I first felt a call to address this issue with my post last year: https://dsdoconnor.com/2014/02/21/michael-voris-and-medjugorje/
But Michael has been far from silent on the matter since then, so I must continue to address it.
Here he is continuing his efforts against Medjugorje, but he went further this time. It seems to me he revealed his true motives: namely, irritation, frustration, and anger. (The three emotions that basically guarantee, in any given situation, that your discernment will be wrong). Now I intend no judgment of Michael; if I have any insight into this it is just because I know that I myself have often fallen into the trap of confusing true discernment with merely venting my irritations, frustrations, and anger. But having fallen into that trap before, I would like to caution you all not to fall into that trap along with Michael now.
So how did Michael do this? Immediately before (rightly) insisting that it must be truth — not feelings — that forms our reaction to private revelation, he reveals that it is precisely feelings that motivate his opposition to Medjugorje. He says:
…It’s one of the biggest reasons for totally dismissing the supposed revelations of Our Lady of Medjugorje. Having allegedly appeared every day now for over 30 years…In all those appearances (more than 12,000) she has never, ever — not once — breathed a word about the worldwide slaughter of over one billion children in the womb. She has never said a word about the evil of sodomy and its quickly growing acceptance by even many Catholics…. [he follows this quote with a slanderous statement that I addressed in my earlier post]
In other words, Michael — after having dedicated much of his career to ranting about abortion, ranting about priests and bishops who don’t do enough about it, and ranting about anyone who doesn’t rant enough about it — is (understandably, though certainly not excusably) angry, irritated, and frustrated that Our Lady hasn’t condemned it by name at Medjugorje.
This emotional analysis of a private revelation completely ignores and forgoes what the Magisterium has already taught must constitute any valid analysis of a private revelation. The Church has gone so far as to recently make this document public in English, so that we may all apply the proper criteria instead of succumbing to emotional arguments like Michael’s here.
Now I do not want to boast, but moreso I do want you to understand where I am coming from with this criticism of Michael (so no one can claim I am just another coward criticizing Michael for calling out cowards): it is coming from one who has made many sacrifices to fight abortion. I regularly pray and sidewalk counsel outside abortion mills, and in so doing endure screams, swears, physical threats, and all sorts of other persecutions. I have pro-life bumper stickers on my car. I have many public writings online that condemn abortion in the strongest of terms (meaning I am not afraid of anyone knowing I hold these views). I have lost many friends and distanced many family members over my refusal to be silent about the evil nature of abortion and gay marriage. I even lost my very good job at GE Global Research primarily due to my pro-life activism there.
I am convicted that I was called to all those things, and remain called to similar things.
So let me be completely honest and open with you all: I do wish that Our Lady had condemned abortion by name at her apparitions at Medjugorje.
So why don’t I take advantage of my “freedom as a Catholic to oppose any private revelation“? Because that “freedom” is a diabolical lie. Private revelation isn’t about going for “whatever floats your boat.” It’s not about carefully seeking out apparitions that say what you want to hear and only listening to those apparitions. It’s not about ignoring any apparition that doesn’t simply confirm your own preconceived preferences and notions. It’s about using legitimate, Church-sanctioned, means of discernment to figure out when Heaven truly is speaking, and when it is, to get over yourself and listen.
Our Lady hasn’t condemned abortion by name at Medjugorje. But it isn’t my place — as a willing consecrated slave of the Immaculata — to tell the Queen of All Creation what to say and when to say it. It is just my place to listen humbly (albeit always with discernment when dealing with unapproved apparitions). I’d like to share a short excerpt from my book, the Crown and Completion of All Sanctity, on this issue. Please click here to download the PDF. (If you’d like the whole book, just email me to ask for it and I’ll send it to you, or you can purchase it on Amazon here.)
(Update: I have now been told that Our Lady actually has condemned abortion at Medjugorje. I will post the details shortly.)
Ironically, this very “Vortex” episode also contains much opposition to the notion that hell might be empty. Michael is indeed correct in expressing this opposition: it is an insidious lie that we can “reasonably hope” that hell will be eternally empty of humans. He could have found a great ally in the Medjugorje apparitions in this cause: for at Medjugorje, Our Lady said that more people go to hell than to straight to heaven. How terrifying — and yet I do not doubt it for a moment.
I’d also like to present a partial list of apparitions that Michael must also oppose, if he insists upon opposing apparitions that do not condemn abortion by name. All of these are Church-approved, and all of them occurred since legal abortion started becoming widespread in the USSR in the 1920s.
(If I am mistaken, and abortion is condemned by name at one of the above, then let me know and I’ll remove it. As far as I know, though, abortion is not mentioned by Our Lady at any of these approved recent apparitions.)
So I will close now as I have closed before: to say that I think Medjugorje is true, but I do not claim to *know* it is true (for more on that, you can see a post I wrote years ago after I made a pilgrimage there). When people claim a degree of certainty in some matter of discernment that they cannot reasonably or even possibly have given the circumstances (as Michael does here and as many Medjugorje detractors do), it is a clear sign that they themselves are using skewed discernment methods and there is a very high probability they are wrong.
Dear Friends, the Holy Spirit is the master of discernment. He alone guides us to the Truth (for He is One with the Son). Scripture teaches, and the Church has already Magisterially defined, His fruits — in other words, the things we see when and where He is active. Here they are. Follow them — and ask yourself, in discerning an apparition or even merely in deciding what Guides of the Faith to follow (even for questions as seemingly small as whose YouTube videos should be watched), whether this person displays them. If he does not, then go elsewhere.
(Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1832)