If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
Father O Carroll, Deceitful Medjugorje Defender
In 1981, on June 24th, a strange report heralded the beginning of the Medjugorje industry. Six children reported seeing a shape standing up a hill. The next day four of these with a few others went back to the hill and they got a closer look at the figure who said she was the Virgin Mary. Soon the Lady began to appear to them in the parish Church of Medjugorje. The seers are: Vicka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Marija Pavlovic, Ivan Dragicevic, Ivanka Ivankovic and Jakov Colo. She gave them ten secrets which prophesy the future. Only some of the visionaries report seeing the Lady on a daily basis. The Lady stopped appearing to the rest except on special occasions. The visions have been condemned by two diocesan bishops, bishops of Mostar who alone have been declared by Rome and “infallible” Catholic tradition to have the authority to pronounce upon the vision. The bishop in the Catholic system is the successor of the apostles while the pope is the successor of the apostles and also one specific apostle, Peter. The authority of the apostles to run the Church both in discipline and in caring for the faith has been transmitted to the bishops in an apostolic succession that can be traced back to the apostles which is why laypeople cannot ordain bishops.
Medjugorians make out that the bishops are acting in bad faith which justifies their ignoring them. But even then they have to be obeyed for that is what the rule about obedience is for: making you do what you are told even if you think the bishop is wrong or in bad faith for the sake of unity and order in the Church. If you keep thinking the bishop is wrong or deceiving and that entitles you to disobey, there is no point in him asking for your obedience. Jesus would then have been a fool for setting up the apostles and bishops to lead the flock.
Fr Michael O Carroll who is a member of the Pontifical Marian Academy and of the French Society for Marian Studies is a promoter of Medjugorje. He has joined with the devious Fr Rene Laurentin to do it and his praise for him knows no bounds.
Fr O Carroll’s book is called Medjugorje, Facts, Documents and Theology and was published by Veritas of Dublin.
He quotes the official doctrine of the Church of Rome as expressed by Benedict XIV: “It should be known that the approval given by the Church to a private revelation is nothing but permission granted, after an attentive inquiry, to make known this revelation for the enlightenment and good of the faithful. Even when these revelations are approved by the Church they should not be given the assent of Catholic faith. Nevertheless they should be given an assent of human faith, following the rules of prudence by which such revelations are probable or believable for pious reasons…
Without prejudice to the integrity of Catholic faith a person may withhold his assent to such revelations and withdraw from them provided he does so with due modesty, not without reason and without contempt” (page 9). In a Church decree issued in 1877 by the Congregation of Rites in Rome it was stated, “The Apostolic See has neither approved or condemned such apparitions or revelations but merely permits Catholics to believe in them – where they have the support of credible witnesses and documents – with a purely human faith”.
Fr Karl Rahner is quoted with approval on page 11 as saying that visions from God can be faked with telepathy, mediumistic ability and telekinetic powers. When such powers might explain Medjugorje it shows the unhealthy bias of Fr O Carroll when he declares that the apparitions are true. O Carroll condemned bishop Zanic for saying the visions of Medjugorje were collective hallucinations for science had supposedly proven they were not. But the bishop may have meant psychic hallucination not hallucination in the way medical science would comprehend it.
Chapter 3, has a transcript of Vicka’s testimony. During the first appearance, three children were seeing the apparitions and they were staring at something and were frightened though they told Vicka it was the Virgin. Fear is usually taken to be a sign that something satanic is happening. They were spiritually and emotionally disturbed by the vision. And why were the three able to know that Vicka was present when the apparition supposedly puts them into ecstasy?
Ivan Dragicevic could not see the Virgin clearly which is another indication of lying or non-divine origin. The Virgin would not half-appear.
Soon in imitation of Fatima, the Virgin told Vicka something that the visionaries Marijah and Jacov said they never heard but which only she could hear though there was no reason for privacy (page 28). Mary only told her that her mother was in Heaven.
