Thursday, April 14, 2011

Exorcist Andrea Gemma on Medjugorje: "Absolutely diabolical"

We haven't heard much from Medjugorje lately - I was following the Ruini Commission for awhile, which was charged with investigated the alleged apparitions by the Holy Father and was supposed to come up with some sort of  definitive judgment. I still haven't heard anything from Cardinal Ruini, but this 2008 interview with Bishop Andrea Gemma, one of the Church's foremost exorcists, has recently come to light in which the bishop soundly condemns Medjugorje as a diabolical phenomenon.

Here's a background item on the Medjugorje case, a May 2008 interview with Bishop Andrea Gemma from Gianluca Barile's website Petrus. It was reported in the press at the time, and some quotations did appear, but I never came across the full text until recently. 

Medjugorje: the accusation of the bishop-exorcist Mons. Gemma: "The apparitions of the Madonna? Completely false: the seers lie under the inspiration of Satan to profit economically"
(Gianluca Barile, Petrus)

VATICAN CITY - A mixture of economic and diabolical interests, with the alleged seers and their collaborators directly involved in profits related to the increased flow of pilgrimages and visits in the area, and the Evil One well content to sow discord between the faithful most convinced of the validity of the apparitions of Medjugorje and the Church, sceptical as ever in the face of what she has declared more than once, through the words of two successive bishops of Mostar during that time, "a great deception." Monsignor Andrea Gemma, former bishop of Isernia-Venafro [served 1990-2006], among the greatest exorcists living, does not mince his words: instead of the Virgin, so far only rivers of money have appeared at Medjugorje, a grave accusation that sums up not only the courage but also the moral and spiritual capacity of the prelate who agreed to respond to questions from "Petrus" on such a prickly event.

PETRUS:  So, Excellency, how do you define Medjugorje?

"It is an absolutely diabolical event, around which numerous underworld interests revolve. The Holy Church, which alone can make a pronouncement, through the words of the Bishop of Mostar, has already said publicly and officially that the Madonna never appeared in Medjugorje and that this whole production is the work of the Devil."

PETRUS: You speak of "underworld interests". Of what kind?

"I'm referring to 'the Devil's dung', to money, what else? At Medjugorje everything happens for the sake of money: pilgrimages, overnight stays, the sales of trinkets. In this way, abusing the good faith of the poor people who go there with the idea of meeting the Madonna, the false seers have set themselves up financially, they have married and live a wealthy life, to say the least. Just think: one of them, directly from America, with a direct economic profit, organizes tens of pilgrimages every year. These people don't seem to be really disinterested persons to me. Rather, with all the people vulnerable to this noisy swindle, they evidently have a great material interest in getting people to believe that they see and speak with the Virgin Mary."

PETRUS: Monsignor Gemma, is there no appeal from your verdict?

"Could it be otherwise? These people claim to be in contact with the Madonna, but in reality are inspired solely and exclusively by Satan, are creating chaos and confusion among the faithful for the sake of absolutely deplorable interests and advantages. Think, then, of the disobedience they have fed in the bosom of the Church: their spiritual guide, a Franciscan friar expelled from the Order and suspended a divinis, continues to invalidly administer the sacraments. [NB: The interview took place in 2008, before the laicization of Tomislav Vlasic.] And numerous priests from all over the world, despite the express prohibition of the Holy See, continue to organize and participate in pilgrimages with Medjugorje as their destination. It's a shame! This is why I speak of a mixture between personal and diabolical interests: the false seers and their helpers are pocketing money, and the Devil creates discord between the faithful and the Church; the more fanatical faithful, in fact, aren't listening to the Church, which - I repeat - has, from the beginning, warned about the mendacity of the Medjugorje apparitions."

PETRUS: And if the alleged seers were really seeing the Madonna?

"In reality they would be seeing Satan under false pretenses. Because Satan has great interest in splitting the Church, setting the two currents of the 'pro' and the 'contra' Medjugorje against each other. Moreover, it wouldn't be the first time: St. Paul himself asserts that the Devil can appear as an Angel of Light and can, so to speak, camouflage himself. He did that, for example, with St. Gemma Galgani. But beyond his disguises, the Evil One has already intervened and I can assure you that it is he inspiring the false seers since the beginning with the promise of easy money."

