Unity is Dangerous – Part Two

By Everyone


Does the Vatican Support Medjugorje?

Deal Paul Paylis (Marian Times)

I am sorry for not answering your emails right away but I had to go to a funeral and was away for a time.  I also wanted to see if my readers came up with good answers to your remarks.  To be fair I am going to include all your emails to me and to them along with more emails to Unity Publishing.  The sad thing is that you continue to repeat the same lies spread by Medjugorje promoters over the last 20 years about the Vatican and Pope John Paul II.  You continue to say that both Bishop Zanic and Bishop Peric are bad people and that the Franciscan priests and seers are the good people and are supported by the Vatican.


The only proof of Vatican support is a private letter by Msgr. Tarcisio Bertone where he calls Bishop Peric’s statement “his own opinion” and I agree that this is a most unfortunate statement for my cause since the law (see below) leaves the judgment to Bishop Peric.  However, what you fail to say is that Bertone also said,


“… Pilgrimages, whether private or public, are not allowed if they presuppose the authenticity of the apparitions, since this would be in contradiction to the declaration of the Bishops’ Conference of Yugoslavia.”


Now, come on, Paul, no one goes to Medjugorje who does not presuppose the authenticity of the apparitions, and you know it.  So these people are even disobeying the very document that you promote as proof of Vatican support.  The only other Vatican support you can claim is what people like Bishop Hnilica say “the Pope said” but no one ever produced a single document from any Holy Father giving support to Medjugorje or even disagreeing with Zanic or Peric. 


In fact, Cardinal Ratzinger (before being Pope) said in writing on 22 July 1998: “The only thing I can say regarding statements on Medjugorje ascribed to the Holy Father and myself is that they are complete invention” - frei erfunden - (O. P., p. 283).


In fact, the Holy Father John Paul II, who has never mentioned Medjugorje in any of his allocutions, has frequently summoned the superiors of the OFM to resolve the Herzegovinian question.  For example, on 16th June 2003, the Pope asked the members of the General Chapter of the Franciscan Order to carry into effect the decision of his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, going back to 1975:


"Your missionary activity will prove fruitful in so far as it is fulfilled in harmony with the lawful pastors to whom Our Lord has entrusted responsibility for his flock. Bearing that well in mind, I once again warmly remind you of the efforts that have been made to overcome the difficulties that have long existed in certain areas. It is my heartfelt wish that, with co-operation on every side, that understanding with the diocesan authorities sought by my worthy predecessor, Pope Paul VI, should be fully attained. It has become apparent that such an understanding is a prerequisite for effective evangelization."


In November 1983, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asked the bishop if the Commission has come to some conclusions. Bishop Žanić wrote a study on Medjugorje and the Herzegovinian Affair, which he sent to Cardinal Josef Ratzinger.   You know that conclusion      


In 1984 bishop Žanić decided to extend the first Commission. He wrote to all the theological faculties in Yugoslavia and sought the permission of certain religious superiors to allow their experts to join the Commission.


In January 1987, upon the suggestion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Franjo Kuharić, president of the Bishops’ Conference, and bishop Žanić made a joint communiqué in which they announced the formation of the third Commission and Paul, you know the conclusions of that.


On April 1991, The Bishops of Yugoslavia’ Conference declared: Non constat de supernaturalitate,


The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has intervened four times through two of its Secretaries, while the Prefect, Cardinal Ratzinger, also made an important intervention. In 1985, Msgr. Alberto Bovone notified the Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Italy not to organize official pilgrimages to Medjugorje.  In 1995, Msgr. Tarcisio Bertone wrote to the bishop of Langres, Msgr. Leon Taverdet, and repeated the same to Msgr. Lucien Daloz of Besançon, France, who were interested in knowing the position of the Holy See on Medjugorje. Finally, in 1998, the same Secretary wrote to Msgr. Gilbert Aubry, bishop of Reunion. All these letters emphasized that pilgrimages, whether private or public, are not allowed if they presuppose the authenticity of the apparitions, since this would be in contradiction to the declaration of the Bishops’ Conference of Yugoslavia.


Now Paul, all your arguments below claim either Vatican support or that the Vatican has taken authority away from the Medjugorje Bishop.  Paul, produce one such document to support this.


The Vatican facts are these: 

1: The declarations of Bishop Zanic were twice published in the Vatican Paper, Observatory Romano.

2. The results of four commissions were sent to the Vatican and never did the Vatican comment on them.

3. When Zanic died, Pope John Paul II appointed the most aggressive anti-Medjugorje bishop in the world to replace him.

4. In the many trips to Croatia, Pope John Paul II visited the true Marian Shrine and avoided all attempts to get him to visit Medjugorje.

5.  Just before the war in Croatia Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a document against Medjugorje and presented it to John Paul II but it was suppressed because of the war and the danger to the priests and bishops there.

6. Last year the Vatican asked Bishop Peric for his documents on Medjugorje leaving one to assume the Vatican will be making a statement on Medjugorje sometime this year.  But no pro-Medjugorje person has ever been asked to testify.  No commission has ever been called.  No so-called fruits have ever been asked for.

7. My conclusion is this: 1. If the Vatican makes a statement it has to be negative based on everything I know of their criteria of apparitions (see below) or 2. They will never ever make a statement because of the fear that there would be split in the Church. 


The Vatican knows what I know, any statement by the Vatican will not stop people like you from continuing to promote it.


There are many heresies in the apparitions and many lies, but almost all of these were in the first year and all the Medjugorje web sites today have edited out those first apparitions and the statements of the seers including yours, Paul.  Now, I admit there are signs and wonders in Medjugorje and many new seers are going there and getting “the spirit” but this cannot be of God.


If you were really a lover of the Virgin Mary you would be promoting Fatima, Our Lady of Nicaragua, Our Lady of Soufanieh, Tre Fontane, Zeitun, and yes, even Akita.


I don’t know how I became known as the anti-Medjugorje web site because that isn’t what my web site is all about.  I founded it to promote Myrna of Damascus and the unity of all Christians.  For this reason I wrote about what divides Christians, the authority of the Holy Father, the Liturgy thoughout the bible, rapture, and fundamentalism, but Medjugorje managed to drown out Our Lady’s true messages and therefore Myrna and unity have failed. 


The fact is that I am probably not the best web site that speaks against Medjugorje.  Maybe the best is http://mypage.bluewin.ch/cafarus/falseapparitions.html He and I disagree on only one thing and that is Akita.  He has a good article written by my best friend speaking against Akita whereas I support it. Mark has a good argument against it but it does not matter to me.  My reasons for believing in Akita has to do with inside information and my being consistent in the criteria of discernment but his reasons are good and logical also. 


Now to be even handed I present your arguments below and some pro and con emails.  At the end of this Newsletter are statements by the bishop and the Criteria of Discernment by the Vatican for your review.


In the Real Arms of Mary

Rickard Salbato




I think your pride is sadly misplaced. How about the poor Franciscans and visionaries who need far more defense than the Bishop of Mostar, who has made life miserable for everyone in Medjugorje. I pray for the Bishop's soul, but I pray more for yours.
Love in Christ,
Paul Paylis




Everybody is repeating the same old errors because Rick doesn't take them off his website. e.g. Medjugorje is condemned by the Vatican. All you need to do is read the letter I sent you in a previous email. That clearly states the Vatican's last position.


Vego and Prusina were found not guilty. It doesn't matter whether the Bishop escaped punishment or not. I pray for the Bishop every day, but I care about innocent people who are wrongly accused.


Nobody can deny the scientific studies. Definitely, apparitions are taking place. 25+ years and three major organised scientific studies. NO scientist has any logical explanation. The only other possibility is that it is diabolical. However, Zanic disagreed with this idea himself. Also, when Jesus Himself was accused of causing miracles in the name of the devil, He clearly told people that this was not possible because satan could not act against his own designs.


The fruits are too fantastic to ignore. People are converting to the Catholic Church by the thousands because of medjugorje. They are not converting to any kind of weird satanic cult. And there are so many new priests resulting from Medjugorje that Cardinal Shonborn from Vienna once told Ratzinger that if Medjugorje was closed, he would also have to close his seminary in Viena because most of the new priests received their vocation from Medjugorje. FYI Ratzinger replied that closing medjugorje was never an option. If this was satan's work, then this is the biggest satanic trick ever played in the history of the universe and I'm sure God would not allow the faithful to be confused so terribly. If so, many many innocent simple people would go straight to hell for believing in Medjugorje and that includes Pope John Paul II.


Regarding Peric's appointment: Firstly, in communist Yugoslavia, the communist government had to agree with any appointment by the Vatican. The Vatican has to accept these terms in order to stop Catholics being persecuted. It is the same in communist China. The vatican doesn't recognise Bishops that are not appointed by the Vatican, but on the other side of the coin, the communist government can disagree with the appointment of any Bishop. Secondly, the appointment of Peric could have been a clever way for the Vatican to be able to completely silence the local Bishop's Office and allow completely impartial investigations and judgements to be made on the apparitions. It seems there are too many political machinations in a communist country and the local Bishop's position is compromised because he is under threat from the communist government and in a difficult position. Now, if the local Bishop is totally against the apparitions in the same way as Zanic was, it is easier for the Vatican to keep the matter completely out of the hands of the local Bishop. Finally, Zanic lost a lot of face during the investigations when Ratzinger rejected his findings of constat de non-supernaturalite. Perhaps, he allowed Zanic to nominate a successor as a final act of goodwill.


Love in Christ Jesus,

Paul Paylis


Hi Rick,


Well done. All I want is openness. I’ve shared my side and I completely accept the right of your readers to react the way they feel is best. I’m not sure whether you could rightly presume from this “support” that you are correct in your condemnations of Medjugorje, particularly if you consider that the Vatican has not done so. I will eventually read all the comments, but the main one that I see cropping up is confusion about the Church’s stance on Medjugorje. Your readers are continuing to labour under the erroneous misconception that the Church has somehow condemned Medjugorje and, thanks to your regular promotion of Ratko Peric’s arguments, mostly feel that the Bishop’s condemnation equates to Vatican condemnation and that we should all be “obedient” to the Bishop. I’m not sure how many readers have properly read and understood the Zadar Declaration and its background and implications. Perhaps you would be so good as to publish this summary so that they may fully understand:


Here is the history of the sorry division created at Medjugorje. I wonder if you will have the “stuff” to publish it. If not, I will certainly wonder why, as it is nothing more than the plain truth:


1)     Long before Our Lady’s appearance, the long-running Herzegovinian Affair was the beginning of bad blood between Franciscans and secular Bishops. Readers are invited to learn from the official Medjugorje website: http://www.medjugorje.hr/eviktor.html where they will quickly see how the secular clergy come off less than squeaky clean.

2)     1981: Apparitions begin at Medjugorje. Father Jozo thinks the children are lying. The then Bishop of Mostar (Pavao Zanic) is excited and wants to fast-track a miracle. Father Jozo subsequently receives an inner voice telling him to protect the children and he converts immediately.

3)     Communist secret police call both Jozo and Zanic in for “questioning”. Zanic tells Jozo he is not ready to go to jail over this. Jozo takes the medicine and spends 1.5 years in jail for refusing to obey communist authorities to quell the sudden influx of pilgrims. (Note: remember that Zanic’s initial appointment as Bishop of Mostar needed to be ratified by the communist government).

