Sunday, April 22, 2007

a failure to communicate


I was in a large and very conservative Catholic bookstore and was appalled to see that it had more Medjugorje books than books on Lourdes, Guadalupe or La Sallette. The Vatican, I'm sorry to say really failed on this one. By saying practically nothing and watching as Medjugorje became a phenomenon totally unlike any other apparition John Paul II (whom I dearly loved and whom I believe to be a saint) made a mistake. True, he never made a public statement praising the apparition or the so called visionaries but we also have no evidence that he rejected it in private either. JPII was a strongly Marian pope. If he had said yea or nay that would have been the end of the controversy for many people.

Although the local bishops have strongly condemned it Medj has become a "people's choice." Look in your diocese paper under the pigrimage section and you'll find pilgrimages to Medj. Priests and nuns ---- conservative ones, mind you --- openly attribute their vocations to Mary's "messages". One fantastic young priest says he didn't even start living a Christian life until he found a book on Medj and began to read. A statue of Gospa is displayed prominently at the Grotto of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Sr. Briege McKenna enthusiasticly embraced the apparition as did the now disgraced Fr. Ken Roberts (he wrote the Playboy to Priest book about his coversion back in the 60s)

There is a couple in my diocese who are completely devoted to Medj. and they and and their rosary business were written up in a loving tribute in my diocesan paper. I was reading a beautiful prayer book given to me by Poor Clares (!) that includes a prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary. One of the lines says "you appeared in Lourdes and Medjugorje..."

What's even more disturbing to me is how many priests flat out won't condemn Medj. now. Even a lion like Fr. Corapi simply stated that he only talks about approved apparions---- not endorsing but not openly, clearly saying that the whole thing is a hoax either. Ask your parish priest what he thinks of Medj. and you'll probably get either entusiasm or a wishy washy avoidance.

By letting this thing go on so long the Church allowed it become "normal." and that was a horrible disservice to Jesus' lambs.

10 comments:

elena maria vidal said...

I agree. I was spooked about Medjugorje years ago but people keep going there....

Pilgrim said...

dymphna... COME AND SEE... (John 1: 38)

Mac McLernon said...

I am sceptical about Medjugore - partly because of what I have read / heard about the extremely secular way of life of at least one of the visionaries...

But (and this may get me included in your wishy-washy category) the Church has not declared one way or the other - yet. The authorities were against Lourdes and Fatima at first. So I want to wait.

Whether the apparitions are true or not, (and I am tending towards the "not" camp) several good things have happened there... as they are bound to, with all those people praying in good faith. Best not to be too quick to condemn.

If good people go, in good faith, and pray and receive the Sacraments, then God's grace will not be lacking... and good will come of it.

Pilgrim said...

I’m glad the Sacraments have been mentioned. Always a good sign that things are as they should be. Our Lady’s first message was a call to the Sacrament of Reconciliation: Peace, peace, peace! Only peace. Reconcilie with God and each other. Although the local bishop does not believe in the Medjugorje apparitions, he has no problem with the Sacramental life of the parish. Thousands reconcile every month, there are numerous daily Masses. There is daily Adoration of the Blesed Sacrament. The full Rosary is prayed every day before and after the evening Mass. Veneration of the Cross takes place every Friday. The bishop administers confirmation in the parish church every year. Building work and expansion, which all has to be approved by the bishop, is appoved by him. The Franciscans are all in good order. The bishop is their signatory, as one Franciscan put it. Without his signature on the paper no Franciscan can minister in the parish. Hundreds of visiting priests and many bishops visit the parish every month. Yes, Medjugorje is the Sacraments. It would never have lasted 25 years without the Sacraments. The Church cannot survive without the Sacraments. It is the Sacraments that nourish the Church.

M. Alexander said...

Dymphna- Amen.

Sanctus Belle said...

I'm with you Dymphna. The Church takes her time in these discernments and I'm sure knows better than us why. I have a great deal of scepticism regarding Medj. and would never go there myself. Far better to stay with the MANY approved apparitions. When you think about it, we really don't NEED all these visions and apparitions if we live our Catholic faith well. Our Lady appears to call God's people to repentance and conversion. We would do well to learn about the approved messages and let them add depth to our faith but NOT the basis of our faith. Apparitions are only the dessert which is the banquet of the Catholic Faith.

It is also prudent to recognize that God's graces do not cause discord and there's alot of discord going on in Medj. This so-called apparition is so totally unlike any and all others that it seems impossible to be true. Also the visionaries are living off this apparition and have no other profession or source of income. I could be wrong - but we are smart to be wary of this place.

Pilgrim said...

Sanctus Belle... There is a lot of discord in the Catholic Church. period. God’s graces, his love, is not conditional. The sun shines, the rain falls, the day comes, followed by night. All these are God graces. Your life is a grace for others from God. A Mother’s love for her children is a grace from God. We should never wish to sideline or even dismiss the Mother of the Church. The Mother ALWAYS recognises the need of others, as did Mary at the wedding at Cana. And when it seems impossible to be true, remember that Jesus said that nothing is impossible to the Father. As to the visionaries living off the apparitions, this is a rather sweeping generalisation. What does the Pope live on? Fresh air? You were most correct in your statement that the Church takes its time and knows best. Peace.

a thorn in the pew said...

I visited there in the early 90's and it did nothing for me. The place was a tourist trap and too charismatic for my blood. I did, however, get a day in Rome both over and back and that was the absolute best part. It did, however, make me sad the whole trip wasn't in Rome.

Coffee Wife said...

I've never looked into Medjugorje. I can't deal with too many things so I stick with the apperitions of Lourdes and St. Catherine Labore. I LOVE the Miraculous Medal!

4HisChurch said...

I live very close to Emmitsburg, and I was shocked to see the OLM statue there.