PETRUS: You're not exactly fond of those seers...

"Please! It's enough to see how they act: they're disobedient to the Church, they should have withdrawn to private life and instead they keep on making propaganda for their lies, for the sake of money, and thus playing the Devil's game! My thoughts go immediately to St. Bernadette, the seer of Lourdes: that sweet creature wanted to shed her life and took up the habit of a Sister to serve the Lord. Instead, the impostors of Medjugorje continue to live comfortably in the world without showing any kind of love either for God or for the Church."

PETRUS: The supporters of Medjugorje emphasize that the Holy See has never expressed any position on the matter.

"That's another lie! As I pointed out before, the Vatican has forbidden pilgrimages by priests to the place and has spoken through the words of the two successive bishops of Mostar, Monsignors Zanic and Peric, with whom I have spoken personally, and who have always manifested their doubts to me. You see, even for Fatima and Lourdes, the Holy See didn't express any position directly on those Marian apparitions. So why would they have to make an exception in this case? The truth is that when the Bishop of Mostar speaks, the Church of Christ speaks, and is it to him, who speaks with the authority conferred to him by the Vatican, that we need to listen. Thus, the Holy See has already expressed itself with the words of the Bishop of Mostar, making evident that Medjugorje is a diabolical trick. But I will share a secret with you. You'll see that soon the Vatican will intervene with something explosive, to unmask once and for all who is behind this swindle."

PETRUS: The same supporters note that at Medjugorje every year they report a record of conversions and miracles...

"It's artificial. And who is counting all these conversions? You see, if someone has a conversion, it's because he had a certain predisposition, because he thinks to look inside himself, because he receives the gift of the Spirit. The place in which this conversion happens is completely relative. Let's think of St. Paul: he converted on the road, and now what should we do, all go out to the road and wait to be converted? As regards the miracles, I'll tell a personal anecdote. I owe the miraculous healing of a person in my family to the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary at Pompei, but that doesn't imply that the Madonna ever appeared to me at Pompei. So, just from believing, or from being healed inside or outside, it doesn't necessarily mean that Mary is letting people see her."

PETRUS: To the best of your knowledge, what opinion does the Holy Father Benedict XVI have of Medjugorje?

"I'll limit myself to underscore what he did as Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to send out official notes adverse to Medjugorje, such as the one which forbade priests and religious from going on pilgrimages in that country."

PETRUS: Yet it is said that John Paul II was convinced of the goodness of the apparitions.

"An unproven legend, considering that his opinions were personal and did not in any way represent an act of the Magisterium" [by the way, please see here for John Paul II's alleged "support" for Medjugorje].

If one of the Church's foremost exorcists, a man who spends his life observing the methods and schemes of the Evil One, says that Medjugorje reeks of diabolical influence, should we not pay him heed?

The sources for this story are this recent post from Catholic Light and another from the Italian site Petrus.


Alexander said...

Smack down.

Pete Hoge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daftpunkett said...

Thanks for posting this, always nice to read more info confirming my own suspicions. Only critisism I have is that the interview is a little vauge. Why didn't he reference those involved in the "apparitions" and their drug use at the time? I wish he had touched a little more on their disobedience as well.
Also what do you think the lay branch of the church should do when confronted with others who are swindled by this? I always shut my mouth when people began to talk about it in the same way I don't talk about Opus Dei or Regnum Christi when other people are gushing.
Do you think its wrong to clam up? Wouldn't speaking out lead to what Father is talking about in dividing the church?
don't know, just some random thoughts on the topic :)

BONIFACE said...


LOL...probably vague because he is Italian and that's the way Italians talk - all emotional and broad! I was not aware of any drug use; I knew they had allegedly snuck away to smoke cigarettes, though - can you be more specific?

