Saturday, March 20, 2010

Medjugorje - The Actual Situation Today

March, 2010

By Mark Waterinckx

Both inside (and even outside) the Church, Medjugorje remains a “hot” item, with the divisions between believers and non-believers becoming ever larger. Believers tend to only see the “fruits of the tree” (Matt 7, 15-20): conversions, prayer groups, healings, vocations etc.

But let us read further in Matt, 7, 21-23 : 21
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”
Non- believers tend to see especially the disobedience of the seers and of the Franciscans of Medjugorje, the rebellion against the bishops and the Pope, the fanaticism, the manipulations, lies, contradictions, the profiteering, the luxurious homes of the “seers”, the sex scandals of the Franciscans, the suspended Franciscan rebels involved in Medjugorje and their illegal sacraments.

Among the non- believers are people who have either been personally disillusioned with Medjugorje, with consequent suicides, divorces, psychiatric problems etc, or those who have read the many critical books and publications.

Among the believers two groups can be distinguished, the commercial and the not for profit. The commercial believers earn a great deal of money from their „goldmine”, e.g. the Franciscans of Medjugorje, the “seers”, the organizers of the pilgrimages, the sellers of videos, DVDs, books etc.

Among the not for profit believers are those who naively accept everything and who only read books, periodicals and websites which are pro Medjugorje and who thus can be considered to be misled by their ignorance.

With both groups there are many believers who display a marked degree of fanaticism and obsessiveness. Medjugorje has become their all encompassing dogma which overrides everything else. This fanaticism overrode all common sense, critical evaluation, intellectual honesty, prudence and friendship. This attitude can only be explained by the influence of the “diabolos”, the evil spirit, the malign entity which everywhere sows enmity and disunity.

In June 1981, when Fr Jozo Zovko had thoroughly interviewed all the “seers”, he told them “You have not seen Mary: there is no sign, there is no message. You can only have seen Satan.” Yet he refused to perform an exorcism when a Franciscan colleague proposed that. Later on, first he and then Tomislav Vlasic began to manipulate and direct the “messages”. In fact, Jozo proposed to the “seers” that they should let him formulate the answers of the “Gospa” to the questions of the villagers.

All this has been recorded and can be read in “Ces 10 jours qui ont fait Med.” by J.Bouflet and “ Understanding Medugorje.” by D.Foley. I possess about 100 pages of transcripts from these recordings.

Those who have the courage and honesty to present the truth are insulted by fanatical believers (I have a list of 100 insults addressed to me) and are often demonized and even threatened.

What is the position of the official Church?

All the local bishops, (Zanic and Peric) of Mostar and all the official commissions of investigation were uniformly negative: “non constat de supernaturalitate” (supernaturality is not demonstrated)

When bishop Zanic tried to convince Pope John Paul II to condemn Medjugorje, the Pope was influenced by the Marialogue René Laurentin, by US president Reagan (who supported the Polish Solidarnosc and who was in contact with Marija Pavlovic), by Sister Emmanuel, bishop Hnilica and promoters of the Charismatic movement. However, as a phenomenologue the Pope was mainly interested in the positive outcomes of Medjugorje and no papal intervention was achieved.

On 27 June 1991, when the bishops conference of Yugoslavia was about to issue a strong condemnation of Medjugorje, the civil war in Yugoslavia broke out the day before. Indeed, on April 10, 1991 the declaration of Zadar announced clear pastoral guidelines which had been prepared by a special liturgical-pastoral committee on June 17, 1991. I possess the English translation:
1. The “seers” were ordered not to make any public declarations and to hand over their “messages “only to the local bishop and the competent committee.

2. The parish priest of Medjugorje was ordered to ensure that no mention was made of “apparitions” or “messages” on public occasions or publications.

3. The faithful were directed to accept the guidance of their bishop.
This committee consisted of four bishops and four theologians. The bishops were Komarica from Banja Luka as president, Stanbuk from Hvar, Puljic from Sarajevo and Zanic from Mostar. The theologians were two Franciscans and two diocesan priests. The meeting took place in the basement of the presbytery in Medjugorje. It was anticipated that these directives would be approved and presented ten days later in the general session of the Yugoslav bishops conference of June 27, 1991.

However, on June 25, 1991 Slovenia and Croatia declared themselves independent of the federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and on June 26, 1991 the Serbian army first entered Slovenia and began the terrible civil war in Yugoslavia. At the same time, the State of Yugoslavia ceased to exist, and with it the Yugoslav bishops conference!

The general session of the bishops’ conference on June 27, 1991 therefore did not take place and the anticipated directives were therefore never published. It is in any case difficult to prohibit pilgrimages and prayers in a time of war. The “seers” of Medjugorje and the Franciscans continued to propagate their “messages” throughout the whole world. The war had saved Medjugorje!

In the meantime, the non recognized Medjugorje became world famous and was on the way to compete with such recognized apparition sites as Lourdes and Fatima.

What action did Pope John Paul II take? Officially nothing! According to some, he did speak privately about the positive fruits of Medjugorje. Perhaps he hoped in his heart that Medjugorje was real, but realized in his mind that it could not be genuine. In a private letter of July 22, 1998 Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that all the positive aspects of Medjugorje which had been attributed to him and the Pope by René Laurentin, bishop Hnilica, Sr. Emmanuel, etc. were “frei erfunden” (fantasies). De facto the Pope, a deeply pious and patient man, as well as a typical polish fervent believer in the veneration of Mary, allowed in good faith some dubious practices to continue.

