Thursday 22nd February 2018

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Pope Francis On Medjugorje… Why The Visions Have Not Received Church Approval

June 19, 2017 Featured Today No Comments

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY

Now that the dust has settled somewhat following the remarks made by Pope Francis about Medjugorje, on his journey back to Rome from Fatima in May — where he had just canonized Jacinta and Francisco Marto — we can see whether anything significant has occurred regarding the Vatican stance on Medjugorje.
The Pope was asked what he thought about “shrines” like Medjugorje, and the religious fervor surrounding them. He responded by saying that presumed apparitions, such as Medjugorje, aren’t part of the public, ordinary Magisterium of the Church.
Then he remarked that he was aware of problems concerning it, but that investigations were continuing and that he hoped that the truth about it would come out. He then mentioned the Ruini Commission and described the report it produced as “very, very good,” while also saying that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, (CDF) under Cardinal Mueller, had expressed some “doubts,” about the phenomenon and sent all the documentation, including evidence opposed to the position of the Ruini Commission, to the members of the Feria Quarta CDF monthly meeting.
He then went on to say that the Ruini report indicated that the “first apparitions” must continue to be studied. But speaking of alleged current apparitions, Pope Francis said the report had its doubts, which he would personally express more strongly, in line with his previous criticism of the idea of the Madonna as the head of a post office who sends out daily messages.
Writing a few days later, Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli apparently revealed the way the Ruini Commission members had voted regarding Medjugorje, despite the fact that its deliberations were supposed to be kept secret. Tornielli claimed that there had been “thirteen votes in favor of recognizing the supernatural nature of the first seven appearances in Medjugorje,” with one vote against and one suspended.
So, according to Tornielli, the majority of the Commission voted in favor of recognizing the first seven visions, those which took place between June 24 and 30, 1981. But regarding all the other claimed visions, which are described as the “second phase of the apparitions,” there was apparently more mixed voting as regards the spiritual fruits of Medjugorje — depending on whether or not the behavior of the visionaries was taken into account.
The Commission also called for an end to the ban on official diocesan and parish pilgrimages to Medjugorje; and the majority of the Commission “voted in favor of the constitution of ‘an authority dependent on the Holy See’ in Medjugorje as well as the transformation of the parish into a pontifical sanctuary.”
This is said to be a pastoral decision which “would not imply the recognition of the supernatural nature of the apparitions.”
The tone of Tornielli’s account gives the impression that Medjugorje has been approved, but in fact a majority positive vote was given to only seven out of the alleged tens of thousands of visions said to have taken place since 1981. Regarding these visions — the “second phase of the apparitions” — apparently two members of the Commission voted against them being supernatural, and twelve offered no opinion about them, which means they received no votes in favor of them having a supernatural origin.
The Commission members also stated their belief that the visionaries were “psychically normal,” and that “nothing of what they had seen was influenced by either the Franciscans of the parish or any other subjects.” These claims seem rather surprising in the light of the publicly available evidence.
On May 18, one of the commission members, Fr. Salvatore Perrella, was interviewed by the Italian newspaper, Avvenire. He said that the “Commission did not make a definitive pronouncement,” but rather decided to distinguish between what happened at the beginning and what has happened since then.
He is reported as saying, “the Commission has cut the case into two segments. The first part concerns the seven initial apparitions — let’s call it the founding core — which seemed credible. The other part, that is, the sequel to the apparitions that would continue, has left the Commission perplexed.”
Fr. Perrella also noted that the facts about Medjugorje are so complex, “that the Pontiff is free to conduct a further investigation.”
This suggests that the views of the Commission members are far from definitive, a position which finds support in the Pope’s remarks during the in-flight press conference that the initial apparitions must continue to be studied.

