Međugorski Fenomen
27. February 2017.
Foto:
Međugorje 30 June 1981

Since “the Church of the living God” is “the pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Timothy 3:15), the goal of all past research on the “Medjugorje phenomena” has been to determine the truth: are the apparitions authentic or not? Constat vel non de supernaturalitate? This has been the goal of the first diocesan commission in Mostar (1982 - 1984), the extended commission (1984 - 1986), the commission of the Bishops’ Conference in Zagreb (1987 - 1990), the commission of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in the Vatican (2010 - 2014) and the evaluation of the same Congregation (2014 - 2016), as designated by Pope Benedict XVI. It is all now in the hands of the Holy Father Pope Francis.

The position of this Chancery throughout all this time has been clear and resolute: this is not an authentic apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Although there has been some talk at times that the apparitions during the first days might be considered true, then many “additional” unreligious elements came forth tied to these events, however, this Chancery has always promoted the truth regarding the first days. After copying and transcribing the audiocassettes of the talks of the pastoral staff in the parish rectory of Medjugorje with the boys and girls who claimed to see the Virgin Mary, we bring forward with conviction and responsibility, the reasons and findings regarding the inauthenticity of the alleged apparitions. And if the real Madonna, the Mother of Jesus, did not appear as she has not – then all of this regards self-proclaimed seers, ostensible messages, a so-called visible sign and alleged secrets.

During the years of my service as a bishop, firstly as a coadjutor bishop (1992/93), and then as the Ordinary, through my preaching, the publishing of books (Prijestolje mudrosti 1995, Ogledalo pravde 2001, Isusova majka 2015) and some fifty Marian and Mariological articles, I strived to explain the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the incarnation and the  mission of the Son of God, and her Son as well, as her providential intercession for the Church to which she is the Mother by grace. At the same time, I pointed out, as did my predecessor of blessed memory, Bishop Pavao Žanić, the inauthenticity of the Medjugorje apparitions that have now reached 47 thousand. This Chancery has always sought to inform the Holy See, especially the recent Popes: Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis on these events. We have, therefore, summarized here some points regarding the first days of the “apparitions” which convince us deeply of the inauthenticity of the “apparitions”.

An ambiguous apparition. The woman who allegedly appeared in Medjugorje acts contrary to the real Madonna, Mother of God, as in the apparitions the Church has recognized as authentic. She regularly does not speak first, laughs in a strange way, disappears after some questions, and then comes back again, she’s submissive to the “seers” and the pastor: comes down from the hill to the church (although reluctantly). She is not sure of how long she will be appearing, she allows some of the people present to step on her veil, which is dragging on the ground, and to touch her garments and her body. This is not the Madonna from the Gospels.

A strange quiver. One of the “seers”, Ivan Dragićević, during a talk with the chaplain Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo OFM (1936 - 1991) said he noticed, during the first day of the apparition, a “quiver” of the hands of the vision.[1] What kind of “quiver”? This cannot arouse just a suspicion, but also a deep conviction that this is not an authentic apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, even though the apparition apparently presents itself this way already on the fourth day.[2]

A false anniversary. The alleged apparitions began on 24 June 1981. However, the directors of the “Medjugorje phenomena” decided that the anniversary should not be celebrated on the 24th but the 25th of June. The reason behind this choice is that on 25 June 1981, allegedly, all six “seers” were present for the “apparition” – the chosen six amongst the many who in those days bragged about having “apparitions”. The real truth, which repudiates Vicka Ivanković’s version, has been said by Ivan Dragićević himself: “I was there the first night, not the second”.[3] Of the six of the usual “seers” (except for Marija Pavlović), Jakov Čolo was present at the apparition for the first time on the second day.[4] Therefore, the date of the anniversary is unfounded, inaccurate and false.

The (in)visible child. The figure that allegedly appears as a woman had been portrayed differently. Some of the “seers” saw a covered child in the hands of the woman. These were Vicka and Ivanka Ivanković[5], Mirjana Dragićević[6], and Ivanka confirmed it again[7]. Ivan, however, firmly denies seeing the child, while on the contrary, he could see from a distance the “eyes” and “eyelashes” of a female figure.[8]

A deceitful sign. The “seers” have, since day two, asked the vision for a “sign” as proof of  an authentic apparition. According to Ivanka, the “sign” of the apparition was a rotation of the watch on Mirjana’s hand: “the watch turned around completely”. “She left a sign on the watch!”[9] A most ridiculous and strange sign!

But, when frequently asked to give a visible sign, the apparition would smile and disappear on a regular basis.[10] Sometimes she returned instantly. At one moment, a layman named Marinko, who leads the “seers”, intrudes and suggests to them: if the Madonna cannot give a sign she “should ask Jesus to help her”.[11]

Ivanka is sure the apparition will leave a sign on the hill, maybe in the form of water.[12] We  have been waiting for nearly four decades, and there has been no sign, no water – only fabrications!

