Friday, 22 September 2017

FLAGS AT CATHOLIC FUNERALS

IRSP vow to ‘force’ flags into the Catholic Church

BELFAST NEWSLETTER





Coffin draped in INLA-linked starry plough flag in Dungiven, despite church rules The Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) has said it will continue to “force” flags into the Catholic Church after the coffin of one of its members was brought inside a church draped in the starry plough. The grouping issued a statement following the funeral of their “comrade”, David Ward, in Dungiven parish church on Saturday.




 Mr Ward’s coffin was brought inside the church while draped in both the Irish tricolour and the starry plough, a symbol associated with the paramilitary group the INLA.




The Catholic Church, who in the 1980s imposed an ongoing ban on the use of flags and any paramilitary trappings at funerals, said the coffin was covered with a “white pall” for the funeral liturgy.

The IRSP, however, said in a statement on Monday night: “The flags of the republic will drape our members coffins when and where we see fit.” The IRSP said it forced the flags into the church on Saturday.

Their statement read: “The Catholic hierarchy refused to engage with the family in its time of need. Facing up to this arrogance, activist Ward’s family and comrades made sure his final wishes were adhered to.

His coffin was draped with the flags of the republic within the church.” The statement added: “Never again will the Irish Republican Socialist Movement be told what to do by a corrupt Catholic institution responsible for so much suffering on this Island.

 “The flags of the republic will drape our member's coffins when and where we see fit.”

East Londonderry SDLP MLA John Dallat described the statement as “abhorrent” He said: “The sanctity of the Catholic Church should be respected. The language from the IRSP says it all. “The language is so abhorrent that there is a temptation to ignore it because it is so out of touch but I do think that the priests and the congregation of Dungiven don’t need that kind of aggro. It is unfortunate that at this man’s passing they didn’t have more grace with the language that they used.” He continued: “When people are members of the church through choice, they should respect the rules of the church, which were made for very good reasons. It’s unfortunate that at this time that not only has that not been respected, the language that’s been used has been very hurtful to members of the church”.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell said it was up to the Catholic Church to ensure its rules on flags and paramilitary emblems are followed. “That statement is putting a marker down,” he said. “It would appear that they are putting it up to the Catholic Church, that in their words they have forcibly ensured that one of their members gets a funeral that they decide they want to have, irrespective of the wishes of the church and the institution into which he’s being buried.”

He added: “Whether it is the Catholic Church or any other institution, they shouldn’t allow themselves to be forced into doing something which is contrary to what they stand for.”




Dungiven Parish Priest Fr Seamus Kelly declined to give any comment when the News Letter contacted the parish office yesterday morning.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Church said: “By prior agreement with the family of the deceased, a large white pall (which is a large white cloth symbolising baptism) was placed over to completely cover the coffin. The two flags, which had been placed on it by the family, were completely covered by the pall throughout the funeral liturgy.”


PAT SAYS:


I think that the question of allowing flags on coffins should be decided - NOT by bishops and priests - but by the parishioners of a [parish or a diocese.

I think this because the Catholic Hierarchy and clergy have been two-faced on this issue.

For instance, Bishop Dickie McKeown of Derry allowed an Irish Tricolour on the coffin during the funeral of Sinn Fein man Martin Mc Guinness while other bishops and clergy have refused Tricolours on the coffins of other Irish Republicans.


Image result for martin mcguinness coffin
TRICOLOUR ON FUNERAL OF MARTIN MAGUINNESS IN LONG TOWER CHURCH, DERRY
If Martin McGuinness was allowed a Tricolour then EVERYBODY who wants the flag of their country on their coffin should be allowed one.

But of course, the Catholic Church is famous for having one rule for the rich, the famous and the powerful and another rule for the poor, unknown and the powerless.

In the USA most Catholic church sport the American flag and the Papal flag in the sanctuary.

However, I do think that the parishioners of a parish should decide these things. 

