Sunday, July 26, 2009

Former spiritual advisor to Medjugorje "seers" - Tomislav Vlasic - laicized by the Holy See

[UPDATED July 28, 2009; Also worth noting is the combox dialogue and additional links, which will continue for a brief time]

This post is being updated as additional links become available. Vatican Radio has just announced this news in German. If an English version becomes available, I will provide it.

Thanks to Richard Chonak at Catholic Light, we have at least a rough translation of the decree above in which a priest - Fr. Tomislav Vlasic - a central figure in the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje, has been laicized. You can read about the "severe canonical sanctions" taken last year against Fr. Vlasic by the Holy See in this link - Medjugorje: Canonical Status of Fr. Tomislav Vlašić, OFM.

The latest development, which came to light this weekend: Fr. Vlasic is now Mr. Vlasic.

It originates with Marco Corvaglia at his site, Medjugorje senza maschera (Medjugorje without mask), Marco has added the translation by Richard Chonak to the English section of his blog)

Marco writes:
Fr. Tomislav Vlasic reduced to the lay state
Marco Corvaglia

The final word has arrived. As was reported earlier, on the 30th of May 2008, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the person of its Secretary, Archbishop Angelo Amato, explicitly asked the bishop of Mostar, Ratko Perić (in letter no. 144/1985-27164), to make known "for the good of the faithful" the contents of a declaration by that Congregation regarding Father Tomislav Vlašić.

Let us recall a brief excerpt:

In the context of the Medjugorje phenomenon, this Dicastery is dealing with the case of the Rev. Father Tomislav Vlašić, OFM, originally from that region and the founder of the association "Kraljice Mira, potpuno tvoji - po Mariji k Isusu" [...] Confirmed reports presented to this Congregation reveal that the religious priest in question has not responded, even partially, to the ecclesiastical obedience called for in the very delicate situation he faces.

In the decree of the Congregation [see circular 939/2008, dated 8 July 2008, from the Curia of Mostar] it was written that Fr. Vlašić was suspected of "heresy and schism" and accused of "spreading questionable doctrines, manipulation of consciences, suspect mysticism, disobedience to legitimate orders and violations contra sextum (against the sixth commandment, that is). This last accusation relates to an event in 1977 (therefore prior to the "apparitions"), already reported on the page "And the Gospa said, Thanks so much to Father Tomislav; he's guiding you so well."

Today, as mentioned above, the Holy See has made a definitive pronouncement. Here is the transcription (and afterward the reproduction) of the official act, signed by the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, Father José Rodriguez Carballo. The letter of the Minister General has already been sent to all the Provincials in Italy, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina and forwarded by them to the Guardians in each province. The Guardians have in turn sent it on to all the daughter houses in their respective provinces. However, the document has not been distributed outside the order until now:


Prot. N. 098714

To the Provincial Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Italy

Dear Brother Minister,

The Holy Father, accepting the request of friar Tomislav Vlasic, O.F.M, member of the province of friars minor of St. Bernardino of Siena (L'Aquila), responsible for conduct harmful to ecclesial communion both in the spheres of doctrine and discipline, and under a censure of interdict, has granted him the favor of reduction to the lay state (amissio status clericalis) and of dismissal from the Order.

In addition, the Holy Father has granted the petitioner, motu proprio, the remission of the censure incurred as well as the favor of dispensation from religious vows and from all the responsibilities connected with sacred ordination, including celibacy.

As a salutary penal precept - under the pain of excommunication which the Holy See would declare, and if necessary, without prior canonical warning - the following precepts are imposed on Mr. Tomislav Vlasic:

a) Absolute prohibition from exercising any form of apostolate (for example, promoting public or private devotion, teaching Christian doctrine, spiritual direction, participation in lay associations, etc.) as well as of acquiring and administering goods intended for pious purposes;

b) Absolute prohibition from releasing declarations on religious matters, especially regarding the "phenomenon of Medjugorje";

c) Absolute prohibition from residing in houses of the Order of Friars Minor.

