Medjugorje and Science


#1

A friend of mine has told me that scientific studies have been done on the Medjugorje visionaries that prove the authenticity of the phenomenon. I have read the reports but I don't see how the studies contribute anything one way or the other. Can someone explain to me how the tests and so forth were supposed to work and explain the significance of the results?


#2

Hi Diana,
no intention of being rude, and please don't take this that way,
but we are not supposed to discuss unapproved private apparitions
on these forums, and Medjugorje is one of those as yet unapproved apparitions.

That being said, I think the psychological/psychiatric tests that the reputed seers
were subjected to, were attempts to evaluate patterns of behavior and attitude
that might indicate if the seers were lying or mentally disturbed.
But the results of those tests still wouldn't prove
that it is really the Virgin Mary appearing to the seers.
That is outside the realm of scientific inquiry.


#3

[quote="Jaypeeto4, post:2, topic:249582"]
Hi Diana, no intention of being rude, and please don't take this that way, but we are not supposed to discuss unapproved private apparitions on these forums, and Medjugorje is one of those as yet unapproved apparitions. That being said, I think the psychological/psychiatric tests that the reputed seers were subjected to, were attempts to evaluate patterns of behavior and attitude that might indicate if the seers were lying or mentally disturbed. But the results of those tests still wouldn't prove that it is really the Virgin Mary appearing to the seers. That is outside the realm of scientific inquiry.

[/quote]

No I understand. This isn't about an unapproved private apparition, it's about the studies. When I read the reports I wasn't able to grasp what the investigators were getting at. Nobody hooked up Bernadette or Lucia to an electroencephalogram or tallied the numbers of times they blinked to generate a body of medical literature for future investigations of this sort of thing. What would an EEG show anyway?


#4

[quote="Jaypeeto4, post:2, topic:249582"]
but we are not supposed to discuss unapproved private apparitions on these forums, and Medjugorje is one of those as yet unapproved apparitions.

[/quote]

Actually, the rule is that we are not allowed to promote these apparitions. We are free to be critical of them (and a number of threads have done so), and we are free to discuss them or ask questions about them if doing so does not promote them. For example, asking the names of the alleged visionaries is perfectly OK.

This question is a gray area, IMHO. The question is within the boundaries of the forum rules, but an answer extolling this "scientific evidence" could easily be considered promotion. In many cases the questions are OK, but then somebody jumps in with a reply which goes against CAF rules.

However, participants are free to question the validity of this evidence - which I would still consider to be on-topic for this question, even though doing so would require that the specific evidence be cited (yet it is done in a critical manner - unless it's just sham criticism).

I'll let a mod sort it out.


#5

Donal Foley`s book: "Understanding Medjugorje: Heaven Visions or Religious Illusion?" has a chapter titled: "Medical and Scientific Investigations".
The second last paragraph says:

Thus the conclusion regarding all the various tests to which the Medjugorje visionaries have been subject, is that none of them categorically demonstrates that their experiences are supernatural - indeed, this is in any case impossible to verify scientifically - nor have they been able to determine whether or not the visionaries have been lying......

The last paragraph says:

As we have seen, then, there is clear evidence to suggest that the initial stages of the visions at Medjugorje were diabolically inspired, but as time went on there does seem to have been far less activity of that sort there. Thus, the later ecstasies at Medjugorje seem to have had more of a human element in them, and the conclusion that they are largely self-induced trances seems more likely. Of course, if individuals claim to see visions, then, as in the case of those who desire signs and wonders, this in itself opens up the possibility, if not the certainty, of diabolical intervention. Thus, the later activities of the Medjugorje visionaries during their trances may well have also unwittingly been subject to diabolical influence.

Lie detector tests were carried out. Donal Foley says:

But there is no consesus that such tests are accurate or scientific. They are subjective and rely on changes in emotional responses; it is quite possible for someone who is telling the truth to be falsely accused of lying, and conversely for a determined liar to avoid detection. For the above reasons, evidence obtained from lie detector tests is generally inadmissible in American courts, and in those of a number of other countries.

If theres anything else specific, lets know.
Right now, though, it might pay to stop quoting, before i end up typing out the entire chapter! :D


#6

The forum content rules state, "Do not post material from unapproved private revelations." The way I read this is we may discuss private revelations, but just not post any material from private revelations. If I'm reading this wrong, could one of the forum moderators please correct me?

This is an important distinction. Discussion with the intention of uncovering the truth is a good thing, as we all need to be seekers of the Truth.

Inquiry into Medjugorje is a good thing, especially when grounded in faith and knowledge that nothing is impossible for God, that God lifts up the lowly (Mary) and reveals the hidden mysteries of the kingdom to mere children, while hiding them from the proud.

Humbly,

Mike


#7

[quote="_Mike, post:6, topic:249582"]
The forum content rules state, "Do not post material from unapproved private revelations." The way I read this is we may discuss private revelations, but just not post any material from private revelations. If I'm reading this wrong, could one of the forum moderators please correct me?