And there is a very good case to be made for the total separation of church and state.

And there would be another case to be made if the family of a deceased person wanted to put the flag of some illegal organisation on a coffin - or a flag that contradicts Catholic teaching.

For instance of a Catholic from Dungiven went and joined ISIS and got killed in combat for them would we not all be very uncomfortable for an ISIS flag on a coffin?

I imagine CONSISTENCY is important?

You cannot have one rule for one person or one family and another rule for another person or family.

FATHER SEAMUS KELLY:

I had cause some time ago to write to Bishop McKeown on behalf of a Derry lady parishioner who had a complaint to make about Father Kelly.

I received a meaningless reply from McKeown.

But then Father Kelly was moved from Draperstown to Dungiven.

The only other thing I know about Father Kelly is that he has, on at least one occasion, rebaptised Catholics, including himself, in the Jordan River in Israel.

In fact, I have a DVD of this event.




Wednesday, 20 September 2017

KNOCK BAN ON SSPX

Knock and it Shall NOT be Opened to You

 SSPX Pilgrimage Group Refused Entry to Knock Shrine

Posted by Catholicism Pure & Simple

From: God does not die! For a Truly Catholic Ireland.

Published September 17, 2017


Image result for knock basilica

The Society of Saint Pius X annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady at Knock in Co. Mayo was disrupted yesterday, Saturday 16th September, when Shrine officials refused entry to priests and laity.
Members of Knock Shrine Security approached the SSPX priests, informing them that they were not permitted to celebrate Mass or carry out any devotions as a group. They confirmed that these were the orders which they had been instructed to convey.
For the first time in over ten years, therefore, the Society was forced to celebrate Mass outside of the Shrine grounds (heretofore, for a number of years, SSPX priests had been granted permission to celebrate Mass in various chapels on the grounds of the Shrine). And, for the first time in the entire history of the SSPX’s presence in Ireland, the pilgrimage group was not even permitted to recite the Rosary or pray the Stations of the Cross within the Shrine precincts!
As a result, Mass was celebrated in the car-park of an obliging local café, and the Rosary was prayed on the Main Street which runs adjacent to the Shrine. Security was posted at the gates during the rosary procession, ensuring that the group did not enter the Shrine grounds at any time.
Just like there was no place in the inn for Christ in Bethlehem, so there was no place for those faithful to the Tradition of the Church at Knock this past Saturday. The Knock Shrine authorities should be ashamed of themselves! Rector, Fr. Richard Gibbons, had no problem allowing an “ecumenical service” last January in the Saint John’s Rest and Care Centre at the Shrine. Neither did he have any problem with the assistance of “Reverend Canon” Derek Swann of the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian “Reverend” Molly Deatherage and a Muslim representative, Manar Cherbatji, at a 2014 Peace Mass at Knock. He even had his photograph taken with them on the occasion:
Knock Rector, Father Richard Gibbons, centre of the photograph, sandwiched between his Bishop and the “Reverend” Molly after the “Peace” Mass, 2014.

Third from Left: Rev Molly; Father Gibbons and Archbishop Neary

Also in 2014, Father Gibbons was content to conduct a joint ecumenical service in the Knock Shrine Basilica with the Church of Ireland “Bishop” of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, “Dr.” Patrick Cooke in August of that year to celebrate the 190 years of the Royal National Lifeboat Association. On this occasion, as the Irish Catholic reported, Father Gibbons went the extra mile … “Dr.” Cooke led the celebration, while Father Gibbons was his assistant!
Conclusion? Father Gibbons cordially invites Anglicans, Presbyterians and Muslims, who do not accept the Church’s infallible teachings on the Blessed Virgin Mary, to participate in, and even lead services on the site where Our Lady appeared. But, he does not allow the Society of Saint Pius X and those faithful who assist at their Masses to even say the Rosary as a group on the same site, despite their obvious love for the Mother of God.