For the execution of the serious measures imposed by the Holy See regarding Mr. Tomislav Vlasic, the same Apostolic See calls directly on the Superiors of the Order.

Therefore I turn to you, so that you make sure to instruct the Guardians and superiors of friaries about full compliance, by Tomislav Vlasic, with the pontifical measures regarding him, in particular relative to the prohibition of residing in any houses belonging to the Order of Friars Minor, under pain of removal from office.

Trusting in your full understanding and prompt cooperation, I greet you fraternally.
Rome, 10 March 2009.

Fr. José Rodriguez Carballo, Ofm
Minister General"
NOTE: This translation was updated to match the changes at Catholic Light on 7/27/09.

It's interesting to note that at the beginning the Minister General says that laicization was a request by Vlasic. Near the end, it talks about "execution of serious measures imposed by the Holy See" and follows with instructions to notify all of the houses. Hmmm.....

Some sources out there will continue to claim that Vlasic had long ago distanced himself from Medjugorje. Keep in mind, the Holy See stated last year when he fell under interdict that his case was being investigated in the context of Medjugorje. That is because he was a central figure in the early years as a spiritual advisor to the alleged seers. In fact, Bishop Zanic called him the "creator" of the phenomenon (see #6 in the Truth about Medjugorje). He can no more be distanced from Medjugorje than a feather from a bird.

In any event, Mr. Vlasic will forever have the mark of the priesthood, despite the lay status he now has. Pray for him, that he set his life on a straight path and follow all that has been imposed on him, lest he incur an even greater penalty of excommunication.

Further Reading:

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!


Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Interesting development..

railrider said...

Not only interesting, but it's time has come.

RC said...

Hi, Diane! Thanks for sharing my translation of the letter with your readers.

One correction of a mistake I made: the blog site is a La Stampa reader blog, and Mr. Corvaglia is not personally connected with the newspaper, so it's best not to characterize his blog as being "of the newspaper".

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Te Deum Laudamus indeed!

Long overdue.

I wonder how the Medjie crowd is going to spin this one?


Anonymous said...

Dear Paleothomist:
I'm no expert on the alleged apparitions but we should keep in mind all the facts before making a judgment, as the Vatican no doubt is when considering the events surrounding Medjugorje. Here is a little background info for you, taken from (an admittedly pro-Medj.) web site

After the apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje began and the pastor of Medjugorje was put in prison by the communists, Fr. Tomislav Vlasic was assigned to St. James parish in Medjugorje. In September, 1984 he left Medjugorje and in 1985 was assigned to the parish in Vitina (with all priestly faculties - to preach, to hear confessions, celebrate Mass, etc., ie., when he left, he was in good standing with the Church). He was never formally designated pastor of St. James parish. Parish records state that Fr. Tomislav Pervan served as pastor in Medjugorje from 1982 through 1988.

Fr. Tomislva Vlasic moved to Italy in 1987 and in 1992 joined the Italian Franciscan Province of Abbruzzo. All these years he has not been a member of the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina. It appears he decided to go on a different path in the mid 80’s, having been heavily influenced by a German woman who had come to Medjugorje, Agnes Heupel, who claimed to be a visionary, and with whom he formed his own community in 1987. During this time he tried forcing one of the visionaries of Medjugorje, Marija Pavlovic, to publicly state that Our Lady supported his “spiritual marriage” with Agnes Heupel and the new way of life of his community. To the contrary, Marija’s conscience forced her to write a public statement on July 11, 1988, disavowing any connection with him or with his community: “I repeat that I never received from the Gospa, nor gave Fr. Tomislav or anyone else, a confirmation of the program of Fr. Tomislav and Agnes Heupel.” Though Fr. Vlasic would later build a house outside of Medjugorje behind the hill of Crnica, between the village of Surmanc and Bijakovici, he, himself, kept distant from Medjugorje and was never involved in any activities of the parish.

The fact is that in the mid 80’s Fr. Vlasic decided to go his own way and since then none of the visionaries of Medjugorje have had any contact with him.

joan said...

So what. According to many, this priest has not been involved since the 1980's.

Timothy said...

Paleothomist and others ....

How unfortunate that you really know so little about Medjugorje and what you do know seems to come from those who are biased against it. Your so called "Medjie" crowd happens to include bishops and priests many of whom sought their vocation after their pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Of course, many of the Marian apparitions and other mystical experiences such as those of Sr. Faustina and others also met with similar ridicule and derision until approved by the Vatican. Vlasic has spent relatively very little time with the visionaries compared with other St. James priests. So to capitalize on this is really grasping at straws. This in no way casts any doubt on the phenomenon at Medjugorje despite what Simon Caldwell would want you to believe. To whom do you look to for authority on Medjugorje: Simon Caldwell or the Vatican? I find that those who publicize such anti-Medjugorje information with such delight really lack humility, love and other Christian values, especially those that Our Blessed Mother and Her Son have admonished us to follow.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

I want to remind those commenting that I ordinarily do not accept posts from "anonymous". The reason is obvious.....if 10 people use that option, we have no idea who said what. Therefore, if you want to post a comment, please choose a pseudoname if you do not want to use your real name.

railrider said...

What is the reason for Rome if people choose to not to listen?

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


There are many faithful Catholics, who have a great love for the Blessed Mother and Our Lord in the Eucharist who are devotees of Medjugorje. While I can no longer accept it as a place of authentic apparitions, I believe that we all need to be respectful in our discussions of this most sensitive topic. I don't find labels like "Medjies" helpful. Perhaps it was not intended to be condescending.

ALL: Lets treat each other with dignity and respect. I know this is a sensitive topic for those who have discovered a renewed sense of faith through Medjugorje. On the other hand, there are people who have experienced or witnessed bad fruits, who suffer on account of those things.

Further, it is not calumny or detraction to repeat what is in official church or religious order documents made public.

Dialogue has to be permitted without dropping into condescension on either side.

I'll allow any points to be made that are appropriately communicated. I will not allow a barrage of cookie cutter talking points to come from promoter sites because I have addressed these things many times.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

To Timothy, Joan and anonymous below Joan,

I allowed the post from MaryTV because I had already read it and was going to post a response to it. Since you have brought it here, I would like to make a few points.

I understand the point that Denis Nolan - the author - is trying to make in his statement on Tomislav Vlasic. I respectfully disagree in several areas which I explain. I can only address part of what Nolan writes, and I must split this into two posts given the length.
1) Cardinal Angelo Amato, in a letter to Bishop Peric in which he asked His Excellency to make public the canonical sanctions against then Fr. Tomislav Vlasic last year stated (emphasis mine in bold):

“Within the context of the phenomenon Medjugorje, this Dicastery is studying the case of Father Tomislav VLASIC OFM, originally from that region and the founder of the association ‘Kraljice mira potpuno Tvoji – po Mariji k Isusu’.

It is very clear that while Vlasic had been away from Medjugorje for many years, the Holy See was investigating his case in the context of Medjugorje. This would suggest that the investigation included time spent there, and prior.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Post above continued...

Fr. Ivo Sivric, OFM (deceased) was a Medjugorje native who came to the US to serve in the Pittsburgh area. He studied Medjugorje along with Louis Belanger of the University of Montreal. They spent weeks there going over official documents, tapes, transcripts, etc. Their findings were published in a book called, "The Hidden Side of Medjugorje". This book is heavily referenced by other authors including Donal Foley, E. Michael Jones, Michael Davies, and others who raised concerns about activities in Medjugorje. About half the book contains full length, uncut transcripts of audio recordings, diocesan, vatican and religious order documents in full, and enough footnotes to qualify this thing as a text book on the early years of Medjugorje.

