Marion Medjugorje Cult?
Posted by: Gail ()
Date: October 26, 2003 09:12AM

Is anyone familiar with the Marion Medjugorje Cult? I guess there's quite a controversy as to whether or not it's a religion or a cult. From what I've heard it has not been sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

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Marion Medjugorje Cult?
Posted by: margaret heath ()
Date: November 01, 2003 01:18AM

No I havent heard of that one, I know about Medjugorje but tell me more about this cult?? Is it based in Ireland or where I know that my father is a major fan of medjugorje and travels there as often as possible, he has seen the sun dance etc, not being a believer myself and a lapsed catholic I have my doubts

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Marion Medjugorje Cult?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 01, 2003 10:45PM

of mine visited Medjugordge--a devotee who was more affluent paid for her to go.

X returned with some residual skepticism, but was deeply moved by the 'atmosphere of holiness' she encountered among the visitors.

Ive discovered that very powerful moods are engendred whenever a crowd of people assembles with a focused intention. I have had deep haunting emotions at the Vietnam Memorial, and when sitting with a group of people in a meditation group in which not a word was spoken.

It is very likely that something like this accounts for Medjugordge.

It is hard to tell when something like this becomes 'a cult' in the official sense.

First, some people can take any experience and turn it into material for a personal or family cult. I was once a parishioner at a church that attracted a subgroup of people who disliked the reforms of Vatican II. One family at the church had turned itself into a cult--they were paranoid about society, refused to let thier kids watch TV, wouldnt let the children socialize outside the family, etc and turned participation at our parish into a cult. If you'd only observed them and not interviewed or observed the other parishers, you could have assumed just from this one family that our entire parish was a cult.

So some people, families or small groups could be using Medjugordge apparitions to fuel cultic behavior. Plenty of other people may be visiting Medjugordge and not doing any such thing.

Key thing is whether visitors to Medjugordge are being intentionally recruited or groomed into cultic behavior, being encouraged to join groups where they could end up becoming trapped. Hard to say. You need to do more research.

Anything that attracts a crowd is likely to attract hustlers and cult recruiters. Any time we have a peace march in San Francisco, all kinds of wierd groups show up, trying to recruit.

The challenge is figuring out whether this kind of opportunism is 'freelance' or is being organized by experts who have mastered sophisticated forms of social and mental manipulation.

He doesnt mention Medjugordge but Michael W Cuneo, a sociologist at Fordham has studied various Catholic fringe groups.

His book, 'The Smoke of Satan' is very informative. Cuneo found that these Catholic fringe groups all reacted to the changes of Vatican II, but they cannot be lumped together--they all look very conservative and similar to an outsider, but their take on authority in the church is diverse, and they are often totally at odds with each other!

You can find contact info for Professor Cuneo here.

You can do a Google search (search the google group listserves as well as Google itself) and you can certainly drop Prof. Cuneo a note, and see if he has studied Medjugordge. He has a chapter in his book on an American borderline cultic group based on Marian apparitions channeled by Veronica Leuken (now deceased) in Flushing/Queens New York.

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Marion Medjugorje Cult?
Posted by: Gail ()
Date: November 02, 2003 02:38AM

Thanks Corboy. Here's something I found interesting.



"Phillip Kronzer and his fight against Medjugorje:
A Brief Summary

Phillip Kronzer, a successful California businessman and devout Catholic, has dedicated himself to de-bunking the religious cult that has destroyed his business and personal life.

Kronzer has spent over 4 years and more than $500,000 investigating the authenticity of Medjugorje, a city of religious phenomenon in Bosnia which he asserts destroyed his business and 39 year marriage. He is confident his ex-wife and other family members continue to be manipulated by the cult primarily due to their wealth.

Through his efforts, Kronzer continues to uncover a trail of lies, deceit, and sensationalism that Medjugorje supporters use to perpetuate this hoax for personal profit and leaving countless victims behind.

What is Medjugorje?

Medjugorje is located in eastern Europe in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and was an economically depressed farming community until June 24, 1981 when six Catholic children claimed to have seen and spoken to an apparition of the Virgin Mary on a hillside.

As a result of this sighting, Medjugorje is now a thriving tourist attraction known as "Miracle City" and draws hundreds of thousands of people from around the world each year. A town once with a population of 500, now boasts more than 15,000 hotel beds, restaurants providing international and domestic specialties, souvenir shops, travel and traffic agencies, and professional guides speaking all international languages.

A number of the original children, now adults, have become wealthy due to their alleged encounter with the Virgin Mary. To date, over 30,000 messages have supposedly been given to these six seers on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

In addition, there are now an estimated 3000 Medjugorje centers throughout the United States which promote and facilitate pilgrimages.

The Message

Medjugorje is now the most controversial Catholic shrine in the world today. The Vatican has never endorsed it and many Bishops, including the local Bishop in Mostar, Bosnia have condemned the phenomenon.

Kronzer as well as many others have fallen victim to the repercussions of groups affiliated with Medjugorje. Critics conclude these groups have a pattern of deceitfully recruiting members, in effect brainwashig them and draining their financial resources.

"I have spoken with a number of good people who have experienced loss due to Medjugorje and now I have made it my mission to let the world know about this group and it’s damaging effects, so that others will not have to suffer the losses I have incurred," said Kronzer.

Kronzer has filed a lawsuit against the Medjugorje MIR Center of which his ex-wife is a member and is working to establish a victims network to provide resources to others who have incurred undue suffering as the result of the religious cults of Medjugorje."

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Marion Medjugorje Cult?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 02, 2003 06:19AM

with Medjugordge.

The issue is NOT whether the apparitions are real or not; people will believe what they want to believe. What is important is whether

1) the visionaries appear to have profited from their celebrity status, or have not.

2) Are visitors/pilgrims being encouraged to integrate their prayer life with their churches and relationships back home or are they being manipulated into joining groups that exploit them and alienate them from their pre-existing relationships?

3) Is commercialism at Medjugorge being kept within reasonable bounds or are greed and deceit being fostered?

The children who allegedly saw the Blessed Virgin at Fatima was all poor and none of them became famous, wealthy or hit the celebrity circuit. Two of them died young, and the sole survivor became a nun in a cloistered order.

Bernadette Soubirous, who allegedly saw the Blessed Mother at Lourdes and uncovered a healing spring, died young after becoming a nun. She was under heavy pressure to become a celebrity, give blessings and heal people, and she tried her best to avoid being put in such a role. She was grateful to leave home and find privacy in a religious order.

Bernadette's family were desperately poor and the sole profit they realized was they were given some assistance and purchased a mill, enabling them to earn a modest living. Bernadette herself did all she could to avoid publicity.

If the Medjugorge visionaries became celebrities, and enriched themselves, that in itself that whatever they experienced has more to do with greed and ego than with genuine Catholic spirituality.

Its the message that is supposed to matter, not the personality (or personal net worth!) of the messenger.

And even if a Marian apparition is genuine, no reputable spiritual mentor or group should EVER exploit people's devotion--period.

'By their fruits you shall know them.'

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Re: Marion Medjugorje Cult?
Posted by: dsm ()
Date: June 21, 2010 03:56PM

This group is coming close to a final decision in the Catholic church. There has been controversy surrounding the Franciscan order with it. My personal opinion, as a Catholic, is to favor those who do not support it because it is very "new-agey" compared to approved apparitions. I faced a lot of pressure from enthusiasts way back in the 90's over it and everything I heard from them was about personal experience & sensationalism, whereas the approved apparitions were more concerned with world salvation and faith.


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