PAT SAYS:

I was rather shocked to learn that the authorities at KNOCK SHRINE in Co. Mayo refused to allow a very Catholic group to celebrate Mass there and conduct their devotions.

The pilgrimage from SSPX - Society of St Pius X were refused permission to have their Mass and devotions there - even though they are absolutely Catholic and 100% devout.

The PP of Knock would not have refused them entrance without running it past his archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam. Father Gibbons is too careful and too ambitious to fail to do that.

The SSPX were set up byArchbishopp Lebfevre who disagreed with the Second Vatican Council and the translation of the Mass from Latin into the vernacular.

After setting up his own community and consecrating 4 bishops they were all excommunicated.

But in recent times their excommunication was lifted by Pope Benedict.

They are on their way back into full communion.

I cannot understand their rejection by Knock.

If they wanted to use The Oratory in LARNE I would have absolutely no problem.


WESTMINSTER DIOCESE


Image result for westminster cathedral



Some time ago I met a Westminster parish priest who had been to see the late Cardinal Hume to tell him that he was gay and that his partner was living with him in the parish presbytery.

The two men took afternoon tea together and Basil Hume then left the priest to the door.

As the priest was about to leave Basil squeezed his arm and said: "You will be discreet Father, will you not"?

Basil had no problem with the priest's orientation or living arrangements but was concerned that if the priest were not discreet it would cause publicity and scandal. 


Image result for cardinal Hume

Westminster diocese has 603 diocesan and religious priests to cover it's 217 parishes. 

10% of the people who live in that dioceses are Catholic.

A large number of those priests are gay. Some are celibate and some are not. There are many active gay priests. And of course, London is a wonderful place to be gay - with all its gay pubs, clubs and saunas.

Many of these gay priests are good priests. They say their prayers and serve their people well.

Many Westminister parishioners know their priest is gay and have no problem with that. London is a liberal place.

A Westminster priest told me this week:

"Pat I am very sorry to have to say that some of my diocesan colleagues are wicked, bitchy old queens who spend their time talking about other priests and trying to bring them down".

He also said:

"Some of those wicked, bitchy old queens stay up until midnight to read your Blog in case they get a mention. They really hate your guts. They would cut your throat if they could. In Westminster we call them the "Gin Queens".

Image result for smiley face

I know my priest friend is right as I have heard some horror stories from priests who have been victims of this queeny cabal.

Even Cardinal Nichols has waved a reprimanding finger at them when he has seen them in a huddle in a corner.

I have possession of unbelievable nasty emails they have sent out about their fellow priests. I have heard of how they report priests who are not part of their club to various church authorities. 

I have also been told of "strange goings on" in the London seminary - Allen Hall - known among priests as "Alice Hall".

There are some excellent and good priests in Westminister as there are in all dioceses.

But unfortunately, you also get various types of "gangs" in all dioceses too - and of course even in the Curia at the Vatican.

I am building up a fairly comprehensive picture of the Westminster scene and will tell readers more about the situation there in the near future.

bishopbuckley1@outlook.com

Monday, 18 September 2017

WORST SEXUAL ABUSE TO COME


Worst of Catholic sexual abuse scandal still to come in developing world: report

RN 
The worst of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal may be over in Australia, but the crisis is likely to hit the church in Asia, Africa and parts of Europe within a decade, a report has warned.