In Chapter 6, beginning on page 105, Fr. Sivric explains (excerpted for space):

"Fr. Vlasic came to Medjugorje, or rather, he began to visit St. James parish there on June 29, 1981". (proof of this is in the footnote where Sivric says he heard it in a taped conversation between Fr. Vlasic and Fr. Radogost Grafenauer SJ. The cassette was stored in diocesan archives. In the same footnote, Sivric notes that in another cassette, recorded on June 30, 1981, Vicka tells Fr. Zovko that she and the other visionaries had been invited by "Fr. Tomislav" to go to Capljina. At that time there was no one else at Capljina named Tomislav, but Vlasic.)

Sivric goes on to say, "After this date, I can say that for a fact that he was in Medjugorje very often. According to certain reports, he even visited Medjugorje almost daily before he was permanently assigned there. According to official documents, he was named associate parish priest of St. James on August 18, 1981. However, I don't know when he became the visionaries' spiritual director. He was transferred to St. Pascal de Vitina at the end of August or the beginning of September, 1984."

"This information is pertinent here for this reason: accordingto Marija Pavlovic, inf ront of certain vistionaries that he knew, one month in advance, Father Vlasic mentioned that the Gospa would begin appearing in Yugoslavia. He did not, however, specify the place. Did Fr. Vlasic base his "prophecy"on a curious incident which happened in Rome in May of 1981 during a meeting of charistmatics? This hypothesis cannot be excluded. Sister Lucy Rooney described the incident which inspired Fr. Vlasic thusly:

"A month earlier, in May 1981, another Fransicsan, Father Tomislav Vlasic, had gone to Rome for an international meeting of leaders of the Charismatic Renewal. During the conference he asked some of the leaders to pray with him for the healing of the Church in Yugoslavia. One of those praying, Sister Briege McKenna, had a mental picture of Father Vlasic seated and surrounded by a great crowd; from teh seat flowed streams of water. Another, Emile Tardif OP, said in prophecy: "Do not fear, I am sending you my Mother." A few weeks later Our Lady began appearing Medjugorje."

Fr. Sivric then writes:

"A truly strange story, one that has many versions but remains esssentially the same, and which has circulated throughout Yugoslavia...."

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

I will come back to the article by Denis Nolan another time. For now, I'm off to bed.

Christopher Paul Hallett said...

The case of Fr Vlasic is very sad and as usual the British press has given a subtle slant against Medjugorge by inuendo without giving the full facts - as outlined by your other correspondants. Surely the Vatican However should now publically at least restore a level playing field as far as credibility regarding the Shrine is concerned? The Vatican after all has a moral responsibility to the Truth from an ordinary lay persons point of view not just for the clergy and hierarchy.

Anonymous said...

Clear as day, Medj is the false Fatima, a parody of Fatima.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

"Shrine" status, granted only by the Holy Father would most likely come only after a local bishop, or in the case of Medjugorje - a new commission - were to acknowledge the apparition as Constat de supernaturalitate (established as supernatural). The current decision remains as it were with the last commission (1991 Zadar Declaration), which is non constat de supernaturalitate (not established as supernatural).

See types of decisions explained here.

Neither the local bishop, nor the Zadar Declaration, has granted a cult following to develop, one of the earliest signs of church approval (a shrine honoring the apparition is at the highest level). The 1978 Criteria for Discernment of Apparitions states:

So that the ecclesiastical authority is able to acquire more certainty on such or such an apparition or revelation, it will proceed in the following way:

a) Initially, to judge the facts according to positive and negative criteria (cf. below, n.1).

b) Then, if this examination appears favorable, to allow certain public demonstrations of cult and devotion, while continuing to investigate the facts with extreme prudence (which is equivalent to the formula: “for the moment, nothing is opposed to it”).

c) Finally, after a certain time, and in the light of experience, (starting from a particular study of the spiritual fruits generated by the new devotion), to give a judgement on the authenticity of the supernatural character, if the case requires this.

The part emboldened is important. All that has been allowed is for people to make a personal pilgrimage - according to then Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone in 1998 - on condition that they are not regarded as an authentification of events still taking place and which still call for an examination by the Church. Note that the ability to visit Medjugorje at not point, in any documentation from the Ordinary or other Church official grants permission for the cult to develop. If so, permission would have also been given to make statues and holy cards, prayers based on the apparition with official Church sanction, etc.

