Proofreader for this critique: 'If I had not promised to proof read this for you, I would have stopped reading . I do not know if I can contain my last meal. Very disturbing! Dangerously blasphemous material. Scary that many persons will believe this. Valtorta's Jesus is homosexual!'
Bro. James: "I will critique Volume V when it is available. Poem of the Man-God is so demonic that without a special Grace from our Lord Jesus, we would be trapped in seemingly harmless statements by Valtorta's Jesus, but they enclose lies and heresy, contrary to Teachings of our One, Holy, Catholic Church. 'The gates of hell shall not prevail against Me: My Church!'" 1
Aping"The poem refers to a baby as an 'it' on page 23 of book #1, and an angel as an 'it' on page 38. On page 40 Mary asks her mother if it would be right of be a sinner out of love for God, so that God could forgive you. No comment needed. On page 85 Mary claims to have consecrated Herself to virginity. One consecrates oneself to God, one vows virginity. We do not think Mary would make such a theological mistake. On page 89, it is claimed that Adam and Eve had an infinite gift of grace. Only God is infinite in anything positive, and even in the negative (infinitely bad), the negative is controlled by God. On Page 358 Jesus claims that He asks the Father not to lead Him into temptation, as if God could sin.
On page 128 Mary claimed that Joseph 'never erred' meaning never sinned. Only Mary is without original or actual sin. To give those who never read the 'Poem' an idea of the stupidity, let us quote one passage on page 166:
'The Child was about to fall asleep. He seemed a little restless, as if He had teething trouble, or some other minor pain of childhood.'Mary sings: 'All the sparkling angels - that in Heaven be. Form a wreath around You, innocent Child - enraptured by Your face. But You're crying for Your Mummy - Mummy, Mummy, Mum. The sky will soon be red - and dawn will soon be back, and Mummy had no rest - to ensure You do not cry ---'
On pages 196, 197, 201, 202, 204, and 209 it is claimed that Jesus learned from Joseph and Mary. And on pages 309. 310, and 311 He even asks to be taught things. God does not learn from anyone as He states on page 216 of the same book. This contradiction is not as important as the bottom line of the entire set of books. The man made god, as the title indicates, has one primary demonic purpose, to show Christ as an ignorant 'mere human' being as Nestorian believed and was condemned for believing in the Council of Ephesus." 2
"clearly indicated from the very first page that the 'visions' and 'dictations' referred to in it are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in her own way the life of Jesus. They cannot be considered supernatural in origin."
"With regard to the spreading of texts of presumed personal revelations, the Congregation makes it clear that:
1. The interpretation by some people of a decision approved by Paul VI on October 14, 1966, and promulgated on November 15 of the same year, by virtue of which writings and messages coming from presumed revelations might be freely spread within the Church is absolutely not valid. This decision actually referred to the 'Abolition of the Index of Banned Books,' and said that - once relative censures were lifted - the moral obligation in any case not to spread or read those writings which endangered faith and morals still remained.
2. A reminder, therefore, that for the diffusion of texts of presumed private revelations, the norm of the Code in force, Canon 823, para 1, which gives pastors the right 'to demand that the writings of the faithful which touch faith or morals be submitted to their own judgment before publication', remains valid. [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]
"3. Presumed supernatural revelations and writings which regard them are in the first instance subject to the judgment of the diocesan bishop and, in particular cases, to that of the episcopal conference and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith." [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]
"Poem of the Man-God, a multi-volume work of prose written by Maria Valtorta, purports to be a factual account of the life of Christ as revealed by Jesus himself. Interest in the work grew after one of the alleged seers from Medjugorje claimed that the Virgin Mary okayed the reading of the bookThe history of the book leads one to question the credibility of this claim. In 1960 The Poem Of The Man-God, then a four-volume set, was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. The official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, summarized the findings of the Holy Office in an article titled 'A Life of Jesus Badly Fictionalized.' When the publishers tried to get around this condemnation the next year by publishing a new ten-volume set, the work again was condemned in the Vatican paper which called it 'a mountain of childishness, of fantasies, and of historical and exegetical falsehoods, diluted in a subtly sensual atmosphere.'
"Medjugorje visionary, Vicka Ivankovic, in an interview with an American attorney on Jan. 27, 1988 said: "Our Lady said if a person wants to know Jesus, he should read THE POEM OF THE MAN-GOD by Maria Valtorta. That book is the truth." 5
"Maria Valtorta's multi-volume life of Jesus flirts with heresy and exhibits bad taste. Its claims to authenticity have been rejected by Rome..."Poem" purports to fill in the details of Jesus' life left blank by the four Gospels. Such narratives have been produced since the second century A.D. Some were written by gnostic heretics. Some by New Agers and occultists. And some were produced by pious Christians who made up stories about Jesus to edify readers and listeners...Valtorta claimed that she was the 'secretary' of Jesus and Mary, and was setting down the divinely inspired truth about Jesus' life. The Church has rejected this claim..." 6He points to the disobedience and subterfuge of Fr. Berti and that of the ultimate publisher. Then he castigates
..."the long speeches of Jesus and Mary"..."Jesus sounds 'like a chatterbox...'...Some of the passages are rather risque,' like the 'immodest' dance before Pilate (Vol. 5, p.73). There are many historical, geographical and other blunders. 'For instance, Jesus uses screwdrivers (Vol. 1, pp.195, 223), centuries before screws existed.' There are theological errors, as when 'Jesus says' (Vol. 1, p.30) that Eve's temptation consisted in arousing her flesh, as the serpent sensuously 'caressed' her. While she 'began to sin by herself,' she 'accomplished it with her companion.' Sun Myung Moon and Maria Valtorta may claim the first sin was sexual, but Scripture does not."
"Vol. 1, p.7, oddly claims, 'Mary can be called the 'second-born' of the Father...', [and] Vol. 4, p.240) Mary will 'be second to Peter with regard to ecclesiastical hierarchy...' Our Lady surpasses St Peter's holiness, but she is not in the hierarchy, let alone second to St Peter."
"Finally, 'Poem' is condemned for reasons of disobedience. Competent Church authority had prohibited the printing of Valtorta's work...Though many people claim that 'Poem' helps their faith or their return to reading Scripture, they are still being disobedient to the Church's decisions regarding reading 'Poem'. How can such disregard for Church authority and wisdom be a help in renewing the Church in these difficult times?" 7
"This is a wonderful, compact, complete, easily usable and transportable format. The very day I received it, I made good use of it, going through the five volumes for Christmas sermon material." Father K.R., Vic.Recently one of his brochures was distributed at a Parish Church in the Archdiocese of Melbourne advertising
"I've always believed in the Truth of every word of The Poem..." Rose Mary Rhodes, Carlingford. NSW. [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]
"Praying The Rosary - With Maria Valtorta",The brochure goes on to say:
Sunday xrd xxxxxxxx 2000,
with David Murray, from the Maria Valtorta Readers' Group,
St xxxxxxxx Community Centre ...,
11.30am to 4.30pm"
"...And through these writings, we can gain wonderful insights into the lives of Jesus and Mary, as they were revealed to the 20th century mystic writer Maria Valtorta, and reproduced in that masterly epic...These record more than 700 visions and dictations, which began before the birth of Mary...", andNot only was the brochure made available, but the event was publicized in the official Parish Bulletin! As I had to attend the baptism of my grand-daughter at another Church in the Archdiocese I was unable to attend the event. However, I did arrive at the venue at near 5:00pm to be told that the "retreat" was now finished. Imagine my surprise, however, to learn that "Holy Pictures" of the Medjugorje "gospa" were "For Sale" in the foyer Piety Stall in the church in which my grand-daughter was to be baptized! Little wonder, perhaps, for a veritable "army" of clerics from the Archdiocese have been willing chaplains for the Pilgrimages advertised in the Archdiocesan paper, "Kairos" - notwithstanding requests from the successor of the Apostles in the Mostar diocese, and Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome that pilgrimages not be organised.
"On 26 February 1948, Pope Pius XII said: 'Publish the work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion about its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Those who read will understand...'"
"On Feb. 26, 1948, Fathers Migliorini, Berti and A. Cecchin enjoyed a private audience with Pope Pius XII, as listed in L'Osservatore Romano's daily announcement of audiences. Standing in St. Peter's Square after the audience, Father Berti wrote down Pope Pius' words as he remembered them. These words were 'not' printed in L'Osservatore Romano, but Father Berti remembered the Pope saying:
'Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion about its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Who reads it, will understand. One hears of many visions and revelations. I will not say they are all authentic; but there are some of which it could be said that they are.'CEDIVAL calls this a 'Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur,' where "he took upon himself to pass the first official judgment on these writings." CEDIVAL glues this inside the cover, though the publisher does not print an imprimatur. The reason: it has none!
Confident of papal approval, Father Berti brought the books to the Vatican press. However, in 1949, two commissioners of the Holy Office, Msgr. Giovanni Pepe and Father Berruti, O.P., condemned the 'Poem,' ordering Berti to hand over every copy and sign an agreement not to publish it. Father Berti returned the manuscripts to Valtorta and handed over only his typed versions.
Despite his signed promise, in 1952 Father Berti went to publisher Emiliano Pisani. Though aware of the Holy Office's opposition, Pisani printed the first volume in 1956, and a new volume each year through 1959.
When volume four appeared, the Holy Office examined the 'Poem' and condemned it, recommending that it be placed on the Index of Forbidden Books Dec. 16, 1959. Pope John XXIII signed the decree and ordered it published. L'Osservatore Romano, on Jan. 6, 1960, printed the condemnation with an accompanying front-page article, 'A Badly Fictionalized Life of Jesus,' to explain it. [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]
The article complained that the 'Poem' broke Canon Law. 'Though they treat exclusively of religious issues, these volumes do not have an "imprimatur," which is required by Canon 1385, sect. 1, n. 2.'...
Pope John's approval of the condemnation of the 'Poem of the Man-God' should have ended the issue, but it did not. The publishers printed a second edition of 10 volumes, which the Church condemned in another front-page article in L'Osservatore Romano, Dec. 1, 1961. This second Italian edition was later translated into German, French, Spanish and English." 9
"The Poem of the Man-God" has exactly the same objective as Catherine Emmerich's "The Life of Christ" except that instead of four large volumes it is fifteen large volumes. Every reason for the one work is found in the other work. The layouts of the two works are the same. But one thing is very, very different. Everything in "The Poem of the Man-God" contradicts "The Life of Christ". Both cannot be from God. One has to be inspired by Satan in order to diffuse and confuse the other.
These two writings are so opposite to each other that the title is very appropriate. Christ is God made man [God-Man]; not man made God [Man-God]. Man-God is heresy.
The SeerMaria Valtoria was born on March 14, 1897 [123 years after Catherine Emmerich]. She and her mother did not get along. Her mother spoiled two marriage attempts by Maria, and in Maria's own description was oppressive and irreligious. Maria did not do well in school [failing in mathematics], but was a gifted writer. She started her writings the year her mother died in 1943 and continued them everyday until her death in 1961. In eighteen years she wrote fifteen thousand pages--15,000.
No miracles happened during her life. No heroic virtue can be found. No unusual sanctity has been observed. No signature of God can be found.
Idle ConversationThe first, most glaring thing we noticed in reading "The Poem of the Man-God" is the conversation of Christ and Mary. When you read the Bible, you can not help but notice that every single word of Christ has great meaning for the salvation of souls. Never did He speak a single word of "idle conversation". In fact, Scripture and Doctrine call "idle conversation" a sin of omission and sloth. Father Mirch Pacwa, S.J.said the books make Jesus and Mary sound like chatterboxes.
We were unable to find anything that was worthy of quoting. Several of our friends that we use to test books found that they could not even hold their concentration on them for over five minutes.
ContradictionsEvery page contradicts the works of Emmerich, and in some cases the meaning of the Bible, itself. Over ten seers have given the date of Mary's birth as September 8th. But Maria gives a date of August 24th. None of the day to day life of Christ's childhood resemble anything like that of Catherine. The impression one receives in these writings is that Christ does not know anything, since He is always asking questions about people's lives, or their reasons for doing things. This is a Nestorian and Arian heresy. Although Jesus was totally man, with the intellect of man, He also always had the infused knowledge of Christ [His Divinity]. He does not call the publican down out of the tree by name without a divine knowledge.
