How do I talk to my godmother about Medjugorje

I have this great friend who helped me enter the Church and later became someone very close to the rest of my family. She helped me enter the Church while I was in high school and she is a very faithful Christian. However, she has a devotion to the supposed apparition which has appeared in Medjugorje. I’ll admit, at first I believed what was said of Medjugorje because I heard only of the good fruits and a lot of the women who helped me into the Church also believed in the messages and apparition.
I’ve been going through a spiritual journey after eight years of being a lukewarm Catholic and two years as a New Age pagan. I revisited Medjugorje with new, more mature eyes and discovered some of the things I was never told about that place.
Rather than being the well-spring of virtue and hope, there are a lot of problems coming out of Medjugorje. I don’t want to start a debate about it, but there’s a LOT of bad fruit poisoning the well. Disappointment Franciscan monks, some of whom have been defrocked and started a cult, have had their ability to hear confession and recite Mass stripped away, and have a streak of pro-Croatia nationalism. The visionaries aren’t much better as they don’t behave like other visionaries of Mary such as Bernadette, Juan Diego, or Lucia. They live in big expensive house and drive fancy cars. There’s a lot of other things I could mention, but I’ll stop here.
How do I talk to my godmother about the problems of Medjugorje? I don’t want to hurt her feelings or seem like a know it all to the person who helped bring me into the faith. How do I talk to the sweet older ladies at the only Christian good store about why their promotion of Medjugorje is hurting people, spiritually, than doing them any good? I hold my tongue when I walk and see their display of goods brought over from Medjugorje, but knowing that it’s very likely that the place is full of lies and distractions upsets me. What should I say?

Just so you’re aware:

The Vatican has not ruled on the Apparitions.


…and I doubt they will make a ruling for a very long time. Tourism, trinket and book sales, and chances to see the visionaries during an apparition are now the financial staples of the one time poor farming community! The church may be fearing a serious schism if they are ordered to stop.

The now permitted pilgrimages are journeys to a place of prayer, not an approved vision site. The two bishops who have been in charge of the diocese have both said it was false. Archbishop Hozer, the official Vatican visitor, has repeatedly said that his job is purely pastoral…his job is not to investigate the ‘visions’ or the ‘visionaries’.

Although the latest investigation has said that the first ten days ‘merit further investigation’, it seems as if no one is investigating. And, if he wants to eventually make a negative judgment, all the pope has to do is nothing…the Zadar declaration, made by the then Yugoslavian bishops in 1991, says that it cannot be determined that anything supernatural has ever happened in Medj.

I could say quite a few things, too, but would not want to debate, and the links to most of the sources I have have almost all been posted elsewhere on these forums. To the OP: just tell your godmother that no local bishops have ever approved this, and, in past experiences with apparitions, true or false, obedience has always made the visionary’s virtue shine…yes, even when the bishop has been wrong!

Keep praying for your godmother and others like her, that the truth will eventually become apparent. Quite a few one-time believers have realized the truth!

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I don’t believe in apparitions but then I wouldn’t because I have yet to conclude there is anything non-material. However it seems that your argument is based on a lack of congruity with other previous apparitions and the behaviour of the seers.

In logic it seems to me that an apparition that ‘behaved’ in an identical or very similar way to a previous apparition is more, rather than less, likely to be real.

This is because anyone faking it would naturally try to appeal to those most likely to believe - people who believe another apparitions.

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Sadly, there is nothing new in the involvement of the Franciscans of Croatia with nationalist and racist extremism.

You should disabuse her because it is not good for people to believe unwarranted things and only leads to increasing gullibility. They should be encouraged to use critical thinking skills.

People have been going there when they were not supposed to. Out of charity, a decision was made that instead of having these people be in objective sin for disobeying their priest or bishop and going to the site, that it would be allowed for ‘all’ to visit. Doesn’t say one single thing about whether the site is approved, not approved, worthy of belief, not worthy of belief --only an act of charity because the primary sin of this age is DISOBEDIENCE, and this is an attempt to lessen that sin regarding this particular site IMO.

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Do you need to? Maybe you can just let it rest.


