27 September 2010

Medjugorje Mumbo Jumbo

Yes, I know scores of people claim to have benefited from the messages, and that there have been conversions and reignition of the faith--but that doesn't change the fact that two successive bishops of the diocese have decreed the apparitions not authentic, and the Catholic Church has deferred to the bishops' judgment on the matter, forbidding any diocese from publicly sponsoring pilgrimages there, or from publicly inviting the seers to speak. (And, contrary to popular opinion, Pope John Paul II never approved of the apparitions, privately or publicly.) In any case, there have also been bad fruits from Medjugorje, including rampant disobedience from the community of Franciscan priests. After 30,000 so-called private messages from Our Lady in Medjugorje, common sense might tell you that there's something a bit suspicious about the whole thing. The best resource on the subject--a thoroughly researched, well-written compendium of the events in Medjugorje--is Donal Foley's Understanding Medjugorje: Heavenly Visions or Religious Illusions?

In flagrant disregard of his fellow bishops' decree and the stance of Holy Mother Church, Cardinal Schönborn (why are we not surprised?) recently hosted the Medjugorje seers in his cathedral. They spoke in front of a gawking crowd before launching into public recitation of the Rosary, interrupted midway by their regularly scheduled visitor from on high. (Te Deum gives a blow-by-blow account.) Two items of note: (1) the seers' expressions during the "vision" contradict each other, and (2) the vestments are the sort to be expected at gatherings like these.

Say it with me: the visions are false.