The Christ of the "Poem" also fails to correct the sins of His followers in many cases. This is a sin for us, why not for Him? To admonish the sinner?
The "Poem" also states that Christ was nailed in the wrist on one hand and in the hand on the other. This does not agree with Emmerich or Neumann as we pointed out. God does not contradict God in anything.
Sense of GodThis is not very scientific, but worth a comment. Whenever we read the Bible, the lives of the saints, or true messages from Heaven, we feel the power of the words as if grace pours out of them. There are no such feelings in reading "The Poem of the Man-God".
The Poem of the Man-God is not worthy of comment if it were not for the fact that one of the largest Catholic Book Chains, The Daughters of St. Paul, "Pauline Books" chose to take out the works of Catherine Emmerich and put in its place this abortion of the word of God. We wonder why they had to remove the word "Catholic" from the name of their book stores. No, we do not wonder. We know!
BlundersThe use of "screwdrivers" (Book 1 pp. 195, 223) is the blunder of blunders for a book said to be dictated by Jesus and Mary. Screws were not even invented at the time of Christ.
Theological ErrorsBook 1 pp. 7 claims Mary can be called the second-born of the Father. Christ was not born. He was begotten from all eternity. There is a big difference. Mary was conceived in the mind of the Father from all eternity, but She was born in the normal manner. She cannot be called the second-born. Page 30 claims Eve's temptation consisted in arousing her sexual desires as the serpent sensuously caressed her. Eve's sin was not sexual. It was pride leading to editing the commandments of God, and then to disobedience. Concupiscence is the result, not the cause. Valtorta calls Mary second to Peter with regards to ecclesiastical hierarchy in Book 4, pp. 240. The hierarchy of the Church are servants of Jesus and Mary. Mary could never be a servant, and therefore, could never be in the hierarchy.
Condemned By RomeFather Romuald Migliorini, O.S.M. typed Valtorta's hand written manuscripts. Father Corrado Berti brought then to Father Augustin Bea, spiritual director of Pope Pius XII, and later Cardinal. Father Bea said that he did not find any errors in the parts that he read. From this Father Berti went out into the world claiming that Pope Pius XII gave "Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur". How much truth is there to this? First, a "nihil obstat" is required before any Imprimatur. Second, an Imprimatur must be in writing. Third, an Imprimatur must be re-issued for every language used. And fourth, in less then a year, 1949, Rome condemned the books, and ordered Father Berti to give up every copy he had and to sign an agreement not to publish. In spite of his signed promise, Father Berti published the books.
Again on December 16, 1959 the books were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books signed by Pope John XXII. L'Osservatore Romano printed the condemnation on January 6, 1960 with the heading, "A Badly Fictionalized Life of Jesus".
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in answer to questions, again reminded the world that the "Poem" has always been condemned. He went on to say in 1985:
"After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, they were reminded again in L'Osservatore Romano (June 15, 1966) that 'The Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution."In 1993 Cardinal Ratzinger said the books cannot be considered supernatural in origin. He said that the best that could be said of them is that they were a badly fictionalized life of Jesus.
Caritas of Birmingham, the American promoters of "The Poem" wrote a pleading letter to Cardinal Ratzinger on July 21, 1992 [more on that later]. Cardinal Ratzinger felt that the bishop of Birmingham, Alabama should answer the letter, and in 1993 Bishop Raymond J. Boland restated that they cannot be considered supernatural in origin."
Rome condemned the books in 1949, 1959, 1960,1985, twice in 1993. What more do people want?
Index of Forbidden BooksBefore we look into the publisher of the "Poem", something must be said about the "Index" and the fact that it was dissolved. In the Catholic Directory published by the Daughters of Saint Paul, it states that although the index has been dissolved it is not necessary that a book be listed in the Index to be forbidden. In goes on to list twelve classes of publications that are forbidden by general law.
Class #5 states: "Books on visions and other supernatural phenomena published without approval." In Class #6 "Books that attack Catholic dogma or the hierarchy or defend errors condemned by the Holy See." Class #11 states, "Books propagating false indulgences." Class #12 lists, "Printed images of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, the angels, saints, or other servants of God."
It must be noted that the Index was not done away with because it is no longer needed. It was forced to dissolve because of the invention of the computer, and the change from thousands of books to millions of books. There was and is no way Rome can keep up with the proliferation of Religious material today.
It must also be stated that the decree of December 29, 1966 by Pope Paul VI (abrogating Canons 1399 and 2318) only applies to private revelation that has not yet received a declaration of the Church.
The same applies to the decree of Pope Urban VIII. Pope Urban stated "if it proves to be false". How is it proved to be false unless we believe that the Church has the power to bind and loose? If we do not believe the Church can condemn and it be binding, how can it be proved to be false? But just before the new year of 1997 Rome made it very clear:
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
November 1996II. Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation states:
1. The Interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the "abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books" and determined that --- after the relevant censures were lifted --- the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals. 2. It should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, canon 623 #1 of the current Code remains in force: "the Pastors of the Church have the ... right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgement". 3. Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and , in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
CARITAS OF BIRMINGHAMCaritas is a community. It is also the publisher of the "Poem" and is located right next to Mother Angelica's EWTN radio and television broadcasting stations. They also have an information center in Medjugorje called "Caritas". Since there also is an arm of the Vatican called "Caritas" used to give food and relief to areas in need, many think that Caritas is part of the Vatican. It is not. It was founded by a millionaire, who went to Medjugorje and came back to found a community of believers and to promote the "Poem". He has his own airplane and makes trips to Medjugorje at his slightest whim. The community prays in the field everyday, in spite of the fact that a Church is right across the street. This is because one of the seers of Medjugorje has a vision on that spot. It seems the "spot" is more holy than the Body and Blood of Christ in the Church across the street. According to one of our researchers, who was at one time high up in the New Age Movement, "Caritas" is reaping in New Age theology. She spent a great deal of time with them, and has a report to be printed soon. Terry Colafrancesco of "Caritas" wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger on July 21, 2000. We have a copy of this letter. The reason we have a copy is that he published the letter.
In his letter he claims to be a community in the making and to have a mailing list of over 100,000 people in the USA alone not counting 65 foreign countries. "Our work", he writes, "is the implementation of Our Lady's plan given in Medjugorje." After five condemnations of the "Poem", he states his reason for writing is the "gray area", since "I am a close, personal friend of Marije Pavlovic, one of the visionaries in Medjugorje, and there is no question that she spoke to Our Lady and asked Her if one could read the Poem of the Man God. Our Lady answered that it was acceptable to read. Marija's statement cannot be ignored."
In other words, there is a gray area because the Church condemned a book that "Our Lady" recommends. How could the Cardinal, responsible for the protection of the faith of the entire world go against the wishes of Our Lady? Or another way of putting it is, "Let us put our faith in private revelation and not in the teaching authority of the Church".
Cardinal Ratzinger did not think the letter worthy of a personal response, since "Caritas" was under the theological jurisdiction of the Bishop of Birmingham. It is Bishop Boland's responsibility to see to it that his children keep the faith and obey the Church. However, his letter of response was so ambiguous and stupid that it caused more confusion than help. He left "Caritas" the impression that if they did not claim any supernatural influence in the "Poem" it could be sold as simply the imagination of the writer, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Church. This is fine, if you overlook that fact that the book states on every page, "Jesus said = Jesus told me - Mary said - Mary told me that, etc." Even if these references were removed, everyone knows private revelation is claimed. They continue to publish the books as they were written. 10
We, the Bishops of Bosnia-Herzegovina, are preoccupied with the consequences of the four years' war (1992-1995), and of the reconstruction of the life of the Church, and we do not see the need to form a new commission of inquiry and to make a new declaration concerning Medjugorje.
For my part, I have included an article entitled "Criteria for Discerning Apparitions:" regarding the events at Medjugorje in my most recent book, Prijestolje Mudrosti (Seat of Wisdom) published at Mostar in 1995, pp. 266-286). I put forward ten points explaining the reasons why one cannot recognize the authenticity of Medjugorje.
I am, moreover very grateful to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for having, on two occasions, explained and implemented the affirmation of the Episcopal Conference of the ex-Yugoslavia. This was done in a letter to Mgr. Daloz, Archbishop of Besançon, on 4 July 1995, and in a letter to Mgr. Taverdet, Bishop of Langres, on 23 March 1996. After having cited the declaration of the Episcopal Conference of the ex-Yugoslavia, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith added: "From what has been said, it follows that official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, representing it as a place of authentic Marian apparitions must not be organized either on a parish or diocesan level, because this would be a contradiction of what has been affirmed by the bishops of the ex-Yugoslavia in their previously cited declaration."11
From Croatian book by Ratko Peric, Bishop
Prijestolje Mudrosti (The Throne of the Wisdom)
for Discerning Apparitions
Regarding the Events of Medjugorje
Please note that the footnote numbering follows the bishops numbering
and the relevant footnotes immediately follow the bishop's article.
Medjugorje, a parish in the diocese of Mostar-Duvno in Herzegovina is known not only to Catholic Croats but to the entire world. For 14 years now, much has been spoken and written on the "seers", and on the "apparitions" of the Blessed Virgin Mary in this parish. The ecclesiastical ministry of the diocesan Bishop Msgr. Pavao Zanic, has been marked by commissions, investigations, communiqués, declarations, meetings with the "seers", persuasions and dissuasions regarding these events. His coadjutor and successor, from the time of his taking over the ministry of bishop in Mostar (1993), has received many letters of varying content, expressing all types of advice and suggestions on the events of Medjugorje. Some have sought to impede these phenomenon, while others have endeavored to have them approved and propagated. He himself volens-nolens has been asked in some public appearances and interviews to say something and to explain himself. He never refrained though, from supporting the Declaration of the Bishops Conference of 1991. He also mentioned the events of Medjugorje at the Bishops Synod in Rome, in October of 1994. Therefore, this current and contemporary theme cannot be ignored.
It is impossible to provide a brief summary of the events tied to Medjugorje. There exists an abundant amount of literature1 from the naive to the fanatic. This article limits itself to bringing out the theological criteria for heavenly "private" apparitions on earth. Many worthwhile articles and books have been written on this topic which systematically and expertly write on "private" apparitions and revelations.2 For this reason, the aim of this article is to gather criteria which can help those who already know certain facts, to compare them to these rules and evaluate the conclusions. Consequently, to bring forth the official documents and declarations of the Church regarding the events in the parish of Medjugorje in the diocese of Mostar-Duvno and finally, to summarize the position of the Diocesan Chancery in a few points keeping in mind the well-known Declaration of the Bishops Conference of 1991.
1) According to the teachings of the II Vatican Council, the historical person of Jesus, his appearance and revelation, by word and deed, through miraculous signs, passed on to us through his apostles, is the final and complete revelation of God, to which nothing essential can be added or taken away. Therefore, beyond this first revelation, there shall be no other revelation before Jesus' Second coming. In this sense, the Council is quite unambiguous: "As a result, he himself - to see whom is to see the Father (cf. Jn 14:9) - completed and perfected Revelation and confirmed it with divine guarantees. he did this by the total fact of his presence and self-manifestation - by words and works, signs and miracles, but above all by his death and glorious resurrection from the dead, and finally by sending the Spirit of truth. he revealed that God was with us, to deliver us from the darkness of sin and death, and to raise us up to eternal life."3
2) Holy Scripture: in the Old Testament, the word "listen" is used twice a often as the words "to see" or "to look" (1080 : 520). Along with this, the relationship of man to God, including the most humble friend of God, is a relationship of words and not one of seeing or of vision: 4
3) Theological problems and explanations. Theologians who are professionally involved in studying Revelation are loath to talk about private apparitions and messages. Yet amongst the people, many of the faithful are inclined to believe in such phenomenon, because they provide something visible, touchable, something which can be felt or sensed. This is especially true if this is something which becomes visible in their lives in the form of some kind of emotional aid, a healing or similar experience. Such phenomenon and beliefs can easily slide into true superstition and forms of magic, especially if the desired "grace" or "miracle" doesn't occur in the way the person expected and "prayed for". In such situations, it is not uncommon to come across even - suicide. Yet, it must be objectively recognized that in the last years and decades, tens of millions of people have made pilgrimages to the recognized Marian shrines of the world, such as Lourdes, Fatima, Czestochowa, Loreto, Marija Bistrica, ecc. This is also another reason why so much is written and spoken on the problem of private apparitions. Moreover, he who in his ecclesiastical ministry feels it his responsibility, (whether this be in a theological, investigative or episcopal teaching ministry), has the duty to defend the faith of the common folk and not to allow (under the veil of various public religious gestures), the concealing of any superstitions, nor permit the faith of the people to be based upon false apparitions.
