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Author Topic: Apparitions in Medjugorje  (Read 5228 times) Average Rating: 0
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ωραία ελληνίς
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« on: April 29, 2006, 01:37:08 PM »

Hello! I am new in this forum! I am a ωραια ελληνίς- a greek beauty  Cheesy, a greek orthodox lady, living in Greece...
I would like to have a discussion on the apparitionsof the Most Holy Virgin in the village Medjugorje, in Bosnia-Herzegovina (near Croatia).
www.medjugorje.org
I have been to this place and, in my opinion, the story is true. I have many reasons to believe it, but, just let me say that like, St Thomas (who's feast is tomorrow) I 've touched with my finger...
I would like to say it, because I am an orthodox, and this is (supposed to be) a catholic shrine.Although that isn't quite true: Virgin Mary has told (to one of the visionnaries) that She would like the place to be a shrine for meating of hearts...
I am sorry about my imperfections in english;hoping to get better soon Wink
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2006, 02:55:20 PM »

Hello and Χριστός Ανέστη!

You know more English than I Greek.

I understand Medjugorje's appeal - here are fellow Christians and brother Eastern Europeans who are devoted to Παναγία! And the messages calling for prayer and fasting strike a chord.

But:

As many here will probably tell you, your own church won't endorse this because it happened outside that church.

And on top of that it's not a Roman Catholic shrine. That church doesn't approve of it. (The local bishop has the final say and he said no a long time ago.) It happens to be run by Roman Catholics who aren't obeying their own church.

So both sides will tell you... proceed at your own risk!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2006, 03:57:24 PM by The young fogey » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2006, 03:57:19 PM »

While in Romania, I went once to a Greek-Catholic church and to my amazement, the priest there and several ladies were reading and discussing the message supposedly given by the supposed "Virgin Mary" at Medjugorjie that day. And, as I've understood, there are daily messages, transmitted to many Catholic parishes, via Internet, around the globe. Frankly all this seemed stupid and cultish to me. The priest especially, instead of watering down his flock's unhealthy enthusiasm for that phenomenon, was the most ardent Medjugorjie fan of them all.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2006, 03:57:43 PM by augustin717 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2006, 04:08:10 PM »

Sounds at least irresponsible and at most disobedient of the priest. Or maybe he simply doesn't know the real story, that the bishop didn't approve it. The priest wasn't speaking for the Catholic Church. All I'm sure of regarding obedience on this is there can't be any official church pilgrimages there, official liturgical commemorations or official devotions in church, or churches named after this. If I recall correctly, individually people can go but it's not recommended.

The whole thing seems on the wane since the war in ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s interrupted the flow of pilgrims from overseas.

Medjugorje in a nutshell: long-running power struggle between Franciscan friars at a village church and the bishop. Some local kids play a weird prank claiming they see and hear Mary and the friars take that and run with it, giving them leverage in their fight. The friars have seminary educations so they can doctor the messages to sound OK to Catholic theologians. But the bishop still says no to the visions. The standoff continues to this day.

Quote
Frankly all this seemed stupid and cultish to me.

Officially the RCC agrees with you!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2006, 04:09:57 PM by The young fogey » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2006, 04:48:11 PM »

And, as I've understood, there are daily messages, transmitted to many Catholic parishes, via Internet, around the globe.
Augustine717,
May are ask you, these messages, are they just sharing within these focused groups or this is something is which is claimed to be original daily (!) messages from Virgin Mary?

Frankly all this seemed stupid and cultish to me. The priest especially, instead of watering down his flock's unhealthy enthusiasm for that phenomenon, was the most ardent Medjugorjie fan of them all.

Yes, this seems really strange.
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2006, 04:54:46 PM »

Starlight,
I really don't know. That was my only Medjugorjie experience. I've unterstood however, that there are messages coming daily from "Virgin Mary" (I don't think She has anything to do with this charade). That particular message went smth like this "My children, pray more, love more ..."
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2006, 08:01:15 PM »

Αυτές οι "εμφανίσεισ" είναι πλάνη.
Διαβάστε το άρθρο:
Oι τισσες Παρθένου Μαρίας εμφανίσεις: Θεία επέμβαση ή πλάνη?
(Στα αγγλικά)
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2006, 08:13:32 PM »