The RMIT study, Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, has for the first time compiled the findings of 26 royal commissions, police investigations, judicial probes, government inquiries, church studies, and academic research from around the world since 1985.
It warns the gravest potential for future abuse of children and teenagers lies in the estimated 9,600 orphanages the church still runs, including 2,600 in India and 1,600 in Italy.
"[Child sexual abuse] has peaked and there has been a decline since the late 70s and early 80s and that's because it's been brought into the public arena," the study's co-author, Professor Des Cahill, said.
"But I think in the developing countries and in some of the European countries, there hasn't been a precipitating event to raise the issue into the public arena and I'm thinking particularly of countries in Asia and Africa.
"It may reassert itself after this has all blown over, and come back in 30, 40 years' time … if the underlying issues are not addressed.
"I as yet have not seen any sign at the Vatican level, and even here in Australia, for the bishops to answer why did this happen and why did they — the bishops — react so poorly."
Examining reports from Australia, Ireland, the United States, Britain, Canada and the Netherlands, Professor Cahill and his co-author, theologian Peter Wilkinson, found that one in 15 priests, or about 7 per cent, allegedly abused children and teenagers between about 1950 and 2000.


Related image

They say even today children "are at risk in education and welfare institutions when they can be accessed by psychosexually immature and/or sexually deprived celibates, including priests and religious brothers".
However, Professor Cahill, who was an adviser to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, believes the risks to children in Australian Catholic schools are now very low, mainly because of greater vigilance by parents, teachers and school authorities.
He says most Catholic school principals are married men and women, and are extremely conscious of the risks to children.
The decision of the Catholic Church in Australia, the US, Britain, New Zealand and Canada to phase out large orphanages and move children into foster care has also substantially reduced the risk of abuse.
But controversially the report warns that Australia's reliance on overseas trained clergy — up to 40 per cent in some diocese — could be risky, as overseas bishops may try to banish offending or suspect priests to foreign postings.
"Is the phenomenon of child sexual abuse by priests and religious [brothers] likely to reappear and increase in the short or long term?" the report asks.
"The answer is unclear … It might happen, despite even the most stringent checks that an offending priest or religious might be recycled to Australia. In the US, not a few overseas priests, especially from the Philippines and India, have been charged and convicted."
The shortage of local candidates for the priesthood in many Western countries has, in the past, also led bishops to ordain men despite warnings from the heads of seminaries and training colleges that they were unsuitable.
These included "psychosexually immature, psychosexually maldeveloped and sexually deprived and deeply frustrated male priests and religious, particularly those who had not satisfactorily resolved their own sexual identity".
Professor Cahill and Dr Wilkinson do not blame the abuse crisis entirely on celibacy, but their report notes the low levels of abuse in the eastern rite Catholic churches — particularly the Maronite, Ukrainian, Melkite and Chaldean churches — where priests are allowed to marry and become fathers.
Professor Cahill is himself a former Catholic priest who resigned to marry and start a 40-year academic career.
He rejects the claim, often made by church conservatives, that the liberal reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s loosened the morals of priests.
"Much of the abuse happened before Vatican II, during the 1950's and into the 60s," he said.

"And the majority of offending priests were either ordained before Vatican II or well progressed in their studies. I think we need to be suspicious of those explanations."



-----------------------------------------------------------------
“I’m a pedophile, in the real sense”



Father Jan Van Dael holds onto a strand of a boy's hair as he collects free soup. "Look at his hair!" the priest calls to reporters.
Credit: 
Jimmy Chalk/GlobalPost
The boy runs along the trash-strewn potholed dirt street, his long copper-colored hair flowing behind him. Father Jan Van Dael, 76, reaches out to touch his arm, moving close.
“He reminds me of a boy who was in my house in Rio de Janeiro,” Van Dael says, referring to the orphanage he used to run in the 1980s.
The boy wriggles free and lines up to fill his pot from the containers of soup that Van Dael and his volunteers have brought to this small slum just outside the rough-and-tumble city of Caucaia, in Brazil’s northeast.
Van Dael, an avuncular, slightly doddery Belgian priest, seems deeply affectionate toward pre-adolescent boys. He loves to take their photographs. He reaches for children he barely knows, like a father hungry for attention.
Back in the late 1980s, Van Dael moved from Europe to Brazil, first settling in Rio de Janeiro. After a falling out with the local diocese (Van Dael says church officials objected to his working with poor street children whom they deemed criminals), the Belgian was asked to leave, and ended up in windswept Caucaia, a few miles from the crime-ridden city of Fortaleza.
Taking advantage of Brazil’s extraordinary exchange rates at the time, which greatly favored the US dollar and European currencies, the “gringo priest” set up a new orphanage for abandoned and troubled street kids.
He called it “Esperança da Criança,” or Children’s Hope.
But the home's whitewashed walls — which Van Dael hung with dozens of photographs he took of young boys — appear to have borne witness to plenty of misery, along with any hope.

