Despite it being known as a supplier of false messages, Pope Francis authorizes visits to Medjugorje


Medjugorje Icon at Podbrdo, place of apparition (Beemwej)

COGWriter

Vatican News reports that Pope Francis has authorized visits to the shrine at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina:

Pope authorizes pilgrimages to Medjugorje

The announcement was made by the Apostolic Visitator, Henryk Hoser and the Apostolic Nuncio. Ad Interim Director Gisotti: “Attention given to favouring and promoting the fruits of good”, but this does not mean “an authentication of known events”.

Pope Francis has decided to authorize pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which can now be officially organized by dioceses and parishes and will no longer take place only in a private capacity which as has so far been the case. The announcement was made today during Mass, at the parish shrine which has become a destination for millions of pilgrims, by the Apostolic Nuncio Luigi Pezzuto in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the Holy See’s Special Apostolic Visitator.

Pilgrimages do not authenticate known events

The “ad interim” director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, responding to journalists’ questions about the announcement, specified that the papal authorization must be accompanied by “care to prevent these pilgrimages from being interpreted as an authentication of known events, which still require examination by the Church. Therefore,  care must be taken to avoid creating confusion or ambiguity from the doctrinal point of view regarding such pilgrimages. This also concerns pastors of every order and level who intend to go to Medjugorje and celebrate or concelebrate there even in a solemn way”. 05/12/19 https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-05/pope-authorizes-pilgrimages-to-medjugorje.html

In the past, Pope Francis has voiced serious concerns about the “authenticity” of the apparition and messages at Medjugorje.  It has been over tfive years since Vatican Radio announced that a special commission had completed its report on Medjugorje and it has not yet revealed its report. Here is an earlier report with some comments from Pope Francis about it:

May 14, 2017

Pope Francis has voiced serious doubt about the authenticity of alleged continuing apparitions of the Madonna in Medjugorje, a once-obscure village in Bosnia boosted by the pilgrim business.

“These presumed apparitions don’t have a lot of value. This I say as a personal opinion,” he told reporters on his plane returning on Saturday night from Portugal where he gave the Catholic Church two new child saints. [L8N1IF0M1]

Six children first reported visions of the Virgin Mary in 1981 in a scenario reminiscent of famous apparitions in the French town of Lourdes in the 19th century and 100 years ago in Fatima, which Francis visited on Friday and Saturday.

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 some were expelled from the order and the local bishop called them schismatic.

Some of the alleged visionaries, now adults, say they still experience apparitions regularly, and that the Madonna tells them ahead of time when she will appear to them.

Many say the apparitions are a hoax.

Former Pope Benedict set up a commission of theologians and bishops to study the situation. Its report has not been published but was given to Pope Francis in 2014.

Francis said investigations are continuing into the first alleged apparitions when the reported visionaries were children or teenagers, but again made it clear that he is highly sceptical about today’s claims.

“The (commission) report has its doubts. I personally am more nasty. I prefer the Madonna as mother, our mother, and not a Madonna who is the head of a telegraph office, who every day sends a message at such-and-such an hour. This is not the Mother of Jesus,” he said.

“Who thinks that the Madonna says, ‘Come tomorrow at this time, and at such time I will deliver a message to that visionary?'” he said.

But Francis acknowledged that some people who go to Medjugorje experience a spiritual renewal and “encounter God, change their lives.” https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-05-14/pope-says-doubts-medjugorje-apparitions-are-authentic

People are not encountering the true God of the Bible when they experience and believe the Medjugorje nonsense.

Here is something else from Vatican News about it:

Medjugorje, the Marian faith and the decision of the Pastor

The authorization of pilgrimages is a sign of recognition of the good that happens in the parish shrine, where many people come closer to the sacraments

13 May 2019

Pope authorizes pilgrimages to Medjugorje

“I believe” that “in Medjugorje there is grace. There is no denying it. There are people who convert,” said the Pope in 2013 in dialogue with Father Alexandre Awi Mello, a Mariologist and now Secretary of the Department for the Laity, the Family and Life. In that interview, transformed into a book (It’s My Mother. Meetings with Mary, Città Nuova editions), Pope Francis certainly warned against the protagonism of the visionaries and the multiplication of messages and secrets, but without ever disregarding the positive fruits of the experience of pilgrimages. In the preface to that book, the Argentine theologian Carlos María Galli wrote: “For Francis the most important thing is the Marian faith of the “holy people faithful to God”, which teaches us to love Mary beyond theological reflection. As a son and member, like any other, of the People of God, Bergoglio – Francis – participates in the sensus fidei fidelium and identifies himself with the profound Marian piety of the Christian people”.