4)     From this point, we see a 180-degree turn from Zanic who now vehemently opposes the apparitions and hauls the children over the coals during a one-sided investigation that everyone knows is purely designed to turn up any possible evidence to discredit the apparitions. In this process, The Bishop’s mood is not helped when the visionaries tell him of a message from the Virgin condemning his causing division in the region. People who have read the Truth of the Herzegovinian Affair will understand how it is possible for Our Lady to condemn a Bishop. It is there in black and white.

5)     Zanic commandeers diaries, conducts interviews, receives testimonies and eventually submits his findings of constat de non-supernaturalite (proven to be non-supernatural). One of the best things he could come up with after his long investigation were that two of the girls had gone out for a cigarette at the time of the apparitions, which was the beginning of rash and unfair character assassinations of visionaries.

6)     The Vatican rejects his findings as groundless objections and hands the matter of determining the validity of the apparitions over to the Yugoslav Bishops Conference. It is now out of the hands of the Bishop of Mostar. The conference eventually arrives at a decision of “constat de non-supernaturalite”, which means “not proven to be supernatural”. This formed the basis of the Zadar Declaration. It should be noted that the Zadar Declaration provides for future commissions to further investigate and, in the meantime, permits visits and provides pastoral support to pilgrims. Thus, what we have is the same prudent Vatican application of its processes for pronouncing on private revelations, i.e. “Let’s wait a bit longer because the apparitions are still going on”. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CONDEMNATION FROM THE VATICAN.

7)     Newspapers and mainstream media get the wrong angle as we see rash headlines reading “No miracles at Medjugorje” and “Vatican condemns Medjugorje”. Some publications are downright despicable, e.g. the Wanderer, where it has been found that they deliberately told lies in order to discredit Medjugorje. We see the beginnings of the work of the evil one.

8)     The Bishop of Mostar, Ratko Peric, continues to “command” people not to visit Medjugorje and to place all other kinds of unfair restrictions, using the full extent of his power, which is considerable despite his ability to determine on the authenticity of the apparitions having been removed from him.

9)     Finally, in the face of the loud noises coming from Ratko Peric and amidst a great deal of confusion (a confusion still so evident today), people begin writing to the Vatican for a ruling: Are they allowed to go to Medjugorje or not??? Do they have to listen to the local Bishop or not???? In response, the Vatican issues a letter clarifying things. Essentially, this letter stated that Yes, you may go to Medjugorje as long as you don’t pre-empt a final Vatican ruling by calling it a genuine apparition. As for Ratko Peric, the letter makes it very clear that the opinions of the Bishop of Mostar are NOT the opinions of the Vatican.


What do we have now??? We have people like Rick Salbato, E Michael Jones and a dozen other bandwagon jumpers picking up the threads of Pavao Zanic and Ratko Peric, despite the fact that the Vatican has in no way entertained the noises of these two individuals.


So, if people are calling me a division-causer, it is simply because they do not know the facts. I am completely in line with the Vatican. I am defending people’s right to travel to Medjugorje. I am waiting for the Vatican’s final ruling. In the meantime, I am defending people’s right to get excited to the point of wishing to convert their lives from lives of sin. Instead, we have wet blankets thrown over souls and atheists laughing at the Catholic church and staying away from God because there is too much confusion between religions and within religions.


In the final analysis, I am not pro-Medjugorje. I am pro-conversion. I want to see non-believers not thwarted in the attempts to attain belief by conspiracy theorists. If the conspiracy theories held water, that might be a different story. BUT, first we have to get through the confusion and misconceptions and disinformation. Rick Salbato, E Michael Jones and all the others simply have not presented a clear picture. That is all I am attempting to do.


I will answer any and all questions if your readers want to write to me. My email address is mariantimes01@yahoo.com


Love in Christ Jesus,

Paul Baylis


Hi Rick,


I notice another common thread in your answers: That we are not obliged to believe in Medjugorje. To get people to believe in Medjugorje is not the focus of my website and articles. The focus is to stop the one-sided flaming that causes people to get a slanted view on Medjugorje. Everyone must be entitled to believe or withhold judgment in their own hearts, with full and complete information. You deny people this by not showing all sides of the story and by not removing the most damaging lies from your writings, e.g. that Medjugorje has been condemned by the Vatican and that we must all obey the Bishop of Mostar. You make no effort whatsoever to clarify these misconceptions. It is left to those of us who care about lost souls. If you don’t clarify these issues, you are not working for souls, you are working for yourself.

Love in Christ Jesus,

Paul Baylis



Mr Paul Baylis,


Rick Salbato is a honorable and honest person. I know him personally since 2000. He is researching and looking for the truth. You seem to be defending yourself. Can you explain me why the Gospa is not speaking about the disobedience of the local Franciscans and always defend them in their conflict against bishop and pope?


Did you ever speak with bishop Peric? I did, for 3 hours.


I have 200 arguments against the authenticity of Med. after my 24 visits there. Before I have been giving a 100 conferences in favour of Med.


Now you can write about me, without knowing me, like you did with Rick.


No problem because the Lord knows the truth about everybody.


Pax et Bonum


mark w.




I know all the documents you mention.

Hereby 2 documents where it is clear that obedience means nothing to the local franciscans. No obedience, no virtue, no truth.

At the moment I have my 200 arguments only in flemish, my own language. But in my article I sent you('Medlove') you can find already a lot.


Pax et Bonum   mark


 P.S. Bishop Peric on 15 June 2006(see attachment) in the church of Med. See notes: 

 Therefore I responsibly call upon those who claim themselves to be “seers”, as well as those persons behind the “messages”, to demonstrate ecclesiastical obedience and to cease with these public manifestations and messages in this parish. In this fashion they shall show their necessary adherence to the Church, by neither placing private “apparitions” nor private sayings before the official position of the Church. Our faith is a serious and responsible matter. The Church is also a serious and responsible institution! 





Did you read all this already? You continue insulting this courageous man. Zanic was not found guilty in the Vego-Prusina-affair. There only were found procedure-errors. I discussed this with Slavko Barbaric on taperecorder. I'm not influenced by Rick.I have been interpreter for all seers and franciscans and gave 100 conferences IN FAVOUR of Med. before I myself discovered the fraud . I cooperated with Laurentin many years. But he is manipulating things and has not the courage to accept that he was wrong. Misled by Zovko and Vlasic. Read the new book 'Understanding Med' by Donal Foley or Michael Davies' book on Internet. Did you ever go to Hrasno? The real sanctuary since 1977 of the Queen of Peace, 40 km S.E. from Med.? Visited by the nuncio and supported by J.P.II. Vlasic later made a copy of Hrasno in Med. Can you explain me why J.P.II appointed Peric, who lived in Rome and supported Zanic in his battle against Med, after Zanic reached 75years old? You think to know 'everything'. Than you are as proud as Laurentin. On the phone from Paris once he told me : " Mark, you may tell me all you know, because I KNOW EVERYTHING". Lord, have mercy on these people, they do not know what they say...

 Pax et Bonum            mark

P.S. There is no new commission at this moment





One of your respondents wrote:


Medjugori is bad news and the Church has most certainly condemned it. Those who think otherwise are just plain wrong.”


Another wrote:


“The Church has ruled against Medjugorje. The Church has declared it a false apparition. That is all you need to go on with your work.”



Please alert this and other readers that they are in serious error. If you care about the spiritual welfare of your readers, then please spell out for them exactly what the Zadar Declaration of 1991 has said and its full implications. Please also show the letter from the Vatican that shows that it has distanced itself from the proclamations of the Bishop of Mostar. Please do not continue to lead your readers astray by equating the opinions of the Bishop of Mostar with the opinions of the Catholic Church.


You have now been informed about significant errors on your website and it is thus your obligation to correct any possible confusion these errors may cause. Failure to do so is tantamount to bearing false witness by omission and negatively affects the spiritual well-being of your readers.


FYI: I have responded to some of your reader feedback on the following page:



Love in Christ Jesus,

Paul  (Paul Baylis)



Hi Rick, here is the response from this guy who is pretty confusing - must have some connection to Medj.......I'm going to forward this also to Mike Jones, I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it, but also so he knows what is going on in that wonderful world wide web.

Keep the Faith my friend.




I can see why you are attached to Rick. But, please, in the case of Medjugorje he is leading you astray. Please listen:


We don't defend Medjugorje. We are not promoters. We love the church and the Eucharist. Did you know that Father Jozo is called the "Eucharistic Priest"? Why? Because whenever he goes on speaking tours or is asked for a solution to something, he always tells people to go to the Eucharist. He never tells people to go to Medjugorje! Do you know why we speak out against Rick Salbato and his cronies? Because he is snatching souls from the hand of God, souls that are being converted through Medjugorje or WANT to be converted through Medjugorje or any other apparition. Let's face it, apparitions attract people. Mexico became entirely converted to Catholicism through Our Lady of Guadaloupe. It's nothing to be ashamed of. The Church has grown through apparitions. A big reason the Vatican has not condemned Medjugorje is because of these conversions, i.e. the fruits.


Rick doesn't know the damage he is doing and how he himself is likely responsible for lost souls remaining unconverted and dare I imagine that some souls may have died unconverted after reading some Salbato or Jones conspiracy theory. I should know. I have spent many long hours on atheist forums, evangelizing and trying to turn them back to God. Atheists are very cunning and know how to argue their way out of everything, demanding proofs for every word you say. I brought up the subject of miracles one day. I used miracles as an example of something that is a credible pointer to the existence of God. I used Marian miracles as an example. The first thing the atheists did was to look up the Marian apparitions on Google and guess whose name kept popping up - Rick Salbato, E Michael Jones and a host of other conspiracy theorists. I looked at some of the things they were writing and was shocked to find that they were mostly lies. It would have been fine if he was speaking something truthful or meaningful. But they were not. So, atheists came back to me basically laughing at God, the Catholic Church and religion, having all the ammunition they need to say "Ah..why bother with the Church. You guys can't even agree! It's too confusing"!. Snatched from my hands. The other thing that bugged me was when I go to a Catholic forum and someone is glowing about his renewed faith after going to Medjugorje and how so-and-so was healed etc. Immediately, others on the forum would start quoting Rick Salbato and his friends saying outright lies such as "Didn't you know the Church condemned Medjugorje?" I was sick to my stomach at the mess of disinformation that was affecting both unconverted and backsliding souls who were influenced by Medjugorje to turn back to God.


I have tried to get Rick to at least make it more balanced and certainly to remove the outright falsehoods from his website, but so far, NOTHING. He still continues to have "Medjugorje is condemned by the Church" and all other kinds of misleading things. He seems to have caught the conspiracy theory bug and isn't listening. Maybe he's come too far and can't turn back.  Even one of his supporters had to tell him that his website was not updated. I haven't seen it updated yet. All of Don Foley's arguments have been long-refuted. All of Bishop Zanic and Ratko Peric's arguments have been refuted. There is nothing left but innuendo, which is another word for bearing false witness.


I have had long talks with E Michael Jones too and he has resorted to writing fiction novels. He has become a sideshow Bob because he appears to have run out of ideas. In his latest book, he tries to convince his readers that the visionaries are probably seeing a ghost that represents a repressed mass guilty conscience over atrocities against Muslims? Yet, when it is put to him that only six people are having the visions and these six people weren't even born at the time of the inter-religious atrocities, he still tries to defend himself.