Vicka reported that they asked Mary for a sign to stop people saying they were making it all up. And the hands of Mirjana’s watch began behaving as if arrested by some magical force. The man taking the testimony, Bubalo, said that that was no good for it was impossible to check. Here we have Mary giving a weak sign that nobody could verify and one that was too insignificant. Also, she never chided them for looking for signs. Jesus told the Jews off for seeking signs except the resurrection and said in the latter days even the elect could be deceived by the mighty wonders the false Christs and false prophets will perform which makes it incumbent on us to be totally sure a miracle has happened and that he will not do any there is any doubt about. He told his apostles to expect hardship and embrace it but this Lady says nothing. Correcting them later is no good.
The infamous incident where the Virgin gets her veil trampled on and she disappears for a few moments is reported in this chapter. Vicka said that the Virgin was not annoyed at the rude crowd for she is not like an ordinary person. The Virgin appeared three times that day. Vicka said she did not know why but the crowd were very bothersome. It seems that the Virgin was annoyed with the crowd. This Lady comes down from Heaven and finds she made a mistake and ends up trying to appear in peace three times! This is absurd. Why could she not put the children in ecstasy so that Vicka and they would not be complaining about the crowd? She was able to protect Bernadette and the Fatima children in situations like that. It is significant that the children could see the veil being trampled on and later they claimed that they lost awareness of everything except the blessed mother. The fact that God has mysterious ways is denied when the Virgin tells the visionaries that it is up to them how much and how long she will appear (page 35). Why does she not appear as much to some of them now? Why does she appear to them because they want it and to nobody else? God has mysterious and complicated plans and he has to work miracles into that plan so that they will not slow it down or thwart it so it is up to God and not people.
A little child who seemed to be dying was once mentioned to the Virgin who was asked to intercede for the cure. The Lady said that a lot of prayers must be said and belief must be strong implying that lack of prayer and belief will be responsible if the child dies (page 35). This insensitive idea has been employed by countless faith-healers.
A doctor once asked the visionaries if she could touch the Virgin who called her an unbelieving Judas and told the visionaries to let her try and touch her. The woman touched the Virgin’s shoulder and said nothing. But visitors in Vicka’s house claimed that she said she felt nothing but a shudder in her whole arm (page 36). It was offensive of the Virgin to use language like that and there was no need. And especially after the Church said that it was not a sin to disbelieve in a vision and especially one that was not authenticated or to take a lot of time before making up one’s mind for that means apparitions cannot judge. The Virgin is contradicting the Church. Moreover, Judas betrayed the things that have to be believed so the implication is that the woman was doing the same by wanting to feel the Virgin before she would believe. But we all shudder and the woman might have been afraid she would feel something which could have caused the feeling. There was always a lot of emotion and vibration in the air when an apparition was happening. We are told in the book that the doctor never came back which is bizarre if she really felt the Virgin. What is her name? Did she exist? She was sent by the Communists (page 35) implying she would never have admitted what the people in Vicka’s house said she admitted. It would not have been said to them. But it is strange that a shudder was reported. The Virgin evidently failed to make her feel her shoulder. We know plenty about Vicka and her truthfulness and so how truthful the witnesses, her friends, would have been. Bad company flocks together.
Page 46 says that Ivanka wrote that the Virgin brought her dead mother to her. Ivanka claimed that her mother told her she was proud of her and kissed her. Mary gave Ivanka a shocking message, "My dear child, today is our last meeting. Do not be sad because I will be coming to you on every anniversary except this year. Dear child, do not think you have done anything wrong or that this is the reason I will not be coming to you. No you did not. With all your heart you have accepted the plans which my Son and I had and you have done everything. No one on this earth has had the grace which you and your brothers and sisters have had."
Clearly this is Ivanka nauseatingly glorifying herself. Even if she had received such a message she would have kept it under wraps.
The Bishop has the right to decide what goes on his churches. Bishop Zanic would not have wanted the apparition to start happening in the Parish Church when he regarded it as false and anyway no apparition should be happening in a Church for the Church cannot decide if the apparition was really from God until after the apparition finishes. Yet the Virgin began appearing there early in 1982. No apparition however credible should be appearing in the house of God until the Church has declared that something is happening. There is the risk of fraud and delusion. Moreover, Zanic gave out a ban against the apparitions being held in the Church and despite this they were still held there. From August 1984 to April 1985 they happened in the Church against the bishop’s express command. That was extreme defiance for they could have had their vision elsewhere. Fr Rene Laurentin strangely states that after 1987 the visionaries had visions in the parish Church in a locked gallery even though he supports the visions and admits that the bishop banned apparitions from the Church (page 83, The Apparitions Of The Blessed Virgin Mary Today).