It is precisely for this reason that, by continuing to study the phenomenon of Medjugorje and without there being a pronouncement on the authenticity of the apparitions, the Pope intended to acknowledge those who face the hardships of the journey to go and pray in that place. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-05/medjugorje-the-marian-faith-and-the-decision-of-the-pastor.html

Of course, the Christian faith is NOT the ‘Marian faith.’ Visiting Medjugorje  does not result in conversions to the true and original Christian faith.

Interestingly, Gene Hogberg, when part of the Worldwide Church of God wrote the following related to apparitions like Medjugorje:

Medjugorje,Yugoslavia. Since June 24, 1981, several young people have experienced “Mary” in apparition on a  daily basis. The form that they see, touch and converse with, though no one else around them can, has admonished them to continually pray and perform other religious duties. The young visionaries also claim to have received 10 secrets concerning the future of the world. At the very beginning six years ago the apparition presented herself saying, “I am the Queen of Peace.”

I obtained literature about the Medjugorje phenomenon at a Catholic ecumenical bookstore near St. Peter’s Basilica. The sales clerk said that Medjugorje is a far bigger event than has been portrayed in the American press.It is apparent that some startling days lie ahead. (Hogberg G. Election surprising, pope peers at Russia. Worldwide News, June 22, 1987, p. 2)

Although I met Gene Hogberg in in the 1980s, we never discussed Medjugorje–but the above indicates that he thought in may become more significant in the future. And it is still relevant to many over four decades later.

For those unfamiliar with Medjugorje, it is a town located in the Herzegovina region of western Bosnia and Herzegovina where false messages and claimed miracles related to an alleged ‘Marian apparition.’

The ‘She’ there is often referred to as “Our Lady of Medjugorje” and “Our Lady Queen of Peace” by those who believe that she has been appearing since 24 June 1981 to six children in Medjugorje. This apparition allegedly has been giving daily (or nearly daily) messages to three or so people ever since.

While the findings of the commission report have not been released, many Catholics correctly believe this apparition is false and not from Jesus’ mother Mary. Because of the ‘daily message’ aspects of it, many believe that Pope Francis was also condemning Medjugorje when he made the following statement on November 14, 2013:

Curiosity impels us to want to feel that the Lord is here or rather there, or leads us to say: “But I know a visionary, who receives letters from Our Lady, messages from Our Lady.” But look, Our Lady is the Mother of everyone! And she loves all of us. She is not a postmaster, sending messages every day. http://www.catholicismusa.com/instead-of-curiosity-and-seeking-novelities-listen-to-the-breeze-of-wisdom/

Despite the fact that the messages from Medjugorje often are not true, Pope Francis seems to be content to let many followers of his church visit the location while he has doubts about the frequency of the messages.

He should strongly condemn Medjugorje. The Medjugorje apparition is false–it is demonic. But again, since Pope Francis has endorsed other demonic apparitions (Fatima and Guadalupe come to immediate mind) he seems content, at least for now, to express relatively mild doubts–while also encouraging people who want to visit Medjugorje.

By the way, it is not just my view that this apparition is false. Notice the following reports, mainly from Catholic leaders, as cited on Wikipedia:

On 10 April 1991, the Yugoslav Episcopal Conference issued at Zadar a declaration that states: “It cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations.” (Biskupije Mostar-Duvno Trebinje-Mrkan”. Cbismo.com. 2009-06-06. Retrieved 2013-04-01)

On 2 October 1997, Bishop Ratko Perić of the diocese of Mostar-Duvno, in which Medjugorje is situated, wrote: “On the basis of the serious study of the case by 30 of our ‘studiosi’, on my episcopal experience of five years in the Diocese, on the scandalous disobedience that surrounds the phenomenon, on the lies that are at times put into the mouth of the ‘Madonna’, on the unusual repetition of “messages” of over 16 years, on the strange way that the ‘spiritual directors’ of the so-called ‘visionaries’ accompany them through the world making propaganda of them, on the practice that the ‘Madonna’ appears at the ‘fiat’ of the ‘visionaries’, my conviction and position is not only non constat de supernaturalitate [the supernaturality is not proven] but also the other formula constat de non supernaturalitate [the non-supernaturality is proven] of the apparitions or revelations of Medjugorje.” (Ratko Perić, Bishop of Mostar (2 October 1997). “Letter to Thierry Boutet, editor of Famille Chrétienne“. Retrieved 2 December 2013)

