Medjugorje, Exploring the Origins

Tuesday, October 6, AD 2009

The alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje have had a sordid history.  Much of it to some extent successfully Tomislav Vlasix Marian Hoax Medjugorjeglossed over or reinterpreted by the Franciscans that run the parish at Medjugorje.  A document was put out by Bishop Ratko Peric, the ordinary of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno that encompasses Medjugorje, which was translated by Richard Chonak of the Catholic Light blog, that put to record of what actually occurred in Medjugorje and how the alleged apparitions were fabricated and manipulated by dissident priests such as Tomislav Vlasic and Slavko Barbaric.

I want to briefly summarize some highlights from this translated document first, which then be followed by the translated document in full.

Highlights:

1. Tomislav Vlasic, in collusion with his superior, undermined the authority of the bishop by relocating himself to Medjugorje without asking permission.  They waited an entire year to do so.

2. Tomislav Vlasic and Slavko Barbaric, the spiritual directors of the alleged seers, did not allow the seers to report any alleged messages from the Madonna without coming to them first so they can have their stories straight.

3. A grave theological error that the alleged apparition stated that all people in Heaven have their souls and their bodies with them.  I guess Tomislav Vlasic never studied the Nicene Creed.

4. Tomislav Vlasic claimed to have visited the Pope (John Paul II) when he never did.

5. The Madonna wanted Slavko Barbaric to replace Tomislav Vlasic as the spiritual director so he could document the entire episode of the visions.  Slavko Barbaric passed away in AD 2000, and the alleged apparitions continue to this day… without Slavko Barbaric.  Another “vision” that never came true.

There are many more, but I just highlighted the big ones that I thought were prescient.  The following is the completed translation of Bishop Ratko Peric’s documentation of the many errors of the apparitions in Medjugorje:

Vlasic’s involvement in the “Medjugorje phenomenon”

Just as last year, when the Holy See sanctioned the Rev. Vlasic with interdict, warning him of more severe penalties if he would not obey, once again numerous comments have appeared in the mass media to proclaim the non-connection between the “Medjugorje phenomenon” and the “Vlasic case”. If in both the letter and in reference to the two more serious penalties there is an explicit reminder of the “Medjugorje phenomenon”,[1] in which Tomislav Vlasic in involved, why is there never any connection between the one and the other? We would like to recall just that undeniable connection, from the beginning.

Continue reading...

23 Responses to Medjugorje, Exploring the Origins

  • Pingback: Medjugorje – Genuine or Hoax? « Per Christum Catholic Blog
  • Tito,

    I’m very much a critic of Medjugorje, for many reasons. I find it to be one great deception. Strange enough, when I discuss it with many people, I end up being treated as if I blasphemed God for questioning an apparition and blacklisted.

    That, I think, says something about the demonic attack going on here. If it were legitimate, as St John of the Cross points out, the questions would be welcomed.

  • Henry,

    I agree about the demonic attack.

    I’ve been on the fence ever since I learned about Medjugorje. I even bought by Wayne Weible.

    Unfortunately, I was just returning and learning my faith, but one thing from the book constantly gnawed at me at it was the seers disobeying Mary.

    In the book Mary asked a couple of the seers to enter religious life. Both of them declined and I believe one of them got married.

    That is what got me to think more about these apparitions.

    Many people search for signs for guidance from God. And here are two seers that have communication with Mary herself and they refuse to listen to her direction.

    Which brought me to today. I don’t believe they are true. Unless of course the Vatican says they are worthy of belief, but I doubt that it will occur.

  • In the early 80s a lot of my Catholic charismatic friends believed Medjugorje was genuine and I agreed with them initially, but what eventually turned me off was the way the “messages” kept going on and on, ad nauseam, and on command in front of audiences at conferences, etc. Today I am about 99 percent convinced they are NOT genuine.

    Most genuine apparitions like Lourdes and Fatima last only for a limited time, just long enough for Mary to get out whatever message she has. If Mary is indeed without sin, and possessed of perfect humility, it stands to reason that she would know when to stop talking 🙂

    Some seers may have further apparitions or revelations (like Sister Lucia of Fatima) but when they do, they usually do not publicize them immediately or use them to attract attention, and they certainly don’t make a living off of them.

