Pope says ruling on Medjugorje Virgin Mary ‘apparitions’ near

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A Virgin Mary statue is seen in Medjugorje, south of Sarajevo, on December 24, 2014. Millions of pilgrims from all over the world have visited the small Bosnian town after six Bosnian youngsters claimed that the Holy Mary appeared to them there in 1981. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-MEDJUGORJE-RULING, originally transmitted on June 8, 2015.

A Virgin Mary statue is seen in Medjugorje, south of Sarajevo, on December 24, 2014. Millions of pilgrims from all over the world have visited the small Bosnian town after six Bosnian youngsters claimed that the Holy Mary appeared to them there in 1981. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-MEDJUGORJE-RULING, originally transmitted on June 8, 2015.

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(RNS) The upcoming decision comes 34 years since a group of six young people in Medjugorje claimed the Virgin Mary had appeared to them.

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  • JR

    I have a feeling the report on Medjugorie will not be good for those who believe in the events supposedly happening there. As at Garabandal, Spain, there just seems to be something off, irreligious, about the reported visions of Mary.Turning rosaries to gold, or conversing for some 30 years, seems like something
    God would not do. The devil is quite devious in imitating divine favor.

  • Ben in oakland

    I know!!!!!!

    Some raging bigots with obvious issues are able to pass themselves off as loving Christians, committed to following Christ.

  • I suspect the ruling would be on whether they were worthy of belief or not, not an authoritative declaration on their validity.

    There’s been enough of a miasma surrounding these purported visions (see E. Michael Jones’ journalism) that it’s difficult to imagine the Holy See getting behind it.

  • I know!!!!!!

    You understand very little. You can, however, repeat buzz words and talking points.

  • Greg1

    Well we’ll see what the Vatican says. My suspicion is that since this is still an ongoing apparition, the Vatican will not pronounce any affirmative judgment. But they might just establish a framework for the mass, and the sacraments there. If this was all from the Devil, then one would have to wonder why it is such a draw for Catholics to experience the Sacrament of Confession there, as well as, conversion and re-conversion to the Faith. If they do make a definitive pronouncement, then that could only be a negative one. But we will see. My suspicion though, is it will just be a statement of recognizing its good fruits in terms of distribution of the sacraments, and setting up orderly disciplines to follow when visiting St. James Church. But, we will see. I would agree, though, that it has been going on for a little too long, but then these are very troubling times for the world, and its abandonment of God. And when that happens our Lord resorts to drastic measures.

  • JR

    Greg, in reading several accounts concerning Lourdes, there was a period after Bernadette’s visions ended when all kinds of seers claimed to see the Virgin. They were all ruled hoaxes, demonic, or hysteria……only Bernadette and her account stood the test of time and brutal investigationinvestigation from the Church. This is why I tend to believe that something else is at work in Medjugore that draws the faithful, full of hope, but lacks a certain “message” to the world, other than repent and pray.

  • JR

    You’re right on this point, since no miracle/vision even approved by the Church as worthy of belief has to be accepted by Catholics as true.

  • JR

    I know! Some equally raging bigots with major gay persecution issues are able to pass themselves off as arbiters of what Christians should act like………which surprisingly always means agreeing with their beliefs. Hmmmm, listen to God, or Elton John? It is, mind you, a most difficult choice.

  • Jack

    The local Ordinary believes what is going on is demonic not divine however misguided Marian devotees and profiteers have prolonged the ultimate condemnation.

  • Greg1

    Yes, and that is where it gets a little dicey. There are more confessions heard in Medjugorje than anywhere else in the world, the masses are packed, more priestly vocations have begun there, people are leaving Medjugorje with changed lives, etc. So the Church must recognize the grace of God at work there. But then there are the so-called “ten secrets,” which have to do with ten events that will occur in the world, which will be announced by each of the visionaries seven days prior to their occurring. And apparently each successive one will be more and more intense so to get the world’s attention. And that area is where the Church must be very very cautious. At Fatima there was one “sign” given, supposedly here there will be ten “signs” given. So we will just have to wait and see. The curious side of me would love to go there, but the Catholic side of me waits for Rome to make a statement on it.

  • samuel Johnston

    In “Hitchhikers Guide”, the intergalactic spaceship was powered by “improbability drive”! Authenticating apparitions is even less credible- and much more cynical.

  • Ben in oakland

    Equally raging bigots, eh? thanks for the admission.

  • Larry

    I don’t know which is more ridiculous, giving credulity to Virgin Mary apparitions or the even sillier response that they must be the work of Satan.

    How about this for an explanation, they never actually happened and there is no credible source that says it has.

  • Larry

    Most likely the decision by the Vatican is dependent on whether the place is a decent tourist destination and a coin toss.

  • Larry

    “There are more confessions heard in Medjugorje than anywhere else in the world”
    -Medjugorje Tourism Board

    The city is the site of a boatload of sectarian massacres going back quite a way. It is also a mostly Catholic city which has gone back and forth between Muslim Bosnia and Catholic Croatia.

