of the Virgin Mary.”
That was another pontificate ...
as of May 12, 2019 Francis, predictably, said Let them come! — despite “doctrinal questions”
— the benchmark of the Protestant
Reformation — have,
regrettably, much in common
in the way of cultic practices
that often emerge from them,
practices that as often
as not assume a primacy
in the way of revelation
that presumes, however implicitly,
to supersede the definitive
Revelation of God in Jesus
Christ that comes to us
through Holy Scripture.
Saint Paul himself speaks
of it unsparingly — and
who claim to
be serving Our
Lady at Medjugorje
have been formally
the local diocese
of Mostar and
Duvno. The expulsion
was made by
both the bishop
of Mostar and
the father general
of the Order
of Friars Minor.
This took effect
21, 1999. The
by the Vatican.
The rebel Franciscans
in the diocese
to the Church.
The latest expulsions
follow the expulsions
of the other
to hand over
the parish of
Mary, it is alleged, appears at least monthly to the ... “Seers” or “Visionaries” as their followers call them ... which means that the Mother of God has appeared well over 300 times to the “Visionaries/Seers” in the ensuing 28 years. Her Son, Jesus Christ, “publicly” appeared for 3 ...
Thousands upon thousands make “pilgrimages” to Medjugorje in the hope of seeing their Rosaries turn gold (an often cited “supernatural” occurrence ... although of the many, many, thousands, I have known none who have brought one gold Rosary back).
That a far greater and authentic miracle occurs in the humble Mass of every parish throughout the world where ordinary bread and wine are turned into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is, apparently, less ... sensational. How is the hidden Christ, eluding our senses in the Sacred Species of Bread and Wine, to contend with an unparalleled opportunity to see and even speak with a “Seer”, a “Visionary” — perhaps with with several of them — who (unlike St. Bernadette or Sister Lucia) make themselves eagerly available to the well paying crowds and whose itinerary rivals the peregrinations of St. Paul. Consider the following:
This site lists Ivan’s (one of the 6 Seers, or Visionaries) Speaking Schedule for 2009 — there are 24 — and a “Prayer Experience Package”, stating that:
Your Prayer Experience Package Includes:
Medjugorje is roughly 5,000
miles from Boston.
Your Bible is beside your bed (or ought to be). The Altar of God is very likely a few minutes from home.
If you lust after the extraordinary, the “supernatural”, if you long for the holy, and wish to be witness to and the recipient of the greatest miracle of all time —- go to Mass. It is not likely that your Rosaries will turn to gold, but perhaps something far greater still will come to be transformed: your very heart. Two things surely will be transformed — mere bread into the Body of Christ, and the simplest wine into His Blood.
When you have read the Bible and all that God has definitively said to you once and for all time in and through His Only Begotten and Beloved Son; when you can recite Scripture chapter and verse ... and still you long for the Balkans, go. But you will not find there what you have failed to find in Jesus Christ — Who comes to you in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in the words of Sacred Scripture!
Such magnificent humility!
Would that we learn from God and see with eyes that see ... rather than through the eyes of others who are “Seers” for us.
Nothing has changed. The Church has not changed its stance on the dubious “apparitions” at Medjugorje, which is best explained by this excerpt from EWTN:
“What the Church has forbidden. From the statements given to date by ecclesiastical authorities it is clear that no one holding an office in the Church (bishop, pastor, rector, chaplain or other) may by virtue of that office lend official sanction to activities which tend to assert the supernaturality of Medjugorje, that is, to contradict the decisions made by competent local authority. Those statements speak only of pilgrimages organized under official auspices; however, common sense tells us that a conference or other activity sponsored by a diocese, parish or other Catholic institution would also be prohibited. Likewise, there could not be public veneration (cultus) of the Blessed Virgin under the title of Our Lady of Medjugorje, since this would suggest the certainty of her appearing there. The title Queen of Peace, however, is already part of the patrimony of the Church.”