Theologically speaking, in order to accept private apparitions as authentic, they must be characterized by some essential traits and be free of dubious elements.
R. Silic, a professor of theology in Sarajevo, advised the priests of his time briefly and clearly: "May pastors of souls be careful not to quickly believe in revelations so that they may not be deceived by pious women."5
Another Franciscan priest from Herzegovina, K. Vasilj, provides three criteria:
1) The appearing Mary must be in total concordance with Mary of the New Testament;
2) The person who claims that Mary is appearing to him/her must be completely sincere and truthful;
3) That person must also be psychologically healthy, unperturbed by illusions and hallucinations.6
A serious theological article on apparitions was written ten years ago by a Jesuit professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Rev. Jean Galot. He presents three problems which should be resolved while questioning the authenticity of apparitions:
1) Did a true apparition occur?
2) Is the person who presented this trustworthy?
3) Can the theology of the apparitions be explained and placed within the life of the Church?7
This third problem should be placed first, and the theologian gives it much attention. Describing various apparitions depicted in the Bible, he also brings out his own theological considerations. In the faith, there exists a fundamental light which is shrouded by darkness. Hence, some seek apparitions in order to confirm their faith. they would like to compensate that which they lack in believing by "seeing". "It is exactly this desire which drives a good number of today's Christians towards persons who say that they have apparitions or visions."8
The first criterion for discerning authenticity is rarity and exceptionality. Apparitions are essentially very rare occurrences. They cannot replace the faith. "Hence, apparitions which would continue for a long period of time, becoming a part of daily life of the seers, would tend to transform christian living into seeing and would then liberate if from the darkness of faith. such frequency would be a motive to doubt the authenticity of the apparitions."9
The second criterion for judging authenticity would be the conformity of the ensuing messages and revelations to the truths of the faith. If there were to be any doctrinal errors, or affirmations incompatible with the teachings of the Gospel, with christian love; or if they were to contain slander, to instigate rebellion, to entice "disobedience towards Church authority", in such cases their validity would have to be questioned.10
Thirdly, "it would equally be detrimental if the transcendental origin of the apparitions were to indicate a certain human manipulation: when the recipients of apparitions determine the place, date, regularity or program. They do not then concern a phenomenon from above, but more or less a direct experience of the actors on earth".11
Fourthly, one has to consider the fruits also. "It must be observed that the spiritual fruits alone cannot suffice in discerning the authenticity of apparitions. There have been cases where many conversions were registered, which then only wound up being rejected by church authorities as unfounded."12
Z. Puljic, once a member of the diocesan commission for the investigation of the events of Medjugorje, and who today is Bishop of Dubrovnik, emphasizes the necessity of a serious analysis of the following elements for the discernment of the authenticity of apparitions:
- the psychological equilibrium of the person;
- the object or content of private apparitions, and
- the moral implications on the "seer" or on others who accept them.13
Other theologians present up to eight criteria for discerning authentic from false private apparitions and revelations. In order to evaluate them, one would have to respond to these questions:
- What is the basic information on the "seers" like, and how are they judged to be?
- Has there been a concrete realization of the seers' announced predictions?
- Is the seer honest and respectful towards his superiors (spiritual director, pastor, bishop)?
- Is an absolutely authentic text of the "messages" obtainable?
- Does there exist any harmony between the so-called messages and revelations to the official teachings of the Church?
- Are the so-called messages useful towards the eternal salvation of people?
- Have the so-called apparitions survived all the difficulties of time and all investigations?
- Have there been significant fruits in every aspect?14
R. Fisichella, a respected professor of theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, after making some biblical observations, stresses the following criteria for discerning the authenticity and truthfulness of private apparitions:
- These visions must never overshadow the authentic and radical Revelation described in Holy Scripture;
- They must always respect the mystery and secrecy of genuine revelation; " it is absurd, to not say blasphemous, - not only to Western mentality - that during a vision one could photograph the face of Jesus or the Virgin!";
- They must respect the mutual completion of charisms; and the greatest of these is love; hence they should not be directed against love which is the center of Christian revelation.3
Furthermore, for a theological analysis of so-called private apparitions, it is important to keep in mind the social and cultural factors of the place where the apparitions occur, a linguistic verification of the descriptions of the apparitions would be necessary, and finally, a thorough psychological analysis of the seers. One also must recall that apparitions are always something "extraordinary", rare, and this is an important element for their discernment. "If apparitions were to occur on a daily basis in the life of a believer, or if they were to continue for years, this would obviously create serious problems for the theology of faith".16 Every apparition must refer to or return to the revelation of Christ, presume it and lead towards it as well.
Referring to the "scientific research" on the "apparitions" at Medjugorje,17 of R. Laurentin, a French priest and publicist, J. Curic, a professor at the Catholic Theological Faculty in Zagreb, provides a few significant critical points which greatly contribute towards clearing up the mentioned difficulties:
- Curic first of all differentiates between the popular term "scientific" as it was comprehended in the 19th century and the way it is understood today in the 20th century. Real scientists today are much more humble and careful, due to the likely rebuttals and replies they can easily receive tomorrow for their conclusions of today.18
- While the French scientist lists facts and figures, he remains in line with his historical profession. but when he presents the actual "visions" of the seers, he does not take into consideration the "experience of the presence" as a significant element of spiritual consciousness. This is one of his greatest drawbacks according to the Croatian Jesuit.19
- A three day stay in Medjugorje during the Christmas rush, gave Laurentin the opportunity to establish that the seers are mentally healthy, simple and totally honest. Curic observes though, that God does not reserve his gifts only to those who are "scientifically" sane. He portrays Laurentin's great leaps to conclusions: "Meanwhile, if he were to come to a perfectly certain conviction that the seers of Medjugorje are totally sincere in their declarations, this would not give him the right to conclude - that the subjective sincerity of their speech proves the objective truthfulness of their visions."20
- Following this, Curic poses a general problem of principle: "what if anything can science research and verify regarding extraordinary, miraculous phenomenon, whether they be of divine or demonic origin? It appears that Glas Koncila did not proceed properly when it reiterated the "scientific nature" of Laurentin's approach to the Madonna's "apparitions"; as if the problem of the authenticity of these apparitions (after all our Balkan controversies), could now be resolved in a proper manner - the scientific way." Laurentin recognizes that in the end "the verdict must be left up to the Church". Curic then responds: "Why would this scientist, having concluded his scientific research, now restrain his scientific conclusions and bow before the unscientific authority of the Church? If science can scientifically establish that a certain virus causes cancer, then no bishop could ever deny this conclusion! Hence, if science scientifically establishes that the Madonna is "appearing" in Medjugorje, can the bishops along with their commissions deny this?" Here the critic is examining two things. The first: God's grace cannot be an "object" of scientific research; second: yet, through grace, God can touch a person in such a way that this encounter manifests itself in a miraculous healing, miraculous knowledge, ecc. But science is incapable of establishing the miraculous nature of these happenings!21
- Curic differentiates between mystical and prophetic types of private revelations. Mystics usually cannot and do not know how to express what they have experienced. Prophetic souls "behave themselves diversely: they are convinced of the truthfulness of their experience and consciously wish to go public, so that people may listen and follow their 'message'". The phenomenon of Medjugorje falls into this prophetic category. Yet the mystical and prophetic types of revelations cannot be verified by science, but only through a spiritual evaluation.22
- Curic also presents the differences between public Revelation which is absolutely necessary for salvation and which extends for all eternity to all of mankind, and private revelations which no one has the right to impose upon or extend towards others. This results from the private nature of private revelations.3
- This type of private revelation does not lose its private character even after the so-called "approval" or "nihil obstat" of the Church, which can also revoke this "approval". Curic's conclusion is: "Whoever believes along with Laurentin that the Madonna has truly appeared to the seers of Medjugorje - and not once or twice, but thousands of times - that person would have to keep in mind the historical fact that even very noble Divine initiatives have ended in failure, because they were defeated by the disproportionate propaganda of various naive and fanatical persons. On the other hand, one shouldn't forget that according to the Bible, God is not bound by our human legal or scientific methods."3
4) The position of the Church. Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, who became Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758), explained the value and strength of "approval" which is given to apparitions, visions and revelations: "It is important to know that the public approval (of apparitions) after serious examination, is provided for the education and benefit of believers. But even though such approved revelations cannot claim nor be given the consensus of the Catholic faith, they nevertheless require the assent of human faith according to the rules of prudence, in virtue of which these revelations are considered probable or piously credible."25 This wise rule is also valid today.
In the most recent Catechism of the Catholic Church there exists a clear position regarding "private" apparitions and revelations: "Throughout the ages, there have been so-called 'private' revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church."26
5) The phenomenon of Medjugorje and Declarations of the Church. From 1981 onward, three ecclesiastical Commissions have worked in succession on studying the phenomenon of Medjugorje. They could not avoid taking into consideration the above mentioned principles and criteria during their investigations. The Commissions, the local Bishop and the Bishops Conference through the course of time, gave certain communiqués, declarations or explanations, which were accepted or rejected by the followers or the opponents of "supernatural apparitions". Here are the most important official declarations, signed and dated by the competent authorities:
- In mid August 1981, in the declaration of Msgr. Pavao Zanic, Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, which was open to honest interpretation, it was said that the "most difficult question remains whether this is the subjective experience of the children or something supernatural?"27
- On the 14th of January 1984, the archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, prohibited the seers of Medjugorje from appearing in all the parishes of the archdiocese of Zagreb until an ecclesiastical judgment was passed on the events.28
- On the 24th of March 1984, the first communiqué of the expanded Commission was made public. The Commission asked that the mass media refrain from giving judgments of the events until the competent Church Commission provides its judgment. It also asked that organized pilgrimages not be allowed; that the "seers" and church personnel in Medjugorje not give any statements regarding the so-called "apparitions": "Since the events in the parish of Medjugorje have had a considerable echo in our local Church and throughout the world, the Bishop Ordinary felt it necessary to expand the present four-member Commission in order to choose new members from all the theological faculties from the Church in Croatia and Slovenia, from various theological disciplines as well as experts in medical sciences... the Commission does not approve of priests or Catholic lay people organizing pilgrimages to Medjugorje, or public appearances of the seers before it has made a judgment on the authenticity of the apparitions."29
- On October 11th 1984, in the second communiqué, we read amongst other things: "The Commission has decided to further study all the experiences of the children and the interpretations of these experiences by the pastoral works of Medjugorje, even though it already notices some difficulties of disciplinary and theological nature in the messages of Medjugorje."30
- On the 12th of October 1984, the Bishops Conference asked that official pilgrimages to Medjugorje not be organized: "The Bishops advise that regarding the events of Medjugorje, it is necessary to await the judgment of the competent Church authorities which shall be given after a thorough and expert examination of the events. Hence, official pilgrimages to Medjugorje cannot be organized as if the Church had already given a positive judgment on these events."31
- On the 30th of October, Bishop Zanic presented the (unofficial) position of the Diocesan Chancery in a 15 point statement demonstrating negative factors and facts tied to the phenomenon of Medjugorje.32
- On March 8th 1985, the third communiqué of the mentioned Commission on the results of single experts and studies was made known. Amongst other things it said: "The commission feels that the most difficult question arising from the events regards the ecclesiastical disobedience of two former chaplains of Mostar who refused to be transferred, appealing to the messages of Medjugorje."33
- On the 18th of April 1985, the Bishops conference once again made an appeal to the faithful against making official pilgrimages to Medjugorje: "The Bishops are following the events of Medjugorje in Herzegovina with due attention. They have reconfirmed their previous directives and decisions regarding these events during this meeting."34
- On May 23rd 1985, came the warning of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - signed by the secretary of the Congregation Msgr. Alberto Bovone - addressed to the Italian Bishops Conference, to not organize pilgrimages to Medjugorje. Here is the entire text of the letter sent by the Holy See to the secretary of the Italian Bishops Conference, Msgr. Egidio Caporello:
Your Excellency, from many parts, especially from the competent Ordinary of Mostar (Yugoslavia), one can gather and lament the vast propaganda given to the 'events' tied to the so-called apparitions in Medjugorje, for which pilgrimages and other initiatives have been organized that only contribute to the creation of confusion amongst the faithful and interfere with the work of the appointed Commission which is delicately examining the 'events' under scrutiny.
