LOURDES, FATIMA AND MEDJUGORJE – FRAUDS
 
The Catholic Church investigated the apparitions of Mary the Mother of Jesus at Lourdes and Fatima. It accepted them as real apparitions. Medjugorje has been condemned by the Church.
 
The investigation of the apparitions is unscientific in the extreme. No effort is made to show that the lady seen looks the same in the apparitions. Mary is pale in some apparitions. Has rosy cheeks in others. And she has brown skin in others. Her hair colour ranges from light brown to black. The height changes too from apparition to apparition. Mary supposedly left a miracle painting of herself at Guadulupe in Mexico and the Church accepts it as a true miracle. It is never shown to alleged visionaries. They are never queried, "Is this the woman you see?" The Church just assumes that Mary gives herself a head and body transplant every time she appears. The Church never compares the lingo and characteristics of an apparition it is investigating to the lingo and characteristics of accepted apparitions. Yet that is necessary to see if the same person is appearing. So Mary changes personalities too! Commonsense would suggest that it is a different being appearing in different apparition sites and claiming to be Mary. If the apostles were seeing a vision claiming to be of the resurrected Jesus who didn't talk and look the same as in life then one can question if the being really is who he says he is. It is ridiculous to imagine Mary having to do miracles to show that it is her appearing when all she has to do is stick to the same mannerisms, personality, vocabulary and bodily appearance in her apparitions. Why change? If Mary changes herself so much then why does she bother visiting anybody and not send an angel or something? Her changing all the time downgrades the standard. A low standard of evidence for the supernatural is very useful to the likes of Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith who have to counterfeit miracles to get followers. Her reluctance to appear as a Jewess with dark skin is perturbing and did nothing to mitigate Roman Catholicism's hysterical anti-semitism. It looks like homage paid to the racism of that cult. How Mary is a Mary who appears as a Caucasian?
 
Marian apparitions almost always induce a state of ecstasy upon the witnesses. The witnesses hardly blink during the vision and stare upwards in a trancelike state. They say they are enraptured in joy. But there is no authority for ecstasy at all in the Bible. The resurrection witnesses did not claim - as far as we know - to have gone into such a trance. Paul speaks of visions but does not mention the trance. Jesus said we must do all the good we do to give God joy and do it only for him. He is the ultimate value. Marian ecstasy have people finding intense happiness in the presence of the Virgin and their focus is on her alone. Thus the ecstasy is a sign that if the apparition is supernatural then it is not from God.
 
Lourdes is the most popular Marian Shrine in the world. There Mary allegedly appeared to St Bernadette in 1858 and since then there has been alleged miracles of healing that have been accepted as real by the Church. Lourdes is possibly the only reported Marian apparition site that is worth investigating for unlike Fatima and La Salette and other apparitions, there are first-hand critical reports of the happenings.
 
Most people these days accept that religion should exist to fulfil human needs. In other words, religion should be formulated in a way that helps people best. Of course Jesus who said that we must love God above all and must love ourselves and others in second place disagreed but let us ignore his fanaticism. His God was lawgiver. Laws have to be obeyed whether they are good laws or not so we are expected to obey God meekly even if what he commands seems evil to us. We know the consequences when religions start putting themselves before people and even their own members. We won’t tolerate that any more not even if we are members of religion ourselves. If you put people first then you must take them to Lourdes demanding a miracle to help them. But Lourdes implies that this attitude is evil. God heals who he will. So the alleged healings are only superficially humanitarian. They are more concerned about bolstering a spiritual agenda that degrades people. Believers will have to ask themselves if sixty something healings at Lourdes justify a message going to millions and influencing them that urges that religion matters more than human beings.

This apparition attracted people to an infectious dump and had them drinking from a spring there. An apparition that had not been checked out by the Church and authenticated had no right to have people doing that even if she was going to protect them for they had insufficient evidence that she was going to. Even a vision accepted as true by the Church would have no right. the Church claims that she has the right to change her mind for she only permits belief in visions and doesn’t command belief in them. This shows that if anything appeared it was not Mary. The spring was of allegedly miraculous origin but now the Church admits that it was there all the time Church (page 87, The Appearances of the Blessed Virgin at the Grotto of Lourdes). Many of the healing miracles that have been accepted by the Church are unconvincing when looked at up close (page 177, Believing in God).

