If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone


Understanding Medjugorje, Heavenly Visions Or Religious Illusion? Donal Anthony Foley, Theotokos Books, Nottingham, 2006
Has the Virgin Mary, under the title of Our Lady, Queen of Peace been appearing in Medjugorje in the former Yugoslavia since 1981? Six young people have reported these visions and have been subjected to tests. The authenticity or otherwise of the apparitions is a matter of great debate in the Catholic Church.
This book goes back to the original records about the visions and what the apparition said. It finds many absurdities and much dishonesty among the promoters of Medjugorje.
Ivan Dragicevic has stated on tape that on 24th June 1981 when he saw the Virgin he noticed that her hands were “trembling” (page 45). A perfect being from Heaven would not have shaky hands.
Mirjana asked for a sign that it was Mary she was seeing. Visionary Vicka testified that the hour hand on Mirjana's watch inexplicably turned around. The bishop got the watched and had it examined and it was found that far from being a sign - it was simply broken.
Visionary Mirjana said on the tape, on June 30th 1981, that the Virgin said she would appear for only three more days! The children were heard repeating after the Virgin, “Three more days” (page 71). Three days later Vicka said that the Virgin had appeared for the last time (page 81). Yet the visions are still allegedly happening and haven't stopped since 1981.
One excuse for this is that the three days is symbolic. Jesus said he would be three days in the tomb and he was in less than that. He certainly meant "roughly three days". Our culture does not use symbolism about three days. The Virgin meant three real days.
Another excuse is that Mary only meant she would appear three days more on the hill of the apparitions. Laurentin made that excuse. But it does not hold water. She never even mentioned the hill and it was not mentioned in questions such as, "Madonna how many more days will you appear?"
Father Tadija Pavlovic was in Medjugorje to hear confessions and was a witness to the clear testimony of the witnesses that they had experienced the last apparition just as the Virgin predicted. He was scandalised when yet another vision was reported and refused to hear confessions in Medjugorje again.
Chapter 13 is the most important chapter in the book. It is entitled Medical and Scientific Investigations.
Page 146, says that the first commission of investigation held by the Church was so sure that the ecstasy of the visionaries wasn’t genuine that they didn’t bother with much of a medical examination of the visionaries. Vicka apparently reacted when a priest stuck a pin in her but it is disputed how much of a reaction she made. Bishop Zanic said in 1985 that he rejected the hallucinations hypothesis given by one of his doctors and concluded that the simulation or fraud was taking place. Father Laurentin responded that the tests he and Dr Henri Joyeux refuted this idea. But in fact in their book Scientific and Medical Studies on the Apparitions of Medjugorje such tests were not mentioned! Joyeux stated that the problems of understanding what the visionaries were saying and the problems in transporting equipment meant he couldn’t rule out that the visionaries were lying. None of the tests could prove that the visionaries were not lying and were not going into self-induced trances.
Page 147 finds it disturbing that Jacov claimed he forgot to ask the Virgin could he touch her. And Marija and Ivanka said that the Virgin didn’t agree to such a test. Why is it disturbing? Because cameras were poised to photograph the positions of their hands to see if they were really touching anything.
It seems that Laurentin made sure the visionaries would pass the tests. The tests which led to it being boasted in his book that the visionaries were looking at something that even cards put in front of their eyes to obstruct their vision couldn’t stop them seeing were dubious. Small cards were used meaning their peripheral vision was unaffected (page 147). I would add this. Look at a point on a wall in front of you. Move the first finger of the left hand about two inches in front of the left eye. Be careful not to focus on the finger. You will not ice that you seem to be able to see through your finger.
Page 147 says that Dr Marco Margnelli said in 1985 that the visionaries were in a state of consciousness that is similar to ones deliberately induced but deeper.
Page 148 Laurentin stated that no evidence of signalling was found when the visionaries dropped to their knees nearly at the one time to indicate the vision was present despite admitting that this always happened before they finished the first Our Father. So obviously the prayer could be used as a symbol then!
Page 149, lots of clips have been taken to show that the visionaries do not react as if the Virgin is appearing at the same time.
Page 150 says that the tests were not conducted with scientific rigour. I would add that lack of such rigor has led to psychics fooling scientists but when the standards were raised the psychics failed and were showing to be faking.
Page 150 shows that Laurentin had no right to say that the children’s voices went quiet though their lips were moving for they couldn’t even get a lip-reader to determine what the children were saying. The silencing would be a miracle if the children are to be believed. But it would be a pointless miracle. Nothing that private is ever said. And if a lip-reader can work out what they are saying, then due to the fact that the children were often filmed then the miracle is doubly pointless. A group of fakes would pretend their voices went quiet to hide the fact that they were talking to nobody at all. Yet we read on page 151 that the Virgin is able to have a different conversation with different visionaries at the same time! If anybody would believe that they are having visions they would believe anything. If Mary is appearing at Medjugorje, why does she lower the standard of visions so much that any group of frauds will be able to fake easily?
Page 151 remarks the expression on Ivan’s face when he was filmed having a vision in Kent. He looked bored. This would be sure sign that he was faking. Nobody could be that disinterested when seeing the mother of God.
Page 153, tells us that Louis Belanger did experiments in Canada and found that under laboratory conditions people could do everything the Medjugorje visionaries did during their visions. There is nothing necessarily out of this world about anything that the visionaries perform or experience.
Page 154, the trances not being hypnotic doesn’t mean they cannot be self-induced trances.
Conclusion: Believing in the visions of Medjugorje is really believing the visionaries not God or Mary. The glory and importance they have received could make them fake visions and even believe afterwards that they did experience visions. It is no different from a girl who makes herself believe that a boy who used her actually loved her.