See my detailed explanation on pilgrimages to Medjugorje here.

Only after the Church, most likely through a commission, were to permit a cult following, would a shrine even be up for discussion.

There is indication, that the Holy See is indeed investigating Medjugorje. However, communications which have been handed down have been of a disciplinary nature.

The truth will prevail, in time.

mgseamanjr said...

But Diane,
Surely, after 28 years of thousands of alleged apparitions to six people, with two successive bishops holding the opinion that the whole affair is a fraud (not to mention the countless critics of Medjugorje ready to pounce on the slightest hint of something out of place), if the Vatican had ample evidence to shut the place down they would have done so long ago. Clearly, many people see far more good fruits coming from Medjugorje than these
few news stories, like this sad one about Fr. Vlasic. (You might keep in mind that if the place is indeed authentic, then it would certainly be a place for the evil one to concentrate his efforts.)

By the way, I'm not sure what your point is about doubting that someone would see in advance the apparitions about to take place at Medjugorje (you recall that Sr. Briege in this vision did not know that the church she was seeing was St. James at Medjugorje but knew only that it was a "white church with two towers"). Do you not beleive that a charismatic (and very orthodox) nun such as Sr. Briege McKenna could have been granted by God an image of the Marian apparitions at Medjugorje before they began? Perhaps you feel that this is out of the reach of God.

hopingforheaven said...

My own reconversion was because of Medjugorje. And I was a pilgrim there in 1998 which was a wonderful experience.

Having said that, I no longer promote or follow this event. Why? Because of the DISOBEDIENCE of the visionaries and others to the lawful local ordinary (bishop). The bishop asked for silence while the investigating is going on and they not only are silent but slander the bishop. This disobedience is a huge red flag!

A holy priest said that this Medjugorje can be used by the evil one to split Our Lady's children who might refuse to follow the directives of the church especially if a negative ruling is handed down. The Vatican knows this and is being very careful.

mgseamanjr said...

Can you provide some documentation for the alleged seers "slandering the bishop?"

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


Proof of slander is in the 1990 document, "The Truth about Medjugorje", by Bishop Pavao Zanic (see point 20).

Msgr. Henri Brincard of the French Bishops Conference also pointed out that defamation was involved:

Finally, it is opportune to ask ourselves if the events of Medjugorje have produced good fruits in the visionaries who, at least during the duration of the "apparitions", must by their life be the first witnesses of the grace of which they say they benefit. From there it follows that we ask ourselves the following questions: "Have they obeyed the Bishop of Mostar? Have they respected him?..." Such questions and still others yet, are habitually part of a serious investigation into an event of apparitions. In order for the investigation to arrive at a solid conclusion, it is necessary that these fundamental questions receive a clear and objective response.

We would like to say nothing about the doubtful or even bad fruits. But the truth obliges us to say that they exist. Let us quote, as examples, the calling into question, even to the point of defamation, of the Local Ordinary as well as the disobedience with regard to his legitimate authority; the exacerbation of the Herzegovina 'question' following the words attributed to "the Gospa", words in favour of the Franciscans and against the Bishop.(10)

This says nothing of the outright calumny I've witnessed at Medjugorje promoter sites, some of which I printed off and sent to the CDF back in 2005.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

I would like to go back to the article by Denis Nolan for a couple of points, but it is too late. Perhaps tomorrow.

And, there is one person who wrote a very lengthy comment, with absolutely no white space and it was overwhelming to look at. I could not post it.

mgseamanjr said...

Dear Diane and HopingforHeaven:
Neither of you have given any facts regarding slander, much less defamation (I'm sorry but quoting another source that states that these sins were committed, but without giving any specifics, does not really back up your serious statements). How about some specific facts? Otherwise, I suggest you retract your statements. And, Diane, if you've witnessed "outright calumny" on certain websites, that's too bad but it's irrelevant.

Nick said...