  • Ben in Oakland

    About 20 years ago, a pattern of lights suddenly began to appear on the walls of a small Catholic church in the sierras, every day at approximately the same time. People could “see” in it a resemblance to the virgin Mary, much like both she and Jesus have both appeared on tacos and toast. The news began to spread. People came from miles around to witness the miracle of her appearance.

    I remember one lady in particular. “It IS the Virgin Mary, and her message is world peace.” An absolutely faith based response. The local bishop weighed in with THIS classic: “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. for those who don’t believe, no explanation is possible.” Well, he certainly covered his butt with that one. And yet, ironically, it was far truer than he knew.

    A scientist was called in. He could not determine the source of the pattern of lights, but was fairly certain it was caused by refraction, possibly reflection, of sunlight somewhere in the church.

  • “They are dogs”
    “They are swine”
    – Christ

  • Ben in Oakland

    He just couldn’t find it. but he did predict that the lights would not appear on any completely cloudy day.

    And he was right.

    As a professional photographer, who dealt everyday with the qualities and directions of light, it would have taken me roughly five minutes and a long stick to determine where the light was coming from. But they didn’t ask me. The miracle, of course, ceased to exist.

    you could also go with the miracle at Fatima, if you like. Thousands allegedly saw the sun dance. Thousands did not. People a few miles away did not. No one else in the world say the sun dance. There were no disruptions of weather or anything else.

    As for Lourdes, the apparition never identified herself until the 17th visitation, when she said that she was the immaculate conception, not mary. Bernadette herself always referred to the apparition as “that” or “that thing”.

    In other words, yet another highly questionable miracle, deliberately conflated by the church with something…

  • Greg1

    Medjugorje, a city? Come on Larry. It is a valley between the mountains, which is mostly a farming community. Medjugorje has built up a bit over the years to accommodate the people venturing there on religious pilgrimages, but that is about it. Look it up and study the pictures.

  • samuel johnston

    What sort of god behaves this peculiar way? A mean and stupid one, who plays on weak men’s fears and credulity! (His type is their creation.)
    A god worthy of respect, behaves in a moral way. He is the God of moral men. (And also their creation.)
    I look forward to the last judgment, when at last God will have to speak clearly. (Apologies to Anatole France.)

  • Larry

    Its also the flashpoint of sectarian violence for the last century or so. In an area known for being both Catholic and on an ethnic borderline. Maintain a catholic identity has been a major motivation for residents. A pilgrimage site works to such ends.

    Plus miracle claims are all bunk anyway. None of them ever have credible support.

  • Larry

    An argument from incredulity is not evidence. I challenge you to support the claim about atheists seeing it. Christians like spreading lies about atheists too often to take such comments at face value.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Oh, I get it. It was an extra special vision that only the believers could see, and only some of them. And some atheists who also looked into the sun on a hot summer day in hot Portugal and saw something. Got it.

    Too bad those many atheists couldn’t band together to deliver a statement on their instantaneous conversion. I’d say that this argument is akin to those who claim that god placed fossils everywhere so that people’s faith would be tested.

    But WAIT!!!!! There’s MORE!!!

    “But in reality, it did not actually occur.” What? what? It happened, but it didn’t really. So, in other words, it was a mass delusion of the sort that only a certain type of Christian could appreciate. Your silly version of god had the opportunity to demonstrate to the whole world his awesome power, and once again, he punted.

    One could only conclude that he enjoys consigning people to hell almost as much as you do.

  • Greg1

    Ben, tell those there that they did not see what they saw. Whether God gave each of them a simultaneous apparition, or whether He changed the index of refraction, and created an atmospheric lensing effect for the people in Fatima, we do not know. But what we do know is that thousands of people saw the same thing, at the same time, on October 13th, 1917, just as was promised by the BVM. Was it an actual event, well probably not, but God did something to get their attention. There are many oddities related to the sun that supposedly happen even in our day at Marian apparition sites. I don’t know what to make of these, but they are certainly interesting:

  • Greg1

    Samuel, have you ever been to a surprise party? God simply saves the best for those who trust in his ways. If you were to actually see God in all his eternal glory, you would probably not survive the shock of Who it is you are looking at. So He saves his this eternal ecstasy for the eyes of the soul only. But there are strict established laws which determine who gets in, and who will behold the Great and Glorious King of the Universe. The good news is that all are invited; the bad news is that few respond. If you really want to get into the mind of the Father, then check out this approved apparition (it has the Imprimatur), where He sets aside his glory, and appears to a Sr. Eugenia, back in 1932, telling her what any Father would tell his child. The words of the Father begin on page 11, and run through page 31.

  • sara

    I am not sure why people care what Vatican has to say, Gallileo, Copernicus just to name few where condemned as heretics. Church’s opinion or observation is not always just right or moral. Many of its decisions are simply political. Mary or Christ do not simply preside over such institutions who’s pontiff have to maintain mega millions in its own Vatican City

  • Suggest you might like to read a recent book about Mary, apparitions, etc. A free digital copy may be freely downloaded from their websitesanmichelsalcove.com

    Have a great day!