Medjugorje supporters: defense by distraction


Kevin Symonds went to work today on one of the internet spin-meisters for Medjugorje. On his blog Desiderium, Kevin fisks a pretty typical piece written in defense of the dodgy apparition in Herzegovina.

I have to wonder if the supporters realize how weak their case is: they seem to have little defense to any critique about the visionaries and their messages.

When somebody points to problems at the core of the phenomenon, the defenders rush to distract attention by pointing to "fruits" on the periphery.

The people experiencing those "fruits" are outsiders: visitors with little involvement in the phenomenon. But when you look at the core of the phenomenon and stick to the core, you find a bunch of alleged seers, all of whom make a living off the alleged apparition. You find so-called messages that, due to their content, can never be plausibly be called celestial.

There are cases of so-called seers passing off their own thoughts and imaginings as messages and visions from Heaven: for example, in the cases where the visionaries at Medjugorje had "apparitions" of their associates who were away, such as Ivan at seminary or Fr. Zovko in jail. In both cases, the visions were accompanied by messages about the status of those persons, but facts later contradicted those claims.

When you look at the core group, you find manipulation, self-editing, refusal to cooperate in official theological investigations and unofficial medical tests, and even some clear cases of lying.

The hard-line supporters pretend not to see that -- but look at these nice seminarians over here! but look at these nice people going to confession! but look at the good deeds this person did in the US after he went to Medjugorje! but look at these foreign bishops who think it's real!

This is pretty dense, and disappointing when all this evasion comes from someone who's supposed to be a grad student studying religion.


And Richard, what are your credentials again to make you such an authority on the subject? Oh, that's right, you read some books and blogs and are outspoken. OK, that makes you an authority on the subject. Good thing we have you to set the Vatican, Cardinals and current commission straight on this one!

I'd rather listen to the Bishop and Rome than to supporters of apparitions. The Fourth Commandment is a wonderful thing and every Catholic who knows the Catholic Faith has no trouble understanding and applying the Fourth Commandment to their lives. Like I've always said, ignorance is a key factor to sin, while catechesis is a key factor to love. Those Catholcs without catechesis can be easily fooled, while those Catholics with good catechesis cannot. Yet truth is not truth without love, so those who teach or are taught well yet do not apply the Church's teachings to their lives are just as bad as those who are taught poorly and live with poor consciences.

How does the standard you are setting for seers relate to Judas and Peter? Does their behavior negate the Truth of seeing Jesus?

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Richard Chonak

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Chonak published on June 9, 2010 5:33 PM.

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