I am no one in particular, only a worm on the sidewalk. I created a website on Medjugorje, to give my own discernment of the apparitions, without, of course, wishing to take the seat of Mother Church, who alone can judge any and all supernatural occurances. My website can be found here:

Sick of "Assumptions" said...

"And, there is one person who wrote a very lengthy comment, with absolutely no white space and it was overwhelming to look at. I could not post it"....You could copy it into a word doc and take out the parts that might be redundant, but you could post it. I, as the lengthy writer, reiterate:

OL Med says to: Pray the Rosary, Fast, Read the Holy Bible, Go to Monthly Confession, and Partake of the Eucharist.

To focus an article on the de-frocking of a Priest who is living in sin in the shadow of the Mother of The Almighty, as far as apparitions go, is the OPPOSITE of what we, as good Christians, should be doing here. This Priest began open disobedience to the Holy See while spiritually contributing to the ministry there, though not officially assigned to it's area Churches or official Pilgrimage ministry while living in Medj over 20 years ago. The current gossip, assumptions, calumny and defamation of him and Medugorje sickens me, especially with so much of the talk coming from Assumption Grotto. Our JOB as Christians is to PRAY for and SEEK the lost, and restore our fallen brethren. Excommunicaiton is an official disciplinary act meant to effectually bring the sinner to repentance and then to restore that person to the Church, whether or not in an official capacity is up to the Holy See. If a Priest was mistaken to be ordained in the first place, or finds later that he made an imprudent and willful commitment to his ordination while in grace to have received it, may not have been intended by God for the Priesthood, but rather for marriage, then he has the complete ability to personally petition the Holy See for Laicization. It should never be up to the chorus of calumny to decide his fate or that of the woman he, perhaps, may love if he could marry. Obviously the Priest who is the subject of scrutiny herein followed a sinful path and is suffering serious consequences as a result, both privately and publicly. We, as Christians, however, must remember that Jesus Christ said in the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery, "He who is without sin should cast the first stone."

Sick of "Assumptions" said...

By the way, the Catechism of the catholic church says that while Private Revelations do occur, it is neither required to accept them, or promulgate them for others to accept. That they can be of private benefit and do not have to be shared and are not required to be accepted by anyone but the receiver. To say one no longer accepts M. as a valid site, is like commenting on my last spiritual direction meeting. You weren't there. You don't know. You did't experience it for yourself. If it meant nothing to you personally, then don't worry about it. Obviously Medugorje has meant a great deal to a great number of people, who have indeed attested to receiving a benefit from it. Just like Garabandal and a great number of other Marian sites. My friend's Mother saw Mary privately when her son was lost, and beaten nearly to death before they found him. It meant something to her. Just because you didn't see it, doesn't mean it didn't happen. As far as a sinful Priest. Wouldn't be the first and won't be the last, sorry to say. Why? Because they are HUMAN. Love them, anyway. Pray for them!

Nick said...

Hey, it's me again :)

Listen, Medjugorje has been pumping out some weird devotions - like a novena fast - and I just found a wonderful document that will help Catholics know true popular piety from false piety. Here it is:

Anyway, I hope you're having fun and being safe, and praying for sinners and the holy souls, and all who need God's All-Powerful and Infinite Mercy.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Neither of you have given any facts regarding slander, much less defamation (I'm sorry but quoting another source that states that these sins were committed, but without giving any specifics, does not really back up your serious statements

Apparently, Bishop Zanic's own account of the slander he suffered is not good enough for you, it does not surprise me. It is not uncommon for Medjugorje supporters to dismiss the words of the bishop. It's very sad.

The statement by Msgr. Brincard, in the footnote has a reference. If you can find that book by Zanic, by all means look up the several notes where defamation of hte bishop is noted.

With regards to what is on the sites of promoters, and repeated by followers on the web, it does bear significance. Of course, if you don't want to count the bad fruits of the followers, then you can't count the good fruits of the followers. It is one of the many bad fruits of Medjugorje that people would attack the bishop in such a way. I will be making a post on another site on this very topic when I have more time.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

I said, "And, there is one person who wrote a very lengthy comment, with absolutely no white space and it was overwhelming to look at. I could not post it and the original author responded back"....You could copy it into a word doc and take out the parts that might be redundant, but you could post it. I, as the lengthy writer, reiterate...

