Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pray for our Shepherds, and do not Judge

Our Lady's July 02, 2012 message through Mirjana contained yey another exhortation to pray for our shepherds. It also contained a caution against judging them.

"...Pray as I do for your shepherds. Again I caution you: do not judge them, because my Son chose them. Thank you."

This nudged my own conscience as I have been personally guilty on this blog of having criticised certain bishops involved in Medjugorje. So, I am making it my personal goal to not again speak critically or judgementally of any member of the clergy.

Instead, I will simply pray and let God's will be done in all circumstances. 

Indeed, they deserve and greatly need our prayers. 

Heavenly Father, I bring to you in prayer every one of your holy shepherds, whom You have personally chosen to lead your Church. How easy it is to criticise and judge them. Yet, we know so little of the trials and temptations they endure daily. Lord, forgive us and help us to love and help our shepherds as much as we can. Strengthen them daily with Your Holy Spirit as they rise in the mornings and relieve them of all burdens as they retire at night.  Safeguard your shepherds Oh Lord - the pillars of your Church on earth - the ones whom you have entrusted to guide and nurture your people. Thank you Lord, Amen.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Of Bishops & Obedience

"Obedience" is highlighted in large letters in the Catholic Church - inspired in large part by the ultimate obedience demonstrated by Christ Himself. Many saints and mystics were unerringly obedient, even in the face of what seemed to be blatant injustice. They humbly complied despite immense suffering. And, in turn, God always seemed to find a workaround to any particular stumbling block they faced.

But, is obedience always demanded and is disobedience to a superior ever justified?


It is the teaching of the Church that obedience is part of justice, one of the four cardinal virtues, which are in turn subordinate to the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.

Faith is greater than obedience! Therefore, if obedience acts to harm the faith, then a Catholic has a duty not to obey his superior.

And the following:

"Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God, therefore superiors are not to be obeyed in all things. - St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, Summa Theoligica II-IIQ. 104

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema - Galatians 1:8

These are harsh words. From the earliest times, there seems to be a zero-tolerance policy for any teaching, doctrine or decree that is "against God".

In recent times, 1975 to be exact, we read the following from a transcript of a prominent exorcism that involved some pretty big-name demons. Although, we are not obliged to believe this, nevertheless the transcript possesses an imprimatur. Here is what Akabor and Judas Iscariot said through the possessed woman, under the compulsion of the exorcist and the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was apparently ordering him to speak:

On the subject of communion on the hand:

A (Akabor): I have to say the Communion must not be received in the hand. The Pope himself gives Communion in the mouth. He does not want Communion to be given in the hand at all. That comes from the Cardinals.

E (Exorcist): In the name..., by order of the Thrones, tell the truth!

A: Then it went to the bishops and they imagined that it was a question of obedience, that they must obey the cardinals. Finally, it came to the priests, and they, in turn, imagined that they had to conform, because obedience is written in very large letters.

E: Tell the truth, you have no right to lie, in the name...!

A: Evil people should not he obeyed. The Pope, Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin are the ones who must he obeyed. Communion in the hand is not at all the will of God.

On the subject of obedience to modernist bishops:

A (Allida): Many priests make reference to obedience. But now, in these times, it is not necessary to obey modernist bishops. It is now the time of which Christ spoke: "There will rise up many false Christs and false prophets"

Those (modernist bishops) are the false prophets. But one ought not - nor has one the right - to believe them. Soon, one will no longer be able to believe them, because they... because they... have accepted so many novelties. We are in them; we from down there (he points downward) have stirred them up. Prior to that, we deliberated a great deal as to how to destroy the Catholic Mass.

On the subject of obedience to bishops who are not on the right path:

J (Judas Iscariot): I have to say that, today, many bishops are not on the good road, and those ones must not be obeyed. Obedience is of great importance. Even in Heaven, Obedience is written in large letters. But it is now the time of the howling wolves.

E: Continue, Judas Iscariot, in the name of the Immaculate Conception, in the name...! You have no right to lie, in the name...!

J: No lamb throws itself into the jaws of the wolf. One cannot give obedience to wolves.

E: In the name of Jesus, continue; continue, in the name.., in the name of the Saints who were not traitors and whose relics are placed on your brow, continue!

J: All men flee when the wolf arrives. Now, alas, it is the time of the wolves. Many bishops have become ravening wolves who no longer know what they are saying; and they must not be obeyed. In the eyes of Heaven itself, they can no longer lay claim to obedience.

E: Continue, Judas Iscariot, in the name of the Blessed Virgin!