  • I really think there is too much “apparition hunting” by people “looking for a sign” and it really indicates the spirituality of our age (a weakened spirituality). I do believe there are some real solid encounters between Mary and the Saints with others (Zeitun is, imo, the most recent, authentic, public apparition), most of the time it is for a private grace and is not meant to be shared like this. Those who have it tend to be humble about it, shy about talking about it, even embarrassed about it — they don’t want to think of themselves as special and to be treated as such.

    Pride and prelest are indications of demons and liars.

  • I agree.

    There is so much more than searching for apparitions when you have the Eucharist available to anyone at each and every parish.

    Zeitoun is one of those sites that I find very interesting as well. To see how Muslims and Christians both flocked to this site was incredible to read! Even President Nassar was there and he believed!

  • I think it was Thomas Dubay who said something to the effect that people will spend thousands of dollars to go on pilgrimages, but won’t cross the street to give a casserole to an ailing or grieving neighbor.

  • If Mary is really what the Catholic Church believes her to be, and she genuinely wished to communicate with all of the world’s people, then she would do so in a clear and unequivocal way. i.e. via an image which could be seen and heard (and recorded) by everybody!

    Were that to happen, very few people would doubt the Catholic interpretation of the Christian Faith; and indeed very few people would fail to be converted…

    Instead we are asked to accept that for mysterious reasons beyond our understanding, Mary prefers to reveal herself in private and we then have to take it on some third party’s word that what she is alleged to have said is true.

    The inconsistencies and controversy noted above doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Medjugorje is almost certainly a hoax inflicted upon gullible Catholics.

    For reference, I have been to Medjugorje and even met one of the so called “Visionaries”. I was and remain, extremely unimpressed, but note that the local economy of Medjugorje is utterly dependent on tourism and so will do everything in its power to keep this travesty alive.

  • “If Mary is really what the Catholic Church believes her to be, and she genuinely wished to communicate with all of the world’s people, then she would do so in a clear and unequivocal way. i.e. via an image which could be seen and heard (and recorded) by everybody!”

    I think Medjugorje is hooey, but this argument is nonsence. Jesus was born in a backwater province of the Roman Empire. He died on a cross at thirty-three. His disciples were a very small group lacking any influence in Judaea, not to mention the world at large. Who could possibly have guessed that the movement he started would eventually encompass the globe with almost a third of humanity? God has His own purposes and His own methods.

  • I think it spread because a Roman emperor called Constantine attributed a military victory at Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 to the influence of a Christian God. Had this not happed, maybe Christianity would have remained “a very small group lacking any influence in Judaea, not to mention the world at large”.

  • Your knowledge of history is very faulty. By the time of the battle of the Milvian Bridge Christianity had spread throughout the Roman Empire and far beyond it. It had spread in the Roman Empire in spite of three centuries of fierce persecution.

  • Yes, there were pockets of Christians who sadly were persecuted before then, however it was under Constantine that Christianity rose to be the dominant religion of the Roman Empire and hence leveraged its influence on the world at large.

    (One reason why those Christians were so easily persecuted was that numerically, they were a minority group.)

    Without Constantine’s influence, Christianity almost certainly wouldn’t have had the impact (for better or worse) on the modern world that it subsequently did.

  • Untrue. Diocletian unleashed the last great persecution of the Christians not because there were mere pockets of Christianity, but because Christians were everywhere, even at his court and among his advisors. Constantine did not embrace a religion that was small, but a religion that was large and growing. In short, he backed the horse that was already winning the race. Gallerius, Emperor of the Eastern Roman empire, and who had instigated Diocletian to begin the great persecution, paid a left-handed tribute to the strength of Christianity in his edict of toleration which he issued on his death bed in 311 AD:

