Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Former Top Exorcist Claims Medjugorje "Diabolical"

I've posted about Medjugorje in the past. Much like when I was a kid and the Novus Ordo circus came to town, I've always had the funny feeling that something just wasn't quite right.

But in all fairness, the fairly sensationalistic headline from The Daily Mail (UK) is misleading. "The Vatican" hasn't denounced the so-called "seers" nor the Medjugorje phenomenon itself as diobolical... just retired Bishop Andrea Gemma, who was one of the top exorcists of The Church. But that's still a pretty powerful indictment.

Vatican denounces group's claim of seeing the Virgin Mary more than 40,000 times as 'work of the devil'
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:54 PM on 01st June 2008

The Vatican has denounced a group who claim to have seen the Virgin Mary more than 40,000 times in the past 27 years. The six Bosnian 'seers' attract five million pilgrims a year to their home town of Medjugorje, providing a lucrative trade for local businesses. Hundreds of thousands travel there each year from Britain alone.

But now one of the most respected voices in the Roman Catholic church has accused the visionaries of perpetuating a 'diabolical deceit'. Andrea Gemma, 77, a bishop and once the Vatican's top exorcist, told a magazine in Italy: 'In Medjugorje everything happens in function of money: Pilgrimages, lodging houses, sale of trinkets.

'This whole sham is the work of the Devil. It is a scandal.' He said the Vatican would soon crack down on the group.

The Medjugorje phenomenon began on June 25, 1981, when six children told a priest they had seen the Virgin on a hillside near their town.
A church investigation dismissed the vision, and the Vatican banned pilgrimages to the site in 1985. But many Catholics ignored the ban.

Today, the seers own smart houses with security gates and tennis courts and expensive cars. One is married to a former U.S. beauty queen. Catholic officials in the U.S. have recently banned the group from speaking on church property during their world tours, on which they allegedly take the Virgin with them.
Below listed are a few of the "visions" that have been claimed by the "seers". References are found here. Judge for yourself.

The Virgin was accustomed to reciting the Our Father with the seers. (But how could Our Lady say: "Forgive us our trespasses," since she has none? At Lourdes, Our Lady was careful to keep her lips closed during all the Paters and Aves, reciting only the Gloria Patris.)

Mirjana: "I recently asked the Virgin this question (whether many souls are damned), and she told me that nowadays most souls go to Purgatory." (book by Fr. Faricy, p. 64)
(...a comforting thought, perhaps, but opposite to the teaching of Fatima, St. Louis de Montfort, Pope Gregory the Great, St. Alphonsus, St. Anthony Claret, St. Augustine, etc., etc.)

Oct. 1, 1981: "All religions are equal before God," says the Virgin. (Chronological Corpus of Medjugorje, p. 317)


Blogger David said...

"All religions are equal before God," says the Virgin.

What? Even those that deny the divinity of Jesus? Those that deny Our Lady? Those that blaspheme against the Immaculate Conception? Those that say she was just an ordinary woman? Those religions are A-OK too?

Well, that's clearly contrary to Catholic teaching, but isn't it obvious to these kool-aid drinkers that it's patently nonsense for the supposed "Mother of God" to say "worship my son, or else" and "religions that hate my son are as good as any" in almost the same breath?

Although human credulity, and indeed, stupidity seem to know no bounds, this might just be the work of the Evil One.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Hail3N1 said...

Vicka, one of the "visionaries" had told our group and others back in 1991, that Our Lady told her that her "real" birthday is Aug. 5th. This nonsense has never been told to anyone, and is against what Holy Mother Church has always taught. Ven. Mary of Agreda in her "City of God", dictated in many parts by Our Lady and even Our Lord, says SEPTEMBER 8th as Her TRUE Birthday; as well in Blsd. Ann Catherine Emmerich's, "Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

10:03 AM  
Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

I have heard stuff like this before; it makes me nervous.

So my approach is to wait and see if the church approves the apparitions as "worthy of belief".

Even then, there would be no obligation for Catholics to believe.

But I must say that "nowadays most souls go to Purgatory" sounds highly unlikely to me.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

E Michael Jones ran a devastating series on Medju. back about 10 years ago. (Fidelity/Culture Wars)

He called that one dead-on, and fast.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Padre Steve said...

This is interesting, but I wouldn't put too much into it. I have read Fr. Gabriel Amorth's high praise of the visionaries and he is sure it is an act of God! I was in Medjugorje back in 1987 and I have to say the visit gave me the strength to follow my vocation! We have to put it all in God's hands and I am sure the Church will continue to follow the situation. God bless! Padre Steve

3:19 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Like you, I've always felt a bit uncomfortable with the supposed Medjugorje sightings of our Blessed Mother.

I once went to one of the world tours where one of the visionaries was speaking and at the time our Blessed Mother supposedly appeared. I tried to get some "feeings" either for or against--none. But apart from feelings, something is just not right.

While I do not believe the Medjugorje sightings are real, I don't belive they are necessarily diabolical--but then if the entire Medjugorje is a scam--a big lie--well, who's the father of all lies?

4:40 PM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

as if we needed any more proof, lol.

You're exactly right, Our Lady wouldn't recite the Pater Noster or Ave Maria.

6:30 PM  
Blogger deb said...

Something about this apparation has never set well with me.

10:37 PM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

I tend very much to agree with the Bishop.

There is something very off beat about this whole thing.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

So my approach is to wait and see if the church approves the apparitions as "worthy of belief".

Paul, that question was definitively answered a long time ago by the competent authority--the Bishop of Mostar.

The answer: NO.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Lola said...

I read the life of Blessed Anna Maria Tiagi. (sp?) She supposidly could see where a soul would go after death. She would never tell someone if thier loved one was damned because it was so upseting. She was quoted as saying that some days the souls going to hell were so numerous it was like snowflakes falling in a snowstorm.

Okay, maybe a little dramatic.

But, this particular apparition in Bosnia has always been a little weird. And it always made me uneasy. Especially since it seemed to bring out the "new agey" stuff like the "most souls go to Purgatory". I read a couple books on it at the prompting of friends and some family members. And thanked God that I wasn't required to belive any private revalation.

But so many people know better than the local Bishop and some are making travel plans right now...

5:26 PM  
Blogger G. said...

Both the previous and current (local) Bishops of Mostar have repeatedly decided negatively against the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje.
However, Medjugorje supporters always say "I'll wait for Rome or the Pope to decide".

Well, Rome or the Pope never decide on private revelations. Those who think otherwise do not understand the authority of a local Bishop. The Church has always taught that all authority in judgement or private revealtions is the sole responsibility of the local Bishop because he represents the apostles thru apostolic succession.

Rome simply ratifies the local Bishops decision (be it a decision for or against).
In short, Medjugorje has been judged negatively by the Church thru the decision of the local Bishop, and this decision is binding on all Catholics.
Those who choose not to comply are disobeying the very Church that they profess to be a part of.

8:27 PM  

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