[quote author=ωραία ελληνίς link=topic=8913.msg117990#msg117990 date=1146332228]
I would like to have a discussion on the apparitionsof the Most Holy Virgin in the village Medjugorje, in Bosnia-Herzegovina (near Croatia).
I have been to this place and, in my opinion, the story is true. I have many reasons to believe it, but, just let me say that like, St Thomas (who's feast is tomorrow) I 've touched with my finger...
I would like to say it, because I am an orthodox, and this is (supposed to be) a catholic shrine.Although that isn't quite true: Virgin Mary has told (to one of the visionnaries) that She would like the place to be a shrine for meating of hearts...
I am sorry about my imperfections in english;hoping to get better soon Wink
[/quote]
According to one writer (Carlton Clark; writing on Fatima visitations, but I think it applies here) there are steps to guide us to true visitations. One of these is that it should be within the Church still following the teachings of Christ. The Catholic Church stopped following all Christ's teachings. That in itself makes victimisation of that type immediately suspect.
"Let such words be a warning to all Orthodox Christians who might he intrigued by apparitions such as those at Fatima or Lourdes or Medjugorje. These occur outside the Church and are as such suspect."
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/mary_newage.aspx

Another danger flag is with whom the 'spriit' first appeared to. (Again according to that author), in the experience of our church there are seldom genuine apparitions to those who aren't prepared for it spiritually; thus this usually excludes children.

My understanding with this particular visitation is that the apparition changed some of its predictions
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2006, 10:20:57 PM »

Augustin717,
Thank you very much for your reply.
I don't think She has anything to do with this charade
You are right! I completly agree. My experience with Medjugorjie was way more limited. I remember one big article in Ukraine years ago. The author (as far as I am recalling not a priest), claimed that we all should follow "directions from Medjugorie" That how it was articulated. Furthermore, that person misrepresented a position of Roman Catholic Church. The article claimed something like "miracles need time in order to everyone to be convinced and to follow procedures. We expect a formal recognition". Clearly this is not an official Catholic point of view on this subject. Overall, the style of article also sounded cultish. It was easy to infer such an impression.
Thanks again.
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2006, 11:51:45 PM »

Augustin717,
Thank you very much for your reply. You are right! I completly agree. My experience with Medjugorjie was way more limited. I remember one big article in Ukraine years ago. The author (as far as I am recalling not a priest), claimed that we all should follow "directions from Medjugorie" That how it was articulated. Furthermore, that person misrepresented a position of Roman Catholic Church. The article claimed something like "miracles need time in order to everyone to be convinced and to follow procedures. We expect a formal recognition". Clearly this is not an official Catholic point of view on this subject. Overall, the style of article also sounded cultish. It was easy to infer such an impression.
Thanks again.

For the Orthodox Catholic take on this access the following websites -

http://www.kronzer.org/news_cardinal.html


http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/medjugorje.aspx




http://www.haverford.edu/relg/sells/postings/LettertoPopeJohnPaulII.htm


http://www.culturewars.com/Reviews/MedjugorjeDeceptionReviews.html

Orthodoc






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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2006, 12:20:04 AM »

Yep, not even the Catholic Church recognises this one.
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2006, 02:35:05 AM »

[quote author=ωραία ελληνίς link=topic=8913.msg117990#msg117990 date=1146332228]
Hello! I am new in this forum! I am a ωραια ελληνίς- a greek beauty  Cheesy, a greek orthodox lady, living in Greece...
[/quote]

Σε εκείνη την περίπτωση, δεν θα έπρεπε το όνομά σας να είναι "όμορφη ελληνιδα";
Εκτός αν, φυσικά, τα ελληνικά δεν είναι πραγματικά η γλώσσα σας.
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2006, 02:46:10 AM »

Σε εκείνη την περίπτωση, δεν θα έπρεπε το όνομά σας να είναι "όμορφη ελληνιδα";
Εκτός αν, φυσικά, τα ελληνικά δεν είναι πραγματικά η γλώσσα σας.
Everyone's impressed.
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2006, 03:32:04 AM »

Another danger flag is with whom the 'spriit' first appeared to. (Again according to that author), in the experience of our church there are seldom genuine apparitions to those who aren't prepared for it spiritually; thus this usually excludes children.

