Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Audio: Colin Donovan of EWTN on Medjugorje

Note: This post has been edited at the bottom to include a link which has the 9 minute segment isolated.

I listened to the Friday edition of EWTN's Open Line with Colin Donovan, the VP of Theology at the network on May 21, 2010.  The audio is now available online.

Every now and then callers will ask about apparitions, most often referring to Medjugorje.  I am only going to give you a few quotes and a lead in, leaving Colin to explain most of this through the audio.  I am leaving out some key things so that you can hear it from him.

This audio could get moved on Monday as a new show is uploaded.  I will probably have to change the URL, so if you are looking for the audio and do not find the right one (May 21, 2010), then drop a note in the combox and I'll update it from the archives.

In this two hour segment, if you slide the bar to 1 hour 28 minutes, the question will come in about with all the sin in the world, can one follow apparitions in these times if they find them compatible with the Gospel, and see nothing contrary to their own "faith and reason".   The woman begins by using Catherine Laboure as an example.  She also talks about how the people followed the children of Fatima before it was approved, and asks the question: How would there have been a "miracle of the sun" if no one had followed Fatima before approval? Colin gives a solid answer. 

He then discusses his thoughts on whether apparitions are happening "in these times".   He talks about holiness of the visionaries using Fatima and Lourdes as examples.   Further dialogue with the woman then prompts him to explain the difference between a mystic and a visionary, which was good because these two things do get confused. 

As the discussion progressed, and the woman pressed, still not mentioning Medjugorje, Colin admonished listeners to "keep their ear to the ground and listen to the Church and what she is saying about things because when she says 'no', we better say, 'no' because the Church will be right 99.9% of the times....and we will be wrong".

He then goes deeper into details of Fatima and it's approval, that it was headed in the direction of approval from the beginning because it was credible, was not opposed by Church authority, the children were humble and behaved as you would expect. He noted that it was approved just 13 years later. 

That's when the woman finally brings up Medjugorje.  She pointed out that Mother Angelica talked about Medjugorje in a positive light.  How did Colin respond?  You'll have to listen to find out.

Click here to begin the MP3 audio and use the slider bar to go to 1:28

EDIT May 25, 2010: Try this link for the 9 minute segment which has been isolated.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!


Nick said...

Saint Catherine: http://www.catholic-saints.net/saints/st-catherine-laboure.php

Tominellay said...

Wow! Colin Donovan really makes his position clear, really articulates the Church's position clearly! For years his name and reputation (and those of EWTN and Mother Angelica, too) have been improperly used (abused, really) by Medjugorje supporters. This is really huge; I'm so glad to hear it "from the horse's mouth". Thanks for posting the audio...

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

I meant to point out that I don't think that Colin really did not have much choice in the matter. And, it's important to point out that when he offered his personal he was not speaking for EWTN, but for himself, which he is entitled to do just as you or I.

The woman probably did not tell the call screener that she ultimately had a Medjugorje question. I was pretty sure shortly after her question began that is where she was headed. She flew in "under the radar", so to speak, and Colin had to deal with it accordingly. As usual, he was quick to correct errors in what he was hearing.

He makes the point commissions. There were actually 40 members who worked on the first, second, and third Commissions. In that last, broader one, 19 bishops out of the 20 maintained the non constat de supernaturalitate of previous, smaller commissions. Medjugorje supporters often cite the lone bishop who did not follow the other 19 - Archbishop Franic - as if it carries weight. 19-1. That's like clinging to a dissenting opinion of one justice on the Supreme Court. Once a decision is made, it's made and it's a body of one. It can't be two decisions from a single body. Hence, people need to let go of Abp Franic at this point.

What Colin is saying is true. This new commission will have to overturn the decision of previous commissions. If they were going to overturn it - meaning approve it - they certainly would not be meeting now while it is ongoing. No apparition is approved while ongoing, but it can be condemned as not supernatural, or the current status of "cannot be affirmed", could be maintained. With either of those two possibilities, we will probably see a change in pastoral directives, most likely aimed at curbing certain things that have gotten out of hand.

Anonymous said...

This woman had her mind made up even before Colin gave her his answer.

I was impressed to hear Colin mentioning the apparitions of Mary in Akita, Ruwanda and also in Cuapa, Nicaragua. It is something to think about since these happened about the same time that Medjugorje was happening but they all were brief, and approved.
Something to think about.


SunnaB16 said...

Many thanks for posting the audio segment.

No hesitation on Colin`s part! Total clarity! Good show!

Regardless of whether or not Colin was speaking for himself only, i bet EWTN cops a lot of flack.

Will Denis Nolan and Co. dare mention it...or any of the other countless pro-Medjugorje groups? Will Wayne Weible stop badmouthing Bishop Peric? (Will pigs fly?!)

Observant one said...

What perhaps is more symbolic for the long haul though is the permanently attached full image of Our Lady of Medjugorje that ends the daily "International" rosary of EWTN - leaving one with just that image to reflect upon!! Not a "God incident" so fond of by Mother - no, of course not!

Anonymous said...

The image at the end of the international rosary in EWTN should be removed since it has not been Church approved.

I have tried to pray along with the international rosary but it had had no effect on my spiritual life. I feel they are too fast, sound only repetitive, and seem to lack the solemnnity that a prayer from the heart has to have.

I don't follow it anymore and seen the image of an unapproved apparition makes it even harder to be a solemn prayer.

Our Lord said that we will be living together, those nasty weeds, and the true wheat until the end of times when the harvest is ready only then the weed will be thrown to the fire!


observant one said...

Sounds like sour grapes to me!!

Anonymous said...

The fox in Aesop's story never found out if the grapes were really sour because he never got to taste them. They very well could had been sour. Therefore bad.
In the case of the image of the alleged apparition of Medjugorje we have the Church's answer that the alleged apparition has not proven to be of supernatural origin.

Edward said...

Hi Diane,

I'm from Hong Kong (China) and just happened to find your website. Do keep on your good work!

BTW, do you have any comment about the homily preached recently by Bishop Ratko Peric at Medjugorje on May 29? You may wish to access the link at:


Since I've no knowledge at all about Croatian, just wanna ask if anything significant is happening there with regard to the Church's position on that.

Looking for your updates ...

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Dear Edward,

I noticed the homily yesterday and read it probably the same way you did - through a google translator.

I am working on getting a translation, but it may take a week or two. We are at the mercy of other people's schedules and time constraints.

When, and if, I get something, I will make a post, so watch for updates.

Many prayers for you and our fellow Catholics in Hong Kong!

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


With regards to status, you may want to click my label for Medjugorje and scroll. A commission at the highest level was created just recently and is made up of an international body. I'll let you read my past posts on this.