I have to believe that these people who write these theories are simply in love with the thrill of the adventure of uncovering something, with scant regard for the truth and very little wisdom and foresight as to how their actions are harming the Church when they get it wrong. And believe me they have a lot of damage to undo as regards Medjugorje.


Please tell me.....how do you see the Vatican's opinion on Medjugorje at the moment?? 


Love in Christ Jesus,

Paul  (Paul Baylis)


Correction to typo in my previous email: The decision of the Zadar Declaration was "non constat de supernaturalitate", which means "Not proven to be supernatural".


I mistakenly said that it was "constat de non supernaturalitate" which was of course the pronouncement of the Bishop of Mostar and means "Proven to be non-supernatural". This pronouncement ended the patience of the Vatican and the Yugoslav Bishops Conference was handed the task of investigation.


Love in Christ Jesus,

Paul  (Paul Baylis)


Hello Rick,


I was impressed to how many people responded to the "Refutation of Rick" and how many them zeroed in on what was really going down.  I just had to see if there were others that were also critical of Medjugorje.  You might have seen some of these already.








I am also enclosing a few pictures that I took when I was at the Knock, Ireland Shrine of the Apparition a few years ago, for a reason.  Notice the display case with the large crucifix and chain on the right side.  The large beads on the chain have apparition sites on them.  The last picture is a close up with the bead that has "Medjugorje" on it. 


This kind of thing, along with those active priests that support or promote this or other non-sanctioned events have me bewildered as to whether there is a working chain of command.  Perhaps these things are not considered to be important enough to act upon by top management or handling them at all might prove to be too political.  I would think that a lot of it would get taken care of at the Bishop level.


Take care,

Mr. Rick Salbato you are indeed 'More Dangerous Than Any False Apparition' and I respect you for your courage and perseverance. 


I will be offering a mass for you (will let you know when its confirmed) because I don't know how else to show my support.




Rick, I am sure you have seen what Mary Ann has done with the Myrna series. I am so happy that this has been able to be presented now online in video. Wow! This is a great way to fight the wacky apparitions etc. I made a real pretty link and ad for Mary Ann on the front page of my website. It is on the right if you scroll down a bit. This is so exciting


Hello Rick:


I was amazed by the contents of Baylis’ article. He writes and I quote: ”The weight of evidence against his position is likened to a mountain against a molehill. But, Rick squirms and wriggles and refuses to give. Now, that's scarey!”  What really is SCARY (spell-check!!) is the fanatical defense of the Medjugorje event and other hoaxes that have been investigated (supposed “apparitions”, “divine writings” and “seers”) and the results have been very clear there was (were) no apparition(s).


People with that kind of fanatical attitude and open disobedience to the Bishop is really SCARY.




Rick - just my response to this man's article,  


the early messages speak for themselves.  


I contacted a "medjugorje" web site that had SUDDENLY removed all messages of the first few years. YOU didn't convince me there was a problem with the authenticity of Medjugorje, the early messages did. I wrote the web site and asked, where are the messages from the first few years and he said "The people in charge of the apparitions asked me to remove them" - and this is really key - "because they hadn't had a chance to review and approve them before they were distributed."  


If that doesn't sound like the Hand of Man behind these "apparitions" I don't know what does. So the whole first few years we can't trust?  What are we saying here? Either they were ALL of God or NONE were. You can't have some messages from God and some not.


You don't have to be a brain scientist to see that this is a fraud and if it helps people, that's nice, but the number of supporters has never been a reliable argument for authenticity. Those early messages were SCARY and did NOT help people or the church or God's mission.


I try to convert atheists all the time and Medjugorje would scare them away faster than almost anything I can think of.

I think it hurts the cause.


Thanks for letting me vent!


Aloha Rick...


Thanks for blind coping (bcc:) me with this.  I am first most happy to see that someone is reacting.  This Medjugorje matter is not some vague issue that has an ambiguous answer or lacks a response from the Church.  It has a direct and unequivocal creditability ruling from the appropriate ecclesiastical authority, the local Bishop.  


Mr. Baylis seems to be making up his facts from the beginning.   He makes the charge that that the unitypublishing.com web site is a source of disinformation.  Anyone who has been to this web site knows that the sources for almost everything on it are quoted in a bibliographic style.  This lame excuse for a so-called impartial plea for "unity"  is obviously based on acceptance of Medjugorje and is transparent for what it is... a personal and emotionally charged attack.  Where are the sources for this op-ed piece?  


He quotes the web site and then answers not with facts but with his own unqualified derisions.   I guess what really is the most irritating and insulting to the reader about the article is how the author tries to assume the intellectually superior high ground by trying and failing to sound like a lawyer and portraying you as some sort of venal Cotton Mather.  IF he is a lawyer, I wonder how many cases he has won with his clever blow-by-blow illiterations along with the "straw-men" and leaving his facts outside of the court room.   The ending paragraph of "...More Dangerous..." does a very good job of revealing it's true purpose. 


Rick is causing Catholics to think and making them reconsider their positions on Medjugorje.... how awful!  Mr. Baylis's version of Catholicism is one to which I will not subscribe.  It is one that ignores the Church and follows its own agenda. 


Take care,


Dear Rick


Concerning the article blasting you in "Marian Times", keep to your policy of "not giving in" to what the Medjugorje pushers want.  I myself am often confused concerning the subject, but am leaning heavily towards false, because of the local Bishops ruling, and because the fruits of the seers are not good. This has all come from you, and with proper documentation of the official papers, so how does one refute that? I consider it a mess, and stick to the approved Fatima and Akita, for we are not required to believe them for our salvation. If Medjugorje is of the devil, he really is getting good. To think of all the people led astray if it is demonic, is overwhelmingly sad, and God Bless you for trying to warn us. I do read the messages, just to see what is said, which I feel is so generic. I agree with you, Our Lady is not a babbler, and this is what turns me off the most.


As for this guys article, all I see is him personally attacking you...but gives no proof to discount what he states are your "errors". It is all about discrediting you for your non-acceptance, but not a defense of why it should be accepted in the first place!


Are the links at the bottom direct links to your articles? I clicked on them but it was taking so darn long...could be my connection today. If so, hopefully readers of his column will read what you have to say. If they have "eyes to see and ears to hear", then it will be a blessing!


Stay tough!!!


Dear N…,

I was forwarded a copy of your email to Rick Salbato about your concerns with false things going on in the Catholic Church.  Have no fear, these things will occur until the second coming.  Jesus chose Judas as one of his disciples for the purpose to warn us that there will be scandals in the Church until the end of time.  The smoke of Satan is within the Catholic Church, let there be no doubt about that.  I know nothing about this Anne you refer to but I do know a little about Medjugorje.  My late Bishop Paul O'Byrne permitted Vicka Ivankovic to speak at my parish years ago and I have a friend who visited Medjugorje 3 times.  I never needed to believe in these so- called apparitions in order to affirm my faith.  I believe in the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church and am in full communion with our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI.  I never felt a need to go to Medjugorje to check it out. I have a brother who is studying to become a priest who went there and claims to have witnessed a miracle of the sun while there.  I am completely convinced that Medjugorje is a complete fraud!


In my research I found unitypublishings.com website and catholicdoors.com website that refuted the Medjugorje claims, but the one that helped me to see the truth of Medjugorje and taught me how to discern the truth about any apparition is the book written by Michael Davies This is his website. http://www.mdaviesonmedj.com and you can download a copy of his book. I highly recommend reading it!  The key to discerning the truth regarding apparitions and the like has got to do with the virtue of obedience.  St Faustina of the Divine Mercy said that Satan cannot hide himself in the cloak of obedience.  It is easy to see how the false seers of Medjugorje and the priests who support them have failed in regards to this essential virtue (read the book). Also remember the lives of saints like St. John of the Cross, St. Joseph of Copertino, St Pio of Petrelcina, St Faustina and how they excelled at this virtue. 


Satan can hide himself in the cloak of humility so when you see the seers and their followers indulging in pious external practices of praying the rosary be not deceived.  Ask yourself how many true saints in the church wished to be exposed to the public attention? I cannot name any.  Why have there been no Medjugorje seers giving themselves to Jesus in a Holy religious vocation?  They all should have devoted their lives to a religious vocation, think about it, what would you do if our Blessed Mother Mary appeared to you?  I pray for the seers of Medjugorje that they will repent of their deceptions.  I pray their supporters and followers will see the light of truth and return to true authentic faith based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope.

My advice to all Catholics to avoid being led astray is to know and follow the Catechism of the Catholic Church, remember the promise of Jesus that he would build his church upon the rock (Peter the first Pope and his legitimate successors) and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.  Do not be afraid when scandals occur in the church since Jesus chose Judas knowing full well he would betray him and there will be others following the example of Judas until the second coming.  Prayer and the sacraments are all we need to combat these errors.  Remember that we are not compelled to believe and follow any private revelations (catechism #67) even the authentic ones.


I have been researching various religious phenomenon as well as non religious phenomenon such as the 9/11 myth, global warming, the Israeli/Palestinian middle east conflict and others.  In my research I have also studied a bit about propaganda techniques, the use of fear mongering and truth suppression and misinformation to manipulate people.  It is truly amazing the degree of deception and manipulation we are exposed to in all aspects of our lives in this world.

I will pray for the intentions of yourself, your parish, Bishop and clergy.  Please do the same for me.  Ours is a spiritual battle.  Be not afraid!  I highly recommend Holy Hours of Adoration to help in the battle and of course the Holy Rosary a favorite weapon of St. Padre Pio (he prayed 17 rosaries each day!).


Hope this helps.

Yours in Jesus, Mary, Joseph


Dear Mr. Baylis.... (Paul Baylis)

It amazes me how people will continue to seek and find something that will ease their minds concerning the supposed apparitions in Medjugorje.  All I see is your vicious attack on Rick and all because he defends what the two Bishops of that area have said, as well as the commissions as well.  How you can continue to even think that Mary is appearing shows a complete ignorance on your part and those who you are sharing your views with.

Let me tell you something about this man, I met Rick through the Internet as I was doing research into a dangerous cult called the "Kingdom of the Divine Will" which I'm sure you have heard of and if you don't know, you'll find it on the web.  Of course you'll find the good and bad, but if you can discern truth, you'll see it can never be from God, it is full of things that are just completely absurd. 


Back to Rick, well, my husband was involved big time with this and causing a major rift in our marriage, as well as our six children at the time.  We consider ourselves to be devout Catholics, that would be definied as those who follow the teaching of the church and don't get involved in things that are "outside" the church.   Needless to say after much battle, I was able to show my husband, with the help of Rick, the truths in that movement and Praise God he came back to the fullness of our dear faith.  At this time in our lives, I became pregnant with my 7th child, Elias, and found out that he was born with only half a heart, something we knew nothing about.  Well, I live on the East Coast and Rick lived at that time on the West Coast and I found myself asking him if he wanted to be the Godfather to our ailing son.  He agreed, which just blew me away, here is a man I never met, yet I knew that he was a man of God, and would be a great help to being a man who would guide our son's religious upbringing if we should be neglect.  Again, needless to say, our son didn't live until his 1st birthday, it was a grueling 55 days in the hospital as the doctors tried to fix his heart and he never recovered.  Rick flew out to the funeral, in the middle of a snow storm, to be there for us as we celebrated his official entrance into heaven.  On Rick's website, you can read all that transpired between him and I as he journeyed with our family through every day of our son's hospital stay. 