According to Brazilian prosecutors, Van Dael is currently under investigation by both the Belgian and Brazilian federal authorities, an inquiry that adds to a litany of child abuse accusations against Van Dael on two continents.
PAT SAYS:

What the author of the first article says is absolutely true.

The vastness of Catholic Clerical Abuse in Africa, South America, and Asia will leave the clerical abuse in the West in the halfpenny place.

In these countries:

They often have no decent police force.

They often have no child abuse unit.

They often have no social services.

They often have no decent legal system.

In the West we have seen THOUSANDS of clergy, brothers, and nuns abuse TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN.

When the truth comes out of the DEVELOPING WORLD the story will even more horrific.

The Vatican, bishops and religious superiors know this is coming but are putting off the TERRIBLE DAY.

THOUSANDS of MISSIONARY PRIESTS, BROTHERS and NUNS will have abused an UNTOLD NUMBER of children.

It is a waiting TSUNAMII

Sunday, 17 September 2017

MEDJUGORJE IS NOT FOR REAL





Medjugorje and Propaganda
by Marco Corvaglia
As early as 1985, La Civiltà Cattolica, the historic Jesuit magazine, wrote, about Medjugorje, "a large number of books, articles, interviews, videos, movies, radio and TV reports, which, in fact, give - and not only to us - the impression of an advertising campaign very well and diffusely organized” [Giovanni Caprile S. J., Circa i fatti di Medjugorje, "La Civiltà Cattolica", No. 3238, 18 May 1985, p. 363].

Perhaps there is an inaccuracy in this description. The advertising campaign was not and is not "diffusely organized". It grows in a completely natural way and is self-feeding: in many cases, those who make propaganda have in turn been victims of it.
It remains only to understand why it happens. And it is not difficult.

Let's start with the books: whether we are dealing with Medjugorje, or, for example, with any magical or mysterious belief, the market is dominated by publications in favor of the phenomena at issue.
Currently, in Italy, hundreds of books on astrology or on UFOs are on the market, nearly all written by and for "believers". With regard to reiki (a New Age practice), on the market there are 61 books, of which only one is critical.
As to Medjugorje, the situation is analogous.
What does it mean?

Since publishers are commercial entities and invest only in what can increase their gains, the alleged wonderful and mysterious phenomena, although there are deep differences between them, mainly attract the attention of those who believe in them already (and not of the skeptics who are more likely to ignore than to criticize them).

Stuart Sutherland, Professor of Psychology at Sussex University, noted:

The paranormal is news, its absence is not. In 1979 an excellent book (by David Marks and Richard Kammann), which debunked Uri Geller's tricks and other alleged paranormal phenomena, was turned down by over thirty American publishers, all of whom were competing to publish books endorsing psychic phenomena.
[Stuart Sutherland, Irrationality, Pinter & Martin Ltd, London, 2013, p. 225]

If we extend this scrutiny to the other mass-media, we must remember that these are also legitimate activities for profit. Therefore, they must give the general public what it wants.
London University Professor Stephen Law wrote:

Tabloid newspapers and TV production companies know that, as a rule, their audiences tend to be more interested in dramatic and extraordinary tales than in articles or programs that shed doubts on such stories. As a result, even while pretending to be "balanced", TV programs on the paranormal are often little more than puffs for self-styled psychics. Doubts, if voiced at all, tend to be in the background.
[Strephen Law, Believing Bullshit, Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 2011, p. 177]

