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True and False apparitions in the Modern Church
TCR News ^ | JUNE 2002 | Donal Anthony Foley

Posted on 06/29/2002 4:50:52 AM PDT by NYer

The modern Marian "movement" is characterized by a large number of alleged apparitions, many of which bear little resemblance to the historical series of major approved apparitions, those between Guadalupe, in 1531, and Banneux in 1933. This article looks at the actual mechanism of the modern alleged apparitions, and compares it with that of the genuine apparitions: when this is done, the shortcomings of the former become very clear.

The topicality of all this is evident from the recent statement of Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, who, speaking at the Synod of Bishops in Rome, on the subject of religious and secular divisions in society and the world, complained that aspects of the alleged visions at Medjugorje have become a source of strife in the Church. Despite some reports to the contrary, it seems that he did indeed express concern about the activities of the Franciscans serving at Medjugorje, who "impose their own points of view" with the aid of "Pseudo-charisms." [1]

Clearly, this is a not a ringing endorsement of Medjugorje, and the same can be said for the book by the French writer, Joachim Bouflet, Les Faussaires de Dieu —"The Forgers of God"—(Presses de la Renaissance, Paris, 2000), which contains very strong criticisms of Medjugorje, and has an imprimatur from the Archdiocese of Paris. Similarly, in 1998, E. Michael Jones' The Medjugorje Deception: Queen of Peace, Ethnic Cleansing, Ruined Lives, (Fidelity Press, South Bend), exposed the serious problems involved in all aspects of both Medjugorje itself and the activities of the legion of camp followers who have grown up in its train.

Thus, there seems to a growing awareness that largely uncritical acceptance of many of the modern alleged apparitions—and particularly Medjugorje—may well have been a mistake, and that a radical rethink is necessary before even more damage is done to the Church.

Apart from Guadalupe and Banneux, the other major approved apparitions worthy of note are: Rue du Bac in Paris, in 1830; the apparition at La Salette, also in France, in 1846; the apparitions to St Bernadette at Lourdes in 1858; the apparition at Pontmain, in northern France, in 1871; the apparition at Knock, in Ireland, in 1879; the apparitions at Fatima, in Portugal, in 1917; and finally, the apparitions at Beauraing, in Belgium, in 1932-33. All of these have been approved by the Church. This acceptance has involved not only the approbation of the local bishop, but also wider acceptance in the Church as a whole, including such factors as a papal visit, permissions for special liturgies, and the building of a basilica. [2]

Obviously, in any matter, it makes sense to make decisions on the basis of taking what is approved and genuine as the norm, and judging novelties in the light of this. Thus, in order to really evaluate the reports of alleged apparitions we need to take the characteristics of genuine apparitions as the benchmark. In this, the sincerity of those who believe in unapproved apparitions is not being questioned, rather this article is an attempt to lay down some solid criteria by which we can judge them.

The large number of alleged apparitions seem to fall into two general categories. Firstly, we have those false apparitions which came at more or less the same time as the genuine Marian apparitions, and often in great numbers. These have been recognized as false and not accepted by the Church. While a nuisance at the time, they have not generally had any great long term effect. Their purpose seems to have been to sow confusion in the minds of the faithful by making people believe that it is impossible to tell the true from the false, and that perhaps everything was false. Examples of this are the reports of false apparitions which occurred after the true apparitions at Lourdes, Knock, and Beauraing. [3]

Secondly—and these are the events we are essentially concerned with in this article—we have the large number of modern alleged apparitions which have occurred some time after the recognized apparitions and whose purpose, it is argued here, is apparently to obscure the true message which has come from apparitions such as Lourdes and Fatima. These do present a grave and ongoing problem for the Church.

It can be argued that God is actually obliged, in a certain sense, not to give more than a certain number of prophecies, writings, apparitions, etc., if he is not to confuse people. If there are a continual stream of alleged supernatural events there is a danger of disorder and indeed trivialisation, which, it can certainly be argued, is the case today. Familiarity is said to breed contempt, and if Mary is supposed to be appearing to certain visionaries on a daily basis, often with quite repetitive "messages," then it is easy to see how contempt for genuine Marian devotion can arise.

