Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Medjugorje

This is a continuation of a previous post in which the author asked what we thought of the appatitions at Medjugorje. After a bit of contemplation I believe the messages are real;

-The good fruit argument- The fruit is good but people with free will sin
-The wheat and tares argument- The good will be mixed with the bad in this age
-The Strongman argument- Unless the strongman is bound his house can not be plundered. -Satan’s house is being plundered when people are led to prayer and the sacraments. Therefore, he is bound in some way.
-Argument from Israel’s past- They all ate manna and drank from the rock but many did not believe and perished in the desert.
-Communion of saints- We ask Mary to pray for us, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. She is telling us how we can do that.
-Queen of heaven and earth angels and saints- This is real authority. She is using it to lead us to Christ. Christ can lead us to God, we are being evangelized and it is working.
-Mediatrix of all graces- As co-redemptress with her son she is acting in the role she was given at the annunciation and the she first performed when she hastened to visit Elizabeth. She is presenting Christ to the world. [Mediatrix is not yet dogma it is however, good theology]
-Devotion to the Mother of God is weak in our generation of Catholics. St Louis De Montforte’s devotion to his beloved Mary would be dismissed or condemned as being over zealous- The apparitions have resulted in a renewed devotion to Our Lady and thus grace.
-The messages- encourage repentance to the fallen away, perseverance to the repentant and fortitude to the faithful.
-I have not heard any convincing arguments against M.-Most critics are either liberal, in that they do not accept any type of miracle, including the Eucharist, traditionalists who accept miracles but only if they occurred before V2 so as not to legitimatize it, or random skeptics who do not accept things they do not want to accept. Moreover, the most frequent arguments are weak and could be applied to anything including Christianity.
-A proof that is very silly but convinces me- The message of M must be authentic because it is not very original; Pray, fast, read scripture, confession and Eucharist.
-So, I believe the messages are authentic because there is no reason not to.


Anonymous said...

Here is something to at least consider.

Germanicus said...

Thanks for the link, but the arguments are not convincing. Just a reiteration the 3 unconvincing arguments I mentioned in my post.
1. Liberal, in that they do not accept any type of miracle, including the Eucharist [I should clarify that by liberal I mean it in an academic sense, not political, that may be better termed “modern”. Liberal academics do not believe miracles happen because they are materialists. Therefore they ought not to believe in transubstantiation or should not if they want to be intellectually consistent. The traditionalists solve the problem by accepting the miraculous but only to a certain point in history^1.]
2. Traditionalists who accept miracles but only if they occurred before V2 so as not to legitimatize it
3. Random skeptics who do not accept things they do not want to accept.

The first several paragraphs lead me to believe that the author is of the “no good thing can happen after V2 crowd” and his commentary on the Charismatic movement confirms my suspicions. However he then also adds a fourth category of ad hominem attack on the visionaries and then based on that anyone else who believes the visions are real.

Hence, I remain convinced that the visions are real because after 245 pages the author fails to produce any real proof they are not. The proof I am looking for is error in the messages when compared to Church Dogma^2. The author promises to reveal error but in the end no error is listed. He claims to have known the visions were not real after reading three but fails to produce an objective reason as to why. His arguments are full of logical fallacies and conclusions based on hasty generalizations. Perhaps the errors are secrets which are only known to him and will be revealed at the end of the age?

^1. This phenomenon would be worth exploring in a longer post. By restricting the supernatural to a time in history prior to their history they no longer need to take responsibility for it. In effect they can avoid being wrong. If there are consequences the consequences belong to others not them. I think of the steward who buried his money in the ground rather than loose it. It seems to me the coward’s path. [That last statement is good example of an ad hominem attack!]

^2 in my opinion the reason the church has not ruled on M is because the messages are still occurring. It is prudent in such situations to wait until they are complete. It is similar to waiting until a person is done speaking before making comment. But that only makes sense if the messages to date do not contain error. If the first messages contained error then there would be no need to wait for the messages to conclude, the church could rule on M immediately. Since the church is waiting one must conclude that messages to date do not contain error. This why the author of the linked book could not produce what he promised.

Joshua 24:15 said...

I am a skeptic. My question would be, have the Medjugorje apparitions been officially declared valid by the Vatican?