Former Medjugorje pastor
laicized, dismissed from
Franciscans July 27, 2009)
Medjugorje bishop emphasizes:
don’t view alleged apparitions
as 'worthy of faith (September
29, 2009 )
In a homily posted on his diocesan website, Bishop Ratko Peric, who has led the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno since 1993, has emphasized that the alleged apparitions and messages of Medjugorje are not to be treated as “worthy of faith.” The bishop has imposed a series of restrictions on activities in Medjugorje, clearly designed to discourage interest in the supposed apparitions.
“Brothers and sisters, let us not act as if these “apparitions” were recognized and worthy of faith,” he said. “If, as Catholics, devoted sons and daughters of the Church, we want to live according to the norms and the teaching of the Church, glorifying the Holy Trinity, venerating Blessed Mary ... and professing all the Church has established in the creed, we do not turn to certain alternative “apparitions” or “messages” to which the Church has not attributed any supernatural character.”
Bishop Peric has also written to the parish priests of Medjugorje, reminding them of a series of restrictions. The priests have been instructed not to identify the site of the alleged apparitions as a “shrine,” not to promote events connected with the apparitions, and not to include the "seers” in parish activities. The prayers and messages connected with the alleged apparitions are not to be printed in the parish bulletin, nor used in parish prayer services; the priests are not to comment on them. Priests who come to Medjurgorje from outside the diocese are not to hold conferences or retreats without the bishop's permission, and any priest who visits the parish is required to provide proof that he has proper faculties from his own bishop before celebrating Mass there.
It is praiseworthy that you require from every priest who wishes to celebrate the Holy Mass at Medjugorje the celebret of his ecclesiastical superior and that you record in a particular book all the concelebrants, from the beginning of this year.
As well, you have kept me informed
about the “Oasis
of peace”, which, since the
intervention of this office
on 15 December 2008, no longer
keeps the Blessed Sacrament
privately in their chapel and
no longer conducts adoration,
which they had been doing according
to their own account. They do
not have permission as a religious
association to reside in the
territory of this diocese.
You have informed me that the church in Bijakovic, built by a foreign member of the faithful as his ex voto, without the necessary request and approval of the competent ecclesiastical authority, has been closed by now and that no services are conducted in it.
The parish of Medjugorje cannot
be called a shrine, neither
privately, nor publicly, not
officially, because it is not
recognized as such by any level of competent ecclesial authority. And that wording cannot appear on the web site of “Medjugorje — place of prayer and reconciliation”, where it is currently found in many places. In a statement on that site — where there is no indication of who is responsible for it — this message appears: “To avoid any misunderstanding, we wish to underscore that the Shrine has not given the mission of representing Medjugorje to anyone. The Shrine has not given the mission to any community or person either in Medjugorje or outside of Medjugorje — of speading or interpreting the messages of the Gospa. All these initiatives are private and voluntary on the part of the faithful and the communities.”
From that statement it appears as if the site is proclaiming itself as being a “Shrine”. Then it seems in some way to be the only competent [source] to give instruction to the world. As the local Ordinary, in this present letter, I declare that the so-called “shrine” has no mission to declare itself a “Shrine”, nor to present (the parish) with that title, because it has no ecclesiastical mission to present itself in the name of Medjugorje, nor to spread or interpret the “apparitions” and “messages” of Medjugorje.
Commentaries on the “messages”: I have already discussed with you and with another vicar, with friar Danko Perutina, who writes and publishes the commentaries on the "messages” issued from the “apparitions” on the 25th of the month. It was said that he receives the “messages” of the “seer” Marija from Italy or from Medjugorje when she is in that location, and then he presents them there, comments on them and publishes them. This is contrary to the decision and request of this Curia, especially after the declaration of 10 June 2006, which was repeated in the parish church on 6 July 2009 (the accompanying homily).
The Cenacolo. After our intervention, on Christmas Day of last year, there are no longer private “apparitions” in the courtyard of the Cenacolo by the alleged “seer” Mirjana Dragićević, married name Soldo, on the second of each month.
The association “Queen of Peace...” I have been informed in our meeting that in the association founded by Tomislav Vlašić at Medjugorje, which equally has no permission to reside in the territory of this diocese, there are some members, men and women, who dress in lay clothes.
