Thursday, April 01, 2010

Now is the Judgment ... On Medjugorje

For me, this is a strange Holy Week. Much spiritual good has been evolving in our community with faith deepened through the full and intensely focused celebration of the Divine Services. Indeed, last evenings celebration of the Great Mystery of Holy Anointing was uplifting and affirming of the human condition (replete with two cats wandering into the chapel and having to be escorted out by one of our chanters). In all, the celebration was holy, humble and prayerful in the way all Eastern Christian worship should be.

At the same time, various world news threads seem to be coming together to affirm the Grace of God at work to promote true holiness and stifle the works of the Evil One ever seeking to lead the Children of God away from the True Faith. Some time back, I covered an interview with E. Michael Jones exposing the scandal of the supposed Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, Bosnia.

Those with any knowledge of the region and the historic plight of the Serbian people at the hands of the pro-Nazi and fascist-based Ustaše (a violent pro-Croatian racist movement both pre- and post-dating the Nazi occupation and continuing during the Communist era) have heard of the 'dirty secret' that the famed pilgrimage site just coincidentally turns attention away from and prevents excavation of mass graves of executed Serbians and others who came under the heel of the Ustaše's barbaric policies. (Let me hasten to add that I am in no way suggesting that all or even a majority of Croatians or Bosnians are evil or supporters of Ustaše principles.)

Recent reports from the Holy See have confirmed that Medjugorje and its main promoters are being investigated for fraud and other charges of severe scandalous actions. While the Vatican has never officially endorsed Medjugorje, Pope John Paul II was widely viewed as lending tacit support by a few off the cuff remarks. Pope Benedict, however, has made a more detailed examination and moved to take sterner action. God willing, this deceptive, criminal, and embarrassingly scandalous movement will soon wither and pass.

I firmly believe that the Theotokos can and at times does present us with examples of the power, love and Grace of God for believers - the Eastern Church has more than its share of 'miraculous' Icons with a long history of spiritual efficacy for the faithful. But Medjugorje is a perverse scam that has accomplished more spiritual harm (in the long term lives of the pilgrims and 'followers' of the cult) than perhaps even the pedophilia and ephebophilia/homosexual predatory sins of some members of the Roman clergy. At least they know their personhood has been violated; the evil of Medjugorje is much more subtle.

The promotion of Truth can never be accomplished by the selling of lies and an ugly truth is always preferable to a pretty lie. On this day in which we commemorate the institution of the Holy Eucharist and equally recall the betrayal of Christ, let us humbly beseech the Lord for Truth (Faith), Hope and Love for all Christians and all people. For all are created according to the Image and Likeness of God and deserve the dignity of respect, not the cold calculation of grifters and swindlers. In the practice of True Worship (Orthodoxy), we can at least prepare ourselves for the invisible war waged against us when we put Christ first.

1 comment:

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