I recently read a post on a Catholic blog that disturbed me so here is my reply to that post:
I recently read your post titled “Our Lady of Medjugorje is FAKE! -Why?”, and I was deeply concerned and disturbed, because my family firmly believes in the apparitions of the Blessed Mother in Medjugorje, and I would like to correct some of the information in your post, and at the same time tell you why I believe in Our Lady of Medjugorje.
First of all, no Pope has ever proclaimed Medjugorje fake. It’s a fact. No where is there a written document or proclamation, from the Vatican, condemning Medjugorje or prohibiting private pilgrimages. Proof: “When, some time ago, the news was spread that Vatican had forbidden pilgrimages to Medjugorje, the spokesman of the Holy See Joaquin Navarro-Valls declared: ‘You cannot say people cannot go there until it has been proven false. This has not been said, so anyone can go if they want.’” (Catholic News Service 21.8.1996.)
One thing you said was: “In 1985 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict – banned pilgrimages to the site, but this has been widely ignored.” First of all, Cardinal Ratzinger never banned pilgrimages; and even if he had, he had no authority to, since he was not the Pope, and not even the bishop of the area! As a matter of fact, he spoke positively about it: “Concerning Medjugorje, the Cardinal – now the Pope – Joseph Ratzinger spoke very positively about it in his book if interviews “Zur Lage des Glaubens” published in 1986. There is an interview about the situation of faith in the Church and in the world, where he speaks positively about Medjugorje as a place of prayer, a place where people are converted, spurred by Mary, our Mother.”
Another reason to believe in Medjugorje is that our most beloved, Pope John Paul II supported it. In a private conversation with the visionary Mirjana Soldo the Pope said: "If I were not Pope I would already be in Medjugorje confessing.”(1987) Also, in Feb. 1995, Pope John Paul II, in response to a question asked by the Archbishop of Asuncion, La Paz, Bolivia, said "Authorize everything that regards Medjugorje.” In addition, he said, "Medjugorje is a great center of spirituality.” This was the Holy Father's comment during a February 1990 conversation, as reported by Bishop Murilo Krieger, Auxiliary Bishop of Florianopolis, Brazil, made prior to His Grace's fourth Medjugorje pilgrimage. The Holy Father assented to Bishop Krieger's request and gave his papal blessing to the visionaries (National Catholic Register, April 29, 1990). Now if Pope John Paul II gave his Papal blessing to the visionaries, that’s enough to convince me it is authentic!
One last reason involves a personal experience by my mom. My family was attending a Medjugorje Conference in California, and Our Lady was appearing to Ivan Dragicevic in a room (and my dad was working as security, so he was blessed to be in the room at the time). A crowd was around the door to the room (my sister and I were right by the door and my mom was about 20-30 feet away), and when a lady opened the door (from the inside) to tell the crowd that Mary was appearing, my mom “felt a cool, fresh breeze of air and smelled roses”. My mom looked around quickly and no roses were anywhere in sight, and since it passed so suddenly, it was not perfume, and she even asked a person next to her if he smelt roses, to which he replied, “No.” And I will have you know that my mom has an extremely sensitive nose! My sister also smelt the roses. So, there is first hand proof of Mary appearing to one of the visionaries, Ivan.
Now, if you still decide not to believe in the apparitions of Medjugorje, that’s fine, but please do not write, proclaim, or say that it is false! Until the Vatican has made an official statement that Medjugorje is false, people are allowed to believe in and make pilgrimages to Medjugorje!
Thank you and God bless,
May I humbly submit to you that we avoid the criticism of spiritual events which have affected so many thousands of lives with a deeper faith; the evil one is active at moments of great grace. Our Lord tells us you shall know a tree by its fruit: look at the great fruit of Medjugorje!! No example you can give hides the great light of grace which has illuminated thousands of changed lives turned to Christ. If there are any dark shadows, clouds of misunderstanding, the dust of doubt, the evil one is surely there. Beware! Be sure of your sources of information, and avoid a spirit of critical judgment which tears down and gives scandal. Sometimes we seek to spread truth and stop what we perceive as error, but we might be in fact spreading error and stifling God’s great work. Pray for a spirit of understanding and read for yourself the sweet messages of your Mother calling her children to a greater faith in her Son.