Until then, I see a lot of harm that could be done by believing something that is not true, or at least not from Heaven. I don't see harm to awaiting official Church validation.

How does Medjugorje differ, if it does, from other visions, apparitions, miracles, etc?

Pilgrim said...

Love is patient... The apparitions at Medjugorje are approaching 27 years (in June), and still no condemnation or attempt to close down Medjugorje by the Vatican.

Supposedly, the third secret involves the appearance of a sign on Apparition Hill, visible and indestructible. It is said that the sign will be able to be photographed and filmed but untouchable, and be proof that Our Lady was appearing at Medjugorje. It is claimed that the sign will appear in the lifetime of the visionaries, although I am not sure if this is collectively or before the last visionary dies.

The Vatican authorities must aware of this claim, so perhaps it makes sense to wait on any pronouncement until this sign appears. If it does then it will speak for itself.

Joshua 24:15 said...

OK. But it "appears" as though you're not waiting before you believe...

My point is not that I think it's a fraud, or have evidence of such. I simply think it's a more prudent approach to go in cautiously and skeptically, until our teaching authority has completely vetted the claims.

Tito said...

None of the children at Fatima, Lourdes, or other endorsed apparitions of Mary were disobedient to their parish priests.

These alleged seers are and still being disobedient towards thier own priests and bishop.

The same argument can be said of Mormons, they are producing good fruits with highly flawed theology.

Does that make the church of Latter Day Saints a valid 'Church'?

I too am amazed at the many miracles and 'fruits' from those that went to Medjugorje, but when I hear about disobedience and pride, I reread Fatima and Lourdes and I see none of this occuring.

I want to believe, but just like the 4th joygul mystery, obedience is a virtue.

Tito said...

I agree with Joshua on waiting to hear from the Vatican. Better safe than sorry. The Church has always been prudent and to rush to judgement that this is a valid apparition is very unwise.


Ever heard of Garabandel? Just because it isn't condemned, isn't the same as being accepted.

Germanicus said...

I have no special affiliation with Medjugorje, and prior to several weeks ago knew very little about it. I am not now contemplating a pilgrimage. I am not so much making an argument for Medjugorje as I am for reason. It seems to me unreasonable to dismiss an event based on the arguments I have read and heard. It is becoming clear that whatever motivates the critics is not reason and that is a cause for concern because if one is not ruled by reason they are ruled by passion. I am still willing to change my view if presented with reason. It should be clear that I do not consider ad hominem attacks reasonable.

Tito, please present a valid argument that does not include guilt by association or a straw-man. G is not M and they ought to be considered individually. Unless you are willing to accept that if M is accepted then G ought to also be accepted. Better yet, since Lourdes was accepted then G and M ought to also be accepted. However, since that is not how the church does it, neither will we.
Mormon doctrine is in conflict with Church dogma in several areas but most notably the nature of Christ. That they produce good fruits is commendable but not relevant to M. It is not because of their abundance or lack of good works that they are an invalid church but because of their doctrine.
So, my question remains how exactly are the messages of Medjugorje in error? In what areas do they conflict or contradict Catholic Dogma?

P.S. After some research I discovered that the author of the link that anonymous offered was indeed a traditionalist. In fact he was one of the founders of the society of St Pius X, though he distanced himself from them before they became schismatic. Nonetheless I am certain now that his position is that of the “nothing good must happen to validate V2”.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Eh. If I were to contemplate a pilgrimage, I could think of much nicer, APPROVED holy places or ACTUAL shrines than somewheres Yugoslavia.

Then again, I consider myself a Traditionalist, so what the heck do I know?

Pilgrim said...

“OK. But it "appears" as though you're not waiting before you believe...”

Joshua... How “knowledgeable” do I have to be to believe? 3 months old? 3 years old? 13 years old? 33 years old?

Imagine this scenario: Our Lady appears for 26 years, speaks to six visionaries, and no-one turns up or visits the place because they are waiting for the Vatican to decide one way or another? Hard to imagine, isn’t it.