How you can attack this man on the pure basis of Medjugorje is just insane.  How can any of your pro-Medjugorje people make sense of what the Bishop has declared and feel good about yourselves?  How can you not see that the devil has been loosened and his primary target is MARY?  If you can't read the newest book by Donal Foley and tell me that what you preach is truth, then you should seek divine intervention as you are dangerously close to being one of the "blind leading the blind" and I
pray that you can recover your senses and fight for what is truth and how Mary would want her children to act. 


Our world is plummeting head first into hell and we need faithful and truth filled people to bring people to their senses, and this movement is not one of Mary's weapons.  It is full of lies, no one is making these things up, Donal Foley had his hands on all the documentations out there and yet you still see it as something good.  It is so sad and I pray our dear Holy Father will make the final say, and if he doesn't, it will continue to lie with the Bishops who are the successors to the apostles and they have the say in their area.  Do you not realize that?  How Mr. Baylis can you rectify that?  I ask for no response, I just wanted to share with you how Mr. Rick Salbato was instrumental in my life as well as my family's and if you consider this man what you call him on your website - well, God help you.

Under the mantle of Mary,


This statement from an email on your page  Weakness # 1:  John Paul II did lend some support to Medjugorje (and I have seen a photo of him with the Medjugorje visionaries).

This actually proves nothing! I have seen pictures of PJPII with Castro and many others like Clinton and Hillary. Pictures can either enlighten or deceive. When they decieve as with the Medj. group then they will believe anything.


I never had any doubts about Medjugorje till I heard a presenter say that Our Lady had initially informed one of the visionaries that she would no longer be appearing to her any longer but then later changed her mind and said that she would indeed continue appearing to that particular visionary (I don't remember her name) every year on her birthday and on special occasions. While the presenter continued and praised our lady for being so gracious on changing her mind, I on the other hand was skeptical because I've never heard of Our Lady making such a u-turn on her words. Thus began my journey on the internet to look for the facts and coming across Unity Publishing.


Unity Publishing gave me the facts I needed. I appreciate the fact that Rick is straightforward and sees no need to be politically correct. From personal experience anything that happens there is never considered evil. Only the disbeliever is considered as being unholy and lacking in faith and to be pitied. Its incomprehensible when people who seem to be so knowledgeable of the faith and are so active in the church become so protective of Medjugorje that even the disobedience is seen in a favourable light.


Thank you Rick for Unity Publishing!


Could you please post on your website, a list of apparitions that have Church approval as well as a list of those apparitions that have not received approval and/or have been condemned by the Church.  Today, there are so many who claim to have visions that it is hard to keep on top of them.  It is even harder to determine which apparitions have merit and which don't .  Thanks, MG 


One of the best things that I have encountered in my life has been Unity Publishing, it simply opened my eyes, and I'll be forever grateful.


Dear Rick,


You are blessed Rick because you are persecuted by the enemy of God who is so furious not to have got the approbation of the Catholic Church that he needs to flow his anger against you ! His “proofs” are no proofs at all!  


Even before the Catholic Church gave her opinion, it was obvious for me that these apparitions were and are false!


As per “Anne, the Lay Apostle” I have seen somewhere in a “catholic” shop of books a French translation of its book but the title did not caused me so much enthusiastic as to lead me to buy it, so it remained in the shop!


I would like to stress this fact: I discovered very recently that the official French translation from the Latin Mass in the French official Missal is very bad : very important words are missing and it leads the people to profess heresy without even knowing it (an example: In the Credo “consubstantial” is translated by “same nature”) ! So, this makes me twice sad than the hundreds of false apparitions and this because the Church does not obliges us to believe in apparitions but the Church obliges us to believe in the truth and to profess the truth.


So: the priests who use the French Missal are under obedience of their French Bishops, but we lay French Catholic people must be under obedience of the Catholic Church and the Holy Father. So, the Catholic Dogma having not changed even after Vatican II (Vatican II is not a dogmatic Council but a disciplinary one). I am very surprised and sad that these changes in the French Missal have been done! Why the responsible people who made this translation official and those who where in charge to distribute it should have agreed and done such bad things?  


There is with no doubt a real Mystery because even people without instruction now start to discover the wrong which has been done since Vatican II and who they have been obliged to serve during 40 years so that, few by few, they return to the St Pie V Latin Mass for the redemption of their souls!


Me too, I go now, with these few who are strongly rejected by the modernists, to legal and licit St. P. V Latin Mass (attended by FSSP, ICRSP, IBP) this is more profitable for our souls than the other!


Rick, continue fighting without fear because you have great protectors at your sides: Our Lady of Fatima and St Michel Archangel!  


Here in France our fight is essentially for the Mass, Life, against abortion, against euthanasia, and fight for the Catholic Church!


God bless you, Rick!





Lots of good comments and points' made in the responses. I am glad you are enjoying this. Maybe it will cause a lot of misled people to actually look to your articles and see the truth! I would find that enjoyable also!


Hi Rick,


Just a short note to thank you for helping me reconvert to my Catholic roots/faith. Because of your publications, 'The Bible is a Catholic Book' & 'Pope A Sign of Division Or a Sign of Unity, my life is now back in unity with the Mother Church. You have also given me the tools to defend the faith. For this, I will always be grateful to you and your efforts.


You are a true Catholic Christian warrior. Don't let the critics get you down. Keep going...




Hi Rick,
   This is very sad.  I do know there are manipulative hands in Medjugorje, just like AF was.  She drew on it plus, you know from other power sources outside of our Lord.

   By the way, people are finally noting how flat and inactive the local church is.  I know AF and her husband touched on so many here in Portland, even going to Salem and observing and involving herself with some Catholics involved with the state legislature.   I think they tainted a lot of lay people's involvement in the church.


Hi Rick,
Read your page of emails.  It seems that the old Catholic way of questioning anything new is now not allowed.  Medgegoria may be true or false but even if it is true it is the Catholic way to question everything so we don't end up looking like a fool.  If the people at the Marian Times think you have been hard then they will be shocked when the Devil's Advocate division of the Vatican turn up.  If they think that any lies or things that appear dodgy will be just brushed over then they are in for it.  I don't know if it is false or not, that I leave to the Vatican and until then it's every Catholics job to question everything until it is proven to be built on stone or on sand.

The suggestion that you will have to face the Wrath of God because you find things to be questionable is almost laughable. Just have a look at the questions Bernadette of Lourdes had to answer and you will find out that you really are quite a softy.

The other suggestion that your writings are those of an Atheist who hates the Catholic church doesn't stand up at all.  I personally may not agree with everything you write because some of it is your personal opinion but I can't find anything that is contrary to the Teachings of the Church, in fact, quite the opposite.

My great fear is that it is indeed all a plot of the devil. People in the West are only just holding on to their faith.  The fall of
Medgegoria may be the catalyst that pulls many down and cause great damage.  I hope it doesn't but the only way for it not to is for Medgegora to be true and that is too much of a risk.


Dear Mr. Salbato:

I love your website.  I have learned so much from it.  I just wanted to let you know since others are knocking you down.

Thanks for your hard work.



Wow!! You are so attacked. It is so scary how the devil can confuse them to think that you are in the wrong. I really have to keep re-reading your stuff because my retention on stuff is so poor now. Nana's is better than mine at the rate I am going. They are so stupidly confused they don't even realize that they are leading people down a path of maybe. Maybe these will be approved some day. He is obsessed with the idea of a "maybe true apparition" and yet, does not mention the Eucharist (the center of Christ's true Church) not even once!! How can he be converting people with these maybe apparitions? That is ridiculous!! Also, it seems to be from the side of evil certain adjectives he used to describe you and your work. A holy man would not use such adjectives, I don't think. Christ never did. He prayed. He pointed out the simplicity of truth and corrected wrong.


You see? This is exactly why I don't encourage apparitions to my children. Sure, there have been some that are approved. However, many, hundreds, that are completely false. Why should I as a mother deliberately place my children on a path to sift through hoping to find the one true apparition out of thousands of false ones when our faith does not say we must believe in the true apparitions? I hold them to the Pope and the Eucharist (which naturally includes confession in order to receive the Sacrament) and that is all. This is where their heart needs to be. No matter what. If they keep the Papacy and the Eucharist center, all the other aspects of the faith will follow. They have learned through my heartache and mistakes that chosing a path other than the Pope and the Eucharist leads one to sadness and self destruction. I also teach them through my mistakes that when and if they find a young man that loves Jesus more than anyone, this is spouse quality. Don't bother with anything less than that. If this young man is not found, better to be single.


Richard, I will admit to you as a dear friend and family, that sometimes your sentences could be worded a little better. However, this is the only thing negative I can say. This guy you are dealing with is not of God. He is one of those wolves in sheep's clothing that is talked about. My opinion. You can correct me if I am wrong. I still hold to that too many people are wrapped up in apparitions period!! To their own demise!


Thanks for fighting the good fight! It is the fight that most of us are incapable of fighting for one reason or another. I will say one thing in this misled man's defense. When he mentions that you say "God is happy with your work" or however it was worded, I can agree that it is not necessary for you to say that. Not because of the reasons he states, but simply because any believer will naturally know that your work is pleasing to God and need not even be said and can possibly be interpreted as a self-inflating statement.


I am with you in your fight and am thankful to you for your hard work.

God speed,



I went to her website and read about depression. Hogwash. Jesus does not want us to be depressed and he will listen to our self serving depressed state. I believe, and could be wrong, that often times depression is held on to because of an unwillingness or temporary spiritual incapability to accept God's will in our lives. I believe depression is real. However, after experiencing it myself and not believing its power until I was depressed, we hold on to depression because of not wanting to accept God's will, not admitting our own wrong doing and therefore not trusting in God's mercy and forgiveness. Depression, if not brought on by hormonal problems, can often times be a choice of state of mind. Not to mention when embraced is extremely self serving and selfish. Depressed people think of self and self feelings before anything else or anyone else, including children.


This lady is a complete kook. I don't think it is fraud alone. She is being led by an evil entity.


I know my take on depression probably seems harsh for people like Brooke Shields but I have been there. Richard, after this last baby my doctor told me I was "clinically depressed". I refused mind altering medication. Depression is an evil that gets one to give in totally to it and places one in a state of mind where you are a totally ungrateful person for all of God's blessings. Hard for many to believe, but you do reach a point in your mind where you can continue to embrace depression and know that that path will lead you further away, or you can grab your boot straps, pull yourself up, and choose the other path. I think many people ignore the choice or don't even see it because they are so self absorbed with their "feelings of depression". I am not saying depression is not real. It is very real. I have suffered it. I am merely saying that I believe God gave us what is necessary to avoid it. It is up to us to take control of it.


Dear Rick,

Thank you for both of your recent emails, I'm busy at the moment so won't give a lengthy response. Paul Baylis is auto-projecting, as a result of his emotional immaturity he is attributing to your good self the failings that his subconscious mind refuses to accept about his own self. I am doing some of my own investigations about Anne. Please God I'll have something for you about her later. We do have a major problem however with the Bishops here in Ireland many of whom are in open dissent to Rome. The John Paul II Society is trying to put together a document which presents the facts of their mismanagement of the spiritual lives of the faithful here which will be presented to Rome sometime later this year. However, there is the need to bring about conversion rather than crucifixion so their style and the protocols they follow is different to your own.