That true revelations from God may well be followed by false imitations is clear from the Bible. If we look at the biblical pattern of prophecy it is apparent that true prophets had to face opposition from false prophets, both in the sense of fellow Israelites and foreigners. In Deuteronomy we find strict condemnations of the false prophetic activities of the inhabitants of Canaan (Deut 18:9-13), while Elijah had to face the false prophets of Baal, in his struggle against the paganism encouraged by the wicked king of Israel, Ahab, and his wife, Jezebel. It is significant that there were four hundred prophets of Baal ranged against the solitary Elijah (1 Ki 18). In fact, one of the main problems faced by genuine prophets was dealing with false prophets, who often did not protest against wrongdoing while falsely attempting to predict future events.

Jeremiah later spoke against prophetic deceivers, whose immoral lives led them to condone wickedness such that the whole land was affected. He proclaimed that God had not sent them and that they made up visions themselves, promising a peace which would not come. He accused them of taking their made-up prophecies from each other and warned of dire punishments for such lies (Jer 23:9-40). Similar condemnations are found in Ezekiel (Ez 13) against both male and female false prophets. [4]

Thus, we can draw some important conclusions from the history of biblical prophecy in relation to the modern Marian apparitions. It is evident that true biblical prophets had to contend with false prophets, often whole swarms of them, and so likewise we should expect genuine apparitions to be subject to imitation by false ones.

Having established this point, then, we can go on to examine the practical criteria which will enable us to tell true revelations, in this case apparitions, from false. Probably the most important of these is the fact that in the case of the approved apparitions, they normally took place over quite a short period of time and were relatively few in number. In contrast many of the alleged modern apparitions are characterized by large numbers of appearances over long periods of time.

At Guadalupe Mary appeared only four times to Juan Diego, while at Rue du Bac, Catherine Labouré was privileged with only three major apparitions. At La Salette Mary appeared only once to the two children, while at Lourdes she appeared eighteen times to Bernadette. Both Pontmain and Knock involved only a single apparition lasting a matter of hours, and at Fatima Mary appeared on six occasions. The number of apparitions at Beauraing was thirty-three, and at Banneux, eight. Thus the average number of apparitions was only just over eight, and their longest duration was less than six months, in the case of Fatima. (Although it is true that Mary appeared to Sr. Lucia of Fatima on a number of occasions in later years, it is clear that these apparitions were of a different order from her previous experiences and thus were not a part of the original series of apparitions—although they are linked to them and represent important developments of the message of Fatima).

Thus the "model" for approved apparitions is one which has, for each particular place, a number for apparitions usually in single figures, and a duration in weeks, or possibly months, but not years.

Contrast this with Garabandal and Medjugorje. At Garabandal in Spain, in the early sixties, it is alleged that Mary appeared more than 2,000 times to the visionary children, and likewise it is claimed that she has been appearing daily at Medjugorje for twenty years—that is, over 6,000 times. [5] What this means in practice is that, if these events are genuine, for some reason Mary has abandoned the approach she has previously taken, of appearing only a relatively small number of times and over a short period, for what amount to "appearances on demand." As detailed above, the average number of appearances for genuine Marian apparitions has been in single figures—but if Garabandal and Medjugorje are authentic then suddenly this average has been boosted by a factor, in the case of the latter, approaching one thousand!

Does this seem probable? Would God change, in such a dramatic fashion, a method of approaching humanity which has been in place for hundreds of years? Is it not rather evidence, as in the case of the large numbers of false prophets who contended with God's spokesmen in the Old Testament, of an attempt by the devil to drown out the genuine with a flood of falsity?

In addition, as the prophet Isaiah indicated (59:1), "God's hand is not shortened," that is, he does not have to struggle or shout to get his message across: he is omnipotent. This point is emphatically made in another passage from Isaiah:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isa 55:10-11)

God's "Word," in the form of the approved Marian apparitions, has been extraordinarily fruitful, and with a minimum of words and appearances: Mary appears once, and for a few hours, at Pontmain and Knock—and probably for no more than half an hour at La Salette—and three great pilgrimage sites spring up: she allegedly appears thousands of times at places like Garabandal and Medjugorje and the official spokesmen of the Church, the local bishops, are not convinced.