J. One can make reference only to the Pope!

On the subject of bishops and priests who lack courage:

After a stubborn battle between the exorcist and the demon Beelzebub, the latter absolutely refusing to speak, here are the avowals which he was finally compelled to make:

Beelzebub: They (he points upward) say: Adore, adore more, have more veneration before the Most High, Infinite, Sublime, Universal Majesty of God. It is much greater than you believe. Never turn your back on the Blessed Sacrament (painful breathing) and exhort others also to adore the Majesty of God by bringing it to their notice without delay. Think how the greatest courage and even the greatest good will (gasps and groans) must appear compared with such Majesty; or think how everyone should prostrate themselves in the dust before such Majesty. And how much more should they grovel in the dust, and how repugnant to the Divine Majesty are those who are cowardly, like present-day superiors, bishops and priests who, in the name of God, have no courage at all and who turn more towards exterior things than towards that which is their duty: that which they are commanded to do by Those up there (he points upward), that which the impetus of grace inspires in them. Often they do not respond to the impulses of grace (because this is so difficult in our era) and take the road of so-called obedience, which is no longer obedience in the minds of Those up there (he points upward), as we have previously been compelled to say.

From these transcripts, the clear message is that the Pope must be obeyed in all circumstances, but this unequivocal obedience does not automatically apply to lower-ranked clergy, including cardinals and bishops.

These references also detail quite specific instances where obedience is not required and can be contrary to the faith. There are probably other specific instances. It is not to say that obedience loses even a smidgeon of its weight or importance. For it is surely important and often commanded, as in the following, where mystics were obliged to be obedient by Christ Himself:

The Example of the Saints

In the Diary of St Faustina Kowalska we read:
"...Jesus says; 'Obedience. I have come to do My Father’s will. I obeyed my Parents, I obeyed My tormentors and now I obey the Priests' ...I understood that our efforts, no matter how great, are not pleasing to God if they do not bear the seal of obedience.... I understand, O Jesus, the spirit of obedience and in what it consists. It includes not only external actions, but also one’s reason, will and judgment. In obeying our superiors, we obey God.." -Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska
 And elsewhere in her diary she writes:
"Satan can even clothe himself in a cloak of humility, but he does not know how to wear the cloak of obedience." (Diary, par. 939).

And St Catherine of Siena states
“Oh! How sweet and glorious is this virtue of obedience, which contains all the other virtues! Because it is born of charity, and on it the rock of the holy Faith is founded; it is a queen, and he who espouses it knows no evil, but only peace and rest.”

On one occasion, the Sacred Heart of Jesus made a request to St Margaret Mary Alocoque, but when she told her Superior this request, her Superior did not approve. Soon afterwards, when Jesus came to her again, she asked Him about this, and He replied: "…not only do I desire that you should do what your Superior commands, but also that you should do nothing of all that I request of you without their consent. I love obedience, and without it no one can please Me" [Autobiography of St Margaret Mary].

Elsewhere in her Autobiography, we read that St Margaret Mary was told by Our Lord: "Listen, My daughter, and do not lightly believe and trust every spirit, for Satan is angry and will try to deceive you. So do nothing without the approval of those who guide you. Being thus under the authority of obedience, his efforts against you will be in vain, for he has no power over the obedient" [cf. -Autobiography]

So, here are specific instances where a directive from Christ Himself overrides everything.

There is also an underlying idea that obedience springs from, and depends upon, the trustworthiness of superiors and their fitness to guide, and/or the amount of insight about the specific situation Christ has allowed the superior to have and therefore the most that can be expected from the superior. And it is the absence and loss of this fundamental trust that is perhaps being referred to in the examples of permissible disobedience provided earlier.

Can we apply this to modern day situations? I certainly think so. These are the times Christ spoke of when he said "There will rise up many false Christs and false prophets".

An obvious, though unlikely, scenario might be if the local Bishop says that abortion is OK and to go right ahead and do it. This is obviously not to be obeyed.

More subtly, a disparity might exist between the local application of a central Vatican decree or recommendation. For example, when a local bishop forbids holding hands during the Our Father or receiving communion while kneeling down or on the tongue, when the Vatican itself does not forbid it or even recommends it. Obedience is certainly not necessary in these instances.

Another example might be if a local Bishop forbade pilgrims from going to an apparition site when the Vatican says that they may go. This situation occurred in Medjugorje, where the local bishop, who was against the apparitions and officially declared them false, forbade pilgrimages and ordered the seers to stop their apparitions. Confused faithful sought clarification from the Vatican and were advised, through Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of the CDF, that pilgimages were allowed and that the opinion of the local bishop is, and remains, "his personal opinion". Today, supporters of the local bishop continue to fly the flag of obedience to the local bishop and the visionaries have made a point of complying despite the history, tensions and onerousness of the directives.