Reflecting on the book of Job recently, it occured to me that in actual fact the Book is not about a man so much as about Satan... the accuser of the breathren. God knows Job's heart He knows he will be faithful come what may, and He allows Job to be tempted so that Satan is humiliated. Likewise, your fidelity to the truth about Medjugorje humiliates Satan, so of course he will seek out souls weak in the faith to attack you.


It is truely against powers and principalities that we battle. Be strong He has overcome the world.


I just read your page on the "Marian Times" article against you (and  against the truth).

How sad how they constantly attack the bishop. This is such a crystal clear sign of the evil origin of the fraud in 
Medjugorje that I can't believe it is not obvious to everybody.

In contrast, I was reading today in detail about the apparitions of  Our Lady of Guadalupe. Oh my God!, what a difference: http:// www.sancta.org/intro.html  She manifests her desire that a church be built in the site and sends  Juan Diego to ask that to the local Bishop. When the Bishop hesitates and asks for a sign, she complies immediately to the request of the bishop. Yes, she, the Queen of Heaven, subjecting herself immediately to the authority and request of the local bishop.

What a difference with Medjugorje!


Hey Rick,
You must have them all shook up!!

I just reread your piece on narcissists the other day after an incident at a local business where some of my in-laws and friends were/are employed.  The president of this outfit runs his business and his family like a cult and NPD sure fits him in the extreme.  I am trying to explain to these poor people that getting fired after 11 to 20 years of hard work had nothing to do with them, their attitude or their job performance.

 I feel really sorry for them because these men are in their forties and fifties and trying to find a decent job at this age is very hard if even possible. They are also catholic guys with big families to feed. Heaven only knows what the narcissist is telling
prospective employers when they call for a work reference.  Have you got any suggestions?  Also, please pray for these men.



How are you?

I read the article to my mother and we both laughed the whole time, not because it was funny, but because Paul sounds just like my cousin Rudy who wants to save the world. People like them want to be good people; they just don’t know the full truth. In the article he looked at you the same way, only what killed his argument was your book, where you are Rock. When I was re-thinking about what I had read Paul sounds like Rock, he wants to find the truth, he just doesn’t know he’s being suckered in by the “fakes.”


Anyways, he also said that you write lengthy articles, in my opinion, I love it! I love that you can take one subject and write ten pages, if anything it proves you have more facts and truth to say, unlike Paul who claims it’s a good thing that he can write two pages on Medjugorje. If anything it proves that he has nothing to say if he can’t write more then two pages, to me it means he hasn’t researched his stuff.


Anyways Rick, I love you, I’ll pray for you, and of course you already know you’re doing the right thing but incase you need to hear it again, RICK YOU’RE DOING THE RIGHT THING!


(I’ll pray for Paul too.)


With lots of love and hugs and kisses and some more hugs and kisses,


Dear Rick,

Keep up the good work...you're getting lots of points where they count!


I thought the Vatican was forming another commission last September to study the "apparitions" again.  Whatever became of that? 


And what's with this "Marian Movement of Priests" taking over EWTN?  It's scary...I think a majority of faithful Catholics are slowly getting brainwashed with all these delusions. At least we know Unity Publishing is on the straight and narrow path...

Thank you (and thank God for you),



Sorry, I didn't mean the MMP was literally taking over EWTN, just that it seems they have a lot of priests that belong to that organization.  One visiting priest was recently talking about Fr. Gobbi through his whole homily at the morning televised Mass there.


I think Fr. Pavone and Fr. Corapi are authentic Catholics, not likely to be deluded by any false seers.  But I really wonder about some of the others.


We have Gobbi and Medjugorje literature in the vestibule of our parish church during Eucharistic Adoration, because the people that set up the monthly adoration are gullible fanatics, hanging on every message they can find. 


It's sad that faithful people come to pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and might get blind-sided by that junk. 

Anyway, that's why we really appreciate you.  My husband and I read your new articles whenver we have several hours to spare! 


Really, they're very interesting, and you're a talented writer.

Thanks again,




Looks like you have hit the big time Rick!

"Unity Publishing, in the vein of many other quarters thriving on a diet of disinformation from all around the world (and we know who is the cause of that!)"

With this statement the author demonizes you and your ministry. And what are the "many other quarters?"  Your site is absolutely unique.  I have looked at hundreds of sites on Catholicism and no site comes close to yours in terms of the sheer volume of documentation and teaching against false apparitions.

"I'm not so sure God would smile so brightly on any individual bold enough to negligently afflict the Church founded through the blood and suffering of His only begotten Son. Thus, I say that these people are more dangerous than any false apparition."

With this statement the author is showing that he is not interested in the truth.  He would prefer to go on demonizing you than dialogue with you.

"I came upon some Medjugorje-related book reviews on different websites which repeated the same warning against Medjugorje and invited people to go to Unity Publishing and "read as many articles as possible" to avoid being deceived."

This is the reason why he is writing and taking your site seriously.  He is afraid of what you write.

"But, Rick squirms and wriggles and refuses to give. Now, that's scarey!"

He knows of your determination and your persuasiveness.  He admits to his fear.  (Curious ~ is this man really serious about what he believes?  Does he even know how to argue a point?  Has he even studied philosophy, let alone theology?)

"His mission statement is the promotion of unity and a pledge to "dispel the darkness", "break the spells" and free us all from "baffling deceptions" when in reality it is really people like himself who have created the darkness and the spells."

More demonizing.

"I simply cannot see any good in what he is doing."

Still more demonizing.

You need my prayers Rick.  This sort of thing is dangerous.  It is even more dangerous that the author is not interested in dialogue or in the truth, but prefers to see you as the cause of any trouble he might be having. I will have a look at the rest of the
article when I get more time.  Meanwhile, keep at it!  I will keep checking your site to see your rebuttal.


Hi Rick, 

I wonder if this guy really read any of your articles.  You have saved me much grief in my own search for truth, I read much, especially works by the saints.  I find that your research very true.  True to the Faith and to God!  This guy says that your squirm and wriggle,  It seems to me that he's the one that is doing the squirming. 


Keep up the good work my friend, we'll probably never meet in this lifetime, but you're one of the ones I can't wait to meet in Heaven.  Along with King David and Saint Peter!


God Bless you and all you do.


Hallo Rick,
Thanks for your article. The Medjugorje adherents must be very angry to find your good arguments against their own weak ones for all and everyone to read on internet. They will stay blind though.

Peric wanted to stop Medjugorje. Rome does not believe in it either, but does not say so directly, and therefore it goes on and on and on. Do you know that in June 2007 there will be a retreat for priests in Medjugorje by father Cantalamessa? He is a famous man from the charismatic renewal. He is also giving retreats in and for the Vatican and the Pope. Will he go to Medjugorje to tell the blinded priests there in the name of the Vatican that the Gospa is a fake or a demon? It would be a good opportunity. I myself do not expect that, since he is such an enthusiastic charismatic.

Medjugorje or Amsterdam, the Vatican does not dare to stop it. Rome's solution is compromise. The Foundation of the Lady of all Nations in Amsterdam claims on Internet, that the CDF has done some slightly changes of the prayer of the Lady and acknowledged it there after. I am sure it is the other way around and that it was bishop Punt who changed the words and got the CDF to approve the changed prayer. Imagine, now the Lady of Amsterdam is the "blessed Virgin Mary"!! Strange is only,
that the CDF does not give any formal or official information or explanation about their so-called own involvement in this amazing development. We and others have written to Rome without getting any reaction. We then wrote to bishop Punt of Haarlem/Amsterdam. He tried to escape a proper answer. He wrote us, that "the foundation of the Lady of all Nations is ecclesiastically approved and therefore we can be sure that what the foundation writes, is true". That's all. He avoids to mention the CDF or himself. It's fishy.

As a result, our side can now claim, that Rome does not acknowledge the case, because Rome fiddled with the prayer of the apparition. The other side can claim and does so, that Rome by having slightly changed the prayer of the apparition and having acknowledged it, it has also accepted the whole apparition. This way Rome keeps everyone 'happy', so-called.

By the way, we mean that Rome should be bombarded with questions regarding the prayer of the Lady of all Nations, who is now the 'blessed Virgin Mary'. I know of a psychologist here, who knew Ida and who wrote already two times to the CDF, (without getting an answer!). Why don't you too ask the CDF for guidance in this matter? A very good padre here told us, that it is important that people write, never mind if they do not answer, as long as they get the massage that people are concerned.



Hi Rick


Just wanted to add, I am sorry if maybe the tone of my email sounds harsh – not intended at all!! I wrote it very analytically, therefore it might sound strong that way. No impugnation intended on you nor your thoughts, just wanted to expose a weakness.



Dear Rick,      


I would accept it as a compliment too! 


This is precisely what is so dangerous about, yes, FALSE apparitions.  One depends on them rather than the Faith.  One is made to feel part of the apparitions, a defender, so as to "feel" that they are defending "God's Mother."  All else is secondary.  One is not thinking about the content of the messages, one just "feels" they are right and since a person has already committed himself or herself to them, then they must be defended with rigor for if they are proven false, then one's whole faith drops away because they have substituted a false apparition to Christ's Church and the Truth.  The apparition becomes preeminent.  I know because I was involved in a false apparition about 25 years ago.  Their is a pyschology to apparitions, and to those people who start false ones, they know how to manipulate people into their way of thinking!   And I believe they are spurred on by the devil if they were not already inspired by him.  We can't leave out the money end either.


Rick, as you well know, every response to your articles on Med. in this articles are easily refutable.  Facts are facts.  You also know you are dealing with emotional people here who do not see the true beauty of our Catholic Faith because this appartions supercedes anything the Church does.  I'm willing to bet that many on the Med. side would even detract the Holy Father if he came out with negative statements.  I do wish the Church would have acted more quickly on these apparitions for the sake of people's souls.  Nowadays, if you stand for the Truth, you are a hate monger.  What ever happened to the honor and glory of God? 


I also believe, from my own experience, that some people are literally afraid of going against the apparitions because they think they are going against the Mother of God!  That they don't have a right to question the apparitions because they think they will be castigated.  That fear of human respect haunts them.  I wonder how they would respond to Donal Foley's book on Medjugorje?  He's referenced it to the hilt, which is always a good thing to do.  What axe did he have to grind?  None, except a love of the Truth.  People hate to look at the truth because they are too comfortable in the shoes they are wearing.  That's why the attack on you.  You are affecting their comfort zone.  On a side note, that's part of the reason why there is so little concentration on the Sacrament of Penance today and the lines are shortening.  People are afraid to examine their conscience today for fear of discovering what we are, sinners.  As Archbishop Sheen said once, "It used to be that only Catholics believed in the Immaculate Conception.  Now everybody believes they are immaculately conceived."


You and Donal's book have said it all.  I just wanted to throw something in on the psychological end of the spectrum.  Rather than study the beauty of our faith, people would rather jump in on the sensational.  Instead of reading history and the spirituality of the Saints, now we can be our own saints and feel part of the clique that the "Gospa" is speaking too.  How many disillusioned Catholics are we going to have when the pronouncement comes against the apparitions?  How many will fall from the Faith?  The devil is willing to lose a few in order to gain many, and lose many in order to gain a few souls.  In this day of the visual, he knows he has to present the fantastic to sucker people in.   Do things that make them say, "Wow."  He knows the Church will be victorious in the end, and his time is short.  He's got people believing the apparition is right and the Church is wrong.  He's knows the Church is in a weakened state, so he attacks.  When the Church is holy, the attack is always from the outside.  When the Church is not so holy (not talking about the marks of the Church here) the attack always comes from within. 


