Do you trust this Holy Priest, a pillar of the Catholic church or the proven liar, schismatic heretic, plagiarizer Donald Hartley? That is the question. The truth is that Hartley, and people like him, can only lie and assert that Medjugorje was supported by Holy men that are now gone and can't defend themselves, because you would be hard pressed to find any priest today who believes in Medjugorje. It has become a fringe movement that all but a handful of Catholics have rightfully rejected.
We have won the debate, Medjugorje has been utterly refuted. This closing statement is a summary of the victory we have already achieved.
I What was contested.
II Acceptable form of evidence and argumentation.
III The nature of final determination.
Though DT's position was a moving target of Medjugorje being approved or partially approved or unapproved but will-be, T4P's position was straightforward. T4P maintained that Medjugorje has
received a negative judgement which is indistinguishable from a condemnation. As such, public promotion of this event is prohibited under penalty of sin. Further, it was T4P's position that all of the aspects by which a private revelation are judged, support the negative decisions. We sought to demonstrate that these events are not merely false but demonic.
While DT relied exclusively on conjecture, hearsay, personal attacks, slander and emotion, T4P relied exclusively on objective, verifiable evidence and cogent, fact-based argumentation. At no point in this entire debate did DT offer even one objective, verifiable argument for their position. We maintain that people will rightly judge all of their arguments as fallacious and their ''facts' as not merely unsupported but unsupportable because they are simply objective falsehoods.
Since this was supposedly a disagreement among Catholics, both sides should have been held bound by the remedy laid out in the 18th chapter of Matthew's Gospel (DRB) and adhered to by the Catholic church ever since:
15 But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. 16 And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. 17 And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. 18 Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.
DT attempted to create an entirely new subjective standard by which to judge these phenomena. I will leave it to the reader to decide their motivations, but their approach was absolutely protestant in nature, even speaking out in open defiance against the very Bishops charged in making this determination. T4P always followed the facts and followed the authority of the church in who makes these determinations and how.
A brief history of the events and our relation to them.
Donald and I first came to hear about the events in Medjugorje at some point during the mid 1980's. He actually went there, I did not. However, we both experienced the "sign" of items such as rosaries and miraculous medals turning from silver to gold. On the strength of this superficial phenomena, we both became sympathetic to the reported events though, even at this early stage, I was troubled by the lack of anything substantive to the messages.
By the time I formed Deeper Truth (by myself) in May of 2009, the initial belief in Medjugorje had given way to a back-and-forth confusion. In retrospect, I can see that even then I could see that the story of Medjugorje simply didn't add up but this conflicted in my mind with the fact that so many Catholics who I admired were devotees. Admittedly, in the late 80's and 90's this held great sway over me because nearly all the Catholics I knew believed in it. Over time, the script has flipped almost entirely to the point where comments I would see on the subject are consistently 90% - 95% against and the church presentations and tv specials on the subject virtually disappeared.
I met Donald about a year and a half after I founded Deeper Truth and asked him to join. This takes us to about August of 2010. Shortly after that, Margie Prox Sindelar joined Deeper Truth and first broached the subject of Medjugorje. I stated way back then that the little that I had heard about it caused me great suspicion and that I was undecided but leaning in the direction of against.
I pretty much stayed in this skeptical but unsure position for far too long. What shook me out of it were the comments of John Carpenter. Many of these comments were so absurd and easily refuted that even the most nominally Marian catholic would know they were false. Among these were the loopy claim that there are nearly 2,700 documented appearances of the Blessed Mother. No Catholic statement, article, publication or website of any kind supports this nonsense. In fact, multiple affirmed Catholic sources such as EWTN, Ascension press, New Advent and others puts the number of documented (that is to say, officially approved) events at 25. This combines those at the Bishop level and at the Vatican level.
In full disclosure, I had personally known about/studied about 10 of the 25. One thing I knew for certain was that Medjugorje was not on either list. This is something any one could verify with a 30 second google search, as former deeper truth member William Hemsworth said.
So, when Carpenter started claiming- on our show- that Medjugorje was approved, I knew I had to confront Donald about it. Afterall, our show was called Deeper Truth and here this uninformed tool was claiming something that every Catholic around the world was false.
That's when the trouble began because Donald and I embarked on two different missions. I endeavored to find the truth, he endeavored to defend John Carpenter and ruin the reputation of this once great apostolate.
The truth that I found
A diligent examination of the facts led me to 2 inescapable conclusions.
John Carpenter's lies and inaccuracies were so numerous and eggregious as to render him complete without any credibility whatsoever. We have publically proven that he is openly promoting the following events that are all condemned: San Damiano, Amsterdam, Garabadal, Naju, South Korea, Necedah, Wisconsin and many others.
The alleged apparitions of Medjugorje are not only false, but they are also condemned, and they are demonic.
The first conclusion will not be dealt with here, it is only provided to give context to my story.