In order to avoid enhancing this mentioned propaganda and speculation going on in Italy, despite all that has been expressed and recommended by the Bishops Conference of Yugoslavia, could this Presidency please suggest to the Italian Episcopate to publicly discourage the organizing of pilgrimages to the so-called centre of apparitions, a well as all other forms of publicity, especially written materials, which could be considered prejudicial to a sober assertion of the facts on the part of the Special Commission which has been canonically formed for this purpose.
I take this opportunity to express the assurances of my highest regards..."35
- On the 31st of May 1985, came the fourth Communiqué of the mentioned Commission in which the themes and difficulties worked upon were presented: "... a comparison of the concept of conversion as presented in the gospels to the phenomenon of Medjugorje; problems of discipline regarding two former chaplains of Mostar who appeal to the messages of Medjugorje; theological problems regarding some of the messages of Medjugorje; and insufficient documentation on the supposed miraculous healings."36
- On September 27, 1985, the fifth Communiqué of the same Commission was published in which they briefly explained what the participants were doing.37
- In January of 1987, on the suggestion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that a commission of experts be established at the level of the Bishops Conference, a communiqué by Cardinal Kuharic and Bishop Zanic was published: "While waiting for the results of the Commission's investigations and the judgment of the Church, may Pastors and the faithful observe prudence in these circumstances. Therefore, organized pilgrimages or other manifestations, motivated by supernatural attributes given to the phenomenon of Medjugorje are not allowed."38
- On the 25th of July 1987, during a Mass held in the parish of Medjugorje, Bishop Zanic referred to the so-called apparitions. Here is a paragraph which was cited in many newspapers throughout the world: "It is said that Our Lady began appearing at Podbrdo on mount Crnica, but when the police banned going there, she went into homes, on fences, into the fields, into vineyards and tobacco fields, she appeared in the church, on the altar, in the sacristy, in the choir loft, on the roof, on the bell-tower, on roads, on the road to Cerno, in a car, in a bus, on a carriage, in a few places in Mostar, in more places in Sarajevo, in the convents of Zagreb, in Varazdin, in Switzerland, in Italy, again on Podbrdo, on Mt. Krizevac, in the parish, in the parish rectory, ecc. Surely not even half the places of the so-called apparitions have been counted, and a sober person who venerates Our Lady, would naturally ask himself: Dear Mother of God, what are they doing to you?"39
- In 1990 the diocesan Bishop Zanic published his position on Medjugorje by summarizing in 28 points that which deeply dissuaded him regarding the truthfulness of the so-called supernatural apparitions, and which also scandalizes many faithful today regarding the events of Medjugorje.40
- On the 10th of April 1991, came the Declaration of the former Bishops Conference on the basis of the results of its Commission, which said that there are no valid reasons which could verify the events of Medjugorje as supernatural apparitions or revelations. The Declaration in its entirety follows:
During the regular session of the Bishops Conference of Yugoslavia, held in Zadar from April 9-11, 1991, the following was accepted:
From the very beginning, the Bishops have been following the events of Medjugorje through the local Bishop, the Bishops Commission and the Commission of the Bishops Conference of Yugoslavia for Medjugorje.
On the base of studies made so far, it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations.
Yet the gathering of faithful from various parts of the world to Medjugorje, inspired by reasons of faith or other motives, require the pastoral attention and care, first of all, of the local Bishop and then of the other bishops with him, so that in Medjugorje and all connected with it, a healthy devotion towards the Blessed Virgin Mary according to the teachings of the Church may be promoted. The Bishops will also provide special liturgical and pastoral directives corresponding to this aim. At the same time, they will continue to study all the events of Medjugorje through the commissions.
Zadar, 10 April 199141
The Bishops of Yugoslavia"
Later on, war broke out in the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The followers of the phenomenon of Medjugorje still claim that Our Lady is "appearing". The Diocesan Chancery has warned on many occasions that one cannot claim nor preach in churches on supernatural apparitions due to the fact that it is impossible to confirm that Our Lady is appearing. Hence, official pilgrimages to Medjugorje are not allowed.42
6) The Church has still not recognized the supernatural nature of the "apparitions" at Medjugorje
Having in mind the previously mentioned rules which the Commission members empowered with the task of investigating the phenomenon have taken into consideration, on the basis of which they have suggested to the local Bishop and the Bishops Conference to maintain the conviction that it is impossible to prove the supernatural nature of the "apparitions"; and also keeping in mind what was said and written in the past and especially recently on the events in the parish of Medjugorje, we present a few basic positions which the Diocesan Chancery has in various ways made public and duly informed the Holy See on, and still maintains today:
1. "The Case of Herzegovina" - Medjugorje. The local Bishop of Mostar Msgr. Pavao Zanic, at the beginning of the so-called apparitions in 1981, was open to news that on the territory of the diocese of Mostar-Duvno, in the parish of Medjugorje, there appeared the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, when the so-called seers in their "messages", which were presumed to be those of the Blessed Virgin, began giving anti-Church statements linked to the "case of Herzegovina" regarding parishes, parish jurisdiction and canonical faculties, defending the disobedience of certain Franciscan pastors of souls, prudence demanded taking a more cautious stance. The competent church authorities, first of all the Diocesan Bishop on the basis of investigations made by his two Commissions from 1982-1986, and then the Commission of the Bishops Conference on the grounds of its investigations from 1987-1990, both brought forth the following negative judgment regarding the supernatural nature of the apparitions at Medjugorje: 'it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations", of the Madonna or any other saints. Therefore, it is forbidden to claim and profess the contrary, in churches and ecclesiastical communities, that is, as if Our Lady appeared there or is still appearing.
2. The fruits. Despite the numerous people who come to Medjugorje "with religious and other motives", and even though there are religious, priests and bishops, the curious and those seeking physical healings and spiritual conversions; despite the tens of books and brochures written in favor of the so-called apparitions at Medjugorje, all from the pens of famous writers in the world; despite the hundreds of thousands of confessions and holy communions made, which the supporters of Medjugorje consistently stress, the Declaration of the Bishops Conference clearly states: "it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations", of the Madonna. The fruits which are so often mentioned, are not proof that they result from "supernatural apparitions or revelations" of the Madonna, but insomuch as they are authentically Christian, they can be understood as a product of the regular workings of the grace of God, through faith in God and the intercession of Mary the Mother of Christ, and through the Holy Sacraments present in the Catholic Church. Not to mention anything at all about the negative fruits!
3. The "messages" of Medjugorje on prayer, fasting, faith, conversion and peace, repeated daily as something new but in reality always the same, as if the Madonna conveyed them to the "seers", are already present in Holy Scripture and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Anyone wishing to obey and live according to God's commandments and the teachings of the Church can pray, fast, believe, convert and work for peace anywhere in the world. This Christian requirement and duty cannot be lessened nor enhanced or strengthened by any confirmed apparition, let alone thousands of unsubstantiated "apparitions" at Medjugorje.
4. Contradictions. In some of the statements made by the so-called seers of Medjugorje published in the last 14 years, there are such contradictions, falsehoods and banalities, which cannot be attributed at all to our heavenly Mother Sedes Sapientiae - Seat of Wisdom, since there does not exist even a minimal guarantee of credibility. On the basis of such statements and the events tied to the statements: it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern "supernatural apparitions or revelations", of the Madonna or others. The talk of a "great sign", of "ten secrets", which Our Lady supposedly conveyed to the children, resembles the scare tactics which are typical of non-Catholic communities and not the sound teachings of the Catholic Church.
5. Normal people. Of the six former children of Medjugorje who claimed that the Madonna "appeared" to them, one of them entered the seminary, another entered a type of mixed religious community, and with the passing of time both of them left their respective communities. Five of them have married, including the latter two mentioned. These faithful, even after thousands of so-called apparitions, remain so "normal" in their behaviour, that only their words attest to their "encounters" with the Madonna. They remain "normal" as do all other "normal" faithful who have never seen the Madonna, yet as Catholics still firmly believe in Her and fervently pray for her intercession. Our holy faith which is based upon listening to the Word of God and not upon seeing heavenly apparitions, is at the same time a obsequium rationabile (Rom 12:1), which contradicts the insistent propaganda on daily or very frequent "apparitions". Some are behaving in direct contradiction to the beatitude which Jesus said to the doubting apostle Thomas: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe" (Jn 20:29).
6. Charitable activities. Despite all the charitable-humanitarian aid which has been collected and is still being collected throughout the world during this terrible war in this war-stricken area, through the help of the mass-media serving the Medjugorje propaganda machinery, (in the name of Medjugorje and also passing through Medjugorje channels to the needy), there exists no reason to profess the claim that "these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations", neither of the "Queen of Peace" nor of any other type of supernatural apparition.
7. Destroyed and undestroyed churches. Neither can it be considered proof of the supernatural nature of the "apparitions" the fact that the church of St. James the Apostle in Medjugorje was not hit by grenades during this war, while for instance, both of the churches of Mostar and many other churches in Herzegovina, Bosnia and Croatia were bombed and destroyed.
8. The unrelenting process of "apparitions". Those who for the last 14 years claim that the "Queen of Peace is appearing" in Medjugorje precisely every day43 (even though on June 30th 1981 it was said that there would be "apparitions for only three more days"),44 who not knowing how to stop the process of "apparitions" without stopping those who come there called by some so-called apparitions or with other motives, are certainly not doing any favours to the honour and truth on the Madonna, the Mother of the Church. Nor are they doing any favours to the Church itself, the spiritual Mother of all Catholics who base their Catholic faith in God and devotion to Mary not upon some childish stories and hallucinations, but upon the authentic Revelation of God and its authentic interpretation guaranteed by the Holy Spirit received through the living Magisterium of the church.
9. Tourism. By stating the truth that it is impossible to prove and affirm that the Blessed Virgin Mary has ever appeared to anyone in Medjugorje, we do not wish to dissuade the efforts of the Republic and the media to attract the greatest possible number of tourists to our country. Yet, let these necessary and useful tourist aims be based upon our praiseworthy Christian traditions and the martyrdoms for the faith undergone in the past and present, along with the well-known values and beauty of our homeland, which the Almighty has given her, and not upon unsubstantiated and groundless supernatural "apparitions", "revelations" and "messages". The Croatian civil authorities and media should clearly differentiate these facts and keep in mind the official position of the Church, if they wish to adhere to the principle of not intervening in the affairs of the Church and want to remain objective.
10. No shrine and no pilgrimages. Neither the Diocesan Bishop as the head of the local diocese of Mostar-Duvno, or any other competent authority has ever officially declared the parish church of St. James the Apostle in Medjugorje as a "Marian Shrine" and no "cult" of the Madonna based upon so-called apparitions has even been proclaimed. Due to these discrepancies, the local Bishop has repeatedly forbidden anyone from preaching or speaking in churches on the supernatural nature of these so-called "apparitions and revelations", and he has asked that no official pilgrimages be organized be they at the level of parishes, dioceses or generally in the name of the Church. These and similar warnings were made by our former Bishops Conference and the Holy See. Whoever acts to the contrary, is directly going against the official statements of the Church, which even after 14 years of so-called apparitions and widespread propaganda, still remain valid in the Church.
A healthy devotion to the Mother of God in accord with the teachings of the Church, especially with the Papal Exhortation "Marialis cultus" of 1974, must be nurtured and promoted in every person, family, church, parish and diocese of the Catholic Church.
Mostar, May 1995
Msgr. Ratko Peric
Bishop of Mostar
- I. Sivric, in his well documented book La face cachée de Medjugorje, tome I, Ed. Psilog, Saint-François-du-Lac, Canada, 1988, gathered in the first seven years of the "apparitions" over 200 sources, p. 381-394.
