Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Matt C. Abbott

11/18/2013 (8 months 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 (8 months 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 July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Europe

Meriam Ibraham is Free! The Living God Has Heard the Cry of His People! Jesus Christ is Lord! Watch

Image of Meriam receives the blessing and the gratitude of the successor of Peter, Francis.- What should be front and center in every Christian news report on this remarkable story is that God intervened on behalf of Meriam and her family. The God whom we profess is real and His power is greater than any regime or any form of opposition. Yes, He used men and women, and even government leaders, to accomplish His deliverance. He often does. But it was His Love and Mercy which broke the shackles of evil. He deserves all the praise.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The photo of Pope Francis blessing Meriam Ibrahim and her little daughter Maya in the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, July 24, 2014, reciving a blessing from a smiling Pope Francis, made millions of hearts leap for joy. The God of love answers the prayers of His ... continue reading


HORRIFIC ABUSE: 18-year-old girl coerced into group sex while being recorded on cell phone Watch

Image of The incident is being called an example of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An 18-year-old girl performed explicit sex acts on 24 men on a dance floor with the promise of a holiday - which never arrived. Presented with a mixed drink for her acts of indecency, the sordid episode was recorded on a cell phone camera - for the world to ... continue reading


Female genital mutilation threatens young females in England, Wales Watch

Image of The Department of Health has ordered hospitals to report signs of genital mutilation. The first statistics aren't due until September.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Far away from Africa and parts of Asia, girls and young women are still at risk for female genital mutilation, or FGM within the United Kingdom. The barbaric practice, FGM, is still carried out among various immigrant females in both Great Britain and Wales. ... continue reading


Putin vs. the World: One plane crash may spell the end for Russian president's ambitious plan of conquest Watch

Image of Russian backed separatists stand around wreckage from the downed Malaysian Airlines plane.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

World opinion continues to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine being the most notable and recent example of Russian interference in Ukraine. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Time and evidence ... continue reading


Prophetic Pope Does It Again: Words to an Economic Conference Make Waves Watch

Image of Pope Francis is absolutely correct. It is not

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On July 12, 2014, this prophetic Pope made waves again. He addressed participants in an international conference entitled - The Global Common Good: Towards A More Inclusive Economy. The conference was convened in Rome and sponsored by the Pontifical Council for ... continue reading


Sting nabs 600 pedos across UK, Scotland, Northen Ireland Watch

Image of Heightened awareness of child sexual abuse in the United Kingdom came in the wake of shocking revelations of predatory sexual behavior by late TV host Jimmy Savile.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Internet sting operation targeting pedophiles has led to the arrest of 660 individuals in the United Kingdom. Among those arrested were teachers, doctors, scout leaders, social care workers and former police officers. The six-month investigation was ... continue reading


MYSTERIOUS BISHOP: Father of British science to be honored Watch

Image of Bishop Robert Grosseteste was one of England's foremost scientific scholars, back in the 13th century.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A theologian from Bishop Grosseteste University in the city of Lincoln has called for the erection of a statue of Bishop Robert Grosseteste, the medieval thinker, in his home city of Lincoln. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. Jack Cunningham said that a ... continue reading


Faithful at Istanbul church rattled after Muslim attack Watch

Image of The attacks reopened psychological wounds in light of fatal attacks on Catholics and other Christians in Turkey. Members of the Christian minority here fear that things will only get worse.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The faithful at Saint Stephanos Church in Istanbul, Turkey are feeling rattled after an attack was carried out there by Muslims. Attackers verbally assaulted and threatened them during a baptismal service. Muslims have also destroyed church property in the last ... continue reading


Where does the Vatican store its gold? Mostly in the U.S. it turns out Watch

Image of A new report from the Vatican bank details just where the wealth of the Catholic Church is actually stored.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican Bank-formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion-has released a 107-page, detailed financial report for 2013. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This release comes just one week after the group published highlights of its 2013 financial ... continue reading


Church of England rejects Christian tradition and votes to allow women bishops Watch

Image of Church leaders have billed the new proposals as part of a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the Archbishop of York asked for the result to be met "with restraint and sensitivity," there were cheers among many Anglicans and Episcopalians when the Church of England voted to allow women to become bishops for first time in its history.The vote ... 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, Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,2 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 36:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
6 your saving justice is like towering mountains, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:10-17
10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 24th, 2014 Image

St. John Boste
July 24: One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born at ... 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