In conclusion, a rule of thumb to follow:
  1. Always obey the Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin Mary
  2. Always obey the Pope
  3. Test everything any lower-ranking clergy decrees against what is decreed by The Holy Trinity, Mary and the Pope.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Seedy Aggression Against Medjugorje Followers

Here is a comment, which appeared on an anti-Medjugorje website, which pretty much sums up the whole problem that Medjugorje believers have with this type of agressive anti-Medjugorje campaigning.

"Personally Diane, I sense that you are one who is promoting division. Thanks to Medjugorje, I and thousands of others are now devout Catholics who practice the sacraments and hold the Eucharist at the center of our devotion. Your blogs and aggressive journalism seek to destroy an effective avenue for many non-Catholics or non-practicing Catholics (unbelievers) to return to the Church. I feel so sorry for you and your continued cynicism that seeks to divide rather than unite. You and other Medjugorje cynics are the only ones speaking of division. Those who have come home to Catholicism through Medjugorje certainly aren't speaking of division but rather of unity with Christ."

There is a harvest underway as the poster rightly points out. The actions of certain groups will only spoil it. This comment was attacked as a pack of wolves on a rabbit. The attack was done in a pack way yet with feigned outward cordiality.

The aggression against Medjugorje is the first cause. It is the root of the division. It is quite evident from all available evidence that it has its roots with the communist government and the local bishops (whatever the machinations are there). It is not Medjugorje believers who started this whole thing. Diane posts elsewhere that she blogs about Medjugorje because of all the antagonism toward the local bishop because he didn't approve the apparition. How convenient. Sorry, but how can anyone not notice what travails the Bishop has endured at the hands of practically everyone, and it's almost as if he has brought it upon himself. Jozo stuck to his beliefs and went to jail for it. Simple. Zanic seemed to vacillate and opened himself up to rumour and the old adage that where there's smoke, there's fire. Pride may have been a factor - that Mary would never reprimand a bishop. If something the Bishop has said or done is pointed out in a negative light by practically everyone in the Vatican, the Yugoslav Bishop's Conference and Mary herself, what is to be done?

Here's what was tried by Medjugorje believers, in an effort to extract direction from the turmoil...

They wrote to Rome. They got a reply. The reply from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was not favourable to the local Bishop stance on Medjugorje. Medjugorje believers had their answer. Since then, it has all been nothing but pre-emptive bluster and harvest-spoiling.

Medjugorje has never been condemned by the Vatican after two investigations and now into a third. There is no decree about speaking against Medjugorje on blogs, but surely one can see that this is a type of disobedience towards the Vatican, who already ordered Bishop Zanic to desists spreading his ideas. We see also that Bishop Peric has undertaken self-imposed silence on the subject of Medjugorje. We see subtle Vatican moves to stop this hooplah affecting a sane approach to Medjugorje with plans to create a separate diocese of Medjugorje, separate and distinct from Mostar. I welcome this.

I would like people like Patrick Madrid and Diane K to please consider taking a leaf from Peric's book, let it go, and let God's harvest continue. This is essentially what the original poster was yearning for, as I am.

Patrick is hosting a discussion on Catholic Answers about Mejjugorje in March. If this goes ahead, I hope he comes prepared. Because, I for one, am not going to stand by and watch even more of God's harvest potentially being ripped from His hands.

Patrick is a good man. A little proud perhaps. He doesn't need to get tangled up in this. He should show restraint. Aggression with a suit, tie and gentle demeanour is a particularly foul type of aggression in my book. This division has gone on long enough. Sometimes, we just have to let go and let God. Prayer is the answer! I, for one, have no issue letting go and letting God. I would love to get together with Patrick, Diane and anyone else and form a prayer group to PRAY for mutual guidance and wisdom and for God's will to be done, but I feel that they need to be moderated, and that is the only reason I keep going. Do we believe in the power of prayer? Do we believe that we should "be still and know that He is God"? Do we trust God? Let's put out beliefs to the test! Surely God knows better than we do. Let's pray!

Patrick Madrid Fails Again

Oh how I hate writing negative things about people I look up to. Patrick, stick to apologetics.

I'm referring to Patrick's latest blog entry here.

Diane M. Korzeniewski has obviously been in his ear again and he falls for it every time. I wish he would shake himself free from her. What does he owe her anyway?

