Feb 18, 2012

The Madonna of Medjugorje on Contraception and Homosexuality

Quite by 'accident' (while exploring the present contraceptive tempest in a teapot in the US),  I came across this diatribe from an irate Christian complaining stridently that the Madonna of Medjugorje has had nothing to say about abortion, contraception or homosexuality in the past 'twenty five years,' since the article was written.  Shock, horror, but no surprise to me.

Since the word ‘abortion’ brought no results, I next looked to see how many times ‘contraception’ was mentioned in all of these hundreds of messages.  Same result – ZERO.  Well, how about ‘pornography’ – nope, a ZERO again.   What about ‘homosexuality’ or ‘sodomy’ – ZERO.  

     And yet these apparitions are supposed to be ongoing communications and warnings from the Blessed Virgin Mary urging us to turn back from our sins or else face great chastisements.  The holocaust of legalized abortion is the defining crime and offense of our era against God, with millions upon millions of innocent victims. For this cause alone, God surely has in store for us a great chastisement.  But in the public messages delivered over the course of the past twenty-five years, we do not hear one peep about abortion from the “Madonna of Medjugorje.” This is the kind of silence one would expect from that other false Madonna. 

Those of us in the gay community who feel drawn to Medjugorje (and we are many) would not be surprised in the least by this revelation and would take it as one more positive sign of the essential balance and health of the whole phenomenon at its core, despite the peripheral aberrations (which include, to be scrupulously honest, the visits of known priestly pedophiles to Medjugorje). The apparitions simply don't fit into the traditional conservative mindset. The very first sermon I heard in Medjugorje on my very first visit three years ago was from an Irish prelate reflecting on "St Peter in Chains." It is we, the devout Catholic faithful, who put Peter in chains, the priest explained,  by attributing to the Petrine office a constant, persistent, infallible authority it does not really possess. The prelate pointed out that Peter stumbles and falls just as often as he remains upright in the storms, and it is when we forget this and project upon Peter a sacred invincibility that is not rightly and humanly his that we contribute to the distortion of the Petrine office. Peter needs to be firmly confronted and chastised when he wanders off into the wilderness and misleads the flock. (This was clearly the case with Humanae Vitae and Contraception, a position almost universally rejected by the 'sense of the faithful.) While the Irish sex abuse scandal was not mentioned in the sermon, it hovered in the air and those of us in the audience (mostly Irish pilgrims) were certainly thinking of it.  Wow, I thought to myself, what on earth have we here, from the pulpit of the parish church of Medjugorje? Fatima this is not! A more profound examination of the problems of authority in the Church would be hard to find. However, what was even more impressive than the content of the sermon was the Irish priest's evident joy,  serenity and confidence in the protection of the Gospa, (as the White Lady is called), gracing us with her guiding presence and aiding us in healing the wounds of the Church. It was a quintessentially Catholic moment, far more profound and inspiring than the fawning adulation of authority that characterizes the false distortions of  tribal religion.  Hail Mary full of grace and indeed we were filled with grace on that Sunday morning, and the wounds of the sex abuse scandal and the distortions of authority in the Church seemed to dissipate before our eyes in the serenity and peace of Medjujgorje.

On another note, a reader of this blog very kindly sent me this link to a recent article on the apparitions of Medugorje in the distinguished journal of Transpersonal Psychology.

(Readers will have to copy and paste the above links, but the links below should work automatically.)

