim the deceased as saints is harmful – to the ears of those listening and to the souls of the deceased for whom one need not pray if one believes they are already in paradise. The same is true for this type of public approval of any unauthenticated vision. There is the potential for great harm.

      Today’s reading sums up well this type of attitude:

      “Does the LORD so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
      as in obedience to the command of the LORD?
      Obedience is better than sacrifice,
      and submission than the fat of rams.
      For a sin like divination is rebellion,
      and presumption is the crime of idolatry.” 1 Sm 15:16-23

      I will keep you in prayer. Please do the same for me.

      1. QuoTSCumquae

        Dear Tom B,
        Your question is legitimate: “How will these people feel if the Church after winding up its investigation comes to the conclusion that the “apparitions” can not be authenticated? Duped.. betrayed.. wonder whether their conversion was real, etc etc?”

        My question is, why would the Church have to be concerned with how those people would feel? That is actually not supposed to be a factor in determination of authenticity. Proper judgment relies on much higher criteria. The principle question: “Is there, or has there been anything supernatural taking place here?” One of the most important rules of discernment is absolute purity. To make it easy to grasp, answer the question, “How many drops of strychnine would you like in your soup: one, two or three?” If an alleged apparition were authentic, how could it be from God if it contains even one drop of poison?

        The problem is, today too many, even those in Church authority, are too concerned with how someone or other will “feel” about some point of doctrine. How much of this can go on before we have entirely lost the Faith? Don’t we think God has the power to sort out the “offended feelings” of those who are corrected when a teaching of His is made clear? If we had always been overly concerned about that, there would never have been any dogmatic definitions. How many were offended when Blessed Pius IX defined the Immaculate Conception? Was that a concern for not proclaiming it?

        So the Communists would suffer a loss of tourism: is that a good reason for not setting the record straight on Medjugorje? (Oh, wait, I forgot: we are not supposed to talk about communism, right? Isn’t that one of the teachings of the Council?)

        {Once upon a time,} there was a Pope who sent a young man who would be his successor one day to witness a magician who had announced that he was going to “raise himself to heaven” at a certain place, at a certain time. The witness arrived to see a large crowd assembled to see the magician levitate, 1000 feet into the sky. And then God withdrew His permission for the devils to hold up the magician, when he suddenly fell to the ground, shattered and dead for all to see. The crowd had been surprised to see the man levitate, but then was even more surprised to see the man fall. So the witness, the future Pope, returned to tell his true story. Can anyone say who the two Popes were, or the name of the magician?

      2. Tom B

        Dear QuoTSCumquae, You and I are in agreement. The Church authority does not concern itself with how people will feel when determining objective truths. In this case there either is or is not sufficient credible evidence of apparitions at Medjugorge. My point was that it is legitimate and prudent for the rest of us to wait until the Church proclaims one way or another on Medjugorge and not presume anything until then. Those who presume and declare publicly that Medjugorge is real and to be believed in risk harming others who act on such pronouncements before the Church has finished its investigation and rendered its conclusion. Such failure to take into account those who would be harmed in the event the Church does not authenticate Medjugorge lies not with the Magisterium but with those who declared publicly that it was worthy of belief, substituting themselves for the authority of the Church.


      3. QuoTSCumquae

        That’s great.
        Darn… Can’t we find something to argue about?
        Just kidding!

        This reminds me of Padre Pio. The difference is, he was suppressed during two different periods for over a year each time, because some liberal-minded clerics filed complaints in Rome. It makes me wonder how Rome could be so attentive to such reports, but seems to be deaf to the complaints about Medge? Maybe Padre Pio reminded them too much of what the Apostles were like?

        I tried to tell a group of men from a local Coptic Orthodox (Egypt) church about Padre Pio, and they couldn’t believe me. They said that nobody since Christ Himself has had the stigmata. They had never heard of St. Francis of Assisi or St. Catherine of Siena. Then they described a miracle that took place in Egypt many centuries ago, when a mountain was raised up off the ground and the sunshine was seen underneath it, all to show a Muslim prince that their religion was true. I thought that if I offered them no incredulity regarding their story, then perhaps they would be willing to listen to mine about Padre Pio. But no dice. They were quite happy to describe how this saint in Egypt hundreds of years ago saved thousands of Christians from being slaughtered by Muslims, but they wouldn’t hear a word about a saint from our own times. Later, I discovered that the miracle they were so happy about saved the lives of those Christians for a few years, but then they were summarily killed in the end, anyway. I suppose it gave some of the prudent ones time to move out!

  17. Steve D

    Father Jozo has stated that the support of the Bishop of Mostar ceased only when he was threatened by the Communist secret police. He has stated that the Bishop informed him privately in an interview, before Father Jozo himself was imprisoned, that he, Bishop Zanic, was about to deny the authenticity of the apparitions only to ensure that he was not imprisoned. IF he did so for such a reason, he was in no position to reverse his position again once the danger subsided. As I understand it, the current bishop of Mostar denies the authenticity of ALL Marian apparitions even including Fatima and Lourdes and, if this is so, his attitude is entirely consistent and predictable. All I can say is that I went there in the early 90’s and experienced phenomena so powerful and relevant to my then spiritual state that I still think about them almost every day and they have affected me in long term and, I believe, highly positive ways.

