Talk:Our Lady of Lake Smetona

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Just peeking in... I have some issues with certain aspects of this article. I'm not terribly concerned with the history of Lithuanian settlements in Africa or any of that. My concern is with the supposed "vision". I don't consider myself an expert in Marian visions, but "it's ok to settle here, but straighten up and fly right" sounds about as inauthentic a Marian vision as one can imagine. Typically, Marian visions involve some aspect of the Christian faith (prayer, repentance, the incarnation, etc) not where to put a village. Have no problem with a settlement being there, have no problem with some kind of mass vision / phenomenon taking place. I very much doubt that, as described, this particular would be viewed as credible by the Church, and certainly there wouldn't be a chapel or church constructed to cultivate any kind of pilgimages or the like. We've had enough of real world religion being the source of contention -- please let's not involve made up "visions" as well! Would appreciate it much if this article could be rewritten to excise those references. I had a look at among others to see what historical visions of Mary have been like. Elemtilas 03:33, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, nowhere does it say that the Church has certified the vision, as such. There are plenty of visions of Mary that have a wide following without official Church sanciton. The fact that a consecrated church was built on the site might be seen as a kind of tacit approval. But the local community may have built the church there and then requested a pastor to lead it, and the pilgrims continued to come even if he stayed ambivalent about whether he believed in the vision or approved of their travels. But I agree with Padraic that the vision need not have specifically been about building the village - indeed, it sounds more realistic if it were not. The group of colonists could have settled in that place simply because that was where the vision happened, even if the actual content of the vision were something else. Benkarnell 07:09, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I'll look into it. The situation might have similarities to real world Our Lady of Medjugorje ( ) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (disputed, but widely followed, witnessed by 6 people). Indeed, the church was funded and built completely by local people. I may correct the wording of the Virgin and/or add chapter "skepticism" where it would be written that some Christians doubt the autenticity of the event and that there is even a conspiracy theory claiming that the witnesses were hired by the government of interwar Lithuania in order to encourage settlment of then undeveloped Lake Smetona coast. Abdul-aziz 13:49, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I understand that the Church (in IB) hasn't "certified" the vision (I can not imagine that the Church would in either universe). I guess my main problem is the quote itself, not anything that surrounds it. I don't have a problem with a group vision per se; I don't even have a problem with that vision being of Mary. I guess I have a problem your putting words in her mouth that seem extremely unlikely and could be construed in poor taste. Having the blessed Virgin say "hey! this is a nice bit of real estate! couple neighbourhood problems but all in all as nice a spot as you could ever find". It just doesn't sit right. I don't mind that we put words in normal peoples' mouths that they might not otherwise speak in real life (like Bush or Gore) but I'd rather we not mess around with key religious or spiritual figures in this way unless we really do it right. So, I don't have a problem with the whole concept, but as the vision is worded, I would prefer that the quote simply be left unrecorded or unspecified. If you want to rewrite it so that it's a little more likely for a Marian vision, that would be fantastic too. You know something along the lines of "build your village here and in the village consecrate a shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and from that shrine spread the Gospel around..." Looking at the article you cite, I don't really have an issue with adding other miraculous events (Sun phenomena, etc) in connection with the Smetona vision(s), but notice the central message is about prayer and repentance, not real estate! Elemtilas 15:20, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree in essence, but would say it another way. While for all we know the Virgin Mary might well opine about a nice place to build a home and raise a family, it seems unlikely that such a message would resonate with the devout, much less convince others to convert. To accomplish that seems to me the message needs to touch on larger themes -- a hint that prayers in that spot would accomplish some good or avert a tragedy, for example, and/or a warning against some kind of spiritual/temporal danger. Just my couple of pennies. The rest of the article looks great. Zahir 16:51, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I have removed the quote now. Abdul-aziz 17:45, 29 December 2009 (UTC)