On 21 October 2013, the Apostolic Nunciature to the United States communicated, on behalf of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that, in the light of the 1991 Zadar declaration about the Medjugorje events, Catholics, whether clergy or laypeople, “are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such ‘apparitions’ would be taken for granted” (http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2013/11/2013-cdf-twice-to-us-bishops-on.html)

Marian apparitions are not from the God of the Bible.

Notice what one allegedly “Marian” message stated in Pfaffenhofen, Germany on April 25, 1946:

Wherever it is taught that I am all-powerful, I will spread peace, for peace will be where all men have faith in my power…I am the sign of the Living God…” (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, p. 216).

The Bible does not state that Mary is all-powerful, that people should have faith in her power, or that she is the sign of the Living God. But it appears that apparitions claiming to be Mary (or somehow implying that) may ultimately be claimed to be a confirming sign for a power that will emerge in the 21st century that is actually opposed to the true God. And the above apparition is implying that those who do not have faith in her power will not have peace–hence those who hold fast to the Bible will apparently be persecuted by those who have faith in Mary (see also Persecutions by Church and State).

Notice something I reported about Medjugorje and related matters (such as the alleged Marian apparitions in Fatima, Portugal) in 2012:

What About the Healings?

Are claimed healings associated with Fatima proof that the messages were from God? There are several reasons to consider that they are not proof.

The first is that there have been hundreds of claimed healings from those going to discredited sites like Medjugorje. According to Msgr. Pavao Zanic, Bishop of Mostar, the “seers” claimed messages from the “Marian” apparition that were clearly false and the facts he laid out prove this…

Ecumenical Private Revelations and Medjugorje

Some Fatima supporters are afraid that “a politically correct and ‘ecumenical’ revisionist ‘interpretation’ of the Message of Fatima” is being adopted by certain members of the Catholic clergy.

Some also believe that the messages of Medjugorje are “heresy after heresy” and encourage ecumenism that many Fatimists oppose.

The “Lady” in Medjugorje allegedly said:

All religions are equal before God…In God there are no divisions or religions; it is you in the world that created divisions…God directs all denominations as a king directs his subjects…It is you who are divided on the earth. The Muslims and the Orthodox, like the Catholics, are equal before my Son and before me, for you are all my children. (Ferrara C. Setting the Record Straight. The Fatima Crusader, 98, Spring 2011, pp. 19-20)

Since the Fatimists can (correctly) denounce Medjugorje as heresy because of some of the messages, all should realize that the same is true with many of the messages of Fatima.

Msgr. Pavao Zanic, the former Bishop of Mostar (which includes Medjugorje), in 1990 wrote:

For even a short description of the falsehoods about Medjugorje we would need 200 pages… Presbitero Rodriguez Teofilo…asked me for the reasons why I do not believe in the “apparitions”… I told him about the case of the ex-Franciscan priest Ivica Vego. Due to his disobedience, by an order of the Holy Father the Pope, he was thrown out of his Franciscan religious order OFM by his General, dispensed from his vows and suspended “a divinis.” He did not obey this order and he continued to celebrate Mass, distribute the sacraments and pass the time with his mistress. It is unpleasant to write about this, yet it is necessary in order to see who Our Lady is speaking of. According to the diary of Vicka and the statements of the “seers,” Our Lady mentioned 13 times that he is innocent and that the bishop is wrong. When his mistress, sister Leopolda, a nun, became pregnant, both of them left Medjugorje and the religious life and began to live together near Medjugorje where their child was born. Now they have two children. His prayerbook is still sold in Medjugorje and beyond in hundreds of thousands of copies.

Yet, many still believe in Medjugorje.

In 1985, Cardinal Ratzinger “banned pilgrimages to the site. But this has been widely ignored. Instead the seers have grown wealthy as a result of their claims.”

The banning was ignored because many believe that because some of the messages seem fine (the devil is subtle enough not to make all the messages clearly false), some are curious, and others believe that various claimed healings at Medjugorje are proof that it is valid anyway. But obviously Mary of the Bible would not have made false statements justifying a fornicating priest nor would she have endorsed all religions as equal as was claimed.