Only An Advisory Body

What are we to make, then, of the Commission’s findings? The first thing to note is that the Ruini Commission is a purely advisory body whose role is to offer its findings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which then makes recommendations regarding Medjugorje.
Apart from that, neither Andrea Tornielli nor Fr. Perrella mentions the transcripts of the original tape-recordings of the visionaries, which constitute the primary evidence about the whole phenomenon. Did the Commission study the transcripts, which now exist in at least three differing but largely complementary printed versions? And on what basis did the Commission rule out diabolical involvement at Medjugorje?
If Medjugorje is to be properly understood within the Church as a whole, we need to know exactly what the sources consulted by the Commission members were that led to them voting for a supernatural origin for the initial visions.
And if the transcripts of the original tapes were not studied by the Ruini Commission, this leaves open the possibility for such a study in the future.
We are left with the fact that there are a number of very strange events recorded as happening during the first seven visions, as is clear from the transcripts, including a laughing Virgin Mary who told the visionaries that she would remain with them as long as they wanted.
In addition, there was simply no message of any significance given to the visionaries during the first week or so of the visions. And in fact, the Vision apparently said nothing unless questioned by the visionaries — surely a very odd procedure, and one which prompted Fr. Zovko, the parish priest at the time, to say, “So, there is no message.”
And there is also a further stumbling block to belief in the supernatural nature of these early visions — the fact that two of the visionaries, Ivanka and Mirjana, actually went initially to Podbrdo, where the early visions took place, to smoke and listen to rock music.

A Fatal Objection

The biggest problem, though, with the messages emanating from the early visions, is the clear transcript evidence that they were supposed to end on July 3, three days after the vision on Tuesday June 30.
Tornielli’s reporting about the views of the Ruini Commission leaves us with an unsettling anomaly. If the Commission members believe that the Blessed Virgin appeared to the visionaries on the first seven occasions, starting in June 1981, and not afterward, that implies that the visionaries then proceeded immediately, the very next day, to start giving out false reports of more alleged visions. This implies that our Lady appeared to the visionaries in the full knowledge that once she had stopped appearing to them they would fabricate further visions.
This seems to be a fatal objection to the idea that the first visions were supernatural. Given all that, it is difficult to believe that the Blessed Virgin really would have appeared to the visionaries during the first week or so, knowing all that would happen in the following decades.

+ + +

(Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, including Medjugorje Revisited, and maintains a related website at www.theotokos.org.uk. He has also written two time-travel/adventure books for young people — details can be found at: http://glaston-chronicles.co.uk/.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

FRENCH CATHOLICS TO PRAY NATIONAL ROSARY

PARIS (ChurchMilitant.com) – Catholics in France are rallying for a nationwide Rosary on April 28. In the past five months, Church Militant has reported on about a half dozen national Rosary rallies organized in countries such as Poland and Ireland. Inspired by…Continue Reading

Told he has not long to live, Catholic Studies founder Don Briel reflects on dying well

Don Briel, founder and longtime director of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, was diagnosed in mid-January with two forms of acute leukemia. He was told the cancers were untreatable and he had a month…Continue Reading

Pope Francis says Paul VI will be canonized this year

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2018 / 08:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his annual Lenten meeting with the priests of Rome last week, Pope Francis confirmed that Blessed Pope Paul VI will be made a saint sometime this year. “Paul VI…Continue Reading

Pope reappoints O’Malley to head further work of safeguarding commission

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2018 / 05:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has reconfirmed Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston as head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, also reconfirming seven members…Continue Reading

The Latest: Trump to visit Florida after school shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s response to the Florida school shooting (all times local): 11:36 a.m. President Donald Trump says he’ll visit Parkland, Florida, the site of Wednesday’s shooting that killed 17 people. Trump said from…Continue Reading

U.S. bishops: federal budget should not be balanced ‘on backs of the poor’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the Trump administration’s 2019 federal budget proposal on Monday, the U.S. Catholic bishops are urging for a budget that shows greater concern for “‘the least of these” and warning that the U.S. “must never seek…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood sticker stirs controversy at Connecticut Catholic high school