"A search of a concordance of Medjugorje messages from 1984 to 2009 reveals that words such as abortion, contraception, pornography and homosexuality are missing. The same is true of adultery, divorce, and fornication. Likewise drugs, murder, lying, lust, and impurity don't get a mention, nor stealing, theft, idolatry, wrath, despair or greed. One exception is "pride" but that refers to the sin of Satan, and not to a human sin."

Vicka said that the apparition confirmed that an outrageously stupid apparition tale was true. The tale claimed that a taxi-driver had to give Mary who was in his taxi, a hanky stained with Jesus' blood and she had said had he refused the world would have ended. Spin-doctor Father Laurentin claimed that the episode was insignificant. But its of huge importance. If a vision endorses rubbish then its not from God period.
15 Feb 1984 Mary says, "Dear children! From day to day I have been appealing to you for renewal and prayer in the parish. But you are not responding. Today I am appealing to you for the last time. This is the season of Lent, and you, as a parish in Lent, should be moved to love by my appeal. If you are not, I do not wish to give you any more messages. Thank you for your response to my call."

31 August 1982, "I do not dispose of all graces." This actually contradicts the apparition of Mary experienced by Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal that shows Mary disposing of graces as if they were rays from her hands.
The Virgin sided with Father Ivika against the bishop who had the rightful authority to give him orders and expel him.
The book points out how the Church officially condemned certain apparitions before the series of apparitions finished. Heroldsbach in Germany, Bayside in New York and Palmar de Troya were condemned. Yet Medjugorje supporters claim that the Church will not decide for or against the apparitions of Medjugorje right now for the apparitions have not stopped. I would add that Lucia of Fatima was recognised as a true visionary even though she reported new visions after the Church approved her 1917 visions. Melanie of La Salette was recognised as having seen Mary in the 1840's even though she reported later visions that were rejected by the Church. The Medjugorians intention is, "The Church may condemn the apparitions. If we say the condemnation is invalid because the apparitions are still going on, it won't be taken seriously." The same people will accept the Church accepting the apparitions as really from God - even if it refuses to wait until the apparitions finish! Hypocrites!


From journalist Brian Hall's account of his time in Medjugorje.  From Vicka we learn that hell is a real fire!  And it seems like she was in a lunatic asylum!