by Dr. Paul Cunningham. ( Part Two is here.) A look at his credentials revealed that he completed his BA degree at Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Providence, RI. Evidently  he was at one time a Catholic candidate for the priesthood, but judging by his very sophisticated article he has moved far beyond the traditional Catholic framework of his youth. The article gives a very detailed and fair-minded survey of the various psychological theories that attempt to 'explain' the phenomena of the apparitions, and the possible psychological mechanisms behind them. You could not ask for a more up to date evaluation. The author's own perspective, which becomes clear by the end of the article, is very much a transpersonal, trans-cultural one, by which I mean he lifts the whole experience out of its explicitly Catholic context and examines it from a religiously pluralistic viewpoint. The most interesting question facing trans-personal psychologists today is not whether the apparitions are fraudulent or the product of psychological aberrations ( positions he rules out in light of the extensive psychological testing the visionaries have undergone over the years). Rather, the truly challenging areas of examination for psychologists and para-psychologists focus on the precise mechanism by which the images are created in the visionaries' consciousness. Assuming that there is a spiritual entity communicating to the visionaries (an assumption Cunningham does not take for granted), to what extent does this benevolent entity itself through a psychic energy transmission  'create' the image of a Croatian Madonna in the eyes of the visionaries and to what extent does this spiritual presence rely upon the psychic processes of the visionaries themselves to come up with the appropriate psychic images that conform to their own religious culture. This would then be a process that they would jointly communicate to each other telepathically. In other words, the visionaries would jointly 'create' the image most suitable to their own psychological development, but a creative process that is done in cooperation with a genuine, authentic trans-personal inspiration that is guiding them through the whole process . That is a very crude simplification of Cunningham's highly sophisticated, subtle and nuanced position. He ends with a call to psychologists everywhere to 'expand their metaphysical base,' because the present traditional scientific paradigm renders most psychologists incapable of doing true justice to phenomena such as the apparitions of Medjugorje. Cunningham does not assert unequivocally  that the apparitions are 'authentic,' (i.e. the product of a genuine spiritual disembodied being communicating to the minds of the young visionaries), but he does clearly lean in that direction. He also clearly understands that  this entire spiritual phenomenon far transcends it's limited traditional Catholic framework, which it has simply appropriated as a means of communication. Or to put it another way, the mystery of the Divine Black Mother God predates Christianity by thousands of years. And she is with us still.


Anonymous said...

You do know that Medjugorje is a complete fraud? -- the best sources for this are cleaned-out, on-the-run, devoutly Catholic, dumped by brain-washed wife, Phil Kronzer (spelling?) and former Balkan war aid worker Silvijia Germak (spelling?). I was mesmerized by formerly wealthy Phil's frequent radio interviews about his investigations of Medjugorje fraud after his wife left him for the Medjugorje mafia whose money laundering, arms smuggling, pedophilia, rapes, murders, etc. forced him to keep digging. Phil was very grateful for missing puzzle pieces from an unnamed savvy aid worker. Trumped-up criminal charges now keep Phil out of the U.S.

I came across the identity of the aid worker by divine coincidence in The Wayne Madsen Report chat room ($30 annual membership) when she outed herself. Silvijia is originally from that region and returned as an independent aid worker in the 1990s. She had scary run-ins with every faction, including the corrupt Medjugorje clergy and their "visionaries". She suspected one evil priest was raping the local kids. She caught him pocketing cash donations, buying arms, and burning clothing donations because he couldn't be bothered with distributing needed clothing to refugees. She knows that the "messages from Mary" were scripted by at least one priest. She co-authored a non-English book with another volunteer.

If you know the ugly Cardinal Montini (Paul VI)-Nazi history of Croatia, it's obvious that we're better off that "Mary" hasn't mentioned abortion and gays. Montini funded Nazi Catholic Croatian Ustasha DEATH CAMPS that butchered 1 MILLION Serb Christian "heretics" to "fight abortion". Montini was probably gay himself.

--Heil Mary

Jayden Cameron said...

I'm sorry I don't enter into disputes of this nature on this blog. There are plenty of other sites relishing with glee all of the sordid tales that might be told around this phenomenon. I do respect the Wayne Madsen report, but would hardly consider that a reliable source when responsibly assessing the many, many factors that must be considered when judging Medjugorje. And I admire the tireless efforts of the late - and mysteriously disappeared - Avro Manhattan, who contributed so much valuable research into the history of the Ustash in Croatia and its relations with the Catholic Church. A sorry tale of corruption and evil sanctioned by religion if ever there was one. However, I remain convinced, after years of careful prayerful discernment and equally careful study, that essential heart of Medjugorje remains a center of holiness and peace, no matter the fact that evil and corruption reach right up to the inmost periphery of its sacred core. "Great goodness always attracts great evil," and such is the case here.