After the death of this Pope, it fell to Cardinal Ratzinger, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now as Pope Benedict, to make some resolute but painful decisions. He severely punished Fr Gino Burresi (a false stigmatist from San Vittorino Romano) and also Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionnaires of Christ. Fr Tomislav Vlasic of Medjugorje was suspended, laicized and dismissed from the Franciscan order. The rebellious Franciscans from Assisi were forced to obey their bishop. The prayer of the Lady of all Peoples of Amsterdam (which had imprimaturs from 70 bishops) was partially condemned (“who once was Mary”). Jozo Zovko was banned from Medjugorje. The Neo Catechumenate was reined in. The editor of the influential USA-magazine “America” was forced to resign etc etc. The list is far from complete.

This raises the question of why the present decisive Pope Benedict XVI has not yet condemned Medjugorje??? Perhaps it is because it might cause a schism? The Pope is trying to achieve closer ties with the Pius X fraternity of the late Archbishop Lefebvre, with the Orthodox Churches, with the Muslims, with the Jews etc.

Quite a number of Cardinals (think of the eccentric Schönborn of Vienna) and bishops have let themselves be persuaded by the manipulative siren song of Medjugorje, and this has caused a considerable amount of controversy in the Vatican. The problem of Medjugorje could and should have been solved long ago, but initially it was the influential Marialogue René Laurentin and later the civil war in Yugoslavia which saved Medjugorje from a boycott.

Medjugorje is Satan’s masterpiece in these confusing end times. He incites pious believers against the bishop of Mostar because he refuses to recognize their “sanctuary”. The danger is that if the Pope will not recognize Medjugorje, many such fanatical believers may turn against the Pope. In that way, the small herd of still pious believers may separate from Rome and become a de facto sect.

The late Fr Slavko Barbaric said it in this way: “We Franciscans want to remain here.” The resistance of the rebellious Franciscans is in fact a resistance against the papal decree “Romanis Pontificibus” of Pope Paul VI of 6-6-1975. This decree ordered that the Franciscans should leave 50% of the parishes to the diocesan priests of the diocese Mostar. The consequence of the decree was an open rebellion from a great many hot-headed Franciscans. These rebels against Rome were supported by the messages of the “Gospa”.

In this way, Medjugorje became a “deus ex machina” against Rome.

What has happened with the main manipulators of Medjugorje?

1°Fr Slavko Barbaric died on 24-11-2000 in disobedience on the Krizevac. Bishop Peric had forbidden him to live in Medjugorje. The next day he was “canonized” in a “message” from the Franciscan“Gospa”...

2°Fr Tomislav Vlasic is no longer a priest or a Franciscan

3°Fr Jozo Zovko has already been suspended three times and is now exiled from Medjugorje.

What has happened with the “seers”?

Milka Pavlovic and Ivan Ivankovic did not return to the apparition mountain of Podbrdo after only one apparition. The others all live in luxurious homes and lost their “vocation” and married. Some run their own hotel and work with American travel agencies.

What will the new Vatican investigation committee achieve? Let us hope it is able to combine genuine pastoral care for the millions of duped pilgrims with a true regard for the truth.


Vatican City, Mar 17, 2010 / 09:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A statement was released by the Holy See on Wednesday confirming the formation of a commission to investigate the “phenomenon” of Medjugorje.

The Vatican communiqué reads:

“Under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the presidency of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, an international commission of investigation on Medjugorje has been constituted. Said Commission, composed of cardinals, bishops and experts will work in a reserved manner, subjecting the results of their studies to the authority of the Dicastery.”

Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said that no other information was available at this point besides the role of Cardinal Ruini as president. However, he did say that the commission will be formed by “more or less” 20 members.

Responding to a question from a journalist about the possible inclusion of Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar, whose diocese includes Medjugorje, Fr. Lombardi said that he is not in possession of a list of members.

The Vatican spokesman reviewed the history of investigations into the possible Marian apparitions of Medjugorje, noting that they began on a diocesan level. When it was seen that the “phenomenon was broader than the diocese,” it was passed on to the episcopal conference of the former Yugoslavia, which, he noted, no longer exists.

The commissions at those levels never came to a conclusion on the question of whether or not the alleged apparitions are supernatural, so the bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina have asked the CDF to take over investigations, the Vatican spokesman explained.

As the commission carries out their activities, Fr. Lombardi continued, they will decide whether or not to communicate information regarding their findings. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that it will be a “very discreet” project “given the sensitivity of the subject,” he remarked.

Speaking in Italian, he said to expect that investigations will take “a good while” to reach their completion and emphasized that the results of the commission’s activities will be submitted to the CDF, under whose mandate they are operating. The commission will only offer their technical findings to the Congregation, which in turn will “make decisions on the case.”

For now, the composition of the commission is “reserved,” as is the method they will pursue in their investigations, Fr. Lombardi said in closing.


Terry Nelson said...

Amazing post - very informative.

LoverOfLife said...

I didn't think this was an amazing post at all. Not very informative other than to rehash well-known information. Why not put numbers to the different groups that you've catagorized: non-believers, believers, for-profit and not-for-profit. You might be amazed as to how distorted you make this all out to be.

bg said...

Glad to see that you made use of my photos of Fr Jozo and the visionary Vicka. Opponents of Medjugorje having to rely on the photo ministry of someone who promotes Medjugorje. How God works in mysterious ways!

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Vin: Good post.

Vincenzo said...

I didn't know that the photos of Vicka and Fr. Jozo were yours. I found them on other web sites, not on any of your eight Medjugorje blogs. I just replaced them with new ones.

Terry Nelson said...

Touchy aren't they.

Daniel Humm said...

This was indeed a rehash of information that has been out there for years and yet the vast majority of supporters have never heard. Most of them had not even heard that it began when the children were out for a smoke, and then tried to lie to the bishop that they were out pasturing sheep.