Just to be clear, this is a personal web log. If you want to write a 15 paragraph note in someone's combox without any space, it's not my responsibility to make it readable. It is a courtesy that comments are permitted on any blog. You are free to make your own site where you can rant all you want.

I nearly deleted your next comments, but posted them because they were much shorter and so readers could see the kind of attitude held by some supporters.

Further, it is not sinful to repeat information about a priest made public. The Holy See itself requested of Bishop Peric last year that the canonical sanctions be made public. This is a former priest with a pattern of disobedience and scandalous behavior. As I said in my original post, we need to pray for him, but the public has a right to know what he should and should not be doing because of his past disregard for Church authority.

The region has already seen it's share of invalid marriages, and invalid confessions, as well as invalid confirmations by someone posing as a bishop. The ordinary, in his 2006 homily at Medjugorje, had to explain to people that their sacraments were not valid and that they had to be repeated. Here is the relevant excerpt:

Yet amongst all these curious questions, very few inquire about the local Church situation which is making many faithful unhappy in this diocese. The situation I'm speaking of is the inhuman, unchristian, unreligious and unpriestly disobedience that continues against the decisions of the highest Church authorities.

Had they asked me, I would have responded with a sorrowful heart that according to revealed facts which have not been repudiated by anyone so far with sound arguments, the disobedience that has been nurtured for years against the Holy See, the Franciscan OFM Order and the local Church, has recently produced the bitter fruits of invalid and sacrilegious confessions, invalid confirmations and sacrilegious masses.

Those Franciscan priests who in previous years took it upon themselves to invalidly confirm or invited others to celebrate "confirmation", have descended this year into such a depth of misfortune that they avoided the local Ordinary and invited someone who not only is not a bishop nor priest, but who isn't even a catholic to "confirm". This person stated: "Our aim is to make the Pope revoke the Romanis Pontificibus decree through these confirmations ... the Franciscans and I believe in Mary's apparitions in Medjugorje".

mgseamanjr said...

OK Diane, just to be clear, let me get this straight. Here are the accusations:

From HopingForHeaven:

"The bishop asked for silence while the investigating is going on and they not only are silent but slander the bishop. This disobedience is a huge red flag!"

From Diane:

"Proof of slander is in the 1990 document, "The Truth about Medjugorje", by Bishop Pavao Zanic (see point 20)."

Here is point 20 in the document you cite:

20. Slander against the bishop. "The bishop also believed in the beginning". This is not true! While the communists were persecuting the franciscans, the "seers" and pilgrims, I defended all of them and therefore I did not change my mind "because of threats by the Republic commission or because the diocesan priests sought this from me." This is simply fabricated slander by many. While I was publicly defending the imprisoned franciscans, Rev. Jozo Zovko said during the investigations that the bishop is a 'wolf' and a 'hypocrite'. These are the exact words written down in his sentence. Zovko's lawyer, Vukovic, asked through a colleague what I had done to Zovko to deserve such heavy accusations. Rev. T. Vlasic often put "Our Lady's" words into the mouths of the "seers", such as "Our Lady's" affirmation that satan (in this case the bishop) is out to destroy her plan. He wrote this more clearly in a letter to friends in the Vatican. I complained about this accusation that he has called the bishop satan, in front of Vlasic and his Provincial. He did not deny my objection but rather, he justified his words by saying that he wrote this while under the influence of extreme emotion. A person can say something while under emotion, but this cannot be written down and translated into foreign languages.