The story that Bishop Zanic originally believed in the visions is a fiction,




The Enigma of Medjugorje

by Laura Peterson and Stephen Schwartz
San Francisco Faith  May 1999

The road to Medjugorje begins in Mostar, a town well known for its ethnic divisions: Muslims live astride the Neretva river, which bisects the town, and are linked to Sarajevo and the rest of Bosnia; the Bosnian Croats stay further on the western side, rooted in Western Herzegovina and looking to their Croatian "motherland."

The road winds up through the Herzegovinan hills into an almost lunar landscape of bleached boulders and bedrock. Our driver, a young woman who returned to her hometown of Citluk, near Medjugorje, after spending the war in Canada, plans on staying.

"Leave Croatia? Never. Why?" she wonders, adjusting the rosaries hanging from her rear-view mirror, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she lives in Bosnia-Herzegovina, not in Croatia.

Medjugorje is but one of a cluster of once-impoverished villages that were home to the six teenage visionaries who believe they saw the Virgin Mary on an overlooking hillside beginning in 1981. It was Medjugorje that inherited the title of pilgrimage destination and its accompanying wealth. About two kilometers outside town, the pansions -- the Croatian spelling of pensione or bed-and-breakfasts -- begin to appear. These are new, nearly identical structures hung with neon signs advertising rooms, and are built on the savings of families accommodating the busloads of pilgrims that descend on the town daily.

Upon entering the town, symbols of Western affluence and commerce spring to the eye: a gas station with a mini-mart, discotheques with pool tables, sports-equipment shops with Nike emblems in the windows.

The main thoroughfare leads visitors past boutiques, jewelry shops and pizza joints before ending in front of St. James Cathedral, Medjugorje's principal house of worship. Near the cathedral, the souvenir shops reach critical mass: racks of plastic rosaries line the sidewalks, luring visitors in to finger everything from elaborate plaster Mary sculptures to Virgin refrigerator magnets and Medjugorje baseball caps.

But the shops also sell Croatian maps, guidebooks and gadgets, and prominently display the sahovnica, the checkerboard emblem of Croatia. Businesses deal in kuna, the Croatian currency, and will accept Deutsche marks or dollars before the convertible mark, the Bosnian currency introduced last year. Masses are held and leaflets printed in the "Croatian" language.

The latter practice cannot be criticized, for it reflects a pastoral decision exempt from political supervision. But the aggressive display of Croatian nationalist emblems and insistence on payment in kuna both express defiance of the post-1995 Bosnian peace agreement, the former in spirit, the second by letter. Bosnia-Herzegovina is supposed to possess unitary political symbols and a single currency.

Foreign pilgrims innocently wander through the shops and restaurants, blind to the subtext of ethnic prejudice and nationalism bubbling around, which belie the message of love and tolerance they have traveled so far to hear.

"It's the peace," said Amy, a 60-ish Canadian celebrating her 25th trip to Medjugorje, when asked what repeatedly drew her across the Atlantic. "There's nothing like this in the West. If I didn't have a family, I'd sell my home and move here. (The West) just doesn't have the strength of faith they have here."

Her feelings are apparently shared by the thousands, and even, allegedly, millions who come to the town each year, many with tour companies operating between the U.S. and heavily Catholic European countries such as Ireland and Italy. In St. James Cathedral, pilgrims wear plastic tags engraved with their names and tour companies as if at a convention.

St. James, built in 1981, has the same prefabricated, beige-plaster appearance of many of the pansions, like a housing subdevelopment hurriedly built to accommodate a sudden flood of immigrants. Masses are held six times a day in Croatian, English, Spanish, French, German, and Korean, and pilgrims generally try to hit as many as they can, many standing mutely and passively at services held in a tongue other than their own.

Though the faces in St. James are mostly Caucasian and female, there is a surprising mixture of classes and cultures: crisply turned-out Europeans stand alongside local peasant women with their heads covered by bright scarves, and next to middle-aged Midwesterners in baseball caps and sensible shoes. There is also a notable youth presence, with plenty of teenagers in backpacks and Levis who look as if they would be more comfortable cruising a shopping mall than sobbing as a priest places communion in their mouths.