- I cite only those which I have used in this article:
R. SILIC, Caveant animarum directores, in: Dobri Pastir, 3-4/1950, 27-30;
K. VASILJ, Marija. Povodom neobicnih pojava u Medugorju, in: Hrvatska Revija, 3/1984, 367-387;
J. CURIC, Znanstvena istrazivanja u Medugorju? in: Obnovljeni zivot, 3-4/1984, 329-339;
J. GALOT, Le apparizioni private nella vita della Chiesa, in: Bogoslovska smotra, 1-2/93, 76-88;
RI. RISICHELLA, Dio ci ha parlato attraverso suo Figlio, in: Homiletic and Pastoral Review, New York, 7/94, 28-31. 51-56.
- Dei Verbum, 4.
- Cfr. J. GALOT, Op. cit., 22-23.
- R. SILIC, Op. cit., 28: "Caveant ergo directores animarum, ne cito revelationibus credant, et a piis feminis decipiantur."
- Cfr. K. VASILJ, Op. cit., 374.
- Cfr. J. GALOT, Op. cit., 19.
- Idem, 25.
- CF. Idem, 30.
- CF. Idem.
- Idem, 31.
- Idem, 31.
- W.P. (Z. PULJIC), Op. cit., 1989, 250.
- See M. MAZZA, who cites A. POULAINA, The Graces of Interior Prayer, Op. cit., 30-31. 51-56. In presenting the mentioned criteria, the author also applies them to the facts and declarations of the phenomenon of Medjugorje. He systematically disproves the authenticity of those apparitions.
- R. FISICHELLA, Op. cit., 43-44
- Idem, 44.
- R. LAURENTIN, Javlja li se Gospa u Medugorju?, in: Glas Koncila, 4, 5, 6/1984, 7.
- Cf. Idem, 329-330.
- Cf. Idem, 330-331.
- Idem, 331, quote: 332.
- Idem, 332-334.
- Cf., Idem, 334-335.
- Cf. Idem, 336-337.
- I dem, 337-338.
- De Servorum Dei beatificatione et Beatorum canonizatione, Liber II, 32, No. II. Quoted in: J. GALOT, Op. cit., 32: "...Sciendum est approbationem istam nihil aliud esse quam permissionem ut edantur ad fidelium institutionem et utilitatem, post maturum examen: siquidem hisce revelationibus taliter approbatis, licet non debeatur, nec possit adhiberi, assensus fidei catholicae, debetur tamen assensus fidei humanae iuxta prudentiae regulas, iuxta quas nempe tales revelationes sunt probabiles et pie credibiles..."
- The Catechism of the Catholic Chuirch, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1994, n.67.
- P. ZANIC, Izjava u javnost, in: Crkva na Kamenu (pastoral newspaper of the dioceses of Herzegovina), 7-8/1981, 24; Biskupova izjava o "ukazanjima" u Hercegovini, in: Glas Koncila, 16.VIII.1981, 1; See also the Bishop's defence of the Franciscan priests of Medjugorje before the Presidency of the former state authorities. The letter to president Kreigher and Pred odgovornoscu, in: Crkva na Kamenu, 9-10/81, 1 and 2.
- N. 63/1984, in: Glas Koncila, 1 April 1984, 5.
- A two-day consultation of the expanded commission for Medjugorje. Press release, in: Glas Koncila, 1 April 1984, 1 and 5; Circa gli eventi di Medjugorje nella Diocesi jugoslava di Mostar-Duvno, in: L'Osservatore Romano, 12.V.1984, 2.
- Novo o Medugorju, in: Glas Koncila, 28.X.1984, 9.
- Jesenski Sabor BKJ, in: Glas Koncila, 21. October 1984, 2.
- P. ZANIC, La posizione attuale (non ufficiale) della Curia Vescovile di Mostar nei confronti degli eventi di Medjugorje (The present <unofficial> position of the Diocesan Chancery of Mostar regarding the events of Medjugorje). Addressed to the Holy See and Bishops Conferences of the world. See G. CAPRILE, Circa i fatti di Medjugorje, in: Laa Civilta Cattolica, 18.V.1985, 363-371.
- Od posta do tajnovitih znakova (From fasting to secret signs), in: Glas Koncila, 24 march 1985, 5.
- Priopcenje za javnost, in: Glas Koncila, 28 April 1985, 3.
- Entire text in: La Civilta Cattolica, 19 October 1985, 173; See Tajnik Kongregacije za nauk vjere o dogadajima u Medugorju (The Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the events of Medjugorje), in: Glas Koncila, 30 June 1985, 3, where the position of the Congregation is presented by an Italian weekly.
- Priopcenje sa dvodnevnog zasjedanja Komisje za ispitivanje dogadaja u zupi Medjugorje (A communiqué from the two-day meeting of the Commission for investigating the events in the parish of Medjugorje), in: Glas Koncila, 16 June 1985, 5.
- Izvjestaj iz Medugorja, u: Glas Koncila, 20 October 1985, 5.
- Priopcenje za tisak o Medugorju (Press release on Medjugorje) in: Crkva na Kamenu, 2/1987, 1; Biskupska konferencija Jugoslavije sastavila novu Komisju za istrazivanje medugorskkih dogadaja (The BCY forms a new Commission to investigate the events of Medjugorje), in: Glas Koncila, 18 January 1987, 1; Comunicato stampa su Medjugorje, in: L'Osservatore Romano, 14 febbraio 1987, 2.
- Izjava mostarskog biskupa o Medugorju (A Declaration of the Bishop of Mostar on Medjugorje), in: Crkva na Kamenu, 8-9/1987, 2.
- A 20 page booklet in Croatian, English, Italian, German and French.
- Izjava Biskupske konferencije Jugoslavije o Medugorju, in: Glas Koncila, 5 May 1991, 1.
- See Izjava biskupa o Medugorju nas obvezuje (The Bishops Declaration is binding), in: Crkva na Kamenu, 7/1991, 2; Gospina cast (The honour of Our Lady), in: Istina oslobada (The Truth sets us free), Miscellaneous collections of Bishop Pavao Zanic, edited by T. VUKSIC, Crkva na Kamenu, book 30, Mostar 1992. The position of the Diocesan Chancery of Mostar was also presented by Msgr. LUKA PAVLOVIC, Vicar General, in various articles: Lazni Papin delegat (A False Papal Delegate), in: Glas Koncila, 12 June 1994, 5; Zadarska izjava vrijedi! (The Declaration of Zadar is still valid!), in: Glas Koncila, 10 July 1994, 6; Hrvatski i medjugorski jezik (Croat language and the language of Medjugorje), in: Glas Koncila, 7 August 1994, 10; Price za naivne (Stories for the Naive), in: Glas Koncila, 25 September 1994, 2. See also Slobodna Dalmacija, 11 January 1995, 9.
- For some time now "messages" have been made public on the 25th of each month. Does this mean that she is not appearing on the other days?
- Cfr. I. SIVRIC, Op. cit., 44-50. 12
[Emphasis added in red by F.J.L.]
|25 Mar 1985||Most
Rev. Pavao Zanic,
Bishop of Mostar
|episcopal directive||Letter to Fr. Tomislav Pervan, directing him to cease publicizing messages and remove the apparition activity from the parish church.|
|9 Jan 1987||His
Eminence Franjo Cardinal Kuharic,
President, Bishops' Conference of Yugoslavia, and
Most Rev. Pavao Zanic,
Bishop of Mostar
|episcopal directive||The Bishops' Conference investigation is announced; pilgrimages and other manifestations of belief in the apparitions are forbidden.|
|25 Jul 1987||Most
Rev. Pavao Zanic,
Bishop of Mostar
|episcopal statement||Sermon at Medjugorje; forbids visiting priests from celebrating Mass|
|11 Jul 1988||Miss Marija Pavlovic||source material||Miss Pavlovic retracts a previous alleged message from Our Lady|
Rev. Pavao Zanic
Bishop of Mostar
|episcopal statement||Reasons for disbelieving in the alleged supernatural character of the messages|
|28 Nov 1990||Yugoslav Bishops' Conference||episcopal statement||Judgment: non constat de supernaturalitate|
Rev. Ratko Peric,
Bishop of Mostar
|interview||Reviews how Church authorities came to their conclusions|
|11 Oct 1994||Most
Rev. Ratko Peric,
Bishop of Mostar
|episcopal statement||At the synod on religious life, Bp. Peric appeals to the Holy See for help regarding "confusion and division" in the diocese.|
|23 March 1996||Most
Rev. Tarcisio Bertone,
Secretary, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
|CDF interpretation||repeats ban on parish and diocesan pilgrimages|
|19 Jun 1996||Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director, Holy See Press Office||answer to journalists' questions||quotes from the 1991 BCY statement at Zadar|
Rev. Ratko Peric,
Bishop of Mostar
|interview||Arguments proposed by Medjugorje supporters|
|16 May 1997||Rev. Ante Luburic, Chancellor, Diocese of Mostar||diocesan statement||Ongoing disobedience related to Medjugorje|
Rev. Ratko Peric,
Bishop of Mostar
|letter||The bishop's opinion: the apparition is proven to be not supernatural|
Rev. Tarcisio Bertone,
Secretary, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
|CDF interpretation||official pilgrimages forbidden, personal/private pilgrimages not forbidden|
|21 July 1998||Most
Rev. Ratko Peric,
Bishop of Mostar
|episcopal statement||Discusses permissible and non-permissible visits|
With thanks to Mike Chonak
Why are there so many apparitions today?
What does Satan gain by making people holier? Don't the fruits of an apparition prove it's from God?
Publishers claim that they can publish without an Imprimatur since the index was done away with. Is that true?
Please comment on the statement of Pope Urban VIII (17th Century) "It's better to believe than not to believe."
Why should we listen to bad bishops?
If it's better to listen to God than man, why should we obey a bishop?
Why is obedience the main criteria for discerning if an apparition is true or false?
I have seen miracles with my own eyes. Doesn't that prove it's from God?
Are there any miracles that devils cannot perform?
With so many people claiming to witness miracles in Medjugorje, how can you say it's a fraud?
Even when an apparition is declared false, don't people receive graces from their prayers and fasts?
What is the first sign to look for in any apparition?
My parish priest has said that Medjugorje has far too many messages for it to be from God. Why should that matter?
Because many other bishops believe in Medjugorje, why should we listen to the bishop of Mostar?
Why shouldn't I just wait until Rome speaks?
Medjugorje teaches that all religions are God's religions; even Mohammedism. Muslims and Protestants don't have to obey bishops or popes. Is pluralism Catholic?
Do you believe in the "prophetic signs" mentioned at Medjugorje and Garabandal?
Why did Cardinal Ratzinger condemn Vassula Ryden?
Does Mary only appear to holy people?
How can these seers be false when they appear so holy?
Bishop Zanic said he knew Medjugorje was false because the seers did not obey him? That seems arrogant.
Bishop Zanic's report makes a big deal out of the children changing their stories. Why is this so important?
Should seers always suffer after an apparition?
What harm is there in taking a pilgrimage to Medjugorje?
Are SACRAMENTALS good weapons to use against demons?
Your film makes much of the houses on"Millionaire's Row", home to the Medjugorje seers. They have to put up with a lot from other people. Why shouldn't they have some comfort?
You take issue with the way Theresa Lopez dresses. What's wrong with wanting nice things?
You people lack charity. Why are you attacking these good people?
Can Satan perform miracles? What can't he do?
Since God can do whatever He wants, why couldn't He use anyone to receive a heavenly message?
Some priests advise against trusting true and approved apparitions.
How can you state that Betania is true, but Maria Esperanza is not? Isn't that a contradiction in logic?
Why would Satan fake an apparition that leads people closer to God?
What you should ask is "What is SATAN'S MASTER PLAN?"
Can you make discernment simple?
Who are the true mystics, and what are the true apparitions?
What about today? What apparitions and mystics are false today?
Do you have any personal sign that you look for in discerning apparitions?
Do you believe in the Chastisement and Christ's second coming?
How do you know all this?
So what if Satan knows about the chastisement?
What is the danger of a false apparition?