YouAreGoingToHeaven said...

I am not a gay or lesbian, but I love those people because I am aware of prejudices people, in particular religious have often on them and making them difficulties and confusing and manipulating them to position of being guilty and ashamed about themselves, even closing their doors to God and spirituality.

If you wonder what God and spiritual world would think about homosexuality, please read this excellent article about religion, spirituality and gays and lesbians who had near death experiences.


You can continue by googling words:
gay near death experiences

I will cite from the article, because I am sure some people would not follow the link:

This is the message many of us take away from from our churches...and sometimes our families. "YOU ARE GOING TO HELL." ....Being raised in a "Traditional Christian home" and being gay can cause sever emotional conflict that sends many of us on a personal journey away from religion to resolve our sexuality and our religion of birth. For many of us in the gay community...the condemnation can cease to be external and become an ever present voice in your mind. That same stance of condemnation causes a great many gay people to walk away from religion and spirituality entirely. That's not a judgement....it just is...and that was me for a time.

The voices I had heard all my life that said that being gay was an automatic ticket to hell had ceased to be the voice of sunday morning televangelists and had become my own. The emotional weight of which, would keep me up at night. I could not close my eyes to it...mostly becuase I knew that no matter how far away I pushed it from my mind, I would have to deal with it someday....especially that someday that all of us face...the end of our lives.So...as I was coming out, I also began dealing with the question "am I going to hell?" I began reaching out to other spiritual traditions and went in search of an answer that would put that question to rest, once and for all.

Thats when I discovered near death experiences. I had heard of near death accounts but had never previously given them much attention. Finally, the light clicked on..."well, most spiritual traditions are either written thousands of years ago and have been passed down such that their veracity can be compromised in the constant retelling, and many new age philosophies seem out to sell you something....what do the people that have been through death and seen it first hand have to say?"

Jayden Cameron said...

"You are going to Heaven" - thanks so much for this extraordinary link. I will definitely post on this in the next few days. A remarkable story and an invaluable resource. I've actually been an avid follower (and believer) in the NDE's since they first came to notice in the 1970's. I read Kenneth Ring's groundbreaking study and numerous others, but this is the first focus I've seen specifically aimed at gay people on 'the other side'. Thank you again!

YouAreGoingToHeaven said...

I am happy that you found my post helpful. These days, with Google, websites, forums ( http://www.near-death-forums.com/ ) and books about Near death experiences topics, there is really lot of fascinating stuff to be explored and think about. I have read "Lessons from the Light" from Kenneth Ring, found it perhaps best book on the subject.

I wish you good luck writing a post on this - and perhaps it will even bring healing and relief to somebody, struggling from rejection from society and religion, because: "Countless near-death experiences describe the unconditional love that God has for everyone. This, of course, includes gays and lesbians. Just the fact that God created so many homosexuals (approximately 10% of the population) should be enough proof for any reasonable person. Unfortunately, there are people out there who, out of ignorance, fear, and bigotry, persecute them by treating them as second class citizens." [ http://www.near-death.com/dale.html ]

Here are 2 more links, but I think you may already found them :-)



Oh, and recently, I have watched Hereafter movie. It was really a very nice movie also partially about Near Death experiences and how they change lives of people who experienced them, directed by Clint Eastwood.

Jayden Cameron said...

thanks again, wonderful links. I'll be sure to follow up on this.

colkoch said...

My own other side contacts explain the phenomenon as a connection on the quantum level of communications. This a level of information we are connected to by gift of birth, but usually encultured to ignore by the time we are five or six. Sometimes childhood imaginary friends are more than imaginary.

