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Is Medjugorje on the brink of vatican declaration as a fraud?

Posted by on Sunday, October 11, 2009, 22:58
This item was posted in Maria, Marian News and has 9 Comments so far.


Medjugorje has been the longest apparition claim to date, spanning 3 decades and going into its fourth starting from 1981 up to the present, thus giving skeptics the reason that in Church History, the Mother of God does not appear to children that long, and that there is a possibility of prolonging the apparition for economic purposes and vested interests. Medjugorje has also been the most bitterest battle between the faithful and Vatican Officials, citing 10 expulsion of Franciscan Friars from the order due to defiance and subordination, and a number of excommunication handed down by the current archbishop of Bosnia. There is a talk that the Vatican will soon hand down its decision against the alleged apparition. Reuters tackled the issue recently:

Has the Virgin Mary been appearing daily for many years in the once obscure Bosnian village of Medjugorje to share religious messages with a few local believers? Is the site visited by over 30 million pilgrims a hoax? The question has long divided Catholics who have debated whether the visions are a modern-day miracle, wishful thinking or the result of an elaborate fraud.

After observing events sceptically for many years, the Vatican may soon issue firmer guidance for Catholics on the claim that the mother of Jesus has been visiting the Balkans, Cardinal Vinko Puljic, head of the bishops’ conference in Bosnia, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. That guidance, if it clearly expresses the scepticism the official Church has long shown towards the Medjugorje phenomenon, could deal a serious blow to a site some Catholics see as a “new Lourdes.”

“We are now awaiting a new directive on this issue,” said Puljic, the Sarajevo archbishop who survived the city’s long wartime siege in the 1990s. “I don’t think we must wait for a long time, I think it will be this year, but that is not clear… I am going to Rome in November and we must discuss this.”

Official Church scepticsm about Medjugorje has become more public in recent months. In June, Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar, the nearest city in Bosnia, warned Catholics against uncritical belief in Medjugorje and issued a series of restrictions on the parish. “Brothers and sisters, let us not act as if these ‘apparitions’ were recognised and worthy of faith,” he said in a sermon (full text here in Italian translation).

Then in July, Pope Benedict defrocked Rev. Tomislav Vlasic, the former “spiritual director” to the six visionaries, after a year-long probe into charges he exaggerated the apparitions and had fathered a child with a nun.

The investigation, according to a Catholic News Service report, focused on alleged “dubious doctrine, the manipulation of consciences, suspect mysticism and disobedience towards legitimately issued orders.” One account of his story called him “a modern-day Rasputin with a taste for sex and séances” and another placed the Medjugorje story in the context of anti-communism and Croatian nationalism.

Six children first reported visions of the Virgin Mary in 1981 in a scenario reminiscent of famous apparitions in the French town of Lourdes and Fatima in Portugal. In the following years, the Bosnian village became a major pilgrimage site, giving many visitors a renewed sense of spirituality and locals a steady source of much-needed revenue. It also became the focus of controversy as local Franciscan priests running the site promoted their claims in such open defiance of warnings from the Vatican that 10 of them were expelled from the order and the local bishop called them schismatic.

The 1992-95 Bosnian war disrupted the flow of pilgrims, but with three now middle-aged locals still reporting visions, thousands still flock to the Bosnian town every year. One of the visionaries, Ivan Dragicevic, says on the Medjugorje website that he has received nine out of ten secrets from the Virgin Mary, another element reminiscent of Fatima. He now spends half the year in Medjugorje and the other half in the United States, stopping off in places such as Canada and Peru as well to give lectures on his experiences.

Puljic declined to give his own views on the events of Medjugorje. “People have the right to pray everywhere, including in Medjugorje,” he said.

“It is not a sin to pray, it’s not a sin to hear confessions, it is not a sin to give penance, this is a good climate. But this phenomena, apparitions or visions, falls to the (Vatican) commission,” said the cardinal. “It is a very delicate question.” Source.

Do you think Medjugorje represents a miracle or a fraud? What should the Vatican say about it?