The Virgin appearing in the parish Church would mean that if there are any spiritual benefits for pilgrims say from visiting a Church they will get them and these benefits will be counted as coming from the apparition. So appearing in a Church or at a holy site implies that the vision is from Satan who is trying to steal the credit for the spiritual blessings. There can be no doubt that it is sacrilege for an apparition to appear in a Church. All agree that visions have to be tested and the Bible warns against failure to test every spirit meaning that is sacrilegious to put possibly false apparitions in Church. This means that there are hundreds of apparitions which have no fault from a Catholic perspective but that one and which suggests that it is a mistake to listen to anything an apparition says at all from an Humanist perspective.
Many in the Roman Church who claim to be able to discern if a vision is from Heaven accept the test of St Catherine of Siena, who noticed it was getting hard to tell the difference between true and false visions, that she got from Heaven in a vision. The test says that if you feel euphoric the moment when a vision appears it is not from God. Satan likes to make you feel good – its the only way he can dupe you.
Some mystics disagree and hold that if your first sensation is fear then there is something amiss. It seems it is okay to be scared at the first vision but if it still happens with successive apparitions then there is something amiss. But this, like Catherine’s test, presupposes a psychic link between the vision and the witness. There is no need for this link and it infers that the mystic has psychic powers and thus it denies that the visions are really caused by an outside force such as a God.
The mystic should not be living by feelings but by getting to know the vision. St Paul said the Christian lives by faith not feelings. The feeling of fear could be caused by a fear of being asked to be very holy. You cannot authenticate an apparition just because somebody says they feel good about it for you don’t know how they feel. Catherine’s revelations, one of which denied that the Virgin Mary was conceived without sin, proves that it is a mistake to listen to any Roman Catholic visions. The Church says she misunderstood! That is only an excuse for Catherine never said she misunderstood anything. The Church will lie so that it can use her visions as evidence for the divine approval that the message of the Church is supposedly sanctioned with. No sane angel or saint would bother with appearing when a cult like that is the source of its authentication.
The visionary Anne Catherine Emmerich saw in her visions that the earthly paradise was on a mountain near Tibet, that Dionysus the Areopagite really wrote the heretical book ascribed to him, and added that Mary died thirteen years after the resurrection contradicting other visionaries, St Bridget of Sweden who said it was fourteen and Marie de Agreda who says twenty-one and also that it is everybody’s duties to believe in her visions and what she wrote about them! Joan of Arc was encouraged by the voices of the saints she heard from Heaven that she would have victory and she took it they meant she would not be martyred. She was right for they would have corrected her knowing what she was thinking. Some say the victory was her canonisation but that was not her doing. It was not her victory for canonisation depends on chance for there are many uncanonised saints. The fact is that the revelations even of saints are not reliable. Deuteronomy 18 says that people who err in what God has said or who give revelations that have been proven false are fakes and not to be listened to and even stoned to death. Why then should we trust the unsaintly and ordinary visionaries of Medjugorje?
Mirjana urged the people to be vigilant and say lots of prayers for the Virgin told her to in 1985 for the fulfilment of the first secret is near (page 44). This prophecy proved false. Supporters will say the sign is postponed because of the prayers but there is no hint that the prophecy of the Virgin was conditional. The war took place too long after the prophecy so it was not the first secret. Nor was it ever said that it was.
Bishop Zanic is put down on page 50 for having the hallucination theory as his favourite. But the Bishop was using hallucination in a broad sense. He does not think the witnesses are all sick in the medical sense but may be seeing what is not there. It may be a kind of self-delusion or psychic delusion that they are having.
Laurentin is praised for being scientific with regard to the visions on page 52 and looking at all objections. But Laurentin only looked at a few of them which is not much good. There were plenty of things that he should have been disturbed about that he pretended he did not see.
