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.