  18. Astrid

    where is the great poem mr. madrid referred to in his talk titled “why i am a Catholic”. it’s a long poem about not being ashamed about being a Catholic.
    thank you!!!

  19. Joanne

    The real issue about the apparitions being authentic or not really lies within the Church.

    Over the years I’ve followed it then dropped away after finding well hidden info about the Bishop’s concerns. It’s as if the people are swayed by the very powerful “feelings” associated with journeying to the alleged apparition site.

    I’ve met sisters and priests who have thanked their trip to Medugorje for their vocation. I’ve met countless people who journey there who keep going back because of the incredible “feeling.”

    It seems that we are all looking to get closer to God, but the folks who go to Bosnia/Herzogovina will not even consider that the Church will find anything but to agree with them.

    We can’t command that the Church sees it our way. We have to yield to what the Church determines. If Medugorje turns out to be a maniacal trick of the old liar, it won’t mean the invalidation of all the good that has come out of it. One has to wonder, though, if the faithful will rebel with a “no go” decision. Will they continue to tell the Church that the apparitions are authentic and challenge Christ’s Bride?

    Look at Bayside – that has been denied as authentic. People continue to go and spurn the wisdom of the Church.

    In the end, who will the followers of Medugorje yield to: the Church or six children who are adults now?

  20. John G

    I have been twice and I truly regret it. I am convinced it is a diabolical hoax and feel it unlikely that they will condone it

  21. Great Sinner

    Someone who feels lost – someone mired in sin for years and feeling hopeless, an unbeliever, living in sin but hainvg pangs of conscience, hears through blogs and folks about this wonderful place that brought other lost people an inner peace and a happy return to God, so the person begins to make plans to go there, as a last, desperate hope.

    But then stumbling on your blog, they cancel their plans and dont go, and remain lost and mired in hopelessness.

    Yours, and other very PUBLIC blogs against Medjugorje, are keeping that one lost sheep from being found, while positive blogs are bringing home some lost sheep.

    The voice coming from Medjugorje that has already saved many lost sheep – you are drowning out that voice.

    There is more joy and rejoicing in heaven over one lost sheep who is found, then in 99 who are not lost, says Jesus Himself.

    So yes, there is a double standard, because Jesus said there is – He is the one Who said there is MORE rejoicing in Heaven over one lost sheep who is found than….

    So please!!!!! Be QUIET so the lost might be found!!!!!!!!!! That is why you should really stop speaking so publicly against Medjugorje – you are helping lost sheep to remain lost. Don Bosco was shown by the angel two groups, one much larger than the other. He asked the angel, ‘who is this (smaller) group here?” The angel said they are the ones who by your actions, you saved from hell. ‘And who are these (the larger group)?’ These are those you could have saved.

    Patrick, you are making that group you could have saved even larger, so again, please be QUIET about Medjugorje and let the voice be heard by the lost!!!!!!!!!!! (Especially since you admit you really don’t know if it is real and are waiting on the Church for that. If it is real, you are compounding the regret you will feel over the sheep you lost for Jesus through your very public position. You do have influence over others.)

    Yours truly,
    A Sinner

    1. Eimeara

      Sorry but you have no right to tell Patrick to be quiet – Medjugorje is not vital for our salvation.
      The ‘lost’ do not need Medjugorje to find their way or to be saved.
      I can never understand why you Medjugorje Supporters get upset when someone questions the apparitions. I find this all the time.
      As if he is to blame for someone cancelling their trip. If it’s meant to be , one will go there.
      Have you not heard the word democracy? When I called Vicka a show off on Facebook I was told educate myself and that I was being prayed for and to keep my opinions to myself
      We have the right to speak up when there is fraud which is very evident here.

  22. Joanne

    These so called visionaries are making a lot of money on these so called apparitions. They have expensive cars and homes in more than i country. Mansions. All the holy people that I have heard of live a life like Padre Pio, Sister Lucia live quiet, holy lives. They lived poorly, like Jesus & Mary did. I do not believe in these so called visions. I see them coming from the devil. Its all about money. I feel sorry for them because eternity lasts a long long time.

  23. John

    For the life of me I don’t understand why people feel the need to debunk Medjugorje. What is the purpose? The Church hasn’t condemned it so why have you? You say you are open to the possibility of it being authentic, but all of this flyspecking every detail is de facto condemnation. All Marian apparitions, including those deemed worthy of belief, have oddities associated with them that when placed under a microscope could lead one to conclude that they are either hoaxes or demonic. After all, we’re dealing with the mystical, which, on top of that, is filtered through the subjective lens of human experience. Do you have the right to voice opposition? Absolutely. I just don’t understand the end game here. It seems as if debate has become the idol of Catholic apologetics. The issue is in the good hands of the Church. I recommend letting them analyze the pros and cons. After all, you have said you will obey the decision however it comes out. In the meantime, I would highly recommend going there. See for yourself the lines to the Confessionals, the thousands of people adoring long the Blessed Sacrament, venerating the Cross, attending daily Mass, praying the Rosary, walking the Stations of the Cross. It is a wonderful place to be Catholic.

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