Why are there all these repetitions then, which don't tell us anything new? The simplest reason would appear to be that, since these alleged apparitions do not apparently come from God, unless there was this element of repetition they would quickly be forgotten. Would people still be going to Medjugorje, for example, if the apparitions had stopped very quickly—as was supposed to have happened, according to Mirjana, one of the visionaries? [6]

Another important characteristic of the approved Marian apparitions is how, in most cases, very little was said by Mary. In this her reticence seems to match that reported in the Gospels, where likewise, she said very little. In addition her words are to the point, concerned with her mission as the spiritual mother of mankind, and not with generalities or matters not related to salvation: she says nothing unseemly or contrary to the Faith. [7]

Indeed, it is fair to say that if all the reported words of Mary between Guadalupe and Banneux, a period of over four hundred years, were put together, we would only have a document of 10 or 11 sides. At Knock and Pontmain she said absolutely nothing (although a few words did appear on a banner at her feet during the latter apparition) and, for example, what follows is all that she said at Banneux, and this could easily be written on the back of a postcard:

"This stream is reserved for me, Good evening."

"Push your hands into the water."

"I am the Virgin of the poor."

"This spring is reserved for all the nations - to relieve the sick."

"I shall pray for you. Au Revoir."

"I come to relieve suffering."

"Believe in me, I will believe in you. Pray much. Au Revoir."

"My dear child, pray much. Au Revoir."

"I am the Mother of the Saviour, Mother of God, Pray much. Adieu." [8]

If we compare this brevity and spiritual "common sense" with the utterances and activities attributed to Mary by some modern alleged visionaries it is quite illuminating. For example, Ida Peerdeman's "Lady of All Nations" apparently dictated the following prayer in 1951: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send Your Spirit over the earth. Let the Holy Spirit live the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster and war. May the Lady of all Nations, who once was Mary, be our advocate. Amen." [9]

What has happened to the name "Mary," as in the Hail Mary, which Catholics say every day? Why would Mary come up with a prayer which seems to push her own name into the background? When these rather strange words were questioned by the ecclesiastical authorities, "Mary" apparently responded by saying, "No change must be made in the text of the prayer, the words 'who once was Mary' must remain. Tell the theologians that I am not satisfied with the change in the prayer." [10]

"Tell the theologians"—surely rather a strange way for the Blessed Virgin to apparently speak? When Jesus appeared to Sr. Faustina, recently canonized as St Faustina, he was very careful to ensure that nothing he did would seem to override the authority of her superiors. [11] But the "Lady of All Nations" is apparently of a different mind.

The local bishop, Bishop Huibers, was resolutely opposed to these alleged apparitions, and his disapproval of them, and that of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, were expressed in a notification in the 27 June 1974 edition of L'Osservatore Romano. This can be seen at:

More recently, the late bishop of Haarlem, Bishop Bomers, and his auxiliary, Bishop Punt, allowed veneration of Mary under the title of "The Lady of All Peoples (Nations)," but distinguished, at that time, between this title and the idea that they were approving of the alleged apparitions.

Mgr Punt, the present bishop of Haarlem has just issued (May 31, 2002) a new statement on these alleged apparitions in which he apparently regards them as having a "supernatural origin" - this can be seen at:

(This file is rather large, about 198k, so be warned!)

This seems like a very surprising conclusion given the strong negative judgement of the original bishop, and the statement in L'Osservatore Romano.

It is a cause for concern that Mgr Punt makes no mention of the previous condemnations, but rather gives the impression that his decision overrides any previous decisions, a position which many would strongly disagree with. Similarly, the statement that he finds no theological or psychological impediments in this case is rather strange given phrases such as, "Who once was Mary," to take only the most obvious example.

But as the penultimate paragraph states, "private revelations are never binding on the conscience of the faithful," and it would appear more than likely that this apparent "approval" will eventually be overturned - the very fact that an ongoing commission is envisaged indicates that this cannot be considered the final word on Amsterdam.

The above are just a few examples from one particular series of questionable apparitions, but such examples could be multiplied almost indefinitely from the great number of alleged apparitions now being reported. In fact, their primary characteristic seems to be verbosity, that is they often feature a "Mary" who speaks at excessive length, or who gives regular and repetitive "messages," and since these attributes are, generally speaking, at variance with those of the approved apparitions, then it must mean that they are highly suspect.

