The Remnant Press
7. THE TRUTH ABOUT MEDJUGORJE: PART 3
21. By their fruits. The most common argument of the defenders of Medjugorje is that the fruits of the events in Medjugorje prove that Our Lady is appearing there. Those who know a little more than the pilgrims who come to Medjugorje say: The fruits of the staunchest defenders of Medjugorje show that they themselves do not believe in the apparitions. If all the "ugly things" could be made public then surely the answer would be clearly negative to everyone. Yet, Laurentin, Rupcic, Valsic, Barbaric and others meticulously hide the truth. If the defenders of Medjugorje come across someone who is skeptical of the apparitions, they quickly isolate this person, accuse him of something or declare him mad (J. L. Martin). The majority of the pious public has naively fallen victim to the great propaganda, the talk of the apparitions and of healings. These people themselves have become the greatest propaganda for the events. They do not even stop to think that the truth has been hidden by deliberate falsehoods. They are unaware that not even one miraculous healing has occurred that could have been verified by competent experts and institutions such as the "Bureau Medical de Lourdes". No one knows of any healed from Hercegovina. Everyone knows that little Daniel, old Jozo Vasilj, Venka Brajcic and others cited in the first books about Medjugorje were not healed.
22. Promises of healings are characteristic of the events. When they don't occur as promised, then they are denied because they were never taped or written down on paper. There have been many promises that have ended tragically. What interests us is whether or not "Our Lady" is giving these promises, or whether or not they are thought up by the "seers". The tragic end of Marko Blazevic as described by the retired archbishop of Belgrade, Msgr. Turk, says much regarding "promises" of healing. The archbishop writes May 22, 1984, that he was received as a patient of the Cardiology clinic at the Belgrade hospital. The archbishop was given the bed that was previously occupied by Marko Blazevic of Buna, near Mostar, who was to go in for an operation. Mr. Blazevic told the archbishop and many other patients, doctors and hospital staff that Our Lady had promised, through the "seers", that the operation would succeed. A nun who assisted in the operation room, wrote to me later that Blazevic's wife and his daughter spoke to her with a fanatical type of faith in "Our Lady's promise." A certain doctor was also convinced in this promise. The patient did not wake up after the operation. During the operation, a group of patients prayed fervently outside the doors of the operating room. Many spoke of this incident which left many very disappointed and ashamed before people of other faiths and atheists. Fr. T. Vlasic, in his typical fashion of hiding the truth, succeeded in convincing the daughter of the late Mr. Blazevic to go to the bishop to tell him that Our Lady only told them to pray, not that she promised them that the operation would succeed. I told her not to make a liar out of her late father or liars of the others to whom he spoke.
23. The Franciscan and diocesan clergy. The relations between the Franciscan and diocesan clergy regarding pastoral duties in the parishes of Hercegovina were established by a Decision of the Holy See in 1899 by the suggestions of the Franciscans themselves and then Bishop Paskal Buconjic, OFM. According to this Decision the parishes were to be divided equally into two groups of 50% of the faithful between the clergy. Since there were no diocesan clergy at the time, the parishes that rightfully belonged to them were, in 1923, left to the Franciscans ad nutum S. Sedes. Bishop Cule, the first diocesan bishop of Mostar, in 1948 was sentenced to 11 years and 6 months in jail. He served eight and a half years of this sentence before being released. After his jail term the number of diocesan clergy began to rise. In 1968, the Holy See ordered the Franciscans to hand over five parishes to the diocesan clergy. They barely gave two parishes. In 1975 after many years of talks and consultations a Decree of the Holy See was issued regarding the division of parishes in Hercegovina. The Franciscans publicly and collectively denounced this Decree even though they administer to over 80% of the faithful in the diocese of Mostar. In 1976, due to disobedience, the hierarchy of the Franciscan Province along with then Provincial Silic, lost their authority and since then, the Province has been without its independence, and the General of the Order rules directly over the Province ad instar. Another penalty was that in 1979, the Franciscans from Hercegovina were not allowed to participate in the election of the General. The first point mentioned by the new General of the Order to his brothers in Hercegovina was: "the development or creation of obedience to, and cooperation with the bishop in Hercegovina." Disobedience prevails today as before, and "Our Lady" from the beginning has been defending disobedient Franciscans. Vicka writes in her diary of the apparitions, that Our Lady said that the bishop is to blame for all the disorder in Hercegovina (see no. 9). This is repeated many times. The Franciscans themselves are divided. The Franciscan opposition that defends Medjugorje succeeded in toppling their own ad instar superiors who had developed good relations with the bishop, and they installed a group that defends Medjugorje. The new Provincial ad instar, Fr. Jozo Vasilj, did not succeed in creating peace and order amongst his brothers so he escaped to the missions in Zaire and won't come back! (Fruits?) He has been replaced by the Vice Provincial and the General has called for obedience from all or else the Province shall be abolished. "It is time that everyone take their own personal responsibility before judicial sanctions are made or the Province is abolished" (Acta Ordinis F. M. fasc. 1/89). The Province will not receive its own hierarchy until the Decree is completed. Three visitors of the OFM Order who came to the Province in 1988, said that there is not one Franciscan in the Province who is in favor of completing the Decree. This opinion is exaggerated yet still important.