A Connecticut high school student may have to decide whether to remove a Planned Parenthood sticker on her laptop or leave her Catholic school after administrators told her to remove it, her parents said. Sophomore Kate Murray’s parents told the Greenwich Time that…Continue Reading

Fr. James Martin: ‘People take the Bible…out of context’ on homosexuality

February 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Bible’s condemnation of homosexual acts should be taken in “context” with Biblical times, Jesuit Father James Martin toldGeorgetown University students recently. Martin said as well that Catholics who support gay “marriage” should have no problem…Continue Reading

Mississippi state house votes to ban abortion after 15 weeks

JACKSON, Mississippi, February 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A bill banning abortion on babies more than 15 weeks old passed the Mississippi state House today 79-31. House Bill 1510 would make Mississippi the state with the most pro-life laws if it…Continue Reading

All But Three Democrats Voted to Allow Unlimited Abortions Up to Birth

Just three Democrats in the U.S. Senate supported a bill on Monday that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when unborn babies are capable of feeling pain. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which has strong public support from Republicans…Continue Reading

Athanasius Schneider invites world’s bishops to sign Profession of Immutable Truths

ROME, January 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In an exclusive interview two weeks after issuing a profession of immutable truths about sacramental marriage, Bishop Athanasius Schneider is inviting his brother bishops around the world to join in raising a common voice…Continue Reading

Cardinal Eijk Asks Pope to Clarify Questions About “Remarried” Divorcees

As Katholisch.de, the official website of the German bishops, reports today, Cardinal Willem Eijk, the Dutch cardinal and Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht, requested that Pope Francis bring light into the confusion concerning the question as to how to deal with…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

State senator rebuffs Planned Parenthood activists: ‘Abortion is murder’

BOISE, Idaho, February 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Mainstream media is slinging mud at a pro-life Republican state senator in Idaho after he was filmed in a heated exchange with a dozen or so pro-abortion college students affiliated with Planned Parenthood, telling them that abortion is “murder.” When State Sen. Dan Foreman (R) canceled a meeting with University of Idaho students on Monday, the Planned Parenthood

Catholics urged to affirm ‘liberating truth’ of Humanae Vitae

The document ‘defended the integrity of married love and warned us against the danger of reducing sexuality to a source of pleasure alone’ The “liberating truth” of Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae” is as relevant today 50 years after its promulgation, and maybe even more so, said Archbishop of Denver Samuel Aquila in his new pastoral letter, “The Splendor of Love.” “The 50th anniversary of ‘Humanae Vitae’ is an occasio

Correcting Fr. James Martin

Fr James Martin SJ has tweeted his rage against the firing of a gay teacher from a Catholic School. The story is here in the New York Times. It concerns a female Catholic school teacher who “married” her girlfriend and was then dismissed from her job. Fr Martin tweets: Again, where are the comparable firings of straight employees who do not follow Catholic church teaching? Men and women living together before being married? Divorced and remarried without…Continue Reading

Dozens of U.S. bishops sign up for Amoris Laetitia seminars at dissident Catholic colleges

CHICAGO, February 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich, a key promoter of the progressive agenda advanced under Pope Francis, has invited American bishops to a series of conferences about Amoris Laetitia in February. Catholic News Agency reported this week that it had “obtained” a letter by the Archbishop of Chicago about the seminars. Called “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia”,  the series is advertised as a “tailor-made program that goes from why Amoris Laetitia provides New Momentum for Moral…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Sues President Trump After He Defunded Its Programs Pushing Sex on Kids

There’s nothing, it seems, that the abortion chain Planned Parenthood won’t sue over. On Thursday, affiliates of the abortion chain in seven states sued the Trump administration for cutting funding for their questionable teen pregnancy prevention programs. The Daily Nonpareil reports the lawsuits argue that the Trump administration wrongly cut their funding prematurely and without cause. Nine groups, including Planned Parenthood affiliates in Washington, Iowa, North Carolina, South C