An unexplained silence. During the first seven days, the apparition takes no initiatives and never starts to talk first.[13] It responds to the questions of the “seers” in general, in a dubious way, nodding its head[14], postponing, promising a healing miracle and leaving a message to the world: “The people should firmly believe as if they see me”. And to the Franciscans: “They should firmly believe” [that she appeared].[15]

Strange messages. During the first days, according to the tape-recorded conversations, no purpose of the alleged apparitions can be seen: the apparition did not justify itself, did not give any special message for the “seers” or the Franciscans, except to believe that she “appeared”, or for the faithful of the parish or the world. Yet the private “messages” are of this kind:

Ivanka’s mother, who died two months before, sends a message: “Listen to grandma because she’s old”.

The apparition says to Mirjana that her late “grandpa is alright” and that she “has to go to the cemetery”.

Ivanka heard from the apparition that the motive of the “apparitions” in Medjugorje is “because there is a lot of faithful”.

Vicka heard the apparition came so “the people would reconcile”.[16]

Ivan heard it say: “You are the greatest believers”.[17]

Jakov simply says: “Listen, when I ask a question, inside me I think what she would say and then she says it the way I was thinking she would”.[18] Nothing other than imaginations and fabrications!

False prophecies on false apparitions. When Ivanka asks how long it will stay and appear, the apparition answers: “As much as you want, as much as you like.”[19]

Mirjana says she will ask the apparition how many days it will appear and then adds that some voice from within her says it will still appear “2-3 days”. She repeats that once more.[20]

When the pastor, Fr. Zovko, asked when the “apparitions” will stop; Vicka answers: “I think it is the same as if we were to say that we would never come again, but that she leave us some sort of precise sign, it would surely stop”.[21] Does this mean: since the desired “sign” has not occurred in 37 years, the “apparitions” are not stopping!

Then a categorical statement of the apparition came, which “appeared” not in Medjugorje but  in neighbouring Cerno, on Tuesday afternoon of 30 June 1981, that it would appear “three more days”: on 1, 2, 3 July 1981. Actually, in answering the pastor’s question on how long it will appear, five of the “seers”, except for Ivan, answered unanimously: “Three days”.

Then the apparition changes its mind and “appears” nonstop for 37 years: to three “seers” every day (Ivan, Marija and Vicka) and to the other three once a year (to Mirjana since 1982, to Ivanka since 1985 and to Jakov since 1998). Apart from that, to two of the seers of the group, the “apparition” occurs once a month since 2007 (with “messages” to the world): to Mirjana on the 2nd and to Marija on the 25th of each month.

Different dresses. From the interviews with the “seers” the apparition is dressed in different ways. She had a dress that was:

according to Ivan “blue”, on the first day[22],

according to Ivanka “brown”, on the second day[23],

according to other “seers” Jakov[24], Mirjana[25] and Ivanka “grey” on the sixth day[26].

More nervousness than peace. Some anxious nervousness could be observed when the three “seers” Ivanka, Mirjana and Vicka “fainted” and fell on the ground on the third day, 26 June. “They fainted but nothing happened to me” Marija courageously said of herself.[27] Vicka: “Father, I went up there and brought with me some blessed salt and holy water. And I said: if it’s not Our Lady it will leave. We will sprinkle some and see. Really, we will see. I came and began: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. If you are Our Lady, stay among us, if you are not, go!”[28] There is a constant request for a visible “sign” for people to believe them. The sign is mentioned in most conversations[29] and it can be noticed that the “seers” are nervous because there is no visible sign.

Scandalous touches. Something very unusual and serious: the apparition allows someone from the crowd to step on not only her veil that extends to the ground,[30] but also to touch her body. Vicka had been touching her on the second day already. “And when you touch her, Father, your fingers bounce back like this”.[31] Ivanka repeats the same and adds that, touching her body, she feels that “the air is something like silk, our fingers move back like this, when we touch her, they move away”.[32] They allowed a doctor to touch the apparition: “And, look, she touched her dress”.[33] Those stories of touching the alleged body of the Madonna, her dress and stepping on her veil create in us the feeling and the belief that it is something undignified, inauthentic and scandalous. We can only say: This is not the Catholic Madonna!

Intentional manipulations. The interlocutor of the “seers”, Father Jozo Zovko, parish priest, is nervous because

the apparition does not send specific messages to the world and the Franciscans,

because she does not move from the hill to the church where her statue is located,

moreover, he asks can Our Lady be “obliged” – literally! – to come down to appear in the church. Fr. Zovko: “But I want to know this, Mirjana: if Our Lady does not appear in the church, can you oblige her to show herself in church, maybe she can, what do you think?” Mirjana: “I do not know. We never thought of that”. Fr. Zovko repeats: “I think she can oblige: ‘Our Lady, I ask of you to appear in the church’, what do you think?” And then Mirjana gives in and thinks it would “still be better that way because the police would not look for us then…”[34] And like that, with manipulations, the “apparitions” move to the parish church on 1 July 1981. This “obliging” of the alleged Madonna to come down and appear in the church is playing with magic and not Christ’s Gospel.