The popular monthly of the Pauline Fathers, Jesus, in a survey which explored the way in which TV addresses the phenomena linked to religion, highlighted:

The TV preferred the easy and profitable way of turning into a spectacle the "religious fact" - both in the information and in fiction - instead of trying a more difficult but perhaps more respectful path of reflection and analysis.
[Laura Badaracchi, Schermo divino, "Jesus", No. 5/2004, p. 53]

Arnaldo Nesti, Catholic scholar, former Professor of Sociology of Religion at the University of Florence, in the same survey said that TV production is "in line with an external devotion and with sensationalism" [ibid.] and added that "religious communication remains in a context devoid of a critical aspect, as if there were the concern of not being respectful" [ibid., p. 52].

It seems that this is not so much a sincere respect as an instrumental use of certain religious phenomena. In any case, what happens is that an ample space is given to news reports and stories inspired by the sensationalism and, if the arguments are likely to hurt the feelings of many people, not too much room is left for criticism, not to irritate large parts of the public. It is clear that this does not help an informed and objective assessment of the facts.
Marco Corvaglia

The Bloody Handkerchief
by Marco Corvaglia
In September 1981 it was rumoured through the village that, near Medjugorje, an unidentified driver had been the protagonist of a, by the way, unoriginal story, that was, as noted by Joachim Bouflet in his book Faussaires de Dieu, the repetition of a pious legend common in European folklore for centuries.

The issue concerns us because the locals asked Vicka to ask the Virgin if the fact was true.
Vicka herself, in the well-known interview-book with Father Bubalo, declared it:

VICKA: Someone told us to ask the Virgin if that was the way it was.
[Janko Bubalo, A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. The Seer Vicka Speaks of Her Experiences, Friends of Medjugorje, Chicago, 1987, p. 92]

The story in brief is this: a taxi driver, like Vicka reports, "was returning to Medjugorje when, somewhere in Cerno some poor man stopped the car" [Ibid., p. 91, therefore, the "seer" presents it as a real and concrete fact].
That man was Jesus, who gave the driver a bloody handkerchief and told him to throw it into the river.
Going on, the same taxi driver met the Madonna, who got the man to give her the bloody handkerchief and then told him that if he had instead thrown it into the river, there would have been the end of the world.

Well, according to Vicka, the Madonna confirmed that the fact had actually occurred this way [see also Ogledalo Pravde. Biskupski ordinarijat u Mostaru o navodnim ukazanjima i porukama u Međugorju (The Diocesan Curia of Mostar on the Alleged Apparitions and Messages of Medjugorje), Mostar, 2001, p. 110]


Indeed, let us look at the diary of the "seer" [first book], on 4 September 1981.
Here are the pages related to the issue:

[Transcription: 72. ukazanje. PETAK, 4. 9. '81 god. Danas smo čekali kod Marije Gospu. Ja, Marija, Ivanka i Jakov smo počeli moliti u 6 i 20 min. Došla je Gospa odmah. […] Pitali smo za čovjeka koji je sreo Isusa u putu kada je razvozio narod svojim putem. Sreo je jednog čovjeka svog u krvi i dao mu je taj čovjek a on je bio Isus maramicu krvavu i rekao da je baci u rijeku. Vozeći dulje sreo je jednu ženu a to je bila Blažena Djevica Marija i Ona je molila čovjeka da mu da krvavu maramicu. Čovjek joj je pružio svoju maramicu ali Gospa je tražila krvavu. Kad joj je čovjek davo krvavu Gospa je rekla: Da mi je nisi dao, bio bi strašni sud. Gospa je rekla da je to istina.]
Translation:

72nd apparition. Friday 4. 9. '81.
Today we have waited for the Virgin at Marija’s. Marija, Ivanka, Jakov and I have begun to pray at 6 and 20 minutes. Our Lady has come soon.
We asked about the man who met Jesus on the road while driving some people to their destination. He met a man covered with blood and that man (he was Jesus) gave him the bloody handkerchief and told him to throw it into the river. Going on, he met a woman and she was the Blessed Virgin Mary and she asked the man to give her the bloody handkerchief. The man offered his handkerchief, but Our Lady asked for the bloody one.
When the man gave her the bloody one, Mary said: If you had not given it to me, there would have been the end of the world.
Our Lady said that this was the truth. 