Patrick's blog entry is entitled "DEBUNKING SIX UNTRUTHS PUSHED BY MEDJUGORJE PROMOTERS". There are five so-called "untruths" pushed by known Medjugorje antagonist and conspiracy theorist Louis Bélanger, which I, for one, would not bother pushing if I were promoting Medjugorje.

Here's what I responded on his blog (which probably won't make it through moderation).

Patrick, did you even read what the “untruths” consisted of? I’m actually sure you did, which makes it even more lousy than if you hadn’t.

Do you know who Bélanger is? This is the work of spin doctors who went to work with great haste after the book’s release, thinking to themselves “quick, untruths, how many can we drag up?”. I don’t want to use the word naive with you, but man oh man!

5 years of research swept under the carpet with a list of 5 “untruths” from a known Medjugorje antagonist? I must say I am very surprised and expected a little more from you.

Let’s examine the five “untruths” (where did you get the sixth):

1) “The day the seers met with the Gospa for the first time was the 25th June”.
This is not false. Our Lady first appeared on the 24th, but the children were so frightened that they ran away and never approached her and so never “met with the Gospa”. The 25th was the second apparition when the children did not run away and plucked up the courage to approach her. The loaded word “UNTRUTH” was used for this, which isn’t even a little mistake. It’s absolute truth. This should tell you something about the writer of the rebuttal.

2) “Žanić in the course of 1986 alone went to Rome 14 times”.
Apparently, it was only 7. How do we validate this? Does it matter in the larger scheme of things how many times he went to Rome?? Again, the word “UNTRUTH” was used about this, at best, irrelevant “mistake”.

3) “That Žanić had lost authority in the eyes of his diocesan priests can also be seen by the fact that in August of this year [1987] he decreed a change, a transfer for ten priests, and none of them obeyed this decree from Žanić.”
This so-called “untruth” is merely a semantical issue over the word “decree”. Essentially, what Belanger is saying is “it wasn’t actually a “decree”, so there could be no “disobedience”, even though in one way or another no priest agreed to be transferred!!

4) “Kuharić attacked Žanić in his presentation regarding his positions on the case of the “apparitions”, which offended Žanić, who left the meeting in protest.”
Was Belanger present at the meeting? No, he relied on minutes and look at what he chose for his rebuttal! (Emphasis is mine) “The meeting PROCEEDED with a serene exposition on the part of the Cardinal and the Bishop; and of the 18 bishops present, 13, including Bishop Žanić, participated in the discussion. This is the truth.” I’m sure it is the truth, Mr Belanger, that the meeting PROCEEDED serenely. Most meetings do. But, how did the meeting CONCLUDE?

5) A letter supposedly sent to Kuharić, Franic and Peric by the Secret Police, designed to compromise Zanic in the eyes of the Vatican.
According to Peric, he never received the letter. But Belanger does not confirm whether Kuharić or Franic received the letter. Interesting as they were both part of the Bishops’ Conference for the second investigation. And WHY does Belanger think Peric would have passed the letter onto the Vatican? Tornielli didn’t say that. He simply said that, as per the documented minutes of the meeting, there were plans to compromise Zanic’s standing in the eyes of the Vatican. To this end a letter drafted was sent to UDBA superiors for approval. That seems to be as far as Tornielli goes. Belanger uses the fact that there was no action against Zanic, and in fact, apparent promotion, as a “nya nya..see there wasn’t any such letter”. But, why would the Vatican remove Zanic anyway? For a bad call on Medjugorje? I hardly think so. And was Zanic promoted? No. Belanger tries to paint “filling in at Dubrovnik until a new bishop was appointed” as “promotion”. NO UNTRUTHS HERE!

Come on Patrick.

CORRECTION: The five "untruths" were not drafted by Louis Belanger, rather than by Mgr Ratko Peric himself. Mr Belanger took it upon himself to spread these "untruths" and, in the confusion of he-said/she-said, the originator became confused.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Key Website for Medjugorje Apologetics

Here is the best website I've found for Medjugorje apologetics.

Ever since the early days when the communist government sowed its seeds of antagonism against the apparitions, the now vast ugly thorrn patch of confusion has gone viral with many websites and aggressors parroting the same lies to millions of eyes and ears already plumped up on a diet of  conspiracy theory for the past few decades.

For a good number of years I've been answering these critics here and on, but it seems a new one is born every minute and its tempting to simply give up.

In answering these critics, with a view to letting God's harvest continue without unofficial interruption, I have often been rude and antagonist. Medjugorje Apologia has none of that, patiently, thoroughly and objectively putting to bed all of the common objections, backed up with documentation and references wherever possible.

So, next time you meet one of these people, point them to Medjugorje Apologia!

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