The number of prayers. In September 2007, on the occasion of your installation in the office of parish priest, I indicated to you that the so-called “seers” cannot present themselves on any occasion to promote their private “apparitions” and “messages”, nor to preside, nor to have anyone preside in their place, at the recitation of a certain number of prayers “received" in an "apparition". Therefore, they cannot use prayers from scripture or those approved by the Church as a means of introducing "numbers" and "messages" from the private "apparition”.
The intentions of the rosary. It is equally not permitted to introduce intentions received in an “apparition” or “message” during the prayer of the Rosary of Our Lady. We have sufficient official intentions (from the Pope, from the bishop, for the missions) and there is no need to arbitrarily have recourse to alleged apparitions and messages and mix them with the Church's public prayers.
Anniversaries. It is not permitted that the “seers” be invited and present themselves in the parish church or on any church properties at any time, especially on occasions related to the "apparitions” of Medjugorje, to promote their private “messages” and “apparitions”. Therefore, we do not mix the unrecognized with what is recognized, the private with the official, the non-liturgical with the liturgical.
Grateful for what you, together with the other friars of the parish, undertake for the good of souls, and because you know how to clearly separate pastoral care from private “apparitions" and “messages”, I greet you with devout respects.
And the second letter:
Letter of the bishop to friar Danko Perutina, parochial vicar of Medjugorje Mostar, 12 June 2009;
Reverend friar Danko!
After your priestly ordination in 1999 and at the conclusion of your studies, I appointed you, at the suggestion of your religious superiors, in 2000, parochial vicar of Humac. Then, again at the suggestion of your provincial governor, in 2001, vicar of Medjugorje, in 2005 again of Humac, and in 2007 at Medjugorje. In the meantime, you studied and obtained a degree in mariology at Rome.
I write to you in reference to your commentaries on the so-called "messages" and "apparitions" on the 25th day of the month. In an official visit to Medjugorje on the 10 June, I had a conversation with you, with the parish priest friar Petar Vlasic and another vicar present.
In the conversation it became clear that Marija Pavlović, married name Lunetti, daily “seer" who lives in Italy, and temporarily also at Medjugorje, sends to the parish office or to some one of your pastoral workers in the parish of Medjugorje, her “message” of the 25th day of the month, which is then published on the Medjugorje web site and in other mass media. And you regularly make commentary on the monthly "message", which is published in various languages.
When I asked how the “messages” of the 25th were published, and not the other “messages” said to be “private”, I did not feel I received a clear and convincing answer. I do not know who has sent and authorized you to comment on them and publish them on the site. What sort of person is assuming the right to decide that some “messages” be omitted and others published, and that this is done through the parish office and the site connected with the parish of Medjugorje?
We are gradually succeeding in distancing the unrecognized “apparitions” and "messages” from the parish church and from church property, and the appearances of the “seers” before or after Holy Mass. In that conversation I reminded you of having asked in 2006, and reconfirmed in 2009 from the altar, that “No priest who works canonically in this parish of Medjugorje or who is here temporarily, is authorized to present his private opinion, contrary to the official position of the Church on the "apparitions and messages", neither at the celebration of the sacraments, or during the regular acts of devotion, nor in the Catholic media.” (homily attached).
To avoid any misunderstanding, in this present letter I declare that you, according to my decree, are not authorized, either in the name of the parish office or as parochial vicar, to comment upon and publish the “messages” of the 25th or any other day of the month. These are private “messages” of private persons for private use. And we cannot permit that this is given the form of a message from the parish office, from the parish priest, or any parochial vicar, or even of the “Shrine” which is not recognized as such at any level: not diocesan, or the level of the episcopal conference, or of the Holy See.
Therefore I expect with trust, without any further admonitions, that from now on you will not publish your commentaries, either in the name of the parish office or in your own name, or under a pseudonym, not after the 25th of this month or at all, as long as things continue as is.
I greet you with devout respects.
to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith
entrusted to the
Holy See in Rome