A further important characteristic of the approved Marian apparitions is that they have been mainly, though not exclusively, to children, often quite poor and humble children. Some might argue that the fact that young children were involved makes these apparitions suspect, that their testimony is less trustworthy than that of adults; but in reality, in matters such as this, the fact that they were young innocent children is an advantage since they were uncorrupted by the world, and generally speaking, were more likely to be telling the truth than some adults who may have had all sorts of motives for deception, or be subject to delusion or diabolical influence. In fact, the acknowledged general mental stability and moral probity of the seers of the approved Marian apparitions makes it intrinsically unlikely that they were the victims of illusion or hallucination, or that they were lying.

It is true that both Juan Diego, the seer of Guadalupe, (1531) who was 57, and Catherine Labouré, the seer of Rue du Bac, (1830), who was 24, were adults, but they were adults of a very childlike nature. Juan Diego had only been baptised a few years before 1531, and Catherine was an extremely pure soul. She was canonized in 1947, while he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1990 and is due to be canonized in July 2002 . At Knock (1879) more adults than children saw the apparition, but they too had a simple and childlike quality, largely untainted, as they were, by modern society. For the other main apparitions, La Salette, (1846), Lourdes, (1858), Pontmain, (1871), Fatima, (1917), and Beauraing and Banneux, (1932-33), we are dealing with adolescent or even younger children. At La Salette, Mélanie was 14 and Maximin 11; at Lourdes, Bernadette was only 14, while at Pontmain the Barbedette brothers were only 10 and 12, while the two girls with them were 9 and 11. At Fatima Lucia at 10 was the eldest, while Francisco and Jacinta were only 9 and 7 respectively. At Beauraing the children ranged from 9 to 15, and at Banneux Mariette Beco was only 11. Thus of the six apparitions where Mary appeared exclusively to children, their average age was only just over eleven. [12]

Obviously, children of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, living mainly in rural areas, were largely uncontaminated, if affected at all, by modern thinking. Only the children of Beauraing and Banneux would have been acquainted with the cinema, and clearly 1930s cinema is nothing in comparison with modern television in terms of its corrupting influence. This is not to say that children can automatically be believed if they allege they have seen something supernatural, and indeed there have been many unapproved "apparitions" involving children. In the main, though, these have not sustained any great following, and patently a sensitive process of discernment is necessary to separate the true from the false.

Be that as it may, it is surely significant that Mary should have chosen almost exclusively to appear to children rather than adults, and this point indicates that any modern alleged apparitions involving adults, unless they show very evident signs of sanctity, and above all humility, and the Church as a whole, supports them, must come under suspicion.

These criteria seem to indicate that many of these alleged events are highly questionable. Certainly, some of the more important of these since the Second World War, those which have had the greatest long term effects, have involved adults. These include Amsterdam, which was mentioned above (1945-59), where the visionary Ida Peerdeman was a middle aged woman, and Montchiari in Italy (1947), where Pierina Gilli, a woman in her thirties claimed apparitions. Similarly, the events at Necedah in the US from 1949 onwards, involved Mary Ann Van Hoof, an adult woman, as did those at San Damiano in the sixties, involving Rosa Quattrini. We could also speak of Bayside in the US in this respect, and indeed all of the above were judged negatively by their respective local ordinaries.[13]

However, it may well be objected that there have been a number of more recent alleged apparitions involving adults, which have apparently gained support from their local bishops, and that this point negates the above argument. To deal with these occurrences properly would take an article in itself, but suffice to say that approval by the local bishop is not equivalent to approval by the Church as a whole, particularly where these alleged apparitions apparently have many of the features which have been characteristic of false apparitions in the past, such as excessive repetition—and obviously, too, local bishops are not infallible in these matters.

The main point is that even these types of alleged apparitions are still under "probation" and thus they cannot be used as a standard. And despite local episcopal approval for Betania and Akita, for example, the universal Church has not really taken them up in any serious way. There are definite problems with even the "best" of these modern alleged apparitions—and indeed in the majority of them there seem to be evidence of fraud, or at least there is strong possibility of some demonic element or of mental instability as a major factor.

Overall then, there is a real danger that the writings emanating from all the visionaries now flourishing could further develop into an alternative "Magisterium," and thus cause even more problems for the Church. At present it seems that people can more or less believe in any "apparition" which takes their fancy, regardless of the ground-rules that have been developed by the Church for the discernment of the approved Marian apparitions. That is, such matters as local Episcopal approval, conformity with the general faith and teaching of the Church, genuine signs of conversion and religious progress in the locality and elsewhere, and, of course, Papal support.

