January 18, 2010

Medjugorje: Dialog? We Don't Need No Stinking Dialog!

I usually leave all things Medjugorje to my buddy, Vincenzo who, in my humble opinion, is the foremost Catholic blog tracker of all things Medjugorge.

And, he gets heat for it! He usually ends up turning comments off on Medjugorje posts or moderating comments, because he gets a lot of angry attention from folks who are upset that Vincenzo may be making judgements about the seers that they may not agree with.

Whatever, Vin may say about Medjugorje, the unmistable fact remains that the apparitions and visions of Medjugorje are NOT approved by the Vatican. They are not, that I'm aware of, formally disapproved either. However, in any instance involving faith or morals, if you are believing or hearing something stated that is not formally approved by the Magisterium, this is where your "well-formed conscience" comes into play. I would, if I were you, use caution and a great deal of scepticism toward anything that has not received an official stamp of approval.

I can not, however, help but be really suspicious of the Medjugorje stuff. I hear what the seers and their priests have to say and I think: In what universe would Our Lady advocate something contrary to what the Bishop said? Or, in essence encourage the Faithful to disregard obedience to their Ordinary?

I think the seers are attention seekers right up there with the gals in the Salem Witch Trials in the colonies. There, wait and see what kind of hate mail I get for that comment! The young girls in the Witch Trials were later exposed, and admitted, to lying. They sent a lot of innocent people to their deaths by their deceit. We may not be talking about physical death at Medjugorge but isn't spritual death, still, death? Spiritual death is worse than physical death to someone of faith.

I regard with suspician, due to experience, anyone who fears discussion or dialog about what their truth is. I say this about any church or faith. When you see open dialog discouraged, banned or shut down, be very cautious. Ask yourself: why?

There are forums about Medjugorje that open dialog is discouraged and people are banned from those forums. I have no problem with people banned from forums because they can't agree to be mannered and polite. However, people are being shut-out who dare to ask questions or remind people that the apparitions at Medjugorje are not approved.

Back when I was a dissenting Catholic and a member of a well-known "out there" parish in town, that parish started a web forum. They got a lot of "heat" on this forum. They did not expect it and they were not ready for it. Catholics from all over the globe questioned the parish's practices and what the parish was encouraging as Catholicism. Some of these guests were ill-mannered and were banned. However, many were not. The parish took the unprecendented step of encouraging its members to combat the "attackers". Ok, so I tried, but it's hard to fight without ammunition. I had no reference point for what these Catholics were saying (turns out they were right and I was wrong). The entire forum was a disaster, in the eyes of the parish. They shut it down-closed it altogether.

The forum may have been a "disaster" for the parish but it wasn't for me. That forum was a real turning point for me because I had to look up, in order to supposedly combat, what people were accusing us of and realized we didn't have a leg to stand on. It was at the moment they shut it down that they were exposed to me as the hypocrites they really are. They pay lip service to open dialog and welcoming everyone no matter what their beliefs and here they were proving that they only encouraged open dialog when it fit their purposes and beliefs. Otherwise, they shut it down.

I should thank them. Thank you.

Anyway, I've found that when people don't want you to hear truth they shut you down. They don't want you to learn either so they discourage alternate voices because, God forbid, you are converted to the other side.

Now, I know there are folks out there who think the Catholic Church shuts down alternate voices. Do they, really? If that was so, why, then are dissenting orders and parishes still open? If the Church did not want you to realize, thru your own free will, that they are leading you astray they'd close them today. Faith is a free will choice and the Catechism tells us that. No one is forcing you to believe.

But, there comes a time to pick your side. For some of us it will be too late. The rest of us, still here, have a chance and a choice.

The bad thing about Medjugorje and dissent is the leaders often deny you and discourage you from reading the truth. They take it upon themselves to tell you what it says, based upon their distortions. Don't be a rube.