I, too, generally clam up if I am around people who are swindled by this. They are notoriously difficult to talk to and will bring up a lot of simple objections that require in depth answers ("What about all the conversions?" etc). I find it is good not to get into these discussions unless you really have all the facts straight. I am working on an article soon about the Franciscan disobedience that will be helpful. I think it is helpful to have the quotes where they say that all religions are equal to God, the absurd ones about "needing" the seers to save the world, and all the hard evidence. Even then there's no promise; my mom believes in all this - she even went there. I told her all my reasons and she just said, "Well, if you'd been there you'd understand." Ultimately a lot of these people will end their argument by asking, "Have you been there? If you haven't been there, you can't understand this."

So, I usually don't bother casting my pearls if it looks like they are not going to be reasonable.

Justin said...

The best thing to do is to simply stick to approved Marian apparitions. Fatima, Lourdes and La Salette are good enough for me. Wow, what a mess, and so many people being led astray by this one.

Anonymous said...

What kind of person would fall for these so-called "Marian apparitions"? I see otherwise good, practicing novus ordo Catholics do all that is called for at Medj., confession, rosaries, Mass etc. Is it a person who truly lacks solid faith or has some psychological defect? I have witnessed catholics, myself included, who used to chase after this miracle and that appariton, as if to say that something is lacking in the current faith of the church. Medj. is filled with emotionalism (catholics trying to fill a void) and seems to cater to the feminine side, which is big in the post vat. ii church. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting Boniface, I follow all I can find on this evil deception, so I can warn people of the danger of this apparition site.
I hope the Pope wil once and for all give a final pronouncement on the lies of this Medjugorje affair as soon as possible.

But when I see that in so many important issues he the Pope is undecided to act I worry.

Anonymous said...

But what if the Bishop is wrong? These apparitions have been going on for 30 years! And there is the prophesy of heresy "within the Vatican". Would not evil sow discord to discourage the faithful from a holy event perhaps - an event that transforms souls with the foretold miracle yet to come? Maybe man is too impatient and God is testing us! How did Padre Pio feel about all of this? Are you sure these seers are living the "good" life? We must pray for discernment in all things! +

BONIFACE said...

It's true that the Bishop could be wrong, of course...but, as a chief exorcist and one who has seen the devil at work for a long time, I think we should grant him the benefit of the doubt.

Padre Pio? He was dead 13 years before the first apparition, so I don't know how he "felt" about it. I do know that if you examine (a) the messages themselves (b) the conduct of the seers (c) the disobedience of the Franciscans (d) the $$$ involved in Medjugorje, then you will see there is no possible way this is from God.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should pray and make reparation for all those who believe in Medjugorje and experience its phenomena, believing it to be of God.When there comes realisation these poor souls will need much prayer.

joachim laszlo said...

You are lying, the sacraments is working in Medjugorje, there is no reason to say contrary. It is not out of the Church law. Conversion is working thought sacraments! God speak where He wont, He chose the place, not the man! Who are you to hide the truth? Are you a lier?

BONIFACE said...


Nobody suggests there aren't valid sacraments there, but there is clearly something amiss there, as evidenced by the Franciscans continued disobedience:

joachim laszlo said...

Let supose that you have truth. But obedience to who? To the man? Or to God? Why are you so deep in low.....Obedience to the Lord, not to the man! Is more important! When you have Haven on your side, it is more important to respond to Him. There is so many priests comming from all over the word. Even pope Jorge admit and like Medjugorje. It can be a powerfull tool in the hands of the Church. It is all about change you know? By the way, chek out this page and feel with your heart and mind :
God bless you!

joachim laszlo said...

Get this one:

Jamey said...

Careful scrutiny of this tourist operation revealed that a separate entity, "Prayer Experience" (run by Ivan and his wife), sells the selected tour package through the agency "206 Tours." Consequently, on the basis of a stated maximum of 28 pilgrims per pilgrimage, multiplied by the number of available dates (10), L'Impertinent abAteo, calculated a Dragicevic profit of $171,360 — "Not to mention the offerings that pilgrims and visitors will leave the beloved 'seer'."

