MEDJUGORJE: Setting the record straight with update from Donald Hartley
It is no secret that there is a divergence of opinions regarding the events in Medjugorje, Bosnia. Some believe in the entire 40 year history of these alleged apparitions, some believe in the first year, some believe in the first 7 apparitions and some believe Mary has not set foot in the place, even once. For the record, and full disclosure, I am a member of this last group. I believe the entire thing is a diabolical deception of the devil with a huge assist from Mammon (his demon of the love of money). (John Benko), I (Donald Hartley) do not agree with this at all. From looking at John Benko and Patrick Coffin, and their unholy Trinity of unbelivers (Donald Foley) claim the Lady of Medjugorje is a "demon" primarily because Our Lady lead a crowd in the Lord's Prayer? How could the Immaculate Conception ask for forgiveness? What this unholy alliance fail to understand is that Our Lady of Medjugorje remained silent in the Lord's Prayer much as she did praying the Rosary with St. Bernadette of Lourdes. Also they are accusing the Lady of saying things not found in the reported messages that all denominations are equal? That is not true from the reported messages themselves but from the peanut gallery.
First, Private Revelations that are approved or unsubstantiated are not binding on the faithful. For example, the Church ruled in favor of the appearances of Our Lord to both Margaret Mary Alacoque and Sister Faustina Kowalska and established devotions according to those private revelations. Though the church does encourage the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy devotions and days, it does not compel them, nor require belief under pain of sin.
This is not the case with condemned private revelations. When a private revelation is condemned by the Catholic church, devotion to- and promotion of- that revelation must cease or the offender is guilty of willful heresy. Examples of condemned private revelations are the messages of so-called "Maria Divine Mercy" and the alleged apparitions of Bayside New York. The only exception to the ban on promotion and devotion to private revelations is if the condemnation is fully and officially overturned
such as was the case of Our Lady of All nations in Amsterdam.
The jurisdiction for approval or rejection of a private revelation falls under the ordinary magisterium of the local Bishop. This brings us to Medjugorje. Well, certainly as the Vatican stepped in on the question of the Divine Mercy, St. Pope John Paul II authorized the Devotion of the Divine Mercy as he also referred to Medjugorje as an extension of Fatima.
Let me repeat, the approval or rejection falls to the magisterium of the local Bishop. Period. Full stop. That's church law. A Marian apparition does not have to be approved or rejected by the Vatican. Apparitions such as Champion, Wisconsin and Betania, Venezuela were approved by the Bishop. Bayside, New York was condemned by the Bishop.
Medjugorje was also condemned by the Bishop.... but not just once.... (not entirely true) Pope Francis has received a Commission of Bishops in which 15 Bishops gave a favorable position with Medjugorje and recognized by the foremost Vatican exorcist. Also, Pope Francis has stationed a permanent position of an Archbishop from Poland at Medjugorje.
From the Catholic Defender, Deepertruth:
World-famous exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth was one of the first priests to go to Medjugorje and one of the first supporters of the truthfulness of the Marian apparitions.
It seems that the well-known priest kept a book of secret notes that he replenished every time he returned to Bosnia.
Recently deceased, the late Father Amorth was one of the most influential exorcists of the Catholic Church of the 20th century. The priest fought all his life so that the Vatican would recognize the order of the exorcists and eventually achieved success. Now the exorcist priests have a structured international association and clear intervention procedures.
Starting in the 1980s, Father Amorth became one of the most convinced supporters of the veracity of the apparitions in Medjugorje. At the time the Church was investigating and for decades did not express an opinion on that phenomenon. Unfortunately the exorcist could not see the recognition before he died. At the end of a long investigation, in fact, the Ruini commission judged the first seven apparitions to be true.
from the site Catholic Apologetics:
The bishop in the diocese to which Medjugorje belongs, Msgr. Zanic of Mostar, remitted this duty by forming a diocesan commission to do an impartial inquiry into the events that had been taking place since 1981. After a few years of thorough and intense investigative study, which the Church always exercises to determine an unmistakable decision in these matters, the Bishop issued a statement in 1986 giving the results of the study. In the statement, Msgr. Zanic condemned the apparitions as not made by the most Holy Virgin Mary and he forbade the pilgrimages set up from the beginning without ecclesiastical approval by the pastor of Mostar.
Well this is Msgr. Zanic Vs World-famous Vatican exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth
1) The second Diocesan Commission, which worked from 1984 to 1986, voted explicitly on 2 May 1986, by an overwhelming majority for the Non constate de supernaturalitate (11 negative votes, 2 positive, 1 in nucleo, 1 in abstention). 2) The declaration of the Episcopal Conference of 1991 stated: "On the basis of studies conducted so far, it cannot be affirmed that supernatural apparitions and revelations are occurring." ...My conviction and my position is not only Non constat de supernaturalitate, but also Constat de non supernaturalitate as regards the apparitions or revelations of Medjugorje. --Msgr. Ratko Peric, Bishop of Vs World-famous exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth
Mostar, Letter of October 2, 1997, to M. Thierry Boutet, Editor of the journal Edifa.
Mr Carpenter has claimed that the Bishop is against all apparitions even Fatima and Lourdes but that's just not accurate.
In a resulting interview given by Fr. Deleclos of the Libre Belgique, Msgr. Zanic was asked: "Are you, as a matter of principle, against apparitions?" The Bishop replied: "Quite the contrary! I myself have been eight times to Lourdes and I have organized pilgrimages. I have done much for the devotion to the Most Holy Virgin. I was even in Banneux, in Beauraign (Belgium), and Syracuse (Italy), three places where the apparitions of Mary had been stated as authentic."
"However, you are not convinced of this in Medjugorje?" Reply: "I should really be glad to have a Lourdes in my diocese. It would be something grandiose. But I cannot before God, before my conscience and before the Church proclaim these apparitions are authentic and supernatural. I am certainly a sinner and unworthy to be a bishop, yet I believe it would be the worst of all the sins of my life to let this falseness pass for truth, knowing that it is a lie." Despite these words of the Bishop, which the faithful should accept as a decision from God, people continued to flock to Medjugorje and the priest did not desist from organizing pilgrimages as ordered. Interestingly Pope Francis is allowing Pilgrimages to flow to Medjugorje
Now, Pope Francis might surprise me and suddenly reverse course and obviously Pope Francis has done so
Like all good and faithful Catholics we await the final verdict coming from the Vatican which at this time is more likely to be a positive verdict. That is the importance of a permanent Archbishop position there being placed for the Pope keeping him informed of the happenings there and supervision for the millions of Pilgrims.