But the main attraction in Medjugorje is Apparition Hill, the rocky ascent where the visionaries say they received their original messages from the Virgin. Pilgrims follow a path winding past vineyards, farmhouses and elderly women selling figs and handmade lace to Bijakovici, the village at the base of the hill which still consists of stone huts and winding cobblestone streets.

Picking out a path among the jagged stones on the ground, pilgrims climb the hill with rosaries wrapped around their clasped hands, murmuring repetitive Hail Marys and dropping to their knees for impromptu prayers, usually before a large cross made from steel girders near the base of the hill or one of the five bronze reliefs placed along the path depicting Mary's life. A Mass is held on the hill every Friday, and on June 25th thousands of pilgrims crowd up the hill to commemorate the anniversary of the visionaries' first apparition.

But the questionable aspects of Medjugorje remain obvious. From a time very soon after the Medjugorje apparations were first announced, Catholic authorities who examined and analyzed the phenomenon expressed serious reservations about the Medjugorje message. This caution conformed to traditional Catholic strictures aimed at protecting the church against the abuse of "personal revelations."

Why, some Church officials ask, has the alleged presence of the Queen of Peace in Western Herzegovina not led to less, rather than more conflict, between Catholics and their Orthodox and Muslim neighbors? "The lack of reconciliation and division in Herzegovina contraindicate the presence of the Queen of peace and the apparitions," says Father Ivo Sivric, a Franciscan scholar born in Medjugorje.

Sivric has advanced other pertinent questions about the apparitions and the message delivered to the visionaries. Why, he asks, is the message of the Queen of Peace at Medjugorje apocalyptic, menacing, and punitive? The Catholic church does not propagate "end-times" alarmism and does not claim that the millennium will bring the end of the world. Yet the Medjugorje messages are filled with cataclysmic warnings of immanent destruction.

Preaching and printed matter emanating from Medjugorje also focus on the Virgin in a manner that seems to elevate her to a position of equality with God himself. Some literature for sale at the site promotes Medjugorje with little mention of the original teaching of the Church, the lives of Jesus and his apostles, the life of St. Francis, or other basic elements of Catholic civilization.

The Croatian-language Masses held in the cathedral include extensive supplemental prayers to the Virgin, that virtually constitute a separate and new liturgy. Croatian peasants from the area, perturbed at the obsessive fixation of all activities in Medjugorje on the Virgin, have taken to asking, "What happened to the Virgin's Son? Doesn't he have a place in Catholic worship?"

In addition, the messages allegedly delivered by the Virgin at Medjugorje have included propaganda against the late Bishop of Mostar, Monsignor Pavao Zanic, who, after much soul-searching, concluded that he could not approve of the apparitions. Would the authentic Queen of Peace express herself in such a hostile manner? The heretical agitation included personal reproaches delivered by the visionaries, peasant children of limited education, against the authority of secular priests in the Diocese of Mostar and Duvno. If it is absurd to imagine these rural youths developing credible opinions on internal church matters, it is even more ridiculous to imagine the Virgin interfering in them.

The Medjugorje phenomenon continues to develop against a background of schismatic rebellion on the part of a small faction of Franciscans in the remote Herzegovinan towns of Capljina, Siroki Brijeg, and Jablanica, all of them hotbeds of Croatian nationalism, all of them in open opposition to Church authority.

Attempts to replace the schismatic priests have been met by warnings that the new clerics will be beaten up if they come into the towns. Rebel churches are now closed to outsiders, with local residents mounting guard during "outlaw" masses. Ex-father Bozo Rados, one of the main rebels, held Mass in Capljina on February 28 and baptized two infants.

Two weeks later, Rados again heard Mass in Capljina, this time with reporters from the Croatian and Bosnian media barred from the church.

