Terry Colafrancesco: Medjugorje Cult Leader

By Regan Lee

In October of 2012, "JustinT" left the following comment on my post

Please do not link to Medjugorje com of "Friend of Medjugorje" / Caritas of Birmingham. The organisation is considered to be a cult, the priests of Medjugorje parish warned against them as well as Mother Angelica and EWTN.

Please read information about them at:

http://www.medjugorje.ws/en/articles/caritas-of-birmingham/

http://www.medjugorje.ws/en/articles/gravely-disturbing-testimonies-caritas-of-birmingham/

http://www.medjugorje.ws/en/articles/caritas-of-birmingham-a-friend-of-medjugorje-terry-colafrancesco-fleecing-money-deceptions/

http://www.medjugorje.ws/en/articles/a-friend-of-medjugorje-terry-colafrancesco-cult-leader-caritas-of-birmingham/

I responded that it's my blog and I'll post what links I want to post.

But, curious, I followed the links JustinT left for me to explore. I've long known that there is a school of thought that believes Medjugorje is a cult, or of the devil, or that, any Marian apparitions/beliefs are "wrong" since Catholicism itself is "wrong" and not even Christian, according to some Christians. Since I'm not any of those -- Christian, Catholic (oy, the quibbling!) or of the devil -- I'm not concerned with the belief factor here. My approach to Marian apparitions, including Medjugorje, is purely Fortean. Which encompasses a lot of terrain.

However, if the information in the links JustinT provided is true, it is very disturbing information.  From the www.medjugorje.ws site: Caritas of Birmingham is not a Roman Catholic organization and the organization's leader Terry Colafranesco:

Terry Colafrancesco teaches to his group that black people are "niggers," which were created by God for servitude and were much better off when they were slaves.
Terry also teaches contempt for women as the carriers of the "spirit of Eve".

There's much more regarding interpretations and what amounts to downright mangling of Catholic doctrine.

The other links reveal more of the same, and worse. Terry Colafrancesco (who is based in Alabama)  does appear to be another psychotic religious cult leader. There are references to Terry Colafrancesco being involved with the KKK.

The Medjugorje website is full of unnerving information about Terry Colafrancesco. Are the allegations true? Or is the site that JustinT recommended one with its own agenda regarding apparitions, Medjugorje in particular?

"Andrew" has a Blogger blog: Exposing Terry Colafrancesco.

Kresta in the Afternoon has a comprehensive site that deals with the history of the Medjugorje sightings. Caritas of Birmingham is certainly mentioned but what is interesting, as is noted, is that one of the original women to see the apparition is involved in Terry Colafrancesco's organization:

The Caritas group, however, is considered schismatic by the visionaries and priests at the pilgrimage center, in a part of what used to be Yugoslavia. On the “official” Medjugorje website we are warned that Caritas of Birmingham is a cult, something like a religious business, not approved.

But one of the visionaries, Marija, still comes regularly to Caritas in Birmingham, contributing to a local, in-house schism of an international cult that bespeaks a larger and ongoing schism with orthodox Catholicism.

This history of the Medjugorje apparitions is complicated and fascinating. Many reasons given by some Catholics to reject the Medjugorje events, including the seemingly non-Blessed Virgin tone of the apparitions:

Compared to approved apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, for example, at Lourdes and at Fatima, the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje contain numerous anomalous aspects:

In the initial appearances, the Gospa appears out of a cloud of light which gradually takes on the image of a young woman in her late teens. She has blue eyes and is wearing a gray dress. She looks like she is holding “something like a baby” in her arms, but none of the features of the baby can be seen. Her hands are shaking. She laughs. The visionaries are able to touch and kiss her, but her vestments are “steel to the touch.” When a lady doctor asked if she could touch her also, the Gospa agreed, but complained about “unbelieving Judases.”

There is definitely a Trickster aspect to the apparitions at Medjugorje. I wrote about some of these in 2008 here at UFO Mary in my post Trickster-Mary-Devil in the Mysterious Valley?. The event described does seem bizarre and not what we usually hear of in Marian apparitions:

The following is from the Angelus site, from Medjugorje Exposed:

Today, we waited for the Virgin at Marija's; with me were Marija, Ivanka, and Jakov. We began praying at 6:20 p.m. The Virgin appeared right away. We asked her about the Franciscan Friars and sisters of our parish...We asked her about the man who saw Jesus in the street as he was driving people in his car. He met a man covered in blood—this man was Jesus—he gave him a blood-stained handkerchief telling him to throw it in the river. Going on his way, he met a lady—it was the Blessed Virgin Mary; she asked the driver for the bloodstained handkerchief. The man offered her a handkerchief belonging to him, but the Virgin asked for the bloodstained one: 'If he had not given it to me it would have been the last judgment for all!' The Virgin said this was true.) (from Vicka's diary dated September 4, 1981)

The Trickster does seem to be strong in the Medjugore sightings in a crazy, conflicting, and bizarre yet very Fortean way.

There is a 2002 Associated Press item by Jay Reeves at the pathological skeptoid site Skeptic Tank.com (after all, the site calls the faithful "Virgin Mary Kooks") about a lawsuit brought against Terry Colafrancesco.

In 2006, Phillip Kronzer, a "cult fighter" was jailed for making "derogatory statements" about Terry Colafrancesco:

Circuit Judge J. Michael Joiner sentenced Phillip J. Krozner to spend 15 hours in jail for contempt of court. Joiner found that statements Kronzer made about Caritas of Birmingham in a widely distributed letter violated terms of a confidnential settlement in a lawsuit involving Kronzer and Caritas.

Kronzer is a San Jose, Calif., businessman who declared war on cults when his wife left him to join what he claimed was a cult. He repeatedly has claimed that Caritas is a cult.

As I searched for articles and information on Terry Colafrancesco, I quickly realized there is a huge amount of material out there on him. It's clear that if you are interested in discovering more, there is more to be discovered. And, it will take you as deep as you want to go.

Is Terry Colafrancesco a cult leader, and are the allegations against him true? I don't know. I do know that the Medjugorje phenomena is truly a Trickster phenomena, including the debate and actions surrounding Terry Colafranesco.

My related posts:

Posted by Regan Lee

Additional detailed information on Caritas of Birmingham and self-styled "A Friend of Medjugorje" (Terry Colafrancesco) are available in English and Italian languages online at:
http://www.medjugorje.ws/en/articles/caritas-of-birmingham/

 

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