ence of the pan-orthodox, anything-goesas-rnlong-as-Fm-not-a-modernist minimalismrnin contemporary CathoHc Hfe. Jonesrnhas been combating this attitude forrnsome time, so it is surprising that he doesrnnot categorically indicate it as the fundamentalrn”permissive cause” of the Medjugorjernmess. For most of the book, he onlyrnhints at it. Perhaps he does so out of arncertain deference for authority, especiallyrnthat of the Holy See. Only on the verylastrnpage does he make the point withrnany cogency, and then it is by way of arnsledgehammer memento mori directed atrnthe Pope, who I doubt would be offendedrnby Jones’ words: John Paul II is, afterrnall, the personalist Pope of dialogue. Yetrnthe Pope is not as much to blame as hisrnadmiring minions are: The neo-orthodoxrnlove to take the name of John Paul IIrnin vain. To use an expression drawnrnfrom one of Jones’ early Fidelity articlesrnon the Marian apparitions movement,rnthe Holy Father, just like the Blessed Virgin,rn”takes a beating from his friends.” Inrnthe 18 years since the first apparitions,rnthe Pope has said nothing publicly aboutrnthem, although the promoters of Medjugorjerneagerly repeat things he has allegedlyrnsaid in private, as though thesernnullify the official, public teaching of thernlocal bishop and of the former YugoslavrnEpiscopal Conference. Such shoddyrnreasoning, found in irresponsible booksrnlike Medjugorje: What does the ChurchrnSay? (Santa Barbara: Queenship Publishing,rn1998), is an example of the wildlyrnimprudent outiook of those who thinkrnthey are infallible because they love thernPope as a media personalit}’, while theyrnignore his teaching on the office of bishops.rnAs any Catholic knows, the Pope’srnprivately expressed opinions are not a locusrntheologicus.rnTo be sure, E. Michael Jones is nornskeptic. His preferred theory of the realrnnature of the events of Medjugorje, atrnleast in the beginning, is that the souls ofrnsome 600 Serbs, among them a communityrnof Orthodox monks thrown to theirrndeaths on the other side of Medjugorje’srnapparition hill in 1941, returned to askrnfor prayers and reconciliation. Accordingrnto Jones, there is some circumstantialrnevidence that this could have been therncase before the apparitions were derailedrnby being moved to the parish church andrnplaced imder the direction of clergy atrnodds both with their bishop and their religiousrnorder superiors. Here, at least,rnwould be a message worthy of the Queenrnof Peace and the Mother of Sorrows veneratedrnby both Serbs and Croats, an effectivernreminder and remedy indeedrnagainst exaggerated nationalism or internationalism:rnPray for the dead. As thernDesert Fathers teach, compunction isrnthe sure cure for illusion.rnBut perhaps the best message is that ofrnBlessed Aloysius Cardinal Stepinac. Respondingrnto an inquiry about Marian apparitionsrnduring his confinement at hisrnCroatian hometown of Krasic in 1956,rnhe wrote: “No one needs to look for pretextsrnfor more of them. Even if somernlook for a sign from heaven, one isn’trnnecessary.” No illusions here, just faith.rnTHE MEDJUGORJE DECEPTIONrnProponents of Medjugorje like to tallc about its fruits, but ignore tJie broken families,rnthe pregnant nuns, the poor people bilked of their money, the division in the Church, the dernfacto schism, the worst fighting in Europe since World War II, the ethnic cleansing of Muslimsrnfrom Gradno, just five kilometers from Medjugorje—all of which followed inexorably fromrnthose children on that hill in Bosnia in June of 1981. The Medjugorje Deception breaks thernconspiracy of silence that has surrounded one of the biggest hoaxes of the 20th century. It tellsrnthe full truth from beginning to end, from the bloody atrocities during World War II on thernother side of Apparition Hill to their bloody sequel in the ethnic cleansing of Mostar’srnMuslims with money raised by Medjugorje groups. The Medjugorje Deception is more than arnbook; it’s a spiritual work of mercy, and it’s available now for $19.95 plus $3 shipping andrnhandling from Fidelity Press.rnE. Michael Jones has written a passionately objective hook that finally puts the Medjugorjernphenomenon in an historical context. Based on first-hand interviews and a careful reading of therndocuments, The Medjugorje Deception is a cautionary tale about the dangers of mixing religion andrnpolitics. Catholics who refuse to read this book are running away from the truth.rn—Thomas FlemingrnChroniclesrnTHE MEDJUGORJE DECEPTIONrn$19.95 plus $3 Shipping and HandlingrnMail orders to:rnFidelity Pressrn206 Marquette AvenuernSouth Bend, Indiana 46617rnPhone orders:rn(219)289-9786rnFax orders:rn(219)289-1461rn28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn