Perhaps Some Good News for a Change:
Is Medjugorje About to Go Down in Flames?
by Christopher A. Ferrara
June 15, 2015
It seems a decision from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the alleged apparitions of “Our Lady of Medjugorje” is finally imminent. And it seems that the decision will be negative.
- Item: On the flight back to Rome from his brief visit Sarajevo, during which he stayed far away from Medjugorje, Francis revealed that a decision on the authenticity of the “apparitions” is imminent.
- Item: On the very same day, Cardinal Müller, Prefect of the CDF, ordered cancellation of a “Medjugorie prayer meeting” in the diocese of Modena, Italy at which the alleged seer “Vicka” was to appear. Tellingly, in previous years the late Archbishop of Modena had promoted the meeting without Vatican opposition.
- Item: In his homily for June 9, Francis directed his penchant for ridicule to a worthy target, making light of “visionaries who tell us today about ‘The letter that the Madonna will send tomorrow at 4 p.m…’”—an unmistakable reference to the apparitions-on-demand that have been the stock in trade of the traveling Medjugorje “seers” for decades.
These developments augur well for the final unmasking of the Medjugorje fraud, which constitutes a kind of anti-Fatima event, laden with indifferentist nonsense, patently unbelievable meddling of “the Madonna” in personal disputes, and a preposterously voluminous output of thousands of daily verbose “messages” to three of the seers—no matter where they happen to be—by a “Madonna” who apparently never intends to stop talking or (when “she” is not spouting outright heterodoxy) to say anything particularly relevant.
But there is still the prospect the CDF’s final report will be one of those masterpieces of post-Vatican II ambiguity that tries to say yes and no, stop and go, at the same time, which would of course be interpreted as a total vindication by Medjugorje promoters.
That outcome is suggested by a leak to Vatican Insider back in January that the Commission investigating the alleged apparitions has “focused mainly on the first phase of apparitions” as to which “[t]here is apparently no proof of any tricks, hoaxes or abuse of popular credulity. However, it is proving difficult for the Church to form a definitive verdict on the supernatural nature of a phenomenon that is ongoing.”
What? If the Church cannot judge the “ongoing” apparitions of “Our Lady of Medjugorje” to be supernatural, then how does it know the “first phase” of said “apparitions” was supernatural? Since when is the mere absence of proven “tricks” sufficient to validate a claimed Marian apparition? What about its content? And since when are Marian apparitions judged according to “phases,” as if they could start off well enough but then lose credibility over time?
Thus it appears the CDF might—absurdly enough—split the difference by concluding that the “seers” could actually have been seeing the Virgin in 1981 but that today, well, not so such. That would grant the “apparitions” a bizarre sliding scale of credibility depending on how close to the “first phase” they were, while sidestepping any judgment about the patently unbelievable endless stream of daily “bulletins” the “Madonna” has been allegedly issuing for almost 35 years since then. As if “seers” whose “visions” or “interior locutions” obviously cannot be trusted today were somehow more trustworthy in 1981!
Let us hope that sort of nonsensical compromise, so typical of the endemic post-Vatican II reluctance to take a clear stand on any theological matter, will not be the result of the CDF’s investigation. It would not only fail to end, but would guarantee the flourishing of, the Medjugorje industry.
Worse, any sort of vindication of Medjugorje, even a partial one, would detract from the paramount importance of that series of Marian apparitions whose entire authenticity is beyond any shadow of a doubt: the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, who came to one place in one fateful year to give a message-warning to the Church and all of humanity that is more relevant and urgent by the day.
Pray that, just for once, some unalloyed good news comes out of the Vatican.