Position of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and Mother Angelica on Caritas of Birmingham, Alabama
Date: March 27, 2010
Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama
Content of the article
Question for Bill Bilton, Ph.D.
Caritas of Birmingham - Question from Roberta on 6/18/2001:
Is Caritas of Birmingham a legitimate place to get Our Lady's messages? This group mails out blue post cards with the monthly message. The disturbing part is the coomentary by the "Founder", who will not reveal who he or she is. The group claims to have an inside line to the happenings at Medjugorge. Some of the commentary seems overly strict and somewhat outlandish. Can you let me know whether I should continue receiving their mailings?
Answer by Bill Bilton on 6/19/2001:
Caritas of Birmingham is a controversial organization. Our local bishop has stated in the daily newspaper that it is a "business" and his priests do not have permission to celebrate Mass there. With such a negative standing with Church authority in the Diocese of Birmingham, I believe you can reach your own conclusion about the wisdom of pursuing any interest in the organization.
[Source: www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=341934 ]
Question for Colin B. Donovan, STL
Caritas Birmingham Planned Apparition - Question from Mary Sonnier on 7/23/2004:
I was wondering how EWTN and Mother Angelica felt about Caritas. When I called the Birmingham Diocese about it they said stay away they did not support it. But while at the temple or the shrine not sure which one I picked up some pieta books and it has Caritas in the book. I was just wondering if the Church or the Pope (someone told me he approved it) approved it, and how yall fill about it. Thanks Mary SOnnier.
Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 9/13/2004:
Caritas has no ecclesiastical approval, local or Roman. Successive bishops have forbidden the celebration of the Mass there. Despite its proximity, whenever anyone asked Mother Angelica about Caritas she never encouraged anyone to visit it. If it is mentioned in a book sold at the Shrine it is purely coincidental and most definitely NOT an approval.
I might note, there are groups called Caritas other than Caritas of Birmingham, including a Catholic charity, Caritas International, supported by the Church in Italy.
[Source: www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=406574 ]
Question for Colin B. Donovan, STL
Cults - Question from Craig Adkins on 7/18/2005:
What is EWTN's position on the pre-planned apparition of the supposed Our Lady of Medjugorie in early August 2005 sponsored by the Caritas group? The apparition is to take place in your backyard Birmingham, AL. The apparition is to celebrate Mary's birthday. The church has always celebrated Mary's birthday September 9th, but I guess according to the Medjugorie people that Mary told the children in the early 1980's that her real birth was in August. Seems as more desperation to prove a false apparition?
Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 8/2/2005:
Actually, the Feast of the Birthday of Mary is September 8th, not the 9th. That is a liturgical celebration by the Church, not an assertion of an historical date. The association of Mary with August 5th historically is the apparition of Our Lady of the Snows, a day on which, as promised by a vision, snow fell in Rome to mark the place where the Pope was to build a "temple" to the Blessed Virgin. That "temple" is the Pontifical Basilica of St. Mary Majors (the highest ranked Marian church in the world), the dedication of which is celebrated each August 5th. Could that be the actual day of Mary's birth? Who knows? One could even argue that snow better signifies her Immaculate Conception than her birth. In any case, an unrecognized apparition is no proof of anything.
As for Caritas of Birmingham, the recent bishops of the Birmingham diocese (Boland and Foley) have done nothing to favor this site, and have forbid the celebration of Mass there (though not confessions).
The position of Mother Angelica has always been to discourage people from going there. That is also EWTN's position.
[Source: www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=444123 ]
Question for David M. Gregson, Ph.D.
Caritas of Birmingham - Question from Sandy T. on 5/23/2008:
I am reading a book titled "Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping" by a Friend of Medjugore. It is published by Caritas of Birmingham. Do you know anything about this book or publisher? There was no Church approval imprimatur nor nhil obstat names in this book. Thank you for your attention!
Answer by David Gregson on 6/30/2008:
No, I don’t know the book. Caritas, Birmingham, a religious group claiming Marian apparitions, has no ecclesiastical approval, local or Roman. Birmingham’s two previous Bishops, Boland and Foley, forbad the celebration of Mass there, but allowed confessions. Our present Bishop, Robert Baker, has continued the same policy. Mother Angelica always discouraged people from visiting there.
[Source: www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=542355 ]
Question for Dr. Richard Geraghty
Caritas of Birmingham - Question from on 12-23-2010:
Dear Dr. Geraghty, Concerning the upcoming apparition at Caritas of Birmingham with a visionary from Medjudgorje (Marija) March 19 - March 23, 2010, advertised on their website, okay for Roman Catholics to attend? Thank you!
Answer by Richard Geraghty on 01-05-2011:
I know that Caritas of Birmingham have no official tie with the Bishop. From what I have seen on the web site, the group sounds to me very much like a cult. I would discourage attending. But I am no expert on this.
[Source: www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=601958 ]
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