    "Among other arrangements which we are
    always accustomed to make for the prosperity and
    welfare of the republic, we had desired formerly to
    bring all things into harmony with the ancient laws
    and public order of the Romans, and to provide that
    even the Christians who had left the religion of their
    fathers should come back to reason ; since, indeed,
    the Christians themselves, for some reason, had
    followed such a caprice and had fallen into such a
    folly that they would not obey the institutes of
    antiquity, which perchance their own ancestors had
    first established; but at their own will and pleasure,
    they would thus make laws unto themselves which
    they should observe and would collect various
    peoples in diverse places in congregations. Finally
    when our law had been promulgated to the effect that
    they should conform to the institutes of antiquity,
    many were subdued by the fear of danger, many even
    suffered death. And yet since most of them
    persevered in their determination, and we saw that
    they neither paid the reverence and awe due to the
    gods nor worshipped the God of the Christians, in
    view of our most mild clemency and the constant
    habit by which we are accustomed to grant
    indulgence to all, we thought that we ought to grant
    our most prompt indulgence also to these, so that
    they may again be Christians and may hold their
    conventicles, provided they do nothing contrary to
    good order. But we shall tell the magistrates in
    another letter what they ought to do.
    Wherefore, for this our indulgence, they ought to
    pray to their God for our safety, for that of the
    republic, and for their own, that the republic may
    continue uninjured on every side, and that they may
    be able to live securely in their homes.
    This edict is published at Nicomedia on the
    day before the Kalends of May, in our eighth
    consulship and the second of Maximinus."

    Galerius recognized that the might of the Empire was helpless against the faith of the Christians.

  • Christianity was still just one cult amongst several that permeated the latter day Roman Empire, including Mithraism (derived from Zoroastrism) and Dionysusim which was allied to past Greek and Roman gods.

    The reason Christianity was not totally suppressed by the Romans lay more in the general decline and relative weakness of their Empire rather than anything else.

    It remains extremely unlikely that without Constantine’s conversion, Christianity would have made anything like the impact on world history that it did.

  • Once again untrue. The pagan religions were dying while Christianity grew from strength to strength. The attempt by Julian the Apostate in the 360s to revive the pagan cults demonstrated how futile that was. As for the Empire being weak, the Empire was at its height during the first two centuries of Christianity. Christianity endured and grew whether the Empire was strong or weak and whether they were bittlerly persecuted or grudgingly tolerated.

  • Pingback: Its Official, CDF to Investigate Medjugorje « The American Catholic
  • I have visited Medjugorje two times in my life. Both were blessed occurances in my life. I feel with faith anything is possble. Medjugorje was a miracle in my life and I will cherish the rest of my life. Possibly the naysayers are the work of satin.

  • Cathy,

    If you were blessed in Medjugorje, you wouldn’t be damning the naysayers.

  • Tito

    It’s the work of cotton.

  • I personaly have resieved many wounderfull graces as a direct result of our ladys apparitions and the whole wounderfull medjugorje experience, our lady has helped me forward in my faith and her messages have given me a greater understanding of Gods endless love for each one of us his children, our lady of medjugorge messages have allways been messages of, allways putting our full trust in God to never lose hope, to regularely pray and fast, we are reminded to say the rosary, and encouraged to live our faith every moment of our life. All these are weapons to defeat saton, and certainly do not promote him, our lady is titled, Queen of peace, and from the beginning of the apparitions in 1981, our lady stressed the need for peace, our lady also stated the impending dangers in that country and the need to continuously pray for lasting peace foretelling of the conflict that sadly, took place in that country. our lady of medjugorje is continually leading us her children to her son, our lord and savior Jesus Christ, regularely reminding us of Jesus in the blessed sacrament of the euchorist, stating if it is a choise for any of us her children between events to do with our lady and receiving Jesus christ her son in the euchorist in holy mass, we are to allways put Jesus first, our lady also stated when pilgrims commented to the visionarys how priverlaged they were to recieve these graces,our lady of medjugorje said through the visionarys that our lady is allways closest to every soul who received her son our lord and savior Jesus christ in the euchorist, more closer than any visionary could experience, in an apparition, because the sacred heart of Jesus and the immaculate heart of mary are perfectly united in there love for each other. I could say so much about all the wounderfull experiences that one experiences there,the constant feeling of peace and holyness from the moment one arrives there,wounderfull,powerfull benedictions, experiences, of a supernatural nature involving the sun,such as seeing the host clearly in the centre of the sun without hurting the eyes, the word peace in there own language that appeared within the clouds over St James church for all to see in the early days of the apperitions. In my honest oppinion i firmy believe the real danger is not weather or not our lady of medjugorje is truly appearing in medjugorje which i truly believe she is but that so many souls who clearly have never been there are crediting the devil with abbilitys that only God has,supernatural graces involving the sun ,similar to Fatima, only God is omnipotent and omnicient.The devil can only do what God permits him to do . These apperitions have been taking place for 29 years this month the longest period in history,as far as i know, and there is no sign as yet of there compleation,what with all the wounderfull conversions that have taken place during that time,peoples lives have been changed for the better I will end know just by saying. I am a dedicated catholic, i have given you all my testimony just as it is, i have absolutely no reason to lie or exagerate, i believe i am a perfectly rational human being,my experiences were not hallusinations vivid dreams or anything else other than what i have said they were, of corse everybody has equal right to believe or disbelieve in these said apperitions,and i sincerely promise i will fully abide by whatever desition the vatican may make. All i ask to those who dont believe the apperitions of our lady of medjugorje are true,please as a brother in faith i ask you dont attack and condemn, clearly judjment has not been made and therefore if they were declared true,as i sincerely believe they will be,those who attacked would have been declaring evil,what is holy, a sin against the holy spirit,it is better to hold your thoughts…YOURS IN CHRIST…FRED.