2. What does Satan gain by making people holier? Don't the fruits of an apparition prove it's from God?
A perpetual argument employed by souls snarred by false apparitions, mystics or cults, goes something like, "It cannot be false because of the fruits. People are praying more and sinning less, and even giving up drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. There are many miracles and everything feels so good and holy, what would Satan gain by making people pray more, sin less?"
Christ's words to Marie Julie Jahenny reveal the primary reason for false apparitions, often described as "salt from Heaven" [true] and "sugar from Hell" [false]. Whenever Heaven delivers a true message to the world, e.g. Lourdes, Satan attempts to drown God's salt in the sugar of demonic apparitions. In Lourdes there were over 50 purported apparitions of the Virgin Mary to children other than Saint Bernadette. All of these vistiations proved to be Satanic, though in every case these children actually saw a form they thought to be GOD's Mother. Though demonically inspired their ecstasy was not interrupted when pins were stuck in them, light was passed over their eyes, etc. Had Satan's scheme succeeded, all these apparitions - including Saint Bernadette's - would have been condemned by the Church. Perhaps, we might never have intimately met the "Immaculate Conception". Thank God, the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, did not mix sugar and salt, nor expel the good with the bad.
Without a doubt, every demonic apparition is intrinsically evil and harmful. And yet, while God permits them as tests of discernment, faith and obedience, they may also provide evidence of the invisible world's reality to unbelievers. Their danger emerges when the mystically untrained and undiscerning - most all of mankind - embrace such lies over the Spirit-guided counsel of the Church (1 Timothy 3:15). Often the deceived become stronger in the faith, when they recognize how easily fallen angels can fool men, and learn to follow our Shepherd on earth safely home to the Father. Mysteriously, falling prey to the guiles of a false apparition, many souls have been given the grace of awakening, i.e. realizing that no one can disobey the Church and serve GOD, man lacks the wit to overpower and outsmart Satan's hordes on his own, and no apparition true or false can provide a soul more Grace and Wisdom than the Precious Blood of Christ received in the Most Holy Eucharist. Anchored in Christ's Blood no one will wander into curious realms of deceit. Content with "He Who can neither deceive nor be deceived" we shall truly become one. There is no greater truth than the Blood of Christ. God-loving souls need nothing but GOD.
GOD's revelations strengthen humility, obedience, patience and conformity to His Holy Will. The Devil's revelations beget pride, presumption and disobedience to GOD's Church on earth. A sure sign of a demonically-inspired seer is their seeking self-profit, glory and power over GOD's.
Piety, prayer and good works are not lone criteria for authenticating heavenly revelations. Satan will tolerate good to ultimately sew evil. A sign of true love for GOD is bearing long-lasting fruits and living orthodox, obedient lives respectful to all, especially those in authority.
From The Imitation of Christ (Book 3, Pg 160):
"You so easily follow the suggestions of your enemy, the devil, who does not care whether his deceits are true or false..."
Today, when someone announces the Virgin Mary is appearing standing on a rock, many uncautious souls imprudently run to venerate the rock. While their piety, prayer, virtue, etc. may seem to evidence fruits, these - in and of themselves - do not prove the vision of divine origin. In fact, till the Holy Catholic Church proves otherwise, vision-chasers may actually - and more often than not - be bowing down to a demon. What is the effect of unwitting prayers to Satan? Just look at the holocaust that followed the condemned apparitions in Medjugorje. "WAR is a punishment for sin." - Our Lady of Fatima, 1917.
4. Please comment on the statement of Pope Urban VIII (17th Century), "It's better to believe than not to believe."
The promoters of un-approved apparitions and private revelations, appeal to two false conclusions from past Pope's statements, and in both cases they take statements out of context. As the Vatican has already clarified in their Nov. 1996 statement, "The interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI is absolutely groundless."
And regarding Pope Urban VIII, this also is taken out of context. He was referring to a private revelation that was under investigation but no conclusion was reached yet, for as he said, "and if it should prove to be false". The question you should ask is "prove to be false" by whom? By the promoters, the sheep, the bishop of the mystic, or by Rome.
The doctrine of the Church is "to the judgment of the diocesan Bishop". Of course, there must be a period of time before the diocesan Bishop comes to a conclusion, and during this period of time one is not held responsible for a false belief. If, however, you continue to believe in a mystic that the local Bishop has "proved to be false", will you still "receive all the blessings as if it were to be true"? No! Because then you have violated the Fourth Commandment. "Honor your Father and your Mother" because no one can have God for their Father without having the Church for their Mother.
"But, Lord, I believed with all my heart." (Matt. 7:21=24) "Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day,
`Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name?' And then will I profess unto them, `I never knew you, depart from me, you that work iniquity.' Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock."
The important thing about this statement of Christ is that the person was surprised, he thought he was doing the will of God, and he thought that the power he had to perform miracles and give prophesies was also from God. But this power was not from God. Christ goes on to say what the rules are. "He who hears my word" means all his words. Read HIS WORDS in Matt. 18:17 which states, "And if he will not hear them [witnesses or the facts] tell the church. And if he will not hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican."
"We are of God. [the bishops] He that knoweth God, heareth us. He that is not of God, heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:6)
When John wrote his three Epistles he was over 100 years old and all the other apostles had already been martyred. Where he says "we" he means the descendants of the apostles, the bishops.
5. Why should we listen to bad bishops?
When you ask that question, you are saying that God has no power over His creatures. This powerless God of yours, can give prophesies and miracles to a mystic, but has no power over the very bishop that he commands us to obey to influence him to make the proper judgment. Therefore, you become your own bishops and your own Church. Then when you go up to heaven, He will say what? When you say I would rather believe in God than man, what you are really saying is I would rather believe in the mystic than the Church, and this is a Gnostic heresy.
Can a bishop make a mistake? Yes! But if you obey him, you are not sinning; but if you disobey him, you are, even if he made a mistake. However, I know of no private revelation in the 2000 year history of the Church that was condemned by a local bishop and later found to be true. I do know of private revelations that were approved by the local bishop and then found to be false. In fact one Pope lamented on his death bed that he almost brought the Church into its ruin by following a false mystic. That Pope was Urban VIII.
6. If it's better to listen to God than man, why should we obey a bishop?
What you really mean is to listen to the seer instead of the bishop. Experience with those who follow false apparitions will show that no amount of argument will convince them that they are wrong, since they get their information directly from "Heaven". These followers of false mystics are so brain-washed that: if the local Bishop condemns the apparitions, they say he is corrupt; if the Doctrine of the Faith condemns the apparition, they say the Doctrine is outdated; and even if the Holy Father condemns the apparition, (which has never happened in history) they will say that he is a false pope. They will only believe the message, nothing else.
It is the bishop and not us, or even a saint (as the Cure De Ares discovered), that God gave the gift of discernment. In Matthew 18: 17 Christ teaches us to take all questions to the Church, and then He threatens us with: "And if he will not hear them, tell the Church. And if you will not hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you bind on earth "
(Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Pages 289, 290) "By virtue of Divine right the bishops possess an ordinary power of government over their dioceses. In regard to the relation between the Papal powers the Vatican Council declared: `This power of the Pope in no way derogates from the ordinary and immediate power of Episcopal jurisdiction by which bishops who have been set by the Holy Ghost to succeed and hold the place of the Apostles feed and govern each his own flock as true pastors; but rather, this authority is asserted, strengthened and vindicated by the Supreme and Universal Pastor."
Ordinary power refers to the authority of the bishop coming from his office. Even if you believe your bishop to be bad, whatever his decision on an apparition in his See is, it is bound in Heaven. You have an obligation of obedience to his decision. Saint Iranaeus, taught by Saint John, the Apostle, says, "Anything done without the bishop is from the Devil."
7. Why is obedience the main criteria for discerning if an apparition is true or false?
I learned from the Vatican and the true seers that obedience is the key to knowing a true apparition from a false one. Listen to what St. Margaret Mary says:
"The greatest adversary of Jesus is Satan." Jesus warned me to be on guard and said my greatest defense was obedience. `Don't believe easily,' He said, `in every inspiration, and don't be too sure of it. Satan is furiously bent on deceiving you. So don't do anything without the approval of those who are guiding you. As long as you have the sanction of obedience, he can never delude you. He is completely powerless over those who obey.'
"Perhaps this explains the great power Satan is wielding today, especially within the Church. Where disobedience is rampant. Satan has a field day. On the other hand, `he is completely powerless over those who obey.'"
And the greatest of all mystics, St. John of the Cross, says:
"(God's) --- displeasure at the quest for revelations and locutions, even though He sometimes answers them, lies in the illicitness of transcending the natural boundaries God has established for the governing of creatures. He has fixed natural and rational limits by which man is to be ruled. A desire to transcend them, hence, is unlawful, and to desire to investigate and arrive at knowledge in a supernatural way is to go beyond the natural limits. It is unlawful, consequently, and God who is offended by everything illicit is displeased.
"The devil is most pleased when he sees that a man desires to admit revelation. For then he has an excellent opportunity to inject errors and disparage faith. As I have declared, a man desiring these apprehensions becomes coarse in his faith and even exposes himself to many temptations and improprieties." (The Ascent of Mt. Carmel, II, 21, 1).
No message from Heaven will ever violate the Fourth Commandment of God. No message from Heaven will ever condone or advocate disobedience. Listen to the words of the Virgin Mary to Mary of Agreda, Book Four, Page 421:
"Many times, in the effort to avoid humiliation at the hands of the immediate superior, the subject appeals to the higher authority and thus asks for exemptions from those who have only a general information and cannot know or understand his particular needs or danger. It cannot be denied, that this is still a kind of obedience; but it is also certain, that it is a shift for greater liberty, diminishes the reward and incurs danger; since without doubt it is more meritorious to obey and subject oneself to the inferior authority, to those in a lower condition, and to those less favorably disposed to one's own views and inclinations."
And Our Mother, Mary, finished by saying,
"Look upon them [superiors] with reverence, as taking the place of Christ, and your merit will be abundant; follow my footsteps, my example and my doctrine, and you will be perfect in all things."
And maybe you will listen to the wisdom of Padre Pio: "Without obedience there is no virtue, without virtue there is no love, without love there is no God, without God there is no salvation." (Padre Pio)
Even the bible places obedience as the test of the true from the false spirits. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. BY THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF GOD KNOWN: --- HE WHO IS NOT OF GOD DOES NOT LISTEN TO US. BY THIS WE KNOW THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH AND THE SPIRIT OF ERROR." (1 John 4:1-6)
8. I have seen miracles with my own eyes. Doesn't that prove it's from God?
What the layman might call a miracle is not always an act of God. Some are faked miracles done by auto-suggestion, magic, or outright fraud. Some are done by devils, and believe it or not, it is HARD TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE. Both those done by God and those done by demons look and act like angels. In fact, they both are.
Every miracle of God is a sign. No miracle is without a salvation meaning. Sometimes it is a testimony to the truth which is being given in an apparition. In fact, no apparition with a message has ever been given by God without supporting that message with an irrefutable miracle.
Sometimes a miracle is a testimony for the saintliness of a person, such as an uncorrupt body or miracles after the death of a Saint. No miracle is given by God without a reason. That reason must be for the eternal salvation of the person or persons involved. It never has a purely physical reason.
Miracles testify to the truth.
This is what is taught by the First Vatican Council in the three essential elements of a miracle. The first being its function as a sign, a sign intended to assist reason in adhering to faith by proving, through external evidence, the credibility of revelation. Therefore, the Church always looks first to the divine intention which is the cause of the event.
Only God can perform a miraculous healing. Some types of healings are a sure sign of the work of God. These are expressed in Christ's own words as an answer to a question of John the Baptist that can be deemed a test of Christ's Spirit. Christ said His works were His proof.
"Go and report to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the poor have the gospel preached to them." (Luke 7:22)
If any of these kinds of cures can be proved, it is from God. However, healings are very difficult to prove, even true ones. There are hundreds of cures reported on Madeira Island over the grave of Charles Von Hapsburg. But because these people have not taken the time to report to doctors, very few can be declared true healings. Even in Lourdes, of the thousands of cures each year, only a handful are documented as miracles. Healings must be beyond the possibility of nature. They must be a permanent cure. They must be documented before and after by doctors with proof: such as X-rays.
