It astonishes and revolts me that seemingly intelligent people can swallow this hocus-pocus, until I remember the four elements that are present in religion - fear, hatred of the non-believer, money and power.
Medjugorje illustrates this unholy alliance all too clearly. Remember the horrors of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Closer to home, remember Northern Ireland. In Britain, Blair's faith schools inculcate the inherently divisive doctrines of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, of whatever sect. In Iraq and Afghanistan, believers kill believers, and Israelis and Palestinians murder each other. And all of them believe that God - their God - is on their side.
The Catholic Church are still investigating - investigating what? The money grubbing, the nasty underlying political agenda, the exploitation of the credulous and the fanatical? No, just whether a new miracle can be verified to add to the irrational core of its belief systems. You can bet that the Pope will have nothing to say about it on his visit.
The Church plays a long game - after all, as Macaulay observed, the Papacy is a monarchy that has outlived every other empire and monarchy for over two millennia.
In Scotland, we may rejoice that the nationalist movement does not have a religious basis, and that it is secular and tolerant of all religions and beliefs, including atheists and humanists. That is exactly what a vociferous and bigoted minority of its unionist opponents cannot stomach, prisoners of ancient feuds and indoctrination through generations in segregated school systems.