Children also have vivid imaginations and are so naively trusting that they can be easily manipulated by any unscrupulous adult with a hidden agenda.
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2006, 03:36:41 AM »

Children also have vivid imaginations and are so naively trusting that they can be easily manipulated by any unscrupulous adult with a hidden agenda.
I agree that this is a very real problem. I however also believe that some of these visitations ARE real. I would however not attribute them to God.
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2006, 03:48:53 AM »

Back in the day (when I was a Catholic!), I was on the Medjugorje email list.  Looking back, I realize that it was definetely rather silly.  Still, I wouldn't mind getting an email from the Theotokos every so often.  As I recall, nothing too bad was ever in the supposed text from the BVM - mostly calls to pray the rosary, pray for peace etc.  
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2006, 03:49:28 AM »

I agree that this is a very real problem. I however also believe that some of these visitations ARE real. I would however not attribute them to God.

One of the very reasons we need to shape the imaginations of our children with great care, because a child's imagination not shaped to conform to Truth can also be a great playground for demons.
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2006, 04:37:07 AM »

Σε εκείνη την περίπτωση, δεν θα έπρεπε το όνομά σας να είναι "όμορφη ελληνιδα";
Εκτός αν, φυσικά, τα ελληνικά δεν είναι πραγματικά η γλώσσα σας.
Την ίδια σκέψη πέρασε από το μυαλό μου.
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2006, 06:09:13 AM »

One of the very reasons we need to shape the imaginations of our children with great care, because a child's imagination not shaped to conform to Truth can also be a great playground for demons.
Taht is the souce to which I attribute those visitations.
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2006, 07:32:34 AM »

Σε εκείνη την περίπτωση, δεν θα έπρεπε το όνομά σας να είναι "όμορφη ελληνιδα";
Εκτός αν, φυσικά, τα ελληνικά δεν είναι πραγματικά η γλώσσα σας.

Concerning my mother tongue or my nationality? Please be more precise...

Thank you for your replies...I understand we should be sceptical about apparitions...
Anyway, Medjugorje didn't make me change my denomination (greek orthodox) nor anyone from there tried to persuade me so.
Should I add I was warmly welcomed by all the people I talked to? The priests (franciscans) were amazed when I told them HOW I got there (there were many extraordinary things that facilitated my going there)..I saw people (not so many, it was winter) fasting, praying...I should not say so easily "this is a delusion"...can Satan make you fast and pray and venerate the Holy Virgin?Can he really make us partaking the Flesh and Blood of Christ? [...]
It happened I felt and saw many things that confirmed and strengthened my belief in God and in His Church...But, even if it would not have happened, I would not be so easy to condemn something that is outside our capacity to understand or to know..
From  the little things I know about apparitions (in general), the Church always is sceptical, because She has to be, in order to protect Her children. But, if something comes from God, at the end, it becomes clear so that no one can doubt about it...this may take a lot of time, depending on God's Will..
Here, in Greece, many people (and clergy people) did not believe the visionaries to whom Saint Raphael had appeared...It took some time and many miracles, but at the end, Chrurch recognised Him as a Saint. Can we blame the clergy who didn't believe from the very beginning? Of course we should not.
Let me finish this posting by a biblical citation:

34Then there stood up one in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law held in high repute among all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside a little while.
 35And he said unto them, "Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do concerning these men.  
 36For before these days Theudas rose up, boasting himself to be somebody, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and brought to nought.  
 37After this man, rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.  
 38And now I say unto you, refrain from these men and let them alone, for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought;
 39but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest it may happen ye be found even to fight against God."


Thank you all for your responding
See you soon on new topic!
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« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2006, 07:44:22 AM »

[quote author=ωραία ελληνίς link=topic=8913.msg118173#msg118173 date=1146396754]
Thank you for your replies...I understand we should be sceptical about apparitions...[/quote]
Yes, one's own church warns us to be wary.
[quote author=ωραία ελληνίς link=topic=8913.msg118173#msg118173 date=1146396754]Anyway, Medjugorje didn't make me change my denomination (greek orthodox) nor anyone from there tried to persuade me so.
Should I add I was warmly welcomed by all the people I talked to? [/quote]
I was warmly welcomed by Amway once.

[quote author=ωραία ελληνίς link=topic=8913.msg118173#msg118173 date=1146396754]
The priests (franciscans) were amazed when I told them HOW I got there (there were many extraordinary things that facilitated my going there)..I saw people (not so many, it was winter) fasting, praying...I should not say so easily "this is a delusion"...can Satan make you fast and pray and venerate the Holy Virgin?Can he really make us partaking the Flesh and Blood of Christ? [...] [/quote]

There is a right way and a wrong way to pray and Satan is a master of subtlety. Drawing people to think that there are genuine God-inspired apparitions OUTSIDE of His church is but the beginning.