O Carroll fails to discern that just like today it is regarded as offensive to talk about disabled people for it should be people with disabilities which avoids the insult of identifying people as people with their disability so it is offensive for this Queen of so-called Peace to ask us to call ourselves sinners. “Pray for us sinners” in the Hail Mary which is in the rosary which Mary has wanted prayed according to nearly all her apparitions is totally insulting. Words program the mind to exercise disrespect so she has caused a lot of trouble. Jesus said that it is by their bad fruits you shall know the fakes and this lady is either a demon or a piece of make-believe. Despite Jesus calling us sinners we are not sinners even if we commit sin. What we are is people who sin. The excuse that Jesus just spoke the way the people around him did and did not mean anything by it is unacceptable. He claimed to be an expert on morality and the man to break the mould and change society. He was not God or the Son of God but just another man with attitude.
The lady does not condemn the pope for the terrible abuses he has brought in. He tolerates the occultic enneagram in seminaries – it was used in Maynooth when I was there – and he does not stamp out communion in the hand. He does many other things that do not fit Bible teaching. This lady is an accessory and should chastise him like as she believes her Bible tells her that St Paul chastised Pope Peter! Her silence is saying it is okay for these things to happen. Her words might fall on some deaf ears but that is no excuse for Jesus taught away though most of the time he was only wasting his energy and he admitted this. The lady is not Mary.
Important revelations in the booklet are:
That Laurentin told Zanic to keep the fact that Vicka had a diary recording that the Virgin incited disobedience to Zanic under his hat because of the pilgrimages and conversions at Medjugorje. In other words, Laurentin wanted to make a pious fraud out of it.
Laurentin chose fifty-six medical files allegedly verifying miraculous cures at Medjugorje and these were sent to the Lourdes Medical Bureau which rejected the inexplicability of the cures.
This body decides which of the cures at Lourdes cannot be explained and supplies the Church with the information required to decide if a miracle has taken place. The miracles must have been worse than unconvincing for the Lourdes Medical Bureau has blundered several times in proclaiming cures inexplicable when they were not and when the records were sketchy. It is a fact that the Virgin promised the cure of a dying child allegedly before the child recovered (page 42, Medjugorje by Daniel Baldwin). This was the first miracle. But when the Church investigated it was found that the documentation was insufficient (page 31, ibid). So Mary does a miracle as a sign knowing that the scientific data has not been kept up to scratch! This creature is not from the all-knowing God nor is she the real Mary for her sign failed.
Mirjana lied on tape and was recorded taking an oath on that tape to speak only the truth. She claimed the visionaries were going to the hill to care for sheep the first time they saw the Virgin whereas their object was to smoke. When reminded she was under oath she admitted the truth.
The first commission of bishops was appalled by the absurd story of God going to destroy the world over a bloody hanky which was recorded as approved by the Virgin in Vicka’s diary. She was so ashamed that later she chose to deny there was such a diary. If she had been falsely accused of having this diary why did she not appeal the commission for a transgression against canon law? Excerpts from the diary were published by her devotees. She sometimes claimed her memory was bad so she had to have had a diary.
In 1982, Vicka told the bishop that the Virgin wanted him to know that he was too harsh with the Franciscans. She could not tell him in what way which proves the Virgin never said it at all. The Virgin would not be so vague.
There is a tape recording of Marija and Fr Graufenauer in which the Virgin takes the side of disobedient priests Vego and Prusina against the Bishop. Zanic was never ever warned by Rome for anything he did which suggests Rome was happy with him and respected and sanctioned his right to act as he did.
Marija Pavlovic got a revelation from the Virgin approving of a religious set-up in which boys and girls lived together in a commune which led to scandal. She later admitted that she never received this revelation and announced that she made it up. She had to for the pressure was on for the commune could have destroyed the reputation of the Virgin of Medjugorje. Vlasic wanted the commune approved from Heaven which is evidence that he manipulates Marija.
The Virgin called for the distribution of one of Laurentin’s books on Medjugorje. The real Virgin would not like his writings for they have too many errors and untruths.
Ivan wrote down the first secret for the first commission and it claimed that a shrine would be built to Mary at Medjugorje in June 1982. It was put into an envelope to be opened a few years later. The prophecy was false. Yet Ivan had been saying he put a plain sheet of paper with nothing on it in the envelope which was a lie.