Extra-ordinary claims require  at least, as in hard evidence at the very least. Miracle believers deny this. Murders happen and yet we demand a huge pile of evidence before jailing killers for murders are out of the ordinary. Miracles are more uncommon than murders and the same quantity of evidence would be no good for verifying them. Believers demand extraordinary evidence for extraordinary miracles they don’t like such as Buddha’s enlightenment but they don’t for the miracles that suit their religious preferences! The evidence they present is only an excuse. They would believe without it. Miracles invariably induce blind faith and blind faith is only good for bigotry and dishonesty and blindness. Not very godly are they?
 
The Church claimed to authenticate that Mary appeared to Bernadette. It did not. What it authenticated (leave aside the question about whether the authenticating is of any validity) was that Bernadette was having trances that couldn’t be explained by doctors and that a spring appeared and that healings took place. None of this proves that Bernadette really saw Mary. She might have lied or misunderstood. Or the vision might only have been pretending to be Mary. She may have went into a miraculous trance that affected her brain to make her imagine she saw the Virgin Mary. For the Church to say that it authenticated the apparitions of Mary at Lourdes is simply for it to lie. So here we have an extraordinary claim, that Mary appeared for which there is little evidence if you want to be generous. But the truth is there is NO evidence at all. So the miracles of Lourdes if they are sent to support the claims of a religion did nothing only support lies. We know that the stranger or more unlikely the claim, the evidence needs to be of a standard and strength to match the strangeness of the claim. The evidence needs to be in proportion to the level of unbelievableness of the claim. You don’t need the same evidence that Charlie met Annie at Loch Ness that you need to justify believing that Charlie saw the monster there. Lourdes and all the accepted Catholic apparitions deny this truth and so are evil and trying to drag us into superstition.
 
Fatima was allegedly visited by Mary in 1917 when she was reported to have appeared by three children two of whom died a few years later. The vision climaxed in the Miracle of the Sun in which a vast crowd is supposed to have witnessed a solar miracle in which the sun changed colour and seemed to some to come down below the clouds. There are so few accounts of this miracle that we can safely say it is unimpressive and mass hysteria and lies can explain it for no two witnesses saw the same thing. When you look at the sun you are bound to see some strange things for it is so scary to do that and it is so bright. The trigger that caused them to focus on the sun was Lucia telling them to put their umbrellas down.

Like the Lourdes vision, this one predicted eternal salvation for the visionaries. An apparition has no right to do that for it is not as certain as the faith for the Church allows people to disbelieve in apparitions if they wish while they are not allowed to doubt the creed. The miracles then suggest that they are equal to the authority of the Church in which case they contradict the faith of the Church and are heretical and the Devil is doing them.

The visions of Fatima have chief visionary Lucia alone testifying to most of what happened during the visions and what the lady said and she certainly much of this seems to have been forgotten by her until the 1940’s. The important stuff did not surface until then, which suggests fraud. She had clearly fooled the previous commissions of investigation by not telling all and they cannot do their job properly unless they hear it all and yet her apparitions claim was accepted as valid by the Church by then. So we have one unreliable witness to spiritual events and we are taught to believe that divine truth is the most important thing there is. The God of the Bible forbids this reliance on one person and even more so in the ultimate matters (Deuteronomy 19:15). This shows that only the Devil could have appeared at Fatima and to Bernadette at Lourdes.

The Fatima Lady promised a strange light would appear to show that the next world war was near. The light never appeared but Lucia had to make do with an Aurora Boralis – a natural event! The Lady meant something supernatural for natural strange lights have been with us all the time. Lucia was a liar. Deuteronomy 18 says that anybody who makes true prophecies in the name of God and gets one wrong is a fake. Her lady is a fake then for making an unimpressive prophecy.
 
The three super-shrines of the Catholic Church have been covered. And all of them have been found wanting. They report healing miracles which need a team of experts to examine them. Even if the experts declare something a possible miracle the Church might not. Christians have pointed out that Jesus' miracles were so obvious that no investigation team was needed. That is why they think the Catholic miracles are hoaxes, based on mistakes or are satanic trickery.
 
The Church itself teaches that most apparition claims are probably not from God. Apparitions such as Medjugorje and Garabandal have caused huge trouble for the Church as has many others. Clearly it is best not to pay much attention to apparitions at all!