[quote author=ωραία ελληνίς link=topic=8913.msg118173#msg118173 date=1146396754]Let me finish this posting by a biblical citation:

34Then there stood up one in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law held in high repute among all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside a little while.
 35And he said unto them, "Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do concerning these men.  
 36For before these days Theudas rose up, boasting himself to be somebody, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and brought to nought.  
 37After this man, rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.  
 38And now I say unto you, refrain from these men and let them alone, for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought;
 39but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest it may happen ye be found even to fight against God."


Thank you all for your responding
See you soon on new topic!
[/quote]
If I could also offer a Biblical quote...
 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:21
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« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2006, 04:40:26 PM »

Ortodoc, thank you for links. Very informative.

The Catholic Church stopped following all Christ's teachings.
All means 100%. Certain mistakes were made, but thanks God this is not the case of 100%. Much much  better.

St. Constantine also was not Christian yet, when he saw a vision of a cross in the sky.

I however also believe that some of these visitations ARE real. I would however not attribute them to God.

Yes, I agree with that. And I agree with Peter's comment to it.

Personally, I recognize Fatima and Lourdes. My opinion is totally different about Medjugorje. But this is just my point of view. I highly respect the right of others to have different opinions. But I think I would refrain of further discussion on this topic.
Peace.
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« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2006, 07:51:29 PM »

One of the very reasons we need to shape the imaginations of our children with great care, because a child's imagination not shaped to conform to Truth can also be a great playground for demons.

Taht is the souce to which I attribute those visitations.

What is your reasoning?  Do you just automatically assume that anything not Orthodox is demonic?
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« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2006, 09:29:06 PM »

What is your reasoning?  Do you just automatically assume that anything not Orthodox is demonic?

It seems to me that the central issue here is discernment.  Do we replace our own accountability before God to discern the movements of His Spirit, with religious heirarchies?  Isn't this the very dynamic that brought about the tragedy of Israel's loss, which to this day has horrendous repercussions?   I am not suggesting that we throw out authority all together,  but ultimately we will stand before God, and make an answer for the graces that were shed in our day.  Hierarchies too will make an answer for their good and bad decisions,  but for those who chose to follow the bad counsel, it will be too late to make an amendment.
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« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2006, 09:42:45 PM »

I thought I should ask this:

Is anyone here actually specialized in the area of demonic visions and activity? Has anyone met a demoniac in real life? Has anyone ever talked to one? How about seeing demonic visions personally? Anyone who has been able to consistently identify such visions and assist those who have had them? Who has studied the patristic texts on visions?
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« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2006, 10:13:20 PM »

I thought I should ask this:

Is anyone here actually specialized in the area of demonic visions and activity? Has anyone met a demoniac in real life? Has anyone ever talked to one? How about seeing demonic visions personally? Anyone who has been able to consistently identify such visions and assist those who have had them? Who has studied the patristic texts on visions?

Good question.  I know I'm the one who actually started the talk on this thread about demonic activity, but I did so by stating a pure abstract.  (See quote below.)

One of the very reasons we need to shape the imaginations of our children with great care, because a child's imagination not shaped to conform to Truth can also be a great playground for demons.

I didn't mean this to actually attach demonic activity specifically to the Medjugorje Apparitions as some have, for I'm certainly not qualified to judge the specifics of these visions.
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« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2006, 10:40:46 PM »

Who has studied the patristic texts on visions.

Something seems amiss here.  We do a great deal of research to insure that our lineage is just so, traceable back to Christ.  Yet He Himself "summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons" yet the Patristic Fathers were not even a twinkle in their father's eyes?  And what of all the others who by the discernment and power of the Holy Spirit, delivered and healed long before these books were written?

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« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2006, 10:43:55 PM »

Something seems amiss here.  We do a great deal of research to insure that our lineage is just so, traceable back to Christ.  Yet He Himself "summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons" yet the Patristic Fathers were not even a twinkle in their father's eyes?  And what of all the others who by the discernment and power of the Holy Spirit, delivered and healed long before these books were written?