Advertisement(2)

Youth’s Predicament… The Longing For Love And Meaning

By GEORGE A. KENDALL Living in a nursing home has had an unexpected effect on my life — putting me in more contact with young people than I have been used to since I was young myself (about a hundred years ago). I am talking about the nurse’s aides who provide the day to day…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Professor… Criticizes University’s Provision Of “Simple Contraceptives”

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNA/EWTN News) — After the University of Notre Dame announced it would fund “simple contraceptives” in its insurance plan, one Notre Dame professor has criticized the move, calling it “a giant leap into immorality.” “Now the University [of Notre Dame] is to be sole funder and proprietor of a contraception giveaway,” wrote…Continue Reading

Fulton Sheen’s Final Resting Place Not Yet Final

NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s niece has said her uncle’s remains belong in Peoria, Ill., but a lawsuit seeking his internment there has been returned to a lower court for further consideration. “I just hate that this is dragging on and on and on,” Joan Sheen Cunningham said, according to The New…Continue Reading

Blessed Paul VI Revisited

By DONALD DeMARCO Unlike the daily news, papal statements are news that stay news. On January 1, 1977, Pope Paul VI delivered a Day of Peace message entitled, If You Want Peace, Defend Life. The need to conjoin peace with life is more relevant today than it was better than forty years ago and warrants…Continue Reading

President Trump Bans U.S. Aid for International Abortions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Within a week of taking office on January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, now called the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, which bans U.S. funding for abortions overseas. The expanded policy prohibits $9 billion in U.S. taxpayer money from funding foreign organizations that perform or…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Cardinal Zen . . . “A Schismatic Church With The Pope’s Blessing Will Be Horrible!”

By DIANE MONTAGNA ROME (LifeSiteNews) — Hong Kong’s Joseph Cardinal Zen issued another strongly worded criticism February 13 of the Vatican’s proposed deal with China’s Communist regime, suggesting it would amount to a papal endorsement of schism. “There is no reason to fear a schismatic church created by the [Communist] Party. It will fade with the collapse of the regime,”…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The “Inner Room” Of Lent

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Go to your inner room and pray to your Father in private.” Another Lent is upon us. With the Mass of Ash Wednesday we hear once again the Lord’s call to grow into a deeper awareness and love of the Father who is always lovingly aware of us. The tasks of Lent in prayer, fasting,…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Delving Into The Great Mystery Of The Eucharist

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 16 The Holy Eucharist is the greatest Mystery left to our faith by Our Divine Redeemer. Thus, to delve into it is something we do on our knees, as it were, spiritually speaking, since we are considering the Presence of a Divine Person under the appearances of bread and wine. We have His word…Continue Reading

The Effects Of The Sacrament Of Matrimony

By DON FIER For a variety of reasons (a defect of consent, a diriment impediment, or a defect of the required form), many supposed modern-day marriages entered into by Catholic persons are invalid from their origin in the eyes of God and the Church. However, as we saw last week, depending on the circumstances, the Church has procedures by which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Concerning what our Blessed Mother said in Fatima about the rosary, I am confused as to whether or not she meant us to meditate on the mysteries while we are praying the Hail Marys or whether she meant us to meditate on the mysteries right before we say the Hail Marys. The consensus seems to be that we are…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Agnes Of Bohemia

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the thirteenth century, many alliances were solidified by a marriage between members of royalty from other nations. There were also quite a few royal persons who were known for their holiness by following Christianity, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Ludmila and St. Wenceslaus of Czechoslovakia. Related to all of these saints, Princess Agnes also…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Cortona

By CAROLE BRESLIN Great sinners make great saints. It takes a strong-willed child to become a saint. These are statements which would easily fit saints such as Mary Magdalene and St. Augustine. In the thirteenth century, a young lady free in spirit and strong in will led such a life that she was essentially driven from her home village, but…Continue Reading