"Basing themselves on 'an old and positive Christian tradition,' inhabitants of Crnaca, near Siroki Brijeg, forcibly prevented journalists from entering the church," a newspaper from Split, Croatia, reported. The same paper printed a photograph of "the crowded church at Grude where prayers were heard without the presence of priests."

Meanwhile, the rebels are circulating libels against the church hierarchy in Bosnia. Monsignor Ratko Peric, the successor to Zanic as bishop of Mostar, has been accused of financial and other crimes. Zanic himself was widely defamed as an alleged agent of the former Yugoslav secret police.

Why has this "Herzegovinan heresy" emerged so forcefully now? Scholars describe a festering split, for generations, between the Franciscans in Herzegovina and those in central Bosnia. Other observers warn of a charismatic conspiracy operating against the Catholic church from within, promoting fears of an imminent apocalypse and indulging personal mysticism in a way more reminiscent of primitive Protestant sects than of Catholic civilization.

But canny local observers see another issue: Medjugorje as a financial resource, perhaps the greatest such "asset" in the world today. With thousands, if not millions of credulous foreigners flocking to the site, how can the local promoters of Medjugorje be expected to surrender their authority, in the name of an abstract religious truth, and in the interest of the authentic Virgin and her authentic message?



“I BEG YOU: LISTEN TO MY MESSAGES AND LIVE THEM,” Padraic Dunne, published privately, Drogheda, County Louth, 1992
BIBLICAL EXEGESIS AND CHURCH DOCTRINE, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
LOOKING FOR A MIRACLE, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
MEDJUGORJE, David Baldwin, Catholic Truth Society, London, 2002
MEDJUGORJE HERALD, Vol 13, No 2, Feb 1999, Galway, Ireland
MEDJUGORJE, FACTS DOCUMENTS THEOLOGY, Fr Michael O Carroll, Veritas, Dublin, 1986
OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE, Tomislav Vlasic OFM, published by Peter Batty, East Sussex, 1984
POWERS OF DARKNESS, POWERS OF LIGHT, John Cornwell, Penguin, London, 1992
POWER OF THE WITCH, Laurie Cabot with Tom Cowan, Arkana, Penguin, London, 1992
QUEEN OF PEACE (Newspaper), Fall, 1995, Pittsburgh Center for Peace
ST JOHN’S BULLETIN, Medjugorje by Br Michael of the Holy Trinity, Society of St Pius X, October-December 1992, no 32, Dublin
THE HIDDEN SIDE OF MEDJUGORJE, Fr Ivo Sivric, Ed. Psilog, Saint Francios Du Lac, Quebec, 1989
THE THUNDER OF JUSTICE, Ted and Maureen Flynn, MAXCOL, Vancouver, 1993
VISIONS OF THE CHILDREN, Janice T Connell, St Martin’s Press, New York, 1992
WORDS FROM HEAVEN, Anonymous, Caritas of Birmingham, Sterrett, Alabama, 1996

The following books are available from Militia Immaculatae Trust, 35 New Bond Street, Leicester.

MEDJUGORJE – AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS, Michael Davies, Remnant Press, Minnesota, 1998.
MEDJUGORJE THE UNTOLD STORY, E Michael Jones Fidelity Press, 206 Marquette Ave, South Bend Indiana 46617, 1998.
MEDJUGORJE, Bishop Zanic, Mostar, 1990.
THE MEDJUGORJE DECEPTION, E Michael Jones, Fidelity Press, Indiana, 1998.
TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDJUGORJE, Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D. Pangaeus Press, Dallas, 1999.
To Order Understanding Medjugorje visit http://www.theotokos.org.uk or write to Theotokos Books, PO Box, 8570, Nottingham, England
VISIONS ON DEMAND, Network 5 International, 1997
DIVINE OR DECEIVED? COVER-UP, Network 5 International, 1998
Network 5 International
PO Box 51
L69 3EE
A critical look at... the "apparitions" of the Virgin Mary in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Since 1981, the Virgin Mary, reportedly, has been appearing to six young Croats during daily ecstasies which last several minutes. Millions of pilgrims have responded to the Lady of Medjugorje, the young visionaries, and the Franciscans who lead the parish there. What exactly has happened?