-----end quote

Therefore, if I understand you correctly, Diane, you are both dismissing the whole affair of Medjugorje and accusing me and others of "dismissing the words of a bishop" because Fr. Jozo Zovko on one occassion, long ago and under the duress of emotional strain while being persecuted by the Communist authorities (he was in fact tortured, you know), indicated that the Bishop had caved in to these authorities and changed his mind about the apparitions due to political pressure (never mind that this "slander" has nothing to do with the alleged seers themselves). Wow, that's quite a snap judgment on your part. It's like I said earlier, some anti-Medj. folks will latch on to the slightest hint of a sin to justify their position. Come on folks, it's been over 28 years and this is all you can come up with to attest for bad fruits? It's like comparing one bad apple to a grove of beautiful apple trees. I'm curious to learn to what source you attribute all the conversions and healings taking place at Medjugorje?

Anonymous said...

I think that people who live ONLY by their spiritual experiences might not realize that they could get confused and act passionate.

Passion can blind people.
Passion can be found in people on both sides of the Medjugorje issue.

When passions blinds us we should recourse to Mother Church for a word of wisdom. This is why is so important to be attentive to the Bishop, the Holy See and the Magisterium. All of them, together in unity, will have the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us with this issue of Medjguorje.

St. John of the Cross teaches us not to dwell in experiences of the body or in passion because we become a slave of what drives us.


Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

mgseamanjr says (broken up into parts so that I may respond):

Therefore, if I understand you correctly, Diane, you are both dismissing the whole affair of Medjugorje...

No. I'm not dismissing the "affair of Medjugorje". While you have a right to personally believe in it's authenticity, I have a right to hold a belief that it is not authentic. My disbelief did not come without painful experience, long hours of study and prayer over many years.

What is troubling is the way that it is "ok" to believe the apparitions are real, to the point of promoting them but it is not "ok" to explain well founded reasons for not believing them.

...and accusing me and others of "dismissing the words of a bishop" because Fr. Jozo Zovko on one occassion, long ago and under the duress of emotional strain while being persecuted by the Communist authorities (he was in fact tortured, you know), indicated that the Bishop had caved in to these authorities and changed his mind about the apparitions due to political pressure...

Perhaps he made the statement under duress. However, the fact that comments which infer the bishop being political or cowardly abound on the internet on promoter sites does not square with looking upon that incident as a moment of weakness in Zovko. This whole notion is far from the truth given the brave manner in which he defended Zovko and other Franciscans from the communists.

I lived in that region for 2.5 years, and was there when fra Jozo was imprisoned. I remember how intimidating the communist's were, and the bishop stood up to them in defense of those priests!

(never mind that this "slander" has nothing to do with the alleged seers themselves). Wow, that's quite a snap judgment on your part. It's like I said earlier, some anti-Medj. folks will latch on to the slightest hint of a sin to justify their position. Come on folks, it's been over 28 years and this is all you can come up with to attest for bad fruits? It's like comparing one bad apple to a grove of beautiful apple trees. I'm curious to learn to what source you attribute all the conversions and healings taking place at Medjugorje?

It's been 28 years of promoting Medjugorje based squarely on the good fruits and 28 years of suppression of anything damaging. What I've witnessed and experienced, in person and on the web, amounts to bullying for those raising any concerns - legitimate concerns.

I did not claim that the defamation was on the part of the seers (go back and read my comment).

When I provided for you the statement by Msgr. Henri Brincard (where defamation is raised), which leads to point 20 in Bishop Zanic's statement, it was taken from a paragraph in the French Bishop's statement about "fruits".

If you look at Msgr. Brincard's paragraph very closely, you will see that he is not referring to the seers, but about good fruits and bad fruits in general. Defamation of the local bishop is indeed part of the promotion machine bent on discrediting the apostolic successor (something I will address, in detail, on my other blog on Medjugorje matters in due time).

Keep in mind, that many Medjugorje supporters and promoters use the "good fruits" argument as a basis for validating authenticity in their own minds (something Mark Shea pegged rather accurately the other day)

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


I'm not accepting any further comments on this topic and will be shutting the combox down soon.

I will likely finish addressing some things, but may opt to do so in the Medjugorje blog I've set up to address things with more details and cited references (see link in comment above).

For now, this combox is closed.