Cunningham is on the right track with his ideas of a jointly created image. This is why Our Lady of Guadalupe was seen by Juan Diego with Aztec symbology embroidered on her cloak, but the visionaries of Medjugorge see a much less detailed, more ethereal vision.

The truth is communication on this level is limited by the informational font of the receiver. Or to put this differently, a visionary is only as good as their intellectual rolodex, and secondly, if that rolodex is full of garbage, it will be garbage in, garbage out. The messages of Medjugorge are getting deeper and more profound as the visionaries mature. For me that's what makes this particular apparition so important.

Finally, this process is precisely how Jesus Himself was taught and trained. By twelve he had absorbed most of what traditional Jewish thinking had to offer and He went from that initial foundation into one lesson after another in the truth of the greater reality, but he had to teach it and understand it in the context of his original Jewish training. His Transfiguration signaled his graduation into the much greater reality, but first he had to prove he wouldn't operate from that reality for his own benefit--hence the desert temptations before the transfiguration.

I'll stop now, I should be writing this stuff on my own blog. LOL

Jayden Cameron said...

Thanks for the insights, Colleen, always welcome! And it's always good to be reminded of the Guadalupe image, which breaks the mold as far as delicate, virginal, blue eyed virgins go. Take one good look at Our Lady of Guadalupe - can anyone really believe this woman bypassed the ordinary human experiences of sexual impregnation and bloody, painful childbirth. Not her. Far too earthy and grounded in this world. The divine mother takes many forms.

Anonymous said...

Funny how people construct their gods to have all the vicious limits that they themselves possess.

I'm an atheist. Even I have more respect for "god" than to assume that the ultimate transcosmic force/intelligence would be so petty as to care about particular obsessive pico-details. Such who's enjoying their material incarnation with which flaps of flesh. (Oh no, you're drinking coffee with your THUMB hooked in the mug handle! BLASPHEMER!)

I mean, the dood is the bestest mathematician of all time. Surely it'd be busy playing with irrational numbers, or fractals, or something. (Have you heard about the new Mandlebrot Cuttlefish it's developing in that universe two over and three down from ours?)

I don't buy any of this mystical vision stuff, I mean other than as J. Random Poetic Inspiration. Yet I know the difference between a person who views their god as a benevolent, loving, tolerant presence, and acts accordingly, and one who constructs god as a rapacious, violent, control freak and sociopath (speaking of the Ustase...).

Love one another. That's all there is to it. And evolve. Just as JP1 said. And so many forces of enlightened Presence before him and since.

StevieD said...

So much wishful thinking. Our Lady of Fatima said that many souls go to hell and most of those for sins of impurity. Then the Miracle of the Sun to confirm the messages. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling not with misplaced confidence and presumption. God doesn't like impurity and the saints have all shown particular horror of it - sensus fidelium.

Anonymous said...

@StevieD Do not judge because everyone has sinned before God. You don't have the authority as to who will go to hell or heaven, regardless of their sexual preference. What ever happened to the core teachings of Jesus? I understand why others condemn Christianity. It has become a political institution and an excuse for people to make judgments. Such a far cry from the Commandments on loving one another, a far cry from the primitive church that the early apostles had built. Only Jesus has the right and the authority to determine who will perish and who will be saved because only He knows each heart.

Deana Paulson said...

Thank you so much Richard for your point of view on Medjugoje. I know this is a hot topic and will always draw fire from opposing forces, but I for one felt a great deal of peace settle over me when reading your blog entries about Mejugorje. Again, thank you.

Richard Jayden Cameron said...

Thank you, Deanna, I'm so pleased the article gave you peace, the first sign of authenticity if ever there was one. I've derived great peace writing on the topic as well. The new Pope has just dedicated his papacy to Our Lady of Fatima (which, frankly,surprised me), so it looks like he's a friend of the Marian apparitions. It will be interesting to see what he does about Medugorje.

john konnor said...


Anonymous said...

Do someone know if the apparitions in Fatima and Lourdes mentionned homosexuality or something like that please ?