Part two, on Ivan's real estate wheeling and dealing, is the coup de grace....based on public records of the State of Massachusetts:
In just 5 years the "seer" Ivan Dragicevic has bought properties worth a total of 1,566,000 U.S. dollars, equivalent to 1,470,953 euros. ... The average American, in 5 years would have earned $198,508 gross, 195,336 euros gross .... almost 10 times lower than the amount spent by the "visionary". The other "seers" and their relatives also possess properties (pensions) in Medjugorje, and also advertise "travel packages."

john konnor said...

joachim laszlo said...
And if is all true?.......

john konnor said...

Jamey said...

Not sure how true but this guy thinks that Medjugorje is about to be declared a shrine by Pope Francis:

Not sure on the infallibility if such a call is made but we may as well throw out any notion of objective truth with current churchmen and their thinking. Interestingly the message of Medjugorje and the spirit behind it goes hand in hand with the new theology that exploded in the church from the 1960's. Nevertheless this may all be the work of the relentless Medjugorje spin machine. Just saw on Croatian National News a heap of people saying they saw the "Gospa", have they considered it may be someone else.

Ciaran Ryan said...

This exorcist has no idea what he is talking about! Jesus said that a house divided against itself, cannot stand! Satan cannot drive out Satan. Furthermore, look at the messages: conversion, return to confession, daily mass, rosary, fasting etc. That the seers have visions has been scientifically verified--they are not faking this. The messages are good, and the fruits are also very good. The exorcist is also wrong on the authority of the local bishop: Pope John Paul II rejected his ruling, and put the matter in the hands of the Yugoslav Bishops conference that ruled in the Zadar declaration that the church, while not being able to confirm an ongoing apparition, must also provide pastoral care to the pilgrims coming there. It was not a condemnation. As for the visionaries, they live exemplary Christian lives, and are hardly rich. And since when is it a bad thing to get married? Our Lady said that it was up to them whether they wanted to marry or enter a religious order. They chose the Sacrament of Marriage as their path to heaven, and its not in any way a lesser decision than the one made by Bernadette of Lourdes.

Boniface said...

On the contrary, it has produced bad fruits. Please review:

and also

Mari C. said...

I'm not Catholic. Christ teaches "...a wicked generation will ask for a sign, but none will be given it, save for the sign of Jonah."

saved said...

I can testify to the good and glorious experiences that happen in Medjugorje, and would lay my life on the line to say this Bishop doesn't have a clue of what he is talking about. How dare he try and discourage people from experiencing the miracles and the conversions that happen to thousands of people there. Why on earth would Satin want to encourage hundreds and thousands of pilgrims to visit Medjugorje and change their lives to the devotion of Christ? and to live holy lives? I was entirely converted and can it be that this bishop might himself be under the influence of Satin. This quiet and quaint little village has been uprooted and destroyed by the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims that have come from around the world to be on this consecrated ground. Do you think anyone would want thousands of tourists in their town all the time? Hotels and Restaurants and hostels etc all had to be built. Where does he think they would all stay? Would you not want to buy a rosary, scapula or miraculous medal for your friends and family while you were there, and have them blessed by a priest. (These have nothing to do with the seers who are clearly not imposters! I can testify beyond doubt, that Father Joso has the gift of removing demons, from your soul, a priest who is truly blessed! and is gifted by God. I am a young, intelligent professional who you wouldn't call a bible thumper, but after my visit to Medjugorje, my life absolutely changed and I am so grateful to God and to Our Lady of Medjugorje for this intervention!
GO, GO NOW to Medjugorje and experience for yourself this beautiful spot on earth that is as close to heaven as we will ever get! It will change your life!

Robert said...

I ventured to Medjugorje in 2001 because like millions of others, I wanted to be at what I believed was a "Holy Site". While Medjugorje , at that time, was a quiet and tranquil location it was evident that the "visions" were leading to a carnival like atmosphere. Shops selling all manner of Marian related trinkets lined the main road and hotels and B&Bs sprang up seemingly overnight. Father Jozo Zovko met pilgrims daily as did several of the "visionaries". I do not know the truth..only God knows that and the "visionaries". But I will say that the sense of calm and tranquility one experiences on Mount Podbro (site of the first vision)is extraordinary and touches the very soul.