Notice that in 1985, Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, also condemned Medjugorje.

Yet, because of signs, personal feelings, and allegedly healings and conversions, many within Roman Catholicism as well as some without (someone lent me a book of Medjugorje a few months ago written by a Protestant who became convinced the messages are genuinely from Mary), consider these signs to be miraculous proof that Mary is present in Medjugorje and is now speaking to us. Despite the fact that parts of what is said are clearly blasphemous and against scripture.

Why should anyone care about this?

Although most non-Catholics do not think that reports of apparitions can affect them, if they live long enough this century, they will find that this is not the case. Claimed Marian apparitions are a much bigger deal than people realize and seems to tie in with a variety of prophecies throughout the Bible (e.g. Isaiah 47, Matthew 24, 2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 17).

Furthermore, did you know that apparitions that some believe to be Mary were partially responsible for how the Greco-Roman churches gained influence over the Church of God in Asia Minor in the third century and Europe in the Middle Ages? Did you know that basically because of apparitions in Mexico and Russia that nearly all of Latin America became “Catholic” and Russia became accepting of icons? Did you know that Satan has many in Asia and elsewhere looking to female apparitions and apparently has had his seers prophesy that one or more future “Marian” apparitions will help the Beast/Great Monarch rise up?

Jesus warned that nearly everyone would be deceived in the end (Matthew 24:24) and apparitions seem likely to be part of why.

Partially what Medjugorje itself shows is that despite facts, truth, and warnings, people often want to believe what they think they see as opposed to the truth. This will become a bigger problem later as well.

The Bible specifically warns of a “virgin” that uses enchantments who is also called the Lady of Kingdoms. Notice the following as shown in a Catholic version of the Bible:

1 Come down, sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne for the daughter of the Chaldeans, for thou shalt no more be called delicate and tender…4 Our redeemer, the Lord of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel. 5 Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called the lady of kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people, I have polluted my inheritance, and have given them into thy bend: thou hast shown no mercy to them: upon the ancient thou hast laid thy yoke exceeding heavy.

7 And thou hast said: I shall be a lady forever: thou hast not laid these things to thy heart, neither hast thou remembered thy latter end.

8 And now hear these things, thou that art delicate, and dwellest confidently, that sayest in thy heart: I am, and there is none else besides me: I shall not sit as a widow, and I shall not know barrenness.

9 These two things shall come upon thee suddenly in one day, barrenness and widowhood. All things are come upon thee, because of the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great hardness of thy enchanters. 10 And thou best trusted in thy wickedness, and hast said: There is none that seeth me. Thy wisdom, and thy knowledge, this hath deceived thee. And thou best said in thy heart: I am, and besides me there is no other. 11 Evil shall come upon thee, and then shalt not know the rising thereof: and calamity shall fall violently upon thee, which thou canst not keep off: misery shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. 12 Stand now with thy enchanters, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, in which thou hast laboured from thy youth, if so be it may profit thee any thing, or if thou mayst become stronger. 13 Thou hast failed in the multitude or thy counsels: let now the astrologers stand and save thee, they that gazed at the stars, and counted the months, that from them they might tell the things that shall come to thee. (Isaiah 47:1, 4-7, 11-13, DRB)

In the New Testament, notice what the Apostle Paul warned:

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

Deception must be clever to work, and multitudes have already been deceived by signs and wonders coming from statues and alleged apparitions of Mary. The “interfaith movement” will like employ “Mary” as a tool for improper unity (see Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction?).

As far as the Bible goes, all should realize that there is nothing in the Bible, or even in early church writings, that supports the view that God wanted to use weeping statues, apparitions, etc. of Mary. Sadly, however, multiple millions are not willing to truly accept that–and more will be deceived in the future.

For more information, please check out the following:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Fatima and the ‘Miracle’ of the Sun On October 13, 1917, tens of thousands of people witnessed what they considered to be a miracle in the sky in Fatima, Portugal. Was this a miracle from God? Can you be certain? A video of some related interest is Fatima and Pope Francis. Here is a link to the sermon: Fatima and the ‘Miracle of the Sun’.
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.

Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?
Do you understand the ramifications of the ‘Lady of Guadalupe’? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future?
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.



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