I know very many very good people for whom the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje have played an enormously important role in their conversions and/or devotional life. I also know many people, whose discernment I greatly respect, who have been extremely skeptical about the phenomenon. When I have investigated the negative claims they have generally been vindicated. I have long heard advocates of Medjugorje say that the Holy See had suspended the authority of the diocesan bishop and the local episcopate in regard to the alleged apparitions. I always ask to see the document that effected this and it has never been forthcoming. It is now clear from the US Nuncio’s letter on behalf of the CDF that it does not exist. One of the foremost signs of a false private revelation is refusal to submit to legitimate ecclesiastical authority. Some devotees of Medjugorje I know have cited (apparently authentic) counter-examples. Thus such disobedience must be only a strong sign of in-authenticity rather than a proof. I know a priest who used to accompany pilgrimages to Medjugorje but openly denied the authenticity of the revelations. Another priest I know who lived in Bosnia for some time summarized the view of many such persons as “I am sure the Holy Spirit is present in Medjugorje, I’m just not convinced Our Lady has ever been there”. The question is, if the most recent letter is a trailer for a formal rejection of Medjugorje by the CDF, how will its devotees react? The loose expressions used by the Pope in his two recent interviews and the perception, fostered by liberals and the MSM, that he is ambiguous in his support for the Pro-Life movement and his opposition to the progress of organised sodomy could easily be used to justify some sort of mutiny. A papal approval of a revelation does not guarantee its authenticity (although the canonization of the visionary effectively does) only that it is not unreasonable to accept it and it won’t do you any harm. A condemnation is different, it really does command obedience from the faithful. If it were specified that the revelations were doctrinally deviant it would also command assent. If a revelation is inauthentic there are three obvious explanations: fraud, hysteria or the devil. Hysteria seems unlikely in this case. If fraud is the explanation then the motive seems obvious as the financial benefits are clear. If the explanation were the third and most disturbing option then the question arises ‘why would the evil one perpetrate a deception which has occasioned so many conversions’? The opponents of Medjugorje have often suggested that this moment is precisely the end game prepared for. A condemnation of Medjugorje would be a massive test of faith and obedience for many pious souls. We must prepare ourselves for a perfect storm.
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