These people fail to see that it is Med. that is causing the division, not the people who speak against it, who have a right to speak against.  The message is causing division precisely because the messages are false.  Mix some truth with lies and keep telling the lies long enough and you can get a multitude to follow you.  I think everyone is afraid to ask the children seeing the "gospa" the hard questions.  If you challenge them, people think they are martyrs for the suffering you are causing them.  It's a hard situation to deal with.  I think we just have to continue to tell the truth in season and out of season.


I have rambled on long enough. God bless you Rick.  Keep up the fight.  I am doing it on a local level here.  People look at me like I am the devil himself when I point out some things.  Thanks for having the backbone to say the Truth.  Take care.


In Christ,


Dear Rick Salbato


It is unfortunate that people are so adamant about distorting the truth. I have found Unity Publishing nothing but helpful and am quite impressed that you qualify your own opinion so well. Facts are facts. Medjugorje is bad news and the Church has most certainly condemned it. Those who think otherwise are just plain wrong. There may come a day soon when our holy father must step in and correct all those who continue to spread the lies. My wife and I pray for you and those like you every day..

Please keep up the great work in spreading the truth.


Hi Rick,


Don’t worry, that this guy is forgetting that the division is not caused by us, but by the apparition itself.  Why? Because if there was no apparition there would not be a division.  For if the apparition were really supernatural from God, there would be no divisions among the faithful of the Catholic Church, or She would simple not appear if She would had known that there would be divisions. I sense anxiety and possible impatience in Paul’s letter.  He is certainly hurting.  Poor soul, I hope that he can make it through

this trial.


May God give you and your family courage and continue holding onto Truth in our Catholic Church.  May God give us all strength to help those who need some strengthening during these times of real trials.


I will appreciate if you keep me posted with this issue.




Hi, Rick.  I also have noticed how Medjugorje supporters see the devil in any & every person who is not persuaded by their supposed revelation.


Dear Rick,

Thanks for the emails you've sent me regarding "Anne". You are doing a great job, and keep it up! It's only courageous people like yourself who will stand up and be counted, who will continue to prod these people's consciences. Quite obviously the people who make the most noise about your website are the guilty ones. If your writings/findings didn't prick their consciences, they wouldn't be hounding you.


Having lived in a cult, as you know, I experienced first hand, the lies, deceit,  spiritual abuse and many other things, on a regular basis and every time something like that happened  it was condoned by the "priest" who was there and still remains to this day. It took guts to stand up against him, which eventually I did and believe me, what peace of mind did I have then! All because I was following what the Church had to say, not some loony "prophet".


To all of you out there following apparitions, DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST, before visiting ANY site, that supposedly hosts apparitions. Talk to the local Bishop, local Catholics, even the local townspeople. And don't stop there, keep moving up the ladder and don't stop until you have the full picture. False "seers", "prophets" and the like, tell lies like it's normal. They have no scruples whatsoever.


God Bless you and your work Rick.


Dear Rick,

I am quit happy to have you as a friend.
You provide the information, and if N M does what he says he will do, this may be what is needed to make Rome make their move.  I will pray for both of you and for the real, true, truth, of the authentic mother of God be known.

May all the false apparitions be revealed for what they really are... a human trap.

Your sister in Christ and Mary,

There is a great deal of confusion today. There is too much data being communicated. I can't keep up with it. I am not sure why you sent me this email. It doesn't seem to support your negative opinion on Medjugorje in fact the opposite but I don't have time to read it all. I say there is too much complaining and not enough prayer. I have been given a gift, I believe, in knowing that the seers in Medjugorje are real. You can judge them all you want. If they are false they haven't hurt me but have helped me. I am tired of all the argument. Just pray and shut up. Help your family and the people you come into contact with and you and I and everyone else will be too busy to counterclaim anything. "Shut up and pray" is my new motto for all the bloggers who have too much time on their hands. Save the typing for time to help those in your direct contact. Thank God Mary is appearing and has appeared and stop being the expert.


 I have a buddy dying of cancer in another town I should send something to help him since he wont' return my calls. That’s one example. I have a nephew in prison I need to attend to, a mother who is aged, a friend who is watched by 24 hour helpers. Who has time for debating what seers are saying and since it can't be proven, just give it up and live the messages and let the Father sort out the truth. I don't believe any of your FACTS. Give it up.  


Best Regards,


I hope you forwarded that litany of voices on to this cultic apologist.  Some good stuff there.  Now I think I should have written more but like the Bard said, "Brevity is the soul of wit."



I made you a web page.


In the attachment is the first hour of The Miracle of Damascus. I'll update this page for you every week to 1.5 weeks as I make more videos. I'll do this will all three of your documentaries. I've embedded the videos into the page using script provided by You Tube.  I didn't write any intro. I'll leave that to you.


I have to say ... the folks on You Tube are EATING THIS UP! They LOVE IT. People are watching this en-masse. See my You Tube page and the number of views. Now, some videos are duplicated. I was messing around and put in some called "low res for dialup." I won't be doing much more of those because even the low res takes 45 minutes to upload on dialup. So when you add up the numbers, make sure you add the duplicate videos together.


You will be able to see the number of views and comments on my You Tube Channel: www.youtube.com/Button36. Uh ... sorry about the banner ads on there. That's all You Tube's doing.


Anyway, I think that once people see the signs and miracles surrounding Myrna Nassour, their eyes will be opened. There is no denying Myrna. There are no such miracles or signs surrounding Medjugorje --- except for the retinal burns from viewing the sun!


Once people see the REAL THING, they'll never believe in Medjugorje again!  You might want to do some sort of intro along those lines.  Anyway, this is totally cool, for you my good friend!

God Bless!

Mary Ann


P.S. Check out the Vicka interview part one comments. Paul Bayliss gets totally debunked by a large number of people. His username is Bayliss, I think. Anyway, he emailed me privately, said all sorts of garbage about you, and then I directed him to the articles on my blog and asked him to explain to me why the ophthalmic literature has documented quite a number of cases of Medjugorje Maculopathy. I asked him why this "miracle of the sun" causes permanent damage to eyesight. He had no answer. In fact, he didn't write me back! Hey ... how can you oppose the New England Journal of Medicine, the most reliable and most prestigious medical journal in the entire world? Anyway, I thought you might amuse yourself by reading the You Tube attacks on Bayliss. He gets totally creamed! It's cool!!!!!!


Hello Rick,
I've appreciated a lot your links, expecially "Unitypublishing is dangerous",  devil can imitate devotion but cannot imitate obedience. It is all, we shouldn't worry about people who mock us because great will be the prize. Months ago Cardinal O'Malley created a blog of own, I give you its link: www.cardinalseansblog.org


You have the grace to be intellectual and to know the holy law, that is a big grace and necessary to save and to find out the truth!  Nice to know you!  You have a nice heart, and I thank you for your work! Hope to see you! Why not in Damascus? It should be great!  If you email Nicola, please give Myrna a kiss from me!


Rick, Two points:
    The fact of the matter is that the things contained on your website, although they are public domain, are not for everyone; and the understanding of many other things on your website are predicated on understanding other things. Just like you can't learn Calculus until you learn simple addition. The vast majority of Catholics have not learned the "simple addition" of the spiritual life. What is worse, they don't know that they don't know, and so are in some sense incurable b/c you can't give someone something they think they already have, like discernment.
   Also, to give the Medjugorje followers the benefit of the doubt, anyone who has ever immersed themselves in the teachings of the Fathers, the Saints, and Doctors of the Church know that an apparition that is surrounded by such controversy is not safe to believe and not even worth believing, even if it is true. And yet, in spite of all the drama and controversy and argument, you still see people running to it, as if Fatima, Banneux, La Sallette, Lourdes, Akita, etc. are not enough for them, as if Medjugorje perfects or adds to them in some meaningful way. This is why you must acknowledge the permissive will of God working here, and not even dignify them with responses, but flee them as you would serpents.
   I will ask my patron, St. Anthony of Egypt, to pray for you, because it looks like God is putting you to the test to see what you are made of.

Rick one more comment about Paul Baylis:  (I read your latest article with email replies)


Welcome to meeting face-to-face with the Medjugorje Apostasy.


Already just by the title of his article, MORE DANGEROUS THAN ANY FALSE APPARITION, indicates that Paul Baylis is way off on the wrong track!!


Excuse me, Mr. Baylis, but I can’t imagine what is more dangerous for the soul than a False Apparition, whose purpose is to delude people into sin & division and to lose the Catholic Faith!!


Is a website like Unity Publishing which advises caution backed up by documented reasoned analysis, really more dangerous for the soul???


Apparitions are NOT needed for Faith and Salvation, but a False Apparition can endanger Faith and Salvation



Paul Baylis has his priorities wrong --- see the dangers of false apparitions? 


To support Medjugorje, even the eternal truths of the Catholic Faith is expendable and can be sacrificed at the Altar of Medjugorje. 


The Altar of Medjugorje also demands the sacrifice of truth-tellers (aka Prophets) like Unity Publishing, similar how the Old Testament Jews punished their prophets who told them of their evil ways – they did not want to hear that!! 


Obviously it is some Spirit motivating Medjugorje fanatics, but it is NOT the HOLY Spirit!!


(The same goes for Catholic liberalism/modernism/progressivism – so similar to the Medjugorje false apparitionist fanatics, and they all merger together and jump into the same bed by way of the Catholic Charismatic Movement).


Catholic Medjugorje fanatic + Catholic modernist thinking = a Catholic Charismatic, a mixture of so many errors on the path of apostasy of the eternal traditional Catholic Faith.


And these misguided souls absolute hate truth-tellers like Unity Publishing.


Keep on publishing the truth, Rick, even if they cover their ears, chant nya-nya-nay-I-am-not-listening-to-you. One day, maybe the kernel seed of truth you implant in some minds will help them turn away from the Medjugorje Apostasy.




     I don't know who these people are who have written these comments. But even if you had never been on the internet, I was onto Medjugorje a long time before you or anyone else was on the net about it. When I was a student at (Catholic) Seattle University in the '80's I would go to their library (long before the internet came along). The library had a Catholic periodical index series, and I did all my own research on Medjugorje by looking up who had printed what then writing to the Catholic newspapers and getting reprints from them. I knew even then that the outlook for Med was not favorable. Then I read E. Michael Jones' book, and I would also like to find a copy of the translated Canadian book "The Hidden Face Of Medjugorje" but it seems impossibly difficult to find. But I think that discloses the flaws as well on the "apparitions".


 So, you may have your detractors, but they are definitely on the wrong track anyway. If they would do their research, as I have done,and quit ignoring the glaring problems with it, I doubt they would be extolling the virtues of Med. I am a firm believer in leading by example, and while not intending to be judgmental, when I hear of the seers' living in expensive homes and driving BMW's a big red flag goes up! Is that the way Sr. Lucia lived???? Or Bernadette? If I had meetings with the BVM, I really doubt that I would be living an opulent and worldly lifestyle! I probably would join the priesthood or something...