It could be argued, too, that there should be a lot more emphasis on the sorts of points discussed in this article, that is, any genuine process of discernment needs to look at the actual characteristics of the approved apparitions, such as their low average number, about half a dozen generally, the predominantly young age of the seers, and the fewness of the words spoken by Mary, and use these as yardsticks by which to assess alleged apparitions. These would seem to be more objective than the process of judging these matters by their alleged "fruits."

Experience shows that those who promote almost certainly false "apparitions" are quite capable of getting people to say the rosary, and engage in activities which are themselves good, but with the ulterior motive of making it seem as though they are really orthodox. This is the tragedy really: large numbers of people supporting these alleged apparitions in good faith, and being cynically manipulated by those who see in them only the opportunity to make money out of books, pilgrimages, flights, hotels, and so on.

And this, or course, was the point of Cardinal Puljic's dramatic intervention at the Bishop's Synod—far from the fruits of Medjugorje being good, the Cardinal felt compelled, in the presence of the Pope and his fellow bishops, to speak of the problems associated with the apparitions.

To counter this, and the danger from other alleged apparitions, it seems that the Church needs to place much more emphasis on the major approved apparitions of the "modern" era, from Guadalupe in 1531 to Banneux and Beauraing in the early 1930s, with particular stress being put on Fatima. There is more than enough material there for edification and instruction, and if people were more aware of those apparitions which have been approved they would be less likely to go astray regarding alleged new apparitions.

This seems to be the attitude encouraged by the present pope in particular through his strong support for Fatima, but in this he is only building on the work of his predecessors from the time of Pius XII onwards. The recent beatification of the seers of Fatima, Jacinta and Francisco, and the release of the Third Part of the Secret, have given a new boost to Fatima.

Thus the Holy Spirit is firmly pointing the Church towards Fatima—resolute action, and guidance, from the Church authorities are needed, so that more individuals aren't lost in the uncharted waters of false apparitions, where, sadly, too many souls have already been shipwrecked.

TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: apparitions; bvm; catholiclist; fatima; lourdes; marian; medjugorje
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1 posted on 06/29/2002 4:50:52 AM PDT by NYer
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To: *Catholic_list; Salvation; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; american colleen
Several years ago, a neighbor returned from Medjugorje and totally revamped her life. She tossed out her live-in boyfriend, sequestered herself in prayer, decorated her home with icons, statues & religious articles, traveled into NYC to toss medals of the BVM around the United Nations building, and held weekly prayer meetings in her home. Two years ago, she felt that Mary wanted her to move, so she put her house up for sale. When asked where she was moving, she had no clue but she trusted that Mary would direct her.

She became involved with a List_Serv group that shares messages from seers in the US and Canada, all of whom are adults. It unnerved me in that none of these apparitions or messages were sanctioned by the church. These "followers" impressed me as a cult. Even more alarming was their discrimination of priests who were either "pro" Medjugorje or against.

For your discussion.

2 posted on 06/29/2002 5:00:11 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
Thanks for posting this article.

One problem I have with it is that it states that there are visions in Medjugorje every day... I don't think that is true? But the messages are all the same, and when read, seem like the BVM is telling us that all religions are good and the same.

Although there are good fruits from Medjugorje (rosary, conversions), I do see a divide among people because of it as the author states. Among the believers, Medjugorje can almost be a litmus test with which they judge the orthodoxy of others - even how they judge priests. I just ran into this (again) a few weeks ago. The licit apparitions (Fatima and Lourdes) compliment our Faith and are not the pinnicle of it as Medjugorje (and other not licit apparitions) seem to be among their adherents. I also question why quite a few believers in these (false, IMO) apparitions tend to move and sequester themselves instead of remaining in the population at large where they could "witness" as the Bible tells us to do. Can't be a light to others if no one out of your circle is with you. I would imagine that another "fruit" of Medjugorje may be the division of families. In my experience with Medjugorje (which dates to the mid 80s), I noticed that a lot of the believers also believe in almost any ongoing visionary.

I think a lot of this stuff is where the Protestants rightly see some Catholics "worshipping" Mary and losing sight of Jesus. I do not believe that Lourdes and Fatima has the same fruit - they led to a greater understanding of Jesus and not the worship of Mary.

3 posted on 06/29/2002 6:54:11 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
It seems to me that false apparitions always lead to establishing de facto ghettos of 'believers' or at the least the false apparitions lead to an 'us and them' mentality completely at odds with the Commission of Jesus to go into all the world, preach, baptize and teach. Real apparitions produce all sorts of enduring fruit .

Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, pray for us.

4 posted on 06/29/2002 9:47:29 AM PDT by Siobhan
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To: Siobhan
Yes, and that is probably the way I personally discern my belief or not, in the apparition or revelation of the visionary. Plus, I generally have always gotten "an uneasy" feeling about some of these "visions" when I study up on them. Hard to describe, but very real to me.

I've been to Knock! It was wonderful, but I was sort of underwhelmed by the modern architecture - but most of the Catholic Churches in Ireland are the same (thanx, Henry VIII).

5 posted on 06/29/2002 9:55:45 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: Siobhan
Why are apparitions necessary at all?
6 posted on 06/29/2002 10:00:22 AM PDT by Codie
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To: american colleen
You have written a very wise reflection here. Especially the part about non-Catholics latching onto the idea that Catholics "worship" Mary. We "honor" Mary as the Mother of Jesus. Period.

I was very impressed with the article and the comparison of average time of the apparitions, age of the children, amount spoken by the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This is all very new to me; I have never really delved into it much in the past. And these comparisons give me a little bit to go on -- in looking at what the Church looks at and how it rules on these apparitions.

7 posted on 06/29/2002 11:12:16 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
This is a pretty good article on false apparitions: "False Apparitions and the Great Apostasy"

And here: "Unity Publishing" - I like this site because it has a bit on all of the "famous" apparitions.

8 posted on 06/29/2002 11:29:53 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: NYer
That is a good example of bad fruit. The person amended her life, not for love of God, but based on a lie. There are thousands of people caught up in these false apparitions. It is such a waste of time, spiritually speaking, to devote so much to lies, even if they seem to promote good.

E. Michael Jones says that the devil will cause people to do that which seems good if he can keep them from a greater good.

What happens to peoples' faith when they finally wake up and learn they have been deceived and to realize they have spent so much of their time and energy promoting falsehoods? Some of them get so desperate to bolster their flagging faith that they rebound from one false apparition or seer to another. They take donations for lies. That is fraudulent.

There is a guy on the catholic newsgroup that is so orthodox you can find nothing to fault him on except he is obsessed with some seer who says some really whacked out things. Few catholics challenge him on it and when they do, he has an answer for everything. He has made a nuisance of himself trying to get people to write to the Vatican to get the ugly business approved. There are other sinister overtones as well to the point that they are probably on a watch list of some sort.

All this from a faithful catholic who attends mass every day and does everything else right.

I should have saved some of his nonsense as a good example of how an otherwise orthodox person can get led astray.

9 posted on 06/29/2002 11:40:42 AM PDT by Aliska
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To: NYer
Here's an example of what I wrote about in my previous post; I found it in the usenet archives, posted Dec. 30, 1999:

"Saint Peter; The pronouncement will be simple, George, because you and John Mark are simple. And God is allowing me to make it, George, and my love for you and John Mark will be forever. The pronouncement will be as follows, George: In eternity, before He created His Creation, God created two creatures with immortal souls, whom He created unioned to each other, inseparable, and whom He created simultaneously. He spoke George to George and George understood and He spoke John Mark to John Mark and John Mark understood. And He said to them both, I am God. They knew and loved each other instantly and they both loved God together. And they wanted God to love them both. And they wanted God to help them to love Him more. They are two unique creatures whom God created with immortal souls, they are neither angels nor humans, they are God's two Children of Love. They have been written about throughout God's entire Holy Scripture. None of God's Creation precedes them. They are God's witnesses and they are God's creatures with immortal souls. For them is reserved, in their simplicity, the Very Especial Infinite Love of Almighty God. George is God's Child of Peace and John Mark is God's Child of Justice and they both are God's Children of Love. And there are only two of them. And they are George and John Mark. As spiritual beings with immortal souls whom God created in eternity before He created His Creation, He entered them into their human bodies, their human natures, their human presences, at the moments of conception in their mothers' wombs. They are with each other and with God for all eternity. It will be pronounced, George, verbatim. Through God's Gift of Infallibility in His Beloved Pope, John Paul II, you and John Mark will be Catholic Dogma, George. God's use of you and John Mark is so vast, George, that you both are simple. You know it is me, Saint Peter, giving you this locution and to you you experience receiving it as normal to you. It will be normal for you, George, to hold my hand and go for a walk with me, because you are a child. And John Mark is a child also. You and John Mark do many tasks for God, and you and John Mark do many errands for Him. And God is isolating His Beloved Pope, John Paul II, now, in His Gift of Infallibility. The above, Mark, is excerpted from George's Letter to Father Alexis re: God's New Priesthood of Love. It is subject to neither argumentation nor debate, it is subject to discernment. I await, as George does, the final decision of Pope John Paul II. If you decide for yourself, you don't believe in "George of George [and John Mark]", you have done exactly what I already warned you against: you have set up your own little Papacy, with Pope Mark. But, you are on the verge of being a sedevacantist anyway, so, maybe you are the real Pope. I follow John Paul II and I am admonishing you to do the same. That is it, there is no further discussion between you and me about this, ASK THE POPE."

