Medjugorje Hoax Debunked
Since 1981, it has been claimed that the Virgin Mary has been seen in the village of Medjugorje, which is a small town in Bosnia. When she appears, she allegedly gives the world messages that are supposed to be a special grace that has been granted to everyone by God. “I have come to tell the world that God exists,” she allegedly said upon appearing. “He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God.”
Since the initial arrival of the apparitions, over 40 million people have made a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in order to see what is happening first-hand. It is said that many have been healed or strengthened by the experience, including those who are skeptics and non-believers in the Virgin Mary’s appearance. Is this for real? Or is it a hoax that can be debunked?
Is the Virgin Mary Actually a Protestant?
One of the statements that the Virgin Mary allegedly said was this: “”I do not dispose of all graces…Jesus prefers that you address your petitions directly to him, rather than through an intermediary.”
There are two reasons that show this to be a hoax. First of all, this is one of the foundations of Protestantism. When Luther protested against the Catholic Church, he brought with him a set of grievances that he famously nailed to the door. Over the years, churches moved away from Catholicism and took the name “Lutheran” because they wanted to follow his perspective. Luther even rewrote the Bible and reorganized it as part of the movement, which ironically is the version of the Bible that most Catholic churches use today.
The Virgin Mary wasn’t a Protestant. She couldn’t have been. It wasn’t created for nearly 1,500 years after she died. Even if you believe in active spirits, which the Bible indicates isn’t the case because death is referred to as “sleep,” she’d be making a judgment on human theology. That’s not very practical.
Secondly, and most importantly, is the statement that Jesus wants people to pray directly to him. This seems to counter what Jesus told his disciples when they asked him about prayer. Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to pray to him. He instead told them to pray to God the Father. Before Jesus took on any of his famous actions, in fact, he prayed that the glory would be brought to God and not to him.
Are Souls Going to Purgatory?
Father Faricy wrote that he once asked the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje about whether many of today’s souls would be damned. He wrote that this was his answer: “Nowadays most souls go to Purgatory.” There is no actual Purgatory that is in the teachings of Christianity. The concept of Purgatory is that it is a place for souls to go after death so that it can be purified. It is where a soul goes that has grace, but not sufficient holiness.
It is a place where sins can be removed. What was taught in the New Testament, however, was that the penalty for sin was death. Once a person has died, they have paid whatever sin penalty existed. This means, if you take the Bible in a fairly literal context, as most Christians do, that everyone, not just a select few, will be resurrected after death. Why? Because everyone has paid the penalty of sin.
The concept of Purgatory is that people are dying and that their soul is still tainted by the penalty of sin. With the Virgin Mary indicating that Purgatory is an actual, real place of existence, then there’s only two options that must remain: the Bible is wrong or that the Medjugorje events are a complete and utter hoax that is fabricated by man… or some other other supernatural cause.
What About the Scientific Studies of Medjugorje?
Stories float about here and there of people who have journeyed to Medjugorje to seek the visionaries of the Virgin Mary and healing and have come home healed. With more than 40 million people coming to this small community, however, there are bound to be healings that occur to people who have made the trip just from a statistical standpoint. A handful of people who get healed out of 40 million is actually a rather small percentage.
What does make the experience of Medjugorje unique is that those who do report being healed state that the visionaries approached them and told them that their petition before the Virgin Mary was accepted or granted. If you wanted to run a great scam, however, that would also be the way to do it. If you approach everyone and tell them this, then you’ll either give them false hope or create the conditions where their faith is confirmed.
Do Not Persist, But Do Believe
The words of Jesus in the Book of John are often used in context with the Medugorje apparitions and that is probably the most disturbing thing of all. Telling people to believe in something specific through the words of a known religious icon is a certain way to get people to do something. It’s how terrorists convince the faithful to wage jihad or kill themselves in the name of their God. This is a little more innocent, but the concept is still the same.
Although the apparitions are a hoax that through its own teachings can be debunked, the fact that people are asking themselves the tough questions of life because of these teachings and appearances is a good thing. So often we refused to ask ourselves the difficult questions of life because it is inconvenient or problematic or we just don’t want to know what the answers might be. To have a faith affirmed by this, however, is a faith that is seeking evidence.
It’s too bad that the evidence shows that Medjugorje can be debunked.