Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Medjugorje in Arcadia

I am sorry that I have not been able to rebut the silliness of Gerald Plessner (sp.?) and his commentary that appeared in many papers in the Los Angeles area this past Sunday. I hope to get to it tomorrow. However, the rain, although it did not ruin my house like many, did cause severe damage to the garage and guest room. I have been preoccupied.

However, I have been informed that Holy Angels Church in Arcadia is hosting one of the confused people of Medjugorje on Wednesday night. Below is an edited version of my letter to one of those in charge in Arcadia:


...I received an email tonight from a fellow Grand Knight of another council that your parish was hosting one of the people from Medjugorje. Unless you have information to rebut what I currently know, the last two bishops (including the current one, Bishop Peric) whose authority and diocese include Medjurgorje have ruled, after very careful consideration, that (in 1997):

(t)he judgement of the Church is the same and it is still valid. There is no fact, argument, affirmation or miracle which proves that there is a case of "apparitions or supernatural revelations." link

As recently as 2001, Bishop Peric reiterated his position while blasting the Franciscans involved.

From what I know (and I am happy to admit the following point if I am wrong), the Holy See has continually upheld the authority and the decision of the Bishop in the area in question. Thus, for your parish to support and host this individual may very well be deemed as scandalous as well as an attack on the authority of Bishop Peric. It seems ironic that in the archdiocese of one of the most ardent supporters of collegiality among bishops that this would be allowed to happen.

I am not writing this email from the position of an individual who does not believe in such apparitions per se. For example, I think and believe that the miracles of Lourdes, Guadalupe and Fatima certainly did happen. Although it may not be the best word, these three (as well as others) have been certified by Rome.

Now, I am not one to sit idly by and let Bishops get a pass for improper behavior or actions simply because they are bishops; however, the case of Medjugorje does not rise to that level. The Bishops in charge of the area are backed by the Holy See, and any public support of those who reject the office of the Bishop in charge on this point are unjustly attacking the authority of those bishops.

XXXXXX, even if you cannot cancel the event, I pray that you will not participate in it...

All the best!

Vivat Jesus!

Matthew J. McKinley

Folks, it is time to put to bed the idea of "cult" in the modern sense and return to the definition of "cult" that the Church uses. We need to pray for the poor souls who are being misled by the falsehoods of Medjugorje, and we must work to inform the ignorant about the official Church position on the matter. Please note that Bishop Zanic, who was eventually succeeded by Bishop Peric, ruled much earlier than 1997 on the issue. I was simply trying to use more up to date sources in my e-mail. Also I have deleted some parts of the email for personal reasons.

ADDED ON January 12:

The passage below is taken from the Bishop of Mostar's current website. The entire transcript can be found under the Medjugorje link:

Conclusion. Not only are these statements ascribed to the Holy Father and Cardinal Ratzinger "complete invention", but the numerous messages of Medjugorje, ascribed to the Madonna are also complete invention. If our faith is considered obsequium rationabile - rational service to God, true and healthy spiritual worship, as it rightfully is (Rm 12:1), then it cannot be any person's private fantasy or illusion (O. P., p. 84). The Church is competent to say this. In her name, 30 chosen priests and physicians, working together in three Commissions for 10 years, in more than 30 meetings, dutifully and expertly investigated the events of Medjugorje and brought forth their results of study. And not one, but twenty bishops responsibly declared that there exists no proof that the events in Medjugorje concern supernatural apparitions or revelations. The believer who respects both principles: ratio et fides, adheres to this criterion, convinced that the Church does not deceive.

Regarding Medjugorje, there's a real danger that the Madonna and the Church could be privatized. People could start contriving a Madonna and a Church according to their own taste, perception and deception: by not submitting their reason as believers to the official Magisterium of the Church, but rather forcing the Church to follow and recognize their fantasy.

NadĖ‡ve (sic) believers could easily then leave the living fountains of grace in their own parishes to mosey on down to Medjugorje or follow the "seers" around the world, who by the way, thanks to the "apparitions" have good homes and a comfortable existence - at least that's what the mass-media say.

There are at least 6 or 7 religious or quasi-religious communities, just initiating or already established, some of diocesan right, some not, which have arbitrarily been installed in Medjugorje without the permission of the local Diocesan authorities. These communities are more a sign of disobedience than a real charisma of obedience in this Church!

There exists a problem in this diocese of Mostar-Duvno which in recent years has practically precipitated into a schism. At least eight Franciscan priests, who have rebelled against the decision of the Holy See to transfer a certain number of parishes administered by the Franciscans to the diocesan priests, have been expelled from the Franciscan Order and suspended 'a divinis'. In spite of this, they have occupied at least five parishes through force, and continue to exercise sacred functions. They invalidly assist at marriages, hear confessions without canonical faculties and invalidly confer the sacrament of confirmation. Three years ago they even invited a deacon of the Old-Catholic Church who falsely presented himself as a bishop, to preside at a confirmation and he "confirmed" about 800 young people in three parishes.

Two of these expelled priests sought after episcopal consecration from Swiss bishop of the Old-Catholic Church, Hans Gerny, yet without any result.

So many invalid sacraments, so much disobedience, violence, sacrilege, disorder, irregularities, and not a single "message" from tens of thousands of "apparitions" has been directed towards eliminating these scandals. A very strange thing indeed!

The Church, from the local to supreme level, from the beginning to this very day, has clearly and constantly repeated: Non constat de supernaturalitate! No to pilgrimages that would ascribe a supernatural nature to the apparitions, no shrine of the Madonna, no authentic messages nor revelations, no true visions!

This is the state of things today. How will things be tomorrow? We'll leave them in God's hands and under Our Lady's protection!

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