 It looks like the people who wrote the critical articles are merely trying to defend their position by giving YOU lessons in investigative-writing techniques, but if they did not choose to ignore the facts regarding Med and everything written about it since the 1980's, including the negative assessment by the 2 investigations (correct me if I'm wrong there), they really don't need to read your website or anyone elses' for that matter; there is so much that is patently wrong and disgraceful about that whole phenomenon that they should be looking at THOSE facts, rather than trying to correct you.


And BTW, if our prior Holy Father, and with all due respect, did indeed make favorable comments towards Med, I don't know if he was ignoring the facts or just pleased as a matter of pride towards his homeland area and made favorable remarks.


He would have done better to say nothing!


That's the end of my rant. Thanks for reading it!


(BTW-Have you noticed that it's been 46 years since Garabandal and not a d**n thing has happened-why are these fools still waiting???  Can't they get a clue?)




Check out Bayliss getting creamed (debunked) on You Tube with the Vicka Interview. There are 81 text comments.


Here's a link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ANuryDkto8


God Bless!


Important Notes:  


Note 1.

Peter Kreeft says it so well:

"If you want to invent your own religion, do not be a Catholic. If you want to teach the Church rather than let the Church teach you, there are plenty of other churches for you, churches that welcome theologies without miracles, moralities without absolutes, and liturgies without adoration. Please do not be a Catholic unless you believe the Church's claim to speak in these areas in the name of Jesus Christ."

"There is no such thing as a 'cafeteria Catholic'. Catholics do not pick and choose among the Church's doctrines and laws; we receive them gratefully from God, we 'eat all the food Mother puts on our plate'".

"A 'cafeteria Catholic' or a half Catholic or a 95 percent Catholic is a contradiction in terms. If the Catholic Church does not have the divine authority and infallibility she claims, then she is not half right or 95 percent right, but the most arrogant and blasphemous of all churches...It must be either/or, as with Christ Himself...The only honest reason to be a Christian is because you believe Christ's claim to be God incarnate. The only honest reason to be a Catholic is because you believe the Church's claim to be the divinely authorized Body of this Christ."

- Dr. Peter Kreeft, in his book "Catholic Christianity" (pp. 104-105)

Note 2.

In fact, here is an excerpt from the full letter found in Michael Davies book. The letter is from Bishop Zanic (he's only the Bishop), to Fr. Tomislav Pervan, who was the Pastor at the time the letter was written on March 25, 1985. Once again, I stress that even if these "apparitions" were authentic, a bishop will test the obedience of the "seers" with actions like this. They flunked!


Following a two-day session, the commission on the events of Medjugorje declared that the pastoral personnel and the seers in Medjugorje are requested to abstain from any public statement or declaration to the press about the contents of the visions and the alleged miraculous cures. At our meeting, held in the chancery office in Mostar on 31 October 1984, I demanded that Medjugorje's occurrences "be toned down and eliminated little by little."

In the meantime, matters remain as they were, and a great disgrace is expected to befall the Church. Now, without any delay, after all this, I demand from you that you remove the "visionaries" from public display and put an end to their "visions" in the parish church. They have had "visions" in Mostar, and earlier in Sarajevo, Visoko and Dubrovnik. Let them now have them at their homes: people say that they had them at their homes during 1981. In ten days the new statue of the Gospa in front of the main altar ought to be discreetly removed late one evening and replaced by the old one. You must stop talking about apparitions and also cease publicizing messages. The devotions that grew out of the "apparitions" and their messages must be eliminated, sales of souvenirs and printed material which propagate the "apparitions" must also stop. The faithful can go to the sacrament of reconciliation and attend Mass. I do not allow the other priests, especially Fathers Jozo Zovko, Tomislav Vlasic and Ljudevit Rupcic, to celebrate Mass for the faithful or to preach.

The "visionaries" must give you whatever they wrote, especially what pertains to the so called "Biography of the Madonna." No excuse that “that's a secret” can justify them from not handing over that material to you. Since there was so much public talk about their diaries and their other writings, and since all this had a great influence on the events of Medjugorje, thus all these documents and [written]) materials fall under the supervision of the ordinary and become subject to the investigation of the phenomenon of Medjugorje.
We do hope that you will execute what we demand from you in this letter. With greetings and a prayerful wish for God's blessing.
Monsignor Pavao Zanic
Bishop of Mostar-Duvno and Apostolic Administrator of Trebinje-Mrkanj.



Note 3.


MEDJUGORJE, 15 - VI - 2006 


Ratko Perić, bishop 


Dear brothers and sisters,  


Dear candidates for Confirmation, I am happy to be with you and your families here today for the conferring of the sacrament of Confirmation. Through the required instruction and the sacrament of Reconciliation you have prepared yourselves to faithfully receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of wisdom, understanding, knowledge and counsel, are concerned with our minds, with the enlightening of our use of reason; while the gifts of fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord, regard our hearts and the strengthening of our free will. These are not fleeting gifts that you will joyfully receive today as candidates for Confirmation and which will be gone tomorrow. This is the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Once sealed you always remain sealed with the Holy Spirit! However, each of these gifts requires your efforts in conformity with your growth in knowledge and witnessing through a life of faith. 


I. - Gifts of the Spirit. Hence, be not afraid young friends, to be wise in God's eyes, even if it means appearing foolish in the eyes of people. God's “foolishness” is wiser and more prudent than the wisest of people. 


Do not fear to be strong in God before people, even though the world may consider you cowards and backward. Christ the Lord, God's Truth, teaches us: "Everyone who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven (Mt 10:32). 


Do not be ashamed to be fearful of the Lord and pious, full of awe towards God and his holiness, even though this passing world may ridicule and mock you. The world has no fear of, nor sense of shame in transgressing God's commandments. We on the other hand, are believers and worshipers of God, who adore him in spirit and truth. 


The world counsels on how you can most easily lose yourself in fleeting passions, but the Holy Spirit counsels us on how we can most easily reach eternal life. Whoever then takes truthful counsel, is lead by the Spirit on the right path. 

The world tempts you and invites you to behave according to its perverted fantasies and passions, yet the Holy Spirit lets you learn and discern by acquiring unending knowledge that leads to the Father's house. Today, do not allow yourself to just receive the seal on your forehead and then continue living as if you do not possess the Holy Spirit within you. 


II. - Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The Church celebrates today the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. We Catholics believe that the historical event of Jesus' Last Supper, described in each of the four Gospels, is one of the greatest mysteries of our holy faith. During that evening, the Lord Jesus, while he ate with his disciples, took bread, blessed it, broke the bread and gave it to them saying: “Take; this is my body”. He then took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to them. And all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mk 14:22-23). 

Eucharistic sacrifice. The mystery of the Lord's Supper is first of all a sign of Jesus' sacrifice through his death on the cross and resurrection to new life, which he offers us as a divine gift. Why is this at the very core of Christian faith? Because this is what God desired and accomplished! If the all-wise God decided on this path of salvation, then his entire divine intervention is nothing else than wisdom and goodness. We become wise and prudent when we accept this sacrifice as an expression of God's grace and love. The sacrifice can only be understood and accepted in the context of love. Sacrifice is the most convincing demonstration and evidence of love. God is Love. Therefore, the Eucharistic sacrifice is an expression of God's love towards us. In a specific historical moment on Calvary, Jesus offered the sacrifice of himself to his Father, as a testimony of his complete Love of God and of humanity. We through our own efforts of piety of heart and mind, participate in the liturgical celebrations and daily offerings of ourselves to God. 


Eucharistic banquet. This mystery of Jesus' love is not only his divine sacrifice for us weak people, but it is also our spiritual food for our journey towards eternal life. There is no health, nor life without bread. Mankind does not know all the ingredients of bread and wine, yet he still eats and drinks of them with joy and moderation. Are we even aware of the process of how wheat and grapevines grow? How does a seed sprout or a grape mature? How is the seed transformed into bread, or the grapes into wine? Do we know how bread and wine are then transformed in our living organisms? Despite our lack of knowledge, this does not lessen the strength of bread nor wine to sustain our lives in good health through their nourishment.  


Something similar occurs with our spiritual health. We cannot understand what the Holy Eucharist is, but we accept it with faith and partake of it with the greatest respect of heart for our eternal salvation. Jesus said to us: “Whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:51). While our earthly bread and wine serve for this life, so too Jesus' Body and Blood serve for spiritual and eternal life. None of us are worthy of this for we are all sinners: in our thoughts, words and actions, as well as through our omissions in doing the good that we should do. Whoever unworthily eats and drinks of this Sacrament, that is, while in sin, in disorder, in obstinacy, that person is guilty of sinning against the Body and Blood. However, those who confess and repent for their sins, God grants them forgiveness and feeds them with the Body and Blood of Christ. Let us give thanks to God who first of all sets us free from our sins in the sacrament of Confession and who nourishes us with his Eucharistic Body. The Mass is therefore the center of our personal and communal lives. This is the will of our heavenly Father, established by the Son of God, which happens through the power of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the words of Christ, for his words “are spirit and life” (Jn 6:63). 


In memory of him. The Lord Jesus left us a great divine truth and mystery: “This is my Body”. “This is my Blood”. These words were spoken by Christ himself. From the very beginning, the Church has always literally understood this holy text and message from Jesus' Last Supper. Not even a single letter has ever been changed, nor have they been understood according to other symbolic meanings in order to make them more acceptable to people. Jesus said these words once and forever! He also commanded that this be done in memory of him! In memory of God's great works of salvation. We acknowledge and believe in what has been communicated to us! We celebrate the liturgy in the same fashion as we have received it. Let us give thanks to God for the immeasurable gift of Jesus' Most Holy Body and Blood. This act and mystery contain the past: “Christ has died”; the present of Christ's resurrection: “Christ has risen”; and the future: “Christ will come again”, when he shall come and prepare a place for us so that we may be where he is (Jn 14:3). 


III. - “Apparitions”. First of all, the fact that a person makes a humble Confession and receives Holy Communion in this parish church and that this person feels spiritually well due to God's forgiveness, each and every believer will recognize and give due praise to God for this, who is the source of all graces. At the same time, this person will take care not to proceed from this state of grace towards an illogical and inconsistent conclusion: “I made a Confession. I feel good and now I am converted. Therefore the Madonna is appearing in Medjugorje!” This type of believer and penitent is nonetheless obliged to go to confession, receive the other sacraments, observe the Commandments, whether any private apparitions are recognized or not. 


Secondly, I would be an irresponsible minister of the Mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ, if today I were not to publicly advise, from this place and on this occasion as well, to all those interested throughout the world, that in this local Church of Mostar-Duvno, there exists something similar to a schism. A number of priests that have been expelled from the Franciscan OFM Order by the Generalate of the Order, due to their disobedience to the Holy Father, for years now have been forcefully keeping a few parish churches and rectories along with church inventory. They have not only been illegally active in these parishes, but they have also administered the sacraments profanely, while others invalidly, such as Confession and Confirmation, or they have assisted at invalid marriages. This type of anti-ecclesial behaviour is shocking to all of us. At the same time, this scandal of sacrilegiously administering the sacraments, especially of the Most Holy Body of Christ, must shock all the faithful as well who invalidly confess their sins to these priests and participate in sacrilegious liturgies. We pray to the Lord that this scandal and schism be uprooted as soon as possible from our midst.  


