Monday, March 22, 2010

Medjugorje - Pope Benedict Sympathetic

Finally, after all the he-said-she-said, we have something that appears to accurately reflect the current pope's thoughts and feelings on Medjugorje, leading up to this new investigation.

Medjugorje News has just run an article which states the following:

Archbishop Allessandro D’Errico, Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, gave statement about Medjugorje on March 18th at the end of 48th Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the statement broadcasted by Radio Mir Medjugorje, he amongst other things said: “Whenever I would meet Holy Father, he was always very much interested in Medjugorje. He was involved in everything, starting with the time when he was Head of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He is aware that this is the issue of special importance, and he, as supreme authority of the Church, needs to give his precise statement about that matter. Holy Father is very much familiar with Medjugorje phenomenon; he even mentioned that to me personally. He is aware of huge amount of positive and good influence of local priests, religious, Franciscans, lay people, and therefore, it is very difficult for him to perceive that there can be so many opposing information about the same matter. That is why he wanted to establish this Commission that is on really high level. He wanted to establish this Commission in order for him to have broad picture about this matter, but according to the people who have highest qualities and skills. That is why he invited Cardinals, Bishops and experts from different parts of the world to be part of this Commission.

Now, can we finally accept this, coming in an official statement from a high-ranking Vatican official, as truthful and valid? Let's see if this applies any kind of brake mechanism to the incessant forward shoving from Medjugorje detractors. Let's see if this silences the poison blogs of the likes of Richard Salbato, E Michael Jones, Robert Sungenis and the email pestilence from the likes of Mark Waterinckx.

The speech made the pertinent remark:

it is very difficult for him [Pope Benedict] to perceive that there can be so
many opposing information about the same matter

Well, if Pope Benedict had seen what I have from the gentlemen mentioned above, and many more of their cronies, he would not be so surprised. Each of these gentleman claims proudly to have a more or less direct link to Bishop Ratko Peric. This might explain a lot. We still don't know what Bishop Peric's problem with Medjugorje truly is, but I sincerely think it has very little to do with the visions themselves and is more likely something personal and culturally entrenched. I almost hope there is more to it than that because none of us wants to continue thinking poorly of an appointed bishop of Christ. I hope all his objections are thoroughly aired and dealt with. And if the new commission finds that any of his objections are founded, then all the better.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Medjugorje Haters

What a strange and irrational breed is the Medjugorje hater. What an unnecessary clamour and din they create. Everybody, even the hardest Medjugorje believer, even John-Paul II, knew that caution should be exercised in the matter of private revelation.

But for people like Mark Waterinckx, Richard Salbato, E Michael Jones and a number of others, it goes beyond this, for some utterly unknown reason.

A recent article from Mark Waterinckx reminded me of another interesting article of about the same time - one from Christopher Hitchens - which doth protest far too much and far too irrationally for people to take seriously. Comments that just haven't been thought through properly. Pure I've-got-nothing-else-to-do bluster. These people are in some type of fantasy world all of their own fighting a cause of their own and all for their own benefit and justification. It really has nothing to do with the Church because the Church already has quite a good working system for dealing with these issues.

We should really see what is behind all this bluster and whether any of it should be taken the slightest notice of, as if we didn't already know the answer to that.

Mark doesn't believe what Christ told us about how we should discern if something is from God - i.e. by its fruits. By fruits, we are certainly talking about the "important" fruits, for we all know that where there are good crops, weeds will also spring up. Mark wants to create confusion (who else likes doing that? Satan, I believe) by calling the weeds the so-called "fruit".

And Mark has little faith in Almighty God, Who reaps where He does not sow and can make anything good from anything evil, such that, even if Medjugorje were the most evil incarnation yet witnessed on earth, God is certainly watching out for the Church isn't He by the look of the unmistakable fruits the church sorely needs at this time.

