Saturday, August 18, 2012

Isn't it time to put an end to the Međugorje fraud?

Being someone who happens to be a kid born in Canada of parents from Croatia, this is bound to ruffle some feathers including some within my "ethnic group".    But it's way past time to put logic into the alleged three decades long non-stop apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Međugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina (B and H) -- and say once and for all what a lot of people want to say:    The whole thing is a fraud.

The whole sordid thing started way back on June 24. 1981, the feast of St. John the Baptist.    (That's a red flag right there.)    It started with three "visionaries" and has since expanded to six.  It would be fine if there had been a limited number of "appearances".   But non stop for 31 years straight almost daily?   That's about 7,500 give or take.

Those who have flocked to this former weigh station claim to feel a "presence" that's there.   They believe it was the Virgin Mary that freed both Croatia and Slovenia from the "clutches" of Serbia (even though the Eastern Orthodox churches also have a high degree of devotion to the mother of Jesus); and as proof they point to, among other things, a mortar shell that plied upright into the ground near the local parish but  did not explode.   (Um, the Balkan War actually put an end to "duds"?)

But there are a few other problems.   It's not that the first wave of visions during the last half of 1981 started an extremely lengthy row between the Franciscan order and the cadre of priests employed directly by the relevant diocese and who controlled the particular parish in question here.    Nor is it the occasional "dancing of the sun" -- the same fraudulent phenomena that allegedly occurred at Fátima , Portugal, in 1917.   (I'll explain why I think it was a fake in a moment).

Consider too, some of the following outrageous prophecies made at Međugorje (Source: -- and keep in mind, these are just some of the whoppers -- and none of which happened:
  •  Then Pope John Paul II would be forced out in a putsch and exiled to Turkey, where maybe a third of one percent of the population are Catholics, most of them from the Eastern rites and perhaps a few thousand are part of the Western or Roman rite.
  • Germany and the US would both collapse.   There's still a US.  And East and West Germany along with the free city of West Berlin not only all reunited, but the fused country also agreed de facto to share its currency with any other state that wanted it, hence the Euro (which, bizarrely, B and H has adopted unilaterally as its own currency with protest but no sanctions from Frankfurt).
  • There would be a lasting peace in Yugoslavia.    Ha!   The country was torn apart in a bloody war.   B and H effectively operates as a confederation of two states with a shared capital -- not unlike Belgium although the latter uses fighting words instead of the sword.  Even the two republics that were majority Catholic, Croatia and Slovenia, wasn't quite that hunky-dory until very recently and the once open border was slammed shut when Slovenia got into the EU much earlier (2004) than Croatia (admission will be mid-2013).    Serbia is probably next (say, 2015) but it will be 2020 at the earliest before B and H qualifies.   Add in Macedonia -- and the country will be put back together, de facto, although as part of a semi-federal Europe stretching from Ireland and the UK to Finland and Estonia.   The peace will be one of economic necessity, not because of an "Ebony and Ivory" spirit.
Oh yeah, and there was the time when the "Virgin" appeared first as Satan, then suddenly transformed into the Virgin, saying something like, "Sorry, I made a mistake."   Protestants would agree she wouldn't make a mistake like that -- 2 Corinthians 11:14.   Even St. Bernadette Soubirous, who led a virtuous life but had a highly suspect series of visions in Lourdes, France (I think she was hallucinating), was quick to point this out to the Gendarmerie, the French national police.   When one of its officers suggested she was seeing Satan, Bernadette said, "The Devil is not as beautiful as she."    Precisely.

Back to the "dancing of the sun."   I don't know about Međugorje (which has taken it to ridiculous levels), but even what happened in Fátima is also highly suspicious and for this reason:   When Jesus was dared by the Pharisees to perform a sign from the sky, Jesus said the only sign they would see is the miracle of Jonah (three days in the Earth followed by a comeback) -- Matthew 12:39.   A reasonable person would point out that if Jesus refused to force a cosmic disturbance, why would his mother?   There's no doubt something happened that day -- too many eyewitnesses to suggest otherwise.   But it was Satan who did that -- not Mary or her Son.
A special commission by the current Pope, Benedict XVI, was formed two years ago.   Common sense dictates that this series of "apparitions" and "messages"should be called out for what they are -- a fraud.   There's simply no evidence of the supernatural (non constat de supernaturalitate), and there is evidence of no supernatural activity (constat de non supernaturalitate).

In short, the six are all con artists -- and the commission should recommend that they be kicked out of the Church.

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