Healings made by God are always done quietly and with dignity. Satanic cures are done by autosuggestion, hypnotism, emotion and hyperactivity's of natural processes. Often demons can fake a cure by causing fake symptoms of an illness and then faking a cure. They can cause a person, who could not walk, to walk in two ways: one is if the reason for not walking was mental, and second, demons can invisibly hold up someone so that they seem to walk. But this will not last. Another way demons can cure is by autosuggestion --- suggesting to the sick person that they are cured and the person feels cured. In the long run the sickness becomes apparent again and often death results because the sick person discontinues the normal medical treatments.
So, it is essential that the cures be long term and well documented. Satan can even fake bringing someone back from the dead by possessing the dead body. It is said that this is what the Antichrist will do.
Demons CANNOT really perform a miracle, but there are things they can do that will seem like miracles to the layman. A good rule of thumb is that demons can do anything that man or nature can do, except that they can do it invisibly and instantly. If something can be done by man or nature, Satan can do the same without you seeing him and at a thousand times the speed. We will emphasize again for the sake of our friends, demons cannot perform a true miracle in any sense of the word. Laymen, however, will see the following things as miracles:
A perfect example of the appearance of a miracle is levitation. Satan can lift people or things off the ground into the air or cause them to travel at great speeds. He does this by simply lifting them up with his invisible angels. This phenomena is a good illustration of where we get information about the power of demons. This power is recorded in Scripture (Matt. 4:5) and is documented in thousands of Exorcisms.
Demons can produce true ecstasies so that the seer is completely oblivious of sound, light, or feelings. They can make the seer stiff as a board and/or so heavy that no one can lift or move the seer. This is done by Satan in the same way a hypnotist can do it, except faster and invisible.
Satan can make a true apparition. He has appeared as the Virgin Mary, as Christ, as saints, angels and relatives. Satan appeared to Padre Pio as Christ, to Sister Josefa Menendez as Christ and Mary, and to countless other saints and false mystics.
LOCUTIONS, VISIONS, VOICES:
Satan can bring about locutions, visions, and voices. Not only do we know this from the oracles of old and from false apparitions, but we have thousands of cases documented in Exorcisms.
MOVE OR RAISE THINGS:
He can move statues, furniture, and even mountains. He can cause fire to come down from heaven.
HALOS OR AURAS:
He can cause a glow or luminous rays to be seen around a seer or objects. He can change a picture or negative to have these same halos or auras of light to appear on them.
He can produce a stigmata [as you will see in the chapter on the history of false apparitions], however, this will be by natural but invisible means. They cannot be instantly cured.
Satan can simulate odors of roses or incense. Any chemist can do the same, and no one would see them do it. This is especially easy since all trace will be gone.
He can help his seer to have a prolonged fast; however, tests will prove that the body is not properly sustained as in the case of Theresa Neumann, who showed no physical signs of fasting, and in fact, remained plump.
SIGNS IN THE SKY:
Demons can show great signs in the sky, like fire to come down from heaven. It is said that the Antichrist will be able to do this very thing. (Apoc. 13:13) St. Augustine says,
"When fire fell from heaven and wiped out, in one sweep, all the large household and the numerous flocks of holy Job, and a whirlwind rushed down and overthrew his house and slew his children, those were no illusions; and yet they were the work of Satan, to whom God had given this power." (CITY OF GOD, Book XX, Chapter 19)
St. Hippolytus, in speaking of the future Antichrist, said that he will be able to walk on the waves of the sea, turn day into night, and direct the course of the sun at will. Why then should Satan not be able to make the sun spin and change colors? But these are usually illusions and not real like Fatima. The difference is that not all will see it, and the effects will not be the same. At Fatima, everyone saw it, even those who did not believe [even communists in surrounding towns miles away]. The after effects were hundreds of cures, the ground dry after weeks of rain, and real graces of conversion.
Satan and demons can change brass to gold. This is called Alchemy and has been practiced throughout the ages. The reason Satan can do it is that the pure science of Chemistry can do it.
It is no longer being done by chemists because the cost is higher than the cost of real gold.
The method of the Alchemists was a medieval magic using what they called the "Philosopher's Stone". This magical art was practiced in Egypt and China. Hermes Trismegistus is regarded as its founder. Robert of Chester describes the successful making of gold in the presence of the son of the Caliph Yazid I, 682 A.D.
Although we, at the center, have seen over 400 miracles of God and Satan, including levitation of man and object, not one of us have ever seen metal turn to real gold. We have seen rosaries that the owners claimed turned to gold, but investigation showed them all to be brass.
In the Roman ritual, common miracles of Satan are speaking in an unknown language, understanding someone who speaks it, revealing hidden secrets of people, things, or places. Since God promises not only to forgive sins in confession but to forget them, if someone were to reveal a sin from the past that was forgiven in confession, it is absolutely demonic.
Satan can fake tears on a statue, but it will not be real tears, which even a chemist cannot reproduce. The tears that Satan can cause will be proved to be nothing but water. He cannot even produce water out of nothing; however, he can cause water to condense out of the air and onto a statue, since this can also be done by man. He cannot produce blood on a statue or picture, unless it is done when no one is looking, in which case he could bring it to the room from somewhere else. He could use a leech as he did on a statue in Portugal. Investigation by the Church showed leech saliva in the blood.
9. Are there any miracles that devils cannot perform?
Only God can create matter out of nothing, such as the changing of water into wine at the marriage feast of Cana, or the multiplication of the bread and fishes. This would also hold for cures that require instantaneous growth of destroyed tissue such as cancer, or the quick closing of a wound such as a stigmata.
By the same criteria as above, only God can multiply matter, since it requires creation. Any instantaneous and permanent cure, scientifically tested, objectively diagnosed and measured, showing the condition of the body both before and after the cure, can only be from God.
The best of these are organic lesions [hernia, cancer, toxication, parasites, and the like], or the organ shows a congenital malformation, or again it is in a state of degeneration or gradual disintegration. Some processes of tissue degeneration are irreversible and therefore incurable. The cure of a blind child, who was born with no pupils in her eyes, is beyond the power of Satan since it is beyond the power of nature. Done by the prayers of Padre Pio. She is still living and she still has no pupils.
A supernatural light given to a soul to understand mysteries of God from imaginary images, as happened with Joseph (Gen. 40:41) and with Daniel (Dan. 1:24), is the highest form of miracle. Neither the demons nor the angels can infuse this supernatural light into the understanding, since they can only cause images and fantasies in the imagination. See Chapters XIV, XV in CITY OF GOD, Book 1.
Satan can fake bilocation by carrying his seer someplace quickly, but only God can allow someone to be in two places at the same time, as in the case of Padre Pio and Mary Agreda.
10. Why so many people claiming to witness miracles in Medjugorje, how can you say it's a fraud?
Any person who seeks a spiritual chrism or supernatural phenomena will not get one from God. The primary condition for a true apparition or miracle is that man free himself from any desire for supernatural phenomena, such as visions, locutions, revelations; and that he gives them all up in order to remain in the pure faith which St. John of the Cross calls the "night of faith" or the "dark night", and which is what really sanctifies. St. John of the Cross says,
"The Devil rejoices greatly when a soul seeks after revelations and is ready to accept them; for such conduct furnishes him with many opportunities of insinuating delusions, and derogation from faith as much as he possibly can; for such a soul becomes rough and rude, and falls frequently into many temptations and unseemly habits."
A phenomenon or marvel may have no natural explanation. It is not for that reason to be assumed from God. It could be attributed to satanic forces, that can exercise powers over nature and mind, and can create many illusions. A special chapter will be given to satanic miracles.
12. What is the first sign to look for in any apparition?
God cannot contradict God; therefore, look for contradictions. No new doctrine can come from an apparition or any other kind of private revelation. All faith, the complete deposit of faith, was completed and sealed with the death of the last Apostle. One must never guide his life and actions on private revelation. Private revelation must always conform to Divine revelation [the Bible and Tradition].
No mystical manifestation can teach anything that is contrary to Catholic doctrine and tradition and worship. Any revelation that endorses, approves or condones hedtrodox changes and innovation in faith or worship which are in conflict with the continuing tradition and magisterium of the Church or are even of a doubtful and unproved authenticity and orthodoxy must be rejected.
"Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." (Gal. 1:8)
For all revelations contrary to faith or morals must be absolutely rejected, even if this is in a single point or a single word, according to St. Theresa of Avila.
If a mystical phenomena should serve to confirm or endorse some movement which is questionable, or should confirm some leader, who pretends a false magisterial authority, it would have to be considered spurious or diabolical. There are already many schismatic or heretical sects or cults which are founded upon alleged private apparitions or miracles.
Fidelity belongs to all the teachings of the Church. Listen to the words of Our Lady to Mary Agreda in Book Four [Coronation], Page 442:
"I desire also that you hold in great veneration the councils of the Church and all such gatherings, and whatever is resolved and established by them; for the Holy Spirit assists at these councils and He fulfills his promise, that He will be with those who gather together in His name (Matt 8:20). Hence what is thus ordained and commanded must be obeyed. Although in our times, no visible signs of the assistance of the Holy Spirit occur in such councils, yet He does not fail to govern them invisibly; for signs and wonders are not any more so necessary as in the FIRST BEGINNINGS OF THE CHURCH." (What if an apparition condemns a Council????)
(2 Thess. 2:7-12; Eph. 5:6; Col. 2:18; 1 Tim. 4:1-4; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Tim. 3:12-13; 2 Pet. 3:3; 1 John 4:1 2 John 4 and 7)
To sum up, miracles are the test of doctrine, and doctrine is the test of miracles.
Can an apparition be true if it advocates not listening to the Church, "which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and mainstay of the truth."???? (1 Tim. 3:15)
If the Church investigates, and we do not accept that investigation, what does the Bible say of us? "Appeal to the Church, but if he refuse to hear EVEN THE CHURCH, let him be to you as the heathen and the publican. Amen I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven." (Matt. 18:17-18)
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. BY THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF GOD KNOWN: --- HE WHO IS NOT OF GOD DOES NOT LISTEN TO US. BY THIS WE KNOW THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH AND THE SPIRIT OF ERROR."
(1 John 4:1-6) Who is us? The Bishops!
No true apparition of God can contradict another true apparition of God. One example of this would be the description of Heaven. The Apostle Paul, Padre Pio, Mary Agreda, Anne Catherine Emmerich, and countless others were allowed by God to see the third Heaven. Not one of these was able, with human words, to describe any aspect of it. If any apparition or vision claimed to be able to describe Heaven, it would be false.
By harmony we also mean that it must fit into place in the Christian system and into the Christian history in a logical way, without unnecessary repetition, or unneeded revelation.
14. Because many other bishops believe in Medjugorje, why should we listen to the bishop of Mostar?
ONLY the local bishop, who has unlimited geographical jurisdiction on matters of the supernatural, can make the final judgment of the Church as to what spirit a supernatural phenomena comes from: one's own spirit, God's Spirit, or a Demonic Spirit. A bishop from another area has no authority whatsoever.
Every validly consecrated bishop receives his authority and power (John 20:21-23; Luke 22:19-20) through an apostolic succession of bishops that can be traced all the way back to the twelve Apostles who received their authority and power from Christ, Himself.
(2 Cor.5:20; Acts 1:24-26; 14:22; 20:28; 1 Tim. 3:1; Titus 1:5; Mk. 16:15-16; Jn. 16:13-14; 20:21-23; 14:16,17,26; Mt. 18:17; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 3:7; Is. 22:22: Lk. 10:16; Eph. 4:11-12; Heb. 13:7; 1 John 4:6)
Encyclical "Stais comnitum" of Leo XII-1896 (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott, Page 289)
"This power of the Pope in no way derogates from the ordinary and immediate power of Episcopal jurisdiction by which bishops, who have been sent by the Holy Spirit to succeed and take the place of the Apostles, feed and govern each his own flock as true pastors; but rather, this authority is asserted, strengthened and vindicated by the Supreme and Universal Pastor."
