Friday, September 25, 2009

Holy See: Nothing Supernatural at Medjugorje

The Holy See has backed the Bishop of Mostar over the "so called seers" of Medjugore. This homily was sent me by Simon Caldwell who said:
"It shoots to pieces the repeated claim by Medjugorje advocates that the Vatican still has an open mind. Clearly, the Vatican supports the Zadar declaration of 1991 that said there was no supernatural activity at Medjugorje and takes the view that nothing has changed."

Homily given during the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the parish of Medjugorje
The Bishop, 2009-06-06
Finally, a word or two on our local situation. From the 17th to the 24th of January this year I was in Rome and had the opportunity to first of all greet the Holy Father during his General Audience and ask for his blessing for our entire Church in Herzegovina. I also visited the superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and thanked them in particular for informing the bishops of the region of Toscana, in Italy, who had asked the Congregation during their “ad limina” visit what position to take regarding the phenomenon of Medjugorje. The then Secretary of the Congregation, Archbishop Angelo Amato recommended that the bishops convey to the priests and faithful of their dioceses the homily that was given here in Medjugorje during the rite of Confirmation, on the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ in the year 2006, which they then did. Cardinal William Levada, the current Prefect of the Congregation then told me: “We advise this to everyone who asks us about Medjugorje”. During my visit I could see that the competent Congregation as well as the Secretariat of State are closely following our local events in Herzegovina and we are most grateful to Pope Benedict XVI and the Apostolic See for their charity and concern.

I therefore stand by everything I said and dutifully demanded from this very place three years ago: from the Franciscan fathers who are the pastoral ministers of this parish, from the parishioners and other faithful, as well as from the so-called seers; that the presumed daily apparitions, known as the “phenomenon of Medjugorje”, have not been declared as authentic by the Church. Not even after the investigations of various commissions nor after 28 years of media hype. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we cannot behave as if these “apparitions” are authentic and approved. If as Catholics, loyal sons and daughters of the Church, we wish to live according to Church norms and teachings, glorifying the Holy Trinity, venerating the B. V. Mary ever Virgin, the Immaculate Conception, the Mother of God who was Assumed in heaven and wish to confess all that the Church teaches us in the Creed, then we need not search for alternative “apparitions” and “messages” whose character the Church has not acknowledged as supernatural!

See also:
15 June 2006: Bishop's homily in Medjugorje [Hrvatski, Italiano]
24 April 2005: Bishop's homily in Medjugorje [Hrvatski, Italiano]
14 June 2001: Bishop's homily in Medjugorje [Hrvatski, Italiano]
1 July 2000: Bishop's homily in Medjugorje [Hrvatski, Italiano]


Adulio said...

It is such a pity that so many people have based their faith in something like this, rather than the timeless teachings of the church and all the proof that goes to show it. Even seemingly orthodox groups like Youth 2000 promote this rubbish all the time and it is perhaps no surprise that sensationalist Catholic charismatic groups are hook, line ans sinker with Medjugorje.

me said...

God help them,the people who are claiming to see Mary,I wonder who or what is appearing to them. I hope they acknowledge the Church's decision on this. Our Lady would expect them to,regardless.Obedience to the Church is very important to her.That makes knowing what to do simple for Catholics.We always do the next right thing.Of course knowing this truth doesn't always activate the action,at least I have had struggles in that area,surrendering self will as it runs riot!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Finally :)

mark waterinckx said...

The 'succes' of Medjugorje is due not to the 'seers', but to the franciscans, who did exploit this 'goldmine'. But what happened to the 3 big names who did run this hoax? They all 3 played the role of 'spiritual leaders' of the 'seers'!...
1° Fr. Slavko Barbaric ofm :It was forbidden to him by the bishop of Mostar to stay in Medjugorje, where he died in disobedience...
2° Fr. Jozo Zovko ofm : He has been suspended in 1989, in 1994 and in 2004. Now he has been exiled by Rome to the island Badija
3° ex-Fr. Tomislav Vlasic ex-ofm :
He has been suspended last year and is now reduced to the lay-status by Rome. So he is even no more priest
And all the 'seers' lost their 'vocation'. They are all married and live in beautiful houses, without working...

Physiocrat said...

This illustrates precisely why we need a church with authority to discern what is genuine.

It also means that it has and can take responsibility for its decisions.

There is no shortage of shrines for Marian devotions. If in the future there was a change in mind regarding this one, no harm will have been done. This is known as the Precautionary Principle.

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Have been 5 times...a long story..but not really bad!

Michael Petek said...

". . . . have not been declared as authentic by the Church."

That means the jury is still out.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has not (yet) delivered its judgement in the case of The Office of Fair Trading and Abbey National PLC and others [2008] EWHC 2325 (Comm).

Same sense.

Adoro said...

I know many who have gone there and have told me to do so as well, but I have no plans...have no interest in it whatsoever.

BUT! To be fair to the situation, and the homily given, as far as I know there is not a single apparition in the history of the Church that has been authenticated while the visionary was still alive.

All the Bishop is saying is that no one can go about pretending it HAS been approved because it has NOT (and of course that means, it may NEVER be approved!) Nowhere in there did the Bishop say the site has been condemned. He's calling for obedience, and I truly truly hope people listen!