From a unique vantage point---he is both a Franciscan priest and a native son of Medjugorje---the author of this book exposes contradictions and falsehoods that have been omitted or intentionally concealed until now. He introduces us to the group of visionaries, makes known and explains the Church's teachings on Marian apparitions, and comments on exceptional and previously unpublished material (in appendices) which allows a thorough examination of the roots of these events. He scrutinizes the role of Medjugorje's Franciscans and the Bishop's interventions, as well as those of the Commission of inquiry set up to evaluate the whole question. He also provides an update of the recent events in Medjugorje and attempts to explain the so-called apparitions. Finally, the theologian urges readers to draw their own conclusions as to whether it is still possible to believe in the Madonna's presence and action.
Father Ivo Sivric was born in Medjugorje in 1917. After completing his studies in philosophy and theology in Mostar, he was ordained in 1941, and then went on to complete his postgraduate studies in Zagreb and Rome where he received his doctorate in Sacred Theology in 1947. Father Sivric emigrated to the United States, taught at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and has also written several works, including Bishop J. G. Strossmayer - New Light on Vatican I (1975), The Peasant Culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1982), both published by the Franciscan Herald Press in Chicago, and Temelji krscanstva C.S. Lewisa [The Christian Basics According to C.S. Lewis] (1988), published by Teoloska Biblioteka in Sarajevo. After becoming a U.S. citizen, Father Sivric made eight extended trips to Medjugorje. He served as director of Croatian Franciscan Publications and he worked as a parochial vicar of a parish serving the Roman Catholic Croatians in St. Louis, Missouri. Father Ivo Sivric passed away October 28, 2002, at age 85.
The author of the prospective Volume II (Observations of an anomalist) visited Medjugorje, filmed the visionaries during four of their «ecstasies» and explored various physical and psychological hypotheses to explain both the luminous phenomena and visions as not supernaturally caused. He illustrates the sequences of a spontaneous test done during an «apparition» and analyses their consequences. He invokes the testimony of critical witnesses, as well as the opinion and work of expert specialists. From the matrix of his special interest in altered states of consciousness, he proposes his own experimental counteranalysis of the «scientific and medical studies.» For example, an «ordinary» student is shown doing a laboratory reproduction of the «ecstatic electrophysiological parameters» identical to those recorded in the young Yugoslavian visionaries. Important sociopolitical, ecclesiastical, and economic factors, as well as the high stakes for Marian propagandists and the overt manipulation are introducted and explored. In all, Louis Bélanger provides readers with a complete overview of Medjugorje's apparent anomaly: on a fine June day in 1981, two teenaged girls, moved by the sincerest hopes, incited a collective drama which has drawn millions of believers in search of tangible expressions of the spiritual dimension.
Louis Bélanger was born in Québec City in 1941. After his studies in political science at Laval University, he pursued his research in the fields of psychology and parapsychology at Freiburg University in Germany. Since 1975, he has been conducting the study of paranormal phenomena at the University of Montréal's Faculty of Theology. He has also written Psi, au-delà de l'occultisme [Psi: Beyond the Occult], published by Québec-Amérique, and has presided over film-lectures of the motion picture version throughout Québec, Europe, and French speaking African countries. He has been scientific consultant and researcher for the production of 55 film documentaries on paranormal phenomena and controversies in science. Louis Bélanger is the editor of The Hidden Side of Medjugorje.
To order The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, 419 pages, including 16 original transcripts - ISBN 2-921010-01-1, please enclose a money order for CAD$ 40. ($ 25.00 + $ 15.00 for Express/Priority postage & handling to the U.S.A. (including Internet tracking and insurance - 3 to 4 days to come in) payable to PSILOG INC., 465 Notre-Dame, Saint-François-du-Lac, (Québec) Canada JOG 1MO.