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.