  • 22 of us went to medjugorje in may 2010 – we all saw the sun spin – 2 rosaries turned gold color – 4 people had healings – nothing new . the sun spins virtually every day in M( signs,wonders, and response- albert hebert). millions of rosaries turn gold in M( visions of the children- janice connell- national best seller). also staues issue human tears & blood. also the incorruptible bodies of saints GET REAL GOD IS FACT! and also dont forget fatima – this event by itself prooves GOD IS FACT. science and common sense cannot explain these events the evidence is simply overwhelming. HELLO!

  • The sun is constantly and minutely monitored by numerous astronomical observatories and yet not a single one picks anything unusual! WHAT UTTER NONSENSE THIS TALK OF SPINNING SUNS IS!
    As for the supposed healings, take away the psychological hysteria surrounding Medjugorje and the spontaneous remissions which would have happened anyway and you are left with nothing.
    If the bible is an accurate account of Jesus’ ministry on earth, then His miracles were beyond doubt and clearly evident to everybody. This is NOT the same at all.

  • Tito, right again! As you said to Cathy, if she had truly been blessed, she would not be damning those who question it. Anyone who does that is not reacting in a Christian way of love. And by the way all you folks, there is nothing wrong in shining a stringent light on Medjugorye. If it is truly of God, it will hold up. If it does not, it will fold. After all, as St. Paul warned us, the devil can appear as an angel of light, and St. John warns us not to believe every spirit, but to discern. A loving, charming, happy emotional experience at Medjugorye is nice–but you can have that on your honeymoon. It is certainly not the standard you must hold Marian apparitions to! First you have to ask yourself: is what the apparition saying in line with the faith of the Church? Are the seers in obedience to the Church? Why have two of the priests of Medjugorye been defrocked? Mary asked two of the seers to enter the convent and the priesthood–neither one did! Why are they making money by giving tours and running bed and breakfast places? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Faith in God is not primarily an emotional thing–it is an action of the will. And you judge an apparition by what it says about God, and whether it is in agreement with Church doctrine. And you know what? As the late great Malachi Martin wrote, turning rosaries a gold color is just a party trick of the devil. As for all those people who have had good experiences at Medjugorye, God can write straight with crooked lines. I imagine there is nothing that offends Him like the devil counterfeiting an apparition of His Mother. I’m sure that anyone who sincerely loves Mary and honors her receives a special protection from Christ for their sincerity. In the meantime, read up on all the lies that have been told, and the disobedience of the seers themselves. It is chilling.
    And never forget: you don’t have to go to Medjugorye to have an experience with Jesus and Mary. You can do it anywhere–they’re everywhere! God Bless! Helen