They were also trained by Him, had great faith, and ultimately, knew what they were doing Tongue Patristic texts aren't an end in themselves, but a means to learn more. When it comes down to it, I was just wondering who had any experience and discernment in this area.
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« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2006, 10:58:26 PM »

It is inconcievable that the apostle's anointing should be licit on paper but lacking the accompanying signs  that were imparted as a demonstration of the power of God.  I believe that we are all spiritually lax and underdeveloped,  and that we have substituted rules, regulations and pronouncements for the gut wrenching, embarrassing, humiliating, risky business of learning to listen to the Holy Spirit and discern the Spirits.  The Scriptures say "test the spirits"  they do not say run to the religious authorities and get the latest consensus.

If we do not take the time to discern the spirits,  (with fasting and prayers and amendment of life) we are consigning our opportunities to grow and serve the Church, to those souls who will.  And most unfortunately,  those who do not have the Sacraments and are missing more than one big part of the puzzle are.  

 Are we to be like the servant who hid his talent because he was afraid to invest it?
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« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2006, 11:00:50 PM »

When it comes down to it, I was just wondering who had any experience and discernment in this area.

Sorry.  That's my button.
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« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2006, 11:11:34 PM »

Taht (sic)* is the souce to which I attribute those visitations.


What is your reasoning?  Do you just automatically assume that anything not Orthodox is demonic?

I think spiritual revelations outside the church are false and are liable to mislead people; lead them away from the Church that Christ established. However I do agree with Starlight that there is some vestigaes of that church in the Catholic Church


*My own silly spelling!
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« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2006, 11:15:25 PM »

It is inconcievable that the apostle's anointing should be licit on paper but lacking the accompanying signs  that were imparted as a demonstration of the power of God.  I believe that we are all spiritually lax and underdeveloped,  and that we have substituted rules, regulations and pronouncements for the gut wrenching, embarrassing, humiliating, risky business of learning to listen to the Holy Spirit and discern the Spirits.  The Scriptures say "test the spirits"  they do not say run to the religious authorities and get the latest consensus.

If we do not take the time to discern the spirits,  (with fasting and prayers and amendment of life) we are consigning our opportunities to grow and serve the Church, to those souls who will.  And most unfortunately,  those who do not have the Sacraments and are missing more than one big part of the puzzle are.  

 Are we to be like the servant who hid his talent because he was afraid to invest it?

I have never said that a peice of paper is necessary for anything, nor have I questioned anything the apostles did. The criteria I gave were in part to see who has experience in testing the spirits, not everyone has the gift. For example, most Orthodox don't even know about Francis of Assisi's delusions, and much less about the topic of driving out demons! It's hardly that I am questioning God's giving us the power, but rather the individual's use of it.
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« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2006, 12:02:45 AM »

most Orthodox don't even know about Francis of Assisi's delusions,

I am a Franciscan,  brother, and I am not familiar with these delusions either.

I was not present when the painstaking process of discernment was taking place in his life, and the very great suffering he went through.  Just as St. Antony recounted his experiences with the demonic dimension  to St. Anthanasius,  there are reliable written testimonies concerning St. Francis' encounter with the demonic. You can read about them in the Omnibus of Sources of St. Francis of Assisi.

I am however, familiar with the testifying miracles that the Holy Spirit wrought through this poor vessel.   They bear witness that even the most unsuitable specimen of humanity, can through persistent effort with the grace of God, overcome all obstacles and delusions in discernment.  

One must be cautious in judging the working of the Holy Spirit in others, lest he give a poor example and commit a serious sin.


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« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2006, 04:52:41 AM »

I have never said that a peice of paper is necessary for anything, nor have I questioned anything the apostles did. The criteria I gave were in part to see who has experience in testing the spirits, not everyone has the gift. For example, most Orthodox don't even know about Francis of Assisi's delusions, and much less about the topic of driving out demons! It's hardly that I am questioning God's giving us the power, but rather the individual's use of it.
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« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2006, 03:36:20 PM »

Youngfogey,

"And on top of that it's not a Roman Catholic shrine. That church doesn't approve of it. (The local bishop has the final say and he said no a long time ago.) It happens to be run by Roman Catholics who aren't obeying their own church."

Yes and no.  The Bishop of Mostar's investigation concluded there was nothing supernatural.  However, the then Yugoslav Episcopal Conference intervened and at the conclusion of their investigation stated that they could not determine if anything supernatural was happening or not and that investigations should continue and the Vatican agreed.  So Medjugorje is neither approved nor condemned, to the changrin of many on either side of the matter, but still under investigation.