With apologies for this little diversion, it was necessary. It is needed to provide context. The war between Donald Hartley and myself was started by him and is being perpetuated by him for one reason and one reason only- he isn't man enough to admit he was wrong. That is not my opinion, it is an objective fact. The facts have proven him wrong, he has seen them, he hasn't even attempted to counter them. All that is left is for Donald Hartley to grow up and take the "L".
The war between Donald Hartley and myself was started by him and is being perpetuated by him for one reason and one reason only- he isn't man enough to admit he was wrong. That is not my opinion, it is an objective fact. The facts have proven him wrong, he has seen them, he hasn't even attempted to counter them. All that is left is for Donald Hartley to grow up and take the "L".
A few words about the "peanut gallery"
One of the first facts that stood out in contrast was Donald's lazy sophomoric sophistry against the profound humility, visible holiness and impeccable credentials of the ever growing list of experts he dismissed as the peanut gallery. There were three things that stood at:
Not one of them was vicious and nasty like Donald.
All of them were far above Donald in knowledge and intellect and far more respected in Catholic circles.
Unlike Donald, who never presented any facts to support his claims, they always did.
Here is a partial list of people slandered by Donald with his pithy comments. Every single one of these people rejects Medjugorje.
Current Deeper Truth member Dr. Gregory Thompson.
At least 7 Former Deeper Truth members.
Former Chief Vatican Exorcist Andreas Gemma (He called the events absolutely Diabolical).
Contributor to Sensus Fidelium, The Fatima center, and Lighthouse media; Father Shannon Collins
EWTN Contributor Father Mitch Pacwa
Noted Catholic Apologist Patrick Madrid
Noted Catholic Apologist, formerly with Catholic answers, Patrick Coffin
Historian and Author of a book with over 150 pages of footnotes; Donal Foley
Historian and Author; Dr. E Michael Jones
The late Father Phillip Pavich who publicly testified of the alarming rise of demonic activity in Medjugorje.
The late Bishop Pavao Zanic who led two commissions that condemned Medjugorje.
Bishop Ratko Peric whose subsequent commission also condemned the events.
Bishop Petar Palic, the current Bishop of Mostar who concurs with his two predecessors that Mary has never appeared in Medjugorje.
The 20 Bishops of the 1991 National commission that voted 19-0 (with one abstention) that the apparitions are not from God.
The Late Pope Benedict XVI who as a Cardinal deposed/defrocked/excommunicated/exiled 5 of the Priests from the Medjugorje inner circle.
The current Pope Francis who said the woman of Medjugorje is NOT the Mother of Jesus.
The members of the Ruini commission who state that the visionaries are spiritually immature liars and actors who have an unhealthy attachment to money.
Mark Shawl, the brother of the operator of the largest Medjugorje website in the world who stated his brother knows it's a fraud.
and.... the Late Father Ivo Sivrick who grew up in Medjugorje and compiled the original transcripts that proved the children lied on multiple occasions, attacked the authority of the church and made all manner of heretical claims such that Bishop Zanic had no choice but to condemn this fraud.
The first 8 are given only to provide the context of why Donald's Apostolate is in flames. He has chased away/alienated/demoralized nearly everyone who supported him for the sake of his wounded ego.
The rest of those people are people from which we have provided exhaustive first hand accounts and information clearly refuting the Medjugorje claims.
In addition to all that, we provided video evidence provided by a professor of parapsychology.
We will provide links at the bottom of this post to the mountain of evidence we have provided.
To this date, Donald Hartley and John Carpenter have provided zero evidence to rebut this evidence....
not a speck.
All they have provided is a remarkably juvenile and feeble attempt at the poisoning the well fallacy. Since he sees fit to make a broad-brush, Ad hom attack against the intellectual prowess of these distinguished people, it is only fair to point out that these attacks are coming from someone who can't spell basic words like "joins" and "exorcist".
but I digress.....
Deeper Truth's line of argumentation and evidence.
Deeper Truth's entire line of defense of Medjugorje can be summarized by a strikingly short list of specious arguments. Let's tackle them one at a time.
The good fruits argument.
This argument portends that the number of pilgrims, confessions, Masses conversions etc. are good fruits that prove the veracity of the apparitions. The argument deliberately ignores the shocking documented rise in spin off cults and false apparitions, broken marriages and occult activity that have resulted from Medjugorje. However, the argument misses the point.
The good fruits argument is straight from the 7th chapter of Matthew's Gospel:
15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.
This actually cuts against Medjugorje. It tells us to judge THEM, not the events.
How do they measure up?
Father Vlasic, spiritual director to the "visionaries" was defrocked then excommunicated. Among the serious charges were violations of the 6th commandment. (Sexual sins). His sexual deviancy came to be known to (then) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who forced him to leave Medjugorje for this and for the conjuring up of evil spirits. He is now a full fledged promoter of the occult/new age and a promoter of UFO conspiracies.
Vlasic's fellow Franciscans- Frs Vega and Prussina- led a mob to evict the clergy from a Mostar church. The Bishop (Zanic) suspended them.
The "Gospa" told the seers that the Bishop was to blame and that the dissident Priests were to ignore the Bishop's directive. (This naked disobedience is something the REAL Mary absolutely could not be a part of).