Myself, I'm keeping the entire thing at arm's length, I don't want to go there and if I ever HAD the kind of money it would take to get there, I'd rather spend it on the following options:

1. The Holy Land
2. Rome
3. Lourdes
4. Fatima

Norah said...

Cardinal William Levada, the current Prefect of the Congregation then told me: “We advise this to everyone who asks us about Medjugorje”.

Has Cardinal Levada put anything in writing to this effect? If so, could someone provide the link.

Fr Ray Blake said...

When questioned about this matter in writing the Holy See does precisely what the Bishop says and refers people to the texts her refers to.

No the jury is not, "still out", the presumption is always God, Our Lady, is innocent of direct involvement, until proved otherwise.

George said...

It has been suspect almost from the start.

My only experience of the 'fruits' of Medjugorje is that my cousin visited there in the 80's. She was full of expectations, but has since lost her faith completely.

pelerin said...

re Adoro's comment in his/her second paragraph. Surely Fatima is an exception as Sister Lucy/Lucia? lived for many years after and I presume that Fatima was authenticated some time ago?

George said...

Adoro says, "as far as I know there is not a single apparition in the history of the Church that has been authenticated while the visionary was still alive".

Lucia Dos Santos was 10 years old when she first witnessed the apparitions of Our Blessed Lady, with her two younger cousins at Fatima in 1917.

Sr Lucia died in 2005 aged 97, long after the Fatima apparitions were authenticated.

God Bless.

GOR said...

I know Medjugorje generates strong feelings both for and against - as comments here and elsewhere in the past demonstrate. From what I have read about it, I don’t believe it to be of Divine origin. One of the things which distinguished great mystics like St. Teresa of Avila was their initial fear that the visions they received might be the work of the Devil and not of God. St. Teresa cautioned her sisters about this repeatedly, telling them they shouldn’t wish for special revelations as it would be so easy for the Devil to deceive them. And even if the visions were from God, that was no guarantee that the recipient was a saint or that they were assured of salvation. Pride goes before a fall.

We discount the Devil’s power at our peril. Otherwise good and virtuous people can be led astray by him. In fact we’re told he especially targets those who are trying to live a good life. Which makes a sort of Satanic sense, as it were. If you’re leading an evil life he’s already got you and doesn’t have to work very hard to ‘convert’ you.

Personally, I’m not much drawn to sites of apparitions – even when approved by the Church, such as Lourdes and Fatima. I accept that people receive many spiritual benefits from pilgrimages to them and that miracles have occurred there. But I can’t get away from the fact that as we have Our Lord truly present in the Blessed Sacrament in the church across the street, why would I travel halfway around the world to the site of an apparition? If I’m not spending the time I should before the Blessed Sacrament, which is immediately available to me, what am I doing travelling to far off countries? What am I in search of…?

But that’s just me. As the commercials say: “Your experience may vary”

Michael Petek said...

Father, I don't think 'innocent'is the word here. God and Our Lady aren't on trial here.

But you're raised an interesting question about who bears the burden of proof, on what terms and when?

I found the 1978 Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith document on apparition discernment in unoffical English translation at

The first of the positive criteria is: Moral certainty,or at least great probability, as to the existence of facts acquired at the end of a serious investigation.

The fact that persons claiming to see visions or apparitions of Jesus, Mary etc. sets up - for moral reasons - a presumption of personal truthfulness rebuttable only by moral certainty that they are mistaken, or lying.

The second negative criterion: doctrinal errors attributed to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary etc., once established with moral certainty, will establish that the visionary is at least mistaken.

I would suggest that the more material there is to be examined, the more consistently the error has to be manifested in order for there to be a prudent decision either way.

Fr Ray Blake said...

No Micheal, Truth is on trial!!!

Adoro said...

OH, that's right, thanks. I forgot Fatima was approved when Sr. Lucia was still alive. Thanks for the correction.

Michael Petek said...

Father, the only time when Truth was on trial was when Caiaphas and Pilate were on duty!

Bryan said...

More documents here (in English)

including several of the sermons preached by the Bishop of Mostar at Confirmations in Medjugorje

I wonder how much of the credulity was inspired by the fall of the Berlin Wall?

In caritate Xp.,

Bryan Dunne

Diane Korzeniewski said...

Fr. Blake says: No Micheal, Truth is on trial!!!

Agreed. It's all about Truth.

I have actually had priests tell me that they don't personally believe it is authentic any longer for personal reasons, but they point out that it is the confession capital of Europe and has spawned authentic conversion.

Do they not see the consequentialism involved in such a statement?

Truth cannot be avoided or neglected for any reasons - not even good ones.

The ends do not always justify the means.

Anita Moore said...

The fact that persons claiming to see visions or apparitions of Jesus, Mary etc. sets up - for moral reasons - a presumption of personal truthfulness rebuttable only by moral certainty that they are mistaken, or lying.

In 1990, the bishop of Mostar documented that the "visionaries" were caught out in numerous lies. That seems enough to rebut the presumption of credibility.

Michael Petek said...

Anita, if a witness is caught lying, then we are well advised to apply what are called Lucas directions. English judges give them to juries as standard procedure.

There are numerous innocent reasons why a witness might lie: to bolster a good defence, to protect someone etc. Juries mustn't hold it against a witness unless they can rule out an innocent explanation.

Ben J. Verdina said...


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