Indeed, nothing can happen without God's ultimate consent. If Mark's destructive intent weren't so obvious, one might almost forgive him for simply "panicking" out of a lack of faith in God. But, God told us to "Be still and know that I am God", not run around like a chicken with its head cut off, brandishing a machine gun which rattles off the same tired and unjust accusations of profiteering and con-artistry. Here's an example:

..the disobedience of the seers and of the Franciscans of Medjugorje, the rebellion against the bishops and the Pope, the fanaticism, the manipulations, lies, contradictions, the profiteering, the luxurious homes of the “seers”, the sex scandals of the Franciscans, the suspended Franciscan rebels involved in Medjugorje and their illegal sacraments.

Even the hardest Medjugorje believer, even John-Paul II himself, wouldn't try to deny there have been controversies surrounding personalities, but unfortunately, again, the magnifying glass has been focused on the wrong thing. In a freer, more transparent situation, we would probably be spared this lop-sided misreporting because the world would more clearly see the full picture which unfortunately involves the Bishops of Mostar themselves, in damaging light, having a direct bearing on civility and co-operation between clerics of different orders in this region (see the History of the Herzegovinian Affair).

Mark hesitates not the slightest in making accusations such as this:

The commercial believers earn a great deal of money from their "goldmine", e.g. the Franciscans of Medjugorje, the “seers”, the organizers of the pilgrimages, the sellers of videos, DVDs, books etc.

But, if you asked him to back up these claims that all the franciscans and seers are getting rich from these apparitions, you wouldn't get one single document, one single bank transaction, one single news report or expozee after nearly 30 years. The silence is deafening for people like Mark. Reality is not backing him up. Yet, he keeps repeating the same accusations. These people open their mouths and hatred and false witness spews out.

Mark continues:

Among the not for profit believers are those who naively accept everything and who only read books, periodicals and websites which are pro Medjugorje and who thus can be considered to be misled by their ignorance.

Far from being "misled by their ignorance", the more calm, faithful, thinking individual simply does not want to be misled by conspiracy theory, nor to be led into sin. Mark has broken the 8th commandment on numerous occasions with his false witness borne against innocent people. He must be feeling a little lonely in this sin because he would like the rest of us to join him. No thanks, Mark.

We just need to count the number of times any conspiracy has been proven completely wrong, and look at the types of people involved in perpetuating these theories, to know categorically that the wisest course of action is just to get the facts and wait for the Vatican and, if so desired, take a private pilgrimage and let the Lord speak in the stillness of your own heart.

Here's Mark calling the kettle black:

With both groups there are many believers who display a marked degree of fanaticism and obsessiveness. Medjugorje has become their all encompassing dogma which overrides everything else. This fanaticism overrode all common sense, critical evaluation, intellectual honesty, prudence and friendship. This attitude can only be explained by the influence of the “diabolos”, the evil spirit, the malign entity which everywhere sows enmity and disunity.

People have reacted to Medjugorje much as God would hope they would if past apparitions are anything to go by, such as Lourdes, Guadaloupe and Fatima. Such was the "fanaticism" at Guadalupe that the entire country of Mexico converted to Catholicism. 70,000 people marvelled with pure emotion at the miracle of the sun at Fatima. God's power and might doesn't leave much room for anything else but pure emotion. The same thing happens wherever God permits an apparition to occur. The whole idea is to elicit a strong reaction from the people. Yet, Mark has somehow managed to contort this natural and God-willed situation into a negative.

No, the only fanaticism we are witnessing here is modern and media-driven. It came along with the cult of conspiracy theory, who-dunnits, PI and reality TV shows. People are making money right now making movies and writing books and blogs talking about conspiracy at Medjugorje. It's what sells these days. But, wiser heads just aren't buying. We've had enough. We're waiting for the Vatican and we will obey the Vatican.

Mark talks about "intellectual honesty, prudence and friendship" as if he somehow possesses these things, unlike Medjugorje believers. There is no intellectual (or moral) honesty in accusing someone of being a fraudster without an iota of proof. There is no prudence in this. There is no friendship in this. Mark is blissfully unaware that he is one of Satan's starring pawns in the sowing of this enmity and disunity he accuses people who love Medjugorje of.

I will address Mark's further comments in a separate post.

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