Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Medjugorje 'seers' to speak at Cardinal Schonborn's Vienna cathedral

The Catholic Herald - Two of the alleged Marian seers from the Bosnian town of Medjugorje have been invited to speak at Vienna’s Catholic cathedral.

Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti and Ivan Dragicevic will speak tomorrow at the Stephansdom in Vienna as part of a peace initiative organised by the Community “Oasis of Peace”. They are two of the six seers who have reportedly had Marian apparitions since 1981. Miss Pavlovic-Lunetti allegedly receives messages from the Virgin Mary every month. Since the first sighting, she has reportedly appeared to the seers over 40,000 times, imparting hundreds of messages.

The authenticity of the Marian apparitions in Bosnia-Herzogovina is currently under review by the Vatican. A report in July from the Italian news agency ANSA said that the commission, established in March this year and run by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, was considering interviewing the alleged seers.

Annually about one million pilgrims travel to Medjugorje even though the place has not been declared a shrine and “official” pilgrimages are forbidden by the Vatican. The 1991 Zadar declaration, made by the bishops of former Yugoslavia, ruled that the apparitions were “not established as supernatural” and could therefore not be authenticated.

Earlier this year, the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, caused some controversy after travelling to Medjugorje and celebrating Mass there. He said his visit was in part to “de-dramatise” the “Medjugorje phenomenon”. He said the alleged Marian apparitions were secondary to the “school of normal Christian life”.

He said he had gone to Medjugorje to see the tree which bore fruits such as Cenacolo, a community which helps rehabilitate drug users.

Cardinal Schönborn, who leads the Austrian bishops’ conference and is a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), said he did not want to pre-empt the Vatican’s ruling by visiting.

Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno is strongly opposed to the phenomenon and expressed his dismay at the cardinal’s visit in January.

The event at St Stephen’s Cathedral also includes Sister Elvira Petrozzi, the founder of the Cenacolo community, and will be followed by Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. Organisers expect hundreds of young people to attend.

Cardinal Schönborn took part in the event last year and told the press he was moved by the number of people who had come to the cathedral, to rediscover the sacraments.

The Medjugorje Commission, appointed by the CDF, includes the Slovakian Cardinal Jozef Tomko, retired prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, Cardinal Julian Herranz, and Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect for the Congregation for Saints’ Causes and former secretary of the CDF.



paulheary said...

I have watched this video closely before. This is the only piece of evidence I have ever seen that puts doubt in my mind about the apparitions. However, if you look closely, it seems as if the man who jabbed his hand at Vicka did not just jab his hand; he physically tipped/pushed her eyebrow/forehead with his fingers as well. At lease this is what seems to happen on close inspection. Look very closely. The story about the Virgin dropping Jesus sounds ridiculous and I find it hard to believe Vicka would ever say such a thing. I have met her and have seen many miracles worked by God through her.

Louis Bélanger said...

Dear Brokebuthappy,

Your observation is very pertinent, but I suggest that you prolong it with the help of a frame by frame viewing. I have filmed the event with a VHS Camera in the NTSC system (30 frames/second). I don’t know if you will have the same fine tuning with your system (24 frames/second).

If you are patient enough, I will present on my blog the complete analysis of the event in a few months from now, with the help of the original tape and graphics.

In the meantime, I will use a few parts of the analysis of 38 frames (1,3 second) made by a colleague physicist from the University of Montreal to explain what happened.

If you look closely, observe Jean-Louis Martin’s left middle finger on the nearest position to Vicka’s face. Go slowly forward from that frame to the following ones. According to my numbering, the stimulus begins at frame 6, ends at frame 8 (the nearest point to Vicka’s forehead) and ends at frame 10. Vicka’s response (going back) begins at frame 9.

Unfortunately, one cannot determine with precision if Vicka’s face has really been touched by Jean-Louis’ middle finger with that view alone, from my camera. Therefore, as you mention carefully, [“At least this is what seems to happen on close inspection”] we are “stuck” with two appearances ─ not to be confounded with apparitions ;-) ─: an apparent movement and an apparent distance.

Fortunately, there was another camera handled by the parish priest at the time, Fr. Tomislav Pervan. I filmed from the screen of his TV set the sequence he had filmed (the incompatibility of his PAL system with my NTSC system did not permit a direct electronic transfer).

The double video documentation combined with the measurements I had made of the objects in the room and of the room itself lead to the determination of the real distance between Jean-Louis’ finger and Vicka’s forehead and left eyelids which is of a mean minimal distance of 10,3 cm. (4.05 inches) with an error margin of + or – 2 cm (less than 1 inch). In conclusion, the analysis shows that Jean-Louis did not touch Vicka.

Your second perplexity concerns Vicka’s naïve “justification” which doesn’t match her real movements. When I came back from Medjugorje ─ I did not trust my own critical view, even if Ivica Vego’s German translation did not seem bad ─ I contacted Mrs. Darija Klanac at the Montreal Croatian Center, showed her the video sequences, left her an audiotape copy of the original videotape and paid her to translate what Vicka and Ivica Vego had said in Croatian. This is what you will read in a few months. Mrs. Klanac is a fervent promoter of Medjugorje. Her translation confirms what you hear on the segment. I may add that the complete event took more time than the few minutes shown on Sancte Pater and that Mrs. Klanac’s handwritten translation will be shown in extenso.

I hope that these explanations will help you to have a better understanding of the event, before you read my report.

With my cordial greetings,

Louis Bélanger