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  1. John
    12 October, 2009, 15:11

    Medjugorje is a fraud. It is also mentioned in the book of Revelations, the dragon which has 10 horns, ( the 10 secrets). The seven heads are the 6 visionaries plus the seventh which has the mortal wound that healed, which is Fr. Sudac. Fr. Sudac is the beast which will be born from the false virgin (Medjugorje).
    Sudac, which means Judge, is the one from the tribe of Dan, which also means Judge. The mortal wound is the cross, or sword which Sudac has on his forehead.

  2. 15 October, 2009, 1:29

    I once attended a mass/speaking engagement with Ivan Dragicevic…(5 hours long)..I listened to his every word (through a translator)…and twice he stopped during the service as if to talk to the Virgin Mary, whom he said was at that very church with all of us during that night. hmm, I am not a skeptic, but somehow, he did not make that much of an impression on me…

    sorry po Mama Mary kung totoo man yon talaga!

  3. Robert
    19 May, 2010, 8:37

    :cry: I would venture a guess that it is fraud. Why prolonged for so many years? The “visionaries” have gone on so long with their stories, retracting at this point would, of course, affect thousands or millions who have trusted these “visionaries.” They would hurt many, many believers. Then again, they are hurting them now if their stories are their own creations. I think, too, that sometimes people come to believe their own stories and, in some way, create their own “visions” maybe unconsciously. Yet, truth would be best. If the “visionaries” have lied about their “apparitions,” may they confess now and take whatever comes. The Vatican had better get cracking on this, too. 28 or 29 years of questionable “apparitions” is long enough. The Blessed Virgin is not a nag.

  4. Richard
    1 August, 2010, 16:52

    The Vatican has not commented either way, however Pope John Paul 2 had only positive things to say about Medjugorje. The fact that Tomislav has been defrocked has no bearing on the autheticity of the apparitions. Who do you think the devil is going to work hardest on to discredit the apparitions if they are ligit? He was very closely linked to the visionaries, maybe the fame went to his head. The visionaries however have not been accused of any such behaviour. Think about it. If they were fraudsters, wouldn’t the fruits of their fraudulent natures show in their actions and behaviours generally? These kids are celebrities in the catholic world, and have held themselves well, being fine examples of how young catholics should live their lives(no scandalous behaviour has been reported). Compare that with hollywood celebs. “You will know them by their fruits”.

  5. Richard
    2 August, 2010, 11:17

    The VAtican wont make a ruling until the apparitions cease. I think its because if they rule in favour of legitimacy, then there is a chance for fraud to occur after the approval. At that time, the possibility would exist for the visionaries to invent messages and apparitions, and have many millions take it as truth, having already received church approval.

  6. 7 August, 2010, 10:02

    Whether the Apparition ceases or not, Vatican will make a ruling if the apparition is contrary to church teaching. In the case of the Medjugorje, Vatican will issue a statement. We just don’t know if its favorable or not

  7. 7 August, 2010, 10:03

    Mr. Richard, where are you from? have you been reading the news? the exact post you are commenting on is an actual news from the Vatican itself….

  8. Richard
    8 August, 2010, 23:32

    Hey Blue,

    I’m from Australia, thanks for replying. CAn you give me the source, I would like to read any statement by the Vatican on Medjugorje. As for reading the news, I don’t take a lot of stock in whats in newspapers or Television news broadcasts. I’m interested in facts, and a lot of journalists print lies and twist the truth to sell papers.

  9. Jack Gordon
    8 September, 2011, 9:16

    It’s past time to end this pathetic fraud. It is popular among right-wing American Catholics, but this would not be the first thing that crowd has gravely misjudged; look at their reaction to the condemnation by two popes of the US aggression against Iraq (for those outside the US, the right-wingers suddenly discovered that the pope’s judgment was merely a personal observation not binding on them or, of course, on  the worst president in US history, W Bush).  After a fuss, they will get over the announcement that Medjugorje is a hoax.

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