Here's his website:

Roman Catholicism Page

Home page is very orthodox looking. You have to dig deeper. I don't know that he has made any converts to his cause; haven't checked on him lately.

Am I being sick if I see homosexual overtones/undertones in the above drivel? If so I apologize for having my mind warped by scandals.

10 posted on 06/29/2002 11:58:53 AM PDT by Aliska
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To: Aliska; Siobhan; american colleen; Salvation
Thank you all for your insightful observations on the apparitions. You have each well paraphrased what I have felt all along about Medjugorje, Garabandal, Bayside and the other sites. american colleen is absolutely correct when she notes that these followers used Medjugorje as a litmus test to judge others.

As if we didn't have enough to contend with in the church.

11 posted on 06/29/2002 1:30:42 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
A couple years ago I wrote to the diocese of Mostar and they sent me a packet of documents. I put them on the net:

Click here

Long reading but thorough.

As if we didn't have enough to contend with in the church. This is what bothers me. The sex scandals deflect from the spiritual scandals. I've been very upset for a long time that the bishops have trampled over the authority of the Bishop of Mostar and permitted the apparition industry to thrive throughout the entire world. They should be guiding us better and be clamping down on those in the flock who disseminate and promote anything that is not approved by the church.

It is the responsibility of the church all the way to the top to correctly discern and warn the faithful. Why should we have to do it?

I'm not trying to plug my website; some freepers know about it; for the sake of those who don't know the whole story about Medjugorje, I repost it occasionally.

Thanks for posting the article btw. It is excellent and long overdue. How many will read and take heed?

12 posted on 06/29/2002 1:47:42 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: NYer
I found a place on the net where I can order Bouflet's book, but with shipping and handling it is $37 USD (37,39 Euro). That's pretty steep; I'll have to wait. I'll check out Amazon.

I wish it was available in English.

13 posted on 06/29/2002 2:02:38 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: Codie
Why are apparitions necessary at all?

Catholics are not obligated to believe in any of the apparitions.

14 posted on 06/29/2002 2:10:34 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: sinkspur
Catholics are not obligated to believe in any of the apparitions.

I know that.However, the Church does believe in them,and I simply want to know why they feel they are worthy of belief.

It seems the apparitions have brought many back to the Church but also widen the gulf between Protestants and Catholics.

I'm having an extremly hard time seeing God in all this. Any guidance would be helpful.

15 posted on 06/29/2002 2:42:58 PM PDT by Codie
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: NYer
It can be argued that God is actually obliged, in a certain sense, not to give more than a certain number of prophecies, writings, apparitions, etc., if he is not to confuse people.

Indeed it can. And the "certain number" in question is zero. There are no privileged observers.

What next? A discussion on genuine versus false newage psychic hotlines?

18 posted on 06/30/2002 8:50:37 PM PDT by John Locke
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To: NYer
Thank you very much,NYer for this most timely post.I do not feel comfortable with Medjurge,even though,in the beginning I believed in it,as did The Wanderer.In fact it was in the Wanderer that I first heard about it.There's been some very disturbing things reported about Medjurge,which I don't want to repeat here.Needless to say,I have always believed in Fatima and Lourdes.I feel comfortable with them,knowing that the Universal Church has approved them.
19 posted on 06/30/2002 9:48:43 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: John Locke
Indeed it can. And the "certain number" in question is zero. There are no privileged observers.

Is that you God!?!?!

20 posted on 06/30/2002 9:54:05 PM PDT by american colleen
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