Vicka confirmed also in the interview-book:

FATHER JANKO: Did he Virgin respond?
VICKA: She said that it did actually happen more or less as related. And the poor man was her Son, and that the the woman in black was she.
[Janko Bubalo, A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. The Seer Vicka Speaks of Her Experiences, Friends of Medjugorje, Chicago, 1987, p. p. 92]

As mentioned, the story actually is, with few adaptations, an ancient legend that has been circulating in Europe for centuries.
The first reliable attestation is found in the Croniche (“Chronicles") written in the fifteenth century by the Italian Giovanni Sercambi, where a very similar story is told, not about a handkerchief, but about some loaves.
Let us read a passage, translated from the ancient Italian:

While in those areas of England there was a great war [...] Christ, in the guise of a pilgrim, appeared to a farmer intent on working [...] He said to the worker: Go near to the piece of land that you work, and put these breads in the source you'll find there [...] The farmer wanted to put the bread in that spring, but the Virgin Mary, in the guise of an honest woman, approached him [...] She said: Go and tell that man that I, his mother, have not wanted you to put these breads in the spring [...] I want you to know that the man who came to you is Christ, my son, and I am the Virgin Mary, his mother. And I tell you that if I had let you put the bread in the source, the whole world would have been destroyed. 
[Giovanni Sercambi, Le Croniche, vol. II, Giusti, Rome, 1892, pp. 291-293]
Marco Corvaglia
The Bloody Handkerchief
by Marco Corvaglia
In September 1981 it was rumoured through the village that, near Medjugorje, an unidentified driver had been the protagonist of a, by the way, unoriginal story, that was, as noted by Joachim Bouflet in his book Faussaires de Dieu, the repetition of a pious legend common in European folklore for centuries.

The issue concerns us because the locals asked Vicka to ask the Virgin if the fact was true.
Vicka herself, in the well-known interview-book with Father Bubalo, declared it:

VICKA: Someone told us to ask the Virgin if that was the way it was.
[Janko Bubalo, A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. The Seer Vicka Speaks of Her Experiences, Friends of Medjugorje, Chicago, 1987, p. 92]

The story in brief is this: a taxi driver, like Vicka reports, "was returning to Medjugorje when, somewhere in Cerno some poor man stopped the car" [Ibid., p. 91, therefore, the "seer" presents it as a real and concrete fact].
That man was Jesus, who gave the driver a bloody handkerchief and told him to throw it into the river.
Going on, the same taxi driver met the Madonna, who got the man to give her the bloody handkerchief and then told him that if he had instead thrown it into the river, there would have been the end of the world.

Well, according to Vicka, the Madonna confirmed that the fact had actually occurred this way [see also Ogledalo Pravde. Biskupski ordinarijat u Mostaru o navodnim ukazanjima i porukama u Međugorju (The Diocesan Curia of Mostar on the Alleged Apparitions and Messages of Medjugorje), Mostar, 2001, p. 110]


Indeed, let us look at the diary of the "seer" [first book], on 4 September 1981.
Here are the pages related to the issue:


[Transcription: 72. ukazanje. PETAK, 4. 9. '81 god. Danas smo čekali kod Marije Gospu. Ja, Marija, Ivanka i Jakov smo počeli moliti u 6 i 20 min. Došla je Gospa odmah. […] Pitali smo za čovjeka koji je sreo Isusa u putu kada je razvozio narod svojim putem. Sreo je jednog čovjeka svog u krvi i dao mu je taj čovjek a on je bio Isus maramicu krvavu i rekao da je baci u rijeku. Vozeći dulje sreo je jednu ženu a to je bila Blažena Djevica Marija i Ona je molila čovjeka da mu da krvavu maramicu. Čovjek joj je pružio svoju maramicu ali Gospa je tražila krvavu. Kad joj je čovjek davo krvavu Gospa je rekla: Da mi je nisi dao, bio bi strašni sud. Gospa je rekla da je to istina.]
Translation:

72nd apparition. Friday 4. 9. '81.
Today we have waited for the Virgin at Marija’s. Marija, Ivanka, Jakov and I have begun to pray at 6 and 20 minutes. Our Lady has come soon.
We asked about the man who met Jesus on the road while driving some people to their destination. He met a man covered with blood and that man (he was Jesus) gave him the bloody handkerchief and told him to throw it into the river. Going on, he met a woman and she was the Blessed Virgin Mary and she asked the man to give her the bloody handkerchief. The man offered his handkerchief, but Our Lady asked for the bloody one.
When the man gave her the bloody one, Mary said: If you had not given it to me, there would have been the end of the world.
Our Lady said that this was the truth. 

Vicka confirmed also in the interview-book:

FATHER JANKO: Did he Virgin respond?
VICKA: She said that it did actually happen more or less as related. And the poor man was her Son, and that the the woman in black was she.
[Janko Bubalo, A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. The Seer Vicka Speaks of Her Experiences, Friends of Medjugorje, Chicago, 1987, p. p. 92]

As mentioned, the story actually is, with few adaptations, an ancient legend that has been circulating in Europe for centuries.
The first reliable attestation is found in the Croniche (“Chronicles") written in the fifteenth century by the Italian Giovanni Sercambi, where a very similar story is told, not about a handkerchief, but about some loaves.
Let us read a passage, translated from the ancient Italian:

While in those areas of England there was a great war [...] Christ, in the guise of a pilgrim, appeared to a farmer intent on working [...] He said to the worker: Go near to the piece of land that you work, and put these breads in the source you'll find there [...] The farmer wanted to put the bread in that spring, but the Virgin Mary, in the guise of an honest woman, approached him [...] She said: Go and tell that man that I, his mother, have not wanted you to put these breads in the spring [...] I want you to know that the man who came to you is Christ, my son, and I am the Virgin Mary, his mother. And I tell you that if I had let you put the bread in the source, the whole world would have been destroyed. 
[Giovanni Sercambi, Le Croniche, vol. II, Giusti, Rome, 1892, pp. 291-293]
Marco Corvaglia


PAT SAYS:

I have never been to Medjugorje and I have no desire to go there.

In fact, I am just back from Split in Croatian and was a two-hour drive from there but had no desire to see it.

For me, places like Medjugorje, Knock, and Fatima are CASINO CATHOLICISM.

The people who make the money out of these places are the Catholic clergy and the hawkers of religious objects.

I feel a little different about Lourdes because of the presence of the sick and those who work with them. But even  Lourdes is a money factory for the clerics and hawkers.

God is everywhere. We are no nearer to him in Medjugorje than we are in Dublin or Belfast.

Mary is NOT a goddess and these places make her. She was the mother of Jesus and a servant of God.

We should not pray TO Mary - but through Mary to God.

The whole Marian movement comes from the dynamic in Catholicism to canonize virginity and women being backroom servants.

At Split airport I met very sincere old ladies who were up at 5 in the morning following priests up mountains.

Those women were wives and mothers back here in Ireland and what makes them good and special is their vocations in and outside of the home - not following priests up mountains.

But like all casinos Casino Catholicism has its "addicts" and basically they are very often uncurable because they like the drugs given out to them by their "dealer" priests. 

Even Pope Francis has a big problem with Medjugorje. 






Whoever can give them illusions easily masters them."
Gustave Le Bon, Psychology of Crowds (1895)