Until the Catholic Church has made its final decision as to the authenticity or lack thereof with regard to the supposed visions of Medjugorje that have been said to have occurred regularly since 1981, events promoting it have been prohibited. In 2013, a letter was sent from Cardinal Mueller to all U.S. Bishops that stated "clerics and the faithful are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or celebrations during which the credibility of such "apparitions" would be taken for granted."
Pope Francis has also denounced the spirit of curiosity that seeks after miracles, saying:
Recently, a visions-on-demand event had been arranged by Medjugorje supporters in St. Louis, MO, with 1,000 people having paid for tickets to witness this circus. The CDF had to intervene and require that, in obedience to the current ban on such events, the planned event had to be cancelled.
Visionary Ivan Dragicevic flouted the clear intention of the ban and held the events at a private home.
Further details can be found on the Te Deum Laudamus Blog and several other websites you can Google.
The idea that our Blessed Mother would adhere to someone's schedule and appear on demand, at the place and time required by this "visionary" Ivan Deagicevic, is ludicrous on the face of it. When, in all the history of the church, has God, his saints or his angels appeared to man on demand? Never. The idea that any human being would claim to have that degree of control and authority over the Divine seems, obviously, to be the height of either lunacy, fraud, or both.
Opportunities to express devotion to our Blessed Mother and to make requests for her to pray for us to her son, Jesus, are plentiful. Why insist on promoting this dubious cause when so many authentic avenues of piety have always been open to us?
One glaring fact stands out in my mind. Instead of demanding that the Mother of God appear to us at a time and place of our choosing in order to satisfy our desire for a mystical connection, we have consistently been exhorted to approach the Lord, his saints and his angels with our prayers and especially our praise and gratitude. We are to lay ourselves before the Lord and submit ourselves to His will, to cooperate with His timing and to be receptive to His Word when He chooses to say it and through whom he chooses to say it. Obedience to his commands and his wishes are what is required. It is through His church which He started and to which He gave authority that we can reliably receive his message to us.
Jesus promised that his church would stand for all time and that even the gates of hell could not prevail against it. We can take comfort and have trust in the church, as a result. It is the voice of Jesus in matters of faith and morals. Certainly, some individuals in the church have behaved badly in the past. That's no secret. We are all sinners. But those are individuals who disobeyed Church teachings. The teachings themselves are pure. The Church remains infallible in matters of faith and morals. Obeying its dictates will never hurt us. It may inconvenience us or cause us to avoid doing things we really really want to do, but what of it?
If the Medjurogje visions are authentic, which I doubt, but if they are, will it damage you if you have not supported them or made pilgrimage or participated in one of the banned events? No. There is nothing in scripture, tradition or common sense that demands that you must do any of these things to be saved. We already have all the instructions we need to become saints and go to heaven when we die. No one can add to it because there is nothing to add. Jesus gave us everything we need.
If the Medjugorje visions are fraudulent, which I believe them to be, then flouting the Church's ban on participation in events or promoting same, CAN hurt you. So, if even for the sake of enlightened self-interest alone, it only makes sense to avoid this entire matter until the Church has announced if Medjugorje is a legitimate expression of supernatural events.
In the meantime, unless you have studied all the material that is available about all the saints and visions that have already been approved by the church, you can start reading everything you have missed. That should keep you busy for more than a few years.
While you are at it, why not go to daily mass where the real miracle occurs, and then follow Jesus' instruction to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the sick? Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, give it to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, a nursing home or a prison so you can visit the sick or the imprisoned and bring a little spot of Jesus' light into the sad lives of those who are incarcerated in institutions of one sort or another?
Our lives are full of opportunities to experience Jesus. You can see him in every hungry, lonely face.
God bless us all.
Silver Rose Parnell