Medjurgorje cults?

Medjurgorje cults?

This is the story of a guy waging a one-man war against Medjugorje. Philip Kronzer’s wife left him, and he claims it’s because she was taken in by leaders of a Medjugorje cult. The article doesn’t do much to convince me that Kronzer’s in the right. There’s as much evidence in the story that he’s gone off the deep end as there is evidence his wife has. I do know this: I know many people who have gone to Medjugorje and had their faith sparked or revitalized, I know people, who I trust, with firsthand knowledge of the seers who attest to their personal sanctity, and there is something going on there.

But I am equally sure that there are hucksters, hoaxers, and plain misguided zealots who are misusing the Medjurgorje phenomenon to their own bad ends. Of course, the same could be said of Fatima, Lourdes, and every supernatural event going back to the Resurrection.

What I took away from Philip Kronzer’s story was an overwhelming sadness for his loss, for what his wife has lost, for the obsession that’s taken over his life, and for the misuse of Our Lady’s name by those seeking their own nefarious ends.

  • One should have more than a few reservations until the competent local authority pronounces POSITIVELY—an event that has yet to occur.

  • The fact is that the Church HAS already ruled on the veracity of the apparitions at Medugorje and had stated repeatedly that there is nothing supernatural happening there. Both standing Bishops of the diocese and a board of bishops from the region reached the same conclusion.

    To be completely informed on the issue, please read the bishop’s letter at

    Also, [url=][/url] has all the related documents released by the bishops regarding thier investigation.

    If you do a google search of the words Medugorje + hoax you will come up with a lot more evidence for doubting the veracity of the claims and the credibility of the seers. Having been a former “Medg head” myself, visiting there twice and falling for the whole thing hook line and sinker, I now realize it is in fact a hoax and a huge money making machine.

  • Early documents on Medjugorje are on line at this site I built a few years ago.  Tripod puts pro-Medjugorje ads on it, which is a laugh.  Please click on them anyway, just to be nice to Tripod.

  • All the people I know who went to Medjugorje came back w/ a renewed faith and a deeper prayer life that has lasted. All of these folks had their lives changed for the better.

    Some witnessed phenomena. All had a deeper conversion.

    That’s good fruit, methinks.

    One could fabricate a hoax that bears good fruit. But the phenomena has to be either from God or the trickery of Satan. Although it’s possible that both types exist side by side.

    I’m inclined to believe by the witness of the aforementioned folks I know and have met.

  • Margie if there is an English version of the letter, I couldn’t find it.  My Croatian is a bit rusty.  (Actually all I can do is order a cappuchino)

    I’m with Dom and Tony on this one.  I’ve been to Medjugorje.  Had the whole experience.  I saw the sun spinning in the sky.  I was able to stare at it directly for as long as I wanted.  Hard to fabricate that experience. 

    Is there a lot of garbage going on over there?  Emphatically yes.  They have more religious gift shops on any block than Starbucks in Times square.  And you can buy some of the tackiest stuff in the world there. 

    I know of lots of people who are obsessed with Medjugorje. So much so that they have sold everything they own for one more trip.  That’s what happens when you take something that is supposed to supplement your faith and make it the foundation for it.  I’ve seen the same reaction from folks who got involved with TEC (Teens Encounter Christ). 

    Do I believe the Virgin Mother is appearing?  Yes.  For a couple of reasons:  The messages are focused on prayer, fasting, and reconciliation.  Reason 2.  I can’t imagine the Franciscans would be smart enough to pull a hoax like this off.  Especially in a communist country.  I used to work with the Franciscans.  Great guys.  Not all that bright.


    The last ruling on Medj is of the second and neutral position – there are three possibilities.  This ruling is usual in cases where there can be further investigation and where the event is ongoing and therefore not allowing a final decision on messages, etc. given.  The original bishops there have given their opinions, but they are only just that since the Holy See took the responsibility out of their hands and created a new commission of regional bishops.  Patience!

    for the Kronzer/Medj conflict:

    Wife’s point of view:

    I believe that Mr. Kronzer is now warring even with his backer who also used his story against Medj.

  • Fortunately, we have the teaching Magisterium of the Church to lead and guide us through the murky waters of private revelation, rather than relying on our own clouded judgement of our personal experiences. Here is an excellent article on how the Church’s teaching on such matters applies to Medjugorje:

    Also my link to the Bishop’s letter worked for me in English so here it is again: [url=][/url]

    A direct quote from an interview with Bishop Peric on Jan. 25, 1997 : in response to a question about the Bishops’ Commission and its study of Medjugorje, Bishop Peric replied “The judgement of the CHurch is the same and is still valid. There is no fact, argument, affirmation or miracle which proves that there is a case of apparitions or supernatural revelations.” You can read the whole interview at [url=][/url]

    Some other documents worth reading :
    Fruits of Disobedience



  • Yes, fortunately we do have the teachings of the magisterium and therefore, along with them, we must await any further investigation by the appointed bishops’ commission and must not use biased info which tries to spin a neutral ruling into some condemnation of said site.  As we know, pilgrims are allowed to continue to visit Medj as long as they know they are not to assume that this means any approval has as yet been established.  The Holy Father, by testimonies of reliable witnesses, bishops, priests who have been in audience with him before and after their pilgrimages to Medj. is much in favor of the good fruits and would visit if not pope – before any final ruling.  It’s in that wait and see mode.  So patience is required in order to be objective.

