Question: Are you aware that not only Protestant critics but even some leading Roman Catholics have exposed the alleged sightings of the “Virgin Mary” at Medjugorje as a fraud? One of the best books is The Medjugorje Deception by E. Michael Jones, a lay leader among Roman Catholics. Have you read it? It is quite an eye-opener.
Response: Yes, I have read the book with interest. Its back cover says, “Proponents of the apparition like to talk about its fruits, but ignore the broken families, the pregnant nuns, the poor people bilked of their money...the worst fighting in Europe since World War II, the ethnic cleansing of Muslims from Gradno, just five kilometers from Medjugorje—all of it followed inexorably from those children [the alleged ‘seers’] on that hill in Bosnia in June of 1981.”
Jones refers to “the burgeoning and increasingly lucrative Marian conference industry” and to “the tight circle of con men and felons who dominated the Medjugorje industry in the United States during the early 1990s.” He says the Franciscans were involved in the slaughter of thousands of Serbians who refused to convert to Catholicism (see A Woman Rides the Beast for details). He shows the Franciscan leadership at Medjugorje and identifies the Franciscan University at Steubenville, Ohio (headed by Fr. Michael Scanlon) as a center of the charismatic renewal and supportive of Medjugorje, sponsoring tours to that site. Sadly, Promise Keepers has been involved at Steubenville and James Dobson received an honorary doctorate from that apostate institution.
Jones accurately reports the almost unbelievable fraud and deceit perpetrated by the seers and promoters of Medjugorje. As a Roman Catholic, however, he is blind to the equally destructive fraud and deceit perpetrated by Satan through numerous other apparitions which, unlike Medjugorje, have been endorsed by his Church. He mocks “Our Lady of Medjugorje’s” claim to be the “Queen of Peace.” Yet “Our Lady of Lourdes,” “Our Lady of Fatima” and “Our Lady” of many other authorized shrines around the world also pretend to hold the key to world peace.
Indeed, the “Mary” of apparitions embraced by Rome claims to stand between an angry Christ and this world. To rescue us from the wrath which He otherwise would pour out upon mankind, “Mary” offers her “peace plan” on her terms which involve honoring her and praying the Rosary. Obedient to the apparitions, from the pope on down Catholics urge one another to “Pray the rosary for peace!” Undeniably, the “Mary” of the Vatican- endorsed apparitions usurps the place of Christ. The true Prince of Peace (Is 9:6) is outranked by Catholicism’s “Queen of Peace.”
The satanic delusion is undeniable. A “child Jesus” sometimes appears (at Fatima, etc.) with “Mary.” Jesus was a mature man when He died for our sins; and is resurrected and glorified at the Father’s right hand (Acts:2:32-33, 7:55-56). Obviously, then, the appearance of any “child Jesus” is demonic. For Catholics, however, millions of wafers are each simultaneously Christ, whom they ingest into their stomachs—so it is easy to believe that He can appear as a baby or child.
In almost all of the apparitions, “Mary” promises to be with her followers at all times, making her omnipresent like God. Yet Catholics have no problem with this. The apparitions also promote official Catholic dogmas of salvation by works and sacraments and devotion to “Mary.” Our Lady of Fatima promises to “assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite the rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the rosary with the intention of making reparation.” If Catholics believed Christ’s promise (“He that believeth on the Son [not in Mary] hath everlasting life” ...“and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life ”- Jn:3:36, 5:24), they would not look to “Mary” for assistance to salvation.
It ought to concern all Catholics (certainly someone as astute as Jones) that these demonic apparitions promulgate Roman Catholic doctrine—even the newest as it develops. The dogma of Mary’s alleged “Immaculate Conception” was only officially declared by Pope Pius IX in a Papal Bull (Ineffabilis Deus, December 8,1854): that “from the first moment of her conception [she] was...preserved immune from all stain of original sin...[this] is revealed by God and is therefore firmly and constantly to be believed by all the faithful.” Thereafter, the “Mary” of the apparitions (at Lourdes, etc.) also claimed an immaculate conception and sinless life.
From that dogma Catholic theologians argued that Mary did not suffer from the consequences of sin such as disease or death, nor could she have suffered the pains of childbirth, which were also pronounced upon Eve because of sin. It was then only a matter of time that some pope would make it official that Mary was taken bodily into heaven without death. Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma of Mary’s bodily assumption to heaven in his Papal Bull Munificentissimus Deus, November 2, 1950.
This dogma contradicts both Mary’s own confession that she needed a Savior (Lk 1:47) and Scripture: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. ...Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom:3:23, 5:12). It also impugns God’s love. Surely the creation of Adam and Eve by God was at least as “immaculate” as Mary’s conception! If God could keep Mary from all sin during her life, then surely Adam and Eve and all of their descendants could have been kept from sin also. There would have been no sickness, sorrow, death, no need for Christ to die, and the world would still be one vast Garden of Eden.
There is another serious problem. The “Mary” of the apparitions often appears wearing a crown of twelve stars like the “woman clothed with the sun” in Revelation 12 and claims to be this woman. Popes and Catholic theologians agree. Pius XII referred to Mary in his Assumption Prayer as “clothed with the sun and crowned with stars....” Pope John Paul II also has referred to Mary in this way.
Yet the “woman clothed with the sun” suffers the pain of childbirth as she brings “forth a man child” (Rv 12:1-5). A sinless Mary would not have “cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered” (Rv 12:2).
Jones provides a unique exposé of the Catholic charismatic renewal and its Franciscan connection. Based upon the evidence he uncovered, Jones claims that “the charismatic movement became a front for lots of illicit sexual activity, and many of the priests who had resisted the siren songs of the secular ’60s succumbed to the seductions of the charismatic spirit in the ’70s.” One such priest he mentions by name: Francis MacNutt, popular on TBN and among charismatics.
In spite of Jones’s assessment, the charismatic movement has the blessing of popes and Church leaders because it has been the major factor causing acceptance of Roman Catholicism by presumed evangelicals. There are about 70 million Roman Catholic charismatics worldwide today. The Vatican loves them because their supposed baptism in the Spirit with speaking in tongues has deepened their devotion to Mary, to the Mass and to the Church. Logically, the Church which blesses charismatics deserves the same criticism which Jones unflinchingly levels at this movement—but he seems oblivious to that fact.
While Jones’s vast amount of documentation is informative, it is almost beside the point. The unbiblical declarations by all of the apparitions unmistakably mark them as either fraud or demonic.