Officially, public devotions under the title of Our Lady of Medujugorje may not be held, nor can a bishop or pastor sponsor make an official pilgrimage there.  Individual Catholics may go and priests may go with them as a chaplains.

For full details:
http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/medjugorje.htm
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« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2006, 04:55:08 PM »

I think spiritual revelations outside the church are false and are liable to mislead people; lead them away from the Church that Christ established.

We Orthodox who believe that the Orthodox Church is the one holy, apostolic Church are bound to the Church, but why do you bind God to His Church?  Cannot God, Who desires that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth, work outside of the confines of His own Church?  What do you have to say about the centurion that St. Peter baptized because he had received a vision guiding him to the apostle, or those that St. Paul had baptized because they already demonstrated through speaking in tongues the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives?

Shouldn't our criterion for truthfulness or falsehood of a vision then be consistency with what we, the Orthodox, know to be true?  We know that God has spoken to the Orthodox Church, and we can trust the Church's word to be true.  If a vision outside the Church is perfectly consistent with the truth we know, then why must we recognize the vision as deceiving merely because it happened to someone outside the Church, which is what we must conclude if we follow your logic?
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« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2006, 10:36:17 PM »

We Orthodox who believe that the Orthodox Church is the one holy, apostolic Church are bound to the Church, but why do you bind God to His Church?  Cannot God, Who desires that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth, work outside of the confines of His own Church?  What do you have to say about the centurion that St. Peter baptized because he had received a vision guiding him to the apostle, or those that St. Paul had baptized because they already demonstrated through speaking in tongues the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives?
I am not confining God to one Church. God said that our way was ‘the Way’ (an early way of describing the church).
Things counter to ‘the Way’ must be false; unless you believe God has truths that are all relative.
I don’t deny that people outside the church aren’t spiritual. But Jesus taught us ‘the way’ exactly so we can guarantee that our way is genuine; else you accept the Protestant doctrine that anyone ‘inspired’ can pick up the Bible and find ‘the truth’.
Shouldn't our criterion for truthfulness or falsehood of a vision then be consistency with what we, the Orthodox, know to be true?  We know that God has spoken to the Orthodox Church, and we can trust the Church's word to be true.  If a vision outside the Church is perfectly consistent with the truth we know, then why must we recognize the vision as deceiving merely because it happened to someone outside the Church, which is what we must conclude if we follow your logic?
That’s a rule that visions like Fatima and the one we’re dealing with here fail anyway. Both have offered false predictions. Both also lead some to give up ‘the Way’ to follow flawed spiritual paths such as Catholicism (not as flawed as some, granted).
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« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2006, 11:40:00 PM »

Shouldn't our criterion for truthfulness or falsehood of a vision then be consistency with what we, the Orthodox, know to be true?  If a vision outside the Church is perfectly consistent with the truth we know, then why must we recognize the vision as deceiving

Good question.

It seems like these kinds of communications and supernatural events are many times dismissed in the Orthodox faith, as deceptions, unless they are recounted in the lives of the Saints such as Saint Seraphim.  I do not understand this kind of hostility towards what is potentially the working of the Holy Spirit to bring conversion.
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« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2006, 11:59:09 PM »

I am not confining God to one Church. God said that our way was ‘the Way’ (an early way of describing the church).
Things counter to ‘the Way’ must be false; unless you believe God has truths that are all relative.
On this point we agree.  But can you grant that when those who are not Orthodox speak a truth proclaimed by the Orthodox, what they speak is still Truth?
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« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2006, 03:36:56 AM »

Good question.

It seems like these kinds of communications and supernatural events are many times dismissed in the Orthodox faith, as deceptions, unless they are recounted in the lives of the Saints such as Saint Seraphim.  I do not understand this kind of hostility towards what is potentially the working of the Holy Spirit to bring conversion.

Even the Catholic church doesn't accept Medjugorje.

Even the ones it does accept, such as Fatima, the 'lady' gave false predictions - she made a guess (?) about the end of WWI

The 'hostility' as you would put it is against people ignoring these facts and just hoping that we all join hands and hug and take in the momemnt with a nice cup of tea.
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« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2006, 10:11:24 AM »

"Even the Catholic church doesn't accept Medjugorje."

False.  Medjugoreje is still under investigation.  The Catholic Church is neutral on it.  See my post above.