  • I apologize – the above link to the bishop’s letter does in fact bring you to a Croatian page – my old bookmarked link gives me English ! But if you go to the Theotokos link you will get a link to the letter in English.

    Chris – Can you document any words from the Vatican, particularly coming from the Holy father, which testify that “he is much in favor of the good fruits and would visit if not Pope”. Any references to these statements seem to come from the supporters of Medjugorje but have no proof to back up that they were actually said.

    As for pilgrims visiting, the reason they go is because they believe that Our Lady is appearing, when in fact the bishops have said time and time again that She is not. So how is that a “neutral ruling” ?
    Also, the jurisdiction for determining validity of private revelation rests with the local ordinary, not the Vatican – and the local Bishops, 2 of them succesiively, HAVE ruled, as did the Bishops’ Commission.

  • Margie, I think you better read the reasoning behind the three rulings allowed in studying apparitions sites.  The second ruling, which usually makes the statement that no supernatural findings were made is pretty usual in ongoing apparitions sites.  The same was made of Our Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam at one time and now it is fully approved.  Neutral just means that further investigation is permissable if or when the commission decides to do so.  Meanwhile, everything remains without finality.  The third ruling is a condemnation – such as Bayside.  The faithful are then warned to not have anything to do with that particular site.  This, of course, is not what is being asked of the pilgrims to Medj (obviously knowing that pilgrims have a certain bias toward this particular site – common sense)  The statements by bishops, etc. are put forth by believers, yes, but these persons quoted have not denied the statement when questioned again about how they were quoted nor registered any complaint with these sites, knowing some of the people running them.  Are you saying, then, that these reliable witnesses are lying and that the faithful are liars as well who quote them with their permission?  If one weighs the evidence given, tests it and then still refuses to accept good fruit, then I would say that some prejudice to a favorable outcome or ignorance is the underlying reason.  I think you do know that the Holy See has authority over the bishops and has, in this case, made a rather unprecedented move, understanding the prejudice of the local bishop (and the one was at first one of the most positive and supportive of the visionaries….until he had a row with the local Franciscans) – due to the history of the region and felt that objectivity was missing.  Thus, the commission of the bishops of the region was placed in control.  One can go on taking sides, but one must consider the complete history and the rationale of the Holy See as well as its authority here.  Are bishops therefore not to be obedient?

  • Chris, perhaps if you read Bishop Zanic’s list of reasons why he does not believe Medjugorje is a true apparition it will give you food for thought. One situation he brought to light was that of a Franciscan priest who impregnated a nun, caused public scandal, had his faculties removed, continued to celebrate sacraments disobediently, and Vicka (alleged seer) proclaimed Our Lady tells her the priest is innocent and the Bishop wrong to discipline him. Hmmmm. I could go on but you really should do a little more investigation. There are pleny of similar inconsistencies which the Bishop speaks of.

    As for [url=][/url] – the site is owned an operated by Steve and Ana Shawl ( I know them personally and have travelled to Medugorje with them) They make their living bringing pilgrims there so any information on that site must be weighed against what the bishops have said. Ask any Medg supporter about the Bishop and you get the same line – “Well, he supported it in the beginning but then the communists got to him.”

  • BTW Chris, I too await a decision by the Vatican on the Medjugorje question, however Bishop Peric says the finding of the commission stands and the Vatican has no plans to study it further. He goes so far as to say he wished they would (again read the whole interview entitled Medjugorje: The State of the Question at [url=][/url]

    I have accepted the finding of the Bishops commission and do not expect any change. However, if in fact the Vatican did rule negatively on it, I wonder if the ardent supporters who have made Medjugorje the center of their spiritual lives would accept it ? So far the evidence seems to the contrary as you never find any of the Bishop’s findings on the Medjugorje sites.

  • Correcting the link the previous reply

    Chris, it seems to me that Medugorje has become irrelevant in the big picture.  None of those quotes have a source for what the Pope says independent of the backers of the supernatural cause of the apparitions.

    What is motivating its backers to try to get Catholics to believe the apparitions have a supernatural origin at this point in 2004 after 23 years?

    I have to agree with MargieOh that the Church’s finding that nothing supernatural is taking place there is final and not likely at this point to be changed or reviewed in the future.

    How does the Blessed Mother appear and speak about so many banalities in addition to the call to conversion throughout the 1980’s while that region of the world is about to explode in a bloody, ugly genocidal war that will have Croatian Catholics kill and be killed in tens of thousands?