The Catholic Defender some thoughts from the Late Great Father John Harden
Debate over Medjugorje seems to be brewing up again as the anti-Medjugorje crowd continue to shift their weight with their misinformation. Patrick Coffin, Donal Foley, and now Fired former member of Deepertruth John Benko. I have exposed their errors calling the Virgin Mary appearing at Medjugorje an idol and demon. Mostly because of the claim Our Lady led a large crowd praying the Lord's Prayer. Much as the Virgin Mary had prayed the Rosary with Saint Bernadette, Our Lady remains silent when she is in intercession mode for us who need God's forgiveness. In their mind, how could the Immaculate Conception ask for forgiveness. Obviously she must be an imposter as John Benko would exclaim. Actually, it is here that Our Lady acts as our Mother who loves her children. We need the Lord's forgiveness. Our Lady takes us to the deepest level of the Sacred Heart of Jesus where we are emerged in Jesus Divine Mercy.
Because of Our Lady praying the Rosary with St. Bernadette, she prays with us as well in the same way. In fact, I often tell people that when we hold the Rosary, it is like we are holding the hand of Our Lady. That is how close Jesus and Mary are too us. Let me offer another example where the anti-Medjugorje folks misinform people and I have to believe it is on purpose. Consider a question Our Lady was asked because of the many visitors from all over the world.
October 1 1981, Are all religions the same? "Members of all faiths are equal before God. God rules over each faith just like a sovereign over his kingdom. In the world, all religions are not the same because all people have not complied with the commandments of God. They reject and disparage them."
Are all churches the same? "In some, the strength of prayer to God is greater, in others, smaller. That depends on the priests who motivate others to pray. It depends also on the power which they have."
Why do You appear to us so often and to others who do not follow God's path? "I appear to you often and in every place. To others, I appear from time to time briefly. They do not yet follow the way of God completely. They are not aware of the gift which He has made them. That, no one deserves. with time, they also will come to follow the right way."
Our Lady was asked "Are all religions the same"? Remember, people from all over the world are making their way to Medjugorje. Let's take a look at what she is reported to have said: "Members of all faiths are equal before God. God rules over each faith just like a sovereign over his kingdom." From this, they are saying that the Lady is a fraud because she is saying all are equal before God. What is Our Lady saying? She is saying that all who are traveling to Medjugorje regardless where they are coming from and from the background they come. God is seeing the heart. Their opportunity to meet Christ is the same. They are all invited to meet Her Son Jesus. The Pilgrims coming are invited to meet Jesus. Let's take a closer look at what Our Lady does say:
"In the world, all religions are not the same because all people have not complied with the commandments of God. They reject and disparage them." Now that all people making pilgrimages from all over the world, from all the many backgrounds in which they come, Our Lady becomes very clear. "All religions are not the same because all people have not complied with the commandments of God." Only one Religion has and that is the Catholic Faith. Our Lady is the Mother of the Church. Our Lady follows with: "They reject and disparage them." How do they reject and disparage the commandments of God? By not recognizing the authority of the Catholic Faith and believing in the holy mysteries. The Sacraments especially the Eucharist and Confession. For them to say that Our Lady is an indifferentist, that is absurd.
For years I use to receive Catholic publications such as The Catholic Twin Circle and the Wonderer that often would feature articles from Father Harden. I have always admired his writings. Due to the renewed debate about Medjugorje, I was interested to see what Father Harden would say. I do not believe that he would cast disparaging words toward Pope St. John Paul II or Father Amorth who spoke positive about Medjugorje.
Four points that Father Hardin found positive for Medjugorje:
1. Round the clock Masses;
2. Round the clock confessions;
3. Pilgrimages; and, Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary, healings, and conversions;
4. Trafficking in so-called messages and alleged visions of Mary. The problem I have are the Trafficking of falsely reported messages. As I have shown and exposed two of them are. Some say that the Virgin Mary is saying all are saved? That is another false assumption. Mary does not say that. Reportedly, She took the seers to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. Just like Fatima, Our Lady is giving warning. She want's all to be saved, but we must accept Christ and His Church.
Father Hardin makes a great point that people can come to Christ through the Sacraments at their local Church, you do not have to go to Medjugorje to get close to Christ. What is happening in the Church is supernatural through the Sacraments.
John Benko said in his farewell "I could easily write 200 pages on why I am certain the alleged apparitions of Medjugorje or not merely false but diabolical. However, this is bigger than Medjugorje and it is certainly bigger than me and my opinion."
I will respond that I can as easily write 200 pages on countering your 200 pages of deception and misrepresentation. I fired you John because of the bully fashion you went after people even as I was recovering from a serious stroke. You went after me, John Carpenter and others.
People who are misinformed and mislead about Medjugorje, it is easy to write 200 pages based coming from the peanut gallery coming from the cheap seats up in the nose bleed section. That is where John Benko, Patrick Coffin, and Donal Foley pitch their tent.