Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Matt C. Abbott

11/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I know devout Catholics who are favorable toward Medjugorje and devout Catholics who are not favorable toward Medjugorje. Some years ago, I was in the former camp. Right now, I'm indifferent about it and await the Church's judgment

In 1995, at the age of 19, I went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. I was going through a rather tumultuous time in my life, but was fascinated with, and very inclined to believe, reports that the Blessed Mother was indeed appearing to several young people who lived in that village. It was an edifying trip for me, and, all things considered, I'm glad I went. But over the years, I've come to realize that my faith, which admittedly has gone through periods of intense struggle and doubt, does not stem from an alleged private revelation. And it shouldn't, even for other Catholics.

Church of St James

Church of St James

Highlights

By Matt C. Abbott

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Medjugorje, private apparitions, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Yugoslavia, Archbishop Gerhard Muller, Ivan Dragicevic, Marian, St. James Church, private revelations, pilgrimage, Matt C. Abbott


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - In 1995, at the age of 19, I went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. I was going through a rather tumultuous time in my life, but was fascinated with, and very inclined to believe, reports that the Blessed Mother was indeed appearing to several young people who lived in that village.

It was an edifying trip for me, and, all things considered, I'm glad I went. But over the years, I've come to realize that my faith, which admittedly has gone through periods of intense struggle and doubt, does not stem from an alleged private revelation. And it shouldn't, even for other Catholics.

Regarding private revelations, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

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.

Christian faith cannot accept 'revelations' that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such 'revelations.'

So the bottom line is that Catholics are not required to believe in even Church-approved private revelations such as Fatima and Lourdes. I believe in them, yes. But a Catholic can be faithful to the Magisterium and still not believe in them. In other words, there is no sin in not believing in them.

Enter Medjugorje, which is an alleged private revelation that has not been approved by the Church. There's been considerable controversy over the events that have taken place since the apparitions allegedly began in June 1981, and, frankly, I don't wish to delve into specific incidents in this article.

I do want to cover a recent development, though, which has been written about in a Nov. 6 story at the Catholic News Service website:

The Vatican ambassador to the United States has reminded U.S. Catholics that the Vatican has not recognized alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, as authentic.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio, wrote to Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and told him the reminder came as one of the visionaries [Ivan Dragicevic] was scheduled to tour U.S. parishes.

He said the reminder was being sent at the request of Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has said it was not yet possible 'to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations' by visionaries in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia.. 

Dragicevic's U.S. tour was reportedly canceled after the nuncio's letter was received by the bishops. A Vatican commission formed during the pontificate of Benedict XVI has yet to make a final ruling on the alleged apparitions, but the aforementioned letter, coupled with very recent remarks made by Pope Francis, could indicate that a ruling is not far off.

Pope Francis said the following during a Nov. 14 homily (from the Vatican Radio website):

.Curiosity, the pope continued, impels us to want to feel that the Lord is here or rather there, or leads us to say: 'But I know a visionary, who receives letters from Our Lady, messages from Our Lady.' And the pope commented: 'But, look, Our Lady is the Mother of everyone! And she loves all of us. She is not a postmaster, sending messages every day.'

Such responses to these situations, he affirmed, 'distance us from the Gospel, from the Holy Spirit, from peace and wisdom, from the glory of God, from the beauty of God. Jesus says that the Kingdom of God does not come in a way that attracts attention: it comes by wisdom'..

Granted, the pope doesn't specifically mention Medjugorje, and his remarks are ambiguous enough that we cannot say with certainty that he's alluding to Medjugorje. Still, I find it very interesting that these remarks come not long after the release (or leak, if you prefer) of the nuncio's letter regarding Ivan Dragicevic's tour. 

Time will tell.

I know devout Catholics who are favorable toward Medjugorje and devout Catholics who are not favorable toward Medjugorje. Some years ago, I was in the former camp. Right now, I'm indifferent about it and await the Church's judgment.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

-----

(Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic columnist with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Business Management from Triton College in River Grove, Ill. He has worked in the right-to-life movement and is a published writer focused on Catholic and social issues. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.)

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2015
General Intention:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Missionary Intention: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Europe

France uneasy as drones spotted over U.S. Embassy, landmarks - Terrorists suspected Watch

Image of Soldiers guard several sites in Paris as the threat of terror attacks grows.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

French officials are worried that a terror attack may be imminent in Paris after drones were spotted flying over several landmarks including the U.S. Embassy. Police were unable to locate the operators. PARIS, FRANCE (Catholic Online) - The AFP is reporting that for ... continue reading


U.S. soldiers dare Putin just 300 yards from Russian border Watch

Image of A U.S. Army armored personal carrier during a military parade in Estonia to mark the nation's independence day.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A sign of growing tension in Europe, and possibly a warning to Russia occurred in the Baltic nation of Estonia, as it marked its independence day with a military parade that prominently featured troops and equipment from NATO forces - including U.S. troops - that ... continue reading


Former Russian soldier reveals that Putin has sent troops into Ukraine! Watch

Image of Moscow denied that Russian soldiers were in Crimea when it was taken, but that proved to be a lie.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ceasefire that was agreed to in Minsk by the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia did not last even a day before Russian supported rebels broke it by shelling the besieged town of Debaltseve which prompted a withdrawal of Ukraine forces. LOS ... continue reading


Italy deploys 1,800 soldiers in response to possible ISIS attacks on Vatican and Italy Watch

Image of The Islamic State's large presence in Libya has worried many in Europe, and fears are growing that an attempt could be made on the Pope's life.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Because of the growing power of the Islamic State in Libya, as well as threats made by the group against the Vatican and Pope Francis, security across Italy and the Vatican has been stepped up, officials revealed on February 18. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Forced into sex work, trafficked people suffer unbelievable abuse Watch

Image of Many young girls forced into sex work forego returning to their homes and families due to their shameful circumstances.

By Alex Whiting, Thomson Reuters Foundation

From dog attacks, strangulation and rape, to injured anglers being thrown overboard and left to drown, trafficked people can suffer extreme violence and severe health problems no matter where they end up working, researchers have found. LONDON (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


Brought to light: German Catholic archdiocese reveals more wealth than Vatican Watch

Image of The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Cologne in Germany has since disclosed it is worth $3.82 billion in U.S. dollars, making it richer than the Vatican.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an effort on the part of Pope Francis to make the finances of the Catholic Church more transparent, surprising things have been learned. The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Cologne in Germany has since disclosed it is worth $3.82 billion in U.S. dollars, ... continue reading


Copenhagen next on Islamic hit list: two terrorist attacks rock Danish capital within hours of each other Watch

Image of Danish police have started a nation wide manhunt for one or possibly more suspects who were involved in two shootings in Copenhagen, which left two dead and five injured.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Danish police have mounted a nationwide manhunt for one gunman or more, who was involved in the shooting of a forum on free speech that left one dead and three police officers injured before fleeing in a stolen car; a second attack occurred the same day, and ... continue reading


Playing the West like a fiddle: Putin signs 'peace treaty' while sending tanks and troops into Ukraine Watch

Image of Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing the western world like a fiddle.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia met over a marathon session to formulate and sign a ceasefire agreement intended to end the almost year long civil war in Ukraine, activity along the Russo-Ukrainian border has left many skeptical that this ... continue reading


Priceless, 'lost' Leonard da Vinci painting rescued from bank vault in Italy Watch

Image of The painting had been rediscovered in 2013 in a collection of 400 artworks kept in a Swiss vault. The authorities then were alerted to the existence of the painting -- but the portrait went missing again.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A painting by the man who defined the term "Renaissance," Leonardo da Vinci, has been rescued by Italian authorities from a bank vault in Switzerland. While described as "lost" - in was more than likely stolen, the painting was at risk for selling in the black ... continue reading


Notorious 'Bishop of Bling' gets new assignment at Vatican Watch

Image of The allegations against 55 year-old Bishop Tebartz van Elst calls attention to the high spending of the archdiocese of Munich and Freising, which has just spent $150 million on a new diocesan service center.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst denounced as the "Bishop of Bling" for his extravagant and consumerist lifestyle will now take a post at the Vatican. The former Bishop of Limburg, Germany is set to begin his role as a delegate on catechesis at the ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
4 I pleaded with Yahweh my God and made this ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
15 Costly in Yahweh's sight is the death of his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 9:2-10
2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 8:31-34
31 After saying this, what can we add? If God is for ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 1st, 2015 Image

St. David
March 1: According to tradition, St. David was the son of King Sant of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter