Top exorcist laments apathy to Medjugorje

(Source: Medjugorje Today)

By Jakob Marschner

amorth1Ignoring the apparitions in Medjugorje is unforgivable for Christians, says Rome’s leading exorcist who shakes his head at those who wait until the Church has ruled. Speaking of “betrayal” Fr. Gabriele Amorth also lashes out at bishops and priests for being indifferent to the fruits of Medjugorje.

By willingly failing to pay attention to the Virgin Mary’s apparitions in Medjugorje, a great number of Christians have proven to be no different from pagans. Within this great number, both bishops and priests are included, the leading Catholic exorcist of the past 20 years said in a September 15 interview given to Radio Maria.

Fr. Gabriele Amorth was speaking at the backdrop of the Virgin Mary’s message of August 25 when she said:
“Dear children! Today I call you to pray and fast for my intentions, because Satan wants to destroy my plan. Here I began with this parish and invited the entire world. Many have responded, but there is an enormous number of those who do not want to hear or accept my call. Therefore, you who have said ‘yes’, be strong and resolute. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
“How bitter, how bitter was the last message of Our Lady of Medjugorje, on August 25: “Many have responded, but there is an enormous number of those who do not want to hear or accept my call’, Fr. Gabriele Amorth first commented.

“Now look here; it is very sour, this balance. After more than thirty years! More than thirty years! Now if it is the pagans who don’t listen to Our Lady’s words, then that I can understand. But be you a Christian, it is not forgivable. Be you a Christian!”.

However, according to Fr. Amorth’s experience, the indifference to Medjugorje goes further than that:
“Even priests and bishops don’t even want to hear about it. It is not that they went there and then made their decision fairly after seeing things for themselves, no! They don’t even want to hear it being spoken about!”

amorth-vicka-e1320692447140“The Gospel is so clear, it tells us how to discern! By the fruits you will know the tree! It has been 30 years when Medjugorje has given us fruits that are ultimately exquisite! Confession, conversion, vocations, graces of every kind! For more than 30 years!” the exorcist reminded on Radio Maria.

“In the Old Testament God sent prophets to warn of the betrayals of the Jewish people. Now, here, to warn of the betrayal of the Christian people, also the priests, God sends us His Mother! It has been 30 years! Is it possible that people still do not hear? And as for those people who believe themselves to be intelligent by saying they wait until the Church approves? They are fools!” said Fr. Gabriele Amorth.

Fr. Gabriele Amorth with visionary Vicka Ivankovic by the late 1980s.

Bishop Hegarty on Medjugorje

Friday, January 15, 2010

(Source: crownofstars)

Bishop Seamus Hegarty of the Derry diocese in IrelandBishop’s ‘outstanding experience’ in Medjugorje

Bishop Seamus Hegarty of the Derry diocese in Ireland is one of many prelates who have made a private pilgrimage to Medjugorje. He travelled there in July 1987 (when he was bishop of Raphoe) and afterwards gave this testimony.

I had heard so much about the Medjugorje phenomenon and, as things turned out, managed to go there myself for five days in July 1987. I went, of course, as a private pilgrim, a private person.

I couldn’t help being enormously impressed by everyone, both local parishioners and those who visit Medjugorje from all over Europe and overseas. I also got a very clear impression that here in Medjugorje you are dealing with a centre of prayer, of penance, and of reconciliation.

“By their fruits you shall know them.” Here the fruits are so manifest, so clear and impressive, both in Medjugorje itself and among those who return home after a pilgrimage, that they simply cannot be ignored.

Among many people from my own diocese that had been to Medjugorje I noticed the ongoing, positive results in relation both to their personal and family life. Thus I felt simply obliged to go to the place and find out myself the source, the explanation, of this experience, this tremendous manifestation of faith, this high and exemplary Christian way of life.

I have read the messages the Mother of God is said to be giving to the visionaries. And what I have seen and heard tells me that there is a strong accord, a parallel, between these messages and what the gospels say about the teaching of Christ. The emphasis is very strongly on prayer, fasting, reconciliation and peace – themes that occur over and over again in Scripture. One thing is clear about the Medjugorje messages: they contain nothing that contradicts the Church’s official teaching, which is based on Scripture as on a foundation. Here the emphasis is on prayer and how to pray – that is, with more giving of ourselves and intensity, and new methods of prayer; prayer not only in words but also as something lived.

But what is likewise emphasised in the messages is fasting. It has a long Church tradition behind it. Of recent years, however, it has fallen into disuse on a wide scale. Now it has been revived as a challenge that young people, in particular, face up to in a dramatic way.

We recognise that in Medjugorje we are dealing with a genuine call to peace, and that peace is a divine gift for which we all must pray. ~On the basis of what I myself observed in Medjugorje, and which everyone that has been there likewise observes, I believe that we are going to experience a radiation of this atmosphere of peace which has it origin, its centre, in Medjugorje, thereupon extending itself over the entire world.

Many prayer groups have been formed as a direct result of a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, an outcome of the religious experience people gain there and which they thereupon keep up and apply to their own life circumstances among their families and communities. Beyond doubt, the Medjugorje phenomenon has had a particular success in everything to do with fostering prayer. Not only do people pray more than is normal in parishes, but the quality of their prayer is particularly impressive.

The rosary, as we would expect, is one of the most important forms of prayer practised by Medjugorje groups. What has strongly impressed me is that in its recitation the biblical dimension of the mysteries is brought out so prominently.

As regards the Church – the official Church – it cannot afford to ignore this development. Bishops and priests must encourage these prayer groups and, in my opinion, must also be present at them to give leadership and due advice and spiritual orientation. It must also be said that the laity who, with good intentions and devotion, come together to pray deserve every help and direction they can get from the clergy. While, it is true, the presence of a priest is not absolutely necessary at prayer meetings, it is nonetheless most desirable in order that exaggerations and unrealistic or mistaken ideas and expectations may be avoided.

It would be a great pity if Medjugorje’s central message (prayer, fasting, reconciliation and peace) became obscured in any way or if excessive emphasis came to be placed on signs and wonders. Accordingly, the presence at these prayer meetings of the Official Church in the person of the priest is very much to be desired.

My most outstanding experience in Medjugorje was the hearing of Confessions. One day I spent three hours doing so. And I am sure that during those three hours I heard more Confessions of the kind that are basic and come from the depth of the heart than during all the 21 years of my priesthood. I could not help but be moved by the workings of grace – the clear workings of grace; also, by the clear acceptance of the call to penance and reconciliation which expressed themselves so unmistakably in the quality of the Confessions I heard. So this experience will ever remain my most impressive and abiding Medjugorje memory.