The only official interpreter of Catholic doctrine is the Magisterium. Period. Anything I say should be viewed with suspicion. I'm no authority. I know there are Catholics reading this who will say the Magisterium is not to be trusted. If that's your viewpoint and without that lack of basic trust, why are you calling yourself a Catholic? If we are all our own Magisteriums, well, then there goes cohesion as a family of faith. It's no accident that Archbishop Nienstedt's, my Ordinary's, motto is "That all may be one" I don't think he's just talking about ecumenism with that motto.

I struggle with trust. I prove this daily. Charity is also something that is, often, unfamiliar to me.

Thanks Be to God, I'm trying. I'm trying to educate myself. But, not alone, I'm using the tools God's Son gave us thru His Holy Church.


Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I have a false until proven authentic approach to apparitions :)

Of course everything we need is contained within the Magisterim, Scripture and the Church :)

Disobedience, not something I'm a fan of :)

Back to your regularly scheduled comments

January 18, 2010 1:27 PM  
Blogger Jeff Miller said...

I don't now why people make this so complicated. For me this is rather simple.

The "seers" are not obedient to their bishop. He told them a couple of years ago to not release any messages publicly. They ignored him. This is pretty cut and dry to me that authentic seers would always be obedient to their bishop even if they think the bishop is wrong. People often talk about the conversions resulting from there, but conversions also resulted from apparitions that were condemned later.

I have plenty of other reasons to be skeptical about this, but don't really need to go past the disobedience. Thought one of the facts is that one of the seers said that Mary approved of the Poem of the Man-God - a not very orthodox work once placed on the index forbidden to be read.

January 18, 2010 2:23 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Cathy - what are you doing, begging for more hits at your blog? LOL!

Medj. is purposely off my radar, too (though I ought to blog about it to increase traffic at my site! j/k)

And your comments on authority and the Magisterium are spot on!

January 18, 2010 3:34 PM  
Blogger Angela M. said...

As always I have a one word comment regarding the seers. That word is: mega-forgery.

PS - I never thought I would be grateful to your old parish for anything but since the ill-fated forum brought us together I also say 'thank you'!!!

January 18, 2010 3:40 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Angela: I agree with you there, my friend!

Larry: You know me, shamelessly angling for 200,000 hits by 2020!!!!

January 18, 2010 4:52 PM  
Blogger Vincenzo said...

Just saw this interesting post by Mark Shea:

"However, what is most disturbing about the events at Medjugorje, is the plainly stated fact - by the visionaries and their priests/advocates - that "they've got a secret". And not just one secret, but ten secrets. And not only are scant few privy to these "secrets", but there is absolutely no method to test their authenticity. Our Lady of Fatima also had a great sign, but the difference between Fatima and Medj. can't be more obvious - at Fatima, the seers were given a specific date and time for the miracle - within a week, if I'm not mistaken - and the miracle came to pass as a sign that these were authentic visitations. Here we are - how many years later? - and the Great Sign has become tantamount to the Great Pumpkin that never arrives to Linus' pumpkin patch. Seriously think about that. Ten secrets that are under complete control of the visionaries. There is no way to test for authenticity. There is no miraculous sign to assure the faithful (and the world). This isn't Catholicism - it's Gnosticism - hidden knowledge that is a source of uncheckable power over those who "don't know".

Are their personal miracles taking place at Medj? Absolutely. If thousands of people came to my backyard everyday to say the rosary, the conversions would be equally rampant. But a personal conversion at Medjugorje is not proof of anything except that God (and his grace) are everywhere at our disposal.

If you want to really look at the fruits of Medjugorje - look at the division on display on this blog. Meanwhile the "gospa" keeps issuing the same un-verifiable messages without delivering the Fatima-like sign that would put an end to this bickering.

But, in the end, I have news for all of you - the Vatican will not reverse the decision of the local bishop. It's not possible. They will only ratify it, strengthen it, or remain silent. The office of the Bishop of Mostar has all the authority of the office of the Bishop of Rome. To deny this is to deny the efficacy of the Holy Spirit, and in turn, throws the concept of heirarchy into irrelevancy."

