Friday, 11 May 2007

Medjugorje pilgrimage

Sean (a fifth year seminarian) has just given me a CD with some photographs on it of our trip to Medjugorje which we were fortunate enough to be able to go on just after Easter. I was very impressed by the place. I'm not 100% convinced either way whether I believe that the apparitions are taking place or not, it certainly seems very real when you listen to the people who have experienced apparitions. One thing is certain though, it's bringing people to a deeper relationship with Christ and His Blessed Mother. The devotion of the locals and the pilgrims is very edifying; the prayer, the fasting, the joy - it is certainly a radical call to conversion.


Pilgrim said...

Not sure about the Medjugorje apparitions? I suppose it all boils down to whether you think the visionaries are liars or not. It’s as simple as that. You take your choice.

But if it is all one big lie, the work of evil, isn’t it strange how you can recognise that people are returning to Christ because of it?

Now if Medjugorje was the work of satan, of evil, would souls be queueing up in this way to reconcile with God?

EA Seminarians said...

Thank you, pilgrim, for leaving your comment.

I think you're right that the indications are that all that is happening in Medjugorje is the work of God in bringing his people back to him through the work of Mary. You're reasononing about the fruit being a guarantee of the authenticity certain sits well with every good Catholic's sensus fidei, their sense of what is authentic truth or not within the faith. The immediate question that always comes to my mind though is, why doesn't the local Bishop see it like that? I understand that he is not convinced by what is happening at Medjugorje? Perhaps you can shed some light on the matter?

Pilgrim said...

The local bishop does not believe in the authenticity of the Medjugorje apparitions. But the Vatican has stated that these are his personal views and do not reflect any official judgement. He is of the opinion that the visionaries are telling lies. He is entitled to his opinion. His predecessor was also of the same opinion, but not at first. He made a very public statement from the pulpit saying that the visionaries were not telling lies. This is documented. However, the imprisonment of parish priest at the time, Fr Jozo, by the then communist authorities, did a very good job of persuading the bishop to rethink his position.

It should be made clear that there is no problem with the bishop of the Mostar diocese and the Franciscans of Medjugorje. They work there with his permission and agreement. All the building work undertaken by the parish in the past years is done so with the blessing and permission of the bishop. All he Mass stipends paid to the Medjugorje parish office are also collected by the bishop and re-distributed among the diocese.

From your own visit you will see that Medjugorje is a place where the Sacraments of the Church are very much alive, in particular, Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Medjugorje is Sacramental in every sense.