"Even the ones it does accept, such as Fatima, the 'lady' gave false predictions - she made a guess (?) about the end of WWI"

False.  The Mother of God made no prediction about the end of WWI.  She simply stated that WWI was coming to an end and that another would start during the reign of Pope Pius XI.  This was in July 1917.  WWI ended in 1918.  WWII started in 1938.  Pope Pius XI reigned from 1922 to 1939.

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« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2006, 12:24:18 PM »

Quote
False.  The Mother of God made no prediction about the end of WWI.  She simply stated that WWI was coming to an end and that another would start during the reign of Pope Pius XI.  This was in July 1917.  WWI ended in 1918.  WWII started in 1938.  Pope Pius XI reigned from 1922 to 1939.

Father Deacon,

Forgive me, but what exactly did she say since Pope Piux XI wasn't in power yet.  Obviously, she didn't mention him by name/
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« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2006, 01:07:42 PM »

Actuallu she did name Pius XI as the next Pope.  So she did make two predictions that came true.  WWII would start and Pius XI would be the next pope.

The text:

"The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father."


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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2006, 03:46:28 PM »

The 'hostility' as you would put it is against people ignoring these facts and just hoping that we all join hands and hug and take in the moment with a nice cup of tea.

No brother, its a lot more serious than that.  It's called grieving the Holy Spirit

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God; whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption."

"Let all bitterness, and anger, and indignation, and clamour, and blasphemy, be put away from you, with all malice.  And be ye kind to another; forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ."  Ephesians, 4:30-32  DR

Have you even considered for one moment the investment of grace The Holy Trinity has made to bring about such events?   The human suffering and persecution that comes with obedience to such graces?  The impact on the community and lives of the simple ones, not theologically imbued,  in the world who have responded in faith, believing,  and have amended their lives and turned from sin to lead holy lives?   What is the purpose of life?   Theological scrutiny to block the movement of the Holy Spirit, or the salvation of all mankind?
One must ask oneself,  whose side are we on?

And I'm not talking about blanket agreement with every claimed apparition that comes down the pike.  I'm talking about acquiring discernment brother....being able to discern what is of God and what is not of God.

QUESTION:  Is it just as bad to err by criticizing that which is God's work,  as it is not to expose that which is not God's work?

ANSWER:  No.  It is much, much worse.  You have just pulled up by the roots, the wheat that was growing alongside the tares.   There is an accounting to be made, by all of us, when we undo the works of God.

QUESTION:  How then do we proceed without compromising the truth or injuring souls, or falling into the serious sin of opposing God?

ANSWER:  Acquire true discernment.  Until then, be silent.

Better we should live from the heart, in humble mindedness,  considering ourselves no authority on such things as are beyond us.  And with discernment,
and sincere interest for God's agenda,  observe and see if there be fruits in keeping with the Holy Orthodox Faith.  

Not readily believing every report, that may well, as has been proven here, be gossip,  bringing us under the judgment of God,  Who will upon observing our behavior;  repent of His mercy towards us in our erring ways, and pronounce justly, against us, the very pronouncement we have made against our brother,  be he innocent or guilty.

This is precisely what I meant, when I said
For the peace and good of everyone, why are we focusing on disagreements that build walls and block grace?  

For the "correct" who have sown division, and withstood the Holy Spirit in His work of bringing all men to  salvation,  there is good reason to fear..


The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. I pose this question to us all:

Whose side are you on?



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« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2006, 10:59:45 PM »

For the peace and good of everyone, why are we focusing on disagreements that build walls and block grace?  Why do we insist on being correct and have everyone else bow to our correctness, or be labeled heretics?

...

Irregardless of denominational-doctrinal bent,  a poor ignorant protestant who has loved God with all their heart and strength, and mind, and their neighbor as themselves,  will enter Heaven before the doctrinally correct that have totally ignored the heart of the law.

And for the "correct" who have sown division, and withstood the Holy Spirit in His work of bringing all men to  salvation,  there is good reason to fear that such as these will find themselves outside the gates where there is weeping, wailing and knashing of teeth.
Actually, the Orthodox understand that the elucidation of theology, what you call the sowing of division through theological gnat straining, is indeed a very important aspect of the Holy Spirit's work of bringing all men to salvation and the knowledge of the Truth.  This "divisive correctness" that we call dogma is nothing less than the process by which the Church discerns the mind of the Holy Spirit.  What is truly scandalous is that some have decided not to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and have left the Church to submit to some other authority.  Am I being arrogant?  No.  I'm just trying to proclaim the Orthodox Tradition in all humility and love.
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