Ivan did write on the sheet. He lied about it for the visionaries started to say that the Virgin strictly warned that the secrets were never to be told until the time was near for their fulfilment. So he lied when he found out about this when it was too late. Obviously he had been faking the visions. He would have known he wasn’t allowed to do that if he had really been having visions. Secrets are secrets.
Laurentin claimed the sheet was blank too. Ivan was present when the envelope was opened and never denied that he wrote what was inside it.
The bishop has physical proof on tapes and letters to support what he says. There is no physical proof that he is wrong. The Virgin would have no right to ask us to believe her.
The Virgin said on page 172 Medjugorje, Facts, Documents and Theology, "Today I bless you with a solemn blessing that the Almighty grants me to give." But only priests and bishops in communion with the pope can give such a blessing. An apparition has no right to do something so serious because the apparition's authenticity even when accepted by the Church is still only a matter of opinion.
She says according to page 181, "I invite you to reflect on why I am so long with you. I am a Mediatress between you and God." She said that 17 July 1986. If that is her reason then why were there never any constant and daily apparitions until Medjugorje?
Page 187 makes a goddess of the apparition for she knows all things, "Our Lady's knowledge of all things, her power in grasping a whole comprehensive plan and of entering into every detail of what its accomplishment will entail. This knowledge is so necessary to what she says, how she rebukes the villagers, what she promises, the kind of encouragement she constantly gives, that it is easily taken for granted." If Mary needs to know all that in order to help us then clearly she is able to make decisions without God. Mary could pray for us without knowing all the details of our lives. The Church tells us to pray for strangers. The Medjugorje lady is a goddess and obsessed with what is not really her business namely the private lives of people.
Page 195 states that it is up to the bishop to decide if the apparitions are real and from God but it accuses him of ignoring the facts and telling lies to justify his denial that the visions are from Heaven. The book calls to disobedience. It admits the bishop has the authority and then argues that we can ignore him for he is dishonest!
Medjugorje: A Time for Truth and a Time for Action, by Denis Nolan exaggerates the faults of the tapes and accused anti-Medjugorje expert Fr Sivric of drawing conclusions without talking to the visionaries themselves. None of this holds up. Nolan and Laurentin agrees that when the seers were allegedly kidnapped on 30 June 1981 it was to prevent them having a vision. But Vicka admitted on Sivric’s tape that they asked the people to take them away from Medjugorje to see if the Virgin would appear. She committed calumny.
Fr Rupcic wrote with Laurentin that Vicka had four diaries but years later he denied she kept such a record in Nolan’s book page 313.
With all the lies and slanders that have issued from priests associated with Medjugorje we feel frightened to trust any priest who supports a miracle. Pious fraud is more common than Catholics think.
The feet of the Virgin Mary have never touched Medjugorje.
The logic in this book should be applied to similar cases. Let it stand as a warning that people can be so persuasive and seem sincere and still be leading you astray. It shows the madness of letting religious figures like Jesus and Mary have the final say in what you decide to do.
It is easier to prove that an apparition is false for only one mistake tells the tale than to prove that it is true and has the hallmarks of a divine origin for faith itself demands complicated evidence.
Medjugorje offends the Catholic faith and refutes it if it is genuine for it demands belief and if the Catholic faith is true then Medjugorje is false. The Bible says that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. It says that Jesus was the perfect man and intercessor and saviour and there is no need for the Med Virgin to be another mediator. Medjugorje is certainly more convincing than the gospel accounts of the risen Jesus appearing to the disciples. Hoax or not, it is clearly proof that something that is without authority from Jesus though it uses his name has done better than he ever could. Evangelicals cannot use the gospels to prove or give convincing evidence for Christianity when something has went into competition with their Jesus and won.
When one analyzes many of the alleged miracles that accompany Marian apparitions, they seem to be of a different kind than those found in Scripture. This is true of biblical miracles as a whole, as well as the miracles in Jesus' public ministry. When did Jesus ever make the sun dance or crosses spin? All of His miracles were done in the context of ministry. Biblical miracles had a strong practical aspect. Many of the miracles associated with Marian apparitions seem dramatic and sensational; attention-getting if you will -- the kind of miracles that Jesus consistently refused to perform (Matt. 12:38-39). This is a good reason to at least suspect the source of these miracles.