We've had some interesting comments on my comments about the comments that have been made about Medjugorje. Some people are willing to admit that all that glitters may not be a gold rosary. Others are more adamant about Our Lady being a visitor.
If you are worried about the length of time the Blessed Mother is with us here on earth, then what will be your reaction when you reach heaven and have the rest of eternity with her?
The kingdom of heaven? It’s here. It arrived with Jesus. And he teaches us that he is with us always.
Medjugorje? God’s merciful love. Tap into it. Receive it. Enjoy it. Live it. There’s more to come. That’s his promise.
Again, we can make our own decisions about personal revelations. I'm sure many people are indeed profoundly effected by their visits to Medjugorje. But there are very, very good reasons to believe that the committee that studied the apparitions were absolutely correct in their assessment that nothing supernatural is going on here. And there even better reasons to be extremely cautious about jumping in with both feet to a series of events that are not, repeat NOT, approved by the Church as worthy of our devotion.
So let's take an even closer look at why the Church has come up with this pronouncement. What is the criteria by which the Church passes such judgment. There are three major categories for consideration.
1. Banality or lack of dignity.
This is what the Bishop was referring to when he gave off with that list of all the places Mary appeared, from trains, trees, houses....Remember that list? It wasn't even complete. Mary might have been appearing at the bowling alley and in the dryer like she did in Georgia. The Church didn't approve that one either.
So the frivolity of the places isn't enough for you? How about some of these gems:
Besides predicting a Yugoslavian soccer win, Mary also moved one of the seers watch hands when Mary was asked to leave a sign, left several times because she claimed people had trod on her veil and on another occasion got all smeared and dirty because those present had all touched her cloak and her veil.
Banal and undignified. Check.
2. An Apparition Teaching Error and Heresy.
I think having any marks in this category ought to seal the deal, but we still have the other two categories and Medjugorje has filled them all. In any case, here are a two doozies from the hill (or the train or the forest or the grocery store...). "All religions are equal under God." That may comfort the separated brethren, but that would also include Hinduism, Wiccans, and Scientologists, would it not? God may love all His children equally, but He didn't write that whole big book so you could be a Buddhist.
She also asked not to be an intermediary between herself and her Son and to direct all petitions directly to Him! What a nonsensical statement! So why are rosaries turning gold there? The rosary is an intermediary prayer. You remember that part that goes "Hail Mary full of grace....pray for us sinners..."? She can't seem to make up her mind.
3. Undermining the Church's Authority.
Jan. 1982: The Virgin states that two Franciscan priests, removed from their order and under suspension by the bishop, one of whom later fathered a child by a nun, may continue to say Mass and hear Confessions. Vicka the seer is asked "If the Lady said this, and the Pope says that they cannot..." Vicka answers: "The Pope can say what he wants. I'm telling it as it is."
Yikes. It was our current Pope Benedict who defrocked that priest.
There are quite a few more examples in all three categories.
But the Holy See may give Medjugorje tacit approval in some way, perhaps with shrine status. It has already issued statements that the pilgrims must be pastorally supported and that is happening.
In fact the opposite is true. The Church has removed the shrine that had been built. The statements that have been issued about pilgrims being pastorally supported is so that the faith that come there are not lead astray by these events that do not have any support from the Church.
And another Pope Benedict (XIV) that said this:
"We must suspect those apparitions that lack dignity or proper reserve, and above all, those that are ridiculous. This last characteristic is a mark of human or diabolical machination."