This is an important distinction. Discussion with the intention of uncovering the truth is a good thing, as we all need to be seekers of the Truth.

Inquiry into Medjugorje is a good thing, especially when grounded in faith and knowledge that nothing is impossible for God, that God lifts up the lowly (Mary) and reveals the hidden mysteries of the kingdom to mere children, while hiding them from the proud.

Humbly,

Mike

[/quote]

Not posting material from unapproved private revelations means we cannot discuss the contents and substance of them.


#8

I actually have a question about medjugorje.. If it is real then how are you to know that it actually is the virgin mary every time? Not to sounds to mean or anything, but isnt the devil going to tempt us and do things to try and rid us of our faith? By having so many people devoted to mary they are forcusing away from Jesus, could this be the case?


#9

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h244/corona_stellarum/Smilies/nun_slapping_ruler_hg_clr-1.gif

**This apparition has been discerned not to be supernatural and so is not allowed to be promoted.

Therefore, any post that quotes from it or opposes the discernment of the church will result in moderator intervention**. :onpatrol:


#10

[quote="NorthTexan88, post:8, topic:249582"]
I actually have a question about medjugorje.. If it is real then how are you to know that it actually is the virgin mary every time? Not to sounds to mean or anything, but isnt the devil going to tempt us and do things to try and rid us of our faith?

[/quote]

Youre right; "and therein lies the danger". Thats why we** MUST **follow the Church.

By having so many people devoted to mary they are forcusing away from Jesus, could this be the case?

No: proper Marian devotion means that the exact opposite should happen.

The "Me n Jesus" mentality of a lot of Protestants is selfish, and stunted. The Church is a Family, with a Father, our Kinsman-Redeemer eldest Brother (Jesus), all of the Baptised brothers and sisters, including those in Purgatory and home in Heaven, and a (spiritual) mother. Those in Heaven can pray for us.

The danger faced by foolish people chasing after unapproved phenomena is touched on here:

catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7724

Notice that he says that the devout can be tricked by being fed good stuff which has error subtly woven into it.

Please remember that the Church teaches that Public Revelation ceased when Saint John the Evangelist died. Apart from the recipients of Private Revelations, and, of course, only if they believe it to be authentic, NO ONE **is required to believe it. Private Revelation **CANNOT add anything to the Deposit of Faith.


#11

I am not discussing the content or substance of Medjugorje here, but am suggesting that we not be too hasty and rush to judgment based on fear or incomplete or worse - incorrect - information.

I agree we must follow the Church. However, Medjugorje is still under investigation by the Megjugorje Commission, which was established in 2010 by the Holy See:
medjugorje.org/faq.htm#no16

We should approach private revelations with a healthy dose of skepticism, as Paul says, test every Spirit, but also with humility and faith, knowing that God often uses the lowly to confound the proud. Or like the Pharisees, we too, just might end up failing to see the forest through the trees.

Humbly,

Mike :)


#12

[quote="Fink, post:5, topic:249582"]
Donal Foley`s book...

[/quote]

Well those were his conclusions. What was his analysis of the tests?


#13

[quote="_Mike, post:11, topic:249582"]
We should approach private revelations with a healthy dose of skepticism...

[/quote]

How would the sorts of tests done on the Medjugorje seers contribute to our understanding?


#14

Basically, the tests were inconclusive.

Some basic tests were done by psychiatrists on 27th and 29th June 1981, but inconclusive.

He says that the diocesan authorities didn`t think it worth while doing tests, because they thought the whole thing was false, anyway.

Basically, tests carried out by others were inconclusive, as well. You`d have to read the actual chapter, to see what i mean.

Some pro-Medjugorje group put out a DVD, claiming that the authenticity of it had been proved. Not so, apparently. i saw the DVD in 2006, but it was destroyed by a fire, so theres no way to compare it with Donal Foleys conclusions.

During an alleged apparation, a one-time “believer” moved two of his fingers towards Vicka`s eyes, and she moved back slightly. It was caught on video. Vicka later said that “Our Lady” was holding the Infant, and it looked as if He was going to fall. Vicka moved back in fright! At exactly the same time that the fingers were being moved towards her eyes?

Diane Korzeniewski`s “Te Deum Laudamus” site has some general stuff, plus a lot of links. She used to believe in it.

Bishop Peric`s diocesan website is worth perusing.

No scientific test could be definite/definitive.
A conclusion has to be reached at the supernatural level.


#15

Yes, I am aware of the conclusions. But it is the *tests themselves *that I do not understand. For example I have never heard of an “algometer”, mentioned in one of the reports. Is this a common tool of an apparition specialist? What does it do and what does it measure? The internet says it is a device for measuring pain or something. Why would someone want to measure pain? And what difference does it make if somebody poked Vicka in the eye? What was poking her in the eye supposed to test for?


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