Monday, August 25, 2008

Attack on Rick Salbato Shows Ignorance

Paul Baylis, the editor of the Marian Times, claims Rick Salbato couldn't know if Sister Lucia of Fatima's "support" of Medjugorje is not true.

Mr. Editor google Mel Gibson and Sister Lucia of Fatima. Rick lived in Fatima for some time and knew Sister Lucia.

Fred


Unity Publishing - More Dangerous Than Any False Apparition
By Paul Baylis, editor Marian Times

I have spent a good deal of time talking to atheists and just trying to get them to believe "in God". So, from a purely personal perspective, I am very disappointed with some corners of the so-called Christian media who make this task even more difficult than it was. God is not a God of division. Jesus came to unify mankind in the love of God. Medjugorje, to me, is all about UNITY of religious thought and practice, of keeping it simple, of loving God without man-made restraint.

But, it's not my personal issues with Unity Publishing (and others like them) that really matter. Unity Publishing, in the vein of many other quarters thriving on a diet of disinformation from all around the world (and we know who is the cause of that!) have made up their minds that Medjugorje is false and they want the world to know what they think the Vatican should have found out and acted on by now, if not long ago. In their apparent quest for the eyeballs of the sensation-seekers, and casting themselves in the light of maverick crime-busters, they are doing immense damage, splitting the Catholic Church and contributing to a potential fulfillment the end-times prophecy of "brother against brother". This, more than anything, Satan wishes to accomplish. God might be able to forgive millions of people being duped, at His allowance, by the enemy (just as Job received God's mercy for not knowing that he was the meat in the sandwich of God's testing), but I'm not so sure God would smile so brightly on any individual bold enough to negligently afflict the Church founded through the blood and suffering of His only begotten Son. Thus, I say that these people are more dangerous than any false apparition.

I came upon some Medjugorje-related book reviews on different websites which repeated the same warning against Medjugorje and invited people to go to Unity Publishing and "read as many articles as possible" to avoid being deceived. This is very similar to the line I read on Unity Publishing's main Medjugorje page, which is a litany of detraction at its worst. I conclude that Rick has been busy setting forth his maggots of detraction and division into the very living rooms of people who are open to conversion - not conversion to Medjugorje per se, but conversion to the Lord. Most of these "reviews" pertained to Sister Emmanuel's "Medjugorje - the 90's", which gives evidence for Sister Lucia of Fatima and Pope John Paul II supporting Medjugorje. The review states: "The quotes in favor of Medjugorje, attributed to the pope and Sister Lucia of Fatima, could not be proved and are most likely lies". Run this line in Google and see how many times the same review has been placed! Nobody makes such a comment unless their sole intention is to defend a negative position on Medjugorje. A normal person with an open mind says "Hmmm, if Sister Lucia really said that about Medjugorje, then....". Rick's writing on Medjugorje is full of this fanatical defensiveness of a position that is scarcely defendable. The weight of evidence against his position is likened to a mountain against a molehill. But, Rick squirms and wriggles and refuses to give. Now, that's scarey!

His mission statement is the promotion of unity and a pledge to "dispel the darkness", "break the spells" and free us all from "baffling deceptions" when in reality it is really people like himself who have created the darkness and the spells. He has jumped on the bandwagon of people who created the bafflement where there was none before. He says his articles are "thoroughly researched", whereas it appears more evident that Rick has simply trawled through Google for any detraction article he can find and, without vetting them for complete accuracy, has simply added the information to his own articles or tacked them one after the other in a long list of anti-Medjugorje articles which he has labelled "humble testimonies", encouraging those who are "genuinely interested in discerning the truth about this issue" to "take the time to scan as many of the links as possible".

Let us analyse an article by Rick Salbato of Unity Publishing. Rick once wrote that he thought God liked what he was doing on his website. I nearly choked on my coffee cake when I read this comment, after reading what he has on his website. I want to give Rick the benefit of the doubt as being sincerely trying to warn the world of potential false apparitions, but after just a short read of the type of journalism he uses and the sheer determination he displays, at any cost, to literally destroy Medjugorje, I simply cannot conscience it. I simply cannot see any good in what he is doing.

It is a long, long essay, possibly Rick thought it necessary to be so, because the guts just aren't there and most debaters will know that if the guts aren't there, you have to pad out the content, use tactics such as straw men and tarring with the same brush, and basically dig and dredge and connect dots and all those other juicy spy thriller things. But as you will see he falls well short. But, what is more amazing is that he found the need or the time to do all this. I'm giving up valuable praying time to write this rebuttal. But, I hope I will pray a little better after I'm through. I am compelled to write and write I will!

From a reading of Rick's writings, he comes across as very much lacking in experience at putting together an argument. He also seems to be lacking in some basic theology and his penchant for making statements and claims literally off the top of his head is astounding. All this would be absolutely fine EXCEPT for the fact that it is not just reflecting upon himself, but on the whole Catholic Church and his rash comments and conclusions are doing a lot of damage to the hearts and minds of Catholics. It's time to put a stop to this and let cooler heads prevail.
[http://www.marian-times.com/articles/medjugorje/unity-publishing.cfm]

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