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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Europe

Pope Francis Gives Direction to Charismatic Renewal and New Movements Watch

Image of Pope Francis at the last Pentecost Sunday Mass. Included in the massive crowd were members of the diverse ecclesial movements from around the world.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 22, 2014, Pope Francis addressed a Congress sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. It brought together new movements and communities in the Catholic Church - from across the globe. These movements are not only flourishing, but multiplying ... continue reading


If backed into a corner will Putin come out swinging? On the eve of Russia's great depression Europe braces for violent repercussions Watch

Image of Some analysts fear that Russia could default on its foreign debt, even worse, a depression may force Vladimir Putin to take an aggressive and expansionist stance in Europe.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The sharply declining price of a barrel of oil and the harsh sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe have created a perfect storm for Russia's weak economy. The ruble has fallen fast, and the financial crisis that faces Russia is quickly spiraling out of ... continue reading


Singing nun Sister Cristian Scucccia fulfills lifelong dream to meet Pope Francis Watch

Image of Sister Cristina is slated to perform at the Vatican's Christmas concert later this week, along with American punk singer Patti Smith.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Sister Cristina Scuccia, whose cover of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" has gathered more than four million views on YouTube, has fulfilled her longtime dream of meeting Pope Francis. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Meeting Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square, she ... continue reading


Sexual predator nabbed trying to lure teenage girls off social media sites Watch

Image of Prosecutor Mary McCarthy said Wood sent explicit pictures to girls and, in some cases, arranged to meet them. He had full sexual intercourse with five of the girls. Some of the offenses occurred while he was on bail.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yeovil man, in Great Britain has been arrested on numerous sex charges. Twenty-year-old Jacob Wood is accused of grooming "vulnerable" teenage girls for sex through social media sites. Wood has been spared a prison sentence after a judge said it would not ... continue reading


'We may not live through these days': Is Mikhail Gorbachev warning that the crisis in Ukraine could turn into World War III? Watch

Image of Former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, who has long been hailed as one of the leading architects in ending the Cold War is now warning that the world may be facing the potential of war if Russian and American leaders are unwilling to back down.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is no secret that relations between the United States-and its allies in Europe-and Russia have chilled to levels unseen since the end of the Cold War over the ongoing civil war in Ukraine. What is surprising is just who is issuing a warning about the potential ... continue reading


Plight of boat people worldwide addressed by United Nations Watch

Image of

By Katie Nguyen, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Governments must focus on saving lives rather than keeping foreigners out at a time when more people than ever are embarking on risky sea crossings in search of asylum or a better life, the United Nations said on Wednesday. GENEVA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - ... continue reading


Indian, Pakistani accept Nobel Peace Prizes Watch

Image of Both Malala Yousafzai, from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi, from India accepted their Nobel Peace Prizes in Norway.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

India and Pakistan are longtime international rivals. This didn't prevent a Pakistani teenage advocate for women's education and an Indian child rights campaigner from receiving Nobel Peace Prizes. Both Malala Yousafzai, from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi, ... continue reading


VATICAN AT RISK OF TOTAL DESTRUCTION as Islamic State smuggles dirty bomb into Europe Watch

Image of Vatican City may be a primary target for the Islamic State's dirty bomb.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A weapons maker for the Islamic State has posted a chilling warning to the world, claiming that a radioactive device, known as a "dirty bomb" has been successfully smuggled into Europe. This suggests that a radiological bombing could be imminent. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'ISIS killers are monsters and cowards,' widow of slain British aid worker says Watch

Image of

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The widow of a 44-year-old British aid worker David Haines, who was murdered by Islamic State extremists has denounced his killers "cowards." Dragana Haines, whose husband David was killed by the militants in a graphic video posted online last September, says she still ... continue reading


Has the Islamic State moved on to Russia? 16 dead in Islamist attack! Watch

Image of 16 people have died, and 21 more were injured during an attack in the capital of Chechnya by Islamic militants.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At least 16 people are dead in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, following an early morning attack on a police checkpoint, media building and school by rebel gunmen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attack occurred at 1:00 a.m. (local time) on December 4, and ... 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, Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
2 There was a man of Zorah of the tribe of Dan, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:3-4, 5-6, 16-17
3 Be a sheltering rock for me, always accessible; you ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:5-25
5 In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 19th, 2014 Image

St. Nemesius
December 19: Martyr of Egypt. He was burned alive in Alexandria, Egypt, ... 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