Over the nest few months, the Devil with a blue dress on said that the Priests should stay in the diocese and continue to hear confessions and give Communion even though they had no faculties!
The so-called Gospa (demon) then said the Bishop (A DEVOUTLY MARIAN BISHOP) had "no love of God in his heart" . The demon continued that the defrocked priests had "no faults!"
Vega's faultlessness took a bit of a hit when he was- like Vlasic- defrocked for sexual indiscretions (he impregnated a nun)
Their Franciscan brother, (and central Medjugorje figure Father Jozo Zovko) was also defrocked for insubordination and allegedly molesting Medjugorje pilgrims.
Later, the Franciscans were involved in the kidnap of Bishop Peric, who had to be rescued from his abduction!
All 6 visionaries have become filthy rich off of Medjugorje funds.
So much for the good fruits.
The Miracles and signs
Other than a few rosaries changing color, there has been literally nothing from Medjugorje, despite the claims. Rosaries changed color at Necedah, Wisconsin and it was condemned as well.
Not one cure substantiated by the church.
Not one miracle substantiated by the church.
Not one fulfilled prophecy substantiated by the church.
Not one medical study of the seers reviewed by and substantiated by the church. So stop lying about brain waves. It never happened.
These are the facts and they are indisputable.
Gabrielle Amorth and The Late Saint John Paul II.
Medjugorje adherents, in transparent desperation, point to the alleged secret support of Medjugorje by the late Chief Vatican Exorcist Gabriel Amorth and the Late Saint John Paul the Great.
The claims are that certain persons have knowledge of other persons who conducted/found interviews, diaries and letters in which these two Catholic luminaries secretly expressed support for Medjugorje. The claims are beyond credible. One of the claims is that Bishop Amorth is alleged to have said that disbelief in Medjugorje is unforgivable. Speaking bluntly, anyone who believes that is almost too ignorant to even converse with. Anyone that knows even basic Catholic theology knows that belief in any private revelation, even one like Fatima or Lourdes, is not required. A statement that says disbelief in a condemned apparition is required- or else- is a sure and positive sign that that event is from the Devil. In fact, it is the threatening letter to the Bishop from the so-called Gospa of Medjugorje that is one of the absolutely infallible proofs that those events are from the Devil.
Of course, Bishop Amorth never said this and neither did John Paul II ever say the things attributed to him about Medjugorje. They are lies. They never happened.
Stop talking and produce the letter. Produce the interview, produce the diary or shut up. Stop trying to pawn that third party nonsense on us because it is nothing but the very dictionary definition of hearsay- inadmissible in court or any debate.
In fact, these arguments actually expose your greatest vulnerability. It's not what they allegedly did say, it's what they undeniably didn't say that is your undoing.
John Paul II was Pope for 22 years during which Medjugorje was taking place.
Never visited it. Not once.
Never made any public statement of support. Not once.
Never made any statement against the 4 decisions against Medjugorje even though he served as Pope for 14 years after the last one (1991).
Gabriele Amorth was Vatican exorcist for 30 years until his death in 2016. He also never showed any public support whatsoever for Medjugorje.
This begs the question for both men, but especially for John Paul II so I will focus on him.
He was Pope. If He believed Medjugorje was real, what possible motivation did he have to hide it? To not go there once. To not speak about it once. To never once ask for a review of the negative decisions. He had the power. He had the opportunity and, according to you, he had the motivation to further the cause of Medjugorje.
Yet, he did nothing?
The silence is deafening.
The Gabrielle Amorth and John Paul II lie is nothing but a pathetic, desperate attempt at the appeal to authority fallacy. It simply does not get you where you want to go, even if it were true (which it obviously isn't).
It is a fallacious argument.
I respect Sam and Sam likes chocolate Ice Cream, therefore chocolate Ice Cream is the best.
It is an appeal to opinion to validate an opinion. It actually demonstrates that you cannot make a factual case to advance your opinion.
If I made an appeal to a nutritionist to validate that Ice Cream is fattening, I would be establishing a fact based on an expert in that discipline.
If you believe in the authority of the Catholic church, the authority to appeal to on a private revelation are the Bishops. That authority has spoken with one voice and by a cumulative vote of 22-0, determined that Medjugorje is false. Three Popes have reigned for 32 years since that decision and have not even hinted at overturning it.
A Catholic is bound, under penalty of mortal sin, not to promote a condemned event.
The Ruini Commission report.
To anyone making an appeal to the Ruini report, I know you have never read it. I have. It doesn't say anything close to what you claim it does.
The only relevant facts about the Ruini report is that it is only that- a report. It is non binding unless it is approved by the Vatican which will never happen. Here is the rub. Even the Ruini report makes it clear that Mary has not appeared in Medjugorje since July of 1981. It is emphatic about that.
However, the facts of this case and the fact that Pope Francis has failed to adopt it are the final nails.
Medjugorje has disproven. Period. Donald and John will not even attempt to counter this with facts.