Medjugorge has not been approved and there are many issues with it and it bothers me that I walk into Catholic Churches and see these things like articles on the newest miracles left around the church. Why did these seers not become priests or religious? That is kind of a show of their sincerity I think.
It is an unapproved private revelation and Catholics are better off going to approved sites until a final judgement comes out.

If it’s allowed it’s allowed.

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There’s nothing in Church teaching that says we should judge seers by whether they become priests/religious.


As long as she is keeping this as a personal thing, not out trying to convince others or hosting the “seers”, I’d simply let it be.


Yes but one must be careful not to assume that because something is, temporarily, allowed after a rather long time of being discouraged or outright forbidden, that the reason it is allowed is ‘it’s been decided, it’s really good’.

If my doctor told me that I was allowed to eat sugar (I’m prediabetic) because he knew from experience and from the various experts in diabetes that telling me I was NOT allowed would probably have me cheating and taking in MORE sugar than if I knew I could handle small amounts–and yes, this is the accepted wisdom–I would not, I trust, be so stupid as to assume I could consume sugar until the cows come home because, “I’m ALLOWED to, the DOCTOR says so”. Because let’s face it, medical knowledge changes. It could be, as we understand more about endocrinology, that at a given point the AMA could decide, “Hey, you know, loosening up the dietary sugar guidelines as we did unfortunately led to some people going hogwild; we had better reissue guidelines based on what people are doing, and that means we need to drastically reduce the sugar allowance of diabetics and prediabetics”. And. . .well, I guess you can certainly extrapolate from that regarding this particular site allowance.


The pope doesn’t fear schism. That can’t be a reason.


How much money do they make from these visions every year? Just curious.
It is not approved. This shouldn’t even be allowed to be discussed seeing as the forum rules state unapproved apparitions or revelation cannot be discussed.

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And where did I say otherwise?

Where did you hear this?

I’m not trying to bait you. I really want to know if there is such a statement, published by a reliable source.

And, I never said that the pope, or any Vatican authority, had made such a statement. I only meant it is reasonable to guess that such people may be concerned about tanking the local economy! It is reasonable to take into account the aftermath of a decision against the apparitions. After all, many had been disobeying the local bishop for decades!

I truly hope that it doesn’t come to that point. But, from all that I’ve heard and read, it’s a possibility! Just hoping that those in authority will continue to keep the peoples’ needs in sight. Without compromising their integrity.

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Quite shocking, but true. Here is a comprehensive article on the role of the Franciscans in the area:

Note: This is more balanced. It acknowledges the fact that the Franciscans were the first evangelists…they converted generations…they built the first churches…

But, when Pope Paul ordered them to hand over their parishes to the diocese, he was only following church protocol: Hand the parishes over to the bishop, who would then appoint pastors. It’s what has always been done, once successful evangelism has produced a stable catholic Christian population.

As to racism, try and look up ‘Surmanci’ . It’s almost walking distance from Medj!

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I think have given a wrong impression about the Franciscans in the area of Medjugorje. The vast majority, I’ve heard, are obedient to the pope and the authorities of their order. Even in the older days, they stayed in Herzegovina when other religious left. I’ve never been to Medj, or Croatia, or even close, but from what I have read and heard, the majority of this order have been hard working and faithful to the local authorities. Even the bishops have praised the local order, as a whole.

The small minority that encouraged disobedience were, for a long time, just called ‘the Franciscans’ and did give the authorities a hard time. But, I believe, most have been sent away, or defrocked. It was never a ‘Franciscans VS. the bishop’ scenario, as many books and pamphlets published during the Bosnian wars depicted. It was a small faction, who didn’t want to give up their own power, that made up most of the so-called scenarios.

I kind of wrote this in a hurry, as I didn’t want to let this thread close on a negative note (just noticed we have only a day left, to create it)). Some even say that the Franciscan’s traditional habits have become a highlight of any tour!

Go ahead and talk to her about it. I’m sure she would like to know that you are concerned. She may be able to tell you why she believes the way she does.

I think it should also be noted that in 35 years the Church has not condemned the apparitions.

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