Conclusion. The work of the commission on the “Medjugorje phenomena” in Mostar was followed by a statement of Bishop Pavao Žanić in Međugorje, 25 July 1987. The purpose of the Bishop’s statement was to clearly point out that there are no supernatural apparitions and revelations in Medjugorje. After the work of the commission in Zagreb, a declaration was issued by the Bishops’ Conference, in Zadar, on 1 April 1991. It said: on the basis of studies made so far, it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations.

Considering everything this Chancery studied and researched so far, including the study of the first seven days of the alleged apparitions, we can calmly claim: Our Lady did not appear in Medjugorje! That is the truth we hold on to, and we believe in the Lord’s word that “the truth will set us free” (John 8:32).

+Ratko Perić, Bishop

 


[1] Cassette 2, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivan Dragićević, Saturday afternoon, 27 June 1981

[2] Cassette 7, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Mirjana Dragićević, Sunday morning, 28 June 1981

[3] Cassette 2, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivan Dragićević, Saturday afternoon, 27 June 1981

[4] Cassette 1, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivanka and Vicka Ivanković and Marija Pavlović, Saturday morning, 27 June 1981

[5] Cassette 1, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivanka and Vicka Ivanković and Marija Pavlović, Saturday morning, 27 June 1981

[6] Cassette 6, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Mirjana Dragićević, Saturday afternoon, 27 June 1981

[7] Cassette 11, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Ivanka Ivanković, Sunday evening, 28 June 1981

[8] Cassette 2, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivan Dragićević, Saturday afternoon, 27 June 1981

[9] Cassette 1, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivanka and Vicka Ivanković and Marija Pavlović, Saturday morning, 27 June 1981

[10] Cassette 10, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Mirjana Dragićević, Sunday evening, 28 June 1981

[11] Cassette 13, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Ivanka Ivanković, Tuesday afternoon, 30 June 1981

[12] Cassette 13, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Ivanka Ivanković, Tuesday afternoon, 30 June 1981

[13] Cassette 13, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Ivanka Ivanković, Tuesday afternoon, 30 June 1981

[14] Cassette 1, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivanka and Vicka Ivanković and Marija Pavlović, Saturday morning, 27 June 1981

[15] Cassette 11, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Ivanka Ivanković, Sunday evening, 28 June 1981

[16] Cassette 1, all the quotes from conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivana and Vicka Ivanković and Marija Pavlović, Saturday morning, 27 June 1981

[17] Cassette 2, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivan Dragićević, Saturday afternoon, 27 June 1981

[18] Cassette 16, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – five „seers“, Tuesday evening, 30 June 1981

[19] Cassette 13, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Ivanka Ivanković, Tuesday morning, 30 June 1981

[20] Cassette 14, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Mirjana Dragićević, Tuesday morning, 30 June 1981

[21] Cassette 15, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Vicka Ivanković, Tuesday morning, 3 June 1981

[22] Cassette 2, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivan Dragićević, Saturday afternoon, 27 June 1981

[23] Cassette 1, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivanka and Vicka Ivanković and Marija Pavlović, Saturday morning, 27 June 1981

[24] Cassette 5, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Jakov Čolo, Saturday afternoon, 27 June 1981

[25] Cassette 6, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Mirjana Dragićević, Saturday afternoon, 27 June 1981

[26] Cassette 11, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Ivanka Ivanković, Sunday evening, 28 June 1981

[27] Cassette 1, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivanka and Vicka Ivanković and Marija Pavlović, Saturday morning, 27 June 1981

[28] Cassette 1, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivanka and Vicka Ivanković and Marija Pavlović, Saturday morning, 27 June 1981

[29] Cassettes 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16.

[30] Cassette 7, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Mirjana Dragićević, Sunday morning, 28 June 1981

[31] Cassette 1, conversation Fr. Zrinko Čuvalo – Ivanka and Vicka Ivanković and Marija Pavlović, Saturday morning, 27 June 1981

[32] Cassette 11, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Ivanka Ivanković, Sunday evening, 28 June 1981

[33] Cassette 13, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Ivanka Ivanković, Tuesday morning, 30 June 1981

[34] Cassette 14, conversation Fr. Jozo Zovko – Mirjana Dragićević, Tuesday morning, 30 June 1981

POVEZANI ČLANCI

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NAJČITANIJE

17. svibnja 2017
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04. svibnja 2017
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