From all appearances, the Virgin Mary does not understand economics

Visionary from Medjugorje says Virgin Mary is aware of economic crisis

Marija Lunetti, one of six young peasants who claimed that the Virgin Mary began appearing to them in 1981 in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, says the mother of Jesus is aware of the economic crisis in Europe.

“She’s more preoccupied with spiritual (matters),” Lunetti said. “When there is a spiritual crisis, there is also an economic crisis.”

Lunetti spoke briefly in an interview about the economic crisis in Europe and the weather – “Hot like here,” she said – before she had her daily apparition on Sunday (July 1) night on her visit to Shelby County, Ala. During the apparitions, she says the Virgin Mary appears to her and prays over the pilgrims, even though they cannot see her vision.

Tip: CFI’s Morning Heresy

Lunetti claims to have these visions since she was 16; she is now 47. But wait… there’s more. The apparition appears on schedule:

Lunetti’s normal time for an apparition Friday morning was while they were on an airplane bound for Alabama. Instead, Lunetti had her vision Friday night after 8 p.m. once she arrived at the Colafrancesco home.

The Vatican has not declared that her visions are genuine. The evidence seems particularly flimsy even though this seems like a testable claim. The mention of the current crisis being a spiritual one instead of a political one is a vacuous statement. This is the real world, complicated, with real problems. They won’t be solved by appealing to the heavens.

This is a good story to remind us that not everyone relies on science as a way of knowing. To announce that these visions exist but no one can see them is much like the Dragon in the Garage scenario proposed by Carl Sagan. It is unfalsifiable. But would qualify as supernatural (does not obey natural laws). When something is deemed to NOT obey natural laws, it can not be measured, it does not behave. However, many are perfectly fine with “knowing” via revelation and belief.

UPDATE (6-Jul-2012): A new story appears on Yahoo news with more about Colafrancesco

Colafrancesco has built a complex on his 130-acre (52.6-hectare) property that includes a new $8 million printing press and office building, as well as a chapel, gift shop and mobile homes for the community members.

Some detractors describe the group as a cult, saying it fosters isolation, family estrangement and control. A lawsuit filed by former residents and families of residents accused Colafrancesco of enticing devout Catholics to the complex, draining their assets and keeping them from their loved ones. The suit was settled privately.

A self-proclaimed “cult fighter” in California lost his bid to shut Caritas of Birmingham down and was ordered to pay the organization more than $2 million in 2006 for his continued pursuit and criticism of it, according to court records.