According to this declaration the Episcopal power is:
"An ordinary power, that is, it is associated with the Episcopal office; an immediate power, that is it is not practiced at the order of a superior, but in the bishop's own name. Thus bishops are not delegated (agents) and so are not vicars (representatives) of the pope, but they are independent pastors of the flocks entrusted to them, even though they are subordinate to the pope. A power appointed by God for the Apostles (on the ground of divine ordinance, whether in the immediate commission of Christ, or on the direction of the Holy Spirit --- Acts 20, 26) have passed on their pastoral office to the bishops. The bishops are the successors of the Apostles, not in such a manner that an individual bishop is a successor of an individual Apostle, but that the bishops in their totality are successors of the College of Apostles.
"This is a true pastoral power, as it embraces all the ecclesiastical powers to the exercise of the office, the power to legislate, to judge and to punish. It is a power which is limited locally and materially, since it extends only to a definite segment of the Church, and is circumscribed by the Papal power which is superior to it. Matters of causae maiores (universal importance), touching the welfare of the whole Church, are reserved to the Holy Fathers." (Dr. Ott)
No one would dare to say that the Holy Spirit has the power to bring about an apparition but does not have the power to direct the very man, the local bishop, whom God placed over the area to protect it from error.
18. Why did Cardinal Ratzinger condemn Vassula Ryden?
Rome always leaves private revelation to the pastoral discernment of the local bishop; however, Vassula Ryden is not a Catholic, and therefore she has no bishop. It became important for the Vatican to let bishops know that it was not OK for them to allow her into their Churches to receive the Sacraments.
One should look at is a seer's background. Is the person from a good family or a family prone to superstition and magic? Is the seer free of mental pathological conditions, balanced and calm mentally and emotionally, self-possessed and dispassionate, not given to exaggeration, inordinate imagination, passion, or impetuosity?
All this is important; however, it is not important that the person be holy or even religious prior to a private revelation. Balaam, a very sinful man, gave four oracles from God (Num. 23:24), but was far from holy...
20. How can these seers be false when they appear so holy?
The main indicator of sanctity (holiness) is a deep and true humility. To reach high into sanctity you must fall deep into humility. Humility is the opposite of pride and therefore the opposite of Satan. Satan cannot be humble and neither can a seer of Satan, even one who does not know that Satan is the object of the vision. The humble will always submit their revelations to their spiritual directors and will always obey their lawful superiors.
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi often doubted whether it was the good or evil spirit that spoke to her. God told her the most important of all discernment an individual can use. Page 44:
"You must know,: said Jesus to her, "that when I speak to you I produce in you tenderness, peace, compunction; above all, HUMILITY. Know well, my daughter, that no matter how much he desires to love me, if a man enter not the straight path of humility he will keep on stumbling. Man has within himself a dust that settles round his heart; it is called self-love ... Man is full of pride, and I have nothing to do with the proud. Only the humble find favor in My sight...
"I make My abode in humble souls that are full of simplicity. The more lowly and uncultured they are, the more I take pleasure in them. As to these wise and learned professors whose heads are full of the fumes of pride, I put them down from their seats, and you, yourself, shall soon learn where I send them."
False mysticism, instead of humbling man and glorifying Christ, tends rather to clothe man in divine attributes which of right belong to God.
21. Bishop Zanic said he knew Medjugorje was false because the seers did not obey him? That seems arrogant.
Obedience holds the most important of all tests in a private revelation, even though it is not the first thing looked at. The capacity of one to understand obedience, background, holiness, and humility are looked at first. Satan is not capable of obedience because that implies obeying a mere creature. This was the test that saved Sister Josefa Menendez from being fooled by the appearance of Satan as Our Lord. Her spiritual director ordered her to renew her vows at any and every appearance of Our Lord. (THE WAY OF DIVINE LOVE, Page 129)
Whenever it was not Christ, "The arch-enemy was not able to endure such acts of faith and love, and his crafty wiles failed in the face of them." Even when the Virgin Mary appeared to her she would say--Page 131: "If you are the Mother of Jesus, allow me to renew before you the vow of virginity that I have made"
And again Our Lord told her--Page 414: "Seek Me in your Superiors. Listen to their words AS IF THEIR WORDS FELL FROM MY LIPS; I AM IN THEM FOR YOUR GUIDANCE."
"I want you always to obey and I, myself, will obey." (THE WAY OF DIVINE LOVE, by TAN)
Amazing, isn't it? God will obey the human that He placed in authority. But can it be any other way? If God did not obey, He would contradict His own words, "Whatever you bind on earth, I will bind in Heaven." How would we know if it was really God, or the father of lies. John told us how to know.
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits ... he who is not of God does not listen to us [the bishops]. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:1-6)
22. Bishop Zanic's report makes a big deal of the children changing their stories. Why is this so important?
Since Satan is a liar from the beginning, honesty is a very important virtue in a seer. Honesty is a major test, since the spirit of Satan cannot be honest in anything that does not ultimately bring about a lie. He can tell truths if the end result is a lie. His lies are hidden in truths so that the elect cannot recognize them. Therefore, any lie at all will cause us to discount the miracle or vision.
29. Can Satan perform miracles? What can't he do?
Miracles come from GOD. Satan works "lying wonders". Only God can create matter out of nothing, such as the changing of water into wine at the marriage feast of Cana, or the multiplication of the bread and fishes. This would also hold for cures that require instantaneous growth of destroyed tissue such as cancer, or the quick closing of a wound such as a stigmata. By the same criteria as above, only God can multiply matter, since it requires creation. Any instantaneous and permanent cure, scientifically tested, objectively diagnosed and measured, showing the condition of the body both before and after the cure, can only be from God. The best of these are organic lesions [hernia, cancer, toxication, parasites, and the like], or the organ shows a congenital malformation, or again it is in a state of degeneration or gradual disintegration. Some processes of tissue degeneration are irreversible and therefore incurable. The cure of a blind child, who was born with no pupils in her eyes, is beyond the power of Satan since it is beyond the power of nature. Done by the prayers of Padre Pio. She is still living and she still has no pupils. A supernatural light given to a soul to understand mysteries of God from imaginary images, as happened with Joseph (Gen. 40:41) and with Daniel (Dan. 1:24), is the highest form of miracle. Neither the demons nor the angels can infuse this supernatural light into the understanding, since they can only cause images and fantasies in the imagination. See Chapters XIV, XV in CITY OF GOD, Book 1.
Satan can fake bilocation by carrying his seer someplace quickly, but only God can allow someone to be in two places at the same time, as in the case of Padre Pio and Mary Agreda.
Can God be photographed? Impossible! Who can look on the face of God - and live? OK, but can the Blessed Virgin or the Saints or Angels be photographed? It seems that the answer is "Yes!!!" at Medjugorje!
Item 1: at http://www.taosnet.com/ebear/medj.html
This picture was taken at Medjugorje by a priest who aimed his camera where the kids were looking, though he couldn't see anything there himself.
15th Anniversary in Medjugorje:
Item 2: at http://huizen.dds.nl/~jgamleus/book.html
A Protestant journalist investigates what could be the most significant miracle since the Day of Pentecost
On October 27, 1985, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, newspaper publisher and columnist, Wayne Weible, first learned of the phenomenon occurring in the little town with the unpronounceable name. Sensing that there might be material for his column, he decided to pursue the story. Already he had a tie-in in mind that would be perfect for the season: "As we prepare to celebrate the miracle of Christmas, a modern-day miracle may be taking place in an obscure village in Yugoslavia..."
The following evening, reviewing a videotape documentary of the events at Medjugorje, he realized that there was far more to it than one column. As it turned out, there were eight, and as requests poured in for reprints, to cut down on copying and postage costs he reproduced them in tabloid form.
To date, more than fifteen million copies of the tabloid have been distributed. And Wayne Weible's life has been radically and permanently altered. Now he has written a book about Medjugorje - the first from a Protestant perspective. lt may be the most penetrating from any perspective.
From the Foreword by Svetozar Kraljevic, OFM -
My friendship with Wayne Weible has led me to a new awareness of the universal brotherhood of every human being on earth - and of the beauty of that reality. Hours of prayer, work, and conversation with Wayne in the setting of Medjugorje have led me to recognize that there is nothing God has put between us to separate us. lt is as if I am hearing anew the words of Jesus, spoken to His mother from the cross, in a broader sense: "Woman, these are your sons..."
Wayne Weible with Ivan Dragicevic
Item 3: at http://www.realpix.com/vmsite.html
Virgin Mary "Apparition" in Clearwater, FL
Here are some pictures taken by my mother, Stephanie A. Woods, at the Seminole Finance Corp Bldg, 21649 US Highway 19 N, in Clearwater, FL. on December 23, 1996.
The newspaper picture (top - far left) was from Suncoast News Picture by Tina Banta.
All Others (c)1996-2000 by Stephanie A. Woods Click On Image for Full Picture
Other Related Sites
A link to the author of "Conversations with Mary: Modern Miracles in an Everyday Life." A book about the apparition of the Virgin Mary in Clearwater, FL
Catholic Apparitions Of Jesus And Mary
Fatima Home Page
Medjugorje- The Message from Our Lady
Virgin Mary-The WayQuestions, Comments? Send Mail To: firstname.lastname@example.org
This page, and all contents, are ©1995-2000 by RealPix. Commercial use is expressly prohibited without permission from RealPix.
Item 4: A larger view at http://www.realpix.com/vmsite.html
Some further questions could include:
In view of the unbridled disobedience displayed by the Medjugorian Franciscans which merited them withdrawal of all faculties, the lies, deceptions, and other acts of un-holiness, and in view of the above and other readily obtainable facts - is there not good reason for believing that, not only is the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, NOT appearing at Medjugorje but, rather, the events are a display of the demonic?
Is it appropriate for the condemned writings of Maria Valtorta, and of Medjudorje to be permitted or promoted on Church premises in the Archdiocese of Melbourne or, indeed, any other Catholic diocese?
And is it appropriate for the display for sale in any Church a Picture representing an alleged apparition which the bishops in the relevant diocese (they being true descendents from the Apostles possessing the gift of discernment in the matter) have declared negatively on the matter.? "In fact, Bishop Peric has also been very specific regarding Medjugorje, changing the negative formula on Medjugorje from 'non constat de supernaturalitate' (it is not established as supernatural) to 'constat de non supernaturalitate' (it is established as not supernatural) making reference to this in a letter he wrote to Mr Thierry Boutet, General Secretary of the publication 'Famille Chretienne (Christian Family) on 2 October, 1997..." 16
Furthermore, where is the virtue and obligation of obedience visible?
What positive instruction ought to be imparted to the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese on these matters; ought advertisements of "pilgrimages" to Medjugorje be permitted in Church Newspapers?
Mostar, July 21, 1998
+ Ratko Peric
Bishop of Mostar
Images 1 & 2 are represented as pictures of the "gospa" of Medjugorje!!!
Image 3 is claimed to be "the virgin" at Clearwater, USA!!
No thanks! I do not think so!!!
F. John Loughnan
Feb. 11, 2001.
- "Critique: Poem Of The Man-God, Medjugorje's Gospel, Maria Valtorta, 1897-1961, Volumes I, II, III and IV", by Brother James, S.D.B., Salesian Of Saint John Bosco. Saints Peter and Paul Church, 650 Filbert St, San Francisco. California. 94133.
- "Poem Of The Man-God", Unity Publishing
- Holy Office Decree of December 16, 1959.
- March 1994 issue of This Rock magazine.
- "Endorsements of Maria Valtorta's Writings"Valtorta Publishing
- "Is 'The Poem of the Man-God' Simply A bad Novel?", by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
- "Private Visits To Unauthentic Apparitions", July 21, 1998 statement by Bishop Ratko Peric.
- Private Visits To Unauthentic Apparitions
- op. cit. - Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
- "Poem Of The Man-God", Unity Publishing
- Extract reprinted in Christian Order, Vol. 38, Number 11, November 1997, P.O. Box 14754, London SE19 2ZJ, United Kingdom.
Bishop Ratko Peric with journalist Yves Chiron
Medjugorje, the State of the Question
Printed in Christian Order, November 1997, pp. 555-557
Note: Extract from an interview by Yves Chiron of Ratko Peric, Bishop of Mostar, first published in the French journal Présent in January 1997, and reprinted in Christian Order in November.
Thanks to PetersNet for making the e-text available.
- Unity Publishing
- Documents About Medjugorje: Documents On The Case
- Unity Publishing
- Unity Publishing
- Medjugorje, The Facts and Logic, by Brian Hughes