24. This is only a portion of the "good fruits" of the events. The pilgrims, though, only know that the bishop "hates the Franciscans." There are a good number of Franciscans in the Province who cooperate well with the bishop and these Franciscans do not believe in the apparitions either. Some of them have never set foot in Medjugorje.
A number of good Franciscans have begged me to write something so that, together, we could start a battle against the lies of Medjugorje, because they believe that "God will punish us Franciscans severely because we have spread lies and falsehoods throughout the world and made money from them."
Of the one hundred diocesan priests in the dioceses of Hercegovina, not one believes in the apparitions. Of the 42 bishops of Yugoslavia (ordinaries, auxiliaries and retired), only one has been outspoken in declaring his belief and has defended the events. Of the 15 members of the first Commission, which was formed by the Bishop of Mostar with the help of the bishops and provincials from Yugoslavia, 11 of the members said that there is nothing supernatural in the events of Medjugorje, 2 (Franciscans) claimed that the apparitions are authentic, 1 member said that there was something in nucleo (in the beginning) and 1 abstained. Contrary to what has been spread by the defenders of Medjugorje, the Holy See has never asked for, seen, or passed a judgment on the three year work of the Commission. Neither did the Holy See abandon the bishop.
25. From the beginning of the events I warned the Franciscans that they must wait for the judgment of the Church, so that together we can search for the truth. The leaders of the events though, had as their aim to bring the masses as soon as possible to Medjugorje, obtain a lot of money for propaganda and use Our Lady for their battle against the bishop. They fabricated miracles regarding the sun. Many pilgrims damaged their eyes from staring into the sun. They cited 50, 150, 200 and 300 healings and they spoke of all sorts of things seeing that the faithful believed everything they said, especially when Archbishop F. Franic and Laurentin were there to back them up. The faithful in Medjugorje look upon the events as they are instructed, as is the case in all other places of apparitions be they true or false. The marveling and excitement here has been regarded at times as leading to great blindness and fanaticism.
26. The Italians know well the "story" of Gigliole Ebe Giorgini, the foundress of the false order of "Pia Opera di Gesu Misericordioso." Separated and remarried civilly, she spent time doing quackery. She gathered young women for her order and she received and earned great amounts of money. She had two priests in her service and many houses. She led a double life and had false stigmata which she made herself. Her "sisters" followed her fanatically and they called her Mamma Ebe. She had male vocations as well. but some who left her later on declared that she led an immoral life. She had many jewels and gold, two yachts, 32 furs, etc. Many in the Church objected to her way of life, while others fanatically defended her, citing good fruits. She even received praise from two bishops. Twice during the night police raided her room in the mother house and they found her in bed with one of her seminarians. A scandal broke out and she was sentenced twice to many years in prison along with a Franciscan who was her confessor. The press wrote for years about this scandal. An illicit film was made as well, yet her followers fanatically and blindly defended her even when the order fell apart. According to them, she was a Saint who attracted many vocations and this was argument enough for many that from the "fruits" she was obviously inspired by God! Religious blindness is extremely hard to cure. Fanaticism brought the beginning of the heresies in the Church, today it is the foundation of sects.