January 18, 2010 5:14 PM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...








January 18, 2010 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Austringer said...

I just have never been able to understand why, with the richness and profundity of the public revelation we have, anyone would want to go off seeking something -- what, exactly? -- from an alleged private revelation that hasn't been approved. I just don't get it. I was at a Marian conference some years ago (my first) and was rather disturbed to find this "apparition hunting" quite prevalent. Well, maybe it just seemed prevalent, but certainly I had never been exposed before to so many people who were so a-gaga over this and other unapproved revelations. It was so very depressing...they came across as so many lost sheep. Unfortunately, I know a number of parishioners in our parish, of whom I am very fond, who are believers in Medjugorje, and who just see me as pig-headed and doctrinaire on the subject. Now, I am pig-headed and doctrinaire, but that doesn't make my objections and cautions false. Of course, I haven't been there, so I can be forgiven my error because I have not been enlightened by the experience -- of course, if I were to make a pilgrimage, I would see the matter differently. How does one argue against non-arguments? I'm left with prayer....and no, I won't be buying any of those terribly ugly rosaries made out of stones from Medjugorje.

January 18, 2010 5:56 PM  
Blogger Angela M. said...

There are some women in my parish who believe wholeheartedly in Medj. They are also extremely emotional, dramatic people. I'm not buying it. Give me cold hard facts - not ooey-gooey feelings.

January 18, 2010 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Owen said...

OK, confession time - I skimmed (big time) but I caught the drift. Here's my less than popular (convert to Catholicism from fundagelicalism) P.O.V.:

I have enough to focus on, to learn, to embrace, to conform to, to love in the dogma, doctrine, history, liturgy and parish life of the Church to follow that I am not the tiniest interested in the bigM one way or the other. Beyond that I can only say that I have beentheredonethatandgottheTshirt on personal revelations from my protestants days, enough to last a life time. Beyond THAT I can only say that healings, vocational calls, and conversions "resulting" from the bigM show one thing if anything, the ultimate mercy and grace of God. After all, He once used a prophets um, donkey, to get the word out.

January 18, 2010 9:03 PM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

The whole disobedience thing is a huge problem. The humility and obedience of the Blessed Mother totally conflicts with what these folks are doing by going against one of Her beloved priests/bishops.

January 18, 2010 9:55 PM  
Blogger Laura The Crazy Mama said...

MY one word (about the seers)is "BULL****".
I DID shut down any comments, on my post about my "disbeliefs" but that was so I wouldn't offend my friends (who are really the only ones who even read my blog). I just had to get it off my chest that day, and some people took it so PERSONALLY. I love this post. You're the best!

January 18, 2010 11:41 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Vin: The comment by Mark Shea about The Great Pumpkin made me spew coffee all over my monitor. Thanks. You know how much I love wasting coffee! :-)

Tom: Nice succint comment. Were you going for a poetic look?

Owen: They'll be a test later.

Angela: I'm not sure you are in touch with your feelings. LOL

Great comments!

January 19, 2010 10:20 AM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Where do we send the donations?

January 19, 2010 12:11 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

donations? for what? the brunch? That I see you bailed one-shocking! If that's what you mean, you know the number!? call me or email me.

January 19, 2010 4:08 PM  
Blogger nazareth priest said...

Cathy of Alex: "I'm using the tools God's Son gave us thru His Holy Church." Ditto for me and rest of us mongrels here:<)!!

January 19, 2010 5:53 PM  
Blogger Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Don't fear leaving the combox open; get kevlar.

January 19, 2010 9:01 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I'm against it. Donations I mean.

January 19, 2010 10:12 PM  
Blogger Tancred said...

A lot of people who are Med supporters feel they have experienced something at the site that's extraordinary, so their unwillingness to leave this phenomenon aside is understandable.

January 22, 2010 1:34 AM  

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