The Vatican, or should I say the former Yugoslav Bishops Conference made a decision in 1992. It didn’t decide in favour and it didn’t decide against. It decided to remain undecided and give further study. But the Balkan war broke up the region and the bishops conference. Some 12 months ago the Vatican said a new commission would be appointed, but everyone is still waiting.
In the meantime, thousands of priests, bishops and even cardinals continue to travel to Medjugorje to see for themselves.

And you must know that no Catholic is obligated to believe in any Marian apparition, approved by the Church or not.

But the questions I would ask about Medjugorje are: If the appartions are genuine, then WHY is Our Lady appearing? For what purpose? What brings her to speak to the world in this way? Could it possibly be that she has something important to impart to all of us, that she can help us? Why else would she bother turning up. Does she recognise our struggles and, like any mother, desires to help. After all, she is the Mother of the Church, and I must say, a very patient Mother.

Joshua 24:15 said...

Pilgrim, seems like you're doing a lot of selling, unnecessarily. As I mentioned earler, I am simply adopting a more cautious approach.

In your earlier post, you wrote that "Supposedly, the third secret involves..." and "it is said that..." and "it is claimed..."

What is the source (or sources) to which you are referring? Thanks.

Pilgrim said...

Joshua, I was attempting to respond to your statement: “OK. But it ‘appears’ as though you're not waiting before you believe...”

Your question about sources... do you mean the sources to the reference about the third secret? If so, the primary sources are the visionaries themselves, quoted in several published reports about Medjugorje and the apparitions, and widely available on the internet.

Part of an interview with the priest chosen by one of the visionaries (Mirjana) to announce the secrets to the world is available at: http://www.themirgroup.org/news/index.php?view=35

Kevin Symonds said...

It was in 1991, in Zadar, that the last official document on Medjugorje was published. Zadar 1991 remains the ruling document on Medjugorje, and needless to say, squables over it continue to this day.

The document states that pilgrimages to Medjugorje that are for the purpose of authenticating the alleged events are NOT PERMITTED.

Read: You can't go for the claims of alleged apparitions.

That would leave out close to 100% of the people who go there.

It was a subtle and in some ways bad phraseology but alas, it's what we got.

Pilgrim said...

Kevin, you are mistaken when you say that: “The document states that pilgrimages to Medjugorje that are for the purpose of authenticating the alleged events are NOT PERMITTED.”

The Zadar declaration does not say this.

Here is the text of the Zadar declaration as published in Zagreb Glas Koncila May 5, 1991.


At the ordinary session of the Bishops' Conference of Yugoslavia in Zadar from April 9 - 11, 1991 the following was adopted.


The bishops, from the very beginning, have been following the events of Medjugorje through the Bishop of the diocese [Mostar], the Bishop's Commission and the Commission of the Bishops Conference of Yugoslavia on Medjugorje.

On the basis of the investigations so far it can not be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.

However, the numerous gatherings of the faithful from different parts of the world, who come to Medjugorje, prompted both by motives of belief and various other motives, require the attention and pastoral care in the first place of the diocesan bishop and with him of the other bishops also, so that in Medjugorje and in everything connected with it a healthy devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary may be promoted in accordance with the teaching of the Church.

For this purpose the bishops will issue specially suitable liturgical-pastoral directives. Likewise, through their Commission they will continue to keep up with and investigate the entire event in Medjugorje.

In Zadar April 10, 1991
The Bishops of Yugoslavia.

Lake said...

Nothing wrong with having a questioning attitude and being very cautious. I personally believe in the apparitions but still have a little skepticism, meaning I have made room in my head for the possibility of the Vatican ruling against them.

That said, to me some people need to be less afraid of using their brains. Pray. Read the alleged messages. Compare them with a careful study of Catholic teaching and scripture. I have done this and never once seen a doctrinal error. The messages say to pray, love, fast, etc. Do these things and even if this is a satanic deception it will have backfired.

Joshua 24:15 said...

Hard to believe comments still sprinkling in on this... oh well.

There is no value to reading the messages until they are deemed valid by the Church. To continue to defy the local Bishop in this regard is tacit defiance of the entire Magisterium...which is more than half of what is killing the Church in our post-modern world.

For me, it's pretty simple: for now, stay away. If this is deemed a valid supernatural event by the Church, then it's open to private devotion at each of the faithful's personal discretion. That's what the Church instructs us to do in these matters.

john konnor said...