The Protestant pastor Fr. Jim Jones developed a great charitable organization in southern Chicago and he gathered great sums of money and many fanatical followers of his sect. In order to be freer in their work, about 1000 of them went to Guyana. South America where they established "Jonestown" as their new home. They established a dictatorship and fanatical obedience to their "Messiah". Much was written about terrible things that went on. about the immorality of Jones and how some tried to escape the community but were caught and killed. Then they were without money. Rumors spread that the American army would intervene, so Jones ordered them to retreat to the jungle. Seeing no way out, he called on everyone to give up their lives in order to travel to eternity. Over 900 of them came with cups to a huge pot in order to drink poison and then fall dead. What gave them the strength to commit suicide? Fanaticism! Yet when the Christian faithful hear of apparitions and miracles they easily accept these events as facts without being at all critical of the events. They are then caught up in their blindness and fanaticism. Whatever is spoken is believed automatically, such as, that ordinary rosaries in Medjugorje turn to gold! And people actually believe this!
27. This blindness towards the events in Medjugorje has also caught some priests and bishops. Many priests from Italy, (such as Amorth, Restrelli and others), easily could have heard that the bishop, the Commission, the bishops of Yugoslavia, a portion of the Franciscans and all the diocesan priests do not believe in the events. Yet, they avoided the truth, even though I received everyone who inquired about the events and gave them my time. I'm particularly surprised at the lack of collegiality by some bishops. Nobody has to accept my judgment, but everyone is obligated by conscience to study well the events of Medjugorje before taking a position, especially if that person has a position of authority in the Church, as bishops do.
What have they done to you Our Lady! For nine years they have been dragging you along as a tourist attraction. They have been speaking with you whenever it pleased them, as if you were a bank teller. They have fabricated messages, and they say that you come and appear there, but beyond their own arguments they have nothing to prove that what they say is true. The whole world is in expectation of a "great sign" and the naive still wait and believe. Unfortunately this false sensation will bring great disgrace and scandal upon the Church. Those who lead the events are not converting even though the threat of the abolition of the Province by the General hangs over them.
This is only a small compilation of that which I would like to write about. I hope that I will have the opportunity to expand further, with precise documentation and publish a book on these events.
28. There are many prayers and pious activities in Medjugorje. Some say that there have been conversions as well. I have received indeed many truly touching letters, and I feel sorry for those who will sooner or later be disappointed. But there has also been fanaticism, superstition and misinformation in the events of Medjugorje. I have also received many rude accusations in the mail which I cannot mention, all in the name of the "Queen of Peace". That which is positive in these events cannot justify the falsehoods and lies that have been spread in order to win the world over for God. Jesus said: "I have come into the world to give witness to the truth" (Jn 18:37). The Church would easily be able to attract the masses if it dropped the sixth commandment, if divorce were allowed, if it let everyone believe and do what they wanted. But, Jesus died on the Cross for the truth, and the Martyrs gave up their lives for the truth. St. Paul writes to his faithful: "If anyone preaches to you a gospel besides that which you have received, let him be anathema" (Gal. 1:9). Today, many prayer groups all over the world pray from Fr. Ivica Vego's prayerbook and meditate over the supposed messages of Our Lady as if these things were more important than the Bible and the teaching Magisterium of the Church. I do believe despite these events, that Our Lady shall beg the necessary graces for the Church in order for it to live Christ's truth.
I know that there will probably be many sincerely pious souls that will misunderstand me and consider me an enemy of Our Lady. I have been to Lourdes many times and to other shrines of apparitions that the Church has recognized. What I am doing is defending the truth, defending the Church, and I pray to God that I be able to give up my life for this.
29. Those who have written about Medjugorje have sold their books well and have made great profits. Unfortunately, those who have written critically, haven't fared as well because they have come across an organized boycott. For the other side of the story, people should read:
Sivric, Dr. Ivo, OFM. (A Franciscan born in Medjugorje and now living in St. Louis, MO, USA), La Face Cachée de Medjugorje, tome I, 1988, p. 400 (edizione françese), Editions Psilog, C. p. 300, Saint-François-du-Lac, Quebec, Canada JOC IMO. Tel. (514)568-3036.
Idem, The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, Vol. I, 1989. Ed. Psilog, Saint-François-du-Lac, Quebec (English version).
Gramaglia, P.A. L'Equivoco di Medjugorje: Apparizioni Mariane o Fenomeni di Medianita? Claudiana, Toronto, Canada, 1987,pp. 172.
Jones, E.M., Medjugorje: The Untold Story, Southbend, IN, 1994, pp. 144.
Bishop of Mostar
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