Thirdly, I am truly grateful to the Holy Father the Pope, to John Paul II of blessed memory and to the reigning Benedict XVI, who have always respected the judgements of the bishops of Mostar-Duvno, of the previous as well as the current bishop, regarding the so-called “apparitions” and “messages” of Medjugorje, all the while recognizing the Holy Father's right to give a final decision on these events. The judgements of the bishops, after all the canonical investigations made thus far, can be summarized in these following points: 


1 - Medjugorje is a catholic parish in which liturgical and pastoral activities are carried out, just as in all the other parishes of this diocese of Mostar-Duvno. No-one except the official Church authorities is then authorized to attribute the formal title of “shrine” to this place. 


2 - On the basis of Church investigations of the events of Medjugorje, it cannot be determined that these events involve supernatural apparitions or revelations. This means that till now the Church has not accepted, neither as supernatural nor as Marian, any of the apparitions.  


3 - Priests who canonically administer this parish of Medjugorje or those who come as visitors, are not authorised to express their private views contrary to the official position of the Church on the so-called “apparitions” and “messages”, during celebrations of the sacraments, neither during other common acts of piety, nor in the Catholic media. 


4 - The Catholic faithful are not only free from any obligation to believe in the authenticity of the “apparitions” but they must also know that church pilgrimages are not allowed, whether official or private, individual or group, or from other parishes, if they presuppose the authenticity of the “apparitions” or if by undertaking them attempt to certify these “apparitions”.  


5 - As the local Bishop, I maintain that regarding the events of Medjugorje, on the basis of the investigations and experience gained thus far, throughout these last 25 years, the Church has not confirmed a single “apparition” as authentically being the Madonna. The fact that during these 25 years there has been talk of tens of thousands of “apparitions” does not contribute any authenticity to these events, which according to the words of our current Pope, who I encountered during an audience on 24 February this year, commented that at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith they always questioned how all these “apparitions” could be considered authentic for the Catholic faithful. They particularly do not seem to be authentic when it is known beforehand that these so-called “apparitions” will occur:  


To one of the “seers” on the 18th of March every year, but along with this she will also receive an “apparition” on the 2nd of each month, with “messages” which you can expect, according to the established procedures; 

The second will receive an apparition on every day of the year, and if this were not enough, an added special “apparition” on the 25th of each month along with a type of press release, which once again you can foresee and expect; 

The third will receive an “apparition” on the 25th of December, on Christmas day, along with a message similar to the ones already mentioned; 


The fourth will receive an “apparition” on the 8th of September every year along with a specific message; 


The remaining two will receive the same, every day along with “messages” that can be anticipated since they are variations on the same theme. This fact and the flood of so-called apparitions, messages, secrets and signs, do not strengthen the faith, but rather further convince us that in all of this there is nothing neither authentic nor established as truthful.  


Therefore I responsibly call upon those who claim themselves to be “seers”, as well as those persons behind the “messages”, to demonstrate ecclesiastical obedience and to cease with these public manifestations and messages in this parish. In this fashion they shall show their necessary adherence to the Church, by neither placing private “apparitions” nor private sayings before the official position of the Church. Our faith is a serious and responsible matter. The Church is also a serious and responsible institution! 


Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the greatest possessor of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, who through the same Holy Spirit conceived in her body and gave birth to the Second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, who gives us his Most Holy Body and Blood for eternal life, may He - who is the Way, the Truth and the Life - help us so that the truth of the Blessed Virgin, his Mother and Mother of the Church, Seat of Wisdom and Mirror of Justice, may shine forth in brightness in this parish and diocese, without even a hint of incredibility, yet all in accord with the constant teachings and practice of the Church. Amen. 


Note 4.


1978 Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith

Document on Apparition Discernment

English translation

1978 Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith document on apparition discernment (in French) - the sections in italics are opening and closing remarks by Joachim Bouflet - these remarks and the text from the CDF are taken from his book, jointly authored with Philippe Boutry, Un signe dans le ciel, (Grasset, Paris, 1997), pp. 396-99.

© Joachim Bouflet & Philippe Boutry, 1997

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith elaborated, from 1974-1978, some new criteria for discerning apparitions and revelations, which were expounded in a normative text, which, for a long period, was only made available to the Ordinary [local bishop] who, confronted with the fact of an apparition, addressed himself to the Sacred Congregation. These standards govern the treatment of events after 1980 (notably Medjugorje), and they also brought about the resumption of certain previous investigations (those of Bonate and Garabandal, amongst others):

Preliminary Note: Origin and character of these norms.

At the time of the Annual Plenary Congregation during November 1974, the Fathers of this Sacred Congregation studied the problems relating to apparitions and supposed revelations, and the consequences which often result from these, and they arrived at the following conclusions:

1. Today more than formerly, the news of these apparitions is spread more quickly among the faithful thanks to the means of information ("mass media"); in addition, the ease of travel supports more frequent pilgrimages. Also, the ecclesiastical authority was itself brought to reconsider this subject.

2. Similarly, because of current instruments of knowledge, the contributions of science, and the requirement of a rigorous criticism, it is more difficult, if not impossible, to arrive as speedily as previously at judgments which conclude, as formerly happened, investigations into this matter (“constate de supernaturalitate, non constat de supernaturalitate”); and because of that, it is more difficult for the Ordinary to authorize or prohibit public worship or any other form of devotion of the faithful.

For these reasons, so that the devotion stirred up among the faithful by facts of this kind can appear as a disposition in full communion with the Church, and bear fruit, and so that the Church itself is able to ultimately distinguish the true nature of the facts, the Fathers consider that it is necessary to promote the following practice in regard to this matter.

So that the ecclesiastical authority is able to acquire more certainty on such or such an apparition or revelation, it will proceed in the following way:

a) Initially, to judge the facts according to positive and negative criteria (cf. below, n.1).

b) Then, if this examination appears favorable, to allow certain public demonstrations of cult and devotion, while continuing to investigate the facts with extreme prudence (which is equivalent to the formula: “for the moment, nothing is opposed to it”).

c) Finally, after a certain time, and in the light of experience, (starting from a particular study of the spiritual fruits generated by the new devotion), to give a judgment on the authenticity of the supernatural character, if the case requires this.

I. Criteria of judgment, concerning the probability at least, of the character of the apparitions and supposed revelations.

A) Positive criteria:

a) Moral certainty, or at least great probability, as to the existence of the fact, [revelation] acquired at the end of a serious investigation.

b) Particular circumstances relating to the existence and the nature of the fact:

1. Personal qualities of the subject—in particular mental balance, honesty and rectitude of moral life, habitual sincerity and docility towards ecclesiastical authority, ability to return to the normal manner of a life of faith, etc.

2. With regard to the revelations, their conformity with theological doctrines and their spiritual veracity, their exemption from all error.

3. A healthy devotion and spiritual fruits which endure (in particular, the spirit of prayer, conversions, signs of charity, etc).

B) Negative criteria:

a) A glaring error as to the facts.

b) Doctrinal errors that one would attribute to God himself, or to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Holy Spirit in their manifestations (taking into account, however, the possibility that the subject may add something by their own activity—even if this is done unconsciously—of some purely human elements to an authentic supernatural revelation, these having nevertheless to remain free from any error in the natural order. Cf. St Ignatius, Spiritual Exercises, n. 336).

c) An obvious pursuit of monetary gain in relation with the fact.

d) Gravely immoral acts committed by the subject, or his associates, at the time of the facts, or on the occasion of these facts.

E) Psychic disorders or psychopathic tendencies concerning the subject, which would exert an unquestionable influence on the allegedly supernatural facts, or indeed psychosis, mass hysteria, or other factors of the same kind.

It is important to consider these criteria, whether they are positive or negative, as indicative standards and not as final arguments, and to study them in their plurality and in relation with the other criteria.

II. Intervention of the competent local Authority

1. As, at the time of a presumed supernatural fact, worship or an ordinary form of devotion is born in a quasi spontaneous way among the faithful, the competent ecclesiastical Authority has the serious obligation to inform itself without delay and to carry out a diligent investigation.

2. At the legitimate request of the faithful (when they are in communion with their pastors and are not driven by a sectarian spirit), the competent ecclesiastical Authority can intervene to authorize and promote various forms of worship and devotion if, assuming the criteria given above having been applied, nothing is opposed to it. But there must be vigilance nevertheless, to ensure that the faithful do not regard this way of acting as an approval by the Church of the supernatural character of the event in question (cf. above, Preliminary Note, c).

3. By virtue of his doctrinal and pastoral duty, the competent ecclesiastical Authority can intervene immediately of his own authority, and he must do so in serious circumstances, for example, when it is a question of correcting or of preventing abuses in the exercise of worship or devotion, to condemn erroneous doctrines, to avoid the dangers of a false mysticism etc.

4. In doubtful cases, which do not involve the welfare of the Church, the competent ecclesiastical Authority may refrain from any judgment and any direct action (more especially as it can happen that, at the end of a certain time, the supposedly supernatural event can lapse from memory); but he should not remain less vigilant about the event, in such a way as to be in a position to intervene with swiftness and prudence, if that is necessary.

III. Other Authorities entitled to intervene

1. The foremost authority to inquire and to intervene belongs to the local Ordinary.

2. But the regional or national Episcopal Conference may intervene:

a) If the local Ordinary, after having fulfilled the obligations which fall to him, resorts to them for a study of the event in its entirety.

b) If the event assumes national or regional importance.

3. The Apostolic See can intervene, either at the request of Ordinary himself, or at the request of a qualified group of the faithful, or directly by virtue of the immediate right of universal jurisdiction of the Sovereign Pontiff (cf. above, IV).

IV. Intervention of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

1. a) The intervention of the Sacred Congregation can be agreed to be necessary either by the Ordinary, after he has fulfilled the obligations falling to him, or by a qualified group of the faithful. In this second case, vigilance is necessary so that the recourse to the Sacred Congregation is not motivated by suspect reasons (for example to force, in one way one or another, the Ordinary to modify his legitimate decisions, or to confirm the sectarian drift of a group, etc.)

b) It belongs to the Sacred Congregation to intervene of its own accord in serious cases, in particular when the event affects a broad portion of the Church; but the Ordinary will always be consulted, as well as the episcopal Conference, if the situation requires it.

2. It belongs to the Sacred Congregation to discern and approve the way of acting of the Ordinary, or, if it proves to be necessary, to carry out a new examination of the facts distinct from that which the Ordinary carried out; this new examination of the facts will be done either by the Sacred Congregation itself, or by a commission especially established for this purpose.

The present norms, defined in the plenary Congregation of this Sacred Congregation, were approved by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Paul VI, on February 24 1978.

At Rome, the Palace of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, February 27, 1978.

Francis, Cardinal Seper, Prefect, Fr. Jerome Hamer, O.P., Secretary.

It is a question of avoiding a reading too strictly legal on the fact of the apparition. By taking into account various factors up to that point neglected or ignored, in particular the mechanisms of inculturation, the contribution of the social sciences makes it possible to locate the apparition in the historical and sociocultural context where it finds at the same time its roots and its application. This recent approach lays down new pastoral orientations which, without calling into question the traditional criteria of the discernment of the spirits, authorizes a calmer reading of the event and its integration, its insertion in the life of the ecclesial community: more and more, the basic community that is the parish, the communion which is the diocese, becomes the place and the test bench of the mariophanie; even when the latter remains a phenomenon of popular Christianity, it must itself respond to the expectations of the Church-communion, and not only of that of a limited section of the ecclesial community.

© Joachim Bouflet & Philippe Boutry, 1997